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    William Maley

    Acura Shows How To Combine Two Sedans Into One With The TLX

    Here is the model that will take the place of the Acura TL and TSX later this year. Meet the Acura TLX Prototype which debut at the Detroit Auto Show today. The TLX will slot in between the compact ILX and range-topping RLX, giving Acura three distinct sedans.
    Billed as a concept, the TLX Prototype is pretty much what we'll sell in production. The overall shape reminds us of the ILX and features the company's Jewel Eye headlights. Sizewise, the TLX is about 3.8 inches shorter than the TL. However the two models have the same wheelbase length of 109.3 inches.
    Powertrains will include a new direct-injected 2.4L four-cylinder and a direct-injected 3.5L V6 with cylinder deactivation. The 2.4L will come with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, while the 3.5L comes with a nine-speed automatic.
    The TLX will come with front-wheel drive as standard with Acura's Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) system to improve agility and stability. On the V6, that will have the option of Acura's Super-Handling All Wheel Drive system.
    The 2015 Acura TLX will go on sale sometime later this year.
    Source: Acura


    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    2015 TLX Prototype – Acura's "Red Carpet Athlete" – Unveiled at 2014 North American International Auto Show
    Acura TLX Prototype Sets Design Direction for all-new Acura TLX launching mid-year; 2015 Acura TLX will deliver sports-sedan performance and agility in a more refined, sophisticated and technologically-enhanced package
    DETROIT, MI, Jan. 14, 2014 – Acura today unveiled the 2015 Acura TLX Prototype showcasing the design and performance direction for the all-new 2015 TLX performance-luxury sedan launching mid-year at Acura dealerships nationwide. The TLX was developed around the theme"Red Carpet Athlete" to deliver a compelling blend of luxury refinement and sports-sedan athleticism with exhilarating performance enhanced by next-generation Acura powertrain and dynamic handling technologies. The TLX will join the ILX compact luxury sedan and the RLX luxury performance sedan as the third vehicle in Acura's sedan lineup.
    "The Acura TLX Prototype is a precursor of some amazing things we have in store for our Acura sedan customers," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president, American Honda Motor, Co., Inc. "As you would expect from an Acura, this completely new model will offer innovative technologies that break down the barriers between the driver and the machine to deliver a more intuitive, connected and personal driving experience."
    The TLX Prototype, bathed in Acura Athletic Red Pearl, presents a lithe exterior form, taut body surfaces and sports-sedan proportions. Its sporting character is further highlighted by its low and wide stance, shortened front and rear overhangs, dynamically sculpted fender arches, and purposeful character lines. Acura's signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights imbue the TLX Prototype with an advanced and bright-eyed appearance while producing superior down-the-road illumination. The prototype's custom-designed five-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels and 265/35ZR20 low-profile tires accentuate its athletic stance, while the sculpted hood with its sharply creased bilateral ridgelines hints at the performance capabilities of the advanced new Acura powertrain that lies beneath. Another prototype-exclusive feature is the tailor-made side mirrors. Keying off of the Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, each mirror has a row of LED lights fused into its base. Click on the turn indictor, and the LEDs come to life, spreading a moving glow around the bottom of the mirror for a high-tech, 3D appearance.
    Dimensionally, the TLX Prototype presages the production 2015 TLX sedan and is 3.8 inches shorter in overall length (190.2 inches) than the current TL, yet rides on the same 109.3 inch wheelbase as the TL. The prototype's right-sized dimensions place the new TLX neatly in between the smaller ILX and larger RLX sedans. Despite its more compact exterior footprint, the TLX design targets the most spacious interior in the midsize luxury sedan class – roughly on par with the current TL – with an open and airy greenhouse, commanding sight lines, ample cargo capacity and comfortable seating for five adults.
    And like any truly world-class athlete, the TLX will pair power and efficiency with deft agility. With its low and wide stance, rigid yet lightweight body, and nimble and responsive chassis, the TLX is designed to deliver confident, precise and refined ride and handling performance in almost any driving situation. From low-stress urban commutes to relaxed long-distance cruising, or adrenaline-inducing runs down twisting country roads, the TLX is designed to be an intuitive and confidence-inspiring driving partner, a vehicle that epitomizes Acura's dynamic concept of "performance at the will of the driver."
    The 2015 TLX Prototype also communicates the diverse range of advanced technologies and performance options that will be available to Acura TLX customers – including two-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations ; two high-performance, highly fuel-efficient new engines; two new advanced transmissions; and the next generation Acura Super-Handling All Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) and Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS) dynamic performance and handling technologies.
    In keeping with the "Red Carpet Athlete" design and development concept, the 2015 TLX's advanced new powertrains will deliver highly responsive, refined and efficient power delivery. An all-new 2.4-liter 16-valve inline 4-cylinder engine employs direct-injection and Acura's VTEC™ valvetrain, and is significantly lighter than previous Acura engines of similar configuration and displacement. The new engine is mated to an all-new 8-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) with torque converter. This new 8-speed DCT takes full advantage of the 2.4-liter engine's broad power band, delivering incredibly quick and smooth gear changes, expertly matching engine revs on down shifts, and putting the power down in a responsive and intuitive way.
    For even greater power and performance, there is a 3.5-liter SOHC V-6 that also employs direct injection and VTEC variable valve control and cam timing along with fuel-saving Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™) cylinder deactivation technology. The 3.5-liter V-6 is mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission with closely spaced gear ratios and a wide overall ratio range to further extend engine performance and fuel efficiency. Both the 2.4-liter and 3.5-liter TLX models will target EPA fuel economy ratings at the top of the midsize luxury sedan class.
    Two-wheel-drive models with either the 2.4- or 3.5-liter powerplant will utilize the next generation of Acura Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS™) technology with independent left and right rear wheel toe control. As four-wheel steering becomes an increasingly popular technology on high-performance automobiles, Acura continues to evolve and improve the capabilities of its cutting-edge P-AWS system, first launched on the RLX sedan in 2013, to deliver even more responsive handling, precise steering control and high-speed stability.
    The TLX SH-AWD™, available exclusively with the 3.5-liter V6 engine and 9-speed transmission, employs a new generation of Acura's signature Super-Handling All Wheel Drive™ technology that is 25 percent lighter and incorporates new torque-vectoring control logic.
    Understanding that customization is a key component of luxury, the TLX will feature an Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) to allow for further personalization and a sportier driving experience. The four driving modes – ECON (Economy), Normal, Sport, and a new Sport+ mode – take full advantage of the TLX's high-performance capabilities. Depending on which mode the driver selects, the Integrated Dynamics System will adjust Electric Power Steering (EPS), throttle response, SH-AWD and P-AWS control logic, transmission shift mapping, Active Noise Control settings and HVAC control in accordance with the preferences of the driver.
    Also in keeping with its luxury sedan status, the TLX was designed to deliver vault-like quietness in all driving conditions, with major improvements in noise reduction through enhancements to body stiffness, body sealing and sound insulation, and the application of electronic Active Noise Control.
    The TLX utilizes Acura's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure and is expected to achieve the highest available safety ratings – a five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The TLX will be available with Acura's most advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies including Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Blind Spot Indicator (BSI).
    The TLX was designed and developed in the United States by Acura engineers working in the company's Los Angeles design studio and Raymond, Ohio new-vehicle development center. The new TLX will be produced using domestic and globally sourced parts at the company's award-winning Marysville, Ohio auto plant, which presently manufactures the 2014 Acura TL performance-luxury sedan.

    William Maley

    Subaru Presents The WRX STI In The Customary Blue and Gold

    The Detroit Auto Show was the place where Subaru showed what happens when you turn the brand new WRX up to eleven. Meet the 2015 WRX STI which brings a number of improvements over its predecessor.
    It begins with the exterior as the STI gets features a unique aluminum hood with scoop, fenders, doors, quarter panels, bumpers, headlights and taillights. Inside the STI becomes more premium with a harman/kardon audio system, dual zone climate control, and Alcantara seating surfaces with red and black leather bolsters and red stitching.
    A 2.5L turbocharged boxer-four 305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque gets the WRX STI moving in a hurry. This is paired with a six-speed manual transmission only. Subaru's Intelligent Drive - SI-Drive for show - makes a return. There are three different modes - Intelligent, Sport, and Sport Sharp - which changes the engine control module and throttle response.
    For the all-wheel drive system, the WRX STI comes with the Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential that splits power 41:59 front to rear via a mechanical limited-slip type center differential. The diff can set in three automatic modes or one of six manual modes. The all-wheel drive system will also feature a helical-type limited-slip up front and a Torsen in the back.
    The WRX STI will now come with an Active Torque Vectoring system which utilizes the stability and traction control systems to improve cornering ability.
    The 2015 Subaru WRX STI will arrive in the spring. To mark this, Subaru will be building 1,000 special “Launch Edition” models which pack gold-painted BBS alloy wheels, blue and black leather/Alcantara upholstery, a proximity key, short-throw shifter, and of course the World Rally Blue Pearl paint color.
    Source: Subaru


    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    ALL-NEW 2015 SUBARU WRX® STI® DEBUTS AT NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW IN DETROIT
    - New platform offers a stiffer, more agile chassis for Subaru's global performance flagship model
    - Bold new sedan model with aero body design
    - High-performance chassis with new Active Torque Vectoring
    - 305 hp turbo BOXER engine; most powerful engine in the segment
    - Driver Controlled Center Differential All-Wheel Drive
    - STI Launch Edition limited to 1,000 available
    DETROIT, Jan. 14, 2014 – Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the all-new 2015 WRX STI, Subaru's iconic performance flagship model, at the North American International Auto Show. Subaru will offer a WRX STI Launch Edition, limited to 1,000 units and exclusively featuring WR Blue paint and gold BBS® forged alloy wheels and unique interior trim.
    Powered by the legendary 305-horsepower 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine, the 2015 WRX STI debuts a new four-door wide-body design, built on a stiffer chassis for even greater handling agility and precision. The WRX STI provides a rally-bred drivetrain and all-wheel drive handling that is unique to this model. Handling is enhanced with a stiffer chassis, firmer springs and faster steering (13.0:1 ratio).
    New for the 2015 WRX STI, Active Torque Vectoring joins an arsenal of the model's proven handling technologies that includes Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control, and a Brembo® Performance Brake System with Super Sport ABS.
    The 2015 WRX STI carries its bold personality inside, where new Alcantara seating surfaces accented by red and black leather bolsters and red stitching set the tone for the upgraded and roomier cabin. A driver-focused interior remains integral to the WRX STI performance character, with the new model debuting a motorsports-inspired flat-bottom steering wheel and new whiplash-reducing performance-design front seats with height and tilt-adjustable head restraints. A wide array of new user technologies include, for the first time in a WRX STI, availability of a harman/kardon® premium audio system.
    Iconic STI Design Exclusively in Sedan Form
    A bolder front design makes the 2015 WRX STI look ready to devour the road. The "nose-cone" configuration combines the grille and bumper cap into one unit ahead of the hood, which for the 2015 model is made from aluminum to reduce weight over the front of the car. Narrower headlights, designed to evoke a raptor's stare, flank the Subaru hexagonal grille. It's a more powerful stare thanks to new standard LED low-beam headlights.
    The special hood, fenders, doors and quarters, bumpers, headlights and taillight clusters convey the WRX STI identity. As on previous WRX STI models, a functional hood scoop supplies the intercooler with fresh air, and in the 2015 model it is set more deeply into the hood to provide better forward visibility.
    Other new performance-oriented details include foglight surrounds with a carbon fiber-like pattern and front fender vents that feature a mesh screen. A full aerodynamic body package includes the large trunk spoiler that has been a WRX STI signature feature. A rear diffuser, LED taillights and LED center high-mount stop lamp (CHMSL) leave a distinctive signature.
    New, Stiffer Chassis for Greater Handling Agility
    The 2015 WRX STI body structure makes greater use of high-tensile steel than the previous model and features special stiffening elements at key locations. The stiffer chassis helps yield a super-quick steering response that was benchmarked against top-handling sports cars. The 13.0:1 steering ratio provides a quick 2.5 turns lock-to-lock compared to 14.5:1 and 2.8 for the standard WRX model.
    As on previous WRX STI models, the 2015 version uses an exclusive inverted-strut front suspension system that provides higher levels of cornering agility. Aluminum front lower L-arms reduce unsprung vehicle weight. The STI-tuned suspension teams with standard 18-inch wheels and 245/40R18 summer performance tires, with the WRX STI Launch Edition and WRX STI Limited models featuring BBS® forged aluminum-alloy wheels.
    305-hp Turbo BOXER Engine
    The 2015 WRX STI is powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged/intercooled 4-cylinder BOXER engine that employs the Dual Active Valve Control System (Dual AVCS). The engine, which is exclusive to the STI model, produces 305 horsepower (SAE) at 6,000 rpm and 290 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,000 rpm.
    The WRX STI engine is teamed exclusively with a specially reinforced 6-speed manual transmission, which includes an STI short-throw shifter in the Launch Edition model. Incline Start Assist can momentarily prevent the car from rolling backward when being driven away from a stop on an incline.
    The Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) powertrain management system allows the driver to tailor the car's driving characteristics by choosing from among three selectable modes – "Intelligent," "Sport" and "Sport Sharp" – using a rotary dial on the center console. SI-DRIVE alters vehicle performance characteristics by regulating the engine control module and by fine-tuning the electronic throttle control system.
    Multi-Mode DCCD All-Wheel Drive with Three-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control
    The 2015 WRX STI is exclusively equipped with the Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) version of Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. This sophisticated system uses planetary-type center differential gears with a nominal 41:59 torque split. A mechanical limited-slip type center differential augments an electronically controlled center differential to enhance torque transfer performance.
    Sensor inputs that include steering angle, throttle position, RPM, lateral-g, yaw, brake, ABS and wheel speed govern torque transfer response. A helical-type limited-slip front differential and a TORSEN® torque-sensing limited-slip rear differential optimize side-to-side torque distribution.
    The DCCD AWD system features three automatic modes, each using varying degrees of center differential locking to match different driving situations. In manual mode, the driver can select one of six center differential locking levels to suit the driving situation.
    Active Torque Vectoring, an enhancement of the Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system, can apply brake pressure to the inside front wheel to facilitate more neutral cornering. The VDC system offers yet more driver choices, with three settings: "VDC Normal," "Traction" and "Off." Each provides respectively lesser degrees of system engagement, allowing the driver to tailor response for the driving situation. Active Torque Vectoring remains engaged for "Normal" and "Traction" modes.
    Premium Cabin
    A one-inch longer wheelbase than the previous WRX STI helps provide a roomier cabin in the new model. The windshield is more raked than before, with the A-pillar pulled forward nearly eight inches at the base for better forward visibility, aided by a lower dashboard and narrower A-pillars. Lower side sills and wider-opening doors make ingress/egress easier. Rear seat legroom is increased by nearly two inches, and trunk capacity is now 12 cu. ft., up from 11.3 cu. ft. in the previous WRX STI sedan. A standard 60/40-split fold-down rear seat extends versatility. New available Welcome Lighting responds to the driver approaching the car.
    In the 2015 WRX STI, the driver grips a new flat-bottom, leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel that integrates switches for audio and Bluetooth control. The STI Design electroluminescent gauge panel gets a new 3.5-in. central LCD screen that displays various functions, including low-level warnings for oil and windshield washer fluid and the selected gear.
    Rich-looking appointments and details abound, including soft-touch materials for the dashboard, door trim and center console armrest. A new multi-information central display with 4.3-in. LCD screen provides a multitude of vehicle system functions, including a standard rear camera display, a boost gauge display, audio (on non-navigation models), Bluetooth and climate control settings, and a VDC screen showing traction control operation. The display can also provide a vehicle self-check and maintenance reminder.
    Standard features for the 2015 WRX STI include dual-zone automatic climate control and the All-Weather Package (dual-mode heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer). The new standard audio system combines AM/FM stereo with HD Radio®, a single-disc in-dash CD player, 6 speakers, MP3/WMA capability, Radio Data Broadcast System (RDBS), Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming, iPod® control capability, iTunes® Tagging, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (subscription required), USB port and a 3.5mm auxiliary audio input jack. Numerous compartments located in and around the center console hold phones, USB drives and MP3 players.
    An available touch-screen navigation system displays on a 6.1-inch LCD screen and offers voice controls. The WRX STI Limited model adds the luxury of leather-trimmed upholstery, an 8-way power driver's seat, the harman/kardon premium audio system and a power moonroof that opens one inch farther than on the previous model.
    Subaru Safety
    Subaru's renowned safety package uses the brand's proven Ring-shaped Reinforcement Frame body structure, which has been shown to excel in the new small overlap test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In the cabin, a driver's knee airbag is added to the roster of safety features that includes front side pelvis/torso airbags and side curtain airbags that offer front and rear outboard seat coverage.
    Subaru produces a full line of all-wheel drive sedans, crossovers and SUVs, along with the rear-wheel drive BRZ sports car.

    William Maley

    Cadillac Drops Two Doors To Create The ATS Coupe

    The past year has seen a number of rumors and spy shots saying that Cadillac was planning an ATS Coupe. Well the rumors and spy shots were correct as Cadillac introduced the 2015 ATS Coupe at the Detroit Auto Show today.
    The ATS Coupe is much more conservative in its design than the Cadillac CTS Coupe. The lines are very similar to the ATS sedan. The Coupe does have two differentiating design cues from the sedan. The first is the coupe has a much wider track than the sedan. The second is that the ATS features Cadillac's new crestless emblem.
    The ATS Coupe will come with the choice of two different engines. The base will be the 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque (up 14 percent when compared with the 2.0L in the sedan). Optional is the 3.6L V6 with 321 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. Both engines will come with a six-speed automatic as standard, with the turbo getting a six-speed manual as an option. All-wheel drive will be optional as well.
    Like the sedan, the ATS coupe will be available with the FE3 suspension package which adds Magnetic Ride Control, a mechanical limited-slip differential, summer tires, and upgraded engine cooling.
    The ATS Coupe's interior will be decked out in handcrafted leather, wood, aluminum and carbon-fiber trim. Options will include Cadillac's CUE infotainment system, color heads-up display, OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and onboard wifi, and a Bose audio system that cancels out background noise and pumps engine noises through the speakers.
    The ATS Coupe goes on sale this summer.


    Source: Cadillac
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Cadillac Introduces 2015 ATS Coupe
    - Cadillac's first compact luxury Coupe, infused with ATS sedan's agility
    - 2.0L Turbo model is segment's lightest, with increased torque for faster acceleration
    - Launching in summer 2014, continuing Cadillac's ongoing expansion
    DETROIT – Cadillac today introduced the all-new 2015 ATS Coupe, a quicker and more personal addition to the award-winning ATS product line. Lighter, more agile and more engaging than its competitors, it extends Cadillac's product-driven growth and the brand's tradition of dynamic luxury Coupes.
    Cadillac's first-ever compact luxury Coupe goes on sale this summer, offering drivers the choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and the power from a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder or a 3.6L six-cylinder. In all combinations, ATS Coupe takes advantage of its lightweight and strong structure to deliver exhilarating performance with efficiency, with a segment-leading power-to-weight ratio.
    "The 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe is a natural step in the brand's progression, and another distinctive, fun-to-drive and technologically advanced product for a new generation of drivers extending our target groups," said Uwe Ellinghaus, chief marketing officer, Global Cadillac. "It is an exclusively distinctive American alternative, unique in its class, yet delivering a sporty and sophisticated driving experience rivaling the world's best."
    Like the sedan, the ATS Coupe's driving dynamics are rooted in mass efficiency, which helps make it one of Cadillac's lightest and most agile models ever – and the lightest car in the compact luxury Coupe segment. In fact, the 2.0L Turbo engine is upgraded from the current ATS sport sedan to deliver nearly 14 percent more torque for 2015, taking it to 295 lb-ft (400 Nm). This gives the standard ATS Coupe an advantage in power and weight over similarly equipped Coupes such as the BMW 428i.
    Greater torque means greater pulling power, for a greater feeling of responsiveness at low speeds, and helps the ATS Coupe achieve an estimated 0-60 time of 5.6 seconds.
    "More power with less weight is always a better combination for performance, and the ATS Coupe offers one of the best power-to-weight ratios in the segment, making it feel lighter, more direct and responsive," said David Leone, Cadillac executive chief engineer. "Engineers vetted the ATS's performance on the track and the Coupe benefits from that exhaustive validation – all matched with Cadillac's trademark refinement."
    Elements that contribute to the ATS Coupe's balanced performance and responsive characteristics include:
    - Nearly perfect 50/50 weight balance and low center of gravity
    - Five-link independent rear suspension featuring lightweight, high-strength steel and efficient straight link designs
    - A multi-link double-pivot MacPherson-strut front suspension with direct-acting stabilizer bar
    - Underbody aerodynamic shields
    - Premium, belt-driven electric variable-effort steering gear from ZF Steering Systems
    - Brembo front brakes
    - Eighteen-inch aluminum wheels
    - Available all-wheel drive.
    A driver-adjustable FE3 sport suspension is available and includes Magnetic Ride Control, a mechanical limited-slip differential, high-capacity engine cooling system and 18-inch summer-performance tires. Magnetic Ride Control is a real-time damping system that delivers more precise body motion control. It "reads" the road and can change damping every millisecond.
    Design details
    The 2015 ATS Coupe rides on the same 109.3-inch (2,775 mm) wheelbase as the sedan, but features its own bodywork. The roof, doors, rear fenders and trunk lid are unique to the Coupe, along with a specific front fascia and front fenders that accommodate a wider track than the sedan. It is also the first production model to wear Cadillac's revised crest.
    The Coupe also has an aggressive stance, with wider front/rear tracks than the sedan, enhanced by short overhangs and sheet metal that wrapping tautly around the tires. Standard 18-inch wheels are exclusive to the Coupe.
    Bold lighting elements are a Cadillac signature feature and the ATS Coupe advances that tradition with available LED headlamps with Adaptive Forward Lighting. Base models feature projector-beam headlamps, while high-intensity-discharge headlamps and front vertical LED light signatures are included on all collections above the standard model. Illuminating outside door handles on Performance and Premium collections lend technologically advanced style and function to the distinctive Coupe. All models feature LED technology for the taillamps and rear-center stop lamp.
    The ATS Coupe also includes capless fueling.
    Inside, the sedan's driver-focused cabin carries over to the Coupe, featuring handcrafted cut-and-sewn upholstered interior combinations, decorative stitching and authentic materials, including leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and wood, which enhance the emotional connection to the driving experience.
    Choices of many interior color themes, each with unique accent trim materials, cover a wide range – from light, open and warm to dark and serious, and bold technical and sporty.
    Available interior features include:
    - OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with built-in WiFi hotspot
    - Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity with natural voice recognition
    - Text-to-voice converts incoming text messages to speech and reads them over the audio system speakers
    - USB, auxiliary and SD memory card ports
    - SiriusXM Satellite Radio with three-month trial subscription
    - Reconfigurable 5.7-inch, three-window instrument panel cluster display
    - Full-color reconfigurable head-up display.
    A Bose ® premium audio system with Active Noise Cancelation technology is standard on all models and includes electronic sound enhancement on models equipped with the available premium surround sound audio system. Exclusive to ATS Coupe and differing from other manufacturers' system that pipe recorded engine sounds through the audio system, Cadillac's system enhances only the car's authentic powertrain sounds to enhance the performance experience.
    The 12-speaker surround sound upgrade is available on Standard and Luxury, and it is included with Performance and Premium collections. It includes Bose Audio Pilot, which continuously monitors ambient sounds and adjusts the music volume and program content to optimize the listening experience
    Additionally, a navigation system is also available on Luxury and Performance collections, and it is standard with the Premium Collection.
    Enhanced Cadillac CUE leads technologies
    Cadillac CUE is the centerpiece of the ATS Coupe's comprehensive collection of technologies designed to enhance the driving experience and complement customers' increasingly connected lifestyles. It is available on base models and standard on Luxury, Performance and Premium collections, with enhanced connectivity and convenience for 2015, including a new Text-to-Voice feature for smartphone users with Bluetooth profile (M.A.P.) and Siri Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6 and iOS 7 users enhance connectivity and convenience. Each enables voice-controlled connectivity – and helps keep phones in pockets and hands on the wheel.
    The heart of CUE is the eight-inch LCD multi-touch sensitive screen, integrated into the top of the central instrument panel and featuring a motorized, fully capacitive faceplate at the bottom concealing a 1.8L storage area. CUE's vibrant LCD screen resembles a smartphone's screen, with large, easy-to-target icons to execute commands.
    Complementing CUE is OnStar 4G LTE connectivity, featuring a new built-in WiFi hotspot that can connect up to seven devices at once. The new 4G LTE connection can also be used to power CUE Collection, a new in-car app marketplace coming to Cadillac vehicles this year.
    Additional technologies that make life with the ATS Coupe more convenient include the capability of remotely starting the engine or lowering the windows with the key fob or the owner's smartphone. EZ Key passive entry and push-button starting is standard, too, so the key never needs to leave the driver's pocket or purse.
    Power-dense powertrains
    The engine lineup includes a standard 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder and available 3.6L V-6. The award-winning 2.0L Turbo is rated at 272 horsepower (203 kW) and 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm). The award-winning 3.6L V-6 is rated at 321 horsepower (239 kW) and 275 lb-ft of torque (373 Nm).
    At 136hp/L, the 2.0L Turbo is one of the most power-dense engines in the industry, topping engines from European competitors. It also delivers 90 percent of its peak torque from 2100 rpm to 5400 rpm and the full 295 lb-ft of peak torque (400 Nm) from 3000 to 4600 rpm. The broad torque band is supported by boost levels as high as 18 psi (1.26 bar) in the speed range, which is designed to give the lightweight ATS Coupe an exhilarating feeling of immediate power on demand.
    Both engines feature direct injection and dual overhead camshafts with continuously variable valve timing, which help optimize power and efficiency, as well as reduce emissions. And each is matched with the Hydra-Matic 6L45 six-speed automatic transmission with tap-shift control. A six-speed manual is also available with the 2.0L Turbo.
    Advanced safety features
    ATS Coupe provides the same safety technologies that earned the sedan NHTSA 5-Star all-around and overall crash safety ratings – the highest available.
    Additionally, Cadillac provides available advanced safety based on Cadillac's "control and alert" strategy, which employs up to two cameras, eight ultrasonic sensors and six radar signals to help prevent crashes. The safety features bolster driver vision and awareness of road hazards, and can even assist to help the driver avert potential crashes. In certain situations, Cadillac's advanced crash-avoidance systems, such as automatic braking, can pre-fill and automatically apply braking in response to potential hazards.
    Among the most sophisticated of the features is Fr ont and Rear Automatic Braking . It relies on radar, camera and ultrasonic technology to help the driver prevent front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary.
    Many of the advanced safety features are bundled in the Driver Awareness and Driver Assist Packages. The Driver Awareness package is available on Luxury and included in Performance and Premium Collections. It includes:
    - Safety Alert Seat
    - Forward Collision Alert
    - Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist – new to Cadillac for 2015
    - Intellibeam ® high-beam control
    - Front and rear park assist
    - Rear-vision camera with dynamic guidelines.
    The Driver Assist package is available on Performance and Premium collections and includes all of the Driver Awareness package content, plus:
    - Full-Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
    - Automatic Collision Preparation
    - Motorized safety belts – new to Cadillac for 2015
    - Electronic Park Brake
    - Front and Rear Automatic Braking
    - Enhanced Side Blind Zone Alert – new to Cadillac for 2015
    - Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
    - Full-color head-up display.
    The advanced technologies complement other ATS safety features, including eight standard air bags, safety belt pretensioners and load limiters, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with full-function traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel ABS, patented rotor coating protection and auto-dry functionality.

    William Maley

    Nissan Previews The Next Maxima With The Sport Sedan Concept

    This is the Nissan Sport Sedan Concept and the automaker says it previews "a future production sports sedan," most likely the next Maxima.
    The Sport Sedan Concept is the third concept to show what Nissan has in mind for the designs in the future; the first two being the Resonance crossover concept and Friend-Me concept. Like the first two concepts, the Sport Sedan features what Nissan calls the V-motion grille, a large piece chrome shaped like a V. On either side of the grille are boomerang-shaped headlights. The Sport Sedan also features a floating roof, twenty-one inch alloy wheels, and number of curves flowing along the body.
    Powering the Sport Sedan Concept is a 3.5L V6 that has been retuned to produce over 300 horsepower. This is paired with a Xtronic CVT that delivers power to the front wheels.
    Source: Nissan


    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    NISSAN SPORT SEDAN CONCEPT MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT 2014 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    - Nissan provides an advanced look at a future production sports sedan
    - Offers bold and exciting sports car proportions with energetic styling, driver-oriented interior
    - Embodies next-generation Nissan design signatures, including V-Motion front aspect, distinctive "floating" roof and boomerang-shaped lamps
    Design has long been a differentiator between Nissan and its competitors – along with performance, innovation and technology. Now, as the company celebrates its 80th anniversary, it is doing so with the world debut of the Nissan Sport Sedan Concept at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
    The Sport Sedan Concept, a design study with a particular emphasis on next-generation design and sporty style, was created to embody the essence of a true sports sedan – that rare execution of 4-door sedan with the aura of a real sports car. It previews a future production vehicle intended for owners with a passion for cutting-edge design and driving dynamics.
    "The Sport Sedan Concept shows a new, highly emotional and energetic design direction that takes Nissan's legendary approach of applying sports car principles to a sedan to the next level," said Nissan Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura. "The Sport Sedan Concept captures that essence with bold and exciting sports car design and proportions."
    Next-Generation Nissan Design Language
    The Sport Sedan Concept joins a trio of advanced concepts that share signature design aspects that will be adapted to all future Nissans. Along with the Nissan Resonance and Friend-ME concepts that were introduced in 2013, the Sport Sedan Concept shares the new V-Motion front aspect, "floating" roof and boomerang-shaped headlights and taillights.
    As demonstrated by the three diverse concepts, these distinctive design cues will be incorporated into a range of body types from sedans to crossovers.
    "Our new design direction mirrors the strength, power and capabilities of the engineering and innovation that serves as the foundation of every Nissan vehicle," said Nakamura. "Nissan is a brand for people seeking bold and passionate experiences, and who are willing to make choices outside of traditional boundaries. That's why Nissan is committed to breaking new ground in automotive design, as expressed in the stunning new Sport Sedan Concept."
    The exterior of the Sport Sedan Concept is marked by low, wide proportions, with a lowered hoodline and reduced ground clearance compared to traditional sedans – elements that would be right at home in a sports car.
    The "V-Motion" movement of the front end flows from the dramatic chromed grille up through the hood. The front of the Sport Sedan Concept also incorporates the large LED boomerang headlights, a deeply scooped front fascia and wide, sloped windshield.
    The profile of the vehicle is equally powerful, with its dynamic bodyside lines adding a strong sculptural feel and connecting the wheels and tires – which are pushed out to the four corners.
    There is a projection of motion, even when the vehicle is standing still. The Sport Sedan Concept rides on custom 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels mounted with low-profile 275/30R21 tires.
    The distinctive silhouette blends smoothly into the rear design, which is capped by the high deck, large chrome trunk accent and wide, deeply scooped rear fascia. As in the front, the boomerang rear combination lights accentuate the centered feeling and push outward to edges.
    The unique "floating" roof adds a sense of openness and lightness in contrast to traditional sedans' heavy cabin appearance.
    "The innovative roofline, which is also prevalent on Resonance and Friend-ME, makes it seem as if there are no pillars at all, enhancing the sense of athleticism and sportiness," said Nakamura. "The roofline also contributes to the Sport Sedan Concept's class-leading stance, which balances the look of the substantial lower body and a streamlined cabin."
    The final exterior touch is the unique "Strad Amber" paint that was inspired by the craftsmanship and rich finish of noted classic violins – instruments capable of producing vibrant intensity at times and at other times a soft stillness. The elaborate candy color paint finish is achieved through application of an orange-amber topcoat over a base of gold paint, creating a distinctive depth and bespoke richness.
    The Sport Sedan Concept's interior also offers cues to future production designs. Premium materials are found throughout, with the use of diamond-shaped graphics on the quilted seats, stitching and panels enhancing the sense of dynamic motion. Rather than traditional flat surfacing, the diamond treatment adds three-dimensionality. The edgy and geometric look was inspired by modern furniture, apparel and accessories. The interior also features high-contrast colors and facet metallic accents. All these aspects finely express Nissan's individual authenticity and modernity.
    The front-wheel drive Sport Sedan Concept is powered by a 300-plus horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine backed by a sport-tuned Xtronic CVT® and features an innovative suspension layout with performance dampers.
    The Nissan Sport Sedan Concept was created by Nissan Design America in San Diego, California and developed at the Nissan Global Design Center in Atsugi, Japan.

    William Maley

    And Making A Return Performance, The Hyundai Genesis

    When Hyundai introduced the Genesis sedan back in 2009, many were skeptical that the automaker could sell a luxury car in the U.S. Well Hyundai has been able to prove them wrong as the Genesis was improved and sales climbed upward. As a reward, Hyundai has decided to continue on with the Genesis and introduced the next-generation at the Detroit Auto Show today.
    The 2015 Genesis heralds a new design language that Hyundai calls Fluidic Sculpture 2.0. This begins up front with a flatter end and a large hexagonal grille. The side profile features a number of character creases, a coupe-like sloping rear windshield, and sharp looking alloy wheels. In the cabin, the Genesis is very similar to the Equus with the dashboard layout. Other details to take note are ihgher grade seat upholstery, new panoramic sunroof, the second-generation of Hyundai's BlueLink infotainment system, and a quieter cabin.
    Under the hood are two different engines; a 3.8L V6 with 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque, and a 5.0L V8 with 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet. Both engines are slightly down on power, but Hyundai explains the reason for the power reduction is to improve useable power. Both engines will come with an eight-speed automatic.
    Available on the V6 is Hyundai's new all-wheel-drive system called HTRAC. HTRAC uses an electronic torque split system to divide power between the front and rear wheels variably. There are three different settings to choose from. Normal keeps the split even between the front and rear wheels. Sport sends more power to the rear wheels. Eco improves fuel economy.
    The V8 will come with continuous damping control suspension system.
    Other changes for the Genesis include automatic braking system whcih will be able to fully stop the car between 5 and 50 mph, C02 sensor in the cabin that monitors oxygen levels to help drivers stay alert, and new heads-up display.
    The 2015 Hyundai Genesis arrives this spring.
    Source: Hyundai


    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    ALL-NEW 2015 HYUNDAI GENESIS DEBUTS AT NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW WITH FLUIDIC SCULPTURE 2.0 DESIGN AND HTRAC® AWD CAPABILITY
    New, Ultra-rigid Rear-drive Platform Adds More Precise Vehicle Dynamics, Superior Passenger Safety and Multi-mode AWD Availability
    Automatic Emergency Braking, Head’s-up Display, Blind-Spot Detection, Cabin CO2 Sensor and Lane-Keep Assist Added to Suite of Active Safety Features
    Second-generation Blue Link® Telematics and Infotainment Suite to Debut

    DETROIT, Jan. 13, 2014 – Today Hyundai introduced its all-new 2015 Genesis at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, marking the highly-anticipated launch of its second-generation premium sedan. The groundbreaking original Genesis model won the prestigious North American Car of the Year accolade at its introduction in 2009.
    The 2015 Genesis represents a bold step forward for Hyundai, continuing to build upon its successful strategy of marketing its premium models under the Hyundai brand umbrella, rather than a costly separate luxury brand sales channel. The new Genesis is incredibly well-equipped in every configuration, offering even more content than the first-generation Genesis. This additional content includes a generous suite of standard safety and convenience features, unsurpassed in its class. For the first time in a Hyundai sedan, a sophisticated AWD system will be offered, known as HTRAC®, significantly broadening Genesis appeal in Snowbelt regions throughout the U.S. The new Genesis will be built at Hyundai’s Ulsan, Korea plant, with U.S. sales beginning in the spring.
    “Hyundai is proud to bring our next-generation Genesis sedan to eager U.S. consumers in just a few short months,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of corporate and product planning, Hyundai Motor America. “Market expectations for the new Genesis are understandably high, and we’re confident the Genesis’ combination of superb dynamics, bold design, class-leading safety and driver-focused technologies will exceed those expectations by a large margin.”
    FLUIDIC SCULPTURE 2.0
    Since its 2009 debut on the Sonata sedan, Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy has been continually enhanced and refined, progressively influencing every model in the Hyundai line-up. The all-new Genesis will be the first Hyundai to embody Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, the second-generation of this convention-shattering design theme.
    Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 encapsulates a trio of main design elements: fluid aesthetics, the modern Hyundai look, and a premium ambience. Fluidic forms are still present but with a more refined and precise presentation. This latest design philosophy is adaptable to a wider range of vehicle types and sizes, from CUVs to premium-luxury flagships. The all-new Sonata sedan, to debut later this year, will also clearly manifest the Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design philosophy.
    EXTERIOR DESIGN
    The 2015 Hyundai Genesis expresses a truly modern design through distinctive exterior styling with a sleek, upscale appearance. Evoking a premium feel, the design cues display a new Hyundai family aesthetic: simple and harmonious design with refined fluidic elements. The design features the modern Hyundai look, with a striking hexagonal front grille as a key geometric element, a dynamic crease accent running along the flanks of the car, and a dynamic rear design. Design surfaces convey a kinetic elegance, relying more on voluminous body sections than surface details to create dramatic forms. Proportions demonstrate a long dash-to-axle length, longer wheelbase and shorter overhangs than its predecessor. These proportions clearly convey the performance rear-drive configuration beneath the sheetmetal.
    The single-frame 3D-hexagonal grille ensures the front end of the all-new Genesis is not only striking, depicted in semi-gloss chrome, but also encompasses available HID headlamps, LED indicators and fog lamps. In profile, the Genesis daylight opening is more expressive, with fluid lines and blended surfaces, a sleek C-pillar helping to emphasize the sporty styling. The rear of the all-new Genesis benefits from a sculptural aesthetic with jeweled, full-LED taillamps.
    INTERIOR DESIGN
    The cabin layout of all-new Genesis has been designed to benefit all occupants with a spacious, comfortable ambience. The simplification of the switchgear and instrument panel ensures an intuitive layout and open feel. This user-centric design has sought to connect the various interior parts effectively, particularly the center stack with the console, upper-instrument panel and B-pillar with the headliner. Genesis displays ultra-precise fit and finish, with ergonomic seat design and a generous, natural feel. Particular design attention has been paid to the storage of practical items such as mobile electronics of all shapes and sizes, along with the flexibility of the cup holders.
    Total interior volume is an impressive 123.0 cubic feet, an advantage over key competitors. As part of this spacious interior design, the Genesis provides best-in-class front headroom and rear shoulder room.
    Hyundai interior design principles – safety, intuitiveness and simplicity – guided the Genesis design team in redesigning all primary controls to deliver maximum ease of use. The steering wheel design and grip has been improved and onboard switchgear was redesigned; a number of switches previously found on the center console of the original Genesis were relocated and reshaped on the Genesis. Further ergonomic improvements to ensure ease of reach and control have been meticulously evaluated and executed using a specially-designed laboratory tool created to measure occupant operational force for ergonomics.
    A new design pattern has been introduced to decrease relative interior reflections and brighten dashboard surfaces, while high-grade materials such as genuine aluminum and matte-finish wood are available. Cohesion between the center fascia and audio controls has been ensured through a streamlined design, making the two separate sections appear as one. To ensure a luxurious feel, Genesis was intensely scrutinized for its use of materials, with extensive analysis of the relationship of different materials, their texture and color coordination.
    Driver and passenger posture are optimized using enhanced seat pad density, improved seat support technologies, such as adjustable driver’s seat power bolsters and seat cushion extension. Genesis seats offer 12-way power front seats, including 4-way power lumbar, heated front seats with available ventilation, as well as available heated rear seats. Seat materials and stitching quality have been enhanced with the introduction of double, rather than single stitching. The redesigned driver’s seat incorporates new functionality, with an available new air-pressure pump and controller valve, providing seatback bolster adjustment through individual air-cells located in the seat. With a total operating time under 8-seconds, the Genesis benefits from both a faster activation process and greater range of adjustment than many competitive rivals.
    New interior-focused features for Genesis include available manual rear side sunshades for enhanced occupant comfort. Genesis passengers are also sure to appreciate the enhanced perspective of their surroundings via the new available panoramic sunroof.
    NEW ULTRA-RIGID PLATFORM WITH AVAILABLE AWD
    The 2015 Hyundai Genesis receives a redesigned platform to accommodate its new available HTRAC® AWD system, using no shared components with its previous generation. The platform employs even more advanced high-strength steel, now over 50 percent of total platform composition. The benefits of strategic use of high-strength steel are immediately evident in 16 percent stiffer torsional rigidity and 40 percent stiffer bending rigidity compared with the highly-acclaimed first-generation architecture. As a result, the new Genesis is stiffer in both torsional and bending rigidity than the BMW 5-series.
    Body and mounting point stiffness are also improved on the Genesis. Ensuring a smooth ride over rough roads was a top development focus, achieved by a more robust connecting structure, extensive laser welding, reinforced body and chassis mounting points, new hot stamping and dipping techniques for the B-pillar and roof sides, and an increased amount of high-strength steel in the chassis. Front shock towers are made of aluminum, and a diamond-shaped strut bar maximizes front structure rigidity for precise steering response. Front seat frames were also strengthened for greater rigidity.
    PERFORMANCE CHASSIS
    Fully leveraging this new, stiffer chassis is an all-new rear multi-link suspension, with newly optimized 5-link geometry and increased suspension travel for a broader envelope of both dynamic performance and ride comfort. Lateral suspension stiffness and overall ride comfort refinement were top priorities in its dynamic development. The fully-independent, 5-link front and rear suspension designs have increased stiffness compared with the original Genesis, with increased front and rear suspension travel, for greater wheel articulation and bump absorption over a variety of road surfaces. The reduction in camber angles when turning at speed results in improved steering feel, 23 percent less tire tilt, and increased lateral grip. New 18-inch and 19-inch alloy wheels are stronger and resist deflection forces for more precise suspension response to changing road surfaces.
    A Continuous Damping Control (CDC) suspension, available on the Genesis 5.0, helps increase control of body motions and body roll, allowing sportier roadholding to be complemented with a more comfortable ride character. Independent roll control characteristics are achieved using separate tuning controls: Normal mode helps provide superior ride comfort, while Sport mode helps increase damping forces for enhanced dynamic precision and control. Handling and roadholding also benefit from a well-balanced 52/48 ratio of front-to-rear weight distribution.
    In addition, special focus was given to the development of Rack-mounted Motor Driven Electric Power Steering (R-MDPS), with a Variable Gear Ratio (VGR), helping to provide high-speed stability and more direct feel at low and medium speeds. These driving qualities are attained while retaining the incremental fuel economy benefits of an electric system over the higher parasitic losses of hydraulic systems.
    NEW HTRAC® AWD AVAILABILITY
    The 2015 Hyundai Genesis is offered with a choice of rear-wheel-drive or new HTRAC® All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) configurations. The new HTRAC AWD system was developed as a multi-mode system, providing an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. The system is very lightweight at 165 lbs.
    The driver-selectable HTRAC Normal and Eco modes help provide confident control in all-weather conditions. The Sport setting gives a more agile feel by sending more available torque to the rear wheels, for a sporty rear-drive dynamic feel when desired. Further, to maximize efficiency, the system can direct more available torque to the rear wheels during steady-state highway cruising for reduced drivetrain frictional losses and noise. This system has a wider range of torque distribution variability than many competitive systems and has been tuned to variable conditions such as straight-line acceleration, medium- and high-speed cornering, and hill-starts. All modes are programmed in concert with Genesis’ Intelligent Drive Mode select.
    DYNAMIC CHASSIS DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING
    In addition to extensive on-the-road and laboratory testing, circuit-based testing of the Genesis took place in Germany, Korea and Hyundai’s California Proving Ground in the U.S. High g-force assessment of the new HTRAC AWD system was completed at the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam, the venue for one round of the Formula One World Championship. Durability and high-performance handling driving tests took place on the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany to precisely calibrate Genesis ride, braking and handling characteristics. Furthermore, Hyundai engineers collaborated with top dynamics experts such as Lotus Engineering to further validate the performance capability of the Genesis.
    MOST POWERFUL HYUNDAI V8 ENGINE
    The heart of the Genesis 5.0 is the award-winning 5.0-liter Tau V8 engine producing 420 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 383 lb. ft. of torque at 5,000 rpm. The Tau V8 engine family has been named to Ward’s prestigious Ten Best Engines list three times. With high-pressure direct injection for impressive power, low emissions and superb efficiency, this latest version of the Tau V8 benefits from an optimized intake runner length, enhanced timing chain for reduced friction and NVH, low-torque exhaust manifold, increased compression ratio and upgraded multiple-injection mapping. These enhancements combine to produce a flatter torque curve at lower rpm for even better driveability.
    The Tau’s high 11.8:1 compression ratio increases thermal efficiency and output. The Tau also has a rigid bed plate for improved block rigidity and lower NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness), as well as camshaft carriers and a roller timing chain to improve valvetrain stability.
    Even more, this V8 offers Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), a tuned variable induction system, and low-friction coatings on piston skirts. This Tau engine will also run on regular fuel with only a small reduction in peak power, and no negative driving effects, whenever desired.
    The Tau 5.0-liter V8 is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. This Hyundai-developed transmission offers enhanced shift logic and speed, better acceleration, sport-mode mapping, shifting smoothness, and transmission efficiency. All eight-speed transmissions include SHIFTRONIC® manual shift capability with conveniently-located steering wheel paddle shifters to enhance shifting ease during spirited driving.
    DIRECT-INJECTED LAMBDA 3.8-LITER ENGINE
    The Genesis 3.8-liter direct-injected Lambda engine has also been further optimized to deliver a flatter overall torque curve at low rpm for enhanced driveability. Thoroughly improved for the new Genesis, this engine includes a three-stage variable intake system, triangular-pattern fuel injector for improved combustion, an air-gap exhaust manifold for better NVH, and an upgraded cylinder block with a variable-vane 2-stage oil pump for reduced parasitic losses. In keeping with its 5.0-liter V8 sibling, the Genesis 3.8-liter Lambda engine utilizes direct-injection and produces 311 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 293 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,000 rpm. It also has a high compression ratio of 11.5:1 for greater thermal efficiency. The Lambda engine will run on regular fuel with only a small reduction in peak power, and no negative driving effects, whenever desired by the owner.
    The 3.8-liter engine also has Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), variable induction, an all-aluminum block and heads, steel timing chain and iridium-tipped spark plugs. Besides horsepower and torque gains, direct-injection technology produces a significant reduction in emissions.
    All 3.8-liter engines are coupled to the same eight-speed automatic transmission design as the Genesis 5.0. This Hyundai-developed transmission offers enhanced shift logic and speed, better acceleration, sport-mode mapping, shifting smoothness, and transmission efficiency. All eight-speed transmissions include SHIFTRONIC® manual shift capability with ergonomically-placed paddle shifters for spirited driving with manual shifting.
    SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES
    Genesis offers abundant standard safety features, including Electronic Stability Control (ESC), nine airbags, and anti-whiplash front head restraints. Genesis' nine airbags include advanced dual front airbags, driver’s knee airbag, front and outboard rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and roof-mounted side curtain airbags for both front and rear outboard seat occupants.
    Although government crash testing for the new Genesis is not yet complete, the entire structure was engineered to meet the new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick + standard.
    Daytime running lights come standard on Genesis. Further, Genesis offers a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS). Whenever the system is activated, the haptic steering wheel will provide a vibration warning and dial-integrated warning light to alert drivers of their lane departure, allowing them to reposition the car smoothly into the correct position.
    Even Genesis’ tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) has been enhanced with individual tire pressure readouts available to the driver.
    Genesis is brought to a halt by large four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). Genesis 3.8 models have large 13.6-inch front rotors, while the 5.0 has even larger 14.2-inch front rotors. Both braking systems use four-piston fixed monobloc calipers for precise braking responsiveness.
    SENSORY SURROUND SAFETYTM TECHNOLOGIES
    The 2015 Hyundai Genesis employs a suite of active driver safety technologies dubbed Sensory Surround SafetyTM. These features cover the full spectrum of safety, from driver alertness and focus to total occupant safety, and even the safety of other drivers around you.
    Genesis offers a Hyundai first, Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), utilizing sensor fusion technology to help avoid a potential collision or reduce its impact. With this system, Genesis will employ automatic braking whenever it detects another vehicle at an unsafe closing rate of speed. This system uses the Smart Cruise Control system and the forward camera from the Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) to provide this extra margin of safety.
    Genesis’ Smart Cruise Control (SCC) incorporates stop-start functionality that functions seamlessly with the standard electronic stability control system. The new system for Genesis allows full function down to zero mph to operate seamlessly in stop-and-go traffic conditions, using the front-grille-mounted radar sensor. SCC enables the Genesis to help maintain safer, consistent spacing with the vehicle ahead in varied traffic conditions. The system can also help deploy an available Automatic Emergency Braking system should a stationary vehicle be detected ahead.
    Genesis is generously equipped with new, advanced technologies, many of them Hyundai firsts. A new driver-selectable Intelligent Drive Mode allows drivers to select from four drive modes depending on conditions and driving preferences. Each drive mode alters transmission mapping, throttle responsiveness, stability control, and suspension damping settings, with specific modes adapted to function seamlessly with HTRAC AWD for those Genesis so equipped.
    In addition to the above modes, Genesis features an Emergency Steering Support Mode which automatically changes the setting of suspension and electronic stability control (ESC) in the direction suitable for emergency steering, to help avoid frontal crash situations.
    Genesis also debuts a new Blind-Spot Detection system (BSD), which helps monitor traffic around the car. The system uses radar sensors in the rear bumper to help warn the driver of an approaching vehicle in his or her blind spot via an indicator on the side mirrors. If the driver activates the lane change indicator and attempts to change the lane, ignoring warning indicators, BSD additionally issues an audible warning and haptic steering wheel vibrations. In addition, for Genesis’ equipped with the Head’s-Up Display, the BSD system indicators also project onto the windshield, nearer the driver’s view of the road, a segment first.
    Lane Change Assist (LCA) performs a similar function to help detect vehicles approaching towards its rear side at high speeds, especially during higher-speed driving, while Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA) scans areas to each side of the car when drivers are backing out of parking spaces. No other sedan in Genesis’ class offers the combination of Blind-Spot Detection (BSD), Lane Change Assist (LCA), and Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA) active safety systems.
    From the front, the available Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) captures images of lanes and recognizes the lane marker. If LDWS detects lane departure, a warning signal is activated on the instrument panel while issuing a haptic steering wheel vibration warning. Working in concert with LDWS, Genesis’ Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) performs a similar function of LDWS, but LKAS additionally provides a driver-adjustable level of steering assist to help prevent inadvertent lane departure when a vehicle approaches the edge of a lane and also provides steering wheel haptic vibration feedback.
    For convenience and safety, a High-beam Assist (HBA) function is also available. When switched to automatic mode, it detects both oncoming vehicles and vehicles in the same lane ahead at night and changes to low-beam as appropriate, reducing blinding effects on other drivers. Whenever there are no vehicles detected, the system automatically re-activates the high beams, maximizing the driver’s range of vision. To maximize driving visibility, Genesis offers HID headlamps with dynamic auto-leveling that compensates for varying vehicle loads.
    To help ensure maximum driver alertness, Genesis also benefits from a world-first technology in its CO2sensor control system, located under the glove box. Hyundai engineers discovered that occupants start to get drowsy when CO2 levels reached more than 2,000 parts per million, so the new ventilation system helps ensure the cabin maintains a CO2 concentration well below that level at all times using freshly-ventilated ambient air. The system monitors the vehicle’s intake of fresh or re-circulated air using a dedicated CO2 sensor.
    The 2015 Hyundai Genesis also offers a parking assistance system with eight ultrasonic sensors located on the front and rear bumpers. The sensors, along with the rear backup camera, help detect how close objects are when parking. Distance is indicated on the in-dash screen and accompanied by an audible warning tone.
    NVH REDUCTION
    In pursuit of refined quietness within the Genesis cabin, Hyundai engineers analyzed idle noise and vibration, acceleration, road and wind noise, and audible booming throughout the bodyshell. Sound-absorbing materials and a low-noise fuel pump have been fitted, cowl bulkhead insulation and sealing improved, and vibrations minimized through an improvement in overall bodyshell rigidity. Additional insulation of the rear differential helps reduce booming and vibration, resulting in lower audible noise inside the Genesis passenger cabin.
    Under acceleration, better sound quality has been achieved through mid-to high-frequency noise reduction, and dynamic engine sound improvements were achieved through intake and exhaust system tuning. Engine support brackets have been moved further apart for greater stiffness, while transmission and sub-frame mounts have been stiffened by up to 100 percent.
    To improve NVH performance at cruising speeds (35-75 mph), Hyundai engineers increased the stiffness of parts associated with the sub-frames and suspension, lowering levels of cavity and rumble noise. To ensure Genesis recorded lower interior noise in crosswind conditions, doors were thickened, sunroof articulation reshaped, and changes were made to the sealing process for increased durability and performance. In addition, cowl bulkhead insulation and sealing has been improved, with the total weight of the sound insulation package used on the Genesis at only 84 lbs., yielding a remarkable NVH reduction-to-weight ratio.
    DRIVER CONVENIENCE TECHNOLOGIES
    Most Genesis competitors with hands-free trunk-opening technology use a leg-kick sensor under the rear bumper to enable the driver to open the trunk. Hyundai ergonomics engineers found this method to be difficult when an individual is carrying cumbersome packages, such as from shopping. So the Genesis Smart Trunk system was designed to open the trunk automatically if the smart key is detected in a pocket or purse within a few feet of the rear bumper for longer than three seconds, for maximum hands-free ease of opening when desired. This system allows the driver to keep both feet comfortably on the ground, simply waiting by the trunk a few seconds for it to open automatically. The Smart Trunk system also provides an audible warning and flashing light prior to opening.
    Taking inspiration from aircraft technology, an available new Head’s-Up Display (HUD) projects a virtual image onto the windshield, enabling the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road using a system of mirrors combined with a TFT LCD display. The system utilizes a wide screen with adjustable brightness to ensure both excellent daytime and nighttime visibility. Driving information such as speed, Smart Cruise Control status, navigation, Blind Spot Detection, Forward Collision Warning, speed limit, Lane Departure Warning System and audio system data is projected at a perceived virtual distance approximately six feet ahead of the driver for maximum legibility while driving.
    Genesis also offers an electronic parking brake with Automatic Vehicle Hold for convenience when driving in traffic. Automatic Vehicle Hold automatically holds the Genesis at a stop until the accelerator pedal is depressed, such as at a traffic signal or in stopped traffic. The vehicle hold re-engages whenever the vehicle is brought to a complete stop. Genesis also includes proximity-key entry convenience with push-button start as standard equipment.
    MEDIA AND NAVIGATION SYSTEMS
    Genesis offers an ultra-premium, Lexicon® Discrete Logic 7 Surround audio system with 17 speakers, Logic 7 Surround Sound processing and 12-channel digital amplifier with 900-watts of equivalent output, sure to satisfy the most demanding audiophile. The system also includes SiriusXM® Radio, HD Radio, and iPod/USB auxiliary media input jacks. The standard Lexicon system offers 14 speakers, with Discrete Logic 7 Surround processing and a 12-channel DSP amplifier with 900-watts of equivalent output.
    An optional premium DIS navigation system for Genesis offers a 9.2-inch High Definition display, with 720p high definition (a segment first), a 64GB Solid State Drive (SSD) for multimedia, and premium Lexicon audio system. This premium system also includes Gracenote® album art, junction view with lane guidance, advanced voice recognition, and music/image/video storage via USB download (approximately 30GB of usable storage).
    The new standard audio-navigation system, displayed by an 8.0-inch touchscreen, is packed with integrated technology, from Bluetooth to navigation, satellite and HD radio, hands-free and app-supporting software.
    Genesis cluster displays utilize high-resolution, electroluminescent TFT LCD technology, with a standard 4.3-inch TFT LCD cluster display, and an available 7.0-inch TFT LCD cluster display.
    A simple pop-up message appears to help pair a phone and the voice recognition software understands street addresses and cities all in one sentence. The route screen displays speed limits, details the next three maneuvers, shows real highway signage and has junction views with lane guidance. Lane guidance outlines the lane or lanes the driver needs to stay in when a highway splits. Junction view uses street and actual road sign images to match what the driver will see when arriving at the next maneuver.
    SECOND-GENERATION BLUE LINK® ENHANCEMENTS
    2015 Genesis will be the first Hyundai to offer its second-generation Blue Link and infotainment features. The scope of these new features is broad and has something special to offer every driver, including:

    Destination Search powered by Google – users will be able to take advantage of Google’s powerful destination search via the Blue Link button (voice recognition) and navigation display, or through myhyundai.com and the Blue Link mobile app sending a destination to their car
    Remote Start– now includes an engine timer (from 1 to 10 min.), remote stop, remote climate control and remote defroster
    Automatic Collision Notification (ACN) and SOS Emergency Assistance –includes user-selected emergency contacts notification via SMS and e-mail

    GENESIS INTELLIGENT ASSISTANT® APP
    The Genesis Intelligent Assistant® is a proactive app for automobiles intended to save the driver time and provide an even higher level of convenience. The app combines Blue Link features, data from the vehicle, the owner’s smartphone, and the internet with multiple layers of intelligence. This allows the Genesis Intelligent Assistant app to send proactive notifications and recommendations to the Genesis owner in preparation for their drive.
    Genesis owners will no longer need to remember to remote start their car on a hot or cold day. The Genesis Intelligent Assistant app will remind them via their smartphone.
    Genesis Intelligent Assistant Functionality:

    By providing the app their commuting details and access to their smartphone’s calendar, owners can have the app automatically estimate appropriate departure times and send reminders for any upcoming appointments that require a drive
    Departure reminder messages are determined by up-to-the-minute commute times from the user’s current location to the destination, accounting for traffic
    Temperature outside the vehicle is determined via zip code prior to the estimated departure time. If the temperature is above or below the default level, the user will receive a notification, asking if they would like to remote start their vehicle for heating or cooling.
    Recommendations for gas stations are provided, allowing the user to select a station and send the location to the vehicle’s navigation system.
    Vehicle health status will also be communicated through the user’s smartphone when an action is required. These notifications allow the customer to schedule service for their Genesis directly from the app.
    Many additional Blue Link features are included within the app, making it a single, integrated solution for all of the driver’s vehicle needs
    The Genesis Intelligent Assistant app is a framework for the future with additional proactive functionality progressively available to provide the customer with the ultimate luxuries of time and convenience

    HYUNDAI BLUE LINK GOOGLE GLASS® APP
    Genesis demonstrates the Google Glass app as part of how wearable technology and Blue Link fit into a customer’s lifestyle. The app currently contains the core Blue Link functions as building blocks for future activities. Partnering with Station Digital Media and Covisint, Hyundai plans to expand the app features, building on the concept of “Time as the Ultimate Luxury” and leveraging the proactive functionality of the Genesis Intelligent Assistant app.
    Released in limited numbers to early customers known as “Explorers,” Google Glass is a computerized, lightweight headset that can project text and images for the wearer to see on a special optical display. Google Glass Explorers can perform functions through voice commands, swipes or taps on a thin touchpad along the side of the frame.
    Through the new app, Hyundai owners will be able to use Google Glass to access Blue Link’s vehicle safety, service and infotainment features. The Google Glass Blue Link app includes a host of popular functions at launch, including:
    Remote vehicle start
    Remote door lock/unlock
    Remote Find My Car (search for your vehicle location to receive directions to it)
    Point-of-Interest search sent to the Hyundai navigation system
    Search for a gas station to send to your car
    Call roadside assistance
    Talk to a Blue Link agent
    Locate nearby dealers

    NEXT-GENERATION INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
    The Genesis next-generation infotainment system features:
    Integration with Apple’s Siri-powered “Eyes Free” mode
    Functionality allows owners of compatible vehicles to perform a variety of in-car tasks without taking their eyes off the road.
    SD Navigation
    Pandora® integration with smartphone
    SoundHound® integration with internal modem
    SiriusXM® Audio – 6 presets (record, play, pause, back)
    SiriusXM®Travel Link and Traffic
    Sports scores and schedules
    Stock ticker
    Movie times
    Fuel prices
    Weather/alerts
    Advanced voice recognition
    Screen-swipe technology
    Music, video, image storage


    HYUNDAI ASSURANCE CONNECTED CARE POWERED BY BLUE LINK®
    Hyundai’s telematics services program, Assurance Connected Care, is standard for three years on all 2015 Genesis sedans equipped with Blue Link. This innovative ownership program provides Hyundai owners with proactive safety and car care services via the Hyundai Blue Link telematics system. These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Diagnostic Trouble Code Notification, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and in-vehicle Car Care maintenance scheduling.
    Hyundai also recently introduced an all-new mobile application for the Blue Link telematics platform. This mobile app allows subscribers to remotely access various optional Blue Link features and services through compatible mobile devices. Completely redesigned, the app has been significantly enhanced from the previous version and boasts a new user experience, faster navigation and innovative new features. Google Android and Apple iOS users can download the app from Google Play or Apple iTunes, respectively. A BlackBerry version is also available.
    Blue Link is an innovative telematics solution that brings seamless connectivity for safety, service and infotainment capabilities and is offered in three packages: Assurance, Essentials and Guidance. More details regarding Hyundai Blue Link are available at www.HyundaiBlueLink.com.

    William Maley
    Lets get something out of the way with the Kia GT4 Stinger Concept. Kia says "there are currently no plans to bring the concept to production." But, Kia follows that line up with the company having "a history of delivering production vehicles that bear a strong resemblance to the concept that preceded them." So who knows, the GT4 Stinger Concept could bear some fruits after all.
    The GT4 Stinger Concept is described as being a 'selfish design' for enthusiasts and gearheads. We have to agree with that as the GT4 Stinger is a sharp looker. The front end has the familiar tiger mouth grille and vertical LED headlights. The hood is long and has two vents sitting in the middle. The side profile boasts embellished wheel wells, twenty-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli PZero tires, and transparent A-Pillars.
    Heading inside, Kia went for a purposeful look. There is a flat-bottomed steering wheel, no carpeting or radio, and leather-wrapped bucket seats.
    Powering the GT4 Stinger Concept is a detuned version of the 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder used in the Kia Optima GTS race car from the Pirelli World Challenge. The engine produces 315 horsepower and is paired with a six-speed manual transmission.
    Other items of note for the GT4 Stinger Concept:
    Overall measurements are a 103.1-inch wheelbase and an overall length of just 169.7 inches. Puts the concept between the Scion FR-S and Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
    Tips the scales at 2,874 pounds
    Fifteen-Inch Brembo Brakes with four-piston calipers help bring the concept to a stop

    Source: Kia

    Press Release is on Page 2
    KIA SHOCKS THE MOTOR CITY WITH REAR-DRIVE GT4 STINGER CONCEPT
    High-Powered Sports Car Focused on Connection Between Driver and Machine Makes World Debut at 2014 North American International Auto Show
    2+2 seating configuration, 315 turbocharged horsepower and six-speed manual transmission make GT4 Stinger a true enthusiast's machine
    GT4 Stinger was conceived by the "gearheads" in Kia's Irvine, Calif., design studio, birthplace of iconic concept vehicles such as the Track'ster and Cross GT
    DETROIT, Jan. 13, 2014 – Hearkening back to the glory days of purebred, affordable sports cars, Kia Motors America (KMA) today unveiled the brand's most aggressive concept car ever when wraps came off the GT4 Stinger at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Kia's eye-catching design language moves in a bold new direction with the introduction of the GT4 Stinger. The concept pushes the boundaries of performance with a rear-drive 2+2 sports car that places man and machine in harmony on the road or track. It comes as no surprise that the GT4 Stinger is the wild style child of Kia's California design team, home to its 2012 predecessor, the Track'ster concept. And like the Track'ster, the GT4 Stinger's racy appeal is more than skin deep.
    "Driving enjoyment was the number one priority in designing the GT4 Stinger," said Tom Kearns, chief designer, Kia Design Center America (KDCA). "It's an authentic 2+2 sports car that can turn heads as a daily driver while also being right at home on the track. It's about purity, simplicity and timelessness. The GT4 Stinger is a throwback to days when driving a car was a visceral experience that wasn't muted by electronic gimmickry."
    Emboldened by the brand's on-track success in the Pirelli World Challenge racing series with a pair of turbocharged, GTS-class Optimas, Kia's U.S. design team approached the GT4 Stinger project with an eye toward weight reduction, functionality and pure driving enjoyment. The concept shuns the luxury trappings of a traditional Grand Touring car and embraces the elemental experience of truly engaging with the vehicle. "If anyone were to ask if Kia has the credibility to build a car like the GT4 Stinger," noted Kearns. "I would simply point out that Kia races – and wins – against some of the world's most legendary performance brands."
    Kia Racing and partner Kinetic Motorsports captured the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Drivers and Team Championships in 2012 with the Forte Koup and are currently preparing the turbocharged Optimas for their third season of duty in the Pirelli World Challenge in 2014 following a second-place finish in the Manufacturer's Championship last year.
    Power, Poise and Proven Performance
    Beneath the low wedge of the GT4 Stinger's hood resides a tuned version of Kia's proven 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline direct injected (T-GDI) four-cylinder engine putting out an impressive 315 horsepower. "Our Optima racecars use the same engine and can produce more than 400 horsepower," said Kearns. "So why not infuse our concept with the kind of power that will make people take notice?"
    That power is put to the ground via a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels, which are wrapped in 275/35R-20 Pirelli P-Zero performance tires. Staggered 235/35R-20 Pirelli P-Zeros nestle beneath the front fenders, ensuring loads of corner-carving grip. Custom 20-inch aluminum center-lock wheels feature carbon fiber inserts for strength and weight reduction. Tucked inside the massive wheels are Brembo Gran Turismo two-piece 15-inch cross-drilled rotors and four-piston calipers with plenty of stopping power.
    Underpinning the GT4 Stinger's sculpted "Ignition Yellow" body is a custom chassis with independent double wishbone suspension. With a shorter wheelbase (103.1 inches) and overall length (169.7 inches) than a Forte sedan, a width (74.4 inches) greater than a Cadenza, and a swooping roofline nearly nine inches lower (49.2 inches) than a Rio subcompact, the GT4 Stinger cuts a menacing figure. It tips the scales at a scant 2,874 pounds, and weight distribution is spread nearly perfectly at 52 percent up front and 48 percent at the rear. The GT4 Stinger also features a quick-ratio steering rack for direct feedback and uncompromised control.
    Simplicity By Design
    Fans of Kia's design language, set by Kia Motors Corporation president and chief design officer Peter Schreyer, will immediately recognize key styling elements of the GT4 Stinger. "We gave the car a shrink-wrapped appearance," says Kearns. "It's as if the body panels were formed around the chassis instead of merely welded to it." In silhouette, the GT4 Stinger is simple yet powerful. The latest iteration of the signature Kia grille rests low to the ground for maximum engine cooling and cold-air induction. The grille surround glows white and features a multi-layered, satin-black border, a theme found throughout the car. Flanking the grille on both sides are vertical LED headlamps, and front-brake cooling vents intricately molded into the bumper provide a clean, smooth appearance. A carbon fiber front splitter mounted below the bumper provides added down force for the car at high speed to keep the GT4 Stinger's front tires firmly planted to the tarmac.
    The long hood gently rises to meet the cowl. Two chrome accent pieces add visual interest to the otherwise ripple-less pond of Ignition Yellow sheet metal. The hood closely embraces the front wheel arches, creating two protruding muscular fenders above the front tires. The result is a pronounced edge at the vehicle's shoulders that eventually becomes the belt line.
    Continuing around the car, the transparent A-pillars provide a more than 270-degree view from the driver's seat. The layered slots cut into the pillars reduce weight while improving outward visibility. Paying homage to the iconic Soul, the greenhouse design provides an aggressive side profile. "It's as if the GT4 Stinger is wearing wrap-around sunglasses," notes Kearns. Similar to the Soul, the roof of the GT4 Stinger appears to "float" from the C-pillars. Along the rocker panels are satin black accent pieces with integrated functional cooling ducts to enhance air flow to the rear brakes.
    Around back, the body widens to cover the large 275-series Pirelli rubber. The glass hatch opens to reveal a built-in storage compartment and rear strut-tower brace. The LED taillights illuminate from inside the outer edge of a blacked-out panel just above the dual exhaust ports in the rear bumper.
    The interior is purposeful in design and practical in nature. A pull of the billet-aluminum door handles reveals incredibly lightweight doors, but their generous width makes dropping into the molded leather race-inspired bucket seats a breeze. There is no carpet, only a rubber floor mat underneath the billet-aluminum pedals. Front and center to the driver is a thick D-shaped steering wheel and red LED-illuminated instrument panel with large tachometer and gear indicator. In keeping with the track theme and taking inspiration from sports and competition cars of the past, interior door handles have been replaced by red-stitched pull straps. In fact, the GT4 Stinger makes due without the luxury of a stereo. "The audio system starts under the hood and the speakers are the exhaust pipes," said Kearns. Underway, the GT4 Stinger's free-flow exhaust burbles and blurts unabashedly and is music to the ears of driving enthusiasts everywhere.
    While there are currently no plans to bring the concept to production, Kia has a history of delivering production vehicles that bear a strong resemblance to the concept that preceded them, and the GT4 Stinger provides a possible and highly provocative glimpse into Kia's future. When asked who the GT4 Stinger is intended for, Kearns quips, "It's a totally selfish design. The design team at KCDA is full of gearheads and enthusiasts, and the GT4 Stinger is the perfect car for that kind of crowd."

    William Maley
    Honda arrived at the Detroit Auto Show with the brand new 2015 Fit. The new model which originally debuted last summer as a global market model has a number of improvements to put it back into contention in the subcompact marketplace.
    The overall shape of the 2015 Fit is dominated by hard angles. The back end features new LED taillights and a rear diffuser. Finishing off the design is a set of of sixteen-inch alloy wheels.
    The 2015 Fit is incrementally shorter by 1.6 inches, wider by 0.3 inches, and a features a wheelbase that is 1.2 inches longer. With these changes, the Fit's passenger space is 4.9 cubic feet bigger than the previous model. Backseat space also increases with legroom going up 4.8 inches. Cargo space drops from 57.3 cubic feet to 52.7 cubic feet.
    Standard equipment is very generous on the Fit with a multi-angle rearview camera and Bluetooth connectivity. The option list will include such niceties as smart entry with push-button start, heated side mirrors, moonroof, heated front seats, navigation, and Honda's LaneWatch system.
    A new 1.5L DOHC i-VTEC engine that makes 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque powers the Fit. The engine can be paired with either a six-speed manual or CVT. Along with the new engine, the 2015 Fit gains new tuning for the suspension and rear dampers.
    The 2015 Honda Fit arrives at dealers this spring.
    Source: Honda

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Honda Introduces All-New 2015 Fit at North American International Auto Show
    01/13/2014 - DETROIT
    More powerful, refined and fuel-efficient Fit set to launch this spring
    All-new U.S. model showcases dynamic styling and upgraded interior packed with class-leading features and technology
    Earth Dreams™ Technology engine and transmissions deliver heightened fun-to-drive performance and class-leading fuel efficiency

    Honda unveiled the all-new 2015 Fit at the North American International Auto Show today. Set to go on sale in the U.S. this spring, the new Fit is completely redesigned from the ground up to deliver an unparalleled combination of style, interior space, fun-to-drive performance and fuel efficiency plus leading-edge safety and vehicle connectivity.
    "The Honda Fit is a small car with big aspirations. Faster, more fuel-efficient and more fun, it's a subcompact with larger-than-life-capabilities," said John Mendel, executive vice president of automobile sales for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "It's simply the best Fit to date and, we believe, a new benchmark in the small-car category."
    Modern Styling with Class-Leading Packaging
    The 2015 Fit debuts with a sleek, modern and sporty exterior style. A more aggressive front fascia showcases a new grille and headlight design. A strong character line runs along the side of the Fit, emphasizing the vehicle's aerodynamic profile. Larger 16-inch tires outfitted with a new 5-spoke wheel design give the Fit a planted and sporty stance. In the back, rear reflectors and LED taillights run along the hatch with a chrome tailgate garnish and rear diffuser, all contributing to the Fit's more substantial and dynamic appearance.
    Retaining a similar exterior footprint to the current model, the new Fit is slightly shorter (-1.6 in.) and wider (+0.3 in.) with a longer wheelbase (+1.2 in.), resulting in improved handling and maneuverability. Inside, the Fit builds on its already class-leading interior space, airy cabin and large greenhouse thanks to an all-new efficient platform that incorporates a unique center-mounted fuel-tank layout. The new Fit also delivers a significant increase in passenger volume (+4.9 cu ft) and rear legroom (+4.8 in.) compared to the previous model. With the Honda-exclusive Magic Seat® offering multiple configurable seating positions, the Fit provides an unrivaled 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space when the second row seats are folded flat. With an overall height of 60 inches, the Fit allows for easy loading of items into the rear cargo and ingress/egress for passengers.
    Enhanced Interior and Technology Features
    The 2015 Fit will deliver above-class interior refinement and features while offering value at every trim level. All 2015 Fit models will be equipped with class-leading standard features including Bluetooth® connectivity, a multi-angle rearview camera, and Expanded View Driver's Mirror. For customers looking for premium features in the subcompact segment, Fit will be available with smart entry with push-button start, heated side mirrors, a moonroof, heated front seats, Honda's exclusive LaneWatch™ display and a 7-inch Display Audio1 touchscreen interface with HondaLink™ smartphone connectivity. Soft touch and premium materials are used throughout and, for the first time, the Fit will be offered with available leather-trimmed seating.
    Improved Performance, Efficiency and Safety
    The 2015 Fit marks the U.S. debut of an all-new direct-injected 1.5-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine. Generating 130 horsepower2at 6500 rpm and 114 lb.-ft. of torque2 at 4600 rpm, engine output is increased by 13 horsepower and 8 lb.-ft. compared to the outgoing engine, while reducing weight and improving efficiency. Paired to two new transmissions, a slick-shifting 6-speed manual or a sporty and fuel-efficient Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with available paddle shifters, the Fit powertrain offers superior acceleration and passing performance and is anticipated to have class-leading3 EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 33 city/41 highway/36 combined4 (CVT-equipped models).
    Complementing the new powertrain is a revised chassis that provides for improved handling, ride comfort and NVH. A more rigid body, new rear dampers and revised suspension geometry notably enhance the 2015 Fit's ride quality and fun-to-drive handling characteristics.
    The 2015 Fit benefits from the most extensive use of ultra-high strength steel in the model's history, providing increased body stiffness while reducing platform (underbody and chassis) weight by 57 pounds versus the outgoing model. Equipped with the next generation of the Honda Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, the Fit is anticipated to earn top safety scores from NHTSA and IIHS, including a NCAP 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score and a TOP SAFETY PICK rating with a GOOD rating in all IIHS test modes, including the rigorous small overlap barrier test.
    North America Production
    The 2015 Fit will be manufactured for the first time in North America at the new Celaya, Mexico plant. With an annual capacity of 200,000 units, the facility will begin mass production of the 2015 Fit next month, adding production of an all-new small Honda SUV later in the year. With introduction of the new manufacturing facility in Mexico, Honda's North American automobile production facilities will have a total annual capacity of 1.92 million units, and will have the capability to manufacture vehicles in all product segments, from subcompacts to light truck models. With the added production, approximately 98 percent of all Honda-brand vehicles sold in the United States will be sourced from Honda plants in North America.

    Drew Dowdell

    Chrysler brings their mid-size entry into the 21st century.

    Chrysler today unveiled the all new Chrysler 200 sedan at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The new 200 rides on a new platform shared with the smaller Dodge Dart but features a host of available technologies not offered on its lesser sibling.
    The biggest upgrade is the optional 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 which produces 295 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. Standard on all trim levels is a segment first 9-speed automatic transmission. Also optional is an AWD system that can decouple the drive line both at the center drive shaft and at the rear axle to virtually eliminate parasitic losses in fuel economy. The system automatically couples in and out of service as needed. In the 200s trim equipped with the V6, the AWD system can be placed into sport mode which funnels more torque to the rear wheels for spirited driving.
    For those who favor more MPGs rather than faster 0-60 times, the base engine is a 2.4 liter TigerShark Multi-air engine with a preliminary highway fuel economy rating of 35 mile per gallon. This engine produces 183 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque.
    Inside, the 200s and 200c feature a very fluid dash design with available open pore wood accents and sculpted leather seats. The gear selector is now a rotary knob and move forward on to the base of the dash, this allows Chrysler to open up the center console to new ways to arrange storage.
    The biggest news may be on price. Pricing for the 2015 Chrysler 200 starts at $21,700 for the base model, $95 lower than the outgoing 200.
    The 200 is set to go on sale in the 2nd quarter of 2014.

    Press release on page 2

    2015 Chrysler 200
    DESIGN
    Inspired American Design and Beautifully Crafted Inside and Out,
    the All-new 2015 Chrysler 200 Sedan Charts a New Course for the Chrysler Brand,
    As Well As the Mid-size Sedan Segment, Captivating Drivers and Passengers Alike



    All-new 2015 Chrysler 200 debuts the new “face” of the Chrysler brand with a confident and instantly recognizable unified grille and headlamp graphic that prominently features the centralized Chrysler wing badge
    Elegant forms, sensual lines and fluid surfaces highlight the coupe-like appearance of the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200
    The athletic exterior has a soulful presence; the all-new Chrysler 200 is a strong, timeless design that drivers will want to touch and feel
    A signature light pipe or full-LED daytime running lamps (DRL), LED fog lamps and standard LED tail lamps give the all-new Chrysler 200 a distinctive, recognizable look coming or going
    Inspired by classic American design, the interior of the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 features clean, expressive surfaces and is inviting and comfortable, rewarding drivers and passengers on daily commutes as well as longer journeys
    Well-crafted components offer world-class levels of fit and finish, furniture-like operating precision and attention to detail
    All-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan is loaded with state-of-the-art, easy-to-use high-tech features and thoughtful amenities that will surprise and delight customers

    2015 Chrysler 200 Exterior design
    An exquisite yet simple exterior design featuring sensuous lines and the new “face” of Chrysler, and an elegant, well-crafted interior are the hallmarks of the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan.
    Clean lines and expressive surfaces highlight the coupe-like appearance of the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 exterior. Inspired by nature and classic American design – Chris Craft boats and Airstream travel trailers – the 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan with its athletic yet soulful presence, has a strong, sculptural exterior that drivers will want to touch and feel. It’s a timeless design based on simple elegance.
    “The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 redefines the exterior design philosophy for the Chrysler brand. We developed an elegant composition of forms that feature clean yet expressive surfaces,” said Brandon Faurote, Head of Chrysler Brand Design – Chrysler Group LLC. “The 2015 Chrysler 200 is the debut of the new face of Chrysler which is confidently American. It features a new signature design element that cradles the proudly displayed Chrysler wing badge and travels visually into the headlamps. The coupe-like silhouette flows seamlessly into the deck lid and conveys a sense of speed for a very dramatic, emotional appeal.”
    The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 has a simple, elegant, coupe-like silhouette; a few key lines wrap around the vehicle. It’s a sculptural design that conveys the essence of the long, drawn-out forms that were found on Chrysler coupes in the 1960s. A unified front graphic, the horizontal design orientation with sculpted body sides and a body line that wraps around the car ties the design together for a singular, flowing aesthetic.
    The front of the new 200 debuts the new “face of Chrysler” with a unified look that integrates the grille and headlamps for the first time with a Mobius strip-inspired design that’s enhanced by a dynamic grille texture, providing a unique 3-dimensional effect. The central hood forms align and emphasize the new floating Chrysler wing and the Mobius strip repeats the wing shape, further celebrating the Chrysler brand identity.
    A signature light pipe or available full-LED daytime running lamps (DRL), LED fog lamps and standard LED tail lamps give the all-new Chrysler 200 a distinctive, recognizable look coming or going. The new DRL debuts a new shape for the 200, starting in the top corner, moving down and then inward, artfully wrapping around the headlamps. The LED package delivers crisp, clean white lighting in all forward lighting positions.
    Bright accents visually tie together the available fog lamps in the front and dual exhausts in the rear fascia, as well as the front and rear of the sedan for a harmonious exterior appearance.
    2015 Chrysler 200 LX, Limited and C models all feature bright trim in the upper and lower grille of the front fascia, daylight opening (DLO), the area surrounding the side windows, and rear fascia.
    The 2015 Chrysler 200’s athletic form is highlighted by wide “shoulders” and balanced width, resulting in the most aerodynamic vehicle in the mid-size sedan segment, delivering owners both beauty and purpose.
    The mirrors are beautifully sculpted and flow seamlessly off the pillars, and are complemented with beautifully refined door handles that feature a subtle, refined bright accent.
    The rear of the all-new 2015 200 has a wide stance, an integrated spoiler and bright trim in the lower rear fascia. The exhaust tips are mounted-in-fascia, delivering precise fit and finish.
    Dynamic and vibrant exterior colors build upon the fluid, muscular design cues for an unexpected-in-the-segment aesthetic – one of quiet confidence. Colors such as Velvet Red Pearl Coat, Vivid Blue Pearl Coat, Ceramic Blue Clear Coat and Lunar White Tri-Coat add an air of confidence on the new 2015 Chrysler 200.
    No detail was overlooked in the design of the all-new 200 sedan. The wheels were specifically designed for the all-new 200 and feature shapes that blend sensual forms with technical precision. The expressive split, five-spoke design complements the vehicle perfectly. The unique design features on the tail lamps not only have a great aesthetic, but also aid in the best-in-class aerodynamics the 2015 200 delivers. The “200” badge has been updated with a cleaner, more contemporary look.
    The 2015 Chrysler 200S model continues the successful S model design DNA by delivering an exclusive look – darker, more sinister – not found on other models in the lineup. The S model in the outgoing vehicle accounted for roughly 25 percent of sales while attracting a younger, more affluent customer.
    The exclusive appearance of the 2015 200S models starts with gloss black trim and accents, rather than the bright trim found on other models in the lineup. The DLO surround/molding is finished in high gloss black as well. Integrated dual exhausts are standard on the S model. The available 19-inch Hyper Black aluminum wheels complete the look. The 200S model’s sinister look and feel complements the sportier driving experience the S model delivers.
    From a distance, the exterior of the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 is impactful and beautiful, and the engaging design is truly appreciated from up close, where the humanistic design forms and precisely-crafted details are truly valued.
    The 2015 Chrysler 200 is available in the United States in four different models and will arrive in volume in dealer showrooms in the second quarter, 2014. Customers can choose from the 2015 Chrysler 200 LX model, Chrysler Limited model, Chrysler S model and the premium Chrysler 200C.
    The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan will offer consumers 11 different exterior color choices from which to choose: Velvet Red Pearl Coat, Lunar White Pearl Tri-coat, Phantom Black Pearl Tri-coat (late availability), Vivid Blue Pearl Coat, Crystal Blue Pearl Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat, Luxury Brown Pearl Coat, Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Black Clear Coat, Bright White Clear Coat and Ceramic Blue Clear Coat (late availability).
    2015 Chrysler 200 interior design
    The inspiration for the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 interior was classic American design – the Eames lounge chair, the iPhone, Airstream travel trailers – designs that use materials in an honest way, whether it is formed wood, or smooth molded metal in clean, sleek designs.
    The interior of the 200 draws the eye to clean, expressive surfaces. It’s inviting, comfortable and rewards drivers and passengers on daily commutes as well as longer journeys.
    The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 interior is a sophisticated blend of hand-sculpted fluid shapes, high-quality materials, innovative material choices, precision craftsmanship, state-of-the-art technology and thoughtful, clever features.
    “The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 offered us a blank canvas with which to design the interior. We looked at iconic American design and craftsmanship for our inspiration because Chrysler is a classic American brand,” said Klaus Busse, Head of Interior Design. “Formed wood, used as an integral element of the design is what captured our attention and inspired us. Customers can see an example of this approach in the open pore wood trim in the new 200; it’s not just decoration, but a structural element that visually ‘holds’ the components and the instrument panel itself in place.”
    The 2015 Chrysler 200 interior was designed using four key principles:
    Make an emotional design impact
    Use high-quality materials
    Include state-of-the-art technology
    Develop clever storage features that use the interior space wisely

    Emotional design
    When Chrysler designers started work on the all-new interior of the 2015 200 sedan, they envisioned using unique elements to create an interior identity that was distinctly American and enveloped the drivers and passengers in an inviting and comfortable yet beautiful interior.
    The interior has a “wow” factor. It’s a striking appearance, one of contemporary luxury but with graceful movement. Hand-sculpted, fluid shapes and clean, expressive surfaces are found throughout the cabin. The fluid shapes carry from the instrument panel around to the door panels. The available open-pore wood trim was designed to visually “hold” the instrument panel in place.
    The clean lines of the dash are highlighted by the floating island bezel and the soft blue glow surrounding the gauges in the instrument panel. The components of the instrument panel are integrated in the design for a finished product that is solid and timeless. The instrument panel’s sleek appearance is juxtaposed with the architectural detail of the air vents, evoking the exposed structure of a building or vertebrae in a skeleton.
    The well-crafted components in the interior deliver world-class levels of fit and finish for drivers and passengers alike. Furniture-like mechanisms such as the sliding cup holders in the innovative center console are sturdy, yet operate smoothly.
    The 2015 Chrysler 200 sports the newly designed corporate steering wheel with audio, voice and speed controls. It’s ergonomic and intuitive, adding a new level of technical sophistication to the 200 sedan. For the first time in a Chrysler mid-size sedan, paddle shifters are available for the driver who wants a more spirited driving experience.
    The centerpiece of the new 200 interior is the innovative center console. The contemporary design is pleasing to look at while offering clever functionality that is enabled by full electronic gear shifting with a rotary shift knob. This leading-edge technology doesn’t need the mechanical pieces of traditional shifters that take up space in the center of the vehicle, enabling Chrysler designers to fully utilize the space.
    A pass-through storage area at the front of the console is accessible by both the driver and front-seat passenger. A thoughtful opening at the rear of the pass-through storage area allows for wires and cables to directly connect to the power supply and media center located in the center console.
    The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 center console includes an innovative sliding cup holder with smooth, furniture-like movement. The sliding function allows drivers and passengers to use the space in a way that best fits their needs.
    The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan is available with three interior choices inspired by the diverse, iconic American urban landscape.
    Fifth Avenue in New York City was the inspiration for the black interiors. The City of New York represents a unique attitude – the city that never sleeps. It’s high fashion with a rock and roll edge. Edgy, yet classy. The Fifth Avenue interior is black and features black monotone embossed fabric cloth seating or black leather seating with a linen headliner, Satin Chrome accents and is available on the LX, Limited and 200C models.
    Sausalito, California was the muse for the two-tone Linen and Black interior. The spirit of Sausalito inspired Chrysler designers with its different mindset: it’s a city that doesn’t act like a city. The city projects a “oneness” with its environment, a peaceful Zen that is represented by the linen and black interior. With Linen embossed fabric cloth seats or Linen leather seating with a linen headliner, the interior is calming, wrapping drivers and passengers in a comfortable cocoon. Satin chrome accents and black finishes are the final touches for a beautiful, harmonious interior choice. The 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan is the first Chrysler Group vehicle to debut the linen interior option. The Linen and Black cloth interior is available on the LX and Limited models.
    The tenacious, never-say-die spirit of the City of Detroit was the inspiration for the S model’s exclusive Black and Ambassador Blue interior. The interior of the S model embodies the juxtaposition of the City of Detroit – the tenaciousness and never-give-up attitude that created and nurtured world-renowned inventors and craftsmen, a music scene that has inspired generations of artists, and the hard-working people that put the world on wheels with the gritty landscape in parts of the city today. The interior of the 2015 200S model showcases the different personalities by combining cloth and leather materials in the seats and Black and Ambassador Blue colors in the seating and trim. The monotone black cloth and Ambassador Blue leather seating is unique in the segment. Ambassador Blue accents are tastefully placed throughout the black interior in the form of appliques around the door handles, instrument panel bezel and center console. Gloss Black trim and a black headliner completes the look. An optional monotone black leather seating with Ambassador Blue accent stitching is late availability for the 200S model.
    The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200C model features either the Black or Linen and Black interior with standard Nappa leather seating, a Linen headliner, distinctive black and charcoal hydrographic accents and satin chrome trim.
    The wow factor for the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan is the premium interior package available on the 200C model. The premium package interior captures the essence of the classic American design, featuring Linen perforated Nappa leather seating with bronze piping and bronze accent stitching, real open pore wood trim and warm chrome accents. A unique, two-tone heated steering wheel rounds out the package.
    High-quality materials
    Premium materials abound wherever the customer touches the vehicle – the door uppers, the center armrest and the upper instrument panel. Interior trim that is soft to the touch and pleasing to the eye is found throughout the cabin.
    A vinyl-wrapped instrument panel brow, center console arm rest and front door armrests are standard on all models. Available genuine open-pore wood is formed for the specific use and features a layered-edge treatment.
    Seats in the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 are ergonomically designed to support the contour of the body, and are trimmed with premium cloth or quality Nappa leather and are available with power adjustable, heated/ventilated seats with memory.
    Unique available features, such as the available two-tone, heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated and/or ventilated front seats and the expansive glove box large enough to hold an iPad or small laptop, will delight drivers and passengers alike.
    State-of-the-art technology
    The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 was designed with thoughtful, state-of-the-art, high-tech features and amenities that are intuitive and easy to use.
    The world-class thin-film transistor (TFT) 5- 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 driver information display presents the basic information a customer needs at his or her fingertips but also allows the driver to add the information they desire, similar to an iPhone.
    A multitude of information can be displayed in the center of the gauge cluster, including speed, turn-by-turn navigation, real-time fuel economy, safety warnings, and safety and security functions such as the ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist feature, audio information and trip details.
    The available ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist System (a first for a Chrysler brand vehicle) is displayed in the center of the gauge cluster and operated with buttons on the steering wheel and the shifter. The easy-to-understand graphic walks the driver through the steps necessary to utilize the park assist system. The 2015 Chrysler 200 is the only mid-size sedan to offer the perpendicular park assist feature.
    An available award-winning 8.4-inch touchscreen multimedia command center – the largest in the segment – or the 5-inch touchscreen multimedia command center are attractive, intuitive and easy to use, and are located in the center stack.
    The Uconnect system allows the driver to control the audio, climate controls, heated/ventilated seats and much more from the touchscreen, the redundant controls located on the center stack below the touchscreen or with voice commands. The touchscreen buttons are large and easy-to-see at a glance. The 8.4-inch color touchscreen Uconnect Access is user-friendly and includes Bluetooth connectivity, SiriusXM Radio, navigation, music, apps (Pandora, Aha, iHeartRadio and more), voice-to-text messaging and streaming audio capability. Uconnect Access Via Mobile seamlessly brings four popular Internet radio apps into the Chrysler 200. They are: Aha by Harman, iHeartRadio, Pandora and Slacker. Like all Uconnect-brand features, it is designed to be easy to learn and easy to use.
    A power supply and media center located in the center console provides maximum user convenience.
    A premium sound system is available with nine speakers and a subwoofer.
    Clever storage features
    Thoughtful, clever storage features make the most of the available interior space in the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200.
    The innovative center console is well-thought-out and features a number of user-friendly features. A pass-through storage area at the front of the console is accessible by both the driver and front-seat passenger. A thoughtful opening at the rear of the pass-through storage area allows for wires and cables to directly connect to the power supply and media center located in the center console. An innovative sliding cup holder with smooth, furniture-like movement allows drivers and passengers to use the space in a way that best fits their needs. Covered storage allows passengers to store items out of sight.
    Available door map pockets incorporate beverage holders large enough for 20-ounce bottles.
    Attention to detail is prevalent throughout the all-new Chrysler 200, as no space was overlooked. Surprising details include a rendering of the City of Detroit skyline embossed on the rubber mat in the bottom of the pass-through storage of the center console.

    William Maley

    The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Can Make You Forget About The ZR1

    Take everything that love about the Corvette Z06 and ZR1, mash them up, and put it into the C7. What do you end up with? Most likely the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 which premiered at the Detroit Auto Show today.
    The 2015 Z06 is much more aggressive than the model it replaces. Compared to the standard Corvette Stingray, the Z06 2.2-inches wider up front and 3.15-inches wider in the back to make room for bigger tires and brakes. Chevrolet moved such items such as hood vents and rear taillights to keep the Z06 proportioned nicely. There are also flared out fenders, larger vents, and a new inlet design on the rear fenders to get cool air to the transmission and differential coolers.
    The Z06 will be available with three different downforce packages.
    Standard will be a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, carbon-fiber hood with larger vents, and a rear spoiler.
    Optional is a carbon-fiber aero package that adds a front splitter with aviation-style winglets, rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill (a small, vertical tab on the spoiler to increase downforce)
    Finally, there is the Z07 package that adds larger winglets to the front splitter and a adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler for track use

    Under the hood of the 2015 Z06 is a variation of the LT1 called the LT4. The LT4 is a supercharged 6.2L V8 engine that produces "at least" 625 horsepower and 635 pound-feet of torque. This is thanks to a new 1.7-liter Eaton supercharger and intercooler that can spin at up to 20,000 rpm. The LT4 is also fitted with Chevrolet's Active Fuel Management, as well as direct injection and variable valve timing to keep fuel economy in check.
    Two transmissions on offer for the Z06. First is a seven-speed manual fitted with a new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch. The other is a new eight-speed automatic which Chevrolet claims "wide-open-throttle upshifts executed up to eight-hundredths of a second quicker than the dual-clutch in the Porsche 911." Paddle-shift for the automatic will be standard.
    Other mechanical bits on the Z06 include six-pot Brembo brakes, a revised suspension with Magnetic Ride Control, and electronic limited-slip differential. If you opt for the Z07 package, the standard brakes morph into larger Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes and a set of Pilot Sport Cup tires.
    Inside, the Z06 gets such niceties as a flat-bottom steering wheel, a choice of GT and Competition Sport seats, and Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede lining the interior. The Z06 will also feature a removable roof panel for the first time. This is thanks to a new aluminum frame that is 60 percent stiffer than the ZR1 when the panel is on and 20 percent stiffer when its off.
    The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 goes on sale early next year.
    Source: Chevrolet

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is Most Capable, Ever
    Enters supercar territory with race-proven design, advanced technologies and world-class performance
    With the track-focused Z07 performance package, the 2015 Corvette Z06 delivers faster lap times than the 2014 Corvette ZR1
    The first Corvette Z06 to offer a supercharged engine, a removable roof panel, and an available paddle-shift automatic transmission

    DETROIT – Chevrolet today introduced the most track-capable Corvette in the brand's history – the 2015 Corvette Z06. It elevates the performance envelope for Corvette with unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce, at least 625 horsepower from an all-new supercharged engine, and an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission – all building on the advanced driver technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray.
    "The new Z06 delivers levels of performance, technology and design that rival the most exotic supercars in the world," said Mark Reuss, president, General Motors North America. "And the Z06 leverages the engineering expertise of GM, offering the choice of two world-class transmissions, supercar performance without supercar fuel consumption, and technologies that make it easier to fully enjoy the incredible experience of driving it."
    The 2015 model is the first Corvette Z06 to offer a supercharged engine, an automatic transmission and, thanks to a stronger aluminum frame, a removable roof panel. The new, supercharged 6.2L engine is expected to deliver at least 625 horsepower (466 kW), and can be matched with either a seven-speed manual or an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for manual control. The aluminum frame carries over from the Corvette Stingray and will also be used essentially unchanged for the Corvette Racing C7.R.
    A track-focused Z07 Performance Package adds unique components for true aerodynamic downforce, Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires for enhanced grip, and Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors that improve braking performance and contribute to greater handling through reduced unsprung weight. Although development testing is ongoing, the Z07 package has already recorded some of the fastest lap times ever for a Corvette, surpassing even the ZR1.
    "The Corvette Z06 is a great example of the technology transfer between racing and production Corvettes," said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. "First, we took what we learned on the Corvette Racing C6.R and applied that to the all-new Corvette Stingray. Then, using the Stingray as a foundation, the Z06 and C7.R were developed to push the envelope of performance on the street and the track."
    Supercharged, efficient performance
    The heart of the 2015 Corvette Z06 is the all-new LT4 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine, expected to deliver an estimated 625 horsepower (466 kW) and 635 lb.-ft. of torque (861 Nm). To balance performance and efficiency, the LT4 leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray: Direct injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and continuously variable valve timing.
    These technologies – combined with the fuel-efficient multi-speed transmissions, aerodynamic design and lightweight construction – help make the new Z06 surprisingly fuel-efficient.
    "The supercharged LT4 engine delivers the greatest balance of performance and efficiency ever in the Corvette," said John Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer for Small-Block engines. "It is one of the world's only supercharged engines to incorporate cylinder deactivation technology, enabling it to cruise efficiently on the highway with reduced fuel consumption, but offer more than 600 horsepower whenever the driver calls up its tremendous power reserve."
    To maintain the Z06's mass and performance targets, the LT4 engine was designed with a more-efficient, more-compact next-generation supercharger. Even with its integrated supercharger/intercooler assembly mounted in the valley between the cylinder heads, the engine is only about 1 inch (25 mm) taller than the Corvette Stingray's LT1 engine – while delivering nearly 37 percent more horsepower and 40 percent more torque.
    The new 1.7L Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger spins at up to 20,000 rpm – 5,000 rpm more than the supercharger on the Corvette ZR1's LS9. The rotors are shorter in length, too, which contributes to their higher-rpm capability – and enables them to get up to speed quicker, producing power-enhancing boost earlier in the rpm band. That boost is achieved more efficiently, thanks to a new, more direct discharge port that creates less turbulence, reducing heat and speeding airflow into the engine.
    The LT4 engine also has several unique features designed to support its higher output and the greater cylinder pressures created by forced induction, including:
    Rotocast A356T6 aluminum cylinder heads that are stronger and handle heat better than conventional heads
    Lightweight titanium intake valves and machined connecting rods for reduced reciprocating mass
    High 10.0:1 compression ratio – for a forced-induction engine – enhances performance and efficiency; enabled by direct injection
    Forged aluminum pistons with unique, stronger structure to ensure strength under high cylinder pressures
    Stainless steel exhaust headers and aluminum balancer that are lighter than their LT1 counterparts
    Standard dry-sump oiling system with larger cooler capacity than Z51; used with dual-pressure-control oil pump.

    The LT4 will be built in Tonawanda, N.Y., and Bowling Green, Ky., at the new Performance Build Center.
    Eight speeds, no waiting
    The supercharged LT4 is offered with a standard seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match, or an all-new 8L90 eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission designed to enhance both performance and efficiency.
    "Unlike most ultra-performance cars, the Corvette Z06 offers customers the choice between two transmissions to suit their driving styles," said Juechter. "The seven-speed gives the driver the control of a true three-pedal manual transmission with perfect shifts enabled by Active Rev Matching. The new eight-speed automatic offers drivers the comfort and drivability of a true automatic transmission, as well as lightning-fast shifts and manual control for track driving."
    The seven-speed manual incorporates rev-matching technology for upshifts and downshifts. This driver-selectable feature can be easily engaged or disengaged via paddles on the steering wheel. The seven-speed is used with a new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch, which deliver greater shift quality and feel through lower inertia.
    The eight-speed automatic is tuned for world-class shift-response times, and smaller steps between gears keep the LT4 within the sweet spot of the rpm band, optimizing the output of the supercharged engine for exhilarating performance and greater efficiency.
    For performance driving, the transmission offers full manual control via steering wheel paddles, and unique algorithms to deliver shift performance that rivals the dual-clutch/semi-automatic transmissions found in many supercars – but with the smoothness and refinement that comes with a conventional automatic fitted with a torque converter.
    In fact, the 8L90's controller analyzes and executes commands 160 times per second, and wide-open-throttle upshifts are executed up to eight-hundredths of a second quicker than those of the dual-clutch transmission offered in the Porsche 911.
    "There's no trade-off in drivability with the new 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission – it was designed to deliver performance on par with dual-clutch designs, but without sacrificing refinement," said Bill Goodrich, assistant chief engineer for eight-speed automatic transmissions. "It is also the highest-capacity automatic transmission ever offered in a Chevrolet car."
    Featuring four gearsets and five clutches, creative packaging enables the GM-developed eight speed automatic to fit the same space as the six-speed automatic used in the Corvette Stingray. Extensive use of aluminum and even magnesium make it more than eight pounds (4 kg) lighter than the six-speed, as well. Along with design features that reduce friction, the 8L90 is expected to contribute up to five-percent greater efficiency, when compared with a six-speed automatic.
    The eight-speed automatic will be built at GM's Toledo, Ohio, transmission facility.
    Designed for downforce
    The performance targets of the Z06 also posed a challenge for the design team, who had to create a striking design that also contributed to increased capabilities.
    "Virtually every exterior change served a functional purpose, as this beast needed more of everything," said Tom Peters, Corvette design director, "The flared fenders accommodate larger, wider wheels and tires for more grip. The larger vents provide more cooling air to the engine, brakes, transmission and differential for increased track capability. The more aggressive aerodynamic package generates true downforce for more cornering grip and high-speed stability."
    Indeed, the design changes began not with the exterior panels, but the tires.
    To deliver the levels of grip needed for the Z06's performance targets, the Z06 was fitted with larger Michelin tires (Pilot Sport tires for the Z06; Sport Cup tires with the Z07 package). The P285/30ZR19 front tires are 1.5 inches wider than the tires on the Stingray, while the 335/25ZR20 rear tires are two inches wider.
    To cover the wider tire tread, the fenders of the Z06 were extended by 2.2 inches (56 mm) at the front, and 3.15 inches (80 mm) at the rear. These extensions give the Corvette Z06 a wider, lower appearance that is further emphasized by a unique rear fascia. It incorporates the same taillamp assemblies as the Stingray, but on the Z06 the taillamps are pushed approximately three inches farther apart, toward to edges of the body.
    The tires are mounted on lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels that are also wider than the Stingray (19 x 10 inches in front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear). Their open, ultralight design showcases the massive Brembo brakes, which are part of the design aesthetic:
    The Z06 features two-piece steel rotors, measuring 14.6 x 1.3-inch (371 x 33 mm) front and 14.4 x 1-inch (365 x 25 mm) rear, with aluminum six-piston and four-piston fixed calipers, respectively
    The Z07 package adds larger, 15.5 x 1.4-inch (394 x 36 mm) front and 15.3 x 1.3-inch (388 x 33 mm) carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors for consistent performance lap after lap, and collectively save 23 pounds over the standard Z06 rotors.

    To harness the cornering and braking grip afforded by the larger tires and brakes, the exterior of the Corvette Z06 has also been tailored to produce aerodynamic downforce that presses the tires to the ground at high speeds.
    The Z06 will offer three, increasing levels of aerodynamic downforce:
    The standard Z06 features a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent, and the rear spoiler from the Corvette Stingray's Z51 Performance Package
    An available carbon-fiber aero package (in either black or a visible carbon-fiber finish) adds a carbon fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill – a small, vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler that significantly increases downforce
    The available Z07 package adds a larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler for track use; with this package, the Corvette Z06 delivers the most amount of aerodynamic downforce of any production car that GM has tested.

    The exterior design also reflects the increased cooling required for the new Corvette Z06. For example, the mesh pattern on the front fascia was painstakingly designed to deliver the most possible airflow to the supercharger's intercooler heat exchanger. In fact, the mesh grill directs more air into the engine bay than with the grille completely removed.
    The unique grille also features dedicated brake-cooling intakes and wider grille outlets on the bottom serve as air diffusers. The grille is complemented with a larger hood vent, which not only vents hot air from the engine compartment, but contributes to downforce by allowing air driven through the grille to exit through the hood rather than being forced under the car, which could create lift.
    Additional cooling elements include larger front fender vents and unique air blades over the inlets on the rear fenders, which force about 50 percent more air into the cooling ducts for the transmission and differential coolers than those on the Stingray. To cope with the additional airflow, the Z06 has also has larger rear-fascia openings than the Stingray.
    Standard front and rear brake-cooling ducts, including Z06-signature rear ducts integrated in front of the rear fender openings, are also part of the functional design changes.
    Inside, the Corvette Z06 is distinguished from the Corvette Stingray by unique color schemes that emphasize the driver-focused cockpit, and a unique, flat-bottomed steering wheel.
    Like the Stingray, the Z06 will be offered with two seating choices: a GT seat, for all-around comfort, and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering, which provides greater support on the track. The frame structure for both seats is made of magnesium, for greater strength and less weight than comparable steel frames. They're also more rigid, contributing to the enhanced feeling of support during performance driving.
    The Z06 also benefits from interior details designed for high-performance driving, first introduced on the Stingray, including a steel-reinforced grab bar on the center console for the passenger and soft-touch materials on the edge of the console, where the driver naturally braces during high-load cornering.
    The performance-supporting elements inside the new Corvette Z06 are complemented by unprecedented attention to detail and build quality. All models feature a fully-wrapped interior, where every surface is covered with premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level, include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede.
    Track-proven technologies
    The 2015 Corvette Z06 leverages the technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray, including the strategic use of lightweight materials and advanced driver technologies, with unique features and calibrations tailored for its capabilities.
    "Our mission with the seventh-generation Corvette was to make the performance levels more accessible, enabling drivers exploit every pound-foot of torque, every "g" of grip and every pound of downforce," said Juechter. "It's a philosophy we introduced with the 460-horsepower Corvette Stingray – and one that's even more relevant with an estimated 625 horsepower at your beck and call."
    For the first time ever, the Corvette Z06's aluminum frame will be produced in-house at the Bowling Green, Ky., assembly plant. It's the same robust, lightweight frame used on the Corvette Stingray and it will also be used essentially unchanged for the C7.R racecars.
    The stiffer design of the aluminum frame allows the Corvette Z06 to be offered with a removable roof panel for the first time. In fact, with the lightweight, carbon fiber roof panel removed, the new Corvette Z06 offers 20 percent more structural rigidity than the previous model's fixed-roof design – and a 60-percent increase in stiffness with the roof panel installed.
    The new Z06 retains the SLA-type front and rear suspension design of the Corvette Stingray, including, but uniquely calibrated for the higher performance threshold. The third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers are standard on Z06, and can be adjusted for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the standard Driver Mode Selector.
    Like on the Stingray, the Driver Mode Selector tailors up to a dozen features of the Z06 to suit the driver's environment, including:
    Launch control: Available in Track mode for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration
    Active handling (StabiliTrak stability control): A "competitive" setting is available in Track mode and is more suited for on-track conditions. It can also be disabled, giving the driver complete control
    Traction control: Weather mode tailors traction control and engine torque for driving in inclement conditions
    Performance Traction Management: Available in Track mode and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving
    Electronic Limited Slip Differential: Adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions; more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes.

    The smart electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) is standard on the Z06, to make the most of the torque split between the rear wheels. The system features a hydraulically actuated clutch that can infinitely vary clutch engagement and can respond from open to full engagement in tenths of a second. It shifts torque-based on a unique algorithm that factors in vehicle speed, steering input and throttle position to improve steering feel, handling balance and traction.
    The eLSD is fully integrated with Electronic Stability Control and Performance Traction Management systems. Its calibrations vary among three modes, based on the Drive Mode Selector setting:
    Mode 1 is the default setting for normal driving and emphasizes vehicle stability
    Mode 2 is engaged when electronic stability control is turned off in the Sport or Track modes. This calibration enables more nimble turn-in and traction while accelerating out of a corner
    Mode 3 is automatically selected when Performance Traction Management is engaged. This calibration has the same function as Mode 2, but is fine-tuned to work with Performance Traction Management.

    The new Corvette Z06 will be available in early 2015. Performance data and pricing will be announced closer to the start of production.

    William Maley

    There's No Hybrid Around Here

    And now for something completely different from Toyota. This is the Toyota FT-1 Concept which debuted at the Detroit Auto Show this morning and its a stunner.
    The FT-1 is the result of two years of hard work at the company’s Calty, California design center. The team drew a lot of inspiration from company’s sporting heritage; cars like the Celica, Supra, MR2 and of course the contemporary Scion FR-S. Toyota says the design is a unique fusion of of both emotional and rational factors, the former missing from a number of their current vehicles. Overall, the design to our eyes looks to be an updated version FT-HS hybrid concept car shown at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show with a number of aerodynamic features for race track duty.
    The cabin is a sporty, low-slung affair with a cockpit that is focused on the driver. There are also light weight components such as a composite seat.
    The FT-1 is a front engine, rear-drive coupe. Toyota doesn't say what powers it, only saying it is a "high-technology, high performance internal combustion engine."
    “Sports cars represent the ultimate driving expression in its purest form. As car enthusiasts ourselves, this is the kind of project we dream about working on. Beyond its obvious five-alarm visual impact, FT-1 is symbolic of a new chapter for Toyota Global Design. This provocative concept truly captures the passion, excitement, and energy of the Toyota we are evolving into and embodies elements of the emotion and performance that Toyota will imprint upon future production designs,” said Calty Design Research president Kevin Hunter.
    Source: Toyota


    Press Release is on Page 2
    From Virtual to Reality? Toyota FT-1 Concept Sets the Pace for Future Design
    Company answers Akio Toyoda’s call for design revolution, more heart-pounding design
    Stunning design draws on Toyota’s rich sports car history
    Calty Design Research celebrates 40th anniversary with ultimate design concept

    DETROIT, Michigan (Jan. 13, 2014) - Toyota virtually blew the doors off the North American International Auto Show with the reveal of the stunning FT-1 sports car concept. First devised by Calty Design Research in the Sony PlayStation Gran Turismo game environment, FT-1 leapt from the screen to the stage in a race-inspired press conference at COBO Hall.
    The name says it all. FT-1 stands for “Future Toyota,” and the number “1” represents the ultimate. According to its designers at Calty Design Research, the FT-1 Concept is the ultimate expression of a Toyota coupe design, building upon Toyota’s rich sports coupe heritage dating back to the 2000GT, Celica, Supra, MR2 and most recently Scion FR-S. In addition, the concept draws inspiration from Calty’s more recent sports car concept work such as FT-HS (2007) and the Lexus LF-LC (2012).
    The project started nearly two years ago and represents a labor of love by a passionate, dedicated and gifted Calty design team. “The FT-1 is a dream-project for a designer and car enthusiast like myself,” said Alex Shen, Calty’s Studio Chief Designer. “Our team was heavily influenced by Toyota’s sports car past, especially Celica and Supra, and we sought to capture some of that history. It is an aggressive, track-focused sports car concept with a presence that has been amplified for shock and awe.”
    The FT-1’s audacious design represents the pinnacle of Calty’s 40th year of operation. Guided by the Toyota design ethos of Vibrant Clarity, a unique fusion of both emotional and rational factors that delivers a more exciting and dramatic design expression with unique Toyota identity, the concept is a spiritual pace car for Toyota Global Design. The goal of this ideological shift is to develop future generations of products that better connect emotionally with Toyota’s global consumer base.
    Traditionally, Toyota’s design decisions have been driven by consensus among a large group of stakeholders. Under Akio Toyoda’s stated directive to invigorate Toyota products with energy, passion and “Waku-Doki” (translation: a palpable heart-pounding sense of excitement), the approval process has been streamlined. This new approach aims to produce cars that connect more deeply with customers, generating a more satisfying ownership experience that complements Toyota’s legendary reputation for quality, dependability and reliability.
    “Function-sculpting” design language yields curved, muscular, expressive body forms seemingly shaped by the wind. Inlets, ducting, and vents are features of the exterior design that help reinforce its track–ready nature with elements of purposeful airflow management. At higher speeds a retractable rear wing deploys and tilts forward to create additional downforce. The body’s athleticism is expressed with taut surfaces and dramatic fender forms that seduce the eyes when covered in an unapologetically red hue.
    The front engine rear-wheel drive configuration locates the cockpit far rearward within the wheelbase to improve weight distribution. This design element also helps create the classic sportscar proportions one would expect from a vehicle poised to dominate even the most challenging road course. The cockpit’s wraparound windshield and side glass openings are a distinct nod to the design of the legendary Toyota 2000GT.
    The interior is a focused, highly functional “place of business” that locates the driver at the controls behind an F1 inspired steering-wheel. The intimate, low slung cockpit has its A-pillars set far back to help optimize cornering vision and sensation of the cabin’s intimacy. A delta-shaped display zone surrounds and integrates the driver to provide an exhilarating sense of being connected to the vehicle. The cockpit’s sense of minimalism adds to the purposefulness of the driver-focused environment with an emphasis on light weight components such as the composite seat covered with just the right amount of padding in only the areas that come into contact with the driver. A color heads-up display keeps the driver’s attention on the road ahead, with vital information projected just above the steering wheel within the driver’s line of sight.
    While technical specifications do not accompany the concept, one can assume that the FT-1 represents an ideally balanced front-engine, rear wheel-drive layout that is powered by a high-technology, high performance internal combustion engine. Beneath a transparent glass hood, an ambiguous engine cover hides a powerplant left to the imagination of the onlooker.
    In preparation for pitching the concept to Toyota management, Calty worked with Polyphony Digital, creators of the popular Gran Turismo driving simulator, to bring FT-1 to life in a virtual world that captured the excitement, passion and performance conveyed by the concept model. Toyota executives were offered the opportunity to take FT-1 for a timed lap around a computer-generated Fuji Speedway. Behind the wheel of the concept, Toyota president Akio Toyoda, an accomplished race car driver, completed the virtual circuit faster than his best real-world lap time at Fuji in his LFA. From that moment, he was convinced and the concept was approved to be built in model-form for the international auto show circuit.
    For Toyota, this concept embodies the possibilities of the new and exciting design mission ahead. “Sports cars represent the ultimate driving expression in its purest form. As car enthusiasts ourselves, this is the kind of project we dream about working on,” said Calty Design Research president Kevin Hunter. “Beyond its obvious five-alarm visual impact, FT-1 is symbolic of a new chapter for Toyota Global Design. This provocative concept truly captures the passion, excitement, and energy of the Toyota we are evolving into and embodies elements of the emotion and performance that Toyota will imprint upon future production designs.”

    William Maley

    From The Atlas Concept To The 2015 F-150

    What you're looking at here is the most important vehicle for Ford. The F-150 is not only the best selling model in Ford's lineup, but a pivotal part of the company's bottom line. Every generation of the F-150 is a make or break, with no generation taking a bigger risk than the brand new 2015 model debuting at Detroit.
    For starters, the 2015 F-150 is 700 pounds lighter than the model it replaces. 70 percent of that weight loss goes to a new aluminum alloy used in most of the body. The aluminum alloy is similar to what is used on military HMMWVs and aerospace applications. Ford also increased the amount of high-strength steel in the frame. The automaker says this combination will be just as tough and durable as previous F-150s.
    The other big change lies under the hood. Ford has developed a new 2.7L EcoBoost V6 that features a stop-start system. The system is disabled when in four-wheel drive or in tow-haul mode. There is also a new 3.5L V6 which takes the place of 3.7L V6. Ford hasn't released specs on either engine. Carrying over from the last-generation will be the 5.0L V8 and 3.5L EcoBoost V6.
    Exterior design is very much like the Atlas Concept shown last year. The front features a tall and wide grille that features three fat bars and massive blue oval badge. Front headlights wrap onto the front fenders and have a cutout section on the inner edges. There is an option to have full LED headlights. The bed also LED lights and a remote-opening tailgate from the keyfob.
    In the cabin, the 2015 F-150 is an evolution of the current model's interior. There is a new eight-inch display in the instrument cluster, panoramic sunroof, and updates to the TruckApps. On the safety front, there is a new 360-degree camera view, second-row inflatable seatbelts, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning system, and a lane-departure prevention system.
    The F-150 will be available in XL, XLT, Lariat, Platinum, and King Ranch trim levels; two or four-wheel drive; and a variety of body styles and bed lengths.
    The 2015 Ford F-150 goes on sale in the fourth quarter of this year.
    Source: Ford


    Press Release is on Page 2
    All-New Ford F-150 Redefines Full-Size Trucks as the Toughest, Smartest, Most Capable F-150 Ever
    Tougher: All-new high-strength steel frame, high-strength aluminum-alloy body, more than 10 million miles of testing and Baja 1000-proven 2.7-liter EcoBoost® engine
    Smarter: 11 new class-exclusive features, including 360-degree camera view, integrated loading ramps stowed in the pickup bed, 400-watt power outlets inside the cab, LED headlights and sideview mirror spotlights, and remote tailgate release
    More capable: Up to 700 pounds less weight plus four engine choices for an impressive combination of power, capability and efficiency
    DETROIT, Jan. 13, 2014 – Ford today introduces the all-new Ford F-150, the reinvention of America's favorite truck. It is the toughest, smartest and most capable F-150 ever – setting the standard for the future of trucks.
    The all-new F-150 delivers an impressive combination of power, capability and efficiency – from advanced materials that improve durability and inhibit corrosion, to faster processors that enhance driving performance, to breakthrough cargo management and towing solutions.
    "F-150 is well-known for being Built Ford Tough. Now, it is both tough and smart," said Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company chief operating officer. "The all-new F-150 redefines the future of trucks, and it is yet another example of our One Ford plan producing vehicles that serve customers with a commitment to the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value."
    F-150 is part of the Ford F-Series truck lineup, America's best-selling truck for 37 consecutive years and America's best-selling vehicle for 32 years.
    "We have a unique connection with our customers," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president of The Americas. "Time and again, F-150 has delivered the tougher, smarter features they want along with the capabilities they need for work or play. We build our trucks to their high standards."
    In designing the backbone of the F-150, Ford engineers improved the truck's signature fully boxed ladder frame. It is all-new with more high-strength steel than ever – making it stronger and lighter. High-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloys – already used in aerospace, commercial transportation, energy and many other rugged industries – are used throughout the F-150 body for the first time, improving dent and ding resistance and also saving weight. Overall, up to 700 pounds of weight have been saved, helping the F-150 tow more, haul more, accelerate quicker and stop shorter, and contributing to efficiency.
    "More than ever before, customers want a truck that is a dependable partner, mobile office and a go-anywhere workshop," said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. "To meet the needs of our truck customers, we created smart new features and a whole new approach to using advanced materials and engines to improve capability and efficiency."
    Even tougher
    The 2015 Ford F-150 is the strongest and most durable F-150 ever. Before it goes on sale, it will have been torture-tested in labs, at Ford proving grounds and in the hands of some of Ford's most demanding truck customers for more than 10 million miles.
    The grueling testing simulated the demands Ford's customers will subject the truck to throughout its average lifetime. The tests include crisscrossing the country pulling heavy trailers and hefty loads through desert valleys and over high-altitude mountain passes – in temperatures from 20 degrees below zero to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Customers using the F-150 for construction, mining and utilities have tested and helped prove out its high-strength aluminum-alloy cargo box.
    A disguised new Ford F-150 even raced in the Baja 1000, where it earned the distinction of completing all 883 grueling miles while some other purpose-built race vehicles could not.
    To perform in these challenging conditions, the frame uses high-strength steel rated up to 70,000 psi – stronger than the steel found in some competitors' heavy-duty pickup truck frames. Eight through-welded crossmembers provide increased stiffness, while staggered rear outboard shocks provide greater stability.
    Even smarter
    Several groundbreaking new productivity features debut in the all-new F-150, including many class-exclusives. They include:
    - 360-degree camera view, using exterior cameras to create a bird's-eye view of the truck to help the driver park, maneuver in tight spots and navigate down narrow roads and trails
    - Integrated loading ramps, which enable easy loading of ATVs, motorcycles and mowers
    - BoxLink™, which is a combination of metal brackets and custom cleats used to secure a variety of accessories in the cargo box, from ramps to storage bins to bed dividers
    - LED headlamps and taillamps, which provide excellent nighttime visibility
    - Trailer hitch assist, a new rear view camera feature that adds a dynamic line based on steering wheel angle in the display to help customers line up truck and trailer without requiring a spotter or having to get out of the vehicle
    - Smart trailer tow module, using an all-new smart trailer tow wiring harness that helps identify and inform the driver of potential trailer connectivity issues, burned or unlit trailer marker lamps, and brake light and trailer battery faults
    - Remote tailgate, allowing for the tailgate to be locked, unlocked and released with the key fob – eliminating manual locking and increasing convenience and security. The tailgate also is damped, dropping down, hands-free, to a flat position when opened
    - High-wattage power outlets (400 watts, 110 volts) in the cab, allowing drivers to easily charge corded tools, battery chargers or mobile devices on-site or while driving
    - LED spotlights on sideview mirrors, which provide powerful, durable and bright lighting around the truck exterior
    - Latest EcoBoost® technology in an all-new, even more efficient 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine that features extremely high output and lightweight design
    - Next-generation tailgate step, which is now fully integrated inside the tailgate and virtually invisible when not in use
    Other smart innovations include:
    - New 8-inch LCD productivity screen in the instrument panel, which includes updated truck apps – from fuel economy to towing tips – and the ability to create a customized home screen for customers to access their most frequently used apps in one place
    - LED lighting embedded in the walls of the cargo box, which brightly illuminates the box interior to help customers quickly find tools or other items
    - Rear under-seat storage in F-150 Super and Crew cabs, providing hidden storage for valuables. Two storage bins also are located underneath the rear seats
    - Boxside step, now available for the short 5.5-foot box
    They join available driver aids, including SYNC® with MyFord Touch®, hill start assist, MyKey®, rear view camera, reverse sensing, trailer brake controller and extendable tailgate step.
    More capable
    In addition to helping customers work smarter, F-150 features segment-first technologies that automatically assist drivers. They include:
    - Second-row inflatable safety belts, which work like a traditional belt but include a tubular airbag that inflates in the event of a crash and distributes the force of the impact across a wider area of the passenger's chest
    - Curve Control, which automatically provides more aggressive four-wheel braking when the truck is going into a corner too fast
    - Adaptive cruise control, allowing drivers to set a cruising speed and use radar technology to monitor traffic ahead and maintain a safe distance between vehicles
    - Lane-Keeping System, which is designed to help avert unintentional drifting of the vehicle outside the intended driving lane by automatically detecting the left- or right-hand road lane markings using a camera mounted between the windshield and interior rearview mirror
    - Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert, which uses radar hidden in the taillamps to detect a vehicle entering a driver's blind spot while driving or backing up
    A range of four engines provides more power to meet almost any customer need.
    A new 2.7-liter EcoBoost with standard Auto Start-Stop and a 3.5-liter V6 engine with twin independent variable camshaft timing join the proven 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine features a lightweight, compact design to deliver the same power as some mid-range V8s.
    Auto Start-Stop technology helps save fuel. Unlike start-stop solutions in other vehicles, this technology – specially tuned for truck customers – shuts off the engine to save fuel when the vehicle is stopped, except when towing or in four-wheel drive. The engine restarts in milliseconds when the brake is released.
    Ford F-150 trucks equipped with EcoBoost engines also will benefit from standard Active Grille Shutters. Active Grille Shutters stay open when extra engine cooling is needed, such as during low-speed stop-and-go driving or while working in hot weather. They automatically close to reduce aerodynamic drag at cruising speed.
    On sale late this year
    When it goes on sale late this year, the all-new Ford F-150 will continue the tradition of offering the broadest selection of trim levels in the full-size pickup segment. Five primary trims are available: XL, XLT, Lariat, Platinum and King Ranch. Chrome appearance packages are available with XL, XLT, Lariat and King Ranch. Monochromatic sport appearance packages are available with XL, XLT and Lariat.
    The FX4 off-road package can be added to most four-wheel-drive models, improving trail capability with an electronic locking rear axle, skid plates and off-road-tuned shocks.
    Both the exterior and interior design of Ford F-150 reflect decades of listening to customers and understanding their occupational and recreational needs. The exterior is characterized by a new shape that suggests capability, with a wider Built Ford Tough stance, prominent wheel arches and chiseled grille.
    Comfort, utility and refinement define the truck's interior. Ergonomically optimized seating for the front row positions enhances comfort, while extending legroom for rear passengers. Buttons and controls are optimized so they can be operated while wearing work gloves.
    Storage options include laptop stowage in the center console, as well as quick storage solutions for cellphones, drinks, pens and business cards.
    "Once again, the Ford F-150 establishes new standards in durability, capability, technology and efficiency to help F-150 owners be more productive 24/7 – whether for work or weekend fun," said Nair.
    The F-150 will continue to be manufactured at Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich., and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo.

    William Maley

    May We Give You, The 2015 GMC Canyon

    When Chevrolet introduced the 2015 Colorado at the LA Auto Show in November, there was one question we had: Where was the sister truck, the GMC Canyon? Well, GM has answered that question as the Canyon was revealed before the Detroit Auto Show.
    The first thing you notice about the 2015 GMC Canyon is how much it looks like the Sierra and Sierra HD models. This is especially apparent when looking at the front end as the Canyon has the same grille and C-Shaped headlights as its bigger brothers. This really helps set apart the Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado. Also like the Sierra, the Canyon will be available with the All-Terrain package which addsa body colored grille surround, BF Goodrich off-road tires, unique wheels, and revised suspension tuning.
    Moving inside, the Canyon is very similar to the Colorado in its design. A 4.3-inch color screen in the instrument cluster is standard. Optional is a eight-inch touchscreen with GMC's Intellilink. The Canyon will also feature the next-generation of OnStar which will come with 4G LTE and can act as a WiFi hotspot for passengers. The 4G LTE will also allow owners to download apps into their Canyon via GMC AppShop.
    Also new to the Canyon is Teen Driver, a system which allows a parent to set a speed warning or speed limiter, mute the radio till the passengers are belted in, and record such things as speed, fuel economy, and wide-open throttle.
    Engines for the Canyon are much the same as the Colorado. The base is a 2.5L four-cylinder with 193 horsepower and 184 foot-pounds of torque. Optional is the 3.6L V6 with 302 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The 2.5L will be available with a six-speed manual on the base extended cab/2WD model. Every other model will have a six-speed automatic. Down the line, the 2.8L diesel four-cylinder will become an option.
    The GMC Canyon goes on sale this fall.
    Source: GMC


    Press Release is on Page 2
    All-New 2015 GMC Canyon Elevates Midsize Truck Segment
    Segment-redefining capabilities, refinement and tech in smart-sized package
    DETROIT – GMC revealed the 2015 Canyon today, an all-new midsize truck that redefines the segment and raises the bar for everything from horsepower and efficiency to quietness and refinement.
    When it goes on sale this year, the all-new Canyon will give GMC one of the only three-truck lineups in the industry. It is expected to deliver class-leading capabilities with the brand's signature refinement – all in an efficiently sized, maneuverable package for customers who want the cargo-hauling and trailering versatility of a truck without the size of a full-size pickup.
    "The all-new 2015 Canyon completes GMC's three-truck family, which started with the redesigned 2014 Sierra 1500 and 2015 Sierra HD," said Tony DiSalle, vice president of GMC Marketing. "It rounds out a lineup that offers the broadest range of capabilities in the industry, giving truck customers more choices to find the vehicle that meets their professional, personal and lifestyle needs."
    Based on a proven global architecture and engineered for the unique demands and driving conditions of North American drivers, the new Canyon is expected to deliver:
    The segment's best horsepower – an estimated 193 horsepower (146 kW) from a standard 2.5L I-4 and an estimated 302 horsepower (224 kW) from an available 3.6L V-6
    The segment's best payload of at least 1,450 pounds (657 kg)
    The segment's best maximum trailering rating (when properly equipped) of at least 6,700 pounds (3,039 kg)
    Even greater capability with a powerful and efficient Duramax 2.8L turbodiesel engine coming in 2016

    "Not everyone needs full-size capability, but they still deserve strength and true-truck attributes that come in larger models. The Canyon will offer all the capability with confidence – and GMC's signature refinement that complements active lifestyles," said DiSalle. "It also delivers the technology customers want with more standard features."
    Canyon's customer-focused technologies include available OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot and expected segment-first available driver alert features such as forward collision alert, lane departure warning and a standard rear-vision camera.
    Additionally, RemoteLink Key Fob Services allow owners to lock and unlock their vehicle, flash the lights and honk the horn, and, on equipped models, even remotely start the engine using the RemoteLink smartphone app. The service is free for five years. Additional OnStar services and data plans will be available with a paid subscription.
    GMC's ProGrade protection program for two years/24,000 miles – whichever comes first – of scheduled maintenance, is standard and covers four oil changes, tire rotations and 27-point inspections. It complements the three-year/36,000-mile – whichever comes first – bumper-to-bumper limited vehicle warranty and five-year/100,000-mile – whichever comes first – powertrain limited warranty.
    Designed for capability, comfort and refinement
    Inside and out, the 2015 Canyon is pure GMC, with a quiet, refined interior distinguished by premium materials and a commanding exterior presence that emulates the technology-infused design aesthetic introduced on the 2014 Sierra 1500 and 2015 Sierra HD models.
    Bold front-end styling incorporates the segment's only standard projector beam headlamps and GMC's signature C-shaped LED daytime running lamps on all models. Three body configurations are offered: An extended cab model with a six-foot bed, a crew cab with a five-foot bed and a crew cab with a six-foot bed. With the tailgate down, the six-foot bed allows eight-foot-long items to be hauled within the vehicle.
    Canyon is offered in base, SLE and SLT models, in 2WD and 4WD models, and with an aggressively styled All-Terrain package offered on SLE models. It includes 17-inch painted aluminum wheels covered by all-terrain tires, a body-color grille surround with horizontal chrome bars and specific suspension tuning.
    From a refinement standpoint, the Canyon features triple-sealed doors inlaid in the body sides, like the 2014 Sierra, for improved aerodynamic performance and a quieter interior. And to help keep overall mass down and improve the front-to-rear weight balance, the Canyon features an all-new aluminum hood.
    It also features the segment's only active aero grille shutters, which close at certain highway speeds to enhance efficiency through improved aerodynamics.
    Additional exterior features include:
    Segment-first CornerStep rear bumper design, pioneered on the 2014 Sierra, is standard
    Available segment-first EZ Lift-and-Lower locking tailgate that uses an internal torsion bar to make raising the tailgate easier with one hand, and a damper for more-controlled lowering
    Standard two-tier loading that allows a platform to effectively split the bed into upper and lower sections, making it easier to haul, store and conceal items such as tools
    Thirteen reconfigurable and four stationary tie-down locations throughout the bed for use with available, removable cargo tie-down rings
    Standard bed rail and tailgate protectors
    Available factory-installed spray-in bed liner
    Range of 16-, 17- and 18-inch aluminum wheels

    A diverse collection of work- and lifestyle-supporting accessories will be offered including everything from a bed liner and innovative cargo management system to a custom tonneau cover, removable cargo rings, tool box and more.
    Comfortable and connected cabin
    The interior of the 2015 Canyon is designed to be comfortable, heavily equipped and well connected. A bold, upright instrument panel with large instruments and a central driver information center is similar to Sierra. A center console-mounted shifter is similar to those found in midsize cars and crossovers.
    The Canyon's cabin boasts exceptional attention to detail and premium appointments, including a sculpted headliner that enhances headroom, halo lighting on key controls for easier viewing and an open area at the front of the center console for easier phone charging.
    Additional interior details include:
    Sculpted door panels that make it easier to enter and exit the vehicle
    Upper-instrument panel storage bin – when not equipped with the uplevel audio system – and large glove box volume
    Standard center console with room to store a tablet
    Rear under-seat storage

    Canyon's seats are designed for long-haul comfort and wear, too. They use dual-firmness foam for greater comfort on long drives and high-wear, stain-resistant cloth seating trim. A power-adjustable driver's seat is standard, and heated leather seats are standard on SLT. The All-Terrain package features exclusive color and trim details, including embossed seatbacks and unique contrast stitching.
    Comfort is enhanced with technologies, connectivity and other features that support owners' daily and recreational lives including a standard 4.2-inch-diagonal color driver information screen in the instrument cluster
    Also available:
    Eight-inch-diagonal color touch screen and multiple USB ports
    OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hot spot
    Next-generation OnStar and IntelliLink enhancements with gesture recognition and natural language voice recognition
    Siri Eyes Free Mode for iPhone users
    Teen Driver feature
    GMC AppShop
    Navigation

    Teen Driver is a new, configurable IntelliLink feature that allows parents to set a radio volume limit, establish a speed warning set between 40 and 70 mph, and set a speed limiter. It also automatically mutes the radio when the driver or front passenger safety belt is not fastened and a "report card" that records mileage, wide-open throttle events, ABS events, maximum speed and other data. The custom features are locked by a PIN, which is set by the parent.
    Canyon models with an eight-inch IntelliLink screen will also feature a new in-car app marketplace: GMC AppShop. It allows customers to download apps directly to their IntelliLink system and organize, update or delete them throughout the life of the vehicle. Available apps will connect drivers to music, news, weather, travel information, vehicle data and more.
    Segment-best power and efficiency
    GMC expects Canyon to be the most powerful and efficient truck in the segment, allowing owners to haul and tow more while being efficient. A 2.5L I-4 is standard, and a 3.6L V-6 is available. They are based on award-winning engine families and tuned to deliver the low-rpm torque customers depend on for hauling and towing.
    The 2.5L four is estimated at 193 horsepower (146 kW) and 184 lb-ft of torque (253 Nm), with approximately 90 percent of the peak torque available from 2,000 rpm to 6,200 rpm. The 3.6L engine is estimated at 302 horsepower (224 kW) and 270 lb-ft of torque (366 Nm). SAE certification of the power ratings is pending.
    Both engines feature direct injection and variable valve timing to make the most of power and efficiency. An aluminum block, forged-steel crankshaft, dual-overhead camshafts and jet-spray piston cooling are featured on both engines. The 2.5L incorporates a two-stage variable-displacement oil pump, for greater efficiency, as well as a balance shaft located in the oil pan, for greater refinement.
    All models are matched with a six-speed automatic transmission that complements the truck-tuned engines with features that make hauling and trailering easier and more comfortable, including auto grade braking and a tow/haul mode. A six-speed manual transmission is also available with the 2.5L engine in base extended cab/2WD models.
    Class-leading capabilities and superior ride quality
    The Canyon delivers the capability expected of a GMC truck, including expected segment-leading payload and trailering. Like the full-size Sierra, Canyon is built on a fully boxed perimeter frame, which provides the strength to support its capabilities, and a ride expected to be smooth and quiet.
    A coil-over-type front suspension features aluminum knuckles that are low in mass and high in strength contributing to a more responsive, immediate feel to driver inputs, as well as efficiency. The 2015 Canyon also features the segment's first application of electric power steering, which enhances efficiency because it is not driven by the engine.
    Additionally, the Canyon has a tight turning radius of only about 41 feet (12.6 meters), making it easier to maneuver when parking or backing into tight spots, such as garages or campsites.
    Four-wheel disc brakes, with four-piston front calipers, are standard and feature segment-exclusive Duralife™ brake rotors – also pioneered on the 2014 Sierra. They can offer up to double the service life, which can help lower ownership costs.
    Canyon is available with an automatic locking rear differential known by its G80 option code. Introduced by General Motors more than 40 years ago, it gives drivers a traction advantage when needed and everyday comfort when it's not. It is available on SLE and SLT, and standard with the All-Terrain package.
    AutoTrac automatic four-wheel drive is also a segment-first feature, which employs an electronically controlled transfer case that allows the driver to shift from 2WD to 4WD. The driver can select four modes, 2WD, Auto, 4WD HI, or 4WD Lo. By selecting 'Auto' mode, the transfer case will operate in 2WD and will automatically apply traction to the front wheels (4WD) when the vehicle senses wheel slippage.
    Safety features
    With 360 degrees of available active and passive safety technologies, Canyon is designed to help keep occupants safe on the road, with standard features including:
    Six air bags, including head curtain side air bags that can also reduce the risk of occupant ejection
    Large rearview mirrors and rear-vision camera system for greater visibility
    StabiliTrak stability control system with rollover mitigation technology, trailer sway control, hill start assist and hill descent control (All Terrain).

    Available safety features include:
    Segment-first forward collision alert
    Segment-first lane departure warning

    The Canyon will be assembled at GM's Wentzville, Mo., assembly plant. GMC will continue to work on and develop the Canyon until the start of production in fall 2014. The content of this release is based on current GM testing and is subject to change.

    William Maley

    Finally! The Audi Q3 is coming to the U.S.!

    We've been waiting a while for the Audi Q3 to arrive in the U.S. But next week at the Detroit Auto Show, Audi will reveal the 2015 Q3 that will be going on sale in the third quarter of this year.
    Now as reported back in October, Audi wanted the Q3 to be classified as a light truck. However, the model didn't meet certain criteria such as approach angle. The company decided to a mid-cycle refresh to perform these changes and the result is the 2015 Q3.
    Looking like a Audi Q5 hit with a shrink ray, the Q3 will be the smallest crossover in Audi's lineup, ready to take on the likes of the BMW X1, Buick Encore, and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class. Power will come from a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque paired with a six-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard, with quattro all-wheel drive on the option list.
    Standard equipment is very generous on Q3 with electronic stability control with offroad and hill descent settings, eighteen-inch wheels, panoramic sunroof, xenon headlights, power-adjustable front seats with heating, and leather. The option list for the Q3 features such items as navigation, Bose sound system, and a power tailgate.
    Source: Audi
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Audi enters the premium compact class of SUVs with the sporty and versatile new 2015 Q3
    Q3 will join the already successful family of Audi SUVs that includes the Q5 and Q7
    Q3 showcases many of the luxury and technology features found in the full-size vehicles offered by Audi
    Available Fall of 2014 with a 200 hp 2.0-liter TFSI® engine and front-wheel drive and available Audi quattro® all-wheel drive

    The new 2015 Audi Q3 will arrive in the U.S. in the Fall of 2014 and will join the already successful lineup of Audi SUVs that includes the Q5 and Q7. It will make its U.S. debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit on January 13th. The Q3 is a premium, compact SUV that pairs coupe-like looks with the utility of a SUV. Its quality engineering and advanced features offer ideal performance and functionality, but also advanced technology and driving dynamics.
    "Coming off the recent A3 family announcement we are now for the first time entering into the premium compact class of SUVs with the introduction of the Audi Q3 into our line-up," said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. "Our growing SUV family will now offer three distinct products in the premium SUV category; and like the successful Q5 and Q7, the Q3 will continue with the established standards they started with regards to utility, technology, craftsmanship and performance."
    Standard Features
    The Audi Q3 comes generously appointed with a long list of standard equipment, including:
    200 hp 2.0-liter TFSI® engine with six-speed Tiptronic® transmission
    Panoramic sunroof with power retractable sunshade
    Audi xenon plus front lighting with LED DRLs and taillights
    Heated, 12-way power front seats
    Leather seating surfaces
    Audi advanced key

    Design and Body
    The Audi Q3 model's coupe-like lines are an expression of its sporty character. This is demonstrated by:
    Low roof line, flat D-pillars, and a wraparound tailgate
    Distinctive exterior lighting
    Sharply drawn lines on the flanks frame athletically arched sheet metal surfaces - the defining shadow contour is the Tornado line
    The housings of the side mirrors sport LED turn signals
    Both the hood and tailgate are made of aluminum
    The signature, wedge-shaped headlights house xenon plus lighting and LED daytime running lights, which are combined with LED taillights, all standard
    The available power tailgate opens electrically, including via the remote key fob, and swings up to accommodate the spacious cargo area

    Interior
    The interior of the Audi Q3 is spacious and comfortable for all five passengers. Its elegant, ergonomic design boasts superior build quality. Evidence of the premium character of the Audi Q3 can be seen in every last detail in the interior craftsmanship, in the selection of the materials, in their processing and in the tight, consistent interior gaps.
    The cargo area offers a base luggage capacity of 16.2 cu ft. Folding down the split rear seatbacks increases this capacity to 48.2 cu ft.
    Standard LED interior lighting – a technology that bathes the interior in dramatic light
    Efficient white light-emitting diodes illuminate the doors, foot wells, vanity mirrors, storage compartments and the air vent thumb wheels. LED light guides even accentuate the cup holders
    When equipped with the BOSE Surround Sound system, the frames of the woofer/mid-range speakers in the front doors form elegant rings of white light
    The Q3 comes standard with two front airbags, thorax-pelvis side airbags in the backs of the front seats and side curtain head airbags. Safety belt tensioners up front, belt force limiters and the integral Audi head restraint system. Rear side airbags are optional.

    Powertrain and Performance
    The standard 2.0 TFSI four-cylinder engine in the Q3 produces 200hp and 207 lb-ft. of torque.
    Standard six-speed Tiptronic® transmission
    Front wheel drive standard, Audi quattro® permanent all-wheel drive available
    Optional Audi drive select system - allows drivers to adjust handling and response at the touch of a button. There are three drive select modes: Comfort, Dynamic, and Auto.

    Chassis and Suspension
    The Q3 brings more sportiness to the compact premium SUV class. Its balanced chassis combines agile handling, supreme safety and great road comfort.
    The Q3 model's front suspension is a sophisticated design featuring McPherson struts with forged aluminum lower wishbones. The rear includes a four-link rear axle with a separate spring/shock absorber arrangement to maximize interior cargo space.
    Electromechanical power steering with speed-dependent power assist
    ESC with offroad mode and hill descent assist
    Standard 18-inch wheel with optional 19-inch design available

    Available Equipment
    The Q3 showcases many aspects of Audi expertise found in our full-size luxury vehicles and makes that content and technological prowess available in a premium compact SUV.
    Sport package including front sport seats with adjustable thigh support
    Driver Assistance package including Audi side assist and Audi parking system with rearview camera
    Audi MMI navigation plus with 7.0-inch color monitor
    Power tailgate with a programmable preset opening angle
    The Prestige trim package includes extended infotainment and convenience features including Audi connect®
    Audi side assist uses radar to help make changing lanes easier
    BOSE Surround Sound system. This system features a ten-channel receiver delivering 465 watts of power to 14 speakers

    Audi connect®
    The 2015 Audi Q3 features the award-winning infotainment system, Audi connect®, when the Prestige trim package is ordered.
    Factory-fitted, in-vehicle Wi-Fi connectivity for passenger use, enabling the Audi connect system to deliver connectivity to up to eight wireless devices for passengers.
    The on-board Audi MMI navigation plus system is enhanced with Google Earth™ maps for a true aerial view of the route.
    Audi connect also features real-time localized weather, news and live fuel prices
    Google Voice™ Local Search for detailed information about travel destinations, such as restaurant or hotel hours, pricing and customer reviews
    myAudi Destination feature, which allows users to log on to Google Earth from virtually any location in the U.S. and download up to 50 destinations to the vehicle
    Audi also offers real-time Sirius XM® Traffic information via enhancements to the Audi MMI Navigation plus system (active Sirius XM® Traffic subscription required).


    William Maley
    Volkswagen has a double feature for next week's Detroit Auto Show. One will be a production model, while the other one is a concept.
    First up is the production model which is the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R for North American. Like its European counterpart, the Golf R will come with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 290 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. New for the North American version is the choice between a six-speed manual or DSG transmission. Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system will get all of that power to the wheels. 0-60 MPH is quoted at 4.9 seconds for the DSG and 5.3 seconds for the manual.
    Other changes for the 2015 Golf R will include a stability control that can be fully turned off, a new adaptive suspension system, xenon headlamps, and daytime LED running lights.
    Volkswagen says the Golf R will go on sale in the first quarter of 2015.
    Now onto the concept which is a concept Passat that gets up to 42 MPG. The surprising part? Its not a hybrid or a diesel. Meet the Passat BlueMotion Concept which shows the German automaker's idea of producing a high mileage gasoline powered vehicle.




    The Passat BlueMotion concept features a direct-injected and turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder engine with 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a DSG dual-clutch transmission. Other fuel saving tricks for the BlueMotion cylinder deactivation, start/stop system, and coasting function which decouples the transmission from the engine when a driver lifts off the accelerator pedal.
    One item that will be appearing on Passats very soon is the Reef Blue Metallic color that the concept wears.
    Source: Volkswagen
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    NEW VOLKSWAGEN GOLF R MAKES ITS U.S. DEBUT AT THE 2014 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    - Most powerful production Golf ever for the North American market
    - New car has an estimated 290 horsepower, but is more fuel efficient than previous Golf R
    - EA888 TSI® 2.0-liter engine propels DSG® equipped Golf R from 0 to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds
    - Car features new 4MOTION® all-wheel-drive system
    - Golf R will go on sale in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2015
    Herndon, January 8th, 2014 - The North American International Auto Show will see the U.S. debut of the latest Golf R, the most powerful version of the Golf ever to be sold in this market. With an estimated 290 horsepower, the new Golf R has 34 hp more than the previous version, which was sold as a 2013 model. Despite the additional horsepower, the new R model is expected to be considerably more fuel-efficient than its predecessor: on the European cycle, the car is gets a combined figure of 33 mpg with the six-speed manual transmission, up from 28 mpg.
    Like all three previous Golf R models, the new model transfers its turbocharged power to the road via a permanent all-wheel-drive system; in this case, the latest version of the 4MOTION® system with a fifth-generation Haldex® coupling. To ensure great chassis dynamics, there's a new sport suspension, the "progressive" variable-ratio steering system, and a stability control system ("ESC Sport") which can now be deactivated for track driving. Other highlights include the optional DCC dynamic chassis control system.
    Equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, the Golf R will reach 62 mph from rest in 5.3 seconds, an improvement of 0.4 seconds over the old car; with the six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, the car completes the sprint in just 4.9 seconds.
    The new Golf R is equipped with an extensive package of exclusive features. Along with specially designed bumpers, side skirts, and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, the Golf R can also be visually distinguished from the GTI by details such as standard Bi-Xenon headlights with newly designed LED daytime running lights (in a dual-U design) and a two-branch exhaust system with four chrome tips. Inside, the Golf R underlines its position as the flagship of the model range with sport seats with leather seating surfaces, a leather-wrapped three-spoke sport steering wheel, ambient lighting, and R-specific instrumentation. The most powerful and fuel-efficient Golf R will be launched in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2015 in four-door form only.
    High-tech turbocharged engine
    The Golf R has an even more advanced version of the EA888 four-cylinder turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® 2.0-liter engine that's fitted to the new Golf GTI. The engineers boosted power to an estimated 290 hp, delivered at 5500 rpm, thus creating one of the most powerful four-cylinder production engines in the world. Maximum torque has been increased to 280 pound-feet, available over a broad speed band from 1800 to 5500 rpm. To attain this output, the Golf R model's 1984-cc engine was subjected to a motorsports-style development program. The following components were modified or completely redesigned compared to the GTI engine: the cylinder head (together with exhaust valves, valve seats, and springs), pistons, high-pressure injection system, and turbocharger.
    The Golf R model's EA888 series engine has innovative engineering solutions such as water-cooled exhaust gas channels running through the cylinder head to the turbocharger (to help efficiently reduce full-load fuel consumption) and a dual injection system with direct and multi-port injection. Thanks to its new fully-electronic coolant control system, the Golf R TSI engine has much more efficient thermal management with a reduced warm-up phase that reduces frictional losses and fuel consumption. In addition, the TSI engine has variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust sides, as well as two-stage exhaust-valve lift. This helps enable optimal control of the charge exchange process for better performance, fuel economy, and lower emissions.
    4MOTION all-wheel-drive system
    The Golf R has always used 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive. Using refinements such as the Haldex 5 coupling, the latest-generation 4MOTION system is activated before any wheelspin occurs, helping eliminate nearly all traction losses. The system achieves this by using an advanced control function based on specific driving conditions. When operating under a relatively low load or when coasting, the front wheels are driven and the rear wheels are decoupled, helping to save fuel. However, the rear wheels can be engaged in fractions of a second whenever necessary via the Haldex coupling, which is activated by an electro-hydraulic oil pump.
    A control unit continually calculates the ideal drive torque for the rear wheels and controls how much the multi-plate clutch should be closed by activating the oil pump. The oil pressure increases the contact pressure at the clutch plates in proportion to the torque desired at the rear axle. So, the amount of pressure applied to the clutch plates can be used to continuously vary the amount of torque going between the front and rear wheels. If necessary, nearly 100 per cent of the drive torque can be directed to the rear wheels.
    In addition to the Haldex coupling that acts longitudinally, four electronic differential locks (EDS) that are a function of the electronic stability control system act laterally. The system briefly brakes a wheel that is slipping, enabling uninterrupted and stable transfer of drive power to the wheel on the opposite side.
    In addition, the Golf R is equipped with the XDS® cross differential lock at the front and rear. The latest version, known as XDS+, applies this functionality to a larger range of dynamic performance, helping make the vehicle more agile. When the car is being driven at highway speeds, brake pressure is applied to the inside wheel to help restore optimal traction as soon as the electronics detect excessively light loads. XDS+ thereby operates like a limited-slip differential and thus compensates for understeer during faster cornering.
    The new Golf R is equipped with "ESC Sport" as standard. The system is activated by a two-stage switch on the center console. When the driver presses this switch briefly, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) switches to the "ESC Sport" mode. In very fast driving on a race track, the ESC system has a higher threshold in this mode. When the ESC button is pressed for longer than three seconds, the system is fully deactivated for high-performance track driving, a feature that is available only on the Golf R.
    Chassis features
    The Golf R features a sport suspension setup that is specifically tuned to the car. Compared to the base Golf, the ride height was dropped by 0.8 inches, which makes the Golf R lower by 0.2 inches than the GTI. In the Golf R, the strut-type front suspension has a newly developed lower control arm and the multi-link rear suspension was enhanced with different tuning of the toe-link bearings.
    The engineers designed the running gear of the new Golf R for maximum driving fun combined with extraordinary stability and good long-distance comfort. Compared to the previous model, steering response was improved thanks to the new "progressive" variable ratio steering rack. In addition, maximum attainable cornering speeds were significantly increased and understeer all but eliminated.
    With progressive steering, there are 2.1 turns of the wheel (380 degrees) from lock to lock, compared with 2.75 turns (500 deg) for less powerful Golf models. The new steering operates with a progressive gear ratio, perceptibly reducing steering effort in maneuvering and parking. On country roads with lots of bends, the experience is enhanced because the steering is more direct.
    The new Golf R can be ordered with the second-generation DCC dynamic chassis control as an option. DCC offers three driving modes: 'Comfort', 'Normal', and 'Sport', which are selected and displayed via the center console touchscreen as part of the "Driving Profile Selector" functionality. In "Sport" mode, the dampers are stiffened for more agile handling.
    The DCC system adaptively controls the damper valves via a further developed and refined control algorithm. DCC takes input signals from wheel displacement sensors and accelerometers as well as vehicle information from the Chassis-CAN bus to compute these values and adaptively adjust the optimal damping force. Moreover, damping forces are selectively applied to the four wheels individually. With the new generation of DCC, it is now possible to independently vary rebound and compression damping while cornering.
    Race mode. The Driving Profile Selector has three programs in the Golf R, and four in conjunction with DCC: "Normal", "Individual", and a "Race" mode that has been specially designed for the Golf R. In combination with DCC, "Comfort" mode is also available. All modes were specifically tuned for the Golf R. In "Race" mode, which is designed for high-speed track driving, damping is increased and engine response and the shift points of the DSG transmission are configured to be even sportier. In the "Individual" driving profile, the driver can combine mode settings for various individual parameters.
    Brakes. The Golf R has the uprated brakes from the GTI Performance model. At the front, the car has 13.4-inch diameter vented discs that are 1.2 inches thick, while the rear rotors are 12.2 by 0.9 inches. The black brake calipers have the R logo on them. Up front, the brake pistons are 2.4 inches in diameter and are 1.7 inches at the back.
    Exterior
    Volkswagen R GmbH has developed numerous new exterior elements for the flagship Golf. They include the bumpers, side skirts, rear diffuser, dual chrome exhaust tips per side, the lights, and standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
    The Golf R is distinguished at the front by a new bumper design with exceptionally large air inlets, a modified radiator grille that sports an "R" logo, and newly developed daytime running lights that are integrated into the Bi-Xenon headlight housings. The LED daytime running lights form a distinctive dual "U" design beneath the headlights.
    From the side, the Golf R is characterized by newly designed 18-inch "Cadiz" aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 225/40 tires, black brake calipers with the "R" logo, body-color "R" style side skirts, "R" badges on the front fenders, and "Matte chrome" door mirror caps.
    Rear details that define the new Golf R include an "R" design diffuser, four chrome tailpipes, and an "R" logo on the trunklid.
    Interior
    As in the three previous Golf R models, Volkswagen R GmbH has extensively upgraded the interior. The most powerful Golf is equipped with sport seats in the front and leather seating surfaces that feature outer seat surfaces, inner side support panels, and head restraints upholstered in dark "Carbon" Nappa leather. Meanwhile, the center sections of the seats are trimmed in dark or light Nappa leather. Leather is also used to trim the upper and lower grip zones of the three-spoke "R" sport steering wheel, which has a chrome "R" logo on its lower cross bar.
    The decorative inlays of the dashboard and door trim panels feature the "Carbon Touch" design; ambient lighting is also integrated in the door trim panels as standard. The door sill kickplates, pedals, and foot support are designed with a stainless-steel look.
    The instruments and the touchscreen's start menu were also customized. When the ignition is switched on, the illuminated light-blue tachometer and speedometer needles sweep once across the entire scale to their end pins. The instrument needles are also automatically illuminated as soon as the driver's door is opened. The radio or navigation-system touchscreen shows an animated "R" logo on startup.
    The new-generation radio and radio/navigation systems will be available with a 5.8-inch screen on U.S. market Golf R models. The touchscreen features proximity sensors: as soon as the driver or front passenger moves a finger near to the touchscreen, the system automatically switches from display mode to input mode.
    VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT BLUEMOTION® CONCEPT MAKES GLOBAL DEBUT AT THE NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    - Estimated highway fuel economy rating of 42 mpg
    - Highly efficient powertrain uses 1.4-liter EA211 TSI® engine and DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission
    - Engine is world's first inline four cylinder with cylinder deactivation
    Chattanooga/Detroit - The Passat BlueMotion® Concept that is being presented by Volkswagen of America at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit shows just how fuel-efficient a non-hybrid, gasoline-engined mid-size sedan can be. Based on the current Passat that was developed specifically for North America, the BlueMotion label defines the version that has the best efficiency in the model lineup.
    The Passat BlueMotion Concept features an all-new version of the Volkswagen 1.4-liter EA211 TSI® engine with direct injection and turbocharging. On top, this Passat also offers Active Cylinder Management (ACT) technology, previously seen on the European Volkswagen Polo and Golf models. ACT deactivates the valvetrain on cylinders two and three for situations when the driver only applies light throttle pressure to maintain specific city speeds.
    Another Volkswagen innovation that helps save gas is the coasting function, used also on the Jetta Hybrid. As soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal, the DSG® transmission decouples the engine, allowing the Passat to roll with the lowest possible mechanical drag from the other moving components.
    Additional fuel savings come from the stop/start system, which shuts off the engine when the car comes to a temporary stop. As soon as the driver lifts their foot off the brake, the 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine starts again. All these measures result in a manufacturer estimated highway fuel economy rating of 42 mpg. The Passat BlueMotion Concept also delivers 150 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque.
    The Concept's striking Reef Blue Metallic color will be introduced on other Passat models, too. The interior of the Concept also offers two-tone seats that carry blue dividing lines between the darker and lighter leather seating surfaces. The stitching indicates this is a member of the BlueMotion family, which has been rolled out globally since 2006 on many highly fuel-efficient Volkswagen models.

    William Maley
    You might not think of Lexus playing around in the same lot as the BMW M4, Mercedes-Benz C63 Coupe, and the upcoming ATS-V. But that's what the automaker has got planned with the introduction of the new 2015 RC-F coupe at the Detroit Auto Show next week.
    The RC-F ratchets up the aggression on the exterior with a mesh insert for the comically large grille, massive intakes, new hood with vents, modified side sills and rear fascia, three different choices of nineteen-inch wheels, and a LFA-inspired active rear wing that improves traction and stability when the vehicle is traveling over 50 MPH.
    Inside is very similar to what you'll find in the standard RC. That means bucket front seats, thicker steering wheel, reconfigurable gauge cluster (with an analog gauge cluster), and a touchpad taking the place of the joystick for Lexus' Remote Touch system.
    One item Lexus is keeping quiet on is what the RC-F is packing power wise. All they will say for the time being is that a V8 engine lies under the hood. We'll likely find that out next week.
    Source: Lexus

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Lexus RC F Redefines the Daily Commute with Asphalt-Grinding Performance and Bold Head-Turning Design
    -Global Premiere of RC F Coupe at North American International Auto Show on Jan. 14
    -Aggressive Design Cues Demonstrate Performance Potential
    -Aerodynamic Wings and Scoops Illustrate Uncompromising Grit
    TORRANCE, Calif. – Jan. 8, 2014 – Giving new meaning to "back to the grind," the daily commute is now transformed in to a day at the track with the all-new Lexus RC F. The RC F coupe is styled with fins, ducts and scoops to support the most power V8 performance car ever developed by Lexus.
    Based on the spectacular all-new RC coupe that was revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show last November, the RC F has wider wheels and tires, an active rear wing, air scoops, cooling ducts and carbon fiber components, each delivering uncompromising grit to the driving experience.
    Design Exterior
    The signature Lexus spindle grille, featuring a single F-pattern, dominates the front of the RC F from the bottom of the hood to the lower lip. The hood is higher than that of the RC to accommodate the larger V8 engine and create the powerful flared profile suited to an F model. Ducts beneath the front bumper, fenders, and strategically-placed aerodynamic stabilizing fins create a stance which further identifies the F model.
    Air outlets at the rear of the front fender form the shape of an L when they merge with side sill extensions, while stacked trapezoidal quad-outlet tailpipes at the rear add further aggression. Taking design cues from the Lexus LFA supercar, the RC F features a speed-sensitive active rear spoiler. It enhances the coupe's lines at standstill and deploys from the RC F's deck at approximately 50 mph and retracts when the speed is less than 25 mph. The wing helps the RC F maintain traction and stability at higher speeds.
    Three variations of 10-spoke 19-inch forged aluminum wheels are available, including two machine polished designs and one design hand polished by a craftsman.
    Design Interior
    The striking cockpit-like interior of Lexus RC F complements the aggressive exterior. Unique components include the meters, steering wheel, seats, ornamentation and pedals. The instrument panel is dominated by a central meter which changes according to the four selectable driving modes. The information, color of the display and size of text can be changed.
    Occupant comfort is all important. RC F debuts a Lexus-first elliptical cross-section thickgrip steering wheel with optimum placement of paddle gear shifts. All-new high back seats with an embossed F on the headrests offer the driver and passenger an exceptional performance fit. The seats are available in a selection of five leather trims, each with contrasting stitching. Outstanding new L-shaped rubber slits in the brake and accelerator pedals combine form and function.

    William Maley
    After having an early reveal yesterday, Volvo decided to spill the beans on the new XC Coupe Concept that will debut at the Detroit Auto Show next week.
    The XC Coupe Concept is the second of three concepts that previews the direction of Volvo's design language. Based on Volvo's Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), the concept gives a possible sneak peek into the next-generation XC90. The front end is similar to the Concept Shown last year with a large grille and T-Shaped headlights. The concept also feature orange details, matte rubber moldings on the back end, twenty-one inch wheels, and a set of roof rails with a handy roof-mounted cargo box.
    We don't know what the interior looks like or what's under the hood. Maybe we'll have the answer to those questions next week.
    Source: Volvo

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    THE VOLVO CONCEPT XC COUPÉ: SOPHISTICATED CAPABILITY AND CONTEMPORARY SAFETY, INSPIRED BY MODERN SPORTS EQUIPMENT
    The second of Volvo's three concept cars is the new Volvo Concept XC Coupé. Inspired by the design of modern sports equipment and demonstrating the safety capabilities of Volvo's new Scalable Product Architecture, it is a sophisticated and capable car for people with an active lifestyle.
    "Those who love extreme sports freely seek new thrills and challenges. To ensure that they make it back in one piece, they prefer high-performance equipment that offers the ultimate sense of freedom and protection," says Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design of Volvo Car Group.
    "The Volvo Concept XC Coupé is perfectly in tune with this active lifestyle. Its capability and protection is cleverly integrated into the sophisticated looks. Concept XC Coupé is ready and willing to bring you into the adventure zone and back," he adds.
    Sleeker and safer at the same time
    The three concept cars are designed to demonstrate vital elements of the company's new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA): the confident stance, the proportions and the most prominent design signatures.
    "Concept XC Coupé also shows how clever engineering makes it possible for us to reinforce our world-leading safety without compromising design, size or weight. Thanks to the extensive use of high-strength boron steel and structures with new, ingenious decoupling, we can make SPA cars more compact and safer at the same time," says Thomas Ingenlath.
    The two-door, four-seater Volvo Concept XC Coupé has a strong connection with its sibling, the Volvo Concept Coupé. However, the larger 21-inch wheels, the more accentuated wheel-arches and the taller roofline all contribute to a more robust impression and a fuller, capable look.
    The extended distance between the dashboard and the front axle is still a very powerful visual element. The capable stance is emphasised by details such as the new bonnet and a beltline that spans an elegant bow along the length of the car.
    High-tech sport gear
    The connection with modern, high-tech sports gear is highly present in the concept car. Among the sources of inspiration for the design team is the Swedish company POC, which develops high-tech protective gear for extreme sports athletes.
    "Several orange details and exterior graphics in combination with bold use of matte rubber mouldings, which cover the rear end of the car, add to the highly functional expression of the design," says Thomas Ingenlath.
    To strike the right balance between aesthetics and functionality, the design team has also given traditional SUV elements, such as side mouldings and skid plates, a modern interpretation. They are more integrated into the sleek design, flush with the surrounding body areas.
    T-shaped DRL lights
    Just like the Volvo Concept Coupé, the face of the Volvo Concept XC Coupé is characterised by a new topography on the bonnet and the 'floating' grille, flanked by headlights featuring new T-shaped DRL light guides. The rear light signature is also a distinctive element in the new design direction of Volvo Cars.
    "Both concept cars show how we can shape our cars from now on. We add emotional value to the Volvo brand with the calm, confident beauty that is the hallmark of Scandinavian design," says Thomas Ingenlath.
    Building on a proud XC heritage
    Volvo Cars paved the way for a completely new segment by introducing the V70 Cross Country in 1997. The range has been continuously developed and extended since then. Presently, it spans from the Volvo V40 Cross Country, via the XC60 and XC70, to the XC90.
    "With the Volvo Concept XC Coupé, we take this unique blend of capable ruggedness and expressive elegance up to a new, sportier attitude," says Thomas Ingenlath.

    William Maley

    Mercedes releases pictures of the of production GLA45 AMG just before the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

    Almost two months after Mercedes-Benz showed off the Concept GLA45 AMG at the 2013 Los Angeles auto show, the German luxury automaker has revealed the production GLA45 AMG before its official debut at Detroit.
    If you're having a bit of of déjà vu, you're not the only one. The concept and production GLA45 AMG are essentially the same in their design. On the outsider, there is a unique front fascia with a twin-blade grille, a choice of three different wheel options, and a rear-diffuser with dual exhausts. The inside is similar to the CLA45 AMG with new seats, a floating screen for the infotainment system, and other tweaks to make it feel like an AMG product.
    Under the hood, there is a turbocharged, 2.0L four-cylinder engine with 355 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel help get all of that power to the wheels. The German automaker quotes a 0-60 MPH time of 4.8 seconds - just three-tenths slower than the CLA45 AMG.
    The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG goes on sale in the U.S. this fall.

    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    The new Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG
    Compact SUV with Driving Performance

    Mercedes-AMG rigorously continues its product initiative: with the new GLA45 AMG the performance brand of Mercedes-Benz makes a dynamic statement in the strongly growing segment of compact SUVs. The combination of powerful-distinctive design, exclusive appointments as well as superior engine power and driving performance is unique: the most powerful series-production four-cylinder engine in the world puts 355 hp of power and 332 lb-ft of torque on the road.
    The GLA45 AMG also holds pole position with regard to driving dynamics: it accelerates from zero to 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited). Thanks to the combination of standard performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC four wheel drive and AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission, the GLA45 AMG impresses with its equally sporty and efficient drive system concept.
    Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Management Board at Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "The response to the Concept GLA45 AMG during the world premiere at the Los Angeles International Auto Show has reaffirmed our decision to launch this new AMG model. Currently no segment is growing faster than that of compact SUVs. For Mercedes-AMG it is therefore logical to make a dynamic statement in this segment with the GLA45 AMG. Our new high-performance-SUV not only offers the world's most powerful series-production four-cylinder engine, but also impressively low fuel consumption and emissions figures. Not least on account of the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC four wheel drive, the GLA45 AMG is a true AMG when it comes to driving dynamics."
    Young target group: styling, dynamics and independence
    In addition to the CLA45 AMG, the GLA45 AMG is the second vehicle with a four-cylinder turbo engine to appeal to a young target group. Customers take a great interest in styling, dynamics and independence – traits that are perfectly embodied in the new high-performance SUV from Affalterbach. Meeting a wide variety of customer desires has always been one of the strengths of Mercedes-AMG. The GLA45 AMG now expands the extensive high-performance SUV lineup to four models in the U.S. (GLA45 AMG, ML63 AMG, GL63 AMG, and G63 AMG). Mercedes-AMG thus offers the widest range of SUVs among all high-performance premium brands.
    Hallmark AMG features: the world's most powerful series-produced four-cylinder engine
    Best in class: the GLA45 AMG engine fully lives up to this claim, as a look at the figures shows. The AMG 2.0-liter turbo engine is the most powerful series production four-cylinder turbo engine in the world. It produces 355 hp of power and develops a peak torque of 332 lb-ft. A power output of 178 hp puts the AMG high-performance turbo engine on a par with the world's most powerful super sports cars.
    Development of the high-performance turbo engine placed emphasis on a sustainable reduction in particulate emissions. The AMG 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine features spray-guided direct petrol injection with piezo injectors positioned centrally in the four combustion chambers and an injection pressure of 200 bar. The combination of multiple fuel injection and multiple spark ignition improves fuel economy and significantly increases the thermodynamic efficiency, leading to low exhaust emissions. The injection system's outstanding flexibility also ensures a high degree of freedom in terms of application. There are up to five injections per combustion cycle in the coldstart and warm-up phase, which is so crucial for emissions. One of the key factors for in-engine particulate reduction is a reduction of the individual injection quantities.
    Further highlights of the AMG 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine:
    Gravity-die sand-cast all-aluminum crankcase
    Weight-optimized crank mechanism with forged steel crankshaft
    Forged pistons with friction-optimized piston rings
    NANOSLIDE cylinder liner technology
    Air-to-water intercooling system
    Alternator management
    ECO start/stop function

    Twin-scroll turbocharger and AMG sports exhaust system with variable vane
    Mercedes-AMG addresses the basic challenge with regard to the throttle response of a small-capacity turbo engine by using a twin-scroll turbocharger, maximum de-throttling of the exhaust system and an innovative injection strategy. Twin-scroll technology provides a more spontaneous build-up of charge pressure: utilization of the exhaust back-pressure, exhaust-gas temperature and exhaust-gas pulse has a positive impact. This results in a faster build-up of torque even at low engine speeds. A positive side-effect: fuel consumption and exhaust emissions also benefit from twin-scroll technology. With a maximum charge pressure of 26psi, the AMG 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine leads the field on this front, too.
    The AMG sports exhaust system in the GLA45 AMG features large pipe cross-sections and an automatically controlled viarable vane: this technology reconciles the two conflicting goals of a dynamic driving experience and hallmark Mercedes suitability for long-distance driving. The vane in the rear muffler is continuously adjusted under map control according to the driver's performance needs, load condition and engine speed. The two rectangular chrome-plated twin tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system emit a fascinating exhaust note, which is particularly impressive during powerful acceleration. An AMG Performance exhaust system, also equipped with an exhaust vane, is available as an optional extra. Customers opting for this system will experience an even more appealing and distinctive engine sound.
    Engine production – a tradition of hand-built excellence
    The AMG 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine is assembled purely by hand in accordance with the traditional AMG philosophy of "one man, one engine".
    Apart from serving as an AMG hallmark confirming superlative production quality, the AMG engine badge bearing the engine fitter's signature also attests the peerless DNA of Mercedes-Benz's high-performance brand.
    AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission
    The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission in the GLA45 AMG features three distinct transmission modes, a double-declutching function dependent on the transmission mode and a RACE START function for optimum acceleration. The strengths of the dual-clutch transmission include spontaneous gear shifts without loss of tractive power, a tailor-made control strategy based on the AMG SPEEDSHIFT functions, extremely smooth gear shifts, and a high level of efficiency.
    The shift times in manual mode "M" and in sport mode "S" are similarly sporty in character to those of the SLS AMG GT super sports car. Quick and precise retardation of the ignition and suppressing injection under full load lead to even faster gear shifts in "M" and "S" modes, with a more exciting sound. The transmission control fully utilizes the benefits of direct injection technology right up to the physical limits: the quicker engine response ensures that injection is suppressed with even more precision. The effect: the shift speed and an emotional sound experience make for a fascinating ride. Another special feature designed to enhance dynamic performance and driving pleasure is the so-called "Momentary M mode" – as seen in the SLS AMG Coupé Black Series super sports car.
    In "C" mode (Controlled Efficiency), smooth transmission and engine characteristics support a fuel-efficient and comfort-oriented driving style. In addition, the ECO start/stop function is active in "C" mode.
    Performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC four wheel drive as standard
    The GLA45 AMG comes with variable AMG 4MATIC four wheel drive as standard. In developing this four wheel-drive system, the focus was firmly on performance and dynamic spirit. The all-wheel-drive system transfers the engine power to the road optimally and provides perfect traction – regardless of the weather conditions. It also elevates driving dynamics to the highest level.
    The entire drive system boasts a weight-saving and compact design: the power take-off unit (PTU) is fully integrated into the 7-speed sports transmission and handles the power transfer to the rear drivetrain. A two-part propeller shaft sends the power of the engine to the rear axle as well. In the interests of favorable weight distribution, an electro-hydraulically controlled multiple-disc clutch is integral with the rear-axle differential. A hydraulic pump instantaneously presses the discs together and channels the engine torque to the rear wheels as necessary. All this goes unnoticed by the driver. Power distribution is fully variable: during normal driving the GLA45 AMG uses frontwheel drive for optimal efficiency. Where needed, the variable four-wheel-drive system splits the torque between the front and rear axles at a ratio of up to 50:50 percent.
    Typically for AMG, the Electronic Stability Program is configured as a three-stage ESP®. The GLA45 AMG comes with three transmission modes: "ESP ON", "SPORT Handling Mode" and "ESP OFF" – enabling the driver to vary dynamic performance according to individual requirements at the push of a button.
    ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist is likewise included as standard. During dynamic cornering, imperceptible braking interventions on the rear inside wheel create a defined yaw moment about the vertical axis. The effect: the GLA45 AMG turns in precisely and controllably at all times while unwelcome understeer is prevented.
    AMG sports suspension and AMG high-performance braking system
    One of the keys to agile handling is axle technology: for enhanced driving dynamics, the McPherson front axle on the GLA45 AMG is fitted with stiffer steering knuckles and new elastokinematics. The four-link rear axle has also been newly developed. Stability and precision of handling are enhanced by the optimized elastokinematics and the rigid connection between the subframe and the body. The AMG sports suspension with specially tuned spring/damper units and bigger anti-roll bars ensures high lateral acceleration and reduced body roll when driving fast on winding roads. An AMG performance suspension with firmer spring and damper tuning is available as an optional extra.
    The AMG speed-sensitive sports steering with specific, speed-dependent power assist ensures high steering precision and agility. The AMG high-performance braking system with vented, perforated brake discs all-round and gray-painted brake calipers delivers spontaneous and reliable deceleration. Red brake calipers are available as an optional extra.
    Three attractive AMG alloy wheels to choose from
    In standard specification the GLA45 AMG runs on 5-twin-spoke AMG alloy wheels painted titanium gray with high-sheen finish, mounted with tires of size 235/45 R 19. As an optional extra from the AMG Performance Studio, customers can opt for larger 10-spoke AMG alloy wheels with tires of size 235/40 R 20 – these are available painted titanium gray with high-sheen finish or painted matte black with high-sheen rim flange.
    Powerful and distinctive: sensual clarity with AMG character
    The design of the GLA45 AMG exudes fascination on account of its powerful and distinctive character. As the powerful AMG top-of-the-line model of the GLA class, the high-performance SUV combines the hallmark sensual clarity of Mercedes-Benz as an expression of modern luxury with muscular elements exclusive to AMG. The AMG front fascia with front splitter and the AMG "twin blade" radiator grille provide athletic highlights – both are painted matte titanium gray. Completely new: the distinctive AMG lettering at the side between the louvers of the radiator grille. This will make all new AMG models easy to recognize in the future. Black flics (air deflector elements) above the large cooling air intakes at the sides pay homage to motor sport. Bi-xenon headlights come as standard.
    When viewed from the side, the distinctive AMG alloy wheels in three design options certainly catch the eye. The side sill panels with matte titanium gray inserts, the "TURBO AMG" lettering on the front fenders and the aluminum roof rails lend the GLA45 AMG a special touch. The rear end is dominated by the diffuser insert with titanium gray trim and the rectangular, chrome-plated trim of the twin tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap.
    The following AMG equipment features can optionally upgrade the exterior design:
    Aerodynamics package: larger front splitter, additional flics on the front fascia, rear spoiler, Night package
    Carbon-fiber exterior mirror housings
    Exterior Carbon-Fiber package: carbon-fiber front splitter, side sill panel insert and rear fascia trim, with twin blade of the radiator grille in silver chrome
    Rear spoiler
    Night package: black anodized waistline trim strip, silver chrome radiator grille louvers; high-gloss black front splitter, exterior mirrors, side sill panel insert and rear fascia trim, two tailpipes with black rectangular trim
    Red painted brake calipers with black AMG lettering

    Interior design: high-quality, sporty, exclusive
    As in all AMG high-performance automobiles, the interior of the GLA45 AMG delights with its high-quality appeal combined with sporty flair and exclusive equipment features. These include sports seats upholstered with MB-Tex manmade leather/DINAMICA microfiber with red contrasting topstitching and red designo safety belts as well as the AMG DRIVE UNIT. The 3-spoke nappa leather multifunction sports steering wheel with red contrasting topstitching, perforated leather in the grip area and steering-wheel shift paddles ensures perfect vehicle control. The AMG instrument cluster with 2-tube design and central color display, AMG main menu and RACETIMER is on hand to keep the driver up to date. On opening the door, the driver is greeted by the AMG startup screen. The trim of the instrument panel is made from brushed aluminum and, in tandem with the brushed stainless-steel AMG front door sills, emphasizes the high-grade, exclusive ambiance inside the GLA45 AMG.
    The interior can be upgraded with the following AMG optional extras:
    Performance steering wheel in black nappa leather/Alcantara®
    Performance seats upholstered in leather or MB-Tex man-made leather/DINAMICA microfiber for driver and front passenger, with more strongly contoured seat shape for enhanced lateral support and with integral head restraints, red designo safety belts
    Carbon-fiber trim
    Leather upholstry in black, crystal gray, nut brown or black 'Red Cut' design

    Expressive and exclusive: the GLA45 AMG "Edition 1"
    The GLA45 AMG "Edition 1" is a special option. The expressive arrangement of exclusive exterior and interior details arouses pure fascination. The high-gloss black Aerodynamics package with larger front splitter, additional flics in the front fascia, and rear airfoil creates an uncompromising racetrack feel. The silver gray/red AMG racing stripes on the vehicle sides below the "dropping line" leave a lasting impression. These are complemented by red highlights on radiator grille, exterior mirrors, diffuser insert and rear airfoil. A perfect match to these are the red painted brake calipers and multi-spoke AMG alloy wheels painted matte black with red rim flanges. The alloy wheels feature special
    AMG wheel hub covers with central-lock look, and are mounted with tires of size 235/40 R 20 all-round. The AMG Night package is also part of the standard equipment, as is the "Edition 1" badge on the front fender. The metallic paints cosmos black, polar silver and mountain gray are available as an alternative to the cirrus white exterior paintwork.
    The interior of the GLA45 AMG "Edition 1" is dominated by the colors black and red. Red contrasting topstitching adorns the AMG Performance seats upholstered in MB-Tex man-made leather/DINAMICA microfiber, the door center panels, the upper section of the MB-Tex man-made leather/DINAMICA microfiber instrument panel and the nappa leather/DINAMICA microfiber AMG Performance steering wheel. Other visual highlights are the E-SELECT lever with embossed AMG emblem and the "Edition 1" badge on the AMG DRIVE UNIT. The exclusive trim on the instrument panel perfectly matches the AMG racing stripes on the sides of the vehicle. The high-quality surface has a convincing look and feel: shiny and matte elements create an exciting interplay.
    The new Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG will celebrate its world premiere on January 13, 2014 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, USA. The vehicle will roll into dealerships in the fall of 2014.

    William Maley

    Kia reveals a sportier side with the GT4 Stinger Concept.

    We're just a couple weeks away from the Detroit Auto Show and Kia has given us a glimpse of what they'll be showing. Meet the the GT4 Stinger Concept, a 2+2 sports car.
    From what we can tell from this teaser shot, the concept will feature the automaker's signature grill and a set of vertical LED headlamps along either side. There is also a cooling vents for the brakes and carbon fiber front splitter.
    More intriguing is what's under the hood - a turbocharged 2.0L (we're thinking four-cylinder) that makes 315 horsepower and sends it to the rear wheels.
    We'll have more information on the GT4 Stinger when it debuts at the Detroit Auto Show on January 13th.
    Source: Kia
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Behold, the Kia GT4 Stinger...
    Kia faithful will immediately notice the latest iteration of the signature grille resting mere inches from the ground. The surround glows white and is flanked by vertical LED headlamps. Front-brake cooling vents funnel air around custom 20-inch wheels. A carbon fiber front splitter mounted below the bumper provides added downforce for the car and keeps the GT4 Stinger's front tires firmly planted to the tarmac.
    Under the hood you ask? A turbocharged 2.0-liter that pumps 315 horsepower to the rear wheels.
    More to come. Stay tuned.

    William Maley
    Honda is the latest automaker to announce their showings for next month's Detroit Auto Show. The company will be showing off the next Fit while Acura will be revealing a prototype of the new TLX, a model that will take the place of the TL and TSX.
    First up is the 2015 Honda Fit. Honda says the new model will retain the same innovative floorplan that allows for a huge cargo area while featuring a new set of technologies. Under the skin will be the brand's EarthDreams powertrain technologies and Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure.
    Honda also revealed that the 2015 Fit will be made at a brand-new factory in Celaya, Mexico for the North American market.
    Meanwhile at Acura, they'll show off a prototype of the upcoming TLX sedan. The TLX is the next step in the automaker's plan to create a three-level sedan lineup, with the ILX as the base and the RLX as the flagship. The TLX will take the place of two Acura sedans, the TSX and TL.
    "This all-new Acura TLX is the perfect blend of style and muscle with its elegant, well-proportioned exterior that cloaks the true sport sedan chassis and powertrain beneath. The sporty characteristics that customers found appealing in the TSX are even more pronounced in this aggressive new TLX," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of American Honda Motor, Co., Inc.
    The TLX will have two different engines and drivetrain choices. Production of the TLX will begin in the second half of the year.
    Source: Honda, Acura
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Releases are on Page 2
    Honda to Debut All-New 2015 Fit at North American International Auto Show
    Big news in the New Year for the subcompact-car segment with the introduction of a from-the ground-up more advanced, refined and fun-to-drive Honda Fit
    TORRANCE, Calif. – Dec. 19, 2013 – Honda will take the wraps off the all-new 2015 Fit at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 13. Honda will showcase significant advancements designed to further extend Fit's status as the benchmark vehicle in the subcompact-car class.
    The 2015 Fit builds on the current model's innovative packaging, flexible cargo capability and fun-to-drive character with spirited new styling, an even more spacious and refined interior packed with leading-edge connected car technologies. The third generation Fit is set to offer enhanced fuel-efficiency and performance courtesy of its all-new platform and Earth Dreams Technology powertrain. Equipped with the Honda-exclusive next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, the new Fit is also anticipated to earn class-leading safety ratings.
    John Mendel, executive vice president of automobile sales for American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will introduce the 2015 Fit at the company's press conference, which also will be broadcast live via webcast at http://hondanews.com/live/2014naias-honda (link will be live Jan. 13).
    Named a Car and Driver '10-Best' vehicle every model year since its introduction to the U.S. market for 2007, the Fit remains one of the best-selling Honda vehicles globally, with cumulative worldwide sales of 4.87 million units1. The Fit is manufactured at ten locations around the world and sold in 123 countries. The new U.S.-market Fit will be produced for the first time in North America at an all-new plant in in Celaya, Mexico.
    2015 Acura TLX Prototype to Debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show
    - Newly-named TLX will feature more dynamic and sporty proportions, two new advanced powertrains and a host of signature Acura technologies
    - TSX to be discontinued as Acura creates clear hierarchy for luxury sedan lineup
    TORRANCE, CA., Dec. 19, 2013 – Acura today announced that the 2015 Acura TLX Prototype performance luxury sedan will debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. The TLX will mark the debut of a new name for Acura's mid-size modern luxury sedan entry, replacing the outgoing TL model. The all-new model will feature more emotional styling with tidier, sports sedan proportions wrapped around two all-new advanced powertrains that provide even more athletic performance, along with a host of signature Acura technologies. The 2015 TLX Prototype is designed to appeal to current and next-generation luxury sports sedan buyers including existing TL and TSX customers.
    In conjunction with the launch of the production TLX in the second half of next year, Acura will discontinue sales of the TSX model in 2014, as it moves to clarify its sedan lineup with a clear hierarchy of three distinct models – the entry luxury ILX, mid-size TLX sports sedan, and flagship RLX performance sedan.
    "This all-new Acura TLX is the perfect blend of style and muscle with its elegant, well-proportioned exterior that cloaks the true sport sedan chassis and powertrain beneath," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president, American Honda Motor, Co., Inc. "The sporty characteristics that customers found appealing in the TSX are even more pronounced in this aggressive new TLX."
    The all-new Acura TLX will offer luxury buyers a wider range of choices with two all-new, high-performance and highly fuel-efficient direct-injected engines, each mated to an all-new advanced transmission, along with available two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations. The TLX will also feature dynamic and emotional exterior styling wrapped around a mid-size luxury sports-sedan package that maintains the roomy cabin space of the current TL.
    The TLX Prototype was designed in Acura's Los Angeles Design Studio and the production model is being developed by Acura engineers at the company's Ohio R&D center. It will be produced at the Marysville, Ohio auto plant1, home to the current Acura TL.
    Speaking at the Acura press conference at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 14, 2014 will be Mike Accavitti, senior vice president, American Honda Motor, Co., Inc.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    December 18, 2013
    MINI has revealed the preliminary details about the John Cooper Works Concept that will debut next month at the Detroit Auto Show.
    Based on the new Cooper, the John Cooper Works Concept adds an assortment of design and aerodynamic tweaks to make it stand out. On the aerodynamic front, the JCW Concept has a set of enlarged air intakes taking the place of the fog lights, tweaks the front bumper to help channel air, side skirts, diffuser element, and a roof spoiler.
    For the design, the JCW Concept is finished in what MINI calls Bright Highways Gray with Red accents, LED headlights, eighteen-inch alloy wheels, and twin tailpipes.
    MINI is keeping quiet on the engine and how much power it makes.
    Source: MINI

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Setting its sights on pole position: The MINI John Cooper Works Concept. World premiere at the North American International Auto Show 2014 in Detroit.
    17.12.2013
    Munich. Hallmark MINI style and technology lifted straight from the race track come together to mould the inimitable character of a John Cooper Works model, rendering the MINI sub-brand a byword for irresistible go-kart feeling and genuine everyday usability. And now a new contender for pole position has emerged to take this successful concept to the next stage and bring the promise of maximum driving fun to the small car segment. The MINI John Cooper Works Concept offers a look ahead to the next generation of the elite sports model. The study car will be presented for the first time at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2014 and flies the flag for innovative sportiness in time-honoured John Cooper Works style, with features including exclusive body paintwork in Bright Highways Grey, familiar MINI red colour accents, bespoke aerodynamic features and 18-inch John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels in a newly developed design.
    The thrillingly sporty driving experience on board a John Cooper Works model is the result of an overall concept developed on the back of the brand's many years of motor sport experience. The precise interplay of the ultra-high-performance powertrain and chassis technology with the car's aerodynamically optimised exterior features ensures that the agile and surefooted handling we have come to know as the MINI go-kart feeling shines brightly in extremely sporty driving situations as well. The result is hardcore driving fun, taken into a new dimension by the MINI John Cooper Works Concept.
    Perfect basis and extensive racing expertise deliver a new dimension in extreme driving fun.
    The John Cooper Works Concept is based on the latest-generation MINI. Its origins are clearly recognisable in the longer wheelbase and wider track over the outgoing model, which has a direct effect on the car's driving characteristics. The model variants of the new MINI available from launch have already shown themselves to be more powerful, punchy and agile than their predecessors. Weight savings and improved aerodynamic properties have also contributed significantly to the new car's driving talents – and these developments likewise have a positive influence on the MINI John Cooper Works Concept.
    Large air intakes – filling the space reserved for fog lights in the series-produced MINI models – and precisely formed air-channelling elements mark out the front apron of the MINI John Cooper Works Concept, which also features LED headlights and a black surround for the front grille. The model-specific John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit also comprises specially contoured side skirts and a rear apron with flaps and a diffuser element. The study car further features a roof spoiler and additional body components designed to channel air efficiently around the C-pillars for optimised aerodynamic balance at high speeds.
    Exclusive body paintwork, familiar contrast colour.
    The Bright Highways Grey exterior paint shade owes its expressive character to a special manufacturing process. The hand-polished surface layer is finished with a clear coat and the resulting lustrous sheen of the paintwork further accentuates the eye-catching structures of its pigment layer. Exuding purity and solidity, this paint finish is complemented by John Cooper Works hallmarks such as contrasting red for the roof, roof spoiler and exterior mirror caps. Also included are Sport Stripes – in Chili Red for the bonnet and boot lid, and in white for the roof. Additional red accents adorn the rim wells of the John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels, the callipers of the sports brakes, the side indicator surrounds and the contour lines of the front and rear apron. A red accent line also lends particular emphasis to the John Cooper Works logo on the radiator grille.
    A further nod to the concept car's impressive sporting focus can be found in the centre of the rear apron. The MINI John Cooper Works Concept is fitted with a sports exhaust system including John Cooper Works silencer system, and the striking twin tailpipes with chrome finish also carry the John Cooper Works logo. With the new elite sports model destined to benefit from further development, these features suggest its enticingly sporting aura will not be restricted to visual features: an unmistakable engine soundtrack promises to share centre stage.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    December 17, 2013
    Mercedes-Benz has pulled the curtain back on the 2015 C-Class that will debut at the Detroit Auto Show next month. Once deemed the baby Benz, this new model will be moving up as the new CLA-Class takes that place.
    The new C-Class' styling mimics the new S-Class with longer hood, shorter overhangs, and heavily sculpted lines. Similar to the E-Class, the C-Class will be offered in Luxury and Sport versions that features different front ends. Size-wise, the 2015 C-Class is 3.7 inches longer and 1.6 inches wider when compared to the outgoing model.
    Moving inside is where the C-Class sees some drastic changes. Influence from the CLA and S-Class is very evident in the C-Class with a tablet-like screen available in two sizes, flowing centerstack, and circular air vents. Mercedes has put in a new touchpad to control the German automaker's Command infotainment system. The touchpad allows a driver to input letters, numbers, and symbols by drawing on the pad.
    Powering the C-Class is either a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 235 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque (C300) and a 3.0L turbocharged direct-injection V6 with 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque (C400). Both engines come paired with a seven-speed automatic and Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system.
    Under the skin, Mercedes-Benz swaps the strut setup used on the front suspension on the last C-Class for a new multi-link setup. Optional is Mercedes' Airmatic adaptive suspension.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class
    C-Class at its best
    Stuttgart – The all-new C-Class heralds a new chapter in the Mercedes- Benz success story and sets new standards in the premium mid-range class. Thanks to an intelligent lightweight design concept boasting weight savings of up to 220 lbs, excellent aerodynamics and new, economical engines, the C-Class establishes new benchmarks in its class. A host of new assistance systems offer safety of the highest standard, while a new suspension, optionally air-sprung, provides for exemplary ride and driving comfort as well as nimble and agile handling. In terms of appearance the new C-Class adopts a progressive approach with its clear yet emotional design and its high-class interior. Many other innovations and interior touches underscore the sedan's luxurious comfort and refined sportiness. In all, the perceived quality of the new C-Class feels like an "upgrade to a higher class of travel."
    The C-Class is the top-selling model series from Mercedes-Benz. Sales of the preceding model, which was launched in 2007, total over 2.4 million. The new C-Class offers sensuous and clear design and a host of technical innovations as well as a comprehensive scope of standard equipment and exemplary emission and fuel consumption values. The U.S. market launches with two C-Class models: C300 4MATIC with a 2.0L turbocharged direct-injection in-line fourcylinder engine with preliminary power figures of 235 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque and a C400 4MATIC with a 3.0L turbocharged direct-injection V6 at 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque.
    "Mercedes at its best - that's the new C-Class, which sets new standards for the mid-range segment on many fronts," says Prof. Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Development. "It is characterised by an emotional yet clear design which is continued in the high-quality and modern interior. Its efficient and high-performance engineering provides the basis for a high standard of driving enjoyment."
    Ola Källenius, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars, adds: "The new C-Class embodies Mercedes-Benz's claim 'The best or nothing' in uncompromising style. This is immediately apparent when encountering our new Saloon for the first time, as it creates the impression that one is sitting in a higher class of automobile. I am sure that our customers will be delighted by the high-class appeal and agility of the new C-Class."
    The C-Class has grown to take account of people's increasing average height. With a 3 inch increase in the wheelbase (112 inches) compared with the previous model, the vehicle is 3.7 inches longer (184 inches) and 1.6 inches wider (71 inches). The resultant additional space benefits first and foremost the rear passengers, who now travel in even greater comfort. The new C-Class also increases its trunk capacity to 17 cubic feet.
    Sensuous clarity and purist forms
    On a visual level, the new C-Class represents a bold departure from its predecessor. Its striking, dynamic design exudes sensuous clarity and arouses emotions. Nature was a source of inspiration for the new sedan's aesthetically sensuous lines and surfaces, whose harmony and dynamism create an immediate effect. The designers have created minimalist, purist forms for the C-Class which emphasize its intelligent technology and engineering. The clearly defined surfaces deliberately display a degree of tension, lending them a muscular and sensuous character. Precise lines and sculptural surfaces create lively light and shade effects.
    As Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG, notes: "The new C-Class showcases automotive passion by way of a contemporary design idiom. Progressive and emotional highlights underscore the ground-breaking design style of the new C-Class and demonstrate sensual clarity. The new C-Class interprets modern luxury on a new level."
    In the side view a long hood, a passenger compartment set well back and short overhangs define the C-Class's classic, well-balanced sedan proportions. Large wheels emphasize the rear and communicate a stylishly sporty character. There is a choice of two different faces: sporty with centrally positioned star or the classic sedan radiator grille featuring the Mercedes star on the hood. The fins of the radiator grille can be closed completely to optimize the vehicle's Cd value, highlighting the status of this cultivated sedan in duly self-assured style. The new C-Class comes with H7 halogen headlamps as standard. In addition to the standard-fit headlamps, two energy-saving LED variants are available: a static system and a dynamic version with "LED Intelligent Light System." The characteristic night design lends the new C-Class its very own distinctive look in the dark, too. The rear lamp and brake light in the tail lights feature LED technology in all headlamp versions.
    High-class interior with fine details
    The Mercedes-Benz designers have styled the interior on a level which is rarely encountered even in higher vehicle categories. This applies to the carefully chosen high-class materials and their pleasant touch and feel as well as the precision of the finely crafted details. The interior also embodies a new design idiom which combines sensuousness and clarity perfectly with dynamic sportiness and contributes to the quality feel of the interior.
    The driver and front passenger enjoy plenty of space and luxury in a discreet, modern guise on board the new C-Class. This gives rise to a feel-good atmosphere which is new to this class of vehicle – settling into your seat in the C-Class is akin to the uplifting feeling of being upgraded from economy to business class on an airplane.
    The interior design demonstrates a bold new approach by Mercedes-Benz. Here the designers combine in accomplished style the architecture of Mercedes- Benz sports cars with a totally new center console featuring flowing lines. A large one-piece center console panel performs an elegant sweep from the center air vents to the armrest. These seamless clear-cut lines create a sense of open space and convey a thrillingly purist and modern feel. A centrally positioned free-standing central display is the main eye-catching feature across the center console – with a screen diagonal of 7 inches or 8.4 inches if Multimedia Package is selected.
    Five round air vents lend the dashboard a sporty touch. With their metallic cool-touch effect they create a fascinating, tangible contrast to the warm look of the other materials – such as the wood in the center console or the leather on the dashboard. The "upgrade" feel duly continues with the controls. All switches feature a high-quality, three-dimensional design befitting a luxury vehicle and benefit from a clear layout.
    The innovative touchpad in the handrest over the Controller on the center tunnel marks a further evolutionary step developed in-house at Mercedes-Benz. As on a smartphone, this provides for very simple and intuitive operation of all the head-unit functions using finger gestures. The touchpad also permits letters, numbers and special characters to be entered in handwriting - in any language. The user receives clear haptic feedback when operating the touchpad's control surface, which is highly conducive to genuine intuitive use. A head-up display is also new to the C-Class. Like in a jet fighter, it displays important information directly in the driver's field of vision on the front windscreen, thus providing for clear legibility and ensuring that the driver is distracted less from the road ahead. The system provides information on vehicle speed, speed limits and navigation instructions and displays messages from DISTRONIC PLUS.
    Robust yet lightweight bodyshell
    The body-in-white of the new C-Class provides an innovative basis for reduced weight, outstanding rigidity, including introduction rigidity for excellent handling, combined with optimum noise and vibration characteristics and a high level of crash safety. Thanks to intelligent and innovative lightweight construction, the aluminum hybrid body is around 154 lbs lighter than a conventional steel body. The vehicle's overall weight is even reduced by around 220 lbs. As such, the new C-Class leads the "lightweight rankings" in its segment. This spawns numerous benefits: the lightweight construction of the new C-Class cuts fuel consumption by up to 20 percent without any loss of performance, while at the same time enabling a lower center of gravity, which in turn gives rise to the vehicle's noticeably sporty and agile handling.
    Mercedes-Benz achieves this feat of lightweight construction by various measures, including a completely new structural design and the use of an unusually high proportion of aluminum for a mass-produced range. The share of aluminum has risen compared with the successful predecessor from under 10 percent to almost 50 percent.
    In keeping with Mercedes-Benz traditions, the body is designed for exemplary crash safety. As a result, the Sedan complies not only with all current national laws but also with all rating requirements, as well as meeting the more stringent internal Mercedes-Benz safety standards based on what actually happens during accidents.
    A high-strength safety passenger compartment forms the core of this concept. It is surrounded by specifically configured and field-tested deformation zones which ensure maximum safety for the occupants by virtue of optimized force paths and a combination of aluminum castings and ultra-high-strength materials. An outer skin consisting almost completely of aluminum provides a protective shell for the body.
    Leading the field in aerodynamics and quiet running
    Low drag is crucial to achieving outstanding efficiency. From a speed of just under 43 mph, aerodynamic drag exceeds the sum total of all other driving resistance factors. As such, drag constitutes a major parameter in efforts to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The wind noise level, which was already very low in the preceding generation of the C-Class, has been lowered still further.
    The engineers have also devoted painstaking attention to optimizing other potential sources of disturbance which may have an adverse effect on the driver's and passengers' well-being and concentration, even though they may not consciously notice the effects. NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) is the technical term for such nuisance factors. The specialists have optimized the noise characteristics of the interior blower, the power windows, the seat adjustment functions and many other actuation and operating noises, for example. As a result, the new C-Class occupies a benchmark position in its segment.
    Optimized drive train
    Smooth automatic gear shifting is provided by the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission, which has undergone further development at Mercedes-Benz in the interests of enhanced environment-friendliness and driving pleasure.
    The 4MATIC permanent all-wheel-drive system serves to improve traction and driving stability in the C-Class, too, while additionally underscoring the vehicle's refined sportiness.
    Suspension – sporty yet comfortable
    The suspension on the new C-Class is a totally new development. It provides for nimble and agile handling that makes driving a great pleasure on winding roads while also offering the highest standard of ride comfort in the segment. A newly designed 4-link front axle plays a major part in the agile handling characteristics. Thanks to the 4-link principle, the front independent suspension is fully decoupled from the spring strut. The resultant favorable axle kinematics allow more grip and higher lateral stability. As a result, the suspension responds more sensitively to steering movements and allows a sporty, agile driving style. An optimized multi-link independent rear suspension with 5-link concept ensures unsurpassed wheel location qualities and supreme straightline stability.
    The new C-Class Sedan is fitted as standard with a steel suspension. Two suspensions with selective damping systems are available:
    - a comfortable yet sporty base suspension
    - a sports suspension lowered by .6 inches as part of the optional Sport Package
    First air suspension in this category
    Alternatively, the new C-Class is the first vehicle in its segment that can be fitted with an air suspension (AIRMATIC) on the front and rear axles. Thanks to electronically controlled, continuous variable damping at the front and rear, it offers outstanding road roar and tire vibration characteristics even with the vehicle loaded. The driver can use the AGILITY SELECT switch to choose between the various characteristics: "Comfort", "ECO", "Sport" and "Sport+." The additional "Individual" option enables drivers to configure their vehicle according to their own wishes. AIRMATIC also features all-round self-leveling for optimum ride comfort even when the vehicle is loaded.
    The new C-Class also comes with an electric parking brake as standard. This brake is released automatically when the driver ends parking mode with the aim of moving off.
    Steering with a sporty character
    All models of the C-Class family will feature the electromechanical Direct Steer system as standard in future. This combines road-speed-dependent power assistance from the speed-sensitive power steering system with a steering ratio which varies according to the given steering angle. The power steering assistance provided by the rack and pinion steering gear is controlled on-demand, thereby contributing towards efficiency.
    Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive: The intelligent car
    It is the declared aim of Mercedes-Benz to make the highest standard of safety available to everyone. To this end, the new C-Class incorporates almost all of the new assistance systems with a host of enhanced functions which celebrated their world premiere in the S-Class and E-Class only a few months ago. The assistance systems enhance both comfort and safety. Mercedes-Benz calls this Intelligent Drive.
    The new C-Class offers numerous innovative safety and assistance systems. It is fitted as standard with ATTENTION ASSIST, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness. On motorways, the COMAND system navigation function flags up nearby break options as stopovers, providing the system has been specified in the vehicle. The ATTENTION ASSIST function offers an adjustable level of sensitivity and can inform the driver in a separate view in the instrument cluster about their level of drowsiness and how long they have been driving since their last break.
    In addition to Adaptive Brake Assist, which offers protection from collisions from speeds as low as 4 mph, standard-fit COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS also features an additional function: when a danger of collision persists and the driver fails to respond, the system is able to carry out autonomous braking at speeds of up to 124 mph, thereby reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stopping vehicles. The system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles at a speed of up to 31 mph, and is able to prevent rear-end collisions at speeds of up to 25 mph.
    New assistance systems and existing assistance systems with a host of enhanced functions from the new S-Class and E-Class are also optionally available, combining data from various sensor technologies as part of the Intelligent Drive concept to enhance comfort and safety substantially:
    - DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist is a semi-automatic traffic jam assistant which at speeds under 37 mph is able to follow the vehicle ahead even where lane markings are unclear or completely lacking, thus providing a safe and convenient means of following the flow of traffic.
    - The BAS PLUS Brake Assist System can now also detect crossing traffic and boost the braking force if the driver fails to apply the brakes sufficiently; the PRE-SAFE® Brake can detect stationary vehicles as well as pedestrians, brake automatically if the driver fails to react, thus preventing accidents up to 31 mph and mitigating the severity of collisions at speeds of up to 45 mph. In flowing traffic the PRE-SAFE® Brake provides assistance according to the same mode of operation throughout the speed range from 4 to 124 mph.
    - Enhanced Active Lane Keeping Assist can now also prevent the vehicle from unintentionally drifting out of lane when broken lane markings apply and a risk of a collision arises, e.g. as a result of vehicles overtaking at high speed, parallel traffic or even oncoming traffic, by applying the brakes on one side.
    The numerous assistance systems also include
    - Active Parking Assist, which enables automated parking with active steering and brake intervention in both parallel and end-on parking spaces,
    - a 360° camera, which is able to show the vehicle and its surroundings from various perspectives, including a virtual bird's eye view,
    - Traffic Sign Assist with Wrong-Way Alert, which warns of speed limits and alerts the driver to no-overtaking zones and no-entry signs,
    Airbags for safety
    In addition to 3-point seat belts with pyrotechnical belt tensioning and belt force limitation for the driver, the front passenger and those in the outer rear seats, numerous airbags serve to protect the vehicle's occupants in an accident. These include:
    - Pelvis bags for driver and front passenger
    - a newly developed window bag
    - side bags for the outer rear seats
    - a knee bag for the driver
    The front passenger seat is fitted as standard with automatic child seat recognition, which dispenses with the previous transponder in favor of a weight mat. This enables any child seat to be used. The airbag is automatically deactivated when a child seat is fitted and reactivated once it has been removed.
    Air conditioning: signals from space
    Mercedes-Benz has undertaken systematic further development and substantial improvement of the air conditioning system in the new C-Class. This applies in particular to the control quality, performance, efficiency and air quality. The new C-Class is also the only vehicle in the segment to offer tunnel detection via satellite navigation. It uses the map information from the navigation system and the GPS location data to close the air recirculation flap automatically when the vehicle enters a tunnel, subsequently re-opening it when the vehicle emerges from the tunnel.
    Another highlight contributing to a feel-good atmosphere is the AIR-BALANCE package with active fragrancing, air ionization and more efficient filtration than is available on the standard model.
    Vibrant infotainment
    A completely new multimedia generation offers intuitive operation in the new C-Class, featuring elaborate animations and visual effects which present all the functions in a clear and highly attractive manner. The new C-Class is also equipped with the unique Frontbass system. This avant-garde acoustic systems uses the space within the cross-member and side member in the body structure as a resonance chamber for the bass speakers to conjure up a listening experience almost on a par with a concert hall. A Burmester® surround sound system is optionally available.
    The navigation system presents its contents in interactive mode. Its features include an animated compass, a "Drive Show" with information for passengers similar to the on-screen presentations on board airplanes and Google Maps displayed on the head unit.
    In-car technology
    COMAND not only offers a larger display with a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels and a special bonded glass cover such as is familiar from consumer devices like the iPhone or iPad.
    The new C-Class will also include mbrace2 connected car technology, including the available option to have over twenty Mercedes-Benz Apps integrated into the COMAND system.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    December 12, 2013
    After someone leaked out pictures and some information concerning the next M3 and new M4, BMW decided to show its hand. Last night, the German automaker spilled the beans on the 2015 M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe.
    The two models get the usual assortment of M exterior pieces which include power bulge hood, front air dams, fender vents, and a rear diffuser. Around back, the M3 and M4 have different ideas of how to do a spoiler. The M3 has a lip spoiler, while the M4 has the spoiler integrated into the trunk lid.
    Powering the M3 and M4 is a 3.0L twin-turbo inline-six with 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. Compared to 4.0L V8 from the last-generation M3, the new 3.0L produces 11 more horsepower and 111 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual with rev-matching is standard. Optional is a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox that offers launch control and "Stability Clutch Control" which opens up the clutch to alleviate understeer.
    BMW quotes a 0-60 MPH time of 3.9 seconds for the dual-clutch and 4.1 seconds for the manual. Top speed is limited to 155 MPH.
    Weight-wise, BMW says the new M3 and M4 are considerably lighter thanks to aluminum panels and suspension components, and the use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic.
    The 2015 M3 and M4 come with a new electric power steering that has three different settings to choose from. Also, both models have the option of an adaptive suspension system which allows a driver change from comfort to track attack.
    BMW will unveil the 2015 M3 and M4 at the Detroit Auto Show next month. Sales for the two models will begin in the summer.
    Source: BMW


    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    THE ALL-NEW BMW M3 SEDAN AND BMW M4 COUPE
    Lighten Up. Power Up.
    Woodcliff Lake, NJ – December 11, 2013… BMW today announced the all-new BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe models, which capitalize on the strengths of the latest 3 Series Sedan and fresh 4 Series Coupe models as their respective foundations. As the first-ever BMW M cars to feature the achievement of an engineered-in reduction in curb weight from one generation to the next, the all-new M3 and M4 stand poised to attack corners, hills, and braking zones, and will vigorously defend BMW M’s decades-strong position as segment leader around the world.
    Featuring a return to the inline-6 engine format made famous by BMW M, the all-new, 3.0-liter BMW M3 and M4 engine is approximately 10 kilograms lighter than its V-8 predecessor and packs an even stronger punch. With 425 horsepower from 5,500 – 7,300 rpm, 406 lb-ft of torque from 1,850 – 5,500 rpm, and capable of 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds when equipped with the M-DCT transmission (4.1 seconds with standard 6-speed manual), the all-new BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe will debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and will begin sales as 2015 models in early Summer, 2014 (Editor’s notes: All specifications preliminary. Complete US-specific specs, pricing, options, and packages will be announced closer to the on-sale date).
    The launch of the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe sees BMW M GmbH revealing a new interpretation of the high-performance sports car – and carrying the BMW M philosophy over into the fifth generation of the M3. More than 40,000 examples of the fourth-generation BMW M3 Coupe were built, and now the BMW M4 Coupe is poised to continue this success story. The “M4” badge is a reference to the model series that provides the basis for the new M model – and, for the first time, the Coupe will be introduced at the same time as the four-door variant. Logic dictates the latter will be christened the BMW M3 Sedan.
    “Four generations of the BMW M3 have blended motor sport genes and uncompromised everyday usability within an emotionally rich overall concept,” explains Dr Friedrich Nitschke, President BMW M GmbH. “The BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe represent an ongoing commitment to this philosophy. The engine is the heart of every M model, and the new turbocharged six-cylinder unit fitted in the two new cars combines the virtues of a high-revving naturally aspirated unit with the strengths of turbocharger technology. A committed lightweight design concept produces a weight saving of around 80 kilograms over the outgoing M3. The BMW M3 and BMW M4 take motor sport technology from the track to the road, and thousands of laps of the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife – the world’s most exacting race track – have readied the new models for that transition. Meticulous and passion-fuelled development work has underpinned the creation of two high-performance sports cars that set new standards in terms of overall concept, precision and agility.”
    The high-revving, inline-6 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology freshly developed for the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe produces a maximum output of 425 hp. Its peak torque of406 lb-ft is available across a wide rev band and outstrips the figure recorded by the outgoing BMW M3 by roughly 40 percent. And yet the engine also achieves a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions of nearly 25 percent. Both the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe cover the sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds with the standard 6-speed manual transmission and even 3.9 seconds with the optional 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission.
    In the interests of maximizing dynamic ability and ensuring excellent efficiency, weight savings of around 80 kilograms have been achieved over a comparably equipped predecessor model. The BMW M4 Coupe, for example, has a DIN curb weight of 1,497 kilograms, thanks to the rigorous application of intelligent lightweight design measures. These include the increased use of lightweight materials such as carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and aluminum for a number of chassis and body components. Indeed, both models feature a carbon roof.
    One of the primary objectives in the development of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe was to ensure the new cars offered impressive race track capability. Hence the presence of a track-specification cooling system, which ensures that the optimum temperature balance for the engine, turbochargers and transmission is maintained at all times.
    In order to accentuate the racing character of the two models in terms of both their technical composition and the fine-tuning of the cars, the engineers worked closely with BMW Motorsport’s professional racing drivers during the development phase. For example, DTM drivers Bruno Spengler and Timo Glock took part in the extensive testing and set-up work carried out at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit.
    Low-slung and broad-set, the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe share a finely balanced stance on the road. Indeed, the M-specific design of the two high-performance sports cars underlines their performance capability. Large air intakes and Air Curtains at the front end, exposed carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and aluminum body components, and the diffuser at the muscular rear end are not merely design flourishes; they also fulfill functional roles in terms of aerodynamics, cooling and weight saving.
    Numerous aerodynamics measures integrated into all areas of the body.
    The aerodynamics concept of BMW M GmbH models has always been one of the key elements in their development. The engineers need to channel the air around the car to create the best possible platform for dynamic excellence, while also ensuring the engine, powertrain and brakes receive the requisite cooling even when operating under heavy loads on the race track.
    Details such as the powerfully formed front apron, smooth underbody and clearly defined Gurney spoiler at the rear of the M3 Sedan (or integrated spoiler lip at the rear of the BMW M4 Coupe) reduce lift by an equal degree at the front and rear axle and produce optimum handling attributes. “The way in which we channel the inflowing air through the engine oil cooler creates a Venturi effect, which reduces front axle lift and, in so doing, improves the steering,” explains Albert Biermann, Head of Development BMW M GmbH. Elements like the Air Curtain and M gills with integrated Air Breather rearwards of the front wheels minimize turbulence in the front wheel arches. Together with the aerodynamically optimized exterior mirrors in twin-stalk style, they are also highly distinctive design features of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe and help reduce drag. These examples underline in familiar fashion the success of M engineers in reconciling the requirements of everyday use with the demands of action on the race track.
    Sophisticated cooling concept for maximum performance.
    The exceptional performance potential of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe places extremely exacting demands on temperature management in the engine and peripheral assemblies. In order to ensure optimum operating temperatures in everyday use, on short journeys around town and out on the race track, the BMW M GmbH engineers have developed an extremely effective cooling system. For example, alongside the two ultra-dynamic turbocharger units, the air intake system of the six-cylinder engine also includes an indirect intercooler, maximizing charge pressure and engine output. As well as a main radiator, the track-ready cooling concept also comprises a water cooler repositioned to the side for the high- and low-temperature water circuits, and the engine and transmission oil (if the M Double Clutch Transmission is specified). These ensure a consistent temperature balance and therefore high performance on the track as well as the road. An additional electric coolant pump cools the turbocharger bearing mounts when the car is stationary.
    6-speed manual gearbox with throttle blipping.
    The engine’s power is transferred to the road via a standard six-speed manual gearbox with robust double-plate clutch. This unit is considerably more compact than its predecessor and 26.4 lbs lighter. As a means of increasing shift comfort, the manual gearbox uses innovative new carbon friction linings in its synchronizer rings. Dry sump lubrication provides an efficient supply of oil to all parts of the engine. The gearbox blips the throttle on downshifts – previously a feature reserved for the M Double Clutch Transmission. This engagement speed control function improves the smoothness of the transmission, helps to enhance stability and was originally developed by motor sport engineers.
    7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic with Launch Control.
    The third generation of the M-DCT sees the M engineers once again setting the benchmark in terms of power and race track capability without having to compromise on everyday usability. The optional 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic prompts the new high-revving turbocharged engine into emotionally impressive feats. As well as changing gear automatically, in manual mode the transmission enables ultra-fast gear changes with no interruption in the flow of power. The integrated Launch Control function ensures optimum sprinting performance off the line, producing acceleration figures that would be out of range with the manual gearbox. Stability Clutch Control opens the clutch when the car is understeering to bring it back into line. And M-DCT also includes functions like the Drivelogic modes that can be selected by the driver to give the BMW M3 and BMW M4 more comfortable, more economy-focused or even sportier characteristics. The additional seventh gear over the manual gearbox allows longer gear ratios – and delivers the efficiency gains you would expect as a result.
    The properties of the extremely light yet impressively durable material CFRP have allowed the engineers to follow a fundamentally new approach in the manufacture of the drive shaft. Made from CFRP, this component feeds the engine’s torque from the gearbox to the rear differential and works under extremely heavy loads – especially in high-performance vehicles. “The impressive stiffness and low weight of the CFRP tubing allow the drive shaft to be constructed as a single-piece unit with no center bearing. As well as a weight saving of 40 percent over its predecessor, we have achieved a reduction in rotating masses and therefore improved drivetrain dynamics,” explains Albert Biermann.
    Even more accomplished rear-wheel drive with Active M Differential.
    Among the other components that add fresh polish to the dynamic repertoire of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe are the hollow lightweight output shafts of the rear differential and the Active M Differential, which uses an electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip differential to optimize traction and directional stability. The multi-plate limited-slip differential works with extremely high precision and speed. Its control unit links up with the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system and also takes into account the position of the accelerator pedal, the rotational speed of the wheels and the car’s yaw rate. Every driving situation is therefore precisely analyzed and an impending loss of traction on one side of the car identified at an early stage. The degree of lock – which may be anywhere between 0 and 100 percent – is adjusted as required within a fraction of a second, enabling wheel spin to be prevented on slippery surfaces, in instances where the right and left rear wheel have widely differing friction coefficients, in tight bends and when changing direction with particular vigor. Optimizing traction in this way also provides unbeatable driving stability in challenging conditions and allows impressively dynamic acceleration out of corners.
    M Dynamic Mode – a sub function of the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system – quenches the thirst of enthusiastic drivers for keen dynamics. While DSC intervenes as required to counteract understeer and oversteer, M Dynamic Mode allows greater wheel slip and therefore easy drifting. Owners with a taste for sporty and dynamic driving will appreciate this breadth to the cars’ handling, although DSC will still step in if the car ventures over the limits – unless it is switched off completely. Whichever setting the driver chooses, he or she remains responsible for the car’s stability.
    Aluminum suspension elements ensure sharper dynamics.
    The core expertise of BMW M GmbH resides in developing M cars that offer impressive steering precision, on-the-limit adjustability, agility and driving feeling, together with unbeatable traction and outstanding directional stability – all without neglecting everyday usability. In order to achieve these aims with the significantly increased performance capability of the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe, the axles of the outgoing BMW M3 have been redesigned with painstaking attention to detail.
    Here again, low weight and a high level of rigidity for the axle systems are essential ingredients in ensuring the cars provide an ultra-dynamic driving experience. In the double-joint spring strut front axle alone, the use of a lightweight aluminum construction for components such as control arms, wheel carriers and axle subframes saves five kilograms over a conventional steel design. Play-free ball joints and elastomeric bearings developed specially for the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe ensure an optimum and direct transfer of forces both laterally and longitudinally. An aluminum stiffening plate, CFRP front strut brace and additional bolted joints between the axle subframe and the body structure all help to increase the rigidity of the front end.
    Also lighter than the construction in the outgoing BMW M3 is the new five-link rear axle. All the control arms and wheel carriers are manufactured using forged aluminum, which reduces the unsprung masses of the wheel-locating components by around three kilograms compared with the previous model generation. The rigid connection between the rear axle subframe and the body – without the use of elastic rubber elements – is borrowed from motor sport and serves to further improve wheel location and therefore directional stability. “The double-elastic mounting for the rear differential within the rear axle subframe – which is bolted to the body structure – has allowed us to achieve a new level of driving precision, but without neglecting comfort,” says Albert Biermann, citing another example of the perfect symbiosis of pure-bred motor sport technology and excellent everyday usability.
    The development of the tires for the cars was incorporated into the construction process for the axles from the outset. For high-performance sports cars like the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe, in particular, steering feel and precision are the foremost considerations in the development of tires for the front axle, alongside lateral stability and braking forces. At the rear axle, meanwhile, traction, lateral stability and directional stability take center stage. For this reason, both cars will leave the factory on low-weight 18-inch forged wheels (front axle: 9 J x 18, rear axle: 10 J x 18) with mixed-size tires (front axle: 255 mm, rear axle: 275 mm). 19-inch wheels and tires are available as an option. The specially developed forged wheels make a significant contribution to the reduction in the cars’ unsprung masses and, in turn, to the optimization of dynamic qualities and efficiency. The experienced M engineers have taken great care to ensure all the components between the steering wheel and tires work together harmoniously and therefore provide maximum driving precision and lateral stability, along with good ride comfort.
    Unique Electric Power Steering with three settings.
    The electromechanical steering system in the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe represents a new development from BMW M GmbH and the critical component in the link between driver and car. It offers the gifts of direct steering feeling and precise feedback. The integrated Servotronic function electronically adjusts the level of steering assistance according to the car’s speed, providing optimum steering characteristics at all speeds. The steering for the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe also offers the driver three settings as standard, which can be selected at the touch of a button. COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+ modes allow the level of steering assistance to be adapted to suit the situation at hand and the driver’s personal tastes.
    “Together, the rigid front and rear structures, precise axle kinematics and an impressively responsive electromechanical power steering system help to deliver the outstanding steering and handling characteristics of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe,” sums up Biermann.
    The optional Adaptive M suspension likewise comes with COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+ modes, enabling the driver to choose between a more comfortable damper setting for urban driving, for example, a stiffer set-up for dynamic driving on country roads, and a third option that minimizes body movements and maximizes dynamic performance for use on the track.
    With their supreme dynamic attributes in mind, the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe also come as standard with BMW M compound brakes boasting impressive feel, outstanding stopping power and high resistance to fade. Far lighter than conventional equivalents, these brakes contribute to a substantial reduction in unsprung masses and therefore help to enhance dynamic performance. Even lighter BMW M carbon ceramic brakes can also be specified as an option, their further optimized performance attributes equipping them even more effectively for track use and giving them even greater durability.
    The new inline-6 M engine: High-revving, turbocharged unit combines the best of both worlds.
    The new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe from BMW M GmbH see a return to a six-in-line engine configuration, as used on the second and third generations of this iconic sports car. “When developing a new model we first think about what requirements the vehicle will be expected to meet, and then decide which concepts and technologies will best meet these goals,” says Albert Biermann. The new turbocharged engine combines the best of both worlds – reaching a maximum 7,600 rpm, it is unusually high-revving for a turbocharged engine, resulting in linear power delivery over a wide engine speed range and a soulful engine note, while M TwinPower Turbo technology ensures that peak torque is on top over a broad rpm range. A further hallmark of this engine is its outstanding efficiency.
    The new engine sees a slight power upgrade over the previous V-8 to 425 hp, which is delivered between 5,500 and 7,300 rpm. Peak torque has been increased by roughly 40 percent to 406 lb-ft, and is maintained over a very wide rev band (1,850–5,500 rpm). The standard sprint from zero to 60 mph takes the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe 4.1 seconds respectively. Equipped with the 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission, this number even falls to 3.9 seconds. Top speed is 250 km/h / 155 mph (electronically limited), The new engine also boasts excellent fuel efficiency: the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe achieve consumption nearly 25 percent better than the previous model’s figures. Regulated pollutant emissions are EU6-compliant.
    Instantaneous response, courtesy of M TwinPower Turbo technology.
    The M TwinPower Turbo technology comprises two fast-responding mono-scroll turbochargers, High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, Valvetronic variable valve timing and Double-VANOS continuously variable camshaft timing. Valvetronic and Double-VANOS work in tandem to seamlessly control intake valve lift. The result is smooth and efficient power delivery, very sharp response and reduced fuel consumption and emissions.
    The six-cylinder engine features a closed-deck crankcase design which is very rigid and allows cylinder pressures to be increased for improved power output. And instead of liners, the cylinder bores feature a twin-wire arc-sprayed coating, which results in a significant reduction in engine weight.
    A further technical highlight is the forged, torsionally rigid crankshaft which, as well as providing increased torque-carrying capacity, is also lighter in weight. This significantly reduces rotating masses, resulting in improved throttle response and acceleration.
    Track-ready engine oil supply system for outstanding performance.
    On the track, the exceptional driving dynamics of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe place extra demands on the engine oil supply system, whose design reflects the extensive motor sport experience of BMW M GmbH. The low-weight magnesium oil sump, for example, features a special cover to limit movement of the oil under the effects of strong dynamic lateral acceleration. Under extreme longitudinal acceleration and deceleration, an oil extraction pump and a sophisticated oil return system situated close to the turbocharger likewise help to maintain stable oil circulation. Oil is therefore supplied continuously to all engine components in all driving situations – whether in everyday motoring or during hard driving on the track.
    An engine sound in keeping with the motor sport attributes of the BMW M3 and BMW M4 is provided by an innovative flap arrangement in the twin-pipe exhaust system. The electrically controlled flaps just before the rear silencer minimize exhaust back-pressure and produce a BMW M sound which is striking and unmistakable over the entire engine speed range, as well as giving precise feedback on engine load. The different selectable drive modes, which offer drivers a choice of preconfigured, perfectly balanced vehicle set-ups, also feature different engine sound profiles.
    Lightweight design across the board: Shedding weight in all the right places.
    Intelligent lightweight design was a top priority in the development of the BMW M3 and BMW M4. The goal was to minimize curb weight in order to give both models outstanding driving dynamics and exemplary efficiency. These measures have delivered impressive results, giving the BMW M4 Coupe a DIN curb weight of 1,497 kilograms, around 80 kilograms lighter than a comparably equipped predecessor model – with benefits for driving dynamics and fuel consumption as well.
    BMW M3 Sedan also features CFRP roof for the first time.
    On the outgoing models, the CFRP roof was confined to the Coupe version. Now, for the first time, the four-door BMW M3 will get this striking design and functional feature as well. The CFRP roof brings weight savings of five kilograms (11 lbs) in the case of the BMW M3 Sedan and more than six kilograms (> 13 lbs) in the case of the BMW M4 Coupe. It also lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity, which has a positive impact on driving dynamics.
    Made from aluminum rather than conventional steel, the front side walls and the hood (with power dome) make an important contribution to the models’ lightweight design concept, while at the same time improving axle load distribution.
    On the BMW M4 Coupe, the contoured roofline with central channel continues into the trunk lid, emphasizing the even sportier personality of the new model. The newly developed trunk lid not only provides extremely effective tail end styling, its geometry is at the same time precisely tailored for optimized aerodynamics, while the use of carbon fiber and plastics makes for additional weight savings.
    The new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe also feature a CFRP propeller shaft. The high rigidity and low weight of the CFRP tube mean that the propeller shaft can be produced as a single-piece component, without a center bearing. This achieves weight savings of 40 percent over the previous model and a reduction in rotating masses, which in turn results in more dynamic powertrain response.
    The CFRP strut brace in the engine compartment is a further example of how all weight-saving measures on these vehicles have also been tailored to the improvement of driving dynamics. Weighing only 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lbs), the strut brace offers superior rigidity to a comparable aluminum component and at the same time plays a key part in the excellent steering response and precision of both vehicles.
    The use of carbon in these models is a reminder that BMW is a global leader in high-strength, lightweight CFRP construction, and that it was BMW who brought out the first mass-production vehicle with a body consisting entirely of this material – the innovative BMW i3.
    Development input from professional racing drivers: BMW works driver Bruno Spengler on the technical highlights.
    When developing the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe, the BMW M engineers could count not only on track-honed technologies, but also on the driving talent of experienced racers. For example, Bruno Spengler and Timo Glock, BMW Motorsport works drivers in the DTM Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (German Touring Car Masters) series, took part in extensive testing and set-up runs on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit.
    “I’m proud to have made a contribution to the set-up work on these two cars,” says 2012 DTM champion Spengler, who also took third place in the 2013 series. “The suspension has a very sporty set-up, the feedback from the front axle is extremely direct, the grip at the rear axle is phenomenal and the engine performance is awesome. This is the ideal basis for our DTM car.”
    Bruno Spengler on the six-in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology:
    “As a race driver, I’m very impressed by the instant, lag-free response from the two turbos as soon you step on the gas. This is a sensational feature of this engine which translates to more fun at the wheel and is perfect for sporty driving.”
    … on the electronic power steering:
    “The electronic power steering is very precise, and from my point of view as a race driver that’s very, very important. It responds instantly to inputs and provides excellent feedback.”
    … on the rear axle:
    “The rear axle has a very progressive locking action, due to the electronically controlled limited-slip differential, and generates huge amounts of grip. The electronic control system is configured so that when you lift off the gas going into corners, the differential opens up and the lock-up effect is reduced to zero, resulting in very eager turn-in. When you accelerate out of the corner again, the lock-up engages progressively all the way up to 100 percent full lock, for optimal traction.”
    Design: Striking use of forms underlines standout performance capability.
    The design of the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe visualizes in eye-catching style the outstanding performance capability and impressive handling properties of the two new models. “The superior performance of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe should be obvious at first glance,” explains Karim Habib, Head of Design BMW Automobiles. “Indeed, the exterior design of the new BMW M3 and BMW M4 has a visual impact that elevates the BMW M design language to a new level of expression, highlighted by a purposeful character, emotional appeal and dynamic verve.”
    The front end: the powerfully expressive face of BMW M.
    Viewed from the front, the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe stand out most prominently with their powerful contours and a strongly defined three-dimensionality, which lend them a powerfully expressive face. Characteristic design elements leave no doubt that these cars are the work of BMW M. There is the modern take on the twin headlight arrangement (with optional LED technology), for example, not to mention the distinctive twin-bar kidney grille with black painted grille bars – which reflect the design of the characteristic BMW M double-spoke wheels and bear the M logo – and the powerfully designed front apron with its trio of large intakes supplying cooling air to the high-performance engine and brakes. Among the other hallmark BMW M design features on display is the characteristic power dome on the hood, which hints at the potential of the brawny M TwinPower Turbo engine and creates space for the intercooler. And the striking exterior mirrors – with their suggested twin-stalk mounts – also demand particular attention, their design optimizing the aerodynamics of the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe.
    The flanks: low-slung silhouette and dynamic lines.
    The sides of both cars extend the dynamic impression created by their respective front ends. The hallmark BMW proportions of a long hood, long wheelbase, set-back glasshouse and short front overhang are lent further emphasis by familiar M design elements. “The muscular wheel arches and eye-catching surface forms clearly underline the dynamic potential of the BMW M3 and BMW M4,” adds Habib.
    Those dynamics-accentuating details include likewise newly designed M gills, which perform both a stylistic and a functional role. Integrated into them are Air Breathers, which team up with the Air Curtains in the front apron to help optimize the airflow around the wheel arches and therefore improve aerodynamics.
    The dark color of the CFRP roof (with its contoured roofline) gives both models a lower-slung and more compact appearance, as the eye perceives the roof pillars – painted in body color – to be the uppermost point of the car. A flowing roofline lends the already sporting overall appearance of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe an extra elegance and finesse. The line gains in momentum once again as it heads rearwards, increasing aerodynamic downforce and giving the rear a more muscular look at the same time.
    The rear: BMW M4 with spoiler integrated into the trunk lid.
    The design of the rear end displays striking differences in the two models. The BMW M3 Sedan, for example, is fitted with a Gurney spoiler to reduce lift, while the tailgate of the BMW M4 Coupe features an integrated rear spoiler and is made from particularly lightweight carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. As well as performing a functional aerodynamic role, the tailgate also contributes significantly to the BMW M4’s standalone design. Indeed, the pair of lines which begin life flanking the power dome in the hood – and score a clearly defined path over the CFRP roof – complete their journey in the trunk lid.
    A shared feature of the two models is the prominently flared rear wheel arches which, in combination with the wide track, underline the confident appearance of the BMW M3 and BMW M4. A characteristic BMW M detail of the rear end are the high-gloss polished, now slanting pair of twin exhaust tailpipes, which are framed like jewels by the sculptural rear apron with its integrated diffuser.
    The interior design: flawless ergonomics in a sporting ambience.
    Climbing into the BMW M3 and BMW M4, drivers will be greeted by the interior architecture familiar from the BMW 3 Series and BMW 4 Series, complete with unimpeachable ergonomics and clear driver focus. In keeping with the character of the two models, however, the interior fulfils an even more sharply defined sporting brief. To this end, the host of traditional BMW M equipment details includes M door sill finishers, an M driver’s footrest, M gearshift lever, M-design circular instruments with white graphics, M leather steering wheel with chrome trim, color contrast stitching and electroplated-look shift paddles (if the M-DCT gearbox is specified).
    The front seats also represent an evocative expression of BMW M’s motor sport genes. Taking visual inspiration from the bucket seats fitted in racing cars, the seats feature a full-size single-piece back panel. This means the construction of the seats is very flat, while the high, width-adjustable side bolsters and low-set seat surface allow an ideal seating position and provide excellent support. Despite their undeniably sporty design, the BMW M sports seats can be equipped with comfort-enhancing features including electric adjustment and heating. On the seat surface, the stitching, upholstery segmentation and perforation lend the seats a slim-fitting feel. Illuminated for the first time, the BMW M logo on the seat backrests adds a new and exclusive highlight.
    Equipment: Extensive standard equipment joined by a host of options that enhance dynamics and comfort.
    The new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe leave the factory with a thorough selection of equipment on board which reflects their character as extremely performance-oriented cars offering excellent everyday usability. In addition, customers can choose from an extensive range of optional equipment to give the high-performance sports cars an even more uncompromising sporting edge or push their comfort levels to the maximum.
    Carbon roof as a visible sign of the commitment to lightweight design.
    The CFRP roof, which was fitted to the Coupe version only of the outgoing BMW M3, is a standard feature of both the new BMW M3 Sedan and the new BMW M4 Coupe. The “exposed” styling of the carbon-fiber construction accentuates not only the exclusivity of the two models and their direct links to motor sport, it also emphasizes clearly the lightweight design philosophy underpinning the cars.
    Other standard-fitted and exclusive exterior details include the lightweight hood with eye-catching power dome, the font side panels made from aluminum, the sculpted front apron with three large air intakes, the black double-bar kidney grille, the hallmark M exterior mirror casings, the rear apron with integrated diffuser, the exhaust system with four tailpipes, and the trunk lid with fitted Gurney on the BMW M3 or the aerodynamically shaped lightweight tailgate with integrated spoiler of the BMW M4. Both models come as standard with forged 18-inch BMW M light-alloy wheels with mixed-size tires. Forged 19-inch light-alloy wheels with mixed-size tires can be ordered as an option, in either Ferric Grey or Black.
    Interior with exquisite materials and motor sport ambience.
    The BMW M3 and BMW M4 also stand out with an interior that is exclusive and functional in equal measure. For example, the M Sport leather multifunction steering wheel is fitted as standard, as are bucket-style M sports seats and the BMW Individual roof liner in Anthracite. Like the front seats, the distinctively contoured backrests of the rear seats also offer exceptional lateral support. They are made from a lightweight composite material and can be folded in a 60:40 split. This gives the BMW M3 and BMW M4 a degree of variability and everyday usability that is well beyond the norm for high-performance sports cars of their level.
    Drivers of the BMW M3 and BMW M4 can look forward to piloting their car from behind a double-spoke M leather steering wheel. The M logo, chrome trim and color contrast stitching are central elements of the cabin’s racing ambience. Both models come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission is available as an option. M-DCT allows the driver to change gears using either the selector lever on the center console or the shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel.
    Innovative driveline and chassis technology deliver unbeatable dynamics.
    The optional M-DCT Drivelogic changes gear with no interruption in the flow of power, enabling it to reduce shift times, while a Launch Control system optimizes acceleration off the line.
    The standard-specification Active M Differential at the rear axle guarantees optimum traction, while the likewise factory-fitted electromechanical M Servotronic steering with three settings delivers sporty, direct responses. Both the new BMW M3 and new BMW M4 are equipped as standard with BMW M compound brakes, but customers can also order their car with even lighter and more effective BMW M carbon ceramic brakes, which come with the additional visual highlight of gold-painted calipers.
    Optional add-ons for comprehensive driver information.
    BMW has developed a free BMW M Laptimer app, which allows owners to analyze their personal driving style. Once their smartphone is hooked up to the BMW – via USB cable or the car’s snap-in adapter – customers can operate the BMW M Laptimer app easily using the iDrive Controller. The app then gets to work without delay, recording the car’s speed, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, engine revs, the gear engaged (if the M-DCT or automatic gearbox is specified), steering angle, accelerator position and fuel consumption. That means, when the data is subsequently analyzed via graphic displays on the customer’s smartphone, the driver’s reactions can also be assessed. Another feature allows two recordings on the same track to be compared corner-by-corner. The readings used here can be either the driver’s own or data shared via email.
    The BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe are also available – needless to say – with the wide variety of driver assistance systems and mobility services introduced under the BMW ConnectedDrive banner, some of which will already be familiar from the BMW 3 Series and BMW 4 Series. Among the highlights are a new generation of the Navigation system Professional, offering extra capability, sharper graphics and 3D elements for the map display, Active Driving Assistant, which warns the driver of a looming collision with a pedestrian, and the adaptive full LED headlights,
    The optional Head-Up Display in the BMW M3 and BMW M4 comes with additional, M-specific functions such as a gear display, rev counter and Optimum Shift Indicator.
    Production: Return to the birthplace of the BMW M3.
    It was at the Preußenstraße headquarters of BMW Motorsport GmbH in Munich 28 years ago that the company’s then managing director Paul Rosche developed the idea for the BMW M3. Production began just a few months later at the original BMW plant next door. A total of 17,970 units of the first-generation BMW M3 were built here up to 1991. And now, almost 23 years later, production of the iconic sports car – long since guaranteed legendary status – is returning to its birthplace. BMW Plant Munich will host production of the new BMW M4 Coupe, while the BMW M3 Sedan will be built at BMW Plant Regensburg, where 222,293 units of the second, third and fourth generations of the BMW M3 combined have been produced since 1992.
    Full integration into the regular manufacturing process.
    One of the reasons for the decision to split production of the BMW M3 and BMW M4 between the two facilities centered on the company’s commitment to integrating the two high-performance sports cars into the production processes for their respective donor models. For example, the BMW M4 will be built alongside models including the standard BMW 4 Series Coupe in Munich, and Regensburg is the venue for production of the BMW 3 Series Sedan as well as the new BMW M3. Among the benefits of “mixed” production on a shared line is that the plants can respond quickly to market fluctuations by making adjustments to unit figures as required. As well as efficient production planning and logistics, the essential ingredient in this approach is the single-line system: both M models will be built alongside their respective donor models on the same production line.
    Intensive experience-sharing ensures a smooth production start-up.
    This will be the first time the Munich plant has handled production of a lightweight design concept bringing together an aluminum hood and side panels, CFRP roof and lightweight tailgate in this combination. The bonding facility for the carbon roof in the paint shop is also new to Munich. The intensive sharing of experience with colleagues in Regensburg helps ensure that the employees in Munich maintain an outstanding level of manufacturing expertise when it comes to lightweight design technologies. Indeed, Plant Regensburg can call on many years of experience in lightweight design. As well as production of the outgoing generation of the BMW M3 with its carbon roof, the Regensburg factory has also been responsible for the manufacture of numerous BMW Motorsport touring cars built for race action.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    December 10, 2013
    Lexus is the latest automaker to issue a teaser for what they have in store for next month's Detroit Auto Show. The automaker released a short press release and a picture of a front fender with the F badge, Lexus' performance brand. automaker calls the new F model an "all-new performance model engineered from scratch."
    What could it be? Well previous rumors have pointed towards Lexus introducing a high-performance version of their new RC-F coupe. Also a possibility is a new IS-F.
    Source: Lexus
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    The Next Lexus F Amplifies Exhilaration with Entirely New Model Debut at the North American International Auto Show
    All-New Performance Model Engineered From Scratch
    Advanced Expression of Design and Performance – Not Bolted On, But Engineered Within
    Lexus Introduces #AsphaltUp to Complement Uncompromising Design Process
    TORRANCE, Calif. (Dec. 9, 2013) – Designed from the asphalt up, to strike at the heart, the newest Lexus F model will debut at the January 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
    Engineered from scratch, one performance layer at a time, the newest F model promises a bold, gritty, experience synonymous with the famed Lexus F heritage.
    The Lexus press conference will be shown live online at www.lexus-int.com/. Follow the hashtag #AsphaltUp for more developments.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    December 5, 2013
    Infiniti has teased their showing for the Detroit Auto Show. The Q50 Eau Rouge is a vision of what a high-performance Q50 could look like. The 'Eau Rouge' comes from the famous early corner at Spa-Francorchamps, the race track where the Belgium's Formula One Grand Prix.
    Infiniti has very close ties to the Red Bull Formula One team and has been expanding their partnership by bringing in Sebastian Vettel as the Director of Performance.
    The image released by Infiniti show a front air dam and side mirrors crafted from carbon fiber, and what look to be openings in the hood.
    "Performance is a key pillar of Infiniti's DNA, and this car expresses a deepened design interpretation of that. The Q50, with an abundance of technologies, provides a great basis for an extreme performance version, embodied in the design of Q50 Eau Rouge," said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti's Executive Design Director.
    Source: Infiniti
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Dec. 5, 2013
    Infiniti to Reveal Formula One Inspired Concept at Detroit Show
    Hong Kong – Infiniti will reveal a Formula One inspired concept car based on the Q50 premium sports sedan at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
    The concept car represents Infiniti's design vision of a high performance variant of Q50. Called "Q50 Eau Rouge," the car is named after the world-famous corner at the Formula One track in Spa-Francorchamps, a corner which requires extraordinary strength, courage and commitment; it has seen some of the most incredible driving feats in Formula One history. For Infiniti, the Q50 Eau Rouge concept blends road car technology and a thoroughbred motorsport vision.
    The Q50 Eau Rouge features aerodynamic styling treatments and design elements which are influenced by Infiniti's partnership with Formula One world championship-winning team Infiniti Red Bull Racing.
    "Performance is a key pillar of Infiniti's DNA, and this car expresses a deepened design interpretation of that. The Q50, with an abundance of technologies, provides a great basis for an extreme performance version, embodied in the design of Q50 Eau Rouge," said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti's Executive Design Director.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    December 4, 2013
    When Chevrolet introduced the Corvette Stingray at the Detroit Auto Show last year, we knew that the madness was only beginning. Before long, new versions of the Z06 and ZR1 would be making their way out. Well General Motors has announced that the 2015 Corvette Z06 would be debuting at Detroit Auto Show in January.
    We can gleam some information from the teaser shot that GM has released such as lightweight-looking alloy wheels wrapped in low-profile Michelin Pilot Sport Cup and a carbon-fiber side skirt.
    Source: General Motors
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Chevrolet to Introduce 2015 Corvette Z06 at Detroit Show
    Most-capable Corvette ever will lead industry's broadest range of performance cars
    DETROIT – Chevrolet will introduce the 2015 Corvette Z06 next month at the North American International Auto Show, in Detroit. It will be the most track-capable Corvette ever, designed to deliver supercar levels of performance through unique powertrain, chassis and aerodynamic features.
    The debut of the Corvette Z06 will complete Chevrolet's performance-car lineup, which will also see the addition of the Corvette Stingray convertible, Camaro Z/28 and SS sedan.
    "Chevrolet is America's favorite performance car brand, and for 2014 we are going to offer enthusiasts more choices than ever before," said Alan Batey, senior vice-president, Global Chevrolet. "No other manufacturer will be able to match the breath of performance cars from Chevrolet."
    Chevrolet Sells One out of four performance cars in 2013
    For the first 11 months of 2013, Chevrolet has accounted for approximately 25 percent of all performance car sales in the U.S. as Corvette and Camaro continue to lead their respective segments.
    Corvette outsold its closest competitor, the Porsche 911, for the first 11 months of 2013. This is all the more remarkable given Corvette production was halted for six-months, in order to upgrade the Bowling Green, Ky., assembly plant to build the 2014 Corvette Stingray. In November, Corvette sales jumped 229 percent year-over-year, as demand for the new Stingray continues to outstrip supply.
    Camaro also outsold its closest competitor, the Ford Mustang, for the first 11 months of 2013. Camaro enters December with a 4,093-unit lead in total sales. More importantly, Camaro has an estimated 10,000-unit lead in retail sales. If that lead continues through the end of the year, 2013 will be the fourth consecutive year Camaro has been the best-selling sports car in the U.S.
    Four new Performance Cars for 2014
    The sales lead for Chevrolet is expected to accelerate as the brand adds four new performance cars to the lineup, including:
    - First full calendar year of sales for the 2014 Chevrolet SS sedan: The all-new SS, which went onsale in October of 2013, is based on a race-proven, global platform that underpins the Camaro, Caprice police vehicle and, in Australia, the high-performance Holden VF Commodore. Elements including lightweight aluminum hood and deck lid panels help give the SS a nearly 50/50 weight balance, while the performance of its 6.2L V-8 – rated at 415 horsepower – and six-speed automatic transmission enables 0-60 mph acceleration in five seconds flat.
    - First full year of sales for the 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible: The Stingray Convertible, which goes on sale this month, shares identical chassis tuning and performance technologies with the coupe, with structural changes limited to accommodations for the folding top and repositioned safety belt mounts. As such, the Stingray Convertible requires no sacrifices for a drop-top driving experience, offering up to 460 horsepower /465 lb.-ft. with the available performance exhaust system; capable of more than 1 g in cornering; and sprinting from 0-60 in under 4 seconds.
    - Arrival of the 2014 Camaro Z/28: The Camaro Z/28, which arrives in dealers in the second-quarter of 2014, will be the most track-capable Camaro ever. Recently, the Z/28 logged a 7:37.40 lap on Germany's legendary Nürburgring road course, a time comparable with some of the world's most prestigious sports cars – and the Z/28 lap was completed in the rain.
    - Debut of the 2015 Corvette Z06: The all-new Corvette Z06 will make its public debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. Production is expected to begin in late 2014.



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