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William Maley

Chevrolet News:2019 Chevrolet Cruze, Malibu, and Spark Get New Faces

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Chevrolet has introduced mid-cycle refreshes for the bulk of their passenger car lineup. New faces are the big change of note for the 2019 Cruze, Malibu, and Spark. But there are other changes for these models which we will detail below.

2019 Malibu

Out of the three, the 2019 Malibu gets the most significant updates. It begins with the introduction of the RS package that adds a black grille, black badge, dual-outlet exhaust and special 18-inch wheels. Those hoping for some changes with the suspension are out of luck since there are none.

Models equipped with the 1.5L turbo swap the six-speed automatic for a CVT. All Malibus will get an 8-inch touchscreen with the new Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system.

2019 Cruze

We first reported this back in December and it has now been confirmed. The manual transmission will no longer be available on any version of the Cruze. This means only automatics will be available - six-speed for gas and nine-speed for diesel. The Cruze Hatchback lineup gains a new LS variant to serve as the base. We're expecting the LS hatch to be somewhere in the $20,000 to $21,000 range for its base price.

Other changes include the introduction of the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system, and LT and Premier models getting automatic climate control and remote start as standard.

2019 Spark

Last up is the 2019 Spark. It gets new styling for the rear and optional low-speed automatic emergency braking.

No word on pricing, but we expect to find out when all of these models go on sale later this year.

Source: Chevrolet
Press Release is on Page 2


NEW RS TRIM LEADS RESTYLED 2019 CHEVROLET MALIBU LINEUP

DETROIT — Updated styling across the lineup — led by the first-ever RS trim — introduces additional choices to the 2019 Chevrolet Malibu and improves its presence.

“We see an exciting opportunity with the 2019 Malibu to give customers new, distinctive choices, exemplified by Malibu RS,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “It offers athletic design and amazing features at an attractive price point starting between Malibu LS and LT trims.”

The first-ever Malibu RS offers a sporty, personalized appearance starting at around $25,000, driven by styling cues that include 18-inch machined wheels, black sport grille, black bowtie emblems, a rear spoiler and a dual-outlet exhaust. Inside, Malibu RS features a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, black cloth seats and a standard 8-inch diagonal color touchscreen running the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system.

Offered on five 2019 models, the RS trim is a Chevrolet success story that gives customers distinctive choice, strong value and performance-driven design. 

The new, standard 8-inch diagonal touchscreen running Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system and new CVT transmission mated to the standard 1.5L Turbo engine further refine the 2019 Malibu line. The Premier trim retains its 2.0L Turbo paired to a nine-speed automatic.

Performance-inspired design

The Malibu’s front fascia, grilles and headlamps are all-new. The headlamps are integrated with the upper grille and the larger, bolder lower grille, giving the car a more powerful presence. High-performance LED lighting are integrated into the headlamps for Premier models, and there are new LED signature daytime running lamps for LT and Premier. There’s greater attention to detail in the grille and headlamps, with bold chrome accents reinforcing Malibu’s premium appearance.

A new rear valance pushes the dual-exhaust outlets farther toward the corners, emphasizing the car’s width, while new taillamps deliver a more dramatic execution of Chevrolet’s signature dual-element design. The LT and Premier trims feature LED taillamps.

“The Malibu’s fresh look refines and enhances the sculptural beauty of the Malibu,” said John Cafaro, executive director, Global Chevrolet Design. “It will also be an obvious member of the Chevrolet car family.”

Additional 2019 updates across Malibu’s lineup include:

  • A new, standard 8-inch diagonal color touchscreen radio running Chevrolet Infotainment 3
  • New 8-inch diagonal reconfigurable driver information center display on the Premier model
  • Rear Vision Camera1 system is now standard on the Malibu L model
  • The up-level Malibu Premier features standard heated outboard rear seats
  • New available interior and exterior colors
  • New wheel designs available in multiple sizes, including 16-, 17- and 18-inch

The restyled Malibu joins the 2019 Cruze and Spark as part of Chevrolet’s freshened car portfolio. It goes on sale this fall.

RESTYLED 2019 CHEVROLET CRUZE POSITIONED TO STRENGTHEN MARKET MOMENTUM

DETROIT — Chevrolet today introduced the restyled 2019 Cruze with a more premium appearance that enhances its on-road presence and strengthens its value for customers. The updates for 2019 position Cruze to continue its success in the compact car segment.

“Cruze is a cornerstone of Chevrolet’s car strategy, bringing new customers to the brand,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “In fact, 53 percent of Cruze customers in 2017 were new to Chevrolet. Cruze has been so successful at attracting new buyers to Chevy because its lineup offers something for every customer, from body style to fuel choice to trim and design.”

Recent introductions of the Cruze Hatch and Diesel models helped push the car to a 0.6-percent retail market share gain in 2017 and helped Chevrolet secure its third consecutive year of higher overall retail market share.

New design
The 2019 Cruze’s front fascia and grilles are all-new. Revised grille designs reinforce Cruze’s premium appearance. In the Premier trim, Chevrolet’s signature dual-element taillamps now feature LED accent lighting, which adds to Cruze’s sculptural beauty.

“Cruze’s refreshed styling gives Cruze a more upscale look while maintaining its Chevrolet design DNA,” said John Cafaro, executive director, Global Chevrolet Design.

What’s new for 2019
Chevrolet is the most awarded, fastest-growing brand for the last four years overall* and as part of that, the first-ever Cruze Hatch LS continues Chevrolet’s commitment and momentum in offering a broad car portfolio with choices for every budget and need.

Additional updates include:

  • New Chevrolet Infotainment 3 running on a standard 7-inch diagonal color touchscreen radio
  • Remote start and automatic climate control standard on LT and Premier models
  • New wheel designs
  • Black window moldings, bowtie emblems and 17-inch (and available 18-inch) machined wheels for Cruze’s RS package
  • New available Umber interior color

The 2019 Cruze goes on sale later this year, offered in sedan and hatchback models, with 1.4L turbo and available 1.6L turbo-diesel engines. It also features 4G LTE connectivity and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot (with limited service trial), and one of the segment’s biggest rosters of available active safety features, including:

  • Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Rear Park Assist
  • Following Distance Indicator
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Front pedestrian braking
  • Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
  • Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking

CHEVROLET INTRODUCES RESTYLED 2019 SPARK

DETROIT — An updated face and new available active safety technology for the 2019 Spark add attitude and purpose to Chevrolet’s feisty, segment sales-leading mini-car.

“Customers can easily personalize Spark, which is a main reason why it leads its segment in sales, attracting both young buyers and women to the brand,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “Spark is an excellent value for customers seeking an affordable car that offers great safety technology and connectivity.”

Spark’s fresh front-end styling takes its cues from the Chevrolet line, while new, available Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking1 can help drivers prevent or reduce the severity of low-speed front-end collisions by applying the brakes or enhancing the driver’s braking.

The new styling boosts Spark’s premium appearance with a rich use of chrome in the grille. Available projector-style headlamps further enhance Spark’s chic styling. The available LED daytime running lamps are moved lower, giving Spark a more powerful presence and a family resemblance to the rest of the Chevrolet car lineup.

At the rear, dual-element taillamps further the signature brand cue. Spark continues its tradition of offering customer personalization through bright and distinctive paint colors.

The 2019 Spark is offered in LS, LT, 2LT and ACTIV trims, with the ACTIV featuring crossover-inspired design cues and a ride height raised by 10mm. All trims feature standard air conditioning, 10 standard airbags2 and a rear-vision camera system.

New, segment-exclusive Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking joins the available Driver Confidence Package, complementing the package’s additional active safety features, Forward Collision Alert1 and Lane Departure Warning. 1

When it comes to connectivity, Spark delivers a standard Chevrolet infotainment system featuring phone integration compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a limited trial of OnStar and connectivity access at no additional cost, plus access to the MyChevrolet mobile app.

Spark is powered by a 1.4L DOHC engine offered with a manual transmission or an available continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The refreshed Spark joins the 2019 Malibu and Cruze as part of Chevrolet’s updated car portfolio, which offers new styling, new technologies and more choices and value. It goes on sale later this year.


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:puke: These all remind me of the Current Gen Honda's now. :puke:

And what is up with going stupid CVT and leaving 6 sp in the gas versions and not use the 9sp. At this rate, GM is going to lose me to Ford or even non-American.

GM, wake up as your killing good product for terrible bland blah auto's.

:nono::nono::nono:

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Interesting, they're no longer calling the infotainment system MyLink?  I asked about Intellilink at the GMC do in NYC last week and they didn't have an answer.  The GMC systems are no longer branded as Intellilink.  Needs some looking into. 

That would make a really nice looking coupe.

large.2019-Chevrolet-Malibu-006.jpg.60cb

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GMC site has the following listed for building:
image.png

Shocking to see a Denali XL fully loaded hit 90K. WOW

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I am not a fan of the big mouth bass look front end grille on these, I think the Impala is the only good looking Chevy car and that includes Corvette.  8 inch Nav screen is pretty standard stuff.  Why on earth would they use a CVT on the Malibu vs the 9 speed auto?  It is like Chevy is begging people to buy the Accord.

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15 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

I am not a fan of the big mouth bass look front end grille on these, I think the Impala is the only good looking Chevy car and that includes Corvette.  8 inch Nav screen is pretty standard stuff.  Why on earth would they use a CVT on the Malibu vs the 9 speed auto?  It is like Chevy is begging people to buy the Accord.

??

The Accord has a 1.5T and CVT.  So it's not like they're going to get a different transmission there.

1 minute ago, ccap41 said:

The CVT thing is a little confusing to me as they already have development costs wrapped up into a 9spd. 

I assume it is a cost thing. CVTs are cheap and they're great for fuel economy. The 9-speed has got to be an expensive piece of machinery. 

Altima, Accord, Legacy, and now Malibu are all using CVTs. 

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19 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

I am not a fan of the big mouth bass look front end grille on these, I think the Impala is the only good looking Chevy car and that includes Corvette.  8 inch Nav screen is pretty standard stuff.  Why on earth would they use a CVT on the Malibu vs the 9 speed auto?  It is like Chevy is begging people to buy the Accord.

Agree that I also do not like the Big Mouth Billy bass look and wonder about why they are not using the 9 spd tranny and are going to a CVT?

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Posted (edited)

Good. Now that some negatives have poured in, I could now unashamedly do some bashing of my own of the re-freshed Malibu.

The new Big Mouth Billy Bass face of the Malibu looks like shyte! 

On the Cruze, it aint that much better. 

The Fusion re-freshed face is a million times better. And that too is a year older than the Malibu.... I CANNOT believe Ford is thinking about ditching the Fusion. :palm:

 

About the CVT transmission. 

I heard a rumor

 

that CVT transmissions are really not all that reliable. Nissan's CVT to be exact. The steel belt...unlike Superman, is not indestructible.  

So why for the possible headaches? 

Edited by oldshurst442
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6 minutes ago, oldshurst442 said:

Good. Now that some negatives have poured in, I could now unashamedly do some bashing of my own of the re-freshed Malibu.

The new Big Mouth Billy Bass face of the Malibu looks like shyte! 

On the Cruze, it aint that much better. 

The Fusion re-freshed face is a million times better. And that too is a year older than the Malibu.... I CANNOT believe Ford is thinking about ditching the Fusion. :palm:

 

About the CVT transmission. 

 

CVTs are only any decent when there is some relatively good low end torque.  The 1.5T isn't spectacular in that regard.

The only Chevy I like with that face is the Traverse. 

nydn-2018-chevrolet-traverse-high-country-black-profile.jpg

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I think the new Traverse looks good (by crossover standards).  The Chevy look works there.  I read an Accord review with the 2 liter so that was a 9 speed I think, I didn't realize they used a CVT now in the base car, because they used to use a 6 speed auto I think.

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11 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

I think the new Traverse looks good (by crossover standards).  The Chevy look works there.  I read an Accord review with the 2 liter so that was a 9 speed I think, I didn't realize they used a CVT now in the base car, because they used to use a 6 speed auto I think.

Malibu and Accord power train options are pretty near evenly matched. Probably more so than any other in the class.

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4 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Malibu and Accord power train options are pretty near evenly matched. Probably more so than any other in the class.

Similar set up, but the Accord 1.5T makes 30 more hp than Chevy's and gets better gas mileage.  And the Accord has a rather good interior, they really did that well. 

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1.5T + CVT v. 1.5T + CVT

2.0T + 9speed v. 2.0T + 10speed

Hybrid CVT v. Hybrid CVT

The offerings are pretty darn close.

Each one has pluses and minuses.  The Malibu and Accord are quite competitive here.  For the interior, add in the newest Mazda 6 and you have probably the three top interiors in the segment.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Interesting, they're no longer calling the infotainment system MyLink?  I asked about Intellilink at the GMC do in NYC last week and they didn't have an answer.  The GMC systems are no longer branded as Intellilink.  Needs some looking into. 

That would make a really nice looking coupe.

large.2019-Chevrolet-Malibu-006.jpg.60cb

didn't this start with Cadillac's infotainment upgrade?  Visteon, Delphi, Harman? is providing the whole systems now?  The system in our pacifica has the same font as the new cadillac infotainment.  I wonder if these systems are not all starting to come either from the same manufacturer or one or two typical vendors....... and thus using an industry standard font or something

image.png

 

 

Edited by regfootball

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Posted (edited)

Funny story, but not, and true.  The dealer when they changed the oil on my 1.5t a couple weeks ago said the oil leak was back.  So i brought it in again to fix it (again).  BUt then they said it wasn't leaking ("Just some residue left over").  Some of you have seen my complaints about the power in the car (being borderline unacceptable).  Well, two things happened recently.  First was, i am on the freeway and a large commercial truck pulls into the lane RIGHT behind my car....literally it was moving over to free up the left lane and had not seen me in the middle lane.  I can swear he may be have missed my rear end and bumper by 3-10 feet at 70 mph.  I saw this transpiring in the rear view mirror, and it scared the shit out of me.  I FLOORED it like my life depended on it and the CAR WOULD NOT get up and go!  No power, no tranny help.  I could not escape the situation!  At least the truck driver saw their mistake and slowed down.  So i mentioned this to my wife after she told me her story.  She never drives the car , but one day did and she told me 'it seems like the car is losing power'.  So when i was getting the car checked, i told them about the sense of losing power (since this engine has a rep of cracked pistons and other maladies to go with its low power / losing power on some malibu sites).  So they claim to have done yet another ECU upgrade.  I haven't noticed a power difference and now mpg seems to have taken a 10-15% hit.........

When this lease is hope i was so hoping that the 2.0 would be an accessible option in cloth seat Malibu, but instead I get to dream about a CVT!!!!!!

Chevy needs to think about their relentless CAFE and cost cutting pushes here.  Do you want buyers who like the car or not.  I just saw on the car and driver FB post for this another malibu 1.5 owner like me complaining about the lack of juice in the 1.5.  I do love the gas mileage when i take trips but Chevy seems to be only concerned with autonomous vehicles, CAFE, no v6's, smaller and smaller interiors, removing good styling....I think GM needs product people again.  They are too consumed with PR, social media, etc.  EPA may rollback some CAFE soon and not a moment too soon.  I am for good mpg but there is a middle ground too and 1.5 + CVT is something that is being forced..... at least give the choice of the 2.0 on the lower trim cars or give us a 1.8 option.  Or even the v6.

Rumor is the Impala will get cut soon too and in which case no Chevy v6 sedan.  I love turbo fours but after this Malibu and my two Chrysler vans with their v6, i am missing the v6 again..... 

1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

I think the new Traverse looks good (by crossover standards).  The Chevy look works there.  I read an Accord review with the 2 liter so that was a 9 speed I think, I didn't realize they used a CVT now in the base car, because they used to use a 6 speed auto I think.

I may skip the Malibu next time because of the CVT and just find a base equipped Traverse as my next ride.

Edited by regfootball
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Maybe GM wants all of us to buy the crossovers rather than the sedans, since the firm makes more profits that way.

I would rather have an Envision or an XT5, but if I were to go Chevy, the Impala is the best choice (for me).  As for the smaller cars, it is obvious why Chevy is using the same front-end look: $$$$$.

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Well, I did ask for a base hatch...guess I got my wish.....

Like the RS pack for the Mali..needed a sporty package.

GIves me more good options if things change in the economy....

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I think the updates look good.  Good to see them checking their own freshness dates.  Not a fan of CVT after owning one and driving two others fairly often.

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CVT sucks, people know that, ugly refresh, GM seems to be focused on moving everyone whether they like it or not to CUV/SUV/Trucks as they kill off cars. Yet that just seems narrow thinking in my business book.

Why can the American auto companies not figure out how to keep a couple good looking, selling auto's around and still also supply what the bulk of the public has moved too. <_<

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19 hours ago, smk4565 said:

I am not a fan of the big mouth bass look front end grille on these, I think the Impala is the only good looking Chevy car and that includes Corvette.  8 inch Nav screen is pretty standard stuff.  Why on earth would they use a CVT on the Malibu vs the 9 speed auto?  It is like Chevy is begging people to buy the Accord.

For once I could not agree more.

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On 4/7/2018 at 12:48 PM, A Horse With No Name said:

For once I could not agree more.

Why would anyone buy an Accord when they can buy a CR-V or a Pilot instead these days?

Then again, GM wants us to buy more Chevy CUVs for one reason: the search for more money.

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Now I'm wondering (hoping) the Colorado/Canyon receive a facelift as well for 2019.  And maybe a new seat design.

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On 4/6/2018 at 9:43 PM, regfootball said:

Funny story, but not, and true.  The dealer when they changed the oil on my 1.5t a couple weeks ago said the oil leak was back.  So i brought it in again to fix it (again).  BUt then they said it wasn't leaking ("Just some residue left over").  Some of you have seen my complaints about the power in the car (being borderline unacceptable).  Well, two things happened recently.  First was, i am on the freeway and a large commercial truck pulls into the lane RIGHT behind my car....literally it was moving over to free up the left lane and had not seen me in the middle lane.  I can swear he may be have missed my rear end and bumper by 3-10 feet at 70 mph.  I saw this transpiring in the rear view mirror, and it scared the &#036;h&#33; out of me.  I FLOORED it like my life depended on it and the CAR WOULD NOT get up and go!  No power, no tranny help.  I could not escape the situation!  At least the truck driver saw their mistake and slowed down.  So i mentioned this to my wife after she told me her story.  She never drives the car , but one day did and she told me 'it seems like the car is losing power'.  So when i was getting the car checked, i told them about the sense of losing power (since this engine has a rep of cracked pistons and other maladies to go with its low power / losing power on some malibu sites).  So they claim to have done yet another ECU upgrade.  I haven't noticed a power difference and now mpg seems to have taken a 10-15% hit.........

When this lease is hope i was so hoping that the 2.0 would be an accessible option in cloth seat Malibu, but instead I get to dream about a CVT!!!!!!

Chevy needs to think about their relentless CAFE and cost cutting pushes here.  Do you want buyers who like the car or not.  I just saw on the car and driver FB post for this another malibu 1.5 owner like me complaining about the lack of juice in the 1.5.  I do love the gas mileage when i take trips but Chevy seems to be only concerned with autonomous vehicles, CAFE, no v6's, smaller and smaller interiors, removing good styling....I think GM needs product people again.  They are too consumed with PR, social media, etc.  EPA may rollback some CAFE soon and not a moment too soon.  I am for good mpg but there is a middle ground too and 1.5 + CVT is something that is being forced..... at least give the choice of the 2.0 on the lower trim cars or give us a 1.8 option.  Or even the v6.

Rumor is the Impala will get cut soon too and in which case no Chevy v6 sedan.  I love turbo fours but after this Malibu and my two Chrysler vans with their v6, i am missing the v6 again..... 

I may skip the Malibu next time because of the CVT and just find a base equipped Traverse as my next ride.

Luckily there's an easy fix.. Don't buy a Malibu with the 1.5 next time. Also, make sure you take it for a good test drive because that also would have prevented this. 

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      MOST CAPABLE, MOST ADVANCED SILVERADO HEAVY DUTY EVER TO DEBUT IN FEBRUARY 2019
      2020 Silverado HD is the third all-new Silverado in 18 months DETROIT — When the 2020 Silverado HD debuts in February 2019 it will be the most capable and most advanced Silverado HD ever. It will also be the third all-new Silverado model from Chevrolet in just 18 months — each designed for different customers.
      “We know the needs and priorities of heavy-duty customers are different than those of either light-duty or medium-duty customers,” said Jaclyn McQuaid, chief engineer, Silverado HD. “As such, we built a heavy-duty truck tailor-made for them that has more differentiation than ever before from light-duty models, offers advanced towing technologies to improve towing confidence and includes new features such as the integrated Bedstep, which makes it easier to access the bed while pulling a fifth-wheel trailer.”
      Built at the Flint Assembly plant in Flint, Mich., the new Silverado HD’s design has a bold, sculpted form that follows its enhanced heavy-duty function, differentiating it from the light-duty Silverado. In fact, the 2020 Silverado HD exterior shares only the roof with its Silverado 1500 stablemate — every other piece of sheet metal is exclusive to Silverado HD.
      “We set out to make a statement with the 2020 Silverado HD and wanted to visually capture the power and capability of the truck,” said Brian Izard, lead exterior designer for Silverado HD. “The result is a truck that looks like a piece of heavy machinery with modern, chiseled finishes and customer-focused details.”
      The interior benefits from similar architectural changes made to the all-new Silverado 1500, including an additional 3 inches of legroom on crew cab models and a taller, more comfortable seating position.
      Under the 2020 Silverado HD’s hood is a choice of two new powertrains: an all-new gasoline engine with direct injection mated to a six-speed transmission, or the Duramax Turbo-Diesel V-8, which delivers 910 lb-ft of torque through an all-new, Allison 10-speed transmission.
      The 2020 Silverado HD also will offer all-new customer-focused trailering technology, significant increases in towing and payload capabilities and a host of technologies and features designed specifically for heavy-duty truck customers.
      GM’s focus on understanding truck customers has helped build the most successful truck franchise in the industry over the last four years. Since introducing the industry’s first three-truck strategy with midsize, full-size light-duty and full-size heavy-duty trucks in 2014, GM has been the best-selling truck manufacturer for four consecutive years. The company has sold more than 600,000 pickups than the closest manufacturer from 2014 through the first three quarters of 2018.
      That momentum is expected to continue with the launches of the new Colorado ZR2 Bison, all-new Silverado 1500, the all-new Silverado Medium-Duty trucks and now the all-new Silverado HD models.
      The 2020 Silverado HD goes on sale in mid-2019, stay tuned for more details about the all-new 2020 Silverado HD.
    • By William Maley
      A few weeks back, I attended an event at Hyundai’s technical center which resides outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The reason for my visit was to get a preview of what they’ll be showing at the LA Auto Show (which I’ll be able to talk about later today once the NDA lifts). But Hyundai also offered the chance to drive some of their latest products on a small drive route. I had the chance to drive three models; the Santa Fe, Kona, and Veloster. 
      A quick note about this first drive report. You will not get any impressions on the handling of the three models. The short drive was mostly made up of straight roads around the technical center. You’ll need to wait until I can my hands on the vehicles for a week-long evaluation to see how they fare in the bends.
      First up is the Santa Fe.
      I’m quite impressed with the work done on the Santa Fe’s exterior as it has much more presence on the road than the Santa Fe Sport it replaces. The square shape is accentuated by a more aggressive grille and a more upright rear end. One downside to the new look is the raised belt line, which reduces the overall glass area and makes the interior feel slightly cramped. Step inside and Hyundai has taken a huge leap forward here. A lot of their current interiors tend to focus more on utility and having controls in easy reach. The Santa Fe adds a bit of style with rounded edges, sculpted sides for the driver and passenger, and brushed metal accents. One nice touch in the Ultimate is a contrasting roofline that looks and feels like a piece of soft linen. One item that hasn’t changed is the controls. They are still easy to find and operate. The front seats are quite comfortable and offer a number of power adjustments to help dial in the perfect position. The rear seat is massive with loads of head and legroom, even with the optional panoramic sunroof. A 2.4L four-cylinder with 185 horsepower serves as the base engine, while a more powerful 2.0L turbo-four pumping out 235 horsepower is available on the higher-end Limited and Ultimate. An eight-speed automatic is standard on either engine, and you do have the choice of either front or Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system. I drove the turbo-four with AWD and found it to be a bit underwhelming. The issue is the noticeable delay with power delivery when leaving from a stop or accelerating suddenly from a low cruising speed. I can’t fully tell if this due to the tuning of the engine, transmission, or combination of the two. It is quite the shame because the engine really shows it has punch when making a pass.  Ride quality is towards the top of the class as the suspension is able to smooth out most rough road surfaces. Road and wind noise are well-muted. There’s a lot to like about the 2019 Santa Fe with its new look inside and out; spacious interior, and smooth ride. The turbo engine does sour my initial impression and has me wondering if you should wait a year until picking the turbo engine. Those who have driven the 2.4L say the engine is slightly sluggish, but I would take that over the mess that is the turbo-four. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided Breakfast, Lunch, and the Santa Fe for this Event.
      Gallery: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe
      Year: 2019
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Santa Fe
      Engine: 2.4L 16-Valve DOHC GDI Four-Cylinder or Turbocharged 2.0L CVVT DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front or All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 185 @ 6,000 (2.4); 235 @ 6,000 (2.0T)
      Torque @ RPM: 178 @ 4,000 (2.4); 260 @ 1,450-3,500 (2.0T)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/29/25 (2.4 FWD), 21/27/23 (2.4 AWD), 20/25/22 (2.0T FWD), 19/24/21 (2.0T AWD)
      Curb Weight: 3,591 - 4,085 lbs
      Base Price: $24,750 - $38,800

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      A few weeks back, I attended an event at Hyundai’s technical center which resides outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The reason for my visit was to get a preview of what they’ll be showing at the LA Auto Show (which I’ll be able to talk about later today once the NDA lifts). But Hyundai also offered the chance to drive some of their latest products on a small drive route. I had the chance to drive three models; the Santa Fe, Kona, and Veloster. 
      A quick note about this first drive report. You will not get any impressions on the handling of the three models. The short drive was mostly made up of straight roads around the technical center. You’ll need to wait until I can my hands on the vehicles for a week-long evaluation to see how they fare in the bends.
      First up is the Santa Fe.
      I’m quite impressed with the work done on the Santa Fe’s exterior as it has much more presence on the road than the Santa Fe Sport it replaces. The square shape is accentuated by a more aggressive grille and a more upright rear end. One downside to the new look is the raised belt line, which reduces the overall glass area and makes the interior feel slightly cramped. Step inside and Hyundai has taken a huge leap forward here. A lot of their current interiors tend to focus more on utility and having controls in easy reach. The Santa Fe adds a bit of style with rounded edges, sculpted sides for the driver and passenger, and brushed metal accents. One nice touch in the Ultimate is a contrasting roofline that looks and feels like a piece of soft linen. One item that hasn’t changed is the controls. They are still easy to find and operate. The front seats are quite comfortable and offer a number of power adjustments to help dial in the perfect position. The rear seat is massive with loads of head and legroom, even with the optional panoramic sunroof. A 2.4L four-cylinder with 185 horsepower serves as the base engine, while a more powerful 2.0L turbo-four pumping out 235 horsepower is available on the higher-end Limited and Ultimate. An eight-speed automatic is standard on either engine, and you do have the choice of either front or Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system. I drove the turbo-four with AWD and found it to be a bit underwhelming. The issue is the noticeable delay with power delivery when leaving from a stop or accelerating suddenly from a low cruising speed. I can’t fully tell if this due to the tuning of the engine, transmission, or combination of the two. It is quite the shame because the engine really shows it has punch when making a pass.  Ride quality is towards the top of the class as the suspension is able to smooth out most rough road surfaces. Road and wind noise are well-muted. There’s a lot to like about the 2019 Santa Fe with its new look inside and out; spacious interior, and smooth ride. The turbo engine does sour my initial impression and has me wondering if you should wait a year until picking the turbo engine. Those who have driven the 2.4L say the engine is slightly sluggish, but I would take that over the mess that is the turbo-four. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided Breakfast, Lunch, and the Santa Fe for this Event.
      Gallery: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe
      Year: 2019
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Santa Fe
      Engine: 2.4L 16-Valve DOHC GDI Four-Cylinder or Turbocharged 2.0L CVVT DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front or All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 185 @ 6,000 (2.4); 235 @ 6,000 (2.0T)
      Torque @ RPM: 178 @ 4,000 (2.4); 260 @ 1,450-3,500 (2.0T)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/29/25 (2.4 FWD), 21/27/23 (2.4 AWD), 20/25/22 (2.0T FWD), 19/24/21 (2.0T AWD)
      Curb Weight: 3,591 - 4,085 lbs
      Base Price: $24,750 - $38,800
    • By William Maley
      Mazda's 2019 3 compact sedan and hatchback were introduced last night at the LA Auto Show and it is clear the brand is not messing around. The latest-generation compact introduces a new platform, the Skyactiv-X compression ignition system, and the option of all-wheel drive.
      The 3's exterior shape sheds a lot of the sculpting and surfacing found on the current model. The end result is a smooth and premium look. Both the hatchback and sedan come with the same creased front end, prominent grille, and slim headlights. The hatchback is the more polarizing of the two with a very thick c-pillar from the Kai concept. On the inside, Mazda's designers have taken some inspiration from their recent concepts by going for "less is more" aesthetic. The dashboard is mounted low and features a minimal amount of buttons. An 8.8-inch infotainment screen sits in a crevice in the dash and appears to be running a new infotainment system (THANK YOU MAZDA!).
      In North America, Mazda will be offering the 3 with an updated version of the 2.5L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder. No power ratings were given on the engine, but we wouldn't expect them to be too far off from the 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque that engine currently produces in the CX-5 and 6. This will be paired with either a six-speed manual or automatic. Other markets will get the choice of 1.5L, 2.0L, 2.5L, and 1.8L diesel.
      Mazda's SkyActiv-X four-cylinder with compression ignition will launch later down the road. We don't have any details on power or what transmissions can be paired with it.
      One option that will make some buyers happy to see is i-Activ AWD. This system uses a number of sensors around the vehicle to help keep the vehicle moving in any condition. Mazda doesn't say which engines will have the AWD option, but we think the 2.5 will be one of them.
      Mazda says the 2019 3 will launch early next year with the 2.5 engine. The SkyActiv-X engine will arrive towards the end of 2019.
      Gallery: 2019 Mazda3
      Source: Mazda


      ALL-NEW MAZDA3 – AN OBJECT OF UNIVERSAL DESIRE
      As we begin a new chapter in Mazda’s history, the mission of the all-new Mazda3 is to amaze and delight customers all over the world. The theme of development was “An object of universal desire.” Making a car that would evoke longing in any person would require the creation of a new, hitherto unknown value. We set out to achieve this by applying our human-centric philosophy for dramatic improvements in every area: design, driving performance, NVH, environmental performance and quality feel.
      The all-new Mazda3 embodies two characters with widespread appeal. The first is the free spirit, determined to follow their own convictions and not be bound by conventional wisdom. This character is represented in the hatchback. To achieve such a look we took an unprecedented approach to design that eliminates all character lines and relies entirely on lustrous and beautifully curved body panels that reflect the surrounding environment. As such, the model delights onlookers with a countenance that changes by the season and the hour of the day.
      The other character is that of a lady or gentlemen who combines dignity with a strong individualistic streak. Their adherence to formality and traditional styles conceals an idiomatic beauty that is breathtaking when glimpsed. This character is embodied in the sedan. Aspiring to create the most gorgeous sedan in its class, we set aside the notion of a C-segment car,* removed all constraints and extended the overall length. We overcame numerous technical challenges in order to keep the hood and trunk low. The resulting proportions are sleek and elegant, giving the impression of a single flowing brushstroke.
      We also raised the quality of driving and riding in the car. Driving an automobile requires paying constant attention to your surroundings, making split-second judgments and taking appropriate action. Mazda wants to make driving less stressful and more natural for everyone. To achieve this, we decided to undertake a thorough scientific study of human beings.
      When walking or running, people make subtle adjustments in the legs, pelvis and spine so that head sway can be controlled using only the slightest muscular effort. In order to make this natural action possible in the car, we redesigned and organically linked every component to draw out people’s innate ability to maintain balance. The result is Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, a new set of structural technologies that make riding in a car feel as natural and stress-free as walking on your own two feet.
      In addition, we achieved a comfortable quietness by focusing not only on noise volumes but on the time it takes for sounds to be transmitted and the direction from which they arrive. Next, we built a clear and expressive sound system with speakers positioned to deliver sound directly to the driver’s ears and set about creating a comfortable cabin space for all vehicle occupants.
      Thanks to the benefits of Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture and the latest Skyactiv gasoline and diesel engines, which allow intuitive control of vehicle speed in any situation, the all-new Mazda3 offers driving pleasure of unprecedented quality.
      The powertrain lineup includes Skyactiv-X, a new kind of combustion engine that combines the advantages of gasoline and diesel engines. Its innovative Spark-Controlled Compression Ignition system enables us to choose gear settings that accentuate performance without sacrificing emissions or fuel economy. Engine response is quick and driving is smooth with a reassuring feeling of control. Skyactiv-X will realize even greater driving pleasure and superior real-world environmental performance, enhancing the joy the car-ownership.
      The all-new Mazda3 will add color and brilliance to your daily routine. The captivating character of the design stirs the emotions and the driving feel sharpen the senses, making even your daily commute feel like a journey of new discovery.
      My hope is that this car will help customers discover the joys of living a life truer to oneself.
      Kota Beppu
      All-new Mazda3 Program Manager
      A NEW FORM OF ELEGANCE BASED ON JAPANESE AESTHETICS. MAZDA DESIGN ENTERS AN EXCITING NEW STAGE.
      Introduced in 2010 and making its production model debut with the launch of the CX-5 and the Mazda6 in 2012, Mazda’s Kodo—Soul of Motion design has been a driving force in enhancing the brand’s global value. Mazda now takes it to higher levels of depth and sophistication as it enters a new stage that raises car design to the level of fine art.
      The goal for this new evolution of Kodo design is to express a new form of elegance inspired by Japanese aesthetics. The first cars to embody Mazda’s new design language were the RX-Vision concept model shown at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show and the Vision Coupe concept model exhibited at the 2017 show. Elements finely honed to create clean, beautiful designs combine with a delicate play of light and reflections to realize elegant and sophisticated styling with a natural, dynamic feel.
      The new Mazda3 is the first production model to adopt this evolved version of Kodo design. While featuring an extremely simple “single motion” to its overall form, the way light and shadows shift and reflections move over the body gives birth to a highly vital and dramatic expression that goes beyond previous iterations of the design language. Another goal in styling the new Mazda3 was to give the hatchback its own more emotional design, while the sedan aims to present more elegant proportions. Despite sharing the same Mazda3 model name, the two forms represent entirely different personalities.
      EXTERIOR DESIGN
      In designing the hatchback and sedan versions of the new Mazda3, the development team took a fresh look at their respective values and personalities and then worked to maximize the unique appeal of each. The hatchback presents a powerful and seductive look with lasting visual appeal that evokes a sense of exciting experiences to come. In contrast, the clean, sleek and sophisticated beauty of the sedan speaks of maturity and refinement. The result is two body types with personalities so distinct one might even think they were completely different models.
      The design concept for the hatchback focused on creating a solid mass with a seductive appeal that conveys a fresh expression of hatchback styling. When viewed from the rear, the cabin and body come together to appear as a single solid mass. This unique form realizes a powerful, solid presence and an expression of seductive and lasting appeal. The design concept for the sedan is “sleek and elegant.” While conforming to traditional sedan styling by bringing together the hood, cabin and trunk as three distinct elements, the development team aimed to elevate those elements and achieve a new level of beauty that befits a Mazda sedan. The result is a refined, mature expression of elegance. A new lamp design is one more element key to Kodo design’s further evolution. In keeping with the “less is more” theme, all unnecessary elements are shaved away to leave only the essence of a lighting fixture. The development team felt that limiting the design to the minimum necessary elements – the light source, lens and base – would create a clean and beautiful look. They also pursued a round design with an expression of depth in order to create a presence that accentuates the new Mazda3’s physique and fore-aft axis. The new design embodies a dynamic expression that distinguishes the Mazda brand. Polymetal Gray was newly developed as an exclusive color offering for the hatchback. Fusing the hard appearance of metal with plastic’s characteristic glossy smoothness creates an entirely new expression of quality. The color changes its expression depending on the light, accentuating the beautiful form of the hatchback’s body. INTERIOR DESIGN
      To further strengthen the connection between the car and driver, every aspect of the cockpit is laid out in perfect horizontal symmetry with the driver in the center. At the same time, every element is designed to directly face the driver and help emphasize the driver-centered axis that runs from front to rear. Furthermore, the interior incorporates the “less is more” ideal that is a key to the new Mazda3’s further-evolved KODO design. Keeping all elements other than the cockpit as simple as possible helps amplify the presence of the cockpit zone. This creates a comfortable environment in which the car and driver engage in a natural dialogue that enables the driver to focus on the task of driving.
      The cockpit design applies the “vanishing point” concept down to the parts level, including the steering wheel spokes and center display. Along with emphasizing the driver-centered axis running from front to rear through the cockpit zone, this design approach also expresses a second horizontal axis through the layout of the forms that run left and right from the instrument panel out to the door trim on both sides. The design goal was simplicity throughout based on the aesthetics of “less is more.” For example, the climate-control panel and passenger-side louvers are integrated into the left-right axis that follows the line of the instrument panel. This results in a clean and simple design. Interior parts employ Mazda’s own grain, designed to express the richness and warmth of genuine leather. By introducing creases with differing depth and shapes on different parts, this new material creates a lively rich expression. The newly designed shift panel takes advantage of a technology called “two-layer molding.” It incorporates a laser-engraved black layer covered by a second clear layer to present a glossy black finish with a look of deep transparency. Shifts in light create a rich linear expression that helps the panel accentuate the new Mazda3’s sporty nature, high-quality appearance, and pride of ownership. The fabric interior adopts a new Greige color, which combines the cool tones of gray with the soft feel of beige to create a pleasing sensation of vitality and warmth. This combination of light and depth gives the interior a sophisticated look. Burgundy was newly developed as an interior color exclusive to the hatchback. The deep, vivid look of this special red leather heightens the emotion of exterior design and creates a look that appeals to mature tastes. HUMAN-CENTRIC DESIGN FURTHER ENHANCES RELAXING COMFORT
      The cockpit and cabin were carefully designed in accordance with Mazda’s own human-centric philosophy. One goal was to provide all drivers with a confidence-inspiring ease of operation that helps them to concentrate on driving. Another was to make time spent in transit comfortable and enjoyable. Mazda applied the latest available knowledge and technology in designing the driving position, visibility, Human-Machine Interface (HMI), and audio sound quality. These were leveraged to further elevate the level of quality and satisfaction by delivering a more natural and intuitive feeling to driving. The new Mazda3 provides all occupants with the pleasure of a natural, comfortable and relaxing driving experience that begins with the very first outing and remains consistent in any driving scene.
      DRIVING POSITION
      The telescopic steering adopts an additional 10mm of movement at either end to offer a wider adjustment range of 70mm and deliver more precise control over the adjustment of the driving position. In addition, front seat cushion tilt adjustment is now included as standard equipment. This helps prevent the angle of the seat from causing the occupant’s thighs to float above the cushion or placing undue pressure on the thighs. As such, it offers firm support that keeps the pelvis in an upright position to maintain the ideal seating posture Mazda has strived to achieve. The gear shift lever was moved forward and positioned higher on both the automatic and manual transmission versions. This makes it easier for the driver to move his or her hand from the steering wheel and to operate the shift lever. The commander control was also moved forward, the cupholders repositioned in front of the shift lever and the center armrest lengthened. This new floor console layout significantly improves operating stability, ease and use. HUMAN-MACHINE INTERFACE (HMI)
      The Active Driving Display, meters and center display were all redesigned to present information in a simpler fashion, while the fonts used were unified to create a pleasing and consistent look. The new Mazda3 adopts an 8.8-inch wide center display. Offering simplified operation that requires only the use of the commander control, it also features a new intuitive guidance system that makes the commander control easier to operate. VISIBILITY AND FIELD OF VIEW
      The thickness and shape of the A-pillar design were optimized to minimize its obstruction angle and associated blind spots. Every detail of the pillar shape was carefully designed after calculating what degree of neck and eye movement would not burden the driver. As a result, the new design significantly reduces blind spots ahead of the car, providing the driver with a continuous view of pedestrians or potential obstacles to the right or left while maintaining a natural driving posture. The control system for windshield wiper operating speed was carefully designed to improve wiper performance. It is also designed to constantly adjust the operating angle of the wipers in fine increments. This allows them to firmly clean right up to the A-pillar and greatly expand visibility near the A-pillar on the driver’s side. The wipers are housed beneath the hood, which helps provide a clear downward view out of the windshield. In addition, the washer nozzles are attached to the wiper arms so their spray can be wiped away immediately after application and not interfere with visibility. These measures combine to provide the driver with a clearer view and to more quickly maintain clear visibility in inclement weather. MAZDA CONNECT
      Mazda Connect now includes a Digital Owner’s Manual as one of its app offerings. When a warning appears on the center display, it also presents an indication of the priority level and a link to the Digital Owner’s Manual. The driver can then access the manual to quickly receive an explanation of the warning and instructions on how best to respond to the situation. AUDIO SYSTEM
      Mazda conducted a series of new studies into how sounds are transmitted through a car’s cabin. This led to more efficiently improving sound quality by placing the bass speakers in the corners where the sound is amplified. To avoid the tonal quality of mid- to high-frequency sounds from being affected by reflected sounds, the other speakers were positioned on the left and right sail garnish and upper sections of the door trim where the sound is transmitted directly toward the occupant’s ears. This creates a more natural sensation to distinguishing the sound’s point of origin and enhances the depth and clarity of that sound. The 8-speaker standard audio system uses a 3-way layout, with 3L woofers positioned on the sides of the front cowl, a pair of 2.5cm squawkers on the sail garnish and 8cm squawkers on the upper section of the front and rear door trim. The 12-speaker Bose®sound system adds an 8cm center speaker, a pair of rear satellite speakers, and a subwoofer. It also features custom tuning to provide more powerful bass and higher audio quality. MAZDA’S NEXT GENERATION OF DRIVING PLEASURE, REFINED AND FURTHER EVOLVED THROUGH HUMAN-CENTRIC DESIGN
      Mazda’s Jinba-ittai driving experience demands that the car works in perfect harmony with the driver’s intentions to provide greater safety, confidence and reassurance. In working to achieve this, Mazda has remained committed to building cars according to its human-centric design philosophy. These efforts include advancing its Skyactiv technologies. Beginning with the new Mazda3, they also include the introduction of new technologies that further evolve the level to which human-centric design is applied. The ongoing goal is to realize the ultimate expression of Jinba-ittai by enabling the driver to enjoy the pleasure of driving with natural action, as though moving his or her own body without any need for conscious effort.
      These new technologies are founded on intensive human research studies that go beyond just looking at body characteristics and movements by also investigating emotional responses. Rather than simply pursue mechanical efficiency of the human anatomy, Mazda is focusing efforts on maximizing inherent physical abilities while exploring how to realize a driving experience that best matches human sensibilities. By coordinating the development of all these technologies as an organic whole, Mazda honed dynamic performance such that the basic movements of the car – accelerating, turning and stopping – feels natural to the driver.
      The new Mazda3 is powered by the latest Skyactiv engines, including Mazda’s new Skyactiv-X, and also adopts Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture. This adds a new layer of polish to its driving dynamics, based on Mazda’s human-centric design philosophy. The next generation of Mazda driving pleasure starts here.
      POWERTRAIN
      1.5-, 2.0- and 2.5-liter versions of the latest Skyactiv-G comprise the gasoline engine lineup for the new Mazda3. All three adopt optimized intake ports and piston shape, split fuel injection and a coolant control valve to deliver higher levels of dynamic performance, fuel economy and environmental friendliness. The Skyactiv-D 1.8 is the diesel engine offering for the new Mazda3. Incorporating ultra-high-response multi-hole piezo injectors allows the engine to utilize high-pressure, precisely controlled multi-stage injection. This realizes a finer balance of enhanced fuel economy, quietness and reduced exhaust gases, while also delivering smoother, more robust performance. All-new Mazda3 is the first production car to offer Mazda’s innovative Skyactiv-X engine. Features include superior initial response, powerful torque, faithful linear response and free-revving performance. The engine is assisted by Mazda’s intelligent new M Hybrid system, which supports greater gains in fuel economy, and achieves higher levels of driving pleasure and environmental friendliness. I-ACTIV AWD
      Mazda’s evolved i-Activ AWD newly adds “four-wheel vertical load” detection and works in harmony with G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) to control torque distribution between the front and rear wheels. As a result, it is fully capable of responding faithfully to the driver’s intentions, regardless of the driving scene. It also reduces overall mechanical loss by approximately 60% over the previous model and contributes to improved fuel economy. G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) adds direct yaw moment control via the brakes. This enables the car to better handle emergency avoidance maneuvers and offers more confidence-inspiring controllability in various situations, including lane changes at high speeds and driving on slippery roads. SKYACTIV-VEHICLE ARCHITECTURE NEXT-GENERATION STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES
      The seats adopt a basic structure designed to maintain the natural S-shaped curve of the spine. The seat cushion and lower seatback support the lower pelvis, upper pelvis and thighs to keep the pelvis in an upright position. Meanwhile, the upper seatback bolsters the gravity center of the rib cage. This structure enables the driver to stabilize his or her head in a natural fashion by shifting his or her pelvis and spine to maintain balance without any conscious effort. The body further evolves Mazda’s straight framework and continuous ring structure concept. New front-to-back connections complement the existing vertical and lateral connections of the previous body to form multi-directional ring structures. This increases rigidity while reducing lag in the transmission of energy, which helps maximize the function of the dampers and tires. By concentrating energy input from the road surface in specifically chosen locations and adopting a newly developed damping structure that helps absorb it, vibration that causes noise is reduced without increasing vehicle weight. Based on the concept of smoothing the transmission of force to the sprung mass over time, the suspension system uses MacPherson struts in the front and a newly developed torsion beam setup in the rear. A new spherical shape was adopted for the internal structure of the bushings combines with new suspension geometry to realize lag-free transmission and linear action. REDUCED NVH
      As a result of Mazda’s human research studies, development focused on three sound characteristics that directly impact cabin occupants. Those are sound volume, changes in pitch and tone over time, and the direction from which sounds originate. Suppressing noise generation and reducing its volume, while also controlling the fluctuations in and direction of sounds, are aimed not only at achieving a “quiet” cabin environment. Rather, the goal is to provide a “high-quality quietness” that is satisfying to all cabin occupants. To improve the basic insulation qualities key to reducing NVH, the new Mazda3 marks Mazda’s first application of a “two-wall” structure that leaves space between the body and carpeting on the floor. By considering the carpet and the body panel as two walls, and then designing them to match the characteristics of the fiber material attached to the carpet increases efficiency without increasing weight. The number of holes in the carpeting was also reduced wherever possible to significantly enhance sound insulation. Measures to deal with road noise focused on minimizing noise and vibrations, and to make any noises transmitted when the road surface changes reach the ears of cabin occupants in a linear fashion. Sound-absorbing functionality added to the headliner and floor mats effectively suppresses high-frequency noise. Tires with optimized vertical spring action and increased rigidity at possible entry points help prevent the transmission of unwanted vibrations to the cabin. Lag-free transmission of permitted sounds and vibrations create a more reassuring and comfortable cabin environment. SAFETY FEATURES DESIGNED TO EXCEL IN THE REAL WORLD
      The fundamental aims of Mazda Proactive Safety are to offer the driver confidence-building reassurance and to offer all cabin occupants a thoroughly enjoyable driving experience. Based on this philosophy, the development team worked hard to evolve basic safety technologies such as the driving position, pedal layout and good visibility, advanced i-Activsense technologies, as well as passive safety technologies designed to protect cabin occupants in the event a collision should occur.
      With an eye on the future, Mazda is constantly making efforts to further evolve the level of safety offered by its cars. The aim is to provide a safe and reassuring driving experience to everybody, from novice drivers with little time behind the wheel, to elderly drivers, and including passengers in the rear seats. Mazda is committed to further advancing its safety technologies as it works step by step toward making car accidents a thing of the past.
      ACTIVE SAFETY: I-ACTIVSENSE
      The new Mazda3 is available with Mazda’s newly developed Driver Monitoring system. The system uses both an infrared camera and infrared LED to observe the driver’s condition while driving. It monitors how wide open the driver’s eyelids are at any given time, the number of times he or she blinks, and also the angle of the mouth and face in order to determine the level of drowsiness or fatigue. It also monitors the driver’s line of sight and eye movement to determine when the driver is being inattentive. If the system judges that the situation has become dangerous, it sounds an alert to make the driver aware and works in conjunction with the Smart Brake Support (SBS) system to shorten the time required for the brake warning to sound. Front Cross Traffic Alert (FCTA) is available on the new Mazda3. The system uses newly adopted front side radars to detect other vehicles approaching from blind spots at the front right or left of the vehicle and alert the driver of their presence. This helps prevent a common cause of accidents, when cars enter a T intersection with a partially obscured view. Also available on the new Mazda3 is Mazda’s new Cruising & Traffic Support (CTS) system. CTS contributes to reducing driver fatigue by assisting with accelerator, brake pedal and steering operations when stuck in traffic jams on the highway. It also supports a safer, more reassuring and more comfortable driving experience in conditions that demand constant operation of the assisted functions. PASSIVE SAFETY
      The ratio of ultra-high-tensile steel rated of 980MPa or higher is greatly increased, from the 3% used on the previous model to 30% on the new Mazda3. This combines with the addition of a new perimeter beam and rear side frames that deform in an accordion-style pattern to create a solid body that can stand up to impact force and a frame structure that effectively absorbs energy. The new Mazda3 introduces a new knee airbag for the driver’s seat. It is not only a first on a Mazda car, but will be included as standard equipment worldwide. By suppressing forward motion of the driver’s body in the event of a collision, this new airbag contributes to fewer injuries to the driver’s legs, chest and Each of the side airbags is divided into a front and rear chamber. Using reduced air pressure in the forward chamber and higher pressure in the rear chamber reduces the load taken by the rib cage, while firmly holding the body in place. The hood adopts a new energy-absorbing inner structure designed to receive the impact of a pedestrian’s head in the initial moment of contact and then gradually dampen the force to more quickly absorb the impact energy. The front bumper is designed to support the thigh and shins if contact is made with a pedestrian’s legs while softening the blow to the knee area. This reduces the degree of injury to the knees and ligaments due to bending and twisting.
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