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    New York Auto Show: 2014 Kia Soul



    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    March 27, 2013

    Kia has pulled the covers off the new 2014 Soul today at the New York Auto Show. The new 2014 model takes a lot of design cues from the 2012 Track'ster concept shown at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. The most notable change is the back end where there are large, vertical taillights and a distinct tailgate design.

    Moving inside, the 2014 Soul gets substantially revised cabin with a new dash design featuring organic curves, soft-touch materials, and the option of leather seats. Interior space has seen a small increase in all areas. Standard equipment on the Soul include power windows, heated outside mirrors, telescoping steering wheel, six-speaker stereo with USB input, Sirius satellite radio, and Bluetooth. Available is a eight-inch touchscreen with Kia's UVO infotainment system and a four-inch color screen in the instrument cluster.

    Powering the Soul is either a 1.6L direct-injection four-cylinder with 130 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque or a 2.0L direct-injection four-cylinder developing 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. Both engines have the choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic.

    Kia says they have improved the Soul's handling by using ultra-high-strength steel in most of the Soul's body to increase rigidity and lower the weight. The suspension and steering has also been revised.

    The 2014 Soul arrives at dealers this fall.

    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


    KIA UNVEILS ALL-NEW 2014 SOUL AT NEW YORK AUTO SHOW

    Boasting Iconic Design, Desirable Features and Improved Driving Dynamics, Kia's All-New Soul Urban Passenger Vehicle is Tailor-made for Metropolis

    • Born from the Track'ster concept, the all-new 2014 Soul is set to continue Kia's segment-leading position as the perfect urban utility vehicle

    • With more room, more premium features, improved driving dynamics and true-to-its-roots iconic design, the all-new Soul is more fun, funky and functional than ever

    NEW YORK, March 27, 2013 – The Big Apple, perhaps America's most iconic metropolis, is playing host to the global unveiling of Kia Motors' most iconic people mover, the all-new 2014 Soul urban utility vehicle, today at the 113th New York International Auto Show. The signature Soul design is instantly recognizable yet thoroughly fresh, with more than a passing nod to the hot Track'ster concept that was unveiled last year. Riding on a new chassis that is stiffer, longer and wider, the all-new Soul has grown up without losing its edge, allowing for more passenger and cargo room while reducing NVH levels. Increased torque and significant suspension upgrades make the 2014 Soul a nimble and agile companion in congested urban environments. Honoring Soul owners' fierce individualism, three unique trim levels will be available when U.S. sales are expected to begin in the third quarter of this year: Base, Plus and Exclaim. Pricing will be announced closer to the Soul's launch date.

    "When the first Soul was introduced in 2009, everyone at Kia believed we had a hit on our hands, but we didn't realize how big that hit was going to be," said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing and communications at Kia Motors America (KMA). "The Soul moved the needle significantly from a sales and marketing perspective, becoming one of our top-selling cars and inspiring the now-legendary hamster commercials. It was important that the all-new Soul remain true to the original iconic design while infusing it with improved driving dynamics and desirable features that add appeal, sophistication and value."

    Keeping what made the current Soul special while addressing areas for improvement was no easy task. As the design team at Kia's California studio began putting virtual pen to virtual paper, engineers in the U.S. and Korea focused on making Soul a joy to drive. Starting with a solid foundation was a key factor, and the new body enjoys a 28.7 percent increase in torsional rigidity over the current Soul. With the hard points set, the all-new Soul was boiled down to three focus areas: Maintaining the iconic design while adding modern cues; providing premium features and content; and improving driving dynamics that would make the 2014 Soul more desirable than ever.

    Iconic Design

    Well-known for the close link between its concept vehicles and production models, Kia Motors took no chances with the 2014 Soul. When the wild Track'ster concept made its debut in 2012, Soul enthusiasts and pundits alike urged Kia to turn fantasy into reality. With 18 months from design freeze to production, the stage was set for the all-new Soul and many of the concept's dramatic design cues can be found in the production vehicle. Tom Kearns, chief designer at the California studio likened the Track'ster to a bulldog and that theme is expressed from almost any angle of the all-new Soul.

    "The all-new Soul was one of the more difficult assignments we've taken on," said Kearns. "Striking the right balance between the wonderful design of the current car with the audacious proportions and stance of the Track'ster was daunting. It proved to be a truly collaborative effort with guidance from Peter Schreyer in Frankfurt and assistance from our studio in Korea. In the end, we've kept the essence of Soul while infusing it with more presence inside and out."

    The upright stance, squared shoulders and distinctive fender flares are instantly recognizable as Soul. Combining a longer 101.2-inch wheelbase (up 0.8 inches), overall width that's broadened to 70.9 inches (increased by 0.6 inches) and the same overall height of 63.4 inches, adds a more aggressive edge to the all-new Soul's appearance. Likewise, the wraparound greenhouse, high-mounted tail lights and tall ride height are all hallmark design elements. Premium touches such as available LED front positioning lights and rear LED "halo" lights help connect Soul to siblings within the Kia lineup that share similar design cues, such as the 2014 Sorento CUV and 2014 Forte sedan.

    Exterior Track'ster similarities are easy to spot. The large trapezoidal lower air intake is nearly a direct carryover of the concept, and the location of the available fog lights – down low and pushed to the leading edges – mirror those found on the Track'ster. Kia's signature grille is present, but it's been reworked to more closely resemble the concept. Adding a touch of flare, the unique "floating" body color panel inset into the lift gate has its roots based in the Track'ster as well. Subtle enhancements include a wider (by 2.4 inches over the previous Soul) opening for the lift gate, allowing Soul to swallow more stuff. While final color names have yet to be determined, the 2014 Soul will be available in seven new exterior hues, including the two seen on stage in New York: Solar Yellow and Inferno Red.

    Overall, the design team paid particular attention to instilling a more premium look and feel to the 2014 Soul's interior. Liberal applications of soft-touch materials are found on the instrument panel, center console and door panels. Details such as available leather seating with improved lateral and thigh support, and the use of high-gloss piano-black trim pieces on the center console and dash elevate the Soul's interior to new levels of sophistication.

    Citing the current Soul interior as a starting point, Kia's designers played up the circular theme found inside Track'ster. "With the previous Soul, we kind of dipped our toe in the water when it came to incorporating the circular patterns," noted Kearns. "But for the all-new Soul, we really wanted to lift as many of the Track'ster's circular interior reference points as possible."

    Front and center is the triple-circle instrument cluster with deeply recessed gauges. Along the door panels, sculpted circles incorporate the power windows and door locks. The center console features a round gear shift knob and push-button start – its location exclusive to Soul in the Kia lineup – which also are direct carryovers from Track'ster. The front door-mounted speakers mirror the circular, high-mounted "floating" tweeters and utilize available LED-string light technology to create ripple-effect red-hued mood lighting. The steering-wheel mounted controls are housed in Soul-exclusive circular groupings along the lower spokes with the buttons for the audio system and trip computer falling readily to the thumbs, enabling the driver's hands to remain on the wheel at all times.

    "If you think about droplets falling into a still pond, you begin to visualize the inspiration for the all-new Soul's interior design," said Kearns. "The design is organic, like the human body, and we feel it makes the interior that much more appealing to the driver and passengers." Taking that appeal a step further is Soul's desirable list of standard and optional equipment.

    A Street Soul Named "Desire"

    An attractive package is a let-down if the contents don't deliver. Fortunately, the all-new Soul is set to delight right out of the gate. Most prominent in the new instrument panel is the available eight-inch touch screen – the largest ever offered on Soul – which houses Kia's second-generation telematics and infotainment system, UVO eServices , combined with Kia's first use of the Android-based operating platform. Launching with Soul, UVO eServices is now compatible with the iPhone and Android Smartphone.

    UVO eServices is optional and takes in-car connectivity and media interplay to the next level, integrating a number of other Kia firsts. Topping that list is the high-definition capacitive touch screen. Its wide viewing angle affords better visibility and allows the user to scroll with the stroke of a finger. Living side-by-side for the first time in a Kia vehicle, the audio/video and optional navigation controls are viewable on the home screen. Combining the most accessed ancillary controls on a single screen helps reduce driver distraction and improves overall functionality and ease-of-use. Additionally, the available larger Supervision Cluster/TFT LCD color screen found in the instrument binnacle now displays turn-by-turn directions from the navigation system, helping to keep the driver's eyes looking forward.

    Another first is the integration of Pandora internet radio, the revolutionary online radio network that allows the user to customize their listening experience. Users will no longer manage Pandora through their Smartphone. Instead, Pandora is preloaded into the headunit and accessible through the touch screen and Voice Command, displaying the artist, title and album cover art as well as allowing the user to conveniently skip songs, "like" the song with Pandora's thumbs-up rating system, or manage preferred stations.

    Arriving with a three month complimentary subscription to SiriusXM™ Data Services and Travel Link, the all-new Soul has access to travel information such as road conditions, weather and security alerts as well as sports scores, movie times, stock prices and fuel prices through the screen's graphical interface and electronic program guide. Better still, customers will continue to have All Access to both Sirius and XM channels for the price of one should they elect to continue a paid subscription after the three month trial period concludes.

    Making all of this available technology easy to use is the industry-first integration of on-screen quick guide videos. Easily accessed through the touch screen, users have the ability to view instructional videos that highlight all of the features and functionality of UVO eServices along with the Smartphone app and MyUVO.com, including MyPOIs, powered by Google Maps. Combined, UVO eServices represents one of the most powerful and comprehensive infotainment systems on the market today. Making UVO eServices even more impressive is that there is no cost to the owner.

    Technology aside, driver and passengers will enjoy a larger and significantly quieter cabin with incremental increases in front leg room (42.9 inches, 0.8 inches more than the current Soul), rear leg room (up 0.2 inches to 39.1), front headroom (increased 0.2 inches to 39.6) and front seat shoulder room (up 0.3 inches to 55.5). The all-new Soul also offers a 0.5-inch lower hip point and a step-in height that's reduced 0.2 inches, allowing for even easier ingress and egress. Overall cargo capacity is increased by a half cubic foot, to 24.2. Liberal use of expansion foam (replacing the previously used block foam) thoroughly fills body cavities, reducing outside wind and road noise. A reinforced isolation pad in the cargo area and poly-urethane-layered carpet helps reduce overall interior noise levels by approximately 3 decibels.

    The Base Soul comes standard with a long list of features that set it apart from the competition. Power windows, door locks and (heated) outside mirrors, a telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker AM/FM/MP3 audio unit are all standard. Bluetooth® hands-free wireless technology, SiriusXM™ satellite radio with three months complimentary service and USB/AUX inputs round out the Base Soul's impressive audio/infotainment equipment. Desirable options include remote keyless entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and a six-speed automatic transmission.

    The Soul Plus takes a step up in standard and available optional amenities. Attractive 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 215/55R-17 tires, outside mirror turn-signal indicators, auto-on/off head lights and unique fender garnish distinguish the Plus from the Base exterior. Inside, the Plus benefits include a floor console stowage box with integrated arm rest, UVO eServices, Rear Camera Display and rear seat center arm rest. Options include navigation, an upgraded Infinity® audio system, string-LED front speaker surround mood lighting, fog lights, a panoramic sunroof – a Soul first – leather seating with segment-exclusive ventilated front driver and passenger seats, and seat heaters for all four outboard positions, a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, leather wrapped and heated steering wheel and a leather-wrapped gear shift knob.

    The Soul Exclaim adds to the Plus as standard features 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/45R-18 tires, fog lights, body-color bumper "tusks," projector head lights, front LED positioning lights and rear LED "halo" lights. Open the door and standard amenities include a high-gloss piano-black center console, cooled glove box, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, 10-way power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment and auto-dimming rearview mirror. Optional equipment includes navigation, Infinity audio, front speaker LED mood lighting, panoramic sunroof, leather seating with front driver and passenger ventilation and heating for all four outboard positions. Supervision Cluster/TFT LCD screen, HID head lights, push button start and automatic climate control make the Exclaim the most premium Soul ever.

    Improved Driving Dynamics

    Built on an all-new chassis that is nearly 29 percent stiffer than before, the Soul's stout skeleton provides the base for a vehicle that places a premium on driving dynamics. Engineers put their efforts in strengthening the body at key connection points along the cowl, upper and lower B-pillars, cross members, and at the C-pillars. Fully, 66 percent of the chassis utilizes either Ultra High Strength Steel (35 percent) or High Strength Steel (31 percent). The A-pillar is 0.8-inches narrower, allowing for improved outward visibility, but through the use of Ultra High Strength Steel, it's lighter and stronger. The application of structural adhesive around the door openings and along the roof also helps improve torsional rigidity.

    Significant attention has been focused on improving the all-new Soul's ride and handling through heavily revised front and rear suspension set ups. The front subframe utilizes four bushings (none are used on the current Soul) to reduce ride harshness and impact booms over rough pavement. The stabilizer bar has been moved rearward on the McPherson strut front suspension, while the steering box has been moved forward, lending better balance and subsequently improved handling.

    Relocating the steering box has also yielded benefits to on-center feel. The new one-piece steering gear housing is stronger than the two-piece unit used on the current Soul, improving steering response and reducing impacts felt through the wheel. Optional is a new Flex Steer™ system, which allows the driver to select from three distinct steering settings: Comfort, Normal and Sport.

    The shock absorbers on the torsion bar rear suspension have been turned vertically (they were positioned at an angle on the current Soul) and lengthened. This arrangement allows for more suspension travel, improving ride comfort.

    Motivation for the Base Soul is delivered by a gasoline direct injection (GDI) 130-horsepower (at 6,300 rpm) 1.6-liter all-aluminum DOHC four-cylinder engine. The GAMMA engine produces 118 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,850 rpm. The Plus and Exclaim models enjoy the more powerful 2.0-liter NU power plant. For the all-new 2014 Soul, the engine is updated with GDI technology. Power is rated at 164 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 151 lb.-ft. of torque at a 4,000 rpm. Both engines have been tuned to provide more low-end torque (nine percent more torque at 1,500 rpm on the 2.0-liter; five percent more on 1.6-liter) for an improved around-town driving experience. The 1.6-liter engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission or, optionally, to a six-speed automatic. The Plus model may be equipped with either transmission while the Exclaim is available exclusively with the six-speed automatic.

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      Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President, Global Design
      Evolving INFINITI's presence in the luxury SUV segment
      INFINITI QX80 Monograph: a modern interpretation of luxury SUV design "The QX80 Monograph is an exploration of how we plan to take a step forward in the large SUV segment. This is an important initiative for INFINITI, as the QX80 is popular with buyers in a number of markets – particularly in North America and the Middle East."
      Francois Bancon, Vice President, Global Product Strategy, INFINITI
      The INFINITI QX80 Monograph is a forward-looking interpretation of the QX80's exterior design, offering the size, utility and luxury appeal expected of cars in this segment.
      As the brand's largest SUV, the QX80 makes an important statement for INFINITI, combining supreme space and utility with luxury and sophistication. INFINITI's full-size SUV serves as a private jet for the road; it meets the uncompromising needs of a target buyer who wants for nothing.
      "Monograph" – a focused and detailed study
      QX80 Monograph represents a focused examination of a singular theme – exterior design in the luxury SUV segment INFINITI defines a "monograph" as a detailed study into a single area of expertise. In this context, the INFINITI QX80 Monograph is a detailed examination of how the exterior design of the QX80 may evolve in the future.
      The QX80 Monograph is the first model from the brand to bear the "Monograph" nomenclature. Monograph studies explore ways INFINITI can develop specific elements of its cars. 
    • By William Maley
      Three years on from its original launch, Acura has given the TLX a substantial refresh and revealed it on the eve of the New York Auto Show.
      Being of no surprise to anyone, the TLX is sporting a new face that was first shown on the Precision concept from last year's Detroit Auto Show. A huge pentagonal grille is flanked by a set of Acura's jewel-eye headlights. Some people will like this new look, while others (like myself) will be missing the shield/beak grille. Other design changes include a more sculpted hood and new fenders. The interior doesn't change much except the infotainment system has been overhauled to improve overall performance and add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The downside is it still retains the dual-screens setup that we have been complaining about in many Acura models.
      The base TLX gets a 2.4L four-cylinder with 206 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. Next up is the TLX V6 that comes with a 3.5L V6 boasting 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. The V6 is available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Topping off the TLX family is the all-new A-Spec. It sports a more aggressive exterior treatment with a new front bumper, side skirts, dual exhaust outlets, rear spoiler finished in black, and a faux rear diffuser. The 3.5L V6 is the only engine available for the A-Spec. FWD variants come with firmer shocks and revised steering, while AWD adds firmer springs and a stiffer rear anti-roll bar.
      Acura hasn't revealed pricing for the 2018 TLX. But we won't be waiting too long as the updated model will arrive in June.
      Source: Acura
      Press Release is on Page 2
      2018 Acura TLX Makes World Debut with Aggressive, Sporty Design, and New Technology Features

      Apr 11, 2017 - NEW YORK
      2018 Acura TLX sports sedan debuts with three distinct variants, Acura Precision Concept-inspired design language and robust tech features All-new TLX V6 A-Spec adds emotional styling and sport-tuning Standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and AcuraWatch™, and a host of premium features make TLX among most technologically advanced and well-equipped vehicles in its segment Acura has unveiled a refreshed and significantly enhanced 2018 TLX performance luxury sedan, delivering the brand's Precision Crafted Performance design direction to its core sedan. The all-new TLX A-Spec takes the sedan's design in an even more emotional direction, further broadening the brand's appeal to younger buyers. The Acura TLX also will be one of the most technologically advanced and well-equipped vehicles in the segment with new technology features including Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and AcuraWatch™ standard on all grades. The 2018 TLX is slated to go on sale at Acura dealerships nationwide in June.
      The 2018 TLX boasts a more aggressive and sporty look inspired by the Acura Precision Concept that debuted last year, a design direction that has successfully influenced the styling of the 2017 MDX luxury SUV. Acura's signature diamond pentagon grille, paired with changes to the sedan's stance, proportion, wheels and sheet metal boosts its presence on the road.
      "We've really upped the ante in terms of styling, emotion and road presence, more effectively communicating the TLX's dynamic capabilities," said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president and general manager.        
      The 2018 TLX design illustrates its three variants with distinct characteristics. The 2.4-liter i-VTEC inline-4 cylinder TLX receives a sporty new front fascia featuring the diamond pentagon grille, a new bumper, more sculpted hood, fenders, redesigned Jewel Eye™ headlight design with LED turn signal and a new standard 17-inch wheel and tire package.
      The V6 TLX models add an aggressive, refreshed rear fascia with exposed, rectangular dual-exhaust finishers, rear diffuser and standard 18-inch wheels. The V6 TLX with Technology Package adds a new chrome side sill garnish, all-new seats with contrast piping and stitching, and a power-operated thigh extension on the driver's seat. The Advance Package gains additional technology including trapezoidal LED fog lights, Surround View Camera system, built-in wireless charging pad, white LED ambient light piping in 10 locations throughout the cabin, a heated steering wheel and heated rear outboard seats, a body-colored decklid spoiler, and power-folding side mirrors.
      Acura's acclaimed torque vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive® (SH-AWD™), the best handling all-wheel drive system in the industry, is available for the first time on all V6 TLX models, previously available only with V6 models equipped with Technology or Advance Packages
      New TLX A-Spec
      Reflecting Acura's Precision Crafted Performance DNA, the new TLX V6 A-Spec is available in two-wheel drive and SH-AWD™ configurations, adding character and performance inside and out. An exclusive front fascia, round LED fog lights, aggressive side sills, rear diffuser accented by large, round dual-exhaust finishers and gloss black decklid spoiler creates an even bolder character. Exclusive, dark finish 19-inch wheels paired with wide 245-series tires complement a sport-tuned suspension with more aggressive damper settings and retuned electric power steering for a sharper, more precise handling experience. TLX A-Spec models with SH-AWD also receive a stiffer spring rate and rear stabilizer bar for improved body control. Gloss black trim and A-Spec badging on the rear decklid, fenders, side sill garnish and steering wheel completes the look.
      On the inside, a host of sport-oriented refinements and premium features include exclusive leather seats with increased bolstering, red driver's meter highlights, brushed aluminum-look interior trim, and a thick-rimmed sport steering wheel. Two A-Spec exclusive interior color choices are offered: Red leather or Black leather with Alcantara™ seat and door inserts. Premium enhancements borrowed from the top trim Advance Package include wireless charging pad, ventilated front seats and red LED ambient light piping (white on the Advance Package). 
       
      Technology Enhancements
      The 2018 TLX is the first Acura to feature a refreshed dual-screen user On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD 2.0) interface that supports Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and Sirius XM 2.0. New software improves the system response time and offers more intuitive menus and command structures for a seamless and quicker user experience – approximately 30 percent faster. An enhanced 7-inch touchscreen has a capacitive display that is more responsive to the touch and is positioned within easy reach of the driver and front passenger.
      With its unique AcuraWatch™ suite of technologies, the 2018 Acura TLX is the only vehicle in its class with standard crash avoidance and active driving-assistive features. AcuraWatch™ includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with automatic emergency braking, Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM). AcuraWatch uses a millimeter wave radar and monocular camera sensing technology to detect other vehicles as well as lane markings and can help intervene to prevent or mitigate the severity of a collision. With Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist, AcuraWatch can significantly decrease the driver's workload during freeway cruising by maintaining a set speed and following interval, initiating both braking and throttle inputs, and adding steering input to help the driver maintain their position in the detected lane.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Three years on from its original launch, Acura has given the TLX a substantial refresh and revealed it on the eve of the New York Auto Show.
      Being of no surprise to anyone, the TLX is sporting a new face that was first shown on the Precision concept from last year's Detroit Auto Show. A huge pentagonal grille is flanked by a set of Acura's jewel-eye headlights. Some people will like this new look, while others (like myself) will be missing the shield/beak grille. Other design changes include a more sculpted hood and new fenders. The interior doesn't change much except the infotainment system has been overhauled to improve overall performance and add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The downside is it still retains the dual-screens setup that we have been complaining about in many Acura models.
      The base TLX gets a 2.4L four-cylinder with 206 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. Next up is the TLX V6 that comes with a 3.5L V6 boasting 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. The V6 is available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Topping off the TLX family is the all-new A-Spec. It sports a more aggressive exterior treatment with a new front bumper, side skirts, dual exhaust outlets, rear spoiler finished in black, and a faux rear diffuser. The 3.5L V6 is the only engine available for the A-Spec. FWD variants come with firmer shocks and revised steering, while AWD adds firmer springs and a stiffer rear anti-roll bar.
      Acura hasn't revealed pricing for the 2018 TLX. But we won't be waiting too long as the updated model will arrive in June.
      Source: Acura
      Press Release is on Page 2
      2018 Acura TLX Makes World Debut with Aggressive, Sporty Design, and New Technology Features

      Apr 11, 2017 - NEW YORK
      2018 Acura TLX sports sedan debuts with three distinct variants, Acura Precision Concept-inspired design language and robust tech features All-new TLX V6 A-Spec adds emotional styling and sport-tuning Standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and AcuraWatch™, and a host of premium features make TLX among most technologically advanced and well-equipped vehicles in its segment Acura has unveiled a refreshed and significantly enhanced 2018 TLX performance luxury sedan, delivering the brand's Precision Crafted Performance design direction to its core sedan. The all-new TLX A-Spec takes the sedan's design in an even more emotional direction, further broadening the brand's appeal to younger buyers. The Acura TLX also will be one of the most technologically advanced and well-equipped vehicles in the segment with new technology features including Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and AcuraWatch™ standard on all grades. The 2018 TLX is slated to go on sale at Acura dealerships nationwide in June.
      The 2018 TLX boasts a more aggressive and sporty look inspired by the Acura Precision Concept that debuted last year, a design direction that has successfully influenced the styling of the 2017 MDX luxury SUV. Acura's signature diamond pentagon grille, paired with changes to the sedan's stance, proportion, wheels and sheet metal boosts its presence on the road.
      "We've really upped the ante in terms of styling, emotion and road presence, more effectively communicating the TLX's dynamic capabilities," said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president and general manager.        
      The 2018 TLX design illustrates its three variants with distinct characteristics. The 2.4-liter i-VTEC inline-4 cylinder TLX receives a sporty new front fascia featuring the diamond pentagon grille, a new bumper, more sculpted hood, fenders, redesigned Jewel Eye™ headlight design with LED turn signal and a new standard 17-inch wheel and tire package.
      The V6 TLX models add an aggressive, refreshed rear fascia with exposed, rectangular dual-exhaust finishers, rear diffuser and standard 18-inch wheels. The V6 TLX with Technology Package adds a new chrome side sill garnish, all-new seats with contrast piping and stitching, and a power-operated thigh extension on the driver's seat. The Advance Package gains additional technology including trapezoidal LED fog lights, Surround View Camera system, built-in wireless charging pad, white LED ambient light piping in 10 locations throughout the cabin, a heated steering wheel and heated rear outboard seats, a body-colored decklid spoiler, and power-folding side mirrors.
      Acura's acclaimed torque vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive® (SH-AWD™), the best handling all-wheel drive system in the industry, is available for the first time on all V6 TLX models, previously available only with V6 models equipped with Technology or Advance Packages
      New TLX A-Spec
      Reflecting Acura's Precision Crafted Performance DNA, the new TLX V6 A-Spec is available in two-wheel drive and SH-AWD™ configurations, adding character and performance inside and out. An exclusive front fascia, round LED fog lights, aggressive side sills, rear diffuser accented by large, round dual-exhaust finishers and gloss black decklid spoiler creates an even bolder character. Exclusive, dark finish 19-inch wheels paired with wide 245-series tires complement a sport-tuned suspension with more aggressive damper settings and retuned electric power steering for a sharper, more precise handling experience. TLX A-Spec models with SH-AWD also receive a stiffer spring rate and rear stabilizer bar for improved body control. Gloss black trim and A-Spec badging on the rear decklid, fenders, side sill garnish and steering wheel completes the look.
      On the inside, a host of sport-oriented refinements and premium features include exclusive leather seats with increased bolstering, red driver's meter highlights, brushed aluminum-look interior trim, and a thick-rimmed sport steering wheel. Two A-Spec exclusive interior color choices are offered: Red leather or Black leather with Alcantara™ seat and door inserts. Premium enhancements borrowed from the top trim Advance Package include wireless charging pad, ventilated front seats and red LED ambient light piping (white on the Advance Package). 
       
      Technology Enhancements
      The 2018 TLX is the first Acura to feature a refreshed dual-screen user On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD 2.0) interface that supports Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and Sirius XM 2.0. New software improves the system response time and offers more intuitive menus and command structures for a seamless and quicker user experience – approximately 30 percent faster. An enhanced 7-inch touchscreen has a capacitive display that is more responsive to the touch and is positioned within easy reach of the driver and front passenger.
      With its unique AcuraWatch™ suite of technologies, the 2018 Acura TLX is the only vehicle in its class with standard crash avoidance and active driving-assistive features. AcuraWatch™ includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with automatic emergency braking, Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM). AcuraWatch uses a millimeter wave radar and monocular camera sensing technology to detect other vehicles as well as lane markings and can help intervene to prevent or mitigate the severity of a collision. With Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist, AcuraWatch can significantly decrease the driver's workload during freeway cruising by maintaining a set speed and following interval, initiating both braking and throttle inputs, and adding steering input to help the driver maintain their position in the detected lane.
    • By William Maley
      Following the LS 500 at Detroit and the LS 500h at Geneva, New York will be the home for the 2018 LS 500 F-Sport debut.
      Before we get any further, we need to temper expectations. This isn't a fully fledged F model like the GS F or RC F where they get noticeable power increases. Instead, the F-Sport is more of an aesthetic and handling package.
      From the outside, the F-Sport adds a mesh grille, larger air vents, side skirts, 20-inch wheels, and special shade of white that is exclusive to the LS F-Sport. The interior comes with new sport seats, an F-Sport steering wheel, brushed aluminum trim, and a revised instrument cluster.
      A handling package that brings variable-ratio steering, rear-wheel steering, sport-tuned air suspension, and the Lexus' Active Stabilizer anti-roll-bar system is only available on the rear-drive LS 500. All F-Sport models do get larger brakes (6-piston calipers at the front and 4-piston at the rear).
      The LS F-Sport arrives in early 2018.
      Source: Lexus
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Having debuted its reinvented flagship sedan earlier this year—the all-new 2018 LS 500—Lexus is putting an exclamation point on this signature model with the new F SPORT model. The LS 500 F SPORT, unveiled today and on display this week at the New York International Auto Show, moves the driving emotion needle even farther with handling enhancements and a performance-infused design outside and in.
      The original luxury disruptor when it debuted to launch the brand, the Lexus LS has for nearly three decades set benchmarks for powertrain smoothness, ride quietness, craftsmanship, attention to detail, and long-term quality. The 2018 LS 500 will offer the most dynamic driving experience in the model’s history; now it has the possibility of being enhanced further with the new F SPORT model.
      Within the Lexus lineup, the F models, including GS F and RC F, are the track-tuned maximum performance machines. The F SPORT versions, meanwhile, imbue the standard models with a more engaging driving spirit through carefully applied chassis tuning and enhancements, while still emphasizing exceptional comfort. On the new LS, the F SPORT model will be available with gas and hybrid powertrains, and those choosing the RWD V6TT model will have the option of adding the F SPORT Handling Package to bring a level of liveliness never before seen on the flagship sedan.
      F SPORT Look
      Lexus designers didn’t hold back when giving the LS 500 its coupe-like silhouette and dramatic rendition of the Lexus signature spindle grille that shows even greater intricacy in the design. Developing the F SPORT grille took computer-aided design (CAD) operators some five months to achieve the desired texture and interaction with light. Even then, they adjusted 7,100 individual surfaces to achieve the desired look and texture (compared to 5,000 for the standard model’s grille). And when combined with the sporty enlarged side grille, it is functional as well, helping to maintain the vehicle’s cooling performance.
      The special F SPORT front grille, rocker panel, and trunk moldings accentuate the sedan’s rakish profile, while F SPORT badging on fenders and exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels complete the exterior transformation. For those looking to really stand out, Ultra White is offered as an F SPORT-exclusive exterior color.
      F SPORT Inside
      As it did with the exterior, Lexus shifted the LS 500 cabin into F SPORT spec by applying trim and features exclusive to this version. A common thread through all LS models remains: Omotenashi, the concept of Japanese hospitality. Applied to the LS 500, it means taking care of the driver and passengers, anticipating their needs, attending to their comfort and helping to protect them from hazards. The F SPORT adds a performance attitude to the mix.
      The F SPORT persona shines throughout the cabin, starting with the F SPORT-exclusive front seat, which provides enhanced support for dynamic driving. A perforated-grill pattern on seating surfaces and unique scored aluminum trim elements add additional sporty flair.
      The driver faces a special F SPORT steering wheel as well as a speedometer and tachometer in a movable meter with a ring that slides to display information—a design adapted from the limited-production Lexus LFA supercar and a further expression of the car’s dynamic intentions. Attention to detail shows in the aluminum accelerator, brake and footrest pedals, as well as the F SPORT perforated shift handle and footrest. Ultrasuede in the seats and headliner is the crowning touch. For those desiring the ultimate sporty look, a new Circuit Red interior is available exclusively on F SPORT models.
      LS 500 Chassis Details
      2018 LS F SPORT models feature the latest generation of the brand’s advanced chassis control technology, Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), which has been refined since its debut more than a decade ago.
      In 2004, Lexus introduced the first integrated control system that combined the previously independent ABS, traction control, vehicle stability control, and EPS, as well as other functions, into a single system. In 2012, the brand adopted the four-wheel active steering integrated control system—known as Lexus Dynamic Handling, or LDH—from the GS for enhanced safety and driving performance that responds to the driver’s intention.
      The new VDIM system implements cooperative control of all vehicle subsystems – braking, steering, powertrain, and suspension – to control basic longitudinal, lateral and vertical motion as well as yaw, roll and pitch. Optimal control of these motions helps to enable exceptional ride comfort, enhanced traction and safety and handling agility, and allows for enriched flat vehicle posture during cornering as well as a more comfortable and stable ride overall.
      Sporting Genes
      The LS 500 is based on an extended version of the brand’s premium global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA–L) platform from the new Lexus LC 500 coupe. The stiffest platform that Lexus has ever developed, GA-L sets the stage for enhanced handling, ride smoothness and cabin quietness. The LS F SPORT capitalizes on the platform’s responsiveness and agility.
      Equipping the LS 500 F SPORT with standard 20-inch wheels and 245/45RF20+ 275/40RF20 tires, (summer tires for RWD) along with larger front and rear brakes (6-piston calipers on front and 4 pistons on rear), unlocks more of the platform’s intrinsic performance capability. Opting for the available F SPORT Handling Package (RWD gas model) equips the LS 500 F SPORT with Lexus Dynamic Handling (Variable Gear Ratio Steering and Active Rear Steering), Active Stabilizer, and sport-tuned air suspension with rapid height function. The result is a full-size premium luxury sedan that responds more like a sports coupe through curves, helping to underline what F SPORT stands for.
      415-Horsepower Heart with a 10-Speed Partner
      Lexus designed an all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine specifically for the new 2018 LS 500, using twin turbochargers developed through the company’s F1 technology. This new twin-turbo V6 offers V8-level performance – 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque – paired with the first-ever 10-speed automatic transmission in luxury sedan.
      The engine yields a broad torque curve and, perfectly in tune with the F SPORT spirit, the new engine and transmission deliver instant acceleration and a constant buildup of torque toward the vehicle’s redline. The LS 500 is undeniably quick, with a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds (gas RWD). An electric wastegate is among the features that contribute to the engine’s rapid responses. The driver can tailor powertrain response and feel by choosing from Normal, Sport S or Sport S+ modes, and just enough of the exhaust note is heard to enhance the sporty feel.
      F SPORT Performance, Hybrid Efficiency
      The LS 500h F SPORT infuses high efficiency into the sporting formula. The new Multi Stage Hybrid System combines a naturally aspirated Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with two electric motor/generators and uses a compact, lightweight lithium-ion battery. The V6 engine uses D-4S direct fuel injection, and lightweight valvetrain components, with Dual VVT-i ensuring ample torque across the engine speed range. Combined system output is 354 hp.
      The new system adapts the planetary-type continuously variable transmission from Lexus Hybrid Drive and also adds a unique four-speed automatic transmission. Working in concert, the two gearsets alter output in four stages to utilize the V6 engine across the entire speed range. In manual mode, the two gearsets act together to provide the effect of 10 ratios, giving the LS 500h F SPORT an enhanced dynamic feel on the road and allowing the driver to shift through the ratios with paddle shifters. The Multi Stage Hybrid System allows for more electric assist at lower vehicle speeds.
      What’s more, this system allows the RWD LS 500h to propel from 0-60 in 5.2 seconds – which is on par with the previous-generation V8-powered LS 460 and 3 /10th of a second faster than the AWD LS 600h.

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