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    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 3, 2012
    It was bound to happen. Inside Line got their hands on some video captures of the 2013 SRT Viper a day before its official debut at the New York Auto Show.
    All of the familiar elements of the Viper are still here: double-bubble roof, wicked hood scoop, gaping side vents, side exhaust, and powerslides. Compared to other Vipers, the new one carries some Italian flare.
    We'll have more on the Viper when it makes its world debut tomorrow.
    Source: Inside Line

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 3, 2012
    Toyota picked the New York Auto Show to show off the refreshed Toyota Venza.
    The big change to Venza is in the front. The old, many horizontal bars grill has been replaced with a new two-bar grill. Other changes to front include new head and fog lights, and side mirrors. The back end has updated taillights.
    Inside, minor changes have taken place. A new steering wheel and Toyota's Entune infotainment system is added to the options list.

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Toyota Venza Adds Significant Updates for 2013 Model Year
    The Toyota Venza crossover now offers enhanced exterior styling, added value through several new standard convenience features and updated option packages that include the Entune™ multi-media system for 2013 model year.
    Venza’s aerodynamic shape has been tastefully modified with a new upper and lower grille, fog lamps and rear taillights. The updated styling is complemented by a new 19-inch wheel design and three new exterior colors: Attitude Black, Cypress Pearl, and Cosmic Gray Mica.
    The 2013 Venza is available in LE, XLE and Limited grades. The LE and XLE models are available with all powertrain combinations: four-cylinder, V6, front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD); the Venza Limited is powered by the V6 engine only, in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configurations. Value has been enhanced and ordering simplified with the addition of many standard features in all three grades.
    Venza was developed specifically for the North American market, appealing to customers who prioritize bold, innovative design, a luxurious and refined interior and excellent handling, but they still require roominess and versatility. Venza provides SUV flexibility with its fold-flat rear seats, spacious cargo area, elevated driver sightline, available AWD and up to 3,500-lbs. towing capacity.
    The Venza design was the creation of Toyota’s Calty Design studios in Newport Beach, Calif. and Ann Arbor, Mich. Calty designers leaned toward a sleek crossover concept with a wide stance that featured a sporty exterior, but they also included important SUV attributes, such as cargo space, towing capability and available all-wheel drive performance.
    Venza was primarily engineered at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. And It is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK), in Georgetown, Ky. More than 70 percent of Venza’s components come from North American suppliers.
    Performance and Efficiency
    The 2013 Venza offers four-cylinder and V6 models in FWD and AWD versions. Venza’s 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 181 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 182 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm. The four-cylinder Venza is EPA-rated at 21 MPG city/27 MPG highway for the FWD model and 20/25 for the AWD.
    The 3.5-liter V6 produces 268 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 246 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm. The V6 FWD model has EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 19 MPG city/26 MPG highway and 18/25 for the AWD. Both engines are teamed with a six-speed sequential-shift electronically controlled automatic transmission with intelligence (ECT-i). The six-speed ECT-i provides an engaging driving experience and helps optimize fuel economy. Uphill/downhill shift logic selects the proper gear for driving conditions and helps provide moderate engine braking during downhill driving.
    Venza's Active Torque Control AWD System optimizes torque distribution between the front and rear wheels to help ensure stable acceleration and smooth cornering on all road surfaces. AWD offers enhanced traction and helps provide excellent overall handling in inclement weather.
    An available Towing Prep Package on V6 models equips Venza with an engine oil cooler, larger radiator fan and heavy-duty alternator.
    Handling and Ride
    Venza was designed with a lower center of gravity than typical SUVs to help provide dynamic handling, which is further enhanced by the large wheels and tires. The four-cylinder models ride on standard 19-inch, 10-spoke aluminum alloy wheels. Distinctive 20-inch five-spoke aluminum alloy wheels are standard for the V6 model. Power-assisted, ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes are standard on all models.
    Venza’s body structure relies on high tensile-strength steel, gussets and cross members for its strength, rigidity and optimized weight. Front suspension consists of a rigid L-arm-type MacPherson strut with a stabilizer bar, and the rear suspension is a dual-link MacPherson strut setup with stabilizer bar. Electric power steering (EPS), with its ideally weighted steering effort, contributes to the Venza’s spirited driving dynamics. EPS helps provide a more direct steering feel at both high and low speeds and delivers just-right assist when maneuvering the vehicle into tight parking spaces.
    Safety
    Toyota's STAR Safety System is standard on all Toyota models and features enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC) Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist and the Smart Stop Technology (SST).
    VSC automatically adjusts engine output and the vehicle's braking force at each wheel to help control loss of traction during cornering. TRAC helps maintain traction during challenging driving conditions. Brake Assist is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking. If the driver has not stepped firmly enough on the brake pedal to engage ABS, Brake Assist supplements the applied braking power until the driver releases the pedal. Smart Stop offers an additional level of safety by automatically reducing engine power when a vehicle’s brake and accelerator pedals are applied simultaneously under certain driving conditions, helping to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop. Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), also standard on all Venza models, temporarily provides pressure to the brakes while the vehicle is stopped on an incline to help ensure easier starting with no rollback.
    In addition, Venza provides seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, driver and front-passenger front-seat-mounted side airbags, and front and rear side-curtain airbags. Front seat-belt pretensioners retract the seat belt in a severe frontal collision, while the dual-stage force limiters help limit the seat-belt force applied to the driver’s and front passenger’s chests.
    Driver and front-passenger seats employ active headrests. If the vehicle is struck from the rear, a cable-actuated mechanism will move the headrest upward and forward to help limit movement of the occupant's head.
    Comfort and Convenience
    Venza’s generous utility includes several clever storage locations and lighting. The adjustable center console features a sliding cover and armrest, three iPod®/MP3 player holders with wire concealment features, and a large storage compartment.
    The center-console compartment is also equipped with a USB port, auxiliary audio jack and 12-volt power outlet. The upper portion of the center console houses the gearshift lever for easy and comfortable driver reach. An on/off switch on the overhead console enables front-seat occupants to operate all four personal overhead interior lights.
    Interior storage is further complemented by a total of 10 front and rear beverage holders (six bottle holders and four cup holders). These include dual-illuminated, sliding front cup-holders in the center console, two in the rear-seat armrest, and front- and back-door bottle holders.
    Entune Multi-Media System
    The 2013 Venza now offers the Toyota Entune multimedia system. This system leverages the mobile smartphone to provide a richer in-vehicle experience with fully integrated access to navigation, entertainment and information services.
    Toyota Entune supports engaging mobile apps, such as Bing, OpenTable, and movietickets.com, along with accessing useful travel-related services, such as live weather, traffic, fuel information (location and price), stocks, and sports. Toyota Entune has a large selection of music options available to a vehicle, including iHeartRadio’s 750+ stations, and Pandora’s personalized music service.
    The audio systems combined with Entune feature a best-in-class, advanced conversational voice recognition system that helps the driver to stay focused by eliminating the need to memorize thousands of voice commands.
    An Abundance of Standard Features
    The Venza LE grade comes well equipped with new standard features that include a blind spot mirror and outer mirror turn signals with puddle lamps. Additional key standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control with air filter and second-row-seat vents; eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar; 3.5-inch LCD multi-information display; a tilt/telescopic adjustable steering wheel with integrated audio controls; an overhead console with map lights; rear-seat adjustable personal reading lamps and three 12-volt power outlets.
    The LE also comes standard with the Display Audio system, which includes a 6.1-inch touch screen, AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, six speakers, auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod® connectivity and control, vehicle information, hands-free phone capability, phone book access and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology.
    The available Convenience Package for the Venza LE adds a power liftgate and a rear back-up camera. The Preferred Package adds a panoramic glass roof with front power moonroof and Display Audio with Navigation and Entune.
    The Venza XLE provides a major luxury and convenience upgrade to the vehicle and adds standard features such as leather-trimmed seating surfaces, steering wheel and shift knob; four-way power passenger seat; multi-stage heated front seats; driver seat memory; reverse tilt outer mirrors, Display Audio with Navigation and Entune; anti-theft system with alarm and engine immobilizer; Smart Key System with Push Button Start and illuminated entry; power rear liftgate and a back-up camera. Also standard on the XLE is a TFT multi-information display that can be customized to adjust the font size and content, and navigation voice instructions available in Spanish, French or English (XM Traffic is only available in English).
    Aside from powertrain choices, the XLE offers one major option the Premium Package, which includes a panoramic glass roof with front power moonroof, and Display Audio with Navigation , Entune and JBL®, that includes 6.1-inch Touch Screen, AM/FM CD Player with MP3/WMA Playback Capability, 13 JBL® Synthesis Speakers including Subwoofer, SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio (Includes three-month trial subscription to XM Select Package), HD Radio™ withiTunes® Tagging, Auxiliary Audio Jack, USB Port with iPod® Connectivity and Control, Vehicle Information, Hands-Free Phone Capability, Phonebook Access, Advanced Voice Recognition, and Music Streaming Via Bluetooth® Wireless Technology.
    The V6-only, top-of-line Venza Limited comes standard with the Premium HDD Navigation with Entune™ and JBL® multimedia system. The system features a seven-inch high resolution touch screen with split-screen capability, AM/FM CD Player with MP3/WMA Playback Capability, 13 JBL® Synthesis™ Speakers including Subwoofer, SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio capability (Includes three-month trial subscription to XM Select Package); HD Radio™ with iTunes® Tagging, Auxiliary Audio Jack, USB Port with iPod® Connectivity and Control, Vehicle Information, Hands-Free Phone Capability, Phonebook Access, Advanced Voice Recognition, and Music Streaming Via Bluetooth® Wireless Technology.
    The Venza Limited combines the Premium HDD Navigation with Entune and JBL and the panoramic glass roof with front power moonroof, and it adds high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights with automatic high beams and LED Daytime Running Lights. The high-beam feature detects oncoming vehicles and automatically switches the headlamps from high- to low-beam.
    Customers looking for a pet-friendly vehicle will find a wide range of pet utility accessories available at Toyota dealerships. Among the available choices are a rear liftgate pet ramp, booster seat with harness, pet buckles and rear seat zipline-style harnesses, pet carriers and bucket seat, bench seat and hammock style waterproof seat covers.
    Exterior Design
    The Venza sports an aerodynamic shape with short overhangs, forward A-pillar, crisp character lines, and a low roofline. Continuous brushstroke lines run from the front grille to the D-pillar. A bold front end features a distinctive grille, headlights and fog lamps for a sporty yet refined appearance. Venza's sophisticated and confident appearance is completed by an angled rear hatch, spoiler and wide wraparound taillights that interconnect with the hatch door. Tight tire-to-body gaps contribute to the sophisticated, refined appearance.
    The Venza design is highly practical, with a rear load-in height that is almost as low as that of the Sienna minivan. The generously sized liftgate opening enhances the vehicle's utility. An available power liftgate integrates jam protection that detects obstruction in the door’s path and reverses the motor. Venza provides a low step-over height for improved ergonomics, and because the closed doors cover the rocker panels, the driver and passengers are protected from accumulated road-dust while getting into and out of the vehicle.
    Interior Design
    The Venza interior is designed to enhance driving enjoyment and offer premium comfort. Venza is available in three interior colors: Ivory, Light Gray, and Black, which is new for 2013. Each color is offered in fabric on LE and leather on XLE and Limited.
    The flow of the center console creates a unique “60/60” design that gives both the driver and front passenger the feeling that 60 percent of the space is accessible from their seating position. All grades have a standard Optitron® speedometer and tachometer. The XLE and Limited grades also include a TFT multi-color center instrument panel display. Dual-zone automatic climate system controls are centrally located on the upper console, providing easy access for both the driver and front passenger.
    Personal space lends overall comfort to the vehicle's interior with ample head room, shoulder room, hip room and couple distance. Cargo-area utility is enhanced with fold-down 60/40 rear seats, one-touch fold-down seat levers and a tonneau cover.
    Limited Warranty
    Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. Toyota dealers have complete details on the limited warranty.
    The Venza will also come standard with Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 3, 2012
    At this week's New York Auto Show, Nissan will unveil the production model of the NV200 Taxi. The vehicle, which was chosen as New York City's new taxi, will go into service next year.
    The NV200 can take four passengers (three in the back, one in the front). Back seat passengers can take advantage of a charging station for their electronics, which includes one 12-volt outlet and a pair of USB ports. Back seat passengers also get a transparent panel to view the sky and climate control.
    For the taxi driver, the NV200 taxi gets a standard navigation system and rearview camera.
    Power comes from a 2.0L four-cylinder engine with unknown horsepower.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Nissan Taxi of Tomorrow Makes World Debut on Eve of 2012 New York International Auto Show


    -Available for public viewing beginning April 6
    -Driver and passenger input informs key vehicle features
    -Coming to New York City streets next year
    New York (April 3, 2012) – Each day, 600,000 New Yorkers hop in the back of a taxi – the iconic yellow cab that is a symbol of New York City around the world. Starting today, the first full vehicle prototype of the Taxi of Tomorrow can be seen by drivers, passengers and owners. The 2014 Nissan NV200 taxi, New York's Taxi of Tomorrow, will make its global debut tonight at a special event in SoHo with Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn and New York City officials.
    Following the event, the Taxi of Tomorrow is headed to the 2012 New York International Auto Show, where it will be on display for New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. The auto show at the Jacob Javits Center is open to the public April 6-15.
    "We're proud to introduce a new era of urban mobility to New York with the Nissan NV200 Taxi – New York City's Taxi of Tomorrow," Ghosn said. "The exclusive Taxi of Tomorrow draws on Nissan's global experience in commercial vehicles, as well as insight from New York City taxi drivers and passengers, who helped identify important improvements over today's cabs. The Nissan taxi will deliver unprecedented levels of innovation and comfort to New York's 600,000 daily taxi riders."
    After a rigorous, two-year competitive bid selection process, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) selected the Nissan NV200 Taxi in May 2011 as the exclusive taxi of New York City beginning in late 2013. The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Design Trust for Public Space and Smart Design also have engaged with Nissan and the TLC in the vehicle's design.
    "The Nissan NV 200 unveiled today will be the safest, most comfortable and most convenient taxi the City has ever had," said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "New York City cabs have always been iconic, and now they will set a new standard. The 600,000 passengers who use taxis to get around every day deserve the cutting-edge technology and top-of-the-line safety features that this model delivers."
    Designed from the inside out, using input from New York taxi drivers, medallion holders, fleets and passengers, standard interior features and passenger amenities include:
    • Ample room for four passengers and their luggage, offering substantial improvements over current taxi models
    • Sliding doors with entry step and grab handles, providing easy entry and exit
    • Transparent roof panel, presenting unique views of the city
    • Opening side windows
    • Independently controlled rear air conditioning
    • Active Carbon Lined headliner to help neutralize interior odors
    • Overhead reading lights for passengers and floor lighting to help locate belongings
    • A mobile charging station for passengers, including a 12-volt electrical outlet and two USB ports
    • Breathable, antimicrobial, environment-friendly, durable and easy-to-clean seat fabric, simulating the look and feel of leather
    • Flat "no hump" passenger floor area for more comfortable ride
    Other notable vehicle features are:
    • Proven 2.0L 4-cylinder powertrain, engineered to enhance the emission performance and fuel efficiency of the taxi fleet
    • 150,000 mile powertrain warranty
    • A low-annoyance horn with exterior lights that indicate when the vehicle is honking, so the horn is used less frequently. A 6-way adjustable driver's seat featuring both recline and lumbar adjustments, even with a partition installed
    • Unique driver's seat material and stitching to promote improved airflow
    • USB Auxiliary audio input and charge port for driver
    • Standard navigation system with integrated rearview backup monitor
    • Hearing Loop System for the hearing impaired
    • Driver and passenger intercom system
    • Pre-wiring for taxi T-PEP system
    In addition, important safety features of the Taxi of Tomorrow include:
    • Only taxi ever to be safety tested and certified with full taxi partition
    • Front and rear-seat occupant curtain airbags, and seat-mounted airbags for the front row
    • Standard traction control and Vehicle Dynamic Control
    • Sliding doors to lessen risk of pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists getting struck by doors opening unexpectedly
    • Lights that alert other road users that taxi doors are opening
    With more than 13,000 taxis traveling a cumulative 500 million miles per year, building a taxi with the utmost durability is critical to the development process. Drawing on its full range of commercial vehicle experience – including providing taxis for municipalities around the world – Nissan will conduct significant validation testing for the Nissan NV200 Taxi prior to the vehicle going on sale. Additionally, as acknowledged by Mayor Bloomberg during the May 2011 announcement, the Taxi of Tomorrow will be the first New York taxi to be crash-tested with taxi equipment installed, including the partition.
    Nissan has also partnered with the Braun Corp., the world leader in automotive mobility products, to develop, engineer and produce a creative solution for a wheelchair-accessible taxi in New York. Drawing on Braun's innovation and experience in the mobility industry, Nissan will offer a mobility solution to New York taxi medallion holders when the taxis go on sale in 2013.
    As part of the Taxi of Tomorrow program, Nissan is also working with the City and taxi owners on a pilot program to study the use of zero-emission, electric vehicles as taxis. Nissan will provide six 100-percent electric Nissan LEAFs and three Level 2 charging stations at no charge to taxi owners and New York City to test the electrification of the taxi fleet.
    The Nissan NV200 Taxi will be produced in North America at Nissan's manufacturing facility in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Total manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of the vehicle, with all planned standard features, will be approximately $29,700.
    To stay informed on news and events related to Taxi of Tomorrow, follow it on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/taxioftomorrow or visit www.taxioftomorrow.com.
    About Taxi of Tomorrow
    In 2007, City officials convened a group of stakeholders, including representatives of taxi drivers, owners and passengers, to create a set of goals for the next New York City taxi cab, a project called the Taxi of Tomorrow. Taxi of Tomorrow was the result of a groundbreaking effort by the Design Trust for Public Space and the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission to re-imagine the entire taxi system – including the vehicle – for the 21st century. In December 2009, the TLC issued a "request for proposals," inviting auto manufacturers and designers to submit their best ideas for a purpose-built vehicle to serve as a New York City taxicab. At the end of the evaluation, the Nissan NV200 was selected and will be the next New York City taxicab for ten years, beginning in 2013.
    About Nissan North America
    In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010 and has been recognized as a 2010 and 2011 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com.
    About Nissan
    Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second largest Japanese automotive company by volume, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan and is an integral pillar of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.6 million vehicles in 2011. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades including the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year award.
    Nissan NV200 Taxi of Tomorrow Specifications*
    Wheelbase (inches): 115
    Vehicle height (inches): 73
    Vehicle length (inches): 186
    Vehicle width (inches): 68
    Engine displacement (L): 2.0
    No. of cylinders: 4
    Air quality emissions rating: EPA Tier II Bin 5
    Driven axle: Front
    Availability: Late 2013
    Model year: 2014
    Estimated base taxi MSRP: $29,700
    Included standard features:
    2.0L Engine, front wheel drive
    Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) system
    Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
    Power windows
    Opening side windows
    Power locks
    Power heated mirrors
    Cruise control
    Front compartment A/C
    Front and rear-seat occupant curtain airbags, as well as seat-mounted airbags for the front row
    Premium vinyl seat materials
    6-way adjustable driver's seat
    Driver adjustable lumbar
    Driver navigation system
    Driver and Passenger Intercom System
    Hearing Loop System
    Primary partition
    Vinyl floor
    Exterior graphics
    Yellow exterior color
    Medallion holder
    Low-annoyance horn
    Exterior and interior taxi lighting
    2nd row 3-passenger bench seat
    Panoramic glass roof panel
    Rear A/C with rear controls
    Active Carbon Lined headliner to neutralize interior odors
    Rear passenger reading lamps
    Rear passenger charging station with 12-volt electrical outlet and two USB ports
    Sliding doors with passenger entry step and grab handles
    *Information on this spec sheet is tentative until final design.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 3, 2012
    We've seen two of the refreshed GM's Lambda crossovers, the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia. Now, GM has shown the third Lambda; the Buick Enclave.
    The tweaked three-row crossover will get several updates, starting with a new front fascia that includes a black chrome waterfall grille and redesigned hood. The front also a new headlight design with standard Xenon headlamps and LED daytime running lights.
    The back end gets similar LED lights and a few other slight tweaks.
    The interior gets some dramatic changes. The dash includes modern-looking materials and a contemporary center stack. There are also tasteful wood treatments, chrome accents, attractive stitching, and blue LED ambient lighting.
    The 2013 Enclave will also get Buick's IntelliLink infotainment system as standard equipment. IntelliLink includes an LCD touch-screen, Bluetooth, USB input, voice recognition, Sirius XM satellite radio and HD radio. A ten-speaker Bose sound system and navigation is optional.
    As for the powertrain, the 3.6L V6 is carried over from last year. The Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic transmission gets some revised controls to improve shift feel and overall drivability.
    The 2013 Enclave's ride and handling has been revised thanks to new dampers in the front and back. Also, the Enclave got more "Quiet Tuning" to help keep out road noise.
    Safety wise, a new center airbag for front-seat passengers is standard, along with a backup camera.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Buick Introduces the New 2013 Enclave



    New design cues, technologies enhance the industry’s top three-row luxury crossover


    NEW YORK – Buick today introduced the new 2013 Enclave, an evolution of the industry’s best-selling three-row luxury crossover. It offers new styling, new safety technologies, in-vehicle connectivity and a more refined driving experience.
    LED daytime running lamps and LED taillamps complement a more sculpted exterior design. The interior is more contemporary, with ambient lighting and IntelliLink in-vehicle communications with touch-screen control and navigation. The industry’s first front center air bag system and new dual-flow front struts highlight the safety and performance enhancements.
    The 2013 Enclave makes its public debut at the New York Auto Show, where it will be on display April 6-15. It goes on sale this fall.
    “The 2013 Enclave advances the award-winning design, craftsmanship and technology that reintroduced Buick to a new generation of customers,” said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing. “We evolved the interior and exterior design, increased luxury amenities and materials, and engineered purposeful technologies that will make the Enclave continue to resonate with luxury crossover owners.”
    Enclave saw record sales in 2011, making it more popular than the three-row crossovers from Acura, Audi and Lincoln. More than 58,000 were sold last year – with nearly 50 percent sold to customers switching from non-General Motors vehicles.
    The Enclave is offered in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models, and powered by a direct-injected 3.6L V-6 and an updated six-speed automatic transmission that contribute to the more refined driving experience. Buick’s QuietTuning engineering process reduces, blocks and absorbs unwanted noise from the Enclave’s cabin, making it quieter than a Lexus RX350.
    Sculpted exterior advances Buick’s design language
    Enclave’s sculpted styling redefined Buick’s design language upon its introduction more than five years ago. The 2013 model adds new signature cues, including:
    New front fascia with LED daytime running lamps
    New headlamp design, with standard Xenon high-intensity discharge lamps (HID) and LED accent lighting. Articulating headlamps are available
    New hood and black-chrome waterfall grille
    New rear fascia design with integrated exhaust outlets
    New LED taillamps
    New 19-inch and 20-inch aluminum wheel designs
    Monochromatic exterior appearance with chrome accents.

    The Enclave’s new appearance is instantly recognizable as a modern Buick and the LED lighting elements enhance its technologically advanced presence. The blue translucent rings around the Xenon HID headlamps are Buick design cues found on other models, adding distinction across the brand’s lineup.
    At the rear, the exhaust outlets are framed with a chrome finish within the rear fascia, for an integrated appearance that exemplifies Buick’s attention to detail. New LED taillamps provide a safety benefit by illuminating more quickly than conventional bulbs when the brakes are applied.
    Harmonious interior environment
    The 2013 Enclave’s interior is defined by luxurious amenities and high-quality materials, with changes that create a more contemporary ambience and support the integration of Buick IntelliLink. Highlights:
    New ice blue LED ambient lighting around the dash highlights Enclave’s flowing lines, emphasizing the cabin’s spaciousness
    Eight-way power front driver and passenger seats with four-way adjustable head restraints emphasize seat comfort
    Details including soft touch materials and live stitching throughout the cabin, as well as true chrome accents
    Four interior color combinations are available with complementing wood tones, including a new Cocoa leather combination
    A new “center stack” with standard IntelliLink LCD display, tri-zone climate system, capacitive touch controls and available navigation system.

    “Enclave’s sense of fashion is enhanced with rich saturated tones and the new color combinations, which are driven by Buick customers’ lifestyles,” said Ven Lai, Buick creative designer, color and trim. “The new Cocoa interior color is a great example. It was developed specifically for the Enclave, adding a higher degree of visual warmth that is complemented by the soft feel of the Nuance sandstone leather – a material that has similar characteristics to leathers used in home furnishings. It makes for a comfortable and rewarding place to be for daily commutes or long weekend drives.”
    The new center stack was developed for easy, intuitive interaction with the new IntelliLink system, along with redundant controls on the genuine Mahogany-accented steering wheel. The tri-zone climate system’s new controls are designed to be more intuitive, too, with easier, at-a-glance operation, bold digital temperature readouts and larger controls that are easier to operate with gloves.
    Enclave offers three rows of seating, available in seven- or eight-passenger configurations. The second-row seats feature the SmartSlide system, which allows easier entry to the third row, with the pull of a single handle. There is 23.3 cubic feet (660 liters) of cargo space behind the third row and a maximum of 115.2 cubic feet (3,263 liters) of cargo space available when the second and third rows are folded. That’s more than the Mercedes-Benz R Class, Infiniti JX, Acura MDX, Lincoln MKT, Audi Q7 and the Volvo XC90.
    IntelliLink brings wealth of choices
    Buick’s IntelliLink system is standard on all models and enhances the driving experience with a higher level of wireless connectivity and customized options – all while building on the safety and security of OnStar.
    IntelliLink is intuitive and easy to use and includes the capability of setting up a “home page” for favorites. It integrates online services such as Pandora® internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio™ using hands-free voice and touch-screen controls via Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, building on the voice-activated Bluetooth hands-free calling capability already offered in other Buick models. Additional features:
    High-resolution color display with touch-screen control
    Bluetooth with hands-free (for phone calls) and A2DP audio-streaming protocol support
    Address book download and hands-free calling
    USB port
    Auxiliary audio input port
    Redundant steering wheel controls
    Enhanced voice recognition powered by Nuance
    AM/FM/Audio CD/MP3 CD/ HD Radio
    SiriusXM Satellite Radio and data services
    Selected Smartphone apps can be controlled through the IntelliLink interface via the touch-screen, steering wheel controls or voice commands. The first apps to be supported are Pandora and Stitcher
    Supports playback of MP3 files stored on flash memory drives.

    IntelliLink is standard with all Enclaves, including those with the optional navigation system. The IntelliLink screen also serves as the display for the standard rearview camera system. A premium 10-speaker Bose audio system is also available and is optimized for the Enclave’s refined interior acoustics.
    Industry-first front center air bag highlights comprehensive safety package
    In 2012, every Buick model was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, underscoring the brand’s commitment to safety leadership. The 2013 Enclave builds on that commitment with the industry’s first front center airbag – a standard feature.
    The front center air bag, standard on all 2013 Enclave models, was created to help protect drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes. It deploys from the inboard side of the driver’s seat and positions itself between the driver and front passenger, delivering a more comprehensive occupant restraint system. No other air bag in passenger vehicles today offers this type of protection in the front seat.
    Standard safety features also include StabiliTrak, traction control, panic brake assist, rear-vision camera system and seven total air bags – including head-curtain side air bags covering outboard occupants in all three passenger rows. Rounding out this suite of safety features are two systems available for the first time on the 2013 Enclave: side blind zone alert and rear cross traffic alert, which use radar to watch spots the driver may not be able to see – and provide visible and audible warnings to help prevent collisions.
    Additionally, customer convenience features such as a power liftgate and remote start are standard. The Enclave also comes with six months of complimentary OnStar Directions and Connections service, which includes automatic crash response, turn-by-turn navigation, roadside assistance, emergency services link and remote door unlocking. The myBuick mobile app with OnStar RemoteLink offers connectivity to the Enclave from outside the vehicle, including extended locking and unlocking capability and extended remote start functionality.
    A smoother, more controlled driving experience
    The Enclave’s engineers improved its carlike driving experience with revised front and rear dampers, for greater smoothness and an enhanced feeling of control. In the front suspension, new dual-flow dampers and rebound springs are used to reduce the jarring feel of bumps, as well as provide a quieter and smoother ride. In the rear, new low-velocity control shocks help reduce road inputs that could be felt inside the passenger compartment.
    All models feature independent front and rear suspensions, with variable-effort power-assisted steering; and a direct-acting stabilizer bar on the front MacPherson-strut suspension helps provide a more immediate feeling of responsiveness during turns. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard and 19- and 20-inch wheels are available.
    Revised controls in the next-generation Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic transmission also contribute to Enclave’s smoother feel behind the wheel. They improve the shift feel and overall driveability – and the fuel-saving six-speed design helps the three-row Enclave deliver an EPA-estimated 24 mpg on the highway (FWD models).

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 3, 2012
    Porsche is giving an unexpected choice for Cayenne buyers come September; a diesel engine. The Porsche Cayenne Diesel makes its U.S. debut at the New York Auto Show this week.
    Power comes from a 3.0L turbo-diesel V-6 borrowed from the Audi Q7 and Volkswagen Touareg. Power is upped from 225 HP to 240 and torque stands at 406 lb-ft. An eight speed automatic transmission sends the power to all four wheels.
    The Cayenne Diesel gets from 0-60 MPH in 7.2 seconds, a top speed of 135 MPH, and gets 20 City/28 Highway.
    Pricing for the Cayenne Diesel starts at $55,750, which puts it between the base Cayenne ($52,175) and the Cayenne S ($65,000).

    Press Release is on Page 2

    2013 Porsche Cayenne



    Porsche's First Diesel for the U.S. Market Joins the Cayenne Family


    The Porsche Cayenne sport utility family gets a new member for 2013: the Cayenne Diesel. The newest Cayenne model joins the Cayenne, Cayenne S, Cayenne S Hybrid and Cayenne Turbo.
    Originally introduced to the diesel-dominated European market in 2009, clean diesel technology and its many consumer benefits are now available to Porsche customers in the U.S. market for the first time. The Cayenne Diesel arrives in Porsche dealer showrooms in September and will be priced from $55,750, not including a $975 destination charge.
    Cayenne Models for 2013
    Cayenne, 300-hp, 3.6 liter V6 with active all-wheel-drive
    Cayenne Diesel, 240-hp, 3.0 liter V6 turbo diesel engine with SCR-technology and permanent all-wheel drive system with self-locking center differential
    Cayenne S, 400-hp, 4.8 liter V8 with active all-wheel-drive
    Cayenne S Hybrid, 380-hp parallel full hybrid with 333-hp, 3.0 liter supercharged V6 gasoline engine with additional 47-hp provided by two electric motors with permanent all-wheel drive system with self-locking center differential
    Cayenne Turbo, 500-hp, twin-turbocharged, 4.8 liter V8 with active all-wheel-drive

    Model Year 2013 Changes
    Interior changes, including a new standard analog clock on the dashboard, new door lock buttons placed near the front door handles
    European Factory Delivery program offered for all models
    Porsche Cayenne Diesel
    The new-for-2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel's powerful, yet fuel-efficient 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel engine, delivers 240-hp and 406 lb.-ft. of torque, available from as low as 1,750 rpm. The result is strong 0-60 mph acceleration in just 7.2 seconds and a top track speed of 135 mph. That performance is complemented by best in class fuel economy – based on preliminary internal estimates, the Cayenne Diesel is estimated to achieve a rating of 20 mpg city / 28 mpg highway / 23 combined on its U.S. EPA label. Final figures will be confirmed closer to the start of sales later in 2012.
    In addition to power and economy, the Cayenne Diesel can travel up to 740 miles on a single tank of fuel.
    The Cayenne Diesel is built to meet Tier 2 Bin 5 emission standards, and includes selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology. The SCR system is comprised of an AdBlue® tank located in the car's spare-wheel well, a heating system for this tank and the lines which carry the AdBlue, an injection valve for AdBlue fluid and a selective catalytic reduction converter, which aid in the reduction of NOx (oxides of nitrogen) emissions.
    Highlights of the 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine in the Cayenne Diesel include high pressure common rail fuel injection and a variable vane geometry turbocharger, which give the engine improved response to driver inputs and enhanced fuel economy when compared to more conventional diesel engine technologies. In addition, the engine block is constructed from compacted graphite iron (CGI), which has many of the strength properties of a conventional iron block but with a significant reduction in mass, approximately 55 lbs. (25 kilograms).
    The Cayenne Diesel is mated to an 8-speed Tiptronic S transmission, without the Auto Start/Stop function available on other Cayenne variants. As with the Cayenne S Hybrid, the Cayenne Diesel includes Porsche Traction Management (PTM), which features permanent all-wheel drive.
    The Cayenne Diesel also comes standard with a system to protect the driver from fueling the vehicle with the incorrect fuel. A mechanical safeguard in the fuel tank filler neck ensures that the locking mechanism can only be opened by the larger diameter diesel fuel pump nozzle and that refueling will only begin at that point.
    The Cayenne Diesel is designated with a "Diesel" badge on the left and right front fenders.
    Model Lineup
    Porsche Cayenne
    The 3.6-liter V6 in the Porsche Cayenne's engine delivers 300-hp and 295 lb.-ft. of torque, and is matched to either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed Tiptronic S transmission and active all-wheel drive. The Cayenne sprints from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds with the manual transmission, and 7.4 seconds with the Tiptronic S. Top track speed is 143 mph. The Porsche Cayenne has a base MSRP price of $48,850, not including a $975 destination charge.
    Porsche Cayenne Diesel
    The Porsche Cayenne Diesel is powered by a modern 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel engine with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology. From a stop, it reaches 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, and achieves top track speed of 135 mph. The Cayenne Diesel features compacted graphite iron engine construction for lower weight, low fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, as well as improved engine acoustics and low vibrations for smooth engine running. The Cayenne Diesel produces 240-hp and a maximum torque of 406 lb.-ft. Thus, it is ideal for sporty acceleration, driving long distances, towing heavy trailer loads or everyday city driving. The Porsche Cayenne Diesel has a base MSRP price of $55,750, not including a $975 destination charge.
    Porsche Cayenne S
    The Porsche Cayenne S features a 4.8-liter V8 that produces 400-hp and 369 lb.-ft. of torque. An 8-speed Tiptronic S transmission and active all-wheel drive are standard, as are larger brakes with silver painted calipers. Zero to 60 mph happens in 5.6 seconds on its way to a top track speed of 160 mph. The Porsche Cayenne S has a base MSRP price of $65,850, not including a $975 destination charge.
    Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid
    The Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid combines a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 gasoline engine with an electric motor powered by a 288-volt nickel metal-hydride (NiMh) battery pack for sporty yet fuel-efficient performance. With 380 hp and 428 lb.-ft. of torque, delivered through an 8-speed Tiptronic S transmission to a permanent all-wheel drive system, the Cayenne S Hybrid accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds on its way to a top track speed of 150 mph. The Cayenne S Hybrid can also operate in electric-only mode at speeds of up to 40 mph, and features Auto Start/Stop technology. The Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid has base MSRP price of $69,850, not including a $975 destination charge.
    Porsche Cayenne Turbo
    Porsche's most potent Cayenne, the Cayenne Turbo, is powered by a twin-turbo 4.8-liter V8. With 500-hp and 516 lb.-ft. of torque, the Cayenne Turbo offers the most impressive performance in the Cayenne lineup.
    The Cayenne Turbo accelerates from a standing start to 60 mph in a mere 4.4 seconds and achieves a top track speed of 173 mph. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo has a base MSRP price of $108,750, not including a $975 destination charge.
    Efficiency
    Compared to the last generation Cayenne models, the current Cayenne, Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo provide up to a 20 percent increase in fuel economy, thanks in part to their lighter weight and 8-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmissions. With the exception of the 6-speed, manual transmission Cayenne, an 8-speed Tiptronic S transmission is standard across the rest of the Cayenne model line. All Cayenne models all are rated to tow 7,716 pounds.
    All 8-speed Tiptronic S equipped Cayenne models, except the Cayenne Diesel, feature Auto Start/Stop technology. Auto Start/Stop saves fuel and reduces emissions by turning off the engine when it is not needed, such as while sitting at a stop light.
    Upgrades and Changes
    Continuous improvement is a hallmark of Porsche Engineering, and the Cayenne interior benefits from a number of customer-friendly changes for 2013.
    Central Locking Button
    Changes to the car's interior include the addition of door locking and unlocking buttons to the door handles on the driver and passenger's side of the front of the Cayenne.
    As one of the most frequently used functions, central locking is now easily accessible to both driver and passenger. Separate buttons for locking and unlocking are now integrated in the door handles. Whether the doors are locked or not can be seen using the integrated feedback LED. The new operating concept allows for much more intuitive operation of the central locking system.
    New Analog Clock
    A new analog clock mounted on the top of the instrument panel at the center of the vehicle has been added as standard to all Cayenne models.
    Highly Sophisticated Audio Systems
    The CDR audio system is standard on all Cayenne models. It features a 7-inch color touchscreen display, enabling drivers to navigate and select the main menus and functions. The integrated CD radio, featuring an FM dual tuner, 30 memory presets, dynamic auto-store and speed-sensitive volume control includes a sound system with 10 loudspeakers and a total audio output of 100 watts.
    For the ultimate listening experience, drivers can add an optional Bose® Surround Sound system or Burmester® High-End Surround Sound System. Additional options can also be combined with CDR, such as a telephone module, 6-disc DVD changer or rearview camera.
    Porsche Communication Management (PCM) System
    Powerful, versatile and easy to use the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system is the central control system for all information and communications functions. PCM is standard for Cayenne Turbo, and optional for all other Cayenne models.
    Key features include a seven-inch high-resolution touchscreen display with optional rotary push-button controls on the steering wheel. The menu layout presents no more than five entries per page, enabling fast and accurate operation. A Help function is displayed at the bottom of the screen for fast guidance.
    Color Changes
    For 2013, Sand White has been replaced by a new White paint option. Sand Yellow and Amethyst Metallic are no longer available.
    New European Delivery Program
    For 2013, the Cayenne, like all other Porsche models, can now be ordered for delivery either at their birthplace in Leipzig or at the Porsche factory in Zuffenhausen.
    The Porsche European Delivery program is a memorable experience from the moment an owner is presented with the keys to their new Cayenne. From special photo opportunities at either the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart or the "Porsche Diamond," the main building at Leipzig, to factory tours, owners get the insider's look at how a Porsche automobile is created. European delivery at Porsche world headquarters in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen includes full access to the world-class Porsche Museum where decades of Porsche sports and race car evolution is on display. Owners that choose to take possession of their new Cayenne in Leipzig will have the opportunity to drive a number of different Porsche models on the test track or test the capabilities of a Cayenne SUV off-road at the Porsche Experience Center.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 3, 2012
    A few weeks ago, we reported that Honda would show a Crosstour concept at the New York Auto Show. Well, the time has come and here is the Crosstour Concept.
    At first glance, you're left wondering what has changed. Then after a second look, you notice a new grill and front bumper. Also, there is new body cladding along the side.
    We'll update this when we get more information on the Crosstour concept.
    *UPDATE*
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 4, 2012
    Earlier today, Honda showed the Crosstour Concept at the New York Auto Show.
    Honda is re-aiming the Crosstour at "active consumers," with its "more capable-looking styling". Hence why the concept has a rugged-esque front bumper and dark trim running around the sides.
    Inside, the Crosstour gets updated trim, eight-inch display, keyless start, and LaneWatch blind-spot detection.
    Power will either come from 2.4L four-cylinder or a 3.5L V6 that goes through a six-speed automatic.
    The new Crosstour will go on sale sometime in the fall.

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Honda Unveils 2013 Crosstour Concept at New York Auto Show
    Next Crosstour to feature more capable-looking styling, more efficient V-6 drivetrain along with host of new safety and visibility features.
    NEW YORK, April 4, 2012 – Honda unveiled the 2013 Crosstour Concept today at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), providing the first official glimpse of a more capable looking exterior styling direction for the luxurious mid-size CUV. Set to go on sale this fall, the Crosstour's defined lines will resonate more clearly with the active consumers that form the largest portion of the premium crossover segment. The 2013 Crosstour V-6 will feature improved fuel economy thanks to its new 6-speed automatic transmission, while both four-cylinder and V-6 versions will benefit from a host of safety and visibility upgrades.
    "Fueled by a combination of versatility, luxury, and efficiency, owners have demonstrated remarkable devotion to the Honda Crosstour," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda. "The 2013 Crosstour Concept shows how Honda will strengthen the styling and add even more content to one of the most efficient offerings in the class."
    Concept Design
    The Crosstour Concept features a more capable, SUV-like styling direction for Honda's mid-size crossover. A more aggressive and athletic front end, new contrasting moldings on the lower door garnish, and cleaner front and rear fascias anchored by the rugged look of finished sill plates provide more visual strength to the Crosstour Concept. Adding to the SUV-like stance, new rear-fender finish helps give the Concept a more solidly planted appearance.
    Up front, the new integrated foglamp treatment is complemented by a slotted finish beneath the headlights, which helps integrate the new, bolder grille. The revised tailgate sports a more horizontal design to add visual width to the sculpted lines at the rear of the Crosstour.
    The Crosstour Concept is coated in a fresh hue, similar to one of two new shades that will appear on the 2013 Crosstour. Anchoring the Crosstour Concept are unique 5-spoke 19-inch wheels, while the 2013 Honda Crosstour will feature new 18-inch alloy wheels.
    Though not on display in the Crosstour Concept, the luxurious interior of the Honda Crosstour will see even further refinement for 2013, including heavily revised trim materials, the addition of an 8-inch, in-dash information display, keyless ignition, and steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters on V-6 models.
    Advanced and Efficient Powertrains
    The Crosstour will offer two powertrains for the 2013 model year: a re-engineered and more powerful 3.5-liter, 24-valve, SOHC, i-VTEC V-6 engine, or a 2.4-liter i-VTEC inline four-cylinder engine. The 2013 Crosstour V-6 models will feature a 6-speed automatic transmission and utilize Honda Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) technology to achieve class-leading V-6 fuel economy1 along with an overall improvement in fuel economy compared to the outgoing model. Also available on Crosstour EX-L V-6 models is Honda's Real Time 4WDTM system, which sends power to all four wheels when front-wheel slippage is detected.
    The four-cylinder Crosstour models are powered by a 2.4-liter, 16-valve DOHC i-VTEC® engine producing 192 horsepower at 7,000 RPM and 162 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 RPM. To maximize efficiency, a 5-speed automatic transmission with Grade Logic Control is standard equipment.
    Safety and Technology Innovations
    The 2013 Crosstour will introduce numerous new safety features, and is targeted to earn top scores in the federal government's New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The next Crosstour will be available with Honda's Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW) technology. Both systems use a camera mounted behind the windshield to alert drivers if the car is moving out of its lane or to warn drivers of a potential collision in front of them.
    The 2013 Crosstour will provide a host of visibility enhancements, and will be one of the first models to receive the Honda-exclusive LaneWatch™ blind-spot display, which uses a camera system mounted on the passenger mirror for an enhanced view of the passenger-side roadway. Standard equipment to further enhance visibility on the 2013 Crosstour will also include re-shaped rear headrests, a rearview camera and an Expanded View Driver's Mirror.
    Standard Crosstour convenience features include an automatic dimming rearview mirror, auto-on/off headlights, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® and USB audio interface. Other available features on the 2013 Crosstour will include a hard-drive based navigation system, Pandora internet radio interface, XM satellite radio and an SMS text-to-speech function.
    Sales, Accolades and Manufacturing History
    First launched in 2009, and now available with both V-6 and four-cylinder engines, the Crosstour remains one of the most versatile choices in the midsize crossover segment, and earned the distinction of J.D. Power and Associates' "Highest Ranked Midsize Crossover/SUV in Initial Quality" in their 2011 Initial Quality Study SM (IQS). The Crosstour is produced2 at Honda's East Liberty Plant in East Liberty, Ohio.
    High resolution photography and video of the 2013 Crosstour Concept is available on the Honda Media Newsroom at www.hondanews.com. More information about the Honda Crosstour, including high resolution photos and video, is available at www.hondanews.com.
    1. Preliminary EPA mileage estimates determined by Honda. Final EPA mileage estimates not available at the time of printing.
    2. Honda products are produced using domestic and globally sourced parts.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 2, 2012
    Despite getting leaked earlier today, Lincoln showed the new 2013 MKZ before the start of the New York Auto Show.
    Based on the MKZ concept vehicle that was shown at the Detroit Auto Show in January, the production version looks largely unchanged except for the door handles and larger side mirrors.
    “The MKZ shape is a vision completed with just a few strokes,” said Lincoln Design director Max Wolff.
    Inside, the MKZ is a dream concept car come true. The interior is covered wall-to-wall in leather, real wood trim and metal accents. The instrument cluster is a 10.1-inch LCD screen. The dash has a push Button Shift gear selector and 8-inch center touchscreen. SYNC and MyLincolnTouch is standard. Optional is a unique 15.2-foot Retractable Panoramic Roof that Lincoln teased last week.
    The MKZ will have the choice of three powertrains; a 2.0L four-cylinder EcoBoost producing 240 HP (on premium fuel) and 270 lb-ft of torque; a 3.7L V6 generating 300 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque; and the hybrid powertrain which uses 2.0L four-cylinder and a electric motor producing 188 HP.
    Fuel economy for the three engines are:
    2.0L EcoBoost: 22 MPG City/33 MPG Highway
    3.7L V6: 18 MPG City/26 MPG Highway
    Hybrid: N/A

    Lincoln Drive Control will be standard on the MKZ. Lincoln Drive Control coordinates every system on the car to continually refine the ride and handling in real time. The system uses Continually Controlled Damping suspension system, which offers normal, comfort and sport modes and activately adjusts the dampers up to 50 times per second.
    Safety-wise, the MKZ could set a record for the number of sensors onboard. There's a camera in the rear-view mirror that can read lane-markers, radar sensors for the adaptive cruise control and active Collision Warning with Brake Support, and more radar sensors for parking and backing up. Inside, the MKZ is equipped with eight airbags. Available is a class-exclusive inflatable rear seatbelts.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    The New MKZ: Lincoln's Future Begins


    NEW YORK, April 2, 2012 – The all-new Lincoln MKZ makes its debut at the New York International Auto Show, marking a key milestone in Lincoln's reinvention.
    "The new Lincoln MKZ represents the future of Lincoln in both style and substance," said Jim Farley, Group Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. "It is proof of our commitment to deliver a new breed of Lincolns for a new generation of Lincoln clients – motor cars that are distinctive, elegant, full of technology and a delight to own."
    The 2013 Lincoln MKZ enters the midsize luxury segment later this year.
    > It is the first Lincoln created by a dedicated team in its new Lincoln Design Studio
    > With a sweeping profile, MKZ incorporates one of the world's widest-opening retractable glass roofs
    > Lincoln Drive Control offered as an intelligent system that delivers a refined ride and engaging driving dynamics. Standard Lincoln Drive Control intuitively integrates multiple systems (engine, transmission, body and chassis) to deliver totally new Lincoln driving quality
    > Innovations include a distinct Push Button Shift gear selector creates flowing and architectural center console design
    > A quiet, well-appointed interior is provided by standard Active Noise Control, genuine wood trim, full LCD instrumentation, heated front seats and SYNC® with MyLincoln Touch™
    > MKZ is offered with a choice of three powerful, efficient powertrains, including a next-generation hybrid expected to ensure the MKZ remains America's most fuel-efficient premium sedan
    > Class-exclusive inflatable rear safety belts that supplement eight standard airbags are available
    Camera- and Radar-Based Driving Aids
    The new Lincoln MKZ offers the Lane Keeping System, a suite of advanced driving aids that helps drivers avoid drifting from their lane due to distraction or fatigue. Consisting of Lane Keeping Aid, Lane Keeping Alert and Driver Assist, the Lane Keeping System utilizes a mono-vision camera integrated into the rearview mirror to read the lane markers ahead.
    Available radar-based (ultrasonic) driving aids further enhance the driving experience. Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support each use a long-range radar system that scans in front of the vehicle, automatically adjusting to traffic speed and providing a visual and audible alert when a potential front end collision is detected.
    Active park assist, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert use multiple short-range wide-angle radar sensors. Each function provides a distinct benefit, ranging from making parallel parking easier to warning of oncoming vehicles while backing out of a parking space.
    SYNC with MyLincoln Touch
    SYNC with MyLincoln Touch is standard in the new MKZ. The combined system makes it easier to use the entertainment, climate and available navigation features as well as devices brought into the car (e.g., phones, PDA, MP3 players). Twin five-way controls on the steering wheel manage essential systems, and many functions can be voice-activated via SYNC.
    Standard SYNC Services make turn-by-turn directions available via one-button push and simple voice commands. Continually improving voice recognition software learns user voices, improving the efficiency of voice commands.
    MKZ Dynamic Driving Technologies
    The new MKZ offers Lincoln Drive Control as standard. Lincoln Drive Control is an automatic system that delivers an ideal balance of a smooth ride with confident handling as it intuitively responds to driver commands and the road, making the 2013 model the most refined and engaging MKZ ever.
    Always on, Lincoln Drive Control orchestrates the performance of the Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) adjustable suspension, electric power-assisted steering (EPAS), engine, transmission, Active Noise Control (ANC), traction control and stability control systems.
    The result is an unsurpassed combination of refined ride and engaging driving dynamics. CCD offers three modes (Sport/Normal/Comfort) that are accessible using MyLincoln Touch. Selecting "Sport" on the Push Button Shift gear selector enables a decidedly more sporty driving experience.
    CCD contributes to Lincoln Drive Control's transparent action by monitoring the car's suspension settings up to 500 times per second. The real-time system adjusts the suspension up to 50 times per second to deliver more controlled handling with a smoother ride. CCD augments a highly developed chassis that includes a refined strut front suspension and an all new integral link rear suspension.
    The new MKZ is the only sedan in its class to include Continuously Controlled Damping and Active Noise Control as standard equipment.
    MKZ Engines, Transmissions and Drive Systems
    The 2013 Lincoln MKZ offers three distinct powertrains. The standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost delivers the performance of a traditional V6 along with expected segment-leading fuel economy that is at least 3 mpg better than the closest competitor. This engine delivers a projected 20-percent increase in highway fuel economy versus the 2012 MKZ.
    Emphasizing performance and efficiency, the optional 3.7-liter V6 produces significantly more power (37 horsepower and 28 lb.-ft. of torque) than the previous MKZ V6 while improving fuel economy approximately 5 percent.
    Maximizing fuel efficiency, the optional 2.0-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain is expected to enable the 2013 MKZ Hybrid to remain North America's most fuel-efficient premium sedan. The 2012 MKZ Hybrid is rated at 41 city mpg, 36 highway mpg.
    Non-hybrid models utilize a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel add to the performance driving experience of the MKZ.
    2.0- and 3.7-liter gasoline engines are equipped with six-speed automatic transmission; 2.0-liter Hybrid is equipped with a continuously variable transmission. Horsepower, torque and fuel economy figures all are projected, not certified.
    Improving grip on slippery roads, the available all-wheel-drive (AWD) system anticipates and adjusts the power delivery to the front and rear axles in as little as 16 milliseconds, faster than the blink of an eye.
    The new MKZ is the only sedan in its class to offer inflatable second-row outboard seat belts. Rear-seat passengers – often children or mature passengers – can be more vulnerable to head, chest and neck injuries. The available inflatable second-row, outboard seat belts spread impact forces across more than five times the area of conventional belts, reducing pressure on the chest while helping to control head and neck motion and helping reduce the risk of injuries.
    Retractable Panoramic Roof
    The Retractable Panoramic Roof is a new signature feature for Lincoln. The 15.2-square-foot glass panel offers one of the largest openings available on any current sedan. The design maintains the structural strength of a steel-roof vehicle.
    DESIGN
    Nearly identical to the MKZ Concept shown at the North American International Auto Show in January, the production 2013 Lincoln MKZ embodies a design language that is subtly distinctive.
    "We call it elegant simplicity," said Max Wolff, Lincoln Design director. "We wanted the new MKZ to be inviting and approachable. We moved away from traditional luxury cues and complex designs. We came up with something warm that is rich, yet still intentionally restrained."
    MKZ Exterior
    A sweeping roofline defines the new luxury sedan's profile. The steeply raked windshield and lengthened backlight make for a sleeker and more flowing appearance that is 10 percent more aerodynamic than the model it replaces. "The MKZ shape is a vision completed with just a few strokes," said Wolff.
    Although strikingly modern, the design retains classic Lincoln design elements including a more refined interpretation of the split-wing grille, first seen on the 1938 Lincoln-Zephyr.
    Rearview mirrors stand on door-mounted, sculpted pedestals. This fitment enables the front door glass to extend farther forward to improve visibility and to allow even more light into the interior.
    The crafted headlamp assemblies include bright, energy-efficient LED lighting. The front headlights turn in sync with the steering wheel, providing enhanced visibility. At the rear, LED technology enabled a thin, distinctive full-width taillamp graphic.
    MKZ Interior
    Design teams created an inviting interior featuring bold architectural elements, rich natural materials and fine details.
    "The exterior's front graphic is repeated in the dramatic sweep of the new instrument panel, helping tie the interior to the exterior in a harmonious manner. These flowing forms – along with the open center console – create a comfortable and functional interior that particularly appeals to younger, more diverse drivers we believe will now consider Lincoln," said Wolff.
    Innovation and technology abound inside the new MKZ. Replacing the traditional mechanical transmission shift lever is a contemporary five-button interface. The individual buttons of Push Button Shift engage Park, Neutral, Reverse, and forward gears in two modes, Drive and Sport.
    Push Button Shift gave designers freedom to create a sculptural multi-level center console with more functional storage areas.
    Positioned ahead of the driver, the full-color 10.1-inch LCD instrument cluster operates with the latest version of SYNC with MyLincoln Touch. The all-new design combines dimensional indicator rings framing a brilliant and reconfigurable Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD. An equally critical component of MyLincoln Touch is the nearly flush-mounted center 8-inch LCD touch screen that displays information clearly in easy-to-reference color-keyed quadrants.
    Premium-grade, supple leather covers all seating surfaces. Responsibly harvested wood and metal-toned surfaces create a luxurious and comfortable interior space.
    Standard luxury amenities include an 11-speaker audiophile entertainment system and cabin air filtration, plus heated front seats (with the driver's featuring 10-way power controls), remote start capabilities and Active Noise Control.
    To make the MKZ exceptionally quiet, ANC electronically targets frequencies and reduces their intensity. To improve the refinement of the driving experience, other frequencies are subtly enhanced.
    The available THX® II Certified Car Audio System is a Lincoln-exclusive that features 700-watts, 14-channels and 14-speakers. THX audio engineers spent more than 200 hours custom tuning the THX-certified equipment to the new MKZ's interior. The result delivers home-theater surround sound to the road.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 2, 2012
    And the leaks continue before the New York Auto Show begins on Wednesday. This one happens to be the 2013 BMW X1.
    The X1, which has been on sale since 2010 in Europe, is getting a few tweaks before it arrives at BMW showrooms later this year. Those tweaks include a revised front fascia that includes new headlights and taillights, front and rear bumpers, and side-view mirrors.
    Engines for the X1 include the 2.0L turbo-four (28i), boasting 240 HP and turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six (35i), producing 300 HP.
    Pricing for the X1 starts at $31,545 (excluding the $895 destination charge) for the X1 sDrive28i. The X1 xDrive28i starts at 33,245 and the xDrive35i will start at $39,345.

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Woodcliff Lake, NJ – April 4th 2012, 6:00AM EDT...Having demonstrated that it is the perfect blend sports sedan-like driving dynamics and SUV utility in markets around the world, the BMW X1 is setting out to conquer the US. The talented Sport Activity Vehicle of the premium compact segment will make its US market debut armed with state-of-the-art powertrain technology, innovative features, selective design modifications and extensive interior refinements. The new 2013 BMW X1 celebrates its US premiere at the New York International Auto Show and will arrive in authorized BMW Centers in the fall of 2012 starting at an MSRP of $31,545 (including $895 Destination and Handling).
    The smallest BMW X model – produced at BMW Plant Leipzig – will take the leap across the pond with a renewed spring in its step, the result of a carefully judged honing of its core qualities. The design of the BMW X1 body now provides an even more intense expression of the vehicle's muscular presence, contemporary allure and versatile sporting capability. Its interior includes newly designed surfaces, more polished controls and high-quality touches exuding the exclusive premium ambience of a compact BMW X model.
    The BMW X1 has adopted a pioneering role among its premium class rivals in its current markets – and a repeat performance in the US is expected. Blending the versatility and robustness of a BMW X model with a high level of agility and compact exterior dimensions, the X1 has set new standards from the word go. Powerful engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and a broad spectrum of BMW EfficientDynamics technologies fitted as standard worldwide give the new BMW X1 the tools to further increase its lead over the competition in terms of sporting ability and efficiency.
    Design: new touches to sharpen its contemporary looks and enhance its versatility and sporting flair.
    Typical BMW proportions, expressive, vibrant surfaces and signature BMW X model design cues shape the appearance of the BMW X1. A sweeping hood, long wheelbase and set-back passenger compartment emphasize the vehicle's dynamic talent, while attractive light and shade effects hint at its inherent agility. The versatility and robustness of a BMW X model are reflected in elements such as the black edging at the lower edge of the body and wide wheel arches.
    When viewed from the front, the powerful stance of the new BMW X1 on the road and its aura of quality are now accentuated with even greater intensity. A larger number of surfaces painted in body color highlight the vehicle's enhanced elegance. The path of the vehicle's lines, which converge on the license plate mount from either side of the BMW kidney and forge outwards in the lower section of the bumper, is borrowed from BMW X models in higher vehicle segments. The newly designed headlights allow a detailed view of the advanced light technology within. And a chrome-coated accent strip now cuts across the top of the twin circular headlights. Meanwhile, an LED accent light – included as part of the optional xenon light package, complete with LED light rings for the daytime driving lights – provides the classic BMW focused look.
    The distinctive profile of the X1 is defined by a main character line that rises steadily to the rear of the vehicle while another line visually extends the contours of the side window surrounds as it flows towards the rear. The pronounced side skirts – that are a signature feature of BMW X models and the powerfully bulging wheel arches add sporting flair. Finally, the turn signal indicators are now integrated into the newly designed exterior mirrors.
    The premium feel of the new BMW X1 is also underlined at the rear by the new subdivision of fascia, bumper and undertray, with the repositioned reflectors now also bordered by surfaces painted in body color. As a result, the black elements are slimmer, while the silver-colored undertray has a more striking surface structure.
    Interior: precise lines, high-quality materials, sophisticated color scheme.
    The modifications to the design of the new BMW X1 interior create an even more vivid showcase of the sporty driving pleasure, cutting-edge versatility and premium feel this vehicle provides. The side of the center console angled towards the driver is now shallower, spotlighting the driver-focused nature of the cockpit design.
    High-quality electroplated trim surrounding for the gearshift lever and center console cupholders, a chrome strip for the headlight switch and chrome touches for the side edging of the Control Display – when the optional navigation system is specified – all add the finishing touches to the interior's premium feel. Plus, the air vent surrounds are given a high-gloss black surface.
    The BMW X1: more sporting and efficient than ever.
    The variants of the BMW X1 offered in the US market will be powered by BMW TwinPower Turbo gas engines. This package of technology consists of twin-scroll turbocharging, High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve timing and Double-Vanos variable camshaft control. In both the award-winning 6-cylinder inline engine under the hood of the BMW X1 xDrive35i – developing 300 hp – and the 240 hp 4-cylinder engine powering the BMW X1 sDrive28i and BMW X1 xDrive28i ensure instantaneous power delivery, impressive acceleration and exceptional efficiency.
    Both engines are paired with an automatic gearbox and extensive BMW EfficientDynamics technology. Features including the Auto Start-Stop function (28i only), Brake Energy Regeneration and demand-based operation of ancillary units all help to achieve a blend of performance and fuel economy unique in the market.
    The BMW X1 sDrive28i with customary BMW rear-wheel drive and the all-wheel-drive xDrive35i will be offered exclusively in the US market. The intelligent all-wheel drive of the BMW X1 xDrive35i and BMW X1 xDrive28i varies the distribution of drive between the front and rear wheels, as required. This electronically controlled power distribution ensures optimum traction and unbeatable directional stability in all weather and road conditions, as well as noticeably sportier responses through dynamically taken corners.
    The BMW X1 sDrive28i, the X1 xDrive28i and the X1 xDrive35i will retail for $31,545, $33,245 and $39,345 respectively (including $895 Destination and Handling).

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 2, 2012
    Here is the new Lexus ES that will premiere at the New York Auto Show this week; even though we have seen it back in February thanks to a photographer.
    The front end has the spindle (or predator) grill and LED strips running along the headlights. The back end appears to closely resemble the flagship LS sedan.
    We'll have more information when the ES is shown later this week.
    *UPDATE*
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 4, 2012
    Today, Lexus unveiled the new ES at the New York Auto Show. And like we expected, the new ES uses Lexus' new design language. What was kind of unexpected was a hybrid model would be joining.
    “The Lexus ES brought new levels of refinement, sophistication and quality to the entry luxury segment when it entered the market in 1989 and through the years it has consistently been a sales leader for us. Now, with both gas and hybrid versions, the 2013 ES promises to lead Lexus forward once again,” said Lexus group vice president and general manager Mark Templin.
    The ES300h uses 2.5L four-cylinder hooked up to Toyota's hybrid system. Like the hybrid GS and CT200h, the ES300h will offer a sport drive mode, as well as an EV mode. Lexus says the ES300h will deliver an estimated 40-mile-per-gallon combined fuel economy.
    The ES350 continues on with a 3.5L V6 and six-speed automatic.
    Lexus says they have improved the driving experience of the ES by increasing the rigidity and tweaked the suspension and steering for more responsive and precise handling. Also, the new ES is 90 lbs lighter than the outgoing model.
    Inside, Lexus has fitted a ton of comfort and convenience features, including mbient lighting across the cabin, eco-friendly NuLuxe seating surfaces (genuine leather is an available upgrade), a one-touch tire trunk closer, door window shades, a power rear shade, and Lexus' Enform infotainment system.
    Safety wise, the new ES is fitted with 10 airbags and a whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) device in front seats. Available is a blind spot monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and an Pre-Collision System (PCS) that uses sub-millimeter wave radar to detect obstructions and prepare the vehicle for the collision.

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Lexus Unveils All-New 2013 ES 350 and First-Ever ES 300h Hybrid at New York International Auto Show
    NEW YORK, April 4, 2012 – Lexus today unveiled the all-new 2013 ES lineup, including the ES 350 and ES 300h equipped with Lexus Hybrid Drive. Featuring a progressive new design and enhanced handling, the 2013 ES sedan is set to continue as a favorite of luxury car buyers.
    "The Lexus ES brought new levels of refinement, sophistication and quality to the entry luxury segment when it entered the market in 1989, and through the years it has consistently been a sales leader for us," said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "Now, with both gas and hybrid versions, the 2013 ES promises to lead Lexus forward once again."
    ES 350 Now Complemented by ES 300h Hybrid
    For the first time, the Lexus ES will be available with Lexus Hybrid Drive. Featuring a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine, the ES 300h hybrid is expected to earn an EPA fuel economy rating of approximately 40 mpg combined city/highway.
    This new, low friction twin cam engine utilizes a sophisticated power management system, 12.5:1 compression ratio, and Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i). The beltless motor is designed to improve fuel economy and durability, and a near zero evaporative fuel system helps reduce emissions.
    The ES 300h hybrid offers the driver four modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and EV. EV mode allows short distance drives, at reduced speed, using only the power from the hybrid battery pack. Normal mode provides a blend of performance and efficiency that is suited to everyday driving, while Eco mode favors fuel economy. Sport mode increases powertrain responsiveness.
    The ES 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine with Dual VVT-i. The six-speed automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) provides enhanced performance, fuel efficiency and smooth shifts. Low friction materials further improve efficiency.
    Signature Lexus Design
    The new ES features a lower, progressive profile, and clean, continuous styling lines from front to rear. All four corners are pulled tightly inward to the wheel arches, creating distinctive proportions. The wheelbase of the new ES has been lengthened by 1.8 inches, while the overall length of the vehicle has grown by just one inch, resulting in a more spacious interior.
    The new ES unmistakably bears the new face of Lexus with its distinctive, spindle grille. The LED daytime running lights and combination rear lamps reflect the "L" design motif. The ES 350's rear bumper sports dual exhaust pipes, while the ES 300h hybrid features a distinctive rear design with hidden exhaust and an integrated spoiler. New exterior colors for the 2013 ES include Fire Agate Pearl and Silver Lining Metallic.
    Interior Designed for Comfort and Spaciousness
    The modern interior of the 2013 ES has been designed to provide both a sense of openness and security. Sightlines and visibility are improved, controls are logically placed, and new cabin materials express a high level of craftsmanship.
    A newly sculptured seat enhances driver comfort. The steering wheel angle has been reduced from 24 degrees to 22 degrees for a more natural control position. Fluid-filled engine mounts, new sound absorbing materials and a tuned engine intake minimize the intrusion of outside noise.
    Greater rear seat legroom and knee room are the hallmark of the redesigned, more spacious cabin. Knee room is increased by 2.8 inches and legroom is increased by 4.1 inches. The new design also offers additional foot room below the front seats.
    Available comfort and convenience features include manual door window shades, a power rear shade, and a one-touch power trunk closer. Optional ambient lighting, discretely placed under the wood trim, softly illuminates the surfaces of the instrument panel and all four doors.
    The new ES will feature enhanced NuLuxe seating surfaces, developed to reduce environmental impact. Genuine leather is also available, as is semi-aniline leather for an even more refined look and feel. Interiors are available in Black, Light Gray, and Parchment. Trim colors and materials include Piano Black, Espresso Bird's-eye Maple, and Bamboo.
    Crisp, Confident Driving Dynamics
    Suspension and steering changes and a stiffer body deliver more precise handling. Opposite-wound coil springs on the front suspension enhance straight-line stability. Revised rear suspension geometry and improved shock absorber damping characteristics enhance ride comfort. A reduction in the steering gear ratio delivers a more responsive and direct steering feel. Increased body rigidity is achieved through lightweight, high tensile strength steel, added bracing and additional spot welds. Despite its larger size, roomier interior and additional luxury appointments, the weight of the new ES is reduced by almost 90 pounds.
    The ES will be equipped with standard 215/55R17 low rolling resistance tires on 17-inch alloy wheels, and for the first time, available 18-inch high-gloss alloy wheels.
    Driver-Focused Cockpit
    Designed with attention to ergonomics and driver focus, the cockpit features separate display and operation zones to help keep the driver's eyes on the road. The instrument panel, with its long, layered look, places the main information display directly in the driver's line of sight. Just below the center display is a self-illuminating LED analog clock. Controls are clustered beneath the information zone, on the steering wheel, and on the center console.
    The second-generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI) allows the user to operate the climate, audio, phone controls, optional navigation system and more. The screen menus are selected with a controller conveniently located on the center console. RTI reduces eye and hand movement, helping reduce effort and distraction.
    Safety Features
    An array of safety features aid the driver. The available Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) helps detect vehicles in side blind spots. The RCTA alerts the driver to rear cross traffic when backing out of a parking spot. Available Lane Departure Alert (LDA) is integrated with automatic high beam dimming technology. The available Pre-Collision System (PCS) uses sub-millimeter wave radar to detect obstructions and prepare the vehicle for a potential collision.
    The ES features a segment-leading 10 airbags as standard equipment, including driver and front passenger knee and front air bags, as well as front and rear seat-mounted side and curtain airbags. Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) front seats are designed to limit excessive head movement in certain rear-end collisions helping to decrease the severity of whiplash-type injuries.
    Lexus Safety Connect, including Enhanced Roadside Assistance, an Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), Stolen Vehicle Location services, and Automatic Collision Notification to a Safety Connect center is standard on the new ES. A one-year trial subscription for Safety Connect is included.
    Lexus Multimedia
    The new ES features the next-generation Lexus Enform® system. Lexus Enform® provides seamless connectivity with Bing™ search, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable®, Pandora®, Yelp® and Facebook Places through compatible smart phones. Apps are updated through over-the-air downloads, so new apps and content can be added as they become available. One-year trial subscriptions to Lexus Enform with Safety Connect and the Application Suite are included.
    The standard Lexus Premium Sound System features eight speakers with Automatic Sound Levelizer, CD player, USB/iPod® connectivity, Bluetooth® and a SiriusXM receiver. The available Display Audio package adds a seven-inch screen, a backup camera, HD Radio™ with iTunes® tagging, Bluetooth audio, phone transfer, and a vehicle information display. The optional HDD Navigation System includes voice command and an integrated backup camera.
    An available 15-speaker Mark Levinson® audio system features an eight-inch display screen, HD Radio™ with iTunes® tagging, DVD audio/video and a SiriusXM receiver. Exclusive GreenEdge technology from Mark Levinson doubles the output of the amplifier, while reducing energy consumption by fifty percent.
    "The new Lexus ES 350 and ES 300h hybrid combine technology, style and performance to please current ES owners and attract new buyers," said Templin. "With the addition of the ES 300h, Lexus truly offers something for everyone in the entry luxury segment."
    ES 350 ES 300h
    Seating Capacity 5 5
    Overall Length (in.) 192.7 192.7
    Width (in.) 71.7 71.7
    Height (in.) 57.1 57.1
    Wheelbase (in.) 111.0 111.0
    Driven Wheels Front Wheel Drive Front Wheel Drive
    Curb Weight (lbs.) 3,549 3,660
    Wheel size 17" x 7.0" (standard) 17" x 7.0" (standard)
    (front and rear) 18" x 7.5" (optional)
    Tires size 215/55/17 (standard) 215/55/17 (standard)
    225/45/18 (optional)

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 2, 2012
    So this is the new 2013 Ram 1500 that will be shown at this week's New York Auto Show.
    The front end gets an all new grill and a set of xenon headlights. Also, the 3.6L Pentastar V6 and eight-speed automatic combo as shown in a SEC filling earlier in March could be making their appearance.
    We'll learn more when the 2013 Ram 1500 make its appearance on Wednesday. (Correction, Thursday)
    *UPDATE*
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 5, 2012
    At a glance, Ram seemed to make minor changes for the 2013 Ram. The exterior gets a taller grill and a new bumper. Also, the optional quad halogen headlights are now standard across the 1500 line, as are LED taillights.
    Buyers will have the choice of choice of rear- or four-wheel-drive; regular, Quad, or four-door Crew Cabs; short, medium, and long bed lengths; and all eleven of the 2012’s models and packages. A new configuration - the mid-length six-foot, four-inch bed with the four-door Crew Cab will be available.
    Rounding out the exterior updates are available rain-sensing windshield wipers and power-folding mirrors.
    The interior sees new materials and improved fit and finish. Chrysler's UConnect system with an 8.4-inch touch screen is available, along with a multifunction seven-inch TFT screen that replaces the gauge cluster.
    However, the big changes lie under the skin. The big news for the 2013 Ram refresh deals with fuel economy. As we talked about before, Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 will take over as base engine. The engine is rated at 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 90 HP and 34 lb-ft of torque from the old 3.7L V6. Ram says the 3.6L will deliver a 20% increase in fuel economy. Also, the 3.6L will come with a new ZF eight-speed transmission exclusively.
    The 4.7L SOHC V8 and 5.7L HEMI V8 will carry over for the 2013 model year. The HEMI will see an increase of 5 HP for a new total of 395. The V8s will stick with a six-speed automatic, but the HEMI will get a version of the eight-speed as an option sometime early next year.
    Trucks equipped with eight-speed transmission say goodbye to column and console shifters. Instead, Ram takes a page out of Jaguar's playbook and use a rotary knob.
    Ram has also put the 1500 on a diet. Using an Aluminum hood (26 pounds), a chassis with more high-strength steel (up to 30 pounds), new floor cross-members in the bed (7 pounds), new front bumper (4 pounds), and the electronic steering system (4 pounds), Ram has dropped up to 71 pounds and thats not including the powertrains. The new 3.6L V6 drops another 76 pounds (up to 147 pounds) and the new eight-speed and HEMI combine for a 30 pound drop (up to 101 pounds).
    Other tricks Ram has pulled out to increase fuel economy include stop-start tech, improved aerodynamics, electric power steering, grille shutters (Yes, like in the Chevrolet Cruze Eco), and an auto-adjusting air suspension. The air suspension comes from the Jeep Grand Cherokee and has five settings; Normal, Aero, Off-Road 1, Off-Road 2, and Park. Aero drops the ride height by 1.2 inches to help it cut through the wind more efficiently. Off-Road raises the ride height (1.2 inches in Off-Road 1 and 2 inches in Off-Road 2). Park drops the ride height by 2 inches to give passengers a lower step-in height and provide easier access to the bed.
    The 2013 Ram 1500 arrives later this summer.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Best-in-class Fuel Efficiency, New Technology and New Features Without Sacrificing Capability


    Best-in-class fuel economy:
    New 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine (Ward’s Automotive 10 Best Engines) features 42 percent more horsepower, 13 percent more torque and at least 20 percent better fuel economy when compared to the previous 3.7-liter V-6 powertrain
    5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 with Fuel Saver Technology and variable-valve timing provides 395 horsepower, 407 lb.-ft. of torque and best-in-class fuel economy for V-8 trucks (at least 10 percent better fuel economy when compared to 2012 V-8 powertrain)
    [*]Class-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission (TorqueFlite , standard equipment with 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar, doubles the amount of gears compared to previously available four-speed automatic transmission to greatly improve fuel economy
    [*]New eight-speed also available with the 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI – the Company’s first application with a V-8 (TorqueFlite 8 late availability)
    [*]New TorqueFlite 8 operated by an innovative dash-mounted, rotary e-shift design
    [*]First-in-segment Fuel Saving Technology: eight-speed automatic transmission, stop-start, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and air suspension
    [*]Class-exclusive air suspension enhances fuel economy, improves ride control and off-road capability along with improved ingress/egress and loading, and features automatic load leveling
    [*]New exterior design cues including all-new grille/fascia, improved quad projection headlamps and LED front turn signals and taillamps
    [*]Best-in-class aerodynamics, coefficient of drag (Cd) at 0.363
    [*]New, upgraded interior features include: standard and premium vehicle information center, passive entry, Keyless Enter ’n Go, steering wheel and controls, wood accents, updated door panels, instrument panel, interior colors and premium materials
    [*]All-new, next-generation Uconnect® Access debuts on the 2013 Ram 1500
    [*]Uconnect Access combines a new lineup of smart Media Centers with a powerful new wireless platform
    [*]With Uconnect Access, Ram 1500 owners will have alternative ways to access new connected services and applications via the vehicle’s 8.4-inch touchscreen display or the web
    [*]Next generation Uconnect system is designed to be forward-thinking, providing the freedom to upgrade to the latest features and services
    [*]Voice-recognition technology, steering wheel controls, touchscreen displays and traditional controls provide Ram 1500 customers with a variety of ways to interact with their mobile phones, music, navigation system and applications
    [*]Ram 1500 now available with a premium, customizable, full-color 7-inch vehicle information center
    [*]Addition of Powernet vehicle architecture system allows new content with improved data speeds
    [*]Chrysler Group offers Ram 1500 customers expanded Sirius XM Radio channel lineup, with exclusive programming including new SiriusXM Latino channels, an automotive industry first
    [*]Sprint selected as the strategic partner to bring wireless connectivity and service delivery to the vehicle
    [*]New remote central locking RamBox® cargo management system and tailgate combined with door locks
    [*]New rain sensing wipers, SmartBeam® headlamps, power folding mirrors and power sliding rear window with defrost
    [*]Best-in-class powertrain warranty – 5 years/100,000 miles


    New York , Apr 5, 2012 - Ram 1500 – the most recognizable pickup on the road – delivers best-in-class fuel economy with a truckload of pioneering, fuel-saving systems including a more fuel efficient and more powerful 3.6-liter V-6 engine and first-in-segment technologies: eight-speed automatic transmission, stop-start system, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics, including grille shutters and air suspension.
    “The new 2013 Ram 1500 is the most capable, best-looking half-ton pickup in the world and delivers best-in-class fuel efficiency, new technology and new features while upgrading the interior and exterior,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO of Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico — Chrysler Group LLC. “We changed every area of the truck – from a newly designed frame with air suspension, to a new eight-speed transmission to a new interior with the next-generation Uconnect® system.
    “With best-in-class towing and payload, best-in-class ride and handling and best-in-class aerodynamics, the 2013 Ram 1500 delivers unmatched content, performance and capability to our customers,” Diaz added.
    POWERTRAIN
    The new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine (Ward’s 10 Best Engines Award two years in a row) with variable-valve timing (VVT) offers best-in-class standard 305 horsepower, with 269 lb.-ft. of torque and best-in-class fuel economy for V-6 trucks. New V-6 features 42 percent more horsepower, 13 percent more torque and at least 20 percent better fuel economy when compared to the previous 3.7-liter V-6 powertrain.
    The legendary 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 with fuel-saving cylinder shut-off and VVT provides 395 horsepower, 407 lb.-ft. of torque and best-in-class fuel economy for V-8 trucks (at least 10 percent better fuel economy when compared to 2012 V-8 powertrain). Also, the HEMI delivers best-in-class towing and payload – 11,500 pounds and 3,125 pounds respectively, with Ram 1500 Tradesman Heavy Duty.
    The class-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission (TorqueFlite , standard equipment with 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar, doubles the amount of gears compared to previously available four-speed automatic transmission, which improves drivability and enhances fuel efficiency. The new eight-speed also is available with the 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI – the Company’s first application with a V-8 (TorqueFlite 8 with V-8 is late availability). The exclusive new transmission is operated by an innovative, dash-mounted rotary e-shift dial, which enables quick blind-shift transitions from “Reverse” to “Drive” when towing or navigating out of mud, snow or busy parking lots.
    Owners will appreciate an innovative rotary e-shift dial for trucks equipped with the new TorqueFlite 8-speed transmission that replaces both column and floor shifters. The exclusive rotary e-shift enables intuitive operation with a direct and confident feel, even with gloves on. The convenient, dash-mounted, easy-to-understand and operate system provides total control of the sophisticated eight-speed transmission and is Ram Truck's innovative approach to electronic shifters, already used in Class 6-8 trucks. This new design allows quick blind-shift transitions from “Reverse” to “Drive” when towing or navigating out of mud, snow or busy parking lots and crowded worksites. The new rotary e-shift dial also yields space for more functional and usable storage in the console.
    Another segment exclusive with the eight-speed transmission is a new thermal management system that is designed to quickly raise engine and transmission fluid temperatures. By raising fluid temperatures, parasitic losses resulting from high-viscosity engine oil and transmission fluid can be reduced, improving fuel efficiency by 1.7 percent. As the engine temperature increases to pre-determined levels, warm engine coolant is circulated through a thermal exchange unit, which also contains dedicated pathways for transmission fluid. As the thermal exchange unit heats up, it also heats up the transmission fluid. This action dramatically reduces warm up time for the transmission, improving fuel economy, drivability and shift quality. In most powertrain configurations, the transmission heats up independently of the engine, delaying warm-up time and reducing efficiency.
    Adding to industry firsts in a pickup truck is the application of stop-start, another fuel saving feature available on select 2013 Ram 1500 models. This new system improves fuel economy by up to 3.3 percent, an increase of about one mile-per-gallon to the truck’s city drive cycle.
    Stop-start increases fuel efficiency by shutting the engine off when the truck comes to a complete stop. Amenities (radio, gauges, heating or air conditioning, etc.) continue to operate, making the operation transparent to the driver. The engine restarts automatically when the driver releases the brake, allowing seamless acceleration.
    Enabling components have been upgraded for heavy-duty operation on models equipped with the stop-start feature.
    ENGINEERING
    Although the new 2013 Ram 1500 boasts numerous segment-exclusive features, many aren’t readily visible, but deliver best-in-class fuel efficiency, ride and handling.
    Aerodynamics
    The new 2013 Ram 1500 continues to maintain its ruggedly handsome appearance with new exterior design elements. Extensive wind-tunnel testing honed the 2013 Ram 1500 exterior shape, resulting in continued best-in-class aerodynamics. Also, the cooperative application of active aerodynamics and modern styling led to a six percent aerodynamic improvement on the new truck. The 2013 Ram 1500 Regular Cab 4x2 coefficient of drag (Cd) is .363 – compared with a Cd of .386 for a 2012 Ram 1500 Regular Cab 4x2.
    Air Suspension
    Best-in-class ride and handling gets even better. The 2013 Ram 1500 is now available with an all-new air suspension system featuring five height settings for optimum ride and aerodynamic performance. The feature operates automatically, or may be controlled manually via console or key fob controls:
    Normal Ride Height (NRH): 8.7 inches of clearance (measured from the base of the door sill) is the default, load-leveled ride height
    Aero Mode: Lowers the vehicle 1.1 inches from NRH. Aero Mode improves fuel efficiency by up to one percent and is activated by vehicle speed, adjusting for optimal performance and fuel economy
    Off-road 1: Lifts the truck 1.2 inches from NRH for added height in clearing obstacles
    Off-road 2: Delivers more off-road capability, increasing ground clearance by 2 inches over NRH
    Park Mode: Lowers the vehicle 2 inches from NRH for easy ingress/egress and cargo loading
    The new air suspension system adds up to 4 inches of lift span, offering best-in-class step-in height of 21 inches, best-in-class ground clearance of 10.7 inches, best-in-class departure angle of 27.8 degrees, and best-in-class breakover angle of 24.2 degrees supported by four-corner air springs that provide a cushioned, premium ride.
    Another benefit to the new air suspension is load-leveling capability, which automatically detects load on the suspension from a trailer or payload. The air pressure increases until the vehicle reaches normal ride height, leveling the truck and improving the loaded ride.
    Additionally, a separate button on the key fob gives the operator the ability to manually lower the truck, allowing for ease of passenger entry and reduced tailgate lift-over height.
    Electric Power Steering
    The 2013 Ram 1500 features electric power steering (EPS). By using an electric motor to power the truck’s rack and pinion steering system, the engine is relieved from the task of constantly turning a hydraulic pump, improving fuel efficiency up to 1.8 percent and adding five horsepower. Also, the introduction of EPS reduces complexity by removing the previous hydraulic pump, high-pressure hydraulic hoses and cooling apparatus.
    Weight Reduction
    Weight reduction is an important variable in the fuel economy equation. Reducing the weight of components improves fuel economy and allows for more content without affecting payload or towing capability.
    A newly redesigned frame benefits from a weight reduction of up to 30 pounds by using advanced high-strength steels. Also benefitting from advanced metal, new box floor cross-members in the bed eliminates seven pounds and a new front bumper design removes four pounds. Additionally, aluminum lower control arms in the front suspension contribute to additional weight reduction and handling. The Ram 1500 also features an aluminum hood saving 26 pounds.
    Underneath the hood, the combination of the new Pentastar V-6 and new TorqueFlite 8 transmission reduces the weight by approximately 76 pounds. The V-8 and TorqueFlite 8 together reduce weight by more than 30 pounds.
    The weight reductions not only allow for more convenience, comfort and entertainment features but also best-in-class fuel saving technology such as thermal management, stop-start and active aerodynamics.
    Pulse-width Modulation
    Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is a new fuel-saving technology for the Ram 1500, which reduces parasitic electrical load. The technology not only eliminates unnecessary load on the alternator but also improves the durability of benefitting systems. Fuel delivery and the forward cooling fan are two systems that take advantage of PWM, adding a 0.4 percent improvement in fuel efficiency.
    Low rolling-resistance Tires
    The 2013 Ram 1500 features standard low rolling-resistance tires to minimize wasted energy and decrease required rolling effort. Tread patterns, advanced materials and millions of miles of testing result in greater fuel efficiency.
    Chassis
    The 2013 Ram 1500 uses a newly designed frame with improved, low torsion (stiffness) attributes that increase stability and handling precision while decreasing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) up to 30 percent, depending on drive cycle. Front rails feature 20 percent increased yield strength from the use of high-strength steel. Among other features, the new frame design incorporates a new powertrain, new air suspension and new body-mounting technology.
    Portions of the frame are hydroformed for dimensional accuracy (hydroforming reduces the amount of welding that leads to distortion), and side rails are fully boxed. The front frame section incorporates advanced, high-strength steel that maintains overall strength and durability while saving approximately 30 pounds. To further improve NVH, new larger body mounts are located on the front frame rails and at the C-pillar.
    New standard front independent suspension combines redesigned upper control arms, aluminum lower control arms and retuned geometry with coil springs for improved responsiveness and handling. New, more robust ball joints on the front suspension yield greater durability and are engineered with improved sealing methods.
    DESIGN
    The new 2013 Ram 1500 retains its ruggedly handsome appearance with all-new interior and exterior design aesthetics, improved aerodynamics and all-new, segment-leading technology – and every Ram 1500 truck benefits from new content specifically designed to match each model’s unique style.
    Exterior
    Ram Truck brand designers started with the Ram grille making it not only larger – with the same overall width, but approximately one inch taller – “saddled” within the new upper fascia panel for a more integrated appearance. The classic Ram crosshair horizontal and vertical grille bars are now flush at the top and bottom of the grille surround.
    The new front bumper design supports the “saddled” Ram grille theme with new vertically oriented fog lamps for improved light spread, distance and more lumens. Larger openings around the front tow hooks (four-wheel drive models) allow for easy access to the hooks.
    The 2013 Ram 1500 quad headlamp design has improved light spread, pattern consistency, distance and 30 percent more lumens. An all-new premium headlamp lighting system is a bi-functional halogen projector design with 15 amber LEDs for park/turn/position lamp and three amber LEDs for the side marker.
    For 2013, the Ram 1500 offers 12 different colors, including five new shades. Black Gold, Copperhead, Maximum Steel Metallic, Prairie and Western Brown are all new and available in a monotone and/or two-tone depending on the model.
    The new, polished stainless steel running boards have a sturdy box cross-section design. Also, the new wheel-to-wheel exclusive running board design offers aerodynamic improvements over the current version and provides customer’s improved access to the forward portion of the truck bed.
    A new 6-ft.-4-in. bed option is now available on Crew Cab models giving customers the ability to combine Ram 1500’s largest available cab with the largest four-door/bed combination. All-new premium tail lamps are standard and consist of 15 red LEDs with three red LEDs for the side marker.
    Interior
    For 2013, new features and technologies create opportunity for a redesigned interior with material upgrades; improved fit and finish; all-new interior themes with different colors and materials; all-new HVAC controls and new multimedia systems. The 2013 Ram 1500 also features an exclusive eight-speed transmission with a new rotary e-shift dial design.
    Rear occupants can enjoy the same quality, fit and finish as the driver. With points of contact a priority, new premium materials, colors and designs are now on all four doors. Soft-touch materials enhance armrests and upper bolsters with expanded use of premium surfaces.
    The 2013 Ram 1500 features the next generation 8.4-inch Uconnect system with background screens tailor-made to specific Ram models and themes. To make room for the new big screen, the center stack is upgraded with matching materials found throughout the interior. To complement the range of Ram 1500 models, the interior design team created new, individualized themes with different colors and materials. For the Laramie Longhorn, the Ram design team sought out a very rare Walnut grain with a unique burl that was unintentionally created by ranchers using trees as fence posts for barbed wire. Eventually, the trees grow over the rusting metal wire, creating a swirl coloring pattern and tone that is not found anywhere else.
    The all-new HVAC controls take lessons learned from other Chrysler Group Uconnect applications and feature simple, improved function, meeting the highest Human Machine Interface (HMI) standards. The HVAC system includes a redundant architecture allowing the operator to use either the 8.4-inch touchscreen or manual controls to alter the truck’s environment. Below the upgraded HVAC arrangement is a new switch bank with relocated, easy-to-use controls for a number of features depending on vehicle models and options. All buttons in the comfort bank also are redundant on the Uconnect system. Contiguous to the switch bank is a prominently placed, adjustable integrated trailer brake control allowing the driver to add or reduce trailer brake function on the fly.
    The Ram 1500’s new, exclusive eight-speed transmission created the need for an innovative rotary e-shift dial in the cockpit to replace the center console gate shifter – a first for pickups. The new shifter works in a multitude of seating configurations and will replace floor and column shifters for use in the eight-speed transmission. Realizing this is a dramatic change in the way trucks have historically shifted gears, the interior design team accepted the challenge with a new shift knob, naturally and prominently placed to the driver’s right, at the lower left-hand side of the center stack, in place of the previous transfer case shift knob. The rotary dial enables intuitive blind-shift transitions between “Drive” and “Reverse” with a direct and confident feel. The transfer case retains full capability with push buttons located directly under the e-shift dial.
    New technology also moves to the gauge cluster. Previously only available on premium models, the 3.5-inch vehicle information screen is now standard on ST and SLT and displays vehicle operating functions. The new thin film transistor (TFT), 7-inch screen is now available on SLT, standard on Sport, Laramie and Laramie Longhorn models. The 7-inch screen features fully customizable function and configurability. Similar to the 8.4-inch Uconnect screen, select 7-inch cluster background screens are tailor-made to specific Ram models, with designs that match the truck’s theme.
    UCONNECT
    Introducing Uconnect Access: A Powerful New Platform That Provides Multiple Ways to Connect
    The Uconnect Media Centers R3 and R4 provide the Ram 1500 with a built-in cellular connection so vehicle occupants are automatically connected to a variety of new services and the internet with WiFi hotspot capability. The new Uconnect Media Centers provide a direct connection to emergency services when the new 911 button found on the rearview mirror is pushed. Ram 1500 customers also will automatically receive regular vehicle health reports and be able to remotely lock or unlock truck doors, start the vehicle, and flash lights from any distance via the web or a smartphone application.
    Ram truck owners will be able to access select, certified in-vehicle applications. Driving-relevant applications will be introduced over time and are designed specifically for in-vehicle use. The certified applications are easily controlled with natural voice recognition or steering wheel controls to keep drivers focused on the road. The responsive 8.4-inch touchscreen includes the award-winning user interface designed by Chrysler Group Human Machine Interface engineers, featuring large icons and visual cues allowing consumers intuitive control of system features.
    Uconnect Media Centers Are Always Current
    Ram truck owners will be confident to know their truck is designed to be forward-thinking, providing the freedom to upgrade to the latest features and services, without having to replace their factory installed Uconnect systems. Applications are updatable over the air and are downloaded directly to the Uconnect Media Center, so features remain current. Ram truck owners will be able to continually evolve their in-vehicle connectivity experience by downloading app updates or new applications as they become available directly to the Uconnect Media Center from inside the car, via the 8.4-inch touchscreen.
    The Ram 1500’s new Uconnect Access system features best-in-class functionality, integrating new entertainment content and is the first time Ram will offer HD Radio to its customers. Ram customers also will have access to SiriusXM satellite radio, handsfree mobile phone operation, handsfree navigation, handsfree texting with compatible phones and handsfree control of music. Additionally, new connected services and applications provide real-time access to information and content that Ram 1500 customers want and need while on the road. Uconnect is designed to provide drivers and passengers with relevant, focused and contextual information that is not distracting and easy to use, allowing drivers to remain focused on the road.
    Also enhancing driver convenience, Uconnect features one-step voice command of navigation, the ability to check real-time fuel prices and listen and respond to text messages, combined with familiar knobs for climate and comfort controls.
    A Variety of Ways to Control Your Content
    Uconnect Access controls are placed on the steering wheel. Customer research has shown a preference towards audio controls located at the rear of the steering wheel and Ram was the first truck manufacturer to integrate these rocker switches for ease of use. Audio system controls, including next station, radio preset and previous station or track, are located on the left. Volume up or down and change audio source are located on the right. This means Ram truck drivers can keep their hands on the wheel while they enjoy a variety of entertainment content sources.
    Media Console Offers a Variety of Options
    Neatly integrated within the upper storage tier of the center console, a new multimedia input includes USB, SD card and auxiliary connections. The USB allows control of iPod or other media device through the large touchscreen displays and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. A more powerful 2.5 amp, USB port and 12-volt outlet also provide mobile recharging for electronic devices. In addition, MP3 and WMA audio files on a USB memory device may also be played and controlled via the Uconnect system.
    New 7-inch Vehicle Information Center
    Filling the gauge cluster in front of the driver is an available 7-inch, color, premium vehicle information screen, featuring a new customizable function that enables Ram 1500 customers to personalize information inside the instrument cluster. Similar to the premium Uconnect Systems, select 7-inch instrument cluster background screens are branded with a Ram theme. Ram’s new information display is designed to visually communicate information, using graphics and text, quickly and easily.
    The vehicle information display offers drivers a wide range of customization options, from a basic digital speed read out to specific vehicle status information. Operation of the display is clearly communicated to users with easy-to-understand icons and instructions. Using buttons on the steering wheel, drivers can customize the screen with as much or as little information as they desire. The system is intuitive and can be arranged for a variety of views. Up to three analog vehicle status gauges can be added to the display. The main screens found inside the instrument cluster menu are: digital speed, vehicle information and fuel economy, trip A information, trip B information, trailer-tow information, audio, stored messages and screen customization. Additionally, the four corners of the display can be customized to show information at a glance, including current fuel economy, outside temperature, time and compass direction.
    All-new Powernet Electrical Architecture
    As the Ram 1500 continues to offer more feature content, it created the need for a technology that allows more information to be electronically communicated within the truck. The new Powernet system, used for the first time on a Ram 1500, 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). Uconnect leverages Powernet to deliver fast response time, and share critical information between the 8.4-inch touchscreen and the vehicle information center. The Powernet architecture also is the backbone that supports the Uconnect Access services and applications, including the Ram 1500 vehicle health report and remote services.
    Sprint Provides Wireless Platform for Next Generation Uconnect Access
    Sprint is the strategic wireless partner for the next generation Uconnect Access system. The integrated wireless technology inside the Ram 1500 enhances the driving experience by offering new connected services and applications. The services delivered through the partnership will be easy to learn, easy to use and will offer a seamless experience with the Ram owner’s digital life. An increasing number of features in the new Ram 1500 will rely on enhanced user interfaces including voice capabilities and commands to help limit driving distractions and keep the focus on the primary driving task.
    SAFETY AND SECURITY
    On the safety and security front, the Ram 1500 offers more than 45 active and passive safety and security features, including standard front airbags, front and rear side-curtain air bags and seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags with Enhanced Accident Response System, knee bolsters, seat-belt pretensioners, BeltAlert® System; and available adjustable pedals, ParkSense® rear park assist and ParkView® rear back-up camera. The 2013 Ram 1500 also includes standard electronic stability control (ESC), hosting a number of technologies including all-speed traction control, trailer-sway control, Hill-start Assist and anti-lock brake system (ABS).
    The new 2013 Ram 1500 now features available Keyless Enter ’n Go technology, which allows the doors to be unlocked and the vehicle ignition to be started without having to touch the key fob. Also new for 2013, remote central locking includes the RamBox® cargo management system and tailgate power locks, creating a convenient solution for locking down the truck with the push of a button. An available remote start feature allows a driver to start their vehicle from up to 300 feet away. Door controls, illuminated entry, engine immobilizer and panic alert are standard features with the Keyless Enter ’n Go system. Auto rain-sensing wipers and SmartBeam® also find their way into the feature availability list, adding to a truckload of content offered in the new 2013 Ram 1500.
    Additional New Features
    For 2013, Ram 1500 customers can enjoy the convenience of power folding mirrors and a combination power and rear-sliding window with defrost. Also available is a new six-foot-four-inch bed option on the Crew Cab model, allowing for maximum passenger and bed hauling capability.
    Unsurpassed Powertrain Warranty – 5 years/100,000 Miles
    The 2013 Ram 1500 is backed with a best-in-class 5-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 dealer, if necessary. The warranty also is transferable allowing customers who sell their truck during the warranty period, to pass the coverage onto the new owner.
    The standard 3-year / 36,000-Mile Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram 1500, from the body to the electrical system.
    QUALITY
    To ensure durability, the Ram development team is putting the 2013 Ram 1500 to the test – actually thousands of checks and almost six million customer equivalent testing miles – to validate its performance and reliability for the long haul.
    The 2013 Ram 1500’s quality is scrutinized at the company’s Chrysler Technology Center’s state-of-the-art scientific labs in Auburn Hills, Mich., including the Noise/Vibration/Harshness Lab, the Electromagnetic Compatibility Facility, Wind Tunnel and the Road Test Simulator (RTS).
    For example, the RTS recreates the abuse a truck endures at the hands of a 95th percentile driver – meaning someone who drives the vehicle in more severe conditions than 95 percent of all customers. The RTS can put a lifetime of wear and tear on a truck in about one month’s time. The Ram development team is committed to finding and fixing any issues before the customer does.
    MANUFACTURING
    The 2013 Ram 1500 is built at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Warren, Mich.), which has built more than 12.5 million trucks since it started operations in 1938. Regular Cab models of the 2013 Ram 1500 are built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 2, 2012
    It seems without fail, that when an auto show comes into town, there are leaks to go with it. Example: the new Mercedes-Benz GL.
    The exterior design borrows heavily from the new SL and SLK; from the large grill, large air intakes, and LED running lamps flanking each side.
    Mercedes-Benz is keep their mouth shut at the moment as to what powertrains will be in the GL. But from an earlier report in March, the GL350 Bluetec will likely return and a twin-turbo 4.7L engine making more than 400 HP will also make an appearance.
    *UPDATE*
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 4, 2012
    Mercedes-Benz has officially shown off the new 2013 GL-Class today and its pretty much a S-Class in SUV garb.
    The 2013 GL-Class grows an inch in in length and gets fractionally wider and taller, which means more space for passengers in all three rows.
    Three engines will be available for the GL: the V6 GL350 BlueTec producing 240 HP and 455 lb-ft of torque (up 30 HP and 55 lb-ft); the V8 GL450 producing 362 HP and 406 lb-ft (up 27 HP and 67 lb-ft); and the V8 GL550 producing 429 HP and 516 lb-ft, (up 47 hp and 127 lb-ft.).
    Of course, this being a Mercedes-Benz, there is a wide array of new technologies, including including radar-based Collision Prevention Assist, Attention Assist driver drowsiness detection, Active Parking Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Curve Illumination, Crosswind Stabilization and Surround View cameras.
    All GLs will come with a standard Airmatic air suspension system with self-leveling and can be ordered with an Active Curve System with active stabilizer bars. An an On- and Off-Road package that bundles a skid plate, a two-stage transfer case with reduction gearing, a longitudinal diff lock and expanded Airmatic functions that enable a wading depth of nearly 24 inches and ground clearance of up to 12 inches is available on the GL450 and 550.
    Inside, Mercedes-Benz has fitted a generous amount of standard equipment, including multicontour seats with massage function and active ventilation, three-zone automatic climate control and rear air-conditioning, an iPod/MP3 interface, hard-drive navigation and voice control, a Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround-sound audio system, satellite radio and multicolor ambient lighting.
    The new GL-Class goes on sale in September.

    Press Release is on Page 2
    The all-new 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
    First-Class Treatment for the New Full-Size SUV
    Comfort, safety, elegance, efficiency – the all-new 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLClass is the leading luxury full-size SUV. New innovations like standard COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST (CPA), Crosswind Stabilization, self-leveling air suspension and electromechanical steering all increase active safety. Also new are assistance systems like Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist, as well as PARKTRONIC with Active Parking Assist and the Surround View camera. With benchmark performance and ride characteristics both on-road and in rugged terrain, the GL-Class cradles its occupants with the first-class comfort of a luxurious sedan.
    The all-new GL is perfect for large families with ample space for up to seven passengers, while a host of efficiency measures delivers a substantial improvement in fuel economy. The 2013 GL-Class goes on sale in the U.S. in September 2012.
    Its balanced proportions (length 201.6 inches, width 84.3 inches, height 72.8 inches) and generous wheelbase (121 inches) reaffirm the on-road comfort of this vehicle. At the same time, the short overhangs front and rear, as well as substantial ground clearance are clear indications of its off-road capabilities.
    The typically high SUV waistline with a distinctive chrome strip, the dynamic sweep of the character line and the chrome edging around the windows all add to the refined look of the all-new GL. The standard wheels on the GL350 BlueTEC and GL450 are 19-inch twin five-spoke alloys, while the GL550 comes with 21-inch AMG twin 5-spoke wheels. 20-inch 10-spoke alloys are available as options on the GL350 BlueTEC and GL450.
    Split LED taillight clusters feature light guide technology, and a large roof spoiler and bumper in the modern "wing" design with a large chrome skidplate complete the impressive exterior.
    For GL customers who value a more sporty, dynamic look, illuminated brushed aluminum running boards are standard on the GL550 and available as an option for the GL350 BlueTEC and GL450. Also available for the GL450 is the Appearance package with 20-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, illuminated running boards and dual chrome-tipped exhaust outlets.
    Inner values – the GL-Class delivers first-class travel
    Powerfully dynamic and elegant interior architecture, fine materials and lots of attention to detail, perfect ergonomics and generous amounts of space – the interior of the GL-Class conveys Mercedes-Benz's characteristic first-class ambience. Large trim pieces in fine wood finish, operating controls in silver chrome, and upholstery in MB-Tex with contrasting stitching reaffirm the overall premium feel of the GL's interior. The seating offers plenty of space for seven in a 2-3-2 layout. Compared with the previous model, occupants have more shoulder, elbow and headroom on all three seating rows. Electric operation of the third row is a standard feature. A new option is the Power EASY-ENTRY system for access to the third seat row. The second-row bench offers a wide range of positioning options for even more interior versatility, including rear-seat recline and a 60/40 split for optimizing the luggage area, which has a load volume ranging from 16 to 94 cubic feet.
    The dashboard design emphasizes the width of the interior. The modern instrument cluster boasts a premium look-and-feel with two clearly designed and easy-to-read dials and a large 4.5-inch photo-quality color display between them. The top of the dashboard is dominated by a large central color screen for the infotainment system. The operating and display concept is extremely userfriendly, with the controller now located on the center console. It has a fine metal finish and offers intuitive and simple operation of infotainment, navigation and communication systems. Standard equipment includes a multifunction steering wheel in premium leather with gearshift controls and 12 multi-function buttons.
    Beneath the center armrest with integrated hand support is a large stowage bin and, in front of it, the controls and switches for functions such as the AIRMATIC air suspension and the COMAND system. Included here are two cup holders with a premium wood retractable cover. The dashboard trim elements carry into the door trim panels, which feature distinctive stitching. The doormounted seat controls and handle are arranged in typical Mercedes fashion.
    Assistance systems place the GL at the top of its class
    For further improved safety and driver alertness in the new GL-Class there are a wide range of assistance systems. Standard equipment includes the usual array of stability control features ESP®, ASR, ABS and the PRE-SAFE® predictive occupant safety system, and also introduces for the first time as standard COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST (CPA) and ATTENTION ASSIST driver drowsiness detection. The radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST operates at speeds between 20 and 155 mph and recognizes when the distance to the vehicle in front is decreasing. It can also recognize stationary objects. If there is an imminent risk of a collision, the system emits a visual and acoustic warning to alert the driver and prepares Brake Assist for the most immediate possible braking response, which is initiated as soon as the driver applies the brakes.
    The system takes into account specific driving conditions such as bumper-to-bumper traffic and adapts accordingly, calculating optimum brake pressure and adjusting it up or down as the situation changes – i.e. if the vehicle ahead accelerates, or if the distance to moving and stopping vehicles decreases. It calculates the precise braking force required to avoid an accident and makes best possible use of any distance remaining to minimize the risk of impact from the vehicle behind.
    Another innovation and highlight in the new GL is the standard Crosswind Stabilization system, which assists the driver with targeted brake impulses in the event of strong crosswinds to deliver enhanced safety and vehicle control.
    The optional Driver Assistance package includes DISTRONIC PLUS and PRESAFE® brake with autonomous braking function to optimize safety in certain dangerous situations. The package also comes with Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist. The Parking Assist package for the GL350 BlueTEC and GL450 features PARKTRONIC with Active Parking Assist for automatic maneuvering in and out of parallel parking spots, plus the new surround view camera. It uses image data from four cameras at the front and rear of the vehicle and in the exterior mirror casings to calculate a bird's eye view of the vehicle and its surroundings, and shows this and other perspectives on the large COMAND display. Also available for the GL350 BlueTEC and GL450 is the Lighting package, which includes Bi-xenon headlamps with Active Curve Illumination & Corner Illuminating Lamps, a headlamp cleaning system and Adaptive Highbeam Assist. The equipment in the Parking Assist and Lighting packages is standard for the GL550.
    Passive safety – comprehensive safety for seven passengers
    Together with the "electronic crumple zones" provided by the assistance systems and the intelligent bodyshell design, the passive occupant protection systems provide the highest possible level of protection. Adaptive, two-stage airbags for driver and front seat passenger, driver side knee airbag, front & rear side airbags and window curtain airbags across all three seating rows are all standard equipment, while all seven seats are fitted with three-point safety belts.
    Pyrotechnic pre-tensioners, constant belt force limiters and electrically reversible pre-tensioners are all standard on the front seats, while the outboard seats on the middle row and the individual third-row seats are fitted with pre-tensioners and single-stage belt force limiters.
    Clean power – the GL-Class engines
    All three of the engines in the new GL lineup deliver outstanding performance paired with excellent efficiency.
    The extensively re-engineered V6 under the hood of the new GL350 BlueTEC generates 240 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque, marking an increase of 30 hp and 55 lb-ft over the outgoing model. SCR technology and AdBlue® injection place it well within emissions requirements across all 50 states. Supremely fuel efficient, it offers astonishing range on a single tank, paired with excellent pulling power from very low revs.
    The twin-turbo direct-injection V8 motor in the best-selling GL450 is an outstanding combination of performance and efficiency. With 362 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, it offers 27 hp and 67 lb-ft more than its predecessor. This added power and higher peak torque delivered over a wider rev range deliver all the prerequisites for relaxed long-distance cruising, as well as the versatility and responsiveness to deal with a wide variety of day-to-day activities.
    At the top of the list, the GL550 now comes with a direct-injection twin-turbo 429 hp engine with a mighty 516 lb-ft of peak torque. While the extra 47 hp brings even more performance to this supremely refined full-size SUV, it is the added 125 lb-ft of peak torque that truly make themselves felt, in terms of off-the-line performance and the ability of the GL550 to handle heavy loads with ease.
    Alongside state-of-the-art engine technology, all three engines are equipped with extensive efficiency measures like direct-injection and paired with the new seven-speed automatic transmission. Intelligent alternator management keeps fuel consumption down, as does the electromechanical steering, the optimized belt drive with decoupler, the intelligent demand-based control of all auxiliary equipment and pumps. A key feature of the GL350 BlueTEC is also the SCR exhaust system optimized for airflow and back pressure.
    The front and rear suspension links, as well as the hood and fenders are made from lightweight and tough aluminum alloy. Further weight reduction was achieved with the new acoustic front windshield, the magnesium transverse mount supporting the dashboard, the BlueTEC system with SCR technology and components such as the new electromechanical steering, electric parking brake, polymer engine mounts and the aluminum brake servo unit. These weight reduction measures increase the agility of the full-size SUV while at the same time reducing fuel consumption.
    S-Class comfort with ground-breaking handling both on and off-road
    Relaxed, safe driving under all possible conditions both on-road and off-road is one of the strengths of the new GL-Class. NVH characteristics (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) are particularly impressive and on par with the S-Class. The foundation for the high comfort level is the extremely stiff bodyshell, an optimized driveline, improved chassis, aeroacoustic refinement and the intelligent application of new kinds of insulation. Excellent agility, dynamic onroad handling and outstanding off-road capabilities have long been among the benefits of the GL-Class. Standard equipment includes the AIRMATIC full air suspension system with self-leveling function. AIRMATIC delivers outstanding comfort paired with considerably improved stability. It compensates for all manner of driving conditions with features such as crosswind stabilization and the self-leveling function. The optional Active Curve System works at the front and rear axles with active anti-roll bars to compensate for body roll during cornering, delivering a considerable boost to agility and driver involvement.
    Added stability, further improved comfort and enhanced off-road capabilities are further attributes of the Active Curve System.
    The GL is also superbly equipped for trips off of the asphalt. In addition to 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive, standard equipment includes a hill start assistant, and Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR). The On- and Off-Road package, available as an option for the GL450 and GL550, enhances handling and safety with six programs, delivering optimum driveline control across the most diverse conditions on the road and on rugged terrain. On the hardware side, the On- and Off-Road package incorporates a skidplate, a two-stage transfer case with reduction gearing, a longitudinal differential lock and expanded AIRMATIC functions that deliver ground clearance of 12 inches and a wading depth of 23.6 inches.
    Complete model lineup, compelling equipment packages
    Extensive standard equipment, individual equipment packages and an attractive range of paint finishes and premium interior appointments define the look of the new GL-Class. It comes to the U.S. market in three model variants, the GL350 BlueTEC with a V6 diesel, the GL450 and GL550 V8 biturbo gasoline versions.
    The comprehensive list of standard equipment has been significantly expanded in comparison with the previous model. It incorporates safety features such as ATTENTION ASSIST, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST and Crosswind Stabilization. Comfort details like the power liftgate, an electric power/tilt sliding glass sunroof, MB-Tex upholstery with perforated surface finish and heated 8-way power front seats with driver 4-way lumbar support are also standard, as is the COMAND system with central controller.
    A wide range of optional packages provides customers with extensive choice and added refinement. The Premium 1 package for the GL350 BlueTEC and GL450 includes the iPod/MP3 media interface, hard-drive navigation and voice control, satellite radio and multi-color ambient lighting with illuminated door sills, and memory function for the front seats. The Premium 2 package adds the harman/kardon LOGIC7® surround-sound system, KEYLESS-GO and soft-close doors. Further packages available for the GL350 BlueTEC and GL450 are the Lighting package, the Parking Assist package, the Lane Tracking package with Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. The GL450 also offers the Appearance package with 20-inch 10-spoke wheels, illuminated running boards and dual chrome-tipped exhaust outlets.
    The GL550 boasts an unparalleled array of standard equipment that also includes driver and passenger multi-contour seats with massage function and active ventilation, 3-zone automatic climate control and rear air conditioning, an iPod/MP3 media interface, hard-drive navigation and voice control, the harman/kardon LOGIC7® surround-sound system, satellite radio, multi-color ambient lighting, KEYLESS-GO, soft-close doors, PARKTRONIC with Active Parking Assist, Bi-xenon headlamps with Active Curve Illumination and Corner Illuminating Lamps and illuminated brushed aluminum running boards. Its safety equipment is further enhanced by Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Highbeam Assist and Surround View.
    The Driver Assistance package is available for all three models, while the On- and Off-road package can be selected for the GL450 and GL550. A further array of standalone and special order options is available for all three models.
    A fine choice of flat and metallic paint finishes spans from Black and Arctic White, to Cinnabar Red, Obsidian Black, Steel Grey, Iridium Silver, Pearl Beige, Dakota Brown, Diamond White and Lunar Blue.
    Inside, the GL350 BlueTEC and GL450 are fitted with Eucalyptus wood trim as standard, while the GL550 comes with Burl Walnut. MB-Tex upholstery is offered in Black, Almond Beige or Grey, with genuine leather in a choice of Black, Almond Beige or Grey. designo upholstery with DINAMICA headliner as well as designo Black Piano Lacquer Wood Trim and a designo wood/leather multifunction steering wheel are optionally available.
    Mercedes offers the broadest SUV lineup
    Globally, the most diverse range of SUVs in the premium segment comes from Mercedes-Benz. A total of five model lines are available around the world.
    Alongside the GL-Class, the successful global family encompasses the distinctive GLK, the classic "G" all-terrain vehicle, the long-distance specialist the R-Class and the bestselling M-Class. Mercedes-Benz is also the premium SUV manufacturer with the longest tradition. SUVs account for around one fifth of the brand's global sales volumes, with the U.S. being by far the largest market for the entire SUV family. With 27,000 units sold in 2011, this is where the GL-Class achieved a market share of around 30 percent, making it the absolute market leader in its segment. The second largest SUV market overall is China, followed by Germany.
    Quick Reference:
    Performance/Availability:
    • On-Sale: September 2012
    • 2013 GL350 BlueTEC: 240hp, 455 lb-ft (Previously 210 hp, 400 lb-ft)
    • 2013 GL450: 362hp, 406 lb-ft (Previously 335 hp, 339 lb-ft)
    • 2013 GL550: 429hp, 516 lb-ft (Previously 382 hp, 391 lb-ft)
    New Standard Feature Highlights:
    • COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST
    • ATTENTION ASSIST
    • Crosswind Stabilization
    • Central COMAND controller
    • Electromechanical steering
    • Direct-injection twin-turbo gasoline V8 engines
    • Color instrument cluster display
    New Optional Feature Highlights:
    • Multi-color Ambient Lighting
    • PARKTRONIC with Active Parking Assist
    • Active Curve System
    • On- and Off-Road Package
    • Surround View Camera
    • Driver Assistance Package
    • Adaptive Highbeam Assist
    • Power EASY-ENTRY second row
    • Panorama roof
    Dimensions:
    Length / Width / Height / Wheelbase
    2013 MY GL-Class: 201.6" / 84.3" / 72.8" / 121"
    2007-12 MY GL-Class 200.7" / 83.6" / 72.4" / 121"

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 2, 2012
    Last year, the Cadillac SRX dropped its 3.0L V6 and 2.8T V6 in favor for a 3.6L DI V6. This year, Cadillac has done refresh of the SRX's exterior and Interior in time for this weeks New York Auto Show.
    Outside, the SRX gets a new grille and new front fender vents with LED light pipes. Also, the SRX gains three new paint colors and a new set of 20-inch wheels.
    Inside, the SRX gains Cadillac's CUE infotainment system which integrates smartphones and other mobile devices with voice recognition and an 8-inch LCD touch-sensitive screen. Also new is two additional USB ports, an SD card slot, an auxiliary input jack, a 12-volt power outlet, new steering wheel, and a new instrument cluster.
    The SRX also comes with Cadillac's new Driver Awareness and Driver Assist packages, which helps with crash avoidance by using radar, cameras, ultrasonic devices and other advanced technology.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Cadillac Enhances Technology and Design on 2013 SRX



    CUE and advanced safety features complement brand’s expanding portfolio


    NEW YORK – Cadillac introduces technology and design enhancements to the SRX luxury crossover SUV this week at the New York International Auto Show. Among the new features for 2013 is CUE, the in-vehicle user experience that incorporates touch-screen controls similar to the most popular mobile devices.
    The 2013 SRX’s enhanced technology also contributes to safety, with Cadillac’s new Driver Awareness and Driver Assist technology packages. Their features include Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Cadillac’s Safety Alert Seat technology, Automatic Front and Rear Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control and more, using radar and other technologies to help avoid collisions.
    Interior and exterior design updates further distinguish the 2013 SRX, while active noise cancelation technology helps provide a quieter driving experience. It goes on sale this fall.
    “The 2013 SRX illustrates the Cadillac philosophy of never leaving well enough alone,” said Don Butler, vice president of marketing for Cadillac. “The enhancements for the SRX – including CUE – are examples of how we’re developing advanced technologies and pushing them consistently through the Cadillac portfolio. They are also some of the key elements of the all-new XTS luxury sedan and ATS compact sedan, which will expand the Cadillac portfolio this summer.”
    Since its redesign in 2009, the SRX has established a strong visual signature for Cadillac in the luxury crossover segment. The 2013 SRX refines that appearance with a new design for the front upper and lower grilles that conveys greater depth and the brand’s attention to detail. The front fender vents are new and incorporate LED light pipes.
    Three new exterior colors are offered: Evolution Green Metallic, Glacier Blue Metallic and Silver Coast Metallic. Also new is the SRX’s range of 20-inch wheel designs, including new chrome and polished aluminum wheels for the Performance and Premium Collections – the top two option packages.
    The SRX is offered in FWD and Advanced AWD models, each powered by a 3.6L Direct Injection V-6 that was added for 2012. It is rated an SAE-certified 308 horsepower (230 kW) and 265 lb.-ft. of torque (358 Nm).
    Cadillac CUE
    Cadillac CUE (Cadillac User Experience) is standard on the 2013 SRX. It is the brand’s new design and technical breakthrough for intuitive in-vehicle control and connectivity.
    CUE pairs entertainment and information data from up to 10 Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices, USBs, SD cards and MP3 players with a vehicle infotainment system that reduces complexity through customized information, voice commands and fewer buttons and larger icons. The comprehensive, in-vehicle experience is designed to be unique for each consumer, from the “simple user” to the fully connected “super user.”
    The heart of CUE is the vibrant, eight-inch LCD multi-touch sensitive screen – with proximity sensing and haptic feedback – that is seamlessly integrated in the top of the central instrument panel. It displays CUE’s home page, which resembles a smart phone’s screen, with large, easy-to-target icons that execute commands. Capacitive technology on the screen and faceplate enables consumers to use the same “swipe,” “pinch” or “spread” gestures common to most popular smartphones and tablets.
    A motorized faceplate for the system reveals a concealed storage area for smartphones or other mobile devices and includes an illuminated USB port.
    Interior enhancements
    CUE is the foundation for the 2013 SRX’s enhanced driving experience and is complemented with additional features and design refinements:
    Standard HD radio
    Bluetooth audio streaming is available for all collections
    A USB port in the storage bin behind the CUE faceplate
    The center console now features two additional USB ports, an SD card slot auxiliary input jack and 12-volt power outlet
    New headphone and remote design for the rear-seat entertainment system, which also includes a rear USB port and SD card slot
    New shift knob design
    New steering wheel design
    New instrument cluster with new driver information center for CUE integration.

    Active noise cancellation is new for 2013 and helps create a quieter driving experience. The system uses microphones to detect ambient noise, the frequencies of which are processed by a computer that directs counteracting sound waves through the audio system to tailor the sound quality and character inside the cabin.
    A new Light Titanium interior color combination is added and matched with a new Raven Sapele wood color accent.
    Popular interior features returning for 2013 include keyless access, ambient lighting, power-adjustable pedals, heated front and rear outboard seats, heated steering wheel and the UltraView power sunroof.
    ‘Control and alert’ safety features
    SRX is the latest to incorporate Cadillac’s “control and alert” strategy that employs advanced technologies – including radar, cameras and ultrasonic sensors – to help prevent crashes. The safety features are part of Cadillac’s new Driver Awareness and Driver Assist technology packages.
    The advanced technologies bolster driver vision and awareness of road hazards, intervening to help the driver avert potential collisions. In some cases, Cadillac’s crash-avoidance systems will act without the driver, such as automatic braking, which activates based on information indicating potential hazards.
    Radar-based adaptive cruise control and front and rear automatic braking are available. Front and rear automatic braking 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. Additional advanced safety features offered on the 2013 SRX’s Driver Awareness and Driver Assist packages include:
    Forward Collision Alert
    Lane Departure Warning
    Rear Vision Camera With Dynamic Guidelines
    Safety Alert Seat.

    Side blind zone alert and rear cross traffic alert are standard. Each uses radar to detect vehicles that may be out of the driver’s vision, providing visual alerts in the outside mirrors and, in the case of rear cross traffic alert, audible warnings. StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with traction control, and four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel ABS are also standard, along with:
    Dual-stage frontal and side-impact driver and right-front passenger air bags.
    Head-curtain side-impact air bags.
    Rollover mitigation sensors.
    Front safety belt pretensioners and load limiters.

    The SRX is also designed to meet European pedestrian protection standards, with the front bumper positioned for greater compatibility with car bumpers.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 2, 2012
    Last week, we brought you some spy shots of the Fisker Nina getting ready for its showing at the New York Auto Show. This week, the official images of the Fisker Nina, now called the Atlantic were released.
    The Atlantic carries a lot of the same design elements as the larger Karma, mostly in the front with aggressiveness and scalloped sides. The back end ends abruptly.
    Fisker is keeping their mouth shut for the time being. We'll update this once more information comes out.
    Source: Car Magazine

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 2, 2012
    When we last checked in on the BMW i8 Concept, it was being shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The plug-in hybrid concept uses a 131 HP electric motor for the front axle and a mid-mounted 1.5L turbocharged three-cylinder engine producing 223 HP for the rear. A pack of lithium-ion batteries are located in a center tunnel between the two power sources. Total power stood at 354 HP and 405 lb-ft of torque. The i8 Concept could travel about 19 miles on EV power alone and get a combined fuel economy of 78 MPG.
    This week at the New York Auto Show, the i8 makes a second appearance, minus the roof. The i8 Spyder is the third member of the BMW i family. While the i8 and i8 Spyder look simular and use the same powertrain, the i8 Spyder has a slightly shorter wheelbase and overall length. The i8 Spyder also uses different doors from the coupe.
    Other features of the i8 Spyder include a pair of electric scooters underneath a glass panel in the rear and the choice to switch between front, rear, or all-wheel-drive based on the driving conditions.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    BMW i8 Concept Spyder


    The BMW i8 Concept Spyder with eDrive is an open-top two-seater embodying a form of personal mobility with equal sporting and emotional appeal.
    Under the banner of its sub-brand BMW i, the BMW Group is developing a range of purpose-built vehicle concepts and complementary mobility services which meet the changing needs of customers and redefine the understanding of personal mobility. As well as adopting intelligent technologies and innovative design, BMW i is pursuing an all-embracing approach defined to a significant degree by sustainability throughout the value chain.
    Following the presentation of the BMW i3 Concept and BMW i8 Concept, the BMW Group introduces the BMW i8 Concept Spyder to the mix. This third BMW i model embodies the future of cutting-edge and emotionally appealing mobility concepts. Its sporting design headlines the qualities of an open-top two-seater blending lightness, dynamic capability and efficiency with a very special aesthetic allure.
    The combination of intelligent lightweight design and state-of-the-art hybrid technology imbues the BMW i8 Concept Spyder with genuine sports car performance, yet its fuel consumption is no higher than you would expect from a small car.
    Among the most eye-catching features of the BMW i8 Concept Spyder are the upward-swivelling, windowless doors and a range of purpose-oriented on-board equipment including electric kickboards stowed under a transparent tailgate. The sports car is based around the innovative LifeDrive architecture, itself underpinned by a lightweight modular construction and the use of high-quality high-tech materials. The BMW i8 Concept Spyder is a plug-in hybrid powered by an eDrive drivetrain combining a high-performance electric motor and petrol combustion engine. The lithium-ion battery supplying the motor with power can be recharged in an extremely short space of time from any domestic power socket. Together, the car’s minimised weight, low centre of gravity and finely judged balance, coupled with a combined system output of up to 260 kW (354 hp), promise unbeatable dynamic capability, exceptional efficiency and unbridled driving pleasure.
    BMW i8 Concept Spyder with eDrive – driving pleasure with unbeatable efficiency and dynamics.
    Barely a year after the unveiling of the 2+2-seater BMW i8 Concept, BMW i is presenting the second variant of this innovative hybrid sports car, a machine designed to light up the path to compelling and purpose-oriented mobility. Like its Coupe sibling, the emotionally charged BMW i8 Concept Spyder combines intelligent lightweight design with the leading-edge drivetrain technology eDrive, while its open-top two-seater construction delivers an even more intense driving experience. This is a car in which outstanding performance potential goes hand-in-hand with extremely low fuel consumption and emissions.
    Compared with the Coupe variant of the BMW i8 Concept, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder has a slightly shorter wheelbase and overall length. With its compact dimensions and distinctive exterior paintwork, the sports car exudes a feeling of dynamism before it so much as turns a wheel, while striking features of its design include upward-swivelling, windowless doors and a transparent glass panel at the rear. Underneath this cover two electric kickboards are stowed, providing a visual showcase for the fun factor in mobility and adding another layer to the car’s recreational appeal. Inside, a revised material and colour concept provides an extra dose of sportiness. Like the Coupe, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder with eDrive is a high-performance plug-in hybrid, and it fuses the specific advantages of an electric motor and combustion engine to optimum effect. Exceptional efficiency and dynamic capability are the upshot.
    Modular LifeDrive architecture offers a preview of the future.
    Like the Coupe, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder is also built around the innovative LifeDrive architecture, a fusion of independent functional units. For example, the carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) Life module gives the car an extremely lightweight passenger cell, while the Drive modules – made primarily from aluminium components – bring together all the car’s operational driving functions, such as the powertrain, chassis and safety structure. Impressively extensive use of high-tech materials allows this innovative concept to chart new territory in terms of weight minimisation, structural rigidity and crash safety. This is good news not only for the car’s dynamic performance, but also for its range and fuel economy. Intelligent lightweight design, encompassing the use of innovative materials, has allowed the unavoidable additional weight of the high-output hybrid drivetrain to be cancelled out in full. Plus, the LifeDrive architecture has been carefully adapted to the sports car character of the BMW i8 Concept Spyder. The front and rear axle modules are connected by an “energy tunnel”, which houses the hybrid battery. This allows the engineers to give the car a low centre of gravity and ideal balance.
    The distinctive two-way split of the LifeDrive concept is also reflected in the car’s design, which renders the basic elements of the body clearly distinguishable. Expressive surfaces and precise lines create a harmonious transition from one module into another. This overlap and interlocking of surfaces and lines – “layering” in BMW i speak – is displayed both on the body and in the interior of the new car.
    Latest interpretation of the BMW i design language.
    The BMW i8 Concept Spyder’s emotion-led design vividly spotlights the car’s qualities, with lightness, dynamic capability and efficiency highlighted to particularly prominent effect. For example, the two-seater embodies the perfect synthesis of technology and aesthetic appeal, and exudes unbridled driving pleasure even when stationary. Key to creating this impression of sporty dynamics are large body panels, a hunkered-down stance and numerous aerodynamic elements such as contact surfaces, spoiler lips, AirCurtains and aeroflaps. These features substantially reduce the hybrid car’s Cd and enhance both efficiency and range.
    Dynamic front end.
    The front end offers a particularly revealing window into the open-top two-seater’s dynamic talent. One defining element is the headlights with pioneering laser light technology, which follow the hallmark BMW i U-shaped design template. A semi-transparent “V” opens out from the front end of the flat bonnet towards the windscreen and beckons the eye to the electric motor below. A spoiler lip positioned on the windscreen frame guides the airflow over the heads of the passengers. And for journeys when the weather cannot quite be trusted, the planned two-section folding roof might well come in handy.
    Athletic silhouette.
    Short front and rear overhangs and a low-slung silhouette define the side view of the BMW i8 Concept Spyder and underline its athletic character. Alluring lines and forms generate a strong forward-surging stance even before the car powers off the line. The doors, which open by pivoting forwards around the A-pillar axis, further enhance the BMW i8 Concept Spyder’s emotional impact. Below the doors, the side skirts create a powerful wedge shape which opens out towards the rear. At the same time, the open-top two-seater cuts a light and flowing figure and appears as if carved from a single mould.
    Striking rear.
    Like the front end, the rear also sits low to the road. Its headline feature is a transparent cover revealing the two folded electric kickboards accommodated below. Adopting the hallmarks of BMW i design, the kickboards are perfect for relaxed cruising along promenades and paths or around city squares. There can be few more attractive advertisements for individual mobility. A visually imposing rear diffuser, three-dimensional air outlets and the U-shaped rear lights give the BMW i8 Concept Spyder an extremely wide appearance and emphasise its sporting credentials.
    Functional aesthetics: layering in the interior.
    The interior of the BMW i8 Concept Spyder is defined by three levels showcasing its various functions. As with the car’s body, the interlocking of surfaces and lines is also one of the stand-out features of the interior design. The outer layer frames the supporting structure, while the inner “comfort” layer comprises seat surfaces and stowage compartments. The cockpit fills the third “technical” layer, bringing together the instrument panel, steering column and steering wheel with the instrument cluster, central information display and control elements. The prominent driver focus of the cockpit and the low seating position, which adds further depth to the open-top two-seater’s credibility, are particularly eye-catching. All the controls are in just the right position and, like the other functional components of the interior, designed to further enliven the driving experience. An 8.8-inch (22.4 cm) screen displays all the relevant driving information in three-dimensional, high-resolution quality.
    The colour and materials concept also provides some stand-out touches. The Spyder’s interior is defined by a mixture of plastic, carbon and leather, with the off-white of the outer layer and the bold orange tone of the naturally tanned leather generating a sporting atmosphere rich in contrast. The cockpit and centre console also show slight modifications over the Coupe. The overall effect of the interior is one of quality, purity and emotional appeal.
    Plug-in hybrid: the perfect alliance of dynamic capability and efficiency.
    Like the Coupe, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder with eDrive is a plug-in hybrid combining two different power sources and employing the specific advantages of its electric motor and combustion engine to optimum effect. The hybrid drivetrain’s key components gel together with outstanding smoothness, allowing it to offer peerless dynamic capability and maximum efficiency. In other words, the open-top two-seater produces the performance of an out-and-out sports machine yet posts the fuel economy of a small car.
    The 96 kW (131 hp) electric motor on the front axle works in tandem with a turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine sending 164 kW (223 hp) through the rear wheels. Both units are in-house BMW Group developments and generate an aggregate system output of 260 kW (354 hp) and peak torque of 550 Newton metres. That is enough to accelerate the BMW i8 Concept Spyder from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in five seconds on the way to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Despite this performance, the two-seater burns just three litres of petrol per 100 kilometres (equivalent to fuel economy of 94 mpg imp) in the European test cycle.
    The electric motor sources its energy from a lithium-ion battery which can be fully charged from a domestic power socket in less than two hours. The high-output battery is located in the energy tunnel between the front and rear axle modules in order to keep the car’s centre of gravity as low as possible – and therefore to maximise the car’s dynamic performance. The space-saving and well-balanced packaging of this and other drive and chassis components gives the sporting two-seater ideal 50:50 weight distribution.
    With its battery fully charged, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder can cover up to 30 kilometres (19 miles) on electric power alone. As such, far from filling in as a bit-part player, the electric motor plays a role equal to that of the petrol engine. If required, a high-voltage alternator hooked up to the combustion engine generates extra power, which is then stored in the hybrid battery. This range-extending function during the course of a journey allows the two-seater to travel further between charging stations.
    Another special feature of the BMW i8 Concept Spyder is the ability to send power through the front, rear or all four wheels at the same time. Intelligent control electronics ensure that the optimum drive configuration is available for the situation at hand. The driver can view the driving mode currently engaged and monitor the activity of the two drive sources on the large information display in the cockpit. Furthermore, the electronic systems ensure maximum energy recuperation under braking or when coasting. All of which means that the driver can enjoy maximum dynamic performance, unbeatable directional stability and minimal consumption and emissions at all times.
    Connectivity: the perfect link between mobile living environments. BMW i sums up the idea of mobility geared to the demands of the future and the needs of its customers. To this end, BMW i drivers will have a new generation of driver assistance systems at their disposal which significantly enhance both safety and comfort. For example, the camera-based proactive Collision Warning system, Parking Assistant and Traffic Jam Assistant ensure all on board can enjoy a safe and relaxed journey.
    In addition, BMW i is developing an array of innovative connectivity functions which provide a seamless link between its models and their owners’ lives outside the car. Remote functions accessed via a smartphone help users to locate their car in large car parks (CarFinder), show nearby charging stations, allow the battery to be charged at pre-set times and inform drivers on the current status of their vehicle. Plus, the battery and interior can be brought up to peak operating temperature before the driver sets off on a journey. The Last Mile Navigation function, meanwhile, assists drivers after they have parked their car, with route instructions transferred directly onto their smartphone directing them along the last leg of their journey on foot – to a museum or restaurant, for example. And the Intermodal Route Planning function effectively integrates the car into the local public transport network and provides information on current parking availability at the driver’s destination.
    Interface design aids intelligent mobility.
    Two large displays inside the BMW i8 Concept Spyder make up the interface between the car, its passengers and the outside world. Positioned alongside the instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, the central information display flags up all relevant information and assists the driver in the use of connectivity applications. A third display shows the automatic climate control settings currently engaged. All the screens display their information in 3D, and the cutting-edge, visually appealing graphics are also impressively clear.
    Instrument cluster.
    The instrument cluster displays important driving data using two variable-form ellipses. Positioned alongside the digital speedometer, the efficiency display allows drivers to view how much energy they are currently using – or recovering through the recuperation process. Added to which, the display also contains extra navigation details and information on the car’s range when running purely on electric power, its range when powered by the combustion engine alone and its range using both power units in tandem. If the driver switches to energy-saving ECO PRO mode, the display turns blue in colour to signal the shift in functional emphasis, and the ellipses now also vary in form. By the same token, moving into SPORT mode treats the driver to an emotional orange hue. As well as the changes in colour, the displays also provide information tailored to the driving mode selected and to assisting the driver as effectively as possible.
    Central information display.
    The central information display in the BMW i8 Concept Spyder makes a key contribution to intelligent mobility. It allows the driver to view the current status of the hybrid system, provides a platform for menu navigation and route guidance, and uses innovative connectivity functions to offer drivers a gateway into their lives outside the car. This ensures drivers remain up to speed at all times on how the combustion engine and electric motor are being used, while also being able to monitor the energy flow within the system.
    Forward-thinking analysis of the driving situation.
    The car’s power electronics are linked up to intelligent navigation and traffic guidance systems to enable the hybrid drive system to work at maximum efficiency. In this way, information on route profile, speed limits and unavoidable traffic congestion are incorporated into the calculations of the energy management system so that the hybrid system’s operating strategy can be adapted accordingly. For example, proactive charging of the hybrid battery allows the BMW i8 Concept Spyder to negotiate a traffic tailback on the road ahead using electric power alone – and therefore without producing any emissions. In addition, handy displays such as fuel consumption history allow interesting reflections on past journeys and help to optimise the driving style of the individual at the wheel.
    Perfectly prepared at all times thanks to diary synchronisation.
    Intelligent connectivity functions open the door to a host of other practical solutions when it comes to preparing the BMW i8 Concept Spyder for its daily workload. One example of this is automatic diary synchronisation with the driver’s smartphone. The system registers upcoming appointments and, when plugged into a power socket, ensures that the battery is topped up overnight so that the car is ready for action with a fully charged battery the following morning.
    The BMW i concept.
    BMW i is about the development of visionary vehicles and mobility services, inspiring design, and a new premium perception strongly guided by sustainability. Under the banner of the young sub-brand, the BMW Group is developing purpose-built vehicle concepts which redefine the understanding of personal mobility. Key elements include groundbreaking technologies, intelligent lightweight design and the innovative use of materials, all with the aim of creating vehicles with extremely low weight, the greatest possible range, generous interior space, poised and authoritative driving characteristics, and exceptional safety. The BMW i8 Concept Spyder follows in the tyre tracks of the BMW i3 Concept and BMW i8 Concept Coupe as the third concept car created under the BMW i sub-brand.
    Sustainability plays a paramount role in the BMW i concept. It is an issue that runs like a thread throughout the value chain – all the way from purchasing, through development and production to sales and marketing. And when it comes to the efficient manufacturing of its vehicles, BMW i goes a step further still.
    The Leipzig production plant will see an additional 70 per cent reduction in water use and 50 per cent drop in energy consumption per vehicle over the years ahead. And the energy that is used will be sourced 100 per cent from renewable sources.
    Specifications
    BMW i8 Concept Spyder
    Length/Height/Width
    L 4480 mm, H 1208 mm, W 1922 mm
    Wheelbase
    2650 mm
    No. of seats
    2
    Kerb weight
    1630 kg
    Top speed
    250 km/h (155 mph) electr. governed
    Acceleration
    0-100 km/h (62 mph) 5 s
    80-120 km/h (50-75 mph) 4.0 s
    System output
    260 kW / 550 Nm
    TwinPower Turbo engine
    164 kW / 300 Nm
    Fuel consumption (EU cycle)
    3 l/100km / 94 mpg imp
    eDrive output electric motor
    electric range
    battery charge time
    96 kW
    approx. 27-30 km (17 – 19 miles)
    standard: 1.45 h for 100% charge
    Luggage compartment
    approx.100 litres

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 30, 2012
    Next week at the New York Auto Show, Lincoln will show the new MKZ and its 15.2 square foot, retractable glass roof. Yes, you read this correctly.
    According to Lincoln, the roof takes takes ten seconds to either open or close the roof thanks to two motors and parallel rails located on the outer edges of the roof. Once opened, the opening is two-feet deep and two and a half feet wide.
    When closed, the glass roof is rated at SPF 100 to avoid passengers being sunburned. As for safety, the roof is reinforced with a aluminum and boron steel frame.
    Source: Autoblog



    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 29, 2012
    Last week, Fisker released a teaser drawing of their new Nina that would be shown at the New York Auto Show. This week, a spy photographer caught a partly uncovered Nina as it was being delivered for the show next week.
    At first glance, the Nina looks like to be a shrunken Karma. The front end and side profile as shown in the pictures carry a lot of cues from the larger Karma sedan. You can't miss the large, red wheels or EVer badge on the back. The back doors have their handles hidden between the window and the C-pillar.
    And that's all we can tell at the moment from these pictures.
    We do know from earlier reports that the Nina will be built a Fisker's facility in Delaware and that the gas engine will come from BMW.
    Source: Autoblog

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 29, 2012
    The image seen here was posted on Ram's Facebook page today. Its a craftily cropped picture of a Ram front end. The picture is part of a series of daily teaser photos leading up to the truck’s April 5 reveal. Ram is calling this campaign “A Giant Awaits.”
    So what could this be? Our guess is that will it the new 3.6L Pentastar V6 and eight-speed automatic combo as shown in a SEC filling earlier in March.
    We'll find out what "A Giant Awaits" means on April 5th at the New York Auto Show.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 29, 2012
    Subaru is making next week's New York Auto Show a big deal. Besides the U.S. introduction of the new XV Crosstrek, the Japanese automaker will show off its new 2013 Legacy and Outback.
    The big news for the Legacy and Outback is a new 2.5L DOHC boxer four that puts out 173 HP and 174 lb-ft of torque. The 2.5L engine can be either equipped with a six-speed manual or the latest version of Subaru's CVT transmission which delivers 24 miles per gallon city, 32 highway and 27 combined for the Legacy. The Outback gets 24 city/30 highway/26 combined MPG with the CVT and 2.5L.
    The Legacy and the Outback will also come with an optional 3.6L flat-six engine mated to a five-speed automatic that offers up 256 horsepower.
    Also new is Subaru's EyeSight driver-assist system, which integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking, and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning uses cameras mounted on the windshield to reduce the potential for damage.
    Styling for the Legacy and Outback has been tweaked, with the front end getting the new face seen on the Impreza. Subaru also says that the ride and handling have been improved thanks to a stiffer structure and revised suspension geometry.

    Press Release for the Legacy is on Page 2, Outback on Page 3
    2013 SUBARU LEGACY® DEBUTS NEW POWERTRAIN, EYESIGHT™ DRIVER-ASSIST SYSTEM AND REVISED STYLING
    New, more powerful, more efficient Boxer engine
    Up to 32 mpg highway – best of any midsize sedan with all-wheel drive
    New, second-generation Lineartronic® continuously variable transmission
    Revised suspension for smoother, quieter ride with enhanced agility
    New conveniences and audio features
    Available EyeSight driver-assist system with:
    Pre-Collision Braking
    System Capable of Pedestrian Detection
    Lane Departure and Sway Warning
    Adaptive Cruise Control

    NEW YORK, April 4, 2012– Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the 2013 Subaru Legacy. The 2013 Legacy is powered by either a 3.6-liter H6 or a new, more efficient 2.5-liter 4-cylinder powertrain and debuts revised styling as well as the new EyeSight driver-assist system. Chassis enhancements improve both ride quality and agility in the 2013 Legacy, which also offers new amenities and audio capabilities.
    The 2013 Subaru Legacy features a new, sportier front styling with new headlights, grille and front bumper. The changes will further enhance the appeal of the Subaru Legacy, which has sold in record numbers since its 2010 redesign. With standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, the 2013 Subaru Legacy remains the most fuel-efficient midsize all-wheel drive sedan in America. At the same time, the Legacy rewards drivers with engaging performance and a high level of driving comfort and offers outstanding safety performance. For added safety, the 2013 Legacy adds a new Brake Override system.
    The 2013 Subaru Legacy remains a standout in the midsize field in terms of roominess. At 103 cu. ft., the Legacy offers more total passenger room than some of its competitors, and rear seat legroom measures a generous 37.8 inches. The 14.7 cu. ft. trunk is on par with front-wheel drive competitors, a significant achievement considering that the Symmetrical AWD system requires packaging for a rear differential and drive axles.
    The Most Fuel-Efficient All-Wheel Drive Midsize Sedan with up to 32 MPG
    The 2013 Legacy 2.5i models debut a new double-overhead-cam (DOHC) FB series 2.5-liter Boxer engine for increased performance and fuel efficiency. The new engine produces 173 hp and 174 lb.-ft. of torque, compared to 170 hp and 170 lb.-ft. from the previous 2.5-liter SOHC engine. More significant is that the new engine produces greater low-end torque across a broad speed range, making the 2013 Legacy 2.5i models more responsive in everyday driving.
    The 2013 Legacy 2.5i offers a choice between a standard 6-speed manual transmission and the second-generation Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission); the latter is standard on the 2.5i Premium and Limited. The second-generation Lineartronic CVT offers more responsive and quieter operation compared to the transmission it replaces.
    The 2013 Legacy 3.6R continues with a 256-horsepower 3.6-liter 6-cylinder Boxer engine and 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. A downshift "blipping" feature adds a sporty feel when using the Legacy 3.6R steering wheel paddle shifters.
    Although official EPA fuel economy figures are not yet available, Subaru projects that the 2013 Legacy 2.5i with the Lineartronic CVT will achieve 24 mpg city/32 mpg highway/27 mpg combined, compared to 23/31/26 for the 2012 model. That makes the 2013 Legacy 2.5i competitive with many midsize sedans that come only with front-wheel drive.
    Unlike a conventional automatic transmission that uses fixed gear ratios, a CVT provides infinite variability between the lowest and highest available ratios with no discernable steps or shifts. The CVT continuously and smoothly adapts to performance demand, helping to keep the engine in its most efficient operating range. Models with the CVT also feature a 6-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters, which allow the driver to control the transmission via six pre-set ratios.
    New EyeSight Driver-Assist System
    The 2013 Legacy (and Outback®) models debut Subaru's new EyeSight™ driver-assist system, which integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning. Projected to be one of the most affordable such technologies available in the U.S. market, EyeSight uses a stereo camera design developed by Subaru to provide a detection angle wider than that of radar-based systems.
    The EyeSight system processes stereo images to identify the vehicles traveling in front, as well as obstacles, traffic lanes and other items. Below a speed differential of approximately 19 mph, EyeSight is capable of detecting pedestrians or objects in the vehicle's path and can activate in order to mitigate or even avoid the collision. Under certain circumstances, Eyesight is able to bring the car to a complete stop.*
    At relative speeds above approximately 19 mph, EyeSight can apply the brakes when an object is detected, and will attempt to brake if the driver takes no evasive action, or does not brake appropriately, to help mitigate collision damage.
    The Lane Departure and Sway Warning feature can detect if the car begins to wander outside the intended lane without a turn signal being used, or if the car begins to sway within the travel lane. Intended for freeway use, Eyesight's Adaptive Cruise Control system can maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, braking and/or accelerating the car as needed to maintain the driver-selected target speed and traveling distance. Adaptive Cruise Control is operational from 1-87 mph and can fully brake the vehicle to a stop if the system "locks on" to a vehicle ahead. As an added convenience, Adaptive Cruise Control assists the driver in heavy "stop and go" freeway traffic by maintaining distance from the vehicle ahead.
    In heavy traffic conditions, EyeSight will also alert the driver when the vehicle ahead has moved if he or she doesn't react within several seconds. The technology can also help reduce collision damages by cutting the throttle when it senses an obstacle in front, but the accelerator pedal continues to be pushed.
    Retuned Suspension Enhances Agility and Ride Quality
    Numerous enhancements to the body structure, suspension and steering give the Legacy a smoother and quieter ride for 2013, while also delivering improved handling agility. Greater stiffness at key points of the structure, including the front strut mounts and rear frame rails, helps reduce the transmission of vibration while also contributing to more responsive handling.
    In tandem with the structural enhancements, Subaru has increased the diameter of the double-wishbone rear suspension's sway bar and also increased the spring and damper rates and bushing stiffness. As a result, body roll has been reduced by up to 40 percent. The Legacy driver will experience a more responsive, yet quieter vehicle overall.
    Increased Interior Comfort and Convenience
    New seat fabric feels more comfortable and enhances comfort in the 2013 Legacy, while dark, glossy wood grain trim provides a luxurious appearance on Limited models. Limited trim level models for 2013 feature a new rear-seat A/C outlet.
    With the Keyless Access & Start system, the driver can unlock the car by touching the door handle while carrying the remote control in a pocket or purse. (The trunk also has an unlock touch sensor.) A start/stop switch operates the ignition. A new electro-luminescent instrument cluster in the Limited models integrates a 3.5-inch color screen for the multi-information display, which also shows EyeSight functions when the car is so equipped.
    Three Trim Levels
    The 2013 Subaru Legacy 2.5i is available in three trim levels – base, Premium and Limited. The Legacy 3.6R is available in base and Limited. The base 2.5i features a long roster of standard features, among them Bluetooth® hands-free phone and streaming audio, a USB charging port, steering wheel cruise control and audio switches; a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, electronic parking brake with Hill Holder System and an automatic headlight function. The electronic Hill Holder System holds the vehicle in place until the driver applies the throttle to pull away from a stop.
    Legacy Premium models add the Lineartronic CVT plus additional amenities, including a 10-way power driver's seat (with power lumbar support adjustment) and driver's auto up/down window; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter; instrument panel storage bin with door; ambient light for the overhead console, body-colored side mirrors and 17-in. alloy wheels (all 3.6R trim lines have 17-in. alloy wheels as standard).
    The 2013 Legacy Premium models offer three option packages: (1) The All-Weather Package adds heated front seats and mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer; (2) power moonroof, and (3) The harman/kardon® display-type premium audio system with standard XM® Satellite Radio service (now with a 4-month free trial subscription included), a 4.3-in. color display, and 440-watt high-performance audio amplifier and 9 harman/kardon premium speakers, with subwoofer.
    The Limited models feature perforated leather upholstery, dual zone automatic climate control, the display-type harman/kardon premium audio package, rear A/C duct, electro-luminescent gauges, and a 4-way power front passenger seat. The Limited models also exclusively offer an available voice-activated GPS navigation system with a rear vision camera and XM® NavTraffic (now with a 4-month free trial subscription included), among other features. (See "Updated Audio Technology" section, below.)
    Updated Audio Technology
    The standard audio system in the Legacy 2.5i model is upgraded for 2013. New features include Bluetooth hands-free phone capability and audio streaming, iPod® control capability and a USB port. The system continues with an AM/FM stereo, single disc CD player, Radio Data Broadcast System (RDBS), 3.5mm aux. input jack and 4 speakers. The Premium trim level adds a pair of dash-mounted tweeters.
    The top-level Legacy Limited models exclusively offer an optional new navigation system that includes all of the features in the harman/kardon audio package plus: touch-screen GPS navigation system with 7.0-inch LCD display; voice activated controls and navigation; XM NavTraffic (subscription required); rear vision camera, and an SD card slot for convenient navigation map updates.
    Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive: Three Different Types
    Subaru offers three different Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive systems in the 2013 Legacy line, each tailored to the type of transmission. In Legacy 2.5i models equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission, the Continuous AWD system uses a viscous-coupling locking center differential to distribute power a nominal 50/50 front to rear. Slippage at either the front or rear wheels will cause the system to send more power to the opposite wheels. Legacy 2.5i models equipped with the Lineartronic CVT use Active Torque Split AWD. An electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls power distribution in response to driving conditions and wheel slippage.
    The 2013 Legacy 3.6R exclusively features the Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) AWD system with a 5-speed electronic automatic transmission. A planetary center differential works with an electronically controlled continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch to manage power distribution. The VTD system normally sends more power to the rear wheels (45:55) to enhance handling agility, and it can continuously adjust power distribution in response to driving and road conditions.
    Subaru Safety
    The Subaru Ring-Shaped Frame Reinforcement body structure has been proven for occupant protection in more than a decade of use. Inside, the Legacy features standard front side pelvis/torso airbags and side curtain airbags that offer front and rear outboard seat coverage.
    Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) combines stability and traction control functions, and traction control works to augment the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive functionality. The 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) integrates Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and the Brake Assist safety system that automatically applies maximum braking pressure in an emergency stop.
    The electronic Hill Holder System holds the vehicle in place until the driver presses the accelerator pedal to pull away from a stop. New for 2013, a Brake Override system ensures that engine power will be cut when both the brake and accelerator are pressed simultaneously.
    Subaru produces a full line of all-wheel drive sedans, crossovers and SUVs, and for 2013 has also introduced the rear-wheel drive BRZ sports car to its portfolio.
    The Legacy 2.5GT model is discontinued for 2013.
    2013 SUBARU OUTBACK® DEBUTS NEW POWERTRAIN, EYESIGHT™ DRIVER-ASSIST SYSTEM AND REVISED STYLING
    New Boxer engine with higher power and better efficiency
    Up to 30 mpg highway with standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
    New second-generation Lineartronic® CVT
    Redesigned front styling
    Smoother, quieter ride with 40% less body roll
    New convenience and audio features
    Available EyeSight driver-assist system with:
    Pre-Collision Braking
    System Capable of Pedestrian Detection
    Lane Departure and Sway Warning
    Adaptive Cruise Control

    NEW YORK, April 4, 2012 -- Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the 2013 Outback models, powered by a new, more efficient powertrain and debuting the new EyeSight driver-assist system and revised styling. Chassis enhancements improve both ride quality and agility in the 2013 Outback, which also offers new amenities and audio/infotainment capabilities.
    The 2013 Outback features a restyled front end, with new headlights, grille, front bumper and fog lights, for a more powerful appearance. Standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive distinguishes the Outback from crossover competitors, which generally offer all-wheel drive as an extra-cost option. The Outback continues with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, which is higher than many crossovers and some dedicated SUVs.
    The 2013 Outback 2.5i models debut a new double-overhead-cam (DOHC) 2.5-liter FB series Boxer engine for increased performance and fuel efficiency. The new engine produces 173 hp and 174 lb.-ft. of torque, compared to 170 hp and 170 lb.-ft. with the previous engine. More significant is that the new engine produces greater low-end torque across a broad speed range, making the 2013 Outback 2.5i models feel more responsive in everyday driving.
    Up to 30 MPG
    Outback 2.5i and 2.5i Premium models offer a choice between a standard 6-speed manual transmission and the second-generation Lineartronic CVT; the latter is standard on 2.5i Limited models. Outback 3.6R models continue with a 256-horsepower 3.6-liter 6-cylinder Boxer engine and 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.
    Official EPA fuel economy figures are not yet available, but Subaru projects that the 2013 Outback 2.5i with the Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) will achieve 24-mpg city/30 mpg highway/26 mpg combined, up compared with the 22/29/24 for the 2012 model. Subaru also projects that the 2013 Outback will achieve a 5-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The 2013 Outback models add a new Brake Override system, and now an airbag deployment signals a fuel cutoff.
    Unlike a conventional automatic transmission that uses fixed gear ratios, a CVT provides infinite variability between the lowest and highest available ratios with no discernable steps or shifts. The CVT continuously and smoothly adapts to performance demand, helping to keep the engine in its most efficient operating range. Models with the CVT also feature a 6-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters, which allow the driver to control the transmission via six pre-set ratios.
    New EyeSight Driver-Assist System
    The 2013 Outback (and Legacy) models debut Subaru's new EyeSight™ driver-assist system, which integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning. Projected to be one of the most affordable such technologies available in the U.S. market, EyeSight uses a stereo camera design developed by Subaru to provide a detection angle wider than that of radar-based systems.
    The EyeSight system processes stereo images to identify the vehicles traveling in front, as well as obstacles, traffic lanes and other items. Below relative speeds of approximately 19mph, EyeSight is capable of detecting pedestrians or objects in the vehicle's path and can activate in order to mitigate or even avoid the collision. Under certain circumstances, Eyesight is able to bring the car to a complete stop.*
    At relative speeds above approximately 19 mph, EyeSight can apply the brakes when an object is detected, and will attempt to brake if the driver takes no evasive action, or does not brake appropriately, to help mitigate collision damage.
    The Lane Departure and Sway Warning feature can detect if the car begins to wander outside the intended lane without a turn signal being used, or if the car begins to sway within the travel lane. Intended for freeway use, Eyesight's Adaptive Cruise Control system can maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, braking and/or accelerating the car as needed to maintain the driver-selected target speed and traveling distance. Adaptive Cruise Control is operational from 1-87 mph and can fully brake the vehicle to a stop if the system "locks on" to a vehicle ahead. As an added convenience, Adaptive Cruise Control assists the driver in heavy "stop and go" freeway traffic by maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.
    In heavy traffic conditions, EyeSight will also alert the driver when the vehicle ahead has moved if he or she doesn't react within several seconds. The technology can also help reduce collision damage by cutting the throttle when it senses an obstacle in front, but the accelerator pedal continues to be pushed.
    Blending the Best of Car and SUV
    The Subaru Outback is smart-sized compared to other 2-row crossover vehicles, featuring a mid-size interior in an easy-to-maneuver and off-road-capable wagon. The Outback provides the crisp car-like handling with the versatility of an SUV. The 8.7 inches of ground clearance is higher than for many large SUVs and crossovers while maintaining a low step-in height.
    Total passenger volume of 105.4 cu. ft. and maximum cargo capacity of 71.3 cu. ft. (with the standard 60/40 split rear seatbacks folded) rivals that of larger, heavier vehicles. The Outback also features a rear cargo area that is deeper and wider than in many SUVs.
    Revised Suspension for Enhanced Agility, Smoother Ride
    Numerous enhancements to the body structure, suspension and steering give the Outback an even smoother and quieter ride for 2013, while also helping increase handling agility. Greater stiffness at key points of the structure, including the front strut mounts and rear frame rails, helps to reduce transmission of vibration while also contributing to more responsive handling.
    In tandem with the structural enhancements, Subaru increased the diameter of the double-wishbone rear suspension's sway bar and also increased the spring and damper rates and bushing stiffness. As a result, body roll has been reduced by up to 40 percent, and Subaru tests show a significant increase in emergency handling maneuver speed. The Outback driver will experience a more responsive, yet quieter vehicle overall.
    Enhanced Interior Comfort and Convenience
    New, more comfortable seat fabric and a new light matte wood grain trim provide a sophisticated appearance. The Outback Limited models for 2013 offer a new Special Appearance Package option that provides a new Keyless Access & Start system along with a two-position memory system for the already-standard 10-way power driver's seat. With the Keyless Access & Start system, the driver, while carrying the remote control in a pocket or purse, can unlock the car by touching the door handle button. The rear gate also has an unlock touch sensor.
    Also in the Limited models, a new electro-luminescent instrument cluster integrates the 3.5-in. color screen for the multi-information display, which also shows EyeSight functions when the car is so equipped. Rear A/C outlets have also been added as standard to Limited models, to make the standard 60/40 split-reclining rear seats an even more hospitable place to be.
    The Outback was the first crossover to feature as standard factory-installed foldable roof crossbars. For 2013, a new adjustable design allows the rear crossbar to be moved rearward to carry longer items; the distance between the front and rear bars can now be increased from the standard 29.9 inches up to 39.7 inches. This enhancement, made as a direct result of Outback owner feedback, allows greater ease in carrying longer items like kayaks and other outdoor gear on the already easy-to-use roof rack system.
    Three Trim Levels
    The 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i models are available in three trim levels – base, Premium and Limited. Outback 3.6R models will be offered in base and Limited. The base 2.5i features a long roster of standard features, among them steering wheel cruise control and audio switches; Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming capability; a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat with recline feature; electronic parking brake with Hill Holder System and an automatic headlight function.
    Outback Premium models add additional amenities, including a 10-way power driver's seat (with power lumbar support adjustment) and driver's auto up/down window; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter (CVT); instrument panel storage bin with door; ambient light for the overhead console; body-colored side mirrors and 17-in. alloy wheels (all 3.6R trim lines have 17-in. alloy wheels as standard).
    The Premium models offer three option packages. (1) The All-Weather Package adds heated front seats and mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer. (2) The Power Moonroof Package with Rear Vision Camera also includes an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with Homelink garage-remote function. (3) The harman/kardon® display-type premium audio system with standard XM® satellite radio service (4-month free trial subscription included), a 4.3-in. color display, and 440-watt high-performance audio amplifier and 9 harman/kardon premium speakers, with subwoofer.
    The Limited trim lines add to the Premium a standard Lineartronic CVT, perforated leather upholstery, dual zone automatic climate control, the display-type harman/kardon Premium Audio Package, rear A/C ducts, electro-luminescent gauges and a 4-way power front passenger seat. The Limited models also exclusively offer an available voice-activated GPS navigation system with a 7-in. LCD display, Rear Vision Camera and XM NavTraffic, among other features. (See "Updated Audio Technology" section, below.)
    Updated Audio Technology
    The standard audio system in the Outback 2.5i models is upgraded for 2013. New features include Bluetooth hands-free phone capability and audio streaming, iPod® control capability and a USB port. The system continues with an AM/FM stereo, single disc CD player, Radio Data Broadcast System (RDBS), 3.5mm aux. input jack and 4 speakers.
    The top-level Outback Limited models exclusively offer an optional new navigation system with premium audio. In addition to all of the features in the harman/kardon Premium Audio Package, this option includes: touch-screen GPS navigation system with 7.0-inch LCD display; voice activated controls and navigation; XM NavTraffic (subscription required); Rear Vision Camera, and an SD card slot for convenient navigation map updates.
    Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive: Three Different Types
    Subaru offers three different Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive systems in the 2013 Outback line, each tailored to the type of transmission. In Outback 2.5i models equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission, the Continuous AWD system uses a viscous-coupling locking center differential to distribute power a nominal 50/50 front to rear. Slippage at either the front or rear wheels will cause the system to send more power to the opposite wheels.
    Outback 2.5i models equipped with the Lineartronic CVT use Active Torque Split AWD. An electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls power distribution in response to driving conditions and wheel slippage.
    The Outback 3.6R uses the Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) AWD system with a 5-speed electronic automatic transmission. A planetary center differential works with an electronically controlled continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch to manage power distribution. The VTD system normally sends more power to the rear wheels (45:55) to enhance handling agility, and it can continuously adjust power distribution in response to driving and road conditions.
    Subaru Safety
    The Subaru Ring-Shaped Frame Reinforcement body structure has been proven for occupant protection in more than a decade of use. Inside, the Outback features standard front side pelvis/torso airbags and side curtain airbags that offer front and rear outboard seat coverage.
    Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) combines stability and traction control functions, and traction control works to augment the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive functionality. The 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) integrates Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and the Brake Assist safety system that automatically applies maximum braking pressure in an emergency stop. The electronic Hill Holder System holds the vehicle in place until the driver presses the accelerator pedal to pull away from a stop. New for 2013, a Brake Override system ensures that engine power will be cut when both the brake and accelerator are pressed simultaneously.
    Subaru produces a full line of all-wheel drive sedans, crossovers and SUVs, and for 2013 has also introduced the rear-wheel drive BRZ sports car to its portfolio.

    Blake Noble
    G. Noble
    Editor/Reporter
    CheersandGears.com
    March 27, 2012
    There certainly aren’t many large cars in the world more dull and geriatric than Toyota’s Avalon. Drum up your thoughts about the current model, which went on sale all the way back in 2005, and you’re sure to think of retirement homes and Shoney’s rather than sporting arenas and Hooters.
    However, Toyota desperately wants to change all of that. The teaser image above was released today, and Toyota says it previews a “stunning US-designed sedan” the name of which hasn’t been officially confirmed. Not to worry, though, because you don’t need inside confirmation to work out this is probably the new Avalon. The teaser certainly fits some of the describing attributes dealers gave to the automotive press last year. It becomes even more evident that Toyota is probably teasing the new Avalon when you consider the Camry was just recently redesigned and a new Corolla certainly wouldn’t have design details like dual exit exhaust and an extremely sloping roofline.
    So do we think we’re seeing a “stunning” piece of design? Well, we’re going to wait until we can see this car in the flesh before we pass any official judgment. That said, it certainly appears to be more interesting than the current Avalon because, let’s face it, just about everything is.
    With Chevrolet debuting the new 2013 Impala at the New York Auto Show, it’s going to be interesting to see if buyers are drawn to the Avalon or it’s closest American rival.
    Source: Toyota

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 27, 2012
    At next week's New York Auto Show, Acura will show off the new RL. Well, some new information has come to light about the next RL before its debut.
    The next RL will have a new name. According to Ward's Auto, the RL will add an X to its name. That comes from Acura's vice president Jeff Conrad, during a media event for the new ILX and RDX.
    Also, the RLX will share the same hybrid powertrain as the new NSX, albeit in a different configuration. Whereas the NSX will use a mid-engine layout, the RLX will go with a front engine layout.
    "The technology has outstanding handling. The thinking behind the RL and NSX systems is the same, but the NSX's will be more sports-car focused." said Honda President Takanobu Ito.
    Honda's Sport Hybrid SH-AWD uses three electric motors; two power the rear axle and one is integrated with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and gas V-6 for the front axle.
    Ito didn't say whether the RLX will come in a non-hybrid version.
    Source: Ward's Auto via CarScoop, Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 26, 2012
    Back in August, BMW said the U.S. wouldn't get the X1 crossover until a new refresh happened in 2013 due to the demand of the vehicle in Europe.
    Now, BMW has said the X1 will be shown at next month's New York Auto Show and go on sale in the U.S. in the summer. BMW also confirmed the X1 will come equipped with TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder engine producing 245 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Media Alert: New BMW M6 Convertible and BMW X1 Sport Activity Vehicle to Make World Debuts at the New York International Auto Show
    Additional Featured BMW Vehicles Include the North American Debuts of the BMW M6 Coupe and BMW X6 M and the U.S. Auto Show Debut of the BMW 640i Gran Coupe
    (23.03.2012) -- The BMW M6 Convertible and BMW X1 Sport Activity Vehicle will make their World Debuts at the 2012 New York International Auto Show on Wednesday, April 4th at the BMW Stand from 10:15 a.m. – 10:40 a.m. at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center (655 West 34th Street at 11th Avenue) in Manhattan. The BMW M6 Convertible and BMW X1 will be joined by the BMW M6 Coupe, BMW X6 M (North American debuts) and the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe (U.S. auto show debut) as the featured BMW vehicles in New York. The BMW i3 and i8 Concepts will also be featured providing a glimpse into the future of mobility.
    The iconic BMW M6 Convertible and Coupe return from a two year hiatus more powerful, more athletic, more focused, more luxurious and more efficient than ever before. Since the "M6" badge was first placed on a BMW back in 1987, this model has exemplified the luxury and daily usability of a top range BMW coupe combined with true super-car performance. Now, in its 3rd generation, the all-new BMW M6 sports a new 560hp M TwinPower Turbo V-8 mated to a 7-speed M-DCT transmission capable of propelling either model from 0 to 60mph in under 4.3 seconds.
    The hotly anticipated BMW X1 Sport Activity Vehicle comes to the U.S. for the first time. Its rising horizontal lines give it a sporty, elegant profile, while the classic BMW kidney grille, distinctive headlights and L-shaped taillights are unmistakably BMW. The BMW X1 is also the latest BMW vehicle to offer the TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder engine which delivers BMW performance with reduced fuel consumption. The updated BMW X1 will be available in U.S. showrooms in summer 2012.
    The recently updated BMW X6 M Sports Activity Coupe combines the athletic and elegant lines of a coupe with the character of a BMW X model and an outstanding driving experience. The new X6 M receives several design updates and innovative features intended to emphasize its width and track and road-holding prowess.
    Introducing the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe – a new 4-door, 4+1 seat addition to the 6 Series line that successfully combines the stunning proportions, design and driving dynamics of the 6 Series Coupe with interior room and amenities for up to five passengers. Harmonious proportions, precise lines and sleekly contoured surfaces give the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe the unique ability to satisfy the driver who wants a luxurious and sporty coupe yet needs a car capable of carrying four adults in comfort and luxury. The BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe will be offered as three distinct models in the USA. The TwinPower Turbo 6-cylinder powered BMW 640i Gran Coupe is the initial model and arrives early this summer. Later this summer, the TwinPower Turbo V-8 powered 650i Gran Coupe and the all-wheel drive 650i xDrive Gran Coupe will join the range.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 22, 2012
    Joining alongside the Mercedes-Benz GL at the New York Auto Show next month will be the refreshed GLK.
    Going down the evolutionary road, the GLK's design still carries the same sharp lines as the model it replaces, but now, the creases and sculpting is more rounded and smoother. The interior has also been updated with a restyled dashboard and the gearshift moving to the steering column.
    But the big news lies under the hood. The GLK's powertrain lineup grows to two. Coming back will be the GLK 350 which is a 3.5L direct-injected V6 producing 302 HP and 273 lb-ft of torque. Joining the 3.5L will be the GLK250 BlueTEC diesel that produces 190 HP and 369 lb-ft of torque. Both come with a seven-speed automatic and stop-start technology. The power goes through either the rear-wheels or through the optional 4Matic AWD system.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Fresh New Look for Entry-Level SUV



    With a fresh new design, exclusive equipment, pioneering assistance systems and efficient and agile engines, the restyled 2013MY GLK-Class reaffirms its leadership in the entry-level SUV segment.


    March 22, 2012
    With a fresh new design, exclusive equipment, pioneering assistance systems and efficient and agile engines, the restyled 2013MY GLK-Class reaffirms its leadership in the entry-level SUV segment. The newly designed exterior provides an even more dynamic character, combining classic SUV styling with the design language of the current Mercedes-Benz sedans. High-quality materials, new equipment, fully redesigned trim and new infotainment systems – nearly 1,000 new parts in total - are all part of the new GLK driving experience. The 2013MY GLK impresses with a range of state-of-the-art assistance systems and comprehensive efficiency features such as the ECO stop/start function, which is standard equipment. In addition, the BlueTEC diesel emission control system makes its debut in the GLK line on the GLK250 BlueTEC. "In the GLK, we have a dynamic lifestyle SUV offering a winning combination of intelligent technology and character in abundance," says Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Head of Sales and Marketing for Mercedes-Benz Cars. "It will further bolster our SUV portfolio, making a vital contribution to Mercedes-Benz's global growth in this market segment." Assembled in Bremen, Germany the 2013MY GLK350 will be in U.S. showrooms this summer, followed by the GLK250 BlueTEC in early 2013.
    The GLK offers outstanding driving dynamics, excellent safety and superlative ride comfort. In addition to the rear-wheel drive version, the 4MATIC model with permanent all-wheel drive delivers phenomenal grip even in the most adverse conditions – both on and off-road.
    Like all SUVs from Mercedes-Benz – if it says "G" on it, then there's "G" in it. In fact, the forefather of all
    modern-day Mercedes-Benz SUVs – the G-Class – is now in its 33rd model year and is also undergoing a
    significant restyling.
    New interpretation of the characteristic GLK design
    The exterior gives the GLK an even more athletic look. The body combines classic offroad elements with the design language of the current Mercedes-Benz sedans. Tight lines, taut surfaces and the smooth, well-proportioned front and rear ends blend perfectly with the GLK body design that clearly identifies it as a functional SUV. These include short overhangs, an upright front end, slender roof pillars, a steep windshield and taut roof line. The body design is not simply a matter of styling; it takes the features of classic all-terrain vehicles and applies them to the entry-level SUV class. Key off-road details, like approach and departure angle and ground clearance make the GLK fully capable of mastering hostile terrain. Its compact body and good all-around visibility combine with an excellent seating position to enhance everyday usability and relaxed driving.
    Beneath the newly-designed headlamps, both models feature LED daytime running lights framed in chrome. The radiator grille with two louvers and the Mercedes-Benz star at the center reflects the design language of current passenger car models. The louvers are painted silver with chrome inserts. The headlamps are a reinterpretation of the signature Mercedes lighting design. The standard automatic headlamps feature LED daytime running lights and locator lighting, while the optional Lighting Package comes with bi-xenon headlamps with active curve illumination, Active Highbeam Assist and a headlamp cleaning system. The redesigned roof rails enhance the side profile of the 2013MY GLK-Class.
    The rear bumper gives a bold, sporty character to the GLK's rear end, styled to emphasize breadth and incorporating a sophisticated tail light design. The new chrome skidplate and chrome-plated tailpipe trim are further visual enhancements. The tail lights have been completely redesigned in both appearance and function. Light guides and LEDs give the rear end of the GLK a unique and characteristic night design, which is further enhanced by new LED lights for the license plate.
    Brushed aluminum running boards with rubber studs and a power panorama sunroof are both available as standalone options, delivering further premium appeal and functionality to the GLK.
    As part of the restyling, the designers have also developed new 5-triple-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels with 235/50 R 19 all-season tires as standard equipment. The Appearance package offers 20-inch 5-twin-spoke wheels.
    The AMG Styling Package for the GLK
    A further wheel option is available with the AMG Styling Package for customers who appreciate that extra shot of sporty elegance. The 20-inch AMG 5-twin-spoke alloys are complemented by AMG front and rear skirts, AMG grille with two chrome louvers, AMG LED daytime running lights and aluminum roof rails.
    GLK interior - even more premium, greater comfort
    The revised interior of the 2013MY GLK offers design, premium feel and a choice of materials comparable with a higher class of vehicle. The interior designers at the Mercedes-Benz Design Studio in Sindelfingen have completely redesigned the dashboard. A large trim piece in burl walnut spans its entire width, while the new round air vents and further trim elements in Silver Shadow add to the premium feel of the interior. Standard equipment also includes a premium leather multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles and a premium 4.5-inch color display in the instrument cluster. New upholstery colors and seat designs in a range of MB-Tex and leather are also offered, while the Full Leather Seating package includes interior ambient lighting featuring LED fiber-optic technology for the first time in the GLK. In addition to full leather seating (including door panels in MB-Tex), the package also incorporates front passenger seat memory and comfort headrests. Heated front seats are available as a standalone option.
    The range of standard MB-Tex upholstery includes Black, Almond/Beige and Grey, while the choice of available genuine leather is Black, Mocha and Almond.
    New for the 2013MY, the Direct Select shifter for the seven-speed automatic transmission is ergonomically located on the steering column. This frees-up space in the center console for cup holders set in a precision-finish Silver Shadow frame, which can be covered by a retractable cover finished in burl walnut.
    Infotainment - better entertainment, better information
    Standard infotainment equipment for the new GLK includes a six-speaker sound system with an AM/FM radio, single CD player and MP3 capability, as well as a Bluetooth interface for hands-free calling and a central controller with a 5.8-inch color display. The optional Multimedia package incorporates a larger 7-inch display with a rearview camera, enhanced voice control and the COMAND system with hard-drive navigation. SIRIUSXM satellite radio and an iPod/MP3 media interface are included in the Premium1 package or are available individually as standalone options.
    Audiophiles can opt for the Harman Kardon® Logic 7® surround sound system including 7-channel DSP amplifier and 2-channel booster with a total output of 510 W in conjunction with 12 high-performance speakers, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS.
    Assistance systems take the GLK to the top of its class
    Available assistance systems familiar from the S- and E-Class deliver even greater active safety and improved driver fitness, taking the compact SUV to the very top of its class.
    The available Lane Tracking package features Blind Spot Assist & Lane Keeping Assist, while the Driver Assistance package offers DISTRONIC PLUS with PRE-SAFE® Brake, Brake Assist Plus, Active Blind Spot Assist & Active Lane Keeping Assist.
    Available as a standalone option is PARKTRONIC with Active Parking Assist for automatic maneuvering in and out of parking spaces. And for added comfort and convenience, there is KEYLESS-GO.
    Efficient, clean, powerful - the GLK's drivetrain
    The 2013MY GLK350 and GLK350 4MATIC are both powered by a fuel-efficient 3.5- liter direct-injection V6 gasoline engine generating 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque from 3,500 to 5,250 rpm.
    This refined engine delivers dynamic and smooth performance, accelerating the GLK350 and GLK350 4MATIC from 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds (est.). Top speed is 130 mph. This new motor also features Mercedes-Benz's ECO stop/start system for even better fuel economy, particularly in city and suburban driving conditions. The ground-breaking technology in this leading generation of V6 & V8 engines from Mercedes-Benz includes third-generation spray-guided direct fuel injection with piezo injectors. In combination with multi-spark ignition, this technology offers further potential for fuel savings.
    The GLK 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC boasts the most powerful four-cylinder diesel engine in the SUV world. The direct-injection engine rated at 190 hp and generating 369 lb-ft of torque from 2,143 cc enables the GLK to perform superbly. Key merits are the engine's torquey character, its top speed and its flexibility. Despite its formidable performance, this GLK model is extremely frugal when it comes to fuel consumption.
    The seven-speed automatic transmission, which is standard equipment on the GLK, boasts even lower torque-converter slip and optimized efficiency. The new torsion damper plays a central role by effectively eliminating torsional irregularities and vibrations in the transmission. The lower the rpm and the number of cylinders, the more severe these can be, resulting in a conflict between comfort and fuel-efficient operation. Mercedes-Benz engineers resolved this by using what is known as a twin- turbine damper. Depending on the rpm, this shifts the center of mass and allows comfortable operation even in the most economical operating range. Furthermore, optimized damping delivers a significant reduction in the slip of the torque converter lockup clutch even under low loads, which also contributes to fuel savings. This technology allows an even faster response to accelerator input. Friction-optimized bearings and new transmission oil thermal management offer further improvements in fuel economy. The new transmission is also designed to work best with a new type of low-drag ATF fluid, colored blue instead of the usual red.
    An ECO display in the instrument cluster is standard equipment, and enables the driver to monitor how driving style impacts fuel economy.
    Refined chassis for outstanding handling
    The 2013MY GLK displays exceptional handling characteristics for enhanced on-road performance and comfort. The new electromechanical steering setup is precise and responsive, harmonizing perfectly with the Agility Control suspension system with selective damping system for excellent cornering and a refined ride. The new GLK features independent suspension at all four corners, with a 3-link geometry up front and a multilink setup at the rear.
    Highly effective braking is delivered by ventilated discs measuring 13 inches at the front and 11.8 inches at the rear. The front brakes feature dual-piston calipers.
    Outstanding active and passive safety as standard
    The restyled GLK-Class again incorporates the integral safety concept in keeping with Mercedes-Benz's brand philosophy, which is based first and foremost on real-life accident scenarios. The GLK's highly robust occupant cell provides an effective foundation for the occupant protection systems in conjunction with the front and rear deformation zones.
    Standard equipment in the 2013MY GLK includes ATTENTION ASSIST drowsy driver detection, 3 additional airbags for a total of 9 –dual-stage driver and front passenger airbags, driver kneebag, driver and passenger pelvic airbag and window curtain airbags front and rear - plus NECK-PRO active front head restraints. Child safety is enhanced with rear door child safety locks, the universal LATCH system on the 2nd row outboard seats and Top Tether anchors for child seats (2nd row seats). Further standard equipment includes:
    Seat occupancy recognition for front passenger seat
    Crash-responsive pedals
    3 head restraints in the rear, adjustable for height and tilt.
    3-point seat belts including mechanical belt height adjustment and belt force limiter for driver and front passenger plus automatic belt height adjustment on the outer rear seats.
    Active safety is supported by the following items of equipment:
    ADAPTIVE BRAKE including Hill-Start Assist, HOLD function, brake drying in the wet and priming
    AGILITY CONTROL suspension with selective damping system
    Antilock Brake System (ABS)
    Acceleration Skid Control (ASR)
    Brake Assist (BAS), assisting the driver with additional brake power when emergency braking is detected
    Direct-Steer system with speed-sensitive power assistance and variable steering ratio
    ESP® Electronic Stability Program including trailer stabilization
    4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive with 4ETS electronic traction system
    Advanced tire pressure monitoring system
    Impressive range of standard features and premium packages
    The 2013MY GLK-Class offers an outstanding array of premium equipment, including details that are generally reserved for larger premium vehicles.
    Both the GLK350 and GLK350 4MATIC come with a comprehensive range of equipment designed to optimize safety, comfort and agility for the occupants and to relieve the strain on the driver both on long trips and in urban traffic. The standard scope of interior features includes 8-way power adjustable front seats with height and backrest adjustment, armrests for driver and front passenger with a storage compartment beneath, front and rear cup holders, dual-zone automatic climate control with dust filter, 12 V sockets in the center console and luggage compartment, power windows with express up and down and automatic reversing function, and a trip computer with current consumption indicator.
    Rain sensor, central locking with infrared radio remote control, and cruise control are all standard features, as well as privacy glass and heated, electrically adjustable exterior mirrors in body color with integrated indicators.
    The exterior paint choices for the new GLK extend to twelve metallic and non-metallic paints.
    With the Premium 1 package, GLK customers are offered an extensive array of enhancements, including auto-dimming mirrors, driver-seat memory with 4-way lumbar support and power tilt/telescoping steering column, a power liftgate, iPod/MP3 media interface, SIRIUSXM satellite radio, panorama sunroof, 115V AC power outlet, integrated garage door opener and a compass in the rear view mirror.
    Other available packages are the Full Leather Seating package, Lighting package, Appearance package, AMG Styling package, Multimedia package, Lane Tracking package and Driver Assistance package.
    Mercedes offers the most diverse range of SUVs
    The most diverse range of SUVs in the premium segment comes from Mercedes-Benz globally. A total of five model lines are available around the world. R, M and GL-Class round off the successful family alongside the compact GLK and the classic "G" allterrain vehicle.
    The G-Class is the longest-serving model series from Mercedes-Benz, and has been in production now for 33 years. Originally designed back in 1979 as a vehicle for tough off-road use, the G-Class has undergone an astounding evolutionary process. Over the course of 33 years, Mercedes-Benz has refined the initially function-oriented off-road specialist, providing it with a premium interior and on-road handling improvements. The G-Class is recognized as the top model among luxury off-road vehicles, also providing the gene pool for the other successful SUVs from the Mercedes-Benz brand. The G-Class has been voted off-road vehicle of the year countless times over the past decades – most recently last year.
    The most successful Mercedes-Benz SUV, with sales topping 1,000,000 worldwide, is the M-Class, which went on-sale in the U.S. in 1997 and is regarded as the forerunner of all modern premium SUVs. The third generation made its U.S. debut in September 2011.
    The beginning of 2012 marked another milestone for the SUV models from Mercedes- Benz. From the market launch of the G-Class 33 years ago until the end of 2011, over two million models have been delivered to customers. SUVs account for around one fifth of Mercedes-Benz's global sales. The U.S. is by far the largest market for the entire SUV family, including the M-Class, the GLK-Class and the GL-Class. The secondlargest market for off-road vehicles as a whole is China, followed by Germany. The GClass off-road classic enjoys its greatest popularity in Germany, while strongest demand for the R-Class comes from China.
    Quick Reference:
    Performance/Availability: o Summer 2012 - 2013 GLK350: 302hp, 273 lb-ft (Previously 268hp, 258 lb-ft) o Summer 2012 - 2013 GLK350 4MATIC: 302hp, 273 lb-ft (Previously 268hp, 258 lb-ft) o Early 2013 - 2013 GLK250 BlueTEC 4MATIC: 190hp, 369 lb-ft New Standard Feature Highlights: o Direct-injection 3.5-liter gasoline V6 engine o 2.1-liter diesel I4 engine o ECO Stop/Start o Direct Select Shifter o Color instrument cluster display o Electromechanical steering o Nearly 1,000 new parts o ATTENTION ASSIST New Optional Feature Highlights: o Ambient Lighting o Active Parking Assist o AMG Exterior Styling Package o Driver Assistance Package o Adaptive Highbeam Assist

    Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell - March 21, 2012 - CheersandGears.com
    Chevrolet confirmed today that both the Traverse and Impala would be making their debuts in two weeks at the 2012 New York International Auto Show by releasing a couple of teaser shots.
    The Traverse's brother, the 2012 GMC Acadia and Acadia Denali tipped their hat in February at the Chicago autoshow. In the Traverse tease shot, we see a CGI rendering of the passenger side dash and door. The Traverse will be gaining an industry first center airbag to protect the driver or passenger from far side impacts.
    On the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, we only a glimpse of the C-pillar and the old familiar Impala logo.The new Impala will ride on the long wheel base version of GM's Epsilon II platform that underpins the coming 2013 Cadillac XTS. We also know that the Impala will no longer be galloping around the track at Nascar races starting in 2013, due to be replaced with a yet named model.



    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 29, 2012
    General Motors released a teaser picture of the new Buick Enclave which will make its official debut at the New York auto show in April.
    The picture which teases the interior of the new Enclave looks the same as the new Acadia, except for the different color lighting. So that means the Enclave will have Buick's Intellilink system, an extensive use of LED ambient lighting, and new switchgear. Also, expect the center airbag seen in the Acadia to appear as well.
    Source: GM

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