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  1. Kia took to the stage this morning at the Chicago Auto Show to reveal their first dedicated hybrid, the 2017 Niro. The Niro is what Kia classifies as a Hybrid Utility Vehicle (HUV). We can see some elements of the Sportage crossover in the Niro's design such as the tiger nose grille and overall shape. The design is very aerodynamic as well, recording a 0.29 coefficient of drag. Under the skin is a new front-wheel drive platform designed exclusively for hybrid vehicles that can accommodate various configurations of engines and batteries. This same platform underpins the new Hyundai Ioniq. At launch, the Niro will use 1.6L DI four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor producing a total output of 146 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic routes power only to the front-wheels. A 1.56-kWh lithium-polymer battery pack sits under the rear seat. Fuel economy is unknown at this time, but Kia is aiming for 50 MPG combined. To boost MPG further, the Niro will feature a coaching system to help the driver improve overall efficiency. There will also be a system called Predictive Energy Control that uses the navigation system and cruise control to manage energy flow from the battery. Kia says a plug-in hybrid is expected sometime later in the Niro's lifecycle. “The Niro hits the sweet spot by offering the best combination of outstanding mpg, an engaging driving experience, utility, and most importantly, a stunning design that doesn’t shout ‘hybrid'. The subcompact CUV market continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments in the world, and the Niro offers a uniquely alluring yet practical package that consumers haven’t seen before,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president product planning KMA. The Kia Niro will be available at your local Kia dealer sometime later this year. Source: Kia You can follow our coverage of 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here. Press Release is on Page 2 All-New 2017 Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle Arrives In the Windy City for Global Debut At Chicago Auto Show Kia’s Hybrid Utility Vehicle Boasts a Number of Firsts for the Brand, Including an All-New, Dedicated Eco-Car Platform and Unique Hybrid System Niro is a no-compromise package, maintaining the style and appeal of a utility vehicle while offering outstanding fuel economy with a targeted 50 mpg combined1 Niro challenges the hybrid-electric segment with an innovative hybrid system that directly contributes to a dynamic driving experience CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2016 – A key component to Kia Motors’ Green Car Roadmap was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show today as Kia Motors America (KMA) hosted the global debut of the all-new 2017 Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle (HUV). A no-compromise vehicle that combines driving enjoyment with eye-catching design, functional utility and hybrid efficiency, the all-new Niro strikes the perfect balance for today’s consumers and stakes claim to a unique position between the hybrid-electric vehicle and CUV segments. “The Niro hits the sweet spot by offering the best combination of outstanding mpg, an engaging driving experience, utility, and most importantly, a stunning design that doesn’t shout ‘hybrid,’” said Orth Hedrick, vice president product planning KMA. “The subcompact CUV market continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments in the world, and the Niro offers a uniquely alluring yet practical package that consumers haven’t seen before.” The Niro is yet another vehicle introduced under the Kia Motors EcoDynamics environmentally friendly sub-brand and represents a number of firsts. While it was preceded by clean mobility products such as the Optima Hybrid and Soul EV, Niro is the first Kia to make use of an all-new, dedicated eco-car platform and is an important next step on the path to nearly tripling the brand’s global green car line-up by 2020. A plug-in hybrid powertrain is due to be added to the car’s line-up later in its life-cycle. An “Un-Hybrid” Design Designed at Kia’s design centers in Irvine, California, and Namyang, Korea, the Niro demonstrates that owners don’t have to sacrifice emotionally engaging design or functional utility in the name of efficiency. The HUV’s design language is atypical of a hybrid, appearing strong and confident with subtly sculpted surfaces offset by robust styling cues. The Niro sports wide and low proportions with a long roofline and short overhangs that give it an overall athletic profile. Up front, the Niro bears a familiar front fascia highlighted by Kia’s signature grille and flanked by aggressively shaped headlights that accentuate the Niro’s strong shoulders. Contours on the hood lend visual interest and, along with voluminous wheel arches, rocker cladding, roof rails, and rear skid plate, contribute to a sporty look. Although the Niro has a cohesive crossover theme, it was designed with aerodynamics in mind, with its carefully shaped bodywork contributing to a relatively slippery coefficient of drag of .29. Stepping inside the Niro reveals an inviting, modern, and high-tech interior. Glossy white or black accents underline the HUV’s straightforward theme. The instrument panel is uncluttered and clean, with colorful and informative gauges at the forefront and perfectly positioned primary and secondary controls falling readily to hand. Interior roominess comes by way of the Niro’s 106.3-inch wheelbase, body height, and wide stance, which affords ample leg-, head- and shoulder-room. Seats with increased pad density in the cushions ensure a comfortable ride, helping to prevent fatigue on longer trips. With its crossover-like proportions, the Niro boasts an elevated seating position much like the Kia Soul, providing drivers with a more commanding view of the road as well as easy ingress and egress. While the clever packaging of the high voltage battery assists in delivering a desirable driving experience, its location underneath the rear seats also increases cabin and cargo space and allows a flat load floor. In addition to spaciousness and comfort, ensuring a quiet interior environment was also a key development focus for engineers. Copious insulation in the Niro’s front structure, optimized suspension bushing stiffness, careful body sealing, and application of expanding foam inside the A- and B-pillars all prevent road and tire noise from entering the cabin. Furthermore, acoustic windshield glass and carefully shaped side mirrors mitigate wind noise. Engineers also worked hard to address the innate issues often associated with hybrid powertrains. To that end, they minimized system noise and vibration at the source with specially designed engine mounts, equal-length driveshafts, and even added a damper inside the steering wheel hub to minimize vibrations felt in the steering wheel. Other NVH measures include a special embossed foam in the floor (under the carpet), and a dense insulating pad underneath the hood also help to keep unwanted noise to a minimum. Strong and Light CoreThe platform underpinning the Niro has been specifically engineered to accommodate the unique gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain, and with 53 percent of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), including reinforcement in the A- and B-pillars as well as the roof rails, it is both a lightweight and durable structure. Extensive use of hot-stamped components and industrial joint adhesive increase torsional rigidity and structural integrity. As such, engineers are targeting the Niro to earn top honors from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). Weight reduction was a critical Niro development aspect, and in addition to the body, AHSS was also used to engineer other elements, including novel lightweight seat frames. Further, engineers were able to bring down the overall weight by using aluminum for the hood, tailgate and several suspension elements including the front lower control arms, front and rear knuckles, and in the brake calipers. Even the parking brake pedal contributes to the weight savings through the use of fiber-reinforced plastic construction. Finally, the engineers eliminated the traditional 12-volt battery to reduce weight, instead, utilizing the high-voltage lithium-ion polymer battery. Uniquely Engineered Hybrid Powertrain Motivating the Niro is a highly efficient and engaging powertrain starting with an all-new, state-of-the-art Kappa 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder engine, engineered specifically for hybrid applications. Making 103 horsepower, the new engine marks the first combination of the Atkinson Cycle, cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), GDI and a long-stroke-narrow-bore specification to maximize efficiency2. Efficiency and emissions are further improved via the Niro’s exhaust heat recovery system, which speeds engine warm-up by routing coolant to a heat exchanger in the exhaust system. A 43-hp tractive motor, known as the transmission-mounted electric device (TMED), works in tandem with the gasoline engine to produce a robust 146 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. That power is transmitted through a newly developed, second-generation six-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), which not only boosts efficiency but is also a key factor to the Niro’s great driving experience. The transmission delivers smooth, quick shifts for a natural and spirited feel in stark contrast to that of other hybrids equipped with continuously variable transmissions. Bringing the whole system together is a compact and lightweight 1.56-kWh Lithium Ion Polymer battery located underneath the rear seat. Because the high-voltage battery is both power and energy dense, engineers were able to use the downsized gasoline engine to maximize fuel economy and reduce emissions. With its unique combination of the lightweight TMED, proven GDI and Atkinson Cycle technology in the internal combustion engine, along with the DCT providing a dynamic driving experience, the Niro offers enjoyment and efficiency all in one, targeting a combined fuel efficiency rating of 50 mpg. Driving Fun The Niro’s parallel and simplified hybrid system creates seamless transitions of power delivered to the front wheels, resulting in a very un-hybrid-like driving experience. The hybrid system is neither intrusive nor obvious. The Niro accelerates quickly off the line and continues its smooth power delivery, inspiring driver confidence in everyday driving maneuvers like merging onto the highway. Special attention was also paid to brake feel. Applying lessons learned through development of two generations of Optima Hybrids as well as the fully electric Soul EV, Kia engineers designed the Niro’s regenerative system to seamlessly blend in hydraulic friction braking. Consequently, deceleration feels more consistent and linear than other hybrids. Advanced Hybrid Tech Like the rest of Kia’s lineup, the Niro will be offered with a suite of advanced driver assistance and convenience technologies. Familiar features that will be available on the HUV include Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist; Advanced Smart Cruise Control; Lane Departure Warning; and Autonomous Emergency Braking3. All-new Eco-DAS1 (Driver Assistance System) features Kia’s first application of Coasting Guide and Predictive Energy Control. The Coasting Guide aims at maximizing fuel economy by essentially coaching the driver on when to coast and brake. Predictive Energy Control, meanwhile, uses the navigation system and cruise control to anticipate topographical changes on the road ahead and actively manage energy flow, seamlessly determining when its best to recharge the battery and when its best to expend stored energy to optimize overall efficiency. Similar systems have been seen on German luxury makes, but Kia’s system is the first in the industry to monitor and adjust for both ascending and descending scenarios. Other notable features include Smart Air Intake, which reduces drag by carefully managing the intake of outside air for the HVAC system, and also an accompanying Auto Defog system that prevents condensation from building on the glass by monitoring cabin air conditions to manage the cycling of the A/C compressor. Kia’s award-winning infotainment and telematics system aims to keep Niro drivers connected at all times4, with the newest version, UVO3, trickling down from the all-new 2017 Sportage. Complete with Android5 Auto™, Apple6 CarPlay®, and UVO eServices featuring 14 telematics services, the enhanced system features up to 8 GB of music storage, access to onscreen apps such as Pandora®7 and Soundhound and Wi-Fi tethering capability. All this is displayed on a 7-inch capacitive touch screen. 1 Actual mileage will vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits and your vehicle’s condition. 2 40 percent thermal efficiency 3 These features are not substitutes for safe driving, and may not detect all objects surrounding vehicle. Always drive safely and use caution. 4 Warning: Driving while distracted can result in a loss of vehicle control that may lead to an accident, severe personal injury and death. Always drive safely and use caution. 5 Android™ is a trademark of Google, Inc. 6 Apple® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. 7 Pandora® is a registered trademark of Pandora Media, Inc.
  2. Mercedes-Benz might not be the first or possibly fifth thought when it comes to cargo vans. But the German automaker has been selling their Sprinter since 2001 (when it was called the Dodge Sprinter). But there is one problem with the Sprinter, to get into one, you need to pony up $37,490 just to get into the base model. Mercedes has decided to fix this with the introduction of the Sprinter Worker, a base model aimed at small business or commerical buyers. With a starting price-tag of $33,490 (includes a $995 destination charge), the Worker undercuts the standard Sprinter by $4,000. It also undercuts the Ram ProMaster and Ford Transit vans when equipped with a diesel. Now it should be noted that the ProMaster and Transit are less than the Sprinter worker when equipped with the standard gas engine. The Worker only comes in a 144-inch wheelbase and low-roof configuration. Power comes from a 2.1L turbodiesel four with 161 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed automatic. Mercedes says the Sprinter Worker can tow up to 5,000 lbs, has a max payload capacity of 3,512 pounds, and can hold 319 cubic feet of stuff. Standard equipment includes power windows, air conditioning, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, four-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and Mercedes' Crosswind Assist to keep the van in control during high-wind conditions. The Sprinter Worker will go on sale at Mercedes-Benz Van dealers later this year. Source: Mercedes-Benz You can follow our coverage of 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here. Press Release is on Page 2 Sprinter Expands Portfolio with the Affordable WORKER Model February 11, 2016 - Atlanta Mercedes-Benz Vans is pleased to announce the expansion of the Sprinter portfolio by debuting the WORKER model, which goes on sale in Spring 2016. Starting at just $32,495*, the Sprinter WORKER will offer the simplest and most straightforward equipment and packaging within the Sprinter Van model line, which includes the 2500 and heavy-duty 3500 models. Targeting the heart of the commercial van market for plumbers, electricians, general contractors, and HVAC specialists, the WORKER was designed with input from dealers and customers alike, offering the safety, reliability, and best-in-class service intervals—up to 20,000 miles--expected from Mercedes-Benz vans, all at an affordable and approachable starting price. "We are pleased to announce the new Sprinter WORKER model, which is every bit as capable as the rest of our Sprinter lineup at an even more attractive starting price: $32,495," said Bernie Glaser, Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Vans in the USA. "The Sprinter brand is no stranger to hard work and we are making a statement by targeting the heart of the commercial van market by offering an affordable and approachable model designed for plumbers, electricians, HVAC specialists, general contractors and similar fields. The Sprinter offers the best value, as well as simple and straightforward packaging for our toughest customers. Together with creative financing solutions from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, it has never been easier to own a Sprinter" Everything you need to work hard with a price that won't hold you back The new Sprinter WORKER is a straightforward base model with simple packaging that meets the needs of our toughest customers, yet offers more standard equipment than other brands, including a standard diesel engine, Bluetooth connectivity and class-exclusive Crosswind Assist, and class-leading interior cargo volume. The WORKER model offers maximum capability and customization potential for aftermarket van interiors and exteriors, all at an incredible starting price of just $32,495. With a 144" wheelbase and a standard-height roof (the most commonly-ordered Sprinter Van configuration) the Sprinter WORKER boasts a 137.4" cargo floor length and 66.5" interior standing height. The WORKER also receives a powerful diesel engine and an efficient, class-exclusive 7G-TRONIC 7-speed transmission which allows for more time on the road and less time at the gas pump. Additional standard equipment includes a 4-speaker AM/FM radio with aux-input, USB interface and with Bluetooth® Telephone Interface and audio streaming, cabin partition preparation, class-leading 6 standard airbags, industry-exclusive Crosswind Assist and Load-Adaptive Traction Control (ESP). A blank-canvas both inside and out Available only in white, the Sprinter WORKER provides both small-business owners and fleet companies with an ideal canvas for signage, advertising and wrapping with graphics. With a total roof load capacity of 660 lbs., ladder racks and roof attachments can be added to the WORKER from any number of upfitters. Inside, the WORKER's standard 319.1-cubic-feet of cargo volume provides ample room for racks, bins, shelves, cabinets and toolboxes. The standard steel floor can be left unfinished or can be customized with an optional wood floor or with any other floor covering of choice. One place that doesn't need customization: the front passenger compartment. With power windows, A/C, tilting & telescoping steering wheel, 5 cup-holders, adjustable armrests, ample storage, and a standard 4-speaker audio system that boasts Bluetooth® telephone interface, wireless music streaming and an auxiliary port, the WORKER aims to make time on the road productive convenient and comfortable. Standard BlueTEC diesel engine for maximum power and efficiency Time is money, and time spent at the gas pump is time that could be spent on the road or at the job site. The Sprinter WORKER comes exclusively with a powerful and efficient 4-cylinder diesel engine paired with an efficient, class-exclusive 7G-TRONIC 7-speed transmission that helps stretch each gallon of diesel further. Based on over 300,000 miles of user-reported fuel economy on fuelly.com, this efficient engine and transmission combination is capable of well over 23 miles per gallon, even in high-roof, extended- wheelbase Sprinter 2500 applications. Producing 161 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque (available at just 1,400 RPMs), the Sprinter WORKER's 2.1-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine provides seamless power thanks to its two-stage turbocharger. This engine knows how to work hard, with a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. and a maximum payload of 3,512 lbs. In combination with exhaust gas recirculation, two-stage cooling, selective catalytic reduction (SER), Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) injection and a particulate filter, the Sprinter WORKER is not only efficient, but environmentally responsible. Best-in-class service intervals The Sprinter WORKER has a best-in-class service interval of up to 20,000 miles. With a service interval as long as this, the WORKER can spend more time on the road and less time in the shop. Thanks to its low rate of depreciation and high overall value, the Sprinter once again received ALG's Residual Value Award for Fullsize Commercial Vans in 2016. Packaging provides additional flexibility, capability With three affordable packages, the Sprinter WORKER can be customized from the factory to suit your needs even better: The CONVENIENCE Package ($1,499) includes: Heated Power Mirrors, Cruise Control, Automatic Light and Rain Sensor (for windshield wipers), Multifunction Steering Wheel with Enhanced Info Screen and Trailer Hitch Pre- wiring The UTILITY Package ($2,999) includes all contents in CONVENIENCE Package, plus: Wood Cargo Floor, Rear Step, LED Lights in Cargo Compartment, Two Additional Keys (4 total), Glass in Rear Cargo Doors and Grab-handles (left/right rear door) The OVERTIME Package ($4,499) includes all contents in both CONVENIENCE and UTILITY packages, plus: Upgraded Audio System, Highbeam Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Rear View Camera, First Aid Kit and Emergency Flashlight The Sprinter WORKER will be available to order at Mercedes-Benz Van dealerships immediately with a starting price of $32,495 and a destination/delivery charge of $995. View full article
  3. Mercedes-Benz might not be the first or possibly fifth thought when it comes to cargo vans. But the German automaker has been selling their Sprinter since 2001 (when it was called the Dodge Sprinter). But there is one problem with the Sprinter, to get into one, you need to pony up $37,490 just to get into the base model. Mercedes has decided to fix this with the introduction of the Sprinter Worker, a base model aimed at small business or commerical buyers. With a starting price-tag of $33,490 (includes a $995 destination charge), the Worker undercuts the standard Sprinter by $4,000. It also undercuts the Ram ProMaster and Ford Transit vans when equipped with a diesel. Now it should be noted that the ProMaster and Transit are less than the Sprinter worker when equipped with the standard gas engine. The Worker only comes in a 144-inch wheelbase and low-roof configuration. Power comes from a 2.1L turbodiesel four with 161 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed automatic. Mercedes says the Sprinter Worker can tow up to 5,000 lbs, has a max payload capacity of 3,512 pounds, and can hold 319 cubic feet of stuff. Standard equipment includes power windows, air conditioning, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, four-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and Mercedes' Crosswind Assist to keep the van in control during high-wind conditions. The Sprinter Worker will go on sale at Mercedes-Benz Van dealers later this year. Source: Mercedes-Benz You can follow our coverage of 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here. Press Release is on Page 2 Sprinter Expands Portfolio with the Affordable WORKER Model February 11, 2016 - Atlanta Mercedes-Benz Vans is pleased to announce the expansion of the Sprinter portfolio by debuting the WORKER model, which goes on sale in Spring 2016. Starting at just $32,495*, the Sprinter WORKER will offer the simplest and most straightforward equipment and packaging within the Sprinter Van model line, which includes the 2500 and heavy-duty 3500 models. Targeting the heart of the commercial van market for plumbers, electricians, general contractors, and HVAC specialists, the WORKER was designed with input from dealers and customers alike, offering the safety, reliability, and best-in-class service intervals—up to 20,000 miles--expected from Mercedes-Benz vans, all at an affordable and approachable starting price. "We are pleased to announce the new Sprinter WORKER model, which is every bit as capable as the rest of our Sprinter lineup at an even more attractive starting price: $32,495," said Bernie Glaser, Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Vans in the USA. "The Sprinter brand is no stranger to hard work and we are making a statement by targeting the heart of the commercial van market by offering an affordable and approachable model designed for plumbers, electricians, HVAC specialists, general contractors and similar fields. The Sprinter offers the best value, as well as simple and straightforward packaging for our toughest customers. Together with creative financing solutions from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, it has never been easier to own a Sprinter" Everything you need to work hard with a price that won't hold you back The new Sprinter WORKER is a straightforward base model with simple packaging that meets the needs of our toughest customers, yet offers more standard equipment than other brands, including a standard diesel engine, Bluetooth connectivity and class-exclusive Crosswind Assist, and class-leading interior cargo volume. The WORKER model offers maximum capability and customization potential for aftermarket van interiors and exteriors, all at an incredible starting price of just $32,495. With a 144" wheelbase and a standard-height roof (the most commonly-ordered Sprinter Van configuration) the Sprinter WORKER boasts a 137.4" cargo floor length and 66.5" interior standing height. The WORKER also receives a powerful diesel engine and an efficient, class-exclusive 7G-TRONIC 7-speed transmission which allows for more time on the road and less time at the gas pump. Additional standard equipment includes a 4-speaker AM/FM radio with aux-input, USB interface and with Bluetooth® Telephone Interface and audio streaming, cabin partition preparation, class-leading 6 standard airbags, industry-exclusive Crosswind Assist and Load-Adaptive Traction Control (ESP). A blank-canvas both inside and out Available only in white, the Sprinter WORKER provides both small-business owners and fleet companies with an ideal canvas for signage, advertising and wrapping with graphics. With a total roof load capacity of 660 lbs., ladder racks and roof attachments can be added to the WORKER from any number of upfitters. Inside, the WORKER's standard 319.1-cubic-feet of cargo volume provides ample room for racks, bins, shelves, cabinets and toolboxes. The standard steel floor can be left unfinished or can be customized with an optional wood floor or with any other floor covering of choice. One place that doesn't need customization: the front passenger compartment. With power windows, A/C, tilting & telescoping steering wheel, 5 cup-holders, adjustable armrests, ample storage, and a standard 4-speaker audio system that boasts Bluetooth® telephone interface, wireless music streaming and an auxiliary port, the WORKER aims to make time on the road productive convenient and comfortable. Standard BlueTEC diesel engine for maximum power and efficiency Time is money, and time spent at the gas pump is time that could be spent on the road or at the job site. The Sprinter WORKER comes exclusively with a powerful and efficient 4-cylinder diesel engine paired with an efficient, class-exclusive 7G-TRONIC 7-speed transmission that helps stretch each gallon of diesel further. Based on over 300,000 miles of user-reported fuel economy on fuelly.com, this efficient engine and transmission combination is capable of well over 23 miles per gallon, even in high-roof, extended- wheelbase Sprinter 2500 applications. Producing 161 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque (available at just 1,400 RPMs), the Sprinter WORKER's 2.1-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine provides seamless power thanks to its two-stage turbocharger. This engine knows how to work hard, with a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. and a maximum payload of 3,512 lbs. In combination with exhaust gas recirculation, two-stage cooling, selective catalytic reduction (SER), Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) injection and a particulate filter, the Sprinter WORKER is not only efficient, but environmentally responsible. Best-in-class service intervals The Sprinter WORKER has a best-in-class service interval of up to 20,000 miles. With a service interval as long as this, the WORKER can spend more time on the road and less time in the shop. Thanks to its low rate of depreciation and high overall value, the Sprinter once again received ALG's Residual Value Award for Fullsize Commercial Vans in 2016. Packaging provides additional flexibility, capability With three affordable packages, the Sprinter WORKER can be customized from the factory to suit your needs even better: The CONVENIENCE Package ($1,499) includes: Heated Power Mirrors, Cruise Control, Automatic Light and Rain Sensor (for windshield wipers), Multifunction Steering Wheel with Enhanced Info Screen and Trailer Hitch Pre- wiring The UTILITY Package ($2,999) includes all contents in CONVENIENCE Package, plus: Wood Cargo Floor, Rear Step, LED Lights in Cargo Compartment, Two Additional Keys (4 total), Glass in Rear Cargo Doors and Grab-handles (left/right rear door) The OVERTIME Package ($4,499) includes all contents in both CONVENIENCE and UTILITY packages, plus: Upgraded Audio System, Highbeam Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Rear View Camera, First Aid Kit and Emergency Flashlight The Sprinter WORKER will be available to order at Mercedes-Benz Van dealerships immediately with a starting price of $32,495 and a destination/delivery charge of $995.
  4. We have been waiting very patiently for Nissan to give us any information on the Titan half-ton and today at the Chicago Auto Show, they did just that. In terms of design, it is hard to tell the difference between the half-ton and the XD models. Where the differences are apparent is in the chassis. The Titan's overall length measures out to 228.1-inches long, about 11.8-inches shorter than the XD's. Wheelbase and height are also shorter than the XD. Interestingly, both the Titan and Titan XD have the same width - 79.5 inches. When the Titan goes on sale this summer, Nissan will offer three cab options (single, king, and crew) and three bed lengths (5.5, 6.5, and 8 feet). A V6 will be the base engine (details will be announced at a later date), and 5.6L Endurance V8 with 390 horsepower and 401 pound-feet will be optional. A seven-speed automatic will be bolted to the V8. Source: Nissan You can follow our coverage of 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here. Press Release is on Page 2 Nissan releases details of upcoming all-new, half-ton TITAN pickup at Chicago Auto Show Half-ton truck fills out TITAN lineup; goes on sale in summer 2016 CHICAGO – Now that the all-new flagship XD model of Nissan's reimagined TITAN family of pickups is on dealer lots, Nissan is turning its attention to the upcoming "standard" (half-ton) version of TITAN at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show with a special photography release. "There's a strong family resemblance between TITAN XD and the standard TITAN, with their shared rugged exterior style," said Rich Miller, Director of Product Planning for Trucks, SUVs and Commercial Vehicles, Nissan North America, Inc. and Chief Product Specialist for TITAN and TITAN XD. "TITAN will compete in the heart of the full-size pickup segment – the half-ton – while the TITAN XD provides a unique solution for customers by bridging the cost and capability gap between traditional half-ton and full heavy-duty pickups. Together TITAN and TITAN XD will cover nearly 85 percent of the total full-size truck market." TITAN is built on a separate chassis from TITAN XD, and is approximately 228.1 inches long (14.7 inches less than XD) and 79.5 inches wide (same as XD), with the cab size shared between the two vehicles. "The TITAN and TITAN XD do not share any common chassis components," added Miller. "Even the lug nuts are different." TITAN will be available in 4x2 or 4x4 drive configurations with three cabin configurations – Crew Cab, King Cab and Single cab – and three bed lengths – 5.5, 6.5 and 8 feet. Similar to TITAN XD, TITAN will be available in five trim levels – S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve. The TITAN will be powered by Nissan's 5.6-liter Endurance® V8 gasoline engine capable of 390 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine will be mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. A V6 gasoline engine will also be available (details to be announced at a later date). The Nissan TITAN will be assembled in Canton, Mississippi with the 5.6-liter V8 gasoline assembled in Decherd, Tennessee. The truck goes on sale in summer 2016. View full article
  5. We have been waiting very patiently for Nissan to give us any information on the Titan half-ton and today at the Chicago Auto Show, they did just that. In terms of design, it is hard to tell the difference between the half-ton and the XD models. Where the differences are apparent is in the chassis. The Titan's overall length measures out to 228.1-inches long, about 11.8-inches shorter than the XD's. Wheelbase and height are also shorter than the XD. Interestingly, both the Titan and Titan XD have the same width - 79.5 inches. When the Titan goes on sale this summer, Nissan will offer three cab options (single, king, and crew) and three bed lengths (5.5, 6.5, and 8 feet). A V6 will be the base engine (details will be announced at a later date), and 5.6L Endurance V8 with 390 horsepower and 401 pound-feet will be optional. A seven-speed automatic will be bolted to the V8. Source: Nissan You can follow our coverage of 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here. Press Release is on Page 2 Nissan releases details of upcoming all-new, half-ton TITAN pickup at Chicago Auto Show Half-ton truck fills out TITAN lineup; goes on sale in summer 2016 CHICAGO – Now that the all-new flagship XD model of Nissan's reimagined TITAN family of pickups is on dealer lots, Nissan is turning its attention to the upcoming "standard" (half-ton) version of TITAN at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show with a special photography release. "There's a strong family resemblance between TITAN XD and the standard TITAN, with their shared rugged exterior style," said Rich Miller, Director of Product Planning for Trucks, SUVs and Commercial Vehicles, Nissan North America, Inc. and Chief Product Specialist for TITAN and TITAN XD. "TITAN will compete in the heart of the full-size pickup segment – the half-ton – while the TITAN XD provides a unique solution for customers by bridging the cost and capability gap between traditional half-ton and full heavy-duty pickups. Together TITAN and TITAN XD will cover nearly 85 percent of the total full-size truck market." TITAN is built on a separate chassis from TITAN XD, and is approximately 228.1 inches long (14.7 inches less than XD) and 79.5 inches wide (same as XD), with the cab size shared between the two vehicles. "The TITAN and TITAN XD do not share any common chassis components," added Miller. "Even the lug nuts are different." TITAN will be available in 4x2 or 4x4 drive configurations with three cabin configurations – Crew Cab, King Cab and Single cab – and three bed lengths – 5.5, 6.5 and 8 feet. Similar to TITAN XD, TITAN will be available in five trim levels – S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve. The TITAN will be powered by Nissan's 5.6-liter Endurance® V8 gasoline engine capable of 390 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine will be mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. A V6 gasoline engine will also be available (details to be announced at a later date). The Nissan TITAN will be assembled in Canton, Mississippi with the 5.6-liter V8 gasoline assembled in Decherd, Tennessee. The truck goes on sale in summer 2016.
  6. Just when you thought it was safe to go back onto the racetrack, Chevrolet has announced the return of the 1LE package for the Camaro. Debuting tomorrow at the Chicago Auto Show, the 2017 Camaro 1LE will be available for the V8 and for the first time, the V6. Let us break down what you get with either engine. LT 1LE The V6 1LE - available on the LT - gets some equipment from the SS 1LE. This includes a new fuel system and the FE3 suspension package with stabilizer bars. Other items for LT 1LE include a mechanical limited slip differential, upgraded cooling system four-piston Brembo brakes for the front, 20-inch lightweight aluminum wheels, and set of Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. A black satin hood and suede interior accents dress up the 1LE. Optional will be a set of Recaro seats and Performance Data Recorder. SS 1LE The SS 1LE comes with the new FE4 suspension package with magnetic ride control, electronic limited slip differential, six-piston Brembo brakes on all four corners, 20-inch wheels, and a Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires specifically developed for this vehicle. Upgraded cooling systems for the V8 engine, transmission, and differential come standard. A set of Recaro bucket seats and a head-up display finish the interior. “The Camaro 1LE packages follow a recipe any track-day enthusiast will appreciate. Start with a lightweight, stiff structure and then add higher levels of suspension stiffness and damping, more aggressive tires, higher downforce, more powerful brakes and more cooling," said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “The result delivers better performance in all measures. In our development tests, the V-6 Camaro 1LE delivers lap times comparable with the previous-gen V-8 model. The 2016 Camaro SS 1LE sets the new benchmark for the segment, lapping the Big Willow track at Willow Springs three seconds faster than the standard Camaro SS.” Chevrolet says the 1LE package will be available late this year. Pricing will be announced a later time. Source: Chevrolet You can follow our coverage of 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here. Press Release is on Page 2 New 1LE Packages Elevates Camaro Track Capabilities Track package returns with more technology for V8 models, first time offered on V6 CHICAGO – The Chevrolet Camaro 1LE performance package returns for 2017, poised to set new benchmarks for attainable track performance. The package builds off the success of the previous-generation 1LE, offering increased handling and track performance. In response to customer demand, Chevrolet will offer two distinct 1LE packages, for both V6 and V8 models, each visually distinguished with a satin black hood, specific wheels and more. For the first time, the 1LE package will be available on Camaro 1LT or 2LT coupes equipped with the 3.6L V6. Featuring more aggressive suspension tuning, standard Brembo brakes and Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, the LT 1LE delivers an estimated 0.97G in cornering grip. Available Recaro seats will keep you planted through the corners, and an available Performance Data Recorder will allow you to view and share your track experience. The new 1LE package for Camaro 1SS models includes magnetic ride control, with a new FE4 suspension tuning and a new, segment-exclusive electronic limited slip differential (eLSD). Paired with massive Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, lateral acceleration will exceed 1G. Additional features available on the 1LE package include standard Recaro seats and a Performance Data Recorder (PDR), new to the Camaro lineup. As a result, the 1LE package elevates the award-winning performance that earned Camaro the 2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year and Car and Driver 10Best awards. “The Camaro 1LE packages follow a recipe any track-day enthusiast will appreciate,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “Start with a lightweight, stiff structure and then add higher levels of suspension stiffness and damping, more aggressive tires, higher downforce, more powerful brakes and more cooling. “The result delivers better performance in all measures,” said Oppenheiser. “In our development tests, the V-6 Camaro 1LE delivers lap times comparable with the previous-gen V-8 model. The 2016 Camaro SS 1LE sets the new benchmark for the segment, lapping the Big Willow track at Willow Springs three seconds faster than the standard Camaro SS.” The new 1LE packages are available in late 2016, on 2017 Camaro SS and LT V-6 coupes equipped with manual transmissions. Pricing and performance data will be announced at a later date. Camaro LT 1LE The Camaro LT 1LE was developed to be the most track-capable sports coupe in its price class. Highlights include: 3.6L V-6 rated at 335 horsepower and matched with the six-speed manual transmission FE3 suspension components (from the Camaro SS), including dampers, rear cradle mounts, ball-jointed rear toe links and stabilizer bars Lightweight 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 245/40R20 front tires and 275/35R20 rear tires Brembo 4-piston front brake calipers Mechanical Limited-slip differential with 3.27 ratio Standard track-cooling package, with engine oil, differential and transmission coolers Suede steering wheel and shorter-throw shifter Standard dual mode exhaust system Camaro SS fuel system for higher-load cornering capability Satin black hood, front splitter and unique three-piece rear spoiler Unique high flow upper and lower grille with satin black accents Available Recaro seats and PDR video/data recording system. “With a curb weight under 3,500 pounds, excellent front-to-rear weight balance and the precision of the FE3 suspension, the Camaro LT 1LE offers unmatched capability in its class,” said Oppenheiser. “As a result, it offers incredible performance for Camaro V-6 customers.” Camaro SS 1LE The 2017 Camaro SS 1LE introduces the new FE4 suspension to the Gen Six Camaro – a performance-oriented chassis system with specific tuning for the Magnetic Ride dampers, springs and stabilizer bars. Additional highlights include: 6.2L LT1 V-8 rated at 455 horsepower, and six-speed manual transmission (automatic transmission not available) Magnetic Ride Control Segment-exclusive electronic limited-slip differential with 3.73 ratio Unique forged aluminum wheels with 285/30ZR20 front tires and 305/30ZR20 rear tires Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires with a compound and construction developed exclusively for the Camaro – offering exceptional grip on the track Brembo brakes with new six-piston monobloc front red calipers – featuring the 1LE logo – and two-piece rotors. Measuring 14.6 inches (370mm) in diameter, the front rotors are 7 percent larger than Camaro SS Track-cooling package, with engine oil, differential and transmission coolers Suede steering wheel with shorter-throw shifter Dual mode exhaust system Recaro front seats with aggressive bolsters optimized for shifting and steering comfort Satin black hood, front mirrors and unique three-piece rear spoiler Satin Graphite front splitter and rear diffuser Available PDR video/data recording system View full article
  7. Just when you thought it was safe to go back onto the racetrack, Chevrolet has announced the return of the 1LE package for the Camaro. Debuting tomorrow at the Chicago Auto Show, the 2017 Camaro 1LE will be available for the V8 and for the first time, the V6. Let us break down what you get with either engine. LT 1LE The V6 1LE - available on the LT - gets some equipment from the SS 1LE. This includes a new fuel system and the FE3 suspension package with stabilizer bars. Other items for LT 1LE include a mechanical limited slip differential, upgraded cooling system four-piston Brembo brakes for the front, 20-inch lightweight aluminum wheels, and set of Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. A black satin hood and suede interior accents dress up the 1LE. Optional will be a set of Recaro seats and Performance Data Recorder. SS 1LE The SS 1LE comes with the new FE4 suspension package with magnetic ride control, electronic limited slip differential, six-piston Brembo brakes on all four corners, 20-inch wheels, and a Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires specifically developed for this vehicle. Upgraded cooling systems for the V8 engine, transmission, and differential come standard. A set of Recaro bucket seats and a head-up display finish the interior. “The Camaro 1LE packages follow a recipe any track-day enthusiast will appreciate. Start with a lightweight, stiff structure and then add higher levels of suspension stiffness and damping, more aggressive tires, higher downforce, more powerful brakes and more cooling," said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “The result delivers better performance in all measures. In our development tests, the V-6 Camaro 1LE delivers lap times comparable with the previous-gen V-8 model. The 2016 Camaro SS 1LE sets the new benchmark for the segment, lapping the Big Willow track at Willow Springs three seconds faster than the standard Camaro SS.” Chevrolet says the 1LE package will be available late this year. Pricing will be announced a later time. Source: Chevrolet You can follow our coverage of 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here. Press Release is on Page 2 New 1LE Packages Elevates Camaro Track Capabilities Track package returns with more technology for V8 models, first time offered on V6 CHICAGO – The Chevrolet Camaro 1LE performance package returns for 2017, poised to set new benchmarks for attainable track performance. The package builds off the success of the previous-generation 1LE, offering increased handling and track performance. In response to customer demand, Chevrolet will offer two distinct 1LE packages, for both V6 and V8 models, each visually distinguished with a satin black hood, specific wheels and more. For the first time, the 1LE package will be available on Camaro 1LT or 2LT coupes equipped with the 3.6L V6. Featuring more aggressive suspension tuning, standard Brembo brakes and Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, the LT 1LE delivers an estimated 0.97G in cornering grip. Available Recaro seats will keep you planted through the corners, and an available Performance Data Recorder will allow you to view and share your track experience. The new 1LE package for Camaro 1SS models includes magnetic ride control, with a new FE4 suspension tuning and a new, segment-exclusive electronic limited slip differential (eLSD). Paired with massive Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, lateral acceleration will exceed 1G. Additional features available on the 1LE package include standard Recaro seats and a Performance Data Recorder (PDR), new to the Camaro lineup. As a result, the 1LE package elevates the award-winning performance that earned Camaro the 2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year and Car and Driver 10Best awards. “The Camaro 1LE packages follow a recipe any track-day enthusiast will appreciate,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “Start with a lightweight, stiff structure and then add higher levels of suspension stiffness and damping, more aggressive tires, higher downforce, more powerful brakes and more cooling. “The result delivers better performance in all measures,” said Oppenheiser. “In our development tests, the V-6 Camaro 1LE delivers lap times comparable with the previous-gen V-8 model. The 2016 Camaro SS 1LE sets the new benchmark for the segment, lapping the Big Willow track at Willow Springs three seconds faster than the standard Camaro SS.” The new 1LE packages are available in late 2016, on 2017 Camaro SS and LT V-6 coupes equipped with manual transmissions. Pricing and performance data will be announced at a later date. Camaro LT 1LE The Camaro LT 1LE was developed to be the most track-capable sports coupe in its price class. Highlights include: 3.6L V-6 rated at 335 horsepower and matched with the six-speed manual transmission FE3 suspension components (from the Camaro SS), including dampers, rear cradle mounts, ball-jointed rear toe links and stabilizer bars Lightweight 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 245/40R20 front tires and 275/35R20 rear tires Brembo 4-piston front brake calipers Mechanical Limited-slip differential with 3.27 ratio Standard track-cooling package, with engine oil, differential and transmission coolers Suede steering wheel and shorter-throw shifter Standard dual mode exhaust system Camaro SS fuel system for higher-load cornering capability Satin black hood, front splitter and unique three-piece rear spoiler Unique high flow upper and lower grille with satin black accents Available Recaro seats and PDR video/data recording system. “With a curb weight under 3,500 pounds, excellent front-to-rear weight balance and the precision of the FE3 suspension, the Camaro LT 1LE offers unmatched capability in its class,” said Oppenheiser. “As a result, it offers incredible performance for Camaro V-6 customers.” Camaro SS 1LE The 2017 Camaro SS 1LE introduces the new FE4 suspension to the Gen Six Camaro – a performance-oriented chassis system with specific tuning for the Magnetic Ride dampers, springs and stabilizer bars. Additional highlights include: 6.2L LT1 V-8 rated at 455 horsepower, and six-speed manual transmission (automatic transmission not available) Magnetic Ride Control Segment-exclusive electronic limited-slip differential with 3.73 ratio Unique forged aluminum wheels with 285/30ZR20 front tires and 305/30ZR20 rear tires Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires with a compound and construction developed exclusively for the Camaro – offering exceptional grip on the track Brembo brakes with new six-piston monobloc front red calipers – featuring the 1LE logo – and two-piece rotors. Measuring 14.6 inches (370mm) in diameter, the front rotors are 7 percent larger than Camaro SS Track-cooling package, with engine oil, differential and transmission coolers Suede steering wheel with shorter-throw shifter Dual mode exhaust system Recaro front seats with aggressive bolsters optimized for shifting and steering comfort Satin black hood, front mirrors and unique three-piece rear spoiler Satin Graphite front splitter and rear diffuser Available PDR video/data recording system
  8. Nissan is using the Chicago Auto Show to see whether or not it should add another model to their growing NISMO lineup. The 370Z NISMO Roadster concept could be the sister model to the 370Z NISMO coupe. Like the coupe, the 370Z NISMO roadster features a number of aerodynamic parts from the GT-R such as red-accented lip spoiler and rear spoiler. There's also black headlight housings and red striping on the side mirrors and side skirts. The concept keeps the power soft-top from the standard 370Z roadster. Inside are a set of Recaro bucket seats wrapped in leather with red stitching and off-white Ultrasuede inserts. Power comes from an upgraded 3.7L V6 with 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. The concept boasts a seven-speed automatic transmission with the Downshift Rev Matching feature. This is due to many people who opt for the 370Z roadster go for the automatic. The concept also boasts a Nismo-tuned suspension - unique springs, stabilizer bars, and a front tower strut brace - along with lightweight 19-inch wheels hiding a set of massive brakes. Source: Nissan Press Release is on Page 2 Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept makes world debut at 2015 Chicago Auto Show Combines legendary NISMO performance, style and technology with Nissan 370Z Roadster open-air motoring excitement One-off design study created to gauge market interest in an ultimate factory Z® Roadster Offers unique engine, suspension, exterior and interior features versus standard Nissan 370Z Roadster models – including 350-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 and NISMO-tuned suspension Would join current Nissan 370Z NISMO coupe model, expanding NISMO lineup to five models As the heart and soul of Nissan performance for both the track and on the street, NISMO continues to set the standard for straight-from-the-factory enthusiast vehicles. The lineup of NISMO production models for 2015 includes the GT-R NISMO, 370Z NISMO, JUKE NISMO and JUKE NISMO RS. Yet as the popularity of NISMO models continues to grow – the 2015 GT-R NISMO is sold out, the 370Z NISMO accounts for 20 percent of total sales and JUKE NISMO models for about 15 percent – one group of performance enthusiast remains left out: Open-air sports car lovers. Enter the Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept, which makes its world debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The custom vehicle combines the long list of 370Z NISMO Coupe performance equipment with a modified 370Z Roadster body and interior. "The idea of adding NISMO levels of look, feel and performance to a Nissan 370Z Roadster is one that we've been considering for a long time," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "The creation of the Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept brings that idea to life and lets us judge consumer reaction – which we predict is going to be outstanding." The Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept's striking visual presence starts with the addition of its GT-R-inspired functional and fully integrated aerodynamic body pieces. In front, the deep front fascia with Hyper LED Daytime Running Lights, black headlight bezels, NISMO emblem and signature NISMO red stripe accents set the tone. On the sides of the vehicle, the NISMO red accents and red sideview mirror covers continue the NISMO theme, adding a touch of flair to the dramatic top-down profile. In the middle of the vehicle, the fixed headrest bars are leather-wrapped with red accents. The rear is highlighted by a custom carbon-fiber rear spoiler created exclusively use on the 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept. The convertible top itself, though it is expected to be rare that it is in the closed position, is a cloth power-folding roof with fabric inner liner design. It includes a single action top operation with automatic roof lock, steel tonneau cover and fixed glass wind deflector – just like every 2015 Nissan 370Z Roadster. The dramatic exterior appearance is topped by an aggressive stance provided by the wide 19-inch NISMO super-lightweight forged aluminum-alloy wheels by RAYS (19x9.5-inch front, 19x10.5-inch rear), which receive a special custom finishing. Y-rated Bridgestone Potenza S001 245/40R19 front and 285/35R19 rear tires complete the package. "With as much attention as the exterior modifications are expected to attract, we knew the interior had to be just as special, especially since with the convertible top in the down position everything is in plain sight," said Loing. "It doesn't disappoint." The NISMO-styled interior is anchored by black Recaro® leather-appointed seats with red stitching and stain-repellent, off-white premium Ultrasuede® inserts – chosen to resist heat build-up when parked in open sunlight. The interior features custom red stitching with NISMO logo, an Alcantara®-appointed leather-wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel and NISMO red tachometer. The 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept's suite of technology includes Nissan Navigation System with 7.0-inch VGA touch-sensitive display, RearView Monitor and Bose® Premium Audio System with six speakers and dual subwoofers to provide a clear soundtrack, even with the top down. Even more than racing-inspired aerodynamic bodies and driver-oriented cockpit-style interiors, at its core NISMO is all about performance. To that end, the 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept is conceived to incorporate most of the engine and suspension modifications (versus non-NISMO 370Z models) of the 370Z NISMO coupe. This includes its potent 350-horsepower 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL). The 370Z NISMO's enhanced engine power and acceleration (versus non-NISMO 370Zs) is provided through use of an exclusive H-configured exhaust system design and muffler tuning, along with optimized ECM (Engine Control Module) calibration, to help create 18 horsepower more than a standard 370Z. Torque is rated at 276 lb-ft. The 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept utilizes Nissan's refined 7-speed automatic transmission with Downshift Rev Matching (DRM), Adaptive Shift Control and manual shift mode with paddle shifters. "The majority of 370Z Roadster buyers prefer the automatic transmission, which with Downshift Rev Matching and paddle shifters comes close to the performance of a 6-speed manual – so that's how we specified the 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept," said Loing. "Matched with the NISMO-tuned engine, suspension and steering, it is a great combination, perfect for long open-top drives along the shoreline or mountain roads alike." The 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept adds a NISMO-branded strut tower brace under the hood, along with a red engine cover. The NISMO-tuned 4-wheel independent suspension includes special springs and stabilizer bars. Large Nissan Sport Brakes and a Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD) – with a shorter final drive ratio for better acceleration feel – are also included. "While it is only a design study at this point, we think the 370Z NISMO Roaster Concept would be a tremendous addition to the long and distinguished history of Z® sports cars," said Loing. "There's still nothing better than an open top and an open road ahead of you, especially when there's a NISMO badge on the bumper."
  9. Nissan is using the Chicago Auto Show to see whether or not it should add another model to their growing NISMO lineup. The 370Z NISMO Roadster concept could be the sister model to the 370Z NISMO coupe. Like the coupe, the 370Z NISMO roadster features a number of aerodynamic parts from the GT-R such as red-accented lip spoiler and rear spoiler. There's also black headlight housings and red striping on the side mirrors and side skirts. The concept keeps the power soft-top from the standard 370Z roadster. Inside are a set of Recaro bucket seats wrapped in leather with red stitching and off-white Ultrasuede inserts. Power comes from an upgraded 3.7L V6 with 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. The concept boasts a seven-speed automatic transmission with the Downshift Rev Matching feature. This is due to many people who opt for the 370Z roadster go for the automatic. The concept also boasts a Nismo-tuned suspension - unique springs, stabilizer bars, and a front tower strut brace - along with lightweight 19-inch wheels hiding a set of massive brakes. Source: Nissan Press Release is on Page 2 Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept makes world debut at 2015 Chicago Auto Show Combines legendary NISMO performance, style and technology with Nissan 370Z Roadster open-air motoring excitement One-off design study created to gauge market interest in an ultimate factory Z® Roadster Offers unique engine, suspension, exterior and interior features versus standard Nissan 370Z Roadster models – including 350-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 and NISMO-tuned suspension Would join current Nissan 370Z NISMO coupe model, expanding NISMO lineup to five models As the heart and soul of Nissan performance for both the track and on the street, NISMO continues to set the standard for straight-from-the-factory enthusiast vehicles. The lineup of NISMO production models for 2015 includes the GT-R NISMO, 370Z NISMO, JUKE NISMO and JUKE NISMO RS. Yet as the popularity of NISMO models continues to grow – the 2015 GT-R NISMO is sold out, the 370Z NISMO accounts for 20 percent of total sales and JUKE NISMO models for about 15 percent – one group of performance enthusiast remains left out: Open-air sports car lovers. Enter the Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept, which makes its world debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The custom vehicle combines the long list of 370Z NISMO Coupe performance equipment with a modified 370Z Roadster body and interior. "The idea of adding NISMO levels of look, feel and performance to a Nissan 370Z Roadster is one that we've been considering for a long time," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "The creation of the Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept brings that idea to life and lets us judge consumer reaction – which we predict is going to be outstanding." The Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept's striking visual presence starts with the addition of its GT-R-inspired functional and fully integrated aerodynamic body pieces. In front, the deep front fascia with Hyper LED Daytime Running Lights, black headlight bezels, NISMO emblem and signature NISMO red stripe accents set the tone. On the sides of the vehicle, the NISMO red accents and red sideview mirror covers continue the NISMO theme, adding a touch of flair to the dramatic top-down profile. In the middle of the vehicle, the fixed headrest bars are leather-wrapped with red accents. The rear is highlighted by a custom carbon-fiber rear spoiler created exclusively use on the 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept. The convertible top itself, though it is expected to be rare that it is in the closed position, is a cloth power-folding roof with fabric inner liner design. It includes a single action top operation with automatic roof lock, steel tonneau cover and fixed glass wind deflector – just like every 2015 Nissan 370Z Roadster. The dramatic exterior appearance is topped by an aggressive stance provided by the wide 19-inch NISMO super-lightweight forged aluminum-alloy wheels by RAYS (19x9.5-inch front, 19x10.5-inch rear), which receive a special custom finishing. Y-rated Bridgestone Potenza S001 245/40R19 front and 285/35R19 rear tires complete the package. "With as much attention as the exterior modifications are expected to attract, we knew the interior had to be just as special, especially since with the convertible top in the down position everything is in plain sight," said Loing. "It doesn't disappoint." The NISMO-styled interior is anchored by black Recaro® leather-appointed seats with red stitching and stain-repellent, off-white premium Ultrasuede® inserts – chosen to resist heat build-up when parked in open sunlight. The interior features custom red stitching with NISMO logo, an Alcantara®-appointed leather-wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel and NISMO red tachometer. The 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept's suite of technology includes Nissan Navigation System with 7.0-inch VGA touch-sensitive display, RearView Monitor and Bose® Premium Audio System with six speakers and dual subwoofers to provide a clear soundtrack, even with the top down. Even more than racing-inspired aerodynamic bodies and driver-oriented cockpit-style interiors, at its core NISMO is all about performance. To that end, the 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept is conceived to incorporate most of the engine and suspension modifications (versus non-NISMO 370Z models) of the 370Z NISMO coupe. This includes its potent 350-horsepower 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL). The 370Z NISMO's enhanced engine power and acceleration (versus non-NISMO 370Zs) is provided through use of an exclusive H-configured exhaust system design and muffler tuning, along with optimized ECM (Engine Control Module) calibration, to help create 18 horsepower more than a standard 370Z. Torque is rated at 276 lb-ft. The 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept utilizes Nissan's refined 7-speed automatic transmission with Downshift Rev Matching (DRM), Adaptive Shift Control and manual shift mode with paddle shifters. "The majority of 370Z Roadster buyers prefer the automatic transmission, which with Downshift Rev Matching and paddle shifters comes close to the performance of a 6-speed manual – so that's how we specified the 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept," said Loing. "Matched with the NISMO-tuned engine, suspension and steering, it is a great combination, perfect for long open-top drives along the shoreline or mountain roads alike." The 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept adds a NISMO-branded strut tower brace under the hood, along with a red engine cover. The NISMO-tuned 4-wheel independent suspension includes special springs and stabilizer bars. Large Nissan Sport Brakes and a Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD) – with a shorter final drive ratio for better acceleration feel – are also included. "While it is only a design study at this point, we think the 370Z NISMO Roaster Concept would be a tremendous addition to the long and distinguished history of Z® sports cars," said Loing. "There's still nothing better than an open top and an open road ahead of you, especially when there's a NISMO badge on the bumper." View full article
  10. Following the updates done on the 2016 Explorer, Ford has also given the police version - the Police Interceptor Utility - a similar treatment. The result will debut at the Chicago Auto Show later this week. Starting on the exterior, the Interceptor Utility gets a revised front end with a new grille and headlights. Inside a new instrument cluster and a enhanced electrical system that can better deal with the electrical loads police cars use. There's also a new liftgate release switch which opens the rear hatch for 45 seconds to allow officers to get equipment out before locking back up. Power comes from either a 3.7L V6 with 304 horsepower and 279 pound-feet of torque or a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come paired with all-wheel drive. The six-speed automatic transmission features a pursuit mode which allows for more aggressive up and downshifts. The mode kicks in when the vehicle detects a change in the driver's behavior via brake line pressure, deceleration, and lateral acceleration rates. "From the heavy-duty suspension and powertrain offerings, to the unique steering and transmission calibrations, Ford Police Interceptor Utility is built to provide any law enforcement agency a vehicle ready to meet extremely demanding needs," said Arie Groeneveld, chief engineer for the new Police Interceptor Utility. Source: Ford Press Release is on Page 2 NEW FORD POLICE INTERCEPTOR DEBUTS AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW, SETS ITS SIGHTS ON INNOVATION, CONTINUED SALES LEADERSHIP Ford Police Interceptor – the top-selling law enforcement vehicle in the United States – is ready to hit the streets with a fresh look and new features this summer 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility, created with hands-on input from Ford’s Police Advisory Board of law enforcement professionals, is the most customer-centric, purpose-built vehicle from Ford Ford Police Interceptor Utility and Police Interceptor Sedan are built at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant and shipped to markets across the world CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2015 – Ford will unveil the 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicle at the Chicago Auto Show this Thursday, kicking off a new chapter for the utility that has changed the face of law enforcement. Since its introduction in 2012, Police Interceptor Utility quickly became America’s best-selling police vehicle, helping Ford capture 55 percent of the U.S. law enforcement vehicle market. The 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility was developed with input from the Ford Police Advisory Board to handle the extreme rigors of police duty. In the business of fighting crime, performance and durability are king. Ford Police Interceptor Utility is the only Pursuit Rated midsize utility vehicle; Ford’s utility and sedan versions are the only Pursuit Rated vehicles with standard all-wheel drive. “Our Police Interceptor Utility is the best-selling police vehicle in America because we have a unique relationship with our customers,” said Jonathan Honeycutt, Ford North American marketing manager for Police Vehicles. “By listening to the Ford Police Advisory Board, we have engineered a vehicle that officers love.” Customer-driven innovation To create the most innovative law enforcement vehicles, Ford listened to the experts. The Police Advisory Board was created by Ford to refine and develop future products that meet the needs of law enforcement agencies. The board, created in 2000, consists of a rotating panel of 25 experts from the law enforcement community. The group has supplied Ford with customer feedback and served as a pilot group for products, programs and services. The 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility features a new front and rear design, new headlamps, a new instrument panel and an enhanced electrical system to distribute electrical loads more efficiently. Available Surveillance Mode technology warns the driver when someone approaches the rear of the vehicle. Upon detection, the driver’s window automatically raises and all doors lock. Ford is the first manufacturer to bring this innovative feature to market. As a direct response to customer feedback, Ford added a liftgate release switch, accessible to occupants in the front. It allows the rear liftgate mechanism to remain unlocked for 45 seconds before timing out, permitting officers to access the cargo area. A rear camera with washer is standard for the 2016 model with a 4-inch screen in the center stack. As an option, the view from the camera can be seen in the rearview mirror. Ford Police Interceptor Utility comes standard with a 3.7-liter V6 producing 304 horsepower and 279 lb.-ft. of torque, while an available 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 makes 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque, allowing agencies to select the engine that best meets their patrol requirements. Police Interceptor Utility’s standard all-wheel drive is designed to deliver low-speed traction and high-speed handling and stability. “From the heavy-duty suspension and powertrain offerings, to the unique steering and transmission calibrations, Ford Police Interceptor Utility is built to provide any law enforcement agency a vehicle ready to meet extremely demanding needs,” said Arie Groeneveld, chief engineer for the new Police Interceptor Utility. Both engines have been calibrated to meet extreme test requirements defined by the Michigan State Police and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Tests include aggressive driving on road courses and racetracks, braking and acceleration, top speed and city pursuit testing. In both Police Interceptor models, the standard six-speed transmission features a unique Pursuit Mode specifically programmed for law enforcement use. The transmission automatically switches from normal, fuel-saving operation to Pursuit Mode when it detects aggressive driving situations, based on brake line pressure, deceleration and lateral acceleration rates. Once in Pursuit Mode, the upshift and downshift performance of the transmission is optimized for aggressive driving, returning to fuel-save mode when it senses the aggressive driving is complete. The software is tuned to perform a reverse J-turn, which is when a reversing vehicle is spun 180 degrees and continues, face forward, without changing direction of travel. In addition to unique cooling systems designed for extreme use, Police Interceptor also features custom-developed brakes designed to withstand excessive use. The 18-inch steel wheels have high venting characteristics to help cool the brakes. The vehicle has been designed to stand up to the demands of police work, with heavy-duty powertrain mounts, reinforced subframe mounts and unique hubs and bearings. Larger-diameter springs are used in the suspension. The upgrades help ensure every Police Interceptor model can handle the extreme rigors of law enforcement work. Even the tires are specifically designed to meet durability and pursuit standards, with some departments logging as many as 50,000 miles per year. The unibody structure of Police Interceptor Utility features boron steel in the A-pillar and a hydroformed, high-strength steel tube that runs the width of the vehicle to improve structural rigidity. Interior and exterior dimensions remain the same for the 2016 model. Designed in Dearborn, built in Chicago Police Interceptor Utility and Police Interceptor Sedan are sold in more than 80 markets around the world, but built in the heartland of America, at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant. Once initial work is completed at Chicago Assembly Plant, the vehicles are transported less than a mile away to Troy Design and Manufacturing to be upfitted with law enforcement equipment. A wholly owned subsidiary of Ford, Troy Design and Manufacturing operates out of a 54,000-square-foot facility, where approximately 200 workers bring Police Interceptor vehicles to life. Law enforcement agencies can select from 125 packages, which include a variety of lighting options, wraps and styles. Last year, an estimated 269,000 police-duty accessories were installed on 36,000 vehicles before shipping to police departments across the globe. One of the most important and recognizable features of Police Interceptor are the lights. The 2016 Police Interceptor Utility allows agencies to choose from up to 25 different patterns. The lights are now better integrated into the new front and rear fascia, allowing for a more seamless design and a stealthier look for patrol duty. In a nod to police vehicle nostalgia, Ford added a blinking white function called “wig-wag” to the incandescent high-beam light bulbs. Other key technologies available on Ford Police Interceptor Utility: Ballistic shields built to Level III specifications determined by the National Institute of Justice Standard, factory-installed in the driver and passenger doors for additional protection against gunfire SYNC®, a hands-free information technology so officers can operate various communication and audio equipment by voice control Available Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®), which uses two radar sensors located in the rear quarter panels to detect vehicles in the surrounding lanes. If a vehicle enters the driver’s blind spot zones, the system alerts the driver with a warning light in the sideview mirror Available cross-traffic alert, which uses existing BLIS radar modules to sense oncoming traffic when slowly backing out of a parking spot. The system functions only while the vehicle is in reverse and warns when cross traffic appears within three car-widths Available Reverse Sensing System, which emits an audible tone to alert the driver to certain objects up to 6 feet behind the vehicle
  11. Following the updates done on the 2016 Explorer, Ford has also given the police version - the Police Interceptor Utility - a similar treatment. The result will debut at the Chicago Auto Show later this week. Starting on the exterior, the Interceptor Utility gets a revised front end with a new grille and headlights. Inside a new instrument cluster and a enhanced electrical system that can better deal with the electrical loads police cars use. There's also a new liftgate release switch which opens the rear hatch for 45 seconds to allow officers to get equipment out before locking back up. Power comes from either a 3.7L V6 with 304 horsepower and 279 pound-feet of torque or a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come paired with all-wheel drive. The six-speed automatic transmission features a pursuit mode which allows for more aggressive up and downshifts. The mode kicks in when the vehicle detects a change in the driver's behavior via brake line pressure, deceleration, and lateral acceleration rates. "From the heavy-duty suspension and powertrain offerings, to the unique steering and transmission calibrations, Ford Police Interceptor Utility is built to provide any law enforcement agency a vehicle ready to meet extremely demanding needs," said Arie Groeneveld, chief engineer for the new Police Interceptor Utility. Source: Ford Press Release is on Page 2 NEW FORD POLICE INTERCEPTOR DEBUTS AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW, SETS ITS SIGHTS ON INNOVATION, CONTINUED SALES LEADERSHIP Ford Police Interceptor – the top-selling law enforcement vehicle in the United States – is ready to hit the streets with a fresh look and new features this summer 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility, created with hands-on input from Ford’s Police Advisory Board of law enforcement professionals, is the most customer-centric, purpose-built vehicle from Ford Ford Police Interceptor Utility and Police Interceptor Sedan are built at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant and shipped to markets across the world CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2015 – Ford will unveil the 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicle at the Chicago Auto Show this Thursday, kicking off a new chapter for the utility that has changed the face of law enforcement. Since its introduction in 2012, Police Interceptor Utility quickly became America’s best-selling police vehicle, helping Ford capture 55 percent of the U.S. law enforcement vehicle market. The 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility was developed with input from the Ford Police Advisory Board to handle the extreme rigors of police duty. In the business of fighting crime, performance and durability are king. Ford Police Interceptor Utility is the only Pursuit Rated midsize utility vehicle; Ford’s utility and sedan versions are the only Pursuit Rated vehicles with standard all-wheel drive. “Our Police Interceptor Utility is the best-selling police vehicle in America because we have a unique relationship with our customers,” said Jonathan Honeycutt, Ford North American marketing manager for Police Vehicles. “By listening to the Ford Police Advisory Board, we have engineered a vehicle that officers love.” Customer-driven innovation To create the most innovative law enforcement vehicles, Ford listened to the experts. The Police Advisory Board was created by Ford to refine and develop future products that meet the needs of law enforcement agencies. The board, created in 2000, consists of a rotating panel of 25 experts from the law enforcement community. The group has supplied Ford with customer feedback and served as a pilot group for products, programs and services. The 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility features a new front and rear design, new headlamps, a new instrument panel and an enhanced electrical system to distribute electrical loads more efficiently. Available Surveillance Mode technology warns the driver when someone approaches the rear of the vehicle. Upon detection, the driver’s window automatically raises and all doors lock. Ford is the first manufacturer to bring this innovative feature to market. As a direct response to customer feedback, Ford added a liftgate release switch, accessible to occupants in the front. It allows the rear liftgate mechanism to remain unlocked for 45 seconds before timing out, permitting officers to access the cargo area. A rear camera with washer is standard for the 2016 model with a 4-inch screen in the center stack. As an option, the view from the camera can be seen in the rearview mirror. Ford Police Interceptor Utility comes standard with a 3.7-liter V6 producing 304 horsepower and 279 lb.-ft. of torque, while an available 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 makes 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque, allowing agencies to select the engine that best meets their patrol requirements. Police Interceptor Utility’s standard all-wheel drive is designed to deliver low-speed traction and high-speed handling and stability. “From the heavy-duty suspension and powertrain offerings, to the unique steering and transmission calibrations, Ford Police Interceptor Utility is built to provide any law enforcement agency a vehicle ready to meet extremely demanding needs,” said Arie Groeneveld, chief engineer for the new Police Interceptor Utility. Both engines have been calibrated to meet extreme test requirements defined by the Michigan State Police and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Tests include aggressive driving on road courses and racetracks, braking and acceleration, top speed and city pursuit testing. In both Police Interceptor models, the standard six-speed transmission features a unique Pursuit Mode specifically programmed for law enforcement use. The transmission automatically switches from normal, fuel-saving operation to Pursuit Mode when it detects aggressive driving situations, based on brake line pressure, deceleration and lateral acceleration rates. Once in Pursuit Mode, the upshift and downshift performance of the transmission is optimized for aggressive driving, returning to fuel-save mode when it senses the aggressive driving is complete. The software is tuned to perform a reverse J-turn, which is when a reversing vehicle is spun 180 degrees and continues, face forward, without changing direction of travel. In addition to unique cooling systems designed for extreme use, Police Interceptor also features custom-developed brakes designed to withstand excessive use. The 18-inch steel wheels have high venting characteristics to help cool the brakes. The vehicle has been designed to stand up to the demands of police work, with heavy-duty powertrain mounts, reinforced subframe mounts and unique hubs and bearings. Larger-diameter springs are used in the suspension. The upgrades help ensure every Police Interceptor model can handle the extreme rigors of law enforcement work. Even the tires are specifically designed to meet durability and pursuit standards, with some departments logging as many as 50,000 miles per year. The unibody structure of Police Interceptor Utility features boron steel in the A-pillar and a hydroformed, high-strength steel tube that runs the width of the vehicle to improve structural rigidity. Interior and exterior dimensions remain the same for the 2016 model. Designed in Dearborn, built in Chicago Police Interceptor Utility and Police Interceptor Sedan are sold in more than 80 markets around the world, but built in the heartland of America, at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant. Once initial work is completed at Chicago Assembly Plant, the vehicles are transported less than a mile away to Troy Design and Manufacturing to be upfitted with law enforcement equipment. A wholly owned subsidiary of Ford, Troy Design and Manufacturing operates out of a 54,000-square-foot facility, where approximately 200 workers bring Police Interceptor vehicles to life. Law enforcement agencies can select from 125 packages, which include a variety of lighting options, wraps and styles. Last year, an estimated 269,000 police-duty accessories were installed on 36,000 vehicles before shipping to police departments across the globe. One of the most important and recognizable features of Police Interceptor are the lights. The 2016 Police Interceptor Utility allows agencies to choose from up to 25 different patterns. The lights are now better integrated into the new front and rear fascia, allowing for a more seamless design and a stealthier look for patrol duty. In a nod to police vehicle nostalgia, Ford added a blinking white function called “wig-wag” to the incandescent high-beam light bulbs. Other key technologies available on Ford Police Interceptor Utility: Ballistic shields built to Level III specifications determined by the National Institute of Justice Standard, factory-installed in the driver and passenger doors for additional protection against gunfire SYNC®, a hands-free information technology so officers can operate various communication and audio equipment by voice control Available Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®), which uses two radar sensors located in the rear quarter panels to detect vehicles in the surrounding lanes. If a vehicle enters the driver’s blind spot zones, the system alerts the driver with a warning light in the sideview mirror Available cross-traffic alert, which uses existing BLIS radar modules to sense oncoming traffic when slowly backing out of a parking spot. The system functions only while the vehicle is in reverse and warns when cross traffic appears within three car-widths Available Reverse Sensing System, which emits an audible tone to alert the driver to certain objects up to 6 feet behind the vehicle View full article
  12. The current Chevrolet Equinox has been on sale for around 5 to 6 years. Usually, an automaker would give a model this old a redesign. But General Motors is going with the 'if ain't broke, why fix it' mantra with the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox. The only real note of change for 2016 Equinox is the exterior. The front end features a larger lower grille and a slim body-color bar. New headlights, reshaped taillights, and new 17- and 18-inch wheels. As for the interior, all Equinox models get a 7-inch touchscreen as standard. Powertrains carry over from last year. The base is the 2.4L four-cylinder with 182 horsepower, while a 3.6L V6 with 301 horsepower is optional. The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox arrives at dealers later this fall. Source: Chevrolet Press Release is on Page 2 Fresh Face: Chevrolet Introduces Restyled 2016 Equinox Premium cues, new safety features enhance Chevy’s record-selling compact SUV CHICAGO – Chevrolet today introduced the 2016 Equinox – a contemporized version of the popular compact SUV. Updates include new styling with premium accents, new wheel designs and new available safety features, as well as a larger color touchscreen radio and a standard rear-vision camera for entry-level models. The enhanced Equinox goes on sale this fall, building on five years of record sales in the highly competitive compact SUV segment and strengthening Chevrolet’s broad sport utility lineup, which includes the Traverse, the all-new Trax small SUV and the redesigned 2015 Tahoe and Suburban full-size SUVs. “Chevrolet Equinox is a pillar of the compact SUV segment, thanks to a value rooted in great style, efficiency, safety and connectivity,” said Alan Batey, president, GM North America. “The enhancements to the 2016 Equinox make a versatile vehicle an even better choice, and demonstrate Chevrolet’s commitment to delivering the broadest lineup of SUVs in the industry.” Equinox sales in the U.S. increased to 242,242 in 2014 – the fifth consecutive year of record sales since the second-generation launched as a 2010 model. It also held more than 9 percent of the compact SUV market, which surged 17.4 percent in 2014 and accounted for 15.5 percent of the total vehicle market – eclipsing midsize cars for the first time to become the auto industry’s largest segment. The roster of new and updated features available on the 2016 Equinox includes: New trim lineup: L, LS, LT and LTZ, a streamlining of the model lineup that eliminates the 1LT and 2LT trims. New front fascia and chrome-accented dual-port grille design – including specific chrome trim on LT and LTZ grilles New, premium projector-beam headlamps on all models helps make the Equinox more visible at night New daytime running lamps on LT and LTZ, with reflector-style lamps on L and LS, and light-emitting diode, (LED) lamps on LT and LTZ that create a distinctive, upscale lighting signature New fog lamps on LTZ New, Chevy-signature dual-element taillamps, revised license plate applique and revised lower rear fascia on all models, with chrome trim on LTZ lower fascia New 17-inch aluminum wheels on LT and new 18-inch aluminum wheels on LTZ New available 17-inch wheel optional on LS model New chrome exhaust outlets on V-6 models Available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features on LT and LTZ Standard seven-inch-diagonal Color Touch radio (including Bluetooth phone connectivity) and rear-vision camera on L and LS models Revised instrument panel “center stack” with new storage shelf and updated control graphics New, chrome-trimmed transmission shifter with Electronic Range Selector mode buttons relocated to the top of the shifter handle Enhanced interior fabrics in L and LS designed for a premium look and feel New Saddle Up interior color New universal tablet holders available through dealers from Chevrolet Accessories. They mount on the rear of the front seats to provide convenient access for rear-seat passengers. “The new face of the Equinox is highlighted by a more expressive execution of chrome accents and premium lighting,” said John Cafaro, executive director of design, global Chevrolet cars. “The result is a modern exterior that’s matched inside with premium features on all trim levels, complementing the Equinox’s enhanced technology and functionality.” A compact SUV with big features The 2016 Equinox seats five, with all-wheel drive offered on LS, LT and LTZ models. Its roomy interior – with the GM-exclusive MultiFlex sliding rear seat – offers 31.4 cubic feet (889 liters) of cargo space behind the rear seat and 63.7 cubic feet (1,803 liters) with the rear seat folded. The standard Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected engine delivers an EPA-estimated 32 mpg on the highway (FWD models). A direct-injected 3.6L V-6 is available with LT and LTZ models and delivers best-in-class 301 horsepower (225 kW) and 272 lb-ft of torque (369 Nm). The V-6 engine also enables a trailering capacity of up to 3,500 pounds (1,588 kg) – capability unmatched by four-cylinder-only competitors. Chevrolet MyLink is standard on LT and LTZ models, while OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi hotpot is offered on all trim levels. Equinox was the first in the segment to offer 4G LTE and it provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the car is on and comes with a three-month/3GB data trial (whichever comes first). In addition to available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features, Equinox also offers Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning as part of comprehensive safety packages. Equinox fast facts Chevrolet’s second-best selling vehicle in North America, after Silverado Equinox claimed 9.3 percent of the U.S. compact SUV market in 2014 First generation debuted as a 2005 model Second generation introduced as a 2010 model Second generation sales in the U.S. and Canada totaled more than 1 million through the end of 2014 More than 1.4 million Equinox vehicles of both generations are on the road.
  13. The current Chevrolet Equinox has been on sale for around 5 to 6 years. Usually, an automaker would give a model this old a redesign. But General Motors is going with the 'if ain't broke, why fix it' mantra with the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox. The only real note of change for 2016 Equinox is the exterior. The front end features a larger lower grille and a slim body-color bar. New headlights, reshaped taillights, and new 17- and 18-inch wheels. As for the interior, all Equinox models get a 7-inch touchscreen as standard. Powertrains carry over from last year. The base is the 2.4L four-cylinder with 182 horsepower, while a 3.6L V6 with 301 horsepower is optional. The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox arrives at dealers later this fall. Source: Chevrolet Press Release is on Page 2 Fresh Face: Chevrolet Introduces Restyled 2016 Equinox Premium cues, new safety features enhance Chevy’s record-selling compact SUV CHICAGO – Chevrolet today introduced the 2016 Equinox – a contemporized version of the popular compact SUV. Updates include new styling with premium accents, new wheel designs and new available safety features, as well as a larger color touchscreen radio and a standard rear-vision camera for entry-level models. The enhanced Equinox goes on sale this fall, building on five years of record sales in the highly competitive compact SUV segment and strengthening Chevrolet’s broad sport utility lineup, which includes the Traverse, the all-new Trax small SUV and the redesigned 2015 Tahoe and Suburban full-size SUVs. “Chevrolet Equinox is a pillar of the compact SUV segment, thanks to a value rooted in great style, efficiency, safety and connectivity,” said Alan Batey, president, GM North America. “The enhancements to the 2016 Equinox make a versatile vehicle an even better choice, and demonstrate Chevrolet’s commitment to delivering the broadest lineup of SUVs in the industry.” Equinox sales in the U.S. increased to 242,242 in 2014 – the fifth consecutive year of record sales since the second-generation launched as a 2010 model. It also held more than 9 percent of the compact SUV market, which surged 17.4 percent in 2014 and accounted for 15.5 percent of the total vehicle market – eclipsing midsize cars for the first time to become the auto industry’s largest segment. The roster of new and updated features available on the 2016 Equinox includes: New trim lineup: L, LS, LT and LTZ, a streamlining of the model lineup that eliminates the 1LT and 2LT trims. New front fascia and chrome-accented dual-port grille design – including specific chrome trim on LT and LTZ grilles New, premium projector-beam headlamps on all models helps make the Equinox more visible at night New daytime running lamps on LT and LTZ, with reflector-style lamps on L and LS, and light-emitting diode, (LED) lamps on LT and LTZ that create a distinctive, upscale lighting signature New fog lamps on LTZ New, Chevy-signature dual-element taillamps, revised license plate applique and revised lower rear fascia on all models, with chrome trim on LTZ lower fascia New 17-inch aluminum wheels on LT and new 18-inch aluminum wheels on LTZ New available 17-inch wheel optional on LS model New chrome exhaust outlets on V-6 models Available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features on LT and LTZ Standard seven-inch-diagonal Color Touch radio (including Bluetooth phone connectivity) and rear-vision camera on L and LS models Revised instrument panel “center stack” with new storage shelf and updated control graphics New, chrome-trimmed transmission shifter with Electronic Range Selector mode buttons relocated to the top of the shifter handle Enhanced interior fabrics in L and LS designed for a premium look and feel New Saddle Up interior color New universal tablet holders available through dealers from Chevrolet Accessories. They mount on the rear of the front seats to provide convenient access for rear-seat passengers. “The new face of the Equinox is highlighted by a more expressive execution of chrome accents and premium lighting,” said John Cafaro, executive director of design, global Chevrolet cars. “The result is a modern exterior that’s matched inside with premium features on all trim levels, complementing the Equinox’s enhanced technology and functionality.” A compact SUV with big features The 2016 Equinox seats five, with all-wheel drive offered on LS, LT and LTZ models. Its roomy interior – with the GM-exclusive MultiFlex sliding rear seat – offers 31.4 cubic feet (889 liters) of cargo space behind the rear seat and 63.7 cubic feet (1,803 liters) with the rear seat folded. The standard Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected engine delivers an EPA-estimated 32 mpg on the highway (FWD models). A direct-injected 3.6L V-6 is available with LT and LTZ models and delivers best-in-class 301 horsepower (225 kW) and 272 lb-ft of torque (369 Nm). The V-6 engine also enables a trailering capacity of up to 3,500 pounds (1,588 kg) – capability unmatched by four-cylinder-only competitors. Chevrolet MyLink is standard on LT and LTZ models, while OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi hotpot is offered on all trim levels. Equinox was the first in the segment to offer 4G LTE and it provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the car is on and comes with a three-month/3GB data trial (whichever comes first). In addition to available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features, Equinox also offers Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning as part of comprehensive safety packages. Equinox fast facts Chevrolet’s second-best selling vehicle in North America, after Silverado Equinox claimed 9.3 percent of the U.S. compact SUV market in 2014 First generation debuted as a 2005 model Second generation introduced as a 2010 model Second generation sales in the U.S. and Canada totaled more than 1 million through the end of 2014 More than 1.4 million Equinox vehicles of both generations are on the road. View full article
  14. Toyota's big sedan, the Avalon has gotten a mild refresh for the 2016 model year. The updated sedan, which debuted today in Chicago gets a number of small tweaks a new trim level. The tweaks begin outside with LED accents for the head and taillights, along with an enlarged front grille. All trim levels get new wheel choices. Inside, new trim pieces and a revised Entune infotainment system on XLE models and up. Powertrains for the Avalon remain unchanged. That means a 3.5L V6 for the standard Avalon, while the Avalon Hybrid goes with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system. What has changed is suspension tuning. Most Avalons will come with a suspension tune that provides a more comfortable ride. The new Touring trim will come a more aggressive suspension tune to provide more sport. The 2016 Avalon arrives at dealers this fall. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 First Look in the “Second City:” The Refreshed 2016 Toyota Avalon Premium Mid-Sized Sedan Updated Styling Retuned Suspension for Enhanced Comfort New LED Headlights and Taillights Upgraded Convenience Features CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2015 – Call it a trio of firsts in the Second City as the refreshed Toyota Avalon and sporty Camry and Corolla Special Editions made their world debuts at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The three models rode into Chicago with a head of steam as the Avalon, Camry and Corolla are each the sales leaders in their respective segments, a first for Toyota. All three vehicles are 2016 models and will go on sale later this fall. Refreshed 2016 Avalon Unveiled as all-new in 2012, the fourth-generation Avalon was the first vehicle to meet Toyota President Akio Toyoda’s challenge to create cars that spark people’s emotions. Toyota mixed its legendary Quality, Durability and Reliability (QDR) with a strong dose of emotion through fresh new styling, improved performance, and high-tech features. They proved to be winning ingredients as Avalon quickly grabbed the attention of mid-size premium car buyers in segment leading numbers. Five distinct grades on the V6 models will give customers a wide array of choice (XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Limited and Touring). Hybrid customers can choose from three separate grades, adding luxury features and technology options as they move up the chain from XLE Plus to XLE Premium and Limited. Two unique suspension systems were developed for the 2016 Avalon to better align with diverse customer preferences. One retuned suspension prioritizes a comfortable ride for the XLE through Limited grades. The other, provides a more dynamic and responsive driving experience for the Touring grade. Both of these suspension tunings are new and represent significant improvements over the current production Avalon. The refreshed 2016 Avalon adds more refinement with an array of styling, performance and technology enhancements. New features on all Avalon grades will include: Wider lower front grille with narrow upper grille design Newly-designed turn signals (replacing fog lights) Refined LED taillights Chrome rear bumper accent New gray accent stitching with light gray interior Additional new standard features on the XLE and XLE Plus grades include: Redesigned 17-inch alloy wheels 7-inch Entune Audio Plus screen Premium woodgrain dash ornamentation Tire-specific Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Technology upgrades are added to the Avalon XLE Premium grade as it receives Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite and the Qi Wireless Charging as standard equipment. The performance-tuned Avalon Touring grade adds to its sporty styling with new standard features that include: Redesigned 18-inch dark gray painted alloy wheels New sporty front fascia New LED headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) Unique “Touring” badge The top-of-the-line Avalon Limited rounds out the updates with the addition of new 18-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on gas models, and new 17-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on the Limited hybrid (also optional on gas Limited). The Limited adds optional advanced safety features including automatic high beam headlights, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, and Lane Departure Alert.
  15. Toyota's big sedan, the Avalon has gotten a mild refresh for the 2016 model year. The updated sedan, which debuted today in Chicago gets a number of small tweaks a new trim level. The tweaks begin outside with LED accents for the head and taillights, along with an enlarged front grille. All trim levels get new wheel choices. Inside, new trim pieces and a revised Entune infotainment system on XLE models and up. Powertrains for the Avalon remain unchanged. That means a 3.5L V6 for the standard Avalon, while the Avalon Hybrid goes with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system. What has changed is suspension tuning. Most Avalons will come with a suspension tune that provides a more comfortable ride. The new Touring trim will come a more aggressive suspension tune to provide more sport. The 2016 Avalon arrives at dealers this fall. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 First Look in the “Second City:” The Refreshed 2016 Toyota Avalon Premium Mid-Sized Sedan Updated Styling Retuned Suspension for Enhanced Comfort New LED Headlights and Taillights Upgraded Convenience Features CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2015 – Call it a trio of firsts in the Second City as the refreshed Toyota Avalon and sporty Camry and Corolla Special Editions made their world debuts at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The three models rode into Chicago with a head of steam as the Avalon, Camry and Corolla are each the sales leaders in their respective segments, a first for Toyota. All three vehicles are 2016 models and will go on sale later this fall. Refreshed 2016 Avalon Unveiled as all-new in 2012, the fourth-generation Avalon was the first vehicle to meet Toyota President Akio Toyoda’s challenge to create cars that spark people’s emotions. Toyota mixed its legendary Quality, Durability and Reliability (QDR) with a strong dose of emotion through fresh new styling, improved performance, and high-tech features. They proved to be winning ingredients as Avalon quickly grabbed the attention of mid-size premium car buyers in segment leading numbers. Five distinct grades on the V6 models will give customers a wide array of choice (XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Limited and Touring). Hybrid customers can choose from three separate grades, adding luxury features and technology options as they move up the chain from XLE Plus to XLE Premium and Limited. Two unique suspension systems were developed for the 2016 Avalon to better align with diverse customer preferences. One retuned suspension prioritizes a comfortable ride for the XLE through Limited grades. The other, provides a more dynamic and responsive driving experience for the Touring grade. Both of these suspension tunings are new and represent significant improvements over the current production Avalon. The refreshed 2016 Avalon adds more refinement with an array of styling, performance and technology enhancements. New features on all Avalon grades will include: Wider lower front grille with narrow upper grille design Newly-designed turn signals (replacing fog lights) Refined LED taillights Chrome rear bumper accent New gray accent stitching with light gray interior Additional new standard features on the XLE and XLE Plus grades include: Redesigned 17-inch alloy wheels 7-inch Entune Audio Plus screen Premium woodgrain dash ornamentation Tire-specific Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Technology upgrades are added to the Avalon XLE Premium grade as it receives Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite and the Qi Wireless Charging as standard equipment. The performance-tuned Avalon Touring grade adds to its sporty styling with new standard features that include: Redesigned 18-inch dark gray painted alloy wheels New sporty front fascia New LED headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) Unique “Touring” badge The top-of-the-line Avalon Limited rounds out the updates with the addition of new 18-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on gas models, and new 17-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on the Limited hybrid (also optional on gas Limited). The Limited adds optional advanced safety features including automatic high beam headlights, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, and Lane Departure Alert. View full article
  16. Possibly the only bright spot for a few years at Acura has been their crossover lineup. The seven-seat MDX has been a strong seller, while the smaller RDX had its best sales year in 2014. Acura wants to keep that momentum going by introducing a refreshed RDX at the Chicago Auto Show today. The 2016 gets minor changes inside and out. Up front is a more chiseled face with a new grille and Acura's Jewel Eye headlights. Around back are a set new LED taillights. A new set of wheels finish off the exterior. Heading inside, Acura updated the trim and has installed a new 4.2-inch TFT screen for the instrument cluster. Acura has also added more standard features for each RDX trim level. Here's how it looks, RDX: Heated front seats and air vents for rear passengers. RDX w/Tech Package: Dual-screen infotainment system, eight-way power passenger's seat, blind spot monitoring, and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor. RDX w/Advance Package: rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, an auto-dimming driver's side mirror, and AcuraWatch™ advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. The 3.5L V6 has been updated with 6 more horsepower and 1 more pound-feet of torque to deliver final power figures of 279 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. The V6 also boasts cylinder deactivation which improves fuel economy to 20 City/29 Highway for the front-wheel drive model and 19/28 for the all-wheel drive model. The 2016 Acura RDX will be coming this spring. Source: Acura Press Release is on Page 2 2016 Acura RDX Brings the Heat in World Debut at 2015 Chicago Auto Show Hot-selling Acura RDX luxury crossover boosts its considerable market strength with significant upgrades to performance, luxury, styling and safety features Feb 12, 2015 - CHICAGO Coming off its best-ever year, the newly refreshed and energized 2016 Acura RDX luxury sport-utility made its world debut at the Chicago Auto Show, sporting a host of significant upgrades to performance, luxury prestige and styling. Launching at Acura dealerships nationwide this Spring, the 2016 Acura RDX receives Jewel Eye™ LED projector headlamps and LED taillights, a new, more powerful 3.5-liter i-VTEC® V-6 engine, an expanded list of AcuraWatch™ safety and driver-assistive technologies, and a host of new luxury features and technologies, including a new line-topping RDX with Advance Package. The Acura RDX and MDX have formed a potent 1-2 punch in the luxury SUV game, posting record sales in 2014 well ahead of European rivals in their segments. With the 2016 MDX also getting significant new features and technologies, including a 9-speed automatic transmission, the new RDX and MDX stand as an even more formidable presence in the luxury SUV space. "The RDX ended on a high note in 2014, posting its best sales year ever, but at Acura, we are not content in resting on our laurels," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of Acura. "The 2016 RDX gets a major infusion of Acura brand DNA including enhancements to styling, driving performance, and exciting new luxury feature-content, further solidifying its place as the one to beat in the entry luxury SUV segment." The 2016 RDX gets an important performance boost courtesy of its new 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) cylinder deactivation technology. Peak horsepower and torque output are up—279 (+6 hp) and 252 lb.-ft. (+1 lb.-ft.), respectively, while sporting a broader torque curve for more immediate and powerful acceleration response—right where it counts. Variable Cylinder Management™ allows for deactivation of two of the engine's six cylinders under light engine loads, helping the more powerful 2016 RDX increase its highway EPA fuel-economy ratings by 1 mpg, rising to 19/28mpg for AWD models and 20/29mpg for FWD models (city/highway). Driving refinement is further enhanced by new active front and rear engine mounts, updates to the steering control system and increased suspension mount stiffness. Additionally, the RDX's all-wheel-drive system – AWD with Intelligent Control – has been tuned for greater rear torque bias to further enhance dynamic stability and all-weather performance. The 2016 RDX also gets key elements of Acura design DNA with restyled front and rear fasciae, including the addition of Acura's signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights and LED taillights with light-pipe design on all models and a new three-dimensional grille treatment. The lower front and rear fascia areas also support the new look with fresh luxury details while all models receive new wheel designs. Inside, the new RDX gets a fresh look with a high-contrast silver and black trim plus significant upgrades to both standard and available luxury features and technology, including standard heated front seats and new second-row air-conditioning vents. The RDX with Technology Package adds a new 8-way adjustable power passenger's front seat (4-way power in base models), Acura's intuitive dual-screen On-Demand Multi-Information Display (ODMD), HD Radio®, blind spot information (BSI) and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor. A new Advance Package for the 2016 RDX adds rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, Bi-Directional Keyless remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, an auto-dimming driver's side mirror, and AcuraWatch™ advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. Both the Technology and Advance packages are equipped with the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™. All RDX models with AcuraWatch™ also get a new 4.2-inch full-color TFT Multi-Information Display with expanded, customizable information readouts such as average vehicle speed, fuel economy, fuel range, tire pressure monitoring system (TMPS) and turn-by-turn navigation. While offered as standard equipment on the new Advance Package, all RDX models can now be equipped with the AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking System™ and Lane Keeping Assist, along with a standard Multi-View Rear Camera and Expanded View driver's side mirror. AcuraWatch™ uses sensor fusion technology, the cooperative operation of a millimeter wave radar system and a windshield-mounted monocular camera to expand both the scope and fidelity of its sensing capabilities, including the ability to sense and respond to numerous road hazards, including a pedestrian detected in the roadway. In addition to the available AcuraWatch™ technologies, the 2016 RDX offers enhanced collision performance with numerous changes to its Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure that further improve frontal collision performance. The 2016 RDX targets top-in-class safety ratings – a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The RDX is produced at the company's award-winning East Liberty, Ohio, plant, using domestic and globally sourced parts. In January, Acura marked the sale of its two-millionth North American-made vehicle in America. Today, approximately 94 percent of all Acura models sold in America are made in the company's plants in Ohio and Alabama.
  17. Possibly the only bright spot for a few years at Acura has been their crossover lineup. The seven-seat MDX has been a strong seller, while the smaller RDX had its best sales year in 2014. Acura wants to keep that momentum going by introducing a refreshed RDX at the Chicago Auto Show today. The 2016 gets minor changes inside and out. Up front is a more chiseled face with a new grille and Acura's Jewel Eye headlights. Around back are a set new LED taillights. A new set of wheels finish off the exterior. Heading inside, Acura updated the trim and has installed a new 4.2-inch TFT screen for the instrument cluster. Acura has also added more standard features for each RDX trim level. Here's how it looks, RDX: Heated front seats and air vents for rear passengers. RDX w/Tech Package: Dual-screen infotainment system, eight-way power passenger's seat, blind spot monitoring, and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor. RDX w/Advance Package: rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, an auto-dimming driver's side mirror, and AcuraWatch™ advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. The 3.5L V6 has been updated with 6 more horsepower and 1 more pound-feet of torque to deliver final power figures of 279 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. The V6 also boasts cylinder deactivation which improves fuel economy to 20 City/29 Highway for the front-wheel drive model and 19/28 for the all-wheel drive model. The 2016 Acura RDX will be coming this spring. Source: Acura Press Release is on Page 2 2016 Acura RDX Brings the Heat in World Debut at 2015 Chicago Auto Show Hot-selling Acura RDX luxury crossover boosts its considerable market strength with significant upgrades to performance, luxury, styling and safety features Feb 12, 2015 - CHICAGO Coming off its best-ever year, the newly refreshed and energized 2016 Acura RDX luxury sport-utility made its world debut at the Chicago Auto Show, sporting a host of significant upgrades to performance, luxury prestige and styling. Launching at Acura dealerships nationwide this Spring, the 2016 Acura RDX receives Jewel Eye™ LED projector headlamps and LED taillights, a new, more powerful 3.5-liter i-VTEC® V-6 engine, an expanded list of AcuraWatch™ safety and driver-assistive technologies, and a host of new luxury features and technologies, including a new line-topping RDX with Advance Package. The Acura RDX and MDX have formed a potent 1-2 punch in the luxury SUV game, posting record sales in 2014 well ahead of European rivals in their segments. With the 2016 MDX also getting significant new features and technologies, including a 9-speed automatic transmission, the new RDX and MDX stand as an even more formidable presence in the luxury SUV space. "The RDX ended on a high note in 2014, posting its best sales year ever, but at Acura, we are not content in resting on our laurels," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of Acura. "The 2016 RDX gets a major infusion of Acura brand DNA including enhancements to styling, driving performance, and exciting new luxury feature-content, further solidifying its place as the one to beat in the entry luxury SUV segment." The 2016 RDX gets an important performance boost courtesy of its new 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) cylinder deactivation technology. Peak horsepower and torque output are up—279 (+6 hp) and 252 lb.-ft. (+1 lb.-ft.), respectively, while sporting a broader torque curve for more immediate and powerful acceleration response—right where it counts. Variable Cylinder Management™ allows for deactivation of two of the engine's six cylinders under light engine loads, helping the more powerful 2016 RDX increase its highway EPA fuel-economy ratings by 1 mpg, rising to 19/28mpg for AWD models and 20/29mpg for FWD models (city/highway). Driving refinement is further enhanced by new active front and rear engine mounts, updates to the steering control system and increased suspension mount stiffness. Additionally, the RDX's all-wheel-drive system – AWD with Intelligent Control – has been tuned for greater rear torque bias to further enhance dynamic stability and all-weather performance. The 2016 RDX also gets key elements of Acura design DNA with restyled front and rear fasciae, including the addition of Acura's signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights and LED taillights with light-pipe design on all models and a new three-dimensional grille treatment. The lower front and rear fascia areas also support the new look with fresh luxury details while all models receive new wheel designs. Inside, the new RDX gets a fresh look with a high-contrast silver and black trim plus significant upgrades to both standard and available luxury features and technology, including standard heated front seats and new second-row air-conditioning vents. The RDX with Technology Package adds a new 8-way adjustable power passenger's front seat (4-way power in base models), Acura's intuitive dual-screen On-Demand Multi-Information Display (ODMD), HD Radio®, blind spot information (BSI) and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor. A new Advance Package for the 2016 RDX adds rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, Bi-Directional Keyless remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, an auto-dimming driver's side mirror, and AcuraWatch™ advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. Both the Technology and Advance packages are equipped with the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™. All RDX models with AcuraWatch™ also get a new 4.2-inch full-color TFT Multi-Information Display with expanded, customizable information readouts such as average vehicle speed, fuel economy, fuel range, tire pressure monitoring system (TMPS) and turn-by-turn navigation. While offered as standard equipment on the new Advance Package, all RDX models can now be equipped with the AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking System™ and Lane Keeping Assist, along with a standard Multi-View Rear Camera and Expanded View driver's side mirror. AcuraWatch™ uses sensor fusion technology, the cooperative operation of a millimeter wave radar system and a windshield-mounted monocular camera to expand both the scope and fidelity of its sensing capabilities, including the ability to sense and respond to numerous road hazards, including a pedestrian detected in the roadway. In addition to the available AcuraWatch™ technologies, the 2016 RDX offers enhanced collision performance with numerous changes to its Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure that further improve frontal collision performance. The 2016 RDX targets top-in-class safety ratings – a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The RDX is produced at the company's award-winning East Liberty, Ohio, plant, using domestic and globally sourced parts. In January, Acura marked the sale of its two-millionth North American-made vehicle in America. Today, approximately 94 percent of all Acura models sold in America are made in the company's plants in Ohio and Alabama. View full article
  18. Chicago is known as a place where truck manufacturers show off their wares. Case in point is Ram which is showing off a new version of its flagship trim - the Laramie Limited. Available on all Ram truck models, the Laramie Limited increases the amount of luxuries found in the cabin. There is black Natura Plus leather with gray piping; Black Argento wood trim, soft touch materials, and Liquid Graphite accents line the dash. The Laramie Limited's exterior throws subtlety out the window. The front end gets a new grille with a large 'RAM' emblem. Around back, a 20-inch 'RAM' badge sits on a rear tailgate. If you ever wanted to let everyone - especially in space - this is your truck. Other notes on the exterior include chrome bumpers and mirror caps; LED turnsignals and taillights; and 20-inch wheels. Ram says the Laramie Limited trim arrives in the third quarter of this year. Source: Ram Trucks Press Release is on Page 2 Efficiency, Capability, Class and Detail — Ram Truck Announces New Laramie Limited Ram continues building momentum with new top-of-class Laramie Limited model Prominent badge, Argento wood and premium leather are key ingredients of new Ram Laramie Limited design, treasured by high-end pickup buyers Laramie Limited trim is part of Ram’s strategy to continue its aggressive pace in the truck market February 12, 2015 , Chicago - Ram Truck brand is taking the 2015 Ram Laramie Limited – the benchmark in truck opulence – to an even higher level of sophistication and attention to detail. The upgraded interior and exterior trim aligns with a long list of best-in-class titles under the Ram moniker, including fuel economy, payload, torque and towing capacity. “Among Ram Truck’s greatest strengths is our ability to quickly react to customer demand,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand — FCA US LLC. “The new Laramie Limited trim is a perfect example of how Ram directly responds to customer input with the highest level of luxury available in pickups. The Laramie Limited trim exceeds the high expectations of affluent truck buyers by combining capability with refinement.” Featuring premium materials, such as an all-black, full-leather seating, real wood interior components and unique badges, Ram Laramie Limited is a “black-tie” luxury alternative to the popular southwestern-themed Laramie Longhorn edition pickup. “Today’s high-end Ram pickups have more features than select luxury sedans,” added Hegbloom. “We will continue to strive for the highest levels of sophistication, while keeping the core needs of a truck owner top of mind.” The new Ram trim, available on the1500, 2500 and 3500 models, will make its debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, which opens to the media on Feb. 12, 2015. Exterior The Laramie Limited’s all-new grille is the most prominent change of the exterior. As the leading point of the new Limited, its new billet port grille breaks from the long tradition of a crosshair styling with bold “RAM” lettering. Exterior features include a body-color front fascia with fog lamps and a matching, painted rear bumper. For added flash, an optional exterior package covers the front and rear bumpers in bright chrome. To address customer demand, select-colored Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks come standard with chrome. On each side of the grille, a quad headlamp design includes a bi-functional halogen projector system placed in a dark background. Fifteen amber LEDs illuminate park/turn/position lamps and three amber LEDs serve for the side markers. A vertically ribbed inner lens softens the glow and retains the improved visual component of the segment exclusive LEDs. The Ram design team carefully crafted the interior bezel and housing to create a visually entertaining, yet functional piece of hardware. Also, a Ram shield logo is molded into the housing, and the Ram name molded into the inside of the outer lens. The side profile of the Limited is dressed in chrome accents for body-side molding with etched “Limited” mirrors, door handles, window molding and standard wheel-to-wheel side steps. Ram 1500 Laramie Limited features an all-new 20-inch forged multi-surface aluminum wheel – unique in the truck market and a detail not to be missed. Polished surfaces are accented with painted silver. Heavy Duty models also feature a new multi-surface 20-inch fully-polished aluminum, six-spoke wheels. Wheel centers are embossed with the Ram brand name. Matching the new front grille theme, a new tailgate design is fixed with a 20-inch-wide, bright chrome “RAM” badge so onlookers can clearly identify the truck. A new chrome accent strip lines the base of the gate. Premium tail lamps are equipped with 15 red LEDs and three red LEDs for the side marker. A frosted inner lens creates visual entertainment and softens the glow. The Ram Laramie Limited is available in seven exterior color choices, including: Brilliant Black, Bright Silver Metallic, Pearl White, Red Pearl, Granite Crystal Metallic, Maximum Steel Metallic and True Blue Pearl. Interior The 2015 Ram Laramie Limited is the apex of modern luxury. Subtle stitching accents, pin striping, unique materials and patterns are found throughout the interior. These are details created for the customer who appreciates them. The Limited starts with an all-black leather cockpit – the seats are covered in Black Natura Plus premium leather. Unique pinstripe stitching designs lend the Ram Laramie Limited an unmatched level of sophistication and style. Graystone leather piping rides the stitching peaks, creating a visible silhouette profile of the seats contrasting an all-black backdrop. Using an idea borrowed from the Longhorn trim, rear flap-closure seatback map pockets with modern, chrome Ram-lettered buckles also are unique to Laramie Limited. Passenger touch points are given a soft, comfortable feel. The Ram Laramie Limited’s newly designed, deep and double-stacked center console is topped with a forgiving, French-stitched full-leather lid and pronounced Limited badge, covering USB, Auxiliary and 12-volt service points. Just forward of the console lid, a new bin houses a cellular phone and tablet holder, which can be concealed with a new tambour wood sliding door. The real wood door is made from Black Argento, the chosen timber for the Limited interior. The collective Silver pinstripe theme runs through the wood and a satin chrome handle rolls the door with ease. Laramie Limited includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel from the 2 o’clock to 10 o’clock positions. The remaining portion of the steering wheel receives high-gloss Black Argento treatment with silver accent lines. A-pillar and B-pillar handles feature a leather wrap with rollover Graystone stitching. The column-mounted shifter on Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty models also receives leather treatments with accent stitching and satin chrome accents. Ram 1500 models feature a machine-spun aluminum shifter mounted on the instrument panel with knurled edges to assure finger and glove traction. Placed into a black mask background, Ram Laramie Limited’s Liquid Graphite-faced gauges are surrounded with diamond knurled, Liquid Chrome rings, a design cue inspired by modish watches. Gauge needles are finished in white with Liquid Graphite painted hubs. Limited’s cluster also has a unique modern font, with clean white accent lighting to further differentiate the trim. The instrument panel is topped with Graystone accent stitching and fitted with a Liquid Graphite glove box spear, pinstripe design and understated “Limited” badge. The 2015 Laramie Limited features the next generation 8.4-inch Uconnect system with standard navigation. Digital background screens are tailor-made to the high-class trim, another detail valued by premium truck customers. The center stack is finished off with K-black Dark Metallic paint, Argento inlays and surrounded by large Liquid Graphite bezels. Front and rear door trim are layered in premium leather. Armrest uppers are accented with matched French stitching and pinstripe stitching designs. The top of the door panel is covered in ultra-soft Natura Plus leather, uncommon in trucks. High-gloss Argento wood spears with silver accent lines lay above the armrest upper and satin chrome trim rings and badges provide subtle flair. Ram Laramie Limited editions receive remote LED lighting at the inside door handles, and a full-length light that illuminates the truck’s multifunction lower map pockets, front and rear. Beneath the dash is soft footwell lighting, providing both functional and aesthetic properties. New for Ram Truck, and debuting on the 2015 Laramie Limited model, is an all-black headliner and pillars combination. This change allowed designers to control where contrasts exist best for visual appeal. Finally, passengers will enjoy solid Black premium Berber carpet floor mats, which are removable by using Liquid Graphite snaps, leaving a rubber, slush and mud-capturing mat with Limited badge. The carpet continues the silver-lined theme, which matches the steering wheel, center stack, console tambour door and door spears. For entry and exit, brushed-silver Ram-branded door-sill plates resist scuffs and add visual appeal and close out the most luxurious interior available in a pickup — the 2015 Ram Laramie Limited. Other Features Ram Laramie Limited also is equipped with air suspension (1500 only), wheel-to-wheel side steps, navigational radio, remote start, backup camera, power adjustable pedals with memory, heated steering wheel, front ventilated and heated seats, heated rear seats and RamBox (Heavy Duty, 6-foot, 4-inch bed only). The Laramie Limited trim will be available in Ram 1500, Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 single- and dual-rear-wheel; Crew Cab and Mega Cab (Heavy Duty); four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive; and short- and long-wheelbase models. The Ram 1500 Laramie Limited luxury trim will be available in the second quarter of 2015 as a 2015 model. The Ram Laramie Limited 2500 and 3500 will be available in the third quarter as a 2016 model.
  19. Chicago is known as a place where truck manufacturers show off their wares. Case in point is Ram which is showing off a new version of its flagship trim - the Laramie Limited. Available on all Ram truck models, the Laramie Limited increases the amount of luxuries found in the cabin. There is black Natura Plus leather with gray piping; Black Argento wood trim, soft touch materials, and Liquid Graphite accents line the dash. The Laramie Limited's exterior throws subtlety out the window. The front end gets a new grille with a large 'RAM' emblem. Around back, a 20-inch 'RAM' badge sits on a rear tailgate. If you ever wanted to let everyone - especially in space - this is your truck. Other notes on the exterior include chrome bumpers and mirror caps; LED turnsignals and taillights; and 20-inch wheels. Ram says the Laramie Limited trim arrives in the third quarter of this year. Source: Ram Trucks Press Release is on Page 2 Efficiency, Capability, Class and Detail — Ram Truck Announces New Laramie Limited Ram continues building momentum with new top-of-class Laramie Limited model Prominent badge, Argento wood and premium leather are key ingredients of new Ram Laramie Limited design, treasured by high-end pickup buyers Laramie Limited trim is part of Ram’s strategy to continue its aggressive pace in the truck market February 12, 2015 , Chicago - Ram Truck brand is taking the 2015 Ram Laramie Limited – the benchmark in truck opulence – to an even higher level of sophistication and attention to detail. The upgraded interior and exterior trim aligns with a long list of best-in-class titles under the Ram moniker, including fuel economy, payload, torque and towing capacity. “Among Ram Truck’s greatest strengths is our ability to quickly react to customer demand,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand — FCA US LLC. “The new Laramie Limited trim is a perfect example of how Ram directly responds to customer input with the highest level of luxury available in pickups. The Laramie Limited trim exceeds the high expectations of affluent truck buyers by combining capability with refinement.” Featuring premium materials, such as an all-black, full-leather seating, real wood interior components and unique badges, Ram Laramie Limited is a “black-tie” luxury alternative to the popular southwestern-themed Laramie Longhorn edition pickup. “Today’s high-end Ram pickups have more features than select luxury sedans,” added Hegbloom. “We will continue to strive for the highest levels of sophistication, while keeping the core needs of a truck owner top of mind.” The new Ram trim, available on the1500, 2500 and 3500 models, will make its debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, which opens to the media on Feb. 12, 2015. Exterior The Laramie Limited’s all-new grille is the most prominent change of the exterior. As the leading point of the new Limited, its new billet port grille breaks from the long tradition of a crosshair styling with bold “RAM” lettering. Exterior features include a body-color front fascia with fog lamps and a matching, painted rear bumper. For added flash, an optional exterior package covers the front and rear bumpers in bright chrome. To address customer demand, select-colored Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks come standard with chrome. On each side of the grille, a quad headlamp design includes a bi-functional halogen projector system placed in a dark background. Fifteen amber LEDs illuminate park/turn/position lamps and three amber LEDs serve for the side markers. A vertically ribbed inner lens softens the glow and retains the improved visual component of the segment exclusive LEDs. The Ram design team carefully crafted the interior bezel and housing to create a visually entertaining, yet functional piece of hardware. Also, a Ram shield logo is molded into the housing, and the Ram name molded into the inside of the outer lens. The side profile of the Limited is dressed in chrome accents for body-side molding with etched “Limited” mirrors, door handles, window molding and standard wheel-to-wheel side steps. Ram 1500 Laramie Limited features an all-new 20-inch forged multi-surface aluminum wheel – unique in the truck market and a detail not to be missed. Polished surfaces are accented with painted silver. Heavy Duty models also feature a new multi-surface 20-inch fully-polished aluminum, six-spoke wheels. Wheel centers are embossed with the Ram brand name. Matching the new front grille theme, a new tailgate design is fixed with a 20-inch-wide, bright chrome “RAM” badge so onlookers can clearly identify the truck. A new chrome accent strip lines the base of the gate. Premium tail lamps are equipped with 15 red LEDs and three red LEDs for the side marker. A frosted inner lens creates visual entertainment and softens the glow. The Ram Laramie Limited is available in seven exterior color choices, including: Brilliant Black, Bright Silver Metallic, Pearl White, Red Pearl, Granite Crystal Metallic, Maximum Steel Metallic and True Blue Pearl. Interior The 2015 Ram Laramie Limited is the apex of modern luxury. Subtle stitching accents, pin striping, unique materials and patterns are found throughout the interior. These are details created for the customer who appreciates them. The Limited starts with an all-black leather cockpit – the seats are covered in Black Natura Plus premium leather. Unique pinstripe stitching designs lend the Ram Laramie Limited an unmatched level of sophistication and style. Graystone leather piping rides the stitching peaks, creating a visible silhouette profile of the seats contrasting an all-black backdrop. Using an idea borrowed from the Longhorn trim, rear flap-closure seatback map pockets with modern, chrome Ram-lettered buckles also are unique to Laramie Limited. Passenger touch points are given a soft, comfortable feel. The Ram Laramie Limited’s newly designed, deep and double-stacked center console is topped with a forgiving, French-stitched full-leather lid and pronounced Limited badge, covering USB, Auxiliary and 12-volt service points. Just forward of the console lid, a new bin houses a cellular phone and tablet holder, which can be concealed with a new tambour wood sliding door. The real wood door is made from Black Argento, the chosen timber for the Limited interior. The collective Silver pinstripe theme runs through the wood and a satin chrome handle rolls the door with ease. Laramie Limited includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel from the 2 o’clock to 10 o’clock positions. The remaining portion of the steering wheel receives high-gloss Black Argento treatment with silver accent lines. A-pillar and B-pillar handles feature a leather wrap with rollover Graystone stitching. The column-mounted shifter on Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty models also receives leather treatments with accent stitching and satin chrome accents. Ram 1500 models feature a machine-spun aluminum shifter mounted on the instrument panel with knurled edges to assure finger and glove traction. Placed into a black mask background, Ram Laramie Limited’s Liquid Graphite-faced gauges are surrounded with diamond knurled, Liquid Chrome rings, a design cue inspired by modish watches. Gauge needles are finished in white with Liquid Graphite painted hubs. Limited’s cluster also has a unique modern font, with clean white accent lighting to further differentiate the trim. The instrument panel is topped with Graystone accent stitching and fitted with a Liquid Graphite glove box spear, pinstripe design and understated “Limited” badge. The 2015 Laramie Limited features the next generation 8.4-inch Uconnect system with standard navigation. Digital background screens are tailor-made to the high-class trim, another detail valued by premium truck customers. The center stack is finished off with K-black Dark Metallic paint, Argento inlays and surrounded by large Liquid Graphite bezels. Front and rear door trim are layered in premium leather. Armrest uppers are accented with matched French stitching and pinstripe stitching designs. The top of the door panel is covered in ultra-soft Natura Plus leather, uncommon in trucks. High-gloss Argento wood spears with silver accent lines lay above the armrest upper and satin chrome trim rings and badges provide subtle flair. Ram Laramie Limited editions receive remote LED lighting at the inside door handles, and a full-length light that illuminates the truck’s multifunction lower map pockets, front and rear. Beneath the dash is soft footwell lighting, providing both functional and aesthetic properties. New for Ram Truck, and debuting on the 2015 Laramie Limited model, is an all-black headliner and pillars combination. This change allowed designers to control where contrasts exist best for visual appeal. Finally, passengers will enjoy solid Black premium Berber carpet floor mats, which are removable by using Liquid Graphite snaps, leaving a rubber, slush and mud-capturing mat with Limited badge. The carpet continues the silver-lined theme, which matches the steering wheel, center stack, console tambour door and door spears. For entry and exit, brushed-silver Ram-branded door-sill plates resist scuffs and add visual appeal and close out the most luxurious interior available in a pickup — the 2015 Ram Laramie Limited. Other Features Ram Laramie Limited also is equipped with air suspension (1500 only), wheel-to-wheel side steps, navigational radio, remote start, backup camera, power adjustable pedals with memory, heated steering wheel, front ventilated and heated seats, heated rear seats and RamBox (Heavy Duty, 6-foot, 4-inch bed only). The Laramie Limited trim will be available in Ram 1500, Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 single- and dual-rear-wheel; Crew Cab and Mega Cab (Heavy Duty); four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive; and short- and long-wheelbase models. The Ram 1500 Laramie Limited luxury trim will be available in the second quarter of 2015 as a 2015 model. The Ram Laramie Limited 2500 and 3500 will be available in the third quarter as a 2016 model. View full article
  20. Last week, we brought you a report that said General Motors was going to send the Chevrolet Bolt into production by late 2016. Sources said the Bolt and a sister Opel model would be built at General Motors' Lake Orion assembly plant. Today at the Chicago Auto Show, GM North America President Alan Batey confirmed most of that report. “The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.” GM will be investing $160 million into Lake Orion to get it ready for Bolt production. The company will also invest $40 million for the Pontiac Metal Center for new dies. Details such as start of production and other details will be announced at a later date. Source: General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet Commits to Bolt EV Production Game-changing, long-range EV to be built at Orion Assembly facility in Michigan CHICAGO – Chevrolet this morning confirmed production of its next-generation pure electric vehicle, based on the Bolt EV concept. It will be built at General Motors’ Orion Assembly facility near Detroit. GM North America President Alan Batey made the announcement ahead of the Chicago Auto Show. The Bolt EV concept was introduced last month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.” Leveraging the industry-leading battery technology found in the Chevrolet Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV concept was developed as a game-changing, long-range pure electric for all 50 states, designed to offer more than a GM-estimated 200 miles of range at a target price of around $30,000. The progressively styled concept vehicle features selectable driving modes for preferred driving styles, such as daily commuting, and it was designed to support DC fast charging. “We’re proud that Chevrolet has decided to produce the Bolt EV here in Michigan at the Orion Assembly facility,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “Michigan unquestionably remains the global automotive leader. Chevrolet is tapping a skilled workforce that includes some of the most talented and hard-working people in the world for this cutting-edge vehicle. Chevrolet is an important part of our state’s automotive history, and Michigan-made products like the Bolt EV point to a bright future as well.” Start of production and additional details will be announced later. $200-million investment GM’s Orion Assembly, home of the Chevrolet Sonic sub-compact and Buick Verano luxury compact, and Pontiac Metal Center facilities are receiving a $200-million investment to support production of the next-generation electric vehicle. Orion will receive $160 million for tooling and equipment, and Pontiac will receive $40 million for new dies. “As one of the most environmentally progressive facilities in GM’s global network, Orion Assembly is uniquely suited to build this game-changing electric vehicle,” said Doug Hanly, Orion Assembly and Pontiac Metal Center plant manager. “In partnership with UAW Locals 5960 and 653, we’re committed to building the highest level of quality into it.” Located approximately 30 miles north of Detroit, Orion Assembly is powered by gas from two nearby landfills, which saves more than 6,300 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere annually. It is also home to a 350-kilowatt solar array that produces the energy equivalent to power 165 homes and sends enough energy back to the grid to power about 45 homes. “This is very exciting for our members who were facing the possibility of losing that plant during the auto crisis,” said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, director of the union’s GM Department. “Our members are also proud to have their plant chosen to produce what is sure to be another popular and dynamic Chevy product rolling off the line at the Orion Assembly Plant.”
  21. Last week, we brought you a report that said General Motors was going to send the Chevrolet Bolt into production by late 2016. Sources said the Bolt and a sister Opel model would be built at General Motors' Lake Orion assembly plant. Today at the Chicago Auto Show, GM North America President Alan Batey confirmed most of that report. “The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.” GM will be investing $160 million into Lake Orion to get it ready for Bolt production. The company will also invest $40 million for the Pontiac Metal Center for new dies. Details such as start of production and other details will be announced at a later date. Source: General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet Commits to Bolt EV Production Game-changing, long-range EV to be built at Orion Assembly facility in Michigan CHICAGO – Chevrolet this morning confirmed production of its next-generation pure electric vehicle, based on the Bolt EV concept. It will be built at General Motors’ Orion Assembly facility near Detroit. GM North America President Alan Batey made the announcement ahead of the Chicago Auto Show. The Bolt EV concept was introduced last month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.” Leveraging the industry-leading battery technology found in the Chevrolet Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV concept was developed as a game-changing, long-range pure electric for all 50 states, designed to offer more than a GM-estimated 200 miles of range at a target price of around $30,000. The progressively styled concept vehicle features selectable driving modes for preferred driving styles, such as daily commuting, and it was designed to support DC fast charging. “We’re proud that Chevrolet has decided to produce the Bolt EV here in Michigan at the Orion Assembly facility,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “Michigan unquestionably remains the global automotive leader. Chevrolet is tapping a skilled workforce that includes some of the most talented and hard-working people in the world for this cutting-edge vehicle. Chevrolet is an important part of our state’s automotive history, and Michigan-made products like the Bolt EV point to a bright future as well.” Start of production and additional details will be announced later. $200-million investment GM’s Orion Assembly, home of the Chevrolet Sonic sub-compact and Buick Verano luxury compact, and Pontiac Metal Center facilities are receiving a $200-million investment to support production of the next-generation electric vehicle. Orion will receive $160 million for tooling and equipment, and Pontiac will receive $40 million for new dies. “As one of the most environmentally progressive facilities in GM’s global network, Orion Assembly is uniquely suited to build this game-changing electric vehicle,” said Doug Hanly, Orion Assembly and Pontiac Metal Center plant manager. “In partnership with UAW Locals 5960 and 653, we’re committed to building the highest level of quality into it.” Located approximately 30 miles north of Detroit, Orion Assembly is powered by gas from two nearby landfills, which saves more than 6,300 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere annually. It is also home to a 350-kilowatt solar array that produces the energy equivalent to power 165 homes and sends enough energy back to the grid to power about 45 homes. “This is very exciting for our members who were facing the possibility of losing that plant during the auto crisis,” said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, director of the union’s GM Department. “Our members are also proud to have their plant chosen to produce what is sure to be another popular and dynamic Chevy product rolling off the line at the Orion Assembly Plant.” View full article
  22. Kia has made the Chicago Auto Show home of the Soul. Within the past few years, Kia has introduced a number of Soul concepts and the electric version of it. Today, Kia introduced another Soul concept - the Trail'ster. The Trail'ster concept shows what happens when you give the Soul a bit of adrenaline. There are oversized foglights, skid plates, body cladding, a 2.5-inch increase in ride height, oversized wheels and tires, and a retractable canvas roof. Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder produces 185 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. In the back is what Kia calls e-AWD; a small electric motor produces 35 horsepower and provides all-wheel drive traction. Total power output stands at 220 horsepower and 285 pound-feet of torque. Kia says the two powertrains work independently which will help fuel economy. While no fuel economy numbers were released, it said the Trail'ster can return approximately 25 to 30 percent better city mileage and 10 to 15 percent better highway mileage when compared to the Soul equipped with the 2.0L engine. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 KIA MOTORS AMERICA STORMS INTO CHICAGO WITH ELECTRIC ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE TRAIL’STER CONCEPT Advanced Soul-Based Off-Roader Captures the Essence of the “Go Anywhere” Compact CUV Intended for Urban Escape and Mountain Adventures With its bold design, fully retractable canvas roof and smartly integrated electric all-wheel-drive system, the turbocharged Trail’ster takes Kia’s iconic Soul to a new level of expression, efficiency and capability Trail’ster was conceived in Kia’s Irvine, California, design studio, birthplace of remarkable concept vehicles such as the Track’ster and GT4 Stinger CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2015 – Aligning form and function to conceive a uniquely compelling vehicle for the city-dweller-turned-outdoor-adventurer, Kia Motors America (KMA) today took the wraps off the boldly designed Trail’ster e-AWD concept at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Based on the brand’s iconic Soul urban passenger vehicle, the turbocharged Trail’ster – with its Polar Pearl Snowdrift/Terra Bronze Metallic paint scheme, roll-top canvas roof and armored aluminum skid plates – captures the essence of an advanced and capable CUV intended for those looking to escape their urban environs in search of higher-elevation playgrounds where snow, mud, streams and trails abound. Efficient and lightweight, the Trail’ster is ideal for transporting adventurers and their gear. With its rugged, functional and upscale approach to an active mountain-focused lifestyle, Trail’ster was dreamt up at Kia’s California design studio, birthplace of the unforgettable Track’ster and GT4 Stinger. “The Trail’ster concept is a near-future look at how the production Kia Soul would logically evolve into an AWD-capable version that’s built to escape the city streets and roam into the mountain wilderness,” said Tom Kearns, chief designer, Kia Design Center of America (KDCA). “It takes the go-anywhere capability of an SUV and reimagines it within a compact and sporty package with an expressive design to match.” Underscoring Kia’s focus on all-wheel drive capability, the Trail’ster enables a wide array of mountain activities, from skiing and snowboarding to camping, hiking and mountain biking. Whether it’s trekking up to a high, snowy summit or traipsing down a muddy fire road to a piney trailhead, the Trail’ster – thanks to a rear axle-mounted electric all-wheel-drive system – is all about surefootedness in the wild. A Soul Searcher, Inside and Out Based on the production Soul, the Trail’ster’s overall shape and size are unmistakable. But with family genes tied closely to the thought-provoking Track’ster and Soul’ster concepts — which pushed Soul far into new directions to realize its performance and lifestyle possibilities — the Trail’ster also takes a dramatic departure from its production-car roots with styling and drivetrain components that turn Kia’s popular urban passenger vehicle into a rugged runabout, further demonstrating that Soul is indeed the ideal platform for creativity and experimentation. The exterior color was inspired by the earthy combination of springtime snow and mud, the terrain for which the Trail’ster has been created to travel confidently through on its way to outdoor destinations high above sea level. The Polar Pearl Snowdrift exterior paint is a modern neutral color, against which the warm and contrasting Terra Bronze Metallic tone of the roof and lower cladding brings connection to the soft dirt of roads less traveled. Anodized fire-red wheel accents and polished billet aluminum sections infuse a purposeful and sophisticated aesthetic to the Trail’ster’s precise design, taking inspiration from high-tech, high-performance outdoor sporting gear. Overhead, the Trail’ster features a stylish full-length, weatherproof rollback canvas roof to create an open-sky environment for occupants to enjoy the outdoors even before reaching their chosen high ground. This fully retractable cover also helps lighten the vehicle and lowers the center of gravity, promoting higher efficiency and improved dynamics. Integrated roof rack fittings with aluminum cross rails allow adventurers to tote mountain bikes or snowboards with ease. The Trail’ster’s use of advanced LED technology creates a strong and unique lighting identity from top to bottom, front to back. Upfront, the signature Kia grille bars extend through the K900-style projector headlamps to create a full-width frontal graphic. And below, expressive fog light elements give the vehicle a bold personality while providing additional wattage for illuminating off-the-beaten-track excursions. The Trail’ster’s rear view takes on a tough-looking appearance framed by LED taillamps that are built into durable, ruggedized light housings. Highlighting its off-road prowess, the Trail’ster wears aluminum skidplates around the entire vehicle, providing a protective armor to shield the undercarriage from jagged rocks and ice. Within, the Trail’ster’s color and trim palette combines brown leather and aluminum accents to relay an earthy but upscale environment that’s both durable and comfortable. Cabin materials are inspired by snow sports gear and equipment. “We drew from high-quality active lifestyle accessories like snowboarding gloves, boots and helmets to bring a premium level of craftsmanship and character to the interior space,” commented Kearns. The focal point of this interior is a tactile and sturdy center console incorporating a thickset gear shifter, AWD controls and a bright red ignition button. Brown leather-trimmed seats feature a pillow-embossed textile for the seat inserts and the floor mats feature aluminum inlays for all-weather traction. Other interior finishes and details were also inspired by the top-quality materials of cold-weather sporting gear, like leather, high-gloss paint and metallic trim. Being based on the Kia Soul means the Trail’ster also benefits from efficient packaging and an abundance of space for passengers and their cargo as they head out on their next adventure. Ready to Roam Anywhere The Trail’ster is primarily powered by a robust 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine outputting 185 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission, matched to an electric all-wheel-drive system on the rear axle intended for low-speed assist, enhanced launch acceleration and improved traction in inclement weather or off-road situations. In addition, this approach helps mitigate turbo lag by providing instant torque. The system also improves fuel economy over standard all-wheel-drive setups by operating only when needed and serving as an energy recovery mechanism. Further defining the near future perspective of Soul as a capable and efficient all-wheel-driver runner, the Trail’ster arrives as a “Through-the-Road” hybrid, which means it has two power sources (a front gas engine and a rear electric motor) that make up the hybrid system and meet “through the road,” as opposed to inside the transmission with a common driveline connection. It requires all four wheels being driven in careful coordination, but there’s no mechanical link between engine and electric motor. The link between the two is the road itself. "This powertrain strategy of a downsized turbo and ‘Through-the-Road’ hybrid power yields a dual benefit of increased performance – torque and traction – and optimized efficiency,” said Kearns. “This is AWD being done the advanced, intelligent and responsible way, while sacrificing nothing.” Should the Trail’ster find its way to production, fuel economy would be targeted at a 25-30 percent improvement in city driving and 5-10 percent in highway driving over the normally aspirated 2015 2.0-liter gasoline Soul. The Trail’ster’s electric propulsion system draws energy from a 1.2 kWh Lithium Ion Polymer battery powering a 27 kW, 270 volt AC synchronous permanent magnet electric motor outputting 35 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels and bringing total output to an impressive 220 horses and 285 pound-feet of torque. To further improve fuel efficiency, the system also utilizes a Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) to start/stop the engine as needed (and to feed energy to the high voltage battery), and an electrically driven A/C compressor, which can run when the engine is shut off. This technology is designed for easy, lightweight packaging, with the compact battery pack stored under the cargo floor. Operationally, the rear electric drive system engages in one of three scenarios, depending on throttle position and road conditions: Under light throttle, the Trail’ster attains true clean mobility as the electric motor drives the car solely for a range of two to three miles; under normal driving, the rear electric motor assists the 1.6-liter turbo during acceleration events calling for greater power and torque; when treading off-road or on wet pavement, the electric drive system is introduced when front wheel slippage is detected. Finally, the Trail’ster’s electric motor acts as a generator to recover kinetic energy and recharge the battery when the vehicle is braking or coasting. For traversing tough terrain, the Trail’ster has been raised more than two-and-a-half inches over the production Soul. In addition, this mountain rover wears Pirelli Winter Carving 245/45-19 snow tires for enhanced traction and utilizes KSport coilover shocks to absorb the impact of rough, uneven ground and rocky surfaces.
  23. Kia has made the Chicago Auto Show home of the Soul. Within the past few years, Kia has introduced a number of Soul concepts and the electric version of it. Today, Kia introduced another Soul concept - the Trail'ster. The Trail'ster concept shows what happens when you give the Soul a bit of adrenaline. There are oversized foglights, skid plates, body cladding, a 2.5-inch increase in ride height, oversized wheels and tires, and a retractable canvas roof. Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder produces 185 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. In the back is what Kia calls e-AWD; a small electric motor produces 35 horsepower and provides all-wheel drive traction. Total power output stands at 220 horsepower and 285 pound-feet of torque. Kia says the two powertrains work independently which will help fuel economy. While no fuel economy numbers were released, it said the Trail'ster can return approximately 25 to 30 percent better city mileage and 10 to 15 percent better highway mileage when compared to the Soul equipped with the 2.0L engine. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 KIA MOTORS AMERICA STORMS INTO CHICAGO WITH ELECTRIC ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE TRAIL’STER CONCEPT Advanced Soul-Based Off-Roader Captures the Essence of the “Go Anywhere” Compact CUV Intended for Urban Escape and Mountain Adventures With its bold design, fully retractable canvas roof and smartly integrated electric all-wheel-drive system, the turbocharged Trail’ster takes Kia’s iconic Soul to a new level of expression, efficiency and capability Trail’ster was conceived in Kia’s Irvine, California, design studio, birthplace of remarkable concept vehicles such as the Track’ster and GT4 Stinger CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2015 – Aligning form and function to conceive a uniquely compelling vehicle for the city-dweller-turned-outdoor-adventurer, Kia Motors America (KMA) today took the wraps off the boldly designed Trail’ster e-AWD concept at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Based on the brand’s iconic Soul urban passenger vehicle, the turbocharged Trail’ster – with its Polar Pearl Snowdrift/Terra Bronze Metallic paint scheme, roll-top canvas roof and armored aluminum skid plates – captures the essence of an advanced and capable CUV intended for those looking to escape their urban environs in search of higher-elevation playgrounds where snow, mud, streams and trails abound. Efficient and lightweight, the Trail’ster is ideal for transporting adventurers and their gear. With its rugged, functional and upscale approach to an active mountain-focused lifestyle, Trail’ster was dreamt up at Kia’s California design studio, birthplace of the unforgettable Track’ster and GT4 Stinger. “The Trail’ster concept is a near-future look at how the production Kia Soul would logically evolve into an AWD-capable version that’s built to escape the city streets and roam into the mountain wilderness,” said Tom Kearns, chief designer, Kia Design Center of America (KDCA). “It takes the go-anywhere capability of an SUV and reimagines it within a compact and sporty package with an expressive design to match.” Underscoring Kia’s focus on all-wheel drive capability, the Trail’ster enables a wide array of mountain activities, from skiing and snowboarding to camping, hiking and mountain biking. Whether it’s trekking up to a high, snowy summit or traipsing down a muddy fire road to a piney trailhead, the Trail’ster – thanks to a rear axle-mounted electric all-wheel-drive system – is all about surefootedness in the wild. A Soul Searcher, Inside and Out Based on the production Soul, the Trail’ster’s overall shape and size are unmistakable. But with family genes tied closely to the thought-provoking Track’ster and Soul’ster concepts — which pushed Soul far into new directions to realize its performance and lifestyle possibilities — the Trail’ster also takes a dramatic departure from its production-car roots with styling and drivetrain components that turn Kia’s popular urban passenger vehicle into a rugged runabout, further demonstrating that Soul is indeed the ideal platform for creativity and experimentation. The exterior color was inspired by the earthy combination of springtime snow and mud, the terrain for which the Trail’ster has been created to travel confidently through on its way to outdoor destinations high above sea level. The Polar Pearl Snowdrift exterior paint is a modern neutral color, against which the warm and contrasting Terra Bronze Metallic tone of the roof and lower cladding brings connection to the soft dirt of roads less traveled. Anodized fire-red wheel accents and polished billet aluminum sections infuse a purposeful and sophisticated aesthetic to the Trail’ster’s precise design, taking inspiration from high-tech, high-performance outdoor sporting gear. Overhead, the Trail’ster features a stylish full-length, weatherproof rollback canvas roof to create an open-sky environment for occupants to enjoy the outdoors even before reaching their chosen high ground. This fully retractable cover also helps lighten the vehicle and lowers the center of gravity, promoting higher efficiency and improved dynamics. Integrated roof rack fittings with aluminum cross rails allow adventurers to tote mountain bikes or snowboards with ease. The Trail’ster’s use of advanced LED technology creates a strong and unique lighting identity from top to bottom, front to back. Upfront, the signature Kia grille bars extend through the K900-style projector headlamps to create a full-width frontal graphic. And below, expressive fog light elements give the vehicle a bold personality while providing additional wattage for illuminating off-the-beaten-track excursions. The Trail’ster’s rear view takes on a tough-looking appearance framed by LED taillamps that are built into durable, ruggedized light housings. Highlighting its off-road prowess, the Trail’ster wears aluminum skidplates around the entire vehicle, providing a protective armor to shield the undercarriage from jagged rocks and ice. Within, the Trail’ster’s color and trim palette combines brown leather and aluminum accents to relay an earthy but upscale environment that’s both durable and comfortable. Cabin materials are inspired by snow sports gear and equipment. “We drew from high-quality active lifestyle accessories like snowboarding gloves, boots and helmets to bring a premium level of craftsmanship and character to the interior space,” commented Kearns. The focal point of this interior is a tactile and sturdy center console incorporating a thickset gear shifter, AWD controls and a bright red ignition button. Brown leather-trimmed seats feature a pillow-embossed textile for the seat inserts and the floor mats feature aluminum inlays for all-weather traction. Other interior finishes and details were also inspired by the top-quality materials of cold-weather sporting gear, like leather, high-gloss paint and metallic trim. Being based on the Kia Soul means the Trail’ster also benefits from efficient packaging and an abundance of space for passengers and their cargo as they head out on their next adventure. Ready to Roam Anywhere The Trail’ster is primarily powered by a robust 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine outputting 185 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission, matched to an electric all-wheel-drive system on the rear axle intended for low-speed assist, enhanced launch acceleration and improved traction in inclement weather or off-road situations. In addition, this approach helps mitigate turbo lag by providing instant torque. The system also improves fuel economy over standard all-wheel-drive setups by operating only when needed and serving as an energy recovery mechanism. Further defining the near future perspective of Soul as a capable and efficient all-wheel-driver runner, the Trail’ster arrives as a “Through-the-Road” hybrid, which means it has two power sources (a front gas engine and a rear electric motor) that make up the hybrid system and meet “through the road,” as opposed to inside the transmission with a common driveline connection. It requires all four wheels being driven in careful coordination, but there’s no mechanical link between engine and electric motor. The link between the two is the road itself. "This powertrain strategy of a downsized turbo and ‘Through-the-Road’ hybrid power yields a dual benefit of increased performance – torque and traction – and optimized efficiency,” said Kearns. “This is AWD being done the advanced, intelligent and responsible way, while sacrificing nothing.” Should the Trail’ster find its way to production, fuel economy would be targeted at a 25-30 percent improvement in city driving and 5-10 percent in highway driving over the normally aspirated 2015 2.0-liter gasoline Soul. The Trail’ster’s electric propulsion system draws energy from a 1.2 kWh Lithium Ion Polymer battery powering a 27 kW, 270 volt AC synchronous permanent magnet electric motor outputting 35 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels and bringing total output to an impressive 220 horses and 285 pound-feet of torque. To further improve fuel efficiency, the system also utilizes a Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) to start/stop the engine as needed (and to feed energy to the high voltage battery), and an electrically driven A/C compressor, which can run when the engine is shut off. This technology is designed for easy, lightweight packaging, with the compact battery pack stored under the cargo floor. Operationally, the rear electric drive system engages in one of three scenarios, depending on throttle position and road conditions: Under light throttle, the Trail’ster attains true clean mobility as the electric motor drives the car solely for a range of two to three miles; under normal driving, the rear electric motor assists the 1.6-liter turbo during acceleration events calling for greater power and torque; when treading off-road or on wet pavement, the electric drive system is introduced when front wheel slippage is detected. Finally, the Trail’ster’s electric motor acts as a generator to recover kinetic energy and recharge the battery when the vehicle is braking or coasting. For traversing tough terrain, the Trail’ster has been raised more than two-and-a-half inches over the production Soul. In addition, this mountain rover wears Pirelli Winter Carving 245/45-19 snow tires for enhanced traction and utilizes KSport coilover shocks to absorb the impact of rough, uneven ground and rocky surfaces. View full article
  24. Toyota has quite the showing at the Chicago Auto Show next week. First off is a refresh for the full-size Avalon sedan. We don't much about the refresh, but judging from a from teaser shot, Toyota has made some slight tweaks to front end. We'll have more information come next week. The other two reveals are special edition models of the Camry and Corolla. The Camry Special Edition starts off as the SE model equipped with four-cylinder engine and gets some more aggression. This begins on the exterior with a choice of either Blizzard Pearl or Blue Streak Metallic paint; 18-inch wheels with black accents, and smoked taillights. Inside are a set of sport seats with blue stitching and black bolsters, Entune Audio Plus stereo, push-button start, and a moonroof. Toyota plans on building 12,000 Camry Special Editions starting in August. The Corolla Special Edition takes the Corolla S Plus model and adds a set of gloss black 17-inch wheels and a choice of Absolutely Red, Black Sand Pearl, or Super White colors. Inside is red stitching and accents for the seats, dashboard, and door trim. You'll also get push-button start and special edition floor mats. Toyota plans on building 8,000 Corolla Special Editions starting in August. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota to Create Turbulence in Windy City with Sporty Camry and Corolla Special Editions Camry and Corolla to Create Excitement With Special Edition Debuts Limited Production Models Equipped With Unique Sport-Themed Features Refreshed Avalon to be Unveiled at Chicago Auto Show CHICAGO, (Feb. 5, 2015) – Winds of change will be blowing into the Chicago Auto Show. Toyota’s Camry mid-size sedan, the best-selling car in America for the past 13 years, and Corolla compact sedan, the world’s best-selling car of all time, will debut special edition models at next week’s Chicago Auto Show. The debuts will be part of a press conference that will also feature a refreshed Avalon sedan. Camry Special Edition When redesigning the Camry for 2015, Toyota went bumper to bumper and floor to roof, changing or re-engineering nearly 2,000 parts. Only the roof remained unchanged, and it capped off the boldest Camry ever. Now, only one year after this major redesign, America’s best-selling car will offer the 2016 Camry Special Edition for owner’s looking for an extra dose of both aggressiveness and technology. Based on the youthful Camry SE, the limited production Camry will add sporty interior and exterior features. In addition to features found on the Camry SE, standard equipment on the Special Edition will include: Unique 18-inch alloy wheels with machined face contrasted with gloss black painted accents Power tilt/slide moonroof Smoked tail lamp treatment High contrast blue stitching on the seats, shift boot, and dash Exclusive sport appearance seats trimmed with black SofTex bolsters and blue patterned inserts Sport meter cluster with blue details and white background Entune Audio Plus Available Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite Smart Key with Pushbutton Start Qi Wireless Charging Two exterior colors: Blizzard Pearl and new Blue Streak Metallic Floor mats with logo and unique exterior badge The Camry Special Edition will be powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Like all Toyota vehicles, the Camry Special Edition will come standard with the Star Safety System. Production of the Camry Special Edition will be limited to approximately 12,000 units and will run from August 2015 to January 2016. Corolla Special Edition The iconic Toyota Corolla is the world’s best-selling name plate of all-time with over 40 million sold since 1966. With its all-new 11th generation introduced in 2014, the current Corolla is the roomiest and most fuel-efficient ever. Corolla will add more driving excitement with the launch of the 2016 Corolla Special Edition. Sporty styling features, inside and out, complement a spirited driving experience made possible with steering wheel paddle shifters, rear disc brakes and Sport Driving Mode along with an array of additional standard features. Based on the sporty Corolla S Plus grade, the 2016 Corolla Special Edition will turn heads as it adds: Unique 17-inch alloy wheels with gloss black finish Black interior with red contrast stitching Red accented dash and door trim Smart Key System with pushbutton start Three colors: exclusive Absolutely Red, Black Sand Pearl and Super White Special Edition floor mats with logo and unique exterior badge Toyota’s Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite and power tilt/slide moonroof will be available as options. The Corolla Special Edition will be produced between August and December 2015 and will be limited to 8,000 units. In addition to the Camry and Corolla Special Editions, Toyota will unveil the refreshed 2016 Avalon premium mid-size sedan during a press conference in the Toyota display at Chicago’s McCormick Place on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 2:30 p.m. CST. View full article
  25. Toyota has quite the showing at the Chicago Auto Show next week. First off is a refresh for the full-size Avalon sedan. We don't much about the refresh, but judging from a from teaser shot, Toyota has made some slight tweaks to front end. We'll have more information come next week. The other two reveals are special edition models of the Camry and Corolla. The Camry Special Edition starts off as the SE model equipped with four-cylinder engine and gets some more aggression. This begins on the exterior with a choice of either Blizzard Pearl or Blue Streak Metallic paint; 18-inch wheels with black accents, and smoked taillights. Inside are a set of sport seats with blue stitching and black bolsters, Entune Audio Plus stereo, push-button start, and a moonroof. Toyota plans on building 12,000 Camry Special Editions starting in August. The Corolla Special Edition takes the Corolla S Plus model and adds a set of gloss black 17-inch wheels and a choice of Absolutely Red, Black Sand Pearl, or Super White colors. Inside is red stitching and accents for the seats, dashboard, and door trim. You'll also get push-button start and special edition floor mats. Toyota plans on building 8,000 Corolla Special Editions starting in August. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota to Create Turbulence in Windy City with Sporty Camry and Corolla Special Editions Camry and Corolla to Create Excitement With Special Edition Debuts Limited Production Models Equipped With Unique Sport-Themed Features Refreshed Avalon to be Unveiled at Chicago Auto Show CHICAGO, (Feb. 5, 2015) – Winds of change will be blowing into the Chicago Auto Show. Toyota’s Camry mid-size sedan, the best-selling car in America for the past 13 years, and Corolla compact sedan, the world’s best-selling car of all time, will debut special edition models at next week’s Chicago Auto Show. The debuts will be part of a press conference that will also feature a refreshed Avalon sedan. Camry Special Edition When redesigning the Camry for 2015, Toyota went bumper to bumper and floor to roof, changing or re-engineering nearly 2,000 parts. Only the roof remained unchanged, and it capped off the boldest Camry ever. Now, only one year after this major redesign, America’s best-selling car will offer the 2016 Camry Special Edition for owner’s looking for an extra dose of both aggressiveness and technology. Based on the youthful Camry SE, the limited production Camry will add sporty interior and exterior features. In addition to features found on the Camry SE, standard equipment on the Special Edition will include: Unique 18-inch alloy wheels with machined face contrasted with gloss black painted accents Power tilt/slide moonroof Smoked tail lamp treatment High contrast blue stitching on the seats, shift boot, and dash Exclusive sport appearance seats trimmed with black SofTex bolsters and blue patterned inserts Sport meter cluster with blue details and white background Entune Audio Plus Available Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite Smart Key with Pushbutton Start Qi Wireless Charging Two exterior colors: Blizzard Pearl and new Blue Streak Metallic Floor mats with logo and unique exterior badge The Camry Special Edition will be powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Like all Toyota vehicles, the Camry Special Edition will come standard with the Star Safety System. Production of the Camry Special Edition will be limited to approximately 12,000 units and will run from August 2015 to January 2016. Corolla Special Edition The iconic Toyota Corolla is the world’s best-selling name plate of all-time with over 40 million sold since 1966. With its all-new 11th generation introduced in 2014, the current Corolla is the roomiest and most fuel-efficient ever. Corolla will add more driving excitement with the launch of the 2016 Corolla Special Edition. Sporty styling features, inside and out, complement a spirited driving experience made possible with steering wheel paddle shifters, rear disc brakes and Sport Driving Mode along with an array of additional standard features. Based on the sporty Corolla S Plus grade, the 2016 Corolla Special Edition will turn heads as it adds: Unique 17-inch alloy wheels with gloss black finish Black interior with red contrast stitching Red accented dash and door trim Smart Key System with pushbutton start Three colors: exclusive Absolutely Red, Black Sand Pearl and Super White Special Edition floor mats with logo and unique exterior badge Toyota’s Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite and power tilt/slide moonroof will be available as options. The Corolla Special Edition will be produced between August and December 2015 and will be limited to 8,000 units. In addition to the Camry and Corolla Special Editions, Toyota will unveil the refreshed 2016 Avalon premium mid-size sedan during a press conference in the Toyota display at Chicago’s McCormick Place on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 2:30 p.m. CST.

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