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William Maley

2017 Chevrolet Spark Activ Shows Off Its Dream of Being A Crossover: Comments

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We can't blame Chevrolet for doing a pseudo-crossover in the form of the 2017 Spark Activ. With sales of subcompacts, compacts, and midsize sedans in freefall due to rabid demand for crossovers, desperate measures need to be taken.

The Spark Activ stands out from the standard model with updated front and rear fascias, black body cladding, a set of roof rails, 15-inch wheels, and a 0.4-inch lift for the suspension. Standard equipment includes black leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, cruise control, air conditioning, keyless entry, and a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto,

Fuel economy for the Spark Activ stands at 29 City/37 Highway for the manual and 30/37 for the CVT. These numbers are lower than the standard Spark - 29 City/38 Highway for the manual and 30/38 for the CVT.

“The new Spark ACTIV is all about adventurous fun and style,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet director of Car and Crossover Marketing. “It has an attitude, while still offering the sophisticated, efficient and connected driving experience customers have come to love.”

Pricing for the 2017 Spark Activ begins at $16,495 for the manual and $18,045 for the CVT (prices include destination). The Spark Activ will arrive sometime in the first quarter of 2017.

Source: Chevrolet
Press Release is on Page 2


Chevrolet Debuts Sporty New Spark Activ

LOS ANGELES — Chevrolet today introduced the 2017 Spark ACTIV, a sportier take on the brand’s versatile, connected mini-car, featuring trail-inspired accents and upscale features that complement its urban-chic design.

“The new Spark ACTIV is all about adventurous fun and style,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet director of Car and Crossover Marketing. “It has an attitude, while still offering the sophisticated, efficient and connected driving experience customers have come to love.”

On sale
First quarter of 2017

Pricing
$16,945 manufacturer’s suggested retail price with manual transmission*
$18,045 manufacturer’s suggested retail price with continuously variable transmission*
*Price includes destination charge, but excludes tax, title and other dealer fees.

Product details
Spark ACTIV features unique front and rear fascias with accents influenced by off-road skidplates, as well as a new 15-inch wheel design and a revised suspension that increases the ride height by 0.4 inch (10 mm). Additional unique content includes:

  • Specific grille pattern with ACTIV nameplate
  • Round fog lamps and fog lamp housings integrated in the front fascia
  • Contrasting wheelhouse moldings and hatchback cladding
  • Rocker moldings
  • Roof rails

The well-appointed interior features standard black, heated leatherette front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, along with these features:

  • Chevrolet MyLink with a 7-inch-diagonal color touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility (subject to their terms, privacy statements and data plan rates, as well as a compatible smartphone)
  • Rear-vision camera system
  • SiriusXM satellite radio (three months)
  • OnStar Guidance Plan (three months)
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot (three-month/3GB data trial)
  • Air conditioning
  • Cruise control
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Steering wheel controls for phone and audio system
  • Power windows with Express Up/Down

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Pricing and marketing at the active life style Millennials should help get that first car sale going. Smart Move Chevy! :metal: 

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So, I like the idea as it's a smart move all things considered. On the other hand, I can't help but think 90's Geo Metro when I look at the rear. I understand the need for plastic bits to make a pseudo-crossover look more convincing, but making the entire rear bumper unpainted looks trashy. The front bumper is much better and looks like they actually tried.

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    • By William Maley
      The Audi A7 hasn't changed much since it was launched back in 2012. Apparently, Audi went with the 'if ain't broke, why fix it' mantra. But that changes today as the German automaker unveiled the second-generation A7 in Germany tonight.
      Audi didn't mess with the A7's silhouette which was one of the key items that made it. What has changed is the treatment for the front and rear. The front is similar the A8 with a wider front grille and sculpted hood. A full-length taillight and retractable spoiler make up the rear. The 2019 A7 is slightly shorter than the current model in overall length (about 0.6-inches).
      The interior is where the major changes have taken place. There is a lot of influence from the A8 with the dual-screen MMI infotainment system and modern design for the dash. Audi will offer seating arrangements for four or five people.
      At launch, the A7 will come with a turbocharged 3.0L V6 featuring 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. Like the A8, the A7 will feature a mild-hybrid capability through a 48-volt lithium-ion battery and an upgraded alternator. A variety of gas and diesel engine options will follow. Expect to see the 3.0L and possibly a four-cylinder option arrive our on shores first, with high-performance variants to follow.
      Technology features for the A7 include a rear-wheel steering system, lane-centering assist, AI Remote Parking Pilot, AI Remote Garage Pilot, and adaptive cruise control.
      The A7 goes on sale in Germany in February, while the U.S. has to wait till late next year or early 2019.
      Source: Audi
      Press Release is on Page 2


      The new Audi A7 Sportback: Sporty face of Audi in the luxury class
      Four-door coupe embodies progressiveness in design and technology All-digital control system, comprehensive connectivity and mild hybrid technology Gran Turismo with enhanced handling and more long-distance comfort The A7 Sportback represents the new Audi design language to a great extent and delivers on the design promise made by the prologue studies. The four-door coupe sets standards in the luxury class when it comes to progressiveness. It embodies a new style of Gran Turismo, with dynamic lines, systematic digitalization, a sporty driving experience and a versatile space concept.
      Consumption figures for the Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI quattro S tronic: 
      Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.2 – 6.8* (32.7 – 34.6 US mpg)
      Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 163 – 154* (262.3 – 247.8 g/mi)
      *Figures depend on the wheel/tire sets used
      Dynamics at their most beautiful: the exterior design
      The exterior design of the A7 Sportback is an expression of the new design language that Audi introduced with the prologue study and made its production debut in the new Audi A8. With large surfaces, sharp edges and taut, athletic lines, the A7 signals dynamics and progressiveness from every perspective.
      Up front, the Singleframe grille – wider and lower than that of the Audi A8 – the narrow headlights, the boldly contoured air inlets and the flat front end convey at a glance the sportiness of the Gran Turismo. The headlights are available in three versions. With the middle and top equipment lines, the light signature takes up the subject of digitalization: 12 adjacent lighting segments separated by narrow intervening spaces evoke associations with the binary digits 0 and 1. The top version is the HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light.
      The Audi A7 Sportback is an athletic sculpture with a long engine hood, long wheelbase and short overhangs. Pronounced contours emphasize the wheels, which measure up to 21 inches in diameter, and reference Audi’s quattro genes. These genes determine the proportions of the vehicle’s body. The silhouette is defined by the dynamic roofline, which drops sharply toward the rear. Four figures delineate the sporty character of the large coupe: It is 4,969 millimeters (16.3 ft) long, has a wheelbase of 2,926 millimeters (9.6 ft) and is 1,908 millimeters (6.3 ft) wide, but stands only 1,422 millimeters (4.7 ft) high.
      As with the previous model, the rear end is tapered like that of a yacht. The long luggage compartment lid terminates in a pronounced, curved lip from which an integrated spoiler extends automatically at 120 km/h (74.6 mph). A flat light strip – a design feature common to all of Audi’s top models – joins the rear lights, whose tail lights are made up of 13 vertical segments. When the doors are unlocked and again when they are locked, fast-moving light animations play in the rear lights and in the headlights, highlighting the big coupe’s dynamics while standing still. The progressive exterior design of the new Audi A7 Sportback is largely devoid of chrome. The paint range offers a choice of 15 colors, eight of which are new. The optional S line exterior package further hones the look, with modifications to the radiator grille and the front air inlets, the sills and the front and rear diffusers. They are trimmed in gloss black and more strongly sculpted.
      Show car design comes to production: the interior
      The interior fuses design and technology in a unique way. The interior of the new Audi A7 Sportback dazzles with its futuristic lounge atmosphere. Its reduced, clean design language is based in a one-of-a-kind balance of tension and coolness. The horizontal lines and sleek instrument panel provide for a feeling of airy spaciousness. The center console is oriented toward the driver, underscoring the Gran Turismo’s sporty character. Four key values characterize the interior concept: progressiveness, sportiness, intuitiveness and sophistication. All colors, upholstery materials and inlays underscore the new aesthetic, from the base version to the design selection, the S line sport package and the particularly sophisticated Valcona leather. The optional contour ambient lighting package traces the contours and subtly highlights the space.
      The 10.1-inch upper display (in combination with MMI navigation plus) is tilted toward the driver. With its black panel optics and framed in a graphite gray aluminum clasp, it almost disappears into the dashboard when switched off. The body supporting the clasp is itself a geometric sculpture. The display’s user interface appears as soon as the car is opened. In keeping with the interior design, the look is reduced and succinct. All screen content can be quickly registered.
      Control at your fingertips: MMI touch response control system and online voice control
      The new Audi A7 systematically continues the digitalization strategy of the A8. The interior architecture melds seamlessly with Audi’s new MMI touch response operating concept. It replaces the rotary pushbutton and the conventional buttons and controls of the previous model with two large, high-resolution touch displays.
      The driver controls the infotainment system from the upper display. Mounted on the asymmetric console of the center tunnel, the 8.6-inch lower display provides access to the climate control system, comfort functions and text input. Drivers can rest their wrist on the automatic transmission’s wide selector lever knob.
      Audi offers an optional head-up display that projects important information onto the windshield. MMI navigation plus also includes the Audi virtual cockpit with a 12.3-inch display.
      The MMI touch response operating concept features haptic and acoustic feedback and is as intuitive to use as a smartphone. Users hear and feel a click as confirmation when their finger triggers a function. With its logical and flat menu structure, the system allows fast access to the various vehicle functions, and it can also be personalized thanks to configurable and movable favorites buttons.
      The optional voice control in the new A7 Sportback makes operation even more convenient. With MMI navigation plus, the natural speech dialogue system processes questions and commands in two ways – with information stored onboard and at the same time with detailed knowledge from the cloud.
      Fully connected for more convenience and safety: infotainment and connect features
      With its comprehensive connectivity, the Audi A7 is perfectly equipped for long-distance touring. It offers customers more convenience, safety and customization options. The Gran Turismo features the same infotainment and connectivity range as the Audi A8. Up to seven drivers can store their preferred settings in individual user profiles. As many as 400 parameters can be personalized. The online services from Audi connect have been expanded. Additions include the traffic sign and hazard information Car-to-X services, which utilize the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet.
      The new A7 Sportback comes standard with the MMI radio; MMI navigation and MMI navigation plus are available as options. There is a choice of four sound systems. The top version, the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, also delivers fascinating 3D sound to the rear seats.
      Intelligent and convenient: the Audi AI systems 
      With the AI button, the driver activates the Audi AI remote parking pilot and the Audi AI remote garage pilot, which will be made available at some point in 2018. They autonomously maneuver the A7 Sportback into and out of a parking space or garage. The driver can get out of the car before launching the function via the myAudi app on their smartphone. To monitor the maneuver, the driver presses and holds the Audi AI button the entire time. The central driver assistance controller (zFAS) merges the data from a sophisticated set of sensors to continually compute an image of the surroundings. Depending on the equipment level, there can be as many as five radar sensors, five cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a laser scanner.
      Besides the Audi AI systems, the new A7 Sportback features a total of 39 driver assistance systems to make things easier for the driver. They are split up into three packages: the Audi AI parking package (gradual introduction beginning 2018), the City assist package with the new crossing assist, and the Tour assist package. The latter includes such things as the efficiency assistant, which facilitates a driving style conducive to reducing consumption, and the adaptive driving assistant (ADA), which supplements the adaptive cruise control (ACC) with helpful steering interventions to maintain the lane. All driver assistance systems feature improved control mechanisms.
      Handling and long-distance comfort: the chassis
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      Many aspects of the front and rear axles have been developed from scratch. The standard progressive steering, whose generally sporty ratio becomes even more direct the further the steering wheel is turned, features a new concept for intensive road feedback. Mounted behind large wheels – up to 21 inches and 255/35 – with improved rolling comfort are aluminum fixed-caliper brakes with discs up to 400 millimeters (15.7 in) in diameter. Customers can choose between four suspension setups: a conventional steel spring suspension, the sport suspension that lowers ride height by 10 millimeters (0.4 in), electronically controlled damping and the self-leveling adaptive air suspension.
      The top chassis-related innovation is dynamic-all-wheel steering. It combines direct, sporty steering response with unshakable stability, resolving the conflict of aims between agility and comfort. The steering ratio varies as a function of speed between 9.5:1 and 16.5:1 by means of active steering interventions at the front and rear axle. At the front axle, strain wave gearing is used to superimpose these in response to the driver’s steering input. At the rear axle, a spindle drive turns the wheels by as much as 5 degrees. At low speed, they steer counter to the front wheels to further increase the agility of the big coupe when parking or driving in urban traffic, for example. This reduces the turning circle at full lock by 1.1 meters (3.6 ft). At 60 km/h (37.3 mph) and above, the rear axle steers in the same direction to increase straight-line stability and facilitate lane changes.
      The optional sport differential improves handing even further. It actively distributes drive torque between the rear wheels, complementing quattro all-wheel drive. Like dynamic-all-wheel steering, controlled damping and the adaptive air suspension, the sport differential is integrated into the control function of the electronic chassis platform (ECP). These systems are closely networked for maximum precision. The driver can use the Audi drive select system to activate different ride profiles featuring a more pronounced difference between comfort and sportiness than in the previous model.
      Broad-based electrification: mild hybrid system for greater comfort and efficiency
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      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The Audi A7 hasn't changed much since it was launched back in 2012. Apparently, Audi went with the 'if ain't broke, why fix it' mantra. But that changes today as the German automaker unveiled the second-generation A7 in Germany tonight.
      Audi didn't mess with the A7's silhouette which was one of the key items that made it. What has changed is the treatment for the front and rear. The front is similar the A8 with a wider front grille and sculpted hood. A full-length taillight and retractable spoiler make up the rear. The 2019 A7 is slightly shorter than the current model in overall length (about 0.6-inches).
      The interior is where the major changes have taken place. There is a lot of influence from the A8 with the dual-screen MMI infotainment system and modern design for the dash. Audi will offer seating arrangements for four or five people.
      At launch, the A7 will come with a turbocharged 3.0L V6 featuring 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and quattro all-wheel drive. Like the A8, the A7 will feature a mild-hybrid capability through a 48-volt lithium-ion battery and an upgraded alternator. A variety of gas and diesel engine options will follow. Expect to see the 3.0L and possibly a four-cylinder option arrive our on shores first, with high-performance variants to follow.
      Technology features for the A7 include a rear-wheel steering system, lane-centering assist, AI Remote Parking Pilot, AI Remote Garage Pilot, and adaptive cruise control.
      The A7 goes on sale in Germany in February, while the U.S. has to wait till late next year or early 2019.
      Source: Audi
      Press Release is on Page 2


      The new Audi A7 Sportback: Sporty face of Audi in the luxury class
      Four-door coupe embodies progressiveness in design and technology All-digital control system, comprehensive connectivity and mild hybrid technology Gran Turismo with enhanced handling and more long-distance comfort The A7 Sportback represents the new Audi design language to a great extent and delivers on the design promise made by the prologue studies. The four-door coupe sets standards in the luxury class when it comes to progressiveness. It embodies a new style of Gran Turismo, with dynamic lines, systematic digitalization, a sporty driving experience and a versatile space concept.
      Consumption figures for the Audi A7 Sportback 55 TFSI quattro S tronic: 
      Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.2 – 6.8* (32.7 – 34.6 US mpg)
      Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 163 – 154* (262.3 – 247.8 g/mi)
      *Figures depend on the wheel/tire sets used
      Dynamics at their most beautiful: the exterior design
      The exterior design of the A7 Sportback is an expression of the new design language that Audi introduced with the prologue study and made its production debut in the new Audi A8. With large surfaces, sharp edges and taut, athletic lines, the A7 signals dynamics and progressiveness from every perspective.
      Up front, the Singleframe grille – wider and lower than that of the Audi A8 – the narrow headlights, the boldly contoured air inlets and the flat front end convey at a glance the sportiness of the Gran Turismo. The headlights are available in three versions. With the middle and top equipment lines, the light signature takes up the subject of digitalization: 12 adjacent lighting segments separated by narrow intervening spaces evoke associations with the binary digits 0 and 1. The top version is the HD Matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light.
      The Audi A7 Sportback is an athletic sculpture with a long engine hood, long wheelbase and short overhangs. Pronounced contours emphasize the wheels, which measure up to 21 inches in diameter, and reference Audi’s quattro genes. These genes determine the proportions of the vehicle’s body. The silhouette is defined by the dynamic roofline, which drops sharply toward the rear. Four figures delineate the sporty character of the large coupe: It is 4,969 millimeters (16.3 ft) long, has a wheelbase of 2,926 millimeters (9.6 ft) and is 1,908 millimeters (6.3 ft) wide, but stands only 1,422 millimeters (4.7 ft) high.
      As with the previous model, the rear end is tapered like that of a yacht. The long luggage compartment lid terminates in a pronounced, curved lip from which an integrated spoiler extends automatically at 120 km/h (74.6 mph). A flat light strip – a design feature common to all of Audi’s top models – joins the rear lights, whose tail lights are made up of 13 vertical segments. When the doors are unlocked and again when they are locked, fast-moving light animations play in the rear lights and in the headlights, highlighting the big coupe’s dynamics while standing still. The progressive exterior design of the new Audi A7 Sportback is largely devoid of chrome. The paint range offers a choice of 15 colors, eight of which are new. The optional S line exterior package further hones the look, with modifications to the radiator grille and the front air inlets, the sills and the front and rear diffusers. They are trimmed in gloss black and more strongly sculpted.
      Show car design comes to production: the interior
      The interior fuses design and technology in a unique way. The interior of the new Audi A7 Sportback dazzles with its futuristic lounge atmosphere. Its reduced, clean design language is based in a one-of-a-kind balance of tension and coolness. The horizontal lines and sleek instrument panel provide for a feeling of airy spaciousness. The center console is oriented toward the driver, underscoring the Gran Turismo’s sporty character. Four key values characterize the interior concept: progressiveness, sportiness, intuitiveness and sophistication. All colors, upholstery materials and inlays underscore the new aesthetic, from the base version to the design selection, the S line sport package and the particularly sophisticated Valcona leather. The optional contour ambient lighting package traces the contours and subtly highlights the space.
      The 10.1-inch upper display (in combination with MMI navigation plus) is tilted toward the driver. With its black panel optics and framed in a graphite gray aluminum clasp, it almost disappears into the dashboard when switched off. The body supporting the clasp is itself a geometric sculpture. The display’s user interface appears as soon as the car is opened. In keeping with the interior design, the look is reduced and succinct. All screen content can be quickly registered.
      Control at your fingertips: MMI touch response control system and online voice control
      The new Audi A7 systematically continues the digitalization strategy of the A8. The interior architecture melds seamlessly with Audi’s new MMI touch response operating concept. It replaces the rotary pushbutton and the conventional buttons and controls of the previous model with two large, high-resolution touch displays.
      The driver controls the infotainment system from the upper display. Mounted on the asymmetric console of the center tunnel, the 8.6-inch lower display provides access to the climate control system, comfort functions and text input. Drivers can rest their wrist on the automatic transmission’s wide selector lever knob.
      Audi offers an optional head-up display that projects important information onto the windshield. MMI navigation plus also includes the Audi virtual cockpit with a 12.3-inch display.
      The MMI touch response operating concept features haptic and acoustic feedback and is as intuitive to use as a smartphone. Users hear and feel a click as confirmation when their finger triggers a function. With its logical and flat menu structure, the system allows fast access to the various vehicle functions, and it can also be personalized thanks to configurable and movable favorites buttons.
      The optional voice control in the new A7 Sportback makes operation even more convenient. With MMI navigation plus, the natural speech dialogue system processes questions and commands in two ways – with information stored onboard and at the same time with detailed knowledge from the cloud.
      Fully connected for more convenience and safety: infotainment and connect features
      With its comprehensive connectivity, the Audi A7 is perfectly equipped for long-distance touring. It offers customers more convenience, safety and customization options. The Gran Turismo features the same infotainment and connectivity range as the Audi A8. Up to seven drivers can store their preferred settings in individual user profiles. As many as 400 parameters can be personalized. The online services from Audi connect have been expanded. Additions include the traffic sign and hazard information Car-to-X services, which utilize the swarm intelligence of the Audi fleet.
      The new A7 Sportback comes standard with the MMI radio; MMI navigation and MMI navigation plus are available as options. There is a choice of four sound systems. The top version, the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System, also delivers fascinating 3D sound to the rear seats.
      Intelligent and convenient: the Audi AI systems 
      With the AI button, the driver activates the Audi AI remote parking pilot and the Audi AI remote garage pilot, which will be made available at some point in 2018. They autonomously maneuver the A7 Sportback into and out of a parking space or garage. The driver can get out of the car before launching the function via the myAudi app on their smartphone. To monitor the maneuver, the driver presses and holds the Audi AI button the entire time. The central driver assistance controller (zFAS) merges the data from a sophisticated set of sensors to continually compute an image of the surroundings. Depending on the equipment level, there can be as many as five radar sensors, five cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a laser scanner.
      Besides the Audi AI systems, the new A7 Sportback features a total of 39 driver assistance systems to make things easier for the driver. They are split up into three packages: the Audi AI parking package (gradual introduction beginning 2018), the City assist package with the new crossing assist, and the Tour assist package. The latter includes such things as the efficiency assistant, which facilitates a driving style conducive to reducing consumption, and the adaptive driving assistant (ADA), which supplements the adaptive cruise control (ACC) with helpful steering interventions to maintain the lane. All driver assistance systems feature improved control mechanisms.
      Handling and long-distance comfort: the chassis
      The new A7 further extends its synthesis of sportiness and comfort. The optional dynamic-all-wheel steering, the new electronic chassis program (ECP) – the central controller for the chassis – and the updated air suspension make it even more agile, nimble and comfortable. The A7 is thus the perfect Gran Turismo: dynamic and agile on twisty country roads, yet comfortable on long highway stretches.
      Many aspects of the front and rear axles have been developed from scratch. The standard progressive steering, whose generally sporty ratio becomes even more direct the further the steering wheel is turned, features a new concept for intensive road feedback. Mounted behind large wheels – up to 21 inches and 255/35 – with improved rolling comfort are aluminum fixed-caliper brakes with discs up to 400 millimeters (15.7 in) in diameter. Customers can choose between four suspension setups: a conventional steel spring suspension, the sport suspension that lowers ride height by 10 millimeters (0.4 in), electronically controlled damping and the self-leveling adaptive air suspension.
      The top chassis-related innovation is dynamic-all-wheel steering. It combines direct, sporty steering response with unshakable stability, resolving the conflict of aims between agility and comfort. The steering ratio varies as a function of speed between 9.5:1 and 16.5:1 by means of active steering interventions at the front and rear axle. At the front axle, strain wave gearing is used to superimpose these in response to the driver’s steering input. At the rear axle, a spindle drive turns the wheels by as much as 5 degrees. At low speed, they steer counter to the front wheels to further increase the agility of the big coupe when parking or driving in urban traffic, for example. This reduces the turning circle at full lock by 1.1 meters (3.6 ft). At 60 km/h (37.3 mph) and above, the rear axle steers in the same direction to increase straight-line stability and facilitate lane changes.
      The optional sport differential improves handing even further. It actively distributes drive torque between the rear wheels, complementing quattro all-wheel drive. Like dynamic-all-wheel steering, controlled damping and the adaptive air suspension, the sport differential is integrated into the control function of the electronic chassis platform (ECP). These systems are closely networked for maximum precision. The driver can use the Audi drive select system to activate different ride profiles featuring a more pronounced difference between comfort and sportiness than in the previous model.
      Broad-based electrification: mild hybrid system for greater comfort and efficiency
      All engines used in the A7 Sportback come standard with a new mild hybrid system (MHEV) for greater comfort and efficiency. With the two V6 engines, this uses a 48-volt primary electrical system. A belt alternator starter (BAS) works together with a lithium-ion battery and achieves a recuperation performance of up to 12 kW when braking. At speeds between 55 and 160 km/h (34.2 – 99.4 mph), the four-door coupe can coast in freewheeling mode with the engine deactivated and then restarted comfortably via the BAS.
      The start-stop function has been significantly expanded and now activates at 22 km/h (13.7 mph). In combination with the standard front camera, the engine is restarted predictively while at a standstill as soon as vehicle ahead begins to move. In real-world driving, the MHEV technology reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.7 liters per 100 kilometers.
      The new Audi A7 Sportback will initially launch with the 3.0 V6 TFSI. The sonorously understated V6 turbo produces 250 kW (340 hp) and 500 Nm (368.8 lb-ft). The four-door coupe sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds and has a top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph). In the NEDC, the base version of the Audi A7 55 TFSI consumes 6.8 liters of fuel (34.6 US mpg), corresponding to CO2 emissions of 154 grams (247.8 g/mi). The 3.0 TFSI is paired with a seven-speed S tronic. Its quattro drivetrain uses the efficient ultra technology that activates rear-wheel drive as needed. Additional six- and four-cylinder engines, both gasoline and diesel, will follow shortly after the start of production.
      The body concept: Coupé, Sedan and Avant in one
      The A7 Sportback combines the best of all worlds and is a dynamic all-around talent for business and recreation. It offers the design of a Coupé, the spaciousness of a Sedan and the variability of an Avant. The interior concept of the A7 Sportback impresses with more space and more comfortable seating – and that despite having a dynamic roofline. Compared with the previous model, interior length has increased 21 millimeters (0.8 in), resulting in more rear knee room. Rear passengers also enjoy more head room. The loading width has also increased compared with the previous model and now measures 1,050 millimeters (3.4 ft).
      Topping the range of all-new seats are the multi-adjustable, customized contour front seats with ventilation and massage. The configuration with individual rear seats (alternative: 2+1 bench) offers a plenty of space and comfort. New high-tech options make life with the Audi A7 Sportback even more comfortable and convenient. The air quality package improves interior air quality by means of fragrancing with subtle scents, an ionizer and an effective combination filter.
      The body, which features steel and aluminum composite construction with large components such as add-on parts made of aluminum, is a key factor in the improved handling and greater comfort. The four-door coupe scores top marks with respect to body stiffness, aeroacoustics and aerodynamics. The Gran Turismo spoils its passengers with improved acoustic comfort and – thanks to sophisticated aerodynamics – minimal wind noise.
      The improved panoramic glass sunroof with particularly large glass elements lets more light into the cabin. The heated windshield and wipers with integrated nozzles are additional options for more convenience.
      Despite the markedly dynamic lines, the luggage compartment has a base capacity of 535 liters (18.9 cu ft). This increases to 1,390 liters (49.1 cu ft) with the rear seats folded down. The luggage compartment has been optimized so that two golf bags now fit horizontally – in addition to the optional spare tire. The optional sensor-controlled rear hatch opens and closes automatically in response to a foot motion.
      The new Audi A7 Sportback rolls off the assembly line at the Neckarsulm site and will launch on the German market in late February 2018. The base price for the 55 TFSI quattro S tronic is 67,800 euros. 
    • By William Maley
      Porsche's GTS models bring forth additional performance along with some additional creature comforts. The latest models to get the GTS treatment are the 718 Boxster and Cayman.
      The changes begin with the turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder boxer engine which now features a new intake and revisions to the turbocharger. Output is rated at 365 horsepower and either 309 or 317 pound-feet of torque (depending on the transmission). A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission is optional. Porsche also fits their Active Suspension System and Porsche Torque Vectoring with a mechanical rear differential on the GTS.
      Outside, the 718 GTS comes with a new front bumper, tinted headlights, 20-inch wheels with a black finish, black rear apron, and black badging. The interior gets Alcantara sport seats, an Alcantrara-wrapped steering wheel, and the Sport Chrono Package.
      Porsche says the 718 Boxster and Cayman GTS are available for order with prices beginning at $80,850 for the Cayman and $82,950 for the Boxster. Prices include a $1,050 destination charge. Deliveries will begin in March.
      Source: Porsche
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Sharper design, greater performance – the 2018 Porsche 718 GTS Models
      More power, exclusive equipment October 17, 2017, Atlanta, Georgia. Porsche is expanding the mid-engine 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman model lines with new GTS models. A newly developed intake plenum and an optimized turbocharger increases the output of the 2.5 liter flat-four cylinder engine to 365 horsepower. This is 15 horsepower more than on the 718 S models and up to 35 horsepower more compared to the previous generation of naturally aspirated Boxster and Cayman GTS variants. Like all 718 model variants, the new GTS derivatives come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. The seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch transmission is available to order as an option. A number of performance-enhancing options such as Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) including a mechanical rear-differential lock or the Sport Chrono Package are standard on the GTS models, as well as Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), which reduces the ride height by 0.39 inches (10 millimeters) compared to the standard suspension on other 718 Boxster and Cayman models.
      Increased performance with more power
      The maximum torque of up to 317 lb-ft (309 lb-ft on manual transmission models) is available across a broad power band from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm (1,900 to 5,500 rpm on manual transmission models) and further improves acceleration. When equipped with the optional PDK transmission both GTS models are capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. The top track speed is 180 mph.
      Characteristic GTS: black accents inside and out
      The GTS models set themselves apart through distinct visual differences. The Sport Design front fascia underscores the performance of the car. Tinted front indicator lights and taillights, model designations in black, a black lower rear fascia, and black tips on the centrally mounted standard Sport Exhaust System make the GTS models stand out. Black GTS designations on the doors and matte black 20-inch wheels complete the particularly dynamic appearance.
      Interior: Standard Alcantara® and Porsche Track Precision App
      The interior is also pure GTS. The chronometer of the standard Sport Chrono Package is centrally mounted on the dashboard. The seat centers of the standard Sport Seats Plus are made of Alcantara®. Featuring an embroidered GTS logo on the headrests, they provide particularly high lateral support and comfort. The steering wheel rim, center console armrest, and door armrests are also made of Alcantara®. When the optional Navigation Module and Connect Plus Packages are ordered, the standard Sport Chrono Package also offers the Porsche Track Precision App (PTPA). The app allows performance oriented drivers to automatically record, display, and analyze driving data obtained on closed courses on a smartphone.
      Market availability and pricing
      The 2018 718 GTS models are now available to order and are expected to arrive at U.S. dealers by March 2018. The base MSRP - excluding the $1,050 delivery, processing, and handling fee - is as follows:
      718 Cayman GTS     $79,800 
      718 Boxster GTS      $81,900
    • By William Maley
      Porsche's GTS models bring forth additional performance along with some additional creature comforts. The latest models to get the GTS treatment are the 718 Boxster and Cayman.
      The changes begin with the turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder boxer engine which now features a new intake and revisions to the turbocharger. Output is rated at 365 horsepower and either 309 or 317 pound-feet of torque (depending on the transmission). A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission is optional. Porsche also fits their Active Suspension System and Porsche Torque Vectoring with a mechanical rear differential on the GTS.
      Outside, the 718 GTS comes with a new front bumper, tinted headlights, 20-inch wheels with a black finish, black rear apron, and black badging. The interior gets Alcantara sport seats, an Alcantrara-wrapped steering wheel, and the Sport Chrono Package.
      Porsche says the 718 Boxster and Cayman GTS are available for order with prices beginning at $80,850 for the Cayman and $82,950 for the Boxster. Prices include a $1,050 destination charge. Deliveries will begin in March.
      Source: Porsche
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Sharper design, greater performance – the 2018 Porsche 718 GTS Models
      More power, exclusive equipment October 17, 2017, Atlanta, Georgia. Porsche is expanding the mid-engine 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman model lines with new GTS models. A newly developed intake plenum and an optimized turbocharger increases the output of the 2.5 liter flat-four cylinder engine to 365 horsepower. This is 15 horsepower more than on the 718 S models and up to 35 horsepower more compared to the previous generation of naturally aspirated Boxster and Cayman GTS variants. Like all 718 model variants, the new GTS derivatives come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. The seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch transmission is available to order as an option. A number of performance-enhancing options such as Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) including a mechanical rear-differential lock or the Sport Chrono Package are standard on the GTS models, as well as Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), which reduces the ride height by 0.39 inches (10 millimeters) compared to the standard suspension on other 718 Boxster and Cayman models.
      Increased performance with more power
      The maximum torque of up to 317 lb-ft (309 lb-ft on manual transmission models) is available across a broad power band from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm (1,900 to 5,500 rpm on manual transmission models) and further improves acceleration. When equipped with the optional PDK transmission both GTS models are capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. The top track speed is 180 mph.
      Characteristic GTS: black accents inside and out
      The GTS models set themselves apart through distinct visual differences. The Sport Design front fascia underscores the performance of the car. Tinted front indicator lights and taillights, model designations in black, a black lower rear fascia, and black tips on the centrally mounted standard Sport Exhaust System make the GTS models stand out. Black GTS designations on the doors and matte black 20-inch wheels complete the particularly dynamic appearance.
      Interior: Standard Alcantara® and Porsche Track Precision App
      The interior is also pure GTS. The chronometer of the standard Sport Chrono Package is centrally mounted on the dashboard. The seat centers of the standard Sport Seats Plus are made of Alcantara®. Featuring an embroidered GTS logo on the headrests, they provide particularly high lateral support and comfort. The steering wheel rim, center console armrest, and door armrests are also made of Alcantara®. When the optional Navigation Module and Connect Plus Packages are ordered, the standard Sport Chrono Package also offers the Porsche Track Precision App (PTPA). The app allows performance oriented drivers to automatically record, display, and analyze driving data obtained on closed courses on a smartphone.
      Market availability and pricing
      The 2018 718 GTS models are now available to order and are expected to arrive at U.S. dealers by March 2018. The base MSRP - excluding the $1,050 delivery, processing, and handling fee - is as follows:
      718 Cayman GTS     $79,800 
      718 Boxster GTS      $81,900

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The Volkswagen Jetta is an important model for the North American market and a new model is just over the horizon. Volkswagen North America CEO Hinrich Woebcken recently spoke with journalists at the Redbull Global Rallycross Championship in Los Angeles and dropped some interesting details about the next-generation Jetta.
      The new Jetta will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Design-wise, Woebcken said it would have coupe-like form and promises to be "great-looking". Dealers were shown the vehicle back in April and were “extremely excited” about it. Woebcken also said the new Jetta will be given the "North American touch, not always in terms of lower costs or less content, but in specific needs for the market.”
      A few other bits of information about the next Jetta
      An R-Line model will be available within three months of the launch - possibly spring A manual transmission will be available at launch. Concerns about the manual going away stem from the 2018 GLI not having this option. As for the GLI itself, the new version will launch a year after the regular Jetta The next-generation Passat was also briefly mentioned. Woebcken said the model would launch sometime in 2019 and described the design as “not evolutionary, but really exciting exterior design.”
      Source: Motor Trend
      Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears

      View full article
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