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    William Maley

    The EcoSport will be making its North American debut next week

    Ford will be debuting the redesigned EcoSport subcompact crossover next week in Los Angeles. This information was revealed by rapper DJ Khaled last night on Snapchat who would be helping out with the introduction.
    “Monday I’m introducing the Ford EcoSport. It’s going to be a world premiere with the new Ford EcoSport,” said Khaled in the video.
    A Ford spokeman comfirmed to Automotive News that they would be showing the EcoSport next week, but didn't say anything about a possible sales date.
    The EcoSport is Ford's entrant in the growing subcompact crossover class. The crossover has been sold around the world since the introduction of the second-generation model back in 2013. Former CEO Alan Mulally said that the EcoSport would eventually come to the U.S.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Audi heads to LA with two new drop-tops

    Previous Page Next Page From the "we're not that surprised" department; Audi has revealed the cabriolet variants of the new A5 and S5.
    Like the coupe, the A5/S5 cabriolet uses a new chassis that not only drops 88 pounds, but is 40 percent stiffer compared to the last-generation model. Overall length has increased by two inches allowing for more passenger space. The new cabriolets retain a soft-top, which can be raised and lowered in under 20 seconds.
    The European market will get the choice of five engines (two gas and three TDIs) and three transmissions (six-speed manual, seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch, and eight-speed automatic). The U.S. will likely get the 2.0L TFSI four-cylinder found in the new A4 with 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic will come paired with the TFSI. We don't know if the A5 convertible will get front-wheel drive like the previous-generation model, but we expect quattro all-wheel drive to be offered.
    The S5 will come with a 3.0L turbocharged V6 with 354 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. This will come paired with an eight-speed automatic and quattro all-wheel drive.
    We'll have more details later this month when Audi unveils the A5 and S5 cabriolet at the LA Auto Show.
    Source: Audi
    Press Release is on Page 2
    The new Audi A5 and S5 Cabriolet – open to intense driving pleasure
    Sporty, elegant design, larger interior, more comfort and convenience Seat belt microphones and fully automatic acoustic hood as standard Audi S5 Cabriolet with 354 hp V6 turbocharged engine and quattro drive The premiere of the new Audi A5 Cabriolet* completes the new generation of the A5 family. Up to four people can enjoy intense driving pleasure on board the open-top mid-sized model. The fully automatic acoustic hood opens and closes up to a speed of 50 km/h (31.1 mph). In the Audi S5 Cabriolet* a new six-cylinder turbocharged engine developing 354 hp and 500 Nm (368.8 lb-ft) of torque ensures top performance.

    Striking shoulder line, classic soft top: the exterior
    The designers went with the sleek lines of the Coupé for the styling of the new Audi A5 Cabriolet. The rear window is now flatter and emphasizes the sporty looks, as do the short overhangs and the long wraparound hood with power dome. With a length of 4,673 millimeters (15.3 ft), the new A5 Cabriolet is 47 millimeters (1.9 in) longer than the predecessor model.
    The classic soft top fits perfectly and delivers outstanding aeroacoustics thanks to effective insulation. The new one-touch opening function makes operating the standard acoustic hood much easier: Just a quick pull of the switch is all it takes to open the soft top fully automatically in 15 seconds or close it in 18 seconds – even while driving up to 50 km/h (31.1 mph).
    The front is dominated by a three-dimensional Singleframe grille which is much flatter and wider than before. The wave-shaped shoulder line – a hallmark styling feature of the entire A5 family – makes the A5 Cabriolet extremely elegant. The pronounced bulges over the wheel arches accentuate the quattro DNA. Horizontal lines at the rear emphasize the width of the new Audi A5 Cabriolet, which at the same time is slightly narrower than the predecessor.

    The third brake light is elegantly integrated into the surrounding trim strip of the hood compartment cover. LED rear lights and optional LED or Matrix LED headlights with dynamic turn signals at the front and rear make high-end technology visible even after dark.
    Strong package: the chassis
    The wide track and the long wheelbase measuring 2,765 millimeters (108.9 in) are key features of the balanced, sporty suspension tuning. The track width is 1,587 millimeters (62.5 in) at the front and 1,568 millimeters (61.7 in) at the rear. An updated five-link suspension is used on the front axle. At the rear, a five-link construction replaces the trapezoidal-link suspension used on the previous model. Adaptive dampers are available as an option. They are incorporated into the standard Audi drive select dynamic handling system and allow the driver to choose between a highly dynamic or comfortable driving experience. The newly developed electromechanical power steering offers good feedback from the road and greater steering precision. Optionally available is dynamic steering, which varies its gear ratio depending on the speed and steering angle.
    Lighter and torsionally stiffer: the body
    The body of the new Audi A5 Cabriolet is the stiffest in its class and yet is among the lightest in the segment. Thanks to a smart mix of materials and geometric lightweight design, the engineers have increased the good torsional stiffness of the predecessor model by another 40 percent. All of which makes the Cabriolet’s handling even more agile. The total weight of the new generation is reduced by up to 40 kilograms (88.2 lb). The front-wheel-drive A5 Cabriolet with the 190 hp 2.0 TDI weighs 1,690 kilograms (3725.8 lb).
    Additional struts in the body compared with the Coupé and reinforced sills make up for the absence of a fixed roof. In the event of a crash and rollover, head-thorax side airbags and automatically extending aluminum profiles ensure the occupants’ safety.
    Wide lineup: engines and drivetrain
    There is initially a choice of three engines for the new Audi A5 Cabriolet in Germany – a 2.0 TFSI with 185 kW (252 hp), a 2.0 TDI with 140 kW (190 hp) and a 3.0 TDI with 160 kW (218 hp). Following the market introduction, a 2.0 TFSI with 140 kW (190 hp) and a 3.0 TDI with 210 kW (286 hp) will join the lineup. Compared with the previous model, the engines offer 
    up to 17 percent more power while consuming as much as 22 percent less fuel. All the engines combine high efficiency with sporty power development and smooth running – especially the two 3.0 TDI six-cylinder engines.
    Six-speed manual transmission, seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission or eight-speed tiptronic – tailor-made drivetrain technology is available for every engine version. The drive is provided as standard via the front wheels; quattro drive with ultra technology and permanent all-wheel drive are available as options. The latter comes as standard for the 3.0 TDI with 210 kW (286 hp).
    The Audi S5 Cabriolet is moving into a whole new league with its newly developed 3.0 TFSI. From its 2,995 cc of displacement, the boosted six-cylinder engine produces 260 kW (354 hp) of power – 15 kW (21 hp) more than the engine in the previous model. The top model accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.1 seconds, and on up to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph). It features quattro permanent all-wheel drive and the eight-speed tiptronic as standard.
    Spacious and functional: the interior
    The increased dimensions, the wheelbase extended by 14 millimeters (0.6 in) and more compact seats increase the space for the driver and passengers. The shoulder room in the front row of seats has been increased by 26 millimeters (1.0 in) and the kneeroom in the rear by 18 millimeters (0.7 in).
    The horizontal architecture of the instrument panel and the continuous air vent strip create a generous sense of space. High-grade materials, different colors and excellent workmanship ensure a very special feel-good atmosphere and underscore the premium character. As an option the ambient lighting with 30 adjustable colors creates a fitting mood for the interior.
    With the hood closed the luggage compartment has a capacity of 380 liters (13.4 cu ft). The soft top compartment in the luggage compartment automatically moves down when opening the soft top and up again when the soft top is closed, thus providing the largest possible luggage space at all times. The rear seat has a 50:50 split and can be easily folded forward using levers in the luggage compartment. As standard the tailgate on the A5 Cabriolet now opens automatically – using the remote control key or the button in the driver’s door. Audi also installs gesture control for the tailgate as an option: A proximity sensor in the bumper responds to a kicking movement with the foot – the tailgate opens automatically once the optional convenience key is detected.
    Seat belt microphones as standard: operation made easy
    Thanks to the all-new operating and display concept including natural language voice control and free-text search, the driver can control all functions effortlessly and intuitively. Standard seat belt microphones for driver and front passenger improve voice quality even with the hood open. As an alternative to the analog instrument dials, there is the Audi virtual cockpit with various display options. The large, high-resolution TFT monitor measuring 12.3 inches presents richly detailed graphics. The optional head-up display projects all relevant information onto the windshield in the driver’s direct field of vision as easily comprehensible symbols and digits, thus enabling the driver to keep their eyes on the road.
    Top-class connectivity: infotainment and Audi connect
    MMI navigation plus with MMI touch tops the infotainment range. Its 8.3-inch monitor has a resolution of 1,024 x 480 pixels. In addition to a DVD drive and a 10 GB flash memory, the high-end system also features two card readers, an AUX-IN connection and a USB connection with charging function.
    An LTE module provides access to Audi connect online services – free of charge for three years. The first five map updates for the navigation system are also free of charge. The media hub also comes with a Wi-Fi hotspot which connects passengers’ mobile devices to the World Wide Web.
    The Audi smartphone interface integrates iOS and Android cellphones in an environment specially developed for them in the MMI. The Audi phone box connects smartphones to the on-board antenna to provide superior reception quality. It also charges the smartphone inductively, without any wires, using the Qi standard. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System features innovative 3D sound and further improved bass thanks to a second woofer. It opens up the spatial dimension of height and gives the driver the sense of sitting in a concert hall. Its amplifier supplies 755 watts of power in total to 19 loudspeakers.
    Abundant support: the driver assistance systems
    With up to 30 driver assistance systems, the new Audi A5 Cabriolet offers a broad range of support. An intelligent combination of different technologies enhances safety, comfort and efficiency. Meanwhile Audi is also taking the next step toward piloted driving.
    Playing a central role here is the adaptive cruise control (ACC) Stop&Go system including traffic jam assist. It relieves drivers in slow-moving traffic up to speeds of 65 km/h (40.4 mph) by assuming the tasks of braking and accelerating the car, and it also temporarily takes charge of steering on better roads. The predictive efficiency assistant evaluates GPS information from the car’s immediate surroundings and helps to save fuel by giving specific driving advice – a unique feature in this segment.
    Collision avoidance assist intervenes if the car needs to drive around an obstacle to avoid an accident. Based on data from the front camera, ACC and radar sensors, it computes a recommended driving line within a fraction of a second. The lineup is rounded out by other assistance systems such as turn assist, park assist, rear cross traffic assist, exit warning, camera-based recognition of traffic signs, Audi active lane assist and Audi side assist.
    Pampering program: the equipment
    The Audi A5 and S5 Cabriolet come with an especially wide range of equipment. Standard features include xenon headlights, the Audi drive select dynamic handling system and partial leather seats. Intuitive, ergonomic operation comes courtesy of the Audi MMI radio plus with 7-inch color display, seat belt microphones and the one-touch opening function for the soft top. The new lines concept with various equipment packages enhances the scope for individual design expression.
    The new Audi A5 and S5 Cabriolet will be in dealerships in Germany and other European countries in March 2017. The A5 Cabriolet starts at EUR 49,350. The price for the S5 Cabriolet is EUR 67,800.
    Previous Page Next Page

    William Maley

    MINI's largest model grows once again (Yes, we know it's an oxymoron)

    We can't help but wonder if MINI is kind of missing the point of their name. This thought came up as we were looking at the details of the second-generation Countryman that will be debuting next month at the LA Auto Show.
    Compared to the outgoing Countryman, the 2017 model is 8.1-inches longer, 1.3-inches wider, and rides on a wheelbase that 2.9-inches longer. MINI, you're supposed to keep your vehicles small, not making them bigger. But we have to admit this growth spurt does make the Countryman look more SUV than raised-hatchback.
    The increase in size also allows for a larger interior. Shoulder room increases by 2-inches for both rows and rear legroom jumps by 3.8-inches. Cargo space measures 17.6 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 47.6 cubic feet with the seats down - up 5.6 cubic feet in both measurements. Otherwise, the interior matches up with current MINI models with such details as an improved layout for the dash and the option of a 8.8-inch screen for the infotainment system.
    There are three powertrains on offer. The base Cooper features a turbocharged 1.5L three-cylinder with 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. Cooper S models get a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Both gas engines feature the choice of a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic, along with the choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive. New for this generation is Cooper S E Countryman All4 - MINI's first plug-in hybrid. This pairs the 1.5L three-cylinder with an 87-horsepower electric motor and a 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. Total output stands at 221 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque. This makes the Cooper S E Countryman All4 the most powerful Countryman on sale (until the JCW version comes out). Electric-only range stands at 24 Miles. MINI hasn't released any details on how it takes to recharge.
    MINI says the 2017 Countryman will arrive in the U.S. next March. The plug-in hybrid will arrive in June.
    Source: MINI
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Introducing the Biggest, Most Adventurous MINI Yet: The New MINI Countryman
    - First ever plug-in hybrid available on Countryman as Cooper S E ALL4 variant 
    - World Premiere of all three variants at Los Angeles International Auto Show 
    - Cooper and Cooper S go on sale in March 2017, while Cooper S E ALL4 plug-in hybrid goes on sale in June 2017
    Woodcliff Lake, NJ – October 25, 2016 – MINI USA introduced today the biggest, most adventurous MINI ever, the all-new 2017 MINI Countryman. That’s not all. For the first time ever, a MINI model will be offered as a plug-in hybrid, combining the best of both worlds. The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 will be powered by both a three- cylinder MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology gasoline engine and an electric hybrid synchronous motor. All three of the new MINI Countryman variants will make their World Premiere at the Los Angeles International Auto Show at a press conference on Wednesday, November 16th, at 11:50 am PDT.
    The all-new MINI Countryman has been completely redesigned and reengineered from the ground up, yet still is instantly identifiable as a MINI. Now incorporating BMW Group engine technology and vehicle architecture, the all-new MINI Countryman offers an all-turbocharged engine lineup with outstanding acceleration and the go-kart driving dynamics that MINI owners have come to know and love – especially when experienced with the added traction that comes from the latest generation of ALL4 all- wheel drive. At the same time, this new architecture delivers excellent ride quality and enables the most spacious MINI interior ever.
    “The new MINI Countryman is not only the largest MINI we’ve ever built, but it’s also the most technologically advanced and most versatile MINI of our product line up,” said Thomas Felbermair, Vice President MINI of the Americas. “The addition of the plug-in hybrid option is a major milestone for the brand and we look forward to bringing this exciting new vehicle into one of the top performing market segments.”
    Fun to drive
    The benefits from the BMW Group engine technology are evident across both the Cooper and Cooper S variants, with the new three-cylinder MINI TwinPower turbocharged engine on the MINI Cooper Countryman delivering 42 percent more torque than its predecessor, just shy of the outgoing Cooper S variant. The MINI Cooper Countryman can also hit 0 – 60 mph 1.6 seconds more quickly than did its predecessor, and for the first time, can be matched with ALL4 all-wheel drive. Meanwhile, with 207 ft-lbs on tap, the turbocharged four-cylinder engine on the MINI Cooper S Countryman nearly matches the torque output of the outgoing MINI John Cooper Works Countryman.
    As the most adventurous MINI ever built, traction and performance in all kinds of conditions, wet or dry, rugged or smooth, straight or curvy, the new MINI Countryman benefits from the all-new ALL4 all-wheel drive system. The fully automatic system seamlessly delivers power to the wheels that grip and reacts to road conditions in as little as .25 seconds, with no action required by the driver or passenger.
    Spacious interior
    The biggest MINI ever means more space for cargo, people and anything else needed for your next big adventure. Not only does the all-new MINI Countryman offer cavernous cargo space – an increase of 30 percent compared to the outgoing generation – but with sliding, folding rear seats, a high roofline, and an adjustable trunk floor, it offers an incredibly flexible, versatile one too. The new MINI Countryman now has more front and rear legroom, front and rear headroom and rear seat shoulderroom than many of the major competitors in its class.
    Pre-Outfitted with Premium Features
    Although the new MINI Countryman continues the MINI tradition of offering an incredible array of possibilities for custom configuration, some customers may find that the car is already loaded before they’ve added any options. Every MINI Countryman will come standard with:
    - an expansive Panorama Sunroof - Sensatec Leatherette Upholstery - Comfort Access keyless entry - MINI Connected infotainment system with 6.5-inch high-resolution display - Rear View Camera with guidelines - Rear Park Distance Control (parking sensors) - Bluetooth supporting Telephone, Audio Streaming, and Siri Eyes Free - Automatic Headlights and Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers - Fore-and-Aft Sliding Rear Seats with Reclining and 40:20:40 Split-Folding Backrests - 17-inch light alloy wheels (Cooper) or 18-inch light alloy wheels (Cooper S)
    Models with ALL4 all-wheel drive also come standard with heated seats. Cooper S models (with and without ALL4) come with standard LED headlights and daytime running lights, bolstered sport seats, and 18-inch light alloy wheels.
    In addition to the standard features highlighted above, the new MINI Countryman features a number of options to improve the overall experience for the driver and passenger using a completely new generation of technology. A Technology Package includes a new 8.8-inch touchscreen navigation system, driven by MINI Connected 5.0, a redesigned and new-generation user interface and operating system, as well as Qi wireless device charging capability and MINI Find Mate Bluetooth tags.
    The option to plug-in
    The biggest, most adventurous MINI ever built will also be the most technologically advanced MINI when the brand launches its first ever plug-in hybrid model, the new MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4, in June 2017. Behind the scenes, a 3-cylinder gasoline engine works in tandem with a powerful electric motor to produce a combined peak output of 221 hp, with the e-rear axle enabling all-season ALL4 traction – but for drivers, Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 simply means high-tech Motoring fun.
    It’s the perfect vehicle for city dwellers who wish to enjoy the benefits of purely electric mobility when commuting between home and work every day, for example, while at the same time benefiting from unlimited long-distance suitability on the weekend.
    #FromWhereIMINI
    Later this week, drone photographer Dirk Dallas (@dirka) will be taking the new MINI Countryman on a cross country adventure to its World Premiere in Los Angeles. Fellow MINI fans and adventurers can follow the action @MINIUSA as Dirk shares some of his favorite adventure spots across the country. Additionally, fans will have a chance at winning limited edition MINI Adventure Series patches by guessing Dirk’s #FromWhereIMINI location.
    The new MINI Countryman will go on sale in March 2017 at MINI dealers across the U.S. with the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 plug-in hybrid following in June 2017. Pricing for the U.S. market will be announced at a later date.

    William Maley

    Mercedes' hyper E-Class is announced

    So far this year, Mercedes has introduced us to the new E-Class sedan, the AMG-lite E43, E-Class wagon, and E-Class All-Terrain. All we need to complete this year is the full-blown AMG model. Mercedes has obliged us by releasing the details on the 2018 E63 that will be debuting next month at Los Angeles Auto Show.
    Let's get to the most important part first, the engine: A twin-turbo 4.0L V8 producing either 563 horsepower and 553 pound-feet (E63) or 603 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque (E63S). This will come paired to a nine-speed AMG Speedshift multi-clutch transmission and a special version of Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system known as 4Matic+. This system now features a 'Drift Mode' which Mercedes says turns the E63 into a "purely rear-wheel drive" vehicle - although we're wondering this is due to the torque split being altered (31 Front:69 Rear) or something else. All you need to do is active 'Race' mode, turn off the stability control, and activate the transmission's manual mode.
    In terms of performance figures, the E63 hits 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and reaches a limited top speed of 155 mph. The E63S is only 0.1 seconds faster than the E63, but has a higher top speed of 186 mph. 
    Other mechanical items of note include electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential, AMG-tuned air suspension, dynamic engine mounts, and larger brakes. Carbon-ceramic brakes are available as an option.
    The exterior features a restyled hood, wider fenders to fit fatter tires, new wheels, a small rear spoiler, and quad-exhaust tips.
    Mercedes says the 2018 E63 will go on sale in the U.S. next summer.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2


    The new Mercedes-AMG E63 and E63 S Sedan
    The most powerful E-Class of all time October 25, 2016 - Affalterbach
    Mercedes-AMG is redefining the performance sedan. The brand is turning the most intelligent executive sedan into the most powerful E-Class of all time with the next generation of the E63 and E63 S. Mercedes- AMG is also setting new benchmarks in this market segment with its innovative technologies. The intelligent drive strategy raises the limits of the performance sedan's vehicle dynamics to a completely new level. Delivering superior acceleration, the 4.0L V8 biturbo engine generates up to 603 hp, making this the most powerful engine to have ever been installed in an E- Class. At the same time it is even more efficient thanks to a cylinder deactivation system fitted as standard. With zero to 60 mph acceleration of just 3.3 seconds in the E63 S, the new sedan is at the top of its class. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT (Multi Clutch Technology) nine-speed sport transmission is combined with a wet start-off clutch for the first time, enabling more agile response times to be achieved. Another highlight is the completely new AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system. It combines the advantages of various drive configurations. Torque distribution on the front and rear axles, which until now was strongly rear-biased, is fully variable for the first time. This ensures optimum traction right up to the physical limit, no matter the road conditions. The expressive exterior design, featuring a new radiator grille and coupe-style inset hood, underlines the performance figures. The next generation of the E63 thus offers a completely new level of sportiness and comfort.
    The latest generation of the E63 and the E63 S sees Mercedes-AMG introducing a number of new developments that redefine the performance sedan. Innovative powertrain engineering and maximum performance are combined with distinctive design, exclusive equipment and the latest infotainment features for comprehensive, connected multimedia  applications.
    "The new E63 models represent the biggest step forward we've ever taken from one generation to the next. Vehicle dynamics were especially important to us. At the start of the development process, we opted for a fully variable all-wheel drive system which, when combined with the advanced performance of the 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine, reaffirms our brand's "Driving Performance" claim," explains Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
    Technical data at a glance:
      Mercedes-AMG E63 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Engine 4.0L V8 biturbo 4.0L V8 biturbo Displacement 3,982 cc 3,982 cc Output 563 hp at 5,750 – 6,500 rpm 603 hp at 5,750 – 6,500 rpm Peak torque 553 lb-ft at 2,250–5,000 rpm 627 lb-ft at 2,500–4,500 rpm Drive system AMG Performance 4MATIC+ permanent all-wheel drive with variable torque distribution AMG Performance 4MATIC+ permanent all-wheel drive with variable torque distribution and drift mode Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT  9-speed 
    sport transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT  9-speed 
    sport transmission Acceleration 0–60 mph (sec) 3.4 3.3 Top speed 155 mph (electronically limited) 186 mph (electronically limited)
    A unique front: the exterior design
    Every detail of the exterior and interior is designed to enable AMG Driving Performance to be experienced at first hand. The expressive exterior design is all about sinuous edges and defined muscles. With a completely distinctive design forward of the A-pillar, the sporty front also demonstrates the effort that Mercedes-AMG has put into the styling. For the first time on an AMG sedan, the hood is inset between the fenders and bumper like on a coupe, thus exhibiting an entirely new, more dynamic approach to exterior sculpting. More powerful-looking and .67-inches wider, the wheel arches accommodate greater track width and larger wheels on the front axle.
    The new radiator grille with twin louvers in silver chrome, vertical black struts and "AMG" lettering likewise emphasizes the distinctive look. A wide front bumper inspired by the design of a jet wing, with flics in black and a large front splitter, impressively epitomizes the power of the new models. It also showcases the sophisticated cooling technology – a feature common to motorsports and another visual reference to the powerful engine. The two louvers in the outer cooling-air
    intakes also help in this regard—their targeted wing profile directs air to the wheel arch coolers.
    Overall, the front section exudes exceptional power and thus conveys the strong forwards thrust of the new performance sedan at first glance.
    Elongated side view and muscular rear
    The side view of the E63 Sedan reinforces this impression by way of numerous, carefully matched elements. One special detail is the arrow-shaped wing signet in silver chrome bearing three-dimensional "V8 BITURBO 4MATIC+" lettering – an eye- catching way to highlight the drive system. The side sill panels make the sedan appear to sit even lower on the road and elongate the overall line. Inserts in silver chrome differentiate the E63 S from the base E63.
    As standard, the E63 comes with 9.5 J x 19 (front) and 10 J x 19 (rear) 10-spoke light-alloy wheels painted titanium grey with a high-sheen finish, with tires in size 265/35 ZR 19 (front) and 295/30 ZR 19 (rear). The E63 S runs on tires of sizes 265/35 ZR 20 (front) and 295/30 ZR 20 (rear) mounted on 9.5 J x 20 (front) and 10 J x 20 (rear) 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, painted matte titanium grey with a high-sheen finish. A new design of 20-inch cross-spoke forged wheel, which looks as though it is centrally locked, is available as an option.
    The muscular rear end provides the finishing touch in conjunction with the clearly defined spoiler lip in the color of the vehicle on the trunk lid, rear bumper with diffuser-look insert, and bright chrome-plated twin tailpipe trim elements on the selectable sport exhaust system. The E63 S also features a trim strip in silver chrome on the rear bumper.
    Performance-oriented lift balance
    Designers and aerodynamics experts worked together to develop the E63. Their insights not only resulted in the striking AMG bodystyling but also the performance- oriented lift balance – for agile handling characteristics on country roads and optimum driving stability at high speeds on the motorway. The developers also placed great importance on achieving a low level of wind noise, minimal aerodynamic drag for low fuel consumption, and thermal robustness for all systems. Adapted to the sedan's airflow, the clearly defined rear spoiler reduces lift on the rear axle.
    New peak of performance: 4.0L V8 biturbo engine with twin-scroll turbochargers
    The versatile AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine in the E63 S takes peak performance to a new level with 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque, available from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm. A sprint from zero to 60 mph takes only 3.3 seconds, and this dynamic acceleration only ends at the governed top speed of 186 mph.
    The E63 is rated at 563 hp and has 553 lb-ft of torque. This variant accelerates to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds.
    The advanced AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine utilizes well-proven twin turbocharging, with the two chargers not located outside on the cylinder banks, but rather between them in the V of the cylinders. The advantages of the "hot inner V" are a compact engine design, an immediate response from the twin-scroll turbochargers and low exhaust gas emissions thanks to optimum air flow for the close-coupled catalytic converters.
    Two twin-scroll turbochargers are deployed for the first time to boost performance and improve responsiveness further. The housing is divided into two parallel flow passages. Combined with two separate exhaust ducts in the exhaust manifold, this makes it possible to control the exhaust gases on the turbine wheel separately. The exhaust gas from the first and fourth cylinders of the cylinder bank is fed into one duct and exhaust gas from the second and third cylinders to the other duct. The aim is to prevent the individual cylinders from having mutually adverse effects on the exhaust gas cycle. This reduces the exhaust gas back pressure and improves gas exchange. This results in increased output due to improved cylinder charge, more torque at low revs and immediate throttle response times.
    Other engine measures include new pistons, an optimized air intake and charge air cooling, as well as extensive software developments. Spray-guided direct petrol injection with piezo injectors, all-aluminum crankcase, four-valve-per-cylinder design with camshaft adjustment, air-water charge air cooling, alternator management, ECO start/stop function and gliding mode have all been retained. To sum up, the eight-cylinder engine thrills with its exceptional power delivery and powerful acceleration in all engine speed ranges combined with maximum efficiency for low consumption and emission values.
    AMG Cylinder Management
    For maximum efficiency, Mercedes-AMG has equipped the V8 engine with the AMG Cylinder Management cylinder deactivation system. This already helped the SLK55 to achieve impressively low consumption and emission values and is now being used with a turbocharged engine from the high-performance sports car brand for the first time. In the partial-load range cylinders two, three, five and eight are deactivated, which crucially lowers fuel consumption.
    When the driver has selected the "Comfort" transmission drive program, the cylinder deactivation system is available in the wide engine speed range from 1,000 to 3,250 rpm. The AMG main menu on the instrument cluster informs the driver whether the cylinder deactivation system is in use and whether the engine is presently operating in the partial or full-load range. The transition from four to eight-cylinder operation is immediate and imperceptible, so that the passengers do not experience any loss of comfort.
    Valves closed, fuel supply and ignition deactivated
    This is made possible by intelligent interaction between the high-performance engine management system and CAMTRONIC valve lift adjustment, which is familiar in a similar configuration from the four-cylinder engines. There are eight dual actuators involved in half-engine mode, which operate the axially sliding cam units of the intake and exhaust camshafts via a shift gate. Half-engine operation is achieved by shutting off the relevant intake and exhaust valves of cylinders two, three, five and eight. This not only enables the load-change losses of the four deactivated cylinders to be reduced, but also increases the efficiency of the four remaining cylinders. The reason for this is to shift the operating point to higher loads.
    AMG Performance 4MATIC+ variable all-wheel drive
    Both E63 models are exclusively available with the innovative AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system. This newly engineered, intelligent system brings together the advantages of various drive configurations. Torque distribution on the front and rear axles, which is fully variable for the first time, ensures optimum traction right up to the physical traction limit. The driver is also able to rely on high driving stability and handling safety under all road conditions, whether dry, wet or snow-covered. The transition from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive and back again is seamless, because intelligent control is integrated into the vehicle system architecture as a whole.
    An electromechanically controlled coupling connects the permanently driven rear axle variably to the front axle. The best possible torque distribution is calculated continuously according to the driving conditions and driver's input. The performance sedan can thus be driven in a continuously variable way from traction- oriented all-wheel drive to purely rear-wheel drive. Transitions are seamless and based on an elaborate matrix. In addition to traction and lateral dynamics, the all- wheel drive system also improves longitudinal dynamics for even more powerful acceleration.
    It is still possible to drift thanks to fully variable torque distribution. This is where drift mode, part of the standard specification for the E63 S, comes into its own. This can be activated in the "Race" drive program using the shift paddles, provided that ESP® is deactivated and the transmission is in manual mode. When drift mode is activated, the E63 S becomes a purely rear-wheel drive vehicle. Drift mode remains engaged until the driver deactivates it again.
    Short shift times, high efficiency: the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT nine-speed sport transmission
    The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT nine-speed sport transmission is specially tuned to requirements in the new E63 and E63 S. This involved re-engineering hardware and software alike.
    A special software development enables extremely short shift times, fast multiple downshifts and a double-clutching function, making for highly emotional gear shifting experience. A wet start-off clutch replaces the torque converter. This saves weight and optimizes the response time to the driver's accelerator pedal input, particularly when accelerating and during load changes.
    For a personalized experience: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs
    The four different AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport Plus" and "Individual" allow the driver to extensively influence the characteristics of the E63. Key parameters are modified such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension, steering, ESP® and all-wheel drive system. Independently of the DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. The suspension set-ups can also be selected if desired.
    "Comfort" is the well-balanced drive program with a comfort-oriented suspension and steering set-up, as well as a fuel-efficient powertrain configuration and early upshifts – including smooth gear changes and a discreet engine sound. Cylinder deactivation, ECO start/stop function and gliding mode are on. When the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 37 and 99 mph, the clutch of the MCT transmission opens and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics reduce the engine speed to idle level, and the motion resistance is reduced by the compression and frictional forces of the engine in overrun mode.
    The DYNAMIC SELECT "Sport" and "Sport Plus" drive programs are designed for high vehicle dynamics. This results from an agile accelerator pedal characteristic with direct set-up and emotively appealing shift operations with shortened shift times and double-clutching function on downshifts. The increased idle speed in "Sport Plus" mode additionally enables the vehicle to move off particularly quickly while ensuring faster acceleration from rest. The E63 S also comes with the "RACE" drive program for highly dynamic driving on closed race circuits. Here all parameters are designed for maximum performance.
    RACESTART even simpler
    The control logic for the RACESTART function is new and has been simplified considerably. In the Sport, Sport Plus or RACE drive programs, all the driver has to do is press the brake pedal forcefully with their left foot and simultaneously fully depress the accelerator pedal with their right foot.
    The on-board electronics will now set the optimum engine speed. Depending on requirements or the road surface conditions, the engine speed can be increased or lowered in either direction by activating the shift paddles. If the driver now takes their foot off the brake pedal, the E63 will accelerate from rest with optimal traction. The S-Model completes the sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds, while the E63 takes 3.4 seconds.
    Specially developed suspension for maximum lateral and longitudinal dynamics
    Increased agility and high cornering speed of the new E63 and E63 S are also benefits of the completely re-engineered AMG sport suspension. It is based on the AIR BODY CONTROL fully supporting multi-chamber air suspension and affords very high camber stability. The vehicle dynamics and steering precision are also combined with a high level of comfort.
    A four-link front axle design uses forged aluminum components with wishbones, strut rod and spring link. The suspension strut supports the vehicle weight via the supporting link across from the body. Independent wheel control and wheel suspension parts combined with the increased track width enable higher lateral acceleration, and minimal torque steer.
    Likewise model-specific, the entirely re-engineered rear axle was adapted specifically to the new performance sedan's increased vehicle dynamics. The multi- link concept impresses with highly precise wheel control and increased stiffness.
    The AMG-specific rear axle carrier makes the wider track possible, with the contact surfaces of the wheel bearings having been moved out compared with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan. Other measures include AMG-specific wheel carriers, elastokinematic tuning optimized for vehicle dynamics and higher negative camber. Newly developed elastokinematics guarantee the comfort expected from the E-Class combined with high precision and vehicle dynamics.
    The rear axle differential has a new mount to improve the NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) characteristics. Additional bracing measures and welds also make a contribution in this regard. As on the AMG GT R, an anti-roll bar made of tubular material reduces the weight of the rear axle. It has been adapted to the increased vehicle dynamics of the new performance sedans.
    The radial brake connection has been derived from motorsport. It helps to make handling more agile and precise because it provides increased rigidity to counter the vibrations and forces that the suspension produces. Due to the special rubber bushes on the axles and new elastokinematics, it was possible to improve camber stability by 30 percent compared to the previous E63 model.
    Personalized driving experience thanks to three-chamber air suspension system
    The air suspension system, with three chambers, a sporty spring damper set-up and continuously adjustable damping also takes the ability to individually tailor the driving experience to a new level. It combines exemplary vehicle dynamics with good road roar and tire vibration characteristics. The rigidity of the air springs can be fine-tuned by activating or deactivating individual air chambers. This results in a tangible increase in comfort, as well as improved handling.
    By carrying out extended series of trials and test drives, the developers at AMG have defined three spring tuning settings depending on the selected drive program
    and actual driving conditions. During sudden load changes, fast cornering, heavy acceleration or hard braking, the spring rate is also automatically made harder on the front or rear axle. This reduces roll and pitching effectively and stabilizes the performance sedan.
    In the "Comfort" program, the suspension is heavily oriented towards providing a comfortable ride. Irregularities in the road surface are absorbed and the E63 travels smoothly. In "Sport" mode, the E63 and E63 S handle significantly more dynamically with reduced roll thanks to a harder spring rate. "Sport Plus" mode delivers further enhanced agility and cornering ability because the front and rear axles have an even more rigid suspension.
    What is more, the customer can set the adaptive damping in three stages – "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport Plus" – to choose between relaxed comfort on long journeys and maximum sportiness. The rebound and compression levels are adjusted independently of each other and the freely programmable characteristics map permits a wide spread between the minimum and maximum damper force. The difference between the comfortable and sporty suspension setting is thus more refined and is even more perceptible depending on the particular driving situation.
    The complete package is compelling: The AMG E63 and E63 S Sedans combine steering precision and the highest level of longitudinal and lateral dynamics with maximum traction, while at the same time boosting ride comfort.
    Rear differential lock: optimal traction, including on the racetrack
    To improve traction and vehicle dynamics the E63 has a mechanical rear differential lock and the E63 S has an electronically controlled rear differential lock. Both differentials reduce the slip on the inside wheel when cornering without control interventions in the braking system. This ensures that the driver is able to accelerate out of corners earlier and with more power thanks to improved traction. The car remains more stable when braking from high speeds, and the limited-slip differential also improves traction when accelerating. The greatest benefit of the electronic rear-axle limited-slip differential is the even more sensitive and proactive control, which pushes the thresholds higher and makes it even easier to drive at the vehicle's limits. To deliver optimum cooling, the housing of the limited-slip differential has additional cooling fins.
    The three-stage ESP® with "ESP ON", "ESP SPORT Handling Mode" and "ESP OFF" settings works in perfect unison with the rear-axle limited-slip differential and AMG 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system, and is optimally tuned for outstanding dynamics.
    E63 S with dynamic engine mounts as standard
    Uniquely in this segment, the E63 S is fitted with dynamic engine mounts. These help to solve the conflicting goals of achieving as soft a connection as possible to the powertrain for high comfort and as rigid a connection as possible for optimum vehicle dynamics. The dynamic mounts are instantly and variably able to adapt their stiffness to the driving conditions and requirements. These measures enhance the vehicle's precision when driven dynamically. The steering response and steering feedback, for example, are thus even more direct. When cornering the ride feels more precise and the driver needs to make fewer corrections because movement of the major assemblies is minimized. On the racetrack there is no compromise on the rigidity of the mounts, which further reduces the major assemblies' propensity to inertia, and thus helps to improve lap times. Conversely, softer mounts noticeably enhance comfort on stretches of rough road, for example. In the case of undulating surfaces, increased damping steadies the powertrain as quickly as possible.
    Direct and with clear feedback: AMG Sport speed-sensitive steering
    The electromechanical speed-sensitive sport steering features a variable ratio on the E63 and the E63 S. It stands out thanks to the AMG-specific rack-and-pinion ratio with its precise feedback. Steering power assistance is variably adjusted in the stages "Comfort," "Sport" or "Sport Plus." The relevant characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected DYNAMIC SELECT drive program or can be personalized in "Individual" mode. At low speeds the driver only needs to provide minimal steering input. At high speed he or she is able to rely on solid straight-line stability. The clearly defined center bearing and authentic feedback likewise contribute to the optimum steering feel.
    Good sensitivity and fade-resistant: the AMG high-performance braking system
    The large-sized high-performance braking system decelerates the performance sedan reliably and quickly and is fade-resistant even under high loads. The
    E63 has 14.2" x 1.4" internally vented and perforated compound brake discs with six-piston brake calipers at the front axle and 14.2" x .9" rotors with single-piston
    floating brake calipers at the rear. The E63 S is fitted with even larger 15.4" x 1.4" compound brake discs on the front axle. For the more powerful variant, the AMG Carbon Ceramic braking system is available as an option with 15.8" x 1.5" brake discs on the front axle and 14.2" x 1.3" on the rear.
    The three-stage ESP® allows significantly higher vehicle dynamics and driving enjoyment in ESP® Sport Handling Mode and with the ESP® OFF setting. The specific traction logic is active at all times—when a driven wheel starts to lose traction, ESP® applies the brakes in a targeted way for optimum transfer of the engine output to the road.
    In this way, the three-stage ESP® provides additional safety and more fun to suit requirements.
    ESP® ON: for a high level of safety by adapting to the sporty character of the car
    ESP® Sport Handling Mode: allows wider yaw angles before system intervention for a sporty driving style
    ESP® OFF: system deactivated for a sporty driving style on closed circuits. During hard braking ESP® is switched back on temporarily.
    Additional struts: reinforced bodywork structure
    The new performance sedans have a rigid bodywork structure, which forms the foundation for maximum vehicle dynamics, comfortable handling even on stretches of rough road, and a solid feeling of quality. There are also four struts to additionally reinforce the bodyshell: two front struts are even stiffer than on the E43 and the Mercedes-AMG E63 and E63 S exclusively gains two rear struts.
    Sporty characteristics: the interior design
    The interior reinforces the consistently dynamic bias with numerous specially designed details. Ideal for a sporty driving style, the performance sport steering wheel in black leather features a flattened bottom section, Touch Control and electroplated shift paddles, as well as a steering wheel bezel with the AMG logo.
    The driver and front passenger enjoy a secure position in the front sport seats even when driving at speed thanks to improved lateral support. There is a distinctive seat upholstery layout in black nappa leather/DINAMICA microfiber, nut brown nappa leather or macchiato nappa leather. The door center panels match the seat design.
    AMG Performance seats with integral head restraints can be ordered as an option. Aluminum trim elements with a unique pattern highlight the E63's sportiness.
    In the E63 S, the interior has been further refined. Highlights include a nappa leather covering for the instrument panel and beltlines, sport steering wheel with a crystal grey 12 o'clock marking and contrast topstitching, an AMG crest in the front head restraints, crystal grey seat piping, IWC-designed analogue clock and seat belts in crystal grey.
    The AMG-specific instrument cluster places all important information in the driver's field of vision. Dials in a checkered-flag look lend the large, clearly legible displays an especially sporty touch. Customers with a passion for motorsport will be pleased to note the inclusion of a RACETIMER system for recording lap times on closed-off tracks.
    New AMG TRACK PACE app (availability TBA)
    To supplement the RACETIMER, Mercedes-AMG has developed the new Mercedes me connect AMG TRACK PACE app. Customers can use it to analyze and improve their track driving style and to share this with other AMG drivers via Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube or the AMG Private Lounge. This app for Apple iPhones® is connected to the on-board race app in the head unit via wifi or Bluetooth®. The COMAND Online infotainment system transmits all vehicle data – including speed, gear, steering angle, time, position and temperature – to the app in real time. The smartphone app can also be connected with GoPro cameras so that the driver can obtain an interactive video of their racing experience featuring all the related data.
    Intelligent Drive
    For the E63 sedan, all connectivity, Intelligent Drive functions and options which make the Mercedes-Benz E-Class the most intelligent business sedan are available. This includes semi-automated driving with the DRIVE PILOT driver assistance system, which can support the driver during routine tasks such as driving in heavy traffic.
    Numerous options for personalization
    Anyone wishing to personalize their E63 or E63 S even further is able to order from a wide selection of options. The Night Package, attractive wheel alternatives and carbon-fiber elements can be used to customize the exterior specification. In the
    interior the AMG Performance Steering Wheel in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfiber and AMG Performance Seats, which are available for the first time, reinforce the sporty character. Carbon-fiber trim parts or glass-fiber elements in matte silver round off the possibilities.
    Even more exclusivity: the E63 S "Edition 1"
    Available for around a year after the market launch, the E63 S "Edition 1" is an exceptionally exclusive and distinctive offering. Complementing the paint finish in designo Night Black Magno, dynamic stripes on the side sill panels emphasize the elongated side view and underline the forward thrust of the AMG E63 sedan. Added to this are new AMG 20-inch forged wheels in matte black with high-gloss polished rim flange and the Night package.
    AMG Performance seats in black nappa leather with yellow topstitching create an exceptionally sporty ambience in the interior. Also color-matched are the AMG Performance sport steering wheel, door armrests, center console, AMG floor mats and IWC-designed analogue clock with yellow topstitching or accents. The sport steering wheel in black DINAMICA microfiber features "Edition 1" lettering and a 12 o'clock marking in black. Carbon-fiber trim elements further enhance the exciting contrast of colors and materials.
    World premiere and market launch
    The new performance sedan celebrates its world premiere as an "Edition 1" on November 16, 2016 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. US dealer launch is planned in the summer of 2017.

    William Maley

    We Can't Believe That's A Kia Either

    By now, you would think that we wouldn't be surprised when Kia rolls out a very stylish vehicle. You would be wrong as jaws dropped when Kia unveiled the 2017 Sportage at the LA Auto Show yesterday.
     
    Now Kia has shown off the Sportage at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in September. But if you missed or forgot about it, here is what you need to know. The Sportage's exterior is all new from the ground up with a more aggressive look. The front boast's Kia's most polarizing take on the Tiger nose with an upright design. Quad-beam foglights and new headlights finish the front. Size-wise, the 2017 Sportage is about 1.6 inches longer and rides on a wheelbase that is 1.2 inches longer.
     
    The increase in size allows for a more spacious cabin for passengers and cargo. A new dashboard layout provides an easy reach and understanding for all of the various controls. The 2017 Sportage will also be one of the first Kia models to debut the latest version of UVO, complete with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.
     
    The base engine will be a 2.4L four with 181 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, while a turbocharged 2.0L four with 241 horsepower and 260 pound-feet will be standard on top SX trim. A six-speed automatic comes standard on either engine, while there is a choice between front and all-wheel drive.
     
    Kia says the Sportage will arrive sometime next year.
     
    Source: Kia
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    All-new 2017 Kia Sportage makes North American Debut at Los Angeles Auto Show
    Fourth-Generation Sportage Compact CUV Boasts Sophisticated Design, a Refined Premium Interior and Significant Ride and Handling Improvements Stiffer structure, new suspension, advanced driver assistance systems, and premium materials take Sportage to the head of the class Cutting-edge design, engaging driving dynamics and intelligent packaging stand out in a staid compact CUV segment First Kia to offer UVO3, featuring 14 telematics services, 8 GB of music storage, access to onscreen apps and Wi-Fi tethering capability, all free of charge

    Los Angeles, November 18, 2015 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today unveiled the all-new 2017 Sportage at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The fourth-generation Sportage, KMA’s longest-running nameplate, wraps stunning contemporary design around a structure that is both stiffer and more spacious than before. Advanced driver assistance technologies, significant suspension and steering improvements, and available intelligent AWD vastly improve the Sportage’s driving dynamics while premium materials and world-class craftsmanship create a class-up experience in an otherwise utilitarian segment.
     

    “Simply put, the Sportage is a breed apart in the compact CUV segment,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning KMA. “Instead of bland utility, the Sportage combines distinctly European and sporty styling with thoughtful design and functionality, including innovative packaging, premium materials, a turbocharged engine and surprising features. Sales of compact CUVs are on a sharply upward trajectory, and the all-new 2017 Sportage hits the sweet spot by providing an alternative for those seeking to express themselves with a vehicle that’s versatile enough to suit their unique lifestyle.”
     
    The all-new Sportage’s roomier, more luxurious cabin features an impressive level of craftsmanship, with high-quality, soft-touch materials and a range of technologies improving overall comfort, convenience, and connectivity. Updates to the drivetrain provide enhanced efficiency and performance, while changes to the suspension deliver better ride and handling. Like the outgoing model, the all-new Sportage will be built at Kia’s production facility in Gwangju, Korea, and be available in three distinct trim levels (LX, EX, SX Turbo) when it goes on sale next year. Pricing will be announced closer to the Sportage’s on-sale date.
    Aggressive, Inspired Design
    Designed under the direction of Kia’s president and chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, the 2017 Sportage’s exterior juxtaposes smooth curves with sharp creases. Although every body panel is new, the “face” of the new Sportage features the most significant change over the outgoing model. Kia’s hallmark “tiger-nose” grille resides vertically in the front fascia while the headlights are positioned higher, sweeping back along the outer edges of the sharply detailed hood. A lower, wider front clip – enlarged to provide greater engine cooling – adds visual volume to the lower half of the Sportage’s face, resulting in a planted and aggressive stance, though it keeps the same overall width, 73.0 inches, as its predecessor. The wheelbase has been stretched 1.2 inches (now 105.1 inches), while overall length has increased 1.6 inches to 176.4 inches.
     
    Despite its increased dimensions, the all-new Sportage remains instantly recognizable thanks to its sloping roofline and sharply raked rear window. Short overhangs and wheels pushed to the corners continue to be Sportage signatures, while a longer, more aerodynamic spoiler and bolder wheel arches give the compact CUV a more dynamic appearance. Tasteful chrome touches surround the windows, giving the Sportage LX and EX a more upscale look, while the top-of-the-line SX Turbo model adds more visual interest with new “ice cube” LED fog lamps, HID headlamps, LED tail lights, satin exterior trim, metal-look skid plates, and 19-inch alloy wheels.
     
    Modern and Refined Interior
    Inside, the new Sportage’s driver-oriented cockpit features a simple and modern design with clean horizontal lines emphasizing a more spacious interior. The lateral design of the dashboard divides it into two clear zones. The upper “display” zone delivers information to occupants via the instrument panel and new color touchscreen, which is canted 10 degrees toward the driver. The lower half, or the “control” zone, features easily identifiable switchgear to operate the available dual-zone climate system, audio and secondary controls. Similar to the touchscreen, the center console has been angled to face the driver.
     
    Giving the Sportage a more premium feel is the availability of either a single-tone (black) or two-tone (Dark and Light Grey or Black and Beige) cabin, while metalwork elements blended with soft-touch materials contribute to a more upscale interior. The EX and SX Turbo models add sumptuous leather upholstery, and the SX Turbo includes a D-shaped, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, piano black trim along the center console, aluminum alloy pedals, and authentic stitching on the dashboard.
     
    As a result of the increased exterior dimensions and clever packaging, interior dimensions have grown, offering more space and comfort. Headroom has increased 0.2 inches to 39.3 inches in the front and 0.6 inches to 39.1 in the rear, while legroom has increased slightly in front and 0.3 inches in the rear to 38.2. The second row has a 1.6-inch lower interior floor (ground clearance is unchanged at 6.4 inches for front-drive models and 6.8 inches on AWD) and 1.2-inch lower rear bench hip point, benefitting second-row passengers with more headroom (up more than a half inch) and a more comfortable seating position. Offering even more comfort are options such as three-level front seat heaters, 10-way power control with lumbar support for the driver’s seat, and eight-way power control for the passenger seat.
     
    Just as passenger space has increased, so has cargo room. Thanks to an innovative dual-level cargo floor and a widened luggage area, cargo capacity behind the second row has grown substantially from 26.1 cu.-ft. to 30.7 cu.-ft. (SAE). By relocating the license plate from the bumper to the tailgate, the lift-over height has been lowered for easier loading and unloading. A Smart Power Liftgate™, which automatically opens when the key fob is within three feet of the vehicle, is also available.
     
    Outward visibility has been improved by mounting the side mirrors lower on the doors, using thinner A- and C-pillars and incorporating larger rear glass in hatch. This feeling of spaciousness is further enhanced with an available panoramic sunroof that is 4.1 inches longer than the outgoing model’s.
     
    Kia engineers reduced noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) through the application of a quad-bushing setup in the rear suspension to isolate road noise and additional sound-absorbent materials throughout the Sportage’s wheel arches. Wind noise also is reduced as a result of thicker front side glass, a lip seal for the panoramic sunroof, and additional soundproofing in the doors. The 2017 Sportage is also more aerodynamic, with a coefficient of drag that’s been reduced from .37 cd to .35 cd.
     
    A Strong Foundation
    The structure of the all-new Sportage is significantly improved due to the extensive use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). With 51 percent of the Sportage’s body-in-white consisting of AHSS versus the outgoing model’s 18 percent, torsional rigidity has improved 39 percent. Furthermore, the increased use of advanced hot-stamped steel improves body integrity. The material has been used to reinforce the A-, B- and C-pillars, side sills, roof structure, and wheel arches. As a result of its stronger core, Sportage engineers are targeting the compact CUV to earn an overall five-star National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rating and an Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ designation.
    The 2017 will be available with a wide range of driver assistance features1 including:
    Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), which can detect a potential collision with another vehicle or pedestrian and help bring the Sportage to a halt Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), which emits an audible alert when it detects the driver straying from the current lane without using a turn signal Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Lane Change Assist (LCA), which can monitor cars up to 230 feet behind the Sportage and provide the driver with a visual warning in the door mirror when another car enters the blind spot Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), which can warn the driver when other cars pass behind the Sportage as it backs out of a parking space Bi-HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) technology

    Refined and Spirited Performance
    The completely redesigned fully independent front suspension achieves a leap forward in ride quality. A four-point bushing setup delivers greater stability and a more natural response to changing road surfaces, while stiffer wheel bearings and bushings result in more precise handling. The fully-independent rear suspension now adopts a dual-member shock absorber housing, while both AWD and FWD models now benefit from a dual lower-arm multi-link setup. The SX Turbo has been uniquely tuned with firmer shock absorbers to deliver sharper handling befitting its athletic personality.
     

    The 2017 Sportage is offered in front or all-wheel-drive, both coupled with a six-speed Sportmatic transmission. The Dynamax intelligent AWD system is available on every trim and features a 50/50 locking center differential. The system senses, anticipates, and optimizes traction requirements for all road and weather conditions. AWD models feature a unique front fascia with a steeper approach angle for increased capability.
     
    Steering is another area of improvement, as engineers mounted the steering box farther forward on the axle for better weight distribution. With 25 percent less friction than the previous unit, the 2017 Sportage offers smoother and more precise steering inputs and better feel.
     
    Efficiency and driving performance were two major areas of focus when retuning the engines. The hard-charging 2.0-liter inline-four turbo found on the SX Turbo makes 241 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and has been retuned to target improved fuel efficiency and offer better midrange torque. The LX and EX use a normally aspirated 2.4-liter engine that produces 181 horsepower and 175 lb.-ft. of torque and is also retuned to target better fuel efficiency.
     
    Advanced Telematics, Audio and Entertainment
    The all-new Sportage features a number of new and advanced on-board technologies2 to elevate the driving experience and keep drivers connected. The LX comes equipped with a standard 5.0-inch color touchscreen that features Bluetooth®3 hands-free phone operation and streaming audio, SiriusXM®4 satellite radio, and rear-camera display5. A move up to the EX brings a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen with the latest version of Kia’s award-winning telematics and infotainment system, UVO3, which is making its debut on the all-new Sportage. Complete with Android Auto6, Apple7 CarPlay® (late availability), and UVO eServices8 featuring 14 telematics services, the enhanced system features up to 8 GB of music storage, access to onscreen apps such as Pandora®9 and Soundhound and Wi-Fi tethering capability, all free of charge. The SX Turbo features all of the above, plus an 8-inch touchscreen and onboard navigation.
     
    All Sportages come standard with a 160-watt six-speaker audio system, and a powerful 320-watt Harmon Kardon® premium audio system is available, featuring eight speakers including subwoofer, an external amplifier, and Clari-FiTM10 music restoration technology for unrivalled audio quality.

    Drew Dowdell

    Mitsubishi gives the Outlander Sport a last minute makeover for 2016.

    Mitsubishi gives the Outlander Sport a last minute makeover for 2016.
     
    The move updates the Outlander Sport to more closely resemble its big brother the Mitsubishi Outlander. Under the new do, the Outlander Sport's hardware carries over. On the inside, there is a new steering wheel and an updated infotainment 6.1 inch screen.
     
    No word on an official on-sale date, but we have to assume it will be soon as it is a 2016 model year.
     
    Mitsubishi Press Release on Page 2
     

     
    Source: Mitsubishi Media
     
    You can follow all of our coverage of the 2015 LA Auto Show here or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
     

     


    DYNAMIC DESIGN ENHANCES MITSUBISHI MOTORS SALES LEADER:


     
     
     
     

    MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER SPORT UPDATED FOR 2016



    125] · 2016 Outlander Sport adds bold, sleek exterior design elements with Mitsubishi’s “Dynamic Shield” front design concept
    125] · Interior enhancements add stylish accents to further Outlander Sport’s value  

    CYPRESS, Calif. Nov. 18, 2015 – Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today unveiled the updated 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport featuring a newly redesigned, bold exterior front fascia/grille. The brand’s best-selling CUV is now equipped with Mitsubishi’s “Dynamic Shield” front design concept adding a sleek, audacious element to a vehicle that already makes a statement of its own.
    “The Outlander Sport is a brand leader for Mitsubishi Motors, and we are excited to unveil this eye-catching 2016 model-year,” said MMNA executive vice president, Don Swearingen. “The Outlander Sport has always been a fun vehicle that delivers on its promise of reliability and value, and the 2016 model year continues to do so with a great new family look that unifies the Mitsubishi CUV lineup.”
    In addition to the new exterior design, the 2016 Outlander Sport is equipped with new power folding side mirrors with LED turn indicators, wheel lip moldings, auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink® and a new 18-inch alloy wheel design. Also new to the vehicle this year are three new exterior colors: Cool Silver, Diamond White Pearl and Quartz Brown.
    The Outlander Sport further develops its interior with a redesigned steering wheel, new 6.1” Display Audio, high quality seat fabrics and a new light gray interior option. Staying true to its value-driven roots, the 2016 model-year has a starting MSRP of $19,595 and is supported by Mitsubishi’s phenomenal warranties: fully transferable 5-year/60,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty; 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty; 7-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion perforation limited warranty and a 5-year/unlimited mile roadside assistance.
    The Outlander Sport has a multitude of safety features including an advanced seven air bag SRS system and Mitsubishi Motors’ patented Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) safety cell body construction.
    For more information on the redesigned 2016 Outlander Sport please visit media.mitsubishicars.com and be sure to visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

    Drew Dowdell

    No that's not your eyes playing tricks on you, Mitsubishi has updated the Mirage.

    Mitsubishi is updating the Mirage economy hatchback for 2017. It gets a refreshed exterior along with some interior and technology updates.
     
    Likely the most important change to buyers will be the addition of Android Auto and Apple Car play in the infotainment system. With the addition of these two technologies, buyers have an inexpensive way to add features like Navigation and Apps to their car, features that are not often found in vehicles at the Mirage's low price point.
     
    The exterior changes are light with an updated front end and rear bumper. The 3-cylinder engine remains the only power plant, but with a slight bump in power to 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque.
     
    The suspension and brakes have been upgraded for better performance.
     
    The 2017 Mirage goes on sale in the spring of 2016.
     
    You can follow all of our coverage of the 2015 LA Auto Show here or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
     
    Source: Mitsubishi Media
     

     
    Press Release on Page 2
     

     


    THE 2017 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE:



    NEW EXTERIOR DESIGN AND ADDED PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENTS


     

    · The new Mitsubishi Mirage continues to deliver outstanding fuel economy
    · 2017 Mirage will feature Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™
    · Attractive pricing and 10-year warranty distances the competition
     
    CYPRESS, Calif. Nov. 18, 2015 – Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today announced details for the fuel-efficient 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage featuring a new exterior design, improved performance and enhanced interior appeal. Despite all that is new for Mirage in 2017, a few things didn’t change at all—Mirage still offers impressive fuel economy, attractive pricing and industry leading new vehicle and powertrain warranties. The Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback will be available at dealers in spring 2016.
     
    “Mirage has gained popularity with its affordable and practical appeal,” said Don Swearingen, executive vice president, MNNA. “Mirage owners are looking for a vehicle that does its job well and is reliable. The Mirage continues to deliver all of those attributes, and the improvements to the 2017 model year will expand the Mirage’s appeal even more.”
     
    The changes for the 2017 model year are led with the new exterior design. Mirage receives a fresh new look with redesigned hood, grille, front and rear bumper, fog and headlamps, rear spoiler and wheels. The exterior styling was given purpose, with an aerodynamic design to maximize fuel-efficiency and a simple, restrained form to help reduce weight, creating a car in which form and function come together.
     
    Inside, Mirage receives a design update with new seat fabrics, gauge cluster, steering wheel and shift panel. In addition, a new 300-watt Rockford-Fosgate™ audio system with EcoPunch™ is available with Smartphone Link Display Audio, Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™, the first Mitsubishi vehicle to get these popular infotainment systems in the U.S.
     
    The 2017 Mirage continues to utilize a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder DOHC engine featuring the latest version of Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control (MIVEC) variable valve-timing system that maximizes fuel efficiency and power output while greatly minimizing exhaust emissions. With the addition of a roller-type camshaft, Mirage increases its horsepower to 78 horsepower and 74 lb-ft torque.
     
    Mirage’s handling and brakes are improved for 2017 as well. Optimizing the spring rate and damping force of the shock absorbers while adding stiffness to the front end achieve handling and stability improvements. In addition, bigger diameter brake discs (251 mm) are used in the front and the rear brake drums (203 mm) have increased 23 millimeters. The brake pad/shoe material has also been changed for even better stopping performance.
     
    Every 2017 Mirage comes equipped with a wide array of safety features and technologies. These include a seven air bag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) comprised of dual front air bags, dual front seat-mounted side-impact air bags, dual side-impact curtain air bags, and a driver’s knee air bag; 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist; a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS); and Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control Logic (TCL). Mirage models equipped with the continuously-variable transmission-equipped (CVT) also include Hill Start Assist (HSA).
     
     
    For more information on the redesigned 2017 Mirage please visit media.mitsubishicars.com and be sure to visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

    William Maley

    What Happens When A Mazda CX-5 Goes to the Gym

    You might be surprised that the current Mazda CX-9 crossover has been around for close to decade. So it seems right that Mazda has introduced the second-generation CX-9 at the LA Auto Show today.
     
    Not surprisingly, the CX-9 follows Mazda's Kodo design language with sharp lines and creases throughout. Think CX-5 in a larger size and you have the design of the CX-9 down.
     
    Inside, Mazda is stepping up its game. There is real Japanese rosewood and aluminum accents used throughout the interior, and you can option Nappa leather for the seats. The latest version of Mazda's infotainment system is there, complete with control knob.
     
    But the big news for the CX-9 is what's under the hood. A new turbocharged 2.5L Skyactiv-G four-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive system gets the power to the road. Along with the lightweight Skyactiv architecture, the 2017 CX-9 weighs about 287 pounds less than the current model.
    Mazda says the 2017 CX-9 will hit dealers this coming spring.
     
    Source: Mazda
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    All-New Mazda CX-9 Three-Row Crossover Debuts at 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show
    CX-9 offers elevated experience with innovative technologies, new SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine and premium, authentic materials

    When the Mazda CX-9 made its world debut back in 2006, it was an epiphany: A midsize three-row crossover SUV that defied the conventional design cues and cumbersome driving experience expected of vehicles in its class. Despite being a large vehicle, CX-9 is, after all, still a Mazda. CX-9 quickly captivated the automotive industry, winning numerous accolades.
     

    Now comes the encore: the latest, grandest expression of KODO—Soul of Motion design yet and the high-end model of Mazda’s new-generation lineup. Its cachet is elevated with a proud front fascia that cascades into crisp lines that flow to the rear. Its interior is nothing short of breathtaking, with available Auburn-colored Nappa leather, Japanese rosewood and aluminum. The focus was on authenticity; an experience rather than simply another commodity conveyance.
    With the new CX-9, engineers sought to instill driving dynamics befitting of a Mazda—agile handling, tight steering and a responsive, controllable powertrain. To do this, they found smart solutions to keep CX-9’s structure light, yet rigid, with SKYACTIV Technology. They developed a new turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine that delivers instant throttle response, class-leading torque and an estimated around 20-percent increase in fuel- efficiency, based on initial estimates of U.S. EPA testing cycles, making CX-9 among the most efficient vehicles in its class.
    Just as CX-9 did nine years ago, the second-generation redefines expectations, aiming for no other target than to be uncompromising in any aspect a family may need or an individual may desire.
     
    CX-9 Values
    When developing the 2016 Mazda CX-9, Mazda’s marketing, design and engineering teams surveyed hundreds of previous, current and in-market drivers, developing a vision of how to focus its efforts to create a vehicle around the personal values of those driving it.
     
    The driver of CX-9 was seen to be a caring husband or wife, a high-achiever, a busy parent—and, still, an individual with his or her own needs and aspirations. CX-9 was developed to indulge personal desires while satisfying rational needs for a practical, all- weather family vehicle. Values CX-9 drivers desire were found to be:
    Personal aspiration – A gratifying self-expression that’s as nice to look at and sit in as it is to drive. Effortless transition – Plenty of storage to reduce clutter for families and ease transition between personal, family and professional endeavors. Easy parenting – CX-9’s features, such as its third-row access, were developed so that even children could use them. One second-row seat can even be folded forward while still accommodating a child seat so that it does not have to be removed. Couples retreat – With an intricate design, indulgent interior ambience and fine craftsmanship, CX-9 serves as an atmosphere parents can enjoy, whether they’re ferrying kids to soccer practice or by themselves on a weekend vacation.

    With those simple core principles in mind, designers, engineers and product planners collaborated in Mazda’s Japanese and North American offices over the next several years to build upon the vision that would become the new CX-9.
     

    Attention to Detail
    From the moment one steps foot into the new CX-9, that person is greeted by an atmosphere of beauty and detail. Even the door jambs are finished with a level of precision that lends an air of sophistication.
     
    Once seated, passengers notice a vertically stacked center console with details that wrap around from the dashboard to the rear seats, designed to envelop passengers in comfort and serenity. The fact that there is more than 53 pounds of sound deadening installed below the floor in three sections only complements the calm aesthetic.
     
    A sweeping single piece of aluminum adorns the dashboard, emphasizing width, with a forward-angled dashboard that is flanked with Auburn accents in the new, flagship Signature trim level. Satin and polished finishes on the aluminum plinth evoke Japanese craftsmanship and are inspired by Japan’s famous hand-made knives.
     
    Further heightening the elegant atmosphere is rosewood trim on the center console and front of the cabin, supplied by a premium guitar-maker. Supple Auburn Nappa leather covers seating surfaces in Signature trim with a modern design and is also evocative of bespoke horse saddles—a subtle nod to Mazda’s Jinba Ittai—“horse and rider as one”— philosophy. Jinba Ittai also represents the notion that drivers should have utter confidence and control in their vehicles.
     
    Athletic Stance
    KODO’s strength lies in proportion—a long hood, swept greenhouse, large wheels and short overhangs convey stability and a contained sense of energy ready to be unleashed. At 199.4 inches (5065mm) long, CX-9 is 1.2 inch (30mm) shorter than its predecessor, but its wheelbase has been stretched 2.2 inches (55mm), benefiting passenger leg room as well as entry to and exit from the rear.
     
    CX-9 carries shorter overhangs on both ends—2.3 inches (59mm) shorter up front and 1 inch (25mm) shorter in the rear—with its A-pillars shifted back 3.9 inches (100mm), lengthening its hood and adding a sense of strength through proportions.
     
    Housing large wheels— 18 and 20-inch wheels—CX-9’s tapered fenders are pushed to the edge of its body, giving the vehicle a wide, trapezoidal stance.
     
    The smooth lines start up front with a bold, five-point grille with double bars. They’re flanked on either side by standard low- and high-beam LED headlights. The bold grille introduces a strong lower body and sleek upper body that elevates KODO, introducing sleek curves that provide a premium appeal in a segment awash with convention. The overall effect is one of purity, simplicity and Japanese beauty.
     
    Machine Gray
    Designed to make CX-9 look as though it were carved from a single ingot of steel, Machine Gray is the newest signature color from Mazda, complementing CX-9’s surfacing.
     
    In order to do achieve its look, perfect, blemish-free panels are a necessity, which come as a result of ultra-precise stamping and assembly. Paint is applied in a primer, a black base coat to add depth, the Machine Gray color and, finally, a clear coat—all spaced out such that the paint has time to set in a precisely climate-controlled environment. But that does little to describe the engineering complexity behind such a breathtaking color.
     
    Machine Gray has a depth and luster usually reserved for concept vehicles, using principles and processes adopted from lessons learned when developing signature color Soul Red.
     
    Additionally, CX-9 will be available in Soul Red, Snowflake White Pearl, Sonic Silver, Jet Black, Deep Crystal Blue and Titanium Flash (colors may not be available in all markets).
     
    Introducing the Turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T Engine
    Absolute control, absolutely. This is a hallmark of Jinba Ittai. When a driver puts his or her foot down on the accelerator, a vehicle should do what the driver expects, harmoniously working to find the right gear at the right engine rpm to deliver the performance called upon for a given situation.
     
    Throughout the SKYACTIV engine series, Mazda has never focused on the numbers that appear in the catalog. Rather, Mazda aims to offer customers a combination of great performance in everyday driving situations and excellent fuel economy. And Mazda’s engine development philosophy is to offer these two factors by combining the right displacement with the simplest configuration of technologies, as best suits each class of vehicle.
     
    Based on this philosophy, Mazda’s SKYACTIV engine family has delivered it promise of combined performance and fuel economy, and it continues to do so with the introduction of the new SKYACTIV-G 2.5T. But how did Mazda land upon the decision to create this new engine?
     
    When Mazda’s engineers set out to design a new engine specifically for CX-9, they looked at how drivers used their vehicles. Customers want effortless acceleration through bountiful torque delivery, so engineers developed the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T with enough power and torque to provide ample acceleration without having to hunt through the gears.
     
    Customers also expect top-notch fuel economy—not just on a catalog label, but in the real world, too. Mazda had a clean sheet from which to design a new powerplant. A large- displacement, naturally aspirated engine could deliver instant performance, but it would lack fuel-efficiency. A small-displacement, naturally aspirated engine could deliver fuel- efficiency, but it would sacrifice a premium performance feel. Finally, turbocharged engines often promise both effortless acceleration and high fuel-efficiency, but oftentimes, in the real world, their efficiency is not much better than a larger-displacement engine. Turbocharged engines can also “lag” before their turbocharger spools up, creating a sluggish, disappointing driving sensation when power is called upon.
     
    However, Mazda’s latest engine, the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T, is a realization of excellent real- world and catalog fuel-economy as well as spry acceleration, featuring a host of technological advancements to achieve this goal.
     
    One piece of technology is Mazda’s Dynamic Pressure Turbo, the world’s first turbocharger with the ability to vary the degree of exhaust pulsation depending on engine speed. The system routes engine exhaust to the turbocharger’s turbine through smaller ports at low rpm. It works similarly to when one might place his or her thumb on a garden hose, creating a strong amount of pressure through a smaller outlet. This allows the turbocharger to spool up quickly, creating instant boost—up to 1.2 bar (17.4 psi) of pressure. When the engine is in the heart of its rev range, it opens up secondary valves, allowing for greater amounts of exhaust gas to pass through the turbocharger. The system is complemented by the 2.5-liter engine that already benefits from more torque at atmospheric pressure than a comparable 2.0-liter by virtue of its size.
     
    Further assisting CX-9 to maximize turbocharger efficiency is a 4-3-1 exhaust. With this setup, the exhaust from the middle two cylinders (2 and 3) is joined into a single port, while the exhausts from the outer cylinders (1 and 4) each have their own ports. These three ports come together at the entrance to the turbocharger’s exhaust side, where there is always one exhaust pulse arriving every 180 degrees of crankshaft rotation. Not only does this very compact manifold keeps the exhaust pulses separate for maximum energy extraction, it also harnesses each exhaust pulse to suck the residual exhaust from the adjacent ports.
     
    That only tells so much of the story. In order to increase fuel-efficiency, SKYACTIV-G 2.5T employs the efficient combustion of Mazda’s SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter engine and marries it to a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system, which helps prevent burning excessive amounts of fuel when the engine is running at higher temperatures. In many turbocharged cars, heat is controlled through adding more fuel to the combustion chamber; Mazda’s cooled EGR reduces the need for that.
     
    While Mazda sees no discernible benefits on regulated test cycles from this technology, it benefits the consumer through real-world gains.
     
    The cooled EGR helps bring engine temperatures down from approximately 500 degrees C (932 F) to just over 100 degrees C (212 F), allowing SKYACTIV-G 2.5T to operate with a compression ratio of 10.5:1—one of the highest numbers of any gasoline-powered, turbocharged engine.
     
    The net result: 310 lb-ft (420 N-m) of torque at a low 2,000 rpm and 250 horsepower at 5,000 rpm on 93-octane gasoline (227 horsepower on 87-octane gasoline). At 55 mph (88 km/h), a driver needs just 18 horsepower to maintain speed on flat roads with a front- wheel-drive model—a four-horsepower reduction versus the outgoing model, illustrating reduced friction in all parts of the driveline and enhanced aerodynamics.
     
    Additionally, as an example of CX-9’s readily available power, in the outgoing CX-9, when a driver needed 90 horsepower at highway speeds, the vehicle would have to downshift from sixth to fourth gear. However, the new CX-9 can more quickly draw upon that power with faster, better-controlled throttle response and stay in sixth gear, allowing for a smoother operation and a greater sense of confidence.
     
    When coupled with a weight reduction of over approximately 198 lbs. (90 kg) versus the outgoing model, CX-9 boasts improvements in driver control, chassis dynamics and performance—all leading to a greater sense of confidence from behind the wheel.
     
    Lightweight SKYACTIV Technology and NVH Refinement
    All of Mazda’s sixth-generation vehicles were faced with the program objective of losing weight and increasing efficiency, which would go toward delivering a more engaging driving experience as well.
     
    With CX-9, even including safety and rigidity goals, engineers far exceeded objectives—so much that 53 lbs. of sound-deadening mats were added back into the body in for reduced NVH, placing it among the quietest vehicles in its class. In all, the new CX-9 lost approximately 198 lbs. (90 kg) in front-wheel-drive configuration and approximately 287 lbs. (130 kg) when equipped with predictive i-ACTIV AWD.
     
    The weight savings allowed Mazda engineers to increase window thickness to 4.8mm and rethink active noise-cancelling technologies, in addition to using simpler, more rigid parts, to reduce noise. At 62 mph (100 km/h), interior noise levels have been reduced by 12 percent from the previous model and road noise levels have been reduced by 2.0 dB.
     
    Safety at the Forefront
    Mazda has been a leader in building safer vehicles through several methods:
    Provide an optimum driving environment with well-positioned controls, easy-to-read instruments, minimal driver distractions and good visibility. i-ACTIVSENSE, which provides active safety features like Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) and Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM). Passive safety, which is designed to make the structure and onboard features such that they protect occupants in the case of an accident.

    Mazda’s class-leading chassis dynamics and outstanding HMI technologies adhere to Jinba Ittai, advancing the notion of purposeful technology that reduces clutter and improves the driving experience. A lighter, yet more rigid, chassis and straight load-path frame rails integrated into the unibody secure crash protection in the event of a collision and lighter weight improves braking performance with 12.6-inch (320mm) ventilated front disc brakes and 12.8-inch solid rear discs (325mm). Those brakes are unchanged in size from the previous model, but they now have approximately 198 fewer lbs. (90 kg) to halt.
     

    CX-9’s i-ACTIVSENSE suite1 features new and notable safety features, including:
    Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring (ABSM): Employing a 24 GHz radar on each side of CX-9, ABSM can detect vehicles closing in from as much as 164 ft. (50m) away. Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC): Operating at speeds between 30 km/h to 145 km/h (19 to 90 mph), MRCC uses millimeter wavelength radar to judge the relative speed and distance to the vehicle ahead. In accordance with the target speed set by the driver, the system automatically controls the engine and brakes to maintain the driver-selected vehicle speed and safer following distance, which is also adjustable by the driver. Because the driver does not need to operate the accelerator or brakes while using MRCC, the system relieves some of the burden on long drives. The radar sensor is capable of precise detection from a long distance, so its use allows the system to operate effectively in the rain, in backlit situations, and at night. It is also possible to turn off all of the system’s automatic functions and revert to conventional cruise control should road conditions make this more desirable. Lane-Keep Assist System (LAS) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW): Rather than keeping CX-9 centered in a lane between two lines as some systems do, which can cause an unnatural-feeling tug on the steering wheel, LAS, which is available in a Mazda for the first time in the U.S., helps ease CX-9 into turns. Meanwhile, LDW vibrates the steering wheel to warn drivers if they begin to stray from the lane. LAS will employ a progressive approach to assisting users to drive within lanes, but the system will deactivate after warning the driver if it senses he or she has taken his or her hand off the wheel. High Beam Control (HBC): HBC allows users to keep high beams on at all times, dipping them when necessary when a camera built into CX-9 detects headlights from oncoming vehicles or tail lights. The system automatically switches to low beams below 19 mph (30 km/h), when they are unnecessary. Smart City Brake Support (SCBS): Using an near-infrared sensor mounted to the windshield, SCBS operates between 2 and 19 mph (4 and 30 km/h) to apply the brakes in order to lessen the severity of an impending and inescapable collision at up to 20 ft. (6m). Distance Recognition Support System (DRSS) and Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW): Uses a millimeter wavelength radar to display the distance of CX-9 to the vehicle in front of it in a five-step display, encouraging the CX-9 driver to lessen his or her speed if necessary. If distance between vehicles decreases and evasive action is necessary, audible and visual Forward Obstruction Warning signals will indicate that evasive action is needed. Smart Brake Support (SBS): Operates at speeds above 9 mph (15 km/h) to automatically brake in the case of an impending collision.

    i-ACTIV AWD Predicts Road Conditions for Maximum Stability
    In 2013 when Mazda introduced its first full-SKYACTIV vehicle, CX-5, it also ushered in its i-ACTIV AWD system that could instantly recognize road conditions and adjust response accordingly. Mazda’s all-wheel-drive system in the previous CX-9 took approximately 10 factors into account, including on-road speed, engine rpm and wheel slip, among others. The information was then fed through the onboard computers that would modulate torque transfer between front and rear axles.
     

    i-ACTIV AWD upped the ante, implementing a host of other sensors that were already integrated into vehicles for other functions and channeling the information they presented such as ambient temperature, steering wheel angle, longitudinal grip, brake fluid pressure and even windshield wiper movement. In all, i-ACTIV AWD brings 27 different sensors together to paint a picture of road conditions and direct torque to the rear wheel as necessary, predicting what the driver may face on a slick road in the winter or in heavy rain.
     
    i-ACTIV AWD measures road conditions 200 times every second and can adjust power distribution to account for wheel slip even in dry conditions. It can even route power to limit understeer during spirited driving, sending as much as 50 percent of CX-9’s power to the rear wheels through Mazda’s proven six-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic transmission.
     
    Family Vehicle, Couples Retreat
    At its core, CX-9 is a family vehicle, with three rows, space for seven passengers and storage for every which item a family may need.
     
    To maximize comfort for front-row passengers and space for those in the second row, engineers went to great lengths to redesign the front seats with thinner seatbacks, yet make them more comfortable.
     
    For the first time in a Mazda, low-rebound high-damping urethane is used in the seat backs of the front seats as well as the seat cushions. This material transmits desirable feedback from the road surface to the driver, while filtering unpleasant vibrations from rough road surfaces, helping to realize the CX-9’ high-class ride comfort. The same material is used in the cushions of the second row seats as well.
     
    To get to the third row, Mazda’s engineers sought to make access so easy that even a child could do it with a single, simple lever. There are two LATCH/ISOFIX mounting points in the second row, with the right-side of the 60/40 split-fold seat having been designed to make it possible to accommodate a child seat staying in place while still allowing passengers third-row access.
     
    At the rearmost of CX-9, the electronic module that raises and lowers the liftgate has been made more compact and 2.4 lbs. (1.1 kg) lighter and does not intrude upon cargo space. Two handy storage bins reside underneath the cargo floor for extra storage.
     
    CX-9 has “family” covered in spades, but it also offers an ambience of elegance and sophistication for those times when morning school runs or sports practices aren’t a priority.
     
    Front passengers are greeted with elegant white LED accent lighting throughout their cabin space, with a backlight accenting the raised console and a spotlight guiding the driver to the center instruments.
     
    Coupled with its sporting driving feel, torquey, responsive engine and refined ride, CX-9 is just as good at whisking passengers away to a weekend cabin retreat as it is at kids- shuttling duties.
     
    The Heads-Up Cockpit
    Customers have high expectations for the technology desired in their vehicles, allowing them to connect to the outside world while in the comfort of their car. Conversely, Mazda’s core philosophies center around a focused driving experience, built on what it calls the Heads-up Cockpit design and complementing Jinba Ittai.
     
    The resultant point where needs and wants converge helped create MAZDA (MZD) CONNECT, an infotainment suite designed around a distraction-free experience that still allows users to stream music, make hands-free calls and use other internet-based applications. MAZDA CONNECT uses both Bluetooth and cable-based connections via two USB ports accessible to front passengers for functions like Pandora or Aha by Harman music streaming.
     
    New CX-9 comes with a seven-inch or eight-inch MAZDA CONNECT touchscreen infotainment system standing front and center for connectivity needs with commander control knob. Using both touchscreen functions when parked and a center-mounted commander control knob when on the move, MAZDA CONNECT intuitively and safety control radio, phone, navigation, diagnostic and phone functions. MAZDA CONNECT also enables voice controls for many functions as well as five shortcut buttons around the commander control for selecting favorite radio channels or enabling specific functions.
     
    The driver also has an available 4.6-inch, full-color TFT screen in the gauges for many of these information readouts in addition to Active Driving Display, a full-color head-up display projected onto the lower windshield for readouts from the navigation, cruise control and other functions.
     
    In back, passengers have two 2.1-amp USB ports available for charging smartphones or tablets, each mounted in the outboard passenger armrests.
     
    Together, the technologies allow an unfettered driving experience while still allowing for the needs and wants of today’s drivers and passengers.
     
    Last but not least is the new Bose premium audio system, which is designed to deliver outstanding clarity, image and range. The 12-speaker system—two additional speakers from the previous CX-9’s Bose premium audio system—was benchmarked against stereos from ultra-premium crossover utility vehicles using several different audio formats, including radio and both full and compressed digital formats.
     
    The Bose system in CX-9 was designed to be able to take compressed audio formats— often the go-to for many people—and tailor the frequency ranges of the audio files to better-simulate how the music would sound at a concert, with precise imaging and robust quality. Bose sound engineers worked with Mazda’s development team to acoustically tune CX-9’s interior, even going so far to develop silk tweeter covers specifically for CX-9 to make sure sound travels the way it was meant to do so.
     
    But not forgetting Mazda’s commitment to lightweight engineering, the entire system was designed to be light, foregoing traditional, heavy magnets in some speakers for neodymium, accommodating for slim packaging while delivering passengers the best experience in all three rows with perfect clarity.
     
    A Future of Possibilities
    CX-9 is scheduled to go on sale in Spring of 2016 in the U.S. CX-9 represents a capstone for the new generation of Mazda cars and crossovers and a high-end model indicating what is to come with innovative powertrains, engaging driving dynamics, premium quality and the evolution of the award-winning KODO—Soul of Motion design ethos. With those qualities, Mazda aims to build the most emotionally stirring, captivating vehicles in the industry, elevating its brand to new heights around the world.

    William Maley

    The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same At Hyundai

    Hyundai has rolled out the sixth-generation Elantra at the LA Auto Show today and while it might not look different on the outside, the inside and under the skin hold some massive changes.
     
    Let's begin with the exterior. The basic shape is still the same, but Hyundai has made some changes to make the body more aerodynamic. One of those changes is air curtains in the front to reduce wind resistance. Up front is a new hexagonal grille seen on the company's crossovers and new HID headlights with LED daytime running lights.
     
    Inside, Hyundai has lifted the dashboard from the larger Sonata and put it into the Elantra. This layout provides easy access to the various controls. A seven-inch touchscreen comes standard, while another seven-inch with backup camera and eight-inch screen are on the option list. The Elantra also gets a noticeable increase in overall passenger space and material quality.
     
    When the Elantra is launched, it will come with a 2.0L four-cylinder with 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. This can be paired with a six-speed manual or automatic. Down the line will come a Elantra Eco model with a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder with 128 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. This will come paired a seven-speed dual clutch automatic.
     
    The 2017 Elantra sedan arrives at dealers in January.
     
    Source: Hyundai
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    All New 2017 Hyundai Elantra Makes Its Debut At The Los Angeles Auto Show
    New Elantra Combines Striking Styling, Segment-First Features and Advanced Safety Technologies

    LOS ANGELES, November 18, 2015 – Hyundai today reveals its all-new 2017 Elantra at the Los Angeles Auto Show. As one of Hyundai’s all time best-selling models, the new Elantra enters its sixth-generation building on the momentum and success of its proven award-winning formula and strong value proposition by offering a bold aerodynamic design with sophisticated styling, all-new efficient powertrains for enhanced fuel economy, better ride quality and noise insulation, and comprehensive safety with class-above features.
    Assembled in both Montgomery, Alabama and Ulsan, South Korea, the new Elantra distinguishes itself from the compact car class with the addition of segment-first premium convenience and safety technologies, and is expected to receive a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and a 5-Star Safety Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 2017 Elantra will arrive at Hyundai dealers in January.
     

    STRIKING EXTERIOR DESIGN
    The new Elantra projects confidence with sculpted body forms complemented by smoothly contoured lines that reveal the underlying inspiration of Hyundai designers. Inspired by the concept of dynamic precision, Elantra’s architecture was a perfect platform for collaboration between Hyundai designers and engineers to blend advanced styling with functional aerodynamics.
     
    From the front, the new Elantra is defined by Hyundai’s signature hexagonal grille that projects a distinctive character when combined with its modern lighting signatures, including available HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Lights and unique vertical LED daytime running lights, which are firsts for Elantra. Elantra’s sporty lower front fascia integrates functional front wheel air curtains, a component that is derived from the Sonata Hybrid that helps manage air flow from the front of the vehicle and around the wheels to minimize turbulence and wind resistance. In addition, underbody covers, an aerodynamic rear bumper bottom spoiler and rear decklid designed with an expanded trunk edge contribute to Elantra’s 0.27 coefficient of drag.
     
    Elantra features a sleek bodyside character line that accentuates a sweeping side window silhouette and striking side profile. Available premium features such as 17-inch alloy wheels, all-new LED door handle approach lights, side mirror LED turn signal indicators and LED taillights with high tech graphics add a level of sophistication and detail to this class-above compact sedan. The 2017 Elantra will be offered in eight exterior colors, five of which are new to the model. Elantra’s overall length has increased by just under an inch and its proportions are further enhanced by increasing its width by 1.0-inches, presenting a more athletic stance and stable appearance.
     
    MODERN INTERIOR DESIGN
    On the inside, Elantra continues to depict a modern driver-oriented design that is optimized for intuitive control, improved interior roominess, high-quality materials and premium technology features. The contemporary interior design integrates premium soft-touch materials in key touch points and high-tech details to create an inviting and comfortable interior environment for all passengers.
     
    The wide design of the instrument panel provides a feeling of spaciousness and is available with a 4.2-inch color TFT LCD instrument display for improved driver visibility and functionality. The rest of the center stack is laid out in a horizontal design with buttons and controls placed in logical groups by function, and a slight seven degree tilt toward the driver for optimal ergonomics. Available premium convenience features such as a segment-first integrated memory system for the power driver seat and side mirrors, dual automatic temperature control with auto defogging system and auto-dimming rearview mirror further enhance driving comfort, along with advanced ergonomic front seats. The front seats feature high-tension lightweight seat frames for improved performance against collisions, and a multi-firmness seat pad to help reduce driver fatigue over long distances.
     
    In fact, all of Elantra’s seats, covered in either cloth or available leather, are made of SoyFoam™, an environmentally friendly seating foam that substitutes petroleum based polyol with hydroxyl-functionalized soybean oil and optimizes the formulation/process to maximize mechanical performance. For added comfort and convenience, passengers enjoy available heated front and rear seats with a versatile 60/40 split-folding rear seat. Elantra also offers class-above total interior volume with improved rear headroom and legroom. At 110.2 cu. ft. of total interior volume, the 2017 Elantra is classified as a Midsize car by the EPA, which is a class above Mazda3, Ford Focus and some premium models.
     
    REFINED & RESPONSIVE CHASSIS
    The 2017 Elantra is not only lighter than the outgoing model, but its rigid chassis is now reinforced with 53 percent advanced high-strength steel compared to 21 percent from the previous model, providing improved stiffness at a lower body weight. This increased utilization results in a 29.5 percent stiffer torsional rigidity and 25.3 percent greater bending strength, which bring improvements in vehicle ride and handling, quietness, durability and driving performance. Furthermore, the new Elantra increased structural adhesive application 40 times at higher stress points on the chassis and to reinforce welding areas. A component often found in aerospace applications, these structural adhesives also contribute to improved NVH and vehicle dynamics due to extra stiffness in the chassis. Hyundai engineers focused on these enhancements to develop a more rigid body structure in an effort to target top safety ratings by the IIHS and NHTSA.
     
    Improved ride comfort, handling and stability are achieved through Elantra’s redesigned rear suspension geometry that modifies the angle of the rear shock absorbers and changed the position of the coil springs on the coupled torsion beam axle. Additionally, an increase in rear bushing diameter helps to improve long term durability. Elantra’s front suspension uses an optimally designed McPherson strut with coil springs and gas shock absorbers along with a front stabilizer bar to help reduce body roll when cornering. The standard Motor-Driven Power Steering (MDPS) system instantly adjusts to changing driving conditions for greater precision and steering feel while improving fuel economy. Increased caster provides safe and reliable steering feedback at highway speeds.
     
    NEW EFFICIENT POWERTRAINS
    For 2017, the new Elantra receives two all-new powertrains designed for improved fuel efficiency and everyday drivability performance. The standard engine available on the base SE and Limited trim is a 2.0-liter Nu MPI Atkinson four-cylinder engine producing a peak 147 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 132 lb. ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm (estimated). This Atkinson cycle-type engine reduces pumping loss by delaying the close timing of the intake valve in the compression stroke, therefore maximizing the expansion ratio – it is the only Atkinson cycle engine to be combined with multi-port injection in the compact class. This greater expansion ratio is made more efficient by allowing additional energy to be produced. Furthermore, this engine features a high compression ratio of 12.5.
     
    Other enhancements include intermediate valve cam phasing that increases the operational range of the intake valves and helps to reduce pumping loss. High energy ignition coils are also adopted to increase combustion efficiency through increasing spark intensity. A new electronically controlled thermostat decreases pumping energy and allows the thermostat to open at a higher temperature. Finally, piston cooling jets are added to cool down the piston by spraying oil at the lower position of the piston resulting in knock stability and fuel economy improvements. All of this results in up to a 2.2 percent increase in efficiency for optimized fuel economy, and an anticipated 29 city / 38 highway / 33 combined mpg (internal estimate for 6-A/T).
     
    This 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder engine is paired with either a standard six-speed manual transmission (available only on the SE trim) or Elantra’s next generation six-speed automatic transmission. The new automatic transmission helps deliver dynamic performance with an overall 3.3 percent increase in efficiency for optimized fuel economy. A new valve body improves gear shift responsiveness and control, while an optimization in oil pump size aids in improving operating efficiency. A multi-clutch torque converter is also a new addition that allows more control over lock-up. Finally, rolling resistance and friction are minimized by adopting double angular ball bearings.
     
    The second powertrain is an all-new 1.4-liter Kappa turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine equipped on the Elantra Eco trim, available in Spring 2016. This engine produces 128 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and a robust 156 lb-ft. of torque at a low 1,400 ~ 3,700 rpm and will be mated to an EcoShift seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Eco trim is projected to achieve an unsurpassed estimated 35 mpg combined rating based on internal testing.
     
    COMPREHENSIVE SAFETY
    In addition to the strengthened chassis, the 2017 Elantra makes structural improvements to the front side members that are now a hexagonal design and the dash-to-cowl connection has also been reinforced. The front apron to the A-pillar now features a straight and continuous load path and has hot stamping applied on the front side rear lower member. B-pillar assemblies feature partial softening hot stamping that start with a reinforcement section (150kgf grade) and then transition into a softening section (100kgf grade) to help absorb side impact. The rear doors also feature dual impact beams. A seven airbag system is standard, including a new driver’s knee airbag, along with Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Traction Control, ABS and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System. The 2017 Elantra is expected to receive an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ and NHTSA 5-star safety rating.
     
    New for 2017, the Elantra also offers a wide array of advanced safety technologies, often reserved for luxury cars, to provide another defensive safety layer for its passengers beyond the standard safety system. Available Automatic Emergency Braking with class-exclusive Pedestrian Detection is a technology that utilizes both the front forward facing radar and camera through sensor fusion to detect a vehicle or pedestrian, and warn the driver of a potential collision. If the driver does not react to avoid the impact, the system will apply emergency braking.
     
    Additional Elantra-first safety technologies include available Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist, and a rearview camera, now with dynamic guidance. Lane Keep Assist uses a forward-facing camera to detect lane markings and will alert the driver if the vehicle drifts outside the lane without signaling. The system will apply corrective steering assistance if necessary, and is another active safety tool to assist Elantra drivers and help prevent accidents.
     
    INTELLIGENT TECHNOLOGY & FEATURES
    The 2017 Elantra truly advances ahead of the compact car class with innovative technology that enhances driver confidence and convenience, without the premium price. Elantra’s segment-exclusive hands-free Smart Trunk, allows Elantra drivers to conveniently open the trunk if their hands are full by simply approaching the rear of the vehicle with the key fob in a purse or pocket. An audible beep will sound three times, and the trunk will automatically open, making it easy to place items in the cargo area.
     
    The new Elantra enhances the driver experience with available all new Dynamic Bending Light and Smart Cruise Control technology. Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) works in tandem with the HID headlights, so they turn-in with the direction of the steering wheel for better nighttime visibility and safety, while the additional High Beam Assist feature automatically dims the high beams when approaching vehicles are detected. Elantra’s Smart Cruise Control (SCC) makes highway and long distance driving more comfortable. Using a radar sensor mounted on the lower front grille, the SCC system maintains a set distance from the vehicle ahead in varied traffic conditions by automatically adjusting vehicle speed as needed.
    ADVANCED CONNECTIVITY AND MULTIMEDIA
    All Elantras come standard with iPhone®/USB and auxiliary input jacks and SiriusXM® satellite radio. New for 2017, the Elantra features two advanced infotainment systems beyond the base audio system that perfectly cater to the digitally connected – an available 7.0-inch Display Audio touchscreen system with rearview camera, and Hyundai’s next-generation 8.0-inch navigation system. Both multimedia systems are equipped with Android Auto for seamless and intuitive operation of the most commonly used smartphone functions including app-based navigation, streaming audio, voice-controlled search capabilities, plus any approved smartphone apps. Since smartphone integration requires a wired connection to the vehicle, Elantra provides an available second USB port for charging – the first application on a Hyundai vehicle.
     
    The advanced 8.0-inch navigation system features an enhanced display with improved touch sensitivity for touch and drag control, increased screen brightness for better daytime visibility, and a split-screen display showing map and music data. Both SiriusXM Satellite Radio and HD Radio® Technology are standard on this system. For additional convenience and connectivity, navigation-equipped Elantras offer pre-loaded apps, voice control functions, and premium SiriusXM features.
    Pandora® capability Real-time SiriusXM® Travel Link® three-month trial period, including traffic, weather, sports, stocks, fuel prices, even movie times, multi-cultural channels and presets recording capability SiriusXM® Tune Start – plays current song from the beginning when tuning into a preset channel “Eyes Free” Siri integration –voice control function to prevent driver distraction

    For the first time, Elantra also will offer an eight-speaker Infinity premium audio system, including a center speaker and subwoofer. Furthermore, music lovers will appreciate Hyundai’s first application of Harman’s patented Clari-Fi™ music restoration technology. Clari-Fi™ analyzes digital audio files during playback and automatically rebuilds much of what was lost in the compression process. This delivers a musical experience closer to the artists’ original intent, with increased dynamic range for enhanced realism, and improved overall fidelity.
     

    NEXT-GENERATION BLUE LINK®
    The 2017 Elantra offers the next-generation Hyundai Blue Link system with enhanced safety, service and infotainment telematics. Blue Link brings seamless connectivity directly into the car with technology like Remote Start w/ Climate Control, Destination Search powered by Google®, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Blue Link can be easily accessed from the buttons on the rearview mirror, the web or via smartphone app. Some of these features can even be controlled via the latest Android Wear™ and new Apple Watch™ smartwatch offerings.
     
    Blue Link is offered in three service packages: Connected Care & Remote is available on all models and Guidance is available on Navigation-equipped models. 2017 Elantras equipped with Blue Link offer one year of complimentary Blue Link Connected Care.
     
    Connected Care package (complimentary for 1-year):
    Automatic Collision Notification (ACN) and Assistance SOS Emergency Assistance Enhanced Roadside Assistance Monthly Vehicle Health Report Maintenance Alerts Automated Diagnostic Trouble Code Notification (DTC) Service Link Blue Link App (smartphone, smartwatch) On-Demand Diagnostics Driving Information

    Remote package:
    Remote Start with Climate Control Remote Door Lock/Unlock Remote Horn and Lights Car Finder via Mobile App Stolen Vehicle Recovery/Slowdown/Immobilization Vehicle Safeguard Alerts: Geo-Fence Valet Alert Speed/Curfew Alert

    Guidance package (Navigation-equipped models):
    Destination search powered by Google® Destination Send-to-Car by Google®


    Drew Dowdell

    Buick's 2017 LaCrosse is a lighter, tighter, import fighter.

    At the 2015 LA Auto Show today, Buick unveiled the 2017 Buick LaCrosse.
     
    Using a phrase that was once a selling point for cars in the 1950, Buick released details on the Lacrosse for 2017 to make it longer, lower, and wider. but unlike the 1950s, Buick is now adding "lighter" to the list. The 2017 LaCrosse's chassis drops 300 lbs from the outgoing model, yet through the use of stronger steel, the chassis is stronger. Some of the weight loss also comes from new materials used in Buick's Quiet Tuning process that are lower in weight.
     
    With that weight loss, Buick expects the 2017 to be more fuel efficient than it's predecessor. Adding to the fuel economy gain is a new 3.6 liter V6 with cylinder deactivation and automatic start-stop, paired with a new 8-speed automatic front wheel drive transmission. Power remains about the same at 305 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque. A new twin-clutch all-wheel drive system is available, similar to that in the new 2017 Cadillac XT5, that can split torque side to side in the rear for added control or disconnect from the rear wheels for added fuel economy.
     
    The wheelbase of the LaCrosse has been increased 2.7 inches while overall length is up 0.6 inches. This pushes the wheels closer to the corners of the car to give it a more athletic appearance.
     
    Inside a new sweeping and floating center console integrates directly into the center stack both moving controls closer to the driver and providing storage space underneath. Three new trim choices are available along with Moonglow LED accent lighting.
     
    On the tech front, Buick's Intellilink system has been updated to the newest software with an 8 inch diagonal screen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now included. Safety technology abounds with standard and available features such as 10 standard airbags, front pedestrian braking, forward automatic braking, automatic cruise control, and more.
     
    You can follow all of our coverage of the 2015 LA Auto Show here or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
     
    Buick's press release is on page 2
     

     
    Source and Photos: Buick Media
     
     

     


    Buick Introduces All-New 2017 LaCrosse



    Leaner and sleeker with effortless technology


     

    LOS ANGELES – Beautifully crafted and thoughtfully innovative, the 2017 Buick LaCrosse offers full-size sedan customers a striking, all-new design, sophisticated technologies and more-responsive performance.
     
    The next-generation LaCrosse also introduces the new face of Buick, which is influenced by the dramatic cues of the award-winning Avenir concept. Notably, it features a new grille design with a large opening distinguished by the return of a three-color – red, silver and blue – Buick tri-shield insignia, accented by wing-shaped elements set against darkened waterfall grille bars.
     
    Buick revealed the 2017 LaCrosse today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It goes on sale early next summer.
     
    “The new LaCrosse signals the next phase of Buick’s international momentum,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick Sales and Marketing. “Its quietness, comfort and connectivity were developed to set new standards in the segment, supported by technologies not offered on competitors such as the Lexus ES. It is also drop-dead gorgeous.”
     
    Longer, lower and wider than the current model, the 2017 LaCrosse is built on a stronger yet lighter structure. In fact, it is about 300 pounds lighter than the current LaCrosse – thanks largely to the use of press-hardened, high-strength steels – which contributes to greater efficiency and more responsive handling.
     
    The new LaCrosse’s lower weight is also due in part to new, dissipative sound-absorbing materials that are lower in mass, but provide more effective sound attenuation, resulting in a new threshold for Buick’s signature QuietTuning and forming a pillar of the car’s enhanced comfort.
     
    The balance of the efficiency equation comes from a technologically advanced, second-generation 3.6L V-6 paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Standard Stop/Start technology improves efficiency in stop-and-go driving.
     
    Additional new and enhanced features include:
    New five-link rear suspension and available HiPer Strut front suspension Available electronically controlled Continuous Damping Control active suspension with selectable Touring and Sport modes Driver-selectable Electronic Precision Shift Advanced, all-new dual-clutch AWD system (available) Efficiency-enhancing low-drag disc brakes with Duralife rotors Electric power steering system with Lead/Pull Compensation Easier rear-seat entry/egress and more usable storage space Technologies including available wireless charging, available Teen Driver and configurable, LED driver information center with 8-inch-diagonal color display Perforated leather-appointed front seats with new lumbar massaging feature IntelliLink with frameless 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot integration.

     

    The 2017 LaCrosse also features extensive active and passive safety features that offer driver awareness and protection surrounding the vehicle, including:
    Ten standard air bags – including two knee air bags for front passengers Front Pedestrian Braking, which alerts drivers to and can automatically apply the brakes for pedestrians detected directly ahead in some driving conditions Lane Keep Assist, which provides gentle steering wheel turns – and Lane Departure Warning alerts, if necessary – to help drivers avoid crashes due to unintentionally drifting out of their lane Automatic Park Assist, which helps the driver parallel park/perpendicular park by automatically steering the vehicle into a detected parking space while the driver applies the brakes Adaptive Cruise Control Forward Automatic Braking Forward Collision Alert Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert Rear Vision Camera Safety Alert Seat.

     

    “The blend of sophisticated technologies and advanced safety systems offer a more enjoyable and engaging driving experience,” said Aldred. “It’s a rewarding sedan for those who seek luxurious appointments, style and quality.”
     
    New face of Buick
    The new LaCrosse’s expressive exterior design creates a new proportion, rendering a more dramatic road presence. The front wheels have been pulled forward and the wheelbase stretched 2.7 inches (65 mm), while the overall length is only 0.6-inch longer (15 mm). The dynamic proportion is further enhanced by a roofline that’s 1.6 inches (40 mm) lower than the current model.
     
    The longer wheelbase is matched by wheels pushed outward 1.3 inches (33 mm) in the front and 1.1 inches (28 mm) in the rear, while the car’s width has grown only 0.4-inch (10 mm), creating a wheels-at-corners stance that conveys road confidence.
     
    “It’s a sleeker design that looks confident and purposeful,” said Holt Ware, exterior design director. “Stretching the wheelbase, lowering the roofline and making it slightly wider creates a dramatic effect that is enhanced by the design’s supporting elements such as the swept headlamps.”
     
    LaCrosse’s new proportion is further complemented by an all-new grille that signals the next chapter in Buick’s design anthology. Inspired by the Avenir concept, it’s distinguished by a new, three-color tri-shield insignia set on a wing-shaped element. Contrasting with darkened waterfall grille bars and spanning the width of the opening, it connects the grille and headlamps, and emphasizes LaCrosse’s new sculptural surfacing. The design was introduced on the Avenir concept and was inspired by the 1954 Wildcat II concept.
     
    “It’s the new face of Buick – one that reflects the sophistication, modernity and international reach of this evolving brand,” said Ware. “The new, winged motif also emphasizes the wider, lower proportion of the LaCrosse.”
     
    The signature sweepspear body-side design element has been reinterpreted in a modern fashion, enhancing the car’s sculptural identity. It has a split design that gives the body side a greater perception of depth, while picking up additional body lines, for an elegant, uninterrupted flow from the front fenders to the rear.
     
    The 2017 LaCrosse’s body lines are reinforced by a longer, uninterrupted “daylight opening” – the portion of the upper body between the A- and C-pillars. They’re ringed with chrome, which adds a tastefully restrained premium accent to the body side.
     
    Other details blend form and function such as outside mirrors mounted on pedestals on the doors rather than the corners of the front side windows. The design offers a greater field of view, while the mirror housings were shaped in the wind tunnel to help reduce wind noise.
     
    Aerodynamic considerations also drove the dynamic sweep of the decklid, which acts as a spoiler to optimize airflow over the LaCrosse, and the front of the car features deflectors in front of the tires to reduce drag.
     
    Additional exterior elements include:
    High-intensity discharge headlamps and LED signature lighting are standard LED taillamps are standard Eighteen-inch wheels are standard and 20-inch wheels are available Active grille shutters Capless fuel filler on all models.

     

    Seamless ambience, authentic craftsmanship
    The new LaCrosse’s interior is designed to offer an open and inviting space for passengers – one that is relaxing, luxurious and well-connected. Sculpturally beautiful form and premium materials complement technologies developed for effortless interfacing.
     
    It is the first Buick with a new single cockpit design aesthetic, characterized by a horizontal form that sweeps across the instrument panel and into the doors. It also incorporates a “floating” center console that positions the controller for the new Electronic Precision Shift high and close to the driver, while creating storage space below the console for items such as a handbag or tablet.
     
    “There is fluidity in the interior forms – a seamless ambience that flows throughout the cabin,” said Liz Wetzel, interior design director. “Like the exterior, there is sculptural beauty in the interior’s functionality, complemented with high-quality, authentic materials and exceptional attention to detail.”
     
    That attention to detail includes soft materials for virtually every touchpoint; real French stitching on the seats, instrument panel and more; and genuine aluminum sill plates and wood décor trim, depending on the model.
     
    “There is a handcrafted essence that is inviting and rewarding,” said Wetzel. “It is clean environment that is designed to refresh and inspire.”
     
    A number of new and enhanced available luxury features amplify the LaCrosse’s comfort quotient:
    Three fashion-inspired interior trim choices: Jet Black, Dark Atmosphere and Shale, and Jet Black and Brandy Contemporary Moon White ambient lighting Eight-way-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats with new massage feature – with improved heating for quicker warm-up on cold mornings Perforated leather-appointed seats Heated steering wheel with power tilting/telescoping steering column Dual-zone automatic climate control Power rear sunshade Premium Bose® audio system.

     

    It also offers greater, more practical storage space and easier access. The rear doors, for example, open wider and offer easier entry/egress, and the trunk not only offers approximately 7 percent more storage space than the current model, but was configured to accommodate four golf bags.
     
    Sophisticated, intuitive technologies – including phone integration
    As one of the segment’s most technologically advanced vehicles, the new LaCrosse offers a host of communication and convenience features designed for effortless connectivity.
     
    The central technology is the latest edition of Buick IntelliLink, which is controlled by a new, frameless 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen located at the center of an ergonomically optimized instrument panel. Along with the climate system and other features on the “center stack,” it was designed with fewer buttons and controls for more intuitive use.
     
    Phone integration technology is paired with IntelliLink and is designed to take phone features users would want to access while driving and put them on the 8-inch display via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The features allow customers to use select smartphone apps through the touchscreen interface. Many features can be controlled via voice commands through a button on the steering wheel, helping drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
     
    Additional LaCrosse technology highlights include:
    All-new Electronic Precision Shift – Rather than a traditional shifter, gears are chosen andengaged via a simple toggle pull. It provides smooth, precise andresponsive shifting while enabling added storage in the center console. Configurable, high-definition driver information center – Located in the center of the gauge cluster and flanked by round instrument binnacles, it has a large, 8-inch-diagonal full-color display.

    Head-up display – This available feature offers four page views: speed, audio, navigation and performance. It also offers alerts for certain active safety features such as Lane Keep Assist and Forward Collision Alert. Available Teen Driver Technology – It encourages safe driving habits for new drivers by muting the audio or any device paired with the vehicle when front-seat occupants aren’t wearing their safety belts. It also provides audible and visual warnings when the vehicle is traveling over predetermined speeds – and offers a “report card” for parents. Wireless charging – When equipped with this available feature, the phone storage slot in the center console enables inductive charging without the need for plug-ins or cables.

     

    Buick QuietTuning process
    The new LaCrosse builds on the exemplary reputation of the current model – already a benchmark in the segment – to offer an even quieter driving experience that contributes to the car’s comfort and enjoyment.
     
    Significantly, the Buick QuietTuning team employed a dissipative approach to sound attenuation rather than the current model’s barrier system. That means the sound is absorbed primarily with a specialized, lightweight dissipative dash mat rather than heavier noise-blocking pads.
     
    Additional quieting features include:
    New five-link rear suspension provides greater isolation from road noise than the current four-link design Active noise cancellation is standard on all models Acoustic wheelhouse liners Acoustic-laminated windshield and front side windows Triple-sealed doors Improved body noise-path sealing The windshield wipers “park” below the hood line to reduce wind noise.

     

    Next-generation powertrain
    LaCrosse’s all-new 3.6L V-6 engine with direct injection and dual overhead cams represents the second generation of GM’s acclaimed DOHC V-6 engine family and incorporates new features such as Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and Stop/Start technology.
     
    Active Fuel Management system temporarily deactivates two the 3.6L’s cylinders in light-load driving conditions to enhance fuel efficiency and seamlessly reactivates them when the driver demands full power.
     
    With the efficiency-enhancing Stop/Start system, the engine is shut down in certain driving conditions such as stop-and-go city driving to reduce fuel consumption, automatically restarting when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake pedal.
     
    Additionally, noise-reducing features including an all-new cam drive system contribute to the vehicle’s benchmark quietness.
     
    The 3.6L is estimated at 305 horsepower (227 kW) and 268 lb-ft of torque (363 Nm); and it’s matched with a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
     
    Balanced, efficient driving experience
    Thanks to its new, lighter and stiffer architecture – and a number of new and enhanced complementing technologies – the 2017 LaCrosse offers a driving experience that is as responsive and direct as it is quiet and comfortable. It also offers enhanced capability with Buick’s first twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system.
     
    A new five-link rear suspension is the central component of the improved ride and handling characteristics. It helps reduces roll center motion, enables positive lateral control and promotes excellent dynamic stability. In short, it helps keep the tires planted on all surfaces – and contributes to a quieter ride through greater isolation from road noise.
     
    At the front, a MacPherson-strut suspension is standard and Buick’s HiPer Strut suspension is used on front-wheel-drive models with 20-inch wheels. It helps reduce torque steer and maintain negativecamber during cornering, improving maximum grip in all road conditions. Italso improves the direct feel of the vehicle, while isolating undesirable feedback.
     
    Available, electronically controlled Continuous Damping Control further optimizes ride comfort and handling capabilities over varying road surfaces and profiles. It’s an active suspension system that can adjust damping every two milliseconds, with Touring and Sport damping modes selected by the driver through the Electronic Precision Shift.
     
    Also contributing to LaCrosse’s more-direct driving experience is an enhanced, rack-mounted electronic power steering system, which incorporates Lead-Pull Compensation. It automatically adjusts the steering angle to account for factors like crowned roads or high crosswinds.
     
    LaCrosse’s new twin-clutch AWD system offers the ultimate in grip in and control, with better performance during acceleration and cornering. It allows torque to be split between the rear wheels for optimal performance and the twin-clutch design uses independent clutch actuation to determine and control the amount of torque sent to each rear wheel.
     
    Additional chassis and driver control features on the 2017 LaCrosse include:
    Low-drag four-wheel disc brakes with Duralife rotors, which offer up to double the service life of conventional rotors Hill Start Assist with Automatic Vehicle Hold, which can hold the brakes up to five minutes, depending on conditions Electronic park brake Shear-type suspension mounts that offer greater ride, handling and noise isolation attributes.

     

    FAST FACT: Sales of the Buick LaCrosse have exceeded 900,000 globally since it went on sale in 2009.
     
    Buick is an international modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors and thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models in North America and China. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick, on Instagram, or at www.facebook.com/buick
     


    # # #


     

    CONTACT:
    Crystal Wilson
    Buick Communications
    crystal.wilson@gm.com
    313-618-9996
     
    2017 BUICK LACROSSE PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
     
    Overview
    Model:
    Buick LaCrosse FWD & AWD
    Body style / driveline:
    front-drive/all-wheel-drive, front-engine, four-door, five- passenger sedan
    Construction:
    integral
    EPA vehicle class:
    midsize sedan
    Manufacturing location:
    Detroit-Hamtramck, Mich.
    Key competitors:
    Lexus ES 350, Lincoln MKZ
     
    Engine
     
    3.6L V-6 DI VVT
    Displacement (cu in / cc):
    223 / 3649
    Bore & stroke (in / mm):
    3.74 x 3.37 / 95 x 85.8
    Block material:
    cast aluminum w/ cast-in-place iron bore liners
    Cylinder head material:
    cast aluminum
    Valvetrain:
    DOHC, four valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing; Active Fuel Management
    Fuel delivery:
    direct high-pressure fuel injection
    Compression ratio:
    11.5:1
    Horsepower
    (hp / kW @ rpm):
    305 / 227 @ 6800 (est.)
    Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):
    268 / 363 @ 5200 (est.)
    Recommended fuel:
    regular unleaded
    GM-estimated fuel economy (city / hwy):
    TBD Transmission
    Type:
    eight-speed, electronically controlled automatic overdrive with torque converter clutch
    Gear ratios (:1):
     
    First:
    5.25
    Second:
    3.02
    Third:
    1.95
    Fourth:
    1.47
    Fifth:
    1.22
    Sixth:
    1.00
    Seventh:
    0.80
    Eighth:
    0.57
    Reverse:
    4.01
    Final drive ratio:
    3.07
     
    Chassis / Suspension
    Suspension (front):
    FWD/AWD with 18-in. wheels & AWD with 20-in. wheels: MacPherson strut coil-over-spring
    FWD with 20-in. wheels: HiPer Strut with Continuous Damping Control
    Suspension (rear):
    FWD/AWD with 18-in. wheels & AWD with 20-in. wheels: five-link
    FWD with 20-in. wheels: five-link with Continuous Damping Control
    Steering type:
    electric variable-effort power steering with Active Return Assist
    Steering ratio:
    TBD
    Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock:
    TBD
    Turning circle (ft / m):
    38 / 11.6
     
    Brakes
    Type:
    split, dual-circuit four-wheel-disc with power assist; Duralife brake rotors; brake pre-fill and Electronic Brake Force Distribution
    Rotor diameter x thickness
    (in / mm):
    TBD
     
    Wheels / Tires
    Wheel size and type:
     
    18-in. aluminum
    20-in. aluminum
    Tires:
    P235/50R18 all-season
    P245/40R20 all-season
     
    Dimensions
    Exterior
    Wheelbase (in / mm):
    114.4 / 2905
    Overall length (in / mm):
    197.5 / 5017
    Overall width (in / mm):
    73.2 / 1859
    Overall height (in / mm):
    57.5 / 1460
    Track (in / mm):
    front: 62.9 / 1599
    rear: 63.1 / 1602
    Curb weight (lb / kg):
    TBD
     
    Interior
    Seating capacity:
    2 / 3
    Headroom (in / mm):
    front: 38.4 / 975 (w/o sunroof)
    rear: 37.1 / 943 (w/o sunroof)
    Legroom (in / mm):
    front: 42 / 1067
    rear: 39.9 / 1014
    Shoulder room (in / mm):
    front: 57.7 / 1466
    rear: 56.6 / 1437
    Hip room (in / mm):
    front: 54.7 / 1390
    rear: 55 / 1399
    Cargo volume (cu. ft. / L):
    14.2 / 402

    William Maley

    The Same But Different

    2015 has been quite the year for Nissan with the launch of the 2016 Altima, Maxima, and Titan XD. To close out the year, Nissan has introduced an updated version of the Sentra at the LA Auto Show today.
     
    The facelift for the Sentra begins outside with a new V-Shaped front end found on the Altima and Maxima. There's also a set of new headlights with a boomerang shape and a reshaped hood. Around back are new taillights and bumper. Inside, the Sentra boasts a new steering wheel, seat fabrics, and a five-inch color display in the instrument cluster for higher trims.
     
    Power comes from a 1.8L four-cylinder with 130 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual comes standard on the base S or a CVT on higher trims. The suspension has been retuned with a 10 percent increase in spring and damper rates.
     
    The 2016 Nissan Sentra will start at $17,605 for the base S and will be at dealers in December.
     
    Source: Nissan
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    2016 Nissan Sentra Offers New Exterior Appearance, Refreshed Interior and Advanced Safety and Driving Technologies
    Nissan's popular compact sedan continues to stand out with "class-above" style, premium design qualities and enhanced driving experience Exterior redesign brings Sentra closer in look and feel to the bold new 2016 Maxima and redesigned 2016 Altima – reflecting Nissan's new design language Revised interior features new TFT-type (Thin Film Transfer) LCD flat panel display, available Siri Eyes Free™ Voice Recognition Available technology includes NissanConnectSM Services powered by SiriusXM® (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)

    The Nissan Sentra compact sedan has achieved some impressive numbers over its more than 30 years and seven generations of production. In the United States alone over four million Sentras have been sold, with nearly 92 percent of Sentras sold in the last 10 years still on the road today. Sentra is also Nissan's third best-selling vehicle, behind Altima and Rogue. And, since the introduction of the latest generation design in fall 2012, Sentra has experienced tremendous growth in sales and market share, making it one of Nissan's fastest growing nameplates.
     

    Now, to help keep the momentum going for the 2016 model year, Sentra has undergone a significant refreshening – starting with a revised exterior and the addition of an expanded suite of available safety and driving aid technologies.
     
    The 2016 Sentra has a starting MSRP* of $16,780 for the Sentra S with 6-speed manual transmission. A Sentra SV with the Driver Assist Package, which includes NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps and the innovative active safety features customers highly desire and utilize on a daily basis – such as Blind Spot Warming (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) – is estimated to be priced at under $20,000. Full pricing on all grade levels and packages will be announced later.
     
    "In what is turning out to be 'the year of the sedan,' Nissan has made major changes to our three best-known sedans – launching an all-new Maxima 4-Door Sports Car, a major makeover of our number one selling Altima, and now a redesigned Sentra," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc.
     
    A Revised Nissan “Family” Exterior
    The new 2016 Sentra exterior redesign brings its appearance closer in look and feel to its more upscale showroom siblings. All three Nissan sedans – Maxima, Altima and now Sentra – reflect Nissan’s new design language first introduced on the dramatic Nissan Murano crossover.
     
    “A major element of Nissan’s ‘Innovation that excites’ philosophy is innovative styling that continues to excite buyers throughout the entire period of ownership,” said Shiro Nakamura, senior vice president and chief creative officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “The 2016 Sentra’s new exterior adds a sense of sportiness to the refined style and proportions, as well as adding a strong connection to the Nissan sedan and crossover family.”
     
    Key features of the 2016 Sentra exterior include a new front fascia, grille, fenders, hood and signature boomerang-shaped headlights. New LED low-beam headlights with LED signature accents are offered on Sentra SR and Sentra SL grades. In the rear, a new fascia with redesigned boomerang-shaped taillights adds a more premium appearance. There are also two new 17-inch wheel designs for SR and SL grades, as well as a new SV 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheel design.
     
    As in previous years, Sentra’s exterior design is elegant, modern and refined, reflecting a “professional” character targeted at upwardly bound buyers who aspire to drive something more upscale than other designs in the segment. Exterior features include chrome door handles and chrome window accents and available heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals. The coefficient of drag is 0.27 for the Sentra FE+S, 0.29 for S, SV and SR grades and 0.30 for the SL trim level.
     
    The 2016 Sentra SR offers a sportier appearance, with unique design 17-inch forked 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels, lower body side sill extensions, rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light, fog lights and chrome exhaust tip finisher.
     
    New for 2016 is one exterior color, Blue Pearl. Nine other colors are available – Red Alert (SR grade only), Brilliant Silver, Super Black, Aspen White (premium charge), Gun Metallic, Graphite Blue, Titanium, Cayenne Red and Fresh Powder.
     
    A Roomy, Refined Interior Environment
    The roomy Sentra interior has also been revised for the 2016 model year, with a new steering wheel similar to the Nissan 370Z design, a new available 6-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar (standard on Sentra SL and optional on Sentra SR), a new center cluster design, a new console and shifter knob, and refined seat fabrics.
     
    The instrument panel offers a new TFT-type (Thin Film Transistor) LCD flat panel display with higher resolution than previous LCD screens. Sentra SV, SR and SL grades include a 5.0-inch Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display (ADAD) located between the tachometer and speedometer.
     
    For 2016, Sentra again offers ample roominess in a compact-size exterior – featuring one of the largest interiors in class, with 111.0 cubic feet of total interior volume. Helping make this possible is the long wheelbase (106.3 inches), which helps provide both ample rear seat legroom of 37.4 inches and large trunk capacity of 15.1 cubic feet. The rear seat is a standard 60/40-split fold-down design, adding versatility to the large trunk space.
     
    “The high resolution of the new instrument panel display needs to be seen to be believed,” added Loing. “And, as always, Sentra’s interior spaciousness is unexpected and immediately apparent to occupants – even with the front seats in the rear-most position.”
     
    The high-quality interior design includes soft-touch instrument panel and door armrests and available leather-appointed seating. Other available features range from Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control and a Bose® Premium audio system with eight speakers, to Nissan Intelligent Key® keyless entry and push button ignition system and RearView Monitor.
     
    Standard interior features include a 6-way manual driver’s seat, 4-way manual front passenger’s seat, front and rear door pockets, front center console with padded armrest and cupholders, rear seat armrest with cupholders, air conditioning with in-cabin microfilter and available Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control (ATC) system.
     
    Other features include tilt and telescopic steering column, power windows with driver’s one-touch auto up/down with auto reverse, power door locks with auto-locking feature, remote keyless entry and remote trunk and fuel-filler door releases.
     
    The standard Sentra audio system is an AM/FM/CD system with four speakers and USB connection for iPod® and other compatible devices. Other available audio systems include a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD system with 5.0-inch color display. Also available is SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), while Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System is standard on all grades.
     
    Advanced Connectivity and Safety Shield Technologies
    The 2016 Sentra offers advanced technology features that help owners stay connected – including NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, which is standard on SV and SR grades and includes iHeartRadio, Pandora® and Facebook.
     
    The system features a 5.0-inch color display, Streaming audio via Bluetooth®, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant and smartphone integration for iPhone® and Android phones.
     
    Standard on Sentra SL and available on SV and SR grades is NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, featuring a 5.8-inch color touch-screen, NissanConnect Apps (including iHeartRadio, Pandora®, Facebook, Twitter®, TripAdvisor and Online Search powered by GoogleTM), SiriusXM® Traffic, SiriusXM® Travel Link™ with fuel prices, weather, movie listing, sports scores and stock prices (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), and Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation.
     
    New for 2016 is NissanConnect Services powered by SiriusXM®. It offers emergency preparedness, remote access, customizable alerts and convenience services (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately). The system allows the driver to set customized alerts for family and friends – such as speed, curfew and boundary notifications. It is available on Sentra SR and SL grades as part of the Technology Package.
     
    Also new for 2016 is Siri Eyes Free™ Voice Recognition, which makes it easy to make and receive calls, read and send text messages and emails, select and play music from a compatible device, read notifications, request directions and more via a hands-free voice connection to Siri™ commands. Siri Eyes Free™ Voice Recognition is standard on Sentra SV, SR and SL grades.
     
    A number of Nissan’s advanced Safety Shield Technologies are now available on Sentra for the first time for the 2016 model year – Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
     
    Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) and Forward Emergency Braking (FEB) are combined as part of the new Technology Package offered for Sentra SR and SL grades. ICC uses radar to maintain a set speed and distance between Sentra and the vehicle ahead, even braking to maintain that distance.
     
    FEB provides audible and visual warnings to help alert the driver of a potential collision with the vehicle ahead in the traveling lane and can help reduce speed if necessary. If a collision is unavoidable, the feature will engage the brakes to help reduce both the speed of the impact and the severity of the collision.
     
    Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) are included in the Navigation Package (SV and SR grades) and are standard on Sentra SL. The new Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) system utilizes radar to detect a vehicle approaching from either side of the Sentra when backing out of a parking space. The radar-based Blind Spot Warning (BSW) system provides an audible alert if the driver puts the turn signal on with a detected vehicle in the blind spot area of an adjacent lane and issues a visual alert if a detected vehicle enters the blind spot area in the adjacent lane.
     
    “The 2016 Sentra brings a new level of available advanced Safety Shield Technologies and driving technologies to our high-value Sentra,” said Loing. “This is also the most connected Sentra ever offered, including its new NissanConnect Services telematics system.”
     
    In addition, Sentra’s list of standard safety and security features include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors; front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags; roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection; 3-point front and rear seatbelts, front seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters and adjustable upper anchors; and LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren).
     
    The 2016 Sentra also offers child safety rear door locks; Zone Body construction featuring front and rear crumple zones and occupant zone; Nissan Immobilizer system and anti-theft alarm system; and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with position monitoring and available Easy Fill Tire Alert system.
    Fuel-Efficient 1.8-liter Engine and Advanced Xtronic Transmission
    All 2016 Sentra models utilize a fuel-efficient 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to an advanced Xtronic transmission with sub-planetary gear. A 6-speed manual transmission is also available with the Sentra S grade.
     
    The advanced 1.8-liter DOHC 4-cyinder engine offers a longer stroke than typical engines in its class, resulting in improved combustion speed and efficiency. The engine is equipped with a twin Continuously Variable Timing Control (CVTC) system which modulates both the intake and exhaust valve opening time (similar to that used on the flagship Nissan Maxima).
     
    The engine’s internal friction has been reduced (versus the previous design), improving efficiency. In addition, the valve springs are shaped similar to a beehive, with a smaller diameter towards the top – reducing inertial weight, improving valvetrain efficiency and smoothing engine operation. The engine is rated at 130 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque.
    The Xtronic transmission offers a wide gear ratio range of 7.3:1 through use of a sub-planetary gear and smaller pulleys, resulting in high-speed fuel efficiency and responsive acceleration.
     
    The Xtronic’s acceleration feel is enhanced with a D-mode step shift program that simulates shifts, giving a more natural acceleration feeling without holding a high rpm constant, letting rpms build as speed builds. For 2016, the D-Step Logic Control has been revised to help provide enhanced drivability with a more stable, natural and crisper shift feel (versus the previous design).
     
    The 2016 Sentra also delivers enhanced performance and handling through a retuned suspension design featuring a 10 percent increase in spring and damper rates (from the prior model year), as well as enhanced body stiffness for improved roll and body control through adoption of a new front tunnel stay similar to that used on the JUKE NISMO RS. The Sentra suspension features an independent strut front layout with stabilizer bar, torsion beam rear axle with integrated stabilizer bar.
     
    Steering feel and response has also been improved through use of optimized Electric Power Steering (EPS) mapping in conjunction with the revised suspension and new tire design. A power-assisted vented front disc/rear drum braking system (4-wheel disc brakes are available) is standard along with retuned vehicle-speed-sensitive electric power steering.
     
    Available wheels and tire combinations include 16-inch steel wheels with full covers or 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/55R16 size all-season tires, for S and SV grades, along with 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/50R17 all-season tires for SR and SL grades.
     
    A Range of Well-Equipped Models
    The 2016 Nissan Sentra is offered in six models: S 6MT, S Xtronic, FE+ S, SV, SR and SL. “The new 2016 Sentra has more content and greater value across the range of six well-equipped models,” added Loing. “And, with a number of special option packages, it’s easy to configure just the right level of features for every driving preference and budget.”
     
    Along with the high-value list of standard equipment on Sentra S and FE+S grades, the popular SV grade content has been enhanced for 2016 with standard Siri Eyes Free™, new meter display with chrome accents, Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display (ADAD) with 5.0-inch display, new seat fabric and new door and console trim design
     
    Sentra SV also includes Nissan Intelligent Key®, RearView Monitor, NissanConnect with Mobile Apps, 5.0-inch color display, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), sliding front armrest, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and Easy-Fill Tire Alert.
    The sporty Sentra SR adds LED low beam projector headlights with LED accents, lower body side sill extensions, rear spoiler with integrated LED brake light, fog lights, chrome exhaust finisher, unique design 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/50R17 all-season tires, rear disc brakes, sport interior trim, new premium sport cloth seats, driver’s seatback pocket, new door/console trim design, heated front seats, heated outside mirrors with LED turn signals, rear disc brakes, and SR badge.
     
    The top-of-the-line Sentra SL adds standard leather-appointed seats, 6-way power driver’s seat with 2-way power lumbar support, heated front seats, driver’s seatback pocket, new Piano Black door/console trim, auto-dimming mirror with HomeLink® Universal Transceiver and Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control.
     
    Additional Sentra SL equipment includes NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), heated outside mirrors with LED turn signals, LED low beam projector headlights with LED accents, fog lights, disc brakes, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/50R17 all-season tires and SL badge.
     
    Seven option packages are available for the 2016 model year, including a new Technology Package with Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB) and NissanConnect Services Powered by SiriusXM® (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately).
     
    The SR Premium Package offers a power sliding glass moonroof with tilt feature, Bose® Premium Audio system with eight speakers, leather-appointed seats, 6-way power driver’s seat with 2-way power lumbar, NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, SiriusXM® Traffic and SiriusXM® Travel Link® (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately), Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and more.
     
    The Style Package, available for Sentra SV, features a power sliding moonroof, dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors, 16-inch split 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels and rear spoiler.
     
    Other available packages are the SL Premium Package, Driver Assist Package, All Weather Package and 16-inch Alloy Wheels Package.
     
    The 2016 Sentra is assembled in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

    Drew Dowdell

    The new smaller crossover from Infiniti

    Infiniti revealed their newest small crossover at the LA Auto Show today. Slotting in below the recently enlarged Infiniti QX40, the QX30 arrives staying true to the looks of the Infiniti QX30 Concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March of 2015.
     
    Those of you familiar with the Mercedes-Benz GLA will notice the Benz DNA in this car. That is because the QX30 is part of a joint venture with Mercedes-Benz . This is the first Infiniti built in Europe at a new facility in the UK which will be supplying the vehicle to all global markets.
     
    Much of the hardware under the hood is stock Mercedes. The QX30 in the US comes with a 2.0T matched to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Power is fed to an AWD system that can feed 50% of the torque to the rear wheels. European and other markets will have a diesel available.
     
    Infiniti expects the QX30 to go on sale in the middle of 2016.
     

     
    Press Release on Page 2
     
    Source: Infiniti
    Photos: Drew Dowdell
     
     
    Infiniti QX30: A premium active crossover for all purposes
    QX30 debuts as a new premium offering for global markets Combines crossover appearance with signature Infiniti design cues Delivers a confident drive and versatile attitude, aided by intelligent all-wheel drive Intuitive technologies enhance safety, comfort and convenience Part of first Infiniti production in Europe, at new facilities in Sunderland, UK Simultaneous world premieres at Los Angeles and Guangzhou motor shows

    LOS ANGELES – The Infiniti QX30 premium active crossover is making its simultaneous global debut at the 2015 Los Angeles and Guangzhou international motor shows – signalling the next phase of the company’s global growth strategy.
    Created for a new generation of premium buyers who appreciate category-defying design inside and out, the QX30 boasts a purposeful appearance that makes a bold visual statement as part of Infiniti’s premium model line-up.
    Remaining true to the powerful and elegant design cues that guided the original QX30 concept, the car’s highly sculpted exterior, unique crossover stance and asymmetric cabin design exemplify Infiniti’s design-led approach to product development.
    In addition to its striking appearance, the QX30 offers an elevated ride height, confidence-inspiring handling and a versatile attitude, underpinned by an intelligent all-wheel drive system. As a result, the vehicle is able to take on urban, suburban and winding rural roads in all driving conditions.
    The next step for Infiniti in the premium compact segment
    “With our recent sales successes and record growth, the current product offensive will further strengthen Infiniti’s global market position. The active crossover, QX30, will broaden our offer to new customers around the world.”
    Roland Krueger, President of Infiniti
    Further fulfilling Infiniti’s promise to expand its product line-up based on popular concept car designs, the arrival of the QX30 premium active crossover comes at a moment of opportunity for the Infiniti brand. The QX30 will play an integral role in Infiniti’s promise to offer customers a broader range of premium products. The QX30 adds another dimension to Infiniti’s premium model line-up and will play a vital role in the brand’s global growth.
    In the first 10 months of 2015, Infiniti sold almost 173,000 new vehicles worldwide, representing an increase of 16 percent compared to the same period in 2014. The 32,200 vehicles sold in China means Infiniti has already exceeded its full-year 2014 figure in the world’s largest car market, while in the U.S. Infiniti sold more than 106,700 vehicles, the best sales results in the country since 2005.
     

    Global sales of 18,400 units in October represented an increase of 20 percent over the same month in the previous year, and continued a 14-month run of best individual months on record for Infiniti, including the best October sales in history for many regions and markets such as the Americas, China, Mexico, and Western Europe.
    As a member of the new premium family, the QX30 gives Infiniti a great platform from which to achieve its goals in key markets globally. It will be built at new manufacturing facilities in Sunderland, UK, becoming part of Infiniti’s first car production in Europe.
    The high demands of premium vehicle manufacturing require significant investment and a highly skilled workforce. Establishing a production base for the Infiniti QX30 represented a new $1.9 billion (£250 million) commitment in plant extensions totalling over 88,000 square feet (25,000m2). A successful recruitment program was conducted, filling over 300 new jobs to support production, while 4,000 existing production line staff members were given special training to meet exacting Infiniti standards.
    Attracting a new type of premium car buyer
    “We have identified a new generation of premium buyers and have positioned QX30 as a personalized premium option to suit a varied range of needs. The car is as much at home in the city as it is outside of urban environments, inspiring confidence with its ‘ready-to-go-anywhere’ attitude.”
    Francois Bancon, Infiniti Vice President Product Strategy
    Infiniti is targeting a new generation of premium buyers with the new QX30. The premium crossover segment is currently among the fastest-expanding markets globally, and Generations X and Y will represent the majority of buyers in this segment by 2020. For them, the car is an expression of “self” rather than “status,” and they remain open to new, category-defying concepts.
    The QX30 will hold a unique position in the segment, bridging the gap between premium compact rivals and larger crossover models. Its crossover-style versatility extends from unique design appeal and a wide range of comfort, convenience, safety and dynamic features, including intelligent all-wheel drive. Its elevated ride height and high-stability drivetrain will give confidence to drivers.
    This more purposeful, crossover-inspired execution has been achieved without the QX30 losing the premium look and feel that buyers expect of a car in this segment. It maintains its urban appeal, premium fit and finish and seamless integration of Infiniti’s highly expressive design – requisite elements required for the car to succeed in the premium arena.
    Category-defying design
    The original QX30 concept, which made its international debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, combined the sleek lines of a coupe with the in-command stance of an all-wheel drive crossover. Consistent with Infiniti’s design-led approach to product development, the production version of the QX30 maintains these characterful attributes.
    “The category-defying design of the QX30 stays true to the inspiration behind the daring 2015 concept. Its mix of artistry in the flowing lines, and power in the elevated stance and confident look, makes a bold visual statement and challenges current preconceptions of what a crossover should look like.”
    Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director
    The combination of a low-slung roofline, elevated stance and crossover appearance creates a striking visual impact. The versatile stance endows the QX30 with a “go-anywhere” attitude, ready to take on all driving conditions – without compromising the high quality finish that buyers associate with premium rivals.
    The QX30 exterior is characterized by dramatic curves and turbulent, sculpted character lines that make an emotional statement, evolving them into new dynamic shapes for a more purposeful appearance. The double-arch grille with three-dimensional mesh draws a flowing, fluid link to the headlamps for a more organic shape.
    The lines of the QX30 flow up the double-wave hood, over the fenders, across the bodyline and into the strong shoulders of the car. The overall effect is designed to look stretched over bone and muscle, rather than the straight, “mechanical” lines seen on rival models. Infiniti’s signature C-pillar design forges a dynamic crescent shape that emphasises motion, even when stationary.
    The elevated dimensions make for a confident and relaxing drive, while ascribing to the car’s versatile character. An overall height of 60.2 inches (1,530mm) (with standard roof rails) helps improve forward visibility over its rivals, aided by a slim A-pillar design, while the elevated ride allows for a higher hip point, improving ease of ingress and egress.
    Other exterior details include newly designed front and rear bumpers and grained side sills for a rugged look, as well as bodywork finished with satin chrome-plated inserts for a premium and high quality metallic finish.
    Living in asymmetry and comfort with QX30
    “QX30’s asymmetric interior design results in an environment focused on the driver, yet encompassing passengers in such a way as to involve and cater for them, more so than the traditionally isolating designs found in the premium segment.”
    Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director
    The bold approach Infiniti has taken to design continues inside the QX30, which challenges traditional standards of symmetry with its expressive, modern and dynamic interior.
    The asymmetric surfaces feature wave shapes and dynamic lines that twist apart and flow away from the driver. These give an “in-motion” feel when natural light moves over the highly sculpted lines and contrasting materials in the cabin. This “dissymmetry” creates a more pleasant environment in which to spend time.
    The most premium materials and processes available have been selected by Infiniti designers in order to create a modern-looking and luxurious cabin. A custom-designed QX30 trim delivers a personalized, self-expressive interior design. The standard interior is finished in high quality black cloth, while optional black or beige Nappa leather delivers an even more premium finish.
    Refinement and comfort is also a core appeal of the QX30’s interior. Comfort is guaranteed thanks to an advanced seat design, which makes use of Infiniti’s advanced “spinal support” research. The seat backs have been carefully engineered to match the curvature of the spine, providing consistent spinal support by more equally distributing load across the seat to minimise pressure on back muscles. Meanwhile, a wider fitting shape and soft seat cushion also provides enhanced support. Internal testing carried out by Infiniti engineers showed that the QX30 seat provides greater levels of support and comfort than rivals, reducing driver fatigue on longer journeys.
    The QX30’s supreme interior quietness adds to cabin comfort, with some of the lowest noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels in the premium compact segment.
    The extensive application of sound-absorbent materials reduces the intrusion of wind, road and unwanted engine noise into the cabin. In addition, closed sections of the high-rigidity body structure protect the QX30 from any negative noise and vibration generated by broken or inconsistent road surfaces.
    The result is an incredibly quiet and refined platform, allowing Infiniti engineers to isolate and emphasise the more pleasant and enriching tones of the QX30’s engines under acceleration, without disturbing the calm of the cabin.
    A versatile attitude and drivetrain to deal with any challenge
    The QX30 is engineered to deliver a confidence-inspiring, dynamic driving experience, aided by intelligent all-wheel drive.
    Development of the QX30 started at the brand’s technical center in Japan, before moving to Europe for final validation and testing. In total, over 750 Infiniti engineers in Japan and Europe were involved in the development and testing of the QX30 in a wide variety of roads and environments.
    “Our holistic approach to engineering the QX30 has resulted in a car that delivers a precise, ‘in-command’ experience behind the wheel. The finely-tuned chassis and suspension, plus a number of assistive driver technologies, all work together to the benefit of the driver, providing a confident drive in all conditions and surroundings.”
    Grahame Cornforth, Infiniti Chief Vehicle Engineer
    The QX30’s chassis has been developed to offer a comfortable ride and confident handling in spite of its elevated ride height and ground clearance. Development teams responsible for QX30’s ride and handling worked hard to ensure the car’s dynamic characteristics met with buyers’ expectations of a vehicle that has been engineered to bridge the gap between compacts and crossovers. Its springs and rear anti-roll bar are stiffer, continuing the engineers’ efforts to ensure a flat ride. While the slightly firmer suspension helps to counteract the dynamic effects of a higher center of gravity, the modifications to the chassis enable QX30 to remain comfortable at all speeds and over a variety of road surfaces.
    The QX30 comes equipped with an intelligent all-wheel drive system. The drivetrain is able to send up to 50 percent of the engine’s power and torque to the rear axle to maintain traction on slippery surfaces and in inclement weather, enhancing a feeling of control and confidence when driving. For example, if sensors detect wheel slip, braking is applied to the slipping wheel, while torque is sent to the gripping wheel for additional stability. Combined with the elevated ground clearance, the QX30’s drivetrain is engineered to deal with all conditions.
    Another standard feature is the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission system. The dual-clutch intelligently pre-selects gears so the next shift is always ready to go, while manual mode lets the driver control gear changes when desired. Delivering seamless acceleration at any speed and in any gear, the application of torque is almost uninterrupted during gear changes, reducing lurching while in motion and between shifts.
    Depending on market, there will be a choice between responsive diesel and gasoline engines for QX30 buyers – with specific details available closer to launch.
    Intuitive technologies enhance an involving, safe driving experience
    The QX30 will be among the safest cars in its class owing to a range of active safety and hazard avoidance technologies that enhance the driving experience and provide maximum safety to all occupants. An Around View Monitor with moving object detection and Intelligent Parking Assist makes the QX30 the easiest car to park in its segment.
    A special metal plating method allows the radar waves of the Intelligent Cruise Control to pass through the Infiniti badge without disrupting the QX30’s striking appearance with unseemly radar units.
    Infiniti’s trademark InTouch infotainment system, first introduced on the pioneering Q50, has been evolved and upgraded for the QX30 for a highly intuitive finger touch and swipe control through a seven-inch touch-screen HMI (human machine interface). Infiniti Voice Recognition interacts with the InTouch infotainment system to control audio and navigation commands.
    The Infiniti QX30 premium active crossover will go on sale in selected markets in the middle of 2016.
    Please note: All product information contained in this press kit relates to global QX30 information, including technical specifications, powertrains and standard/optional equipment and features. Please contact your country’s Infiniti PR office for product details relevant to your market.

    William Maley

    Not Your Father's MKZ

    Now for something completely out of left field. Before the LA Auto Show kicked off, Lincoln surprised everyone with an updated version of the MKZ.
     
    The updates begin outside where the front end trades in the split-wing grille for similar look found on the Continental concept. A rounded grille is flanked with narrowed headlights with LEDs. The back is mostly unchanged aside from a new bumper. Inside is a new centerstack with actual buttons for the climate controls and radio. There's a choice of two Revel audio systems and two USB plugs for rear passengers to charge their devices.
     
    Under the hood, the MKZ boasts a 2.0L GTDI four-cylinder with 245 horsepower as standard, and a hybrid. But if you want power in your MKZ, then you want the brand new 3.0L GTDI V6 with 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque when equipped with all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive models will get 350 horsepower.
     
    The 3.0 GTDI V6 will have the option of a Driver's Package that adds nineteen-inch wheels, sportier suspension setup, dynamic torque vectoring, Ebony-painted brake calipers, and carbon fiber trim.
     
    Lincoln says the 2017 MKZ will begin arriving at dealers next summer.

    Source: Lincoln


     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Quiet Luxury: Intuitive Technology, Effortless Performance and Distinctive Design Drive 2017 Lincoln MKZ
    Suite of cutting-edge intuitive technologies including available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, auto hold, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection and enhanced park assist help ease the new Lincoln MKZ driving experience Effortless performance enabled by available new Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-liter GTDI V6 engine, which creates a quiet, powerful ride, or popular hybrid option Distinctively redesigned from the inside out, including three new Lincoln Black Label themes available, plus two available Revel® audio systems delivering the height of Lincoln luxury

    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18, 2015 – Discover your new favorite space. The new Lincoln MKZ combines intuitive technology, effortless performance and distinctive design to deliver an enhanced driving experience Lincoln calls quiet luxury.
     

    Lincoln reveals a newly designed MKZ today, focusing on areas most desired by today's luxury midsize sedan customer – quality, performance and style.
     
    "Our customers are looking for three attributes in a luxury midsize sedan – technologies that ease their everyday experience, a beautiful design that is crafted with attention to detail, and a vehicle with impressive power that makes it a pleasure to drive," said Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln. "The new Lincoln MKZ elevates all of these attributes – and many more – to create a compelling entry in this large and highly competitive portion of the luxury market."
     
    The new Lincoln MKZ is designed to appeal to those who are looking for something different in the luxury market. From the placement of technology features such as the push-button gear shift to reimagined interior spaces including the floating center console, drivers can relish in discovering an unexpected experience based on intelligent function and beautiful form that offers, above all, an enjoyable drive.
     
    The Lincoln Experience is brought to life through the available Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-liter GTDI V6 engine, as well as intangible elements like the quiet cabin provided by the Active Noise Control system.
     
    Features that make the new Lincoln MKZ a haven of refined comfort include curated spaces for storage, the availability of three Lincoln Black Label interior packages with exclusive, personal in-home design consultation, available fully retractable panoramic glass roof, and concert-quality Revel® audio with specially designed doors for optimal positioning of the speakers.
     
    Intuitive technology
    The new Lincoln MKZ is designed to make the drive ride easier and more enjoyable. Available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality automatically can slow the car, resuming higher speeds when traffic clears. The system activates the brakes automatically to bring the car to a complete stop if the driver fails to apply brakes in time1.
     
    An auto hold feature keeps the car at a complete stop without the driver having to press and hold the brake pedal – making stop-and-go driving more relaxing for MKZ owners.
     
    Available enhanced park assist uses ultrasonic sensors to help Lincoln MKZ seamlessly steer itself into a parallel or perpendicular parking spot. The car can assist with park-out as needed.
     
    Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection is an available technology that can help avoid some frontal crashes (1), or lessen the severity of such events.
     
    Lincoln-exclusive engine provides effortless performance
    An all-new, Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-liter GTDI V6 leads available engine choices for the new Lincoln MKZ. When paired with an intelligent all-wheel-drive system, the twin-turbocharged engine produces 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque (2,3 )for effortless performance and refinement.
     
    Dynamic Torque Vectoring (4), part of an available Driver's Package for MKZ with the 3.0-liter engine, enhances cornering agility without compromising ride comfort, helping drivers enjoy a smooth, seamless experience.
     
    The new Lincoln MKZ provides a hybrid alternative as well; and a 2.0-liter GTDI, 245-horsepower2 four-cylinder engine with front-wheel drive.
     
    Available Lincoln Drive Control allows drivers to adjust among three drive ride modes – comfort, normal and sport. The system includes continuously controlled damping, and electric power-assisted steering to provide comfortable, confident handling.
     
    The Driver's Package for Lincoln MKZ with 3.0-liter V6 also includes 19-inch wheels, Ebony-painted calipers, light Magnetic-painted grille, Ebony interior with carbon fiber appliqués, customizable multi-contour seats and aluminum pedal covers. In addition, the package features retuned continuously controlled damping and suspension for enhanced driving dynamics.
     
    Distinctive design
    The new face of Lincoln is highlighted by available adaptive LED headlamps that help deliver cleaner, clearer lighting for drivers, complemented by the all-new one-piece Lincoln signature grille.
     
    Inside, engineers paid particular attention to the sound and feel of new switches and dials that replace slider adjustments for easier control of ventilation and audio functions for new Lincoln MKZ customers. Commonly used buttons and USB ports are now even easier to access.
     
    Two all-new Lincoln Black Label themes, Chalet and Vineyard, as well as Thoroughbred, deliver desired uniqueness and options paired with luxurious materials. Lincoln MKZ's available fully retractable panoramic glass roof offers the largest open-air roof among sedans.5
     
    The new Lincoln MKZ goes on sale in summer 2016.
     
    1. Driver-assist features are supplemental and do not replace the driver's judgment.
    2. Tested with 93-octane fuel.
    3. 3.0-liter GTDI V6 engine in front-wheel drive models is limited to 350 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque.
    4. Requires 3.0-liter GTDI V6 engine and AWD.
    5. Based on effective roof opening as measured by Webasto.

    William Maley

    Fiat + Mazda Miata = 124 Spider

    What might have been one of the worst-kept secrets in the automotive world has finally been revealed today at the LA Auto Show.
     
    This is the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider which is the result of the partnership between Fiat and Mazda. You might remember this vehicle was originally destined for Alfa Romeo a few years back, before Alfa decided to do their own Spider and the project was shifted to Fiat.
     
    The first thing you notice about the 124 Spider is the polarizing design. Fiat says the design pays homage to the original 124 Spider from the sixties with an upright front end and rounded headlights. Towards the back is an oddly shaped trunk lid and rectangular taillights.
     
    While the Miata and 124 Spider use the same 90.9-inch wheelbase, the 124 Spider is about 5.5-inches longer than the Miata thanks to all of that new sheet metal.
     
    The 124 Spider's interior is the same as you'll find in the Miata. Aside from a Fiat badge on the steering wheel, everything else is pure Mazda.
     
    At least the powertrain is all Fiat. A turbocharged 1.4L MultiAir four-cylinder from the 500 Abarth provides 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. There will be a choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic.
     
    Fiat will be launching the 124 Spider next summer. Now the first 124 models will be offered in a limited-edition Prima Edizione Lusso trim finished in a blue color and having individually numbered badges.
     
    Source: Fiat
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    All-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Revives Legendary Nameplate with Iconic Italian Styling and Dynamic Driving Experience
    2017 Fiat 124 Spider returns nearly 50 years after original introduction Revival of roadster continues expansion of FIAT brand in North America Delivers iconic Italian style with modern adaptation of original Spider legend Powered by turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-liter engine for 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, available with manual or automatic transmission Available with an array of safety and security features, plus technologies for added comfort and convenience First 124 units will be available as limited-production Prima Edizione Lusso

    Auburn Hills, Mich., Nov 18, 2015 - The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider revives the storied nameplate, bringing its classic Italian styling and performance to a new generation. Paying homage to the original 124 Spider nearly 50 years after its introduction, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider delivers the ultimate Italian roadster experience with driving excitement, technology and safety combined with iconic Italian design.
     

    "There's no better way to celebrate 50 years of the Fiat 124 Spider than to bring back this iconic roadster, pairing its Italian styling of the past with all of the modern performance and technology of today," said Olivier François, Head of FIAT Brand, FCA – Global. "The 124 Spider expands the FIAT family, bringing to market yet another head-turning, fun-to-drive vehicle for our customers."
     
    Engaging driving dynamics through thoughtful engineering
    In North America, the Fiat 124 Spider is available with the proven 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo four-cylinder engine, the engine's first application in a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. The engine delivers 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, and is available with a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission.
     
    The 124 Spider's suspension uses a double-wishbone layout in front and a multi-link in the rear, specifically tuned for greater stability while braking and turning. Steering is light and responsive with the use of an electric power assist (dual pinion) system.
     
    The steering and suspension setup, lightweight frame, balanced weight distribution and turbocharged engine combine for a dynamic driving experience. Noise vibration and harshness (NVH) enhancements, including an acoustic front windshield and insulation treatments, also help to deliver a refined, quiet ride.
     
    For an open-air driving experience, the Fiat 124 Spider's soft convertible top is easy to operate and requires minimal force, much like the original Spider's top.
     
    Loaded with safety, security and technology features
    The all-new roadster is available with an array of safety and security features, including adaptive front headlamps, Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection and ParkView rear backup camera. A high-strength body helps to dissipate energy while optimizing occupant protection.
     
    The Fiat 124 Spider is also available with technology features for added comfort and convenience, including the FIAT Connect 7.0 system with 7-inch touchscreen display, multimedia control, Bluetooth connectivity, heated seats and Keyless Enter 'n Go.
     
    A Bose premium sound system with nine speakers, including dual headrest speakers, is also available for superior sound quality even with the top down.
     
    Design pays homage to past with modern interpretation of styling cues
    The all-new Fiat 124 Spider, designed at Centro Stile in Turin, Italy, borrows cues from the original Spider – widely considered one of Fiat's most beautiful cars of all time – and reinterprets them for today. The 2017 124 Spider has a timeless low-slung presence, with a classically beautiful bodyside, well-balanced proportions and a sporty cabin-to-hood ratio. Features like the hexagonal upper grille and grille pattern, "power domes" on the front hood and sharp horizontal rear lamps call to mind details of the historic Spider.
     
    The interior is crafted and designed to focus on the occupants, with premium soft-touch materials throughout. Ergonomics were applied to emphasize the driving experience and ensure easy operation of the steering wheel, pedals and shifter while driving.
     
    The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is available in two trim levels: Classica and Lusso. Each model is available in six exterior paint colors, including Rosso Passione (Red Clear Coat), Bianco Gelato (White Clear Coat), Nero Cinema (Jet Black Metallic), Grigio Argento (Gray Metallic), Grigio Moda (Dark Gray Metallic) and Bronzo Magnetico (Bronze Metallic). The Lusso ("Luxury") model is also available in tri-coat Bianco Perla (Crystal White Pearl).
     
    Special edition gives enthusiasts the chance to own one of the first 2017 Fiat 124 Spiders
    To celebrate the return of the classic nameplate, the first 124 vehicles will be offered as a limited-edition Prima Edizione Lusso, as shown at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. Each will be individually numbered with a commemorative badge and available in exclusive Azzurro Italia (Blue) exterior paint with premium leather seats in Saddle. Owners who purchase a Prima Edizione will also receive limited-edition items, including wearables and a poster. For more information about ordering a Fiat 124 Spider Prima Edizione, interested customers can sign up for updates at http://www.fiatusa.com.
     
    The all-new Fiat 124 Spider will arrive in FIAT studios in North America in summer 2016.

    William Maley

    The Lamborghini Huracán, Now In Two-Wheel Drive Form

    If you thought Lamborghini for all but forgotten about rear-wheel drive, then the introduction of the Huracán LP580-2 at the LA Auto Show should give you joy.
     
    The Huracán LP580-2 drops the all-wheel drive system found on other Huracán models, allowing the LP580-2 weigh about 73 pounds lighter than standard Huracán. Now with the all-wheel drive system gone, Lamborghini's enginners made some changes 5.2L V10 engine. The V10 produces 571 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque in the LP580-2, down 32 horsepower and 15 pound-feet when compared to the regular Huracán. But the performance figures of 3.4 seconds to 60 MPH and a top speed of 199 MPH means Lamborghini hasn't forgotten about outright performance.
     
    Other changes for the rear-drive Huracán include restyled front and rear ends, and a new nineteen-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli PZero rubber.
     
    Source: Lamborghini
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    The rear-wheel drive Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2: the essence of driving fun
     
    - New dynamic design of front and rear
    - Designed and engineered to provide perfect rear-wheel driving fun
    - Weight reduction with recalibrated power management for highly-involving driver experience
    - 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds, top speed of 320 km/h
     
    Sant'Agata Bolognese/LA, 17 November 2015 – Automobili Lamborghini presents the Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2: a two-wheel drive version of the Huracán coupe. Specifically designed and engineered for its rear-wheel drive set-up, the Huracán LP 580-2's combines dynamic new looks with a package for an enhanced Lamborghini driving emotion.
     
    "The Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2 continues the Lamborghini tradition of pure, visionary and technology-driven models," says Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. "The rear-wheel drive model fits perfectly into our Huracán family, appealing to those wanting an even more intense driving experience, or who currently drive other rear-wheel-drive marques and aspire to driving a Lamborghini. This is the purest expression of a Lamborghini to date, with class-leading technological refinements. It is a serious car for serious drivers: it is maximum driving fun."
     
    The Huracán LP 580-2 has been engineered and tuned for an essential driving experience. With its naturally aspirated V10 5.2 l engine sending 426 kW / 580 hp to the rear axle, the Huracán LP 580-2's dry weight is just 1,389 kg, thus 33 kg lighter than the four-wheel-drive version.
     
    Weight distribution is biased 40% at the front / 60% at the rear, reducing inertia on the front axle. An entirely new power management set-up, encompassing stiffer suspension, new steering set-up for more precise turning, and recalibrated stability and traction controls, connects the driver as directly as possible with the road. The selectable Lamborghini driving modes STRADA, SPORT and CORSA are tuned to provide oversteering characteristics, emphasizing authentic rear-wheel drive behavior.
     
    The engaging, sporty fun of the two-wheel drive Huracán LP 580-2 perfectly complements the existing Huracán offering with the all-encompassing technology and experience of the four wheel-drive Huracán LP 610-4 and the lifestyle appeal of the Huracán LP 610-4 Spyder.
     
    Design
     
    The Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2 is clearly different from its four wheel-drive stable mate. The front and rear of the Huracán LP 580-2 have been redesigned, accenting a young, fresh and more assertive look and highlighting the aeronautic styling.
     
    Each design detail of the Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2 celebrates the aesthetic of function; the result of a close collaboration between the Centro Stile designers and Lamborghini's aerodynamic experts. The large, newly formed front air intakes specifically direct the cooling air and headwind to increase down pressure on the front axle. The spoiler lip at the rear works together with the rising diffuser in the underbody to improve airflow around the rear of the car – the Huracán does not require a movable rear spoiler.
     
    The Huracán LP 580-2 sits on new, different-sized (front/rear) 19" Kari rims, enhancing the car's dynamic expression. Pirelli PZero tyres have been exclusively developed for the rear-wheel drive car. Steel brakes with aluminum brake disc calipers have been specially contoured for weight reduction and improved cooling.
     
    Re-engineered for rear-wheel drive performance
     
    The Huracán's V10 5.2 liter naturally aspirated, mid-mounted engine has been re-engineered to provide a maximum 426 kW (580 hp) power output and 540 Nm of torque, with 75% of torque already available at 1,000 rpm.
     
    As in the other Huracán models, the LP 580-2 features cylinder deactivation to improve engine efficiency. When full engine capacity is not required, five of the ten cylinders are temporarily deactivated by switching off one cylinder bank. When the driver accelerates, the system switches back instantaneously to ten-cylinder mode, while being virtually impossible to detect by the driver. This feature reduces fuel consumption to 11.9 l/100 km (combined circle) and CO2 to 278 g/km.
     
    Weighing 1,389 kg dry, with a weight reduction of 33 kg over the Huracán LP 610-4 coupe, the Huracán LP 580-2 achieves a weight to power ratio of just 2.4 kg/hp. The LP 580-2 uses the Huracán's hybrid aluminum and carbon fiber chassis, contributing to the lower weight.
     
    With a new setup for springs and anti-roll bars on double wishbone suspension, torsional stiffness of the Huracán LP 580-2 is improved by 50% compared to the Gallardo LP 550-2.
     
    The Lamborghini Doppia Frizione (LDF) seven-speed dual clutch architecture ensures the fastest gear changes and includes 'launch control' for maximum acceleration from a standing start. The electronic power steering and optional Lamborghini Dynamic Steering (LDS) have been tuned to improve the car's agility and controllability in every driving condition, depending on driving mode and speed. New rear kinematics heighten the car's 'centered' feeling.
     
    The Lamborghini Piattaforma Inerziale (LPI) – the Huracán's sensor system placed in the center of gravity of the car, tracing all 3D movements – has also been implemented in the rear-wheel drive version. It provides real time information to the optional Magneto Rheological Suspension (MRS), steering and stability control systems: the ESC has been regulated to adapt to all adherence conditions yet emphasize the rear-wheel drive behavior in each driving mode.
     
    Driving emotion – maximum enjoyment

    Every aspect of the Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2 has been engineered for driving fun, allowing drivers to interpret the feedback from the car and connect with the road or track.
     
    The ANIMA (Adaptive Network Intelligent Management: 'soul' in Italian) button on the steering wheel allows the driver to adopt different driving modes, recalibrated to suit the spirit of the rear-wheel drive model. STRADA, for daily use, provides a slight understeering feedback and is traction-oriented; SPORT, is for sporty and emotional driving fun with slight oversteering behavior; and CORSA, ensures maximum performance in track mode, providing a neutral steering behavior.
     
    Specifications, heritage and pricing
     
    The LP 580-2 is available in the full range of Huracán external and internal colors and trims. In addition, through Lamborghini's personalization program Ad Personam, the options for external and internal colors are limitless.
     
    The Huracán LP 580-2 is fitted with the latest Lamborghini Infotainment System II, with a 12.3" high resolution TFT instrument panel.
     
    Previous Lamborghini rear-wheel drive models include the predecessor Gallardo LP 550-2. The Lamborghini Miura, Countach and Diablo in rear-wheel drive variants were perfect examples of the fun-to-drive concept. The rear-wheel drive Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo launched in 2014, races at tracks worldwide in this year's three Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series in Europe, Asia and USA.
     
    The Huracán LP 580-2 is available at the Lamborghini dealerships at a suggested retail price of 150.000 Euros + tax (Europe).

    William Maley

    The Civic family rollout continues with the Civic Coupe

    The rollout of the next-generation Civic continues with the reveal of the 2016 Civic Coupe at the LA Auto Show today.
     
    The production Civic coupe carries a lot of the design that we first saw on the concept shown at New York back in April. From a large chrome bar that flows into the headlights on the front end, to a sloping roofline and sculpting running along the doors, its clear that Honda wants to make Civic coupe standout. One nice touch we like the is how the rear taillight runs along the trunk to the quarter panels. Compared to the sedan, the Civic coupe is about 5.5 inches shorter in overall length and a slightly lower roof.
     
    The Civic Coupe's interior is similar to the sedan with a new dashboard layout, higher quality materials, and a seven-inch touchscreen that will able use Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Interior space has seen some increases as well with overall space up 8.4 cubic feet and rear legroom up 5 inches.
     
    Powertrains for the Civic Coupe include a 2.0L DOHC i-VTEC four-cylinder with 158 horsepower as the base and a turbocharged 1.5L DOHC direct-injected four-cylinder with 174 horsepower. The 2.0 is available with a six-speed manual or a CVT while the turbo only comes with a CVT.
     
    The 2016 Honda Civic arrives at dealers in March.
     
    Source: Honda
    Photos: Honda Media and Drew Dowdell - CheersandGears.com
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Dynamically Styled, More Powerful and Fuel-Efficient 2016 Honda Civic Coupe Makes First Public Appearance at Los Angeles Auto Show
    2016 Civic Coupe set to launch in March as the latest addition to Honda’s expansive and sporty new 10th-generation Civic lineup Lower roofline, more compact form and signature taillight differentiate the more personal and sporty Coupe design Two powerful and fuel-efficient powerplants, including first ever Honda turbo engine for Civic Coupe State-of-the-art connectivity with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay™ and new Honda embedded navigation system by Garmin Sporty and spacious, interior space grows by 8.4 cubic feet and rear-seat legroom is up more than 5 inches.

    TORRANCE, Calif., November 17, 2015 – The newest member of the completely reengineered and reimagined 10th-generation Civic lineup – the 2016 Civic Coupe – will make its first public appearance at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. Launching in March, the 2016 Civic Coupe delivers an even sportier and emotional take on the new Civic design while benefitting from the multitude of upgrades to the 10th-generation Civic lineup, including a sophisticated and sporty new chassis, a more spacious and quieter cabin, class-leading fuel-economy ratings and targeted top-in-class crash safety ratings.
     

    The new 2016 Civic Coupe, like its sedan counterpart, will feature two advanced new engines, including the first-ever turbo engine for the Coupe, delivering more power, performance and fuel efficiency. All new Civic Coupes, from the well-equipped LX to the new, line-topping Touring trim, also receive significant upgrades to interior style, with soft-touch materials and high-grade finishes, along with a bevy of new standard and available features, including the Honda Sensing™ suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies as well as both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™.
     
    “We continue on our epic 10th-generation Civic journey with the sportiest, most sophisticated and tech-savvy Civic Coupe yet,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and general manager of the Honda Division. “I think our customers are going to be utterly surprised by what this new Coupe delivers in terms of refinement, safety, efficiency and fun-to-drive performance.”
     
    The 2016 Civic Coupe is the second in a series of new 10th-generation Civic models that Honda is launching over the course of the next 18 months, including the Civic Sedan, Civic Coupe, the first-ever Civic 5-door hatchback for the U.S. market, Civic Si performance variants and for the first time in the U.S., the radical new Civic Type-R.
    Civic Coupe Styling
    The 2016 Civic Coupe carries forward the sporty and premium character of the 10th-generation Civic design, including the bold front fascia, fast-back profile and sharp-edged detailing, as well as its more athletic wheels out proportions – its longer wheelbase (+2.9 inches), wider body (+1.9 inches), shortened front overhang (-1.4 inches) and wider stance. The new Coupe also benefits from the lower seating position, or hip point, of the new Civic platform, which amplifies the Coupe’s low, wide and planted dynamic driving character.
    From the A-pillars rearward, the Coupe features unique exterior styling with a lower and more steeply raked roofline, nearly 1 inch lower than the Sedan, and more compact proportions, with the rear overhang and overall length shortened by 5.5 inches. The new Coupe also features an exclusive rear taillight design that carries the arch of the distinctive C-shaped LED taillights across the full length of the rear deck lid.
    Sporty and Spacious Coupe Interior
    The 2016 Civic Coupe’s sportier design does not come at the expense of passenger comfort, as interior space grows by 8.4 cubic feet and rear seat legroom is increased by more than 5 inches, compared to the outgoing Coupe model. The new Civic Coupe interior strikes a more premium tone with high-quality materials and high-contrast finishes. These include a new one-piece, soft-touch instrument panel with molded stitching; more premium seat fabrics; a new full-color TFT center meter (EX and above trims); door inserts with real stitching; an LED shift indicator and LED overhead lighting; and for EX and higher trims, a leather shift lever boot.
    Civic Coupe Feature Upgrades
    All new Civic Coupes, from the well-equipped LX to the new line-topping Touring, feature upgraded interiors and an expanded list of standard and available technologies and features. New standard equipment includes auto on/off headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, acoustic glass windshield, automatic climate control (dual-zone in upper trims), Electric Parking Brake with Brake Hold and Walk-Away auto door locks. New available features include Honda LED headlights, Remote engine start, heated front seats and side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, full-color TFT center meter and seven-inch Display Audio touchscreen.
     
    Civic Coupe Audio and Connectivity
    The new Civic Coupe delivers the latest in audio and connected-car technology, including more powerful audio systems; an available new Android OS-based, 7-inch Display Audio touch screen interface; a bevy of streaming audio options such as Pandora®, SiriusXM® and HD Radio™; and for trims with Display Audio, full compatibility with both Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay® platforms. The Civic Coupe highest trims will also feature a new Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ developed in cooperation with the experts at Garmin.
    Advanced New Powertrains
    The 2016 Civic Coupe will launch with two more powerful and fuel-efficient powertrains, Lower trims receive a new 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC™ engine turning out 158 horsepower and 138 lb.-ft. of torque (+15 HP and +9 lb.-ft. vs. 2015 Civic 1.8L) with anticipated EPA fuel-economy ratings of 31/41/35 mpg (city/highway/combined) for models equipped with CVT. This engine can also be equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission on the lowest trim. Civic Coupe mid to highest trims are powered by a new 1.5-liter DOHC direct-injected TURBO – the first-ever turbocharged engine for Civic Coupe – putting out a peak 174 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque (+31 HP and +33 lb.-ft. vs. 2015 Civic 1.8L) with anticipated EPA ratings of 31/42/35 mpg2.
     
    Advanced Safety Performance
    The 2016 Civic Coupe utilizes Honda’s next generation Advanced Compatibility Body Structure™ (ACE™) working in conjunction with advanced airbags and seatbelts to provide a high degree of safety performance. Utilizing these systems in conjunction with the available new Honda Sensing™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, the 2016 Civic Coupe with Honda Sensing™ targets the highest available U.S. safety ratings – an NCAP 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

    Drew Dowdell

    Ford refreshes the Escape to make it a bit more .... Edgy.

    Ford unveiled an update to their entry for the small crossover segment, the 2017 Ford Escape today ahead of the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.
     
    The Escape, one of the best selling vehicles in the segment last year trailing only the Honda CR-V in sales, now looks more like it's big brother the Ford Edge. Inside, the changes are subtle but significant with a reworked center stack and dash pad shape. The overall effect gives the interior are more upscale look.
     
    Under the hood are two new 4-cylinder Ecoboost engines for SE and higher trims while the 2.5 liter 4-cylinder carries over for the base S level trim. A 1.5 liter turbo 4-cylinder is standard on SE and Titanium while a new 2.0T Twin-Scroll is optional.
     
    The 1.5 Ecoboost has a preliminary rating of 180 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque and the 2.0 Ecoboost will boast 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. Both Ecoboost engines will be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and feature automatic start/stop to help with city fuel economy. AWD is optional.
     
    The Escape already is known for some of its tech features like the hands free foot activated tailgate, blind spot monitoring, and automatic high-beam control. For 2017 the Escape adds optional Adaptive Cruise Control, Land Keep Assist, Driver Alert system to warn of driver fatigue, and enhanced park assist.
     
    Ford's Sync3 system debuted in the 2016 Ford Escape and carries over for 2017. It can now be paired with a Ford Sync app that allows you to lock and unlock , remote start/shut off, and check the maintenance on your Escape from an app on your phone.
     
    We will have additional pictures and a up close look at the Ford Escape after the Ford Press Conference tomorrow. In the meantime, you can follow all of our 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show coverage on our dedicated LA Auto Show page.
     
    Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for up to date alerts from the show.
     

     
    Source and Photos: Ford Media
     
    Ford Press Release on Page 2
     
     
    FORD LAUNCHING TECHNOLOGY-PACKED NEW ESCAPE; MORE CONNECTIVITY, INNOVATIVE FEATURES MAKE DRIVING SAFER, EASIER
    New Ford Escape gives SUV customers even more of what they want – additional innovative features to make their daily drive safer and easier, greater connectivity, two new EcoBoost® engines and technology that saves fuel in heavy traffic Escape is first Ford vehicle in the world with SYNC® Connect – customers can unlock and lock their doors, start engine, even locate vehicle through smartphone app Driver-assist technologies including enhanced active park assist, lane-keeping system, and adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support make driving easier and safer Environmentally friendly Auto Start-Stop standard with Escape’s two new EcoBoost engines – a 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter twin-scroll; technology shuts off engine in common stops so the vehicle uses no gas, improving fuel economy by 4 percent to 6 percent in stop-and-go traffic

    New Escape Tech Specs
    New Escape Fact Sheet
    New Escape Tech on Deck
     

    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17, 2015 – The popular Ford Escape SUV is newly engineered to make customers feel unstoppable – with even more driver-assist technologies to help enable safer and easier driving, new mobile connectivity that allows owners to interact with their vehicle from anywhere through a smartphone app, and two new efficient EcoBoost® engines.
    The new Escape is the first Ford vehicle in the world with available SYNC® Connect, allowing users to unlock doors, check fuel level and even locate where a vehicle is parked.
    To help drivers feel more confident behind the wheel, driver-assist technologies available for the new Escape include adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support, a lane-keeping system and enhanced active park assist. That’s all packed in a vehicle that has been redesigned from the inside out, including a driver and front passenger area upgraded with more storage space and mobile device charge ports.
    “The compact SUV segment is the largest and most competitive in the United States, and the new Escape delivers even more of what our customers want – more technology they can really use to make their daily drive safer and easier,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas.
    SYNC Connect keeps drivers in touch with remote vehicle access
    Need to lock your new Escape from across town? There is an app for that.
    With SYNC Connect, owners can remotely start their vehicle and schedule future starts, as well as lock and unlock their Escape using their smartphones. The technology provides vehicle location, as well as key vehicle information such as tire pressures, battery and fuel levels.
    SYNC Connect, available with SYNC® 3 for the new Escape, comes with complimentary activation for five years. A user enables the system through a two-step authentication process designed to protect personal information. SYNC 3 features faster performance, conversational voice recognition, intuitive smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface.
    Driver-assist technologies SUV drivers want
    Other driver-assist features available help make the daily commute safer and easier for drivers of the new Ford Escape:
    ·Adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support: Sensors detect when Escape is approaching a slow-moving vehicle, and adjust cruise control accordingly Enhanced active park assist: Provides steering assistance to park the vehicle in a parallel or reverse perpendicular parking spot, and pull out from tight parallel parking spots; driver controls brake, accelerator and shifter. Technology includes side park distance control Lane-keeping system: The system includes lane-keeping alert, which alerts drivers when they drift unintentionally from their lane, and lane-keeping aid, which provides steering assistance to guide an unintentionally drifting vehicle back into its lane Driver Alert System: Using data from the lane-keeping system, the Driver Alert System can detect signs of fatigued driving and provide a warning on the instrument cluster

    Already available driver-assist features for the new Escape include:
    Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert: BLIS® can alert drivers when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot in a neighboring lane. An indicator light provides a warning in the side mirror corresponding to the side on which the vehicle is approaching Hill-start assist: The feature holds the vehicle stationary on a hill long enough for the driver to transition from brake to gas pedal Auto high-beam control: System automatically switches from high to low beams, and vice versa, depending on ambient lighting Hands-free, foot-activated liftgate: Opens liftgate with the simple kick of a key fob-carrying customer’s foot beneath rear bumper – perfect for those whose hands are loaded with gear

    Two new EcoBoost engines with Auto Start-Stop
    Escape is the first Ford vehicle to make Auto Start-Stop standard with either of two EcoBoost engines new to the model – a 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter twin-scroll. The technology senses when the vehicle is sitting idle and shuts off the engine to conserve fuel, resulting in a 4 percent to 6 percent improvement in fuel economy in stop-and-go traffic. The engine restarts automatically – in less than half a second – when the driver releases the brake pedal.
    “Auto Start-Stop is the equivalent of turning off the lights when you leave a room, or turning off a water faucet when you’re done washing dishes,” said Milton Wong, Escape chief engineer. “It’s a high-tech approach to more efficient driving.”
    Escape SE and Titanium trim levels come standard with the new 1.5-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost, while the powerful new twin-scroll 2.0-liter EcoBoost is optional. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard across the line, with new paddle-shift technology available for Escape SE and Titanium.
    The twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost delivers 245 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque, along with greater efficiency and improved noise, vibration and harshness performance. New pistons provide a higher, more efficient compression ratio, and a newly designed, integrated exhaust manifold is optimized for the twin-scroll turbo system.
    The aluminum-block, twin-cam 1.5-liter EcoBoost with integrated exhaust manifold is projected to deliver horsepower and torque output comparable to the 1.6-liter – an expected 180 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque.
    Along with the new EcoBoost offerings, the 2.5-liter i-VCT four-cylinder engine carries over as standard equipment for the Escape S series.
    Three trim levels, with new Sport Appearance Package
    Escape customers can continue to select from S, SE and Titanium trim levels, as well as a new Sport Appearance Package available for SE and Titanium.
    Charcoal Black with subtle Deep Space black trim is available for Escape Titanium. Salerno leather seats feature a unique horizontal pattern. Titanium customers can also opt for Medium Stone seats to contrast with the black interior.
    Escape will be offered in three new colors – Canyon Ridge, White Gold and Lightning Blue. Six new wheel designs are also available.
    Built to lead in a growing segment
    Overall SUV sales continue to trend higher – both in North America and around the world. SUVs now account for about one third of the U.S. auto industry, a number Ford projects will grow to 40 percent by 2020. In the United States, SUV sales are expected to exceed 5 million units in 2015 for the first time ever.
    Small SUVs play an increasingly larger role, and Escape remains one of the most popular. Since its launch in 2000, more than 3 million units have been sold in the United States, including a record 306,212 Escape vehicles in North America in 2014. Ford expects Escape sales this year will exceed that figure.

    William Maley

    Two New Denali Variants Join the Family

    GMC's Denali lineup is going to get bigger with the introduction of two new models.
     
    First up is the 2017 GMC Canyon Denali. Like other Denali models, the Canyon version gets a number of chrome exterior pieces, polished exhaust tip, spray-in bedliner, and twenty-inch alloy wheels. The interior comes wrapped in Jet Black leather with heated and ventilated seats, wood trim, and a new instrument cluster.
     
    Now the Denali trim will only be available on the Canyon crew cab and come with the choice of either the 3.6L V6 or 2.8L Duramax Diesel. The Canyon Denali will go on sale late next year.
     




    Second is the Sierra Denali Ultimate, which GMC claims is the most luxurious pickup it has ever built. This version takes the standard Sierra Denali and layers on more equipment. The exterior boasts LED headlights, twenty-two inch chrome wheels, chrome tow hooks on both ends, and Tri-Mode Power Steps that make it easier to get in and out of the bed. GMC added more soft-touch materials and contrast stitching for the Denali Ultimate's interior. 
    Base power will come from a 5.3L V8 with 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. Optional with the 6.2L V8 with 420 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. Four-wheel drive is standard regardless of which engine is chosen.
     
    GMC says the Sierra Denali Ultimate will go on sale sometime in the first quarter of 2016.




    Source: GMC
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    GMC Introduces 2017 Canyon Denali
    Exclusive design cues, content elevate industry’s first premium midsize truck

    DETROIT – Denali is the ultimate expression of GMC’s professional grade style, luxury and capability – and it is coming to the Canyon midsize truck.
     

    The 2017 Canyon Denali is being introduced today, ahead of its public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It goes on sale in late 2016.
     
    “Canyon is the segment’s first and only premium midsize truck, offering unparalleled capability and efficiency matched with maneuverability and refinement,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “The all-new Canyon Denali builds on that award-winning combination with the distinctive styling, luxurious interior and elevated content that has defined the Denali nameplate since its introduction nearly 17 years ago.”
     
    Like all Denali models, the new Canyon Denali is distinguished with a unique chrome grille and unique wheels – 20-inch ultra-bright-machined aluminum wheels with painted accents. Exterior cues include chrome fog lamp bezels, five-inch-diameter rectangular chrome assist steps, a polished exhaust tip and a standard spray-in bed liner.
     
    The Canyon Denali will be offered in six exterior colors.
     
    Inside, a Jet Black interior features Mulan leather-appointed seats with perforated, heated-and-ventilated front seats – exclusive content in the Canyon lineup – along with unique instrument panel and console trim; and Denali-logo sill plates and floor mats.
     
    Standard technologies include Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. Additional standard features include:
    Heated steering wheel GMC IntelliLink with Navigation, an eight-inch-diagonal color touchscreen and phone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with a Wi-Fi hotspot Automatic climate control Full-color driver information center Remote vehicle starter system Two USB charging ports on the rear of the center console ad another USB port inside the console.

    The Canyon Denali is offered on crew cab models and in two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive configurations. Powertrains include a standard 3.6L V-6 that tops competitors’ V-6 offerings with up to 7,000 pounds (3,175 kg) of maximum trailering and an Environmental Protection Agency-estimated 26 mpg highway on 2WD models.
     

    Also available is the all-new 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel, which includes a maximum trailering rating of up to 7,700 pounds (3,493 kg) and EPA-estimated fuel economy of 31 mpg highway (2WD). It is the cleanest diesel truck engine ever produced by General Motors and meets some of the toughest U.S. emissions standards, thanks in part to a cooled exhaust gas recirculation system.
     
    The engine is paired with the Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission, which uses a unique Centrifugal Pendulum Vibration Absorber in the torque converter to reduce powertrain noise and vibration.
     
    Diesel models also feature smart diesel exhaust braking and an integrated trailer brake controller. Smart diesel exhaust braking enhances vehicle control and reduces brake wear by varying the amount of brakes needed for the vehicle, load and grade. The integrated trailer brake controller system works with the anti-lock brake system to provide immediate and measured brake force with the electronically controlled trailer brake system.
     
    GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate: The Pinnacle of Premium
    Unique 22-inch wheels, expanded package of standard content drives exclusivity

    DETROIT – GMC is taking the range-topping style, craftsmanship and capability of the Sierra Denali even higher with the 2016 Sierra Denali Ultimate.
     

    It builds on the Sierra Denali’s already class-leading attributes with a package of precision-crafted features designed to elevate its comfort, design and capability in the growing premium niche of the full-size truck market.
     
    GMC introduces the Sierra Denali Ultimate today, ahead of its public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It goes on sale late in the first quarter of 2016.
     
    “The Sierra Denali has helped drive the growth of premium portion of the light-duty crew cab segment,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “This truck is the ultimate expression of the Sierra Denali with greater emphasis on the bold and refined presence and advanced features that make Denali models synonymous with precision and exclusivity.”
     
    Thanks in large part to Sierra Denali, which was redesigned in 2014, GMC commands 15.5 percent of the premium full-size truck segment, where average transaction prices exceed $55,000.
     
    The segment has nearly doubled in 2015 and grown tenfold since 2013, when GMC had zero percent of the market. In fact, Sierra Denali has helped GMC earn a higher share of the premium portion of the light-duty crew cab segment than of the overall full-size pickup segment.
     
    Unique features and more standard technologies
     
    The Sierra Denali Ultimate is offered exclusively on four-wheel drive 1500 crew cab models with either a 5’ 8” or 6’ 6” cargo bed. It is distinguished with 22-inch wheels with chrome or black insert), a standard sunroof, chrome tow hooks and standard technologies, including Tri-Mode Power Steps – that move rearward to serve as a step into the forward section of the cargo bed. Lane Keep Assist and IntelliBeam automatic headlamp control are also standard.
     
    Sierra’s 6.2L V-8/eight-speed automatic powertrain combination offers the light-duty segment’s highest output: 420 horsepower (313 kW) and 460 lb-ft of torque (623 Nm). Active noise cancelation technology contributes to a quieter driving experience and is featured with the 6.2L engine. A 5.3L V-8 with the new Hydra-Matic 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission is the standard powertrain.
     
    An integrated trailer brake controller is standard on the Sierra Denali Ultimate and allows the driver to adjust the amount of output available to the electric trailer brake and to manually apply the brakes.
     
    Additionally, Sierra Denali’s standard, segment-exclusive magnetic ride control delivers more precise body motion control, for a greater feeling of responsiveness to the driver and a smoother ride for passengers. Its sensors “read” the road every millisecond, triggering damping changes in as little as five milliseconds in electronically controlled shock absorbers that replace conventional mechanical-valve shocks.
    Professional grade style and crafted interior
     
    In addition to the special content, the Sierra Denali Ultimate includes all of the crafted interior, advanced features and design elements of other Denali models, including body-color bumpers, chrome exhaust tip, unique interior decorative trim, a polished stainless steel exhaust outlet and a factory-installed spray-on bed liner with a three-dimensional Denali logo.
     
    It also wears new front-end styling introduced for 2016, including high-performance LED headlamps with GMC LED signature lighting, an all-new Denali grille and LED taillamps.
     
    The high-tech interior features an eight-inch-diagonal Customizable Driver Display – with Denali-themed screen graphics at start-up – that can show relevant settings, audio and navigation information in the instrument panel. Sierra Denali’s standard eight-inch-diagonal Color Touch navigation radio with IntelliLink, located above the center console, is the hub for Bluetooth-connected phones and portable devices connected through four standard USB ports.
     
    IntelliLink also features Apple CarPlay capability, with Android Auto capability coming later in the model year. Additional standard technologies and convenience features include:
    OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with a Wi-Fi hotspot Bose premium sound system Wireless phone charging – new for 2016 Remote vehicle starter system Remote keyless entry with new remote locking tailgate Power-adjustable pedals Power-sliding rear window with defogger Rear-vision camera with dynamic guidelines.

    The Denali Ultimate features premium soft-touch interior materials, aluminum trim and contrast stitching on the standard leather-trimmed interior – including 12-way power adjustable heated and vented front leather bucket and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel.

    Drew Dowdell

    Subaru has already shown the Impreza Hatchback model in Tokyo. Los Angeles gets the sedan version.

    Subaru sent out a teaser picture of the Subaru Impreza Sedan concept due to be shown at the LA Auto Show next week. The Impreza Concept shows a far more rakish silhouette in the rear with more elegant wheel arches than the current Impreza sedan.
     
    From the B-pillar forward, expect the concept to be identical to the Impreza 5-Door Concept shown at the Tokyo Motor Show last month.
     
    Subaru will show the Impreza Sedan Concept at 2:35 PST on November 18th. Stay Tuned to CheersandGears.com for coverage of the LA Auto Show, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
     
    Subaru Impreza 5-Door Concept Gallery:

     

    Source and Photos: Subaru Media

    William Maley

    Haven't You Always Wanted A Range Rover Evoque Convertible?

    Have you wanted a Range Rover Evoque, but wished that it didn't have that pesky roof? Land Rover has the vehicle for you. Last night, the British automaker revealed the 2016 Range Rover Evoque Convertible.
     
    The Evoque Convertible looks for the most part like the Coupe aside from the fabric roof. This roof maintains the profile of the Evoque when it is up. Folding the roof only takes about 18 seconds thanks to a power mechanism, and you can do it at speeds up to 30 MPH. The top is designed to fold into a certain way that the front part looks like a tonneau cover when stowed away.
     
    The Evoque Convertible is also one the first vehicles in the Land Rover lineup to debut the next-generation In Control Touch Pro infotainment system which boasts a 10.2-inch touchscreen and improved performance.
     
    Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 240 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a nine-speed automatic and four-wheel drive.
     
    Pricing for the Evoque Convertible will start at $51,470 (includes a $995 destination charge) and will go on sale sometime next year.
     
    Source: Land Rover
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Range Rover Evoque Convertible - A Convertible For All Seasons
    First ever convertible SUV to join the Range Rover line-up Distinctive design enhancements maintain the award-winning silhouette of the Range Rover Evoque with the roof open or closed Seating for four passengers and a cargo space of 8.9-cu. ft. Standard next-generation Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro™ infotainment system with 10.2-inch touch-screen Features 240-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission with standard four-wheel drive On sale mid-2016, in SE Dynamic and HSE Dynamic derivatives Priced from $50,475

    (MAHWAH, N.J.) - October 8, 2015 - Joining the Range Rover Evoque line-up in 2016, the new Range Rover Evoque Convertible enhances the desirability of the Range Rover Evoque family, taking the Land Rover brand to a new audience of customers looking for a unique combination of open-air luxury and refinement.
    Available in two luxurious specifications - SE Dynamic and HSE Dynamic - the Range Rover Evoque Convertible provides a four-seat interior, the next-generation Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro™ infotainment system3 and unrivalled all-terrain capability.
     
    The Range Rover Evoque Convertible retains the elegant design proportions of the five-door and coupe derivatives with its acoustically-lined fabric roof open or closed. Interior volume and luggage capacity have been maximized for cargo versatility regardless of the roof's position.
    Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director and Chief Creative Officer, commented: "When the Range Rover Evoque Convertible was first shown as a concept, the response was overwhelmingly positive. It was the next logical step to bring the pioneering concept to reality and with a clear design strategy we have safeguarded the distinctive character of the Range Rover Evoque. The result is the ultimate expression of fun and desirability, building on the ever-popular Range Rover Evoque nameplate which continues to bring new customers to the brand."
     
    DESIGN
    Land Rover designers have retained the bold and progressive exterior design of the Range Rover Evoque with the convertible roof system open or closed. A sophisticated fabric roof with tension-bow architecture creates a defined silhouette that remains faithful to the original design of the vehicle, while the Z-fold mechanism folds flush with the rear bodywork for a sleek, uncluttered appearance. New frameless doors have also been developed to ensure a clean profile when the roof is stowed.
     
    Emphasizing its position within the Range Rover Evoque model line-up, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is available in SE Dynamic or HSE Dynamic specifications. In both cases, the convertible features a special set of exterior enhancements including a deeper, more aggressive front bumper with enlarged air intakes. The HSE Dynamic derivative also features slimline LED fog lights, body-colored side skirts to visually lower the vehicle and a dynamic rear bumper that houses distinctive twin exhaust outlets.
     
    A dynamic front grille with enlarged geometric mesh area, vent surrounds and a selection of six alloy wheel designs and finishes, ranging from 18- to 20-inches adds further design differentiation between convertible and fixed-roof models. Unique for the 20-inch alloy wheels are two premium finishes; Polished and Satin Black.
     
    SE Dynamic specification includes exterior trim details including fender, grille and fog light surrounds appointed with a Brunel Silver finish. HSE Dynamic models receive components finished in premium Narvik Black and gloss-black hood vents for a more purposeful appearance.
    The available Black Pack provides an even more dramatic road presence with unique Satin Black 20-inch alloy wheels, head-, tail- and fog-lamps featuring black non-reflective surfaces, exterior trim finished in Narvik Black and a black exhaust tailpipe finish.
     
    At night, an eye-catching puddle-lamp graphic is projected from the base of the door mirrors. Uniquely featuring an outline of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, the puddle lamps illuminate the ground around both front doors for maximum convenience and a highly distinctive appearance.
    Phil Simmons, Exterior Realization Director, Land Rover commented: "Above the beltline, the Z-fold fabric roof was the natural choice for its taut proportions, exceptional versatility and lightweight design. The Range Rover Evoque Convertible offers the best of both worlds: the crisp, precisely defined contours of the coupe's striking silhouette with the roof closed, and the excitement of top-down motoring with it open."
     
    Despite appearing identical to Range Rover Evoque coupe below the glasshouse, the bodywork behind the front doors has been substantially re-engineered to accommodate the stowed roof mechanism. The upper portions of the rear fenders have been carefully redesigned to seamlessly integrate with packaging requirements of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, while an all-new tailgate and spoiler have been engineered to compliment the new design; the rear spoiler houses the LED stoplight and optimizes aerodynamics, while the innovative tailgate hinge mechanism allows for a larger aperture, providing exceptional versatility.
     
    The Range Rover Evoque Convertible is available in 13 exterior colors, including new Baltoro Ice and Waitomo Grey metallic. Creating a distinctive horizon line to complement the Ebony Black fabric roof, the door mirrors and the upper section of the rear spoiler are finished in Narvik Black as standard.
     
    Personalization
    Allowing customers to add their own stamp of individuality, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is available with a range of accessories including illuminated personalized (with a script of the owner's choice) or Union Jack treadplates. Further personalization in the cabin comes in the form of machine-polished, anodized gear shift paddles, an anodized red rotary shifter and a Union Jack sport mat set.
     
    On the outside, bright-finish running boards; carbon fiber side vents, hood vents and mirror covers; and stylized valve caps are all available to create a vehicle that stands out from the crowd.
     
    For those needing additional practicality, a variety of tow hitch accessories are available; allowing The Range Rover Evoque Convertible to tow up to 3,307-lbs. (1500kg).
     
    Adaptive LED Headlights
    The Range Rover Evoque Convertible is available with a choice of standard equipment Halogen (SE Dynamic), Xenon headlamps (HSE Dynamic), or optional full-LED adaptive headlamps.
     
    The LED headlamps feature a new, highly-distinctive design for both headlamp and indicator functions. LED technology is designed to offer increased visibility, enhanced longevity, and reduces demands on the battery, while the adaptive functionality enables the headlamps to automatically follow the driver's steering inputs, increasing light coverage through corners.
    Whether optioned with Halogen, Xenon or LED headlamps, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is equipped with LED tail lamps and LED daytime-running lights (DRLs) as standard. For additional visual impact, both front and rear DRLs are automatically illuminated when the ignition is activated.
     
    Convertible Roof
    Land Rover designers carefully evaluated various possible convertible roof systems before opting for a sophisticated Z-fold fabric roof from Webasto.
     
    This system features tension-bow architecture complementing the vehicle's defined proportions and a flush fitting heated rear window glass supporting the acoustic insulation of the vehicle that maximizes refinement. The roof system on the Range Rover Evoque Convertible lowers in just 18 seconds and rises in 21 seconds when the roof button on the center console is pressed. It also allows all four windows to be simultaneously raised or lowered for maximum convenience.
    In addition, a rear wind deflector can be quickly installed between the rear three quarter trim panels, enhancing refinement when the roof is stowed.
     
    Advantages of the fabric roof design when compared with folding hardtop solutions include reduced weight, improved center of gravity and the ability to raise or lower the roof at higher speeds. The 8.9-cu. ft. (251-liter) luggage capacity of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is retained, whether the roof is open or closed.
    Available exclusively in Ebony Black, the luxurious fabric roof echoes the distinctive design of optional contrast roof equipped on the Range Rover Evoque Coupe.
     
    Once the roof is lowered, discreet hinged panels located at the rear of the interior fold flush to conceal the mechanism, ensuring the vehicle's contemporary lines are retained for a clean and uncluttered appearance.
    A Roll-over Protection Device (RPD) features a deployable roll-over protection system hidden in the rear quarter panel. The RPD is designed to automatically deploy two aluminum bars in 90 milliseconds in the unlikely event of a roll-over situation, to create a potential protection space for occupants.
     
    Four-seat Interior
    The Range Rover Evoque Convertible features a spacious and contemporary four-seat interior defined by luxury materials and soft-touch surfaces. The strikingly minimalist dashboard architecture contrasts the bold horizontal sweep of the instrument panel with the dynamic vertical rake of the center console.
     
    All Range Rover Evoque Convertible models feature fixed twin rear seats, with a central bolster, and revised quarter trim speakers.
    Interior volumes are among the very best when compared with conventional convertibles. The luggage compartment provides 8.9-cu. ft. (251-liters) of storage space with the roof open or closed. A ski hatch can be specified to accommodate through-loading of larger items for additional versatility.
     
    In line with the 2016 Model Year Range Rover Evoque line-up, the revised seats retain their outstanding comfort and support while introducing a sportier, more technical aesthetic. The door casings further reinforce this clean, contemporary feel, with revised contour lines, extra feature stitch lines and reprofiled, deeply padded armrests that afford exceptional comfort and visual refinement.
    SE Dynamic derivatives feature perforated grained leather seats in a sophisticated Ebony/Ebony dual-tone colorway. HSE Dynamic introduces a perforated mid-section Oxford leather seat finished with an elegantly tailored center-ribbed section, available in Ebony/Ebony and Lunar/Ivory color combinations. HSE Dynamic also offers three exclusive colorways in full Oxford leather; Ebony/Pimento, Ebony/Vintage Tan and Lunar/Ice combinations.
     
    Luxurious 12-way electric memory seats (heated optional) are standard on SE Dynamic and HSE Dynamic models; an optional 14-way climate seat can also be specified.
     
    A new locking glovebox function is automatically activated with the central-locking system for additional security, even when the roof is stowed.
     
    Sophisticated Ambient Lighting
    Ambient lighting subtly enhances the premium feel of the interior in the Range Rover Evoque Convertible. SE Dynamic includes extended illumination under all armrests, door panels and in the center console. HSE Dynamic introduces customer configurable ambient lighting with a distinctive range of colors, chosen through the vehicle's touch-screen interface. Available colors include Ultra Violet, Amber Glow, Electric Blue, Ice White and Racing Red. Stealth mode can also be selected to reduce interior illumination to a minimum.
     
    Connected Car Technologies
    Technological innovation is an integral part of the unique appeal of the Range Rover Evoque. Building on this trend, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible evolves the line-up's in-car technology with the debut of the all-new Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro™ infotainment system with available Connected Navigation.
     
    InControl Touch Pro™ features a 10.2-inch capacitive touch-screen with a 21:9 super-wide format and 1280x542 pixel resolution. This equates to an 80% size increase over the standard eight-inch touchscreen system3, providing graphics with unrivalled definition and smoothness. Solid State Disk (SSD) technology provides significantly faster response times than SD-card or HDD-based systems.
     
    With no 'hard' buttons on this system, the homescreen presents the four most commonly required infotainment functions in one easily accessible window: Audio, Climate, Telephone and optional Satellite Navigation. These can also be accessed via steering wheel-mounted controls, while capacitive technology gives users the ability to navigate sub-menus and access functions using swipe, pan, and pinch-to-zoom controls, just as they would on a smartphone or tablet.
     
    These functions include the parking cameras, Eco Data, rear-seat climate-control settings and optional InControl Wi-Fi™ hotspot6. Steps between functions are reduced for enhanced convenience, and the interface is optimized for a more intuitive user experience.
     
    Standard on HSE Dynamic models and optional on SE Dynamic models, advanced satellite navigation includes:
    Dead reckoning, supporting operation in areas of marginal satellite coverage On-board regional maps 3D terrain, junctions and building graphics Customer prompts for parking and coffee stops Navigation instructions in both the instrument cluster and the optional Head-Up Display

    Drivers looking for additional functionality out of their navigation can add Connected Navigation functionality to their navigation system. When specified, Connected Navigation enables door-to-door route planning and guidance, including public transportation options. A companion app allows drivers to plan their route offline and load it into the system at the start of the journey. Once the driver exits the car and the phone is disconnected from the vehicle, the app will continue to provide navigational directions, if need be, on the driver's phone.
     
    Connected Navigation also features Commute Mode, which learns the driver's daily commute to and from the home or office and can automatically offer alternative routes to avoid congestion using historical and real-time traffic information, and Approach Mode which displays a 360-degree interactive view of the driver's surroundings on the infotainment screen as they get to within 656ft (200m) of their destination, and can even direct the driver to the nearest available parking space.
     
    Vehicle's specified with Connected Navigation feature InControl Wi-Fi™ as standard enabling the vehicle to support up to eight devices via a 3G hotspot for fast, reliable internet access on the move.
     
    Land Rover InControl® Technological Suite
    Aligned with the rest of the Range Rover Evoque line-up, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible features various InControl technologies as standard or optional equipment.
     
    InControl Remote™ enables owners to remotely start the engine and bring the cabin to a pre-set temperature, verify the vehicle's status and lock or unlock the doors. The app can also send a smartphone alert if the vehicle alarm is sounding, providing the option to reset if required and can help locate the vehicle in a busy parking lot by flashing the vehicle's headlights and sounding discreet alarm noises. Extending the functionality of this feature, the InControl Remote app is now available on the Apple Watch.
     
    InControl Protect™ allows owners to contact roadside assistance or emergency services; an SOS signal is automatically triggered in the event of airbag deployment.
     
    First introduced for the 2016 model year as a standard feature, Land Rover InControl Remote & Protect remain standard for 2017.
    When equipped, InControl Apps™ syncs Apple® or Android™ smartphones to the vehicle through a USB interface, providing access to apps optimized for in-car use via the touchscreen infotainment system.
     
    Since its introduction, InControl Apps has expanded to feature sixteen compatible apps including Stitcher, Audiobooks and Rivet Radio. The newest additions to the suite of available apps include:
    Glympse - a fast, free and simple way to share the vehicle's location using GPS tracking in real time with friends and family Rdio - a music streaming app with endless stations based on artists, genres, moods and themes; along with 'You FM', your own personalized station MobileDay - available exclusively with iOS devices launches you into any call, conference bridge, or online meeting with a single tap

    Also available within InControl Apps is justDrive, a new app technology that integrates multiple smartphone apps into a single, voice-activated in-car experience.
     
    Developed by Silicon Valley-based CloudCar, Jaguar Land Rover has optimized justDrive for its InControl™ platform for Apple iOS9 users. 'justDrive for Jaguar Land Rover' integrates popular apps and services, services, such as Spotify, Twitter and Yelp, to give Jaguar and Land Rover drivers an unprecedented level of integration with navigation, media, social interaction, voice search and information services while minimizing driver distraction.
     
    Meridian™ Surround Sound
    The standard 380W Meridian Digital Sound System features 10 speakers and a dual-channel subwoofer delivering exceptional definition. For the ultimate in-car technology experience HSE Dynamic models are also available with a premium 12-speaker, 660W surround-sound Meridian audio system, including dual-channel subwoofer and amplifier with advanced digital processing for outstanding sound quality.
     
    ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE
    The Range Rover Evoque Convertible has been engineered to meet the standards for which Land Rover is world-renowned. All-terrain capability and the brand's high levels of refinement have both been thoroughly proven with a rigorous development regime conducted on public roads and test facilities throughout the world.
     
    Alan Volkaerts, Land Rover Vehicle Line Director, said: "Producing a convertible Range Rover presented a unique set of engineering challenges, including maintaining torsional rigidity despite the removal of the roof structure, providing roll-over protection in an open-top vehicle designed to tilt to 35 degrees, and offering the luxurious interior refinement demanded by Range Rover customers. The brand's exhaustive test schedule ensures all of those targets have been achieved. The Range Rover Evoque Convertible is not only a convertible for all seasons, it's also every inch a Land Rover."
     
    Significant chassis bracings support the unique load casings of a convertible model, actually increasing torsional rigidity over the coupe model. This ensures an on-road driving experience comparable with the hard top model and a vehicle every bit as capable as existing Range Rover Evoque derivatives.
     
    In common with all modern Land Rover projects, the development program of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible began virtually with advanced Computer Aided Engineering and Design simulations. These simulations provided accurate initial estimations on how the altered weight distribution would affect dynamic performance, where structural modifications would be required, and how the Range Rover Evoque Convertible could meet the very same engineering standards as existing Range Rover Evoque derivatives.
     
    A sophisticated prototype development phase subsequently allowed Land Rover engineers to prove these simulations in real-world testing. The result is a premium convertible SUV with safety, refinement and the on- and off-road competence to match its head-turning design.
     
    Complementing its advanced four-wheel-drive system, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible benefits from an inherently strong base structure with high-strength steel in the door sills. This structure features added chassis bracings to compensate for the removal of the roof, providing the stiffness essential for excellent handling and refinement.
     
    Enhancing its dynamic capability further, the all-independent sports suspension has optimized spring rates, incorporating larger diameter anti-roll bars to deliver high levels of driver engagement, as well as roll stiffness equivalent to coupe derivatives. Careful tuning ensures the vehicle's exceptional ride quality has not been compromised.
     
    Torque Vectoring by Braking (TVbB) and Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) complement the chassis changes. Should understeer be detected as the driver turns into a corner, TVbB is designed to apply a small braking force to both inside wheels, helping the car follow the driver's intended line.
    The variable-rate Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) equipped in the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is tuned for high levels of response and driver feedback, as well as reducing driver workload in challenging off-road environments. The variable-rate steering rack combines a slower ratio around the straight-ahead position with a progressively faster ratio once more steering lock is applied; combining straight-line stability with increased agility through tighter turns. Variable assistance provides lighter steering for enhanced maneuverability in confined spaces and slow speeds, but a more substantial, confidence-inspiring feel at speed.
     
    Safety Features
    To maintain outstanding levels of crash protection, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible features a number of engineering innovations: the vehicle's A-pillars have been strengthened to provide enhanced roll-over protection; new under-body bracing maintains the torsional rigidity of coupe derivatives without impacting off-road capability; and a roll-over protection system, concealed within the rear quarter, deploys in 90 milliseconds should a roll-over situation be detected.
     
    A new seat airbag system has also been developed: the front seats now include a combined thorax and head airbag to offer the same level of protection as the coupé's individual thorax and head airbags4. A combination of various electronic systems ensures the airbags or roll-over protection system do not deploy in extreme off-road situations.

    All-Terrain Capability
    The Range Rover Evoque Convertible has been tested in the same off-road environments and to the same high standards as all Land Rover vehicles. Punishing tests included loading the Range Rover Evoque Convertible to its maximum gross vehicle weight and negotiating the toughest off-road terrain; this test is designed to subject the chassis to immense twisting forces. The Range Rover Evoque Convertible passed all procedures and, as a result, achieves similarly outstanding off-road performance to existing Range Rover Evoque Dynamic derivatives.
     
    Danella Bagnall, Range Rover Evoque Program Director, commented: "Roof down motoring is in our heritage. It started 68 years ago when we produced the original Series 1 Land Rover. We have tested the Range Rover Evoque convertible to the same all-terrain standards as every Land Rover vehicle before, and a few besides. Chassis bracings designed to preserve the Range Rover Evoque Convertible's torsional rigidity have been specially engineered to maintain excellent ground clearance that's comparable with five-door and coupe models."
     
    Approach, breakover and departure angles of 19, 18.69 and 31.0 degrees respectively provide outstanding all-terrain performance. The Range Rover Evoque Convertible is designed to scale extremely steep 45-degree gradients, tilt to an incredible 35 degrees, and wade through water up to 19.7-inches (500mm) deep.
     
    The Range Rover Evoque Convertible is equipped with a variety of standard Land Rover off-road technologies, including the proven Terrain Response® system.
     
    Terrain Response® tailors steering, throttle, transmission, center-coupling and braking/stability response to the terrain via four driver-selectable settings: General; Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud and Ruts; and Sand.
    Standard on the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, Hill Descent Control (HDC®) is designed to assist the driver with controlled descents of difficult slopes by maintaining a constant speed and applying braking separately to each wheel.
     
    Hill Start Assist (HSA) is designed to prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards as it pulls away on an incline while Gradient Release Control (GRC) is designed to prevent the vehicle accelerating too quickly on a steep incline if the driver inadvertently releases the brake.

    POWERTRAIN
    The Range Rover Evoque Convertible is available with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine. Producing 240-hp and 251-lb-ft of torque it provides responsive in-gear acceleration, a 0-60mph time of just 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 112mph (180km/h).
    The compact all-aluminum, four-cylinder design features an advanced low-inertia turbocharger, high-pressure direct fuel injection and twin independent variable-valve timing for instant response. Twin balancer shafts ensure refinement meets the levels demanded from all Range Rover vehicles.
     
    Advanced fuel-saving technologies include piston rings and tappets coated with a low-friction finish; a sheet-metal exhaust manifold that shortens the engine warm-up phase to reduce emissions on short journeys; and an advanced electronic management system for precision control over the combustion process.
    An advanced ZF® 9-speed automatic transmission forms part of the vehicle's standard specification. Designed specifically for its transverse application, the ZF 9HP transmission features nine closely staggered ratios for excellent acceleration and efficiency.
     
    When the ignition is activated, the rotary gear-shift controller with its tactile knurled metal finish rises from the center console. The driver can opt to leave the transmission in automatic mode, allowing the Adaptive Shift Strategy to intelligently anticipate driver behavior. Alternatively, gears can be manually selected via steering-wheel-mounted paddleshift interface for ultimate control.
     
    First gear is an incredibly low ratio, and suitable for very brisk acceleration from a standstill, low-speed all-terrain driving or extremes of altitude and gradient. The Range Rover Evoque Convertible will automatically default to second gear - comparable to first gear in transmissions with fewer ratios - at a standstill, ensuring peerless refinement and efficiency from rest. At the opposite end of the spectrum, ninth gear offers a reduced engine speed suitable for motorway cruising.
     
    Active Driveline Four-Wheel Drive
    Active Driveline offered as standard equipment, increases both efficiency and agility. During steady-state driving at speeds above 22mph (35km/h), Active Driveline switches from four- to two-wheel drive, reducing driveline friction to increase efficiency. The system continuously monitors traction and driver inputs, and can seamlessly revert to four-wheel-drive operation in just 350 milliseconds.
     
    A pair of electronically controlled clutches located either side of the rear differential also increases on- and off-road capability with Active Driveline. The clutches quickly distribute torque to the rear wheel with superior grip, improving traction in low-grip off-road situations as well as heightening driver engagement on road.
    Occupants can monitor the status of the Active Driveline system by swiping to the 4x4i function on the all-new Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro™ touch-screen infotainment system.
     
    Torque Vectoring by Braking (TVbB) monitors dynamic behavior and operates on all four wheels. Should understeer be detected, TVbB is designed to apply a small braking force to the outside front wheels, subtly tightening the car's line for additional agility.

    ADVANCED DRIVER ASSISTANCE TECHNOLOGIES
    The Range Rover Evoque Convertible HSE Dynamic is available with a full suite of optional Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems. These include:
    360 degree Parking Aid
    360-degree Park Distance Controls provide the driver with virtual object tracking along the sides of the car, giving confidence in confined situations, like multi-story parking garages, at speeds up to 10mph (16 km/h).
    Autonomous Emergency Braking
    Autonomous Emergency Braking helps mitigate accidents when the vehicle is travelling at speeds below 21mph (35km/h), and is designed to reduce the severity of any impacts between 32-50mph (50-80km/h).
    The system uses a stereo camera mounted next to the rear-view mirror to monitor objects that pose a risk of collision, such as queuing traffic. If a collision is likely, the system is designed to alert the driver with both a visual and audible warning. If no avoiding action is taken, an additional driver warning is triggered while the system applies maximum braking pressure to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop1. Autonomous Emergency Braking is available when either Lane-Keeping Assist or Lane-Departure Warning systems are specified.
     
    Lane-Departure Warning and Lane-Keeping Assist
    Complementing Lane-Departure Warning, which warns the driver if they are drifting out of their lane by vibrating the steering wheel, Lane-Keeping Assist actively helps the driver stay in the correct lane by adding any necessary steering correction.
     
    The technology works by combining input from the forward-facing stereo camera to monitor road markings, as well as the electric power-assisted steering system.
     
    Should Lane-Keeping Assist sense that the driver is unintentionally changing lanes, it initiates a gentle steering input to return the vehicle to its intended position. Lane-Keeping Assist is designed to be completely unobtrusive: it is not active if the turn signals are activated, the driver can easily steer against it, and the system can be entirely disengaged if desired.
     
    Driver Condition Monitor
    Driver Condition Monitor reviews driver steering inputs to guard against a driver falling asleep at the wheel. Should this advanced technology detect the jerky, non-linear movements typical of driver suffering the symptoms of fatigue, it automatically triggers both an audible warning and a visual warning in the instrument cluster.
     
    The Range Rover Evoque Convertible also features a number of additional driver assistance technologies including Traffic Sign Recognition which scans the road ahead for certain road signs and, if detected, will display the information to the driver via the instrument cluster or Head-Up display.
    EXTENSIVE TESTING PROGRAM
    Since its launch, the Range Rover Evoque has been lauded for its driving dynamics and all-terrain capability. To ensure the Range Rover Evoque Convertible retains a similarly impressive breadth of capability, Land Rover chassis engineers undertook a rigorous test schedule on roads ranging from high-speed autobahns, to tight and challenging hairpins in the Italian Dolomites. Extensive development was also carried out on wet-handling test tracks, frozen lakes in Sweden and race circuits including the Nürburgring Nordschleife to further refine chassis settings.
     
    Verification prototypes covered hundreds of thousands of miles on test tracks, off-road facilities and public roads around the world, including in Canada, Dubai, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, USA and the UK. Extremes of temperature, altitude and endurance tested the Range Rover Evoque Convertible to its limits in a punishing program. Other vehicles were run around the clock on data rigs with hydraulic rams simulating particularly harsh full-life mileages.
     
    As a result, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible delivers comparable levels of composure, agility and off-road capability to the coupe and five-door derivatives and remains equally rewarding to drive, no matter how challenging the terrain.
    Mike Cross, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Engineer of Vehicle Integrity, said: "Land Rover prides itself on being a leader when it comes to all-terrain capability and the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is no different. Thanks to a combination of innovative engineering and the application of advanced technologies, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible will deliver a dynamic and assured SUV driving experience that has been tested around the world."
     
    The combination of weight distribution of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible and revised chassis settings required all parameters governing stability control, ABS, four-wheel drive and Terrain Response® settings to be recalibrated on a comprehensive range of surfaces. Evaluation near the Arctic Circle alone lasted for four months where temperatures frequently fell below minus 22-degrees Fahrenheit (minus 30-degrees Celsius).
     
    Designed and engineered at the Land Rover development center in the UK, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible will be built alongside the five-door and coupe derivatives at the company's award-winning Halewood manufacturing plant, supported by the UK Government's Regional Growth Fund. It goes on sale mid-2016 in over 170 markets worldwide.

    William Maley

    Buick Appears To Be Taking Some Ideas From the Avenir for the Next LaCrosse

    The LA Auto Show will be the home for the debut of the 2017 Buick LaCrosse next month. To mark the announcement, Buick has released a teaser of the next LaCrosse.
     
    The picture reveals a front end similar to the Avenir concept shown at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year with a new three-color tri-shield insignia set on a wing-shaped element.
     
    “The Avenir concept shattered expectations of what a Buick could be and the 2017 LaCrosse promises to do the same. Its expressive design represents a break from convention and highlights the progressiveness in all new Buick models,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick.
     
    Buick goes on to say that the 2017 LaCrosse will ride on a new chassis that is lighter and stronger than the chassis that underpins the current model. There will also be a new multilink setup for the rear.
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    DETROIT – Buick today confirmed the all-new 2017 LaCrosse, with a preview of its Avenir concept-inspired design cues.
    A striking evolution from current Buick models, LaCrosse features a grille design that puts a new face on the brand, including a new, three-color tri-shield insignia set on a wing-shaped element. Contrasting with darkened waterfall grille bars and spanning the width of the opening, it connects the grille and headlamps, and emphasizes LaCrosse’s new sculptural surfacing.
    The design was introduced on the Avenir concept and was inspired by the 1954 Wildcat II concept. It’s a face all Buick models will adopt by 2018.
    “The Avenir concept shattered expectations of what a Buick could be and the 2017 LaCrosse promises to do the same,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “Its expressive design represents a break from convention and highlights the progressiveness in all new Buick models.”
    The next-generation LaCrosse’s design is framed on an all-new chassis that is stronger yet lighter than the current model and serves as the foundation for a more dynamic driving experience. New technologies such as a five-link rear suspension contribute to a more responsive ride, while taking Buick’s signature quietness to a new threshold – and it’s a premium feature not found on many other full-size luxury models, including the Lexus ES.
    The 2017 LaCrosse debuts in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

    William Maley

    Here are the rest of the vehicles that made a mark at LA

    Being a two person outfit is somewhat difficult when covering an auto show. With one on press release and story writing duty, and other trying to get pictures at the show, that means we can't cover all of the reveals. But that doesn't mean we're not going to give their due. We picked some of the vehicles that are important and/or interesting that debuted at LA.
    2016 Acura ILX
    Acura is trying to right the ship of the compact ILX. Since its introduction only a couple of years ago, the ILX has dropped both the base 2.0L four and Hybrid model, leaving just the 2.4 model. Now for the 2016 model year, Acura hopes to address many of the shortcomings with ILX.




    First up is a new front end treatment with a new grille and jewel eye headlights. The back end gets a new bumper and taillights. Under the hood lies the 2.4L four-cylinder from the TLX producing 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. This will come paired up to a eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, again from the TLX. The six-speed manual that was available previously has been dropped.Also new for the ILX is the addition of a A-Spec package which add a number of design tweaks such as 18-inch wheels, "Euro-style" stitching to the steering wheel, and suede on the seats.
    The revitalized 2016 ILX will be hitting dealers early next year.
    Audi Prologue Concept
    Audi's design language tends to follow the one design for any size car. Just look at their passenger car lineup and you're left wondering if they used the enlarge function on the copy machine to create their vehicles. Audi is planning to change this up in the future. To give us a preview, the company revealed the Prologue Concept.



    The front end gets a trapezoidal grille that sits wider and lower than on current models. A set of wedge-shaped laser headlights sit above air intakes with blade elements. Around back, the trunk lid is angled forward to suggest moment. Slimmed down taillights and trapezoidal exhaust tips finish off the rear. Overall, the Prologue Concept is proportioned in such a way to accentuate the all-wheel drive DNA that is part of Audi.
    Audi's design chief Marc Lichte says elements of the Prologue's design will be on future Audi models. But the concept itself could go into production. Rumors have been flying at LA that Prologue Concept is hinting at a flagship coupe that will sit above the A8.
    2015 Fiat 500X
    We known for awhile that Fiat was working on its version of the Jeep Renegade. At LA, Fiat let the 500X out into the wild.




    The 500X trades in the Renegade's boxy looks for something more 500-ish. To our eyes, it looks like a standard 500 with some added length and some added body cladding. Inside is the same story, with elements of the standard 500L making an appearance here.Powertrains include a turbocharged 1.4L MultiAir four-cylinder with 160 horsepower and 184-pound-feet or the 2.4L TigerShark four-cylinder with 180 horsepower and 175 pound-feet. The 1.4 will be available with a six-speed manual, while the 2.4L comes paired to a nine-speed automatic only. Front-wheel drive will be standard, while all-wheel drive with disconnecting rear axle will be optional.
    The 2015 500X will hit Fiat dealers in the first half of next year.
    2016 Jaguar F-Type




    We've already talked one of the big changes for the F-Type which is the availability of all-wheel drive. But there was one other item up Jaguar's sleeve; a manual transmission. You'll be able to equip a F-Type with a six-speed manual if its a six-cylinder and rear-drive model. The manual transmission drops 22 pounds off the F-Type's weight.
    As for the all-wheel drive, we have a bit more info on that as well. The F-Type R with its 550 horsepower V8 will have all-wheel drive as standard, while the F-Type S with its 380 horsepower V6 will have it as an option.
    2016 Kia Sorento
    I know what you are thinking: Didn't Kia just release a refresh Sorento not that long ago? Yes they did. But in a marketplace where fresh meat is coming in quick, Kia decided to give the Sorento a redesign.




    The Sorento grows 0.2-inches in overall length and rides on a wheelbase that is 3.1-inches longer. The front is similar to the new Sedona with a flat front end, new headlights, and quad fog-lights. The rest of the vehicle is similar to current Sorento, aside from a tweaked tailgate. Inside, more of Sedona's influence is here with more soft-touch materials, improved control layout, and new screen for the infotainment system.Powertrains mostly carryover from the current Sorento with the 2.4L four-cylinder taking the base, and 3.3L V6 being the top dog. In the middle is a new turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 240 horsepower. Front-wheel is standard, while all-wheel drive is on the options list.
    Kia says the 2016 Sorento will be out at dealers in the first quarter of 2016.


    William Maley

    Lexus LF-C2 Goes All Topless

    California, a place known for its abundance of sunshine was the place that Lexus showed off a drop-top concept. The LF-C2 serves as a preview for design cues to come on future Lexus products. But it also likely gives us a sneak peek into a possible RC convertible.
    The convertible's exterior is all crisp creases and sharp angles. The front features the largest version of Lexus' spindle grille yet and triangle headlights. A bright golden yellow paint job and a set of five-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels give the vehicle a bit of distinction. If you're wondering where the convertible top is, don't try and look. The LF-C2 is strictly an open top affair.
    The LF-C2's interior is a futuristic take on the current interior found in the IS and RC. That means a tall center stack with a screen on top, and a central touch-pad screen where you would expect to find the controls for the climate and audio. Touchpads are also on the steering wheel to provide controls for the instrument cluster and infotainment system.
    Lexus didn't reveal any details about what powers the LF-C2.
    Source: Lexus


    Press Release is on Page 2
    Lexus LF-C2 Concept Dazzles at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show With World Premiere of 2+2 Roadster
    Open Air Luxury GT Concept Explores The Lexus Brand’s Design Themes

    LOS ANGELES — Nov. 19, 2014: Beautiful sunshine, warm weather, and winding roads are the perfect complements to the Lexus LF-C2 concept that made its global debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show today. The LF-C2 concept is a design study in the form of a 2+2 roadster and explores key styling themes involved in the Lexus brand’s future, bolder styling direction. The LF-C2 is also a luxury Grand Touring concept inspired by the brand’s passion for driving.
    "The LF-C2 concept shows what’s in store for our brand’s future design direction,” said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “This concept shows consumers around the world Lexus’ devotion to emotional designs as well as our passion for an exceptional driving experience.”
    The LF-C2 concept involves a highly styled 2+2 layout, and is derived from a pure and simple sports coupe idea. Its open-air design allows the driver and passengers to feel the wind through their hair, while enjoying the car’s performance characteristics on their favorite twisty road. As a roadster concept, the LF-C2 concept does not have any kind of top covering the cabin.
    The exterior styling of the LF-C2 was influenced by the way various surface shapes interact with different types of light. Designers created edges, planes and curvature that would allow the LF-C2 to exude a different character when seen from different angles and under different lighting conditions. This objective when combined with Lexus’ layered paint process results in a striking and progressive interpretation of an open top luxury GT.
    The brilliant, golden yellow is produced by a multi-layer paint process. The first coat is a primer, followed by silver, a clear coat, then the yellow that reflects off the silver to give the brilliant luster. A final top coat is then applied.
    “We’ve been instinctively drawn to and inspired by those things that capture the beauty of light,” said Yasuo Kajino, chief designer LF-C2, Lexus Design Division. “When you put something in the right light, people see it in a way they never have before.”
    The front fascia of the LF-C2 is highlighted by a more experimental expression of Lexus’ signature spindle-shaped grille. The concept’s grille features a refined braided mesh theme that exemplifies Lexus’ high level of craftsmanship and changes its appearance when viewed from different angles and lighting conditions. It sits between triangle-shaped LED headlights, a signature element of Lexus sports cars, and stylish indicator lamps that initiate the character line of the LF-C2. The character line sweeps through the car’s arrow-shaped body and ends at the abbreviated rear deck. Vents in the front bumper send cool air to the brakes as well as help manage airflow through the body to help keep the front end stable at high speed.
    The LF-C2’s profile shows a swooping line from the car’s front bumper fin to the steeply-angled A-pillar. Small vents in the side sills direct air to the rear brakes and out the fin-like rear diffusers. The rear end of the LF-C2 is highlighted by Lexus L-shaped taillight bulbs, an exhaust system with chrome-covered quad exhaust tips, and an expressive new rear diffuser design. The concept’s impactful stance is planted by five-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels.
    Step inside, and the LF-C2 treats its occupants to a luxurious and spacious cabin that flawlessly matches the sporty elegance of the exterior. The exterior extends into the cabin as the center console originates from the rear deck and runs down the length of the cabin all the way to the dashboard. The dashboard design is presents functional simplicity with an attractive-yet-straightforward instrument cluster, a central video monitor controlled by a Remote Touchpad on the center console and a classically-styled analog clock placed between the central air vents. The thick leather-wrapped steering wheel implies that this is a driver’s car, as do the form-fitting seats.
    The LF-C2’s interior designers opted to instill a balanced atmosphere of power and simplicity that harmonizes with our primary senses. White-and-gray leather surfaces are soft to the touch while LED lights that run along the length of the interior below the windows. The inviting cabin of the LF-C2 blends the open-air excitement that results from an eye-catching roadster blended with a heavy dose of Lexus luxury.

    William Maley

    The Maybach Is Back.. As A Higher End S-Class Trim

    Mercedes-Benz has resurrected the Maybach nameplate for their new ultra-luxury flagship, the 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600.
    Now if you were expecting Mercedes to do something dramatic with the return of the Maybach nameplate, then you'll be disappointed.The Mercedes-Maybach S600 takes the standard S-Class and stretches overall length and wheelbase by 8.1 inches - putting it between the Rolls Royce Ghost and Phantom. The exterior features 20-inch wheels, the double M logo on the rear pillar, and the Maybach name on the rear decklid.
    The real story for the Mercedes-Maybach S600 is inside, especially in the back. Every surface in the vehicle is covered in some very high-quality leather, real wood, or chrome trim. The two individual chairs move rearward and inward for increased space and comfort for passengers. There's also a wide range of accoutrements for passengers such as fully adjustable massaging chairs with footrests, individual climate zones, folding tables, and an optional executive package that adds a larger console with heated and cooled cupholders.
    Power comes from the twin-turbo 6.0L V12 with 523 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque.
    Mercedes-Benz says the Maybach S600 will be arriving at dealers starting next April.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz


    Press Release is on Page 2
    2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600
    Stylish, effortless superiority combined with trend-setting exclusivity

    November 19, 2014 - Stuttgart/Guangzhou/Los Angeles: With the world premiere in Guangzhou and the presentation in Los Angeles, the new Mercedes- Maybach S-Class will be unveiled almost simultaneously in its two key markets of China and the USA. At 214.6 inches long and with a wheelbase of 132.5 inches, the flagship of the Mercedes-Benz model range is 8.1 inches larger in both dimensions than the S-Class Sedan. Rear passengers benefit from this increased size as well as from standard equipment that includes executive seats on both the left and right sides and other exclusive details. In the rear, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is also the world's quietest production sedan. The US will launch with the Mercedes- Maybach S600 in April 2015.
    "The history of prestige vehicles made by Daimler extends back to the earliest days of the motor car. We have now commenced a new chapter with the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class," points out Ola Källenius, member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars responsible for sales. "As an addition to the portfolio of S-Class sedans, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class sets new standards in the luxury segment. The vehicle satisfies the very highest requirements in terms of exclusivity appointments and comfort."
    "Perfection down to the last detail and a new dimension in seating and resting comfort for the rear passengers are the hallmarks of the new Mercedes-Maybach", says Professor Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "Our exceptionally successful new S-Class already defines the pinnacle of automotive engineering in a host of technical disciplines such as safety, efficiency, climate control and noise characteristics. The Mercedes-Maybach now sets the benchmark in the luxury segment even higher."
    Mercedes-Maybach: a new sub-brand offering peerless exclusivity
    The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class melds the perfection of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with the exclusivity of Maybach. Mercedes-Maybach motor cars epitomize peerless exclusivity. Some of the features that distinguish these vehicles from production models include extra spaciousness with lavishly designed, prestigious interiors offering an extensive scope of individualization. As a result, the cars fulfil the requirements of even the most discerning customers worldwide.
    Mercedes-Maybach is not an equipment line – it is a sub-brand that in the future will provide Mercedes-Benz vehicles in an even more exclusive form. Alongside Mercedes-AMG, Mercedes-Maybach is thus the second sub-brand in the Mercedes-Benz brand world. Providing both prestige and exclusivity, it is aimed at customers for whom status is important.
    The US market launch of the Mercedes-Maybach S600 is scheduled for April 2015. Its V12 biturbo engine has an output of 523 hp. With a displacement of 5980 cc, the maximum torque of 612 lb-ft is available from 1900 rpm.
    Inside the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, the level of wind noise is impressively low and in the rear, despite the large windows, betters even the quietest car in the world – the S-Class Coupe. For passengers in the rear, the Mercedes- Maybach S-Class is the world's quietest production sedan.
    In its exterior design, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class combines stylish, effortless superiority with trend-setting exclusivity. The vehicle makes modern luxury come alive in an exceptional way. Along with the extended wheelbase, emphatic lines suggest power and dynamism. Due to the side profile's special design, characteristic design elements for the S-Class are retained such as the sweeping, dome-shaped roofline.
    The key distinguishing feature is the new side line: by comparison with the long-wheelbase version of the S-Class, the striking rear door has been shortened by 2.6 inches and therefore appears to meld seamlessly into the overall composition. The door has no triangular window because this has been relocated into the C-pillar. As a result, the rear seats are situated beyond the door cutout, which creates a feeling of exceptional privacy and exclusivity. The elegant Maybach Manufaktur logo – a double M inside an arched triangle – adorns the C-pillars on both sides.
    In the interior of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, passengers are enveloped in lounge-style, modern luxury. With its clear architecture, refined materials and stylish controls, the vehicle embodies a sensuous elegance. For an exclusive look, the front center armrests with exclusive nappa leather or optional semi- aniline upholstery feature embossed Maybach crests. Another special feature in the dashboard is the analogue clock with an IWC design.
    The high quality standards of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class are impressively evident from the doors, which even have handstitched door trim as part of the standard equipment. This extravagance is part of the interior's luxurious, hand-finished "Manufaktur" character. Exclusive features used in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class are trim parts in wood/chrome and leather at shoulder height in the door panels, chrome-plated tweeter grilles and fiber- optic cables for the ambient lighting to the side on the armrest. Together they create a unique atmosphere conveying a sense of capacious style.
    As the flagship of the Mercedes-Benz model range, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class satisfies the very highest requirements in terms of luxury appointments and comfort. In addition to all the amenities of the conventional S-Class, a number of exclusive interior touches underscore the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class's ambition to lead. These include the exclusive Maybach perfume AGARWOOD for fragrancing as part of the AIR-BALANCE package and two silver-plated, handcrafted champagne flutes. The standard Burmester® High-End 3D surround sound system offers a unique optical and acoustic experience. As a visual highlight, the tweeters in the rear doors of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class are particularly sophisticated and can also be moved towards the passengers in a spiral motion.
    A sense of spaciousness: setting new benchmarks for sleeping and resting comfort in the rear
    For the driver and any front passenger, there have been no compromises compared with a "normal" S-Class. Here, however, the real sense of spaciousness is to be found in the rear. The benefits of extending the wheelbase by 7.9 inches are felt entirely in the back of the vehicle where the specification has been refined even more. Due to the roofline, it was also possible to further raise the head clearance.
    Another advantage of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class are the standard-fit executive seats on the left and right. These rear seats offer a unique level of comfort thanks to a special adjustment kinematics system. In contrast to the norm, the backrest is adjusted separately while the footwell and seat reference point remain unchanged. The cushion can be adjusted separately, with inclination and horizontal adjustment combined.
    For the executive seats, the maximum backrest angle is 43.5 degrees. The most upright backrest position of 19 degrees allows relaxed working in the rear. The reclining seats feature a calf support, which is freely adjustable for length and angle. As standard, the luxury head restraints come with an extra cushion.
    The Chauffeur package is also part of the standard equipment. A "chauffeur position" for the front passenger seat is one of the key components: due to changes to the kinematics system, the rear seat occupant on the front- passenger side has 3 inches more footroom compared with a normal front passenger seat in the furthest forward seat position. In addition to this "chauffeur position", the front passenger seat can be folded forward and the rear seat placed in an extended recline position for breaks. EASY ADJUST luxury head restraints come as standard for the driver and passenger, and the one on the front-passenger side is folding. For the rear passenger, the Chauffeur package also includes a heel support, which extends from under the front passenger seat. This allows a reclined position that sets new standards in the automotive sector with respect to sleeping and resting comfort.
    Individual seat functions in the rear, and those of the chauffeur seat, are of course electrically operated via the typical Mercedes control panels in the rear doors. The rear armrest has a double cup holder, storage space and wood trim.
    The Mercedes-Maybach also includes individually adjustable multicontour seats, for example, and an ENERGIZING massage function based on the hot- stone principle.
    The optional Executive Rear Seat Package PLUS (center console in the rear) is a visual continuation of the front console on the center tunnel. It is equipped with innovative thermo cup holders, which use Peltier technology to cool or warm drinks over a longer period of time.
    Like an aircraft seat, the center console is available with two tables which can be easily folded in or out using one hand. Two articulated joints on the stem and underside of the table enable it to be adjusted to almost any position. The table supports and surface are made of a light alloy, combining great stability with a high-quality look. The table surfaces have leather inserts to provide a comfortable writing surface.
    To deliver maximum climatic control in the rear compartment, there is a second, standard-fitted dual automatic climate control system in the rear with two additional climate zones for the rear seats. A control panel on the back of the center console allows the temperature and air distribution to be set individually for the left and right sides. For targeted climate control, there are two nozzles in the center console and also on the B-pillars and in the rear footwell. Using COMAND, the driver can conveniently adjust the automatic climate control system for the back of the vehicle too.
    As exclusive standard equipment in the Mercedes-Maybach S600, there is the AIR-BALANCE package including ionization, enhanced air filtration and fragrancing with AGARWOOD, the exclusive Maybach perfume (see section on appointments).
    Aeroacoustics: in the back of the world's quietest production sedan
    Inside the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, the level of wind noise is impressively low and, despite the large windows, it is even quiter the quietest car in the world – the S-Class Coupe. For passengers in the rear, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is the world's quietest production sedan. Extensive measurements were also taken in experimental vehicles considering the fully reclined position in the rear. That is because positioning the passenger away from the side windows and towards the rear window and triangular windows creates a new acoustic situation.
    Special seals optimize the noise insulation, thereby ensuring excellent aeroacoustic performance in the rear. These include seals over the C joints in the rear doors, which have a hose profile rather than the usual lip seal, as well as bonded triangular windows with a special seal.
    Other measures in the rear compartment are a generous area of insulation around the single seats extending from the seat cushion over the rear panel to the parcel shelf. Intelligent air ducting around the parcel shelf reduces the intrusion of noise, and sealed inertia reels on the seat belts prevent possible disturbing sounds. The textile underbody and wheel arch lining have an insulating and absorptive effect, which reduces high-frequency tire noise in the interior.
    A new aeroacoustic wind tunnel at the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center in Sindelfingen became operational in September 2013 and played a crucial part in achieving excellent, quiet running. For example, the conveyor belt/balance system there is integrated into a turntable with a diameter of twelve meters. This means that test vehicles can also to be subjected to an angled flow of air in order to simulate crosswinds.
    As a result, experts in aeroacoustics were able to study the perfect design for the door structure of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class under wind load. The door seal must fit closely even when subjected to a constant or gusty sidewind such as would be encountered when passing a truck, on bridges, in wooded areas or when driving on a coastal road. Despite negative pressure on the side away from wind, the door must never be pulled more than a few millimeters away from the seal. Large doors are particularly susceptible to this phenomenon because strength is a product of (negative) pressure and area.
    Exterior design: elegant and exclusive
    In its exterior design, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class combines stylish, effortless superiority with trend-setting exclusivity. The vehicle makes modern luxury (in the truest sense of the word) come alive in an exceptional way. Along with the extended wheelbase, emphatic lines suggest power and dynamism. Due to the side profile's special design, characteristic design elements for the S-Class are retained such as the sweeping, dome-shaped roofline.
    The key distinguishing feature is the new side line: by comparison with the long-wheelbase version of the S-Class, the striking rear door has been shortened by 2.6 inches and therefore appears to seamlessly meld into the overall composition. The door has no triangular window. This has been relocated into the C-pillar. As a result, the rear seats are situated beyond the door cutout, which creates a feeling of exceptional privacy and exclusivity. The triangular windows and other glass areas alike have chrome surrounds. The B- pillar is also covered in chrome. The elegant Maybach Manufaktur logo – a double M inside an arched triangle – adorns the C-pillars on both sides. What is more, exclusive 20-inch forged, light-alloy wheels are available for the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Instead of delicate spokes, their design features large surfaces to underline the flagship model's high-quality look.
    Overall the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is 8.1 inches longer than the S-Class, all of which is the result of the extension between the B and C-pillar. All this additional space is used to boost comfort for rear passengers.
    Subtle yet noticeable changes in both the front and rear area differentiate the longest S-Class from its smaller siblings. Three double louvres in chrome within the radiator trim have a formative influence on the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class's elegant look. Additional vertical chrome trim discreetly but deeply underlines the special appeal of this extraordinary vehicle. This theme is taken up once again in the design at the tail end.
    The key features of the front end design:
    Dominant radiator trim with large radiator opening and three double louvres in chrome
    Subtle vertical chrome trim
    Double trim in the air intakes on the right and left
    Double trim in the bottom end piece of the bumpers
    The emphatic design for the sides draws to an effective conclusion at the rear. The chrome double louvres deployed at the front are continued in the rear area, emphasizing high quality and elegance.

    Key features of the rear end design:
    Horizontal lines emphasise the vehicle's width
    Two tailpipe trim elements in chrome integrated into the bumper with vertical partition
    Chrome double louvres in the bottom section of the bumper covering add the perfect finishing touch to the vehicle
    Maybach lettering on the trunk (mounted on the left in direction of travel)

    Interior design: the essence of modern luxury
    "To create only the very best from the very best – a car that fulfils every last wish and stands out for its supremely refined elegance and power" is the aim according to a Maybach brochure dating from 1930. This continues to be the case today. In the interior of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, passengers are enveloped in modern luxury. With its clear architecture, refined materials and stylish controls, the vehicle embodies a sensuous elegance.
    The Exclusive trim package, which is fitted as standard, increases the sense of perceived value still further, particularly in the rear of the vehicle. Sensuously curved, fine-wood trim with a handcrafted feel surrounds the entire rear seating system. The seat-back lining, doors and nozzle coverings are resplendent in fine wood.
    For an exclusive look, the front center armrests with nappa leather or exclusive nappa leather upholstery feature embossed Maybach crests (and also the armrests in the rear in conjunction with the First-Class rear suite). Another special feature in the dashboard is the analog clock with an IWC design. The numbers are individually milled and applied, underlining the analogue clock's exclusive design. Both the numbers and indicators are made of fine metal.
    The high quality standards of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class are evident from the doors, which even have handstitched door trim as part of the standard equipment (in nappa leather with exclusive leather as an optional extra). This extravagance is part of the interior's luxurious, hand-finished "Manufaktur" character. Exclusive features used in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class are trim parts in wood/chrome and leather at shoulder height in the door panels, a nappa leather roof liner, chrome-plated tweeter grilles and fiber-optic cables for the ambience lighting to the side on the armrest. Together they create a unique atmosphere conveying a sense of capacious style.
    V12 engine
    The US market will launch with the Mercedes-Maybach S600. Its V12 biturbo engine has an output of 523 hp With a displacement of 5980 cc, the maximum torque of 612 lb-ft is available from 1900 rpm. The Mercedes- Maybach S600 completes the sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 5.0 seconds, while the top speed is 155 mph (electronically limited). The most important features of the V12 engine are the all-aluminium crankcase, one-piece chain drive, forged crankshaft in high-grade quenched and tempered steel, forged pistons, dedicated ignition coil with multispark ignition, hollow-stem outlet valves filled with sodium and a low-temperature coolant circuit with separate expansion reservoir.
    Bodyshell: exemplary stability
    From the outset, the bodyshell for the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class was developed alongside the two shorter S-Class models and thus benefits from the innovative solutions deployed there. The new S-Class has already won the world's most prestigious award in car body construction: at the annual EuroCarBody Conference in Bad Nauheim in October 2013, it beat off the competition to achieve first place. Decisive factors included the highly innovative aluminium hybrid construction of the S-Class vehicle body featuring various materials such as cast aluminium and high-strength steels, along with the efficient use of appropriate joining technology such as aluminium MIG welding, self-piercing riveting and the first use of RobScan welding on aluminium in large-scale production.
    Based on this exemplary substructure the Mercedes-Maybach bodyshell, which has the largest side panel made in series production in a single piece, was optimized further. Repeated reinforcements at the base of the B-pillar – the engineers talk vividly of the shoe-shaped reinforcements on the S-Class turning into "boots" here on the Mercedes-Maybach – and at the transition from the almost square door cutout to the wheel arch provide additional rigidity. Despite the much longer length, NVH conduct is trend-setting for its class. Among other factors, the attachments for the reclining seats in the rear have been enlarged to avoid subtle vibrations – a modification that likewise benefits the S-Class.
    Safety: intelligent assistance systems and innovations for the rear
    Like the S-Class, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class comes standard with numerous new assistance systems that make driving even more comfortable and safer. Intelligent Drive systems include PRE-SAFE® Brake with Pedestrian Recognition, DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist, BAS PLUS with Cross- Traffic Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus and Night View Assist Plus.
    With the standard PRE-SAFE® active belt buckles, seatbelt airbag, and seat cushion airbag, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class possesses further innovative safety features that are not even available as options from other brands.
    Executive seats in the rear as standard come with the innovative seat cushion airbag. The airbag is located under the seat cushion upholstery, but on top of the plastic seat shell, which is moved by the seat mechanisms. This means that the airbag is always in the right position relative to the occupant.
    In an accident, with the occupant in a reclined position on a flat seat cushion, without additional measures there would be a danger of the pelvic area sliding beneath the belt strap (submarining). This can be prevented by the cushionbag, as it raises the front section of the seat cushion upholstery. The airbag is only activated if the seat is in the reclined position during a crash. It is not activated in the upright position, as there is then no danger of submarining.
    Reducing belt slack: PRE-SAFE® active seat belt buckles
    With the PRE-SAFE® active seat belt buckles, an electric motor automatically raises and lowers the buckle. This makes for easier seat belt attachment and reduces any belt slack in the area of the pelvis and thorax. Passengers are also secured more firmly in both the sideways and lengthways direction. The seat belt buckle extender follows the integral Mercedes-Benz safety concept. By systematically implementing safety as a priority, this concept covers all phases of automobile safety: from safety while driving to safety in hazardous situations, and from protection in an accident to minimisation of the consequences.
    The innovation is classic Mercedes-Benz, improving safety and comfort in one. This is because fastening seat belts in the rear is also made much simpler: the seat belt buckle emerges from the upholstery when the rear doors are opened and is provided with an illuminated insertion slot. Simplifying use of the seat belt in this manner may increase the percentage of rear passengers who buckle up. It also makes it easier to assist children or people who require help in fastening their seat belts.
    The seat belt buckle extender is furthermore integrated into the PRE-SAFE® anticipatory safety system. This means that in cases where PRE-SAFE® is activated in critical driving situations, there is also reversible belt tensioning in the rear via the seat belt buckle extender. The restraint system and passengers are thus better prepared for a possible accident situation. In this way, the PRE-SAFE® active seat belt buckle extender complements the pyrotechnical belt tensioning which has featured as standard on all outer rear seats in Mercedes-Benz vehicles for many years now, and is triggered in the event of an impact exceeding a certain severity.
    The seat belt buckle extender is a motorised belt buckle which can be extended upwards by up to 50 mm and retracted by up to 40 mm. The belt buckle is attached via a cable to a nut which runs on a spindle, translating the electric motor's rotary movement into a linear movement.
    An airbag for seat belts
    The seat belt airbag is an inflatable seat-belt strap that reduces the load on the ribcage in a front impact and is thus able to reduce the risk of injury to passengers in the rear. Because dummy measurement technology is not capable of quantifying the benefits resulting from a wider belt strap, such as the lower force exerted on occupants in the rib area in particular, the safety experts at Mercedes have been working extensively with virtual human models too. Such computer-generated models make it possible to obtain detailed findings on the biomechanical strain during an accident.
    Should the crash sensors detect a severe frontal impact, the airbag control unit triggers deployment and inflation of the beltbag. A gas generator then inflates the multi-layered belt strap with tear seams to nearly three times its normal width. The resulting larger surface area is able to better distribute the force acting on the seat occupant. This lowers the risk of injury.
    The beltbag is used in exactly the same way as a conventional seat belt. The belt strap's design is different from that of the standard belt though, and received top marks in practical trials for being extremely comfortable to wear and for its extra-soft belt strap edge.
    Other protective measures: windowbag and thorax-sidebag
    If the central electronic control unit detects a side crash, the windowbag and thorax-sidebag are deployed on the side of the vehicle on which the impact occurs. To ascertain the lateral acceleration, the central crash sensor has support from exterior satellite sensors located at the base of the B-pillars. Pressure sensors in all four doors also help to estimate the severity of the impact.
    Equipment and appointments: an exclusive perfume and handcrafted champagne flutes
    As the flagship of the Mercedes-Benz model range, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class satisfies the very highest requirements in terms of luxury appointments and comfort. In addition to all the amenities of the conventional S-Class, a number of exclusive interior touches underscore the ambition to lead of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.
    Here is an overview of the most important exclusive highlights:
    Of course, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class comes standard with the AIR-BALANCE package which includes fragrancing, ionization and even more efficient filtration compared with the basic vehicle. A premium room fragrance has been designed exclusively for this model and the AGARWOOD bottle itself is adorned with Maybach lettering. Agarwood speaks of the centuries-old tradition of perfume. Oud derived from the wood of the Agar tree has long been one of the most precious ingredients – more valuable even than gold – and lends this fragrance its inimitable presence. The luminous golden warmth of resin marries with a striking woodiness, richly contrasted with smokiness. With its refined and elegant character, agarwood makes a statement.
    Any journey in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class can be celebrated in style with two high-quality, handcrafted champagne flutes. These silver-plated flutes have been made for the on-board bar by Robbe & Berking, silversmiths in Flensburg, Germany. The prestigious company has a long tradition and well over half of the 200 largest yachts in the world carry silver from Robbe & Berking. Fine restaurants around the globe with several hundred Michelin stars between them are also customers of this luxury brand.
    As standard the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is fitted with a panoramic sliding sunroof. This roof system and its large glass areas make for an especially bright and friendly ambience in the interior. It consists of a fixed panoramic glass roof in the rear section and a top-sliding power sunroof so that the interior can be ventilated as desired. For the first time, the sliding sunroof is optionally available with optional MAGIC SKY CONTROL technology from Mercedes-Benz: the glass can be switched to light or dark at the touch of a button.
    Small roller sunblinds for the triangular windows in the C-pillar reflect the great attention to detail. Together with the electric roller sunblinds in the rear doors, they protect passengers in the rear from prying eyes and direct sunlight if desired. When not in use, the roller sunblinds for the triangular windows are concealed out of sight in the side panels.
    The continuous business console, part of the optional First-Class rear suite, is longer than in the normal S-Class and offers extra stowage space.
    A range of exclusive paintwork will be available as an option for the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. These paint finishes are produced as part of a "Manufaktur" process (hand-finishing section) at the plant in Sindelfingen. After the first clear coat is applied, the surface of all vehicles is roughened (intermediate sanding) and then a second and final clear coat is painted on. This adds extra depth to the paint finish.
    In addition to the leather options for the S-Class, a designo roof liner in nappa leather is standard exclusively for the Mercedes-Maybach. The leather trim extends to sunblinds, roof grab handle, pillar trim, both vanity mirrors in the rear with diamond quilting pattern, and the frames of the Burmester 3D loudspeakers. Elaborate topstitching on the three interior colours of nappa leather available (black, porcelain and crystal grey) attest to the high level of craftsmanship involved in each vehicle's fabrication.

    "Piano lacquer flowing lines" trim will be available from mid-2015. Derived from piano lacquer trim, 0.8 mm wide lines are milled into the wood veneer to accentuate the form using a special "Manufaktur" (hand-finishing) process. Lighter stripes appear from the plastic layer below and create an extremely high-quality sense of visual depth. Once worked in this particular complex way, the trim is then painted with a high-gloss finish and polished. The result is discernible differentiation from standard.
    Burmester® sound systems: specially tuned and also set up for the rear of the vehicle
    The standard Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system offers a unique optical and acoustic experience. As a visual highlight, the tweeters in the mirror triangle of the driver's door and their counterparts in the rear doors are particularly sophisticated in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. They rotate through 360 degrees when the head unit is turned on, moving ten millimetres towards the passengers in a spiral motion. This movement aligns the tweeters to give the optimum sound impression. If the ambient lighting is switched on, the tweeters are illuminated in one of the seven available colours.
    The Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system provides its unrivalled listening experience by virtue of 24 high-performance speakers and 24 separate amplifier channels with a total output of 1540 watts. Its intelligent combination of analogue and digital amplifier technologies leads to an unparalleled mix of fine, natural sounds and high power reserves.
    Popular with buyers and the media: the S-Class's success
    Just a short time after the model change, the new S-Class has already taken the top sales position in its segment worldwide. Since then it has consistently remained on the path of success: one year after the market launch in all core markets, Mercedes-Benz has delivered more than 100,000 S-Class vehicles to customers. The car has also attracted numerous accolades from the media. For example, international motoring journalists this year chose the S-Class as "World Luxury Car". When selecting the best cars of 2014, the readers of trade journal "auto, motor und sport" declared the sedan the winner in its segment. Specialist American magazine "Ward's Auto World" has honoured the Mercedes-Benz S-Class for its outstanding interior design. In 2013 the S-Class received the coveted title of "Car Of The Year" in China, an important sales market. That same year, 320,000 readers of AUTO BILD and COMPUTER BILD chose the S-Class as the best networked car and gave it the "Connected Car of the Year" award.
    The concept: the ultimate in prestige and stylish travel
    As an addition to the portfolio of S-Class sedans, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class sets new benchmarks in the luxury segment. The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class melds the perfection of the S-Class with the exclusivity of Maybach. Impressive spaciousness, elegant design and high-quality materials create an ambience of the highest standard, particularly in the rear of the vehicle. Aspects such as premium craftsmanship, impressive luxury, Maybach excellence, uniqueness and individualization establish a connection between Mercedes-Maybach and the S-Class.
    Strictly speaking, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has no direct competitors because it is positioned above the existing S-Class segment but below the segment for ultra-luxury vehicles.
    The Grand Mercedes: prestigious, high-end motor cars
    Size and style combined with technological advances and sublime comfort – these are the shared attributes of prestigious vehicles made by Daimler. Their history dates back to the earliest days of the automobile. As well as conveying passengers in maximum comfort, these luxurious high-end vehicles play an important part in helping their owners to make a dignified impression as befits their status. In terms of style they also always reflect their time.
    The tradition of prestige vehicles from Mercedes-Benz and the original brands has its roots in the early 20th century and initially went on to 1981 when the final Mercedes-Benz 600 left the factory buildings in Sindelfingen. In 1991 the 600 SEL, the top-of-the-range model in the S-Class 140 model series and at the same time the first Mercedes-Benz production car with a V12 engine, brought the tradition back to life in more than name alone. By 2002, luxury sedans from the Maybach brand were maintaining the connection with power in the high-end segment. In turn the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class sets another new standard.
    1903: the start of a unique tradition
    At the beginning of the 20th century, the Mercedes and Benz brands were already shaping the luxury automotive segment and offering customers top-of- the-range models to meet their requirements of comfort and prestige. One early example is the luxurious Mercedes-Simplex 60 hp touring coach from 1904 that Emil Jellinek, father of the brand's namesake Mercédès Jellinek, drove on the French Riviera and caused a sensation. The Mercedes-Benz 630 continued this tradition in the 1920s followed by the 770 model known as the Grand Mercedes from 1931. Its era came to a temporary end in 1939. After the second world war the stakes had changed in Germany and Western Europe. People were suffering greater hardship, their needs were existential, their standards more modest. However, Chairman of the Management Board Wilhelm Haspel declared back in December 1947 that: "... what is missing is a vehicle that gold- plates the name Mercedes-Benz again."
    1951 comeback: Mercedes-Benz 300 "Adenauer"
    The gap was closed in 1951 with the Mercedes-Benz 300. Although nowhere near as ostentatious as the Grand Mercedes of the 1930s, this was the most spacious, comfortable and fastest German sedan of its time and the first prestige vehicle of the post-war period. Facelifted several times, the 300 remained part of the range until 1962 and was the highly prized official car of the German Chancellor. Even today it is referred to as the "Adenauer".
    By 1963 the economic miracle was in full swing. Germany was back and this also extended to automotive engineering. The headline of a press release issued by Daimler-Benz AG leaves no doubt: "The 'Super Mercedes' model 600 – the exclusive vehicle for grand luxury." It went on to say that "Mercedes-Benz is creating a link with the company's pre-war tradition of being present in the world's small group of outstanding prestige vehicles – in the form of a luxuriously appointed car which offers the highest degree of handling safety." The 600 was the first Mercedes-Benz production passenger car with a V8 engine. It set standards in ride comfort and safety worldwide. With a production period of 18 years between 1963 and 1981, the model 600, alongside the SL of the 107 model series, is one of the cars that was made for the longest amount of uninterrupted time at Mercedes-Benz.
    Until 2002 the top-of-the-range versions of the S-Class assumed the leading position in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio of cars. The Grand Mercedes then found its natural successor in every respect: luxury vehicles made by the Maybach brand over the next ten years. The first prototype was presented in 1997 at the Tokyo Motor Show under the name "Mercedes-Benz Maybach". It would take 17 years for this combination of names to become a reality, though, in the guise of the 2014 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. With new highlights from 2014, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is steering the unique tradition of prestige vehicles into the future.

    William Maley

    For Those Who Dream Of An Off-Road Colorado, Chevrolet Has A Concept for You

    It has been a long time since the ZR2 nameplate has graced a Chevrolet pickup. But the brand could be planning a comeback of the ZR2 if a concept shown today at the LA Auto Show is anything to go on.
    Chevrolet pulled the wraps off the Colorado ZR2 concept and it looks to take the Colorado and make it more capable on the trails. Outside are new front and rear fascias with integral skid plates and flip-out tow hooks. A winch is built in to the front bumper. Underneath is a two-inch lift kit and a set King coilover shocks; along with differentials for the front and rear. Meaty 275/65 tires feature 18-inch "bead-lock-style" wheels. Interior changes include auxiliary switches for controlling the diffs and the winch, and the ZR2 logo embroidered into the seats and floormats.
    As for power, it happens to be the 2.8L Duramax diesel that will be appearing in the near future. The engine produces 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.
    Source: Chevrolet


    Press Release is on Page 2
    Chevrolet Introduces Colorado ZR2 Concept
    Aggressively styled, more capable and driven by new 2.8L Duramax diesel engine

    LOS ANGELES – Chevrolet today introduced the Colorado ZR2 concept – a vision of how Chevrolet could take the all-new midsize truck's off-road capability to the next level. It also showcases the new 2.8L Duramax diesel engine that will arrive in the Colorado lineup later next year.
    The aggressively styled concept builds on the capabilities of the production Colorado Z71 and advances the legacy of Chevrolet's previous ZR2 production models.
    "From the bold stance to the trail-ready special equipment, the Colorado ZR2 is all about the fun of driving where the pavement ends – and doing it in characteristic Chevy style," said Tony Johnson, Colorado marketing manager. "Chevrolet has a heritage of the ZR2 representing the ultimate in production-based off-road capability and we'll gauge the public's interest in this concept as we continue to explore the possibilities for the all-new Colorado."
    The Colorado ZR2's imposing stance is four inches wider than a production Colorado Z71, with features including new front and rear fascias designed to increase approach and departure angles when driving off road. Ground clearance and rough terrain are handled with a two-inch lift and integral skid plates, while the wider track helps enhance stability in potentially unstable situations.
    The Colorado ZR2's greater apprach and departure angles – 30.7 and 22.7 degrees, respectively, versus the Z71's 25/21 degrees – are enabled by all-new off-road fascias that drastically reduce front and rear overhang. They also feature integrated, flip-out aluminum tow hooks and the front fascia incorporates a built-in winch.
    "The design of the ZR2 concept is all about functionality," said Johnson. "It is inspired by the needs for traversing rock-strewn trails, as well as the aesthetics of competition-style vehicles such as pre-runners – with all elements contributing to safe, sustainable off-road driving."
    Mono-tube coil-over shock absorbers by King™ are designed for greater suspension travel and feature remote-mounted fluid reservoirs that add to the Colorado ZR2 concept's capability. The reservoirs for the front shocks are accessible and mounted in the wraparound portion of the front fascia, while the capability of the shocks is matched with all-new front control arms.
    Off-road traction is enhanced with electronic-locking front and rear differentials, which distribute torque to 275/65R18 off-road tires mounted on custom 18-inch aluminum multi-spoke, bead-lock-style wheels. The center section of the wheel design has a raw aluminum appearance with black accents, while the bolt-on bead lock cover is orange-anodized aluminum.
    Custom wheel flares cover the larger off-road tires and increased track width, enhancing the truck's purposeful stance. They're complemented by custom rocker guards.
    A matching spare wheel/tire assembly, with a quick-release handle, is mounted in the bed. The bed also features the protective spray-in bed liner available with production Colorado models, GearOn™ accessories and a 48-inch Hi-Lift jack – all necessities for the trail.
    Additional exterior elements include an all-new grille and headlamp housings with blacked-out accents. The power dome-style hood is unique and echoes the design cues of Chevrolet's Duramax-powered Silverado heavy-duty trucks.
    The Colorado ZR2 wears a concept Cyprus Green exterior color, with Henna Orange accents and custom ZR2 identification on the rear fenders, tailgate and grille.
    Inside, the concept off-roader features the same blend of capability and comfort found in the production Colorado Z71, with ZR2 logos embroidered on the front-seat headrests and embossed in the custom Chevrolet Accessories-based floor liners. The ZR2 logo is featured on the instrument cluster display, as well as a custom inclinometer that shows degree of incline from front to back, and side to side.
    Additional electronic accessories have been added to the center stack to make the Colorado ZR2 a true off-road warrior. Incorporated into the piano key bank is AUX toggle and four additional toggles: two for winch in and winch out operation; and two for the electronic front- and rear-locking differentials.
    The Jet Black leather-trimmed interior features orange stitching that complements the exterior's orange accents.
    All-new 2.8L Duramax diesel
    The Colorado ZR2 concept's new 2.8L Duramax diesel packs the power – an estimated 181 horsepower at 3,400 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm – to tackle the toughest trails.
    The 2.8L Duramax diesel is part of a new, global family of turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines designed to deliver more-efficient capability. It features a variable-geometry turbocharger for optimal power and efficiency across the rpm band and a balance shaft for greater smoothness.
    "This new Duramax diesel engine will take efficient capability to an entirely new plateau for the midsize truck segment," said Johnson. "Its broad torque band makes it very powerful at low rpm, while the turbocharged performance provides a confident feeling of immediate and smooth power on demand – attributes customers will appreciate when trailering."
    The engine is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission.

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