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Cheers and Gears Weekly Update 08/17/2012

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Interactive Review: 2012 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS AWD

Uploaded by mudmonster on Yesterday, 11:12 PM

William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

August 17, 2012

This time at the Cheers & Gears Detroit Garage is a newcomer, the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS AWD (takes breath). For $26,404 (the pricetag on the car) 2.4L inline-four, CVT Transmission, AWD, sunroof, dual-zone climate control, an appearance package, and a banging 425 watt Rockford Fosgate sound system.

The Kizashi sits in a interesting position in the new car field. Its size and pricetag puts somewhere between a compact and a mid-size vehicle. Think the last generation Volkswagen Jetta.

First impressions are mostly good. The interior is put together well, steering and handling is quite good, and the powertrain combo works well when you get above about 2000 RPMs.

I'll have more thoughts as the week with Kizashi goes on. In the meantime, if you have any questions, post them and I will do my best to answer them.

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

Jaguar Announces 4- and 6-Cylinder Engines, AWD For XF and XJ

Uploaded by mudmonster on Yesterday, 07:53 PM

William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

August 16, 2012

Last month, we reported on Jaguar's move to a turbocharged-four and supercharged V6 engines for the XF and XJ models. Today, Jaguar officially announced the new engines and a AWD option for the XF and XJ.

Starting off with the XF, the 2013 base model will have a 2.0L turbocharged-four from the Range Rover Evoque. The 2.0L is rated at 240 HP and 251 lb-ft of torque. Next up will be the 3.0L supercharged V6 which will take the place of the 5.0L naturally-aspirated V8 engine. The supercharged 3.0L is rated at 340 HP. The supercharged 5.0L V8 stays on.

Next is the XJ which also gets the 3.0L Supercharged V6 in the XJ and long-wheelbase XJL. The 5.0L NA V8 will stay on the long wheelbase XJL Portfolio model.

Both engines will come with a eight-speed automatic from ZF. AWD will also be an option on the XF and XJ, but only if you order the 3.0L Supercharged V6. Also available as an option is a stop-start system.

Source: Jaguar

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

Fisker: Can Someone Loan Us $150 Million?

Uploaded by mudmonster on Yesterday, 03:29 PM

William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

August 16, 2012

Fisker is looking to raise another $150 million to help keep the company afloat.

"We need money on our balance sheet" to fund operating expenses. "And we need money to fund the development of the next car," said Ray Lane, a Fisker director and a managing partner at venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to Reuters."We're raising some of that money now, and some later."

The reason for the extra $150 million? Earlier this year, Fisker's request for $264.5 million in government was denied by U.S. Department of Energy. Couple that with development costs of the new Atlantic and production costs of the Karma and easy to see why they're asking for money.

Source: Reuters

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

2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Uploaded by Oldsmoboi on Yesterday, 02:25 PM

August 17th, 2012

Drew Dowdell

Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com

A few months ago, you had Chris Doane's take on the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI and now it is my turn. I am at the disadvantage that I haven't driven the recent Volkswagen GTI, since that would the GLI's direct competitor. Will my blindness to the capabilities of the GTI have me reach different a conclusion than Chris did?

My 2012 Jetta GLI came in the proper car color of Darth Vader Helmet Black incorrectly listed as “Deep Black Metallic” on the window sticker. The interior is trimmed in black leatherette with red stitching. Standard are 18” alloys with painted black accents. Lord Vader would approve.

Most of the parts on the interior you touch regularly have been upgraded over the lesser Jettas. The wrapped steering

wheel feels just about perfect in your hand as does the shifter. Flat bottom steering wheels are the “new black” for sports cars, so of course the Jetta GLI has that too. The automatic dual-zone climate controls are decidedly better than the manual unit in base Jetta. Unfortunately, only the parts you regularly touch have been upgraded, so that means you still get the very hard plastic door panels and dash present in the base model.

Volkswagen's construction of the Jetta is top notch; every seam was tight and even, the doors feel solid without feeling heavy, and the body panels line up perfectly.

As I mentioned in the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo review, the Fender audio and navigation system offers crystal clear sound and continues to be one of the best car audio systems I have sampled lately. My only complaint here is that the screen size is such on the small side that even my Samsung Galaxy SII phone can rival it for screen space.

The Jetta has the largest interior of the compact class. In that regard, it really is compact in EPA rating only. Sit in a “compact” Jetta and then in a “mid-size” Ford Fusion and you'll wonder what the size distinction is. Rear seat accommodations have class leading room and the comfort that goes with it. The seats are well proportioned and I fit back there nicely. Trunk cargo room is also class leading. The overall package of compact-ish outside dimensions with midsize-ish interior dimensions puts the Jetta in a unique position in the sedan crowd.

This GLI with autobahn package and navigation stickers at $26,000. For your $26k, you get an upgraded multi-link independent suspension in the back, a 200 horsepower turbocharged 2.0 liter 4-cylinder that puts out 207 lb-ft of torque @ 1700, exterior styling tweaks such as a honeycomb grill insert and lower body spoilers.

The Jetta GLI is a bit of a sleeper in terms of those exterior tweaks mentioned earlier, but put the GLI next to a base model Jetta and you will instantly be able to tell which is the more sporty model. Overall the improvements take the staid Jetta and turn it into a more handsome car. One of my favorite changes are the 18” alloy wheels with black painted accents and painted red brake calipers behind.

Out on the road the turbocharged 4 cylinder has an authoritative growl. Torque comes on strong at the low end of the RPM range making the GLI a fun car to launch. Turbo lag was negligible and could only really be noticed if you were already rolling at city speeds and then wanted a sudden burst of power. I found the best way to get around the turbo lag was to down shift two gears rather than just one. I wouldn't call the 2.0T happy to rev; it is clearly most comfortable churning out the foot pounds at low rpm, but it will play along when asked. Fuel economy is respectable for the power and capabilities of this engine, and you can expect to easily crest into the mid-30s if you take it easy on the highway. Volkswagen does recommend premium fuel for best performance.

The Jetta platform itself seems very solid and the multi-link rears suspension is a step up from the twist beam in the base model. However, it is not at the level of “sport sedan” that most would expect. Around town, the suspension gives an appropriate level of firmness and confidence that one would expect from a German sport sedan, but push the GLI hard and at speed around some corners and all of that confidence melts away into a bucket of marshmallow fluff. Given that the Jetta is also a lamb on the highway, I wonder if Volkswagen engineers turned the dial on comfort up a little too high for a true sport sedan.

The Jetta doesn't exist in a vacuum though. So while a sports car buyer cannot ignore the presence of the Volkswagen GTI also in the showroom, family sedan buyers can't ignore the $26,000 price tag and long list of included options. At that price, the Jetta GLI is up against the cars like a middle-optioned Chevrolet Malibu or Ford Fusion. Taken in that view, the Jetta GLI becomes a screaming deal will all of the amenities it comes with that the others don't while sacrificing nothing in roominess. In spite of the Jetta's suspension shortcomings as a sport sedan, it is still has a sportier ride and acceleration than just about any other mid-size family sedan offered at this price.

So is the Volkswagen Jetta GLI a full on German sport sedan? Not really. Is it a sporty, people's car/family sedan with a lot of value for the price? Absolutely! If you're in the mid-size family car market, you would do yourself a disservice if you did not check it out.

Album: 2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

14 images


Make: Volkswagen

Model: Jetta

Model Year: 2012

Trim: GLI

Engine: Transversely mounted 2.0 liter 4-cylinder turbocharged

Transmission: Front Wheel Drive, 6-speed manual

Max horsepower @ RPM:

Max torque @RPM: 207 ft-lb @ 1700rpm

EPA Fuel Economy: 22 City / 33 Highway

Exterior color as tested: Deep Black Metallic

Interior color as tested: Titan Black V-Tex Leatherette

Location of Manufacture: Puebla, Mexico

Volkswagen provided the Jetta GLI, one tank of fuel, and insurance.

Drew Dowdell is managing editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on twitter as @cheersngears

2013 Hyundai Genesis Sees Some Changes

Uploaded by mudmonster on 15 August 2012 - 04:28 PM

William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

August 15, 2012

The Hyundai Genesis went through a mid-cycle refresh last year which brought forth a new 5.0L V8, R-Spec package, and other items. However, we've learned from Hyundai that 2013 will bring more changes to the Genesis sedan.

Starting off with powertrains, the 4.6L Tau V8 which was the Genesis' only V8 engine until last year will be dropped. Also saying farewell is the standard 5.0L V8 model, meaning you want the V8, you'll need to step up to the R-Spec model. All other Genesis sedans will use the 3.8L V6.

Hyundai is also upgrading the Genesis' interior tech by including its Blue Link suite of telematics services and adding an eight-inch display to the center stack with a new controller in the console to move around the system. Hyundai says the new system is more intuitive and uses a 64 GB solid state drive.

Source: Hyundai

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

Press Release is on Page 2


Blue Link® Telematics with Award-Winning Zagat® Ratings Now Available

COSTA MESA, Calif., Aug. 14, 2012 – Hyundai's award-winning Genesis sedan continues its premium segment leadership for 2013 with simplified model offerings and a new ultimate navigation system with Blue Link® telematics. The 5.0-liter direct-injected Tau V8 engine is now exclusively available in the fully-equipped 5.0 R-Spec model, the 4.6-liter V8 model is no longer available, and the 3.8-liter Lambda powertrain remains available with premium and technology packages, simplifying the Genesis line-up.

For 2013, the Genesis 3.8 technology package and 5.0 R-Spec models offer a new optional eight-inch Driver Information System (DIS) display with navigation and an enhanced multi-media controller. This new display features a more intuitive user interface, integrating the same rotating dial with joystick-type function, enhanced voice-recognition commands and improved navigation screen layouts. New "hot keys" also give individuals more immediate control over the operating system to reduce driving distractions. The system uses a large 64GB solid-state drive, which allows generous music, image and video storage or Bluetooth music-streaming capability.

2013 Genesis Highlights

Genesis model and powertrain line-up simplified:

- 5.0-liter direct-injected Tau V8 engine now exclusive to 5.0 R-Spec model

- Standard 5.0-liter model no longer available

- 4.6-liter V8 no longer available

- 3.8-liter V6 available in three equipment configurations

- New optional eight-inch touchscreen display with navigation and an enhanced multi-media controller and Driver Information System (DIS)

- Hyundai Blue Link® telematics available with Ultimate Navigation package

A simple pop-up message now appears to help pair a phone and the voice-recognition software understands street addresses and cities, all in one sequential sentence. The route screen displays speed limits, details the next three navigation maneuvers, shows real highway signage and has junction views with lane guidance. Lane guidance outlines the lanes the driver needs to stay in when a highway splits. Junction view uses street and actual road signs images to match what the driver will see when arriving at the next maneuver. Integrated into the point of interest tool are Zagat® restaurant ratings, which help drivers to easily locate great places to eat. SiriusXM data services have also been enhanced, with Sports, Stocks and Weather information.


Blue Link combines safety, service and infotainment features to simplify owners' lives and reduce distracted driving and is now available on the 2013 Genesis, accompanied by a one-year complimentary trial period. Blue Link brings seamless connectivity directly into the car with technology like voice-text messaging, POI web search download, turn-by-turn navigation, smartphone remote features and monthly vehicle reporting. Blue Link can be easily accessed from the buttons on the rearview mirror, over the internet, or via a smartphone. Blue Link is offered in three packages: Assurance, Essentials and Guidance.

Blue Link Assurance package:

- Automatic Collision Notification (ACN) and Assistance

- SOS Emergency Assistance

- Enhanced Roadside Assistance

- Blue Link Essentials package:


- Remote Door Lock/Unlock

- Remote Horn and Lights

- Panic Notification

- Remote Engine Start

- Alarm Notification

- Quick Tips

- Location Sharing

- Voice Text Messaging

Vehicle Diagnostics:

- Automated Diagnostic Trouble Code

- Maintenance Alert

- Recall Advisor

- Web Vehicle Diagnostics

- Service Link


- Stolen Vehicle Recovery

- Stolen Vehicle Slowdown

- Vehicle Immobilization

- Valet Alert

- Geofence

- Speed Alert

- Curfew Alert

Blue Link Guidance package:

- Turn-by-Turn Navigation Service

- POI Search by advanced voice recognition system

- POI Web Search and Download

- Daily Route Guidance with Traffic Condition

- Traffic Updates

- Gas Station Locations and Gas Prices

- Eco-Coach

- Restaurant Ratings

- Weather

- More details on Hyundai Blue Link are available at www.hyundaibluelink.com.


The heart of the Genesis 5.0 R-Spec model is the 5.0-liter Tau V8 engine producing 429 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 376 lb. ft. of torque at 5,000 rpm. This Tau V8 represents the most powerful Hyundai engine ever, with a higher specific output (85.8 hp/liter) than its normally-aspirated premium luxury competitors. The Tau V8 engine family has been named to the prestigious Ward's Ten Best Engines list three times.

This engine features a high-pressure direct injection system (over 2200 psi) that dramatically increases power and torque while reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The Tau's high 11.5:1 compression ratio increases thermal efficiency and output. The Tau also has a rigid bed plate for improved block rigidity and lower NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness) as well as camshaft carriers and a roller timing chain to improve valvetrain stability.

Even more, this V8 offers Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), a tuned variable-induction system, and low-friction diamond-like coatings (DLC) on piston skirts, rings and tappets. Even with these impressive power increases, fuel economy is 16 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.

The Tau 5.0-liter V8 is mated to an in-house eight-speed automatic transmission. This Hyundai-developed transmission adds two additional ratios to enhance acceleration, shifting smoothness, and transmission efficiency by six percent over the former six-speed. All eight-speed transmissions will include SHIFTRONIC® manual shift capability.

In keeping with Hyundai engineering philosophy, the R-Spec also includes more aggressive chassis tuning, matching its corresponding powertrain enhancements for optimal dynamic balance. For enhanced body roll control, rear stabilizer bars are hollow in design and diameter is a robust 19 mm. R-Spec will offer a unique sport design 19-inch alloy wheel with premium machined finish. The R-Spec steering calibration has been matched to this unique wheel combination for optimized performance and driving refinement expectations in this segment. To complete the performance package, front brake rotors are an oversized 13.6 inches for enhanced heat dissipation in sporty driving.

R-Spec will offer unique headlights with dark chrome inserts for a more distinctive front appearance. Further R-Spec designators can be found around the car's interior and exterior. An R-Spec bade on the rear lip and black R-Spec embroidered floor mats remind the driver of the performance waiting for them when they get behind the wheel. Genesis R-Spec is only offered in four sport-oriented exterior colors: Black Noir, Titanium Gray, Platinum Metallic, and, new for 2013, White Satin Pearl, each with Black leather interior and an all-black leather steering wheel to further differentiate the 5.0 R-Spec from the 3.8 model.


In keeping with its 5.0-liter V8 sibling, the Genesis 3.8-liter Lambda engine also has direct injection (GDI) technology and produces 333 horsepower and 291 lb. ft. of torque. It also has a high compression ratio of 11.5:1 for greater thermal efficiency. This direct-injected Lambda V6 produces a higher specific output (87.6 hp/liter) than its normally-aspirated premium luxury competitors.

The 3.8-liter engine also has Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), variable induction, an all aluminum block and heads, steel timing chain and iridium-tipped spark plugs. Besides the generous horsepower and torque gains, direct injection technology produces a significant reduction in emissions. Further, a variable vane oil pump fitted to precisely match oil pressure with engine lubrication requirements for increases efficiency at all engine speeds. As a result, 3.8-liter GDI fuel economy is 29 mpg on the highway.

All 3.8-liter engines are coupled to the same in-house eight-speed automatic transmission as the 5.0 R-Spec model. These all new transmissions perfectly compliment the new technology found in the new engines, delivering improved efficiency and performance across the Genesis range.


Hyundai engineers have precisely tuned the Genesis suspension to minimize the traditional compromises between handling precision and ride comfort.


From the front view, Genesis has an aggressive front fascia with large intake openings and LED lighting accents. From the side view, one will notice the standard 17-inch alloy wheel and rocker panel design. In addition, the mirrors incorporate power-folding and puddle lamp functions, while the side window surround has a decidedly sporty brushed aluminum finish. From the rear view, one will notice the dual asymmetrical exhaust tips cleanly integrated into the bumper fascia.


Maintaining Hyundai's emphasis ondelivering leading safety technology, Genesis boasts world-class active and passive safety features to help both prevent accidents and maximize the well being of its occupants in the event of a collision. Genesis continues the Hyundai tradition of standardizing key life-saving safety technology with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), eight airbags and electronic active head restraints. The active front head restraints have been proven by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to help prevent whiplash.

Daytime running lights come standard on the 2013 Genesis. Further, Genesis offers a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), available on the 3.8 Technology package and 5.0 R-Spec models. Whenever the system is activated, a warning chime and dial-integrated warning light alert drivers of their lane departure, allowing them to reposition the car smoothly into the correct position.

Genesis' total of eight airbags includes advanceddual front airbags, front andrear seat-mountedside-impact airbags, and roof-mounted side curtain airbags for both front andrear outboard seat occupants.

Genesis has a total of eight ultrasonic sensors locatedon the front andrear bumpers. The sensors, alongwith the rear backup camera, helpdetect how close objects are when parking. Distance is indicatedon the in-dash screen and accompanied by an audible warningtone.

Genesis is brought to a halt by large four-wheel anti-lockdisc brakes with Brake Assist andElectronic Brake Distribution (EBD). Genesis 3.8 models have large 13.0-inch front rotors with four-piston fixed calipers, while 5.0 R-Spec models have larger 13.6-inch front rotors.


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United Statesby Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 800 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S.are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance.

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