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Found 48 results

  1. Mercedes-AMG says that it will be moving to an all all-wheel drive lineup in the near future and engine downsizing as Mercedes moves towards an all electrified lineup. Autocar spoke to AMG boss Tobia Moers who said "Customers have given us the answer, and most want four-wheel drive. Back in the days when we had an AMG E-Class as rear-wheel drive and with four-wheel drive as an option, over 90% chose four-wheel drive." Even the AMG's flagship, the AMG GT will move to all-wheel drive in the near future. The current E63 AMG has an all-wheel drive system that uses clutches to send 100% of torque to whichever axle needs it, including a drift mode that will completely disengages the front axle if requested by the driver.
  2. Mercedes-AMG says that it will be moving to an all all-wheel drive lineup in the near future and engine downsizing as Mercedes moves towards an all electrified lineup. Autocar spoke to AMG boss Tobia Moers who said "Customers have given us the answer, and most want four-wheel drive. Back in the days when we had an AMG E-Class as rear-wheel drive and with four-wheel drive as an option, over 90% chose four-wheel drive." Even the AMG's flagship, the AMG GT will move to all-wheel drive in the near future. The current E63 AMG has an all-wheel drive system that uses clutches to send 100% of torque to whichever axle needs it, including a drift mode that will completely disengages the front axle if requested by the driver. View full article
  3. The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is in production, on their way to dealerships and out for test drives around North America. Reviews have been very positive and people have a variety of love / hate it for the design. Even here on Cheers and Gears various members have a passion on how plastic is being used on the front and rear of the car. With that it is time to take a closer look at some of the tech on this newest CUV from Cadillac. I found sandyblogs.com and the writers Tech Link. Here they do a pretty good job of pointing out the various tech on new auto's. I wanted to bring this into C&G for discussion and see what you all think. Tech open for debate: XT4 Electro-hydraulic brakes Turbo Charged 2.0L engine Plastic Engine Oil Pan Multipoint Air filter sensors 9 speed transmission with shift by wire Active Twin Clutch AWD system Active Sports Suspension Next Generation Infotainment system Rotary Controller Driver Assistance systems Hands Free power liftgate 22 new specialty tools to work on the auto The XT4 is the first GM auto to use their new brake control system that takes up considerably less room under the hood compared to a traditional Vacuum assisted power braking system. This new brake system is 13 lbs lighter than the old one it replaces. There are new braking sensors, brake pad sensors, wheel speed sensors and a new Power up self test. This makes the braking system a very self aware system for faster response with greater safety. We then have the feature heavy 2.0L Turbo 4 motor with AFM (Active Fuel Management), SIDI (Spark ignited Direct Injection), DOHC (Dual Overhead Camshafts), VVT (Variable Valve Timing) with this being the first new engine built on CSS or cylinder set strategy. This engine also uses an electric water pump using a built in local interconnect Network to manage cooling. Oil is the Gen 2 full synthetic SAE 0W-20 and uses a hardened plastic oil pan connected to the engine block. This oil pan helps to reduce the overall weight by a few pounds. The DIC in the auto is able to manage the multiple air sensor points on when you need to change the air filter. The 9 speed transmission is one of the smallest ever and uses electronics to shift gears via input from the EPS (Electronic Precision Shift). This does have a slightly different pattern over the XT5 as it is just a straight up and down only. The AWD twin clutch system is electronically controlled and allows a perfect 50/50 between front and back wheels and yet allows power up to 100% to be sent to the wheels with the best traction. The active Sport Suspension adjusts to the road every 2 milliseconds and allows the driver to change between tour, sport or AWD mode at any time. Cadillac is rolling out their next generation infotainment system. Higher quality graphics with a much faster more responsive system. faster to touch as well as voice. This system supports NFC (Near Field Communication) for easy pairing of your phone and the system. Besides touching the screen or a button, there is a rotary controller now allowing ease in access among the menus and feature function. Driver assistance systems is easiest to just post their long list of what this includes: Safety Alert Seat Rear Camera Mirror Surround Vision 360-degree Camera Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning Front/Rear Park Assist Rear Cross Traffic Alert Front Pedestrian Braking Forward Collision Alert Forward/Reverse Automatic Braking Head-Up Display Automatic Parking Assist with Braking Final feature is one that Cadillac competitor has had for years, Hand Free power liftgate. When you are within 6 ft of the rear of the auto with the fob in your pocket, you can just swing your foot and it will open the rear liftgate. The final listed item is all the new tools needed to work on the XT4. You can review the list on the Tech Link 1. Tech Link 1 Tech Link 2
  4. Toyota's polarizing C-HR crossover went on sale earlier this year and it isn't doing so well in terms of sales. Through November, Toyota has only moved 21,889 units, way less than Chevrolet Trax (72,723 units) and Honda HR-V (86,491). Speaking to Wards Auto, Toyota Motor Sales USA's president Bob Carter said a key reason the comes down to the C-HR not offering all-wheel drive in North America. Most subcompact crossovers sold in the U.S. have the option of AWD. But if Toyota was to AWD to the C-HR, it would highlight another problem. The C-HR carries a base price of $22,500, making it one of the more expensive models in the class. The C-HR isn't the only crossover that will only come front-wheel drive. Nissan's upcoming Kicks crossover will also be FWD only. However, Michael Bunce, senior vice president-product planning for Nissan North America tells Wards that only offering FWD on the Kicks shouldn't dent sales due to the low price of under $19,000. Those who want AWD will need to step up to the Rogue Sport which begins at $22,470 for the base S AWD. Source: Wards Auto View full article
  5. Toyota's polarizing C-HR crossover went on sale earlier this year and it isn't doing so well in terms of sales. Through November, Toyota has only moved 21,889 units, way less than Chevrolet Trax (72,723 units) and Honda HR-V (86,491). Speaking to Wards Auto, Toyota Motor Sales USA's president Bob Carter said a key reason the comes down to the C-HR not offering all-wheel drive in North America. Most subcompact crossovers sold in the U.S. have the option of AWD. But if Toyota was to AWD to the C-HR, it would highlight another problem. The C-HR carries a base price of $22,500, making it one of the more expensive models in the class. The C-HR isn't the only crossover that will only come front-wheel drive. Nissan's upcoming Kicks crossover will also be FWD only. However, Michael Bunce, senior vice president-product planning for Nissan North America tells Wards that only offering FWD on the Kicks shouldn't dent sales due to the low price of under $19,000. Those who want AWD will need to step up to the Rogue Sport which begins at $22,470 for the base S AWD. Source: Wards Auto
  6. Mazda is continuing their upward push to make their vehicles more premium. Case in point is the updated 6 with the option of a turbo-four and improved interior. What could be next? It might be offering all-wheel drive. According to CarAdvice, Mazda North America Operations' president and CEO Masahiro Moro said there is growing demand to offer an AWD option for the 3 and 6. There is the precedent for this as Mazda offers AWD variants of both models in certain markets. But there is a catch. “I think we are not able to combine four-wheel drive and the 2.5-litre turbo. We have a layout issue with the sedans, that’s why a four-wheel drive isn’t deployed on the Mazda 3 and 6 so far,” said Moro. This also affects the naturally-aspirated 2.5L four-cylinder models. Only models equipped with the 2.2L turbodiesel can get the AWD option, which isn't sold in the U.S. “But there is a huge demand, at least what I know is that in the east coast of the USA, 80 or 90 per cent of premium sedans are sold with all-wheel drive.” Four-wheel drive becomes a premium queue for US consumers and obviously I have asked our R&D department to think about how we can accommodate four-wheel drive capability in the future,” Moro went on to say. This might mean the next-generation 3 and 6 could have the option of AWD. Source: CarAdvice View full article
  7. Mazda is continuing their upward push to make their vehicles more premium. Case in point is the updated 6 with the option of a turbo-four and improved interior. What could be next? It might be offering all-wheel drive. According to CarAdvice, Mazda North America Operations' president and CEO Masahiro Moro said there is growing demand to offer an AWD option for the 3 and 6. There is the precedent for this as Mazda offers AWD variants of both models in certain markets. But there is a catch. “I think we are not able to combine four-wheel drive and the 2.5-litre turbo. We have a layout issue with the sedans, that’s why a four-wheel drive isn’t deployed on the Mazda 3 and 6 so far,” said Moro. This also affects the naturally-aspirated 2.5L four-cylinder models. Only models equipped with the 2.2L turbodiesel can get the AWD option, which isn't sold in the U.S. “But there is a huge demand, at least what I know is that in the east coast of the USA, 80 or 90 per cent of premium sedans are sold with all-wheel drive.” Four-wheel drive becomes a premium queue for US consumers and obviously I have asked our R&D department to think about how we can accommodate four-wheel drive capability in the future,” Moro went on to say. This might mean the next-generation 3 and 6 could have the option of AWD. Source: CarAdvice
  8. Last year at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, FCA introduced the Challenger GT concept that featured AWD. The premise was you could have a four-seasons muscle car. It seems this idea got enough traction that FCA is going forward with it. Automotive News reports that Dodge will introduce Challenger GT AWD this fall. Unlike the concept that featured a 5.7L HEMI V8, the production model will only be available with the base V6. In 2017, a widebody Challenger with the supercharged Hellcat V8 will be introduced. It will be called the Challenger ADR. Other interesting tidbits from Automotive News concerning Dodge, The Charger and Challenger will finally be redesigned in 2018. The models will swap the LX platform for the new Giorgio platform. This will cut a fair amount of weight out of both models - 400 lbs for Charger, 500 lbs for Challenger Durango will get a SRT version with a 6.4L HEMI V8 for 2017 A convertible known as the Barracuda will debut in 2021. It will use the Giorgio platform that will underpin the new Charger and Challenger Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  9. Last year at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, FCA introduced the Challenger GT concept that featured AWD. The premise was you could have a four-seasons muscle car. It seems this idea got enough traction that FCA is going forward with it. Automotive News reports that Dodge will introduce Challenger GT AWD this fall. Unlike the concept that featured a 5.7L HEMI V8, the production model will only be available with the base V6. In 2017, a widebody Challenger with the supercharged Hellcat V8 will be introduced. It will be called the Challenger ADR. Other interesting tidbits from Automotive News concerning Dodge, The Charger and Challenger will finally be redesigned in 2018. The models will swap the LX platform for the new Giorgio platform. This will cut a fair amount of weight out of both models - 400 lbs for Charger, 500 lbs for Challenger Durango will get a SRT version with a 6.4L HEMI V8 for 2017 A convertible known as the Barracuda will debut in 2021. It will use the Giorgio platform that will underpin the new Charger and Challenger Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  10. G. David Felt Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com Electric Axles and the 4WD Ford F150 EV! Researching for conversion of my 1994 GMC SLE Suburban to electric made me think about 4WD as it is currently just a 2WD rig. As I started to search I found many options for taking certain electric motors and connecting them to the transmission and using what is there already on AWD/4WD auto's for moving the vehicle. I got to thinking much like Tesla, what about an Axle Electric motor solution and started to search to see what was out there and was very surprised to find many interesting home grown and some commercial options. EV Axel BING Search This led me to find a company in China called YIWO who does car to HD Truck electric axles for OEMs to custom conversions. YIWO Alibaba web page This search then led me to the YIWO company home page also hosted by Alibaba where one can find an amazing variety of axles for use in traditional petro auto's to plug-in hybrids to pure EVs. YIWO Home Page While doing this search I found that Alibaba has an amazing amount of EV parts on their Amazon like web site. Alibaba With this search I then came across an interesting write up from 2011 about in wheel motors allowing for a simple 4WD approach to auto's while not affecting the driving characteristics. This brought me to Protean Electric which was founded in 2009 in Troy Michigan. They now have an office in UK and an office with production in China. Protean Electric Protean Electric took a totally different approach to EV auto's They started with adding the motors with regenerative braking at the wheel. This allowed them to then make 8 powerful mini motors working together to improve HP and Torque along with braking to have a far more efficient package. This design allowed them to take a 2009 Ford F150 Pickup and dump the existing powertrain, including driveline, heavy axle and create an 4WD Pickup without having to touch the existing handling characteristics by putting the battery pack in the exact center of the auto to keep the truck hauling and handling just like Ford Engineered it to be. As you can see the battery pack from the rear axle picture, the last picture posted above. What about the interior you ask? Easy, Protean Electric changed out the dash for a digital display that they also make and added to the center console a 3 button shifter that covers Drive, Neutral and Reverse plus as you can see in the picture below, a big red kill switch button that probably could be incorporated better into the dash. So what about Horsepower and Torque? This is where is gets really exciting as this Ford F150 with the 4WD in Wheel motors produces the following: 2,300 lbs feet of combined torque from a dead stop 448 HP from the combined 4 motors Now the great part is you can dial down the torque and HP so you can lengthen the life of the battery pack. According to P.E. they have stated that most implementations of this solution done at 578 pound feet of Peak torque, 355 pound feet of continuous torque and horsepower of 320 for the 4 motors combined which equals out to 80 HP per motor, 88.75 pound feet of continuous torque per motor with a peak torque of 144.5 per motor per the companies interview with pickuptrucks.com. Protean Electric has recently done for Mercedes-Benz a Brabus 4WD EV station wagon. Brabus 4WD powertrain. What this tends to impress on me is that the future for electric auto's is bright and as battery technology gets better and better, we are moving to a silent world of autos that will push you back into your seat and have you hanging on to an amazing gut thrilling ride.
  11. Back in February, we reported that BMW was planning to stay the course with developing rear-wheel drive models. “If you also look at the M performance models we have added over the last three or four years they have rear-wheel drive as the standard setting and also have six cylinder engines. These are cars that attract new people to the M brand [and its core models] and that is very important,” said Carsten Pries, BMW M's head of product management. Pries also mentioned that this current strategy could change. “If the framework changes in the future, we have to look then at what we can do in terms of a [providing] a proper or decent M offer.” Jump ahead to late April, and BMW's M division CEO Frank van Meel said all-wheel drive is inevitable in the long run. van Meel told Autocar that M is sticking rear-wheel drive for philosophical reasons, despite the power outputs are reaching a point where all-wheel drive would make sense. Engineers are working hard to improve traction, stability control and torque vectoring systems, but there comes a point where these systems will be overwhelmed. van Meel also said that it is getting tougher to try and sell their 600-plus horsepower vehicles in certain markets such as Canada and Switzerland. Whenever M decides to offer all-wheel drive on their sedans and coupes, it will not use the xDrive nomenclature. van Meel suggested a name like 2+2WD or something similar could be used to emphasise the car’s rear-biased set-up. Source: Autocar View full article
  12. Back in February, we reported that BMW was planning to stay the course with developing rear-wheel drive models. “If you also look at the M performance models we have added over the last three or four years they have rear-wheel drive as the standard setting and also have six cylinder engines. These are cars that attract new people to the M brand [and its core models] and that is very important,” said Carsten Pries, BMW M's head of product management. Pries also mentioned that this current strategy could change. “If the framework changes in the future, we have to look then at what we can do in terms of a [providing] a proper or decent M offer.” Jump ahead to late April, and BMW's M division CEO Frank van Meel said all-wheel drive is inevitable in the long run. van Meel told Autocar that M is sticking rear-wheel drive for philosophical reasons, despite the power outputs are reaching a point where all-wheel drive would make sense. Engineers are working hard to improve traction, stability control and torque vectoring systems, but there comes a point where these systems will be overwhelmed. van Meel also said that it is getting tougher to try and sell their 600-plus horsepower vehicles in certain markets such as Canada and Switzerland. Whenever M decides to offer all-wheel drive on their sedans and coupes, it will not use the xDrive nomenclature. van Meel suggested a name like 2+2WD or something similar could be used to emphasise the car’s rear-biased set-up. Source: Autocar
  13. A few days ago we reported that the 2016 Buick Envision would be sold in All-Wheel drive format only. This was both true and false. After the reveal of the 2016 Buick Avista concept, I sat down with a Buick representative to discuss the Envision for a bit. It is true that the 2016 model year of the Buick Envision will only be available in all-wheel drive, 2.0T engines, and premium group packages. However, it will be a short model run. The 2017 updates will follow a few months after launch when an additional engine, front wheel drive, and additional packages will be made available. Even after those updates, the 2.0T will still only be available with all-wheel drive. In China, the Envision offered with a 1.6 liter turbo and front-wheel drive. The rep from Buick indicated that it was unlikely that this powertrain combination is going to make the swim across the Pacific, so expect something in between the 200 hp 1.6T and the 260hp 2.0T offerings. We'll note that GM currently does not have any 4-cylinder offering in between those two powerplants in terms of power, so it could end up being an engine that is not yet released. We will have more details for the 2016 and 2017 Envision closer to launch time. You can follow all of our 2016 Detroit Auto Show Reports here. Buick Press Release from November 18 is on Page 2 Buick Introduces Envision Luxury Crossover Clean-sheet approach yields luxury compact crossover designed for confident ride-and-handling performance Dynamic interior with high level of standard content, great attention to detail and latest technologies Strong, efficient performance includes stop/start feature on 2.0L turbo engine LOS ANGELES – Buick today introduced the 2016 Envision – an all-new, technology-infused luxury compact crossover that expands the brand’s portfolio with segment-challenging driving dynamics, advanced technology, connectivity and Buick’s trademark interior acoustics. It is a global vehicle, designed from the ground up as a Buick luxury compact crossover. It goes on sale in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2016. “The all-new Buick Envision is a modern, confident and responsive luxury compact crossover that combines the brand’s core characteristics with performance features never seen on a crossover,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “That dynamic experience behind the wheel is complemented by Buick’s signature luxury, whisper-quiet cabin and connectivity features that make it a crossover that customers are going to love as drivers and passengers.” Vehicle highlights include: LED daytime running lamps and rear LED accent lights Efficiency-enhancing features including upper grille shutters that open and close to enhance aerodynamics on the highway and a body structure incorporating mass-reducing high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels – and a lightweight aluminum hood Standard heated front seats and standard heated rear seat Sliding, 60/40-split rear seat, offering the flexibility of more legroom for second-row passengers Kneeling cushions in the second-row seat enable a flatter load floor when the seat is folded 252-horsepower (186 kW) 2.0L turbo engine with stop/start technology, matched with Buick’s first crossover vehicle application of HiPer Strut front suspension and Buick’s first active Twin Clutch AWD system Standard Safety Alert Seat and Lane Keep Assist, as well as available Advanced Active Park Assist, and Surround Vision 360-degree camera system IntelliLink with 8-inch color touch screen, Text Messaging Alerts and Siri Eyes Free Available OnStar with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot Programmable power liftgate with hands-free operation Active noise cancelation. · Nineteen-inch aluminum wheels are standard. The Envision is also designed to carry more than its competitors, with more rear cargo space than the Acura RDX and the Lincoln MKC. It’s also roomier for passengers, with more rear legroom, front and rear shoulder room, and overall Environmental Protection Agency-rated passenger volume than the MKC. “The Envision rounds out a lineup of crossovers that has helped change customer opinions about the brand,” said Aldred. “Enclave was the cornerstone of the brand’s renaissance, while the Encore was an early entry among small luxury crossovers and has been an unqualified hit for Buick since its introduction.” Design rewards with attention to detail Designers and engineers were given a clean slate to develop the Envision and they employed supercomputer technologies to help make the most of the architecture for strength, stiffness and quietness. Every aspect of the vehicle’s design and its effect on refinement was taken into consideration – even the available panoramic moonroof was designed for lower wind noise when open. “The Envision represents a compromise-free design that enabled the development team to do the things luxury customers appreciate,” said Judy Brennan, chief engineer. “Our attention to detail yielded tremendous strength and stiffness of the platform, which is evident in exceptional ride and handling characteristics.” The clean-sheet design and stiff structure helped eliminate an estimated 22 pounds (10 kg) of add-on material to create whisper-quiet interior acoustics. And while those attributes lie beneath the Envision’s skin, the skin itself is instantly recognizable as a Buick crossover with contemporary proportions, flowing lines and detailed surface features. “There is tension in the Envision’s design that reflects elegant athleticism, rendering a planted stance that enhances driver confidence,” says Bryan Nesbitt, global executive director, Buick design. “It’s dynamic and youthful, with features that support the vehicle’s technologically advanced ambience.” Those features include Buick’s signature winged headlamps and standard heated outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators. Articulating Xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps are available. There’s also a rear spoiler atop the liftgate designed to improve aerodynamic performance. The liftgate features standard programmable power assist and touchless activation. The user simply waves his or her foot near a sensor beneath the fascia to activate the power-assisted liftgate. Dynamic passenger environment The Envision’s interior features a “floating,” wraparound instrument panel sweeps into the door panels, for a flowing, organic and inviting appearance that complements the exterior. It houses a bold gauge cluster featuring two large binnacles with analog instruments and a central digital display for the speedometer and readouts of additional information. “To put it simply, the Envision’s cabin combines beauty with innovation,” said Nesbitt. “It telegraphs dynamism like nothing else in the segment. Everywhere you touch is a stitched, soft surface,” said Nesbitt. “And everything you touch is designed for intuitive, effortless functionality.” The large center console storage bin features damped dual wing-type doors that provide easier, less-obstructed access and allow the driver or passengers – even those in the rear – to access the storage bin without disturbing the other. Also, the heating and air conditioning vents are positioned at the bottom of the center stack, moving the climate and infotainment controls – as well as the eight-inch diagonal color touch screen – higher for easier, more intuitive operation. Additional interior features include: Passive entry and push-button start with standard remote start Standard eight-way power-adjustable front seats and four-way-adjustable lumbar – including available adjustable thigh support on some models that enhances comfort for taller passengers Standard heated front seats and standard heated rear seat Available cooled front seats and standard heated steering wheel Standard eight-inch-diagonal, reconfigurable color driver information center and available full color head-up display Dual-zone climate control with console-mounted rear-seat vents; and standard tri-zone climate control with rear-seat controls Standard Bose premium sound system Available panoramic moonroof. Technology and connectivity The new Envision offers Buick IntelliLink with Text Messaging Alerts and Siri Eyes Free, as well as available OnStar with 4G LTE with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. Text Messaging Alerts for smartphone users with compatible Bluetooth technology reads incoming texts through the vehicle’s speakers, and Siri Eyes Free for iPhones running iOS6 or higher gives users enhanced connectivity and convenience. Each enables voice-controlled connectivity, to help keep phones in pockets and hands on the wheel. An eight-inch-diagonal IntelliLink color touch screen is the contact point for much of the Envision’s technology and connectivity. Itprovides intuitive operation of basic functions, yet is capable of linking up to 10 Bluetooth devices such as smartphones, as well as SD cards and MP3 players. Four USB ports, four 12-volt outlets and a 120-volt outlet are included. A new steering wheel for Buick debuts in the Envision, featuring thumb-operated toggle switches that make it easy to scroll through the IntelliLink menus and vehicle features in the driver information center. Powertrain and performance The 2016 Envision features a standard 2.0L turbo engine SAE certified at 252 horsepower (186 kW) and 260 lb-ft of torque (353 Nm), which is more standard horsepower and torque than an Audi Q5. It is paired with a third-generation six-speed automatic transmission with TAPShift revised to deliver more refined shift performance. Performance and efficiency is enhanced with Stop/Start technology – Buick’s first application on the 2.0L turbo engine. It seamlessly shuts down the engine when the Envision comes to a stop under certain driving conditions, such as a stoplight. The engine automatically restarts when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake. The 2.0L turbo engine is offered exclusively with AWD, giving the Envision performance consistent with vehicle’s ride and handling capabilities. The turbocharger features a twin-scroll design that helps the engine deliver a broad torque band, for a greater feeling of power on demand. Ninety percent of peak torque is available from 1,800 rpm to 5,500 rpm and the full 260 lb-ft of peak torque from 3,000 to 4,000 rpm. The engine is designed with refinement-enhancing features such as balance shafts and sound-attenuating components; and is isolated on a hydraulically damped substructure that helps quell noise and vibration. Four powertrain mounts are used rather than the conventional three. Ride and handling The Envision’s robust structure is the foundation for a balanced and confident driving experience. Buick’s HiPer Strut front suspension provides more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control and improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces. It’s a feature inspired by the athletic Regal GS sedan and that is not currently offered on any crossover vehicle, including competitors such as the Audi Q5. A standard four-link independent rear suspension is designed to minimize unwanted toe and camber effects during spirited driving maneuvers, enhancing stability. Isolating hydraulic mounts are used front and rear to further reduce noise and vibration that could reach the passenger compartment. The Envision features Buick’s first active Twin Clutch AWD system designed to make the most of handling and stability in all driving conditions. It is a fully automatic, on-demand system engineered to deliver sure-footed handling in low-grip conditions, while also contributing to a quieter and smoother ride with minimal torque transferred to the rear wheels when all-wheel-drive traction isn’t needed. It uses a hydraulically actuated, pump-based system that provides clutch-clamping forces before the vehicle even begins to move. For example, on wet surfaces when the vehicle pulls away from a stop, the system will have already engaged the clutches by looking at torque to analyze the driver’s intentions. The technology allows the vehicle to respond before a slip occurs, rather than just reacting to slip. Additionally, a premium, variable-effort electric power rack-and-pinion steering gear from Bosch Automotive Steering Systems enables effortless low-speed maneuvers and a higher degree of steering feel at higher speeds. The system also includes crosswind stabilization road-shake compensation that enhances smoothness. Safety features The Envision offers 360 degrees of available passive and active safety technology, including 10 standard air bags, available Automatic Park Assist, available Surround Vision camera system and Buick’s first use of Lane Keep Assist, which is standard. They complement a body structure composed of 63 percent high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels, which forms a protective cage around the passenger compartment. Automatic Park Assist measures a suitable parallel or perpendicular parking spot and steers the vehicle into it, while Lane Keep Assist helps the driver keep the vehicle in the lane with an automatic steering adjustment when an inadvertent lane departure is detected. A rearview camera is standard, while the available Surround Vision provides an overhead view of the Envision that enhances the driver’s vision at low speeds, such as parking and reversing. Additional 2016 model year standard and available safety features include: Standard Side-curtain and knee air bags Standard Safety Alert Seat, which pulses to alert the driver about a possible crash Standard Front Park Assist, Lane Change Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert Standard Following Distance Indicator Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control Standard Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution Standard Cornering brake control and brake assist. Available Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control Available Collision Mitigation Braking Safety and security features also include OnStar technology with Advanced Crash Response System, emergency assistance and more. 2016 BUICK ENVISION PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS Overview Model: 2016 Buick Envision Body style / driveline: four-door, five-passenger compact crossover; front engine transaxle, all-wheel drive Construction: steel body frame integral (unibody) with front and rear crumple zones; galvanized steel front fenders, roof, door panels, one-piece bodyside outer panel, aluminum hood, thermal plastic olefin (TPO) bumper fascias EPA vehicle class: SUV Manufacturing location: Yantai, China Key competitors: Acura RDX, Audi Q5, Lincoln MKC Engines Type: Ecotec 2.0L DOHC I-4 VVT DI Turbocharged Displacement (cu. in. / cc): 122 / 1998 Bore & stroke (in. / mm): 3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86 Block material: cast aluminum Cylinder head material: cast aluminum Valvetrain: DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing Valve lifters: hydraulic roller finger follower Ignition system: coil-on-plug Fuel delivery: high-pressure direct injection and electronic throttle control Compression ratio: 9.5:1 Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 252 / 186 (est.) Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm): 260 / 353 (est.) Recommended fuel: premium recommended but not required Max. engine speed (fuel cut-off): 6800 rpm Emissions controls: close-coupled, catalytic converter, positive crankcase ventilation; evaporative system Additional features: extended-life spark plugs; extended-life coolant EPA-estimated fuel economy (city / hwy) TBD Transmissions Hydra-Matic 6T70 Type: six-speed transverse, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive Application: standard Gear ratios (:1): First 4.48 Second 2.87 Third 1.84 Fourth 1.41 Fifth 1.00 Sixth 0.74 Reverse 2.88 Final Drive 3.17 Chassis / Suspension Front: Specifically tuned coil springs, direct-acting stabilizer bar (hollow); hydraulic ride bushings; HiPer Strut suspension Rear: Four-link independent rear with hollow stabilizer bar Traction control: all-speed using engine torque reduction and brake intervention Steering type: electric rack-and-pinion power-assisted with cross-wind stabilization and road-shake stabilization Steering wheel turns lock-to-lock: 2.67 Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft / m): 39.5 / 12 Steering ratio: 15.6 to 1 Brakes Type: four-wheel disc w/ABS and electronic stability control Brake rotor diameter – front (in / mm): 12.6 /321 Brake rotor diameter – rear (in / mm): 12.4 / 315 Wheels / Tires Wheel size and type: 19-inch aluminum Tires: 235/50R19 AL3 Dimensions Exterior Wheelbase (in / mm) : 107.9 / 2740 Overall length (in / mm): 183.7 / 4666 Overall width (in / mm): 72.4 / 1839 Overall height (in / mm): 66.8 / 1697 Front track (in / mm): 1575 / 62 Rear track (in / mm): 1575 / 62 Interior Seating capacity (front / rear): 2 / 3 Headroom (in / mm): 39.96 / 1015 (front) 38.5 / 977 (rear) Legroom (in / mm): 40.9 / 1040 (front) 37.5 / 952 (rear) Shoulder room (in / mm): 57.0 / 1448 (front) 55.8 / 1417 (rear) Hip room (in / mm): 54.4 / 1381 (front) 53.1 / 1348 (rear) EPA passenger volume (cu ft / L) : 100.6 / 2849 EPA interior volume (cu ft / L): 127.5 / 3610.6 Cargo volume (cu ft / L): 26.9 / 761 (behind rear seat) 57.3 / 1622 (rear seat folded) Capacities Fuel tank (gal / L): 17.3 / 65.5 Engine oil (qt / L): 6.0 / 5.7 Curb weight (lb / kg): 4047 / 183 Trailering rating (lb / kg): 1500 / 680 Note: Information shown is current at time of publication. Please visit http://media.gm.com for updates. View full article
  14. A few days ago we reported that the 2016 Buick Envision would be sold in All-Wheel drive format only. This was both true and false. After the reveal of the 2016 Buick Avista concept, I sat down with a Buick representative to discuss the Envision for a bit. It is true that the 2016 model year of the Buick Envision will only be available in all-wheel drive, 2.0T engines, and premium group packages. However, it will be a short model run. The 2017 updates will follow a few months after launch when an additional engine, front wheel drive, and additional packages will be made available. Even after those updates, the 2.0T will still only be available with all-wheel drive. In China, the Envision offered with a 1.6 liter turbo and front-wheel drive. The rep from Buick indicated that it was unlikely that this powertrain combination is going to make the swim across the Pacific, so expect something in between the 200 hp 1.6T and the 260hp 2.0T offerings. We'll note that GM currently does not have any 4-cylinder offering in between those two powerplants in terms of power, so it could end up being an engine that is not yet released. We will have more details for the 2016 and 2017 Envision closer to launch time. You can follow all of our 2016 Detroit Auto Show Reports here. Buick Press Release from November 18 is on Page 2 Buick Introduces Envision Luxury Crossover Clean-sheet approach yields luxury compact crossover designed for confident ride-and-handling performance Dynamic interior with high level of standard content, great attention to detail and latest technologies Strong, efficient performance includes stop/start feature on 2.0L turbo engine LOS ANGELES – Buick today introduced the 2016 Envision – an all-new, technology-infused luxury compact crossover that expands the brand’s portfolio with segment-challenging driving dynamics, advanced technology, connectivity and Buick’s trademark interior acoustics. It is a global vehicle, designed from the ground up as a Buick luxury compact crossover. It goes on sale in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2016. “The all-new Buick Envision is a modern, confident and responsive luxury compact crossover that combines the brand’s core characteristics with performance features never seen on a crossover,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “That dynamic experience behind the wheel is complemented by Buick’s signature luxury, whisper-quiet cabin and connectivity features that make it a crossover that customers are going to love as drivers and passengers.” Vehicle highlights include: LED daytime running lamps and rear LED accent lights Efficiency-enhancing features including upper grille shutters that open and close to enhance aerodynamics on the highway and a body structure incorporating mass-reducing high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels – and a lightweight aluminum hood Standard heated front seats and standard heated rear seat Sliding, 60/40-split rear seat, offering the flexibility of more legroom for second-row passengers Kneeling cushions in the second-row seat enable a flatter load floor when the seat is folded 252-horsepower (186 kW) 2.0L turbo engine with stop/start technology, matched with Buick’s first crossover vehicle application of HiPer Strut front suspension and Buick’s first active Twin Clutch AWD system Standard Safety Alert Seat and Lane Keep Assist, as well as available Advanced Active Park Assist, and Surround Vision 360-degree camera system IntelliLink with 8-inch color touch screen, Text Messaging Alerts and Siri Eyes Free Available OnStar with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot Programmable power liftgate with hands-free operation Active noise cancelation. · Nineteen-inch aluminum wheels are standard. The Envision is also designed to carry more than its competitors, with more rear cargo space than the Acura RDX and the Lincoln MKC. It’s also roomier for passengers, with more rear legroom, front and rear shoulder room, and overall Environmental Protection Agency-rated passenger volume than the MKC. “The Envision rounds out a lineup of crossovers that has helped change customer opinions about the brand,” said Aldred. “Enclave was the cornerstone of the brand’s renaissance, while the Encore was an early entry among small luxury crossovers and has been an unqualified hit for Buick since its introduction.” Design rewards with attention to detail Designers and engineers were given a clean slate to develop the Envision and they employed supercomputer technologies to help make the most of the architecture for strength, stiffness and quietness. Every aspect of the vehicle’s design and its effect on refinement was taken into consideration – even the available panoramic moonroof was designed for lower wind noise when open. “The Envision represents a compromise-free design that enabled the development team to do the things luxury customers appreciate,” said Judy Brennan, chief engineer. “Our attention to detail yielded tremendous strength and stiffness of the platform, which is evident in exceptional ride and handling characteristics.” The clean-sheet design and stiff structure helped eliminate an estimated 22 pounds (10 kg) of add-on material to create whisper-quiet interior acoustics. And while those attributes lie beneath the Envision’s skin, the skin itself is instantly recognizable as a Buick crossover with contemporary proportions, flowing lines and detailed surface features. “There is tension in the Envision’s design that reflects elegant athleticism, rendering a planted stance that enhances driver confidence,” says Bryan Nesbitt, global executive director, Buick design. “It’s dynamic and youthful, with features that support the vehicle’s technologically advanced ambience.” Those features include Buick’s signature winged headlamps and standard heated outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators. Articulating Xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps are available. There’s also a rear spoiler atop the liftgate designed to improve aerodynamic performance. The liftgate features standard programmable power assist and touchless activation. The user simply waves his or her foot near a sensor beneath the fascia to activate the power-assisted liftgate. Dynamic passenger environment The Envision’s interior features a “floating,” wraparound instrument panel sweeps into the door panels, for a flowing, organic and inviting appearance that complements the exterior. It houses a bold gauge cluster featuring two large binnacles with analog instruments and a central digital display for the speedometer and readouts of additional information. “To put it simply, the Envision’s cabin combines beauty with innovation,” said Nesbitt. “It telegraphs dynamism like nothing else in the segment. Everywhere you touch is a stitched, soft surface,” said Nesbitt. “And everything you touch is designed for intuitive, effortless functionality.” The large center console storage bin features damped dual wing-type doors that provide easier, less-obstructed access and allow the driver or passengers – even those in the rear – to access the storage bin without disturbing the other. Also, the heating and air conditioning vents are positioned at the bottom of the center stack, moving the climate and infotainment controls – as well as the eight-inch diagonal color touch screen – higher for easier, more intuitive operation. Additional interior features include: Passive entry and push-button start with standard remote start Standard eight-way power-adjustable front seats and four-way-adjustable lumbar – including available adjustable thigh support on some models that enhances comfort for taller passengers Standard heated front seats and standard heated rear seat Available cooled front seats and standard heated steering wheel Standard eight-inch-diagonal, reconfigurable color driver information center and available full color head-up display Dual-zone climate control with console-mounted rear-seat vents; and standard tri-zone climate control with rear-seat controls Standard Bose premium sound system Available panoramic moonroof. Technology and connectivity The new Envision offers Buick IntelliLink with Text Messaging Alerts and Siri Eyes Free, as well as available OnStar with 4G LTE with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. Text Messaging Alerts for smartphone users with compatible Bluetooth technology reads incoming texts through the vehicle’s speakers, and Siri Eyes Free for iPhones running iOS6 or higher gives users enhanced connectivity and convenience. Each enables voice-controlled connectivity, to help keep phones in pockets and hands on the wheel. An eight-inch-diagonal IntelliLink color touch screen is the contact point for much of the Envision’s technology and connectivity. Itprovides intuitive operation of basic functions, yet is capable of linking up to 10 Bluetooth devices such as smartphones, as well as SD cards and MP3 players. Four USB ports, four 12-volt outlets and a 120-volt outlet are included. A new steering wheel for Buick debuts in the Envision, featuring thumb-operated toggle switches that make it easy to scroll through the IntelliLink menus and vehicle features in the driver information center. Powertrain and performance The 2016 Envision features a standard 2.0L turbo engine SAE certified at 252 horsepower (186 kW) and 260 lb-ft of torque (353 Nm), which is more standard horsepower and torque than an Audi Q5. It is paired with a third-generation six-speed automatic transmission with TAPShift revised to deliver more refined shift performance. Performance and efficiency is enhanced with Stop/Start technology – Buick’s first application on the 2.0L turbo engine. It seamlessly shuts down the engine when the Envision comes to a stop under certain driving conditions, such as a stoplight. The engine automatically restarts when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake. The 2.0L turbo engine is offered exclusively with AWD, giving the Envision performance consistent with vehicle’s ride and handling capabilities. The turbocharger features a twin-scroll design that helps the engine deliver a broad torque band, for a greater feeling of power on demand. Ninety percent of peak torque is available from 1,800 rpm to 5,500 rpm and the full 260 lb-ft of peak torque from 3,000 to 4,000 rpm. The engine is designed with refinement-enhancing features such as balance shafts and sound-attenuating components; and is isolated on a hydraulically damped substructure that helps quell noise and vibration. Four powertrain mounts are used rather than the conventional three. Ride and handling The Envision’s robust structure is the foundation for a balanced and confident driving experience. Buick’s HiPer Strut front suspension provides more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control and improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces. It’s a feature inspired by the athletic Regal GS sedan and that is not currently offered on any crossover vehicle, including competitors such as the Audi Q5. A standard four-link independent rear suspension is designed to minimize unwanted toe and camber effects during spirited driving maneuvers, enhancing stability. Isolating hydraulic mounts are used front and rear to further reduce noise and vibration that could reach the passenger compartment. The Envision features Buick’s first active Twin Clutch AWD system designed to make the most of handling and stability in all driving conditions. It is a fully automatic, on-demand system engineered to deliver sure-footed handling in low-grip conditions, while also contributing to a quieter and smoother ride with minimal torque transferred to the rear wheels when all-wheel-drive traction isn’t needed. It uses a hydraulically actuated, pump-based system that provides clutch-clamping forces before the vehicle even begins to move. For example, on wet surfaces when the vehicle pulls away from a stop, the system will have already engaged the clutches by looking at torque to analyze the driver’s intentions. The technology allows the vehicle to respond before a slip occurs, rather than just reacting to slip. Additionally, a premium, variable-effort electric power rack-and-pinion steering gear from Bosch Automotive Steering Systems enables effortless low-speed maneuvers and a higher degree of steering feel at higher speeds. The system also includes crosswind stabilization road-shake compensation that enhances smoothness. Safety features The Envision offers 360 degrees of available passive and active safety technology, including 10 standard air bags, available Automatic Park Assist, available Surround Vision camera system and Buick’s first use of Lane Keep Assist, which is standard. They complement a body structure composed of 63 percent high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels, which forms a protective cage around the passenger compartment. Automatic Park Assist measures a suitable parallel or perpendicular parking spot and steers the vehicle into it, while Lane Keep Assist helps the driver keep the vehicle in the lane with an automatic steering adjustment when an inadvertent lane departure is detected. A rearview camera is standard, while the available Surround Vision provides an overhead view of the Envision that enhances the driver’s vision at low speeds, such as parking and reversing. Additional 2016 model year standard and available safety features include: Standard Side-curtain and knee air bags Standard Safety Alert Seat, which pulses to alert the driver about a possible crash Standard Front Park Assist, Lane Change Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert Standard Following Distance Indicator Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control Standard Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution Standard Cornering brake control and brake assist. Available Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control Available Collision Mitigation Braking Safety and security features also include OnStar technology with Advanced Crash Response System, emergency assistance and more. 2016 BUICK ENVISION PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS Overview Model: 2016 Buick Envision Body style / driveline: four-door, five-passenger compact crossover; front engine transaxle, all-wheel drive Construction: steel body frame integral (unibody) with front and rear crumple zones; galvanized steel front fenders, roof, door panels, one-piece bodyside outer panel, aluminum hood, thermal plastic olefin (TPO) bumper fascias EPA vehicle class: SUV Manufacturing location: Yantai, China Key competitors: Acura RDX, Audi Q5, Lincoln MKC Engines Type: Ecotec 2.0L DOHC I-4 VVT DI Turbocharged Displacement (cu. in. / cc): 122 / 1998 Bore & stroke (in. / mm): 3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86 Block material: cast aluminum Cylinder head material: cast aluminum Valvetrain: DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing Valve lifters: hydraulic roller finger follower Ignition system: coil-on-plug Fuel delivery: high-pressure direct injection and electronic throttle control Compression ratio: 9.5:1 Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 252 / 186 (est.) Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm): 260 / 353 (est.) Recommended fuel: premium recommended but not required Max. engine speed (fuel cut-off): 6800 rpm Emissions controls: close-coupled, catalytic converter, positive crankcase ventilation; evaporative system Additional features: extended-life spark plugs; extended-life coolant EPA-estimated fuel economy (city / hwy) TBD Transmissions Hydra-Matic 6T70 Type: six-speed transverse, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive Application: standard Gear ratios (:1): First 4.48 Second 2.87 Third 1.84 Fourth 1.41 Fifth 1.00 Sixth 0.74 Reverse 2.88 Final Drive 3.17 Chassis / Suspension Front: Specifically tuned coil springs, direct-acting stabilizer bar (hollow); hydraulic ride bushings; HiPer Strut suspension Rear: Four-link independent rear with hollow stabilizer bar Traction control: all-speed using engine torque reduction and brake intervention Steering type: electric rack-and-pinion power-assisted with cross-wind stabilization and road-shake stabilization Steering wheel turns lock-to-lock: 2.67 Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft / m): 39.5 / 12 Steering ratio: 15.6 to 1 Brakes Type: four-wheel disc w/ABS and electronic stability control Brake rotor diameter – front (in / mm): 12.6 /321 Brake rotor diameter – rear (in / mm): 12.4 / 315 Wheels / Tires Wheel size and type: 19-inch aluminum Tires: 235/50R19 AL3 Dimensions Exterior Wheelbase (in / mm) : 107.9 / 2740 Overall length (in / mm): 183.7 / 4666 Overall width (in / mm): 72.4 / 1839 Overall height (in / mm): 66.8 / 1697 Front track (in / mm): 1575 / 62 Rear track (in / mm): 1575 / 62 Interior Seating capacity (front / rear): 2 / 3 Headroom (in / mm): 39.96 / 1015 (front) 38.5 / 977 (rear) Legroom (in / mm): 40.9 / 1040 (front) 37.5 / 952 (rear) Shoulder room (in / mm): 57.0 / 1448 (front) 55.8 / 1417 (rear) Hip room (in / mm): 54.4 / 1381 (front) 53.1 / 1348 (rear) EPA passenger volume (cu ft / L) : 100.6 / 2849 EPA interior volume (cu ft / L): 127.5 / 3610.6 Cargo volume (cu ft / L): 26.9 / 761 (behind rear seat) 57.3 / 1622 (rear seat folded) Capacities Fuel tank (gal / L): 17.3 / 65.5 Engine oil (qt / L): 6.0 / 5.7 Curb weight (lb / kg): 4047 / 183 Trailering rating (lb / kg): 1500 / 680 Note: Information shown is current at time of publication. Please visit http://media.gm.com for updates.
  15. Buick will be unveiling the 2016 Buick Envision on Sunday at a preview event before the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. One piece of information we dug up is on the drive configuration. According to the VIN card for 2017, the U.S. market Envision will only be available in All-Wheel Drive while we already know that Chinese market vehicles can be configured with just front-wheel drive. Knowing that VIN cards can change as products are finalized, I e-mailed a Buick rep to confirm. He got back to me quickly, confirming that yes, the Envision will be available in only two trim lines, Premium Group 1 and Premium Group 2, both only available in All-Wheel drive. Looking at other Buick models, the Premium Groups are the top of the line, coming standard with leather and lots of luxury features. The 2015 Buick Lacrosse with the Premium Group 1 package is a $7,134 upgrade over the base model. An Enclave with Premium Group is an $8,450 upgrade over base. While pricing hasn't been announced yet, with only Premium Group models available, expect the Envision entry price to be a significant jump in base price over the smaller base Encore. Part of the reason for the limited options groups is that Buick is only expecting to import about 60,000 Envisions per year from China. With most other Buick models skewing heavily towards the upper end of their respective ranges, it makes sense for Buick to send only the best equipped models. Back to the power train, the Envision will be available only with a 2.0 liter, direct injected turbo 4-cylinder which produces 260 lb-ft of torque over a broad RPM range and 252 horsepower fed through GM's standard issue 6-speed auto. The AWD system will be the same as in the coming 2017 Buick LaCrosse. It is a dual-clutch system that can transfer power from side-to-side in the rear wheels and Buick promises to be as fast acting as it is efficient. Also standard GM's HiPer Strut front suspension which when combined with the AWD means there is no torque steer. We will have more Buick Envision information for you as we get closer to its official unveiling on January 10th. In the meantime, you can follow all 2016 Detroit Auto Show news here. View full article
  16. Buick will be unveiling the 2016 Buick Envision on Sunday at a preview event before the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. One piece of information we dug up is on the drive configuration. According to the VIN card for 2017, the U.S. market Envision will only be available in All-Wheel Drive while we already know that Chinese market vehicles can be configured with just front-wheel drive. Knowing that VIN cards can change as products are finalized, I e-mailed a Buick rep to confirm. He got back to me quickly, confirming that yes, the Envision will be available in only two trim lines, Premium Group 1 and Premium Group 2, both only available in All-Wheel drive. Looking at other Buick models, the Premium Groups are the top of the line, coming standard with leather and lots of luxury features. The 2015 Buick Lacrosse with the Premium Group 1 package is a $7,134 upgrade over the base model. An Enclave with Premium Group is an $8,450 upgrade over base. While pricing hasn't been announced yet, with only Premium Group models available, expect the Envision entry price to be a significant jump in base price over the smaller base Encore. Part of the reason for the limited options groups is that Buick is only expecting to import about 60,000 Envisions per year from China. With most other Buick models skewing heavily towards the upper end of their respective ranges, it makes sense for Buick to send only the best equipped models. Back to the power train, the Envision will be available only with a 2.0 liter, direct injected turbo 4-cylinder which produces 260 lb-ft of torque over a broad RPM range and 252 horsepower fed through GM's standard issue 6-speed auto. The AWD system will be the same as in the coming 2017 Buick LaCrosse. It is a dual-clutch system that can transfer power from side-to-side in the rear wheels and Buick promises to be as fast acting as it is efficient. Also standard GM's HiPer Strut front suspension which when combined with the AWD means there is no torque steer. We will have more Buick Envision information for you as we get closer to its official unveiling on January 10th. In the meantime, you can follow all 2016 Detroit Auto Show news here.
  17. Its no secret that Acura has been struggling in the auto marketplace. Aside from the bright spots of the MDX and RDX, the brand has been seeing year-over-year sales drop. But the brand could have a idea that might reverse that. Automotive News recently spoke with Koichi Fukuo, Honda's senior managing director for Acura says the brand is looking into whether or not they should follow in the footsteps of Subaru and equip all of their vehicles with all-wheel drive. "The key is awd," said Fukuo, "As a premium brand, we need something different from the competition." Currently, Acura offers all-wheel drive in half of its lineup and the company is in the process of introducing a new all-wheel drive system that debuted in the new TLX sedan this year. But this change to an all-wheel drive exclusive lineup could take awhile. Also, Automotive News points out that this change might not help Acura at all. 90 percent of Audi's lineup came with all-wheel drive, while nearly 60 percent of BMW's lineup was equipped with all-wheel drive. Now this plan is currently only being talked about at this time. Fukuo presented this plan to the board last week. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) 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
  18. Its no secret that Acura has been struggling in the auto marketplace. Aside from the bright spots of the MDX and RDX, the brand has been seeing year-over-year sales drop. But the brand could have a idea that might reverse that. Automotive News recently spoke with Koichi Fukuo, Honda's senior managing director for Acura says the brand is looking into whether or not they should follow in the footsteps of Subaru and equip all of their vehicles with all-wheel drive. "The key is awd," said Fukuo, "As a premium brand, we need something different from the competition." Currently, Acura offers all-wheel drive in half of its lineup and the company is in the process of introducing a new all-wheel drive system that debuted in the new TLX sedan this year. But this change to an all-wheel drive exclusive lineup could take awhile. Also, Automotive News points out that this change might not help Acura at all. 90 percent of Audi's lineup came with all-wheel drive, while nearly 60 percent of BMW's lineup was equipped with all-wheel drive. Now this plan is currently only being talked about at this time. Fukuo presented this plan to the board last week. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) 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.
  19. Dodge forum has a very nice write up with pictures of what they see as the to be released in Dec 2016 AWD Dodge Dart SRT and why they believe it will kill the WRX STI from Subaru. Interesting read, some valid points. http://dodgeforum.com/articles/2017-dodge-dart-srt-need-take-subaru-wrx-sti/ What do you think? Can dodge really build a car that would unseat the Subaru King?
  20. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 5, 2013 Volkswagen has reportedly begun planning a competitor to the Subaru Outback. According to Automotive News, Volkswagen has given a green light to an AWD version of the next-gen Golf-based Jetta SportWagon. Sources say the company is deciding whether to make into Outback competitor with a higher ground clearance and body-cladding. Now Volkswagen currently sells something like this in parts of the world. The Passat Alltrack takes a Passat wagon and raises the ride height and adds body cladding. Volkswagen showed a concept version of the Passat Alltrack at the 2012 New York Auto Show. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) 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. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 5, 2013 Volkswagen has reportedly begun planning a competitor to the Subaru Outback. According to Automotive News, Volkswagen has given a green light to an AWD version of the next-gen Golf-based Jetta SportWagon. Sources say the company is deciding whether to make into Outback competitor with a higher ground clearance and body-cladding. Now Volkswagen currently sells something like this in parts of the world. The Passat Alltrack takes a Passat wagon and raises the ride height and adds body cladding. Volkswagen showed a concept version of the Passat Alltrack at the 2012 New York Auto Show. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) 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.
  22. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com April 30, 2013 The last time we reviewed a Cadillac SRX, it came with the choice of two different engines, an interior lifted from the Cadillac CTS, and coming close to being second in sales in the small luxury crossover arena. Fast forward two years and the SRX has undergone a bit of a change; there is now one engine, a revised exterior and interior, and coming very close to the Lexus RX in sales... (RX: 95,381 units. SRX: 57,485 units) A revisit it seemed was in order. That’s what happened a few weeks ago as a 2013 Cadillac SRX AWD Performance Collection was dropped off for a week’s evaluation. The overall design of the 2013 Cadillac SRX hasn’t changed much since its introduction back in 2010. The model wears the ‘Art & Science’ design language very well with a number of sharp angles and creases throughout the shape. The only real changes for 2013 include a new front grille and side vents with new LED lighting. Inside the 2013 SRX, Cadillac revised the interior greatly with a new dashboard layout and instrument cluster from the smaller ATS sedan. Materials are in tip-top shape with a mix of leather, wood trim, and black acrylic for the touch capactive touch buttons. Build quality was excellent on this low mileage tester. I had two disappointments with the SRX’s interior. One was the uncomfortable seats. Getting onto them for the first time, I felt like I was sitting on piece of concrete wrapped in leather. Not what I would call luxurious. The other problem was back seat room. While legroom is decent, headroom comes at cost thanks to a sloping roofline and the standard panoramic sunroof on the Performance Collection. Not disappointing is Cadillac’s CUE (Cadillac User Experience). Since we last tried CUE in a ATS back in December, Cadillac has issued an update to squash some of the bugs and improve the performance of the system. My test SRX came with the update and the system was noticeably smoother. Inputs on the screen and the capacitive touch buttons registered most of the time and moving around the system was snappy. Now Cadillac just needs to work on making the system somewhat less distracting. Powering the SRX is a 3.6L V6 engine with 308 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. That is mated to six-speed automatic transmission to either the front-wheels or all four wheels. Compared to the outgoing 3.0L and 2.8L turbocharged V6 engines, the 3.6L sits in the middle. Low-end power isn’t the 3.6L’s strong suit, but get above 2,000 RPM and the power comes smoothly in. The six-speed automatic provided smooth shifts and didn’t need to downshift as much when I stepped on the accelerator, something that couldn’t be said of the 3.0L. One place where I wished the 3.6L was better was fuel economy. The EPA rates the SRX 3.6L AWD at 16 City/24 Highway/18 Combined. During my week, I averaged 17.2 MPG in mostly suburban driving. Out on the highway, fuel economy rose to 24.2 MPG. Why the low MPG numbers? Part of the blame goes to AWD system in the SRX, but a good majority is to the 4,442 lb curb weight. Driving around in the SRX, my impressions were that Cadillac had focused more on the comfort than the sport. The FE2 suspension absorbs bumps and road imperfections with ease. A bit surprising since the SRX I was rolling in had twenty-inch wheels as standard equipment. Steering is very precise, despite the heavily boosted feeling I was getting. My biggest gripe dealt with the brake pedal. Whenever I put my foot on it to stop the SRX, it feels like I’m pushing through quicksand. This means you’re either not going slow down as fast as you like or come to a panic stop. Not pleasant at all. My test SRX AWD Performance Collection rings up at $49,085, which is a steal when you consider that includes CUE, a Bose surround sound system, keyless entry with push button start, twenty-inch wheels, blind spot monitoring, cross traffic alert, and a number other features as standard equipment. Its very easy to see why the 2013 Cadillac SRX is one of the best sellers in the segment. It offers the right blend of luxury, features, and value in a handsome package. While the SRX will not be coming anywhere close to toppling the Lexus RX in sales (so far in 2013, the RX current holds a 8,548 unit lead over the SRX), Cadillac should be very pleased that they have a very credible alternative. Disclaimer: General Motors provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gasoline. Year - 2013 Make – Cadillac Model – SRX Trim – AWD Performance Collection Engine – 3.6L SIDI V6 Driveline – All-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM – 308 @ 6,800 RPM Torque @ RPM – 265 @ 2,400 RPM Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/23/18 Curb Weight – 4,442 lbs Location of Manufacture – Ramos Arizpe, CZ Mexico Base Price - $47,715.00 As Tested Price - $49,085.00* (Includes $875.00 destination charge) Options: Black Ice Metallic Paint - $495.00 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
  23. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com April 30, 2013 The last time we reviewed a Cadillac SRX, it came with the choice of two different engines, an interior lifted from the Cadillac CTS, and coming close to being second in sales in the small luxury crossover arena. Fast forward two years and the SRX has undergone a bit of a change; there is now one engine, a revised exterior and interior, and coming very close to the Lexus RX in sales... (RX: 95,381 units. SRX: 57,485 units) A revisit it seemed was in order. That’s what happened a few weeks ago as a 2013 Cadillac SRX AWD Performance Collection was dropped off for a week’s evaluation. The overall design of the 2013 Cadillac SRX hasn’t changed much since its introduction back in 2010. The model wears the ‘Art & Science’ design language very well with a number of sharp angles and creases throughout the shape. The only real changes for 2013 include a new front grille and side vents with new LED lighting. Inside the 2013 SRX, Cadillac revised the interior greatly with a new dashboard layout and instrument cluster from the smaller ATS sedan. Materials are in tip-top shape with a mix of leather, wood trim, and black acrylic for the touch capactive touch buttons. Build quality was excellent on this low mileage tester. I had two disappointments with the SRX’s interior. One was the uncomfortable seats. Getting onto them for the first time, I felt like I was sitting on piece of concrete wrapped in leather. Not what I would call luxurious. The other problem was back seat room. While legroom is decent, headroom comes at cost thanks to a sloping roofline and the standard panoramic sunroof on the Performance Collection. Not disappointing is Cadillac’s CUE (Cadillac User Experience). Since we last tried CUE in a ATS back in December, Cadillac has issued an update to squash some of the bugs and improve the performance of the system. My test SRX came with the update and the system was noticeably smoother. Inputs on the screen and the capacitive touch buttons registered most of the time and moving around the system was snappy. Now Cadillac just needs to work on making the system somewhat less distracting. Powering the SRX is a 3.6L V6 engine with 308 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. That is mated to six-speed automatic transmission to either the front-wheels or all four wheels. Compared to the outgoing 3.0L and 2.8L turbocharged V6 engines, the 3.6L sits in the middle. Low-end power isn’t the 3.6L’s strong suit, but get above 2,000 RPM and the power comes smoothly in. The six-speed automatic provided smooth shifts and didn’t need to downshift as much when I stepped on the accelerator, something that couldn’t be said of the 3.0L. One place where I wished the 3.6L was better was fuel economy. The EPA rates the SRX 3.6L AWD at 16 City/24 Highway/18 Combined. During my week, I averaged 17.2 MPG in mostly suburban driving. Out on the highway, fuel economy rose to 24.2 MPG. Why the low MPG numbers? Part of the blame goes to AWD system in the SRX, but a good majority is to the 4,442 lb curb weight. Driving around in the SRX, my impressions were that Cadillac had focused more on the comfort than the sport. The FE2 suspension absorbs bumps and road imperfections with ease. A bit surprising since the SRX I was rolling in had twenty-inch wheels as standard equipment. Steering is very precise, despite the heavily boosted feeling I was getting. My biggest gripe dealt with the brake pedal. Whenever I put my foot on it to stop the SRX, it feels like I’m pushing through quicksand. This means you’re either not going slow down as fast as you like or come to a panic stop. Not pleasant at all. My test SRX AWD Performance Collection rings up at $49,085, which is a steal when you consider that includes CUE, a Bose surround sound system, keyless entry with push button start, twenty-inch wheels, blind spot monitoring, cross traffic alert, and a number other features as standard equipment. Its very easy to see why the 2013 Cadillac SRX is one of the best sellers in the segment. It offers the right blend of luxury, features, and value in a handsome package. While the SRX will not be coming anywhere close to toppling the Lexus RX in sales (so far in 2013, the RX current holds a 8,548 unit lead over the SRX), Cadillac should be very pleased that they have a very credible alternative. Disclaimer: General Motors provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gasoline. Year - 2013 Make – Cadillac Model – SRX Trim – AWD Performance Collection Engine – 3.6L SIDI V6 Driveline – All-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM – 308 @ 6,800 RPM Torque @ RPM – 265 @ 2,400 RPM Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/23/18 Curb Weight – 4,442 lbs Location of Manufacture – Ramos Arizpe, CZ Mexico Base Price - $47,715.00 As Tested Price - $49,085.00* (Includes $875.00 destination charge) Options: Black Ice Metallic Paint - $495.00 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.
  24. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 5, 2013 This is how I think a conversation would go with someone about the 2013 Kia Sorento SX V6 I had in for review. “Hey William.” “Hey.” “So what are you reviewing this week?” “The 2013 Kia Sorento SX V6.” “Didn’t Kia introduce a refreshed Sorento?” “Yes at the LA Auto Show. It will be a 2014 model coming out sometime in the first quarter of 2013.” “Why are you reviewing the 2013 model if the 2014 model is coming soon?” “Well for two reasons. One: I have a point of comparison when I get the chance to check out the 2014 model. Two: I want to see if a person should wait to get the 2014 model or go ahead with the 2013 model.” “Ahh.” Shall we dive in? Since its introduction in 2009 as a 2011 model, the second-generation Kia Sorento’s design really hasn’t changed much. The front end features Kia’s signature grille and a set of unique headlights. The side profile has deeply chiseled door panels and windows that are pushed somewhat into the body. On the SX model you gain painted front and rear bumpers, a rear spoiler, and a set of eighteen-inch wheels to give it a very dramatic look. Inside the Sorento feels older than it should. Blame the hard plastics and some of equipment used up front, most notably the climate control system. Aside from this, the interior features very good build quality. Front and second row passengers will feel very comfortable thanks to the very good amount of head and legroom, and adjustments provided. The third row is best left for small kids or folded flat since that expands cargo room from a meager 9.1 cubic feet to 37 cubic feet of space. Equipment is very generous on the Sorento SX. Starting at $33,400, the SX model includes leather seats for all three rows, heated front seats, push-button start, rear ventilation, an Infinity sound system, USB and Aux jack, and Bluetooth as standard equipment. My test Sorento SX also came equipped with the Premium package which adds such items as navigation, heated steering wheel, a memory function for the driver’s seat and mirrors, and a panoramic sunroof. For the extra $3,200 the package adds onto the Sorento SX’s price tag, I find it to be a very good value since models from competitors would cost somewhat more to come close to matching the SX’s equipment level. The 2013 Sorento comes with three different engine choices. The base LX model gets a 2.4L four-cylinder engine. There is also a 2.4L four-cylinder with direct injection that is available on the LX and standard on the EX. Lastly, there is a 3.5L V6 that’s standard on the SX and optional on the LX and EX. The 3.5L V6 produces 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. The power is fed through a six-speed automatic down to either the front wheels or optional all-wheel drive system. The V6 packs quite the punch for any situation you encounter. Whether its to merge onto a freeway or leaving a stop, the V6’s power is immediate and smooth. More surprisingly was how quiet the V6 engine was. The only way you knew the engine was doing anything besides dropping the hammer was watching the rev counter. The six-speed automatic was very smooth and quick to downshift at a moments notice. My only real disappointment with V6 was fuel economy. The EPA rates the Sorento SX V6 with AWD at 18 City/24 Highway/20 combined. During my week, I got an average of 20.5 MPG. However when I was driving the Sorento in the city, I saw my average MPG drop to around 15.8 MPG. If you’re planning to drive a lot in the city, you should consider the four-cylinder. The Sorento’s AWD system is a full-time unit that features a locking center differential. I found the system to be very capable when driving through the aftermath of a snowstorm. The system provided enough traction to get and keep the vehicle on the move, even in some unplowed roads. One oddity in the Sorento SX was a hill descent control system. Hill descent control uses the ABS to control each wheel's speed to get down a hill in rough terrain at a very slow speed. I’m not quite sure how many Sorento owners will utilize this feature, but it's there if you need it. The Sorento SX’s ride and drive can be best explained in three (or four) words; quiet and mostly comfortable. The suspension is tuned for comfort which provides a very smooth and stable ride. Steering is perfectly weighted for the intended application and is surprisingly quick to respond. Driving on the highway, the Sorento exhibits barely any noise from the suspension or the road, making this a very relaxing highway cruiser. The 2013 Kia Sorento SX with AWD starts $33,400.00. Add a few options and destination and you're looking at $37,575.00, the price of my tester. Now some people will argue that seems a bit much for a seven-seat crossover. However I would rebut that for price, the Sorento SX brings forth a number of features that the competition either doesn't have or you would need to tick a few more option boxes to come close. If you were to ask me before the showing of the 2014 Sorento would I recommend the current Sorento, the answer is yes. The 2013 Kia Sorento SX is a very capable and value oriented crossover; providing a good mix of looks, equipment, power, and comfort in one package. But with the 2014 Sorento around the corner, I would say wait and see. The 2014 model brings forth a number of improvements, including a new 3.3L V6 and a more modern interior. Disclaimer: Kia provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gasoline. Album: 2013 Kia Sorento SX 21 images 0 comments Year - 2013 Make – Kia Model – Sorento Trim – SX AWD Engine – 3.5L DOHC CVVT V6 Driveline – All-Wheel Drive with Locking Center Differential, Six-Speed Automatic Transmission Horsepower @ RPM – 276 (@ 6,300 RPM) Torque @ RPM – 248 (@ 5,000 RPM) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/24/20 Curb Weight – 3,935 lbs Location of Manufacture – West Point, Georgia Base Price - $33,400.00 (SX with AWD) As Tested Price - $37,575.00 (Includes $800.00 Destination Charge) Options: Premium Package 3 - $3,200.00 Cargo Cover - $125.00 Cargo Net - $50.00 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
  25. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 5, 2013 This is how I think a conversation would go with someone about the 2013 Kia Sorento SX V6 I had in for review. “Hey William.” “Hey.” “So what are you reviewing this week?” “The 2013 Kia Sorento SX V6.” “Didn’t Kia introduce a refreshed Sorento?” “Yes at the LA Auto Show. It will be a 2014 model coming out sometime in the first quarter of 2013.” “Why are you reviewing the 2013 model if the 2014 model is coming soon?” “Well for two reasons. One: I have a point of comparison when I get the chance to check out the 2014 model. Two: I want to see if a person should wait to get the 2014 model or go ahead with the 2013 model.” “Ahh.” Shall we dive in? Since its introduction in 2009 as a 2011 model, the second-generation Kia Sorento’s design really hasn’t changed much. The front end features Kia’s signature grille and a set of unique headlights. The side profile has deeply chiseled door panels and windows that are pushed somewhat into the body. On the SX model you gain painted front and rear bumpers, a rear spoiler, and a set of eighteen-inch wheels to give it a very dramatic look. Inside the Sorento feels older than it should. Blame the hard plastics and some of equipment used up front, most notably the climate control system. Aside from this, the interior features very good build quality. Front and second row passengers will feel very comfortable thanks to the very good amount of head and legroom, and adjustments provided. The third row is best left for small kids or folded flat since that expands cargo room from a meager 9.1 cubic feet to 37 cubic feet of space. Equipment is very generous on the Sorento SX. Starting at $33,400, the SX model includes leather seats for all three rows, heated front seats, push-button start, rear ventilation, an Infinity sound system, USB and Aux jack, and Bluetooth as standard equipment. My test Sorento SX also came equipped with the Premium package which adds such items as navigation, heated steering wheel, a memory function for the driver’s seat and mirrors, and a panoramic sunroof. For the extra $3,200 the package adds onto the Sorento SX’s price tag, I find it to be a very good value since models from competitors would cost somewhat more to come close to matching the SX’s equipment level. The 2013 Sorento comes with three different engine choices. The base LX model gets a 2.4L four-cylinder engine. There is also a 2.4L four-cylinder with direct injection that is available on the LX and standard on the EX. Lastly, there is a 3.5L V6 that’s standard on the SX and optional on the LX and EX. The 3.5L V6 produces 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. The power is fed through a six-speed automatic down to either the front wheels or optional all-wheel drive system. The V6 packs quite the punch for any situation you encounter. Whether its to merge onto a freeway or leaving a stop, the V6’s power is immediate and smooth. More surprisingly was how quiet the V6 engine was. The only way you knew the engine was doing anything besides dropping the hammer was watching the rev counter. The six-speed automatic was very smooth and quick to downshift at a moments notice. My only real disappointment with V6 was fuel economy. The EPA rates the Sorento SX V6 with AWD at 18 City/24 Highway/20 combined. During my week, I got an average of 20.5 MPG. However when I was driving the Sorento in the city, I saw my average MPG drop to around 15.8 MPG. If you’re planning to drive a lot in the city, you should consider the four-cylinder. The Sorento’s AWD system is a full-time unit that features a locking center differential. I found the system to be very capable when driving through the aftermath of a snowstorm. The system provided enough traction to get and keep the vehicle on the move, even in some unplowed roads. One oddity in the Sorento SX was a hill descent control system. Hill descent control uses the ABS to control each wheel's speed to get down a hill in rough terrain at a very slow speed. I’m not quite sure how many Sorento owners will utilize this feature, but it's there if you need it. The Sorento SX’s ride and drive can be best explained in three (or four) words; quiet and mostly comfortable. The suspension is tuned for comfort which provides a very smooth and stable ride. Steering is perfectly weighted for the intended application and is surprisingly quick to respond. Driving on the highway, the Sorento exhibits barely any noise from the suspension or the road, making this a very relaxing highway cruiser. The 2013 Kia Sorento SX with AWD starts $33,400.00. Add a few options and destination and you're looking at $37,575.00, the price of my tester. Now some people will argue that seems a bit much for a seven-seat crossover. However I would rebut that for price, the Sorento SX brings forth a number of features that the competition either doesn't have or you would need to tick a few more option boxes to come close. If you were to ask me before the showing of the 2014 Sorento would I recommend the current Sorento, the answer is yes. The 2013 Kia Sorento SX is a very capable and value oriented crossover; providing a good mix of looks, equipment, power, and comfort in one package. But with the 2014 Sorento around the corner, I would say wait and see. The 2014 model brings forth a number of improvements, including a new 3.3L V6 and a more modern interior. Disclaimer: Kia provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gasoline. Album: 2013 Kia Sorento SX 21 images 0 comments Year - 2013 Make – Kia Model – Sorento Trim – SX AWD Engine – 3.5L DOHC CVVT V6 Driveline – All-Wheel Drive with Locking Center Differential, Six-Speed Automatic Transmission Horsepower @ RPM – 276 (@ 6,300 RPM) Torque @ RPM – 248 (@ 5,000 RPM) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/24/20 Curb Weight – 3,935 lbs Location of Manufacture – West Point, Georgia Base Price - $33,400.00 (SX with AWD) As Tested Price - $37,575.00 (Includes $800.00 Destination Charge) Options: Premium Package 3 - $3,200.00 Cargo Cover - $125.00 Cargo Net - $50.00 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.

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