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    William Maley

    If You Were Expecting A New Cruze... Then You Might Be Disappointed.

    Chevrolet has revealed their second New York Auto Show showing last night and it happens to be the 2015 Cruze. Now for those who were expecting the automaker to launch the next-generation model will be disappointed as the 2015 model is a refresh. The new model isn't expected for a little longer.
    Changes for the 2015 model begin with a larger front grille and reshaped taillights. LT and LTZ models get LED running lights mounted below the headlights.
    Inside is where the big changes are. The Cruze's infotainment system now can read text messages to the driver, has Apple's Siri Eyes Free voice controls if you have an iPhone, and a 4G LTE connection that allows the vehicle to act as a wi-fi hotspot.
    No mechanical changes have been announced.
    Pricing and other details will be announced at a later time.

    Update: I've added a couple shots from the NYIAS floor.




    Source: Chevrolet
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Styling, OnStar 4G LTE, Siri Updates for 2015 Chevy Cruze
    Chevy's best-selling car is smarter looking, offers greater connectivity
    NEW YORK Chevrolet announced today the 2015 Cruze will debut at the New York International Auto Show with revised exterior styling, enhanced interior convenience and greater connectivity including new Text Message Alerts, Apple Siri integration and OnStar 4G LTE with available Wi-Fi hotspot.
    The new exterior styling cues are inspired by the all-new Impala and restyled 2014 Malibu, while more intuitive controls update the interior. New voice-controlled features enhance safety when responding to text messages in the vehicle.
    "We've simply made a great, versatile car even better," said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet director of passenger car and crossover marketing. "Chevrolet continues to design, build and sell the most compelling small cars in its history and the 2015 Cruze offers more of the features, connectivity and efficiency that are important to today's customers."
    The Cruze's facelift for 2015 refreshes the appearance for LS, LT, RS and LTZ models. A prominent dual-port front fascia takes styling cues from Impala and Malibu, contributing a more cohesive look across Chevrolet's sedan range including LED daytime running lamps on LT and LTZ trims. They complement the Cruze's swept-back headlamps, for a sportier presence. Several new exterior and interior colors will also be offered for 2015.
    Updates on the interior enhance convenience:
    Revised cupholders make it easier to insert and remove cups Trunk release relocated to the center console
    Door lock switches relocated from the center console to the front doors.
    In addition to LS, LT, RS and LTZ models, the 2015 Cruze lineup includes Cruze Eco (EPA-rated 42 mpg highway) and Cruze Diesel (EPA 46 mpg highway), the most efficient non-hybrid passenger car in America. That's about 10 percent greater efficiency than the Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The Cruze also delivers more horsepower (151 hp) and torque (264 lb-ft), than the Jetta TDI (140 hp / 236 lb-ft). Cruze Diesel's driving range is up to 717 miles per tank.
    Cruze offers more standard safety features than any other car in its class, including 2014 models of the Ford Focus and Toyota Corolla. Cruze has 10 standard air bags including side-impact and knee air bags for front passengers and offers side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, rear park assist and a rearview camera.
    "Cruze remains a strong entry in the compact segment, with features that continue to bring new customers to Chevrolet," said Majoros. "Along with Spark, Spark EV, Sonic and Volt, Chevy's lineup of efficient, technologically advanced small cars is one of the industry's most compelling."
    A mobile hub with greater connectivityThe enhanced connectivity and convenience features for the 2015 Cruze include a new Text Message Alerts feature for smartphone users with Bluetooth profile (M.A.P.), which reads incoming texts through the vehicle's speakers, and Siri Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6 and iOS 7 users to enhance connectivity and convenience. Each enables voice-controlled connectivity, to help keep phones in pockets and hands on the wheel.
    Additional standard and available features include:
    Seven-inch-diagonal color touch screen and additional USB ports Chevrolet connected by OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot
    Next-generation OnStar and MyLink enhancements with natural language voice recognition Available Chevrolet AppShop (later availability)
    Available navigation.
    OnStar 4G LTE with available Wi-Fi hotspot provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers with easy access to apps and services that require a high-speed data connection. 4G LTE is the most current and fastest mobile data network 10 times faster than 3G. And with OnStar, it offers stronger, broader coverage than smartphones on the same network and it's easy to use: If the vehicle is on, the connection is on, allowing passengers to connect personal devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless Internet. Each vehicle can accommodate seven devices at one time.
    The Chevrolet AppShop allows owners to view all available apps and download them directly to the vehicle, then organize, update or delete them as needed. Available apps connect drivers to vehicle data, music, news, weather, travel information and more.

    William Maley

    This Isn't What We Were Expecting!

    Earlier this week, we reported that Chevrolet was planning to show off three vehicles for the New York Auto Show; one of those being a new variant of the Corvette. Many of us have been racking our brains trying to figure out what that new model is. Well thanks to someone leaking out photos earlier today, GM has revealed what the model is. Meet the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible whose task is to give vehicles such as the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet a run for their money.
    So what's different about the Z06 Convertible from the Coupe? The most obvious change is the loss of a hardtop and the introduction of a soft-top and folding mechanism. Now with most convertibles, they tend to weigh a bit more than the coupe thanks to added bracing, structural enhancements, and the top mechanism. The Corvette Z06 Convertible bucks that trend with it weighing the same as the coupe. The secret? Comes down to the ultra-stiff aluminum frame which means there doesn't have to be additional strengthening.
    "Until recently it was not possible to create a lightweight, open-roof structure strong enough to cope with the braking, cornering, and acceleration of Corvette's top performance models. The frame for the Z06 convertible leverages advancements in computer-aided engineering, metallurgy, and manufacturing techniques – many of which were not available just five years ago," said Tadge Juechter, chief engineer for the Corvette.
    The supercharged 6.2L V8 engine with 625 horsepower is there, as is the choice of either a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic, Brembo Carbon-Ceramic brakes, and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
    The Corvette Z06 Convertible arrives early next year.
    Source: Chevrolet
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Drop-top Supercar: 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible
    NEW YORK – Chevrolet today introduced one of the most capable drop-tops on the market: the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible. With at least 625 horsepower, and 635 pound-feet of torque, the Z06 is also the most powerful convertible ever produced by Chevrolet.
    "The Z06 Convertible is a world-class supercar in every sense," said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development. "Only a handful of convertibles in the world bring more than 600 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. Even fewer can match the advanced technologies, aerodynamic design, and visceral driving experience of the Z06 Convertible."
    This is the first Z06 Convertible offered from the factory since 1963 when the Z06 option package was introduced for endurance racing. Records show only 199 Corvette orders with a Z06 package that year, including one convertible.
    Recent technological advancements enable the building of a modern Z06 Convertible, said Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter
    "Until recently it was not possible to create a lightweight, open-roof structure strong enough to cope with the braking, cornering, and acceleration of Corvette's top performance models," Juechter said. "The frame for the Z06 convertible leverages advancements in computer-aided engineering, metallurgy, and manufacturing techniques – many of which were not available just five years ago."
    The aluminum structure is 20 percent stiffer than the previous, fixed-roof Z06. As there are no structural reinforcements needed for the Z06 Convertible, its curb weight is nearly identical to the Z06 Coupe. They also share the same chassis tuning, powertrain output, driver technologies and equipment options – including the Z07 Performance Package, which adds Brembo carbon-ceramic matrix brakes, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires and adjustable front- and rear-aerodynamic components.
    "The most impressive aspect of the Z06 Convertible may be its performance bandwidth," said Juechter. "Very few cars on the market can match its combination of extreme, supercar levels of performance; the flexibility for daily driving and long-distance commuting; and the 360-degree, open-air driving experience only true convertibles can offer."
    All-aluminum, high-tech foundation
    The Corvette Z06 Convertible represents the culmination of more than four years developing an all-new, all-aluminum structure for the seventh generation Corvette. That structure, built at General Motors' Bowling Green Assembly plant, was designed to the specifications of the Corvette Stingray, Corvette Z06 and the Corvette Racing C7.R.
    "We wanted a frame that was lighter than the steel frame of the previous Corvette, yet strong enough for both a 600-horsepower convertible and a 24-hour endurance racer," said Ed Moss, engineering group manager for Corvette structures. "That would not have been possible without improvements in computer-aided engineering software, which allowed us to model more than 17,000 frame iterations, with each iteration improving strength and stiffness, while reducing mass."
    The team used nearly 186,000 computational hours of modeling to develop the frame. It features main rails composed of five customized aluminum segments, including aluminum extrusions at each end, a center main rail section and hollow-cast nodes at the suspension interface points. The gauge of each segment varies in thickness from 2mm to 11mm, tailored – along with the shape – to meet the strength and stiffness requirements for each frame section with minimal weight.
    These components are assembled using many advanced manufacturing processes, including:• 439 spot-welds using a GM-patented process that uses a unique electrode designed specifically for aluminum
    • 188 Flowdrill-machined fasteners installed by a high-speed drill that extrudes the frame material to create a strong, integral collar tapped for bolt-on fasteners• 113 feet of structural adhesives used in conjunction with welding and fasteners to increase overall frame stiffness
    • 37 feet of laser welds, which join frame sections via a precise beam of high energy that minimizes heat beyond the weld area for improved structural accuracy.The only structural differences between the Z06 Coupe and Convertible are provisions for mounting the power-folding top, and repositioned safety-belt mounts.
    High-performance aerodynamics
    Like the structure, only minor design changes distinguish the Z06 Coupe from the Convertible. The Z06 convertible features an electronic top that can be lowered remotely using the car's key fob. The top can also open or clos on the go, at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h).
    With the top up, the Z06 Convertible is designed for a refined driving experience. A thick fabric top, offered in four colors along with sound-absorbing padding and a glass rear window, contributes to a quiet cabin and premium appearance.
    Behind the seat backs, dual accent panels – either Carbon Flash-painted or available with exposed carbon fiber – enhance the character lines of the tonneau cover. Corvette Stingray's signature "waterfall" design originates in the valley between the nacelles, bringing the exterior color into the interior.
    The power-operated tonneau cover necessitated moving the air intakes for the differential and transmission coolers from the rear quarter panels on the Z06 Coupe to the underbody of the Z06 Convertible.
    Otherwise, both models share the same, performance-driven aesthetic.
    "Practically every exterior panel serves a functional purpose to meet the performance goals of the Z06," said Tom Peters, Corvette design director, "The flared fenders accommodate larger, wider wheels and tires for more grip. The larger vents provide more cooling air to the engine, brakes, transmission and differential for increased track capability. The more aggressive aerodynamic package generates true downforce for more cornering grip and high-speed stability."
    Both Z06 models are fitted with Michelin tires (Pilot Super Sport tires for the Z06; Sport Cup 2 tires with the Z07 package): P285/30ZR19 front, and 335/25ZR20 rear.
    The tires are mounted on lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels (19 x 10 inches in front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear). Their open, ultralight design showcases the massive Brembo brakes, which contribute to the design:• The Z06 features two-piece steel rotors, measuring 14.6 x 1.3-inch (371 x 33 mm) front and 14.4 x 1-inch (365 x 25 mm) rear, with aluminum six-piston and four-piston fixed calipers, respectively
    • The Z07 package adds larger, 15.5 x 1.4-inch (394 x 36 mm) front and 15.3 x 1.3-inch (388 x 33 mm) carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors for consistent performance lap after lap. They collectively save 23 pounds over the standard Z06 rotors.
    Both Z06 coupe and convertible will be available with one of three, increasing levels of aerodynamic downforce:• The standard Z06 features a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent, and rear spoiler
    • An available carbon-fiber aero package delivers aerodynamic downforce four times greater than the standard Z06. It adds a carbon fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill – a small, vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler that significantly increases downforce. The package is available in black or a visible carbon-fiber finish• The available Z07 package adds larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler enabling customers to tailor the aerodynamics to their preference.
    Compared to the Corvette Stingray, the Corvette Z06 fenders are 2.2 inches (56 mm) wider at the front, and 3.15 inches (80 mm) at the rear. Those extensions give the Corvette Z06 a wider, lower appearance further emphasized by a unique rear fascia. It incorporates the same taillamp assemblies as the Stingray, but on the Z06 the taillamps are pushed approximately three inches farther apart, toward to edges of the body.
    The exterior design also reflects the increased cooling required for the new Corvette Z06. For example, the mesh pattern on the front fascia was designed to deliver the most possible airflow to the supercharger's intercooler heat exchanger, so much that the mesh grill directs more air into the engine bay than if the grille was removed.
    The unique grille also features dedicated brake-cooling intakes and wider grille outlets on the bottom serve as air diffusers. A larger hood vent allows air driven through the grille to exit through the hood rather than being forced under the car, which could create lift.
    Standard front and rear brake-cooling ducts, including Z06-signature rear ducts integrated in front of the rear fender openings, are also part of the functional design changes.
    The Z06 benefits from interior details designed for high-performance driving, first introduced on the Stingray, including a steel-reinforced grab bar on the center console for the passenger and soft-touch materials on the edge of the console, where the driver naturally braces during high-load cornering.
    Like the Stingray, the Z06 comes with two seating choices: a GT seat, for all-around comfort, and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering, which provides greater support on the track. A magnesium frame structure for both seats provides greater rigidity and strength compared with steel frames.
    Unprecedented attention to detail and build quality complements the Corvette Z06's performance. All models feature a fully wrapped interior, with every surface covered by premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level, include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede.
    The interior also features a flat-bottom steering wheel with a carbon fiber center spoke. The Z06 comes in five interior colors, including two that are unique to Z06 – blue and dark gray.
    Supercharged, efficient performance
    The heart of the 2015 Corvette Z06 is the all-new LT4 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine, expected to deliver at least 625 horsepower (466 kW) and 635 lb-ft of torque (861 Nm). To balance performance and efficiency, the LT4 leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray: Direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing.
    These technologies – combined with the fuel-efficient multi-speed transmissions, aerodynamic design and lightweight construction – help make the new Z06 surprisingly fuel efficient.
    "The supercharged LT4 engine delivers the greatest balance of performance and efficiency ever in the Corvette," said John Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer for Small-Block engines. "It is one of the world's only supercharged engines to incorporate cylinder deactivation technology, enabling it to cruise efficiently on the highway with reduced fuel consumption, but offer more than 600 horsepower whenever the driver calls up its tremendous power reserve."
    The supercharged LT4 comes with a standard seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match, or an all-new 8L90 eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission designed to enhance performance and efficiency. The seven-speed manual incorporates rev-matching technology for upshifts and downshifts. A new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch deliver greater shift quality and feel through lower inertia.
    The eight-speed automatic is tuned for world-class shift-response times. Smaller steps between gears keep the LT4 within the sweet spot of the rpm band, making the most of the output of the supercharged engine for exhilarating performance and greater efficiency.
    "There's no trade-off in drivability with the new 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission – it was designed to deliver performance on par with dual-clutch designs, but without sacrificing refinement," said Bill Goodrich, assistant chief engineer for eight-speed automatic transmissions. "It is also the highest-capacity automatic transmission ever offered in a Chevrolet car."
    Featuring four gearsets and five clutches, creative packaging enables the GM-developed eight-speed automatic to fit the same space as the six-speed automatic used in the Corvette Stingray. Extensive use of aluminum and magnesium make it more than eight pounds (4 kg) lighter than the six-speed. Along with design features that reduce friction, the 8L90 is expected to contribute up to 5-percent greater efficiency, when compared with a six-speed automatic.
    Track-proven technologiesThe 2015 Corvette Z06 Coupe and Convertible leverage the technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray, with unique features and calibrations tailored for its capabilities.
    "Our mission with the seventh-generation Corvette was to make the performance levels more accessible, enabling drivers to exploit every pound-foot of torque, every 'g' of grip and every pound of downforce," said Juechter. "It's a philosophy we introduced with the 460-horsepower Corvette Stingray – and one that's even more relevant with an estimated 625 horsepower at your beck and call."
    The new Z06 retains the SLA-type front and rear suspension design of the Corvette Stingray but uniquely calibrated for the higher performance threshold. The third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers, adjustable for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the standard Driver Mode Selector, are standard on Z06.
    Like the Stingray, the Driver Mode Selector tailors up to a dozen features of the Z06 to suit the driver's environment, including:
    • Launch control: Available in Track mode for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration• Traction control: Weather mode tailors traction control and engine torque for driving in inclement conditions
    • Performance Traction Management: Available in Track mode and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving• Electronic Limited Slip Differential: Adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, balancing steering response and stability in different driving conditions with more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes.
    The smart electronic limited-slip differential, or eLSD, is standard. It features a hydraulically actuated clutch capable of infinitely varying clutch engagement. The system enhances all aspects of performance by constantly tailoring the clutch-pack engagement based on a unique algorithm that factors in vehicle speed, steering input and throttle position to improve steering feel, handling balance and traction.

    William Maley

    Ford Previews the 2015 Focus Sedan ahead of New York

    Last month at the Geneva Motor Show, Ford revealed the refreshed 2015 Focus Hatchback with a refreshed exterior and tweaks to the interior. Next week at the New York Auto Show, Ford will drop the cover on the 2015 Focus Sedan.
    Now if you expecting something different between the sedan and hatchback, then you'll disappointed. Much like the refreshed hatchback, the sedan gets a front end that is the same as the Fiesta and Fusion with the Aston Martin-esq grille and new headlights with LEDs. Around back is a new trunk lid and taillights. Heading inside, the Focus gets a new center stack, reshaped seats, and a new version of SYNC.
    Under the hood, the Focus gets the option of the turbocharged 1.0L EcoBoost three-cylinder with 123 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission will be only transmission on offer with this engine. The 2.0L four-cylinder will carry over. The 2015 model also gets a revised suspension and power steering system.
    Source: Ford
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Ford Reveals All-New Focus Sedan, Retains World's Best-Selling Nameplate Title for 2013
    Ford Focus ranks as the best-selling vehicle nameplate in the world, based on just-released Polk new vehicle registration data for the 2013 calendar year
    Focus gains momentum with 50 percent sales growth in Chinese market
    New Focus four-door sedan globally unveiled, featuring leading combination of technology, fuel economy and power
    DEARBORN, Mich., April 9, 2014 – Ford Focus retains its title as world's best-selling vehicle nameplate for 2013, according to Ford analysis of the just-released full-year Polk new vehicle registration data from IHS Automotive. The news comes as a new Focus four-door sedan prepares to make its debut at next week's 2014 New York International Auto Show.
    Registrations of the compact Focus were up 8.1 percent with 1,097,618 cars sold worldwide last year. That compares with global Focus sales of 1,014,965 in 2012.
    Market gains for Focus continue to be driven by consumer demand in China. China registrations were up 50 percent in 2013 to 403,219 vehicles, up from 268,354 vehicles in 2012. China now is responsible for just more than one out of three Focus vehicles sold globally, based on Polk data.
    The debut of the new Focus four-door sedan and the Focus Electric in New York follows the Geneva Motor Show debut in March of the Focus three- and five-door hatchback and wagon. A new version of the performance Focus ST will be shown later this year.
    The redesigned Ford Focus offers a bolder exterior design, a more intuitive and upscale interior, a host of technologies uncommon for a compact car and the additional powertrain option of Ford's award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost® engine with a new six-speed manual transmission in the U.S.-spec Focus. While U.S. EPA fuel economy ratings are not yet available, Ford expects the 1.0-liter EcoBoost Focus to raise the bar in fuel efficiency among non-hybrid compact vehicles.
    For 2015, Focus adds an SE Sport Package, which includes new body treatments, paddle shifters (requires automatic transmission), a revised touring suspension, 17-inch black gloss aluminum wheels and P215/50 HR-17 tires.
    The paddle shift feature provides drivers an additional element of control by allowing them to simulate the manual gear selection aspects of a manual transmission and extract more power from their engines.
    Also notable for 2015, Ford's popular MyKey® feature will be standard on all trim levels. An all-new heated steering wheel will be available as well as 10 different wheels as factory options.
    "It is remarkable to see Focus again lead the industry as the No. 1-selling vehicle nameplate on the planet," said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president, Ford Motor Company Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln. "With the new car, we've raised the bar again, showcasing Ford's commitment to continuous improvement – adding better technology for drivers and a sleeker, more modern exterior across the entire Focus family."
    While the latest Focus is essentially the same worldwide, color preference varies. In the U.S. market, Sterling Gray is the most popular at 21 percent of sales, with Tuxedo Black second at 15 percent. In China, Crystal Solid White is overwhelmingly the most popular with just more than 50 percent of sales. Candy Red is second at 17 percent.
    Fiesta world's best-selling subcompact
    Ford's analysis of Polk new vehicle registrations also confirms Ford Fiesta earned the top spot as the best-selling subcompact car globally, with 735,299 registrations for 2013.
    Together, registrations of Ford's small cars – Fiesta and Focus – totaled 1,832,917 vehicles last year, which is a 4.3 percent increase from 2012.
    Award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoostIn addition to a host of styling and technology advances, the new Focus will offer the efficient, fun-to-drive 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine with a six-speed manual transmission. Automotive journalists globally named it International Engine of the Year for 2012 and 2013.
    "The 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine is proof that excellent fuel economy and performance can come in one package," said Raj Nair, group vice president, Ford Global Product Development. "Focus is already known for bringing together efficiency and fun, and our latest offering will bring consumers a whole new level of enjoyment – on the road and in what they'll save at the pump."
    The smallest engine in Ford's growing EcoBoost family – already available in Fiesta - will come standard in Focus with an Auto Start-Stop feature that automatically shuts down the engine at stops and instantly turns it back on at takeoff.
    EcoBoost technology combines smaller-displacement engines with turbocharging, direct injection, variable valve timing and proprietary Ford software to bring customers outstanding performance and fuel economy. Ford EcoBoost engines can deliver significantly better fuel economy than larger-displacement gasoline engines.
    New Focus customers also will enjoy a quieter ride, achieved by thicker carpets and side window glass and improved engine-bay insulation.
    Stylish new Focus
    The new Focus arrives with a bolder look. It features a restyled hood and grille, signature LED lighting for headlamps and taillamps, new rear lamp clusters and a restyled trunk lid. Four-door and five-door versions will be available in the United States.
    Inside, colors and materials have a clean, modern look, with satin chrome detailing, new seat trims and switches, and an available heated steering wheel. A new center console incorporating adjustable cupholders improves storage capacity.
    Advanced technologiesA package of sensors brings a new level of convenience for compact car customers by adding driver-assist technologies, including a rear view camera, available Blind Spot Information System and a lane-keeping system.
    Standard on Focus for the first time, the rearview camera will appear on either a 4.2-inch screen or the 8-inch screen that comes with MyFord Touch®-equipped cars.
    BLIS® uses two advanced multiple-beam radar modules, the same used with cross-traffic alert, which are packaged in both rear quarter panels. The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding sideview mirror, providing a warning that a vehicle is approaching.
    Should a Focus driver start to drift out of the current lane without a turn signal activated, the lane-keeping system provides a warning through a series of steering wheel vibrations that mimic a rumble strip. If the unintended lane departure is not corrected by the driver, the aid function of the system actively applies steering to help the driver direct the car back toward the center of the current lane.
    The new Focus benefits from advancements in exterior styling, interior design, powertrain and technology, as well as suspension and chassis upgrades.
    These include a new shock absorber valve design providing improved interior quietness, and a change to the rear suspension to give drivers a more connected feel to the road. The electric power-assisted steering has been retuned to make the driver feel even more connected to the road.
    Enhanced SYNC AppLink
    Focus drivers will have access to powerful new capabilities thanks to a host of functions developers can integrate as they modify their apps to communicate with enhanced SYNC® AppLink™.
    Android and iOS smartphone users can download more than 60 AppLink-enabled apps from the Apple App Store and Android market.
    New functions include:
    Connected apps can access a variety of real-time vehicle data such as speed, acceleration, odometer and location information that can be used by the app to further customize and personalize the owner experience. For example, access to the in-vehicle GPS signal can enable more precise and accurate location-based services than phone sensors
    More consistent user experience thanks to voice pass-through capability. This enables developers to use on-device or cloud-based voice-recognition systems to evaluate driver commands, meaning drivers can use the same set of voice commands to control an app when connected to the vehicle as they would use when not connected
    Notifications read aloud as a driver enters the car, with no need to touch the phone. Best of all, alerts are available any time a mobile device is connected to SYNC AppLink, even if the app is not currently active. This means a driver could get an alert about a traffic jam ahead while listening to the radio or using another app

    William Maley
    Since its beginnings as a military truck back in the forties, the Dodge Power Wagon has earned a reputation of being a off-road vehicle that could take on anything in its path. The 2014 Power Wagon continues that well-earned reputation with improvements to make it a bit more functional for the daily drive.
    Using the bones of the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4x4 Crew Cab, Ram begins the changes with a larger 6.4L HEMI V8 engine that will make 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. A cylinder-deactivation system and six-speed automatic transmission should help improve fuel economy. Under the skin, Ram has taken the coil spring setup idea from the 1500 and applied it to the heavy duties with a three-link front and five-link coil rear setup.
    Ram hasn't forgot about the Power Wagon's trump card; off-road ability. That starts with a new Articulink system on the front suspension which includes a front sway bar disconnect to allow for additional flexibility and articulation. There is also Bilstein monotube shocks at all four corners, manually engaged Borg-Warner transfer case, larger rear axle, front and rear electronic-locking differentials, 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratec tires, and a electric Warn winch can handle 12,800 pounds. This allows the Power Wagon to list such specs as a 34-degree approach angle, a 23.5-degree departure angle, a breakover angle is 25.5 degrees, and fording up 30 inches of water.
    The 2014 Power Wagon will start at $45,690 (includes $1,195 destination charge) for the base Tradesman. The SLT trim begins at $50,340 and comes with the Power Wagon graphics, red grille inserts, LED taillights, and LED turn signals. The Laramie trim completes the lineup with the addition of chrome grille, monotone paint scheme with painted wheel arches, and polished wheels. That model begins at $56,015.
    Ram will be officially introducing the 2014 Power Wagon at the New York Auto Show next week, with models arriving at dealers this summer.
    Source: Ram

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    New 2014 Ram Power Wagon—The Most Off-road-capable Pickup—Has Evolved from America’s First Mass Production 4x4
    Simply no other pickup on the market matches Power Wagon’s on- and off-road capability
    Standard 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 with best-in-class 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque features unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/100,000 miles
    Unique “Ram Articulink” front suspension system incorporates high movement joints and sway-bar disconnecting system, allowing for additional flexibility and axle articulation
    Ram engineering continues to lead Heavy Duty segment innovation with new 5-link coil rear suspension to deliver best-in-class ride and superior axle control
    Ram Power Wagon features standard front and rear electronic-locking differentials for true four-wheel-drive and maximum traction
    Standard Warn 12,000-lb. electric winch mounted behind the front bumper will recover competitor’s trucks stuck in the mud
    Up to 10,810 pounds of towing capacity
    New exterior design: colors, lighting, wheels, grilles and tri-color graphics
    Introduced in 1945, Power Wagon was first mass-production 4x4 pickup

    April 9, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Ram Truck brand’s quest to build the best pickups continues. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel delivers the industry’s best fuel economy at 28 MPG. Ram’s Heavy Duty truck line owns best-in-class towing at 30,000 lbs. and best-in-class Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) at 37,600 lbs., but there’s an additional title Ram Truck has always held: the most off-road-capable pickup. Built to master the most rigorous off-road trails, the 2014 Ram Power Wagon is based on the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4x4 Crew Cab, but features a number of off-road-specific engineering enhancements, including a unique suspension with more than two inches of lift, locking differentials and a 12,000-pound winch to give the truck a significant advantage over all production pickups.
    “Capability is top of mind with heavy-duty pickup truck customers. Ram trucks are expected to work every day without breaking a sweat,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO—Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “The 2014 Ram Power Wagon fills a need for those who travel into extreme terrain for rescue or recreation, while delivering on-road civility and the towing capability expected from a heavy-duty truck.”
    The 2014 Ram Power Wagon engineering story begins with a new frame, suspension and top-of-segment off-road technology and equipment complemented by the new, best-in-class 410 horsepower, 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 engine.
    “The Ram Power Wagon’s heritage dates back to 1945. It holds a special place in the line-up as an example of engineering innovation and off-road capability,” said Mike Cairns, Director—Ram Truck Engineering. “It may look similar to a Ram 2500 Heavy Duty but under the skin is a unique story, giving the Power Wagon its best-in-class off-road pickup competence.”
    The Power Wagon nameplate was produced from 1945 through 1980. Early trucks were based on the Weapons Carrier (WC) series of Dodge ¾-ton military-use trucks built during World War II. The Power Wagon went on to become a well-known civilian vehicle and continued the lineage of Dodge four-wheel-drive trucks from the 1930s, proving basic four-wheel-drive design concepts and representing a significant predecessor to the many four-wheel-drive trucks in modern use today. The iconic truck was reintroduced in 2005 and now exists as an independent model under Ram Truck Brand.
    POWERTRAIN
    Compelling numbers tell the best-in-class story of the standard 6.4-liter HEMI 16-valve V-8 engine: 410 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and a peak torque rating of 429 lb.-ft. (582 N•m) at 4,000 rpm. The engine calibration is unique to Power Wagon in order to enhance its off-road maneuverability and finesse. When driving in four-wheel-drive "Low," the throttle response softens and the idle speed increases by 100 rpm (from 650 to 750 rpm) — providing added control when ascending and descending off-road obstacles at slow speeds.
    The legendary HEMI architecture provides the foundation of the 90-degree V-8. But its advanced technology is decidedly forward-looking. Cooled exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) delivers greater efficiency and elevated refinement. These attributes are manifested in reduced pumping losses and lower emissions. Pumping losses are further reduced by variable-valve timing (VVT). Efficiency is a hallmark of the new 6.4-liter HEMI V-8, starting with Chrysler Group’s trademark Fuel Saver cylinder-deactivation technology. When conditions allow, as in highway cruising, the system seamlessly shuts down four cylinders to conserve fuel. The engine features an active dual-runner-length intake manifold optimized specifically for the Ram Heavy Duty lineup. The result is improved low-end torque without sacrificing high-end power.
    Efficiency is further reflected in revised positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system, which is integrated in the intake manifold. The resulting benefit is improved oil efficiency.
    Heat is the enemy of durability. But the new 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 includes such features as:
    Robust/high-volume oil cooler
    Oil jets for piston cooling
    Aircraft grade, stainless steel gaskets and fasteners for improved durability at high temperatures

    In addition, computational fluid dynamics was employed to optimize the cooling circuit in the block, heads and water pump.
    With upgraded valve-seat material to fight wear and anchored by a cast-iron block, aluminum cylinder heads and forged-steel crankshaft, it is little wonder the new 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 boasts a five-year / 100,000-mile warranty.
    The new 6.4-liter HEMI is offered with the 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission and connects to a part-time, manual-engagement Borg Warner BW 44-47 transfer case.
    The Power Wagon’s axles are the pinnacle of durability. Built by American Axle Manufacturing, the units measure 9.25 inches in the front and 11.5 inches in the rear (increase from 10.5 inches), delivering power via a 4.10:1 ring and pinion ratio. Robust rear axle shafts are upgraded to 38 mm, providing rotating force directly to the 33-inch tire/wheel combination. Both axles include electronic locking differentials driven by electro-magnetic actuators. New for 2014, all Ram Heavy Duty trucks incorporate a segment-exclusive front axle disconnect system. When conditions warrant, front drivetrain components are disconnected to reduce parasitic loss and improve overall efficiency. The system provides a gain in fuel efficiency of up to 1 mile per gallon (mpg).
    Additional axle data:
    FRONT REAR9.25 AAM 11.5 AAM
    Front Pinion: 98.3 mm Rear Pinion: 121.3 mmFront Ring Gear: 235 mm (9.25 inches) Rear Ring Gear: 292 mm (11.5 inches)
    Front Axle Shaft Diameter: 35 mm Rear Axle Shaft Diameter: 38 mm
    SUSPENSIONThe 2014 Ram Power Wagon features an all-new suspension system, some of which was specifically designed for the Power Wagon, including Bilstein shocks, control arms, spring rates and more than two inches of lift.
    In the front, the entire Ram Heavy Duty line features an advanced three-link front suspension to ensure roll stiffness. Greater roll stiffness reduces body roll or lean, and is an important characteristic in taller vehicles and especially trucks with heavy payloads. Roll stiffness is measured by the amount the truck’s body tips side-to-side, independently of the wheels, during cornering.
    The Ram Power Wagon packages a unique-to-model design of the standard three-link suspension system with Bilstein monotube shocks. The Ram Articulink design incorporates high movement joints at the control-arm-to-axle mount, allowing for additional flexibility and axle articulation.
    Additional suspension flex is achieved via the class-exclusive electronic disconnecting sway bar, which allows the front axle to move more independently of the truck’s frame. The driver-actuated "Smart Bar" disengagement is possible in both four-wheel drive "High" or four-wheel drive "Low" at speeds below 18 miles per hour. As a safety feature, the Smart Bar automatically re-engages at speeds above 18 miles per hour, increasing roll stiffness.
    Heavy Duty trucks generally have rear suspension equipped for constant, heavy payloads. This usually leads to a harsher ride when unloaded. Ram innovation leads again for 2014. All Ram 2500 Heavy Duty trucks, including the Power Wagon take lessons learned from the Ram 1500 and add an all-new, segment-exclusive five-link coil rear suspension system for best-in-class ride and handling.
    The exclusive five-link coil design provides better articulation over obstacles than a leaf spring system and the robust coil springs are more than up to the task of handling heavy payloads. Although the 2014 Ram Power Wagon is loaded with off-road components, owners will appreciate payload up to 1,490 pounds and towing capacity up to 10,810 pounds.
    The five-link coil design incorporates support at all major points of force. Leaf spring suspensions struggle to combat axle wrap by using staggered shock absorbers (one mounted on the front of the axle tube and one mounted on the rear of the axle tube). The superior design of the five-link coil system functionally resists unwanted axle rotation. Leaf spring configurations also lack lateral support, forcing the leaf ends and shackles to hold against lateral loads — a task they're not particularly good at and one reason competitive leaf-sprung rear suspensions shutter on rough surfaces.
    Because of the unique five-link axle control and natural rotation, U-joints in the driveshaft run smoothly and with less vibration through the suspension’s range of motion, an advantage not shared with leaf springs. Another benefit of coil springs is less unsprung mass and elimination of stick-slip friction found between the leaf springs. Additionally, links are engineered in-line with frame rails, so overall packaging is better, not to mention an overall weight reduction of more than 40 pounds when compared to a leaf-spring configuration.
    The rear suspension also includes Bilstein monotube shocks, and on some models, a Bilstein dampener links the top of the rear axle to the frame, providing additional control, bringing the Ram 2500 far beyond what competitors offer for axle control.
    The 2014 Ram Power Wagon's combined axle and suspension package adds to greater suspension articulation, a determining factor when negotiating extreme obstacles. With Smart Bar engaged, the Ram Power Wagon reaches a Ramp Travel Index (RTI - a measurement of a vehicle's suspension articulation) of 510 (26-inch vertical height).
    DESIGN
    The 2014 Ram Power Wagon receives a variety of exterior design treatments, each unique to the three trim levels. All models are bookended with chrome front and rear bumpers. The bold chrome front bumper neatly hides a Warn 12,000-lb. winch with nothing to show except a single heavy gauge steel cable and pronounced hook that attaches to one of the two massive front tow hooks. The unique 17-inch forged and polished aluminum wheel designs are wrapped in 33-inch tires and feature exposed lug nuts with a small center cap.
    On the Power Wagon Tradesman trim, monotone paint covers the truck. The grille-surround and inserts are colored black as are the headlamp filler panels and wheel flares. A Power Wagon decal spreads across the bottom of the tailgate.
    The SLT trim features the most visible change. The crosshair grille divides the frontal area into four quadrants. Truck color decides whether or not the SLT-trimmed Power Wagon receives the special red billets in the four quadrants (Bright White, Flame Red, Black, Bright Silver and Granite Crystal) providing quick identification of the Power Wagon package. Bi-functional halogen projector headlamps, underlined with an LED array are set into a dark background. Two-tone paint and rear-bound, Tri-color Carbide Blade graphics are matched to the Power Wagon colors. The new graphics come in two slightly different color variations, depending on vehicle paint. In conjunction with the side graphics, a large Power Wagon decal covers the bottom of both side doors. The LED trend is carried to the rear tail lamps and a theme-matched Power Wagon graphic adorns the base of the tailgate. Black wheel flares and door handles round out the SLT trim.
    The Laramie trim is more understated. The truck features an all chrome grille and bi-functional halogen headlamps set into a chrome background. As in the SLT, LEDs serve as markers in the front and rear. The monotone painted body and wheel flares combine with polished wheels and a unique Power Wagon chrome tailgate badge, giving the Laramie Power Wagon a sleeper appearance considering its capability. Of course, as with all Laramie trim level Ram trucks, the interior is top notch with leather seating surfaces, premium materials and soft touch points.
    For 2014, the Ram Power Wagon offers up to 12 different colors depending on model: True Blue, Maximum Steel, Deep Cherry Red, Blue Streak, Black Gold, Western Brown, Prairie, Flame Red, Bright White, Black (monotone), Bright Silver and Granite Crystal.
    GROUND CLEARANCE AND PROTECTIONNew to Power Wagon and providing optimal balance between on-road civility and off-road capability are 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires, which feature a beefy tread pattern to help grab ledges along the trail and deliver optimum traction through sand, mud and snow. Larger tires and a suspension lift contribute to the Power Wagon’s 14.5-inch ground clearance, compared to 12 inches on the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty. The truck’s approach angle is boosted to 34 degrees, the departure angle is increased to 23.5 degrees and the breakover angle is enhanced to 25.5 degrees. This gives the Ram Power Wagon significant clearance for navigating a variety of severe inclines and declines as well as providing up to 30-inches of water-fording capability.
    Underneath the 2014 Ram Power Wagon are generous underbody protection components. Fore-aft bars bring together the transfer case and fuel tank skid plates, resulting in armor that minimizes underside damage and rock wedging.
    FRAME
    Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature frames built with high-strength 50,000 psi steel, including eight separate cross-members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for optimal strength and mass efficiency. Chassis controls on the new Ram Heavy Duty ensure outstanding noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) measurements and ride and handling characteristics.
    Wide front frame rails enable front suspension springs to be positioned slightly outboard – an enabler for generating positive roll stiffness. A large plated-structure interface to the frame brings a lengthened weld surface creating a stiff, robust front section. The design ensures optimum mass efficiency with no need for reinforcements to deliver strength, despite shape complexity. Center frame rail sections are roll-formed, an efficient means for maintaining consistent strength in less complex longitudinal sections. In the rear portion of the new frame, the structure includes fully boxed rear rails and offers a factory-installed rear axle cross-member.
    STEERINGThe hydraulic steering system features recirculating ball steering gear, which delivers precise on-center feel despite the vehicles immense towing and payload capacities.
    BRAKES
    Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on all 2014 Ram Heavy Duty Truck models. Front rotors measure 14.17 inches (373 mm) in diameter and are clamped with dual-piston calipers; rear rotors are 14.09 inches (356 mm) also use dual-piston calipers. All Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature standard four-channel electronic stability control (ESC).
    BODYThe Ram Heavy Duty is equipped with robust engine, transmission and body mounts, including pioneering hydro-mounts at C-pillar positions for class-leading noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics despite the truck’s aptitude for higher payloads and towing.
    The Power Wagon features a standard Class 5 receiver hitch with four- and seven-pin connectors on the bumper. A tailgate handle-mounted, high-definition rear camera backup system is available with dynamic imaging in the 8.4-inch display. Also, an optional cargo-view camera located in the center high-mounted stop light (CHMSL) provides a view of the bed for monitoring payload.
    ELECTRICAL
    As the Ram Heavy Duty continues to offer more featured content, it created the need for a technology that allows more information to be electronically communicated within the truck. The Powernet electrical architecture system allows both high and low-speed data networks to be equipped with as many as 40 individual modules, all designed to improve vehicle performance and enhance the comfort and safety of driver and passengers. Within the Powernet high-speed network, each module (e.g., electronic stability control) processes its individual data and transmits the appropriate commands within the vehicle to activate any additional systems (e.g. anti-lock brake system and cruise control).
    A majority of the commercial truck customers need to tie into the electrical system and certain fleet customers require access to vehicle information to even be considered, especially ambulance packages and some utility companies. A best-in-class vehicle system interface module (VSIM) is capable of communicating between aftermarket modules and various factory control modules. The VSIM upfitter interface module features a total of 53 circuits, including lighting controls, door position, and throttle and transmission position. The class exclusive module acts as a secure gateway to the vehicles’ electrical systems and data bus architecture to enable safe, secure plug and play connectivity for upfitter friendliness.
    The 2014 Ram Heavy Duty is equipped with intelligent battery sensor technology, which continually measures the flow of current in and out of the battery. The system is an enabler for intelligent load shedding, systematically shutting off select electrical systems onboard the vehicle when the battery is running low to help prevent further depleting the battery.
    The new Power Wagon offers a dual-alternator system – the first of its kind for 3/4- and 1-ton pickup trucks with gas powertrains –combining 220- and 160-amp units for 380-amps of total best-in-class output.
    ADDITIONAL FEATURESRam Heavy Duty customers can enjoy the convenience of power folding mirrors and a combination, power rear-sliding window with defrost. Also, one-touch, central locking includes the RamBox cargo management system and tailgate power locks, creating a convenient solution for locking all exterior doors and storage lids. Spray-in bedliner, auto rain-sensing wipers and SmartBeam headlamps also are available, adding to a truckload of content.
    Total Cost Of Ownership And Unsurpassed Powertrain Warranty - Five Years/100,000 Miles
    Operating costs are of great consideration for owners who use their trucks for work. The 2014 Ram Heavy Duty holds class-leading features in:
    Fuel economy
    Extended maintenance cycle (oil change of 15,000, fuel filter life on diesel)
    Brake life with advanced engine exhaust brake and largest brakes in the segment

    The 2014 Ram Heavy Duty is backed with an unsurpassed five-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. The powertrain-limited warranty covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a covered powertrain component – engine, transmission and drive system. Coverage also includes free towing to the nearest Ram Truck dealer, if necessary. The warranty also is transferable allowing customers who sell their truck during the warranty period to pass the coverage on to the new owner. The standard five-year/36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram Heavy Duty, from the body to the electrical system.
    MANUFACTURING
    The 2014 Ram Heavy Duty is built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico.

    William Maley

    Dodge Readies A Big Showing For New York

    New York looks to be the big show for Dodge this year. The brand announced yesterday that they'll showing off the revised 2015 Charger and Challenger at the show.
    The 2015 Charger looks undergoing some major changes judging from a teaser shot released by Dodge which shows the blunt, angry looks are changing into something a bit smoother. As for the Challenger, Dodge says in the release "features a new powertrain combination that is sure to get enthusiasts "abuzz." Could this mean that the rumored Hellcat V8 with up to 640 horsepower will play a key role? Also expect tweaks to the front and rear end, along with a revised interior.
    We'll have full details on these two models in a couple week's time.
    Source: Dodge
    Press Release is on Page 2
    DODGE TO SET BIG APPLE AND CAR ENTHUSIASTS ABUZZ WITH REVEAL OF ITS TWO ICONIC MUSCLE CARS
    April 7, 2014: Auburn Hills, Mich. - Dodge is giving an early look at its new 2015 Dodge Challenger and the 2015 Dodge Charger, both of which will be revealed Thursday, April 17 at the New York Auto Show, just ahead of the Dodge brand's 100th anniversary this summer.
    Inspired by the classic Dodge Challenger, the iconic muscle car is new from the inside out for 2015 and features a new powertrain combination that is sure to get enthusiasts "abuzz."
    The world's most-successful, four-door muscle car – the 2015 Dodge Charger – will also take the stage at the Jacob Javits Center in New York. The new Charger receives a full-body makeover with nearly every single body panel being resculpted. The result? Check out the reveal in New York to see this sleeker, more modern appearance.
    To see the new 2015 Dodge Challenger and Charger revealed live in New York at 11:30 a.m. EDT, go to www.dodge.com or watch the Livestream webcast.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 28, 2013
    Subaru has pulled back the curtain on the new WRX Concept today at the New York Auto Show and we can say whoa.
    The WRX Concept "hints at the design language of the next-generation WRX," Subaru said in a statement. The concept is shorter than the current WRX/STI models, but it's wider and has a lower roofline. The design cues on the concept include a large hood scoop, massive grille, bulging fenders, quad exhaust outlets that frame a rear diffuser, and a set of twenty-inch BBS wheels. The wheels and a carbon-fiber roof help lower the concept's center of gravity.
    Expect more details on the WRX/STI to start coming out sometime this year.
    Source: Subaru

    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
    March 28, 2013
    THE ALL-NEW SUBARU WRX CONCEPT DEBUTS AT THE 2013 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    • SUBARU WRX CONCEPT hints at next generation WRX design language
    • Focus is on sharp handling, AWD grip and turbo power
    New York - Subaru of America, Inc. today unveiled the SUBARU WRX CONCEPT at the 2013 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Center. The design concept hints at the design language of the next generation WRX.
    The bold and muscular design emphasizes turbocharged power and AWD grip in a more agile and athletic form. The SUBARU WRX CONCEPT blends the WRX’s famous power and road-holding prowess with an even greater focus on sharp handling, steering and communicative chassis. To further improve handling dynamics, the SUBARU WRX CONCEPT features a carbon-fiber roof to enhance the already low center of gravity and reduce weight.
    Considerably lower, sleeker and wider, the SUBARU WRX CONCEPT delivers even more street presence than previous generations of WRX. The new grille design is larger and bolder and sets off the classic WRX hood scoop. A pronounced powerbulge provides clearance for the new turbocharged engine and intercooler. A prominent hexagonal grille form and deep lower valences with air intakes are designed to enhance aerodynamics, add downforce and aid engine cooling.
    The three dimensional mesh pattern of the grille denotes the sporting nature of the SUBARU WRX CONCEPT and sets the Subaru star cluster apart, while the new hawk-eye headlights integrate the Subaru family design heritage.
    A sharp character line runs from the front corner through to the taillights, intersected by the boldly flared wheel arches emphasizing the Subaru’s AWD system. The compact cabin greenhouse draws attention to the power and solidity of the body and focuses attention to wide stance that provides a visual link between body and chassis.
    The rear design echoes the hexagonal design motif from the front grille and features a dramatically curved trunk lid that also acts as a rear spoiler. The distinctive wide rear bumper of the SUBARU WRX CONCEPT adds to the powerful street presence of the car and is off-set by large quad tailpipes denoting the powerful turbocharged engine. The aggressive rear diffuser improves vehicles aerodynamics.
    The all-new SUBARU WRX CONCEPT features a new paint color, “WR Blue Pearl III”, which modernizes the iconic WRX look. Fluorescent Yellow is used as an accent on the WRX badge on the front grille, the brake calipers and the exhaust tip finishers, adding character notes to the design.
    Filling out the broad fenders are BBS “RI-D” One Piece Forged Duralumin wheels and featuring 245/40ZR20 Dunlop tires with an exclusive tread pattern.
    Key Dimensions
    (Overall Length x Width x Height): (178.0in x 74.4in x 54.7in ), Wheelbase: (108.7 in.)

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 28, 2013
    Subaru's first production hybrid vehicle made its debut at the New York Auto Show today. The XV Crosstrek Hybrid follows in the footsteps of the XV Crosstrek that was shown last year at New York.
    Subaru's hybrid system is made up of a the regular XV Crosstrek's 2.0L four-cylinder 148 horsepower engine and a 13.4 horsepower electric motor mated to a 13.5-kilowatt nickel-metal-hydride battery. Power is funneled through Subaru's Linetronic CVT to all four wheels. Sadly, fuel economy hasn't gone up by much. Subaru estimates that the XV Crosstrek Hybrid will get 28 City/34 Highway. The normal XV Crosstrek when equipped with the CVT gets 25 City/33 Highway.
    Other mechanical changes for the XV Crosstrek Hybrid include a stop/start system, active grille shutter system, and a a revised air-conditioning system that uses a temperature and humidity sensor to help reduce draw on the engine.
    Outside, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid gets a set specific wheels, unique Plasma Green Pearl paint color, and a set hybrid badges that differentiate the Hybrid from the normal XV Crosstrek. Inside, Subaru gets more sound dreading, a new gauge cluster, keyless start, and cool blue color scheme accented with silver trim. Cargo space is slightly smaller than the XV Crosstrek (50.2 cubic feet for the Hybrid vs. 51.9 cubic feet for the Crosstrek).
    The 2014 XV Crosstrek arrives at your local Subaru dealer at the end of this year.
    Source: Subaru

    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
    March 28, 2013
    SUBARU INTRODUCES ITS FIRST PRODUCTION HYBRID MODEL AT THE 2013 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    • Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid based on popular XV Crosstrek crossover
    • Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive crossover in America.
    • Subaru-engineered hybrid system uses 2.0-liter BOXER engine and integrates an electric motor into a continuously variable transmission
    • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive standard offers solid, all-terrain performance
    • Same utility and versatility as the gasoline model
    New York - Subaru of America, Inc. today unveiled the brand’s first-ever production hybrid vehicle, the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, at the 2013 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Center. Based on the popular XV Crosstrek crossover introduced for 2013, the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid model arrives in Subaru dealerships fourth quarter of 2013. When the XV Crosstrek Hybrid goes on sale it will be the most fuel-efficient and lowest-emissions AWD hybrid crossover in America.
    In developing its first-ever hybrid, Subaru chose one of its popular, go-anywhere crossover vehicle platforms. As a result, the new XV Crosstrek Hybrid offers all the capability and versatility of the gasoline XV Crosstrek. The added benefits of a hybrid powertrain, including higher fuel efficiency, broaden the vehicle’s appeal. Key to this approach is that the XV Crosstrek Hybrid shares the gasoline model’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and chassis capability. For example, the 8.7 inches of ground clearance is the same as for the gas model and is higher than for some dedicated SUVs, while providing a low step-in height.
    With the XV Crosstrek Hybrid, Subaru re-engineered the chassis to handle the added weight of the battery system, improving handling, steering and ride. In addition to chassis changes, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid added extra sound insulation, a start/stop feature, revised HVAC, new gauge cluster, keyless start and numerous other changes.
    The Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid combines a 2.0-liter Subaru BOXER engine with a 13.4-hp electric motor that’s integrated into the Lineartronic® Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). A 100v, 13.5kw nickel-metal hydride battery is located under a revised rear floor area, and the engine uses and integrated starter/generator for the automatic start/stop feature. The compact hybrid system weighs just 209 lbs. and places the electric motor just behind the transmission and in front of continuously variable transfer clutch. With the addition of all the new features, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid weighs approximately 300 lbs. more than the gasoline engine XV Crosstrek.
    Under light acceleration, the Subaru-engineered hybrid system uses the electric motor for initial vehicle acceleration and then starts the gasoline engine once underway. The electric motor can also provide motor assist for acceleration in parallel with the gasoline engine, and an EV mode will operate the vehicle in certain low-speed situations.
    Same Capability and Utility as Gas Model
    Significantly, the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid builds upon the utility and versatility of the gas model, while also offering enhanced handling responses and quieter driving performance.
    The Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical AWD provides the same operation and benefits as in the gasoline model. The system sends power to the four wheels all the time and adjusts the torque distribution in response to acceleration, cornering and road conditions.
    Passenger cabin room in the new XV Crosstrek Hybrid is essentially the same as in the gas model (0.7 cu. ft. difference), while the hybrid’s maximum cargo room (rear seatbacks down) measures 50.2 cu. ft., vs. 51.9 in the gas model.
    In addition to optimizing the 2.0-liter FB-series BOXER engine to reduce internal friction, Subaru applied a number of other efficiency-enhancing technologies to the XV Crosstrek Hybrid. An Auto Start/Stop system shuts down the gasoline engine when the vehicle is stopped. Brake regeneration works when the car is coasting or the driver has applied the brake, recapturing kinetic energy from the turning wheels to recharge the battery.
    All-season tires are mounted on new aluminum alloy-wheels with an aerodynamic design. Exclusive to the North American market, a new Active Grille Shutter system helps reduce air resistance. The air conditioning system uses a temperature and humidity sensor to optimize operation for reduced draw on engine power.
    Subaru retuned the platform’s suspension and revised the steering ratio to give the XV Crosstrek Hybrid sharper handling responses. Numerous enhancements that help to reduce noise include thicker floor sections, under-floor covers and additional sound insulation.
    Sophisticated Appearance
    In addition to the different wheels, exterior enhancements readily differentiate the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid from the gasoline model. “HYBRID” badges appear at the front edges of the front doors and on the tailgate. A new Plasma Green Pearl exterior color, exclusive to the XV Crosstrek Hybrid, spotlights the vehicle’s environmental character.
    Inside, the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid features a clean, cool blue theme with silver trim to underscore the advanced hybrid engineering. The instrument cluster, exclusive to this model, uses gradations of the blue color scheme to provide a sense of depth.
    The Color Multi-Function Display shows the hybrid system’s energy flow according to driving conditions. Using switching screens, the display was designed to combine driving operation information with entertainment content, and its screen can be easily viewed from any seat.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 28, 2013
    Scion used the New York Auto Show to show off the refreshed 2014 tC coupe today.
    Exterior wise, Scion gave the tC a meaner front end by a new front grille, headlights, and a lower valance that is meant to callback the FR-S' design. Inside, the 2014 tC gets improved materials and a a 6.1-inch touch-screen audio system. Optional is a “BeSpoke” premium audio system that comes with navigation and Aha internet radio.
    The tC's powertrain remains the same 2.5L inline-four with 179 horsepower. Available transmissions include a six-speed manual or automatic. The automatic gains the FR-S' rev management technology to bilp the throttle before a downshift. Scion has also improved the tC's handling by modifying the sway bar, reviising the shock absorbers, and adding extra spot welds for a stiffer body.
    The new tC arrives at your local Scion dealer in June.
    Source: Scion

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    New, Sportier 2014 Scion tC Debuts at New York International Auto Show
    Limited-Production Scion 10 Series Models Celebrate Brand’s 10th Anniversary
    NEW YORK (March 28, 2013) – Scion revealed the new 2014 tC sports coupe at the New York International Auto Show, showing off a sporty new look, upgraded interior and an enhanced driving experience for the brand’s top-selling vehicle.
    “The sustained success of the tC, which accounts for 40 percent of all Scions ever sold, challenged designers to enhance the 2014 sports coupe in ways that keep it exciting to today’s drivers without losing its core appeal,” said Doug Murtha, Scion vice president. “The outstanding result is a 2014 tC with a sportier style and driving experience that will thrill buyers and hold its unique spot in the marketplace.”
    Aggressive Look with New Exterior Design and 18-Inch Wheels
    The 2014 Scion tC is defined by more assertive styling, starting from the front with distinctive new headlamps and an all-new hood that extends lower toward a more open, muscular grille with an embedded tC logo. The new upper- and lower-grille treatments are bordered by LED accent lighting.
    Beneath the rear bumper, a new black-out valance features an FR-S style, lower-center trim piece and lower perimeter reflectors; new advanced LED tail lamps complete the picture. New 18-inch alloy wheels with 225/45R18 tires carry the aggressive character through to the car’s profile. Standard on the tC, the wheels feature a premium dark gray finish, contrasted by eye-catching machined-spoke surfaces.
    The tC will be available in seven exterior paint colors, including two new additions, Absolutely Red and Blue Streak Metallic.
    Upgraded Materials and Scion Standard Display Audio Enhance Interior
    The 2014 Scion tC’s cabin adds new technology, additional convenience features and upgraded materials. The tC will be the first model in the family to come with the all-new Scion Standard Display Audio, featuring a 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen. The system will be incorporated into all 2014 Scion models, making Scion the industry’s first non-luxury brand to feature a touchscreen audio system as standard equipment across its entire lineup. The new audio system comes equipped with features that Scion drivers will enjoy, including Bluetooth® compatibility, HD Radio™ Technology and steering wheel-mounted controls.
    The new base audio system will be joined by an available, all-new Scion BeSpoke Premium Audio system featuring Aha™. This upgraded system includes full navigation, as well as the ability to connect compatible smart phones through Aha to access 30,000 free audio stations, including Scion’s own signature station featuring a lineup of its 17 music channels. In addition to audiobook stations, sports, news and entertainment, the Aha service utilizes location–based services like Yelp and TripAdvisor, and integrates most of the popular social media applications, all at a great value for consumers.
    Added convenience features for the 2014 tC include auto-off headlamps and an auto-up and down driver's window. The interior is upgraded with premium materials and lighter color fabric on the seats and the headliner.
    Sportier Automatic Transmission and Enhanced Dynamic Handling
    Getting there will be more than half the fun in the 2014 tC. Its 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine delivers 179 horsepower at 6,000 RPM, and it is available either with a six-speed manual transmission or an updated six-speed automatic that can change gears nearly twice as fast as the previous model for both upshifts and downshifts. The automatic transmission now features Dynamic Rev Management technology, adopted from the FR-S, which quickly blips the engine to match its revs to gear ratios on downshifts, limiting driveline shock and adding to the visceral experience of driving the car.
    Handling is enhanced by making modifications to stabilizer bar hardware, optimizing the shock absorbers, and by increasing the body rigidity with additional spot welds. Driving enthusiasts will also appreciate the retuned electronic power steering that provides a more engaging response. Together, these changes help the new tC to deliver a sportier, fun-to-drive experience behind the wheel. The 2014 Scion tC will arrive in dealerships in June.
    Limited-Production Scion 10 Series Models Celebrate Scion’s 10th Anniversary
    In 2003, the first Scion xA and xB vehicles heralded the launch of the Scion brand, which was designed to bring new buyers into the Toyota family and appeal to emerging, younger drivers. The brand has accomplished both, and today it is recognized as having among the youngest median age drivers in the industry. Since its introduction, 75 percent of Scion owners have been new to the Toyota family.
    “The Scion 10 Series celebrates 10 years of the brand’s passionate approach, iconic products and success inviting a new, younger buyer to the Toyota family,” Murtha said. “Scion heads into its second decade revved up by a strong product line that continues to stand out on the road.”
    To celebrate Scion’s 10th anniversary, Scion will launch a limited-production version of each vehicle in its lineup called Scion 10 Series. Every Scion 10 Series car will be painted a premium color: Silver Ignition. The anniversary message continues when the driver enters the car to see the Scion name illuminated on the dash before fading to reveal the number 10. The unique models will number a total of 10,000 vehicles, which will begin arriving in dealerships in June.
    Other stand-out features include silver seat belts, a solar-powered illuminated shift knob and an LED Scion locator badge that lights up when the car is unlocked. Each vehicle also carries a sequentially numbered interior badge. The xB, iQ, and xD will feature unique alloy wheels in a graphite finish.
    The Scion 10 Series FR-S also comes equipped with HID headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lamps, dual automatic climate controls and a smart key with push-button start ignition.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 28, 2013
    Mitsubishi has introduced a new subcompact model called the Mirage to help resuscitate sales in the U.S today at the New York Auto Show.
    The new Mirage is powered by a 1.2L three-cylinder engine with Mitsubishi's MIVEC variable valve-timing system, producing 74 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque. This is mated to a five-speed manual or a continuously-variable transmission.
    Mitsubishi says the Mirage can get 37 City/44 Highway/40 Combined when equipped with the CVT.
    Standard equipment on the Mirage includes seven air-bags, Stability Control, automatic climate control, and a four speaker 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with USB/iPod input.
    Mitsubishi says the new Mirage arrives at dealers this fall.
    Source: Mitsubishi
    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
    2014 Mitsubishi Mirage At-A-Glance
    Thu, Mar 28, 2013
    Making a triumphant return to the North American marketplace, the all-new 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage 5-door sub-compact is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid gasoline vehicle available in America.
    With a manufacturer-estimated fuel economy of 40 mpg combined/37 mpg city/44 mpg highway (CVT-equipped model; pending EPA fuel mileage rating), the all-new Mirage is an affordable and stylish hatchback with best-in-class fuel efficiency.
    The all-new Mirage provides eager acceleration in urban stop-and-go driving along with exemplary highway fuel economy. What's more, an ECO indicator illuminates to let the driver know when they are driving in a manner that allows for utmost fuel efficiency.
    Standard safety features included at no cost on this fuel-sipping 5-door subcompact consist of a comprehensive seven (7) airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) including dual front air bags, dual front seat-mounted side-impact air bags, dual side-impact curtain air bags, and a driver's knee airbag; Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS); 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD); and Brake Assist. Hill Start Assist (HSA) is also standard on all continuously-variable transmission-equipped (CVT) models.
    Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control Logic (TCL) is also included on all models. The ASC/TCL helps stabilize the vehicle when it detects skidding and/or when the system detects a loss of traction on slippery road surfaces.
    Mitsubishi Motors engineers have fortified the all-new Mirage 5-door with an additional level of driver and passenger protection (the Mirage has seating for 5) in the event of a collision by incorporating the most advanced form of Mitsubishi's RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) impact-absorbing safety cell technology ever. The patented RISE system utilizes a body structure with an impact energy-absorbing front end along with an abundant use of high tensile steel in key areas throughout the platform.
    Furthermore, the stylish exterior of the all-new 2014 Mirage was penned using computer-aided design (CAD) software to maximize the 5-door's aerodynamic efficiency for a low 0.28 coefficient of drag. This advanced design/emphasis on aerodynamic efficiency is clearly exhibited in the carefully sculpted corners of the rear bumper and the way the hood gently flows into the A-pillars.
    To add a touch of vibrancy to Mirage's dynamic exterior styling, four fun and eye-catching colors will be available in addition to the traditional selection of White Solid, Black Mica, Silver Metallic, and Gray Mica.
    Standard electric power steering (EPS) further aids the fuel efficiency cause while providing the driver with communicative steering feel as well as the sharpest turning radius (15.1 feet) in the class.
    The entry-level Mitsubishi Mirage DE packs a long list of standard amenities. Among these features are tilt steering; automatic climate control; power windows with driver's side auto-up/down; power side mirrors; body-colored side mirrors, door handles and tailgate handle, a convenient 60/40 split folding rear seat; keyless entry with panic alarm; variable intermittent wipers; a sporty rear spoiler and a dynamic sounding 4 speaker 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 with USB/iPod® input.
    Every Mirage variant also features thoughtful interior design touches including ergonomically designed driver controls and instrument panel as well as upscale-looking rich high-gloss piano black trim for the center console.
    An especially welcome interior design feature is the 60/40 split folding rear seat that allows for plentiful and easily accessed interior cargo volume.
    The upmarket Mirage ES model features all of the welcome content on the DE while adding eye-catching 14-inch aluminum alloy wheels; front fog lamps; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; F.A.S.T. (Free-hand Advanced Security Transmitter)-Key passive entry; One-Touch Start/Stop (OSS) engine switch; steering wheel-mounted audio controls; cruise control and a Bluetooth® hands-free phone system.
    Numerous amenity and accessory packages available include LED Interior Illumination, Rear Parking Assist, Navigation System and Exterior lower body kit and Chrome accent packages.
    Powering the all-new Mirage is an extremely efficient 1.2-liter three-cylinder DOHC engine that features the latest version of Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control (MIVEC) variable valve-timing system that maximizes fuel efficiency and power output while greatly minimizing exhaust emissions. This engine produces 74 bhp and 74 lb.-ft. of torque. Consumers have a choice between a smooth-operating 5-speed manual and an advanced continuously-variable transmission (CVT) with Idle Neutral Logic.
    Rounding out this hot hatchback's remarkable affordability and extreme efficiency is the additional peace of mind that comes with Mitsubishi Motors' impressive warranty:
    10-years or 100,000-miles limited powertrain;
    5-years or 60,000-miles limited new vehicle and 5-years/unlimited mileage roadside assistance.
    Key Specifications
    Wheelbase: 96.5 in.
    Length: 148.8 in.
    Height: 59.1 in.
    Width: 65.6 in.
    Engine: 1.2-liter DOHC MIVEC 3-cylinder engine
    Horsepower: 74 @ 6000 rpm
    Torque: 74 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm
    Transmission: 5-speed manual or Continuously-variable transmission (CVT)
    Fuel Economy: 37 mpg city/44 mpg highway (40 mpg combined)
    (Manufacturer-estimated; pending EPA fuel mileage rating).
    Major Standard Features (DE Model)
    4 speaker 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 with USB/iPod® input
    RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) chassis safety cell construction
    Body colored side mirrors, door handles and tailgate handle
    Electric power steering (EPS)
    Power windows with driver's side auto-up/down
    Power side mirrors
    Tilt steering
    60/40 split folding rear seat
    Halogen headlamps with auto-off
    Rear spoiler
    165/65R14 low rolling-resistance tires
    Automatic climate control
    Rear heater floor ducts
    Cargo area cover
    Piano black center console trim
    Keyless entry with panic alarm
    Rear wiper/washer
    Multi-information meter display
    ECO indicator
    Dual-stage front air bag SRS with front passenger occupant sensors, curtain side air bags, driver's knee air bag, and front seat mounted side-impact air bags
    Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
    Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control Logic (TCL)
    Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
    Hill Start Assist (CVT only)

    ES adds over DE:
    One-Touch Start/Stop (OSS) engine switch
    F.A.S.T.-Key passive entry
    Bluetooth® hand-free phone system
    Cruise control
    Steering wheel-mounted audio controls
    Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
    14-inch alloy wheels
    Fog lamps
    Seat height adjustor
    Silver interior accents
    Upgraded seat fabric

    Mirage Options:
    Navigation Package (ES model) adds: SD navigation system with rear camera monitor
    Exterior Package adds: Front bumper corner extensions; side sill extensions; rear bumper corner extensions.
    Chrome Package adds: Fog light garnish; lower grille garnish; tailgate garnish.
    LED Illumination Package adds: Floor LED illumination (blue); console LED illumination (blue); cargo area LED illumination (white).
    Parking Assist Package adds: Front park assist sensors; rear park assist sensors.
    Protection Package adds: Front & rear mudguards; scuff plates; body side moldings.
    Cargo Package adds: Cargo tray; cargo net.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 28, 2013
    Dodge's three-row crossover gets a refresh to help pull it into the current lineup of Dodge vehicles for 2014.
    Starting outside, the 2014 Durango an updated grille, raised front bumper, new projector-beam headlights with available LED daytime running lights, and a more sculpted hood. In the back, the Durango gains the LED light-bar taillamp setup seen on the Charger and Dart.
    Inside, Dodge fits the latest version of Chrysler's UConnect infotainment system that can be viewed on a five-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreen. Also new is a seven-inch screen in the instrument cluster.
    Powertrains are carried over. The base engine is Chrysler's 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 290 horsepower. Optional is the 5.7L HEMI V8 with 360 horsepower. New for this year is the eight-speed automatic transmission for both engines. Teamed with a new Eco mode, Dodge says the new Durango is 9% more efficient than the outgoing model.
    The 2014 Durango arrives at dealers at the end of this year.
    Source: Dodge

    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
    The New 2014 Dodge Durango — The Ultimate No Compromise SUV Raises the Bar for Performance, Technology and Style in the Three-row SUV Segment
    Durango features advanced design and premium class-exclusive features for 2014
    All-new standard eight-speed transmission with rotary shifter improves fuel efficiency up to 9 percent and enhances Durango’s fun-to-drive DNA
    Now offering the latest 8.4-inch Uconnect Access Via Mobile touchscreen with downloadable apps and customizable instrument gauge cluster with 7-inch full-color screen
    New LED lighting technology, including standard class-exclusive racetrack tail lamps with 192 LEDs, ties Durango to the latest Dodge vehicle designs
    Best-in-class towing of up to 7,400 pounds with V-8 engine; 6,200 pounds with V-6 engine
    Best-in-class V-6 driving range of more than 600 miles on a tank of fuel
    Up to 50 different seating configurations, including optional second-row captain’s chairs and 85 cu. ft. of cargo capacity
    Available class-exclusive dual screen Blu-ray / DVD player
    New suite of advanced technologies improves performance, safety, comfort and convenience
    Premium features, including available heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated seats and accent stitching, highlight Durango’s attention to passenger comfort and style

    March 28, 2013 , New York City - The Dodge brand is upping the ante in the fast-growing full-size sport-utility vehicle (SUV) and crossover segments, introducing the new 2014 Dodge Durango at the 2013 New York International Auto Show. This new SUV is built on the Dodge brand’s pillars of performance, style and innovation, delivering a new standard state-of-the-art class-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission that improves fuel economy up to 9 percent, the Chrysler Group’s award-winning Uconnect Access easy-to-use touchscreen technologies and the Dodge brand’s signature racetrack LED tail lamps to driving enthusiasts in the market for a three-row family performance SUV.
    When Dodge re-introduced the Durango in 2011, it immediately earned accolades from customers and critics alike. Its combination of sleek yet muscular lines, comfortable three-row seating, large cargo volume, class-leading power, driving range and towing capability and overall driving enjoyment was unlike anything ever seen in the SUV segment before. For 2014, the engineers and designers at Dodge have made the ultimate “no compromise” SUV even better.
    The new 2014 Dodge Durango takes everything that customers love about Durango and adds the latest advancements in technology to enhance its design, capability and functionality. With a new standard eight-speed automatic transmission, improved fuel economy and performance, new LED exterior lighting, two new interior touchscreens, a new programmable instrument cluster, and an available high-definition dual-screen Blu-ray entertainment system, the 2014 Dodge Durango reaches even higher levels of sophistication building on its proven performance, utility and comfort.
    “When the Durango was first launched in 1998, it represented a breakthrough in power, size and style,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand. “Now for 2014, we’re upping the ante by making it our most technologically advanced, fuel efficient and dramatically styled Durango ever. With countless class-exclusive features and best-in-class attributes, the new 2014 Durango represents the ultimate no-compromise full-size SUV.”
    The 2014 Durango is available in five trim levels: SXT, Rallye, the new for 2014 Limited, R/T and Citadel. It will be built in the United States at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. Production is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2013.
    Unique, yet appealing to all
    Dodge is introducing the new 2014 Dodge Durango just as the SUV segments in the United States are showing tremendous growth. The new Durango competes in the full-size SUV segment, which with 900,000 units sold in 2012, has jumped 82 percent since 2009. With its standard three rows of seats and interior seating flexibility, Durango also appeals to shoppers looking for a full-size crossover. The two segments combined are up 48 percent since 2009, outpacing the industry. And of those full-size SUV and crossover sales, approximately 60 percent are three-row vehicles, placing Durango squarely in the heart of the market.
    Durango customers are tech-savvy, youthful and full-of-life, with one of the youngest demographics in the segment. Their active lifestyles keep them on the run, and they depend on technology to keep them connected. The Durango delivers with the latest Uconnect Access technology and connectivity in an agile, flexible vehicle that is spacious with versatile three-row seating for passengers and their gear.
    When the Dodge Durango debuted in 2011, it had a distinct advantage over the competition as an SUV designed to deliver performance, without compromising fuel economy. With the addition of the new eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters standard across the lineup, Durango ups the ante delivering improved efficiency, as well as a more refined and engaging driving experience.
    The 2014 Durango offers a host of premium features, such as high-end interiors, the latest infotainment technology and impressive powertrain options, along with the exterior design that is distinctively Dodge.
    Feature highlights on the 2014 Dodge Durango include:
    Segment-first eight-speed automatic transmission with rotary shifter allows for up to a 9 percent improvement in fuel economy and a more refined driving experience
    Class-exclusive Dodge “racetrack” LED tail lamps with 192 LEDs
    New front fascia with floating signature Dodge crosshair grille
    New projector headlamps with available LED running lights
    5-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreens with available class-exclusive Uconnect Access and navigation with 3D mapping
    The latest available Uconnect Access system with Wi-Fi capability and mobile apps, including Pandora and iHeartradio
    Available voice command, Uconnect handsfree calling, handsfree texting, streaming music via Bluetooth and remote USB port
    Class-exclusive standard 7-inch customizable thin-film transistor (TFT) full-color instrument cluster
    Available class-exclusive Blu-ray / DVD rear entertainment system with new dual 9-inch screens in the driver and front passenger seat-backs
    New three-spoke steering wheel with standard paddle shifters
    Available second-row captain’s chairs with a standard pass-through center console that makes for easy travel between second- and third-row seats
    Available second-row full center console with additional storage – available at all trim levels
    New available fully integrated tow hitch
    New Limited model with standard leather seats, heated seats, heated steering wheel and standard 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen
    Rallye Group with a sinister monochromatic appearance and class-exclusive 20-inch Hyper Black wheels
    All-new wheel lineup with a choice of seven wheels featuring 18-inch and 20-inch wheels with finishes ranging from silver painted to polished aluminum to class-exclusive Hyper Black
    New standard capless fuel fill making for easy fuel fill ups
    More than 60 available safety and security features, including
    Auto crash notification/911 call button
    Adaptive cruise control with stop function
    Forward collision warning with collision mitigation
    [*]Ten exterior colors, seven different wheels, nine different interiors, including premium cloth, Capri leather and perforated Nappa leather with three different (black, gray and red) stitching accents, unique bezels and headliners


    High-tech exterior look
    The Dodge Design team went to work to create a new exterior that conveys how advanced the Durango is, while maintaining the muscular body and confident personality customers expect from Dodge.
    The new face of Durango is still distinctly Dodge and features a new, slimmer “split crosshair” grille with mesh textures unique to each trim level. Combined with the redesigned projector-beam headlamps and a raised front bumper, the 2014 Dodge Durango has an even more sinister look than the previous model. Durango’s sculpted hood and grille complete the unique to Dodge forward-leaning profile that continues through the deeply browed headlamps.
    For a more monochromatic appearance, the Rallye and R/T are equipped with dark-tinted headlamp bezels, body-color front and rear lower fascias, wheel flares, grille and sill moldings, all unique to the these packages. The R/T’s ride height has also been lowered by 20 mm, further enhancing its sporty appearance and driving dynamics.
    The 2014 Dodge Durango now features projector beam headlamps, with LED daytime running lamps on Rallye, Limited, RT and Citadel. The LED lamps run horizontally along the bottom edge of the headlamp and form a unique “hockey-stick” shape. Bi-xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps are standard on R/T and Citadel, turning the night into day. Auto-leveling technology adjusts headlight beam aim for slight changes in elevation.
    The new front-end design features new projector fog lamps and fog lamp surrounds and matching crosshair grille texture. Combined with the taller front bumper, the new lower fascia gives the 2014 Dodge Durango a wider and more aggressive look.
    In line with Dodge Charger, the side profile of the Durango maintains its powerful shape, accented by muscular fender arches and curves that flow back in through the doors, resembling the iconic shape of a coke bottle. The greenhouse of the new Durango blends seamlessly into the body, and a body-color rear spoiler significantly reduces drag while adding visual drama to the side profile.
    The 2014 Dodge Durango receives all-new 18- and 20-inch aluminum wheel designs for every trim level, and feature finishes ranging from silver painted to polished aluminum to class-exclusive Hyper Black. In total, there are seven wheel designs and finishes to select from.
    The rear of the Durango sees the addition of the dramatic LED racetrack tail lamp design inspired by the Dodge Charger and all-new Dart. Still immediately recognizable as a Durango, this latest evolution of the racetrack design features a new technology that blends the individual LEDs into one seamless looking ribbon of light. In total, there are 192 LEDs in the new tail lamp assembly that give Durango a presence on the street and make it instantly recognizable as a Dodge.
    The rear fascia has been re-sculpted to fully integrate the trailer hitch. This gives Dodge Durango a cleaner, more premium look. Large 3.5-inch dual exhaust tips are standard on V-8-equipped vehicles, including the R/T, along with the Rallye; other V-6 powered Durango models have a 3-inch single tip.
    A driver’s three-row SUV
    The new 2014 Durango continues to deliver excitement and refinement with world-class suspension and performance. Benchmarked against premium performance SUV’s in the market, Durango delivers modernized refinement with electronics, suspension and structural characteristics that are usually found at much higher price points.
    The unibody structure is built with a selection of high-strength and ultra-high strength steels that improve driving dynamics by integrating the suspension with the body — reducing flex and weight when compared with body-on-frame designs.
    The short/long arm front suspension and isolated multi-link rear suspension features isolated front and rear cradles to deliver precise on-road handling and comfort. The four-wheel independent suspension, combined with the Durango’s nearly 50/50 weight distribution, transmits to a solid driving feel and fun-to-drive characteristics.
    Dodge Durango delivers on the pavement with aggressive shock and spring rates and large sway bars to handle body roll in hard turning maneuvers. Electro-hydraulic power steering, unique caster and camber settings along with standard electronic stability control also contribute to maintain tire grip and vehicle stability.
    The 2014 Dodge Durango’s rear-wheel-drive-based drivetrain is the foundation for its outstanding on-road driving performance. Available all-wheel drive (AWD) further enhances driver confidence by leveraging the SUV’s 50/50 weight distribution.
    The Durango’s two AWD systems – one for the HEMI® V-8 and one for Pentastar V-6-powered models – greatly enhance the vehicle’s traction and handling by delivering a smooth driving experience on a wide range of road conditions.
    While competitors have switched to front-wheel-drive car-based platforms, the HEMI-powered AWD Durango features a low-range transfer case with a neutral position. Low range improves light off-road performance and helps ease maneuvers, such as pulling a boat up a steep launch or backing up with a trailer. The neutral position in the transfer case allows the vehicle to be flat-towed without damaging powertrain components.
    A robust structure, impressive braking and unexpected stability also contribute to the Durango’s best-in-class trailer tow capability. On models equipped with the Pentastar V-6 engine, the Durango can tow up to 6,200 pounds. When coupled with the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, the new 2014 Dodge Durango offers trailer tow capability of up to 7,400 pounds – more weight than a 24-foot boat and trailer, and up to 65 percent more than the competition.

    All-new class-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission
    The new 2014 Dodge Durango now features Chrysler Group’s new eight-speed automatic transmission with rotary shifter and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters as standard equipment on all models. This state-of-the-art transmission improves fuel economy up to 9 percent, along with enhanced performance and smoother shifts. All these attributes perfectly enhance Durango’s fun-to-drive nature.
    Fully electronic, the eight-speed automatic features on-the-fly shift map changing, with manual shifting capability using steering-wheel paddle controls. More than 40 individual shift maps for specific conditions optimize shift quality and shift points for fuel economy, performance and drivability. The intelligent software is attuned to the performance requirements of almost any driving demand.
    The transmission efficiency and wide ratio spread provide the best possible fuel economy by operating at a lower engine rpm in both city and highway environments. The addition of more gear ratios also helps reduce the gaps normally associated with upshifting and downshifting.
    Gear changes are nearly imperceptible due to the evenly spaced gear steps between each gear ratio. Internally, the transmission has four gear sets and five shift elements (multi-disc clutches and brakes). Only two shift elements are open at any time. With fewer open shift elements, drag losses due to multiple parts rotating relative to one another are reduced, improving fuel efficiency.
    Powertrain choices
    Named one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines for three years, Durango’s standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine paired with the new standard eight-speed transmission delivers up to a 9 percent improvement in fuel-economy when compared with the previous transmission, not to mention improved performance. The standard flex-fuel 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine generates an impressive 290 horsepower (295 horsepower on Rallye) and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, and can tow up to a best-in-class 6,200 pounds.
    The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine produces a best-in-class 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque with a best-in-class tow rating of 7,400 pounds. The 5.7-liter engine’s Fuel Saver Technology with cylinder-deactivation seamlessly alternates between smooth, high-fuel-economy four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand. This optimizes fuel economy when V-8 power is not required, without sacrificing vehicle performance or capability.
    All-new Eco Mode
    The 2014 Dodge Durango features a new Eco Mode that contributes to its improved fuel economy. Eco Mode optimizes the transmission’s shift schedule, as well as throttle sensitivity, and Fuel Saver Technology with cylinder deactivation in V-8 models, to maximize fuel economy. The Eco Mode also manages interactive deceleration fuel shut-off (IDFSO), which cuts fuel delivery when the vehicle is coasting to reduce fuel consumption.
    Eco Mode is automatically engaged upon vehicle startup. A button on the Durango’s center stack allows drivers to disengage Eco Mode if more spirited performance is desired.
    Advanced interior with premium craftsmanship
    For 2014, Dodge designers are bringing Durango to the forefront of technology in the three-row SUV segment, while taking nothing away from the utility and build quality for which Durango is known.
    The new instrument panel features a redesigned center stack that houses the new 5-inch and 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreens. Under these large, easy-to-use touchscreens are redundant button and knob controls for audio and climate functions. The bottom of the center stack houses a new media hub with an SD card slot, USB outlet and auxiliary jacks, as well as a storage bin.
    The center console features a new segment-first rotary shifter for the standard eight-speed automatic that adds another level of refinement over the traditional gated automatic shifter. Manual shift functions have moved to paddle shifters on the back of the Durango’s new steering wheel. These paddle shifters are standard on all 2014 Dodge Durango models.
    The instrument cluster has also been given the high-tech treatment and now includes a full-color 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) screen similar to the one found in the all-new Dodge Dart. Standard on all models, this screen allows for drivers to customize more than 100 ways how information is presented.
    Framing the new instrument cluster is a redesigned three-spoke steering wheel with the previously mentioned standard paddle shifters. The buttons to control TFT driver information functions are now larger and illuminated to make them easier to operate. Buttons for Uconnect and phone access now reside along the bottom edge of the vertical spokes. As before, Durango’s popular audio controls are still found on the back of the upper steering wheel spokes.
    A large lockable glove box has a viscous-dampened hinge, which helps it open and close smoothly.
    Seating flexibility
    With standard seven-passenger seating and luxurious second-row captain’s chairs available on all models, the seats in the 2014 Durango can be converted to as many as 50 different configurations.
    Families with three or more children will find the Durango’s available captain’s chairs with pass through especially helpful as two car seats can stay latched into the second row seats, and there’s still easy pass-through for passengers to walk between to get to the third row. The second-row captain’s chairs will also make adults feel like they are riding in first-class, with comfortable bucket seats with individual armrests.
    The available second-row console features a dual-hinged door/armrest that when flipped forward, features a hard surface so that the armrest is not damaged by cargo. It also offers class-exclusive storage and features, including USB ports for charging electronics.
    A fold-flat front passenger seat is standard on models that aren’t equipped with the ventilated seat option. By folding forward, the passenger seat provides more utility, which lets customers load and carry long objects. Once flat, the seat back panel also serves as a convenient utility table. A new active head restraint system adds to the long list of available safety and security features.
    A versatile 60/40 split folding second-row seat conveniently folds and tumbles. Transporting long items, like 10-foot 2x4s, is not a problem as the left side of the second row folds 60 percent, allowing the versatility of folding the 40 percent seat in tandem with the front passenger fold-flat seat. Longer items can be stowed even with passengers in the second row. To make passengers more comfortable, second-row seats also are available with heat, and they recline 18 degrees.
    The third-row seat features a 50/50 split and is easily folded from the rear of the vehicle. For even more utility, both the second- and third-row seats fold to provide a flat load floor to haul a 6-foot couch with room for a coffee table. Clever touches abound, including a switch in the instrument panel to remotely lower the third-row headrests when not in use.
    State-of-the-art technology
    Five-inch and 8.4-inch touchscreens, a customizable 7-inch TFT gauge display, forward collision warning with crash mitigation, adaptive cruise control with stop and the latest generation of Uconnect Access Via Mobile are just some of the 2014 Dodge Durango’s available state-of-the-art features.
    The forward collision warning system with crash mitigation alerts the driver if they’re approaching a vehicle in front too quickly, and the new adaptive cruise control with stop will keep Durango at a driver-selected distance from the vehicle in front when cruise control is engaged and can even bring the SUV to a controlled stop.
    Embedded cellular technology that leverages Chrysler Group’s strategic partnership with Sprint allows the latest Uconnect Access system to work its magic. The advanced service-delivery platform affords the kind of stability that enables direct communication when it’s needed most.
    Uconnect Access connects vehicle occupants directly with police, fire department or ambulance service dispatcher with the push of the “9-1-1” button on the Durango’s rearview mirror – no cell phone needed. The same logic works for roadside assistance. One push of the “ASSIST” button summons help directly from Chrysler Group’s roadside assistance provider or the Vehicle Customer Care Center.
    Further peace of mind comes from the available theft alarm notification, which alerts owners via SMS text message or e-mail whenever their Durango’s security alarm is activated. For the greatest convenience and flexibility, up to five people can be notified.
    In the 2014 Dodge Durango, customers can put away their smartphones, keep their hands on the steering wheel and still interact with their devices in the ways to which they are accustomed. Media apps from Pandora to iHeartradio to Slacker are all available via voice command – a function of Uconnect’s powerful, Cloud-based voice recognition capability.
    Additional convenience is achieved when Uconnect syncs a customer’s existing app so their favorite artists and stations are available at the touch of the screen, or by the sound of their voice.
    Uconnect Access also allows the driver to execute many of the normal functions, such as climate, audio and Bluetooth, all by voice. The Cloud also enables voice texting, a breakthrough feature of Uconnect Access. Again leveraging the Sprint network, paired, Bluetooth-equipped cell phones that use the Message Access Protocol (MAP) can:
    Receive a text message
    Announce receipt of the text
    Identify the sender
    Read the message aloud

    To respond, drivers can simply dictate. The Cloud helps the system’s voice-recognition system assemble the response and “read” it back for accuracy before sending. Verbatim. No memorizing pre-approved messages such as, “I’m on my way.”
    The same advanced voice-recognition protocol simplifies the often-problematic process of entering navigation-system destinations with both hands on the wheel. The system will accept continuous, single-sentence instructions, such as: “Navigate to Ross Boulevard, Dodge City, Kansas.”
    The Durango’s navigation system also features new 3D maps with graphic representations of well-known landmarks and terrain, designed to make on-road travel even easier to navigate.
    Durango also has the ability to be used as a Wi-Fi hot spot. A powerful Bing search engine can be used via voice command if the driver needs to find a destination. Uconnect navigation then calculates a route and stores the destination’s telephone number for handsfree calling.
    A new 5-inch touchscreen is now standard on SXT models and controls audio, climate, phone and other vehicle functions, such as turning on the heated seats or determining how long the headlamps stay on after the ignition has been turned off. The high-resolution screen is intuitive and easy to use, yet redundant controls for audio and climate can be found below the touchscreen for drivers who prefer the classic dial approach.
    Standard on Limited, R/T and Citadel models (and available on SXT and Rallye) is the award-winning 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen that controls audio, climate, phone, vehicle functions, navigation (if equipped) and the new Uconnect Access system. This system provides large, easy-to-read graphics – including new 3D mapping – with intuitive, easy-to-use controls.
    The most looked at area of the interior, the instrument cluster, also has a new premium high-tech appearance with the new dynamic gauge cluster. Standard on all models and featuring a customizable 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) liquid-crystal display, the cluster can be configured more than 100 ways for the ultimate driver-customized experience. Navigation, audio and fuel economy information and warning indicators can all be displayed in the 7-inch screen.
    Mounted on the back of the front seats is an available all-new class-exclusive Blu-ray video rear entertainment system. This new system features two high-resolution 9-inch screens, one on each front seat back. Each screen offers four-times better resolution when compared with previous models and allow customers to watch their movies on Blu-ray or standard DVDs or play their high-definition media interface (HDMI) gaming systems via inputs for HDMI cables or RCAs for each screen integrated into the front seat backs. Wireless headphones are included as is a wireless remote.
    More than 60 safety and security features are available on Dodge Durango
    The new 2014 Dodge Durango offers consumers more than 60 available safety and security features, including standard all-speed traction control and electronic stability control (ESC), which improve overall vehicle handling and performance both on- and off-road. Standard trailer-sway control enhances towing capabilities and keeps the vehicle and trailer aligned as the Durango travels down the road.
    Safety and security features available for the first time on the Dodge Durango include forward collision warning with crash mitigation, adaptive cruise control with stop, Uconnect Access with 9-1-1 call and roadside assistance.
    Blind-spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Path (RCP) detection, which aid drivers when changing lanes or in parking lot situations, are also available. In addition, standard front-row active head restraints, standard full-length three-row side-curtain air bags and standard front-seat-mounted side thorax air bags offer enhanced occupant protection to passengers in the event of a collision. In total, Durango offers seven standard airbags.
    Manufacturing
    The 2014 Dodge Durango will be built in the United States at the Chrysler Group LLC’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP), where the Durango has been produced since 2010 when the third-generation Durango was reintroduced for the 2011 model year. It is built on the same assembly line as the most-award winning SUV ever – the Jeep Grand Cherokee – which has been built at JNAP since the facility opened its doors in 1992.
    One of only two assembly plants located entirely within Detroit’s city limits, Jefferson North has been boosting its employment levels since June 2009. JNAP has added more than 2,200 employees on two shifts in the past 4 years, bringing total plant employment to nearly 4,700. The plant runs six days a week, 20 hours a day in order to keep up with demand of the hot-selling SUVs.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 27, 2013
    The day has come. Volkswagen has introduced the North American spec 2015 Volkswagen Golf and GTI today at the New York Auto Show. These will be first Volkswagen group vehicles in North America that will be based on the MQB platform.
    Three different Golf models will be available. The base Golf uses a new 1.8L turbo-four (goodbye 2.5L five-cylinder) making 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque - which is the same horsepower and seven pound-feet more than the outgoing 2.5L five-cylinder. This can be mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
    Next is the Golf TDI which uses a 2.0L turbo-four diesel engine making 150 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. That can be mated to either a six-speed manual or DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission.
    Finally is the GTI which has a new turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder making 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Available transmissions include the the six-speed manual or DSG dual-clutch.
    Volkswagen isn't saying when the new Golf will arrive, but we expect to be in the U.S. sometime in the first half of 2014.
    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
    03.27.2013
    SEVENTH-GENERATION VOLKSWAGEN GOLF MAKES ITS NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT AT THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    The latest version of VW’s popular compact hatchback is bigger, more spacious, lighter, and more fuel-efficient
    • Sporty GTI®, thrifty TDI® Clean Diesel, and turbocharged Golf will be offered
    • First U.S.-market Volkswagen to use the new MQB modular architecture
    • All models are lighter than the cars they replace
    • Seventh-generation Golf A7 will go on sale in the U.S. as a 2015 Model
    • 2015 Golf models are currently estimated to improve fuel efficiency by as much as 15 percent over current Golf sixth-generation models
    Herndon, VA - The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf manages to do the seemingly impossible. While it’s bigger and more spacious than the car that it will replace, it’s also lighter and more fuel-efficient. Based on the new MQB (modular transverse matrix) architecture, the 2015 Golf ends the cycle whereby new versions of a car end up heavier than the models they replace.
    Thanks to the extensive use of high- and ultra-high strength steels, the new Golf bodyshell is 51 pounds lighter than the current sixth-generation Golf, and offering an enhanced crash structure. Throughout the car, incredible attention to detail has seen optimization of components—such as the seats, air conditioning unit, and even the electrical architecture—to save weight.
    The 2015 Golf is 2.2 inches longer and 0.5 inches wider than the current car. It is also 1.1 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 Golf A6. The interior package has been optimized to give 0.6 inches more rear-seat legroom and 1.2 inches of additional shoulder room in the back.
    Like the current car, the 2015 Golf will come in three guises. The Golf will be powered by a 1.8-liter turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder TSI® engine, built at a brand-new plant in Silao, Mexico, that is part of Volkswagen’s ongoing $5 billion investment in the North American market. The Golf TDI Clean Diesel model will be powered by a new 2.0-liter common-rail, turbocharged, direct-injection diesel engine. And the sporty GTI will also receive a new Silao-built EA888 engine.
    The seventh-generation Golf will go on sale as a 2015 model. It will be built at Volkswagen’s Puebla, Mexico factory.
    Design
    The design team, led by Walter de Silva (Group Design) and Klaus Bischoff (VW Brand Design), created a timeless and sophisticated new Golf, using the principles of Volkswagen’s Design DNA. This design language creates cars that are modern and progressive yet have a familiar feel. In the case of the new Golf, the car incorporates the classic C-pillars and other elements that hark back to previous generation Golf models, such as the side windows, the roofline, and wheel arches that are redolent of the Golf A4.
    According to Klaus Bischoff, the form language is: “logical, product-focused, pure and precise. The Golf’s proportions have completely changed with the seventh generation, making the car look more confident than ever.”
    Thanks to the MQB architecture, which dictates a fixed relationship between the front wheel centerline and the pedalbox, the car’s proportions have changed. The front wheels, for example, are now 1.7 inches further forward than on the current Golf 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 Golf A6, 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. The front end of the Golf has a very strong horizontal graphic, with a relatively narrow radiator grille.
    The new Golf has a strong character line that flows all the way around the car beneath the door handles, being interrupted only by the wheel arches. The line in the side of the car is picked up by the chrome bars in the radiator grille and in the white lateral bars of the taillight clusters. The line is designed to lower the car’s visual center of gravity and give it a more solid stance on the road. There’s a second line along the shoulder that runs under the mirrors from the headlamps back to the rear side window, which emphasizes the car’s premium proportions.
    At the back, the clean surface around the VW badge, the wide rear window, and the geometric taillights are typical Golf features, even though the lines are completely different. The tailgate, for instance, allows for a lower load height than before, at just 26.2 inches, while the overall effect emphasizes the additional width of the new car.
    The sporty nature of the Golf is enhanced with the GTI model. Its mission is reflected by its red-painted brake calipers, twin chrome tailpipes, and a lowered sport suspension. The exterior of the compact hatchback also scores with GTI-specific wheels and low-profile tires, special side skirts, a rear diffuser, and smoked LED taillights with LED license-plate illumination.
    Interior
    The new Golf interior package is larger, despite the car having a lower roofline. The interior is now 0.6 inches longer, which is reflected in 0.6 inches more rear-seat legroom. In the front, the shoulder- and elbow room are increased by 1.2 and 0.9 inches, with commensurate improvements in the back by 1.2 and 0.8 inches. The cargo capacity is eight percent greater, too, and the floor of the trunk area can be removed to further increase stowage space.
    The new interior also benefits the driver ergonomics. The seat position has been shifted back by 0.8 inches and the steering wheel adjustment range has been modified. Simple things that make a big difference have been optimized by use of the MQB architecture: the space between the brake and gas pedals has been increased by 0.6 inches and the shifter position has been raised by a similar amount, so it now rests better in the driver’s hand.
    Every element of the interior has been redeveloped and redesigned. The wide center console is now oriented towards the driver, a feature that’s more typical of premium vehicles rather than compacts. In the middle of the console, beneath the hazard warning light switch, is the infotainment screen. For the first time, Volkswagen is using touchscreens with a proximity sensor, allowing drivers to change functions with a swipe of the hand, just like a smartphone. Even the base radio has a 5.8-inch touchscreen. The new navigation systems are DVD-based with a 3D display.
    Located beneath the infotainment module are simple, well laid-out controls for the climate control system. Beneath it, the lower section of the center console has a stowage compartment that integrates the Media Device Interface/iPod® cable. The new Golf has improved stowage all around the cabin, with a sliding tray underneath the driver’s seat (manual seats only), six cupholders (counting the pair integrated into the rear armrest), and a large glovebox that houses the CD changer and SD-card slot.
    The whole interior is finished in high-quality materials. Soft-touch plastics abound, along with chrome, aluminum, and piano black surfaces that have a premium feel and look. The cruise control is now operated though steering wheel buttons rather than the column stalk. New white lighting for the buttons and switches underscores the interior’s upscale look and feel.
    The GTI, as with previous model years, has a number of interior differences to the Golf. The interior is highlighted by sport seats with distinctive GTI plaid pattern, a black headliner, and red ambient lighting. The car also offers classic GTI features such as a sport steering wheel, GTI shifter knob grip and instrument cluster, special trim inserts, and stainless-steel pedals and foot rest.
    Engines and Transmissions
    Volkswagen pioneered the use of small displacement, highly efficient turbocharged engines in the U.S., starting with the 1.8T engine in the 1998 Passat. Since then, Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder has set the benchmark for small displacement turbocharged engines.
    The Golf will feature a new EA888 Gen 3 turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder engine made in Silao, Mexico. This 1.8-liter engine will produce 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque and will offer highly competitive fuel economy. The engine makes the same power as the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine used in the Golf A6, but produces an additional seven pound-feet of torque, delivered lower in the engine speed range. It will be mated to manual and automatic transmissions.
    The EA888 Gen 3 engine family is designed to be lighter and more fuel-efficient than the Gen 2 units, such as the 2.0-liter unit fitted in the current GTI. Engine weight has been reduced by eight pounds, to 290 pounds overall. Among the improvements on this engine are: a thinwall crankcase casting; exhaust headers that are integrated into the cylinder head; smaller diameter main bearings; roller bearings for the twin balancer shafts; and a crankshaft that has four counterweights instead of eight.
    The TDI Clean Diesel model will use the new EA288 turbocharged, common-rail, direct-injection four-cylinder engine that makes 150 horsepower—an increase of 10 hp over the current engine—and 236 pound-feet of torque. This powerplant shares only the bore spacing with the previous diesel engine that shared the same designation. A number of changes have been made to help reduce emissions, such as: use of a complex exhaust gas recirculation system (with a cooled low-pressure AGR); integration of the intercooler with the intake manifold, which also improves throttle response; and packaging the exhaust after-treatment components close to the engine.
    The engine also has a number of modifications to help minimize friction and optimize fuel economy: there are low-friction bearings for the camshaft and balancer shafts, piston rings that have less pre-tension, and the oil pump is a two-stage device with volumetric flow regulation. As with the current Golf, the new TDI model will have a standard six-speed manual transmission with the option of a DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission.
    The GTI will also use an uprated version of the EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI engine. Final horsepower and torque figures have yet to be released, but it is expected to make about 210 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Like the current GTI, the engine will drive the front wheels via either a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG transmission. It is expected that the European Performance Pack will be offered during the GTI’s lifecycle.
    Chassis
    All versions of the new Golf have the XDS® electronic differential lock, a feature that was developed for the current GTI. This system electronically monitors input from various wheel sensors and, in the event of slippage, transfers extra torque to the front wheel with the most traction, thus helping to improve handling and traction.
    Another new feature is progressive steering, which incorporates a new steering rack and a more powerful electric motor. Where “normal” steering racks have teeth that are spaced consistently, the progressive system has a different tooth pitch in the center than it has on the outside. The lower steering ratio in the center means that the car responds more quickly when entering a turn, while the higher ratio at the ends of the rack reduces the amount of effort needed near full steering lock, such as when you’re parking.
    Safety and Security
    As well as offering no fewer than six standard airbags, the new Golf features as standard a new safety system called Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. The new system automatically brakes the vehicle when it is involved in a collision in order to help reduce residual kinetic energy. 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.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 27, 2013
    Back at the Detroit Auto Show in January, Acura unveiled the MDX concept and announced they would be showing the production model later this year. Today at the New York Auto Show, Acura introduced the new 2014 MDX.
    The production model is pretty much the same vehicle we saw as a concept back at Detroit in January. Think of an Acura RDX that has been stretched in all directions and you have the look of the MDX.
    Inside, the MDX's dash mimics RLX by having a dual-screen display (eight-inch display on top, seven-inch haptic touch screen on the bottom). Other interior features include AcuraLink, a premium ELS audio system, and a optional a rear entertainment system with a 16.2-inch screen complete with HDMI compatibility.
    Under the hood is a brand-new 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine making 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Power is funnel through a six-speed automatic to either the front-wheels or Acura's SH-AWD system.
    Acura will offer a new Integrated Dynamic System that allows the driver to choose between normal, sport and comfort settings for the new MDX, and will have the choice of either eighteen or nineteen-inch alloy wheels.
    The new 2014 MDX arrives this summer.
    Source: Acura

    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 2014 Acura MDX Debuts at the New York International Auto Show
    Third-generation MDX raises the bar with more performance, class-leading fuel economy ratings, innovative interior features and signature Acura technologies
    NEW YORK, March 27, 2013 – Acura today unveiled the all-new 2014 MDX luxury SUV at the 2013 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). Built on a completely new platform, the seven-passenger MDX offers improved ride comfort, a more versatile and luxurious cabin, increased fuel efficiency and enhanced dynamic performance. The MDX will also be offered for the first time in a more affordable and even more fuel-efficient two-wheel-drive configuration.
    "Building on the award-winning dynamic performance of the previous model, the third-generation MDX adds new levels of luxury comfort, family functionality and fuel efficiency to once again set the luxury SUV benchmark," said Jeff Conrad, vice president and general manager of Acura Sales. "From Nürburgring-tuned dynamics and thoughtful interior appointments, to the addition of a new two-wheel-drive model, the all-new MDX continues Acura's direction of creating vehicles that advance the synergy between man and machine."
    Powertrain
    The 2014 Acura MDX is powered by an all-new direct-injected 24-valve 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™), producing 290 horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of torque. The MDX's engine architecture is shared with two racecars that recently finished First and Second in the LMP2 class at the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Employing a 6-speed automatic transmission with Sport Mode and Sequential SportShift Paddle Shifters, the new MDX will be offered in both Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) and two-wheel-drive drivetrain variants, both featuring Acura's new Agile Handling Assist technology.
    Matched to the highly efficient Earth Dreams Technology engine and the \ SH-AWD drivetrain, the 2014 MDX has an EPA fuel economy rating of 18/27/21 mpg1 (city/highway/combined), while the new front-wheel-drive model is EPA rated at 20/28/23 mpg1 (city/highway/combined).
    While achieving even higher fuel economy ratings, the MDX remains a true driver's SUV with enhanced dynamic performance, including quicker acceleration, more responsive braking and even more precise steering feel. Tuned and tested on the grueling Nürburgring racing circuit in Germany, the lighter and more dynamic new 2014 MDX with SH-AWD bests the previous model's lap time by eight seconds.
    To satisfy the preferences of multiple drivers in any family, the 2014 MDX features an all-new Integrated Dynamic System (IDS) with three modes: Sport, Normal and Comfort. IDS adjusts steering effort, throttle response, SH-AWD and active sound to suit the tastes of the driver. The MDX's new Amplitude Reactive Dampers, MacPherson strut front suspension and new multi-link rear suspension enable its more nimble and responsive handling and improved ride quality. 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels and 245/60-18 tires come standard on the MDX. Technology and Advance grades are equipped with 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels and 245/55-19 tires.
    Body and Styling
    The 2014 MDX body applies more than 55 percent advanced lightweight materials – including high strength steel, aluminum and magnesium – resulting in a vehicle that is both more rigid and lightweight, with total vehicle weight reduced 275 pounds from the previous model. Measuring 193.6 inches in overall length, 77.2 inches in overall width (excluding door mirrors), 67.6 inches in overall height, and riding on a 111-inch wheelbase (up 2.75 inches from the previous model), the new MDX boasts an "Executive Aero Sculpture" exterior design that lends it a sleek, tailored and sophisticated appearance. The aerodynamic body design – refined by engineers in a new wind tunnel at the company's Ohio R&D center – helps the MDX achieve a more than 17 percent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency, making it one of the most aerodynamic and fuel-efficient luxury SUVs on the road.
    The 2014 MDX also takes a big step up in luxury comfort and quiet. The MDX's dynamically tuned platform, more airtight body and triple path isolated dampers, along with the use of new sound-deadening materials, such as acoustic glass and expanding body sealers, and Active Noise Control technology, make this the quietest and most composed MDX yet.
    Interior
    Equally adept at carrying clients and kids, the new MDX boasts a luxurious and versatile interior. The revised body dimensions and new, more compact multi-link rear suspension, combined with innovative new technologies on the second-row seats, significantly improve third-row access and all-around passenger comfort. Third-row ingress and egress is significantly improved by a two-inch lower step-in height and three-inch wider entryway, and by the introduction of a new One-Touch Walk-In feature. With a single press of the illuminated One-Touch Walk-In button, the second-row seats automatically fold and slide to their forward-most position. The second-row seats now feature a four-position recline and a new Extended Slide capability that provides six inches of total fore-aft seat adjustment for optimal balance between second- and third-row legroom. Rear cargo capacity is also improved and includes a new underfloor storage area.
    Up front, there is a 10-way power adjustable and heated driver's seat and an 8-way power and heated passenger seat. The MDX also addresses a major shortcoming of many luxury SUVs – available front-seat storage space – with a spacious new center console that can accommodate a purse, laptop case, or a pair of iPads®. The MDX's luxury quotient is further boosted by its upgraded interior appointments, including premium leather-trimmed interior, silver plated accents, LED overhead and cabin accent lighting, along with new optional luxury features, such as Smart Entry, second-row sunshades, remote engine start, and auto-linked air conditioning and climate-controlled seats.
    Acura Signature Technology
    In addition, the 2014 Acura MDX harnesses a range of Acura signature technologies, including Acura Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, more powerful Acura/ELS Studio premium audio system, and the next-generation AcuraLink™ connectivity system with AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™, featuring freeway traffic and surface street conditions (free for the first three years). In addition to the traffic services, the AcuraLink™ cloud-based connected car system offers an assortment of media, convenience, information and security features via an embedded cellular system and compatible web-enabled smartphones.
    Both the AcuraLink™ and Acura/ELS Studio system take advantage of a 7-inch color On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD) touchscreen with haptic feedback and an 8-inch Color Information Display. The addition of the ODMD, along with other interior changes, allowed engineers to reduce the number of hard buttons in the center stack from 41 to just nine. The available Entertainment package adds a DVD Rear Entertainment system with a 9-inch full VGA screen for the rear seats, while the Advance package replaces the 9-inch monitor with an ultra-wide, 16.2-inch full VGA screen with HDMI compatibility for devices such as a game console.
    The 2014 MDX offers a host of innovative driver assistive and visibility technologies, including a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and available Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow, Blind Spot Information (BSI), and Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS).
    Safety
    The third-generation MDX is expected to achieve top-level safety ratings, including a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from NHTSA and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including the highest possible rating of GOOD in the Institute's new small-offset frontal collision test.
    The new MDX is equipped with a broad array of advanced safety technologies, including the next generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II (ACE™ II) body structure, 4-wheel Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control, and airbags (front, front side, driver's knee and side curtain with rollover sensor), as well as the available Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems.
    The 2014 Acura MDX is scheduled to go on sale at U.S. Acura dealers nationwide this summer and will be available in four grades – the well-equipped MDX, the robust MDX with Technology package, the rear-passenger-friendly MDX with Technology and Entertainment packages, and the top-of-the-line MDX with Advance and Entertainment packages. The 2014 MDX was designed and developed in the U.S. and will be built at the Lincoln, Alabama plant using domestic and globally sourced parts. Pricing details will be announced closer to launch.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 27, 2013
    Volvo is making a wagon comeback. Today at the New York Auto Show, Volvo Cars' senior vice president marketing, sales and customer service, Doug Speck made the announcement that Volvo V60 would be coming to the states in in early 2014. As for what engines and equipment will be offered, Volvo says that will be revealed at a closer time.
    "The V60 builds upon our wagon heritage, and it's a beautiful evolution in design and direction for Volvo. Many consumers will be glad to see the addition of this exciting sports wagon to the Volvo lineup in America. And this time, we've added sophistication with the dynamic driving performance of a sedan," said Volvo Cars of North America President and CEO John Maloney.
    Source: Volvo

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Volvo Announces V60 Sports Wagon Will Come to U.S. Market
    ROCKLEIGH, N.J. (March 28, 2013) - Already a superstar in Europe, Volvo's V60 sports wagon soon will hit the shores of America.
    Doug Speck, Volvo Cars' senior vice president marketing, sales and customer service, made the announcement at the New York International Auto Show, indicating the new V60 will come to the U.S. market in early 2014. Pricing and specifications will be announced at a later date.
    The V60 R-Design on the auto show stand marks the global debut of the R-Design version of the car. It projects an elegant, curvy and sculptured appearance that equally straddles luxury and performance.
    "The V60 builds upon our wagon heritage, and it's a beautiful evolution in design and direction for Volvo," said Volvo Cars of North America President and CEO John Maloney. "Many consumers will be glad to see the addition of this exciting sports wagon to the Volvo lineup in America. And this time, we've added sophistication with the dynamic driving performance of a sedan."
    The new Volvo V60 is for people who want the handling of a dynamic sports sedan but need the versatility of a wagon. Now, forging a new path with the V60, the Scandinavian automaker reaches a new level of design and sophistication, blending styling cues from its best-selling sedan with a sleek, curvy silhouette.
    At the heart of the extra versatility of the V60 is its intelligent seating. Rear seats can be folded down in three 40/20/40 segments, allowing its interior space to be configured for passengers and loaded in a remarkably flexible way.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 27, 2013
    Hyundai's flagship sedan has undergone a big refresh for the North American market this year, with the new 2014 Equus being shown at the New York Auto Show this week.
    Outside, the 2014 Equus doesn't look that much different than the current model. The front bumper, grille, lights, and mirrors have been changed for the 2014 model. Moving inside, Hyundai has made some key changes including a new instrument cluster, steering wheel, center console, and a large 9.2-inch touchscreen in the dash. The Equus Ultimate model gets a 12.3-inch in the dash and two 9.2-inch screens for back seat passengers.
    Under the hood, the 5.0L Tau V8 engine is left untouched. It produces 429 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. The power goes through an eight-speed automatic to the rear wheels.
    Hyundai has reworked the Equus' suspension to improve ride and handling characteristics. Sport feels more sporty while normal feels more comfortable.
    Hyundai hasn't announced when the new Equus will go on sale, but it might sometime later this year.
    Source: Hyundai

    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
    REDESIGNED 2014 EQUUS OFFERS DRIVER-FOCUSED TECHNOLOGIES, PREMIUM DESIGN, SUSPENSION REFINEMENT AND ADVANCED SAFETY FEATURES
    Hyundai’s Flagship Premium Sedan Receives Comprehensive Mid-cycle Enhancements
    NEW YORK, Mar. 27, 2013 – Hyundai Motor America today introduced the redesigned 2014 Equus premium luxury sedan in a North American debut at the New York International Auto Show with enhancements to exterior and interior design, vehicle dynamics, material selection, driver technology displays and advanced safety features. Equus has been an impressive success story for Hyundai; so far this year, Equus is the number-one shopped premium luxury sedan, well ahead of Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, Audi A8, Lexus LS, and Jaguar XJ according to industry shopping analysis by Compete.
    2014 EQUUS HIGHLIGHTS
    Exterior
    New 19-inch, turbine-blade polished silver wheel design
    New front bumper fascia and grille design
    New side mirrors and tail lamp graphics
    Standard LED fog lamps
    New Night Shadow Brown exterior color

    Interior
    Completely redesigned instrumental panel and center stack
    Redesigned center console and shift lever design
    Revised steering wheel control layout with vehicle settings
    New ivory leather interior environment
    New, ultra-premium genuine wood trim selections
    Redesigned rear seat center console controls

    Suspension
    Revised tuning for both enhanced ride comfort and handling
    Sport mode receives crisper damper tuning for improved body control
    Normal mode receives enhanced ride comfort
    Snow mode added to drive mode system
    [*]Revised front suspension bushings


    Features
    Standard Assurance Connected Care & Blue Link® – safety, service and infotainment telematics system
    Larger, 7-inch TFT LCD cluster display (Signature)
    12.3-inch, fully-digital TFT LCD cluster display (Ultimate)
    Larger 9.2-inch upper center stack LCD display
    Climate control system offers three distinct cabin temperature zones
    Standard smart cruise control with stop/start (from 0 mph)
    Proximity smart key with both key fob and card-key types
    Dual 9.2-inch rear seat entertainment monitors
    Power door closure
    Power lumbar for rear outboard seats

    Advanced Safety
    Standard Assurance Connected Care (3-year complimentary services)
    Standard Rear Cross-traffic Alert
    Standard Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
    Heads-up display (HUD) designed for reduced driving distraction
    Vehicle multi-view camera system

    EXTERIOR DESIGN
    2014 Equus exterior enhancements convey a premium-sport design message, starting with a new 19-inch turbine-blade alloy wheel design in a polished silver finish that relays motion whether parked or on the open highway. The front grille chrome bars are thinner, with sharper contrast to the blacked-out portions of the grille for a sportier look. The front fascia also has been redesigned, with the former chrome accents removed in favor of a modern premium appearance that includes lower fascia opening strakes. The headlamps offer jeweled design elements and include chrome contrasted with black-out finishes for a distinctive appearance. New LED fog lamps are now standard. Side mirrors have been redesigned for enhanced aerodynamics and tail lamp graphics move to a more horizontal theme.
    INTERIOR DESIGN
    Hyundai engineers wanted the 2014 Equus interior to perfectly complement the enhancements to its exterior. Thus, the themes of premium and performance again greet the driver behind the wheel. The entire instrument panel and center stack have been redesigned with more premium materials and an ergonomically-correct layout, with new button iconography for quicker and easier feature recognition. The center console and shift lever reveal more premium material selection and contemporary premium-luxury design cues. Steering wheel control layout has been improved, with new low-sheen button designs and icons. Similarly, rear passengers will enjoy a new rear console and button layout, with available dual 9.2-inch, high-resolution, adjustable seatback video screens to enjoy movies, audio media, HVAC or seating functions. Rear passengers can even search restaurant locations and provide navigation system directions directly to the driver’s navigation screen.
    VEHICLE DYNAMICS
    2014 Equus driving dynamics also have been revised to minimize traditional ride and handling compromises, with Normal and Sport modes each taking on a more differentiated ride and handling character. The air suspension was recalibrated: Sport mode receives more controlled damping, while Normal mode receives slightly enhanced ride comfort while retaining a well-controlled handling demeanor. The front suspension bushings were also revised to enhance suspension function. For those customers that experience adverse weather conditions such as ice and snow, a new Snow mode function was added to the drive mode system, for both safety and ease of control in challenging road conditions.
    In urban areas, Equus is easy to maneuver and park, thanks to electro-hydraulic steering and its electronic parking guide assist. While the Equus is large, it doesn't feel over-sized or clumsy due to its 39.6 foot turning circle and variable-effort steering system.
    On winding country and mountain roads, the Equus benefits from the precise wheel articulation delivered by its five-link front and rear suspension geometry. This geometry is maximized through Continuous Damping Control (CDC), which continually monitors road and driving dynamics and optimizes damping force accordingly. The standard 19-inch alloy wheel and tire package with staggered width tires (P245/45R19 front P275/40R19 rear) offers excellent grip and precise control.
    NEW AND ENHANCED TECHNOLOGIES
    All Equus driver-interface displays have been improved for 2014, with a larger, 7-inch Thin-film Transistor (TFT) LCD center cluster display for Signature models, a large 12.3-inch, fully-digital TFT LCD center cluster display for Ultimate models, and a larger, standard 9.2-inch center instrument panel LCD display. New, dual high-resolution 9.2-inch rear seat entertainment monitors have been fitted in place of the former single monitor for rear passengers in the Ultimate model. All of Equus’ new displays are larger and more legible, featuring premium-quality, high-resolution graphics. The Ultimate model’s larger, fully-digital LCD display now offers various driver menus that can be accessed directly via steering wheel haptic dial control, helping to keep the driver’s hands on the wheel for minimal driving distraction.
    The climate control system now offers three distinct cabin temperature zones for driver, passenger, and rear passengers. The standard smart cruise control system has been enhanced to include a full 0-mph stop-and-start function for use in stop-and-go traffic. The smart proximity key now includes both key-fob and card-key types of vehicle entry for greater driver convenience. Ultimate models now feature an automatic power door closure assist function; once a door manually approaches full closure, a power function slowly and quietly ensures the door is fully secured for peace of mind. Also on the Ultimate model, both rear outboard passengers now have power lumbar support.
    POWERFUL 5.0-LITER TAU V8 ENGINE
    The 2014 Equus is powered by Hyundai’s 5.0-liter Tau DOHC V8 engine, producing 429 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 376 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,000 rpm, with a higher specific output (85.8 hp/liter) than its normally-aspirated premium luxury competitors. The Tau V8 engine creates this high output level while retaining exceptionally smooth power delivery throughout its rpm range, without the turbo lag and surge exhibited by some forced-induction engines.
    The 5.0-liter Tau also features direct injection technology. This high-pressure direct injection system (over 2,200 psi) dramatically increases power and torque, while reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The 5.0-liter Tau has a high 11.5:1 compression ratio for greater thermal efficiency and output. It also has a bed plate for improved block rigidity and lower NVH, as well as camshaft carriers and a roller timing chain to improve valvetrain stability.
    This V8 engine offers premium engine technologies, including Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), a tuned variable induction system, and low-friction diamond-like coatings (DLC) on piston skirts, rings and tappets. Even with these impressive power increases, fuel economy is estimated at 15 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined.
    The Tau V8 engine is coupled with a Hyundai-developed eight-speed transmission with SHIFTRONIC® manual shift capability for enhanced acceleration and overall efficiency.
    INNOVATIVE OWNERSHIP EXPERIENCE
    Hyundai will continue to offer its unique ownership experience for Equus customers, including tailored dealership showrooms, “Your Time, Your Place” at-home vehicle demonstrations, “At Your Service” valet service appointments and an interactive owner’s manual app for Apple iPad®.
    The sales and service experience for Equus is unlike any other in the industry, with a special focus on the customer’s time and convenience. Prospective buyers can participate in the “Your Time, Your Place” valet test drive program, where a specially-trained Product Champion will deliver an Equus to their home or office for a personalized, convenient shopping experience. Equus also features the industry’s first interactive owner’s manual app, providing a convenient and simpler way for owners to become familiar with the full capabilities of the vehicle.
    Another benefit of Equus “At Your Service” is completely free maintenance services throughout the five-year, 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty period. During this five-year period, any maintenance or warranty issue is fully covered by Hyundai, providing exceptional peace of mind to Equus owners. When service is required, Equus owners can schedule their maintenance and service through a simple online scheduling system or from the interactive owner’s manual. An Equus owner can also choose to have their vehicle picked up at their home or business, with a complimentary loaner dropped off. Once service is completed, the owner again chooses the time and location for the vehicle to be delivered.
    PREMIUM REAR-WHEEL-DRIVE ARCHITECTURE
    Equus is the third rear-wheel-drive product in Hyundai’s lineup and boasts near perfect front-to-rear weight distribution for exceptional handling balance and more refined steering characteristics. Equus reduces interior noise levels and improves ride and handling with a rigid, lightweight body structure. The use of high-tensile steel in critical areas throughout the unibody provides Equus with significantly higher dynamic torsional rigidity and a lower body structure weight, despite having a spacious interior cabin.
    LUXURIOUS FEATURES AND DESIGN
    The busy executive as well as the couple heading out on the town will feel right at home in the 2014 Equus due to abundant luxury touches and passenger comfort features. This ambience begins with superior quality materials and design layout. The leather upholstery, Microfiber suede headliner, genuine wood trim and leather-wrapped French-stitched instrument panel showcase the richness of the Equus interior.
    The seats are fully adjustable with plenty of width and support. Thermoelectric devices located in the seat backs and bottom cushions provide control for heating, cooling and humidity. There is ample leg and head room for drivers over six-feet tall. In fact, Equus has more leg, head and shoulder room in the front and rear seats than the Lexus LS460.
    The driver’s cockpit boasts an abundance of features and premium services. The Driver Information System (DIS) provides navigation, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, HD Radio technology, hands-free Bluetooth® phone system, Blue Link® telematics, and much more.
    UNCOMPROMISED SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES
    For 2014, Equus has added a number of new technologies that reduce the potential for distracted driving by helping drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. A new Blind Spot Detection system is standard, with blind spot vehicle alerts in either mirror. On the Ultimate model, a high-visibility Heads-up Display provides vehicle speed, navigation turn-by-turn instructions, smart cruise control indicators and select driving data viewable well above the cowl plane for reduced driving distraction.
    When parking or navigating tight urban situations, Equus Ultimate now offers a multi-view camera system that provides an aerial view of the vehicle with split-screen vehicle perspectives for optimized visibility and safety. In addition, all models now include Rear Cross-traffic Alert to help alert drivers of vehicles crossing their path when backing up.
    Equus also offers a lane departure warning system, with audible and visual warnings activated after a one-second lane departure. The system adds a haptic warning, via the seatbelt, for an extra margin of alert. Further, to help maintain safer following distances in traffic, Equus’ smart cruise control automatically manages the Equus’ speed through the braking and throttle systems to maintain a specified following distance selected by the driver.
    Equus maintains Hyundai’s emphasis on delivering leading safety technology, boasting world-class active and passive safety features to help prevent accidents, and maximize the well-being of its occupants in the event of a collision. Named a 2013 “TOP SAFETY PICK” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Equus continues the Hyundai tradition of offering key safety technologies, with features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), nine airbags, electronic active front head restraints, lane departure warning system and smart cruise control that monitors and adjusts following distances in traffic. Equus even has a Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system that optimally manages ESC, the electronic parking brake, smart cruise control and the seatbelt tensioning system for optimal safety.
    Equus’ total of nine airbags include advanced dual front airbags, front and rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags, roof-mounted side curtain airbags for both front and rear outboard seat occupants and a driver’s knee airbag. Equus utilizes strong unibody construction, along with front and rear crumple zones, bodyside reinforcements and five-mph energy-absorbing bumpers. The hood also includes buckling creases and safety stops to maximize occupant protection inside the cabin.
    Equus is confidently brought to a stop by large four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). The 14.2-inch front rotors have four-piston fixed calipers and the rear brakes feature 12.4-inch rotors with single floating piston calipers.
    LEXICON® AUDIO SYSTEM OFFERS UNRIVALED AUDIO PERFORMANCE
    Equus offers an ultra-premium Lexicon-branded state-of-the-art audio system featuring LOGIC 7® technology. The Lexicon surround sound audio system includes a 13-channel digital amplifier and 17 speakers producing 598 watts of power in 7.1 discrete surround sound audio. Equus also offers the clarity of digital HD Radio technology, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and iPod®/USB integration.
    ASSURANCE CONNECTED CARE AND HYUNDAI BLUE LINK®
    2014 Equus adds the Hyundai Blue Link® telematics system, with over 30 safety, service, and infotainment features available. In addition, Equus with Blue Link® includes Assurance Connected Care, a three-year complimentary services suite with critical safety and ownership assistance features. This three-year complimentary services suite even extends to potential subsequent owners during the three-year period.
    Blue Link® combines safety, service and infotainment features to simplify owners’ lives, reduce stress and distracted driving. Blue Link brings seamless connectivity directly into the car with technologies like Remote Vehicle Start, Stolen Vehicle Recovery, and Remote Access from the Blue Link mobile application, including POI Search and Send-to-car. Blue Link can be easily accessed from the buttons on the rearview mirror, the web and via the smartphone app.
    Blue Link is offered in three service packages: Assurance Connected Care, Essentials and Guidance:
    Assurance Connected Care package (complimentary for 3-years):
    Automatic Collision Notification (ACN) and Assistance
    SOS Emergency Assistance
    Enhanced Roadside Assistance
    Monthly Vehicle Report
    Maintenance Alert
    Automated Diagnostic Trouble Code Notification (DTC)
    Recall Advisor
    Service Link

    Essentials package:
    Remote Vehicle Start
    Remote Door Lock/Unlock
    Remote Horn and Lights
    Car Finder via Mobile App
    Stolen Vehicle Recovery/Slowdown/Immobilization
    Geofence
    Valet Alert
    Speed/Curfew Alert
    Panic Notification
    Alarm Notification

    Guidance package:
    Turn-by-Turn Navigation Service
    POI Search by advanced voice recognition system
    POI Web Search and Download
    Daily Route Guidance with Traffic Condition
    Traffic
    Gas Station Locations and Gas Prices
    Restaurant Ratings
    Eco-Coach
    Weather

    More details on Hyundai Blue Link are available at http://www.hyundaibluelink.com/.
    GENEROUS FEATURE PACKAGING
    For 2014, Equus Signature and Ultimate packages are both so generously equipped that no factory options are available. Both the Signature and Ultimate packages now feature 5-passenger seating, increasing the Ultimate model’s appeal to customers desiring extra seating capacity. Both Equus Signature and Ultimate buyers benefit from the following new standard features added to all Equus models:
    Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
    Smart Cruise Control (with added 0-mph stop/start capability)
    New LED fog lamps
    Rear Cross-traffic Alert
    Additional “card-type” proximity key entry
    Blue Link® telematics capability
    Navigation system with 9.2-inch LCD screen (formerly 8.0-inch)
    Three-zone climate control system (formerly two-zone type)

    EQUUS SIGNATURE KEY STANDARD FEATURES
    5.0L GDI DOHC D-CVVT Tau® V8 engine w/429 HP
    8-Speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC®
    Electro-Hydraulic Power Steering (EHPS)
    Electronically Controlled Air Suspension with Continuous Damping Control (CDC)
    19” polished-silver finish alloy wheels with P245/45R19(Ft)/P275/40R19(Rr)
    4-Wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and EBD
    Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with TCS and Brake Assist
    Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system w/ pre-collision warning
    9 Airbags: Advanced dual front airbags, front and rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags
    Driver knee airbag, and roof-mounted side-curtain airbags
    Electronic active front head restraints w/ power controls / Electronic seatbelt pre-tensioners
    Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
    Lane-departure warning system (LDWS)
    Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert
    Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with stop/start
    High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with LED turn signal indicators
    Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFLS) with auto-leveling
    LED Fog lights & Automatic headlights
    Front and rear parking assistance system with rearview camera & Rear Cross-traffic Alert
    Dual power-folding heated auto-dim side mirrors w/ turn signal indicators/approach lamps
    Dual asymmetrical exhaust tips integrated with rear bumper
    Proximity key (card type) entry with push-button start
    Illuminated scuff plates, inside door handles & door armrest
    Premium leather seating surfaces and microfiber suede headliner
    12-way power driver seat plus lumbar adjustment and 10-way power front passenger seat
    Heated & Cooled front seats
    Heated, wood-trimmed & leather-wrapped steering wheel /power tilt-and-telescopic function
    Integrated Memory System (IMS) for driver-side seat, mirror and steering wheel
    Leather-wrapped dash and genuine wood interior trim
    Electroluminescent cluster with 7-inch TFT LCD screen
    Electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold
    Power windows with auto-down/up
    Blue Link® Telematics System
    Assurance Connected Care (with 3-years complimentary service)
    Navigation system w/ 9.2 inch LCD screen w/ DIS multimedia controller
    Lexicon® 7.1 Discrete surround-sound audio system with 17 speakers
    AM/FM/HD Radio®/SiriusXM/CD/DVD/MP3 audio system
    iPod, USB and MP3 auxiliary input jacks
    Bluetooth® hands-free phone system
    Three zone Automatic Temperature Control with Air Quality System
    Windshield-wiper deicer, rain-sensing wipers / auto-defogging windshield
    Electrochromic auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with HomeLink® and compass
    Acoustic Laminated Windshield , Front and Rear side Windows
    Power tilt-and-slide glass sunroof
    60/40 power reclining and heated rear seats
    Power rear sunshade
    Premium-grade floor mats, premium-grade trunk cargo mat and first-aid kit

    EQUUS ULTIMATE ADDS ULTRA LUXURY FEATURES
    Equus Ultimate adds or replaces:
    Heads-up display
    Cooled rear seats
    Power rear side window sunshades
    Rear seat power up/down head restraints w/ manual tilt
    Rear seat illuminated vanity mirrors
    Forward-view Cornering Camera
    Power trunk lid
    Steering-wheel haptic dial control for center cluster
    Full 12.3 inch TFT LCD instrument cluster display screen
    Rear seat entertainment system w/ dual 9.2” monitors
    Power lumbar (rear outboard seats)
    Multi-view camera system
    Power door closure

    COLOR PALETTE
    For 2014, Equus buyers can opt for a distinctive new color, Night Shadow Brown, as well as the option of a new Ivory leather interior environment with contrasting piping on the seat bolsters, a sporty yet unmistakably premium interior design element. There are also three new genuine wood accents for the interior: Jet Black with Walnut, Ivory with Ash or Saddle brown with Madrona.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 27, 2013
    Nissan is taking the next big on the evolution of the fourth-generation Pathfinder with the introduction of the new 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid at the New York Auto Show today. The Pathfinder Hybrid is the first model to debut Nissan’s new hybrid system.
    The hybrid system is made up of a 2.5L supercharged four-cylinder gas engine and a electric motor paired with a compact Lithium-ion battery. Total output stands at 250 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. That power is routed through Nissan’s Xtronic CVT to either the front wheels or all four wheels.
    The system also features Nissan’s Intelligent Dual Clutch System. Positioned between the engine and CVT, the system manages power from both the electric motor and the gas engine to have them running at most efficent. The system also acts a generator, collecting energy from the CVT.
    Fuel economy numbers are estimated to be 25 City/27 Highway/26 Combined. With a 19.5 gallon gas tank, Nissan says the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid can travel up 526 miles on one tank. The Hybrid can also tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped.
    The 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid arrives this summer.
    Source: Nissan

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    2014 NISSAN PATHFINDER HYBRID OFFERS 26 MPG COMBINED FUEL ECONOMY AND 526-MILE DRIVING RANGE – WITH NO COMPROMISE OF PERFORMANCE OR INTERIOR ROOMINESS
    – Most Fuel-Efficient Pathfinder Ever Features New Affordable Hybrid System;
    Available in Intelligent Four-Wheel Drive or Front-Wheel Drive and Choice of Trim Levels –
    With the introduction of an all-new fourth-generation Pathfinder for the 2013 model year, Nissan’s legendary adventure-ready Next Gen SUV took a major step forward in refinement, enhanced fuel economy, cutting-edge technology and family utility – including its industry first EZ Flex™ Seating System with innovative LATCH AND GLIDE™ technology. Now, for the 2014 model year, the evolution of the Pathfinder continues with the introduction of a new affordable hybrid powertrain system designed to enhance fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions with no reduction of driving performance, passenger roominess or cargo capacity.
    The Pathfinder’s new Hybrid powertrain option will be available in three fully equipped trim levels – SV, SL and Platinum – when it joins the lineup in late summer 2013. It is expected to be priced at around just $3,000 more than Pathfinder 3.5-liter V6 models.
    Said Nissan North America, Inc. Vice President, Product Planning Pierre Loing: “The Pathfinder Hybrid is highly affordable because it matches motor and battery size well, while minimizing the number of additional parts or modifications needed to the platform and body. It is designed as a logical bridge between conventional internal combustion engine powertrains and the wider acceptance of hybrid systems by providing enhanced efficiency with no compromises versus the standard vehicle.”
    Adventure Goes Green
    Known as the perfect family adventure vehicle, the Pathfinder Hybrid blends “green” technology with comfortable seating for seven and 3,500-pound towing capacity (when properly equipped).
    For the Hybrid version, Pathfinder’s standard 3.5-liter V6 is replaced by a new supercharged 2.5-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor paired with a compact Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. The 15 kW electric motor and gas engine work in tandem to provide performance similar to the conventional Pathfinder. The system is rated at 250 net horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque – versus the 3.5-liter V6’s 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque.
    The hybrid system also uses a Nissan Intelligent Dual Clutch System (one motor / two clutch parallel system) that efficiently manages power from both the electric motor and the gas engine. Positioned between the gasoline engine and the next-gen Xtronic CVT® (where the torque converter would normally be), the motor also functions as a generator, conveying deceleration force from the CVT to the battery. One clutch is installed between the gasoline engine and the electric motor, the other within the CVT.
    Fuel economy is estimated* at 26 mpg Combined, an increase of 24 percent over the standard Pathfinder. Estimated City fuel economy is 25 mpg, while Highway mileage is estimated at 27 mpg. With the Pathfinder Hybrid’s large 19.5-gallon fuel tank, the same as non-hybrid models, driving range is estimated at more than 526 miles**.
    Another key to the system’s non-compromising design efficiency is the use of a space-saving Li-ion battery fitted under the 3rd row seat, preserving Pathfinder’s unique 2nd row sliding functionality and easy access to the 3rd row. A regenerative braking system automatically recharges the battery by converting the vehicle’s kinetic energy that would be otherwise lost in braking.
    Said Loing: “With this innovative design, there is no reduction of passenger seating capacity, 2nd or 3rd row legroom or cargo space. And, with the flat rather than raised floor, entry and exit to and from every row is as easy and convenient as the non-hybrid Pathfinder models.”
    Visually the Pathfinder Hybrid is marked by efficient LED taillights and Nissan PUREDRIVE® Hybrid badges. In addition, special hybrid information screens are added to the instrument panel’s Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display.
    Next Generation Style, Spaciousness and Comfort
    Beyond its hybrid powertrain and distinctive LED taillights, the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid is pure fourth-generation Pathfinder. That means that along with reduced weight of its unibody construction (versus the previous generation’s body-on-frame design), it offers an attractive, aerodynamic exterior without compromising headroom or cargo capacity. The look is adventure-ready with wheel-oriented muscular fenders and a strong, stable stance. The upper body features an open cabin with a low beltline and thin A- and D-pillars, which flow smoothly into the rugged, durable-looking lower body. The coefficient of drag is 0.34.
    Other exterior details include a wide chrome grille and large aerodynamic headlights, recessed front windshield wipers, chrome door handles and the large rear LED combination lights. An available Dual Panorama Moonroof, with sliding opening front panel and fixed rear glass panel which extends over the 2nd and 3rd rows, combines with the large windows to create an open, airy interior environment.
    Pathfinder’s quiet, comfortable interior includes a wide range of available features, including three rows of rich leather-appointed seating surfaces, heated and cooled front seats, heated 2nd row seats, heated steering wheel, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Start, multiple user memory settings and an advanced Bose® Audio System with 13 speakers. SiriusXM Satellite Radio is standard (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately).
    An unmatched level of versatility comes to life in the design of the 2nd and 3rd rows with exceptional 3rd row access – thanks to large rear door openings and the EZ Flex™ Seating System with 5.5 inches of 2nd row seat travel for ease of entry and exit to the 3rd row. The 60/40-split 2nd row features innovative LATCH AND GLIDE™ technology that allows forward movement and access to the 3rd row with a child safety seat remaining securely in place (on the passenger curb side). With the extensive 2nd row seat travel, it’s easy to adjust legroom or accommodate cargo spontaneously as needed.
    The 3rd row seat is a 50/50 split-folding design, offering added cargo flexibility, and it also reclines for greater passenger comfort – a feature not offered with other SUVs in class. Both the 2nd and 3rd row seats fold flat for optimal cargo capacity.
    Thoughtful, Advanced Technology
    Thoughtful technology is also found throughout the Pathfinder Hybrid interior, starting with the instrument panel, which includes the Advanced Drive-Assist™ Display in the center of the instrument cluster right in front of the driver. With hybrid-equipped models, the customizable, easy-to-read 4.2-inch color monitor can show power flow readings from the electric motor and gas engine, along with power regeneration back into the battery.
    The instrument panel also includes a large multifunction center IT display, available Nissan Navigation System with NavTraffic real-time traffic and NavWeather weather information (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Zagat Survey® restaurant guide, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth® and RearView Monitor.
    Pathfinder also features available advanced, class-exclusive*** Around View® Monitor, which provides the driver a virtual 360-degree image of the area around the vehicle. Other technology includes Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, power rear liftgate, iPod® integration and tri-zone entertainment system with 2nd row head restraint-mounted DVD display screens.
    The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with individual tire pressure display and class-exclusive Easy Fill Tire Alert that provides both visual and audible signals to help owners conveniently maintain correct tire pressures without the use of a gauge is standard. The available remote engine start function allows the climate control system to warm up or cool down the interior prior to driving.
    Responsive Handling, Intelligent Four-Wheel Drive
    Like all Pathfinders, Hybrid versions offer a quiet, comfortable ride and handling provided by an independent strut front/multi-link rear suspension and with hydraulic electric power-assisted steering standard. Available wheel and tire combinations include 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 235/55R20 all-season tires.
    With the available intuitive four-wheel drive, Pathfinder continues to serve as an excellent vehicle for inclement weather driving conditions.
    Pathfinder is the only vehicle in class**** with selectable 2WD, Auto or 4WD Lock modes for its available intuitive ALL-MODE 4x4-i system. The system lets the driver choose full-time 2WD for maximum fuel economy, Auto mode to automatically monitor conditions and adjust the balance of power between front and rear wheels for best traction, or 4WD Lock mode when the confidence of full-time 4WD is desired. In addition, standard Hill Start Assist helps add control when starting and driving away on a steep incline (both 4WD and 2WD models).
    Hybrid-equipped Pathfinders also retain the ability to tow boats, jet skis, trailers and a variety of other recreational gear with standard towing capacity of 3,500 pounds (when properly equipped).
    “The Pathfinder Hybrid takes all the style, features, utility and amenities of the popular new Pathfinder and adds fuel efficiency and driving range, without losing one bit of its real-world, everyday lifestyle-enhancing fun and flexibility,” concluded Loing. “As the most fuel-efficient Pathfinder ever, we believe it’s going to be a great addition to the lineup for 2014.”

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 27, 2013
    Today at the New York Auto Show, Chevrolet introduced the new 2014 Camaro which features a narrower front end and revised rear end styling. These design changes add up to better aerodynamics and cooling. You still have the 3.6L V6 as the base engine, followed by the 6.2L V8 and the LSA supercharged V8.
    However, the star of the 2014 Camaro lineup is the new 2014 Camaro Z/28 which is the most track capable Camaro ever built.
    "We set out to make the fastest road-racing Camaro possible that was still street-legal. While the Camaro ZL1 offers exceptional performance on the street, the drag strip, and the track, the Z/28 is entirely focused on the track performance. The Z/28 will be too track-focused for most drivers, but offers road-racers one of the most capable track cars ever offered from an automaker,” said Camaro chief enginner, Al Oppenheiser.
    The heart of the Z/28 is the 7.0L LS7 V8 engine. Chevrolet isn't revealing the official figures, only saying only that the Z/28 will deliver "at least 500 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque". A six-speed manual is the sole transmission. Other mechanical changes include a limited-slip differential, spool-valve dampers, stiffer springs, and Brembo carbon ceramic discs.
    The Camaro Z/28 has also gone through a comprehensive diet, losing 300 pounds when compared to the ZL1. The diet included thinner rear glass, lighter wheels, smaller battery, removing the tire-inflator kit and sound-deadening material, and making air conditioning an option.
    Outside, the Z/28 has a massive front splitter tied to a lift-curbing undertray to help with aero. Out back, a unique spoiler and diffuser help keep the Z/28 on the ground while at high speed.
    Inside, the Z/28 comes with a matte-metallic finish trim named Octane, flat-bottomed steering wheel, and standard Recaro seats with microfiber suede inserts. One surprise in the Z/28 was the inclusion of a back seat. Chevrolet has modified it by eliminating the pass-through and using high-density foam.
    The new 2014 Camaro arrives at dealers later this summer. The Z/28 comes out sometime in 2014.
    Source: Chevrolet


    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    2014 Camaro Z/28 the Most Track-capable Camaro Ever
    2013-03-27
    NEW YORK – Chevrolet today introduced the restyled 2014 Camaro line at the New York Auto Show, including the return of the Z/28, the most iconic model in Camaro history.
    The 2014 Camaro models feature a revised exterior design that integrates high-performance aerodynamics for more efficient cooling and stability at high speeds. The new Camaro Z/28 also features a full aerodynamics package that creates downforce at speed, which helps make it the most track-capable offering in Camaro's history.
    "As the ultimate track-capable Camaro, this car restores the mission of the original Z/28, and serves as a testament to the expertise of Chevrolet as the best-selling brand of performance cars," said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. "The build sheet is the wish list of any racer: lightweight, high-revving, dry-sump LS7 engine; carbon-ceramic brakes; integrated coolers for track use; true aerodynamic downforce, and a significant reduction in curb weight. This car could only come from Chevrolet, and could only be called the Z/28."
    The first Camaro Z/28 was introduced in 1967, created to compete in the Sports Car Club of America's Trans-Am 2 class. It featured a smaller, lighter, 302-cubic-inch V-8 for improved weight balance, as well as quick-ratio steering and a heavy-duty suspension for track use. In keeping with its road-racing focus, the 1967 Camaro Z/28 was not available with an automatic transmission or air conditioning.
    While the new Camaro Z/28 is not intended to compete in a specific race series, it is solely focused on track capability. In initial testing, the Camaro Z/28 is three seconds faster per lap than the Camaro ZL1. That extra speed comes from three areas:
    - Increased grip: The Z/28 is capable of 1.05 g in cornering acceleration, due to comprehensive chassis revisions
    - Increased stopping power: the Z/28 features Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes capable of 1.5 g in deceleration, and consistent brake feel, lap after lap
    - Reduced curb weight: The naturally aspirated Z/28 weighs 300 pounds less than the supercharged Camaro ZL1, with changes ranging from lightweight wheels to thinner rear-window glass
    - Like the original, the 2014 Camaro Z/28 is offered only with a manual transmission. In a nod to modern convenience, air-conditioning is available, but only as an option.
    "We set out to make the fastest road-racing Camaro possible that was still street-legal," said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. "While the Camaro ZL1 offers exceptional performance on the street, the drag strip, and the track, the Z/28 is entirely focused on the track performance. The Z/28 will be too track-focused for most drivers, but offers road-racers one of the most capable track cars ever offered from an automaker."
    The new 2014 Camaro line will arrive at Chevrolet dealers later in 2013. The Camaro Z/28 is expected to be appearing at track events across the United States in spring 2014.
    High-performance aerodynamics highlight changes for 2014 Camaro
    The 2014 Camaro represents the most significant redesign since the introduction of the fifth-generation Camaro as a concept car in 2006.
    "The 2014 Camaro is our opportunity to apply what we have learned listening to our customers, and our continuing development of high-performance models," said Tom Peters, Camaro exterior design director. "We look for solutions that are both functional and beautiful so that the result is genuine Chevrolet – simple, powerful, honest, and more than expected."
    Compared to the previous model, the design represents a strong visual change front and rear, resulting in a wider, lower, more contemporary appearance. The front fascia features a wider lower opening, and a narrower upper opening that also updates the appearance of the iconic "halo ring" HID headlamps on the Camaro RS package. The functional hood vent on the Camaro SS helps reduce heat and aerodynamic lift. Moving to the rear, the sculptural decklid, horizontal lamps and diffuser complete the powerful statement.
    The Camaro Z/28 also features a full aerodynamic package designed to produce downforce at track speeds. At the front, the Z/28 features a large splitter, connected to an underbody panel that further reduces lift. In profile, the Z/28 features fender flares over the front and rear wheels, as well as extended rocker panels that contribute to aerodynamic stability. An aggressive rear spoiler and functional diffuser complete the aerodynamic package.
    On the interior, the Camaro Z/28 features trim in a distinctive, matte-metallic finish named Octane, the ZL1 flat-bottomed steering wheel, and standard Recaro seats with microfiber suede inserts. The new seats (also available on the coupe versions of the SS and ZL1 models), feature aggressive bolsters for high-performance driving, as well as seat cutouts inspired by the five-point harnesses found on racing seats. To save weight, both front seats incorporate manual adjustment.
    The rear seats of the Z/28 have also been modified for weight reduction. A total of nine pounds (four kilograms) was saved by eliminating the seat-back pass through, as well as using high-density foam in place of the rigid structure of the seat back and steel mesh of the seat bottom.
    "Unlike the Ford Mustang Boss 302, we felt it was important to keep the 2+2 configuration of the Camaro Z/28 as Chevrolet already has a world-class two-seat sports car in the Corvette," said Oppenheiser. "By modifying the construction of the rear seat, we were able to reduce the overall weight of the Z/28 while still preserving the flexibility of 2+2 seating."
    7.0L, LS7 the heart of the Camaro Z/28's track-capable performance
    Like the original, the new Camaro Z/28 forgoes ultimate horsepower and torque for improved weight balance and track performance.
    In 1967, the most-powerful engine available in a factory Camaro was a 396 cid V-8 with 375 horsepower. To prepare the Camaro Z/28 for road racing, engineers specified a lighter, 302 cid V-8, officially rated at 290 horsepower. While the 302 was not the choice for drag racers, it proved ideal for sports-car racing.
    Today, the most-powerful engine offered is the Camaro ZL1's supercharged 6.2L LSA, which delivers 580 horsepower. The heart of the 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the lighter, naturally aspirated 7.0L LS7 first introduced in the Corvette Z06.
    "The LS7 is ideal for road racing because it delivers amazing performance in a compact, lightweight package," said Jordan Lee, Small Block chief engineer and program manager. "The broad torque curve and high redline of the LS7 mean fewer shifts are required for each lap, while the lightweight design improves the front-to-rear weight balance for better handling."
    Co-developed with Corvette Racing, the hand-assembled 7.0L (427 cid) V-8 uses a number of high-performance components, including:
    - Titanium intake valves and connecting rods, and sodium-filled exhaust valves
    - CNC-ported aluminum cylinder heads
    - Forged-steel crankshaft and main bearing caps
    - High-lift camshaft
    - Hydroformed exhaust headers
    - 11.0:1 compression ratio, and a 7,000 rpm redline.
    - 10.5-quart, dry-sump oiling system
    For the Camaro Z/28, the LS7 features unique induction and exhaust systems, and delivers at least 500 horsepower (373 kW) and 470 lb-ft of torque (637 Nm).
    The racing-style, cold-air induction system and large K&N air filter provide maximum air flow.
    The standard dual mode exhaust system and larger-diameter pipes enable improved air flow. By bypassing the mufflers during acceleration, the system increases both the torque and sound generated by the LS7 engine.
    The Camaro Z/28 is exclusively offered with a Tremec TR6060 manual transmission. The six-speed features close-ratio gearing and 3.91:1 final drive ratio, both optimized for the power characteristics of the LS7.
    Power is distributed to the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential featuring a helical gear set, rather than traditional clutch packs. The new design enables the driver to apply more power and get through corners faster, by continuously adjusting the torque bias to maximize available traction.
    The differential works in unison with Chevrolet's proprietary Performance Traction Management system, which allows drivers to adjust the level of throttle and brake intervention to match their capability and driving environment.
    Unlike some competitors' "track package" offerings, the Camaro Z/28 makes standard all the cooling systems required for track use. This includes the dry-sump oiling system for the LS7, which is connected to an integral liquid-to-liquid cooling system for engine oil.
    A second liquid-to-liquid system provides cooling for the transmission and differential. This system pumps overcooled transmission fluid to a heat exchanger in the rear differential before traveling to the transmission. This reduces differential temperatures as much as 100 degrees F.
    Camaro Z/28 chassis delivers 1.05 g in cornering grip
    The singular focus of the Camaro Z/28 is most evident in the chassis, where the most has been made of every component for track use, from the ultra-high performance tires to race-proven dampers.
    "We used the very best components in the industry to deliver uncompromised performance, lap after lap," said Mark Stielow, Camaro Z/28 engineering manager. "We made nearly 200 changes to improve the track performance, which cumulatively make the Z/28 capable of 1.05 g in cornering. For perspective, with all other things, equal increasing maximum grip from 1 to 1.05 g can cut up to four seconds per lap."
    The Camaro Z/28 is the one of the first production cars fitted with race-proven, spool-valve dampers. Compared to a conventional damper that offers only two-way tuning for bump and rebound, a spool-valve damper allows four-way adjustment to precisely tune both bump and rebound settings for high-speed and low-speed wheel motions. The wider tuning range allowed engineers to dramatically increase the damper stiffness on the Camaro Z/28 without a significant change in ride quality. Additional chassis changes include stiffer string rates and suspension bushings for improved cornering response.
    The Camaro Z/28 features 19-inch diameter wheels and tires, which reduce unsprung weight by 42 pounds (19 kilograms) per car compared to the 20-inch wheels standard on Camaro SS and ZL1. In addition, the smaller diameter wheels lower the center of gravity by 33 millimeters, further improving handling.
    At all four corners, the lightweight, forged aluminum wheels are wrapped in massive 305/30ZR19 tires. This is the first production application of ultra-high performance Pirelli PZero Trofeo R tires, and believed to be the widest front tire on any production car.
    To fully exploit the grip of the Pirelli tires, the Camaro Z/28 also features Brembo Carbon Ceramic Matrix™ rotors and fixed, monoblock calipers. The large 394 x 36 mm front rotors are paired with six-piston calipers, while the 390 x 32 mm rear rotors are paired four-piston calipers. Compared to similar-size, two-piece steel rotors, the lightweight carbon discs save 28 pounds (12.5 kilograms) per car.
    The combination of tire grip and braking power enable the Camaro Z/28 to achieve up to 1.5 g in deceleration. With standard front brake cooling ducts, the Z/28 is also capable of continuous track use unmatched brake feel, lap after lap.
    "What makes the Z/28 so addictive is it inspires confidence through every section on the track," said Stielow. "The incredible, balanced performance helps you carry much more speed through every corner: the brakes are so good you can adjust your braking points later and later; the grip and suspension damping allows you to carry more speed through the apex; and then the limited slip allows you to make the most of the LS7 as you power out of the corner."
    Extensive lightweighting saved 300 pounds over the Camaro ZL1
    To optimize the track performance of the Camaro Z/28, the engineering team subjected it to an intensive lightweighting program, saving 100 pounds (45 kilograms) compared to the naturally aspirated Camaro SS and 300 pounds (136 kilograms) to the supercharged Camaro ZL1.
    "We looked at every subsystem for opportunities to save weight," said Oppenheiser. "Our goal was to get rid of everything that didn't make the car faster, and keep only what was required by law. For example, we wanted to eliminate the audio system completely, but we had to keep a single speaker for the seat-belt chime to meet safety requirements."
    Other examples of weight savings include:
    Eliminated the tire-inflator kit, except for Rhode Island and New Hampshire, where it is required by law
    Removed interior sound deadener, and carpeting from the trunk
    Replaced the standard LN4 battery with a smaller, lightweight, LN3 battery
    Specified thinner, 3.2-mm glass for the rear window, compared to 3.5-mm glass on the standard Camaro
    HID headlamps and foglights are not available
    Air conditioning is only available as a stand-alone option
    "The team was so fanatical about saving weight, we even stripped the unused wiring out of the harness when we eliminated the fog lights, speakers, and air conditioning," said Oppenheiser. "Every ounce saved contributed to making this the most track-capable Camaro we have ever built, and a worthy successor to the Z/28 name."

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 27, 2013
    Kia has pulled the covers off the new 2014 Soul today at the New York Auto Show. The new 2014 model takes a lot of design cues from the 2012 Track'ster concept shown at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. The most notable change is the back end where there are large, vertical taillights and a distinct tailgate design.
    Moving inside, the 2014 Soul gets substantially revised cabin with a new dash design featuring organic curves, soft-touch materials, and the option of leather seats. Interior space has seen a small increase in all areas. Standard equipment on the Soul include power windows, heated outside mirrors, telescoping steering wheel, six-speaker stereo with USB input, Sirius satellite radio, and Bluetooth. Available is a eight-inch touchscreen with Kia's UVO infotainment system and a four-inch color screen in the instrument cluster.
    Powering the Soul is either a 1.6L direct-injection four-cylinder with 130 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque or a 2.0L direct-injection four-cylinder developing 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. Both engines have the choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic.
    Kia says they have improved the Soul's handling by using ultra-high-strength steel in most of the Soul's body to increase rigidity and lower the weight. The suspension and steering has also been revised.
    The 2014 Soul arrives at dealers this fall.
    Source: Kia

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    KIA UNVEILS ALL-NEW 2014 SOUL AT NEW YORK AUTO SHOW
    Boasting Iconic Design, Desirable Features and Improved Driving Dynamics, Kia's All-New Soul Urban Passenger Vehicle is Tailor-made for Metropolis
    • Born from the Track'ster concept, the all-new 2014 Soul is set to continue Kia's segment-leading position as the perfect urban utility vehicle
    • With more room, more premium features, improved driving dynamics and true-to-its-roots iconic design, the all-new Soul is more fun, funky and functional than ever
    NEW YORK, March 27, 2013 – The Big Apple, perhaps America's most iconic metropolis, is playing host to the global unveiling of Kia Motors' most iconic people mover, the all-new 2014 Soul urban utility vehicle, today at the 113th New York International Auto Show. The signature Soul design is instantly recognizable yet thoroughly fresh, with more than a passing nod to the hot Track'ster concept that was unveiled last year. Riding on a new chassis that is stiffer, longer and wider, the all-new Soul has grown up without losing its edge, allowing for more passenger and cargo room while reducing NVH levels. Increased torque and significant suspension upgrades make the 2014 Soul a nimble and agile companion in congested urban environments. Honoring Soul owners' fierce individualism, three unique trim levels will be available when U.S. sales are expected to begin in the third quarter of this year: Base, Plus and Exclaim. Pricing will be announced closer to the Soul's launch date.
    "When the first Soul was introduced in 2009, everyone at Kia believed we had a hit on our hands, but we didn't realize how big that hit was going to be," said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing and communications at Kia Motors America (KMA). "The Soul moved the needle significantly from a sales and marketing perspective, becoming one of our top-selling cars and inspiring the now-legendary hamster commercials. It was important that the all-new Soul remain true to the original iconic design while infusing it with improved driving dynamics and desirable features that add appeal, sophistication and value."
    Keeping what made the current Soul special while addressing areas for improvement was no easy task. As the design team at Kia's California studio began putting virtual pen to virtual paper, engineers in the U.S. and Korea focused on making Soul a joy to drive. Starting with a solid foundation was a key factor, and the new body enjoys a 28.7 percent increase in torsional rigidity over the current Soul. With the hard points set, the all-new Soul was boiled down to three focus areas: Maintaining the iconic design while adding modern cues; providing premium features and content; and improving driving dynamics that would make the 2014 Soul more desirable than ever.
    Iconic Design
    Well-known for the close link between its concept vehicles and production models, Kia Motors took no chances with the 2014 Soul. When the wild Track'ster concept made its debut in 2012, Soul enthusiasts and pundits alike urged Kia to turn fantasy into reality. With 18 months from design freeze to production, the stage was set for the all-new Soul and many of the concept's dramatic design cues can be found in the production vehicle. Tom Kearns, chief designer at the California studio likened the Track'ster to a bulldog and that theme is expressed from almost any angle of the all-new Soul.
    "The all-new Soul was one of the more difficult assignments we've taken on," said Kearns. "Striking the right balance between the wonderful design of the current car with the audacious proportions and stance of the Track'ster was daunting. It proved to be a truly collaborative effort with guidance from Peter Schreyer in Frankfurt and assistance from our studio in Korea. In the end, we've kept the essence of Soul while infusing it with more presence inside and out."
    The upright stance, squared shoulders and distinctive fender flares are instantly recognizable as Soul. Combining a longer 101.2-inch wheelbase (up 0.8 inches), overall width that's broadened to 70.9 inches (increased by 0.6 inches) and the same overall height of 63.4 inches, adds a more aggressive edge to the all-new Soul's appearance. Likewise, the wraparound greenhouse, high-mounted tail lights and tall ride height are all hallmark design elements. Premium touches such as available LED front positioning lights and rear LED "halo" lights help connect Soul to siblings within the Kia lineup that share similar design cues, such as the 2014 Sorento CUV and 2014 Forte sedan.
    Exterior Track'ster similarities are easy to spot. The large trapezoidal lower air intake is nearly a direct carryover of the concept, and the location of the available fog lights – down low and pushed to the leading edges – mirror those found on the Track'ster. Kia's signature grille is present, but it's been reworked to more closely resemble the concept. Adding a touch of flare, the unique "floating" body color panel inset into the lift gate has its roots based in the Track'ster as well. Subtle enhancements include a wider (by 2.4 inches over the previous Soul) opening for the lift gate, allowing Soul to swallow more stuff. While final color names have yet to be determined, the 2014 Soul will be available in seven new exterior hues, including the two seen on stage in New York: Solar Yellow and Inferno Red.
    Overall, the design team paid particular attention to instilling a more premium look and feel to the 2014 Soul's interior. Liberal applications of soft-touch materials are found on the instrument panel, center console and door panels. Details such as available leather seating with improved lateral and thigh support, and the use of high-gloss piano-black trim pieces on the center console and dash elevate the Soul's interior to new levels of sophistication.
    Citing the current Soul interior as a starting point, Kia's designers played up the circular theme found inside Track'ster. "With the previous Soul, we kind of dipped our toe in the water when it came to incorporating the circular patterns," noted Kearns. "But for the all-new Soul, we really wanted to lift as many of the Track'ster's circular interior reference points as possible."
    Front and center is the triple-circle instrument cluster with deeply recessed gauges. Along the door panels, sculpted circles incorporate the power windows and door locks. The center console features a round gear shift knob and push-button start – its location exclusive to Soul in the Kia lineup – which also are direct carryovers from Track'ster. The front door-mounted speakers mirror the circular, high-mounted "floating" tweeters and utilize available LED-string light technology to create ripple-effect red-hued mood lighting. The steering-wheel mounted controls are housed in Soul-exclusive circular groupings along the lower spokes with the buttons for the audio system and trip computer falling readily to the thumbs, enabling the driver's hands to remain on the wheel at all times.
    "If you think about droplets falling into a still pond, you begin to visualize the inspiration for the all-new Soul's interior design," said Kearns. "The design is organic, like the human body, and we feel it makes the interior that much more appealing to the driver and passengers." Taking that appeal a step further is Soul's desirable list of standard and optional equipment.
    A Street Soul Named "Desire"
    An attractive package is a let-down if the contents don't deliver. Fortunately, the all-new Soul is set to delight right out of the gate. Most prominent in the new instrument panel is the available eight-inch touch screen – the largest ever offered on Soul – which houses Kia's second-generation telematics and infotainment system, UVO eServices , combined with Kia's first use of the Android-based operating platform. Launching with Soul, UVO eServices is now compatible with the iPhone and Android Smartphone.
    UVO eServices is optional and takes in-car connectivity and media interplay to the next level, integrating a number of other Kia firsts. Topping that list is the high-definition capacitive touch screen. Its wide viewing angle affords better visibility and allows the user to scroll with the stroke of a finger. Living side-by-side for the first time in a Kia vehicle, the audio/video and optional navigation controls are viewable on the home screen. Combining the most accessed ancillary controls on a single screen helps reduce driver distraction and improves overall functionality and ease-of-use. Additionally, the available larger Supervision Cluster/TFT LCD color screen found in the instrument binnacle now displays turn-by-turn directions from the navigation system, helping to keep the driver's eyes looking forward.
    Another first is the integration of Pandora internet radio, the revolutionary online radio network that allows the user to customize their listening experience. Users will no longer manage Pandora through their Smartphone. Instead, Pandora is preloaded into the headunit and accessible through the touch screen and Voice Command, displaying the artist, title and album cover art as well as allowing the user to conveniently skip songs, "like" the song with Pandora's thumbs-up rating system, or manage preferred stations.
    Arriving with a three month complimentary subscription to SiriusXM™ Data Services and Travel Link, the all-new Soul has access to travel information such as road conditions, weather and security alerts as well as sports scores, movie times, stock prices and fuel prices through the screen's graphical interface and electronic program guide. Better still, customers will continue to have All Access to both Sirius and XM channels for the price of one should they elect to continue a paid subscription after the three month trial period concludes.
    Making all of this available technology easy to use is the industry-first integration of on-screen quick guide videos. Easily accessed through the touch screen, users have the ability to view instructional videos that highlight all of the features and functionality of UVO eServices along with the Smartphone app and MyUVO.com, including MyPOIs, powered by Google Maps. Combined, UVO eServices represents one of the most powerful and comprehensive infotainment systems on the market today. Making UVO eServices even more impressive is that there is no cost to the owner.
    Technology aside, driver and passengers will enjoy a larger and significantly quieter cabin with incremental increases in front leg room (42.9 inches, 0.8 inches more than the current Soul), rear leg room (up 0.2 inches to 39.1), front headroom (increased 0.2 inches to 39.6) and front seat shoulder room (up 0.3 inches to 55.5). The all-new Soul also offers a 0.5-inch lower hip point and a step-in height that's reduced 0.2 inches, allowing for even easier ingress and egress. Overall cargo capacity is increased by a half cubic foot, to 24.2. Liberal use of expansion foam (replacing the previously used block foam) thoroughly fills body cavities, reducing outside wind and road noise. A reinforced isolation pad in the cargo area and poly-urethane-layered carpet helps reduce overall interior noise levels by approximately 3 decibels.
    The Base Soul comes standard with a long list of features that set it apart from the competition. Power windows, door locks and (heated) outside mirrors, a telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker AM/FM/MP3 audio unit are all standard. Bluetooth® hands-free wireless technology, SiriusXM™ satellite radio with three months complimentary service and USB/AUX inputs round out the Base Soul's impressive audio/infotainment equipment. Desirable options include remote keyless entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and a six-speed automatic transmission.
    The Soul Plus takes a step up in standard and available optional amenities. Attractive 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 215/55R-17 tires, outside mirror turn-signal indicators, auto-on/off head lights and unique fender garnish distinguish the Plus from the Base exterior. Inside, the Plus benefits include a floor console stowage box with integrated arm rest, UVO eServices, Rear Camera Display and rear seat center arm rest. Options include navigation, an upgraded Infinity® audio system, string-LED front speaker surround mood lighting, fog lights, a panoramic sunroof – a Soul first – leather seating with segment-exclusive ventilated front driver and passenger seats, and seat heaters for all four outboard positions, a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, leather wrapped and heated steering wheel and a leather-wrapped gear shift knob.
    The Soul Exclaim adds to the Plus as standard features 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/45R-18 tires, fog lights, body-color bumper "tusks," projector head lights, front LED positioning lights and rear LED "halo" lights. Open the door and standard amenities include a high-gloss piano-black center console, cooled glove box, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, 10-way power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment and auto-dimming rearview mirror. Optional equipment includes navigation, Infinity audio, front speaker LED mood lighting, panoramic sunroof, leather seating with front driver and passenger ventilation and heating for all four outboard positions. Supervision Cluster/TFT LCD screen, HID head lights, push button start and automatic climate control make the Exclaim the most premium Soul ever.
    Improved Driving Dynamics
    Built on an all-new chassis that is nearly 29 percent stiffer than before, the Soul's stout skeleton provides the base for a vehicle that places a premium on driving dynamics. Engineers put their efforts in strengthening the body at key connection points along the cowl, upper and lower B-pillars, cross members, and at the C-pillars. Fully, 66 percent of the chassis utilizes either Ultra High Strength Steel (35 percent) or High Strength Steel (31 percent). The A-pillar is 0.8-inches narrower, allowing for improved outward visibility, but through the use of Ultra High Strength Steel, it's lighter and stronger. The application of structural adhesive around the door openings and along the roof also helps improve torsional rigidity.
    Significant attention has been focused on improving the all-new Soul's ride and handling through heavily revised front and rear suspension set ups. The front subframe utilizes four bushings (none are used on the current Soul) to reduce ride harshness and impact booms over rough pavement. The stabilizer bar has been moved rearward on the McPherson strut front suspension, while the steering box has been moved forward, lending better balance and subsequently improved handling.
    Relocating the steering box has also yielded benefits to on-center feel. The new one-piece steering gear housing is stronger than the two-piece unit used on the current Soul, improving steering response and reducing impacts felt through the wheel. Optional is a new Flex Steer™ system, which allows the driver to select from three distinct steering settings: Comfort, Normal and Sport.
    The shock absorbers on the torsion bar rear suspension have been turned vertically (they were positioned at an angle on the current Soul) and lengthened. This arrangement allows for more suspension travel, improving ride comfort.
    Motivation for the Base Soul is delivered by a gasoline direct injection (GDI) 130-horsepower (at 6,300 rpm) 1.6-liter all-aluminum DOHC four-cylinder engine. The GAMMA engine produces 118 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,850 rpm. The Plus and Exclaim models enjoy the more powerful 2.0-liter NU power plant. For the all-new 2014 Soul, the engine is updated with GDI technology. Power is rated at 164 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 151 lb.-ft. of torque at a 4,000 rpm. Both engines have been tuned to provide more low-end torque (nine percent more torque at 1,500 rpm on the 2.0-liter; five percent more on 1.6-liter) for an improved around-town driving experience. The 1.6-liter engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission or, optionally, to a six-speed automatic. The Plus model may be equipped with either transmission while the Exclaim is available exclusively with the six-speed automatic.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 27, 2013
    Kia is finishing off their compact Forte lineup with the introduction of the new 2014 Forte Koup at the New York Auto Show today. The new Koup takes the Forte sedan, drops the back doors off, and borrows the front end off the new 2014 Forte 5-Door.
    Like the 5-Door Forte, the 2014 Forte Koup comes with two engines,
    2.0L four-cylinder: 173 horsepower, 154 pound-feet of torque (Standard on the EX)
    1.6L turbo-four: 201 horsepower, 195 pound-feet of torque (Standard on the SX)

    The 2.0L comes equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission only, while the 1.6T has the choice of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
    The Forte Koup EX comes standard with sixteen-inch wheels, Kia's UVO voice recognition system, backup camera, Bluetooth, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, power windows and LED running lights and fog lights. SX models come equipped with eighteen-inch wheels, dual chrome exhaust tips, revised front bumper and grille and larger rear bumper, LED taillights, larger font brakes, alloy foot pedals and various "carbon fiber-look" trim pieces inside and out.
    The 2014 Forte Koup arrives sometime this winter.
    Source: Kia

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    KIA MOTORS AMERICA UNVEILS ALL-NEW TURBOCHARGED FORTE KOUP AT 2013 NEW YORK AUTO SHOW
    201-HP Turbocharged Four-Cylinder Engine is First for Forte Koup SX
    Lower, longer and wider, the all-new Forte Koup exemplifies World-class style and sportiness
    Forte Koup is expected to go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2013

    NEW YORK, March 27, 2013 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced the third and final member of the completely redesigned Forte lineup when it unveiled the sleek and purposeful all-new Forte Koup at the 2013 New York Auto Show. Following the launch of the Forte sedan and Forte 5-door, the all-new two-door Forte Koup SX boasts European-inspired design and performance to match with a 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injected (GDI) turbocharged four-cylinder engine putting out 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. As equipped, the SX is the most powerful Forte Koup ever. Sales are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2013, and pricing will be announced closer to the Koup’s launch.
    “The Forte Koup is arguably the sportiest vehicle in our award-winning lineup, and it has helped raise Kia’s brand awareness significantly among automotive enthusiasts,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, KMA. “Its rakish design, premium amenities and powerful turbocharged engine set it apart from the competition. With the debut of the Forte sedan and 5-door earlier this year, and now the Koup in New York, the Forte lineup has been completely revamped from top to bottom.”
    Similar to its Forte 5-door sibling, the Forte Koup is offered in two trim levels, EX and SX, with two engine and transmission choices. The EX comes equipped with a 2.0-liter GDI four-cylinder engine, and the tarmac-carving SX comes standard with the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The EX comes standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission while the SX may be mated with either a standard 6-speed manual or optional 6-speed automatic featuring steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
    Advanced Technology and Premium Features
    In keeping with the rest of the Forte family, the all-new Forte Koup offers buyers an impressive list of technology and safety features. The Koup EX comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, UVO eServices with Rear Camera Display1, Bluetooth®2 wireless technology, SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio3, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise control buttons, FlexSteer™, tilt and telescoping steering column, power windows, and LED positioning headlights with fog lights.
    The Koup SX rewards buyers with standard 18-inch alloy wheels, dual chrome exhaust tips, and LED tail lights. Forte Koup SX also offers an aggressive front fascia with larger bumper and grille openings, black gloss grille inserts, larger front brakes, alloy sport pedals, front and rear seats with carbon fiber-style accents. The lower front fascia and rear valance also feature carbon fiber-look trim pieces.
    Both EX and SX trim levels offer optional HID headlights, navigation system with HD Radio™4, sunroof, heated steering wheel,10-way adjustable power driver’s seat, heated front seats and cooled driver’s seat, leather seating surfaces, SmartKey with push-button start, electric chromatic rearview mirror and dual-zone automatic climate control.
    Continuing Kia’s Design Leadership
    Created by the design studio at KMA’s corporate campus in Irvine, Calif., the Forte Koup’s sporty two-door profile, swooping roofline, and large 18-inch alloy wheels give it an athletic and aggressive stance that continues Kia’s tradition as a design leader.
    The Forte Koup’s swept headlights stretch deep into the front fenders, and the raked windshield and broad shoulders give the front end a sleek, sporty appearance. LED positioning lights add a premium look to the front fascia. At the rear, LED tail lights complete the premium look of the exterior. A rear valance with twin chrome exhaust tips maintains the Forte Koup’s sporty demeanor.
    Sporty Cabin with Premium Features
    The interior of the Forte Koup features premium materials and soft touch points. Large, easy-to-read white-on-black gauges nestle deeply into the instrument cluster. Chrome accents around the HVAC controls and optional push-button start, along with carbon fiber-like textures on the dash and seats, add a sporty touch. A grippy leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are further evidence of the Forte Koup’s performance intentions. Class-exclusive available features such as front heated seats, an air-cooled driver’s seat and driver-selectable electric steering further set the Forte Koup apart from its two-door competition.
    Dynamic Driving Experience
    Utilizing a 1.6-liter GDI turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the SX is the most powerful Forte Koup ever. Power is seamlessly transferred to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The GDI powerplant produces 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,750-4,500 rpm. The advanced powertrain features double overhead cams with dual continuously variable valve timing to help improve efficiency and performance.
    The Forte Koup EX comes standard with a 2.0-liter GDI powerplant producing 173 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 154 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm. During durability testing, the engines are run 300 continuous hours at redline under full load then for an additional 20 hours at 10 percent above redline under full load.
    To help further improve performance, the Forte Koup features a sport-tuned suspension with a McPherson strut setup in front and a torsion beam rear design. The Koup rides on standard 205/55R-16 tires while 225/40R-18 tires are included with the SX trim for an even more sporting driving experience.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 27, 2013
    Toyota pulled the covers off the third-generation 2014 Highlander today at New York Auto Show.
    The Highlander's exterior is much more muscular than the outgoing model with a large grille, pointy headlights, and slab sides, and large, blocky flared fenders. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard, while nineteen-inch wheels are optional.
    Compared to the outgoing Highlander, the 2014 Highlander is 2.7 inches longer and 0.6 inches wider. That means there is 34% more cargo room and the third row is 4.3-inches wider, making it a more livable space. You have the choice of either seating for seven or eight people.
    Standard equipment will include a back-up camera, Hill-start Assist Control, 6.1-inch touchscreen with Toyota's Entune infotainment system, and Bluetooth.
    Engine choices are the same as the outgoing Highlander. They are a 2.7L four-cylinder as the base and a optional 3.5L V6. Both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission which should improve fuel economy numbers by one or two MPGs. A Highlander Hybrid will also be available.
    The 2014 Highlander arrives at dealers in early 2014.
    Source: Toyota

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    NEW YORK, March 27, 2013 - - The all-new third-generation 2014 Toyota Highlander mid-size SUV made its world debut today at the 2013 New York Auto Show.
    An all-new exterior design conveys both refinement and strength, complementing a new interior that will raise the bar in the mid-size SUV segment. With three-row seating for up to eight, an array of standard features, a host of available in-cabin technologies, and increased cargo capacity, the new Highlander will offer a nuanced balance of style, comfort and utility. The total package is capped off with three powertrain choices: a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine a powerful V6 with a new six-speed transmission that will produce excellent all-around capability, and a V6-powered Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain for enhanced mileage and fewer emissions.
    Sophisticated, Dynamic Exterior is Sleek and Strong
    Sophisticated and dynamic, the new Highlander features a progressive silhouette, a lower roofline for improved aerodynamics, and sculptured side-door panels. The exterior has grown in length by approximately three inches while width is increased one-half inch, conveying a sleek and strong appearance.
    From the front, Highlander’s hood merges with a redesigned trapezoidal grille, wraparound headlamps and deeply chiseled fenders for a more aggressive appearance.
    The length of the profile, from the front fenders to the rear quarter panels, boldly stands out with sculptured wheel wells at the corners, allowing for prominently protruding wheels. The total package is capped off by a newly designed rear lift-gate with one-touch power open/close and driver selectable memory height settings, and taillights and bumper that exude style and strength.
    Highlander’s body structure will include high-strength steel in the front pillars for increased rigidity. Visibility has been improved through precise repositioning of the front A-pillars, while the size of the rear quarter glass has been increased to provide a wider view for driver and occupants.
    Refinement is enhanced through improved noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) measures. Interior noise reduction is achieved through a 30 percent expansion of silencing insulation materials in the floor areas. Acoustic-type glass is used for the windshield to help reduce noise entering the cabin, and even the panoramic moonroof design works to help reduce wind noise, even when the moonroof is open.
    Vibration is minimized through expanded coverage of the dash silencer, enhancements to body sealing, and the strategic placement of three hydraulic engine mounts. Improvements in the exhaust layout have been made for additional noise and vibration reduction.
    Premium Interior Design with Advanced Functionality
    Toyota engineers raised the bar on interior design for the mid-size SUV segment by adding even more refinement and functionality to the new Highlander. The 2014 model will offer a premium interior highlighted by increased spaciousness for up to eight people, and an array of standard comfort, convenience and technology features.
    The new Highlander’s interior utilizes premium materials to offer an upscale experience, with most models featuring standard contrast seat stitching. All Highlanders will come equipped with a soft-touch instrument panel; and silver-painted, satin, and chrome-plated accents that are thoughtfully placed throughout the interior. Wood-grain pattern trim can be found on the front dash and door trim for an added touch of elegance. Premium fabrics, available smooth and perforated leather-trim seats, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob add to Highlander’s redesigned upscale interior. The adoption of a high quality knit roof lining and available second-row sunshades add to Highlander’s refinement and comfort.
    A new roll-top center console box with a dampened sliding door provides a comfortable armrest, or when fully opened is large enough to hold a large handbag. All Highlanders will feature a newly designed in-meter-cluster Multi-Information Display. Available ambient lighting around the front dash and doors add to the refined environment.
    The second row offers bench-seating for three passengers or two captain’s seats featuring a collapsible tray with cup holders for added convenience. Getting into the third-row is made easier with the addition of a one-step second-row sliding seat function that provides nearly three more inches of space for easier entry and exit to the third-row. An overall interior width increase of 4.3 inches in the third-row and a standard recline function creates added comfort for up to three passengers. Like the second-row bench, the third-row will be 40/60 split for added passenger and storage flexibility and convenience. Rear cargo space behind the third-row has also increased by up to 34 percent for added storage.
    Additional available convenience features include an Automatic High Beam System, Auto Cruise Control, Smart Key, driver’s seat memory, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row captain’s seats, and a heated steering wheel.
    Improved Dynamic Performance, Handling, Efficiency
    The new Highlander will be available in three powertrains. A 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine is equipped with a variable intake manifold and dual Variable-Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which controls phasing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts to optimize torque and fuel efficiency. The 2.7-liter engine is teamed with a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.
    A 3.5-liter V6 is also equipped with dual VVT-i and a variable intake manifold. Acceleration and fuel efficiency are improved thanks to a new six-speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission (ECT) that offers selectable manual sequential shifting.
    The Highlander Hybrid model’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system pairs the 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with a high-torque electric drive motor-generator for additional power and fuel efficiency.
    The new Highlander will provide a more dynamic driving experience, with new technologies that include Dynamic Torque Control All-Wheel Drive (AWD), enhancements in suspension performance, and optimized electric power steering. The spring rates and the shock absorbers have been optimally tuned to help enhance the vehicles handling characteristics.
    Highlander will have a MacPherson strut front suspension, double-wishbone rear suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, 18-inch alloy wheels and available 19-inch alloys.
    Highlander’s Dynamic Torque Control AWD system automatically shifts from front-wheel drive (FWD) to AWD when accelerating or when sensors detect wheel slippage. The driver is able to view the torque-distribution settings on the meter display.
    The Dynamic Torque Control AWD system continuously monitors and controls the torque transfer between the front and rear wheels via an electromagnetically controlled coupling positioned in the rear differential.
    Front to rear torque distribution can vary from 100:0 to 50:50, with front-wheel drive (100:0) automatically engaged under normal driving conditions to help improve fuel consumption.
    The Dynamic Torque Control AWD system uses information sent from various sensors (speed, steering angle and speed, throttle angle and yaw rate) to automatically govern the transmission of torque to the rear wheels, as required.
    A sophisticated, high-speed interactive management system coordinates control of the Dynamic Torque Control AWD, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Electric Power Steering (EPS) systems to enhance Highlander’s performance, handling and safety.
    Advanced In-Cabin, Multimedia Connectivity
    All new Highlanders come equipped with Toyota’s Entune™ multimedia system. The Display Audio system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth® and voice recognition is standard, while an eight-inch touchscreen system and Toyota’s Entune™ app suite with12 JBL speakers is also available.
    The new Highlander will also offer an available Rear Seat Entertainment system with an RCA coaxial input terminal at the rear of the center console to allow external devices, such as gaming systems, to be connected.
    Comprehensive Array of Safety & Convenience Features
    All 2014 Highlander’s will have eight standard airbags. Like every Toyota, Highlander will feature the standard Star Safety System™, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, an Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology. All Highlander’s will also come equipped with a standard backup camera and Hill-start Assist Control. All AWD models will have an AWD LOCK switch.
    New available safety and convenience features include rear parking sonar, Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Departure Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and a Pre-collision System.
    All Highlanders are assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) in Princeton, Ind. The all-new Highlander will reach dealer showrooms in early 2014.
    2014 HIGHLANDER PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
    POWERTRAIN
    2.7-liter four-cylinder engine with VVT-i
    Transmission: Six-speed ECT-i
    Drive System: Front-Wheel-Drive
    3.5-liter V6 engine with VVT-i
    Transmission: Six-speed ECT-i
    Drive System: Front- and All-Wheel-Drive
    Hybrid Synergy Drive with 3.5-liter V6 Engine and Electric Motor
    Transmission: Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
    Drive System: All-Wheel-Drive
    EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (inches)
    Overall Length: 191.1
    Overall Width: 75.8
    Overall Height: 68.1
    Wheelbase: 109.8
    Ground clearance: 8.0-inches
    Wheels: 18-inch alloy wheels
    19-inch alloy wheels (Limited)
    Tire Size: 18-inch: 245/60R18 (LE and XLE)
    19-inch: 245/55R19 (Limited)
    Towing Capacity: 5,000 lbs. (V6 only)
    Seating Capacity: 7 or 8

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 27, 2013
    Here is the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG that debuted today at the New York Auto Show. For those who are wondering, it is the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG shown at the Geneva Motor Show just with a sedan body over it.
    Power comes from a 2.0L turbo-four delivering 355 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. All of that power is channeled through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission and a 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. The run to 60 MPH takes only 4.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 155 MPH.
    The CLA45 AMG's suspension has been given a once over by AMG with more rigid suspension bushings and components plus specifically tuned spring and shock rates with larger stabilizer bars to keep the car flat when cornering. There is also a three stage stability control system on the CLA45 AMG.
    Outside, the CLA45 AMG looks like Mercedes-Benz left a CLS63 AMG in the wash for a bit too long. AMG has put a more agressive body kit on the CLA including a unique front fascia and large wheels.
    Moving inside, the CLA45 AMG comes with a set of supportive sport seats, 5.8-inch display screen with Mercedes mbrace2 technology suite, rain-sensing wipers, Bluetooth, and anthracite trim.
    Pricing for the CLA45 AMG start at $48,375 and arrives at dealers this November.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz

    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
    The Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG: Design meets Driving Performance
    Affalterbach/New York, Mar 27, 2013
    Affalterbach/New York. Mercedes-AMG kicks off the automotive spring of 2013 in the "Big Apple" in dynamic style as the CLA 45 AMG celebrates its world premiere at the New York International Auto Show. The philosophy behind this four-door mid-series coupé matches that of the successful CLS 63 AMG, the trendsetter among four-door high-performance coupés. A glance at this high-tech package suffices to show that the CLS 45 AMG also has all the typical DNA to make it a perfect representative of the AMG's Driving Performance brand claim: with a peak output of 265 kW (360 hp) and maximum torque of 450 Newton metres, its turbocharged engine is not only the most powerful four-cylinder unit in series production anywhere in the world but also a highly efficient one that meets the EU6 emissions standard. With fuel consumption of 6.9 litres per 100 km according to NEDC combined figures, the CLA 45 AMG meets even the most exacting requirements. The performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive of the CLA 45 AMG similarly sets a new benchmark in its competitive segment.
    Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "With the CLA 45 AMG, Mercedes-AMG is launching a unique and highly desirable automobile with all the typical DNA of AMG. A high-tech package that includes the most powerful series-production four-cylinder engine in the world as well as performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive, it embodies Driving Performance
    at its best."
    The new four-door high-performance coupé offers an exceptional combination of an excitingly sporty driving experience, extravagant design and exclusive individuality. With the CLA 45 AMG Mercedes-AMG is establishing a completely new segment – as it did previously with the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake (2012) and the CLS 55 AMG (2004). At the time of their launch, neither of these AMG models had any direct rivals, but went on to inspire other automotive manufacturers. Turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive and the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission - the CLA 45 AMG features the same drive system that is already powering the A 45 AMG to deliver highly dynamic and efficient performance
    Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG
    Displacement: 1991 cc
    Bore x stroke: 83.0 x 92.0 mm
    Compression ratio: 8.6 : 1
    Output: 265 kW (360 hp) at 6000 rpm
    Max. torque: 450 Nm at 2250-5000 rpm
    Engine weight (dry): 148 kg
    Maximum engine speed: 6700 rpm
    Power density: 133 kW (181 hp)
    Peak pressure: up to 140 bar
    Maximum charge pressure: 1.8 bar
    Fuel consumption NEDC combined: 6.9 – 7.1 l/100 km
    CO2 emissions: 161 - 165 g/km
    Efficiency class: C - D
    Emissions standard: EU6
    Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 4.6 s
    Top speed: 250 km/h*
    *Electronically limited
    Typically AMG: the most powerful series-production four-cylinder turbo engine in the world
    A glance at the technical data for the CLA 45 AMG shows: the AMG 2.0-litre turbo engine, with a maximum output of 265 kW (360 hp) and up to 450 Newton metres of torque, is the most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine in series production anywhere in the world.
    The combination of high performance and torque, together with the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system, gives the CLA 45 AMG driving characteristics almost on a par with those of a sports car. The performance coupé accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds and its top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited). But the AMG 2.0-litre turbo engine is impressive not only in terms of its dynamic performance but also with regard to its efficiency and environmental compatibility. The CLA 45 AMG achieves a fuel consumption level of 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres according to NEDC combined figures, while it already meets the EU6 emissions standard that only comes into effect in 2015 as well as the limit for the particle count per kilometre of 6 × 1011 part./km that will become mandatory in 2017.
    The basis for these impressive figures is provided by the high-tech package which has been put together by Mercedes-AMG. As a high-performance engine belonging to the BlueDIRECT family, the four-cylinder turbo engine features spray-guided direct petrol injection via piezo injectors positioned centrally in the four combustion chambers. The combination of multiple fuel injection and multiple spark ignition improves fuel utilisation and increases thermodynamic efficiency substantially, leading to lower exhaust emissions. Other highlights include the gravity-die sandcast all-aluminium crankcase, weight-optimised crank assembly with forged steel crankshaft and forged pistons with friction-optimised piston rings, NANOSLIDE cylinder wall technology, air-water charge air cooling, generator management and ECO start/stop function.
    Twin-scroll turbochargers and AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap
    Mercedes-AMG addresses the essential challenges concerning the response of small-displacement turbo engines by means of a twin-scroll turbocharger, maximum derestriction of the exhaust system and an innovative injection strategy. The twin-scroll technology provides for a more spontaneous build-up of charge pressure, making effective use of exhaust gas back pressure, exhaust gas temperature and exhaust gas impulse. This results in a swifter build-up of torque right from the lower rev range. As a positive side-effect, the twin-scroll technology also benefits fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. With a maximum charge pressure of 1.8 bar, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine leads the field in this respect, too.
    The AMG sports exhaust system features large pipe cross-sections and an automatically controlled exhaust flap. This technology, which is familiar from the SLK 55 AMG, reconciles the two apparently conflicting aims of tangible dynamism and hallmark Mercedes comfort on long journeys. The flap is continuously adjusted by map control according to the power called up by the driver, load status and engine speed. The AMG sports exhaust system emits a fascinating, full engine sound that is particularly impressive during powerful acceleration.
    An AMG Performance exhaust system with exhaust flap is available as an option for the A 45 AMG. This provides for an even more emotional and striking engine sound when the throttle is open and during gear shifting. The double-declutching function during downshifting and the interruption of ignition and injection during upshifting under full load produce a particularly throaty sound with the AMG Performance exhaust system and create a level of emotionality which is otherwise the preserve of engines with more than four cylinders.
    High-performance cooling system with components from the SLS AMG
    The high driving dynamics of the CLA 45 AMG call for a highly effective cooling system. On the basis of the components from the SLS AMG, a low-temperature circuit is additionally deployed for air-water charge air cooling of the four-cylinder turbo engine. The cooler extending across the complete front level of the cooling module is supplemented by an additional cooler in the wheel arch. Together with the charge air cooler, which is connected in series, a high-performance electric pump ensures the required flow through the water coolers located behind the large intake ports. This provides for ideal cooling of the highly compressed charge air, thereby contributing towards optimum engine performance.
    The cooling of the transmission oil is integrated into the water cooling circuit for the engine. The water cooler positioned behind the front apron is supported by the heat exchanger which is fitted directly on the transmission and supplied with cooling water as required by means of an auxiliary pump.
    "One man, one engine": a tradition of hand-built excellence
    As is the case with all eight- and twelve-cylinder engines, the new AMG four‑cylinder turbo engine is hand-built according to the traditional AMG philosophy of "one man, one engine". An exclusive assembly line has been set up for the new AMG engine at the Mercedes-Benz engine production plant in Kölleda – where all BlueDIRECT four-cylinder engines are built for the A- and B-Class models. A characteristic feature of the "one man, one engine" production process is the AMG engine plate bearing the signature of the responsible engine fitter. Apart from serving as an AMG hallmark confirming superlative production quality, the AMG engine plate also attests to the peerless DNA of Mercedes-Benz's high-performance brand.
    AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission
    Dual clutch transmission and all-wheel drive – the drive package on board the new CLA 45 AMG is a demonstration of high-end engineering prowess. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission is directly flange-mounted on the transversely installed engine. Key software modules have been adopted from the SLS AMG super sports car with its inspirational power transmission concept. The dual clutch transmission of the CLA 45 AMG features seven gears, three driving programmes, a double-declutching function and RACE START for optimum acceleration. The strengths of the AMG DCT sports transmission include spontaneous gear shifting without any interruption in tractive power, a tailor-made control strategy, extremely smooth and easy gear shifting and a high level of efficiency. Reinforced gear wheels provide for maximum stability. Synchroniser rings with carbon-fibre friction linings improve durability while also optimising the response time during manual gear-changing – the ideal basis for ambitious laps on cordoned-off race tracks.
    "Momentary M mode" for even greater dynamism and driving enjoyment
    Another special feature designed to enhance dynamic performance and driving enjoyment is the so-called "Momentary M mode". In C and S mode, this enables the driver to activate manual mode ("M") without having to remove a hand from the steering wheel, by pressing the "up" or "down" shift paddle once. In Momentary M mode the driver experiences the dynamism and performance of gear-shifting in manual mode in all the automatic driving programmes, with automatic up-shifting on meeting the rpm limit into the bargain. This allows the driver to devote his full attention to the vehicle's impressive performance.
    The shift times in manual mode "M" and in Sport mode "S" are similarly sporty in character to those of the SLS AMG GT super sports car. Briefly and precisely interrupting ignition and injection under full load leads to even faster gearshifts in "M" and "S", with a more emotional sound than ever. In "C" mode (Controlled Efficiency), tangibly soft transmission and engine characteristics support a fuel-efficient and comfort-oriented driving style. In addition, in "C" mode the ECO start/stop function is active.
    Performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive
    The CLA 45 AMG comes with variable, performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all‑wheel drive as standard. In developing this all-wheel drive, the focus was firmly on performance and dynamism. The power flux to the rear powertrain is provided by a compact power take-off unit (PTU) which is fully integrated in the 7-speed sports transmission. It does not possess an oil circuit of its own. Instead, it is supplied with lubricant from the oil circuit of the sports transmission. This configuration gives rise to substantial weight advantages in comparison to rival systems which branch off power by means of an add-on component with its own oil circuit. Together with the friction-minimised tapered roller bearings, the PTU achieves an excellent level of efficiency. As an additional bonus, the system weight of the new AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive is up to 25 percent lighter than the all-wheel-drive versions offered by the competition.
    A two-part propeller shaft transfers the power from the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine to the rear axle. In the interests of favourable weight distribution, an electrohydraulically controlled multiple-disc clutch is integrated with the rear axle differential. The multiple-disc clutch immediately detects slip at the front axle. A hydraulic pump instantaneously presses the discs together and channels the engine torque to the rear wheels as necessary. All this takes place virtually without the driver noticing. To enable particularly fast response, the pump is always active and does not require to be started up each time it is needed, as is customary with other systems. Power distribution is fully variable: in normal driving, the CLA 45 AMG uses front-wheel drive in the interests of optimum efficiency. When the driving dynamics so require, the variable AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive splits the torque between front and rear axle up to a ratio of 50:50 percent. The variables influencing the power distribution ratio are vehicle speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering angle, speed difference between the individual wheels, selected gear and accelerator position.
    3-stage ESP® with ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist
    An exclusive feature is the interaction of the AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive with the 3-stage ESP® and the ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist. The three ESP® stages enable the driver to vary the dynamics of the CLA 45 AMG according to his individual wishes at the push of a button. The safety-oriented "ESP ON" mode supports the driver in maintaining neutral handling characteristics. The system initiates braking intervention on one or more wheels and reduces the engine torque on detecting that the operating conditions are becoming unstable.
    Briefly pressing the ESP® button activates "ESP SPORT Handling" mode. This dynamically oriented driving mode applies appropriate control strategies for later ESP® intervention and increased drive torque at the rear axle. This means more fun at the wheel for drivers who are keen to exploit the vehicle's dynamic potential. Pressing the ESP® button longer activates "ESP OFF". In this mode, the ESP® functions are not available. ESP OFF should only be used by experienced drivers on cordoned-off race tracks. If the driver steps on the brake pedal in "SPORT Handling" mode or "ESP OFF" mode, all the safety functions of the ESP® system become available during braking.
    ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist complements the ESP® system to perfection: during dynamic cornering, imperceptible braking intervention on the inside wheel gives rise to a defined yaw moment around the vertical axis, resulting in precise cornering by the CLA 45 AMG and ensuring that the vehicle remains under control at all times. ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist is adapted according to the selected ESP® mode. In "ESP SPORT Handling" mode and "ESP OFF" mode it supports the driver's wish for increased agility and driving dynamics. ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist is an additional function of the Electronic Stability Program which noticeably improves not only agility, but also active driving safety in critical conditions.
    AMG sports suspension with independent front and rear axle
    Like every AMG high-performance automobile, the new CLA 45 AMG also incorporates sophisticated axle technology. For enhanced driving dynamics, the three-link front suspension is provided with stiffer steering knuckles and totally new elastokinematics. Newly developed, more rigid bearings are employed in the lower link plane. These provide for more agile cornering properties and more precise and direct feedback from the road surface. The more rigid bearings also lead to higher camber stiffness, enabling higher cornering speeds. In developing the complete front axle, great importance has been attached to attaining the best possible traction in highly dynamic driving.
    The four-link rear axle of the CLA 45 AMG is also a totally new development. In the course of optimising the elastokinematics, the strut bearings were duly adapted for maximum driving dynamics and control. The rear axle carrier is provided with more rigid bearings for increased driving stability; the subframe is rigidly connected to the body. The AMG sports suspension with specifically tuned spring/damper units and larger stabilisers provides for high lateral acceleration and a reduced rolling tendency in fast double bends. The CLA 45 AMG comes as standard with AMG light-alloy wheels fitted with 235/40 R 18 tyres.
    AMG speed-sensitive sports steering and AMG high-performance braking system
    The electromechanical Dual Pinion AMG speed-sensitive sports steering with AMG-specific, speed-dependent power assistance and a constant steering ratio (14.5 : 1) enables high steering precision and agility. The electric motor is installed in space-saving configuration on the steering gear. The AMG high-performance braking system with ventilated and perforated brake discs all round in size 350 x 32 millimetres at the front and 330 x 22 millimetres at the rear provides for spontaneous and reliable deceleration.
    Unmistakable design
    Just a glance at the new CLA 45 AMG makes it very clear: any resemblance to the CLS 63 AMG is absolutely intentional. The expressive design idiom of the CLA has been enhanced by Mercedes-AMG with some characteristic AMG elements - and the result is a new design icon. The sporty proportions of the CLA were there from the start , but its dynamic look is reinforced by the AMG "twin blade" radiator grille and the cross strut in the AMG front apron, both painted in matt titanium grey. The generously proportioned cooling air intakes are framed by black flics, which improve the airflow over the cooling modules positioned behind them. Bi-xenon headlamps are included as standard.
    An eyecatching view from the side is ensured by the sill panels with inserts in matt titanium grey. Further elements typical of a top-of-the-range AMG model include the AMG twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, painted grey and with a high-sheen finish, plus the "TURBO AMG" lettering on the wing. Seen from the rear, the CLA 45 AMG displays a distinctive AMG rear apron: this not only reveals the presence of the air outlet openings at the sides, but also incorporates a large diffuser insert and a trim section in matt titanium grey. The two chrome-plated twin tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system, including an exhaust flap, serve to emphasise the car's dynamic appeal. The striking LED tail lights are a standard feature.
    Dynamic, exclusive and top-quality interior
    Impressive quality, high-grade materials and all the dynamism and exclusivity commonly associated with Mercedes-AMG - the interior of the CLA 45 AMG leaves nothing to be desired. Sports seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre with red contrasting topstitching, red seat belts, the multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles, the AMG DRIVE UNIT and AMG door sill panels all come as standard. Coordinating perfectly with one another are the brushed aluminium trim of the instrument panel and the five galvanised ventilation outlets. Information is provided by the AMG instrument cluster with its central colour display, the AMG main menu and the RACETIMER.
    Numerous individualisation options are available for the CLA 45 AMG (selection):
    AMG carbon-fibre exterior mirror housing
    AMG Exterior Carbon-Fibre package: front splitter, side sill panel inserts and trim on rear apron in genuine carbon fibre
    AMG carbon-fibre interior trim
    AMG Exclusive package
    AMG floor mats
    AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels in 8 x 19 fitted with 235/35 R 19 tyres, in two variants: painted in titanium grey with high-sheen finish or in matt black with high-sheen rim flange
    AMG Night package: privacy glass, black anodised beltline trim strip, black tailpipe trims in chromed finish, radiator fins in silver chrome, high-gloss black painted finish for front splitter, exterior mirrors, side sill panel inserts and rear apron trim
    AMG Performance exhaust system
    AMG Performance suspension with tauter spring/damper tuning
    AMG Performance steering wheel and E-SELECT lever, electronic main key with AMG emblem
    AMG Performance seats
    AMG wheel bolt covers in black with hub caps in central-locking look
    (for standard AMG light-alloy wheels only)
    Intelligent Light System
    Red-painted callipers

    The sales release date for the CLA 45 AMG is in July 2013; market launch will start this September. Sales price in Germany, incl. 19 percent VAT:

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 27, 2013
    Last month, Jeep experienced a bit of a problem. Shots of their new vehicle, the 2014 Cherokee were leaked out to the internet. The shots were were not the most flattering and caused an uproar on the webs. To quell as best they could, Jeep released their own photos of the new Cherokee and said that more information would be revealed at New York. Well that time has come.
    The Cherokee’s styling is either you love it or hate it. The front end is the main point of contention with its crimped seven-slot grille and stacked headlights. The back end features a rounded tailgate and unique bumper styling.
    Under the skin, the Cherokee uses the Compact U.S. wide unibody platform that underpins the Dodge Dart. While not as rugged as the body-on-frame Cherokee, Jeep Cherokee will be able to tow up to 4,500 pounds with the available V6 engine and deliver off-road prowess Jeep is known for.
    There will be two different engines available for the Cherokee, both going through a nine-speed automatic transmission.
    2.4L TigerShark four-cylinder: 184 horsepower, 171 pound-feet of torque
    3.2L V6: 271 horsepower, 239 pound-feet of torque

    Front-wheel drive will be standard on the 2014 Cherokee. There will also be three different four-wheel drive systems available as well.
    Jeep Active Drive I - single-speed transfer case
    Jeep Active Drive II - two-speed transfer case with low range
    Jeep Active Drive Lock - low-range system with a locking rear differential

    All of the systems include Selec-Terrain, which has five selectable modes like Snow and Sand/Mud to help optimize the powertrain cope with the driving conditions.
    Inside, the Cherokee has room for five people, provides ten airbags, and a cargo space of 29.7 cubic feet. Available equipment includes a reconfigurable 7-inch screen in the instrument panel, an 8.4-inch touchscreen housing the infotainment system, and a self-parking system.
    The new Cherokee arrives later this year.
    Source: Jeep

    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 2014 Jeep® Cherokee:
    No-compromise Mid-size SUV Sets a New Standard
    Jeep® raises the bar with legendary benchmark capability, world-class on-road dynamics, fuel economy up to 31 mpg, revolutionary Jeep design with world-class
    craftsmanship inside and out, and an array of advanced safety and technology features:
    * Best-in-class capability
    * Three new four-wheel-drive systems that raise the standard for mid-size SUVs:
    * Jeep® Active Drive I with one-speed power transfer unit (PTU)
    * Jeep Active Drive II with two-speed PTU and low range
    * Jeep Active Drive Lock with two-speed PTU, low range and locking rear differential
    * New Jeep Selec-Terrain traction control system with up to five customized modes – Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock
    * Best-in-class V-6 towing capability – 4,500 pounds
    * Jeep Trail Rated capability
    * Up to a 56:1 crawl ratio, a 90-percent improvement versus the outgoing model
    * Vastly improved fuel economy – up to 31 mpg
    * First SUV with nine-speed automatic transmission
    * Industry-first rear-axle disconnect resulting in reduced energy loss when 4x4 capability isn't needed; improving fuel efficiency
    * 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir I-4 delivers a more than 45 percent fuel economy improvement versus outgoing model and nearly 500-mile range
    * First use of Chrysler Group's new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine
    * Superior on-road ride and handling
    * First Jeep vehicle to utilize Chrysler Group's Compact U.S. Wide (CUS-wide) platform
    * New independent front and rear suspension
    * Increased torsional stiffness
    * Exceptionally quiet cabin
    * New Jeep design with world-class craftsmanship
    * New aerodynamic design cues combine Jeep heritage with advanced technology
    * Aggressive approach and departure angles contribute to leading capability
    * Advanced LED lighting technology with distinctive daytime running lights
    * Premium, well-crafted interior with extensive use of soft-touch materials
    * Class-exclusive all-new CommandView panoramic sunroof and Sky Slider roof
    * Array of advanced, cutting edge technology features
    * Full-color 7-inch reconfigurable LED instrument cluster
    * Uconnect 8.4-inch color touchscreen media center
    * Uconnect Access Via Mobile
    * More than 70 advanced safety and security features
    * First Chrysler Group use of ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist
    * System aids the driver in parallel/perpendicular parking
    * Clever functionality and versatility
    * Second-row 60/40 split folding seat moves fore and aft for passenger comfort and cargo flexibility
    * Fold-flat front passenger seat with covered in-seat storage
    * Useful, clever storage features throughout the Cherokee cabin
    * Innovative Jeep Cargo Management System
    There is a new king of the hill in the mid-size sport-utility vehicle (SUV) segment: the all-new 2014 Jeep® Cherokee.
    The renowned Cherokee name returns to the Jeep® vehicle lineup for the 2014 model year. The result – the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee completely redefines the mid-size SUV segment, delivering legendary Jeep 4x4 capability, a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission, fuel economy improvements of more than 45 percent (versus the outgoing Liberty model), superior on-road ride and handling, a cutting-edge, revolutionary design, world-class craftsmanship, class-exclusive technology and more than 70 advanced safety and security features. The Jeep Cherokee is set to delight consumers both on the road and on the trail. "The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee will be the benchmark for mid-size SUVs with a new level of on-road driving dynamics and fuel economy, while at the same time improving the 4x4 capability that customers expect from Jeep," said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "Jeep Cherokee boasts a new design, a nine-speed automatic transmission and two advanced engines, class-leading capability from three innovative 4x4 systems, more than 70 safety features, and a host of new technology features."
    Jeep 4x4 capability
    The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee provides a choice of three innovative 4x4 systems for best-inclass 4x4 capability in all weather conditions. The Jeep Cherokee is the first mid-size SUV to feature rear-axle disconnect, resulting in reduced energy loss when 4x4 capability isn't needed, improving fuel efficiency. The rear-axle disconnect seamlessly switches between two- and fourwheel drive for full-time torque management and does not require input from the driver. The Jeep Cherokee offers best-in-class V-6 towing capability of 4,500 pounds.
    Jeep Active Drive I
    Available on the Cherokee Sport, Latitude and Limited models, Jeep Active Drive I features a single power transfer unit (PTU) which is fully automatic and delivers seamless operation in and out of four-wheel drive at any speed. The system does not require any driver intervention or feedback, delivers yaw correction during dynamic events and improves both understeer and oversteer conditions.
    Jeep Active Drive II
    Available on the Cherokee Sport, Latitude and Limited models, Jeep Active Drive II includes a two-speed PTU with torque management and low range. 4-Low mode locks the front and rear drive shafts for low-speed power or towing. Low range provides a 2.92:1 gear reduction. The gear reduction allows for enhanced climbing ability as well outstanding crawl ratios for severe off-road conditions. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee with Jeep Active Drive II gives the off-road adventurer a ride height that is increased by an inch, a crawl ratio of 56:1 when powered by the 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark I-4 engine, and 47.8:1 when powered by the new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine – up to a 90-percent improvement versus the outgoing model.
    Jeep Active Drive Lock
    Jeep Active Drive Lock includes all the features of Jeep Active Drive II and adds a locking rear differential for superior low-speed power for severe off-road conditions. Jeep Active Drive Lock is standard on all Trailhawk models. All 4x4 systems feature the Jeep brand's renowned Selec-Terrain traction control system, which allows the driver to choose the on- and off-road setting for optimum performance. Five customized settings are offered: Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock. Through the use of algorithms that enable unsurpassed control and capability, Selec-Terrain electronically coordinates and optimizes up to 12 systems on any terrain providing enhanced vehicle control including: drivetrain control module, electronic brake controller, electronic stability control (ESC), transmission controller, powertrain controller and Selec-Speed Control (Hill-ascent and Hilldescent Control).
    Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk: Trail Rated
    The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model exemplifies Jeep 4x4 capability with a distinctive, aggressive look, backed up by Jeep Trail Rated hardware, for the most capable Jeep Cherokee model and the most capable mid-size SUV in the segment. The Trailhawk includes as standard equipment aggressive approach and departure angles, complements of the unique front and rear fascias, one-inch factory lift, Jeep Active Drive Lock with locking rear differential, skid plates and signature red tow hooks. The locking rear differential is selectable in any low range terrain mode, but will lock automatically when in certain modes, such as "Rock," to maximize tractive effort at the tire patch that can support it. The Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk boasts an approach angle of 29.8 degrees, a departure angle of 32.1 degrees and breakover angle of 23.3 degrees. Running ground clearance is 8.7 inches.
    The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model with the standard off-road package is Trail Rated. The "Trail Rated" badge on the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk indicates that the vehicle is designed to perform in a variety of challenging off-road conditions identified by five key consumer-oriented performance categories: traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation and water fording.
    World-class architecture
    FIAT Group architecture is the basis for the underpinnings of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The Compact U.S. Wide (CUS-wide) platform's proven modular architecture means many models can be built using the same basic underpinnings. The result is better quality and reliability, as well as lower costs, less development time and tooling. The architecture Cherokee is built on is comprised of common, modular and interchangeable components and allows for modularity of the wheelbase, front track, rear track, front overhang, length and width across vehicle lines.
    The 2014 Jeep Cherokee's body structure has a high-strength steel content of roughly 65 percent. Hot stamped-, high-strength- and ultra-high-strength steel are used to construct a strong, lightweight, solid vehicle architecture. Superior on-road performance and fuel efficiency
    The 2014 Jeep Cherokee premium on-road manners and fuel efficiency are a result of a number of efforts by Jeep engineers.
    Powered by the choice of two new engines mated to a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission, the all-new Cherokee delivers the power drivers appreciate on the road with fuel economy improvements of more than 45 percent compared with the outgoing model. With expected highway fuel economy ratings of up to 31 miles per gallon (mpg) and a driving range on a tank of gasoline of nearly 500 miles, the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee delivers drivers a nocompromise ownership experience. The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee features Chrysler Group's 948TE nine-speed automatic transmission, the first time a nine-speed automatic transmission has been used in the segment and is standard equipment in all models of the new Cherokee. The nine-speed transmission delivers numerous benefits customers will appreciate, including aggressive launches, smooth power delivery at highway speeds and improved fuel efficiency versus a six-speed automatic transmission.
    Efficiency and refinement also are hallmarks of Chrysler Group's 16-valve, 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir 2 I-4 engine, which comes standard in the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The 2.4-liter Tigershark engine offers up to an estimated 31 mpg highway fuel economy rating, a more than 45-percent improvement versus the outgoing model, and a driving range on a tank of gasoline of nearly 500 miles. The 2.4-liter MultiAir 2 Tigershark I-4 engine produces 184 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque.
    The acclaimed electro-hydraulic fully variable valve-lift system uses a column of oil in place of the traditional mechanical link between the camshaft and intake valves. As a result, it delivers precise control of the intake-valve events – beginning and end – delivering reductions in enginepumping losses and increases in volumetric efficiency. In addition to reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, MultiAir accounts for a fuel-economy boost of up to 7.5 percent, compared with engines with conventional valve trains. The 2.4-liter is the third engine to feature MultiAir technology from Chrysler Group and features the second generation "MultiAir 2" system that further enhances combustion control, improves fuel efficiency and reduces exhaust emissions. Performance ratings for the 2.4-liter engine are 184 horsepower (137 kW) and 171 lb.-ft. (232 Nm) of torque.
    The available new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is the first derivative of the celebrated 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, named one of Ward's 10 Best Engines three years running. The available new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine benefits from the same innovations that earned its larger displacement predecessor industry–wide acclaim for efficiency, power and refinement. For the driver, that means a refined driving experience with reduced noise, vibration and harshness(NVH) and an exceptional balance of higher specific power output (84.2 horsepower per liter) while delivering fuel economy improvements of 30 percent versus the outgoing V-6 engine. The 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine produces 271 horsepower, 239 lb.-ft. of torque and delivers bestin-class V-6 towing of 4,500 pounds.
    The all new Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV sports a new front independent suspension with MacPherson struts and a new rear independent multi-link suspension. The front suspension provides 6.7 inches of travel while the rear suspension provides up to 7.8 inches of travel for better articulation. The isolated rear cradle, aluminum front crossmember and superior torsional rigidity all contribute to the quieter, smoother ride and superior handling characteristics drivers will experience in the Cherokee.
    The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is equipped with an electronic power steering system (EPS) that improves fuel efficiency and contributes to the Jeep Cherokee's nimbleness with a turn circle radius of approximately 36 feet in 4x2 models, approximately 38 feet in 4x4 models and roughly 39 feet in the Trailhawk off-road model. With EPS all of the power assist is provided via an electric motor system rather than a traditional hydraulic system. Because the system is fully electronic, the driver experiences optimal steering effort at all vehicle speeds, and there is less noise and better fuel efficiency since there is no parasitic loss from a power steering pump.
    Design
    The 2014 Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV debuts a new exterior designed for the future with a global appeal. Jeep designers were inspired to create a vehicle that moves Jeep into the next era with a shape that is efficient without losing Jeep DNA and design heritage. The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is a vehicle that not only looks efficient and capable, but is efficient and capable - in all on-road, trail and weather conditions.
    Fluid, sleek exterior lines highlight the efficient, wind-splitting upper body of the all-new Cherokee. The rugged, protective lower body conveys the legendary capability that is characteristic of every Jeep. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee has a powerful stance, an aggressive wheel-to-body proportion and a commanding road presence. The aggressive approach and departure angles contribute to the best-in-class capability. The first key feature in the front of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is the waterfall hood with the iconic peaked, seven-slotted grille which includes a crisp, horizontal snap – a feature in many classic Jeep vehicles. The hood is clearly defined and separated from the front fenders in a modern twist of Jeep heritage. The one-piece hood and grille assembly ensures a precise build.
    Advanced LED lighting technology is used throughout the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Forward lighting features a unique daytime running lamp (DRL) shape that plays a dominant role in the fresh front-end proportion, giving the impression of a slim headlamp. Contemporary full LED tail lamps are an integral part of the rear backlight graphic, making the vehicle look stronger yet harmonious. This graphic is the connection between the upper and lower rear and brings a unique presence specific to this all-new Cherokee. The Trail Rated 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model takes rugged design and capability to a whole new level. With exclusive exterior and interior colors, functional differences such as Jeep signature red front tow hooks, skid plates underneath and aggressive front and rear fascias add to the rugged exterior appearance and deliver exemplary approach and departure angles for class-leading 4x4 capability, resulting in the most capable mid-size SUV in the market.
    The 2014 Jeep Cherokee offers customers two industry-exclusive open-air options – the new CommandView panoramic sunroof or the Sky Slider full-length open canvas roof. The interior of the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is modern, inviting and comfortable. A sophisticated, refined design, hand-sculpted forms, signature Jeep design cues, high-quality materials, precision craftsmanship and attention-to-detail raise the bar in the mid-size SUV segment. A driver-oriented cockpit loaded with easy-to-use, useful technology, clever, thoughtful storage features and more than 70 available safety and security features including 10 standard air bags give the driver and passengers everything they want for any adventure they undertake.
    Inspiration for the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV interior included countries and terrain around the world that brought beautiful imagery to mind. The Cherokee interior is a sophisticated blend of hand-sculpted fluid shapes, high-quality materials, innovative color and material choices, precision craftsmanship, state-of-the-art technology and features that drivers and passengers appreciate.
    Premium materials abound wherever the customer touches the vehicle – the door uppers and armrests, the center armrest, the upper instrument panel. Interior trim that is soft to the touch and pleasing to the eye is found throughout the cabin. Seats in the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee are ergonomically designed to support the contour of the body, are trimmed with premium cloth or quality Nappa leather and available as power adjustable, heated/ventilated seats with memory. Premium cloth fabrics include a unique interlocking graphic. The 60/40 split second-row seats adjust fore and aft for increased passenger comfort and cargo flexibility.
    Unique features such as the available heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, an available wireless charging pad and many more will delight both drivers and passengers alike.
    The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee was designed with thoughtful, state-of-the-art, high-tech features and amenities that are intuitive, easy-to-use. The world-class thin-film transistor (TFT) LED 3.5-inch grayscale or 7-inch full-color reconfigurable instrument cluster allows the driver to enjoy a customized user experience and receive information and vehicle feedback in the format they prefer while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
    The easy-to-use instrument cluster displays the basic information a driver needs at his or her fingertips but also allows the driver to add information they desire, similar to an iPhone. The driver can select from a multitude of information that can be displayed in the center of the gauge cluster including turn-by-turn navigation, speed, real-time fuel economy, safety warnings, available Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, audio information and Jeep-specific features including Selec-Terrain.
    The available ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist System (first Chrysler Group availability) is displayed in the center of the gauge cluster and operated with buttons on the steering wheel and the shifter. The graphic walks the driver through the steps necessary to utilize the park assist system. Jeep designer's passion for the brand shines through in the park assist screen, which features a 1941 Jeep Willys graphic on each side of the open parking space.
    An available award-winning 8.4-inch touchscreen multimedia command center – the largest in the segment – or the standard 5-inch touchscreen multimedia command center are attractive, intuitive and easy-to-use, and located in the center stack. The 2014 Cherokee equipped with the Uconnect system allows the driver to control the audio, climate, heated/ventilated seats and much more from the touchscreen, redundant controls located on the center stack below the touchscreen or with voice commands. The touchscreen buttons are large and easy-to-see at a glance. The 8.4-inch color touchscreen Uconnect Access is user-friendly and includes Bluetooth connectivity, SiriusXM Radio, navigation, music, apps (Pandora, Aha, iHeart Radio and more), voice-to-text messaging and streaming audio capability.
    The class-exclusive Jeep Cargo Management System makes the most of the cargo space in the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee. A universal module rack is mounted on the side in the rear cargo area and provides for hooks and a removable grocery bag. Other optional accessories compatible with the system are available through Mopar and include an off-road accessory kit for Trailhawk models that features a tow rope, gloves and more; cargo bin, cargo mat, foldable cooler and first aid/emergency kit are just some of the accessories available that mount securely to the rack for secure storage solutions the adventurous customer desires.10
    Safety and Security
    The new Cherokee was engineered with more than 70 available safety and security features. The Jeep Cherokee starts with a strong foundation constructed with 65 percent high-strength steel. Engineers then added both active and passive safety and security features, including:
    Chrysler Group vehicle firsts ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, Forward Collision Warning-Plus, and Lane Departure Warning-Plus; 9-1-1 assist call; ESC; Electronic Roll Mitigation; Blind-spot Monitoring; Rear Cross Path detection; ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines and 10 standard air bags. The ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist feature in the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is a first in a Chrysler Group vehicle. Using ultrasonic parking sensors on the bumper the system will find and guide customer into an available parking space when the driver initiates parking maneuver. The parking guidance system controls the steering angle automatically, the driver controls the gear position, brake, and accelerator. Parallel parking is possible on either side of the car; during perpendicular parking, the vehicle is backed into the space.
    Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, a first for a Chrysler Group vehicle, is significant for its capacity to bring the vehicle to a complete stop without driver intervention in certain conditions. Radar and video sensors identify the locations of vehicles traveling ahead of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The sensors also help ensure the vehicles are separated by a gap determined by the driver. If the gap is dramatically breached, the ESC system can aggressively deploy the vehicle's brakes to affect a full stop, even if the driver never touches the brake pedal. To resume travel, the driver need only press a button on the steering wheel or tap the accelerator pedal.
    Forward Collision Warning-Plus, another Chrysler Group first, addresses traffic-gap changes when Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus is inactive. When radar and video sensors detect a fastclosing obstacle ahead, the system pre-fills the brakes to prepare for emergency driver intervention. If collision risk remains, Forward Collision Warning-Plus correspondingly ratchets up the response with:
    * Audible and visual warnings
    * A brief brake deployment to alert the driver
    * A 1.5-second brake deployment to quicken the driver's reaction time
    * Deployment of Advanced Brake Assist (ABA) if the driver is not braking aggressively enough
    Lane Departure Warning-Plus, which is offered for the first time in a Chrysler Group vehicle, uses a camera-based vision sensor to establish the Jeep Cherokee's position on the road. If there occurs an unintentional lane drift, determined by trajectory change and the absence of turn-signal activation, the system will deliver a visual warning and a haptic warning – the subtle introduction of torque from the electric power steering (EPS) system. If the driver unintentionally drifts too far, the system provides a secondary visual warning.
    The 2014 Jeep Cherokee boasts numbers that make the difference for the SUV customer that cares about fuel economy and capability in all weather conditions - fuel economy improvements of more than 45 percent, more than 70 safety and security features, numerous industry and segment "firsts," a nine-speed automatic transmission, a 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with 271 horsepower and 239 lb.-ft. of torque, a 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark I-4 engine with 184 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque, nearly 500 miles driving range on a tank of gasoline and three new, innovative 4x4 systems that deliver legendary Jeep capability including crawl ratios of 56:1 with the 2.4-liter engine and 47.8:1 with the 3.2-liter engine, an improvement of up to 90 percent versus the outgoing model.
    The 2014 Jeep Cherokee competes in the mid-size SUV segment, the largest SUV segment in North America, with roughly 2 million sales in 2012.
    The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is available in four different models in the United States and will arrive in volume in dealer showrooms in the third quarter 2013. Customers can choose from the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Sport, Cherokee Latitude, Cherokee Limited and the rugged, Trail Rated Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.
    The Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV will offer consumers 11 different exterior colors from which to choose: Bright White Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Crystal Metallic Clear Coat, Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl Coat, Eco Green Pearl Coat, Mango Tango Pearl Coat, Auburn Pearl Coat, Cashmere Pearl Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat, True Blue Pearl Coat, and Anvil Clear Coat.
    The Cherokee is built in the United States at Chrysler Group's Toledo (Ohio) Assembly Plant.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 26, 2013
    Land Rover chose New York as the place to unveil the 2014 Range Rover Sport. Not surprising since North American is Land Rover's best market and New York leads the continent for sales.
    The new Range Rover Sport's exterior looks like someone took the outgoing Range Rover Sport and placed the Evoque's front and rear end to it. It works very well actually, giving it a very aggressive look.
    Heading inside, the 2014 Range Rover Sport is more even more opulent with a stitched leather dashboard and seats, wide range of interior colors and trim, and a optional 12.3-inch electronic gauge cluster. Also available is a third row which Land Rover says is perfect for children or teenagers, or for adults on short trips.
    The 2014 Range Rover will come with two different powertrains:
    3.0L Supercharged V6: 340 horsepower, 332 pound-feet
    5.0L Supercharged V8: 510 horsepower, 461 pound-feet

    Power is channel through a eight-speed automatic to a a permanent four-wheel drive system with locking center differential.
    The Range Rover Sport uses a new an all-aluminum unibody that weighs 800 pounds less than the outgoing model. To put that into perspective, the 2014 Supercharged V6 model is 0.3 seconds than the outgoing base V8 model, despite the V6 being down 35 horsepower. The 2014 Supercharged V8 is a second faster than the outgoing Supercharged V8 model.
    Even with the sporty looks, the Range Rover Sport is still a Land Rover. That means it gets latest version of Land Rover's Terrain Response system. The latest version can detect what kind of terrain it's rolling over and automatically select the best mode to handle it: General, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand or Rock Crawl.
    Land Rover hasn't announced when the 2014 Range Rover Sport will go on sale, but they did announce the prices which are as followed,
    Range Rover Sport SE: $63,495*
    Range Rover Sport HSE: $68,495*
    Range Rover Sport Supercharged: $79,995*
    Range Rover Sport Autobiography: $93,295*

    *Prices include $895 Destination Charge.
    Source: Land Rover

    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
    LAND ROVER REVEALS ALL-NEW RANGE ROVER SPORT
    2014 US Models and MSRP(4):
    Range Rover Sport SE: $63,495 3-Liter Supercharged V6 340hp
    Range Rover Sport HSE: $68,495 3-Liter Supercharged V6 340hp
    Range Rover Sport Supercharged: $79,995 5-Liter Supercharged V8 510hp
    Range Rover Sport Autobiography: $93,295 5-Liter Supercharged V8 510hp
    Price includes $895 destination and delivery4
    At A Glance:
    • Fastest, most-agile, and responsive Land Rover ever
    • All-new high strength aluminum structure provides a weight savings approximately 800lbs. over the previous generation Range Rover Sport
    • Improved agility and exceptional performance with improved fuel economy and reduced emissions
    • New 5+2 third row seating option for occasional use
    • Choice of 340hp supercharged V6 or a 510hp supercharged V8 engines
    • Standard eight speed automatic transmission by ZF
    • Choice of transfer cases - single speed Torsen or two-speed locking with low range
    • Advanced electronic driver assistance technologies
    • Superbly crafted, luxurious interior
    • Standard Intelligent Stop/Start technology to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions
    • Available new fully automatic Terrain Response® 2 system
    • Exceptional on-road dynamics and all-terrain performance provides an unrivalled breadth of capability
    (NEW YORK, N.Y.) – March 26, 2013 –– The all-new 2014 Range Rover Sport made its world debut today in New York City. It will be the fastest, most agile and responsive Land Rover ever. The Manhattan skyline provided the perfect backdrop for this world premiere, as the United States is the world's largest market for Range Rover Sport and the New York metropolitan area is the top market in the world.
    Developed alongside the 2013 Range Rover, the new Range Rover Sport delivers exceptional on-road dynamics with genuine Land Rover all-terrain capability. The technologically advanced Range Rover Sport presents an assertive and muscular exterior, luxurious interior, and the practical flexibility provided by the option of 5+2 third row seating for occasional use.
    Featuring Land Rover's breakthrough suspension design and innovative dynamic chassis technologies, the Range Rover Sport features an all-new aluminum unibody architecture to achieve a weight savings of approximately 800lbs. (Note to editor: The previous generation vehicle featured an "Integrated body-frame," which was composed of a steel unibody mounted on a full frame chassis).
    This weight reduction transforms the vehicle's dynamic performance, enabling it to blend agile handling with exceptional comfort and to offer a unique mix of sporting luxury and a dynamic, engaging driving experience.
    Speaking ahead of the official world premiere at the New York International Auto Show, Land Rover Global Brand Director John Edwards said: "The all-new Range Rover Sport is a vehicle that has been designed and engineered without compromise. With Land Rover capability at its heart, it is one of the most road focused vehicles we've ever produced, but of course still offers unsurpassed all-terrain capability. It is a vehicle which is designed to be driven. We've taken ride, handling and agility to another level for Land Rover to deliver a truly rewarding, sporting, drive together with unmatched luxury, capability and versatility.
    "Building on the success of the recently launched flagship Range Rover, the new Range Rover Sport also employs a vast array of new technologies which help to transform its performance, refinement and all round capabilities," adds Edwards.
    1. RANGE ROVER SPORT DESIGN
    The all-new Range Rover Sport has been designed to capture the distinctive DNA of its predecessor, but with a bold evolution that places it at the heart of the three-model Range Rover portfolio, between the flagship Range Rover and the Range Rover Evoque vehicles.
    With its 'faster' windshield angle, streamlined profile and sloping roofline, the new Range Rover Sport is 8-percent more aerodynamic than the previous model and achieves a drag figure of Cd 0.34.
    1.1 Bold and progressive exterior design
    The 2014 Range Rover Sport is just 2.5-inches longer than its predecessor. At 191-inches, it is shorter than many mid-sized sedans, bringing greater maneuverability and ease of parking. A wheelbase that's longer by 7-inches yields greater room and improved access for rear passengers. The new 2014 Range Rover Sport is 5.9-inches shorter and 2.17-inches lower than the new 2013 Range Rover on which it is based. It weighs about 100lbs. less than the Range Rover when similarly equipped.
    New interpretations of classic Range Rover Sport design cues include the signature clamshell hood, floating roof, and side fender vents. The vehicle also features bold new versions of the powerful wheel arch design, horizontal body feature lines and distinctive rocker moldings; all are key elements of the model's strong design heritage. While retaining the powerful Range Rover Sport character, the front end has a modern, streamlined appearance, with its slimmer lights, rearward sloping grille and sculpted corners.
    Finely crafted details
    Design details emphasize the new, more dynamic and contemporary character of the Range Rover Sport. The side fender vents have a more dynamic, sloping treatment and are matched by twin vents in the hood. The established Range Rover Sport two-bar theme is reflected in the twin strakes on the fender vents, the two-bar front grille and the twin lines in the tail lamp designs.
    Near-flush side glass and a premium gloss black finish on the pillars accentuate the Range Rover floating roof design – which can be highlighted with contrast roof colors – while also emphasizing the streamlined body. Brembo brake calipers finished in red, and a Black Package, which removes all brightwork from the exterior, are also available.
    At the front, the large outboard air intakes and bold trapezoidal shapes housing the central bumper beam and skid plate convey high-performance and high-capability. At the rear, a skid plate flanked by large twin exhaust outlets repeats the trapezoidal theme.
    The headlight clusters use distinctive new LED signature designs, with the slimmer lights creating an aggressive, technical appearance. A new compact design for the real lamp clusters uses LED technology. The main tail and stop lamps echo the headlamps' distinctive design language. Both front and rear lamps flow round into the shoulders of the body with the distinctive tapering blade design featured on the other Range Rover vehicles.
    1.2 Modern, luxurious interior with a strong sporting character
    The interior has a sophisticated and modern appearance, incorporating distinctive Range Rover Sport design cues and providing the driver with a luxurious and sporting cockpit. For the new model, the strong, architectural forms of the design have been enhanced by a cleaner, purer surface treatment, beautifully executed using premium materials.
    The centerpiece of the cabin is the bold intersection between the instrument panel's strong horizontal elements and the center stack's vertical lines. The cockpit's dynamic character is enhanced by the faster angle of the center stack. Its satin chrome pillars flow from the instrument panel through into the rear cabin, and the aluminum accents flow from the center console into the dashboard fascia.
    The center console is mounted higher than before, positioning the controls closer to the driver and creating a cosseting feel for the front occupants. The smaller-diameter, thicker-rimmed steering wheel, vertical gear shifter and seats with generous side bolsters support the sporting ambience.
    The front and rear seats feature a sculpted design with enhanced padding to the front, and individualized seating in the second row. Increased rear seat comfort is provided by improved rear legroom (nearly an additional inch of knee room) and shoulder-room, plus split rear seats and the option of powered third-row seats. The third row is designed for occasional use, and power-folds flat into the floor to preserve cargo versatility.
    Superior materials, superior craftsmanship
    The new Range Rover Sport is crafted using the highest quality materials, with carefully selected colors and textures to enhance the model's unique blend of luxury with a distinctive sporting character. The use of modern finishes and veneers gives the cabin a dynamic and contemporary feel.
    More luxurious soft-touch surfaces are used for key touch points around the cabin, such as the dashboard fascia mid-section. Authentic metal details include the satin chrome pillars each side of the center stack and the choice of distinctive aluminum finishes on the center console, fascia caps and door trim.
    The focus on quality and traditional craftsmanship can be seen in the beautifully tailored twin-needle stitching used to finish the sumptuous leather seats and leather-wrapped interior surfaces. Range Rover designers specify all aspects of the stitching, from the length and direction of the stitches, to the spin, thickness, and material of the thread, and even the size and shape of the needle.
    1.3 Individual choice for discerning customers
    For maximum personalization, the new Range Rover Sport offers individualized choices for customers. An expanded choice of special features includes color-themed interiors with multi-toned designs and a range of alloy wheels from 19- to 22-inches.
    Selecting a 'Dynamic' pack on Supercharged and Autobiography models adds exclusive trim options and performance features, among them a gloss black grille and exterior details, body-colored lower bumpers and side sills, unique interior color themes and finishes, plus an increased top speed of 155 mph (250km/h) 2 for the supercharged 5-liter, special 21- or 22-inch alloy wheels, and red Brembo brake calipers.
    The full range of design options available to Range Rover Sport customers will include:
    • 11 interior color themes, plus additional choice of seat color
    • 4 aluminum interior finishes, 3 real wood veneers
    • 3 headliner colors
    • 19 exterior paint finishes
    • 3 contrast roof colors – Corris Grey, Santorini Black or Indus Silver
    • Wheel options from ranging from 19-22 inches
    • Atlas Silver, Dark Atlas or Gloss Black finish for the exterior accents
    • Illuminated side sills
    2. DYNAMIC CAPABILITY
    The Range Rover Sport marks a significant step forward for the model, adopting advanced vehicle technologies and new powertrains from the highly acclaimed new Range Rover, to transform the driving experience for customers seeking the ultimate premium sports SUV. Unprecedented investment in premium construction technologies has reinforced the Range Rover Sport model's position in the SUV segment and allows it to deliver significantly improved on-road handling with enhanced capability in challenging off-road conditions.
    2.1 Connected on-road dynamics
    The new Range Rover Sport has been engineered to deliver dramatically improved on-road driving dynamics, with connected and agile handling complemented by enhanced ride and refinement.
    The vehicle's aluminum unibody platform – engineered in parallel with the new Range Rover – is
    39 percent lighter than the previous model's semi-unibody plus chassis frame design, leading to significantly improved agility and performance.
    This new stiff and light structure is supported by all-new front and rear suspension systems, which are designed to deliver a much broader range of dynamic capabilities across all terrains. An all-new steering system, four-corner air suspension, and the latest chassis and stability technologies – including upgraded Dynamic Response and Adaptive Dynamics systems – also contribute to the new vehicle's enhanced capability.
    Its on-road dynamics are characterized by direct steering, with increased handling agility and reduced body roll delivering flatter, more confident cornering. Ride comfort and refinement have also been improved, delivering enhanced bump absorption and an effortless, supple feel.
    Lightweight suspension
    Underpinning the enhanced driving capability of the new Range Rover Sport is a new fully independent aluminum suspension that is double isolated, with wide-spaced double-wishbones at the front and a multi-link layout at the rear. The system delivers impressive wheel travel – with 10.2-inches (260mm) of front travel, 10.7-inches (272mm) at the rear. With 21.5-inches (546mm) of articulation, the suspension to delivers the composure to deal with the toughest conditions.
    The high strength aluminum chassis architecture is combined with a next-generation four-corner air suspension to maximize the vehicle's versatility both on- and off-road. This next-generation air suspension now offers variable ride height with two off-road lift settings: 1.4-inches lift for standard use and a 2.6-inches lift for more severe off-road use (This compares to a single 2.2-inches lift position on the previous model).
    The maximum ground clearance is available up to 31 mph (50 km/h). The system provides up to
    4.5-inches (115mm) of regular movement, from the lowest setting 'access height' (now 0.4-inches / 10mm lower at 1.9-inches / 50mm lowering for easier entry and exit) to the standard off-road height. An automatic extension is triggered when on-board sensors determine additional 1.4" of lift is needed, and an additional manually selected extension of 1.4" can give a total adjustable height range of about 7-inches (185mm).
    Advanced technologies enhance dynamics
    A key element of the vehicle's agile and engaging character is a new Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system featuring variable-ratio speed-sensitive assistance. The system has been tuned for a responsive and confident character. Geared for 3.0 turns lock-to-lock, the system provides a faster overall steering ratio, but is slower just around the on-center position for enhanced stability and control at speed.
    Advanced chassis and vehicle technologies enhance suspension performance. Supercharged V8 models are equipped with a dedicated Dynamic mode in the Terrain Response® 2 system3, providing a more sporting bias during enthusiastic on-road driving, with a firmer ride, tighter body control, reduced roll and responsive steering and performance. Dynamic mode activates performance calibrations for a wide range of vehicle and chassis systems including the electric power steering, throttle and transmission responses, damping and lean control, and settings for the traction and stability systems.
    For the ultimate sporting driving experience, Dynamic mode3 is specified in combination with a number of key technologies, including Dynamic Response active lean control, a Dynamic Active Rear Locking Differential, and Torque Vectoring by Braking. Significantly reducing the amount of body lean during cornering, Dynamic Response transforms vehicle handling and occupant comfort. This new two-channel active lean control system is capable of controlling the front and rear suspension independently. This allows it to be tuned to deliver increased low-speed agility, along with enhanced control and stability at high speed.
    The Dynamic Active Rear Locking Differential employs an electronically controlled differential that can vary the degree of lock-up almost instantaneously to further maximize traction, handling and cornering stability. The rear differential can react 70ms faster than one in the outgoing model.
    Torque Vectoring by Braking uses the vehicle's brake system to generate the effect of a torque vectoring differential. This feature constantly balances the distribution of engine torque among the four wheels during cornering, resulting in improved grip and steering, and a reduced level of understeer.
    The system uses the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) module and monitors the vehicle 100 times per second. As the Range Rover Sport accelerates through a corner, the system uses yaw sensors to detect the onset of understeer. To reduce understeer, imperceptible levels of braking are used to correct the vehicle attitude, while engine torque is transferred to the outside wheels, which have more grip, thus maintaining traction and steering control.
    Supercharged V8 models are also equipped with Adaptive Dynamics, featuring continuously variable dampers, providing the optimum balance of ride and control by offering infinitely variable damper settings between soft and firm extremes. The Adaptive Dynamics system monitors vehicle movements at least 500 times a second, reacting to driver or road inputs virtually instantaneously to give greater control and minimize body roll, providing a composed, flat ride.
    Sports Command Driving Position enhances confidence and control
    The Sports Command Driving Position combines the supreme sense of confidence and control offered by the Range Rover, but with a sporting, less upright seating position similar to that in the Evoque. This driving position offers an elevated and reassuring view of the vehicle's surroundings, and the new model retains excellent visibility over the hood. Meticulous attention to vehicle packaging and the pillar design have improved all-round visibility. All Range Rover models are developed with headroom targets that take into account head movements that occur in off-road driving.
    Intuitive display technologies
    The main instrument cluster consists of clear analog gauges with a 5-inch TFT display, while on certain high specification models; a new 12.3-inch high-resolution TFT virtual gauge display is available. This is accompanied by an 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen display on the center console for infotainment and secondary functions1.
    The screen designs on both displays create the impression of 3D surfaces, beautifully lit with subtle chrome detailing. Each display is able to adapt its content according to the driving situation. For example, in Dynamic mode, the two primary dials in the 12.3-inch display adopt a sporting red color scheme, with the current gear position presented prominently between the two dials.
    The control layout has been significantly simplified, with 50 percent fewer switches than before. The intuitive approach is reflected in the other major controls, such as the vertical gear shifter, the rotary Terrain Response® 2 control, the simplified climate control dials and the twin five-way toggle switches and auxiliary functions on the steering wheel.
    2.2 Off-road capability
    Building on Land Rover's history for tackling the toughest climates and road surfaces, the 2014 Range Rover Sport has been developed to achieve all-terrain capability, with supreme composure in all conditions.
    Terrain Response® 2 and off-road technologies
    The Range Rover Sport vehicle enhances its status through the introduction of the next-generation version of Land Rover's Terrain Response® system3, which takes the capabilities of the acclaimed technology to a new level of ease of use and effectiveness.
    Developed by a small team of Land Rover specialists, Terrain Response® 2 features an Auto setting that uses sophisticated systems to analyze the current driving conditions, and automatically select the most suitable terrain program. Ensuring that the vehicle is always driving using the optimum mode, the new system is able to switch completely automatically between the five settings: General, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts, Sand and Rock Crawl. Like previous Terrain Response® systems, each setting optimizes drivability and traction by adapting the responses of the engine, transmission, differentials, and chassis systems to match the demands of the terrain.
    While it functions automatically, Terrain Response® 2 will also provide the driver with additional advice, such as when to select low range or raise the vehicle to off-road ride height, when the system calculates that it is necessary.
    Stuart Frith, Range Rover Sport Chief Program Engineer, explained: "Land Rover's Terrain Response® 2 enables even non-expert drivers to benefit from the system's full capabilities, confident that the vehicle is automatically configured in the best possible way for each moment of their trip."
    Land Rover Terrain Response® is complemented by standard innovative driving aids3 including Hill Descent Control (HDC), Gradient Release Control (GRC), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Electronic Traction Control (ETC), and Roll Stability Control (RSC). Performance of braking and stability systems is enhanced by the latest Bosch 6-piston brake modulator, which delivers faster, precise responses and smoother, quieter operation.
    Full-time intelligent 4WD systems
    The new Range Rover Sport offers a choice of two full-time intelligent 4WD systems, each able to deliver outstanding traction on even the most challenging low-grip surfaces.
    A two-speed transfer case system is available, with a low-range for the most demanding off-road conditions, and features a 50:50 percent default front to rear torque split. Optimum traction is maintained through an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch in the center differential, which can distribute torque between the wheels at any ratio between 100 percent front and 100 percent rear. This is combined with responsive and sophisticated electronic traction control systems. The transfer case offers selectable high and low range with shift-on-the-fly capability at speeds up to 37 mph (60km/h). The 2.93:1 low range ratio yields an extremely low crawl speed.
    The standard system, which is 40lbs. lighter, features an all-new single-speed transfer case with a Torsen® differential. Its 42:58 percent default front to rear torque split is designed to provide a rear-wheel drive bias for optimum driving dynamics, while maintaining off-road performance capability.
    The Torsen center differential constantly varies torque distribution between 62 percent front and 78 percent rear depending on conditions and grip available. The traction control system has been tuned to work in conjunction with the differential to deliver excellent traction in all conditions.
    To maximize traction and stability in extreme conditions, a Dynamic Active Rear Locking Differential is available in combination with the dual-range (high/low) 4WD transfer case. The locking rear differential has been engineered to work in conjunction with the electronic torque vectoring system.
    Engineered for total capability
    The 2014 Range Rover Sport has been designed and engineered to deliver the incredible breadth of capability for which the marque is famous. The new body structure was designed and engineered in parallel with that of the new Range Rover, representing the most extensive optimization process ever undertaken by Land Rover. Advanced computer simulations were used to analyze the punishing off-road loads that really push a vehicle's structure to its limits. One such example is the brutal 'ditch drop' impact.
    The new Range Rover Sport features enhanced body geometry to handle all terrain conditions, with 2.3-inches more ground clearance than the previous model at 11.2-inches (measured at off-road ride height), and generous approach and departure angles. The vehicle underfloor provides a smooth surface, with a smooth transition between suspension components, to reduce vulnerability to damage or interference.
    Wading depth has been improved significantly – an increase of nearly 6-inches over the previous model to 33.5-inches, thanks mainly to an innovative air intake system, which draws air from stacks extending into the hood, before it flows down into the engine's intake system.
    The re-engineered air suspension system with its new +1.4-inch (35mm) intermediate setting means that the off-road mode can be used at much higher speeds than before (50 mph / 80km/h vs 31 mph / 50km/h), which is especially useful in terrain with long, rutted dirt roads.
    The all-new suspension offers outstanding wheel articulation, and this is further enhanced when the Dynamic Response active lean control system is fitted. If this system detects off-road conditions, it isolates the stabilizer bar and reduces the level of roll compensation, thus allowing greater wheel articulation and increasing the contact patch with the terrain. When operating in Dynamic Response mode, wheel articulation is 21.5 -inches (546mm).
    Land Rover toughness and durability
    With engineering development using virtual simulation tools, followed by Land Rover's punishing on- and off-road test and development regime, the all-new Range Rover Sport has been engineered to achieve exceptional durability and reliability. Well over 20,000 physical tests have been completed across all components and systems, with a fleet of development vehicles covering countless thousands of miles over 18 months of arduous testing in more than 20 countries with extremes of climate and road surfaces.
    Prototypes were driven in challenging off-road conditions such as sand, mud and snow, and their durability was put to the test in extreme exercises to verify deep wading, underfloor vulnerability, snatch recovery and towing at maximum towing weight. Further extreme strength tests include worst-case scenarios, such as driving into curbs at speed, bridge jumps, ditch drops and sideways curb strikes.
    Punishing longer test regimes provide the ultimate challenge for durability and reliability including the month-long 'king of the sand' durability test in intense Middle East desert heat, a 5,000 mile flat-out endurance drive at the Nürburgring circuit in Germany, and grueling off-road test cycles involving thousands of miles at challenging UK proving grounds.
    2.3 Range Rover Sport powertrain
    The all-new Range Rover Sport features a choice between a new 340hp 3-liter supercharged V6 engine and the formidable 510hp 5-liter supercharged V8 from the Range Rover Supercharged. Each is paired with an advanced 8-speed ZF automatic transmission, which deliver outstanding performance with immediate responses and a dynamic and connected character. The substantial weight saving of about 800lbs., courtesy of the aluminum platform, has helped to deliver both better performance and gains in fuel economy. A new standard Intelligent Stop/Start system can also reduce fuel consumption and reduce emissions in stop and go driving.
    Formidable 510hp Supercharged V8
    The 510hp 5-liter V8 supercharged engine retains its place at the pinnacle of the Range Rover Sport line-up. With significant reserves of power and torque, the scale of the performance on offer is reflected in the 0-60 mph time of 5.0 seconds2 (0.9 seconds faster than the previous model). The stunning performance is accompanied by a sporting soundtrack generated by a specially tuned exhaust system and sound symposer on the intake system.
    The V8 has a compact all-aluminum design, with low levels of internal friction. The engine is managed by a new Bosch engine management system. High-pressure direct injection uses a centrally mounted, multi-hole, spray-guided injection system. Efficiency is further enhanced by a cam torque actuated, dual independent variable camshaft timing system. A sixth-generation, twin vortex system supercharger is fitted, which offers superior thermodynamic efficiency and extremely refined noise levels.
    New 3-liter Supercharged V6
    A new 340hp 3-liter V6 engine delivers generous torque throughout the rev range, delivering confident performance with outstanding refinement with improved efficiency. As a 90-degree engine based on the Land Rover 5-liter V8, the V6 features an innovative balance weight system to ensure exceptionally smooth and refined performance. With a weight reduction of about 800lbs., the new 340hp supercharged V6 Range Rover Sport is quicker than the previous model with its 375hp 5-liter V8, achieving the dash from 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds2, a reduction of 0.3 seconds. Enthusiastic drivers will also be pleased with a sporting engine note, emphasized by using a sound symposer on the intake system.
    Advanced 8-speed automatic transmission
    Both Range Rover Sport engines are paired with the advanced electronically controlled ZF 8HP70
    8-speed automatic gearbox, tuned by Land Rover engineers to combine silky-smooth shifting with exceptionally rapid responses and excellent fuel economy. With eight closely spaced ratios, gear changes are almost imperceptible, with each shift completed in just 200 milliseconds.
    Controls include the sporting vertical gear shifter, plus the option of steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters. Either system enables the driver to take control of gear shifting manually – the transmission will also accept multiple downshifts, maintaining an absolutely smooth transition between ratios.
    The transmission is tuned to select torque converter lock-up as early as possible to reduce slip and energy loss. The wider ratio spread, tall overdrive top ratio and the fact that no more than two internal clutches are open at any one time, all contribute to improved fuel economy and lower emissions. Transmission Idle Control disengages 70 percent of the drive torque when the vehicle is stationary and the engine is idling in Drive, reducing energy consumption in urban conditions. In cold conditions, the transmission selects a lower gear to speed warm up and quickly get the engine up to its efficient operating temperature.
    2.4 Enhanced efficiency drives improved sustainability
    The new Range Rover Sport demonstrates Land Rover's commitment to enhancing the sustainability of its products and operations. The new Range Rover Sport takes a comprehensive approach to reducing environmental impact throughout the life-cycle of the vehicle, from development and manufacturing, to customer use and end-of-life.
    High-strength aluminum construction
    The all-new Range Rover Sport features an advanced all-aluminum body structure, delivering significantly reduced weight, improved performance and enhanced sustainability, thanks to the manufacturing process's reduced CO2 footprint.
    This advanced aluminum architecture underpins the next generation of Range Rover SUVs – including the recently launched Range Rover flagship model – and is the result of a £1 billion GBP investment program. The next-generation platform design continues Jaguar Land Rover's leadership in such aerospace-inspired, high-performance aluminum structures, having pioneered this technology in mass production since 2003.
    High-strength aluminum structure is light, strong, and refined
    The all-aluminum unibody structure helps to reduce the combined body/chassis weight by 39 percent compared to the previous steel unibody mounted on a full frame chassis. Not only is the aluminum structure impressively light, it is also incredibly strong. The body has been engineered to withstand the same punishing off-road use as all Land Rover vehicles. The joints in the shell are riveted and bonded together using aerospace techniques adapted for automotive use. Traditional energy intensive construction methods, such as spot welding, are not required. The Range Rover Sport is constructed in an all-new aluminum specific body fabrication shop.
    Critical to engineering such a weight-efficient body is the way different forms of aluminum components are employed within the structure: press formed panels, plus cast, extruded and rolled aluminum alloy parts, are combined in a rigorously developed structure where the strength is concentrated precisely where the loads are greatest. The resulting structure protects occupants using a strong and stable safety cell, and provides a very stiff platform for superior NVH and vehicle dynamics.
    Innovations to further reduce weight and enhance performance include the first automotive use of high strength AC300 aluminum within the crash structure. In another automotive first, the entire vehicle body sides are formed as single aluminum panels – reducing the number of joints, eliminating complex assemblies and improving structural integrity.
    Advanced technologies cut weight by 800lbs.*
    Land Rover engineers have combined the high-strength aluminum structure with substantial weight reductions throughout the chassis, driveline and interior systems, to deliver a weight savings of about 800lbs. when compared to a similarly equipped previous generation model.
    Key weight-saving technologies in the vehicle include:
    • All-aluminum door construction, including high-strength aluminum side intrusion beams
    • All-new front and rear suspension design with aluminum front and rear subframes
    • Painstakingly developed spring, damper and anti-roll bar designs
    • Aluminum final drive units and driveline components including new single-speed 4WD system with a Torsen differential
    • High precision magnesium castings used for the cross car beam and front end carrier
    • SMC (Sheet Molded Composite) tailgate
    • High-strength steel seat structures
    Streamlined aerodynamics
    The aerodynamic performance of the new Range Rover Sport was honed during an intensive development campaign using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation tools. Special aerodynamic innovations produced during development included:
    • Aerodynamic underfloor paneling – extensive paneling creates a smooth, flat profile under the vehicle. Additional deflectors have been added around the front and rear suspension components, with front and rear undertrays around the main driveline components.
    • Enhanced air flow – detail features to improve air flow include near-flush glazing on the
    A-pillars and vehicle side glass; separation edges incorporated in the rear lamps and D-pillars; optimized shaping of the door mirrors and upper rear spoiler.
    Special attention has also been given to water management on the vehicle, including a hydrophobic coating on the front side door glass to help keep it clear of droplets, roof panels shaped to avoid unwanted drips when the tailgate is opened and a rear washer/wiper designed to avoid annoying drips.
    Efficiency maximizing powertrain technologies
    The advanced powertrains in the new Range Rover Sport have been extensively engineered to minimize fuel consumption and emissions. To ensure the greatest possible fuel efficiency, the latest Range Rover Sport powertrains incorporate a comprehensive selection of fuel saving technologies, including:
    • Stop/Start system – Intelligent Stop/Start system, which reduces fuel consumption by up to seven percent. The system features a Tandem Solenoid Starter with a dedicated secondary battery for instant restarting.
    • Smart regenerative charging – the electrical charging system has an intelligent power management system that prioritizes charging when the vehicle is decelerating, capturing the wasted kinetic energy and reducing the fuel demand of the electrical system.
    • High-pressure direct injection – engines feature the latest high-pressure direct injection technology for efficient combustion.
    • Low-friction designs –developed to minimize internal powertrain frictional losses.
    • Low viscosity transmission fluids – the 8-speed automatic is specified with the latest low viscosity fluid to maximize efficiency.
    The new Range Rover Sport further reduces fuel consumption by adopting energy efficient Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) in place of the previous hydraulic system.
    Drivers may also make use of a new ECO Driving feature which provides them with fuel consumption information via the 8-inch touchscreen, to help them adopt more economical driving habits.
    Sustainable by design, with a full lifecycle approach
    The all-new Range Rover Sport has been designed with a full lifecycle approach, aiming to minimize the environmental impact by considering the entire lifecycle of the vehicle: from development and manufacturing, through customer use, to end-of-life recycling and re-use. Each element of the lifecycle was analyzed with a view to consuming fewer natural resources, using more sustainable materials and minimizing the generation of waste. The development process has included a full lifecycle assessment in line with ISO 14040/14044.
    The new model's aluminum construction makes a major contribution to its reduced carbon footprint.
    Up to 75-percent of the aluminum material is sourced from reclaimed content, including closed loop recycling of waste metal from the manufacturing process, resulting in a significant saving of energy and emissions (body panels made from recycled material use only 5-percent of the energy required for new aluminum). Further energy is saved during the manufacturing process, which does not require highly energy intensive processes like welding.
    Recycled and renewable materials have been used wherever possible. High specification vehicles use up to 59lbs. (26.7kg) of recycled plastics, diverting thousands of tons of plastic from landfill during the carline's life. Natural and renewable materials, such as the luxurious leathers and veneers, represent nearly 62lbs. (28kg) in each vehicle.
    2.5 Customer-focused vehicle and safety technologies
    The all-new Range Rover Sport has been engineered with the latest developments in customer-focused technologies to enhance comfort and confidence, from premium interior features to advanced chassis and driver assistance technologies.
    Smart driver assistance technologies
    The new Range Rover Sport is packed with smart, relevant technologies to ensure that drivers enjoy a relaxed and stress-free experience. An innovative digital camera system supports three driver assistance features that help deliver improved driver awareness3. Mounted next to the rear view mirror, the forward facing camera captures a view of the road ahead, which is analyzed by an on-board computer.
    Lane Departure Warning (limited availability during first year)(3)
    This system is designed to warn the driver via a vibration in the steering wheel if an unintentional drift out of the lane begins. If the vehicle drifts from the center of the lane, and the system does not detect an obvious lane-change maneuver or use of the signals, the vibration alert is triggered. This is reinforced by an alert in the instrument cluster. The system operates above 37 mph (60km/h) so it does not interfere in urban conditions. The driver can adjust the system's sensitivity (two levels) and the alert intensity (three levels), or can turn the system off.
    Traffic Sign Recognition (limited availability during first year)(3)
    This system uses the camera to identify traffic signs on either side of the road and on bridges, providing the driver with information about the latest detected speed limit, road closure signs and passing regulations via the instrument cluster display. To indicate how recent the information is, the displayed sign fades away in a series of steps as the distance increases from the sign. The driver can configure the system to flash the speed limit sign in the display when the vehicle exceeds a limit that he or she sets.
    Automatic High Beam Assist(3)
    This system witches the headlamps automatically between high and low beam, helping to maximize visibility and avoid the distraction of switching the lamps manually. The system identifies the headlights or taillights of other vehicles so that low beam can be activated when required. Ambient lighting levels are also monitored so high beam is not used in built-up areas.
    Flank Guard (limited availability during first year)(3)
    Flank Guard helps alert the driver to potential side impacts, and scrapes on the sides of the vehicle during tight man maneuvers such as in parking garages, where it can be challenging to drive around pillars, barriers or other vehicles. The new feature is enabled by the addition of extra distance sensors on the vehicle (now 6 sensors front and rear, instead of 4), which provide wider coverage around the vehicle than conventional park distance sensors. The driver is warned of potential impacts by audible beeps, while the central instrument cluster display uses distance bars to indicate the proximity of objects. Using information on the vehicle's steering angle and trajectory, the system only warns when there is a threat of impact, and can ignore close objects if the vehicle is steering away from them.
    Additional driver assistance features available include an enhanced Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)3 which operates even when the vehicle is travelling slowly or is stationary. Adding to the standard ACC functionality, which maintains a pre-set time gap to the vehicle in front, the new Queue Assist3 feature extends the ACC function to allow the vehicle to come to a stop when it reaches a traffic stoppage. When the car in front moves off, the driver can resume ACC operation by briefly touching the accelerator. The Range Rover Sport then accelerates back to the pre-set cruising speed, maintaining the selected time gap to vehicles ahead.
    For enhanced awareness in congested traffic conditions, Range Rover Sport drivers can also specify advanced new technologies to alert them to nearby vehicles that could create a hazard.
    Blind Spot Monitoring (limited availability during first year)(3)
    This system uses side-mounted radar sensors to survey potential blind spots either side of the vehicle and alert the driver when vehicles are detected within this area. The system is engineered to work at speeds commonly encountered in urban conditions or on congested highways.
    It is now combined with Closing Vehicle Sensing3, a new feature that scans a zone much further behind the vehicle to detect vehicles which are closing quickly and which could cause a threat during a lane change maneuver. Drivers are alerted by a rapid flashing of the Blind Spot warning light in the corresponding exterior mirror.
    Reverse Traffic Detection3 uses radar detectors in the rear of the vehicle to warn about potential collisions during reversing maneuvers. The system is active when reverse gear is selected and can detect a vehicle approaching from either side, alerting the driver to a potential collision.
    Adjustable Speed Limiter Device3, which enables the driver to set their own personal maximum speed limiting governor. This can be quickly deactivated by driver demand if needed.
    Surround Camera System3 incorporating "T-Junction" (Intersection) view, Trailer reverse park guidance and Trailer hitch guidance.
    Adaptive Xenon headlamps - which turn in the direction of steering travel.
    Electric Power-Assisted Steering with advanced Park Assist functions(3)
    The new Range Rover Sport model's electric power-assisted steering enables advanced Park Assist features, including:
    • Park Assist – which helps to identify a suitable parallel parking space, and then automatically steers the vehicle into place. The driver controls gearshift selection, throttle, and brake application.
    • Park Exit (limited availability during first year) – which helps drivers exit tight parallel parking spaces, by automatically steering the vehicle back onto the road.
    • Perpendicular Park (limited availability during first year) – which extends the function of the system to help the driver to reverse into perpendicular spaces, using sensors to help identify a suitable space where the vehicle can be parked and the doors on each side opened safely.
    Each of the functions provides the driver with clear instructions via the instrument cluster display, and uses the Park Distance Controls, and Camera systems (where fitted) to help warn the driver of objects in close proximity during the maneuver (multiple shuttles back and forward may be required to complete the maneuvers safely and accurately).
    Powerful braking and enhanced active safety technologies
    The new Range Rover Sport has been engineered with a powerful braking system, featuring (on the supercharged 5-liter) six-piston lightweight Brembo front calipers for enhanced performance. The generous disc diameters of 14.96-inches (380mm) front /14.32-inches (365mm) rear (or 13.8-inches / 350mm front / 13.8-inches / 350mm rear on V6 models, and those fitted with 19-inch wheels, provide huge thermal capacity, capable of achieving outstanding stopping performance.
    Stopping power is complemented by a comprehensive suite of active safety technologies, designed to enhance braking, stability and traction.
    The full suite of active safety features(3) on the new Range Rover Sport includes:
    • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
    • Roll Stability Control (RSC)
    • Electronic Traction Control (ETC)
    • Trailer Stability Assist (TSA)
    • Hill Descent Control (HDC) and Gradient Release Control (GRC)
    • Hill Start Assist (HSA)
    • Engine Drag Torque Control (EDC)
    • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
    • Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)
    • Emergency Brake Lights (EBL)
    • Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
    • Corner Brake Control (CBC)
    • Electronic Park Brake (EPB) - activates directly on the rear brake calipers and has been engineered to provide smooth and refined automatic disengagement.
    Engineered for maximum occupant protection
    The all-new Range Rover Sport has been engineered to meet and exceed the most stringent global safety standards. It was developed in parallel with the new Range Rover, which was awarded a maximum five-star safety rating by the independent European testing organization, Euro NCAP. The body structure protects occupants using an incredibly strong and stable safety cell, which is complemented by a comprehensive system of airbags and restraints.
    Computer simulation tools allowed engineers to conduct a significant number of 'virtual' crash tests long before physical prototypes were available. Vehicle crash performance has been verified during a rigorous program of 70 full vehicle crash tests and over 20 sled tests.
    Designed to minimize peak impact forces and intrusion into the safety cell, while delivering maximum occupant protection, the aluminum body structure includes key features such as the use of high strength AC300 aluminum within the crash structure and a composite reinforced B-post area to maximize side impact protection.
    The occupant safety package includes driver and passenger airbags, side curtain and thorax airbags (including an extended curtain airbag which covers passengers occupying the third row seats), and active front seat belts linked to the vehicle's emergency braking functions.
    Pedestrian safety has been addressed with an optimized design for the front-end, bumpers, hood and cowl area to minimize potential injuries. Key measures include a raised hood A-surface, hood and bumper profiles designed for energy absorption, along with the optimization of the coupling of surface parts with under-body structures to maximize energy absorption.
    3. UNCOMPROMISED REFINEMENT AND VERSATILITY
    Befitting its status, the all-new Range Rover Sport model's agile handling is accompanied by significantly improved levels of refinement and comfort, with the kind of premium features that make every journey a welcoming and luxurious experience.
    At the same time, the new vehicle's appeal is extended further by new levels of versatility, with a spacious and flexible interior that offers the option of occasional use "5+2" seating, and the capability to take on whatever task is required, from towing a 7,700 pound trailer to taking the family on vacation.
    3.1 Refined and luxurious experience
    Both front and rear seat passengers will appreciate the added comfort and convenience available in the luxurious leather-trimmed cabin, with their comfort being assured by the latest interior technologies.
    Superior NVH for all-day comfort
    The Range Rover Sport features low noise levels and refinement that match the highest luxury standards. Unwanted sounds and traces of harshness were eliminated through the use of advanced computer simulations in the engineering phase, followed by painstaking optimization with test cells using sophisticated analysis tools such as specialized acoustic cameras. Under hard acceleration there is sporting engine note from a sound symposer on the intake system – while the engines remain hushed at cruising speeds.
    The structure incorporates extremely stiff chassis attachment points, to further minimize the transmission of noise and vibrations, while the use of stiff alloy suspension components, along with special developed bushings, help to eliminate road noise. Acoustic lamination applied to the windshield glass helps to further reduce powertrain noise as well as wind noise, which has been minimized through analysis with computational fluid dynamics and exhaustive wind tunnel tests.
    All operating sounds within the new Range Rover Sport, from door closing sounds to the noises made by switches and motors, have been rigorously analyzed and refined to create premium sound quality.
    Enhanced ride quality
    With its long wheel travel and upgraded four-corner air suspension, the Range Rover Sport combines outstanding poise and stability with excellent ride isolation on all surfaces. Finely calibrated damping ensures that the vehicle delivers a supple and absorbent ride, along with excellent composure and body control.
    Premium interior features, with exclusive audio and seamless connectivity
    Luxury in the Range Rover Sport has been raised to a higher level with the latest premium interior features and technologies. Exclusive audio systems have been developed with Meridian™, a world leader in audio technologies and digital sound processing. These Meridian™ systems promise stunning sound quality in all seating positions.
    Three branded Meridian™ audio systems are available, ranging up to the stunning 1700W** Signature Reference system which has 23 speakers including a subwoofer to offer the ultimate surround sound experience (** Power ratings are at a practically audio distortion free level of 0.2% THD + N [Total Harmonic Distortion plus Noise]).
    The three systems feature amplifiers that incorporate the latest Meridian™ digital processing technology to ensure ideal sound quality, along with high-efficiency speakers for exceptional clarity and dynamics.
    Range Rover and Meridian™ audio specialists have also applied the sophisticated Audyssey MultEQ XT audio tuning system, which digitally corrects any imperfections created by the cabin environment to deliver accurate, enveloping, and distortion-free sound throughout the vehicle.
    The connectivity package(1) includes:
    • Hands-free mobile phone via Bluetooth, enabling the phone to be controlled via the 8-inch touchscreen or steering wheel controls
    • Bluetooth audio streaming, to play music stored on a phone, or other portable Bluetooth device, via the car's audio system
    • Voice control, with intuitive 'Say What You See' display prompts
    • USB connectivity for iPods/MP3 players or memory sticks
    Travelling in the ideal climate
    The new Range Rover Sport features a new automatic climate control system that has been tested in punishing real-world conditions in temperatures ranging from +122 to -22 deg F. Two versions are available: A standard two-zone system provides individual controls for the driver and front passenger, or an optional premium four-zone system, which has an additional climate control unit in the rear compartment, and separate controls for driver, front passenger, and each side of the rear cabin.
    Employing discharge air temperature sensors on all outlets, along with solar sensors in both front and rear compartments, the climate control system can respond quickly and accurately. With its independent heating and cooling capability in the rear compartment, the four-zone system offers exceptional rear seat comfort, with multiple outlets at upper and lower levels.
    The new Range Rover Sport offers a full-size sliding panoramic glass roof. Significantly larger than the previous model's glass roof, the new glass roof has been engineered to maximize its length and width – with no unsightly supporting structure – to deliver an uninterrupted vista and enhanced headroom.
    To maintain a comfortable interior temperature and to provide a sense of privacy, the toughened glass has a dark tint, and is treated to offer a high degree of solar protection. When additional shade or privacy is required, an electric fabric sun blind with a solar reflective coating can be extended across the full surface of the glass. An alternative fixed glass panoramic roof will be available in early 2014.
    Added comfort and convenience in every detail
    Each aspect of the new Range Rover Sport has been meticulously refined with premium luxury in mind, with added comfort and convenience in every detail. New and enhanced features include:
    • Enhanced seating – high series models now offer 14-way power adjustable front seats with new features including climate control, adjustable bolsters and winged headrests. Rear seats now offer adjustable recline and climate control, with a 60/40 split, while the versatility of occasional 5+2 third-row seating can be specified as an option.
    • Premium infotainment – Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) package with twin video screens and a dedicated remote control, RSE systems are supplied with 'White Fire' infrared wireless digital headphones, giving CD quality sound.
    • Customer configurable mood lighting – sophisticated LED ambient lighting with variable colors that can be adjusted by the customer.
    • Powered tailgate – power operation using the remote control key fob, buttons on the tailgate, or from the driver's seat. Remote close from the key fob is a new feature.
    • Keyless entry and start system – Smart Key system enabling keyless entry and start.
    • Soft door close – for additional convenience, the new model is offered with power latching on all doors.
    • Power operated child locks – power operated child locks on the rear doors are fitted as standard.
    • Center Console Cooler – a generous cooler compartment in the front center console armrest is available as an option.
    • Heated front windshield/seats/steering wheel – for cold climates, the new model offers a heated windshield, plus individually adjustable heated front seats and steering wheel.
    3.2 Uncompromised space and versatility
    The streamlined exterior conceals a surprise in the form of a spacious and versatile interior, exploiting the longer wheelbase and skillful interior packaging.
    Stuart Frith, Range Rover Sport Chief Program Engineer, said: "The added space and seating flexibility makes this a car you can buy with your head, as well as with your heart. We have added a new level of versatility, without any compromise to the Range Rover Sport's incredible breadth of performance."
    Spacious interior with versatility of 5+2 third row seating for occasional use
    Even before prototypes were made, extensive development using a 3D CAVE virtual simulator verified that the space, practicality and visibility provided by the interior delivered the best possible experience for all occupants.
    Interior packaging was optimized around a 7-inch (178mm) longer wheelbase, creating a spacious rear cabin with .9-inches (24mm) more knee room, while occupants also benefit from a wider cabin with increased shoulder and elbow room. A slightly lower rear seating position along with a larger rear door opening have also significantly improved the ease of access. Rear seat comfort has also been enhanced by the availability of rear seats with adjustable recline and heating/cooling, together with significantly improved second-row climate control performance as part of the optional four-zone system, which has an additional climate control unit in the rear compartment.
    For additional versatility, neatly integrated third row seats can be optioned, and provide "5+2" third row seats designed for occasional use. These seats split 50/50 and are designed to be suitable for children and teenagers. They may also be used for adults on short trips. The second row seats tip and slide forward to provide access to the third row using a convenient lever on the backrest with one-hand operation. The second row seats also provide 3.8-inches (100mm) fore/aft movement to allow customers a flexible choice of space in the rear seat rows and in the luggage compartment.
    The third row seats include power operation, and can be raised/lowered electrically using controls mounted on either side of the cabin and within the luggage area. When folded, the third row seats leave a flat floor, with no loss of capacity in the luggage compartment when compared to the 5-seat model.
    Enhanced luggage and stowage space
    Accessed via a power-operated tailgate, the luggage compartment offers increased volume compared to the previous model, even in vehicles equipped with third row seating. Interior stowage space has been increased on all models, with a larger glove box, more generous door bins, twin 44oz cup holders in the center console, large central armrest stowage, plus improved cup holders in rear armrests.
    Towing capability and lifestyle accessories extend versatility
    The all-new Range Rover Sport can tow up to 7,716lbs. (3,500kg). Key additional features to enhance towing include the Surround Camera system with Tow Assist for easier hitching and reversing, and the Trailer Stability Assist system.
    Power-deployable side steps are available for the first time on Range Rover Sport. The full range of lifestyle accessories provides a wide selection of functional items including: roof rails and cross bars complemented by an extensive roof carrying range, exterior features including side protection tubes, side steps and stainless steel undershields, interior load carrying aids including loadspace liners, luggage guards and a rail system, and a new lockable security box.
    All data based on manufacturer's estimates
    *Lightest 'weight from' figure on previous Range Rover Sport 2535kg; lightest 'weight from' figure on all-new Range Rover Sport is 2022kg.
    -
    (1) Driving while distracted can result in loss of vehicle control. Do not operate, adjust or view the navigation or multimedia systems under conditions that will affect your safety or the safety of others. Only use mobile phones and other devices, even with voice commands, when it is safe to do so
    (2) Always follow local speed limits
    (3) These systems are not a substitute for driving safely with due care and attention and will not function under all circumstances, speeds, weather and road conditions, etc. Driver should not assume that these systems will correct errors of judgment in driving. Please consult the owner's manual or your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for more details
    (4) Price shown is MSRP. Includes destination. Excludes, tax, title, license, retailer fees and optional equipment. Retailer price, terms and vehicles availability may vary. See your local authorized Land Rover retailer for details
    2014 Range Rover Technical Specifications
    3-Liter Supercharged V6 5-Liter Supercharged V8
    Height mm (in) 1780 / 70.1
    Width excl. wing mirrors / wing mirrors folded mm (in) 1983 (78.1) / 2073 (81.6)
    Length mm (in) 4850 (191)
    Wheelbase mm (in) 2923 (115.1)
    Approach angle deg 25.8 (standard height) / 33.0 (off-road height

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 26, 2013
    First was the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class making its mark in the luxury compact sedan class. Now its Audi's turn to make its mark as its introduces the new 2014 A3 and S3 sedan tonight.
    The design of the A3 and S3 sedan can be best described as an A4 going through a shink ray. The front end features Audi's signature grille and a set of LED headlights sitting on either side. The side profile features scalloping along doors, while the back has the unique trunk lid styling seen on the A4 and A8.
    Size wise, the new A3 sedan is about 5.9 inches longer, 0.4 inches wider and 0.35 inches shorter than the A3 Sportback, even though both models share the same 103.8 inch wheelbase.
    Inside, the A3 sedan has the same modern, minimalist styling seen on the Sportback. Audi has also fitted a revised MMI infotainment system with Google Earth and a seven-inch screen.
    Standard equipment include leather upholstery, Bluetooth, rain-sensing wipers, panoramic sunroof, and Audi drive select with four settings: Auto, Dynamic, Comfort, and Individual. The options list will include a 705-watt, 14-speaker sound system and a driver assistance package that includes in Audi side assist, and adaptive cruise control.
    Audi will offer buyers in Europe the choice of four different engines, including a 168 horsepower 1.8L direct injection gas engine and a 138 horsepower 2.0L diesel engine. Engines in the U.S. will be announced later. The S3 will come with a a turbocharged 2.0L four with 296 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque for Europe. Audi isn't saying whether those figures will stay the same for the U.S. Models destined for the U.S. will have a six-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission as their only transmission choice.
    The 2014 Audi A3 and S3 sedan arrives in the U.S. in the first quarter of next year.
    Source: Audi

    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
    Mar 26, 2013 , HERNDON, Va.
    Audi introduces the all-new technologically advanced 2015 Audi A3 and S3 sedans
    • A3 Sedan brings new level of craftsmanship and attention to detail to the fast growing A segment
    • Available with a number of powertrain options and advanced technology features
    • A3 Sportback will return with A3 Sportback e-tron® Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) confirmed for the U.S. market
    Audi of America, Inc. officially announced plans today for the arrival of the all-new 2015 Audi A3 sedan. Coming to showrooms in the first quarter of 2014, the Audi A3 sedan will bring to the A segment new innovative technologies and the detailed craftsmanship found in larger flagship Audi sedans. The A3 sedan offers versatile powertrains for a wide variety of entry-luxury customer tastes including a 1.8 TFSI®, 2.0 TFSI®, 2.0 TDI® clean diesel and the high performance S3 with a high-output 2.0 TFSI®.
    Audi of America also confirmed today that it will be adding to the all-new A3 family by offering the A3 Sportback with a plug-in gasoline electric hybrid (PHEV) model in the U.S. market. Audi recently revealed the A3 Sportback e-tron at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. This vehicle demonstrates the production intent of e-tron using plug in hybrid technology, a practical first step towards electrified driving which mitigates the range anxiety concerns associated with most full battery electric vehicles. The e-tron® name denotes any Audi electric vehicle with plug-in capabilities. The A3 e-tron shown in Geneva displayed a power train with a combined 204 hp and 258 lb-ft torque.
    “The Audi A3 will set the new benchmark among entry-level luxury sedans,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. “This A3 line-up redefines the standards of its class in dynamics, efficiency, technology, craftsmanship and performance.”
    With the first generation A3, Audi established a whole new market segment – the premium Sportback compact class vehicle. Its quality, equipment, dynamic capabilities and value were adopted from larger Audi vehicles with an extra measure of sportiness and utility inherent in the 5 door Sportback bodystyle. The third generation Audi A3 continues this tradition combined with the first production Audi e-tron vehicle.
    Technology
    The Audi A3 sedan breaks the boundaries and raises the bar as to what is expected out of entry-level luxury sedans. The A3 marks the first time that an A-segment vehicle will offer MMI® technology, Audi drive select, 4G LTE connectivity and Bang & Olufsen® audio.
    Even the base model of the all-new premium Audi A3 comes equipped with standard features that include leather upholstery, Bluetooth® technology, rain sensing wipers, Audi pre sense basic and a panoramic glass sunroof.
    In addition to the standard technologies, the Audi A3 sedan will feature new, segment first technologies. One key example is the implementation of the new NVIDIA graphics processing unit (GPU). The NVIDIA GPU generates complex three-dimensional images used in all online, voice control, media navigation and telephone functions. Fundamentally, the Tegra® graphics processor powers tablets and other mobile devices and is also used in 3D gaming and various medical applications. Another industry first includes the Audi phone box. The Audi phone box is a compartment located under the center armrest that boosts a mobile phone’s cellular coverage by wirelessly coupling to a specialized antenna in the rear windshield.
    Performance
    The A3 sedan has been further enhanced thanks to numerous engineering improvements under the hood. The A3 model line offers four different engine variants including the 170 horsepower 1.8 TFSI, and 150 horsepower 2.0 TDI clean diesel, and a low and high-output 2.0 TFSI used in the A3 quattro and S3 quattro respectively. Horsepower figures for the 2.0 TFSI engines will be available closer to launch. All engines are mated to the standard 6-speed S tronic® transmission which provides the driver immense shifting flexibility and driving pleasure with smooth, dynamic acceleration and virtually no interruption to the power flow.
    New to the A3, the Audi drive select allows the driver to adjust throttle response, shift points, and the electromechanical steering effort. Similar to other Audi models, Audi drive select has four settings that include Auto, Dynamic, Comfort and Individual.
    Chassis
    The new platform allows the front wheels to move forward by roughly 1.5 inches (compared to the previous generation A3) to provide well-balanced proportions, supplemented by optimized interior space utilization, and an improved crash structure.
    The front suspension is a MacPherson design with A-arms and aluminum pivot bearings. It is joined to an aluminum subframe. The electromechanically assisted steering system operates sensitively and efficiently together with various assistance systems, while reducing mechanical drag for greater efficiency. In the four-link rear suspension for the gasoline models, which utilizes a steel crossmember, the springs and shock absorbers are mounted separately.
    The electronic stabilization control (ESC) also includes an electronic differential lock. When driving through curves, it can brake the inside front wheel very slightly to help minimize understeer and improve traction.
    Exterior
    The exterior has been completely redesigned and specifically tailored to meet the sedan preferences of the American market. The Audi A3 stretches 175.5 inches in length and has a 103.4 inch wheelbase. Combined with its 70 inch width and 55.7 inch height, its proportions are compact but very sporty and nearly resemble the original Audi A4 from 1994.
    The signature Singleframe® grille and available full-LED headlights, another first for the A-segment, are some of the notable design changes included in the all-new Audi A3 sedan.
    Interior
    The athletic exterior of the A3 extends inside, where Audi maintains its leading role in automotive interior design and craftsmanship. The defining element is the “wraparound” dash design, which incorporates an innovative three-dimensional inlay concept surrounding the driver and front passenger. The available LED interior lighting package highlights the immense craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into every Audi A3 interior. This is accomplished by bathing the interior in a cool white LED light surrounding the center console, door panels, cupholders, and even the Bang & Olufsen Sound System when so equipped.
    The A3 delivers the same prestige and high-quality materials found in Audi’s flagship sedan, the A8 with standard leather seating surfaces and exceptional ergonomics. The MMI operating system has an electronically extending screen, its terminal housed in the console of the center dashboard. It features a 7-inch high resolution display screen with magnesium backing that is less than ½ inch thick. To further enhance the driving experience, the new MMI controls are conveniently positioned behind the gear shift. They now offer the first touch pad incorporated into the rotary MMI control wheel, which offers an intuitively and simple operation typical of the brand with the four rings. Now with the optional 705 watt 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen Sound System, all occupants in the A3 can enjoy the best in acoustics.
    Driver Assistance
    The Audi A3 now offers several advanced technology features which are new to the entry luxury segment, including the standard Audi pre sense basic system which helps detect when an emergency maneuver is being made and prepares the vehicle and its occupant restraint systems in advance of a possible collision. The Audi A3 also offers an optional driver assistance package, which includes Audi side assist, and adaptive cruise control with stop and go.
    Audi connect®
    The modular infotainment platform in the Audi A3 also brings several upgrades to the industry leading Audi connect® service. Audi’s connected vehicle strategy targets features and services that enhance the driving experience for Audi drivers and their passengers by providing the benefits of access to information and content, when needed, through interfaces designed for the in-vehicle environment. Already, Audi is a leader with integrated high-speed mobile broadband in the vehicle. Now with 4G/LTE technology in the Audi A3, customers will be able to connect with a network capable of supporting data rates of up to 150 Mbit/s downstream and considerably faster response times. Using the existing Wi-Fi connectivity for up to 8 devices, passengers can now view high-definition videos and make video conference calls from the vehicle. Adding to the existing Google Earth™ 3D satellite imagery and intelligent POI search with Google Voice™ Local Search, the Audi A3 introduces a new Picture Navigation service. Here the driver can save photos of destinations, which are linked to geo-navigation data (GPS), in the “photo box” of MMI Navigation plus. These may be the driver’s own photos or scenes from Google Maps Street View. Photos can be imported via an SD card or a myAudi account. A new app integration interface over Wi-Fi for music streaming and other connected device apps, voice-controlled social media features, and a completely redesigned user MMI interface allows drivers and passengers to continue to enjoy a connected lifestyle while in the vehicle without handling devices.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 26, 2013
    We've seen the pictures and learned about the powertrain, now GM is spilling the beans on the new 2014 Cadillac CTS tonight.
    Design of the new CTS is a further refinement of Cadillac's Art & Science design language that has been soldering on for decade now. The front end features a grille that is reminiscent of the Ciel concept, strips of LED lights running along the outer edge of headlights, and long, low hood. The side profile has character lines the run all the way that start at the front bumper and continue unbroken to the rear.
    Dimensionally, the new CTS is about five inches longer, has a one inch longer wheelbase, and is lower by about 0.8 inch than the outgoing model. More impressive is that the base CTS has a curb weight of just 3,616 lbs; that's only 250 lbs lighter than the outgoing model. V6 models weigh only 175 heavier.
    This weight loss is due in part to the extensive use of aluminum in the CTS. The model features aluminum doors, front bumper beam, rear suspension cradle, and aluminum brake calipers. Other weight saving tricks include varying the thickness of the B-pillar sheetmetal and removing bits of metal in between the spot wells.
    Inside the CTS, Cadillac is stepping up the levels of customization. No fewer than eight different color schemes will be available, with trim featuring real wood, real aluminum or real carbon fiber. All of that trim can be swapped by dealer if you're getting tired of the trim you currently have. All CTS models will have Cadillac User Experience (CUE) as standard equipment.
    Power for the CTS comes in three different engine choices:
    2.0L Turbo-Four: 272 horsepower, 295 pound-feet of torque
    3.6L DI V6: 321 horsepower, 275 pound-feet
    3.6L TT V6: 420 horsepower, 430 pound-feet

    The 2.0T gets a six-speed automatic and the two V6s get an eight-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is available for the 2.0T and 3.6L V6 (which gets trades its eight-speed for a six-speed).
    The 3.6 TT V6 gets a special trim level called Vsport. Vsport will feature eighteen-inch wheels, quicker steering ratio, Brembo brakes front and rear, a Track mode for the transmission, heavy-duty cooling system, electronic limited slip differential, and Cadillac's Magnetic Ride Control active suspension.
    The 2014 Cadillac CTS arrives at dealers this fall.
    Update: We got some live shots from the CTS Reveal. -WM
    Source: Cadillac

    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
    2014 Cadillac CTS Elevates to Challenge World's Best
    - Longer, lower and leaner sedan drives into heart of midsize luxury segment
    - Lightweight technologies, including aluminum door structures, contribute to lower curb weight and nearly 50/50 weight balance
    - New Vsport model offers new Cadillac Twin-Turbo V-6 and brand's first eight-speed automatic transmission
    NEW YORK – Cadillac today introduced the all-new 2014 CTS sedan, which ascends into the heart of the midsize luxury market with expanded performance, elevated luxury and sophisticated technology.
    The third-generation CTS sedan is based on the high-performing rear-drive architecture of the award-winning ATS sport sedan, moving Cadillac into the prestigious class of midsize luxury sedans. It will be the segment's lightest car, enabling the most agile driving dynamics in the class. A range of power-dense powertrains underpin its performance, including the all-new Cadillac Twin-Turbo engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.
    Production of the 2014 CTS begins this fall in Lansing, Mich.
    "The all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan delivers crafted design, thrilling performance and sophisticated technology," said Bob Ferguson, vice president, Global Cadillac. "The car that has always been Cadillac's centerpiece stretches figuratively and literally to challenge the world's best."
    A longer, lower and more athletic-looking proportion is introduced on Cadillac's landmark sedan and evolves the brand's Art & Science design philosophy. While growing five inches (127 mm) in length, including a 1.2-inch longer wheelbase, the roofline and cowl – the base of the windshield – are about an inch lower, dimensions that complement the longer exterior to accentuate the car's lean aesthetic.
    "With Cadillac growing globally, driven by rising product credibility, the new CTS elevates the brand to a new level," said Ferguson.
    While stretched in overall length and wheelbase, the all-new CTS sedan has a lower curb weight than the preceding model and weighs about 200 pounds (90 kg) less than the BMW 528i. Lightweight features, including Cadillac's first aluminum door structures, contribute to the lower weight and a nearly 50/50 weight balance. And for the first time on CTS, Magnetic Ride Control, Cadillac's real-time damping system, is available on base models.
    Cadillac's shield grille and signature vertical lighting elements – including LED front signature lighting detail – evolve on the CTS. The grille is wider, with a more detailed texture, while the headlamps flow up with the hood line, incorporating crystalline LED light guides for a technologically advanced appearance with more uniform illumination.
    Active grille shutters are included on some models, improving aerodynamic performance on the highway to enhance fuel efficiency.
    Inside, a roomier, driver-centric cockpit interior with integrated technology and hand-crafted appointments complements the exterior elements and supports the CTS sedan's driving experience. Eight available interior environments are offered, each trimmed with authentic wood, carbon fiber or aluminum. Leather seating is available, including available full semi-aniline leather, with hand-crafted, cut-and-sewn executions.
    CTS Performance
    The new Cadillac Twin-Turbo V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission combination leads the CTS sedan's powertrain lineup in the new CTS Vsport. It is the first twin-turbocharged engine ever offered by Cadillac and is the brand's first eight-speed automatic.
    The CTS Vsport also features:
    - 18-inch aluminum wheels with Pirelli summer-only performance tires (19-inch wheels with all-season tires are available)
    - A quicker steering ratio
    - Brembo disc brakes with aluminum calipers and high-performance brake pads,
    - Heavy-duty track cooling package
    - Driver-selectable track mode with specific steering rate and Magnetic Ride Control calibrations for greater track performance
    - Electronic limited-slip differential that enhances capability on the track – including optimal acceleration out of turns.
    The Cadillac Twin-Turbo is SAE-certified at 420 horsepower (313 kW) and 430 lb.-ft. of torque (583 Nm), making it the most power-dense six-cylinder engine in the segment. A pair of smaller turbochargers helps provide more immediate power on demand, with approximately 90 percent of peak torque available from 3,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm. That gives the engine a broad torque curve that customers will feel as strong, willing power in almost all driving conditions – and helps the CTS sedan reach 60 mph in an estimated 4.6 seconds.
    The 2014 CTS is also available with a naturally aspirated 3.6L V-6 rated at an estimated 321 horsepower and also matched with the new paddle-shift eight-speed automatic in rear-wheel-drive models (or six-speed automatic with all-wheel drive; and a 2.0L turbocharged engine rated at an estimated 272 horsepower and paired with a six-speed automatic.
    Cadillac's new, paddle-shift eight-speed offers efficiency and performance advantages over a six-speed transmission, including 1.5-percent greater fuel economy.
    Excellent power-to-weight ratios and racetrack-honed suspension geometries established with the development of the ATS enabled engineers to advance CTS's performance with greater feelings of feedback, control and response. The comparatively low curb weight helps make the most of the driving experience by allowing the use of lighter-weight chassis components, which reduces unsprung weight to enable more precise handling without compromising ride quality.
    The CTS sedan's low mass and optimal brake sizes are expected to give it braking performance that is among the best in the segment, with standard Brembo brakes.
    Suspension and driver control highlights also include:
    - Multi-link MacPherson strut suspension with a double-pivot design
    - Five-link independent rear suspension
    - Available all-wheel-drive
    - Premium electric, variable-assist power steering gear from ZF Steering Systems
    - Available Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping system
    - Choice of 17-, 18- and 19-inch aluminum wheels.
    A number of aluminum components are used with the suspension system, while the rear suspension is mostly steel. That helps offset the weight of the engine and transmission at the front of the vehicle, helping the CTS deliver its near-perfect weight balance and contributing to less noise and vibration.
    CTS technology and safety
    The CTS sedan seamlessly blends comfort, convenience and safety technologies with the interior's hand-crafted appointments and flowing design. Active safety features provide alerts and intervene when necessary to help avoid crashes.
    At the core of the car's intuitive technologies is CUE, Cadillac's infotainment system that uses smartphone- and tablet-influenced controls and commands to access information and entertainment data. An eight-inch, high-resolution color touch screen with haptic feedback allows users to swipe and drag preferences. Bluetooth connectivity with natural voice recognition is standard with CUE, along with USB and SD card ports.
    An available 12.3-inch high-resolution, configurable LCD instrument cluster display complements the CUE display and supports the active safety features. It offers drivers four layouts – from basic to performance-oriented – each delivering bold, crisp graphics tailored to the level of vehicle information desired. A full-color, configurable head-up display is also available.
    CTS technologies also include:
    - Cadillac's first 20-way adjustable front seats
    - Motorized cup holder lid in the center console
    - Heated and cooled (ventilated) front seats and heated steering wheel
    - Electronically locking glove box
    - Electronic park brake
    - Adaptive remote start feature that also activates the climate control system
    - Standard Bose eleven-speaker sound system and available Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system with 13 speakers.
    The new CTS sedan is the first Cadillac to offer Automatic Parking Assist, which enables the car to park itself in parallel spaces. It uses ultrasonic sensors to locate a suitable space and maneuver the car into the space, with the driver only required to engage reverse and apply the accelerator and brake pedals. Ultrasonic rear park assist is standard.
    Ultrasonic sensors, as well as radar and cameras, support the CTS's advanced safety features to help prevent crashes. Among the most sophisticated is Front and Rear Automatic Braking, which relies on short-range radar technology and ultrasonic sensors to help the driver prevent front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary.
    A Driver Awareness Package includes Cadillac's patented Safety Alert Seat technology. It uses vibrating pulses in the driver's seat to alert the driver to an imminent collision or to vehicles in the car's blind spot. The seat vibrates on the left or right side, or both sides simultaneously, depending on the direction of the risk.
    GM's first application of automatic safety belt tightening is offered in the new CTS. It automatically takes slack out of the safety belts when buckled and offers real-time, active adjustments during driving to ensure optimal tension and comfort. Additional available safety features include:
    - Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
    - Panic Brake Assist
    - Forward Collision Alert
    - Automatic Collision Preparation (with brake prefill)
    - Lane Departure Warning
    - Side Blind Zone Alert
    - Rear Cross Traffic Alert
    - Rear Vision Camera With Dynamic Guidelines
    - Adaptive Forward Lighting
    - Active pedestrian protection system (in global regions where required).
    The new CTS sedan also features 10 standard air bags, including front-passenger dual-stage low-risk deployment, which makes the most of the air bag trajectory and inflation rate based on the occupant's size, position and severity of the crash.
    Additionally, OnStar is standard for one year. It can use GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of a crash. OnStar service also includes myCadillac and OnStar myCadillac mobile apps, which offer vehicle information, controls and OnStar services via the customer's iPhone or Android smart phone.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    March 26, 2013
    Honda has unveiled the refreshed 2014 Odyssey before the start of the New York Auto Show. The big news about the Odyssey is the introduction of an onboard vacuum system.
    Standard on the the Odyssey Touring Elite trim, the HondaVac is comprised of an electric motor, replaceable filter, canister bag, and vacuum attachments that are located in the rear cargo bulkhead. The system, developed jointly with ShopVac, can also run up to eight minutes when the Odyssey is turned off.
    Aside from the new vacuum, the 2014 Odyssey has some minor changes. Outside, there is a new aluminum hood and fenders to pair with the revised front fascia and darker headlights. Honda has also made structural changes to make the vehicle safer in case of an accident. Stepping inside, there is a revised center stack, new trim pieces, push-button start, and HondaLink's cloud-based infotainment options.
    The 2014 Odyssey arrives at dealers this summer.
    Source: Honda

    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
    2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite® Makes World Debut in New York with Host of Safety Upgrades and Innovations Including HondaVAC™, the First In-Car Vacuum
    The segment's benchmark minivan cleans up with bevy of safety improvements, sleek new styling and intuitive, family-friendly technologies
    NEW YORK
    The 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite® is making its debut at the 2013 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), setting the new 'ultimate family vehicle' standard. Thoroughly refreshed for 2014, the Odyssey Touring Elite® provides core safety upgrades, sharpened exterior styling and a revised interior with a host of new features and technologies designed to make the segment's benchmark minivan even better.
    Demonstrating trademark Honda innovation, the 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite® will also mark the debut of HondaVAC™, the first-ever in-vehicle vacuum system. Available exclusively in the Odyssey Touring Elite® trim, the all-new HondaVAC™ system is part of a thorough refresh of the Honda Odyssey for the 2014 model year, adding to its already class-leading fuel economy ratings and unmatched safety ratings. The 2014 Odyssey will go on sale at Honda dealerships nationwide this summer.
    "The Odyssey is already the leader in its segment, and for 2014, Honda has made the modern family hauler even better," said Michael Accavitti, vice president of marketing operations at American Honda. "Honda is once again showcasing its reputation for innovation with HondaVAC, and its ability to provide true value to our customers."
    The 2014 Honda Odyssey brings an array of improvements to Honda's minivan, including structural upgrades expected to help it achieve top marks in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) stringent new small-overlap frontal crash test, which is part of IIHS's new TOP SAFETY PICK+ protocol. The refreshed Odyssey Touring Elite® will also come equipped with advanced Honda driver assistive and visibility technologies such as an Expanded View Driver's Mirror, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW).
    The 2014 Odyssey features sleeker, more sophisticated exterior styling with a new, more deeply sculpted aluminum hood, new aluminum front fenders, a new bolder twin-bar grille, and a revised lower front fascia with integrated chrome-trimmed fog lights. New two-tone mirror housings, darker-finish projector-beam headlight housings, LED taillight bars and new badging add to the 2014 Odyssey's premium look.
    Inside the 2014 Odyssey, new finishes brighten the cabin and an all-new center stack showcases a host of new features. Additional standard technology on the Odyssey Touring Elite® brings new levels of ease and connectivity to owners, including keyless Smart Entry with Push Button Start, HD Radio®, an SMS text messaging function, and HondaLink™ featuring Aha™ Mobile interface. HondaLink™, which debuted on the 2013 Honda Accord, enables Odyssey owners to connect quickly and easily to a wealth of cloud-based content. The free HondaLink™ smartphone app uses the owner's favorite online content to create live, personalized radio stations, allowing drivers to put away their phones and hear updates and news feeds from Facebook and Twitter, as well as check out restaurant reviews or find the closest coffee shop.
    Standard on the 2014 Odyssey Touring Elite®, the all-new HondaVAC™ was developed in conjunction with industry-leader Shop-Vac®, and is composed of a powerful vacuum, replaceable filter and canister bag, with nozzle accessories neatly integrated into a dedicated space on the driver's side bulkhead of the rear cargo area. HondaVAC™ makes quick cleanups a snap no matter the location, offering powerful cleaning suction and an integrated hose and cleaning attachments that reach into every corner of the Odyssey's cabin. The HondaVAC™ system's powerful electric motor never needs an outlet or recharging, can operate continuously when the engine is running, and will continue to operate for up to eight minutes when the vehicle is turned off for additional family duties.
    Already one of the most lauded vehicles in its segment, the current 2013 Odyssey has earned IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK and NHTSA 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score crash safety ratings. The Honda Odyssey is an AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Award winner, an ALG Residual Value award winner, recipient of the Best Family Cars of 2012 designation from both Parents Magazine/Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com, and a Best Cars for Families award winner from U.S. News and World Report. The Odyssey represents Honda's robust product development capabilities in North America with its design, engineering and assembly all taking place in the U.S., using domestically and globally sourced parts. Currently, 95 percent of all Hondas sold in the U.S., are built in North America.

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