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    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.

    William Maley

    Honda 'Finally' Details the HR-V For North America

    Next up in the subcompact crossover fest at the LA Auto Show is the 2016 Honda HR-V. Now we've seen different variations of this new model since it was introduced in Japan last year. Now we get the specs for the North American version.
    While the HR-V is based on the new Fit, the styling is heavily influenced by the larger CR-V with similar front ends and roof shape. But the HR-V has its own unique design touches such as the rear door handles integrated in the rear pillar. The HR-V has an overall length for the new model is 169.1 inches, about 10 inches shorter than the CR-V. But on wheelbases, the two models are very close. The HR-V rides on a 102.8-inch wheelbase, just 0.3 inches shorter than the CR-V's wheelbase.
    Inside, the HR-V features a airy cockpit with loads of standard features such as Hill Start Assist and a multi-angle rearview camera. The Fit's Magic Seat storage system which allows the rear seat to be configured in five different ways helps the HR-V's storage which is a maximum of 58.8 cubic feet.
    Honda says the 2016 HR-V will be heading to dealers early next year.
    Source: Honda

    Press Release is on Page 2
    All-new 2016 Honda HR-V Crossover Makes North American Debut at 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show
    2016 Honda HR-V crossover – arriving early next year – delivers dynamic styling, incredibly spacious and versatile cabin and fun, fuel-efficient performance

    Nov 19, 2014 - LOS ANGELES: The all-new 2016 Honda HR-V crossover, unveiled today at the 2014 Los Angeles International Auto Show, blends the styling of a coupe, the toughness, space and utility of a SUV and the quality of a Honda in one sporty, personal and versatile multi-dimensional vehicle. The well-equipped HR-V, launching at Honda dealerships nationwide early next year, will enter the fast-growing entry crossover market with dynamic yet refined exterior styling, fun-to-drive performance, class-leading fuel economy ratings and unmatched interior spaciousness and cabin versatility.
    Utilizing a new global platform, the all-new Honda HR-V has one of the most spacious and versatile cabins in its class. Utilizing its unique platform design with a center-mounted fuel tank and reconfigurable second-row "Magic Seat," the completely new HR-V has voluminous interior space along with a flexible cabin featuring multiple seating/cargo modes. With 100.1 cu. ft. of passenger volume (LX) and 58.8 cu. ft. of cargo volume with the second row seats down, the HR-V has space to rival some competitors' mid-size SUV offerings.
    "The new HR-V crossover is a true segment-busting vehicle, unlike anything else on the market today," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and general manager of the Honda Division. "It's got all the essential elements of our Honda DNA, our packaging innovation, fuel-efficient powertrain technology, leading safety technology and, above all, Honda quality, to make this an incredibly compelling, sporty and value-packed new member of the Honda family."
    2016 HR-V Key Packaging Specifications Wheelbase, in. 102.8 Length, in. 169.1 Width, in. 69.8 Height, in. 63.2 Passenger volume, cu. ft. 100.1 (LX), 96.1 (EX, EX-L) Cargo volume, cu. ft. 24.3 rear seats up
    58.8 rear seats down Seating capacity 5
    The HR-V's dynamic appearance and sporty, solid stance is aided by its coupe-like cabin shape and bold and powerful face, complemented by distinctive side contours, including a sharply upswept character line, deeply sculpted lower body form and the strong horizontal taper of both the front and rear fascia. Concealed rear door handles further enhance its coupe-like appearance.
    The HR-V's sporty and sophisticated interior features an expansive, airy cockpit with an abundance of soft-touch materials and premium detailing punctuated by precise bezels, sophisticated stitch lines and upmarket brushed chrome and piano black highlights – all fitting its mission as a youthful yet refined personal crossover vehicle. The three-meter driver's instrument cluster features "floating" illumination rings and Honda's ECO Assist feature, wherein the speedometer illumination changes from white to green depending on the fuel efficiency of the driver's vehicle operation.
    Power comes from a highly refined and responsive 1.8-liter SOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine with i-VTEC valvetrain producing a peak 138 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 127 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm (both SAE net). The engine is mated to a sporty and fuel-efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT) with Honda "G-design" shift logic, or a slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission (2WD models only). The HR-V is available in either two-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive drivetrain configurations. All-wheel-drive models feature Honda's Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System for outstanding all-weather traction and control. Driving efficiency, handling performance and cabin quietness are further aided by an aerodynamic shape and a lightweight yet rigid body structure with significant noise-insulating materials and design features.
    In keeping with Honda's commitment to safety, the HR-V is expected to deliver top-in-class collision safety performance and incorporates Honda's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) front body structure, designed to more efficiently absorb and disperse the energy from a frontal collision. Standard safety and driver-assistive features include four-channel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Brake Assist and Hill Start Assist; Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control; an Expanded View Driver's Mirror; a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera; dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, driver and front passenger SmartVent™ side airbags and side-curtain airbags for all outboard seating positions; and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). The HR-V is anticipated to earn top collision safety ratings from the NHTSA (5-Star Overall Vehicle Score) and IIHS (Top Safety Pick).
    Standard equipment on all HR-V models, available in LX, EX and EX-L trims, include power windows, power mirrors and power door and tailgate locks, electronic parking brake, rearview camera, aluminum-alloy wheels, tilt and telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® phone interface and Pandora radio. Higher trim models can be equipped with premium features including Honda's 7-inch touchscreen Display Audio telematics interface, Honda LaneWatch™, Smart Entry/Push-Button Start, paddle shifters, SiriusXM® radio, HD Radio™ and Honda Digital Traffic, heated front seats, a power sunroof, embedded navigation and leather trim.
    The 2016 Honda HR-V is covered by a comprehensive 3-year/36,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty and a 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain limited warranty. Additional benefits of ownership include Honda Roadside Assistance, which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance during the 3-year/36,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty term. The HR-V will be manufactured alongside the Fit at Honda's newest North American auto plant, in Celaya, Mexico.

    William Maley

    Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision GT Concept Comes From the Future

    And now for something futuristic. Chevrolet has revealed the Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Tursimo (VGT) concept at the LA Auto Show today.
    Let's begin with the looks of the Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Tursimo concept. It looks like a futuristic F1 or IndyCar with a massive front splitter and fenders covering the wheels. There is a reason for the design. Chevrolet explains that the driver driver lays prone with legs and arms aimed toward the wheels.
    “Think of it as adapting a wing suit to a racing car, where the driver’s movements control certain aspects of the aero package. In many ways, the Chaparral 2X VGT is like racing wing suit, with a protective fuselage for ‘flying’ very low to the ground,” said Frank Saucedo, who oversaw the project.
    Power comes from 671-kW mid-mounted laser beamed-energy propulsion system "which pulses beams of light that focus in a shroud, creating shock waves that generate tremendous thrust in the lightweight race car." Along with this is a set of lithium-ion batteries and an air-powered generator to provide 900 horsepower worth of thrust. Chevrolet says the Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Tursimo can hit 60 in 1.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 240 MPH (virtually of course).
    Source: Chevrolet

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Chevrolet Unveils Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo
    Radical concept developed for racing franchise’s 15th anniversary

    LOS ANGELES – Chevrolet today revealed the Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Tursimo (VGT) concept – a revolutionary interpretation of the ultimate race car, developed exclusively for fans of the PlayStation® 3 racing game, Gran Turismo® 6.
    Developed as part of the Vision Gran Turismo project, which celebrates the future of automotive design and innovation, the Chaparral 2X VGT concept is inspired by the innovative race cars Chaparral Racing and Chevrolet partnered on more than 45 years ago.
    Gamers can race the Chaparral 2X VGT this holiday season by downloading an online update for Gran Turismo 6, the latest iteration of the best-selling PlayStation franchise that has sold more than 72 million copies worldwide since its 1998 debut.
    “This concept is an audacious and ambitious vision – and one that demonstrates to a new audience how Chevy’s engineering and design teams challenge norms and explore the technologies of tomorrow,” said Clay Dean, executive director of advanced design. “It also an ode to a unique partnership that pioneered ground-breaking technologies that are used today on the track and the street.”
    Known for unconventional, boundary-pushing race cars that shook up the motorsports world, Texas-based Chaparral Racing partnered with Chevrolet Research and Development more than 45 years ago, pioneering now-standard methods and materials used in contemporary racing and production vehicles, including the composite monocoque chassis, lightweight-alloy powertrain systems, automatic transmissions for racing and progressive, active aerodynamics. The partnership also spawned ground-breaking vehicle data acquisition technology. Chevrolet continues to use racing programs to test and develop new technologies and materials.
    The Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT channels that spirit of innovation into a vision of what the future of racing could hold, with a radical form and an advanced, laser-based propulsion system.
    “It was created in a no-rules atmosphere to challenge designers and test engineers to deliver the most exhilarating sensations. This is a fantasy car by design,” said Frank Saucedo, who oversaw the team that worked on the concept. “Like the original Chaparral race cars decades ago, the Chaparral 2X VGT weaves advanced aerospace technologies into the design to help achieve its performance goals.”
    The Chaparral 2X VGT’s concept propulsion system is inspired by technology derived from advanced work targeted at space travel and future aircraft design. It features a mid-mounted laser beamed-energy propulsion system, which pulses beams of light that focus in a shroud, creating shock waves that generate tremendous thrust in the lightweight race car.
    With a 671-kW laser, powered by a pack of lithium-ion batteries, and an air-powered generator to provide 900 horsepower worth of thrust, the Chaparral 2X VGT will be capable of a 240-mph top speed in the video game with 0-60 acceleration capability of 1.5 seconds.
    The propulsion system’s position in the composite chassis complements an unconventional yet highly active prone driver configuration – face down with the driver’s arms and legs splayed toward the wheels. In fact, the race car’s propulsion and suspension systems are built around the driver, enabling progressive strategies of active and driver-adjustable aerodynamics.
    “Think of it as adapting a wing suit to a racing car, where the driver’s movements control certain aspects of the aero package,” said Saucedo. “In many ways, the Chaparral 2X VGT is like racing wing suit, with a protective fuselage for ‘flying’ very low to the ground.”
    The driver-enabled aerodynamics eliminate the need for large, conventional wings and other aero devices used to generate grip-enhancing downforce – an attribute that helps reduce the overall mass of the Chaparral 2X VGT’s minimalist structure. Only essential elements are on board, with instrumentation, for example, projected on the driver’s helmet visor.
    Additionally, lightweight chassis components reduce the sprung weight of the race car, enabling the car to provide tremendous cornering grip with a relatively small footprint. It rolls on 17-inch front wheels wrapped with racing tires.
    “The Chaparral 2X VGT is a vision of how advanced technology may shape the look and driving experience of racing,” said Saucedo. “Chaparral’s race cars and methods were seen as outlandish four decades ago, and with the innovative spirit still burning at Chevrolet, the Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept might just be a harbinger of motorsports in the next four decades.”
    Other manufacturers have developed concept race cars for the Vision Gran Turismo project, but Chevrolet is one of the few to transfer it from the digital world to a physical concept vehicle.

    William Maley

    Ford Marks 25 Years of the Explorer with the 2016 Refresh

    Consider this: 23 percent of all Ford vehicles sold in the U.S. is a utility vehicle. By 2020, the blue oval expects that number to climb to 29 percent. For Ford, crossovers and SUVs are a big deal. Case in point is the 2016 Explorer. While this updated model is drastically changing how the company is planning to build crossovers in the future, it does keep the Explorer in the hunt for buyers.
    The biggest change for the Explorer is the introduction of the 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder, which will take the place of the 2.0L EcoBoost. The 2.3 makes 270 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Unlike the 2.0 EcoBoost, the 2.3 can be had with either front or all-wheel drive. The 2.3 EcoBoost will be available on the base, XLT and Limited trim levels. The 3.5L V6 remains standard for most trims, while the 3.5 EcoBoost V6 is standard on the Explorer Sport.
    Ford also introduced the Explorer Platinum which will be the top of line model. The Platinum will come equipped with the 3.5L EcoBoost V6. Outside touches include satin chrome accents, unique satin chrome grille, 20-inch wheels, and integrated exhaust pipes. Being the top of the line models means the Platinum will come with everything on the Explorer such as 180 degree cameras front and rear, a side sensor to alert you if you are about to hit a pillar in a parking garage, and a hands-free liftgate that has a sensor underneath the vehicle to detect the motion of your foot.
    Outside, the Explorer gets a new grille, reshaped headlights, and a new front bumper. To our eyes, it looks like Ford was impressed with Kia Sorento and decided to take some ideas from it.
    The 2016 Ford Explorer goes on sale next summer.
    Source: Ford

    Press Release is on Page 2
    NOV 18, 2014 | LOS ANGELES
    New Ford Explorer makes global debut today at Los Angeles Auto Show with even more smart technology, available 2.3-liter EcoBoost® four-cylinder engine and all-new Platinum series
    Innovative new features make parking easier, speed charging time on smart devices, boost aerodynamics and give every adventure an even better soundtrack
    New 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine delivers more horsepower and torque than the four-cylinder it replaces, with no compromise in fuel economy anticipated; for the first time on Explorer, four-cylinder EcoBoost can be paired with available tow package and intelligent four-wheel drive with Terrain Management System™
    More than 7 million Explorers have been sold in the United States, which makes it America’s best-selling SUV for 25 years

    Building on 25 years of innovation and sales leadership, a new Explorer is on its way, with even more smart technology, a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine and an all-new Platinum series. The new Ford Explorer goes on sale next summer.
    The new Explorer, revealed today at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, builds on the strength and leadership of Ford’s new vehicle lineup – the freshest in the industry – and provides SUV customers even more versatility, capability, smart technology and efficiency.
    “Explorer helped define how the world thinks about SUVs,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president and chief technical officer, Global Product Development. “Explorer is the centerpiece of Ford’s global utility vehicle lineup because it delivers an ideal combination of form and function. And with 7 million already sold, nearly everyone has an Explorer story.”
    Introduced as a 1991 model, Explorer featured generous interior space customers were looking for, and was engineered specifically for people seeking adventure for their families and a way to express their individuality. For a quarter century, Explorer has been America’s best-selling SUV.
    Ford Explorer is built in North America at Chicago Assembly Plant, as well as in Venezuela and now, Russia. It is sold in more than 100 markets across the globe. Ford expects to export 56,000 Explorers from the United States this year alone.
    “Customers love Explorer, and expect this SUV to lead the way in innovation, performance and fun,” said Arie Groeneveld, chief engineer for the new Explorer. “It’s a tall order, but we’re aiming to build the best SUV in the world.”
    More innovation for new adventures
    Even more smart technology – that’s what customers will get with the new Ford Explorer. It offers more technologies than previous models – features that enhance the driving experience. These include:
    Front and rear cameras with washers: Both front and rear cameras have wide-angle lenses and come equipped with a washer – an industry-first
    Enhanced active park assist with perpendicular park assist, park-out assist and semi-automatic parallel parking: The system uses ultrasonic sensors and electric power-assisted steering to help drivers with parallel parking and perpendicular parking maneuvers. Enhanced active park assist now includes park-out assist to help a driver pull out of parallel parking spots. The system controls the steering wheel, while the driver operates the accelerator and brake pedals, and shifts the vehicle into gear
    Smart-charging USB ports throughout: Located in the front and rear of the vehicle are USB ports to charge smart devices
    Hands-free liftgate: A customer need only kick his or her leg below the center of the rear bumper to unlock and raise the liftgate
    Industry-exclusive 500-watt Sony Audio System: Explorer Platinum will be the first Ford vehicle to get an all-new 500-watt Sony Audio System with Live Acoustics™ and Clear Phase™ technology
    Active Grille Shutters: Upper and lower fascia openings close at highway speeds to reduce drag. At low speeds, the shutters open to deliver airflow to cool the powertrain. Shutters allow for larger front end openings to cool the engine while reducing drag
    Air curtains: Standard air curtains create a high-pressure region of air that impacts the outer surface of the wheels and tires. The result is airflow held close to the vehicle body, minimizing drag

    These current Explorer features provide a foundation for innovations on the new model:
    Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support: Uses radar to detect moving vehicles directly ahead and changes the cruising speed if necessary
    Lane-keeping system: The system automatically detects left- and right-hand road lane markings using the front camera system. A vibration in the steering wheel alerts the driver if the vehicle begins to drift out of the lane. The system can also provide steering torque to help guide the vehicle back into the lane if needed
    Blind Spot Information System: BLIS® uses radar to trigger a warning when another motorist is in the driver’s blind spot
    Cross-traffic alert: Uses radar to help alert drivers to oncoming traffic when backing out of a parking space
    Auto high-beams: Automatic high-beams use windshield-mounted cameras to automatically switch between high-beam and low-beam settings when oncoming traffic is detected
    Inflatable rear safety belts: Inflatable rear safety belts, introduced on 2011 Explorer as an industry-first, deploy an airbag over the torso and shoulder of an outboard passenger to help distribute crash forces over up to five times more area than a traditional safety belt. Spreading forces over a larger area helps reduce pressure on a passenger’s chest, and helps control head and neck motion

    All-new EcoBoost engine
    Capability – that’s what customers will get even more of with the new Explorer, thanks to an available 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine delivering at least 270 horsepower and at least 300 lb.-ft. of torque. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost replaces the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder available for the current model.
    The 2.3-liter EcoBoost is available on the base, XLT and Limited series. The new powerplant is expected to give customers 12.5 percent more horsepower and 11 percent more torque over the current 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. It improves highway passing times 10 percent at speeds between 55 mph and 75 mph.
    The 2.3-liter EcoBoost will deliver a noticeable improvement in horsepower and torque; while EPA results are not yet certified, no sacrifice in overall fuel efficiency is anticipated. The current Explorer is a gas mileage leader on the highway.
    The 2.3-liter EcoBoost benefits from technology that makes it more efficient and optimizes performance. It employs an active oil control system to optimize pressure when less fluid is needed. An active wastegate controls boost more precisely during light load operation to help save fuel. A higher compression ratio results in more efficient fuel combustion.
    “The new Explorer isn’t giving up its reputation as a leader in highway fuel efficiency – especially for the customer who wants a vehicle that is also a capable trail warrior,” said Groeneveld. “Customers will not only get the performance of a larger engine, they won’t sacrifice efficiency because of it.”
    The standard 3.5-liter V6 engine for base, XLT and Limited models – with an estimated 290 horsepower and estimated 255 lb.-ft. of torque – is paired with a six-speed SelectShift® Automatic transmission. Explorer Sport and the Platinum edition get a standard 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with an estimated 365 horsepower and estimated 350 lb.-ft. of torque – also mated with a six-speed SelectShift Automatic.
    New Platinum series
    Style – the all-new Platinum series further elevates the full-size SUV in look and feel, with changes to both the Explorer exterior and interior.
    “Bringing Explorer Platinum to market is a natural extension of the Explorer lineup, giving our customers even more of what they want,” said Matt Zuehlk, Ford Explorer brand manager. “There’s a market for more upscale SUVs, as 90 percent of today’s Explorer Sport buyers purchase the most expensive package available. That’s a strong signal customers are ready for Platinum.”
    From new multicontour front seats wrapped in Nirvana leather with micro-perforation, to special quilted stitching used throughout, to advanced standard technologies, Platinum elevates Explorer in ways customers can see and feel.
    “Platinum is the ultimate expression of refinement,” said Christopher Svensson, Ford design director, The Americas. “This is the most premium, high-quality interior we’ve ever offered on a Ford vehicle.”
    The interior incorporates brushed aluminum and satin-finished ash wood in multi-piece appliqués on all door panels and the instrument panel. The wood-trimmed, leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel includes unique stitching that matches the stitching used throughout the interior.
    For the first time in a production Ford vehicle, a brushed aluminum Ford oval is centered on the steering wheel.
    Nirvana leather wraps the instrument panel, console armrests, quilted door bolsters and upper door trim. The instrument cluster features a large 10-inch digital display supported with analog displays – a first for a Ford-brand vehicle.
    The new Explorer Platinum will be the first Ford vehicle to get an all-new 500-watt Sony Audio System with Live Acoustics and Clear Phase technology. Clear Phase eliminates sound dispersion throughout the vehicle, so the music occupants hear is precisely pinpointed, just as the artist intended. Live Acoustics engineering re-creates the sound dynamics of some of the world’s greatest concert halls for a more enveloping, realistic sound.
    Explorer Platinum also gets standard advanced technology features including enhanced active park assist, lane-keeping system and rain-sensing wipers.
    For the exterior, signature lighting surrounds the LED headlamps, giving Explorer Platinum a continuous glow. Other features include a standard dual-panel moonroof, premium silver-painted front and rear skid plate elements, and 20-inch wheels with bright machine face and tarnished dark painted pockets.
    The integrated exhaust is designed to reduce the appearance of soot collecting at the rear of the vehicle. Inside the chrome bezel of the exhaust, engineers designed a shield that catches the soot so it doesn’t collect around the outlets.
    Intelligent four-wheel drive: Ready for any adventure
    Explorer’s intelligent four-wheel drive with Terrain Management System™ reassesses conditions about 20 times faster than the blink of an eye, providing precise handling and traction.
    Intelligent four-wheel drive continuously monitors wheel speed, throttle position and steering wheel angle to determine vehicle conditions and driver intent. The system then determines the optimal amount of front and rear torque for the given conditions to prevent slip from even occurring, which helps keep the vehicle sure-footed on virtually any terrain. In sand, grass or gravel mode, the antilock braking system changes its pulse rate, which allows material to build up in front of the wheels, acting as a doorstop of sorts to help slow momentum.
    To help maintain efficiency, in most steady-state cruising conditions the new Explorer equipped with intelligent four-wheel drive seamlessly and quickly transfers torque between the front and rear wheels.
    A newly refined, intelligent four-wheel-drive gauge display shows power being distributed to front and rear wheels under all conditions – from heavy four-wheel-drive system usage to when the system is not transmitting power at all – for improved efficiency.
    For added convenience, the Terrain Management System automatically defaults to normal mode whenever the vehicle is started to ensure it is ready for normal driving conditions.
    Using a dial located on the center console, the customer can shift on the fly, selecting one of four terrain management modes – normal, snow, sand or mud – to set how the engine, transmission, brakes and four-wheel-drive system will operate. A fifth setting is for navigating hills.
    Comfortable and capable
    The new Explorer benefits from an improved suspension for better handling and a quiet cabin, enabling a comfortable ride even when the pavement turns to dirt.
    Ford completely retuned the Explorer chassis to clearly differentiate the driving experiences of XLT, Explorer Sport and Platinum models.
    The suspension uses MacPherson construction with an isolated subframe and 32-millimeter stabilizer bar at the front, while an independent multilink rear setup uses a 22-millimeter stabilizer bar.
    Explorer Sport customers looking for a more dynamic driving experience will benefit from a unique steering gear, front and rear springs, struts and rear dampers.
    Explorer also features a tower brace that provides additional stiffness between strut towers. The tower brace for Explorer equipped with four-wheel drive is three millimeters thicker for even more stiffness – providing better control and a smoother ride on rugged terrain.
    The new Explorer, with standard 18-inch and available 20-inch wheels, offers new tire options for improved ride and handling, while reducing road noise in the cabin.
    Interior changes help enhance quietness in the cabin. There are new door seals, and an enhanced sound package includes engine subframe mounts specially tuned to reduce vibration, as well as a specially tuned exhaust for the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. Acoustic glass is used on the windshield and front doors on XLT and higher trim levels.
    New look
    Rugged – that’s the word that inspired the designers creating the look of the new Ford Explorer.
    Exterior style updates – such as positioning the grille and LED headlamps even higher, adding a new closed-off lower roof rack with channels that cascade rainwater off the vehicle and a new rear spoiler – also improve aerodynamics.
    Explorer features more robust headlamps, with available LED signature lighting, standard LED low-beams and available LED fog lamps.
    Visible heat-sink structures for cooling the LED headlamps are a meaningful detail. These radiator-like grilles are typically hidden behind the light cluster, but on Explorer they are part of a complex headlamp design that puts innovation on display.
    Interior design changes reflect desires customers expressed through Ford consumer research, which shows one in five Explorer Sport customers previously owned a luxury vehicle. Changes include a higher wrapped and stitched door armrest, real buttons to replace touch-sense buttons on the infotainment system and more refined detailing throughout.
    Series overview and standard features
    The new Explorer features five trim series. These are:
    Base: 3.5-liter V6 engine with six-speed SelectShift Automatic, LED low-beam headlamps, LED taillamps, 18-inch aluminum wheels in sparkle silver paint and rearview camera with washer
    XLT: 3.5-liter V6 engine with six-speed SelectShift Automatic, heavy-duty front and rear brake calipers, fog lamps, LED signature lighting, 18-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels with sparkle silver paint, leather-wrapped steering wheel and reverse sensing system
    Limited: 3.5-liter V6 engine with six-speed SelectShift Automatic, premium 20-inch aluminum painted wheels, ambient lighting, cargo net, heated steering wheel, multi-piece satin chrome with Rosewood film accent appliqués, perforated leather-trimmed seats, heated and cooled front row seats, 12-speaker Sony Audio System, front and rear 180-degree camera with washers, and hands-free liftgate
    Explorer Sport: 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, intelligent four-wheel drive with Terrain Management System, sport-tuned suspension, trailer tow package, Explorer badge on hood, fascia-integrated dual exhaust tips, 20-inch wheels, perforated leather-trimmed seats with red accent stitching, multi-piece satin chrome with carbon fiber interior appearance inserts and 12-speaker Sony Audio System
    Platinum: 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, intelligent four-wheel drive with Terrain Management System, dual-panel moonroof, satin chrome lower bodyside cladding insert, satin chrome mirror caps, 20-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support, real wood accents and unique stitching on steering wheel, 500-watt Sony Audio System, leather-wrapped door and console armrests, leather-wrapped instrument panel and upper door trim, Nirvana leather seats, all-digital instrument cluster, enhanced active park assist with park-out assist and perpendicular park, and lane-keeping system

    William Maley

    If It Ain't Broke Why Fix It - 2015 Chrysler 300

    When Dodge unveiled the refreshed 2015 Charger at the New York Auto Show, everyone knew that a refresh for the 300 wouldn't be that far behind. Sure enough, Chrysler pulled the covers off the 2015 300 at the LA Auto Show today.
    The 2015 300 hasn't quite gone though the massive exterior refresh like the Charger, but Chrysler designers made sure changes were made to heighten its attitude. The front grille has been enlarged slightly and features different finishes dependent on the trim. New lights for the front and back, updated rear bumper styling, and rectangular exhaust outlets finish off the exterior. Wheel choices range from standard 17-inches all the way to 20-inches.
    The 300's interior mostly stays the same. The only real design change is the departure of the T-Shaped shifter for the rotary knob (Thank You Chrysler!). Other changes are on the technical front with a new 7-inch full-color configurable screen for the instrument cluster, and a new set of controls underneath the infotainment system.
    The 2015 300's powertrains carryover from the previous model, so that means the choice of either a 3.6L V6 or 5.7L HEMI V8. The V8 will now come with eight-speed Torqueflite automatic. Rear-drive is standard with all-wheel drive available. Those hoping the 300 SRT would stick around will be disapointed as it has been dropped for 2015.
    Other changes for the 300 include a new sport mode for the 300S which quickens gear changes, increases throttle responsiveness, and changes steering feel; new cast aluminum axle, and an electric power steering system.
    When the 300 goes on sale early next year, it will start off at $32,390, including destination.
    Source: Chrysler

    Press Release is on Page 2

    New 2015 Chrysler 300: Return of the Big, Bold American Sedan with World-class Levels of Sophistication, Craftsmanship and Technology, Once Again Putting Boulevards and Interstates On Notice
    The new 2015 Chrysler 300 highlights six decades of ambitious American ingenuity through iconic design proportions inspired by historic 1955 and 2005 models – world-class quality, materials and refinement, best-in-class V-6 highway fuel economy, plus segment-exclusive innovations – all at the same $31,395 starting price as its predecessor
    New Chrysler 300 sedan’s iconic and unmistakable exterior proportions are now crafted with even more sculptural and expressive style for 2015, with a bolder “face of Chrysler” front grille, signature LED lighting, unique finishes and new wheel designs
    New Chrysler 300C Platinum model features quilted Nappa leather, hand-sanded wood, ultra-premium Poltrona Frau leather-wrapped instrument panel and console, plus platinum-chrome exterior details and 20-inch wheels – all at an attainable value
    All-new interior design elements include a standard 7-inch full-color driver information display (DID) and class-exclusive electronic rotary transmission shifter, plus Chrysler brand’s new three-spoke steering wheel with larger vehicle controls and available die-cast paddle shifters
    Class-exclusive TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, now standard on every model, balances V-8 performance with segment-leading 31 mpg highway fuel efficiency
    Best-in-class V-6 highway fuel economy with 3.6-liter Pentastar engine
    Best-in-class V-6 and V-8 driving range
    Unsurpassed V-6 combined fuel economy
    Up to 6 percent fuel economy improvement, plus improved acceleration and refinement, with 363 horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine with four-cylinder mode Fuel Saver Technology
    New 2015 Chrysler 300 Limited provides customers the most standard appointments in the nameplate's 60-year history, including the TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission, heated leather seating, Uconnect with voice commands and the segment's largest 8.4-inch touchscreen, SiriusXM Radio, full-color DID cluster, five-year/100,000 mile warranty coverage with roadside assistance and more – starting at $31,395
    New 2015 Chrysler 300S model features unique blacked-out accents, large 20-inch Hyper Black finish wheels, more athletically sculpted side sills, unique deck-lid spoiler and a higher output Pentastar V-6 engine with 300 horsepower and 264 lb.-ft. of torque, plus Sport mode and paddle-shifting capabilities now as quick as 250 milliseconds
    New for 2015, the "Sport" button enables sport-tuned steering; pedal, engine and transmission calibration; plus rear-biased torque on AWD models for more dynamic handling
    New suite of Uconnect features, including the award-winning Uconnect Access system, Uconnect Access services with roadside assistance, theft-alarm notification, voice texting, the latest 3-D navigation on the segment’s largest 8.4-inch touchscreen and the ability to turn the Chrysler 300 into a Wi-Fi hotspot
    New advanced technological solutions include electric power steering and cast-aluminum axles and housing to reduce energy demand, weight and parasitic friction
    More than 80 available safety and security features, including new for 2015 Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus, Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus with Full Stop, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist and 9-1-1 call/Assist Call
    Production for the new 2015 Chrysler 300 sedan begins in the fourth quarter of 2014 at the Brampton (Ontario) Assembly Plant in Canada

    November 19, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - With roots that include the breakthrough 1955 and 2005 models, the new 2015 Chrysler 300 takes the nameplate’s style and sophistication to new levels and highlights six decades of ambitious American ingenuity through iconic design proportions and inspired materials, world-class quality and craftsmanship, best-in-class 31 miles per gallon (mpg) highway fuel economy, plus class-exclusive innovations — including a state-of-the-art TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission now standard on every model, the segment’s most advanced all-wheel drive (AWD) system, award-winning Uconnect Access services, all-new and segment-exclusive 7-inch full color driver information display (DID) and the newest generation Uconnect systems — putting boulevards and interstates on notice once again.
    "Our new 2015 Chrysler 300 builds on its 60-year legacy of delivering world-class performance, elegance, sophistication, technology and craftsmanship - a combination that can only be found in our big, bold and proudly American rear-wheel-drive sedan," said Al Gardner, President and CEO - Chrysler Brand. "Beyond its head-turning iconic proportions and even more commanding Chrysler front-end and grille, our new 300 is designed to reward hard-working individuals by delivering class-exclusive technologies, premium appointments and levels of quality of sedans costing thousands more."
    Heritage-inspired styling combined with world-class execution make the new Chrysler 300 stand apart from the competition
    Building on its 48 percent sales increase over the last four years, the new 2015 Chrysler 300 sedan arrives to the market with unmistakable styling and world-class engineering, quality and technology that is designed to exceed expectations and rival luxury import competitors in premium segments priced thousands higher.
    With the Chrysler development team’s determination to set the 300 apart from the competition, the brand’s new sedan proudly makes the following segment claims (upper large car segmentation):
    Best-in-class V-6 highway fuel economy
    Best-in-class V-6 driving range
    Best-in-class V-8 driving range
    Best-in-class V-8 horsepower
    Best-in-class V-8 torque
    Best-in-class interior volume
    Best-in-class rear seat volume
    Unsurpassed V-6 combined fuel economy
    Most technologically advanced vehicle in its class
    Most technologically advanced (AWD) system in its class
    Class-exclusive front axle disconnect with active transfer case
    Most luxurious vehicle in its class (Chrysler 300C)
    Segment’s largest touchscreen display
    Segment’s largest dual-pane sunroof available
    Class-exclusive TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission Chrysler 300 is the only vehicle in segment to offer V-6 or V-8 engine with
    a standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission

    [*]Class-exclusive available illuminated dual heated and cooled cup holders
    [*]Class-exclusive electronic rotary transmission shifter

    Lifestyle driven models highlight the Chrysler 300 sedan’s broad appeal
    Building on the success of the Chrysler 300 sedan’s lifestyle driven models, the lineup has been revamped for 2015 with four highly equipped models:
    300 Limited — U.S. MSRP $31,395 (plus $995 destination)
    300S — U.S. MSRP $34,895 (plus $995 destination)
    300C — U.S. MSRP $37,895 (plus $995 destination)
    300C Platinum — U.S. MSRP $42,395 (plus $995 destination)

    Bold American design that has broken the segment model for six decades
    Confident looks, expressive materials and world-class execution make the new 2015 Chrysler 300 stand apart from the competition.
    At the front of the new 2015 Chrysler 300, a redesigned fascia features a more sculptured surface, taller more prominent grille with a unique dimensional texture and chrome grille surround. The grille contains the Chrysler wing badge, which appears to float within the dramatic grille texture and highlights the new “face of Chrysler.” Nestled below the upper grille is an elegantly drawn chrome Mobius strip, which outlines the lower grille opening and extends outward, surrounding the new optional LED fog lamps. This new detail reinforces the Chrysler brand’s new design direction and provides the Chrysler 300 with even more visual presence. Bi-functional projector beam headlamps are available with adaptive forward lighting (AFL) to better illuminate road curves ahead, while integrated LED-illuminated daytime running lamps (DRL) form a “C” shape for unmistakable brand identity. New LED fog lamps are available and provide a consistent white illumination at the front.
    From the side, unmistakably strong, yet subtly executed shoulder lines pay homage to the Chrysler 300 series design heritage and define the correlation between front and rear wheel arches. A high beltline stays true to the Chrysler 300 sedan’s signature proportion, while its elegantly tailored chrome side window surrounds and available chrome mirrors hint at the luxurious interior within. Seven new wheel designs, ranging from 17 inches to wider and wheel-well-filling 20 inches, provide the new 2015 Chrysler 300 with a planted, road-holding look.
    Finishing the new Chrysler 300 sedan’s powerful rear stance is a new sculpted LED taillamp with an illuminated halo, providing a unique signature appearance. A restyled rear fascia has a more fluid surface and features a tailored chrome fascia trim accent. Below, a new lower valance in black provides visual width and lightens the appearance of the sedan. Last, a pair of elegantly drawn, polished exhaust tips are placed in the corners to give the Chrysler 300 an upscale athletic appearance. These key design elements provide a visual tie to the all-new Chrysler 200 sedan, while keeping each models’ unique personality.
    An interior wrapped in American style with world-class materials, craftsmanship and technology
    Inside the new 2015 Chrysler 300 passengers will be immersed in a sophisticated blend of hand-sculpted fluid shapes, high-quality and innovative material choices inspired by American cities, precision craftsmanship, state-of-the-art technology and thoughtful, clever features. When designing the new 2015 Chrysler 300, the team incorporated unique design elements and utilized authentic materials to create an interior identity that is comfortable yet beautiful – and one that could only be born in Detroit.
    La Jolla, California – Indigo / Linen
    As the pinnacle of the Chrysler brand's lineup, the new 300C Platinum offers an all-new and exclusive two-tone Indigo/Linen interior inspired by La Jolla’s ocean views lined by sandy expanses and unexpected coves. This sedan's interior environment features segment-exclusive use of quilted and perforated Nappa leather on front and rear seats. Highlighting this sedan's world-class level of craftsmanship and comfort are premium Nappa leather door panels with exclusive quilted inserts. Once limited to exotic sedans priced tens of thousands more, ultra high-end Foligno leather from Italian leather expert, Poltrona Frau, wraps the instrument panel and sides of the center console and is finished with French accent stitching. A two-tone Indigo/Linen leather-wrapped steering wheel is hand-stitched together and includes die-cast paddle shifters and a unique chrome accent ring to highlight the segment-exclusive 360-degree heated rim. Completing the interior environment is specially selected and hand-sanded natural pore wood stained in a matte-Mocha finish for greater beauty
    Model: Chrysler 300C Platinum

    Manhattan, New York – Black
    The high-fashion and rock-'n'-roll edge of Fifth Avenue in New York City was the inspiration for the Black leather interiors available in every Chrysler 300 model. Bright Chrome and Satin Chrome accents highlight the Black leather environment. Model specific use of hydrographic and stitching accents include Charcoal Metallic and black stitching (300 Limited) and Matte Carbon and Silver stitching (300S), while real Black Olive Ash Burl wood with bronze stitching is standard on 300C models. For a bespoke look, specially selected and hand-sanded natural pore wood is stained in a matte-Mocha finish and paired with Black accent stitching
    Models: Chrysler 300 Limited, 300S, 300C and 300C Platinum

    Detroit, Michigan – Black / Ambassador Blue
    The tenacious, “never-say-die” spirit of Detroit was the inspiration for the 300S model's exclusive Black with Ambassador Blue Nappa leather interior with industrious Silver accent stitching. For added detail, the center console armrest and door armrests are color matched to this model’s unique sport seats and feature French seamed stitching in silver. Exclusive use of Piano Black on interior center stack, instrument panel, steering wheel, gauge cluster and door panel elements provide a uniquely lacquered and highly detailed appearance. Matte Carbon hydrographic accents and die-cast paddle shifters are also included
    Model: Chrysler 300S

    Sausalito, California – Black / Linen
    A city that projects "oneness" with its environment – Sausalito, California was the muse for the two-tone Linen and Black interior. Inside a peaceful Zen is represented by these color choices. Bright Chrome and Satin Chrome accents highlight the environment while Charcoal Metallic hydrographic accents with black stitching and Black Olive Ash Burl wood with bronze stitching accents provide 300 Limited and 300C models with a high level of craftsmanship
    Models: Chrysler 300 Limited and 300C

    All-new interior design elements for the new 2015 Chrysler 300 include a standard 7-inch full-color DID cluster and class-exclusive electronic rotary transmission shifter, plus Chrysler brand’s new three-spoke steering wheel with larger vehicle controls and available die-cast paddle shifters. In addition, the newest Uconnect systems have been added with the segment’s largest 8.4-inch touchscreen display.
    Class-exclusive TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission balances V-8 performance with segment-leading 31 mpg highway fuel efficiency
    Once limited to sedans costing twice as much, the new 2015 Chrysler 300 now offers the innovative TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission standard on every model.
    New to the 2015 Chrysler 300S, 300C and 300C Platinum models with 5.7-liter V-8 engine is the state-of-the-art TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. By design, this gearbox provides world-class shift quality, refinement, fuel efficiency and Sport mode. Paired with this legendary engine, these Chrysler 300 models deliver 363 horsepower, 394 lb.-ft. of torque, 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in less than 6 seconds and class-leading performance with respect to:
    Best-in-class V-8 driving range (EPA estimated 16 mpg city/25 mpg highway)
    Best-in-class V-8 horsepower (363 horsepower)
    Best-in-class V-8 torque (394 ft.-lb.)

    New 2015 Chrysler 300 rear-wheel drive (RWD) or AWD models with the 292 horsepower (300 horsepower on 300S model) 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine continue to use the TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission standard, offering class-leading fuel efficiency with respect to:
    Best-in-class V-6 highway fuel economy (31 mpg)
    Best-in-class V-6 driving range (EPA estimated 19 mpg city/31 mpg highway)
    Unsurpassed in class V-6 combined fuel economy (23 mpg)

    New Chrysler 300S model delivers more performance, athletically styled
    For 2015, the Chrysler 300S model is even more capable, athletic-styled and driver focused than ever.
    Instantly transforming the new Chrysler 300S model’s performance and personality is a revised Sport mode. By engaging Sport mode, drivers can reduce shift times from approximately 400 milliseconds to 250 milliseconds, increase engine and throttle responsiveness, adjust electronic stability control (ESC) settings and firm up the steering feel of the new standard electric power steering (EPS) system. For even greater V-6 performance, the Chrysler 300S model increases the standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine’s output to 300 horsepower and 264 lb.-ft. of torque, plus adds a unique sport-tuned dual exhaust system with a more distinctive sound. To make sure the added power and precision connects the driver to the road, the 2015 Chrysler 300S chassis features a new sport-tuned suspension with increased damping compared to the previous year.
    Outside, the new Chrysler 300S trades chrome exterior accents for unique blacked-out and body-color design details, and all-new Hyper Black finished 20-inch aluminum wheels (19-inch with AWD).
    And for drivers who want even more performance and attitude, the new 2015 Chrysler 300S can be had with a 363 horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, new eight-speed paddle-shifting transmission with Sport mode, and all-new uniquely sculpted side sills and deck-lid spoiler.
    Most technologically advanced vehicle in its class thanks to an array of easy-to-use, state-of-the-art advanced technology features
    From its updated award-winning Uconnect Access system, to the availability of Uconnect Access services with roadside assistance, theft-alarm notification, voice texting, the ability to turn the vehicle into a Wi-Fi hotspot, 3-D navigation and segment-exclusive premium BeatsAudio and Harman Kardon audio systems, the 2015 Chrysler 300 delivers a slew of high-tech features for a luxurious driving experience at a value.
    The Chrysler 300 sedan’s acclaimed Uconnect Access system leverages advanced embedded cellular technology, which enables direct, one-touch connections with emergency service providers, roadside assistance dispatchers and vehicle information specialists.
    With its available mobile phone app, Chrysler 300 owners can start their vehicle, and lock or unlock doors, while away from the vehicle. Chrysler 300 owners also can access on-demand Wi-Fi, making their car a moving hotspot.
    New for 2015 Chrysler 300, Uconnect Via Mobile lets customers enjoy their personal Internet radio accounts and stream audio content using their own mobile device data plans. It seamlessly brings four popular Internet radio apps into the Chrysler 300, including Aha by Harman, iHeartRadio, Pandora and Slacker. Like all Uconnect-brand features, it is designed to be easy to learn and easy to use.
    The available navigation system accommodates one-step voice-controlled destination entry and enhanced 3-D navigation map graphics, making it simple for drivers to recognize where they are and where they need to go.
    The Chrysler 300 also offers three premium audio systems designed to immerse passengers in the ultimate audio experience, including the segment-exclusive high-definition BeatsAudio system and premium Harman Kardon audio system with 18-speakers, 8-inch subwoofer and 900-watt amplifier.
    New 2015 Chrysler 300 offers more than 80 safety and security features; leverages state-of-the-art driver-assist features
    In addition to building on its “Top Safety Pick” credentials from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Chrysler 300 offers more than 80 safety and security features, including many that are new for 2015. New available features for the model year include Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus, which provides autonomous braking and, under certain circumstances, slows or brings the vehicle to a full stop when frontal collision appears imminent.
    Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus with Full Stop helps maintain distance from the vehicle ahead and, under certain traffic conditions, the system can bring the new 2015 Chrysler 300 to full stop without driver intervention. New Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist introduces subtle steering-wheel input to alert the driver of inadvertent lane departure and assist with corrective action.
    New for 2015, 9-1-1 call/Assist Call connects Chrysler 300 occupants directly with emergency-service providers via built-in data connection with a push of a button, a feature exclusive to Chrysler Group’s Uconnect Access service.
    The vehicle’s standard Keyless Enter ’n Go activates interior lighting and enables passive cabin entry and trunk access through the driver’s personalized key fob. The new Chrysler 300 also includes a standard ultrasonic security system with an anti-tilt feature, which sounds an alarm if the vehicle is towed or raised on a jack.
    Enthusiast-inspired rear-wheel-drive architecture with advanced technological solutions
    The chassis of the all-new 2015 Chrysler 300 is designed, engineered and fine-tuned to deliver world-class performance and efficiencies, thanks to its advanced technological solutions, which include:
    Electric power steering (EPS) New standard EPS system provides added efficiency, added driving ease in low-speed situations and when parking, and tuned for added responsiveness during spirited driving

    [*]All-new, lighter weight axles for RWD and AWD
    [*]All-new cast-aluminum axles and axle housing provide weight savings and help to reduce parasitic friction

    Sport mode (Included on 300S, 300C with V-8 and 300C Platinum models)
    Enthusiast-desired Sport mode instantly transforms the sedan’s performance and personality by:
    “S” gear selector enables sport engine and transmission calibration, more responsive accelerator pedal calibration and permanent paddle-shift mode
    “Sport” button enables sport-tuned steering calibration and temporary paddle-shift mode, in addition to sport engine and transmission calibration, and increased responsiveness of the accelerator pedal calibration. Chrysler 300S AWD and 300C Platinum AWD models benefit even more as Sport mode turns AWD “on” (if off) and enables rear-biased torque for improved dynamics
    Both “S” gear and “Sport” button provide blistering-quick gear changes, reducing shift times by 37 percent (250 milliseconds versus 400 milliseconds) and can hold the desired gear without unexpected shifts, including at the redline

    William Maley

    Mazda Makes Its Mark On the Subcompact Market

    Mazda is the latest automaker to jump on the subcompact crossover train with the introduction of the 2016 CX-3 the night before the LA Auto Show kicks off.
    The CX-3 is based on the next-generation Mazda2 and compared to the CX-5, its about a foot shorter. But park a CX-3 and CX-5 side by side and it's hard to tell difference. The CX-3 features Mazda's KODO design language which features flowing lines to highlight the wheel arches and a higher beltline, along with a trapezoidal grille with the trim extending into the headlights. Mazda designers blacked out the rear pillar to give the feeling of the roof floating.
    Inside the CX-3 is a tidy and clean space. The dash layout is very similar to the Mazda3 with a dual-screen instrument cluster iPad-like infotainment display.
    Power will come from the 2.0L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder engine. Mazda is keeping power specs close to their chest, but we're expecting 155 to 160 horsepower. For the U.S. market, Mazda will only offer the CX-3 with a six-speed automatic with the choice of front or all-wheel drive. Everywhere else will get a six-speed manual.
    The Mazda CX-3 will be heading to dealers in mid-to-late 2015.
    Source: Mazda

    Press Release is on Page 2
    The All-new 2016 Mazda CX-3 Compact Crossover SUV
    Nov 18, 20148:00pm
    Mazda debuts the 2016 Mazda CX-3 at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. The new compact crossover SUV is the fifth model in Mazda’s line-up of new-generation vehicles that feature the full range of SKYACTIV Technology and KODO—Soul of Motion design. The CX-3 offers all the essentials people look for in a vehicle; a design of overwhelming quality and style, packaging developed solely with the customer’s ease-of-use in mind, and the responsive driving feel that Mazda strives for in every model.
    In pursuing a design of beauty and sophistication, the essence of KODO—the expression of life within a vehicle—has been evolved to produce a sharper form with an enhanced sense of speed. In the interior, meticulous attention to detail regarding the materials used has created a cabin environment of impressive sophistication and quality. In terms of driving performance, the CX-3 adopts the full suite of SKYACTIV technologies, carefully crafted to match human sensibilities. This realizes driving pleasure with faithful response as well as excellent environmental and safety performance.
    The powertrain for North America is the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine, which along with Mazda’s new-generation AWD system delivers powerful and linear driving performance and outstanding environmental performance. To enhance the customer’s driving pleasure, the model also offers a wide range of Mazda’s latest technologies, including the Mazda Connect infotainment system and i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety features.
    With Mazda’s latest design and technology, the Mazda CX-3 is a vehicle to suit the customer’s creative lifestyle in any scene, from inner-city driving to enjoying the great outdoors. The model will go on sale globally, starting from Japan in spring 2015 and is expected to become a new core model in Mazda’s line-up.
    Pursuing sophisticated beauty with the latest iteration of KODO

    The CX-3 design pursues beauty and sophistication, while expressing Mazda’s KODO design language in the most stylish fashion. Its powerful and highly vital form creates a pure expression of the vehicle Mazda’s designers themselves wanted, one that is not fettered by conventional classifications of vehicle type. The design team worked to create a straight expression of beauty and radical styling for the exterior. Achieving this involved an uncompromising approach to refining the proportions that form the foundation of its beauty and painstaking efforts to eliminate every unnecessary element. For the interior as well, a concerted effort to achieve the appropriate expression to the ambience and fine textures of the materials used realizes a high-quality, sophisticated cabin environment.
    The front view of the CX-3 is designed to present a bold look that suits the model’s stylish proportions. The front grille stacks seven fins with silver-painted front edges to create an expression of concentrated energy that flows horizontally. The signature wing is stout and three-dimensional, as if machined from solid metal. It forms the starting point for a powerful sense of speed that flows across the entire body.
    The headlamp layout positions the turn signals outside the main headlamp unit to create a narrow, sharp design suggesting eyes gazing forward. The tips of the signature wing extend into the headlamps with an integrated LED illumination line. This connects seamlessly with the lighting signature that surrounds the low beams, accentuating the model’s taut expression.
    With the peak of the front fenders pushed rearward to lie beneath the base of the A-pillars, the side view of CX-3 conveys a sense of extended body size, far greater than the vehicle’s actual dimensions. Careful attention was devoted to creating the rich expression and subtle changes in each of the body surfaces for the following three sections. The front half of the body features a long nose with a flowing shape; the cabin section presents a sleek look achieved by blacking out the D-pillars; and the solid mass at the rear of the body conveys a look of strength and power.
    The license plate is located in the upper part of the rear bumper to realize a short overhang design that gives the rear a clean look and powerful sense of solidity.
    The CX-3 introduces a newly developed Ceramic Metallic body color. Its expression of a finely honed metallic surface and strong sense of hardness changes in appearance depending on the light hitting it.
    The CX-3 adopts large diameter tires that lend an appealing sense of a powerful drive and positive stance. Optional 18-inch aluminum wheels feature thick, sculpted spokes painted gunmetal gray and contrasted with the brilliant sheen of machined metal.

    The interior gives a high-quality and sophisticated feel coordinated with the exterior design. Keen attention was paid to every detail, including the cohesiveness of the spatial designs and the quality of materials used.
    The surrounding character line and relatively high beltline, along with the deeply sculpted three-dimensional form of the door trim, create a comforting sense of snugness and openness for the front seat space.
    All information displays and control systems are positioned in accordance with a driver-oriented design based on Mazda’s Heads-up Cockpit concept.
    The soft material that covers the meter hood features a stitch-like finish on its front edge, producing an atmosphere of maturity.
    Each individual part has been refined to provide the interior with a polished, high-quality feel. Examples includes the dark red accent color used on the door trim armrests and floor console kneepads, and the sharp form of the inner door handle bezels which look as if they were sculpted from solid metal.
    Fine piping carefully added where the different coordinated seat materials meet, such as the Parchment leather and off-black Lux Suede offering, produces a sophisticated environment.

    Human-centric packaging aimed at true ease of use

    In addition to applying the latest iteration of the KODO design language to realize stylish proportions, CX-3 development also secured an adequate amount of space. The aim was to achieve a package that properly represents Mazda’s vision of what a vehicle should be. As a result, the CX-3 offers ease of use that is unique to its crossover SUV packaging. It provides drivers with the clear view they need, is easy to enter and exit, and realizes a seating position with a low center of gravity that lends a reassuring sense of confidence when driving. It also adopts the advanced Mazda Connect connectivity system, which supports the customer’s active lifestyle.
    Dimensions, comfort and ease of entry/exit
    With dimensions of 168.3 in. overall length, 69.5 in. width and 61 in. height (when equipped with the shark fin antenna and unladen), the body size makes the CX-3 easy to handle, even when driving in town or parking. The long nose has a 35.8 in. front overhang (measured from center of wheel), the solid-looking rear overhang is 31.3 in., and the wheelbase is 101.2 in. This establishes flowing proportions while securing adequate space for comfortable seating.
    The front seats provide excellent shoulder room, distance between the two front seats, and legroom to comfortably seat occupants of any size.
    The seating position of the rear seats is set closer to the center of the cabin than the front seats, and the hip-point is set taller than on the front seats. The resulting layout makes it easier for rear seat occupants to see out of the front and also to enjoy conversation with people sitting diagonally opposite in the front seats.
    The hip-point for the CX-3 is optimally set for both front and rear seats. It combines with the meticulously executed side sill garnish structure and shape of the lower part of the rear doors to achieve excellent ease of cabin entry and exit for people of any size.

    Driving position
    An optimal driving position allows the driver to enjoy driving while appreciating a clear view, and to drive with a feeling of confidence.
    The CX-3 provides a wide field of vision out the front. At the same time, mounting the outer mirrors on the body panel of the doors widens the field of vision between the front window and mirror. To maximize visibility to the rear, the height of the rear part of the beltline and position of the C-pillars are carefully designed and quarter windows adopted.
    Positioning the front wheels forward and optimizing the shape of the pedals and the distance between them realizes an optimal driving position that enables the driver to sit comfortably, extend their legs and reach the pedals more naturally. A hinged organ-type accelerator pedal is used.
    Great effort went into achieving optimum positioning of each control device. Meticulous adjustment of the shift knob’s positioning on top of the floor console allows the driver to transfer their hand smoothly between it and the steering wheel, and to operate it smoothly and easily without applying excessive force. The commander control features a palmrest that promotes operating stability.
    An optimized structure for the seatbacks and seat cushions, as well as for the shape and firmness of the seats, combines with vibration-absorbing urethane foam material employed by the seat cushions and seatbacks to achieve a comfortable ride with an excellent fit and hold. The extended seatback length of the rear seats makes the seats feel roomier.

    Human-Machine Interface (HMI) and connectivity system
    Mazda’s new-generation HMI pursues safety as its top priority. The cockpit design is based on the Heads-up Cockpit concept, which aims to help drivers process large amounts of information while maintaining the correct driving position and concentrating on driving safely.
    Information the driver requires and the devices for controlling its display are optimally positioned for safety. This includes the Active Driving Display, seven-inch center display and commander control.
    Mazda Connect is an in-car infotainment system that makes it safer and easier to take advantage of functions such as internet connectivity and communications, even when on the move. It provides great convenience by providing services that require Bluetooth connectivity, such as hands-free phone operation, reception of short text messages, and internet radio including Aha by HARMAN.

    Driving Dynamics
    Dynamic performance that provides unrestricted driving enjoyment

    Mazda is in constant pursuit of driving pleasure and faithful response to the driver’s will. Having the vehicle respond exactly as expected to the driver’s actions connects directly to the pleasure of the Jinba-Ittai driving experience and cannot be achieved merely with power and speed. Based on this philosophy, the CX-3 development team focused on delivering ease of handling on city streets, reassuring confidence on the highway, and particularly on faithful response when negotiating gently curving rural roads. By fully adopting SKYACTIV Technology and tuning all the characteristics to match human senses, Mazda produced light, linear response to the driver’s actions along with the handling stability that the Jinba-Ittai experience requires. The powertrain offering for North America is Mazda’s SKYACTIV-G 2.0. Also introduced is a new-generation AWD system. Powerful dynamic performance with linear response and excellent environmental performance provides unrestricted driving enjoyment.
    Chassis and body
    The CX-3 adopts the SKYACTIV-CHASSIS, which delivers reassuring confidence and greatly enhanced levels of comfort thanks to thoroughly revised suspension and steering functions. Fine-tuning of every related component realizes natural response, ease of control and reassuring confidence, even when driving on the highway.
    The chassis employs a lightweight torsion beam rear suspension system that features highly efficient packaging and dampers in the front and rear that optimize friction characteristics to deliver linear handling characteristics and ride comfort with a feeling of high quality.
    The steering system allows light and agile handling in the city, but feels stable on winding country roads and the highway.
    The brake system enables excellent control of vehicle speed at low- to mid-speeds and offers excellent braking performance under high-speed and high G force conditions.
    The CX-3 also adopts Mazda’s SKYACTIV-BODY, which achieves high levels of performance in three seemingly contradictory areas: collision safety, weight reduction, and rigidity. Realizing an even simpler layout of Mazda’s SKYACTIV-BODY architecture, it combines effective positioning of high-tensile steel and optimized cross section shapes to produce a lightweight body that features high rigidity and a sense of positive damping characteristics.
    The usage ratio of high-tensile steel throughout the vehicle body and parts is 63 percent. The usage ratio of ultra-high-tensile steel (780MPa or higher) is 29 percent and four percent of the total is rated 1,180 MPa.

    NVH and Aerodynamic Performance
    Excellent quietness is achieved through controlling suspension resonance, tuning the shape and hardness of the engine mounts and adjusting their position, and optimally positioning sound insulating and absorbing materials.
    For the AWD model, additional measures were taken to reduce noise and vibrations and suppress their transmission through the vehicle body. These include reinforcements added to the crossmember that connects the rear frame and optimization of the shape of the beading used on the spare tire pan.
    Simulations using advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics allow aerodynamic parts to be place in the most strategic locations for optimal efficiency. This helps to achieve excellent aerodynamics that contribute to both driving performance and improved fuel economy.

    For North America, the CX-3 will use the SKYACTIV-G 2.0 gasoline engine which delivers linear, powerful driving performance and excellent real-world fuel economy.
    The CX-3 features an automatic transmission as standard equipment on all trim levels. The SKYACTIV-DRIVE six-speed automatic transmission achieves excellent fuel economy, a direct feel similar to that of a manual transmission, and smooth and powerful acceleration.
    The new-generation AWD system employing an active torque control coupling first used on the Mazda CX-5 is available to achieve excellent drivability and vehicle stability. It employs a world’s first* front wheel slip warning detection system, which employs sensor signals to accurately monitor the driver’s intentions and constantly changing driving conditions. In addition, the CX-3 uses a newly developed power take-off and rear differential that is compact and light in weight.

    *As of October 2014, according to in-house data.
    World-class safety underpins the pleasure of driving the CX-3

    Based on Mazda Proactive Safety, every effort is dedicated to minimizing the risks that can lead to an accident and maximizing the range of conditions in which the driver can drive safely and confidently. Active safety measures to help identify potential risks early on and reduce any chance of damage or injury include the adoption of Mazda’s i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety technologies. These enable the driver to enjoy every outing, whether driving on city streets, on the highway, or on winding roads. Passive safety features build on Mazda’s high-strength SKYACTIV-BODY. Dedicated effort went toward providing occupant safety, including the seatbelts and airbag system, and also toward helping protect pedestrians. The result is truly excellent safety performance, and the Mazda CX-3 is fully capable of earning high-level ratings in collision tests around the world.
    Active safety
    Adoption of Mazda’s i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety technologies, which use sensing devices such as milliwave radar, ensures the driver can enjoy safe driving in any scene, whether driving on city streets, on the highway, or on winding roads.
    Passive safety
    The CX-3 employs Mazda’s high-strength SKYACTIV-BODY, which effectively absorbs impact energy from any direction to suppress cabin deformation. This delivers collision safety performance capable of earning high-level ratings in tests performed by organizations in different regions.
    A variety of safety equipment and mechanisms are employed to protect occupants in the event of an accident. This includes an SRS airbag system, a front seat structure that firmly supports the occupant’s head, and door armrests designed to absorb impact energy.

    William Maley

    Finally! The Cadillac ATS-V Sedan and Coupe are Here!

    Cadillac's V-Series was a three model affair at the start with the CTS-V, STS-V, and XLR-V. Then it became one model affair with the next-generation CTS-V. But the CTS-V was available in a sedan, coupe, and wagon. As the third chapter begins for the Cadillac V lineup, it kicks off with the smallest model in the lineup. Introducing the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V.
    Offered in either a sedan or coupe, the Cadillac ATS-V is a mean looker. The front end gets larger grille openings feed cool air to engine, a mesh grille insert, and a carbon fiber hood with a heat extractor to keep the engine cool. Wider fenders are needed for the 18-inch wheels that wrapped in Michelln Pilot Sport that measure out to 9 inches wide in front and 9.5 inches in back. The rear end features a lip spoiler and quad exhausts.
    Needing a bit more agression? Cadillac will offer a 'Carbon Fiber' and 'Track' packages. The Carbon Fiber package gets a more aggressive front splitter, hood vent trim, rear diffuser, composite rocker extensions, and a taller, body-color rear spoiler. The track package takes elements of carbon fiber package and adds the Performance Data Recorder and a low-mass battery.
    The ATS-V's interior comes with seats with suede inserts, a unique version of the instrument cluster for the V, and Cadillac CUE infotainment system. Optional will be sixteen-way Recaro bucket seats.
    As was leaked last week, power will come from the Twin-Turbo 3.6L producing 455 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. Transmissions include a six-speed manual with rev matching or an eight-speed automatic. Both transmissions come with launch control. Cadillac says the ATS-V hits 60 MPH in 3.9 second and can hit a top speed of 185 MPH.
    Suspension-wise, the ATS-V uses the latest version of Magnetic Ride Control that are reportedly 40 percent faster than the last generation version. The chassis has been stiffen an additional 25 percent. Bringing it to a stop will be a set of Brembo brakes with six-pistons up front and four pistons in the rear. The Performance Traction Management system will keep everything in order with a choice of five different settings for a driver to choose from.
    No word on pricing, but the ATS-V sedan and coupe will be arriving at dealers next spring.
    Source: Cadillac

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Cadillac ATS-V Expands Lineup, Intensifies Passion
    First Twin Turbo V-Series delivers track-capable driving experience

    LOS ANGELES – Cadillac today introduced the 2016 ATS-V, expanding the acclaimed ATS product range and elevating the brand’s elite high-performance V-Series to its next generation.
    Available in sedan and coupe forms, the first-ever ATS-V will introduce class-leading twin-turbocharged power and a comprehensive suite of design and performance systems when production begins in spring 2015.
    Since its inception in 2004, Cadillac’s V-Series has driven remarkable power and performance capability into the brand’s growing luxury car range. Building on the strengths of the award-winning ATS product line, the V-Series adds impressive track capability to what was already the lightest and most agile-driving car in the luxury compact class. The result is a dual-purpose luxury performer – a car with true track capability right from the factory that is also a sophisticated luxury car on the road.
    “Cadillac’s V-Series is the best example of Cadillac’s emerging product substance – and the purest expression of the passion at the core of the brand,” said Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac President.
    The ATS-V arrives next spring, powered by the first-ever twin-turbocharged engine in a V-Series. Rated at an estimated 455 horsepower (339 kW) and 445 lb-ft of torque (603 Nm), the engine is the segment’s highest-output six-cylinder and enables 0-60 performance in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of more than 185 mph. It is backed by a six-speed manual – with Active Rev Match, no-lift shifting and launch control – or a paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission featuring launch control and Performance Algorithm Shift.
    The Cadillac Twin Turbo engine supports comprehensively redesigned chassis, suspension and drivetrain systems developed to make the ATS-V one of the most agile, responsive and confident luxury performance cars on the market. Key performance technologies include:
    Brembo high-performance brake system developed to provide durability, consistency and the capability for track-day performance straight from the factory
    Third-generation Magnetic Ride Control, which delivers 40 percent faster damping response
    Integrated chassis controls that provide balanced performance for touring and the track, including class-exclusive Performance Traction Management
    Structural stiffness increased by 25 percent for higher cornering loads
    Driver-selectable driving modes for touring, sport and track
    Tri-compound tires offering excellent grip with extended tire wear
    Available downforce-generating track aerodynamics package
    Functional exterior design for powertrain and drivetrain cooling, as well as aerodynamic performance
    An interior with high-performance seats and ergonomics focused on the driver’s interfaces with key features for performance driving.

    “As the smallest and lightest V-Series ever, the ATS-V forges a great connection with the driver, with exceptional nimbleness and responsiveness,” said David Leone, Cadillac Executive Chief Engineer. “It’s adaptable to the driver’s preferences, with every selectable mode developed to deliver the best performance for all types of driving scenarios, including the track.”
    A Performance Data Recorder onboard the ATS-V allows drivers to record high-definition video, with data overlays, of their driving experiences on and off the track, enabling sharing on social media.
    First twin-turbocharged V-Series
    With a more powerful iteration of Cadillac’s Twin Turbo 3.6L V-6, the ATS-V represents the first twin-turbo powertrain in the history of the V-Series lineup. Exclusive features for the ATS-V version of the Twin Turbo are designed to make power faster and sustain it longer. Highlights include:
    Turbochargers with low-inertia titanium-aluminide turbines and vacuum-actuated wastegates for more responsive torque production
    Compressors matched for peak efficiency at peak power levels, for optimal track performance
    Patent-pending low-volume charge-cooling system that optimizes packaging efficiency and maximizes boost pressure
    Lightweight titanium connecting rods that reduce inertia of the rotating assembly, complementing the quick-spooling turbochargers.

    The Cadillac Twin Turbo also features a high-performance lubrication system designed to maintain optimal oil pressure and ventilation during high-lateral driving maneuvers typically encountered on a track.
    Stronger foundation and track-honed driving experience
    The underlying ATS structure is highly mass optimized and designed to meet higher performance requirements, with enhancements to the V-Series developed to respond to cornering and torque loads that go significantly beyond the levels experienced by the non-V models.
    The new elements include:
    Unique shock tower-to-plenum brace
    Strengthened rocker bulkhead
    Stronger rear cradle-to-rocker braces
    A unique aluminum shear panel at the front of the chassis
    V-braces for the engine compartment.

    The result is 25-percent greater structural stiffness than non-V models, which contributes to more precise handling and more direct steering responsiveness.
    “The ATS-V feels like it was machined from billet steel,” said Tony Roma, chief engineer. “Along with supporting the higher performance capability of the car, the enhanced structure conveys confidence to the driver through a greater feeling of solidity and sharper, more precise responsiveness.”
    With the stronger body structure – and more than a decade of V-Series production models and the CTS-V racing program experience under their belts – engineers tuned the ATS-V to deliver greater body motion control for a more agile feel, while maintaining excellent ride quality.
    “The result is class-leading capability on the highway or track, balanced with luxury and refinement,” said Roma. “In fact, the car is ready for the track right off the showroom floor, with no special modifications required.”
    A key component of the car’s dual-purpose performance are Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires developed specifically for the ATS-V. They feature a tri-compound tread that delivers excellent grip in performance driving situations, but delivers excellent ride quality characteristics and extended tread wear.
    Also, the V-Series models share the same 109.3-inch (2,775 mm) wheelbase as other ATS coupe and sedan models, but feature wider front and rear footprints that enhance grip, reduce body motion in turns and contribute to more direct-feeling steering.
    Additional contributors to the ATS-V’s dual-mode driving experience include:
    A revised multi-link double-pivot MacPherson-strut front suspension delivers a quicker response and increased lateral control, incorporating new ride and handling links, where traditional elastomeric bushings are replaced with zero-compliance cross-axis ball joints, higher-rate springs and a stiffer stabilizer bar – for 50 percent greater roll stiffness
    The ZF Steering Systems Servotronic II variable-ratio electric power steering gear, with increased system stiffness offering an improved feeling of precision and greater driver feedback
    Cadillac’s five-link rear suspension features reduced roll center migration, stronger lateral control and effective anti-squat geometry, complementing the front suspension with greater body motion control. Contributing components include stiffer bushings, new cradle mounts, higher-rate springs and a stiffer stabilizer bar
    A standard electronic limited-slip differential supports optimal traction and enables maximum corner exit acceleration
    Larger prop shafts and greater half-shaft asymmetry (stiffer driver’s side shaft) mitigate power hop during acceleration
    A Brembo high-performance brake system provides durability, consistency and the capability for track-day performance. The system includes 14.5-inch-diameter (370 mm) front rotors with staggered six-piston calipers and 13.3-inch-diamter (339 mm) rear rotors with four-piston calipers.

    The ATS-V also features third-generation Magnetic Ride Control and Performance Traction Management. Five driver-selectable settings include the segment’s only competition-level settings for stability and traction control.
    Magnetic Ride Control “reads” the road a thousand times per second, sending data to magneto-rheological fluid-filled dampers that can independently control the damping characteristics of all four dampers. Third-generation improvements enable 40-percent faster damping response. In fact, at 60 mph, the third-generation magnetic ride control system calculates the optimal damping force for every inch of the road.
    Functional design
    Almost every exterior panel on the ATS-V is unique, from the fascias and fenders, to the hood, rear spoiler and rocker moldings – and every one was designed to support the car’s capability.
    “All of the design elements have a purpose,” said Andrew Smith, executive director, Cadillac Global Design. “They contribute to lift reduction, enhanced cooling, reduced mass or all of the above.”
    The unique elements include:
    A lightweight carbon fiber hood features an air-extracting vent that not only pulls hot air out of the engine compartment, but helps reduce lift at speed by channeling air pulled through the radiator out and over the top of car rather than allowing trapped air to exit under the car
    Unique front and rear fascias provide optimal aero performance, with larger grille openings in the front fascia to feed more air to the new twin-turbocharged engine. Even the mesh pattern of the signature grille openings is enlarged to allow more air into the radiator and multiple heat exchangers
    A front splitter enhances handling by forcing air to push down on the front of the car rather than flow under it, where it can cause lift
    Wider fenders to accommodate 18 x 9-inch front wheels and 18 x 9.5-inch rear wheels that are wrapped with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires
    The aluminum wheels, unique to the V-Series, are constructed of a low-mass forging that helps reduce un-sprung weight for greater agility and a more direct feel to steering inputs
    The rocker moldings and rear spoiler are aero-optimized.

    Available Carbon Fiber and Track packages take aero performance and mass optimization to higher levels. The Carbon Fiber package includes a more aggressive front splitter, hood vent trim and rear diffuser, along with composite rocker extensions and a taller, body-color rear spoiler. The Track package includes the components of the Carbon Fiber package, plus the Performance Data Recorder and a low-mass battery. It also deletes the standard floor mats and tire inflator kit to save weight.
    “V-Series is the emotive core of the Cadillac brand and the apex of the Art and Science design philosophy,” said Smith. “A car offering a bold sense of arrival, serious performance, seamless integration of technology, and precision craftsmanship. The exposed carbon fiber components, for example, are book-matched on the centerline for a more precise, tailored appearance.”
    Also, the lightweight forged aluminum wheels and brake calipers are offered in three finishes, allowing owners to personalize the presence of the ATS-V.
    Performance-focused cabin
    The aura of track-inspired precision carries over to the interior, where the design and relationship of key components are aimed squarely at performance-driving ergonomics.
    “With the performance the new ATS-V is capable of delivering, the interior needs to be as functional as the other vehicles systems,” said Smith. “All of the contact points – the steering wheel, seats, shifter and pedals – are designed to make performance driving experiences direct and intuitive.”
    New, available 16-way-adjustable RECARO performance front seats are the lynchpins for the driving experience, with aggressive, adjustable bolsters that help hold the driver and front passenger in place during high-load cornering. They’ve also got a luxury-performance feel, trimmed in Mulan leather with sueded microfiber inserts and seatbacks.
    The rest of the interior features Cadillac’s handcrafted cut-and-sew elements, with decorative stitching and authentic materials, including carbon fiber. Three interior color combinations are offered: Jet Black, Jet Black with Saffron accents and Light Platinum with Jet Black accents.
    The ATS-V also features a unique version of the 5.7-inch, three-window instrument panel cluster display, with V-Series graphics and distinctive gauge readouts. It is also equipped with the latest connectivity technologies from Cadillac, including:
    CUE with Bluetooth connectivity with natural voice recognition
    Text-to-voice that converts incoming text messages to speech and reads them over the audio system speakers
    USB, auxiliary and SD memory card ports
    OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.

    The Performance Data Recorder is controlled via CUE’s color touch screen and recordings can be reviewed on the screen when the vehicle is parked.
    Cadillac ATS-V coupe and sedan
    Body style / driveline:
    2-door luxury sport luxury coupe (RWD) or 4-door sport luxury sedan (RWD)
    unitized welded steel body with direct-mounted front cradle and rubber-isolated, multi-link independent rear suspension
    GM vehicle class:
    compact luxury car
    3.6L V-6 Twin-Turbocharged DI VVT
    Displacement (cu in / cc):
    217 / 3564
    Bore & stroke (in / mm):
    3.7 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6
    Block material:
    cast aluminum
    Cylinder head material:
    cast aluminum
    DOHC, four valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing
    Fuel delivery:
    direct high-pressure fuel injection
    Compression ratio:
    (hp / kW @ rpm):
    455 / 339 @ 5750 (est.)
    Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):
    445 / 603 @ 3500 (est.)
    Recommended fuel:
    Max engine speed (rpm):
    Estimated fuel economy
    (city / hwy):
    TBD Transmissions
    TREMEC TR6060
    Hydra-Matic 8L90
    fully synchronized six-speed manual with double overdrive; active rev matching and no-lift shifting features
    paddle-shift eight-speed, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive with torque converter clutch
    Gear ratios (:1):
    Final drive ratio:
    Chassis / Suspension
    rear-wheel drive
    electronic limited-slip
    Front suspension:
    MacPherson-type with dual lower ball joints and direct-acting stabilizer bar; magnetic ride control with monotube inverted struts
    Rear suspension:
    independent five-link with magnetic ride control
    Steering type:
    ZF rack-mounted electric, power-assisted and variable assist
    Steering ratio:
    15.54 (on center) to 11.1 (full lock)
    Steering turns, lock to lock:
    Turn circle (ft / m):
    38.38 / 11.7
    Chassis control:
    four-channel StabiliTrak w/ brake assist and traction control; Performance Traction Management
    Wheels and Tires
    Wheel size and type:
    18 x 9-inch front / 18 x 9.5-inch rear aluminum
    Tire size:
    front: 255/35ZR18 Michelin Pilot Super Sport
    rear: 275/35ZR18 Michelin Pilot Super Sport
    four-wheel disc; four-channel ABS/TCS w/ DRP; Brembo brakes with staggered six-piston calipers (front) and four-piston calipers (rear)
    Rotor type and thickness
    (in / mm):
    front: 14.5 x 1.34 (370 x 34) vented, with Ferritic Nitro Carburized process for corrosion resistance
    rear: 13.3 x 1.02 (339 x 26) vented, with Ferritic Nitro Carburized process for corrosion resistance
    Wheelbase (in / mm):
    109.3 / 2775
    Length (in / mm):
    184.7 / 4691 – Coupe
    184 / 4673 – Sedan
    Height (in / mm):
    54.5 / 1384 – Coupe
    55.7 / 1415 – Sedan
    Width (in / mm):
    72.5 / 1841 – Coupe
    71.3 / 1811 – Sedan
    Track (in / mm):
    front: 60.5 / 1538 – Coupe
    front: 60.5 / 1538 – Sedan
    rear: 61.4 / 1559 – Coupe
    rear: 60.4 / 1536 – Sedan
    Curb weight (lb / kg):
    Weight distribution
    (% front / rear):
    51 / 49
    Legroom (in / mm):
    front: 42.3 / 1074
    rear: 33.5 / 850
    Headroom (in / mm):
    front: 37.6 / 954
    rear: 35.1 / 891
    Shoulder room (in / mm):
    front: 54.1 / 1375
    rear: 51.1 / 1298
    Hip room (in / mm):
    front: 54.1 / 1374
    rear: 44.5 / 1131
    Seating capacity
    (front / rear):
    2 / 2 – Coupe
    2 / 3 – Sedan
    EPA passenger volume
    (cu ft / L):
    83.9 / 2377
    EPA trunk volume (cu ft / L):
    10.4 / 295
    Fuel tank (gal / L):
    16 / 60.5
    Engine oil (qt / L):
    Cooling system (qt / L):

    William Maley

    Audi and Jaguar Land Rover Makes Some Big Announcements Concerning Infotainment

    The day before the LA Auto Show kicks off, the organizers hold a Connected Car Expo where automakers, suppliers, technology companies, and others show off what tech will be heading into vehicles from the near future to way out there. The expo saw two big announcements from Audi and Jaguar Land Rover concerning what the future holds for their infotainment systems.
    First up is Audi. The German luxury automaker announced their newest infotainment system, MIB-2 (short for Modular Infotainment Platform). This new platform will allow Audi introduce new and faster processors for their vehicles, and allow owners to easily upgrade their infotainment system for improved functions. Currently the only automaker who can boast this is Tesla as they allow their owners update their vehicles when a new update comes out.
    The basis of this new system is a NVIDIA Tegra 30 system on chip, which allows the infotainment system to drive two screens (one in the instrument cluster and one in the center stack), utilize a virtual 3D platform, and provide a redesigned user interface.
    The new system will debut on the 2016 Audi A6 and A7 lineup, both making their North American debut at the LA Auto Show.
    Source: Audi
    Press Release is on Page 3

    Next is Jaguar Land Rover which announced new service for their InControl infotainment system call JustDrive. The service developed by CloudCar allows a single voice controller to control a wide variety of applications such as Spotify, Twitter, Yelp, Pandora, Stitcher, and about 12 other apps. JustDrive works by a driver plugging in their phone (iOS 8 devices only for the time being; Android support coming in 2015) into the USB port.
    Once plugged in and the application activated, drivers will be able to take advantage of what the company calls "an advanced plain speech recognition package" which should allow drivers to speak naturally to their cars, not the stilted dialogue that is prominent with the "simple syntax command."
    "Our InControl system already allows the driver to plug their smartphone into the vehicle and then safely control their apps through the vehicle's touchscreen. The apps are enhanced for in-car use, so it is like having your smartphone installed in your dashboard. Today, we are advancing our InControl system a stage further and to the forefront of the industry with the launch of justDrive. This moves the driver from the task-oriented, app-specific touch-based use of individual apps, to full control of all aggregated app content through plain natural speech or a common touch interface," said Dr. Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology for Jaguar Land Rover.
    You can take advantage of this if you have either a 2015 Jaguar F-Type or any 2015 Land Rover vehicle. The remainder of the two automaker's lineups will get in the 2016 model year.

    Jaguar Land Rover JustDrive

    Source: Jaguar Land Rover
    Press Release is on Page 4

    Audi showcases MIB-2 technology and virtual cockpit at Connected Car Expo in Los Angeles
    - New Audi MIB-2 features NVIDIA Tegra 3 processing power for improved performance, higher resolution graphics and an upgradable platform- MIB-2 debuts in the 2016 A6 and A7 model lines; Audi virtual cockpit debuts with the 2016 Audi TT
    - Audi zFAS piloted driving technology also on display at the Expo
    Audi today detailed key aspects of the advances in the electronics technology appearing in two of its newest models for 2015. At the 2014 Connected Car Expo (CCE) in Los Angeles, Audi explained how it’s MIB-2 (Modular Infotainment Platform) electronics architecture has dramatically shortened the timeline to introduce newer and more powerful processors used for infotainment and driver assistance systems.
    MIB-2 debuts in the 2016 A6 and A7 model lines, which also make their North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week.
    The new Audi MIB-2 uses the NVIDIA Tegra 30 system on chip, driven by a quad-core processor from the NVIDIA Tegra 3 series, for fast performance, higher resolution graphics and an upgradable platform. As more sophisticated technology becomes available, the highly flexible Audi MIB-2 platform will allow owners to simply upgrade their software for improved online, media, voice command, navigation and telephony functions.
    With double the processor performance and a faster graphics processing unit, it can drive two displays simultaneously, one in the center stack and one in the instrument cluster display. The T30 graphics processor empowers a virtual 3D platform and a completely redesigned user interface to allow Audi to implement and display a full three-dimensional graphical user experience in its vehicles.

    Jaguar Land Rover announces next stage of development of its InControl™ infotainment and connectivity platform
    Silicon Valley's CloudCar™ develops a consistent experience for all smartphone users through justDrive in Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles within company's proprietary InControl Apps™ system
    Using one of the most advanced voice recognition packages in the world, justDrive presents the driver with a unified, voice-enabled interface to a wide variety of popular apps and services

    (LOS ANGELES) – November 18, 2014 - Today, Jaguar Land Rover has announced the launch of justDrive, an industry-leading 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 iOS8 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. Free to download, justDrive is also available on Android from early 2015 and offers drivers continuously updated apps and services throughout their vehicle ownership.
    justDrive will join 17 other apps including Stitcher, iheartRadio and Parkopedia currently in Jaguar Land Rover's InControl Apps in-car infotainment system. The InControl™ Apps in-car infotainment system allows the driver to plug their smartphone into the vehicle and then control select apps through the vehicle's Touch-screen or voice recognition*. InControl Apps is currently available on the 15MY Jaguar F-TYPE and all 15MY Land Rover vehicles. It will be available throughout the entire Jaguar and Land Rover product lineups by Model Year 2016.
    Dr. Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said: "Our InControl system already allows the driver to plug their smartphone into the vehicle and then safely control their apps through the vehicle's touchscreen. The apps are enhanced for in-car use, so it is like having your smartphone installed in your dashboard."
    Today, we are advancing our InControl system a stage further and to the forefront of the industry with the launch of justDrive. This moves the driver from the task-oriented, app-specific touch-based use of individual apps, to full control of all aggregated app content through plain natural speech or a common touch interface."
    "CloudCar is excited to be collaborating with Jaguar Land Rover, a thought leader in bringing the connected car experience to their discerning customers", stated Luke Smithwick, Vice-President of Marketing and Business Development at CloudCar. "As the first to adopt justDrive, Jaguar Land Rover brings customers a thoughtful, connected experience that evolves with the driver and remains current throughout the vehicle's lifetime."
    justDrive uses an advanced plain speech recognition package so customers can communicate naturally with their car, rather than using simple syntax commands. justDrive's intelligence takes care of finding the best results for a user's request from among the many applications and services that it has aggregated. So instead of the driver having a separate fuel search app, they can simply ask justDrive for directions to the closest gas station.
    The driver can dictate and then send a tweet or SMS by simply saying: 'Tell George I'll be late', with justDrive reading the content of the message back to you before it is sent. You can also ask justDrive to play a particular song just by asking for it.
    "While our aim is to significantly enhance the driving experience through unprecedented levels of connectivity, we also want to reduce driver distraction*. So we have worked closely with the CloudCar team to ensure justDrive is 'right for driving'," added Dr. Epple. "Using speech as a key enabler, together with justDrive's simple and clean user interface, means we only show essential information to help create a safe, non-distracting driving environment."

    William Maley

    A 'Grand Convertible' from Bentley

    Bentley is using the LA Auto Show to gauge the reaction of their latest concept car, the Grand Convertible. If you're wondering why Grand Convertible looks like a drop-top Mulsanne, you're not that far off. The Grand Convertible is a drop-top version of Mulsanne Speed, which means its packing a 6.75L Twin-Turbo V8 producing 530 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque.
    Outside, the Grand Convertible is draped in a Sequin Blue with a "liquid metal" hood and windshield frame. The tonneau cover is done in a burl walnut veneer. The interior is covered in Beluga leather with blue cross-stitching.
    "This concept demonstrates Bentley's ability to create a pinnacle convertible Grand Tourer, while embodying elegance beyond compare. With this car we combine the opulent Mulsanne experience with the full sensory indulgence of open-air touring, continuing to unite luxury and performance in new ways," said Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley Chairman and CEO.
    Source: Bentley

    Press Release is on Page 2
    The most sophisticated and elegant convertible
    Developed to signify Bentley's intentions for the future
    The ultimate expression of the British luxury automobile
    On display at the Los Angeles Auto Show from 19th November alongside the new Mulsanne Speed sedan

    (Los Angeles, 17th November 2014) The ultimate expression of British automotive luxury is imagined with the Bentley Grand Convertible, the most sophisticated open-top car ever created by Bentley. Iconic yet understated in style and fashioned entirely by hand from the very finest materials, this unrivalled flagship of luxury represents the ultimate in powerful, sensuous roofless motoring.
    Bentley Chairman and CEO, Wolfgang Dürheimer, who unveiled the car in Los Angeles, commented: "This concept demonstrates Bentley's ability to create a pinnacle convertible Grand Tourer, while embodying elegance beyond compare. With this car we combine the opulent Mulsanne experience with the full sensory indulgence of open-air touring, continuing to unite luxury and performance in new ways.
    "We are eagerly awaiting the response of our customers to this car. We will ensure that this car - if it reaches the roads – will be a highly exclusive, extremely limited collector's piece."
    The Bentley Grand Convertible will be on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show from 19th November 2014.
    Powerful, Refined, ExquisiteResplendent in Sequin Blue, originally a bespoke colour created from a single sequin from a customer's haute couture gown, the Grand Convertible features a silver "liquid metal" finish to the bonnet and windscreen frame. Contrasting the rich blue body work is the Bentley directional wheel design, handed to the left and right sides of the car and finished by hand before being polished to a high shine.
    The wheels hint at the enormous power and torque that wait under the bonnet. With 537 PS (530 bhp / 395 kW) and 1,100 Nm (811 lb.ft) of torque from Bentley's legendary 6¾-litre twin-turbo V8 engine of the flagship Mulsanne, the Grand Convertible promises the luxury of effortless performance to match its unparalleled style.
    As cossetting as it is breath-taking, the interior of the Grand Convertible is a showcase for the abilities of Bentley's master craftsmen. 14 naturally tanned leather hides are merged together with progressive-diamond quilting, with the shape of the pattern changing over the seats and doors in a cabin sized for four adults. Bright blue is used to highlight the extraordinary skill of Bentley's trim specialists, with Sequin Blue thread cross-stitched by hand through the linen-coloured leather. The light hide is contrasted by the sleek elegance of Beluga leather around the top of the doors and extending back to the rear tonneau, framed in polished chrome.
    The tonneau itself provides the most significant example of Bentley craftsmanship at its finest. Replete with book-matched, mirror-finished and dark-stained Burr Walnut, the tonneau features the largest piece of wood veneer ever applied to a Bentley. Fashioned entirely by hand, this expanse of veneer is only paralleled by the creations of the world's best furniture makers, and is finished with elegant parallel lines of chromed steel.
    Following the Los Angeles Auto Show, in December the Grand Convertible will travel to Miami for Art Basel, the world's premier international art show for Modern and contemporary work.

    William Maley

    Volkswagen Plays With Our Hearts With the Golf R Variant

    Oh Volkswagen, why must you tease us? You have done it before with the Passat Alltrack concept and Golf GTD. Why must you try to break our hearts? Such is the case of the Golf R Variant (Wagon or Sportwagen to you or I) that will be debuting at the LA Auto Show this week.
    The Golf R Variant takes the standard Golf R and makes it a bit more practical. It still uses a turbocharged 2.0L inline-four with 296 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, paired to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. With Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system, the Golf R Variant can hit 60 MPH in 5.1 seconds. Other features that carry over for the Golf R Variant include the ESC Sport stability control system and DCC adaptive damping system. As for making it a bit more practical, the Golf R Variant boasts 21.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up, and 57.2 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down.
    So does the mean we can expect a Volkswagen Golf R Variant at our local dealership in near future. Don't hold your breath. Volkswagen isn't saying whether or not Golf R Variant will be coming to the U.S. but considering their track record of previous models (i.e. Passat Alltrack and Golf GTD), we're not betting on it.
    Source: Volkswagen

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Wagon version of the Golf R sports 300 PS, 4MOTION all-wheel-drive, and a winning combination of practicality and performance
    - Shares the same high output 2.0-liter TSI® engine as the Golf R, with 300 PS
    - Drivetrain consists of 6-speed DSG® automatic transmission and 4MOTION®
    all-wheel-drive system
    - Car has top track speed of 155 mph, accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 5.1
    - Capable of seating five, with comparable cargo space to compact SUVs
    - Car goes on sale in Europe in Spring of 2015
    Wolfsburg / Los Angeles - Volkswagen will debut one of the sportiest compact all-rounders at the Los Angeles Auto Show: the new Golf R Variant. For the first time in the history of the Golf R, this iconic all-wheel-drive compact sports car will be produced as a station wagon. The exclusive model has 221 kW / 300 PS (296 horsepower) and 280 pound-feet of torque. The power is transmitted to the pavement via a standard 6-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission and permanent 4MOTION® all-wheel-drive system. The chassis features a lowered sport suspension-0.8 inches lower than a stock Golf-the innovative progressive steering system and a stability control system, "ESC Sport", which can be deactivated for use on a racetrack. Optional highlights include the newest generation of the DCC adaptive damping system with a driving profile selector that features a Race mode.
    The Golf R Variant accelerates from a standstill to 80 km/h (50 mph) in only 3.8 seconds and to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.1 seconds. This sports car in a station wagon body is electronically limited to a top track speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). The turbocharged four-cylinder engine is very fuel efficient: in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), the sportiest Golf wagon of all time only consumes 7.0 liters/100 km (34 mpg); this equates to CO2 emissions of 163 g/km.
    The Golf R Variant is one of very few sports cars that can't fully support an owner's lifestyle: it can take a whole family and all their belongings if needed. This Volkswagen offers an impressively large trunk, even with five people on board, and has cargo capacity comparable to many compact SUVs if the rear seats are folded flat.
    The Golf R Variant is distinguished from other Golf wagon models in a number of areas. At the rear, it has a new R design bumper, a high-gloss black diffuser, four chrome exhaust tips, so-called "aero flaps" on the D-pillars, cherry-red taillights and LED license plate lighting.
    At the front, the Golf R Variant also has an R-specific bumper with particularly large air intakes, a distinctive radiator grille (with "R" logo) as well as Bi-Xenon headlights with integrated daytime running lights. The LED DRLs form a distinctive dual "U" design beneath the headlights.
    From the side, the Golf R Variant is characterized by body-color, "R" style sills, "R" logos on the front fenders and "matt chrome" door mirror caps. The 18-inch Cadiz aluminum-alloy wheels have been specially designed for the R models and are fitted with 225/40 tires; clearly discernible behind them are the black-painted brake calipers that also sport "R" logos. The car can also be ordered with optional 19-inch Cadiz and Pretoria aluminum-alloy wheels.
    The Golf R Variant is equipped with sport seats with a fabric and Alcantara® material mix. The look is finished off with decorative stitching in crystal gray and an "R" logo on the seat backrest. Other interior features include blue ambient lighting, automatic air conditioning, and the Composition Touch infotainment system. As an option, Volkswagen also offers a Nappa Carbon leather package for the Golf R Variant. Here, the outer seat surfaces, inner side support panels and head restraints are all upholstered in dark Carbon Nappa leather. Meanwhile, the middle seat panels may be ordered in either dark or light Nappa leather (anthracite or modern gray). Leather is also used to trim the "R" design three-spoke sport steering wheel that has another "R" logo integrated in the lower cross bar. All the leather elements are highlighted by decorative stitching in contrasting crystal gray.
    The rear seats have the same appearance as those in the front. With five people on board, the car has 605 liters (21.4 cubic feet) of cargo space, loaded up to the back of the rear seats. Up to the front seats and up to the roof, there is 1,620 liters (57.2 cu ft) of luggage room.
    The cargo area up to the rear seat is 1,055 mm (41.5 inches) long; up to the backs of the front seats, it's 1,831 mm (72.1 in) in length.
    The cargo floor in the luggage compartment can be varied in height or completely removed in just a few movements. Another standard feature is the cargo space cover that's designed as a roller blind and can be stored, along with the rear net partition, under the cargo floor. The 60:40 split rear bench can be released via levers in the side of the trunk; the seat backs automatically fold forward, creating a nearly level surface with the cargo floor.
    The Carbon Race design is used to decorate the instrument panel and door trims. The standard ambient lighting is also integrated in the door trim panels, while the sill kickplates are also illuminated in blue. The pedals and footrest on the driver's side are designed in a stainless steel look and the floormats have upgraded piping in a contrasting color.
    The instruments and the touchscreen's start menu were also modified. When the ignition is switched on, the illuminated light-blue tachometer and speedometer needles sweep once around the entire gauge to the end pin-in the speedometer's case, to the 320 km/h (199 mph) mark. The instrument pointers are also automatically illuminated as soon as the driver's door is opened. The infotainment system's touchscreen shows the animated "R" logo as a default.
    High-tech turbocharged engine.
    Like the 2- or 4-door hatchback versions, the new Golf R Variant is powered by an advanced four-cylinder EA888 engine. One of the most powerful four-cylinder engines on the market, it delivers 221 kW / 300 PS (296 hp) from 5,500 to 6,200 rpm, and its maximum torque of 380 Newton meters (280 lb-ft) is available over a broad speed range from 1,800 to 5,500 rpm.
    The turbocharged and direct injection engine has sophisticated features such as water-cooled exhaust gas being fed to the turbocharger through the cylinder head (to efficiently reduce full- load fuel consumption) and a dual injection system with direct and port injection. Thanks to its fully-electronic coolant control system, the TSI engine offers particularly efficient thermal management with a short warm-up phase, which reduces friction losses and fuel consumption. The engine also has variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust side, along with variable exhaust valve lift. This enables optimal control of the charge exchange process for better performance, fuel economy and low emissions.
    The Golf R has always featured permanent 4MOTION all-wheel drive and the R Variant follows that lead. The latest generation 4MOTION system is coupled to an automatic 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, which has a manual shifting option. The 4MOTION system is equipped with a Haldex®5 coupling that is activated by an electro-hydraulic oil pump. The system can shift drive torque almost instantaneously. When operating under a
    relatively low load or during coastdown, the R Variant acts like a front-wheel-drive car, with the rear wheels disengaged in order to save fuel. However, the rear axle of the Golf R can be engaged in fractions of a second whenever necessary.
    In addition to the Haldex coupling that acts as a center differential, there are four electronic differential locks (EDL) integrated in the stability control system (ESC) that act laterally. In addition, the Golf R Variant is equipped with XDS+® at the front and rear axles, which brakes the wheels on the inside of a curve during fast cornering, thus reducing understeer.
    Like the Golf R, the R Variant is equipped with the "ESC Sport" stability control system as standard. The system is activated by a two-stage switch on the center console. When the driver presses this switch briefly, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) switches to the "ESC Sport" mode. In very fast driving on a racetrack, the ESC system has a higher threshold in this mode. When the ESC button is pressed for longer than three seconds, the system is fully deactivated for high-performance track driving, a feature that is available only on the Golf R.
    The Golf R Variant has progressive variable-ratio electric power assisted rack-and-pinion steering. This is an elegant solution to a common problem with steering systems, which is that different speeds and maneuvers ideally require different steering rates. In this case, Volkswagen has spaced the teeth on the steering gear's rack more tightly towards the center. The lower steering ratio in the center means that the car responds more quickly when entering a turn, while the higher ratio at the ends of the rack reduces the amount of effort needed near full steering lock, such as when parking. The steering wheel needs just 2.1 turns from lock to lock, whereas the standard Golf needs 2.76 turns.
    Another exclusive feature on the Golf R Variant is the Driving Profile Selector, which is normally optional but is standard in conjunction with DCC adaptive damping. The feature has four programs in the Golf R Variant, and five in conjunction with DCC: "Eco", "Normal", "Individual", and a "Race" mode that has been specially designed for the Golf R. In combination with DCC, "Comfort" mode is also available.
    In "Race" mode, which is designed for high-speed track driving, damping is increased and engine response and the shift points of the DSG transmission are configured to be even sportier. In the "Individual" driving profile, the driver can combine mode settings for various individual parameters. In "Eco" mode, the engine, the air conditioning unit and other auxiliary systems are controlled for optimal fuel-efficiency. There is also a coasting function in Eco mode; when the driver releases the accelerator pedal, such as slowing down when approaching a traffic light or when descending a hill, the DSG disengages and the engine idles.

    William Maley

    Its A Convertible From Lexus.. And That's All We Know

    Lexus' showing for the LA Auto Show this week is something very appropriate for the California weather. The luxury automaker released a teaser for the LF-C2 concept. Its obvious that the concept is a convertible, but for what? Speculation ranges from a convertible version of the RC to a topless version of the LF-LC.
    Whatever the concept may be, we won't have to wait much longer. Lexus is planning to reveal the concept tomorrow.
    Source: Lexus
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Lexus LF-C2 Concept to Make its World Premiere at 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show
    TORRANCE, Calif. (Nov. 11, 2014) – On November 19, at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Lexus LF-C2 Concept will make its global debut. This exciting new open-air concept will be revealed at a press conference scheduled for 1:40 p.m. in the brand’s display located in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
    The concept will also be simultaneously revealed through a 72 hour online social media campaign that can be seen at: http://lexus-int.com/motorshow/72-hour-eclipse-reveal.html
    The press conference will also be streamed live at http://new.livestream.com/LexusInternational

    William Maley

    The GT350 Makes A Comeback

    After months of speculation, the wait is over. This morning, Ford announced the new 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang.
    Lets begin with the most important part of any Shelby, the engine. Under the hood is a 5.2L V8 with a flat-plane crankshaft producing over 500 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. What's the big deal with a flat-plane crankshaft V8 you may ask? Well a flat-plane crankshaft V8 can produce more power and rev higher than a standard V8. This is due to how the flat-plane crankshaft V8 is setup. The connecting rods of the pistons lie 180 degrees from each other, not the standard 90 degrees seen on most V8 engines.
    This power will flow to the rear-wheels via a six-speed manual and limited-slip differential.
    Under the skin, the Shelby GT350's suspension has been stiffen thanks to a wider front track, recalibrated spring rates and bushings; lowered ride height, and a optional lightweight tower-to-tower brace. The GT350 will also be the first Ford product to come with MagneRide dampers, which continually adjust to match road conditions and driver demands. A set of two-piece, cross-drilled rotors with six-piston calipers up front and four-piston calipers help bring the GT350 to a stop.
    "When we started working on this car, we wanted to build the best possible Mustang for the places we most love to drive – challenging back roads with a variety of corners and elevation changes – and the track on weekends. Every change we made to this car was driven by the functional requirements of a powerful, responsive powerplant – nimble, precise handling and massive stopping power," said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development.
    Source: Ford

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    All-new Shelby® GT350 Mustang is a thoroughbred capable of tackling the world’s most challenging roads and racetracks
    GT350 is powered by a unique, high-revving flat-plane crankshaft 5.2-liter V8 engine that will produce more than 500 horsepower – the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever
    Advanced materials, MagneRide dampers, aggressive brakes and finely tuned aerodynamics push the performance of Mustang to previously unmatched levels

    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17, 2014 – One of the most iconic performance Mustang nameplates of all time is returning, Ford confirmed today with the reveal of the all-new Shelby® GT350 Mustang.
    The original Shelby GT350 introduced in 1965 established Mustang’s performance credentials. The all-new Shelby GT350 Mustang, featuring the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever, is a world-class performance vehicle, designed to tackle the planet’s most challenging roads – an all-day track car that’s also street legal.
    The new GT350 builds on Carroll Shelby’s original idea – transforming a great every-day car into a dominant road racer – by taking advantage of a dramatically improved sixth-generation Mustang to create a truly special driving experience. Driving enthusiasts behind the wheel of a Shelby GT350 can expect to be treated to the most balanced, nimble and exhilarating production Mustang yet.
    Ford engineers took an innovative approach with GT350. Rather than develop individual systems to perform well independently, every component and shape is optimized to work in concert; balance is the key. While paying rigorous attention to detail, the team pushed the envelope with cutting-edge materials and technologies.
    “When we started working on this car, we wanted to build the best possible Mustang for the places we most love to drive – challenging back roads with a variety of corners and elevation changes – and the track on weekends,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “Every change we made to this car was driven by the functional requirements of a powerful, responsive powerplant – nimble, precise handling and massive stopping power.”
    Track-tuned driveline
    Early in development of the GT350, it was decided a high-revving, naturally aspirated V8 engine would best suit a track-focused Mustang.
    “The final product is essentially an all-new powerplant unique to GT350 – and one that takes true advantage of the new chassis dynamics of the Mustang platform,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Global Performance Vehicles.
    The new 5.2-liter engine is the first-ever production V8 from Ford with a flat-plane crankshaft, an architecture typically found only in racing applications or exotic European sports cars. Unlike a traditional V8, where the connecting rods are attached to the crankshaft at 90-degree intervals, this design evenly spaces all crank pins at 180-degree intervals.
    The 180-degree, flat-plane layout permits a cylinder firing order that alternates between cylinder banks, reducing the overlap of exhaust pressure pulses. When combined with cylinder-head and valvetrain advancements, this permits better cylinder breathing, further extending the performance envelope of the V8.
    The result is the most powerful naturally aspirated production Ford engine ever, at more than 500 horsepower, with a torque peak above 400 lb.-ft. The track capability is enhanced by the output characteristics of the engine – the 5.2-liter V8 features an exceptionally broad torque curve. Combined with its high-revving ability, the flat-plane 5.2-liter V8 gives drivers an enormous amount of performance and flexibility within each gear of the lightweight six-speed manual transmission. A standard Ford-tuned Torsen limited-slip differential optimizes cornering grip and straight-line traction.
    “Make no mistake, this is an American interpretation of a flat-plane crankshaft V8, and the 5.2-liter produces a distinctive, throaty howl from its four exhaust tips,” said Hameedi.
    Balanced dynamics
    The new Mustang platform is the strongest in the history of the brand, with torsional stiffness increased 28 percent over the previous model. That stiff structure ensures the suspension geometry remains consistent, even under hard driving on back roads and tracks. Front stiffness is further improved on GT350 with a cutting-edge injection-molded carbon fiber composite grille opening and optional lightweight tower-to-tower brace. The front track has been increased while spring rates and bushings have been recalibrated all around, with ride height reduced compared to Mustang GT.
    For optimum handling, the wheels need to respond quickly to the contours of the road and driver input. Reducing unsprung mass is key to improving that response, but a balance must be struck between taking mass out of a suspension and delivering truly capable braking performance.
    Due to the significant speeds the car can develop, GT350 features the most track-credible brake system ever offered on a Ford vehicle in terms of absolute stopping power, fade resistance and brake pedal feel. The brakes are two-piece cross-drilled iron discs mounted to aluminum hats. At the front are massive 394-millimeter rotors clamped by Brembo six-piston fixed calipers with integrated caliper bridges, while 380-millimeter rotors at the rear utilize four-piston calipers.
    GT350 makes use of extra-stiff 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels – 10.5 inches wide in front, 11.0 inches in the rear – clad in state-of-the-art Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires with GT350-specific sidewall construction, tread face and compound. The custom tires are designed to deliver maximum grip on the road or at the track.
    Ultra-quick responsiveness to changing conditions is provided by the first-ever Ford application of continuously controlled MagneRide dampers. The dampers are filled with a hydraulic fluid impregnated with iron particles; when an electric current is passed through the fluid, a near-instant adjustment of the suspension performance can be made. With wheel position sensors monitoring motion thousands of times per second combined with other vehicle data, changes can be made to each corner independently every 10 milliseconds for optimum handling performance. This is a system designed not just to make the car handle better but to instill greater confidence in even the best driver.
    Obsession to detail
    “Everything we changed on GT350 is purely functional-driven design, with the goal of improving the overall performance of the car,” said Chris Svensson, Ford design director, The Americas. “We optimized the aero shape of the car, and then fine-tuned what was left to increase downforce and cooling airflow.” All bodywork from the windshield forward is unique to this high-performance model and up to two inches lower than Mustang GT.
    The new aluminum hood has been lowered and sloped, compared to the base Mustang, tightly wrapped around the engine for the smallest possible aerodynamic signature. Front and rear aero elements have been balanced to work together on the track. The fascia has been resculpted to provide the aggressive lower front splitter with maximum pressure and a ducted belly pan delivers significant downforce. The hood outlet acts as a heat extractor while also reducing underhood lift at high speed. At the rear, much of the engineering was focused on creating an aggressive functional diffuser doing double duty to increase downforce and provide cooling air to the optional differential cooler, and a subtle lip spoiler across the trailing edge of the decklid increases downforce without adding excess drag.
    The athletic stance of the all-new Mustang is further accentuated with recontoured aluminum front fenders to accommodate the wider front track and wider wheel arches. Front fender vents work with vented inner fenders to draw out turbulent air in the wheel wells and smoothly direct it down the side of the car. The forward-angled grille is designed with individual openings to draw air through the radiator, high-pressure engine air intake, cooling ducts for the front brakes and, optional with the Track Pack, an engine oil cooler and a transmission cooler.
    Focus-driven cockpit changes
    Like everything else about GT350, the interior has been optimized for driving, beginning with the specially designed Recaro sport seats with a unique cloth. Hundreds of hours and many prototypes went into a seat that is both comfortable in daily driving and capable on the track. A flat-bottom steering wheel makes it easier for the driver to get in and out, and is more ergonomic on the racetrack. Gauges are upgraded to reflect the enormous performance capability of the car. Chrome and bright finishes have been reduced or eliminated to prevent sun glare that may distract the driver.
    The advanced technology inherent to Mustang has been deployed for duty in the Shelby GT350. An all-new integrated driver control system allows selection of five unique modes that tailor ABS, stability control, traction control, steering effort, throttle mapping, MagneRide tuning and exhaust settings, depending on driver preference, to achieve maximum performance. Drivers are invited to test them all.
    Drivers interested in comfort, convenience and entertainment upgrades may select the Tech Pack, which includes power, leather-trimmed seats; Shaker Audio; 8-inch MyFord Touch® LCD touch screen; and dual zone electronic temperature control, to name a few features.
    “We took the best Ford Mustang yet and massaged every aspect of the car that affects the performance driving experience,” said Hameedi. “We tested endlessly on the most challenging roads and tracks in the world, and we believe serious drivers will love the Shelby GT350 Mustang.”

    William Maley

    The Third-Generation Audi TT Makes Its North American Debut

    Let us go back in time to March of this year. It was at the Geneva Motor Show where Audi introduced the world to the third-generation TT Coupe and Cabriolet. Audi gave out information on what certain markets could expect with the TT, but the U.S. was left out. Well, Audi will be bringing over the 2016 TT Coupe and Cabriolet for its North America debut at the LA Auto Show next week.
    Compared to the European-Spec Audi TT, the North American TT is slightly different in power and model variations. The base TT uses a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, down 10 horsepower and 14 pound-feet to the European model. The TTS packs 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque from its turbocharged 2.0L. Compared to the European model, the North-American version is down 18 horsepower. Those hoping to row their own gears will be disappointed. The North-America TT will only come with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel drive.
    One other note: while European markets have a choice of either coupe or cabrio for the TT and TTS, North America will only get that choice for the TT. The TTS will only available in a coupe.
    Audi says the 2016 TT line will go on sale in the second half of 2015.
    Source: Audi

    Press Release is on Page 2
    An icon returns: all-new Audi TT makes its U.S. debut at LA Auto Show
    - 2016 Audi TT Roadster and TTS Coupe make U.S. debut at Los Angeles Auto Show- TT sets a new benchmark for in-vehicle technology with the virtual cockpit - a fully digital instrument cluster powered by the first automotive NVIDIA® Tegra® 30 processor integration
    - Driver-oriented interiors, sports-car performance and leading technology solidify the TT model line as an icon
    HERNDON, Va., November 13, 2014 – The quintessential design icon has become a next-generation driving machine. The 2016 Audi TT Roadster and TTS Coupe will make their U.S. debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show representing the all-new TT model line. Featuring an exciting new design characterized by the use of innovative technologies and driver-focused performance, the all-new Audi TT once again will make its stamp on Audi history.
    “The original Audi TT set a new standard for automotive design with its quintessentially clean Bauhaus lines,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. “The all-new TT combines incredible technology, performance and design that epitomizes our brand and sets a new standard all its own.”
    The Audi TT Coupe and Roadster will feature a 2.0L TFSI engine with 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The sporty Audi TTS Coupe will feature a turbo 2.0L TFSI engine with 292 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. All models feature quattro permanent all-wheel drive for exceptional dynamics, excellent traction and superb grip with the Audi drive select system standard. The Audi drive select system allows the driver to adjust the shift points, throttle response, steering and the standard magnetic ride suspension on TTS, by selecting between dynamic, auto, comfort and individual modes. The quattro system has specifically been tuned for the TT/TTS to continuously shift power to the wheels that grip and has a rear-wheel bias when the Audi drive select is in the dynamic mode. The unique quattro calibration utilizes sensors that measure wheel slippage every 10 milliseconds to adjust power. This gives the quattro system the ability to shift up to 100% of power to the rear or the front axle when needed. Audi has vigorously updated the electrohydraulic multi-plate clutch, which uses software tailored to the TT and the TTS. Its slim design, which eliminates the pressure accumulator used in the previous generation, reduces the unit’s weight by 3.3 lbs.
    The TT will be available as coupe and roadster and the TTS will be available as a coupe only. All TT models are available with a six-speed dual clutch S tronic® transmission that provides smooth, quick shifts.
    Iconic Technology
    The Audi TT revolutionizes the way the driver interacts with the vehicle through the innovative virtual cockpit. An entirely digital instrument cluster, the virtual cockpit replaces traditional gauges and interfaces for a customizable driving experience. Unveiled at the Consumer Electronic Show earlier this year, the virtual cockpit combines the functions of a central MMI monitor with a conventional instrument cluster in one unique, 12.3-inch TFT display with superb 3D graphics and brilliant clarity.
    For seamless processing speed, the quadcore Tegra 30 processor from the Tegra 3 series from NVIDIA is utilized. With a processing speed of over one gigahertz, the four-core chip can work together with a special 3D graphics program to perform more than eight billion computing operations per second. The graphics processor generates 60 frames per second, ensuring that the needles of the speedometer, rev counter and navigation are displayed with absolute precision. Google Earth™ maps appear across the entire virtual cockpit and resolve instantaneously when zooming in and out or when making menu selections.
    The all-new Audi TT will also feature the most advanced version of Audi connect®, including picture navigation, read-aloud news headlines, Facebook® and Twitter® alerts, access to more than 7,000 Web radio stations, personalized RSS news feeds and more. Audi connect is powered by 4G LTE and includes an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot for passenger devices. A newly-designed MMI system streamlines the data entry process with an MMI Touch pad and MMI Navigation Plus with Bluetooth interface and voice control for compatible devices (not available on TT Roadster). The virtual cockpit is controlled by the multifunction steering wheel or via the MMI controls in the center console which includes the MMI touch pad integrated into the MMI rotary dial.
    Iconic Design
    The third-generation Audi TT features the unmistakable profile of the iconic first-generation TT, with short overhangs, broad wheel arches and a lean a muscular stance. Standard full LED headlamps exude modern sports car appeal, with a broader and flatter Singleframe® grille, sharp contours across the hood, round exhaust tailpipes and rear spoiler. As with all Audi S models, the TTS receives additional differentiation that includes unique front splitter/diffuser, quad exhaust tips and alu optic mirrors as well as standard S model specific sport seats on the interior to mention a few. The S model design elements paired with the powerful engine and the standard magnetic ride suspension make the TTS a true performance car for everyday use. The all-new TT front end and floor assembly are made of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel components, while the superstructure comprises aluminum castings, extruded sections and panels. The luggage compartment of the coupe models has a capacity of 10.8 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks up. Folding down the split rear seats increases the cargo capacity to a highly functional 25.1 cubic feet.
    New HVAC controls eliminate the need for a conventional dash console and integrate fan speed, air vent selection and temperature directly into the center of the three central vents further underlining the clean, uncluttered design of the interior. Controls for the available heated seat controls are also integrated in the air vents further eliminating buttons and switches from the interior. An available Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 680 watts features 5.1 Surround Sound, a 14-channel amplifier and 12 loudspeakers provides a stunning sonic experience. LED accent lighting surrounding the front door mounted speakers add to the interior ambiance.
    The TT and TTS will arrive on US shores during the second half of 2015 as 2016 model year vehicles. Pricing and equipment will be announced closer to on sale date.

    William Maley

    Cadillac Unleashes A Racing ATS-V

    In the comment section of our Cadillac ATS-V preview, someone asked the question if the ATS-V would go racing. Well the answer is a resounding yes. Cadillac pulled the sheet of the new Cadillac ATS-V.R. today at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
    The ATS-V.R. is the latest track weapon that Cadillac Racing will be using the World Challenge series starting next year. Power comes from the LF4.R, the racing version of the Twin Turbo 3.6L V6 producing up 600 horsepower. The LF4.R features larger, twin BorgWarner turbochargers; larger intercoolers; direct, side-exiting exhaust; and lightweight aluminum block and heads. Other changes for the ATS-V.R. include a wicked body kit to provide improved aero, a carbon fiber front splitter, and eighteen-inch racing tires.
    “This car sounds wicked and screams like it's ripping holes in the air. I love it,” said Andy Pilgrim, Cadillac Racing driver. “We have paddle gear shifters for the first time, and I'm enjoying the new tools. The engine torque is remarkable, as always, pulling strongly out of the corners.”
    Now Cadillac has built the ATS-V.R. to meet FIA GT3 regulations which means that you could possibly see the race car running in more than 30 different GT series around the world.
    ”The V-Series is the highest expression of Cadillac’s rising product substance. Elevating and expanding the V-Series is the next logical step in Cadillac’s growth, including this new race car developed in GT3-specification, enabling us to pursue racing on a more global scale,” said Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac president.
    One more thing. Cadillac revealed in that the ATS-V will be available in coupe and sedan.
    Source: Cadillac

    Related Stories:
    Leaked: 2016 Cadillac ATS-V

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2

    For Release: Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, 1 p.m. EST
    Cadillac Introduces All-New ATS-V.R Race Car

    Up-to-600-horsepower race car meets international FIA GT3 specifications

    AUSTIN, Texas – The next generation of Cadillac’s V-Series elite, high-performance cars began today with the introduction of an all-new race car, the Cadillac ATS-V.R. Set to begin competition in 2015, Cadillac debuted the new race car at the Circuit of the Americas, one of country’s pre-eminent racing venues.
    The ATS-V.R is the racing extension of the upcoming 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe, which channels more than a decade of V-Series engineering experience into the brand’s first compact performance model. The ATS-V Coupe debuts next week, along with the ATS-V sedan, at the Los Angeles Auto Show and arrives track-capable from the factory next spring.
    The new, up-to-600-horsepower ATS-V.R meets international FIA GT3 specifications, a highly coveted pedigree that allows it to potentially run in more than 30 different GT series around the world. Other marques in this ultra-competitive racing class include Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Porsche. The FIA is the governing body for worldwide motorsport, with the GT3 class representing a specific set of specifications for racing cars based on production models.
    ”The V-Series is the highest expression of Cadillac’s rising product substance,” said Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac president. “Elevating and expanding the V-Series is the next logical step in Cadillac’s growth, including this new race car developed in GT3-specification, enabling us to pursue racing on a more global scale.”
    The heart of the ATS-V.R is the LF4.R, the racing version of the Twin Turbo 3.6L V-6 in the award-winning Cadillac CTS Vsport. Specific technical upgrades for the GT3-spec race car include larger, twin BorgWarner turbochargers; increased capacity intercoolers; competition engine management and a direct, side-exiting exhaust. The lightweight aluminum block and heads are counterbalanced by a rear transaxle unique to the race car, giving the ATS-V.R a weight distribution of 49 percent front, 51 percent rear.
    “This car sounds wicked and screams like it's ripping holes in the air. I love it,” said Andy Pilgrim, Cadillac Racing driver. “We have paddle gear shifters for the first time, and I'm enjoying the new tools. The engine torque is remarkable, as always, pulling strongly out of the corners.”
    Among the many modifications performed to meet FIA GT3 specifications, the fenders of the ATS-V.R were redesigned to contain FIA-mandated tire sizes. Other modifications include an aero kit that gives the ATS-V.R a strong stance, and a carbon fiber front splitter – complemented by corner-mounted dive planes – that provides frontal aerodynamics. A full under tray directs air beneath the car to the rear diffuser, which helps create a downforce-producing effect and plants the 18-inch racing tires to the track.
    Since its inception in 2004, Cadillac Racing has amassed 26 wins, 91 podium finishes (including wins) and 22 pole positions with the CTS-V sedan and CTS-V Coupe race cars. Cadillac is a five-time winner of the Pirelli World Challenge Manufacturer Championship, including the series’ past three seasons, as well as 2005 and 2007. Team Cadillac drivers won the Pirelli World Challenge Driver’s Championship in 2005 with Pilgrim and in 2014, 2013 and 2012 with driver Johnny O’Connell.
    “The Cadillac ATS-V.R is a 170-mph billboard for the next generation of Cadillac’s V-Series,” said O’Connell. “On top of its power, its aerodynamic package should pay off in the fast corners and I’m looking forward to unleashing it.”


    Cadillac ATS-V.R Specifications
    Cadillac ATS-V.R
    Reinforced eight-point welded roll cage; carbon fiber hood, deck-lid, front fenders, doors, rear fenders
    LF4.R 3.6L, Twin-Turbo V-6 with production aluminum block and heads, up to 600 HP@7400 RPM torque 520 ft-lb (unrestricted), developed and built by GM Powertrain
    Fuel supply
    120 liter (31.7 gallons) fuel cell
    Engine management
    Bosch MS5.1, programmable
    BorgWarner EFR Series twin-turbochargers, boost set to FIA specifications
    Carbon fiber with integral high-capacity water-to-air-intercoolers
    Side exit direct exhaust from turbos, no mufflers
    Xtrac sequential six-speed rear-mounted transaxle; steering wheel-mounted paddle shift; no lift shift; limited slip differential with 3.13 final drive
    Traction control
    Electronic, driver adjustable
    Brembo, six-pot front with 380mm rotor, four pot rear with 355mm rotor; Bosch ABS M4 controls with driver-adjustable modes
    Three-way Penske adjustable shocks, front and rear independent SLA suspension
    Reinforced production unibody with race-designed safety cage
    Close-ratio foot pedal box, accelerator, brake, clutch pedals
    ZF hydraulic power-assisted rack and pinion steering
    BBS 12” x 18” aluminum front and 13” x 18” rears
    Racing tires, front 315/680 x 18, rear 325/705 x 18, series spec
    Aero kit
    Carbon fiber five-piece aero kit including side skirts, front splitter, fascia and dive planes, rear diffuser and rear bumper cover
    Dry weight (lb/kg)
    2,900 /1,315
    Other features
    Motorola two-way radio; Pratt & Miller-developed side-impact-reducing crush box, carbon fiber custom-molded cool seat and competition driver air conditioning system; Willans six-point racing driver seat belts; dash display rearview cameras

    Drew Dowdell

    Volkswagen is bringing two high-performance concepts with a combined 897 horsepower to the Los Angeles Auto Show.

    Volkswagen is bringing two high-performance concepts with a combined 897 horsepower to the Los Angeles Auto Show.
    First up, the Volkswagen GTI Roadster Concept which packs 503 horsepower and 413 lb-ft under the hood. The transversely mounted 3.0 liter, twin-turbo V6 is capable of launching the 3,133 pound car to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. Power is fed through a 7-speed dual clutch transmission and out to all 4 wheels via Volkswagen's 4Motion system. Top speed is estimated at 192 mph.
    The GTI Roadster was originally shown in Austria last May and was designed as a 15-year anniversary car for the Sony Playstation game Vision Gran Turismo.

    A bit closer to reality, the Golf R 400 Concept take the high performance sport hatch concept to the next level. Producing 394 horsepower (400PS, hence the name) from a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, the Golf R 400's engine produces over 100 horsepower more than the production Golf R. Power is distributed via the 4Motion all-wheel drive system which also features Haldex coupling as a center differential. Top speed is electronically limited to 172mph and 0 - 62 takes just 3.9 seconds.

    What this means to you:
    If you are a Gran Turismo 6 player, you can download the GTI Roadster, which is the closest you will ever get to owning the car. We see no reason the Golf R 400 couldn't be put into production, but such limited selling model would be priced accordingly if Volkswagen decided to build it.
    GTI Roadster Press Release on Page 2
    Golf R 400 Press Release on Page 3
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    2015 Volkswagen GTI Arrives In June With A $25,215 Price Tag
    2015 Golf & GTI Album
    Source: Volkswagen

    Spectacular concept car blurs the boundaries between the virtual and real worlds

    Herndon/Los Angeles — Volkswagen will show the spectacular GTI Roadster concept car in North America for the first time at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. First seen at the Wörthersee enthusiast festival in Austria in May, this car erases the boundaries between the virtual and real worlds and further demonstrates the bandwidth of the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture that underpins the new Golf, Golf GTI, e-Golf, and Golf R models.
    The GTI Roadster is a Golf GTI show car that was originally created as a purely electronic CGI entity for the Sony PlayStation®3 classic "Gran Turismo 6" ("GT6"). The two-seat convertible is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbocharged TSI® engine that produces 503 horsepower and a mighty 413 pound-feet of torque between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm; from just 2,000 revs, 369 lb-ft of that torque is available. The power of the TSI engine is transferred to the 20-inch wheel-and-tire combination via a seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission and a 4MOTION® all-wheel-drive system. The lightweight, 3,133- pound sports car sprints from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 3.5 seconds and goes onto a top track speed of 192 mph.
    Volkswagen and Sony. The GTI Roadster is the result of cooperation between Volkswagen and Sony Computer Entertainment. Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design at Volkswagen remarks: "When Sony asked us if we would develop a Vision GTI vehicle exclusively for the game to mark the 15th anniversary of Gran Turismo we didn't hesitate for a moment." An in-house competition was immediately launched and young Volkswagen designers submitted their designs. The submissions were judged by Bischoff and none other than Kazunori Yamauchi, Director of Polyphony Digital and Vice-President of Sony Computer Entertainment—and the inventor of the "Gran Turismo series".
    Yamauchi is a GTI fan. The Japanese executive has his own stable of sports cars that includes a Golf GTI, the iconic sporty compact. Bischoff and Yamauchi finally chose two designs, which were then developed further. Designers Malte Hammerbeck and Domen Rucigaj were in charge of developing the exterior, whilst Guillermo Mignot was responsible for the interior. The entire development process was realized on the computer and even the 3D model of the vehicle was virtual.
    Together, the three colleagues formed a sort of "Vision GTI -GT6 task force", working with other designers. Just a few weeks later, their GTI Roadster was ready. Sony and Volkswagen unveiled the version for the virtual world of PlayStation®3 on 26 May and three days later, Volkswagen unveiled the real GTI Roadster at the GTI festival in Reifnitz, Austria as a tribute to fans of the Golf GTI and of "GT6". From mid-June, "GT6" players were able to download the GTI Roadster, Vision Gran Turismo for PS3.
    Most spectacular GTI ever. Since Volkswagen designers gave their imagination free rein in designing the "GTI Roadster" for the "GT6" game—and were able to overlook production constraints like price and production feasibility—the resulting car is certainly the most spectacular Golf GTI ever. Klaus Bischoff: "The Vision GT project offered a wonderful opportunity to sketch out extreme ideas and design elements of the GTI that are portrayed as vibrantly, dynamically and emotionally as possible. Further development of an unmistakable design and a love for detail reflect the high standards shared by the Volkswagen GTI and the 'Gran Turismo' by Sony PlayStation® product brands.”
    In designing the GTI Roadster, Volkswagen revolutionized the visual concept of the Design Vision GTI concept car that was presented at Wörthersee and the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2013. It was further developed, reinvented and sent into the future as a roadster, although there is still a link to the earlier car since Volkswagen used the Design Vision GTI to show how a race version of the Golf GTI might look. Like the Design Vision GTI, the Roadster keeps the principles of Volkswagen’s Design DNA and also incorporates the wild C-posts and side skirts, but expressed to a whole new level.
    Both concept cars show the potential of Volkswagen’s Design DNA, and that the GTI will be around for a long time to come. The goal of the GTI Roadster was to push the Design Vision GTI concept to even greater extremes. The 98.2-inch wheelbase of the Roadster is significantly shorter than that of the production GTI and the "Design Vision GTI". With its minimal overhangs, low, 42.9-inch height, and 74.6-inch width, the 163.7-inch-long Roadster has jaw-dropping proportions.
    Exterior design
    The design of the GTI Roadster launches the GTI far into the future. The visual image of the visionary two-seater already promises a direct, visceral driving experience. The driver sits in the monocoque and races around the tracks of the GT6 world from the height and perspective of a formula race car.
    The roadster body was aerodynamically optimized, with the most prominent visual feature being the large rear wing. This creates plenty of downforce that aids traction, along with the all-wheel-drive system. Ahead of the wing, the C-pillars—which are a defining design element of the Design Vision GTI, extending into the roof—form a roll-over bar. The rear spoiler gives the appearance of a wing hovering behind the roadster.
    The GTI Roadster sports a radiant, intensive red metallic color, a new interpretation of the classic Golf GTI "Tornado Red". Designers gave the name "Gran Turismo Red" to the new color. Malte Hammerbeck says: "We were looking for a very provocative and aggressive red. The car should look fast, even when it is standing still, and the paint should emphasize its surface contours." All bolt-on parts are designed in matte carbon as an accent that complements the high-gloss red of the body. Only the radiator grille and the screen over the engine compartment vent are finished in high-gloss black.
    The doors swivel up and forward, visually splitting a prominent character line into an upper and lower half. The contours of the doors are also very distinctive, because they are framed by the side skirts (trimmed with the "Gran Turismo" badge at the rear), the C-pillar and the heavily flared wheelarches. A small but exclusive detail on the sides is the illuminated GTI badge that is integrated in the "tornado" line. On the upper door section, the side window forms a line that rises forward with the low-profile windscreen, like a speedboat’s.
    The 20-inch Golf GTI centerlock aluminum-alloy wheels have body-color elements and are 8.5J wide at the front and 9.5J at the back, with 235/35 ZR20 front and 275/30 ZR20 tires. The brakes are suitably large to cope with the car’s performance: 15.0 inches in diameter at the front and 14.0 inches at the rear.
    Front end design: Viewed directly from the front, the roadster looks like a Golf GTI—except, one from the future. The GTI front end has a three-dimensional design with bumper elements that appear to hover and a splitter that is designed to increase downforce at the front end. Classic Golf GTI design elements such as the prominent VW badge, the red radiator cross strip, and GTI logo are offset by dual LED headlights and LED daytime running lights that have an unmistakable light signature. On the race courses of the GT6 world, this unmistakable and charismatic front-end will cause some uneasiness when competitors see it approaching in their digital rear-view mirrors. The closer the GTI approaches, the more noticeable is its wedge-shaped air scoop on the hood.
    Sculpted rear section. Viewed from the rear, the carbon blades at the front continue uninterrupted across the side skirts and into the rear section as a wrap-around element. At the rear, they serve as aerodynamically optimized air ducts. The rear diffuser is highlighted by metal slats and two low-slung rear lights. The trapezoidal dual exhaust tailpipes (with GTI badging) are positioned in the middle of the car above the diffuser. Adding to the layered look at the back are the narrow three-dimensional lights and the spoiler above it.
    Interior design
    The driver and passenger sit in a carbonfiber monocoque. The two sides are partitioned by an open bar that ascends from rear to front, with a fire extinguisher beneath it. The GTI Roadster is equipped with two race-style buckets, placed low. The seats and the four-spoke grip-style steering wheel are covered with Alcantara. Another motorsport-style feature is the cockpit display mounted directly to the steering column, far ahead of the driver. The steering wheel is mounted on a very long, exposed steering column, which is typical of a race car too. Designers located the red, illuminated rotary light switch and shift paddles to the left and right of the steering wheel's central axis, so the driver never has to move his or her hand off the wheel.
    The interior and exterior materials and colors were intentionally differentiated: the typical GTI red is used for some interior accents, such as the five-point safety belts, contrasting stitching on the seats, the door handles and the steering-wheel controls on the steering wheel, but the rest of the color selections were trimmed to "Black" and "Anthracite". Inside the GTI Roadster, most decorative elements were omitted in favor of an uncompromising motorsport ambience so that the driver can focus exclusively on both the real and virtual race track.
    About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
    Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state -of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetl e Convertible, CC, Eos, e-Golf, Golf, Golf GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 649 independent U.S. dealers.
    This press release and images of the GTI Roadster are available at media.vw.com. Follow us @VWNews
    “DSG”, “TSI”, “VW”, “Volkswagen”, “4Motion”, all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. “Alcantara” is a registered trademark of Alcantara S.P.A


    Ultimate concept version of the Golf R has 394-horsepower 2.0-liter TSI engine
    Accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds, top speed of 174 mph
    Vehicle’s design and performance inspired by VW’s motorsport experience
    Power is put to the blacktop via 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system

    Los Angeles, CA — After making its global debut at the Beijing Auto Show earlier this year, Volkswagen of America is presenting the exciting Golf R 400 concept car for the first time in North America at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Developed by R GmbH, the Golf R 400 concept shows just how far the Golf R can be taken using the experience gained from VW’s involvement in World Rallycross (WRC). The “400” in the name refers to the vehicle’s 400 PS (394 horsepower) 2.0-liter TSI® engine, which propels the car from zero to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 173 mph.
    The Golf R 400, including its all-wheel drive system, weighs just 1,420 kilograms (3,130 pounds) thanks in part to its compact high-performance engine and lightweight dual-clutch gearbox. Its weight-to-power ratio is a stellar 7.72 pounds per horsepower (3.55 kg per PS). The 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive system is one of the most fuel-efficient systems of its kind and the Golf is also exceptionally aerodynamic, even in R 400 form. The car is painted in "Silver Flake" and features a glossy black roof, carbon-look front splitter, and genuine carbon mirror caps. Inside, additional carbon accents further reiterate the Golf R 400’s sporty nature.
    R 400 Drivetrain
    The Golf R 400 is powered by a 2.0 TSI four-cylinder engine with the technical genes of VW’s WRC racing engine. Compared to the 292-hp engine in the production Golf R, the Golf R 400 develops more than 100 additional horsepower—394 hp, delivered at 7,200 rpm. The specific power output of around 200 hp per liter is on the same level as a supercar’s. The engine's maximum torque was increased to 332 pound feet, up from 280 lbft, available between 2,400 and 6,000 rpm.
    In this car, the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system is coupled with a six-speed manual transmission. The all-wheel drive system, which features a Haldex-5 coupling, is activated even before slip occurs. Under low load conditions, or during coastdown, the front wheels handle most of the propulsive power, while the rear axle is decoupled, saving on fuel. If necessary, the rear axle of the Golf R can be variably engaged in fractions of a second. This is done by means of the Haldex coupling that is activated by an electro-hydraulic oil pump.
    Along with the Haldex coupling—which acts as a center differential—the electronic differential locks (EDS) integrated in the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system act laterally. In addition, the Golf R 400 is equipped with the XDS+ system on both the front and rear axles, which brakes the inside wheels and optimizes steering response. The Golf R 400 also has an "ESC Sport" function like that of the production car, activated via a two-stage switch on the center console. When the driver presses the button briefly, the "ESC Sport" mode is selected. When engaged in spirited driving in this mode, the ESC does not intervene as frequently. If the ESC button is held down more than three seconds, “race mode” is engaged, designed for high-speed track driving.
    The production Golf R’s sport suspension, which is lowered by 0.8 inches compared with a regular Golf, did not have to be changed for the Golf R 400. In front, the two Golf Rs each have a strut-type layout with lower control arms, with a multi-link suspension at the rear. The aluminum-alloy wheels of the Golf R 400 are based on the 19-inch "Cadiz" production wheels, but they were highly modified and equipped with high-gloss black inserts which are designed as air vanes to help to cool the brake system. Like the production Golf R, the tires are sized 235/35 R19.
    Exterior design
    Volkswagen Design made wide-ranging changes to the Golf R 400. The body was widened by 0.8 inches on each side to accommodate the 19-inch wheels that are further outboard due to their larger wheel offset. In front, the designers developed an entirely new front bumper, which—harking back to the Rallye Golf G60 of 1988—is significantly flared. Similarly, the rear fenders were also flared over the wider rear wheels. In addition, the lower sides of the car are characterized by a wrap-around splitter made of carbonfiber that doubles as a motorsport-style aerodynamic element.
    Beneath the high-gloss black radiator grille with "Lemon Yellow" accents, there’s a slot that serves as an air intake to address the Golf R 400’s elevated cooling requirements. On the bumper, the central air inlets are surrounded by C-shaped wing-like elements with high-gloss black inserts. Nestled between these design elements is a protective screen whose honeycomb structure—like so many details of the Golf R 400—is reminiscent of motorsport vehicles. There is also a motorsport-style splitter at the front, with a cabonfiber look.
    At the rear, the wrap-around motorsport splitters transition into a diffuser that protrudes slightly from the body. Two exhaust tailpipes are integrated into the diffuser, recalling the Golf R32—the original R-series model that debuted in 2002. However, in the R 400, the inside of the tailpipes has a honeycomb-look that ties in to the design on the front of the car. The rear bumper has been redesigned with C-shaped carbon inlays at each end, with a reflector in the lower horizontal part of each inlay and the vertical part protruding slightly. The designers have also worked in wheelarch exhaust vents. On top, the black roof transitions into a roof spoiler with an integrated LED light bar.
    Inside the Golf R 400, the driver and front passenger have motorsport-style bucket seats with integrated head restraints, openings for seatbelts, and “R” badges embroidered on the back. The cross-quilted middle seat panels are finished in Anthracite colored Alcantara; the seat bolsters, headrests, and lower lateral supports are covered in ex clusive "carbon leather". The divided rear seats also have carbon leather outer areas, with Alcantara seating surfaces in the center.
    Carbon is used as the dominant material for accents in the doors and on the passenger's side of the dashboard—in contrast to the exterior, however, it is glossy rather than matte clearcoat. The center console accents, cockpit surround and trim around the air nozzles are designed with a glossy “Piano Black” piano. Contrasting stitching in the car’s signature yellow accent color is used also throughout the interior. There is white ambience lighting around the door accents and the stainless steel door sill plates.
    About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
    Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subs idiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers , and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, Eos, e-Golf, Golf, Golf GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 649 independent U.S. dealers.
    This press release and images of the Golf R 400 concept car are available at media.vw.com.
    Follow us @VWNews
    “TSI”, “VW”, “Volkswagen”, “4Motion”, all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. ”Haldex” is a registered trademark of Haldex Traction Systems.

    William Maley

    Chevrolet Brings Some Racing Heritage Into the Modern Age

    And for something completely different. Chevrolet is bringing a wild concept car to the LA Auto Show next week that will be a part of the Vision Gran Turismo, a program where automakers design concept cars that can be played in Sony's Gran Turismo racing game. Their entrant for Vision Gran Turismo is the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT Concept.
    For those who aren't up on their racing history or were born after the 70's, the Chaparral name is key part in American racing. Founded by Hap Sharp and Jim Hall, Chaparral produced some of the widest race cars ever to hit racing circuits. The team would be known for their achievements in aerodynamics and ground effects, along with taking home some impressive wins. What's the connection with Chevrolet? Well the Chaparral cars used the Chevy V8 engines to provide power.
    From the teaser Chevrolet has released, the Chaparral 2X VGT Concept looks to be on the extreme edge as far as concepts go. The design was done by GM Advanced Design Studio and with input from Jim Hall.
    "It will serve as an example of what our designers are capable of when they are cut loose, no holds barred, A fantasy car in every sense of the word," said Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design.
    Source: Chevrolet

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Chevrolet to Show Chaparral Vision Gran Turismo Concept
    Boundary-pushing, Chevy-powered race cars changed motorsports design
    DETROIT – When racers Jim Hall and Hap Sharp founded Chaparral Cars in 1962, few could have guessed how they would shake up the conformities of the racing world – and fundamentally change it.
    Through pioneering applications of aerodynamics and aerospace technology, and a partnership with Chevrolet Research and Development, Chaparral Cars advanced the science of racing cars. It also triumphed on the track over well-established sports car companies from around the world, using Chevrolet horsepower.
    It was that spirit of innovation that inspired the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT concept race car developed for the Vision Gran Turismo project, which celebrates the 15th anniversary of PlayStation® racing game Gran Turismo by inviting manufacturers to give fans a glimpse into the future of automotive design. It will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Nov. 19, and gamers will be able race the Chaparral 2X VGT following the release of an online update for Gran Turismo 6 during the holiday season.
    "Jim Hall and Chaparral blended the art of racing with science in an unprecedented way, changing the sport forever and inspiring a new generation to experiment with aerodynamics and unconventional materials," said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. "His race cars were four-wheeled physics projects that proved innovation – and a strong Chevy race engine – could drive you to the winner's circle."
    GM's Advanced Design Studio, with input from Jim Hall, designed the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X VGT concept.
    "It will serve as an example of what our designers are capable of when they are cut loose, no holds barred," said Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design. "A fantasy car in every sense of the word."
    The first Chaparral, a conventional, front-engine race car, was built by Dick Troutman and Tom Barnes in 1961. In 1962 Jim Hall and Hap Sharp – who had purchased one of the original Chaparral racers – formed Chaparral Cars, Inc. and immediately began the design and construction of Chaparral 2, a mid-engine car with an aerospace-inspired semi-monocoque fiberglass chassis. It was powered by a 327-cubic-inch Chevrolet small-block V-8 engine and would later incorporate an innovative torque-converter transaxle.
    In its first race at Riverside, in 1963, Hall qualified the Chaparral 2 on the pole position and set a track record in the process. In 1964, he won the United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC) and, in 1965, the Chaparral 2 scored its biggest coup on the racetrack, winning the prestigious 12-hour race at Sebring – upsetting historically dominant international teams.
    Chaparral Cars soon partnered with Chevrolet Research and Development to help develop the pioneering methods and materials Hall envisioned, including the composite monocoque chassis, lightweight-alloy powertrain systems, automatic transmissions for racing and progressive, active aerodynamics. The partnership also spawned ground-breaking vehicle data acquisition technology.
    In 1966, Chaparral introduced the radical 2E race car for SCCA's Can-Am series. With a large, high-mounted wing to produce downforce, it represented a milestone in aerodynamics applied to race cars, providing as much as 240 pounds of downforce at 100 mph. Phil Hill and Hall scored a 1-2 finish that year at Laguna Seca. A year later, the Chaparral 2F, a high-winged coupe build for World Championship Endurance competition, set the fastest lap in five of the eight races that season.
    Hall's pursuit of handling-enhancing downforce, which allowed a race car to enter and exit corners faster, while ensuring high-speed stability on the straights, reached its zenith in 1970, with the introduction of the radical Chaparral 2J. In addition to a thundering Chevrolet big-block V-8 engine, it featured a separate motor to drive a pair of fans that exhausted air beneath the car, essentially producing suction-derived downforce.
    The Chaparral 2J's unconventional, fan-driven downforce system was as effective as it was controversial. In four races it grabbed three pole positions – and then it was banned by the race series' sanctioning body.
    Hall and Chaparral continued racing throughout the 1970s, including the 1970 season of the Trans-Am Series, when Hall drove a Chaparral-prepared Camaro Z-28. The company scored a win at the 1978 Indianapolis 500, with Al Unser Sr. driving a Chaparral-prepared Lola racecar. In 1979, Chaparral built its own Indy car, the 2K, which powered Johnny Rutherford to the Indianapolis 500 win in 1980, along with the USAC and CART series championships that year.
    The Chaparral 2, 2D, 2E, 2F 2H, 2J, and 2K are displayed in the Chaparral Gallery of the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum in Midland, Texas.

    Drew Dowdell

    Acura gets ready to unveil the 2016 ILX in Los Angeles next week.

    Acura sent out a teaser shot of the refreshed and soon to be revealed 2016 Acura ILX sedan. Calling the refresh "substantially new", Acura is straddling the gap between "refreshed" and "all-new" with the ILX. While the ILX will remain on the same platform, the powertrain is new, the exterior has been more aggressively styled, and the interior has been upgraded.
    The ILX has never been the sales star Acura hoped for. In spite of tweaking the package multiple times since introduction, sales of the ILX are down over 16% year to date after moving only 20,430 units in 2013, its first full year on the market.
    Since going on the market, the ILX has gained competition from Audi A3, Mercedes CLA, and Chrysler 200, while also facing competition from the likes of the Buick Verano and Volvo S60 already on sale.
    Could a substantial refresh of the current model give the ILX sales boost it needs? Sound off below.
    Related Stories:
    Acura Makes Some Upgrades To The 2014 ILX
    Acura Tweaking The ILX To Provide Better Value
    Source: Acura

    Drew Dowdell

    The Los Angeles Auto Show starts next week, here is what we have to look forward to.

    We are gearing up for the Los Angeles Auto Show, here is a preview of some the reveals we can expect this week. I am currently en-route and posting from 35,000 feet, but I will update this post with more information as it becomes available.
    The Los Angeles Auto Show is typically where manufacturers showcase their upcoming technology and style leaders along side there normal production releases. Previous LA shows is where we first saw the production version of important vehicles like the Lincoln MKC, Chevy Colorado, and BMW i3 as well as radical concepts like the Hyundai Veloster Roll-top. This year is looking to be even better with high tech and high style both in abundance. Scroll through our gallery to check out what's on tap this year.
    First Up - Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz


    The Art and Science brand will be bringing the ATS-V Coupe, the ATS-V.R Race Car and we're expecting an updated Cadillac ELR that will showcase updated drive technology. From the pictures of the ATS-V that leaked out earlier this month, the Cadillac's newest high performance car looks like a strong contender in its segment. Cadillac announced in the release for the ATS-V.R that the ATS-V would also be available in sedan form.

    Mercedes will be showing the full-zoot model of S-Class which also brings back the Maybach moniker. No longer it's own brand name, Maybach is the designation for the top end S600. We may even hear something more about Mercedes changing some of the model names in their lineup. Mercedes has something else on the schedule as well, but we don't know what it is yet. Stay tuned for updates.
    Next Up - Volkswagen and Volvo


    Volkswagen is one of the horsepower kings at this year's LA Auto Show, bringing two concepts that pack a combined 897 horsepower. One one of the concepts has a shot at production, which VW has already hinted is a possibility. We'll let you guess which of the two that is. Also making an appearance is the Golf R Variant (Sportswagen to you and I) We'll have updates on these two concepts along with the Golf R from the show floor later this week, in the meantime you can check out the VW Concepts LA Auto Show Preview article, Golf R Variant article, and galleries.

    Volvo is taking up arms against the Audi A4 Allroad and Subaru Outback with the new Volvo V60 Cross Country. The V60 Cross Country packs a 250 horsepower turbocharged inline-five and 2.6 inches of ground clearance. We will update you with pictures from the show later this week, but in the meantime you can check out the gallery in the article for shots from Volvo.
    Next Up - Scion and Acura

    Scion is showing up with their Scion iM Concept. The iM is essentially a Toyota Auris sold in the European Market with racier body hardware and wheels. In fact, in production, the iM will likely be virtually identical in appearance to the EU model.. so we included it in the gallery of the Scion iM Concept

    Acura is bringing a refreshed version of the Acura ILX. Not quite all-new, the ILX rides on the same platform as the current model but has been heavily reworked inside and out. Under the hood resides a new powertrain. Details have not been released yet on powertrain numbers, but we will have them here as they are released.
    Next Up - Chevrolet and Ford
    Chevrolet is bringing two cars to LA, one of which is the Chaparral 2X VGT Concept under the cover in the teaser picture below. The Chaparral is part of a program where manufacturers design concept cars to be used in Sony's Gran Turismo racing game. This is part of the same program that Volkswagen participated in when designing the Volkswagen GTI Roadster Concept also being shown in LA. We're still not sure about Chevy's second reveal, but we'll update this as soon as we find out.


    The loudest news from Ford out of the LA Auto Show is undoubtedly the Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang, and with a 5.2 liter V8 under the hood producing over 500 horsepower from a fast revving flat-plane V8, who could blame them? But the more meaningful to the masses reveal will likely be the updated Ford Explorer. The Ford Explorer pictures and details haven't been released yet, but you can salve your anticipation there with the pictures of the Shelby GT350 Mustang in the meantime.
    Next Up - What Else To Look Forward To
    Here are some of the other expected manufacturer reveals that are coming:
    Mazda - We expect Mazda to show refreshed/redesigned versions of the CX-5, and Mazda6. The CX-3 will be new while the CX-5 and Mazda6 get mild updates.
    Chrysler - Expect an update to the Chrysler 300, however it will not be as big of a face lift externally as the Dodge Charger was at the 2014 New York Auto Show, you can hope for a substantially upgraded interior though.
    Porsche - GTS versions of the 911 and Cayenne. They will also show a Panamera Turbo S Executive Exclusive Series, of which only 100 will be built.
    Maserati - Will be updating both the Ghibli and Quattroporte, though no press conference is scheduled at the show.
    Honda - Honda will be showing the production version of the Honda HR-V. The pictures and press release are embargoed (We don't have them), but they're out there, so expect them to leak soon.
    BMW - M versions of the X5 and X6.
    Lexus - Lexus is showing the LF-C2 concept.
    Jaguar - Jaguar is adding AWD to the F-Type R Coupe. Visually, it is identical to the current F-Type R Coupe.
    Bentley - Bentley is showing off the Grand Convertible concept to gauge whether or not a Mulsanne drop-top could work.

    Drew Dowdell

    The Scion iM Concept previews a new hatchback that will be added to the Scion lineup in North America.

    Ahead of the LA Auto Show next week, Scion released details today of their Scion iM concept.
    The iM is a 5-door hatchback with looks that Scion says are inspired by the European racing circuit. The concept rides on 19" forged wheels surrounding 4 piston callipers with front vented disk brakes. The suspension is height adjustable.
    What this means to you:
    The Scion iM concept is based on a car sold in the European market as the Toyota Auris. Toyota swapped out the logo for a Scion badge. Expect a direct carry-over of the tamer Toyota Auris to be sold here in the US without the body-kit and wheels shown on the concept.
    The Scion iM concept will debut at the LA Auto Show on Wednesday, November 19th and we will be on hand to get you more details as they come.
    Related Stories:
    Scion Bringing Two New Models To New York
    Rumorpile: What To Expect In Scion's Lineup
    Scion iM Concept and European Toyota Auris Album:

    Scion Press Release on Page 2

    European Racing Circuit Styling and Hatchback Versatility for Scion’s Adventurous Audience
    November 12, 2014
    TORRANCE, Calif., Nov. 12, 2014 – Whether it’s exploring the mountains or playing at the beach, Los Angeles offers adventures off every freeway. Young people just need a vehicle to get them, and all their gear, to their destination in style. The new Scion iM Concept car is designed with that in mind and will debut on Wednesday, November 19 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
    The iM Concept is a five-door compact hatchback with sporty looks inspired by those seen on the European touring car racing circuit. The concept brings in captivating styling with edgy, geometric grille inserts, deep air intakes and fog lights. The custom-blended “Incrediblue” paint is complemented by matte silver and gunmetal accents.
    To create a grounded appearance ready for the road, the iM Concept has wide aerodynamics and a lower ride height. The performance inspiration carries through into the 19-inch forged alloy wheels and sporty performance tires. Vented front rotors and 4-piston calipers work with the adjustable height racing suspension to complete the racecar-influenced design.
    “The tastes of today’s younger buyers have evolved. They want a car that provides excitement and individuality, as well as the comfort, technology and reliability that Scion offers,” said Scion Vice President Doug Murtha. “The iM Concept combines sleek styling with the versatility of a modern hatchback to catch the eye of Scion customers. Stay tuned for more on how we will bring this vision to the road.”
    Scion’s press conference will be held at 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday, November 19 at Scion’s display in the South Hall. To follow Scion news at the LA Auto Show use the hashtag #iMDriven or visit http://www.scion.com/blog.
    # # #

    William Maley

    The Cadillac ATS-V Makes A Surprise Appearance

    Auto show season is upon us and that usually means that leaks are bound to happen. Case in point is Road and Track which published, and subsequently pulled an article revealing the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V. But this being the age of internet, Road and Track's info and pictures made onto to other sites (like the one you're reading).
    The car shown here is very much the same that spy photographers caught only a few weeks back. However these studio shots give us a much better look of what to expect. The front sports a mean look with black mesh grille and heat extractor on the hood. Around back is a spoiler and a set of quad exhausts. Those looking for a bit more aggression will be happy to know that a package offering different front, splitter, side skirts and rear spoiler will be on offer.
    Under the hood is TT 3.6 V6 from the CTS V-Sport. For the ATS-V, it makes 450 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual and an eight-speed automatic. The suspension has been tuned to provide 50 percent more stiffness and a set of Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires keep it on the road.
    We'll have more details when the Cadillac ATS-V is revealed at the LA Auto Show next week.

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

    William Maley

    F-Type Gains Some Claws

    Jaguar has decided that the F-Type R Coupe needed some sharper claws. So at the LA Auto Show in a couple of weeks, the British luxury automaker will reveal an all-wheel drive version of the F-Type R Coupe. That means that 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque will now be flowing to all four wheels. Performance figures stand at 3.9 seconds for the run to 60 MPH and limited top speed of 186 MPH.
    What Jaguar is keeping quiet on is whether or not the all-wheel drive system will be available on the F-Type convertible or Supercharged V6 models. We'll likely learn about that in a couple of weeks.
    Jaguar also announced a new partnership with the Bloodhound SSC World Land Speed record group which will attempt to go 1,000 MPH next year. Part of this partnership will be a F-Type R Coupe AWD being used as a radio/backup vehicle when the group goes for their attempt.
    "Our target with engineering the all-wheel drive F-TYPE was to maintain the engaging rear-drive character that's so important to Jaguar sports cars, yet offer even greater dynamic capability. The result is a controllable, exploitable and blisteringly fast performance car in all weather and road conditions," said Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director for Jaguar.
    Source: Jaguar

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    New All-Wheel-Drive Jaguar F-TYPE R Boosts Bloodhound SSC Record Bid
    - Jaguar announces major partnership with British World Land Speed Record Team
    Bloodhound SSC to make World Land Speed Record attempt in 2015 then target 1,000 MPH in 2016
    - All-wheel-drive is one of a number of performance enhancements to the Jaguar F-TYPE range - the new F-TYPE range will debut at the LA Auto Show on 19 November 2014
    - AWD Jaguar F-TYPE R carries out key communications test on the Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape, South Africa
    - View the AWD F-TYPE R Coupé in action on the Hakskeen Pan here: www.youtube.com/user/JaguarCarsLimited
    South Africa, 6 November: Today, the new all-wheel-drive Jaguar F-TYPE R Coupé ensured the Bloodhound SSC World Land Speed Record programme passed a significant high-speed testing milestone.
    The test marks the start of a major technical partnership between Jaguar and The Bloodhound Project, with the ultimate aim of raising the world land speed record above 1,000mph and to assist in inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers, which is the overall objective of the project. The current record stands at 763.035mph and was set by Andy Green in Thrust SSC in 1997. Andy will drive the Bloodhound Supersonic car.
    On the relatively soft surface of the Hakskeen Pan desert in the Northern Cape of South Africa, the stability of the AWD F-TYPE R Coupé and its dynamic ability - it will reach 60mph in just 3.9-seconds with a limited top speed of 186mph - enabled the successful completion of a vital communications test for the Bloodhound SSC team.
    Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar said:"Our target with engineering the all-wheel drive F-TYPE was to maintain the engaging rear-drive character that's so important to Jaguar sports cars, yet offer even greater dynamic capability. The result is a controllable, exploitable and blisteringly fast performance car in all weather and road conditions."
    The AWD F-TYPE R Coupé was driven flat-out by Bloodhound Project Director and former World Land Speed Record holder, Richard Noble who said: "We are absolutely delighted to announce Jaguar as a Main Partner to the Bloodhound Project. This is a very fine match - Jaguar is very strong on innovation and with its huge drive in advanced technology, education and motorsport track record, we have the perfect partner. Together we have developed outstanding inter-team synergy and this is a very special relationship. We are proud to carry the Jaguar branding on Bloodhound SSC."
    Fitted with the same radio equipment as the jet and rocket powered Bloodhound SSC, the F-TYPE was driven head-to-head at top speed with a similarly equipped jet flown at 500mph and just 50 feet above the ground. The combined closing speed of almost 700mph enabled the successful test of the system that will allow communications between the ground crew and Andy Green in Bloodhound SSC, which will run for the first time on the Hakskeen desert just twelve months from now.
    The addition of all-wheel-drive is one of a number of performance enhancements to the award-winning Jaguar F-TYPE range which will grow from six to 14 derivatives in 2015 - the full range will debut at the LA Auto Show on 19 November.
    The Jaguar Land Rover press conference will take place at 14:40 PST (22:40 GMT). Also at the press conference will be Andy Green, who will confirm the full extent of the technical collaboration between Jaguar and the Bloodhound Project.

    William Maley

    The Volvo V60 Goes Off The Beaten Path

    Following in the footsteps of the Volvo XC70 Cross Country, the Swedish automaker has revealed another wagon that isn't afraid to go off the beaten path. The 2015.5 Volvo V60 Cross Country will be debuting at 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show later this month.
    Compared to the standard V60, the V60 Cross Country features 2.6-inches more of ground clearance and a set of skid plates for the front and rear. Body modifications for the V60 Cross Country include side scuff plates, fender extensions, and exhaust outlets integrated into the rear bumper. A choice of either eighteen or nineteen-inch wheels finish off the exterior.
    Power will come from a turbocharged 2.5L inline-five producing 250 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. This will be paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
    "We are delighted to add the third true Cross Country model to our product portfolio. The successful combination of dynamic styling and rugged capability places the V60 Cross Country in a class of its own," said Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President Product Strategy and Vehicle Line Management at Volvo Cars.
    The 2015.5 V60 Cross Country goes on sale in the first quarter of 2015.
    Source: Volvo

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Volvo Cars reveals new V60 Cross Country
    All-road, all-weather capability and rugged design
    V60 sporty driving feel with added 'go-anywhere' capability
    Extends Volvo's acclaimed Cross Country product line-up
    Important product for North American growth plan

    Volvo Cars will unveil the long-awaited V60 Cross Country at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show later this month.
    "We are delighted to add the third true Cross Country model to our product portfolio. The successful combination of dynamic styling and rugged capability places the V60 Cross Country in a class of its own," said Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President Product Strategy and Vehicle Line Management at Volvo Cars.
    The Cross Country brand has a long and distinguished heritage. Volvo Cars was the first premium brand to offer increased all-road capability and styling on its wagons as far back as 1997 when it introduced the V70 Cross Country, creating a whole new type of car experience that has since captured the imagination of the motoring public.
    Reflecting Volvo's Scandinavian heritage and love of nature and adventure, the V60 Cross Country brings together the best of both worlds – a sporty, connected yet comfortable driving experience with the freedom to explore new horizons.
    Sporty capability
    "With ground clearance increased 65mm (2.6 inches) compared to the V60, the Cross Country's sturdy construction offers unparalleled control on and off the beaten track, coupled with an enhanced sporty driving experience thanks to torque vectoring technology and corner traction control. The V60 Cross Country really is a getaway car – enabling an adventurous lifestyle in pure rugged form," said Lex Kerssemakers.
    Offering new Cross Country 18" and 19" wheels, the V60 Cross Country comes with high profile tires, adding comfort and off-road aesthetics, reducing road noise and providing added wheel protection whether climbing curbs or negotiating rocky roads.
    The V60 Cross Country also comes standard with Hill Descent Control, which controls the car's speed automatically when driving down steep inclines. The Hill Descent Control function makes it possible for the driver to focus completely on driving when descending steep hills. The driver can control the speed with the brake pedal or the accelerator when Hill Descent Control is activated.
    Rugged individualist design
    Central to the Cross Country concept is the expression of go-anywhere capability and rugged design. It caters to those who have an active lifestyle, favoring the dirt road over the paved, handling either with ease. This is manifested in the V60 Cross Country through rugged design cues that enhance the adventurous nature of the car. With increased ground clearance, skid plates front and rear, side scuff plates and fender extenders, the V60 Cross Country conveys an imposing, muscular presence that underlies its capable nature, while integrated tailpipes reflect its sporty side. To complement the capable exterior styling, sports seats in black leather with distinctive brown stitching will be available from launch, while two new two-tone leather upholsteries will be offered in early 2015.
    The US and Canada will get the first V60 Cross Country cars, and they will launch with Volvo's five-cylinder 250 hp gasoline engine with All-Wheel Drive coupled to an automatic transmission delivering a highly competitive 23 mpg.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    November 21, 2013
    The 2015 Kia K900 which debuted at the LA Auto Show this week brings a number of firsts for the Korean automaker.
    Their first rear-drive vehicle
    Their first V8 powered vehicle
    Their first heads-up display
    Their first rear cross-traffic alert system
    Their first pre-collision warning system
    Their first name which sounds like part that you get for dishwasher (ok, maybe not)

    The K900 looks to be a larger Cadenza in design. The two models share elements, such as a large front grille, headlights, and even the wheels. As for size, the K900 is about the same size as the Hyundai Equus, riding on the Equus' 119.9-inch wheelbase.
    Inside, the K900 is filled to the brim with luxuries. There are leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, a 9.2-inch screen for infotainment, a set of buttons and a knob to control the system, 900-watt Lexicon stereo with 17 speakers, and back seat controls for the climate and radio.
    There are three different option packages - Premium, Technology and VIP - that add much more to K900 such as Nappa leather, heads-up display, authentic wood trim, and rear seats that provide cooling and reclining.
    The K900 comes equipped with two different engines. The base is a 3.8L V6 with 311 horsepower. Optional is a 5.0L Tau V8 with 420 horsepower. Both engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, with the V6 getting its own unique gearing.
    The K900 arrives sometime in the first quarter of 2014.
    Source: Kia
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Modern and Elegant, the K900 Signals a New Era for Kia and Advances the Brand to New Levels of Sophistication
    - Highly intuitive and advanced technology combine with superb craftsmanship and materials to boldly announce Kia's entry into the rear-drive large-sedan segment
    - New V8 flagship debuts with 420 horsepower; V6 variant produces 311 horsepower
    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20, 2013 – The highly anticipated K900 rear-drive sedan took center stage today as Kia Motors America (KMA) took the wraps off its new flagship amid a packed house of media representatives from around the world at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. The all-new 2015 K900 is poised to challenge the full-size rear-drive luxury sedan segment with an extensive list of standard equipment, world-class accommodations and stunning design that will redefine consumer perception and expectations of the Kia brand.
    "Next year will mark Kia Motors' 20th anniversary in the U.S. market, and the all-new K900 is a symbol of how far the brand has come and the next bold example of the challenger spirit that has benefitted Kia over nearly two decades of growth and maturation," said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. "Kia's rise over the last five years has been fueled by a willingness to challenge the status quo with vehicles such as the Optima, Sorento and Cadenza, which have brought new and more affluent customers to our showrooms and dramatically raised the profile of the brand while maintaining our value proposition. The K900 is the next logical progression for Kia. It demonstrates what Kia is capable of and will help redefine what the Kia brand stands for."
    Offered with a V6 or a V8 engine, the K900's list of standard equipment will feature first-class accommodations and advanced technology. The range-topping V8 equipped with the VIP Package will add additional luxury amenities including reclining outboard rear seats. The K900 Premium V6 will launch with an available Luxury Package and Technology Package. The all-new K900 is expected to go on sale during the first quarter of 2014, and pricing will be announced closer to launch.
    Elegant Exterior Design
    The first glance of the K900 is designed to leave an indelible impression. The long 119.9-inch wheelbase and wide 63.8-inch front and 64.1-inch rear track of the V8 translate to considerable road presence. In profile, the swept rake of the greenhouse, subdued cut lines along the doors and high rear deck lid lend a muscular tension to the sheet metal. The K900 V8's standard 19-inch multi-spoke chrome wheels are shod with 245/45R-19 tires up front and 275/40R-19 tires at the rear.
    Kia's signature grille resides nearly vertically in the smoothly contoured front fascia. A chrome halo surrounds the dark chrome inner elements, which hints at the power and potential behind it. Airflow-smoothing underbody panels mounted beneath the nose, engine bay and cabin help reduce drag and improve efficiency.
    Standard on the V8 are adaptive LED headlights. With 16 LED bulbs providing powerful, natural light for enhanced luminosity, the beams, which adjust to follow the bends in the road, shimmer beneath crystal clear lenses that pull back deeply into the front fenders. Soft-glow LEDs frame the multi-faceted headlights. Mounted low and at the far corners of the nose are sleek LED positioning lamps and LED fog lights. Similar use of LED technology can be found at the rear of the K900. The trapezoid taillights offer defused LEDs for the brakes and bright LEDs for the turn signals. A tasteful chrome bezel cuts high across the K900's standard powered rear deck lid, adding elegance and lending visual width. The standard power and heated rearview mirrors integrate auto dimming, LED turn signal indicators and Blind Spot Detection System (BSD) in a smooth, aerodynamic form that helps reduce wind noise. The rear bumper is accented with fully integrated dual chrome-tipped exhaust ports that mimic the shape of the taillights.
    Opulence Within
    Open the door to the all-new K900 and the same sense of elegant sophistication can be found within the luxuriously appointed cabin. The three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel is substantial and features controls for audio, cruise control, entertainment, and vehicle information. A heated wheel is available on the V6 Luxury, V6 Technology and both V8 models. High-grade leather is standard, and soft Nappa leather is available in black or white with contrasting piping. Soft-hue LED interior lighting is standard across the K900 line. Available genuine white sycamore or dark charcoal poplar-wood trim sweeps across the dash and door panels, beautifully complementing the richness of the interior. A 12-way adjustable driver's seat, including power lumbar support, is standard on both the V6 Premium and V8 Premium models, and a 16-way power adjusted driver's seat features power headrests and cushion extender for added thigh support as part of the V6 Technology Package and the V8 VIP Package. The front seats feature standard multi-stage heating and ventilation for individualized comfort in all climates.
    The K900's executive-class accommodations continue at the rear of the cabin. Standard features include multi-stage heating for the outboard seats. Accessing a panel within the center armrest, rear-seat passengers also have the ability to control the vehicle's ventilation system and may even fold the back cushion of the front passenger seat forward with the touch of a button. K900 passengers may also operate the standard power rear window sunshade, and retractable rear side window sunshades are standard across all models. A full-length panoramic roof with power retractable sunshade is standard on all V8 models. Opting for the VIP Package takes rear seat comfort to another level. Both seats offer multi-stage cooling, have the ability to recline and incorporate power lumbar support and lateral headrest adjustability.
    Sophisticated, Intuitive Technology and Safety
    Well known for providing intuitively placed controls and easily accessible technology, Kia continues this tried-and-true practice in the 2015 K900. On the V8 VIP, front and center for the driver is the largest TFT instrument panel ever offered in a Kia vehicle. At 12.3 inches, the full-color LCD screen is at once easy to read and easily configurable, featuring different themes depending on the drive mode selected. Also included with the V6 Technology Package and V8 VIP package is Kia's first Head-Up Display (HUD). The innovative full color height-adjustable display "floats" just over the leading edge of the windshield providing the driver important information such as vehicle speed, turn-by-turn navigation, and alerts including the Blind Spot Detection System (BSD) and Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) .
    First-class in-car entertainment comes standard in the form of a 900-watt Lexicon high-fidelity audio system, the most powerful and advanced system ever offered by Kia. An audiophile's dream come true, the Lexicon system features a trunk-mounted 12-channel digital amplifier, 17 speakers, including a center channel and an inverted subwoofer located in the rear parcel shelf. The inverted design helps reduce encroachment into the trunk. The speaker arrangement is custom designed for the interior of the K900 to optimize sound quality for every seat in the house. Standard infotainment features include Bluetooth® hands free accessibility, HD RadioTM , three-month complimentary Sirius/XM satellite programming along with AUX and USB ports conveniently accessed through a soft-close genuine wood-covered panel in the center console.
    The audio system, along with standard navigation and Kia's exclusive UVO eServices telematics software, are all viewed through a 9.2-inch high-definition screen that is accessed through a new standard Driver Information System (DIS) found in the center of the instrument panel. Using a simple rotary knob surrounded by intuitively placed direct-access buttons, the DIS falls naturally to the driver's right hand, allowing immediate access to the K900's wide range of advanced systems, including entertainment and voice-command navigation functions. All K900s come standard with a power-operated trunk lid. A slim credit-card style smart-key entry system that welcomes the vehicle owner by automatically extending the outside rearview mirrors and activating perimeter lighting is standard on all but the V6 Premium.
    Front and rear park-assist sensors and cameras are standard across the line for enhanced confidence and convenience. Auditory cues notify the driver as the vehicle approaches an object with the tones emanating from the speaker located closest to the object. The parking display also indicates distance to the object via green, yellow and red lines, providing a visual aid to the driver. The V8 comes standard with Kia's first Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) system, which provides an audible warning to the driver if oncoming cross traffic is detected from the rear while the K900 is in Reverse. Working in conjunction with RCTA is Blind Spot Detection (BSD), which is standard on the V8 and available in the Technology Package on the V6. Opting for the VIP Package nets the new Around View Monitor system , which utilizes four discreetly placed wide-angle mini-cameras at the front and rear and within the outside rear view mirrors. The cameras provide a crystal-clear view of anything within several feet of the K900, providing potential safety benefits as well as easier maneuvering in tight spaces.
    A Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) is standard on the V6 Technology Package and both V8 models. The camera-based LDWS monitors the K900's position and provides an audible warning to the driver when the vehicle begins to drift too close to the lane markers. First introduced on the Cadenza, the K900 is available with radar-based Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC) . Included within the V6 Technology Package, and VIP Package on the V8, ASCC adjusts vehicle speed to help maintain a set distance to the vehicle in front and even has the ability to bring the K900 to a full stop. For added convenience, the system will also automatically accelerate the vehicle once traffic allows.
    The K900 introduces Kia's first use of Advanced Vehicle Safety Management (AVSM) .
    Integrating the control of various vehicle monitoring systems, including the Electronic Stability Control (ESC), seatbelt mechanisms and multiple warning systems, the AVSM can alert the driver to danger, pre-pressurize the braking system and activate the Pre-Safe Belt (PSB) system , depending on the anticipated level of a collision risk. If a potential collision is detected, AVSM warns the driver in three stages: an audible alarm, a visual warning on both the HUD and TFT LCD cluster and a cinching of the front seatbelts.
    Flagship Performance
    A bespoke flagship should be equipped with the proper running gear and the all-new 2015 K900 lacks for nothing. The K900 introduces the first V8 engine offered in a Kia sedan. The Tau DOHC all-aluminum 32-valve five-liter engine produces 420 horsepower. The engine is designed for efficiency with Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) and dual CVVT variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust. A special tuned air intake improves airflow while a roller-type timing chain and Teflon coated crank oil seal reduce frictional losses. The fast-heating catalytic converter helps reduce emissions and is of a lightweight design. The V8 is mated to a new smooth-shifting eight-speed transmission. Shift mapping is variable depending on the driver-selectable settings of Eco, Normal and Sport, and each mode also adjusts the electric steering's sensitivity.
    The 3.8-liter Lamba V6 produces 311 horsepower, making it the most powerful V6 in the Kia lineup. A three-step Variable Intake System (VIS) is designed to provide optimum low- and mid-range torque. Similar to the V8, the Lamba V6 features GDI and CVVT technology to help improve efficiency. A variable-load oil pump maintains optimum pressure at both low and high speeds. Like its more powerful sibling, the V6 also is mated to the same eight-speed transmission; however the gear ratios are tailored to best match the engine application.
    An advanced five-link fully independent front and rear suspension soaks up road imperfections while also managing to communicate what's happening at each corner. Mounted on a sub-frame to isolate road shocks, the front suspension has coaxial coil-spring shock absorbers and a new friction bearing in the steering column to enhance straight-line stability and steering precision. At the rear, the suspension sub-frame also houses the differential, and the coil springs and shock absorbers are separate units, allowing for negative camber for improved cornering ability.
    The rear-drive layout of the K900 encourages spirited driving, and the solid chassis, comprised of 75 percent high and ultra-high tensile strength steel, utilizes advanced manufacturing methods that result in a body shell with exceptional strength and torsional rigidity. The K900 V8 includes as standard equipment staggered 19-inch chrome alloy wheels while the V6 rides on 18-inch alloy wheels shod with P245/50R-18 tires. NVH is kept to a minimum with standard laminated side window glass and generous use of sound reducing materials.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    November 21, 2013
    Alongside the new GT-R NISMO, Nissan's performance arm had a couple more surprises up its sleeve at LA Auto Show.
    First up was a more powerful Juke NISMO called the NISMO RS. The Juke NISMO RS takes the standard Juke's turbocharged and direct-injected 1.6L four-cylinder and boosts it to produce 215 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque (211 horsepower and 184 pound-feet when equipped with all-wheel drive and the CVT). This is due to a remapped ECU, stronger connecting rods, and a new exhaust.
    Transmissions include a six-speed manual with a stronger clutch cover and dual-mass flywheel, or Nissan's Xtronic continuously variable transmission. The manual can only be equipped with front-wheel drive, while the Xtronic CVT can be either be equipped with front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
    As for the exterior, the Juke NISMO RS is the same as the Juke NISMO with a more aggressive front end, blacked-out alloy wheels, and a red accent line. Inside, the Juke NISMO RS packs a set of Recaro bucket seats wrapped in red leather and black suede.
    The Juke NISMO RS comes to dealers early next year.
    Second up is Sentra NISMO concept. Taking a plain jane Sentra, NISMO was able to create something very distinctive. On the exterior, NISMO fitted a new grille, front and rear bumper, oversized fender flares, large exhaust tips, and nineteen-inch Rays wheels. Inside is a NISMO-style steering wheel wrapped in leather and Alcantara, and satin carbon fiber trim.

    Under the hood is an 1.8L directed-injected and turbocharged engine that makes more than 240 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission gets this power down to the front wheels.
    Other mechanical changes include a sports-tuned suspension and Brembo brakes.
    Nissan isn't saying whether or not the Sentra NISMO will go into production or not, but executives are hinting that it could become a reality.
    "The NISMO name is not to be taken lightly. Neither are vehicles that wear the NISMO badge," said Pierre Loing, Nissan's vice president of product planning in a statement.
    Source: Nissan

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Releases are on Page 2

    New JUKE NISMO RS, the third model in 2014 JUKE lineup, combines sporty design with enhanced performance
    Features best-in-class* 215 horsepower, 210 lb-ft of torque and Helical Limited-Slip Differential (manual transmission), along with additional structural rigidity and larger brakes (versus non-NISMO RS models)
    Special NISMO RS interior treatment includes genuine Recaro front seats, carbon fiber-look finishers, special red-and-black color theme with, suede, Alcantara® and leather appointments
    Set for early 2014 availability at Nissan dealers nationwide
    LOS ANGELES - To understand the difference between the Nissan JUKE sports crossover, the recently introduced JUKE NISMO and the new JUKE NISMO RS – which makes its North American debut today at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show – the one word is all that's needed: More.
    "The concept behind the development of the new JUKE NISMO RS is giving the customers exactly what they have been asking for – more power, handling and exclusive equipment like Recaro seats and Alcantara®-wrapped steering wheel," said Pierre Loing, Vice President, Product and Advanced Planning and Strategy, Nissan North America, Inc. "And the best part is, it does it in a very balanced way, delivering up to 215 horsepower in combination with unique body and suspension upgrades."
    The idea of creating vehicles that can be driven everyday to work, but that you want to drive them the long, winding way home, is central to the NISMO design philosophy. As Nissan's performance group, with its vision and name derived from NISsan MOtorsports, NISMO is applying its near-50 years of engineering experience and expertise to an expanding range of affordable production vehicles. Like the 370Z NISMO and JUKE NISMO before it, the new JUKE NISMO RS ups the excitement level for the driver while still remaining attainable for the average consumer.
    "JUKE buyers now have six distinct ways to experience 'Innovation and excitement for all' – the premium level of features and equipment offered by the JUKE S, SV and SL models, the sporty appearance and upgraded power of the JUKE NISMO, and the race car-inspired design and fun-to-drive performance of the new JUKE NISMO RS," added Loing.
    Unique Engine, Suspension, Steering and Brake Tuning
    With the addition of the NISMO RS, JUKE buyers now have three distinct levels of drivetrain tuning to choose from to fit their driving style and needs. Every JUKE model starts with one of the most advanced engines in the Nissan portfolio – an inline 4-cylinder 1.6-liter DOHC aluminum-alloy Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) turbocharged engine.
    The engine's direct injection helps improve combustion, enhancing power, torque, economy and emissions. The use of the turbocharger and intercooler also help boost power, while the variable timing control for both intake and exhaust cycles improves low-end engine response. For use in the JUKE S, SV and SL grades, the engine is rated at 188-horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque.
    The JUKE NISMO increases the engine's performance to 197 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Also added to the JUKE NISMO are a NISMO-tuned suspension and 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
    As "king" of the JUKE line, the new NISMO RS ups JUKE's bragging rights to a best-in-class* 215 horsepower (at 6,000 rpm) and 210 lb-ft of torque (at 3,600 – 4,800 rpm) for the 6-speed manual transmission-equipped front-wheel drive model. The JUKE NISMO RS All-Wheel Drive with Xtronic CVT® is rated at 211 horsepower (at 6,000 rpm) and 184 lb-ft of torque (at 2,400 – 6,000 rpm).
    Changes to the engine to create the higher power and torque figures include optimized engine control (ECU) settings and a revised exhaust system with a larger main tube diameter and revised baffling. "The JUKE NISMO RS's exhaust has been tuned to create a highly visceral sound worthy of its racing-inspired roots," said Loing.
    The engine's connecting rod durability has also been enhanced for use with higher torque settings with the manual transmission, along with a strengthened clutch cover and dual mass flywheel. The new, high capacity 6-speed manual used in the JUKE NISMO RS is a different transmission than available in the other JUKE NISMO models and uses lower gear ratios in 1st through 3rd gears for quicker acceleration. Manual transmission-equipped models also offer a standard helical-geared Limited-Slip Differential (LSD).
    "We expect drivers to feel a noticeable increase in acceleration – especially the manual transmission model – in the RS versus the regular JUKE NISMO. It also holds peak torque longer. Combined with the Helical Limited-Slip Differential, which helps reduce torque steer, the sense of driving excitement is unmatched in the JUKE lineup," said Loing.
    All-Wheel Drive JUKE NISMO RS models also offer improved acceleration and a sportier driving feel. With its all-new steering column-mounted paddle shifters, NISMO RS AWD's CVT utilizes technology found only in the Nissan Maxima sports sedan for an available manual feel. The CVT's manual mode offers eight step "gearing" versus the JUKE NISMO CVT's seven and base JUKE CVT's six steps.
    In addition, the advanced torque vectoring AWD system has been specially tuned for the NISMO RS's increased active cornering, providing better line control through corners. The system – standard in all 2014 JUKE AWD models – is designed to limit understeer by increasing torque to the outside rear wheel, helping the car follow its intended course, while enhancing agility, giving the JUKE NISMO exceptional ride comfort and handling in spite of its higher ground clearance when compared to compact cars. Torque can be split up to a maximum of 50:50 front to rear, as well as shifted from side-to-side across the rear axle, up to 50 percent per wheel.
    Information collected by various sources (measuring wheel speed, steering angle, yaw rate and lateral G-force) is interpreted to anticipate the driver's intention. System actions are relayed to the driver via a real-time graphic display on the instrument panel depicting the torque distribution under all conditions.
    A significant bolster to JUKE NISMO RS's engaging driving dynamics is a series of special body and chassis reinforcements designed to help increase overall rigidity. "The additional reinforcements and fixing points, used primarily for the higher torque front-wheel drive model, contribute to the increased steering precision and quicker response of the NISMO RS versus the JUKE NISMO," said Loing.
    In addition, the suspension and steering have been specially tuned to provide a more exciting and agile driving feel (versus non-RS models) without compromising ride comfort and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Spring rates and damping force have been reset and the front suspension link reinforced to enhance steering feel and response.
    Like the JUKE NISMO, the NISMO RS's suspension has been lowered slightly versus non-NISMO JUKE models, reducing the gap between the tires and wheelwells for a cleaner appearance and improved aerodynamics. An independent MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension are utilized on FWD models, while JUKE NISMO and NISMO RS AWD models offer a multi-link rear suspension design. A cradle-type front subframe enhances lateral stiffness of the assembly. Front and rear stabilizer bars are standard on all models.
    The Electric Power-assist Steering (EPS) has also been retuned for use in the NISMO RS. The JUKE NISMO RS braking system includes 4-wheel vented discs, larger brake rotors in front (12.6 inches versus 11.7 inches), vented rotors in the rear (versus non-vented in non-RS models), red-painted calipers and upgraded brake pads.
    "The JUKE NISMO RS has all of the actual hardware to go with the increased power, just as you'd expect from NISMO – which through its decades of motorsports experience understands that 'fast' alone is not enough, a car must be 'balanced" to provide real performance," summed up Loing.
    Racing-Inspired Exterior and Interior
    The new JUKE NISMO RS shares much of its racing-inspired exterior modifications with the JUKE NISMO. Compared to the standard JUKE, JUKE NISMO and NISMO RS show a 37-percent improvement in aerodynamic performance – thanks to items such as the front fascia and grille, which have been modified to better control airflow to the engine. The unique front end features a lower and more aggressive design. The regular fog lights have been replaced by thin-strip LED accent lights, positioned at the top edge of small vents to the side of the larger grille.
    A NISMO-themed "red stripe" accent line starts on the upper edge of the large lower grille and curves around the smaller vents and continues all the way to the front wheel arches. This distinctive NISMO cue gives the nose a visual width and presence while emphasizing the Juke NISMO's athletic stance on the road. The signature Nissan V-strut grille is finished in a darker shade than standard JUKE models. The distinctive JUKE combination lights are smoked as part of the NISMO appearance treatment.
    Subtle NISMO RS badges with a red "O" are located on the front grille and to the right of the rear liftgate. The red pinstripe continues on the flanks of the car at the base of the doors. The sculpted side skirts enhance aerodynamic performance, directing airflow around the rear wheels and away from the car as quickly and efficiently as possible.
    To increase the JUKE NISMO and NISMO RS's visual stance, the wheel arches are more muscular and are body colored. The door mirrors are painted red to give a visual indication that these are not standard Nissan JUKEs. The B-pillars are finished in gloss "piano black," also promoting a sleek and sporty image.
    In the rear, the bumper is deeper than on non-NISMO models and the red pinstripe is also visible on the black sill. The unique body-colored liftgate spoiler and rear fascia diffuser complete the body modifications.
    Also part of the dramatic exterior appearance are the unique 18-inch lightweight aluminum-alloy wheels with 225/45R18 Continental ContiSportContact5 summer tires, which help give drivers additional grip during cornering and further boost the JUKE NISMO and NISMO RS's on-road presence. The diamond-cut alloys feature a 10 twin-spoke design and are finished in dark anthracite. The 2014 Nissan JUKE NISMO RS is available in three exterior colors – Sapphire Black, Brilliant Silver and Pearl White.
    Inside, JUKE NISMO RS's biggest departure from the JUKE NISMO is the addition of genuine Recaro front seats trimmed in red leather-appointed side bolsters and black suede center inserts. The seats, based on the popular Recaro "Sportster" design, are designed to hold the driver and front passenger firmly in place during spirited driving. They feature embossed Recaro and NISMO logos, along with red stitching.
    The JUKE NISMO RS also offers an Alcantara®–trimmed steering wheel and exclusive "RS" logo on the speedometer and charcoal grey suede (with red stitching) meter hood. The surface trim around the center stack and shifter features a special carbon fiber look.
    Similar to the JUKE NISMO, the rear seats also feature red stitching. Like the JUKE NISMO, other standard content includes privacy glass, Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Start and the I-CON (Integrated Control) system with automatic air conditioning.
    Just one option package is available with the JUKE NISMO RS, the Navigation Package with NissanConnect™ with Navigation system with 5.8-inch touch-screen, 3D-effect map views, Voice Recognition and NavTraffic capability (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately); NissanConnect™ Apps; Rockford Fosgate ecoPUNCH™ audio system; USB interface (iPod® compatible); and RearView Monitor.
    The Real Deal
    Said Loing: "The new JUKE NISMO RS is the real deal. It starts with racing-inspired aerodynamics, and high-quality attention to detail. It adds a race-style driver-machine interface with racing-style seats, gauges, shifter and steering wheel. Then it caps it all off with enhanced power and traction, agile handling and improved exhaust system. It's the JUKE enthusiasts have been asking for."
    For full information on the 2014 Nissan JUKE and JUKE NISMO, please visit NissanNews.com. Additional information on the 2014 JUKE NISMO RS, including full specifications, will be available at a later date.

    Nissan Sentra NISMO Concept Teases Further Expansion of Performance Line
    – 240+ Horsepower Performance Study Makes World Debut at L.A. Auto Show –
    LOS ANGELES - As Nissan expands its NISMO line of factory performance models, it is revisiting the small car performance genre and teasing the future with the Los Angeles Auto Show world debut of the Nissan Sentra NISMO Concept.
    The Sentra NISMO Concept is built on the solid foundation of the latest generation Nissan Sentra, which offers an outstanding balance of premium style, innovative technology and fuel-efficient performance. The concept injects performance and design tuner elements into the mix. Among the Sentra NISMO Concept's many departures from a production 2014 Sentra are its race-inspired exterior with enhanced aerodynamic performance, NISMO-tuned suspension, steering and transmission and engaging motorsports-style cockpit. And under the hood, the concept adapts a 1.8-liter direct injection turbocharged engine producing more than 240 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
    "Fans have asked that we bring back a high-performance Sentra straight from the factory, just like in generations past," said Nissan Vice President of Product Planning, Pierre Loing. "With NISMO, our in-house motorsports arm already producing versions of the 370Z NISMO, JUKE NISMO, JUKE NISMO RS and upcoming GT-R NISMO, we wanted to demonstrate where we could go in the future."
    A Powerful Presence
    The look of the Sentra NISMO Concept, like previous Nissan performance sedans, is somewhat understated – more sophisticated and confident than "in-your-face" boy racer. Exterior modifications, designed to enhance Sentra's already good aerodynamics, start with a deep front fascia with lower LED lights and wide lower grille that match the stock Sentra's standard LED daytime running rights and upper grille.
    The aerodynamic look continues with a wide lower front spoiler and along the sides of the vehicle with the oversized fender flares and integrated side sills flowing into a deep-skirted rear fascia accentuated by large dual exhaust tips. A custom rear spoiler and center rear fog lamp, which echoes the design of the 370Z's rear diffuser, complete the look. All lights on the vehicle feature a smoked look.
    A thin, signature NISMO red accents accentuate the areas where aerodynamics have been emphasized such as the lower spoiler, while more discreet striping is found on the side mirrors and side sills. NISMO badges – with signature matching red "O" – are located front and rear.
    The body is painted in a custom Bright Pearl White. The aerodynamic side door mirror covers, front splitter and rear diffuser are finished in a high-gloss, genuine carbon fiber diagonal pattern. The special Black Chrome-finished mesh grille is surrounded by Dark Chrome, adding to the Sentra NISMO Concept's imposing presence.
    "The exterior treatment takes Sentra's mature, premium presence and infuses it with an added dimension of excitement and dynamic energy," said Loing. "Still easily identified as a Sentra, it evokes a strong sense of the power that lurks just below the surface."
    While production 2014 Sentras combine responsive acceleration with excellent fuel efficiency from a 130-horsepower 1.8-liter DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder engine, the Sentra NISMO Concept borrows technology from the new JUKE NISMO RS's DOHC 16-valve, turbocharged, intercooled, sequential Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) equipped 4-cylinder, enlarged to 1.8 liters. The NISMO-tuned engine produces an estimated 240+ horsepower and more than 240 lb-ft of torque – enough to show its taillights to ordinary sedans.
    The engine is matched with a beefy 6-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential to help make sure that the power is directed firmly to the road surface. The stock Sentra's independent strut front and torsion beam rear suspension receive the NISMO tuning treatment, complete with custom performance shocks and springs.
    Wide 19-inch RAYS aluminum-alloy wheels mounted with 225/35R19 Michelin Super Sport performance tires and red-painted 370Z Brembo brake calipers complete the package.
    A true performance sports sedan demands an equally engaging cockpit. The Sentra NISMO Concept interior features an array of NISMO-inspired upgrades, including Recaro "Sportster" front seats with custom black leather and Alcantara® appointments. The rear seats are treated to a mix of perforated black Alcantara® in a similar pattern to the front seats. Alcantara® is also used for the pillars and headliner.
    The racing-inspired interior continues with a NISMO-style leather/Alcantara®-wrapped steering wheel with red leather at the 12 o'clock position, along with matching shift knob and shifter lever boot surround. The instrument cluster features a satin carbon fiber finish and all chrome accents are treated to a Dark Chrome finish. Both the start button and tachometer include iconic NISMO anodized red rings.
    The Ultimate Essence
    "NISMO is the 'Ultimate Essence' of Nissan's 'Innovation and Excitement' as a performance and personalization brand. With its highly credible motorsport heritage and passionate attitude in pursuing victories and continuous performance improvement, the NISMO name is not to be taken lightly," said Loing. "Neither are vehicles that wear the NISMO badge. For those who love their sports sedans with a little adrenaline, a Nissan NISMO product should be on their shopping list."

    Drew Dowdell
    by Drew Dowdell
    Porsche unveiled its fifth model line, the Macan, today at the LA Auto Show.
    Available in two models, the Macan is Porsche's attempt to create a sports car in the compact crossover segment. Porsche sees a growing market for Hi-Po grocery-getters.
    The Macan S is powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 producing 340 horsepower and can accelerate the car to 60 mph in 5 seconds flat. If that doesn't get your groceries home fast enough, you can opt for the Macan Turbo which packs a 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6 pumping out 400 horsepower and enabling a 4.4 second sprint to 60. Both models feed the power to Porsche's 7-speed dual-clutch automatic and then out to all four wheels. Top speed for the Macan Turbo is 164 mph. Remember, no crying if you spill the milk.
    As far as appearance, the exterior Macan looks exactly like what you would expect a compact Porsche crossover to look like. Inside. the Macan doesn't wander from that pattern with a design that looks like a slightly tamer version of the interior used in the Macan's bigger brother, the Cayenne.
    The Macan isn't just a paved-playground bully though, Porsche made sure that Mom can get the kids to Grandma's house even in bad weather. With the air suspension set at "High", the Macan has a ground clearance of 9.06 inches. For reference, the 2013 Subaru Forrester and the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk only have 8.9" and 8.7" respectively.
    But if something does go wrong, the Porsche Macan features a new safety technology to keep the kids.. and Mom.. safe. Multi-collision brake technology works on the premise that one quarter of all accidents involve a second collision after the first hit. The brake system of the Macan triggers when the airbag sensors detect the first collision and activates maximum braking to try and prevent a second hit.
    Looking good and going fast is not typically heard of in the compact crossover segment, but in the Macan, Porsche has unleashed an interesting opening shot.
    Check out all of our LA Auto Show Coverage here.

    Porsche's 36 Page Press Release on the Macan can be found here. (PDF Warning)

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