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    • By William Maley
      In 2009, Cadillac was gearing up to launch the brand in Australia. A small number of dealers had signed up to begin selling a right-hand drive version of CTS. But weeks before the launch, plans were axed. The economic crisis and fluctuations in various currencies were the reasons given. But in the past couple of years, various GM executives have said the brand will be coming to Australia and pictures have surfaced of various Cadillac models in the country. 
      However, head of General Motors International Stefan Jacoby poured a bucket of cold water on this, telling Australian media at the Detroit Auto Show that the time isn't right for Cadillac to enter Australia.
      "We have no plans for that," said Jacoby.
      "First of all we should manage Holden and then we should look to Cadillac."
      Holden is currently transitioning from relying heavily on the Commodore to expanding their lineup comprised of vehicles coming from around the world. Already, Holden has launched the Astra Hatchback and will soon be launching the Astra sedan (Chevrolet Cruze) and Acadia. Once Holden is successful with this, Jacoby said they would revisit the idea of Cadillac in Australia.
      Cadillac chief designer Andrew Smith (who happens to be a Holden alum) tells Drive.com.au that he would like to see Cadillacs on Australian roads, but only when the time is right.

      "We're talking about Cadillac in Australia and I see it as a really good fit, but it is a futile exercise until you have exactly the portfolio you need," said Smith.
      "I think the Australian market is an interesting one, it's always been a mix of the European market and the American tastes. Even though we like to think it is European certainly American tastes are similar. But again it's about having everything we need to make sure we can launch it properly."
      Source: Drive.com.au

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    • By William Maley
      In 2009, Cadillac was gearing up to launch the brand in Australia. A small number of dealers had signed up to begin selling a right-hand drive version of CTS. But weeks before the launch, plans were axed. The economic crisis and fluctuations in various currencies were the reasons given. But in the past couple of years, various GM executives have said the brand will be coming to Australia and pictures have surfaced of various Cadillac models in the country. 
      However, head of General Motors International Stefan Jacoby poured a bucket of cold water on this, telling Australian media at the Detroit Auto Show that the time isn't right for Cadillac to enter Australia.
      "We have no plans for that," said Jacoby.
      "First of all we should manage Holden and then we should look to Cadillac."
      Holden is currently transitioning from relying heavily on the Commodore to expanding their lineup comprised of vehicles coming from around the world. Already, Holden has launched the Astra Hatchback and will soon be launching the Astra sedan (Chevrolet Cruze) and Acadia. Once Holden is successful with this, Jacoby said they would revisit the idea of Cadillac in Australia.
      Cadillac chief designer Andrew Smith (who happens to be a Holden alum) tells Drive.com.au that he would like to see Cadillacs on Australian roads, but only when the time is right.

      "We're talking about Cadillac in Australia and I see it as a really good fit, but it is a futile exercise until you have exactly the portfolio you need," said Smith.
      "I think the Australian market is an interesting one, it's always been a mix of the European market and the American tastes. Even though we like to think it is European certainly American tastes are similar. But again it's about having everything we need to make sure we can launch it properly."
      Source: Drive.com.au
    • By William Maley
      The current Jeep Grand Cherokee that we love here at Cheers & Gears uses the bones of the Mercedes-Benz ML-Class (now GLE-Class) that was developed during the DiamlerChrysler era. But with a new owner in the form of Fiat, it would make sense that next Grand Cherokee would use a platform from them. But which one? Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' CEO Sergio Marchionne said it would likely be an Alfa Romeo one.
      “The most natural application of a further evolution of the Alfa Romeo platform is the Grand Cherokee,” Marchionne told Autocar during the Detroit Auto Show.
      “We’re finishing off the study now, but I’m going on the basis of the latest information, which is that it will be the basis upon which the Grand Cherokee will be developed, unless something happens in the next 60 days that suggests it isn’t doable. That would really complete the story of architectural development for us because I think it would certainly nail in a big piece of the Jeep story.”
      This likely means the Grand Cherokee will be based on the Giorgio that underpins the Giulia and upcoming Stelvio crossover. Autocar says the next-generation Grand Cherokee will come out in either 2018 or 2019. We think that isn't likely and would put 2020 as the earliest date.
      Source: Autocar
      Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears

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    • By William Maley
      The current Jeep Grand Cherokee that we love here at Cheers & Gears uses the bones of the Mercedes-Benz ML-Class (now GLE-Class) that was developed during the DiamlerChrysler era. But with a new owner in the form of Fiat, it would make sense that next Grand Cherokee would use a platform from them. But which one? Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' CEO Sergio Marchionne said it would likely be an Alfa Romeo one.
      “The most natural application of a further evolution of the Alfa Romeo platform is the Grand Cherokee,” Marchionne told Autocar during the Detroit Auto Show.
      “We’re finishing off the study now, but I’m going on the basis of the latest information, which is that it will be the basis upon which the Grand Cherokee will be developed, unless something happens in the next 60 days that suggests it isn’t doable. That would really complete the story of architectural development for us because I think it would certainly nail in a big piece of the Jeep story.”
      This likely means the Grand Cherokee will be based on the Giorgio that underpins the Giulia and upcoming Stelvio crossover. Autocar says the next-generation Grand Cherokee will come out in either 2018 or 2019. We think that isn't likely and would put 2020 as the earliest date.
      Source: Autocar
      Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears
    • By William Maley
      Honda's codeword for the 2018 Odyssey is consistency. Debuting today at the Detroit Auto Show, the 2018 model may not look all that different from the current model aside from a new front grille, more distinctive character line, creases along the side, and an updated rear end.
      But there are some clever ideas Honda has fitted into the Odyssey. First are the Magic Slide seats in the second-row. When you remove the middle seat in the second row, you can slide the outer two seats together thanks to lateral tracks. This also allows for easier access in to the third row. The seats can also tumble and fold, but not into the floor. Other ideas include,
      CabinWatch: An infrared camera allows you to keep tabs on rear passengers during the day or night CabinTalk: Microphone above the driver allows for communication with the second and third-row passengers through speakers CabinControl: Smartphone app that allows you to send directions to the vehicle, along with control of the rear-seat climate control and entertainment system. Rear-seat entertainment system that can stream PBS Kids, Spotify, and more through an integrated 4G LTE connection. Social Playlist: App where eight people can upload their music from their smartphones to the audio system (though we can expect some arguments coming up with some of the music choices).  7-inch color screen (LX) or 8-inch touchscreen (EX and above) Power comes from an updated 3.5L V6 with 280 horsepower. This can be paired with either a nine or new ten-speed automatic transmission. Honda says the ten-speed along with weight decrease of 100 pounds should increase fuel economy figures, though official numbers aren't out at this time.
      Safety-wise, the Odyssey EX and above will get Honda Sensing (their suite of active safety features) as standard. This includes adaptive cruise control with automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and road-departure mitigation.
      Honda says the 2018 Odyssey will arrive at dealers this spring.
      Source: Honda
      Press Release is on Page 2


      All-New 2018 Honda Odyssey Minivan Makes World Debut at 2017 NAIAS; Takes Family-Friendly Design, Performance and Technology to the Next Level
      Jan 9, 2017
      Advanced connectivity and entertainment with new Display Audio, CabinWatch, CabinTalk & streaming video with 4G LTE Wi-Fi New CabinControl app enables smartphone control of key vehicle systems, audio and rear entertainment features New Magic Slide™ second-row seat provides the ultimate in family-friendly versatility and comfort New 10-speed transmission joins DI V-6 engine in powertrain lineup Honda Sensing™ standard on trims expected to represent 95 percent of sales DETROIT – Honda today took the wraps off a sleek, sophisticated and innovative new 2018 Odyssey minivan, launching at dealerships nationwide this spring. Already the most popular minivan with individual American car buyers for seven years running, the next-generation Odyssey brings a host of new features and technologies for 2018, including a uniquely versatile new Magic Slide™ second-row seat; new CabinWatch and CabinTalk technologies; new Display Audio touchscreen with Honda-developed OS; 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity; new Rear Entertainment System with streaming video; and Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive technologies, now offered standard on EX and above trims.
      "This new Odyssey raises the stakes for family-friendly packaging, performance and technology in the minivan segment," said John Mendel, Executive Vice President of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "In all aspects of its design, the new Odyssey is made to keep every member of the family happy, no matter the seating position, no matter the destination."
      Sophisticated and Family-Friendly Design
      The Odyssey's sophisticated and modern new styling adopts Honda's signature flying wing front grille flanked by available LED front headlights. The bold and sporty front fascia also conceals a new Active Shutter Grille for improved fuel efficiency when cruising. The Odyssey's signature lightning bolt beltline now provides an even more elegant design element with the sliding door tracks hidden in the lower portion of the rear quarter windows. At the rear there are LED taillights and an available new hands-free power tailgate with foot activation.
      Inside, the new Odyssey features high-grade materials including a soft-touch instrument panel. The driver's meter features a new 7-inch, full-color TFT display, and in the center of the dash there is an available 8-inch high-resolution Display Audio touchscreen interface (EX and above). In upper grades, stain-resistant leather first- and second-row seating surfaces and door trim and black carpeting and black seatbelts are designed to conceal stains, while a new grooveless tambour lid on the spacious and versatile center console resists the accumulation of crumbs and debris.
      In-vehicle Connectivity
      In-vehicle connectivity is taken to a whole new "family connectivity" concept.  Old-fashioned family connectivity – sometimes called a conversation – is made easier than ever with the quietest cabin in the class, and is augmented with a multitude of new connected-vehicle features and technologies, including:
      New Display Audio – featuring a new Honda-developed operating system, more intuitive menus and customizable app tiles, this 8-inch high-resolution (720P) touchscreen interface serves as the nerve center for a multitude of new audio and telematics options, including Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ compatibility, and adds a physical volume knob for improved usability. System updates – users can download available updates to the Display Audio operating system and rear entertainment system at their convenience via 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, or USB. CabinWatch – using a camera, CabinWatch lets the driver and front passenger keep tabs on passengers both day and night via the 8-inch Display Audio screen. CabinTalk – enables the driver to talk to second - and third-row passengers though the second-and third-row speakers and rear entertainment system headphones. Connected Rear Entertainment System – second- and third-row passengers can enjoy streaming video on the ceiling-mounted, 10.2-inch WSVGA Rear Entertainment System, including PBS Kids, iHeart Radio, Spotify and more, through the available in-vehicle 4G LTE Wi-Fi, public Wi-Fi or user's cellphone data plan. A new "How Much Farther?" app lets passengers track the family's trip progress. CabinControl – using a downloadable app, users can use a smart phone to control the rear entertainment system, rear cabin heat and air conditioning, and send destinations to the embedded Honda navigation system. Social Play List – part of CabinControl, Social Playlist operates like a virtual jukebox, allowing up to eight family members to upload their music choices to the audio system via their smartphones. Cabin quietness is enabled by new features and technologies including triple door seals, available acoustic front and side glass, and increased use of sound deadening materials under the floor, in the engine compartment and under the fenders, along with standard Active Sound Control technology.
      New Magic Slide™ seats
      A major innovation to family-friendly cabin seating flexibility is the Odyssey's new Magic Slide™ second-row seat, easily reconfigurable for optimal passenger comfort, people- and cargo-hauling flexibility, and easy access to third-row seating – even when one or two rear-facing child seats are placed in the second row. Use modes include:
      Easy Access mode – with the center seat removed, the outboard seats slide laterally through five selectable positions, allowing for easy access to the third row even with one or two rear-facing child seats installed in the second row. And with the center-most seat slid forward, a child is put within easy reach of the front seat occupants. Super mode – like Easy Access mode but with the driver's side seat set to walk-in position (slid full forward with the seatback tilted) for maximum access to the third row. Wide mode – with the center seat removed and two outboard seats in their outer most positions, providing a wide center walkthrough to the third row (and no more "Dad, he's touching me again!"). Buddy mode – with the center seat removed and two outboard seats abutting one another in the center of the vehicle, putting two people in close proximity and within easier reach of the front seat occupants. Safety for the Family
      All 2018 Odysseys in EX and above trims, expected to comprise about 95 percent of all Odyssey sales, will feature the Honda Sensing™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment, including Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS™), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). Combined with the Odyssey's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure and advanced airbags, including new driver and front passenger knee airbags, the Odyssey targets the highest available safety ratings – an NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score and an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating.
      Additional Features and Technologies
      Additional new standard and available features include LED headlights, heated and ventilated front seats, heated side mirrors and steering wheel, auto high-beam headlights, rain-sensing wipers, blind spot information (on all models with Honda Sensing), front and rear parking sensors, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, Electric Parking Brake with Brake Hold, three-zone automatic climate control, wireless device charging, multi-zone audio, Sirius 2.0, Pandora compatibility, HD Radio™, and HondaVac® in-vehicle vacuum.
      Advanced new powertrains, body and chassis
      The 2018 Honda Odyssey will be powered by a 3.5-liter, direct-injected i-VTEC™ V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™). Peak engine output is 280 SAE net horsepower (+32 HP) and benefits from the advanced capabilities of its two available new transmissions – a 9-speed automatic and, for upper grades an all-new, Honda-developed 10-speed automatic, the first of its kind in a minivan, providing more confident and refined performance.
      These advanced new powertrains, together with a more rigid and lightweight body, new chassis technology, and Odyssey's sleek and aerodynamic new design are expected to result in class-leading performance and top-in-class EPA fuel economy ratings. Honda's Intelligent Traction Management system adds normal and snow modes and combines with Agile Handling Assist and a more powerful braking system for improved all-weather traction and control.
      Advanced new body and chassis
      An all-new body and chassis design underpins the new Odyssey's incredibly quiet cabin and class-leading steering precision, handling prowess and ride comfort. The Odyssey body utilizes advanced materials, including ultra-high-strength steel, aluminum and magnesium to simultaneously minimize weight and improve body rigidity. Vehicle weight is down by up to 96 pounds, depending on trim, and torsional body rigidity is up 44 percent from the outgoing model.
      New chassis features include a highly-responsive new Dual-Pinion Electric Power Steering (EPS) with .44 fewer turns lock-to-lock for increased response and easy maneuverability; and a compact new trailing arm rear suspension with stabilizer bar that not only enables improved handling and ride comfort, but also provides for the most spacious rear cargo area in the class.
      Design, Development and Manufacturing
      The all-new 2018 Honda Odyssey was designed and developed by Honda R&D in North America. The Odyssey and its 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine will be manufactured exclusively at the company's Lincoln, Alabama plant using domestic and globally sourced parts. The new 10-speed transmission will be produced at the company's transmission plant in Tallapoosa, Georgia. The 2018 Odyssey is the second generation Odyssey to be designed and developed in North America and the fourth generation to be manufactured exclusively in North America.

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