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    William Maley

    Lincoln Brings Back An Old Nameplate for a Concept

    Bringing back an iconic name plate is a tough thing to pull off. But Lincoln believes they can do it. Before the official start of the New York Auto Show on Wednesday, the luxury automaker pulled the sheets off the Continental Concept. Lincoln says this concept previews a new full-size luxury sedan that will go on sale in North America and China next year.
    The overall look of the Continental Concept oddly reminds us of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur. The front end does away with the split wing grille that is common on current Lincoln models and replaces it with a new chrome centerpiece and glowing Lincoln emblem. On either side of the centerpiece are a set LED matrix headlamps, with laser-assist high-beams. Along the side are a set of 21-inch wheels and "E-Latch" handles that are discretely placed into the Continental's beltine. The back is wide and low, with a set of slim taillights and new exhaust tips.
    Inside is a treat for the eyes with a fair bit of chrome trim, seats upholstered in Venetian leather and Alcantara; a satin headliner, and wool carpet. Front seat passengers get 30-way adjustments and adjustable bolsters to have the seat fit them perfectly. Back seat passengers get a wrath of luxuries such as a two-seat layout, tray tables, a champagne storage compartment, and handmade Venetian leather travel cases.
    Lincoln says the concept is powered by a 3.0L EcoBoost V6, though power specs weren't released at this time. We also don't know if power is being sent to the front, rear, or all four wheels.
    Source: Lincoln


    Press Release is on Page 2
    LINCOLN CONTINENTAL CONCEPT SHOWS THE FUTURE OF QUIET LUXURY AND UPCOMING FULL-SIZE SEDAN
    Elegant, effortlessly powerful and serene, the Lincoln Continental Concept signals the brand’s all-new full-size sedan coming next year and the future of quiet luxury
    Lincoln Continental Concept integrates technologies designed to create better drivers, rejuvenate and entertain passengers, including all-new, Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-liter EcoBoost® engine, patented 30-way seats and premium Revel audio system
    New Continental Concept introduces E-Latch door handles, LED matrix headlamps with laser-assist high beams and SPD SmartGlass® tinting sunroof
    NEW YORK, March 30, 2015 –Lincoln today introduces the Continental Concept, signaling an all-new full-size sedan coming next year and the future of quiet luxury.

    Elegant, effortlessly powerful and serene, the Continental Concept blends meticulous craftsmanship and technologies designed to create better drivers and provide passengers with a more relaxing and entertaining environment inspired by first-class travel.
    “Luxury at its best is about simplifying and quietly exceeding expectations, rather than being the loudest statement on the road,” said Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company president and CEO. “The Continental Concept showcases the promise of quiet luxury from Lincoln going forward. It also is a strong indication of what’s to come next year as we introduce our new Lincoln Continental full-size luxury sedan.”
    With a sleek silhouette and a new centered chrome grille, the Continental Concept signals the arrival of a new face for Lincoln. A raised Lincoln badge is surrounded by a span of repeating polished aluminum Lincoln Star emblems.
    E-Latch door handles tuck discreetly in the clean vehicle beltline. The door handle technology also provides for elegant entry. The doors open effortlessly with the touch of a button positioned on the underside of the door handle wings and close quietly.
    “Some brands talk about ‘the machine,’ ” said Kumar Galhotra, Lincoln president. “Lincoln is different. For us, it is about more than the machine. It is about what our vehicles do for our clients.”
    New technology is a hallmark of the vehicle. It starts with the vehicle sensing your approach and lighting up to greet you inside and out.
    Outside, signature full-width tail lamps feature advanced light-through-chrome technology. Powerful LED matrix head lamps with laser-assist high beams reduce glare and improve visibility.
    Rhapsody Blue metallic paint calls back Lincoln Continental’s signature color.
    Inside are the brand’s most sensual materials ever, including Venetian leather seat and door panels, Alcantara® seat inserts and armrests, satin headliner and shearling wool carpet. Rose Gold trim around the instrument cluster provides warmth. Bright chrome trim on the instrument panel adds contrast.
    Ambient lighting enhances the interior, creating a serene environment. Soft-gold LED lights glow from the center console and from the halo light overhead.
    Patented 30-way Lincoln-designed seats use a new-to-market design that conforms to passengers’ sizes and shapes. The passenger-side rear seat can fully recline by moving the front passenger seat forward with the touch of a button.
    From a panel mounted on the through-center console, rear passengers also can control climate settings and the Revel Ultima audio system, which allows passengers to select from three surround-sound modes: Stereo, Audience and On-Stage.
    Rear-seat comfort is further highlighted by an SPD SmartGlass® tinting sunroof, which allows passengers to control heat from direct sunlight. With the touch of a button, the glass can cool the vehicle interior by as much as 18 degrees Fahrenheit, while blocking 99 percent of UV rays.
    Rear-seat passengers also enjoy the convenience of a tablet-supporting lap tray that deploys from the through-center console. It also features a champagne storage compartment. Detachable, hand-crafted Venetian leather travel cases are mounted to the backside of the front seats.
    Under the skin, the Continental Concept is powered by a Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-liter V6 EcoBoost® engine. It also features Lincoln Drive Control ride-enhancing technologies and Adaptive Steering. The car rides on polished-aluminum, painted-pocket 21-inch wheels.
    Driver assist technologies include Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Enhanced Park Assist and a 360-degree camera that displays on the MyLincoln Touch™ screen.
    “The Lincoln Continental name is associated with iconic beauty and elegance,” said David Woodhouse, Lincoln design director. “Capturing those qualities and building upon them drove us as we crafted this thoroughly modern sedan concept.”
    The Lincoln Continental Concept is at the New York International Auto Show, which opens Wednesday for members of the news media.

    William Maley

    Mercedes renames the ML-Class to the GLE-Class with the latest refresh.

    Mercedes-Benz is saying 'good night sweet prince' to the ML nameplate that has been a part of its midsize SUV since it was first-introduced in the late-nineties. Taking its place will be the GLE name which is part of Mercedes' name-change to their SUV/Crossover lineup. So what better way to introduce a new name than with revised model. Next week at the 2015 New York Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz will just do that.
    The standard GLE-Class takes some ideas from the GLE Coupe we saw in Detroit such as a new front end design with either a two-bar grille for standard models or a single-bar for the AMG model, along with a new bumper, headlights, and hood. Around back are a set of new taillights and bumper with rear exhaust tips. Inside is a carbon copy of the GLE Coupe with a new steering wheel and infotainment system with a screen mounted on top of the dash.
    As for powertrain choice, the GLE-Class will have a wide range of engines.
    GLE300d 4MATIC: 2.1L Turbodiesel-Four - 201 horsepower and 369 pound-feet
    GLE350 and GLE350 4MATIC: 3.5L V6 - 305 horsepower and 273 pound-feet

    GLE400 4MATIC: 3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 - 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet

    GLE500e 4MATIC: (Plug-In Hybrid Setup) 3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 and electric motor - 436 horsepower and 479 pound-feet

    GLE63 4MATIC: 5.5L Twin-Turbo V8 - 550 horsepower and 516 pound-feet

    GLE63 S 4MATIC: 5.5L Twin-Turbo V8 - 577 horsepower and 561 pound-feet

    All models except the AMG variants use the 7G-tronic gearbox. AMG models get a Speedshift MCT seven-speed transmission. The GLE350 will be the only the only model be available with rear-wheel or 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
    Mercedes-Benz is keeping quiet on pricing for the GLE-Class, but does say most of the lineup will be at dealers this August. The GLE500e will arrive a month later.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz

    Press Release is on Page 2
    WORLD PREMIERE FOR THE MERCEDES-BENZ GLE AND MERCEDES-AMG GLE63
    Efficiency meets performance

    March 25, 2015 - Stuttgart: Mercedes-Benz has thoroughly revised its best-seller in the SUV segment. The highlights of the new GLE include considerably more appealing front and tail ends and extensive measures which make new benchmarks with regard to emissions and drive system possible. For the first time in its SUV history, Mercedes-Benz offers a plug-in hybrid model, the GLE550e 4MATIC, which combines maximum efficiency with outstanding performance. This multi-talent will even best the already low fuel consumption figures of the efficiency champion GLE300d with four-cylinder diesel engine, while delivering the performance of a V8 model. The advantages of the new GLE furthermore include best on-road and off-road handling, outstanding spaciousness and high levels of active and passive safety. The high-performance SUV models, the Mercedes-AMG GLE63 4MATIC and the GLE63 S 4MATIC, celebrate their world premieres at the same time at the New York International Auto Show.
    "State-of-the-art and efficient drive technology, combined with superior ride quality and the versatility and robustness typical for SUVs - the new GLE has all the ingredients to continue the success story of our best-seller," is how Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars, characterizes the newest member of the Mercedes-Benz SUV family. Outstanding safety and a high level of driving dynamics both on the road and in terrain are among the other strengths of the premium SUV. Furthermore, the GLE impresses with ground-breaking assistance systems and the innovative DYNAMIC SELECT dynamic handling control system, which offers extensive drive and off-road programs for even the base model.
    The unmistakable design with the hallmark C-pillar and the variable interior with the wellness factor of a luxurious sedan model enrich the Mercedes-Benz GLE experience additionally. "Often copied, rarely equalled - the M-Class established the segment of premium SUVs in 1997 and since then has been one of the most successful models in the world. With the launch of the GLE, the edition will surpass the 1.6 million mark," Kaellenius went on to say. And Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, added: "With the new GLE63 and seven additional performance SUV models from the GLA45 AMG to the G65 AMG, Mercedes-AMG is in an extremely strong and very confident position. All three generations of the predecessors were highly popular. We offer the right performance automobile for every individual taste in the further growing SUV segment."
    Diesel and hybrid drive: efficiency meets the joy of driving
    In addition to the appealing design, the variable driving experience thanks to DYNAMIC SELECT and the assistance systems familiar from the E- and S-Class, the GLE impresses with an extensive engine line-up. Five equally efficient and powerful powertrain options with four, six or eight cylinders are available to choose from.
    The special focus:
    The (201-hp) four-cylinder diesel model GLE300d offers superior performance with an all-time low fuel consumption for this class of vehicles. It is the world's first production full-size SUV with conventional drive that under the European cycle emits just 140 g of CO2/km (5.4 l/100 km).
    No less impressive is the first Mercedes-Benz SUV with plug-in hybrid technology. A system output of 436 hp in the GLE550e 4MATIC guarantees brilliant performance - with European cycle CO2 emissions of just 78 g/km (3.3 l/100 km). With a power consumption of 16.7 kWh/100 km, the GLE 500 e 4MATIC is the benchmark in this market segment. In addition, the hybrid model is capable of up to 30 km (18.6 mi) of all-electric driving.

    GLE550e 4MATIC: plug-in hybrid technology meets a luxury SUV
    The new GLE550e 4MATIC with plug-in hybrid drive combines the power and refinement of a V8 engine with the fuel consumption of a three-liter car and the versatility of a premium SUV. The drive system components comprise a V6 direct-injection gasoline engine with 329 hp and a hybrid module with 114 hp of electric power. The system peak torque is a massive 479 lbs-ft. In addition to impressive acceleration thanks to the boost function, the innovative system drive also offers all-electric driving at speeds up to 81 mph, optimized energy recovery thanks to the intelligent operating strategy and comfort functions such as pre-entry climate control in summer and winter.
    A selector switch on the center console and the instrument cluster offer the driver a choice between four specific operating modes:
    HYBRID: the system controls automatically select the most sensible operating mode with combustion engine and/or electric motor for optimising the overall energy balance
    E-MODE: all-electric driving
    E-SAVE: this mode preserves the current state of charge of the battery to be able to drive on all-electric power at a later time, for example in urban traffic
    CHARGE: battery is charged while driving and when the vehicle is stationary

    The compact hybrid module is fully integrated into the seven-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. The electrical energy is stored in a lithium-ion battery with an energy content of 8.8 kWh, which can be recharged using public charging stations, the wallbox charger at home or on a conventional 220 volt power outlet. The charging time using the wallbox charger or the charging station is around two hours.
    Intelligent drive system management
    The best strategy for efficient driving has always been anticipatory driving without unnecessary braking and accelerating. This is even more important in a hybrid model: because braking maneuvers serve not only to deliver deceleration, but are also used to recover kinetic energy. The route or the traffic also has influence on the most efficient charging and discharging of the high-voltage battery. For this reason the intelligent drive system management aids the driver with specific control strategies in adopting the most efficient driving style.
    State-of-the-art BlueDIRECT V6 and V8 petrol engines
    The GLE400 4MATIC is powered by a direct-injection twin-turbo V6 engine with spray-guided combustion, new piezo injectors and MSI multi-spark ignition. This engine produces an output of 329 hp and 354 lbs-ft of torque from 1400 rpm and makes do on 8.8 l/100 km or 209 g CO2/km (NEDC combined) on the European cycle.
    Powerful clean diesel engine
    With the start of the new GLE generation, the diesel model will be equipped with the optionally available off-road reduction gear and inter-axle differential lock. The transmission is fitted with a new type of torque converter with a high efficiency of 92 percent and a wide spread of 9.15 across the nine speeds. Both contribute to the high energy efficiency of the GLE models. A double turbine torsional damper with centrifugal pendulum and the torque converter lock-up clutch with return spring ensure the extremely refined operation typical of the brand. Depending on the mode selected for the DYNAMIC SELECT variable dynamic handling control system, the 7G-TRONIC impresses with great agility and responsiveness or poised composure.
    Workout for the best-seller: Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 and GLE 63 S
    The new Mercedes-AMG GLE63 4MATIC is now stronger and more appealing than ever with an expanded model line-up and even more power. Following the introduction of the new naming logic, the successor of the successful Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG is now called the Mercedes-AMG GLE63. The AMG 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 engine is even more powerful than before: in addition to the basic variant developing 550 hp, there is also the highly sporty S-Model to choose from which is rated at 577 hp. The chassis was completely revised to deliver even better driving dynamics and agility. The throttle response of the engine and the shift times of the transmission are now on a new, even sportier level and thereby underscore the hallmark AMG Driving Performance. With the characteristic AMG family face featuring "A-wing” and twin-blade radiator grille, the power SUV also has a more dynamic appearance than before
    DYNAMIC SELECT combined with off-road drive programs
    The DYNAMIC SELECT dynamic handling control system of the new GLE offers up to six drive programs. In addition to the established settings INDIVIDUAL, COMFORT, SLIPPERY and SPORT, in the 4MATIC models the driver can choose the additional OFFROAD setting for mild terrain with the DYNAMIC SELECT controller on the centre console. If the GLE model is equipped with the optional Off-Road Engineering package, the OFFROAD+ setting is available. In this setting, the off-road reduction gear and a 100% inter-axle differential lock come into play to generate high traction even in challenging terrain. This is further boosted by the expanded functions of the optional AIRMATIC air suspension with raised ride heights for a ground clearance of up to 11 inches and a fording depth of 23 inches. The reinforced underfloor panelling of this equipment variant protects important components against not so gentle contact with the ground.
    The selection of the individual drive programs effects the DYNAMIC SELECT variable dynamic handling control system to activate entirely different characteristics. The system networks all the control systems, generating different sets of parameters for distinct driving experiences. The names speak for themselves: SPORT turns the GLE into a sporty and dynamic vehicle with strong linear and lateral dynamics. COMFORT is the opposite end of the spectrum. Here the emphasis is on the feel-good parameters so typical of classic Mercedes-Benz saloon cars, for relaxed, effortless cruising with the greatest possible energy efficiency. SLIPPERY optimises the handling on surfaces with low friction coefficients such as snow or ice. And special off-road algorithms for ABS, 4ETS or ESP boost traction in the OFFROAD settings. In addition, INDIVIDUAL mode enables the driver to programme and store personal preferences in the individual control strategies, regardless of the engine variant.
    All DYNAMIC SELECT programs are visualized on the central media display. Especially impressive are the off-road animations: various parameters such as slope angle, tilt angle, steering angle or heading are displayed dynamically in real time.
    Superior high everyday practicality and perfect traction, sports-car agility and spontaneous throttle response – the new Mercedes-AMG GLE63 guarantees its driver an exclusive driving experience without parallel. DYNAMIC SELECT is a major factor in this as well: the drive programs provide even more variety in the area of driving dynamics. The additional SPORT+ setting offers the driver tailor-made characteristics for particularly sporty driving dynamics. Throttle response, gear-change strategy, ESP® thresholds, steering power assist or the characteristic of the continuous damper adjustment exclusive to AMG: the system networks all the control systems, generating a wide variety of distinct driving experiences.
    Mercedes-AMG uses a special transfer case for the AMG Performance 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive in the GLE63 and GLE63 S. This exclusive solution splits the torque at a ratio of 40:60 between the front and rear axles, resulting in greater agility about the vertical axis of the vehicle. The pay-off for the driver: even more dynamic cornering.
    Stable combination for all M-B GLE models: optional AIRMATIC ADS and optional ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM (ACS is standard on AMG models)
    In addition to the ground-breaking powertrain configuration, the retuned AIRMATIC air suspension with ADS variable damping system guarantees extremely stable driving. The damping system changes its priorities depending on the preselected DYNAMIC SELECT mode. SPORT focuses on the greatest possible lateral dynamics with the best possible ride quality. Conversely, COMFORT mode enables maximum ride quality with the best possible dynamics. The current handling conditions are detected via a steering angle sensor, four rotation sensors, the driving speed from the ESP® signal and the brake pedal switch. The control unit uses these signals for continuous adjustment of the current damping force for each individual wheel.
    The optional ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM roll stabilization system can be combined with the optional AIRMATIC package with air suspension and ADS or with the Off-Road Engineering package. The system uses active anti-roll bars on the front and rear axle and compensates the roll angle of the body during cornering. This enhances agility and driving fun. At the same time, the system provides increased handling stability and therefore safety, especially at higher speeds. Better driving comfort both when cornering and on straights as well as expanded off-road capabilities are also part of the advantages of the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM.
    All models with four- and six-cylinder engines are equipped with the AGILITY CONTROL steel suspension as standard. The AIRMATIC package with ADS is optionally available for these versions. An electro-mechanical Direct-Steer system is standard on all models.
    The AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with AIRMATIC package comprises more than just the air suspension with automatic level control. The new GLE 63 is also fitted with special struts, which were refined with ADS Plus continuously variable dampers, a solution exclusive to AMG. The ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM roll stabilisation system is part of the standard equipment in this model.
    The towing capacity of the GLE is up to 7700 lbs on non-diesel models.
    High protective potential through comprehensive safety
    As is already a tradition, the new GLE impresses with outstanding active and passive safety. The models regularly score highest marks in the international crash ratings. With its high protective potential, the GLE also creates the best conditions for passing future tests with the highest rating. The comprehensive safety concept follows the brand's hallmark strategy and comprises four areas:
    Safe driving: avoid dangers, provide timely warnings, and aid the driver with extensive assistance systems
    In the event of danger: prevent and activate protective measures preventively (PreSAFE®)
    In the event of an accident: provide tailor-made protection with a highly stable passenger cell, defined deformation zones and restraint systems such as airbags or belt tensioners
    After an accident: prevent the worst and make swift assistance possible

    Modern times: new design with classic style elements
    Even at first glance, the new GLE blends tradition and modernity. Classic SUV elements meet modern Mercedes-Benz design and form a convincing whole. On one hand, the confident appearance of the GLE is enhanced with the typical stylistic features of all generations: the characteristic C-pillar and the harmoniously integrated rear side window have been an integral part since this model series started in 1997. At the same time, elements of the modern Mercedes-Benz design idiom catch the eye. Radiator grille, bumpers, headlamps, wings and the hood with its two power domes follow the current sensuous and clear design idiom of Mercedes-Benz. Especially the harmonious, organic transition of the two radiator louvres to the central Mercedes star is convincing. New headlamps with the daytime driving lights forming the brand's hallmark eyebrows and the current lamp layout - optionally as LED Intelligent Light-System - blend harmoniously with the front end. The new wings with their arched wheel wells lend the entire front end more harmony and presence.
    The tail end of the GLE was likewise matched to the current design idiom and updated cautiously. New LED tail lamps now glow in the brand's hallmark night design. Also striking are the redesigned tailpipe embellishers firmly integrated in to the lower section of the bumper. Front and rear bumper furthermore are fitted with the likewise characteristic three-dimensional chrome-look underride guard. New light-alloy wheels boost the superior appearance of the new GLE.
    Mercedes-AMG GLE63 and GLE63 S: powerful sportiness with "A-wing"
    Performance and perfection revealed: the design of the new Mercedes-AMG GLE63 inspires with exclusivity, powerful sportiness and dominance. It underscores the progressiveness of the AMG brand and transports the impressive motor sport history. From now on, the new GLE63 also sports the distinctive "A-wing" in the front bumper, which is characteristic for the AMG design philosophy. The design of the radiator grille with the silver chrome double louvre, the integrated AMG lettering and the central Mercedes star are distinguishing features of current AMG Performance automobiles.
    The performance SUV also impresses with dominance when viewed from the side. Wheel arch flares in vehicle colour provide space for the large wheels. As standard, tires of size 265/45 R 20 are mounted on 9J x 20 AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels painted titanium grey with high-sheen finish. Optionally the GLE63 can be upgraded in terms of looks and driving dynamics with tires of size 295/35 R 21.
    The black diffuser insert in the rear bumper with black trim strip in the shape of the front "A-wing” represents typical motor racing design. The special exhaust system with two chrome-plated dual tailpipe embellishers and "AMG" lettering underscores the sportiness and exclusivity.
    Detail work for an even more harmonious interior*
    In the interior the larger media display stands out, which is now partially integrated into the instrument panel. The centre air vents next to the display and the outer air vents are framed by classy silver shadow surrounds. In combination with the black high-gloss surround this emphasises the sophisticated design of the interior. The centre console houses the COMAND controller with the touchpad fitted above in an optimal ergonomic position.
    New colors make the interior even more attractive and lend it the feel-good atmosphere that is typical of the brand. The choices now also include ginger beige, espresso brown, saddle brown or porcelain, which in combination with black interior elements create an interesting contrast. In addition to the standard aluminium with light-coloured longitudinal grain, the large trim elements are also available in a version featuring a particularly classy black piano lacquer or various types of wood: open-pore brown ash wood or the glossy wood types brown eucalyptus, black poplar or brown burred walnut. And especially sporty minded customers can choose high-quality AMG carbon-fibre trim.
    Complete standard equipment, attractive equipment packages*
    The extensive range of standard equipment of the new GLE is based on the predecessor model, enhanced with new assistance systems such as Crosswind Assist and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS. ECO start/stop function, the DYNAMIC SELECT controller on the centre console, the revised multifunction steering wheel as well as the Audio 20 CD infotainment system with 7-inch display and communications module for the use of Mercedes connect me services are also part of the standard delivery scope.
    This high equipment level can be upgraded further with attractive equipment packages. The Driving Assistance package Plus includes DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot, PRE-SAFE® Brake with pedestrian protection, BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and PRE-SAFE® PLUS. With the Comfort package, the equipment is enhanced with the automatic EASY-PACK liftgate, the soft and automatic power closing of all doors and a reversing camera. The Parking package with 360° camera and Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC guarantees an excellent overview and problem-free manoeuvring into and out of parking spaces. Night-time vision is improved by the LED Intelligent Light System which is available for all models; adverse weather conditions resulting in impaired visibility are defused by MAGIC VISION CONTROL, the heated adaptive windscreen wiper system with purposeful water distribution.
    Freely combinable packages lend the GLE additional appeal. With the AMG Line exterior, the GLE has an even more dynamic and athletic appearance. The package comprises, among other things, special front and rear bumpers in the distinctive AMG styling and 50.8-cm (20-inch) AMG light-alloy wheels. Those who like things even more exclusive can combine this feature with the Night package, which features a high-gloss black radiator grille louvre and exterior mirror housings, for example. The line-up of options is rounded out by high-sheen black 50.8-cm (20-inch) AMG light-alloy wheels.
    The AMG Line interior transfers the sporty appearance to the interior with sports seats with MB-Tex man-made leather upholstery (optional nappa leather), a black nappa leather multifunction sports steering wheel, an instrument cluster with distinct dial in chequered-flag design and brushed stainless-steel sports pedals with rubber studs.
    As an option, the latest generation of COMAND Online offers perfect infotainment with a 20.3-cm (8-inch) display and intuitive touchpad. The system comprises, among other things, a DVD player and traffic sign recognition including wrong-way warning function. Customers can supplement COMAND Online optionally with a 6-disc DVD changer, the Rear-Seat Entertainment System with remote control or a TV receiver. Also available are sound systems from Harman Kardon or Bang & Olufsen to elevate the music experience to the level of a concert hall.
    Vehicle functions that can be controlled remotely or traffic information in real time - Mercedes CONNECT ME makes personal mobility easier and more convenient: from the basic services for safety and security and LIVE TRAFFIC information in real time to the in part fee-based Remote Online services, the desired data can be exchanged via the mobile phone network and via an internet connection.
    Even more exclusive: design and equipment of the Mercedes-AMG GLE63
    In the interior the new GLE63 demonstrates what constitutes a true AMG Performance automobile. Exquisite materials, first-class workmanship and maximum precision create a unique driving experience. Design and equipment underscore the exclusive high-end positioning.
    Aluminium trim with longitudinal grain in the black MB-Tex man-made leather instrument panel set attractive highlights. Perforated nappa leather sports seats with special upholstery layout and topstitching as well as AMG badges make for an exclusive look and feel. Thanks to their specific upholstery with greater contouring and higher side bolsters at the front, the sports seats offer excellent lateral support. The fitting complement is the 3-spoke AMG Performance steering wheel with flat bottom and silver paddle shifters with "UP" and "DOWN" lettering.
    Two tube-shaped round dials with silver chrome surrounds and the central 11.4-cm (4.4-inch) multifunction display provide the driver with comprehensive information. The typical AMG equipment scope includes sporty dials in carbon-fiber appearance with a 200 mph speedometer scale, AMG lettering and red pointers, as well as the main menu including RACETIMER, manual gear indicator and AMG start-up screen. The top-of-the-line Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S model offers nappa leather exclusive AMG upholstery in addition - a highlight both in terms of looks and touch and feel.
    "G" to the fore: the new SUV nomenclature
    Mercedes-Benz has rearranged its successful SUV model range. The multifunctional all-rounders now always carry a G in their name as a reminiscence to the legendary G-Class. The name in each case is an acronym of three letters. The G is always followed by an L, the third letter facilitates orientation in the SUV line-up based on the passenger car model range of Mercedes-Benz. In detail, this new naming scheme results in the following nomenclature for the SUV and off-roader range in which only the legendary G-Class on account of its unchanged model designation signals its special position as the forefather of all modern SUVs and off-roaders:
    GLA SUV in the A-Class segment
    GLC SUV in the C-Class segment; formerly GLK
    GLE SUV in the E-Class segment; formerly M-Class
    GLE Coupé SUV in the E-Class Coupe segment
    GLS SUV in the S-Class segment; formerly GL
    G unchanged

    The names of the AMG model series are also adapted accordingly:
    Mercedes-AMG GLA45 4MATIC
    Mercedes-AMG GLE63 / GLE63 S 4MATIC
    Mercedes-AMG GLE63 / GLE63 S Coupé 4MATIC
    Mercedes-AMG GLS63 / GLS63 S 4MATIC
    Mercedes-AMG G63 / G65


    William Maley

    Hybrid Power comes to the RAV4

    Another hybrid model is joining the Toyota family.
    The automaker announced today that it would be revealing a hybrid version of the RAV4 at the 2015 New York Auto Show next week. No other information was provided except that it would be shown on April 2nd.
    Our best guess to what the RAV4 Hybrid will be is something akin to the Camry Hybrid with the 2.5L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with an electric motor, providing a total output of 200 horsepower.
    Source: Toyota

    William Maley

    Ford Focus RS Makes the Crossing for New York

    Since Ford made the announcement of the Focus RS and that it would be arriving in the U.S., we've been hungry for more details. Well Ford has dropped a few more bits as it announced that the Focus RS will make its North American debut at the New York Auto Show next week.
    There aren't really big differences between the North American-spec Focus RS to the Focus RS that will be sold in Europe. Power will come a turbocharged 2.3L four-cylinder producing at least 315 horsepower (expect more concrete performance numbers when we get closer to launch) and come paired with a six-speed manual and all-wheel drive combo. There will also be four different drive modes: Normal, Sport, Track, and Drift. As the name suggests, Drift will modify the torque distribution of the all-wheel drive to allow the vehicle to oversteer.
    Now for some bad news; While the Focus RS will appear at the New York Auto Show this year, you'll have to wait until next year to get your hands on one.
    Source: Ford
    Press Release is on Page 2

    William Maley

    Chevrolet Readies A New Malibu Hybrid, Complete With Some Tech from the Volt

    To say Chevrolet's previous attempts at doing a hybrid model of the Malibu have been lackluster, is an understatement. The past two attempts really didn't see a big increase in fuel economy and were not big sellers. Well Chevrolet hopes to change that as they have previewed the next Malibu Hybrid which the brand says will have better than 45 MPG combined.
    The next-generation Malibu Hybrid features an all-new, direct-injected 1.8L four-cylinder paired with a slightly modified two-motor drive unit from the Volt to produce a total output of 182 horsepower. An 80-cell 1.5 kWh battery pack provides the juice for the motors and plays a role in getting the Malibu Hybrid up to 55 MPH on electric power alone.
    The Malibu Hybrid will also boast Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery (EGHR) technology. EGHR uses the heat from the exhaust gas to warm up the engine and interior.
    “The 2016 Malibu Hybrid will offer impressive fuel economy, exceptional driving characteristics and gorgeous styling. Besides leveraging innovation from the Chevrolet Volt, the Malibu Hybrid also has unique features that help improve aerodynamics, like upper and lower grille air shutters to improve airflow and a reduced ride height, all of which help reduce fuel consumption,” said Jesse Ortega, chief engineer for the Chevrolet Malibu.
    Chevrolet says the new Malibu Hybrid will go on sale next spring.
    Source: Chevrolet

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Derives Technology from Volt
    GM estimates combined fuel economy ratings to exceed 45 mpg

    DETROIT – Chevrolet’s recent production announcement of its all-electric vehicle based on the Bolt EV concept, as well as the introduction of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, will be joined by a strong hybrid version of the next-generation Malibu.
    Using technology from the 2016 Chevrolet Volt propulsion system, Malibu Hybrid will offer an estimated combined fuel economy rating exceeding 45 mpg, higher than the combined mileage ratings of the Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry and Hyundai Sonata hybrid variants.
    “The 2016 Malibu Hybrid will offer impressive fuel economy, exceptional driving characteristics and gorgeous styling,” said Jesse Ortega, Chevrolet Malibu chief engineer.
    “Besides leveraging innovation from the Chevrolet Volt, the Malibu Hybrid also has unique features that help improve aerodynamics, like upper and lower grille air shutters to improve airflow and a reduced ride height, all of which help reduce fuel consumption,” Ortega said.
    An all-new direct-injection 1.8L 4-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 assures 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. The advanced lithium-ion based chemistry can power the Malibu hybrid at up to 55 miles per hour on electricity alone. The gasoline-powered engine will automatically come on at higher speeds and high loads when necessary to provide additional power.
    Malibu Hybrid also shares power electronics from the 2016 Volt and a blended regenerative braking system, which provides maximum kinetic energy recovery during braking to be stored into the battery system to help maintain charge.
    The Malibu Hybrid will be manufactured in Kansas City, Kansas, at the Fairfax Assembly plant from globally sourced parts. It is due in Chevrolet dealer showrooms in spring 2016.

    William Maley

    Jaguar Reveals the XF on A High Wire Act

    We have to admit Jaguar pulled off quite the stunt with the 2016 XF. Driving across London's Canary Wharf on two 784-foot long wires is no small feat, but it highlights some of the big changes made to second-generation model which Jaguar has divulged today.
    First off is the XF's body. Jaguar says the body is now 75 percent aluminum which means a drop of 132 pounds on the rear-drive model and 265 pounds on the all-wheel drive model. Aside from the obvious improvements to performance and fuel economy, Jaguar also promises an increase torsional stiffness and weight-distribution.
    When Jaguar released teaser shots of the XF last week, we couldn't make any headway on the exterior aside from saying that it looked similar to the current model. Well it seems that hunch was right on the money. Jaguar's design team left the basic shape the same and made minor changes with a wider grille, slimmer headlights, new taillights, and slightly smaller length (about 0.3 inches).
    Inside is very much XE with both models sharing a similar dashboard layout and the availability of either of a 8 or 10.2 inch screen with the automaker's new InTouch infotainment system. No matter which screen you have, it will be paired with a 12.3 inch screen in the instrument cluster and an increase of interior space.
    Jaguar is still keeping a fair bit of information under wraps but did reveal that it will have the choice of two supercharged 3.0L V6s with 340 and 380 horsepower. Rear-wheel drive will be standard, with all-wheel drive - a new torque on-demand design, with a chain-drive transfer case instead of gear-drive - as an option. An eight-speed automatic comes as standard.
    Jaguar says the XF will go sale this fall.
    We'll have more information and live shots when the XF makes it debut at the New York Auto Show next week.
    Source: Jaguar



    Press Release is on Page 2
    All-New 2016 Jaguar XF Revealed in Dramatic 'High-Wire' Journey
    Official global reveal of the all-new 2016 Jaguar XF marked by a three minute, 787ft 'high wire' journey across London's Canary Wharf
    Second generation XF redesigned to deliver better proportions, more interior space and a coupe-like profile
    New aluminum-intensive architecture contributes to a weight savings of 132lbs on RWD models and 265lbs on AWD models
    With the redesign of the XF, the entire Jaguar line-up now features aluminum-intensive construction
    Elegant, progressive design provides additional rear head room, knee room, and leg room
    Launching with a 340hp supercharged V6, as well as a 380hp supercharged V6
    All-new Jaguar InControl® Touch Pro™ infotainment system available with 10.2-inch touchscreen and reconfigurable 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster
    All-new full LED headlights available
    Front Double-wishbone and Rear Integral Link suspension deliver exceptional ride comfort, handling and refinement
    Torque on-demand all-wheel drive system (AWD) with Intelligent Driveline Dynamics available
    All-new XF to make a public display debut in NYC ahead of its auto show debut on March 31-April 1 at iconic Flatiron location
    Full technical and range specifications will be released on April 1
    On sale Fall 2015

    (MAHWAH, NJ) - March 24, 2015 - The all-new 2016 Jaguar XF has been revealed through a dramatic 'high-wire' water crossing in the heart of the London business district.
    Expert British stunt man Jim Dowdell, veteran of Hollywood movies including Bond, Bourne and Indiana Jones, drove the all-new Jaguar XF 787ft (240 meters) across a high-wire to highlight the lightweight aluminum-intensive architecture featured on the vehicle. The feat took place high over the Royal Dock in London's Canary Wharf.
    "Over my 35 years in the industry I've driven Jaguar vehicles on many Hollywood movie sets. However, the biggest test for me on this stunt was the unpredictability of the elements. Potential oscillation in the high-wires from wind speeds meant it added a real challenge. The wires are only 34mm in diameter so the journey required absolute precision, balance and control" said, Jim Dowdell, expert stuntman.
    Meteorological experts and structural engineers were on hand to determine precise drive conditions, based on comprehensive crosswind analysis. As a contingency, Jim Dowdell was rigged up with abseil equipment, a cherry picker crane was on hand and a RIB safety speedboat waited on the banks.
    Footage of the drive can be viewed at jaguarusa.com/NewXF.
    The all-new Jaguar XF brings a blend of refinement, dynamics and design to the segment. It will make a public display debut in the Flatiron District of New York City (23rd and Broadway) on March 31 at 11 AM EST and will be available for public viewing through April 1 until 7 PM EST. Full technical and range specifications of the 16MY XF will be released on April 1 when the newest Jaguar model makes its global motor show debut at the 2015 New York International Auto Show.
    With its outstanding interior space, the dynamic, coupe-like design of the Jaguar XF is formed around the Jaguar aluminum-intensive architecture and delivers the outstanding proportions, elegant surfaces and pure lines which define Jaguar cars.
    The cabin utilizes a seamless blend of contemporary luxury materials and finishes, traditional Jaguar craftsmanship and all-new technology with available features such as the new Jaguar InControl® Touch Pro™ premium infotainment system1 and a 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster.
    "In creating the all-new Jaguar XF, as a design team we have been driven by discipline, the discipline of simplicity. Every exterior line on the XF has a clear purpose - nothing is superfluous. Achieving that simplicity takes time and requires great determination; it's all too easy to add lines to a car, but much harder to add character by leaving lines out.
    "Inside too, we have been driven by the desire to ensure the cabin of the Jaguar XF is as comforting as it is comfortable. New technology, including our new 10.2-inch touchscreen, is combined carefully with materials that cosset and reassure. The all-new Jaguar XF has a clear sense of calm and strength, both outside and inside - and I'm proud of my team for delivering that," said Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar
    The sleek exterior and luxurious interior of the original XF made it a desirable, aspirational vehicle. The all-new XF retains these core attributes but uses the new Jaguar advanced aluminum-intensive architecture to elevate them to a completely new level. Featuring 75 percent aluminum, the architecture enables weight savings of 132lbs on RWD models and 265lbs on AWD models and an increase in torsional stiffness.
    The architecture also delivers dramatic improvements in packaging and proportions, essential to Jaguar design. Though 0.3in (7mm) shorter and 0.1in (3mm) lower than the car it replaces, the 116.5in (2,960mm) wheelbase of the all-new Jaguar XF is 2in (51mm) longer, delivering more rear leg room, knee room and head room.
    Two 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engines will be offered in the first model year featuring 340hp/332lb. ft. and 380hp/332lb. ft. ratings. Both engines are matched exclusively to eight-speed automatic transmissions.
    The light, stiff body structure is also fundamental to the superb vehicle dynamics of the all-new XF. The sophisticated front double wishbone and rear Integral Link suspension, combined with near-50:50 weight distribution, delivers the ideal balance between agility, comfort and refinement.
    Incorporating all of the learning from the Jaguar F-TYPE and the Jaguar XE, the meticulously-tuned Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system2 provides the XF with excellent steering feel and response.
    Advanced passive damper technology delivers exceptional ride comfort as standard, but for additional control the optional Adaptive Dynamics system2 determines the optimum damper settings for the driving conditions.
    When fitted, Jaguar Configurable Dynamics, first developed for the Jaguar F-TYPE, provides the ultimate in control and enables the driver to individually tailor settings of the suspension, steering, engine and eight-speed automatic transmission 2.
    For select markets, such as the US, which demand all-wheel drive (AWD), Jaguar has engineered a new torque on-demand system. The transfer case uses a chain drive instead of gears and is light, quiet and efficient.
    Capability is also enhanced by the advanced control system first used in the Jaguar F-TYPE AWD: Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD). This system delivers rear-drive handling with the performance and traction benefits of AWD 2.
    Also standard on the all-new XF is All-Surface Progress Control system, developed for low-speed driving in adverse conditions. This system is designed to automatically manage the brakes and the throttle to deliver additional traction, enabling the car to pull away smoothly in low-grip situations; the driver only has to steer 2.
    Infotainment and connectivity is the most advanced Jaguar has ever offered from the all-new Jaguar InControl® Touch™ system1 featuring an 8-inch touchscreen or the optional InControl Touch Pro™ with a 10.2-inch touchscreen to InControl Apps™ and InControl Remote™.
    To handle large amounts of data, the optional Jaguar InControl Touch Pro features a 10.2-inch touchscreen, a solid-state drive, a quad-core processor, and runs on an ultra-fast Ethernet connection - a next-generation network offering exceptional data transfer rates. Combined, they deliver incredible graphics, fast response times and truly exceptional performance.
    Complementing InControl Touch Pro is an available reconfigurable 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster. Jaguar Land Rover pioneered this technology with the Range Rover and is now bringing it to the sedan segment.
    The all-new Jaguar XF offers a wide range of available advanced driver assistance systems, including full-LED headlights and Laser Heads-Up Display 2.
    The all-new aluminum-intensive 2016 Jaguar XF will be manufactured at the Jaguar Land Rover Castle Bromwich Plant alongside the all-aluminum Jaguar F-TYPE and Jaguar XJ.

    William Maley

    Land Rover Gives the Range Rover Sport MOAR POWER

    Are you one of those people who wishes the Range Rover Sport offered a bit more power, but don't feel like spending the extra cash to get into the Supercharged 5.0L V8 model? Well Land Rover has some good news for you then. Next week at the New York Auto Show, the automaker will show a limited edition Sport named the HST.
    The HST takes the standard Supercharged 3.0L V6 and increases power from 340 to 380 horsepower. Land Rover quotes a 0-60 time of 6.9 seconds. More details about the engine will be revealed at the show.
    "The HST extends our Range Rover Sport line-up giving customers even greater choice. Sitting between the existing 340hp Range Rover Sport 3.0-liter supercharged V6 and the 550hp supercharged variant, it delivers enhanced V6 performance to go with the renowned comfort and refinement of the Range Rover Sport," said David Mitchell, Vehicle Program Director for the Range Rover Sport.
    Outside, the Range Rover Sport HST stands out with blacked-out lights at both ends, gloss black trim, a new lower bumper, Santorini Black paint on the roof, and a HST-specific spoiler. Inside treatments include two-tone Oxford Leather and Ebony trim on the door panels and center console.
    Land Rover says the HST will go on sale next month with pricing to be announced at New York.
    Source: Land Rover
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Land Rover Announces New 380hp Range Rover Sport HST Limited Edition
    New 2016 Range Rover Sport HST Limited Edition makes its global debut at the 2015 New York International Auto Show
    Exclusive 380hp 3.0L supercharged V6 engine delivers extra 40hp to enhance Range Rover Sport performance line-up
    Features dynamic exterior design and unique interior trim
    Range of updates announced for 2016 Range Rover Sport including new standard features and diesel engine options
    Full details and pricing for the 2016 Range Rover Sport line-up will be announced late Spring
    (MAHWAH, NJ) - March 23, 2015 - Land Rover will present the new 2016 Range Rover Sport HST Limited Edition at the 2015 New York International Auto Show.
    The HST enhances the high performance Range Rover Sport driving experience thanks to its upgraded 380hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, unique chassis settings and bespoke design features.
    David Mitchell, Vehicle Program Director Range Rover Sport, said, "The HST extends our Range Rover Sport line-up giving customers even greater choice. Sitting between the existing 340hp Range Rover Sport 3.0-liter supercharged V6 and the 550hp supercharged variant, it delivers enhanced V6 performance to go with the renowned comfort and refinement of the Range Rover Sport."
    Additional updates to the 2016 Model Year Range Rover Sport line-up will also be showcased in New York, including the availability of a new Hands-Free Gesture Tailgate and the introduction of Automatic Access Height.
    New Range Rover Sport HST Limited Edition
    The bold new Range Rover Sport HST Limited Edition is identified by its unique exterior design and interior enhancements, which give the luxury SUV a distinctive and dynamic appearance.
    A striking black theme is the hallmark of the exterior design. The HST is fitted with darkened front and rear lamps, which feature non-reflective surrounds and combine with a Santorini Black contrast roof and a new spoiler to give the luxury SUV a defined profile.
    The distinctive 21-inch alloy wheels on the HST feature an exclusive dark satin grey finish helping to highlight the upgraded brakes, which are identified by red brake calipers.
    The hood and front fender vents, grille and fog lamp bezels all feature a Gloss Black finish, echoed by the 'Range Rover' lettering on the edge of the hood and tailgate. Sculpted body-colored lower door panels and additional vent detailing on the bumpers are also fitted.
    Similar to other Dynamic Range Rover Sport variants, the HST wears a red Sport badge at the rear, complemented by unique HST badging on the front fender vents.
    Power comes from its exclusive 380hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engine, enhanced to provide an extra 40hp.
    Unique chassis settings deliver a focused driving experience and sharper responses, without compromising the vehicle's trademark comfort and refinement. Changes to the suspension reduce body roll and deliver enhanced agility, while the upgraded brakes deliver confidence-inspiring performance.
    The HST is available with a single speed transfer case with a Torsen Center differential, reflecting its high performance capabilities. Land Rover engineers have devised a unique Terrain Response® set-up for the vehicle. It features a Dynamic Mode, which optimizes the suspension, Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) and other electronic systems to suit on-road driving. This feature provides more controlled electronic damping and a more responsive throttle pedal, while enhancing gearshifts and steering response to match the change in vehicle character.
    Inside, the HST comes with eye-catching seats trimmed in luxurious Oxford Leather. In combination with a contrast dashboard, all-Ebony door trims and center console and standard Ebony headlining, they create a unique environment.
    HST badging on the dashboard, carpet mats and the TFT instrument panel highlight the luxury model's high performance focus. The sporty cues extend to Noble-plated paddle shift levers on the steering wheel and distinctive bright 'Sports' pedals, while the aluminum interior trim features a textured 'Sports' finish.
    Range Rover Sport HST Limited Edition pricing and availability will be announced later this year.

    William Maley

    Less than 2 years from its last redesign, the Mitsubishi Outlander is getting another refresh.

    Despite Mitsubishi selling the current Outlander crossover for almost a year, the company has decided that it was time to do a refresh on it. Next week at the 2015 New York Auto Show, the company will show off the Outlander's new face.
    From the teaser shots released by Mitsubishi, the 2016 Outlander looks to be taking some ideas from the Outlander PHEV Concept-S plug-in hybrid shown in Paris last year. There is a trapezoidal grille outline with two chrome bars sitting on the top and a set of accents running from the headlights to the fog lights. Around back, there appears to be some new bulges and the taillights arranged underneath the rear windshield.
    Mitsubishi is keeping quiet on any other details, only saying that it "features over 100 engineering and design improvements".
    We'll have more details and pictures when the Outlander debuts on April 2nd.
    Source: Mitsubishi


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    Press Release is on Page 2
    MITSUBISHI MOTORS TO CONDUCT WORLD PREMIERE OF 2016 OUTLANDER AT THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) is pleased to announce that it will make the world premiere of the 2016 Outlander during its press conference at the 2015 New York International Auto Show in the North Hall (booth 260) on Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 11:30a.m. ET. The 2016 Outlander will be the first Mitsubishi vehicle to debut the brand's new design language.
    The 2016 Outlander is a refined crossover utility vehicle that features over 100 engineering and design improvements including a new, powerful and dynamic appearance, enhanced road performance as the result of improvements to noise levels, ride, handling and throttle response, and a more eloquent yet functional interior space. The new 2016 Outlander demonstrates the brand's renewed emphasis on style, refinement and overall driving experience.
    For those who are unable to join Mitsubishi Motors in New York, the press conference will be internationally broadcast live. For details about the webcast please check media.mitsubishicars.com.
    Full 2016 Outlander details will be released at 11:30a.m. ET on April 2, 2015.

    William Maley

    The redesigned Jaguar XF is coming to the 2015 New York Auto Show

    The first vehicle that kicked off the renaissance of Jaguar, the XF, is getting a redesign that will debut next month at the 2015 New York Auto Show.
    The British automaker released two teaser shots showing the exterior and interior. The exterior shot is a overhead view which doesn't tell us much aside from a panoramic sunroof and looking similar to the current model. The interior shot tells us much more as it appears Jaguar takes some ideas from the XE with a wider infotainment display and the rotary transmission selector moving towards the center in the console.
    Now before Jaguar brings the XF to New York, the company is doing an ambitious stunt. On March 24th, an XF will drive across The Thames on two wires that are suspended above the river.
    Source: Jaguar




    Press Release is on Page 2
    Jaguar To Continue To Strengthen Lineup With Launch Of All-New All-Aluminum Second-Generation Jaguar XF
    All-new 2016 Jaguar XF to be revealed on March 24, 2015
    Dramatic high-wire journey streamed globally on jaguarusa.com/NewXF at 3:00PM EST (19:00 GMT)
    2016 Jaguar XF to make public debut at 2015 New York International Automobile Show
    Jaguar XF will be the second Jaguar model to feature the brand's advanced aluminum-intensive architecture
    New Jaguar XF to offer exceptional levels of refinement, comfort and technology
    Full technical details to be announced at the 2015 New York International Auto Show on April 1

    (MAHWAH, NJ) - March 17, 2015 - The all-new 2016 Jaguar XF model will make an extraordinary journey across London on March 24, one week ahead of its public motor show debut in New York.
    Jaguar has teamed up with expert British stuntman Jim Dowdall, veteran of dramatic action stunts in movies including Bond, Bourne and Indiana Jones, to perform a world's first high-wire water crossing in the all-new Jaguar XF.
    The dramatic drive, across two 1.3in (34mm)-diameter wires suspended high above water will highlight the lightweight and agile credentials of the new Jaguar XF and will be streamed globally on jaguarusa.com/NewXF at 3:00PM EST (19:00 GMT) on March 24.
    First launched in North America in 2008 and receiving a complete redesign for the 2016 model year, the next generation Jaguar XF will be the second Jaguar model to feature the brand's advanced aluminum-intensive architecture.
    Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar, said, "I believe the all-new Jaguar XF will be the best looking car in its class. Elegant, handsome and with proportions that imbue a great sense of integrity - the all-new XF will be true to the strong tradition of sporting Jaguar sedans while being completely of its time."
    The sophisticated all-new XF, on sale in the U.S. in fall of 2015, will offer exceptional levels of technology, refinement, luxury and comfort.
    The all-new XF will make its global motor show debut at the New York Auto Show on April 1 when the full range and technical details will be released in addition to further images/films.

    William Maley

    Scion gives a preview of its two showings for 2015 New York Auto Show

    It has been almost four years since we have seen a new product from Scion - the last one being the Scion FR-S. But at the 2015 New York Auto Show, Scion will not only have one, but two new vehicles debuting.
    The first is the production version of the iM. We saw the Concept Scion iM at the LA Auto Show back in November. The model is expected to be European Toyota Auris and judging from the teaser picture, it looks like some of the concept's design cues will be kept.
    The second vehicle is the Scion iA. The automaker's first sedan will take the place of the xD subcompact and will be based on the Mazda2 sedan.
    “We’ve been eagerly waiting for this moment and are excited to introduce our new Scions in New York. Both the iM and the iA are tremendous additions to our line-up and will appeal to young people with different perspectives and needs. These cars represent the evolution of Scion and are kicking off a new wave of momentum for the brand,” said Scion Group Vice President Doug Murtha.
    We'll have more information on both Scion models when they are revealed on March 31st.




    Source: Scion
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Scion’s Double-Take at New York International Auto Show
    World Debuts of Scion iM 5-door hatchback and Scion iA sedan

    TORRANCE, Calif., March 18, 2015 – One look at Scion won’t be enough for guests attending the New York International Auto Show. It will take two looks (or more) to see the World Debuts from Scion. Both the Scion iM and the newly named Scion iA will be revealed on the eve of the show, March 31, 2015.
    The Scion iM is a 5-door hatchback that combines maximum versatility with a sporty design and a fun-to-drive experience. Meanwhile the Scion iA sedan is designed to appeal to young people who need a little more practicality, but still want engaging styling and outstanding driving dynamics.
    The “i” in the models’ names can stand for intriguing, individual, and easy on customers’ income. The “M” reflects the hatchback’s modern style and multi-faceted uses. Meanwhile the “A” for the sedan denotes the accommodating trunk and the aggressive styling.
    “We’ve been eagerly waiting for this moment and are excited to introduce our new Scions in New York,” said Scion Group Vice President Doug Murtha. “Both the iM and the iA are tremendous additions to our line-up and will appeal to young people with different perspectives and needs. These cars represent the evolution of Scion and are kicking off a new wave of momentum for the brand.”

    William Maley

    Chevrolet releases another teaser for the 2015 New York Auto Show, this time for the Chevrolet Spark

    General Motors is going to have quite the showing for the New York Auto Show with the introduction of the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Malibu. Add another showing to that list. Chevrolet released a teaser shot of the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Spark.
    Chevrolet describes the Spark as having "sleeker, more aerodynamic profile and a progressive take on' the brand's design cues. From what we can tell from the shot, it looks like the Spark will sport with a larger lower grille and a new upper grill.
    “The new Spark’s design has evolved and grown up with the segment. The youthful whimsy of the original Spark is still in its genes, but it is conveyed in more traditional proportions that reinforce the customer’s refined expectations,” said Michael Simcoe, GM International vice president of Design.
    Chevrolet will be doing a dual debut in both New York and Seoul Auto Show on April 2nd.
    Source: Chevrolet


    Press Release is on Page 2
    A Spark of Sophistication
    Chevrolet’s redesigned global minicar to debut in Seoul and New York on April 2

    DETROIT –The all-new 2016 Spark will debut on April 2 at the Seoul and New York auto shows, Chevrolet announced today.
    A sleeker, more aerodynamic profile and a progressive take on Chevrolet’s signature design cues will give the redesigned Spark a more sophisticated aesthetic that reflects the changing tastes of the global minicar market.
    “The new Spark’s design has evolved and grown up with the segment,” said Michael Simcoe, GM International vice president of Design. “The youthful whimsy of the original Spark is still in its genes, but it is conveyed in more traditional proportions that reinforce the customer’s refined expectations.”
    Chevrolet has sold more than 1.1 million Sparks around the world since it went on sale as the Beat in India in late 2009. Today, the Spark is available in 71 markets worldwide, selling the most in South Korea, followed by the United States and Mexico.
    Spark is attracting younger and first-time car buyers to Chevrolet with 26 percent being under the age of 35.
    Sales of the Spark in the U.S. are up 32 percent in the first two months of 2015 versus the same period in 2014.

    William Maley

    Chevrolet is preparing for the debut of the All-New Chevrolet Malibu at the 2015 New York Auto Show

    Its no secret that the Chevrolet Malibu hasn't fared well in the midsize class. So it comes as no surprise that Chevrolet is readying a new Malibu that will debut next month at New York.
    Teased before its official debut, Chevrolet says the new Malibu is a clean slate redesign with an all new design and a longer-wheelbase thanks to a new architecture. The new Malibu also drops 300 pounds thanks to an all-new high-strength steel structure.
    The biggest change is the design. As we reported late last year, GM's vice president of global design Ed Welburn is planning to infuse some of the design of the Corvette Stingray into the Malibu. We can see some of that, along with elements of the Impala.
    “Malibu’s gorgeous styling is the result of a masterful understanding of proportions. The roofline has been stretched rearward giving a more sleek profile, while the front wheels have moved forward and front and rear overhangs have been reduced. Along with the sculpted body side, these cues help Malibu appear more dynamic and sophisticated,” said Ed Welburn, General Motors’ vice president of Global Design.
    Source: Chevrolet


    Press Release is on Page 2
    Born Again: Next-Gen Chevrolet Malibu Announced
    Larger, lighter and more efficient Malibu to be unveiled at New York Auto Show

    DETROIT – Designed to deliver more efficiency, connectivity and advanced safety features than ever, the next-generation 2016 Chevrolet Malibu will make its public debut at the New York International Auto Show this April.
    Using a blank slate approach, Chevrolet designers benefited from an entirely new architecture, which for Malibu includes a wheelbase nearly four inches longer than the outgoing model. That, in turn, provides increased rear legroom and interior space.
    Due to a higher-strength steel structure, the new Malibu is also expected to be 300 pounds lighter than the current model, which benefits the sedan’s fuel economy and handling.
    “Malibu’s gorgeous styling is the result of a masterful understanding of proportions,” said Ed Welburn, General Motors’ vice president of Global Design. “The roofline has been stretched rearward giving a more sleek profile, while the front wheels have moved forward and front and rear overhangs have been reduced. Along with the sculpted body side, these cues help Malibu appear more dynamic and sophisticated.”
    More details about the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu will be shared each week leading up to the vehicle’s global debut. The 2016 Malibu is expected to go on sale by the end of 2015.

    William Maley

    LTS for New York?!

    A new report from Autoblog says Cadillac is planning on premiering their flagship sedan, possibly named LTS, at next year's New York Auto Show. A source at the company says the brand is preparing their competitor to the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class to be shown at New York.
    The source dismisses the current XTS as a placeholder, and not a "real" Cadillac. The source admits that the new S-Class is a tough competitor to upcoming model.
    Sadly, no information on powertrains or other key details were revealed.
    Source: Autoblog
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    First Legacy, Now Outback

    Chicago brought us the 2015 Subaru Legacy and New York brings us the sister vehicle, the 2015 Outback. The fifth-generation model brings forth improved design, a better interior, and more tech.
    While the 2015 Outback 2015 Outback retains silhouette of the previous generation, the new model is much more sleeker thanks to smoother sheet metal and not as much body cladding. The front end is almost the same as the new Legacy with the hexagonal grille and new headlights. The side profile and back end are similar to the outgoing model.
    Inside, the 2015 Outback gains a bit more space almost three cubic feet more interior space and two cubic feet more cargo space with the rear seats folded. Subaru has added more premium materials and a new 6.2 inch touchscreen radio. Options include navigation, dual-zone climate control, Harman Kardon premium stereo, and heated seats to name a few.
    Much like the new Legacy, the 2015 Outback's powertrain lineup is a carryover. The base is a 2.5L boxer-four with 175 horsepower, or a 3.6L boxer-six with 256 horsepower. All engines come paired with a CVT and the company's symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. Subaru has added hill-assist and decent control to the 2015 model, along with revisions to the suspension to improve handling and comfort.
    The 2015 Outback arrives at dealers this summer.
    Source: Subaru

    Press Release is on Page 2
    SUBARU INTRODUCES ALL-NEW 2015 OUTBACK® AT NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    Bolder design for roomiest, most capable Outback ever
    Fuel economy at the top of AWD crossover class with estimated ratings of 25 mpg city / 33 mpg highway for Outback 2.5i
    Lineartronic® CVT now standard on all models
    Revised chassis and new Active Torque Vectoring for greater agility
    Enhanced Active AWD and new X-Mode for increased capability
    Quieter, more refined ride and new amenities
    New available Rear Vehicle Detection System featuring Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert
    New version of EyeSight® driver assistance system with improved camera performance

    New York - Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the all-new 2015 Outback, the fifth generation of the World’s First Sport Utility Wagon®, at the New York International Auto Show in the Jacob K. Javits Center. The 2015 Outback offers the roomiest interior, most capable chassis and highest fuel-efficiency in the model’s 20-year history. Its bold new design delivers an even more compelling blend of on-road agility, off-pavement control, ride comfort, interior refinement and safety technology.
    The 2015 Outback arrives in Subaru dealerships in summer 2014. The 175-horsepower 4-cylinder Outback 2.5i model is available in Standard, Premium and Limited trim lines, accompanied by the top-of-line 6-cylinder 3.6R Limited with 256 horsepower. All trim lines add more standard amenities, conveniences and new infotainment systems.
    The original Outback established a template for many competitive crossover models that followed, and the new-generation 2015 Outback further strengthens the melding of passenger- car and SUV attributes that crossover shoppers seek. The 2015 Outback exemplifies Subaru’s mastery of outdoors-oriented vehicle engineering, not just for its standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and raised ground clearance, but also for numerous details that help make it more convenient to load and carry cargo as well as items such as kayaks and bikes. Newly standard X-Mode, Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist augment Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive to assist the driver in navigating rough roads, slippery surfaces or steep inclines.
    New for 2015, all Outback models come standard with the Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission), which features paddle-shift control switches and is instrumental in the Outback’s significantly improved fuel economy. Manufacturer-estimated ratings of 25 mpg city / 33 mpg highway / 28 mpg combined are up from 24/30/26 in the 2014 model. These figures place the 2015 Outback 2.5i at the top of the midsize crossover class, bettering front-wheel drive versions of some competitive crossovers.
    A new Active Grille Shutter system on the 2015 Outback 2.5i helps to improve fuel economy by reducing wind resistance when closed. Electric Power-Assisted Steering and improved aerodynamics also contribute to the increased efficiency in all models. Due largely to its new Lineartronic CVT, the 6-cylinder Outback 3.6R Limited also improves fuel economy, with manufacturer-estimated ratings of 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway/22 combined vs. 17/25/20 for the previous version.
    Bold New Design Brings New Functionality
    The all-new 2015 Outback introduces a bolder look with crisper, sculpted lines that convey both its all-road capability and upgraded refinement. A new front fascia combines the hexagonal grille and bumper into one smooth piece. An aluminum hood reduces weight over the front wheels, which helps enhance steering response. In the Outback 3.6R Limited, new standard HID low-beam headlights give the car a more distinctive nighttime signature. Limited trim line models feature turn signal exterior mirrors.
    The 2015 Outback’s windshield is more raked, pulled forward 2.0 in. at the base. The new windshield angle, higher seating hip points, new front partition windows and door-mounted side view mirrors help improve visibility. The 2015 Outback maintains a footprint similar to the model it replaces. Wheelbase is increased by just 0.2-in., overall length by 0.6-in. and width by 0.7 in. The changes, though small, yield a roomier passenger cabin, at 108.1 cu. ft. (up from 105.4 cu. ft.). The added space includes gains in shoulder, front and rear hip and elbow room and rear legroom. The Outback’s cargo area has been enlarged to 35.5 cu. ft. behind the rear seats, up from 34.3, while maximum capacity with the standard 60/40 split fold-down rear seatbacks folded is now 73.3 cu. ft., up from 71.3. In addition, the load floor provided by the lowered seats now lays flatter, and new rear seatback release levers in the cargo area enhance convenience.
    The Outback continues with 8.7-in. ground clearance, which is higher than for some SUVs, yet with low step-in height for comfort. New step-style doorsills allow one to stand firmly when securing objects to the roof rails with integrated retractable crossbars and tie downs. A power rear gate with memory height is available on Outback for the first time.
    New Safety and Security Technology from a Safety Leader
    The 2015 Outback builds on the stellar safety performance of the previous model, adding new front seat-cushion airbags that help to keep occupants in place in a frontal collision. All trim lines come standard with a rear-view camera, and a new rollover sensor can deploy the side curtain airbags if an imminent rollover is detected.
    For added nighttime security, the 2015 Outback features new standard Welcome Lighting that automatically turns on cabin illumination and exterior lights as the driver approaches or departs the vehicle. The Limited trim offers a Keyless Access & Start system with PIN Code Access.
    The new Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection System, which is standard on Limited trims and available for the 2.5i Premium, offers three functions. Blind Spot Detection detects vehicles on either side of the vehicle, in the driver’s blind spots; Lane Change Assist detects fast-approaching vehicles in adjacent lanes, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert detects vehicles approaching from a perpendicular direction while reversing, such as from a driveway. LED indicators on the side mirrors alert the driver. Rear Cross Traffic Alert uses an indicator in the rear view camera display.
    The 2015 Outback offers the latest version of the EyeSight® driver-assist system, the highest-rated front crash prevention system by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Available for Outback Premium and Limited trim lines, EyeSight® uses Subaru-developed stereo camera technology and integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning. The 2015 Outback is projected to achieve the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, as the 2014 Outback did.
    Models equipped with EyeSight® also come with new Steering-Responsive Fog Lights. The feature, which works only when the fog lights are turned off, activates the left or right fog light independently, depending on vehicle speed and steering angle, to provide enhanced illumination in the direction of the turn. The fog lights are pre-aimed for maximum coverage in corners.
    Four- or Six-Cylinder BOXER Engine
    The 2015 Outback 2.5i is powered by a double-overhead-cam (DOHC) FB series 2.5-liter BOXER engine that debuted for 2013 and now receives numerous enhancements for lighter weight, improved efficiency and quieter operation. Power is increased slightly, to 175 hp vs. 173 hp before. Peak torque remains at 174 lb.-ft. but is spread over a broader engine speed range for more responsive performance in all driving situations.
    In the Outback 3.6R Limited, the 3.6-liter BOXER 6-cylinder engine produces 256 hp and 247 lb.-ft. of peak torque. Notably, the 3.6 engine sustains at least 225 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,000 to 6,000 rpm, making the Outback 3.6R Limited feel exceptionally smooth and responsive in everyday driving.
    Standard Lineartronic CVT
    For 2015, all Outback models now come standard with a Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission), with the 6-cylinder model using a high-torque version. Changes made to reduce friction in the CVT contribute to higher fuel efficiency. Because a CVT does not shift gears, the driver enjoys smoother performance in all driving situations. The CVT’s selectable manual mode offers six pre-selected ratios to allow the driver to “shift” manually using steering wheel paddle switches. This feature can provide added driver control when driving down inclines, for example.
    Enhanced Agility and Quieter Ride
    Subaru extensively revised and retuned the MacPherson front strut suspension and double-wishbone rear suspension for greater handling agility and a more compliant ride – a difficult balance to achieve. New quick-ratio electric power-assisted steering delivers outstanding feel and also helps reduce fuel consumption. The Outback 2.5i is equipped with standard 17-inch wheels, and the Limited trim line features 18-in. alloy wheels.
    Active Torque Vectoring, an enhancement of the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system, fosters more neutral cornering by applying brake pressure to the inside front wheel. The Outback 2.5i now uses larger brakes previously available only on the 6-cylinder model, and all models now have ventilated rear discs in place of solid discs used previously. The Brake Assist safety system automatically applies maximum braking pressure in an emergency stop.
    The cabin blocks more sources of noise thanks to a new acoustic windshield, liquid-filled engine mounts, thicker panels in key locations (floor, toeboard, rear wheel apron, inner fenders) and expanded use of foam insulation and floor damping material.
    Greater Comfort and Refinement
    New soft-touch materials, thicker cushioning for armrests and the center console and new trim styles give the 2015 Outback a more premium feel. The driver faces a decidedly sporty instrument panel, highlighted by two binocular-style gauge pods with a center LCD information display -- 3.5-in. on cars without the EyeSight® driver-assist system and 5-in. on EyeSight® cars. An ECO gauge indicates and promotes fuel-efficient driving habits using color bars. The Premium and Limited-trim levels feature gauges with elegant blue ring illumination.
    The heater control panel integrates the digital clock and outside air temperature displays, with the time automatically corrected by GPS in navigation-equipped models. A new one-touch lane changer function for the turn signals adds convenience. Premium and Limited trim levels come equipped with standard auto up/down driver and front passenger windows with pinch protection.
    The Outback 2.5i Premium delivers impressive comfort with a 10-way power driver’s seat (with power lumbar support adjustment); dual-zone automatic climate control; the All-Weather Package (three-mode heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer); upgraded infotainment system; an air filtration system; leather-wrapped steering wheel; fog lights, dark-tint privacy glass and more.
    The Limited trim line models offer the highest level of luxury ever in an Outback, adding to the Premium trim level content: perforated leather upholstery; two-position memory for the 10-way power driver’s seat; a 4-way power front passenger seat; dual-mode heated rear seats and a power rear gate with memory height.
    New Infotainment Systems
    Subaru significantly upgraded infotainment capability in the 2015 Outback. A new 6.2 Infotainment System in the Outback 2.5i provides AM/FM stereo and HD Radio®; Radio Data Broadcast System; single-disc in-dash CD player; 6.2-in. multi-function touch screen display with single-touch gesture control; Subaru STARLINK smartphone integration with Aha™ Infotainment, Pandora® Radio and iHeart® Radio; a rear vision camera; Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming; iPod® control capability, USB port and aux. input jack.
    The Upgraded Infotainment System for Outback 2.5i Premium adds a 6-speaker audio system; 7-inch touch screen display with multi-touch control that offers swipe and scrolling gesture control; voice-activated controls; SiriusXM® satellite radio; a vehicle information display; SMS text messaging, iTunes® tagging capability and dual USB ports.
    A new high-end audio system standard for Outback Limited combines an AM/FM/HD Radio system with a harman/kardon® upgraded 576-Watt-equivalent GreenEdge amplifier. The system’s 12 harman/kardon speakers include a front center speaker and a rear subwoofer. GreenEdge technology provides increased audio performance and amplifier efficiency while consuming less power and reducing heat dissipation.
    The available navigation system’s interactive voice command system accepts natural language and phrases, and this functionality can also operate the dual-zone automatic climate control system.
    The center console armrest provides a storage area that can hold an iPad®. A covered and illuminated storage bin at the front of the console incorporates a USB port, 3.5mm AUX jack and a 12v power port. Models with high-grade audio or navigation feature two USB ports, making it possible to listen to music and charge two connected devices.
    Standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and Enhanced Capability
    A newly refined version of the Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical AWD comes standard in all 2015 Outback models. The system’s electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls torque distribution in response to driving conditions and wheel slippage. Taking input from acceleration, steering angle and yaw rate sensors, Active Torque Split AWD optimizes traction and steering response when accelerating through turns and curves, particularly when the road surface is slippery.
    All 2015 Outback models come equipped as standard with the X-Mode system, which debuted on the 2014 Forester. When engaged by a switch on the console, X-Mode optimizes engine output and CVT ratio position, increases Active All-Wheel Drive engagement and uses enhanced control logic for the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system to reduce individual wheel spin.
    Engaging X-Mode also activates the new Hill Descent Control, which uses engine braking to help maintain a constant vehicle speed when the Outback is traveling downhill, enhancing vehicle control. New Incline Start Assist helps to momentarily minimize forward or backward vehicle rolling on inclines, and the electronic Hill Holder System holds the vehicle in place until the driver presses the accelerator pedal to pull away from a stop.

    William Maley

    And Here's The 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger!

    Well someone has spilled the beans and released the 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger to the world before their official debut at the New York Auto Show tomorrow. Here's the 411 on both models.
    First up is the 2015 Charger and has undergone a major transformation with every body panel getting changed in some way. The front end is the most dramatic change with it taking some ideas from the Dart with a larger crosshair grille, slimmer headlights with with distinctive C-shaped LED daytime running lights, and a new bumper with separate LED running lights. Around back is a new trunk lid with a revised taillight. R/T models get a new lip spoiler that take the place of the raised spoiler.
    Inside, the Charger gets a new steering wheel, shifter knob, and interior trim choices. On the technology front, Dodge has fitted a new 7.4 screen into the instrument cluster and offers a choice of touchscreens up to 8.4 inches in the center stack. Owners will also get get trial access to Uconnect services, which include 911, roadside assistance, theft alert, voice texting and a Wi-Fi hotspot to name a few features.
    As for powertrains, the 3.6L Pentastar V8 and 5.7L HEMI V8 carry over with no changes in horsepower and torque. What has changed is a new TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic is coming to the V8.
    Mechanical changes come in the form of new drive modes. The modes (normal, comfort, and sport) adjust throttle response, steering, and transmission.
    The 2015 Charger goes on sale sometime in the forth quarter.
    2015 Dodge Charger Gallery
    Source: Dodge
    For Info On The 2015 Challenger, See The Next Page
    Meanwhile for the 2015 Challenger, it begins with some light changes outside. There is a new split grille, LED daytime running lights, revised tail lamps, and more pronounced power bulge. Inside, the dashboard is redesigned to fit a new range of touchscreens all the way up to 8.4 inches. A new seven-inch screen resides in the instrument cluster.
    As for the lineup, the 2015 Challenger is offered in six different variants. They are as followed:
    SXT and SXT Plus: Come with 3.6L Pentastar V6
    R/T, R/T Plus, R/T Shaker, and R/T Plus Shaker: Come with the 5.7L HEMI V8 with 375 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. Shaker models come with the Shaker hood.
    6.4-liter Scat Pack and 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker: Come with the 6.4L HEMI V8 with 70 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Also pack Brembo brakes and twenty-inch aluminum wheels

    All models come standard with a six-speed manual, while an eight-speed automatic is optional across the board.
    Other changes for the 2015 Challenger include a new electric steering system with the choice of three different modes, Super Track Pak suspension upgrade, and a system where you can set throttle, transmission and steering performance to the way you want it.
    The 2015 Challenger goes on sale this fall.
    Source: Dodge
    2015 Dodge Challenger Gallery

    William Maley

    Oh Hi There 2015 Acura TLX

    New York was the place Acura chose to introduce the production version of the 2015 TLX and no surprise, it looks the prototype that was shown at the Detroit Auto Show back in January. The overall design reminds us more the ILX than the RLX, which in our view isn't a good thing at all. Compared to the TL and TSX which it replaces, the TLX is about 3.8 inches shorter than the TL and 4.6 inches longer than the TSX.
    Inside, Acura has fitted the TLX with much more premium materials such as a soft-touch, one-piece instrument panel cover, alloy and wood-grain trim, and available Milano leather seats. The center stack features Acura's dual screen infotainment.
    As powertrains, the base is a new 2.4L four-cylinder with direct-injection producing 206 horsepower and paired with a new eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Optional is a 3.5L V6 with 290 horsepower paired with a new nine-speed automatic. Both the 2.4 and 3.5 come with front-wheel drive and Acura's Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS). The 3.5 can be optioned with the latest generation of the company's super handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD).
    The 2015 TLX arrives at dealers later this year.
    Source: Acura

    Press Release is on Page 2
    2015 Acura TLX Unveiled at the 2014 New York International Auto Show
    - Two new, high-performance engines backed by new 8- and 9-speed transmissions
    - Most advanced dynamic package ever offered by Acura
    - Sophisticated design, premium refinement and extensive luxury appointments
    Acura today unveiled the all-new 2015 TLX performance-luxury sedan at the 2014 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). Developed under the theme of Red Carpet Athlete, the all-new TLX is designed to deliver a unique and compelling blend of sports-sedan athleticism and premium luxury refinement.
    "Harnessing the exhilarating power of new engines, new highly-efficient transmissions and next-generation dynamics technology – blended perfectly with impeccable style and luxury – the TLX will deliver a thrill like no other," said Mike Accavitti, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Acura. "Both the considerable performance capabilities of the TLX and the serious energy and resources brought to the brand from the newly dedicated Acura team herald the start of a new era for Acura."
    To achieve its dual mission of even sharper sports-sedan performance and increased luxury refinement, the TLX employs a host of new advanced powertrain and super-handling technologies. Powering the 2015 TLX are two Acura exclusive, high-output direct-injected i-VTEC® engines, a 2.4-liter 16-valve, 4-cylinder engine producing 206-horsepower1 mated to an all-new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission (8DCT) with torque converter; and a 3.5-liter 24-valve V-6 delivering 290-horsepower2 mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission (9AT). For handling prowess, the TLX features the latest iterations of Acura super-handling technologies – Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS), Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), and Agile Handling Assist (AHA). These new technologies, in combination with its all-new body and chassis design, make the TLX the most dynamically advanced Acura ever produced; quick and responsive in sporty driving, stable and sure-footed in emergency maneuvers, and calm and quiet during long-distance cruising.
    The TLX's new chassis, powertrains and precision-handling technologies are wrapped in a lithe new exterior design with taut body surfaces, dynamically sculpted fender arches, and purposeful character lines. Its sporting character is further highlighted by its more compact sports-sedan proportions. Luxury exterior features include Acura's signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, standard on all models. The spacious five-passenger interior of the TLX provides a high degree of refinement, luxury and technological sophistication while supporting an exhilarating driving experience. High-end premium elements include a soft-touch, one-piece instrument panel upper cover, alloy and wood-grain design accents, and available Milano leather seating surfaces and trim.
    The TLX will be available with Acura's most advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies including Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Blind Spot Indicator (BSI).
    The TLX was also designed to appeal to a broader cross-section of luxury sports-sedan customers with a wider range of powertrain and drivetrain options. There are three distinct TLX model offerings that carry a long list of standard luxury comfort, convenience and safety features. All TLX models can be upgraded to the Technology Package and the V-6 models are available with the line-topping Advance Package.
    The 2015 Acura TLX is scheduled to go on sale at U.S. Acura dealers nationwide later this year. Pricing details will be announced closer to launch.
    Design and Packaging
    For sports-sedan dynamic capabilities the 2015 TLX is 3.8-inches shorter in overall length than the 2014 TL while maintaining the same wheelbase and tandem (front-to-rear) passenger-seating distance. The TLX's front and rear overhangs are also shorter by 3.8-inches in total compared to the outgoing TL. The TLX engineers worked diligently to make the TLX lighter, incorporating a wide range of high strength steel and lightweight materials in the design. As an example, the TLX two-wheel-drive with the 3.5-liter V-6 Technology Package model has a curb weight just under 3600 pounds, about 145 pounds lighter than the TL Technology Package model.
    Acura's signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, standard on all models, lend the TLX an advanced and bright-eyed appearance while producing superior down-the-road illumination. It's LED lighting theme carries through to the LED-accented side mirrors, LED taillights and LED license plate illumination.
    The TLX also features a new 60/40-split folding rear seatback for greater cargo-carrying flexibility and a new trunk design featuring a wider and deeper opening, a lower lift-over height, a fully flat cargo floor, and two new hidden underfloor storage compartments (Advance pkg.).
    Interior
    The TLX's spacious five-passenger interior is designed and engineered to underscore the "Red Carpet Athlete" development theme of the new TLX, providing a high degree of refinement, luxury comfort and technological sophistication while supporting an exhilarating driving experience. High-end premium elements include a soft-touch, one-piece instrument panel upper cover, alloy and wood-grain accents, and available Milano leather seating surfaces and interior trim.
    An abundance of luxury features and technologies are available on the TLX, including heated and ventilated front seats, HomeLink®, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, Smart Entry/Push Button Start keyless access system, Acura Navigation System with 3D view, and AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ with Traffic Rerouting. A 7-inch On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD) touch screen, located in the center console, controls these and other features, and, with its contextual menus, displays relevant items while minimizing instrument panel clutter.
    Also featured on the TLX is the next-generation AcuraLink®, Acura's cloud-based connected car system, offering Acura owners a broad range of cloud-based and embedded convenience, connectivity and available security features. All TLX models also come equipped with Siri Eyes Free technology that, when paired with a compatible iPhone, allows the driver to control functions using familiar voice commands. Additional standard and available luxury features include one-touch turn signals and power windows, power driver and front passenger seats, GPS-linked automatic climate control, Color Multi-Information Display (MID) with turn-by-turn guidance, LED accent lighting, HD Radio®, Pandora® and Aha™ integration and USB connectivity.
    In keeping with Acura's commitment to delivering a world-class audio experience, the TLX can be equipped with a 455-watt, 10-speaker Acura/ELS Studio® Premium Audio System, engineered specifically for the TLX by legendary recording engineer Elliot Scheiner.
    TLX models featuring the new 3.5-liter V-6 engine utilize the advanced Electronic Gear Selector, using an intuitive push-button array in place of a traditional gear lever, freeing up center-console space while presenting a premium futuristic appearance. All TLX models incorporate the Electronic Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold, which retains brake pressure when the vehicle is stopped, simplifying stop-and-go driving in heavy traffic or on steep hills.
    New TLX Powertrains
    At the heart of the TLX's athletic sports-sedan performance capabilities are two new powertrains, utilizing direct-injection, V-TEC or i-VTEC valvetrains with Variable Timing Control (VTC) or Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) and low-friction technologies to deliver higher output, more linear and responsive power delivery and anticipated class-leading fuel-economy ratings.
    The direct-injected 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC in-line 4 produces a peak 206 horsepower1 and 182 lb.-ft. of torque4. The engine is mated to an all-new 8-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (8DCT) with torque converter, the world's first DCT to be paired with a torque converter on a production vehicle. The DCT, with its closely spaced ratios, ultra-quick shifts and automatic rev-matching downshifts, gives the 2.4-liter TLX an aggressively sporting yet refined feel. The torque converter provides exceptionally smooth operation in stop-and-go situations, plus it offers off-the-line torque multiplication for substantially improved initial acceleration that a conventional DCT cannot match. The new transmission also features Sequential SportShift.
    The direct-injected 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC V-6 incorporates Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), with the ability to deactivate three of the engine's six cylinders, for improved fuel efficiency. The aluminum-alloy 24-valve engine produces a peak 290 horsepower2 and 267 lb.-ft. of torque5, gains of 10 horsepower and 13 lb.-ft. versus the 2014 TL 3.5-liter engine. The engine is mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission featuring Sequential SportShift. The new 9-speed unit is substantially lighter than the 6-speed automatic in the outgoing TL, with a wider overall ratio range and more closely spaced individual gear ratios to enhance both performance and fuel efficiency. No competitive vehicle in the segment offers as many transmission ratios.
    The TLX SH-AWD also incorporates a model-exclusive idle-stop capability for improved fuel efficiency. And a new 28-volt Active Control engine mount significantly reduces engine vibration during restarts.
    The TLX equipped with the 2.4-liter engine has an anticipated EPA fuel-economy rating of 24/35/283 mpg city/hwy/combined. The TLX two-wheel-drive with the 3.5-liter V-6 has an anticipated EPA fuel-economy rating of 21/34/253 mpg (+1 city/+5 highway versus the two-wheel-drive 2014 TL). The TLX SH-AWD has an anticipated EPA fuel-economy rating of 21/31/253 (+3 city/+5 highway versus the 2014 TL SH-AWD).
    Acura Precision-Handling Technologies
    Two-wheel-drive TLX models, with either the 2.4-liter or 3.5-liter engine, come equipped with the latest iteration of Acura Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS). This new P-AWS system was integrated into the fundamental chassis design from the earliest stages of development, allowing engineers to take full advantage of its independent left and right rear-wheel toe angle control to enhance handling precision, maneuverability and stability.
    The TLX SH-AWD features a new hydraulically controlled version of Acura's acclaimed torque vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®). This next-generation SH-AWD system is 25 percent lighter and friction is reduced. The new rear-drive unit is constantly overdriven by 2.7-percent (compared to 1.7 percent on the previous system), with a greater torque-vectoring effect across a broader spectrum of driving situations, further enhancing cornering capability at lower speeds and in tighter-radius corners.
    Near-limit and emergency maneuvering capabilities of both the P-AWS and SH-AWD models are further enhanced by the use of Agile Handling Assist (AHA), which utilizes the TLX's Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and premium 6-piston brake modulator to create a yaw moment (a vehicle turning force), helping the driver smoothly and easily trace the desired line with smaller steering-wheel inputs. AHA stabilizes the car earlier than conventional VSA, resulting in more agile and engaging dynamic performance in everyday driving conditions.
    All TLX models also feature the latest development of Acura's Integrated Dynamics System (IDS), which allows drivers to customize their driving experience through four selectable modes – ECON, Normal, Sport and Sport+. Depending on the setting, IDS will adjust power-steering effort, throttle response, transmission shift logic, HVAC system operation, active sound control and the control logic for either the P-AWS or SH-AWD systems. The new Sport+ mode, a first for Acura, unlocks the full performance potential of the TLX with the most aggressive settings in all areas.
    Safety and Driver-Assistive Technologies
    The TLX also advances Acura's reputation for delivering cutting-edge safety and driver-assistive technologies. The TLX incorporates a new cooperative monocular camera and millimeter wave radar system that expands both the fidelity and scope of the vehicle's road-sensing capabilities. This fusion of camera and radar technology underpins the TLX's available Collision Mitigation Braking SystemTM, which can now provide enhanced car-to-car and car-to-pedestrian collision mitigation while also enhancing the capabilities of the Adaptive Cruise Control.
    The TLX is the first Acura vehicle to deploy a new Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) system included with the Advance Package. RDM uses the monocular camera to recognize painted lane lines, Botts' Dots and Cat Eye markers to determine lane boundaries. When the vehicle's current travelling direction would cause it to stray from a detected lane, the system warns the driver and assists by applying corrective steering input, and if required, braking force to help the driver maintain their current lane.
    Additional standard and available driver-assistive features include Blind Spot Information (BSI), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Expanded View Driver's Side Mirror, Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS) and new Cross Traffic Monitor.
    The TLX also employs Acura's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, along with advanced supplemental restraint systems – including front, side, side-curtain and driver's-knee airbags – to provide a high level of occupant protection in a wide spectrum of collision scenarios. The TLX is anticipated to earn a Five-star Overall Vehicle Score in the NHTSA's NCAP safety ratings, and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
    All-New TLX Body and Chassis
    The TLX is built on an all-new platform (body and chassis) that was designed from the ground up to support and enhance the vehicle's outstanding driving dynamics, luxury-sedan refinement, class-leading fuel efficiency and high-level collision safety.
    The chassis features a newly designed four-wheel independent suspension system – McPherson Strut front and multi-link rear – with revised geometry and new Amplitude Reactive Dampers for improved ride comfort and handling performance. New Motion-Adaptive Electronic Power Steering delivers a high level of steering precision and responsiveness while aiding fuel efficiency. It also works cooperatively with the vehicle's VSA traction-control system to help the driver maintain vehicle control in slippery road conditions.
    The TLX's unit body utilizes advanced lightweight materials, including ultra-high-strength steels, aluminum (hood, bumper beams and front subframe) and magnesium (steering hangar beam and engine mount), to minimize weight while providing for a high degree of rigidity that benefits both dynamic performance and occupant safety. Also incorporated into the body is the next generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) frontal body structure, and a new one-piece, hot-stamped-steel door stiffener ring, similar to the design first applied on the 2014 Acura MDX. The new, sleeker body design is also optimized for class-leading aerodynamic efficiency and boasts a 15 percent improvement in Cd.A versus the outgoing TL.
    In their effort to significantly reduce the intrusion of wind, road and engine noise into the cabin, Acura engineers paid special attention to body sealing, reducing open air paths by 50 percent compared to the outgoing TL. The TLX is also the first Acura to utilize acoustic spray foam, which is applied in 10 critical locations throughout the body. Additional noise-reduction features include triple door seals, the expanded application of body sealing and sound absorptive materials, an acoustic glass windshield, and electronic Active Noise Control (ANC).

    William Maley

    Camry and Excitement?! No it isn't a contradiction.

    Toyota isn't resting on its laurels with the Camry. Even though the company redesigned the model back in 2012, new competitors are threatening the Camry's midsize sedan sales crown. So the company went back to the drawing board and came up with the 2015 Camry, shown today at the New York Auto Show.
    Toyota says the 2015 model has been rebuilt from the ground-up with more than 2,000 new parts in a effort to make the new model a bit more exciting, something Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda has mandated.
    The exterior has grown in length by 1.8 inches and features a 0.4 inch wider track. Up front is styling that is similar to the new Corolla with a wider and more prominent grille and wraparound headlights. In the back is a Avalon-like trunk lid and new taillights. Moving inside, Toyota has added more premium and soft-touch materials throughout the cabin. There is a redesigned center stack with the latest version of Toyota's Entune infotainment system and a new 4.2 inch color screen in the instrument cluster.
    Powertrains carry over from the current model, which means a 2.5L four-cylinder engine will be the base, followed by the 3.5L V6. Hybrid models stick with 2.5L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder paired with an electric motor and CVT. What has changed is Toyota trying to up the sporty-ness with the Camry by adding more spot welds to the chassis, revised suspension, retuned electric power steering, and a new two-stage brake booster.
    The Camry also gains two more trim levels for more sport. First is the XSE which adds unique 18-inch wheels, shock absorbers, firmer bushings, higher rate coil springs, and unique steering tuning. Then there is the Hybrid SE which gets its own tuning to the suspension and chassis reinforcements.
    The 2015 Camry arrives at dealers this fall.
    Source: Toyota

    Press Release is on Page 2
    More Than Skin Deep: America's Best-Selling Car Gets Even Better With a Sweeping Redesign for 2015
    Toyota Camry rebuilt from the ground up with almost 2,000 new parts
    New, sporty XSE and Hybrid SE grades amp up driving dynamics
    Most upscale interior in segment with soft-touch materials throughout
    Produced by over 7,000 American team members
    April 16, 2014
    NEW YORK (April 16, 2014) - So what do you do when you have the best-selling car in the industry for 12 straight years? You find ways to make it even better. That's exactly what Toyota did with the introduction of the new 2015 Camry. After selling almost a million of the industry's benchmark sedan since the current generation launched in 2011, Toyota stripped it down to its chassis and rebuilt it from the ground up, raising the bar yet again in the ultra-competitive mid-size sedan segment.
    "Customers today love the durability, quality and value that the Camry represents, but they are looking for a little more style, comfort and performance, and this 2015 Camry has all of the above," said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. "This is the new Camry, and it's coming from the new Toyota."
    Toyota designers and engineers re-imagined nearly every exterior surface of the car. Only the roof remains unchanged. The new, upscale interior features premium, soft-touch materials throughout the spacious cabin. Advanced instrumentation with intuitive controls helps keep the driver's eyes safely on the road ahead.
    Underneath the striking new exterior, the chassis and body structure are bolstered with additional spot welds, enhancing rigidity for better ride quality. A retuned suspension takes the Camry's handling to a whole new level of responsiveness.
    Two new grades, the sporty and luxurious XSE and the eco-fun Hybrid SE, join the well-equipped entry LE and the premium XLE grade, giving customers more choice than ever before.
    An Expressive and Athletic Exterior
    The 2015 Camry's exterior is more expressive and athletic with prominent character lines. The new car is slightly longer (1.8 inches or 45 mm) and features a widened track (0.4 inches or 10 mm) that communicates a dynamic stance and presence.
    A pronounced body line starts from the Camry's muscular front fender and spans across the doors and rear quarter panel, conveying a sense of motion. The completely revised, more aggressive front bumper cover features a wider more prominent trapezoidal grille shape, expressing a lower center of gravity.
    The 2015 Camry will be available in 10 colors, including the new Celestial Silver Metallic and Ruby Flare Pearl.
    New Lighting Shines with Form and Function
    The new sleek headlamps complement the aggressive front fascia, while the front turn signal indicators and LED DRL's are integrated for an elegant appearance. The 2015 Camry will offer exterior lighting with available LED low and high-beams and auto static leveling. The Camry's rear tail lamps sweep into the tapered sheet metal at the rear of the car. A decorative garnish connects
    the tail lamps across the trunk lid and emphasizes its new sporty stance.
    A Modern, Refined Interior
    The interior of the new Camry is more refined than ever with premium materials, roomier feel and improved amenities. The center stack features a high-tech, upscale look that smoothly integrates with the console.
    The center console tray has been redesigned to increase capacity while offering a convenient power source in the storage box. The new enclosed bin in front of the shifter now offers 12v, USB and a segment-first, available wireless charging system for select smart phones.
    The 2015 Camry's cockpit offers intuitive top-flight in-car electronics and displays that help reduce driver stress and distraction. The instrument panel features a new 4.2-inch TFT screen nestled between the three-dimensional Optitron gauges on the SE, XLE and XSE models. The screen's color animation displays a wide range of vehicle functions and coordinates with the multimedia system to display audio, navigation, warnings and communications.
    Detailed stitching and trim elements finished in satin chrome convey a sophisticated appearance. Varying by model, seat cover textures range from premium cloth all of the way to genuine leather and Ultrasuede with durable, high contrast French-stitching.
    The Quietest Camry Ever
    Toyota engineers focused on reducing unwanted wind and road noise to offer an even quieter cabin. Window and door seals were improved to keep noise outside. The carpet features 30 percent more insulating material. Even the Camry's side mirrors were redesigned to better control air flow reducing turbulence and noise.
    Dialing Up Driving Dynamics
    Additional spot welds were added to the door opening flanges to increase rigidity and enable spirited handling. A combination of Macpherson struts up front, a multi-link arrangement at the rear and a stiffer body structure allows for unique suspension tuning across trim levels.
    The electric power steering on all Camry models is tuned for better on-center feel, better straight line stability and more direct-feeling steering inputs. In addition to improvements in steering feel, the new Camry's hydraulic system has been revised with a two-stage brake booster to improve brake feel.
    The Camry will continue to be available with 2.5-liter four-cylinder or 3.5-liter V6 gas engines paired with 6-speed automatic transmissions, or a 2.5-liter Atkinson Cycle engine with Hybrid Synergy drive matched to an E-CVT.
    Making the Grade
    In 2011, Toyota launched the sporty Camry SE grade, resulting in attracting buyers that were 12 years younger than the rest of the segment average. The SE model now accounts for 45 percent of the Camry sales mix, proving that drivers want sportier models.
    Building on this success, the Camry XSE grade gives customers more of what they want with enthusiastic driving dynamics and luxurious amenities. The Camry SE and XSE are distinguished by a unique mesh grille and fascia treatment. The Camry XSE adds to its edgier look with model-specific 18-inch wheels, unique shock absorbers, firmer bushings, higher rate coil springs, and unique EPS tuning, making it the sportiest Camry yet.
    Also for 2015, a Camry Hybrid SE has been added to the lineup with unique dynamic suspension tuning that delivers an eco-fun driving experience. Up front, a stabilizer bar, absorber valve structure, and control arm bushing components were enhanced to offer improved ride quality while sharpening steering feel. The Hybrid SE's vehicle stability control system has been retuned for smoother intervention and a more natural driving feel.
    Advanced Safety Features
    All Toyota vehicles come standard with the STAR Safety System. In addition, Camry will offer safety-focused driver aids including Lane Departure Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System with Auto High Beams, and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
    Everybody's All-American
    Every Camry sold in North America is the product of over 7,000 skilled American team members. From design and engineering in Michigan, to assembly in Kentucky, a unique American touch goes into each Camry that rolls off of the line. The new 2015 Camry will arrive in dealerships this fall.

    Drew Dowdell

    The current Hyundai Sonata was a resounding success, Hyundai hopes to keep that momentum going.

    At the New York Auto Show today, Hyundai introduced the 7th generation of their mid-size Sonata sedan. After the revolutionary change the previous version brought, Hyundai has adopted a more evolutionary design. Billed as Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, the 2015 Sonata has been refined further and the look brought more in line with the upper end of the Hyundai family, the Genesis luxury sedan.
    Hyundai addresses concerns of road noise and vibration with increased usage of sound deadening materials in the firewall and floorpan. Under the car is a fibrous glass board that improves aerodynamics and further reduces noise.
    Improvements in interior packaging bump the passenger volume up to 106.1 cu. ft. which is 3 cu. ft. larger than the next largest mid-size competitor, the Honda Accord. This increase in room earns the Sonata an EPA size rating of Large-Car.
    The suspension in all Sonatas has been re-tuned and reinforced for better ride and handling while the 2.0 Turbo models receive further tuning for a sportier feel.
    Powertrains are largely carryover with slight revisions in tuning. Peak horsepower for the standard 2.4 liter 4-cylinder has been reduced to 185 to improve responsiveness at lower RPM while the 2.0 Turbo, now sporting 245 horsepower and 260 ft-lb of torque, has a smaller turbine and compressor to reduce turbo lag.
    Hyundai has been making strong inroads lately against the long-time stalwarts of Camry and Accord. The 6th generation Sonata was released in 2011 and Hyundai is keeping the pressure up by bringing out a revised model in rapid succession.
    Press Release After The Jump

    Source: Hyundai Media
    NEW YORK, April 16, 2014 – Hyundai today introduced its all-new seventh-generation 2015 Sonata at the New York International Auto Show. Following the incredible success of the outgoing Sonata, the all-new generation offers a more refined look through a new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language, stiffer body structure, better ride quality, reduced noise, vibration and harshness and advanced safety and convenience features. Sonata truly democratizes the premium design and convenient technology of the Genesis sedan for the mid-size class. The new 2015 Hyundai Sonata will be built at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama plant in Montgomery, Ala. and go on sale early this summer.
    EXTERIOR DESIGN
    The 2011 Sonata raised the bar for design in the mid-size sedan segment when it was introduced in 2009. Consumers noticed the groundbreaking design and so did the competition. Sonata’s design matures for the 2015 model year with energetic and crisp lines complimented by smooth and subtle surfaces. Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 is a confident evolution of the original fluidic sculpture design language that perfectly expresses Sonata’s premium look and excellent value.
    A larger, more refined grille with a wide air intake defines the face of the 2015 Sonata. Simple, harmonious lines adorn the exterior while hinting at the improved dynamic performance and human-machine connection Sonata provides. Taut, horizontal rocker panels reflect the chassis’ increased stability and surefootedness while the signature Sonata beltline is now stretched tight to accentuate the sedan’s strength. The coupe-like roofline remains, but it is balanced by a larger window graphic that emphasizes the roomier interior. Horizontal lines in the rear underscore Sonata’s width and give the car a planted look. This purposeful shape achieves a remarkable drag coefficient of just 0.27, lower than any non-hybrid in the mid-size sedan class.
    Shoppers looking for a traditional design will appreciate the 2015 Sonata SE’s exterior styling that includes standard LED daytime running lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear lip spoiler and chrome surround for the day light opening. Sonata Limited adds rocker panel extensions and dual exhaust for a premium look.
    Sonata Sport features a more aggressive front grille and bumper, side rocker extensions and side chrome molding. Sport models powered by the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine feature dual exhaust while Sport 2.0T models feature a unique rear bumper fascia, quad exhaust tips and 18-inch alloy wheels. The Sport model is expected to be the most popular Sonata. With the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T, performance is something you taste and the Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language certainly whets the appetite.
    “We crafted the shape of the 2015 Sonata in the same way an award-winning chef refines his recipe over the years,” said Chris Chapman, chief designer, Hyundai Design North America. “With the 2011 Sonata, Hyundai took the mid-size sedan from a meal to a gourmet dinner. The evolution to Fluidic Sculpture 2.0’s more taut, modern lines reflect the improvements in refinement and driving dynamics for 2015.”
    INTERIOR DESIGN
    Confident, energetic lines define the 2015 Sonata’s exterior and are complimented inside the cabin by a premium interior with a special emphasis on ergonomics. Intuitive buttons and controls are placed on the center stack, which is angled toward the driver to make the controls easier to reach. Hyundai’s core interior design principles are safety, intuitiveness and simplicity and Sonata delivers in spades.
    Controls are grouped logically and placed in the most convenient position for the driver. To create a unified experience inside the cabin, designers met with various suppliers to make sure all buttons and switchgear have a consistent feel. The height of the display screen for the audio display or 8-inch navigation system and instrument cluster are optimized for visibility and reside on the same plane to enhance readability during a quick glance. These ergonomic enhancements help the driver remain focused on the road ahead and provide confidence behind the wheel.
    All components inside the cabin were examined and opportunities for improvement were taken very seriously. Even the steering wheel went through extensive testing to determine the ideal diameter, shape and tactile feel to maximize driver confidence. Improvements in the design of the steering wheel and changes to the layout of the instrument cluster necessitated a new steering column design. Designers and engineers sweated every detail in their quest to make the interior as safe, intuitive and simple as possible while delivering convenient features with pleasing aesthetics.
    Sonata Sport 2.0T receives a unique interior that enhances its more dynamic personality. A D-cut steering wheel and paddle shifters help provide the confidence enthusiastic drivers expect while the sport instrument cluster with six o’clock needle position hints at the improved performance from the more responsive 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.
    Reducing undesired noise inside the cabin was a top priority for the 2015 Sonata. Engineers reduced the size of the apertures in the bulkhead and increased use of sound deadening materials in the dashboard to prevent unwanted noise from entering the cabin. Engine notes were tuned to be pleasing to the ear without being intrusive. More sound absorption materials are used under the floorpan and an underbody tray made of fibrous glass expansion board improves aerodynamics while reducing unwanted road noise.
    The 2015 Sonata’s efficient packaging delivers outstanding passenger and interior volume. With 106.1 cu. ft. of passenger volume and a total interior volume of 122.4 cu. ft., 2015 Sonata is classified as a large car by the EPA.
    ADVANCED HIGH-STRENGTH STEEL PLATFORM
    A rigid platform is essential for a great car. Everything from ride quality to crash test performance is enhanced with a stiffer platform. The 2015 Sonata uses advanced high-strength steel for more than 50 percent of total platform composition, which results in 41 percent stiffer torsional rigidity and 35 percent greater bending strength. Advanced high strength steel is twice as rigid as traditional steel while weighing 10 percent less. More hot-stamped components are used, especially in the B-pillar area.
    A revised multilink rear suspension design enhances responsiveness, handling and stability while reducing impact harshness. Dual lower suspension arms replace the old single-arm design and distribute lateral forces more effectively to improve ride quality without sacrificing handling. The new rear suspension geometry helps keep Sonata more stable under hard braking and helps provide shorter stopping distances.
    Reinforced side and cross members strengthen sub-frame mounting points and improve suspension responsiveness. Revised front sub-frame bushings are 17 percent stiffer than before and contribute to better steering feel and improved responsiveness. 2015 Sonata Sport 2.0T utilizes a new rack-mounted dual-pinion electric power steering system that offers more natural steering feel. Sport 2.0T models receive a unique sport-tuned suspension and larger 12.6-inch front brakes. These upgrades deliver increased driver confidence and a premium driving experience.
    Improvements in ride and handling were validated at Hyundai’s world-class facilities in Namyang, the Mojave proving grounds in California and the new test center located at the famed Nurburgring. Validating the 2015 Sonata’s performance at world-class test tracks resulted in a world-class mid-size sedan that inspires confidence in a wide variety of driving conditions.
    POWERTRAIN
    Hyundai continues its all four-cylinder engine lineup for the 2015 Sonata. A revised 2.4-liter Theta II GDI four-cylinder engine powers SE, Limited and Sport models. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder produces 185 horsepower and 178 lb. ft. of torque. Hyundai’s powertrain engineers slightly reduced peak power for the 2015 Sonata to shift the powerband downward for better responsiveness in lower-RPM situations where customers spend the majority of their time. The new Electronic Intake Continuously Variable Valve Timing (E-CVVT) improves performance in low temperatures and reduces emissions.
    A revised 2.0-liter Theta II turbocharged GDI, also featuring E-CVVT, powers Sport 2.0T models. The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is also optimized for lower-RPM drivability and it produces 245 horsepower and 260 lb. ft. of torque. The turbocharger features a smaller turbine and compressor wheel, which provide better responsiveness and more torque in the low and mid RPM range. Both Theta engines are paired with a six-speed SHIFTRONIC® automatic transmission.
    SAFETY FEATURES
    Sonata comes standard with seven airbags, including a new driver’s knee airbag designed to help prevent the driver from sliding down the seat in a collision, which allows the other restraint systems to be more effective. Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Traction Control, ABS and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System with individual tire pressure display are also standard. Projector headlamps are standard while HID headlamps are available.
    Hyundai engineers implemented many active safety technologies for the 2015 Sonata to assist drivers and help prevent accidents. No longer reserved for luxury cars, advanced safety technologies such as Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a Lane Departure Warning System are all available in this midsize sedan.
    Sonata’s advanced Blind Spot Detection system is designed to alert drivers of an approaching vehicle in the next lane if the turn signal is activated. This Lane Change Assist technology is a segment-exclusive active safety feature. Drivers are first alerted of a vehicle in the blind spot by warning lights in the side mirrors. When the turn signal is activated, the Lane Change Assist system determines the closing speed of any vehicle in the adjacent lane to determine if the lane change is safe. If the system determines the vehicle in the other lane is closing too quickly, it sounds an audible alarm to warn the driver that the lane change is unsafe. The Lane Departure Warning System uses a forward-facing camera to recognize lane markers. If the system detects the vehicle is headed outside the lane markers, a warning light on the dashboard illuminates and an audible sound alerts the driver.
    Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA) is another feature derived from the 2015 Sonata’s advanced Blind Spot Detection system. RCTA scans the areas to each side of the 2015 Sonata when drivers are backing out of parking spaces. If the system detects another vehicle is approaching from the side, the Sonata driver is given an audible alert. This system is another tool that helps Sonata drivers utilize the active safety technology.
    CONVENIENT TECHNOLOGY
    The 2015 Sonata embodies Hyundai’s Modern Premium brand direction by providing convenient technology formerly reserved for luxury sedans in the mid-size segment without the premium price tag. Switching the high beams on and off manually doesn’t seem like a hassle, but Sonata’s High Beam Assist allows the driver to keep their eyes on the road and let the headlamps deliver maximum visibility without accidentally blinding oncoming traffic. Bright LED daytime running lights give the 2015 Sonata’s face a premium look. Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with full stop capability helps make driving on the freeway less stressful. This system allows full function down to zero mph to operate seamlessly using the front-grille-mounted radar sensor. SCC enables the 2015 Sonata to help maintain safer, consistent spacing with the vehicle ahead in varied traffic conditions.
    Smart trunk gives drivers a convenient hands-free way to open the trunk while keeping both feet firmly planted on the ground. The owner simply needs to approach the Sonata’s trunk with the key fob in a purse or pocket and wait three seconds. The trunk will automatically open, making it easy to place groceries or luggage inside when hands are full. Rear seat passengers are treated to segment-exclusive sunshades, an option typically found on luxury cars. Feedback from current Sonata owners resulted in a height-adjustable passenger seat and now both front seats can be heated and ventilated. Even rear-seat passengers enjoy the luxury of heated seats on a cold day. A heated steering wheel will be a favorite feature for owners of the 2015 Sonata Limited equipped with the Tech package. The desire to deliver class-above value allows these convenient technologies to trickle down from the all-new Genesis to the all-new Sonata making it the most sophisticated mid-size sedan available.
    MULTIMEDIA
    All 2015 Sonatas come standard with iPod®/USB and auxiliary input jacks, SiriusXM® satellite radio and Bluetooth® phone connectivity with phonebook transfer and voice-recognition. Available upgrades include an 8.0-inch navigation system with downloadable apps, HD radio, Dimension or 400-watt Infinity premium audio systems with next-generation Blue Link® telematics.
    Hyundai’s 8.0-inch navigation system offers an enhanced display with improved touch sensitivity, a map and music split screen display and the ability to record SiriusXM presets 1-6. Switching to a preset station in the middle of your favorite song won’t be an annoyance any longer. Rewind up to 22 minutes to listen to the full song or catch up on a sports broadcast. SiriusXM Travel Link®provides access to traffic information, sports scores, weather, stock prices, fuel prices and local movie times. All 2015 Sonatas equipped with navigation will also support Pandora® and SoundHound applications as well as “Eyes Free” Siri integration, which allows drivers to perform a variety of functions without taking their eyes off the road. Apple CarPlay will take iPhone integration to the next level on the 2015 Sonata later this year.

    William Maley

    Audi Continues To Grow The A3 Lineup

    Consider Audi's plan for the A3 lineup in the U.S. There will be the A3 Sedan, S3 Sedan, A3 Cabriolet, a TDI version of the sedan, and A3 Sportback e-tron, which is the gasoline-electric hybrid. Pretty large lineup to say in the least? Well you can add another one as the company announced that the A3 Sportback TDI will becoming to the U.S. next summer at the New York Auto Show today.
    The A3 Sportback TDI will come with a new 2.0L TDI four-cylinder with 150 horsepower, paired with a six-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard, but there is no mention if Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system will be available. Much like the sedan, the Sportback TDI will be available with a number of technology options such as Audi’s MMI infotainment system, Audi drive select, 4G LTE, and a Bang & Olufsen audio system.
    “The A3 TDI Sportback has an incredibly passionate and loyal fan base, this new version has been one of our most requested models since the announcement of the new A3 family. This new A3 TDI Sportback combines excellent fuel economy with advanced technology and utility and will make a stunning addition to the already impressive A3 family,” said Scott Keogh, President of Audi of America.
    Audi is keeping quiet on pricing and fuel economy for the A3 Sportback TDI for the time being.
    Source: Audi

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Audi introduces the all-new Audi A3 TDI Sportback
    The decision to bring the Audi A3 Sportback TDI® clean diesel to the U.S. market follows an outpouring of enthusiasts’ support
    The newest model will arrive in 2015 to join the aggressive Audi push to expand the compact luxury segment
    The A3 TDI Sportback will join the A3 e-tron Sportback to provide a range of efficiency choices in a versatile design

    HERNDON, Va., April 16, 2014 – Fans have spoken and Audi is responding with the all-new Audi A3 TDI Sportback set to arrive in the U.S. in the summer of 2015. The A3 TDI Sportback is the latest model to join the newly launched Audi A3 family and the expanded model lineup of Audi TDI models.
    It will make its U.S. debut at the New York International Auto Show on April 16th. The A3 TDI Sportback is a premium, compact hatchback that pairs fuel efficiency and coupe-like looks with the utility of a crossover. Its quality engineering and advanced features offer ideal performance and functionality along with advanced technology and driving dynamics.
    “The A3 TDI Sportback has an incredibly passionate and loyal fan base, this new version has been one of our most requested models since the announcement of the new A3 family,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. “This new A3 TDI Sportback combines excellent fuel economy with advanced technology and utility and will make a stunning addition to the already impressive A3 family.”
    The A3 TDI Sportback will join the newly launched all-new A3 family, which will be introduced over the next 18 months – the Audi A3 Sedan, Audi A3 Cabriolet, A3 TDI clean diesel sedan, the high-performance S3 Sedan and the A3 Sportback e-tron® gasoline electric hybrid (PHEV). These vehicles are redefining the standards of the entry level premium market with new innovative technologies and the detailed craftsmanship found in larger flagship Audi sedans.
    In addition to advanced technology, the Audi A3 TDI Sportback will offer the consumer the fuel efficiency of the iconic Audi TDI clean diesel powertrain. This will include a 150 horsepower 2.0 TDI® clean diesel mated to the standard 6-speed S tronic® transmission. This transmission provides the driver immense shifting flexibility and driving pleasure with smooth, dynamic acceleration and virtually no interruption to the power flow.
    Audi has now answered with two sportback options, the A3 e-tron PHEV and the newly announced A3 TDI. When these two models reach the market next year Audi will have a compelling green narrative in the versatile sportback packaging. One choice for eco-conscious drivers facing a typical American commute, another for those with longer daily hauls who require the superb range TDI offers.
    The A3 marks the first time that an A-segment vehicle will offer available features including MMI® technology, Audi drive select, 4G LTE connectivity and Bang & Olufsen® audio. The new A3 family will feature the most advanced version of Audi connect®, including picture navigation, read-aloud news headlines, Facebook® and Twitter® alerts, access to more than 7,000 Web radio stations, personalized RSS news feeds and more.

    William Maley

    The Third Chevrolet Showing Has Been Revealed

    At last, we finally know the last showing from Chevrolet for the New York Auto Show and it's the announcement of the Trax coming to the U.S. early next year.
    Now the Trax has been on sale in other countries for the past couple of years, and some were clamoring GM to sell it here. We're guessing that the success of the Buick Encore and the growing marketplace of subcompact SUVs made GM reconsider this.
    “Trax offers customers another option in the Chevrolet family and will be a strong competitor in the emerging small-SUV market, which is expected to grow more than 80 percent by 2016. Trax also leverages our global resources and builds on Chevrolet’s strong SUV heritage,” said Alan Batey, General Motors senior vice president for Global Chevrolet.
    The U.S. model will feature the 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder and have front-wheel drive standard. All-wheel drive will be on the options list. Other items to take note are the availability of OnStar 4G LTE and and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.
    Source: Chevrolet

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Chevrolet Adds Trax to Growing Small-Vehicle Lineup
    Global small SUV arrives stateside, offering versatility, connectivity and efficiency

    NEW YORK – At the New York International Auto Show today, Chevrolet announced it will add the Trax, a new small SUV, to its portfolio. The 2015 Trax will offer versatility, connectivity and turbocharged performance in an efficient package.
    Sporty and modern, Trax blends small-car agility with the utility of an SUV, including up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) of cargo space. It’s Chevrolet’s seventh small-vehicle launch in less than four years. During that time, the brand’s share of the small-, compact- and mini-car segments has more than tripled – up 221 percent.
    “Trax offers customers another option in the Chevrolet family and will be a strong competitor in the emerging small-SUV market, which is expected to grow more than 80 percent by 2016,” said Alan Batey, General Motors senior vice president, Global Chevrolet. “Trax also leverages our global resources and builds on Chevrolet’s strong SUV heritage.”
    When it arrives in dealer showrooms early next year, Trax will accommodate customers’ increasingly connected lifestyles with available OnStar 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, as well as MyLink technology featuring the segment’s only seven-inch color touch screen. Trax also will be the first in its class to offer Siri Eyes Free.
    Trax technologies also enhance passenger safety, with more standard air bags than its competitors, a standard rearview camera and available rear park assist.
    Additional vehicle highlights include:
    Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine that delivers the efficiency of a small-displacement engine with the power of a larger engine on demand
    Available all-wheel drive
    Electric power steering
    Available next-generation OnStar and MyLink
    Ten standard air bags, including side-curtain and knee air bags – and the segment’s only rear seat-mounted thorax air bags
    Clever and convenient storage areas, including upper and lower glove boxes – with a USB port and auxiliary jack in the upper glove box for plug-in media
    60/40-split fold-flat rear seat and fold-down front passenger seatback for storing and transporting items up to eight feet long
    Standard remote keyless entry and available remote start.

    Trax will be offered in LS, LT and LTZ trims. Pricing will be announced closer to the start of production.
    A Chevy inside and out
    With its signature dual-port grille, prominent bowtie emblem and swept headlamps, the Trax is immediately identifiable as a contemporary Chevrolet. Its grille design – with chrome accents – emulates other Chevrolets and provides a more cohesive appearance across the brand’s lineup of crossovers and small cars.
    Available cues such as front fog lamps and simulated front and rear skid plates lend a sportier presence, while vertical tail lamps flank the tailgate, accenting taught body lines and pronounced wheel arches that give the Trax a confident stance.
    The 10 exterior are: Brilliant Blue Metallic, Orange Rock Metallic, Satin Steel Metallic, White Pearl Tricoat, Black Granite Metallic, Summit White, Silver Ice Metallic, Ruby Red Metallic, Deep Espresso Metallic and Blaze Red.
    Inside, Trax’s distinctive styling carries over to a dual-cockpit instrument panel. In the center, it houses a seven-inch, high-resolution, full-color display for the standard MyLink voice-activated infotainment system. It also features displays for available SiriusXM satellite radio and standard rearview camera, as well as the available GPS-enabled app navigation system that customers can download.
    The instrument cluster is inspired by the bold design in the Sonic, featuring a large, performance-style analog tachometer combined with a prominent digital display for the speedometer and other readouts. A small-diameter, thick-rimmed steering wheel enhances the sporty ambience. The wheel is leather-wrapped on LTZ and some LT models.
    LS models feature standard cloth seating, with deluxe cloth standard on LT, along with an available cloth/leatherette seating trim. LTZ models feature standard full leatherette trim. Interior colors are Jet Black, Jet Black/Light Titanium and Jet Black/Brownstone.
    For versatility, the 60/40 flat-folding rear seat features a fold-down armrest with cup holders, storage in all four doors, four bins in the dash, pockets in the seatbacks and bins under the rear load floor and a hidden storage drawer under the front passenger seat. It also offers 18.7 cubic feet (530 liters) of storage behind the split-folding rear seat and 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) with the rear seat folded. The front passenger seat also folds flat to extend the cargo length and accommodate items up to eight feet long.
    Connectivity and infotainment details
    Available Siri Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6 and iOS 7 users enhances connectivity and convenience. Each enables voice-controlled connectivity so customers can keep phones stored and their hands on the wheel.
    Additional standard and available features include:
    Seven-inch-diagonal color touch screen and additional USB ports
    Available Chevrolet connected by OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot
    Available next-generation OnStar and MyLink
    Available BringGo navigation app
    Available SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with three months of trial service), SiriusXM Travel Link and SiriusXM Tune Select (requires XM subscription)

    · Supports playback of MP3 files stored on USB flash memory drives.
    With Chevrolet’s connected by OnStar 4G LTE connection, Trax provides an available Wi-Fi hotspot that allows passengers to connect multiple personal devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless Internet.
    Turbocharged performance
    Trax is powered by a power-dense Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine backed by an efficiency-enhancing six-speed automatic transmission. The engine is expected to be rated at an SAE-certified 138 horsepower (102 kW) and 148 lb-ft of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 and 4,900 rpm.
    The wide rpm range for the maximum torque – a specific trait of turbocharged engines – helps it deliver a more confident driving experience, with a strong feeling of power across the rpm band. The turbocharger’s on-demand performance also contributes to efficiency because it enables greater power when needed with the lower fuel consumption of a small-displacement engine when it’s not.
    The turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility. A solid cast crankshaft and forged connecting rods deliver additional durability to support the engine’s pressurized power and torque.
    A Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic transmission with TAPShift control is matched with the 1.4L turbo engine. It has a unique design, with the planetary gearsets positioned on the same axis as the engine crankshaft centerline, making the entire powertrain unit shorter fore-to-aft. This design enables a shorter overall vehicle length, increased interior space, enhanced safety crush zones and lower weight.
    A “steep” first gear and a “tall” overdrive top gear to achieve a wide ratio spread of 6.14:1. This allows Trax to achieve robust acceleration, as well as fuel efficiency and lower engine noise at highway cruising speeds.
    Refined ride and handling
    Trax is built on a robust global platform and engineered with precise suspension tuning to deliver one of the segment’s quietest and most refined driving experiences. Available all-wheel drive seamlessly shifts power to the rear wheels when required for better traction and handling.
    A 100.6-inch (2,555 mm) wheelbase and wide stance – 60.6-inch (1,539 mm) front and rear tracks – contribute to a confident driving experience, while a strong structure enables greater suspension precision and a quiet ride.
    A MacPherson strut front suspension is used with coil springs, a large stabilizer bar and side-load-compensated front strut modules.
    The rear suspension incorporates a compound crank (torsion beam) design, with a double-wall, tubular V-shape beam profile with gas-charged twin-tube shocks. It combines all the advantages of a conventional torsion beam axle, including minimal space requirements, with low weight and consistent camber control. Noise-damping urethane spring isolators improve ride isolation and dampen noise.
    Trax also features a column-mounted, variable-effort electric power steering system that saves fuel compared to a conventional engine-driven power steering pump.
    Sixteen-inch wheels are standard on LS and LT (aluminum wheels on LT). LTZ has standard 18-inch aluminum wheels.
    Built to protect
    Trax incorporates technologies that help avoid crashes and protect occupants in case one occurs. Crash-avoidance technologies include:
    Standard rearview camera
    Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control, incorporating traction control and rollover mitigation features
    ABS and electronic brake force distribution
    Cornering brake control and brake assist

    The body structure forms a protective cage around the passenger compartment, with 66 percent of the structure composed of high-strength steels, including ultra-high-strength steel. That structural protection is complemented with 10 standard air bags:
    Driver and front passenger frontal air bags
    Driver and front passenger knee air bags
    Front and rear thorax air bags for all outboard positions – including the segment’s only rear-seat-mounted thorax air bags
    Side curtain air bags for front and rear outboard passengers.

    Trax’s safety and security features also include exclusive OnStar technology with Advanced Crash Response System, emergency assistance and more.

    William Maley

    Take Three For Nissan's Style-Conscious Crossover

    Let's go back in time, say about 2002 or so. It was then that Nissan introduced the Murano crossover and started a movement, A movement that cause many automakers to start building crossovers and proving that you don't need to make a SUV/Crossover look like a box. Well Nissan hopes to continue that movement with the third-generation Murano, which makes its official debut this week at the New York Auto Show.
    The third-generation Murano's design is very much in line with the Resonance Concept shown at last year's Detroit Auto Show. The front end has a toned-down version of the "V-Motion" nose and the boomerang-shaped headlights. Another design cue carried over from the Resonance Concept is the "floating" roof which is pulled off by Nissan designers blacking-out the D-pillars. One other item about the third-generation Murano's design; the body now has a 0.31 coefficient of drag, which means the new model is about sixteen percent more aerodynamic than the outgoing model.
    Moving to the interior, Nissan has really separated the Murano from the new Pathfinder and Rogue crossovers. The design theme is a "upscale social lounge" (were not sure what it means either). Materials look to be much more premium, while the dashboard and center console have been lowered to improve visibility and the feeling of space. The Murano still has seating for five people, but now features a larger cargo area. There is also a larger panoramic moonroof.
    Power will be the same as the previous Murano; the venerable 3.5L VQ V6 with 260 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque. Nissan's latest version of the Xtronic continually variable transmission will route the power to either the front or all four wheels. Fuel economy figures haven't been released, but the company does say the new model will see a 20 percent improvement.
    The 2015 Murano will become the ninth vehicle built at Nissan's Canton, Mississippi plant and hits dealers sometime in the fourth quarter of this year.
    Source: Nissan


    Press Release is on Page 2
    2015 Nissan Murano Press Kit: Overview
    2015 Nissan Murano Resets The Standard In The Midsize Crossover Segment With Breakthrough Design, Premium Interior And Purposeful Technology
    Third generation of Nissan's popular flagship crossover symbolizes Nissan's design-led product and brand renaissance
    Murano styling delivers bold Resonance Concept's refined intensity exterior and social lounge interior
    Carries forward new Nissan design direction with V-Motion front end, boomerang lights, floating roof treatment and efficient aerodynamics
    All-new Murano arrives in Nissan showrooms in late 2014
    The first-generation Nissan Murano had a profound impact on the SUV market when it was introduced for the 2003 model year. In addition to being one of the first crossovers on the market, it offered a fresh design sensibility that combined an elegant style with premium features – without a luxury price tag. Murano quickly attracted a loyal, enthusiastic owner base and remained a "class of one" as other manufacturers scrambled to catch up.
    The second-generation Murano, introduced for model year 2009, maintained its strong position as the halo vehicle for Nissan crossovers – even as new Nissan SUVs like the bold JUKE sports crossover, all-new unibody Pathfinder and compact Rogue joined the product portfolio.
    When it came time to consider an all-new third generation, Murano had a high standard to meet – its own. So while the original was inspired by the elegance of the famed Italian Murano glassware from which the model took its name, the third-generation took its cues from the future, expressed in the form of the Nissan Resonance Concept vehicle.
    A Concept Brought to the Showroom
    "At Nissan, we create concept vehicles with an eye toward production, rather than just for entertaining auto show audiences," said Andy Palmer, chief planning officer and executive vice president, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. "Likely few people who saw Resonance in its North American International Auto Show debut imagined that we could build such a futuristic design. But here it is, ready to hit Nissan showrooms less than 24 months later."
    Though one was conceptual and the other production-based, Resonance and the new Murano were created on parallel tracks – with shared design themes and key attributes such as their boomerang lights and unique floating roof treatment.
    Like the first-generation Murano, the 2015 version is a highly sculptural, highly emotional design – one that once again stands out in a field known more for uniformity and utility-based styling.
    "Murano owners live in an environment – home, work and car – that is beautiful, well-designed and efficiently run. They are social and embrace technology," said Palmer. "The new Murano had to embrace all of these values, while also taking a major leap forward in terms of its 'Wow' factor."
    Working to capture the breathtaking spirit and artistry of the first Murano, the designers began by concentrating on the new vehicle's sculptural qualities. Breaking the usual order of sketching, computer renderings and then clay modeling, the Murano team started working with small three-dimensional clay forms – literally exploring organic shapes and volumes with mini desktop sculptures. The process helped narrow down a new Nissan design direction focused on lightness and efficiency.
    A Lightness of Form
    "One of the central constructs for both the exterior and interior of the new Murano was to 'elevate your experience,' which is counterintuitive to the heaviness and chunkiness of the traditional sport utility vehicle," said Nakamura. "This helped inspire the push for leading-edge aerodynamic and three key elements of our future designs – the V-Motion front end, signature lighting and the 'floating' roofline."
    In keeping with the idea of futuristic travel, the designers sought to create a gravity-like power to pull viewers into the design visually, while defying gravity with a lightness of form through the use of glass and flowing lines. The prominent glass areas of the first-generation Murano were retained and expanded with the new design, including the use of its jet-inspired roof and D-pillars that appear disconnected from the roof that help visually lighten the cabin. The result is a unique floating feeling that can be recognized from very far away.
    Another key element is the continued refinement of the boomerang-style headlights and taillights, which were originally introduced on the Nissan 370Z. For use with the new Murano, the shapes were slimmed and pushed to extremes to look like they flow with the wind. "The lights' LED Daytime Running Light accents are instantly recognizable at night. While becoming a Murano signature, they were an engineering challenge," explained Nakamura.
    The available LED headlights, while providing excellent efficiency and durability (versus halogen and xenon lights), required extensive tuning to refine the shape and light intensity. The design of the standard LED taillights had to be balanced with the required crossover utility, with the final shape seamlessly integrated into the rear glass, conveying a high-tech quality.
    Murano's sculptural bodysides also created an engineering challenge, especially in the strong curvature of the rear fender stampings. While similar in dimensions to the previous generation Muranos, the new design is slightly lower, wider and longer, enhancing the aerodynamics while not compromising the desired crossover height and stance. The lower rocker panels offer a balance of aerodynamics and ruggedness. Other critical details, such as the grille shutter, fender lip moldings, rear bumper surfacing, rear tire deflectors and integrated rear spoiler help achieve a more than 16 percent improvement in overall aerodynamics (versus the previous generation design).
    "The designers and engineers invested three times the normal wind tunnel testing of the new Murano to get to its 0.31 coefficient of drag, on par with many sports cars," added Nakamura.
    A New Way to Travel
    "Beyond the sense of elegant style and premium features, owners of the first two generations often tell us about the 'effortlessness of Murano' – the great front view, the low instrument panel, the comfort and ease of operation. These are all things we kept and exaggerated in the new model," said Nakamura.
    The exterior theme of futuristic travel and refined intensity continue throughout the Murano interior, starting the moment the doors are opened with its available advanced lighting system, open and comfortable feeling and use of premium materials.
    Continuing the idea of a concept car brought to production, the new Murano shares the look and feel of the Resonance. The upscale social lounge interior, for example, creates an inviting and comfortable atmosphere. The instrument panel height is lower than previous Muranos. Centered between the outer wings is a large information and control center with an available 8.0-inch color display with multi-touch control. Keeping with the idea of "beauty with simplicity," the number of audio and navigation switches has been reduced by 60 percent – from 25 to 10 – for a more user-friendly experience.
    "We've learned from personal electronics that consumers aren't always looking for devices that do more, they just want it done better," said Nakamura. "People rarely read the directions for their smartphone because they know intuitively how to operate them. We believe vehicles should behave the same way – it's a new and better way to travel."
    Adding to the driver's sense of connectedness with security is Nissan's Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display, an enhanced version of the popular instrument panel feature offered in the new Altima and Pathfinder. For use in the new Murano, it includes a number of new features, including a 7.0-inch high-resolution color display.
    Available audio systems include an advanced Bose® design with 11 speakers (including dual subwoofers), HD Radio® and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately). Also offered are NissanConnectSM with Navigation and Mobile Apps.
    Nissan's advanced NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats are standard for front and rear outboard occupants. The rear seats are a three-cushion design, a first for a Nissan vehicle. Climate-controlled seats (heating and cooling) are available in front, along with available Quick Comfort™ heated rear seats.
    Other interior features include standard Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature Control and Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Ignition, along with available leather-appointed seating, heated steering wheel, steering wheel position memory, driver's seat and outside mirror memory, power folding rear seats and Remote Engine Start with Intelligent Climate Control.
    Overhead, the available Power Panoramic Moonroof enhances the open, airy feeling. The moonroof has a 40 percent longer sliding length and 29 percent larger opening than the previous generation design. It is projected to be among the largest moonroofs in the segment.
    Conversation between front and rear occupants is encouraged by the new Murano's "communication alley" created by the wide, low center console. The console also includes a compartment for rear occupants' smartphone. There is also an available USB port for the rear seats that allows for control of music and display, along with ample storage areas and compartments throughout the interior.
    "We want everyone to feel like they are being taken care of, not just the driver. It's a continuation of the social lounge theme introduced in the Resonance Concept – a place you want to share with friends," added Nakamura. "Of course, not to be overlooked is Murano's crossover versatility, which is why the segment has become so popular in the first place."
    The new Murano's cargo area has been reconfigured (versus the previous generation) to provide a projected best storage space in the segment (with seats up). The rear cargo area, for example, accommodates four large suitcases, while the rear seats fold flat for greater cargo convenience. With the easy rear seat release and available power rear seat return, Murano converts from people hauler to cargo ship or back within seconds. All configurations can be done from the back, with no walking to each door.
    Standard 3.5-liter V6 and an Extra Set of Eyes
    The 2015 Murano will be available at launch with a standard 3.5-liter DOHC V6 rated at 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. Also standard is an advanced Xtronic transmission tuned for quick response and smoothness. Fuel economy is projected to be enhanced by approximately 20 percent versus the current generation Murano, due to the approximate 130-pound overall weight reduction, enhanced aerodynamics and engine/transmission efficiencies.
    Like the previous generation, the new Murano will offer responsive handling and a comfortable ride through use of a 4-wheel independent suspension featuring a front strut/rear multi-link design. Also standard are 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering. Sporty 18-inch or 20-inch machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels are also available. The 2015 Murano is offered in front-wheel drive or intuitive all-wheel drive.
    "While driving a new Murano is designed to be an exciting social experience, we also intend it to be a safe one," said Andy Palmer, chief planning officer and executive vice president, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. "We've given Murano 'an extra set of eyes' – a suite of advanced safety features designed to help look out for you."
    The new Murano incorporates up to four onboard cameras (front, rear, two side) and three radar systems (one front, two side) to provide input to a range of available technologies, including Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW) Forward Emergency Braking (FEB) and Intelligent Cruise Control. The new Cross Traffic Alert (CTA) system utilizes radar to detect a vehicle approaching from either side of the Murano when backing out of a parking space.
    Parking a new Murano is made easier with the available class-exclusive Around View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection, which is designed to reduce the normal complexity of parallel parking by giving an all-around view of the surrounding area from front, rear and side cameras.
    The system is not just for parallel parking, however, helping view the vehicle's placement in pull-in spots, garages and against curbs. The Moving Object Detection (MOD) system helps the driver to detect moving objects such as shopping carts or strollers when backing out via an on-screen notification and warning chime.
    Murano also includes as standard the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt sensors and an occupant classification sensor, front-seat mounted side-impact supplemental air bags, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags with rollover sensor and driver's seat knee air bag.
    "With advanced, purposeful technology designed to keep you safe and connected, along with its refined everyday driving experience, this all-new Murano adds the solid substance to go with its unmatched emotional style," said Palmer.
    A Range of Models, Now Assembled in America
    The 2015 Nissan Murano will be offered in four grade levels when it goes on sale in late 2014: S, SV, SL and Platinum. Each is available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
    The new Murano also becomes the first Murano (and the ninth vehicle) assembled in Nissan's Canton, Mississippi plant, which is the most diverse facility by number of models in Nissan's North American network. The Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant becomes the global source for Murano production, creating export opportunities to more than 100 markets. Murano will be assembled on the same line as Xterra, Frontier, Titan and Armada.
    "Murano resets the standard in class once again," concluded Palmer.

    William Maley

    The Future, Brought To You By Land Rover

    Land Rover has seen the future and has decided to show their findings in the Discovery Vision Concept, which was revealed last night in New York City.
    The Discovery Vision "is a vision into the future of Land Rover's new family of leisure vehicles." It also marks the return of the Discovery nameplate to the U.S.
    Styling wise, the Discovery Vision is taking some cues from the Range Rover family with a silhouette that is much more futuristic and sportier than the current LR4. Design cues to take note of are the rounded front end, laser-powered headlights, a rising character line along handle-less doors, and twenty-three inch wheels. For the interior, the Discovery Vision comes with seating for seven people and can be folded via a touchscreen in the front. Speaking of touchscreens, the Discovery Vision comes loaded with them. There are two touchscreens on the steering wheel for the driver to control certain functions and two touchscreens on the centerstack.
    On the technology front, Land Rover has gone a bit mad. For starters, the foglights can emit infrared lasers to scan the terrain. This information is used create a map and is displayed on the instrument cluster for the driver to help the navigate. Then there is the trick where the Discovery Vision can make its hood appear transparent to improve driver confidence. This is done with cameras mounted under the grille which provide video of the terrain and the heads-up display system which can overlay the video on the hood in the driver's line of sight, thus pulling off a clever illusion. Finally, there is Remote Control Drive which as the name suggests, makes the Discovery Vision into a RC car. The system works by the driver uses a smartphone or tablet, connected to the vehicle via the built-in wireless network, to drive it slowly over short distances.
    While we're not sure how much of the tech will make it into the next-generation Discovery, expect a lot the design come when the production model is introduced in the next couple of years.
    Source: Land Rover

    Press Release is on Page 2
    LAND ROVER DISCOVERY VISION CONCEPT
    DISCOVERY: A NEW BEGINNING
    In the 25 years since its launch, the Land Rover Discovery has carved an enviable reputation for itself – from deserts, jungles and barren peaks, where its unrivalled capability sees it through the harshest terrain, to cities and country tracks worldwide, where its distinctive blend of spacious design and innovative versatility have made it a global success, winning numerous awards and clocking up impressive sales figures.
    The Discovery shaped the 4x4 leisure segment and, over the course of a generation, became synonymous with it. Always a trend-setting pioneer, the Discovery is now on a journey of transformation and is set to change the face of the next generation too.
    From 2015 onwards, the Discovery nameplate will be borne by not just a single model but a distinct range of vehicles that symbolize the essence of the premium, lifestyle-orientated SUV: modern, versatile, practical and desirable, with the unmistakable DNA of Land Rover at its core.
    As Range Rover has done in the luxury SUV sector, the Discovery nameplate will come to redefine its territory in the leisure category. With the best designed and most premium, practical, versatile vehicles in their class, the future Discovery range is set to fundamentally enhance the way drivers around the world take on the adventure of modern life.
    DISCOVERY VISION CONCEPT: DESIGNING THE FUTURE
    The Discovery Concept is a vision into the future of Land Rover's new family of leisure vehicles. It is a vision of a premium and thoroughly modern lifestyle vehicle – a highly desirable interpretation of our well established Discovery nameplate, with a strong focus on relevant versatility and compelling design. This will truly resonate with customers while respecting the established values of Discovery's unique heritage.
    With its optimised volume and proportions, dramatic silhouette and overall modernity inside and out, this concept is a radical departure from Discovery as we know it – and yet, its unique DNA is evident, with the stepped roof, alpine lights, command driving position and stadium seating all working in harmony to create a vehicle that acknowledges its roots, whilst firmly looking forward.
    Though a full-size SUV, the Discovery Vision Concept looks remarkably compact. This has been achieved through a combination of well-considered design elements such as wrap-around headlamps and tail lamps and the short front and rear overhangs serving to reduce the visual length. The headlamps utilise advanced laser technology to generate incredibly bright, far-reaching beams of light, paired with LED daytime running lights. Slim foglamps on either side of the prominent undershield are capable of emitting both infrared and coloured lasers, which assist in the Laser Terrain Scanning and Laser Referencing functions.
    In profile, the Discovery Vision Concept's raised beltline alludes to the incredible levels of space available inside. The doors are operated by gesture control, and, with no need for handles, the resulting clean, beautifully crafted surfaces and the flush, tight gaps between their interfaces further impart a sense of modernity.
    The slim, aerodynamic wing mirrors have embedded cameras, which augment the view of the driver through the windows, providing an extended field of vision while parking and reversing. Just below the doors, sill steps on either side automatically deploy to facilitate occupants' entry and exit, with LED lighting to illuminate the ground being stepped onto.
    The body coloured C-pillar, the stepped roof flowing into the alpine lights and the distinctive asymmetrical graphic element on the rear number plate also references its Discovery heritage.
    The Discovery Concept takes a thoroughly modern view but also acknowledges the need to evolve specific Discovery elements such as the split tailgate which has evolved on the Discovery concept to a highly flexible new tailgate design incorporating a social seat system in the vehicle's loadspace area.
    The gesture-controlled, electrically powered, single-piece tailgate is paired with an event platform, which electrically deploys from within the rear bumper, just above the rear undershield. The Vision Concept has sleek horizontal tail lamps and vertical foglamps, and as at the front, the rear window also features hidden wipers, neatly concealed under the rear spoiler.
    The concept car, which is painted in a Tribeca Grey finish, is fitted with bespoke 23-inch split-five-spoke Aero Viper alloy wheels with a bright silver turned finish.
    INTERIOR: INNOVATION AND VERSATILITY COMBINED
    The interior of the Discovery Vision Concept is a dynamic blend of form, colour and material, striking in its clean, modern visual simplicity. It has been carefully crafted to deliver enormous levels of spaciousness and an open, airy feel for all occupants, while still cocooning them in an environment that feels cosy and secure.
    With a brief to create the ultimate leisure space, Land Rover's design team has created a warm and welcoming interior, crafted in Nimbus and Navy premium leather, open pore grey wood veneer and polished and brushed aluminium finishes. The large glasshouse and panoramic roof let in plenty of light and afford clear views out, while the vehicle's high beltline creates a feeling of security.
    The Discovery Vision Concept seats seven full-size adults in great comfort, in a 2+3+2 layout across three rows. Every passenger is catered for equally, with plenty of headroom and legroom and access to storage, infotainment and accessories.
    The Discovery Vision Concept maintains the command driving position, within an airy cockpit that gives excellent visibility. Flowing lines and warmly textured materials tastefully complement clean, futuristic technology interfaces. The steering wheel incorporates two small OLED touchscreens to operate the infotainment system, and with turn signals and headlamp functions operated by gesture control, indicator stalks are absent, creating more visual space and less clutter around the driver. This also affords a clear view of the instrument cluster, which features a high-definition screen with a 3-million-pixel resolution for incredibly vivid, sharp imagery.
    The top of the fascia has a leather-wrapped aerofoil-shaped structure for a light, minimalist appearance. The swooping form of the fascia's central 'arm' encases two high-resolution touchscreens, which display the vehicle's system menus. The lower touchscreen flips up to reveal a storage binnacle with an induction pad for easy, cable-free recharging of smartphones. Further down along the console is a rotary gearshift control, which deploys and rises into the driver's hand as it approaches, and a secondary rotary which controls functions such as Terrain Response and Tow Assist. This secondary rotary can detached and taken out of the vehicle to operate Remote Control Drive.
    The seats have a sculpted, wrap-around effect, with bolstered leather wrapped around the frame for a minimalist yet solid structural appearance. The third-row seats get their own colour: Navy leather, in contrast to the other five seats, which are made from Nimbus leather. This visual separation helps create a personalised ambience for the third-row passengers. All seven seats feature Sky Blue contrast stitching.
    Built to take the demands of family life, the Discovery Vision Concept's cabin is finished in Foglizzo H20w, an innovative premium leather that is specially treated to make it completely washable, while the Nubuck inserts on the first- and second-row seats feature Foglizzo H203 treatment that makes them totally oil- and water-repellent, to protect against spills. Soft and beautiful, yet highly durable, the Foglizzo leather is very easily washed and cleaned, making it the perfect solution for an uncompromisingly active lifestyle.
    A SkyLight cabin light is incorporated into the structural cross-beam that spans the panoramic roof. Providing an even, warm spread of light, it can be activated and brightened or dimmed with a gesture. Gentle orange lighting in the doors and floors further enhances the ambience of the interior.
    INNOVATIVE VERSATILITY
    Versatility and practicality have always been fundamental aspects of the Discovery, and every facet of the Discovery Vision Concept's carefully considered design reflects a sense of thoughtful innovation.
    The Discovery Vision Concept's reconfigurable seating system perfectly represents this philosophy. The seats in the second and third rows are able to slide backwards and forwards fully, both independently and as a complete row, fitting flush with the seat ahead or behind them ('theatre-fold'). The seat can also fold down flat, with the seatback effectively becoming a table surface ('table-fold'). Thus, with varying combinations of theatre-fold and table-fold seats, it is possible to create differing configurations for convenience and comfort – all easily selected from the menu on the console touchscreen. Possible configurations include:
    • 7-seat mode: Standard seating for seven adults in three rows.
    • 6-seat-mode: Second row middle seat in table-fold; more convenience for the second-row outboard-seat passengers.
    • 5-seat mode: Both second-row outboard seats in table-fold (more convenience for the middle-seat passenger) or both third-row seats in theatre-fold with the second row (plenty of extra load space).
    • 4-seat, or 'limousine' mode: Second row outboard seats in full theatre-fold with the front seats, and the second row middle seat in table-fold. Two passengers seated in the third row seats enjoy huge amounts of legroom.
    In addition, the back of each seat not only contains a gesture-controlled infotainment screen with a wide variety of functions, but also packs numerous convenience features such as integrated pop-out coat hangers, fold-out tray tables and tablet docking ports.
    With a nod to the original Discovery and its Conran Design-inspired cubby-bag which clipped into the centre console, the Discovery Vision Concept features detachable travel luggage smartly integrated into the doors, so that passengers can save having to pack and carry a suitcase and load it into the boot. The high-quality hard cases clip straight into the insides of the doors, and once detached, can be taken away from the vehicle like a regular stroller bag, as they have wheels in their bases and extendable handles. Accessories such as picnic blankets, sleeping blankets and cushions, are designed to enhance leisure activities. They are handcrafted by Sula and made with material woven by Harris Tweed, exuding British quality and workmanship.
    The Discovery Vision Concept's social seating platform is another elegant manifestation of the Land Rover designers' mission to maximise versatility. The social seat is deployed from under the boot floor. When initially extended, it forms a platform for activity. When further folded out, it becomes a bench that can be used by all to sit on.
    Used in conjunction with the powered single-piece tailgate, which opens up fully to serve as a canopy, and the deployable event platform, which can serve as a viewing platform to stand on, the social seating system supports a variety of outdoor leisure activities, from picnics and watching the polo to changing kids' muddy rugby kit. With conversion attachments, the sill step can also be used as a mounted bike/ski rack when the vehicle is on the move.
    PIONEERING TECHNOLOGY
    The Discovery Vision Concept is packed full of pioneering technology that is being developed by Jaguar Land Rover: technology of incredible intelligence and capability, that makes the driver and passenger experience alike safer, smarter, more connected and more engaging than ever.
    Laser headlamps
    The Discovery Vision Concept's headlamps feature laser diodes in combination with LED running lights. Laser light is the next generation of automotive lighting technology. These lights utilise laser-activated phosphor projection to emit a very bright and even beam of pure white light. The power of the laser light beam adds a distance of over 300 metres to the range of the headlight, and the quality of the light itself is closer to daylight – smooth and clean, with no patchiness or speckling – than any other type of artificial light, all of which makes for excellent and greatly enhanced visibility on the road.
    Further, Jaguar Land Rover's intelligent dipping and tracking technology uses hi-definition cameras to automatically detect and assess oncoming traffic, instantly dipping the relevant parts of the light beam to avoid glare to other road users, and adjusting the rest of the beam to maintain perfect visibility in all driving situations.
    By immensely boosting driver confidence and decreasing fatigue, reducing glare and avoiding the need to take one's hands off the wheel to operate the dip function, laser headlamps aim to make a huge difference to the automotive landscape by vastly increasing road safety. Additionally, laser lights have the added advantage of also being very compact – a tenth the size of LEDs – which opens up numerous design and engineering possibilities.
    Smart Glass & Passenger HMI
    The Discovery Vision Concept also previews a truly futuristic technology that will radically transform the user experience for drivers and passengers alike: smart glass. This state-of-the-art glass is capable of displaying imagery, like a computer screen – but is otherwise entirely transparent, like regular glass. Smart glass is used in the entire glasshouse of the Discovery Vision Concept – in all the windows, the panoramic roof and, allied to Head-Up Display (HUD) technology, in the windscreen – and opens up a world of exciting possibilities.
    Augmented reality involves overlaying real-time information onto the view of the surroundings as seen through the windows by the driver or passengers. The smart glass in the window can work in conjunction with eye-tracking sensors and the vehicle's sat-nav system to identify that, for instance, a passing landmark is being observed by one of the vehicle's passengers – and displays relevant information, such as navigation or tourist data, to that passenger. That information can then be swiped from the window directly into a passenger's seatback infotainment screen, or – adding in the functionality of passengers' personal devices – even to a docked tablet or smartphone.
    The image projection properties of smart glass also enhance the view through the windows; for instance, bay parking, reversing around corners or parking a trailer is made easier by projecting camera feeds onto the driver's view out of the smart-glass window, broadening the field of vision.
    The graphical properties of smart glass enhance ambience and privacy controls; the window can be dimmed with infinite gradation or completely blacked out with the swipe of a finger, while the panoramic roof also has the option of displaying screensaver-style 'mood screens'. From a soothing starry night sky as you drive through a city to a clear blue summer sky on a winter's evening – the smart glass on the panoramic roof lets you set the mood.
    The Discovery Vision Concept emphasises a great infotainment experience for all passengers. Individual 10-inch high-resolution screens are fitted into four of the seat backs, with the console screens serving the first-row right-hand-side and second-row middle passengers. Each passenger has not only full video and internet access via the vehicle's secure in-car WiFi network and the ability to link up to the smart-glass data from the windows, but can also, thanks to embedded cameras above each screen, video-call any other passenger seated in the Discovery Vision Concept, and talk in a natural face-to-face manner without having to twist rearward. The tablet dock integrated into the seatback folding trays also allows personal smartphones and tablets to be hooked up to the vehicle's system. The screens can be operated with hand gestures – for instance, swiping a hand left or right to change the mode, or rotating a finger to increase or decrease the volume.
    Gesture Control
    A number of other functions in the Discovery Vision Concept are also controlled by intuitive gestures, which is the next generation of HMI technology. Jaguar Land Rover's researchers have developed carefully calibrated motion sensors that precisely recognise designated hand or finger movements, thus eliminating the chance of unintentional triggering of functions. In addition to the passenger infotainment systems, gestures open and close the vehicle's doors and tailgate, operate the lights and turn signals, activate the rotary gearshift control, and dim and brighten the cabin lighting.
    UNSURPASSED ALL-TERRAIN CAPABILITY
    The Discovery, beloved of rutted roads and green lanes across the world, has a proud history of successfully tackling gruelling overland expeditions – most recently, the Journey of Discovery in 2012, where the one-millionth Discovery to be built was driven 8,000 miles from Birmingham to Beijing, China.
    The Discovery Vision Concept carries forward this tradition: from its design and build to the capability of its technical systems, it is not just every inch a Land Rover, but has the most advanced capability of any Land Rover, ever. The Discovery Vision Concept shows the direction of cutting-edge all-terrain technologies developed by Land Rover, which, from motorways to mountaintops, deliver the best functionality whatever the terrain.
    Remote Control Drive
    This feature enables the driver to manoeuvre the car at very low speed while not actually seated inside it, via the removable secondary rotary on the centre console, as well as via a smartphone or tablet. Applications include:
    • extreme off-roading, where it is sometimes safer and easier to inch the vehicle over obstacles from an outside vantage point,
    • coupling to a trailer, or
    • driving through gates, where the driver can avoid repeatedly getting in and out of the vehicle by simply opening the gate and letting the vehicle drive through via Remote Control Drive, before shutting the gate and re-entering the vehicle.
    Remote Control Drive has a simple, easy-to-use interface, encrypted access and operation only via the vehicle's localised WiFi, putting the power of autonomous vehicle control safely and securely in the driver's hands.
    Laser Terrain Scanning
    Another enhancement to the driver's capability is Laser Terrain Scanning. The Discovery Vision Concept's foglamps are capable of emitting infrared lasers, and these are used to scan the ground ahead, map the terrain and display the mapped imagery on the hi-definition cluster screen, providing the driver a vital visual reference and helping him understand the lay of the land while driving in challenging off-road conditions.
    Laser Referencing
    Both on and off the road, the Discovery Vision Concept's laser technology capability offers an additional resource: Laser Referencing. Here, the laser light is tuned to specific colours in the visible spectrum and used to project visible images onto the road. This has numerous useful applications, including projecting warning triangles onto the tarmac behind the car for other motorists to see in the event of a stoppage, or projecting reference points onto roads, walls or any terrain, in order to help the driver to judge tight gaps and to park or drive in congested spaces.
    Transparent Bonnet
    Another way of providing the driver with enhanced visibility and a greater understanding of the terrain is Land Rover's innovative Transparent Bonnet system. Cameras under the vehicle's grille send video of the terrain being traversed, projecting it to the Head-Up Display in the windscreen. By overlaying the imagery through the driver's line of sight on the HUD covering the bonnet area, the system effectively creates a 'see-through' bonnet view of the terrain and the direction of the front wheels, thus improving visibility and enhancing driver confidence.
    Terrain Response
    The next generation of Land Rover's iconic multi-mode terrain-tackling system links up and networks all these advanced capability technologies, as well as Hill Descent Control, wet grass traction control, auto hi/lo, Low Speed Steering Assist and Wade Aid.
    Terrain Response not only analyses the type of terrain being traversed – snow, ice, mud, grass, water, rocks, ruts, tarmac, gravel, sand, inclines and so on – but also proactively anticipates upcoming terrain via Laser Terrain Scanning and forward-facing camera sensors, and instantly engages the appropriate system to best respond to that type of terrain and situation.
    Wade Aid is a new sensory wading system that uses lasers to judge the depth of water ahead before the vehicle even begins to wade, and informs the driver of the feasibility of the intended wading manoeuvre.
    The Discovery Vision Concept's all-terrain capability enables differing levels of driving enhancement:
    • All Terrain Progress Control: A low-speed all-terrain cruise control that vectors torque to enable semi-autonomous off-road driving at a steady speed.
    • All Terrain Coach: for the more manually inclined. Here, the driver chooses from a menu the type of terrain being traversed and then gets a recommendation as to which off-road system ought to be activated for the best response.
    • Enhanced All Terrain Coach: marks a specific route across a terrain map rendered on the console display via Terrain Scanning, and suggests the appropriate systems to help navigate it step-by-step.
    The systems on the Discovery Vision Concept offer multiple levels of autonomy, so that the driver always has the choice to be engaged and involved with the terrain just as much as desired or needed.
    By enabling better vision and decision-making, they aim to provide the driver with more of the right information at the right time, helping progress through seemingly impassable terrain, and leading to more confidence, security and enjoyment on any terrain.

    William Maley

    Can I Get A 2015 Volkswagen Jetta With Some Light Refresh Dressing?

    Alongside the Golf SportWagen Concept, Volkswagen will also being showing off the 2015 Jetta which appears to have been ordered with a side of light refresh.
    The 2015 Jetta changes start with the exterior. Volkswagen swapped the front clip for a new one that has grille similar to the CC and a set of optional Xenon headlights with LEDs. Other exterior changes focused on improving the aero of the model with a new trunk lid and redesigned rain gutters. Moving inside, the Jetta gets some modest improvements with a new color multifunction display becoming an option on certain models. There's also new fabrics and trim pieces.
    Under the hood lies one of the biggest changes. Volkswagen is introducing a new 2.0L TDI four-cylinder with 150 horsepower and 236 pounds-feet of torque. When equipped with the manual transmission, Volkswagen says the TDI can achieve 32 City/45 Highway/37 Combined. The rest of the engine lineup which includes the 2.0L, 1.8T, and Hybrid carries over for 2015.
    The 2015 model also gains a smattering of safety equipment such as adaptive front lighting, blind spot detection, radar-based rear cross-traffic alert, and frontal collision warning.
    The 2015 Jetta arrives at dealers this fall.
    Source: Volkswagen
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2
    2015 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA MAKES GLOBAL DEBUT AT THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    New styling, driver assistance systems, improved fuel efficiency, and enhanced content head the updates for the 2015 model year
    New front, rear, and interior styling enhances Jetta’s clean and timeless design
    New available driver assistance systems: Blind Spot Detection, rear cross-traffic alert, frontal collision warning system, and Park Distance Control
    New 2.0T TDI® Clean Diesel EA288 engine returns a manufacturer-estimated 45 mpg on the highway
    Efficiency improved across Jetta lineup as a result of improved aerodynamics and a reduction in rolling resistance
    Bi-Xenon headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights and Adaptive Front-lighting System are now available on select models

    New York, NY – On top of being Volkswagen of America’s number one-selling car for decades, the Jetta is one of the world's most successful sedans with more than 14 million units sold since 1979. Last year alone, Volkswagen delivered 925,000 units worldwide—making the Jetta the top-selling car for both the brand and of the entire VW Group. Now, at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, Volkswagen is presenting the world premiere of the redesigned 2015 Jetta sedan.
    In addition to new styling touches at the front and rear of the car, the 2015 Jetta has notable changes throughout. Overall efficiency has been improved by reducing air drag and utilizing new tires that help improve rolling resistance. New driver assistance systems are available, such as Blind Spot Detection, frontal collision warning and rear cross-traffic alert. Inside, the Jetta sees an upgraded interior with new materials and an enriched assortment of available equipment. The 2015 Jetta continues to offer three four-cylinder gasoline engines (2.0-liter naturally aspirated and 1.8T and 2.0T TSI® Gen 3 turbocharged EA888 engines), a 1.4-liter turbocharged full hybrid version, and a new EA288 2.0-liter turbocharged EA288 TDI Clean Diesel engine. Furthermore, the 2015 Jetta has been engineered to meet or exceed all current U.S. safety standards.
    The 2015 Volkswagen Jetta is expected to arrive at U.S. Volkswagen dealers in the third quarter of 2014.
    New design and perfected aerodynamics
    Volkswagen has restyled the front and rear of the Jetta while improving its aerodynamic properties. At the front, the latest generation of the car can be recognized by its redesigned radiator grille with three cross fins, optional Bi-Xenon headlights with Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), and a new bumper. The Bi-Xenon headlights have an especially distinctive design: Each daytime running light is formed by 15 LEDs arranged in an L-shaped string alongside and beneath the xenon modules, creating an unmistakable light signature, day and night. A chrome element between the LED daytime running lights and the xenons accentuates the headlights. The new visual band formed by the radiator grille and the headlights, as well as the now larger lower air inlet, give the Jetta a wider and more substantial look. Re-sculpted foglights mounted in the outer areas of the bumper reinforce this effect.
    New rear design. The trunklid, taillights, rear logos and bumper of the Jetta have also been updated for 2015. The trunklid has an aerodynamic trailing edge, and on the sides the lines of this integrated spoiler extend into the rear fenders and then into the precise contour of the car's silhouette near the so-called character line. Beneath this are new available LED taillights (GLI and Hybrid only) which feature a bright stripe, as well as a redesigned VW logo. One level lower, the side lines of the trunklid now run downward, which dominates the design. The new bumper underneath it all completes the new rear look of the Jetta.
    Optimized aerodynamics. Volkswagen has introduced numerous innovative aerodynamic modifications into the design and equipment of the Jetta. In the front of the car, air drag has been reduced by the new bumper, optimized air intakes, and aerodynamically refined rain gutters on the sides near the A-pillars. A closer look reveals underbody panels at the rear axle and sill covers with wheel spoilers. Jetta models equipped with the 1.8T engine also have modified brake ventilation channels. Jetta GLI and Jetta Hybrid models sport special aerodynamic elements such as new front/rear spoilers and sill extensions.
    Dynamic radiator shutter. One new aerodynamic feature on the Jetta TDI 1.8T and 2.0 TDI Clean Diesel is a closeable shutter for the radiator grille. Closing the radiator shutter helps shorten the warm-up phase of the engine due to reduced air cooling. If the engine coolant temperature drops below a predefined temperature threshold while driving, the radiator shutter remains shut. Once the engine moves beyond the warm-up phase, the shutter can open and close based on vehicle speed and cooling demands. When closed, frontal airflow is guided around the body, which helps to improve the car's aerodynamics and thus reduces fuel consumption.
    Updated Interior
    Updates to the Jetta’s interior are subtle but significant. On mid- and high-level trims, the dash gauges are now framed in chrome-edged tubes, with an available color multifunction display nestled in between. Elsewhere, the 2015 Jetta sports several optional new features based on trim: a new multifunction steering wheel; redesigned air vent controls; piano black accents on the center console and around the gear shift lever; new chrome accents around the dual-zone Climatronic® control; ambient lighting; and new fabric colors and designs for the seats.
    New driver assistance systems
    Available technologies include Blind Spot Detection plus rear cross-traffic alert and frontal collision warning, as well as Bi-Xenon headlights with Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), turn signal, and LED Daytime Running Lights.
    Blind Spot Detection. Blind Spot Detection utilizes a flashing symbol in the outer area of the side mirrors to make the driver aware of vehicles in the blind spot next to the Jetta or approaching from the rear. This is intended to help improve driver awareness when changing lanes. The system uses radar sensors to "monitor" a space around the vehicle with a range of approximately 65 feet. Customers who choose the Blind Spot Detection option automatically get the rear cross-traffic alert assistance system as well.
    Rear cross-traffic alert. The new rear cross-traffic alert assistance system is offered in tandem with Blind Spot Detection. The system not only helps alert the driver to stationary and moving vehicles directly behind the vehicle; it also detects vehicles approaching from the side which may be difficult for the driver to see. The radar-based sensor module can even detect objects up to 65 feet away. In case of an impending collision, the system gives an acoustic warning.
    Frontal collision warning. The frontal collision warning system uses radar sensors to continually monitor the distance to traffic ahead of the vehicle. Within physical system limits, frontal collision warning warns the driver of critical front-end collision situations, both acoustically and visually by a clear warning symbol in the instrument cluster. The radar sensor acquires both the position of stationary cars and motorcycles and those moving in the same direction as the vehicle. The sensor is hidden behind the VW logo on the radiator grille.
    Bi-Xenon headlights. Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights are now available. Also integrated in the new generation of headlights is what is referred to as the Advanced Front-lighting System (AFS). In this system, the headlights track the steering angle and can be turned up to 15 degrees, illuminating corners in turns.
    New TDI Clean Diesel in detail
    Improved efficiency. The 2.0-liter 150-horsepower EA288 TDI® Clean Diesel engine offered in the 2015 Jetta is one of the most fuel-efficient engines in its class and already conforms to the upcoming LEV3 emissions standard in the USA. Compared to the previous engine, the efficiency of this new generation TDI was improved by another eight percent. In city driving, the Jetta TDI Clean Diesel with a manual transmission delivers a manufacturer-estimated 32 city/45 highway mpg; its combined fuel economy is projected to be around 37 mpg.
    Torque-strong. The common-rail direct-injection engine with two balancer shafts is an exceptionally comfortable and dynamic engine. The 2.0 TDI Clean Diesel engine in the Jetta develops its maximum power over a low speed range of 3500 to 4000 rpm. The maximum torque of 236 pound-feet is available from just1750 rpm up to 3000 rpm.
    First new-generation MDB in the U.S. The TDI Clean Diesel engine in the Jetta is the first engine to be introduced to the U.S. which utilizes the new modular diesel system (MDB) from Volkswagen. Many components of the MDB engines are used in a modular way, such as the exhaust system components and the injection system, turbocharging systems, and forced induction cooling within the intake manifold module. Besides helping to reduce emissions, Volkswagen also designed the new TDI engine for minimal internal friction, for instance using piston rings with lower pretension and very low-friction camshaft bearings. Energy efficiency has also been optimized by using an oil pump with volumetric control and two pressure levels. An innovative thermal management system makes use of separate coolant loops for the cylinder head and the crankcase during the warm-up phase and has a water pump that can be deactivated.
    First Jetta to have SCR catalytic converter. A complex exhaust gas recirculation system is also used. To conform to the current BIN5-ULEV2 emissions standard in the U.S., as well as the future LEV3/TIER3 standard, the Jetta is equipped with an emissions control system, including Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system that is located near the engine. This layout enables extremely fast response by the oxidation catalytic converter and the SCR catalytic converter. The SCR catalytic converter significantly reduces oxides of nitrogen (NOx) using the additive AdBlue® additive. Compared to the NOx storage catalytic converter (NSC) of the previous model, the use of the SCR catalytic converter not only further reduces emissions, but also improves fuel economy.

    William Maley

    Kia Sedona.. Take 3!

    Kia has been an outlier in the minivan class with the Sedona. It never quite had the same status as the Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Caravan, Honda Odyssey, and Toyota Sienna. But the company plans to change that with the introduction of the 2015 Sedona at the New York Auto Show this week.
    The 2015 Sedona's design reminds us the of the Nissan Quest with its upright lines and slab-slides. The front end has Kia's distinctive grille with new headlights with LEDs. An integrated spoiler on the tailgate is standard, while nineteen-inch alloy wheels are optional.
    Inside, the Sedona can be configured to carry seven or eight people. The seats can be equipped with heat, retractable leg rests, and Slide-n-Stow second-row seats that stack vertically against the back of the front seats. The dashboard resembles the Cadenza with a large touchscreen featuring Kia's UVO infotainment system and a simple control layout.
    Power will come from the 3.3L GDI V6 with 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Kia says the Sedona will provide "improved driving dynamics" thanks in part to a chassis that is 36 percent stiffer than the outgoing model.
    The 2015 Sedona arrives at dealers sometime late in the fall.
    Source: Kia
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


    Press Release is on Page 2
    ALL-NEW 2015 KIA SEDONA MAKES GLOBAL DEBUT IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    * Completely Redesigned Midsize Multi-purpose Vehicle Raises the Bar in the Segment with Innovative Technology, Style and Added Safety Features
    * With its modern appearance and CUV-like cab-forward design, the all-new Sedona completes the restyling of Kia's entire U.S. lineup under the direction of Peter Schreyer
    * Available in seven- and eight-passenger configurations, the 2015 Sedona advances value to new levels of sophistication with advanced safety features and available driving-aid technologies, premium materials and amenities
    NEW YORK, April 14, 2014 – Set against the backdrop of one of the world's premier urban playgrounds, Kia Motors America (KMA) today took the wraps off the all-new 2015 Sedona midsize multi-purpose vehicle in New York City. As the final chapter in Kia's design-led transformation story – which began in 2009 and has seen a comprehensive makeover of Kia's entire model line under the direction of chief design officer Peter Schreyer – the all-new Sedona's CUV-like styling and proportions offer all of the functional convenience of the segment while defying its design limitations. In addition to innovative European-inspired design, the 2015 Sedona also delivers the exceptional interior volume buyers expect in the segment with ample passenger and cargo room and a quiet and comfortable cabin. Following the philosophy that has guided Kia's recent succession of highly successful redesigns, the Sedona advances value to new levels of sophistication with a host of segment-leading new technology and upscale features, all of which will be offered in a new premium trim level – SXL – which will be available when U.S. sales are scheduled to begin in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter of this year. Pricing will be announced closer to the Sedona's launch date.
    "Throughout the development process, our engineers in the U.S. and Korea focused on adding the element of desire to the all-new Sedona with improved driving dynamics and power and the incorporation of modern styling cues, premium materials and technology," said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, KMA. "Combined with a host of active and passive safety features and technology, the completely redesigned Sedona retains the functionality the nameplate has always been known for, while rising to meet the diverse needs – and tastes – of today's consumers."
    Modern, Confident Exterior
    Transcending mundane functionality, the Sedona's wide stance exudes a modern, CUV-like exterior appearance highlighted by a front fascia and cab-forward design that project confidence and strength. The Sedona's muscular face and clean, smooth look is highlighted by a fully integrated version of Kia's signature grille and headlamps with LED positioning lights. The wheelbase is 1.6-inches longer than its predecessor, and the side profile, with its reduced front and rear overhangs, combines with the deeply swept windshield and available 19-inch alloy wheels to create a distinctive look. Meanwhile, the rear design layout, with LED taillights, integrated bumper guard and standard roof spoiler, presents a broad, stable bearing.
    Open, Relaxed, Configurable Interior
    Despite its overall width and height remaining virtually unchanged, the all-new Sedona provides more front shoulder room, greater leg room in the front, second and third rows, as well as a slightly higher hip-point, improving outward visibility for the driver. The horizontal design cues across the instrument panel create a greater sense of width, and the generous use of soft-touch materials adds to the all-new Sedona's premium ambiance. The Sedona's proportions provide flexible seating in both seven- and eight-passenger configurations and a multitude of storage options. The front center console is unique to the segment and allows for generous and cleverly convenient storage space between the front seats. Second row Slide-n-Stow tracked seating slides and folds upright to allow for "on-the-go" cargo hauling while eliminating the hassle that comes with removing heavy and cumbersome middle seats. The all-new Sedona also offers the choice of second row "First Class" lounge seating that can be positioned rearward for astonishing legroom and provides retractable lower leg rests. And while some configurations feature segment-unique second-row seat cushion heaters for added comfort, all 2015 Sedona models offer a third-row that provides the convenience of a split folding 60/40 in-floor retractable design.
    The Sedona also is the only vehicle in the segment outfitted with standard YES Essentials™ fabric technology to provide anti-microbial protection from spills, anti-static protection from irritating electrical shocks as well as stain-repelling and stain-releasing fabric characteristics appreciated by anyone who leads an active lifestyle.
    The Sedona's sophisticated interior design theme is brought to life with a modern color palette featuring solid or two-tone color options in beige, gray and burgundy for a warm and inviting atmosphere. The top-line SXL trim features standard ultra-soft Nappa leather seating surfaces throughout the cabin, the same Chromium-free leather found in the K900 luxury sedan.
    Next-Generation UVO1
    Building on the next-generation UVO Infotainment & Telematics system, the all-new Sedona will be the first Kia vehicle to offer four new eServices features: Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and Driving Score. Additionally, with the introduction of the Kia App store, select apps can be downloaded for free from iTunes®2 or Google Play3. The Kia app connector is now available for partnership with the content community, including Pandora®4, iHeart Radio and Yelp®5. Many more new technologies for comfort and convenience are featured in the new UVO system, including Siri "Eyes Free6" and Local Search – powered by Google – for finding locations, addresses and points of interest. Sirius XM Travel Link7, offering access to traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports scores, stock information and movie times, makes the Sedona the perfect companion for those who live their lives on the road with family and friends.
    Driving Dynamics and Safety
    The 2015 Sedona is built on an all-new chassis with static torsional stiffness that is 36-percent greater than its closest segment competitor. The body is 76 percent Ultra High Strength Steel (press hardened) or High Strength Steel, which provides exceptional rigidity, durability and collision protection in a lightweight design. For enhanced roof strength, the Sedona has been engineered with reinforced pillars that distribute impact loads with ultra-high-strength steel tubes that run inside the A-pillars. Extensive use of adhesives and large diameter welds also add to Sedona's overall structural integrity and strength. Together with Kia's patented technology, the 2015 Sedona is targeted to earn the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) 5-Star overall vehicle safety rating.
    The rigid and durable chassis provides a solid base for road-trip readiness. The 2015 Sedona utilizes Amplitude Selected Dampers (ASD) to strike an optimal balance of ride comfort and handling. The platform also has revised rear cross-member bushings, an isolated rear sub-frame with longer trailing arms and added rear strut reinforcement, all of which combine for improved dynamic ride characteristics. Additionally, the 2015 Sedona is expected to be among the quietest in the segment thanks to wheel-house padding, double seal sliding doors and an expanded use of sound-deadening foam in the engine compartment, reducing noise and perceived harshness over rough pavement.
    Under the hood, a new Lambda Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) 3.3-liter V6 engine replaces the 3.5-liter V6 found in the previous generation Sedona. The 3.3-liter engine, which is also found in the Sorento CUV and Cadenza premium sedan, delivers more power than its predecessor, boasting 276 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, and it has been tuned for enhanced mid-range torque, offering 248 lb.-ft. at 5,200 rpm.
    A three-step Variable Induction System (VIS) improves engine "breathing," automatically adjusting the volume of the air pulled into the combustion chamber to create the optimal air-to-fuel mix under different engine load conditions. Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) combined with a piston-cooling oil jet improves engine cooling efficiency, while engine components, including piston rings, piston skirts, valve tappets, timing chain guide and valve springs are all of a low-friction design.
    Finally, the new 3.3-liter V6 engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission tuned for balanced control, power and efficiency.
    Abundant Safety Features and Driver Technology
    Throughout the design and development process a high priority was placed on active and passive safety features as well as technology, resulting in one of the most technologically advanced vehicles in the segment. All Sedona models come standard with active safety features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC)8, Traction Control System (TCS)8, Brake Assist System (BAS)8, Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)8, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)8 and Antilock Braking System (ABS)8. Additional technologies such as Roll Over Mitigation (ROM)8 and Cornering Brake Control (CBC)8 also were added as standard equipment for improved dynamic control and safety.
    New optional driver technology, including Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)8, Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS)9, Smart Cruise Control (SCC)9, Blind Spot Detection (BSD)9 and Rear Cross Traffic Alert9, help provide Sedona drivers with a more convenient and secure daily driving experience.
    Comfort & Convenience Features
    From front to back the Sedona offers numerous convenience features, including Kia's first application of the newest high-power (2.1 AMP) USB charging port and a 115-volt AC outlet to charge small electronics as well as a dual glove box that offers a cooled lower storage area. For easier parking and vehicle maneuvering, the Surround View Monitor8 provides real-time images from cameras placed around the vehicle. Smart Welcome, automatically illuminates the door handles and unfolds the power retractable side mirrors when a vehicle key fob is detected. A hands-free "Smart Tailgate" opens the rear lift gate automatically when the key fob is sensed for three seconds, and its programmable function can be tailored to the user's height preference.

    William Maley

    A Diesel, Manual Transmission Wagon with All-Wheel Drive? Where do we sign up?

    I think Volkswagen needs an explanation with the usage of 'concept' with their showing of the Golf SportWagen concept at this week's New York Auto Show. The concept gives us an idea of what Volkswagen has in store for us when it arrives early next year.
    So why is Volkswgen calling this a concept? Most likely it comes down to the powertrain; a 2.0L TDI four-cylinder paired with a six-speed manual and VW's 4Motion all-wheel system. While the first two parts are common to Volkswagen models in the U.S., the addition of 4Motion to a compact model isn't.
    While we don't know if 4Motion will be coming as a option, the 2.0L TDI with 150 horsepower will. It will be available with either a six-speed manual or dual-clutch gearbox. The other engine will be VW's 1.8L turbo-four with 170 horsepower and can be paired with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
    We'll have more information when the vehicle makes its official debut this coming week.
    Source: Volkswagen
    Press Release is on Page 2
    ALL-NEW VOLKSWAGEN GOLF SPORTWAGEN MAKES ITS NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT AT THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    All-wheel-drive TDI® Clean Diesel concept version of VW's popular SportWagen model previews a bigger, more spacious, and more fuel-efficient replacement for the Jetta SportWagen
    - Thrifty TDI® Clean Diesel, and 1.8-liter turbocharged Golf SportWagen models will be offered
    - Uses the new MQB modular architecture, like the 2015 Golf and Golf GTI- Golf SportWagen will go on sale in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2015
    - New SportWagen model is estimated to have fuel economy improvements of up to 17 percent- New Golf SportWagen offers increased cargo volume, matching compact SUVs for size and versatility
    Herndon, VA – Volkswagen of America, Inc. will debut a concept version of the latest SportWagen model that features a 4MOTION® all-wheel drive system and the new EA288 TD®I Clean Diesel engine at the New York Auto Show. The concept previews the all-new Golf SportWagen that goes on sale in early 2015. Based on the new MQB (modular transverse matrix) architecture, the Golf SportWagen will continue the trend introduced by the seventh generation Golf whereby it is lighter, bigger, roomier, more fuel efficient and more powerful than the outgoing SportWagen model.
    Thanks to the extensive use of high- and ultra-high strength steels, the new SportWagen bodyshell is lighter than the current Jetta SportWagen and offers an enhanced crash structure. Throughout the car, incredible attention to detail has optimized components-such as the seats, air conditioning unit, and even the electrical architecture -to help save weight.
    The Golf SportWagen is 1.1 inches longer and 0.7 inches wider than the current SportWagen model. It is also 0.9 inches lower, which benefits both aerodynamic performance and the car's proportions: the CdA number has been reduced by almost 10 percent compared with the previous generation. The interior package has been optimized to give more rear-seat leg- and shoulder room. Although the new SportWagen's overall height was lowered by nearly an inch, front and rear headroom has been improved by 0.4 inches.
    The SportWagen has long been a top choice for customers who want a car that's fun to drive and offers a large cargo area that is truly versatile. This new SportWagen is even more appealing, offering nearly 10 percent more cargo room with the rear seats folded than the outgoing model. Essentially, the Golf SportWagen provides a sportier alternative to compact SUVs.
    The new SportWagen will be offered with two powertrains. The Golf SportWagen will be powered by a 170 horsepower, 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder TSI® engine, mated to five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. These powertrains offer manufacturer highway fuel economy that's improved by as much as 17 percent compared to the 2.5-liter Jetta SportWagen.
    The TDI Clean Diesel model will be powered by the new EA288 2.0-liter common-rail, turbocharged and direct-injection diesel engine that makes150 horsepower, an improvement of 10 hp over the current SportWagen model. The TDI model will have a choice of six-speed manual or DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmissions.
    Design
    The design team, led by Walter de Silva (Group Design) and Klaus Bischoff (VW Brand Design), created a timeless and sophisticated new SportWagen, using the principles of Volkswagen's Design DNA. Thanks to the MQB architecture, which dictates a fixed relationship between the front wheel centerline and the pedals, the car's proportions have changed. The front wheels, for example, are now 1.7 inches further forward than on the current SportWagen design. This has created what Bischoff calls "'a cab backward impression'. That's what we call the proportions of premium-class vehicles, where the hood is long and the passenger compartment is a long way towards the back."
    Compared with the previous generation SportWagen, the new car's front end looks completely different, thanks to the way that the hood slopes down into the front fenders instead of the fender peaks being higher than the hood. This new SportWagen features more angular horizontal design cues, with a slender radiator grille.
    At the back, the clean surface around the VW badge, the wide rear window, and the geometric taillights are typical SportWagen features, even though the lines are completely different. The tailgate, for instance, allows for a lower load height than before, while the overall effect emphasizes the additional width of the new car.
    Features
    Along the lines of the new Golf 7, the SportWagen will bring a number of available new features to market including a panoramic sunroof, 12-way power driver's seat, Climatronic® automatic climate control, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs and the Advanced Front-lighting System, Park Distance Control, and available 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
    In addition, the new SportWagen features a new standard driver assistance system called the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. This system automatically engages the vehicle's brakes after it is involved in a collision in order to help reduce secondary collisions and to help bring the vehicle to a stop. The system is triggered when the airbag sensors detect a primary collision and it is limited to a maximum retardation rate of 0.6g by the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) unit. The driver can effectively override the system at any time; for example, it is disabled if it recognizes that the driver is accelerating. The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates braking at a higher rate than 0.6g.

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