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Found 113 results

  1. 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.”
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. Kia has released a teaser for their upcoming concept car that will be shown at Chicago. The concept will feature an electric all-wheel drive system and be aimed at "city dwellers seeking the ultimate urban escape." From what we can tell from the teaser shot, it looks like a Soul with a few more inches of ground clearance and body cladding. We'll have more information and live shots from Chicago Auto Show in a couple of weeks. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 KIA MOTORS AMERICA TO REVEAL CONCEPT AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW Kia Motors America will unveil an advanced and capable electric all-wheel drive (e-AWD) concept vehicle at the upcoming Chicago Auto Show. This bold off-roader was conceived by Kia’s California design studio and built for city dwellers seeking the ultimate urban escape. Intended to enable a wide array of outdoor activities from skiing and snowboarding, to camping, hiking and mountain biking, this rugged runabout captures the essence of adventuring at higher elevations with the promise of surefootedness in the wild. Kia’s newest concept will be revealed on the Kia stand Thursday, February 12 at 9 AM. View full article
  8. Kia has released a teaser for their upcoming concept car that will be shown at Chicago. The concept will feature an electric all-wheel drive system and be aimed at "city dwellers seeking the ultimate urban escape." From what we can tell from the teaser shot, it looks like a Soul with a few more inches of ground clearance and body cladding. We'll have more information and live shots from Chicago Auto Show in a couple of weeks. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 KIA MOTORS AMERICA TO REVEAL CONCEPT AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW Kia Motors America will unveil an advanced and capable electric all-wheel drive (e-AWD) concept vehicle at the upcoming Chicago Auto Show. This bold off-roader was conceived by Kia’s California design studio and built for city dwellers seeking the ultimate urban escape. Intended to enable a wide array of outdoor activities from skiing and snowboarding, to camping, hiking and mountain biking, this rugged runabout captures the essence of adventuring at higher elevations with the promise of surefootedness in the wild. Kia’s newest concept will be revealed on the Kia stand Thursday, February 12 at 9 AM.
  9. Just after a week of the madness that is the Detroit Auto Show, automakers are gearing for the next show on the schedule: Chicago. Honda is the first automaker to announce what they have in store for the show next month and it happens to deal with crossovers. First up is the 2016 Pilot. Honda has released a teaser shot showing off the greenhouse of the redesigned crossover. From this shot, we can see Honda has retired the boxy shape that has been part of the Pilot since the first-generation model and going for shape that is more in common with the CR-V and HR-V. Honda goes onto say the Pilot will showcase 'new standout technologies, versatility, and dynamics currently unavailable in the mainstream SUV segment.' Second is Honda's luxury counterpart, Acura announcing the 2016 RDX. The compact luxury crossover was redesigned in 2013, but apparently is up for a refresh. The updated model is expected to feature "a long list of styling and performance improvements plus desirable new luxury and safety features" along with "important improvements to performance, dynamics, comfort and NVH." We'll have more information and live shots when both vehicles debut at Chicago on February 12th. Source: Honda, Acura Press Releases are on Page 2 All-New 2016 Honda Pilot SUV to Make Global Debut at 2015 Chicago Auto Show Honda to fortify light-truck leadership on Feb. 12 by debuting all-new Pilot three-row SUV, and revealing the styling direction for future Ridgeline pickup Jan 21, 2015 - TORRANCE, Calif: A completely reengineered and redesigned Honda Pilot SUV will make its world debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show on February 12 at 9:30 a.m. The all-new, eight-passenger Pilot SUV – completely designed, developed and manufactured in America -- will raise the stakes in the mainstream three-row SUV segment with new technology, advanced safety, class-leading fuel economy and enhanced family utility and versatility. The new Pilot represents a dramatic shift in design, while showcasing new standout technologies, versatility, and dynamics currently unavailable in the mainstream SUV segment. Further, the Pilot remains as family-friendly as ever, proving once again that driving the family truckster can be a joy. The redesigned Pilot SUV, launching at Honda dealerships nationwide this summer, will further augment a Honda light truck lineup that includes the recently redesigned Honda CR-V – 2014 Motor Trend SUV of the Year and the best-selling SUV in America – and the all-new Honda HR-V crossover, launching this spring. In addition to showcasing the completely redesigned Honda Pilot SUV, the company also will reveal details and styling direction for its forthcoming Ridgeline truck at the Chicago Auto Show. "Honda continues to fortify its light-truck lineup in 2015, this time turning our eye to the fast-growing family SUV segment," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. "The new Pilot will raise the bar in a segment it helped to create, with more innovation, style, premium features and family utility than ever before." The original Honda Pilot was introduced in 2002 as the first mainstream eight-passenger SUV to feature car-like unitized body construction, delivering more refined driving dynamics, better fuel economy and superior cabin space in a family-oriented sport-utility vehicle. The second-generation Pilot was launched in 2008. All three generations of the Pilot have been designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc. in Los Angeles and Ohio. The Pilot and its engine are now produced at the company's Lincoln, Alabama plant. The Honda brand's U.S. light-truck sales were up 10.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 154,480 SUVs, pickups and minivans, including an 8.6% gain for Pilot, to 28,610 units, in the fourth quarter. Hot Winter Wind: 2016 Acura RDX to Bow at 2015 Chicago Auto Show Quick, luxurious, fun and practical new RDX to bring even stronger package to red-hot segment Jan 21, 2015 - TORRANCE, Calif: Coming off a record sales year as one of the best-selling SUVs in its segment, Acura's RDX is set to move its already lofty bar even higher when the new 2016 model bows at the Chicago Auto Show on February 12. The new RDX sports a long list of styling and performance improvements plus desirable new luxury and safety features designed to further solidify its leadership in the compact luxury SUV segment. The 2016 RDX artfully blends numerous fresh exterior and interior design elements to further enrich its sport and luxury qualities, all with a cohesiveness that speaks to its new capabilities. Already one of the quickest and most fuel-efficient V6-powered entry-luxury SUVs, the 2016 RDX takes the position a step further, adding important improvements to performance, dynamics, comfort and NVH. Don't miss the debut of the newest Acura RDX at the Chicago Auto Show on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. CST in the Acura booth. View full article
  10. Just after a week of the madness that is the Detroit Auto Show, automakers are gearing for the next show on the schedule: Chicago. Honda is the first automaker to announce what they have in store for the show next month and it happens to deal with crossovers. First up is the 2016 Pilot. Honda has released a teaser shot showing off the greenhouse of the redesigned crossover. From this shot, we can see Honda has retired the boxy shape that has been part of the Pilot since the first-generation model and going for shape that is more in common with the CR-V and HR-V. Honda goes onto say the Pilot will showcase 'new standout technologies, versatility, and dynamics currently unavailable in the mainstream SUV segment.' Second is Honda's luxury counterpart, Acura announcing the 2016 RDX. The compact luxury crossover was redesigned in 2013, but apparently is up for a refresh. The updated model is expected to feature "a long list of styling and performance improvements plus desirable new luxury and safety features" along with "important improvements to performance, dynamics, comfort and NVH." We'll have more information and live shots when both vehicles debut at Chicago on February 12th. Source: Honda, Acura Press Releases are on Page 2 All-New 2016 Honda Pilot SUV to Make Global Debut at 2015 Chicago Auto Show Honda to fortify light-truck leadership on Feb. 12 by debuting all-new Pilot three-row SUV, and revealing the styling direction for future Ridgeline pickup Jan 21, 2015 - TORRANCE, Calif: A completely reengineered and redesigned Honda Pilot SUV will make its world debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show on February 12 at 9:30 a.m. The all-new, eight-passenger Pilot SUV – completely designed, developed and manufactured in America -- will raise the stakes in the mainstream three-row SUV segment with new technology, advanced safety, class-leading fuel economy and enhanced family utility and versatility. The new Pilot represents a dramatic shift in design, while showcasing new standout technologies, versatility, and dynamics currently unavailable in the mainstream SUV segment. Further, the Pilot remains as family-friendly as ever, proving once again that driving the family truckster can be a joy. The redesigned Pilot SUV, launching at Honda dealerships nationwide this summer, will further augment a Honda light truck lineup that includes the recently redesigned Honda CR-V – 2014 Motor Trend SUV of the Year and the best-selling SUV in America – and the all-new Honda HR-V crossover, launching this spring. In addition to showcasing the completely redesigned Honda Pilot SUV, the company also will reveal details and styling direction for its forthcoming Ridgeline truck at the Chicago Auto Show. "Honda continues to fortify its light-truck lineup in 2015, this time turning our eye to the fast-growing family SUV segment," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. "The new Pilot will raise the bar in a segment it helped to create, with more innovation, style, premium features and family utility than ever before." The original Honda Pilot was introduced in 2002 as the first mainstream eight-passenger SUV to feature car-like unitized body construction, delivering more refined driving dynamics, better fuel economy and superior cabin space in a family-oriented sport-utility vehicle. The second-generation Pilot was launched in 2008. All three generations of the Pilot have been designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc. in Los Angeles and Ohio. The Pilot and its engine are now produced at the company's Lincoln, Alabama plant. The Honda brand's U.S. light-truck sales were up 10.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 154,480 SUVs, pickups and minivans, including an 8.6% gain for Pilot, to 28,610 units, in the fourth quarter. Hot Winter Wind: 2016 Acura RDX to Bow at 2015 Chicago Auto Show Quick, luxurious, fun and practical new RDX to bring even stronger package to red-hot segment Jan 21, 2015 - TORRANCE, Calif: Coming off a record sales year as one of the best-selling SUVs in its segment, Acura's RDX is set to move its already lofty bar even higher when the new 2016 model bows at the Chicago Auto Show on February 12. The new RDX sports a long list of styling and performance improvements plus desirable new luxury and safety features designed to further solidify its leadership in the compact luxury SUV segment. The 2016 RDX artfully blends numerous fresh exterior and interior design elements to further enrich its sport and luxury qualities, all with a cohesiveness that speaks to its new capabilities. Already one of the quickest and most fuel-efficient V6-powered entry-luxury SUVs, the 2016 RDX takes the position a step further, adding important improvements to performance, dynamics, comfort and NVH. Don't miss the debut of the newest Acura RDX at the Chicago Auto Show on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. CST in the Acura booth.
  11. Arguably the most significant debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show is the redesigned 2015 Subaru Legacy. The 2015 Legacy marks 25 years of the Legacy nameplate in the United States. Already know for some of the best fuel economy in the all-wheel drive car segment, the 2015 model continues with with a 26 city/35 highway preliminary EPA rating in the 2.5i model. The standard all-wheel drive now features standard torque vectoring. Engines have received a modest peak power increase however they now deliver that power over a broader RPM range. The standard continuously variable transmission has been revised to reduce internal friction and thereby increase fuel economy. Inside Subaru is claiming to have the largest passenger compartment in the mid-size class, though after sitting in the car, it is claim we will be running by the fact-checkers after release. The interior sports new infotainment options with the choice of a 6.2 inch screen or an upgraded 7 inch system. A 12 speaker Harmon/Kardon sound system will also be available. Subaru has also taken steps to improve the sound isolation with numerous acoustical panel additions. The exterior styling is evolutionary rather than revolutionary with the face adopting a more conservative look. Subaru pulled the base of the windshield forward 2 inches to give the car a steeper rake. This improves aerodynamics by 10% contributing to the Legacy's fuel economy performance. Subaru sales have been on a roll lately with a 5 year streak of sales increases. In 2013, Subaru even beat Volkswagen in total U.S. sales. Subaru expects the new Legacy to continue on that trend. Our Take: Subaru redesigns their flagship sedan to look more conservative and will have no problem selling every one they build, but Ford and Hyundai called... they want their grille back. Press release after the jump. Drew Dowdell is managing editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @Cheersngears SUBARU INTRODUCES ALL-NEW 2015 LEGACY® SEDAN Roomiest Legacy ever with largest passenger cabin in the midsize segment Fuel efficiency at the top of AWD midsize sedan class with estimated ratings of 26 mpg city / 36 mpg highway for 2.5i model Higher level of comfort, quiet and refinement Revised powertrains and standard Lineartronic® CVT on all models New standard Active Torque Vectoring for greater agility New EyeSight driver assistance system with improved camera performance. New available safety technology including rear radar with Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert New infotainment technology with available 12-speaker premium audio CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2014 – Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the all-new 2015 Legacy, delivering a more compelling blend of standout design, interior refinement, safety technology and higher fuel efficiency along with the largest interior passenger volume in the midsize sedan segment. Still the only car in its class with All-Wheel Drive as standard, the 2015 Legacy continues the brand’s safety leadership by introducing an improved EyeSight system and available rear radar system that supports new driver-assistance technologies. Offering a choice of 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder BOXER engines, the 2015 Subaru Legacy comes standard with Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. With estimated ratings of 26 mpg city / 36 mpg highway / 30 mpg combined, the 2015 Legacy 2.5i matches or exceeds fuel economy of some midsize models that come only with front-wheel drive. The 6-cylinder model also sees fuel economy improve by 10 percent or more, with new estimated ratings of 20 mpg city / 28 mpg highway / 23 combined. The new 2015 Legacy arrives in Subaru dealerships in summer 2014 with the 4-cylinder 2.5i model available in Standard, Premium and Limited trim lines, accompanied by the top-of-line 6-cylinder 3.6R Limited. The 2015 Subaru Legacy is the best-equipped ever, with all trim lines adding new standard amenities. The Limited trim line models offer the highest level of luxury ever in a Subaru, including standard perforated leather upholstery; two-position memory for the 10-way power driver’s seat; a 4-way power front passenger seat; three-mode heated front seats (also standard for Premium) and dual-mode heated rear seats; rear seat air conditioning vents and a high-end surround sound audio system with 12 harman/kardon® speakers. New Design Language The 2015 Legacy echoes design themes introduced by the Legacy Concept at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. The production model combines sporty form and efficient function. Key to the sleeker, coupe-like profile is a “nosecone” front section that combines the grille and bumper into one smooth piece. An aluminum hood reduces weight over the front wheels, enhancing steering response. The 2015 Legacy maintains a footprint similar to the model it replaces. The 2015 Legacy’s windshield is more raked, pulled forward 2.0 in. at the base. The new windshield angle, higher seating hip points, new front partition windows and door-mounted side view mirrors help improve visibility. A 10-percent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency contributes to lower fuel consumption. All 2015 Legacy 2.5i trim levels debut a standard Active Grille Shutter system, which helps to improve fuel economy by reducing wind resistance when closed. In the Legacy 3.6R Limited, new standard HID low-beam headlights give the car a more distinctive nighttime signature. The U-shape tail and brake lights on all models use LED bulbs for lower power consumption and a luxurious appearance. Limited trim line models feature turn signal exterior mirrors, which are available as an option for the Premium. New Safety and Security from a Safety Leader The 2015 Legacy comes standard with a rear-view camera, now located closer to the center of the car for more natural imaging. A new rollover sensor can deploy the side curtain airbags if an imminent rollover is detected. For added nighttime security, the 2015 Legacy features new standard welcome lighting that automatically turns on cabin illumination and exterior lights as the driver approaches or departs the car. The Limited trim offers a Keyless Access & Start system, as well. The 2015 Subaru Legacy introduces a new type of airbag restraint and a new available rear radar system. The new front seat-cushion airbags help to keep occupants in place in a frontal collision. A new rear radar system, which is standard on the 2015 Legacy 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited and available for the 2.5i Premium, introduces the brand’s next step toward full-perimeter preventive safety. The rear radar system offers three functions. Blind Spot Detection detects vehicles behind the C-pillars and in other blind spots; Lane Change Assist detects approaching vehicles when changing lanes, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert detects close vehicles while reversing, such as out of a parking space or driveway. LED indicators on the side mirrors alert the driver. Rear Cross Traffic Alert uses an indicator in the rear view camera display. Also for the 2015 Legacy, new Steering-Responsive Foglights are added, which help illuminate curves for better visibility. The EyeSight® driver-assist system option for Premium and Limited trim models, integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning. EyeSight, which uses Subaru-developed stereo camera technology, is the highest-rated front crash prevention system by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2015 Legacy is projected to achieve the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award. Four- or Six-Cylinder BOXER Engines The 2015 Legacy 2.5i is powered by a double-overhead-cam (DOHC) FB series 2.5-liter BOXER engine that debuted for 2013 and now receives numerous enhancements for lighter weight, improved efficiency and quieter operation. Power is increased slightly, to 175 hp vs. 173 hp before. Peak torque remains at 174 lb.-ft. but is spread over a broader engine speed range for more responsive performance. With the 2015 Legacy, Subaru continues to offer a 6-cylinder model in the midsize sedan segment. The 3.6-liter BOXER engine produces 256 hp and 247 lb.-ft. of peak torque. For 2015, all Legacy models now come standard with a Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission), with the 6-cylinder model using a high-torque version. Changes made to reduce friction in the CVT contribute to higher fuel efficiency in the 2015 Legacy. All models are equipped with Incline Start Assist and the electronic Hill Holder System that holds the vehicle in place until the driver applies the throttle. Quieter Ride, Enhanced Agility The Legacy offers an even smoother, quieter ride for 2015 thanks to a new acoustic windshield, liquid-filled engine mounts, thicker panels in key locations (floor, toeboard, rear wheel apron, inner fenders) and expanded use of foam insulation and floor damping material. New quick-ratio electric power-assisted steering delivers outstanding feel and also contributes to reduced fuel consumption. Revised spring and damper tuning and geometry and standard 17-inch wheels (18-in. on Limited) endow the 2015 Legacy with greater handling agility. Active Torque Vectoring, an enhancement of the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system also featured on the brand’s high-performance 2015 WRX and WRX STI models, can apply brake pressure to the inside front wheel to facilitate more neutral cornering. The 4-cylinder Legacy now uses the same ventilated rear disc brakes as the 6-cylinder model, in place of solid discs used previously. More Room, Greater Refinement With nearly the same exterior footprint as the previous Legacy, the 2015 model offers a roomier passenger cabin, at 104.6 cu. ft. (up from 103 cu. ft.). The added space yields gains in shoulder, hip, elbow and leg room. Rear seat legroom measures a generous 38.1 inches. The Legacy’s trunk has been enlarged to 15.0 cu. ft., up slightly from 14.7 cu. ft. for the 2014 model, a significant point considering that the standard Symmetrical AWD system requires packaging for the multilink rear suspension, a rear differential and drive axles. A standard 60/40 split fold-down rear seat expands carrying capacity. The driver faces a decidedly sporty instrument panel in the 2015 Legacy, highlighted by two binocular-style gauge pods with center LCD information display -- 3.5-in. on cars without the EyeSight driver-assist system and 5-in. on EyeSight cars. In all models, an ECO gauge indicates and promotes fuel-efficient driving habits using color bars. The Premium and Limited-trim models feature electro-luminescent gauges with elegant blue ring illumination. Accentuating the passenger cabin’s increased room, the Legacy features a new interior design that highlights horizontal themes. A combination of new soft-touch materials, thicker cushioning for armrests and the center console and new trim styles give the Legacy a more premium feel. The heater control panel integrates the digital clock and outside air temperature displays, with the time automatically corrected by GPS in navigation-equipped models. A new one-touch lane changer function for the turn signals adds convenience. Legacy Premium and Limited trim levels come equipped with standard auto up/down driver and front passenger windows with pinch protection. New Infotainment Subaru significantly upgraded infotainment capability in the 2015 Legacy. A new 6.2 Infotainment System in the Legacy 2.5i model provides AM/FM stereo and HD Radio®, Radio Data Broadcast System, single-disc in-dash CD player, 6.2-in. multi-function touch screen display, Subaru STARLINK connectivity with Aha™ and Pandora® smartphone integration, rear vision camera, Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod® control capability, USB port and aux. input jack. The multi-touch display offers swipe and scrolling gestures – much like tablets and smartphones, The Upgraded Infotainment System in the 2.5i Premium adds a 6-speaker audio system with 7-inch touch screen display, SiriusXM® satellite radio, SMS text messaging, iTunes® tagging capability and dual USB ports. Standard for the 2015 Legacy Limited trim models, a new high-end audio system combines a 576-Watt equivalent AM/FM/HD Radio unit with 12 harman/kardon speakers, including a front center speaker and a rear subwoofer. The amplifier and speakers use harman/kardon Green Edge technology, which reduces system weight and power consumption. The Navigation Infotainment System available for the Premium and Limited trim levels, in addition to the multi-function display, features an interactive voice command system that accepts natural language and phrases and also operates the dual-zone automatic climate control system. A more versatile center console in the 2015 Legacy provides a storage area that can hold an iPad®. A new covered storage bin at the front of the console incorporates a USB port, 3.5mm AUX jack and a 12v power port. Models with high-grade audio or navigation feature two USB ports, making it possible to listen to music and charge two connected devices. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Both 2015 Legacy models are equipped with a newly refined version of the Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical AWD. An electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls torque distribution in response to driving conditions and wheel slippage. The system can send additional torque to the rear wheels either pro-actively or in response to slippage at the front wheels. Taking input from acceleration, steering angle and yaw rate sensors, Active Torque Split AWD optimizes traction and steering response when accelerating through turns and curves, particularly when the road surface is slippery.
  12. Arguably the most significant debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show is the redesigned 2015 Subaru Legacy. The 2015 Legacy marks 25 years of the Legacy nameplate in the United States. Already know for some of the best fuel economy in the all-wheel drive car segment, the 2015 model continues with with a 26 city/35 highway preliminary EPA rating in the 2.5i model. The standard all-wheel drive now features standard torque vectoring. Engines have received a modest peak power increase however they now deliver that power over a broader RPM range. The standard continuously variable transmission has been revised to reduce internal friction and thereby increase fuel economy. Inside Subaru is claiming to have the largest passenger compartment in the mid-size class, though after sitting in the car, it is claim we will be running by the fact-checkers after release. The interior sports new infotainment options with the choice of a 6.2 inch screen or an upgraded 7 inch system. A 12 speaker Harmon/Kardon sound system will also be available. Subaru has also taken steps to improve the sound isolation with numerous acoustical panel additions. The exterior styling is evolutionary rather than revolutionary with the face adopting a more conservative look. Subaru pulled the base of the windshield forward 2 inches to give the car a steeper rake. This improves aerodynamics by 10% contributing to the Legacy's fuel economy performance. Subaru sales have been on a roll lately with a 5 year streak of sales increases. In 2013, Subaru even beat Volkswagen in total U.S. sales. Subaru expects the new Legacy to continue on that trend. Our Take: Subaru redesigns their flagship sedan to look more conservative and will have no problem selling every one they build, but Ford and Hyundai called... they want their grille back. Press release after the jump. Drew Dowdell is managing editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @Cheersngears SUBARU INTRODUCES ALL-NEW 2015 LEGACY® SEDAN Roomiest Legacy ever with largest passenger cabin in the midsize segment Fuel efficiency at the top of AWD midsize sedan class with estimated ratings of 26 mpg city / 36 mpg highway for 2.5i model Higher level of comfort, quiet and refinement Revised powertrains and standard Lineartronic® CVT on all models New standard Active Torque Vectoring for greater agility New EyeSight driver assistance system with improved camera performance. New available safety technology including rear radar with Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert New infotainment technology with available 12-speaker premium audio CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2014 – Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the all-new 2015 Legacy, delivering a more compelling blend of standout design, interior refinement, safety technology and higher fuel efficiency along with the largest interior passenger volume in the midsize sedan segment. Still the only car in its class with All-Wheel Drive as standard, the 2015 Legacy continues the brand’s safety leadership by introducing an improved EyeSight system and available rear radar system that supports new driver-assistance technologies. Offering a choice of 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder BOXER engines, the 2015 Subaru Legacy comes standard with Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. With estimated ratings of 26 mpg city / 36 mpg highway / 30 mpg combined, the 2015 Legacy 2.5i matches or exceeds fuel economy of some midsize models that come only with front-wheel drive. The 6-cylinder model also sees fuel economy improve by 10 percent or more, with new estimated ratings of 20 mpg city / 28 mpg highway / 23 combined. The new 2015 Legacy arrives in Subaru dealerships in summer 2014 with the 4-cylinder 2.5i model available in Standard, Premium and Limited trim lines, accompanied by the top-of-line 6-cylinder 3.6R Limited. The 2015 Subaru Legacy is the best-equipped ever, with all trim lines adding new standard amenities. The Limited trim line models offer the highest level of luxury ever in a Subaru, including standard perforated leather upholstery; two-position memory for the 10-way power driver’s seat; a 4-way power front passenger seat; three-mode heated front seats (also standard for Premium) and dual-mode heated rear seats; rear seat air conditioning vents and a high-end surround sound audio system with 12 harman/kardon® speakers. New Design Language The 2015 Legacy echoes design themes introduced by the Legacy Concept at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. The production model combines sporty form and efficient function. Key to the sleeker, coupe-like profile is a “nosecone” front section that combines the grille and bumper into one smooth piece. An aluminum hood reduces weight over the front wheels, enhancing steering response. The 2015 Legacy maintains a footprint similar to the model it replaces. The 2015 Legacy’s windshield is more raked, pulled forward 2.0 in. at the base. The new windshield angle, higher seating hip points, new front partition windows and door-mounted side view mirrors help improve visibility. A 10-percent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency contributes to lower fuel consumption. All 2015 Legacy 2.5i trim levels debut a standard Active Grille Shutter system, which helps to improve fuel economy by reducing wind resistance when closed. In the Legacy 3.6R Limited, new standard HID low-beam headlights give the car a more distinctive nighttime signature. The U-shape tail and brake lights on all models use LED bulbs for lower power consumption and a luxurious appearance. Limited trim line models feature turn signal exterior mirrors, which are available as an option for the Premium. New Safety and Security from a Safety Leader The 2015 Legacy comes standard with a rear-view camera, now located closer to the center of the car for more natural imaging. A new rollover sensor can deploy the side curtain airbags if an imminent rollover is detected. For added nighttime security, the 2015 Legacy features new standard welcome lighting that automatically turns on cabin illumination and exterior lights as the driver approaches or departs the car. The Limited trim offers a Keyless Access & Start system, as well. The 2015 Subaru Legacy introduces a new type of airbag restraint and a new available rear radar system. The new front seat-cushion airbags help to keep occupants in place in a frontal collision. A new rear radar system, which is standard on the 2015 Legacy 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited and available for the 2.5i Premium, introduces the brand’s next step toward full-perimeter preventive safety. The rear radar system offers three functions. Blind Spot Detection detects vehicles behind the C-pillars and in other blind spots; Lane Change Assist detects approaching vehicles when changing lanes, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert detects close vehicles while reversing, such as out of a parking space or driveway. LED indicators on the side mirrors alert the driver. Rear Cross Traffic Alert uses an indicator in the rear view camera display. Also for the 2015 Legacy, new Steering-Responsive Foglights are added, which help illuminate curves for better visibility. The EyeSight® driver-assist system option for Premium and Limited trim models, integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning. EyeSight, which uses Subaru-developed stereo camera technology, is the highest-rated front crash prevention system by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2015 Legacy is projected to achieve the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award. Four- or Six-Cylinder BOXER Engines The 2015 Legacy 2.5i is powered by a double-overhead-cam (DOHC) FB series 2.5-liter BOXER engine that debuted for 2013 and now receives numerous enhancements for lighter weight, improved efficiency and quieter operation. Power is increased slightly, to 175 hp vs. 173 hp before. Peak torque remains at 174 lb.-ft. but is spread over a broader engine speed range for more responsive performance. With the 2015 Legacy, Subaru continues to offer a 6-cylinder model in the midsize sedan segment. The 3.6-liter BOXER engine produces 256 hp and 247 lb.-ft. of peak torque. For 2015, all Legacy models now come standard with a Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission), with the 6-cylinder model using a high-torque version. Changes made to reduce friction in the CVT contribute to higher fuel efficiency in the 2015 Legacy. All models are equipped with Incline Start Assist and the electronic Hill Holder System that holds the vehicle in place until the driver applies the throttle. Quieter Ride, Enhanced Agility The Legacy offers an even smoother, quieter ride for 2015 thanks to a new acoustic windshield, liquid-filled engine mounts, thicker panels in key locations (floor, toeboard, rear wheel apron, inner fenders) and expanded use of foam insulation and floor damping material. New quick-ratio electric power-assisted steering delivers outstanding feel and also contributes to reduced fuel consumption. Revised spring and damper tuning and geometry and standard 17-inch wheels (18-in. on Limited) endow the 2015 Legacy with greater handling agility. Active Torque Vectoring, an enhancement of the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system also featured on the brand’s high-performance 2015 WRX and WRX STI models, can apply brake pressure to the inside front wheel to facilitate more neutral cornering. The 4-cylinder Legacy now uses the same ventilated rear disc brakes as the 6-cylinder model, in place of solid discs used previously. More Room, Greater Refinement With nearly the same exterior footprint as the previous Legacy, the 2015 model offers a roomier passenger cabin, at 104.6 cu. ft. (up from 103 cu. ft.). The added space yields gains in shoulder, hip, elbow and leg room. Rear seat legroom measures a generous 38.1 inches. The Legacy’s trunk has been enlarged to 15.0 cu. ft., up slightly from 14.7 cu. ft. for the 2014 model, a significant point considering that the standard Symmetrical AWD system requires packaging for the multilink rear suspension, a rear differential and drive axles. A standard 60/40 split fold-down rear seat expands carrying capacity. The driver faces a decidedly sporty instrument panel in the 2015 Legacy, highlighted by two binocular-style gauge pods with center LCD information display -- 3.5-in. on cars without the EyeSight driver-assist system and 5-in. on EyeSight cars. In all models, an ECO gauge indicates and promotes fuel-efficient driving habits using color bars. The Premium and Limited-trim models feature electro-luminescent gauges with elegant blue ring illumination. Accentuating the passenger cabin’s increased room, the Legacy features a new interior design that highlights horizontal themes. A combination of new soft-touch materials, thicker cushioning for armrests and the center console and new trim styles give the Legacy a more premium feel. The heater control panel integrates the digital clock and outside air temperature displays, with the time automatically corrected by GPS in navigation-equipped models. A new one-touch lane changer function for the turn signals adds convenience. Legacy Premium and Limited trim levels come equipped with standard auto up/down driver and front passenger windows with pinch protection. New Infotainment Subaru significantly upgraded infotainment capability in the 2015 Legacy. A new 6.2 Infotainment System in the Legacy 2.5i model provides AM/FM stereo and HD Radio®, Radio Data Broadcast System, single-disc in-dash CD player, 6.2-in. multi-function touch screen display, Subaru STARLINK connectivity with Aha™ and Pandora® smartphone integration, rear vision camera, Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod® control capability, USB port and aux. input jack. The multi-touch display offers swipe and scrolling gestures – much like tablets and smartphones, The Upgraded Infotainment System in the 2.5i Premium adds a 6-speaker audio system with 7-inch touch screen display, SiriusXM® satellite radio, SMS text messaging, iTunes® tagging capability and dual USB ports. Standard for the 2015 Legacy Limited trim models, a new high-end audio system combines a 576-Watt equivalent AM/FM/HD Radio unit with 12 harman/kardon speakers, including a front center speaker and a rear subwoofer. The amplifier and speakers use harman/kardon Green Edge technology, which reduces system weight and power consumption. The Navigation Infotainment System available for the Premium and Limited trim levels, in addition to the multi-function display, features an interactive voice command system that accepts natural language and phrases and also operates the dual-zone automatic climate control system. A more versatile center console in the 2015 Legacy provides a storage area that can hold an iPad®. A new covered storage bin at the front of the console incorporates a USB port, 3.5mm AUX jack and a 12v power port. Models with high-grade audio or navigation feature two USB ports, making it possible to listen to music and charge two connected devices. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Both 2015 Legacy models are equipped with a newly refined version of the Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical AWD. An electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls torque distribution in response to driving conditions and wheel slippage. The system can send additional torque to the rear wheels either pro-actively or in response to slippage at the front wheels. Taking input from acceleration, steering angle and yaw rate sensors, Active Torque Split AWD optimizes traction and steering response when accelerating through turns and curves, particularly when the road surface is slippery. View full article
  13. Dodge is bringing out a more rugged trim for their popular 7-passenger Journey crossover. Debuting at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad features new, butcher fascias, dark tinted exterior lighting, and special 19 inch wheels. Inside, the Crossroad gains standard black leather seats with accent stitching unique to the Crossroad trim. Also included is the 8.4 inch UConnect system, one of the best performing automotive infotainment systems in the market. Like all 2014 Dodge Journeys, the Crossroad is powered by your choice of 2.4 liter 4-cylinder or the 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 which produces a best for the class 283 horsepower and 260 ft-lb of torque. Even with all of that power, the Journey V6 is EPA rated for 25 mpg on the highway. All-Wheel-Drive on the Crossroad is optional. Dodge is positioning the Crossroad as a step between the mid-line SXT and the top of the line Limited models. Expected base price will be $24,995 plus destination fee. Dodge last updated the Journey for the 2011 model year with an all new interior. Our take: Dodge adds an attractive trim package to a gracefully aging crossover to keep things fresh a little while longer. Press release after the jump. Drew Dowdell is managing editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @Cheersngears New 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad to Debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show Journey Crossroad Gets Rugged Appearance; Available All-wheel-drive Capability Backs It Up New Journey Crossroad model features unique performance front and rear fascias, lower side sills, dark-tinted headlamps and tail lamps and unique 19-inch Hyper Black wheels, giving it a rugged, capable look Unique interior content loaded with premium finishes and features, including the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, new leather seat design with accent stitching and Liquid Graphite appliques Available award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and all-wheel-drive capability provide confidence in all driving conditions With a starting U. S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24,995 (excluding $995 destination), the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad will be available in Dodge dealerships this spring January 31, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Building on the Dodge Journey’s best sales year ever in 2013, the Dodge brand is introducing a new Journey model – the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad – at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. The new Journey Crossroad features distinctive new front and rear fascias, Platinum Chrome side sills and unique 19-inch Hyper Black aluminum wheels, giving the three-row, seven-passenger crossover a rugged, capable look. The interior is loaded with premium finishes and features, including the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, new leather seat design and Liquid Graphite appliques. "The Journey has always been Dodge's Swiss Army knife in the CUV segment, and with the new Journey Crossroad, we are expanding that flexibility by now offering three different exterior appearances," said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO — Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "The Journey Crossroad's rugged styling gives it a tough presence on the road; the available all-wheel drive system gives it the capability to back it up in a variety of bad weather driving conditions.” The new 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad is positioned between the SXT and Limited models in the Journey lineup. Journey Crossroad will start arriving in Dodge dealerships this spring with a starting U. S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24,995 (excluding $995 destination). New look, new features Dodge designers added several special exterior design cues to the Journey Crossroad that give it a distinct look in the lineup, including a new front fascia with a Platinum Chrome accent and Gloss Black grille and fog lamp surrounds, Platinum Chrome roof rails and unique extended side sills, black headlamp bezels, Gloss Black tail lamp bezels and a new lower rear fascia finished in Platinum Chrome and a “Crossroad” badge on the tailgate. Journey Crossroad also features unique 19-inch Hyper Black five-spoke aluminum wheels. Exterior colors for the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad include Pitch Black, Bright Silver Metallic, White, Copperhead Pearl, Fathom Blue Pearl, Granite Crystal Metallic, Pearl White Tri-Coat and Redline Red 2-coat Pearl. On the inside, the Journey Crossroad adds many unique interior touches, including new standard black leather seating with sport mesh inserts with Light Slate Grey accent stitching. Light Slate Grey accent stitching on the center armrest and door panels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, are standard equipment. A new Liquid Graphite finish is applied on the instrument panel, gauge cluster, center console, door pulls and steering wheel trim. The Dodge Journey Crossroad also comes standard with the class-exclusive 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, power front seat and a front passenger fold-flat seat with hidden storage bin under the seat cushion. The 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad offers levels of utility and refinement not typically found in the crossover market. Standard features such as power heated and foldaway mirrors, seven air bags, illuminated cup holders, Keyless Enter ‘n Go with push-button start and steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. Second- and third-row seats fold flat to create 67.6 cu. ft. of cargo space. Second-row seats recline and have available class-exclusive integrated child booster seats. There are also innovative removable storage bins in the floor ahead of the second-row seats that can hold everything from muddy clothes to soda cans, to concealing valuables like a camera, laptop or purse. With front passenger, second- and third-row fold-flat seats, second-row in-floor storage, and front passenger in-seat storage, Dodge Journey has best-in-class storage. Power and efficiency The Journey Crossroad is powered by a standard 2.4-liter 16-valve DOHC four-cylinder engine that produces 173 horsepower and 166 lb.-ft. of torque, linked to a four-speed automatic transmission. This four-cylinder engine delivers 26 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway. The award-winning available 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine on the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad produces a best-in-class 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. This Pentastar V-6 engine was recognized as a Ward’s “10 Best Engines” for 2012 and 2013. In addition to excellent power, it delivers up to 25 mpg on the highway. Both the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and available 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 powertrain deliver more than 500 miles of highway driving range. With a 5-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, owners can rest assured knowing their powerful and efficient Journey is well covered. Confidence in all driving conditions Backing up the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad’s rugged look is its available all-wheel-drive system, perfect for drivers who want extra grip for a more performance feel, or who live in the Snow Belt or rainy parts of the country and appreciate the extra traction Journey’s all-wheel drive system provides. Journey Crossroad’s all-wheel-drive system works on demand, driving only the front wheels to maximize fuel efficiency until power to the rear wheels is needed. All-wheel drive also is activated on dry pavement between speeds of 25 and 65 mph to enhance handling during performance driving. This system provides added traction on snow, ice and other low-traction surfaces without having to be switched on and off. When traveling faster than 25 mph, Dodge Journey’s all-wheel-drive system sends torque to the rear wheels when cornering with the throttle open to make the car turn more easily, which makes the handling more neutral. This is more readily accomplished with Journey’s electronically controlled coupling (ECC) than with viscous-coupling or gerotor systems that require some degree of front-to-rear slip before torque is transferred to the rear wheels. At speeds greater than 53 mph, the control strategy provides minimal torque to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions to provide better fuel economy. Dodge Journey features standard electronic stability control (ESC) and all-speed traction control, which help keep the crossover on path in a variety of road surface and weather conditions. Journey’s available all-wheel-drive electronic control module works with the ESC and traction control systems, allowing the ESC system to use the ECC to help gain control of the vehicle, reducing the amount of torque that the ECC transmits to the rear wheels. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes and electronic roll mitigation also are standard on all 2014 Dodge Journey models. More than 50 safety and security features Dodge Journey is loaded with an abundance of more than 50 safety and security features, including standard advanced multistage front passenger air bags, active head restraints, electronic stability control with all-speed traction control, electronic roll mitigation and Brake Assist, driver-side knee blocker air bag, side-curtain air bags covering all three rows, front seat-mounted side air bags, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, LATCH child seat anchor system and trailer-sway control. The Dodge Journey is built in Toluca, Mexico. For more information regarding the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad, please visit www.dodge.com/en/special-editions/journey-crossroad. About Dodge Brand The Dodge brand is tearing into its centennial year with a keen eye focused on the future and a desire to create vehicles customers t wait to drive and are proud to park in their driveways. With 100 years of history, Dodge is building on the technological advancements of 30s 40s, design evolution of 50s, the racing heritage of 60s, the horsepower of 70s, the efficiency of 80s and unbelievable styling of 90s as it paves the road to its future. New for 2014, the Dodge is kind of a big with a new eight-speed transmission that delivers up to 25 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway, a new 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment center and best-in-class power, towing, and driving range, in addition to its class-exclusive technology. The new Durango joins a stable that includes the new 2014 Dodge Dart with its breakthrough 2.4-liter 184-horsepower Tigershark engine, and the celebrated 2014 Dodge Avenger. Both earned 2014 Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Completing the 2014 Dodge lineup are the Challenger, Charger, Journey and 30th Anniversary Grand Caravan. The Dodge lineup features five vehicles with best-in-class power, seven vehicles that deliver 25 mpg or higher, three vehicles that deliver 31 mpg or higher and three vehicles that offer seating for seven. View full article
  14. Dodge is bringing out a more rugged trim for their popular 7-passenger Journey crossover. Debuting at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad features new, butcher fascias, dark tinted exterior lighting, and special 19 inch wheels. Inside, the Crossroad gains standard black leather seats with accent stitching unique to the Crossroad trim. Also included is the 8.4 inch UConnect system, one of the best performing automotive infotainment systems in the market. Like all 2014 Dodge Journeys, the Crossroad is powered by your choice of 2.4 liter 4-cylinder or the 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 which produces a best for the class 283 horsepower and 260 ft-lb of torque. Even with all of that power, the Journey V6 is EPA rated for 25 mpg on the highway. All-Wheel-Drive on the Crossroad is optional. Dodge is positioning the Crossroad as a step between the mid-line SXT and the top of the line Limited models. Expected base price will be $24,995 plus destination fee. Dodge last updated the Journey for the 2011 model year with an all new interior. Our take: Dodge adds an attractive trim package to a gracefully aging crossover to keep things fresh a little while longer. Press release after the jump. Drew Dowdell is managing editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @Cheersngears New 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad to Debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show Journey Crossroad Gets Rugged Appearance; Available All-wheel-drive Capability Backs It Up New Journey Crossroad model features unique performance front and rear fascias, lower side sills, dark-tinted headlamps and tail lamps and unique 19-inch Hyper Black wheels, giving it a rugged, capable look Unique interior content loaded with premium finishes and features, including the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, new leather seat design with accent stitching and Liquid Graphite appliques Available award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and all-wheel-drive capability provide confidence in all driving conditions With a starting U. S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24,995 (excluding $995 destination), the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad will be available in Dodge dealerships this spring January 31, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Building on the Dodge Journey’s best sales year ever in 2013, the Dodge brand is introducing a new Journey model – the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad – at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. The new Journey Crossroad features distinctive new front and rear fascias, Platinum Chrome side sills and unique 19-inch Hyper Black aluminum wheels, giving the three-row, seven-passenger crossover a rugged, capable look. The interior is loaded with premium finishes and features, including the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, new leather seat design and Liquid Graphite appliques. "The Journey has always been Dodge's Swiss Army knife in the CUV segment, and with the new Journey Crossroad, we are expanding that flexibility by now offering three different exterior appearances," said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO — Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "The Journey Crossroad's rugged styling gives it a tough presence on the road; the available all-wheel drive system gives it the capability to back it up in a variety of bad weather driving conditions.” The new 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad is positioned between the SXT and Limited models in the Journey lineup. Journey Crossroad will start arriving in Dodge dealerships this spring with a starting U. S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24,995 (excluding $995 destination). New look, new features Dodge designers added several special exterior design cues to the Journey Crossroad that give it a distinct look in the lineup, including a new front fascia with a Platinum Chrome accent and Gloss Black grille and fog lamp surrounds, Platinum Chrome roof rails and unique extended side sills, black headlamp bezels, Gloss Black tail lamp bezels and a new lower rear fascia finished in Platinum Chrome and a “Crossroad” badge on the tailgate. Journey Crossroad also features unique 19-inch Hyper Black five-spoke aluminum wheels. Exterior colors for the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad include Pitch Black, Bright Silver Metallic, White, Copperhead Pearl, Fathom Blue Pearl, Granite Crystal Metallic, Pearl White Tri-Coat and Redline Red 2-coat Pearl. On the inside, the Journey Crossroad adds many unique interior touches, including new standard black leather seating with sport mesh inserts with Light Slate Grey accent stitching. Light Slate Grey accent stitching on the center armrest and door panels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, are standard equipment. A new Liquid Graphite finish is applied on the instrument panel, gauge cluster, center console, door pulls and steering wheel trim. The Dodge Journey Crossroad also comes standard with the class-exclusive 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, power front seat and a front passenger fold-flat seat with hidden storage bin under the seat cushion. The 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad offers levels of utility and refinement not typically found in the crossover market. Standard features such as power heated and foldaway mirrors, seven air bags, illuminated cup holders, Keyless Enter ‘n Go with push-button start and steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. Second- and third-row seats fold flat to create 67.6 cu. ft. of cargo space. Second-row seats recline and have available class-exclusive integrated child booster seats. There are also innovative removable storage bins in the floor ahead of the second-row seats that can hold everything from muddy clothes to soda cans, to concealing valuables like a camera, laptop or purse. With front passenger, second- and third-row fold-flat seats, second-row in-floor storage, and front passenger in-seat storage, Dodge Journey has best-in-class storage. Power and efficiency The Journey Crossroad is powered by a standard 2.4-liter 16-valve DOHC four-cylinder engine that produces 173 horsepower and 166 lb.-ft. of torque, linked to a four-speed automatic transmission. This four-cylinder engine delivers 26 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway. The award-winning available 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine on the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad produces a best-in-class 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. This Pentastar V-6 engine was recognized as a Ward’s “10 Best Engines” for 2012 and 2013. In addition to excellent power, it delivers up to 25 mpg on the highway. Both the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and available 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 powertrain deliver more than 500 miles of highway driving range. With a 5-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, owners can rest assured knowing their powerful and efficient Journey is well covered. Confidence in all driving conditions Backing up the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad’s rugged look is its available all-wheel-drive system, perfect for drivers who want extra grip for a more performance feel, or who live in the Snow Belt or rainy parts of the country and appreciate the extra traction Journey’s all-wheel drive system provides. Journey Crossroad’s all-wheel-drive system works on demand, driving only the front wheels to maximize fuel efficiency until power to the rear wheels is needed. All-wheel drive also is activated on dry pavement between speeds of 25 and 65 mph to enhance handling during performance driving. This system provides added traction on snow, ice and other low-traction surfaces without having to be switched on and off. When traveling faster than 25 mph, Dodge Journey’s all-wheel-drive system sends torque to the rear wheels when cornering with the throttle open to make the car turn more easily, which makes the handling more neutral. This is more readily accomplished with Journey’s electronically controlled coupling (ECC) than with viscous-coupling or gerotor systems that require some degree of front-to-rear slip before torque is transferred to the rear wheels. At speeds greater than 53 mph, the control strategy provides minimal torque to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions to provide better fuel economy. Dodge Journey features standard electronic stability control (ESC) and all-speed traction control, which help keep the crossover on path in a variety of road surface and weather conditions. Journey’s available all-wheel-drive electronic control module works with the ESC and traction control systems, allowing the ESC system to use the ECC to help gain control of the vehicle, reducing the amount of torque that the ECC transmits to the rear wheels. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes and electronic roll mitigation also are standard on all 2014 Dodge Journey models. More than 50 safety and security features Dodge Journey is loaded with an abundance of more than 50 safety and security features, including standard advanced multistage front passenger air bags, active head restraints, electronic stability control with all-speed traction control, electronic roll mitigation and Brake Assist, driver-side knee blocker air bag, side-curtain air bags covering all three rows, front seat-mounted side air bags, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, LATCH child seat anchor system and trailer-sway control. The Dodge Journey is built in Toluca, Mexico. For more information regarding the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad, please visit www.dodge.com/en/special-editions/journey-crossroad. About Dodge Brand The Dodge brand is tearing into its centennial year with a keen eye focused on the future and a desire to create vehicles customers t wait to drive and are proud to park in their driveways. With 100 years of history, Dodge is building on the technological advancements of 30s 40s, design evolution of 50s, the racing heritage of 60s, the horsepower of 70s, the efficiency of 80s and unbelievable styling of 90s as it paves the road to its future. New for 2014, the Dodge is kind of a big with a new eight-speed transmission that delivers up to 25 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway, a new 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment center and best-in-class power, towing, and driving range, in addition to its class-exclusive technology. The new Durango joins a stable that includes the new 2014 Dodge Dart with its breakthrough 2.4-liter 184-horsepower Tigershark engine, and the celebrated 2014 Dodge Avenger. Both earned 2014 Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Completing the 2014 Dodge lineup are the Challenger, Charger, Journey and 30th Anniversary Grand Caravan. The Dodge lineup features five vehicles with best-in-class power, seven vehicles that deliver 25 mpg or higher, three vehicles that deliver 31 mpg or higher and three vehicles that offer seating for seven.
  15. Nissan rolled out a pair vehicles today at the Chicago Auto Show that show a somewhat sporty side. The first is the 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR which is somewhat sporty-ish. The SR adds revised front fascia with smoked headlamps, standard foglamps, and black chrome accents. Along with the changes to front, the SR comes with a dark-finished sixteen-inch wheels, revised mirrors, side sills, and a new rear spoiler. The interior also gets some enhancements as well with a 370Z-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel, swede-like seats with orange accents, and piano black trim. Those hoping for an enhancement in power with SR will be disappointed. The Versa Note SR sticks with the 1.6L inline-four engine with 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with Nissan's Xtronic CVT. The Versa Note SR arrives sometime in the spring. Nissan's other showing gives us a possible sneak peek into what they possibly have in store for the next-generation Frontier. This is the Frontier Diesel Runner Concept and Nissan is using this concept to gauge consumer interest for a diesel engine in the next-generation Frontier. Taking a Frontier Desert Runner 4x2 as a starting point, Nissan and diesel partner, Cummins slips in a 2.8L four-cylinder diesel engine with nearly 200 horsepower and more than 350 pound-feet of torque. Paired with an eight-speed automatic, Nissan says the diesel engine boosts the Frontier's fuel economy by 35 percent when compared with the V6. Towing and payload would be roughly the same as the V6. There are some changes to the exterior such as a two-tone finish of high-gloss red and matte silver paired with carbon fiber trim and off-road wheels. Our Take: Nissan has gotten the sporty looks with the Versa Note SR. Now if they could only add some more power.. Like a 1.6L turbo-four. As for the Frontier Diesel Runner Concept, we wouldn't be surprised if the next-generation Frontier gets it. Especially if the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon Diesel start selling like hot cakes. Source: Nissan William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2015 NISSAN VERSA NOTE SR DEBUTS AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW – OFFERS UNIQUE SPORTY STYLING AND INTERIOR TREATMENTS One of two new trim levels, along with Versa Note SL, designed to expand equipment and feature choices for buyers of Nissan's popular sub-compact hatchback - Versa Note lineup grows to five trim levels for 2015, set to go on sale this spring - New models retain 40 miles per gallon highway fuel economy with standard 1.6-liter engine and Xtronic® transmission - New Versa Note SR adds sporty front and rear fascias and grille, unique rear spoiler, 16-inch sport aluminum-alloy wheels and exclusive interior enhancements - Versa Note SL includes standard NissanConnectTM smartphone integration for iOS and Android including Google™, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Facebook; NissanConnectTM Apps; Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant; and Divide–N-Hide® Adjustable Floor Nissan today provided an early preview of the 2015 Versa Note hatchback with the debut of the sporty new Versa Note SR. The new grade level is one of two new trims being added to the Versa Note lineup for its second year of production, along with the Versa Note SL. Both new grade levels go on sale this spring at Nissan dealers nationwide, joining the Versa Note S MT, S Plus CVT and SV CVT. Also for the 2015 model year, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System with steering wheel-mounted controls becomes standard across all trims of Versa Note. One new option package is also being introduced for 2015, the SR Convenience Package, and new content is added to the SV Convenience Package and SL Tech Package. Introduced in June 2013, the second-generation of the popular sub-compact 5-door Versa Note offers an exceptional combination of versatility, technology and value. It is designed to satisfy both the owners' emotional and rational needs with sleek styling and features like the first-in-class Around View® Monitor – all at an affordable price. "The new Versa Note SR and SL grades retain all of the favorite consumer attributes of the Versa Note S, S Plus and SV trim levels – while adding a sportier look and feel in the case of the SR, and more standard technology and convenience items with the SL," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "Now it's as easy to find the right combination of equipment in the showroom as it is to enjoy the Versa Note when you take it home." About the 2015 Versa Note SR The new Versa Note SR's standout styling starts with the modern, sculpted look of the second-generation Versa Note and adds a wide range of exclusive features. In front, a unique fascia and grille combine with a dark headlight treatment and standard fog lights with black and chrome accents to provide an aggressive, sporty character. Body-color side spoilers and redesigned side mirrors with integrated turn signals complement Versa Note's distinctive "squash line" side profile. The dynamic exterior look is capped off by a unique rear spoiler, SR badging and high-contrast machine-finished 16-inch sport aluminum-alloy wheels with dark paint mounted with 195/55R16 all-season tires. Versa Note SR interior enhancements include an exclusive 370Z-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel, suede-like fabric seats with sporty orange accents and double stitching, a redesigned piano black center instrument panel with silver accents and chrome knobs, and Euro-inspired Fine Vision triple-dial gauge cluster with floating trip computer. "The new Versa Note SR offers an even more powerful appearance than the other grade levels, blending a sporty, European-style energy with a distinctive, driver-focused cockpit," said Loing. "It's a great demonstration that vehicles in this segment can offer sporty style along with attributes such as high utility and fuel economy." Under the skin, the Versa Note SR builds on the foundation of the second-generation Versa Note, including an advanced 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine with dual fuel injection and Twin CVTC (Continuously Variable Timing Control) mated to a standard next-generation Nissan Xtronic® transmission. The engine is rated at 109 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm. EPA fuel economy for the front-wheel drive Versa Note SR is estimated at 40 mpg highway, 31 mpg city and 35 mpg combined. Excellent everyday drivability is provided by an independent strut front suspension with stabilizer bar, torsion beam rear axle with integrated stabilizer bar; electric power steering; and power-assisted front disc/rear drum brakes with standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. Like every 2015 Versa Note, the SR grade takes full advantage of Nissan's global "V" platform. It features a long 102.4-inch wheelbase helping maximize interior roominess, while short front and rear overhangs help provide parking maneuverability. The roomy five-passenger Versa Note SR interior provides 112.9 cubic feet of interior volume and 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Standard interior features include 6-way adjustable front bucket seats, Fine Vision instrumentation, AM/FM/CD/Aux-in audio system with 4 speakers, 12-volt power outlet, front door pockets with bottle holders, dual front and rear cupholders and front seatback pockets. Interior versatility is further enhanced through use of the innovative Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor, which is offered as part of the SR Convenience Package. Also available as part of the SR Convenience Package is the advanced NissanConnectTM system with a 5.0-inch color display, RearView Monitor, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant, USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately) and NissanConnectTM Apps (offering smartphone integration for Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio). The 2015 Versa Note SR is offered in eight exterior colors: Metallic Blue, Red Brick, Brilliant Silver, Magnetic Gray, Super Black, Aspen White, Metallic Peacock and MorningSky Blue – each matched with an interior with exclusive, sporty suede-like fabric interior. About the 2015 Versa Note SL Like the Versa Note SR, the Note SL offers an extensive list of features and equipment that are unexpected in the sub-compact hatchback segment. The list of standard comfort and convenience items includes fog lights, NissanConnectTM and NissanConnectTM Apps, 5.0-inch color display, RearView Monitor, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, variable intermittent front wiper, heated front seats, Nissan Intelligent KeyTM with Push Button Ignition, Easy Fill Tire Alert and SL badge. Standard safety and security systems on all 2015 Versa Note models include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) (includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags), front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS) and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with available Easy-Fill Tire Alert. "With a broader lineup for 2015 – and the standout style of the sporty new SR grade – we expect Versa Note to garner more attention and greater sales in the competitive entry-level hatchback segment," concluded Loing. "When we launched Versa Note last year we called it 'Your Door to More.' Now there are 'More' choices to enjoy." NISSAN PRESENTS FRONTIER DIESEL RUNNER POWERED BY CUMMINSTM PROJECT TRUCK AT 2014 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW • Project truck created to gauge consumer interest in a next-generation Frontier with a Cummins diesel engine • Concept builds upon Nissan's long heritage in innovative pickup trucks • Powered by a 2.8-liter Cummins turbo diesel with nearly 200 horsepower, more than 350 lb-ft of torque • Estimated fuel economy increases 35 percent over current Frontier V6 CHICAGO (Feb. 6, 2014) – Nissan is renewing its commitment to the mid-size pickup segment, long a part of its sales success in the United States, with the creation of the Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by CumminsTM. This project truck, based on a Frontier Desert Runner 4x2 model, serves to both gauge the market reaction to a Nissan mid-size pickup with a diesel engine and plot a potential future direction for the Frontier. The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins arrives a mere six months after the announcement of a partnership with Cummins Inc. to provide a 5.0-liter turbo diesel V8 in the next-generation Titan full-size pickup, which will arrive in calendar-year 2015. "Frontier continues to be a huge success story for us, with more than 60,000 units sold in 2013," said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing, Parts & Service, U.S.A, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). "Nissan has always valued the mid-size pickup segment, and with this technical study project, we are looking to explore what is possible for the next-generation Frontier. We are always looking for ways to engage our customers, innovate and take the segment in an evolutionary direction." At the heart of the Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins is a 2.8-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine designed to meet or exceed future emissions standards. As adapted for use in this truck, the engine produces nearly 200 horsepower and more than 350 lb-ft. of torque, while increasing fuel economy 35 percent over a V6-powered two-wheel drive 2014 Frontier. Backed by a ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic transmission, the two-wheel drive diesel Frontier maintains, and even increases, the usability of a Frontier truck. Along with the mileage increase, payload and towing capacity are expected to be in range of that offered by the V6-powered Frontier. While not a "plug-and-play" engine and transmission installation, many of the Frontier Diesel Runner project's key components, from the body to wiring harnesses to the radiator and more are from a production 2014 Desert Runner. Collaboration between Nissan and Cummins stems back to a U.S. Department of Energy project called "ATLAS" (Advanced Technology Light Automotive Systems) which began in 2010. Over the course of "ATLAS," Cummins installed 4-cylinder engines into two Nissan Titan trucks as an ongoing platform for research on the next-generation of 4-cylinder automotive clean diesel engines. Research compiled during the "ATLAS" program helped to shape the Cummins engine used in the current project. "We've been building pickup trucks in the U.S. for more than 30 years and selling them here for even longer than that, even offering 4-cylinder diesel in our U.S. pickup truck in the 1980s," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, NNA. "With this Frontier Diesel Runner project truck, we can reflect on our extensive heritage while also looking to the future and the changing demands of mid-size pickup buyers." The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins was designed by Nissan Design America in San Diego, CA in conjunction with Nissan Global Design Center in Atsugi, Japan. Exterior modifications include a custom paint treatment that mixes three elements: a bright high-gloss "Arrest Me Red" color inspired by Cummins' engine red; a raw "Matte Silver" color created to express the steel body-on-frame Frontier chassis foundation; and carbon fiber and carbon fiber film accents to signify the truck's outstanding performance and efficiency. Along with carbon film-coated features such as the chin spoiler, mesh grille, roof rack, aerodynamic full-bed tonneau cover and tailgate spoiler, the hood of the vehicle draws special attention. A partially transparent acrylic hood insert serves as a window to the engine bay, where all powertrain-related elements continue the red theme. The special carbon fiber engine cover, seen through the hood insert, features an oversize Cummins logo, with a red center, black carbon sides and hidden illumination. "Cummins Turbo Diesel badges" are also recessed into both front fenders. The 16-inch wheels, borrowed from a Frontier PRO-4X, have been treated with a special two-tone paint – Arrest Me Red for the rear wheels and Silver in front, each accented by satin black paint. The brake calipers have also been custom painted in contrasting colors - red front and silver rear. The Frontier Diesel Runner's interior mirrors the silver and red exterior design, with red accents throughout and carbon-trimmed seats and panels. The front and rear seats feature carbon-print leather appointments with grey accent stitching and black-on-black "Tracks" embroidery. The carbon film-wrapped instrument panel is highlighted by red-tinted gauges and a special black-faced diesel-specific three-gauge pod on top of the C-cluster. Completing the interior enhancements are embroidered floor mats and theme-colored shifter knob and steering wheel. The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins will be showcased throughout the consumer days of the 2014 Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place, Chicago. Nissan and Cummins have also built a separate development vehicle that is currently undergoing rigorous real-world testing. "We hope consumers in Chicago and across the U.S. will let us know what they think of the prospects of a diesel engine in this segment," Loing added. KEY SPECIFICATIONS Engine Cummins 2.8-liter turbo diesel Horsepower Approximately 200 Torque More than 350 lb-ft Transmission ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic Axle ratio (:1) 3.13
  16. Nissan rolled out a pair vehicles today at the Chicago Auto Show that show a somewhat sporty side. The first is the 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR which is somewhat sporty-ish. The SR adds revised front fascia with smoked headlamps, standard foglamps, and black chrome accents. Along with the changes to front, the SR comes with a dark-finished sixteen-inch wheels, revised mirrors, side sills, and a new rear spoiler. The interior also gets some enhancements as well with a 370Z-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel, swede-like seats with orange accents, and piano black trim. Those hoping for an enhancement in power with SR will be disappointed. The Versa Note SR sticks with the 1.6L inline-four engine with 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with Nissan's Xtronic CVT. The Versa Note SR arrives sometime in the spring. Nissan's other showing gives us a possible sneak peek into what they possibly have in store for the next-generation Frontier. This is the Frontier Diesel Runner Concept and Nissan is using this concept to gauge consumer interest for a diesel engine in the next-generation Frontier. Taking a Frontier Desert Runner 4x2 as a starting point, Nissan and diesel partner, Cummins slips in a 2.8L four-cylinder diesel engine with nearly 200 horsepower and more than 350 pound-feet of torque. Paired with an eight-speed automatic, Nissan says the diesel engine boosts the Frontier's fuel economy by 35 percent when compared with the V6. Towing and payload would be roughly the same as the V6. There are some changes to the exterior such as a two-tone finish of high-gloss red and matte silver paired with carbon fiber trim and off-road wheels. Our Take: Nissan has gotten the sporty looks with the Versa Note SR. Now if they could only add some more power.. Like a 1.6L turbo-four. As for the Frontier Diesel Runner Concept, we wouldn't be surprised if the next-generation Frontier gets it. Especially if the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon Diesel start selling like hot cakes. Source: Nissan William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2015 NISSAN VERSA NOTE SR DEBUTS AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW – OFFERS UNIQUE SPORTY STYLING AND INTERIOR TREATMENTS One of two new trim levels, along with Versa Note SL, designed to expand equipment and feature choices for buyers of Nissan's popular sub-compact hatchback - Versa Note lineup grows to five trim levels for 2015, set to go on sale this spring - New models retain 40 miles per gallon highway fuel economy with standard 1.6-liter engine and Xtronic® transmission - New Versa Note SR adds sporty front and rear fascias and grille, unique rear spoiler, 16-inch sport aluminum-alloy wheels and exclusive interior enhancements - Versa Note SL includes standard NissanConnectTM smartphone integration for iOS and Android including Google™, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Facebook; NissanConnectTM Apps; Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant; and Divide–N-Hide® Adjustable Floor Nissan today provided an early preview of the 2015 Versa Note hatchback with the debut of the sporty new Versa Note SR. The new grade level is one of two new trims being added to the Versa Note lineup for its second year of production, along with the Versa Note SL. Both new grade levels go on sale this spring at Nissan dealers nationwide, joining the Versa Note S MT, S Plus CVT and SV CVT. Also for the 2015 model year, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System with steering wheel-mounted controls becomes standard across all trims of Versa Note. One new option package is also being introduced for 2015, the SR Convenience Package, and new content is added to the SV Convenience Package and SL Tech Package. Introduced in June 2013, the second-generation of the popular sub-compact 5-door Versa Note offers an exceptional combination of versatility, technology and value. It is designed to satisfy both the owners' emotional and rational needs with sleek styling and features like the first-in-class Around View® Monitor – all at an affordable price. "The new Versa Note SR and SL grades retain all of the favorite consumer attributes of the Versa Note S, S Plus and SV trim levels – while adding a sportier look and feel in the case of the SR, and more standard technology and convenience items with the SL," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "Now it's as easy to find the right combination of equipment in the showroom as it is to enjoy the Versa Note when you take it home." About the 2015 Versa Note SR The new Versa Note SR's standout styling starts with the modern, sculpted look of the second-generation Versa Note and adds a wide range of exclusive features. In front, a unique fascia and grille combine with a dark headlight treatment and standard fog lights with black and chrome accents to provide an aggressive, sporty character. Body-color side spoilers and redesigned side mirrors with integrated turn signals complement Versa Note's distinctive "squash line" side profile. The dynamic exterior look is capped off by a unique rear spoiler, SR badging and high-contrast machine-finished 16-inch sport aluminum-alloy wheels with dark paint mounted with 195/55R16 all-season tires. Versa Note SR interior enhancements include an exclusive 370Z-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel, suede-like fabric seats with sporty orange accents and double stitching, a redesigned piano black center instrument panel with silver accents and chrome knobs, and Euro-inspired Fine Vision triple-dial gauge cluster with floating trip computer. "The new Versa Note SR offers an even more powerful appearance than the other grade levels, blending a sporty, European-style energy with a distinctive, driver-focused cockpit," said Loing. "It's a great demonstration that vehicles in this segment can offer sporty style along with attributes such as high utility and fuel economy." Under the skin, the Versa Note SR builds on the foundation of the second-generation Versa Note, including an advanced 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine with dual fuel injection and Twin CVTC (Continuously Variable Timing Control) mated to a standard next-generation Nissan Xtronic® transmission. The engine is rated at 109 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm. EPA fuel economy for the front-wheel drive Versa Note SR is estimated at 40 mpg highway, 31 mpg city and 35 mpg combined. Excellent everyday drivability is provided by an independent strut front suspension with stabilizer bar, torsion beam rear axle with integrated stabilizer bar; electric power steering; and power-assisted front disc/rear drum brakes with standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. Like every 2015 Versa Note, the SR grade takes full advantage of Nissan's global "V" platform. It features a long 102.4-inch wheelbase helping maximize interior roominess, while short front and rear overhangs help provide parking maneuverability. The roomy five-passenger Versa Note SR interior provides 112.9 cubic feet of interior volume and 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Standard interior features include 6-way adjustable front bucket seats, Fine Vision instrumentation, AM/FM/CD/Aux-in audio system with 4 speakers, 12-volt power outlet, front door pockets with bottle holders, dual front and rear cupholders and front seatback pockets. Interior versatility is further enhanced through use of the innovative Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor, which is offered as part of the SR Convenience Package. Also available as part of the SR Convenience Package is the advanced NissanConnectTM system with a 5.0-inch color display, RearView Monitor, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant, USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately) and NissanConnectTM Apps (offering smartphone integration for Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio). The 2015 Versa Note SR is offered in eight exterior colors: Metallic Blue, Red Brick, Brilliant Silver, Magnetic Gray, Super Black, Aspen White, Metallic Peacock and MorningSky Blue – each matched with an interior with exclusive, sporty suede-like fabric interior. About the 2015 Versa Note SL Like the Versa Note SR, the Note SL offers an extensive list of features and equipment that are unexpected in the sub-compact hatchback segment. The list of standard comfort and convenience items includes fog lights, NissanConnectTM and NissanConnectTM Apps, 5.0-inch color display, RearView Monitor, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, variable intermittent front wiper, heated front seats, Nissan Intelligent KeyTM with Push Button Ignition, Easy Fill Tire Alert and SL badge. Standard safety and security systems on all 2015 Versa Note models include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) (includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags), front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS) and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with available Easy-Fill Tire Alert. "With a broader lineup for 2015 – and the standout style of the sporty new SR grade – we expect Versa Note to garner more attention and greater sales in the competitive entry-level hatchback segment," concluded Loing. "When we launched Versa Note last year we called it 'Your Door to More.' Now there are 'More' choices to enjoy." NISSAN PRESENTS FRONTIER DIESEL RUNNER POWERED BY CUMMINSTM PROJECT TRUCK AT 2014 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW • Project truck created to gauge consumer interest in a next-generation Frontier with a Cummins diesel engine • Concept builds upon Nissan's long heritage in innovative pickup trucks • Powered by a 2.8-liter Cummins turbo diesel with nearly 200 horsepower, more than 350 lb-ft of torque • Estimated fuel economy increases 35 percent over current Frontier V6 CHICAGO (Feb. 6, 2014) – Nissan is renewing its commitment to the mid-size pickup segment, long a part of its sales success in the United States, with the creation of the Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by CumminsTM. This project truck, based on a Frontier Desert Runner 4x2 model, serves to both gauge the market reaction to a Nissan mid-size pickup with a diesel engine and plot a potential future direction for the Frontier. The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins arrives a mere six months after the announcement of a partnership with Cummins Inc. to provide a 5.0-liter turbo diesel V8 in the next-generation Titan full-size pickup, which will arrive in calendar-year 2015. "Frontier continues to be a huge success story for us, with more than 60,000 units sold in 2013," said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing, Parts & Service, U.S.A, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). "Nissan has always valued the mid-size pickup segment, and with this technical study project, we are looking to explore what is possible for the next-generation Frontier. We are always looking for ways to engage our customers, innovate and take the segment in an evolutionary direction." At the heart of the Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins is a 2.8-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine designed to meet or exceed future emissions standards. As adapted for use in this truck, the engine produces nearly 200 horsepower and more than 350 lb-ft. of torque, while increasing fuel economy 35 percent over a V6-powered two-wheel drive 2014 Frontier. Backed by a ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic transmission, the two-wheel drive diesel Frontier maintains, and even increases, the usability of a Frontier truck. Along with the mileage increase, payload and towing capacity are expected to be in range of that offered by the V6-powered Frontier. While not a "plug-and-play" engine and transmission installation, many of the Frontier Diesel Runner project's key components, from the body to wiring harnesses to the radiator and more are from a production 2014 Desert Runner. Collaboration between Nissan and Cummins stems back to a U.S. Department of Energy project called "ATLAS" (Advanced Technology Light Automotive Systems) which began in 2010. Over the course of "ATLAS," Cummins installed 4-cylinder engines into two Nissan Titan trucks as an ongoing platform for research on the next-generation of 4-cylinder automotive clean diesel engines. Research compiled during the "ATLAS" program helped to shape the Cummins engine used in the current project. "We've been building pickup trucks in the U.S. for more than 30 years and selling them here for even longer than that, even offering 4-cylinder diesel in our U.S. pickup truck in the 1980s," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, NNA. "With this Frontier Diesel Runner project truck, we can reflect on our extensive heritage while also looking to the future and the changing demands of mid-size pickup buyers." The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins was designed by Nissan Design America in San Diego, CA in conjunction with Nissan Global Design Center in Atsugi, Japan. Exterior modifications include a custom paint treatment that mixes three elements: a bright high-gloss "Arrest Me Red" color inspired by Cummins' engine red; a raw "Matte Silver" color created to express the steel body-on-frame Frontier chassis foundation; and carbon fiber and carbon fiber film accents to signify the truck's outstanding performance and efficiency. Along with carbon film-coated features such as the chin spoiler, mesh grille, roof rack, aerodynamic full-bed tonneau cover and tailgate spoiler, the hood of the vehicle draws special attention. A partially transparent acrylic hood insert serves as a window to the engine bay, where all powertrain-related elements continue the red theme. The special carbon fiber engine cover, seen through the hood insert, features an oversize Cummins logo, with a red center, black carbon sides and hidden illumination. "Cummins Turbo Diesel badges" are also recessed into both front fenders. The 16-inch wheels, borrowed from a Frontier PRO-4X, have been treated with a special two-tone paint – Arrest Me Red for the rear wheels and Silver in front, each accented by satin black paint. The brake calipers have also been custom painted in contrasting colors - red front and silver rear. The Frontier Diesel Runner's interior mirrors the silver and red exterior design, with red accents throughout and carbon-trimmed seats and panels. The front and rear seats feature carbon-print leather appointments with grey accent stitching and black-on-black "Tracks" embroidery. The carbon film-wrapped instrument panel is highlighted by red-tinted gauges and a special black-faced diesel-specific three-gauge pod on top of the C-cluster. Completing the interior enhancements are embroidered floor mats and theme-colored shifter knob and steering wheel. The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins will be showcased throughout the consumer days of the 2014 Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place, Chicago. Nissan and Cummins have also built a separate development vehicle that is currently undergoing rigorous real-world testing. "We hope consumers in Chicago and across the U.S. will let us know what they think of the prospects of a diesel engine in this segment," Loing added. KEY SPECIFICATIONS Engine Cummins 2.8-liter turbo diesel Horsepower Approximately 200 Torque More than 350 lb-ft Transmission ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic Axle ratio (:1) 3.13 View full article
  17. At the Chicago Auto Show, Kia unveiled the coming electric version of their Soul model. Kia claims the Soul EV will have an 80 to 100 mile range while packing one of the most energy dense batteries on the market. Producing 27kWh, the Soul EV's battery has a 200 watt hour per kilogram rating. A fully depleted Soul EV will take 24 hours to fully recharge on a standard 120v wall outlet while taking 5 hours to recharge on a 240v power source. An 80 percent charge can be achieved in 33 minutes when plugged in to a 50 kW output charger. The Soul EV can recapture up to 13% of its kinetic energy through brake regeneration. The battery in the Soul EV is located under the floor making interior intrusion minimal with only a 3.1 inch reduction in rear seat headroom. With the location of the battery being so low, it lowers the center of gravity in the car making for a more solid handling feel. In spite of Kia's current mascot, the Soul EV doesn't have just hamsters under the hood. The Soul EV produces 210 lb-ft of torque and 109 horsepower with 0-60 time in the 12 second range. Our Take: Kia's first entry comes a couple years after the competition, but it doesn't make any advancement in battery range. Press Release after the jump. Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @CheersnGears SOUL EV LIGHTS UP 2014 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW Kia’s First Mass Market Electric Vehicle Makes World Debut in the Windy City New 2015 Kia Soul EV offers an expected 80-100 miles of range State-of-the-art 27kWh lithium polymer battery has 200 Wh/kg energy density EV-specific version of UVO eServices1 includes downloadable apps, EV charger locations and more CHICAGO, February 6, 2014– Set to the sounds of soulful electrified blues music, Kia Motors America (KMA) today hosted the global unveiling of the 2015 Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show. Scheduled to go on sale in the third quarter of 2014, the Soul EV will be Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions car sold in the U.S. and expands the brand’s line of environmentally conscious vehicles. The Soul EV joined the refreshed 2014 Optima Hybrid on stage along with the Niro hybrid concept, illustrating Kia’s intent to lead the industry in providing technologically advanced vehicles that also reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources. Kia’s eco-friendly commitment was further underscored when Underwriters Laboratory (UL)1 honored the Soul EV with the organization’s first automotive environmental validation for its integration of more than 20 bio-friendly materials. The new Soul EV is at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program and will offer an even more environmentally friendly option to our customers when it goes on sale later this year,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “The Soul EV retains the fun and funky style as well as the packaging efficiency and utility that have made the gasoline-powered Soul such a huge hit with consumers. And to that winning combination it adds useable real-world range and multiple charging options, making it the perfect EV for everyone.” The Soul EV will initially be sold in California and Oregon in the West and several Eastern states including New York, New Jersey and Maryland, the regions with the largest EV markets and infrastructure. KMA will look to offer the vehicle in other markets in the near future as infrastructure and demand grow. Pricing for the Soul EV will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch. High Energy Density Battery and Usable Power A top concern for EV buyers has commonly been range anxiety. The Soul EV addresses this issue by utilizing a highly energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery. Located beneath the floor, the 27kWh, air-cooled, 200 watt-hour/kg battery is expected to yield a range of approximately 80-100 miles of real-world driving on a full charge, with internal testing and evaluation results exceeding 100 miles in some instances. The 360 volt 96-cell lithium-ion polymer battery has been engineered for high capacity, thermal stability and safety. Accordingly, the battery features a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, which helps increase capacity, and a graphite-based anode, which increases durability while reducing weight. Additionally, the cells use a gel electrolyte, and each cell contains ceramic separators to significantly improve thermal stability and safety. In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the Soul EV uses Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system to capture up to 12 percent of the car’s kinetic energy, which is fed back into the battery while the Soul EV is coasting and braking. Soul EV owners can choose between four different regeneration modes: “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “Off,” and “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “On” (the “Brake” setting with Eco-mode “On” producing the most regeneration). The Soul EV makes charging easy by plugging into any standard 120v outlet or a conventional 240v EV charger. Two charging ports are standard, including a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC, and a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port (480v). Found behind a sliding door located in the front grille, the dual ports offer flexibility and increase the Soul EV’s go-anywhere appeal, making it more convenient to charge inside the owner’s garage or when on the road. Recharging times vary from 24 hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 120-volt outlet and under five hours when plugged into a 240-volt outlet. An 80-percent charge can be achieved in as little as 33 minutes with a 50 kW-output charger. Kia has partnered with three charger providers – Bosch, Leviton and AeroVironment™ – which give Soul EV buyers an opportunity to select the unit best suited to their in-home needs. Additionally, Kia retailers who sell the Soul EV will offer charging at no cost to Soul EV owners, making charging even more convenient. The front-wheel drive Soul EV is powered by an 81.4 kW, 109-hp electric motor, producing a generous 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The liquid-cooled AC synchronous permanent magnet motor uses multi-layer magnets to help improve efficiency and reduce the whine that’s commonly experienced with other electric vehicles. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single-speed constant-ratio gear reduction unit. Acceleration from 0-60 mph is expected to take fewer than 12 seconds with a top speed electronically limited to approximately 90 mph. The battery’s location beneath the floor offers the stable feel of a lower center of gravity, which helps ride and handling and ensures that the EV remains true to the Soul’s fun-to-drive reputation. Additional cross bracing beneath the low-mounted battery contributes to a 5.9 percent improvement in torsional rigidity over the gasoline-powered Soul. Improved aerodynamics and the absence of engine noise, combined with special sound-proofing materials, result in an exceptionally quiet ride. For the benefit of pedestrian safety, the Soul EV is equipped with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an auditory alert at speeds below 12 mph and whenever the car is in reverse. Minimal Battery Intrusion The Soul EV offers plenty of space inside the cabin thanks to minimal battery intrusion. Because of the battery’s flat design and location beneath the floor, there is only a slight 3.1-inch reduction to rear seat leg room (from 39.1 to 36 inches) from the non-EV Soul, yet Soul EV still offers more rear seat leg room than other key EV competitors. Rear shoulder and hip room remain unchanged from the gasoline-powered Soul, making Soul EV one of the roomiest in the segment. Rear cargo space is minimally impacted (reduced 5.1 cu.-ft. to 19.1) as the space under the cargo floor is utilized for the battery cooling fan and storage of the standard 120v portable charger. Uniquely Designed Inside and Out The Soul’s bold exterior design is also found on the EV. From the “floating” roof to the greenhouse that makes the car look like it is wearing wraparound sunglasses, the EV’s look is inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept and retains the iconic square-shouldered broad stance of the original Soul. Initially, the Soul EV will be offered in three color choices: Pearl White lower body with Electronic Blue roof, Caribbean Blue lower body with Clear White roof, and Bright Silver with Clear White roof. The signature two-tone paint theme is exclusive to the EV and was inspired by a similar treatment seen on the Track’ster. The EV-exclusive front fascia utilizes a larger grille to accommodate the charging ports, and other unique exterior Soul EV design features include color accent trim in the front and rear fascias, projector headlights, LED positioning lamps, and LED tail lights. “Eco Electric” fender badging replaces the “Soul” fender garnish found on the gasoline-powered car, and the Soul EV gets its own set of distinctive 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped with specially engineered Super Low Rolling Resistance (SLRR) tires that offer 10 percent less resistance than standard low rolling resistance tires, helping to improve range. When launched in 2014, the all-new Soul was lauded for its premium interior and significantly reduced levels of NVH. The Soul EV will be instantly recognizable for these same qualities. Like its gasoline-powered sibling, a circular theme pervades the cabin and is a pleasing contrast to the exterior’s angular good looks. Inside, the Soul EV sets itself further apart from its gasoline-powered sibling with bright white accent trim on the center console, instrument panel and door panels, lending a light and modern feel to the passenger space. Distinguished by Kia’s most extensive use of bio-based materials, the Soul EV has received UL’s first ever automotive environmental claim validation for its 10.9 lbs. of bio-based organic content in interior plastic. Front and center is the use of BTX-free paint on the audio system surround, vent bezel and the floor console. Bio-based plastics derived from cellulose and sugar cane are found in many places within the cabin, including the door panels, headliner, seat trim, roof pillars and carpeting. In all, organic, bio-based materials are used in 19 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. Separate from the bio-based content validation, extensive use of antibacterial materials also help to keep the cabin clean and are found on the gear selector, audio and HVAC controls, instrument panel switchgear and the floor-mounted center console. Combined, eco-friendly materials are used in 23 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. The Soul EV features exclusive interior color options that perfectly complement the exterior. Two interior seating materials will be offered: Standard eco-friendly cloth or optional leather. Both are gray with offsetting blue stitching on the cloth seats and blue piping on the leather seats. Additional blue stitching is found on the steering wheel and center console armrest. Standard Soul EV amenities include navigation, Rear Camera Display2, Bluetooth®3 hands free operation, power windows, power driver’s seat, cruise control, 6.6kW on-board charger and an exclusive HVAC system designed to extend driving range by minimizing energy draw. Air conditioning is one of the largest energy drains in any electric vehicle, but the Soul EV’s HVAC system is designed to provide optimum comfort while also helping to extend the car’s range by minimizing energy use. The Soul EV uses four key technologies to maximize HVAC efficiency: an available heat pump (optional on Base, standard on “+”), individual ventilation, scheduled ventilation, and air intake control. The heat pump and surplus heat recovered from the Soul EV’s electrical systems help heat cabin air. Individual ventilation allows selection of “Driver Only,” which stops airflow to the passenger side front dash and floor vents and the floor vents for the rear passenger compartment, thereby focusing airflow on the driver and reducing the amount of energy needed to reach a comfortable interior temperature. Scheduled ventilation reduces EV energy use by pre-heating or cooling the passenger compartment prior to starting the car, while it is still plugged into a charger. Air intake control regulates inner and outer air flow to minimize HVAC usage, regulating interior temperature by carefully managing recirculated cabin air. Forward Thinking Technology Available at no cost for the first five years of ownership, UVO EV Services, a special version of Kia’s award-winning telematics and infotainment system, is put to even greater use in the Soul EV. Utilizing an embedded connectivity solution powered by the Verizon network and an integral smartphone app, UVO EV Services provides owners with an innovative, real-time, in-vehicle connectivity experience that includes navigation and added convenience features specifically tailored for the Soul EV that will help owners stay informed as to their vehicle’s charging status while on the go. UVO EV Services provides real-time battery-level status, distance to empty, and the ability to search for nearby charging stations. Also, via the UVO EV app, owners can preset charging time and charging level ratios, as well as precondition the vehicle cabin with remote control of the HVAC presets. Preconditioning the vehicle moderates cabin temperature in advance, helping reduce battery draw once the Soul EV is uncoupled from the charging station. At a glance, UVO will also update EV owners of their CO2 savings and their relative positive impact on the environment. Introduced for the first time on the Soul EV, UVO EV Services includes downloadable apps that reside on the Soul EV’s standard 8-inch capacitive-touch navigation screen. EV owners may download Yelp®4, the online urban city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, relax and play. Soul EV owners will also enjoy iHeartRadio, the free, all-in-one digital radio service that lets customers listen to their favorite live stations or create their own commercial-free, all-music custom stations. Sound Hound, which is also available and accessible through the touch screen, listens to what’s playing and displays all related information such as lyrics, the artist, title and album cover art. Arriving with a five-year complimentary subscription to SiriusXM™5 Data Services and Travel Link, the Soul EV has access to charging stations and travel information such as road conditions, weather and security alerts as well as sports scores, movie times and stock prices through the screen’s graphical interface and electronic program guide. The Soul EV also features Kia’s first use of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. Low energy consumption and virtually no heat build-up make OLED perfect for an electric-vehicle application. Found within the Soul EV’s exclusive Supervision instrument cluster, the 3.5-inch OLED screen is crystal clear and provides information on the vehicle’s energy flow, charging time, ECO driving level and energy economy, which measures how efficiently the battery is operating. Additionally, the OLED screen provides a three-stage alert for the Soul EV’s State of Charge (SOC), which allows the driver to quickly decipher how much charge remains within the battery and when it’s time to plug in to a charging unit.
  18. At the Chicago Auto Show, Kia unveiled the coming electric version of their Soul model. Kia claims the Soul EV will have an 80 to 100 mile range while packing one of the most energy dense batteries on the market. Producing 27kWh, the Soul EV's battery has a 200 watt hour per kilogram rating. A fully depleted Soul EV will take 24 hours to fully recharge on a standard 120v wall outlet while taking 5 hours to recharge on a 240v power source. An 80 percent charge can be achieved in 33 minutes when plugged in to a 50 kW output charger. The Soul EV can recapture up to 13% of its kinetic energy through brake regeneration. The battery in the Soul EV is located under the floor making interior intrusion minimal with only a 3.1 inch reduction in rear seat headroom. With the location of the battery being so low, it lowers the center of gravity in the car making for a more solid handling feel. In spite of Kia's current mascot, the Soul EV doesn't have just hamsters under the hood. The Soul EV produces 210 lb-ft of torque and 109 horsepower with 0-60 time in the 12 second range. Our Take: Kia's first entry comes a couple years after the competition, but it doesn't make any advancement in battery range. Press Release after the jump. Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @CheersnGears SOUL EV LIGHTS UP 2014 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW Kia’s First Mass Market Electric Vehicle Makes World Debut in the Windy City New 2015 Kia Soul EV offers an expected 80-100 miles of range State-of-the-art 27kWh lithium polymer battery has 200 Wh/kg energy density EV-specific version of UVO eServices1 includes downloadable apps, EV charger locations and more CHICAGO, February 6, 2014– Set to the sounds of soulful electrified blues music, Kia Motors America (KMA) today hosted the global unveiling of the 2015 Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show. Scheduled to go on sale in the third quarter of 2014, the Soul EV will be Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions car sold in the U.S. and expands the brand’s line of environmentally conscious vehicles. The Soul EV joined the refreshed 2014 Optima Hybrid on stage along with the Niro hybrid concept, illustrating Kia’s intent to lead the industry in providing technologically advanced vehicles that also reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources. Kia’s eco-friendly commitment was further underscored when Underwriters Laboratory (UL)1 honored the Soul EV with the organization’s first automotive environmental validation for its integration of more than 20 bio-friendly materials. The new Soul EV is at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program and will offer an even more environmentally friendly option to our customers when it goes on sale later this year,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “The Soul EV retains the fun and funky style as well as the packaging efficiency and utility that have made the gasoline-powered Soul such a huge hit with consumers. And to that winning combination it adds useable real-world range and multiple charging options, making it the perfect EV for everyone.” The Soul EV will initially be sold in California and Oregon in the West and several Eastern states including New York, New Jersey and Maryland, the regions with the largest EV markets and infrastructure. KMA will look to offer the vehicle in other markets in the near future as infrastructure and demand grow. Pricing for the Soul EV will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch. High Energy Density Battery and Usable Power A top concern for EV buyers has commonly been range anxiety. The Soul EV addresses this issue by utilizing a highly energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery. Located beneath the floor, the 27kWh, air-cooled, 200 watt-hour/kg battery is expected to yield a range of approximately 80-100 miles of real-world driving on a full charge, with internal testing and evaluation results exceeding 100 miles in some instances. The 360 volt 96-cell lithium-ion polymer battery has been engineered for high capacity, thermal stability and safety. Accordingly, the battery features a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, which helps increase capacity, and a graphite-based anode, which increases durability while reducing weight. Additionally, the cells use a gel electrolyte, and each cell contains ceramic separators to significantly improve thermal stability and safety. In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the Soul EV uses Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system to capture up to 12 percent of the car’s kinetic energy, which is fed back into the battery while the Soul EV is coasting and braking. Soul EV owners can choose between four different regeneration modes: “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “Off,” and “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “On” (the “Brake” setting with Eco-mode “On” producing the most regeneration). The Soul EV makes charging easy by plugging into any standard 120v outlet or a conventional 240v EV charger. Two charging ports are standard, including a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC, and a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port (480v). Found behind a sliding door located in the front grille, the dual ports offer flexibility and increase the Soul EV’s go-anywhere appeal, making it more convenient to charge inside the owner’s garage or when on the road. Recharging times vary from 24 hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 120-volt outlet and under five hours when plugged into a 240-volt outlet. An 80-percent charge can be achieved in as little as 33 minutes with a 50 kW-output charger. Kia has partnered with three charger providers – Bosch, Leviton and AeroVironment™ – which give Soul EV buyers an opportunity to select the unit best suited to their in-home needs. Additionally, Kia retailers who sell the Soul EV will offer charging at no cost to Soul EV owners, making charging even more convenient. The front-wheel drive Soul EV is powered by an 81.4 kW, 109-hp electric motor, producing a generous 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The liquid-cooled AC synchronous permanent magnet motor uses multi-layer magnets to help improve efficiency and reduce the whine that’s commonly experienced with other electric vehicles. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single-speed constant-ratio gear reduction unit. Acceleration from 0-60 mph is expected to take fewer than 12 seconds with a top speed electronically limited to approximately 90 mph. The battery’s location beneath the floor offers the stable feel of a lower center of gravity, which helps ride and handling and ensures that the EV remains true to the Soul’s fun-to-drive reputation. Additional cross bracing beneath the low-mounted battery contributes to a 5.9 percent improvement in torsional rigidity over the gasoline-powered Soul. Improved aerodynamics and the absence of engine noise, combined with special sound-proofing materials, result in an exceptionally quiet ride. For the benefit of pedestrian safety, the Soul EV is equipped with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an auditory alert at speeds below 12 mph and whenever the car is in reverse. Minimal Battery Intrusion The Soul EV offers plenty of space inside the cabin thanks to minimal battery intrusion. Because of the battery’s flat design and location beneath the floor, there is only a slight 3.1-inch reduction to rear seat leg room (from 39.1 to 36 inches) from the non-EV Soul, yet Soul EV still offers more rear seat leg room than other key EV competitors. Rear shoulder and hip room remain unchanged from the gasoline-powered Soul, making Soul EV one of the roomiest in the segment. Rear cargo space is minimally impacted (reduced 5.1 cu.-ft. to 19.1) as the space under the cargo floor is utilized for the battery cooling fan and storage of the standard 120v portable charger. Uniquely Designed Inside and Out The Soul’s bold exterior design is also found on the EV. From the “floating” roof to the greenhouse that makes the car look like it is wearing wraparound sunglasses, the EV’s look is inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept and retains the iconic square-shouldered broad stance of the original Soul. Initially, the Soul EV will be offered in three color choices: Pearl White lower body with Electronic Blue roof, Caribbean Blue lower body with Clear White roof, and Bright Silver with Clear White roof. The signature two-tone paint theme is exclusive to the EV and was inspired by a similar treatment seen on the Track’ster. The EV-exclusive front fascia utilizes a larger grille to accommodate the charging ports, and other unique exterior Soul EV design features include color accent trim in the front and rear fascias, projector headlights, LED positioning lamps, and LED tail lights. “Eco Electric” fender badging replaces the “Soul” fender garnish found on the gasoline-powered car, and the Soul EV gets its own set of distinctive 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped with specially engineered Super Low Rolling Resistance (SLRR) tires that offer 10 percent less resistance than standard low rolling resistance tires, helping to improve range. When launched in 2014, the all-new Soul was lauded for its premium interior and significantly reduced levels of NVH. The Soul EV will be instantly recognizable for these same qualities. Like its gasoline-powered sibling, a circular theme pervades the cabin and is a pleasing contrast to the exterior’s angular good looks. Inside, the Soul EV sets itself further apart from its gasoline-powered sibling with bright white accent trim on the center console, instrument panel and door panels, lending a light and modern feel to the passenger space. Distinguished by Kia’s most extensive use of bio-based materials, the Soul EV has received UL’s first ever automotive environmental claim validation for its 10.9 lbs. of bio-based organic content in interior plastic. Front and center is the use of BTX-free paint on the audio system surround, vent bezel and the floor console. Bio-based plastics derived from cellulose and sugar cane are found in many places within the cabin, including the door panels, headliner, seat trim, roof pillars and carpeting. In all, organic, bio-based materials are used in 19 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. Separate from the bio-based content validation, extensive use of antibacterial materials also help to keep the cabin clean and are found on the gear selector, audio and HVAC controls, instrument panel switchgear and the floor-mounted center console. Combined, eco-friendly materials are used in 23 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. The Soul EV features exclusive interior color options that perfectly complement the exterior. Two interior seating materials will be offered: Standard eco-friendly cloth or optional leather. Both are gray with offsetting blue stitching on the cloth seats and blue piping on the leather seats. Additional blue stitching is found on the steering wheel and center console armrest. Standard Soul EV amenities include navigation, Rear Camera Display2, Bluetooth®3 hands free operation, power windows, power driver’s seat, cruise control, 6.6kW on-board charger and an exclusive HVAC system designed to extend driving range by minimizing energy draw. Air conditioning is one of the largest energy drains in any electric vehicle, but the Soul EV’s HVAC system is designed to provide optimum comfort while also helping to extend the car’s range by minimizing energy use. The Soul EV uses four key technologies to maximize HVAC efficiency: an available heat pump (optional on Base, standard on “+”), individual ventilation, scheduled ventilation, and air intake control. The heat pump and surplus heat recovered from the Soul EV’s electrical systems help heat cabin air. Individual ventilation allows selection of “Driver Only,” which stops airflow to the passenger side front dash and floor vents and the floor vents for the rear passenger compartment, thereby focusing airflow on the driver and reducing the amount of energy needed to reach a comfortable interior temperature. Scheduled ventilation reduces EV energy use by pre-heating or cooling the passenger compartment prior to starting the car, while it is still plugged into a charger. Air intake control regulates inner and outer air flow to minimize HVAC usage, regulating interior temperature by carefully managing recirculated cabin air. Forward Thinking Technology Available at no cost for the first five years of ownership, UVO EV Services, a special version of Kia’s award-winning telematics and infotainment system, is put to even greater use in the Soul EV. Utilizing an embedded connectivity solution powered by the Verizon network and an integral smartphone app, UVO EV Services provides owners with an innovative, real-time, in-vehicle connectivity experience that includes navigation and added convenience features specifically tailored for the Soul EV that will help owners stay informed as to their vehicle’s charging status while on the go. UVO EV Services provides real-time battery-level status, distance to empty, and the ability to search for nearby charging stations. Also, via the UVO EV app, owners can preset charging time and charging level ratios, as well as precondition the vehicle cabin with remote control of the HVAC presets. Preconditioning the vehicle moderates cabin temperature in advance, helping reduce battery draw once the Soul EV is uncoupled from the charging station. At a glance, UVO will also update EV owners of their CO2 savings and their relative positive impact on the environment. Introduced for the first time on the Soul EV, UVO EV Services includes downloadable apps that reside on the Soul EV’s standard 8-inch capacitive-touch navigation screen. EV owners may download Yelp®4, the online urban city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, relax and play. Soul EV owners will also enjoy iHeartRadio, the free, all-in-one digital radio service that lets customers listen to their favorite live stations or create their own commercial-free, all-music custom stations. Sound Hound, which is also available and accessible through the touch screen, listens to what’s playing and displays all related information such as lyrics, the artist, title and album cover art. Arriving with a five-year complimentary subscription to SiriusXM™5 Data Services and Travel Link, the Soul EV has access to charging stations and travel information such as road conditions, weather and security alerts as well as sports scores, movie times and stock prices through the screen’s graphical interface and electronic program guide. The Soul EV also features Kia’s first use of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. Low energy consumption and virtually no heat build-up make OLED perfect for an electric-vehicle application. Found within the Soul EV’s exclusive Supervision instrument cluster, the 3.5-inch OLED screen is crystal clear and provides information on the vehicle’s energy flow, charging time, ECO driving level and energy economy, which measures how efficiently the battery is operating. Additionally, the OLED screen provides a three-stage alert for the Soul EV’s State of Charge (SOC), which allows the driver to quickly decipher how much charge remains within the battery and when it’s time to plug in to a charging unit. View full article
  19. Just a few months after Subaru showed off the Legacy Concept at the LA Auto Show, the company announced that the 2015 Legacy will make its official debut next week at the Chicago Show. Along with that announcement, the company released a teaser photo that gives us a few clues of what is in store for the new Legacy. The design looks to combining coupe-like styling elements and the profile of the Buick Regal. We'll have more information when the Legacy debuts next Thursday at Chicago. Source: Subaru William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  20. Just a few months after Subaru showed off the Legacy Concept at the LA Auto Show, the company announced that the 2015 Legacy will make its official debut next week at the Chicago Show. Along with that announcement, the company released a teaser photo that gives us a few clues of what is in store for the new Legacy. The design looks to combining coupe-like styling elements and the profile of the Buick Regal. We'll have more information when the Legacy debuts next Thursday at Chicago. Source: Subaru William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  21. BMW's march of the diesels will continue at the Chicago Auto Show next month as they will unveil the first 7-Series with a diesel for the U.S. market. Meet the 2014 740Ld xDrive. The 740Ld xDrive comes will utilize a 3.0L inline-six diesel engine producing 255 horsepower and a mighty fine 413 pound-feet of torque that peaks between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system. Now BMW hasn't revealed fuel economy numbers for the 740Ld, but the company does say its diesel technology is good for a 25 to 30 percent increase in fuel economy. This could mean that the 740Ld could achieve mid to high 30's on the highway. Pricing for the 2014 740Ld xDrive will start at $83,425 (includes a $925 destination and handling charge). The 740Ld xDrive arrives at dealers sometime in the spring. Source: BMW William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 The 2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive The first BMW Advanced Diesel 7 Series in the US. Woodcliff Lake, NJ – January 24, 2014 . . . BMW announced today that the BMW 7 Series would become the latest model line to benefit from BMW Advanced Diesel technology in the US in the form of the BMW 740Ld xDrive Sedan. The new model will feature BMW’s 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo diesel engine in the long-wheelbase 7 Series body and will include xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system. The 2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive Sedan will have a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $83,425, including $925 destination and handling. It will make its US auto show debut at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2014 and arrive in US showrooms in Spring 2014. BMW Advanced Diesel now available for BMW’s flagship sedan The 3.0-liter inline-6 BMW Advanced Diesel engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology makes 255 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 413 lb-ft of torque from 1,500 – 3,000 rpm. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The BMW 740Ld xDrive will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds. US EPA fuel economy estimates are not yet available, however, other models equipped with this engine have seen a 25 – 30 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over their direct gasoline-powered counterparts. Standard features like Driving Dynamics Control with Eco Pro mode and Auto Start/Stop will help the driver to reduce fuel consumption in real-world driving situations. Through the latest in advanced diesel technologies and the use of weight-saving aluminum block and head designs, BMW’s Advanced Diesel powerplants represent a key component of the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy for the reduction of fuel consumption and emissions while providing exceptional BMW driving dynamics. The 3.0-liter inline-6 BMW Advanced Diesel engine features a single turbocharger with variable vane turbine technology. This design helps improve low-end torque while facilitating precise control of the boost pressure and eliminates the need for a wastegate. The engine uses the latest generation of electronically controlled high-precision diesel injection system. The system plays a significant role in the reduction of fuel consumption as well as exhaust emissions. The normal operating pressures reach as high as 1800 bar (26,107 PSI) and the fuel injectors can deliver multiple injections over extremely short durations of time, helping to reduce exhaust emissions. The exhaust gas treatment system is specifically designed to comply with ULEV II emission standards. It uses a combination of a Nox Storage Catalyst, Diesel Particulate Filter, and the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system with no fewer than nine specific sensors working in concert to keep exhaust emissions to an absolute minimum. The all-aluminum crankcase and hollow camshafts not only save weight, they also contribute to noise and vibration reduction. Additionally, the timing chain is placed at the flywheel end and not toward the front of the engine which further reduces rotational vibrations.
  22. BMW's march of the diesels will continue at the Chicago Auto Show next month as they will unveil the first 7-Series with a diesel for the U.S. market. Meet the 2014 740Ld xDrive. The 740Ld xDrive comes will utilize a 3.0L inline-six diesel engine producing 255 horsepower and a mighty fine 413 pound-feet of torque that peaks between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system. Now BMW hasn't revealed fuel economy numbers for the 740Ld, but the company does say its diesel technology is good for a 25 to 30 percent increase in fuel economy. This could mean that the 740Ld could achieve mid to high 30's on the highway. Pricing for the 2014 740Ld xDrive will start at $83,425 (includes a $925 destination and handling charge). The 740Ld xDrive arrives at dealers sometime in the spring. Source: BMW William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 The 2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive The first BMW Advanced Diesel 7 Series in the US. Woodcliff Lake, NJ – January 24, 2014 . . . BMW announced today that the BMW 7 Series would become the latest model line to benefit from BMW Advanced Diesel technology in the US in the form of the BMW 740Ld xDrive Sedan. The new model will feature BMW’s 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo diesel engine in the long-wheelbase 7 Series body and will include xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system. The 2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive Sedan will have a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $83,425, including $925 destination and handling. It will make its US auto show debut at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2014 and arrive in US showrooms in Spring 2014. BMW Advanced Diesel now available for BMW’s flagship sedan The 3.0-liter inline-6 BMW Advanced Diesel engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology makes 255 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 413 lb-ft of torque from 1,500 – 3,000 rpm. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The BMW 740Ld xDrive will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds. US EPA fuel economy estimates are not yet available, however, other models equipped with this engine have seen a 25 – 30 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over their direct gasoline-powered counterparts. Standard features like Driving Dynamics Control with Eco Pro mode and Auto Start/Stop will help the driver to reduce fuel consumption in real-world driving situations. Through the latest in advanced diesel technologies and the use of weight-saving aluminum block and head designs, BMW’s Advanced Diesel powerplants represent a key component of the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy for the reduction of fuel consumption and emissions while providing exceptional BMW driving dynamics. The 3.0-liter inline-6 BMW Advanced Diesel engine features a single turbocharger with variable vane turbine technology. This design helps improve low-end torque while facilitating precise control of the boost pressure and eliminates the need for a wastegate. The engine uses the latest generation of electronically controlled high-precision diesel injection system. The system plays a significant role in the reduction of fuel consumption as well as exhaust emissions. The normal operating pressures reach as high as 1800 bar (26,107 PSI) and the fuel injectors can deliver multiple injections over extremely short durations of time, helping to reduce exhaust emissions. The exhaust gas treatment system is specifically designed to comply with ULEV II emission standards. It uses a combination of a Nox Storage Catalyst, Diesel Particulate Filter, and the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system with no fewer than nine specific sensors working in concert to keep exhaust emissions to an absolute minimum. The all-aluminum crankcase and hollow camshafts not only save weight, they also contribute to noise and vibration reduction. Additionally, the timing chain is placed at the flywheel end and not toward the front of the engine which further reduces rotational vibrations. View full article
  23. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 7, 2013 The 2012 L.A. Auto Show brought forth the new 2014 Kia Forte sedan. At the the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Kia introduced the 2014 Kia Forte 5-Door. The 5-Door comes with some different styling changes (besides the hatchback shape) which include a smaller tiger-nose grille, larger lower intake, LED taillights, and dual exhaust outlets. Inside, the Forte 5-Door gets the same standard features of the Forte sedan such as Kia's UVO infotainment system with rear camera display, Bluetooth, satellite radio, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter. Under the hood of the Forte 5-Door comes, the base EX model uses a 2.0L direct-injected four, producing 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. The SX model uses a 1.6L turbocharged engine 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet. The 1.6L can equipped with a six-speed manual or automatic. While the 2014 Forte sedan arrives at Kia dealers later this month, the 5-Door version arrives later this summer. Source: Kia Album: 2014 Kia Forte 5-Door 8 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 KIA MOTORS AMERICA UNVEILS ALL-NEW FORTE 5-DOOR AT 2013 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW 201-HP Turbocharged Four-Cylinder Engine is First for Forte 5-Door SX Lower, longer and wider, the all-new Forte 5-door combines European style with the practicality of a hatchback Forte 5-door is expected to go on sale in the third quarter of 2013 CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2013 – Kia Motors America (KMA) ignited the 2013 Chicago Auto Show when the all-new, ultra-hot Forte 5-door rolled on-stage today. The all-new Forte 5-door SX’s eye-catching European-inspired hatchback design is complimented by an all-new 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injected (GDI) turbocharged four-cylinder engine putting out 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque, making the all-new Forte 5-door SX the most powerful Forte from KMA to date. The Forte 5-door is expected to go on sale in the third quarter of 2013, and pricing will be announced closer to launch. “We received very positive feedback after the all-new Forte sedan made its debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, and we expect the all-new Forte 5-door will build upon that success,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, KMA. “The combination of a useful hatchback for carrying cargo and the sportiness of the turbocharged SX trim make the all-new Forte 5-door a dual threat in the segment.” Presented in two trim levels, EX and SX, with two distinct engine choices, the Forte 5-door will offer customers Kia’s long list of premium amenities and features not normally found in the compact segment. Under the hood, the Forte 5-door packs a punch, with the EX’s 2.0-liter GDI four-cylinder engine putting out a healthy 173 horsepower and 154 lb.-ft. of torque through a 6-speed automatic transmission. The performance-oriented SX comes standard with the hard-charging 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder, a first for the Forte line. The SX also offers buyers the chance to pick their own gears with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, or they may opt for the 6-speed automatic featuring steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Standard Features and Technology Take Value to New Levels of Sophistication Carrying on Kia’s reputation of offering tremendous value, the all-new Forte 5-door offers buyers an impressive allotment of technology and safety features. The base EX comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, UVO eServices with rear camera display1, Bluetooth®2 wireless technology, SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio3, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise control buttons, FlexSteer™, tilt and telescoping steering column, power windows, and LED positioning headlights with fog lights. The SX trim ups the ante with standard 18-inch alloy wheels, dual chrome exhaust tips, and LED tail lights. Forte 5-door SX also offers an aggressive front fascia with larger bumper and grille openings, black gloss grille inserts, larger front brakes, alloy sport pedals, front and rear seats with carbon fiber-style accents. The lower front fascia and rear valance also feature carbon fiber-look trim pieces. Additionally, both EX and SX trim levels offer optional HID headlights, navigation system with HD Radio™4, sunroof, heated steering wheel,10-way adjustable power driver’s seat, heated front seats and cooled driver’s seat, heated rear outboard seats, leather seating surfaces, SmartKey with push-button start, electric chromatic rearview mirror and dual-zone automatic climate control. Stunning European Design Language Born from the Kia design studio in Seoul and overseen by Kia’s global chief of design, Peter Schreyer, the Forte 5-door’s sophisticated hatchback profile, large wheels and aggressive posture give it a distinctly European appearance that speaks to its performance intentions. The chiseled body commands attention and continues Kia’s tradition as a design leader in the industry. Like its Forte sedan counterpart, the Forte 5-door’s swept headlights stretch deep into the front fenders and the raked windshield and broad shoulders give the front end a sleek, sporty appearance. LED positioning lights add a premium look to the front fascia. Moving around the vehicle, the large 18-inch wheels fill the wheel wells on the SX, and the hatchback profile affords a performance-oriented European personality. Around back, the rear hatch glass opens to reveal 23.2 cubic feet of usable cargo space. LED tail lights complete the premium feel of the exterior and a sporty rear valance with twin chrome exhaust tips maintains the Forte 5-door’s edgy demeanor. Sporty Cabin with Premium Features Inside, the Forte 5-door features premium materials and soft touch points. Large, easy-to-read white-on-black gauges nestle deeply into the instrument cluster. Chrome accents around the HVAC controls and optional push-button start, along with carbon fiber-like textures on the dash and seats, add a sporty touch. A grippy leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are further evidence of the Forte 5-door’s performance aspirations. Class-exclusive available features such as front and rear heated outboard seats, an air-cooled driver’s seat and driver-selectable electric steering further set the Forte 5-door apart from its competition. Thrilling Driving Experience The Forte 5-door SX is the most powerful Forte built by Kia to date, utilizing a 1.6-liter GDI turbocharged four-cylinder that help improve performance. Power is seamlessly transferred to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The GDI powerplant produces 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,750-4,500 rpm. The advanced powertrain features double overhead cams with dual continuously variable valve timing to help improve efficiency and performance. The Forte 5-door EX comes standard with a 2.0-liter GDI powerplant producing 173 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 154 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm. During durability testing, the engines are run 300 continuous hours at redline under full load then for an additional 20 hours at 10 percent above redline under full load. To help further improve performance, the Forte 5-door features a sport-tuned suspension with a McPherson strut setup in front and a multilink rear design. The Forte 5-door rides on standard 205/55R-16 tires while 225/40R-18 tires are included with the SX trim for an even more sporting driving experience.
  24. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 7, 2013 The 2012 L.A. Auto Show brought forth the new 2014 Kia Forte sedan. At the the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Kia introduced the 2014 Kia Forte 5-Door. The 5-Door comes with some different styling changes (besides the hatchback shape) which include a smaller tiger-nose grille, larger lower intake, LED taillights, and dual exhaust outlets. Inside, the Forte 5-Door gets the same standard features of the Forte sedan such as Kia's UVO infotainment system with rear camera display, Bluetooth, satellite radio, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter. Under the hood of the Forte 5-Door comes, the base EX model uses a 2.0L direct-injected four, producing 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. The SX model uses a 1.6L turbocharged engine 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet. The 1.6L can equipped with a six-speed manual or automatic. While the 2014 Forte sedan arrives at Kia dealers later this month, the 5-Door version arrives later this summer. Source: Kia Album: 2014 Kia Forte 5-Door 8 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 KIA MOTORS AMERICA UNVEILS ALL-NEW FORTE 5-DOOR AT 2013 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW 201-HP Turbocharged Four-Cylinder Engine is First for Forte 5-Door SX Lower, longer and wider, the all-new Forte 5-door combines European style with the practicality of a hatchback Forte 5-door is expected to go on sale in the third quarter of 2013 CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2013 – Kia Motors America (KMA) ignited the 2013 Chicago Auto Show when the all-new, ultra-hot Forte 5-door rolled on-stage today. The all-new Forte 5-door SX’s eye-catching European-inspired hatchback design is complimented by an all-new 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injected (GDI) turbocharged four-cylinder engine putting out 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque, making the all-new Forte 5-door SX the most powerful Forte from KMA to date. The Forte 5-door is expected to go on sale in the third quarter of 2013, and pricing will be announced closer to launch. “We received very positive feedback after the all-new Forte sedan made its debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, and we expect the all-new Forte 5-door will build upon that success,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, KMA. “The combination of a useful hatchback for carrying cargo and the sportiness of the turbocharged SX trim make the all-new Forte 5-door a dual threat in the segment.” Presented in two trim levels, EX and SX, with two distinct engine choices, the Forte 5-door will offer customers Kia’s long list of premium amenities and features not normally found in the compact segment. Under the hood, the Forte 5-door packs a punch, with the EX’s 2.0-liter GDI four-cylinder engine putting out a healthy 173 horsepower and 154 lb.-ft. of torque through a 6-speed automatic transmission. The performance-oriented SX comes standard with the hard-charging 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder, a first for the Forte line. The SX also offers buyers the chance to pick their own gears with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, or they may opt for the 6-speed automatic featuring steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Standard Features and Technology Take Value to New Levels of Sophistication Carrying on Kia’s reputation of offering tremendous value, the all-new Forte 5-door offers buyers an impressive allotment of technology and safety features. The base EX comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, UVO eServices with rear camera display1, Bluetooth®2 wireless technology, SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio3, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise control buttons, FlexSteer™, tilt and telescoping steering column, power windows, and LED positioning headlights with fog lights. The SX trim ups the ante with standard 18-inch alloy wheels, dual chrome exhaust tips, and LED tail lights. Forte 5-door SX also offers an aggressive front fascia with larger bumper and grille openings, black gloss grille inserts, larger front brakes, alloy sport pedals, front and rear seats with carbon fiber-style accents. The lower front fascia and rear valance also feature carbon fiber-look trim pieces. Additionally, both EX and SX trim levels offer optional HID headlights, navigation system with HD Radio™4, sunroof, heated steering wheel,10-way adjustable power driver’s seat, heated front seats and cooled driver’s seat, heated rear outboard seats, leather seating surfaces, SmartKey with push-button start, electric chromatic rearview mirror and dual-zone automatic climate control. Stunning European Design Language Born from the Kia design studio in Seoul and overseen by Kia’s global chief of design, Peter Schreyer, the Forte 5-door’s sophisticated hatchback profile, large wheels and aggressive posture give it a distinctly European appearance that speaks to its performance intentions. The chiseled body commands attention and continues Kia’s tradition as a design leader in the industry. Like its Forte sedan counterpart, the Forte 5-door’s swept headlights stretch deep into the front fenders and the raked windshield and broad shoulders give the front end a sleek, sporty appearance. LED positioning lights add a premium look to the front fascia. Moving around the vehicle, the large 18-inch wheels fill the wheel wells on the SX, and the hatchback profile affords a performance-oriented European personality. Around back, the rear hatch glass opens to reveal 23.2 cubic feet of usable cargo space. LED tail lights complete the premium feel of the exterior and a sporty rear valance with twin chrome exhaust tips maintains the Forte 5-door’s edgy demeanor. Sporty Cabin with Premium Features Inside, the Forte 5-door features premium materials and soft touch points. Large, easy-to-read white-on-black gauges nestle deeply into the instrument cluster. Chrome accents around the HVAC controls and optional push-button start, along with carbon fiber-like textures on the dash and seats, add a sporty touch. A grippy leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are further evidence of the Forte 5-door’s performance aspirations. Class-exclusive available features such as front and rear heated outboard seats, an air-cooled driver’s seat and driver-selectable electric steering further set the Forte 5-door apart from its competition. Thrilling Driving Experience The Forte 5-door SX is the most powerful Forte built by Kia to date, utilizing a 1.6-liter GDI turbocharged four-cylinder that help improve performance. Power is seamlessly transferred to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The GDI powerplant produces 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,750-4,500 rpm. The advanced powertrain features double overhead cams with dual continuously variable valve timing to help improve efficiency and performance. The Forte 5-door EX comes standard with a 2.0-liter GDI powerplant producing 173 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 154 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm. During durability testing, the engines are run 300 continuous hours at redline under full load then for an additional 20 hours at 10 percent above redline under full load. To help further improve performance, the Forte 5-door features a sport-tuned suspension with a McPherson strut setup in front and a multilink rear design. The Forte 5-door rides on standard 205/55R-16 tires while 225/40R-18 tires are included with the SX trim for an even more sporting driving experience. View full article
  25. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 8, 2013 Forty years ago, Volkwagen introduced a very special edition of the Beetle called the GSR. Short for Gelb-Schwarzer Renner (Yellow Black Racer in english), the model was designed to take the Beetle racing. At the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Volkswagen announced they will be bringing back the GSR to the Beetle. The Beetle GSR comes with a very wild yellow paint job with black stripes. Also included for the exterior is a large rear spoiler and nineteen-inch wheels shod with 235/40 tires. Pop the hood of the Beetle GSR and you're looking at Volkswagen's venerable 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder. In the GSR, the 2.0L produces 210 horspower and 207 pound-feet of torque. That's paired with either a a six-speed manual or DSG transmission. Volkswagen says there will be only 3,500 Beetle GSRs built for the U.S. and will arrive this fall. Album: 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR 6 images 0 comments Source: Volkswagen William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 VOLKSWAGEN UNVEILS THE LIMITED-EDITION BEETLE GSR AT THE CHICAGO AUTO SHOW - Classic 1970s' Beetle serves as inspiration for the GSRTM - Sportiest Beetle boasts a 210 horsepower turbocharged engine - On sale in the Fall as a 2014 model - Limited edition of just 3500 worldwide - Leather-trimmed sport seats and unique GSR trim mark out the interior Wolfsburg / Chicago, February 7, 2013 - Forty years ago, the sportiest version of the classic Volkswagen Beetle made its debut. Called the GSR (Gelb Schwarzer Renner or "Yellow Black Racer"), the vehicle was based on a 1303S and was instantly recognizable by its color scheme. Just 3500 units were built and they are now collectors' items. Today, at the Chicago Auto Show, Volkswagen of America, Inc. pays homage to that 1970s' model with the world unveiling of the 2014 Beetle GSR. Striking in yellow and black, just like its predecessor, the GSR also debuts an uprated version of the award-winning EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder TSI® engine that generates 210 horsepower. This engine will be fitted to the Jetta GLI and Beetle Turbo during the 2013 model year, boosting their power by 10 hp. With this new car, Volkswagen has re-interpreted the 1970s GSR for the modern era. The bodyshell of the 1973 Beetle was painted yellow, while the hood, trunklid, and bumpers were finished in matte black. The look was rounded out by black trim strips underneath the side windows and black rocker panels. Yellow and black link old and new: the body and the R- Line® bumpers on the new GSR are predominantly yellow, the hood is mainly black, and the trunklid, roof, and the exterior mirror caps are all black. The new car has yellow/black stripes with "GSR" lettering above the side skirts and a large rear spoiler to complete the look. The stance of the new car is very different, as it rides on 19-inch "Tornado" aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 235/40 tires, compared with the original GSR's 15-inch steel wheels and 175- section tires, which were quite common even on sporty cars back then. The new GSR also features black-painted brake calipers. Then as now, the GSR features a unique interior with a yellow/black theme, sport seats, and a leather sport steering wheel. The new GSR is a lot more sophisticated, however. The black- trimmed leather sport seats and high-grip leather steering wheel both have contrasting yellow stitching, for example. Other interior changes include an R-Line dash pad, a GSR shift lever, a leather handbrake lever, and black floormats with contrasting yellow embroidery. A badge on the steering wheel is marked with the special-edition number (1 through 3500) to emphasize the uniqueness of the car. Forty years ago, the Beetle GSR had all of 50 horsepower, enough to give it the requisite performance for a sporty compact of the time. But the modern world demands much more under the hood. The new GSR's 210 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque enable the car to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds and to reach an electronically governed top track speed of 130 mph. Most impressively, the engine delivers peak torque from as low as 1700 rpm, giving smooth, effortless acceleration in all the gears. The GSR is standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but a dual-clutch DSG® six-speed automatic transmission will be an option. Just like its predecessor, only 3500 GSR models will be made-and more than half of those will be sold in the U.S. Since the GSR is based on the Beetle Turbo with Sunroof and Sound model, it comes comprehensively equipped with the Fender® Premium Audio System; a panoramic sunroof; Keyless access with push-button start; Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs; LED license-plate lighting; heatable front seats; Bluetooth® connectivity; a Media Device Interface (MDI) with iPod® cable; three-color ambient lighting; aluminum-alloy pedals; and three auxiliary instruments that include a clock with a stopwatch function and a boost gauge. The Volkswagen Beetle GSR will go on sale in the fall as a 2014 model; pricing will be announced closer to launch. View full article

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