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    Cheers & Gears Weekend Edition - October 27, 2012



    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    October 27, 2012

    Everyday, I go through a number of stories that I will post on Cheers & Gears. However, a good number of stories that I have picked out don’t make it onto the page during the week and either get posted next week or never.

    That’s where the the Cheers & Gears’ Weekend Edtion comes in. Its where the stories that gotten forgotten about during the week get their due. In this second edition, we’ll be covering,

    • Two New Honda Models Based On The Fit
    • Ford's Flat Rock Plant Welcomes A New Vehicle
    • Tesla's Trade-Up
    • and More

    Next: Honda's Two Vehicles Based on Fit


    Rumorpile: Next-Generation Honda Fit To Spawn Two New Models

    Honda is readying a next-generation Fit due out sometime next year and it won’t be coming alone. Car & Driver reports that along with the Fit, two models based on it will be coming to the states.

    gallery_10485_484_585722.png

    Model #1 is the a sedan version of the Fit. Honda currently sells one called the City in certain countries including Thailand and India. The reasoning behind this decision; despite hatchbacks gaining popularity in the U.S., sedans are the preferred choice. Example: The Ford Fiesta. The sedan outsells the hatchback by a factor of 2 to 1.

    Model #2 is a subcompact crossover that will compete with the Nissan Juke and Jeep’s upcoming model.

    Source: Car and Driver

    Next: Ford's Flat Rock Welcomes A New Vehicle

    [next]

    Ford’s Flat Rock Plant Has Some New Visitors

    Earlier this week, the Detroit Free Press reported that Ford’s Flat Rock Michigan plant could be getting the Lincoln MKS and Ford Taurus to build. The move, which is reported to happen in 2014, will security and possibly more than 1,400 jobs that is coming from a current expansion.

    gallery_10485_484_300500.png

    This a sharp contrast from last year as the Flat Rock plant could barely build enough Ford Mustangs and Mazda6s. Then Mazda announced they would be leaving the Flat Rock, leaving workers wondering if Flat Rock would be kept open. Ford would keep the plant open with the announcement of the Fusion being built starting in February. That announcement also would bring 1,200 jobs, a number which has since jumped to 1,400.

    At the moment, Ford builds the Taurus, MKS, and its derivatives at Chicago. Sources tell the Free Press that Flat Rock will be getting the next-generation MKS in 2014. There’s also the possibility of the Taurus coming as well.

    "I'm looking forward to adding jobs to the Downriver area and to help the community," said Steve Gonzales, president of UAW Local 3000, which represents workers at Flat Rock.

    A Ford spokesman declined to comment.

    Source: Detroit Free Press

    Next: Tesla's Trade-Up


    Tesla’s Trade-up Program For Roadster Owners

    Lets say you happen to own a Tesla Roadster and you want to get your hands on a new Model S. Well this week, Tesla has announced a new buyback program for Roadster owners.

    The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Tesla’s buyback program works by the company buying back roadsters from owners and giving them a credit that can be used to purchase a new Model S. From there, the Roadster would go into one of Tesla’s stores where it would be sold.

    gallery_10485_484_477043.png

    "Someone who couldn't reach all the way to a Roadster before, now may be able to get one at a lower price. We're able to set what I think are pretty competitive prices for these cars,” said Tom vonReichbauer, Tesla's director of finance.

    Don’t expect a handsome discount though. Despite the Roadster costing $109,000 when new, the Chronicle says the average price range for a used Roadster will go from $73,000 to $94,000.

    Source: San Francisco Chronicle

    Next: Honey, I Shrunk The Lancer


    Next Mitsubishi Lancer To Go Smaller

    The Australian automotive site, The Motor Report had a chance to speak with Mitsubishi Motors Corporation President Osamu Masuko. Masuko revealed an interesting piece of information dealing with the next-generation Lancer.

    “The new Lancer will be a very new car, and will be sized somewhere between the current model and its predecessor.”

    gallery_10485_484_719718.png

    The downsizing of the Lancer will bring forth a lighter vehicle, meaning better handling and fuel economy. However, the downsizing will mean Mitsubishi will have to pull some clever techniques to match the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, and others in interior space.

    When asked about this report by Autoblog, Mitsubishi’s U.S. offic said they "cannot confirm any plans on the Lancer for this market at this time."

    Source: The Motor Report

    Next: Hyundai and Kia's Turbo and Diesel Plans


    Hyundai and Kia: More Turbos and Diesels For Everyone*

    This week, Hyundai and Kia announced that their powertrain lineups around the world will be growing with new turbocharged and diesel engines.

    gallery_10485_484_79203.png

    The announcement comes from the companies’ International Powertrain Conference. One of the new engines is a 3.0L turbo, direct-injected V6 that is expected to produce 350 HP and get 32-33 MPG on the highway. This engine will likely appear in the next-generation Genesis.

    Also, Hyundai and Kia announced new transmissions to complement the engines.

    Hyundai and Kia don’t say when the new engines will arrive, nor where the new diesel engines will land.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Left Lane News

    Next: Quick Hits


    Quick Hits:

    Autoblog got their hands on the first spy shots of the C7 Corvette convertible. The big story with this is that mule is wearing a softtop and not a hardtop. Other than that, we know the Convertible will have the new LT1 that GM showed back on Wednesday.

    Source: Autoblog

    A Kia representative let slip to AutoGuide that they are working a sports car of some sort to appear next year. The vehicle will be in the affordable performance class, joining vehicles like the Scion FR-S, Ford Focus ST, Hyundai Genesis coupe, and others.

    AutoGuide speculates the Kia will be a version of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, though they aren’t ruling out a hot hatch.

    Source: AutoGuide

    Mercedes-Benz looks be readying a concept that will preview the new S-Class sometime early next year. Autocar believes the concept will be a version of the virtual ‘Aesthetics S’ sculpture shown at the Paris Motor Show earlier this year.

    Mercedes-Benz design chief Gorden Wagener said the next-generation S-Class would be “pure and timeless”.

    The new S-Class is expected to be shown in production form sometime later this year.

    Source: Autocar

    Finally, we have the date of when the new Mitsubishi Outlander will go on sale in the U.S. Roger Yasukawa, a Mitsubishi Motors North America spokesman told Inside Line the new crossover would likely go on sale sometime next year as a 2014 model. The plug-in hybrid Outlander will arrive either in late 2013 or 2014.

    Source: Inside Line

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    • By William Maley
      Ford has ripped off the sheet of the next-generation Fiesta ST that will make its official debut next month at the Geneva Motor Show. 
      The big news is what lies under the ST's hood. A new 1.5L EcoBoost three-cylinder produces 197 horsepower and 214 pound-feet of torque. This is a noticeable increase from the current Fiesta ST sold in Europe as it only produces 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque from a 1.6L EcoBoost four. Paired with a six-speed manual, the Fiesta ST hits 60 mph in 6.7 seconds - 0.2 seconds faster than the outgoing model.
      The new three-cylinder also comes with cylinder-deactivation. Under light loads, the engine can run on just two-cylinders to save fuel.
      Another big change is the introduction of three driving modes - Normal, Sport, and Track. The modes alters the response of the engine and throttle; steering, stability control, and exhaust sound. (Yes, the new Fiesta ST comes with a sound enhancement system). Torque vectoring is standard and will help reduce understeer when entering a corner.
      The European market will get the choice of three and five-door body styles of the ST. It is quite the looker up front with the new mesh grille and reshaped headlights. The same cannot be said for the back which looks a bit boring. Inside, there are a set of Recaro seats to hold you and a passenger in during enthusiastic driving. Other items of note include a flat-bottom steering wheel and a 8-inch touchscreen featuring SYNC 3.
      Ford says the Fiesta ST will go on sale in Europe early next year. There's no word on if and when the Fiesta ST (or for that matter the Fiesta itself) will come to the U.S.
      Source: Ford
      Press Release is on Page 2
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      Shown for the first time ahead of its global public debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, the next‑generation Fiesta ST will deliver 200PS, 290Nm of torque and anticipated 0‑62mph acceleration in 6.7sec.
      The third generation of Fiesta ST will be the first ever Ford Performance model powered by a three-cylinder engine, and the first Fiesta ST to feature selectable Drive Modes – enabling engine, steering and stability controls to be configured to Normal, Sport and Track settings for an optimised fun-to-drive experience in conditions from motorways to track days.
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      All-new 1-5-litre EcoBoost engine
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      The engine’s three-cylinder architecture delivers naturally high torque at low rpm. Performance is further boosted by a new turbocharger that uses an optimised turbine design to build boost pressure faster and minimise lag for a more responsive and fun driving experience.
      A new combination of port fuel injection and direct fuel injection technology helps deliver high power and responsiveness alongside reduced CO2 emissions,* with a particular increase in fuel efficiency under light engine loads.
      Ford’s new cylinder deactivation technology – first announced for the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine and a world first for a three-cylinder engine – will further improve fuel efficiency for Fiesta ST customers without affecting performance by automatically stopping fuel delivery and valve operation for one of the engine’s cylinders in conditions where full capacity is not needed, such as when coasting or cruising with light demand on the engine. The technology can disengage or re-engage one cylinder in 14 milliseconds – 20 times faster than the blink of an eye – to seamlessly deliver full performance on demand.
      The all-aluminium engine also features an integrated exhaust manifold thatimproves efficiency by helping the engine reach optimal temperatures faster, and delivers torque more rapidly by minimising the distance exhaust gasses travel between cylinders and turbocharger. Gas particulate filter technology that reduces soot emissions will also feature.
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      In Normal mode, engine mapping, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), ESE, exhaust sound and electronic power assisted steering (EPAS) are configured to deliver natural responsiveness and a connected feel In Sport mode, engine mapping and throttle pedal response are sharpened, and EPAS settings adjusted to deliver more feedback and finer control for fast road driving. The active noise control valve opens and ESE is adjusted to intensify the sporty exhaust note and engine noise within the cabin In Track mode, all vehicle dynamics features are tuned for the fastest possible lap times, traction control is disabled and ESC interventions are set to wide-slip mode for hard circuit driving  The agile and responsive Ford Performance-tuned chassis will be supported by enhanced Torque Vectoring Control technology that improves road holding and reduces understeer by applying brake force to the inside front wheel when cornering. Three-mode ESC will enable drivers to choose between full system intervention; wide-slip mode with limited intervention; and full system de-activation.
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      The next generation Fiesta ST will offer more personalisation options than ever before. Customers will be able to choose from a range of trim elements for the gear lever, steering wheel, door pulls and decorative dashboard spear, and select from distinctive styling packs.
      The ergonomic Fiesta ST interior will feature supportive Recaro seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel. Exterior colour options will include new Liquid Blue and the Fiesta ST will feature exclusive 18in alloy wheels.
      “Our ST models are designed to make a Ford Performance driving experience accessible to customers regardless of lifestyle,” said Matthias Tonn, Fiesta ST chief programme engineer. “With three- and five-door bodystyles and distinctive styling options that complement the model’s performance characteristics available from day-one, the next generation Fiesta ST will deliver a broader appeal for an even wider range of car-buyers.”
      Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system will enable Fiesta ST drivers to control audio, navigation and connected smartphones using simple, conversational voice commands. Compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™, SYNC 3 is supported by floating, tablet-inspired touchscreens up to eight inches in size that can be operated using pinch and swipe gestures.
      The next generation Fiesta ST also will be offered with a high quality B&O PLAY Sound System for a high-end audio experience – among features Ford first announced last year for the next generation Fiesta.
    • By William Maley
      With the clock winding down on production of the Holden Commodore, Chevrolet dealers are snapping the remaining lot of SS models being exported to the U.S. Wheels has learned from Chevrolet that the extra 1,000 SS models Holden was planning to build for the U.S. market have been snapped up.
      “All US dealer orders are in for the allocated production of the 2017 Chevrolet SS. This includes any additional units that were confirmed for production last year,” said Chevrolet.
      Originally, Holden was planning on building 2,000 SS for the U.S. However, the large demand by dealers for the last SS models caused Holden to add an additional 1,000 models for export.
      Source: Wheels

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