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    Drew Dowdell

    ...Corsair gets a plug-in option...

    Los Angeles - At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Lincoln introduced the Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring, a plug-in hybrid trim.  Based on the standard Corsair, the Grand Touring's powertrain consists of a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gas engine and a permanent magnet synchronous motor.  The combined output based on Lincoln's calculations would be roughly 266 horsepower.  Electric All-wheel drive powers the rear wheels.  EV range is targeted at 25 miles EPA. 
    Power is conveyed through a PowerSplit electric continuously variable transmission with two electric motors working together to provide very smooth acceleration. 
    In addition to the five modes normally available to Corsair drivers, two additional modes are available on the Grand Touring;  Preserve EV mode recharges and saves battery power for later, the engine and motor work continuously to deliver full power.  The battery can be recharged up to 75 percent while in this mode. Pure EV mode is designed to keep the vehicle in all-electric mode as much as possible, only using the gasoline engine when the power demands exceed the electrical capabilities of the vehicle. 
    The Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring will be built in Louisville Kentucky and will go on sale summer of 2020. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Cruze who?...

    Los Angeles - Chevrolet thinks that you don't want a Cruze anymore and instead you'll buy an SUV.  Enter Chevy's answer for that, the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer starts under $20,000 and for those taking notes, that's less than the current Chevrolet Trax even though the Trailblazer is the larger vehicle, fitting between the Trax and Equinox in size.
    Themed after the larger Blazer, the Trailblazer looks wider in person than its specs suggest.  Powertrains match the Buick Encore GX on which this shares a platform.  Powered by either a 1.2L turbo or 1.3L turbo 3-cylinder engine, the Trailblazer will deliver up to 155 horsepower. Both engines are mated with a standard Continuously Variable Transmission with selectable stop/start capability. A nine-speed automatic transmission is also available on Trailblazers equipped with the 1.3L engine and all-wheel drive. The AWD is selectable so that drivers can choose between traction or fuel economy as conditions dictate. 
    The Trailblazer features 40/60 split folding second row seats, which enables the vehicle to accommodate objects up to 8.5 feet long. Overall storage capacity is rated up to 54.4cubic feet10 with the second row folded.
    Trailblazer is equipped with a comprehensive list of safety technology:
    Forward Collision Alert Automatic Emergency Braking Front Pedestrian Braking IntelliBeam Headlamps (Auto High Beam Assist) Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning Rear Vision Camera Teen Driver Rear Seat Reminder3 OnStar4 Additional optional active safety and driver assistance features include:
    Adaptive Cruise Control - Camera Rear Park Assist Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert Rear Cross Traffic Alert HD Rear Vision Camera Trailblazer ACTIV is equipped with unique tires and shock tuning. The ACTIV dampers are tuned to enhance vehicle performance and ride comfort when traveling on gravel roads.  The Hankook Sport Terrain 17-inch tires feature an aggressive shoulder design and an all-season tread pattern.
    The front fascia on Trailblazer ACTIV has been revised with the lower section designed for improved ground clearance. Additional exterior differentiation includes two-tone roof, standard roof rails and trapezoid-shaped exhaust tips.
    Trailblazer joins the Trax and Equinox in showrooms in Spring of 2020.
     

    Drew Dowdell

    slots between the CX-3 and CX-5...

    Los Angeles - The Mazda CX-30 originally debuted at the Geneva Auto Show in March of 2019.  Now Mazda is bringing it to the Los Angeles for U.S. consumption.  The CX-30 is the latest vehicle on Mazda's new generation of vehicles that are getting complete makeovers to feel more luxurious in spite of their price.  Slotting between the tiny CX-3 and compact CX-5, the CX-30 takes on a Goldilocks approach of not-too-big not-too-small.  It has more of a coupe like roofline than the other two as well.
    Mazda paid special attention to the interior with a comfortable and luxurious cabin.  Engineers focused on reducing noise, harshness, and vibration to create a serene space for driver and passengers. Speakers of the sound system were repositioned in order to improves sound and reduce areas where outside sounds could intrude into the cabin. 
    Mazda is debuting their connected services on the CX-30 with the MyMazda app.  The app can handle remote starting, locking and unlocking the doors, or even activate the hazard lights. Vehicle status such as oil life, fuel level, and tire pressure can be monitored from the app as well. The app will notify owners of important vehicle alerts or recalls. Emergency services such as towing or 911 can be contacted through the system as well. 
    While European customers get a choice of engines, the U.S. spec CX-30 will only come with a single engine option; the Skyactiv 2.5 liter 4-cylinder that produces 186 horsepower, a best in class figure for a standard engine, and 186 lb.-ft of torque. 
    There will be four trims available, base, Select, Preferred, and Premium. Base price starts at $21,900 for the front wheel drive model and $23,300 for the base AWD model. 
      Front-Wheel Drive i-Activ All-Wheel Drive CX-30 $21,900 $23,300 CX-30 Select $23,900 $25,300 CX-30 Preferred $26,200 $27,600 CX-30 Premium $28,200 $29,600
     

    Drew Dowdell

    ...A new flagship for Genesis...

    Los Angeles - The Genesis G90 made its North American debut this evening at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The new G90 introduces the next design theme for the Genesis family. It is a total reskin of the existing car. Genesis calls the design Horizontal Architecture and Athletic Elegance and it is reflected inside and outside the car.
    The interior embodies the Horizontal Architecture theme with harmonious flow of horizontal surfaces such as the HVAC vents, audio controls, and wood trim. 
    On the connectivity front, it is the first Genesis vehicle to offer over-the-air wireless updates for maps and software. Its 12.3-inch display navigation system is now touchscreen and a uses a copper user interface with copper accents. Standard are Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Mirror Link. Intelligent Car Management Service personalizes the driving experience by using data to analyze driving patterns and informs the driver of necessary maintenance and vehicle wear.
    The interior environment is more serene, thanks to Active Noise Cancellation, which reduces noise, vibration and harshness using leading audio technology to reduce unwanted noise intrusion. Occupant convenience is enhanced by when entering tunnels through automatic external air prevention. The adaptive control suspension minimizes vibration in real time and precisely manages body motions throughout the range of dynamics with minimal compromises to ride comfort.
    Safety technology that comes standard is Lane Follow Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Safe Exit Doors, and Highway Driving assist. There are 10 standard airbags.
    Powering the G90 is a choice of 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 producing 365 horsepower and 376 lb.-ft of torque or a 5.0 liter V8 producing 420 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft of torque.  Both engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic and are available in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configurations. Fuel economy for the V6 Turbo is 17 city / 25 Highway while the V8 16 city / 24 highway (RWD) or 15 city / 23 highway (AWD)

    The 2020 Genesis G90 goes on sale in North America in December 2019

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Brings Ruggedness to the entry level SUV segment...

    Los Angeles - Kia unveiled the 2021 Kia Seltos at the Los Angeles Auto Show today. The Seltos brings a new level of ruggedness and refinement to the entry level crossover segment.  The Seltos slots between the Kia Soul and Kia Sportage in the brand's lineup.  It has a longer wheelbase than is typical and a long hood to give it a sense of size though in a small package.  Front and rear skid plates and black wheel arches emphasize off-road capability, and the standard AWD on the base model makes that capability a reality. 
    The Seltos is powered by either a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated engine producing 146 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft of torque or an up-level 1.6-liter Turbo that produces 175 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft of torque. Power is routed to the front or all wheels by a CVT on the 2.0 or a 7-speed DCT on the 1.6T. 
    The body is composed of 61 percent advanced high-strength steel and further enhanced with 374 feet of structural adhesives to offer a stiff structure without increasing weight. 
    Inside there is an available 10.25 inch touchscreen, Bose sound system, Apple Car Play and Android Auto, and multi-Bluetooth capability allowing for two phones to be connected to the infotainment system at the same time. 
    Safety technology includes Kia's available "Kia Drive Wise" safety suite that includes things like blind spot monitoring, smart cruise control, lane keep assist, lane follow assist, forward collision avoidance, and driver attention warning.

    The base LX AWD will have a starting price below $22,000 and the FWD SX will have a similar starting price.   

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Ready for an electric wagon?...

    Los Angeles - Volkswagen has rolled out the 7th vehicle on the MEB platform at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Known as the ID. Space Vizzion, it is an all-electric wagon concept that previews a potential production vehicle for North America and Europe. It has a super efficient drag coefficient of 0.24 and carries and 82 kWh battery for a range of up to 300 miles.
    The concept car is powered by a 275-horsepower motor mounted in the rear. A second motor could me mounted up front giving a total system output of 365 hp and all-wheel drive. 
    Inside, the ID Space Vizzion is chock full of modern touches such as an augmented reality heads up display, new "AppleSkin" material is used in the seats and doors. The color spectrum of the infotainment system also changes according to the selected background lighting color. If the ID. SPACE VIZZION detects a stressful situation, such as rush hour traffic jams, the system suggests switching to a relaxation mode in which a calming ambient lighting shade is activated.

    No word yet on when and if the ID. Space Vizzion is coming to market, but with the expansion of Chattanooga already underway to build the ID cars, the ID Space Vizzion's production counterpart could be here sooner rather than later. 

    Drew Dowdell

    ...just a smidge bigger than Encore...

    Los Angeles - Buick introduced the Buick Encore GX to the U.S. at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The Encore GX is Buick's 4th entry into the crossover segment and sits slightly above the Encore in size and price.  The Encore GX will come with a host of standard safety features such as: 
    Forward Collision Alert Automatic Emergency Braking Front Pedestrian Braking Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning Following Distance Indicator IntelliBeam headlamps with automatically-adjusting high/low beams Available safety features depending on trim level will include: 
    Rear Park Assist Rear Cross Traffic Alert Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert Rear Camera Mirror, provides a wide, less obstructed rear view while parking and driving Hands-Free Power Liftgate with logo projection, one of only two vehicles within the compact SUV segment to offer this feature Adaptive Cruise Control – Camera (camera-based) Head-Up Display Automatic Parking Assist with Braking High Definition Surround Vision camera system The Encore will be powered either by a 1.2-liter Turbocharged or an up level 1.3-liter turbocharged engine.  In front wheel drive versions, both engines will send power to the wheels via a continuously variable transmission. All-wheel drive models get the 1.3-liter engine and a 9-speed automatic. AWD will also be driver selectable allowing for better traction or better fuel economy depending on driving conditions.  The top engine will produce an estimated 155-horspower and 174 lb.-ft of torque with a GM estimated 31 mpg highway rating. 

    The Buick Encore GX goes on sale early 2020

    Drew Dowdell

    ...More Maxima for your minima...

    Los Angeles - Nissan has unveiled the 2020 Nissan Sentra at the LA Auto Show Today. The new Sentra takes on the look of the larger Altima and Maxima to bring some harmony to the Nissan sedan lineup. The Sentra is Nissan's best selling model in the U.S.
    Nissan is adding Nissan Safety Shield 360 as standard equipment for 2020 with additional driver assisted technologies available.  The platform is all new, now with an independent rear suspension and electric rack steering. A new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder replaces the previous 1.8-liter unit.  The new motor produces 149 horsepower and 146 lb.-ft of torque, an increase of 20 percent and 16 percent respectively. Fuel economy is also projected to improve. All 2020 Sentra models come equipped with the latest generation Xtronic transmission.
    The center of gravity has been lowered by lowering the overall height 2.2 inches and increasing the track by 2.0 inches. 
    Trim levels have been simplified to S, SV, and SR with just two option packages. The interior has been upgraded and refined to be more premium feeling. Android Auto and Apply CarPlay are standard with NissanConnect. 

    The 2020 Sentra goes on sale in January 2020.

    Drew Dowdell

    ...taking it off without gaining weight...

    Los Angeles - Lexus unveiled the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible at the LA Auto Show today, ending speculation over whether the model was actually coming or not. 
    Typically when manufacturers make a convertible version of an existing car, significant weight penalties crop up as structural bracing is added to preserve rigidity. Lexus was able to move supports, and bracing to produce a convertible with only minimal weight gain while maintaining structural integrity. The LC Convertible’s suspension is tuned specifically to complement the subtle changes in weight between the two platforms, as a reduction of un-sprung weight in the front suspension improves the overall stroke. In the rear, engineers were able to further enhance structural rigidity by reshaping and relocating the rear suspension brace tower. Weight was reduced in the rear of the vehicle by utilizing a lightweight die-cast aluminum suspension brace, while a performance dampener is employed to enhance ride comfort.
    Power of the LC 500 Convertible is the same as the coupe, with a 5.0-liter V8 rated for 471 horsepower, 398 lb.-ft of torque paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. To make the engine’s throaty voice heard while the top is down, the engine’s intake pulses are naturally carried through a diaphragm into a sound pipe that carries the sounds, not the air itself, into the cabin to enhance the V8’s rumble, all done without any electronic enhancement. 
    The top is a 4 layer design and the mechanism includes a tonneau cover for when the soft top is stored. The top can be opened or closed at speeds up to 31 mph, while an animation on the display shows the tops progress through the motions. The cloth colors are offered in black or beige. Exterior paint options on the convertible include Ultra White, Smoky Granite Mica, Liquid Platinum, Atomic Silver, Obsidian, Caviar, Infrared, Cadmium Orange, Flare Yellow, and Nightfall Mica. Depending upon the exterior color chosen, three interior colors are available: Black, Circuit Red and Toasted Caramel.
    The car being shown at the Los Angeles Auto Show is a limited edition model with a run of 100 units. It comes in Structural Blue with a white interior and blue top. 
    The LC Convertible's HVAC system is designed to maintain temperature year round even with the top down. Neck heaters are included in the seats while the dash outlets are designed to direct heated or cooled air to the driver's hands.  For 2021 the LC Convertible gets Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Car Play standard along with a 10.3-inch multimedia screen. 

     

    Drew Dowdell

    ...Most powerful, quickest, and most fuel efficient RAV-4 ever...

    Los Angeles - Toyota Debuted today the Toyota RAV-4 Prime, a plug-in version of their RAV-4 hybrid.  The RAV-4 Prime ups the ante with a big bump to the horsepower figure, 302 horses combined between the gasoline engine and electric motors.  The gives the RAV-4 Prime a projected 0-60 of 5.8 seconds, the second fastest 0-60 in the Toyota lineup, while also delivering 90 MPGe. The RAV-4 Prime is capable of driving up to 39 miles in EV mode, making it the highest range PHEV SUV on the market. 
    In building the Prime, Toyota added a new higher capacity lithium-ion battery and a booster converter. That, combined with more powerful motor/generators give the electric side of the hybrid system an 83 horsepower boost. The engine is a variant of the 2.5 liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline unit found in the standard RAV-4 Hybrid and it produces the same 176 horsepower.  The larger battery is mounted under the floor so there is no compromise on interior space and it adds to a level of stability by giving the RAV-4 Prime a lower center of gravity.  
    RAV-4 Prime's electric on-demand all-wheel drive system is the same setup as found in the RAV-4. Rear mounted electric motors power the rear wheels on demand, including heavy acceleration situations. The AWD system also works to reduce understeer during cornering for better handling performance. 
    Starting with the 2020 model year, every Toyota Hybrid Battery Warranty has been increased from 8 years or 100,000 miles to 10 years from original date of first use, or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first.
    Available in SE and XSE grades, the RAV-4 Prime will be available mid-summer 2020 as a 2021 model year. 

    Drew Dowdell

    Escalade looks on a Hyundai budget

    It is not as big as it looks, it is front wheel drive, the front end is polarizing, but Hyundai just might show the world that persistence pays off.  This is their third try at a full-size 3-row SUV, but this might be the one that makes it stick.
    When I first saw the pictures of the Palisade, I thought it might be as big as a Nissan Armada but in person is a different story.  In real terms it is smaller inside than a Honda Pilot or Chevy Traverse.  Materials inside feel high quality and the design is attractive.  If Hyundai used another vehicle for a template of the interior, the Buick Enclave is probably it.
    The exterior is much edgier. With big SUV looks and even verticle accent lighting, the Palisade looks like a knock-off Escalade from the front. The Palisade will have heavy competition from the Traverse, Enclave, and a new Explorer coming that will be coming next year.
    I'm not sure the mixture of styling will appeal to this class of buyer.
    The jury is still out..... that's my opinion on the 2020 Hyundai Palisade.
    Related: 2020 Hyundai Palisade Tries to Break-In Into the Three-Row Crossover Set
     
     

    Drew Dowdell

    Little more luxury sedan, lot more rock and roll.

    Unlike the 2020 Toyota Corolla, Mazda didn't let the dog eat their homework.  
    Mazda is serious about making itself into a premium Japanese brand and the Mazda 3 is just the latest proof of that.  The 3 is equipped with one of the largest displacement base engines in the segment without relying on laggy turbo-chargers.  While power figures haven't been released yet, we expect them to be around the 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque that engine currently produces when purchased in the CX-5 and 6. Power without lag is a luxury these days and the 3 should deliver that in spades. Sometime late next year, Mazda will be introducing an HCCI version (think diesel technology in a gasoline engine) of this engine that will deliver even higher fuel economy numbers.  The addition of AWD for the Mazda 3 should be making Subaru nervous.

    The real story though is on the interior.  If you were one of the 12 people who were pining for a refreshed version of the Buick Verano, I would send you posthaste to the Mazda dealership (sometime in early spring 2019) to pick up a Mazda 3.  The interior is nothing short of fantastic for this segment.  A beautiful minimalist design and excellent materials are found throughout. The interior of the 3 is one that can compete with an Audi A3 or Mercedes A-Class and credibly win.

    Out of the park home run. The this new 3 is the new best in class...... That's my opinion of the 2020 Mazda 3.
    Related: 2019 Mazda3 Pulls Out All of the Stops
     

    Drew Dowdell

    Swing and a Miss

    The common thought today is that the sedan market in the U.S. is dying.  If that's the case, the 2020 Toyota Corolla hasn't given any reasons that it should stick around. 
    While styling could be considered bolder over the prior model, it is still bland in person. Front and rear facias nearly mirror each other in a Studebaker-like "is it coming or going?" way.  The styling of the interior hasn't changed in any significant way though the materials are somewhat improved.  Mediocre engine choices, unlike the 2020 Kia Soul, leave little to be excited over.  The addition of a hybrid option is interesting, but only for people who think the Prius is too fugly to drive, otherwise, they would just buy the real thing.
    The Corolla is the best selling car nameplate in history, but this latest version leaves little reason for that record to continue. In a tough small sedan market, it is going to take more than just more of the same to move the needle.
    Dull, conventional, boring..... that's my opinion of the 2020 Corolla

    Drew Dowdell

    Quietly building an icon.

    It takes years to build an icon. Think of the Volkswagen Beetle or the Ford Mustang; both icons in their own right, but both with decades of history behind them.
    Kia seems to understand this formula with the Kia Soul.   The 2020 Kia Soul keeps all of the original recipe of being a quirky looking, convenient vehicle and updates the look to a more modern image.  Kia has done a good job here of not messing with success. The new front fascia, different on each major trim level, has a more aggressive but still friendly look. The rear tail lights wrap over the roof and back around giving the appearance of a rear hoop (Hampster wheel maybe?)  On most trims, the car has a lower stance and wider look. Overall a pleasing shape that will appeal to current Soul buyers and new ones alike.

    Inside, the interior is downright conventional. This is the convenient part of the Soul's soul. It can look quirky on the outside, but it is all grocery getter on the inside... no funky interior styling, no dash carpet like on the Nissan Cube. This conventionality is the secret to the success of the Kia Soul.
    One especially nice thing about the Soul is the choice of powertrains, something not always available to buyers in the small crossover segment. Those who want more power can select a 1.6T with 201 HP and a 7-speed DCT. Now, if only they would offer all-wheel drive.
    It's still going to take a few more decades for Kia to catch up to the icon status of the VW Beetle, but this is as good a second generation of Soul as can be offered.
    Quirky, competent, convenient and eventually an automotive icon..... that's my opinion of the 2020 Kia Soul
    Related: 2020 Kia Soul Keeps the Funk
     
     

    Drew Dowdell

    A center of the bullseye hit for Lincoln

    Lush is usually used to describe luxury products like bath towels or face cream, and not typically used for vehicles. However, lush is exactly the word I would use I would use to describe the new 2020 Lincoln Aviator.  Instead of trying to be an all-out sports crossover like most of the European competition, Lincoln keeps true to its Quiet Luxury promise with a coddling and yes lush interior.
    While there are hints of the lushness of Lincoln interiors in the Continental, Lincoln really dialed up the luxury lushness for the Navigator and repeated that act on the Aviator.  The seats are supple and highly adjustable. The controls look classy, modern, and retro all at the same time.  The grille of the Black Label editions has extra depth and a new signature blue lighting surrounding the now proud Lincoln emblem.  An air ride system called Air Glide promises to smooth out bumps before the vehicle even hits them.
    Lush is another way to describe what the powertrains must feel like. The standard 3.0-liter twin-turbo feels deep and effortless in Lincoln's Continental, but in the Aviator now backed by a 10-speed automatic, it will feel even more effortless. The plug-in hybrid variant with its 600 lb-ft of torque, most of which will be available at a very low RPM, will be even more so.
    It wasn't so long ago that people were expecting an obituary for Lincoln while Genesis was the newest up-and-coming brand in the luxury segment.  With this new Aviator, I think Lincoln has raised the bar on the entire segment and now not only Genesis, but Cadillac, BMW, and even Mercedes Benz should sit up and take notice. 
    Effortless, Quiet, Comforting, Luxurious.... Lush. That's my opinion of the new 2020 Lincoln Aviator.
    Related: 2020 Lincoln Aviator Returns After A 13-Year Absence
     
     

    Drew Dowdell

    More Agile and Further Refined

    After just 4 years, Mercedes-Benz has refreshed the AMG GT for the 2020 model year.   A new programmable coil over setup allows for more agile handling depending on track conditions.  As in professional motorsport, the driver is not only able to set the spring preload length mechanically, but can now also adjust the compression and rebound of the dampers.  Both axels get adjustable torsion bars with carbon fiber up front and hollow-tube steel in back.
    The engines options are:
    Model Year 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT Mercedes-AMG GTC Mercedes-AMG GTR/ Mercedes-AMG GTRPRO Displacement 3982 cc 3982 cc 3982 cc Output 469 hp at 6000 rpm 550 hp at 5,750- 6,750 rpm 577 hp at 6,250 rpm Peak torque 465 lb-ft @ 1,700 – 5,000 rpm 502 lb-ft @ 1,900 – 5,750 rpm 516 lb-ft at 1,900 - 5,500 rpm Acceleration 3.9 s 3.6 s 3.5 s Top speed 189 mph 196 mph 198 mph Says Mercedes-Benz of the GT Pro, 
    We can't wait to try one.
     

    Drew Dowdell

    Both get updated to the latest V-Motion styling first seen on the new Nissan Altima.

    Nissan released refreshed versions of their Nissan Maxima sports sedan and their Nissan Murano Crossover at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show this week. Both vehicles move to Nissan's latest version of the V-Motion styling theme.
    First up, the 2019 Nissan Maxima goes on sale in just a few weeks. The updated V-Motion grille and signature accent lighting contribute to an aggressive style.  Styling inside is mostly carryover, however, some new materials and finishes have been added.   On the safety front, the 2019 Maxima adds available Nissan Safety Shield 360, a suite of 6 driver assist technologies that help to avoid a crash. Safety Shield 360 includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and Rear Automatic Braking.  Safety Shield 360 comes standard on the Maxima Platinum and as part of the SR Premium Package.
    Secondly, the 2019 Nissan Murano gains an updated front fascia with new headlights, LED fog lights, and two new wheel options.  The Murano also adds Nissan Safety Shield 360 as an available option on the SL Technology package and as standard on Murano Platinum. 
     

    William Maley

    Third-time the charm, right?

    Hyundai’s attempts at building a three-row full-size crossover has been quite difficult. Previous attempts either were slightly too small or didn’t sell. The company is hoping their upcoming Palisade will be able to change their fortunes.
    The Palisade is the largest crossover Hyundai has ever offered with an overall length of 196.1 inches, width of 77.8 inches, and a wheelbase of 114.2 inches. That puts it right in the middle of other three-row full-size crossovers like the Honda Pilot, Dodge Durango, and Volkswagen Atlas. It certainly looks much better than the outgoing Santa Fe it replaces due it part to a large front grille and squared off rear. I really liked the rear window treatment on the side as it reminds me of GM’s full-size SUVs. 
    For the interior, Hyundai’s designers went for something that was quite airy and premium. This is shown through the use of high-quality plastics, soft-touch materials, and a floating console. It reminded of the Nexo hydrogen crossover which Hyundai had sitting alongside the Palisade at their technical center. Getting the chance to sit in the crossover, I really liked how the controls were laid out and the amount of technology on offer, including a 12.3-inch screen for the instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system.
    The Palisade comes with seating for eight as standard with second-row captain chairs as an option. The second-row provides very good head and legroom. The third-row is a bit of a different story. Getting into the third-row is slightly tough due to the narrow opening provided when the second-row seat is moved. Once you get into the rear-most seat, headroom is decent. But legroom can vary from adequate to non-existent depending how far back the second-row seat is set. I’m 5’8” and found my legs were pressed against the backside of the seat.
    Powering the Palisade is a new 3.8L Atkinson-Cycle V6 with 271 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This will be paired with an eight-speed automatic and the choice of front or HTRAC all-wheel drive. Maximum towing is rated at 5,000 pounds which Hyundai says is perfect for towing small boats or weekend toys.
    For safety, the Palisade comes well-equipped with Hyundai’s Smartsense suite of active-safety features. This includes forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, high beam assist, adaptive cruise control, safe exit assist (lets passengers know if a vehicle is passing by when exiting), and rear occupant alert.
    The Palisade will be available at dealers next summer.
    Gallery: 2020 Hyundai Palisade
    Source: Hyundai


    All-New 2020 Hyundai Palisade Mid-size SUV Makes its Global Debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show
    All-New 2020 Hyundai Palisade Flagship SUV Brings Exceptional Comfort, Technology and Safety in a Bold Midsize SUV Palisade offers seating for up to eight and commodious cargo space with convenient features like power third-row seats and One-Touch second-row seats for ease of use As Hyundai’s flagship SUV, Palisade offers a host of technology features ideal for family road trips including a 10-inch navigation display, wireless charging, seven USB outlets, second-row ventilated seats, shift-by-wire and innovative roof-based diffuser vents Hyundai SmartSense technology comes standard on every Palisade LOS ANGELES, Nov. 28, 2018 – Hyundai today introduced its new flagship premium three-row Palisade SUV to global media at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The 2020 Palisade rides on an all-new SUV chassis with exceptional second- and third-row roominess coupled with generous cargo area and reconfiguration flexibility. The Palisade will be produced in Ulsan, Korea and will be available at dealerships across the U.S. in the summer of 2019.
    “The new 2020 Hyundai Palisade clearly evokes design imagery worthy of Hyundai’s flagship SUV, with new levels of all-road, all-weather capability, technology, safety, roominess and efficiency, all packaged in cutting-edge design,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning, Hyundai Motor America. “This new Hyundai SUV is the ultimate family vehicle for practical, comfortable daily use and memory-making road trips whenever the appeal of the open road should beckon.”
    FLAGSHIP SUV DESIGN
    “Hyundai Palisade’s exterior and interior design clearly reflect its unique flagship identity with a premium, distinctive and bold road presence,” said SangYup Lee, head of Hyundai’s Design Center. “As the lead for Palisade design, it was a pleasure to work with our global design teams throughout its development and ultimately present this phenomenal product before you today.”
    Palisade’s styling conveys dignity with style in an understated theme that demonstrates clear differentiation worthy of a flagship SUV. From the front, a dominant, bold and wide cascading grille clearly represents a premium SUV. Separated composite headlamps and a vertically-connected forward lighting signature create a strong and distinctive front demeanor, with available LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED turn-signal mirrors. A powerful, extended hood profile creates an impressive road presence, while bold C-pillars and a panoramic glass side graphic convey generous third-row spaciousness. Full volume over-fenders and body sides offer muscular detailing. The rear view emphasizes a wide and stable stance via sinuous detailing and a vertical LED rear taillamp design. Panoramic rear glass coupled with a cutaway roof provides a generous sense of spaciousness to passengers. Available oversized 20-inch alloy wheels further fill out the Palisade flagship presence.
    This design has aerodynamic benefits as well, with a 0.33 coefficient of drag (Cd). Palisade achieves this low drag coefficient with specific design cues that include a fast A-pillar angle, a rear spoiler side garnish, an optimized front cooling area with an extended internal air guide, aero underside panels, and rear wheel aero deflectors.
    INTUITIVE UTILITY
    The interior design combines a sense of relaxation and comfort creating a serene environment with eight-passenger seating standard for family adventures. Leather-equipped models offer a premium, quilted Nappa leather, while on the instrument panel, smooth woodgrain trim in a wraparound interior design create a spacious, comfortable ambience. The One-Touch second row seat allows for one-touch operation of the seat forward and out of the way for easy access into and out of the third-row seat. For more convenience, the third row offers power-folding/unfolding and reclining seats. Second-row captain’s chairs are also available with ventilated seating surfaces. Every Palisade seating row offers USB outlets for convenience for all passengers, for a total of seven available USB outlets. Even more, a conversation mirror allows the driver to clearly see passengers in the rear.
    Palisade also offers a class-exclusive Blind View Monitor that complements the standard Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, which provides easy-to-see body-side views whenever the turn signal is activated. The audio and navigation display is a generous 10.25 inch touchscreen in widescreen format, coupled with a 12.3-inch fully-digital TFT center instrument cluster offering various view modes and differentiated drive mode illumination. Two Bluetooth® devices can be connected simultaneously, with one for a mobile phone connection and the other for audio streaming. The single IP gauge cluster integrated with navigation offers exceptional legibility and ease of use, coupled with an available head-up display feature. Center console innovations such as shift-by-wire controls free up valuable control space for the features drivers use most. The shift-by-wire system also includes automatic park logic that shifts the vehicle into park when the engine is off and the driver opens the door. Palisade’s center console bridge design also frees up convenient storage space underneath the center console control area with convenient driver and passenger access. The interior features seven available USB outlets, including front-seatback-based USB outlets for the second row occupants and mini-pockets for digital devices of all kinds. A generous 16 cupholders means there’s always a place to stow a beverage at any seating position. Seatbelt connection notification to the driver is active in every seating position.
    Palisade also features an industry-first, innovative new roof vent diffuser design that can provide a focused, partially-diffused or fully-diffused stream of air to rear passengers. This new diffuser vent design provides quieter rear air conditioning airflow, draft-free operation, more uniform distribution of  air and the capability for a focused stream of air whenever desired.
    Palisade offers abundant technology, including Hyundai’s latest navigation system with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™. To eliminate the need for a charging cord, there’s an available Qi wireless charging pad for compatible Android devices as well as recent Apple iPhones. When it comes to audio technology, the available premium sound system is well-suited to the Palisade’s upscale interior. The audio system features Clari-Fi and QuantumLogic™ Surround Sound technology. Clari–Fi works in real-time to rebuild audio details lost in digitally-compressed music, while QuantumLogic™ extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into an authentic, multidimensional soundstage for playback that is clear, refined and full of detail. The result is a more robust and enjoyable on-road listening experience.
    HEADS-UP DISPLAY    
    Taking inspiration from aircraft technology, Palisade’s available Heads-Up Display (HUD) projects a virtual image onto the windshield, helping the driver to better keep his or her eyes on the road. The feature uses a system of mirrors combined with a full-color TFT LCD display and features adjustable brightness to ensure both excellent daytime and nighttime visibility. Driving information such as speed, Smart Cruise Control status, navigation, Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, speed limits, Lane Following Assist and audio system data is projected at an ideal virtual distance for maximum legibility.
    Palisade also offers a sophisticated Driver Talk in-car intercom system with rear seat conversation and sleep modes. This system allows the driver to communicate separately with the second and/or third rows of the vehicle via the Palisade audio system in a conversation mode. The system also includes a Rear Sleep Mode that allows the driver’s row to listen to their selected audio without that same audio being transmitted to the second- and third-row audio speakers, so that potentially sleeping passengers will not be disturbed.
    Palisade design seeks a very high perception of openness and exceptional visibility with a large, fixed-glass rear sunroof opening, wide rear seating rows and a generous, reconfigurable rear cargo area. All rear access areas have been ergonomically designed for ease of family access, with an available power rear-folding, unfolding and reclining third-row seatback. Palisade is larger in every exterior dimension than Santa Fe XL and Toyota Highlander.
    On the inside, Palisade has more interior first and second row legroom than Pilot, Pathfinder, and Explorer. It also has more cargo room behind the third row than Highlander, Pilot and Pathfinder.
    POWERTRAIN
    Palisade power comes from an Atkinson-cycle 3.8-liter V6, dual CVVT, direct-injected engine, for excellent power and efficiency. This 3.8-liter powerplant produces an estimated 291 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and an estimated 262 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5,000 rpm. Palisade offers more standard horsepower than any other SUV in its competitive set and an unsurpassed level of torque. Palisade delivers that power to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission with a multi-plate torque converter and offers both two-wheel and HTRAC® four-wheel-drive configurations, with a final drive ratio of 3.648 for confident acceleration. Special efforts were made to reduce Palisade NVH, with generous under-hood insulation, special sound-deadening carpets and powertrain tuning that delivers a smooth, linear response. In addition, Palisade offers drivers the ability to start the vehicle via remote key fob or via the Blue Link app.
    SUSPENSION GEOMETRY AND TUNING
    Front and rear suspension width was maximized on Palisade, for enhanced roll stiffness and stability. Tires are a generous 245/60R18 standard or an optional 245/50R20 size for stability, style and smooth ride comfort. Palisade front steering knuckles and rear carriers are made of aluminum, while front lower arms have been optimized and lightened via a new engineering design, resulting in reduced unsprung weight and improved responsiveness. 
    Palisade also achieves best-in-class body torsional rigidity through a variety of methods, including a multiple ring-shaped structure and hot-stamped door-ring parts that provide greater strength and rigidity. In addition, its torsional rigidity, when equipped with a sunroof, is nearly identical to versions without a sunroof.
    HTRAC® WITH SNOW MODE
    The Palisade offers Hyundai’s HTRAC® All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system. The HTRAC AWD system was developed as a multi-mode system, providing an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. The driver-selectable HTRAC Normal, Sport and Smart modes help provide confident control in all weather conditions. The Sport setting gives a more agile feel by sending more available torque to the rear wheels, for a sporty dynamic feel when desired. This system has a wider range of torque distribution variability than many competitive systems and has been tuned to conditions such as straight-line acceleration, medium- or high-speed cornering, and hill starts.
    Palisade also offers a newly-developed Snow Mode on its advanced HTRAC® AWD system, with special traction tuning for snow, optimizing available traction and driver control in adverse conditions. The Drive Mode System’s Snow Mode adjusts front and rear torque distribution, left and right wheel slip control, engine torque and shift patterns according to available traction levels. In addition, Palisade’s AWD HTRAC system includes an AWD locking differential function for challenging traction situations.
    SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES
    Palisade offers a number of advanced safety technologies standard, including Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Following Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, Safe Exit Assist, High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning and Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go.
    Hyundai’s standard Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) enhances driver awareness to the rear of the Palisade. Using the Blind Spot Detection system’s radar sensors when backing up, the system can not only warn the driver if vehicles approach from the rear side, it also applies the brakes automatically.
    Available safety features include Rear Occupant Alert (ROA). The system monitors the rear seats using an ultrasonic sensor that helps to detect the movements of children and pets. The system first reminds drivers to check the rear seats when exiting the vehicle with a message on the center instrument cluster display. If the system detects movement in the rear seats after the driver leaves the vehicle and locks the doors it will honk the horn and send a Blue Link alert to the driver’s smartphone via Hyundai’s Blue Link connected car system. The system is designed to prevent children and pets from being forgotten in the car, but it also helps in case children accidentally lock themselves in. 
    The Palisade also features a standard Safe Exit Assist system. To enhance the safety of Hyundai’s passengers, Safe Exit Assist uses radar to detect cars approaching from the rear and cautions passengers looking to exit the vehicle. If a passenger attempts to open the door when a car is approaching from behind, a visual and acoustic warning on the center cluster will alert the driver. In addition, if the driver attempts to deactivate the Electronic Child Safety Lock feature, Safe Exit Assist will override the driver and ensure the rear doors remain locked until the approaching vehicle has passed. Once the road is clear, the driver can then deactivate the Electronic Child Safety Lock and successfully unlock the rear passenger doors.
    In addition, Palisade has seven standard airbags: dual front, dual side, driver’s knee, and roll-over-sensing side curtain airbags. Palisade uses a full-length large side curtain airbag that includes third-row seating coverage for enhanced rear occupant protection in the event of a collision. Tire pressure monitoring with individual position display, anti-theft security, three LATCH anchors in the second row and two LATCH anchors in the third row and a rearview camera are also standard on Palisade.
    Palisade has a very rigid structure, with strategic use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) in key suspension and crash areas to provide increased tensile-strength. Use of Advanced High Strength Steel has several benefits: lighter overall vehicle weight, greater vehicle strength and rigidity without the excessive costs of more exotic lightweight materials.
    Palisade is expected to achieve TSP+ from the IIHS and a 5-star NHTSA rating. Robust underbody and side structures are designed to increase energy absorption and cabin intrusion in a severe collision, especially in the small overlap test. Further, its underbody uses multiple load paths to better disperse potential crash energy in the event of a collision.
    BLUE LINK® CONNECTED CAR SYSTEM
    Palisade Blue Link equipped models include three years of complimentary Blue Link services, with enhanced safety, diagnostic, remote and voice guidance services. Blue Link brings connectivity directly into the car with technologies like Remote Start with Climate Control, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Blue Link features can be accessed via buttons on the rearview mirror, the MyHyundai.com web portal, the MyHyundai with Blue Link smartphone app, the Amazon® Alexa Blue Link skill and the Blue Link Google Assistant app. Some features can also be controlled via Android Wear™ and Apple Watch™ smartwatch apps. The latest release of the Blue Link smartphone app includes:
    Widgets for easy access to remote features Ability to send Point-of-Interest data to vehicle navigation system (if so equipped) Access to Blue Link notification settings More details on specific Blue Link-equipped vehicles available at www.hyundaibluelink.com.
    COLOR
    Palisade will be available in a number of exterior colors, including: Beckets Black, White Cream, Lagoon Silver, Steel Graphite, Sierra Burgundy, Moonlight Cloud and Forest Rain. Interior combinations include unique molding accent colors tailored to the exterior combination.

    William Maley

    and somehow adds a little bit more

    Kia introduced the third-generation Soul at the LA Auto Show today and we're happy to report that the model still retains the funk.
    The basic shape hasn't changed, but Kia's designers have freshened up various parts. Up front, the large headlights have been swapped for slim turn signals/running lights with a large trim piece in between. The grille has been enlarged and sitting on either side are additional lighting units. For the side, Kia has made the fenders more pronounced and added deep creases to the doors.
    Various trims for the 2020 Soul add their own unique design touches,
    EX Designer Edition: Two-tone paint and 18-inch wheels
    X-Line: Adds crossover traits such as plastic body cladding, fender flares, and fog lights. Two-tone paint is optional.
    GT-Line: More aggressive front fascia and side sill extensions with red accents. Turbo models add a center mounted exhaust.
    The interior is freshened up with a new dash design, customizable ambient lighting, and certain trims getting an optional 10.25-inch infotainment system.
    Three powertrains will be available on the Soul,
    2.0L four-cylinder: 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, available with a six-speed manual or CVT Turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder: 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, standard with a seven-speed dual-clutch Electric: 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque, 64-kWh battery pack One disappointment for some folks will be the lack of all-wheel drive as an option.
    Kia will begin selling the 2020 Soul at dealers early next year. The Soul EV will be arriving sometime later in the year.
    Gallery: 2020 Kia Soul and Soul EV
    Source: Kia


    A BETTER WAY TO ROLL: 2020 KIA SOUL MAKES WORLD DEBUT IN LOS ANGELES
    Next-Generation Soul Strikes Back With Forward Design, Modern Tech, and More Diverse Model Lineup Iconic shape and profile evolve on top of all-new platform Technologically advanced cockpit designed to provide visceral musical experience   New 2.0-liter engine and available IVT transmission combination Available 10.25-inch wide display2 and available Head-Up Display2  play up Soul’s high-tech image New “GT-Line” models and “X-Line” adds more visual and performance excitement to Soul family LOS ANGELES, Nov. 28, 2018 – At the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show today, Kia Motors America (KMA) introduced a better way to roll with the world debut of the all-new 2020 Soul, a completely new yet familiar version of Kia’s beloved and award-winning urban runabout. Taking everything that helped popularize the quirky, unconventionally styled subcompact, Kia Motors poured more of its soul into nearly every inch of the vehicle, resulting in a third-generation that continues to transcend unmatched style, peppy performance, thrilling technology, and urban practicality.
    “The Soul has been a massive success since its introduction to the U.S. market, blowing its (now defunct) rivals out of the water and establishing itself as an automotive icon with its fun-loving character and eccentric style,” said Orth Hedrick, executive director of Car Planning and Telematics. “Even with an entirely new generation of competitors now crowding the marketplace, we are confident the all-new Soul will once again prove to be a tough contender given its unparalleled style and impressive level of invigorating technology and customization options.”
    Proving the point that “there is a Soul for everyone,” the normally aspirated and optionally turbocharged Soul is available in six trim levels – LX, S, X-Line, GT-Line, EX, “EX Designer Collection” – plus the all-new Soul EV (outlined in a separate press release). Pricing will be available closer to expected on-sale date in the first half of next year.
    Design Beyond the Box
    While the Soul stays true to its design heritage with its boxy silhouette and confident stance, its newly sculpted lines, cutting-edge details, and technical lighting elements present the most futuristic, youthful and innovative Soul yet.
    New exterior design highlights include:
    High-tech front headlight configuration with connecting trim piece accentuates width Slim-design daytime running lights and turn signal indicators Larger front grille with unique two-tone treatment Front fenders add volume to clean and smooth surfaces Roof rack mounting points Three-dimensional wraparound boomerang-shaped taillights C-pillars designed to resemble airplane wings Signature vertical rear window and “Island” stay true to Soul design heritage Distinctive C-pillar garnish features new “Soul” graphic Music has been an overarching theme for Soul since its inception, and it’s no different this round.. For the third generation, designers and engineers turned up the volume on the interior. Drawing inspiration from the “emotional visualization of sound,” the Soul’s interior space is adorned with shapes and textures that reflect acoustic inspired elements to create a full sensory experience.
    Interior design highlights include:
    Available sound mood lighting emits soft light from the center door panels and a unique 3D pattern surface on the upper door panels, with the ability to synchronize to the beat of the music playing through the Soul’s audio system Sound mood lighting features a rainbow of customizable colors Available wireless charging1 Available dual auto climate control Soul’s signature tweeter speakers HIGHLIGHT – SOUL’S MOOD LIGHTING SYSTEM
    Since the Kia Soul first arrived on the scene in 2009, it has established a very real and remarkable connection with music. This continues to be a core attribute of the Soul's persona and the volume has been turned up to 11 with a new mood lighting system that tailors the interior ambiance according to a variety of selectable “moods”:
    Hey! Yo! Party Time Traveling Romance Midnight City Cafe Smart Packaging and Stronger Structure
    Despite its compact footprint, the Soul’s boxy dimensions continue to offer up a surprising amount of cargo and passenger space. Slightly longer than before, the 2020 Soul also features more smartly designed packaging in an effort to make accessibility even easier.
    Exterior Dimensions:
    Length: 165.2 in. [+2.2 in.] Width: 70.9 in. [unchanged] Height: 63.0 in. [unchanged] Wheelbase: 102.4 in. [+1.2 in.] Interior Dimensions:
    Legroom (front / rear): 41.1 in./ 38.8 in. [+0.2 in./ - 0.3 in.] Headroom without sunroof (front / rear): 39.4 in. / 39.5 in. [-0.2 in./ unchanged] Shoulder room (front /rear): 55.5 in. /54.7 in. [unchanged] Cargo capacity: 23.8 cu.-ft. [+ 5.0 cu. ft.] Packaging highlights:
    Wider and lower rear liftgate opening improves ease of loading and unloading Easy grip handle on liftgate Dual level cargo board offers flexibility with the ability to accommodate taller items using the lower level setting Larger front door openings as a result of sculpted front door panels The 2020 Soul’s stronger structure benefits from an increased use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), hot stamped components, and structural adhesive. With stronger bones, the 2020 Soul is expected to achieve the highest safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA).
    Next-Gen Infotainment and Kia Drive Wise Technologies
    Recognizing that one’s car is an integral part of their social life, the 2020 Soul continues to surprise and delight with next-gen infotainment and technology.
    Available 10.25-inch HD color touchscreen2 with split screen function (standard on EX, GT-Line with turbo engine) and rear view monitor3 and parking guidance Android Auto4 and Apple Car Play5 Bluetooth®6 Multi-Connection - two Bluetooth devices can be connected at the same time Available 8-inch Head-Up Display2 Available 640-watt Harman Kardon7 audio system – twice the wattage of current Soul – with an amplifier and 10 speakers including tuned center speaker and subwoofer Like other newly designed Kia models, the all-new Soul offers a suite of available Kia Drive Wise features8 including:
    Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA) / FCA Pedestrian type Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) Lane Changing Assist (LCA) Driver Attention Warning (DAW)9 Blind-spot Collision Warning (BCW) Rear Cross Collision Warning (RCW) Smart Cruise Control (SCC) High Beam Assist (HBA) What Drives You?
    Soul enhances its fun-to-drive personality and versatility with different drivetrain combinations. From the all-new 2019 Forte, Kia’s Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) is now available on the 2020 Soul for those who require efficiency with their zip. Designed and built in-house, the IVT is Kia’s unique version of a continuously variable transmission that provides an engaging driving experience.
    2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder engine + 6-speed manual transmission or Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) 147 horsepower, 132 lb-ft. of torque For those that require even more zip, a turbocharged option is also available: 
    1.6-liter twin-scroll turbocharged I-4 GDI engine + 7-speed dual-clutch transmission 201 horsepower, 195 lb. ft of torque With the Soul’s all-new platform comes a more refined experience behind the wheel and on the road. Engineers designed suspension geometry to help quell noise, vibration and harshness while also improving handling and comfort in a variety of conditions.
    A Soul for Everyone
    The 2020 Soul can be outfitted to convey one’s unique sense of style through a variety of customizable options. Aside from the all-new Soul EV that debuts alongside its gasoline counterpart, the Soul offers even more flexibility according to different lifestyles.
    GT-Line
    Sporty front and rear fascia 18-inch alloy wheels P235/45 R18 tires Unique side sills and front fascia with red accents Integrated fog lights on front grille Gloss black side mirrors “GT-Line” badging Leather-wrapped D-shaped steering wheel and gearshift knob Available 201-HP turbocharged engine Chrome tip center exhaust Larger disc brakes Sport-tuned suspension X-Line  
    Rugged body kit Body cladding Overfenders for chunkier look Offroad-inspired accents Unique 18-inch alloy wheels Roof rail inspired accents Optional two-tone paint Fog lights EX Designer Collection
    18-inch alloy wheels with black spokes LED headlights and fog lights Two-tone roof treatment P235/45 R18 tires ALL-NEW 2020 KIA SOUL EV COMBINES SOUL-FUL VIBE WITH ALL-ELECTRIC BUZZ
    Super Cool and Electric Too Next-generation uber-popular urban runabout again available with battery-only power Powered by a state-of-the-art liquid-cooled lithium ion polymer 64 kWh battery Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast-charge is standard equipment1 201-horsepower electric motor with 291 lb.-ft. of torque LOS ANGELES, November 28, 2018 – Today Kia Motors America (KMA) introduced the 2020 Soul, a completely new version of Kia’s beloved, award-winning and unconventional compact utility vehicle. In conjunction with that world-debut, the all-electric, battery-powered Soul EV was also unveiled. Just as quirky, fun-loving and crowd-pleasing, the Soul EV provides the opportunity for lovers of the Soul to drive without ever stopping for gas.
    A Much Better Battery
    The new Soul EV has a new state-of-the-art liquid-cooled lithium ion polymer 64 kWh battery which is expected to mean much less need for daily charging, and with Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast-charge2 as standard equipment, battery refills should be brief so road trip fun can happily continue after only a short break.
    The new battery is currently being tested to ascertain precise EPA-estimated range. Results are expected early in 2019 and will be announced at a later date.
    Driving Dynamics – The Soul EV is More Fun Than Ever
    The Soul EV has always provided a bit of a magic carpet ride, whisking along silently with seemingly effortless pull. Now, with 201 horsepower and 291 lb.-ft. of torque (way up from 210 lb.-ft. in the outgoing model), drivers will feel like a virtual Aladdin. Handling and driving dynamics are also much improved, thanks to the addition of independent rear suspension. The new Soul EV also provides plenty of tools for drivers to customize their driving experience and their battery usage, including:
    Four drive modes – Eco, Comfort, Sport and Eco+ – that automatically adjust power output to the traction motor, regenerative braking, air conditioning and heating settings, and set speed limits to help manage operating efficiency3 depending on driving conditions Smart regenerative braking operated via paddle shifters provides drivers the ability to slow the car and capture kinetic energy, adding extra range. Drivers can choose from four regen braking levels (0 to 3) depending on desired driving smoothness, enjoyment and efficiency Brake and Hold System feature allows regen paddle shifter to bring the car to a full stop4 Smart Regen System adjusts the regenerative braking level based on a vehicle being detected in front of the Soul EV and creates smoother coast-down driving, especially when descending a steep road5 Smart Eco Pedal Guide display on the instrument cluster keeps the driver aware of real-time battery usage based on accelerator pedal input      
    HIGHLIGHT –SOUL AND SOUL EV– WHAT’S THE DIFF?

    The 2020 Soul is all-new with a refreshed exterior that stays true to its boxy origins – a distinctive look beloved by legions of fans. The new Soul EV is built with the same architecture, but imbued with unique styling that provides the car a flair of its own:
    Restyled front and rear bumper fascias Solid front grille insert with charging door conveniently located on driver’s side LED headlamps strikingly integrated into upper cross-car brow Unique fog lamps Exclusive EV five-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels  Technology Befitting a Thoroughly Modern Vehicle
    The Soul EV comes equipped with a long list of state-of-the-art features to help enhance safety, improve the driving experience and provide ease of operation and ownership. Kia engineers and designers have thought of everything. Every Soul EV includes a suite of “Kia Drive Wise” Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems, and a long list of standard and optional equipment, highlights of which are listed below.
    High-tech rotary shifter (shift-by-wire) 10.25-inch color touchscreen6 with rear view monitor7 and parking guidance 6-speaker audio system (AM/FM/SiriusXM)8 with USB input Steering wheel-mounted audio controls Apple CarPlay9 and Android Auto10 Bluetooth11 wireless connectivity with voice recognition 7 airbags12 (dual front advanced air bags, dual front seat-mounted side air bags, side curtain air bags with rollover sensor, driver's side knee air bag) Vehicle Safety Systems13 Antilock braking Traction control Electronic stability control Hill-start assist control Tire pressure monitoring system Pedestrian warning system “Kia Drive Wise” Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS)14 Forward Collision Warning (FCW) Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) Lane Departure Warning (LDW) Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) Driver Attention Warning (DAW)15 Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go Blind Spot Collision Warning (BSW) (available) Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (available) Parking Distance Warning – Reverse only (available) New for Soul EV is a revamped UVO telematics system that allows owners to monitor and control a long list of vehicle operations, including:
    Notifications of battery and charging status Real-time charging station update Scheduled charging Panic notifications – the vehicle will send a notification to the server if the panic alarm is triggered and the system dials 911 emergency services, provides the car position via GPS, and opens a live microphone so that emergency workers can communicate with the vehicle occupants “Send2Car” points of interest (POI) and waypoints — owners will be able to plan a road trip with waypoints and send it to the vehicles’ navigation system

    William Maley

    For those who like the idea of the Porsche EV, but want it in a different wrapper

    Audi is continuing its march forward with electric vehicles by previewing the next model in its upcoming e-tron lineup, the e-tron GT concept. This will become a production model in late 2020, following in the footsteps of e-tron SUV and sportback.
    That's quite the quick turnaround and a lot of that is due to the e-tron GT has the same underpinnings as the upcoming Porsche Taycan. The spec sheet mentions a 96-kwh lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor for each axle. But the way the electric powertrain is tuned for each vehicle is different. Audi Sport is handling the development and says the e-tron GT will produce a total output of 590 horsepower. This will allow the concept to hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 149 mph.
    Range is estimated at 248 miles on the European WTLP cycle - expect that number to drop slightly when the EPA gets their hands on it. The e-tron GT is capable of 800-volt and wireless charging. With the former, Audi claims the concept can get an 80 percent recharge in 20 minutes.
    Similar in size to the A7, the e-tron GT has more of an aggressive look with distinctive sculpting, numerous aero and cooling bits, and large 22-inch wheels. The design does falter slightly when you get to the back. The long taillight and shape of the rear tailgate seem like afterthoughts. The interior design seems slightly restained with the use of screens, only having a few for the instrument cluster, infotianment system, and climate controls. Much of the interior is fitted with eco-friendly materials such as recycled plastics, microfiber, and Econyl yarn.
    Gallery: Audi e-tron GT Concept
    Source: Audi


    New leading role for electric performance: the Audi e-tron GT concept debuts in LA
    Fully electric Audi e-tron GT concept makes global debut at Los Angeles Auto Show Four door Gran Turismo represents future of electric performance for the brand; volume production starts in late 2020 The Audi e-tron GT will make its film debut in Marvel Studios’ Avengers 4, set to be released in theaters summer 2019. INGOLSTADT/LOS ANGELES, November 28, 2018 – Audi e-tron, the third: The brand with the four rings is presenting one of the stars of the 2018 Auto Show in the movie capital Los Angeles. With the electric powered Audi e-tron GT concept a four-door coupe is making its debut as a show car. The volume-production counterpart is set to follow in approximately two years, and the concept will make its film debut in Marvel Studios’ Avengers 4, set to be released in theaters summer 2019.
    The next electric Audi is being launched, following in the footsteps of the Audi e-tron SUV and the Audi e‑tron Sportback slated for 2019. This time with a flat-floor architecture that provides for exciting proportions and a low center of gravity. 434 kW (590 horsepower) ensure performance fit for a sports car. The torque is transferred to the wheels via the quattro permanent all-wheel drive with torque vectoring, as you would expect for such a dynamic Audi. The performance subsidiary Audi Sport GmbH is responsible for subsequently transforming the car into a volume-production model.
    Inspiration drawn from the wind tunnel: design and body
    Flat, wide and with a long wheelbase – those are the proportions of a classic Gran Turismo. And the Audi e‑tron GT concept reflects these with its 4.96-meter (16.3 ft) length, 1.96-meter (6.4 ft) width and 1.38‑meter (4.5 ft) height. The lightweight body of the four-door coupe is manufactured using a multi-material construction. Here you have a roof section made from carbon along with numerous aluminum components and supporting elements made from high-strength steel. The technology for this automobile was developed in close collaboration with Porsche. Design and character are packed full of unmistakable Audi DNA.
    The gently sloping roofline of the e-tron GT concept that extends well into the rear echoes the sportback layout that is the hallmark of the brand. This is however clearly taken forward into the future, pointing the way to the next evolutionary stage of the Audi design language. The cabin that tapers strongly toward the rear stands out compared with current Audi models. Wheel arches and shoulders are sculpted emphatically and, together with the flat floor that is unusual for an electric vehicle, visually underlines the low center of gravity and the dynamic potential of the Audi e-tron GT concept.
    The broad lines and the numerous functional elements of the body as well as the air vents of the wheel arches and the solid rear diffuser emphasize its origins in the wind tunnel. A low drag coefficient that reduces fuel consumption and the low uplift visually characterize the design.
    The sill area between the wheel arches has been drawn way outwards, creating a distinctive contrast with the cabin.  The sill draws the eye to the underfloor area where the battery and thus the energy center of the Audi e-tron GT concept are located. The design of the wheels with their five twin spokes is also visibly aligned to their function. Their dynamic design provides optimum ventilation of the brake disks while also reducing drag. Shod with 285/30 size tires, the 22-inch wheels also make a clear statement when seen from the side.
    The hallmark Audi Singleframe is located in the center of the front section. Compared with the two e-tron SUVs its architecture is much more horizontal. The top half comes with a cover painted in body color. Its surface structure is reminiscent of the typical honeycomb pattern of the grille on the Audi RS models – a visual signal which characterizes the Audi e-tron GT concept as a future product of Audi Sport GmbH. 
    Together with the targeted airflow of the body, large air inlets in the front effectively cool the assemblies, battery and brakes. The hood with its airflow on the surface echoes the brand’s two latest show cars, the Aicon and the PB18 e-tron. It is designed in such a way that the airflow hugs the body, thus reducing undesired swirl.
    The arrow-shaped front section also emphasizes the matrix LED headlights with laser high beam, underscoring the dynamic presence of the Audi e-tron GT concept even while stationary. As already seen with the brand’s current Visions vehicles, the light is also animated here and welcomes the driver with a short function sequence, the wave of light that extends horizontally: a new visual signature that is set to find its way into volume production in future.
    A light strip runs across the entire width of the rear. This strip dissipates at the outer edges, in the actual lighting units, into individual wedge-shaped LED segments. This architecture links the e-tron GT with the volume-production SUV e-tron, making both instantly recognizable even in the dark as Audi electric automobiles.
    The new exterior color kinetic dust – a warm, dark color akin to titanium – comes across as practical without being ‘technoid’ standoffish. Depending on the incidence and movement of the light, it provides significant contrast between the body surfaces. Matte, warm-tinted aluminum elements on the window slot trim and rims emphasize these effects even further.
    Sustainable contemporary feel: the interior
    Four doors, four seats with 2.90 meters (9.5 ft) wheelbase – in the interior the Audi e‑tron GT concept provides a large dose of everyday usability, coupled with a superb quality feel. The functional center of the interior is located at the front left, visibly focused on the driver’s seat. The center console, the large touchscreen in the top section and the line from the door rail and cockpit frame the driver’s workplace, perfectly incorporate the driver ergonomically with the controls and the infotainment of the Audi e‑tron GT. The center console and the freestanding instrument cluster seem to float. Light colors in the top section of the cockpit and the gradually darker gradation through to the floor area create the impression of clear width. Sport seats inspired by motor racing in both rows of seats provide optimum lateral support even while cornering at speed.
    Both the screen of the central instrument and the touchscreen above the center console come with a black-panel look finish. They underscore the large, calm design of the interior with its predominantly horizontal basic architecture. Various layouts are available for the monitors to present the functions depending on the driver’s preference, including virtual instrument dials, easy-to-read navigation maps with information on the range, or various infotainment function menus. They are controlled via the touchscreen with tactile feedback.
    With the concept car the designers have deliberately gone for the consistent use of sustainable materials – a clear statement of contemporary automotive design. Animal-based products are not used at all: the Audi e‑tron GT concept comes with a vegan interior. Sophisticated, synthetic leather is used on the seats and other trim surfaces. Fabrics made from recycled fibers are used on the seat cushions as well as the armrests and on the center console. Microfiber material adorns the headlining and the trim of the window pillars. Even the deep-pile floor carpet is made from sustainable Econyl yarn, a recycled fiber made from used fishing nets.
    With two luggage compartments, the Audi e-tron GT concept offers a great many options for a Gran Turismo. Here it makes full use of its concept advantage as an electric automobile with compact drive units. The rear with its large tailgate offers up to 450 liters (15.9 cu ft) of luggage capacity. Under the hood there is an extra 100 liters (3.5 cu ft) of capacity.
    Performance and range: the drive
    434 kilowatts (590 horsepower) system power – that is an impressive figure for the potential of the all-electric drive. Separate electric motors are fitted to the front and rear axles. In both cases these are permanently excited synchronous motors. They put down the torque onto the road via all four driven wheels – naturally the new Audi e-tron GT concept is also a genuine quattro. An electric quattro to be precise, since there is no mechanical link between the front and rear axle. The electronic control system coordinates the drive between the axles as well as between left and right wheels. That means optimum traction and just the desired amount of slip.
    In future, the vehicle should accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62.1 mph) in around 3.5 seconds before going on to 200 km/h (124.3 mph) in just over 12 seconds. The top speed is regulated at 240 km/h (149.1 mph) to maximize the range. One feature that not all the competition can match is the option of fully utilizing the drive’s acceleration potential several times in succession. While elsewhere the drive is switched to overdrive for thermal considerations, the Audi e-tron GT concept can provide the driver with the full potential of both motors and the battery thanks to its sophisticated cooling strategy.
    The range of the concept car will be over 400 kilometers (248.5 mi), determined according to the new WLTP standard. The required drive energy comes from a lithium-ion battery with an energy content of more than 90 kWh, which takes up the entire underfloor area between the front and rear axle with its flat design. The decisive advantage of this design is the car’s extremely low center of gravity – comparable with that of the Audi R8 – which in turn decisively benefits dynamic handling. All-wheel steering translates this into a perfect synthesis of sports car-like agility and precision, augmented by superb directional stability.
    The recuperation system increases the range by up to 30 percent on Audi electric vehicles – this is essential even with such a sporty car as the Audi e-tron GT concept. The recuperation involves both the two electric motors and the electrohydraulically integrated brake control system. Different recuperation modes are combined: manual coasting recuperation using the shift paddles, automatic coasting recuperation via the predictive efficiency assist, and brake recuperation with smooth transition between electric and hydraulic deceleration. Up to 0.3 g, the Audi e-tron GT concept recuperates energy solely via the electric motors, without using the conventional brake – that covers over 90 percent of all decelerations. As a result, energy is fed back to the battery in practically all normal braking maneuvers. The wheel brakes are involved only when the driver decelerates by more than 0.3 g using the brake pedal. The Audi e-tron GT concept features high-performance ceramic disks which also operate with multiple extreme decelerations without compromising braking performance.
    Reduces charging times: 800-volt charging system
    The battery in the Audi e-tron GT concept can be charged in several ways: using a cable which is connected behind the flap in the left front wing, or by means of contactless induction with Audi Wireless Charging. Here a charging pad with integral coil is installed permanently on the floor where the car is to be parked, and connected to the power supply. The alternating magnetic field induces an alternating voltage in the secondary coil fitted in the floor of the car, across the air gap. With a charging output of 11 kW the Audi e-tron GT concept can be fully charged conveniently overnight.
    Wired charging is much faster as the four-door coupe is fitted with an 800-volt system. This substantially reduces charging times compared with conventional systems that are currently in use. Thus it takes around 20 minutes to recharge the battery to 80 percent of its capacity, once again providing a range of more than 320 kilometers (198.8 mi) (WLTP). The e-tron GT concept can, however, also be recharged at charging points with lower voltages, providing the driver with access to the entire charging network.

    William Maley

    Jeep gets back in the pickup game

    It has been a long time coming but Jeep has finally brought out the model that many have been clamoring for, a Wrangler pickup.
    This is the 2020 Gladiator and describing this a four-door Wangler with a bed is doing it a bit of disservice. Compared to the Wrangler, the Gladiator rides on a wheelbase that 19.4-inches longer and the frame has been extended by 31-inches. This increase in size does hurt off-road capability as the Gladiator has a lower breakover and departure angle when compared to the Wrangler. But that's the tradeoff you make for more utility.
    The bed comes in at five feet and is comprised of steel with an aluminum tailgate. Features for the bed include tie-down points, LED bed lighting, and power outlets. The rest of the Gladiator's design is the same as the Wrangler, down to the doors being removable and the choice of either a soft or hard-top.
    For the interior, Jeep has added a clever party trick. The rear bench seat can be folded flat to make for flat space for cargo. The seats can also be folded up 'stadium style' to reveal a set of pockets. Otherwise, the Gladiator's interior is the same as the Wrangler with a well laid out dash and the choice of either a 7 or 8.4-inch infotainment system.
    At launch, the Gladiator will come with 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This can be teamed with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. If you want some stump-pulling power, you need to wait until 2020 for a redesigned 3.0L turbodiesel V6 with 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. This will be paired with an eight-speed automatic only. No mention of fuel economy figures for either engine.
    The Gladiator promises to be quite capable, offering a max payload of 1,600 pounds and max towing of 7,650 pounds. For off-road adventures, the truck comes equipped with either a Command-Trac (two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio and a set of heavy-duty third-generation Dana 44 front and rear axles with a 3.73 rear axle ratio) or Rock-Trac 4x4 system (two-speed transfer case with a 4:1 low-range gear ratio and a electronic sway-bar disconnect).
    Jeep will begin producing the Gladiator in the first-half of next year at their Toledo, Ohio plant. Expect pricing to come out sometime before production kicks off.
    Gallery: 2020 Jeep Gladiator
    Source: Jeep


    All-new 2020 Jeep® Gladiator: The Most Capable Midsize Truck Ever
    Legendary 4x4 Capability, Authentic Design Builds on Rich Jeep Truck Heritage, Best-in-class Towing and 4x4 Payload, Clever Functionality and Versatility, Advanced Fuel-efficient Powertrains, Open-air Freedom, and Loaded with Safety Features and Intuitive Technology Unmatched capability with Command-Trac and Rock-Trac 4x4 systems, third-generation Dana 44 axles, Tru-Lock electric front- and rear-axle lockers, Trac-Lok limited-slip differential, segment-exclusive electronic sway-bar disconnect and 33-inch off-road tires  Unmatched crawl ratios Up to 30 inches of water fording Best-in-class towing and 4x4 payload: Up to 7,650 pounds of towing capacity Up to 1,600 pounds of payload capacity Crew cab configuration features a durable five-foot steel bed with covered external power source and strong integrated tie-downs, providing versatility for flexible cargo options Modern, authentic design instantly recognizable as a Jeep®: Iconic keystone-shaped grille, round headlamps and square tail lamps Rugged-yet-distinguished design bolsters aerodynamics Convenient fold-down windshield for off-road purists The only true open-air 4x4 pickup truck with easy-to-use premium soft top and two hardtops Dozens of different door, top and windshield combinations Lightweight, high-strength aluminum doors, hinges, hood, fenders, windshield frame and tailgate help curtail weight and boost fuel economy Suspension tuned to optimize on-road handling and ride comfort without sacrificing off-road capability, payload or towing capability Advanced fuel-efficient powertrains: 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with Engine Stop-Start (ESS) Eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 with ESS and an eight-speed automatic transmission available in 2020 Fourth-generation Uconnect system includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and the choice of 7.0- or 8.4-inch touchscreens with pinch-and-zoom capability Forward-facing off-road camera available on Rubicon allows obstructions on the trail to be easily seen Packed with more than 80 available advanced safety and security features November 28, 2018 , Los Angeles - The all-new 2020 Jeep® Gladiator – the most capable midsize truck ever – builds on a rich heritage of tough, dependable Jeep trucks with an unmatched combination of rugged utility, authentic Jeep design, open-air freedom, clever functionality and versatility, best-in-class towing and 4x4 payload, advanced fuel-efficient powertrains, superior on- and off-road dynamics and a host of innovative safety and advanced technology features.
    “Unquestionably a truck and instantly recognizable as a Jeep, the all-new 2020 Gladiator is the ultimate vehicle for any outdoor adventure,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Jeep Brand - North America. “There is tremendous demand for this unique vehicle from our loyal Jeep customers and pickup truck buyers everywhere. Born from a rich and proud heritage of tough, dependable Jeep trucks, Gladiator combines rugged utility, versatility and functionality resulting in the most capable midsize truck ever.”
    The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator delivers unmatched capability with best-in-class towing and 4x4 payload capacity, composed on-road driving dynamics and passenger safety. Legendary off-road capability comes courtesy of the Command-Trac and Rock-Trac 4x4 systems, third-generation Dana 44 axles, Tru-Lock electric front- and rear-axle lockers, Trac-Lok limited-slip differential, segment-exclusive sway-bar disconnect and 33-inch off-road tires.
    The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is available in these different trim configurations: Sport, Sport S, Overland and Rubicon.
    Built in Toledo, Ohio, the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator arrives in showrooms in the second quarter of 2019.
    Modern take on authentic Jeep design
    The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator boasts a rugged, distinguished design aesthetic that is immediately recognizable with traditional Jeep design cues.  
    The Jeep design team kept the legendary seven-slot grille seen on Wrangler, but widened the grille slots for additional air intake to assist with the increased towing capacity. The top of the keystone-shaped grille is gently swept back to enhance aerodynamics.
     
    Gladiator Overland and Rubicon models offer available LED headlamps and fog lamps that project crisp white lighting, adding to the truck’s modern look. Gladiator models equipped with LEDs feature daytime running lights, which form a halo around the outside perimeter of the headlights. Forward turn signals are positioned on the front of the trapezoidal wheel flares.
    From behind, traditional square tail lamps feature available LED lighting and give way to a wide tailgate opening for unobstructed loading of cargo into the bed. The tailgate is damped and capable of stopping in three positions, while cargo is easily secured with a power-locking tailgate.
    Clever functionality and versatility were the focus while designing the Gladiator’s durable bed to streamline usability. Under-rail bed lighting, an available covered external power source (400W 115-volt, three-prong) and strong integrated tie-downs, provide durability and versatility. The available Trail Rail Cargo Management System provides additional storage options to organize and secure cargo.
    The full-size spare tire and mount is located under the bed, behind the rear axle and capable of holding up to a 35-inch tire.
     
    An available spray-in bed liner, bed divider and tonneau cover provide even more options to keep cargo secure while helping with durability. Gladiator Rubicon models are equipped with protective cab and cargo bed rock rails.  
     
    A four-bolt design at the top of the windshield’s frame allows for the windshield to fold down quickly and easily. A header bar connects the A-pillars and stays in place even when the windshield is folded down. This allows the rearview mirror to remain in place even with the windshield folded.
     
    Two-piece body-color fender flares with a black lower insert give a raised profile and are standard on Overland and available on Rubicon models. 
    Lightweight, high-strength aluminum doors feature the Torx bit size stamped directly onto the hinge to eliminate guessing which size bit is needed to remove the doors. A tool kit with the necessary Torx bits to remove the doors and lower the windshield is provided as standard equipment.  
     
    All Gladiators feature body-color sport bars, which are welded to the body and feature integrated grab handles for front occupants.
     
    A premium Sunrider soft top provides a segment-exclusive easy open-air option, which helps to quiet wind noise and allows for access to partial and full open top positions. The soft top features retainers that slide into a track for easy rear window removal.
     
    Gladiator Overland and Rubicon models share an available three-piece body-color hardtop option, offering a unique, premium appearance, while a black three-piece hardtop, available on all models, offers even more options for open-air driving. The two Freedom panels and quick-release latches enable a fast removal and installation of the hardtop. All hardtops feature a manual rear-sliding window.
     
    Dozens of different door, top and windshield combinations allow for endless configuration possibilities.
    Authentic interior design boasts premium features and technology
    The new 2020 Jeep Gladiator’s interior combines authentic styling, versatility, comfort and intuitive feature use. Precision craftsmanship and high-quality materials are found throughout the cabin.
     
    The heritage-inspired center stack features a clean, sculpted form that complements the horizontal dashboard design and sports a finish dictated by the model choice. A hand-wrapped instrument panel features a soft-touch surface with accent stitching on Gladiator Overland and available on Rubicon models. Functional features, including climate and volume control knobs, media charging and connectivity ports, and Engine Stop Start (ESS) control are all sculpted for quick recognition and are easily within reach of the front-seat occupants. Inboard and outboard circular HVAC vents are surrounded by a platinum chrome bezel for a precise and premium yet rugged appearance with full functionality.
     
    Jeep functionality and versatility are celebrated in the center console and distinguished with metal-plated accents. The center console houses gear shift selection, transfer case and parking brake. Real bolts featured on the shifter, grab handles and the infotainment screen’s frame highlight genuine construction methods.
     
    A push-button starter, featuring a weather-proof surround, is standard on the 2020 Gladiator and is easily located within the driver’s reach.
     
    Cloth or leather-contoured seats feature accent stitching and adjustable bolster and lumbar support. Available comfort features include heated front seats and steering wheel.
    All-new rear seats feature high-quality premium materials giving the seats an athletic look that also delivers comfort and support. The rear seats, exclusive to Gladiator, feature segment-leading rear legroom and utilizes a unique design that can be locked in place to provide secure storage behind the seat back. The rear seats can be folded flat to access cab-back storage and provide a load floor for larger items.
     
    With the rear seats folded flat, LED lights on the quarter trim panels illuminate the storage space behind the seats. Two storage nets on the cab-back wall provide even more secure storage.
     
    Clever storage solutions are found throughout the 2020 Gladiator, including durable mesh pockets that extend the entire length of the doors and numerous phone storage areas.
     
    The rear seat cushions can fold up into “stadium” position to reveal a standard open storage bin, which utilizes the space under the seat for stowing miscellaneous items. An optional lockable bin provides secure storage space when the top or doors are removed. The available lockable storage bin features two different size doors that correspond to the 60/40 split rear seat cushion. Removable dividers can provide up to five separate compartments and uses the same lock as the glove box and center console.
     
    A removable bolt bin fits in the under-seat storage space and makes it easy to secure bolts when the doors and top are removed, or the windshield is folded down. The bolt bin lid indicates the corresponding number of bolts and their location under the lid in Petroglyph style.
     
    The driver and front passenger vinyl-wrapped door-trim panels are soft to the touch. Lift-Assist handles under each door armrest feature an integrated pull-cup design that makes door removal quick and easy. Convenience features include passive entry with Keyless Go.
     
    The instrument cluster features a 3.5- or an available 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) information LED display. The 7-inch LED display allows the driver to configure information in more than 100 ways, including current media being played, tire pressure, tire-fill alert or digital speed readout. Integrated buttons on the steering wheel control audio, voice and speed functions, allowing the driver to keep hands on the wheel at all times.
     
    A 7.0- or an available 8.4-inch touchscreen houses the fourth-generation Uconnect system and sits prominently atop the center stack. The fourth-generation Uconnect system enhances the user interface and system performance with quicker startup times and improved screen resolution. A 5.0-inch touchscreen is standard on Gladiator Sport. Directly below the touchscreen are functional features, such as climate and volume control knobs and media connectivity ports.
     
    Exclusive to Gladiator Rubicon models, a forward-facing off-road camera allows obstructions ahead on the trail to be easily seen. The front camera sits behind the middle slot of Gladiator’s seven-slot grille and can be accessed through the available Off-road Pages.
     
    Two USB ports and a USB-C port up front and two in reach of occupants in the back seat connect to the media center. A 115-volt AC outlet is available to power select three-pronged home electronics.
    Optional audio upgrades include a subwoofer and portable wireless speaker located behind the rear seat. LED lights on quarter-trim panels illuminate the storage space and the docking station for the wireless speaker. A net on the left side of the cab wall provides additional storage when equipped with the subwoofer and wireless speaker.
    Advanced fuel-efficient powertrains
    The all-new Jeep Gladiator offers the proven 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine at launch with a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine being offered in 2020.  
     
    3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine
    The FCA US 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine delivers 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and features ESS as standard equipment. It is engineered to provide a broad torque band with a focus on low-end torque, an essential trait needed for extreme off-roading.
     
    A six-speed manual transmission is standard on all Gladiator models equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, and an eight-speed automatic transmission is optional.
     
    Known for its refinement, power, efficiency and adaptability, the Company has produced more than 8.6 million 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar engines since production began in 2010. The award-winning engine family is currently built at three plants – Trenton (Michigan) Engine Complex, Mack Avenue (Detroit) Engine and Saltillo (Mexico) South Engine.
     
    The 2020 Jeep Gladiator benefits from the popular V-6 engine’s low-range torque, which is needed when out on the trails or during demanding conditions, such as hauling cargo or towing a trailer. 
     
    3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine
    The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine will be available starting in 2020. Gladiator models will offer the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine, rated at 260 horsepower and 442 lb.-ft. of torque, with ESS standard. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard and is designed to handle the increased torque output.
     
    FCA US engineers adapted the engine – designed and manufactured by FCA EMEA – to meet the NAFTA region’s regulatory requirements.
     
    The EcoDiesel V-6 engine implements refined turbocharger technology with a low-friction bearing designed for low-end and transient performance. The EcoDiesel V-6 engine also features low-friction pistons to improve fuel economy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide an enhanced combustion system – injector nozzle, piston bowl and glow plug with integrated combustion pressure sensor to optimize combustion. Low Pressure Cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) assists to combine with the high-pressure system to expand the range of EGR usage and to improve fuel economy.
     
    Eight-speed automatic transmission
    The new 2020 Jeep Gladiator offers an eight-speed automatic transmission, enabling the vehicle to optimize engine output while on the trails or enjoying smooth, efficient power delivery at highway speeds. The eight-speed automatic is available on all Jeep Gladiator models.
     
    Gladiator’s eight-speed automatic transmission offers a responsive driving experience. Whether commuting during the week or rock crawling or hauling cargo on the weekend, customers will enjoy a smooth, linear power delivery and improved fuel efficiency.
     
    A unique set of two overdrive ratios improve highway fuel economy and reduce overall noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels.
    Uniquely suited to the requirements of the Gladiator Rubicon model, the eight-speed automatic transmission delivers a 77.2:1 crawl ratio. The towing and 4x4 performance benefits from a 4.7:1 first gear ratio coupled with a 4.1:1 final drive delivers unmatched capability.
     
    Six-speed manual transmission
    All-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator models are equipped with the standard six-speed manual transmission. This transmission features a unique design that employs optimized gear ratios for bolstered crawl ratio performance and is cable-operated, eliminating shifter vibration and bolstering sound isolation.
     
    The shift pattern features a comfortable shifting position and bolsters shift accuracy. A 4.41 ratio spread offers impressive fuel efficiency at faster speeds and delivers quick acceleration with smooth, precise shift quality.
    Most capable midsize truck ever without compromise
    The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator delivers legendary off-road capability courtesy of two advanced 4x4 systems. The Command-Trac 4x4 system, standard on Sport and Overland, features a two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio, and heavy-duty third-generation Dana 44 front and rear axles with a 3.73 rear axle ratio.
     
    On Gladiator Rubicon, a Rock-Trac 4x4 system features heavy-duty third-generation Dana 44 front and rear axles with a “4LO” ratio of 4:1. A 4.10 front and rear axle ratio is standard as are Tru-Lok locking differentials.
     
    Gladiator Rubicon models offer improved articulation and total suspension travel with help from a segment-exclusive electronic sway-bar disconnect. With the standard six-speed manual transmission, Gladiator Rubicon has an impressive crawl ratio of 84.2:1, and 77.2:1 on Rubicon models equipped with the optional eight-speed automatic transmission – both of which make scaling any obstacle on the trail easy.
     
    Both Command-Trac and Rock-Trac systems offer full-time torque management, enabling optimal grip in low-traction conditions.
     
    An available Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential on Sport and Overland provides extra torque and grip during slippery, low-traction situations, such as driving over sand, gravel, snow or ice.
     
    Gladiator Sport, Overland and Rubicon models receive a Trail Rated badge thanks to legendary Jeep 4x4 capability, which includes features such as:
    Command-Trac 4x4 system with 2.72:1 crawl ratio standard on Sport and Overland models Rock-Trac 4x4 system with a “4LO” ratio of 4:1 and Tru-Lok locking differentials standard on Rubicon models Skid plates and front and rear tow hooks Standard on Rubicon rear steel heavy-duty off-road rear bumper and available front steel winch-ready bumper with removable end caps Approach angle of 43.6 degrees, breakover angle of 20.3 degrees, departure angle of 26 degrees and ground clearance of 11.1 inches Aggressive available 17-inch off-road wheels; Rubicon models get 33-inch tires standard Up to 30 inches of water fording Up to 7,650-lb. towing and 1,600-lb. 4x4 payload capacity Rugged body-on-frame design is the foundation for legendary Jeep truck utility and durability 
    The 2020 Jeep Gladiator utilizes a variety of ways to optimize ride, handling and sound characteristics while bolstering fuel economy even while towing and hauling. Utilizing a body-on-frame design and featuring a superbly engineered five-link suspension system, Gladiator delivers on capability, with composed on-road driving dynamics, passenger safety and best-in-class towing and 4x4 payload capacity.
     
    Gladiator’s body-on-frame design uses advanced materials and engineering to be lightweight, yet stiff and durable, and features an all-new lightweight, high-strength steel frame. When compared to Jeep Wrangler 4-door, Gladiator’s frame is an additional 31 inches longer while the wheelbase is 19.4 inches longer. The longer wheelbase and the bed’s positioning center aft of the rear axle centerline enables for better weight distribution and a more comfortable and composed ride when carrying cargo. The prop shaft, brake, fuel lines and exhaust system were lengthened to accommodate the changes needed to make the proven body-on-frame design work with the most capable midsize truck ever. 
     
    A traditional steel bed utilizes four steel cross-members to reinforce the load floor while the aluminum tailgate is damped. Utility and versatility are maximized with strong integrated tie-downs, under-rail bed lighting and an optional covered external power source.
     
    To protect critical vehicle components while on the trail, including the fuel tank, transfer case and automatic transmission oil pan, Gladiator employs four skid plates and bars. Rubicon models benefit from the use of heavy gauge tubular steel rock rails to curtail potential body damage inflicted while out on the trail. Rubicon models also feature segment-exclusive rock rails for the bed corners. 
    The use of lightweight, high-strength aluminum closures, including the doors, door hinges, hood, fender flares, windshield frame and tailgate, help curtail weight and boost fuel economy. Other ways the Jeep engineering team looked to manage weight included using hollow track and stabilizer bars, aluminum engine mounts and steering gear.
     
    Gladiator utilizes the proven five-link coil suspension configuration with the front suspension using a lateral control arm and four longitudinal control arms. Full-width track bars made of forged steel control lateral movement of the axle with minimal angle change during suspension travel.
     
    The rear five-link coil suspension design, exclusive to Gladiator, features two upper and two lower forged steel control arms for longitudinal control, and a track bar for lateral axle control. The control arms are located under of the frame rails while the rear shocks are forward facing to provide consistent damping for ride comfort and load management.
     
    The springs have been tuned for an optimum balance between on-road handling while providing a comfortable ride around town, with or without cargo in the bed, and legendary off-road capability. Ride comfort, body-roll control, handling, payload and towing capability is significantly enhanced with assistance from shock tuning, hard points and body mount strategy.
    An approach angle of 43.6 degrees, breakover angle of 20.3 degrees, departure angle of 26 degrees and a ground clearance of 11.1 inches allows Gladiator to go anywhere.
     
    Gladiator also benefits from up to 30 inches of water fording, up to 1,600 pounds of payload and up to 7,650 pounds of towing capacity with the available Max Towing Package.
    More than 80 available advanced safety and security features
    Safety and security were paramount in the development of the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator, which offers more than 80 available active and passive safety and security features. Available features include Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection, forward-facing off-road camera, standard ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines, Adaptive Cruise Control and electronic stability control (ESC) with electronic roll mitigation.
    Fourth-generation Uconnect system delivers advanced technology
    The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator offers three Uconnect systems – Uconnect 5-inch, 7-inch and 8.4NAV, delivering communication, entertainment and navigation features drivers and passengers desire, including a full-color LED instrument cluster.
    The Uconnect system includes easy-to-use features, enhanced processing power, faster startup times and touchscreens that display high-resolution graphics.
     
    Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features
    The all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator is available with the Uconnect 7.0 or 8.4NAV systems and includes the new Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features.
     
    Apple CarPlay
    Seamlessly integrates an iPhone with the vehicle’s built-in display and controls in addition to featuring Siri Voice control. iPhone-equipped drivers can make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, and receive voice-guided navigation optimized for traffic conditions and more, while staying focused on the road.
     
    Android Auto
    System shares useful information when driving and makes it easy to access the best of Google technology. Featuring Google Maps with free voice-guided navigation, live traffic information and lane guidance, as well as on-demand access to 30 million songs with Google Play Music, the ability to place phone calls or send and receive messages while keeping hands on the wheel and ask Google search any question, Android Auto makes it easy to access popular apps and content from the Uconnect system’s touchscreen.
     
    Drivers and passengers also have an abundance of infotainment features at their fingertips with SiriusXM Radio, Travel Link, Traffic and Connected Services that provide real-time information.

    William Maley

    We're trying our best not to make a flying pun here.

    Lincoln chose the LA Auto Show to unveil the production version of the 2020 Aviator.
    We're glad to see that Lincoln hasn't changed the Aviator's design from the 'concept' shown at the New York Auto Show back in the spring. It looks like a sleeker version of the full-size Navigator with a  sloping, tapering roofline and sculpted sides. The front end looks more akin to the Contiental and MKZ with a smaller grille and similar headlights. Wheels range in size from 19 to 21-inches.
    The interior goes for a minimalist look with a low-slung dash and a small number of buttons. There is a large amount of leather, wood, and brushed trim used throughout. Lincoln will be offering seating configurations for six or seven people. The Aviator will also be pushing technology as a selling point. For starters, you can use your phone as the Aviator's key via the Lincoln Way app. This will allow you to lock/unlock and start the vehicle remotely. You'll be able to register four smartphones to act as the key. Other tech features include a 12.3-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and Co-Pilot360 Plus that brings a number of driver assistance features such as traffic sign recognition and active park assist.
    There will be two variants of a 3.0L twin-turbo V6. The standard engine produces 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. A plug-in hybrid variant bumps power to 450 horsepower and a shocking 600 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are paired with a ten-speed automatic, and the choice of rear or all-wheel drive.
    Lincoln hasn't provided any details on electric range, recharging times, or fuel economy figures for the plug-in hybrid variant. They do mention the hybrid system is modular, meaning we'll likely see this in other Lincoln and Ford models in the future.
    Optional on the Aviator is what Lincoln calls Air Glide. This adaptive air suspension uses a camera to scan the road ahead and adjust the damping to provide a smooth ride. But the system will lower the Aviator when parked to make it look more attractive. The system will lower the vehicle to also make it easier for passengers to enter and exit the vehicle.
    Lincoln is keeping quiet on pricing, but did reveal that the Aviator will be available at dealers beginning next summer.
    Gallery: 2020 Lincoln Aviator

    Source: Lincoln


    All-New Lincoln Aviator Takes Flight with Advanced Technologies, Grand Touring Performance Option
    All-new Lincoln Aviator brings Lincoln’s design vision to life, elevating beauty and performance in the brand’s newest SUV   Aviator Grand Touring, with its advanced electrified hybrid technology, introduces a new level of performance from The Lincoln Motor Company Intuitive and industry-leading technologies, including Phone As A Key, are designed to create an effortless experience for drivers in the all-new Aviator LOS ANGELES, Nov. 28, 2018 – The all-new 2020 Lincoln Aviator touches down at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week with advanced technologies that let the luxury SUV kneel to greet you, scan the road ahead for uneven pavement, and allow you to drive away using your smartphone instead of a key.
    The three-row, midsize premium utility elevates Lincoln’s design vision while delivering on Quiet Flight, a key brand concept that supports tenets of beauty, gliding, human and a crafted sanctuary. Lincoln Aviator will be available globally, entering the highest volume segment in the U.S., the midsize luxury market, and the third-highest volume segment in China.
    Also debuting is the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring, named for its gliding power and effortless performance. This marks the first time the company has combined a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine and advanced electrified hybrid technology capable of delivering smooth performance and instantaneous torque.
    “Aviator represents the very best of our brand DNA and signals the direction for Lincoln vehicles going forward,” says Joy Falotico, president, The Lincoln Motor Company. “It offers elegance, effortless performance and unparalleled comfort – a true representation of Lincoln’s vision for the future.”
    Power, capability and choice
    Aviator offers the kind of capability premium clients require in a three-row SUV, with available all-wheel drive and a choice of gas or hybrid powertrain. The standard twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, paired with a 10-speed SelectShift® automatic transmission, is expected to deliver an impressive 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque for effortless acceleration.
    With the hybrid option, Aviator Grand Touring’s twin-turbocharged engine and advanced electrified technology is targeted to deliver even greater levels of performance. Projected to produce 450 horsepower and a massive 600 lb.-ft. of torque, the all-new Aviator Grand Touring is expected to deliver greater performance than many three-row, midsize luxury hybrid SUVs.
    “This is our most advanced hybrid technology,” says John Davis, chief program engineer, The Lincoln Motor Company. “Together with the standard twin-turbocharged gas engine and advanced electrified Grand Touring technology, Aviator is set to define effortless performance – performance that only Lincoln can deliver.” 
    Lincoln Drive Modes allow clients to further customize their drive experience, while a 12.3-inch standard configurable LCD instrument cluster confirms their choices with beautiful, easy-to-read dynamic graphics and prompts. In addition to Lincoln’s five signature settings – Normal, Conserve, Excite, Slippery and Deep Conditions – two new modes are engineered specifically for Aviator Grand Touring. These modes, Pure EV and Preserve EV, allow clients to choose when and how to best use their electric energy, while an enhanced Excite mode helps maximize performance.
    Client-focused, intuitive technologies
    Aviator delivers a wealth of intuitive technologies designed to assist the driver while enhancing the overall experience of the journey. Right from the start, its suspension system automatically lowers the vehicle to “greet” the driver, adding a new level of sophistication to Lincoln’s signature welcome lighting embrace. The convenience of this feature makes loading cargo easier as well.*
    The effortlessness of the overall experience continues as clients enter, using their compatible smartphone as a key to access their vehicle. Lincoln’s Phone As A Key technology, debuting in the all-new Aviator, is activated through the Lincoln Way™ app. It allows owners to lock and unlock, open the liftgate and, most importantly, start and drive the vehicle – all without a traditional key.
    Phone As A Key offers additional amenities. Drivers can recall individual preferences for adjusting seat, mirror and steering column positions. Comfort and entertainment settings can be activated through the feature as well. If owners want to loan their Aviator to a family member or friend, the technology makes that equally effortless too, as up to four “keys” are provided with each vehicle in addition to the standard smart key fob. 
    Should a phone battery go dead, a passcode can be entered on the standard exterior keypad to gain entry then a backup code can be entered on the center touch screen to start and drive the vehicle. If a phone is lost or stolen, Phone As A Key can be easily deleted, providing additional peace of mind for clients.
    Also new to Lincoln is an available technology that enables Aviator to “see” most potholes or uneven pavement and immediately make suspension adjustments to keep the ride as smooth as possible. Adaptive Suspension with Road Preview uses an advanced forward camera to constantly scan the road, seamlessly adjusting the suspension as needed.
    All Lincoln vehicles come standard with a suite of driver-assist features known as Lincoln Co-Pilot360™. With the arrival of Aviator, Lincoln’s most advanced suite of driver-assist technologies will be available in a new upgrade aptly named Lincoln Co-Pilot360™ Plus. It adds:
    Traffic Jam Assist helps guide the vehicle using adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane centering and traffic sign recognition, which scans speed limit signs along the roadway, adjusting speed based on the information obtained Evasive Steer Assist offers assistance to the driver to help avoid a collision with a slower or stopped vehicle; it provides additional steering support when a collision cannot be avoided by braking alone Reverse Brake Assist can help you stop the vehicle while backing up if Aviator’s integrated rear sensors and camera detect an obstacle at the rear Active Park Assist Plus removes the stress from parking by taking over steering, shifting, braking and acceleration functions with the touch of a button to navigate parallel and perpendicular parking spaces with ease “All of this innovative technology is purposeful,” says Falotico. “Together, these features help make Aviator’s drive experience even more effortless and intuitive.”
    Aeronautical inspiration
    The boundless allure of flight has long inspired automotive design, and the all-new Lincoln Aviator takes that inspiration to the next level.
    “The connotations of flight are intrinsic in the lines of the vehicle,” says David Woodhouse, design director, The Lincoln Motor Company. “You have the stature and presence of the grille at the front, then the body and tail taper off – creating a distinct aerofoil analogy.”
    The dramatic lines of Aviator exemplify Woodhouse’s views on luxury. “Luxury is about creating something you didn’t know was possible,” he says. “It requires a certain degree of mystery, seduction and allure – factors that are decidedly in play with Aviator.”
    Aviator’s iridescent Flight Blue exterior color on display in Los Angeles complements its flowing lines. Lincoln’s signature grille is executed in high-gloss black and chrome accents that beckon the eye, while a wraparound windshield completes the aviation-inspired theme.
    An all-new Lincoln Black Label theme, Flight, harmoniously combines Luggage Tan and Ebony, further elevating the ambience of the cabin. Bright engine turn appliqués, brushed in small circles, replicate the finish of early aviation instrument panels and enhance the theme. The supple leather of the seats is minimally processed to retain its natural texture.
    Chalet is another Lincoln Black Label option for Aviator, evoking the contrasting pleasures of mountain slopes and the inherent comfort of an après-ski lodge. With Espresso and Alpine Venetian leathers and deep Silverwood appliqués, each touch is designed to awaken the senses. 
    Another Lincoln Black Label theme available is Destination. Celebrating the art of travel, Destination takes its inspiration from vintage luggage, harkening back to a time when travel was rich with excitement and intrigue. Mahogany Red Venetian leather with an intricate diamond weave on the seats is complemented by smooth khaya wood appliqués – making travel both near and far a true pleasure.
    Lincoln Black Label is created for clients seeking the ultimate in a luxury experience, offering premium materials in specially curated designer themes and a host of membership privileges. The grille for the all-new Lincoln Black Label Aviator features reverse lattice mesh with a repetitive pattern of strong, bright-finished badge motifs.
    The signature grille for Lincoln Black Label Aviator Grand Touring features unique Lincoln stars embedded within the quadrants in an elegant chrome finish, while the grille for Aviator Grand Touring is also adorned with the embedded stars.
    Comfort and convenience
    Aviator’s spacious, airy cabin accentuates horizontal lines, minimizing visual clutter to deliver a soothing sanctuary. An available Revel™ Ultima™ 3D Audio System re-creates an authentic concert-hall experience by immersing occupants in rich, superior sound emanating from 28 speakers throughout the cabin.
    An ergonomically advanced steering wheel is intended for ultimate ease of use and customization; only subtle thumb movements at the 10 o’clock position are needed to access the voice command button. The steering wheel features streamlined, four-way switches at strategic positions to control music, phone and navigation functions.
    Available Perfect Position seats with Active Motion offer 30-way adjustability, massage capability and additional lumbar support for driver and front-row passenger for paramount comfort, while flexible second-row seats recline, adjust fore and aft, and slide forward for easy access to the third row. The third row provides ample seating with plenty of room left over for cargo, assuring nothing and no one is left behind. Advanced under-floor battery packaging in the Grand Touring edition allows for all the benefits of an electrified powertrain without compromising luggage space or legroom.
    Other convenience features include an available wireless phone charging pad located in the front-row center armrest, while a handy media bin is available for the front-row passenger. Multiple power outlets throughout the cabin and a standard Wi-Fi hotspot keep occupants connected wherever the journey may take them.
    “At Lincoln, we’re always thinking about the next, best way to elevate luxury for our clients,” says Falotico. “Aviator arrives at this perfect intersection – where strength and beauty meet performance and technology.” 

    William Maley

    The more things change at Porsche, the more they stay the same... At least for the 911

    On the eve of the LA Auto Show, Porsche unveiled the 2020 911. Wearing the codename of 992, the updated 911 retains the iconic shape and rear engine setup. But there are a number of improvements and technologies that the company hopes will make for a better sports car.
    Outside, the 2020 911 is noticeably wider. The front track has been extended by 1.77 inches, while the rear is as wide as some of the current 911 models - specifically Carrera 4, 4S, and GTS models. Door handles now sit flush with the body. The interior gets a dramatic change with a new 10.9-inch infotainment screen mounted in the dash and a small nub controller for the standard eight-speed PDK transmission. Before purists start screaming 'Bloody Murder', a seven-speed manual is coming in the near future. 
    A slightly-updated twin-turbo 3.0L flat-six is found under the hood of the 992. For the Carrera S and 4S, the engine pumps out 443 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. Performance figures are as followed,
    Carrera S: 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, 3.3 with the Sport Chrono package. Top speed of 191 mph. Carrera 4S: 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds, 3.2 with the Sport Chrono package. Top speed of 190 mph. Porsche didn't mention figures for the Carrera or Carrera 4, saving those for a later time.
    In terms of technology, the 992 debuts Wet Mode. This system monitors road conditions and makes adjustments to the ABS and stability control system if it detects water on the road.
    The 2020 911 begins at $114,250 for the Carrera S and $121,650 for the Carrera 4S. Both prices include a $1,050 destination fee. The order books are now open and deliveries are expected to begin next summer.
    Gallery: 2020 Porsche 911
    Source: Porsche


    The new 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S and 4S - more powerful, more dynamic, unmistakably a 911
    The eighth generation of an icon: Spectacular world premiere in Los Angeles Los Angeles. Faster, more emotional, and more connected – the eighth generation of the Porsche 911 is here. On the eve of the Los Angeles Auto Show, the new 911 celebrated its world premiere at the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles. With an exterior that unmistakably reflects the Porsche design DNA, a more muscular look, and a completely new interior layout, the new 911 is both timeless and modern. The next generation of flat-six turbocharged engines has been further developed to be more powerful than ever before, delivering 443 horsepower in the S models. Using an improved injection process, as well as a new layout for the turbochargers and intercoolers, the efficiency of the engine has been further optimized. Power is delivered by a new eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission. New assistance systems such as the standard Porsche Wet Mode for increased driver awareness on wet roads, and the optional Night Vision Assist with a thermal imaging camera, are part of the broadened array of available active driver assistance features. The new Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with a larger 10.9-inch touchscreen display (up from 7.0 inches in the previous car) and comprehensive connectivity, optional Adaptive 18-way Sport Seats Plus with improved lateral support, re-tuned PASM dampers, and extended digital features all ensure greater comfort and everyday usability. 
    911 Carrera S models with 443 horsepower
    The turbocharged flat-six engine of the 911 Carrera S and 911 Carrera 4S now produces 443 horsepower. This corresponds to an increase of 23 horsepower compared with the previous model. Equipped with the 8-speed PDK dual clutch transmission as standard, the rear-wheel-drive 911 Carrera S Coupe needs just 3.5 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour from standstill, and the 911 Carrera 4S Coupe with all-wheel drive takes only 3.4 seconds. This makes both cars 0.4 seconds faster than the previous model in each case. This advantage is increased by a further 0.2 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono Package, to 3.3 seconds for the Carrera S and 3.2 seconds for the Carrera 4S. The top track speeds are now 191 miles per hour (911 Carrera S) and 190 miles per hour for the all-wheel-drive version. A manual transmission will be offered at a later date.
    Clear design language, unmistakable identity
    The exterior design has been revamped and underlines the leap in performance of the new Porsche 911. Significantly wider wheel housings arch over large 20-inch front wheels and 21-inch rear wheels. At the front, the body width has increased by 45 millimeters (1.77 inches), making room for a wider front track. Correspondingly, the rear body width on both 911 Carrera S and 911 Carrera 4S has increased to 1,852 mm (72.91 in), the width of the previous 911 Carrera 4 and 911 GTS models. Flush integration of the electric door handles that extend outward when needed emphasizes the tapered and smooth side contour. Between the new LED headlights, the front luggage compartment lid with pronounced contours evokes the design of the first 911 generations. The rear is dominated by the significantly wider, variable-position rear spoiler and the seamless, elegant light bar which is now a feature on both two- and four-wheel drive variants. With the exception of the front and rear fasciae, the entire outer skin is now made of aluminum.
    The completely new interior is characterized by the clear and straight lines of the dashboard with recessed instruments. Porsche 911 models from the 1970s provided the inspiration here. Left and right of the centrally positioned tachometer, which is characteristic for Porsche, two thin, frameless, free-form displays provide the driver with information. The PCM can be operated quickly and intuitively thanks to the new architecture. Located underneath the screen, a compact switch panel with five buttons provides direct access to key vehicle functions. In terms of digitalization, the 911 is more connected than ever before thanks to new functions and services. The standard PCM system features Porsche Connect Plus including online traffic information based on swarm data. (A subscription is required after an initial 12-month trial period.)
    *The availability of Porsche Connect services is dependent on the availability of wireless network coverage which may not be available in all areas, and may be subject to eventual technology sun-set or deactivation, thus nullifying services. The vehicle equipment necessary to use Porsche Connect is only available factory-installed, and cannot be retrofitted. Likewise, the vehicle equipment may not work with future mobile networks yet to be deployed. Some functions may require separate subscriptions, or data charges may apply.
    New assistance systems increase safety and comfort
    As a world first, Porsche has developed the Wet Mode, which is included as standard equipment on the new Porsche 911. This function detects water on the road, preconditions the stability control and anti-lock brake systems accordingly, and warns the driver. A camera-based warning and brake assist system, also fitted as standard, detects the risk of collision with moving objects and initiates emergency braking if necessary. Night Vision Assist with a thermal imaging camera is optionally available for the 911 for the first time. The Adaptive Cruise Control option includes automatic distance control, stop-and-go functionality, and an innovative Emergency Assist function.
    The 2020 911 Carrera S has a base MSRP of $113,200, while the 2020 911 Carrera 4S will be offered starting at $120,600, each not including the $1,050 delivery, processing and handling fee. The models can be ordered now and are expected to reach U.S. dealers in summer 2019.

    William Maley

    Putting on the Ritz!

    Mazda's 2019 3 compact sedan and hatchback were introduced last night at the LA Auto Show and it is clear the brand is not messing around. The latest-generation compact introduces a new platform, the Skyactiv-X compression ignition system, and the option of all-wheel drive.
    The 3's exterior shape sheds a lot of the sculpting and surfacing found on the current model. The end result is a smooth and premium look. Both the hatchback and sedan come with the same creased front end, prominent grille, and slim headlights. The hatchback is the more polarizing of the two with a very thick c-pillar from the Kai concept. On the inside, Mazda's designers have taken some inspiration from their recent concepts by going for "less is more" aesthetic. The dashboard is mounted low and features a minimal amount of buttons. An 8.8-inch infotainment screen sits in a crevice in the dash and appears to be running a new infotainment system (THANK YOU MAZDA!).
    In North America, Mazda will be offering the 3 with an updated version of the 2.5L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder. No power ratings were given on the engine, but we wouldn't expect them to be too far off from the 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque that engine currently produces in the CX-5 and 6. This will be paired with either a six-speed manual or automatic. Other markets will get the choice of 1.5L, 2.0L, 2.5L, and 1.8L diesel.
    Mazda's SkyActiv-X four-cylinder with compression ignition will launch later down the road. We don't have any details on power or what transmissions can be paired with it.
    One option that will make some buyers happy to see is i-Activ AWD. This system uses a number of sensors around the vehicle to help keep the vehicle moving in any condition. Mazda doesn't say which engines will have the AWD option, but we think the 2.5 will be one of them.
    Mazda says the 2019 3 will launch early next year with the 2.5 engine. The SkyActiv-X engine will arrive towards the end of 2019.
    Gallery: 2019 Mazda3
    Source: Mazda


    ALL-NEW MAZDA3 – AN OBJECT OF UNIVERSAL DESIRE
    As we begin a new chapter in Mazda’s history, the mission of the all-new Mazda3 is to amaze and delight customers all over the world. The theme of development was “An object of universal desire.” Making a car that would evoke longing in any person would require the creation of a new, hitherto unknown value. We set out to achieve this by applying our human-centric philosophy for dramatic improvements in every area: design, driving performance, NVH, environmental performance and quality feel.
    The all-new Mazda3 embodies two characters with widespread appeal. The first is the free spirit, determined to follow their own convictions and not be bound by conventional wisdom. This character is represented in the hatchback. To achieve such a look we took an unprecedented approach to design that eliminates all character lines and relies entirely on lustrous and beautifully curved body panels that reflect the surrounding environment. As such, the model delights onlookers with a countenance that changes by the season and the hour of the day.
    The other character is that of a lady or gentlemen who combines dignity with a strong individualistic streak. Their adherence to formality and traditional styles conceals an idiomatic beauty that is breathtaking when glimpsed. This character is embodied in the sedan. Aspiring to create the most gorgeous sedan in its class, we set aside the notion of a C-segment car,* removed all constraints and extended the overall length. We overcame numerous technical challenges in order to keep the hood and trunk low. The resulting proportions are sleek and elegant, giving the impression of a single flowing brushstroke.
    We also raised the quality of driving and riding in the car. Driving an automobile requires paying constant attention to your surroundings, making split-second judgments and taking appropriate action. Mazda wants to make driving less stressful and more natural for everyone. To achieve this, we decided to undertake a thorough scientific study of human beings.
    When walking or running, people make subtle adjustments in the legs, pelvis and spine so that head sway can be controlled using only the slightest muscular effort. In order to make this natural action possible in the car, we redesigned and organically linked every component to draw out people’s innate ability to maintain balance. The result is Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, a new set of structural technologies that make riding in a car feel as natural and stress-free as walking on your own two feet.
    In addition, we achieved a comfortable quietness by focusing not only on noise volumes but on the time it takes for sounds to be transmitted and the direction from which they arrive. Next, we built a clear and expressive sound system with speakers positioned to deliver sound directly to the driver’s ears and set about creating a comfortable cabin space for all vehicle occupants.
    Thanks to the benefits of Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture and the latest Skyactiv gasoline and diesel engines, which allow intuitive control of vehicle speed in any situation, the all-new Mazda3 offers driving pleasure of unprecedented quality.
    The powertrain lineup includes Skyactiv-X, a new kind of combustion engine that combines the advantages of gasoline and diesel engines. Its innovative Spark-Controlled Compression Ignition system enables us to choose gear settings that accentuate performance without sacrificing emissions or fuel economy. Engine response is quick and driving is smooth with a reassuring feeling of control. Skyactiv-X will realize even greater driving pleasure and superior real-world environmental performance, enhancing the joy the car-ownership.
    The all-new Mazda3 will add color and brilliance to your daily routine. The captivating character of the design stirs the emotions and the driving feel sharpen the senses, making even your daily commute feel like a journey of new discovery.
    My hope is that this car will help customers discover the joys of living a life truer to oneself.
    Kota Beppu
    All-new Mazda3 Program Manager
    A NEW FORM OF ELEGANCE BASED ON JAPANESE AESTHETICS. MAZDA DESIGN ENTERS AN EXCITING NEW STAGE.
    Introduced in 2010 and making its production model debut with the launch of the CX-5 and the Mazda6 in 2012, Mazda’s Kodo—Soul of Motion design has been a driving force in enhancing the brand’s global value. Mazda now takes it to higher levels of depth and sophistication as it enters a new stage that raises car design to the level of fine art.
    The goal for this new evolution of Kodo design is to express a new form of elegance inspired by Japanese aesthetics. The first cars to embody Mazda’s new design language were the RX-Vision concept model shown at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show and the Vision Coupe concept model exhibited at the 2017 show. Elements finely honed to create clean, beautiful designs combine with a delicate play of light and reflections to realize elegant and sophisticated styling with a natural, dynamic feel.
    The new Mazda3 is the first production model to adopt this evolved version of Kodo design. While featuring an extremely simple “single motion” to its overall form, the way light and shadows shift and reflections move over the body gives birth to a highly vital and dramatic expression that goes beyond previous iterations of the design language. Another goal in styling the new Mazda3 was to give the hatchback its own more emotional design, while the sedan aims to present more elegant proportions. Despite sharing the same Mazda3 model name, the two forms represent entirely different personalities.
    EXTERIOR DESIGN
    In designing the hatchback and sedan versions of the new Mazda3, the development team took a fresh look at their respective values and personalities and then worked to maximize the unique appeal of each. The hatchback presents a powerful and seductive look with lasting visual appeal that evokes a sense of exciting experiences to come. In contrast, the clean, sleek and sophisticated beauty of the sedan speaks of maturity and refinement. The result is two body types with personalities so distinct one might even think they were completely different models.
    The design concept for the hatchback focused on creating a solid mass with a seductive appeal that conveys a fresh expression of hatchback styling. When viewed from the rear, the cabin and body come together to appear as a single solid mass. This unique form realizes a powerful, solid presence and an expression of seductive and lasting appeal. The design concept for the sedan is “sleek and elegant.” While conforming to traditional sedan styling by bringing together the hood, cabin and trunk as three distinct elements, the development team aimed to elevate those elements and achieve a new level of beauty that befits a Mazda sedan. The result is a refined, mature expression of elegance. A new lamp design is one more element key to Kodo design’s further evolution. In keeping with the “less is more” theme, all unnecessary elements are shaved away to leave only the essence of a lighting fixture. The development team felt that limiting the design to the minimum necessary elements – the light source, lens and base – would create a clean and beautiful look. They also pursued a round design with an expression of depth in order to create a presence that accentuates the new Mazda3’s physique and fore-aft axis. The new design embodies a dynamic expression that distinguishes the Mazda brand. Polymetal Gray was newly developed as an exclusive color offering for the hatchback. Fusing the hard appearance of metal with plastic’s characteristic glossy smoothness creates an entirely new expression of quality. The color changes its expression depending on the light, accentuating the beautiful form of the hatchback’s body. INTERIOR DESIGN
    To further strengthen the connection between the car and driver, every aspect of the cockpit is laid out in perfect horizontal symmetry with the driver in the center. At the same time, every element is designed to directly face the driver and help emphasize the driver-centered axis that runs from front to rear. Furthermore, the interior incorporates the “less is more” ideal that is a key to the new Mazda3’s further-evolved KODO design. Keeping all elements other than the cockpit as simple as possible helps amplify the presence of the cockpit zone. This creates a comfortable environment in which the car and driver engage in a natural dialogue that enables the driver to focus on the task of driving.
    The cockpit design applies the “vanishing point” concept down to the parts level, including the steering wheel spokes and center display. Along with emphasizing the driver-centered axis running from front to rear through the cockpit zone, this design approach also expresses a second horizontal axis through the layout of the forms that run left and right from the instrument panel out to the door trim on both sides. The design goal was simplicity throughout based on the aesthetics of “less is more.” For example, the climate-control panel and passenger-side louvers are integrated into the left-right axis that follows the line of the instrument panel. This results in a clean and simple design. Interior parts employ Mazda’s own grain, designed to express the richness and warmth of genuine leather. By introducing creases with differing depth and shapes on different parts, this new material creates a lively rich expression. The newly designed shift panel takes advantage of a technology called “two-layer molding.” It incorporates a laser-engraved black layer covered by a second clear layer to present a glossy black finish with a look of deep transparency. Shifts in light create a rich linear expression that helps the panel accentuate the new Mazda3’s sporty nature, high-quality appearance, and pride of ownership. The fabric interior adopts a new Greige color, which combines the cool tones of gray with the soft feel of beige to create a pleasing sensation of vitality and warmth. This combination of light and depth gives the interior a sophisticated look. Burgundy was newly developed as an interior color exclusive to the hatchback. The deep, vivid look of this special red leather heightens the emotion of exterior design and creates a look that appeals to mature tastes. HUMAN-CENTRIC DESIGN FURTHER ENHANCES RELAXING COMFORT
    The cockpit and cabin were carefully designed in accordance with Mazda’s own human-centric philosophy. One goal was to provide all drivers with a confidence-inspiring ease of operation that helps them to concentrate on driving. Another was to make time spent in transit comfortable and enjoyable. Mazda applied the latest available knowledge and technology in designing the driving position, visibility, Human-Machine Interface (HMI), and audio sound quality. These were leveraged to further elevate the level of quality and satisfaction by delivering a more natural and intuitive feeling to driving. The new Mazda3 provides all occupants with the pleasure of a natural, comfortable and relaxing driving experience that begins with the very first outing and remains consistent in any driving scene.
    DRIVING POSITION
    The telescopic steering adopts an additional 10mm of movement at either end to offer a wider adjustment range of 70mm and deliver more precise control over the adjustment of the driving position. In addition, front seat cushion tilt adjustment is now included as standard equipment. This helps prevent the angle of the seat from causing the occupant’s thighs to float above the cushion or placing undue pressure on the thighs. As such, it offers firm support that keeps the pelvis in an upright position to maintain the ideal seating posture Mazda has strived to achieve. The gear shift lever was moved forward and positioned higher on both the automatic and manual transmission versions. This makes it easier for the driver to move his or her hand from the steering wheel and to operate the shift lever. The commander control was also moved forward, the cupholders repositioned in front of the shift lever and the center armrest lengthened. This new floor console layout significantly improves operating stability, ease and use. HUMAN-MACHINE INTERFACE (HMI)
    The Active Driving Display, meters and center display were all redesigned to present information in a simpler fashion, while the fonts used were unified to create a pleasing and consistent look. The new Mazda3 adopts an 8.8-inch wide center display. Offering simplified operation that requires only the use of the commander control, it also features a new intuitive guidance system that makes the commander control easier to operate. VISIBILITY AND FIELD OF VIEW
    The thickness and shape of the A-pillar design were optimized to minimize its obstruction angle and associated blind spots. Every detail of the pillar shape was carefully designed after calculating what degree of neck and eye movement would not burden the driver. As a result, the new design significantly reduces blind spots ahead of the car, providing the driver with a continuous view of pedestrians or potential obstacles to the right or left while maintaining a natural driving posture. The control system for windshield wiper operating speed was carefully designed to improve wiper performance. It is also designed to constantly adjust the operating angle of the wipers in fine increments. This allows them to firmly clean right up to the A-pillar and greatly expand visibility near the A-pillar on the driver’s side. The wipers are housed beneath the hood, which helps provide a clear downward view out of the windshield. In addition, the washer nozzles are attached to the wiper arms so their spray can be wiped away immediately after application and not interfere with visibility. These measures combine to provide the driver with a clearer view and to more quickly maintain clear visibility in inclement weather. MAZDA CONNECT
    Mazda Connect now includes a Digital Owner’s Manual as one of its app offerings. When a warning appears on the center display, it also presents an indication of the priority level and a link to the Digital Owner’s Manual. The driver can then access the manual to quickly receive an explanation of the warning and instructions on how best to respond to the situation. AUDIO SYSTEM
    Mazda conducted a series of new studies into how sounds are transmitted through a car’s cabin. This led to more efficiently improving sound quality by placing the bass speakers in the corners where the sound is amplified. To avoid the tonal quality of mid- to high-frequency sounds from being affected by reflected sounds, the other speakers were positioned on the left and right sail garnish and upper sections of the door trim where the sound is transmitted directly toward the occupant’s ears. This creates a more natural sensation to distinguishing the sound’s point of origin and enhances the depth and clarity of that sound. The 8-speaker standard audio system uses a 3-way layout, with 3L woofers positioned on the sides of the front cowl, a pair of 2.5cm squawkers on the sail garnish and 8cm squawkers on the upper section of the front and rear door trim. The 12-speaker Bose®sound system adds an 8cm center speaker, a pair of rear satellite speakers, and a subwoofer. It also features custom tuning to provide more powerful bass and higher audio quality. MAZDA’S NEXT GENERATION OF DRIVING PLEASURE, REFINED AND FURTHER EVOLVED THROUGH HUMAN-CENTRIC DESIGN
    Mazda’s Jinba-ittai driving experience demands that the car works in perfect harmony with the driver’s intentions to provide greater safety, confidence and reassurance. In working to achieve this, Mazda has remained committed to building cars according to its human-centric design philosophy. These efforts include advancing its Skyactiv technologies. Beginning with the new Mazda3, they also include the introduction of new technologies that further evolve the level to which human-centric design is applied. The ongoing goal is to realize the ultimate expression of Jinba-ittai by enabling the driver to enjoy the pleasure of driving with natural action, as though moving his or her own body without any need for conscious effort.
    These new technologies are founded on intensive human research studies that go beyond just looking at body characteristics and movements by also investigating emotional responses. Rather than simply pursue mechanical efficiency of the human anatomy, Mazda is focusing efforts on maximizing inherent physical abilities while exploring how to realize a driving experience that best matches human sensibilities. By coordinating the development of all these technologies as an organic whole, Mazda honed dynamic performance such that the basic movements of the car – accelerating, turning and stopping – feels natural to the driver.
    The new Mazda3 is powered by the latest Skyactiv engines, including Mazda’s new Skyactiv-X, and also adopts Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture. This adds a new layer of polish to its driving dynamics, based on Mazda’s human-centric design philosophy. The next generation of Mazda driving pleasure starts here.
    POWERTRAIN
    1.5-, 2.0- and 2.5-liter versions of the latest Skyactiv-G comprise the gasoline engine lineup for the new Mazda3. All three adopt optimized intake ports and piston shape, split fuel injection and a coolant control valve to deliver higher levels of dynamic performance, fuel economy and environmental friendliness. The Skyactiv-D 1.8 is the diesel engine offering for the new Mazda3. Incorporating ultra-high-response multi-hole piezo injectors allows the engine to utilize high-pressure, precisely controlled multi-stage injection. This realizes a finer balance of enhanced fuel economy, quietness and reduced exhaust gases, while also delivering smoother, more robust performance. All-new Mazda3 is the first production car to offer Mazda’s innovative Skyactiv-X engine. Features include superior initial response, powerful torque, faithful linear response and free-revving performance. The engine is assisted by Mazda’s intelligent new M Hybrid system, which supports greater gains in fuel economy, and achieves higher levels of driving pleasure and environmental friendliness. I-ACTIV AWD
    Mazda’s evolved i-Activ AWD newly adds “four-wheel vertical load” detection and works in harmony with G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) to control torque distribution between the front and rear wheels. As a result, it is fully capable of responding faithfully to the driver’s intentions, regardless of the driving scene. It also reduces overall mechanical loss by approximately 60% over the previous model and contributes to improved fuel economy. G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) adds direct yaw moment control via the brakes. This enables the car to better handle emergency avoidance maneuvers and offers more confidence-inspiring controllability in various situations, including lane changes at high speeds and driving on slippery roads. SKYACTIV-VEHICLE ARCHITECTURE NEXT-GENERATION STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES
    The seats adopt a basic structure designed to maintain the natural S-shaped curve of the spine. The seat cushion and lower seatback support the lower pelvis, upper pelvis and thighs to keep the pelvis in an upright position. Meanwhile, the upper seatback bolsters the gravity center of the rib cage. This structure enables the driver to stabilize his or her head in a natural fashion by shifting his or her pelvis and spine to maintain balance without any conscious effort. The body further evolves Mazda’s straight framework and continuous ring structure concept. New front-to-back connections complement the existing vertical and lateral connections of the previous body to form multi-directional ring structures. This increases rigidity while reducing lag in the transmission of energy, which helps maximize the function of the dampers and tires. By concentrating energy input from the road surface in specifically chosen locations and adopting a newly developed damping structure that helps absorb it, vibration that causes noise is reduced without increasing vehicle weight. Based on the concept of smoothing the transmission of force to the sprung mass over time, the suspension system uses MacPherson struts in the front and a newly developed torsion beam setup in the rear. A new spherical shape was adopted for the internal structure of the bushings combines with new suspension geometry to realize lag-free transmission and linear action. REDUCED NVH
    As a result of Mazda’s human research studies, development focused on three sound characteristics that directly impact cabin occupants. Those are sound volume, changes in pitch and tone over time, and the direction from which sounds originate. Suppressing noise generation and reducing its volume, while also controlling the fluctuations in and direction of sounds, are aimed not only at achieving a “quiet” cabin environment. Rather, the goal is to provide a “high-quality quietness” that is satisfying to all cabin occupants. To improve the basic insulation qualities key to reducing NVH, the new Mazda3 marks Mazda’s first application of a “two-wall” structure that leaves space between the body and carpeting on the floor. By considering the carpet and the body panel as two walls, and then designing them to match the characteristics of the fiber material attached to the carpet increases efficiency without increasing weight. The number of holes in the carpeting was also reduced wherever possible to significantly enhance sound insulation. Measures to deal with road noise focused on minimizing noise and vibrations, and to make any noises transmitted when the road surface changes reach the ears of cabin occupants in a linear fashion. Sound-absorbing functionality added to the headliner and floor mats effectively suppresses high-frequency noise. Tires with optimized vertical spring action and increased rigidity at possible entry points help prevent the transmission of unwanted vibrations to the cabin. Lag-free transmission of permitted sounds and vibrations create a more reassuring and comfortable cabin environment. SAFETY FEATURES DESIGNED TO EXCEL IN THE REAL WORLD
    The fundamental aims of Mazda Proactive Safety are to offer the driver confidence-building reassurance and to offer all cabin occupants a thoroughly enjoyable driving experience. Based on this philosophy, the development team worked hard to evolve basic safety technologies such as the driving position, pedal layout and good visibility, advanced i-Activsense technologies, as well as passive safety technologies designed to protect cabin occupants in the event a collision should occur.
    With an eye on the future, Mazda is constantly making efforts to further evolve the level of safety offered by its cars. The aim is to provide a safe and reassuring driving experience to everybody, from novice drivers with little time behind the wheel, to elderly drivers, and including passengers in the rear seats. Mazda is committed to further advancing its safety technologies as it works step by step toward making car accidents a thing of the past.
    ACTIVE SAFETY: I-ACTIVSENSE
    The new Mazda3 is available with Mazda’s newly developed Driver Monitoring system. The system uses both an infrared camera and infrared LED to observe the driver’s condition while driving. It monitors how wide open the driver’s eyelids are at any given time, the number of times he or she blinks, and also the angle of the mouth and face in order to determine the level of drowsiness or fatigue. It also monitors the driver’s line of sight and eye movement to determine when the driver is being inattentive. If the system judges that the situation has become dangerous, it sounds an alert to make the driver aware and works in conjunction with the Smart Brake Support (SBS) system to shorten the time required for the brake warning to sound. Front Cross Traffic Alert (FCTA) is available on the new Mazda3. The system uses newly adopted front side radars to detect other vehicles approaching from blind spots at the front right or left of the vehicle and alert the driver of their presence. This helps prevent a common cause of accidents, when cars enter a T intersection with a partially obscured view. Also available on the new Mazda3 is Mazda’s new Cruising & Traffic Support (CTS) system. CTS contributes to reducing driver fatigue by assisting with accelerator, brake pedal and steering operations when stuck in traffic jams on the highway. It also supports a safer, more reassuring and more comfortable driving experience in conditions that demand constant operation of the assisted functions. PASSIVE SAFETY
    The ratio of ultra-high-tensile steel rated of 980MPa or higher is greatly increased, from the 3% used on the previous model to 30% on the new Mazda3. This combines with the addition of a new perimeter beam and rear side frames that deform in an accordion-style pattern to create a solid body that can stand up to impact force and a frame structure that effectively absorbs energy. The new Mazda3 introduces a new knee airbag for the driver’s seat. It is not only a first on a Mazda car, but will be included as standard equipment worldwide. By suppressing forward motion of the driver’s body in the event of a collision, this new airbag contributes to fewer injuries to the driver’s legs, chest and Each of the side airbags is divided into a front and rear chamber. Using reduced air pressure in the forward chamber and higher pressure in the rear chamber reduces the load taken by the rib cage, while firmly holding the body in place. The hood adopts a new energy-absorbing inner structure designed to receive the impact of a pedestrian’s head in the initial moment of contact and then gradually dampen the force to more quickly absorb the impact energy. The front bumper is designed to support the thigh and shins if contact is made with a pedestrian’s legs while softening the blow to the knee area. This reduces the degree of injury to the knees and ligaments due to bending and twisting.

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