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  • Detroit Auto Show

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 10, 2012
    Whenever Honda shows a concept, most times it turns out to be a thinly vailed production model. Case in point is the Accord Concept shown today at the Detroit Auto Show.
    Design wise, Honda went very conservative with coupe. While ok looking, you can't help the thoughts of whether you're looking at the current Accord or not.
    The real news lies in the powertrains. The base engine is a new "Earth Dreams" 2.4L four-cylinder producing 181 HP and 177 lb-ft of torque going through a new CVT. A V6 will also be available with the choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic.
    Honda will also bring back the Accord Hybrid - a car that went away in 2007 due to poor sales. This time, the Accord Hybrid will utlize a plug-in hybrid system with three different drive settings - all-electric, gasoline-electric and "direct-drive". The plug-in system utlizes a 2.0L Atkinson cycle four cylinder mated to a 120-kilowatt electric motor and a a 6-kWh lithium-ion battery. Honda says the Accord plug-in can travel up to 10-15 miles on electric power alone and can charge up in under four hours when plugged into a 120v outlet. (1.5 hours when plugged into a 240v outlet.)
    Expect the new Accord to come equipped with new safety features including lane departure warning, forward collision warning, blind-spot detection and a multi-angle rear-view camera.
    The production version of the Accord will debut sometime later this year, with sales beginning sometime in the fall.

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Honda Unveils 2013 Accord Coupe Concept
    All-new Accord will feature next-generation powertrain technologies, class-leading fuel economy plus innovative safety and technology features
    DETROIT, Jan. 10, 2012 – Honda unveiled the dynamic Accord Coupe Concept today at the North American International Auto Show, providing the first official glimpse of the athletic styling direction, as well as revealing a host of new technologies for the all-new, ninth-generation 2013 model, set to go on-sale this fall.
    The 2013 Accord will feature three all-new powertrains, including the first U.S. application of both a 2.4-liter direct-injected engine and two-motor plug-in hybrid system from Honda's suite of next-generation Earth Dreams™ powertrain technologies. In addition, the V-6 Accord will be the first Honda sedan to feature a new 6-speed automatic transmission. Both the Accord Sedan and the Accord Coupe models are expected to achieve class-leading fuel economy ratings and will be available with a number of innovative new safety and technological features.
    "Marking the 30th anniversary of U.S. production, this new ninth-generation Accord will raise the bar again through a tour de force of new Honda powertrain and safety technologies, geared to ensure that Honda and the Accord continue to lead in fuel economy, safety and fun-to-drive performance," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda.
    Design and Packaging
    The Accord Coupe Concept features an athletic styling direction for Honda's best-selling model. The front bumper's dynamic lines are highlighted by a revised four-sided honeycomb grille and deeply set multi-reflector headlights. Lower fog-light spoilers are accented by crystallized chrome inlays.
    The Accord Coupe Concept's 20-inch, machine-finished, 5-spoke wheels contribute to its solid stance. The rear taillights aggressively sweep into the body, while a trunk -lid spoiler and large exhaust finishers integrated into the bumper underscore the Accord Coupe Concept's muscular exterior.
    While the Accord Coupe will remain similarly sized, the Accord Sedan will feature a more compact exterior footprint, adding to its sportier appearance. A shortened wheelbase and reduced weight will also give the 2013 Accord Sedan more responsive handling and improved driving dynamics. Both the 2013 Accord Sedan and Accord Coupe will retain the current model's generous cabin space.
    Advanced and Efficient Powertrains
    The Accord will offer three all-new powertrains for the 2013 model year. The Accord Sedan and Accord Coupe will be the first models in the U.S. to receive the new Earth Dreams 2.4-liter, 16-valve DOHC i-VTEC® four-cylinder engine featuring direct- injection (DI). The engine will be paired to a new Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT), which utilizes an innovative 'G-Design Shift' cooperative control system for excellent acceleration and responsive shifting. The all-new 2.4-liter DI engine generates significant performance improvements compared to the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine it replaces, producing more than 181 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. In addition to an overall improvement in fuel economy compared to the 2012 model, the new four-cylinder-equipped 2013 Accord models are targeted to deliver class-leading fuel economy1.
    The 2013 Accord Sedan and Accord Coupe will also be offered with a re-engineered 3.5-liter, 24-valve, SOHC, i-VTEC V-6 engine, paired to a new 6-speed automatic transmission or an available 6-speed manual transmission. The new V-6 engine generates an increase in horsepower and torque over the current model. The 2013 Accord Sedan and Accord Coupe models equipped with the 6-speed automatic transmission will utilize Honda Variable Cylinder Management ™ (VCM™) technology and are targeted to achieve class-leading fuel economy1 along with an overall improvement in fuel economy compared to the outgoing model.
    The 2013 Accord lineup will also feature the first application of a new two-motor plug-in hybrid system to the Accord Sedan. The Honda two-motor hybrid system moves continuously through three modes - all-electric, gasoline-electric and direct-drive - to maximize driving efficiency and fuel economy.
    In all-electric mode, the 2013 Accord Plug-In Hybrid will use a 6 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and a powerful 120 kW electric motor to achieve an all-electric range of approximately 10-15 miles in city driving scenarios and a top speed of 62 mph. Fully recharging the battery will take less than four hours using a 120-volt, outlet and less than 1.5 hours using a 240-volt charger.
    In the gasoline-electric hybrid mode, the Accord is powered by its fuel-efficient 2.0-liter, i-VTEC inline four-cylinder, Atkinson cycle engine, paired with an electric Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT). For more efficient high-speed cruising, the Accord Plug-In Hybrid can engage in a direct-drive mode, in which only the engine drives the front wheels. The Accord Plug-In Hybrid will launch next winter.
    All 2013 Accord models will incorporate the Honda ECO Assist™ system, an innovative technology that can enhance efficient vehicle operation at the touch of a button, while also providing visual feedback to the driver to promote and confirm a more efficient driving style.
    Safety and Technological Innovations
    The 2013 Accord will introduce numerous new features for enhanced driver safety, visibility and security. The new Accord will be available with Honda's first application of Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Forward Crash Warning (FCW) technology. Both systems use a camera mounted behind the windshield to alert drivers if the car is moving out of its lane or to warn drivers of a potential collision in front of them. The 2013 Accord will be the first Honda model to apply a side curtain airbag with a wider deployment profile to enhance ejection mitigation. This application is two years in advance of new safety regulations going into effect in 2015.
    The 2013 Accord is targeted to earn top scores in both the federal government's New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety2 (IIHS) vehicle evaluations.
    Additionally, the Accord will be equipped with several new technologies to help improve the driver's visibility around the vehicle. The Accord will be the first model to receive the Honda-exclusive LaneWatch™ blind-spot display, which uses a camera system mounted on the passenger mirror for an enhanced view of the passenger-side roadway. The Accord will also receive a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and an Expanded View Driver's Mirror as standard equipment.
    The Accord has always been an exceptional value and the 2013 model will offer more standard equipment compared to the current model, including new advanced technology features. High-tech features that will be found on all 2013 Accord models include Bluetooth®3 HandsFreeLink® phone interface, a full-color intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) and an SMS text messaging function, which can read received texts from compatible cell phones aloud over the audio system. Another standard feature and first for the Accord is the introduction of a Pandora® Internet Radio interface4, compatible with the Apple® iPhone®, which works with the vehicle's audio controls and i-MID.
    Sales, Accolades and Manufacturing History
    The Honda Accord, currently in its eighth generation, is one of Honda's best-selling vehicles worldwide and remains one of the top-selling automobiles in the U.S. The Accord was launched in 1976 with subsequent major re-designs in 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2003 and 2008. More than 11 million Accords have been sold in the U.S. since 1976.
    Since its introduction nearly 36 years ago, the Accord has been honored for its quality, reliability and superior drivability. Car and Driver magazine has awarded the Honda Accord its prestigious and highly competitive annual '10Best Cars' award a record 26 times. No other vehicle in the award's history has been honored as frequently as the Accord. The Accord was also recognized for the highest initial quality in the mid-size sedan segment in the 2011 J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey.
    In 2012, Honda will celebrate 30 years of Accord production in the U.S. The first Accord Sedan rolled off the Marysville, Ohio assembly line on November 1, 1982 and was the first Japanese-nameplate car assembled in the U.S. Since then, more than eight million Accords have been produced5 at Honda's first U.S. auto plant in Marysville, Ohio. More about Honda in America is available at http://www.hondainamerica.com.

    Drew Dowdell
    Buick today introduced their new compact crossover due to be on sale in 12 - 13 months. The Encore comes standard with a 1.4 liter turbo charged 4-cylinder engine good for 140 horsepower and 148 ft-lb of torque. The standard 6-speed auto has a steep first gear and and a tall final gear to allow for a wide spread of gear ratios. The wider spread gears allow for better around town acceleration while still providing fuel efficient highway cruising. Front wheel drive is standard with all wheel drive optional.
    On the inside, it is all Buick with lots of soft touch materials and Buick's quiet tuning. On the Encore, QuietTuning gets a boost with active noise cancellation. The system uses 3 ceiling mounted microphones attached to the Encore's audio system to direct the sub-woofer to send out noise cancellation sound pulses.
    Encore rides on the same Gama platform that underpins the Chevrolet Sonic. The Sonic recently achieved a 5 star crash test rating from the NHTSA, so we expect the Encore will match that.
    After sitting in the Encore, I was surprised how roomy it feels inside for such a compact vehicle outside. If feels roomier than both the Juke and Clubman, two compact SUVs I expect might be cross shopped with the I found that with the front seat adjusted for my 5 foot 10 inch frame, I was still able to sit very comfortably in the rear seat with more than enough knee room. Additionally, none of the pictures, the press picture or my own, do the car justice. Quiet, comfortable, and fuel efficient, the Encore isn't a car for gearheads, but it will be perfect for their wives. I think that marketed correctly, Buick could have a big hit on their hands.

    Press release on page 2

    2013 Buick Encore Takes the Stage

    All-new luxury crossover is versatile, efficient and continues brand’s growth

    DETROIT – Buick today introduced the all-new 2013 Encore – a luxury small crossover that delivers Buick’s signature style, interior acoustic refinement and collection of luxury amenities in a maneuverable, versatile and efficient package.
    The Encore is on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit through Jan. 22, and goes on sale in early 2013.
    “Buick Encore is a great-looking, smart choice for those who want luxury crossover amenities in a more maneuverable and agile vehicle,” said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing. “It represents a luxury alternative for a new audience of Buick customers, and delivers features and flexibility not typically found in vehicles of its size today.”
    Buick models continue to gain in popularity, with two consecutive years of higher retail sales. The Encore joins Verano – Buick’s third all-new sedan in three years – to round out the brand’s lineup and continues the momentum established by the Enclave crossover almost five years ago.
    With room for five and up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,372 liters) of storage space with the rear seat folded, the Encore offers substantial cargo capacity along with the confident, higher driving position, all-wheel-drive capability and contemporary styling of a crossover. In fact, its cargo space compares favorably against similar-sized international competitors:

    Rear Seat in Place

    Rear Seat Folded

    Buick Encore

    18.8 cu. ft. / 533 liters

    48.4 cu. ft. / 1,372 liters

    BMW X1

    16.9 cu. ft. / 480 liters

    47.4 cu. ft. / 1,350 liters

    Audi Q3

    16.2 cu. ft. / 460 liters

    48.2 cu. ft. / 1,365 liters

    Additional features include 10 standard air bags and an Ecotec 1.4L turbo four-cylinder/six-speed automatic powertrain, along with standard and available technologies such as Buick’s voice-activated IntelliLink – which uses Bluetooth or a USB to connect the driver’s smartphone to a high-resolution, full-color seven-inch LCD display radio.
    And because it’s a Buick, QuietTuning is standard on the Encore, which also features Buick’s first use of active noise cancellation technology.
    Contemporary design offers versatile spaciousness
    In keeping with the global design language that has come to symbolize the brand, the Encore’s sculpted and elegant styling traits – including sweeping character lines – make it instantly identifiable as a contemporary Buick. Signature cues include a waterfall grille, chrome accents and surrounds, portholes on the hood and painted lower panels, similar to the Enclave.
    “The Encore brings Buick’s timeless, sculptural design to the crossover segment in a way that blends elegance, efficiency and utility,” said David Lyon, executive director of design. “There’s confidence in its athletic stance and elemental beauty in its rich details.”
    Blue-accented projector-beam headlamps and detailed taillamps enhance the premium appearance; and 18-inch, five-spoke painted aluminum wheels are standard. Seven-spoke chrome wheels are available.
    Inside, the Encore’s organic styling carries over to a flowing instrument panel that wraps naturally into the door panels. A prominent central instrument panel houses the large, full-color, seven-inch LCD display for the IntelliLink voice-activated radio system. It also features displays for the SiriusXM satellite radio, as well as available navigation and rear camera systems.
    A contemporary mix of dark and light tones distinguishes the cabin, which is accented with ice blue ambient lighting, select use of bright trim and wood-grain trim. Premium seats featuring high-density foam for greater comfort on long drives are trimmed with either a contemporary cloth/leatherette motif or available leather. Heated front seats and a heated steering wheel are available. The rear seat features a fold-down armrest with cup holders.
    More of the Encore’s comfort and luxury features – standard and available – include:
    Remote vehicle start
    Dual-zone automatic climate control
    Rainsense wipers
    Bose premium sound system
    Heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls
    Six-way, power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar adjustment and driver memory.

    Encore also features plenty of storage capacity and storage compartments. It offers 18.8 cubic feet (533 liters) of storage behind the split-folding rear seat and 48.4 cubic feet (1,372 liters) with the rear seat folded. With the rear seat in place, there’s room for at least six full grocery bags and with the rear seat folded, there’s room for golf clubs and overnight bags for a weekend getaway. Even the front passenger seat folds flat to extend the cargo length and accommodate long items that would not normally fit in a vehicle of this size.
    Nine exterior colors and three interior color combinations will be offered.
    QuietTuning gets ‘active’
    QuietTuning is the process of defining Buick quality, sound and vibration characteristics and designing and refining the vehicle following a three-point strategy of reducing sounds at their source, blocking sounds from entering the cabin and absorbing any remaining sounds.
    For the Encore, specific content was applied to achieve 40 sound benchmarks for refinement, including Buick’s first application of active noise cancellation. With it, ceiling-mounted microphones detect engine noise, the frequencies of which are processed by a computer that directs counteracting sound waves through the audio system’s speakers and subwoofer.
    Additional standard QuietTuning features include:
    Acoustically treated headliner with a tuned gap between it and the high-strength-steel roof panel
    Sound-absorbing materials used in the cabin, under the hood and in the wheel house liners
    HydraMatic 6T40 six-speed transmission with neutral gear disengagement
    Quiet-tuned 18-inch Continental tires
    Aero-optimized outside mirrors
    Ultra-quiet engine alternator
    Acoustic-laminated windshield and thicker 5mm side window glass
    Foam baffle insulation at the opening of body structure cavities.

    ‘One-tire’ philosophy sharpens ride and handling characteristics
    The new Encore is built on a global small-crossover platform and engineered with a “one-tire” philosophy. Everything is optimized around a single 18-inch tire specification, designed for more precise suspension tuning, driving refinement, quietness and a feeling of control.
    The Encore’s 100.6-inch (2,555 mm) wheelbase and wide stance – 60.6-inch (1,540 mm) front and rear tracks – contribute to a more confident-feeling driving experience, while a strong structure enables greater suspension precision and a quieter ride. Tuned engine, including two hydraulic mounts, are tailored to the engine’s inherent torque axis to disrupt the transmission of vibration and noise. This configuration also helps control the transfer of momentum, resulting in improved dynamic balance.
    A MacPherson strut front suspension is used with coil springs, a large stabilizer bar and side-load-compensated front strut modules. The rear suspension incorporates a compound crank (torsion beam) design, with a double-wall, tubular V-shape beam profile with gas-charged twin-tube shocks. It combines all the advantages of a conventional torsion beam axle, including minimal space requirements, with low weight and consistent camber control. Urethane spring isolators are used to dampen noise.
    The Encore also features a column-mounted, variable-effort electric power steering system. It contributes to a 36.7-foot (11.2 meters) turning diameter, while also saving fuel compared to an engine-driven power steering pump.
    Safety technology helps protect occupants
    Encore is designed with technologies – including radar-based features – to help avoid crashes and protect occupants in case one occurs. Technologies that help avoid them include:
    Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control
    Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake force distribution
    Cornering brake control and brake assist
    Available all-wheel-drive system that seamlessly shifts power to the rear wheels when required for better traction and handling
    Available forward collision alert and lane departure warning
    Available front and rear park assist
    Available rear vision camera.

    When it comes to occupant protection, the Encore’s body structure forms a protective cage around the passenger compartment. Sixty-three percent of the underbody structure is comprised of high-strength steels, while 57 percent of the upper body uses high-strength steels, including ultra-high-strength steel. That protection is complemented with 10 standard air bags, which include:
    Driver and front passenger frontal air bags
    Driver and front passenger knee air bags
    Front and rear thorax air bags (all outboard positions)
    Side curtain air bags for front and rear outboard passengers.

    Encore’s suite of safety features is rounded out with exclusive OnStar technology, which includes the Advanced Crash Response System, emergency assistance and more.
    Ecotec turbo engine drives efficiency
    The Buick Encore is powered by an efficient, power-dense Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. It generates an estimated 140 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 rpm and 4,900 rpm. The wide rpm range for the maximum torque – a specific trait of turbocharged engines – helps it deliver a better driving experience and performance.
    The 1.4L’s turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility. A reinforced crankshaft and forged connecting rods deliver additional strength to support the engine’s pressurized power and torque over a wide rpm band.
    Several of the engine’s features contribute to the Encore’s overall fuel efficiency, including:
    A high-efficiency alternator
    Regulated voltage control
    Electronically controlled returnless fuel system
    Deceleration fuel cut-off.

    They complement other vehicle-wide systems and components that also help improve efficiency, including low-rolling-resistance tires, electric power steering, neutral idle feature and optimized aerodynamics.
    A Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic transmission backs the Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine. It is part of a family of six-speed front and all-wheel drive transaxles developed for small cars and crossovers. It has a unique design, with the planetary gearsets positioned on the same axis as the engine crankshaft centerline, making the entire powertrain unit shorter fore-to-aft. This design enables a shorter overall vehicle length, increased interior space, enhanced safety crush zones and lower weight.
    The Hydra-Matic 6T40 offers a “steep” first gear and a “tall” overdrive top gear to achieve a wide ratio spread of 6.14:1. This allows the Encore to achieve robust acceleration, as well as fuel efficiency and lower engine noise at highway cruising speeds. A neutral-gear disengagement feature helps enhance smoothness and efficiency.
    The Buick Encore will begin arriving at U.S. Buick dealerships in the first quarter of 2013.

    Drew Dowdell
    Lincoln took the wraps of their MKZ Concept to be shown tomorrow at the North American International Auto Show.
    This is a styling exercise over top of what will eventually be the production version of the MKZ. At the time of this posting, no power train details have been released, but if you pick from any of Ford's larger EcoBoost 4 cylinders, the hybrid announced for the new Ford Fusion, and a V6, in front wheel and all wheel drive configurations, you'll see the general shape of things under the hood.
    We'll have more for you from the Lincoln press conference tomorrow. In the meantime, dive in and dish on the press photos below.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 9, 2012
    When Acura pulled the cover off the NSX Concept today at the North American International Auto Show, the crowd of journalists and invited guests went crazy with appluase, whistling, and cheers.Their dreams of the Acura mid-engined supercar making a comeback was coming true.
    The NSX concept follows in the footsteps of the NSX by using a high-tech platform made from the latest lightweight materials to shed excess weight. Power will come from V6 engine to the back wheels, like the original. But unlike the original, the V6 will be helped by two electric motors, mounted in each rear wheel.
    The electric motors are part of Acura's latest SH-AWD system which also incorporates a new dual-clutch transmission with an electric motor to create a hybrid setup. Acura says the new AWD system will provide "supercar acceleration while offering outstanding efficiency."
    "In this new era, even as we focus on the fun to drive spirit of the NSX, I think a supercar must respond positively to environmental responsibilities," says Takanobu Ito, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co.
    Acura didn't say how much horsepower its V6 engine and three electric motors will add up to; we're guessing not an astronomical number. Acura did say they're aiming for an "extremely favorable power-to-weight ratio."
    The next supercar wearing an Acura badge will be out sometime within the next three years.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Acura Debuts Three New Vehicles at the 2012 North American International Auto Show

    - New ILX compact sports sedan to feature Acura's first hybrid powertrain;
    - All-new RDX sport utility vehicle features new engine and all-wheel-drive system;
    - NSX Concept to be developed and built in America with new performance hybrid system
    DETROIT, Mich., Jan. 9, 2012 – Representing the leading edge of a wave of new products and technologies, Acura today unveiled three new vehicles at the North American International Auto Show, including a concept version of the all-new gateway to the Acura brand, the ILX luxury compact sedan; a prototype of the 2013 RDX crossover sport utility vehicle; and the NSX Concept, which presages the direction for Acura's next-generation supercar.
    Acura also announced that the next-generation NSX will feature Acura's innovative new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® technology and that the vehicle will be developed by Honda R&D Americas and manufactured in Ohio.
    "Over the next 24 months the Acura brand will unleash a series of new models that will remake our product lineup and shake up the luxury market," said Jeff Conrad, vice president and general manager of Acura. "Acura will once again defy conventional wisdom to become one of the top luxury brands by creating luxury vehicles based on our own unique values."
    Debuting three new models in Detroit heralds the beginning of Acura's second 25 years as a premium luxury-performance automobile brand.
    Acura ILX Concept
    The Acura ILX Concept is the precursor to an all-new Acura luxury compact sedan scheduled for launch in Spring 2012. To be positioned as the gateway to the Acura brand, the ILX will feature three different powertrains, including Acura's first-ever gas-electric hybrid.
    "First time luxury buyers place the highest value on exterior styling, affordability and environmental issues and that's a virtual definition of what we have created with the new Acura ILX," said Jon Ikeda, head of the Acura Design Studio. "The strategy behind this new model is to position ILX as the first opportunity for many young buyers to enter the luxury market."
    Sleek, sporty and aerodynamically efficient, the exterior of the all-new Acura ILX combines luxury, performance and efficiency. A beautifully styled luxury sedan, the ILX Concept has a compact, yet formal proportion, targeting a very professional image. The Acura ILX delivers both, with a low and wide stance and a long nose and a short tail that are aerodynamically efficient, the ILX is immediately recognizable as an Acura.
    The lineup of ILX models will include an entry-level model powered by a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine; a high-performance model with a 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed manual transmission; and a 1.5-liter gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain, Acura's first-ever hybrid offering.
    The ILX will feature a high–quality, well-appointed interior that is smart, spacious and sporty. It will offer a number of new, high-value features, including a smart entry keyless access system and pushbutton start, along with Pandora internet radio interface and SMS text message function for smart connectivity with the world.
    As with all Acura models, the ILX will have a longlist of standard features, different trim levels (that will include a Technology Package), multiple transmission choices, and excellent standard safety features- including Acura's acclaimed Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ body structure, front, side and side-curtain airbags, 4-channel anti-lock brakes and Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA™). Acura anticipates that the ILX will achieve top ratings in both NHTSA and IIHS crash safety testing.
    The new ILX will be manufactured exclusively by Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC, in its Greensburg, Ind. plant- one of only three plants in the world to receive J.D. Power and Associates' 2011 Platinum Award for outstanding quality.
    Acura RDX
    Shown as a prototype version of the 2013 RDX, the second generation of Acura's five-passenger crossover SUV will up the ante with a new approach to achieving both advanced performance and fuel efficiency via a new engine, transmission and all-wheel drive system.
    The 2013 RDX, scheduled to launch in Spring 2012, will have as standard equipment a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 273 horsepower- 33 more than the outgoing model. For even higher performance and improved fuel economy, the RDX makes use of a 6-speed automatic transmission with a new lock-up torque converter. The RDX also gets a new, lighter all-wheel-drive system that provides the required performance and safety with increased efficiency.
    With anticipated EPA fuel economy ratings of 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, front-wheel-drive models of the 2013 RDX are expected to offer the best fuel economy of any gasoline-powered luxury SUV in its class.
    The RDX exterior incorporates a sleek, more aerodynamically efficient body, evolving RDX from a sporty, compact SUV to a more formal look with a longer, sculpted hood and styling that is more elegant and sophisticated to match the Acura philosophy of timeless, beautiful design. Chassis updates include a longer wheelbase and wider track, all-new Amplitude Reactive Dampers, and a new motion adaptive electronic power steering system.
    Inside the 2013 RDX, new sweeping shapes, matte surface trim, and generous use of leather combine to give the RDX interior an upscale look and luxury feel that Acura customers have come to expect. Abundant use of sound deadening materials and Active Sound Control team to provide an exceptionally quiet cabin. Additional interior features, such as larger door openings, more passenger room, increased cargo volume and a power rear tailgate make the RDX interior even more accommodating and flexible.
    As with the ILX, the 2013 RDX will receive a host of new technologies including Pandora internet radio interface, SMS text message feature, a smart entry keyless access system, pushbutton start, and a three view rear camera. An available Technology Package will provide a full complement of relevant technologies, including AcuraLink® Satellite Communication System, Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting™, and AcuraLink Real-Time Weather™ with radar image maps. New for 2013, the even more advanced navigation system utilizes a hard disk drive (HDD) with 60 gigabytes of storage capacity – including 15 gigabytes that can be allocated for music storage.
    Acura anticipates that the RDX will achieve top ratings in both NHTSA and IIHS crash safety testing.
    Production of the new RDX will move to the East Liberty, Ohio plant of Honda of America Mfg., Inc.- home to one of the four top assembly lines in North America in the J.D. Power and Associates' 2011 Initial Quality Study (IQS). The first generation RDX has been built at the Marysville, Ohio auto plant, an IQS award winner for both of its assembly lines.
    Acura NSX Concept
    The dynamically-styled NSX Concept gives an indication of the next great performance vehicle from the Acura brand. Making use of lightweight materials and a mid-mounted V-6 engine, the NSX Concept employs several new technologies for Acura, including application of Acura's innovative new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® (Super Handling All Wheel Drive™) hybrid system.
    Utilizing a unique 2 Electric Motor Drive Unit with a Bilateral Torque Adjustable Control System, the all-new hybrid all-wheel-drive system can instantly generate negative or positive torque to the front wheels during cornering. Acura anticipates the new Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® will deliver handling performance unmatched by previous AWD systems. In addition to the handling benefits of the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® system, a powerful next-generation VTEC® V-6 engine with direct-injection works in concert with a dual clutch transmission with built-in electric motor to create supercar acceleration while offering outstanding efficiency.
    "This Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system will make NSX the ultimate expression of Acura's idea to create synergy between man and machine," said Takanobu Ito, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. "The NSX will make the driver one with the car to enhance dynamic driving abilities without getting in the way."
    While most supercars opt for brute force delivered from a large engine, the NSX Concept champions the true racing philosophy of an extremely favorable power-to-weight ratio.
    "Like the first NSX, we will again express high performance through engineering efficiency," added Ito, who led the development of Acura's first NSX supercar. "In this new era, even as we focus on the fun to drive spirit of the NSX, I think a supercar must respond positively to environmental responsibilities."
    The new Acura supercar, expected to debut in the next three years, will be developed by an engineering team led by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., and manufactured in Ohio, at a yet to be named facility.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 9, 2012
    The Volkswagen Jetta can boast they offer many choices in the compact car class; two naturally aspirated, a turbo, and a diesel engine. Now, a new powertrain is joining the family.
    Volkswagen introduced a new Hybrid version of the Jetta today at the North American International Auto Show. The Hybrid will utlize a 1.4L turbo engine producing 150 HP and 184 lb-ft of torque and a 20-kW electric motor. The powertrain combined with a 1.1 kWh lithium-ion battery and seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox propels the Jetta Hybrid to 60 MPH in 9 seconds and return a combined 45 MPG.
    The Jetta Hybrid arrives at your local Volkswagen dealer at the end of 2012.

    Press Release is on Page 2
    The new Jetta Hybrid offers the best of all worlds, marrying performance and engaging handling with miserly combined fuel economy
    World’s first hybrid to use a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
    Most fuel-efficient Jetta in the lineup
    Drives as a full EV up to 44 mph
    Fastest compact hybrid in-class with an estimated 0-60 mph in less than 9.0 seconds
    Competitively priced with other compact hybrids
    Premium features include LED taillights and Daytime Running Lights, plus bi-xenon headlights
    Jetta range extended to five different powertrains, so there’s now a German engineered compact sedan for everyone

    Wolfsburg/Herndon, VA, Jan 9, 2012 - Volkswagen is presenting one of the world’s most efficient automobiles at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit: the Jetta Hybrid. Powering the all-new model is a high-tech turbocharged gasoline engine mated to a zero-emissions electric motor. While this hybrid union enables impressive driving performance with a class-leading 0-60 mph time of less than 9.0 seconds, the new Jetta Hybrid also delivers an estimated combined fuel economy figure of 45 mpg. This means that the sporty hybrid consumes about 20 percent less fuel than a similarly-powered sedan with a conventional drivetrain. In city traffic, the fuel economy advantage climbs to a little over 30 percent. In addition, the Jetta Hybrid can be driven in pure electric mode at speeds of up to 44 mph and for up to 1.2 miles depending on operating conditions.
    Proven on the Autobahn
    For the first time in the U.S. market, Volkswagen is using its acclaimed 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline powerplant, which weighs just 216 pounds. The downsized four-cylinder engine develops 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque delivered from just 1400 rpm up to 3500 rpm. Combined with the 20 kW (27 hp) electric motor, the system ensures that the new Jetta Hybrid is a genuinely sporty vehicle.
    High-Tech Alliance
    As in the Touareg Hybrid SUV, the Jetta Hybrid features a clutch that decouples the gasoline engine from the drivetrain when in pure electric drive or coasting modes.
    State-of-the-art battery: A lithium-ion battery supplies the energy to the electric motor. The compact 220-volt, 1.1 kWh battery is integrated behind the rear bench seat and weighs less than 80 lb. The battery consists of 60 individual cells with a combined energy capacity of 5 Ah. The frequency of the discharge and charge cycles in hybrid operation requires high-performance battery cooling, which is handled by a fan mounted directly on the device. The battery also has its own management system that performs safety, diagnostic, and monitoring functions as well as temperature management. The battery is disconnected when it’s not in use or if the car is involved in a collision.
    Efficient dual-clutch transmission: Power is taken to the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch transmission that operates automatically and efficiently, as well as providing super-fast shifting. Downsizing was achieved here, too: at 163 lb, the DSG transmission weighs significantly less than a conventional automatic and is also much more compact in its construction. Thanks to its lightweight drive components, the weight of the Jetta Hybrid was only increased by 221 lb despite the addition of a battery system. The car weighs in at less than 3310 lb, which is low for a hybrid vehicle.
    Zero emissions electric operation: When the battery of the Jetta Hybrid is sufficiently charged, the Jetta Hybrid can be driven over a distance of up to 1.2 miles in pure electric mode, with zero emissions. The Jetta Hybrid works as an electric vehicle up to 37 mph if the electric motor is engaged automatically or up to 44 mph if the driver presses the E-mode button to the right of the shift lever. About a third of the potential fuel savings in the Jetta Hybrid comes through electric driving.
    Regenerative braking, with a wrinkle: Like other hybrid vehicles, the Jetta Hybrid uses regenerative braking, feeding kinetic energy into the battery to be stored as electrical energy that can be used in the electric drive mode or for boosting the powertrain’s overall performance. In the Jetta Hybrid, this is achieved more efficiently because when the driver releases the gas pedal prior to braking, the decoupling clutch disengages the engine. When the driver begins to slow down the car, all the retardation is done by the brakes rather than a combination of the brakes, drivetrain drag, and engine torque. This means that more kinetic energy is released back into the battery.
    Stop and Go: The gasoline engine is stopped as soon as the car comes to a halt in city driving or stop-and-go traffic, provided that the driver presses the brake pedal and that the battery is sufficiently charged. However, the heating and air conditioning and electrically operated comfort and convenience features, such as the audio system, continue to operate. Unlike conventional hybrid systems, when the Jetta Hybrid’s gasoline engine is stopped, the engine is disengaged via the decoupling clutch to give a pure electric drive mode when the car moves off again—provided that the battery is sufficiently charged.
    ’Coasting’ without the engine: As soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal at speeds of up to 84 mph, the TSI® engine shuts down and is decoupled from the drivetrain to eliminate driveline drag and the effects of the engine’s torque. This results in further fuel savings.
    A Hybrid with Verve
    With the lever in the ”S” position or in the manual shift gate, the drive system reacts to heavy throttle inputs by applying the maximum amount of propulsive power. The same applies when the driver kicks down. In these situations, the power of the electric motor and the gasoline engine combine to provide the peak output of 170 hp.
    On spirited drives or when battery capacity is low, the Jetta Hybrid is powered by just the TSI engine. In certain situations, the operation of the TSI engine is also optimized for efficiency. Excess power from the engine can be used to charge the high-voltage battery via the electric motor, which acts as a generator in this case. These so-called active charging phases are interspersed with electric driving phases to realize the optimal fuel economy.
    Comprehensive Information, Greater Sustainability
    All relevant hybrid drivetrain information can be displayed within the multifunctional digital display on the Jetta Hybrid’s instrument cluster. Under the ‘Hybrid’ menu, the active drive mode is displayed in an energy flow diagram, and the direction of energy flow is visualized in the form of arrows. The battery charge state is shown on the same screen. Directly below the energy flow diagram is what is known as the ePower meter. This indicates the relative power of the electric motor. The ePower meter is only active in “electric driving,” E-mode,™ and ”Boost” operating modes.
    The Power meter—an additional multifunctional display that replaces the tach on the left side of the instrument cluster—informs the driver of the momentary operating state of the Jetta Hybrid. These states are: a general readiness to drive (“Ready”); battery regeneration (“Charge”); eco-conscious driving mode (“Eco”); boosting (“Boost”); or driving only with the TSI internal combustion engine (“Off”). Electric operation, whether selected automatically or manually by the driver, is also indicated in the instruments (E-mode).
    The audio system’s display also plays a role in informing the driver of what’s happening. When the goal is maximum economy, the audio display’s ‘Zero emissions’ menu offers a graphic of the car’s zero emissions driving time. The zero emissions values are shown in the form of percentages in a bar diagram, where the measurement interval of one bar represents one minute of driving. A value of 100 percent means that the car was driven with zero emissions throughout the driving minute, i.e., with the TSI engine shut off. The effective time period for this is 30 minutes.
    Efficiency in Design
    Visually the Jetta Hybrid is distinguished by aerodynamic modifications that include a new front airdam, a rear diffuser, and an integrated rear spoiler. As a result, the Hybrid’s Cd is 10 percent lower than that of the stock Jetta. In addition, the Jetta Hybrid is equipped with special 15-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires optimized for low rolling resistance. Other distinguishing features include a special radiator grille where the VW logo is integrated on a blue background for the first time. The new model is also identified by Hybrid signatures on the grille, front fenders, and rear deck.
    The Jetta Hybrid is the quietest car Volkswagen has even produced in the compact sedan class, thanks to a newly designed exhaust system, an acoustically optimized windshield, and thicker front side windows.
    Extensive Safety and Convenience Features
    Standard safety equipment for all Jetta models includes Electronic Stability Control (ESC), anti-lock brakes (ABS), and six airbags (driver and front passenger airbags, front side thorax airbags and Side Curtain Protection® airbags front and rear).
    Three trims will be offered for the Jetta Hybrid. Standard features include Bluetooth® technology, LED taillights, SiriusXM® satellite radio, special 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, and a unique Hybrid body kit and badging. More details on trim levels will be released at a later date.
    Available premium features will include bi-xenon headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights, a power driver’s seat, heatable front seats, the RNS 315 navigation system, a rear-view camera and Volkswagen’s exclusive Fender® Premium Audio System.
    Jetta Hybrid launches in North America in 2012
    The introduction of the Jetta Hybrid marks the second gasoline-electric hybrid offering by Volkswagen. The sedan, which is as sporty as it is eco-conscious, is equipped with the most advanced technology and engineering of any car Volkswagen has ever offered in this class. The 2013 Jetta Hybrid will launch in the North American market at the end of 2012.

    Drew Dowdell
    Chevrolet unveiled two coupe concepts at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit today. Chevy is actively courting the sub-30 crowd with these two small coupes with a heavy emphasis on connectivity both virtual and personal. Chevy said that while youth buyers wanted coupes, they also wanted to be able to take their friends with them. Thus the ability to seat adults comfortably in the rear is emphasized. Chevy has also included a high level of digital social connectivity in a way that isn't distracting using the Chevy's MyLink infotainment system.
    The first concept, the Chevrolet Tru 140S, is a front wheel drive "affordable exotic". It is inspired by the sleek lines of Italian supercars. The Tru 140S is based on the Chevrolet Cruze and Volt platforms and features a 1.4 liter turbocharged, direct injection engine with about 150 horsepower. The engine also features automatic start/stop technology for additional fuel economy.

    The Chevrolet Code 130R shares an engine with the Tru 140S, but it turns it 90 degrees for a rear wheel drive arrangement. The Code 130R's upright profile evokes Chevrolet heritage without being retro.
    Though not officially said, we are assuming that the Code 130R rides on the same Alpha platform as the Cadillac ATS shown yesterday since the wheelbase is the same and track is only 0.9 inches wider.

    Both concepts were shown without interiors intentionally. Chevrolet wishes to keep the design and development process open to future ideas.
    Browse the galleries below for your Chevy Coupe goodness.

    Blake Noble
    If you're a fan of rear-wheel drive GM muscle, then this year's Detroit Auto Show should give you a decent reason to rejoyce. Photos of the new Chevrolet Code 130R concept have recently begun to hit the internet and, so far, the small, rear-drive Chevy coupe is shaping up to be an interesting proposition.
    The Code 130R is one of two new Chevrolet concept vehicles GM is rolling out for Detroit. With its blistered fenders and square-shouldered roofline, the styling can definitely evoke strong images of the classic 1970 through 1972 Chevelle muscle cars. However, unlike the classic Chevelle, GM says the Code 130R could be capable of up to 40 mpg if it were to go into production thanks in part to its 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine augmented by eAssist technology and linked up to a six-speed manual transmission. The Code 130R is also signficantly smaller as well -- photos suggest that this would be somewhere close to the current BMW 1-Series in size. Depsite its small stature, the Code 130R still has room for four people.
    GM also says that if the Code 130R were to go into production it would carry a price tag somewhere in the ballpark of $25,000. If so, the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S may have something to worry about. Now, about that name ...
    Click over to page two to read the press release and view the gallery here.
    Here's a Concept: Chevrolet Puts Next-Gen Buyers in Charge
    Two concept coupes designed to inspire ideas and create discussion
    DETROIT – Chevrolet today introduced two concept coupes at the 2012 North American International Auto Show aimed at inspiring next-generation buyers to take the wheel and suggest ideas for a car they can co-create.
    "Chevrolet has always stood for making the aspirational attainable for all generations" said General Motors North America President Mark Reuss. "These two concepts interpret that vision for a new generation. We're seeking out our newest customers' opinions, listening to their advice, and engaging them in new ways."
    According to U.S. Census data, there are 80 million American consumers approaching 30. They represent 40 percent of today's potential car-buying public and a combined $1 trillion in purchasing power.
    Over the past year, Chevrolet has conversed with young consumers across the United States. Based on their feedback, the Chevrolet concepts explore the styling and functionality this group of new buyers says they are looking for in a car.
    Code 130R, the first Chevrolet concept, is a four-seat coupe with a simple upright profile. Painted in an all-new red metallic paint with matte anodized gold wheels, Code 130R features heritage performance-inspired styling and rear-wheel drive. With an aggressive front fascia, Chevrolet fender flares, straight body side and Chevy crossflag emblem, Code 130R makes a link to Chevrolet's performance heritage.
    Code 130R's designers conceived the turbocharged engine to be tuned to work in tandem with eAssist technology. By shutting off the engine at stops, recapturing braking energy, and smoothing torque during acceleration, this concept takes automotive electrification to the next level and balances turbocharged performance with fuel economy.
    Tru 140S, the second Chevrolet concept is a front-wheel-drive, "affordable exotic" four-seat sporty coupe. The three-door hatchback was designed to be an attractive-yet-affordable sports car. Shown in an all-new matte white with Chevy performance chrome wheels featuring crossflag emblems, Tru 140S is designed to look confident, exotic, expensive and fast. Tru 140S is based off the same platform as the Chevrolet Cruze and the groundbreaking Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range.
    Tru 140S designers want to demonstrate technologies typically found in more expensive cars, including direct injection and a starter-based stop-start technology, balancing internal combustion and electrification to deliver high value and improved fuel economy.
    The concepts share attributes younger buyers say they value:
    Sedan-sized functionality in performance coupe form that seats four passengers
    Interior connectivity and convenience featuring innovative storage, WiFi, smart phone integration with Chevrolet MyLink and heads-up display
    40 MPG with a 1.4L Turbo Ecotec engine with approximately 150 horsepower
    Possible production price range in the low $20,000s
    "Young customers tell us they want functionality with coupe-like aesthetics. Both the Code and Tru body styles resonated with this audience," said Frank Saucedo, director of the GM North America Advanced Design studio in Los Angeles where the two concepts were developed.
    Inside the concepts, connectivity and personalization enable the individualization that the generation says is essential.
    "This buyer prizes connectivity. Allowing them to stay connected by integrating their personal devices through MyLink and WiFi enabling the vehicle to be their own docking station," said Saucedo. "The interiors currently exist in 2D only. This allows us the flexibility to continue the discussion and encourage more dialogue as we continue to develop these concepts."
    From Detroit, the pair of Chevrolet concepts will travel to major auto shows, key lifestyle events, one-on-one experiences and other venues such as college campuses. Chevrolet also will engage customers using the social media tools that young consumers use to talk with one another.
    "For the car company that can successfully engage this generation, there is a tremendous opportunity," said John McFarland, senior manager for Chevrolet Global Marketing, who heads youth research for the brand. "At Chevrolet, we want to build authentic and meaningful relationships with these customers on their terms. We want to hear what they have to say, engage them in our design process, and give them what they want – not what we think they want."
    * * *
    Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
    Model: Chevrolet Code 130R Concept Coupe
    Body style / driveline: four-passenger coupe, rear-wheel drive
    EPA vehicle class: compact car
    1.4L Ecotec turbocharged DOHC I-4 w/ eAssist
    Displacement (cu. in. / cc): 83 / 1364
    Bore and stroke (in. / mm): 2.85 x 3.25 / 72.5 x 82.6
    Block material: cast iron
    Cylinder head material: cast aluminum
    Valvetrain: overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing
    Ignition system: individual coil on plug
    Fuel delivery: sequential multi-port fuel injectors with electronic throttle control
    Compression ratio: 9.5:1
    Horsepower (hp / kW): 150 / 110
    Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm): 148 / 200
    Recommended fuel: regular unleaded
    Max engine speed (rpm): 6500
    Emissions controls: close-coupled and underfloor catalytic converters; Quick-Sync 58x ignition system; returnless fuel rail; fast light-off O2 sensor
    Estimated fuel economy (hwy): 40
    6-speed automatic
    6-speed manual
    Wheels: 20-inch matte gold
    Tires: P245/40R20
    Wheelbase (in / mm): 109.3 / 2775
    Overall length (in / mm): 173.1 / 4396
    Overall width (in / mm): 71.5 / 1816
    Overall height (in / mm): 54.7 / 1390
    Track (in / mm):
    front: 60.4 / 1535
    rear: 61.8 / 1569
    Seating capacity (front / rear): 2 / 2
    Headroom (in / mm):
    front: 30.7 / 780
    rear: 33.1 / 841
    Note: Information shown is current at time of publication.

    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:

    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.
    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.
    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
    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)
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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 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
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    December 19, 2011
    Alongside the new SL, Mercedes-Benz is showing two E-Class hybrids at next months Detroit Auto Show.
    The first hybrid is the North America only E400 Hybrid. The E400 Hybrid is powered by Mercedes’ 3.5L V6 (302 HP and 273 lb-ft) mated to a electric motor (27 HP and 184 lb-ft) in the gearbox. Horsepower is 329 and torque is a very healthy 457 lb-ft. That gives the E400 Hybrid a 0-60 time of 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 130 MPH.
    The second hybrid is the E300 Bluetec hybrid, which uses a 2.1L four-cylinder diesel engine (201 HP and 369 lb-ft) and the electric motor from the E400. Ratings for the E300 Bluetec hybrid stand at 228 HP and 553 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 for the E300 Bluetec hybrid takes 7.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of 150 MPH.
    Both hybrids come with 0.8-kWh lithium-ion battery that provide the power for the electric motor and provide an all-electric range of less than a mile at speeds below 35 mph.
    Other fuel-saving features include optimized aerodynamics, automatic stop/start, brake energy regeneration, low-rolling-resistance tires, and a “sailing mode” that decouples the engine from the gearbox on a trailing throttle at speeds up to 100 MPH.
    Source: Autoweek

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Mercedes-Benz launches hybrid offensive

    The world's most economical luxury-class model

    Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID: 4.2 l of diesel/100 km,
    109 g of CO2/km
    Mercedes-Benz E 400 HYBRID: fuel economy of 27 mpg
    More torque and performance without compromising on space and usable boot volume
    Available in Saloon and Estate versions (E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID)
    Modular hybrid concept using lithium-ion batteries
    Reduction in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of around 15 percent compared with the E 250 CDI
    Impressive driving experience thanks to start/stop function, regenerative braking, boost effect, purely electric motoring and "sailing" function

    Mercedes-Benz is opening a new chapter in its brand's core segment and at the same time setting new standards for luxury-class business vehicles: the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, available as a Saloon and Estate, impresses with new record values when it comes to efficiency. It boasts exemplary consumption levels (4.2 l/100 km) as well as impressive performance: the 4-cylinder diesel engine of the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID has 150 kW (204 hp) and 500 Nm. Combined with an electric motor producing 20 kW and 250 Nm, this results in a coherent overall concept. The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID is the most economical luxury-class vehicle in the world.
    The V6-cylinder petrol engine in the E 400 HYBRID produces 225 kW (306 hp) and 370 Nm, and is also supplemented by a further 20 kW and 250 Nm from the electric motor. The consumption figures based on the American CAFE standard are: City 24 mpg, Highway 31 mpg, Combined 27 mpg.
    "With these two E-Class models we are now continuing our comprehensive hybrid offensive. The modular technology opens up a quick way for us to complement other model series with hybrid models", explains Professor Dr. Thomas Weber, Daimler Board Member for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "With a clear focus on the different requirements of global markets, we are able to offer precisely the models which our customers want. The E-Class hybrids provide a clear reduction in consumption as well as a very impressive driving experience: they represent hybrid motoring at the premium level."
    The new models do not require their passengers to have to compromise when it comes to space, however, whether in terms of the interior or the luggage compartment. And there are also additional benefits to the intelligent modular hybrid concept, which represents a comprehensive enhancement of the Mercedes-Benz S 400 HYBRID which has advanced to the position of clear market leader since 2009: no changes to the vehicle body are required, the hybrid module is both flexible and modular, thus allowing its use in other model series, and in addition to diesel and petrol variants there will also be right hand drive variants. Meanwhile, the extra cost involved here is only moderate. The new hybrid models will be celebrating their world premiere at the Detroit Motor Show (14 to 22 January 2012) and will appear on the market over the course of the year. The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID is initially planned to be launched on the European market, while the E 400 HYBRID will be made available on the American market first, followed by other countries such as Japan and China later.
    Highlights of the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID at a glance:
    Compact, intelligent and modular hybrid concept: no changes to the body of the base vehicle are necessary
    Also available as an Estate
    Space, safety and comfort remain unchanged
    No compromises in terms of space, safety and comfort
    Significant increase in comfort with start/stop operation; noiseless start, complete climatic comfort
    Top marks for consumption in the luxury-class business vehicle segment: 4.2 litres/100 km, 109 g CO2/km
    Part of the intelligent downsizing strategy of Mercedes-Benz: increase in the engine output of the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID with 150 kW + 20 kW electric motor/500 Nm + 250 Nm, compared with the E 250 CDI (150 kW/500 Nm), positioning it at the same level as the E 300 CDI (170 kW/540 Nm)
    Fuel savings of around 15 percent compared with the E 250 CDI – even in actual road traffic conditions
    Impressive hybrid driving experience (start/stop function, regenerative braking, boost effect, purely electric motoring and "sailing" function)

    Highlights of the E 400 HYBRID at a glance:
    Compact, intelligent and modular hybrid concept: no changes to the body of the base vehicle are necessary
    No compromises in terms of space, safety and comfort
    Significant increase in comfort with start/stop operation; noiseless start, complete climatic comfort
    Consumption combined (CAFE): 27 mpg
    Part of the intelligent downsizing strategy of Mercedes-Benz: increase in the engine output of the E 400 HYBRID by some 20 kW and 250 Nm thanks to the electric motor
    Impressive hybrid driving experience (start/stop function, regenerative braking, boost effect, purely electric motoring and "sailing" function)

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    December 19, 2011
    Chevrolet has pulled the curtain back on a hotter version of Sonic. The 2013 Sonic RS will make it's official debut at next month's Detroit Auto Show.
    The Sonic RS differs from the regular Sonic with a new front and rear fascia, rear spoiler, side sills, five-spoke alloy wheels, and a lower, stiffer suspension.
    Power comes from the Sonic's 1.4L turbo four producing 138 HP and 148 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard with a six-speed automatic optional.
    Inside, the Sonic RS features sport seats, sport steering wheel, aluminum sport pedals, new trim, and gauge cluster treatment. The Sonic RS will also come with Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system standard.
    Pricing for the Sonic RS hasn't been announced. The Sonic RS will hit Chevrolet showrooms sometime late next year.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Turbocharged 2013 Chevrolet Sonic RS Pushes Performance

    Unique exterior and interior styling, sport-tuned suspension and standard MyLink

    DETROIT – A hotter Chevrolet Sonic is about to sound off – the 2013 Sonic RS. It goes on sale in late 2012, after making its public debut at the North American International Auto Show Jan. 14-22.
    The new RS amplifies the Sonic’s youthful style and driving experience with unique exterior and interior features matched with a 138-horsepower (103 kW) Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine. Sonic is the only vehicle in its segment to offer a turbocharged powertrain.
    “The new Chevrolet Sonic RS pushes Chevrolet’s performance heritage in a new direction, for a new generation of drivers,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Global Chevrolet Marketing. “It takes the Sonic’s great design and latest connectivity features and combines them with a more performance-oriented look and feel.”
    The Sonic RS is offered exclusively in the five-door body style. Chevrolet’s exclusive MyLink infotainment system is standard. It enables navigation directions downloaded through a smart phone to be shown on the radio’s large display, and offers the personalized connectivity of Pandora and Stitcher Internet radio.
    Sonic RS exterior features
    New front fascia with new fog lamp design
    New RS-specific grille
    New rear fascia
    New rear spoiler
    New rocker moldings
    Unique mirror cap finish
    Retuned sport exhaust with chrome outlet
    Unique 17-inch five-spoke wheel design
    Lowered and stiffened suspension with performance-tuned dampers
    RS badging.

    The more-aggressive look of the Sonic RS is inspired by the concept that debuted in Detroit in 2010. The Sonic RS will be available in Victory Red, Summit White, Cyber Gray Metallic and Black Granite Metallic, which is a new exterior color for the 2013 Sonic.
    “The Sonic RS remains true to the progressive spirit of the concept and brings an unmistakable attitude to the segment,” said John Mack, design director for the Sonic. “From every angle and every touch point, it is a car that is unabashed in its performance statement – and one that drives Chevrolet’s performance legacy into its second century.”
    One of the most-dramatic cues from the concept carried into the production model is the Sonic RS’s front fascia, which has a deep air dam design that enhances the car’s road-hugging stance. Vertical intakes at the edges of the fascia reinforce the wide, low proportion and house the fog lamps.
    Sonic RS interior features
    New front sport seats
    New sport steering wheel with thicker rim and racing-inspired flat-bottom design
    New shifter knob (manual transmission)
    New aluminum sport pedals
    Specific instrument panel cluster graphics
    RS-specific interior trim color for the instrument panel and door trim inserts.

    “Like the exterior, the Sonic RS’s interior looks and feels the part of a true performance car,” said Mack. “The seats are firm and provide great lateral support during quick cornering and the feel of the thick, flat-bottom steering wheel is a feature driving enthusiasts will truly appreciate.”
    The Sonic RS’s interior is a connected environment, with the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment seven-inch color touch screen radio. This system allows customers to bring customized music libraries into the vehicle and use their smart phones and Bluetooth connectivity to access Pandora and Stitcher Internet radio and navigation. Navigation directions downloaded through a smart phone can be displayed on the screen and, when the vehicle is stopped, users can project video and even personal photo albums onto the screen from their phone.
    Sonic RS performance
    The Sonic RS is powered by a standard Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine that is rated at 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm) – and provides an immediate feeling of power that is sustained across the rpm band, for a greater feeling of performance at lower rpm. It’s matched with a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic.
    Unique gear ratios for the six-speed manual transmission and unique final drive ratio for the automatic give the Sonic RS a sportier feel than non-RS models.
    Complementing the segment-exclusive turbocharged powertrain is MacPherson strut front suspension with coil springs and stabilizer bar, and a semi-independent, torsion beam axle-mount compound link-type rear suspension – featuring a robust, tubular V-shape beam – with gas-charged shocks. The front and rear tracks are identical at 59.4 inches (1,509 mm), for well-planted stability and balance.
    The new RS is the only Sonic model offered with four-wheel disc brakes, which are partnered with a four-channel anti-lock braking system. The four-sensor system – one at each wheel – incorporates electronic brake force distribution, which balances braking performance based on such factors as road conditions and the weight of passengers and/or cargo.
    Electric power steering is standard and features a wear compensator that continually adjusts the system interaction with the steering gear to ensure precise steering action over the life of the system.
    Sonic lineup at a glance
    The Chevrolet Sonic is offered in two body styles: a four-door sedan and a five-door, with a starting price of $14,495 (including destination charge). Each body style delivers class-leading, rear-seat roominess and cargo space. Vehicle highlights include:
    Standard Ecotec 1.8L engine (non-RS models) paired with five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions
    Standard electric power steering and StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover sensing
    Sedan offers trunk capacity that is greater than most compact cars; hatchback and sedan offer better rear-seat roominess than Ford Fiesta. With a rear seat that folds nearly flat, the Sonic hatchback has greater cargo capacity than Fiesta
    Connectivity includes OnStar with six months of Turn-by-Turn navigation. Available features include XM Satellite Radio, USB and Bluetooth functionality and MyChevrolet mobile application
    Remote start, heated front seats and sunroof – all rarities in the segment
    Ten standard air bags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist and OnStar with Automatic Crash Response.

    Sonic is built at the General Motors’ Orion Assembly Center in Michigan, which received a $545-million investment in upgrades and retooling and helped restore approximately 1,000 jobs in the metropolitan Detroit area.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    December 15, 2011
    The Detroit Auto Show is just around the corner and more automakers are releasing some information about what they will be presenting. This time it's Nissan saying they will be showing off two concepts.
    Concept #1 is the Pathfinder. Nissan says the concept will inspire the next-generation Pathfinder's styling before the it goes on sale later next year. The rumorpile has the next Pathfinder dropping it's body-on-frame architecture and going towards a unibody architecture.
    Concept #2 is a all-electric van that Nissan says is suitable for both families and businesses. The van concept previews a production model, possibly from Nissan's NV vans.
    Press Release is on Page 2


    The worldwide debut of two concept vehicles will highlight Nissan's presence at the upcoming 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. An all electric van concept, which underscores Nissan's leadership in zero emissions vehicles and the Nissan Pathfinder preview concept, which provides a sneak peek at the next generation of Nissan's longest running nameplate in the U.S., will be unveiled during the NAIAS press preview days, beginning Monday, January 9.
    In addition to full access to Nissan's global concepts during both days of the show, media interviews will be available with Nissan team members. Nissan Chief Executive Officer, Carlos Ghosn will also be the opening keynote speaker at the Automotive News World Congress on Tuesday, Jan. 10 in Detroit.
    Nissan NAIAS Highlights:
    - The Pathfinder Concept, which previews the all-new look, style and attitude that Nissan will bring to the SUV segment when the next-generation Pathfinder goes on sale in fall 2012 at Nissan dealers nationwide.
    - Nissan's innovative electric van concept. This concept previews a future production version of a full electric vehicle designed to provide businesses or families with flexible, roomy cargo space, while offering a dramatic CO2 footprint reduction.
    - A Nissan NV outfitted as a "Food Truck" with a local Detroit flair showcases the vehicle's flexibility and user-friendly features, but acts as a culinary cornerstone for media hospitality throughout both press days.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    December 14, 2011
    Today, Cadillac has revealed the powertrain lineup for their new ATS sedan. The lineup includes two fours and a six.
    The base ATS engine will be naturally aspirated 2.5L I-4 engine. GM hasn't released any details about it, but it looks like to be the same engine found under the new Chevrolet Malibu, which gets 190 HP and 180 lb-ft of torque.
    The next engine up is a 2.0L turbocharged I-4.Now before you go out and think this is the same engine you find in the Regal Turbo and GS, it's not. This 2.0L turbo is a part of a new Ecotec engine lineup and will use an electronically controlled twin-scroll turbocharger to keep its torque curve flat. The 2.0L Turbo is rated at 270 HP and 260 lb-ft of torque. The ATS will be the first vehicle to use this engine and could possibly find it's way into the new Malibu.
    The top engine is the venerable 3.6L direct injected V6 making 318 HP and 275 lb-ft of torque.
    Press Release is on Page 2

    New 2.0L Turbo Engine Boosts the Cadillac ATS

    135 horsepower per liter among top-performing engines in the world
    Compact ATS debuts at North American International Auto Show in Detroit

    DETROIT – A new high-performance 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine will debut in the all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS compact luxury sedan, which will be revealed at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in January.
    The Cadillac-tuned, direct-injected engine will produce an estimated 270 horsepower (201 kW). At 135 horsepower per liter, it will be one of the most power-dense automotive engines, besting the highest-performing engines from luxury competitors such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
    “This engine is the perfect match for the new ATS, which will be a refined performance luxury sedan,” said Don Butler, Cadillac vice president of Global Marketing. “The 2.0T has an exceptionally smooth and responsive power curve that will make the ATS nimble, quick and fun to drive.”
    The new 2.0T highlights a broad engine lineup that will power the ATS which is slated to begin production next summer. Cadillac will also offer a normally aspirated 2.5L four cylinder engine and a 3.6L V-6 engine in the ATS.
    The 2.0T builds on the advanced-technology heritage of previous GM turbo engines with features that enhance efficiency, durability and refinement.
    Among the 2.0T engine’s highlights: a direct-injection twin-cam, four-valve-per-cylinder engine with continuously variable valve timing; twin-scroll turbocharger with air-to-air intercooler; forged-steel crankshaft with modular balance shaft system; and a two-stage variable-displacement oil pump with jet-spray piston cooling.
    Overall engine friction is reduced by up to 16 percent. The low-friction design means engine power is delivered more efficiently.
    Proprietary computational fluid dynamics analysis techniques were used to develop an all-new combustion system with a higher compression ratio, which also helped boost efficiency.
    “The 2.0T is one of the most advanced and efficient engines of its kind, and contributes to the ATS’s exceptional balance of performance and great fuel efficiency,” said Mike Anderson, chief engineer for the 2.0T engine.
    The 2.0T has a wide torque curve, delivering 90 percent of its peak 260 lb-ft. of torque (353 Nm) from 1,500 rpm to 5,800 rpm – giving the ATS the feeling of immediate power, whether from launch at a stop light or during higher-speed maneuvers, such as passing.
    The turbocharger generates up to 20 pounds of boost and its twin-scroll design helps optimize power availability, virtually eliminating turbo lag and helping deliver a broad power band.
    “It has the exhilarating, responsive power available when you want it, yet can provide the fuel efficiency that will make the ATS a fully competitive vehicle in global markets,” Anderson said.
    At 135 hp/L, the ATS 2.0T four-cylinder turbo engine has the highest power density among key competitors, including:
    Audi A4’s 2.0L turbo (105.5 hp/L)
    BMW M3’s V-8 (103.5 hp/L)
    Lexus IS F’s V-8 (83.2 hp/L)
    Mercedes-Benz C250’s 1.8L turbo (111.6 hp/L)

    Additional details on the ATS will be announced at the 2012 NAIAS. The ATS will be built at the Lansing Grand River plant alongside the Cadillac CTS Sedan, Coupe and Sport Wagon and V-Series performance cars.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    December 14, 2011
    Next month's Detroit Auto Show is becoming more interesting as the days go by, with the new Dodge Dart, Mercedes-Benz SL, Cadillac ATS, Honda Accord, three Acuras, and now the Buick Encore.
    Buick released their first teaser shot of the new small crossover this afternoon. From what the picture shows the Encore will carry many Buick design trademarks, including a chrome waterfall grille, porthole vents and almond-shaped headlights with xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights with a blueish hue.
    Buick has also revealed the Encore will feature "QuietTuning" technology and will offer a similar feature and options packages to current Buick vehicles.

    William Maley
    Bentley has new engine they'll be showing at next month's Detroit Auto Show. The engine is a new 4.0L Twin Turbo V8 that was jointly developed with Audi. The 4.0L V8 produces 500 HP and 487 lb-ft of torque. The twin-turbo V8 will lie under the hood of Bentley's Continental GT Coupe and GT Convertible.
    The V8 Continentals will differentiate from their W12 brethren with minor tweaks to the exterior which include different exhaust tips, red enamel Bentley badges, black gloss matrix grille, chrome frame and center bar.
    So why is Bentley offering a V8 variant? Fuel Economy. Bentley says the V8 gets 40% better fuel economy due to the engine using cylinder deactivation, direct injection, stop-start technology, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Bentley hasn't released the EPA numbers, but estimates have the V8 at 25 MPG.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    New Continental GT and GTC V8 models will debut at the North American International Auto Show, Detroit (January 2012)
    Exceptional power-to-emissions ratio combined with classic Bentley power and torque from new 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 engine
    Fulfils Bentley’s environmental commitment to a new powertrain delivering a 40 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions
    Advanced technologies include direct injection, variable displacement, new close-ratio 8-speed transmission and all wheel-drive
    New Continental V8 model range complements the flagship 6.0 litre W12 GT and GTC

    (Crewe 12th December, 2011) Two new Bentley Continental V8 models will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on 9th January 2012.
    The new 4.0 litre, twin turbocharged V8 Continental GT coupé and GTC convertible achieve exceptional standards for power-to-emissions in the high luxury sports car sector.
    This remarkable, new Bentley V8 engine delivers maximum power of 500bhp (507PS/373Kw) at 6000 rev/min and an extraordinary peak torque of 660Nm (487 lb ft) which is available across virtually the entire rev range from 1700 to 5000 rev/min, providing exhilarating performance and effortless power delivery in the Bentley tradition. Combined with a new close-ratio 8-speed automatic transmission, this translates into a sub-5 second acceleration time for the 0-60 mph (0-100km/h) sprint and a top speed of over 180mph (290km/h).
    At the same time, the new V8 Continental models achieve outstanding levels of fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions for the luxury performance sector and are capable of travelling over 500 miles (800km) on a single tank of fuel. Full and official figures will be released in early 2012.
    The arrival of the new V8 Continental models fulfils Bentley’s environmental commitment to produce a new powertrain that delivers a 40 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.
    The new V8 engine features variable displacement with a highly sophisticated engine management system, ensuring a seamless and imperceptible transition from V8 to V4 mode under light throttle load.
    The high-technology V8 also features high pressure direct injection, low friction bearings, thermal management, energy recuperation via the charging system, and innovative turbo charger packaging for greater efficiency.
    The instantly recognisable growl of the new 4.0 litre V8 engine sets it apart from its Bentley stablemates.
    The new V8 engine will be available in two models; the Continental GT and the Continental GTC. Expressing their potent, muscular character, these models are distinguished by a black gloss matrix grille with chrome frame and centre bar, a red enamel Bentley ‘B’ badge, and a black matrix three-segment lower front bumper divided by distinctive body-coloured strakes.
    At the rear, unique chromed ‘figure eight’ exhaust tailpipes, a dark lower valance and red enamel ‘B’ bootlid badge emphasise the sporty, contemporary identity of the new V8s.
    Both models are specified with 20-inch alloy wheels as standard with an optional 21-inch six-spoke design which is available in dramatic Diamond Black (exclusive to the Continental V8) or Diamond Silver finishes.
    Inside the cabin, an Eliade cloth headlining, new contemporary Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus veneers, optional two-tone leather colour split and short centre console continue the fresh, sporting design theme.
    The two new Continental models will be offered beneath the flagship 6.0 litre,12-cylinder engined Continental GT and GTC, which continue to excite customers with a combination of silken refinement and the ultimate power of the twin-turbocharged W12 Continental engine that, in its most potent form, delivers an astonishing 631bhp (640PS).
    Both new models feature a state-of-the-art, all-wheel drive system employing an advanced Torsen differential and a 40:60 rear biased power split. This ensures safe yet dynamic sports car handling in all road conditions.
    Since the launch of the original GT in 2003, the W12-engined Continental range has gone from strength to strength with over 50,000 sales worldwide, making Bentley’s factory in Crewe, England, the largest producer of 12 cylinder engines in the world. The W12 story continues to unfold and remains the ultimate expression of Bentley’s engineering strength.
    Commenting on the launch of the new V8 Continental models, Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors said:
    “With the new 4.0 litre V8 engine we are widening the appeal of the latest generation of Continentals, introducing a completely new driving experience. The new engine will have all the exhilarating power, drama and performance you would expect from a V8 engine sporting the famous Bentley wings, effortlessly delivered with our characteristic ‘wave of torque’. This is complemented by innovative powertrain technology that delivers exceptional fuel efficiency and emissions.”


    Distinctive sporting style
    Gloss black matrix grille with bright chrome surround and divider
    Three-segment lower bumper with black air intakes and striking body-coloured dividers
    Dark rear lower valance
    Distinctive twin ‘figure eight’ exhaust tailpipes
    Red enamel Bentley winged ‘B’ badges above the front grille, to the bootlid and wheel centres
    7 exterior colours offered in standard range

    Sporty, contemporary interior
    New Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus veneer unique to the V8 models
    Eliade cloth headlining and pillar trim
    Short centre console in place of W12 through-console
    4 hide colours offered in standard range
    Unique two-tone leather colour split
    3 hood colours (Continental GTC)

    Exhilarating, efficient new 4.0 litre V8 engine
    Exceptional power-to-emissions ratio reflecting engine efficiency
    Variable displacement (a technology first proven on the Mulsanne) imperceptibly cuts 4 cylinders on cruise and light throttle
    Switchable engine mounts ensure refinement
    Engine optimisation technologies boost efficiency
    New, close-ratio, 8-speed transmission offers 6 per cent efficiency gain with ultra-fast shifts
    Turbochargers mounted within ‘V’ for efficiency and fast response
    Over 500 miles (800km) range on one tank of fuel
    Distinctive V8 growl
    All-wheel drive system with 40:60 rear biased torque split

    William Maley
    Today, Honda revealed they will bring a Accord Coupe concept to next month's Detroit Auto Show. The concept will "reveal the styling direction" of the next Accord - due out in Fall 2012. This will mark the Accord's ninth generation and 36th year of being on sale.
    Honda says the production model Accord will a "dynamic and aggressive profile." Whether that pans out or not, we shall see.
    Press Release is on Page 2

    2013 Honda Accord Coupe Concept to Make World Debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show

    12/11/2011 - TORRANCE, Calif. -- A concept vehicle revealing the styling direction of the next-generation Honda Accord Coupe will debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show January 10, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today.
    The Accord Coupe Concept will convey the dynamic and aggressive profile of the ninth-generation 2013 Honda Accord set to go on sale in the fall of 2012. John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of sales, will introduce the concept vehicle at a press conference, which will also be broadcast live via webcast at http://hondanews.com/live/2012naias-honda (link will be live Jan. 10).
    A leader in style, performance, safety, efficiency and value since the introduction of the first generation model in 1976, the Accord remains one of the best-selling cars in America. The 2012 Accord was recently named to Car and Driver Magazine's '10Best' list for a record 26th time and was ranked as having the highest initial quality in its segment in the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Initial Quality Study (IQS). The introduction of the ninth-generation Accord marks 30 years of U.S. production of the model at the Marysville Auto Plant in Marysville, Ohio, the first Japanese car assembly plant in the U.S.

    William Maley
    Smart has been teasing us with many a concept to make us pay attention to the brand and their concept for Detroit seems to continue that trend.
    Smart has released some design pics of the For-Us concept. The For-Us concept is a pickup truck for the urban market. Based on the Smart ForTwo convertible, the For-Us is three feet longer and six inches taller than the regular ForTwo. With the extra space, Smart has added a truck bed that provides 35.4 inches of load space. The tailgate is controlled electronically to either be raised or lower.
    Power comes from 55-kW (74-hp) electric motor spins the rear wheels, and is powered by a 17.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack from the ForTwo Electric Drive. Smart says the car can reach a top speed of 75 MPH but doesn’t give a range.

    Press Release is on Page 2
    smart for-us: world premiere at the Detroit Motor Show
    The Rule-Breaker
    Stuttgart. smart is turning the automotive world upside down once again and challenging ideas about what an urban pickup should look like. In a tongue-in-cheek manner the for-us signals that this is the right car for the young and young-at-heart with active lives who attach importance to low emissions and taking up minimum road space. The smart for-us translates the practical loading concept of a pickup to the reality of 21st century urban traffic for the first time.
    With its exterior dimensions (length/width/height: 3547/1506/1701mm) it could almost go unnoticed on the loading area of a typical pickup, and it also anything but ordinary under the body. Thanks to the state-of-the-art electric drive with a 55 kW magneto-electric motor the zero-emission smart for-us is agile and lively to drive. It will celebrate its world premiere at the North American International Auto Show in
    Detroit (14 - 22 January 2012).
    smart CEO Dr. Annette Winkler says "We at smart love pick-ups – if they are small on the outside, large on the inside, very safe and extremely comfortable. With the smart for-us a petrol station is no longer required!”
    Like car2go, the globally successful car sharing initiative from smart for more flexibility in city traffic, the smart for-us is a mobility concept. It has plenty of room for two people and space for two smart ebikes behind them. Thanks to the docking station on the cargo area of the smart for-us their batteries are always charged, and smart for-us drivers can also reach destinations that are out of bounds for cars – for example traffic-calmed zones in the city or isolated park trails.
    The design: sassy and robust with extremely short overhangs
    Compared with the series-produced fortwo the smart for-us makes a powerful statement and its appearance plays with the martial image of conventional mega-pickups. Nevertheless, it greets the viewer with a friendly yet assertive face. It features convex and sensuously shaped body surfaces. The large brand emblem is proudly sported on the grille, and the front has a pronounced three-dimensional design with an underride guard finishing off the lower part of the front end.
    The longer wheelbase (2480 mm/plus 613 mm) and the track that has been widened by 50 mm on each side also emphasise the robust look of the study. At the same time the extremely short overhangs at the front and rear make it exceedingly compact.
    The tailboard at the rear of the smart for-us is electrically driven. When it opens first of all the cargo floor including tailboard retracts by 280 mm, then the tailgate slides down in a parallel position. The cargo on the 900 mm cargo area is then extremely easy to access.
    Sleek, taut surfaces in mother-of-pearl white combined with precisely designed technical functional elements in brushed aluminium – the interior is characterised by contrasts. Like in the smart forvision, the whole cockpit boasts aerodynamic styling for interior ventilation. In place of a conventional rear-view mirror the smart for-us features a smartphone accommodated in a holder on top of the instrument panel support. The driver can see what is happening on the road behind with the help of an integrated video camera.
    Stylish, uncomplicated, highly functional and easy to individualise – the two seats in the concept car are typically smart. The seat shells, which are open in the middle, are covered with a soft yellow fabric throw giving them a hammock-like seating feel.
    Electric drive – zero-local-emission driving fun
    The electric drive of the smart for-us is based on the innovative drive concept of the smart fortwo electric drive, which will be launched in the spring of 2012. Thanks to the 55 kW magneto-electric motor the smart for-us is agile and lively to drive. With 130 Newton metres of torque it boasts powerful, lag-free acceleration and it can overtake other vehicles with the greatest of ease. The maximum speed exceeds 120 km/h. The lithium-ion battery has capacity of 17.6 kWh.

    William Maley
    For the longest time, we've been hearing about a new car that would be replacing the dreadful Dodge Caliber. Today, Dodge revealed the replacement.
    Meet the 2013 Dodge Dart, which will make it's debut next month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Previously, the car was known as the Hornet till Dodge announced last month the name wouldn't be used.
    The Dart will be the first Chrysler vehicle using a Fiat vehicle architecture; the Alfa Romeo Giulietta in this case. The Giulietta's platform has been widened and lengthened for the Dart. Dodge says high-strength steel and independent suspension will make the car more fun to drive than its predecessors.
    Styling of the Dart borrows a lot from the full-size Charger, with the front end having Dodge's trademark crosshair grill and headlights that are angled up over the car’s front fenders. Around back, a full bank of LED taillights and dual exhausts help make the car a Dodge.
    Three engines will be available; a 2.0L inline-four “Tigershark”, a turbocharged 1.4L MultiAir inline-four, and a 2.4L“Tigershark” inline-four. Three transmissions will be available; most likely an six-speed automatic plus a choice of five- and six-speed manuals.
    The Dodge Dart will be built at Chrysler's Assembly n Belvidere, Illinois, which currently assembles the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Patriot.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Dodge Hits the Mark With the All-new 2013 Dodge Dart Compact Car

    Dodge Dart Blends Alfa Romeo DNA and Dodge’s Passion for Performance, Resulting in a Groundbreaking Car with the Ultimate Blend of Power, Fuel Economy, Handling and Style
    The Dodge brand is back in the U.S. compact sedan segment – in a big way – as the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart will make its world debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich., on Jan. 9, 2012
    Built on a world-class architecture, Dodge Dart offers three technologically advanced, fuel-efficient and powerful engines, including the 1.4L MultiAir® Turbo
    Dodge delivers exceptional craftsmanship with class-leading technology and style
    Auburn Hills, Mich. , Dec 6, 2011 - Dodge redefines performance in the compact car segment with an all-new, state-of-the-art four-door sedan delivering class-leading aerodynamics – the 2013 Dodge Dart.
    With Alfa Romeo DNA and Dodge’s passion for performance at its core, the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart is a thoroughly modern vehicle that’s fuel-efficient, beautifully designed and crafted, agile and brings fun back to driving in the segment.
    Similar to the Dodge Dart of the late 1960s, the 2013 Dart offers a special blend of style, performance and innovation. The Dodge brand leveraged its nearly 100-year history of passion for building high-quality, innovative vehicles that stand apart in performance and style, as well as from its partner Fiat’s global compact car expertise, to develop the all-new Dodge Dart.
    The all-new Dart is the first Chrysler Group vehicle based upon a Fiat architecture – adapted from the award-winning Alfa Romeo Giulietta. The Giulietta is renowned for satisfying the most demanding customers in terms of road-holding, agility and safety, with exceptional driving dynamics. The Dart leverages all of these attributes within a lengthened and widened platform delivering segment-leading levels of interior roominess.
    The all-new Compact U.S. Wide (CUSW) architecture underpinning the Dart is a state-of-the-art architecture with an industry-leading 68 percent of the body composed of high-strength steel, resulting in a very strong and rigid structure. Combined with responsive steering, four-wheel independent suspension, and available 18-inch wheels, the Dart brings fun back to driving in the compact car segment.
    The all-new 2013 Dart marks the Dodge brand’s re-entry into the compact sedan segment, hitting the bulls-eye with a modern, unmistakable Dodge design that builds upon its performance heritage while evoking emotion, efficiency and fluidity of movement.
    Eye-catching exterior proportions are set off from every angle by dynamic lines and curves, along with advanced technology, to deliver class-leading aerodynamic performance. The personality-packed front view is instantly recognizable as an all-new Dodge with its tailored split-crosshair grille, projector headlamps and fog lamps and accentuated fenders. Signature Dodge full-width LED ‘racetrack’ tail lamps and class-exclusive integrated dual exhaust – both inspired by Dodge Charger – accentuate the athletic and muscular stance of this dynamic and passionate new design.
    The 2013 Dodge Dart will be powered by three fuel-efficient, powerful, state-of-the-art four-cylinder engines that add to Dart’s fun-to-drive quotient.
    Drivers can select from a new Tigershark 16-valve 2.0-liter engine, a 16-valve 1.4-liter MultiAir Intercooled Turbo engine, and a new Tigershark 16-valve 2.4-liter MultiAir four cylinder engine. These three engines, combined with three transmission choices, combine to redefine performance by providing the most diverse powertrain lineup in its class.
    MultiAir technology delivers optimum combustion at any speed under all driving conditions by allowing direct and dynamic control of air intake and combustion. The result is up to a 15 percent increase in low engine rpm torque, a 7.5 percent improvement in fuel efficiency and a 10 percent reduction in C02 emissions.
    The all-new Dodge Dart will be made in America at Chrysler Group’s Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Ill. The Company is in the process of investing $600 million dollars to support the production of future products, including the 2013 Dodge Dart. The investment includes the construction of a 638,000-square-foot body shop, as well as the installation of new machinery, tooling and material handling equipment. Work on the expansion began in the summer of 2010 and will be completed this year.

  • Posts

    • Yeah, not my favorite era of full size Chevy...but a restomodded '71-73 Impala would be more to my taste..  
    • Cadillac has announced new details in the brand’s transformation to an electric future and a transformative EV customer experience, including ordering information, pricing and EPA-estimated range for the 2023 LYRIQ RWD. Cadillac also announced a special charging offer, designed to simplify the charging experience for LYRIQ customers. “These are important steps for Cadillac, as we make good on our promise to deliver an EV offering more than 300 miles of range and move toward an all-electric portfolio by 2030,” said Global Cadillac Vice President Rory Harvey. “Cadillac will define the future of luxury transportation through its range of forthcoming EVs, and it all begins with LYRIQ.” Ordering for the 2023 LYRIQ RWD and AWD models will open on May 19, with RWD deliveries expected starting this fall. Deliveries of the 2023 LYRIQ Debut Edition, which was available through reservation only, will begin this summer. The LYRIQ RWD model offers an EPA-estimated 312 miles of range on a full charge1 and has a starting MSRP of $62,9902. The AWD model, which will start at $64,9902, adds a second drive unit, placed at the front of the vehicle to enhance vehicle dynamics and performance even further for drivers. When orders open, customers will now have the option to select from two new exterior colors: Opulent Blue Metallic3 and Crystal White Tricoat3. Initial deliveries of the AWD model are expected to start in early 2023, with EPA-estimated range expected to be announced closer to the start of production. Creating a Seamless Charging Experience All 2023 Cadillac LYRIQ customers will receive the option to choose either two years of unlimited public charging credits at EVgo charging stations or a credit of up to $1,500 toward home charger installation through Qmerit4. Customers who select the home charger installation credit will receive up to $1,500 that can be applied toward an eligible professional installation of a Level 2 (AC) charger or at 240-volt outlet at home through Qmerit, for convenient, quick charging of the LYRIQ’s battery5. For customers looking to install a home charger, Cadillac can help throughout the process. Every Cadillac LYRIQ comes with a portable dual-level cordset charger, which enables customers to charge their vehicles from both 120-volt and 240-volt outlets. Through Cadillac accessories, customers will be able to purchase faster 11.5 kilowatt or 19.2kW wall-mounted charging stations. By installing a 240-volt outlet or wall charger, customers can reduce the time it takes to charge a depleted battery from 3 days to overnight6. For installation assistance, Cadillac is working with Qmerit, a nationwide network to help owners find qualified, experienced Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment installers. “This unique offer will elevate our customers’ experience with the LYRIQ, helping them make a smoother, more transparent transition to all-electric driving,” said Harvey. “Like the LYRIQ itself, the charging experience will set the standard for customers’ EV experiences.”    LYRIQ Drives the Future The all-new LYRIQ elevates an iconic brand, building on a century of Cadillac’s design and technology innovations to usher in a new era in electric luxury vehicles. It is designed with premier technologies and stirring performance capabilities, enabled by the vehicle’s dedicated electric architecture. A 12-module, 100 kWh battery pack delivers a Cadillac-estimated 340 horsepower and 325 lb-ft (440 Nm) of torque in the RWD model, while the AWD model amps up the output, with the addition of a second drive unit that raises capability with an estimated 500 horsepower. The AWD model is further distinguished with performance-oriented driving dynamics with power flowing through all four wheels, along with a 3,500-pound trailering capacity7. The LYRIQ RWD model offers an EPA-estimated range of 312 miles with a full charge1. That range is optimized with the Ultium Platform’s energy recovery system, which can capture and repurpose waste energy from the battery. In addition to optimizing range, the system can also help reduce battery energy needed for heating, increase charging speed and even contribute to the vehicle’s performance driving dynamics.   When it comes to charging, LYRIQ offers at-home Level 2 (AC) charge rates of up to 19.2 kW, which can add up to 52 miles of range per hour of charge8. It also features DC fast charging rates of up to 190 kW, enabling an estimated 76 miles of range in about 10 minutes6 of charging time. Artfully Integrated Technology Cadillac’s user experience9 system and 33-inch-diagonal advanced LED display, artfully integrate the driver information center, navigation and infotainment systems to communicate information to customers in an organic, intuitive way. Additional technologies are designed to immerse the driver and passengers and enhance their journey. Highlights include: AKG Studio 19-speaker audio system, including headrest speakers, is a Cadillac-exclusive feature that employs advanced technologies, including Adaptive Volume and Surround Technology, to create an immersive listening experience Google Built-In10 compatibility offers a helpful and personalized way to enhance the in-vehicle experience, with Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play delivering access to hands-free help, live traffic updates, favorite apps and more Next-generation Active Noise Cancellation helps cancel out undesirable sounds coming from the roadway. This technology, when combined with LYRIQ’s Electric Vehicle Sound Enhancement, which balances and blends the propulsion system’s sounds, creates a luxurious and quiet cabin. The Cadillac LYRIQ is produced at GM’s Spring Hill, Tennessee assembly facility11, which received a $2 billion investment to support electric vehicle production. An additional $2.3 billion is being invested in an all-new battery cell manufacturing plant at Spring Hill, by Ultium Cells LLC, the joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solution.   Interior Images Exterior Images Press Release Source 2023 Cadillac LYRIQ Drives Closer to Delivery (gm.com) View full article
    • My "random" 10,000th post. (some 16 1/2 years later)
    • Spotted two days ago, VW's Passat has come a long way and is now a fairly substantial car ... Spotted yesterday around the Houston Galleria, I also saw another Porsche (Panamera 4 door, maybe) in this exact same new color (a lot of enamel paint jobs on expensive cars lately) some 5 minutes earlier ...
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