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    Ramblings of a Dazed Photographer: 2016 Detroit Auto Show

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      An exhausted photographer gives us a report card from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.

    By Cory Wolfe

     

    As another year falls into the grasps of history, a new one lands filled with drinks, dreams, and the Detroit auto show. With all its shiny cars, crazy automotive espionage, and endless cappuccino, Cobo might just be my yearly heaven. Or is it my own personal hell, taunting me with sore feet, pushy journalists, and a severe lack of sleep? This year may just pin it towards the latter... This show sure can make someone relatively young feel frighteningly old rather quickly. Then again, a smart and well-prepared individual likely wouldn't have this problem, nor would that individual attempt to lug a 20-pound camera bag on his back for two days straight. Yeah, what the hell was I thinking when I bought that? I need a bag with wheels, not one that will put me in a chair with wheels. Enough about my poor planning, though. Let's get on with all the pretentious nitpicks and juicy behind-the-scenes commentary through the eyes of one exhausted photographer.

     

    Surprise! There's No Surprise

     

    Auto show season is upon us; its that time of year when automakers tend to go out-their-mind with introductions. This year, though, brought us a decidedly restrained show full of boring. Not only were the majority of the vehicles unsurprising, the reveals themselves were just average. A few lifted covers, various fog machines, and numerous turntables were the norm. Nissan, most notably, didn't even bother to try a bit of secrecy with its concept Titan. There it was, 7 am on day one, sitting out on display a full day before the press conference was scheduled. Lincoln was another offender in this regard, however not to the same degree; they at least waited until the day of to let it out. Beyond those, every automaker seemed to wait. Hold on, come to think of it, is it really any different? It's like clockwork, 12 am hits, the embargoes drop and each ensuing unveil is ruined in the process. There's very little in the way of true surprises any more. With the exception of Buick, everything was either leaked, teased, or previously shown. Leave it to the brand that's capitalized on little old lady's proclaiming "That's not a Buick!" to have the one true shock of the show.

     

    The biggest disappointment with the show in terms of the lack of surprise has to be the sheer number of non-debuts. No, I don't mean the carry-over models; I'm talking about those aforementioned introductions that were already shown. The Bolt? Electrified at CES. The M2? Revealed in October. The S90? Displayed in December. The 911 Turbo? Announced in November. The G90? Disrobed in Korea. The entire Mercedes press conference? Printed from the photo copier. The number of true world premiers were truly lacking at this show. Even the models that were generally something new were actually just new versions of existing debuts! A few more or less doors, an added trim, a bit more dressing; there was even a concept version of a production car that originated as a concept. Seriously, why?

     

    Oh Big Beautiful Concept, You

     

    While there were many debuts that literally put at least one journalist to sleep, there was a bit of excitement to be found at others. Perhaps one of the best kick-offs to an auto show ever, Buick proved once more that it can make a damned nice concept. What the Avista lacks in clever naming can be suddenly forgiven upon sight of that beautiful body. Every detail of this car is exquisitely perfect. This is one vehicle that could really change the perception of what a Buick is, unlike those silly commercials. It's not even that far fetched, in all honesty. Sure, many of the exaggerated details would never make it to production, but the heart of this concept could. With a platform that is just begging for my capacity and a powertrain that's been picked from the parts bin, I can't imagine it would be difficult to bring to reality. If the reception from the media days are any indication, there will be a lot of people shouting "Take my money!" during public days.

     

    Another concept that I was pretty impressed with was the Acura Precision concept, albeit with another terrible name. This one is bit different than the Buick in that you have to see it in person. No, really, you do. Pictures do not do this car any justice, instead making it look overly angular and uninspired. Once you're up close and see how the light hits each panel as the car rotates on the turntable, its something to appreciate. Like the Buick, this is a vehicle that could help Acura become more than just the tarted-up Honda it's always been. There's an identity here to be established, and thankfully, its shield-less. With that said, this one isn't likely to be sitting in your driveway with a huge bow on it for Christmas. In fact, it never will be. What may actually come from this, however, is a new design theme for Acura; a design full of diamonds. Let's hope the diamonds stay with the concept while the rest reinvigorates the brand's appeal.

     

    There is one car that looks like a concept, feels like a concept, and probably even smells like a concept, but it isn't one. The Lexus LC500 is by far the most shocking production car for that reason. Lexus has come quite a ways from the quiet days of yore when it was best known as a Japanese Buick. It's recent style revolution to change that image has been mixed, to say to the least, with each redesign gaining more spindle and more katana-formed angles. It hasn't been pretty. This car, however, is something to behold. This is a design that was lovingly sketched and nitpicked to perfect. Every line has a divine purpose as ordained by the design deity. The detail, precision, and craziness of this design could put most exotics to shame. Lexus, somehow, managed to craft a beautiful car. Yes, a beautiful Lexus finally exists; I never thought I'd say that.

     

    Are We Sharing or Are We Copying?

     

    In the automotive world, you'll quickly notice that new trends spread like wildfire throughout the industry. From the tail-fins and rockets of the 50's to the velour and design by cardboard box of the 80s, or the faux fender vents of this past decade; these trends come and go like that drunken hook-up you wished you never had. It's not just limited to design either, as I've come to find after sitting through numerous press conferences. By the end of the show, there was one spec I was continuing to hear over and over and over. I'm fairly certain a 3.0 liter turbocharged 6-cylinder with about 400 horsepower is the next must-have item on your luxury-sports car. First Buick, then Infiniti, and finally Lincoln all hit with exactly the same engine specs, while many more have varying horsepower figures but still employ the same basic engine. It's a repeat of the 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinders that everyone and their mother has.

     

    Corporate Jealousy and Espionage

     

    Media days at an auto show means a couple things will be present. For one, you'll see everyone hitting up the cappuccino stands trying to get as much a caffeine buzz as possible before running to the next press conference. You'll also notice an abundance of pushy people getting in your way at every step. Within these droves of human annoyances are a few different types of people. You have the determined photographer, the erratic journalist, the elitist CEO's and their protective posses, and finally there are the numerous manufacturer issued spies that run about making comments, taking notes, measuring gaps, etc. That last one is what I want to focus on. Let me just get this out of the way: I hate every single one of you. You get in my way constantly fiddling with sun visors and rubber moldings. No one cares what you think about company A's fit and finish compared to your company B's. Please, for everyone's sake, find a new, more meaningful job.

     

    As much as they got in my way, there were some funny conversations to be heard. At the launch of the GMC Acadia, there were reps discussing the downsizing. Pretty much went like this: Rep A to Reb B: "Wow, this is suicide! They just handed the market to you and your new crossover. What were they thinking?!" Meanwhile, I'm siting beside Rep A trying to casually take a picture and pretend I'm not paying any attention. Hilarious. Then, we have the Honda Ridgeline and various reps crawling underneath to check out the bed construction. Afterwards, they point out how the bed is designed to appear separate all in the name of looking more traditional and manly but is really just a faux cut-line with some rubber weatherstripping. Finally, I'll leave you with a positive comment from another rep examining the Lincoln Continental. As he was admiring the door handles, he took note of the soft-close feature saying quite sternly "We don't have that." I wish I would have caught which manufacturer he worked for.

     

    The Swedish do Everything Better

     

    As a tired, hungry, and dehydrated photographer, sometimes you have to find time to stop and replenish. That actually doesn't happen, the stopping part that is. In this context it means switching from running to stationary not to relax, but to import photos and send them off to some online editor in a timely manner. Generally, this means working while waiting for the next press conference to begin. You can however, get lucky and sit down in the one of the various automakers' lounges. Here, you may do your work in a nice comfy seat with some delightful cappuccino. After running around I finally found my favorite spot to be: The Volvo Lounge. Staffed with genuine Swedes (one was pretty cute, too, not going to lie), they put the most care into making their drinks. Other lounges simply make a cappuccino while they lovingly crafted a cappuccino. Absolutely wonderful, I'm going to miss the Volvo Lounge.

     

    Final Notes of the Quick Variety

     

    After the photos I needed were taken, edited, and uploaded off to Romania, I finally had some free time to roam the show floor. This is the best part of media days at an auto show. Unrestricted access to nearly every car on the floor is a wonderful thing. There's no one to stop you from getting into any car you wish, except that damned Alfa Romeo Giulia; the Italians have no trouble denying you. I took this opportunity to sit in a few new releases as well as a few older releases I've been eager to fondle with the utmost disrespect. Readers beware: I suspect I may ruffle a few feathers with some of the following comments.

    • Lincoln Continental: This car surprised me. I saw the spy photos, the press shots, etc. and I expected it to be a disappointment. In person, it has a certain presence, an air of prestige in which Lincoln has been lacking in recent years. This continues insides where it truly exudes luxury. They really nailed the look and feel of the materials, at least in the pre-production cars on display.
    • Ford Fusion: As a vehicle that was already in my personal top 3 of its respective segment, I wasn't expecting anything crazy. In fact, I wasn't sure how I felt about the refresh at first. I don't know what I was worried about. The updates look good, but that's not the story here. Neither is the addition the delicious Sport model. I sat in the the new Premium trim and was blown away by how good it is.
    • Chevrolet Malibu: Here is where I should say about how much of an improvement this model is over its predecessor. I'm not. Don't get me wrong, it's better, but its entirely incremental. The biggest departure is its looks and it does, in fact, look fine; it's certainly not offensive at all to my eyes. My gripe lies with the interior and what looks and feels like a downgrade in materials. Maybe I shouldn't have sat in the Fusion first, as that car makes this one feel positively cheap.
    • Volkswagen Golf R: "Ah ha," you're probably thinking, "Here comes that bias!" Unfortunately for you, you will see no such thing. While I have briefly sat in a MK7 GTI before, it was at another auto show and I really didn't have much time with it; I didn't this time either. I did, however, have enough time to come away rather disappointed. As a current MK6 GTI owner, I really noticed a difference in quality between the two. It's enough of a downgrade to question whether I'd really want to every upgrade.
    • Mazda MX-5 Miata: Oh sweet Jesus, if there is one car I would have liked to bring home with me, its this one. Such a gorgeous little car. It's as close to a perfect package as you can get and it fits me like a glove. Great touch points, slick shifter, comfortable seats, and practical enough considering its a roadster. If I had to nitpick, it would be over the rather useless cup holders and their nearly impossible to comfortably use position.
    • Chevrolet Bolt: Strangely enough, I really like this little electric car. It's the first one of its kind that could actually be used as your only vehicle without having to shell out an arm, leg, and perhaps a testicle or two. The expected performance is even appealing and perfectly acceptable for its price. I could see myself owning a Bolt in the not too distant future. Am I crazy? I hope not.
    • Genesis G90: This car gave me an experience opposite to that of the Continental; I expected it to be legitimately surprising. In all honesty, it wasn't. Inside and out, this car failed to feel special. It has the content and everything falls in line within the segment, but it's value price betrays it. It looks and feels a step below its competitors, even if its just slightly so. Perhaps that's something to be proud of. Personally, I'd hand over the extra cash for the real thing, one with a soul.

     


    With that said, this show wasn't its best year, nor was it the worst. A bit lacking in excitement, this years show didn't blow me away with exotic reveals or highly anticipated debuts. It was merely an adequate showing in Cobo. Does it matter? Of course it does. Despite everything, this was still an important show that somehow managed to feel more hectic than usual. It almost seemed as if attendance at media days greatly increased over my last stint here, having to fight more than usual for a good seat at each press conference. All in all, I think I may have to go back to press days for more touchy-feely goodness. It's just too bad I won't be able to enjoy Volvo's lounge... That was some damn good cappuccino.

     

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    Hilarious. I expected no less than blatant insults concerning GM products from this writer considering he posted a picture of a damn Honda wannabe P/U.. and he didn't fail me. The tidbit about the Acadia.. was classic. GMC handed them the market.. by changing a CUV that doesn't own the market, while continuing to build the Traverse and Enclave essentially unchanged. Makes sense..Not. I personally think it was made up, but hey.. its just a vibe I get from his overall "experience." Loving the Malibu demerits too. Most reviews go far to point out the improvements in interior fit and finish... yet this guy suggest that its a step back?

     

    . Lastly.. and most curious. I came into this thread thinking I was gonna see some PHOTOGRAPHS from the Dazed (and seemingly Confused) Photographer.

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    Hilarious. I expected no less than blatant insults concerning GM products from this writer considering he posted a picture of a damn Honda wannabe P/U.. and he didn't fail me. The tidbit about the Acadia.. was classic. GMC handed them the market.. by changing a CUV that doesn't own the market, while continuing to build the Traverse and Enclave essentially unchanged. Makes sense..Not. I personally think it was made up, but hey.. its just a vibe I get from his overall "experience." Loving the Malibu demerits too. Most reviews go far to point out the improvements in interior fit and finish... yet this guy suggest that its a step back?

     

    . Lastly.. and most curious. I came into this thread thinking I was gonna see some PHOTOGRAPHS from the Dazed (and seemingly Confused) Photographer.

     

    Uh, what?  He was repeating comments about the Acadia that he overheard.  I don't see any GM bashing or anti-bias in the article at all.  I think you need to go back and re-read the piece more carefully..... starting with the title. 

     

    BTW, Cory has been with CheersandGears since near the beginning and has been our photographer for the Detroit auto show and Chicago auto show a number of times. He attended this year's show with a media credential from my allotment though he did work for another outfit. 

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    And Cory, I agree that the Volvo booth is one of the best for refreshments.  They're my 'ol reliable for refreshments and the best wifi. Once in a while someone else will do it better, but Volvo is consistently good. 

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    I am completely amazed at how my exact thoughts and opinions came from someone called blackviper.  I will pay far more attention to your posts, as I an still new around here, yet intrigued now.

     

     

    Thank your for the write-up.

    A very good and honest read.

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    Yeah, I cannot stand the spies at all. I'm trying to get a picture and you decide to go in and start measuring. I almost dragged someone out of a vehicle on the first media day because of that. Somehow I was able to resist it.

     

    Also on the MX-5 Miata, completely agree. 

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    Also, Cheers to Chrysler for having security guards at all of the Pacificas to kick out the competitors. Only way people were getting up onto the Chrysler displays on the first day was with an actual media badge. 

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    Also, Cheers to Chrysler for having security guards at all of the Pacificas to kick out the competitors. Only way people were getting up onto the Chrysler displays on the first day was with an actual media badge. 

     

    Same with the second day as well.

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    Hilarious. I expected no less than blatant insults concerning GM products from this writer considering he posted a picture of a damn Honda wannabe P/U.. and he didn't fail me. The tidbit about the Acadia.. was classic. GMC handed them the market.. by changing a CUV that doesn't own the market, while continuing to build the Traverse and Enclave essentially unchanged. Makes sense..Not. I personally think it was made up, but hey.. its just a vibe I get from his overall "experience." Loving the Malibu demerits too. Most reviews go far to point out the improvements in interior fit and finish... yet this guy suggest that its a step back?

     

    . Lastly.. and most curious. I came into this thread thinking I was gonna see some PHOTOGRAPHS from the Dazed (and seemingly Confused) Photographer.

     

    No, no... Hilarious is what I'd consider this post of yours.

     

    Firstly, I used that Ridgeline photo because of the cowboy and his deep-in-thought appearance regarding the truck. You can practically just read his mind, thinking along the lines of "I just ain't too sure about this pick-up." I think its probably the best photo I took at the show for that reason. It was sort of a once-in-a-blue-moon photo opportunity. 

     

    As Drew pointed out, I didn't personally comment on the Acadia. Those were competing Manufacturer representatives making those comments. The one making the comments even asked if I could move out of his way while I was doing my job. I'm not his friend, and I found his comments to merely be post-worthy on the merits of entertainment. If you want my opinion of the Acadia, ask before you throw shade my way. 

     

    And the Malibu, if you read around, there have been mentions of cheap materials. The entire dash is hard plastic in the same vein as the current Cruze; the only soft-touch areas are those that can be covered in cloth or vinyl. Its largely the same with the door panels. Fit and finish is fine, material quality is a bit lacking. One of the strong points of the previous generation Malibu was what I thought to be its high quality dash and door materials. It was ugly, but everything was nice and soft-touch. Also, as mentioned, I had just sat in the updated Fusion and it was a night-and-day difference. 

     

    Lastly, I have loads of pictures, many of them being used by Autoevolution.com. I decided to limit this post to a single photo based on the unexpected length of the article. 

    Edited by blackviper8891
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    Who knows, if the new Ridgeline is a hit, maybe Chevy will tool up a competitor off the Traverse or Equinox and call it....(drum roll) El Camino!    :)

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    Who knows, if the new Ridgeline is a hit, maybe Chevy will tool up a competitor off the Traverse or Equinox and call it....(drum roll) El Camino!     :)

    ELIZABETH!  IT'S THE BIG ONE!  :o

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    I think his comment regarding Malibu interior materials feeling cheap was accurate.

    Yes to a degree....but lets backtrack a bit here.  The now previous Malibu didn't have class leading interior bits at all.  The big thing about the new Malibu interior is the ergonomics and fit have been improved by shifting things and taking it away from a tight cockpit interior with an intrusive lower dash and big vertical center stack.....to something that first of all gives actual room in the back.  Then it moves the gauge cluster forward and down and dissolves the intrusion of the console and center stack on your legs.  The new center stack is simply a tablet in the dash, which is far more usable than the last mylink.  The climate controls are compacted.  The plastics on the parts of the dash you see are 'just enough' in terms of level of finish when you consider the nice gauges and center stack display are what grabs your attention.

     

    The overall level of finish quality on the inside, while feeling a bit cheap is pretty comparable to the Altima.  While having nicer gauges and displays.  The new interior is better than the old one because its functionally better and opens up the cabin for a more space and room.  And the visibility out the new model is much better.  I can live with some cheaper plastic in this instance.

     

    Whatever rep that was that made the Acadia comment was spot on, sure he wasn't the only one

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    Hilarious. I expected no less than blatant insults concerning GM products from this writer considering he posted a picture of a damn Honda wannabe P/U.. and he didn't fail me. The tidbit about the Acadia.. was classic. GMC handed them the market.. by changing a CUV that doesn't own the market, while continuing to build the Traverse and Enclave essentially unchanged. Makes sense..Not. I personally think it was made up, but hey.. its just a vibe I get from his overall "experience." Loving the Malibu demerits too. Most reviews go far to point out the improvements in interior fit and finish... yet this guy suggest that its a step back?

     

    . Lastly.. and most curious. I came into this thread thinking I was gonna see some PHOTOGRAPHS from the Dazed (and seemingly Confused) Photographer.

     

    No, no... Hilarious is what I'd consider this post of yours.

     

    Firstly, I used that Ridgeline photo because of the cowboy and his deep-in-thought appearance regarding the truck. You can practically just read his mind, thinking along the lines of "I just ain't too sure about this pick-up." I think its probably the best photo I took at the show for that reason. It was sort of a once-in-a-blue-moon photo opportunity. 

     

    As Drew pointed out, I didn't personally comment on the Acadia. Those were competing Manufacturer representatives making those comments. The one making the comments even asked if I could move out of his way while I was doing my job. I'm not his friend, and I found his comments to merely be post-worthy on the merits of entertainment. If you want my opinion of the Acadia, ask before you throw shade my way. 

     

    And the Malibu, if you read around, there have been mentions of cheap materials. The entire dash is hard plastic in the same vein as the current Cruze; the only soft-touch areas are those that can be covered in cloth or vinyl. Its largely the same with the door panels. Fit and finish is fine, material quality is a bit lacking. One of the strong points of the previous generation Malibu was what I thought to be its high quality dash and door materials. It was ugly, but everything was nice and soft-touch. Also, as mentioned, I had just sat in the updated Fusion and it was a night-and-day difference. 

     

    Lastly, I have loads of pictures, many of them being used by Autoevolution.com. I decided to limit this post to a single photo based on the unexpected length of the article. 

     

     

     

    cool

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    Interesting that I would be spot on in agreement with Cory on all of his points with the cars... :-) But even though I have yet to see them live yet (hoping to hit the show this week)-there has sure been enough camo'd ones to give me a good idea....

     

    And to me, the new Mali just looks bloated, even though it's close to the same size. Interesting that I would love the new Impala, but somewhat Loathe the new Bu.....

     

    And I love the new Miata! If it handles the way it looks, it will be hard to hand the keys back to....

     

     

    Gotta say, was not a fan of the current Fusion, but like the refresh....love the stance the new Lincoln has.......

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    I have added an official gallery with a selection of images from the show. Nothing fancy, just the leftovers that weren't sent to Auto Evolution. 

     

    Also, I have decided to go back to public days so I can actually have a chance to enjoy the show. I went to last year's public days as well and its almost entirely different experience. It's nice to not have to be rushed around the show floor whilst carrying a back-breaking camera bag everywhere. In addition, Josh really wanted to go and we're even going to bring my Mom so she can experience it. It's just too bad I won't be able to enjoy the Volvo Lounge for another one of these:

     

    IMG_20160118_013108.jpg

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      This year was to be the final Detroit Auto Show to take place in January before the big move to an indoor/outdoor festival of sorts next June. Despite a number of manufacturers announcing they would not be at the show, there was some hope for there be to a surprise. Something that would allow the current incarnation of the show to go out with a bang.
      That did not happen.
      It was thought that Chevrolet would roll out the long-awaited and rumored mid-engined Corvette. But those hopes would be dashed as rumors came out that the project would be delayed up to six months due to a problem with the electrical system. It also gave Toyota a sigh of relief as the Supra wouldn’t be overshadowed by the Corvette - see the Ford GT eating up the attention from the Acura NSX a few years back.
      Even with the anticipation of the Supra coming to Detroit, there was nothing that could be described as being memorable. Most of the vehicles that were revealed seemed to be somewhat phoned in.
      We knew a lot about the Supra including how it would look and what would power it before it arrived on stage. CEO Akio Toyoda actually mentioned in the press conference that it was “one of the industry’s worst kept secrets.” The refreshed Volkswagen Passat was eclipsed by news that a second plant and 1,000 jobs would be added at Chattanooga, along with becoming a sponsor for U.S. Women’s, Men’s, and Youth National teams. Infiniti’s QX Inspiration concept didn’t actually appear at the presentation. It was stuck in the lobby of Cobo Hall due to some sort of malfunction.
        The announcement talking about Ford and Volkswagen’s new alliance? The stage appearance was canceled late on Monday. Instead, we got a conference call and press release providing the details. The big talking point at the show wasn’t about the show. Over the weekend, a water main broke which put most of Downtown Detroit under a boil water advisory. This caused a lot of headaches for visiting media and automotive executives as would have to use bottled water to brush their teeth or wash their hair (this was something I heard a few people mentioned on the show floor). Luckily, I saw this new before heading down to the show and brought a couple liters of water with me to use for tea and brushing my teeth.
      But the water main break serves as a good metaphor for this year’s Detroit Auto Show. It felt a bit discombobulated with a number of manufacturers being MIA and organizers trying to figure out what to do. There was also a noticeable lack of energy surrounding the show. Going into the media center at Cobo, I was expecting to be filled with various journalists and other media. To my surprise, it looked and felt the second day of the show where there was a surprising amount of open space to sit down and begin working. Being on the show floor was the same story. I was amazed at how easily I was able to get photos of cars that had been unveiled only 20 to 30 minutes without having to fight a number of people to get a decent shot.
      There is a lot riding on the move to June next year with organizers planning something like the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the U.K. There promises to be the ability to ride and drive various new vehicles, self-driving vehicles being demonstrated on public roads, “dynamic vehicle debuts,” and much more. A number of automakers and executives have praised this move.
      "I always thought it made sense for Detroit to showcase itself when the weather's nice. All the international press comes here in perhaps our worst weather month of the year. I don't know how many rodeos we can have coming down the street in January,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford earlier this week.
      I wished that shared the same enthusiasm as a number of people with the show moving to June. Call me skeptical or cynical, but I get the feeling that the move will not solve the issue that face a number of automakers; making the case to spend the money to attend another show. A recent piece in Wards Auto says it costs more than million dollars to hold a 25-minute press conference according to sources.
      “…due to exorbitant rates for sound and video production, lighting, drayage, special effects, food, drink and union labor to set up chairs, lay carpet and build ramps for drive-on vehicle unveilings.”
      The past few years have seen more and more automakers hold their own events off-site as they are not only cheaper but allows them to control the message.
      “We can go and create an atmosphere on Sunday night at the Garden Theater for less money and for what we think is an equal or better return on our investment,” said Terry Rhadigan, executive director of communications at General Motors to Wards Auto.
      I think back to a conversation I had last year on the show floor with a friend. I was mentioning how I was feeling somewhat bored and he asked how many Detroit Auto Shows I had attended.
      “I think this is my fourth or fifth,” I said.
      He paused for a moment before saying that was usually around the time someone begins to feel burnt out and wanting something exciting to happen. This popped into my head while walking around the show on Monday as nothing really grabbed my attention in terms of new debuts. There were some bright spots such as Kia Stinger GT police vehicle from Australia and the Toyota Yaris WRC on the show floor. But aside from these and few other vehicles, I felt a bit down. Maybe I had grown weary of the show itself and the noticeable departures of various automakers only compounded it. Or maybe this was the manifestation of a trend that the auto show I had come to know was coming to an end and was only beginning to realize it.
      2020 will be an interesting year to say in the least as organizers begin a new chapter in the auto show’s legacy. Whether it works out or not remains to be seen.
      Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears
    • By William Maley
      Subaru has been keeping their S-series of WRX STI vehicles in Japan since the first model (the S201) was launched in 2000. But today at the Detroit Auto Show, Subaru has decided to treat us by bringing over the S209 to the U.S.
      Under the hood, STI has overhauled the EJ25 2.5L turbocharged boxer-four engine with an HKS turbocharger, revised intake system, forged pistons and con rods, and less-restrictive exhaust. Output has increased 310 to 341 horsepower. Torque remains at 290 pound-feet. In a nod to the 2004 to 2007 STI, Subaru has fitted an intercooler water spray system controlled via steering wheel paddles to cool down the intercooler. A six-speed manual routes power to all four wheels.
      For the chassis, Subaru has widen the track by 0.6-inches, upgraded the Bilstein dampers and bushings; added 0.8-inch rear anti-roll bar, fitted a handful of stiffening braces and bars, and a set of 265/35 Dunlop GT600A summer tires wearing 19-inch BBS wheels. Subaru claims this gives the S209 more than 1.00 g of lateral grip.
      The exterior is much more aggressive with wider fenders to allow for additional cooling, rear-fender vents to reduce drag, under spoilers all around the vehicle, and a large rear wing.
      No mention on price, but we're expecting it to be near or above the $48,995 for the last special edition WRX STI to grace our shores - the Type RA. There will only 200 models built for the U.S., either wearing WR Blue Pearl with gray wheels or Crystal White Pearl with gold wheels.
      Gallery: 2019 Subaru WRX STi S209
      Source: Subaru


      Subaru Tecnica International Unleashes Most Powerful Model Ever With Limited-Edition STI S209
      Debuts at 2019 North American International Auto Show First-ever STI-crafted S-line performance vehicle sold in the United States Limited production run of around 200 units Available exclusively in the U.S. 341-horsepower (est.) 2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER engine Aggressive new look with wide fenders, front canards and rear wing Performance-focused chassis with flexible strut tower bar and draw stiffeners Exclusive 19 x 9-inch forged BBS® wheels with bespoke Dunlop® SP Sport Maxx® GT600A tires Brembo® brakes with new high-friction pads Available in two exterior colors: World Rally Blue Pearl and Crystal White Pearl January 14, 2019 , Camden, N.J. - Subaru Tecnica International (STI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation, today introduced the limited-edition STI S209, the first-ever S-line STI product produced exclusively for the U.S. market. As an S-line product, the STI S209 encompasses upgrades in power, handling, aerodynamics and driver engagement, and undergoes final assembly in Kiryu, Japan, where it receives engine modifications and bodywork alterations that in total require it to be homologated for the U.S. by STI; thus, the S209 is considered the first “STI-built” Subaru sold in the U.S. The S209 carries on a high-performance tradition that dates to STI-built models that were exclusive to the Japanese domestic market – the 2000 S201 through the 2018 S208.
      Designed with a focus on high-performance driving, the S209 draws inspiration and tech transfer from STI’s most formidable track machine: the WRX STI Nürburgring Challenge racecar, which won the SP3T class at the 2018 24 Hours of Nürburgring, marking the fifth time STI dominated the SP3T class at the grueling endurance race. The S209, like the Nürburgring Challenge racecar, wears an expanded wide-body exterior treatment, which extends the vehicle’s overall width to 72.4 inches, or 1.7 inches wider than a standard WRX STI. The bulging fenders accommodate wider front/rear tracks (+ 0.6 in front/rear) and 265/35 Dunlop® SP Sport Maxx® GT600A summer-only tires wrapped around lightweight 19 x 9-inch forged BBS alloy wheels. The all-new tires, developed exclusively for the S209 by Dunlop, are a significant contributor to the car’s tenacious maximum lateral grip of over 1.0 g. Vents on the front fenders provide additional engine cooling, while vents on the rear fenders rectify air turbulence to reduce drag. Brembo brakes, with cross-drilled steel rotors and 6-piston monoblock front calipers and 2-piston monoblock rear calipers, provide stout stopping force, thanks in part to upgraded high-friction pads that deliver improved fade-resistance.
      Underneath the S209’s broader body are specially developed Bilstein® dampers, stiffened coil springs, a 20mm rear stabilizer bar and pillow-type bushings for the front/rear lateral links. The S209 incorporates reinforcements to the front crossmember and rear subframes and, a la the Nürburgring racecar, a flexible front-strut tower bar and flexible front/rear draw stiffeners. The flexible tower bar, unlike a conventional rigid bar, is split and joined with a pillow ball joint in the center to be longitudinally mobile while helping laterally stiffen the body of the car. The result is optimum tire grip during lateral moments combined with compliant ride during longitudinal moments. Meanwhile, the draw stiffeners apply tension between the body and cross member to optimize chassis flex, improving stability when cornering and delivering better ride, handling and steering response. Other Nürburgring racecar tech that trickles down to the S209: front, rear and side under spoilers; front bumper canards; and carbon-fiber roof panel and rear wing.
      A thoroughly reworked version of the legendary EJ25 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine propels the S209. Featuring an STI turbocharger manufactured by HKS®, the EJ25 serves up an estimated 341 horsepower, thanks in part to a larger turbine and compressor (up 6 and 8 percent, respectively, compared to WRX STI) as well as maximum boost pressure that has been increased to 18.0 psi (16.2 psi for WRX STI). Proudly displaying an S209 serial number plate, the enhanced BOXER engine utilizes forged pistons and connecting rods that are both lighter and stronger. Midrange torque, too, gets a notable bump, up 10 percent at 3,600 rpm, delivering higher corner exit speeds when driving on track.
      For ultimate driver engagement, the S209 comes exclusively with a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission that routes power to a full-time Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system with front/rear limited-slip differentials, a Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD), Active Torque Vectoring and Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control. A recalibrated SI-Drive system offers three modes: Intelligent (I) for improved fuel economy and smoother power control; Sport (S) for optimized power balance between response and control; and Sport Sharp (S#) for achieving the best acceleration times. STI engineers recommend Sport over Sport Sharp for circuit driving, as the less aggressive throttle map allows for greater driver control.
      To feed more air to the EJ25, the S209 uses a high-flow intake system featuring a new intake duct, induction box with conical air filter, silicone turbo inlet duct and, a nod from the 2004-07 WRX STI, an intercooler water spray system that lowers intercooler temperature via manually operated steering-wheel paddles. More air demands more fuel, so the S209 receives a new high-flow fuel pump, larger fuel injectors and an STI-tuned engine control module. High-performance mufflers deliver 17-percent less airflow resistance while larger hand-polished stainless-steel exhaust tips – 101mm in diameter – deliver aggressive appearance and acoustics.
      The S209 receives multiple tweaks to elevate it from other STI sedans. An STI badge replaces the traditional Subaru star cluster on the center of the D-shape steering wheel, which is wrapped in Ultrasuede® with silver stitching, a treatment that carries over to the lid of the center console storage box. An S209 serial number badge resides on the center console, and S209 badges adorn the passenger-side dash and the headrests of the Recaro® front bucket seats, which feature new silver-hued inserts. Outside, special S209 badges are affixed to the front grille and fenders as well as the rear decklid.
      Only around 200 units of the STI S209 will be built, earmarked exclusively for the U.S. Available exterior color/BBS wheel combinations will be WR Blue Pearl/gray wheels and Crystal White Pearl/gold wheels. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date in late 2019.
    • By William Maley
      Subaru has been keeping their S-series of WRX STI vehicles in Japan since the first model (the S201) was launched in 2000. But today at the Detroit Auto Show, Subaru has decided to treat us by bringing over the S209 to the U.S.
      Under the hood, STI has overhauled the EJ25 2.5L turbocharged boxer-four engine with an HKS turbocharger, revised intake system, forged pistons and con rods, and less-restrictive exhaust. Output has increased 310 to 341 horsepower. Torque remains at 290 pound-feet. In a nod to the 2004 to 2007 STI, Subaru has fitted an intercooler water spray system controlled via steering wheel paddles to cool down the intercooler. A six-speed manual routes power to all four wheels.
      For the chassis, Subaru has widen the track by 0.6-inches, upgraded the Bilstein dampers and bushings; added 0.8-inch rear anti-roll bar, fitted a handful of stiffening braces and bars, and a set of 265/35 Dunlop GT600A summer tires wearing 19-inch BBS wheels. Subaru claims this gives the S209 more than 1.00 g of lateral grip.
      The exterior is much more aggressive with wider fenders to allow for additional cooling, rear-fender vents to reduce drag, under spoilers all around the vehicle, and a large rear wing.
      No mention on price, but we're expecting it to be near or above the $48,995 for the last special edition WRX STI to grace our shores - the Type RA. There will only 200 models built for the U.S., either wearing WR Blue Pearl with gray wheels or Crystal White Pearl with gold wheels.
      Gallery: 2019 Subaru WRX STi S209
      Source: Subaru


      Subaru Tecnica International Unleashes Most Powerful Model Ever With Limited-Edition STI S209
      Debuts at 2019 North American International Auto Show First-ever STI-crafted S-line performance vehicle sold in the United States Limited production run of around 200 units Available exclusively in the U.S. 341-horsepower (est.) 2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER engine Aggressive new look with wide fenders, front canards and rear wing Performance-focused chassis with flexible strut tower bar and draw stiffeners Exclusive 19 x 9-inch forged BBS® wheels with bespoke Dunlop® SP Sport Maxx® GT600A tires Brembo® brakes with new high-friction pads Available in two exterior colors: World Rally Blue Pearl and Crystal White Pearl January 14, 2019 , Camden, N.J. - Subaru Tecnica International (STI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation, today introduced the limited-edition STI S209, the first-ever S-line STI product produced exclusively for the U.S. market. As an S-line product, the STI S209 encompasses upgrades in power, handling, aerodynamics and driver engagement, and undergoes final assembly in Kiryu, Japan, where it receives engine modifications and bodywork alterations that in total require it to be homologated for the U.S. by STI; thus, the S209 is considered the first “STI-built” Subaru sold in the U.S. The S209 carries on a high-performance tradition that dates to STI-built models that were exclusive to the Japanese domestic market – the 2000 S201 through the 2018 S208.
      Designed with a focus on high-performance driving, the S209 draws inspiration and tech transfer from STI’s most formidable track machine: the WRX STI Nürburgring Challenge racecar, which won the SP3T class at the 2018 24 Hours of Nürburgring, marking the fifth time STI dominated the SP3T class at the grueling endurance race. The S209, like the Nürburgring Challenge racecar, wears an expanded wide-body exterior treatment, which extends the vehicle’s overall width to 72.4 inches, or 1.7 inches wider than a standard WRX STI. The bulging fenders accommodate wider front/rear tracks (+ 0.6 in front/rear) and 265/35 Dunlop® SP Sport Maxx® GT600A summer-only tires wrapped around lightweight 19 x 9-inch forged BBS alloy wheels. The all-new tires, developed exclusively for the S209 by Dunlop, are a significant contributor to the car’s tenacious maximum lateral grip of over 1.0 g. Vents on the front fenders provide additional engine cooling, while vents on the rear fenders rectify air turbulence to reduce drag. Brembo brakes, with cross-drilled steel rotors and 6-piston monoblock front calipers and 2-piston monoblock rear calipers, provide stout stopping force, thanks in part to upgraded high-friction pads that deliver improved fade-resistance.
      Underneath the S209’s broader body are specially developed Bilstein® dampers, stiffened coil springs, a 20mm rear stabilizer bar and pillow-type bushings for the front/rear lateral links. The S209 incorporates reinforcements to the front crossmember and rear subframes and, a la the Nürburgring racecar, a flexible front-strut tower bar and flexible front/rear draw stiffeners. The flexible tower bar, unlike a conventional rigid bar, is split and joined with a pillow ball joint in the center to be longitudinally mobile while helping laterally stiffen the body of the car. The result is optimum tire grip during lateral moments combined with compliant ride during longitudinal moments. Meanwhile, the draw stiffeners apply tension between the body and cross member to optimize chassis flex, improving stability when cornering and delivering better ride, handling and steering response. Other Nürburgring racecar tech that trickles down to the S209: front, rear and side under spoilers; front bumper canards; and carbon-fiber roof panel and rear wing.
      A thoroughly reworked version of the legendary EJ25 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine propels the S209. Featuring an STI turbocharger manufactured by HKS®, the EJ25 serves up an estimated 341 horsepower, thanks in part to a larger turbine and compressor (up 6 and 8 percent, respectively, compared to WRX STI) as well as maximum boost pressure that has been increased to 18.0 psi (16.2 psi for WRX STI). Proudly displaying an S209 serial number plate, the enhanced BOXER engine utilizes forged pistons and connecting rods that are both lighter and stronger. Midrange torque, too, gets a notable bump, up 10 percent at 3,600 rpm, delivering higher corner exit speeds when driving on track.
      For ultimate driver engagement, the S209 comes exclusively with a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission that routes power to a full-time Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system with front/rear limited-slip differentials, a Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD), Active Torque Vectoring and Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control. A recalibrated SI-Drive system offers three modes: Intelligent (I) for improved fuel economy and smoother power control; Sport (S) for optimized power balance between response and control; and Sport Sharp (S#) for achieving the best acceleration times. STI engineers recommend Sport over Sport Sharp for circuit driving, as the less aggressive throttle map allows for greater driver control.
      To feed more air to the EJ25, the S209 uses a high-flow intake system featuring a new intake duct, induction box with conical air filter, silicone turbo inlet duct and, a nod from the 2004-07 WRX STI, an intercooler water spray system that lowers intercooler temperature via manually operated steering-wheel paddles. More air demands more fuel, so the S209 receives a new high-flow fuel pump, larger fuel injectors and an STI-tuned engine control module. High-performance mufflers deliver 17-percent less airflow resistance while larger hand-polished stainless-steel exhaust tips – 101mm in diameter – deliver aggressive appearance and acoustics.
      The S209 receives multiple tweaks to elevate it from other STI sedans. An STI badge replaces the traditional Subaru star cluster on the center of the D-shape steering wheel, which is wrapped in Ultrasuede® with silver stitching, a treatment that carries over to the lid of the center console storage box. An S209 serial number badge resides on the center console, and S209 badges adorn the passenger-side dash and the headrests of the Recaro® front bucket seats, which feature new silver-hued inserts. Outside, special S209 badges are affixed to the front grille and fenders as well as the rear decklid.
      Only around 200 units of the STI S209 will be built, earmarked exclusively for the U.S. Available exterior color/BBS wheel combinations will be WR Blue Pearl/gray wheels and Crystal White Pearl/gold wheels. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date in late 2019.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Three years after Kia introduced the world to the Telluride concept, the Korean automaker introduced the production model at the Detroit Auto Show.
      Kia hasn't changed much in the Telluride's design. It retains the concept's boxy shape with an upright windshield, and stacked headlights. The interior is quite modern in its looks with a wide and flat dash, and brushed metal and matte-finished wood trim. A 10.25-inch touchscreen featuring the newest version of Kia's UVO infotainment system. There will be seating for up to eight passengers.
      Power is the same as you'll find in the sister Hyundai Palisade; a 3.8L V6 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and the choice front- or all-wheel drive. Six drive modes (Eco, Smart, Comfort, Sport, Snow, and AWD Lock) vary the power-split between the front and rear axles (Ranging from 100 percent power going to the front wheels to equal split).
      Safety features include Blind Spot, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Smart Cruise Control, Surround View Monitor, Forward Collision Warning, and a head-up display. Rear occupant alert (similar to GM's rear seat alert) will alert you if you left a passenger in the back. Safe Exit Assist will lock the rear doors if the vehicle detects an object approaching from behind.
      No word on pricing, but the 2020 Telluride will be available in LX, EX, S, and SX trims. It will arrive at dealers next year.
      Gallery: 2020 Kia Telluride
      Source: Kia


      ALL-NEW 2020 KIA TELLURIDE OFFERS RUGGED LUXURY
      Big, Bold and Boxy, New Midsize SUV is Made for Adventures Largest Kia ever provides comfortable seating for up to eight occupants (includes the driver) Potent 3.8-liter GDI V6 with 291 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque Powerful exterior design and premium, well-appointed interior Loaded with technology to enhance comfort, convenience, utility and the driver and passenger experience DETROIT, January 14, 2019 – Large, bold, capable and comfortable, the midsize Telluride SUV opens the door to exploring in a whole new way. Imagined in America, designed at Kia’s design studio in California, and assembled in Georgia1, the Telluride is all about big skies, desert roads, mountain passes, shady forests, smooth highways, and long coastal drives. The largest Kia ever, it provides comfortable seating for up to eight, a powerful 291-hp 3.8-liter V6, available active on-demand all-wheel drive2, and an inspiring view of the world.  In short, the Telluride offers potential for exploration and adventure every time it’s on the road.
      Designed in America for America
      Telluride is the first Kia designed specifically for the U.S. and is a product of the Kia Design Center in Irvine, CA. From the first pencil stroke it was meant to convey the kind of presence associated with the original legendary SUVs – big, bold and boxy – and the go-anywhere, do-anything attitude their square, burly-shouldered shapes suggested. The Telluride’s sophisticated exterior accents also hint at its interior luxury. Main design cues include:
      Long, broad hood and wide grille Bold, stacked headlamps convey power and stability Upright windshield and clean side profile conveys muscular tension Inverted “L” tail lamps with LED stripes (standard on EX and SX trims) Elongated nameplates on the leading edge of the hood and on the liftgate provide distinctive identity for flagship SUV Sculpted rear skid plate with integrated twin exhaust tips reference  off-road ability and power (standard on S, EX and SX trims) The Telluride interior is designed to continue the impression of upscale exploration:
      Grab handles integrated into the center console suggest journeys off the beaten path Wide console with emphasis on the horizontal through artistic use of premium trim features to convey spaciousness  - more “luxe living room” than “utility vehicle” Spacious cabin for generous hip, shoulder, leg and head room, including in the third row Engineered to be Confident and Capable
      Telluride is engineered to be capable in a variety of driving conditions and provide a driving experience that is enjoyable and confidence-inspiring. Among the many factors that contribute to the Telluride’s composed ride and performance:
      Atkinson Cycle LAMBDA II 3.8L V6 GDI engine producing 291 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 262 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,200 rpm 8-speed automatic transmission Four-wheel independent suspension Strong, stiff, and torsionally rigid body structure due to the monocoque shell that is composed of 59.4 percent advanced high-strength steel Self-leveling rear suspension. Ride height is automatically calibrated depending on vehicle load to optimize control and stability (optional on EX and SX) Choice of four drive modes – Smart, Eco, Sport and Comfort – each using different settings for powertrain, drivetrain, and steering effort mapping to provide the desired driving experience.  In addition to the four regular drive modes, drivers can select from two different settings, Snow and AWD Lock, for specific driving conditions.  Available active on-demand all-wheel drive2 helps provide enhanced driving performance by actively distributing torque between front and rear wheels depending on road conditions and driver input. The system utilizes electro-hydraulic AWD coupling to precisely activate the multi-plate clutch plate, constantly redistributing the amount of power transferred to the front and rear wheels. During normal driving, power is distributed according to the drive mode selected. “Eco” and “Smart” modes deliver 100 percent power to the front wheels. “Comfort” and “Snow” modes deliver 80 percent power to the front wheels and 20 percent to rear. Sport mode splits the power 65-35 percent between front and back. “Lock” mode delivers power evenly to all four wheels Standard towing rated up to 5,000 pounds3 Downhill Brake Control (DBC)4 maintains a controlled descent on steep roads TELLURIDE TECH – BELLS AND WHISTLES GALORE     
      As Kia’s flagship SUV, the Telluride can be outfitted with an array of advanced technology and driver-assistance systems. The following is a list of the available features that are firsts for any Kia SUV. These are in addition to the long list of tech and ADAS features listed under the “Brimming with Technology” section of this release below. Please see that section for complete descriptions.
      Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist Rear (BCA-R) Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist (RCCA) Lane Following Assist (LFA) Safe Exit Assist (SEA) Highway Driving Assist (HDA) Head-Up Display (HUD) Driver Talk Quiet Mode Rear Occupant Alert Born for Adventure in Luxury
      Planning the Telluride interior, Kia designers set out to create an upscale cabin with an abundance of premium materials, attention to detail, and an array of convenient features including:
      Available double-stitched, quilted and extra-padded Nappa leather trim upholstery Simulated brushed metal and matte-finished wood Interior hooks to keep packs and bags off floor and away from feet Available heated and ventilated first- and second-row seats Ceiling-mounted second-row climate control HVAC diffusing ceiling vents provide wider spread of airflow for increased comfort Reclining third-row seats5 Leather-wrapped, tilt and telescoping steering wheel Available heated steering wheel Brimming with Technology — Advanced Connectivity, Safety Features, and Driver Assistance Systems
      Telluride is packed with high-tech, advanced automotive technology, including the “Kia Drive Wise” suite of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems, and a long list of standard and optional equipment, highlights of which are listed below:
      Available 10.25-inch color touchscreen6 with rear view monitor7 and parking guidance Available 630-watt, 10-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system (AM/FM/SiriusXM8) with  Quantum Logic9 Surround Sound and Clari-Fi10 Apple CarPlay11 and Android Auto12 Available wireless smartphone charging13 Available six total USB charging ports – two in each row. Five ports is standard Available multi-Bluetooth wireless connectivity14 allows two phones to connect simultaneously 7 airbags15 (dual front advanced air bags, dual front seat-mounted side air bags, side curtain air bags with rollover sensor, driver's side knee air bag) Vehicle Safety Systems16 Antilock braking Vehicle stability management Downhill brake control Electronic stability control Hill-start assist control Tire pressure monitoring system “Kia Drive Wise” Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS)17 Forward Collision Warning (FCW) Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist  with pedestrian detection (FCA) High Beam Assist (HBA) (available) Lane Departure Warning (LDW) Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist-Rear (BCA-R)  Blind Spot View Monitor (BVM) (available) Driver Attention Warning (DAW)18 Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) Parking Distance Warning – Forward (available) and Reverse Surround View Monitor (SVM)19 (available) Highway Driving Assist (HDA)20: Uses radar systems to interpret lane markings so the vehicle can control steering, acceleration and braking to automatically adjust distance from the vehicle detected ahead. HDA is also designed to recognize speed limits on federal highways and adjust speed accordingly (available) Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist Rear (BCA-R): A camera is designed to track vehicle lane changes and, if it detects an object in the intended path, the BCA-R system applies brake pressure to the front wheel of the opposite side to help maintain the previous course Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist (RCCA): An extension of Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW), RCCA may apply brakes if an impending impact is detected Lane Following Assist (LFA): When Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go is activated, LFA is designed to monitor lane markings to help keep the Telluride centered in its lane Safe Exit Assist (SEA)21: In certain situations, if the system detects an object approaching from the rear, SEA will override attempts to deactivate Electronic Child Safety Lock until the detected object has passed Head-Up Display22: Added information makes this system especially useful. Provides turn-by-turn navigation, speed and local speed limits, smart cruise control and blind-spot warnings (available) Driver Talk: Uses a microphone to enhance communication with second- and third-row passengers (available) Quiet Mode: Cuts audio output in second and third row so the audio choices of the front occupants are only heard in that row (available) Rear Occupant Alert23: Uses ultrasonic sensors designed to detect child or pet movement in the second and third row after the car’s doors have been locked and then can issue audible alerts to the driver Telluride is equipped with the UVO24 telematics system featuring an embedded modem that allows Telluride drivers to monitor and control a number of vehicle operations, including: Remote start and door lock (standard) Pre-condition the vehicle cabin temperature prior to use (only on EX and SX trims)25 “Send-to-Car” points of interest (POI) and waypoints: If the vehicle is equipped with navigation, owners will be able to plan a road trip remotely and send it to the navigation system Rear Occupant Alert26: Uses sensors designed to detect a passenger in the rear cabin. If a rear passenger is detected and the driver leaves the vehicle, the vehicle will follow a series of steps to notify the driver, initially through a vehicle cluster message, and then through vehicle alarm initiation and subsequent SMS/Push message to the owner’s smart phone if they are enrolled through the UVO app Assembled in America
      Telluride will be assembled at Kia’s manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia (KMMG) alongside certain trims of the Sorento and Optima. When it goes on sale this year (pricing will be announced near the on-sale date), Telluride will be available in four trims, LX, EX, S and SX with a choice of front-wheel or optional all-wheel drive.

      View full article
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