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    Drew Dowdell

    You've seen the press release, now see our thoughts on the 2018 Volvo XC60.

    At the 2017 New York Auto Show, Volvo finally showed in the US what is likely to be one of its biggest sellers over the next few years. In spite of the rapid growth of the brand due to the public's fantastic response to the Volvo XC90 and Volvo S90 (read our review), the XC60 seems poised to eclipse even that. The current XC60 is one of the oldest models in Volvo’s lineup though it still makes up 30% of its sales. That fact really drives home how important this car is to Volvo.
    You can read about the technical details of the Geneva release of the 2018 Volvo XC60 on our press release page.
    The XC60 is rated as a compact crossover, however it feels like it pushes the boundary into a mid-size vehicle. In the two Inscription level models I examined in New York, Volvo’s recently developing reputation for their sumptuous interiors shows.  The seats are of a very soft leather, and very well bolstered. Inscription models get an open pore wood trim called drift wood.  Momentum models come with aluminum or another open pore wood trim available as an option. Much of the hardware on the dash carries down from the larger full luxury models, somewhat of a rarity in the industry.  Volvo’s entertainment system is one of the easiest I’ve had the pleasure to use. Volvo really nails a lot of the small details on the interior, right down to the Flag of Sweden tags on the seats.
    Engines will range from 250 horsepower to 407 horsepower and at launch all XC60s will come equipped with AWD.
    Volvo’s current trend in pricing has been to undercut competitors on base pricing and then load up quickly on options with the top models.  It appears to be working as most new Volvos leave the factory as top-end Inscription trim.
    The XC60 is built on the same SPA platform as S90 and XC90, both solid and strong entrants into their respective segments. I expect the trend should continue with the XC60 as Volvo enters its 90th year on a strong upswing.
     

    William Maley

    It finally has style!

    When Hyundai unveiled the current Sonata at 2014 New York Auto Show, it landed with a bit of thud. Compared to the previous-generation model that stood out from the crowd with a sharp design, the new model was a bit dull. Hyundai is addressing this with a heavily refreshed Sonata that made its debut today in New York.
    The 2018 Sonata has a bit more personality thanks to new pentagonal grille (Sport and 2.0T models get a mesh insert), reshaped hood, smaller headlights, new trunk lid, and LED taillights. For the interior, Hyundai has redesigned the center stack, updated the instrument cluster, and added a USB port for rear seat passengers.
    Engines are the same as the current Sonata - 2.4L four-cylinder, 1.6L turbo-four, and 2.0L turbo-four. However, the 2.0L turbo gets a new eight-speed automatic transmission that is said to improve acceleration and fuel economy. Hyundai has also worked on improving ride and handling with thicker trailing arms, new rear bushings, and a revamped steering system. 
    As for safety, all Sonatas will now come with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard.
    The 2018 Sonata hits dealers later this year.
     
    Source: Hyundai
    Press Release is on Page 2


    2018 SONATA: DEFINING THE BENCHMARK FOR MID-SIZED SEDANS
    New Features, Technology and Hardware  Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Now Standard Equipment NEW YORK, April 12, 2017 –The redesigned 2018 Sonata enters the market with a new look from the front, side and rear thanks to a “cascading grill,” a more assertive profile and an entirely new rear; showcasing a clean and handsome approach with reimagined, slim taillights. 
    “It’s all about making an impact,” said Chris Chapman, chief designer, Hyundai North American Design Center. “We wanted to deliver an exciting expressive car to our customers and show the world how passionate Hyundai is about design and craftsmanship. The objective was to make an impact, this design provides the visual excitement and unique identity our customers associate with Sonata.”
    Created at Hyundai’s California Design Studio with American aesthetic tastes in mind, the new Sonata is bold, daring and beautiful. The 2018 Sonata made its North American debut today at the New York International Auto Show.
    ELEVATED ELEGANCE
    Supplementing the bodywork, the 2018 Sonata now lights the way with LED daytime running lights. When night falls, available LED headlamps with dynamic bending light illuminate the path and add to Sonata’s already radiant posture. The same standout style continues in the rear with sharp taillight design and enlarged Hyundai badge, which now cleverly houses the trunk release button. Chrome accents surround the daylight opening (DLO) and fresh wheel designs cap off its new look.
    Inside, the renewed center stack and instrument panel echo the exterior’s catching new looks. The trend carries down to gauge dial design and a strong three-spoke steering wheel. Piano key buttons for audio and HVAC controls give a premium look and touch.
    “The moment the pen left the drafting paper I knew we had something special in this re-imagined Sonata,” says Chapman, “Dynamic lines, strong graphics, and our new signature cascading grille come together in an athletic way.”
    BEAUTY BENEATH THE SKIN
    The new Sonata has a refined chassis with improved ride and handling. To achieve this feat, talented engineers increased the torsion bar stiffness within the steering system by 12 percent, which improves steering response and feel in all conditions. They then enhanced that improvement further with new steering calibration, focusing on responsiveness and on-center steering feel. Previous ratings for ride, handling and NVH showed customers were quite satisfied, so engineers just reset an already high bar.
    In addition to these steering changes, the Sonata received an updated rear suspension. The trailing arms are 21 percent thicker, making them stiffer and better able to manage heavy suspension loads. New bushings work with the new suspension arms to allow for more ride compliance and yet quicken response time to control all other wheel motions. The result is a communicative, nimble and comfortable sedan. 
    For the top-of-the-line powertrain, there’s even more. The 245 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine now includes an eight-speed automatic transmission, which adds ratio range at both the top and bottom of output speeds. The eight-speed allows for extra thrust off-the-line and a quieter, more fuel-efficient dash down the interstate. The 2.0-liter turbo models roll on 18-inch wheels, now with Michelin tires.
    COMPELLING COMFORT AND SAFETY
    The 2018 Sonata features a standard seven-inch color display audio touchscreen with both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® integration. Speaking of smartphones, driver and passenger alike can keep them charged without a plug using the available Qi standard wireless charging pad. Sonata now adds a second row USB charge port, a nod to today’s connected rear-seat passengers. Available navigation systems now come with a bird’s eye view feature as well as traffic flow and incident data, without ever having to pay a subscription for the service.
    The Sonata offers more safety features in 2018. In addition to seven standard airbags (dual front, side, and curtain, as well as driver’s knee) and a battery of safety systems (VSM, ESC, TCS, ABS, EBD, BA, and TPMS) comes Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA). The Sonata is the only Midsize car sold with this safety technology as standard equipment. Despite drivers spending a tiny amount of time in reverse, one-quarter of all accidents happen when someone is backing up. BSD with RCTA gives drivers peace of mind that the road behind them is clear. Furthermore, there’s also a new Lane Departure Warning system with an enhanced Lane Keep Assist function available. 
    BETTER BLUE LINK
    As our cars become a mobile extension of the connected world, Blue Link continues to add more features to integrate your life. Blue Link now talks to Amazon Echo™, allowing you to control your car inside your home, or wherever the Amazon device is located.

    William Maley

    The Clarity adds two new members

    Up until now, the Honda Clarity has only been able as a hydrogen fuel cell only sold in California since they have the infrastructure. But today at the New York Auto Show has expanded the Clarity lineup with the introduction of electric and plug-in hybrid variants.
    We'll begin with the Clarity Electric which comes with 120-kW electric motor delivering 161 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. A 25.5-kWh battery pack provides the juice and can be recharged within three hours when plugged into a 240V outlet. As we reported previously and has since been confirmed by Honda, the Clarity EV will have a range of around 80 miles.
    Next is the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid that uses a more powerful electric motor (181 horsepower electric motor producing 232 pound-feet of torque) and a 17-kilowatt hour (kWh) battery pack. A 1.5L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder acts a range extender and direct power source (under certain conditions). Honda says the Plug-In can travel 42 miles on EV power alone. With the 1.5L engine, total range stands at 330 miles.
    Both Clarity models will be available later this year. The electric variant will only be available in California and Oregon as a lease-only program.
    Source: Honda
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Honda Electrified! Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Electric Unveiled at 2017 New York International Auto Show

    Apr 12, 2017 - NEW YORK CITY
    "3-in-1" Clarity series provides unparalleled electric drive choice with premium midsize sedan capability and three advanced electrified powertrain options Plug-in Hybrid anticipated to earn 42-mile EV driving range rating and 330-mile extended range rating Honda targets five-fold increase in sales of electrified vehicles in next four years Honda today revealed its all-new Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Electric alongside the already available Clarity Fuel Cell, saying it will target U.S. sales of 75,000 Clarity vehicles in the first four model years. The Clarity series will contribute to an anticipated five-fold increase in Honda's U.S. sales of electrified vehicles over the next four years as the company works toward its target that two-thirds of its global automobile sales will come from electrified vehicles by 2030.
    The two all-new electrified Honda vehicles will join the Clarity Fuel Cell, launched in December 2016, to make Clarity the first ever vehicle series offering customers an expanded array of electrified vehicle choices with fuel cell, battery electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains wrapped in a sophisticated, spacious and comprehensively equipped five-passenger sedan.
    "The Honda Clarity is aimed at accelerating the deployment of advanced electrified powertrain technology and bringing electrified vehicles further into the mainstream," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., at the company's auto show press conference. "The Clarity series also heralds the advancement of our Honda Electrification Initiative, representing our investment in the full spectrum of electric-vehicle technologies."
    "Electrification is the future of mobility and the future of Honda, and it all starts now with this new Clarity series," added Steve Center, vice president of the Connected and Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda.
    Honda Clarity Series
    As the next progression of Honda's dynamic styling for electrified products, each Clarity variant has a low, wide aerodynamic body with unique design elements, including its own special hero color, and differentiated front styling, headlights, tail lamps and 18-inch alloy wheel designs. Combined with elegant and advanced exterior styling, each Clarity series vehicle has a spacious interior with comfortable seating for five adults, outfitted with premium, environmentally responsible materials.
    Offering Honda's "fun-to-drive" DNA, each Clarity variant provides a smooth, quiet and highly refined driving experience, aided by the smooth and seamless character of electric drive torque and acceleration. The Clarity series also features advanced technologies, including Display Audio with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, and the full suite of HONDA SENSING™ safety and driver-assistive technologies.
    With three different powertrains and luxury packaging, the Clarity series has wide appeal. This shared "3-in-1" platform strategy will enable Honda to respond to infrastructure and market developments, provide customers nationwide with an ultra-low carbon vehicle that meets their lifestyle needs, and takes Honda toward higher volume sales of advanced powertrain products that will help reduce CO2 emissions.
    The Clarity series is at the vanguard of Honda's commitment to address society's energy and environmental concerns as the company expects significant growth in sales of efficient, lower CO2 electrified vehicles. Honda has previously announced plans to introduce a dedicated new hybrid car to the U.S. market in 2018. The new Honda hybrid car will be made in America.
    Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid
    The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, launching at dealerships nationwide later this year, is anticipated to earn an all-electric driving range rating of 42 miles1, the longest of any midsize plug-in hybrid. For longer trips, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid can utilize its hyper-efficient 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine to generate electricity and, under certain conditions, to act as a direct power source, resulting in an anticipated overall driving range rating in excess of 330 miles1.
    The vehicle's electromotive power comes from a 181-horsepower electric motor producing 232 lb.-ft. of torque and drawing power from both the gasoline engine and a 17-kilowatt hour (kWh) battery pack with a recharge time of 2.5 hours at 240 volts. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is anticipated to earn an EPA fuel economy rating of 105 MPGe1  (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent) combined, at the top of its class. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid features three selectable modes – Normal, Econ and Sport – allowing drivers to customize their experience, maximizing efficiency or driving performance. A fourth mode – HV mode – is provided to maintain the battery's state of charge and can be selected in conjunction with Normal, Econ and Sport driving modes.
    As the sales volume leader in the Clarity lineup, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid will be offered in two premium-contented trims, standard and Touring.
    Honda Clarity Electric
    The 2017 Honda Clarity Electric is geared toward consumers who desire a spacious, comfortable and affordable sedan that suits their daily driving needs. The Clarity Electric is powered by a 161-horsepower (120-kilowatt) electric motor producing 221 lb.-ft. of torque and drawing power from a 25.5-kWh battery pack. The vehicle can by fully charged in just over three hours at 240 volts, and when using DC fast charging with the SAE Combined Charging System can achieve an 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes.
    The model is anticipated to have an anticipated EPA fuel economy rating of 120/102/111 MPGe (city/highway/combined)2. Like the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, the Clarity Electric features three selectable driving modes – Normal, Econ and Sport. The Clarity Electric will launch later this year, starting with an attractive lease program in California and Oregon.
    Honda Clarity Fuel Cell
    Honda views fuel cells as the ultimate zero-emissions vehicle technology and the Clarity Fuel Cell offers green early adopters the latest technology to be on the forefront of "what's next." Honda began deliveries of the 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell in December 2016 in select California markets, where a consumer friendly network of hydrogen stations continues to grow, and has already delivered more than 100 vehicles.
    Technological innovations to the Clarity Fuel Cell have created a fuel cell stack that is 33 percent more compact with a 60 percent increase in power density compared to its predecessor, the Honda FCX Clarity. The more compact fuel cell and integrated powertrain, now comparable in size to a V-6 engine, fits entirely under the hood of the car, allowing for a more spacious cabin with seating for five passengers.
    At 366 miles, the Clarity Fuel Cell has the highest EPA driving range rating of any zero-emission vehicle in America, including fuel cell and battery electric vehicles, and an EPA fuel economy rating of 68 MPGe3 combined. The Clarity Fuel Cell is available for the competitive introductory lease price of $369 a month for 36 months with $2,868 due at signing4. The lease terms include an attractive mileage allowance of 20,000 miles per year, up to $15,000 of hydrogen fuel, up to 21 days of an Avis Luxury Rental in California, 24/7 roadside assistance, and eligibility for California "White Sticker" single occupant HOV access. Lessees can also apply for the State of California $5,000 rebate5. The Clarity Fuel Cell is available in three colors: Bordeaux Red Metallic, White Orchid Pearl and Crystal Black Pearl.

    William Maley

    We see what you're trying to pull off Subaru

    Subaru is taking a page out of Honda's playbook with previewing new models via thinly disguised concepts. This morning at the New York Auto Show, the Japanese automaker unveiled the Ascent Concept.
    To our eyes, the Ascent looks like a bigger Forester. Yes, it does have a more muscular look with a large grille and sculpting along the doors. The back end reminds us of the Levorg sold elsewhere in the world as it features similar styling. Move inside and the Ascent offers seating for up to seven people. The dashboard is concept-esq with touch-sensitive controls for the infotainment system, locks, and windows.
    One interesting tidbit Subaru dropped was the Ascent would be powered by new turbocharged boxer-four engine. Specifics on horsepower and torque were not revealed. 
    The Ascent will go on sale in 2018. Expect to see the production version sometime later this or early next year.
    Source: Subaru 
    Press Release is on Page 2
    SUBARU ASCENT SUV CONCEPT MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT THE 2017 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    Subaru confirms future 3-row SUV will be named Subaru Ascent The Ascent will be powered by an all-new turbocharged DI Boxer Engine Ascent SUV Concept showcases 7 passenger interior  NEW YORK -  Subaru of America, Inc., which this month posted its 64th consecutive month of record-breaking sales, today made the world debut of the Subaru Ascent SUV Concept. The styling concept also confirms the name Ascent for the upcoming Subaru 3-row SUV. Both the design concept and the production Ascent will feature an all-new turbocharged direct injection boxer engine.
    The exterior design of the concept follows Subaru’s “Dynamic x Solid” theme with powerful fender flares representing Subaru’s all-wheel drive system and a large, bluff grille denoting a true SUV look. The interior of the concept features a flowing dashboard design and a 7-passenger configuration with center captain’s chairs.
    The Ascent production model will be based on a modified version of the Subaru Global Platform that debuted last year. The model will be built at Subaru of Indiana, Inc. in Lafayette, Indiana and will be sold exclusively in the North American market starting in 2018.
    Specifications:
    Body size: (Length x Width x Height) 198.8 x 78.3 x 72.4 inches
    Wheelbase: 117 inches
    Tire Size: 275/50 R21
    Seating Capacity: 7

    William Maley

    No gullwing doors though 

    It may be hard to remember, but Lincoln was one of the first automakers to introduce us all to highly-posh large SUV with the Navigator. But it was quickly overshadowed by the likes of the Cadillac Escalade and others. Last Night in New York, Lincoln introduced an all-new Navigator that will hopefully put it and the Lincoln brand as a whole back in the spotlight.
    We're glad to see Lincoln keeping most of the design of the Navigator concept shown last year. That includes the large, intricate chrome grille; turbine-style wheels, side vents on the fenders, and a slightly rounded shape. Like its sister model, the Ford Expedition, the 2018 Navigator uses aluminum body panels to drop 200 pounds.
    The interior shares nothing with the Expedition. Instead, Lincoln is borrowing some pieces from the Continental sedan. The dashboard is low and features plenty of wood and leather. There is a lot of tech on offer with a floating touchscreen featuring SYNC 3, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility; a reconfigurable 12-inch instrument cluster, 20-speaker Revel II sound system, WiFi hotspot, six USB ports, four 12-volt outlets, and a 120-volt outlet.
    The 30-way-adjustable Perfect Position Seats with heating, cooling, and massage functions is available for the front seats. A bench seat or a set of captain chairs is available for the second row.
    Power comes from a 3.5L twin-turbo V6 producing an estimated 450 horsepower. This is paired with a new 10-speed automatic transmission and the choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.
    Lincoln is keeping quiet on pricing for the 2018 Navigator, but you will be able to check one out later this year.
    Source: Lincoln
    Press Release is on Page 2


    NEW NAVIGATOR: SPACIOUS INTERIOR, PERSONALIZED TECHNOLOGY ELEVATE FAMILY TRAVEL TO FIRST CLASS
    NEW YORK, April 12, 2017 – Lincoln today introduces the 2018 Navigator, an all-new full-size SUV that combines modern luxury with advanced technology – elevating family travel to first class.
    Wireless charging and standard Wi-Fi keep everyone connected. Advanced technology allows the driver to effortlessly adjust the vehicle to make driving easier or more enjoyable – in any weather or terrain. With more space for your belongings than any other large SUV*, the all-new Navigator assures almost nothing is left behind.
    “Quiet luxury is both a look and a feeling,” says Kumar Galhotra, president, The Lincoln Motor Company. “The all-new Navigator embodies both. The sleek styling, spacious interior and technology are all designed to make each trip effortless.”
    MODERN ELEGANCE
    Navigator’s elegance is on display before the doors even open. Upon approach, the chrome Lincoln star logo on the grille softly illuminates**. Then, LED lighting in the lower front body and taillamps subtly engages, and a luminous Lincoln welcome mat appears beneath the front doors.
    At night, interior ambient lights sequentially illuminate each of the SUV’s three rows. During the day, a panoramic roof fills the cabin with natural light.
    A twin-turbo V6 engine projected to produce 450 horsepower provides smooth power whenever you need it, delivered through a 10-speed transmission. Navigator’s lighter, high-strength aluminum-alloy body removes nearly 200 pounds, helping create a more refined ride.
    Additional weight savings have been reinvested in features such as towing capability and quietness. For example, laminated front and side glass contributes to the quietest Navigator cabin ever.
    The all-new Navigator offers speed-dependent adaptive lighting, a new Lincoln technology that provides a wider spread of light at lower speeds for increased visibility – helpful when driving through residential areas. As the vehicle accelerates, the beam of light narrows to help eliminate the glare off signs or other distractions.
    Beneath the sleek interior are inclination and intrusion sensors, which trigger an alarm if someone attempts to move or enter the vehicle.
    SPACIOUS, LUXURIOUS INTERIOR
    Inside, spaciousness comes in all three rows, including storage in each to keep the cabin clean and organized. The all-new Navigator’s advanced cargo management system offers an adjustable shelf behind the rear seats that allows clients to create storage customized to their needs. Even with the vehicle parked on an incline, the feature ensures groceries won’t roll out when the liftgate is opened.
    The interior layout is clean and uncluttered, with a simple, soothing ambience.
    “When designing the Navigator, we put an emphasis on ultra-luxury touch points,” says David Woodhouse, Lincoln design director. “We took everything the client would see and touch, and made sure it would look and feel a little more exuberant, a little more indulgent and incredibly beautiful.”
    Staying connected is easy in the all-new Navigator with six USB ports, four 12-volt power outlets and a 110-volt plug. An available wireless phone charger in the first-row center console media bin eliminates tangled cords.
    The client experience is further elevated through Lincoln’s new Personal Profile. It uses the key fob to recall individual driver preferences for adapting seat, mirror and pedal positions, as well as climate control and entertainment settings.
    For owners desiring a more personalized look, Navigator comes with three Lincoln Black Label options – an exclusive collection of interior design themes and materials, plus a host of membership privileges.
    FIRST-CLASS SEATING FOR ALL
    Even when the all-new Navigator is fully packed, each occupant can sit in comfort. The driver and front-seat passenger enjoy Perfect Position Seats, which offer massage, heating and cooling functionality, and can be adjusted up to 30 different ways.
    Standard SYNC® 3 with both Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ compatibility enables clients to manage audio, phone, navigation and more from the vehicle touch screen or steering wheel-mounted controls. Second-row passengers have their own audio and climate control, while third-row seats feature power recline capability.
    An available rear-seat entertainment system allows passengers to stream content wirelessly with an Android device to one of the 10-inch adjustable screens mounted on the rear of the front seats. Content also can be accessed through more traditional devices like an SD card, an HDMI cord or a USB, as well as through SYNC AppLink™, which permits the front-seat passenger to monitor and select viewing content.
    Each screen can display different content, allowing a personalized entertainment experience for every passenger. Through Lincoln’s agreement with Sling Media, those who own a Slingbox can access their TV channels on the go. The standard Wi-Fi allows for up to 10 mobile devices at a time to be connected.

    Clients can enjoy available Revel® Ultima audio with 20 speakers that work in concert with Navigator’s interior design and acoustics. This transforms the cabin into a personal theater with three distinct listening modes – stereo, audience and on-stage.
    FAMILY-FRIENDLY TECHNOLOGY
    Navigator is designed to be intuitive and easy to use. A 12-inch configurable instrument cluster allows drivers to choose the information they want displayed. An available Head-Up Display can show selected information on the windshield instead of the instrument cluster. This helps drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
    It’s also easy to adjust to changing conditions. With the turn of a dial, the driver can adapt the Navigator to changing road or weather, and enjoy a smooth, confident ride.
    Additional available technology includes:
    Trailer Backup Assist, which automatically steers the vehicle to turn a trailer the desired amount – meaning less time required to perform the task. Navigator is expected to deliver more towing capability than any other premium full-size SUV 360-degree camera and enhanced park assist, which reduce stress from parallel and perpendicular parking. The system integrates views from four cameras to create an overhead image so the driver can see all around the vehicle Adaptive cruise control, which automatically slows Navigator in stop-and-go traffic – resuming speed when traffic allows *Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and weight distribution.
    **Lincoln star illuminates on Reserve and Black Label models only.

    William Maley

    So fast that it has been banned from drag-racing competition (Plus seats are a $1 option)

    We thought Dodge was insane when they debuted the Challenger and Charger Hellcats a few years ago. Boy how wrong we were as tonight in a blaze of smoky glory, Dodge introduced the Challenger Demon. Built with drag racing in mind, the Demon can lift its front wheels off the ground during hard acceleration. It is so fast that the Demon in its stock form has been banned from drag-racing competition by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) - we'll explain why shortly.
    Here are all of the juicy details about the Demon,
    6.2L supercharged V8 capable of producing 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque* *That's with the optional Demon Crate with all of the parts and tools necessary to reach that power. Standard models will boast 808 hp and 717 pound-feet. Eight-Speed Automatic with an upgraded torque converter 0-60 MPH in 2.3 seconds 0-100 MPH in 5.1 seconds Quarter-Mile: 9.65 seconds at 140 mph Pulls 1.8Gs of force during launch Madness you might say. But to get these figures, Dodge put a lot of work into the Demon.
    It begins with the 6.2L V8 where a larger supercharger (2.7L up from the Hellcat's 2.4L) is plopped down and boost has been increased to 14.5 psi. Close to 50 percent of the engine's internals have been changed out to improve overall strength with the amount of power on tap and dual fuel pumps keep the fuel flowing. The SRT Power Chiller uses the vehicle's A/C system to cool down the air coming in from the large hood scoop.
    Next, Dodge put the Demon on a bit of a diet. Removing various trim, audio, and even the passenger and back seat, Dodge was able to drop more than 200 pounds. Those who want the passenger and back seat will be happy to know they are on the options list for a $1.00 each (no this isn't a misprint).
    For dragstrip duties, the Demon comes with a fair amount tech and parts to get the best results
    A set of Nitto NT05R 315/40 drag radials TransBrake: Locks the transmission output shaft to hold the vehicle in place during a standing start.  Torque Reserve: Works in conjunction with TransBrake. The system closes a bypass valve in the engine, pre-fills the supercharger and building boost (even at just above idle). Once the vehicle is launched, the system adjusts fuel flow and spark to make sure the right amount of horsepower and torque is being sent to the rear wheels Drag Mode: Changes various parameters in the powertrain for drag duty. Helps reduce wheel hop by monitoring wheel slip and reducing torque. Demon Crate: An option that includes a set of skinny front tires, new engine ECU, air filter, a low-temperature thermostat, HVAC switch module with an extra button on it, and a set of Snap-On tools. Now we come to point in our story where we need to explain why the Demon has been banned from drag-racing competition. The NHRA has a rule how quick “stock” cars could run at quarter-mile tracks. Until 2012. that number was an 11.5-second pass. This was changed to a 9.99-second pass or 135 mph trap speed due to factory vehicles becoming much faster. Since the Demon can do a quarter-mile at 9.65 seconds at 140 mph in stock form, it is banned. You can drag race a Demon, but you'll need to get extra safety equipment (roll cage, helmet, and a fire suit) and a Competition License.
    At the moment, Dodge is only doing one year of Demon production with 3,000 for the U.S. and 300 for Canada. No word on pricing, but you'll be able to buy one this fall.
    Source: Dodge
    Press Release is on Page 2
    2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Pulls the Wheels
    Fastest quarter-mile car in the world; banned by the NHRA 840 horsepower and 770 pounds-feet of torque from supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Demon V-8 engine makes Dodge Challenger SRT Demon the most-powerful muscle car ever Highest horsepower V-8 production car engine ever produced First-ever front-wheel lift in production car (2.92 feet) as certified by Guinness World Records World’s fastest quarter-mile production car with an elapsed time (ET) of 9.65 seconds and 140 miles per hour (mph) as certified by National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Challenger SRT Demon is too fast for the drag strip – officially banned by NHRA World’s fastest 0-60 production car: 2.3 seconds 0-30 miles per hour: 1.0 second Highest g-force acceleration of any production car: 1.8 g Air-Grabber™ induction system includes the largest functional hood scoop (45.2 square inches) of any production car Significant upgrades to create the Demon engine include: Larger 2.7-liter per rev supercharger; increased boost pressure to 14.5 psi Higher rpm limit of 6,500 First-ever factory-production car with innovative SRT Power Chiller™ liquid-to-air intercooler chiller system First factory-production car with After-Run Chiller that keeps cooling the supercharger/charge air cooler after the engine is shut off First-ever, factory-production car designed to run on 100+ high-octane unleaded fuel or 91 octane on demand First-ever, factory-production car with TransBrake for more powerful and quicker launches First-ever, factory-production drag car with Torque Reserve, to deliver increased levels of power and torque at launch First-ever, factory-production car with front passenger seat delete Exclusive, serialized Demon Crate offers components that fully unleash the car’s potential at the drag strip Challenger SRT Demon is covered by FCA US LLC factory warranty, including three-year/36,000-mile limited vehicle warranty and five-year/60,000-mile limited powertrain coverage Production of limited-edition single model year (3,000 United States/300 Canada) Challenger SRT Demon begins later this summer; deliveries to Dodge//SRT dealers to begin this fall All customers who buy the new 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon receive one full-day session at Bob Bondurant School of High-performance Driving Dodge has named Hagerty as its official insurance provider of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon April 11, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Dodge rocked the high-performance car world in 2014 with the 707-horsepower Charger SRT Hellcat and Challenger SRT Hellcat, building supercar performance at affordable prices. They were the most powerful muscle cars ever – until now.
    Today, Dodge is shaking the foundation of the entire performance car industry, launching New York International Auto Show week with its wickedly fast new 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon – highly capable on the street, absolutely dominating at the drag strip.
     
    Powered by a 840-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Demon V-8, the limited-production Challenger SRT Demon is the world’s most powerful factory-production V-8 – bar none.  NHRA-certified 9.65 seconds @ 140 mph makes the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon the fastest ¼-mile car in the world.
     
    Performance numbers:
    0-30 mph: 1.0 second  0-60 mph: 2.3 seconds Quarter-mile: 9.65 seconds at 140 mph  
    The Challenger SRT Demon also is the world’s first production car to lift the front wheels at launch and set the world record for longest wheelie from a standing start by a production car at 2.92 feet, certified by Guinness World Records. And hold onto your seat. The Challenger SRT Demon also registers the highest g-force (1.8 g) ever recorded at launch in a production car.
     
    “With Demon, our goal was to build a car that would tattoo the Dodge logo into the subconscious of the general market, beyond even our loyal enthusiasts, said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America. “To do so, we had to set records that have never been set before, do more than has ever been done before, go beyond even the legendary Hellcat. The result: an 840-horsepower, 9-second muscle car unlike anything that has ever come before it.”

    The Challenger SRT Demon’s record-setting performance is the result of collaboration among the Dodge//SRT, Design, Engineering, Powertrain and Manufacturing teams inside FCA US LLC, many of whom are experienced and active drag racers. While the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon remains a potent street car, every component was scrutinized and optimized for weight, capability and durability on the strip.
     
    The performance records flow from an impressive list of street-legal production car industry firsts. That list includes:
    Factory-installed wider, Nitto street-legal drag radials for improved grip, 40 percent more launch force compared with SRT Hellcat tires Available Direct Connection engine controller calibrated for 100+ unleaded high-octane fuel SRT Power Chiller™ redirects air conditioning refrigerant to chill the charger air cooler After-Run Chiller runs the cooling fan and the low-temperature circuit coolant pump after engine shutdown TransBrake locks the output shaft of the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission to hold the car before launch, allowing the driver to increase engine rpm for higher torque and quicker response Torque Reserve boosts engine air flow and supercharger rpm before launch, delivering wickedly fast acceleration Drag Mode suspension tuning maximizes weight transfer to the rear wheels for better traction Drag Mode Launch Assist uses wheel speed sensors to watch for driveline-damaging wheel hop at launch and in milliseconds modifies the engine torque to regain full grip and then continues accelerating the car down the track Available narrow “front runner” wheels for use at drag strips cuts front-end weight Wide-body exterior styling, with concealed wheel well attachments house Challenger SRT Demon’s massively wide 315/40R18 tires Front passenger seat and rear seat deleted to reduce weight (can be optioned back for $1 each) Production of the limited-edition single model year Challenger SRT Demon begins later this summer, with 3,000 vehicles for the United States and 300 vehicles for Canada. Deliveries to Dodge//SRT dealers will begin this fall.
     
    Dodge has named Hagerty as its official insurance provider of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon – Hagerty is a company for people who love cars and they already protect many of the rarest high performance cars in the world.
    Demon’s heart: Supercharged V-8
    The heart of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI Demon V-8, rated at 840 horsepower and 770 pounds-feet of torque. The red-painted Demon engine has been certified to the SAE J1349 industry standard for its horsepower and torque ratings. The engine also meets all applicable legal emissions regulations.
     
    While the Demon V-8 shares its architecture with the 707-hp 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI Hellcat V-8, it is not simply a Hellcat engine with more boost. The Demon V-8 engine has 25 major component upgrades from the Hellcat engine, including supercharger, pistons, rods, valve train and fuel injection system.
    Among the changes, compared with the Hellcat V-8, the Demon’s supercharged V-8 features:
    Larger supercharger: 2.7 liters versus 2.4 liters Increased boost pressure: 14.5 psi versus 11.6 psi Higher rpm limit: 6,500 rpm versus 6,200 rpm Fuel: Two dual-stage fuel pumps versus one Larger induction air box with three sources of intake air: Air-Grabber™ hood, driver-side Air-Catcher™ headlamp and an inlet near the wheel liner In addition, the HEMI Demon V-8 includes a high-speed valvetrain, strengthened connecting rods and pistons, and improved lubrication system. The upgrades enable the engine to sustain higher output and pressures while meeting FCA US LLC’s stringent durability requirements.
     
    One key to the Challenger SRT Demon’s best-ever power output is air – the supercharged Demon V-8 takes in plenty of it. The SRT Demon’s Air-Grabber™ hood includes the largest functional hood scoop (45.2 square inches) of any production car.
     
    The Air-Grabber™ hood is sealed to the air box, which is also fed from the driver-side Air-Catcher™ headlamp and an inlet near the wheel liner. Combined, those sources give the Demon V-8 an air-flow rate of 1,150 cubic feet per minute, 18 percent greater than the Hellcat V-8 and the largest air induction volume of any production car.
     
    The additional air inlets help reduce the temperature of the intake air by more than 30 degrees Fahrenheit compared with the Hellcat V-8, which improves overall throttle response.
     
    Heat is the enemy of speed at the drag strip, so Dodge//SRT engineers looked for more ways to keep the intake air as close to the optimum temperature as possible.
     
    The innovative SRT Power Chiller™ is a production car first. It diverts the air-conditioning refrigerant from the SRT Demon’s interior to a chiller unit mounted by the low-temperature circuit coolant pump. Charge air coolant, after being cooled by ambient air passing through a low-temperature radiator at the front of the vehicle, flows through the chiller unit, where it is further cooled. The chilled coolant then flows to the heat exchangers in the supercharger.
     
    Every run down the drag strip generates plenty of heat. The After-Run Chiller, a factory-production car first, helps the SRT Demon get ready for the next run as quickly as possible.
     
    When the engine is shut down, the After-Run Chiller keeps the engine cooling fan and low-temperature circuit coolant pump running to lower the supercharger/charge air cooler temperature, helping the Challenger SRT Demon minimize heat soak effects. The driver can track the supercharger coolant temperature on the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen in the instrument panel, and know in real time when the supercharger is at the optimum temperature for another run.
     
    The impact of the SRT Power Chiller™ and After-Run Chiller, combined, lowers intake air temperature by up to 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Fueling performance: 100+ unleaded high octane
    The Challenger SRT Demon is the first-ever, street-legal factory-production car designed to run on 100+ unleaded high-octane fuel. That fuel is readily available at select gas stations, specialty shops and drag strips.
     
    The keys to unleashing the SRT Demon’s full performance fury are in the Demon Crate: Direct Connection Performance Parts include a new powertrain control module calibrated for the high-octane unleaded fuel and a new switch bank for the center stack that includes a high-octane button.
     
    The SRT Demon leaves the factory with a powertrain control module configured for 91-octane premium unleaded pump gasoline, which delivers top level performance.
     
    The switch to the Direct Connection controller enables the supercharged HEMI engine to extract the maximum power from the knock-resistant fuel at high pressures and optimum spark timing. Drag racers can anticipate improvements in elapsed times (ETs) and trap speeds with the high-octane fuel.
     
    The Challenger SRT Demon is engineered to be able to run on a mix of 100+ octane and premium unleaded fuels without hurting the engine, but the high-octane function won’t activate if the combined fuel octane is too low. A message in the gauge display tells the driver the car will use the premium fuel calibration until the engine is shut off and restarted. How does the car know? The controller monitors the engine’s knock sensors.
     
    There will be plenty of fuel available: the SRT Demon carries dual fuel pumps (versus one pump in the Challenger SRT Hellcat), larger fuel injectors and fuel lines that handle higher pressures.
     
    Similar to the Challenger SRT Hellcat, the SRT Demon comes with two key fobs. The black fob limits engine output to 500 horsepower. The red key fob unlocks the engine’s full output of 808 horsepower and 717 pounds-feet torque. With either key fob, the driver can activate Eco and Valet Modes. Eco Mode revises the transmission shift schedule to include second-gear starts. Valet Mode limits the engine to 4,000 rpm and reduces torque output.
     
    The high-octane unleaded fuel capability with the optional Direct Connection powertrain controller boosts engine output to 840 horsepower and 770 pounds-feet of torque.
    TransBrake is a production car first
    Every Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is equipped with the standard TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission. Already a proven and robust gearbox used with the HEMI Hellcat V-8, the transmission gets some significant changes for duty in the Challenger SRT Demon.
     
    Internal changes include an upgraded torque converter that delivers an 18 percent increase in torque multiplication. Also, the stall speed is increased 11 percent and the lockup speed is increased.
     
    The Challenger SRT Demon is the first-ever, factory-production car with TransBrake, which locks the transmission output shaft to hold the car in place before a standing start. This lets the driver increase engine speed up to 2,350 rpm without overpowering the brakes, resulting in quicker power delivery and up to 15 percent more torque at launch.
     
    Driver-oriented step-by-step instructions are displayed on the instrument cluster to guide the driver through the staging process and help them keep their focus on the Christmas Tree.
     
    The TransBrake helps to improve driver reaction time and launch consistency by using the steering wheel paddle shifters as a launch trigger – a paddle launch improves reaction time by 30 percent compared with a foot-brake launch. In addition, the system enables delivery of initial torque to the flywheel as soon as 20 milliseconds after launch.
     
    TransBrake works in conjunction with another SRT Demon first-ever factory-production car feature, Torque Reserve, to deliver increased levels of power and torque at launch.
     
    Torque Reserve becomes active once engine speed passes 950 rpm. It does two things:
    Closes the bypass valve, “prefilling” the supercharger with boost Manages fuel flow to cylinders and manages spark advance or retard to balance engine rpm and torque With TransBrake and Torque Reserve active, the SRT Demon has more than 8 psi of boost at launch and up to 120 percent more engine torque than without Torque Reserve. TransBrake also preloads the driveline with torque, leading to full engine torque delivery at the rear wheels 150 milliseconds after the shift paddle is released. That results in faster acceleration at launch, faster 60-foot times and an improvement of more than a tenth of a second in quarter-mile times, which can be an entire car length.
     
    Driveline components have been upgraded to get all that power and torque to the rear wheels, on every run.
     
    Changes include:
    Upgraded prop shaft with a 15 percent increase in torque capacity. The prop shaft uses high-strength steel. Shaft tube thickness increases by 20 percent and the stub shafts are heat treated for enhanced durability The rear differential housing has 30 percent more torque capacity. The housing is made from heat-treated A383 aluminum alloy. New material for the gear set has higher fatigue strength, with a deeper case hardening depth and two-step shot-peening manufacturing process to increase compressive residual stress The rear half shafts are larger in diameter; use a high-strength, low-alloy steel; and have 41 splines (up from 38), delivering a 20 percent increase in torque capacity. Eight-ball joints handle more torque, while reducing operating temperatures by more than 86 degrees Fahrenheit Production car first: Drag-mode Launch Assist
    SRT engineers went digital to isolate and resolve one of the biggest challenges to clean launches and driveline integrity – wheel hop.
    In simple terms, wheel hop happens when tires quickly slip and regain traction at launch, rapidly storing up and releasing energy in the driveline. These high torque spikes can quickly and severely damage driveline components – and up until now, the only solution was to back out of the throttle.
     
    Not with the Challenger SRT Demon. In a first for a factory-production car, the SRT Demon’s Launch Assist uses the wheel speed sensors to watch for signs that the tires are slipping/sticking. If slip is detected, the SRT Demon’s control module momentarily reduces engine torque to maximize traction almost instantly – without the driver having to lift. Launch Assist reduces loads in the driveline from wheel hop by more than 15-20 percent, dramatically reducing component damage.
    Production car first: Street-legal drag tires
    The Challenger SRT Demon is equipped with a set of four standard Nitto NT05R street-legal, drag-race tires, a first for a factory-production car.
     
    The 315/40R18 tires were specifically designed and developed exclusively for the SRT Demon, with a new compound and specific tire sidewall construction. The drag radials give the SRT Demon a 15-percent larger tire contact patch and more than twice the grip of the Challenger SRT Hellcat.
     
    The sticky drag tires are mounted on lightweight 11x18-inch wheels, with each tire measuring 12.6 inches wide. Putting full-size tires at all four corners gives drag racers an extra set of rear tires when the front tires are replaced with narrow front-runners at the track.
     
    A unique rear knuckle reduces negative camber by 0.5 degrees, “standing up” the tire and increasing the size of the tire contact patch.
    Engineering: More traction, less weight
    The main mission of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is to cover the quarter mile as quickly as possible. To do this, it combines the best of both mechanical and electronic tuning to deliver maximum launch grip while still maintaining precision directional control.
     
    The Bilstein Adaptive Damping shocks have been tuned for drag racing, shifting as much weight as possible on the rear tires at launch for maximum traction. The weight transfer improves rear tire grip by 11 percent.
     
    Mechanically, weight shift in the Challenger SRT Demon is aided by softening up some key suspension components. Those changes, compared with the Challenger SRT Hellcat, include:
    Softer springs: 35 percent lower rate front/28 percent lower rate rear Softer, lighter, hollow sway bars: 75 percent lower rate front/44 percent lower rate rear When Drag Mode is activated, the front Bilstein shocks are set for firm compression and soft rebound damping, while the rear Bilstein shocks are set for firm compression and firm rebound damping.
     
    That configuration is maintained as long as the car runs at wide open throttle. When the driver backs off the gas pedal, the system switches to firm compression and firm rebound front and rear for improved handling. 
     
    Also during Drag Mode, the traction control system is disabled to enable the rear wheels to spin for a burnout, but the electronic stability control system remains engaged to help the driver with straight-line performance.
     
    In pursuit for every tenth of a second, engineers looked to cut as much weight as possible. The result: Equipment removed from the Challenger SRT Demon weighs more than 200 pounds.
     
    How the weight was lost:
    58 pounds: Removed front passenger seat and belt 55 pounds: Removed rear seat, restraints and floor mats 24 pounds: Removed 16 audio speakers, amplifier and associated wiring 20 pounds: Removed trunk deck cover trim, carpeting, spare tire cover 19 pounds: Used smaller, hollow sway bars 18 pounds: Removed mastic, body deadeners, insulators and foam 16 pounds: Used lightweight all-aluminum four-piston brake caliper and smaller, 360-mm two-piece rotor 16 pounds: Switched to lightweight wheels and open-end lug nuts 4 pounds: Switched to manual tilt/telescope steering column 2 pounds: Removed park sensors and module Buyers have the option to add back the front passenger seat, rear seats and trunk carpeting kit for $1 each. Other options include the Harman Kardon 19-speaker, 900-watt audio system, power sunroof, heated and ventilated leather front seats with heated steering wheel, painted Satin Black hood, or new painted Satin Black hood, roof and decklid package.
    Dual personalities: Performance Pages and Drive Modes
    The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon gives the driver the capability to set up the car for on-road precision, maximum drag strip performance or anything in between.
     
    The nerve center for those personalities is SRT Performance Pages and Drive Modes, displayed on the Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen.
     
    Performance Pages arm the driver with real-time data, including a graphic display of engine horsepower and torque with gear changes plotted; supercharger coolant temperature; timers for reaction time, 0-60 miles per hour (mph), 0-100 mph, eighth-mile and quarter-mile elapsed time and vehicle speed; instantaneous and peak longitudinal and lateral g-forces; and gauge readouts for engine oil temperature and pressure, coolant temperature, transmission fluid temperature, intake air temperature, air-fuel ratio; intercooler coolant temperature, boost pressure and battery voltage.
     
    The Drive Modes include the Challenger SRT Demon-exclusive Drag Mode. Drive Mode settings include Auto (Street) Mode, which sets the Bilstein Adaptive Damping Suspension (ADS) for comfortable ride with compliant handling, and Custom Mode, which lets the driver select between Auto and Drag Mode configurations for the transmission, paddle shifters, traction, suspension and steering.

    Auto (Street) Mode options:
    Engine output level is set based on which Demon key is in the vehicle   If red key is present, the power level can be set per customer preference Transmission, suspension and steering default to Auto Mode (Street) Customers can set suspension and steering preference Electronic Stability Control defaults to full on Paddle shifters can be turned on or off per customer preference Eco mode is available only in Auto Mode Drag Mode options:
    TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission runs a calibration optimized for acceleration Electronic Stability Control is optimized for straight-line acceleration Suspension calibration changes to full firm in rear and firm compression/soft rebound in front Paddle shifters are turned on Steering is set to Drag Mode for high-speed stability Cabin cooling diverted to SRT Power Chiller™ Torque converter lockup point is raised in Drag Mode TransBrake is available in Drag Mode only Custom Mode options:
    Nearly every combination of options available in Auto (Street) or Drag can be configured in the Custom Mode. For example, a driver could select the elements of Drag Mode related to engine and transmission performance, but could select Sport Mode for the suspension and steering, providing the on-road driving dynamics of a Challenger SRT Hellcat When equipped with the Direction Connection Performance Parts powertrain control module, the driver can use 100+ high-octane unleaded fuel in any drive mode.
    Drivers can also select line lock, which engages the front brakes to hold the Challenger SRT Demon stationary but leaves the rear wheels free for a burnout to heat up and clean the rear tires. The system will also let the driver perform a controlled rolling burnout. The system engages for up to 400 rear wheel revolutions.
     
    Performance Pages also includes rpm-adjustable launch control and by-individual-gear-adjustable shift light displayed in the instrument cluster.  A new data recorder feature lets the Challenger SRT Demon driver build an archive of data to help optimize the car for track and weather conditions, while helping to improve driving techniques.
     
    Eco and Valet Modes are accessed in the Performance Pages. When Valet Mode is activated, engine horsepower is reduced and rpm is limited to 4,000. Also, certain performance features, such as steering wheel paddle shifters and Launch Control, are disabled. The driver can activate and de-activate Valet Mode with a four-digit PIN code they create.
    Functional and Intimidating Design
    The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the widest Challenger ever and first-ever, factory-production muscle car with wide-body fender flares.
     
    The wide body flares are designed to amplify the Challenger SRT Demon’s menacing stance, while making room for wider tires with concealed attachments. The fender flares, which cover the lightweight 18x11-inch wheels with exclusive, specifically designed Demon-branded 315/40R18 Nitto NT05R drag radial tires front and rear; add 3.5 inches to the Challenger SRT Demon’s overall width. The front side marker lights are styled to flow with the shape of the fender flares.
     
    The entire chassis is e-coated for durability before final assembly.
     
    Additional defining exterior features include the wide Air-Grabber™ hood scoop – the largest functional hood scoop (45.2 square inches) of any production car – and new Demon logos flanking each fender.
     
    The driver is the focus in the interior of the Challenger SRT Demon, as it is for every model in the Challenger lineup.
     
    Both the front passenger seat and rear seat, along with their corresponding seat belts, are deleted in the standard configuration of the Challenger SRT Demon.
     
    Customers have the option of adding seats into the car, as well as adding leather coverings, when it is ordered. The front seat(s) have the Demon head logo stitched or embossed into the seat back.
     
    Seating configurations:
    Driver seat only, premium cloth covered Driver and front passenger seat, premium cloth covered Driver and front passenger seat, Laguna leather and Alcantara suede covered Driver, front passenger and rear seats, Laguna leather and Alcantara suede covered Facing the driver is a flat-bottom SRT Performance steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara with paddle shifters. The SRT white-face gauges include a 200-mph speedometer and flank the 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) cluster display screen. A custom carbon fiber instrument panel badge with “Demon” script is located on the outboard vent and signifies the build sequence number.
     
    A new four-point harness bar, available through Speedlogix, is available for use at the track. Mounting points for the bar are accessible, making it easy for customers to install without cutting or drilling anything.
     
    Standard cloth seats include Ballistic II inserts with silver embroidered Demon head logo in the seat backs. An optional Laguna Leather Package includes leather covered seats and trim with embossed Demon head logo. 
     
    The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon will be available 14 exterior colors: B5 Blue, Billet Silver, Destroyer Grey, F8 Green, Go Mango, Granite Crystal, Indigo Blue, Maximum Steel, Octane Red, Pitch Black, Plum Crazy, TorRed, White Knuckle and Yellow Jacket. 
     
    All exterior colors are available with Satin Black hood, roof and decklid.
    Demon Crate Carrying Exclusive Components
    The Demon Crate, available to buyers of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, contains components that fully unleash the car’s potential at the drag strip and is fully customized with the buyer’s name, VIN and serial number.
    The Demon Crate contains:
    Direct Connection Performance Parts: Performance powertrain control module with high-octane engine calibration Replacement switch module containing high-octane button Conical performance air filter Passenger mirror block-off plate Narrow, front-runner drag wheels Demon-branded track tools: Hydraulic floor jack with carrying bag Cordless impact wrench with charger Torque wrench with extension and socket Tire pressure gauge Fender cover Tool bag Foam case that fits into the SRT Demon trunk and securely holds the front runner wheels and track tools The Demon Crate is further customized with the buyer’s name, VIN and serial number.
     
    Production of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon begins later this year at the Brampton (Ont.) Assembly plant.  
     
    The Challenger SRT Demon is covered by FCA US LLC’s factory warranty, including three-year/36,000-mile limited vehicle warranty and five-year/60,000-mile limited powertrain coverage.
     

    William Maley

    It's kind of a big deal

    To say the Buick Enclave was well past its sell-by-date would be an understatement. But to be fair, the Enclave was one of Buick's best-sellers. The 2018 Enclave that debuted tonight in New York has some big shoes to fill.
    The basic shape of the 2018 Enclave is the same as the outgoing model. What has changed are the front and rear ends. Buick's designers took the front off the Avista concept and put it onto the Enclave. The distinct grille with the Buick emblem floating and slim headlights are here. Around back is a restyled tailgate with a large chrome bar and narrow taillights.
    Buick borrowed the dash from LaCrosse for the Enclave's interior with flowing curves, high-quality materials, and an 8-inch screen featuring the latest version of the Intelllink infotainment system. In terms of seating, Enclave can seat up to seven people. Buick says overall space has increased by 10 percent and with the 3rd-row up, offers up 23.6 cubic feet of space.
    Power still comes from a 3.6L V6 offering up 302 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic and the choice of either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
    Buick also used this event to launch the Avenir subbrand with the Enclave being the first model. Avenir models feature special badging, 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, contrast stitching and piping on the seats, dual moonroofs, navigation, and the rearview mirror/camera that has debuted on the Cadillac CT6 and XT5.
    The 2018 Buick Enclave hits dealers this fall.
    Source: Buick
    Press Release is on Page 2


    First-Ever Enclave Avenir Offers Progressive, Family-Oriented Luxury
    Enclave ushers in the arrival of Buick’s new luxury sub-brand NEW YORK — Debuting with the 2018 Buick Enclave, the new Avenir sub-brand represents the highest expression of Buick luxury. Avenir offers unique styling cues and an extensive set of standard features and premium materials throughout the vehicle. New and versatile functionality, interior spaciousness, and intuitive technologies build on the Enclave’s established popularity.
    Smart innovation and style come standard on the 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir. Buick-first Evonik Acrylite exterior lighting illuminates the road ahead with the power of more than 100 LEDs across the vehicle. A Rear Camera Mirror provides a clearer, broader view of what’s behind. And in-vehicle ionization leaves the air cleaner and fresher. It’s all packaged within an elegant design that combines concept car inspiration with improved interior luxury amenities and roominess for up to seven passengers.
    “The Enclave has been a successful formula for the Buick brand, with sales results that have defied traditional product cycles, and 90 percent of customers purchasing in the top two trim levels,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick and GMC. “It’s a beacon for the modern, attainable luxury Buick stands for and is a natural place to launch Avenir.”
    Enclave Avenir highlights
    Avenir model comes standard with extensive active safety, connectivity and luxury features for a simple and convenient buying experience. It has an all-new body structure for safety, strength and mass efficiency, plus 17 radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors when fully equipped. It accommodates seven passengers comfortably and offers more cargo volume behind the first row than the Acura MDX, Audi Q7 and Infiniti QX60. Standard hands-free power-programmable liftgate with a Buick tri-shield logo illuminates the ground below the hidden sensor and power-folding third row. Avenir-exclusive 3-dimensional mesh grille, badging, pearl nickel 20-inch aluminum wheels and luxurious interior materials are standard. Buick-first Rear Camera Mirror is standard on Avenir. Buick-first Evonik Acrylite lighting technology provides a distinctive light signature. Tow capacity of up to 5,000 pounds is more than enough to tow a typical 21-foot sport boat. A standard 3.6L V-6 engine with stop/start technology, Buick-estimated 302 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Standard five-link rear suspension and available continuously variable real-time damping (CDC) offer a refined, isolated ride. Available intelligent AWD with active twin-clutch rear differential and Buick-first switchable AWD help improve control and efficiency. Avenir: Buick’s highest expression of exclusive style, inclusive luxury
    All Avenir models will feature an exclusive 3-dimensional mesh grille paired with chrome wings inspired by Buick concept cars. Additional Enclave Avenir notable styling cues include 20-inch, six-spoke wheels with a pearl nickel finish; five premium exterior colors; an Avenir Chestnut and Ebony interior with piping on the seats and contrasting stitching; embroidered first-row headrests; Avenir floor-mats; a wood-accented steering wheel; and bold Avenir-scripted sill plates on all four doors.
    A wide array of advanced technologies and interior features emphasizing premium comfort and inclusive luxury comes standard in the Enclave Avenir, including heated and ventilated front seats; heated second-row seats; navigation; wireless charging; a dual moonroof; an 8-inch diagonal reconfigurable cluster display; a 360-degree surround vision camera system for easier parking; and a rear camera mirror that can function as a traditional mirror or as a camera, eliminating obstructions such as heads and headrests while expanding the rear field of vision by an estimated 300 percent.
    Available adaptive cruise control and full speed Forward Automatic Braking offer customers even more safety feature options, and a premium suspension with continuously variable real-time damping (CDC) provides a smooth, comfortable ride, with enhanced body control and handling in Sport mode.
    “This is a vehicle intended for Buick customers who demand the best and the latest our brand has to offer,” said Aldred.
    Elegant design and functionality define the all-new Buick Enclave
    The Enclave’s new design architecture enables a balanced, athletic appearance. New proportions give it a sleeker look with aerodynamic benefits for efficiency. The roofline is lower, the windshield is sharper and the wheelbase is extended, giving the vehicle a more dramatic stance. Its sculpted body creates a windswept appearance. Its interior is inviting and harmonious.
    Extensive use of LEDs is integrated into Buick’s first application of Evonik Acrylite technology and bi-functional LED projector headlamps and LED tail lamps. The technology’s compound curvature application creates a smooth, uniform and recognizable appearance that will make the Enclave stand out on the road. IntelliBeam headlamps also allow drivers to experience better road illumination and improved visibility without having to manually switch the high beams on and off.
    A significantly enhanced suite of available advanced safety technologies is engineered to help drivers monitor their surroundings and feel confident when behind the wheel. Standard safety equipment on all 2018 Enclaves includes a rear vision camera, rear park assist and seven air bags, including a front center side airbag. Among the available crash-avoidance technologies are rear cross traffic alert, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, safety alert seat and surround vision.
    Having leveraged the first-generation Enclave as a benchmark for quietness, the 2018 Enclave cabin is engineered to further minimize unwanted interior noise through its honed exterior shapes, sealing and sound-deadening acoustics and strategic use of materials throughout. QuietTuning and active noise cancellation enhancements help to reduce, block and absorb noise, keeping it from entering the cabin. A 10-speaker Bose Premium sound system with new components, new tuning and a redesigned bass enclosure further enhances the sound experience.
    Another lifestyle-enhancing feature in the Enclave interior is an air ionizer that eliminates odors and provides higher air quality. It works by producing negatively charged particles that attract air-borne contaminants and break down their structure, cleaning the cabin air. The ionizer can help address external and internal odors and reduce bacteria, viruses, dust, debris and pollen, while also helping improve driver alertness. It requires no maintenance or filter replacement.
    Enclave’s interior has flexible cargo solutions for large and small items. The vehicle has 10 percent more cubic feet of overall interior space when including the hidden underfloor storage, and 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row. Other space enhancements include a 10-inch-deep dry underfloor storage with 3.1 cubic feet of space.
    Second- and third-row seating fold flat to create a wide, nearly-flat load floor. A power-folding third row makes reconfiguring more convenient, while second-row SmartSlide Seats provide easy access to the third row. On the passenger side, the SmartSlide seat provides pitch slide functionality to allow access even with an empty forward-facing child seat installed (using the LATCH system).
    Additional standard equipment on every 2018 Enclave includes keyless entry and push-button start, a hands-free power-programmable liftgate with a Buick tri-shield logo illuminating the ground below the hidden sensor, tri-zone automatic climate control, universal home remote and more.
    Every Enclave also comes equipped with an OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot (AT&T data plan purchase required after limited data trial period) and five years of the OnStar Basic Plan[1] at no additional cost. Among other benefits like an industry-leading myBuick app, this connectivity plan features OnStar Smart Driver, an opt-in service designed to help Buick owners maximize their vehicle’s overall performance and become better drivers.
    A frameless 8-inch diagonal infotainment system with Teen Driver, Rear Seat Reminder[2], and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is standard. Every Enclave features Rear Seat Reminder2, an industry-first feature designed to remind drivers to check the back seat as they exit their vehicles under certain circumstances.
    The Enclave will continue to be manufactured in Lansing, Michigan, and goes on sale in the fall of 2017. Pricing and other details will be announced later this year.

    William Maley

    Large and proud of it

    The Infiniti QX80 SUV is already a brazen SUV in terms of its looks. If the QX80 Monograph concept that debuted on the eve of the New York Auto Show is any indication, it seems that next-generation will become more brazen.
    With measurements of 16 feet long and 6.5 feet tall, the QX80 Monograph is an imposing vehicle. The girth is further accentuated by the gold paint and chrome accents. A set of 24-inch wheels feature a design that overlaps the tires, making them look larger than they really are.
    The front end is reminiscent of the QX50 Concept shown this year at Detroit with a tall and wide version of Infiniti's double-arch grille and a prominent bumper with deep chiseling. The slim headlights extend into thin light bars along the front fenders. Along the side is some sculpting for the doors and handles pop out whenever you want to get in. At the rear, thin taillights and extended exhaust outlets help underline the width of the concept.
    “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,” said Francois Bancon, Infiniti Vice President of Global Product Strategy.
    Source: Infiniti
    Press Release is on Page 2


    INFINITI QX80 Monograph: a design study exploring 'upscale luxury' with commanding presence
    QX80 Monograph is the ultimate expression of futuristic luxury SUV design New design study signals INFINITI's intention to evolve its presence in the large SUV segment "Monograph" – a detailed study into a single area of expertise NEW YORK – INFINITI has unveiled the QX80 Monograph, a new design study exploring upscale luxury and signaling INFINITI's intention to further develop its standing in the large SUV segment.
    The QX80 Monograph combines luxury with a commanding presence, and demonstrates the high levels of space and utility for which the QX80 production car is renowned. It illustrates how the design of INFINITI's large SUV could evolve in future. Originating at INFINITI's design studio in Atsugi, Japan, and unveiled for the first time in New York, the QX80 Monograph is the ultimate expression of futuristic luxury SUV design.
    "The QX80 Monograph represents a detailed study into our expertise of exterior design. QX80 Monograph shows our concept of luxury and style on the road, and is an exploration into how we could enhance our future INFINITI offering in the luxury SUV segment."
    Roland Krueger, President, INFINITI
    The ultimate expression of futuristic luxury SUV design
    Hints at a forward-looking new design for INFINITI's large SUV Applies INFINITI's latest signature design cues on a new scale "The QX80 Monograph provides the opportunity to reimagine INFINITI's signature design DNA on a totally different scale. We sculpted our body pure, straight and horizontal, the muscularity both brute and sensual; part Rodin's Thinker, part Michelangelo. INFINITI 'carrozzeria' used svelte satin copper skin, set off by an ultra-powerful double arch grille with abstract structural mesh, distinctive and focused human eye signature headlamp, and iconic fender vent. Our designers continue to impress by finding new avenues for INFINITI artistry."
    Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President, Global Design
    The QX80 Monograph hints at a forward-looking new design for INFINITI's flagship large SUV. The concept applies the brand's latest design language in a sculptural and artistic way, incorporating a mix of geometric and organic shapes to combine power with elegance, creating a commanding and sophisticated presence.
    The QX80 Monograph is over five meters long, almost two meters tall (including roof rails), and more than two meters wide (door mirrors folded). It appears longer thanks to defined character lines, in particular the strong, straight shoulder line that runs from the grille all the way to the rear of the car.
    The headlamps extend into thin lights that wrap around the front corners of the hood and run along the wings, for a unique light signature from the front and in profile. The light bars running along the front wings end in sculptured rear-view cameras at the leading edge of the two front doors.
    The face of the QX80 Monograph appears more powerful and purposeful, with large, functional fender vents delivering more air to the engine, flanking an aluminum chin guard. Enhancing its SUV credentials, an underbody cover runs the length of the floor, protecting the car's undersides and aiding aerodynamic performance.
    A thin strip of aluminum below the grille emphasizes the car's width and incorporates razor-sharp LED fog-lamps at each end for a modern, high-tech appearance. At the rear, defined horizontal lines highlight the car's wide and powerful aura. The appearance of the sharper, thinner tail-lamps are mirrored in the wide twin exhausts, which feature a gloss-black aerofoil in between to encourage smoother air flow off the back of the car.
    The doors open to reveal an integrated, brushed aluminum sill step to ease ingress and egress, while vents aft of the front and rear wheels provide a further distinctive metallic accent to the design. These vents could also perform a valuable aerodynamic function, evacuating turbulent and drag-inducing air from the wheel arches.
    The QX80 Monograph's design details express INFINITI's approach to high quality, high precision car manufacturing. Notably, the QX80 Monograph's blacked-out A-pillar sits flush with the side windows and windscreen, while the pop-out door handles are also flush with the bodywork. These elements give a cleaner appearance and help to minimize drag and wind noise.
    Unmistakable INFINITI signature design elements are taken from the company's latest concept and production vehicles. QX80 Monograph features the latest incarnation of INFINITI's hallmark "human-eye" headlamps, raised high up in the front of the car, as well as slimmer, sharper rear combination lamps. The unique piano key design of the head- and tail-lamps enables individual LED elements to light up independently, providing an artistic application of the latest adaptive lighting technology.
    The new interpretation of INFINITI's double-arch grille is taller and wider, giving it a powerful new face, while a new grille mesh suggests a highly sculptural and technical form. The new mesh adds greater visual depth with a series of individual sculptures that appear linked together in a lattice. The crescent-cut D-pillar has been reshaped, its sharper and higher trailing edge enhancing the horizontal aspect of the QX80 Monograph's upper body.
    The QX80 Monograph features a frosted-effect paint finish, following positive feedback from recent INFINITI concepts completed with a similar effect. The desaturated color and satin-like surface each suggest an unusual treatment of the metal beneath, providing a textured contrast to the gloss chrome and brushed aluminum elements around the concept.
    Straight-spoke, two-tone wheels – 24 inches in diameter – are finished in chromium black with contrasting brushed copper elements. The outer edges of the wheels overlap the tires, presenting the appearance of a 26-inch wheel and low profile tires to complement the scale of the QX80 Monograph.
    "Earlier INFINITI show cars have started conversations with our customers, which gives us the chance to talk about the brand's future direction. We have listened to our customers to discover their expectations for a large SUV from INFINITI in 2017 and beyond. The QX80 Monograph illustrates how INFINITI's 'powerful elegance' design language could be used to develop our luxury SUVs in future."
    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. 

    William Maley

    The new face isn't the only change

    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.

    William Maley

    Lexus LS gets F-Sport-ifed

    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.

    William Maley

    FCA's Worst Kept Secret Finally Debuts

    The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk has been one of the worst-kept secrets in the past few years. Thanks the numerous spy shots and rumors over the past couple of years, we have gotten a good idea of what's in store. It doesn't hurt that Jeep's CEO Mike Manley confirmed this last year. Before the New York Auto Show kicks off this week, Jeep has finally unveiled the details on what they call "The Most Powerful and Quickest SUV Ever".
    Let's get to the specifications first:
    Supercharged 6.2L V8 - 707 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque Upgraded Eight-Speed Automatic and all-wheel drive system to handle this immense power (Rumor had it that Jeep's engineers were considering decreasing the power due to worries of the AWD system not being able to cope with the power) Revised suspension with adjustable Bilstein shocks Larger Brembo Brakes (15.75-inch in the front, 13.78-inch for the back) 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds (not bad for a vehicle with a curb weight of 5,363 lbs) Top Speed: 180 mph Max Tow Rating: 7,200 lbs The Trackhawk's exterior stands out from the SRT model with a narrower front grille to make room for vents to help cool the engine. You'll also notice the lack of fog lights. These are ducts to help gulp up cool air for the vehicle. Other design changes include a set of 20-inch wheels and quad-tipped exhausts. Inside, there is a new instrument cluster with the tachometer placed in the middle.
    Jeep is keeping quiet on pricing, but we wouldn't be surprised if it starts above $70,000. We'll find out the actual price when the Trackhawk hits dealers in the fourth quarter of this year.
    Source: Jeep
    Press Release is on Page 2


    707-horsepower 2018 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Trackhawk: The Most Powerful and Quickest SUV Ever
    Most powerful SUV ever: supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine delivers 707 horsepower and 645 lb.-ft. of torque Quickest SUV ever: 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 3.5 seconds, quarter mile in 11.6 seconds and top speed of 180 mph Upgraded TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission and driveline components engineered to handle additional torque output 60-0 mph braking performance of 114 feet New Brembo braking system includes largest-ever front brakes on a Jeep® vehicle World-class on-road driving dynamics: upgraded TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission and driveline components, five drive-mode Selec-Track system and Bilstein adaptive damping suspension Aggressive, functional exterior appointments include unique quad-tip exhaust and redesigned fascia that optimizes airflow and cooling New standard 20 x 10-inch Titanium wheels expose distinctive yellow Brembo brake calipers Driver-focused interior: 7-inch instrument cluster with centered tachometer and 200-mph speedometer; 8.4-inch touchscreen with Trackhawk Performance Pages More than 70 safety and security features Loaded with advanced technology: new Uconnect 8.4-standard touchscreen includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto April 12, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Injected with an unmatched 707 horsepower courtesy of an awe-inspiring supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine, the most awarded SUV ever and the most capable full-size SUV on the planet has been transformed into the most powerful and quickest SUV ever.
    Introducing the new 2018 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
    The new benchmark 707-horsepower supercharged engine combines with an upgraded high-torque capacity TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, world-class on-road driving dynamics and new Brembo brakes to deliver a new level of performance: 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 3.5 seconds, quarter mile in 11.6 seconds at 116 mph, top speed of 180 mph, 60-0 mph braking distance in 114 feet and .88g capability on the skid pad.
    “Long recognized as the full-size SUV capability leader, Jeep Grand Cherokee is now the most powerful and quickest SUV as well, with the introduction of our new 707-horsepower Trackhawk,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global. “The new Grand Cherokee Trackhawk delivers astounding performance numbers, backed by renowned SRT engineering that combines world-class on-road driving dynamics with luxury, refinement and an array of innovative advanced technology.”
    Built in Detroit at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant, the 2018 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will arrive in Jeep showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2017.
    Awe-inspiring 707 horsepower courtesy of supercharged 6.2-liter V-8

    Powering the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine delivering 707 horsepower and 645 lb.-ft. of torque.
    The breakthrough supercharged engine is designed and manufactured using only the strongest and most durable materials. Its cast iron block features water jackets between the cylinders for optimal cooling. A forged-steel crankshaft with induction-hardened bearing surfaces is so strong it can withstand firing pressures of nearly 1,600 psi (110 bar) – the equivalent of five family sedans standing on each piston, every two revolutions. The unique, specially tuned crankshaft damper has been burst tested to 13,000 rpm.
    High-strength, forged-alloy pistons – developed using advanced telemetry measurement – are coupled to powder-forged connecting rods with high-load-capacity bushings and diamond-like, carbon-coated piston pins.
    Premium grade, heat-treated aluminum-alloy cylinder heads are optimized for superior thermal conductivity. Sodium-cooled exhaust valves feature hollow-stem construction and special steel-alloy heads that stand up to temperatures as high as 1,652 degrees Fahrenheit (900 degrees Celsius).
    The 2,380cc per revolution supercharger includes integral charge-air coolers and an integrated electronic bypass valve to regulate boost pressure to a maximum of 11.6 psi (80 kPa). The twin-screw rotors are specially coated with:
    a proprietary formula of polyimide and other resins nanometer-sized, wear-resistant particles solid lubricants, such as PTFE (Teflon) The coating enables tighter clearance between the rotors. This reduces internal air leakage, delivering improved compressor performance and higher efficiencies. The coating can withstand the temperatures generated by compression, and provides superior corrosion resistance.
    The supercharger is sealed for life with premium synthetic oil, uses a drive ratio of 2.36:1 and has a maximum speed of 14,600 rpm. The supercharger drive system’s one-way clutch de-coupler improves refinement, while allowing for precisely the kind of powerful sound certain to captivate Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk drivers.
    Air sources for the supercharger include a cold-air scoop in the lower front fascia, which replaces the driver’s-side fog lamp and helps to feed the 92mm throttle body.
    The large-nosed crankshaft drives a high-flow gerotor oil pump, which feeds a lubrication circuit that includes eight high-flow piston-cooling jets. A high-capacity oil/air heat exchanger, mounted in the front of the Trackhawk, mitigates oil temperatures when driving conditions are harshest, such as on the track.
    A new low-temperature cooling system, consisting of a pump, reservoir, heat exchanger and lines, help keep the charge air cool during performance driving. This system is designed to keep intake air temperatures below 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius), under extreme ambient conditions, while enabling air flow of up to 30,000 liters per minute.
    A new fuel delivery system, featuring two high-flow, multi-mode pumps, matches the high-performance demands of the engine.
    Upgraded driveline components, durability and refinement result in benchmark off-road performance

    The performance of the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is bolstered by various upgraded driveline components engineered to handle the additional torque output from the supercharged engine.
    The standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission delivers improved shift response, quality and consistent performance and drivability. The transmission software takes into account variables such as engine torque gradients, kick-down events, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, grade changes, friction detection and downshift detection to determine the appropriate shift map.
    Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is equipped with the Jeep Quadra-Trac on-demand four-wheel-drive system, which includes an electronic limited-slip rear differential and a single-speed active transfer case. The new, full-time active transfer case uses forged steel chain sprockets and a wider chain for added strength and durability.
    A strengthened rear drive shaft connects to a new, stronger rear axle. The differential features a revised housing design, revised ring-and-pinion tooth geometry and new four-point axle mounting scheme for better load distribution, additional torque capacity and overall durability. Torque is delivered to the rear wheels via new ultra-high-strength 300M low-alloy vacuum melted steel half-shafts with upgraded eight-ball outboard constant velocity joints.
    Standard Launch Control optimizes the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk’s performance by coordinating the engine, transmission, driveline and suspension for a textbook launch and consistent straight-line acceleration.
    A new standard Torque Reserve system provides improved engine torque response and quicker vehicle acceleration in Launch Control by pre-positioning the supercharger bypass valve to generate boost and minimize manifold filling time, while cutting fueling to individual cylinders and managing spark timing. This generates a reserve of torque that can be instantaneously delivered upon acceleration from a standing stop.
    The Selec-Track system on the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk uses performance-tuned software to pre-configure and distinguish the five dynamic modes, including: Auto, Sport, Track, Snow and Tow, enabling drivers to choose a vehicle setting that ideally meets their requirements and ambient conditions. The drive modes separately control the four-wheel-drive system, transmission, paddle shifters, suspension and the electric power steering.
    Dynamic drive mode configurations include:
    Auto — Automatically adapts to any condition; uses a 40-percent front/60-percent rear torque split Sport — Transmission shift times are reduced by 50 percent versus Auto Mode; stability control, four-wheel-drive and steering systems are set for typical enthusiast driving style; paddle shifters are enabled and suspension is tightened up without increasing impact harshness to deliver increased vehicle performance capability over Auto Mode; uses 35/65 torque split Track — Transmission shift times are reduced 68 percent versus Auto Mode to 160 milliseconds; stability control, four-wheel-drive and steering systems are set for ultimate track performance; paddle shifters are enabled and suspension is set to full firm to deliver maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces; uses 30/70 torque split Tow — Alters torque delivery off the line for greater smoothness and adjusts suspension to combat pitch and yaw to deliver maximum towing performance: uses 60/40 torque split Snow — Maximizes traction to deliver optimized performance on snow and ice with reduced engine horsepower; uses 50/50 torque split Trackhawk also features a Custom Mode that allows the driver to personalize the vehicle’s performance with a selectable driving experience offering a multitude of vehicle system combinations.
    The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk rides on a short- and long-arm (SLA) independent front suspension with coil springs, Bilstein adaptive damping suspension (ADS), upper- and aluminum lower-control arms (“A” arms), aluminum knuckle, aluminum clevis and hollow stabilizer bar. The rear suspension is a multi-link design with coil spring, Bilstein ADS, aluminum lower control arm, independent upper links (tension and camber), plus a separate toe link, and a hollow stabilizer bar.
    Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is capable of towing 7,200 pounds.
    New benchmark SUV stopping performance

    New high-performance Brembo brakes include the largest standard front brakes ever offered on a Jeep vehicle. Up front are 15.75-inch (400 mm) two-piece vented rotors with six-piston calipers painted with a new distinctive yellow finish, and 13.78-inch (350 mm) vented rotors with four-piston yellow calipers in the rear for outstanding stopping performance, heat management and durability.
    The new Brembo brakes bring the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to a stop from 60 mph in 114 feet. For added safety, the anti-lock braking, electronic stability control and traction systems are uniquely tuned.
    Aggressive and functional exterior

    The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk rides one inch lower than non-SRT Grand Cherokee models and is further set apart with body-colored wheel flares, side sill cladding and a sculpted hood with dual heat extractors.
    The signature seven-slot upper front grille is flanked by adaptive, bi-xenon headlamps and surrounded by an LED character lamp treatment. The headlamps on the Trackhawk model feature a unique Gloss Black background to accent their jewel-like appearance.
    The fog lights are absent from the Trackhawk’s front fascia to optimize airflow to cooling modules and air induction without compromising the vehicle’s balance.
    From behind, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk features a unique Gloss Black rear valence that showcases four-inch Black Chrome quad exhaust tips. The new quad exhaust system design provides an exhilarating and unmistakable note during maximum acceleration.
    A “Supercharged” badge on both front doors and a Trackhawk badge on the liftgate features a Liquid Titanium Chrome outline and Matte Black background.
    New standard 20 x 10-inch Titanium wheels with a Satin Chrome center cap showcase the distinctive yellow calipers underneath. Available lightweight 20 x 10-inch forged aluminum Low Gloss Black wheels save 12 pounds versus the standard Trackhawk wheel. Grand Cherokee Trackhawk also features all-new Pirelli 295/45ZR20 Scorpion Verde All-Season and new Pirelli P Zero three-season tires with an increased speed rating.
    Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is available in nine exterior colors: Billet Silver, Granite Crystal, Diamond Black, Ivory Tri-coat, Bright White, Velvet Red, Rhino (exclusive), Redline 2 (exclusive) and True Blue.
    High-performance, racing-inspired interior

    The driver-focused interior features premium soft-touch materials, unique Light Black Chrome finishes and carbon fiber spears, and a 7-inch driver information display (DID) instrument cluster, which features the tachometer in the middle. The 200-mph speedometer is on the left side of the cluster.
    The instrument panel center stack with new 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen features Trackhawk-exclusive Performance Pages that showcase an array of performance timers and gauge readouts, including a new engine dynamometer screen that measures instantaneous horsepower, torque and current transmission gear. The dynamometer screen also includes a new snapshot function for owners to save their readouts on a USB.
    Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk’s three-spoke steering wheel with a flat bottom features a bevy of comfort, convenience and connectivity controls and ergonomically efficient paddle shifters.
    The Trackhawk features standard Nappa leather and suede seats with an embroidered “Trackhawk” logo. A fully wrapped Signature Leather Interior Package with “Trackhawk” embossed on the seats, optional in black and Trackhawk-exclusive black and Dark Ruby Red is available. Seats are also heated (front and rear) and ventilated (front). Dark Ruby Red seatbelts and a dual-pane panoramic sunroof are also available options.
    A new Premium Metal Package is standard and enhances the Trackhawk’s interior with various upscale real metal accents.
    Additional premium interior features include: standard Active Noise Cancellation; premium headliner; leather stitched instrument panel, doors, center console and armrest; Berber floormats with Trackhawk badge and available dual-screen rear-seat entertainment center with Blu-ray.
    There is a choice of two audio systems, including an 825-watt Harman Kardon high-performance audio system with 19-speakers and two subwoofers.
    Safety and Security

    The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk includes more than 70 safety and security features, including Trailer Hitch Camera View at Speed, which allows owners to view trailered items through the rear-mounted camera while moving, and a Valet mode that enables the following vehicle configurations:
    Engine is remapped to significantly reduce horsepower and torque; limited to 4,000 rpm Transmission locks out access to first gear and upshifts earlier than normal Transmission will treat the manual shifter position the same as the drive position Traction, steering and suspension are set to their Street settings Steering-wheel paddle shifters are disabled Drive Mode functions are disabled Electronic stability control (ESC) is enabled to Full-on Launch Control is disabled Drivers can activate and deactivate Valet mode with a personalized four-digit PIN code.
    Other prominent, standard Grand Cherokee Trackhawk safety and security features include Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop; Advanced Brake Assist; Blind-spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Path Detection; Full-speed Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation; Front and Rear Park Assist; Lane Departure Warning-Plus; Ready Alert Braking and SiriusXM Guardian and Roadside Assistance buttons.
    Advanced technology delivered with all-new infotainment system

    New for 2018, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is equipped with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto through the latest version of Uconnect’s 8.4-inch touchscreen radio system. 
    Apple CarPlay
    Seamlessly integrates an iPhone with the vehicle’s built-in display and controls in addition to featuring Siri Voice control. iPhone-equipped drivers can make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, and receive voice-guided navigation optimized for traffic conditions and more, while staying focused on the road.
    Android Auto
    System shares useful information when driving and makes it easy to access the best of Google technology. Featuring Google Maps with free voice-guided navigation, live traffic information, and lane guidance; on-demand access to 30 million songs with Google Play Music; plus the ability to place phone calls or send and receive messages while keeping hands on the wheel; and ask Google search any question. Android Auto also makes it easy to access popular apps and content from the Uconnect system’s touchscreen.
    The latest Uconnect operating system includes easy-to-use features, pinch-to-zoom display, enhanced processing power, faster startup times and touchscreens that display high-resolution graphics. Drivers and passengers also have an abundance of infotainment features at their fingertips with SiriusXM Radio, Travel Link, Traffic and Guardian Connected Services that provide real-time information.

    William Maley

    We got boost! (except in horsepower)

    We have been waiting for quite a while for Honda to reveal the production Civic Si and this morning, they did just that.
    The 2017 Honda Civic Si may not look completely bonkers like the Type R, but we're not complaining about it. The subtitle changes such as the blacked-out grille, 18-inch wheels, center-mounted exhaust, and rear spoiler help the Si stand out from other Civic models without going completely mad. Move inside and the Civic Si comes well equipped with sport bucket seats, red digital gauge cluster, faux carbon fiber trim, automatic climate control, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
    Under the hood is a tweaked version of the Civic's turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder producing 205 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. This is somewhat weak sauce when compared to the likes of the Volkswagen GTI (220) and Ford Focus ST (252). Honda does say those numbers do arrive at lower rpms (5700 for horsepower, 2500 to 5000 for torque). A six-speed manual is the only transmission on offer.
    For the chassis, Honda has fitted a set of adaptive dampers, stiffer springs and anti-roll bars, larger brakes, and a honest-to-goodness mechanical limited-slip differential.
    The Civic Si will be available as a sedan and coupe, and carry a base price in the mid-$20,000 range. At least you won't have to wait long as the Si arrives at dealers next month.
    Source: Honda 
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Honda Reveals 2017 Civic Si Coupe and Sedan in Dynamic Global Debut Video

    Apr 6, 2017 - TORRANCE, Calif.
    First ever turbocharged Civic Si is most agile, best-handling Si yet Standard features include Apple Carplay™ and Android Auto™ Production reveal of Civic Si Coupe and Sedan variants on YouTube The all-new Honda Civic Si Coupe and Civic Si Sedan debuted today in a global reveal video broadcast on Honda's YouTube channel at honda.us/2017CivicSiReveal. The exciting and dynamic video features the stylish, personal two-door coupe and sleek, accommodating four-door sedan - both sporty Si variants are designed for the everyday enthusiast. The new Civic Si Sedan and Coupe will go on-sale next month with an MSRP in the mid-$20,000 range.
    "The 2017 Honda Civic Si is our first turbocharged Si and sets a new sporty compact benchmark in terms of agility and precise handling while building toward the launch of the Type R as the final chapter in our epic 10th-generation Civic story," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president automobile division, American Honda.
    Powertrain and chassis
    Powering the Civic Si is a high-performance, high-torque 1.5-liter, directed-injected and turbocharged DOHC in-line 4-cylinder engine with dual variable cam timing (dual VTC). Mated to a short-throw, 6-speed manual transmission, the powertrain provides a thrilling new driving experience with more low-end grunt and increased torque output across the engine's full rev range compared to the previous Si. Peak horsepower of 205 horsepower1 arrives 1300 rpm lower in the rev range, and the increased peak torque of 192 lb-ft2 (+18 lb-ft) is produced 2300 rpm earlier and sustained over 70 percent of the rev range.
    Allowing full utilization of the powertrain, the 2017 Civic Si is significantly lighter than the previous generation model and features a more rigid body including highly upgraded chassis and drive components. These upgrades include a dual-pinion adaptive electric power steering system with variable ratios, sport-tuned suspension, an adaptive damper system, a helical limited-slip differential, larger 12.3-inch front brake rotors and wider 235/40 R18 tires with a performance tire option. In addition to adaptive dampers, suspension upgrades include stiffer spring rates, more rigid stabilizer bars (+30 percent front, +60 percent rear), solid front and rear compliance bushings, and ultra-rigid front upper control arms shared with the Civic Type R.
    Allowing the driver to choose vehicle power and chassis dynamic characteristics according to their tastes and the driving environment, the 2017 Civic Si now features two driving mode options: Normal and Sport. From the more comfort-oriented yet well controlled default Normal Mode, the Sport Mode adjusts the suspension damping characteristics plus steering and throttle response for a more taut and direct driving experience.
    Sporty design and styling 
    Upping the sporty style quotient from the standard Civic Sedan and Coupe, the Si models feature an aggressive black "wing" front fascia with larger side air intake features, 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels with a model-exclusive two-tone finish, wearing 235mm-wide, low-profile tires, and a chrome center-mounted polygonal exhaust finisher. At the rear, the Si Sedan includes larger side vent features and a deck lid spoiler incorporating a LED brake light. The Si Coupe continues the Civic Coupe's distinctive full-width light bar and adds a prominent raised spoiler.
    The Civic Si interior features Si-exclusive bolstered front sport seats with red stitching, including stitched Si logos. The red sport stitching carries through to the doors, steering wheel and leather shift boot with aluminum shift knob. The Si interior also features a red driver's TFT meter and audio system illumination, aluminum sport pedals and Dry Metal Carbon instrument panel trim.
    Interior Comfort, Convenience and Connectivity
    The new Civic Si variants offers premium comfort and convenience features building off of the EX-T Civic Sedan and EX-T Civic Coupe, including:
    Electronic parking brake Walk away door locking Dual-zone automatic climate control Heated front seats Rain-sensing wipers Accommodating modern connectivity needs, the new Civic Si also includes a 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen that serves as the nerve center for control of audio, HVAC and other functions. The Display Audio is integrated with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ platforms, providing seamless integration of smartphone features and functions, including app-based navigation, streaming audio, voice-controlled search capabilities, and access to a host of Apple- or Google-approved smartphone apps. All Si models feature a 450-watt, 10-speaker AM/FM/CD sound system with SiriusXM® Radio, HD Radio™ and Pandora® capability.
    Safety 
    The 2017 Civic Si Coupe and Sedan are designed to provide a high level of collision safety performance in a wide variety of collision scenarios, including offset and oblique-angle frontal collisions as well as side and rear impacts. The Civic's safety performance starts with its class-leading forward visibility and precise, stable and predictable steering, handling and braking performance. Standard four-channel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA)4 with traction control and Agile Handling Assist further enhance dynamic stability and emergency maneuvering and braking performance. The Civic Si targets the highest NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score.

    William Maley

    More AMG models arrive at New York

    Mercedes' AMG lineup is already crowded with models but that isn't stopping from introducing two new models for New York next week. Meet the 2018 GLC63 and GLC63 Coupe. 
    The GLE63 comes with a 4.0L biturbo V8 engine producing 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Those who are power hungry will be pleased with the GLE63S Coupe with 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Both come paired with a nine-speed AMG Speedshift MCT transmission and 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive. 0-60 mph takes 3.9 seconds in the GLC63 and 3.7 seconds in the S. Other mechanical changes include an air suspension, speed-sensitive steering, three-stage stability control, and a rear limited-slip differential.
    AMG stylists were given some free reign in terms of making the GLE63 look aggressive. The front comes with the Panamericana grille first seen on the AMG GT and a new bumper. Wider fenders hide a set of either 20 or 21-inch wheels. In the back, a rear diffuser, and quad exhaust outlets give a heavy dose of presence.
    Mercedes will launch the GLE63 family early next year.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2


    The new Mercedes-AMG GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe
    Mercedes-AMG Combines Performance SUV and V8 Expertise Mercedes-AMG set a milestone when it launched the first ML55 in 1999. The combination of a high-performance engine with the space and practicality of an SUV opened up an entirely new market segment in which AMG has continued to thrive. With the new GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe, Mercedes-AMG once again occupies an exceptional position in the marketplace. For the first time in the Mercedes- AMG lineup, a mid-size SUV will now be available with a powerful eight- cylinder biturbo engine. The handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine produces 469 hp in the GLC63 SUV and GLC63 Coupe and a mighty 503 hp in the GLC63 S Coupe. Acceleration from 0-60 mph takes just 3.9 seconds in the GLC63 SUV and Coupe, and an impressive 3.7 seconds in the GLC63 S Coupe. Each of these three new performance models feature an air spring suspension with adaptive, adjustable damping, AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution, a rear-axle limited-slip differential and a high-performance braking system. As a visual indication of their links with Mercedes-AMG sports cars, all new GLC63 models sport the AMG Panamericana grille, which was previously reserved for the AMG GT family of sports cars. In addition, the new models offer all the advantages of a Mercedes SUV: ample room for passengers and luggage, comprehensive array of safety equipment and superior traction in all road conditions.
    The new Mercedes-AMG GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe occupy exceptional positions in their respective markets on every front. They are the only vehicles in their segment to be powered by an eight-cylinder biturbo engine, thus meeting the wishes of customers who are looking for a midsize SUV with superior power delivery and a highly emotional, unmistakable engine sound.
    "For us, the new GLC63 is a quite special vehicle. It is no easy job designing an SUV to be highly sporty and dynamic while at the same time offering inherent extreme driving stability and efficiency. This required us to put our heart and soul, along with our many years of SUV expertise, into the development of this vehicle. The result is an SUV that can be driven with high precision and agility and which, if required, is equally at home on a high-speed lap of the race track. With our V8 biturbo engine, we hold a decisive unique selling point in the performance market. What is more, with both SUV and Coupe variants available, we offer the widest choice in the segment. The technical closeness to our sports cars is visually underlined by the Panamericana grille, which was previously reserved for our AMG GT models," says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
    Unique offering in the segment with V8 biturbo engine
    Both SUV and Coupe variants of the GLC63 are offered with the proven, handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine, producing 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. The GLC63 S Coupe produces a massive 503 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration from 0-60 mph takes just 3.9 seconds in the GLC63 SUV and Coupe, and an impressive 3.7 seconds in the GLC63 S Coupe.
    V8 biturbo closely related to engine in the Mercedes-AMG GT
    The handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine is already used in numerous AMG Performance vehicles, including in the AMG GT sports car family (with dry sump lubrication). A characteristic feature of this engine is that the engine's two turbochargers are positioned inside the cylinder "V". The main advantages of this design are the compact engine construction, optimal throttle response and low exhaust emissions. Each engine is assembled by one mechanic in the engine shop at AMG's headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany according to the "one man - one engine" principle.
    Short shift times, high efficiency: AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed transmission
    The new GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe all feature the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed transmission, which made its debut in the Mercedes- AMG E63 S. The driver benefits from extremely short shift/response times. Fast multiple downshifts and the double-declutching function make for highly emotional shifting. A start-off wet clutch replaces a traditional torque converter in this new transmission, saving weight and optimizing the response to the driver's accelerator pedal input.
    AMG Performance 4MATIC+ variable all-wheel drive
    After the Mercedes-AMG E63 S Sedan, the GLC63 now comes with AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive. This intelligent system unites the advantages of different drive concepts: fully variable torque distribution to the front and rear axles ensures optimal traction right up to the physical limit. The driver is also able to rely on high driving stability and handling safety under all conditions, even in snow. The transition from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive and vice versa is seamless, as intelligent control is integrated into the overall vehicle system architecture.
    An electromechanically controlled clutch connects the permanently driven rear axle to the fully variable front axle. The best possible torque distribution is continuously computed according to driving conditions and driver's input. Transitions are seamless and based on a sophisticated matrix. Alongside traction and lateral dynamics, the all-wheel drive also improves the longitudinal dynamics for even more powerful acceleration.
    For a personalized experience: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs
    The four AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs "Comfort," "Sport," "Sport+" and "Individual" allow the driver to extensively influence the characteristics of the GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe by modifying key parameters such as the response of engine, transmission, suspension, steering, ESP® and all-wheel drive. Independent of the DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. The suspension settings can also be specially selected if required.
    "Comfort" is a balanced drive program with a comfort-oriented suspension and steering set-up as well as a fuel-efficient powertrain configuration with early upshifts – including smooth gearshifts and a restrained engine sound. The ECO start/stop function and coasting function are activated in this mode. When the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 37 and 99 mph, the clutch of the MCT transmission opens and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. Electronics lower the engine speed to idle and driving resistance is reduced by the compression and friction forces of the engine on overrun.
    The DYNAMIC SELECT "Sport" and "Sport+" drive programs are designed for high driving dynamics. This results from an agile accelerator pedal characteristic with direct set-up and emotively appealing gearshifts with shorter shift times and double-clutching function on downshifts. The increased idle speed in "Sport+" enables especially fast acceleration from rest.
    The GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe have an additional "RACE" drive program, in which all driving parameters are configured for maximum performance. With a total of five drive programs, this Performance SUV once again offers the widest choice in the segment.
    Exhaust system with flap technology for variable engine sound
    An emotional V8 engine sound comes courtesy of an exhaust system with flap technology. This flap is controlled automatically depending on the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive program, the power demanded by the driver and the engine speed. Optionally available is the AMG Performance exhaust system, which allows the exhaust sound to be modulated at the press of a button.
    Specific suspension for maximum lateral and longitudinal dynamics
    The agility, highly dynamic lateral acceleration and maximum grip of the new GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe models comes courtesy of a new AMG suspension system which features fully-supporting multi-chamber air springs. This suspension setup ensures exceptionally high levels of camber stability, driving dynamics and steering precision.
    The front axle features a four-link design with special steering knuckles, optimized elastokinematics and radial brake connections. Independent wheel control and wheel suspension elements enable higher lateral acceleration with minimal torque steer.
    The concept for the rear axle was carried over from the AMG E63 S Sedan and specially matched to the requirements of the GLC. The model-specific multi-link concept impresses with highly precise wheel control and increased stiffness. The AMG-specific rear axle carrier makes the wider track possible in comparison with the GLC from Mercedes-Benz, while the contact surfaces of the wheel bearings have also been moved further outwards. Other measures include AMG-specific wheel carriers, stiffer elastokinematic tuning and higher negative camber.
    Individual driving experience thanks to three-chamber air suspension system
    Thanks to a sporty spring and damper set-up and continuously variable damping, the new three-chamber air suspension system combines exemplary driving dynamics with excellent road roar and tire vibration characteristics. The stiffness of the air springs can be adjusted over a wide range by activating or deactivating individual air chambers, making for perceptibly enhanced comfort and handling.
    There are three degrees of spring tuning depending on the selected drive program and current driving status. The spring rate is hardened automatically in the event of sudden load changes, fast cornering, heavy acceleration or heavy braking, effectively reducing roll and pitch while stabilizing the GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe.
    The adaptive damping can be set in three stages – "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport+" - thus, both relaxed comfort on long journeys and maximum sportiness are possible. Rebound and compression levels are adjusted independently of each other, and the freely programmable maps permit a wide spread between minimum and maximum damper force. The difference between the comfortable and sporty suspension settings is even more refined and is clearly perceptible – depending on driving style.
    The GLC63 SUV and Coupe both come equipped with standard 10-spoke Titanium Grey light-alloy wheels with a high-sheen finish (front: 8 x 19 / rear: 9 x 19) with 235/55 R 19 tires at the front, and 255/50 R 19 tires at the rear. The GLC63 S Coupe comes with 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in Titanium Grey with a high-sheen finish (front: 9.5 x 20 / rear: 10 x 20) with 265/45 R 20 tires at the front and 295/40 R 20 tires at the rear. Several other wheel and tire combinations are available, including forged, staggered fitment wheels with especially wide tires.
    Rear-axle limited-slip differential: optimal traction under all conditions
    For improved traction and driving dynamics, both the GLC63 SUV and Coupe come with a mechanical rear-axle limited-slip differential, while the GLC63 S Coupe uses an electronic rear-axle limited-slip differential. Both differentials reduce the slip on the inside wheel when cornering, without control intervention by the brakes. As a result, the driver is able to accelerate out of corners even earlier thanks to the improved traction. The vehicle remains more stable when braking from high speed, while the limited-slip differential also improves traction when accelerating from a standstill. Overall, the rear axle has been specially matched to the higher driving dynamics of the new Performance SUVs.
    The greatest benefit of the electronic rear-axle limited-slip differential is even more sensitive and precise control, which pushes the critical threshold higher, making it even easier to drive at the vehicle's limits. The three-stage ESP® with "ESP ON," "ESP SPORT Handling Mode" and "ESP OFF" settings work in perfect unison with the rear-axle limited-slip differential and is optimally tuned to provide outstanding dynamics.
    Precise, agile handling: speed-sensitive sports steering
    The electromechanical, speed-sensitive sports steering provides precise, agile handling with authentic feedback. The driver benefits from the variable steering ratio and optimized response.
    The steering also features variable power assistance with the two modes "Comfort" and "Sport." The power steering is dependent not only on the vehicle's speed, but also on the instantaneous lateral acceleration, selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive program and setting of the adjustable damping.
    Expressive front end with Panamericana grille
    A striking characteristic of the exterior design is the expressive front end: the new GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe are the first Mercedes-AMG Performance vehicles to feature the Panamericana grille, which was previously reserved for the AMG GT family of sports cars. This design statement affirms the consistently dynamic design of the new Performance SUV and Coupe. A wide front bumper inspired by the design of a jet wing and a large front splitter embodies the power of both new models. The Panamericana grille gives a clear view of the GLC63's cooling technology – a typical attribute from the world of motor sport and a further differentiation from the other GLC models. Wider wheel arch claddings at front and rear lend emphasis to the muscular looks.
    The new side sill panels make the SUV and Coupe appear to sit lower on the road while elongating the overall lines. On the GLC63 S Coupe, Matte Iridium Silver inserts make for a distinctive appearance. The muscular rear end is dominated by a wide rear bumper and a diffuser in grained black. The trim on the diffuser board is also finished in Matte Iridium Silver.
    The GLC63 SUV is provided with a spoiler lip on the roof, while the spoiler lip on the GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe is familiar from its prior appearance on the AMG GLC43 Coupe. The exhaust system is finished with two high-gloss chrome- plated twin tailpipe trims.
    Interior also with a consistent focus on driving dynamics
    The interior underscores the leadership ambition of the new GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe in terms of driving dynamics. Driver and front passenger seats are finished in MB-Tex man-made leather combined with DINAMICA microfiber, which unite excellent lateral support with functional ergonomics.
    The instrument panel is trimmed in Black MB-Tex man-made leather, with the GLC63 S Coupe additionally receiving contrasting topstitching. The high-grade look is underlined by aluminum trim. The touchpad is flanked by the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch and numerous AMG-specific controls, such as the button for the 3- stage AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension, 3-stage ESP® or optionally the button for the AMG Performance exhaust system with flap control.
    The GLC63 S Coupe variant comes with an even more extensive equipment package, including an AMG Performance steering wheel in Black Nappa Leather / DINAMICA microfiber, in combination with leather appointments and an AMG instrument cluster with red highlights.
    Exclusive optional extras
    The AMG Performance Studio offers technical and design highlights to make the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 SUV, GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe even sportier, more exclusive and more individual. The following provides just a selection:
    AMG Performance exhaust system with flap control at the push of a button Greater differentiation of the sound characteristics by two additional exhaust flaps Sound characteristics dependent on selected drive program - clear differentiation between a full sound in the "C" and "S" drive programs and a distinctly sporty sound in the "S+" and "RACE" drive programs (GLC63 Coupe and GLC63 S Coupe only) Additional control of the sound characteristics via button on the center control panel in the center console AMG Night package: Front splitter of the AMG front bumper in High-Gloss Black Inserts in the AMG side sill panels in High-Gloss Black Exterior mirror housings in High-Gloss Black Waistline trim strip and window frame in High-Gloss Black Roof rails (SUV only) finished in Matte Black AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber package: Exterior mirror housings in carbon fiber Spoiler lip in carbon fiber 20-inch light-alloy wheels 21-inch light-alloy wheels 21-inch forged wheels AMG Performance Studio interior: Upper section of instrument panel and waistlines in Black Nappa- look MB-Tex man-made leather with contrasting topstitching (GLC63 S Coupe) Two-tone Nappa leather in Red Pepper/Black or Platinum White/Black Black Nappa Leather AMG Performance seats for driver and front passenger with more heavily contoured seat shape for enhanced lateral support, with integral head restraints and "AMG" badge in the seat backrests The new 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 SUV and Mercedes-AMG GLC63 Coupe will celebrate their auto show debuts at the New York International Auto Show.

    William Maley

    We're getting closer to seeing the next Enclave

    At first glance, you might be thinking why is Buick teasing the LaCrosse sedan again. But actually, what you are looking at is the 2018 Buick Enclave that will be debuting next month at the New York Auto Show. The image shows the Enclave following the footsteps of the Encore and LaCrosse with a new waterfall grille and slimmer headlights. From spy shots we reported on last month, we're not expecting any major changes in the overall shape.
    Expect the current 3.6L V6 producing 305 horsepower to be residing under the hood, paired with a nine-speed automatic.
    Source: Buick

    Drew Dowdell

    The second try of a second try.

    Kia has been trying to break into the premium sedan market with limited success since 2003, first with the Amanti and then with a new try in 2013 with the Kia Cadenza, neither of which sold well. In spite of being on sale for three years, Kia has only sold about 25,000 Cadenzas in the U.S. in total. The Cadenza is Kia's version of the Hyundai Azera.
     
    At the New York International Auto Show, Kia unveiled the second generation, 2017 Kia Cadenza.
     
    In the 2017 Cadenza is a new, stronger and lighter body structure that helps keep out sound and provides a quiet driving experience.
     
    Powering the Cadenza is a revised version of Kia's 3.3 liter V6 producing (a preliminary) 290 horsepower and routing power to the front wheels via Kia's first 8-speed automatic that was developed in house.
     
    Interior and exterior updates abound with a focus on quiet and comfort. There will be two grilles offered depending on trim line. The butterfly cross hatch similar to other Kia models will be the look on the lower trims, while a toothy blade grille, reminiscent of a concave Buick grille, will be featured on higher end Cadenzas.
     
    The 2017 goes on sale later in 2016 with pricing to be announced in a few months.
     

     
     

     


    Second-Generation Cadenza Boasts Luxury Refinements with Expressive Styling, Advanced Technology, and Refined Powertrain


    New body structure is stronger, yet lighter and more rigid for a more enjoyable driving experience All-new Cadenza takes its sophistication to greater heights with beautifully crafted interior Kia’s first FWD eight-speed automatic transmission improves driving dynamics and efficiency

    NEW YORK, March 23, 2016 – The Big Apple today is playing host to the world debut of the all-new 2017 Kia Cadenza at the New York International Auto Show. The stunningly beautiful Cadenza improves upon all the elements that made its predecessor an award-winning success, boasting a precisely crafted cabin, cutting edge technology for connectivity and driver assistance, a stronger body structure, and powertrain enhancements for a more premium experience behind the wheel.
    “The new Cadenza adds an extra dose of excitement to the large-car segment with its striking, aggressively handsome looks and premium refinements,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, Kia Motors America. “Everything you see and touch in the Cadenza’s cabin has been improved, but it’s underneath where the Cadenza truly shines with a stiffer and lighter chassis, eight-speed transmission and vastly improved driving dynamics.”
    The second-generation Cadenza is set to go on-sale in late 2016, and pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch date.
    Elegant and Confident Exterior
    Designed at Kia’s California design studio, birthplace of the unforgettable Track’ster and GT4 Stinger concepts as well as the iconic Soul, the Cadenza’s precision-machined exterior exudes confidence, with clean lines offset by expressive details. It all starts with Kia Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer’s oft-quoted philosophy focusing on “the simplicity of the straight line,” which is defined by a single gestural contour that spans the length of the car, creating a sleek profile. This lineation visually links matching Z-shaped lighting signatures in the headlights and LED tail lights, affording the all-new Cadenza a more distinctive road presence, day or night. The overall impression is one of modernity and power, which is achieved by visually shearing away surface area to create a more angular form.
    Head on, the Cadenza is more expressive thanks to the newly designed front fascia. While the signature Kia “tiger nose” grille is still an unmistakable design trait, it has evolved into a new hexagonal shape that emphasizes the Cadenza’s visual width with lines extending underneath the headlights. But the more substantial change to the grille is its distinct concave form, which curves in toward the engine bay, giving the Cadenza its handsomely chiseled face.
    Unlike other cars in the segment, the Cadenza is available with two different grilles. Lower trim models will come with the “Diamond Butterfly” front grille that features the same three-dimensional pattern as several siblings within the Kia lineup, but has its own unique appearance thanks to the concave shape. Higher trim models will come with the “Intaglio” grille, featuring vertically oriented, faceted blades.
    LED technology inside the “piano key” taillights helps create visual depth while also complementing the Z-shape lighting signature. Other thoughtful details include the chrome garnish that extends through the trunk lid, accentuating the Cadenza’s wide stance, and tasteful chrome accents on the side mirrors and rear quarter windows.
    Exterior styling is further enhanced by optimized dimensions. While the new Cadenza has the same overall length as the outgoing model, it’s slightly wider and lower in height. The wheelbase has been stretched slightly, contributing to nearly a half-inch of increased legroom for rear passengers. Achieving Cadenza’s sportier profile was achieved by extending the roofline rearward more than two inches, while maintaining rear headroom and slightly improving trunk space.
    Exquisitely Comfortable Interior Space
    The interior is thoughtfully redesigned with even higher quality materials than the preceding model and higher levels of craftsmanship throughout. Like the exterior, the Cadenza’s soft interior contours are offset by sheared surfaces. Kia designers visually widened the Cadenza’s interior space with a wraparound dashboard that flows into the door panels and features real stitching. The door panels themselves have been adorned with higher quality soft-touch materials, while soft leather envelopes the Cadenza’s cabin space. Nappa leather is available with quilted seat bolsters accented by diamond shaped stitching that dresses up the Cadenza’s already attractive cabin. For 2017, buyers have greater opportunity to customize their Cadenza, as a dark brown interior color has been added, bringing the total number of color combinations to four. Like the outgoing model, the White Package remains an option, but it has been upgraded with a new black wood-grain-style trim finished with a pearlescent sheen.
    Improvements were made throughout to ensure a more pleasant driving experience. The driver’s seat has been lowered for a sportier and more stable feeling, while engineers extended the seat cushion slightly and developed an innovative cushion extension mechanism that slides and rotates, making it easier for drivers to find their comfort zone behind the wheel. The heating elements used for the seat warmers have been reengineered to more evenly distribute warmth, and as a Kia first, the seat heaters now utilize a smart control system to automatically lower the heater operating mode after a certain period of time.
    The Driving Experience
    The 2017 Cadenza is built upon a strong foundation with a body structure composed of more than 50 percent Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) — more than twice the amount used in the outgoing model. Engineers are targeting an overall five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration and a Top Safety Pick+ designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. A driver’s knee airbag helps in this regard and brings the total number of airbags in the vehicle to nine.
    The first Kia to be sold in the U.S. under the DRIVE WISE sub-brand, the Cadenza offers cutting-edge driver assistance features1 such as Advanced Smart Cruise Control with stop-and-go functionality, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking, and Lane Departure Warning. Another Kia first is the Smart Blind Spot Detection System1 which senses unintentional drifting toward an adjacent vehicle and automatically brakes the opposite side front wheel to help maintain the vehicle’s intended course.
    Side body panels are stronger and feature increased tensile strength steel to improve Cadenza’s dent resistance. Thanks to the increased use of structural adhesive and hot-stamped components, structural stiffness has been increased by more than 35 percent, which also improves driving dynamics. The overall chassis is lighter, thanks to the use of aluminum instead of steel in areas like the front steering knuckles, and engineers retuned the front and rear subframes with larger bushings to improve lateral stiffness and NVH characteristics. Further improving the ride are Amplitude Selective Damping (ASD) shock absorbers that maximize ride comfort without sacrificing stability. An extra valve in the damper provides the appropriate damping force according to the road surface, while the new shock absorber now includes a Hydraulic Rebound Stopper (HRS), which works to provide a smoother ride over harsh or broken surfaces. The retuned suspension has improved the Cadenza’s lift coefficient (the up-and-down forces exerted on a moving vehicle), and the end result is better high-speed stability and handling. Steering is more responsive than before with better on-center feel thanks to a new 32-bit Electronic Control Unit (ECU), replacing the 16-bit processor in the outgoing model.
    The 2017 Cadenza’s confident ride and handling are complemented by improvements in NVH. Additional acoustic absorbing laminate in the front windows and windshield reduces wind noise, while a full floorpan undercover quells road noise. Together with increased insulation around the A-pillars, NVH levels have been substantially reduced, resulting in a library-quiet interior. The floorpan undercover also helps improve the Cadenza’s aerodynamic performance, along with front wheel air curtains that reduce drag around the tires. Overall, the coefficient of drag has improved from 0.29 to 0.28.
    Newly designed 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels may be shod with available Michelin®2 tires (P245/45R18 or P245/40R19). Behind the wheels, larger brake rotors improve overall braking performance and feel. The front brakes have been increased from 11 to 12 inches, while the rears have grown marginally from 11 to 11.1 inches, helping to reduce stopping distances.
    Harmonious and Modern Cockpit
    Brimming with technology, the cockpit is designed to provide a more harmonious human-machine interface with ergonomically intelligent design, intuitive controls, and a suite of enhanced convenience features making the driving experience enjoyable and effortless. New to the 2017 Cadenza is the Head Up Display (HUD)3, which shows key driver information such as speed and turn-by-turn navigation directions on the windshield directly in the driver’s line of sight. In addition, the Surround View Monitor1 has been updated with improved software and resolution that gives the driver a clearer birds-eye view of the area around the vehicle, with newly added reverse guidelines offering confidence when backing into confined spaces. Other features new to the Cadenza include Smart Trunk, which conveniently opens the trunk lid if the sensor detects the key fob for more than three seconds, and a wireless smartphone charger. The latest generation of Kia’s UVO system featuring Android Auto4 and Apple® CarPlay5 is standard, while a 12-speaker Harman/Kardon® system featuring Clari-Fi™6 music restoration technology is an option.
    Efficient and Durable Performance
    Underneath the hood is a revised version of Kia’s 3.3-liter V6 engine, which has been retuned for improved fuel economy. With an estimated 290 hp on tap (exact power output and fuel economy figures will be released closer to the vehicle’s on-sale date), the engine sends power to the front wheels via Kia’s first FWD-based eight-speed automatic transmission. The newly developed transmission is highly efficient, providing quick and crisp shifts for a more enjoyable driving experience that will set it apart from its competitors. Despite having two extra cogs, the eight-speed transmission, which was designed in-house, is lighter than the unit in the outgoing model.
    Kia engineers also focused on durability and reliability during the development of the all-new Cadenza. Running the V6 at full power and under full-load conditions for 41 consecutive days equates to more than 100,000 miles of real-world use, providing owners with the confidence that the 2017 Cadenza is built for the long haul.

    William Maley

    Mitsubishi's odd couple at New York

    Mitsubishi seems to be in a pattern of unveiling two models for an auto show. At the LA Auto Show, the Japanese automaker introduced the updated 2017 Mirage and Outlander Sport. For New York, Mitsubishi introduced the 2017 Mirage G4 sedan and Outlander PHEV.
     
    We'll begin with the Mirage G4 which takes the Mirage hatchback and adds a trunk. Personally, I think it looks somewhat nicer than the refreshed hatch. Power comes from a 1.2L three-cylinder with 78 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque. There is a choice of either a five-speed manual or CVT. Standard on the G4 will be Apple Carplay and Android Auto integration. The Mirage G4 goes on sale this spring.
     
    Next is the Outlander PHEV. This model was originally supposed to go on sale back in 2014, but a number of delays have pushed the launch back to this fall. The hybrid system is composed of a 2.0L four-cylinder, an electric motor on each axle, and 12-kWh lithium-ion battery. There are three modes the hybrid system can be in based on driver demands,
    EV Mode: Runs on electric power only Series Hybrid: Engine acts as a generator for the batteries (think Chevrolet Volt) Parallel Hybrid: Engine and electric motors work together

    Mitsubishi hasn't revealed power figures or fuel economy figures for the Outlander PHEV.
     


    Source: Mitsubishi
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    MITSUBISHI UNVEILS ALL-NEW 2017 MIRAGE G4: A SPIRITED SEDAN WITH STYLE, VALUE, AGILITY AND CONNECTIVITY
    Superior fuel economy and super-low Greenhouse Gas Emissions make the Mirage G4 one of the top environmentally conscious gas-powered sedans in the industry Offers unexpected connectivity in a sub-compact car with Apple CarPlay support and Android Auto

    Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today unveiled the all-new 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4. A sibling to the well-established and popular Mirage hatchback, the all-new Mirage G4 brings consumers a fresh dose of clean style, environmental consciousness, agility, connectivity, affordability and value. The Mirage G4 goes on sale this spring at Mitsubishi showrooms across the country.
     

    “A few years ago we entered the subcompact segment with the Mirage hatchback and its popularity with consumers has grown every year with its combination of top fuel economy, attractive pricing and one of the industry's best new car warranties. The new Mirage G4 repeats that value equation in a four-door sedan package,” said MMNA executive vice president, Don Swearingen. “The Mirage hatchback and now the Mirage G4 sedan will form a formidable one-two punch in the subcompact segment.”
     
    The Mirage G4 will utilize the same powertrain of the 2017 hatchback, a revised 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine. The small displacement engine provides a harmonious blend of lively acceleration and efficiency. The Mirage G4 will be at the top of its class in combined fuel efficiency and C02 emissions. Inside, the Mirage G4's long wheelbase provides for a spacious interior cabin and trunk.
     
    Adding an element of surprise and delight to the subcompact segment, the Mirage G4 will come equipped with available smartphone integrations, features typically reserved for higher priced vehicles. Support for Apple CarPlay™, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car, lets drivers make calls, get directions optimized for traffic conditions, listen to music, and access messages. Android Auto™ extends the Android™ platform into the car in a way that's purpose-built for driving.
     
    Staying true to its value-driven roots, the Mirage G4 is supported by Mitsubishi's phenomenal warranties: fully transferable 5-year/60,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty; 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty; 7-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion perforation limited warranty and a 5-year/unlimited mile roadside assistance.
     

    MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER PHEV MAKES U.S. DEBUT AT THE 2016 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV to go on sale in United States in fall 2016 Already the top-selling PHEV in Europe, Outlander PHEV is the world's first plug-in hybrid SUV Outlander PHEV delivers SUV capabilities and EV fuel economy

    Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today showed the much-anticipated production model of the all-new 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) at the 2016 New York International Auto Show. The Outlander PHEV is a perfect culmination of Mitsubishi's history of automotive excellence: 50 years of electromobility and decades of four-wheel drive technology honed on the international rally circuit. Featuring a highly efficient 2.0-liter gas engine and two high-performance electric motors, and Mitsubishi's superior Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a very capable PHEV. The Outlander PHEV will arrive at Mitsubishi showrooms in fall 2016.
     

    "What makes the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV so special is that it offers the best of both worlds with a balance of electric efficiency and long-range practicality," said Don Swearingen, executive vice president, MMNA. "Mitsubishi put its engineering prowess and knowledge to work to create a vehicle that meets the demand of a growing number of consumers who need a car that is capable and environmentally friendly. The Outlander PHEV will offer a high electric range and combined miles per gallon (MPG)."
     
    The Outlander PHEV is highlighted by the full-time, twin-electric motor 4WD system that provides quick and optimized torque distribution. The motors are mounted separately at the front and rear axles to deliver precise, responsive 4WD performance with the S-AWC system ensuring excellent driving stability and intuitive, linear handling. The battery that supplies the electricity for the motors is a high-capacity 12kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
     
    Three drive modes are available: EV (full electric mode), series hybrid (electric power with generator operation) and parallel hybrid (engine power and electric motor assistance). The PHEV system automatically selects the most efficient drive mode given the road conditions and other factors. The system also features a regenerative braking mode, where electricity is captured under braking.
     
    The S-AWC system found on the Outlander PHEV is a specialized application of Lancer Evolution-derived Super All-Wheel Control developed specifically for the Outlander PHEV's unique twin electric motor configuration for maximum performance, efficiency, tractability and safety.
     
    Advanced safety and convenience features will be available on Outlander PHEV, including: Multi-Around view Camera Monitor, Forward Collision Mitigation with pedestrian detection capability, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), and available smartphone integrations including Apple CarPlay™, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car, lets drivers make calls, get directions optimized for traffic conditions, listen to music, and access messages. It will also support Android Auto™ extends the Android™ platform into the car in a way that's purpose-built for driving.
     
    "As previously stated, Mitsubishi's future is crossover utility vehicles and electrified vehicles. Today we are showing the first piece of that plan," said Swearingen.

    Drew Dowdell

    Hyundai launches three electric torpedoes directly at the Toyota Pruis juggernaut.

    At the 2016 New York Auto Show, Hyundai took the wraps off the 2017 Hyundai Ionic. Clearly aimed directly at Prius buyers, the Ioniq challenges the market leader by offering three powertrain variants in a single body-style. Additionally, the Ioniq is offering more conventional styling compared to the very polarizing new look of the Pruis.
     
    The three powertrains offered are
    standard hybrid - 104 horsepower, 109 lb-ft of torque, 1.6 liter direct injected Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder - 44 horsepower, 125 lb-ft electric motor feeding from a 1.56 kW LiO battery. The combined systems produced 139 horsepower. Power is routed to the front wheels through a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission Plug-In Hybrid - Uses the same gasoline engine as above, but replaces the electric motor with a 60 horsepower unit and a 8.9 kWh Lithium-Ion battery. No mention of combined system power, but expect it to be more than the standard hybrid. The Plug-In will allow for up to 25 miles of electric only driving. Full Electric - Features 110 mile driving range from the 28 kWh, output is 120 horsepower and 215 lb-ft of torque, driving the front wheels through a single speed transmission.

    A big part of the Ioniq story is the use of a new Lithium-Ion polymer battery. The use of polymer batteries rather than standard lithium-ion allows the weight of the battery to be reduced by up to 20% and allows for greater packaging efficiency. The battery is mounted low and wide under the rear passenger seat minimizing any loss of passenger room. Charging the Ioniq EV to 80% takes only 20 minutes on a Level 3 DC fast-charger.
     

    Adding to the efficiency of the Ioniq is the class leading 0.24 drag coefficient.
     
    Inside, the interior design is fairly conventional layout. During the press conference, Hyundai pointed out that the gauge cluster is in front of the driver "Where it should be", in a thinly veiled zing at Toyota.
     
    In an effort to further reduce petroleum use, the door panels the use a combination of plastic, powdered wood, and volcanic stone, the exterior paint is plant based oil, and the headliner fabric and carpet is made from sugar cane extract.
     
    Hyundai isn't yet talking specific MPG numbers for the hybrids, but they do say it will beat the Toyota Prius.
     



    William Maley

    Bad name, Good looking concept.

    Yes, we know New York Concept isn't the best name. But the first concept from the Genesis brand gives us a better idea of what to expect with their future products.
     
    The design of the New York Concept is an evolution of the Vision G coupe concept we saw last year. It begins up front with a long hood, narrow headlights, and L-Shaped vents. Other details to take in is a fair amount of sculpting along the side, long rear overhang, low deck, and a Ceramic Blue paint color.
     
    The interior is dominated by a curved, 21-inch 4K touchscreen. The touchscreen is augmented by touchpads and can be controlled with swiping gestures. There is seating for four people in leather-wrapped bucket seats.
     
    Power comes from a hybrid powertrain with a turbocharged 2.0L direct-injected four-cylinder. Genesis is being somewhat cagey on specifics of the system, but they are saying total output stands at 242 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic.
     
    Now this concept is a preview to Genesis's competitor in the compact luxury sedan called the G70. Expect to see some of this design in a production version within the next couple of years.
     
    Source: Genesis
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    GENESIS Reveals Hybrid Sports Sedan Concept At New York International Auto Show
    ‘New York Concept’ reveals a unique approach to driver-focused luxury 2.0 GDi 245ps hybrid with 8-speed automatic transmission demonstrates GENESIS brand’s balance of sporty agility and refined performance GENESIS ‘Athletic Elegance’ design direction further explored in a technologically advanced, innovative concept

    March 23, 2016 - GENESIS has unveiled its striking ‘New York Concept’ luxury sports sedan at the New York International Auto Show. The New York Concept hints at future GENESIS design direction with its expressive and refined ‘Athletic Elegance,’ first seen in the Vision G concept and in production form with the GENESIS G90 premium luxury sedan.
     

    Acknowledging the GENESIS brand’s sporty and agile nature, the hybrid concept generates 245ps and 36.0 kgf.m of torque from its 2.0 GDi powertrain coupled with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The advanced technological features and precise design language of the concept emphasize key aspects of Korean culture, while elevating the value and perception of the GENESIS brand.
     
    Genesis New York Concept
    The exterior of the New York Concept presents an elegant interpretation of a luxurious performance vehicle, defined by well-balanced proportions and refined surface treatments. Inside, the concept car combines advanced technology with absolute luxury, contrasting innovative electronics against finely-crafted materials.
     
    Manfred Fitzgerald, Head of GENESIS said: “The New York Concept is a progressive concept car that showcases the design quality of the brand. With its expressive volumes and refined design, the New York Concept truly embodies the ‘Athletic Elegance,’ that characterizes GENESIS products and will continue to do so for future models that come from our luxury brand. Revealing the concept in New York is a fitting opportunity for GENESIS.”
     
    Design Inspiration
    The design teams took inspiration for the New York Concept from modern luxury lifestyles and products, plus the early success and progression of the GENESIS brand. They merged this confidence with forms from nature, and the process of transforming raw materials to create an uncompromised expression of pure technological art.
     
    Designed to express the GENESIS modern view of luxury, the New York Concept brings a fresh perspective to the segment by offering the unexpected, yet still satisfying the needs of modern luxury buyers. Alongside the car’s inherent performance and comfort characteristics, the New York Concept adds fresh, daring and unexpected touches through blending cultural heritage with modern art and technology.
     
    Exterior design
    The nature-inspired character of New York Concept is seen through simple yet powerful forms with voluminous surfaces and coherent features. The overall shape of the concept is characterized by a long hood and expansive dash-to-axle ratio, visualizing the car’s performance-oriented nature and its resulting athletic stance.
     
    At the front of the car, the New York Concept demonstrates power and confidence as growing attributes of the GENESIS line-up. The prominent, upright grille is visually supported by sleek, horizontal headlamps. The deep inner edge of the lamp is characterized by a pixelated light guide, giving a sophisticated, vibrant appearance. Air flow guides sit below the lamps, channeling air through the forward wheel housing. Pronounced front fender volumes, enhanced with longitudinal crease lines, complete the concept’s road-focused attitude.
     
    From the side, the sleek and tapered cabin emphasizes powerful shoulders, bringing visual power over the rear wheels and quarter panels, adding to the impression that the New York Concept can deliver the power expected of the luxury sports sedan. Short front overhangs contrast with longer rear overhangs, completing the proportions of an elegant and refined performance car.
     
    The rear perspective of the New York Concept is distinguished by a low and sleek rear deck, further enhanced by strongly tapered body flanks. The slim, elongated taillamps echo the headlamps’ vibrancy, reinforcing the sensuous and luxurious character of the exterior.
     
    With its visually expressive form, the New York Concept is complemented by thorough and creative attention to detail. The unique treatment of the engine hood and side vents blend function with style, creating a new precision aesthetic. The integrated vents for the hood, front fenders and quarter panels improve aerodynamic performance, a reflection of the hybrid GENESIS model’s fuel efficiency capabilities.
     
    The front and rear door handles sit flush with the bodywork, integrated along the belt line of the New York Concept, further enhancing aerodynamic performance with simplicity in design. The exterior panels are finished in a custom-designed Ceramic Blue color, while copper-colored inlays in the lower bumper fascia and sills convey the uniquely modern approach of GENESIS design and material language.
     
    Interior design concept
    The interior of the New York Concept further projects the future design direction of GENESIS. It expresses a high-tech and sophisticated ambience, emphasized by the use of an advanced information control unit with a distinctively curved display.
     
    Eliminating some of the negatives often associated with increased technological content in a luxury vehicle, the design team took an innovative direction for the instrument panel design. A 21-inch floating, curved screen incorporates driver instruments and multimedia functions, creating potential for new, sculpted forms for the front seat occupants. The digital display is combined with classic analog driver instruments. The concave screen and the convex instrument panel complement each other in an aesthetic interaction while transmitting visual lightness to the interior. The open steering wheel design is ergonomically formed to facilitate visibility of the instruments while enhancing handling control.
     
    A logical and spacious center console divides the interior space through its length axis into two separate halves. Combined with the curved, floating screen, the Central Control Panel (CCP) creates a new user experience through a tactile and considered control lay-out. Finely polished GENESIS Concept aluminum inlays for the interior incorporate a handful of essential functional switches and reflect the GENESIS commitment to deliver high-quality design through exceptional attention to detail.
     
    Four individually sculpted single seats reflect the dynamic attributes of the exterior while acknowledging the GENESIS focus on human-centered luxury.
     
    Interior color and materials
    The concept’s interior showcases meticulously-wrapped full leather interior, with accents of anthracite contrasted with rich tan leather on seats and doors, while sliced suede leather used on the headrest brings a soft tactile accent.
     
    Highlighting the visual connection between the instrument panel and the floor console, which to the eye looks like it is visually floating, the New York Concept uses metal for contrasting effect. Copper-toned, stainless-steel mesh echoes the copper accents of the exterior and demonstrates a new, lightweight textile approach. The New York Concept also features polished aluminum switchgear and functional elements, with small touches of copper applied on exterior accents.
     
    Interior HMI concept
    The New York Concept presents a unique Human Machine Interface (HMI) concept. With this innovative concept, GENESIS sets a new standard for user experience and function control. The New York Concept showcases how the instrument cluster and center stack are merged into one curved horizontal display, allowing a unique driver-oriented architecture.
     
    On top of the instrument panel, embraced in a sleek aluminum casing, hovers a super-wide, curved 21-inch 4K display made by LG. Unique LG Advanced High Performance In-plane Switching technology allows for a greater viewing angle and exceptional richness in color, resulting in a more spacious ambience. The bowl-shaped Central Control Panel with 3D geometry is ergonomically optimized for usability and forms an electronic centerpiece of this unique HMI concept. This ergonomic optimization allows for intuitive single- and multi-touch finger swipes, while also enabling handwriting recognition and circular finger movements - particularly useful when scrolling through long music or telephone lists.
     
    The user interface presents all relevant information at a glance, combining touchpads with the advantages of today’s rotary dial-based interfaces. Additionally, a 3D gesture-control sensor allows the operator to ‘throw over’ specific content from one area of the screen to another, raising the freedom for personalizing the display information.
     
    The New York Concept provides a glimpse into the next-generation driver interface, ready to handle the growing complexity of a connected, digital world, where user-friendliness safety and functionality set the standard.

    William Maley

    First vehicle to debut Subaru's new modular platform

    After doing a litany of Impreza concepts over the past year, Subaru has introduced the 2017 Impreza sedan and hatchback today at New York.
     
    The 2017 Impreza brings a number of firsts for Subaru,
    First Impreza to be built in the U.S. The first model to use Subaru's Global Platform architecture The first model to debut Subaru's new design language: Looks more athletic

    In terms of measurements, the 2017 Impreza is about 1.5 inches wider and the wheelbase has been extended by an inch. Ride height has dropped a half inch to improve aerodynamics.
     
    In terms of power, the Impreza will use a revised 2.0L boxer-four with 152 horsepower. For the time being, a CVT will be the sole transmission choice. Not surprising, the Impreza will feature Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system as standard. Subaru says the new platform is 70 percent more rigid than the previous platform, and the revised suspension reduces body roll by 50 percent.
     
    Four trims will be on offer: Base, Premium, Sport, and Limited. Sport is the one we're interested in as it comes with a unique suspension tune, active torque vectoring, and 18-inch wheels.
     
    Subaru says the Impreza will go on sale later this year.
     
    Source: Subaru
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    SUBARU INTRODUCES ALL-NEW, U.S.-BUILT 2017 IMPREZA; NEW GLOBAL PLATFORM DELIVERS MAJOR GAINS IN HANDLING PERFORMANCE, CRASH SAFETY AND RIDE COMFORT
    Sedan and 5-Door Styles New Subaru Global Platform Significantly Enhances Safety, Ride Comfort and Agility Award-Winning EyeSight®, Plus New Driver Assist Technologies SUBARU STARLINK™ Safety and Security Features and AppsNew Subaru Design Language Debuts 2.0-liter Boxer Engine with Direct Injection and Higher PerformanceFirst Impreza to be Built in U.S. New Sport Version with 18-inch Wheels, Sport Suspension and Active Torque Vectoring

    NEW YORK - Subaru of America, Inc., which has experienced eight consecutive years of sales growth, introduced the all-new 2017 Impreza 5-Door at the New York International Auto Show, joining the Impreza Sedan that had been unveiled at an event the night before. The all-new 2017 Impreza debuts the Subaru Global Platform architecture that’s designed to deliver significantly higher levels of driving pleasure, agility, crash protection and ride comfort and will underpin a variety of upcoming Subaru vehicles, including hybrids. As before, every Impreza is equipped as standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, a boon to driving agility and traction and a key advantage over front-wheel drive competitors.
     

    The roomier 2017 Impreza models also debut the brand’s new design language and new driver-assist technology. Also new, multimedia features including standard Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ and standard Near Field Communication connectivity debut on Impreza. The new Impreza will be available in base, Premium, Sport and Limited trim lines when it arrives in Subaru dealerships in late 2016.
     
    Dramatic New Look on a New Structure That’s Future-Ready
    Subaru’s new design language puts the brand’s signature hexagonal grille and hawk-eye headlights onto a more sculptural body, its athletic stance accentuated by prominent wheel arches and flowing lines. The dramatic new look carries into the cabin, with an outward-flow design that follows the front of the car. The 2017 Impreza rides on a 105.1-in. wheelbase, up 1.0-in. over the last generation Impreza. Both the Sedan and 5-Door are 1.6-in. longer than the outgoing models, and both are 1.5 in. wider. The larger dimensions create a roomier cabin, while a 0.4-in. lower height helps improve aerodynamics with a lower coefficient of drag. Although sleeker in appearance than the previous models, the 2017 Impreza Sedan and 5-Door preserve excellent all-around visibility.
     
    The new Subaru Global Platform, together with the Boxer engine, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and EyeSight® that represent Subaru’s core technologies, constitutes the basic foundation of the next generation of Subaru vehicles. Impreza’s new platform incorporates new frameworks with optimized cross sections and highly stiffened joints between structures to significantly enhance straight-line stability, agility and ride comfort while suppressing noise, vibration and harshness to a degree not seen in the compact class. Specifically, the new platform increases rigidity of the unitized body structure by over 70 percent.
     
    A lower center of gravity and revised suspension systems contribute to the biggest-ever leap in Subaru’s performance evolution. The double-wishbone independent rear suspension mounts its rear stabilizer bar directly to the body, which helps reduce body roll by 50 percent compared to the outgoing model. Greater hazard-avoidance capability is another benefit of the Subaru Global Platform’s inherent handling agility. In addition, the resolute straight-line stability that makes the 2017 Impreza more relaxing to drive is also an important constituent of the autonomous driving capability this platform can support in future Subaru vehicles.
     
    New Impreza Sport with Active Torque Vectoring
    Taking full advantage of the new stiffer platform and more powerful engine, the Impreza 2.0i Sport, now available in the Sedan as well as 5-Door, delivers a more fun-to-drive performance feel thanks to exclusive suspension tuning, 18-inch machine-finish alloy wheels and Active Torque Vectoring. Subaru aimed for a new ride/handling balance benchmark in the compact segment. The Sport also includes a new 4-way Tire Pressure Monitoring System, which is available on other models.
     
    Exclusive exterior styling and features setting the Impreza Sport apart include standard LED daytime running lights (DRL), black-finish front grille, body-color rocker panels and turn signal side mirrors. The Impreza Sport 5-Door features gloss black rear gate trim, while the Sport Sedan has a rear trunk spoiler. Inside the Sport, unique black cloth upholstery is trimmed with red stitching, a motif that repeats for the steering wheel, gear shift, instrument panel and door trim. The instrument panel incorporates exclusive Sport gauges and a Multi-Function Display.
     
    The Sport comes well equipped, with upgrades over the Impreza Premium that include the Subaru STARLINK™ 8.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system, and a new harman/kardon® premium audio system is available. Keyless Access & Push-Button Start, aluminum pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift handle and a CVT shift boot round out the Sport’s enhanced standard equipment.
     
    New Direct Injection for Higher Performance and Efficiency
    A revised version of the FB 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine gains direct fuel injection and other enhancements to boost both performance (now 152 horsepower vs. 148 before) and drivability. In highline trims, the Lineartronic® CVT (continuously variable transmission) features a 7-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters that allow the driver to control the transmission via seven pre-set ratios.
     
    Another Leap in Vehicle Safety
    Subaru designed the 2017 Impreza to provide even higher levels of safety than the outgoing model, which was named an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ when equipped with available EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology. The new platform underpinning the 2017 Impreza improves crash energy absorption by 40 percent over present models.
     
    The EyeSight® system includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking and Lane Departure and Sway Warning, plus a Lane Keep Assist function. Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also available. Also new are available Steering Responsive Headlights, which can illuminate curves as the vehicle steers into them, and High Beam Assist, which automatically activates and deactivates the high beam headlamps based on driving conditions. All 2017 Impreza models include as standard equipment front seat side impact airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag.
     
    The 2017 Impreza adds new driver-assist technologies, including Reverse Automatic Braking and the display of steering lines for the standard rear vision camera. Reverse Automatic Braking can apply the vehicle’s brakes if an obstacle is detected while reversing. A new 4-way Tire Pressure Monitoring System can detect pressure drops at individual wheels.
     
    Four Trim Lines
    The 2017 Subaru Impreza will be offered in four trim lines: 2.0i base, Premium, Sport and Limited. The 2.0i starts with an extensive roster of standard features that includes a 6.5-inch multimedia touchscreen, Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, power windows with auto up/down on both driver and passenger sides; 60/40-split fold-down rear seat; power door locks and side mirrors; multi-function display with fuel economy information; tilt and telescoping steering column; security system with engine immobilizer, carpeted floormats and more.
     
    The Premium trim adds Subaru STARLINK™ Safety and Security features, 16-inch alloy wheels, the All-Weather Package featuring heated front seats, windshield and exterior mirrors and automatic headlights. Premium 5-door Imprezas also feature standard roof rails (not available on base 5-door Impreza 2.0i Sport). Stepping up to the Premium trim also brings wider option availability, including a power moonroof and driver assist technology systems. (The Impreza Sport is described earlier in this press release.)
     
    Subaru has elevated the Limited trim for the 2017 Impreza into more luxurious territory. The exterior looks more upscale with LED headlights and distinctive “Konoji” LED daytime running lights (DRL) and standard 17-inch machine finished alloy wheels. The Subaru Impreza also has Steering Responsive Headlights, which can illuminate curves as the vehicle steers into them. Judicious use of exterior chrome trim and turn signal side mirrors add a touch of elegance.
     
    The Limited’s leather trimmed interior features double stitching on the door armrests and instrument panel, and the 6-way power driver’s seat is the first ever in an Impreza. Standard amenities include an automatic climate control system, leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, Keyless Access & Push-Button Start and 8-inch color display. The exclusive instrument panel features white gauge cluster illumination, and new harman/kardon® premium audio is available in the Impreza for the first time. Models equipped with EyeSight technology also include High Beam Assist, which automatically activates and deactivates the high beam headlamps based on driving conditions. Lastly, the available navigation system now features maps provided by TomTom.
     
    Subaru STARLINK™ Means Multimedia and Connectivity
    Subaru STARLINK™ Multimedia systems offer the latest in digital music playing, Bluetooth® wireless capability, iPod® control, smartphone integration and more. The display screen also provides the display for the standard rear vision camera, and the top-level system includes navigation.
     
    The available Subaru STARLINK™ Safety and Security Connected Services give the 2017 Impreza one of the industry’s most affordable telematics options. Depending on the package selected, features can include SOS Emergency Assistance, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, Maintenance Notifications, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and Diagnostic Alerts, Stolen Vehicle Recovery Service, Vehicle Security Alarm Notification, Remote Lock/Unlock, Remote Horn and Lights and Remote Vehicle Locator.

    William Maley

    A new face, for better or worse

    When Acura showed off the Precision Concept back in January, they said the concept's design would "literally will shape the direction of all future Acura products." Well brace yourselves as the first vehicle with this new design language has debuted at New York - the 2017 MDX.
     
    Up front is the most prominent change, the “Diamond Pentagon Grille” with an extra-large Acura emblem. It looks very odd. Aside from this, the MDX also gets a sculpted hood, new fenders, and twin tailpipes.
     
    The 2017 model also boasts a new Sport Hybrid powertrain. A 3.0L V6 is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with an integrated electric motor to power the front wheels. The back gets two electric motors drives the rear wheels and provides torque vectoring. Total output stands at 325 horsepower, up 35 horsepower from the standard 3.5L V6. Acura says the MDX Sport Hybrid should get 25 mpg in the City/26 Highway/25 Combined.
     
    Acura has also improved the MDX's safety credentials with the AcuraWatch suite becoming standard. AcuraWatch includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and more.
     
    Acura says the 2017 MDX arrives at dealers this summer, with the Sport Hybrid arriving at a later date.
     
    Source: Acura
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Refreshed 2017 Acura MDX Makes World Debut in New York with Bold New Styling, Upgraded Features and Sport Hybrid Powertrain
     
    Mar 23, 2016 - NEW YORK
    2017 MDX showcases new diamond pentagon grille first seen on the Acura Precision Concept New Sport Hybrid powertrain delivers the ultimate in power and control while gaining 35 horsepower and anticipated to add 7 mpg to city fuel economy rating AcuraWatch™ safety and driver assist technology to be offered as standard equipment on all 2017 MDX models

    Acura today unveiled the restyled and refreshed 2017 MDX luxury SUV featuring bold new styling, added luxury features and available Sport Hybrid Super Handling-All Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) powertrain technology. The 2017 Acura MDX will be equipped with AcuraWatch™ on all grades, making MDX the first luxury SUV in its class to offer these advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including automatic emergency braking, as standard features. The 2017 MDX is slated to go on sale at Acura dealerships nationwide this summer and will be joined by the MDX Sport Hybrid later in the year.
     

    Showcasing the new face of Acura, the restyled 2017 MDX is highlighted by the bold and distinctive diamond pentagon grille, first seen on the Acura Precision Concept that debuted at the North American International Auto Show in January. The new Acura grille is integrated with a more sharply sculpted hood, front fascia and front fenders coupled with new LED fog lights and restyled Jewel Eye™ headlights, which enhance the MDX's distinctive and sporting demeanor. A new chrome rocker panel design adds an element of contrast to the MDX's profile, while a revised rear bumper, body colored skid garnish and the addition of twin tailpipes further emphasizes the performance character of the 2017 Acura MDX.
     
    "Upping the performance pedigree of the MDX with bold styling, our exclusive Sport Hybrid powertrain and the standard application of AcuraWatch technologies that many in the industry refer to as semi-autonomous, represents a major injection of Acura's Precision Crafted Performance DNA," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "These changes will continue to advance MDX's competitiveness and its legacy as the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time."
     
    All 2017 MDX models benefit from increased standard luxury and technology features, including an Electric Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold, Auto High Beam headlights, SiriusXM Radio® 2.0 and four 2.5-amp USB charging ports. Technology and Advance packages add Bi-Directional Keyless Remote Engine Start, two new 20-inch wheel and tire options, power folding side mirrors, and HD Traffic. In addition to these features, Advance grades add LED fog lights, genuine Olive Ash Burl or Black Limba wood interior trim, a heated steering wheel and Surround-View Camera System with six selectable viewing angles. Advance models can also be equipped with two second-row captain's chairs and a center console with two additional USB ports, replacing the three-person second-row seating found on lower grades. An ultra-widescreen Rear Entertainment System is also available on models with the Advance ENT Package.
     
    MDX Sport Hybrid
    The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid is the third model to feature Acura's innovative three-motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD powertrain, joining the Acura NSX supercar and RLX flagship sedan to deliver the ultimate in power and control. The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid is powered by a 3.0-liter DOHC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™) mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (7DCT) with an integrated electric motor powering the front wheels, and a Twin Motor Unit with two electric motors providing power to the rear wheels. Additionally, the system delivers electrified torque vectoring for improved straight line performance and cornering precision in combination with all-wheel-drive power application. Peak powertrain output of 325 horsepower is up 35 horsepower over the non-hybrid model. The MDX Sport Hybrid is anticipated to receive EPA fuel economy ratings of 25/26/26 (city/highway/combined), an estimated 7-mpg city fuel economy rating increase over the (non-hybrid) MDX with SH-AWD.
     
    The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid will be available with Technology and Advance packages. Both add a new Active Sport Suspension that delivers improved ride quality, handling performance and is integrated with the Integrated Dynamics System featuring the dynamic modes of Comfort, Normal and Sport, and exclusive to Sport Hybrid models, a new Sport+ mode.
     
    AcuraWatch Standard
    All 2017 MDX models receive the AcuraWatch suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technology as standard equipment, including Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with automatic emergency braking, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), 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. Moreover, 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.
     
    The Acura MDX is the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time and Acura's best-selling SUV, with sales topping 50,000 units in each of the past three years. The 2017 MDX was designed by the Acura Design Studio in Torrance, Calif., developed and engineered at the R&D center in Raymond, Ohio, and will continue to be produced at the company's Lincoln, Ala. auto plant using domestic and globally sourced parts. In early 2017, an additional production source for MDX will be added at the East Liberty, Ohio auto plant.

    William Maley

    Don't call it the Prius Plug-In

    The Toyota Prius remains the poster child for the hybrid vehicle. But when it comes to the plug-in hybrid, there really isn't a vehicle that stands for it. Sure you could make the case for the Chevrolet Volt or the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq, but Toyota wants the Prius to be that vehicle. Today at New York, the Japanese brand introduced the second-generation Prius Plug-In or as they call it, the Prius Prime.
     
    The Prime boasts a larger 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery to increase EV-only range from 11 to 22 Miles. It's better than the Ford Fusion Plug-In Hybrid (20 Miles), but it still trails the likes of the Chevrolet Volt (53 Miles). Toyota has also improved the hybrid system for the Prius Prime. For the first time, Toyota is using a dual-motor generator drive system, allowing the electric motor and generator to power the front wheels. This means the Prius Prime can use the 1.8L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder, electric motor, or both to move the vehicle along.
     
    Toyota says the Prius Prime is estimated to get 120 MPGe when using the battery only, and "targeting a hybrid MPG equal to or better than the Prius liftback" - 54 City/50 Highway/52 Combined for the standard Prius.
     
    In terms of looks, the Prius Prime features different headlights, a blacked-out front fascia, and new taillights. The Prime also gets an aluminum hood and a carbon-fiber liftback to shed some weight.
     
    Toyota says the Prius Prime will arrive at dealers this fall.
     
    Source: Toyota
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Prime Mover: Toyota Maxes Out Tech and Style in the World's Best-Selling Hybrid to Create the 2017 Prius Prime
    Ultra-efficient Prius with Plug-in Hybrid Powertrain Manufacturer-estimated 120 MPGe Available in 50 States Techno-wonder with Available 11.6-inch Multimedia HD Display, Head-up Display and Wireless Phone Charging A Total Package in Every Aspect, Adding Up to Great Value

    NEW YORK, March 23, 2016 – If there’s electricity in the air at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, it’s probably coming from the Toyota display, where the world’s hybrid vehicle leader has unveiled the new Prius Prime, an ultra-efficient model with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. “Prime” means best, making it the perfect name for one of the most technologically advanced, best-equipped Prius in the model’s history.
     

    The Prius Prime’s manufacturer-estimated 120 or above MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) is expected to be the highest MPGe rating of any Plug-in Hybrid.* It also represents a substantial 26-percent enhancement over its predecessor, a result of greater battery capacity and an improved hybrid system. In hybrid mode, the Prius Prime is targeting a hybrid MPG equal to or better than the Prius liftback.
     
    The 2017 Prius Prime combines an electrifying design with an even more capable electric powertrain than the previous-generation Prius Plug-in Hybrid. The Prius Prime is expected to offer an estimated two times the electric range of the previous model -- 22 miles – meeting the daily commuter distance of over half of U.S. drivers, and drive at speeds up to 84 mph without leaving EV mode.
     
    As parsimonious with fuel as the Prius Prime may be, it drives with the same verve as the standard new-generation Prius hybrid, one result of the new high-strength platform and double-wishbone independent rear suspension.
     
    Prius Prime adds even more premium touches and exclusive tech features compared to the all-new Prius hybrid, including its available 11.6-inch, HD central multimedia screen with standard navigation and available full color head-up display. “Prime” also describes the vehicle’s available advanced safety technology, Toyota Safety Sense™ P. This multi-feature advanced active safety suite, bundles the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Automatic Braking; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with full stop technology and Automatic High Beams. Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also available for additional peace of mind.
     
    All 2017 Prius hybrid models come standard with eight supplemental restraint system airbags, including multi-stage driver and front passenger front airbags; driver and front passenger side airbags; full-length curtain airbags; a driver knee airbag, and a front passenger seat cushion airbag.
     
    Electrifying Design Cheats the Wind … and the Scales
    If the 2017 Prius Prime looks like the future, it was purely intentional on the designers’ part. The new-generation Prius Prime is 2.4 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider and about an inch lower than its predecessor. The growth boosts cargo room over its predecessor and gives the Prius Prime a road-hugging stance.
     
    The wind-cheating body and its high-strength/low weight structure are critical factors in the Prius Prime’s astoundingly low energy consumption. Its coefficient of drag is expected to be among the lowest for production sedans. Automatic grille shutters help reduce drag by closing when airflow to the radiator is not needed.
     
    Yet the Prius Prime is no aero jellybean. It’s chiseled profile and edgy character lines seem to dare the wind to stand in its way. Energy-conserving quad LED headlights glow like diamonds cutting the night, and LED rear combination lamps leave an unforgettable nighttime signature. Driver visibility remains excellent, aided by a full-width aero glass panel over the rear spoiler and a standard backup camera. The distinctive aero rear window is eye-catching and adds to its slipstream character.
     
    While giving the new-generation Prius models more features, Toyota kept vehicle weight in check by using aluminum for the hood, carbon fiber on the rear hatch, and by using high-tensile strength steel in other parts of the structure. In fact, the lightweight carbon fiber rear hatch makes opening and closing almost effortless.
     
    EV or Hybrid? Both.
    The Prius Prime will please anyone who wants to reduce trips to the gas pump, and it would make a great road trip car, too. The Prius Prime will allow drivers to stay in EV mode in more situations, helping to enhance vehicle range on one tank of fuel. You can plug it in, gas it up, or both. On one 11.3-gallon tank of regular-grade gasoline and a full electric charge, the 2017 Prius Prime anticipates a class-leading estimated total driving range of over 600 miles (Toyota recommends making occasional stops to refuel and recharge yourself and passengers).
     
    Mechanical Genius
    Both the standard Prius hybrid and the Prius Prime are powered by Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, which seamlessly combines the output of the gasoline engine and electric motor through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission. The biggest difference is that the Prius Prime can be plugged in at home to recharge its larger 8.8kWh battery pack.
     
    In Hybrid mode, the Prius Prime can run on the gasoline engine or electric motor alone or a combination of both. Even when not running in EV mode, the Prius Prime will automatically rely more on its electric capability in situations where it is more efficient than running the gasoline engine, especially in urban and suburban driving and during shorter trips.
     
    The Prius Prime will also feature a Toyota-first dual motor generator drive system, using both the electric motor and the generator for drive force, helping to boost acceleration performance. Regenerative braking recaptures electrical energy under deceleration and braking and stores it in the battery, which helps to reduce fuel consumption.
     
    Even better, there’s no special equipment for home charging. Just use the supplied cord and the Prius Prime takes approximately 5.5 hours using a standard household outlet. Charging takes less than half the time with a 240V source.
     
    Efficiency Expert
    Not to be overshadowed by all the electrical magic, the Prius Prime’s gasoline engine also plays a starring role in that efficiency. The 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle, 4-cylinder engine – the same as in all 2016 Prius hybrid models – earns a groundbreaking 40 percent-plus thermal efficiency. Most modern automobile engines reach about 25-30 percent. Myriad details throughout the hybrid powertrain contribute to the efficiency, including an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system with a cooler, smaller, lighter, quieter hybrid system water pump and an exhaust heat recirculation system that speeds engine warm-up.
     
    Looks Marvelous, Feels Marvelous
    The Prius Prime looks and feels far from frugal on the inside, where a four-seat cabin layout, with center console running front to back, looks more like a high-end luxury coupe. Practicality remains ever present, however, with standard 60/40 folding rear seatbacks. It’s a quiet cabin, too, thanks to the sound-insulating laminated windshield and front door glass and the optimized aero shape that helps keep wind noise where it belongs – outside.
     
    The Prius Prime coddles the driver and passengers with standard heated front seats, an automatic climate control system, and available SofTex® synthetic leather trimmed seats. The climate control system is quieter, thanks to an electric compressor, and it’s smarter, focusing airflow only to areas where occupants are seated in order to help maximize fuel economy and comfort. The climate control system can also operate without the engine on, with a heat pump that allows the system to cool or heat the cabin while driving in EV mode. The driver can activate the remote air conditioning system with an available key fob or smartphone app to cool the interior before entering the cabin.
     
    High Tech, Low Effort
    The centrally mounted gauge panel, a Prius hallmark since the model’s inception, appears to float above the dashboard. The panel features dual 4.2-inch full-color TFT (thin film transistor) multi-information displays, and the driver can change their content by using steering wheel controls.
     
    The display provides a multitude of readouts for hybrid energy information and more, and the driver can choose how much information to view. Want to cut the cord? With available wireless cell phone charging for Qi-compatible devices, just place your Qi-compatible devices on the console pad to charge it wirelessly.
     
    Multimedia Mogul
    Sound and vision inside the Prius Prime likewise meet the standard of “prime.” Toyota equipped this top Prius with its top Entune® multimedia system and made it all accessible through a new and exclusive 11.6-inch HD tablet display. The navigation graphics look simply stunning, and intuitive touch controls make operation a snap.
     
    Prius Prime will also offer an exclusive suite of Prius Prime Apps, allowing you to remotely manage your vehicle’s charging schedule and status, locate charging stations, track and compare your eco driving score with others on social media, remotely control the vehicle’s climate system, and more – all from your smartphone. It’s advanced eco at your fingertips.
     
    An available Entune™ Premium JBL® Audio system with Integrated Navigation and App Suite puts 10 JBL GreenEdge™ speakers in six locations for sonic bliss. The Entune™ Multimedia Bundle includes AM/FM cache radio (letting you pause songs and play later), HD Radio™, HD Radio™ predictive traffic and Doppler weather overlay, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio with 3-month complimentary SiriusXM All Access trial and Gracenote® album cover art.
     
    Of course there’s a USB 2.0 port with iPod® connectivity and control, plus advanced voice recognition and hands-free phone capability, phonebook access and music streaming via Bluetooth®. For iPhone users, Siri® Eyes Free mode adds yet another in-car assistant.
     
    The Entune™ App Suite adds yet more music sources, including Slacker Radio, iHeartRadio and Pandora® as well as Destination Search, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable®, Facebook Places, Yelp™ plus real-time traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks. Access to Entune® services is subscription-free.
     
    Built-in Parking Valet
    In the urban jungle, where hunting for a prime parking space is a sport, the Prius Prime wins. Available Intelligent Parking Assist (IPA) uses ultrasonic wave sensors to size up a parallel parking space and then, when activated by the driver, can steer the car into it. The system can also reverse the Prius Prime into perpendicular spaces and automatically steer it out of a parallel space.
     
    When the way forward gets narrow, such as in a parking garage, the system’s Intelligent Clearance Sonar provides visible and audible warnings if the driver gets too close to obstacles on the vehicle’s sides.
     
    The 2017 Prius Prime will begin arriving in Toyota showrooms in late fall.
     
    Source: Toyota

    William Maley

    Gullwing Doors! Gullwing Doors!!!

    Lincoln surprised everyone last year when it rolled the Continental concept on the eve of the New York Auto Show. They did it again last night with the introduction of the Navigator concept.
     
    The big story with this concept is the large gullwing doors and a small flight of entry stairs - an interesting way to show up in style. Before you ask, the doors and stairs will not be on the production model. Lincoln president Kumar Galhotra said the doors were to show off the spacious cabin.
     
    The cabin features seating for six across three rows with each seat coming with 30-way power adjustments. Up front is a flowing dashboard finished in teak and chrome, and features a floating screen for the infotainment system. There are also screens for the rear passengers to keep them entertained. The cargo area comes with a wardrobe management system.
     
    Back outside, the Navigator concept's front end matches up with the Continental. There is a large rectangular grille with a lighted Lincoln emblem, wide air intakes, and sharp looking headlights. The back features a taillight that stretches across the tailgate and slim tailpipes.
     
    Power comes from a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with more than 400 horsepower. In terms of safety, the Navigator comes with a 360-degree camera, a pre-collision assist system with pedestrian detection, and a parking assistance system.
     
    Lincoln says the production Navigator will debut sometime next year.
     
    Source: Lincoln
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    A NEW NAVIGATOR CONCEPT IS MOST SPACIOUS, LUXURIOUS LINCOLN SUV YET,
    BRINGING QUIET LUXURY TO MORE CUSTOMERS
     
    Lincoln today reveals the all-new Navigator Concept, introducing quiet luxury to full-size SUVs and offering a glimpse at what comes next for the brand’s best-known nameplate.
     
    "The all-new Navigator Concept reinforces our commitment to give every Lincoln client what we call quiet luxury – vehicles and experiences that are elegant, effortlessly powerful and serene," said Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln. "This kind of quiet luxury sets Lincoln apart. Now, we're showing fans of large SUVs how we can exceed their expectations, without being the loudest statement on the road."
     
    Lincoln invented the large luxury SUV in 1997, and now is reimagining Navigator for modern clients interested in better performance, more space and further refinement.
     
    Lincoln's design team drew inspiration from luxury sailboats and yachts when designing the new concept. This influenced everything from the clean, modern lines and Storm Blue paint on the exterior that mimics the grays and blues of sea and sky, to the teak finishes, custom gear and wardrobe management system found inside.
     
    GO-ANYWHERE PERFORMANCE
    The Navigator Concept is engineered to provide drivers peace of mind. It features a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine delivering more than 400 horsepower and smart new technologies to make this SUV even more sure-footed on different road surfaces and in changing weather conditions.
     
    Drivers can choose several drive modes to improve ride and handling and to find the drive experience that best suits their mood – including steering, suspension and noise levels. Each mode is accompanied by a matching digital animation in the cluster.
     
    PERSONAL SANCTUARY
    Navigator Concept provides the nameplate’s most spacious interior ever – a key want among buyers of large SUVs – delivered with a refinement that leapfrogs competitors
     
    The leather-wrapped interior is rendered in a light blue. Six Lincoln-patented Perfect Position Seats adjust 30 ways to best support occupants’ different body types. The driver’s seat, for instance, includes independent deployable thigh supports for maximum comfort.
     
    A custom wardrobe management system holds gear chosen for a day on the water, while Lincoln’s Revel audio system has been specifically tuned to create the highest level sound and visual quality.
     
    All of this is accessed through power gullwing doors and deployable concertina steps. A special lighting sequence welcomes passengers for every journey – a signature Lincoln feature.
     
    EASIER, MORE CONNECTED DRIVING, THANKS TO NEW TECHNOLOGY
    The Navigator Concept features Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, which uses radar and camera technology to scan the road ahead. If a collision risk with a vehicle or pedestrian is detected, the system provides a warning to the driver. If the driver does not respond in time, it automatically can apply up to full braking force to help reduce the severity of, or even eliminate, some frontal collisions.
     
    Pre-Collision Assist can help drivers avoid rear end collisions with other vehicles at all speeds, while Pedestrian Detection can help the driver avoid pedestrians at lower speeds. Both systems can reduce the severity of forward collisions, or even prevent certain forward collisions.
     
    A 360-degree camera and enhanced park assist features take the stress out of parking, exiting a parking spot and maneuvering. The system seamlessly integrates views from four cameras – creating an overhead image that allows drivers to see all around the vehicle.
     
    On the road, a lane-keeping system vibrates the steering wheel to alert drivers they are straying from their lane and provides mild steering input to encourage them to steer back toward the center of the lane.
     
    In the cabin, head restraint monitors provide passengers Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing them to wirelessly share music and content from personal devices.
     
    For drivers, a large panel screen clearly displays key information. The display can be customized from a digital touch screen housed in the center stack.

    William Maley

    Haven't you wanted a coupe version of the Mercedes-Benz GLC?

    Mercedes-Benz is clearing out all of their debuts of this current auto show season. So far, Mercedes has announced a refresh of the CLA, and two new AMG models; E43 and GLC43. Now for the piece de resistance of their New York showings - the 2017 GLC Coupe.
     
    The best way we can describe the looks of the GLC Coupe is to think of the GLE Coupe shrunken down. Compared to the standard GLC, the Coupe is about 2.9 inches longer and 1.5 inches shorter. Key design details include a steeply raked A-Pillar, sloping roof, diamond grille, and S-Class Coupe-inspired taillights.
     
    There will be two models on offer, each with their own unique powertrain setup.
    GLC 300 4Matic: Turbocharged 2.0L Four-Cylinder, 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Mercedes-AMG GLC43: Twin-Turbo 3.0L V6, 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque, Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive

    Mercedes says the GLC Coupe will arrive at dealers in early 2017. Pricing will be announced at a later time.
     
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Sports coupe meets "G"
     
    March 22, 2016 - Stuttgart: The dynamic and expressive styling of the GLC Coupe concept was the center of attention at its world premiere at the Shanghai Auto Show in Spring 2015. It unites the typical stylistic elements of a coupe with the design language of current SUV models. Just one year later, this promise has become a reality: the new GLC Coupe translates the design idiom of the show car, with its distinctive structure and stretched greenhouse, virtually unchanged into series production. At the same time, the sports car among Mercedes-Benz's mid-size SUVs impresses with its brand-typical safety, modern assistance systems and an especially sporty-dynamic character. The standard sports suspension as well as more direct sports steering, DYNAMIC SELECT and 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive with 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission combine effortlessly superior ride comfort with decidedly sporty agility. AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension with continuously adjustable damping is optionally available, providing for enhanced driving dynamics and comfort.
     
    "The GLC Coupe reflects our iconic Mercedes-Benz coupe design while symbolizing the diversity of our brand – it is both 'hot and cool'," said Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. "With its design idiom of sensual purity, it perfectly embodies our styling philosophy while at the same time representing contemporary luxury."
     
    The combination of a multifunctional SUV and an emotionally appealing coupe constitutes a skillful fusion of emotion and intelligence. With an exterior length of 186.2-inches, a height of 63-inches and a wheelbase of 113-inches, the GLC Coupe is both dynamic and compact in appearance. This makes the Coupe almost 3.2-inches longer and some 1.6-inches lower than the multi-talented GLC, with which it shares its basic architecture. The GLC Coupe owes its distinct character to a typically coupe-esque, single-louvered diamond radiator grille and a restyled, dropping roofline. The A-pillar is less steeply raked, while the continuation of the roof outline is lower, terminating in the elegantly flowing, muscular rear end typical of a coupe.
     
    Perfect combination of design elements from two different worlds
    The striking features of the front end are its dominant, steeply raked diamond radiator grille with single louver and integral star, short overhang and SUV-inspired override guard. The innovative headlamp concept, optionally in LED High Performance technology, sports the now characteristic Mercedes-Benz light signature. A striking injection of sports car genes is provided by the large lateral air inlets.
     
    From the side, the 63-inch-high GLC Coupe, with its stretched roofline, resembles a sports coupe. The greenhouse blends in perfectly with the side of the vehicle to underline its coupe character. The interplay between high beltline and wide shoulders results in proportions that lend the GLC Coupe its dynamic looks. This interaction is given added emphasis by the drawn-in waist between the dropping line and the lower, rearwards contour.
     
    A clear clue to the vehicle's distinctive SUV heritage is given by the optionally available side running boards. Flush with the outer edge of the body, wide wheels up to a size of 21 inches together with ample ground clearance underpin the GLC Coupe's sporty and dynamic ambitions on unpaved tracks and unsurfaced roads.
     
    Rear end with athletic looks
    The styling of the rear end gives added emphasis to the vehicle's coupe genes. With its pronounced shoulders, muscular bumper design with integral exhaust tips and under guard in the form of a diffuser, the wide rear end of the GLC Coupe underlines the vehicle's athletic looks while enabling the Coupe to hug the road. Narrow, split tail lights, a centrally positioned brand star and a sharp spoiler lip reflect a design that made its debut with the S-Class Coupe and which all Mercedes-Benz coupe models have since followed. Relocated to the lower section of the bumper, the number plate as well as rear window with its rounded upper area are among the further stylistic features. Like the headlamps, the night design of the LED tail lights sports the light signature of Mercedes-Benz.
     
    Interior with coupe flair and high-grade ambience
    Following the exterior design philosophy, the interior welcomes the occupants with coupe flair and a high-grade ambience. The design idiom combines sensual purity with dynamic sportiness while embodying a convincing interpretation of modern luxury. Distinctive stylistic elements of the GLC Coupe are the dashboard and the center console with its flowing lines, a large, one-piece console panel making an elegant sweep below the semi-integrated media display from the center air vents to the armrest. These clear lines give a feeling of spaciousness while conveying a puristic modernity.
     
    The optionally available Interior Sport Package provides a clear commitment to even greater dynamism and sportiness. On the AMG GLC43, this package includes, among other features, sports seats with upholstery in MB-Tex man-made leather/DINAMICA microfiber with the option of sports seats with Bi-Color leather upholstery. The GLC300 receives a flat-bottom steering wheel, rubber studded pedals and AMG floormats as part of the Interior Sport Package.
     
    Cranberry Red MB-Tex upholstery is also available on the GLC300.
     
    Sport program: DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL or AIR BODY CONTROL
    The GLC300 4MATIC Coupe comes standard with an off-road suspension including DYNAMIC SELECT with the five transmission modes: ECO, COMFORT, SPORT, SPORT+ and INDIVIDUAL.
     
    Uniquely in this market segment, the suspension can be equipped with fully supporting multi-chamber springing and electronically controlled, continuously adjustable damping. The AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension combines excellent driving stability and optimal comfort with sporty agility. Specific characteristics are preselected depending on the DYNAMIC SELECT settings. In Sport+ mode, the occupants feel as if they are sitting in a sports car with a high level of lateral dynamics due to the even stiffer suspension, which is lowered by 0.6-inches.
    COMFORT mode ensures an especially comfortable ride with soft suspension. To guarantee maximum possible driving safety also in this mode, the spring/damper forces are instantaneously adjusted, for example in case of a sudden evasive maneuver. Further benefits of the system include reduced roll when cornering, automatic load sensing and lowering of the load compartment sill by 1.6-inches for more convenient loading and unloading.
     
    Another key parameter for the sporty characteristics of the GLC Coupe compared with the classic GLC SUV is the retuned steering system, which, with 15.1:1 (GLC: 16.1:1), offers a more direct steering ratio together with even sportier characteristics of the power assistance in the SPORT and SPORT+ modes.
     
    Key parameters for high energy efficiency
    The design has also bestowed superlative aerodynamics on the new GLC Coupe. Apart from the vehicle's streamlined basic form, this exceptional aerodynamic performance also results from a host of detail solutions, such as sealing of the radiator and headlamp surrounds and optimized underbody paneling.
     
    The GLC Coupe's all-new body, which features an intelligent mix of materials, comprising aluminum and high- to ultra-high-strength steels, saves weight across the model lineup. Aluminum components additionally reduce the weight of the suspension, which also benefits ride comfort due to the attendant reduction in unsprung masses. The optional AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension features spring elements in lightweight yet robust glass-fiber-reinforced plastic, which reduce the system weight in comparison to conventional air suspensions.
    The use of the new compact transfer case as an add-on module and the 9G- TRONIC with its magnesium transmission housing results in a 26 lb. weight reduction in comparison to the previous versions installed in other models.
     
    Powerful and efficient: GLC300 and top-of-the-line Mercedes-AMG GLC43
    The four-cylinder GLC300 4MATIC coupe is rated at 241 hp. For dynamically- minded coupe fans, the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe is the right choice: this powerful top-of-the-line model comes with perfect on-road performance, dynamic styling and an attractive equipment package. The 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine puts out 362 hp, accelerating the coupe to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. The GLC300 comes standard with 4MATIC all-wheel drive, and all variants of the GLC Coupe, including the AMG GLC43, are equipped with 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission.
     
    Equipment configuration: comprehensive and individual
    The new GLC Coupe impresses even in its basic equipment configuration, which includes light-alloy wheels of 19-inch diameter, the Chrome package with visible exhaust tips, EASY-PACK tailgate, Audio 20 CD multimedia system, reversing camera, KEYLESS-START function and upholstery in MB-Tex man-made leather.
     
    Also included as standard are assistance systems such as Active Brake Assist (previously known as COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS), Crosswind Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST and ESP® among others. Comfort and safety can be further enhanced by additional driver assistance systems.
     
    Mercedes-Benz also offers a wide selection of optional packages for its new SUV coupe. Customers can choose between Interior and Exterior Sport Package and Night package. A highlight in terms of both looks and driving dynamics is provided by optional AMG light-alloy wheels of 19-inch or 20-inch diameter with mixed tires on the GLC43. The attractive light-alloy wheels are available in numerous design variants. An optional sport exhaust system makes for a more dynamic engine sound.
     
    Protection in an emergency
    In keeping with the Mercedes-Benz tradition, the body forms the foundation for exemplary crash safety. A high-strength safety passenger compartment forms the core of this concept. It is surrounded by specially designed and crash-tested deformation zones, which ensure the best possible occupant safety.
     
    In addition to 3-point safety belts with pyrotechnical and reversible belt tensioning and belt-force limitation for driver, front passenger and those in the outer rear seats, numerous airbags serve to protect the vehicle's occupants in an accident. These include combined thorax/pelvis sidebags for driver and front passenger and an optimized windowbag extending over both seat rows, optional sidebags for the outer rear seats and a driver kneebag.
     
    The GLC300 4MATIC Coupe and AMG GLC43 Coupe will go on sale by early 2017.

    William Maley

    Not your father's MX-5 Miata Hardtop

    We all knew that Mazda was going to do a hardtop version of the MX-5 Miata. We weren't expecting this.
     
    This is 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF - Retractable Fastback - which made its debut tonight before the New York Auto Show opens to the press.
     
    Mazda didn't replace the canvas roof with a metal one. They did something very creative. With the roof up, the MX-5 Miata RF looks like a fastback coupe. When you fold the roof, the C-Pillars move away and the rear window retracts. We don't know how long it takes for the roof to fold or rise, but we do know that you can do it at up to speeds of 6 mph.
     
    Power will come from a 2.0L Skyactiv-G four-cylinder 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. This slightly concerns us since the hardtop will add some weight - although Mazda isn't saying how much.
     
    Mazda says you can order an MX-5 Miata RF this summer with deliveries taking place before the end of the year. Pricing will be announced later.
     
    Source: Mazda
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Mazda MX-5 RF
    Program Manager’s Message
     
    Bringing the joy of open-top driving to a wider audience
    A new effort to broaden the appeal of the MX-5
     
    Having an MX-5 makes life richer and more fun. With this small, convertible sports car, we want to offer even more people a fun-filled life through driving pleasure.
     
    Many people who would love to own a convertible end up choosing a car with a fixed hardtop roof instead. Hoping to share the wonder and thrill that come with putting the top down with this kind of customer, we offered a Power Retractable Hardtop for the first time on the third-generation MX-5. The first and second generations had both offered a detachable hardtop, but with its motor-driven retractable roof, the third-generation model made the joy of open-top driving accessible to a wider range of people and was a hit with customers around the world. With the hardtop version of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5, we stayed true to our aim of making open-top driving more accessible, but freed ourselves from traditional ways of thinking and took on new challenges in order to create something completely new, the Mazda MX-5 RF.
     
    Beautiful fastback styling and a new kind of open-air feel
    The development of the MX-5 RF was a new undertaking that entailed broadening the appeal of the fourth-generation soft-top model, a car that further hones the pure driving fun that has defined the model since going on sale in 1989.
     
    The basic premise of the soft-top model is top-down driving, and in comparison we expect MX-5 RF owners will spend more time with the top closed. So we began development by throwing our thinking into reverse; our aim was a convertible sports car with gorgeous fastback lines when the roof is closed and an exhilarating open-air feel when open. We asked ourselves what it meant to make a driver’s car with a power-retractable roof, ditched the traditional idea of stowing the entire roof and realized styling that further articulates an iconic sports car design. The cabin is luxurious and quiet when closed, and the rear roof produces a completely new open-air driving feel when the top is down. And with the ability to smartly and smoothly transition between the two, the car will provide thrills in any driving conditions. I believe the MX-5 RF is a car that could only have been created at Mazda, where everyone involved in the creative process aspires to take on new challenges.
     
    Envisioning the future with two MX-5 models
    The MX-5 has been tremendously popular with car enthusiasts around the world and will soon reach the 1 million mark in global production volume. While the fourth-generation soft-top model honed the pure driving pleasure of a lightweight sports car, the hardtop model, with its exquisite fastback styling and a new open-top feel, has a personality all its own. I hope the launch of the MX-5 RF will awaken hidden emotions and dormant sensibilities among our customers. And with these two MX-5 models, I hope we can help introduce the joy of driving a convertible sports car to a wider audience and help even more people live rich, fun-filled lives. In order to achieve this, now and into the future, we will continue our efforts to “innovate in order to preserve.”
     
    Nobuhiro Yamamoto
    Mazda MX-5 Program Manager
     
    Changing Style, Unchanging Value, New Name
    By the end of the third-generation MX-5’s model life, the retractable hard top model accounted for more than half of all MX-5s sold and was popular with those who wanted all-season comfort and utility.
     
    As a member of the MX-5 family, the fourth-generation retractable hardtop model embodies the core value of “Lots of fun,” which the MX-5 has consistently offered over the past 26 years. At the same time it features a new and unique design and lets occupants enjoy a new kind of open-air driving feel. Therefore, our challenge was to create a name that would more accurately define this new, more premium experience we envision will attract a new kind of buyer, yet preserve the unchanging values that MX-5 fans have admired since the inception of the model.
     
    The result was MX-5 RF, a name that denotes the model’s retractable hardtop and fastback styling, and will surely resonate with enthusiasts and drivers around the world.
    Same philosophy. New design. MX-5 RF*.
     
    *: RF stands for "Retractable Fastback".
     
    Key Values
    Three key values that make the MX-5 RF unique and fun
     
    1. Beautiful fastback styling that resonates with any car lover
    Appealing fastback styling with a beautiful smooth line joining the roof to the rear end. This is at the heart of all true sports car design. Designers worked hard to give the cabin the perfect teardrop shape. It features the same compact packaging as the soft-top model, including overall length, width and wheelbase. (Overall height is increased 5mm.). The soft touch of real Nappa leather adds a feeling of even higher quality and contributes to the relaxed, sophisticated ambience of the interior.

    2. A new open-air sensation with a feeling of being ensconced securely in the cabin as well as a pleasing sense of freedom
    The MX-5 RF’s retractable hardtop consists of a front roof, middle roof, rear roof and back window glass. Detailed studies led to a roof design that, together with the retractable back window glass, realizes a new open-air experience that combines a feeling of being ensconced securely in the cabin with an invigorating sense of freedom. The model’s unique design featuring a back window glass that retracts when the top is down enables the driver to fully enjoy the pleasing exhaust note coming from the rear, helping to deliver the true pleasure of the open-top driving experience. A large acrylic aero board wind blocker helps prevent air from the rear blowing back into the cabin. Synchronizing and overlapping the various movements of the roof sections enables MX-5 RF to achieve one of the fastest opening/closing times of any retractable hardtop. When the roof is open, the front and middle roof sections are stowed together with the back window glass in the space behind the seats. A new power top lock makes it possible to open and close the roof with the simple flip of a switch. A new control system enables the roof to be opened or closed, even when in motion at speeds of 6 mph (10km/h) or less. This is particularly useful if it suddenly begins to rain. At 4.6 cubic feet (130L DIN), trunk capacity is the same as the soft-top model, even when the roof is stowed behind the seats. The trunk can accommodate two carry-on bags measuring 550mm x 400mm x 220mm*1.

    3. A quiet cabin with the relaxed feeling of quality ride comfort
    The suspension and Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system have been tuned specifically for the MX-5 RF, delivering the lively driving performance one expects of the Mazda MX-5 while also delivering relaxing comfort and refined ride. A sound-absorbing headliner used on the inside of the front and middle roof panels combines with sound insulation around the rear wheel housings to result in a significantly quieter ride when the roof is closed. This helps provide a high-quality cabin environment worthy of the MX-5 RF.

    Other noteworthy product features are as follows.
    The powertrain lineup consists of the 2.0- and 1.5-liter SKYACTIV-G gasoline engines paired with either a six-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual transmission or six-speed automatic transmission*2. A human-centric perspective was adopted in pursuing advanced safety based on the company’s safety philosophy, Mazda Proactive Safety. The i-ACTIVSENSE*2 advanced safety technologies employed by MX-5 RF include Mazda’s Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring (ABSM*3) system and High Beam Control System (HBC), which automatically switches between high and low beam. MAZDA CONNECT*4 makes it less distracting and easier to take advantage of phone and internet connectivity services while enjoying a drive.

    Chief Designer’s Message
     

    Creating a compact sports car that envelops you in beauty
    Craftsmanship that realizes the ultimate in KODO design
     
    I wanted to introduce the fun of driving a lightweight sports car to a broader audience, and it was my love for the Mazda MX-5 that gave birth to the design of the new MX-5 RF. If we consider the soft-top model to represent the purist appeal of the lightweight sports car, which we recently honed in a stoic effort to reach new heights, then the retractable fastback represents a new type of MX-5 that aims to be a compact sports car with a natural charm that anybody and everybody will find beautiful.
     
    I figured the addition of a hardtop version of the fourth-generation MX-5 demanded that we introduce a sleek fastback design with a smooth line joining the roof to the rear end if we were to create a look of beauty that would appeal to all. I considered this point critical to the design, and didn’t waver over that conviction for a moment. To convey the fun and charm of the MX-5 experience to a larger, more diverse range of people rather than just sports car fans, I felt the MX-5 RF must embody natural beauty and not attempt to attract attention by merely being different.
     
    This led me to quickly decide to adopt fastback styling. The rub was that this also became the biggest hurdle in designing the MX-5 RF. It may not look like it at a glance, but this is a car with a retractable roof! It’s a car that lets drivers enjoy the pleasure of open-air driving along with a unique sense of being ensconced securely in the cabin! It would be impossible to achieve a combination of this new form of driving pleasure and beautiful fastback styling if I applied conventional thinking. Anything short of creating a new design expression and teaming up with the design and production engineers to approach the project with passion and determination as a team, and the whole concept would be just pie in the sky.
     
    I am hoping the MX-5 RF will surprise a wide variety of people and contribute to increased interest in the MX-5, while increasing the number of people who enjoy the car’s beauty and the pleasure of driving without limiting the appeal to those interested in sports cars.
     
    Masashi Nakayama
    Mazda MX-5 Chief Designer
     
    Design
     
    Exterior design
     
    The design goal for the MX-5 RF was to create the ideal form for a hardtop version of the MX-5. In other words, it was to achieve an entirely new roof design that combines a beautiful cabin with the silhouette of a hardtop and the same level of open-air comfort and freedom afforded by the soft-top version. To this end, Mazda set about creating an uncompromising design based on the following four ideals.
    A beautiful silhouette: In contrast to the open-air styling of the soft-top model the MX-5 RF will often be appreciated for its hardtop styling with the roof closed. This demands that the cabin presents a beautiful silhouette when the roof is closed. The rear roof features side sections that slope down gently toward the rear, while also tucking in at the sides to create a perfect teardrop shape for the cabin. The flowing roof line along the A-pillars, roof sides and rear roof, which are painted in the body color, combine with the straight body line that runs from the low hood through to the rear deck, realizing an elegant, beautiful fastback silhouette that accentuates its styling. While the overhead roof panels and back window glass are stowed out of sight, the rear roof stays in position when the top is down. This differs from any other hardtop model on the market to create a truly unique new design expression. Compact packaging: With the exception of a 5mm increase in the height of the roof, MX-5 RF maintains the same overall length, width and wheelbase as the soft-top model. This compact packaging properly expresses the stability and dynamism of the MX-5’s road-gripping stance. A new open-air experience: MX-5 RF features unique styling when the roof is open by which the overhead roof panels and back window glass are stowed away out of sight. The result is a pleasing sense of freedom combined with a reassuring feeling of being wrapped securely in the cabin. This combines with the enjoyable exhaust note coming from the rear of the car to amplify the fun of open-air driving. Independent trunk: MX-5 RF does not sacrifice practicality for the sake of offering a retractable roof. In addition to the efforts of the designers and packaging engineers to realize a beautiful silhouette while adopting the hardtop, the independent trunk also secures the exact same luggage capacity as on the soft-top model.

    Body colors
    Machine Gray: This is a newly developed body color first introduced on the CX-9 midsize, three-row crossover SUV. Machine Gray was developed to express the beauty of a machine’s strength and precision. With strong contrast between light and shadow and a sleek, high-density finish, it gives the impression that the vehicle’s body has been sculpted from a solid steel ingot. Roof color*: The sides of the roof and rear roof are color matched to the body color. The top of the roof is available in either piano black or the body color.

    *Availability varies depending on the market and vehicle specifications.
     

    Interior design
    Major interior design features include body panels that wrap around and extend right into the door trim, as well as a cockpit zone centered on the driver and around which all major controls are laid out in perfect symmetry. Special attention to every detail focused on transcending its existence as a mere automobile to become a sports car that owners will truly love. As with the soft-top model, the aim was to create a cockpit design that brings a smile to the face and gets the heart pounding simply by looking at it or sitting in the driver’s seat. Benefitting from its hardtop, MX-5 RF significantly improves ride quietness and heightens the feeling of high quality.
     
    Detail design
    The basic design features are essentially the same as on the soft-top model. This includes the elaborate three-meter cluster and sharp-looking, compact steering wheel, as well as the horizontal layout of the instrument panel and strong sense of front-rear movement conveyed by the door trim. The two points that differ on the MX-5 RF are as follows.
    Meters: The information display to the left of the three-meter cluster adopts a dedicated 4.6-inch color TFT LCD screen that displays an animation of the roof when it is opening or closing. Hardtop open/close button: A button for opening and closing the roof is positioned on the panel below the dials for the air-conditioning system.

    Seat design and interior colors
    The higher level of quality and soft touch of Auburn-colored Nappa leather seats enhances the interior’s relaxing and sophisticated ambience. Gray stitching is used on the seats and center sections of the door trim.
     

    *Availability varies depending on the market and vehicle specifications.

    William Maley

    Honda makes the manual option for the Civic official

    On the eve of the New York Auto Show, Honda has announced that 2017 Civic 1.5L turbo will be available with a six-speed manual. This means the Civic sedan, coupe, and upcoming hatchback will have this option.
     
    "I have one more piece of news that all Civic enthusiasts will be thrilled to hear and that's our announcement today that ALL of our turbocharged Civic models … Coupe, Sedan and Hatch will be available with a slick-shifting 6-speed manual starting this fall!" said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda at a press event today.
     
    We first heard about this last November thanks to a leaked presentation slide revealing the option would be coming for 2017.
     
    Source: Car and Driver, Honda

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