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    Are You The Hyundai Elantra Coupe? *UPDATED*

    Back in June, we reported Hyundai was planning a coupe version of the Elantra to be shown at this month’s LA Auto Show. Well, someone at Automotive.com caught some pictures of what is presumed to be the Elantra coupe.
    At first, it looks like a Honda Civic coupe wearing some covers. But look a little closer and you’ll begin to notice swoopy roofline and the wheels borrowed from the Veloster, telling you this is a Hyundai. The doors on this mule have been extended and roofline goes further down then the sedan.
    No details have been released regarding the coupe’s engine, transmission or price tag. It’s assumed the sedan’s 1.8L 148 HP four-cylinder lives under the hood and will come with the same set of standard features as the sedan.
    We’ll find out more when the Elantra coupe is shown next week at the LA Auto Show. at the Chicago Auto Show in February.
    Source: Automotive.com
    UPDATE: Hyundai has confirmed the Elantra Coupe is coming, but we will not see it until the Chicago Auto Show in February. Also, Hyundai has announced a five-door version of the Elantra is coming sometime in 2013.

    Rumorpile: Jaguar Returning To FWD?

    The last time Jaguar did a front wheel drive car, the result was the X-Type sedan and wagon which became one of the least reliable vehicles on the road. Well, Jaguar is giving front wheel a second chance.
    According to Autocar, Jaguar is working on a new front wheel drive model for the Chinese, Indian, and US markets. The reason for the FWD plans is due to new CAFE regulations coming down in 2016. The FWD Jaguar would help the automaker meet the 35.5 MPG requirement.
    The model would be powered by a new three-cylinder and a range of four-cylinder engines going through eight and nine-speed automatic transmissions. Also, the model will most likely use aluminum throughout the frame and body panels, keeping it’s weight down.
    The small Jaguar will be joining a growing group of premium compact-cars which include the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Audi A3 sedan.
    The new Jaguar is expected to come out sometime in 2015.
    Source: Autocar

    2012 Honda CR-V Spied without Camo ahead of LA

    November 10th 2011 - Drew Dowdell CheersandGears.com
    The 2012 Honda CR-V was spied without camo just days before its official unveiling at the LA AutoShow. Power train rumors include a new 201 horsepower 2.5 liter 4-cylinder with 177 ft-lb of torque as a optional engine while the existing 2.4 will the base model and drop from 180 horsepower to 175. The transmission will remain a 5-speed model like the current Civic.
    Honda claims that its recent troubles with parts supply from a flooded Taiwan will not effect the CR-V launch as it has with the Civic.

    Lincoln Teases New Design Language

    A couple days ago, Lincoln posted this teaser on their facebook page, showing what’s in store for their design language. Lincoln says their new styling direction will be "forward-looking and more elegantly crafted," and will make an appearance at the LA Auto Show with the new MKS and MKT.
    It’s not surprising we’re seeing these models at LA as we have seen the refreshed Ford Taurus and Flex. Sources inside Lincoln say the two vehicles will differentiate from their Ford brethren by upgrades in the suspension, steering, and powertrains.
    Source: Lincoln

    Spying: Chevrolet Sliverado/GMC Sierra

    The current Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra are getting shown up by Ford’s F-Series and Ram truck lineup with their improved interiors, ride, and powertrains. But GM is busy at work on the next generation pickup to steal back some of the spotlight.
    This week, Inside Line got some spy shots of the new Sliverado/Sierra undergoing some testing. The biggest difference between the current trucks and the one featured in the pictures is a new greenhouse. Also, the truck looks to sporting more cues from the current GM HD trucks with it’s larger front end and less rounded shape.
    Also, the new trucks are expected to be 500 lbs less than the current Siverado/Sierra.
    Source: Inside Line

    Lexus Shows The HS250h The Door

    Lexus’ HS250h hasn’t been meeting expectations since being introduced back in 2009. Through 2011, Lexus has only sold 2,383 HS250hs, a drop of 72.8% from last year.
    Because of this, Lexus is showing the HS250h the door and is replacing it with another model. Ward’s Auto is reporting the new model will be positioned towards the younger crowd and not towards people moving on up from a Toyota Prius. Also, the new model will be priced much lower than the HS250h which has a base price around $37,030 ($3,495 more than a base Lexus IS.)
    Source: Ward’s Auto (Subscription Required)

    Revealed! 2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer Concept

    Revealed! 2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer Concept



    By "black-knight" C&G Editor/Reporter



    9th November, 2011





    Dinosaurs. Sabre-Toothed Tigers. Megalodons. Cheap V8-powered, mid-sized muscle coupes. Large, rear-drive Cadillacs. Truck-based mid-sized SUVs. These are all things that have wound up extinct or virtually endangered to the point of complete extinction.
    But once in a rare while, sometimes a species can save itself and rise triumphantly from the point of sinking completely into the primordial ooze (organic, automotive, or otherwise). Out of the groups mentioned above, one may just do that.
    Of course, I'm talking about truck-based mid-sized SUVs and one small, Bowtie-based faction of the species may be making a small comeback.
    As we reported last month, the new Trailblazer reconnects with its old S10 Blazer roots and forsakes a unique platform this time, instead choosing to share it with the new Colorado. Nostalgic indeed. Powertrains are expected to be the same as what will be offered in the Colorado.
    Previously, GM has stated there are no current plans to bring the new Trailblazer Stateside, which means it will only see duty in Asia and South America. However, there are rumblings it may eventually find its way here, if not in Chevrolet guise then as a GMC. However it gets here doesn't matter. What's important is that shows up to throw a big middle finger in the face of CAFE (and smug Prius driving women).
    More information on the new Trailblazer will be released throughout the day, so stay tuned.
    Source: Car Adivce
    More Photos:
    Album: 2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer Concept
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    LA 2011: Buick LaCrosse GL Concept

    Buick is going a different route with their showing at the LA Auto Show next week. Instead of going all out with a swoopy, futuristic design that can run on unicorn farts, they're showing a plush version of the Buick LaCrosse, called the LaCrosse GL.
    On the outside, Buick has dressed the GL in a luscious red complimented by brushed and tinted chrome on the grill, door handles, and rear deck. The satin-finished twenty-inch wheels borrowed from the Regal GS finish the exterior.
    Inside, Buick fitted French-stitched leather in contrasting dark cocoa brown and caramel chocochino for the doors, dash, and seats. The headliner is finished in a chocochino suede while the dash, steering wheel, and door panels get bespoke wood trim.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    LaCrosse GL Concept Refines Buick’s Signature Style



    Elegant forms, warm hues and inviting materials preview possible design direction


    LOS ANGELES – When designers set out to capture the essence of Buick luxury for the LaCrosse GL concept vehicle, they looked to the fine cuisine, heirloom objects and enriching experiences the brand’s customers savor. The design study is on display at the L.A. Auto Show through Nov. 17.
    Buick’s color and trim designers worked from a palette of cabernet red, dark cocoa brown and caramel chocochino. They took inspiration from the burnished metal of antique jewelry, ombré patina on vintage guitars and flocked lining of keepsake boxes. For GL’s French-stitched premium leather seats, the designers looked to the understated elegance of classic club chairs and contours of windswept sand dunes. And their use of smooth suede for the headliner is designed to invite one’s touch like a favorite pair of gloves.
    “The LaCrosse GL concept expresses Buick’s distinctly human kind of luxury – one that is as warmly inviting as it is elegant and refined,” said David Lyon, executive director of design. “The design cues that already distinguish the production LaCrosse – such as the premium leather-upholstered seats, ice blue ambient lighting and soft touch surfaces – are amplified in the GL and serve as inspiration for future Buick models.”
    LaCrosse GL’s cabernet red exterior paint is complemented by brushed and tinted chrome accents on the grille, door handles and deck lid, as well as around the windows, taillights and headlights. Machine-face, satin-finish 20-inch rims fill the wheel wells for a firmly planted appearance.
    “The brushed-and-tinted chrome trim gives the GL a more subdued appearance than if we had used bright chrome. The overall effect is more in keeping with Buick’s quietly confident aesthetic,” said Magdalena Kokoszynska, creative designer on LaCrosse GL.
    Open the GL’s doors and backlit Buick-emblazoned sill plates invite one to enter like illuminated welcome mats.
    Take a seat and one is ensconced in luxury, enveloped by flowing sculptural surfaces finished in a rich blend of warm-hued materials. They offer soft-touch refinement and surprise-and-delight details. The seats, doors and instrument panel surfaces are finished in contrasting dark cocoa brown and caramel chocochino leather. The seat cushions’ pillowed surfaces evoke windswept sand dunes, and the ice-blue French stitching along their seams harmonize with Buick’s signature ambient lighting.
    Overhead, one finds a rich chocochino suede headliner – a material and usage rarely seen in anything but the most luxurious automotive interiors. This butter-soft material also accents the steering wheel, inviting one’s touch.
    Like the GL’s exterior trim pieces, the interior metal accents on the instrument cluster and center stack controls are a darker, warmer hue, and are complemented by the swirling grain of wood trim on the steering wheel and dash that evokes the ombré patina fade found on classic Gibson Les Paul guitars.
    Attention to detail also is evident underfoot, where leather-surged and accent-stitched floor mats offer further refinement. Likewise, the storage compartments are flocked like the interior of a jewel box.
    “Every surface in the interior of the LaCrosse GL has been crafted with the knowledge that Buick customers enjoy the finer things in life, but don’t need to flaunt it,” Kokoszynska said.

    Ladies & Gents, I Give You The Cadillac XTS

    The picture you see here is the brand new 2013 Cadillac XTS. The picture was accidentally posted on Cadillac's home page today before being taken off. Luckily, a reader from Jalopnik captured the picture for all of us to see. Since then, Cadillac has confirmed this will be the XTS we see next week at the LA Auto Show.
    The production model is almost a carbon copy of the XTS Platinum concept shown at last year's Detroit Auto Show, with a different design for head and foglights. The XTS will also have Cadillac's new CUE infotainment system.
    Source: Jalopnik
    Edit: GM has since officially released the XTS photograph. I've updated the photo in this article with the GM Media supplied one - DD

    Chrysler Puts A Hold On Their Dual Clutch Transmission

    Last year, Chrysler announced that the 2012 Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger would be equipped with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission from parent company Fiat. One year later, Chrysler has dropped the idea to put a dual-clutch transmission for now.
    "We were concerned about the refinement and how the American customers might perceive the transmission," said Chrysler Spokesperson, Vince Muniga.
    Muniga also said the decision was made in the summer and will "look for other future products" to put it in for the North American market.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    Hyundai Slips Two Pictures Of 2013 Genesis Coupe

    The Korean-language Hyundai company blog has released two pictures of the new 2013 Genesis coupe due out at the North American International Auto Show in January. The pictures show the coupe falling into line with Hyundai’s design language.
    The front end borrows some design cues from the new Veloster with its complex front fascia. Front headlights are more stylized to the vehicle and and LED fog lights nestled low in the front give the coupe a touch of class. Around back, the taillights have also been changed.
    Source: Autoblog, Carscoop
    Edit: Carscoop has gotten it's hand on more pictures of the South Korean specification Genesis coupe which show more of exterior and interior. Also, the pictures confirm that the 3.8L V6 from Genesis sedan will make it's way into the coupe.

    Nissan Announces The NV3500HD Passenger Van

    Nissan is showing no signs of letting up in the full size van market. Currently, the Japanese automaker offers three different versions of their NV Cargo vans, the NV1500, NV2500HD, and NV3500HD.
    Now, Nissan will be offering a NV Van for passengers. The Nissan NV3500HD Passenger Van was announced today. The van which is based on the NV3500HD can seat twelve people via four rows of seats. Those four rows can also allow the seating arrangement to be configured in 324 ways.
    Powering the Nissan NV3500HD Passenger Van is either a 4.0L DOHC 24-valve V6 with 261 HP and 281 lb-ft of torque and a DOHC 32-valve V8 with 317 HP and 385 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come with variable valve timing and a 5-speed automatic transmission.
    The van also comes with a long option list including the capabilities to have a mobile office and electronic goodies you would find on a normal passenger car.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    NISSAN ANNOUNCES NEW NV PASSENGER VAN WITH ENHANCED USABILITY, SAFETY AND COMFORT; SET TO DEBUT IN SPRING 2012


    – NV3500 HD Joins Innovative Nissan NV Commercial Vans in Providing Dependability, Durability and Style, Along With a Low Cost of Ownership –
    Just one year after its entry into the commercial vehicle business in North America with the segment-changing Nissan NV commercial van series, Nissan is expanding the lineup with the debut in spring 2012 of a new NV3500 HD Passenger Van. Offered for both personal and fleet use, the 4-row/12-passenger Nissan NV3500 HD features the most flexible seating configurations in the full-size passenger van segment, along with one of the highest standard horsepower and torque ratings.
    “Just as we did prior to shaking up the commercial van category with the highly innovative Nissan NV, we first did our homework in the full-size van segment by studying the real-world needs, wants and desires of both families and fleet operators,” said Joe Castelli, vice president, Commercial Vehicles and Fleet, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). “As a result, we’re delivering a vehicle that offers everything owners are looking for – enhanced usability, driver and passenger comfort, flexible storage, dependability, durability and an affordable cost of ownership. Then we’ve topped it all off with signature Nissan style, performance and value.”
    The 2012 Nissan NV3500 HD Passenger Van will be offered in a choice of two engines, a 261-horsepower DOHC 24-valve 4.0-liter V6 with 281 lb-ft of torque or a 317-horsepower DOHC 32-valve V8 with 385 lb-ft of torque. Both engines include Nissan’s Continuous Valve Timing Control (C-VTC) for improved efficiency and are matched with a refined, heavy-duty 5-speed automatic transmission. The Nissan NV3500 HD Passenger Van is built on a foundation of a rugged fully boxed ladder frame with independent front strut/solid rear axle with rigid leaf springs suspension, heavy-duty disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and engine-speed-sensitive power steering. Also standard is a 28-gallon fuel tank.
    In addition, the Nissan NV3500 features SUV-like maneuverability and easy access for serviceability due to its pickup truck-like front engine/full hood design.
    “First and foremost, as we’ve learned through more than 75 years of Nissan global commercial vehicle experience, you have to start with a durable, dependable workhorse platform and highest quality components,” explained Castelli. “These vehicles go through more use and abuse in a year than regular passenger vehicles experience in a lifetime, so that was a priority. Then we turned our team of innovators loose on the usability and comfort aspects.”
    As a result, the Nissan NV3500 HD Passenger Van more than delivers on every key area of customer input, including:
    Safety – integrated seat belts for all rear seating positions; standard headrests for all seating positions; and segment-exclusive standard side curtain air bags for all four rows of passengers
    Seating flexibility – 12-person seating capacity with up to 324 possible seat configurations; large 1st row seats to optimize comfort, completely removable and repositionable 2nd and 3rd row seats; 50/50-split 4th row seat than can be partially or completely removed as needed
    Mobile office support – large center console with storage for laptop computer and charger, business cards, hanging files, pens and paper; available 120V outlets; seat wear patch; fold-down front passenger seat with underseat storage; no engine intrusion into the cabin area
    Enhanced utility – low step-in height, easy ingress and egress without intrusive seat belts (integrated into rear seats); wide door openings; rear 50/50-split French doors with 243? rear opening
    Comfort and convenience – rear HVAC system, available personal lamps for 2nd, 3rd and 4th rows; rear cargo lamp behind 4th row; available 3rd row 12V outlet; numerous cupholders and bottle holders
    Technology – available navigation system, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, telematics pre-wiring, XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately); and integrated rear view camera
    Modern style – Nissan truck twin strut signature grille; pickup truck style front end design; large windows with privacy glass; styled-steel 17-inch wheels
    “The Nissan NV3500 HD’s styling is professional and rugged outside, and completely passenger-focused inside,” said Castelli. “While you want to feel assured that there is room for all your luggage, for example, you don’t want to be treated like a piece of cargo inside. We’ve found a great balance between functionality and comfort that we believe sets the new benchmark in class.”
    Three Well-Equipped Models
    Designed to be affordable and to stand up to the abuse that full-size passenger vans face everyday, the new Nissan NV3500 HD is available in a range of models and option packages to fit a range of owner needs and uses.
    The 2012 Nissan NV3500 HD is offered in three well-equipped models, the NV3500 HD S, the NV3500 HD SV, and NV3500 HD SL (V8 engine only).
    A number of option packages are offered, including a Power Basic Package (S models only), with power windows and door locks; a Tow Package (V8 only), with extendable heated outside mirrors and Class-IV receiver hitch, wiring and heavy duty battery; the Power Basic Package + Tow Package (S-grade V8 only); and the Technology Package with Rear Camera (SV and SL only), featuring XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately), 5-inch touch-screen SD navigation system, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System (standard on SL-grade) and RearView Monitor.
    The new Nissan NV3500 HD will be manufactured in Canton, Mississippi and available through a select network of certified Nissan Commercial Vehicle dealers nationwide. For updates and more information, please go to www.nissancommercialvehicles.com.

    Ford Flex Gets Funkier For LA Auto Show

    Ford is going towards a more funky look for the refreshed Flex Crossover making its debut at the LA Auto Show next week.
    The front end gets a a more rounded fascia, new headlights, grill treatment, and Flex lettering on the hood. Around back, the Flex gets a revised tailgate.
    Inside, the Flex gets a new dash and instrument cluster that includes the lastest version of MyFordTouch. Other interior changes include pushbutton start, rain sensing wipers and the addition of more safety features including optional rear inflatable seatbelts and a good amount of collision-avoidance technologies.
    Powertrains for the 2013 Flex include a more powerful 3.5L V6 packing 20 more horsepower for 285. Mileage also improves for the 3.5L with the FWD model getting 18/25 mpg (city/highway) and the AWD model getting 17/24 mpg . The optional 3.5L twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 stays the same.
    The 2013 Flex arrives at your local Ford dealer next spring.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    New Ford Flex Brings More Technology, Better Fuel Economy, Modern Sophistication to Seven-Passenger Crossover


    The latest three-row, seven-passenger Ford Flex offers comfort and advanced technology in a distinctive package, including sleek new front end and modern interior
    New Flex features the latest MyFord Touch® system, new safety and driver-aid features such as adaptive cruise control, Ford’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) as well as push- button start, rear inflatable belts, rain-sensing wipers and active park assist
    Under the hood, Flex is equipped with a standard 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 that delivers 20 more horsepower and projected 1 mpg better fuel economy, or the popular and fuel-efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine

    DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 8, 2011 – Fans of the Ford Flex have even more to love next year with an upgraded model with a sleek new look and even more technology to make driving safer, easier and more fuel-efficient.
    “Flex appeals to people who want to stand out from the crowd and has the highest retention rate of any vehicle in the Ford lineup,” said Mark Fields, president of The Americas. “With technologies not found in other full-size utilities, even better fuel economy and a more modern, sophisticated look, we’re offering people even more reasons to choose Flex with the new model.”
    The seven-passenger, three-row crossover – which debuts at the Los Angeles Auto Show this month – comes equipped with the new generation of MyFord Touch, rear inflatable belts, collision-avoidance technologies, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry, first-row heated and cooled seats, power-fold mirrors and an optional new Appearance Package. Plus, the base 3.5-liter engine is projected to deliver 1 mpg better fuel economy on the highway and in the city, with 20 more horsepower.
    Enhanced technology
    The new Flex features SYNC® with the new generation of MyFord Touch®, making it easier to manage information, control features and adjust settings.
    “We’ve listened to our customers and have improved what they love about MyFord Touch,” said Kenneth Williams, systems integration engineer. “In this upgrade, the screens have a cleaner, clearer display. The words on the screens are larger and easier to read, the pressable areas on the screen look more like buttons, and we have made the functions clearer for faster navigation.
    “What separates MyFord Touch is that there are multiple ways for customers to manage and control what they want through voice commands, menus accessed through the steering wheel controls, touch screen, buttons or knobs – whatever they prefer.”
    MyFord Touch includes two 4.2-inch screens in the instrument cluster and an eight-inch screen in the center stack. The feature pairs with the latest version of SYNC.
    The base SYNC package includes:
    Hands-free, voice-activated calling via a Bluetooth®-connected mobile phone or USB-connected digital music player
    911 Assist™, the automated emergency calling service that is free for the life of the vehicle
    Vehicle Health Report, the on-demand diagnostic and maintenance information service

    Enhanced safety and driver-aid technology
    The new Flex is equipped with the automotive world’s first production rear inflatable belts to offer improved comfort and protection for rear seat passengers. Last month, this safety innovation was named a Breakthrough Product Award winner by Popular Mechanics, part of the magazine’s seventh annual Breakthrough Awards.
    The advanced restraint system is designed to help reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear seat passengers, often children and older passengers who can be more vulnerable to such injuries.
    Advances in airbag inflation and safety belt construction methods have enabled Ford and its suppliers to develop inflatable seat belts that are designed to deploy over a vehicle occupant’s torso and shoulder in 40 milliseconds in the event of a crash.
    The new second-row belts operate like traditional safety belts in everyday use and inflate when sensors indicate a collision event. Each belt’s tubular airbag inflates with cold compressed gas, which flows through a specially designed buckle from a cylinder housed below the seat.
    The new Flex also boasts available radar-enabled adaptive cruise control (ACC) and collision warning with brake support and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert. These technologies help drivers avoid potential accidents using radar to detect the relative position of other vehicles and warn the driver with a combination of visual and audio alerts.
    The ACC technology uses advanced radar to scan for vehicles in front of Flex at 20 times per second. The sensor can detect vehicles up to 150 yards away and detect speed changes as small as ¼ mph. When the system is activated, it functions like normal cruise control with the exception of being able to slow down the car when vehicles in front are detected to be slowing down. When traffic has cleared, the vehicle resumes the set speed. Four distance settings accommodate a range of driving styles and road conditions. The driver can set distance, speed and the time gap between vehicles.
    Fuel economy bolstered by engines, technologies
    Under the hood, Flex’s new base engine delivers even more efficiency and performance with the addition of twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to the 3.5-liter V6.
    The upgraded 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine provides 285 horsepower – an approximate 20 horsepower increase from the previous engine – and 255 lb.-ft. of torque. The new Flex also is projected to deliver 1 mpg more fuel economy, with projected fuel economy of 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
    This efficient V6 allows precise, variable control of valve overlap, or the window of time in which both the intake and exhaust valves in an engine are open at the same time. By adjusting overlap continuously, the engine can operate at optimum settings for peak fuel economy or peak power output as conditions demand.
    The popular 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 remains on the new Flex, bringing the fuel economy of V6 engines with all-wheel-drive capability and V8-like performance of 355 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque.
    A key contributor to EcoBoost fuel efficiency is direct injection of gasoline. This system precisely delivers a fine mist of fuel directly into each cylinder for optimal performance, economy and emissions.
    EcoBoost engines are fundamental to the Ford strategy of providing technologically advanced, high-output, smaller-displacement powertrains that deliver exceptional fuel economy and uncompromised performance for millions of drivers around the world. By 2013, more than 90 percent of Ford’s North American lineup will be available with EcoBoost technology. Ford holds more than 125 patents on its EcoBoost engine technology.
    Both engines are mated to a six-speed SelectShift Automatic® transmission.
    The SelectShift advanced gearbox offers the driver a choice between fully automatic operation and manual control. With SelectShift with EcoBoost, paddle shifters are integrated into the steering wheel spokes. Intuitive to operate, a squeeze back on either paddle will deliver an upshift, while a gentle push forward on either paddle will induce a matched-rev downshift. SelectShift won’t second-guess the driver with an override shift; manual control is truly manually controlled. The thumb shift is new for 2013 with the standard engine models.
    Both engines also are made more efficient with EPAS (electric power-assisted steering). EPAS improves fuel economy approximately 4 percent and reduces emissions while improving steering performance primarily because the steering system is powered by an electric motor connected to the vehicle’s battery, instead of engine-mounted hydraulic pump steering systems.
    In addition, the new Flex’s battery management system operates the vehicle’s power supply system in a more economical manner to save fuel. The system:
    Allows the alternator and system voltage to be controlled based on battery condition, vehicle operating state and electrical load status
    Provides feedback to the vehicle regarding battery condition for active load management and battery diagnostics
    Monitors battery temperature (higher voltage in lower temperatures, lower voltage in higher temperatures), extending the battery life

    Fresh new look, touches – inside and out
    Flex’s new front end rounds out the previously boxy edges, creating more visual harmony between the front and the rest of the vehicle. The signature Ford blue oval has been removed from the front, which now solely bears the Flex badge.
    In the rear, Flex now has standard dual exhaust and available rear appliqué.
    Inside the Flex customers will find a modern, sophisticated driver zone with new clusters, steering wheel and electronic finish panels, as well as new seat trim and foam.
    Class-exclusives include the available second-row refrigerated console and the latest generation of MyFord Touch with SYNC.
    Appearance Package and paint, wheel choices
    Also new is an Appearance Package on Limited and SEL models that includes an available two-tone roof and mirrors, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets, leather seats, unique door trim panels and other interior upgrades for a truly distinctive, premium look and feel.
    The new Flex comes in nine exterior colors, including three new colors for the 2013 model year: Ruby Red, Deep Impact Blue and Kodiak Brown. Customers also can choose from body-color roofs, or two-tone with white, gray or black available on the Appearance Package.
    Six wheel styles are available for Flex as well.
    Production
    The Ford Flex is built at Oakville Assembly Complex in Ontario, Canada.New Ford Flex Brings More Technology, Better Fuel Economy, Modern Sophistication to Seven-Passenger Crossover

    The latest three-row, seven-passenger Ford Flex offers comfort and advanced technology in a distinctive package, including sleek new front end and modern interior
    New Flex features the latest MyFord Touch® system, new safety and driver-aid features such as adaptive cruise control, Ford’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) as well as push- button start, rear inflatable belts, rain-sensing wipers and active park assist
    Under the hood, Flex is equipped with a standard 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 that delivers 20 more horsepower and projected 1 mpg better fuel economy, or the popular and fuel-efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine

    DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 8, 2011 – Fans of the Ford Flex have even more to love next year with an upgraded model with a sleek new look and even more technology to make driving safer, easier and more fuel-efficient.
    “Flex appeals to people who want to stand out from the crowd and has the highest retention rate of any vehicle in the Ford lineup,” said Mark Fields, president of The Americas. “With technologies not found in other full-size utilities, even better fuel economy and a more modern, sophisticated look, we’re offering people even more reasons to choose Flex with the new model.”
    The seven-passenger, three-row crossover – which debuts at the Los Angeles Auto Show this month – comes equipped with the new generation of MyFord Touch, rear inflatable belts, collision-avoidance technologies, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry, first-row heated and cooled seats, power-fold mirrors and an optional new Appearance Package. Plus, the base 3.5-liter engine is projected to deliver 1 mpg better fuel economy on the highway and in the city, with 20 more horsepower.
    Enhanced technology
    The new Flex features SYNC® with the new generation of MyFord Touch®, making it easier to manage information, control features and adjust settings.
    “We’ve listened to our customers and have improved what they love about MyFord Touch,” said Kenneth Williams, systems integration engineer. “In this upgrade, the screens have a cleaner, clearer display. The words on the screens are larger and easier to read, the pressable areas on the screen look more like buttons, and we have made the functions clearer for faster navigation.
    “What separates MyFord Touch is that there are multiple ways for customers to manage and control what they want through voice commands, menus accessed through the steering wheel controls, touch screen, buttons or knobs – whatever they prefer.”
    MyFord Touch includes two 4.2-inch screens in the instrument cluster and an eight-inch screen in the center stack. The feature pairs with the latest version of SYNC.
    The base SYNC package includes:
    Hands-free, voice-activated calling via a Bluetooth®-connected mobile phone or USB-connected digital music player
    911 Assist™, the automated emergency calling service that is free for the life of the vehicle
    Vehicle Health Report, the on-demand diagnostic and maintenance information service

    Enhanced safety and driver-aid technology
    The new Flex is equipped with the automotive world’s first production rear inflatable belts to offer improved comfort and protection for rear seat passengers. Last month, this safety innovation was named a Breakthrough Product Award winner by Popular Mechanics, part of the magazine’s seventh annual Breakthrough Awards.
    The advanced restraint system is designed to help reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear seat passengers, often children and older passengers who can be more vulnerable to such injuries.
    Advances in airbag inflation and safety belt construction methods have enabled Ford and its suppliers to develop inflatable seat belts that are designed to deploy over a vehicle occupant’s torso and shoulder in 40 milliseconds in the event of a crash.
    The new second-row belts operate like traditional safety belts in everyday use and inflate when sensors indicate a collision event. Each belt’s tubular airbag inflates with cold compressed gas, which flows through a specially designed buckle from a cylinder housed below the seat.
    The new Flex also boasts available radar-enabled adaptive cruise control (ACC) and collision warning with brake support and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert. These technologies help drivers avoid potential accidents using radar to detect the relative position of other vehicles and warn the driver with a combination of visual and audio alerts.
    The ACC technology uses advanced radar to scan for vehicles in front of Flex at 20 times per second. The sensor can detect vehicles up to 150 yards away and detect speed changes as small as ¼ mph. When the system is activated, it functions like normal cruise control with the exception of being able to slow down the car when vehicles in front are detected to be slowing down. When traffic has cleared, the vehicle resumes the set speed. Four distance settings accommodate a range of driving styles and road conditions. The driver can set distance, speed and the time gap between vehicles.
    Fuel economy bolstered by engines, technologies
    Under the hood, Flex’s new base engine delivers even more efficiency and performance with the addition of twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to the 3.5-liter V6.
    The upgraded 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine provides 285 horsepower – an approximate 20 horsepower increase from the previous engine – and 255 lb.-ft. of torque. The new Flex also is projected to deliver 1 mpg more fuel economy, with projected fuel economy of 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
    This efficient V6 allows precise, variable control of valve overlap, or the window of time in which both the intake and exhaust valves in an engine are open at the same time. By adjusting overlap continuously, the engine can operate at optimum settings for peak fuel economy or peak power output as conditions demand.
    The popular 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 remains on the new Flex, bringing the fuel economy of V6 engines with all-wheel-drive capability and V8-like performance of 355 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque.
    A key contributor to EcoBoost fuel efficiency is direct injection of gasoline. This system precisely delivers a fine mist of fuel directly into each cylinder for optimal performance, economy and emissions.
    EcoBoost engines are fundamental to the Ford strategy of providing technologically advanced, high-output, smaller-displacement powertrains that deliver exceptional fuel economy and uncompromised performance for millions of drivers around the world. By 2013, more than 90 percent of Ford’s North American lineup will be available with EcoBoost technology. Ford holds more than 125 patents on its EcoBoost engine technology.
    Both engines are mated to a six-speed SelectShift Automatic® transmission.
    The SelectShift advanced gearbox offers the driver a choice between fully automatic operation and manual control. With SelectShift with EcoBoost, paddle shifters are integrated into the steering wheel spokes. Intuitive to operate, a squeeze back on either paddle will deliver an upshift, while a gentle push forward on either paddle will induce a matched-rev downshift. SelectShift won’t second-guess the driver with an override shift; manual control is truly manually controlled. The thumb shift is new for 2013 with the standard engine models.
    Both engines also are made more efficient with EPAS (electric power-assisted steering). EPAS improves fuel economy approximately 4 percent and reduces emissions while improving steering performance primarily because the steering system is powered by an electric motor connected to the vehicle’s battery, instead of engine-mounted hydraulic pump steering systems.
    In addition, the new Flex’s battery management system operates the vehicle’s power supply system in a more economical manner to save fuel. The system:
    Allows the alternator and system voltage to be controlled based on battery condition, vehicle operating state and electrical load status
    Provides feedback to the vehicle regarding battery condition for active load management and battery diagnostics
    Monitors battery temperature (higher voltage in lower temperatures, lower voltage in higher temperatures), extending the battery life

    Fresh new look, touches – inside and out
    Flex’s new front end rounds out the previously boxy edges, creating more visual harmony between the front and the rest of the vehicle. The signature Ford blue oval has been removed from the front, which now solely bears the Flex badge.
    In the rear, Flex now has standard dual exhaust and available rear appliqué.
    Inside the Flex customers will find a modern, sophisticated driver zone with new clusters, steering wheel and electronic finish panels, as well as new seat trim and foam.
    Class-exclusives include the available second-row refrigerated console and the latest generation of MyFord Touch with SYNC.
    Appearance Package and paint, wheel choices
    Also new is an Appearance Package on Limited and SEL models that includes an available two-tone roof and mirrors, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets, leather seats, unique door trim panels and other interior upgrades for a truly distinctive, premium look and feel.
    The new Flex comes in nine exterior colors, including three new colors for the 2013 model year: Ruby Red, Deep Impact Blue and Kodiak Brown. Customers also can choose from body-color roofs, or two-tone with white, gray or black available on the Appearance Package.
    Six wheel styles are available for Flex as well.
    Production
    The Ford Flex is built at Oakville Assembly Complex in Ontario, Canada.

    GM CEO Wants To See More Cuts

    For the first half of this year, General Motors posted a profit of $6.3 billion, making it the best start in over two-decades. However, GM CEO Dan Akerson wants the company to do better.
    $6.3 Billion is nothing to scoff at, but Akerson points out that figure equates to a 6% margin. He wants to see GM beat out the 7% margins realized by Ford & Volkswagen.
    So how will GM do it? By cutting. GM has put forth plans to have just 14 global architectures by 2018, a dramatic drop from the 30 architectures in use. Also, GM will cut down their engine platforms from 20 to 10 in the same time frame.
    Akerson is also targeting the company’s marketing efforts to help cut costs. GM's Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick wants to have 10 agencies for the whole group.
    Source: Bloomberg

    Ram 1500 Special Service Goes On Patrol

    Law enforcement agencies have a new patrol vehicle they can sink their teeth into. Ram has introduced the Special Services Police Truck and is built to take on daily grind.
    Powering the Special Services Police Truck is the 5.7L HEMI V8 producing 390 HP and 407 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive comes as standard.
    The truck also comes equipped with a a 220-amp alternator for added electronics, a unique wiring harness called the Power Distribution Center to support the heavy loads of the radar, computer, lighting and radio equipment, and the options of ballistic protection and the RamBox storage system.
    Ram doesn't say how much the Special Services Police Truck will cost but local municipalities can place their orders later in the month.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Ram Truck Brand Offers Special Services Police Truck for Extreme Duty Cycles


    New Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4x4 Special Service package offers special equipment to support police and other emergency services
    Additional door support allows for installation of ballistic material inside front doors
    Added Power Distribution Center (PDC) and 220-amp alternator supports high-amp drawing systems and accessories
    Package includes 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 with 390 horsepower/407 lb.-ft. torque, 3.92 axle ratio and four-wheel-drive
    5 year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty

    November 8, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Starting this month, Ram Truck will be offering a new Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4x4 Special Service package for law enforcement and other emergency agencies through Chrysler Group Fleet sales. The newest Ram model features a selection of severe-duty-adapted equipment available on the 2012 Ram 1500 and several unique features.
    Following the overwhelming approval of the Dodge Charger Pursuit by law enforcement and municipal administrators, the Ram 1500 package combines durability, reliability and value with an expedient solution for upfitting special equipment.
    “Like the Ram Truck brand, first responders give it their all with guts and glory, and we’re proud to offer a Ram truck that gives them the reliability and durability to get to the scene quickly and safely,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO of Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico — Chrysler Group LLC. “The Special Service package offers legendary Ram capability and a ready-to-go platform for the folks who require a truck they can depend on.”
    Made for extreme-duty cycles, emergency and municipal service trucks are sometimes left idling for extended periods of time. The Ram 1500 includes 100,000-mile sparkplugs and a larger oil cooler to protect the engine during the unforgiving stop-and-go operations associated with first responders.
    “The Ram 1500 Special Service Truck has been engineered to handle the severe demands of Law Enforcement,” said Peter Grady, Vice President of Network Development and Fleet, Chrysler Group LLC. “The same characteristics also make it and excellent choice for the Public Works, Maintenance, Engineering and Fire Departments. This package expands our portfolio of hardworking vehicles available to state and local governments.”
    To handle the high electric loads, the Ram 1500 Special Service Truck includes a 220-amp alternator. A unique wire harness is capable of providing power, ground and fusing for a variety of law enforcement lighting, siren, computer, modem, radar or camera systems. The package also includes a Power Distribution Center (PDC) with fusing and relays for circuits contained in the wire harness. The PDC is supplied from the battery with two separate 100-amp main fuses for camera, computer, modem and printer systems.
    The unique instrument panel houses a certified speedometer with engine hour and idle hour meter and a 110-volt inverter. The truck is available with a full-face steering wheel, four key fobs and ten-way power front seats which quickly accommodate multiple drivers.
    A special headliner with auxiliary dome lamp sits over stain-repellent cloth bucket seats in the first row and a vinyl bench in the second row. The center console is removed to add space for extra equipment and the shifter is located on the steering column.
    The Ram 1500 Special Service truck is offered exclusively in a roomy Crew Cab configuration with 125 cubic feet of interior volume. Additional welds in the front door structures handle the weight of ballistic material used by law enforcement vehicle upfitters. The truck also is available with the popular RamBox storage system. RamBox measures 50.5 inches and offers 7.3 cubic feet of lockable and lighted storage capacity.
    Powering the new package is the reliable 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 with Fuel Saver Technology, a six-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel-drive with standard ESC. The new model benefits from a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
    Steel wheels wrapped with Goodyear LT 265/70R17 tires offer improved cooling to the ABS equipped 13.2-inch front vented discs and 13.8 –inch discs in the rear. The innovative coil-spring rear suspension on the Ram 1500 has provides best-in-class ride and handling both on- and off-road.
    A 3.92 axle ratio, 390 horsepower and 407 lb.-ft. of torque contribute to a towing capacity of 10,000 lbs., payload of 1,455 lbs. and a GCWR of 15,500 lbs.

    GM Allowing Their Dealers To Sell Volt Demos

    Today, General Motors told it's dealers that they are free to sell their Chevrolet Volt demonstration models. The move will increase the number of Volts on sale from 1,800 to 4,100.
    GM launched the Volt back in December in seven markets and since July has been rolling out the Volt nationwide to, and is nearing its target of 2,600 dealers in all 50 states. The problem is dealers have been given a Volt to use a demo only.
    “Multiple dealers have requested to sell their demo to satisfy customer demand,” GM said in a memo to dealers.
    GM spokesman Tom Henderson told Automotive News that GM is “giving them the choice to satisfy their customers and the flexibility to meet pent-up demand.” To compensate for depreciation and for the cost of removing some decals from the demo models, GM will reimburse dealers $1,500. But to get the reimbursement, dealers will need to sell the demo by January 3rd. Then dealers will need to get a new Volt demo by the end of January.
    General Motors is hoping with this move they will be able to meet their lofty goal of selling 10,000 Volts by the end of year. Through October, GM only 5,003 Volts.
    Source: Automotive News


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