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    William Maley

    Mouthful of a name, but it is the spiciest 124 Spider

    When Fiat announced the Abarth 124 Spider earlier this month at Geneva, we found ourselves wondering if and when it would be here. Today we have the answer to both of those questions. Meet the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth.
    Yes, we know the name is a bit of mouthful. But a lot of the European-market Abarth Spider carries over to the U.S. It starts with the looks. The 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth features a more aggressive front end, matte black hood, and 17-inch wheels finished in grey. The interior features red stitching, aluminum pedals, and optional Recaro seats.
    Power comes from a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder producing 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. No, that isn't a misprint. Somehow, the Spider lost 10 horsepower during the Atlantic crossing. At least the choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic remains. Other important bits of the 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth include Bilstein front and rear mono-tube shocks, limited slip differential, and an optional Brembo brake package.
    Fiat hasn't revealed when the 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth will arrive at dealers. We suspect it will be sometime after the 124 Spider goes on sale this summer.
    Source: Fiat
    Press Release is on Page 2

    2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth Offers Sportier, More Responsive Driving Experience for Performance Enthusiasts
    2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth features sport suspension, mechanical limited slip differential, Sport Mode selector and sport-tuned, chrome quad-tip exhaust Available Brembo braking system and Recaro seats for added sportiness Powered by turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-liter engine for 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, available with manual transmission or automatic transmission with paddle shifters Aggressive appearance with unique front and rear fascia, 17-inch Gun Metal aluminum wheels, Gun Metal exterior accents and available hand-painted hood stripe, offering a one-of-a-kind appearance 2017 Fiat 124 Spider delivers best-in-class horsepower and torque Fiat 124 Spider models will be available in studios beginning this summer

    March 22, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Since the introduction of the Fiat 500 Abarth at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, the DNA of Abarth has connected with driving enthusiasts in search of a sharp, wicked, fun-to-drive machine. Continuing the legacy of Karl Abarth’s performance-inspired vehicles known for their rich racing heritage, the 2017 Fiat 124 Elaborazione Abarth will debut at this year’s New York International Auto Show.

    The Fiat 124 Elaborazione Abarth is the heir of the roadster that drove Fiat to its first European Rally Championship win in the 1970s. Applying the Abarth formula, the new 124 Spider is designed and built for thrills and performance. Key Abarth features include rear-wheel drive, a sophisticated suspension and a four-cylinder turbocharged MultiAir 1.4 Turbo engine with best-in-class 160 horsepower that is available with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shift.
    The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth is the latest addition to the Fiat 124 Spider lineup, offering added performance features for a sportier, more spirited driving experience. While all Fiat 124 Spider models deliver responsive handling and excellent power-to-weight ratio in a robust rear-wheel-drive package, the Elaborazione Abarth model builds on the Spider’s engaging driving dynamics to offer even more fun for performance enthusiasts.
    “Our new Fiat 124 Spider is an iconic roadster that combines classic Italian styling with modern performance and technology,” said Olivier Francois, Head of FIAT Brand, FCA – Global. “The addition of our new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth further enhances the driving experience and offers yet another head-turning, fun-to-drive vehicle to our customers.”
    Performance characteristics
    The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth features the proven turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder engine, delivering 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque and is paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The Elaborazione Abarth-exclusive Sport Mode changes the calibrations of the engine, automatic transmission, electric power steering and dynamic stability control system to ensure a sporty, responsive and performance-oriented driving experience.
    A mechanical limited slip differential, featuring a low torque bias ratio, provides improved traction and handling, as well as improved launch performance and power delivery during cornering. The Elaborazione Abarth’s unique sport suspension includes mono-tube Bilstein front and rear shock absorbers for increased traction and more precise handling. The available Brembo braking system with 17-inch alloy wheels offers monoblock aluminum calipers with four pistons, allowing for improved braking.
    Aggressive appearance
    With a streamlined silhouette and a stretched bonnet, the Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth has an aggressive appearance, with unique front and rear fascia, black side sills, 17-inch Gun Metal aluminum wheels and a sport-tuned, chrome quad-tip exhaust with a unique exhaust sound. The Gun Metal header, mirror cover and roll bar complement five available paint colors: Bianco Gelato (White Clear Coat), Rosso Passione (Red Clear Coat), Nero Cinema (Jet Black Metallic), Grigio Argento (Gray Metallic) and tri-coat Bianco Perla (Crystal White Pearl).
    The interior design reflects the performance-oriented details for which cars sporting the Scorpion badge are famous. There is Rosso (red) stitching throughout, including on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, wrapped instrument cluster hood, lower instrument panel and parking brake. A matte black instrument panel bezel, unique instrument cluster, aluminum-accented sport pedals and unique gear shift knob help to differentiate the Elaborazione Abarth model. Unique Nero (black) leather/microfiber seats are standard, while leather seats in Nero (black) or Nero/Rosso (black/red) are available. For true performance enthusiasts, leather and Alcantara Recaro seats are also available in Nero (black).

    William Maley

    Buick Gives the Encore Some Updates

    Before the start of the New York Auto Show, Buick has revealed the 2017 Encore. Not surprising, it looks exactly like the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka that debuted at Geneva earlier this month. There is a new grille with a chrome bar running across the middle and headlights (higher trim models get LED headlights). Around back are a set of LED taillights.
    The interior becomes less cluttered with a new center stack design. An eight-inch touchscreen comes with the latest version of Buick IntelliLink with Android Auto and Apple Carplay compatibility.
    The two 1.4L turbo-four engines - 138 horsepower and 153 horsepower - will carry over. There will be a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
    Buick says the 2017 Encore will go on sale later this year.
    Source: Buick

    Press Release is on Page 2

    2017 Buick Encore Gets Latest Tech, Sculpted Design
    New LED headlights, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto for Buick’s best-seller

    NEW YORK – Buick today introduced the new 2017 Encore, strengthening the appeal of America’s most popular small SUV with more refined styling and new connectivity technology – including available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

    A new front-end appearance and a new premium interior highlight the visual refinements, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported by a next-generation IntelliLink system featuring an 8-inch-diagonal color touch screen.
    Push-button start, keyless unlock via the exterior door handles and an 8-inch color touchscreen highlight the Encore’s roster of new standard features.
    “The Buick Encore created the premium small SUV segment and remains the top choice for customers seeking premium features and dependability coupled with timeless design,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “In a rapidly evolving segment, the Encore continues to lead with smart, purposeful updates and a new level of technology-infused elegance and refinement.
    Introduced in 2013, the Encore quickly carved out a niche of its own, offering the premium features typically associated with larger luxury SUVs but with greater maneuverability. It quickly rose to the top of the fast-growing small SUV market, topping it in 2014 and 2015.
    Encore was Buick’s best-selling vehicle in North America in 2015, accounting for nearly a third of overall sales. Its sales were up 34 percent for the first two months of 2016, extending a year-over-year sales increase streak to 26 months.
    Overall, SUVs now account for approximately 60 percent of all Buick sales, up from 34 percent prior to the introduction of the Enclave in 2007. Starting this summer with the arrival of the Envision – which slots directly between the Encore and Enclave – Buick will offer SUVs in the market’s three most popular segments.
    The 2017 Encore goes on sale this fall, initially offered in five trim levels: Encore (1SB), Encore Sport Touring (1SH), Encore Convenience (1SD), Encore Leather (1SL) and Encore Premium (1SN). Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available.
    It is the fourth all-new or significantly updated Buick coming in 2016, joining the Cascada convertible, Envision compact SUV and LaCrosse sedan.
    Sculptural Beauty
    The new design features the sculptural surfacing and elegant line work that continues to distinguish the Buick brand. The addition of the winged grille with Buick’s new tri-color insignia, new front headlamps and rear LED signature tail lamps contemporize the Encore and set up the visual flow around the entire vehicle. Uplevel models receive Buick’s full LED headlamps, which provide efficient, clear lighting of the road ahead.
    “Sporting cues first shown on the award-winning Avenir and Avista concepts, the 2017 Encore embraces Buick’s modern design aesthetic,” said Holt Ware, design director, Buick Exteriors. “The Encore is a crossover known for its presence – the appearance is sleek, muscular and modern.”
    Also new are a chrome exhaust outlet, body-color heated outside mirrors, a new 18-inch wheel design and three exterior colors: Black Cherry Metallic, Ebony Twilight Metallic and White Frost Metallic.
    Premium interior
    Building on Buick’s reputation for premium and quiet passenger environments, the 2017 Encore elevates with a new interior design and a greater emphasis on material selection, placement and subtle details like bright accents and contrast stitching.
    An updated instrument panel flows across the interior and incorporates a new gauge cluster with a 4.2-inch-diagonal color driver information center. Also, a new center stack blends with the instrument panel to offer more intuitive access for the user interface and its new, frameless 8-inch color touch screen.
    IntelliLink is designed to support the latest interface technologies, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Buick’s connectivity also includes OnStar 4G LTE with a Wi-Fi hotspot, which is now standard across the brand’s U.S. model line. With the 4G LTE connection, Encore allows passengers to connect up to seven devices to high-speed wireless Internet.
    “As a representation of modern Buick styling, the Encore’s cabin is sophisticated in look and feel, and precise in its execution,” said Liz Wetzel, design director, Buick Interiors. “The instrument panel and center stack forms are artfully sculpted, while offering an effortless interface with the infotainment technologies.”
    Core features
    All 2017 Encore models offer room for five and up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) of storage space with the 60/40 split rear seat folded. Standard features include 10 air bags, StabiliTrak stability enhancement and a 1.4L turbo four-cylinder/six-speed automatic powertrain.
    A unique 1.4L turbo with direct injection, more power, more torque and stop/start technology is available on most trims.
    EPA estimates will be announced at a later date.
    Buick’s exclusive QuietTuning is standard on all models and includes Bose® Active Noise Cancellation technology. Encore also offers available active safety features including Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning.

    William Maley

    The Golf Alltrack arrives this fall, here is what you need to know

    Last year, Volkswagen showed off a prototype of the Golf Alltrack wagon at the New York Auto Show. The German automaker announced that it would be selling this model sometime next year. Staying true to their word, Volkswagen has announced the Alltrack will be arriving at dealers this fall as a 2017 model. Before then, they'll be showing off the production version at New York.
    Compared to the standard Golf Sportwagen, the Alltrack is about an inch higher and features lower body cladding. Power comes from a turbocharged 1.8L four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. This will come paired with Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system and the choice of a six-speed dual-clutch automatic or a six-speed manual (available at a later date).
    The 4Motion system primary works in front-wheel drive to improve fuel economy. But if the system detects wheel slip, it will send up to 50 percent of power to the rear wheels to improve traction. The Alltrack also boasts an off-road mode that varies the settings for the traction control system and provide hill-descent control.
    “We heard from dealers and customers that they wanted to see a Golf SportWagen with the all-terrain capability that comes from an all-wheel drive system. We are excited to introduce the Golf Alltrack to meet the active lifestyle needs of our customers," said Joerg Sommer, Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy of Volkswagen of America, Inc.
    Source: Volkswagen
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Volkswagen Debuts U.S. Production Version of the 2017 Golf Alltrack
    Adds 4MOTION® all-wheel drive to Golf SportWagen’s on-road acumen Body cladding and additional ground clearance give Alltrack a rugged off-road look “Off-Road Mode” adds hill descent control and optimizes traction control Golf Alltrack offers cargo volume on par with compact SUVs for size and versatility Available driver assistance features include: Adaptive Cruise Control, and Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist).


    Herndon, VA — New York, NY — Volkswagen of America, Inc., debuted today the U.S. production version of the all-wheel-drive Golf Alltrack, which goes on sale in the Fall as a 2017 model. The Golf Alltrack is based on the successful Golf SportWagen—Volkswagen SportWagen models have long been a top choice for customers who want a versatile and dependable vehicle that provides a sportier driving experience than compact SUVs.
    “We heard from dealers and customers that they wanted to see a Golf SportWagen with the all-terrain capability that comes from an all-wheel drive system,” said Joerg Sommer, Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy of Volkswagen of America, Inc. “We are excited to introduce the Golf Alltrack to meet the active lifestyle needs of our customers."
    The Golf Alltrack shares its underpinnings with its Golf family siblings, from its MQB architecture to the turbocharged and direct-injection powertrain. The fun-to-drive EA888 1.8-liter, four-cylinder TSI® gasoline unit puts out 170 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque. At launch it will be mated to a six-speed dual-clutch DSG® automatic transmission: a six-speed manual transmission will be available at a later date.
    While it boasts the on-road manners and fuel economy of a compact wagon, the Alltrack’s defining characteristic is its 4MOTION® all-wheel-drive system. The 4MOTION all-wheel drive system uses the latest generation Haldex-5 coupling, activated via an electro-hydraulic oil pump. In normal driving, the Alltrack acts like a front-wheel-drive car for better fuel economy, but as soon as the system detects wheel slip, up to 50 percent of the drive torque can be shipped to the rear wheels. In addition to the Haldex coupling that acts longitudinally, electronic differential locks (EDL) at the front and rear axles act laterally in concert with the electronic stability control system. The system briefly brakes a wheel that is slipping, enabling uninterrupted and stable transfer of drive power to the wheel on the opposite side. The Golf Alltrack also features nearly an inch higher ground clearance over the SportWagen.
    From the outside, the Golf Alltrack’s rugged appearance is easy to differentiate from the SportWagen. Cladding for key body pieces, including the unique bumpers, wheel wells and side sills, gives off-road protection and the front fascia incorporates foglights and a unique honeycomb grille. The S and SE trimlines have 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, while the topline SEL trim has 18-inch wheels. Silver detailing, including roof rails, matte mirror caps and diffusor, adds a premium touch.
    Inside, Alltrack mimics SportWagen in layout, but gets a more upscale feel. Leatherette seating surfaces are standard and Alltrack receives a unique brown leatherette option in addition to aluminum pedal covers, door sills with Alltrack branding and ambient lighting. Standard infotainment features include: a 6.5-inch capacitive color touchscreen with proximity sensor, rearview camera, and VW Car-Net® App-Connect connectivity.
    A Drive Mode selector includes “Off-Road Mode,” which adds hill descent control and optimizes traction control for off-road terrain. The Off-Road HMI displays compass, steering angle, and altitude when driving off-road. The Alltrack has a spacious trunk that’s in line with those of compact SUVs. With the rear seats up, it boasts 30.4 cu ft of space: when the 60:40 split rear seat is fully folded, that figure rises to 66.5 cu ft of storage. The split folding rear seats are accessed by release levers in the cargo area, maximizing convenience.
    Like the rest of the Golf line, the Alltrack provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It has been engineered to meet or exceed all current crash regulations and features no fewer than six airbags as standard along with a number of electronic safety systems. Alltrack models are equipped with standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System and an Intelligent Crash Response System. Available driver assistance systems include: Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), Lane Assist, and front and rear Park Distance Control with Park Assist.

    William Maley

    Meet the rest of the Giulia lineup

    The only Giulia trim that Alfa Romeo has been parading around at various auto shows has been the 505 horsepower Quadrifoglio. Thankfully, Alfa Romeo will be introducing the remainder of the Giulia lineup at the New York Auto Show next week.
    There will be two models that sit underneath the Quadrifoglio - the Giulia and Giulia Ti. Both will come equipped with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 276 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. This will be paired with an eight-speed ZF automatic. Power will be routed to the rear wheels, with Q4 all-wheel drive available as an option. Like the Giulia Quadrifoglio, the regular Giulia features a 50/50 weight distribution and the use of lightweight materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber.
    The Giulia's interior well appointed with leather upholstery, the choice of wood, aluminum, or carbon fiber trim; and a new infotainment system with either a 6.5 or 8.8-inch screen.
    Alfa hasn't announced when the standard Giulia will be available in the U.S. It is expected that the Giulia Quadrifoglio will be arriving later this year. We'll believe it when we see it.
    Source: Alfa Romeo
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Alfa Romeo Debuts the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Lineup at the New York International Auto Show
    Rebirth of the brand – the all-new 2017 Giulia is the first of eight all-new Alfa Romeos debuting through 2020, and embodies the brand's La meccanica delle emozioni (the mechanics of emotion) spirit Giulia nameplate reflects a 55-year heritage of Alfa Romeo's lightweight, performance sedan tradition and over 105 years of brand history, carving its legend on road courses around the globe Alfa Romeo Giulia and Giulia Ti models deliver seductive Italian style and craftsmanship to the premium mid-size sedan segment All-new, all-aluminum, 2.0-liter, direct-injection turbo engine with eight-speed automatic transmission delivers a class-leading, standard 276 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque, allowing it to launch from 0-to-60 miles per hour (mph) in less than 5.5 seconds, and achieve a top speed of 149 mph The innovative Alfa Q4 all-wheel-drive system offers the Giulia and Giulia Ti models even more all-season capability and performance New eight-speed automatic transmission, with available column-mounted paddle shifters, is designed for enthusiasts with gear shifts in less than 100 milliseconds As the “halo” model in the lineup, Giulia Quadrifoglio highlights Alfa Romeo’s performance and motorsport knowhow with best-in-class 505 horsepower, 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and a record-setting 7:39 seconds around the legendary Nürburgring Near perfect 50/50 weight distribution, segment-leading torsional rigidity and the most direct steering ratio on the market, thanks to Giulia’s all-new rear-wheel-drive architecture Exclusive to Giulia Quadrifoglio, state-of-the-art technologies, including torque vectoring, active aero front splitter and Alfa DNA Pro mode selector with Race mode, combine to maximize the all-new Giulia’s driving exhilaration

    March 17, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Expanding Alfa Romeo’s lineup beyond the ultra-high performance Giulia Quadrifoglio, the all-new 2017 Giulia and Giulia Ti models will make their North American debut at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, further highlighting the first of a new-generation of vehicles embodying Alfa Romeo’s La meccanica delle emozioni (the mechanics of emotion) spirit, world-class performance, advanced technologies, seductive Italian style and an exhilarating driving experience to the premium mid-size sedan segment.

    “All-new from the ground up, the 2017 Giulia lineup marks Alfa Romeo’s return to the heart of the premium sedan segment and the next chapter of the brand’s rich 105-year heritage,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Alfa Romeo – North America. “From the new Giulia and Giulia Ti models, to the ultra-high performance Quadrifoglio model, each of our Alfa Romeo sedans deliver class-leading power and handling, the pedigree of incredible technology and race-inspired performance, plus design and style that could only be crafted in Italy.”
    Three exciting Giulia models that highlight Alfa Romeo’s balance of engineering and emotion
    Building on the excitement of the ultra-high-performance 505-horsepower Giulia Quadrifoglio model that debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, the all-new Giulia and Giulia Ti (Turismo Internazionale) models continue to expand Alfa Romeo’s perfect balance of engineering and emotion to the heart of the premium sedan segment with an Italian designed and crafted sport sedan that is driver focused.
    Giulia and Giulia Ti models
    The all-new 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia and Giulia Ti models exude Italian style, craftsmanship and performance, all while delivering a comprehensive list of standard features, including an all-new, all-aluminum, 2.0-liter, direct-injection turbo engine with eight-speed automatic transmission delivering a class-leading, standard 276 horsepower, class-exclusive carbon fiber driveshaft, dual exhaust system with bright tips, leather seating, 7-inch full-color driver information display (DID), Alfa-tainment featuring a 6.5-inch or 8.8-inch industry-first hidden widescreen infotainment display, Alfa DNA selector with Dynamic, Natural and Advanced Efficiency vehicle behavior modes, sport-inspired flat-bottom steering wheel with integrated push button start, along with keyless-go with passive entry and remote start.
    For more capability, the innovative Alfa Q4 all-wheel-drive (AWD) system is also available on Giulia and Giulia Ti models, while available Sport, Luxury and Performance packages will further add to this Alfa Romeo model’s performance and style.
    Giulia Quadrifoglio
    As the “halo” model in the lineup, Giulia Quadrifoglio highlights Alfa Romeo’s performance and motorsport knowhow with a record-setting 7:39 Nürburgring lap time – the fastest ever by a four-door production sedan.
    The beating heart of this ultra-high performance sedan is an all-aluminum, direct-injection, 2.9-liter V-6 bi-turbo engine, delivering a best-in-class 505 horsepower, as well as earning the title of the most powerful Alfa Romeo production car engine ever and the quickest with a class-leading 0-60 mph acceleration in 3.8 seconds. The Giulia Quadrifoglio features exclusive enhancements for maximum performance, including high-performance front and rear fascias and carbon fiber lightweight materials, including hood, active aero front splitter, rocker panel moldings and rear deck-lid spoiler. Additionally, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio offers staggered fitting 19 x 8.5-inch (front) and 19 x 10-inch (rear) forged alloy wheels wrapped with Pirelli P Zero Corsa three-season high-performance tires. Inside, the Giulia Quadrifoglio includes performance front seats, featuring 12-way power, including 4-way lumbar plus front adjustable thigh support. Further features include Quadrifoglio-exclusive leather-wrapped steering wheel with accent stitching and performance contours; leather-wrapped instrument panel with accent stitching; carbon fiber interior trim; and bright door scuff plates with “Quadrifoglio” graphics.
    Advanced technology features unique to the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio model include a four-mode Alfa DNA Pro selector that adds Race mode, torque vectoring differential, high-performance Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brake caliper system, Quadrifoglio-tuned adaptive suspension, Quadrifoglio instrument cluster with 200 mph speedometer, cylinder deactivation system, Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection, vehicle alarm and 35-watt bi-xenon headlamps offering auto-leveling technology, adaptive cornering and headlamp washers.
    Ultra-high performance options further optimize Alfa Romeo’s 191-mph sedan’s lightweight design and track-proven capabilities:
    Ultra-lightweight carbon fiber shell Sparco racing seats provide maximum lateral support during extreme cornering, thanks to more aggressive bolstering, and are designed to be the lightest in the segment, while providing comfort for long road trips Ultra-high-performance Brembo carbon-ceramic material (CCM) brake system features six-piston front and four-piston rear aluminum monoblock front brake calipers with two-piece 15.4-inch (390 mm) front and 14.2-inch (360 mm) rear CCM rotors. The CCM rotor design delivers a 50-percent weight reduction compared to cast iron discs, further reducing unsprung mass to improve handling, while enabling a 60-0 mph stopping performance in an impressive 102 feet

    Styled with passion: high-performance, functional and seductive Italian design
    With its muscular proportions and a “pure” design ethos of passion, lightness and simplistic elegance “clothing” its class-leading technical layout with near perfect 50/50 weight balance, the all-new 2017 Giulia exudes stunning and functional Italian style with a finesse of Alfa Romeo heritage, athletically taut lines and sculptural details.
    Alfa Romeo designers styled the proportions of the all-new Giulia to have commanding presence and a menacing face determined to take on the world’s best roadways and road courses. A large signature “shield” grille is elegantly sculpted within the front fascia to form the “Trilobo,” a signature of Alfa Romeo design. Aggressively styled headlamps flank the signature grille and include LED daytime running lights (DRL) for a signature appearance.
    Alfa Romeo Giulia’s side profile proportion highlights the near perfect 50/50 weight balance and seductive Italian design. To “skin” the all-new Alfa Romeo rear-wheel-drive architecture that delivers benchmark-level performance thanks to a primary focus of locating as much mechanical mass between the wheelbase as possible, Alfa Romeo designers deliberately provided Giulia with extremely short overhangs, long hood and front fender proportions. And for more emphasis on Giulia’s rear-wheel-drive layout, Alfa Romeo designers made the muscular rear fender forms straddle the passenger compartment to deliver a “settled” look over the drive wheels and stylistically mark the point where power is unleashed onto the road. Taut lines, including the elegantly sculpted character line along the body sides, mark the doors and envelope the handles while naturally leading back to the legendary V-shaped nose. Rounded angles and enveloping pillars draw from Alfa Romeo’s rich design heritage and recall the “drop-shaped” profile reminiscent of the Giulietta Sprint, one of the most beautiful cars ever made. Even from plan view, Alfa Romeo designers gave the Giulia an organic, “ellipsis” design appearance to add to the all-new sedan’s timeless character. Finishing off the Giulia’s athletic appearance are nine available wheel designs that range from 17-inch, to larger and wider 19-inch staggered-fitting five-hole-design wheels that hark back to the brand’s stylistic heritage.
    Short overhangs and deck lid further emphasize the all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia’s muscular rear fender forms and road-holding stance. Elegantly shaped tail lamp features are drawn horizontally to highlight the performance sedan’s width, while LED rear light clusters further highlight Giulia’s use of advanced technologies. Finishing off the rear is a two-piece fascia that neatly integrates the chrome dual exhaust tips for a precise aesthetic.
    Crafted around the driver
    Built around the driver, Alfa Romeo Giulia designers focused on simplistic elegance, with a focus on incorporating the essential elements for performance. Inside, Giulia’s high-level of craftsmanship starts with an asymmetric-styled instrument panel, featuring a driver-focused cockpit crafted with an array of available leathers with accent stitching, plus trim bezels in aluminum, wood or carbon fiber – all for a bespoke look that could only be crafted in Italy. A Formula-1-inspired steering wheel features a thick-rim profile that transmits the chassis’ direct-steering feel and neatly groups the vehicle controls and the red engine start button. Behind the steering wheel, the Giulia features a full-color 7-inch DID cluster straddled by two large white-on-black face analog gauges.
    At the center of the interior, the brand’s all-new widescreen Alfa-tainment system in 6.5 inches, or larger 8.8 inches, offers an intuitive, yet sophisticated series of features all elegantly “hidden” in the instrument panel. Below, in the center console, the rotary controller is ergonomically located and features a simple operation of the Alfa-tainment system. Last, the Alfa DNA selector is adjacent to the manual or automatic shifter, enabling the driver to easily adjust the Alfa Romeo Giulia’s driving behavior.

    State-of-the-art engines are the heart and soul of Alfa Romeo technology and performance
    Adding to Giulia’s all-new-from-the-ground-up formula to take on the premium mid-size sedan segment are two all-new Alfa Romeo specific powertrains, which highlight the brand’s passion for technology and performance.
    Best-in-class 276 horsepower with all-new Alfa Romeo turbocharged four-cylinder engine
    Debuting in the all-new 2017 Giulia and Giulia Ti models, an all-new, 2.0-liter, direct-injection, all-aluminum, 16-valve, turbocharged and intercooled engine, designed specifically for Alfa Romeo, delivers a best-in-class 276 horsepower, 0-60 mph acceleration in less than 5.5 seconds, along with world-class levels of performance, efficiency and refinement.
    To deliver its best-in-class 276 horsepower output and flat torque curve of 295 lb.-ft. of torque between 2,250 – 4,500 rpm, the state-of-the-art engine features exceptional turbo responsiveness thanks to a “2-in-1” turbocharger design, with the charging system driven through two pipes that gather exhaust gas from pairs of cylinders in alternating sequence.
    Performance and fuel economy of these engines are fostered by the MultiAir electro-hydraulic variable valve actuation technology, the direct injection system with 200 bar injection pressure, a water-cooled cylinder head integrated manifold and a water-cooled charge air cooler.
    Most powerful Alfa Romeo production engine ever: 505-horsepower all-aluminum 2.9-liter bi-turbo V-6
    With an Alfa Romeo racing history influenced by automotive legends like Enzo Ferrari that dates back to the 1920s, it’s no surprise that the all-new Giulia Quadrifoglio harks back to Alfa Romeo’s engineering excellence, with an all-aluminum, 2.9-liter, direct-injection bi-turbo V-6 as the “beating heart,” bringing this artisan designed vehicle to life and further representing a return to the “Great Alfa Romeos.”
    Designed to optimize the all-new lightweight Alfa Romeo architecture, the all-aluminum, 2.9-liter V-6 bi-turbo engine features a compact 90-degree layout and was holistically designed for a low center of gravity within the chassis.
    To deliver a best-in-class 505 horsepower and a flat torque curve with 443 lb.-ft. of peak torque between 2,500 – 5,500 rpm, the state-of-the-art engine features a bi-turbo design with 35 psi peak boost. In addition, the engine’s turbochargers are integrated into the exhaust manifold and feature a low-inertia, single-scroll turbo design with variable-boost management for an ultra-responsive throttle reaction. A direct injection system maximizes fuel combustion for improved engine output and efficiency. Combined, these technologies – along with an available enthusiast-desired short-shifting six-speed manual transmission – enable real-world performance numbers that include: best-in-class 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds, 191 mph top speed and a record setting 7:39 Nürburgring lap time.
    For improved fuel efficiency and to take advantage of the all-aluminum 2.9-liter bi-turbo engine’s impressive power density of nearly 175 hp/L, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio features a Cylinders’ Efficient Management (CEM) deactivation system that enables the engine to run on three of its six cylinders. Furthermore, an innovative engine start/stop (ESS) system stops fuel flow and shuts the powertrain down when the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is at a full stop – reducing fuel consumption and emissions. When the brake pedal is released, the high-performance bi-turbo engine automatically restarts thanks to the ESS system’s high-speed, high-durability starter, which reduces crank time, culminating in quick restarts. Last, the engine features a variable-pressure oil pump to reduce operational energy draw.
    Alfa Q4 all-wheel drive adds even more all-season capability and performance to Giulia and Giulia Ti
    When equipped with the intelligent Alfa Q4 all-wheel-drive system, Giulia and Giulia Ti models deliver even more all-season traction and performance capability thanks to the system’s ability to transfer up to 60 percent of the 2.0-liter direct-injection all-aluminum turbo engine’s torque to the front axle.
    The innovative Alfa Q4 AWD system is linked to the Giulia’s Chassis Domain Controller (CDC) and driver-adjustable Alfa DNA – enabling the driveline’s next-generation integrated actuator to adapt to changing ground conditions or driver need in 150 milliseconds, and instantly optimize the required torque to each wheel.
    New eight-speed automatic transmission with available column-mounted paddle shifters, is designed for enthusiasts with gear shifts in less than 100 milliseconds
    The all-new Giulia is the first Alfa Romeo to receive the newest generation eight-speed automatic transmission co-developed with ZF.
    The innovative compact gear set design is obtained with a smart arrangement of components and by integrating functions: four planetary gear sets and only five shift elements (three multidisk clutches and two brakes) minimize the drag loss and increase the transmission efficiency, thanks to the new multidisk separation of brakes and the use of a parallel-axis vane-type oil pump. Energy efficiency is maximized by an optimized cooling strategy, which adjusts the cooling oil flow to the system pressure (only 3.5 bar max allowed pressure).
    The eight-speed automatic transmission’s shift-by-wire improves safety and comfort, while the integrated transmission control unit allows to shift faster and more precisely than a professional driver (less than 100 milliseconds to initiate a downshift when increased acceleration is desired) and enables nested multiple downshifts (such as 8th gear to 2nd gear) thanks to the most modern adaptive shift strategies.

    Best-in-class power-to-weight ratio thanks to an all-new architecture with extensive use of lightweight materials
    Alfa Romeo Giulia’s all-new rear-wheel-drive architecture extensively integrates lightweight, state-of-the-art materials that enable and deliver near perfect 50/50 weight distribution, segment-leading torsional rigidity and the most direct steering available.
    As the first of the Alfa Romeo product renaissance to feature the all-new “Giorgio” architecture, Alfa Romeo engineers designed a lightweight rear-wheel-drive platform with a low center of gravity – all to deliver the high-performance and precision expected from an Alfa Romeo.
    Alfa Romeo Giulia’s aluminum front and rear vehicle frames, front shock towers, brakes, suspension components, doors and fenders also help shed weight compared to conventional steel. In addition, the rear cross member is made from aluminum and composite.
    An Alfa Romeo exclusive double wishbone front suspension with semi-virtual steering axis guarantees rapid and accurate steering feel. With the most direct steering ratio in the segment (11.8:1), Alfa Romeo Giulia can tackle high lateral accelerations as a result of the always perfect footprint. At the rear, a patented Alfa-link rear axle design with vertical rod ensures top performance, driving pleasure and passenger ride comfort.
    Next-level, state-of-the-art technologies add to Alfa Romeo Giulia’s driving exhilaration
    A primary objective of the Alfa Romeo engineering team was to integrate world-first and next-level vehicle technological solutions that would only amplify the all-new Giulia’s exhilarating driving experience.
    Chassis Domain Control (CDC)
    The “brain” of Alfa Romeo Giulia’s benchmark level dynamics can be attributed to its innovative CDC system. The CDC system coordinates all of the vehicle’s available active systems (stability control, torque vectoring, Alfa Active suspension system and active aero front splitter), using predictive-type dynamic models to deliver balanced, safe and natural driving, thus optimizing performance and drivability.
    Integrated Braking System (IBS)
    The world’s first integrated braking system debuts on the Alfa Romeo Giulia, replacing a traditional system of electronic stability control (ESC) and brake booster for even more instantaneous braking responsiveness. The innovative electromechanical system improves braking performance through a faster increase in pressure and makes it possible to vary brake feel jointly with the Alfa DNA Pro system. As a result, this lightweight technological solution delivers new levels of brake response and stopping distance.
    Alfa DNA and Alfa DNA Pro drive mode selectors
    Innovative Alfa DNA and, exclusive to the Giulia Quadrifoglio, Alfa DNA Pro drive mode selectors modify the dynamic behavior of the vehicle, according to the driver’s selection:
    Dynamic: delivers sharper brake and steering feel with more aggressive engine, transmission and throttle tip-in calibrations Natural: comfort setting for balanced daily driving Advanced Efficiency: the eco-saving mode to achieve the lowest fuel consumption, first time on an Alfa Romeo Race: exclusive to Alfa DNA Pro, this mode activates the over-boost function, opens up the two-mode exhaust system, turns ESC off and delivers sharper brake and steering feel with more aggressive engine, transmission and throttle tip-in calibrations

    Active aero front splitter
    A segment-exclusive active aero front splitter instantaneously adjusts the carbon fiber front lip spoiler for optimal aerodynamics, downforce and stability at any speed. In addition to helping the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio achieve a best-in-class 0.32 Cd, the dynamic front splitter with its two electric actuators can generate up to 220 pounds of downforce while operating between 62 mph and 143 mph.
    Torque vectoring
    Torque vectoring makes it possible for the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio to achieve higher performance during lateral acceleration. The rear differential optimizes torque delivery to each wheel separately for improved power delivery, traction and control on all types of road surfaces, without cutting power like traditional systems.
    Alfa Active Suspension system
    The innovative Alfa Active Suspension systems are available on Giulia Ti and standard on the Giulia Quadrifoglio. This four-channel chassis damping system instantly adapts to driving conditions and can be adjusted by the driver via the Alfa DNA selector. This technology allows for a setting of softer shock absorbers for a more comfortable drive, or a more rigid setting, for more accuracy in sports driving.
    Safety and security
    The all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia offers innovative safety and security features and leverages state-of-the-art driver-assist features.
    The latest Alfa Romeo sedan offers safety and security features that include:
    Full-speed Forward Collision Warning – Plus: provides autonomous braking and, under certain circumstances, slows or brings the vehicle to a full stop when frontal collision appears imminent Adaptive Cruise Control – Plus with Full Stop: helps maintain distance from the vehicle ahead and, under certain traffic conditions, the system can bring the Giulia to a full stop without driver intervention Lane Departure Warning: alerts the driver of inadvertent lane departure

    To help rear visibility both on the road and in parking situations, Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection and front- and rear-park assist sensors are offered on Giulia.
    In addition, the Alfa Romeo Giulia features advanced multistage driver and front-passenger air bags; driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side air bags (pelvic-thorax); front and rear side curtain air bags; and driver and front-passenger inflatable knee air bags.
    Bespoke from Italy: a vivid array of colors, materials and design details
    Adding to the excitement of owning an Alfa Romeo Giulia are the personalization options that each enthusiast can select directly from Italy.
    Up to 13 exterior colors are available and include: Rosso Alfa (Red), Alfa Black, Alfa White, Vulcano Black Metallic, Silverstone Gray Metallic, Montecarlo Blue Metallic, Vesuvio Gray Metallic, Imola Titanium Metallic, Stromboli Gray Metallic, Lipari Gray Metallic, Monza Red Metallic, Trofeo White Tri-Coat and Rosso Competizione Red Tri-Coat.
    Inside, a variety of interior combinations are available across the Alfa Romeo Giulia model lineup. Five different seat styles, including two sport seats, plus four different interior trims, which include genuine Dark Gray Oak, Light Walnut and brushed aluminum, can also be selected. Exclusive to Giulia Quadrifoglio, an array of five premium leather and Alcantara interior combinations paired with carbon fiber are available. First, an all-Black interior with a choice of Black, White and Green or Red accent stitching. A two-tone Black with Red interior with Red accent stitching further highlights the brand’s Italian design. For a bespoke look, Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio also offers a two-tone Black with Ice interior combination with signature Green and White Quadrifoglio accent stitching that pulls from Alfa Romeo’s historic and high-performance logo.
    Nine wheel designs are available across the Giulia lineup, ranging in size from 17 inches to 19 inches in diameter, along with Light and Dark Gray finishes. Specific to the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio are staggered fitting 19 x 8.5-inch (front) and 19 x 10-inch (rear) lightweight forged aluminum “Technico” wheels in Light or optional Dark Gray finish. In addition, Alfa Romeo’s signature five-hole-design alloy wheels in Light or Dark Gray finish are also available.
    For audiophile customers, Alfa Romeo Giulia offers the sophisticated Sound Theatre by Harman Kardon, which delivers detail-rich audio output. The heart of the Sound Theatre system is a 900-watt 12-channel class D amplifier, which distributes clear sound through a system of 14 speakers for superior listening quality. Logic 7 sound technology is used to obtain a surround effect from different high-resolution sources and harmoniously uniform stereo playback. With this sound system, occupants can experience the premium quality for which Harman Kardon is famed.

    William Maley

    Small changes come to Chevrolet's Subcompact

    Chevrolet's showing for New York is the updated 2017 Sonic.
    Both the hatchback and sedan get new fascias that borrow heavily from the new Bolt and Cruze. Up front are new headlights with LED running lights, chrome trim, dual grilles, and a sculpted hood. Around back are a set of single-unit taillights. Wheel sizes range from 15 to 17-inches. We're a bit worried the exterior updates have taken away some of the personality from the Sonic, but we will withhold judgment until we see it in person.
    Inside, Chevrolet has swapped the digital gauge cluster for one with an analog speedometer. There is also an updated version of Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system, keyless start, available heated cloth seats, and a heated steering wheel.
    Powertrains carry over from the existing model, with a 1.8L four-cylinder as the base and a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder as an option.
    Chevrolet will offer the Sonic sedan in LS, LT and Premier trims. The Sonic hatchback will come in the RS trim only, with two versions - RS LT and RS Premier.
    Pricing and release date for the 2017 Chevrolet Sonic hasn't been announced.
    Source: Chevrolet

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Chevrolet Introduces 2017 Sonic
    Fresh look, segment-first Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility lead changes

    NEW YORK – Chevrolet today introduced the 2017 Sonic – a more expressive, sporty take on the brand’s fun-to-drive small car. It offers big technologies such as a new MyLink system with segment-exclusive Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a fresh exterior with new LED signature lighting.

    The updated styling complements new comfort and convenience features such as an available heated steering wheel and a standard 7-inch-diagonal color touchscreen for the new MyLink system. Rear Park Assist is also new, adding to one of the most comprehensive safety packages in the segment.
    “The new styling and features of the 2017 Sonic reinforce its position as a fun, efficient small car with leading technology – all at an affordable price,” said Steve Majoros, director of marketing, Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers. “This is an important segment for Chevrolet, as we really have an opportunity to introduce ourselves to new buyers and show them what we’re all about.”
    Like the new Trax, Sonic brings new, younger customers to the brand, with more than 20 percent of them younger than 35 – and nearly 30 percent trading in non-GM vehicles. It is also Chevrolet’s top vehicle for first-time new buyers.
    The 2017 Sonic goes on sale this fall, offered in LS, LT and Premier trims on sedan models. The hatchback returns exclusively in RS guise, offered in LT and Premier trims. An RS package is also available on the sedan.
    Refined design
    Sonic’s athletic exterior has an entirely new, expressive look echoing the global Chevrolet cues seen on vehicles such as the Cruze, Bolt EV and 2017 Trax.
    It is a richer, more detailed design, with the front end featuring a new hood, new front fascia and new lighting elements. Projector-beam headlamps are standard, along with available LED daytime running lamps. Likewise, the rear fascia is new.
    “With its trademark wheels-at-the-corners stance, the dramatic changes to the Sonic’s design give it and even sportier stance and attitude,” said Justin Thompson, exterior design manager.
    There are also new 15-, 16- and 17-inch wheel designs and four new exterior colors offered in 2017: Orange Burst Metallic, Brimstone, Cajun Red Tintcoat and Arctic Blue Metallic (late availability).
    Interior and technology enhancements
    Sonic’s thoughtful interior retains its focus on delivering comfort, convenience and technology. A new, detailed gauge cluster incorporating an analog speedometer adds a higher degree of refinement to the cabin, complementing addition new comfort and convenience features.
    For 2017, Sonic becomes the first in its segment to offer a power driver’s seat. Additional new features include:
    Keyless Open and Start Available heated cloth seats with new heated steering wheel RS trim includes RS-logo floor mats, piano black décor, RS-badged flat-bottom steering wheel – with new, red cloth seating available.

    Also new is a 7-inch-diagonal infotainment system designed to support the latest connectivity technologies, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot. With the available 4G LTE connection, Sonic provides a Wi-Fi hotspot that allows passengers to connect up to seven compatible devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless Internet.

    Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is subject to their terms, privacy statements and data plan rates, as well as a compatible smartphone.
    Safety first
    Sonic offers safety features designed to alert drivers to potential crash situations. Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning are available active safety features. Sonic also offers 10 standard air bags, Stabilitrak electronic stability control and an antilock braking system to help provide peace of mind. Rear Park Assist is new for 2017 and a rearview camera is now standard on all models.
    Turbocharged performance
    The Sonic’s standard Ecotec 1.8L engine is estimated to deliver similar fuel economy numbers for the 2017 model year, however official EPA estimates are not yet available. Sonic’s fun-driving spirit returns with an available Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine, backed by a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. Rated at 138 horsepower (102 kW).

    William Maley

    The Grand Cherokee Gets the Trailhawk Treatment

    This is the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and before you ask, it doesn't have the 707 horsepower Hellcat V8.
    Jalopnik's Truck Yeah was the first to report on these pictures that leaked out last night. Much like the Cherokee and Renegade Trailhawk, the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk gets some improvements to make it more capable off road. There appears to be a suspension lift (we're guessing about an inch), a set of Goodyear off-road tires, skid plates, and tow hooks finished in red.
    We'll have more details when Chrysler unveils the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk next week at the New York Auto Show.
    Source: Truck Yeah!

    William Maley

    Good Night Scion FR-S, Good Morning Toyota 86

    Toyota is beginning the sunsetting process of the Scion brand with the FR-S. Next week at the New York Auto Show, Toyota will debut the redesigned 2017 86 - a name that is also used for the Asia, Australia South Africa, and South America markets.
    For the exterior, Toyota has added a larger air intake, bumpers, and LED lighting. The interior gets a new three-spoke steering wheel with audio controls and a new “Grandlux” material is used for the door panels and dash.
    Under the hood, the 2.0L flat-four has seen an increase in power from 200 horsepower and 153 pound-feet of torque to 205 and 158 respectively. This is due to a revised intake system and reducing pumping losses in the engine. It should be noted this is only for the manual transmission model. The 86 automatic sticks with the original power figures.
    Speaking of the manual, Toyota has changed the gear ratios to improve overall response. Also, the spring rates and damper settings have been adjusted to improve handling.
    The 2017 Toyota 86 arrives at dealers this fall.
    Source: Toyota

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Toyota to 86 the FR-S Name
    New Toyota 86 and Charismatic C-HR Concept on Display at New York Auto Show

    TORRANCE, Calif., March 17, 2016 – With its new home comes a new name and more. The former Scion FR-S will debut as the 2017 Toyota 86 at the New York International Auto Show with interior and exterior changes, as well as suspension and powertrain upgrades. The new Toyota 86 will go on sale at all Toyota dealerships this fall.
    “When we announced the transition of the Scion models to Toyota we hadn’t planned on changing the names of our cars, but by popular demand, for our sports car, we decided to adopt the global name of 86,” said Toyota Division Group Vice President, Bill Fay. “Enthusiasts have a strong association with the front-engine, rear-drive heritage of the ‘hachi-roku’ and the dynamic performance it offers.”
    In addition to the Toyota 86 name change, two other Scion vehicles will have new designations for 2017. The Toyota Corolla iM and Toyota Yaris iA will join Toyota’s small car line-up.
    For its move to Toyota, the 86 sports car adopts more aggressive styling with a larger center intake emphasizing the low, wide stance of the car. The front of the car has a new design with re-configured LED front headlamps and turn signals, and revised bumper. The rear now sports LED tail lamps and a new bumper design. The alloy wheels feature a twisted spoke design and 86 logos have been incorporated into a badge on the front fender, as well as inside the front headlamps.
    The interior also features the 86 logo on the new “Grandlux” material used on the instrument panel surround. The same material adds a new, soft feel to the door trim. Drivers also will enjoy new seating material with silver stitching and a sporty steering wheel with integrated audio controls and an 86 logo on the center hub.
    Enhanced control and agile performance are achieved through revised shock tuning and a spring rate change. On the manual version of the car, additional performance comes from a gear ratio change and a torque increase to 156 lb.-ft, as well as a five-horsepower increase to 205 hp. Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) helps prevent the car from rolling back on steep hills.
    The new Toyota 86 also will be featured in Formula Drift with racers Ken Gushi and Ryan Tuerck. The drivers, along with Series Champion Frederic Aasbo, will be defending the SR by Toyota race team’s 2015 Manufacturers’ Championship.
    Joining the Toyota 86 on the show floor will be the Toyota C-HR Concept. The U.S. production version of the C-HR will be shown later this year and the vehicle will go on sale in spring 2017 as a 2018 model.
    “We’re very excited to be showing the C-HR Concept as a Toyota and adding it to our line-up next year,” said Fay. “The style and substance of the production C-HR will make it a winner in the hottest segment in the industry.”
    The C-HR Concept is named for its Compact size and High Ride height. With four doors and a hatch for supreme functionality, it’s the perfect vehicle for “yuccies,” the young urban creatives who inspired the design.
    Underneath the captivating design of the C-HR is a platform featuring Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA). TNGA is an innovative and integrated approach to developing new platforms and powertrains for Toyota. It creates a lower center of gravity, increased body rigidity, more responsive handling and improved ride comfort.
    “Even though the C-HR has a high ride height, our focus was on creating a fantastic urban driving car,” said C-HR Chief Engineer Hiro Koba. “My favorite place to be on a weekend is at a race track and I wanted to build a car that I would have just as much fun driving in the city during the week with refined driving comfort and responsive, precise steering.”
    More information about the technical specifications for the C-HR will be available when the production version debuts later this year.

    William Maley

    Mercedes SUV's lineup gets a new AMG member

    Apparently Mercedes-Benz isn't done with expanding the AMG lineup. Last night, Mercedes revealed the GLC43 that will be debuting next week at the New York Auto Show.
    Much like the C43 sedan and coupe, the GLC43 packs 3.0L twin-turbo V6 producing 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with a nine-speed automatic transmission and a rear-biased version of Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system. Performance figures for the GLC43 stand at 4.8 seconds to reach 60 mph and a limited top speed of 155 mph.
    Mercedes has done a bit of work underneath the GLC43's skin with a new sport-tuned air suspension with adaptive damping, larger brakes, new steering knuckles, and stiffer bushing.
    The exterior is much the same as the C43 with a diamond grille, 20-inch alloy wheels finished in black, and a rear diffuser.
    Sales of the GLC43 kick off towards the end of this year.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2

    The new Mercedes-AMG GLC43
    First mid-size SUV from AMG in Affalterbach

    March 16, 2016 - Affalterbach.
    The mid-size SUV model series gains a particularly dynamic addition in the form of the new Mercedes-AMG GLC43. The 362 hp 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine, the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with shortened shift times and AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive configured with a rear bias form the basis for an especially dynamic on-road driving experience. The autonomous design and the specially tuned sport suspension on the basis of AIR BODY CONTROL with adaptive damping adjustment underline the affiliation to the Mercedes-AMG world of Driving Performance.
    Following the record sales in 2015 Mercedes-AMG remains on a path of growth: the product range will be extended at high speed in 2016. "With the new AMG GLC43 we are offering an AMG model in the mid-size SUV segment for the first time. The new SUV from Affalterbach marks the pinnacle of the GLC product range and in the AMG portfolio it closes the gap between the GLA and GLE," says Tobias Moers, CEO at Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
    The 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine is used in numerous AMG performance models and delivers 362 hp plus a maximum torque of 384 lb-ft. The AMG GLC43 sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and its speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. The newly developed front axle, the taut elastokinematics and the highly precise AMG speed- sensitive sport steering make a substantial contribution to the agile driving experience.
    The standard highlights
    3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine with modified engine management, increased boost pressure and significantly enhanced dynamics and responsiveness 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with double-declutching function during downshifts and particularly short response times in "Sport Plus" mode AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution of 31 to 69 percent (front axle to rear axle) Specially tuned sport suspension based on AIR BODY CONTROL with adaptive damping adjustment and AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch for dynamic, individually selectable driving experience with five drive programs and AMG- specific parameterization Three-stage Electronic Stability Program ESP® Front axle with newly developed steering knuckles and load-bearing joints on the spring link. Elastokinematic adjustments on the links Rear axle with elastokinematics tailored to higher driving dynamics Large braking system with internally ventilated compound brake discs, perforated at the front with a diameter of 14.2" and 12.6" at the rear AMG styling with distinctive front and rear bumpers as well as special tailpipes Diamond radiator grille with chrome pins and louvers in high-gloss black 20-inch AMG light-alloy wheels in a 5-spoke design, painted high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish AMG instrument cluster with "checkered flag" design with 180 mph scale Multifunction sports steering wheel in leather with deep embossing in grip area, flattened bottom section, with red contrasting topstitching

    High on power, low on consumption: the AMG 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine
    The AMG 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine is characterized by a powerful output together with low consumption and emissions. Installed close to the engine, the two turbochargers are able to provide power without delay. The high power output of 362 hp is attributable to, among other things, a higher boost pressure of 15 psi. Together with the 384 lb-ft torque from 2000-4200 rpm the engine unleashes high levels dynamism and responsiveness. The NANOSLIDE® coating on the cylinder liners was also enhanced in the Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 V6 hybrid turbo engines. Especially tough and wear-resistant, this coating also reduces friction and contributes to higher efficiency. The same applies to the spray-guided multiple injection with up to 2900 psi of fuel pressure. The AMG powerplant can be identified by the red aluminum insert on the engine cover.
    Short shift times, high efficiency: the 9G-TRONIC
    The 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is especially matched to the demands of the AMG GLC43. Thanks to the model-specific software application, the AMG developers managed to reduce the shift times of the 9-speed transmission. The multiple downshift allows even faster short bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in the "Sport" and "Sport Plus" transmission modes makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Ignition adjustments provide faster gearshifts than in "Eco" and "Comfort" modes. "Manual" mode can be selected using a button in the center console. The gear changes are based on the selected transmission mode, and the driver can change gear using the paddles on the steering wheel. The transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches the limit.
    More agility: the sport suspension based on AIR BODY CONTROL
    For more agility, improved cornering characteristics and higher traction even in intensive use, developers in Affalterbach have designed a sport suspension based on the AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension. Also specifically adapted, the Adaptive Damping system ADS PLUS can be adjusted in the three stages: "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport Plus."
    The four-link front axle is fitted with special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints; all components have been optimized in terms of rigidity. A more negative camber on the front axle and on the multi-link rear axle enhances lateral dynamics. The elastokinematics of both axles have been designed to be more rigid in general. The sum of these measures improves agility and boosts overall dynamics.
    Rear-biased and agile: AMG Performance 4MATIC
    The all-wheel drive AMG Performance 4MATIC is characterized by the rear-biased torque distribution of 31 percent at the front axle to 69 percent at the rear axle. This configuration ensures more driving dynamics and higher lateral acceleration on the road plus improved traction during acceleration.
    Characteristics at the tap of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT
    With the five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual, the driver can tailor the characteristics of the AMG GLC43 to individual preferences at the tap of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to extremely sporty. This modifies key parameters, such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering. Independently of the DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes, 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 AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs "Sport" and "Sport Plus" are even more strongly configured for driving dynamics on the AMG GLC43 than on the series- production models. This is thanks to the more agile, direct accelerator characteristic, more emotive gear shifting with shortened shift times and double-declutching function. A higher idle speed facilitates even faster acceleration from standstill.
    In order to increase efficiency, in "Eco" mode the ECO start/stop function and the sailing function reduce fuel consumption: when the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 37 and 99 mph, the clutch is disengaged and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics reduce the engine speed to idle level, and the driving resistance is reduced by the compression and frictional forces of the engine in overrun mode.
    Direct and with clear feedback: speed-sensitive sports steering
    The speed-sensitive sport steering has a variable ratio in the AMG GLC43. It stands out with its precise, highly authentic feedback. The steering power assistance is variable in the "Comfort" or "Sport" tuning. The relevant characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode or can be personalized in "Individual" mode.
    The large-dimensioned braking system with interior-ventilated compound brake discs decelerates the AMG GLC43 reliably and quickly. At the front axle perforated discs sized 14.2" x 1.4" with 4-piston fixed calipers and AMG lettering are used, and 12.6" x 0.9"at the rear axle.
    Sporty and distinctive: the exterior design
    The autonomous design is enhanced with silver chrome colored and high-gloss black features. The diamond radiator grille features chrome-plated pins, a louver in high-gloss black with inserts in high-gloss chrome and AMG lettering. The sportily distinctive air intakes in the AMG front bumper feature fins in silver chrome. Down below, the silver chrome front splitter ensures an optimal flow of air to the cooling modules.
    High-gloss black-painted, high-sheen 20-inch AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels dominate the side view. The mixed-size tires with the dimensions 255/45 R 20 on 8 x 20 at the front axle and 285/40 R 20 on 9.5 x 20 at the rear axle emphasize the sporty appearance. There are also high-gloss black door mirror caps and the silver-colored "BITURBO 4MATIC" lettering on the front fenders.
    The tail end also sports characteristic highlights and exudes sporty, aesthetic appeal with two four-pipe chromed tailpipe trims. The AMG-specific rear apron sports trim in silver chrome.
    Sporty look with model-specific details: the interior design
    The interior reinforces the consistently dynamic bias with numerous specially designed details. Ideal for a committed driving style, the multifunction sports steering wheel in black leather features a flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching. The driver and front passenger find a secure position in the sport seats even when driving at speed, thanks to the improved lateral support.
    With two large round dials and central color multifunction display with a 5.5" diagonal the AMG instrument cluster places all the important information in the driver's field of vision. The ECO display supports a fuel-saving driving style. Dials in a checkered-flag look and the distinctive typography lend the large displays an especially sporty touch.
    Optional features with a sporty emphasis
    The sporty character of the AMG GLC43 is also emphasized by a wide range of optionally available equipment ranges from performance seats with increased lateral support, to through leather upholstery, carbon-fiber trim, a Night package and 21-inch wheels in a bi-color design.
    The new Mercedes-AMG GLC43 celebrates its world premiere in March 2016 at the New York International Auto Show and will be on sale in US dealerships by the end of 2016.

    William Maley

    It might not be the most exciting, but the 2017 Highlander is important

    Toyota has updated the Highlander - its three-row crossover - for the 2017 model year. It might not be the most exciting vehicle making its debut at the New York Auto Show, but it is an important one as crossovers are currently the big sellers for many automakers.
    The changes begin on the exterior with more prominent lower and upper grilles that are finished in either silver (LE, LE Plus and XLE) or chrome (Limited or Limited Platinum). Toyota has also introduced a new trim for the Highlander called the SE. This trim adds a dark finish for the grilles, 19-inch alloy wheels, and new suspension tuning.
    Under the hood is a new 3.5L V6 with direct injection. Toyota hasn't revealed any power figures, but does say “will generate significantly more horsepower” than the current 3.5L V6. An eight-speed automatic will no doubt improve fuel economy. The base 2.7L four-cylinder and hybrid powertrain carry over.
    Toyota has added a number of safety features for the 2017 Highlander. Automatic braking, auto high-beams, lane-departure warning, Pedestrian Pre-Collision, and radar cruise control all come standard via Toyota Safety Sense package.
    The 2017 Highlander family arrives at dealers later this fall.
    Source: Toyota

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Toyota's Debut of 2017 Highlander Mid-Size SUV to Showcase Significant Performance Updates
    Newly Developed Direct Shift 8-Speed Automatic Transmission New 3.5-liter Direct Injection V6 Boosts Horsepower/Helps Increase MPG New Available Stop and Start (S&S) Engine System Standard Toyota Safety Sense New Sportier SE Gas Model; Hybrid Trim Expands to Four Grades Refreshed Exterior Styling

    TORRANCE, Calif., March 14, 2016 -- Toyota will be debuting the significantly enhanced 2017 model year Highlander mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) on Wednesday, March 23 at the upcoming New York International Auto Show. The popular Highlander, receives an array of new and updated equipment and technology, inside and out, including a new Direct Shift 8-speed (8AT automatic transmission).

    Highlander is a no-compromise mid-size three-row SUV that brings together the best in style, technology, comfort, capability, and safety. Its exterior design conveys both refinement and strength, which complements a refined interior that sets a high bar in its segment. The third- generation model, now entering its fourth year, offers room for up to eight, a choice of three powertrains and six model grades, including a new sporty SE model. The Highlander Hybrid adds two new grades, (LE and XLE) to its existing lineup of Limited and Platinum models for a total of four. All Highlander Hybrid models will continue to be all-wheel drive (AWD). The six Highlander gas models will continue to be (LE, LE Plus, XLE, SE, Limited and Limited Platinum) available in both front-wheel and AWD. It all adds up to the ideal family vehicle.
    Greater Level of Performance
    Performance will be enhanced in the 2017 Highlander gas models with the addition of the new Direct Shift 8AT (automatic transmission) that will be paired with a new 3.5-liter V6 Direct Injection Engine. The new transmission is more compact and will provide more transmission efficiency through its 8-speed gear range. The 8AT (Automatic Transmission) will be standard on all V6 Highlander gas models.
    The new 3.5-liter Direct Injection V6 Engine will be available on all Highlander gas models and standard on all Hybrid grades. The new engine will generate significantly more horsepower, provide enhanced fuel efficiency, and deliver a more direct driving feel by expanding the lock up range.
    In addition to Highlander, the new Direct Shift 8AT (automatic transmission) and 3.5-liter V6 Direct Injection Engine powertrain will be equipped in the 2017 model year Toyota Sienna van.
    In an effort to help conserve fuel, Highlander V6 models (excluding LE) will come standard with a new Stop and Start Engine System (S&S). While driving the Highlander, the S&S allows the engine to shut off when the vehicle comes to a complete stop and restarts when the driver lifts their foot off of the brake pedal.
    The standard powertrain on Highlander 4x2 LE gas models will remain the 2.7-liter 4- cylinder paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. All Highlander Hybrid models will continue to receive the electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT).
    Updated Luxury Look and Feel
    The 2017 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid will receive tasteful styling enhancements that will continue to turn heads. The changes start with a new upper and lower front grille design for all grades. Each grade will be distinguished by different grille finishes that will also carry into the headlamp housing. The grille on all LE, LE Plus and XLE grades will receive a silver painted finish, while Limited and Platinum grades will receive a painted chrome finish. From behind, the rear taillights will receive a sleeker redesign. A chrome trim garnish will also be added on the rear bumper of Limited and Platinum models.
    Highlander will receive three new exterior colors, including Celestial Silver Metallic, Toasted Walnut Pearl, and, exclusively on the new SE, Salsa Red Pearl.
    Interior updates include a new brown leather interior that will be available on the Limited Platinum grade. Charging personal devices will be more efficient as all Highlanders will add four USB ports for a total of five.
    For those looking for a Highlander with all the bells and whistles but require added passenger seating, the premium Limited and Limited Platinum grades will offer buyers the choice of second-row captain’s chairs (providing seating for seven), or second-row bench seats that will expand capacity to eight people.
    Sporty New SE Grade
    For a touch of sportiness, Highlander will now be available in the new SE model. It starts on the outside with unique 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels, tuned suspension for a sportier ride, and a sporty dark paint treatment to the front grille, which is also incorporated into the headlamp housings and roof rails.
    Inside, the SE will stand apart from all other Highlander models with unique black leather- trimmed seats with silver stitching and pattern seat inserts, a black front tray, and matching dash and door inserts.
    Toyota Safety That Makes Sense
    The 2017 Highlander will come standard with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS), a new multi- feature advanced safety package anchored by automated pre-collision braking. TSS bundles cutting edge safety technologies including Pre-Collision System (with Forward Collision Warning and automatic emergency brake), Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beams, Pedestrian Pre- Collision System and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
    The Pedestrian Pre-collision System (PCS) uses a camera and radar to detect objects ahead of the vehicle. When the system determines there is a possibility of collision it prompts the driver to brake with an audio and visual alert. If the driver notices the hazard and brakes, the system provides additional braking force. If the driver fails to brake in a set time, the system automatically applies the brakes, reducing speed in order to prevent or mitigate the collision.
    Lane Departure Alert (LDA) uses a camera to detect visible lane markings. If the system determines that the vehicle is starting to deviate from the lane, LDA alerts the driver and will provide steering assist to help get the vehicle back into its lane.
    Automatic High Beam (AHB) helps enhance forward visibility during nighttime driving. It uses a camera to detect the headlights of oncoming vehicles and the tail lights of vehicles ahead, and then automatically switches between high beams and low beams so as not to dazzle other drivers.
    The Highlander XLE grade will also adopt blind spot monitor as standard equipment.
    To help make parking easy and safe, the 2017 Highlander Limited Platinum grade will come standard with a Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan. This Toyota technology employs four cameras that are mounted on the front, the side mirrors and rear of the vehicle to project a panoramic view of the vehicle’s surroundings on the central touch display monitor. The system offers drivers assistance when parallel parking, and when pulling in and out of parking spaces. The Bird’s Eye View Monitor system also debuts a Toyota-first feature called Perimeter Scan, which provides a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle, helping the driver to see potential obstacles.
    Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) in Princeton, Ind., which employs over 4,000 American workers, assembles all Highlanders and exports them to 12 countries.
    The 2017 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid will begin arriving at Toyota showrooms in the fall of 2016.

    William Maley

    And another AMG 43 model is announced.

    Mercedes-AMG is going overboard with the number of models it is offering, Case in point is the 2017 E43 that will be debuting at the New York Auto Show in a few weeks.
    Like the C43 Coupe that debuted at the Geneva Motor Show, the E43 uses a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 paired with a nine-speed automatic and a rear-biased 4Matic all-wheel drive system. Unlike the C43, the E43 produces slightly more power: 396 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque vs. 362 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. This is due to larger turbos and revised engine software. Performance figures for E43 are a 4.3 second run to 60 mph and a limited top speed of 155 mph.
    Aside from the engine, the E43 gets a new air suspension with three-mode adaptive dampers, stronger suspension knuckles, and quad-tip exhaust.
    The exterior boasts new diamond grille, 19-inch AMG wheels finished in high-gloss black, and a rear diffuser.
    "The new AMG E43 offers impressive driving dynamics coupled with cutting-edge efficiency. Twin turbocharging, features adopted from motorsport and characteristic AMG design immediately indicate to our customers that the new E-Class from AMG offers pure Driving Performance coupled with cutting-edge technology and intense emotion," said Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH in a statement.
    The 2017 Mercedes-AMG E43 arrives in dealers early next year.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz


    Press Release is on Page 2

    The new Mercedes-AMG E43
    First high-performance variant of the new E-Class
    March 10, 2016 - Affalterbach: Hot on the heels of the world premiere for the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class at the North American International Auto Show this January, the first high-performance variant of the new E-Class is already on the way from Mercedes-AMG. The Mercedes-AMG E43, boasting a 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine, will represent the most powerful variant of the luxury sedan when it hits dealerships by early 2017. This high-powered six-cylinder engine delivers an output of 396 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. The AMG Performance 4MATIC four-wheel drive combines optimum traction with high agility on the AMG E43, thanks to rear-biased torque distribution with a front-to-rear ratio of 31:69 percent. The 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with shorter shift times, AMG AIRMATIC Adaptive Sport Suspension and the more direct steering ratio also provide for signature AMG Driving Performance.
    "The new AMG E43 offers impressive driving dynamics coupled with cutting-edge efficiency. Twin turbocharging, features adopted from motorsport and characteristic AMG design immediately indicate to our customers that the new E-Class from AMG offers pure Driving Performance coupled with cutting-edge technology and intense emotion," notes Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
    On the AMG E43, Mercedes-AMG has upgraded the six-cylinder engine's output by 34 hp to 396 hp with the aid of two larger turbochargers and sophisticated AMG software. The ample peak torque of 384 lb-ft is available from a low engine speed of 2,500 rpms all the way through 5,000 rpms.
    This package guarantees performance on par with many a sports car: the new AMG E43 achieves a 0-60 time in just 4.5 seconds, while its top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.
    The data at a glance:

    Mercedes-AMG E43


    V6 Biturbo


    2996 cc


    396 hp at 6100 rpm

    Peak torque

    384 lb-ft at 2500-5000 rpm

    Curb Weight

    4,145 lbs

    Acceleration 0-60 mph

    4.5 s

    Top speed

    155 mph (electronically limited)

    Sporty and distinctive: the exterior design
    The looks of the AMG E43 render it immediately recognizable as a member of the AMG family. Apart from underscoring a powerful appearance, three large openings in the front bumper also ensure an optimum flow of air to the coolers. Two elegant cross fins on the outer cooling openings enhance the vehicle's visual presence. The diamond grille with chromed pins, a louver in high-gloss black and AMG lettering represent further hallmarks of the AMG 43 models.
    The side view of the AMG E43 is dominated by high-sheen 19-inch AMG five-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in high-gloss black. The rear end features characteristic highlights including two chrome-plated quad-flow exhaust tailpipes conveying a particularly sporty aesthetic. The rear diffusor comes in silver chrome, while the standard-specification spoiler lip on the trunk lid is painted body color.
    Sporty look with model-specific details: the interior design
    The interior reinforces the dynamic caliber of the new AMG E43 with numerous individual details. The driver and front passenger find a secure position in the sport seats even when driving at top speed, thanks to the improved lateral support. The upholstery in MB-Tex/DINAMICA (optional: nappa leather) features a distinctive layout and red topstitching. To match the seat design, the door center panels and dashboard are finished in MB-Tex with red topstitching. Exclusive pedals, a black roof lining and red seat belts add further sporty highlights.
    The multifunction sports steering wheel with Touch Control in black nappa leather with red contrasting topstitching and a flattened bottom section is ideally suited for sporty driving. The AMG instrument cluster delivers all relevant information in a clearly arranged layout optimized for a dynamic driving style on the available fully-digital, high-resolution 12.3” instrument screen.
    High on power, low on consumption: the AMG 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine
    The V6 Biturbo engine boasts a high power output combined with low fuel consumption and emissions. The high power output of 396 hp is attributable, among other things, to new, larger turbochargers and the higher charge-air pressure of 16 psi. Installed close to the engine, the two turbochargers provide near-instantaneous power.
    The NANOSLIDE® coating on the cylinder liners has also undergone further development in the Formula 1 V6 hybrid turbo engines from Mercedes-Benz. Especially tough and wear-resistant, this coating reduces friction, thereby contributing to higher efficiency. The same applies to the spray-guided fuel injection, with up to 2900 psi of pressure.
    The AMG powerplant can be identified by the red aluminum insert in the engine cover.
    Short shift times and high efficiency: the 9G-TRONIC
    The 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is specially matched to the requirements of the new AMG E43. The multiple downshift function enables more spontaneous short bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in "Sport" and "Sport Plus" transmission modes makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Defined ignition intervention additionally enables faster gear shifting than in "Eco" and "Comfort" modes.
    "Manual" mode can be selected using a separate button in the center console. The gear changes are based on the selected transmission mode and the driver can now change gear using the paddles on the steering wheel. Moreover, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches the limit.
    More agility: AMG AIRMATIC Adaptive Sport Suspension
    For added agility, more neutral cornering behavior and higher traction even when driving at high speeds, engineers in Affalterbach have designed a dedicated sports suspension on the basis of the AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension system. The Adaptive Damping System offers a choice of three modes – "Comfort," "Sport" and "Sport Plus." This provides for broader scope between a high level of comfort for longer journeys and sporty driving dynamics.
    The four-link front axle is fitted with special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints; all components have been optimized in terms of rigidity. A more negative camber on the front axle and on the multi-link rear axle enhances lateral dynamics. The elastokinematics of both axles have been designed to be more rigid in general. All these measures improve agility and boost the dynamics.
    Rear-biased and agile: AMG Performance 4MATIC
    The AMG Performance 4MATIC four-wheel drive system features rear-biased torque distribution with a front/rear axle split of 31 to 69 percent. This configuration provides for enhanced driving dynamics and higher lateral acceleration on the road as well as improved traction when accelerating.
    In combining the permanent four-wheel drive with the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, the engineers have opted for a change of concept: the single-stage transfer case of the four-wheel drive is flange-mounted on the 9G-TRONIC as a separate system. On earlier generations of vehicles, the transfer case was integrated into the 7G-TRONIC PLUS. The new add-on solution makes it easier to modify torque distribution according to the model, thus enabling even more individual characteristics for the respective model series.
    The new system is also more effective than the earlier concept by virtue of improved efficiency, reduced friction and lower weight. Its compact design does not restrict space for either passengers or luggage.
    Characteristics at the tap of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT
    With the five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes "Eco," "Comfort,” "Sport," "Sport Plus" and "Individual," the driver can tailor the characteristics of the AMG E43 to individual preferences at the tap of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to extremely sporty and modifies key parameters, such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering. Independently of the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. The suspension set-ups can also be selected as necessary.
    The AMG DYNAMIC SELECT "Sport" and "Sport Plus" transmission modes are configured with a clear emphasis on driving dynamics on the new AMG E43. This results from an agile accelerator pedal characteristic with direct set-up and emotional gear shifting with reduced shift times and double declutching. The increased idling speed additionally enables the vehicle to move off quickly and provides for faster acceleration from a standing start.
    In order to increase efficiency, in "Eco" mode the ECO start/stop function and the gliding function reduce fuel consumption: when the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 31 and 99 mph, the clutch is disengaged and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics reduce the engine speed to idling level, and the driving resistance is reduced by the compression and frictional forces of the engine in overrun mode.
    Direct and with clear feedback: speed-sensitive sports steering
    The speed-sensitive sports steering features a variable ratio on the AMG E43. It stands out with its precise, highly authentic feedback. Steering power assistance is available in a choice of two modes – "Comfort" or "Sport." The relevant characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode or can be personalized in Individual mode. Manual torque is increased in "Sport" mode, providing more feedback on driving conditions.
    The large braking system with internally ventilated compound brake discs ensures reliable and quick deceleration of the sedan.
    Optional features with a sporty emphasis
    The optionally available features also emphasize the sporty character of the AMG E43. These range from AMG seats with increased lateral support to nappa leather upholstery to 20-inch wheels.
    The new Mercedes-AMG E43 will have its world premiere at the New York International Auto Show in March 2016 and will be in US dealers by early 2017.

    William Maley

    The Return of the 4 Door Sports Car

    After making an early debut in Nissan's super bowl commercial back in February, the 2016 Maxima has been revealed to the world at the New York Auto Show this morning.
    The Maxima is almost an identical clone to the Sports Sedan concept shown in Detroit last year. The front end has a similar design to the current Murano crossover with a V shape grille and boomerang-shaped headlights. Flowing lines and blacked-out rear pillars to create the illusion of a floating roof are the stars of the side profile. The back has a set of broad shoulders and a tall decklid.
    Compared to the current Maxima, the 2016 model is about 2.2 inches longer. More importantly, the new Maxima is about 1.3 inches longer than the Altima. Despite the increase in size, weight has dropped 82 pounds thanks to increase in high-strength steel.
    Inside, the Maxima feels more luxurious with higher-quality materials such as the optional Ascot quilted leather, constrasting stitching for the seats, and Alcantara inserts in the SR trim. The center stack is oriented to the driver and boasts a 8-inch touchscreen with NissanConnect.
    Power comes 3.5L V6 which produces 300 horsepower (up 10 horsepower from the previous model) and 261 pound-feet of torque. Nissan's XTronic CVT routes all of that power to the front wheels. Fuel economy is expect to see a slight bump with Nissan estimating the Maxima getting 22 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway.
    The 2016 Maxima will start $33,235 - includes a $825 destination charge - and go on sale this summer.
    Source: Nissan

    Press Release is on Page 2
    2016 Nissan Maxima Press Kit: Overview
    2016 Nissan Maxima Resets "4-Door Sports Car" Positioning with Bold New Design, Authentic Performance Hardware and a Bespoke Interior That Rivals Luxury Nameplates
    Nissan's flagship Maxima features a 300-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and new lighter, yet more rigid chassis, bringing sports car-like acceleration and handling to large sedan segment
    Breakthrough styling, based on Nissan Sport Sedan Concept, showcases Nissan's futuristic design language –including V-Motion front end, signature boomerang lights, kick-up C-pillars and unique floating roof appearance
    Premium class-above, bespoke crafted interior, anchored by a command central driver's cockpit, that rivals luxury vehicles
    The all-new Maxima goes on sale in summer 2015 with a $32,410 starting MSRP* – including standard NissanConnectSM with navigation, 8.0-inch touch-screen display, Remote Engine Start, RearView Monitor and more

    Created by driving enthusiasts for driving enthusiasts, the dramatically styled 2016 Nissan Maxima looks like nothing else on the road today – and drives like nothing in the segment. The all-new Nissan flagship not only resets Maxima's iconic "4-Door Sports Car" positioning, it sets a new standard for style, performance and technology in the large sedan segment.
    Now offered in five grade levels, including new SL, SR and Platinum grades, the 2016 Maxima goes on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in summer 2015.
    The 4-Door Sports Car – Reimagined and Re-Energized
    A virtual clone of the stunning Nissan Sport Sedan Concept, the new Maxima is 1.3 inches lower and 2.2 inches longer than the previous generation design. It is also lighter and offers greatly increased torsional rigidity, all of which help Maxima push the performance envelope in its segment.
    While the new Maxima's exterior projects a distinctive upscale look through its lower profile and wide stance, the heart of this newest generation 4-Door Sports Car is its completely revised 300-horsepower 3.5-liter VQ-series V6 engine and new performance-oriented Xtronic transmission.
    The engine utilizes more than 60 percent new parts (compared to the previous generation 3.5-liter V6), applying lessons learned from the Nissan GT-R such as sodium filled valves, to achieve a high specific output of 85.7 horsepower/liter. Torque is rated at 261 lb-ft.
    The comprehensive re-engineering effort also resulted in a considerable 15 percent increase in highway fuel economy, to an estimated 30 miles per gallon***. City fuel economy is estimated at 22 mpg.
    Well-matched to the new powerplant is a new Xtronic transmission, which, with its lack of fixed ratios, affords the specific advantage of always being in the right gear at the right time. A wider gear ratio range allows for stronger acceleration from a standing start and an all-new D-Step shifting logic allows rapid shifts at high throttle openings. An all-new shift logic holds rpm when it detects high-G cornering, allowing for seamless re-acceleration on corner exit.
    The all-new Maxima also features for the first time a Drive Mode Selector (Sport and Normal modes) that adjusts throttle response, transmission tuning, steering feel and Active Sound Enhancement tuning. In Sport mode, the engine throttle response increases, the Xtronic transmission programming changes for more aggressive shifting under braking and gear holding, the steering weight increases and the Active Sound Enhancement system further amplifies the engine note in the cabin.
    The foundation for the new Maxima's enhanced handling and ride comfort starts with a redesigned platform that features increased use of high strength steels, including the first use of 1.2GPa high strength steel in a Nissan sedan. This allows the 2016 Maxima to not only boast a 25 percent improvement in torsional rigidity, but also contributes to an 82-pound weight reduction (versus the previous generation), giving Maxima a better power-to-weight ratio** than a BMW 335i or Acura TLX V6.
    The suspension is an independent subframe-mounted strut/coil spring design in front. In the rear is an independent multi-link double wishbone design with ZF Sach dampers. The rear dampers features a monotube design, often found in performance applications, for enhanced performance and fade resistance. Large stabilizer bars are found front (26.0 mm) and rear (26.5 mm).
    Responsive braking is provided by 4-wheel power-assisted vented disc brakes, standard 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. Steering is provided by a vehicle speed-sensitive hydro-electric power-assisted steering (HEPS) steering system. Maxima comes with standard 18-inch machined finish aluminum-alloy wheels with painted inserts and 245/45R18 all-season tires.
    For the ultimate 4-Door Sport Car enthusiast, the new SR trim was conceived with the specific goal of pushing Maxima's performance boundaries further than ever before. The Maxima SR-exclusive hardware starts with unique suspension damper tuning and a larger front stabilizer bar. Monotube rear dampers, which provide better high-temperature fade resistance than twin-tube designs and are typically found on higher-end sports cars, were originally specified for the SR grade only. The development team found that the benefit of the monotube dampers was so significant that the damper design was carried across to all grades of Maxima.
    The Maxima SR-exclusive performance upgrade also includes a segment-first Performance Chassis Damper, which is installed on the front section of the chassis to help quell high frequency vibration in the body that can result from the stiffer suspension. A similar damper is used on the Nissan 370Z NISMO. In addition, the Dual Panel Panoramic Moonroof offered on Maxima SL and Platinum grades was eliminated to help lower the SR's center of gravity and further enhance torsional rigidity (versus moonroof-equipped models).
    And, along with special Alcantara® seating inserts and steering wheel insert for high-grip at key touch points, Maxima SR's Integrated Dynamic-control Module (IDM) system adds a completely new element of electronic chassis management to the Maxima.
    For example, Active Ride Control (ARC), a feature within the IDM system, uses targeted brake applications after the vehicles encounters a bump or undulation to immediately improve the level of the body, allowing the SR to offer a ride quality that defies its sporting intention.
    A Design Masterpiece, Inside and Out
    While a groundbreaking presence is exactly what you'd expect of a sports car wrapped in a 4-door sedan body, Maxima's global design team went far beyond expectations. In order to design a groundbreaking sports sedan, Nissan designers visited the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels®****. The cockpit design of their aircraft is echoed in the wrap-around design of the Maxima. Externally, Maxima is lowered, sculpted and streamlined to achieve a sweeping aerodynamic profile that has more than a little jet fighter to it. To bring all this inspiration to life, a special metal stamping technique was developed, adding the distinctive powerful gesture to its bodyline and deeply scalloped doors.
    Back on the ground, Maxima's bold front end combines Nissan's signature V-Motion grille and new lighting features, which add to its defining presence on the road. The boomerang-style headlights include standard LED Signature Daytime Running Lights. In the rear, two-piece taillights with their own integrated LED signature complete the distinctive lighting theme.
    Maxima's highly distinctive profile comes from its floating roof appearance with blacked-out A-pillars similar to the Nissan GT-R. Combined with the same blackout treatment applied to the B and C pillars, it creates a wraparound canopy appearance. The 2016 Maxima's canopy look is accented with an available Dual Panel Panoramic Moonroof (standard on SL and Platinum grades), which gives front and rear occupants an uninhibited view of the sky above.
    The futuristic appearance is finished off with large dual exhaust chrome tailpipe finishers and 18-inch machined aluminum-alloy wheels. Maxima SR adds 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels that use a unique a diamond-cut machined finish. One of the most unique design aspects of the new Maxima is the "4DSC" embossed within the taillights and headlights, a subtle reminder of Maxima's signature 4-Door Sports Car heritage.
    The new Maxima is available in nine exterior colors: Bordeaux Black, Storm Blue, Super Black, Brilliant Silver, Gun Metallic, Pearl White, Deep Blue Pearl and two Maxima-exclusive exterior colors – Forged Bronze and Coulis Red.
    Maxima's totally redesigned interior is anchored by a "command central" driver's cockpit and a premium bespoke style crafted execution. The focus on the driver begins with a center stack angled seven degrees toward the driver (a lesson learned from the legendary GT-R) and a floating console that sits higher than the previous generation Maxima design and puts key controls within easy reach. For example, the standard Nissan Intelligent Key™ start switch is now located on the console and pulses when the driver enters the cabin. The console also features luxurious padding on the sides with contrasted stitching. A new Display Commander control on the console allows fingertip control of the center display as befitting a premium sport sedan.
    Maxima's interior execution was a strong focus from the onset of development, with the goal of offering an interior that truly rivals luxury vehicles. It offers genuine stitching on the instrument panel, doors and console, available ambient lighting, available premium Ascot leather seating surfaces with diamond-quilted inserts, unique faceted finishers and a sporty D-shaped (flat-bottom) steering wheel.
    The team even turned to unique material choices like Alcantara®, typically found on high-end exotics, to deliver on the premium promise.
    Nissan's unique Zero Gravity front seats with sport bolstering are standard (8-way power-adjustable driver's seat and 4-way power-adjustable front passenger's seat) and offer increased softness provided by a new three-layer foam design. They are offered in premium cloth, leather-appointed or premium Ascot leather-appointed seating surfaces. Heated and Climate-Controlled front seats and steering wheel are available depending on grade level. The rear seat now features a standard 60/40 split fold-down design.
    As with the exterior, interior colors were carefully considered to fit with Maxima's exclusive sports-premium personality. While most large sedans stick with black and beige motifs, the new Maxima SR is offered with an additional deep, rich Camel interior. Even the standard Charcoal color seating features blue contrasting stitching and the Cashmere (beige) seat color is lighter than usual, offering a higher contrast with the black surface areas.
    Resetting the Expectations of Next-Generation Technology
    Maxima's next-generation premium-level technology features include NissanConnect with standard navigation on all trim levels. The 8.0-inch color display features multi-touch control for intuitive smartphone-like gestures such as swiping and pinch-to-zoom. Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant (Android only) and Nissan Voice Recognition for navigation and audio are also standard.
    Along with SiriusXM Satellite Radio and SiriusXM Travel Link™ applications (Sirius XM subscription required, sold separately), Online Search with Google® and other connectivity features, the system is paired with an also standard 7.0-inch Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display (ADAD) within the instrument cluster.
    The ADAD display was a specific focus during development. Two screens in particular were developed including a Home screen that shows navigation routing, digital speed and audio information on the same screen, giving the driver all requisite information at a glance without having to scroll through separate screens. A Sport screen offers the Maxima driver a unique "Power" meter, which shows actual engine output, flanked by gauges that display oil pressure and transmission oil temperature respectively for the discerning enthusiast. Swipe-to-Navigation is another hidden feature this system offers, allowing the driver to set a route on the navigation screen and the swipe towards the ADAD to bring up the directions.
    The available 11-speaker Bose® audio system was developed to deliver the ultimate premium audio experience befitting Nissan's flagship sedan. The development team benchmarked luxury sedans several classes above Maxima with the goal of delivering the highest audio fidelity experience in the segment.
    Enhancements (versus the previous generation audio system) include a more optimal placement of the tweeters to enhance staging, addition of more speakers and introduction of new sound processing technologies. These technologies include Bose® Center Point® Surround Stage technology, which can deliver a surround sound experience from even a two-channel audio source, and a driver's seat optimization mode that allows for a driver-centric audio stage.
    All Maximas are equipped with two USB inputs with music playback capability enabled through either port. These ports are housed in the media bin on the console, which is large enough to fit an iPhone® 6 Plus.
    Maxima's luxury-level interior quietness is enabled by the application of laminated glass, not only on the windshield but also on the front door windows – the latter being a hallmark of upscale luxury vehicles. An Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) system works much like noise cancelling headphones and helps reduce unpleasant low-frequency sounds (available with Bose® audio system only).
    All the efforts to quell unwanted noise simultaneously introduced a new issue – how to ensure an authentic engine note in the cabin during spirited driving, as would be expected by the Maxima owner. The solution was the all-new Active Sound Enhancement (ASE) system that works by enhancing existing engine sound from the legendary VQ35 V6 powerplant into the cabin, delivering a stirring experience. Engaging "Sport" mode takes the stirring engine note a step further with the system allowing even higher engine note amplitude in the cabin.
    Convenience features befitting a luxury vehicle are part of the Maxima's suite of available equipment. Many of these features are not even offered on many luxury nameplates and are found standard on various Maxima trims. These include a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel with an "Easy Entry" system, heated steering wheel, Around View® Monitor, Remote Start via Key Fob and a power rear sunshade.
    Available NissanConnect Services powered by SiriusXM feature emergency preparedness, remote access, customizable alerts and concierge services (subscription required, sold separately). The system, which is offered on Maxima Platinum with a six-month free trial subscription, allows the driver to set customized alerts for family and friends – such as speed, curfew and boundary notifications.
    Advanced Safety, Security and Driving Aids
    The new 2016 Maxima offers an extensive range of safety, security and driving aids – many included as standard equipment (depending on grade level). For example, Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Blind Spot Warning (BSW) are all standard equipment on the SL, SR and Platinum grades.
    Additionally the Maxima Platinum grade features Nissan's innovative Around View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection (MOD) that provides a 360-degree "surround view" of the vehicle.
    Maxima Platinum also offers standard Driver Attention Alert (DAA) system*****, which helps alert the driver when drowsy or inattentive driving is detected. Studies have shown that drowsy driving is involved in as much as 21 percent of fatal car accidents (Automobile Association of America Study, Nov. 2014). The Driver Attention Alert system provides an audible and visual warning if the system judges that the driver may not be attentive (using analysis of steering inputs to detect changes in the driving behavior).
    Maxima comes equipped with standard Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) for the driver and front passenger seats, which includes supplemental front air bags, seat belt sensors and an occupant classification sensor (for the front passenger seat), front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags and roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor for front and rear outboard occupant head protection.
    Also standard are 3-point rear seat belts for all seating positions, front seat belts with dual pretensioners, load limiters and adjustable upper anchors, emergency inside trunk release, Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with Easy-Fill Tire Alert. Maxima also features standard Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS).
    Five Models, Assembled in Tennessee
    The 2016 Maxima is available in five well-equipped models: Maxima S, SV, SL, SR and Platinum. All equipment is grade standard and no options are offered, simplifying ease of finding the ideal Maxima for customers' needs and desires.
    The Maxima S includes standard NissanConnect navigation with 8.0-inch display paired with the 7.0-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display in the instrument cluster, Remote Engine Start via Intelligent Key, Dual USB ports, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and SiriusXM Travel Link™ applications (Sirius XM subscription required, sold separately), Online Search with Google®, LED Signature Daytime Running Lights, 18-inch machined finished aluminum-alloy wheels, 8-way Power Driver Seat and 4-way Power Passenger Seat, Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature Control with front and rear vents, HomeLink® Universal Transceiver and more.
    Maxima SV adds leather-appointed seating, heated front seats, driver's seat power lumbar support and manual thigh support extension, front and rear parking sensors and heated outside rearview mirrors with turn signal indicators.
    Maxima SL adds the Dual Panel Panoramic Moonroof, Bose® audio system with 11 speakers, Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Forward Emergency Braking (FEB), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Blind Spot Warning (BSW), heated steering wheel and ambient lighting. This grade is notable for its long list of standard safety and driving aids that are typically found at a much higher entry price point on competitors.
    The Maxima SR offers a sport-tuned suspension, Integrated Dynamics-control Module (IDM), a front chassis performance damper, premium Ascot leather-appointed seats with diamond-quilted Alcantara® inserts, Climate-controlled front seats, Ascot leather-appointed steering wheel with Alcantara® insert, paddle shifters, aluminum sport pedals, Liquid Chrome faceted finishers, LED low beam headlights, 19-inch diamond-cut machined aluminum-alloy wheels and 245/40R19 all-season tires developed uniquely for Maxima.
    Finally, the new Maxima Platinum grade includes an extensive array of premium equipment, including Dual Panel Panoramic Moonroof, power tilt and telescoping steering column with easy access feature, premium Ascot leather-appointed seats with diamond-quilted leather inserts, premium Ascot leather-wrapped steering wheel, Around View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD), rear window power sunshade, driver-side memory seat, outside mirrors and steering wheel, rain detecting windshield wipers, Driver Attention Alert, NissanConnect Services (subscription required, sold separately), mahogany wood-tone faceted finishers, auto-dimming driver-side outside mirror, and outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down feature.
    No options are offered on Maxima. Six factory installed accessories can be specified for additional customization and include splash guards, illuminated kick plates, premium spoiler, sport spoiler (SR only), 19-inch summer tires with full-size aluminum-alloy wheel spare (SR only) and unique 18-inch alloy wheels.
    The 2016 Nissan Maxima is assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee, with engines assembled in Decherd, Tennessee.

    William Maley

    Chevrolet Gives New York A Bit of Spark

    Aside from the Mailbu, Chevrolet has another showing for New York; the 2016 Spark.
    The Spark's exterior appears to been molded around the Sonic, while borrowing the front grille from the SS. Chevrolet says the model rides on a longer wheelbase and that the vehicle has been dropped by 1.6 inches to improve aerodynamics. Inside gets better materials and improved technology. A new 7-inch Chevy MyLink infotainment system now features buttons and an actual volume knob.
    Power comes from a 1.4L EcoTec four-cylinder with 98 horsepower - an increase of 16 percent when compared to the current 1.2L engine. Drivers will have the choice of either a five-speed manual or CVT.
    The 2016 Spark will be lighting up Chevrolet dealers in the forth quarter.
    Source: Chevrolet

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Innovation is the Spark behind Chevrolet’s Minicar
    Redesigned, more refined global minicar offers greater efficiency, safety and connectivity
    New 1.4L engine offers 16 percent more horsepower than current model
    New available active safety features include Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning and Side Blind Spot Alert
    On sale in the fourth quarter of 2015

    NEW YORK – Chevrolet today introduced the all-new 2016 Spark – a completely redesigned and more sophisticated execution of the brand’s global minicar. It offers greater efficiency and refinement, along with new, available safety and connectivity features.
    As one of Chevrolet’s most global vehicles, the 2016 Spark will be offered in more than 40 markets around the world.
    “Chevrolet is fast becoming one of the world’s most important mini- and small car manufacturers, offering customers around the globe a new road to the refinement, efficiency and connectivity features that resonate with them,” said Alan Batey, president, GM North America and Global Chevrolet.
    “The redesigned 2016 Spark builds on a strong legacy and takes the segment to a higher level with features and technologies not typically offered.”
    The new Spark has a sleeker appearance, thanks to a slightly longer wheelbase, and an overall height about 1.6 inches (40 mm) lower than the current model. The lower profile reduces aerodynamic drag to help improve efficiency and interior changes maintain the Spark’s traditionally generous headroom.
    It is also built on an all-new, more robust architecture that serves as the foundation for its more sophisticated driving experience. The stronger body structure enabled engineers to tune ride and handling more precisely, for greater feelings of control and refinement, while fostering a quieter ride.
    “At its core, the new Spark is still the fun, agile urban car that made the first-generation model so popular, but it delivers that fun driving experience with greater sophistication,” said Sam Basile, executive chief engineer. “And while it’s a truly global car, it is targeted for more developed vehicle markets, allowing engineers to focus more precisely on the materials and technologies that resonate with customers in those markets.”
    Additional new and enhanced vehicle features:
    All-new Ecotec 1.4L I-4 with manual and continuously variable (CVT) transmissions – delivering a GM-estimated 40 mpg on the highway with the available CVT
    New available safety features including Side Blind Spot Alert, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert
    Next-generation Chevrolet MyLink with 7-inch-diagonal color touch screen
    Advanced dot-matrix LCD instrument cluster display
    Comprehensive lineup of accessory packages for unprecedented personalization options.

    Design details
    With the instantly recognizable face of a contemporary global Chevrolet, the 2016 Spark is distinguished by a sleeker proportion and aesthetics.
    The lower roof height reduces the characteristic upright look of many minicars, while a “shrink-wrapped” body – with the wheels pushed to the edges of the fenders – contribute to a firmly planted presence.
    An evolution of Chevrolet’s signature dual-port grille is flanked by large, elliptical headlamps that sweep back into the front fenders. The headlamps have a highly detailed appearance that contribute to the Spark’s more sophisticated design.
    “In short, the Spark has grown up,” said Michael Simcoe, GM International vice president of Design. “It retains a youthful flair, but reflects the maturation of the global minicar market and customers’ desires for richly styled and highly contented choices.”
    A palette of bold exterior colors remains, and three new colors – Toasted Marshmallow, Kalamata and Splash – join the mix, depending on the market.
    Inside, designers matched the lowered roof height by adjusting the hip-point dimensions for the seats, maintaining the ample headroom of the current model and offering comparable spaciousness with a more engaging driving position.
    Upgraded materials and greater attention to detail, including everything from the higher-quality fabrics to higher-density seat foam that enhance comfort and durability, add sophistication.
    “You have a greater feeling of sitting in the seats rather than on them,” said Simcoe.
    An all-new instrument panel design with an advanced liquid crystal display (LCD) features a prominent “center stack” for the infotainment and climate system controls. The Spark’s signature color-matched instrument panel décors are updated with trapezoidal air outlets compared with round outlets on the current model.
    The Spark’s all-new MyLink radio features a capacitive-touch color display, with an icon-based interface similar to smartphones and other electronic devices. And like a smartphone, the capacitive-touch display allows swiping, pinching and other gestures for quick, easy operation.
    New volume control and other physical buttons reduce complexity and enhance the system intuitiveness.
    Complementing MyLink to enhance Spark’s connectivity is available OnStar with 4G LTE built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. It provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on.
    All-new engine
    The 2016 Spark is powered by an all-new 1.4L engine that is part of GM’s new, global family of Ecotec small-displacement engines. It offers an estimated 98 horsepower (73 kW) – a 16-percent increase over the current model.
    Engineered to deliver strong performance with excellent efficiency, the new Ecotec engine family represents a clean-sheet design and engineering process, leveraging the diverse experience of GM’s global resources.
    “The new Ecotec architecture represents the most advanced and efficient family of small-car gas engines in GM’s history,” said Tom Sutter, global chief engineer. “Along with performance and efficiency targets, we’ve also aimed for segment-challenging refinement with low noise and vibration – and we’ve hit the bulls-eye.”
    Spark’s new 1.4L features an aluminum cylinder block and head, which helps reduce the vehicle’s overall mass to enhance performance and efficiency. The cylinder head also incorporates an integrated exhaust manifold, which further reduces weight – an attribute that contributes to increased vehicle efficiency and a more favorable front-to-rear weight balance, for a more responsive driving experience.
    Engine efficiency is also enhanced through reduced friction, including low-friction piston rings, a low-friction camshaft drive and a low-friction oil pump. A five-speed manual transmission or dual-range continuously variable transmission are available with the new 1.4L.
    Enhanced safety
    The 2016 Chevrolet Spark builds on the current model’s reputation for delivering excellent passenger safety in the minicar segment, where the 2015 Spark is a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
    A stronger body structure is at the core of the new Spark’s safety story and is complemented by a wider array of passive and active safety features. Ten standard air bags include driver/front passenger knee air bags, roof rail side air bags and seat-mounted thorax/pelvic air bags. A rollover sensing and protection system is also offered.
    Additionally, new active safety features can help drivers avoid collisions through camera-based technology providing alerts to possible collision threats:
    Forward Collision Alert
    Lane Departure Warning
    Side Blind Spot Alert.

    A rear-vision camera system is standard and rear park assist is offered.
    The 2016 Chevrolet Spark will be produced from globally sourced parts at GM’s Changwon, South Korea assembly facility. It goes on sale in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2015.

    William Maley

    Meet the New Face of the 2016 Hyundai Tucson

    The smallest crossover in Hyundai's lineup - the Tucson - has finally gotten some much needed updates.
    Shown today in New York, the Tucson gets an all new sculpted body that helps it bring it into line with other Hyundai models. The front features a large, hexagonal grille and LED headlights. Around back, the Tucson has a sporty look with twin-exhaust ports, cleaned-up tailgate, and LED taillights.
    The interior has been simplified with an improved layout and new controls for the infotainment and climate control systems. Thanks to increase in length and width, the Tucson sees cargo space increase from 26 cubic feet to 31.
    There are two engines available for the 2016 Hyundai Tucson:
    2.0L direct-injected four-cylinder: 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque
    Turbocharged 1.6L direct-injected four-cylinder: 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque

    The 2.0L will get a six-speed automatic as standard, while the 1.6 gets a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Front-wheel comes as standard, while all-wheel drive is optional.
    Hyundai says the Tucson goes on sale in July.
    Source: Hyundai

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Hyundai’s New Compact Crossover Offers Sporty Styling, Outstanding Efficiency and Cutting-edge Safety Technologies

    NEW YORK, April 1, 2015 – Hyundai today unveiled its all-new Tucson crossover utility vehicle at the New York International Auto Show. The new Tucson offers a fresh, sporty exterior and appealing interior design while making overall fuel efficiency a top priority, with significantly enhanced fuel economy ratings over the previous model. Further, the new Tucson, when equipped with Automatic Emergency Braking, is expected to receive a Top Safety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). For 2016, advanced safety technologies such as Automatic Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, Lane Departure Warning System, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross-traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, Backup Warning Sensors and standard rearview camera also will be offered. The new Tucson will arrive at Hyundai dealers in July.
    The 2016 Tucson design employs sculpted body forms and sporty contours for an athletic, bold and striking appearance. The front view proudly presents a hexagonal-shaped grille, a key element of Hyundai’s design signature, enhanced by available high-efficiency LED twin-projector headlights, LED headlight accents and integrated LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs).
    The wheelbase has been increased by more than an inch, for enhanced design proportions, interior flexibility and a smoother ride. For the first time, 19-inch alloy wheels will be offered, with a dynamic asymmetrical spoke design, surrounded by forward-raking wheel arch design. Even the door handles feature convenient approach LED lamps. The new Tucson’s roof rails are sleek and low-profile, for an integrated, functional appearance. From the rear, a Z-shaped character line above the rear wheels accentuates an aggressive, sporty side profile. The rear view conveys stability and a wide, sporty stance, for agility both on and off-road. The taillights also utilize LED technology, creating a premium design element while providing enhanced visibility from the rear. Finally, twin, bevel-cut chrome exhaust tips and a standard rear spoiler add even more sporty cues from the rear view.
    On the inside, a premium, leather-wrapped instrument panel will be offered, with extra-wide instrument panel contours to enhance occupants’ overall sense of interior roominess. A leather-stitched pad is located near the driver’s right knee, for better comfort during long commutes or spirited cornering. Interior touch points have been upgraded with premium, soft-touch materials. All interior switchgear has a more refined feel during operation. The overall ambience of roominess is further enhanced by an available full-length panoramic sunroof, allowing both front and rear passengers day or night skyward visibility.
    The 2016 Tucson is longer, wider and has a longer wheelbase than the previous model for greater interior volume and versatility. Overall, cargo room has been increased to 31.0 cubic feet, a full five cubic feet over the previous model, with a dual-level rear cargo floor further enhancing cargo-carrying versatility. The rear liftgate opening has been enlarged in every dimension, for greater cargo flexibility. The 60/40 rear seatbacks have a greater range of adjustable recline for varying combinations of passengers and cargo, with an increased available recline of 37 degrees compared with 28 degrees for the previous model.
    2016 Tucson powertrain offerings also have been improved with top efficiency levels as a primary target. Base models offer a Nu engine family, 2.0-liter, direct-injected four-cylinder with an estimated 164 horsepower and 151 lb.-ft. of torque, coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The six-speed automatic offers SHIFTRONIC™ manual shifting mode and includes an overdrive lock-up torque converter for higher fuel economy at highway speeds. Based on internal tests, fuel economy for the 2.0L FWD model is estimated at 23 (city), 31 (highway), 26 (combined). The 26-mpg combined fuel economy rating is a one-mpg improvement over the previous model. Further, powertrain NVH has been reduced through hydraulic transmission mounting and recalibrated engine mounts.
    Eco, Sport and Limited models offer a new, Gamma engine family, 1.6-liter turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder with an estimated 175 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. Peak torque delivery starts at only 1,500 rpm and holds through 4,500 rpm, for low-RPM responsiveness and performance in everyday driving conditions. The turbocharger features low-inertia turbo-spooling response characteristics, and an electronic wastegate control for more precise control of manifold pressure. Internally, piston-cooling oil jets ensure cooler piston temperatures for enhanced engine life. Further, the Gamma engine features a new water jacket insert that automatically prioritizes cooling in the upper level of the cylinder block, where more combustion heat is generated, resulting in lower cylinder head temperatures and allowing for leaner air/fuel mixtures for better fuel efficiency.
    The turbo engine is coupled to a new, first-in-segment seven-speed EcoShift® dual-clutch transmission (DCT). This dual-clutch transmission offers outstanding efficiency with quick, seamless shifting and brisk acceleration. When compared with some competitors’ continuously-variable transmissions, this DCT is able to handle more torque with minimal power interruption throughout the powertrain operating range and with greater durability characteristics. Based on internal tests, estimated fuel economy for this powertrain on Eco FWD models is 26 (city), 33 (highway), 29 (combined), a 5-mpg improvement over the former Tucson 2.4L engine. Sport and Limited FWD turbo engine models are estimated at 25 (city), 30 (highway), 27 (combined), representing a 3-mpg improvement in combined fuel economy over the former Tucson 2.4L engine. In addition, the new Tucson’s fuel tank has been increased by 1.1 gallons for even greater driving range.
    2016 Tucson will offer an advanced AWD system developed by Hyundai in conjunction with Magna Powertrain. The system includes a driver-selectable AWD lock that allows a differentiated torque split between front and rear wheels, for off-road and extremely slippery road conditions. The system also includes Active Cornering Control, which automatically transfers torque to the wheels with the most traction. The system reduces understeer and enhances cornering performance by braking the inside rear wheel and delivering more torque to the outside rear wheel, providing a torque-vectoring effect. Finally, the system incorporates both Hillstart Assist and Downhill Brake Control to assist drivers facing sharp incline or decline conditions.
    The 2016 Tucson platform offers enhanced driving dynamics with more than one inch increase in width and a 1.2 inch increase in wheelbase for greater ride comfort and linear stability. The front and rear overhangs were increased in smaller proportion to this increased wheelbase, centering more of the Tucson’s mass within the wheelbase for better handling response and control. Even more, the entire Tucson chassis is more rigid, now using more than 50 percent Advanced High Strength steel compared with 18 percent for the former model. The new Tucson also benefits from strategic use of structural adhesives at higher stress points on the chassis and more extensive use of hot-stamping methods for greater rigidity. The structure also uses four-point bushing mounts for improved comfort and reduced road noise.
    A world’s first shock-absorber mounting structure, the 2016 Tucson employs a dual-reinforcing panel rear wheelhouse design, which optimizes panels that are prone to vibration, resulting in a 109 percent increase in rigidity, reduced road noise levels and ride and handling improvements.
    The Tucson suspension has been enhanced for more precise handling without sacrificing ride comfort. The front suspension is a MacPherson strut design, with coil springs, gas-filled shock absorbers and a 24.7 mm stabilizer bar. The rear suspension is an independent, multi-link design, now with dual lower arms for both FWD and AWD, for optimal ride comfort and body control.
    Both front and rear suspensions use SACHS® dampers and lightweight, hollow stabilizer bars for superior body control in all driving conditions. Rear suspension control arms have been lengthened to minimize camber and toe changes throughout the suspension travel range, which has been increased to better absorb larger impacts. In addition, the jounce bumpers now use a more sophisticated, hydraulic-type design, for more refined responses over larger road impacts. Suspension bushings are now composed of a higher-dampening synthetic rubber for smoother ride characteristics when compared with conventional rubber.
    2016 Tucson also offers Drive Mode Select, which allows the driver to customize their Tucson’s dynamic responses, such as steering feel, transmission and overall powertrain responsiveness to their preferences, and to changing road or traffic conditions.
    To improve NVH characteristics, the 2016 Tucson has applied a number of sound dampening and insulation measures, such as:
    Engine mounts have been enlarged to better absorb engine vibrations
    Rear cross-members have changed from a direct-mount design to a bushing-mount design
    Sound insulation material has been added to the inner fenders, underbody, instrument panel, transmission tunnel and all cabin pillars
    The door latch mechanisms were extensively refined, with lower noise, pull resistance, internal friction, and greater closure damping
    To lower wind noise in the cabin, aerodynamics have also been improved to 0.33 Cd, a 0.02 lower coefficient of drag (Cd) than the former model

    Tucson’s lower coefficient of drag was achieved through a special aerodynamic design focus on the A-pillar design, rear spoiler side garnish design and underbody panels, all of which reduce air vortex and resulting aerodynamic drag.
    In addition, steering feel has been enhanced with an improved motor-driven power steering system and extensive use of lightweight, rigid aluminum for the rack assembly, for greater precision and feedback. Overall friction for the steering system has been reduced by more than 20 percent compared to the previous model. The Tucson’s motor-driven power steering is more efficient and quieter than traditional hydraulic systems by reducing parasitic losses from ancillary belts and their continual drag on the powertrain. Further, the steering system has been upgraded for more precise and rapid adjustments in steering feel with changing driving conditions. The steering wheel itself now offers a wider range of tilt and telescopic adjustment for greater driver comfort.
    The 2016 Tucson offers several compact CUV segment firsts, including ventilated front seats and YES Essentials® stain-resistant seats. Newly available features on Tucson include LED headlights and accents, LED Daytime Running Lights, HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) that turn-in with the direction of the steering wheel, LED map lights, color LCD cluster display, individual tire monitoring, power passenger seat and heated rear seats.
    The new Tucson also offers a smart power liftgate with auto-open. The smart power liftgate enables the Tucson owner to automatically open the rear liftgate, hands-free, by simply standing within a few feet of the liftgate for a few seconds with the key fob in a pocket or purse. This is especially convenient whenever the owner may be holding shopping bags or other items and needs hands-free access to the cargo area.
    The new Tucson will offer a standard five-inch color LCD display with rearview camera and touchscreen function for intuitive operation. Apple Siri® “Eyes Free” integration also is now available. On the navigation-equipped Tucson, popular apps such as Pandora® Internet Radio and Yelp® are already integrated with the multimedia system. The Yelp® app has been optimized for Tucson’s eight-inch touchscreen and will help find restaurants, shopping and more. Selected restaurants will also offer reviews, ratings, hours and pricing. Once a restaurant is chosen, the navigation system can provide directions to the restaurant without even requiring passengers to input the address.
    For audiophiles, Tucson also offers an available 405-watt, AM/FM/SiriusXM premium audio system with eight speakers. The latest generation of SiriusXM Travel Link® with Traffic, Sports, Weather, Stocks, Fuel Prices and Movies is also available. SiriusXM’s Tune Start® allows the replay of a song from its beginning whenever a preset is selected. Additional multi-cultural channels are also available. Tucson will also offer Hyundai’s next-generation navigation system, with an advanced, eight-inch display for easy legibility. Display brightness increased by 33 percent over the former system for enhanced daytime visibility. This system’s improved touchscreen sensitivity makes it even easier to touch and drag for system inputs. The screen also now offers a split-screen display with both map and music data available simultaneously.
    The 2016 Tucson is expected to receive a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) when equipped with Automatic Emergency Braking. For 2016, new, advanced safety technologies such as Automatic Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, Lane Departure Warning System, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross-traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, Backup Warning Sensors and standard rearview camera are offered. In addition, advanced high-strength steel represents over 50 percent of the new Tucson’s structure, for enhanced crash safety.
    The Tucson is engineered to provide its passengers with multiple defensive safety layers. The A-pillar and mirror blind spots were reduced for enhanced driver visibility. The steel unibody has integrated crumple zones and a high-tensile front sub-frame designed to work together to reduce the forces that typically reach the passenger compartment. The center pillars serve as the anchors of a ring structure which improves overall side structure stiffness while also creating more room for the door armrest and seat. All four doors also have internal guard beams to protect passengers in a side-impact collision.
    The entire body shell has been made stiffer and lighter thanks to extensive use of advanced high-strength steel, and the use of Tailor Welded Blanks (TWB) reinforces key structural members. TWB assemblies combine steels of different thickness and grades using a sophisticated laser welding and stamping process to achieve an optimal stiffness-to-weight ratio. TWBs reduce body weight while enhancing crash energy management.
    Tucson also features a standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that alerts drivers if one or more tires are under-inflated, including the tire’s location.
    The new Tucson offers eight appealing exterior colors and three interior color environments. Six of these exterior colors are all-new, including Chromium Silver, Coliseum Gray, Ruby Wine, Mojave Sand, Sedona Sunset and Caribbean Blue. Winter White and Ash Black fill out the diverse eight-color offering. Interior color environments include black, beige and gray in cloth, and black or beige in leather, available on Limited models.
    The 2016 Tucson offers the next-generation of Hyundai Blue Link®, with enhanced safety, service and infotainment telematics. Blue Link brings seamless connectivity directly into the car with technology like remote start/stop, destination search powered by Google®, remote door lock/unlock, car finder, call roadside assistance, remote climate control and stolen vehicle recovery. Many of these features can even be controlled via the latest Android Wear ™ smartwatch offerings.
    In addition to these features and services, Tucson models equipped with Blue Link come standard with one year of complimentary Blue Link® Connected Care. Connected Care is a suite of safety and car care features providing Hyundai owners with free proactive services including automatic collision notification, SOS emergency assistance, enhanced roadside assistance, monthly vehicle health reporting and maintenance alerts.
    Blue Link is offered in three service packages: Connected Care, Remote and Guidance.
    Connected Care package (complimentary for 1-year):
    Automatic Collision Notification (ACN) and Assistance
    SOS Emergency Assistance
    Enhanced Roadside Assistance
    Monthly Vehicle Health Report
    Maintenance Alerts
    Automated Diagnostic Trouble Code Notification (DTC)
    Service Link
    Blue Link App (smartphone, smartwatch)
    On-Demand Diagnostics
    Driving Information
    Hyundai Assurance Car Care in-vehicle app

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

    [*]Alarm Notification

    Guidance package:
    Destination search powered by Google®
    Destination Send-to-Car by Google®

    William Maley

    Honda Reveals Their 'Epic' Civic

    The current Civic wasn't quite the home run Honda expect. Sure it sold well, but it wasn't the model many were expecting - it wasn't very Honda-like. So back to the drawing board and the result is the Civic Concept shown in New York today.
    The concept gives us a preview into the upcoming Civic which will be coming out this fall. Riding on a longer wheelbase, Honda's designers gave the Civic a short front overhang, long hood, a greenhouse that has been set back, and a small rear end. This look gives the Civic an athletic look.
    "Charismatic, connected and athletic, our goal was to create a design that is emotional and sporty yet with a sense of timelessness and simplicity," said Guy Melville-Brown, Chief Exterior designer of the Civic concept, Honda R&D Americas, Inc. "In this we set out to create a vehicle that goes beyond the superficial and embraces the very philosophy of what a true Civic should be; it's a real game changer."
    Now the next-generation Civic will be the first Honda vehicle in North America to get the new VTEC turbo engines - the first one being a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder. A six-speed manual and CVT will be offer for transmissions. Models will include a sedan, coupe, Si, and the return of a hatchback version. Also in the cards is the Civic Type-R for North America.
    Source: Honda

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Honda Debuts Sportiest Civic Design in Brand History with 10th-Generation Civic Concept at New York International Auto Show
    Apr 1, 2015 - NEW YORK
    10th-generation, 2016 model year Civic focuses on sporty, fun-to-drive dynamics
    Civic lineup to include Sedan, Coupe, and 5-door Hatchback body types, as well as Si and Type-R versions
    First Honda model to apply new VTEC® Turbo engines in North America
    Civic, America's most popular small car is designed, developed and produced in North America

    Today Honda unveiled its ultra-sporty Civic Concept at the New York International Auto Show as the brand prepares to launch its completely reimagined 10th-Generation Civic models beginning this fall. With a sharper focus on spirited performance and class-leading versatility, the new Civic lineup will include Civic Sedan, Coupe and Si models along with the return of the Civic hatchback, followed by the launch of a new Civic Type-R as the performance flagship of the Civic lineup. The new Civic also will be the first U.S. model to apply new VTEC® Turbo engines from the company's Earth Dreams Technology™ powertrain series.
    "The new Civic will be, flat out, the most dynamic, the most technologically advanced and the most refined and stylish Civic we've ever made," said John Mendel, executive vice president, Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "In every way, this will be an epic Civic."
    The Civic Concept provides a tantalizing glimpse forward to the thrilling design direction for the all-new 10th-generation Civic lineup launching in the U.S. this fall. Featuring a longer wheelbase and lower, wider stance, the new Civic emphasizes its aggressive personality and the engaging experience it will provide behind the wheel. Proportionally it boasts a longer hood, a shorter front overhang, a more set-back greenhouse and a shorter rear deck, lending the Civic a more athletic and "in motion" appearance.
    The low and wide proportions are underscored by its more aggressive wheel-to-body relationship and pronounced fender arches. Its sporty and expressive face is highlighted by bright new LED headlights flanking the "Flying H" Honda grille which is supported by deeply sculpted lower air intakes.
    "Charismatic, connected and athletic, our goal was to create a design that is emotional and sporty yet with a sense of timelessness and simplicity," said Guy Melville-Brown, Chief Exterior designer of the Civic concept, Honda R&D Americas, Inc. "In this we set out to create a vehicle that goes beyond the superficial and embraces the very philosophy of what a true Civic should be; it's a real game changer."
    The 10th-generation Civic is based on a compact platform that targets benchmark levels of efficiency, dynamic performance, safety and manufacturing productivity. Leveraging this new platform in conjunction with new Earth Dreams Technology™ powertrains – including a new 1.5-liter VTEC® Turbo engine with direct injection, a short-shifting 6-speed manual transmission, and a new, more sporty and efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT) – the Civic will target class-leading fuel economy ratings and fun-to-drive performance with near-luxury levels of cabin quietness and ride refinement.
    The new Civic will also target class-leading levels of safety performance and will offer the Honda Sensing™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, Adaptive Cruise Control and Honda LaneWatch™, along with Honda's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure.
    The new Civic marks the first time that global development of both the sedan and coupe models is being led by a North American R&D team, with design led by a team from Honda's Los Angeles design studio and development centered in the company's Raymond, Ohio vehicle development center. The North American version of the Civic Sedan will be produced in Greensburg, Indiana, and in Alliston, Ontario. The Civic Coupe and Si models will also be manufactured in Alliston. The VTEC Turbo engine will be produced in Anna, Ohio with engines also produced in Alliston. The CVT will be produced in Russells Point, Ohio. Together, these four Honda plants have invested in new equipment, processes and training to prepare for new Civic production, which will use domestic and globally sourced parts. Production of the five-door hatchback will take place at the company's Swindon, UK plant.
    Honda is in the midst of a series of major product launches that began with the freshened CR-V – 2015 Motor Trend Sport Utility of the Year – and continues with the spring launch of the all-new 2016 Honda HR-V crossover and the summer launch of the redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot SUV. This will be followed by the new Civic release beginning this fall.

    William Maley

    Infiniti Gives the QX50 Some Much Needed Changes

    The Infiniti QX50 (formally known as the EX 37) is what you might a relic in the lineup. The 2 + 2 crossover hasn't seen many changes since it was introduced back in 2007. Today at the New York Auto Show, Infiniti is addressing this with 2016 QX50.
    The most noticeable change on the 2016 QX50 is a increase in size. Compared to the current QX50, the 2016 model gains 4.5 inches in overall length and 3.2 inches in the wheelbase. This will help out the back seat as the current model barely has any space for passengers.
    The exterior has gotten minor changes with with new front and rear bumpers, front grille, and LED accents in the headlights. Unchanged are the interior and the 3.7L V6 325 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. This can go to either the rear-wheels or all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic.
    Source: Infiniti

    Press Release is on Page 2
    2016 Infiniti QX50 Press Kit: Overview
    2016 Infiniti QX50 features longer wheelbase, larger interior, enhanced styling and new package content
    Infiniti's Pioneering Luxury Crossover Continues to Offer A Uniquely Personal Expression of Rewarding Style and Rewarding Driving

    When the Infiniti QX50 was originally introduced (as the Infiniti EX35), it was one of the first personal crossovers, foreshadowing what has become the hottest segment in the auto industry. It offered a choice of rear-wheel or Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, one of the most powerful engines in its class and a full-feature interior. It was also the first vehicle to offer technology features such as Infiniti's innovative Around View® Monitor.
    Today, the QX50 remains one of the most powerful and versatile personal crossovers in the segment. But much has changed for the 2016 model year – starting with the addition of 3.2 inches to the wheelbase and a revised exterior that brings its design closer in look and feel to other Infiniti models such as the sporty Q50 sedan. Standard content has also been increased, including the addition of a moonroof for all grade levels. Additionally, a new Hagane Blue exterior color is now offered.
    "Even as Infiniti is getting ready to significantly expand its product portfolio in the next few years – including production models based on the Q30, Q60 and QX30 Concepts – we're also making significant enhancements to our current lineup," said Randy Parker, vice president, Infiniti Americas. "Following the 2015 introductions of the updated Infiniti Q70 and the addition of the Q70L long-wheelbase version and new range-topping QX80 Limited full-size SUV, we're kicking off model year 2016 with the updated QX50."
    A New, Fluid Appearance with Unique Personality
    The 2016 Infiniti QX50 luxury crossover provides a unique combination of a right-sized exterior with a luxurious interior environment and suite of advanced technology features.
    The QX50's coupe-inspired luxury crossover design – a fusion of coupe and sport utility vehicle – has been enhanced for 2016 with a new front bumper and lower front fascia, new LED Daytime Running Lights, new signature Infiniti-style double-arch front grille, new side mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, updated side sill styling, and new rear bumper and lower fascia. New 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are added as part of the Deluxe Touring Package.
    The wheelbase is now 3.2 inches longer (113.4 inches versus previous 110.2 inches) and overall length has increased 4.5 inches (186.8 inches versus previous 182.3 inches). The result is an 8.3 cubic feet increase in interior volume (115.4 cubic feet total volume versus the previous 107.1 cubic feet). Most of the increase in interior space can be felt in the 2nd row – rear legroom grows by 4.3 inches and rear knee room is boosted by 3.9 inches. In addition, ground clearance has been enhanced to 6.9 inches (+0.4 inches) for rear-wheel drive models and to 6.5 inches (+0.8 inches) for all-wheel drive models – giving drivers a higher vantage point for improved visibility.
    As in previous years, the QX50's wide rear hatch and low load floor make the QX50 a versatile vehicle for both everyday and weekend use. The exterior includes many signature Infiniti touches, including large L-shaped headlights with new LED Daytime Running Lights, available xenon auto-leveling headlights with Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS), integrated fog lights, distinctive LED taillights and "dynamic arch" profile.
    Other exterior features include a high-mounted rear hatchback spoiler with integrated brake light, chrome-finished dual exhaust tips, standard power sliding tinted glass moonroof with tilt feature, sliding sunshade and one-touch open/close and available roof rails. The QX50 also features a standard courtesy light integrated in the driver's outside mirror, which welcomes the driver to the vehicle.
    Seven exterior colors are offered for 2016: Malbec Black, Midnight Garnet, Graphite Shadow, Liquid Platinum, Black Obsidian, Moonlight White and new Hagane Blue.
    A Versatile Interior Designed for Personal Use
    The 2016 QX50's dramatic interior again offers an invigorating and engaging environment, one that is both indulgent and inspiring. The driver-focused cabin layout features an Infiniti signature "double-wave" instrument panel, easy-to-read high-contrast gauges, hospitality lighting with a pin LED light mounted over the center console and Infiniti signature analog clock.
    The instrument panel also features a 7-inch color display with Infiniti controller for the trip computer and additional vehicle information. The available Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System includes a color touch-screen display, Lane Guidance and 3-D building graphics, NavTraffic® with Real-Time Traffic Information, NavWeather™ with Real-Time Weather Information and 3-day forecast (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Infiniti Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth® wireless technology. Other technology systems include Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Infiniti Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately).
    Comfortable seating is provided by an 8-way power driver's seat and a 4-way power passenger's seat. Heated front seats are now standard on both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive models.
    Also available are driver's seat memory system, an 8-way power front passenger's seat and a power remote up-folding feature with dual controls (operated from the front or the hatch area) for the 2nd row 60/40 split seat. There is also a leather-wrapped shift knob, and leather-wrapped steering wheel, which includes controls for audio and cruise control.
    All models feature aluminum interior accents, with available maple interior accents. The available Bose® Premium Audio System includes 11 speakers (including 2 subwoofers), AM/FM/CD in-dash changer and USB connection port for iPod® and other compatible devices.
    The advanced Around View® Monitor (AVM), available with the new Premium Plus Package, utilizes four small cameras located front, side and rear to give the driver a virtual 360° view of the outside of the vehicle and help aid when parking. The AVM system includes Front and Rear Sonar.
    The interior is offered with standard premium leather-appointed seating surfaces, available in three colors – Graphite, Wheat and Chestnut.
    Offered at no charge for the first four years of ownership is the Infiniti Personal Assistantä, which provides new Infiniti owners access to a team of professional personal assistants from a registered phone. Information and service requests range from directory assistance and weather forecasts to arranging tasks such as hotel or dinner reservations on the caller's behalf.
    Advanced Platform and Powertrain
    Under the QX50's dramatic body is an equally advanced platform and powertrain. The FM (Front Midship) platform helps provide high levels of handling performance. Every 2016 Infiniti QX50 comes with a VQ37VHR 3.7-liter V6 engine rated at 325 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque.
    The engine is matched with a 7-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode, DS mode with Downshift Rev Matching (DRM) and Adaptive Shift Control.
    Superb handling is provided by a subframe-mounted independent front double-wishbone suspension with aluminum-alloy upper and lower links, twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar. The rear suspension is an independent multi-link design with aluminum-alloy upper and lower links and axle housing, twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar.
    Steering is provided by a vehicle speed-sensitive power-assisted steering system. The QX50's standard braking system includes power-assisted front and rear discs (vented front) and standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. Also standard is Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS), while an advanced Intelligent Cruise Control (Full-Speed Range) is optionally available.
    Available wheel and tire combinations include standard 18-inch 8-spoke metallic finish aluminum-alloy wheels with 225/55R18 all-season tires or new 19-inch split 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels with 245/45R19 all-season tires, which are offered as part of the Deluxe Touring Package.
    Infiniti QX50 AWD models feature Infiniti's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system, which utilizes an active torque distribution management system with an active center clutch. The electromagnetic AWD system responds quickly, helping to minimize wheel slip in adverse conditions.
    Standard safety equipment includes an Infiniti Advanced Air Bag System (AABS); driver and front passenger seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags; roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for outboard occupant head protection; and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
    Also standard are 3-point ALR/ELR seat belts (driver ELR only) and front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters and adjustable upper anchors, front seat Active Head Restraints and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system for the rear outboard seating positions.
    The QX50 also features advanced Zone Body Construction with front and rear crumple zones to help disperse crash energy around the passenger compartment.
    Available as part of the Technology Package is the Blind Spot Warning (BSW) system. BSW illuminates an indicator light if another vehicle is detected in the blind spot area. If the driver then uses the turn signal, the indicator flashes and an audible warning sound.
    Models and Packages
    The 2016 Infiniti QX50 is available in two models: QX50 and QX50 AWD, with four option packages available. The Premium Package includes Bose® Premium Audio System with 11 speakers, including 2 subwoofers, Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS) with Plasmacluster® air purifier, dual occupant memory system for driver's seat, outside mirrors and steering wheel, entry/exit assist for driver's seat and steering wheel, outside mirrors with reverse tilt-down feature, auto-dimming inside mirror with HomeLink® Universal Transceiver Maple interior accents, power tilt and telescopic steering column and aluminum roof rails.
    The new Premium Plus Package adds the Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation, Around View® Monitor (AVM), and Front and Rear Sonar System.
    The Deluxe Touring Package features 19-inch split 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels with 245/45R19 all-season performance tires, High Intensity Discharge (HID) xenon headlights, Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) with auto-leveling headlights, 2-way power driver's seat lumbar support, coat hanger on driver's seat head restraint, 8-way power passenger's seat, power up-folding 2nd row seats, meter hood with premium stitching.
    The Technology Package features Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP), Intelligent Cruise Control (Full-Speed Range), Distance Control Assist (DCA), Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Blind Spot Warning (BSW).
    "The enhanced 2016 Infiniti QX50 delivers a rewarding experience for both driver and passengers," said Parker. "With its standard 325-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 and range of advanced safety, driving and parking aids such as Around View® Monitor, driving is a pleasure. And with the added rear seat roominess and cargo flexibility, passengers will enjoy riding in an QX50 more than ever before."

    William Maley

    Entering Stage Left, the 2016 Kia Optima

    It was five years ago that Kia shocked everyone with the introduction of the Optima. With a bold design, impressive engine lineup, and excellent value for money, the Optima put everyone in the midsize sedan class on notice and was a catalyst in the transformation of Kia. So it seems appropriate that Kia introduce an all-new Optima at New York, which is what they did today.
    The previous Optima was a big success for the brand, and that put Kia in a tough position. How do you make a popular model new and fresh, while retaining the identity that worked so well before? In the Optima's case, you leave the basic shape, but make a number of adjustments to the front and rear. The front end gets larger headlights, while the tiger-nose grille is composed in a new pinpoint design for the SX and SXL trims. Around back is a raised decklid and optional LED taillights. Wheel choices range from 16 to 18 inches. The Optima has grown in both wheelbase (110.4 inches - increased by 0.4 inches), and width (73.2 inches - increased 1.0 inch). The increase allows for increase in overall space in the cabin and trunk.
    The Optima's interior draws some inspiration from the Cadenza and K900 with more soft-touch materials, and real stitching along the dash and doors. The center stack sees better grouping and reduction of buttons to reduce confusion. The Optima will also get the second-generation of UVO with eServices, along with the introduction of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay which allows drivers to access a number core functions from their smartphones via the 8-inch touchscreen.
    Kia will be offering three different engines for the 2016 Optima:
    2.4L GDI four-cylinder: 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque (Available on LX and EX)
    Turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder: 178 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque (Available on LX)
    Turbocharged 2.0L GDI four-cylinder: 247 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque (Available on SX and SXL)

    The 2.4 and turbo 2.0 will be paired with six-speed automatics, while the turbo 1.6 will get a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
    Kia says the Optima will go on sale in the U.S. in the forth quarter of this year.
    Source: Kia

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Kia’s Best-Selling Nameplate is Passionately Designed and Obsessively Crafted with European Styling, a Refined Premium Interior and Significant Ride and Handling Improvements
    Optima matures into an expertly crafted sedan with two turbo engine choices and five trims, including the U.S.-exclusive SXL
    Built at Kia’s U.S. plant, Optima features reduced NVH and a more responsive, confident ride

    NEW YORK, Apr. 1, 2015 – Five years ago Kia Motors America (KMA) debuted the re-designed Optima at the New York International Auto Show and introduced a game-changing midsize sedan that catalyzed the brand’s design-led transformation. History was repeated when the all-new 2016 Optima, a symbol of the Kia brand’s maturation through continuous refinement and obsessive attention to detail, made its debut here today. An instant hit with consumers looking for a fresh alternative to an otherwise staid segment, the Optima has been KMA’s top-selling vehicle for three consecutive years, and the all-new model is poised to continue that success.
    Conceived under the watchful eye of Kia’s president and chief design officer, Peter Schreyer, with modern and instantly recognizable design cues, the Optima maintains its athletic identity but rides on a chassis that is longer, wider and stiffer for improved ride and handling and a more spacious cabin. Available with three engine choices, including a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’s mated to a seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), the Optima is more confident than ever on the road. The all-new Optima’s roomier, more luxurious cabin features an impressive level of craftsmanship that will come standard across five trim levels – LX, LX Turbo, EX, SX Turbo and SXL – when sales begin in the fourth quarter of 2015. As with its predecessor, the all-new Optima will be built at Kia’s plant* in West Point, Georgia. Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch date.
    “The Optima changed the way people felt about the Kia brand, and KMA owes much of its growth and success to its head-turning design and sporty performance. It was – and still is to this day – a fresh alternative in the midsize sedan segment, and it amplified a five-year design-led transformation that propelled Kia to record-setting sales year-on-year,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, sales and marketing, KMA. “The all-new Optima retains the signature personality of its predecessor, but we’ve literally improved everything, providing more space, better ride and handling, more technology and greater refinement.”
    Instantly Recognizable European Design
    Because the previous generation Optima was such a success story for the brand, Kia’s designers had to strike a delicate balance, retaining the identity of the vehicle while, at the same time, making a confident move forward to keep the car modern and fresh. Sweeping contemporary surfaces and modern architecture inspired the design of the all-new Optima, revealing a sophisticated and dynamic sedan that is instantly recognizable yet has more road presence than ever.
    The all-new Optima is boldly designed to be functional and sporty with exterior dimensions that are marginally longer, taller and wider. The wheelbase has been extended to 110.4 inches (increased 0.4 inches), and the vehicle has been widened to 73.2 inches (increased 1.0 inch). Both changes enable a roomier and more comfortable cabin with more head room, shoulder room and rear seat leg room. The increased dimensions also allow for more cargo capacity in the trunk.
    The aggressive front clip pulls the sheet metal taut over the wheel arches, and the swept-back headlights reach deeply into the fenders. On the SX and SXL trims, Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille is hot stamped and composed into a sophisticated pinpoint design that bears a strong resemblance to Kia’s luxury sedan, the K900 . The all-new Optima introduces Kia’s first application of bi-functional HID headlights – with available Dynamic Bending Lamps and High Beam Assist – that illuminate the tarmac around corners.
    The greenhouse silhouette maintains the raked A-pillar and sweeping C-pillar that lend the Optima its sport-sedan appearance. The rear vent windows kick up smartly just ahead of the carved rear fenders. As with its predecessor, the all-new Optima incorporates a raised deck lid, and the use of available LED halo-style tail lights mimics that of the Cadenza premium sedan.
    The 2016 Optima rides on alloy wheels ranging from 16 to 18 inches, with three new unique 18-inch wheel designs, depending on trim level. Three new exteriors colors compliment the latest Optima’s sophisticated styling: a vibrant blue inspired by a sparkling ocean underneath a sunny sky; a dynamic grey with olive undertones, and a deep red that gains depth from the use of aluminum pigments.
    Exquisite Interior Craftsmanship
    Optima’s interior is larger and more comfortable with an innovative and functional cabin that is well-appointed with class-up touches. Drawing inspiration from Kia’s premium and luxury sedans, the Optima utilizes more soft-touch materials throughout the passenger compartment. Optima’s luxurious interior is obsessively crafted with an impressive attention to detail and features real stitching along the dash and doors, complimented by tasteful metallic accents, varying by trim level. The driver-oriented cabin has been simplified with a cleaner, more unified design than the previous generation, with a stronger horizontal plane and a wider center console that help create a greater sense of space. By grouping and reducing the number of functional keys and buttons, Kia’s already-superior ergonomics are markedly improved.
    The interior design team also paid particular attention to seat comfort. A stiffer seat frame reduces vibration and soft foam in the headrest, upper back and thigh-support areas allows occupants to nestle into seats with deeper side bolsters made with denser, more supportive foam. For extra convenience, heated and ventilated front seats are available with power adjustable driver and front passenger seats. For added convenience, the 2016 Optima offers a height-adjustable front passenger seat, a feature normally found only in premium vehicles. Depending on trim level, the seats are covered in cloth, leather or luxurious Nappa leather and two new interior colors – a rich merlot and a dark aubergine – are available.
    Convenience and Technology
    Kia’s cutting-edge connectivity system, UVO , comes standard with four additional eServices not previously available on Optima: Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and Driving Score . Additionally, Optima is Kia’s pilot vehicle for the introduction of AndroidTM Auto and Apple® CarPlay (late availability), which allow drivers to access a suite of core functions from their smartphones. After connecting their smartphone to the head unit via the vehicle’s front fast-charge USB port (another fast-charge USB port is located in the rear seat), the 8-inch touchscreen screen displays the smartphone’s most important features. Core functions including music, messaging, navigation and voice calls are available via the screen, the steering wheel or via voice command2. Kia is one of the first to deliver this technology, which is available for select Android phones operating with Lollipop or Apple phones operating with iOS8.X or higher. Any future third-party apps that are added by either Android or Apple will be available for customers to enjoy from their respective app store.
    While the standard six-speaker audio system will satisfy all but the most demanding enthusiasts, true audiophiles will gravitate to the available Infinity® Premium Audio System , which includes 14 speakers, Clari-Fi™ technology and an upgraded 630-watt digital amplifier. Clari-Fi is a patented music restoration technology that rebuilds audio signals that are lost in the digital compression process. This technology breathes new life into your favorite music, restoring a high-fidelity listening experience to any compressed digital source. Optima’s premium Infinity audio system also comes equipped with next-generation QuantumLogic™7 Surround technology, which extracts signals from the original recording and redistributes them into an authentic, multidimensional soundstage for playback that is clear, refined and detailed. Kia was one of the first automakers to incorporate Clari-Fi technology into their audio systems with the debut of the 2016 Sorento, and Optima is the first-ever Kia sedan to feature QuantumLogic Surround technology.
    The all-new Optima takes convenience to the next level with a long list of available technologies across the various trim levels. Available on every Optima is a rear-camera display while SX and SXL trims offer an available 360-degree Around View Monitor8. Available driver-aid technology, including Advanced Smart Cruise Control (SCC)8, Blind Spot Detection (BSD)8, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)8 and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)8 – which, under appropriate conditions, will bring the vehicle to a complete stop to potentially avoid a collision or reduce damage – makes the task of driving easier and more convenient. Also available for the first time on any Kia vehicle are Bi-function HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Lamps (DBL) and intuitive High Beam Assist (HBA), which recognizes oncoming traffic and automatically switches the lights to low beam until the opposing vehicle has passed.
    Smart Performance and Safety
    The 2016 Optima features a uniquely engineered body that combines various high-tensile strength steel alloys and sits on a chassis that is stiffer and more durable thanks to the increased use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). With more than 50 percent of the body constructed from AHSS, the all-new Optima represents a 150-percent increase over the previous car. The greater use of structural adhesive by more than 450 percent over the previous generation improves NVH and contributes to structural rigidity. Engineers also added more hot stamped components to the all-new Optima, a 350-percent increase over the 2015 model. This body structure helps provide crash protection, better driving dynamics, and is the foundation for a quieter ride.
    Additional innovations were implemented to reduce NVH, lighten the vehicle and enhance aerodynamics. The 2016 Optima is the first Kia to feature a panoramic sunroof support structure made with carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, which helps reduce weight and lower the vehicle’s center of gravity. A larger full floor under cover helps reduce wind noise and aid fuel efficiency. Increased dash insulation, added windshield side molding and the increased use of structural adhesive ensure a quiet ride with reduced road and wind noise. Engine mounts, body panels and wheels all are stiffer on the all-new Optima, reducing vibrations, engine noise and road noise. Larger cross-member bushings are utilized to help isolate road and engine noise, as well as reducing engine vibration through the floor and steering wheel.
    Improving ride and handling was a top priority for engineers. Overall, the chassis is lighter and stiffer, resulting in improved steering response, high-speed stability and handling. Moving the suspension location points of the front and rear sub-frames outward optimizes suspension geometry for a smoother ride over uneven pavement. Where the previous Optima made due with dual bushing mounts, increased lateral stiffness was achieved with a four-bushing mount system for both sub-frames. The increased stiffness pays dividends in improved steering response and tractability through corners. More robust wheel bearings up front and the addition of larger dual lower control arms at the rear also help refine the all-new Optima’s ride and handling characteristics. Available Rack-mounted Motor Driven Power Steering (R-MDPS) improves steering response with a higher gear ratio.
    The all-new Optima is available with three engine choices, striking a performance balance between sportiness and fuel efficiency. Two powerplants carry over from the previous generation, the 2.4-liter GDI four-cylinder, available on the LX and EX models, and the 2.0-liter GDI turbo engine, available on the SXL and SX Turbo models. While the engines have yet to receive EPA certification, the 2.4-liter is estimated to produce 185 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 178 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The 2.0-liter turbo is expected to generate approximately 247 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 260 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,350 rpm. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic® shifting while the SX and SXL trims add paddle shifters. Both engines have been retuned for fuel economy and better performance and drivability with maximum torque now available at a lower RPM.
    All new for the 2016 model is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine. The 1.6-liter will be offered on the LX trim. Pushing out an estimated 178 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and a stout 195 lb.-ft. of torque at just 1,500 rpm, the new engine mates to a seven-speed DCT, a first for the Kia brand. The transmission optimizes the engine’s responsiveness for a sporty feel that doesn’t sacrifice fuel economy. Also new for the Optima, Michelin® tires are available on all trims. All three engines channel energy through the front wheels.

    William Maley

    And now for something different from Lexus

    The Lexus RX is the brand's most important product. 30 percent of Lexus' total volume since the brand was launched back in 1989 is to the RX. So Lexus knows they can't screw up the next-generation model. The result was shown today at the New York Auto Show.
    Outside, the RX is much sharper and outgoing than any RX model before. The overall look is a softened NX with creases, angles, and front end that looks like it could eat you. Inside boasts new dashboard layout with a large, 12.3 inch display for the infotainment system and gear shift moving to the center console. Rear seat is said to be improved, but Lexus isn't giving out specifics at the moment.
    Like before, Lexus will offer two flavors of the RX. The RX 350 uses a direct-injected 3.5L V6 that produces 300 horsepower. The RX 450h pairs an 3.5L Atkinson cycle V6 with an electric motor to produce 300 horsepower. The new RX promises to be a better handler thanks to a stiffer chassis. Those who want a bit more sport will want to check out the F-Sport package which adds an active stabilizer bar, new dampers, and wheels.
    The 2016 Lexus RX will hit dealers later this year.
    Source: Lexus

    Press Release is on Page 2
    The All-New 2016 Lexus RX Makes Global Debut at the New York International Auto Show
    Bolder Design Language for Best-Selling Luxury SUV
    F SPORT Available for AWD Models
    Lexus Safety System+ Integrates Active Safety Technology Into One High-Value Package
    Available Adaptive Variable Suspension For Optimal Handling and Ride

    NEW YORK - April 1, 2015 – Lexus has shown that it has once again redefined the luxury sport utility segment with the unveiling of the all-new RX at the 2015 New York Auto Show today. As the best-selling model in the brand’s 26-year history—with global sales of more than 2.1 million units—the RX represents three out of ten vehicles ever sold by Lexus. The 2016 RX builds on that trend with a completely new, luxurious interior to match its fresh, new, chiseled body style. The large dose of Lexus brand DNA that’s been artfully incorporated into the details can not only be seen, but also felt. The new fourth-generation RX also boasts exceptional on-road performance and safety technologies that include the innovative Lexus Safety System+.
    "With the new Lexus Safety System+, we offer drivers an added level of occupant safety in a conveniently bundled package that leverages some of the latest accident prevention technology. We certainly expect the proliferation of these features to continue throughout the luxury vehicle market and our Lexus lineup as the industry remains steadfast in the pursuit of enhanced vehicle safety," said Jeff Bracken, Group Vice President and General Manager Lexus Division.
    Takayuki Katsuda, the Chief Engineer of the new RX said, “Our ambition has been to make a bold and completely new statement in this segment while building on and staying true to the pioneering values of previous RX generations.”
    A Bold Exciting New Look
    The RX with all-new sheet metal makes a powerful visual statement at first glance. A completely new front end is highlighted by an emboldened spindle grille, more aggressive front bumper and available triple L-shaped LED headlamps. Together with the all-new LED fog lamps and LED daytime running lights, the RX has a more sophisticated and advanced look. Muscular front fender flares add to the vehicle’s sporty attitude.
    When seen from the side, the sharp character line that runs from the front fenders to the rear end, together with a flowing roofline, give the RX a dynamic profile. All of this helps make the vehicle sure-footed at high speed and reduces wind noise. A truly distinctive styling cue is the blacked-out C-pillars, which provide the illusion of a floating roofline never before seen on a Lexus product. Also, newly available 20-in. aluminum wheels with larger tires improve the vehicle stance and proportions and replace the current model’s 19-in. options. These 20-inch wheels can also be customized with body color-matching inserts to emphasize the driver’s individuality.
    The new RX’s rear appearance has been sharpened, now exuding a sense of chiseled, rock-solid stability with the design highlighted by LED L-shaped taillights that wrap around the sides of the vehicle, creating a wider, more authoritative presence when illuminated. When lit, a brilliant glow spans laterally from the body to the back door, a Lexus-first. Integrated dual exhaust pipes have been added to the gas model for a more premium appearance.
    Inside, RX’s new luxurious cabin with elegant, high-quality trim exudes warmth and class. Specially finished Yamaha laser-cut ornamentation is available for those who appreciate an additional dimension of interior refinement. An available color heads-up display (HUD) projects pertinent vehicle information to the driver’s windshield, while the information display area, featuring an available 12.3-in. monitor with full-screen map, is situated atop the center stack. The shift lever, complete with leather boot, has been positioned away from the front of the instrument panel to optimize operability and create more space for the driver.
    Rear-seat occupants are treated to more leg and knee space. The RX now offers heated outboard rear seats and a 60/40 power folding second row to enhance comfort and convenience. A newly available retractable power panorama moonroof enhances the RX cabin’s spaciousness and provides occupants with a refreshing open-air experience. The available rear seat entertainment system now includes 11.6-in. dual screens affixed to the back of the front headrests.
    “Even while ensuring a high level of luxury and space within the cabin, the RX’s silhouette remains sleek and dynamic, while the interior has been designed for easy operation with luxurious execution,” said Gen Ikeda, Lexus RX chief designer.
    Smooth, Powerful and Efficient Engines Under the Hood
    Under the RX 350’s hood is an upgraded and more powerful 3.5-liter V6 aiming to deliver
    300 hp with direct injection, mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Based on this enhanced powertrain is the RX 450h’s Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6. When combined with the electric motor generator, the combined output results in around 300 hp. All RX engines have been tuned in anticipation of high fuel economy ratings and low carbon emissions.
    Enhanced Handling and Straight-line Stability
    When it comes to delivering precise, controlled handling, the new RX offers impressive dynamic capability. The entire chassis has been fortified to provide enhanced straight-line stability and control through turns. The vehicle’s body structure has been strengthened with added stiffness, helping to enhance its handling response while reducing engine and road noise in the cabin. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is standard, while Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) is available on select models. Each system is designed to help recognize loss of vehicle control, and help mitigate potentially dangerous situations with automatic and often transparent adjustments to help the vehicle maintain optimal traction. The RX also is offered in All-Weather Drive to help the RX’s handling performance and control on dry and slick surfaces alike.
    The RX’s fully independent suspension system, which consists of MacPherson struts up front and a double wishbone setup at rear, has been tuned and reinforced to enhance handling while keeping ride quality remarkably smooth. Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) is available on the RX for the first time. AVS electronically monitors and adapts the shock absorber damping and steering to help ensure optimal handling and ride depending on the driving conditions. The system is also designed to produce less body lean through corners, providing an engaging driving experience.
    In the U.S., the RX is available with specifically designed Michelin Premier tires featuring EverGrip™ technology. EverGrip™ technology has a high traction compound, expanding rain grooves that widen over time and emerging grooves which open as the tire wears.
    Safety is a Priority with Lexus Safety System+
    Lexus has always stressed safety in all of its vehicles, so it should come as no surprise that the new RX is enhanced in the areas concerning the well-being of its occupants. Among the changes is Lexus Safety System+, which can help avoid or mitigate collisions across a wide range of vehicle speeds under certain conditions. Introduced globally, Lexus Safety System+ integrates several of the brand’s existing active safety technologies. These include the Pre-Collision System (PCS) that is designed to detect sudden stops initiated by the preceding vehicle and can engage automatic braking in certain circumstances; Lane Departure Alert (LDA), which issues an audible signal if it determines that the vehicle has strayed from its intended lane; and Automatic High Beam (AHB) that helps ensure optimal forward visibility during nighttime driving. As part of a multi-faceted approach to active safety, the Lexus Safety System+ package utilizes a millimeter-wave radar that works together with a camera to help keep the RX in its intended driving lane via the Lane Keep Assist feature (LKA) and enhances target detection for the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with full stop capability under certain circumstances. Other available features that can help the driver include Adaptive High-beam System (AHS), a Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) and Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
    For those who prefer even more excitement and performance in their luxury utility vehicles, there is the RX F SPORT (AWD models only), which will be available with both models’ engine offerings for the first time. Lexus vehicles designated with the F SPORT badge are equipped with a number of special visual and performance features that set them apart from other versions. In the RX’s case, the spindle grille and lower center piece of the rear bumper incorporate an “F” mesh design, instantly giving the vehicle a sportier flair. New 20-inch alloy wheels with graphite finish, exclusive to the F SPORT, also help give the RX a commanding presence. Inside, the driver is treated to a custom F SPORT instrument cluster with a TFT Multi Information Display (MID) as well as a sport steering wheel, featuring perforated leather trim, an F SPORT emblem, and paddle shifters. Exclusive colors and trim pieces are also part of F SPORT.
    The RX F SPORT’s performance on the road has been enhanced by an active stabilizer system whose cutting-edge technology helps keep the vehicle’s body amazingly flat through corners. The aforementioned AVS, which also helps keep the vehicle planted to driving surfaces through turns, is standard on RX F SPORT. The driver can select the AVS-enhanced Sport S+ mode, in addition to the standard Eco, Normal and Sport settings, on the Drive Mode Select control located on the center console.
    The Luxury SUV Bar Has Been Raised Yet Again by the New RX
    Whatever version of the RX you choose, one thing is perfectly clear: Lexus’ best-selling vehicle has dramatically raised the bar yet again in the mid-size luxury utility segment, flawlessly combining bold luxury styling inside and out, and engaging driving performance.
    “The pioneering spirit of Lexus drives us to create new technology and gives rise to new ideas. It allows us to introduce new vehicles with leading-edge features. And indeed, we are committed to bringing ‘progressive luxury’ to the world. I believe this new RX will not only surprise new customers, but will also delight and satisfy our loyal customers, whose high expectations will be met by many new innovations,” said Katsuda.

    William Maley

    Chevrolet Gives the Malibu A Drastic Makeover

    Chevrolet hopes to reverse their fortunes in the midsize sedan class with the introduction of 2016 Malibu at the New York Auto Show. The new sedan is larger, efficient, and more technologically advanced than the Malibu it replaces.
    The 2016 Malibu takes a lot of the design ideas found on the Impala and goes a bit further. Up front are slimmer headlights with higher trim models getting LED daytime running lights and a distinctive take on the brand's dual-port grille. Along the side are three creases which help give the Malibu an identity of its own. More importantly, Chevrolet increased overall length by 2.3 inches (191.5 to 193. 8 and wheelbase by 3.6 inches (107.8 to 111.4).
    The Malibu's interior has been also addressed with rear legroom seeing a 1.3 inch increase. Also, Chevrolet has redesigned the center stack to better delineate infotainment system and climate control. Luxury treatments on the Malibu include satin chrome accents on the dash, available leather seating, and ventilated seats.
    Tech-wise, all Malibus come with Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system, with different trim levels getting different screen sizes, along with optional navigation. OnStar 4G LTE and wireless phone charging are also a part of the package.
    Power for the Malibu comes in three forms. First is a new turbocharged 1.5L EcoTec four-cylinder with 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet. This engine comes with stop/start technology and active grille shutters. A six-speed automatic comes as standard. Next is the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A new eight-speed automatic comes paired with this engine. Chevrolet promises better economy for both engines thanks to 300 pound weight drop.
    The final powertrain is the hybrid. An all-new, direct-injected 1.8L four-cylinder paired with a slightly modified two-motor drive from the 2016 Chevrolet Volt. Total power output stands at 182 horsepower. An 80-cell 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides electric power.
    As for safety, the 2016 Malibu features a new system called Teen Driver. Standard on most Malibus, the system allows parents to set a predetermined speed and also track how their teen drove the vehicle. When the teen is in the vehicle, the system will mute the audio or any device paired with the vehicle if it detects a front-seat passenger isn't buckled up. It will also throw up audible and visual warnings if the vehicle is traveling over the predetermined speeds.
    The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu will hit dealers in the fourth quarter of this year.
    Source: Chevrolet

    Press Release is on Page 2
    All-New Malibu is Larger, More Technological and Efficient
    New hybrid sedan projected to offer combined rating north of 45 MPG

    DETROIT – Chevrolet today introduced the all-new 2016 Malibu – a completely restyled midsize sedan engineered to offer more efficiency, connectivity and advanced safety features than ever.
    An all-new hybrid powertrain, which leverages technology from the Chevrolet Volt, will help offer a GM-estimated combined rating north of 45 mpg. The Malibu’s standard 1.5L turbo powertrain is projected to offer 37 mpg highway.
    The 2016 Malibu is also longer and lighter, with more interior space and improved fuel efficiency. Its wheelbase has been stretched close to four inches (101 mm), and it is nearly 300 pounds (136 kg) lighter than the current model.
    “Midsize customers tell us they want great fuel economy, connected technologies, wrapped in a gorgeous exterior. This is exactly what the 2016 Malibu was engineered to do,” said Jesse Ortega, Malibu chief engineer.
    The 2016 Malibu goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2015. Additional vehicle highlights:
    Available segment-exclusive OnStar 4G LTE in-vehicle connectivity as well as available wireless phone charging
    Agile, sophisticated and sleek exterior design incorporates sophisticated details that advance Chevrolet’s signature cues
    Standard preventive safety technologies include 10 standard air bags, with available features such as Forward Collision Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Automatic Parking Assist is also available
    All-new Teen Driver feature, which allows parents to view their kids’ driving statistics, such as maximum speed, warning alerts and more
    All-new, power-dense Ecotec 1.5L turbo engine with fuel-saving stop/start technology is standard, offering a GM-estimated 160 hp (119 kW)
    High-output 2.0L turbo with GM-estimated 250 hp (186 kW) is available and is mated with a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

    The new Malibu will be offered in L, LS, LT and Premier trims, as well as the Hybrid model. The Premier trim, Chevrolet’s new uplevel designation, debuts in the 2016 Malibu. Additional model and trim details will be announced closer to the start of production.
    Malibu Hybrid technology
    The 2016 Malibu introduces new strong hybrid technology that leverages components and knowledge directly from the plug-in Chevrolet Volt. The Malibu Hybrid is projected to offer a combined rating north of 45 mpg – while maintaining the styling, comfort, driving dynamics and connectivity as gas-only models.
    An all-new, direct-injection 1.8L four-cylinder engine mated to a two-motor drive unit, slightly modified from the 2016 Chevrolet Volt drive unit, powers the Malibu Hybrid. The drive unit provides additional power to assist the engine during acceleration, for 182 horsepower (136 kW) of total system power.
    The engine also features Chevrolet’s first application of Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery, or EGHR, technology, which uses exhaust heat to warm the engine and cabin. EGHR improves engine warm up and ensures consistent fuel economy performance in cold weather. Additional fuel economy benefits come from Exhaust Gas Recirculation, or EGR.
    An 80-cell, 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides electric power to the hybrid system. It can power the Malibu Hybrid up to 55 miles per hour (88 km/h) on electricity alone. The gasoline-powered engine automatically comes on at higher speeds and high loads to provide additional power.
    In addition to the drive unit, the Malibu Hybrid also shares the 2016 Volt’s blended regenerative braking system, which provides maximum kinetic energy recovery during braking to be stored into the battery system to help maintain charge, and drive unit power electronics.
    Turbocharged performance and efficiency
    An all-new, Ecotec 1.5L turbo is the standard engine in the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, offering a GM-estimated 37 mpg on the highway. It is part of a new global family of small-displacement gas engines designed with greater power density to deliver confident performance with excellent efficiency.
    The new 1.5L turbo employs the stop/start technology introduced on the 2014 Malibu, which enhances efficiency in stop-and-go driving, contributing to a GM-estimated 27 mpg in city driving – an 8-percent increase over the current model. On the highway, 1.5L-equipped models also feature active grille shutters that reduce aerodynamic drag to optimize efficiency.
    The Malibu’s more-efficient standard engine delivers a GM-estimated 160 horsepower (119 kW) and 184 lb-ft of torque (250 Nm). The torque is comparable to the current model’s standard 2.5L naturally aspirated engine in a vehicle package that’s nearly 300 pounds lighter.
    A higher-output 2.0L turbocharged engine is available, offering a GM-estimated 250 horsepower (186 kW) and 258 lb-ft of torque (350 Nm), for a higher degree of performance – but not at the expense of good efficiency. Malibu 2.0T models are GM-estimated at 22 mpg in the city and 32 on the highway.
    An all-new, GM-developed eight-speed automatic transmission – the first eight-speed automatic in a GM front-wheel-drive vehicle – contributes to the 2.0T’s balance of performance and efficiency. The 1.5L turbo engine is matched with a six-speed automatic.
    Teen Driver and an expanded range of safety features
    Teen Driver, a standard feature on most trim levels of the next-generation Malibu, supports safe driving habits by muting the audio or any device paired with the vehicle when front-seat occupants aren’t wearing their safety belts. Teen Driver also provides audible and visual warnings when the vehicle is traveling over predetermined speeds.
    To use Teen Driver, a parent enables the feature with a PIN in the Settings menu of the Malibu’s MyLink system, which allows them to register their teen’s key fob. The system’s settings are turned on only to registered key fobs
    Chevrolet’s system is the first in the industry with a built-in system that lets parents view on a display how their teenager drove the vehicle. Maximum speed reached, distance driven and number of times active safety features were engaged are among the parameters that can be confirmed.
    Teen Driver complements a roster of standard and available safety features, including a rear-view camera system standard on LS, LT, Hybrid and Premier models.
    Ten air bags, including front-seat knee air bags, head-curtain side-impact air bags and seat-mounted side air bags, are also standard.
    Rear-view camera

    Available active safety features include:
    Front Pedestrian Alert that uses a forward-looking camera to help avoid or reduce the harm caused by crashes with pedestrians ahead of the vehicle. The system can apply automatic last-second braking
    New Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
    Side Blind Zone Alert with Lane Change Alert
    New Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator
    Rear Cross Traffic Alert
    Front and Rear Park Assist
    Intellibeam, which automatically switches the headlamps to high beam for better road illumination and improved visibility
    Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Automatic Braking
    Automatic Parking Assist.

    Sleeker design with lighter, stronger body structure
    With a wheelbase stretching 3.6 inches (91 mm) longer than the current Malibu, along with a 2.3-inch (58 mm) longer overall length and the same overall width, the 2016 Malibu strikes a sleeker-looking proportion. The added wheelbase helps provide better in-cabin comfort and functionality.
    With styling influenced by the 2014 Impala, the all-new Malibu advances Chevrolet’s global design language with features such as slim, sweeping headlamps and a progressive take on the brand’s characteristic dual-port grille. Three body-side creases also add drama to the design and help distinguish the Malibu as a contemporary Chevy.
    The hood and the cowl – the area where the windshield meets the hood – are lower than the current model and contribute to the Malibu’s greater aerodynamic performance, as do active grille shutters on LS and LT models.
    Premium design cues are incorporated on all models, with contemporary lighting technology featured across the lineup, including light-emitting diode (LED) daytime running lamps on LT and Premier models. The Malibu Premier also receives LED taillamps.
    Beneath the new Malibu’s athletic-looking skin is a stronger, lighter body structure that contributes to its efficiency and driving dynamics. Greater use of high-strength steels enabled engineers to design the body structure with thinner components in some areas, delivering comparable crash performance with lower weight. The all-new body structure accounts for more than one-third of the Malibu’s nearly 300-pound weight reduction.
    Roomier, more comfortable and more connected interior
    The longer wheelbase allows a more open execution of Chevrolet’s signature dual-cockpit interior. Rear legroom improves by 1.3 inches (33 mm).
    The cabin’s open, expansive feel is reinforced with a greater emphasis on comfort, convenience and connectivity, allowing the Malibu to keep pace with customers’ connected lives. Highlights include:
    Chevrolet MyLink with a seven-inch-diagonal color capacitive touch screen is standard on LS, LT and Hybrid models
    Chevrolet MyLink with an eight-inch-diagonal capacitive touch screen is available on LT and Hybrid models and standard on Premier model
    Chevrolet MyLink with navigation is available with the eight-inch MyLink system and features three-dimensional map views for most major U.S. cities and attractions
    All-new Teen Driver feature is supported by the eight-inch MyLink system, allowing parents to restrict certain vehicle functions to support safer driving and to view their kids’ driving statistics such as maximum speed, warning alerts and more
    OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot is standard on all models with a three-month/3GB data trial (whichever comes first)
    Wireless phone charging available on LT and Hybrid and standard on Premier
    Dual rear-seat USB ports and a 110-volt power outlet is optional on LT and standard on Premier trim.

    The instrument panel “center stack” is all-new, with greater delineation between the infotainment system and climate system controls for easier, at-a-glance operation. The Malibu’s interior is also features:
    Galvano (satin) chrome accents on the instrument panel and center console
    Dedicated storage slot for mobile phones, which incorporates wireless charging, if equipped
    Perforated leather-appointed seating surfaces available on LT and Hybrid and standard on Premier
    Ventilated seats – a first for Malibu – are standard on Premier.

    The 2016 Malibu will be built from globally sourced parts at GM’s Fairfax Assembly Plant, in Kansas City, Kansas. The plant received a $600 million investment in paint shop and tooling upgrades in 2013.

    William Maley

    Volkswagen Readies Its Competitor to the Subaru XV Crosstrek

    Last year at the LA Auto Show, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn let out that Volkswagen was planning to introduce the Golf Alltrack, a version of the new SportWagen with increased ride height and body cladding to take on the Subaru XV Crosstrek. Today, Volkswagen made it official with the announcement of the Golf SportWagen Alltrack arriving in the U.S. next year.
    The Golf SportWagen Alltrack takes your standard SportWagen and adds body cladding, revised front and rear bumpers; and a one-inch lift to help set it apart. Underneath the body is Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system which can send up to 50 percent of power to the back if the system detects slip. Otherwise, the system stays in two-wheel drive to improve fuel economy. Volkswagen hasn't said what powers the Alltrack at this time.
    “We have heard from dealers and customers that they want to see a Golf SportWagen with the all-terrain capability that comes from all-wheel drive. We are delighted to introduce the SportWagen Alltrack in 2016 in the U.S," said Michael Horn, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
    Source: Volkswagen

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Golf SportWagen Alltrack
    Coinciding with the arrival of the all-new Golf SportWagen, currently available in dealer showrooms, Volkswagen is pleased to announce that the all-wheel-drive Alltrack model will go on sale in 2016 as a 2017 model. “We have heard from dealers and customers that they want to see a Golf SportWagen with the all-terrain capability that comes from all-wheel drive,” said Michael Horn, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “We are delighted to introduce the SportWagen Alltrack in 2016 in the U.S."
    Technical and visual differences between the Golf SportWagen and the Alltrack include a 4MOTION® all-wheel-drive system, nearly an inch higher ground clearance, wheelarch moldings and flared side sills that offer body protection, newly designed bumpers, and an even more upscale interior.
    The 4MOTION all-wheel drive system uses the latest generation Haldex-5 coupling, activated via an electro-hydraulic oil pump. In normal driving, the Alltrack acts like a front-wheel-drive car for better fuel economy, but as soon as the system detects wheel slip, up to 50 percent of the drive torque can be shipped to the rear wheels. In addition to the Haldex coupling that acts longitudinally, electronic differential locks (EDL) at the front and rear axles act laterally in concert with the electronic stability control system. The system briefly brakes a wheel that is slipping, enabling uninterrupted and stable transfer of drive power to the wheel on the opposite side.
    In combination with the higher ground clearance, this 4MOTION all-wheel drive system helps to give the newest Golf SportWagen the off-road capability and load-carrying capacity of a compact SUV along with the on-road manners and fuel economy of a compact wagon.

    William Maley

    Scion Gets Some Love from Toyota Europe with the 2016 iM

    Scion used the LA Auto Show as litmus test to show off a possible new model, the iM concept. This concept was a Toyota Auris sold in Europe, but was all done up with large fenders and wheels. It seems the model has passed this test as the production model iM has been introduced the night before the start of New York Auto Show.
    The production model loses all of the concept bits such as front and rear bumpers, and forged wheels. What we're left with is a quite good looking hatchback. The front boasts a slim, honeycomb grille and narrowed headlights. Around back is a distinctive tailgate design. The interior boasts a similar dashboard layout to the Corolla and features a 7-inch Pioneer infotainment system. High quality materials are used throughout, along with a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
    Power for the iM comes from a 1.8L DOHC four-cylinder with 137 horsepower and 126 pound-feet of torque. This can be paired up to either a six-speed manual or CVT. Scion estimates fuel economy numbers of 27 City/36 Highway/31 Combined for the manual and 30 City/37 Highway/32 Combined for the CVT. As for handling, the iM gets a four-wheel independent suspension setup with the rear getting a double-wishbone layout. A set of 17-inch wheels wrapped in 225/45R17 tires finish off the vehicle.
    Scion says the iM will hit dealers with a base price starting under $20,000. No word on a release date.
    Source: Scion

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Five Doors, a Hatch and Room for Adventure: All-New 2016 Scion iM Ready to Fire Up the Fun Hatch Segment
    Distinctively cool versatile 5-door design
    An expected MSRP of under $20,000 for fully equipped mono-spec model • High fun factor and high fuel economy estimated at 37 MPG highway
    Choice of 6-speed stick shift or advanced CVTi-S with 7-step shifting
    Roomy cabin with premium amenities
    Sophisticated chassis for sophisticated moves

    NEW YORK, March 31, 2015 – If the badge on the all-new 2016 Scion iM stood for “instant message,” the message to young buyers would be that they can now get a fun-to-drive, high-style, high-content, high-MPG rated hatchback for a whole lot less than they’d expect. The all-new Scion iM arrives in dealerships this fall, starting under $20,000. In true Scion practice, that’s for a mono-spec model equipped like an upgrade model from competitors.
    The Scion iM hatchback joins the all-new 2016 Scion iA sedan for a one-two punch in the subcompact and compact segments.
    The all-new 2016 Scion iM is the answer for young buyers looking for a sporty hatchback, but who still need to pay for things like rent, food, school loans and weekend fun with friends. Its bodylines are ripped. The cabin is roomy, refined, versatile and high-tech-equipped. The 1.8-liter DOHC Valvematic engine is eager to rev and very easy on gas. The chassis, with sophisticated double-wishbone rear suspension and standard 17-inch alloy wheels, is ready to smooth out urban bumps and tame adventurous curves. For more hands-on driving fun, a six- speed stick shift is also available.
    For safety, the 2016 Scion iM comes with eight standard airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag and a front passenger seat cushion airbag.
    Design: The Meaning of iM
    In the name, the “i” stands for individual. Intriguing. Easy on the customer’s income. For the M, think modern, multi-faceted and magnetic. The iM could be a first new car, but don’t call it “entry level.” It will easily compare to hatches that start in the same price neighborhood but then demand a higher tax bracket when you add in needed upgrade options.
    The Scion iM shows a familiar face, with a hexagon lower grille, sharp-eyed headlights and side bezels with honeycomb mesh pattern seen also on the brand’s FR-S sports car. That aerodynamic expression carries into the profile, which conveys dynamic movement from the lower front to the rear. It’s like a “swoosh line” rendered in steel.
    Detailing on the Scion iM belies the affordable pricing. The piano black grille treatment, standard sporty body aero kit, LED daytime running lights and taillights leave an unmistakable signature. Also true to the Scion way, the color selection gives the design tremendous visual pop: Blizzard Pearl, Classic Silver Metallic, Black Sand Pearl, Barcelona Red Metallic, Spring Green Metallic and Electric Storm Blue.
    One Spec: Fun
    Gas prices come down. Gas prices go back up. Young buyers like to avoid pain at the pump no matter what. The 2016 Scion iM offers a sweet spot of performance and efficiency, with Scion estimating a 37-MPG highway fuel economy rating. Then comes the fun side. The 137 hp 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine uses Valvematic continuously variable valve timing (lift and phasing) technology to offer a broad torque curve, so the iM feels responsive in all situations.
    For driving purists, the Scion iM has a standard 6-speed stick shift that’s a slick shift, making for an engaging and active driving experience. Got hills? The Scion iM comes standard with Hill Start Assist, which helps prevent roll-back when you’re pulling away from a stop sign or traffic light on an incline.
    The optional automatic is also perfectly suited to the 1.8-liter engine. It’s an intelligent Continuously Variable Transmission that’s been sport-tuned for driving pleasure. That’s why it’s called the CVTi-S. Not all CVTs operate as responsively as the CVTi-S in the Scion iM. This one’s got both a Sport mode as well as manual shifting capability with seven stepped shift points.
    In Sport mode, the CVTi-S alters shift points and also provides a livelier feel through the electric power steering programming and accelerator responsiveness. G AI-SHIFT logic detects lateral G force during cornering and maintains engine speed by restricting unnecessary shift changes.
    Using the console shifter, the driver can make fast, sequential shifts through the transmission’s seven predefined steps, accompanied by the familiar sense of positive shift engagement. The 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display within the instrument cluster displays M mode activity, including the “gear” position, and other vehicle information.
    It’s Got the Moves
    In the Scion iM, instant gratification behind the wheel will turn to long-term love down the road. Driving enthusiasts know well the value of a high-strength body structure and a sophisticated four-wheel independent suspension. Based on the tC sports coupe platform, the 2016 Scion iM checks those boxes by using ample high-strength steel and special reinforcements in the structure. And it goes further, making the rear suspension the double-wishbone type, a design offering the added benefit of not impinging on cargo room.
    Add in standard 17-inch alloy wheels with fat 225/45R17 tires, and the Scion iM delivers a tight, taut road feel and a compliant ride quality. The Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system makes low-speed maneuvering a breeze and provides good feel and less assistance at highway speeds. It also helps boost fuel efficiency, because the system consumes power only when assist is needed.
    Premium Interior without the Premium Price
    Inside, it will be love at first seating in the standard bolstered front sport seats. They fit the body like a glove and also integrate a Whiplash Injury Lessen (WIL) structure for occupant protection.
    High quality materials abound throughout the Scion iM cabin, where the layered dashboard design combines sports car-inspired instrument panel styling with easy to reach, easy to use controls. With ideas borrowed from the luxury car realm, the Scion iM keeps noise outside with an acoustic layer windshield, foam- type insulation and floor silencer sheets.
    The Scion iM’s premium feel on the road is matched by a lengthy roster of premium amenities – all included as standard with the brand’s famous mono- spec strategy. Start with versatility, which comes from the 60/40 fold-down rear seats and standard cargo cover. A roomy glove box and console box are augmented by numerous front door pockets and storage bins throughout.
    As a Scion, the iM naturally comes with high-grade standard multi-media system. The 6-speaker Pioneer sound system will play from a variety of sources, including iPods, of course, and other devices. You control it all through an easy to use 7-inch Pioneer Display Audio unit that also includes standard HD Radio and Aha. It’s through that screen that you view the standard rear view backup camera.
    Real leather wraps the steering wheel, an unexpected detail in this price class. The sporty wheel puts fingertip switches for audio, multi-info display and hands- free phone calls via Bluetooth at your fingertips. The 4.2-inch color TFT multi- information display (Scion’s first) between the main instrument gauges provides displays for the car’s audio system and other functions.
    The Scion iM keeps the value surprises coming. All cars in this segment come with air conditioning; the Scion iM steps up a class with dual-zone automatic A/C control. And on cold mornings, the color-keyed heated power-folding exterior mirrors (yes, standard power-folding mirrors) get fog or frost cleared up in a hurry. Auto on/off headlamps are another convenience inherited from a higher segment.
    Build It Your Way
    One could buy the Scion iM, choose the color and be perfectly happy with the result. For those who see the car as a blank canvas, Scion offers a full range of dealer-installed accessories. A sampling includes:
    Navigation upgrade kit, body graphics, cargo area enhancements, interior light kit, all-weather floor mats and more. A roof rack system expands versatility. The Scion iM will also offer a line of TRD (Toyota Racing Development) performance accessories, including an air intake system, anti-roll bar, lowering springs and more.
    Scion drivers love their pets, and so does Scion. The iM will offer a range of cabin enhancements to take the stress out of carrying furry friends. Available through dealers, pet-friendly accessories include a dog harness with tether, door guards, seat pet barrier and even a grass pad, which discourages your doggie from standing on center console.
    A number of Scion dealers have inaugurated Pure Process Plus, which allows customers to research a car through Scion.com, find it at a dealership, apply for credit and secure a price, all without leaving the couch. Scion will continue working with dealers and Toyota Financial Services to fine-tune the process and plans to significantly expand its reach in 2015.

    William Maley

    Meet Scion's first sedan from Mazda

    I have a question for you; when was the last time that Scion ever introduced a new model? The answer was back 2011 at the New York Auto Show when the brand introduced the FR-S. Since that time, the automaker has seen precipitously drop and questions were raised whether Toyota was going to help out Scion or just let it sink. Well the parent company has went with the former option and the brand is premiering two vehicles before the start of the New York Auto Show. Meet the first of these two new models, the iA.
    The iA will take the place of the long-running xD model in Scion's lineup. Looking at the iA, you can't help but think there is lot of influence from another automaker, Mazda. There is a reason for that; the iA happens to be the sedan version of the upcoming Mazda2. So those distinctive lines around the side and Mazda3-esq rear end on the iA; that's a Mazda-design with a Scion badge. The interior is very much Mazda3 with a dual-screen instrument cluster and center stack design with a screen mounted on top of the dash.
    Power for the iA comes from a 1.5L four-cylinder with 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. The engine will be paired up with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. Scion says the iA will get fuel economy ratings of 31 City/41 Highway/35 Combined for the manual, and 33 City/41 Highway/37 Combined for the automatic.
    Standard equipment is very generous with keyless entry, push-button start, 16-inch alloy wheels, backup camera, and low-speed pre-collision system which uses a laser to detect if an accident will happen and alert the driver to take avoidance maneuvers. The system will also work to minimize damage if an accident was to happen.
    Price? At the moment, Scion says the iA will be hovering around $16,000 mark.
    Source: Scion

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Sports Sedan that Shouts Success - All-New 2016 Scion iA Rolls Into New York With a Trunk
    Brand’s first-ever sedan with dramatically sporty look and agile moves
    Estimated MSRP in the $16,000-range for well-equipped mono-spec model
    High-spirited 1.5-liter engine; estimated 42 MPG highway
    Choice of 6-speed stick shift or 6-speed automatic
    Standard Low-speed Pre-collision safety system
    Roomy cabin with premium amenities
    7-inch multimedia system with voice recognition

    NEW YORK, March 31, 2015 – Scion is expanding its line-up in more ways than one. In addition to adding a new vehicle to its stable, it’s also adding its first-ever sedan, the remarkably sporty, yet very affordable, 2016 Scion iA.
    The Scion iA sedan joins the all-new 2016 Scion iM hatchback for a one-two punch in the subcompact and compact segments.
    The new sans-hatch Scion will arrive in dealerships this fall for an estimated MSRP in the $16,000-range. That’s for a mono-spec model equipped with standard Low-speed Pre-collision safety system and 7-inch multi-media system with voice activation. Because Scion has a no hassle, no haggle Pure Price, customers walk out the door with the same price they saw posted in the dealership.
    “Dramatic” could be an understatement when describing the visual impact of the 2016 Scion iA. Beneath the daringly curved sheetmetal lies a tight, agile machine that re-defines “entry level.” Call the design “class above,” a term that applies throughout the car.
    If the Scion iA happens to be a customer’s first new car, then it’s going to be fondly remembered no matter how many others come later. If it’s a second car for the household, it may start arguments over who gets to drive it.
    The basic ingredients: a high-strength body structure, quick-revving, high- compression 1.5-liter engine with 106 hp; choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmissions; standard 16-inch alloy wheels, and manufacturer- estimated fuel economy ratings of 33 city / 42 highway / 37 combined MPG.
    What Do Those Letters Mean?
    There’s no mystery to the Scion iA badge. The “i” in the all-new 2016 Scion iA and iM models suggests Individual. Intriguing. Easy on the customer’s income. The “A” in iA could mean aggressive styling, accommodating cabin and trunk, and affordable.
    Curves Ahead, Trunk Behind
    The 2016 Scion shows a familiar brand face with a hexagon lower grille and sharp-eyed headlights. In the rear, the spacious trunk gives it a distinctive look in the segment.
    The Scion iA cuts a striking profile that certainly stands out in a crowd. To make the most of its sophisticated sedan breeding, the iA also sports an upscale looking piano black bumper treatment, chrome grille surround and chrome tailpipe.
    The Scion iA does inherit a critical item from its hatchback siblings, a standard 60/40 split rear seat back to extend carrying capacity and versatility.
    As Fun As It Looks
    Push the “Start” button (because Keyless Entry with Push-Button Start is standard), and the Scion iA springs to life with a sporty yet muted rasp from its chrome tailpipe. It’s the sound of a very high-tech 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that’s big in both spirit and technology.
    In other words, the Scion iA zips as it sips. Much credit also goes to the choice of transmissions. The standard 6-speed manual is compact and lightweight, and is super low on friction with a short stroke, making it one of the sweetest-shifting manuals around.
    For those who prefer an automatic transmission, the available 6-speed automatic will be intriguing. Engineered for light weight, low friction and a direct-shift feel, the automatic has a bit of a dual personality. It moves the Scion iA off from a standing start with the smoothness only a torque converter automatic can deliver, yet very quickly afterward locks the converter for quicker, more direct shifts and higher fuel economy. For drivers seeking greater torque feel, a Sport Mode feature is available with the flip of a switch.
    Agility is engineered into the Scion iA, not just added on with stiffer springs and shocks. The body structure uses straight beams wherever possible, continuous framework that makes the individual sections function in harmony, and effective positioning of high-tensile steel. Bottom line, it’s strong.
    The MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension are tuned for a just-right balance of sporty handling and comfortable ride not normally associated with this segment. Steering and brake system tuning, in particular, received attention more befitting of a sport sedan than an “economy car.” The Scion iA uses a rigid steering mount, which provides a direct yet light feel also unexpected in low-priced, high-MPG models. Progressive braking feel comes to the fore when cornering. Entering the curve, the pedal provides smooth operation, then progresses to a more rigid feel as G-force rises.
    Big on Safety
    That high-strength structure also forms the foundation for safety in the Scion iA. A solid H-shaped ring structure joins the roof and B-pillars to underbody and combines with high-tensile steel on key frame members and a part of the floor to form a robust structure.
    Front side airbags and curtain airbags help protect front and rear seat occupants. But the biggest safety news in this $16,000-ish Scion iA is a standard Low-speed Pre-collision system that uses a laser sensor to help the driver avoid collisions and to help minimize damage in the event of an accident. A rear view back-up camera is also standard.
    Scion = Amazing Value
    Looks do not deceive in the Scion iA cabin. Premium chrome accents and soft- touch trim and surfaces belie the car’s price point, a value equation that runs in the Scion family. For starters, consider how the iA accommodates a wide range of drivers’ physiques, including its 10-inch fore-aft slide adjustment and the standard seat height adjuster, too. There’s no skimping with the steering wheel, which offers tilt and telescoping adjustments.
    It’s easy to take for granted features like cruise control and power windows, locks and exterior mirrors, because they’re standard in most cars over a certain price. On some cars in the Scion iA’s neighborhood, those could be extra-cost options, but they’re all included on the 2016 iA’s lengthy standard equipment roster.
    The sporty steering wheel has control switches for the audio and standard Bluetooth. Hardly “entry level,” the standard 7-in. Display Audio system has a touch screen, 6 speakers, remote interface and rear-view camera. Pandora®, AhaTM and StitcherTM come standard, too, providing a huge music, talk and podcast universe when paired with a compatible phone. For those who want to bring their own music into the iA, two USB ports and an Auxiliary input are standard. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel by using Voice Recognition to control many of the multi-media system features. An available navigation system is also offered through Scion dealers.
    Make It Your Own
    One could buy the Scion iA, choose the color and be perfectly happy with the result. For those who see the car as a blank canvas, Scion offers a full range of dealer-installed accessories, as it does for all its models.
    A number of Scion dealers have inaugurated Pure Process Plus, which allows customers to research a car through Scion.com, find it at a dealership, apply for credit and secure a price, all without leaving the couch. Scion will continue working with dealers and Toyota Financial Services to fine-tune the process and plans to significantly expand its reach in 2015.

    William Maley

    Bentley Isn't Too Keen On the Lincoln Continental Concept

    If you had the chance to read our story on the Lincoln Continental yesterday, then you read this line: "The overall look of the Continental Concept oddly reminds us of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur."
    We're not the only one to take notice of this.
    Car Design News reports that Bentley isn't too keen on this similarity. Luc Donckerwolke, Bentley's chief designer went to Facebook to voice his complaints.
    "I would have called it Flying Spur concept and kept the four round lights," said Donckerwolke.
    Donckerwolke then went to Lincoln chief designer David Woodhouse's Facebook to say, "Do you want us to send the product tooling?" Since then, the comment was deleted, but Car Design News made sure to get a copy of it.
    "This behavior is not respectable. Building a copy like this is giving a bad name to the car design world," said Donckerwolke when asked by Car Design News.
    This was followed by a comment from by Bentley's exterior design chief, Sangyup Lee.
    "It is very disappointing, especially for an exclusive brand like Lincoln."
    So does Bentley have a point, or do they have sour grapes over the Continental? Have your say in the comments below.
    Source: Car Design News

    Drew Dowdell

    Cadillac's new large sedan is a technological powerhouse.

    While we've been getting some teaser shots of the 2016 Cadillac CT6 for a few weeks, Cadillac finally pulled the sheet back on the CT6 tonight at an event in New York ahead of the start of the 2015 New York International Auto Show.
    The CT6 is the first of eight all new vehicles scheduled to be released over the next 5 years as part of Cadillac's $12-billion expansion program.
    Riding on the new Omega platform, the CT6 is a technological powerhouse. Starting with the body, Cadillac is using a combination of high-strength aluminum and high-strength steel to build the lightest vehicle in its class and even a class-size smaller. Over 64% of the body structure is aluminum. At 204 inches long and 74 inches wide, the Cadillac CT6 is 4 inches longer than the BMW 740i and 0.9 inches narrower, however it weighs in at less than 3700lbs giving the CT6 over a 600lbs advantage. With a base curb weight so low, the CT6 even weighs less than smaller cars like the Audi A6 (3,803), BMW 5-series (3,817), Infiniti Q70 (3,858), Mercedes E-Class (4,200), and is about on par with a Mercedes C350 (3,693). Even with so much weight loss, Cadillac has used high strength steel in key areas to maintain what it calls "Bank Vault-like" quietness. Cadillac says that in spite of being physically larger, the CT6 will have the same agility as the smaller CTS.
    The base CT6 will be powered by the familiar 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder that is tuned to product about 265 horsepower. Also available will be Cadillac's new 3.6 liter naturally aspirated V6 with 335 horsepower, and a new Cadillac exclusive 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6 producing 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. The Turbo-4 and 3.6 liter will be matched to an all-new, and lighter, 8-Speed automatic while the 3.0TT gets a beefier version. (These new 8-speeds will also join the 2016 Cadillac ATS/CTS and ATS-V/CTS-V respectively). All engines will feature stop start capability to improve fuel economy, while the V6s feature cylinder deactivation during low-load operations. The CT6 comes standard with active-on-demand all-wheel drive on V6 models. This new dual gear all-wheel drive system can shift up to 959 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels if needed.
    One of the headline features on the CT6 is the active rear-wheel steering system. This system allows for greater maneuverability at low speeds and higher stability at high speed. Though the CT6 has a 7.8 inch longer wheelbase than the CTS, the turning circle is a similar 37 feet.
    The technology continues inside with an extensive list of available features. Cadillac's CUE system is present with a 10.2 inch diagonal screen. The CUE system has been updated for faster response and also includes a console mounted touchpad for an additional control point.
    On the CUE screen, the CT6 can display a full 360 degree view around the car. The system can also record front and rear views while driving or 360 degree views if the security system has been activated. An enhanced heat sensing night vision camera is available.
    The Cadillac CT6 will also eschew the backup camera for a rear view mirror camera. The entire inside rear view mirror will become a screen that shows an unobstructed rear view with a much wider field of vision. This feature can be simply toggled off via a switch on the bottom of the mirror and it will revert to a traditional electro-chromatic inside mirror.
    The automatic parking feature now also includes automatic braking while the automatic braking system ties into the vehicle camera system to include pedestrian collision mitigation.
    Comforts inside include quad-zone climate control with a complete secondary HVAC system and an ionizing air purifier. A new articulating rear seat package will include lumbar adjustments, tilting seat cushions, massage, heating/cooling, and media center controls. The media system includes 10" screens that drop into the front seatbacks. Audio is a new Bose Panary system with 34 speakers. And all of that fits back there with 40.4 inches of rear leg room (BMW 740i is 38", Audi A8 is 38.7" and Lexus LS460L is 36.7" for reference)
    The Cadillac CT6 will be built at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck plant for US, Europe, Korea, Japan, Israel, and the Middle east, starting in late 2015 while Chinese market models will be produced at an all new facility in China starting in early 2016.
    Source: Cadillac Media

    Cadillac Press Release on Page 2

    Cadillac Extends the Top of its Range with CT6
    Advanced technology creates a new formula for the prestige sedan
    NEW YORK – Cadillac tonight held the world premiere of the 2016 CT6, elevating it to the top of its range and creating a new formula for the prestige sedan through the integration of new technologies developed to achieve dynamic performance, efficiency and agility previously unseen in large luxury cars.
    CT6 marks Cadillac’s long-awaited return to the global prestige luxury segment, and is one of eight all-new vehicles the brand will launch by the end of the decade as part of its $12-billion product investment to expand and elevate.
    “The CT6 is nothing less than an entirely new approach to premium luxury – and an approach only Cadillac can offer,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Cadillac. “It is a bold endeavor with unmatched dynamism that reignites a passion for driving in large luxury vehicles. In short, it is prestige luxury reimagined.”
    Cadillac CT6 takes drivers to a higher threshold of involvement, with technologies that make them more aware of their surroundings, chassis systems – including active technologies – that make the most of control in all conditions, and powertrains led by an all-new Cadillac Twin Turbo engine that rewards with stirring power on demand. Passengers are ensconced in the brand’s ultimate expression of comfort, luxury and connectivity.
    The CT6 features one of the industry’s most advanced automotive body structures, an aluminum-intensive architecture that incorporates 11 different materials to achieve strength, performance and efficiency thresholds practically unmatched among the world’s elite luxury performance sedans.
    It is one of the world’s lightest and most agile full-size luxury performance sedans, with dimensions and spaciousness on par with BMW’s short-wheelbase 7-Series, but the approximate weight, agility and efficiency of the smaller Cadillac CTS – which is lighter than a BMW 5-Series. The CT6 is lighter than the BMW 5-Series, 6-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
    “We reinvented the approach to structural underpinnings in the quest to develop a unique formula for the prestige luxury performance sedan,” said de Nysschen. “Melding that new approach with the dynamics conveyed in our other award-winning rear-driven sedans – including V-Series – results in something that has been lost in the segment: the exhilaration of a true driver’s car.”
    Cadillac focused on three pillars that would coalesce to deliver the CT6’s dynamic experience – and do so with higher levels of presence, elegance and technological innovation to help elevate Cadillac around the world.
    “Luxury brands are built from the top down,” said Cadillac Chief Marketing Officer Uwe Ellinghaus. “Adding a dynamic, top-of-the-range car is central to Cadillac’s elevation and global growth.”
    All-new Omega architecture features 13 high-pressure aluminum castings in the body structure, creating a lighter, stiffer structure that also enables “bank vault” levels of quietness
    All-new Cadillac 3.0L Twin Turbo engine offer an estimated 400 horsepower (298 kW) and 400 lb-ft of torque (543 Nm), making it among the most power-dense V-6 engines in the segment, at 133 horsepower (99 kW) per liter
    Efficiency is enhanced with the industry’s first application of cylinder deactivation technology on a turbocharged
    V-6 engine, as well as an eight-speed automatic transmission
    2.0L I-4 turbocharged and new 3.6L V-6 naturally aspirated engines, each with a new eight-speed automatic transmission
    Active-on-demand all-wheel drive featuring a continuously variable clutch that infinitely varies power delivery to the front wheels – up to 959 lb-ft (1,300 Nm) – to make the most of handling and stability in all conditions
    Advanced performance chassis system designed to deliver an engaging driving experience – with segment-best ride, handling and isolation qualities – through the use of Active Rear Steer, Magnetic Ride Control and selectable drive modes
    Auto Vehicle Hold – a driver-selectable feature that prevents forward/rearward vehicle creep when the driver’s foot is off the brake. It reduces fatigue during heavy stop-and-go traffic and improves vehicle control on steep grades.

    True 360-degree camera view around the vehicle, displayed on the Cadillac CUE screen, helps reduce blind spots around the vehicle
    Industry-first surround-view video recording system that can record front and rear views while driving, and 360 degrees of recording if the vehicle’s security system is activated
    Enhanced Night Vision helps identify people, large animals and more via heat signatures on a display in the driver information center
    Rear CThamera Mirror is the industry’s first application of full-display technology, combining camera technology with the conventional inside mirror to project an unobstructed view in the mirror
    New Advanced Park Assist integrates automatic braking into automatic parking
    New Pedestrian Collision Mitigation technology provides pedestrian detection indications, alerts and automatic braking to avoid collisions
    Large, 10.2-inch-diagonal CUE interface screen with 1280 x 720 HD resolution and console mounted touchpad. The capacitive-touch screen reacts faster when scrolling and recognizes handwriting for address/points of interest search. The touchpad allows control of CUE features while resting an arm on the center console rather than touching the screen
    Wireless phone charging and OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot.

    Bold American luxury design, distinctly Cadillac – a true rear-wheel drive car, with a dramatic dash-to-axle ratio offering classic long, low proportion and luxury presence that commands attention
    Lightweight and a design that conveys it. Dynamic use of line work and sophistication and precision in surfacing – CT6 looks as light and agile as it actually is
    Elevates modern craftsmanship with curated environments that are rich, expressive and spacious, combining luxurious leathers, exotic woods, and carbon fiber in unprecedented ways
    Standard Indirect Fire light-emitting diode front lighting system offers state-of-the-art, more efficient illumination for a distinctive appearance that is both technical and expressive in its character and personality
    Extended comfort seats offer a refined, luxurious appearance. Features include premium Opus leather, five massage programs, reclining rear seats and Cadillac’s first application of woven-in-seat heating elements
    All-new Articulating Rear Seat package offers new thresholds for comfort and luxury, with approximately 3.3 inches (83 mm) of adjustable seat travel, lumbar adjustment, tilting cushions, massage feature, heating/cooling features and armrest with media controls, including HDMI and USB ports
    Comprehensive rear seat infotainment system with articulating 10-inch-diagonal screens that retract into the front seatbacks, along with connectivity for brought-in devices
    Quadzone climate system, which employs a secondary full-HVAC system that allows passengers to personalize temperature and airflow for each seating position, along with ionizing air purification
    Cadillac-first Bose® Panaray® audio system features 34 strategically placed speakers for exceptional dynamic range and clarity, including the first automotive application of design and technology elements from Bose home entertainment and professional audio products
    Concierge welcome lighting that illuminates the outside of the car as the owner approaches, based on the signal from the passive entry fob
    Hands-free power deck lid operation
    Generous rear-seat legroom – 40.4 inches (1027 mm) – and segment-best interior storage, including 2.2L center console storage volume.

    About the architecture
    The body-in-white of the 2016 Cadillac CT6 is structurally lighter and stiffer than any other dynamically similar vehicle such as the BMW 5-Series or Audi A6. That state-of-the-art architecture is the foundation for its benchmark-establishing agility and vault-like solidity and quietness.
    The new architecture has a mixed-material structure with all-aluminum exterior body panels. Engineers conducted 50 million hours of computational analysis – including 200,000 structural simulations – in its development, generating 21 patents.
    “Every panel of the body-in-white is optimized with innovative joining techniques,” said Travis Hester, executive chief engineer, Cadillac CT6. “It’s an uncompromising approach that provides the best balance of strength, lightness and refinement.”
    Thirteen high-pressure aluminum die castings in the lower body construction reduce complexity and are significant contributors to the architecture’s low mass. The CT6 is approximately 218 pounds (99 kg) lighter than a comparable vehicle using predominantly high-strength steel.
    GM’s most advanced body manufacturing methods are used to fabricate the structure, including proprietary aluminum spot welding technology that is more efficient and helps reduce weight. Laser welding, flow drill fasteners and self-piercing rivets are also employed, along with roughly 591 feet (180 meters) of advanced structural adhesives.
    Chassis and suspension highlights
    The CT6’s rigid, lightweight architecture is the foundation for its segment-challenging agility, enhanced by active-on-demand all-wheel drive, active rear steering and Magnetic Ride Control on the available Active Chassis System.
    “To put it succinctly, every wheel drives and every wheel steers,” said Hester. “And with Magnetic Ride Control, every wheel’s dampening is adjusted by the millisecond, for responsiveness and driver control unparalleled in the segment.”
    The chassis system also balances responsiveness with segment-best isolation for exceptional refinement. In the front, the CT6 features a lightweight, aluminum-intensive high-arm multilink short-long arm front suspension. At the rear is a five-link independent suspension that uses multiple outer ball joints and cross braces for optimal handling and steering precision.
    Active rear steering with the Active Chassis System contributes to greater low-speed agility and high-speed stability. In parking lots, the turning circle is only 37 feet (11.4 m), comparable with the CTS, which has a 114.6-inch wheelbase vs. the CT6’s 122.4-inch wheelbase.
    Active-on-demand all-wheel drive is also part of the Active Chassis System, making the most of handling and stability in all weather conditions. Its lightweight, compact design and two-gear transfer case enable greater fuel economy than conventional fixed-torque all-wheel drive systems. All-wheel drive is standard on all CT6 six-cylinder models.
    Selectable Tour, Snow/Ice and Sport modes allow the driver to tailor the CT6’s advanced chassis system for practically any weather or road condition.
    Bold proportions, exquisite attention to detail
    A bold proportion dominated by a long hood and sleek upper body distinguishes the CT6, evolves the brand portfolio and reinforces the agility enabled by the lightweight architecture.
    “This is a car designed for passionate drivers,” said Andrew Smith, executive director, Cadillac Global Design. “CT6 is low, wide and sleek, which is just what you’d expect in a lightweight performance sedan. There is a great dash-to-axle proportion that reinforces the dynamics of the rear-wheel-drive architecture.”
    The “face” of Cadillac evolves with the CT6 through new executions of the grille and signature lighting elements. The vertical light signature, for example, features new LED light blades that frame the front of the vehicle, with forward illumination from technologically advanced Indirect Fire LED headlamps.
    Proportion, craftsmanship and technology also define the CT6’s cabin. Cadillac designers aimed to deliver a bold, elegant and spacious interior. That elegance is expressed in curated environments and in surface sculpture featuring authentic materials, exquisite details and elevated executions of the brand’s signature cut-and-sew interiors. The CT6 uses state-of-the-art technology to reward its occupants with high levels of comfort, connectivity and safety.
    “Never before has such craftsmanship and technology been so seamlessly interwoven,” said Smith. “The CT6 represents our next step in the continuing evolution of the Cadillac brand portfolio.”
    Production and manufacturing
    Production of the 2016 Cadillac CT6 begins at the end of 2015 for the North American market at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, which underwent a $384-million investment in tooling and other upgrades to support the manufacture of the CT6 and two other products. Chinese-market models will be assembled at an all-new facility in China starting in early 2016.
    The CT6 also will be offered in Europe, Korea, Japan, Israel and the Middle East. Production for those markets begins at Detroit-Hamtramck in early 2016.
    2016 Cadillac CT6
    Body style / driveline:
    RWD or AWD, 5-passenger large luxury performance sedan
    Manufacturing location:
    Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, Hamtramck, Mich.
    2.0L I-4 turbo DOHC DI – 265 hp / 198 kW (est.)
    3.6L V-6 DOHC DI – 335 hp / 250 kW (est.)
    3.0L V-6 twin-turbo DOHC DI – 400 hp / 298 kW (est.)
    Hydra-Matic 8L45 eight-speed automatic (2.0L turbo and 3.6L)
    Hydra-Matic 8L90 eight-speed automatic (3.6L twin-turbo)
    four-wheel disc with FNC rotors; four-channel ABS
    18-inch, 19-inch and 20-inch
    Wheelbase (in / mm):
    122.4 / 3106
    Length (in / mm):
    204 / 5184
    Width (in / mm):
    74 / 1879
    Height (in / mm):
    57.9 / 1472
    Est. curb weight (lb / kg):
    less than 3700 / 170

    William Maley

    GMC Gives the Terrain A Bit of A Refresh

    Since the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in February, we knew that it wouldn't be too long before GMC would roll out a refreshed Terrain. Well at New York, the automaker will be showing off the 2016 Terrain family.
    Like the Equinox, the Terrain keeps its basic shape. But key items such as the front and rear fascia, grille, and wheels are slightly changed. Inside gets a new center stack, along with new cloth and leather choices for each trim level. The blind zone alert and rear cross traffic alerts which was available on the Denali model is now optional on the SLE and SLT trims.
    Powertrains for the Terrain are the same as the outgoing model. The base engine is 2.4L EcoTec four-cylinder, while a 3.6L V6 with 301 horsepower is optional.
    The 2016 GMC Terrain hits dealers in the fall.
    Source: GMC

    Press Release is on Page 2
    GMC Introduces 2016 Terrain
    New appearance, features build on success in growing compact SUV segment

    NEW YORK – Distinguished by a new, more contemporary front-end appearance, the 2016 GMC Terrain and Terrain Denali were introduced today, ahead of their public debut at the New York International Auto Show.
    The 2016 Terrain lineup features new front and rear fascias, new grille designs, a power dome hood, light-emitting diode (LED) daytime running lamps and additional updates. Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are offered on SLE and SLT models for the first time.
    “Terrain is a popular choice in the growing compact SUV segment, introducing drivers to GMC’s professional grade design and features,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “The changes for 2016 provide consumers with even more reasons to consider Terrain as it continues to be a smart choice for customers seeking versatility, style and technology.”
    The compact SUV market leapt 17.4 percent in 2014 to account for 15.7 percent of the total U.S. market, overtaking midsize cars for the first time as the auto industry’s largest vehicle segment.
    Terrain had its best year ever in 2014 with 105,016 sales. The momentum continues this year, as Terrain enjoyed its best-ever January and February sales.
    The New York region is the national leader for compact SUV sales, with more than 200,000 retail units sold last year. It is also second-highest selling region for Terrain, behind Detroit.
    The complete list of revisions for the 2016 Terrain lineup includes:
    New front and rear fascias with C-shaped lower chrome trim that accentuates the Terrain’s wide stance
    New, chrome-accented grille designs for SLE, SLT and Denali – including specific tri-segment grille texture on Denali
    New power dome hood design
    New LED daytime running lamps on uplevel models
    New 18-inch aluminum wheel design offered on non-Denali models
    New 19-inch aluminum wheel design offered on Denali
    Revised instrument panel “center stack” with new storage shelf and updated control graphics
    Revised model lineup: SL, SLE (SLE-1 and SLE-2), SLT and Denali
    Premium cloth seat fabric now standard on SL and SLE models
    New Saddle Up leather interior available on SLT
    New Light Titanium/Jet Black interior combination offered on Denali
    Front passenger eight-way power-adjustable seat offered on SLT (previously available only on Denali)
    New, chrome-trimmed transmission shifter
    Available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features on SLE and SLT (previous available only on Denali).
    New White Frost Tricoat and Crimson Red Tintcoat premium exterior colors.

    Bold design tops many customers’ reasons for purchasing the GMC Terrain and the updated 2016 models retain the distinctive proportion that attracts first-time buyers to the brand with a greater focus on precision and attention to detail.
    “The updates for the 2016 Terrain make one of the strongest designs in the compact SUV market even more compelling,” said Helen Emsley, executive director, Global GMC Design. “They create a more contemporized appearance rooted in GMC’s professional grade precision.”
    Terrain at a glance
    The 2016 Terrain seats five, with all-wheel drive offered on SLE, SLT and Denali models. Its interior – with the GM-exclusive MultiFlex sliding rear seat – offers 31.6 cubic feet (894 liters) of cargo space behind the rear seat and 63.9 cubic feet (1,809 liters) with the rear seat folded.
    The standard Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected engine delivers an EPA-estimated 32 mpg on the highway (FWD models). A direct-injected 3.6L V-6 is available and delivers best-in-class 301 horsepower (225 kW) and 272 lb-ft of torque (369 Nm). The V-6 engine also enables a trailering capacity of up to 3,500 pounds (1,588 kg).
    Available GMC IntelliLink offers OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. It provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the car is on and comes with a three-month/3GB data trial (whichever comes first).
    Terrain also offers a programmable power liftgate (standard on Denali, available on SLT), with a memory function that stops the liftgate at a chosen height to help shorter drivers or accommodate low garage heights.
    In addition to available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features, Terrain offers Rear Park Assist, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning as part of comprehensive safety packages.
    Terrain Denali
    The Terrain Denali offers unique exterior and interior appointments, exclusive wheels and design cues to set it apart from competitors. Dual-flow dampers are exclusive to the Terrain Denali’s suspension system, providing a smoother ride and improved handling by controlling suspension dampening across a broader range of driving conditions.
    The 2016 Terrain goes on sale this fall. Pricing will be announced later.

    William Maley

    McLaren Downsizes from a Supercar to a Sportscar with the 570S

    It seems a number of automakers are releasing what they have in store for the New York Auto Show before the show even begins on Wednesday. Case in point is McLaren which has revealed its entrant into the sports car market with the new Sport Series family. The first model in this new family is the 570S.
    Design-wise, the 570S follows in the footsteps of the 650S and P1 in overall profile. The model does have some design cues that it can call its own such as a somewhat different nose design, concave rear window, and fixed rear wing. Overall size is comparable to a Audi R8 or Porsche 911. Inside is very much the same as its big brothers with the 570S digital instrument cluster, seven-inch touchscreen display, and numerous customization options.
    Power comes from a twin-turbo 3.8L V8 with 564 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. This goes through a 7-speed SSG dual-clutch gearbox to the rear wheels. Figures are as followed:
    0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 3.2 seconds
    0-200 km/h (0-124 mph): 9.5 seconds
    Top speed: 204 mph

    How does the 570S pull off these numbers off? It comes down to weight. McLaren quotes a curb weight of 2,895 pounds. The MonoCell II chassis only tips the scales at 176 pounds. Other oily bits of the 570S include fixed anti-roll bars front and rear and adaptive dampers all around, along with staggered wheels - 19 inches up front and 20 inches in the rear - wrapped in Pirelli PZero Corsa tires.
    McLaren hasn't announced when the 570S will go on sale, but did say that other models with varying power levels and bodies would be coming as well.
    Source: McLaren Automotive

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Mar 31, 2015
    McLaren reveals first model in its Sports Series, the 570S Coupé
    Brings McLaren exclusivity as well as pioneering, race-driven technologies to a new segment
    Sports Series joins the Super Series and Ultimate Series to complete the three tier McLaren range being shown together for the first time in New York
    A classic sports car with mid-engine rear-wheel drive layout and carbon fibre structure
    ‘Shrinkwrapped’ design includes elegant flying buttresses to optimise aerodynamics and increase downforce
    M838TE twin turbo V8 engine, featuring 30 percent new components, produces 570PS and 600Nm
    Class leading power-to-weight ratio of 434PS per tonne gives breathtaking performance; 0-100km/h (62mph) in 3.2s; 0-200km/h (124 mph) in 9.5s
    Global premiere at the New York International Auto Show on Stand 704, Level 3 at 14.55EST (19.55GMT), Wednesday 1 April 2015

    McLaren has completed its three tier model strategy with the global reveal of the first in its Sports Series family: the McLaren 570S Coupé. This pure sports car, with driver optimised layout and electrifying performance, shares its DNA with the McLaren Super Series and Ultimate Series that sit above it in the range hierarchy. The Sports Series introduces McLaren race-derived technologies and design values to a new segment and audience.
    Like every McLaren, the performance of the 570S Coupé is breathtaking. It combines, as its names suggests, a power output of 570PS (562bhp) with light weight construction to give a class leading power-to-weight ratio of 434PS per tonne. The 570S accelerates from 0 to 100km/h (62 mph) in 3.2 seconds, while 200 km/h (124 mph) is reached in just 9.5 seconds with the pace not letting up till the car reaches a top speed of 328 km/h (204mph).
    The Coupé is the first bodystyle to be shown in the Sports Series, highlighting the latest evolution of the McLaren design philosophy. The ‘shrinkwrapped’, aerodynamically-optimised form will be seen in public for the first time at the 115th New York International Auto Show. The McLaren design team has created a shape of beauty highlighted by details such as the rear flying buttresses that increase downforce as well as adding grace, and complex door tendons that direct additional air to cool the mid-mounted V8 engine.
    The Sports Series features an evolution of the 3.8-litre V8 twin turbo engine, named M838TE, with 30 percent of components bespoke to the new model. Engineered by McLaren, it produces 570PS (562 bhp) at 7,400 rpm, and 600Nm (443 lb ft) of torque at 5,000-6,500 rpm. Power is delivered through a seven-speed SSG transmission, and transferred to the road through the rear wheels. This power is brought under control with standard-fit carbon ceramic brakes, fitted behind a newly designed range of forged alloy wheel options with P Zero™ Corsa tyres as standard from McLaren technical partner, Pirelli – 225/35/R19 on the front and 285/35/R20 on the rear.
    The unique carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis has been newly designed with more of a focus on day-to-day usability, offering improved ingress and egress from the cabin. It is incredibly strong and stiff yet weighs less than 80kg, offering optimum levels of protection. This lightweight structure, and the use of aluminium body panels, contributes to a dry weight of as low as 1,313kg (2,895lbs), almost 150kg lighter than its closest competitor.
    Minimised weight and a turbocharged engine doesn’t just bring great performance. The 570S also delivers excellent fuel efficiency and emissions for car that is also a member of the 200mph club, with fuel economy of 25.5mpg on the EU combined cycle, and emissions of 258g/km. For the US market, this means exemption from gas guzzler tax.
    The 570S shows an evolution in the design direction for McLaren, with the McLaren ‘face’ seen on models in the Super Series and Ultimate Series sharpened further. This unique and striking appearance has been designed by air, with a bespoke aerodynamic package including aero blades below the front bumper giving a purposeful stance while channelling clean, cold air through the lower leading edge of the bodywork. Large ultra bright LED headlamps, fitted as standard to all Sports Series models, flank a sculpted bonnet which channels airflow over the front wheelarches. The intricately designed dihedral doors, a McLaren design signature since the iconic F1, possess a three dimensional form including a ‘floating’ door tendon which houses a discreet door button. This unique feature divides the airflow, channelling it into the side intakes and underneath the flying buttresses. This architectural structure ensures drag is minimised along the profile of the 570S, while also optimising levels of cooling and downforce.
    Flying buttresses at the rear of the teardrop-shaped glasshouse form part of the aero package, directing air over the shoulderline of the 570S and across the rear deck aiding heat evacuation from the exposed engine bay and increasing downforce. Super-formed aluminium rear fenders ensure clean air is delivered to the fixed rear spoiler, again maximising downforce. The rear of the car is clean and uncluttered, with LED light blade rear lamps which follow the form of the sculpted panels. The rear of the vehicle features an aluminium mesh allowing effective heat evacuation as well as a view into the engine bay. This sits below a concave rear window, another signature Sports Series Coupé design cue. The twin exhausts exit below the rear bumper, either side of a newly designed and highly intricate rear diffuser.
    The Sports Series has its own newly-developed suspension system ensuring enhanced levels of driver engagement and refinement on both road and track. It uses independent adaptive dampers with front and rear anti-rollbars – distinct from the Super Series – and dual wishbones, with the set up controlled by the familiar ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Track’ handling settings. In ‘Normal’ mode, the system provides a refined yet engaging ride, while the ‘Sport’ and ‘Track’ settings allow the 570S to become more track-focused when required.
    Like every McLaren the cabin of the 570S has been designed around the driver, with a clear focus on engagement, visibility, functionality and more than any McLaren before it, day-to-day usability and space. As standard, the sports seats are leather upholstered – racing seats are optional – offering a high level of long distance comfort and support. The dashboard and steering wheel are also all leather trimmed. Intelligent and ergonomic design within the cabin provides extended stowage space, with the most usable space of any McLaren model to date. This adds to the 150 litres of storage in the front luggage bay.
    The 570S is comprehensively equipped with a full infotainment system including an all new TFT digital instrument cluster that changes configuration according to driving mode, a seven-inch IRIS touchscreen, now with integrated climate control functionality, Bluetooth connectivity and DAB digital / SIRIUS satellite radio (depending on market), mounted on a ‘floating’ centre console. Despite the extensive specification list, weight-saving is still a key focus on the interior and the McLaren Audio four-speaker system ensures the optimal sound quality at the lowest possible weight.
    With the Sports Series, an even greater variety of interior customisation is available with a variety of factory available Alcantara®, nappa leather and carbon fibre options. In addition, McLaren designers have created a range of ‘By McLaren’ bespoke interior specifications, similar to those also available on the 675LT, teaming carefully selected colours and materials designed to best showcase the stylish cabin space and co-ordinate with each exterior paint colour. In addition to this, a McLaren Audio Plus 8-Speaker Upgrade System and bespoke Bowers & Wilkins 12-Speaker Premium Audio System with 1280W surround sound upgrade is also available for the ultimate audio experience.
    Further details of the McLaren 570S will be confirmed following the global reveal, which will take place on Wednesday 1 April, 2015 at the New York International Auto Show. The McLaren Automotive press conference will start at 14.55 EST (19.55 GMT) on Stand 704, Level 3.

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