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  • Detroit Auto Show

    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 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
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 3, 2012
    Alongside the new Ford Fusion, Lincoln will be showing off a thinly-disguised concept car version of its next-generation MKZ sedan at next week's Detroit Auto Show.
    “This is the biggest statement Lincoln has ever made at an auto show. Our NAIAS display represents more than a vehicle debut. It represents the reinvention of Lincoln,” said Lincoln design director Max Wolff.
    The MKZ marks the next step in Lincoln's revitalization plans. Last year Lincoln started to put the plan in motion by showing the refreshed MKS and MKT.
    Not much is known about the new MKZ besides retaining the Fusion’s front-biased architecture. Lincoln says the next MKZ will be much more distinct than the previous model.
    Source: Left Lane News

    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 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
    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.

    Drew Dowdell
    We are a little more than a month away from the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but much like the Christmas music in stores the day after Halloween, companies like to tease us for a month or two ahead of time.
    One of the earliest teasers (that wasn't a full reveal like the Mercedes GLE) is the next generation Toyota Tacoma. So far, all we get to see is the tailgate of the 2016 Toyota Tacoma that will be revealed in about a month. We're expecting styling to borrow heavily from its big brother, the Toyota Tundra.
    The Tacoma has been the best selling small truck for a number of years now as the Detroit three ceded the segment to the Japanese. However, Toyota is going to be facing stiff competition in the next couple of years. GM is back with a vengeance with their new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, the former of which won MotorTrend's Truck of the Year award for 2015, Nissan's Frontier will be updated soon, Honda is returning with the Ridgeline, and rumors suggest Ford's Ranger is due to return as well.
    Toyota sold 159,485 Tacoma Trucks in 2013 and 140,757 Tacomas of November 2014. With such strong competition coming, Toyota is going to have to make sure they leave no tailgate unlatched to keep up the sales pace.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 7, 2013
    We're a week away from the start of the 2013 Detroit Auto Show and automakers are beginning to tease us with their showings. Today Hyundai has released a teaser shot of their HCD-14 Concept which the automaker says gives a "glimpse into future Hyundai premium vehicle design, advanced 3-D gesture-based technology controls, and spirited driving dynamics." The teaser shot shows a unique, sloping roofline that is very reminiscent of an Audi A7.
    We'll have more on the HCD-14 Concept next week.
    Source: Hyundai
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 8, 2013
    Last year at the Paris Motor Show, Audi unveiled a high performance Q5 model called the SQ5 that used a 3.0L twin-turbo diesel V6 producing 313 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque that could reach 60 MPH in five seconds and get 32.67 MPG.
    For the Detroit Auto Show, Audi will unveil the North American version of the SQ5. Before you ask, it will not be the diesel version. Instead, Audi is dropping in the 3.0L supercharged V6 producing 354 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque going through a eight-speed automatic down to all four wheels via the Quattro AWD system. This combination can propel the SQ5 to 60 MPH in 5.3 seconds and a top speed of 155 MPH.
    Other changes to the SQ5 include a lowered and stiffened suspension, twenty-inch wheels, platinum gray grille, unique bumpers, roof spoiler, and some interior changes.
    The SQ5 arrives in dealerships this summer.
    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 SQ5 now with gasoline engine and 354 dynamic hp
    • SQ5 with 3.0 TFSI engine at the Detroit Auto Show
    • From zero to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 5.3 seconds
    • 250 km/h (155 mph) top speed
    INGOLSTADT, Germany, Jan 7, 2013 - The new Audi SQ5 shown at the Detroit Auto Show is the first ever to be powered by a gasoline engine – in this case one producing 260 kW (354 hp) and 470 Nm (346.65 lb-ft) of torque The new top-of-the-line model, which was designed specifically for markets such as the United States, Canada and China, uses a 3.0 TFSI engine with forced induction. It sprints from zero to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 5.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).
    The new SQ5 is powered by a free-revving, supercharged, three-liter V6 engine with a displacement of 2,995 cc. Its compressor sits in the 90-degree V of the cylinder banks and is belt-driven by the crankshaft. Two rotors inside the supercharger spin at over 20,000 rpm. The air gap between them is just a few thousandths of a millimeter. The supercharger compresses the intake air to as much as 0.8 bar; two intercoolers then cool it for greater power.
    The compressor is located downstream of the throttle valve. Its drive requires little engine power, as the density of the intake air is very low at loads below the supercharging level and when coasting. Torque develops early and quickly due to the short gas paths downstream of the supercharger. Various measures dampen compressor noise. A balance shaft in the engine’s alloy crankcase provides for greater smoothness. Adjustable intake camshafts and flaps in the intake ports provide for good charging efficiency in the combustion chambers.
    The 3.0 TFSI engine produces 260 kW (354 hp) between 6,000 and 6,500 rpm, and delivers 470 Nm (346.65 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft between 4,000 and 4,500 rpm. The sprint from zero to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) takes just 5.3 seconds – best in its class. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). The Audi SQ5 consumes on average 8.5 liters of fuel per 100 km in the NEDC (21 US mpg). This equates to CO2 emissions of 199 grams per kilometer (320.26 g/m) in the NEDC.
    An eight-speed tiptronic and quattro permanent all-wheel drive with torque vectoring transfer the power of the SQ5 firmly to the road. The fast-shifting automatic transmission offers two modes, and the driver can also switch gears manually via the standard shift paddles on the steering wheel.
    The chassis of the Audi SQ5 lowers the body 30 millimeters (1.18 in). The springs and shock absorbers are more tautly tuned for a sporty and balanced setup. The 20-inch wheels are fitted with 255/45-series tires; 21-inch wheels are available. The brake calipers on the front axle sport the SQ5 badge. The electromechanical steering not only plays a major role in the efficiency of the SQ5, it also provides very precise road feel. Audi also offers the optional dynamic steering with a steplessly variable ratio. Control of it is integrated in the optional Audi drive select system, which allows the driver to switch among several modes in various systems.
    The platinum gray radiator grille with its horizontal double bars in aluminum look, the distinctive bumpers and the roof spoiler are particularly eye-catching. V6 T badges adorn the front fenders. The gloss package and exterior mirrors in aluminum look accentuate the windows. In addition, there are two exclusive crystal-effect finishes: Estoril Blue and Panther Black.
    Sportiness carries over to the interior. The instruments feature gray dials and white numerals; the pedals and shift paddles have a shiny aluminum-look finish.
    The interior is bathed in black, with the headlining optionally available in Moon Silver. The standard power-adjustable sport seats are covered with a combination of Pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara, with four different colors of leather optional. The standard inlays are brushed aluminum. Options include Carbon Atlas, Piano finish or layered aluminum and wood in Beaufort black.
    The SQ5 is scheduled to arrive at U.S. dealerships in the third quarter of 2013. The list of standard equipment is extensive. In addition to the aforementioned features, there are also xenon plus headlights with LED daytime driving lights, a stainless-steel loading-sill protector and a driver information system with color display. The luggage compartment offers up to 1,560 liters (59.33 cu ft) of capacity.
    Audi can supply this dynamic SUV with an array of optional assistance and infotainment systems. MMI navigation plus and the Bluetooth online car phone provide the Internet services from Audi connect to the vehicle.
    The Audi SQ5 has been designed specifically for the following markets: United States, Canada, Russia, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and the Ukraine. In Germany and many other European markets, the SQ5 TDI takes its place as the sporty top model in its series.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 9, 2013
    Mercedes-Benz's showing at Detroit Auto Show will be the refreshed E-Class lineup. By lineup, I'm talking about the E-Class sedan, wagon, coupe, convertible, and AMG models.
    The overall exterior design has gone through a serious overhaul. The front end has a new, aggressive front fascia with large twin scoops outboard and one-piece headlights that contain LED strips that 'break' them into two parts. On the sedan and wagon, you have the choice of two grilles; a a luxury version that uses a three-bar grille topped by a three-pointed star ornament on the hood or a sport version which has a two-bar center grille with a large Mercedes emblem. The coupe and convertible stick with the sport version. Along the side, Mercedes-Benz's designers added a stronger character line that runs along the bottom of the doors. Inside, there are minor changes including a new dash cluster and head unit design.
    Being a Mercedes-Benz, there is a load of safety technologies. In the case of the 2014 E-Class, there are eleven new and enhanced safety systems including a Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera that can build a 3D view of what's ahead at a distance of up to 1,650 feet and feed that information to the vehicle.
    Under the hood, the E-Class sedan gets the widest variety of powertrains.
    E250 BlueTEC: 2.1L 4-cylinder turbodiesel: 190 horsepower, 369 pound-feet
    E350 Sedan: direct-injection 3.5L V6: 302 horsepower, 273 pound-feet
    E400 HYBRID Sedan: electric motor and direct-injection 3.5L V6: 27 horspower (electric) + 302 (gas) horsepower, 184 pound-feet (electric) + 273 (gas) pound-feet
    E550 4MATIC Sport Sedan: turbocharged direct-injection 5.5L V8: 402 hp, 443 lb.-ft.

    The E-Class wagon sticks with 3.5L V6 and AWD. The E-Class coupe and convertible stick with the 3.5L V6 and 5.5L V8.
    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.

    Album: 2014 Mercedes Benz E-Class
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    Press Releases on Page 2 and 3
    The MY 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan & Wagon
    Stylish, Efficient, Intelligent
    MONTVALE, NJ – Mercedes-Benz introduces the extensively updated 2014 E-Class Sedan and Wagon, featuring highly efficient engines, an array of new driver assistance systems and even more refined styling. No less than eleven new or optimized assistance systems from the future S-Class celebrate their world premiere in both the sedan and wagon models. They combine a host of comfort and safety features, referred to by Mercedes-Benz as "intelligent drive." These groundbreaking systems include technologies that can help prevent accidents with pedestrians or vehicles crossing in front, Active Lane Keeping Assist for avoiding collisions with oncoming traffic and anti-glare continuous high-beam headlamps. All this and more ensures that Mercedes-Benz maintains its pioneering role in vehicle safety. The new E-Class also takes a major step forward in terms of efficiency, thanks to the new four-cylinder diesel engine. An extensive package of design updates round-off the new and compelling features of the MY14 E-Class, delivering an accomplished combination of efficiency, intelligence and style. The 2014 E-Class Sedan and Wagon will be in U.S. showrooms this Spring.
    By conducting such a comprehensive redevelopment of the E-Class range, Mercedes-Benz is ensuring that its customers benefit from the very latest technical advances as soon as possible. The new E-Class also comes with distinctive updates in its styling for an elegant and sporty look, as well as significantly enhanced comfort features and upscale equipment, rounded-off by an exceptional level of efficiency and everyday driving pleasure. All of this comes together to ensure that the E-Class continues to consolidate its leading position in the luxury segment.
    Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars: "We are setting clear trends in terms of safety, design and efficiency with the new E-Class. It puts many technical innovations on the road and undoubtedly is the best E-Class ever. This also finds expression in its design and its carefully revised interior, which bring a breath of fresh air to the luxury class. The 'E' thus continues to hold its place at the very top of this demanding segment."
    Design – a choice of two new front-end styles
    Numerous intelligent modifications have given the E-Class a new front-end design and revised proportions. Designers applied the new Mercedes-Benz design language to reinterpret the brand's classic design values on the existing basis. The outcome is an elegant, refined and yet sporty look.
    The front end has been completely revised with new headlamps that incorporate all light functions within a single lens, while flowing light elements within the headlamps help to retain the "four-eyed" appearance that is such a distinctive E-Class signature. When it comes to light and sight, the E-Class sets the benchmark – low beam and daytime running lights both come with partial LED as standard, while full-LED headlamps are available as an option for the first time in this class.
    In another first, the MY14 E-Class is available with two different front-end designs. The Luxury version comes with the classic sedan grille with 3-louver look and star on the hood. The Sport version, on the other hand, features the sports grille with integrated star, forming a visual link to the brand's high performance sports car models.
    The hood and front bumper have also been completely redesigned. With its flowing lines, the hood offers a smooth, sleek expression of the new design language. The bumper has new, contemporary styling with an aerofoil shape along its lower edge for an even more distinctively sporting character. Sport models receive an even more confident front design, using the AMG styling package that features larger air intakes and a distinct aluminum trim line along the entire lower rim of the front bumper.
    Dynamic, elegant proportions
    A new feature line and a repositioned three-dimensional trim line bring new proportions to both the sedan and wagon. The feature line runs below the structure line from the rear door to the tail light, giving the car greater visual length. This is reinforced by the side trim, which is now much lower. The overall effect is to make the MY14 E-Class look longer and more elegant, and at the same time both dynamic and composed.
    Broad, distinctive rear end
    The rear end of the MY14 E-Class features modifications to the lights and the bumper. The new LED tail lamps have a horizontal design that emphasizes the width of the vehicle, while the two-tone look comes with a distinctive nighttime signature. Sport models feature exposed dual exhaust pipes.
    Premium interior
    The generously proportioned interior of the E-Class has been subtly revised and harmonized with the expressive exterior. Premium materials, precise lines and clearly defined surfaces combine to create a sophisticated overall look - and feel.
    A new feature is the two-part trim extending across the entire soft-touch dashboard, which is available in two wood finishes – burl walnut or black ash. Also new are the 3-tube instrument cluster, the trapezoidal head-unit display, the air vent design and the analogue clock between the two central vents.
    "Intelligent drive" with new assistance systems
    What started with PRE-SAFE® and continued with DISTRONIC PLUS® has emerged as a new dimension of driving at Mercedes-Benz, where comfort and safety merge into one. Mercedes-Benz calls this "intelligent drive." A whole host of new or optimized systems from the future S-Class celebrate their world premiere in the E-Class, delivering increased comfort and safety, such as the all-new DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist.
    The basis for all this is new state-of-the-art sensors and their associated algorithms. Mercedes-Benz has taken a major step forward with the introduction of the Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera. Just like the previous Mono Multi-Purpose Camera, it is located on the windshield near the rearview mirror. However, this camera features two "eyes," set at an angle of 45 degrees to produce a three-dimensional view of the area up to 55 yards in front of the vehicle and with an overall range of up to 550 yards. The stereo camera gathers data for processing by various systems using intelligent algorithms. The systems can detect vehicles driving in front, oncoming or crossing and evaluate this three-dimensional visual information to determine their speed and position. They can also identify pedestrians within a large field of vision.
    Along with the Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera, Mercedes-Benz is also introducing enhanced versions of the Multi-Mode Radar sensor system. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, a radar-based collision warning system with Adaptive Brake Assist is standard equipment on both the sedan and wagon. It helps to reduce significantly the risk of a rear-end collision. Also part of standard equipment is ATTENTION ASSIST®, which now warns of inattentiveness and drowsiness across a wider range, and provides visual information on attention level and time driven since the last break. The sensitivity of the new generation ATTENTION ASSIST® can be adjusted by the driver.
    Also available are a number of assistance systems that are either new or now feature significantly enhanced functionality. In overview:
    - DISTRONIC PLUS® with Steering Assist can help the driver keep the vehicle centered in its lane and can semi-autonomously follow in-line traffic.
    - For the first time, the Brake Assist system BAS PLUS® with Cross-Traffic Assist is able to detect crossing traffic and pedestrians, and boost the braking power applied by the driver accordingly.
    - The PRE-SAFE® Brake can now detect pedestrians as well and initiate autonomous braking.
    - PRE-SAFE® PLUS can identify an imminent rear-end collision and then prompt the PRE-SAFE® system to trigger occupant protection measures that reduce the forces exerted on passengers. If the vehicle is stationary, it can also prevent secondary accidents in the event of a rear-end collision by applying the brakes.
    - Active Lane Keeping Assist can now detect when the adjacent lane is not clear, including the presence of oncoming traffic, overtaking vehicles, crash barriers etc. Under threat of a collision, even if the lane marking is not a solid line, the system can prevent the vehicle from leaving its lane unintentionally by applying the brakes on one side. This system pairs perfectly with Active Blind Spot Assist.
    - Adaptive Highbeam Assist PLUS allows high beam to remain permanently switched on without dazzling traffic by masking out other vehicles in the beams' cone of light.
    - Active Parking Assist enables automated parking with active steering and brake control in both parallel and perpendicular spaces
    - The Surround View Camera will cover all four sides of the vehicle and enable a 360-degree view including virtual bird's-eye perspective – a top view of the vehicle and its immediate surroundings. Dynamic guide lines help during parking and maneuvering.
    Excellent performance with high gas mileage
    Both the E-Class sedan and wagon boast a range of powerful and efficient gasoline and diesel engines. All come with the ECO start/stop system as standard equipment and are highly efficient. Mercedes-Benz offers the broadest range of ECO start/stop systems in the United States, as well as the most seamless, smooth, and unobtrusive algorithms.
    The gasoline engines offered in the MY14 E-Class are the highly successful V6 and V8 units in the E350 and E550, which will go on sale in Spring 2013. They combine excellent response characteristics and outstanding power delivery with exceptional efficiency.
    Powerful diesel engine and hybrid drive for outstanding efficiency
    New in the MY14 E-Class sedan is the incredibly efficient four-cylinder diesel engine powering the E250 BlueTEC with 4MATIC all-wheel drive, available Fall 2013. Compliant with emissions legislations in all fifty states, the latest diesel model from Mercedes-Benz shows that premium elegance and outstanding economy are not mutually exclusive. The E250 BlueTEC generates 190 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, replacing the V6-powered E350 BlueTEC engine that only was available with rear-wheel drive.
    A further feature of the MY14 E-Class range is the highly economical E400 HYBRID. Supplemented by an electric motor (27hp, 184 lb-ft), the E400 HYBRID offers the powerful and refined performance of the Mercedes-Benz 3.5-liter V6 (302hp, 273 lb-ft) paired with an outstanding gas mileage of 24/30 mpg (est. city/highway).
    New-generation transmission for dynamic and economical driving
    The engines in the MY14 E-Class are mated to the seven-speed automatic transmission with DIRECT SELECT lever and DIRECT SELECT shift paddles. This latest evolution of the seven-speed transmission offers significant benefits in terms of efficiency and ease of maintenance.
    A new feature is the short-term M mode. If the driver shifts up or down manually, the transmission independently switches back to the fuel-efficient automatic shift mode after a pre-determined period of time elapses.
    Traction and stability can also be enhanced across the MY14 E-Class lineup with the 4MATIC® permanent all-wheel-drive system – particularly effective in challenging surface conditions.
    The E63 AMG sedan and wagon, launching in Fall 2013, comes with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT seven-speed MCT and 4MATIC in the United States, delivering incredible performance. More technical details will follow in January 2013 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
    Refined suspension for excellent handling
    Mercedes-Benz offers three suspension configurations for the MY14 E-Class:
    - Configured for comfort, the AGILITY CONTROL suspension with stroke dependent damping system is the standard suspension setup for the Luxury model.
    - In the Sport model, the AGILITY CONTROL suspension with stroke dependent damping system is 15 mm lower and has a more sporty setup.
    - The E63 AMG comes with the AMG Adaptive Sport Suspension.
    All suspension variants feature outstanding sensitivity and ride characteristics and help to ensure an excellent level of road holding.
    All models in the MY14 E-Class lineup are fitted with an electromechanical Direct-Steer system as standard. This combines speed-sensitive power steering with a variable ratio across the steering angle range. The rack-and-pinion steering gear is controlled on-demand and therefore contributes towards efficiency. Advantages of the electromechanical Direct-Steer system include:
    - improved agility thanks to more direct steering response
    - comfortable handling and smooth steering characteristics at all speeds
    - improved efficiency, as energy is consumed only while steering
    - enables innovative assistance systems, e.g. Active Parking Assist
    Premium equipment
    The MY14 E-Class already comes with a comprehensive range of premium equipment as standard. Optional packages include the Premium 1 package with Rearview camera, COMAND navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio, Harman/kardon® Logic 7® surround sound, power rear window sunshade, heated front seats (standard with E550), active ventilated front seats and garage-door opener. Further packages available at launch are the Lighting package, Parking Assist package, Lane Tracking package, Wood Trim package and Wheel package.
    The Driver Assistance package and KEYLESS-GO package will be available shortly after launch. The KEYLESS-GO package will feature electronic trunk closer and HANDSFREE ACCESS, which enables opening and closing of the trunk lid without physical contact by simply holding your foot beneath the bumper. This extremely convenient feature is particularly useful when loading and unloading the vehicle.
    When it comes to infotainment, Mercedes-Benz delivers the MY14 E-Class sedan and wagon with the COMAND® system featuring AM/FM/WB radio, indash DVD/CD player, in-dash memory card slot, and Bluetooth interface for hands-free calling. Standard equipment also includes a central controller with a 7-inch, high-resolution display and a color display in the instrument cluster.
    2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe & Convertible
    Driving pleasure at the highest level: Passionate, sporty, intelligent
    Mercedes-Benz has restyled the Coupe and Cabriolet members of the E-Class family for the 2014 model year. The bold new styling is combined with sophisticated new assistance systems which are part of Mercedes-Benz "intelligent drive." These new systems include technology that can help prevent accidents with crossing vehicles or pedestrians as well as an enhanced version of Active Lane Keeping Assist. Visually, Coupe and Cabriolet have been brought in line with the new Mercedes-Benz design idiom. These models also feature exclusive, luxurious appointments for refined driving, which are hallmarks of the entire E-Class family. The 2014 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet go on sale in the U.S. in Summer 2013.
    The classic Coupe and the four-seat Cabriolet versions of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class are among the most coveted vehicles in the premium medium-size segment. With intelligent and efficient technology as well as luxurious and comfortable appointments, both are uncompromisingly designed for passionate driving enjoyment. They are therefore regarded as emotionally appealing highlights of the successful E-Class family. Both on the outside and inside the design is fresh, sharpened and so ideally reflects the many new technical features.
    Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes- Benz Cars: "Three words suffice to very briefly characterize the Coupe and the four-seater Cabriolet: stunning, athletic, passionate. Especially gratifying is that both cars also offer the most intelligent engineering that currently can be had. This makes both of them genuine dream cars."
    Design: E-motional appeal in top form
    The new look of the E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet is accentuated by the redesigned front end with new headlamps which contain all functional elements within a single lens. The headlamps are fitted with partial LED lights as standard, while full LED technology is available as an option for the first time in this segment. Flowing light elements within the headlamps ensure that the "four-eye" look typical of the E-Class is retained.
    The new, more V-shaped front bumpers with large air intakes clearly accentuate the athletic character. The bold front end puts a distinctive, sporty face forward, but at the same time emphasizes the close relationship of the Coupe and Cabriolet with the redesigned E-Class Sedan.
    The rear fenders, whose powerfully muscular shape has been retained, lend visual emphasis to the rear-wheel drive of the sporty cars. New tail lights and a wide rear bumper with a chrome trim element additionally underscore the aggressive appearance of these models.
    The proportions, with a long hood, extended side line, flat roof and powerful rear end, are those of a classic coupe. Traditional styling features that make the Mercedes-Benz Coupes unmistakable – for instance the layout of the fully retractable side windows, which is unbroken by B-pillars – lend emphasis to the distinctive lines of the two-door car.
    Fully retractable side windows are characteristic also of the four-seater Cabriolet and give emphasis to the clear proportions with a gently rising shoulder line from the front to the trunk lid.
    Elegant interior
    Mercedes-Benz also has restyled the interior of the 2014 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet and tastefully matched it to the expressive exterior. Fine materials, two-piece trim stretching across the entire dashboard, and clean surfaces dominate in the interior.
    All models in the entire 2014 E-Class family feature an analog clock between the redesigned air vents and console switches are now finished in chrome.
    The interior is further characterized by a redesigned center console without a gear selector lever as well as a new three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with DIRECT SELECT shift lever and shift paddles. This makes room for additional storage space and larger cup holders.
    A special highlight of the new E-Class Cabriolet is its acoustic soft top with high-grade insulation, giving it the lowest noise level in its class. The unique acoustic cabriolet soft top ensures that little wind noise penetrates the interior even at high speeds.
    With the top down, the standard AIRCAP, which reduces interior turbulence and wind noise, ensures exceptional convertible driving comfort, especially in the rear seat. Now at speeds over 25 mph the AIRCAP system deploys automatically, and at speeds less than 10 mph the wind deflector in the windshield frame is automatically retracted again to present the E-Class Cabriolet in its purest and most beautiful form during slow driving and at a stop. The wind deflector between the rear head restraints responds to the number of occupants, which it automatically recognizes by the buckled rear seat belts, and adjusts the position of the extendible wind deflector in the front and rear accordingly.
    The available AIRSCARF neck-level heating extends the convertible season by making comfortable top-down driving possible even at low exterior temperatures.
    Limitless individual appointments
    E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet offer virtually unlimited possibilities for individual configuration. New interior colors and color combinations, such as blue with contrasting beige boldly brings a breath of fresh air to the exclusive ambience of the two E-Class athletes.
    "Intelligent drive" with new assistance systems from the future
    As in the Sedan and Wagon, new assistance systems that combine comfort and safety also are being introduced in the 2014 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet. Mercedes-Benz refers to all this as "intelligent drive."
    The basis for this is formed by state-of-the-art sensors – for instance a Stereo Multi-Purpose Camera in the vicinity of the rearview mirror that produces a three-dimensional view of the area up to 165 feet in front of the vehicle, and is able to monitor the overall situation ahead up to a range of 1,640 feet. Part of the Driver Assistance Package, intelligent algorithms combine the data of the stereo camera with that of the installed radar sensors. They perform an evaluation of this three-dimensional visual information in order to detect vehicles that are driving ahead, oncoming or crossing, as well as pedestrians and road markings within a large field of vision, and to carry out a spatial classification of moving objects.
    The 2014 Coupe and Cabriolet are fitted with standard COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST, a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive brake assist systems, which helps to significantly reduce the risk of a collision. Also part of the standard equipment is ATTENTION ASSIST, which is now able to warn of inattentiveness and drowsiness across a wider speed range, and also inform the driver about his level of fatigue and the amount of driving time which has elapsed since the last break. It also offers an adjustable sensitivity level.
    Optionally available on all 2014 E-Class Models are a number of assistance systems which are either new or now feature enhanced functions. The following is an overview of the innovations:

    DISTRONIC PLUS® with Steering Assist can help the driver keep the vehicle centered in its lane and can semi-autonomously track lines of traffic.
    For the first time, the Brake Assist system BAS PLUS® with Intersection Assist is able to detect crossing traffic and pedestrians too, and boost the braking power applied by the driver accordingly.
    The PRE-SAFE® Brake can detect pedestrians and initiate autonomous braking to avoid a collision at speeds up to 30 mph
    PRE-SAFE® PLUS can recognize an imminent rear-end collision, then prompts the PRE-SAFE® system to trigger occupant protection measures to reduce the forces to which occupants are subjected. It can also firmly apply the stationary vehicle's brakes in the event of a rearend collision to prevent secondary accidents.
    The Active Lane Keeping Assist now can detect when the adjacent lane is not clear, including when it is occupied by oncoming traffic. If a collision threatens, even if the lane marking is not a solid line the system can prevent the vehicle from leaving its lane unintentionally by applying the brakes on one side. It thus optimally supplements the Active Blind Spot Assist.
    Active Parking Assist enables automated parking with active steering and brake control in both parallel and perpendicular spaces
    The 360-degree camera covers all four sides of the vehicle and enables a seamless all-around view including a virtual bird's-eye perspective – with a top view of the vehicle and its direct surroundings. Dynamic guide lines are a help when entering and leaving parking spaces and maneuvering.

    Professor Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development: "The new E-Class makes a big step forward in every respect. With an emotionally appealing design it provides for fresh highlights in its segment. And in technical respect it offers unique things. They include new assistance systems from the future S-Class which, for example, relieve driver stress with steering assist, DISTRONIC PLUS® and for the first time also can prevent accidents with crossing vehicles or pedestrians. In addition, the EClass achieves best ratings in the area of efficiency, offers an internet-capable cloud-based infotainment system and improves night-time driving safety with state-of-the-art LED headlamps. So the E-Class is a veritable high-tech package – a very attractively packaged one at that."
    Drive system: high-performing and a model of efficiency
    All the available engines for the 2014 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet now feature an ECO start/stop system and are highly efficient. The E350 features a directinjection V6 gasoline engine with 302 hp and 273 lb ft of torque. The E550 is powered by a twin-turbo direct-injection V8 producing 402 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque.
    The E350 Coupe is also available in the U.S. with 4MATIC All-Wheel-Drive. The electronically-controlled system displays an impressive level of traction on all manner of terrain, raises active safety and offers an outstanding degree of driveline refinement.
    Mercedes-Benz offers a 7-speed automatic transmission with DIRECT SELECT lever and shift paddles. This latest version of this transmission provides significant advantages in terms of efficiency and ease of maintenance. A new feature is the short-term ‘M’ mode. If the driver has shifted up or down manually, after a set period of time the transmission independently switches back to the fuel-efficient automatic shift mode.
    The suspension – the basis for superior handling
    The 2014 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet feature the AGILITY CONTROL suspension with selective damping system. Its shock absorbers adapt to the condition of the road surface and ensure sporty handling and long-distance comfort typical of Mercedes-Benz.
    Alternatively available are the AGILITY CONTROL sports suspension with selective damping system and more tautly tuned dampers as well as the ADVANCED AGILITY package, which offers electronic damping control along with a program for selecting sportier accelerator characteristics and transmission shift points. With this, at the push of a button the driver can adjust the damping to his requirements depending on whether he wants to drive in a comfortable or sporty style.
    Like the Sedan and Wagon, the Coupe and Cabriolet are equipped with an electromechanical Direct-Steer system as standard. It combines the speeddependent power assistance of speed-sensitive steering with a variable ratio across the steering angle range. The electromechanical Direct-Steer system ensures more direct steering response, comfortable handling, and high levels of steering comfort across all speed ranges. It also provides considerable Page 7 savings potential, since energy is only required during steering action, and makes innovative assistance systems such as Active Parking Assist possible.
    High-quality appointments
    The 2014 E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet feature a comprehensive selection of premium equipment as standard. It includes a modern range of infotainment systems that allow the driver to keep up to date on what is happening around the world, or in the office, while on the road.
    Standard equipment includes the COMAND system featuring a 7-inch highresolution color display, sound system w/ AM/FM/WB radio, in-dash DVD/CD player, in-dash memory card slot, auxiliary input jack and Bluetooth interface for hands-free calling.
    Additionally, Mercedes-Benz offers the mbrace2 system as standard equipment. mbrace2 provides drivers top-of-the-line features related to safety, infotainment, personal assistance and vehicle care. mbrace2 creates a truly networked vehicle offering open Internet access and custom versions of popular apps, including Facebook, Yelp and Google Local Search designed specifically for in-vehicle use - called Mercedes-Benz Apps. It also includes a solution to remotely update software via cloud networks ensuring that mbrace2 users always have the latest app versions in their vehicles and at their fingertips. Sensible user design and limited functionality of these Internetbased apps ensures that they provide maximum utility without unnecessary distraction when the vehicle is in motion; certain features are not available for use when the vehicle is in motion.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 9, 2013
    Nissan revealed the refreshed 2013 Leaf today, saying the model will have improved charging times and better efficiency than the 2012 model.
    The 2013 Leaf has been fitted with a a new 6.6-kilowatt onboard charger that will cut the charging time from seven to four hours when plugged into a 220-volt charger. Nissan has improved the efficiency of the Leaf by improving the aerodynamic qualities, wider range of regenerative braking, a new "B" drive mode that increases regenerative braking during deceleration, and a more efficient heating system. Nissan says these changes will improve the Leaf's range but don't say how much.
    The Leaf will also have a new S model which will become the base model. The Leaf S will lose out on such features as alloy wheels, a 7-inch dashboard display, cruise control, a navigation system and two of the six speakers. SL models gain leather seats and 17-inch alloy wheels.
    Nissan also announced they are ramping up production of the Leaf at their Smyrna, Tennessee.
    Source: Nissan

    Album: 2013 Nissan Leaf
    10 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 10, 2013
    Yesterday, we introduced you to most of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class lineup. We didn't mention one model though, the new E63 AMG since Mercedes didn't release any information. Till today when Mercedes-Benz let loose the information and pictures of the new E63 AMG Sedan and Wagon.
    Outside, the E63 AMG sedan and wagon carry many of the changes seen on the new E-Class sedan and wagon. There is a set of full LED headlights, a twin-blade grille, 10-spoke, 19-inch titanium gray alloys, and what Mercedes-Benz calls 'A-Wing' air intakes under the bumpers. There's also a new S-Model which adds high-sheen rim flanges, red brake calipers, high-gloss treatment on the A-wing, and "S" badge on the trunk. Inside, there is black interior with contrasting gray stitching, silver seat belts, a flat-topped and flat-bottomed Nappa leather steering wheel with Alcantara inserts, and a 1,200-watt, 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo.
    Under the hood lies a twin-turbocharged 5.5L V8 producing either 550 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque on the standard model, and 577 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque on the S. All of that power is sent to a seven-speed AMG Speedshift MCT dual-clutch transmission with four different drive modes (Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Manual) and to a permanent "performance-oriented" all-wheel drive system that's biased 33/67 front-to-rear. The AWD system addsaround 154 pounds to the car's weight.
    There's also AMG adaptive sports suspension (front has steel, while the back uses an air suspension) and electronically controlled damping and Torque Vectoring Brake system. S-Model gets a limited-slip rear differential.
    Performance figures are staggering. 0-60 MPH takes 3.6 seconds on the standard E63 and 3.5 seconds with the S. Top speed is 155 MPH (electronically limited) or 186 MPH when equipped with the AMG Performance Package.
    The E63 AMG sedan and wagon arrives later in the summer.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz

    Album: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
    12 images 0 comments 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 benchmark for performance, dynamic purpose and efficiency
    The new E63 AMG 4MATIC and S-Model
    MONTVALE, NJ - Mercedes-AMG continues to emphasize performance, dynamic purpose and efficiency: The new 2014 E63 AMG 4MATIC now features a redesigned, performance-oriented AMG all-wheel-drive system as standard equipment and is also available as an especially powerful S Model with output of 577 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. The 5.5-liter AMG V8 Biturbo continues to be the benchmark of efficiency: No other competitor in this segment offers this combination of maximum performance and low fuel consumption. Permanent all-wheel drive is standard on all U.S. models – which also feature a power increase from 518 hp to 550 hp with a peak torque of 531 lb-ft. With this step Mercedes-AMG now for the first time offers powerful passenger cars with an all-wheel-drive system designed for vehicle dynamics. The 2014 E63 AMG 4MATIC goes on-sale in the U.S. this summer.
    With the introduction of the new custom-tailored models, Mercedes-AMG offers its customers even more individuality than before. The 2014 E63 AMG 4MATIC is more powerful and sports a more dynamic outfit than all its predecessors: Even at first glance the new AMG design philosophy is immediately apparent.
    The new "twin blade" radiator grille and a new "A-wing" in the AMG front fascia define the exclusive appearance. As before, the top-of-the-line E-Class AMG model is available as a sedan and wagon. Also adding significantly to the new models' appeal is the marked improvement in the price-performance ratio: E63 AMG 4MATIC customers now get even more power, better vehicle dynamics and a more extensive list of standard equipment. The new product logic also benefits the CLS63 AMG: Like the E63 AMG 4MATIC, the CLS63 AMG is available as an S-Model and with the performance oriented AMG all-wheel-drive system 4MATIC as standard. The addition of the
    E63 AMG and the CLS63 AMG means there are now also two all-wheel-drive passenger car models available from Mercedes-AMG besides the successful ML63 AMG, GL63 AMG, and G63 AMG SUV's. Additional models equipped with the performance-oriented AMG all-wheel-drive system 4MATIC such as the CLA45 AMG will follow this year.
    Ola Källenius, CEO Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "The philosophy of Mercedes-AMG is driving performance. With the new model variants of the E63 AMG 4MATIC and CLS63 AMG 4MATIC it is also becoming clear that we offer our customers even more individuality than before. In particular the S-Models represent the most attractive offer in the competitive segment and score decisive points with a significant improvement in their price-performance ratio: The most power and the highest torque in the segment, the new performance-oriented AMG all wheel-drive system, the new design and a significantly more extensive standard-equipment package are among the outstanding strengths of the new high-performance automobiles from Affalterbach. With the innovative all wheel-drive S-Models we will reach new customers and markets."
    Tobias Moers, head of overall vehicle development and member of the management board of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "We have significantly honed the dynamic profile of the 2014 E63 AMG 4MATIC and the CLS63 AMG 4MATIC with the exclusive S-Models. Only AMG offers customers power and torque figures of such magnitude. Our AMG 5.5-liter V8 engine is still the world's most efficient V8 built in series production. With the newly developed performance-oriented AMG all-wheel-drive system 4MATIC we not only deliver the best acceleration figures in the competitive segment, we also offer our customers markedly better vehicle dynamics than ever before."
    With an acceleration time of 3.5 seconds for the sprint from rest to 60 mph, the S-Model of the E63 AMG 4MATIC holds an undisputed top position in the competitive environment; the electronically limited top speed is 186 mph. In addition to the power increase, the performance-oriented AMG all-wheel-drive system 4MATIC with a power distribution of 33 to 67 percent (front/rear axle) is also a major factor. Perfect traction during acceleration effectively prevents any losses due to wheel slip.
    On the new S-Model the AMG 5.5-liter V8 Biturbo engine produces a peak power output of 577 hp and delivers a peak torque of 590 lb-ft – an increase by 27 hp over the previously available AMG Performance package option. The increase in performance and power is made possible by modifications to the engine management system, an increase in the peak injection pressure and a hike in maximum boost pressure from 13.0 to 14.5 psi. The base model also adds 32 hp and 15 lb􀀐ft and now produces 550 hp of power and a peak torque of 531 lb-ft.
    Despite the added power and improved performance all E63 AMG 4MATIC models deliver high efficiency, low fuel consumption and low emissions. The AMG 5.5-liter V8 Biturbo engine is still the most efficient series-production V8 engine in its performance segment – and that with significantly more displacement than the direct competitors.
    AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission for a personal setup
    Maximum individuality and custom-tailored dynamics are the strengths of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission. Four drive programs, "C" (Controlled Efficiency), "S" (Sport), "S+" (Sport plus) and "M" (Manual), provide each driver with a personal setup. In "C" mode the ECO start/stop function is active and shuts off the eight-cylinder engine when the car is at a standstill. In addition, the driver experiences smooth transmission characteristics with comfortable and early gearshifts. In "C" mode the car generally starts in second gear.
    In the "S", "S+" and "M" transmission modes the engine and transmission are significantly more agile and the ECO start/stop function is deactivated. Perfectly tailored to a spirited driving style is the partial suppression of the cylinders. A brief and precisely defined retardation of ignition and injection under open throttle results in even faster gearshifts and a more aggressive exhaust note. An automatic rev-matching function for downshifts and the RACE START function are also part of the standard features of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission.
    Performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system 4MATIC for maximum dynamics
    The performance-oriented all-wheel-drive system sends 33 percent of the engine torque to the front and 67 percent to the rear axle. The rear-biased torque split ensures the high level of vehicle dynamics typical of AMG and maximum driving pleasure. The three-stage ESP® system is specifically calibrated to the permanent all-wheel-drive system. In "Sport Handling" mode the Torque Vectoring Brake applies the brakes to selected wheels in the interest of supreme agility: As a result, unwelcome understeer is prevented.
    During cornering a targeted brief brake intervention on the inside rear wheel affects a defined turn-in of the vehicle.
    The standard AMG all-wheel-drive system 4MATIC improves road safety and traction on wet or wintery roads. Optimal traction is ensured by a multi-plate clutch with a locking force of 37 lb-ft, which increases road adhesion particularly on ice and snow.
    The technical basis is a transfer case for the additional power take-off to the driven front axle. It is integrated into the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission with minimum additional space requirements. The torque is transferred by the power take-off to the front axle via a drive shaft. The power from the front differential is transferred to the left half shaft by an intermediate shaft that runs in a sealed shaft tunnel in the engine oil pan. This compact and weight-optimized design results in a comparatively low added weight of just 154 lbs for the all-wheel-drive components.
    E63 AMG S-Model 4MATIC with limited-slip rear differential
    Mercedes-AMG goes even one step further on the E63 AMG S-Model 4MATIC. In keeping with its philosophy of "Driving Performance" the most powerful E-Class is equipped with a limited-slip rear differential. This high-tech package increases traction even further. The effect: Even better vehicle dynamics and more driving pleasure, in particular on the racetrack.
    All 2014 E63 AMG 4MATIC models are equipped with the AMG Adaptive sports suspension with electronically controlled damping system. The front axle features a steel suspension, the rear axle an all-air suspension system. A push of the button with the shock absorber symbol in the AMG DRIVE UNIT is all it takes to switch the electronics from "Comfort" to "Sport" or "Sport plus." In conjunction with newly developed aluminum axle components this results in significantly more grip and agility while maintaining the vehicle's neutral handling during fast cornering. The S-Model's elastokinematics were perfectly tuned for performance and offer the driver optimal neutral handling at the limit as well as better feedback and grip. The E63 AMG 4MATIC's track on the front axle is 1.9 inches wider than the standard E-Class sedan and offers significantly better stability at high cornering speeds and better road feel. A more negative camber on both axles additionally improves lateral dynamics.
    The perfect complement is the electromechanical AMG sports speed-sensitive steering. In conjunction with the variable power assist dependent on the selected suspension mode, the direct steering ratio of 14 : 1 provides particularly agile cornering capabilities. The 2014 E63 AMG 4MATIC features high-sheen 10-spoke AMG alloys painted titanium gray as standard. The front axle features tires in size 255/35 R 19 (front) and 285/30 R 19 (rear) on AMG alloys in size 9.0 x 19 and 9.5 x 19. Only the powerful S-Model comes with 10-spoke alloys painted in matte titanium gray with high-sheen rim flanges.
    AMG carbon ceramic high-performance braking system available as an option
    As of course with all AMG cars, the 2014 E63 AMG 4MATIC also comes with an ultra-powerful AMG high-performance brake system. Vented and cross-drilled brake discs with a generous 14.2 in􀀑 diameter are fitted front and rear. Because of the special stresses they face, the front discs feature compound (two-piece) technology that has been tried and tested in motor racing. Brake calipers painted silver with white AMG lettering and six pistons (front) and four pistons (rear) provide responsive, fade-resistant deceleration and shortest stopping distances. The S-Model can be additionally identified by red brake calipers.
    AMG carbon ceramic high-performance brakes are available as an option exclusively on the S-Model – recognizable thanks to even bigger brake discs with a diameter of 15.8 in􀀑 and the "AMG Carbon Ceramic" logo on the specially painted brake calipers. Their advantages: The discs are 40 percent lighter, reducing the unsprung masses and improving vehicle dynamics, agility and ride comfort. The ceramic discs are also much harder, resulting in an extended service life and in increased resistance to extreme loads and heat.
    Unmistakable design with even more dynamic purpose and exclusivity
    Dynamic purpose and performance are not only the focus of the fascinating technology of the new E63 AMG 4MATIC; the design also consistently transports these defining characteristics. Visually the AMG high-performance automobile sets new trends as the first AMG model to show off the new AMG design philosophy. Dominating elements are the silver-chrome AMG "twin blade" radiator grille and the so-called "A-wing." The new three-dimensional air control element extends across the entire width of the AMG front fascia and sports the stylized "A" distinctive of AMG vehicles. The "A-wing" painted in body color with silver-chrome trim strip frames the three generously dimensioned cooling-air inlets. Black flics on the side air inlets ensure optimal airflow to the cooling modules; on the bottom a front splitter painted in body color contributes to increasing downforce. Convex and concave surfaces join the new, sculptured front end of the E63 AMG 4MATIC to the distinctive widened fenders, on which the "V8 BITURBO" lettering provides an indication of the superior engine power.
    The side air outlets, the black mesh and the two chrome-plated dual tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system emphasize the width of the vehicle in the rear. The black diffuser insert with pronounced fins lends the rear of the E63 AMG 4MATIC a strong touch of racetrack ambiance.
    S-Model with even more striking design features
    The 2014 E63 AMG S-Model 4MATIC differs from the base model in numerous restyled and even more striking design features. The "A-wing" in the front has a black high-gloss finish; the front splitter and the striking three-dimensional inserts of the side skirts sport a silver-chrome design. The silver-chrome trim strip and the two unmistakable dual tailpipes of the AMG sport exhaust system provide a powerful effect in the rear. The AMG separation edge painted in body color (sedan only) reduces lift at high speeds.
    The 10-spoke AMG alloys, painted matte titanium gray and featuring high sheen rim flanges, and the large tires in sizes 255/35 R 19 in front and 285/30 R 19 in the rear fill out the wheel wells perfectly. Red brake calipers and an AMG logo with contrasting black "S" on the trunk lid are further features of the S-Models.
    Interior with dynamic-exclusive interior
    The interior of the E63 AMG S-Model 4MATIC comes with – depending on customer preferences – gray contrasting seams on the AMG sports seats, the door center panels, the armrests of the doors and the center console. The interior also features silver-colored seat belts in conjunction with a black interior. The grip areas of the black Nappa leather steering wheel rim with flattened top and bottom is finished in Alcantara® with gray contrasting seams. The front head restraints of the AMG sports seats are embossed with AMG crests. The redesigned AMG instrument cluster carries an "S AMG" logo on the 200 mph speedometer with red needles. The standard equipment also includes AMG door sill panels backlit in white, power rear roller blinds (sedan only) in addition to many other details.
    Distinctive to all E63 AMG 4MATIC models are highest quality materials, excellent workmanship and the exclusive ambiance. The new AMG-specific analog clock in IWC design between the two central ventilation outlets serves as an appealing focal point.
    Highlights of standard equipment on all E63 AMG 4MATIC models also include:
    • AMG door sill panels
    • AMG sports pedals made from brushed stainless steel with rubber studs
    • ATTENTION ASSIST
    • COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST
    • Metallic paintwork
    • All-LED headlights
    The following styling and trim options are available:
    • AMG Carbon-Fiber Exterior Styling package
    • AMG Night package (A-wing with trim strip, front splitter, inserts of the door sill panels, exterior mirror housings and rear fascia trim strips in high-gloss black, dual exhaust embellishers black chrome-plated)
    • AMG carbon-fiber engine cover
    • AMG high-sheen forged wheels with 5-twin-spoke wheel bolt cover, painted titanium gray
    • AMG trim elements carbon-fiber/piano lacquer finish
    • designo styling elements
    Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end surround-sound system
    A particular highlight in the selection of optional equipment for the E-Class Sedan and Wagon is the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end surround sound system. Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG have created this high-end sound system together with renowned Danish audio specialist Bang & Olufsen. The sound system is of course capable of Dolby Digital 5.1 playback and provides an exclusive music experience with unparalleled sound. The basis for this is not only the 1,200 watt amplifier and the 14 high-end speakers with neodymium drivers, but also the distribution of the music signals that is precisely controlled by the sound processor. This integrated digital sound processor (DSP) provides drivers with the option of selecting a special B&O sound menu on the COMAND system. In True Image™ mode individual sound settings for the front, center and rear can be selected. The effect: A realistic sound experience at the selected listening position. The "Sound Mode" menu also has various preset sound modes that allow choosing between a high-end "Reference" studio sound and a spacious surround sound. While "Reference" puts the focus on the sound presentation of the artist, the special surround sound mode delivers a spacious surround-sound experience. In particular live recordings or concertos result in a unique panoramic sound in the vehicle without altering the naturalness of the recording.
    50-watt illuminated tweeters with acoustic lens technology arranged in the mirror triangle add special highlights. High-end Bang & Olufsen aluminum speaker covers in silver chrome with Bang & Olufsen logo additionally signal the exceptional position of the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end surround-sound system.
    The U.S. market launch of the new all-wheel-drive E63 AMG 4MATIC and the E63 AMG S-Model 4MATIC will begin in the Summer of 2013.
    Quick Reference:
    Availability: Summer 2013
    Models/Performance:
    • E63 AMG 4MATIC Sedan: AMG biturbo 5.5-liter V8 (550 hp, 531 lb-ft)
    • E63 AMG S-Model 4MATIC Sedan: AMG biturbo 5.5-liter V8 (577 hp, 590 lb-ft)
    • E63 AMG S-Model 4MATIC Wagon: AMG biturbo 5.5-liter V8 (577 hp, 590 lb-ft)
    New Standard Feature Highlights:
    • Performance-oriented 4MATIC all-wheel-drive (33/67 power distribution)
    • Power Increase (+32 hp, +15 lb-ft)
    • Redesigned exterior with integrated star and AMG twin-blade radiator grille
    • All-LED Headlights
    • COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST
    • ATTENTION ASSIST 2.0
    New Optional Feature Highlights:
    • S-Model Configuration
    • Power Increase (+27 hp, +59 lb-ft)
    • Limited slip rear differential
    • 10-Spoke AMG Matte Titanium Grey alloy wheels with high-sheen rim flanges
    • High-gloss black "A-wing"
    • Red Brake Calipers
    • Contrast stitching on seats, door trim, armrests and center console
    • Silver seat belts (black interior only)
    • Alcantara steering wheel grips
    • 'S' badging on trunk and speedometer
    • AMG Carbon Fiber Engine Cover
    • Carbon Fiber Exterior Styling Package
    • Forged twin 5-spoke 19" wheel
    • Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG High-End Surround-Sound System

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 13, 2013
    Lincoln has revealed their MKC crossover concept a day before its official introduction at the Detroit Auto Show and gives us an indication of what a production model could look like when its introduced later this year.
    The MKC Concept's overall look is Lincoln's best attempt at distancing themselves from a similar Ford model. The look is a mishmash of Lincoln MKZ, Range Rover Evoque, and Ford Escape. The front end features winged grille with some LED headlamps sitting on either side. Around back, Lincoln designers cut into the bodysides for the rear hatch, giving it a smooth, uninterrupted look.
    Inside the MKC Concept, Lincoln pulled a few ideas from the MKZ. There are Lincoln logos embedded in the seat, door stitchings, and even the speakers' grilles. Also, designers put in a floating center console to make room for storage cubbies and cupholders and a push button shifter.
    Source: Lincoln

    Album: Lincoln MKC Concept
    11 images 0 comments 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
    MKC Concept New Opportunity for Lincoln
    > Lincoln MKC Concept debuts at 2013 North American International Auto
    Show – Lincoln's first-ever small vehicle
    > Small luxury utility concept signals future Lincoln entry into industry's
    fastest-growing segment
    > MKC Concept introduces the "Lincoln Experiences" suite of technology and signature content to enhance the driving and ownership experience
    DETROIT, Jan. 13, 2013 – Lincoln today introduces the MKC Concept, a vision of how Lincoln will enter the industry's fastest-growing small luxury utility segment.
    With nearly 60 percent growth in 2012 and more than 200 percent in the last four years, the small luxury utility segment has far eclipsed all other luxury segments. The opportunity is a key next step in Lincoln's strategy to grow with four all-new vehicles targeted at the highest-growth segments over the next four years.
    "We are reinventing Lincoln by focusing on the largest and fastest-growing segments of the luxury market, while offering clients something different," said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln. "The just-introduced MKZ re-establishes Lincoln in the largest luxury segment, and the MKC Concept highlights a key opportunity in the fastest-growing part of the luxury market."
    This segment growth is being driven at both ends of the demographic spectrum. Many new buyers are coming into affluence and purchasing their first luxury vehicle. Others are moving from larger vehicles to smaller ones to simplify their lives. This growth includes China, where Lincoln will begin selling in the second half of 2014 through independent dealers.
    Creating 'Lincoln Experiences'
    Lincoln is being reinvented in every way – from a complete new lineup of stunningly designed vehicles to how dealerships provide surprising personal client services and how drivers engage with their vehicles. The goal is to appeal to a new type of luxury clients considered cultural progressives, who are open to new ideas and experiences.
    In current and future vehicles, these "Lincoln Experiences" will include a variety of distinctive features, such as push-button transmission engagement, programmable ride control, unique and diverse powertrains, personalized lighting, and a suite of customizable functions that are unique for each client as the vehicle instantly recognizes the operator and creates a personalized welcoming sequence.
    Future Lincolns also will combine these unique experiences with the option of stunning, bespoke interior and exterior design appointments that will transcend typical luxury automotive standards, furthering the brand's transformation. The MKC Concept explores many of these transformative ideas.
    Exterior design
    The MKC Concept builds on the foundation of the Lincoln Design DNA found in the new MKZ. These warm, open and inviting design cues are a core element of the brand's heritage.
    "The MKC Concept has a wonderful stance and sits beautifully on its wheels," said Murat Gueler, MKC Concept lead exterior designer. "It has a sleek, sculpted body and wheel arches and elegant shoulders. The lines of the vehicle appear relatively simple on first look but with a second view reveal a dynamic three dimensionality.
    "The Lincoln design team has done an outstanding job with the MKC Concept in communicating Lincoln's design vision for reaching a new and discerning clientele."
    An uninterrupted, highly crafted rear-view appearance highlights the signature full-width taillamps. This is made possible by a liftgate design with a side-view cutline – a Lincoln first. It shows how the dedicated Lincoln design and engineering teams have worked together to deliver customer-focused solutions that not only elevate the appearance, but also provide maximum load capability.
    "This approach eliminates the traditional vertical cutline on the rear seen on utilities, which in turn contributes to the athletic presence of the vehicle," Gueler said.
    The continuity also is apparent in the execution of the frameless windows, which amplify the richness of the design, as does the signature split-wing grille. The exterior is augmented by warm, cream-based white metallic tri-coat paint, 20-inch premium wheels with polished chrome rims, and a large fixed panoramic roof that runs the length of the vehicle.
    Interior design, colors and materials
    High-end bespoke design, materials and execution inspire the four-passenger interior.
    "There is a significant upgrade in materials and a stylish, fashion-oriented package. The materials are combined with progressive combinations and uses of stitching and colors," said Soo Kang, Lincoln interior design chief.
    Just like MKZ – which sets the tone for the brand's thoughtful new approach to design – the MKC Concept features a distinct push-button gear shift selector. This enables a flowing, expressive and architectural center console design covered with riveting details, and unique colors and materials.
    The headliner is wrapped with high-end material, providing a warm and luxurious feel. The pillars are wrapped with premium leather. The seats also feature premium leather and include a unique embroidered Lincoln Star and crimson stitch accents.
    The Lincoln Star lattice also is subtly placed on the MKC Concept's floor mats to complement the lattice design in the speaker mesh, light fixtures and lug-nut covers.
    The smooth leather also wraps the door trim uppers, armrests, bolsters, console side rails, instrument panel and cargo area.
    "There is a rich softness to the exterior and interior palette of the MKC Concept," said Susan Lampinen, group chief designer, Color & Material Design. "The leather-wrapped architecture complements the open-pore and designer hand-dyed woods."
    Other refined details include finishes like appliqués cut from layers of reconstructed natural wood infused with a metallic flake for a glistening effect on the steering wheel, upper instrument panel and door panels.
    A true Lincoln
    "The Lincoln MKC Concept is designed to strike a perfect balance between warm, inviting comfort and the engaging and superb dynamic qualities of performance, ride, handling and braking," said Farley. "This balance is focused toward a new luxury automotive client emerging in the marketplace – someone who recognizes a great vehicle and demands a balance between all-out performance and comfort."

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 13, 2013
    The new few days are going to busy with coverage of the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. But don't fret, we'll be proving a one stop shop of stories and links from Detroit here.
    Concept Vehicles:
    Acura MDX Prototype
    Acura NSX Concept (Now with an Interior)
    BMW 4-Series Coupe
    Ford Atlas
    Honda Urban SUV
    Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis
    Lincoln MKC
    Nissan Resonance
    Toyota Corolla Furia
    Volkswagen CrossBlue
    Volkswagen Passat Performance
    Production Vehicles:
    2014 Audi RS7
    2014 Audi SQ5
    2013 BMW 320i
    2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe
    2014 Cadillac ELR
    2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
    2013 Dodge Dart GT
    2014 Infiniti Q50
    2014 Jeep Compass and Patriot
    2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and SRT
    2014 Kia Cadenza
    2014 Lexus IS
    2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA
    2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
    2014 Mercedes-Benz E63
    2013 Nissan Leaf
    2014 Nissan Versa Note
    2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
    News
    Hyundai Teases The HCD-14 Concept
    Is Lexus Hinting A Return Of The IS Sport Cross?
    Leaks From Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 13, 2013
    Volkswagen is using the term 'concept' very lightly with the introduction of the Passat Performance Concept before the Detroit Auto Show this week.
    The concept uses a modified version of Volkswagen's 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder producing 250 horspower and send its power to a six-speed automatic. Other performance modifications on the Passat Performance Concept include a lowered sport suspension and electro-mechanical steering system.
    Style-wise, the Passat Performance Concept has a dual exhaust system, 19-inch “Luxor” alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights, LED taillights, and carbon applications on the mirror caps. Inside, there are carbon-like inserts are on dashboard and on the two-tone seats, complemented by a black headliner and side pillars.
    Source: Volkswagen

    Album: Volkswagen Passat Performance Concept
    2 images 0 comments 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
    01.11.2013
    GLOBAL DEBUT OF VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT PERFORMANCE CONCEPT AT 2013 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    All-new 1.8 TSI engine delivers 250 horsepower and gives a sneak-peek at upcoming sport sedan
    Bi-Xenon-Headlights with Advanced Front Lighting System (AFS) and LED taillights
    Carbon-style detailing inside and out

    Herndon, VA - 2012 will go down in the Volkswagen Passat’s history as its best sales year ever, with 117,023 units sold of the designed-for-America, Chattanooga-built family sedan. In an exercise to hint at Volkswagen’s efforts to explore this practical four-door’s sportier side, Volkswagen will unveil the Passat Performance Concept at the 2013 North American International Auto Show® in Detroit.
    The most notable alteration in this concept isn’t something you’d see right away—it’s under the hood. The Passat Performance Concept features a unique modification of the Volkswagen EA888 1.8 liter turbocharged and direct-injected TSI® four-cylinder engine, which delivers 250 horsepower (184 kW) and is matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. In its existing form, this engine is already available—and popular—among the European and Asian markets.
    The Passat Performance Concept further differentiates itself from the regular Passat with a dual exhaust, 19-inch “Luxor” alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights including Advanced Front Lighting System (AFS) and LED taillights and carbon applications on its mirror caps. Inside, carbon-like touches dominate the dashboard, matching the carbon-style inserts on two-color leather seating surfaces and complementing the black headliner and side pillars. A lowered sport suspension and electro-mechanical steering enhance the handling.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 13, 2013
    Tonight is the start of the 2013 Detroit Auto Show with the most anticipated reveal: the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette. We're going to have people on the ground for the launch of the Corvette and will be streaming the launch beginning at 7:00 P.M.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 13, 2013
    Its a momentous occasion whenever Chevrolet introduces a new Corvette and the introduction of the seventh-generation model tonight in Detroit is no exception to this. The seventh-generation Corvette brings forth a many changes to vehicle, starting with its name. Chevrolet resurrected the Stingray nameplate and put it on this new Corvette.
    The exterior design is a mishmash of the C6 and 2009 Stingray concept. Up front there is a wide grille, a more sculpted hood, and HID headlights. The side features more creases and numerous vents. The one part that will get a lot of controversy is the C7's rear end. Its completely unlike any other Corvette rear end at all thanks in part to the unique shape of taillights, new vents, and quad tailpipes.
    Under the C7's skin, Chevrolet has made a lot of changes. The C7 rides atop a atop an aluminum frame (Like the C6 Z06 and ZR1). That helps drop 99 pounds and increases rigidity by 57%. Other weight loss tricks include hollow, cast-aluminum lower control arms, carbon roof and hood panels, a sheet-molded compound for the fenders, doors and rear quarters; and advanced carbon-nano composite underbody panels. These changes drop another 37 pounds and gives the C7 a 50/50 weight balance.
    Power comes a 6.2L LT1 V8 engine with cylinder-deactivation that produces 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. You have the choice of either a seven-speed manual transmission with rev-matching or a six-speed automatic. Chevrolet says the C7 can reach sixty in under four seconds and will best the C6's 26 MPG combined.
    The C7 will also feature a Drive Mode Selector that allows drivers to pick from five different settings (Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport and Track). The system will then change twelve different functions including throttle, active fuel management, steering effort, exhaust note, stability control and traction control.
    The C7's interior is a massive improvement over the outgoing model. The driver-focused cockpit features soft-touch surfaces, real aluminum trim, and optional carbon fiber accents. There are also the choice of two seats; a standard seat for long-range comfort and a competition-type seat.
    The new Corvette goes on sale in the second quarter of 2013.

    Album: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Live Shots
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    Album: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
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    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
    Return of the Stingray: The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette
    DETROIT – Chevrolet is redefining modern performance with today's debut of the all-new Corvette Stingray. And only a Corvette with the perfect balance of technology, design and performance can wear the iconic Stingray designation.
    The 2014 Corvette Stingray is the most powerful standard model ever, with an estimated 450 horsepower (335 kW) and 450 lb.-ft. of torque (610 Nm). It is also the most capable standard model ever, able to accelerate from 0-60 in less than four seconds and achieve more than 1g in cornering grip. It is expected to be the most fuel-efficient Corvette, exceeding the EPA-estimated 26 mpg of the current model.
    "Like the '63 Sting Ray, the best Corvettes embodied performance leadership, delivering cutting-edge technologies, breathtaking design and awe-inspiring driving experiences," said GM North America President Mark Reuss. "The all-new Corvette goes farther than ever, thanks to today's advancements in design, technology and engineering."
    The all-new Corvette Stingray shares only two parts with the previous generation Corvette. It incorporates an all-new frame structure and chassis, a new powertrain and supporting technologies, as well as completely new exterior and interior designs. Highlights include:
    • An interior that includes real carbon fiber, aluminum and hand-wrapped leather materials, two new seat choices – each featuring a lightweight magnesium frame for exceptional support – and dual eight-inch configurable driver/infotainment screens
    • Advanced driver technologies, including a five-position Drive Mode Selector that tailors 12 vehicle attributes to the fit the driver's environment and a new seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching that anticipates gear selections and matches engine speed for perfect shifts every time
    • An all-new 6.2L LT1 V-8 engine combines advanced technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management, continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system that delivers more power while using less fuel
    • Lightweight materials, including a carbon fiber hood and removable roof panel; composite fenders, doors and rear quarter panels; carbon-nano composite underbody panels and a new aluminum frame help shift weight rearward for an optimal 50/50 weight balance that supports a world-class power-to-weight ratio
    • A sculptured exterior features advanced high-intensity discharge and light-emitting diode lighting and racing-proven aerodynamics that balance low drag for efficiency and performance elements for improved stability and track capability
    • Track-capable Z51 Performance Package including: an electronic limited-slip differential, dry-sump oiling system, integral brake, differential and transmission cooling, as well as a unique aero package that further improves high-speed stability.
    "Stingray is one of the hallowed names in automotive history," said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design. "We knew we couldn't use the Stingray name unless the new car truly lived up to the legacy. The result is a new Corvette Stingray that breaks from tradition, while remaining instantly recognizable as a Corvette the world over."
    The new Corvette Stingray will be built at GM's Bowling Green, Ky., assembly plant, which underwent a $131-million upgrade, including approximately $52 million for a new body shop to manufacture the aluminum frame in-house for the first time.
    "We believe the Corvette represents the future of modern performance cars because it delivers more power, more driving excitement and better fuel efficiency," said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. "The result is better performance by every measure. The 2014 Corvette delivers the fastest acceleration, the most cornering grip, the most track capability, the best braking performance and what we expect to be the best fuel economy ever for a standard Corvette."
    The 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe goes on sale in the third quarter of 2013.
    Handcrafted, high-tech interior
    • Premium materials including genuine aluminum and available carbon fiber trim
    • More connected driving experience through the smaller-diameter steering wheel and two new seat choices
    • Advanced technologies including standard dual, high-resolution information screens and available color head-up display.
    The new Corvette Stingray interior blends fine materials and craftsmanship with advanced technologies that contribute to a more connected and more engaging driving experience, said Helen Emsley, interior design director.
    "Every feature and detail in the interior is designed to enhance the driver's connection to the Corvette," Emsley said. "It starts with the fighter jet inspired wraparound cockpit; continues to build with the smaller steering wheel, more supportive seats, and high-definition, configurable screens, and is finished in gorgeous materials."
    The smaller, 14.1-inch-diameter (360 mm) steering wheel fosters a more direct, immediate feel to directional inputs. The attention to the driver extends to the smallest details, including the flat, precise stitching on the steering wheel designed to provide a smooth, consistent feel.
    Precise and elegant stitching also is seen in the available Napa leather trim of the all-new seats.
    Two seating choices will be offered: 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.
    Additional performance-enhancing details of the interior resulted from designers' "field trips" to GM's Proving Ground in Milford, Mich., where high-performance driving experiences spurred the design and implementation of several features, 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.
    High-performance driving also influenced elements of the configurable display screens and available head-up display, which vary depending on the driving mode, including the Track display inspired by the C6.R.
    The performance-supporting elements inside the new Corvette Stingray are complemented by unprecedented attention to detail and build quality, including the sweeping arch motif over the driver cockpit trim and the seamless transition of the line from the instrument panel to the door.
    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.
    A blend of hand craftsmanship and machined precision is intended to ensure the fit, finish and ambience of the cabin is first-rate. The leather-wrapped instrument panel, for example, features hand-selected and hand-stretched materials for better grain matching with stitching performed by robots that deliver perfect seams.
    There's even a micro-LED screen for the passenger's climate control placed below the vent on the on the dash away from the performance features on the instrument panel.
    "To ensure the high quality of the interior, we spent time working on the line alongside the team that builds the Corvette every day at Bowling Green Assembly Plant," said Ryan Vaughan, interior design manager. "And thanks to that collaboration between design, engineering and manufacturing, we were able to make adjustments that allowed us to maintain the integrity of the design, improve the assembly process and ultimately deliver what we believe to be a world-class interior."
    Driver-oriented technologies
    • Driver Mode Selector optimizes 12 vehicle attributes
    • Configurable screens and head-up display can be tailored to the driver's preference
    • Central touch screen uses gesture-recognition technology.
    At the core of the Corvette Stingray's driver-focused technologies is the cockpit-mounted Driver Mode Selector, which allows drivers to optimize the car for their driving preference and road conditions via five settings: Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport and Track.
    "The all-new Corvette Stingray is really three cars in one: It provides the comfort and functionality of a long-distance GT car, the connectedness and infotainment of a daily driver and the acceleration, grip and braking of a capable track car," said Harlan Charles, product manager.
    "With the Driver Mode Selector, we wanted to give the driver an easy way to tailor virtually every aspect of the car to fit their driving environment. The result is a more rewarding, more confident experience, whether you're commuting in a downpour or charging through the corkscrew at Laguna Seca."
    The Driver Mode Selector is easy to use via a rotary knob near the shifter. The Tour mode is the default setting for everyday driving; Weather mode is designed primarily for added confidence while driving in rain and snow; Eco mode is for achieving optimal fuel economy; Sport mode is for spirited road driving and Track mode is for track use.
    "Early in the development process, we spent time on the track, driving Corvettes hard. That experience shaped many parts of the interior, such as the instrument display in Track Mode," said Vaughn. "At 120 mph, you experience a sort of tunnel vision, as you concentrate on the next turn. At that moment, you don't need to know the next song playing on the radio."
    Twelve performance parameters are adjusted with the selection of each mode, including:
    • Gauge cluster configuration: The Tour, Eco and Weather modes feature displays for trip data, audio and navigation; Sport mode shows classic, easy-to-read sports car gauges; and Track mode's configuration shows a gauge design based on the Corvette Racing C6.R race car display with lap timer
    • ETC (Electronic Throttle Control): Adjusts the throttle input curve for the selected mode for improved responsiveness
    • Paddle-shift automatic transmission: Adjusts shift comfort and shift points
    • Active Fuel Management: in normal mode, the LT1 engine uses V-8 power during acceleration and V-4 power when coasting; in Eco mode the engine remains in V-4 mode to improve fuel economy until aggressive acceleration is needed
    • Exhaust (active exhaust system): The system adjusts the timing of the electronically controlled exhaust valves to enhance audible feedback from the V-8 depending on the drive mode
    • Electronic limited-slip differential (Z51): 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
    • Steering: Assist effort is adjusted in the modes to provide the driver with the correct steering feel for the driving condition
    • Magnetic Ride Control: Adjusts shock damping based on road conditions, from optimized comfort to performance driving
    • Launch control: Available in Sport and Track modes for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration
    • Active handling (StabiliTrak stability control): A "competitive" setting is available in Sport and Track modes 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 the Sport and Track modes and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving.
    Three configurable displays, including a pair of eight-inch screens and color head-up display, deliver personalized information and convey the different performance parameters of each drive mode.
    The two eight-inch screens offer excellent visibility in direct sunlight, with 650 cd/m2 of brightness for the one integrated into the instrument cluster and 1,000 cd/m2 of brightness for the one in the center stack, making it among the brightest screens in the industry. The screen in the center stack also features touch-screen control with gesture recognition and can be lowered to reveal a hidden storage that includes a USB input for device charging or uploads.
    The Corvette Stingray delivers an advanced infotainment system, featuring Chevrolet MyLink and high-definition radio, as well as enhanced OnStar with 3D navigation maps. An additional USB port in the center console, a stand-alone audio input jack and an SD card slot provide seamless connectivity.
    An available premium 10-speaker audio system includes a bass box and two subwoofers – and speakers with rare-earth magnets that deliver greater sound quality with reduced weight and size.
    Every line counts on Corvette Stingray's functionally elegant exterior
    • Aerodynamic design integrates strategies from Corvette racing
    • Signature lighting includes distinctive frosted light-emitting diode daytime driving lights, high-intensity discharge headlamps and indirect-LED taillamps
    • Carbon fiber hood and removable roof panel enhance front/rear weight balance
    Corvette Stingray's provocative exterior styling is as functional as it is elegant, said Ken Parkinson, executive director of global design.
    "Developing a new Corvette, while every designer's dream, is not an easy task," Parkinson said. "The goal was a bold design statement that embraced the advanced technology of the car, while enhancing its overall performance in everything from the wind tunnel to the track. The result is a new Corvette Stingray – a fantastic car that breaks new ground yet remains true to the fundamental elements that make a Corvette a Corvette."
    While no single detail is repeated from previous generations, the new Corvette Stingray include the distinctive profile defined by a long dash-to-axle ratio and the greenhouse evoking the canopy of a fighter jet with dual-element taillamps. To this foundation, designers built a form vocabulary from two very different sources: aerospace and nature.
    "For the new Corvette to be called a Stingray, it had to deliver an incredible, purposeful visual impact – just as the original did in 1963," said Tom Peters, exterior design director. "That visual impact is evident in fighter jets and the Stingray animal itself. Their beauty comes from their purpose, designed to cut through air or water as quickly and efficiently as possible. As with aircraft and living forms, every transition on every surface of the Corvette Stingray serves a purpose executed with beauty and proportion."
    Lighting is a signature element of the Corvette Stingray's design and reinforces its high-tech aesthetic. At the front, indirect white LED lamps form a distinctive daytime styling cue. They are set in a black-chrome lamp housing with standard HID projector headlamps. The turn signals feature edge-lit amber LED lighting.
    All-new, dual-element taillamps represent the greatest departure from tradition and are among the car's most dramatic elements. The three-dimensional, sculpted lenses house innovative indirect LED lighting. The state-of-the-art lighting uses hidden LED lamps that cast their light up from the bottom of the housing into a reverse reflector, creating an even glow. LED lamps are also used for the white backup lamps. The taillamps integrate functional aircraft-style air outlets for the available differential and transmission coolers.
    "From the front or rear, the signature lighting brings the new Corvette to life," said Peters. "It looks beautiful, sinister and more than a little intimidating. It gives the Corvette a nighttime appearance unlike anything else on the street."
    When it comes to aerodynamics, the new Stingray is in a league of its own. Advanced computer-aided modeling programs were employed to predict and track airflow over, under and through the new Corvette's body. Engineers and designers also relied on data gleaned from the Corvette Racing program – the most successful program ever in the American Le Mans Series and the 2012 GT class champion – to help balance front and rear grip for high-speed stability.
    Many hours were spent in the wind tunnel hand-sculpting surfaces for aesthetics and performance. Functional exterior elements include:
    • All models have a new grille/radiator arrangement and hood vents. Venting air out of the hood reduces total front-end lift for improved steering response at high speeds
    • The front fender side coves also help vent underhood air pressure to reduce aerodynamic drag
    • Models with the automatic transmission or Z51 Performance Package feature a functional vent on driver's left side directing air over a heat exchanger for the transmission fluid and a similar arrangement on the passenger side that directs air
    • over a heat exchanger for the electronic limited slip differential
    • Airflow through the differential and transmission heat exchangers exit through the aircraft-inspired taillamp vents and lower-rear fascia air outlets
    • The Z51 Performance Package also includes brake-cooling ducts, a unique rear spoiler and additional air deflectors for enhanced track capability.
    "Every square inch of the 2014 Corvette's exterior is designed to enhance high-performance driving," said Kirk Bennion, exterior design manager. "The team delivered a great balance of low drag for efficiency and performance elements for improved stability and track capability – all in a sculpted design that excites in all the ways that a Corvette has for six decades."
    Engineered to race, built for the road
    • New aluminum frame structure is 57-percent stiffer and 99 pounds (45 kg) lighter than the current steel frame
    • Innovative use of composite materials, including carbon fiber the hood and roof panels, lightweight Sheet Molded Compound for the fenders, doors and rear quarter panels, and carbon-nano composite for the underbody panels help reduce the weight of the body by a 37 pounds (17 kg)
    • New LT1 V-8 uses advanced technologies to produce more power with less fuel and is paired with an industry-exclusive seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching for more precise up and down shifts.
    The new Corvette Stingray takes advantage of lightweight materials, advanced manufacturing techniques and technology transfer from the Corvette Racing program to produce an ideal 50/50 weight balance and to deliver a world-class power-to-weight ratio.
    "Chevrolet has a long history of using racing to improve production cars, and nowhere is that more evident than with Corvette," said Jeuchter. "We continually apply technologies and strategies developed for Corvette Racing directly to the production car. That influence can be seen in virtually every aspect of the new Corvette Stingray, from the aerodynamic design to the use of carbon fiber, to the cooling techniques and even in the brake system
    The technologically advanced foundation is an all-new aluminum frame structure that is 57 percent stiffer and 99 pounds (45 kg) lighter. The greater torsional rigidity reduces unwanted noise and improves ride and handling.
    Compared to the previous generation, which used continuous hydroformed main frame rails with a constant 2mm wall thickness, the new Corvette's frame features main rails composed of five customized aluminum segments, including aluminum extrusions at each end, a center main rail section and hollow-cast nodes at the suspension interface points. Each segment is tuned – varying in thickness from 2mm to 11mm – tailoring the gauge, shape and strength properties to optimize the requirements for each frame section with minimal weight.
    The frame is assembled at an all-new welding shop at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant using a unique laser welding process in which a computer-controlled beam of high energy joins the components with exceptional precision and tolerances of about 0.001-inch.
    Supporting the frame's greater strength and lower weight are complementing chassis elements, including hollow-cast aluminum front and rear cradles that are approximately 25-percent lighter and 20-percent stiffer than the solid cradles used on the previous structure.
    The innovative use of materials includes a standard carbon fiber hood and roof panel, as well as underbody panels created with carbon-nano composite technology, an advanced blend of traditional composite material and carbon fiber, which allows lighter underbody panels without a loss of strength or stiffness. Fenders, doors, rear quarter panels and the rear hatch panel are made with lighter-density Sheet Molded Compound than the previous generation. Combined, these materials save approximately 37 pounds (17 kg) versus the previous body structure.
    The lightweight elements of the Stingray contribute to the ideal 50/50 weight balance. Combined with its estimated 450 horsepower (335 kW), the new Corvette delivers a better power-to-weight ratio than the Porsche 911 Carrera or Audi R8.
    Those 450 horses are generated by an all-new LT1 6.2L Small Block V-8 engine, which produces an estimated 450 lb.-ft. of torque (610 Nm). More importantly, it generates 50 lb.-ft. more low-end torque than the previous 6.2L engine, matching the 7.0L LS7 engine from the 2013 Corvette Z06 from 1,000 to 4,000 rpm.
    The engine's performance comes from combining advanced technologies like direct injection, Active Fuel Management and continuously variable valve timing with an advanced combustion system. More than 10 million hours of computational analysis went into the new Small Block's design, including more than 6 million hours alone on the combustion system.
    The LT1 is backed by a choice of active exhaust systems that are less restrictive than the previous generation, due in part to an increase in diameter from 2.5 inches to 2.75 inches. The standard system offers a 13-percent improvement in airflow and features a pair of butterfly valves that contribute to greater refinement at cruising speeds when the engine is operating in fuel-saving V-4 mode.
    An available dual-mode active exhaust system offers a 27-percent improvement in airflow. It features two additional valves that open to a lower-restriction path through the mufflers. When open, these valves increase engine performance and produce a more powerful exhaust note.
    The LT1 is mated to either a six-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission or an industry-exclusive TREMEC TR6070 seven-speed manual with Active Rev Matching. The Corvette retains its distinctive rear transaxle layout for optimal weight balance.
    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 transmission with the Z51 Performance Package includes specific close-ratio gearing for more aggressive driving.
    "Active Rev Matching makes the new Corvette easier and more fun to drive in performance conditions," said Jeuchter. "It anticipates the next gear selection and electronically 'blips' the throttle to match engine speed for a seamless gear change."
    A six-speed Hydra-Matic 6L80 paddle-shift automatic is also available. It is optimized for use with Active Fuel Management and features a lower-inertia torque converter for improved shift quality and shift speeds. In addition, shift feel and shift points can be adjusted through the Driver Mode Selector.
    More direct, more connected driving feel
    • Third-generation Magnetic Ride Control for greater comfort and control
    • Electric power steering system tailors steering response and feel
    • Electronic limited-slip differential delivers optimal traction
    The new Corvette Stingray's chassis and suspension are designed to take advantage of the lighter, stiffer structure. The reduced structural flex allowed engineers to more precisely tune the suspension and steering for a more nimble and responsive driving experience.
    "An important goal for the seventh-generation Corvette was to create a more intimate and connected driving experience, said Mike Bailey, chassis vehicle system engineer. "Whether on the open road or on the track, we wanted drivers to feel comfortable and confident behind the wheel."
    While the Corvette Stingray retains the racing-proven short/long-arm suspension design, front and rear, the components are all-new. Improvements to the suspension include hollow lower control arms which save approximately nine pounds (4 kg) per vehicle and new aluminum rear toe links which save 2.4 pounds (1.1 kg) over previous steel links.
    The Corvette Stingray rides on new 18 x 8.5-inch front and 19 x 10-inch rear wheels, while models with the Z51 Performance Package roll on 19 x 8.5-inch front and 20 x 10-inch rear forged aluminum wheels. New Michelin Pilot Super Sport run-flat tires developed specifically for the seventh-generation Corvette deliver comparable levels of grip than the wider tires of previous models.
    As a result, the track-oriented Corvette Stingray with the Z51 Performance Package is capable of 1g in cornering acceleration – comparable to the 2013 Corvette Grand Sport. Significantly, that is achieved with narrower and lighter wheels and tires. The reduced "footprint" reduces rolling resistance, steering effort and road noise, contributing to a more nimble feel, more immediate steering response and greater touring comfort and efficiency.
    Dimensionally, the new Corvette's wheelbase is approximately an inch longer than the previous generation, with front and rear tracks that are almost an inch wider. Those changes provide a more stable feel, particularly at high speeds, while the turning radius is decreased by approximately two feet for greater maneuverability in tight turns.
    The Corvette Stingray features standard 35mm-piston Bilstein monotube shocks that connect to dual-path aluminum shock mounts that separate the shock rod and shock body load paths. The Z51 Performance Package comes with 45mm-piston Bilstein dampers for more aggressive body control and track capability. Z51 is available with the third-generation Magnetic Ride Control, which features a new twin-wire/dual-coil damper system that reacts 40 percent faster, enabling improved ride comfort and body control.
    The new electric power steering system offers variable ratios and variable effort to tailor responsiveness and feel for each driving situation. It also delivers more precise control and feedback to the driver, along with greater variability of effort for high-performance driving and greater on-center sensitivity and linearity. Steering feel was further improved by increasing steering column stiffness by 150 percent, increasing intermediate shaft torsional stiffness by 600 percent, and mounting the steering gear to the front cradle structure. As a result the steering system is five times stiffer than the previous generation.
    A smart electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) is included in the Z51 Performance Package and continuously makes 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 which factors in vehicle speed, steering input and throttle position to improve steering feel, handling balance and traction.
    "The electronic limited-slip differential transforms the Stingray by optimizing handling for the driving situation," said Mike Bailey, vehicle systems engineer, chassis. "By continuously modulating the torque split between the rear wheels, the eLSD can improve traction accelerating out of corner, improve stability on the highway and enhance steering turn-in and responsiveness."
    The eLSD is fully integrated with StabiliTrak 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 Driver 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.
    Standard Brembo brakes, with four-piston fixed calipers derived from racing, deliver exceptional stopping power on the street or track. System highlights include:
    • 12.6-inch (320 mm) front rotors and 13.3-inch (338 mm) rear rotors are standard and have 35 percent more swept area than previous-generation brakes. Consequently stopping distance is improved 9 percent
    • Dual-cast, slotted 13.6-inch (345 mm) front rotors and 13.3-inch (338 mm) slotted rear rotors are included with Z51 Performance Package. They have 6percent more swept area than the previous-generation Grand Sport and are cooled front and rear for improved track capability. Consequently stopping distance is improved 5 percent
    • All brake packages have fixed front and rear calipers are stiffer for more even pad wear, reduced drag and improved modulation.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 13, 2013
    Mercedes-Benz has pulled the covers off the brand new CLA250 four-door coupe, which the three-pointed star hopes will bolster its entry-level lineup and bring in younger people.
    The CLA takes the design of the larger CLS and shrinks it down a bit. There’s a gently sloping roofline, flowing character lines along the side, and swept-back taillights. The overall design is also very efficient, getting a drag coefficient of 0.23 (the Toyota Prius has a drag coefficient of 0.25).
    Underneath the coupe-like sheetmetal, the CLA rides on the modular MFA front-wheel drive architecture which also underpins the A-Class and B-Class. Surprisingly, the CLA is very close in measurements to the C-Class. The C-Class has a longer wheelbase, while the CLA is longer overall.
    Power will come from a turbocharged 2.0L inline-four good for 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and goes down to either the front or optional 4Matic AWD system.
    Inside, the CLA is much like the new A and B-Class. Anthracite trim comes standard, though some wood and aluminum trim are available. A 5.8-inch display is standard with a 7-inch screen with the automaker's Command infotainment system is optional.
    The CLA250 arrives at Mercedes-Benz dealers in September with the 4Matic model arriving sometime in 2014.

    Album: 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250
    12 images 0 comments 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 Style Rebel
    MONTVALE, NJ – Mercedes-Benz is expanding its lineup with the all-new 2014 CLA-Class. The new four-door coupe is a style rebel that takes its design cues from the CLS, whose design concept has inspired more than its fair share of imitators since its debut in Detroit in 2003. This brand new vehicle features world-leading aerodynamics, avant-garde coupe design and with 4MATIC all-wheel drive (available Spring 2014). With its frameless doors, the four-door coupe seamlessly carries the design of the Concept Style Coupe into series production. The new model features COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST as a standard feature. At speeds above 4 mph, this radar-based braking system is able to warn the driver of obstacles and to anticipate braking force when the driver steps on the brake pedal. The all-new 2014 CLA250 arrives in U.S. dealerships Fall 2013.
    "The response to the Concept Style Coupe was overwhelming. The most frequent comment by far was 'Please put this car into series production.' That's precisely what we are doing now," notes Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management for Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "The CLA is a car that does not confuse 'mid-size' with 'mid-quality'. Its sporty design underscores the sporty side of the Mercedes-Benz brand."
    The sporty CLA comes with a powerful turbocharged engine generating 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, as well as sport suspension and available 4MATIC all- wheel drive. The technical highlights of this new design icon include a new world record in aerodynamics for series production automobiles (Cd value: 0.23) and a wide range of driver assistance systems, including advanced COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST.
    This radar-based assistance system provides the driver with visual and acoustic warnings of identified obstacles and primes Brake Assist for adaptive braking. Brake Assist is initiated as soon as the driver steps hard on the brake pedal. When the system identifies a risk of collision, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST calculates the precise braking force ideally needed to avoid an accident and makes the best possible use of any distance remaining. Adaptive Braking Assist activates at speeds of just 4 mph and gives trailing vehicles as much time as possible to also react accordingly and avoid another accident.
    There are four special equipment packages and a series of standalone options for individualizing the striking compact four-door coupe (length/width/height: 182.3/80.0/56.6 inches). In keeping with the digital lifestyle of the CLA's social media-savvy target group, smartphones can also be fully integrated into the vehicle's display and operating system via mbrace2, which is standard equipment.
    Following a brief appearance on the eve of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the CLA will celebrate its official world premiere at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin (January 15 to 18, 2013). The new CLA will arrive at U.S. dealerships in September 2013.
    The style rebel - exterior design
    Its sporty proportions and powerfully dynamic design language featuring the interaction of concave and convex surfaces give this four-door coupe its distinctive look. The CLA carries the avant-garde design of the Concept Style Coupe into series production almost 1:1.
    Striking features include the hood with its power domes and the diamond-look grille. The arrangement of the headlights and LEDs behind the headlamp lens evokes the characteristic "flame effect" for the optional daytime running lights and indicators. This light signature is a key aspect of the car's energetic look and shapes a new, youthful Mercedes face.
    A number of details indicate that the design of the CLA represents a further development of the modern classic Mercedes-Benz CLS. Three prominent lines give structure to the vehicle when viewed from the side - the front structural edge above the fenders flows toward the rear in a characteristic dropping line. Another, more sinewy line spans the shoulder muscle above the rear axle, while the third feature line extends in a sweeping curve from the front wheel toward the rear. Together, these lines lend depth and dynamism to the side profile.
    The design of the rear end emphasizes the width of the CLA, expressing power and athleticism with the interaction of convex and concave surfaces and edges. The gently sloping roof contour and pronounced curve of the rear window retain the CLA's coupe-style character. The athletic look of the rear end comes from the drawn-in C-pillars paired with the shoulder muscle above the rear wheel arches. The tail lights are framed by the muscular shoulder lines extending into the back while the horizontal light layout emphasizes the car's powerful and visually striking breadth.
    A large panorama sunroof is available as a standalone option. It consists of a fixed polycarbonate cover at the front, a glass moving panel and side trim elements to match the glass look. The visual effect is of a glass surface that extends all the way from the front to the rear windshield.
    Premium look-and-feel - the interior
    The exterior's progressive, sporty appearance also carries through to the vehicle interior. Anthracite surface finish is available as the standard trim. Additional trim options include burl walnut wood, black ash wood and aluminum.
    The instrument panel incorporates five air vents. The outer rings of the vents are done in a high-quality galvanized finish, while a galvanized insert controls the direction of airflow. The free-standing display is set in black piano-lacquer trim and edged with a flush-fitting silver frame.
    (Wind) resistance is futile - a new record Cd figure
    With a Cd figure of 0.23, the CLA sets a new benchmark among not only Mercedes models, but also all series-production vehicles. The frontal surface area, Cd x A - which is crucial to aerodynamic resistance – also leads the field at 5.49 sq. ft.
    The good air flow characteristics, which have a major impact on fuel consumption under everyday driving conditions, are the result of extensive aerodynamic optimization. These include a low A-pillar shoulder with adapted A-pillar geometry, aerodynamically optimized exterior mirrors, low-drag wheel trims and serrated wheel spoilers on the front and rear wheel arches.
    Extensive underbody cladding, additional cladding at the center of the rear axle, an aerodynamically optimized muffler and a diffuser improve the flow of air beneath the underbody.
    Smart safety - advanced assistance systems
    An extensive array of standard and optional driver assistance systems in the CLA is available to the driver. Standard features include ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection and radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist, which offers collision protection in the CLA from speeds of just 4 mph.
    The optional Driver Assistance package also offers DISTRONIC, as well as familiar safety systems including Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. PARKTRONIC with Advance Parking Assist enables autonomous parking in parallel and perpendicular parking spaces and is available as a standalone option.
    Precision handling - the chassis and suspension
    The CLA's running gear features McPherson strut suspension at the front and independent multilink suspension at the rear. Three control arms and one trailing arm at each of the rear wheels enable longitudinal and transverse forces to be handled separately. Specific to the CLA is the flexible decoupling of the rear axle sub-frame for improved ride characteristics. The wheel mounts and spring guides are made from aluminum in order to reduce unsprung masses. Standard equipment includes the Mercedes-Benz Sport Suspension for sporty yet comfortable handling.
    The CLA also comes as standard with electromechanical power steering. Compared with conventional systems, this power steering system offers improved driver feedback and makes an important contribution to overall efficiency, as the power steering function draws energy only under active steering. It also facilitates various steering assistance functions activated by the ESP® control unit. These include counter-steering in the event of oversteer, corrective steering when braking on road surfaces with differing levels of grip (split-friction braking), minimization of torque steer and compensation for crosswinds and road gradients.
    Both the front wheel drive and 4MATIC variants of the CLA250 are delivered on 17-inch, 5-spoke, two-tone wheels clad in all-season, run-flat tires. The Sport Package offers 18-inch AMG twin 5-spoke wheels and adds Sport body styling plus perforated front discs.
    High levels of traction and outstanding agility - 4MATIC all-wheel drive
    The Mercedes-Benz CLA250 is also available with a new generation of the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive system featuring fully variable torque distribution. Like the other 4MATIC variants, this completely new development boasts high levels of traction and outstanding agility combined with excellent safety and energy efficiency.
    The components of the new 4MATIC include the power take-off to the rear axle, which is integrated into the 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission, and the rear-axle gear set with an integrated electro-hydraulic, multi-disc clutch. This set-up enables fully variable distribution of drive between the front and rear axles. Additional benefits of this design are a lower system weight than that of competitor systems, as well as a high degree of efficiency.
    All set for the future – a powerful and efficient drive
    The CLA250 and CLA250 4MATIC both feature Mercedes-Benz's 2.0-liter four- cylinder gasoline engine with 208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It comes with the ECO stop/start function as standard for added gas mileage and is mated to the 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission for an outstanding combination of sporty performance and comfort.
    "Always on" - multimedia systems
    The latest generation of multimedia systems in the CLA provides a wide array of functions, apps and graphics.
    Like all models in the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the CLA comes with the brand's acclaimed connectivity service mbrace2, providing users with an extensive range of online and concierge services and apps all linking seamlessly to smartphones for use inside and outside the car. By using cloud technology, mbrace2 is always up to date and offers users wide-ranging and flexible access to content.
    The CLA250 and CLA250 4MATIC both include the 5.8-inch display and Bluetooth as standard equipment. The central controller provides an all-access pass to an abundance of advanced technology. This can be upgraded to the 7- inch display with the Multimedia package featuring the COMAND system with hard-drive navigation, voice control, an SD card slot, an in-dash 6-disc CD/DVD changer, a 10GB music register, a rearview camera and SiriusXM Traffic & Weather.
    Premium comfort – additional equipment options
    As well as the Multimedia package and Driver Assistance package, the CLA250 and CLA250 4MATIC are also available with the Premium package for an even higher level of comfort and convenience. Its features include an iPod/MP3 media interface, SiriusXM satellite radio, the harman/kardon LOGIC 7 surround sound system, heated front seats, auto dimming mirrors, integrated garage door opener, dual-zone climate control and a compass.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 14, 2013
    Despite being on sale for only two and half years, Jeep decided it was time to refresh the Grand Cherokee. Revealed today at the Detroit Auto Show, the 2014 Grand Cherokee brings forth many changes.
    The Grand Cherokee’s exterior has gotten some minor changes, most notably is up front where there is a less flashy grille and a set of reshaped headlights. The back gets a new set of LED tail lamps, and a redesigned tailgate and bumper. Stepping inside the Grand Cherokee, you find a new center stack with revised HVAC controls and two available touchscreens (5-inch and 8.4-inch). Also new is the instrument cluster, steering wheel, and transmission lever.
    The big news lies under the skin. New for the 2014 model year is a 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 producing 260 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy ratings for the 3.0L EcoDiesel are 21 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway. The diesel can also tow a max weight of 7,400 pounds and travel up to 730 on one tank.
    Also new is an eight-speed automatic transmission that’s standard across the entire powertrain lineup. Jeep says for the 5.7L V8, the eight-speed increases fuel economy by 5%. There’s also a Eco Mode button to maximize economy by governing shift points, cylinder deactivation, and ride height.

    Album: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    12 images 0 comments Next: Meanwhile at SRT..
    The Grand Cherokee SRT also got updated with many of the changes listed for the normal Grand Cherokee. Exterior-wise, the SRT model a revamped grille, LED headlamps, new rear spoiler, and a set of chunky, five-spoke alloy wheels.
    Under the skin, the Grand Cherokee SRT gains an eight-speed automatic along with a new launch control feature as well as a reworked Selec-Track system that sends more power to the rear wheels when the track mode is on.
    The 2014 Grand Cherokee lineup arrives sometime in the first quarter of 2013.

    Album: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
    13 images 0 comments Source: Jeep
    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 3 and 4
    Jeep® Grand Cherokee: The Most Awarded SUV Ever Gets Even Better For 2014
    Premium SUV redefined with best-in-class fuel economy, available clean EcoDiesel engine, legendary Jeep® capability, advanced user-friendly technology, world-class craftsmanship and benchmark on-road refinement

    New 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine delivers best-in-class 30 miles per gallon (mpg), driving range of more than 730 miles and best-in-class towing capability of 7,400 pounds
    New eight-speed automatic transmission boosts fuel efficiency across all powertrains while improving Grand Cherokee’s legendary 4x4 performance with a lower crawl ratio
    More luxurious than ever: world-class craftsmanship includes a new Grand Cherokee Summit model
    More than 60 advanced safety and security features; most in class
    Legendary Jeep® capability courtesy of three 4x4 systems, class-exclusive Quadra-Lift air suspension and class-leading Jeep Selec-Terrain traction management system with new Selec-Speed Control
    Array of advanced user-friendly technology features including new 8.4-inch touchscreen display, 7-inch customer configurable multiview cluster display, Uconnect Access and cloud-based voice texting

    January 14, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Jeep® Grand Cherokee – the most awarded SUV ever and the vehicle that has long defined what a premium SUV should be – gets even better for 2014.
    The new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee completely redefines the premium SUV, delivering consumers an unprecedented combination of best-in-class fuel economy and driving range, available clean-diesel technology, a choice of leading powertrain options, legendary benchmark capability, world-class craftsmanship, premium on-road driving dynamics, and a host of advanced user-friendly technology and safety features.
    “With the new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, we have taken the industry’s most highly acclaimed SUV and elevated it to an even higher level,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO — Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Jeep has proudly separated Grand Cherokee even further from its competitors by enhancing its unique elegance, efficiency, capability and technological features. Consumers will clearly find the new Jeep Grand Cherokee to be even more of a pleasure to drive – on any and all roads, on the most demanding trails, and in all weather conditions.”
    For 2014, Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers a best-in-class 30 miles per gallon (mpg) highway courtesy of a new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine for North America and a new eight-speed transmission. The new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 boasts an unmatched driving range of more than 730 miles.
    A new eight-speed transmission drives the new EcoDiesel, as well as Grand Cherokee’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine – now achieving up to 25 mpg highway and more than 600-miles driving range – and its 5.7-liter V-8, now achieving up to 21 mpg highway.
    Legendary Jeep capability comes courtesy of three available 4x4 systems, Jeep’s Quadra-Lift air suspension system and class-leading Selec-Terrain traction management system. Grand Cherokee boasts best-in-class towing of 7,400 pounds, and an improved crawl ratio of 44.1:1 for 2014.
    A new, refined exterior design – complete with available new bi-xenon headlamps with signature LED daytime running lamps (DRL) – provides an even more premium appearance. Interior luxury is achieved with premium amenities including Natura leather, exotic open-pore wood trim and new color offerings.
    The new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee includes even more safety and security features – more than 60, including Front Park Assist, Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Selec-Speed Control – as well as an array of advanced user-friendly technology features for North America such as Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen radio with integrated climate and infotainment controls, a 7-inch customer configurable multiview display cluster, Uconnect Access Via Mobile and cloud-based voice texting.
    Built in Detroit, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is available in Laredo, Limited, Overland and Summit models.
    Powertrain: Best-in-class fuel economy
    New 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6
    North American off-road enthusiasts have been clamoring for a diesel-powered Grand Cherokee. Jeep has delivered, and consumers will benefit greatly – on the trail, and especially in everyday driving.
    Producing a class-leading 240 horsepower and a massive 420 lb.-ft. of torque, Jeep’s 24-valve dual-overhead cam 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 delivers clean-diesel technology with low CO2 emissions.
    Capable of towing a best-in-class 7,400 pounds, the EcoDiesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee is expected to deliver 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway in 4x2 models, resulting in a best-in-class driving range of more than 730 miles. 4x4 models are expected to deliver 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Fuel economy is 43 percent more than competitive gasoline-powered V-8 SUVs in the segment.
    New eight-speed automatic transmission
    Jeep Grand Cherokee’s new EcoDiesel engine – as well as its V-6 and V-8 gasoline engine offerings – transfers power via Chrysler Group’s new eight-speed automatic transmission, significantly improving fuel economy across the Grand Cherokee lineup.
    In addition to enhancing fuel economy, the new, robust and durable eight-speed transmission delivers quicker acceleration and precise, smooth shifting, enhancing ride quality to luxury car levels. An additional benefit is a lower crawl ratio of 44.1:1 to aid in climbing over – or through – tough obstacles, when equipped with a two-speed transfer case.
    New steering wheel paddle shifters offer improved driver control both on- and off-road, including Electronic Range Select when using Selec-Speed Control in extreme off-road situations.
    3.6-liter Pentastar V-6
    Chrysler Group’s award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine debuted on the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and featured an all-new design with dual overhead camshafts and a high-pressure die-cast aluminum cylinder block in a 60-degree configuration. Featuring variable-valve timing (VVT), the flex-fuel V-6 delivers 290 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque.
    Mated to a new eight-speed transmission, Pentastar-powered Grand Cherokee models now tow up to 6,200 pounds – a 24 percent increase versus the previous model year. The Pentastar and eight-speed transmission combination is expected to result in 17 mpg city / 25 mpg highway on 4x2 and 4x4 models with a driving range of more than 600 miles – best-in-class for gas-powered SUVs.
    Renowned 5.7-liter V-8
    Fuel economy improvements are not exclusive to Grand Cherokee’s V-6 powertrains. The 5.7-liter V-8 packs 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque with best-in-class towing capacity of 7,400 pounds. Now mated to the new eight-speed transmission – and with VVT and Chrysler Group’s seamless Fuel Saver cylinder-deactivation technology – V-8 fuel economy is expected to increase 5 percent to 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway on 4x2 models, and 14 mpg city and 21 mpg highway on 4x4 models.
    New Eco Mode
    Another contributor to Grand Cherokee’s improved fuel economy is a new Eco Mode for 2014. Eco Mode optimizes the transmission’s shift schedule and, in V-8 models, Fuel Saver cylinder deactivation. In addition, the Eco Mode activates Grand Cherokee’s air suspension system, lowering it to “Aero Ride Height” when the vehicle speed remains between 52 mph and 56 mph, or exceeds 56 mph.
    Eco Mode is automatically engaged upon vehicle startup. A button on the center stack allows driver’s to disengage Eco Mode if more spirited performance is desired.
    Capability: Legendary, from Jeep
    Go Anywhere 4x4 systems
    The new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee features three available 4x4 systems (Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II), an available Quadra-Lift air suspension and a Selec-Terrain traction management system, all of which instill Grand Cherokee with its legendary Jeep capability.
    Quadra-Trac I delivers full-time four-wheel drive without any switches or levers to pull. The system provides smooth operation of the vehicle over a variety of road conditions. This light-weight single-speed case is both proven and efficient for enhanced fuel economy.
    The Quadra-Trac II’s two-speed transfer case uses input from a variety of sensors to determine tire slip at the earliest possible moment and takes corrective action. The system also uses throttle anticipate to sense quick movement in the throttle from a stop and maximizes traction before tire slippage occurs. When wheel slippage is detected, as much as 100 percent of available torque is instantly routed to the axle with the most traction.
    Quadra-Drive II, with a rear Electronic Limited-slip Differential (ELSD), delivers industry-leading tractive capability. The system instantly detects tire slip and smoothly distributes engine torque to tires with traction. In some cases, the vehicle will anticipate low traction and adjust in order to proactively limit or eliminate slip.
    Selec-Terrain is standard with Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II.
    Quadra-Lift air suspension system
    The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee rises above the road and rocks with the rugged, class-exclusive Quadra-Lift air suspension system. The Quadra-Lift system features five height settings for optimum ride performance:
    Normal Ride Height (NRH): 8.7 inches of clearance offers improved fuel economy as well as improved aerodynamics during on-road driving
    Off-road 1: Lifts the vehicle an additional 1.3 inches from NRH for added height in clearing obstacles (10.0 inches)
    Off-road 2: Delivers legendary Jeep off-road capability and provides an additional 2.6 inches from NRH for 11.3 inches of ground clearance
    Park Mode: Lowers the vehicle 1.6 inches from NRH for easy ingress/egress. NRH and Park Mode are driver selectable allowing the driver full control over vehicle ride height
    Aero Mode: Lowers the vehicle 0.6 inches from NRH. Aero Mode is controlled by vehicle speed and adjusts for optimal performance and fuel economy. The vehicle will also lower to Aero Mode when in Sport Mod

    When the vehicle is operating in Eco Mode, it lowers itself to Aero Mode further enhancing Jeep Grand Cherokees aerodynamics for optimum efficiency.
    Quadra-Lift adds up to 4.2-inches of lift span supported by four-corner air springs that provide a cushioned, premium ride. Quadra-Lift operates automatically, or may be controlled manually with console controls.
    With the front air dam removed and the available Quadra-Lift air suspension, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee features a 35.8-degree approach angle, a 29.6-degree departure angle and 23.5-degree breakover angle.

    Selec-Terrain
    In addition to the Quadra-Lift air suspension, the Grand Cherokee’s class-leading Selec-Terrain traction control system allows customers to choose the on- and off-road setting for optimum performance. This feature electronically coordinates up to 12 different powertrain, braking and suspension systems, including throttle control, transmission shift, transfer case, Hill-descent Control and Selec-Speed Control.
    The Selec-Terrain system has been refined for 2014 and offers five different driving conditions to achieve the best driving experience on all terrains:
    Sand: Traction control and Quadra-Lift operate with sensitive response to wheel spin, and torque tuned for optimal performance in sand
    Mud: Traction control and Quadra-Lift operate with sensitive response to wheel spin, and torque tuned for optimal performance in mud
    Auto: Automatically adapts to any on- or off-road situation
    Snow: Vehicle traction adjust for ultimate performance over snow-covered roads
    Rock: Quadra-Lift air suspension system raises to maximum height of 11.3 inches, while the transfer case, differentials, and throttle coordinate to provide low-speed control

    Sport Mode, previously found on the Selec-Terrain controller, is now engaged with the shift lever. Sport Mode provides enhanced on-road "fun-to-drive" capability.
    Selec-Terrain, coupled with the Quadra-Lift air suspension, offers drivers an adjustable suspension span that delivers Trail Rated performance.
    New Selec-Speed Control with Hill-ascent and Hill-descent Control allows drivers to control Grand Cherokee’s speed both up and down steep, rugged grades with the steering wheel paddle shifters – without the need for throttle or brake pedals (late availability on EcoDiesel).
    Jeep Trail Rated
    All 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokees equipped with Off-road groups are Trail Rated. The Jeep Trail Rated badge on the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee indicates that the vehicle is designed to perform in a variety of challenging off-road conditions, identified by five key consumer-oriented performance categories: traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation and water fording.
    Design: Head-turning, premium craftsmanship
    Exterior
    When Jeep introduced the 2011 Grand Cherokee, it quickly impressed consumers with its cohesive, upscale design that was still able to convey the rugged capability one expects in a Jeep vehicle. For 2014, Jeep Grand Cherokee builds on this success, conveying an even higher level of opulence and strength.
    All trim levels of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee have been given an even more premium look, while simultaneously making each trim level readily identifiable at a glance. On all models, the upper grille is shorter in height and the headlamps are slimmer. The lower front fascia has been slightly elevated, and fog lights have been raised and are more pronounced within the fascia design. Together, these changes give the front of the Grand Cherokee a more substantial appearance while still preserving the vehicle’s ground clearance at its lower edge.
    Of course, Grand Cherokee retains Jeep’s classic seven-slot grille and trapezoidal wheel arches.
    The rear of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee features new, larger tail lamps with signature LED lighting, a larger, more aerodynamic rear spoiler, and a re-sculpted tailgate that offers greater visibility. A more pronounced Jeep badge is now found directly on the tailgate between the tail lamps. Lower rear fascias are now model-specific, and dual exhaust tips are standard on all Limited, Overland and Summit models.
    A key exterior feature of the new 2014 Grand Cherokee is signature front and rear LED lighting. These unique lights allow Grand Cherokee to be instantly recognizable, night or day, from a great distance. Standard on Overland and Summit and available on Limited are bi-xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps (adaptive on Summit) that are outlined with signature LED running lamps.
    Interior
    The award-winning interior of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is clearly one of the most technically advanced, well-crafted interiors in the industry. Immediately noticeable is the revised center stack featuring new Uconnect 5-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreens. Controls for radio and climate are found below the screen and have easily identifiable knobs and buttons. Following the center stack down onto the center console reveals a new leather-wrapped E-shifter for the eight-speed transmission.
    Another recognizable change is a new three-spoke steering wheel. Wrapped in leather, it features sections of wood on Overland and Summit models. All Grand Cherokee models include standard paddle shifters mounted on the back of the new steering wheel – which perfectly frames the new curvilinear gauge cluster that features the 7-inch customer-configurable multiview display.
    Each Grand Cherokee model has its own unique style of luxury and ambiance based on materials and color patterns. Laredo and Limited models feature dark wood trim on the dash and doors. Door handle and dash vent bezels, as well as the trim on the center console, feature a slight gold hue to their brush aluminum look. Limited models also have bright insert door sill scuff plates and bright metal accents that run along the bottom of the wood trim and that adorn the cargo bay. Premium cloth seating is standard on Laredo while Capri leather seating is standard in Limited.
    Overland models have several modern luxury touches not typically found on high-end imports. A standard stitched-leather instrument panel and available open-pore wood are two of the prominent interior design cues, and add a distinct touch of modern luxury. Wood trim is also found on the top portion of the leather-wrapped steering wheel. A final touch is the addition of rear-seat footwell and rear door-pocket ambient lighting.
    Grand Cherokee Summit models continue to carry the torch for premium interiors in the SUV segment. Premium Natura-Plus leather seating with heated, ventilated and memory front seats, open-pore wood trim and Copper accents are available on Summit in Black or Jeep Brown. Also unique to Summit is a premium suede-like material covering the A-pillars and headliner.
    Another impressive feature found on Summit models is a nineteen-speaker, 825-watt high-performance Harman Kardon surround sound audio system. This state-of-the-art system features a twelve-channel amplifier, three sub-woofers and surrounds the occupants in high-definition sound.
    Overland and Summit models come loaded and include the CommandView dual-pane sunroof that features a power sunshade (available on Limited). Laredo and Limited models feature an available single-pane sunroof.
    Safety and Security: Class-leading number of advanced features
    The new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers more than 60 advanced safety and security features – highest in its class.
    New safety features include Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation and Selec-Speed Control, which includes both Hill-ascent Control and Hill-descent Control, assisting drivers with climbing and ascending steep grades.
    Among Grand Cherokee’s 63 advanced safety and security features are standard electronic stability control (ESC) that delivers four security features to improve overall vehicle handling and performance both on- and off-road: Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM) reacts and applies brakes during extreme situation, while available Selec-Speed Control and Hill-start Assist (HSA) work with standard trailer-sway control (TSC) to enhance off-road and towing capabilities.
    In addition, standard front-row active head restraints, standard full-length side-curtain air bags and standard seat-mounted side thorax air bags offer enhanced occupant protection to passengers in the event of a collision.
    Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection, which aid drivers when changing lanes or in parking lot situations, are also available.
    Advanced Technology: Segment-leading offerings
    The new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers customers an array of innovative advanced technologies for driver safety and passenger enjoyment. Available Uconnect Access, a new Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen, one-shot voice command navigation and a customer customizable multiview cluster display highlight the state-of-the-art features.
    Grand Cherokee’s unique Uconnect Access system for North American markets is based on powerful embedded cellular technology that leverages Chrysler Group’s strategic partnership with Sprint. Uconnect Access connects vehicle occupants directly with emergency personnel with a push of the “9-1-1“ button on the Grand Cherokee’s rear-view mirror.
    Uconnect’s powerful cloud-based voice recognition capability allows customers to keep their hands on the steering wheel and interact with devices easily. The cloud also enables voice texting, in addition to one-shot voice commands for navigation and audio controls.
    A new, user-friendly Uconnect 8.4-inch radio with touchscreen display is available on all models, while the instrument cluster now features a high-tech appearance with a new customer configurable multiview display, with 7-inch Thin-Film Transistor (TFT) liquid-crystal technology.
    On-road refinement: Premium driving dynamics
    Jeep Grand Cherokee is widely known for its outstanding on-road driving dynamics and quietness, thanks in part to its front and rear independent suspension. Variable-rate rear springs deliver improved on-road handling and comfort that complements the vehicle’s off-road capability. Premium on-road manners are enhanced with more than 5,400 welds in the body alone.
    The independent front and rear suspension features isolated front and rear suspension cradles along with variable-rate rear springs to deliver improved on-road handling and comfort while complementing the vehicle’s legendary off-road capability. The rear suspension also allows the spare tire to be stored inside the vehicle as opposed to underneath.
    Grand Cherokee’s steering also has been carefully calibrated for the right amount of assistance whether cruising the parking lot or a twisty two-lane mountain road. Electrohydraulic assistance is used on EcoDiesel and Pentastar V-6 models.
    Dimensionally sound
    The vehicle’s 114.8-inch wheelbase creates generous interior room and gives passengers expansive rear-seat knee and leg room, and large front door openings and rear doors open 78 degrees for better access to the interior.
    Inside, premium seating includes room for five passengers. A standard fold-flat front-passenger seat provides improved cargo storage room (Laredo models).
    For added passenger comfort, rear seats recline 12 degrees. There also is a 12-degree forward angle to allow 24 degrees of variation.
    Cargo volume behind the second row measures 36.3 cu. ft. and includes a storage unit with a rechargeable flashlight and grocery hooks on both sides. The spare tire compartment includes removable dual storage bins for secure storage of muddy gear or other items.
    The power rear liftgate is standard or available on all 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee models.
    Quality: Improving the most awarded SUV ever
    How do you improve the most awarded SUV ever? The Jeep team starts by listening to its customers.
    “We’re very happy with the long list of product and quality accolades the Jeep Grand Cherokee has earned,” said Doug Betts, Senior Vice President — Quality, Chrysler Group LLC. “But the most important feedback comes from customers telling us what they’d like to see improved. We are constantly looking at feedback and responding with improvements.”
    Key upgrades for the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee include an eight-speed automatic transmission to improve performance and fuel economy plus the newest Uconnect system that balances advanced technology and connectivity features with easy-to-use controls and voice commands.
    From the driver’s seat, everything the driver sees, touches – and even speaks to using voice commands – is enhanced to increase function, connectivity and responsiveness. Not only does it work better, it looks better packaged in more premium materials and elegant graphics. This includes a redesigned steering wheel that is optimized for driving position while also providing control buttons for frequently-used features such as radio, cruise control, phone and voice-activated commands. Customer feedback helped designers and engineers determine the ideal location for fingertip controls so that drivers could comfortably keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
    Another significant interior change for Grand Cherokee is the availability of the new Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen. Connectivity and touchscreens involve rapidly changing technology and ever-increasing consumer expectations – both of which have a significant impact on the overall quality assessment of new vehicles. The Uconnect team constantly evaluates consumer feedback, placing a high priority on designing systems that are intuitive for both tech-savvy customers as well as tech-averse drivers who prefer hard knobs to adjust the climate or radio station.
    For the past two years, Jeep Grand Cherokee has earned the title as the Total Quality leader for the medium-size SUV segment by Strategic Vision. The honor is based on new vehicle owner surveys that holistically assess consumers’ good and bad experiences with their new vehicle. Similarly, the Jeep team values all comments from customers – especially feedback that leads to enhanced quality and customer satisfaction.
    Manufacturing: Built in Detroit
    The new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is built at the 3-million-square-foot Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) in Detroit, which has been the site of Grand Cherokee production since its introduction in 1992. To meet consumer demand, a third crew of 1,100 workers was added at JNAP in the fourth quarter of 2012.
    2014 Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT: A Powerful Performer Cloaked in Luxurious and Muscular Skin
    New eight-speed automatic transmission delivers smoother, more refined shifting and improved fuel economy
    Innovative Eco Mode optimizes new transmission’s shift schedule and expands range of Fuel Saver Technology activation for further fuel economy gains
    Towing capacity rating improved 44 percent, up to 7,200 pounds
    Improved and retuned Selec-Track system delivers more torque to the rear wheels in Track Mode for optimal rear-wheel-drive characteristics
    New, standard launch control delivers enhanced and consistent acceleration performance
    Aggressive, upscale exterior appearance enriched with new signature LED lighting
    Luxurious interior offers new levels of advanced user-friendly technology and connectivity highlighted by an 8.4-inch touchscreen that accommodates SRT’s exclusive Performance Pages, plus a 7-inch programmable multiview gauge cluster
    All-new Uconnect Access Via Mobile streams preferred music into the vehicle via smartphone
    Introducing breakthrough cloud-based voice texting and Bing connected search via Uconnect Access
    Enables direct, one-touch connections with local 9-1-1 service providers, roadside assistance dispatchers and Uconnect specialists
    Features state-of-the-art safety technologies such as Forward Collision Warning and Rear Cross Path detection

    January 14, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT owners have come to expect – and appreciate – a vehicle that is powerful and refined, luxurious and functional, muscular and stylish. For 2014, Grand Cherokee SRT checks all of those boxes – while also delivering unexpected delights.
    Enhancements for the 2014 model year include an all-new, fully electronic eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers improved fuel economy, significantly improved towing capacity, hardware and software revisions that further heighten Grand Cherokee SRT’s fun-to-drive factor during a daily commute or for more spirited driving on the race track.
    Outside, the new 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT sports styling that is even more aggressive than the previous model. Design enhancements for 2014 include a new signature LED character lamp treatment, a brawnier grille, a new, one-touch liftgate and a new rear spoiler.
    Inside, Grand Cherokee SRT customers are treated to a new 8.4-inch touchscreen that displays a wealth of SRT-exclusive Performance Pages data. A new launch control button is situated behind the new T-handle shifter on the center console, and a redesigned SRT-exclusive three-spoke, heated steering wheel with more ergonomically efficient paddle shifters, features a host of comfort, convenience and connectivity controls.
    Awe-inspiring powertrain
    For 2014, Grand Cherokee SRT owners get three additional gears from their transmission: an all-new 8HP70 eight-speed automatic. Fully electronic, it features on-the-fly shift-map changing.
    For an even sportier, more driver-controlled experience, the 8HP70 eight-speed transmission can be manually shifted using newly redesigned, more pronounced, ergonomically efficient steering-wheel paddle controls.
    The Grand Cherokee SRT features a new Eco Mode for 2014 that optimizes the new transmission’s shift schedule and extends the range of Fuel Saver Technology, which deactivates four cylinders when conditions allow. A button on the center stack allows driver’s to engage Eco Mode for improved fuel economy.
    The new eight-speed automatic transmission is specifically engineered to optimize shift quality and shift points for fuel economy, performance and drivability. The intelligent software takes into account variables including engine torque gradients, kick-down events, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, grade changes, friction detection and downshift detection to determine the appropriate shift map.
    Additional parameters integrated into the control strategy include vehicle speed control, electronic stability control interaction and temperature. The result is automatic shifting that is ideally attuned to the performance requirements of almost any driving demand.
    The new transmission is mated to the proven and powerful 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 with Fuel Saver Technology delivering 470 horsepower (351 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 465 lb.-ft. (630 N•m) of torque at 4,300 rpm and helps deliver greatly enhanced towing performance of 7,200 pounds – a 44-percent improvement over the 5,000-lb. towing capacity from the previous model.
    For 2014, the new electronic T-handle shifter provides the flexibility for drivers to choose a transmission shift schedule independent from the Selec-Track system. Drive and Sport shifting can be selected via the T-handle with no effect on the chosen suspension, stability control and driveline torque split settings.
    Also new for 2014 is a launch control system that mimics a professional driver’s inputs to optimize Grand Cherokee SRT’s performance by bringing engine, transmission, driveline, stability control, and suspension in line for a textbook launch. Controlled by a button behind the new T-handle shifter on the center console, the result is improved and more consistent straight-line acceleration. The performance experience of the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT is further accentuated by a change in transfer case proportioning and dynamic controls for the Selec-Track system when the vehicle is in Track Mode. When this mode is selected, 70 percent of the engine’s torque is delivered to the rear wheels for a more pronounced rear-wheel-drive experience. Grand Cherokee SRT drivers will notice a vehicle that is more responsive from
    mid-corner to exit.
    Outstanding ride, handling and capability
    The Grand Cherokee SRT rides on a short- and long-arm (SLA) independent front suspension with coil springs, Bilstein adaptive damping suspension (ADS), upper- and lower-control arms (“A” arms), and a stabilizer bar.
    The rear suspension is a multi-link design with coil spring, Bilstein ADS, aluminum lower control arm, independent upper links (tension and camber), plus a separate toe link, and a stabilizer bar.
    Software improvements to the retuned Selec-Track system further distinguish the five dynamic modes: Auto, Sport, Tow, Track, and Snow, enabling drivers to choose a vehicle setting that more ideally meets their requirements and ambient conditions. Drivers will find the torque split change in Track Mode provides a vehicle that is more responsive from mid-corner to exit and one that delivers faster lap times at their favorite track.
    Benchmark braking
    The new 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT delivers excellent braking performance, requiring only 116 feet to come to a full stop from 60 miles per hour (mph). Credit belongs to red-painted, Brembo six-piston (front) and four-piston (rear) calipers, and vented rotors at all four corners measuring 15 inches (front) and 13.8 inches (rear).
    Aggressive and functional exterior
    The Grand Cherokee SRT sports exterior styling enhancements for 2014. Its signature,
    seven-slot upper grille with black screen insert has been shortened and is flanked by slimmer, adaptive, bi-xenon headlamps that are surrounded by a signature LED character lamp treatment. The grille itself is brawnier and the headlamps feature a unique black background to distinguish SRT from other 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee models while further accenting their jewel-like appearance.
    The new styling also enabled designers to incorporate the headlamp washers into the headlamp housing for the first time – rather than on the bumper – for a cleaner more functional appearance.
    A new Grand Cherokee badge along the vehicle’s sides feature a more distinct, more pronounced font.
    The 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT’s front light treatment is mirrored in back for a cohesive styling appearance, and features larger tail lamps with signature LED lighting. To further emphasize SRT’s performance heritage, the tail lamps feature a black surround, creating the illusion of floating lamps.
    Also new for 2014 is a more aerodynamically efficient rear spoiler integrated into the all-new, one-touch liftgate that features a new SRT badge that no longer carries the engine cylinder number reference. Rather than relying on a manual lever, the liftgate is operated electronically with the push of a button. For 2014, the flipper glass has been eliminated, greatly enhancing rearward visibility and reducing weight.
    The 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT will be available in the following exterior colors: Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Bright White Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat, Deep Cherry Red Pearl Coat, Granite Crystal Pearl Coat, Maximum Steel Metallic Clear Coat and Redline Pearl Clear Coat.
    Race-inspired and high-performance interior
    The most significant interior enhancement on the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT is the new Uconnect 8.4AN radio touchscreen. The 8.4-inch display shows a wealth of SRT-exclusive Performance Pages, including recent track times, lateral acceleration, 0-60 mph times and much more. All data is shown in full-color and can now be shared with other SRT enthusiasts via a built-in 3G connection.
    The same screen accommodates Uconnect Access Via Mobile, an all-new feature that makes its debut. With it, customers can stream their favorite music into the vehicle using the acclaimed apps Aha, iHeart, Pandora and Slacker.
    The display also affords drivers access to Bing Internet searches and facilitates cutting-edge cloud-based features such as voice texting – the transmission of text messages using natural speech.
    On the center console, drivers will find a new, leather-wrapped T-handle shifter for the eight-speed transmission that allows the driver to select two driving modes including Drive and Sport.
    Also new is the redesigned, SRT-exclusive heated three-spoke steering wheel with a flat bottom that features a bevy of comfort, convenience and connectivity controls and more pronounced, more ergonomically efficient paddle shifters.
    The new steering wheel is designed and positioned to provide optimal view of the new gauge cluster that now features a 7-inch, full-color, customizable instrument display. This new screen allows drivers to select from a multitude of layout and information to be shown in the center of the gauge cluster.
    True carbon fiber trim accent sweeps across the driver’s door, instrument panel and front passenger door.
    The available 825-watt, 19-speaker premium SRT performance audio surround-sound system from Harman Kardon offers world premier innovation, featuring a 32-volt tracking power supply (TPS) 12-channel Class D amplifier that delivers outstanding acoustics and brings multi-dimensional, quality sound for all interior occupants.
    The 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT Laguna leather interior is available in two distinctive colors: Torque (black) and a new Sepia combination.
    Enhanced security, convenience and occupant safety
    Uconnect Access is all-new to the Grand Cherokee SRT. Enabled by embedded cellular technology, the system affords direct communication with local 9-1-1 service personnel at the touch of a button – no waiting for go-between call-center operators.
    In addition, the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT showcases advanced safety features from Forward Collision Warning – which alerts the driver to rapidly approaching traffic – to Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection, which aid drivers when changing lanes or in
    parking-lot situations.
    Quality: Improving the most awarded SUV ever
    How do you improve the most awarded SUV ever? The Jeep and SRT teams start by listening to their customers.
    “We’re very happy with the long list of product and quality accolades the Jeep Grand Cherokee has earned,” said Doug Betts, Senior Vice President – Quality, Chrysler Group. “But the most important feedback comes from customers telling us what they’d like to see improved. We are constantly looking at feedback and responding with improvements.”
    Key upgrades for the new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee lineup include an eight-speed automatic transmission to improve performance and fuel economy plus the newest Uconnect system that balances advanced technology and connectivity features with easy-to-use controls and voice commands.
    From the driver’s seat, everything the driver sees, touches – and even speaks to using voice commands – is enhanced to increase function, connectivity and responsiveness. Not only does it work better, it looks better packaged in more premium materials and elegant graphics. This includes a redesigned steering wheel that is optimized for driving position while also providing control buttons for frequently used features like radio, cruise control, phone and voice-activated commands. Customer feedback helped designers and engineers determine the ideal location for fingertip controls so that drivers could comfortably keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
    Another significant interior change for Grand Cherokee is the availability of the new Uconnect Access 8.4AN touchscreen. Connectivity and touchscreens involve rapidly changing technology and ever-increasing consumer expectations – both of which have a significant impact on the overall quality assessment of new vehicles. The Uconnect team constantly evaluates consumer feedback, placing a high priority on designing systems that are intuitive for both tech-savvy customers as well as tech-averse drivers who prefer hard knobs to adjust the climate or radio station.
    For the past two years, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has earned the title as the Total Quality leader for the medium-size SUV segment by Strategic Vision. The honor is based on new vehicle owner surveys that holistically assess consumers’ good and bad experiences with their new vehicle. Similarly, the Jeep team values all comments from customers – especially feedback that leads to enhanced quality and customer satisfaction.
    Manufacturing: Built in Detroit
    The new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is built at the 3-million-square-foot Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) in Detroit, which has been the site of Grand Cherokee production since its introduction in 1992. To meet consumer demand, a third crew of 1,100 workers was added at JNAP in the fourth quarter of 2012.
    SRT Track Experience
    Owners of any Chrysler Group SRT vehicle receive one day of professional driving instruction as part of the SRT Track Experience, designed to maximize their driving knowledge and skills on the street or track. Sessions are held throughout the year at selected tracks. For more information, visit http://drivesrt.com.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 14, 2013
    You might be wondering to yourself, didn’t Jeep just update the Compass and Patriot a couple years ago? You would be correct as Jeep updated both models in the 2011 model year. But Jeep apparently had a couple more tricks up its sleeve with the 2014 Compass and Patriot.
    The big news for the Compass and Patriot is the introduction of a six-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel drive models and models equipped with the Freedom-Drive I off-road package. Vehicles equipped with the Freedom-Drive II package stick with the CVT. Jeep says the six-speed automatic increases fuel economy by 15%.
    If you’re expecting a new engine with the introduction of the automatic, then you’ll be disappointed to hear that the 2.0L and 2.4L four-cylinders continue tp soldier on with no changes in the performance figures.
    Aside from the new transmission, the Compass gets a wealth of exterior and interior changes. Outside, there are chrome grille slats, new headlight, fog light and taillight inner bezel treatments for the various trims; optional 18-inch wheels for the Limited, and an available backup camera. Inside, the Compass gets new fabric choices. The Patriot and Compass both get seat-mounted side-curtain airbags as standard equipment.
    The new Compass and Patriot arrive in the second quarter of 2013.
    Source: Jeep

    Album: 2014 Jeep Compass and Patriot
    12 images 0 comments 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 are on Page 2 and 3
    New 2014 Jeep® Compass – the Most Capable Compact SUV Hits the Road and Trail with a New Powertrain Updated Exterior Design, New Interior Choices, Benchmark Capability Give Customers Everything They Want in a Compact SUV

    2014 Jeep® Compass debuts new six-speed PowerTech automatic transmission
    2014 Jeep Compass features an updated design – both inside and out
    Fuel economy ratings of up to 30 miles per gallon (mpg) highway
    Unsurpassed Jeep capability offering Trail Rated 4x4 capability with Freedom
    Drive II Off-road Package and exceptional ride and handling performance in all weather conditions
    New standard front-seat-mounted side air bags and available ParkView rear backup camera giving the Jeep Compass more than 30 safety and security features
    2014 Jeep Compass delivers value for consumers: legendary Jeep capability and design, fuel economy of up to 30 mpg and loads of standard features

    January 14, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - With unmatched Jeep® capability in all weather conditions, fuel economy of up to 30 miles per gallon (mpg), and a refined design, the new 2014 Jeep Compass continues to set the standard in the compact-SUV segment.
    The 2014 Jeep Compass delivers a new six-speed PowerTech automatic transmission, refreshed exterior and interior design, unsurpassed 4x4 off-road capability in the compact-SUV segment, fuel economy of up to 30 mpg highway, and is a remarkable value for customers.
    “Jeep Compass provides consumers with a combination of fuel economy, safety, value – and, of course, Jeep capability – in the important compact-SUV segment,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO — Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “For 2014, Jeep Compass buyers will enjoy their driving experience even more, courtesy of an all-new six-speed transmission and a refined interior and exterior design.”
    Delivering the packaging and interior flexibility of an SUV with the performance, handling, fuel economy and price of a compact car, the 2014 Jeep Compass also boasts more than 30 safety and security features, including standard front-seat-mounted side air bags, side-curtain air bags for all rows, electronic stability program (ESC), electronic roll mitigation, Hill-start Assist (with manual transmission), four-wheel anti-lock brakes, LATCH child seat anchors and available ParkView rear backup camera.
    The Jeep Compass offers an array of clever features consumers will appreciate whether commuting to work, driving in challenging weather conditions, or exploring new trails or out-of-the-way places. Uconnect media center with iPod interface, SiriusXM Radio, navigation with SiriusXM Travel Link, power sunroof, a premium audio system with nine Boston Acoustic speakers, illuminated cup holders, liftgate speakers and fold-flat rear seats are some of the available features that make the Compass the perfect compact SUV, enabling consumers to enjoy any adventure.
    The 2014 Jeep Compass is packed with standard features that provide value and convenience for drivers and passengers. Standard features include air conditioning, power windows, power locks, power/heated exterior mirrors, keyless entry, fog lamps, cruise control, illuminated cup holders, a removable/rechargeable light, outside temperature display, electronic stability control, front driver and passenger active head restraints, electronic roll mitigation, Hill-start Assist, front-seat-mounted side air bags, anti-lock disc brakes, 60/40 fold-flat rear seat and sunscreen glass.
    For 2014, the Jeep Compass continues to offer an All-weather Capability Group option which includes Goodyear 17-inch all-terrain tires, all-season floor mats, daytime running headlamps, engine block heater and tow hooks, making the Compass the most capable compact SUV off-road and in all weather conditions.
    6F24 six-speed PowerTech automatic transmission
    Available for the first time in most 2014 Jeep Compass models is the world-class 6F24 six-speed automatic transmission. Independently developed by PowerTech and refined for application to the 2014 Jeep Compass, the six-speed automatic is fully electronic, and designed for fuel efficiency and improved performance.

    Compact and lightweight, the 6F24 eliminated many potential extra engineering efforts from a packaging standpoint with the chassis layout. Overall length of the transmission is 378.5 mm.
    The six-speed automatic features a closely aligned 5.46 gear spread that provides nearly imperceptible shifting from launch through highway speeds. With a 4.21 first gear and standard Auto Stick for manual-like shifting, acceleration characteristics deliver fun-to-drive excitement.
    With a 0.77 sixth gear, engine rpm is significantly reduced at highway speeds for optimal fuel efficiency. The stepped shift schedule across all six gears is designed for optimal fuel economy in city driving as well. Customers will notice extremely quiet operation throughout the gear ranges with the use of noise-resistant gears that effectively reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
    The final drive ratio when mated to the 2.0-liter I-4 engine is 3.648. When mated to the 2.4-liter I-4 engine both the 4x2 and 4x4 versions will have a final drive ratio of 3.367.
    The new six-speed transmission also helps reduce maintenance costs and the cost of ownership with its fill-for-life design. There is no transmission dipstick and transmission filter or fluid changes are not required under normal driving conditions. Low-viscosity fluid is used to improve fuel economy by enabling quicker operating temperatures on the transmission to reduce drag on internal components.
    Design
    The exterior of the 2014 Jeep Compass has been refined with specific updates that move the design forward. At the front of the Compass Latitude and Limited models the grille has been enhanced with a plated upper grille trim and mold-in-color Billet Silver grille texture. The halogen headlamps now have a black inner bezel on the Sport and Latitude models, and the Limited models sport projector halogen headlamps with a black inner bezel and chrome fog lamp bezels. The Compass also features painted mirror caps, taillamps with a new “smoked” inner bezel, a plated chrome insert on the tailgate trim applique, new available 18-inch aluminum wheels on Limited models, and a new plated chrome insert with recessed “Jeep” badge on the tailgate trim applique for models equipped with the available rear backup camera.
    For 2014, the Jeep Compass interior has been tastefully upgraded with accents and trim that customers will appreciate. Upgraded features include a new interior trim option in the Compass Limited model: Saddle Brown perforated leather seating with accent stitching. The Latitude model includes a new sport mesh and vinyl seat with light gray accent stitching, and the Light Pebble Beige trim features a new Tangerine accent stitch on the seats. In addition, the armrests and center console lid are now wrapped in vinyl and the instrument cluster overlay graphics have been updated. New satin chrome finish adorns the center bezel, shifter bezel and pull cups and a new bin applique with badge round out the interior design upgrades.
    Segment-leading capability
    The 2014 Jeep Compass offers customers unsurpassed Jeep 4x4 off-road capability with Jeep Freedom Drive II.
    Jeep Compass is available in three drivetrain configurations. In addition to the standard front-wheel-drive system, Jeep Compass also is available with Freedom Drive I and the Freedom Drive II Off-road Package.
    Jeep Freedom Drive I 4x4 is an available full-time, active four-wheel-drive system with lock mode designed to give drivers year-round assurance with the ability to handle rough weather and low-traction conditions. This active four-wheel-drive system is recommended for daily use, including slick conditions that come with rain and light snow. Freedom Drive I also features a lockable center coupling, giving drivers the ability to put the Jeep Compass in four-wheel-drive lock mode to handle deep snow, sand and other low-traction surfaces.
    The Jeep Freedom Drive II 4x4 Off-road Package is an available four-wheel-drive system that delivers Jeep Trail Rated capability in Compass form. The Freedom Drive II Off-road Package includes a second-generation continuously variable transaxle with low range (CVT2L) that engages when the off-road mode is activated, 17-inch all-terrain tires and aluminum wheels, a one-inch raised ride height, a full-size spare tire, skid plates, tow hooks, fog lamps and manual seat height adjuster. The available Freedom Drive II Off-road Package is recommended for off-road situations that include steep grades, occasional wheel lift and rock or log climbing.
    The 2014 Jeep Compass’ powertrain options are designed to deliver world-class performance in all weather conditions, fuel economy and refinement, all at an affordable, value-packed price.
    The 2014 Jeep Compass features a standard 2.0-liter World Gas Engine for the Sport and Latitude models that provides 158 horsepower (117 kW) and 141 lb.-ft. (191 N•m) of torque coupled with the standard five-speed manual transmission or the available new 6F24 six-speed automatic transmission, and delivers fuel economy of up to 30 mpg on the highway when mated to the five-speed manual transmission.
    The proven 2.4-liter I-4 World Engine produces 172 horsepower (129 kW) and 165 lb.-ft. (224 N•m) and is available on all models and standard on the Limited. This 2.4-liter World Engine has dual variable-valve timing (VVT) on both intake and exhaust camshafts, which helps optimize the torque curve at all speeds and produces more power, better fuel economy and smoother, quieter operation than engines without dual VVT. Dual VVT is a technology typically not available on vehicles sold in the United States in the Jeep Compass’ price class. The Jeep Compass’ 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a five-speed manual transaxle in front-wheel drive configuration delivers 23 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
    Jeep Compass also features a standard five-speed manual transaxle on the Compass Sport model, a new six-speed automatic transmission that is available on the Compass Sport model and standard on the Latitude and Limited models and the continuously-variable transmission II (CVT2L) transmission on vehicles with Freedom Drive II. The Compass’ CVT2L is a second-generation CVT that Chrysler Group engineers calibrated for a pleasing engine response and precise ratio control.
    The 2014 Jeep Compass also provides up to 2,000 pounds of towing capacity.
    Jeep Compass model lineup
    The 2014 Jeep Compass is available in three configurations: Sport, Latitude and Limited. All are available with front-wheel drive, the Freedom Drive I full-time active 4x4 system, or the Freedom Drive II Off-road full-time active 4x4 system with low-range capability.
    2014 Jeep Compass Sport model
    The 2014 Jeep Compass Sport model is powered by the 2.0-liter I-4 World Gas Engine which produces 158 horsepower and 141 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Standard features include: new acoustic laminated front windshield glass, front-wheel drive, front-seat-mounted side air bags, advanced multistage front driver and passenger air bags, all-row side curtain air bags, front driver and passenger active head restraints, electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, brake assist, Hill-start Assist, anti-lock front disc and rear drum brakes, air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, power-heated fold-away exterior mirrors, body-color exterior door handles and liftgate brow, illuminated keyless entry, Sentry Key engine immobilizer theft-deterrent system, illuminated cup holders, removable/rechargeable flashlight, floor mats, outside temperature display, tilt steering column, speed control, rear 60/40 split folding seat, fold-flat rear seat, cruise control, projector fog lamps, deep tint glass, rear window wiper/washer, 16-inch steel wheels and bright roof side rails.

    2014 Jeep Compass Latitude model
    In addition to the features that are standard on the Sport model, the 2014 Jeep Compass Latitude standard features include: 6F24 PowerTech six-speed automatic transmission, heated cloth front seats, driver seat height adjuster, fold-flat front passenger seat, 60/40 rear seat recline, 115-volt power inverter and leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and speed controls.
    2014 Jeep Compass Limited Model
    The 2014 Compass Limited model offers the standard features of the Compass Latitude model as well as: 2.4-liter I-4 dual overhead cam engine that produces 172 horsepower and 164 lb.-ft. of torque mated to the new 6F24 six-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, leather-trimmed front and rear seats, power six-way driver seat with manual lumbar adjust, leather-wrapped parking brake handle, Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC), AM/FM/six-disc CD/DVD/MP3/HDD radio, SiriusXM Radio, auto-dimming rearview mirror, bi-function projector halogen headlamps, 18-inch aluminum wheels with Firestone tires, automatic temperature control, universal garage door opener, bright exhaust tip and bright accent on rear fascia.
    The 2014 Jeep Compass is available in the following exterior colors: Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Black Clear Coat, Bright Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Bright White Clear Coat, Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat, Maximum Steel Metallic Clear Coat, Mineral Gray Metallic Clear Coat, Rugged Brown Pearl Coat, True Blue Pearl Coat and Winter Chill Pearl Coat.
    Available options include Freedom Drive I and Freedom Drive II four-wheel drive systems, 2.4-liter I-4 World Gas Engine producing 172 horsepower (129 kW) and 165 lb.-ft. (224 N•m) of torque, ParkView rear backup camera, 6F24 six-speed automatic transmission, power sunroof, Security and Cargo Convenience Group, Sun and Sound Group, Uconnect Voice Command with Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, Uconnect 230 or Uconnect 430 CDDVD/MP3 HDD radio, Premium Sound Group with nine-speaker audio system with liftgate speakers, navigation with SiriusXM Travel Link and the Trailer-tow Prep Group.
    Built in America at the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Ill., the 2014 Jeep Compass models will begin arriving in dealer showrooms in the second quarter of 2013.
    2014 Jeep® Patriot: Benchmark Compact-SUV Capability with Improved Ride and Handling, Courtesy of a New Powertrain
    2014 Jeep® Patriot debuts new six-speed PowerTech automatic transmission
    Unsurpassed Jeep Trail Rated 4x4 capability, fuel economy of up to 30 miles per gallon (mpg) and improved ride and handling performance in all weather conditions
    The 2014 Jeep Patriot is the best-priced 4X4 in America
    New standard front seat-mounted side air bags give the Jeep Patriot more than 30 safety and security features
    With legendary Jeep capability and style, fuel economy up to 30 mpg highway, loads of standard features and starting at a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $15,995, the 2014 Jeep Patriot delivers value for consumers

    January 14, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - For 2014 the Jeep® Patriot boasts improved on-road performance, compliments of a new six-speed automatic transmission. With unmatched Jeep capability in all weather conditions, fuel economy up to 30 miles per gallon (mpg), more than 30 safety and security features and a starting U.S. Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $15,995, the 2014 Jeep Patriot is the best priced SUV in America.
    The 2014 Patriot is unmistakably a Jeep, designed to appeal to compact-SUV buyers who want traditional Jeep styling with best-in-class off-road capability at an affordable price.
    Patriot offers consumers segment-leading 4x4 capability and excellent fuel efficiency along with rugged exterior styling and clever interior features.
    “Jeep Patriot delivers best-in-class 4x4 capability with an iconic Jeep design,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO — Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “With a new six-speed automatic transmission for 2014, Patriot features improved on-road driving dynamics without sacrificing any of its best-in-class off-road capability. Best of all: Jeep Patriot is still the best-priced SUV in America.”
    Packed with standard features that provide value and convenience for drivers and passengers, the 2014 Jeep Patriot standard features include: front seat-mounted side air bags, electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, Hill-start Assist, anti-lock brakes, illuminated cup holders, sunscreen glass, fog lamps, removable/ rechargeable flashlight, outside temperature display, rear fold-flat 60/40 folding seat, rear window defrost and wiper, tilt steering column, cruise control and sliding visors with mirror.
    In addition to the standard features, the 2014 Jeep Patriot offers an array of clever features consumers will appreciate whether commuting to work, exploring out-of-the-way places or driving in challenging weather conditions. A Uconnect Media Center with iPod interface, SiriusXM Radio, navigation with SiriusXM Travel Link, power sunroof, a premium audio system with nine Boston Acoustic speakers, articulating liftgate speakers, and fold-flat rear seats are some of the available features that make the 2014 Jeep Patriot the perfect compact SUV, enabling drivers and passengers to enjoy any adventure.
    For 2014, the Jeep Patriot continues to offer an All-weather Capability Group option which includes Goodyear 17-inch all-terrain tires, all-season floor mats, daytime running headlamps, engine block heater and tow hooks, making the Patriot the most capable compact SUV off-road and in all weather conditions.
    6F24 six-speed PowerTech automatic transmission
    Available for the first time in most 2014 Jeep Patriot models is the world-class 6F24 six-speed automatic transmission. Independently developed by PowerTech and refined for application in the 2014 Jeep Patriot, the six-speed automatic is fully electronic and designed for fuel efficiency and improved performance.
    Compact and lightweight, the 6F24 eliminated many potential extra engineering efforts from a packaging standpoint with the chassis layout. Overall length of the transmission is 378.5 mm.
    The six-speed automatic features a closely aligned 5.46 gear spread that provides nearly imperceptible shifting from launch through highway speeds. With a 4.21 first gear and standard Auto Stick for manual-like shifting, acceleration characteristics deliver fun-to-drive excitement.
    With a 0.77 sixth gear, engine rpm is significantly reduced at highway speeds for optimal fuel efficiency. The stepped shift schedule across all six gears is designed for optimal fuel economy in city driving as well. Customers will notice extremely quiet operation throughout the gear ranges with the use of noise-resistant gears that effectively reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
    The final drive ratio when mated to the 2.0-liter I-4 engine is 3.648. When mated to the 2.4-liter I-4 engine both the 4x2 and 4x4 versions will have a final drive ratio of 3.367.
    The new six-speed transmission also helps reduce cost of ownership and maintenance costs with its fill-for-life design. There is no transmission dipstick, and transmission filter or fluid changes are not required under normal driving conditions. Low-viscosity fluid is used to improve fuel economy by enabling quicker operating temperatures on the transmission to reduce drag on internal components.
    Segment-leading capability
    The 2014 Jeep Patriot offers customers unsurpassed 4x4 off-road capability with Jeep Freedom Drive II.
    Jeep Patriot is available in three drivetrain configurations. In addition to the standard front-wheel-drive system, it also is available with Freedom Drive I and Freedom Drive II.
    Jeep Freedom Drive I 4x4 is an available full-time, active four-wheel-drive system with lock mode designed to give drivers year-round assurance with the ability to handle rough weather and low-traction conditions. This active four-wheel-drive system is recommended for daily use, including slick conditions that come with rain and light snow. Freedom Drive I also features a lockable center coupling, giving drivers the ability to put the Jeep Patriot in four-wheel-drive lock mode to handle deep snow, sand and other low-traction surfaces.
    The Jeep Freedom Drive II 4x4 Off-road Package is an available four-wheel-drive system that delivers Jeep Trail Rated capability in Patriot form. The Freedom Drive II Off-road Package includes a second-generation continuously-variable transaxle with low range (CVT2L) that engages when the off-road mode is activated, 19:1 crawl ratio, 17-inch all-terrain tires and aluminum wheels, a full-size spare tire, skid plates, tow hooks, fog lamps and manual seat height adjuster. The available Freedom Drive II Off-road Package is recommended for off-road situations that include steep grades, occasional wheel lift and rock or log climbing.
    The 2014 Jeep Patriot’s powertrain is designed to deliver world-class performance in all weather conditions, with exceptional fuel economy and refinement, all at an affordable, value-packed price.
    The Jeep Patriot features a standard 2.0-liter I-4 World Engine for the 2014 Patriot Sport and Latitude models that delivers 158 horsepower (117 kW) and 141 lb.-ft. (191 N•m) of torque coupled with the continuously-variable transmission II (CVT2), and delivers 30 mpg on the highway when mated to the five-speed manual transmission.
    The proven 2.4-liter I-4 World Engine produces 172 horsepower (129 kW) and 165 lb.-ft. (224 N•m) of torque, is available on all models and is standard on the Limited. This 2.4-liter World Engine has dual variable-valve timing (VVT) on both intake and exhaust camshafts, which helps optimize the torque curve at all speeds and produces more power, better fuel economy and smoother, quieter operation than engines without dual VVT. Dual VVT is a technology typically not available on vehicles sold in the United States in the Jeep Patriot’s price class. The Patriot’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a five-speed manual transaxle in front-wheel drive configuration delivers 23 mpg in the city, and 28 mpg on the highway.
    The 2014 Jeep Patriot also features a standard five-speed manual transaxle on the Patriot Sport model, a new six-speed automatic transmission that is available on the Patriot Sport model and standard on the Latitude and Limited models and the CVT2L transmission on vehicles with Freedom Drive II. The Patriot’s CVT2L is a second-generation CVT that Chrysler Group engineers calibrated for a pleasing engine response and precise ratio control.
    The 2014 Jeep Patriot delivers up to 2,000 pounds of towing capacity.
    Jeep Patriot model lineup
    The 2014 Jeep Patriot offers three available models: Patriot Sport, Latitude and Limited. All are available with front-wheel drive, the Jeep Freedom Drive I full-time active 4x4 system or the Freedom Drive II Off-Road full-time active 4x4 system with low-range capability.
    Jeep Patriot Sport model
    The 2014 Jeep Patriot Sport model is powered by the 2.0-liter I-4 World Gas Engine (producing 158 horsepower (117 kW) and 141 lb.-ft. (191 N•m) of torque) mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Standard features include: front-seat mounted side air bags, all-row side curtain air bags, electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, Hill-start Assist, advanced multistage front and passenger air bags, anti-lock front disc and rear drum brakes, audio jack, fog lamps, illuminated cup holders, removable/rechargeable flashlight, floor mats, outside temperature display, fold-flat 60/40 folding rear seat, rear seat heat ducts, rear window defrost and wiper, front sliding visors with mirror, tilt steering column, cruise control, deep tint glass and roof side rails.
    Jeep Patriot Latitude model
    The 2014 Jeep Patriot Latitude model offers the standard features of the Sport model, as well as the following standard features: air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, power heated exterior mirrors, illuminated keyless entry, 17-inch aluminum wheels, front heated cloth seats, rear 60/40 seat recline, driver seat height adjuster, fold-flat front passenger seat, 115-volt power inverter, body color exterior door handles and liftgate brow and leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and speed controls.
    Jeep Patriot Limited model
    In addition to the standard features offered on the Latitude model, the 2014 Jeep Patriot Limited includes: 2.4-liter I-4 World Gas Engine producing 172 horsepower (129 kW) and 165 lb.-ft. (224 N•m) of torque mated to the new 6F24 six-speed automatic transmission, leather seats, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, driver’s seat manual lumbar adjust, leather-wrapped parking brake handle, six-way power driver’s seat, Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC), AM/FM/six-disc CD/DVD/MP3/HDD radio, SiriusXM Radio, automatic temperature control, bright exhaust tip and bright accents on the front and rear fascias.
    Available options include: Jeep Freedom Drive I and Freedom Drive II four-wheel drive systems, 2.4-liter I-4 World Gas Engine producing 172 horsepower (129 kW) and 165 lb.-ft. (224 N•m) of torque, 6F24 six-speed automatic transmission, power sunroof, Uconnect handsfree Bluetooth compatible phone with iPod connectivity, premium nine-speaker audio system with liftgate speakers and navigation with SiriusXM Travel Link.
    The 2014 Jeep Patriot is available in the following exterior colors: Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Black Clear Coat, Bright Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Bright White Clear Coat, Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat, Maximum Steel Metallic Clear Coat, Mineral Gray Metallic Clear Coat, Rugged Brown Pearl Coat, True Blue Pearl Coat and Winter Chill Pearl Coat.
    Built in the United States at the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Ill., 2014 Jeep Patriot models will begin arriving in dealer showrooms in the second quarter 2013.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 8, 2011
    Breaking embargos before an autoshow is the norm and the Detroit show is no different. Joining alongside the Mercedes-Benz SL and Dodge Dart is the new Ford Fusion. A Czech website Auto Forum have gotten two pictures of the new Fusion before its debut at Detroit.
    The pictures, while a bit pixelated, reveal how much infulence the Ford Evos concept had on the overall design. From the hexagonal grille, front headlights, fog lamps, and lower air inlet, the front end of the new Fusion shares many components with the concept.
    We'll learn more about the new Fusion tommrow morning at the Detroit Auto Show.
    Source: Auto Fourm

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 8, 2012
    Joining the growing list of vehicles showing up before the embargo is the new Cadillac ATS. Pictures of the new model were released a few hours ago and show the ATS is gunning for the BMW 3-Series.
    Design of the new ATS takes many cues from its big brother, the CTS, but with some softer lines up front and on the flanks. Around back, the ATS sports Cadillac's trademark vertical tail lamps, plus a pair of inset exhaust tips.
    Cadillac is very confident that the new ATS will give the 3-Series a run for its money. The ATS boasts a nearly 50/50 weight distribution, and features a five-link independent rear suspension; a first for Cadillac. The ATS is also the lightest Cadillac, tipping the scales at 3,400 lbs.
    Power will come from engines; the base is a 2.5L four-cylinder producing an estimated 200 HP and 188 lb-ft of torque. Next is the 2.0L turbo-four producing 270 HP and 260 lb-ft of torque. And there is the stalwart 3.6L DI V6 producing 318 HP and 267 lb-ft of torque. Transmissions will include a six-speed manual or automatic.
    Inside, the ATS takes it up a notch, with eye-catching interior colors, the choice of either wood or carbon fiber trim, and cut-and-sew stitching on the dash and seats. The ATS will also feature Cadillac's CUE infotainment system which offers a eight-inch LCD touchscreen, Bluetooth, USB, auxiliary inputs, and a SD card slot.
    Cadillac hasn't announced pricing or fuel economy for the new ATS, but has said the ATS will be on dealer lots this summer.

    Press Release is on Page 2
    For release: Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, 6 p.m. ET
    2013 Cadillac ATS Challenges the Status Quo
    • All-new, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive architecture with one of the lowest curb weights in the segment – less than 3,400 pounds (1,542 kg)
    • Broad lineup of engines, including two four-cylinders and a V-6 for North America, capitalizes on lightweight structure for performance with efficiency
    • Cadillac CUE, a comprehensive, in-vehicle experience that merges intuitive design with auto industry-first controls and commands for information and entertainment data
    DETROIT – Cadillac today introduced the 2013 ATS, an all-new compact luxury sports sedan intended to challenge the world's best premium cars. Developed on an all-new, lightweight vehicle architecture, Cadillac's entry into the world's most significant luxury car segment goes on sale this summer.
    The rear-drive ATS brings Cadillac's blend of technologically driven performance, elegance and design to a new audience of spirited drivers. Its sophisticated driving experience is enhanced with Cadillac CUE, a comprehensive, in-vehicle user experience that merges intuitive design with industry-first controls and commands for information and media data.
    "Designed with quick, nimble and fun-to-drive dynamics, ATS expands Cadillac's portfolio into a crucial global segment," said Don Butler, vice president of marketing for Cadillac. "For a new group of luxury consumers, this is a car that will fit their lifestyle and challenge the segment's status quo."
    The Cadillac ATS is a new expression of Cadillac's Art & Science execution philosophy, built on a foundation of driving dynamics and mass efficiency. It is the most agile and lightweight Cadillac, with one of the lowest curb weights in the segment – less than 3,400 pounds (1,542 kg).
    Germany's famed Nürburgring served as one of the key testing grounds, along with additional roads, racetracks and laboratories around the globe, ATS engineers balanced performance with Cadillac's trademark refinement. Contributing components and features include:
    • Nearly 50/50 weight balance
    • Cadillac's first five-link independent rear suspension using lightweight, high-strength steel and efficient straight link designs
    • A multi-link double-pivot MacPherson-strut front suspension with direct-acting stabilizer bar
    • Driver-adjustable FE3 sport suspension with Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping
    • Underbody aerodynamic shields
    • Premium (belt driven) electric variable-effort steering gear from ZF Steering Systems
    • Four-channel ABS with available Brembo performance brakes
    • Available all-wheel drive
    "More than just another new entry, the ATS aims to change the status quo of the European-dominated segment," said Butler. "That is why our approach in all elements of its development is so extensive and focused."
    A broad lineup of engines – including two four-cylinders and a V-6 for North America – delivers strong power to the ATS and capitalizes on the car's lightweight structure to complement its performance with efficiency. The optional engines include an all-new 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 270 horsepower (201 kW) and Cadillac's award-winning 3.6L V-6, estimated at 318 horsepower (237 kW).
    At 135hp/L, the new 2.0T is one of the most power-dense engines in the industry, topping engines from European competitors. ATS will offer both manual and automatic transmission options, along with rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive configurations.
    The ATS will deliver peak highway fuel economy of more than 30 mpg.
    A spirit of lightness and balance
    Making the ATS one of the segment's lightest cars was a fundamental criterion for and the guiding principle during its development, but it was done in a nuanced manner that ensures a refined driving experience.
    "Low weight gives the ATS a more nimble and controllable feel, while also optimizing the performance and efficiency of the powertrains," said David Masch, ATS chief engineer. "But we were careful to manage the weight while maintaining Cadillac's signature levels of refinement."
    Optimizing the ATS's mass was the result of a four-pronged philosophy that included strict adherence to original architectural goals, measured load management throughout the vehicle, benchmarking components to see if lighter solutions were available and an overall culture that "weighed" the mass of every component in the car against all aspects of its development.
    An aluminum hood, magnesium engine mount brackets and even lightweight, natural-fiber door trim panels contribute to the ATS's low overall mass – and reflect the systematic approach of evaluating every gram that went into the car. But some weight was deemed not only beneficial, but essential to the ATS's driving experience. An example is the cast iron differential: Engineers found they could improve fuel economy with a cast iron differential rather than a lighter aluminum version.
    And while the rear suspension is mostly steel, the focus on load management and straight links enabled significant weight savings without using alternate materials. This helps offset the weight of the engine and transmission at the front of the vehicle, helping the ATS deliver its near-perfect 50/50 weight balance, while also contributing to lower noise and vibration. A similar approach was taken on the wheels, where extra structural aluminum was strategically added to further reduce vibration.
    "We approached development by counting all the grams in the ATS," said Masch. "We minimized them where we could and put them to the best use where they were needed."
    Tailored design weaves in signature style and refinement
    The 2013 Cadillac ATS interprets Cadillac's Art & Science design language in a new proportion, tailoring the signature styling and refinement cues for the most compact Cadillac while upholding – and advancing – the exemplary attention to detail and technological elements for which the brand is known.
    A long, 109.3-inch (2,775 mm) wheelbase and wide front/rear tracks are the cornerstones of the ATS's firmly planted stance, which is enhanced by short overhangs and taut sheet metal that appears to wrap tightly around the tires. Seventeen-inch wheels are standard and 18-inch wheels are available.
    Bold vertical lighting elements – including new LED front signature lighting detail – as well as illuminating door handles and active grille shutters lend technologically advanced style and function to the ATS. The grille shutters close at certain highway speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag and enhance fuel economy.
    A driver-focused interior with integrated technology and crafted materials complements the exterior elements and supports the ATS's driving experience. Everything from the placement of the pedals to the position of the shifter is designed for effortless and intuitive performance driving. Available performance seats have power-adjustable bolsters to optimize lateral support during high-load cornering.
    Contributing to the interior's intuitive feel is an instrument panel that wraps into the doors and a center stack in the mid-instrument panel that flows into the center console. LED lighting for the bold gauge cluster enables clear, at-a-glance viewing in all lighting conditions, while ambient lighting accents functional elements of the console and doors.
    Real wood, plated metal plating and carbon fiber trim and Cadillac's cut-and-sew cut-and-sew instrument panel, console and doors enhance the emotional connection to the ATS. Choices of many interior color themes, each with unique accent trim material, cover a wide range of flavors – from light, open and warm to black and serious, to bold, technical and sporty.
    CUE and ATS technologies
    The ATS is offered with Cadillac CUE, a comprehensive, in-vehicle experience that merges intuitive design with auto industry-first controls and commands for information and entertainment data. It is designed to be unique for each consumer, from the "simple user" to the fully connected "super user."
    CUE, which stands for Cadillac User Experience, pairs entertainment and information data from up to 10 Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices, USBs, SD cards and MP3 players with a vehicle infotainment system that reduces complexity through customized information, voice commands and fewer buttons and larger icons. For example, most of today's luxury cars have around 20 buttons controlling the radio and entertainment functions. CUE has only four.
    The heart of CUE is the eight-inch LCD multi-touch sensitive screen, seamlessly integrated into the top of the central instrument panel and a motorized fully capacitive faceplate at the bottom concealing a 1.8L storage area. The vibrant LCD screen displays CUE's home page, which resembles a smart phone's screen by using large, easy-to-target icons to execute commands. Capacitive technology refers to using electrodes to sense the conductive properties of objects, such as a finger.
    In addition to CUE, the ATS is offered with other technologies, including:
    • Bluetooth phone connectivity with voice recognition
    • USB, auxiliary and SD memory card ports
    • SiriusXM Satellite Radio with three-month trial subscription
    • Keyless access and keyless push-button start
    • Reconfigurable 5.7-inch instrument panel cluster display
    • Full-color reconfigurable heads-up display.
    The ATS is offered as a well-equipped standard model and in Luxury, Performance and Premium Collections. A Bose® Cabin Surround audio system is offered on the standard model, as well as Luxury and Performance Collections. It is standard with the Premium Collection. A navigation system is also available with Luxury and Performance Collections and standard with the Premium Collection.
    'Control and alert' safety strategy
    Safety in the ATS is based on Cadillac's "control and alert" strategy that employs advanced technologies – including radar, cameras and ultrasonic sensors – to help prevent crashes.
    The safety features bolster driver vision and awareness of road hazards, and intervenes to help the driver avert potential crashes. In some cases, Cadillac's advanced crash-avoidance systems will act without the driver, such as automatic braking, which will activate based on information indicating potential hazards.
    Among the most sophisticated of the features is Front and Rear Automatic Brakes. This relies on short-range radar technology and ultrasonic sensors to help the driver prevent front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary.
    Optional advanced safety features include:
    • Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
    • Intelligent Brake Assist
    • Forward Collision Alert
    • Brake Pre-Fill Automatic Collision Preparation
    • Lane Departure Warning
    • Side Blind Zone Alert
    • Rear Vision Camera With Dynamic Guidelines
    • Adaptive Forward Lighting
    • Hill Hold/Start Assist (Standard, manual transmission)
    The advanced technology safety features complement the ATS's roster of other safety features, including eight standard air bags (10 with optional features), safety belt pretensioners and load limiters, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel ABS.
    ATS also features OnStar standard for one year. It can use GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of a crash. OnStar service also includes myCadillac and OnStar myLink mobile apps, which offer vehicle information, controls and OnStar services via the customer's iPhone or Android smart phone.
    About Cadillac
    Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years, Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and advanced technology. More information on Cadillac can be found at media.cadillac.com.
    2013 CADILLAC ATS PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
    Overview
    Model: Cadillac ATS Sedan
    Body style / driveline: 4-door luxury sport luxury sedan, RWD/AWD
    Construction: Unitized welded steel body with direct-mounted front cradle and rubber-isolated, multi-link independent rear suspension
    EPA vehicle class: small car
    Manufacturing location: Lansing Grand River Assembly, Lansing, Mich.
    Engines
    2.0L Turbo DI VVT 2.5L I-4 DI VVT 3.6L V-6 DI VVT
    Displacement (cu in / cc): 122 / 1998 150 / 2457 217 / 3564
    Bore & stroke (in / mm): 3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86 3.46 x 3.97 / 88 x 101 3.7 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6
    Block material: cast aluminum cast aluminum cast aluminum
    Cylinder head material: cast aluminum cast aluminum cast aluminum
    Valvetrain: DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing DOHC, four valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing DOHC, four valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing
    Fuel delivery: direct high-pressure fuel injection direct high-pressure fuel injection direct high-pressure fuel injection
    Compression ratio: 9.2:1 11.4:1 11.5:1
    Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 270 / 201 @ 5300 (est) 200 / 149 @ 6200 (est) 318 / 237 @ 6800 (est - gas)
    Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm): 260 / 353 @ 2400 (est) 188 / 255 @ 4500 (est) 267 / 362 @ 4900 (est - gas)
    Recommended fuel: premium recommended but not required regular unleaded regular unleaded or E85
    Maximum engine speed (rpm): 6350 7000 7200
    Estimated fuel economy: TBD TBD TBD
    Transmissions
    Tremec M3L TR3160 Hydra-Matic 6L45
    Type: fully synchronized six-speed manual with single overdrive six-speed, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive with torque converter clutch
    Gear ratios (:1):
    First: 4.12 4.06
    Second: 2.62 2.37
    Third: 1.81 1.55
    Fourth: 1.30 1.16
    Fifth: 1.00 0.85
    Sixth: 0.80 0.67
    Reverse: 3.75 3.20
    Final drive ratio: 3.27 3.27 (2.5L, 3.6L)
    3.45 (2.0T)
    Chassis / Suspension
    Configuration: rear-wheel drive
    Differential: open (FE2 suspension); mechanical limited-slip (FE3 suspension)
    Front: MacPherson-type with dual lower ball joints and direct-acting stabilizer bar; Magnetic Ride Control (FE3)
    Rear: independent five-link with monotube shock absorbers; Magnetic Ride Control (FE3)
    Steering type: ZF rack-mounted electric, power-assisted and variable assist
    Steering ratio: FE2: 16.8:1
    FE3: 15.3:1
    Steering turns, lock-to-lock: FE2: 3.16
    FE3: 2.86
    Turn circle (ft / m): FE2 RWD: 36.38 / 11.09
    FE3 RWD: 35.99 / 10.97
    FE2 AWD: 38.05 / 11.60
    Chassis control: four-channel StabiliTrak w/ brake assist and traction control
    Wheels and Tires
    Wheel size and type: 17x8-inch aluminum (painted)
    17x8-inch aluminum (polished)
    18x8-inch aluminum (machined-face)
    18x8-inch aluminum (polished)
    Tire size: P225/45R17 90H all-season
    P225/45R17 90V run-flat all-season
    225/40R18 92V run-flat all-season
    225/40R18 88W / 255/35R18 90W run-flat summer-only
    225/35ZR19 88Y / 255/30ZR19 91Y run-flat all-season (LPO)
    Brakes
    Type: four-wheel disc with sliding calipers on base; four-channel ABS/TCS w/ DRP; Brembo brakes with fixed calipers on Luxury, Performance and Premium collections
    Rotor type and thickness (in / mm): Standard front: 11.8 x 1.02 (300 x 26) vented, with Ferritic Nitro Carbunized process for corrosion resistance
    Standard rear: 12.4 x 0.90 (315 x 23) vented, with Ferritic Nitro Carbunized process for corrosion resistance
    Uplevel front: 12.6 x 1.18 (321 x 30) vented, with Ferritic Nitro Carbunized process for corrosion resistance
    Uplevel rear: 12.4 x 0.90 (315 x 23) vented, with Ferritic Nitro Carbunized process for corrosion resistance
    Dimensions
    Exterior
    Wheelbase (in / mm): 109.3 / 2775
    Length (in / mm): 182.8 / 4643
    Height (in / mm): 55.9 / 1421
    Width (in / mm): 71.1 / 1805
    Track (in / mm): front: 59.5 / 1512
    rear: 60.9 / 1548
    Curb weight (lb / kg): less than 3,400 / 1,542 (approx.)
    Weight distribution (% front / rear): 51 / 49
    Interior
    Legroom (in / mm): front: 42.5 / 1079
    rear: 33.5 / 851
    Headroom (in / mm): front: 38.6 / 980
    rear: 36.8 / 935
    Shoulder room (in / mm): front: 55.2 / 1345
    rear: 53.9 / 1370
    Hip room (in / mm): front: 53.0 / 1345
    rear: 52.3 / 1328
    Capacities
    Seating capacity (front / rear): 2 / 3
    EPA passenger volume (cu ft / L): 90.9 / 2573
    EPA trunk volume (cu ft / L): 10.2 / 290
    Trailer towing maximum (lb / kg): 1000 / 454 (3.6L)
    Fuel tank (gal / L): 16 / 60.5
    Engine oil (qt / L): TBD
    Cooling system (qt / L): 8.1 / 7.7 (2.0T)
    7.1 / 6.7 (2.5L)
    11 / 10.4 (3.6L)
    *SAE certified.
    Note: Information shown is current at time of publication.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 14, 2013
    One automaker you might not expect to get into the three-row crossover arena is Volkswagen. But with the introduction of the CrossBlue concept at the Detroit Auto Show today, Volkswagen might be joining.
    The CrossBlue's design is mixture of Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7. The concept measures 196 inches from front to back, which puts it about on par with the Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder. Inside, the CrossBlue has seating for six passengers and a 10.2-inch touch screen infotainment system controls all audio functions.
    Power comes from a plug-in diesel electric hybrid drivetrain. The powertrain pairs a 2.0L turbodiesel four-cylinder engine with two electric motors for a combined output of 305 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, and six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Volkswagen says the CrossBlue can get 89 MPGe when the battery is fully charged, 39 MPG when the battery is depleted, travel up 14 miles on electric power alone, and reach 60 MPH in 7.2 seconds.

    Album: Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept
    5 images 0 comments 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
    VOLKSWAGEN CROSSBLUE MID-SIZE SUV CONCEPT MAKES GLOBAL DEBUT AT THE NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    Six-seater mid-size SUV concept designed specifically for North America
    Innovative diesel-electric plug-in-hybrid powertrain offers manufacturer estimated fuel economy rating of 35 mpg combined, 89 mpge in electric mode
    Concept is built off the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) components set
    Range in all-electric mode is up to 14 miles
    306 horsepower; 516 pound-feet of torque; 0 to 60 mph estimated at 7.2 seconds
    Sophisticated, spacious, flexible, and elegant interior space
    Exterior is a marriage of clean, timeless Volkswagen design language with the masculine character of an American SUV
    Wolfsburg/Detroit - The versatile CrossBlue SUV concept that is making its global debut at the North American International Auto Show was developed specifically for the U.S. and Canada. If it goes into production, the CrossBlue would flesh out the Volkswagen SUV lineup with a seven-seat midsize crossover that slots in above the Tiguan and below the premium Touareg.
    The CrossBlue features a highly innovative plug-in hybrid powertrain that mates a TDI® Clean Diesel engine with two electric motors, a DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, and an electric all-wheel-drive system that is dubbed "propshaft by wire." Volkswagen's manufacturer estimated fuel economy rating is 89 mpge combined in electric mode and 35 mpg as a hybrid. As well as offering excellent economy for a mid-size crossover SUV, the CrossBlue has impressive performance from a powertrain that produces up to 305 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque: 0 to 60 mph is estimated to take just 7.2 seconds.
    The CrossBlue runs in zero emissions mode either at the press of a button or automatically. With a fully charged 9.8kWh lithium-ion battery, the CrossBlue can travel a distance of 14 miles in all-electric mode; to achieve optimal driving range, the top speed is reduced from 127 mph to 75 mph. The overall driving range is 661 miles if the 18.5-gallon fuel tank is filled with ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel.
    The CrossBlue concept, which boasts six individual seats, combines the visual impact of an SUV with the spaciousness and flexibility of a minivan. With a comfortable highway ride, good all-around visibility, and a full raft of safety features that includes up to 12 airbags, the concept car is a spacious and safe cruiser.
    The CrossBlue was designed in Germany under the leadership of Walter de Silva (Head of Design, Volkswagen Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Head of Design, Volkswagen Brand), in close coordination with Volkswagen of America. The vehicle merges the clean lines of German Volkswagen design DNA with the masculine character of an American SUV. This results in a very realistic vehicle that eschews showcar gaudiness to give a glimpse at a potential new Volkswagen SUV.
    "The CrossBlue concept is exactly the right type of vehicle for the U.S. market," said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. "It combines a truly versatile interior layout with sophisticated Volkswagen design, to give a unique and supremely stylish offering in this segment. Moreover, the vehicle showcases our innovative German powertrain engineering and the bandwidth of the new MQB architecture."
    A Volkswagen Made for America
    Painted in "CrossBlue Glass Flake", the concept is 196.3 inches long, 79.3 inches wide, and 68.2 inches high. It assumes a very confident stance on the road thanks to wide front and rear tracks of 66.4 and 66.8 inches respectively, 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 235/45 tires, and significantly flared wheelarches.
    Contrasting with the body color is stainless-steel trim that runs all around the SUV's lower body section. Developed by a team led by Marc Lichte (Senior Designer, Volkswagen Brand), the CrossBlue features a very prominent and long hood that integrates the engine's air intakes, a roofline that is also long, and a very short frontal overhang. The vehicle's silhouette ascends slightly towards the rear, a visual impression that's reinforced by a widening character line that runs from the headlights back to the taillights. Typically for a Volkswagen, there's a precisely styled line above this.
    The CrossBlue is equipped with two "fuel doors"-the filler neck for the diesel tank is on the passenger side, and engineers integrated two electrical sockets behind the door on the driver's side. The first socket is used to charge the lithium-ion battery and the second can be used to connect electrical devices such as coolers or camping lights. In this case, the CrossBlue acts as an auxiliary electrical generator.
    A key element of Volkswagen design DNA is the predominance of horizontal lines at the front and rear of the vehicle. The Volkswagen design team has further developed this in the CrossBlue. The radiator grille trim, consisting of two solid aluminum struts and a centrally positioned VW logo, is now a three-dimensional element that extends into the headlights and defines the entire front end. The upper aluminum strut frames the dual headlights, while the lower strut transitions into a line that extends across the entire front end and visually lengthens the grille. This gives the CrossBlue the appearance of being wider than it actually is.
    The Volkswagen designers attended to even the smallest of details with great care. The air intakes in the bumper are an example. They are trimmed by horizontally mounted, black-painted pieces that are actually three-dimensional honeycomb structures when you examine them closely. Beneath the bumper, the front end is finished by stainless-steel-style trim and integrated underbody protection.
    As at the front end, the designers accentuated the sculpted LED taillights with aluminum elements as well. From a styling perspective, the taillights are designed in the form of an "E" that opens towards the vehicle centerline. In the inner area, the contours of these two "Es" are trimmed in aluminum. The prominent tailpipes have a stainless-steel look and are integrated in a trim panel that features underbody protection.
    Ample Space and Maximum Comfort
    The interior is a key part of any crossover utility vehicle and the CrossBlue's is ultra-stylish, luxurious, and versatile. The team headed by Tomasz Bachorsky (Lead Designer, Volkswagen Brand) equipped the concept car with six individual seats in three rows. In a production version, the second row would have the option of three seats to make it a full seven seater. Although the third row features stadium-style seating, which children will appreciate, headroom is excellent throughout the vehicle: 42.4 inches up front, 40.2 inches in the middle, and 37.6 inches in the rear. Legroom is ample, too, with 37.3 inches in the second row and 36.1 inches in the third row. Convenient access to the rear seats is assured by sliding second-row seats that can be managed with a single hand movement.
    Behind the third seating row is a spacious cargo area. With the third row folded, load length is 48.8 inches, a figure that increases to 83.5 inches with the second row stowed. A fully folding front passenger seat means that objects up to 118 inches long can be accommodated inside the CrossBlue, perfect for the weekend run to the home improvement store.
    The CrossBlue is not only an extremely spacious and comfortable SUV; it is also a very sophisticated one from the point of view of its materials and its precise styling and form language. In the process, the designers and engineers created an interior that will likely set new standards for this class.
    As soon as the driver starts the SUV, the round-shaped controls for the lights, climate control, and the four-wheel-drive system emerge from their flush resting positions. The controls have rugged aluminum surrounds: aluminum is one of the predominant materials in the interior and is used for the air vent surrounds and the array of switches as well as for such features as the steering wheel spokes.
    Leather and wood are also used to finish the interior. Oona Scheepers, Head of Color & Trim, decided to use especially distinctive dark stained banana tree wood accents. The lines of these wood accents "flow" from the sporty gearshift area and ascend the center console and across the lower instrument panel to the door trim, playing a large role in defining the interior space in the front of the vehicle. Above these wood accents and around the two-part center armrest, dark "Marble Gray" leather is used, with light beige "St Tropez" leather, trim pieces, and fabrics used beneath the wood accents and on the seats.
    Contemporary technologies are integrated with these refined materials to make a clear design statement. Positioned centrally on the center console is a 10.2-inch touchscreen that is framed by an aluminum surround and central air vents. The large touchscreen is not only used to control all infotainment functions, but also to access the status of the hybrid system. Another new feature is a 3D display of either the navigation route or the contents of the media center. All the important switches in the passenger compartment-except for the hazard flasher switch-are soft-touch components that have a similar feel to using a touchscreen.
    The instruments are also high-tech. The instrument cluster is designed to be user programmable, offering a wide variety of functions and displays. For example, the CrossBlue can be driven in different powertrain modes: information related to the "Eco" mode is shown with a blue background, while the "Sport" setting is shown in red.
    The on-board entertainment system is as cool as it gets. To ensure that second- and third-row passengers can fully enjoy audio, video, and online entertainment, iPad® mini devices are integrated as monitors in the front-row head restraints. A Fender® Premium Audio System ensures concert-hall-quality sound throughout the vehicle. Second- and third-row occupants also have full control over the climate-control system in their part of the vehicle.
    Drivetrain Combines Efficiency and Fun
    The CrossBlue is based on Volkswagen's new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) components set. This vehicle brings together MQB elements that could underpin a future generation of SUVs, such as the front and rear suspensions, the 190-horsepower TDI Clean Diesel engine from the new EA288 family, and a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. These components are combined with electrical parts that are also "made by Volkswagen," such as the lithium-ion battery in the center tunnel and the 54-hp front and 114-hp rear electric motors. The Cross Coupé compact SUV concept-also being shown for the first time in the U.S. in Detroit-uses a similar powertrain concept, showing the extent of the MQB's modularity.
    The CrossBlue is as efficient as it is sporty. As already noted, Volkswagen estimates 89 mpge in electric mode and 35 mpg combined running as a hybrid, as well as a 0 to 60 mph time of 7.2 seconds. Although the combined power output of 305 hp is impressive, the torque characteristics are amazing. The TDI Clean Diesel engine makes 295 lb-ft from just 1750 rpm, while the electric motors produce their torque-133 lb-ft at the front wheels and 199 lb-ft at the rear-immediately. Combined, the system can produce up to 516 lb-ft, a stout number.
    Different Operating Modes: The CrossBlue's default mode is as a classic hybrid. The electric motor is used for propulsive power as often as possible in this situation. The driver can also switch to "Eco" or "Sport" modes by pressing a button to the right of the shift lever. In Eco mode, parameters such as the throttle map and air conditioning are controlled for minimal fuel and electrical consumption. In Sport mode, the drive system's maximum power potential is exploited. Other available modes are: offroad, where all-wheel-drive is permanently engaged; charging; and EV mode, where it drives as an electric vehicle.
    Powered by its lithium-ion battery, the CrossBlue can cover a distance of up to 14 miles as an EV, although top speed is reduced from 127 mph to 75 mph. In E-mode, only the 114-hp rear electric motor propels the vehicle and the TDI engine is shut off and decoupled from the drivetrain. Even at speeds of up to 75 mph, the internal combustion engine is not engaged as long as the battery has sufficient charge. As soon as there is a need for TDI power, it is coupled to the drivetrain again, jolt-free, within fractions of a second.
    The CrossBlue's lithium-ion battery has an energy capacity of 9.8 kWh and is housed in the center tunnel. The power electronics unit integrated in the engine compartment operates at a level of around 370V and manages the flow of high-voltage energy to and from the battery and the electric motors. A DC/DC converter supplies the vehicle's electrical system with the 12-volt power it needs. The battery can be charged either by external power sources or by the TDI engine while the vehicle is in motion.
    The driver can intentionally switch over to a charging mode by pressing another button on the center console. The TDI engine charges the battery while driving in order to store enough electrical energy for EV operation later in the journey-for instance, in an urban area.
    There are also a number of other specific modes that automatically come into play, depending on the circumstances.
    Coasting: As soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal, the engine and electric motors are decoupled from the drivetrain and the engine is shut off, provided that the battery is sufficiently charged. This is referred to as "coasting." No emissions are generated.
    Battery regeneration: Whenever the driver releases the accelerator pedal or applies the brakes, and the battery is insufficiently charged, the two electric motors act as generators and feed energy recovered from the brakes into the lithium-ion battery. In this case, the TDI engine is also shut off and decoupled from the drivetrain to ensure maximum regeneration.
    Boosting: When very sporty performance is required, the electric motors form an alliance with the TDI engine known as "boosting": in this mode, all four wheels are driven.
    Offroad ("propshaft by wire"): All four wheels are also driven whenever offroad mode is intentionally activated. In this case, however, the front electric motor-which is now supplied with energy by the TDI engine-operates exclusively as a generator and a power source for the electric motor at the rear. Since the energy for driving the rear wheels is electrical rather than mechanical, this is referred to as "propshaft by wire". Because the TDI engine drives the front wheels in off¬road mode, the four-wheel-drive system is still operational even when the battery doesn't have much charge.
    TDI only: When the TDI engine is the sole source for propulsive power, the CrossBlue is a pure front-wheel-drive vehicle. Thanks to the efficient turbocharged, common-rail, direct fuel-injection diesel engine, the concept car is still very fuel-efficient. Based on manufacturer estimates, the CrossBlue would attain 37 mpg highway and 33 mpg city, values that a gasoline-engined SUV would find hard to match.

    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.

    Blake Noble
    So far during this year's Detriot Auto Show, many of the automaker's media embargos have been broken early -- the Dodge Dart, the new Mercedes SL, and the Cadillac ATS all were put up for public viewing on the internet hours before they were officially meant to be. The new 2013 Ford Fusion was another car that fell victim to having its media embargo broken by Uncle Internet, but luckily the two pictures that leaked out earlier today weren't of the best quality and still left you wanting to see more.
    If you were wondering how the rear and interior of the new Fusion would turn out, well, here's some good news: Ford's embargo broke about an hour or two ago and now we can bring you a full gallery of nice resolution images of Ford's new Camcord fighting mid-sized sedan. And man, oh man ... has Ford really come out swinging this time on this one.
    If we've learned anything about how a mid-sized sedan should be designed from recent debuts, such as the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu and 2011 Kia Optima, it's that cars of this class do not have to be dull as dishwater and this new Fusion is no exception. Any possible styling connections to the outgoing Fusion have been thrown out the door and the new car instead draws it's inspiration heavily from the current Kinetic design European Ford Mondeo and the Ford Evos concept car. The end result definitely makes for one boldly-designed sedan.
    The new Fusion can be ordered in S, SE, and Titanium trim levels and, as with the other competing cars in its class, will offer a range of four-cylinder engines. Base cars will have a naturally-aspirated 2.5L four (175 hp, 175 lb.-ft. of torque) standard and the upgrade from that engine will be a turbo 1.6L EcoBoost four (179 hp, 172 lb.-ft. of torque) good for 26 mpg city and 37 mpg highway. The range-topping motor will be a 2.0L EcoBoost four (237 hp, and 250 lb.-ft. of torque). As for transmissions, a six-speed automatic or manual will be offered. You also have the option of all-wheel drive on top-end, 2.0L-equipped cars as well.
    That isn't all, though. The Hybrid model, of course, returns with the new car. Good for 47 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway, the new Fusion Hybrid uses a 2.0L four-cylinder engine along with an electric motor good for 180 horses. If the Hybrid wasn't efficient enough, Ford also will build an Energi (read: plug-in hybrid) variant of the Fusion that will be good for 100 MPGe.
    Aside from being one of the most efficient cars in its class, the new Fusion will be packed full of tech goodies. MyFordTouch, Ford's in-house infotainment system, will obviously be an offered item and Sync is standard on all models.
    The new Fusion is certainly one of the most impressive mid-sized sedans set to hit the market and will most definitely keep the competition (especially Toyota) wringing their hands for a while. Production is set to start this month in Mexico and will expand to Flat Rock, Michigan. Sales will begin here in the North American market this fall, while overseas buyers in Europe will see the Fusion show up on their shores to replace the Mondeo next year.
    Browse through the gallery here:



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