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  1. 2016… What a year. This year saw a number of things that no one thought would actually happen did. Not helping matters is the number of famous people that have sadly passed on. Here at the Cheers & Gears Detroit Bureau, it wasn’t such a great year for vehicles. For the 2016 review season, 44 vehicles came in for evaluation. Out of this group, only eight vehicles earned a spot of being my favorite vehicles from the year. Read on to see which vehicles made the cut. 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe It is amazing how far Cadillac has come in the past decade and proof of it can be shown in the ATS- V coupe. A 464 horsepower twin-turbo V6 makes the vehicle fly with no issue. A set of sticky tires and adjustable dampers show the ATS-V is just as capable, maybe more so than its German counterparts. But it can also provide decent ride around town if you set the dampers into a comfort mode. Then there is the look. I’m not usually a fan of red, but it looks killer on the ATS-V coupe. It pairs quite nicely with sharp angles and a low roofline This was one of the models where I found myself grinning from ear to ear because of how much fun I had. 2016 Chevrolet Volt It is amazing how far Chevrolet has come with the Volt. Five years ago, the Volt was this odd looking vehicle with a clever powertrain that made range anxiety nonexistent. Yes, 35 miles of electric-only range didn’t seem like a lot. However, the gas generator acted as an insurance policy if you ran out of juice with the battery. Flash forward to this year and Volt has not only seen an increase in overall range to 53 miles, but it has also gotten sleeker. This is currently my favorite looking Chevrolet vehicle with the new Cruze a close second. Other plus points include an improved interior and smooth ride. The new Bolt is currently basking in the spotlight that the Volt was at one time. But let us not forget the Volt is one of the key reasons why the Bolt exists. 2016 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack & SRT Hellcat Dodge covered the two extremes of performance this season with the Charger R/T Scat Pack and Hellcat. The Scat Pack was first up and I fell in love with it. For almost $40,000, you basically got an SRT Charger minus the adaptive suspension and number of luxury items. It was great fun with the 6.4L HEMI V8 bellowing down the road and the sharp looking Plum Crazy paint color. I found that you really don’t need the adaptive suspension as the Scat Pack does ok on bumpy roads or curvy roads. Then we come to the Charger SRT Hellcat. 707 horsepower from a supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8. It seems maddening that we are given a vehicle with all of this power for a price tag under $66,000. Trying to describe the way the Hellcat goes is difficult and something you need to experience. This is a vehicle that will make you laugh like a small child every time you decide to drop the hammer to hear the whir of the supercharger and manic sound of the V8. 2016 Kia Optima SXL It is no secret that the Kia Optima is one of my favorite midsize sedans. It offers distinctive looks and feature set at a price that will surprise many. But it was set to fall off my list earlier this year when I drove the Optima EX. The big issues were an uncomfortable ride and poor noise isolation. So when I found out that the top of line SXL was scheduled later in the year, I was worried that it would be plagued by the same issues. But those issues never appeared. The SXL was not only quiet but showed a noticeable improvement in terms of ride comfort. I still don’t know what black magic Kia did on the SXL, but it kept the Optima on my favorites list. Now if they could work on the lazy throttle… 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata “Sometimes to fully test a vehicle, you need to put it in a situation where it isn’t fully comfortable.” That was the case for the Mazda MX-5 Miata as it would not be only driven in the middle of one of the coldest winters in Michigan, but it would also be taking me to and from the Detroit Auto Show. Crazy? Of course. But the MX-5 Miata was wearing a set of winter tires which helped it stick to the road. Despite the cold temps and snow that would fall during the latter half of the week, the MX-5 Miata proved to be just as fun as it would have been in warmer weather. Sharp handling, an engine that loved to rev, and a slick six-speed manual transmission. It didn’t hurt that I could actually fit my suitcase into the trunk of the Miata for the show. 2016 Scion iA I have a trend of driving brands or vehicles that will be ending. Most infamously was the time when I drove a Suzuki SX4 for review and then hearing the news of the brand leaving a couple of days after returning it. That was the case of the Scion iA. A few months after driving the iA, Toyota announced that it was shuttering the brand. Some of the vehicles, like the iA would continue as Toyotas. This was a smart move as the iA proved to be a winner. Being a rebadged Mazda2 was a big reason as to why I liked the iA. It was a fun vehicle to drive around town or on a special road. But it also featured a lot of standard equipment including automatic emergency braking. While the brand is gone, it is good to see the iA lives on. 2016 Toyota Prius Three I have never been a fan of the Prius family. Every Prius that I have reviewed left me wondering who decided to start selling a science experiment and not an actual vehicle. But the 2016 Prius is my biggest shock of the year. Yes, the Prius will take its time getting up to speed on the freeway. But around town, the Prius was a spritely performer. More surprising was how well the Prius drove. Taking a corner, I was expecting to experience motion sickness because of how much body roll previous models had. But the Prius took it like a champ showing little body and some decent steering - thank the new TGNA architecture. It doesn’t hurt that I got 60.2 mpg as my average for the week. Well done Toyota. 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen If there is one shining light at Volkswagen, it would have to be the Golf family. Last year, I named the Golf GTI as one of my favorites. This year, that honor falls to the SportWagen. Yes, it isn’t the sharpest looking vehicle in the class and the DSG transmission needs some more work. But Volkswagen got the basics right. The 1.8T is powerful and delivers excellent fuel economy. The interior spacious for both passengers and cargo - I was able to fit two massive Ikea boxes into it. Volkswagen also mastered the dark art of balancing fun to drive with comfort. I could take the Golf SportWagen down a windy road and be entertained. Afterward, I could drive it around town and not feel any road imperfections. There you go, the eight vehicles that earned a coveted spot on my favorites list. Now it should be noted that some vehicles we’re close to getting onto this list, but were kicked off for one reason or another. Here are those vehicles, Chevrolet Malibu 2LT: Chevrolet did an excellent job with the new Malibu with fixing a number of issues that plagued the old model. But the 2LT introduced a new set of problems - questionable materials, poor road noise isolation, and the lack of options. I really do like the new Malibu, just not in 2LT form. Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible: Loved the V8 performance and noise. Hate the $54,000 pricetag. This might explain why GM has such a large amount of Camaros sitting on dealers. Hyundai Elantra: Hyundai played it safe with the updated Elantra and this would have been ok a couple of years ago. But in light of the redesigned Chevrolet Cruze and Honda Civic, it wasn’t enough for the Elantra to be a strong contender as it once was. Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X: This was a truck I really wanted to like. Nissan was trying something different with the Titan XD - offer something between a light-duty and heavy-duty pickup. Plus, a nice Cummins V8 diesel could have been the cheery on top. But trying to convince someone that your truck is the best is difficult since truck buyers tend to stick with one brand. Not helping is the lack of cab and bed sizes. At the time of our original review, the XD was only available as a crew cab. A regular cab has been since introduced. But it seems Nissan doesn’t fully understand the truck market. You need to have a lot of options available to buyers at launch, not down the road.
  2. Last fall, I had the chance to drive a Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack for a week and fell in love. It was basically an SRT Charger, minus a few items for just under $40,000. This fall, another high-performance Charger came in a week’s stay and it was packing more heat. 707 horsepower to be exact. Yes, I finally got my hands on a Hellcat. What was it like? It was fast, but you want more information than that. That 707 horsepower figure comes courtesy from a 6.2L supercharged HEMI V8. Torque is rated at 650 pound-feet.This is backed up by an eight-speed automatic only. If you want a manual, then you’ll need to get the Challenger Hellcat. Trying to explain just how fast the Charger Hellcat is difficult. This is a car that you need to drive or sit in to experience the ferocity of the V8 engine. The best way I can use to describe the Hellcat’s power delivery is engaging warp drive. Step on the accelerator and the supercharger whirrs into life and the V8 produces a roar very few vehicles can dream. Blink and you’ll be at an illegal speed before you know it. Taking turns in the Hellcat is somewhat difficult because of the accelerator. You need to roll on it if you want to do it smoothly. If you step on the accelerator pedal like you would on a standard vehicle, the back will become very loose and the stability control will kick on to get the vehicle straightened out. This is especially important due to the tires fitted to Hellcat, a set of Pirelli P-Zeros. These tires need to be warmed up before they begin to bite the road. The Hellcat will be a regular at the fuel pump with fuel economy figures of 13 City/22 Highway/16 Combined. I got about 14.3 mpg during my week in mostly city driving. Handling? That’s the surprising part as the Charger Hellcat doesn’t embarrass itself. Fitted with an adaptive suspension system, the Charger Hellcat shows little body roll when put into Sport and provides a smooth ride when in comfort. The steering system provides the right amount of feel and heft you want in a performance vehicle. Bringing a 707 horsepower vehicle to a stop is no easy task, but a set of massive Brembo brakes is up to the task. It brings the Charger Hellcat to a quick halt. The Charger Hellcat looks like your standard SRT Charger with a new front clip and lowered stance. There are some slight differences such as a new hood, 20-inch wheels finished in a dark bronze color, and the requisite Hellcat emblems on the front fenders. Inside, the Hellcat isn’t that much different from the standard Charger aside from the speedometer going 200 mph. It would have been nice if Dodge could have done some sprucing of the interior to not make it feel so dank and dark. A little bit more color on the dash would not be a bad thing. The front seats have extra bolstering to hold you in when you decide to let loose all 707 horsepower or take a turn a bit too fast. As I mentioned in my Ram 1500 Quick Drive last week, the Charger’s UConnect system is beginning to show its age. The interface is still easy to use but is beginning to show signs of aging. Performance isn’t as snappy either as in previous FCA models. Hopefully, the 2017 model is able to get the updated UConnect system that debuted in the Pacifica. The UConnect system in the Charger Hellcat does come with SRT Pages. This allows you to record 0-60, quarter-mile, and reaction times. It also allows you to change various performance settings such as gear changes, suspension, and whether you want the full 707 horsepower or 500. The last one pertains if you happen to have the red key. In terms of pricing, the Charger Hellcat kicks off at $65,495. With options and a $1,700 gas guzzler tax, our tester came to $72,820. Compared to other high-performance sedans, the Hellcat is quite the steal. If it was my money on the line, I would go for the Charger R/T Scat Pack. I get most of the enjoyment of the Hellcat, minus the supercharger whine. But I would have a fair chunk of change that I could spend on hopping it up. But I understand why someone would go for the Charger Hellcat. It is a four-door sedan that provides explosive acceleration and engine note that no other vehicle can dare match. There’s something magical about stepping on the accelerator, being flung back into the seat due to power on tap, and then laughing like a four-year old after what happened. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Charger Hellcat, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas (Author’s Note: That’s a wrap for the 2016 review season. We’ll be back with the first batch of 2017 model year vehicles after New Years. But I will be picking my favorite vehicles I drove this year. Expect to see that before the year comes to a close.) Year: 2016 Make: Dodge Model: Charger Trim: SRT Hellcat Engine: Supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8 Driveline: Eight-speed automatic, Rear-wheel drive Horsepower @ RPM: 707 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 650 @ 4,800 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/22/16 Curb Weight: 4,570 lbs Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario Base Price: $65,945 As Tested Price: $72,820 (Includes $995 Destination Charge and $1,700 Gas Guzzler Tax) Options: Customer Preferred Package 23T - $1,995.00 20-inch x 9.5-inch Brass Monkey SRT Forged Wheels - $995.00 275/40ZR20 P Zero Summer Tires - $595.00 Redline Red Tri-coat Pearl Exterior Paint - $595.00
  3. Like life, reviewing vehicles sometimes mean having a curveball thrown your way. Originally, I was going to be reviewing the Chrysler 200 before its production run would end. Sadly, the 200 was pulled out of Chrysler’s test fleet before I was able to drive. But sometimes, that curveball can be a positive. In this case, a Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn would take its place. More importantly, it would be equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. We like this engine in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. How would it fare in the Ram 1500? Quite well. The EcoDiesel V6 in question is a turbocharged 3.0L with 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Our test truck came with four-wheel drive, but you can order the EcoDiesel with two-wheel drive. The EcoDiesel might not have the roar or performance figures of the 5.7L V8 (0-60 takes about 9 seconds for the diesel compared to just a hair over 7 seconds for the V8), but it is a very capable engine. There is a lot of punch on the low end of the rpm band and the engine never feels that it is running out of breath the higher you climb in speed. You can tell the EcoDiesel is a diesel during start up as it has distinctive clatter. Also, it takes a few seconds for the engine to start up if you let the truck sit for awhile. But once the engine is going, you can’t really tell its a diesel. Whether you’re standing outside or sitting inside, the V6 is quiet and smooth. The eight-speed automatic is one of the best transmissions in the class as it delivers imperceptible gear changes. In terms of towing, the EcoDiesel V6 has a max tow rating of 9,210 pounds (regular cab with 2WD). The crew cab with 4WD drops the max tow rating to 8,610 pounds. This does trail the V8 considerably (max tow rating of 10,640). But the EcoDiesel makes up for this in terms of fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 19 City/27 Highway/22 Combined for the EcoDiesel equipped 4WD. Our average for the week was a not too shabby 23.4 mpg. This generation of the Ram 1500 has garnered a reputation for having one of the best rides in the class. We can’t disagree. The coil-spring setup on the rear suspension smooths out bumps and other road imperfections very well. Our truck also featured the optional air suspension which is more focused on improving the capability of the pickup and not ride comfort. There are five different ride height settings that allow for easier access when getting in and out of a truck to increasing ground clearance when going off-road. The air suspension will also level out the truck if there is a heavy load in the bed or pulling a trailer. The Ram 1500’s exterior look hasn’t really changed much since we reviewed one back in 2014. Up front is a large crosshair grille finished in chrome and large rectangular headlights with LED daytime running lights. The Laramie Longhorn features it own design cues such as two-tone paint finish, 20-inch wheels, and large badges on the front doors telling everyone which model of Ram you happen to be driving. Inside, the Laramie Longhorn is well appointed with real wood trim on the dash and steering wheel, high-quality leather upholstery for the seats, and acres of soft-touch plastics. Some will snicker at the seat pockets that are designed to look saddle bags, complete with a chrome clasp. Comfort-wise, the Laramie Longhorn’s interior scores very high. The seats provide excellent support for long trips, and no one sitting in the back will be complaining about the lack of head and legroom. One nice touch is all of the seats getting heat as standard equipment, while the front seats get ventilation as well. The UConnect system is beginning to show its age with an interface that is looking somewhat dated and certain tasks taking a few seconds more than previous versions. There is an updated UConnect system that debuted on the 2017 Pacifica with a tweaked interface and quicker performance. Hopefully, this is in the cards for the 2017 Ram 1500. As for pricing, the Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 comes with a base price $52,365. With options including the 3.0L EcoDiesel, our as-tested price was $60,060. Sadly this is the new reality for pickup trucks. Many buyers want the luxuries and features found on standard vehicles and are willing to pay for it. The Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 can justify the price for what it offers, but it is still a lot of money to drop. The nice thing about the Ram 1500 is the number of trims on offer. You’ll be able to find a model that should fit your needs and price range. Personally, I would be happy with a Big Horn or Laramie as they would offer everything I would want or need in a truck. But if you want something luxurious with a cowboy twist, you can’t go wrong with Laramie Longhorn. The EcoDiesel is just the cherry on top. Disclaimer: Ram Trucks Provided the 1500, Insurance, and One Tank of Diesel Year: 2016 Make: Ram Trucks Model: 1500 Crew Cab Trim: Laramie Longhorn Engine: 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 240 @ 3,600 Torque @ RPM: 420 @ 2,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/27/22 Curb Weight: N/A Location of Manufacture: Warren, MI Base Price: $52,365 As Tested Price: $60,060 (Includes $1,195.00 Destination Charge) Options: 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 - $3,120.00 4-Corner Air Suspension - $1,695.00 Wheel to Wheel Side Steps - $600.00 Convenience Group - $495.00 Trailer Brake Control - $280.00 Cold Weather Group - $235.00 3.92 Rear Axle Ratio - $75.00
  4. The last time I drove a Fiat 500C Abarth, it with six-speed automatic. I found it to be quite a cheeky vehicle with an exhaust note that makes you think you’re driving something a bit more powerful and a look that helped it stand out. But I couldn’t help but wonder how the Abarth is with the manual transmission. About a couple of months ago, I slipped behind the wheel of another 500C Abarth, this time with the manual. The end result was a bit of a letdown. The manual transmission in question is a five-speed and it isn’t any fun to use. The throw is somewhat long and imprecise. A few times, I found myself going into the wrong gear because I couldn’t tell where I was in the gear pattern. Not helping matters is the clutch which not only has a long travel, but it isn’t easy to find the takeoff point. This is one of those vehicles where the automatic makes more sense. The turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder produces 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. The engine is quite the performer with power coming on strong at low rpm. Engage the Sport mode and the engine becomes more spritely. Some reviews criticize the 500 Abarth’s suspension for being a bit too soft for a performance model. I really don’t see that as I think the Abarth strikes a good balance between handling and ride comfort. Yes, the Abarth will show a little bit more body roll in the corners. But it doesn’t detract from the quick direction change the vehicle is able to pull off thanks to its short wheelbase. The ride is slightly bouncy over bumps, but it isn’t to the point of annoyance. One area that the Abarth could use some improvement is in the steering. A little bit more road feel and weight would not be a bad thing for a performance hatch. If you happen to be a shrinking violet, then pass on getting the yellow paint like on my tester. The level of ‘LOOK AT ME’ is turned up to 11. Fiat will say the 500C is a convertible, but it is more of a targa - the roof rails and pillars stay up, and the canvas roof folds. But I do like that you can open or close it at speed. Visibility must have a different meaning in Italian than English since the view from the rear is almost nonexistent with the top up or down. The interior hasn’t changed much which is both good and bad. The good is the retro styling that adds a bit of charm. The bad are how the front seats feel like you're sitting on a stool. If there was a height adjustment for the seats or a telescoping adjustment for the steering wheel, this would ok. But since there isn’t, you’ll find yourself in a somewhat awkward seating position. As for pricing, the 500C Abarth with the manual begins at $26,695. With options, the as-tested price came to $31,695. The automatic if you wondering adds $1,350 to the price. But there is some good news over the horizon. Fiat will be cutting prices on a number of their models for 2017, with the biggest ones coming to the 500C. It might be worth waiting for the 2017 model since a lower price could make it slightly easier to convince yourself that you can live with something that is quite small, but packs a lot of character. But be sure to go with the automatic. Disclaimer: Fiat Provided the 500C Abarth, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Fiat Model: 500C Trim: Abarth Engine: Turbocharged 1.4L 16-Valve MultiAir Four-Cylinder Driveline: Five-Speed Manual, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 160 @ 5,500 Torque @ RPM: 170 @ 2,500-4,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/34/30 Curb Weight: 2,545 lbs Location of Manufacture: Toluca, Mexico Base Price: $26,695 As Tested Price: $31,965 (Includes $995 Destination Charge) Options: 17-inch Forged Aluminum Hyper Black Wheels - $1,400.00 Popular Equipment Package - $975.00 Beats Audio Package - $700.00 Giallo Moderna Perla (Modern Pearl Yellow) - $500.00 Nero (Black) Mirror Cap with Body Side Stripe - $450.00 Nero (Black) Trimmed Lights - $250.00
  5. When I go back and look at the various Kia Optimas I have driven for Cheers & Gears, there has been one variant that I haven’t driven, the 2.0L turbo-four. But this changed back over the summer when a 2016 Kia Optima SXL came into the Cheers & Gears’ Detroit bureau for a week-long evaluation. The SXL serves as the Optima’s flagship trim with more premium materials and the turbo-four. As I mentioned in my Optima EX review from earlier this year, the redesigned Optima looks familiar to the previous model. But that isn’t a bad thing per say. It is still as sharp looking as the previous model and the changes done such as a new trunk lid, LED taillights, a smaller grille, and reshaped headlights. The SXL takes it a step further with a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, Turbo badging on the fender vents, and a little bit more chrome. Finished in a dark blue, the Optima SXL is damn good looking midsize sedan. You won’t find many differences in the SXL’s interior compared to other Optima’s. The key one is the seats being wrapped Nappa leather with a quilted pattern. If I am being honest, I can’t really tell difference between the Nappa leather and the standard leather used on other Kia models. But what I can tell the difference with is the materials used in the SXL’s interior. Kia swaps the soft-touch plastic used on the dash and door panels for stitched leatherette. This is to give the impression that you’re in something more expensive and it works very well. The Optima SXL’s backseat is slightly tighter than the one found in the Optima EX. Why? The SXL comes with a panoramic sunroof as standard, which eats into headroom. Let’s talk about the engine. The SXL features a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. Leaving a stop, it takes a moment for the engine to fully wake up and you can’t help but wonder where is the power. At first, I thought this new 2.0L developed a bad case of turbo-lag. But I soon realized that it was a lazy throttle that was causing this issue. This is something we have been noticing in recent Hyundai and Kia models equipped with the turbo engine. Once you get over the lazy throttle, the engine moves the Optima with some authority. Merging onto a freeway or making a pass is no problem as the turbo quickly spools up and gives the necessary thrust. It doesn’t hurt the engine is very refined. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 22 City/32 Highway/25 Combined. I achieved a not too shabby 26.1 mpg average for the week. One of my biggest complaints about the last Optima I drove was the uncomfortable ride. The tuning on the EX model let in more bumps and road imperfections inside than what I was expecting. To my surprise, the SXL featured a more comfortable ride. Despite featuring larger wheels, the SXL was able to iron out most bumps and imperfections. I can’t explain why there is a vast difference in terms of ride quality between the two trims at this time. The SXL does retain the sharp handling that we liked in the Optima EX. Body motions are kept in check and the steering provides a nice heft when turning. Some will lament that the steering doesn’t have the same feel as something like the Mazda6, but this has to be Kia’s best effort yet. The Optima SXL begins at $35,790 and that includes every option available on the Optima as standard equipment - 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, a Harman/Kardon audio system, navigation, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, surround view camera system, and much more. Some might balk at the price. But considering what the SXL brings to the table, along with its improved ride quality, it is very much worth the price. Plus, you might be able to work out a deal to where you’ll be able to cut the price. We’ve seen dealers cutting about $2,000 to $4,000 off Optima SXLs in an effort improve sales of the midsize sedan. Who knows, you might be able to get one of best equipped and decent driving midsize sedans at a surprising price. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Optima SXL, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Kia Model: Optima Trim: SXL Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 245 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,350-4,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/32/25 Curb Weight: 3,594 lbs Location of Manufacture: West Point, Georgia Base Price: $35,790 As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A
  6. Most luxury SUVs will never go fully off-road. The closest they’ll ever get is driving down a gravel road. But that doesn’t mean some automakers aren’t filling them with the latest off-road for that one person who decides to. Case in point is the LX 570. Lexus’ variant of the Toyota Land Cruiser has been updated inside and out to try and draw buyers away from the usual suspects in the class. For 2016, Lexus has softened the LX’s boxy-shape with some rounded edges and more imposing fenders. The front grille has grown in size to match other Lexus vehicles, though to our eyes it looks more like the head from a Cylon in the 1980’s Battlestar Galactica tv show. The rear features new taillights and a reshaped tailgate. The interior has somehow become more opulent since the last LX we drove. A new dash design features real wood trim and more soft-touch materials. Our tester featured leather upholstery that can be described as red-orange. At first, I thought it was a bit much. But over the week I grew to like the color as it adds some personality. Sitting in either the front or second-row seats of the LX is a pleasant experience. There is plenty of head and legroom for both rows, along with heat. Front seats also get ventilation as standard. The third-row seat is a bit of joke. Getting back there in the first place is quite difficult due to the small gap when you move the second-row forward. Once back there, you find legroom is almost negligible. Finally, the way the third row folds up by side walls and not into the floor hampers cargo space - only offering 41 cubic feet. Lexus’ Remote Touch interface has arrived in the LX this year with a gargantuan 12.3-inch screen sitting on top of the dash. On the plus side, the screen is vibrant and easy to read. The negative is the remote touch controller as you’ll find yourself choosing the wrong function because the controller is very sensitive to inputs. Power comes from 5.7L V8 with 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and full-time four-wheel drive system. On paper, the V8 should move the LX 570 with no issue. But a curb weight of 6,000 pounds negates this. Performance can be described as ho-hum as it takes a few ticks longer to get up to speed. At least the eight-speed automatic transmission is a smooth operator and quick to respond when you stab the throttle. The LX 570 is chock full of clever off-road tech such as crawl control, hill start assist, 360-degree camera system, and multi-terrain select system that optimizes various parts of the powertrain and four-wheel drive system. Sadly, we didn’t get the chance to put any of these to the test. No matter the condition of the road, the LX 570 provides a smooth and relaxing ride. Impressive when you consider the LX is riding on a set of 21-inch wheels. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. Lexus added a set of adaptive dampers for the 2016 LX and you can adjust the firmness via a knob in the center console - Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. The dampers do help reduce body roll in corners, giving you a little bit more confidence. Steering is what you would expect in an SUV, light and numb. This makes the LX a bit cumbersome to move in certain places such as a parking lot. Compared to the last LX 570 we drove, the 2016 model has gone up in price. Base price now stands at $88,880 and our as-tested price comes in at $96,905. This one feels a bit a more worth of price tag that Lexus is asking for, but I still think a Cadillac Escalade or Range Rover are slightly better in terms of value. If you’re planning a trip to Death Valley or the Rocky Mountains and want something that can you there and back, along with providing all of the luxuries, look no further than the LX. Otherwise, there are a number of other luxury SUVs that make more sense if you’re planning to stay on the pavement. Year: 2016 Make: Lexus Model: LX 570 Trim: N/A Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC Dual VVT-i V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Full-Time Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 383 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 403 @ 3,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/18/15 Curb Weight: 6,000 lbs Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japn Base Price: $88,880 As Tested Price: $96,905 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge) Options: Mark Levinson Audio System - $2,150.00 Dual-Screen DVD Rear-Seat Entertainment System - $2,005.00 Luxury Package - $1,190.00 Heads-Up Display - $900.00 Cargo Mat, Net, Wheel Locks, & Key Glove - $250.00 All-Weather Floor Mats - $165.00 Heated Black Shimamoku Steering Wheel - $150.00 Wireless Charger - $75.00
  7. It has been a couple of years since we last checked out the Toyota 4Runner. Since that time, the crossover marketplace has grown even further and becoming the clear choice for many consumers. But there are still some who want/need the capability of an SUV like the 4Runner. Who should consider it? Toyota hasn’t changed the 4Runner’s exterior since we last checked it out. This isn’t a bad thing since one of the things I liked about it was the styling. The front end still looks like it is wearing a muzzle with a large surround for the grille and chunky front bumper. Other design details to take in are a set of flared out wheel arches, hood scoop, and rear tailgate with a window that can be raised or lowered. The interior follows the exterior with no real changes. Many materials are of the hard plastic variety which is ok considering the off-road character of the 4Runner. Having materials that can stand up to rough and tumble of off-road conditions isn’t a bad thing. The chunky knobs and simple layout of the dashboard are still here, making it easy to find certain controls when on the move. It would be nice if Toyota could swap the 6.1-inch touchscreen for something a little bit larger. It isn’t as easy to read at a glance and more often than not, you’ll be hitting the wrong touchscreen button. At least the Entune infotainment system is simple to understand. Space is plentiful for passengers in both rows with an abundance of head and legroom. There is the option of a third row, but it would be wise to skip it since it isn’t comfortable for most people to due to the minuscule amount of legroom. The powertrain remains a 4.0L V6 with 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque, and a five-speed automatic transmission. Most trims will have the choice of either two-wheel or four-wheel drive. The TRD Pro and Trail (the model seen here) only come with four-wheel drive. The power figures may make you believe that the 4Runner has enough grunt for the daily grind, but it falters once you take it out on the road. Around town, the V6 provides a decent amount of grunt. But where the engine falters is trying to make a pass or merging onto a freeway. It seems to make more noise than actual power in these situations. The automatic transmission provides smooth gear changes. But adding an extra gear would not be a bad thing since would drop engine rpm on the expressway and improve overall fuel economy. I got an average of 19 mpg for the week - EPA fuel economy figures stand at 17 City/21 Highway/18 Combined for 4WD models. SUVs have made progress in terms of ride and handling, but you wouldn’t know that if you were driving a Toyota 4Runner. Take for example the ride quality. At low speeds, the 4Runner’s suspension does a good job with smoothing over bumpers. At higher speeds such as driving on a freeway, the ride becomes very bouncy. Going around a corner isn’t a pleasant experience as there is a fair amount of body lean. Steering is on the heavy and makes certain tasks such as pulling into a parking space a bit of a chore. But the 4Runner does redeem itself when it comes to off-road driving. Sadly, we didn’t get the chance to take this 4Runner off-road which is quite a shame because the Trail adds some goodies to help when it comes to going off the beaten path. There is a locking rear differential, Crawl Control which is a low-speed cruise control system to allow the SUV go through a rocky trail, Multi-Terrain Select that alters throttle and traction control settings for various conditions, and the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System that adjusts the suspension to allow for more wheel travel. The Toyota 4Runner is an old-school SUV wrapped up in modern clothing. It makes no apologies for what it is and that is something I respect. This is a model that should be considered by those who want to go to special place in the woods or out in the desert on a regular basis. If you’re not planning to go off-road on a regular basis, then the 4Runner is a poor choice. Stick with a crossover or something like a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the 4Runner, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Toyota Model: 4Runner Trim: Trail Premium Engine: 4.0L DOHC Dual VVT-i 24-Valve V6 Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, 4WD Horsepower @ RPM: 270 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 278 @ 4,400 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 17/21/18 Curb Weight: 4,750 lbs Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan Base Price: $39,095 As Tested Price: $40,148 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge and $750.00 'Keep it Wild' savings) Options: Remote Engine Start - $499.00 All Weather Mats/Cargo Tray - $200.00 Cargo Cover - $155.00 Cargo Net - $49.00
  8. Crossovers are big business and this is nowhere more apparent than in the compact realm. Automakers are either introducing new or redesigned models to make their mark and try to a take a nice slice of the growing demand by consumers. Recently, we spent some time with the redesigned 2017 Kia Sportage SX and refreshed Toyota RAV4 SE to see how they would stack up. Exterior: Toyota did a refresh to the RAV4’s exterior for 2016 to make it look a bit sleeker. A lot of the changes are up front with a new inset grille similar to the Corolla and reshaped headlights. The back features new taillights. The big news for 2016 is the introduction of the SE trim. This brings a unique bumper and lower grille; LED headlights and taillights, and a set of 18-inch wheels. Finished in a bright blue, I had to admit Toyota has done a pretty decent job with the refresh. Meanwhile, Kia’s redesign of the Sportage is well, um, polarizing. The front end is where the Sportage’s design will make you love or hate it. A large version of Kia’s ’tiger nose’ is flanked by headlights that protrude upward. Personally, I really don’t like the front and it spoils the rest of the Sportage’s design. The rear comes with a new tailgate design, taillights that extend into the rear fenders, and a set of dual exhaust tips. Our SX tester also featured 19-inch alloy wheels and bi-xenon headlights. Interior: One of the biggest issues I had with the previous-generation Kia Sportage was the materials used. There were a lot of hard and cheap plastics throughout and it made the work Kia had done for the exterior all for naught. Thankfully, Kia has learned its lesson and has improved the materials. Most of the dash and door panels feature soft-touch plastics. There are still some hard plastics, but in areas where it makes sense such as panels near the floor. A new design for the center stack is angled towards the driver and features large buttons for the climate control and infotainment system. Seats in our SX tester came wrapped in leather and provided the right amount of support and comfort for a long drive. Those sitting in the back will have nothing to complain about in terms of head and legroom. Even those who are slightly above 6-feet will find more than enough headroom. The Sportage does falter when it comes to cargo space. With 30.7 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, the Sportage trails competitors by a few cubic feet. It only gets worse when you fold the rear seats and you’re provided 60.1 cubic feet, again trailing competitors. Toyota hasn’t changed the RAV4’s interior in terms of design which may disappoint some. It still has a very utilitarian look compared to many of its competitors. But Toyota has changed various trim pieces and removed the awful faux carbon-fiber inlays on the dash. The look is more coherent. Material quality has also seen an improvement with more soft-touch materials and thicker hard plastics. The SE comes with Toyota’s faux leather (Softex) as standard along with power adjustments for the driver. The RAV4’s front seats aren’t quite as comfortable as the Sportage’s due to the lack of thigh support. On a long drive, I found my leg was beginning to fall asleep. The backseat is quite spacious with a large amount of head and legroom. The low placement of the seat may bug some folks. Cargo space is towards the top of the class with 38.4 cubic feet the rear seats up and 73.3 cubic feet with them folded. Infotainment: All RAV4 trims get Toyota’s Entune infotainment system as standard. Our SE tester featured the larger 7-inch system through an option package that also brought forth a JBL audio system. Entune’s interface may look somewhat dated and the screen could be a bit brighter, but Toyota has nailed ease of use and performance with this system. Large touch points, simple layout, and redundant buttons around the screen make Entune a breeze to use. Disappointingly, Entune doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Kia’s UVO infotainment system leaves Entune in the dust. The Sportage SX comes with an 8-inch touchscreen system with navigation as standard equipment. Like Entune, UVO offers a simple interface with quick performance. However, the Sportage offers a more vibrant screen and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Using CarPlay with the Sportage was very easy as the system was able to recognize my iPhone and bring up the CarPlay interface within seconds. We didn’t experience any issues of slowdown or apps crashing like in other models we have tested. Power: There are two engines on offer for the 2017 Kia Sportage. The LX and EX models feature a 2.4L four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. The SX comes with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come paired with a six-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The power figures may make you believe the Sportage will fly, but this isn’t true. The engine takes a few moments to wake up when leaving a stop due to a hint of turbo lag and a lazy throttle - something we have been noticing in recent Hyundai and Kia turbo models. The engine also doesn’t feel as powerful as you might think due to an increase in overall curb weight. At least the six-speed automatic is excellent, delivering smart and quick shifts Toyota also offers two engines for the RAV4. A 2.5L four-cylinder comes standard and a hybrid powertrain is optional on the XLE and Limited models. The 2.5 produces 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. Like the Sportage, the RAV4 features a six-speed automatic and either front or all-wheel drive. For most drivers, the 2.5 does an adequate job of moving the vehicle at a reasonable clip. It does feel slightly slower than other compact crossovers thanks in part to the torque arriving at a high 4,100 rpm. The transmission provides smooth shifts when driven normally. But when you need to make a pass, it does take its sweet time to downshift. Fuel Economy: The RAV4 AWD is rated by the EPA at 22 City/29 Highway/25 Combined. These numbers put the RAV4 in the middle of the pack the compact crossover class. Our average for the week landed around 24 mpg in mixed driving The Kia Sorento equipped with the turbo and front-wheel drive is towards the bottom with EPA figures of 21 City/26 Highway/23 Combined. We could only get 21 mpg during our week of mixed driving. Add all-wheel drive and numbers drop even further to 20/23/21. Ride & Handling: We had a number of complaints with the last-generation Sportage’s suspension and steering tuning. The ride was too stiff and the suspension would transmit most bumps into the cabin. The steering felt disconnected and very light. Kia has addressed these complaints in the 2017 and it has made the Sportage more well-rounded. Most bumps are now absorbed by the suspension, making for a more comfortable ride. Some bumps do make their way inside, but that is more of a case of the 19-inch wheels fitted to the SX. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. Handling is still one of the strongest parts of the Sorento. There is little body roll when cornering. The steering feels heavy and directly connected to the road. The SE trim is new for the 2016 RAV4 and it features a retuned suspension that is said to make the model fun to drive. Sadly, the changes made to the RAV4’s suspension doesn’t make a dent in improving the overall handling. Yes, the changes do reduce body motion when cornering. But the steering still feels somewhat rubbery and the set of Bridgestone Ecopia low-rolling resistance tires will make you think twice about pushing the RAV4 in a corner. What the SE does well is giving the RAV4 a harsh ride. Compared to the last RAV4 we drove back in 2014, the SE let more bumps and imperfections inside the cabin. The RAV4 also could use a bit more time in finishing school as there is a fair amount of road and wind noise coming inside. Pricing & Value: Out of the two models, the 2017 Kia Sportage SX is possibly the better value. With an as-tested price of $33,395, the Sportage SX comes very well equipped with an 8-inch color touchscreen, navigation, Harman/Kardon audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, panoramic sunroof, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, and autonomous emergency braking. This, by the way, is all standard. There are no options available on the SX. The RAV4 SE is cheaper than the Sportage SX in terms of base price ($30,665 vs. $32,500). But it does feature a higher as-tested price of $34,595. This is due to our tester featuring the $3,030 Advanced Technology Package that adds the 7-inch screen with navigation, the JBL audio system, parking sensors, and the Toyota Safety Sense Package (adds Pre-Collision system with pedestrian detection, steering assist, radar cruise control, and automatic high beams). Final Thoughts: This was a tough decision to make since for every positive point both models have, there are two negatives to go with them. Out of these two, the 2017 Kia Sportage narrowly takes the win here. The styling will divide folks and turbo engine isn’t worth the extra cost in terms of performance and fuel economy. But Kia has fixed a number of issues with previous Sportage such as poor interior materials and overall ride quality. It doesn’t hurt the Kia is the slightly better value, although we would go with the EX and the regular four-cylinder. If the RAV4 was the XLE or Limited, it might have taken the win as it would have provided a smoother ride and cost a fair amount less. But the SE comprises a decent crossover with a harsher ride and negating the improvements in handling with a set of eco tires. Still, the RAV4 does offer more cargo space and some safety features not seen on the Sportage. Both of these crossovers are in the middle of the road, but the Sportage is closer to reaching the top. Disclaimer: Kia and Toyota Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas 2016 Toyota RAV4 SE Cheers: Cargo Space, Improved Interior, Interesting design Jeers: Engine could use some more oomph, SE trim compromises ride, Expensive Year: 2016 Make: Toyota Model: RAV4 Trim: SE Engine: 2.5L DOHC Dual VVT-i Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 176 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 172 @ 4,100 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/29/25 Curb Weight: 3,630 lbs Location of Manufacture: Woodstock, Ontario Base Price: $30,665 As Tested Price: $34,595 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge) Options: Advanced Technology Package - $3,030.00 2017 Kia Sportage SX Cheers: Better ride quality, Noticeable interior improvements, Value Jeers: Turbo engine isn't worth the extra cost, Exterior design may turn some people off, Fuel Economy Year: 2017 Make: Kia Model: Sportage Trim: SX Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L GDI Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 240 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,450-3,500 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/26/23 Curb Weight: 3,666 lbs Location of Manufacture: Gwangju, South Korea Base Price: $32,500 As Tested Price: $33,395 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A
  9. The Lexus IS is one of my favorite luxury sedans on sale today. The styling may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it helps make the IS stand out in a very crowded field of compact luxury sedans. Paired with the excellent 3.5L V6 and F-Sport package, the IS gives the German competition a run for its money in the twisty bits. Since we last drove the IS back in 2014, Lexus has made some changes to IS’ lineup with the base 2.5L V6 being dropped and a new turbocharged four-cylinder taking its place, along with a new variant of 3.5L V6 producing 255 horsepower badged as the IS 300. Recently, I spent some time in the IS 200t F-Sport and it was a bit disappointing. Read on to find out why. The cause for my disappointment? The turbocharged four-cylinder. The engine in question is the same one that is used in the NX 200t, a turbo 2.0L four-cylinder producing 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic comes standard on rear-drive models, while all-wheel drive models retain a six-speed automatic. Compared to the NX 200t, I think this engine has gotten worse in the IS. The major problem is turbo lag. I could count to three after stepping on the accelerator before the turbo would spool up and give the vehicle the needed shove to move along. Even with the vehicle in Sport mode, it takes a moment for the turbo to wake up. Once the turbo is spooled up, it moves the IS with some authority. Power comes on at a steady and smooth rate. The engine also very refined with little noise coming inside. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 22 City/33 Highway/26 Combined. Our average landed around 24 mpg, partly due to my foot putting the pedal almost to the floor in an effort to make the turbo was up. The F-Sport package is the ace up the IS 200t’s sleeve. A revised suspension and steering setup, along with a set of summer tires make the IS a joy to pilot around corners. There is no body roll when entering a corner and the steering provides an excellent feel of the road. Unlike the IS 350 F-Sport, the 250 does without the adaptive dampers. This might make some reconsider as the ride can become somewhat rough over bumpy and pothole-ladened roads. Styling is still polarizing with sharp creases, an interesting lighting setup up front, and a grille that looks like it was styled off the Predator. The F-Sport package actually helps balance this design with new front bumper, mesh grille insert, and a set of 18-inch wheels finished in a dark gray. I’m not usually a fan of red on a vehicle, but it actually works quite well for the F-Sport. The IS’ interior hasn’t changed much since we last visited it in 2014. This means the excellent sport seats and well laid out instrument cluster are here. It also means the smallish screen for the infotainment system and the infuriating Lexus Remote Touch controller. The back seat is still quite small for most passengers, though I would say the Cadillac ATS’ back seat is even smaller. The 2016 IS 200t F-Sport begins at $40,870. Our test car came with a few options such as blind spot monitoring (which you need because rear visibility is poor), radar cruise control, navigation, Mark Levinson audio system, and heated front seats. This brought the as-tested price to $45,705. But for only $1,000 to $1,500 more, you can get into a decently equipped IS 350 F-Sport with adaptive dampers and the better engine. The Lexus IS is still an impressive compact luxury sedan and one that deserves more of the spotlight. But the 2.0L turbo spoils an impressive sedan. This is a case of right car, wrong engine. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the IS 200t, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Lexus Model: IS Trim: 200t F-Sport Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-valve with Dual VVT-iW Inline-Four Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 241 @ 5,800 Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,650 - 4,400 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/33/26 Curb Weight: 3,583 lbs Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan Base Price: $37,325 As Tested Price: $45,705 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge) Options: F-Sport Package - $3,545.00 Navigation/Mark Levinson Audio System - $2,645.00 Blind Spot Monitoring w/Rear Cross-Traffic Alert - $600.00 Dynamic Radar Cruise Control - $500.00 F-Sport Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel with Heat - $150.00
  10. Maserati North America, Inc. - Up 16.2% (525 Vehicles Sold This Month) Volvo Cars of North America, LLC - Up 11.9% (4,244 Vehicles Sold This Month) Porsche Cars North America, Inc. - Up 10.6% (155,034 Vehicles Sold This Month) FCA US LLC - Up 7% (155,034 Vehicles Sold This Month) Jaguar Land Rover North America - Up 7% (7,007 Vehicles Sold This Month) Audi of America - Up 2.7% (11,850 Vehicles Sold This Month) Nissan Group U.S. - Up 1.6% (105,734 Vehicles Sold This Month) Mercedes-Benz USA - Up 1.3% (26,962 Vehicles Sold This Month) Hyundai Motor America - Up 1.1% (45,011 Vehicles Sold This Month) Subaru of America, Inc. - Up 0.7% (41,101 Vehicles Sold This Month) General Motors Co. - Up 0.5% (203,745 Vehicles Sold This Month) Kia Motors America - 0% (38,305 Vehicles Sold This Month) American Honda Motor Co. - Down 1.7% (100,497 Vehicles Sold This Month) Ford Motor Company - Down 2.6% (173,273 Vehicles Sold This Month) Mazda North American Operations - Down 2.8% (19,703 Vehicles Sold This Month) Mitsubishi Motors North America - Down 3.5% (6,264 Vehicles Sold This Month) BMW Group U.S. - Down 4% (21,320 Vehicles Sold This Month) Toyota Motor Sales - Down 4.7% (161,283 Vehicles Sold This Month) Volkswagen of America - Down 14.57% (20,079 Vehicles Sold This Month) Brands: Acura - Down 14.5% (10.250 Vehicles Sold This Month) Alfa Romeo - N/A (67 Vehicles Sold This Month) Audi - Up 2.7% (11,850 Vehicles Sold This Month) BMW - Down 4.7% (18,082 Vehicles Sold This Month) Buick - Up 45.5% (18,269 Vehicles Sold This Month) Cadillac - Down 8% (10,740 Vehicles Sold This Month) Chevrolet - Down 3.6% (137,803 Vehicles Sold This Month) Chrysler - Down 22% (18,214 Vehicles Sold This Month) Dodge - Up 19% (42,109 Vehicles Sold This Month) Fiat - Down 20% (2,594 Vehicles Sold This Month) Ford - Down 3% (166,546 Vehicles Sold This Month) GMC - Up 3.5% (36,933 Vehicles Sold This Month) Honda - 0% (90,247 Vehicles Sold This Month) Hyundai - Up 1.1% (45,011 Vehicles Sold This Month) Infiniti - Down 11.8% (8,514 Vehicles Sold This Month) Jaguar - Up 6.8% (1,352 Vehicles Sold This Month) Jeep - Up 15% (59,032 Vehicles Sold This Month) Kia - 0% (38,305 Vehicles Sold This Month) Land Rover - Up 7.1% (5,655 Vehicles Sold This Month) Lexus - Down 9.5% (20,933 Vehicles Sold This Month) Lincoln - Up 8.4% (7,177 Vehicles Sold This Month) Maserati - Up 16.2% (525 Vehicles Sold This Month) Mazda - Down 2.8% (19,703 Vehicles Sold This Month) Mercedes-Benz - Up 0.2% (24,664 Vehicles Sold This Month) MINI - Up 0.3% (3,238 Vehicles Sold This Month) Mitsubishi - Down 3.5% (6,264 Vehicles Sold This Month) Nissan - Up 2.9% (97,220 Vehicles Sold This Month) Porsche - Up 10.6% (155,034 Vehicles Sold This Month) Ram - Up 5% (33,021 Vehicles Sold This Month) Smart - Down 18.9% (399 Vehicles Sold This Month) Sprinter Vans - Up 26.2% (1,899 Vehicles Sold This Month) Subaru - Up 0.7% (41,101 Vehicles Sold This Month) Toyota - Down 3.9% (140,350 Vehicles Sold This Month) Volkswagen - Down 14.57% (20,079 Vehicles Sold This Month) Volvo - Up 11.9% (4,244 Vehicles Sold This Month)
  11. How do you set yourself apart in the compact crossover class? At the start, it was an easy task. You could build a vehicle that was similar in terms of power, equipment, and even design to competitors. It would sell because there was a small number of them. But in the past few years, the market has exploded with consumers buying crossovers like they are going out style. It seems every automaker is announcing either a new or redesigned model to take advantage of this. But there comes a problem with the expansion, how do you stand out? For Nissan, they decided to make their compact crossover very practical with a large cargo space and a third-row option. Thus, we have the 2016 Rogue. The Rogue’s design can be described as a smaller and better Pathfinder. A lot of this comes down to the small size of the Rogue as the shape and lines seem to fit better on a small vehicle than the Pathfinder. The trademark V shape chrome bar is there, along with LEDs running along the edge of the headlights. Inside the Rogue, it’s nothing special to write about as there are not any fancy design cues or clever storage tricks. What you do get a is a well-built interior with controls that are easy to find and use. The Rogue earns more praise with comfortable and supportive cloth seats. Cargo space is towards the larger end of the class with 32 cubic feet behind the second row and increases to 74 cubic feet when the fold the second row. Nissan says the Rogue is the only crossover in the class that offers the option of a third-row seat. But the third-row offers barely any legroom, even with the second-row pushed forward. Also, the space to get into the third-row is nonexistent. At least, the third-row is an option and one I would recommend skipping. Power comes from a 2.5L four-cylinder making 170 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque. Nissan’s Xtronic CVT is the sole transmission choice, but you do have the choice of either front or all-wheel drive. The performance of the 2.5 is sufficient around town as power comes on a decent and smooth rate. On the expressway is another story as the engine loses steam around 50 MPH and you’ll need to push the pedal almost to the floor to safely merge or make a pass. This also brings up the never-ending drone of CVT when you are trying to perform these tasks. The CVT does quiet down when you are cruising or driving around town. In terms of fuel economy, the Rogue AWD is rated at 25 City/32 Highway/28 Combined. My average for the week came to 22.3 MPG. Disappointing at first glance, but it should be noted that the particular Rogue came in with only 620 miles. Once the vehicle is fully broken-in, I wouldn’t be surprised if it hits 25 MPG easily. Nissan decided to go with a relaxed setting for the Rogue’s suspension. It was a good call as the Rogue provides one of the smoothest rides I have experienced in a compact crossover. Bumps and imperfections don’t make inside. Road and wind noise are kept to near silent levels. Trying to set yourself apart in a crowded class is a difficult task. In the case the Rogue, Nissan has succeeded for the most part. It is quite a handsome vehicle with a well-built interior and provides a smooth ride. But the third-row option is a gimmick that should be shown the door and the powertrain needs a bit more. But for someone who wants a practical compact crossover, the Rogue is worthy of your consideration. Cheers: Much better looking than the larger Pathfinder Comfy ride Large cargo area Jeers: Optional third-row is unusable Engine runs out of steam quickly Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the Rogue SV, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Nissan Model: Rogue Trim: SV AWD Engine: 2.5L DOHC Four-Cylinder Driveline: Xtronic CVT, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 170 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 175 @ 4,400 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/32/28 Curb Weight: 3,554 lbs Location of Manufacture: Smyrna, TN Base Price: $25,940 As Tested Price: $29,595 (Includes $885.00 Destination Charge) Options: SV Premium Package - $1,620 SV Family Package - $940.00 Floor Mats with Cargo Area Protector - $210.00
  12. The Ford SVT Raptor currently rules the roost when it comes to off-road trucks. But it seems no one wants to take it head on. Instead, a number of truck manufacturers are introducing models with some modest upgrades to tackle the trail - Ram 1500 Rebel and Toyota TRD Pro. GMC is the latest automaker to join the latter group with the 2016 Sierra All Terrain X. Unlike the Rebel and TRD Pro, the All Terrain X isn't a separate model. Instead, it's a set of packages available on the Sierra 1500 Crew Cab equipped with four-wheel drive. It begins by equipping the truck with the All Terrain package that includes the Z71 off-road package with Rancho shocks, an Eaton rear-locking differential, hill descent control, skid plate for the transfer case, and a bed liner. From there, you can option the All Terrain X package that adds a set of Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Mud-Terrain tires wearing 18-inch aluminum wheels, bed mounted bar to support off-road lights, LED headlights, and a new sports exhaust boosting power of 5.3L V8 from 355 to 365 horsepower. It should be noted that you can only equip the X package if the Sierra is a SLT short box crew cab. “Styling is the biggest influence on Sierra customers and the new Sierra All Terrain X builds on that with a more aggressive, personalized appearance that complements its exceptional capability. It joins other models such as the new Sierra Elevation and premium Sierra Denali to offers more choices for finding the premium truck that matches customers’ style and capability needs,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. You'll be able to pick up a Sierra All Terrain X at your local GMC dealer later this spring. Source: GMC Press Release is on Page 2 GMC Announces Sierra All Terrain X GMC today announced the 2016 Sierra All Terrain X – a special edition of the All Terrain model, featuring exclusive premium content that enhances off-road capability and an aggressive, monochromatic appearance. The All Terrain X’s powerful attitude reflects a popular personalization trend among off-road enthusiasts, executed with the top-range refinement GMC has cultivated for years with models such as the Sierra Denali. Its premium package of monochromatic exterior trim and special equipment offers a customized appearance in a limited-edition model, complemented with GMC’s latest technologies. The Sierra All Terrain package blends capability with unique style to make a statement on or off road. Highlights include: 4WD with Eaton locking rear differential Z71 Off-Road suspension package with Rancho monotube shocks, high-capacity air cleaner, Hill Descent Control and underbody transfer case shield Rear Park Assist Unique grille with body-color surround and tinted chrome accents; body-color front and rear bumpers (rear bumper with corner steps) Spray-on bedliner All-Terrain-logo instrument cluster Inclinometer in the driver information center. Product Details The new Sierra All Terrain X is offered on the 2016 Sierra 1500 4WD crew cab/short box models with SLT trim. In addition to the standard All Terrain content, the “X” package includes: 265/65R18SL Mud-Terrain-rated Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac MT tires, designed for off-road competence in dirt, gravel and mud, with on-road composure in dry, wet and wintry conditions 18 x 8.5-inch black aluminum wheels Sport side steps (black) Bed-mounted sport bar (black) designed to support the accessory off-road LED lighting package High-performance LED headlamps Performance exhaust system, which bumps output of the 5.3L V-8 engine to 365 horsepower and adds an aggressive note Body-color door handles and body-side moldings Black exterior mirrors, belt moldings and B-pillars Interior floor liners Available colors: Onyx Black, Summit White, Stone Blue Metallic, Iridium Metallic, Crimson Red Tintcoat, Light Steel Gray Metallic. On Sale Spring 2016 Quote “Styling is the biggest influence on Sierra customers and the new Sierra All Terrain X builds on that with a more aggressive, personalized appearance that complements its exceptional capability,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “It joins other models such as the new Sierra Elevation and premium Sierra Denali to offers more choices for finding the premium truck that matches customers’ style and capability needs.”
  13. All-wheel drive in the sport compact/hot hatch marketplace seems to only be reserved for the upper echelon; the upcoming Ford Focus RS, Subaru WRX STI, Volkswagen Golf R, and the outgoing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Step down one rung and most sport compacts send power to the front wheels. Ask why most automakers don’t add AWD and you might get an answer of it would ruin the balance of the vehicle or it would be too expensive. But one automaker does have AWD in their sport compact and that would be Subaru. Ok, Subaru has AWD in most of their vehicles, so adding AWD to their WRX sedan isn’t a problem. But it does give the WRX a big selling point in a growing class. The WRX is based on the Impreza, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at the exterior. Subaru has made a number of changes to the exterior to make the WRX seem like its own model. The front end gets a new rectangular grille and a large hood scoop. Around the side are seventeen-inch wheels finished in gray and WRX nameplates on the front fenders. A rear diffuser with quad exhaust tips and a lip spoiler complete the rear. Sadly, the WRX and WRX STI don’t come in a five-door like the last-generation. Move inside and you can tell this is an Impreza. Subaru has tried to dress up the WRX with a flat-bottom steering wheel, sport seats, improved interior materials, and faux carbon fiber trim. But for the $32,855 as-tested price, it looks and feels very spartan. Many fans of the WRX and STI will argue that you don’t buy these cars for the interior, you buy them for the performance. While I can see some validity in that argument, the fact that for the same amount of money as this WRX, you can get into a fully loaded Ford Focus ST or a nicely equipped Volkswagen GTI with much nicer interiors. There are some positive points to the WRX’s interior. The sport seats have the right amount of bolstering to hold you in place when your playing around and don’t make you feel uncomfortable on long-distance trips. The rear seat provides a decent amount of headroom, but legroom is tight for taller passengers. Subaru has also gotten rid their aftermarket-looking infotainment system for a system that looks more appropriate. The seven-inch touchscreen features Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system that boasts features such as Pandora integration and hands-free text messaging. The combination of quick performance and large touchpoints makes the system one of the easiest in the industry. Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.0L boxer-four with 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with Subaru’s well-renown all-wheel drive system and either a six-speed manual (what I had) or Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT. Power comes on a very smooth and linear fashion throughout the rpm band. This is due to the turbo building boost at a quick rate and the wide spread of torque from 2,000 to 5,200 rpm. Also, I like that you can hear the woosh of the turbocharger working. The six-speed manual is somewhat clunky to use as the shift action feels somewhat limp and you have to make sure you have the lever fully in the position of the gear, otherwise you are not moving. At least, the transmission has a defined pattern so you know where you are in the gear pattern. In terms of fuel economy, the 2016 WRX with the manual is rated by the EPA at 20 City/27 Highway/23 Combined. My average for the week in the WRX landed around 21.6 MPG. Not great, but I’ll admit I was driving this a little bit hard just to hear the turbo working. Despite not participating in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), the WRX retains a lot of that pedigree. Point the WRX down your favorite road and it transforms into a rally car. Body lean has gone away and the all-wheel drive system provides tenacious grip. I pushed the WRX around some tight corners and the car never showed any signs of struggle. More impressive is how the all-wheel drive system keeps the WRX planted on gravel roads. Yes, you can turn the traction and stability control off if you want to live out your fantasy of being a rally driver. Steering is very responsive and provides good feedback of the road. As for the daily grind, the WRX’s suspension is on the firm side. But it is a small price to pay for the performance you get. Some will complain there is a fair amount of road and wind noise coming into the cabin. One other item that should be mentioned; Subaru’s EyeSight system which uses stereo cameras to scan the road and feed the data to the adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation with automatic braking, and lane-departure warning system is only available on the top Limited trim equipped with the CVT. If you opt for the manual, you don’t have that option. I have reached out to Subaru to find out the reason for this and will update when I get a response. The 2016 Subaru WRX is an interesting option in the sport compact class. At the moment, it is the only model in the lower echelon of sport compacts that come with all-wheel drive. For some, this is what they want in a sport compact. But the high price tag and spartan interior may have you running towards the Ford Focus ST which offers the same performance level and a nicer interior. It really comes down to what you are looking for in a sport compact. Personally, I really liked my time in the WRX. But I would likely go for either the base WRX or a lightly optioned Premium to make me feel at ease with the purchasing decision. Cheers: All-Wheel Drive Traction Looks that standout Turbocharged engine Jeers: Interior still lags behind the competition Manual transmission needs to go to finishing school High price tag Disclaimer: Subaru Provided the WRX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Subaru Model: WRX Trim: Premium Engine: 2.0L Twin-Scroll Turbocharged DI Boxer Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 268 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 2,500 - 5,200 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/27/23 Curb Weight: 3,386 lbs Location of Manufacture: Kanto, Japan Base Price: $28,895 As Tested Price: $32,855 (Includes $795.00 Destination Charge) Options: Navigation + harman/kardon Audio System - $2,100
  14. You have decided that you want a two-seater V6 coupe that is under $40,000. Well, you have limited your choices to just one car, the Nissan 370Z. The model has basically stayed the same since it launched in 2009 and is looking quite dated compared to the competition. But Nissan believes there is still some life in the 370Z. Case in point is the model seen here. This is new base 370Z which is aimed at those who want dedicated sports car without breaking the bank. For $30,940 (with a $825.00 destination charge), you get a 3.7L V6 with 332 horsepower, six-speed manual, and other essentials. Seems like a steal? Not quite. Let’s begin with the good parts of the 370Z. First is the styling which still looks quite sharp and pays homage to the original 240Z. A low slung front end is complemented by a sharply sloped roofline and flared out rear fenders. A set of eighteen-inch wheels finished in black and a dual-exhaust system spells out the 370Z’s intention very clearly. The V6 is a sweetheart as it provides thrust throughout the rev range. Whether you find yourself leaving a stop or exiting a corner, power will come on instantaneously when you step on the pedal. Handling is where the 370Z really shows off. In a corner, the coupe hunkers down on the road thanks to grippy tires. The suspension keeps the coupe level when corning. The steering provides an excellent feel of the road. I do wish the steering had a bit more weight to add confidence when playing around. But now we come to the disappointments, of which 370Z has a number of. The interior can’t pull off the illusion of looking younger than it actually is as the like the exterior. One look inside and you’ll know it is old. The seats aren’t comfortable as they don’t have enough padding. Also, I found it hard to find a comfortable position in the seat. I spent most of the fiddling with the adjustments just to try to find a setting that worked for me. If you’re planning to do Bluetooth streaming from your phone, then you should avoid the base model. It doesn’t come with Bluetooth streaming at all. The short throw six-speed manual isn’t the easiest to work with as it is quite notchy and isn’t the easiest to put into gear. A few times, I found myself putting the transmission into the wrong gear because I couldn’t tell where in the pattern the gear stick was. The base 370Z is a tricky car to give a final opinion. For all of the positive points, there is an equal amount of negative points. The only way I could recommend someone check out a 370Z is if they are looking for a pure sports car that won’t break the bank. Otherwise, there a number of other vehicles that offer many of the thrills of the 370Z without many of the issues. Cheers: Styling, low price, handling that can rival more expensive sports cars Jeers: Interior betrays its old age, six-speed manual is notchy, steering needs a bit more heft Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the 370Z, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Nissan Model: 370Z Trim: N/A Engine: 3.7 DOHC 24-Valve V6 Driveline: Rear-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Manual Horsepower @ RPM: 332 @ 7,000 Torque @ RPM: 270 @ 5,200 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/26/21 Curb Weight: 3,292 lbs Location of Manufacture: Tochigi, Japan Base Price: $29,990 As Tested Price: $30,940 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge) Options: Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00
  15. Mercedes-Benz has officially revealed the 2017 E-Class tonight at an event before the start of Detroit Auto Show tomorrow. We've already given you the details on what it looks like inside and out thanks to a leak last week. Now we have more information to delve out. When the E-Class launches this summer, it will only be offered in the E300 trim. Power will come from a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder (Really Mercedes? E300 for a 2.0L? I digress. -WM) producing 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. A new nine-speed automatic routes the power to the rear-wheels. The power output seems a little underwhelming when you consider the size of the E-Class, but Mercedes has put the model on a diet. No mention of how much weight was taken out. Down the line, expect a twin-turbo V6, diesel, and a plug-in hybrid model. No mention of 4Matic all-wheel drive, but we expect to be announced at a later date. On the technology front, the E-Class will boast two 12.3-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment system. The screens are setup in such a way that it looks like one continuous screen. The E-Class will also get a features from the larger S-Class: Distance Pilot DISTRONIC: An advanced cruise control system that can follow the vehicle in front up to 130 MPH. Steering Pilot: read and follow markings on the road up to 130 MPH Once the E-Class is launched, Mercedes will launch a system that can autonomously change lanes and park the vehicle without the driver. Source: Mercedes-Benz You can follow all of our reports from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show here. Press Release is on Page 2 The New Mercedes-Benz E-Class The most intelligent luxury sedan January 10, 2016 Mercedes-Benz is taking a big step into the future with the new E-Class. The tenth-generation of the E-Class sedan delivers stylish highlights with its distinct, emotional design and high-grade interior. The new E-Class also marks the world premiere of numerous technical innovations, enabling enhanced comfort, a new level of safe driving, a new dimension in driver assistance and a new infotainment and control system. A new, optionally available AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension ensures outstanding ride comfort and driving dynamics. The sum total of these innovations makes the E-Class the most intelligent sedan. "The E-Class is the core of the Mercedes-Benz brand and in the past has repeatedly redefined the standards in the business-class segment. Now it carries this tradition into the future with a wealth of top-class innovations. The new E-Class takes another major step towards fully autonomous driving. In addition, it enhances efficiency, safety and comfort, reduces the stress level when driving and intensifies driving pleasure," says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. Powerful, coupe-esque design The new E-Class is sophisticated, confidently stylish and sporty. Compared with its predecessor, its wheelbase has grown by 2.6 inches (115.7 inches vs. 113.1 inches) and its overall length by 1.7 inches (193.8 inches vs. 192.1 inches). Its design features hallmark Mercedes-Benz sedan proportions. The elongated hood coupled with a coupe-esque roof flowing into a sensual, broad-shouldered tail end creates an exciting silhouette. The powerfully extended vehicle body is characterized by short overhangs, a long wheelbase, large wheels and taut, well-defined flanks displaying a fresh, stylish and dynamic interpretation of the feature line, all of which allows the E-Class to deliver the perfect take on the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of “Sensual Purity.” A muscular front end underlines the status to which the business-class sedan aspires, boasting a different look for each design and equipment line. The Luxury version features the classic Mercedes radiator grill with the star on the hood, while the Sport models are identifiable by the sport radiator grill with a large Mercedes star as its centerpiece. Each of the radiator grill designs lends the E-Class a distinct character, offering a unique degree of diversity that makes each model stand out. At the rear end, broad shoulders above the rear wheel arches lend the E-Class its unmistakably muscular character. Single-piece tail lights featuring a two-bar design framed by the vehicle body clearly identify the E-Class as a new member of the Mercedes sedan family. Rear lights provide additional levels of detail with an appearance designers refer to as the “stardust effect.” Making its debut on the new E-Class, this available "stardust effect" is created by innovative reflector technology with a specially configured surface structure for the tail lights. Next Level Interior Design The interior of the new E-Class embodies the synthesis of emotion and intelligence, poles that are defined by the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy – distinct forms with a sensual flow to them. The U.S. version of the E300 offers a next-generation high-resolution display, with a wide navigation display screen diagonal of 12.3 inches – a first in this segment, and a traditional gauge cluster behind the steering wheel, all integrated into one casing. Beneath its integrated glass frame, the display visually conflates into a wide-screen cockpit that seems to be hovering in thin air, creating a central element that emphasizes the horizontal orientation of the interior design. Touch-sensitive control buttons ('Touch Controls') on the steering wheel make their first appearance in a car. Like a smartphone interface, the Touch Controls respond precisely to horizontal and vertical swiping movements, allowing the driver to control the entire infotainment system without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. In keeping with the motto "hands on the wheel, eyes on the road," this new control interface minimizes driver distraction. Further controls for the infotainment system are provided by a touchpad with a controller which can recognize handwriting in the center console and a voice control system, accessible at the push of a button. For systems such as air-conditioning or various driver assistance systems, there are direct-access buttons located on the center stack. A new, intelligent graphic design with high-resolution animations, together with simplified logic, further enhances this all-new infotainment experience. At the same time, the occupants enjoy a spacious interior, which combines the elegance of the luxury class with sportiness. Intelligent material design High-quality materials define the E-Class’ interior style, including Natural Grain Ash wood, and wood with “flowing lines.” Another Mercedes hallmark clearly evidenced is the high-quality look and feel created through meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship. Interior materials and colors have been carefully selected, highlighted by various shades of brown, including several attractive, new color combinations which allow for an even more personalized interior design. Lighting atmosphere with 64 colors Interior lighting makes exclusive use of durable, energy-saving LED technology, even throughout the enhanced ambient lighting system. With 64 colors to choose from, the ambient lighting system offers a host of possibilities for personalization, adding touches of light to various trim parts, central display, storage on the center console, handle recesses, door pockets, front and rear footwells, overhead console, and tweeters (if the vehicle is equipped with the Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system). Seat design: first class A further highlight of the new E-Class is its seats. Their ergonomic and sculpted form combines Mercedes-Benz's hallmark suitability for long journeys with a refined, sporty look. Another new feature in this segment is a Warmth and Comfort package, which includes heated door armrests and center console, heated steering wheel and rapidly-heating front seats. The rear bench seat in the new E-Class sedan comes with a three-piece backrest with a 40% - 20% - 40% split, making it exceptionally versatile. Integral features of the center armrest include a storage box and two pop-out drinks holders. There is also the option of a holder for a tablet device for the rear passengers. New engine generation In the US market at launch, the new E-Class will feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Further model variants will be added to the range after the market launch. Nine-speed automatic transmission All E-Class models available at market launch will be equipped with the new 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment. This advanced transmission enables both fast gearshifts and low engine revs while cruising, which provides improvements in both efficiency and interior noise levels. Suspension – sporty comfort The suspension on the new E-Class offers agile driving pleasure on twisting roads as well as the highest level of ride comfort in the segment. The E-Class sedan comes with a steel-spring suspension as standard. Two DIRECT CONTROL suspension systems with selective damping are available in conjunction with this suspension: DIRECT CONTROL Comfort suspension DIRECT CONTROL Sport suspension AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension Alternatively, the new E-Class can be equipped with a multi-chamber air suspension at all corners – the only car in its segment to offer this option. Three chambers of different sizes in the spring struts of the rear axle and two in the spring struts of the front axle make it possible to control, in three stages, how firmly the suspension reacts to the road. In this way, the occupants enjoy a soft base suspension, together with the secure feeling of good handling stability as speed increases. Furthermore, the highly sensitive and fast-responding AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension features all-round self-leveling for excellent ride comfort even with the vehicle loaded. It automatically controls the ride height depending on the speed and reduces fuel consumption on the freeway, for example, by lowering the vehicle. When driving on rough roads, ground clearance can be increased at the push of a button. The multi-chamber air suspension is supplemented by a continuously operating, electronically controlled damping adjustment system, which automatically adapts the damping on each individual wheel to the current driving situation and road conditions. The system therefore delivers good road roar and tire vibration characteristics, excellent ride comfort and outstanding driving dynamics. A DYNAMIC SELECT switch in the cockpit enables the driver to select from four AIR BODY CONTROL modes: "Comfort," "ECO," "Sport" and "Sport+." The additional "Individual" option allows drivers to configure their vehicle to suit their own preferences. Next-generation driver assistance systems Mercedes-Benz's new assistance and safety systems take safety, comfort and driver assistance to a new level. Standard on the new E-Class is PRE-SAFE® Sound. This system is based on a protective human reflex in the inner ear, called the stapedius reflex. PRE-SAFE® Sound emits a short interference signal through the vehicle's sound system if the risk of a collision is detected. This signal can trigger the natural reflex and thus prepare the occupants' ears for the expected sound of the accident. Active Brake Assist, fitted as standard, is able to warn the driver of impending crash situations, provide just the right level of support during emergency braking and, if necessary, also apply the brakes automatically. In addition to slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles, it can also detect pedestrians crossing within the area ahead of the vehicle. Additional standard equipment includes ATTENTION ASSIST with adjustable sensitivity, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness, and Crosswind Assist, which can assist the driver by substantially mitigating the effects of strong crosswinds to prevent the vehicle from drifting too far off track. Highlights of the optional Driver Assistance Package Plus that make the E-Class the most intelligent sedan in its class include: DRIVE PILOT: This system represents Mercedes-Benz's next step along the road to autonomous driving. While on both freeways and country roads, Distance Pilot DISTRONIC is not only able to automatically maintain the selected distance from the vehicle in front, but, for the first time, it can also follow the traffic in front at speeds of up to 130 mph. This can make life easier for the driver, who no longer needs to operate the brake or accelerator pedal during normal driving and also receives plenty of steering assistance from Steering Pilot – even on moderate bends. Another unique feature of Steering Pilot is that the system can continue to actively intervene by taking account of surrounding vehicles and parallel structures, even if the lines are unclear or nonexistent, as they can be during road construction, even at speeds up to 81 mph. The system therefore makes driving much easier, especially in traffic jams or heavy congestion. Additional DRIVE PILOT innovations include, for the first time, Active Lane-change Assist. This radar-and-camera-based system assists the driver when changing lanes on multi-lane roads and can steer the vehicle into the lane selected by the driver – when overtaking, for example. Once the driver has indicated a turn for at least two seconds, Active Lane-change Assist assists with steering into the adjacent lane if it detects that the lane is unoccupied. More details will be offered at the time of the U.S. launch in summer 2016. Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function: Compared with the standard version, this system has extended speed thresholds with respect to vehicles and pedestrians. Furthermore, it can detect crossing traffic at junctions and, if the driver fails to respond, apply the brakes autonomously. For the first time, it can also detect hazardous situations at the tail end of a traffic jam where there is no room to maneuver and initiate autonomous braking well in advance. Consequently, it is possible to completely avoid accidents at speeds up to 43 mph or substantially reduce the severity of accidents at speeds above this level. Evasive Steering Assist: This new system ideally complements the pedestrian detection function of Active Brake Assist. When the driver deliberately or instinctively performs an evasive maneuver in a dangerous situation, this function can assist by adding precisely calculated steering torque to support the movement of the steering wheel. This helps the driver to avoid, for instance, a pedestrian in a controlled manner while subsequently facilitating the straightening-up of the vehicle to allow the situation to be negotiated safely. Advanced assistance systems: The intelligent assistance systems in the new Driver Assistance Package Plus also include proven systems that have been further developed in terms of their mode of operation and the sensors they use. Active Lane Keeping Assist can help stop the driver from unintentionally changing lanes, this being done by corrective one-sided application of the brakes, including in the case of broken lines and risk of collision, e.g. with oncoming traffic or fast overtaking vehicles. Active Blind Spot Assist can now also warn of the risk of a lateral collision in typical urban traffic at low speeds. PRE-SAFE® PLUS can also protect against collisions with traffic following behind, reducing whiplash and other adverse effects on the occupants. The range of new features in the new E-Class also includes: Remote Parking Pilot: For the first time, this system allows the vehicle to be moved into and out of garages and parking spaces remotely using a smartphone app, enabling the occupants to get into and out of the car easily, even if space is very tight. More details will be offered at the time of the U.S. launch in summer 2016. Car-to-X communication: The MY2017 E-Class will have the world's first fully integral Car-to-X solution going into series production. The mobile phone-supported exchange of information with other vehicles further ahead on the road, for example, can effectively allow the driver to "see around corners" or "through obstacles" well in advance. This means that the driver receives an earlier warning than previously in the event of imminent danger, such as a broken-down vehicle at the edge of the road or also in the event of heavy rain or black ice on the road ahead. In this case, the new E-Class simultaneously acts as a receiver and a transmitter, since warning messages are conveyed automatically by evaluating vehicle status or manually by the driver to the backend. More details will be offered at the time of the U.S. launch in summer 2016. PRE-SAFE® impulse side: This system is part of the Driving Assistance package PLUS. If a lateral collision has been detected and is imminent, it preventively moves the driver or front passenger away from the danger zone to the side. To do this, the system inflates an air chamber in the side bolster of the front seat backrest nearest the side of the imminent impact in a fraction of a second, thus increasing the distance between occupant and door while, at the same time, reducing the forces acting on the occupants. Three-dimensional listening pleasure Fitted as standard, the Mercedes-Benz Frontbass system in the new E-Class delivers a unique listening experience, utilizing space in the cross-member and side member of the body structure as a resonance chamber for the bass speakers. The E-Class is optionally available with two Burmester® sound systems, including the top-of-the-line Burmester high-end 3D surround sound system. If the vehicle is equipped with the optionally available Burmester high-end 3D surround sound system with 23 speakers, the occupants are treated to a listening experience reminiscent of the acoustics in a concert hall, as it includes a third dimension of sound courtesy of roof speakers. Robust yet lightweight bodyshell An outstandingly stiff body forms the basis for exceptional handling, astonishingly low noise and vibration levels and a high level of crash safety. To achieve this, the engineers opted for a bodyshell with a far higher proportion of aluminum and ultra-high-strength steel components than its predecessor. The front fenders, hood, trunk lid and large sections of the front and rear ends are made of sheet or cast aluminum. This lightweight design reduces fuel consumption while making for perceptibly sporty and agile vehicle handling. Against the wind Aerodynamic performance is one of the main reasons behind the outstanding efficiency of the new E-Class. To achieve this, the aerodynamics experts had to optimize numerous details and implement new ideas. The sophisticated aerodynamics also minimizes wind noise while making sure that the new E-Class is quieter than many luxury-class models. The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class will be available at US dealers in the summer of 2016.
  16. You might be having a Deja vu moment when you see the Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active concept and think, didn't Volkswagen have something similar last year? Yes they did. Back at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the German automaker introduced the Tiguan GTE concept that used a 1.4L TSI and two electric motors to produce 221 horsepower. As you might have guessed, the Active means it's built for off-roading. Compared to the Tiguan GTE Concept, the Active has an additional 1.8 inches in ground clearance, and maximum ground clearance is bounced up from 7.9 to 9.6 inches. Approach and departure angles are improved as well: 25.6 to 26.1 degrees at the front and from 24.7 to 29.9 degrees at the rear. A new 4Motion system includes six various settings programs that include on road, offroad, sport, snow, charge, and battery hold. The exterior is finished in a Dragon Red Metallic color and includes aluminum tow hooks, auxiliary lights, roof rack, and skid plates. A set of 245/70 16-inch off-road tires help the Active tackle the trails. The interior gets a virtual display for gauges and a large infotainment system that can be operated with gesture controls. You can follow all 2016 Detroit Auto Show news here. Source: Volkswagen Press Release is on Page 2 VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN GTE ACTIVE CONCEPT MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW Jan 10, 2016 Extreme off-road version of second-generation Tiguan features plug-in hybrid drivetrain and gesture control-enabled infotainment system Based on the second-generation Tiguan Volkswagen’s first SUV to use the new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) Plug-in hybrid system has 148-horsepower gasoline engine and two electric motors Vehicle can travel up to 20 miles in zero-emissions electric mode Enhanced off-road performance and new 4MOTION Active Control drive programs New infotainment system has 9.2-inch display and can be operated by intuitive gesture control Wolfsburg / Detroit, January 2016 — The Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept makes its world debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), in the country that popularized the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). The vehicle’s most striking innovation is its efficient plug-in hybrid system that uses two electric motors and a gasoline engine, which can supply all four wheels with power, either automatically or at the push of a button. This concept proves how much potential plug-in hybrid systems have. The all-wheel-drive system’s technology ensures that this SUV can offer supreme off-road performance, even in all-electric mode. The five-seat concept is based on the completely redeveloped second-generation Tiguan. The GTE Active Concept reflects the great technical versatility of the new SUV, which will arrive to the U.S. market in 2017 with a longer wheelbase and available seven-seat functionality. For Volkswagen, the new Tiguan marks the kickoff of an SUV product offensive that will significantly expand the range of vehicles offered, especially in North America. The concept car starts every journey in all-electric E-mode as a zero emissions vehicle. Normally, the rear wheels are driven, but if there is loss of traction, the front wheels are engaged within fractions of a second. Four-wheel-drive is also activated when the driver selects 4MOTION® Active Control or when GTE-mode is selected, for instance. The vehicle can cover up to 20 miles in all-electric mode. The driving range, based on a battery capacity of 12.4 kWh and a 16.9-gallon fuel tank, is 580 miles. Volkswagen has configured the design, packaging and technical features of the SUV to be as innovative as its plug-in hybrid drive system. The Tiguan is the first SUV to be based on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB), and demonstrates intelligent space utilization. The GTE Active Concept projects an authentic off-road look and makes a powerful impression with its stylish, taut proportions. Moreover, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is also equipped with safety systems such as Front Assist with Autonomous Emergency Braking and pedestrian monitoring, an active hood for pedestrian protection, Lane Assist and the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. Another highlight of the concept car is its infotainment system: the Tiguan GTE Active Concept features the top level of the latest generation infotainment systems and is equipped with a 9.2-inch touchscreen, gesture control (implemented for the first time in this class), an Active Info Display (fully digital instruments) and a head-up display. Drivetrain The Tiguan GTE Active Concept is equipped with a turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® gasoline engine that produces 148 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, mated to two electric motors. These make 54 hp at the front wheels and 114 hp at the rear. The total system power of 221 hp can supply all four wheels with propulsive force under off-road conditions and the 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system also boosts traction and contributes to active safety on normal pavement. The Tiguan GTE Active Concept uses a 6-speed dual-clutch (DSG®) automatic transmission that was specially designed for hybrid use, with the front electric motor being housed inside the casing. Other plug-in hybrid components of the 4MOTION plug-in hybrid drive include: a 12.4 kWh lithium-ion high-voltage battery that can be charged either externally or via the gasoline engine; power electronics for the front motor; a second module at the rear that converts the battery’s DC current into AC for the electric motors; and an on-board charger. Depending on the driving mode, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept can be driven by the front, rear, or by all four wheels. As a default, the concept car always starts off in zero emissions E-mode. If the battery is sufficiently charged, the rear electric motor powers the car by itself, while the TSI engine and the front electric motor are decoupled from the drivetrain and shut off to save energy. However, as soon as the driving situation demands it, or the driver manually activates a related mode, the front electric motor is engaged within fractions of a second. This means the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is a zero-emissions all-wheel-drive vehicle that can cover up to 20 miles on battery power alone. In E-mode, the Tiguan has a top speed of 70 mph. If the battery isn’t sufficiently charged and the system calls for the rear electric motor to be supplied with power for dynamic handling or for the Off-road program, the TSI engine is re-started and engaged (Hybrid mode). In this case, the front electric motor serves as a generator for the rear electric motor. Since the energy for driving the rear axle flows “by wire” and not mechanically, this is called an “electric driveshaft”. In Hybrid mode, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept may automatically use the TSI engine and/or the electric motors, depending on the energy level of the battery. The rotary/push-button switch for the new 4MOTION Active Control unit is located on the center console. The driver can use this control to select one of six driving programs: On road (Comfort or Eco); Offroad (Rocks, Sludge & Sand, or Gravel); Sport; Snow; Charge (battery is charged while driving); and Battery Hold (maintains a constant battery charge). When the Tiguan driver turns the switch to the left, the On-road, Sport, Snow, Charge or Battery Hold programs can be activated. When the switch is turned to the right, the user can access the Off-road programs. In off-road duty, the 4MOTION Active Control can adapt the assistance systems to the given driving situation within seconds, an added safety benefit. The same applies to the Snow program, which optimizes safety in winter road conditions. Drive modes: The E-mode and GTE mode are activated by separate buttons on the center console. When the driver presses the E-mode or the GTE-mode button a second time, the car switches back to Hybrid mode. As mentioned, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept may operate with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive in Hybrid mode and in E-mode. In the sporty GTE mode, the car automatically switches to all-wheel drive. The GTE mode is unique to plug-in hybrid Volkswagen vehicles. The transmission, accelerator pedal, engine mapping, and steering settings are sportier and the TSI engine and the electric motors work together (in kickdown/boosting) to allow the full system power of 221 hp to be available. When this happens, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept has a top speed of 120 mph and can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. Depending on the given driving situation, the system may use the TSI engine only or switch over to the additional “Coasting” or “Regenerative braking” hybrid modes. Coasting function. As soon as the driver takes their foot off the accelerator pedal, the engine and all motors are shut down and disengaged from the drivetrain, provided that the battery is sufficiently charged. This is known as “Coasting”. Regenerative braking. When the driver takes their foot off the accelerator pedal or brake and the battery is insufficiently charged, both electric motors work as generators and feed the energy generated during braking into the battery. In this case, the TSI engine is shut off and disengaged. Driving with the TSI engine. When the gasoline engine alone is powering the vehicle, only the front wheels are driven. Exterior Design The second-generation Tiguan is based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) and shares the same long wheelbase, short overhangs, and exceptional packaging of other vehicles based on this architecture. The Tiguan GTE Active Concept is 176.9 inches long, 74.8 inches wide, 69.5 inches tall, and has a wheelbase of 105.6 inches. The team of designers and engineers responsible for the Dragon Red Metallic concept car developed it for extreme off-road use, building on an excellent base with the existing production vehicle. For instance, ground clearance under the axles increased from 7.1 to 8.9 inches and the maximum ground clearance under the body increased from 7.9 to 9.6 inches. The approach and departure angles were improved from 25.6 to 26.1 degrees at the front and from 24.7 to 29.9 degrees at the rear. The maximum ramp angle for overcoming road bumps grew from 20 to 24.7 degrees. Among the changes on the concept, there is a sturdy front skid plate that makes it clear that the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is designed for off-road excursions. The matte aluminum shield is equipped with four solid black polymer protectors which guard against contact with stones and bushes and can be easily replaced after an extreme trip through the outback. The front bumper is also trimmed in an all-terrain element made of “Dark Graphite” (matte anthracite-gray) durable polymer. If the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is needed to pull another vehicle in reverse, there are two aluminum-colored metal hooks in the front air intakes on the left and right sides. The standard LED headlights are complemented by C-shaped LED Daytime Running Lights, a signature of all Volkswagen plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. One sophisticated design element is the lateral continuation of the upper and lower bars of the radiator grille to the headlights, forming a single, wide and powerful unit. The roof section is also equipped with a dark all-terrain module that integrates high-strength cross-rails that can serve as a base support for skis or other equipment. They are made of aluminum that contrasts with the black roof. At the front, the roof also has two LED auxiliary spotlights, which are framed in matte aluminum. On the sides, the interplay of the all-terrain body elements and the distinctively profiled off-road tires clearly identify the Tiguan GTE Active Concept as an off-road vehicle. The 245/70 16-inch tires offer optimal traction on slippery surfaces due to their aggressive tread pattern. The Tiguan GTE Active Concept’s powerful presence is enhanced by “Dark Graphite” wheelarch extensions and sill protection that have been specially developed for the concept car. These sill trim pieces are protected by underbody guard elements made of matte aluminum. The rear of the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is also equipped with a solid underbody guard made of matte aluminum. Like the front end, four replaceable polymer protectors are used here as well. The lower area of the bumper is protected by anthracite colored all-terrain trim. Above this, the outside of the bumper is also trimmed in anodized anthracite-colored trim strips. The vehicle has two additional solid aluminum-colored metal hooks at the back for towing stuck vehicles or for removing obstacles that are blocking the trail. Interior Design The design team also customized the interior space of the Tiguan GTE Active Concept to coordinate with the all-terrain exterior. For instance, the trim strips of brushed, dark aluminum (“Blade” design) that wrap around the instrument panel and door trim panels match the materials used for the front and rear underbody guards and for the roof components. In addition, dark chrome (“Black Night”) accents on the steering wheel create a connection to the exterior design. Meanwhile, fine “Dragon Red” strips in the air vent frames repeat the color of the exterior paint. Another new design element is the two-tone Nappa leather upholstery: The seat surfaces, armrests and door inserts are all upholstered in bright “Rhodium Grey”, with “Dark Graphite” used for the side surfaces and seatbacks (outer surfaces). The leather surfaces have a three-dimensional pattern of rhomboidal shapes that transition in size from small to large, with the large rhomboids being embossed deeper and the smaller ones barely perceptible. The visually dominant technology inside the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is the digital Active Info Display (in front of the driver) and the newly developed, next-generation infotainment system. Directly beneath its large touchscreen—which can also be operated by gesture control—is the center console that houses the climate controls. All of the controls, even for the seat heaters, are designed as touch sliders. The center console itself is dominated by the high position of the gear shifter with an array of control buttons arranged around it, including the multifunction switch for the new 4MOTION Active Control. Next-generation infotainment system. The top level next-generation modular infotainment platform (MIB) is also featured on the Tiguan GTE Active Concept. Two exceptional features of this system are a large 9.2-inch high-resolution touchscreen (1,280 x 640 pixels) and gesture control functionality. All functions and displays utilize a sophisticated screen surface that is as clear as glass; facing the driver on the left are four sensor buttons (Menu, Home, On/Off and Volume). The 8.2-inch wide and 4.1-inch tall home screen consists of a large main window and two configurable tiles (positioned on the right side on the home screen), each of which is 1.7 inches tall and 2.3 inches wide. They can be filled with ten different types of content, such as Media (including song/album cover information) or Phone (including an image of the person to whom you are talking). In addition, it is possible to use the entire surface of the home screen for one function—for example, to show the navigation map in large format, to show special instruments for the Off-road program (steering angle, compass, altitude indicator) or to show, via Car-Net® App-Connect, the smartphone apps for Mirror Link™, Android Auto™ or Apple CarPlay®.
  17. This isn't the Microbus you are looking. Despite many hoping Volkswagen would introduce a modern version of the iconic 60's van, what we got with the BUDD-e that debut at the Consumer Electronics Show last night is a cross between a Scion xB and a Volkswagen Eurovan. But let us move on because the BUDD-e has something that will be appearing in Volkswagen models in the near future. The BUDD-e is the first vehicle that is built on the Modular Electric Toolkit (or MEB). This new modular platform according to the automaker will have the range, utility, and cost needed to become the primary vehicle for many people. For the BUDD-e, the platform allows a 101-kWh lithium-ion battery pack under the floor to provide the power. Electric motors power the front and rear axles. Volkswagen says the BUDD-e has an overall range of 373 Miles in the New European Driving Cycle, a top speed of 93 MPH, and can be recharged to 80 percent in 15 minutes. Interestingly, Autoweek reports during the presentation, chairman Dr. Herbert Diess said the BUDD-e is rated at 233 Miles by the EPA. No explanation was given to the large disparity between the two ratings. The interior is a showcase of future technologies. The driver faces 12.3-inch Active Info Display screen that displays navigation, trip information, charging information, and entertainment. The steering wheel boasts a touch interface with haptic feedback, allowing the driver to interact with the menus on the Active Info Display. There is a larger 13.3-inch screen in the dash that provides more information for passengers. The pièce de résistance of the BUDD-e concept? A number of the BUDD-e's functions can be operated by gesture control, even the rear sliding doors. Source: Autoweek, Volkswagen Press Release is on Page 2 CES 2016: ELECTRIC VOLKSWAGEN BUDD-e CONCEPT BRINGS THE MICROBUS INTO THE 21ST CENTURY Jan 5, 2016 New Concept showcases new MEB electric platform and offers a glimpse of next-generation connectivity and infotainment concepts First VW based on the new Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB)Features 101 kWh battery that enables up to 373** miles of pure electric range New interfaces signal next-generation display and ergonomic conceptsBUDD-e becomes integral part in the Internet of Things and links Smart Home and Smart Car technology Gesture control 2.0 enables intuitive operation of interior and exterior featuresBold design captures brand’s heritage while providing a hint at future design direction Las Vegas, January 2016 —Building on the momentum from the brand’s first appearance in 2015, Volkswagen is opening a new gateway to the future at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The time machine in this case is a zero-emissions, avant-garde van dubbed BUDD-e. This is the first vehicle based on the all-new Modular Electric Platform (MEB) that is designed specifically for plug-in vehicles. With a range of up to 373 miles coupled with a charismatic, iconic design, this vehicle successfully incorporates Volkswagen’s heritage while providing a glimpse into the brand’s future. Completely and thoroughly networked, BUDD-e is a mobile interface which connects the vehicle with the world around it. With the BUDD-e Volkswagen has developed a vehicle that is more thoroughly connected with its surroundings than any car before it. An integral automotive component in the Internet of Things (IoT), BUDD-e is capable of seamlessly communicating with your Smart Home or office. Featuring next-generation infotainment technologies and offering an advanced new method of operation and information processing, BUDD-e turns travel into a fully interactive, intuitive experience. Utilizing the latest in user interface innovation, touch and gesture control merge seamlessly and result in the removal of switches and buttons inside the cabin, individual displays that blend into large infotainment panels, and digital screens instead of analog mirrors. The convergence of these new, interactive infotainment and operating systems provides a view of potential applications in Volkswagen products in the next decade. MEB: The new architecture for Volkswagen’s electric vehicles With BUDD-e, Volkswagen demonstrates what electric mobility could be like by the year 2019. Volkswagen’s new MEB platform will enable a series production car to have pure electric range that is on par with today’s gasoline-powered cars by the end of the decade. The time required to charge the batteries to 80 percent of capacity is anticipated to be reduced to about 15 minutes by then, marking an operational breakthrough for EVs. BUDD-e is the first concept car developed by the Volkswagen Group that is underpinned by the new Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB). This architecture heralds a fundamental change in electric cars and ushers in a revolution in automotive technology, leaving today’s fossil-fuel powered internal combustion engines and drivetrains in the past. This significant innovation will lead to huge changes in the development of electric-powered Volkswagens in the years to come, from body and interior design, to packaging and drive characteristics. The new platform is designed to have the space for electric drive components and large batteries while maintaining interior space and driving dynamics. MEB will allow for spacious interiors with the smallest possible footprint to enable easy and nimble transportation. In addition to their space, MEB vehicles will offer high levels of functionality and networking thanks to the new vehicle architecture, instrumentation, and operating systems. New and enhanced assistance systems will provide passengers with safer transport. Dynamic performance is, and will remain, a key part of Volkswagen’s DNA, and MEB vehicles will be no exception. With a focus on optimal balance, future VW vehicles based off the platform will offer the kind of agility, strong acceleration and handling that VW customers have come to expect. New battery and electric drive componentry will enable inexpensive access to e-mobility: a much longer purely electric range will allow these vehicles to become the primary transportation in many consumers’ households. The new MEB delivers a drivetrain architecture that is specifically tailored for the integration of compact electric motors and high-performance, highly-efficient batteries. The 101 kWh battery is flat, to save space, and integrated into almost the entire vehicle floor. It powers two electric motors, one to drive each axle. The front and rear motors power all four wheels and enable a top speed of 93 mph. The total range of up to 373 miles is achieved on a full charge, putting the BUDD-e on a level playing field with today’s gasoline-powered cars. Like today’s electric vehicles, the BUDDE-e offers several levels of plugged-in charging with the added benefit of cordless inductive charging. Another benefit of the new MEB is entirely new packaging opportunities, highlighted throughout the BUDD-e concept. One significant enhancement is illustrated by the arrangement of the heating and air conditioning unit. For instance, the innovative new heating and air conditioning unit has been completely integrated in the front end of the car which allows for significantly more available space, improves air quality (thanks to larger and more robust filters), and results in a reduction of fan noise inside the cabin for excellent acoustics. The concept van is 181 inches long, 76.3 inches wide and 72.2 inches high, placing it between two very successful Volkswagen models sold in Europe, the Touran and the Multivan T6. Due to its generous width, relatively long wheelbase (124.1 inches), and very short overhangs (27 inches at the front and 28.9 inches and the rear), the BUDD-e’s proportions are very appealing. Exterior design Inspired by the iconic charm of classic Volkswagen vans, the BUDD-e’s design focuses on the aesthetics of functionality. Practical, clean, innovative, powerful and appealing, the concept has a two-tone color scheme, with its body painted in “Nevada White” below the window edge, and the roof in “Phoenix Copper.” The front end design of the BUDD-e is unmistakably Volkswagen. The area around the VW logo can be backlit by integrated LED modules in a number of different ways, creating an external ambient light that tapers towards the sides, and a narrow stripe that continues all the way around the van. The main headlights, which also use LED technology, are placed high up, while transparent surfaces to the left and right of the headlights house integrated LED indicators that carry into the vehicle’s silhouette. Viewed from the front, the V-shaped design of these styling cues resemble elements from the original Volkswagen Microbus and Beetle, with a futuristic flare that provides an entirely new interpretation of the brand’s design DNA. The van’s silhouette is characterized by a flat and elongated roof line, long windows with glazed A-pillars, 21-inch aluminium-alloy wheels, and light modules that start at the front and reach around the vehicle’s flanks. A narrow LED stripe, which runs all the way round the car, acts as a character line and delivers exterior ambient lighting. The silhouette comes across as especially clean, thanks to an absence of door handles and wing mirrors, as these components have been completely redesigned and replaced by electronic solutions. Flared D-pillars, which also contain the LED strip for the rear lights, accentuate the design further. At the rear, the BUDD-e’s aerodynamic design promotes airflow through the gloss black D-pillars, reducing aerodynamic drag and simultaneously optimizing rear downforce. Its clean and iconic design continues all the way to the rear, with a large tailgate, reminiscent of the original Volkswagen bus. LED taillight strips reach up into the D-pillars, and the circumferential ambient light give BUDD-e a unique design unlike anything on the road. Last but not least, a C-shaped LED signature surrounds the extractable Drop Box. Next generation human-machine interface The interior style of the BUDD-e is characterized by a completely new and innovative human-machine interface—the instrumentation and operating concept of the future. The design is extremely clean and intuitive to use. The technical architecture of the infotainment and control systems, as well as their design, make a quantum leap akin to the jump from flip phones to smartphones or from analog timepieces to smart watches. With BUDD-e’s interface design, Volkswagen eliminates the traditional distinction between the electronic instrument cluster in front of the driver and the center console infotainment system. In a move towards comprehensive digitalization and the individualization of the driver’s workplace, these two areas have been merged to form a single information hub. The idea behind the navigation panel is rooted in the car’s original function: driving. Behind the panel resides a sliding 3D navigation map with graphics, which becomes the matrix of an interactive human-machine interface (HMI). This is accomplished via two physically separate displays that blend into one, both optically and functionally. The first component, Active Info Display, is a freely programmable instrument cluster located in front of the driver; the second is a head unit which was once a separate screen for the infotainment system. Active Info Display captures the conceptual focus on drive information, while the head unit caters to the infotainment needs of all passengers on board. Both of these areas form a united visual and textual environment, as the navigation graphics and the arrangement of media content such as the display of Points of Interest (POI), playlists, apps (App-Connect) and online services (Car-Net) are freely configurable. In addition, the main points and content can also be swapped between the Active Info Display and the head unit. All of BUDD-e’s systems are operated intuitively by gesture control, touchscreen (displays and touch slider) or voice control. The driver can choose between various intuitive control modes (multi-modal interaction). For example, a simple “Hello BUDD-e” activates the vehicle’s voice control. The system also offers completely natural speech interaction. For example, if the driver asks “turn the heat up a bit, please”, the car will respond immediately and appropriately. The system is also able to locate the passenger giving the commands, and react accordingly. If, for instance, someone sitting in the left rear seat says “It’s too hot here”, BUDD-e can immediately lower the temperature in that passenger’s zone. The BUDD-e’s freely programmable instrument cluster is an evolution of the Active Info Display first introduced by Volkswagen in 2015. A 12.3-inch curved display with a surface consisting of three individually configurable sections is centrally positioned, right in front of the driver. Drive, control, consume. In Section I, “Drive”, the center of the Active Info Display, the current travel route is highlighted through a 3D map including buildings and points of interest (POI) as well as navigation instructions. The edges of the navigation image are simultaneously the background of the entire display. In Section II, “Control”, vehicle status and assistance system information is displayed, as well as the current trip data from the on-board computer, left of the Active Info Display. In Section III, “Consume”, infotainment content such as “Audio”, “Messages”, “Calendar” and “Weather” are displayed on the right. This layout, designed to concentrate on the route and primarily for driver use, is “Driving mode”. Alternatively, as previously outlined, there is a “Travel mode”, in which the details of the route are displayed on the head unit instead, allowing route guidance and planning by the passengers. The fuel consumption data (left), speed indicator (middle) and information on the energy reserves and range (right) are always displayed in a constant position at the bottom section of the display. The head unit, the part of the new HMI easily seen and used by front-and rear-seat passengers, is located in the middle of the dashboard. Its 13.3-inch display is linked to the Active Info Display, both graphically and via software. The head unit displays the extended 3D navigation map (including buildings) as a default setting. The top level of its surface consists of freely assignable tiles that are available in two different sizes. Up to eight tiles in total can be arranged next to each other. Through this, passengers can display “Trip data“, “Audio” (playlist/song/cover) or “Messages” in “Driving mode.” “Travel mode” puts the emphasis on graphical representations of travel content. A Home button in the middle of the head unit takes the user straight out of each menu, back to the top level menu. Similar to smartphones, a menu tab is integrated at the top of the screen. Opening this menu permits quick and easy access to key functions and menu items. These include vehicle functions such as opening and closing the hatch or sliding door, and menu items like “Music”, “Places”, “Images”, “Phone”, “Connected Home”, and “Videos.” Information on basic functions such as climate control and seat heating is also shown at the bottom of the display, where the all-important button for switching between different modes also resides. An “inbox“ sited to the right of the display can be used to send passenger content to the head unit. The head unit is fitted with proximity sensors that detect an approaching hand and smoothly switch its screen from display to operating mode, allowing users to scroll through audio playlists and other functionality. Drivers can also toggle from “Driving mode” to “Travel mode” at any given moment. The Active Info Display will continue to focus on specific navigation information, while the representation of the current route is moved to the right onto the head unit, allowing it to correspond to points of interest, which are now shown in greater detail. This functionality makes it easier and more straightforward for anyone on board to locate POIs. Meanwhile, the default displays on the Active Info Display continue to provide the driver with the most important information for the journey. Switching between modes can be done by gesture control, using the Home button, or through the redesigned multifunction steering wheel. e-Mirror. This feature integrates the displays of the digital wing mirrors (e-Mirror). Images come from two external cameras, which feed into multifunction displays. When stationary, the driver and front-seat passenger can also use these panels to open and close the electric doors. The display on the driver’s side is 7.9 inches in size and the front-seat passenger has a 5.9-inch screen. Multifunction steering wheel 3.0. Volkswagen’s new multifunction steering wheel is completely switchless, operating via haptic feedback on its smooth surfaces. Individual functions are activated by pressure, or through a swipe gesture. Touching the surface gives the driver palpable haptic “pre-sensing” feedback, allowing them to localize the function. Upon activation of a function, there is another, stronger haptic reaction, making operation more intuitive than present day solutions. Operation is also no longer limited to the shift paddle, but extends over the entire surface of the operating stack. Raised patterns on the buttons make it easy to find one’s way around the wheel. The driver is also given visual feedback on the selected functions by the Active Info Display. For example, the cover of the song that is currently being played is displayed in the appropriate window. At the same time, icons appear at the edges of the square window—in all four corners. These four icons (scroll up or down, sound and menu) directly match the corresponding directions of the switches on the steering wheel’s operating area, making even the most complex operating sequences simple and intuitive. Functions such as volume control or zooming into the navigation display can alternatively be controlled through a new touch slider. This is a further enhancement of the system presented at CES in 2015 in the Golf R Touch concept. This new stage of development is characterized by higher sensor resolution, clearly noticeable for driver and front-seat passenger alike, due to the system’s optimized precision and performance. This enables the touch slider to recognize not only the number of fingers on the slider, but their motion as well. Gesture control 2.0. Volkswagen has significantly enhanced the gesture control system presented in the Golf R Touch at CES in 2015. In the BUDD-e, experts from the Body Electronics division have incorporated sensor technology already capable of recognizing people as they are approaching the vehicle. For the exterior, this is accomplished through the use of infra-red sensors. An intuitive hand gesture opens the BUDD-e’s sliding door. A simple foot movement of the “Virtual Pedal 3.0” opens the electrically operated tailgate, marking a further development of the “Easy Open” function. The gesture control system inside the BUDD-e’s interior is more intuitive than ever before, with the maximum operating distance having been significantly increased. Cameras are used to register if a passenger in the rear compartment wants to open the sliding door, for instance. Interactive displays and projections also assist the driver and passengers during operation. Gestures are recognized without the gesture control system needing to be explicitly activated—as was the case in the Golf R Touch—making it an integral part of operating procedures. Volkswagen has significantly enhanced the gesture control system presented in the Golf R Touch at CES in 2015. In the BUDD-e, experts from the Body Electronics division have incorporated sensor technology already capable of recognizing people as they are approaching the vehicle. For the exterior, this is accomplished through the use of infra-red sensors. An intuitive hand gesture opens the BUDD-e’s sliding door. A simple foot movement of the “Virtual Pedal 3.0” opens the electrically operated tailgate, marking a further development of the “Easy Open” function. The gesture control system inside the BUDD-e’s interior is more intuitive than ever before, with the maximum operating distance having been significantly increased. Cameras are used to register if a passenger in the rear compartment wants to open the sliding door, for instance. Interactive displays and projections also assist the driver and passengers during operation. Gestures are recognized without the gesture control system needing to be explicitly activated—as was the case in the Golf R Touch—making it an integral part of operating procedures. Personalized light. Volkswagen has demonstrated how the dominant color of the display illumination and matching ambient lighting can be individually adapted using the touch slider in the Golf R Touch concept. Now, this functionality also includes opening/start-up and parking/closing of the new BUDD-e. When the car is opened, cockpit and ambient lighting bring the interior to life: when parked, standby mode is initiated. The ambient lighting system implemented in the BUDD-e is a further development of this system. While the previous application was primarily influenced by the driver and the front-seat passenger, controls now extend to the entire interior of the car. It is the first car in which ambient lighting interacts with the gesture control system, and can also be adjusted to suit the surrounding environment. A car for the Internet of Things Not only does the BUDD-e’s completely new infotainment concept make travelling more interactive and media more tangible, it also creates a link between the car and the outside world. With BUDD-e, passengers will be able to access their homes and workplaces to perform tasks such as controlling the air conditioning, turning lights on or off, or simply looking to see if their kids are home yet. BUDD-e will not only provide a connection to an interconnected world, but create an interactive interface to its surroundings. It is conceivable that in the near future, consumables—such as windshield wiper blades—or other kinds of personal items could not only be ordered from the car, but also delivered to it using a “Drop Box” that is accessible from the outside. The vehicle “reads” an access code to open the Drop Box for authorized parcel delivery services, using a digital key, essentially making the vehicle a mobile mailbox. At home on the road. Most modern day smart home functions are controlled using smartphone apps, produced by various manufacturers. Volkswagen has found a solution that allows users to access smart home functions while remaining focused on the road ahead. With App-Connect—Volkswagen’s advanced smartphone integration platform—the BUDD-e makes it possible to control certain “Connected Home” functions from the car, while driving. In cooperation with Korean electronics firm LG, Volkswagen will show how it is possible to obtain information about a smart fridge from the BUDD-e. It’s also possible to put the whole house into an energy-saving sleep mode while still in the vehicle. In the future, the BUDD-e will also automatically turn on lights in and around the house as soon as it approaches through home net automation. At CES, Volkswagen will demonstrate, together with the German manufacturer Doorbird, how MirrorLink™ can be used in connection with the newly developed Home-Net Viewer. The interface can display images from cameras mounted in and around the house on one of the car’s multiple screens (a function equally conceivable with future Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ applications). If a visitor rings the doorbell at home, a picture of them, taken by the home camera, is sent to the screen of the infotainment system. The functionality even makes it possible to speak to the visitor using the car’s hands-free kit and, if desired, open the door for them. Don’t forget anything. BUDD-e can remind its occupants if they have forgotten anything in the car, via their smart watch and/or smartphone. You can also find things in the car using “Home-Net don’t forget”. Through an inventory list, the driver or passengers can see everything that has been put in the car, and if they are still there. The intelligent “Reminder” also informs when particular items should be remembered. For example, if rain is forecast, BUDD-e will notify the driver if there is an umbrella in the car. Relevant items are fitted with a transmitter (a small sticker) in advance, making it possible for the car to locate them. The “Home-Net don’t forget” app uses an encrypted wireless interface, meaning that it is impossible for the items to be located from outside the car, or by unauthorized users. Smart Gesture. Volkswagen plans to become one of the first manufacturers to integrate gesture control into affordable, mass production cars. BUDD-e demonstrates a broad range of what is possible in the future. Functionality will include in-car control functions which operate certain things at home. A good example of this is the familiar “Easy Open” function, where the BUDD-e can use a laser to project a virtual footprint in front of its hatch. If an authorized user kicks this position, the hatch opens automatically. Opening the door at home will work in the same manner: BUDD-e will project a footprint in front of the door and if the person who lives there puts their foot on it, the door opens—which is very handy if you have your arms full with groceries or children.
  18. Are you interested in picking up a 2016 Nissan Titan XD? Then you'll be happy to know today Nissan has announced pricing for the Titan XD. The base S Crew Cab with two-wheel drive and the 5.0L Cummins Turbodiesel V8 will set you back $41,485 and that includes a $1,195 destination charge. Here is the pricing for all Titan XD models with the Turbodiesel V8. S Crew Cab 4x2 – $41,485 S Crew Cab 4x4 – $44,485 SV Crew Cab 4x2 – $45,255 SV Crew Cab 4x4 – $48,205 Pro-4X Crew Cab 4x4 – $52,165 SL Crew Cab 4x2 – $53,225 SL Crew Cab 4x4 – $56,225 Platinum Reserve Crew Cab 4x2 – $58,665 Platinum Reserve Crew Cab 4x4 – $61,715 We don't how much the Titan XD with the Endurance 5.0L V8 will cost till that is launched in April. The Titan XD arrives at dealers tomorrow. Source: Nissan Press Release is on Page 2 Nissan Announces U.S. Pricing for 2016 TITAN XD NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Just in time for last-minute holiday adventures, the all-new 2016 Nissan TITAN XD Crew Cab goes on sale tomorrow at Nissan dealers nationwide. Available in five grade levels and a choice of 4x4 and 4x2 drivetrains, the Cummins® 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel-equipped TITAN XD has a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price* (MSRP) of $40,290 for the S 4x2. The top-of-the-line Platinum Reserve 4x4 grade has an MSRP of $60,520. "This is a big day for Nissan, our retailers and our customers – figuratively and literally – as our new ‘Every Duty™' Nissan TITAN XD powers into showrooms across the country," said Dan Mohnke, vice president, Sales & Marketing Operations, U.S., Nissan North America. Inc. "TITAN XD takes the tradition of full-size capacity to a whole new level, with standard 555 lb-ft of torque, a long list of innovative towing aids such as Around View® Monitor and integrated gooseneck trailer hitch, and advanced safety and security features. There's never been a TITAN like this and the diesel-powered TITAN XD Crew Cab is only the beginning." Following the launch of the 2016 TITAN XD Crew Cab, the new TITAN lineup will be offered in three cab configurations, two frame sizes, three powertrain offerings and five grade levels. More information on the full lineup will be available at a later date. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) for the 2016 Nissan TITAN XD Crew Cab: TITAN XD S Crew Cab 4x2 - $40,290 TITAN XD SV Crew Cab 4x2 - $44,060 TITAN XD SL Crew Cab 4x2 - $52,030 TITAN XD Platinum Reserve Crew Cab 4x2 - $57,470 TITAN XD S Crew Cab 4x4 - $43,290 TITAN XD SV Crew Cab 4x4 - $47,010 TITAN XD PRO-4X Crew Cab 4x4 - $50,970 TITAN XD SL Crew Cab 4x4 - $55,030 TITAN XD Platinum Reserve Crew Cab 4x4 - $60,520
  19. Infiniti decided to give us an early Christmas present by revealing a couple of vehicles that will be debuting at the Detroit Auto Show next month. Sadly, neither vehicle was the upcoming Q60 coupe. They are the refreshed versions of the Q50 and QX60. We'll begin with the 2016 Q50 since it has a fair amount of major changes. First is a new engine lineup. The 3.7L V6 that has been with the Q50 since launch is kicked out and three new engines take its place. The base will be a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder from Mercedes-Benz. This engine found in the CLA and GLA250 produces 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Next is a turbocharged 3.0L V6 in two states of tune; a 300 horsepower version and a 400 horsepower version. The Q50 Hybrid will soldier into 2016. All engines will come paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Another major change for the Q50 is a revised version of Infiniti's Direct Adaptive Steer system. Infiniti says enginners "optimized the control logic to improve feedback from the road". In other words, Infiniti hopes this system will begin to feel like a mechanical system. Next is the 2016 Infiniti QX60 crossover which gets minor changes. Outside are new headlights, reshaped grille, and a new rear bumper. Mechanical changes include new shocks and springs to improve the ride. Interestingly, the QX60 Hybrid will continue on for 2016. Earlier in the year, we had reported that Nissan had killed off both the Pathfinder Hybrid and Infiniti QX60 Hybrid. It seems we were only half-right on that report. The QX60 Hybrid uses a 2.5L inline-four paired with an electric motor to produce a total output of 250 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. The 3.5L V6 with 265 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque continues on into 2016. Source: Infiniti Press Release is on Page 2 2016 Infiniti Q50 sports sedan: New engines and chassis technologies deliver empowering performance and a more rewarding driving experience 2016 Q50 adds trio of new powerful and efficient turbocharged engines, including a 400-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 Next-generation Direct Adaptive Steering™ (DAS) leads technology enhancements New Dynamic Digital Suspension (DDS) offers engaging ride and handing options New 400-horsepower Q50 Red Sport 400 heads line of five models in North America NASHVILLE – The new 2016 Infiniti Q50 sports sedan is being launched with a number of performance and dynamic upgrades that deliver a more empowering and rewarding drive experience. The comprehensive updates include a trio of all-new advanced turbocharged engines, along with next-generation ride and handling technologies. The Q50 – Infiniti's top-selling model in North America – was developed from the outset to showcase Infiniti's daring design, dynamic performance and class-leading technologies within the sports sedan segment. Now in its third year, Q50 global sales between January and October 2015 reached almost 50,000 models – representing a 65 percent increase compared to the same period in 2014. Four advanced powertrain options are offered with the 2016 Infiniti Q50, including an all-new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo gasoline engine with direct injection. This new "VR30" engine is available in two states of tune: 400 horsepower or 300 horsepower – both developed to provide an ideal mix of drivability, efficiency and performance. Also available on the Q50 is a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 208 horsepower, and a 360-horsepower hybrid powertrain, which combines a 3.5-liter V6 and a compact laminated lithium-ion battery with an innovative one-motor, two-clutch control. Also making its debut on the 2016 Infiniti Q50 is the Infiniti's industry leading Direct Adaptive Steering, comprehensively modified from the groundbreaking first-generation system. Infiniti has enhanced the Direct Adaptive Steering after gathering customer feedback from around the world and completing 625,000 miles of real-world testing. The standard steering mode now offers advanced levels of steering feel and feedback – more akin to that of a conventional steering system. In addition, the upgraded system offers even more options to personalize and tailor the steering system's levels of response and feel to suit the driver's preferences. The new Q50 also features Infiniti's Dynamic Digital Suspension (DDS) for the first time, which gives the new Q50 sports sedan an optimal blend of ride comfort and class-leading response and agility. For drivers looking for a blend of dynamic settings tailored to their own particular requirements and tastes, the Q50's Drive Mode Selector (DMS) can be augmented with "Personal" mode, which permits a tailored mix of engine, suspension and steering characteristics. "The new Infiniti Q50 takes the core elements that have driven its global appeal to date, and now we have made it even better by offering a number of new and stand-out technologies. With the upgraded Q50, we are furthering Infiniti's position on innovation." Francois Bancon, Infiniti Vice President Product Strategy Infiniti's most advanced V6 leads the refreshed engine line up The all-new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine, from the new and exclusive "VR-series" powertrain family, has been developed to deliver optimal power and torque, alongside greater fuel efficiency. The high-output version of the power unit delivers 400 horsepower (298 kW) at 6,400 rpm and 350 lb-ft (475 Nm) maximum torque at 1,600-5,200 rpm. The standard output version produces 300 horsepower (224 kW) at 6,400 rpm and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm (295) torque at 1,600-5,200 rpm. These outputs have been achieved while ensuring an expected improvement in fuel efficiency of up to 6.7 percent, representing a high power-to-efficiency ratio for the 400 horsepower power unit. This power-to-efficiency performance was made possible thanks to a combination of newly developed powertrain features. An advanced new twin-turbo system contributes to the smooth and immediate power delivery while promoting gains in efficiency. The combination of a new turbine speed sensor and an optimized turbine blade design realize greater performance with more immediate response. The turbine speed sensor allows a 10 percent increase in turbine speeds, enabling the turbocharger to revolve at up to 220,000 rpm. With greater capacity for faster revolutions, the twin turbochargers enable the engine to deliver greater power and torque. Advanced valve timing control incorporating a new electric motor mounted to the valve timing system delivers quicker reactions to driver inputs. Along with improved response, more immediate valve timing also helps the engine operate more efficiently, precisely controlling fuel and air quantities entering the combustion chamber. A new high-pressure direct injection gasoline (DIG) system, introduced for the first time, allows for precise control of fuel injection into the combustion chamber depending on throttle position and current engine speed. DIG contributes significantly to making the new engine the cleanest and most efficient V6 that Infiniti has ever offered. 2.0-liter turbo and hybrid powertrains blend performance and efficiency Complementing the new 3.0-liter V6 is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged unit, producing 208 horsepower at 5,500 rpm with peak torque of 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) available from 1,500 rpm. This 1,991 cc unit has been engineered to achieve the same goals as the 3.0-liter V6 unit, blending response and performance with efficiency. Direct injection and a high-efficiency compact turbocharger combine to achieve high levels of torque from low engine speeds for an enhanced driving experience. The high-pressure direct injection system with 200 bar piezoelectric injectors, multi-spark ignition and lean-burn combustion technologies also contributes significantly to efficiency. This is complemented by a variable camshaft design on the intake side, which enables a switchover from a standard cam for higher loads and engine speeds where increased power is required, to a "small" cam for partial engine loads. In addition, to minimize friction losses on the small cam a maximum valve lift of 3.8 mm has been specified. The main advantage is a reduction of charge exchange losses and a nearly throttle-free operation in a relatively broad range of scenarios for exceptional efficiency. A lightweight aluminum block and cylinder head with chain-driven dual-overhead camshafts, die-cast aluminum cylinder crankcase and optimized crank assembly promote further weight savings, reduce friction and improve efficiency. For the first time, the Q50 will offer an idle stop-start system (ISS) in combination with a 2.0- liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine. The Q50's advanced hybrid powertrain remains unchanged, featuring the Direct Response Hybrid® system with Intelligent Dual Clutch Control. It combines a 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy V6 and a compact laminated lithium-ion battery with an innovative one-motor, two-clutch control. The system's V6 is rated at 302 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, while the advanced 50 kW electric motor is rated at 67 horsepower and 214 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid system net power is 360 horsepower, providing strong acceleration and lean fuel economy. The hybrid powertrain is designed to put performance first, while bringing significant benefits for fuel efficiency. It takes full advantage of the electric motor's instant torque for exceptional acceleration and, in combination with the 3.5-liter V6, provides an energetic feel under all driving conditions. Smooth shifts from seven-speed automatic transmission All 2016 Q50 powertrains are matched to an advanced seven-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with manual shift mode and steering column-mounted magnesium paddle shifters. Adaptive Shift Control enhances gear selection by using a lateral acceleration sensor to detect changes in the road, such as hills and turns. Sport mode allows the driver to select a more aggressive shift pattern with automatic up- and down-shifting at higher rpm. The combined effect is for any driver to enjoy quick, smooth shifts and gear choices that are appropriate to both the road and the desired driving style. The new Q50 can be configured by the customer with one of two driveline options – rear-wheel drive or Intelligent All-Wheel Drive. Both are available with any of the four engines. Dynamic performance from innovative technology A range of new and innovative ride and handling technologies deliver on the promise of the Q50’s daring design and instill confidence in all driving conditions. Infiniti Q50 models equipped with the new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine, or the hybrid powertrain, are available with the second-generation Infiniti Direct Adaptive Steering. The system has undergone significant re-tuning to enhance steering feel and feedback. The changes to Direct Adaptive Steering – the world’s first digital steering system – have been made following extensive consultation with existing Q50 customers around the world and over 625,000 miles of testing. For the new second-generation Direct Adaptive Steering, engineers have optimized the control logic to improve feedback from the road. They have fine-tuned parameters so that the default setting better mimics the feeling drivers are used to from conventional systems. The new system also provides more customization options, fully utilizing the potential that Direct Adaptive Steering offers, giving drivers’ flexibility to choose the level of steering assistance and feedback according to personal preferences. Direct Adaptive Steering actively adjusts the steering ratio and effort according to vehicle speed and scene. In slow-moving situations, such as city driving or parking, the system is tuned for ease of maneuverability. In order to further enhance the steering feel in sporty driving conditions, the steering effort on the second generation Direct Adaptive Steering gradually saturates with high lateral G-force and acceleration in line with the overall vehicle behavior. Direct Adaptive Steering is able to transmit the driver’s input to the wheels faster than a mechanical system while requiring fewer steering corrections and is able to make 1,000 steering adjustments per second. The new system enhances the steering feel by quickly and intelligently communicating to the driver feedback about road surface and chassis behavior. This gives the driver a secure and confident feeling at the wheel, free from unnecessary steering kickbacks or vibrations. The elimination of unwanted feedback has the further benefit of reducing driver fatigue. The expanded selection of steering modes within Direct Adaptive Steering is accessed through the Drive Mode Selector (DMS). Located via menus displayed in the center console, Drive Mode Selector allows the steering response to be selected from six available options: Personal, Standard, Snow, Eco, Sport, and – new for the 2016 Q50 model – Sport+. The Q50’s Personal steering mode allows for a high degree of fine-tuning. Drivers first select one of three core modes (Standard, Sport and Sport+) and then specify their preferred level of response (Default, Dynamic and Dynamic+). For a slower steering response and conventional feel, the driver would select a combination of Standard mode and Default response. For the highest level of assistance, the driver would choose Sport+ mode with Dynamic+ response – making best use of Direct Adaptive Steering technology. The Sport mode of the Drive Mode Selector enhances the response of Direct Adaptive Steering, elevating the steering effort required while reducing the required steering movement from lock to lock. In the new Sport+ mode, steering effort remains the same as Sport mode, but the response of the steering is further increased, with an even quicker gear ratio for an enhanced performance feel. With both the Sport and Sport+ modes the result is an even greater sense of connection and control when the car is being put through its paces. The new version of Direct Adaptive Steering works with Active Lane Control to maintain lane positioning against crosswinds and uneven road surfaces. This semi-autonomous capability is a precursor to future steering systems that will form a key building block on the way to achieving fully autonomous driving. As standard, Q50 models equipped with the new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine feature Infiniti’s Rack Electronic Power Steering. This all-new system provides a linear and in-control driving experience that can be tuned through the Drive Mode Selector. When making a steering input or returning the steering wheel following an input, traditional steering systems can create an unnatural feeling through imprecise control of the power assistance, reducing the feeling of linearity. To counter this, Infiniti’s Rack Electronic Power Steering precisely increases the steering effort required as the vehicle’s yaw rate changes, before adjusting to provide more assistance when the wheel returns towards on-center. Infiniti Q50 2.0-liter models are equipped with a speed-sensitive hydraulic electronic rack-and-pinion power steering system as standard. This increases assistance at low speeds and reduces assistance for enhanced feel and response at higher speeds. The Q50 features independent multi-link suspension and, for the 2016 model, revised suspension settings now provide an improved balance between confident handling and a comfortable ride. The front suspension is a double-wishbone design, while the revised rear suspension utilizes a multi-link design with coil springs and Dual Flow Path® shock absorbers. Extensive use of aluminum components for the suspension keeps weight down. The Q50 now benefits from revised front and rear stabilizer bars. The result is heightening resistance to unwanted adjustments in the lateral movement of the suspension, affording a flatter ride and greater agility during cornering. The revised system is also better able to maintain contact between the tires and road. All 2016 Q50 Sport models are upgraded with Dynamic Digital Suspension (DDS) for the first time, which offers enhanced ride comfort with class-leading response and agility. The shift from a comfort-biased ride to enhanced dynamic response can be made when the driver places the electronically adjustable shock absorbers in either Sport or Sport+ modes (adjusted via the Drive Mode Selector), providing firmer damping control for more agile handling. While in these modes, the suspension is constantly adjust¬ing to provide ideal performance and a flat ride. In all modes, Dynamic Digital Suspension (DDS) also constantly adjusts the shock absorber valve within a wide range of damping force to control body motion when cornering. It monitors body roll, pitch and bounce rate to restrain body motion for a comfortable, confident and insulated ride in all conditions, ensuring that bumps and undulat¬ing road conditions are absorbed to maintain flat body posture. Daring, expressive design The Infiniti Q50 adds a new dimension of premium style to the sports sedan segment, thanks to its sleek proportions and athletic stance. A strong first impression is created by Infiniti’s signature “double arch” grille. The grille's three-dimensional, textural quality is provided by elaborate detailing of the waved mesh pattern surface and chrome surround, while the distinctive LED headlights and daytime running lights suggest an expressive form, almost like the human eye. Rising from the double arch grille is a smooth yet commanding character line, which flows energetically through the body-side like a wave and merges with the rear, creating a highly fluid profile – a trademark Infiniti look. Infiniti Q50 models equipped with the new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo 400 hp engine are designated as the Q50 Red Sport 400 and feature unique staggered 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and 245/40R19 front/265/35R19 rear summer performance run-flat tires, as well as unique exhaust tips. These changes help to assert the car’s performance credentials and add to its aggressive, confident aura. New safety features The new Infiniti Q50 builds on the long list of safety and security technologies already found in other Infiniti models, maintaining the car’s class-leading position. The Technology Package adds Front Seat Driver/Passenger Pre-Crash Seatbelts; Blind-Spot Intervention (BSI); Lane Departure Warning (LDW); and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) with Active Lane Control. The new Driver Assistance Package includes features such as Forward Emergency Braking (EB); Blind-Spot Warning (BSW); Back Collision Intervention (BCI) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA); Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW); and Around View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD). Comfort and convenience features, customizable for a personal touch Infiniti InTouch™ telematics system brings the future of in-car connectivity to the Q50 interior. Unlike conventional interfaces, the Q50 has not one but two touch-capacitive color screens (LCD/VGA 8-inch upper and 7-inch lower), with intuitive hand-gesture screen operation for easy changing of settings. Along with the large dual screens, the Infiniti InTouch™ system is designed to effortlessly synchronize car and driver. Content and functions directed to the upper screen include the most frequently used applications, such as navigation maps. Other content is directed to the lower display screen. In North America, the 2016 Infiniti Q50 is offered in a range of trim levels, each in a choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive – Q20 2.0t, Q50 2.0t Premium, Q50 3.0t Premium, Q50 Hybrid Premium, Q50 Sport and Q50 Red Sport 400. New for Q50 in 2016 is the feature-rich Premium Plus Package, available on all engine options and including: auto dimming exterior mirrors; electric memory exterior mirrors; electrically adjustable steering wheel with memory and easy entry functions; Infiniti InTouch with navigation and one year of InTouch services; navigation-synchronized adaptive shift control; SiriusXM® Traffic; voice recognition; 60/40 split-fold rear seat with center armrest; electric lumbar support and position memory for the driver’s seat; heated steering wheel and heated front seats. For 3.0-liter Sport models, the Premium Plus Package also adds remote engine start. The Technology Package has been revised to now include: Auto-leveling Adaptive Front Lighting System; High Beam Assist; Intelligent Cruise Control with full speed range; Distance Control Assist; Eco pedal; Advanced Climate Control System with Plasmacluster™ and Grape Polyphenol filter; as well as a range of safety features. The new Infiniti Q50 goes on sale in selected markets later in 2016. Infiniti QX60 premium crossover offers enhanced design, dynamics, comfort and convenience for 2016 Refreshed exterior design adds to premium look and feel Chassis dynamics retuned for a more engaging, comfortable drive Interior revisions bring enhanced luxury for up to seven occupants Augmented suite of assistive and intuitive technologies NASHVILLE – Infiniti has comprehensively enhanced its versatile QX60 premium crossover for 2016, introducing a wide range of changes that improve the seven-seater’s exterior design and its driving dynamics, while showcasing new features and technologies that improve comfort, convenience and safety. Reflecting an evolution of Infiniti’s stand-out artistic design, the 2016 QX60’s revised form accentuates its powerful elegance and craftsmanship. This is a premium crossover that continues to defy segment expectations by providing flexible and accessible seating for up to seven, while at the same time delivering superior standards of comfort and luxury. The 2016 QX60’s new suspension components and settings combine to deliver superior levels of both comfort and agility, while a revised steering system delivers greater feedback for a more rewarding drive. Available in both front-wheel drive and optional Intelligent All-Wheel Drive versions, the QX60 is offered with a choice of powerful and efficient powertrains – 3.5-liter V6 gasoline or Hybrid. Whichever engine is chosen, upgraded cabin sound insulation and revised engine mounts for the 2016 model reduce the ingress of noise, vibration and harshness, enabling occupants to better appreciate the uprated cabin materials and the feature-rich audio and connectivity systems. Seven new equipment packages and a new range of exterior colors for 2016 allows customers to take a truly tailored approach in specifying the QX60 premium crossover to meet their individual needs and preferences. The personal touch is reinforced with thoughtful new assistive and intuitive technology features, such as the Infiniti Personal Assistant™, a 24-hour personal concierge service. Global sales of the QX60 during the first eleven months of 2015 reached 48,684, year-on-year, representing a growth of 24 percent. The U.S. market alone posted a 32 percent increase compared to the same period in 2014. Infiniti expects the new 2016 model to attract even more premium buyers to the brand. “The new QX60 will become an important part of Infiniti’s global growth strategy as the global premium crossover market continues to grow. The new model builds on the characteristics that have made QX60 an increasingly popular choice with premium buyers, offering enhanced design, driving dynamics and best-in-class levels of interior comfort and convenience.” Francois Bancon, Infiniti Vice President Product Strategy Refreshed exterior conveys a premium look The exterior of the QX60 reflects Infiniti’s design-led approach to product development, and a desire to craft vehicle forms which combine power and confident artistry through taut, muscular shapes and flowing lines. The look is unmistakably Infiniti and the new QX60 features familiar signature brand design cues such as the dramatic double-arch front grille, double-wave hood and crescent-cut D-pillar. At the front, the redesigned double-arch grille is flanked by standard-fit bi-xenon headlamps. There is greater use of LED lighting, including new LED daytime running lights. Complementing the revised headlamps are front fog lamps, which feature LED lighting and chrome finishers. The lighting extends to the side and rear of the vehicle, with side indicators and taillights sitting flush to body and incorporating the turn signal in red. The rear hatch has also received attention, featuring a new chrome finisher, while retaining its power lift function. Above the rear hatch a new roof-mounted and body color “shark fin” antenna has been added, working in-conjunction with the in-glass antenna. Incorporated into both front and rear bumpers are new, flush-mounted sonar sensors. Except for two additions at the center of the front bumper, these body-colored sensors no longer have a surrounding bezel, adding to the premium appearance. The 2016 QX60 is available in seven exterior colors: Liquid Platinum, Black Obsidian, Hermosa Blue, Majestic White, Graphite Shadow, plus new Hagane Blue and Jade Green. The smooth and aerodynamic shape of the QX60 achieves an unchanged drag coefficient of 0.34. The new model manages airflow over, under and around the exterior to promote road holding and high-speed stability. A front underbody spoiler, integrated rear spoiler and rear tire deflectors contribute to achieving zero lift across both front and rear axles. A significant enhancement for the 2016 QX60 is the addition of acoustic glass for better insulation from high frequency noise. Constructed of three layers, the acoustic side glass minimizes the intrusion of wind noise into the cabin, while also reducing the effects of tire noise. The result is class-leading noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels at a constant speed. Retuned dynamics for a more engaging drive The focus for Infiniti’s QX60 engineers was to provide an even more assured and confidence-inspiring driving experience. This has been achieved through the introduction of new chassis technologies and revised settings for components carried over from the previous model. The independent-strut front and multi-link rear suspension feature new shock absorbers and spring units, which result in smoother ride control with a reduction in body movement when cornering. New 235/65 R18 T-rated all-season tires are standard, selected to provide improvements in grip and balance. Completing the dynamic changes, a retuned vehicle-speed-sensitive power steering system, now requiring just 2.9 turns lock-to-lock, offers the driver increased response to steering inputs and enhanced feedback. The Infiniti Drive Mode Selector (DMS) allows the driver to vary throttle response and gearshift patterns to optimize performance for the conditions and their own preferences. The driver can select from four drive modes – Standard, Sport, Eco and Snow – using a rotary dial mounted in the center console. To enhance stability and feel through the controls when cornering, the Active Trace Control system links with the QX60’s standard Vehicle Dynamic Control system (upgraded for 2016), to automatically apply the brakes in a specific pattern and then smooth engine torque characteristics while accelerating. The new QX60 is available in four models, QX60, QX60 AWD, QX60 Hybrid and QX60 Hybrid AWD. All variants provide the responsive performance and fuel efficiency increasingly demanded by premium crossover buyers. The standard 3.5-liter V6 is mated to a sport-tuned, electronically controlled continuously variable transmission with D-Step Logic that provides high levels of response and a seamless, efficient shift feel. The transmission’s logic mimics the shift pattern of a more traditional step transmission. Included is a manual shift mode, allowing the driver to manually select from the pre-set gear ratios, if preferred. The 3.5-liter V6 engine produces 265 horsepower at 6,400 rpm with peak torque of 248 lb-ft (336 Nm) available at 4,400 rpm. The engine includes a variable induction control system to improve volumetric efficiency at low and middle speed ranges, while an efficient belt layout reduces maintenance requirements and aids fuel efficiency. Revised engine mounts reduce the vibration transmitted to the cabin and controls engine movement during cornering for enhanced stability and response. The 2016 QX60 is also offered with a hybrid drivetrain, featuring a supercharged 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine and an electric motor powered by a compact Lithium-ion battery pack. The system produces a combined 250 horsepower and 243 lb-ft (329 Nm) of torque. For 2016, the engine is mounted using new electric-active controlled liquid-filled engine mounts for reduced vibration in the cabin and enhanced cornering. Premium comfort and convenience for seven occupants The QX60 utilizes a flat platform floor, which not only allows for a more dramatic design approach but also enhances interior space and flexibility. The second-row seating features almost six inches (150 mm) travel, adjustable either to the benefit of passenger leg room or rear cargo space, as required. Traditionally a compromised area, the third-row seating is able to accommodate children or adults with practical head- and knee room. Access to the third row of seats is facilitated by wide door openings and the long forward travel of the second-row seating. The second-row seating’s unique forward movement function also negates the need to remove any child seat fitted to the second row when accessing the third-row seating. In addition, both second- and third-row seating incorporate a split folding function, 60/40 for the second row and 50/50 for the third row, to further increase versatility and practicality. Both rows also recline for greater occupant comfort. As well as being truly versatile, the interior of the QX60 offers elegance and fine craftsmanship. Key design features include Infiniti’s signature driver-oriented cockpit, highlighted by thin chrome accents. Boosting the premium feel of the interior, for 2016 the upper instrument panel has been wrapped in soft-touch material with contrast stitching, while the gearshift knob and surround feature a new design and finish. “Graphite Weave” is the standard interior leather trim, with a quilted seat base and maple accents available with the Deluxe Technology Package. All models benefit from contrast stitching to the upper instrument and door panels available in three colors, Graphite, Java and Wheat. As an additional convenience for front seat occupants, the memory seat button has been relocated to the upper door trim. The tri-zone automatic temperature control system with microfilter has been revised for the 2016 QX60, offering improved performance for the first- and second-row occupants. A power sliding moonroof with tinted glass, one-touch open/close, tilt feature and sliding sunshade is standard on all models. Available as part of the Deluxe Technology Package is an Advanced Climate Control System with Plasmacluster® air purifier, grape polyphenol filter and auto recirculation. Also included within the Deluxe Technology Package is a panoramic moonroof with power rear sunshade, which provides a light, airy environment for rear passengers. Standard connectivity and entertainment features include Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, separately available), and USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices. For 3.5-liter models, three additional USB charging ports have been added to the cabin, one convenient for the second-row seating and two for the third-row seating. High levels of connectivity, convenience and safety For 2016, the QX60 continues to deliver a high level of assistive and intuitive technology features, aimed at enhancing the premium crossover experience for all occupants. Infiniti Connection™ services include 24-hour automatic crash notification, emergency call, enhanced roadside assistance, stolen vehicle reporting, remote door lock/unlock, alarm notification, maintenance alert and scheduled maintenance notification. The “My Schedule” function can automatically synch a user’s schedule through Google Calendar™ and provide navigation guidance to appointments. The 2016 QX60 features Infiniti Personal Assistant™, Infiniti’s personal concierge service with 24 hour access to a live team of professional assistants. The service allows owners to make reservations, get directions, find points of interest, make dinner reservations, access gift services and receive a wide variety of other services at the touch of a button from inside the vehicle or through the owner’s mobile or home phone. In vehicles equipped with Infiniti Connection™, owners can have their Infiniti Personal Assistant™ find a restaurant, make the reservation, and have directions sent directly to their QX60’s Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System. Safeguarding occupants is a top priority for Infiniti, and several new safety technologies are available through 2016 QX60’s revised options packages. Forward Emergency Braking (FEB) utilizes advanced technology to calculate the distance between QX60 and the vehicle in front, as well as the speed of both vehicles, to detect the possibility of a collision and help mitigate or prevent it. The system operates in two stages, risk detection and collision detection. On detecting a risk, the system initially alerts the driver with visual and audible warnings and forcibly backs off the throttle. If the driver releases the accelerator, the system will apply partial braking. In the event that the system detects a collision may occur and there is no action taken by the driver, the system provides an additional set of warnings and applies harder braking to help avoid a collision, or mitigate the consequences should one occur. The Pedestrian Detection function within the FEB system applies this technology to avoid or mitigate collisions with pedestrians. Forward Collision Warning (FCW) alerts the driver of hazards in the road ahead – taking automatic action to help avoid or mitigate the effects of a collision. Backup Collision Intervention (BCI) alerts the driver to crossing vehicles and other large stationary objects to the rear when the transmission is in reverse. If necessary, the system is able to automatically to engage the brakes to help avoid or mitigate a collision. Parking is made easy with the addition of a new Around View® Monitor (AVM), with Moving Object Detection (MOD), using four wide-angle lenses – one on each side of the vehicle – to create a “birds-eye” view on the center console and give drivers a clear picture of nearby hazards during low-speed maneuvers. In addition to the long list of standard equipment, seven option packages, newly introduced for 2016, provide a means of personalization that reflects Infiniti’s versatile and passenger-minded approach to the new QX60. The new Infiniti QX60 goes on sale in selected markets later in 2016.
  20. Chevrolet is gearing up to launch its newest hybrid, the Mailbu Hybrid. When it goes on sale in the spring, it will carry a base price of $28,645 (includes a $875 destination charge). Now compared to the standard Malibu, the Hybrid is about $6,145 more. The Malibu Hybrid is also slightly more expensive than the Ford Fusion Hybrid (about $3,000) and Toyota Camry Hybrid (about $2,000). But the high price does mean a lot of equipment for the hybrid. Standard on all models is 10 airbags, cruise control, push-button start with passive entry, a 7-inch touchscreen with Chevrolet MyLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, and a backup camera. Power comes from a 1.8L four-cylinder and an electric motor delivering a total output of 181. GM says the Malibu Hybrid is capable of getting 48 MPG in the City/45 MPG on the Highway/41 Combined. This is better than any other midsize hybrid sedan on sale. Source: Chevrolet Press Release is on Page 2 NEXT-GEN CHEVROLET MALIBU HYBRID LT STARTS AT $28,645 Projected to offer 48 MPG city using technologies borrowed from Volt DETROIT – The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid LT, which achieves a General Motors’-estimated 48 mpg city, will be available this spring with a starting price of $28,645. “The Malibu leverages knowledge and technology directly from the second-generation Chevrolet Volt,” said Steve Majoros, marketing director of Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers. “By leveraging technology, we are broadening our level of expertise and lessons learned to bring consumers a world-class hybrid.” With an all-new, hybrid powertrain that uses a slightly modified drive unit and electric motors used in the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, the Malibu Hybrid offers a GM-estimated 48 mpg city, 45 mpg highway – and 47 mpg combined, unsurpassed in the midsize car segment. Official EPA estimates are pending. The Malibu Hybrid model includes standard Chevrolet MyLink Radio with 7-inch diagonal color touch screen, available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a rear vision camera. CarPlay and Android Auto are products of Apple and Google and their terms, data plan rates and privacy statements apply and require a compatible smartphone. Other standard equipment on the Malibu Hybrid includes 10 airbags, cruise control and push-button start with passive entry. Anew Ecotec 1.8L hybrid optimized direct-injected engine is mated with a two-motor electric drive unit. The 2016 Malibu Hybrid offers several new-to-Malibu safety technologies including Lane Keep Assist, Front Pedestrian Braking and Low Speed Front Automatic Braking. Teen Driver, available on all Malibu models, helps support safe driving habits by muting the audio or any device paired with the vehicle when front-seat occupants aren’t wearing their seat belts. It is also the first in-vehicle system in the industry that lets parents view information on how their teenagers drove the vehicle, which can be a teaching tool to reinforce safe driving habits. The 2016 Malibu is built at the GM Fairfax Assembly facility, in Kansas City, Kan. from globally sourced parts.
  21. Next year will see the introduction of the next-generation Porsche Boxster and Cayman. The new models will also boast new names; the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman. You might be wondering what the deal is with 718. Porsche didn't just pull this number out of hat. 718 is referencing the 1959 718 racecar with a mid-mounted, four-cylinder engine. When the new Boxster and Cayman are introduced, they will also have a mid-mounted, four-cylinder. But unlike the 718 racecar, the Boxster and Cayman's four-cylinder will be turbocharged. Porsche says the two models "will share more similarities than ever before," both visually and mechanically. Also, the next-generation Boxster will cost more than the Cayman. Currently, the Cayman is slightly more expensive than the Boxster. Source: Porsche Press Release is on Page 2 Boxster and Cayman to be branded as 718 model range next year Porsche's mid-engine sports cars to receive new name Atlanta, Georgia. The mid-engine sports cars from Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG will be named 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman, respectively, when the models are introduced over the course of 2016. The 718 designation is a reference to the ground-breaking sports car Porsche introduced back in 1957, which achieved great success in a number of renowned car races. The 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman will share more similarities than ever before – both visually and technically. In the future, both will have equally powerful turbocharged flat-four cylinder engines. The Roadster will be positioned at a higher price level than the Coupe – as is the case with the 911 models. The 718 model range is driven by the four-cylinder concept and the history of distinguished Porsche sports cars. The latest example is the 919 Hybrid LMP1 race car, which is powered by a highly-efficient, turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine. This powerplant not only helped Porsche finish first and second in the 24 hours of Le Mans, but it also helped win the manufacturer's and driver's championship titles in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) this year. With these victories, the 919 Hybrid has showcased the performance potential of future sports car engines from Porsche. History of the 718: flat-four cylinder engine has achieved many racing victories Flat-four cylinder engines have a long tradition at Porsche – and they have enjoyed incredible success. In the late 1950s, the 718 – a successor to the legendary Porsche 550 Spyder – represented the highest configuration level of the flat-four cylinder engine. Whether it was at the 12-hour race in Sebring in 1960 or the European Hill Climb Championship which ran between 1958 and 1961, the Porsche 718 prevailed against numerous competitors with its powerful and efficient flat-four cylinder engine. The 718 took first place twice between 1959 and 1960 at the legendary Italian Targa Florio race in Sicily. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1958, the 718 RSK with its 142-hp four-cylinder engine achieved a significant class victory.
  22. GMC's Denali lineup is going to get bigger with the introduction of two new models. First up is the 2017 GMC Canyon Denali. Like other Denali models, the Canyon version gets a number of chrome exterior pieces, polished exhaust tip, spray-in bedliner, and twenty-inch alloy wheels. The interior comes wrapped in Jet Black leather with heated and ventilated seats, wood trim, and a new instrument cluster. Now the Denali trim will only be available on the Canyon crew cab and come with the choice of either the 3.6L V6 or 2.8L Duramax Diesel. The Canyon Denali will go on sale late next year. Second is the Sierra Denali Ultimate, which GMC claims is the most luxurious pickup it has ever built. This version takes the standard Sierra Denali and layers on more equipment. The exterior boasts LED headlights, twenty-two inch chrome wheels, chrome tow hooks on both ends, and Tri-Mode Power Steps that make it easier to get in and out of the bed. GMC added more soft-touch materials and contrast stitching for the Denali Ultimate's interior. Base power will come from a 5.3L V8 with 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. Optional with the 6.2L V8 with 420 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. Four-wheel drive is standard regardless of which engine is chosen. GMC says the Sierra Denali Ultimate will go on sale sometime in the first quarter of 2016. Source: GMC Press Release is on Page 2 GMC Introduces 2017 Canyon Denali Exclusive design cues, content elevate industry’s first premium midsize truck DETROIT – Denali is the ultimate expression of GMC’s professional grade style, luxury and capability – and it is coming to the Canyon midsize truck. The 2017 Canyon Denali is being introduced today, ahead of its public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It goes on sale in late 2016. “Canyon is the segment’s first and only premium midsize truck, offering unparalleled capability and efficiency matched with maneuverability and refinement,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “The all-new Canyon Denali builds on that award-winning combination with the distinctive styling, luxurious interior and elevated content that has defined the Denali nameplate since its introduction nearly 17 years ago.” Like all Denali models, the new Canyon Denali is distinguished with a unique chrome grille and unique wheels – 20-inch ultra-bright-machined aluminum wheels with painted accents. Exterior cues include chrome fog lamp bezels, five-inch-diameter rectangular chrome assist steps, a polished exhaust tip and a standard spray-in bed liner. The Canyon Denali will be offered in six exterior colors. Inside, a Jet Black interior features Mulan leather-appointed seats with perforated, heated-and-ventilated front seats – exclusive content in the Canyon lineup – along with unique instrument panel and console trim; and Denali-logo sill plates and floor mats. Standard technologies include Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. Additional standard features include: Heated steering wheel GMC IntelliLink with Navigation, an eight-inch-diagonal color touchscreen and phone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with a Wi-Fi hotspot Automatic climate control Full-color driver information center Remote vehicle starter system Two USB charging ports on the rear of the center console ad another USB port inside the console. The Canyon Denali is offered on crew cab models and in two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive configurations. Powertrains include a standard 3.6L V-6 that tops competitors’ V-6 offerings with up to 7,000 pounds (3,175 kg) of maximum trailering and an Environmental Protection Agency-estimated 26 mpg highway on 2WD models. Also available is the all-new 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel, which includes a maximum trailering rating of up to 7,700 pounds (3,493 kg) and EPA-estimated fuel economy of 31 mpg highway (2WD). It is the cleanest diesel truck engine ever produced by General Motors and meets some of the toughest U.S. emissions standards, thanks in part to a cooled exhaust gas recirculation system. The engine is paired with the Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission, which uses a unique Centrifugal Pendulum Vibration Absorber in the torque converter to reduce powertrain noise and vibration. Diesel models also feature smart diesel exhaust braking and an integrated trailer brake controller. Smart diesel exhaust braking enhances vehicle control and reduces brake wear by varying the amount of brakes needed for the vehicle, load and grade. The integrated trailer brake controller system works with the anti-lock brake system to provide immediate and measured brake force with the electronically controlled trailer brake system. GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate: The Pinnacle of Premium Unique 22-inch wheels, expanded package of standard content drives exclusivity DETROIT – GMC is taking the range-topping style, craftsmanship and capability of the Sierra Denali even higher with the 2016 Sierra Denali Ultimate. It builds on the Sierra Denali’s already class-leading attributes with a package of precision-crafted features designed to elevate its comfort, design and capability in the growing premium niche of the full-size truck market. GMC introduces the Sierra Denali Ultimate today, ahead of its public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It goes on sale late in the first quarter of 2016. “The Sierra Denali has helped drive the growth of premium portion of the light-duty crew cab segment,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “This truck is the ultimate expression of the Sierra Denali with greater emphasis on the bold and refined presence and advanced features that make Denali models synonymous with precision and exclusivity.” Thanks in large part to Sierra Denali, which was redesigned in 2014, GMC commands 15.5 percent of the premium full-size truck segment, where average transaction prices exceed $55,000. The segment has nearly doubled in 2015 and grown tenfold since 2013, when GMC had zero percent of the market. In fact, Sierra Denali has helped GMC earn a higher share of the premium portion of the light-duty crew cab segment than of the overall full-size pickup segment. Unique features and more standard technologies The Sierra Denali Ultimate is offered exclusively on four-wheel drive 1500 crew cab models with either a 5’ 8” or 6’ 6” cargo bed. It is distinguished with 22-inch wheels with chrome or black insert), a standard sunroof, chrome tow hooks and standard technologies, including Tri-Mode Power Steps – that move rearward to serve as a step into the forward section of the cargo bed. Lane Keep Assist and IntelliBeam automatic headlamp control are also standard. Sierra’s 6.2L V-8/eight-speed automatic powertrain combination offers the light-duty segment’s highest output: 420 horsepower (313 kW) and 460 lb-ft of torque (623 Nm). Active noise cancelation technology contributes to a quieter driving experience and is featured with the 6.2L engine. A 5.3L V-8 with the new Hydra-Matic 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission is the standard powertrain. An integrated trailer brake controller is standard on the Sierra Denali Ultimate and allows the driver to adjust the amount of output available to the electric trailer brake and to manually apply the brakes. Additionally, Sierra Denali’s standard, segment-exclusive magnetic ride control delivers more precise body motion control, for a greater feeling of responsiveness to the driver and a smoother ride for passengers. Its sensors “read” the road every millisecond, triggering damping changes in as little as five milliseconds in electronically controlled shock absorbers that replace conventional mechanical-valve shocks. Professional grade style and crafted interior In addition to the special content, the Sierra Denali Ultimate includes all of the crafted interior, advanced features and design elements of other Denali models, including body-color bumpers, chrome exhaust tip, unique interior decorative trim, a polished stainless steel exhaust outlet and a factory-installed spray-on bed liner with a three-dimensional Denali logo. It also wears new front-end styling introduced for 2016, including high-performance LED headlamps with GMC LED signature lighting, an all-new Denali grille and LED taillamps. The high-tech interior features an eight-inch-diagonal Customizable Driver Display – with Denali-themed screen graphics at start-up – that can show relevant settings, audio and navigation information in the instrument panel. Sierra Denali’s standard eight-inch-diagonal Color Touch navigation radio with IntelliLink, located above the center console, is the hub for Bluetooth-connected phones and portable devices connected through four standard USB ports. IntelliLink also features Apple CarPlay capability, with Android Auto capability coming later in the model year. Additional standard technologies and convenience features include: OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with a Wi-Fi hotspot Bose premium sound system Wireless phone charging – new for 2016 Remote vehicle starter system Remote keyless entry with new remote locking tailgate Power-adjustable pedals Power-sliding rear window with defogger Rear-vision camera with dynamic guidelines. The Denali Ultimate features premium soft-touch interior materials, aluminum trim and contrast stitching on the standard leather-trimmed interior – including 12-way power adjustable heated and vented front leather bucket and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel.
  23. Next at the LA Auto Show, Honda will unveil the coupe version of the Civic. But thanks to an eagle-eye spy photographer, we have our first peek at what the production coupe will look like. While the Civic coupe in the photo has the same bright green color as the concept shown at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, the production model is toned down a bit with no rear wing or distinctive front bumper. But the basic shape is all there. It's expected the Civic coupe will feature the same 2.0L four-cylinder engine with 158 horsepower and turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engine with 174 horsepower as found in the sedan. We'll have full details of the coupe when it is shown at the LA Auto Show next week. Source: Motor Authority
  24. Cadillac has announced some details of their upcoming flagship sedan today. The 2016 CT6 will arrive at dealers in March with a starting pricetag of $54,990 (includes a $995 destination charge) for the base 2.0L turbo-four and climb to $84,460 for the top of the line Platinum trim. At launch, Cadillac will offer three different engines. The base will be the 272 horsepower, 2.0L turbo-four paired with rear-wheel drive. Next will be a 3.6L V6 with 335 horsepower and all-wheel drive. Finally, there is the twin-turbo 3.0L V6 with 400 horsepower and all-wheel drive. Details on the CT6 Plug-In Hybrid will be revealed at a later date. Cadillac has filled the CT6 with a a large amount of standard equipment such as full-LED exterior lighting, 14-way driver and passenger seats, an 8.0-inch digital display for the instrument cluster, 10.2-inch touchscreen with navigation, and OnStar 4G LTE. Source: Cadillac You can also view the original article on the Cadillac CT6 plus pictures of the CT6 from the 2015 New York International Auto Show Press Release is on Page 2 2016 Cadillac CT6 Range-Topping Sedan Slated for March Launch NEW RANGE INCLUDES CT6 STARTING AT $53,495; CT6 PLATINUM PRICED FROM $83,465 Cadillac extends the top of its range with the 2016 Cadillac Touring 6 sedan, which begins production in Detroit in January, with initial shipments to dealers in March. Through the integration of new technologies, the first-ever Cadillac CT6 creates a new formula for the range-topping sedan and substantially expands the Cadillac portfolio. Thanks to pioneering new vehicle manufacturing and design methods, the CT6 achieves dynamic performance, efficiency and agility previously unseen in large luxury cars. The CT6 product line similarly aims to refresh and broaden the range of consumers in the prestige class of luxury sedans. In the US market, the 2016 Cadillac CT6 sedan is priced from $53,495, with the highest level CT6 Platinum model starting at $83,465. “The CT6 is an entirely new approach to prestige luxury, adding driving dynamics and technology while reducing the bulk of traditional large sedans,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Cadillac. “With the CT6, Cadillac has a competitive edge: our use of advanced lightweight construction and innovative technology, it is prestige luxury reimagined.” Offering three engine choices, and a broad range of high-technology systems and luxury amenities, the first-ever CT6 presents a wide range of options and price points to draw new buyers. CT6 2.0L Turbo – Starting at $53,495 CT6 3.6L V6 with AWD – Starting at $55,495 CT6 3.0L Twin Turbo V6 with AWD – Starting at $64,395 Customers can place orders now with dealers and view additional product information at cadillac.com. The Cadillac CT6 sedan takes drivers to a higher threshold of involvement, with technologies to enhance situational awareness, chassis systems – including active technologies – that make the most of control in all conditions, and powertrains led by an all-new Cadillac Twin Turbo engine. The Cadillac 3.0L Twin Turbo V-6 engine is rated at 400 horsepower (298 kW) and 400 lb-ft of torque (543 Nm); an all-new, 335-horsepower 3.6L V-6 and Cadillac’s award-winning 2.0T four-cylinder engine are also available. All engines are paired with eight-speed automatic transmissions. The rigid, lightweight architecture provides a crucial foundation for the sedan’s segment-challenging agility, enhanced by active-on-demand all-wheel drive, active rear steering and Magnetic Ride Control on the available Active Chassis System. Cadillac has made technological strides with in-cabin advances, as well, including the Rear Camera Mirror, Enhanced Night Vision technology and the pioneering 34-speaker Bose® Panaray® audio system. Cadillac this spring announced that the CT6 will be available with plug-in hybrid electric technology, as the company continues its development of highly capable alternative powertrain vehicles. Further details for the CT6 Plug-In Hybrid model will be announced closer to that vehicle’s launch. The 2016 Cadillac CT6 will be built at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant on the east side of Detroit. Cadillac in April auctioned the first retail production CT6 to benefit the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. Editor’s note: Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price excludes destination ($995), tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment.
  25. The BMW 2-Series has a new member of the family. The 2016 BMW M2 is what happens when BMW's M department is given free-reign on the smallest of BMW models. Outside, the M2 looks the part with larger front intakes, wider fenders, rear diffuser, and 19-inch forged aluminum wheels. Move inside and you'll find Alcantara on door panels, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and leather seats with adjustable bolsters. Power comes from a turbocharged 3.0L Inline-Six that has been tinkered with to produce 365 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. This can either be paired to a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. BMW quotes 0-60 MPH times of 4.4 seconds for the manual and 4.2 seconds for the dual-clutch automatic. Under the skin, BMW replaced a number of parts for the suspension with ones made out of aluminum to help reduce weight. There's also an extra brace chassis to improve stiffness. BMW has also fitted a electronically controlled Active M Differential that can selectively lock each wheel from 0 to 100 percent in just 150 milliseconds. Pricing will be announced closer to spring when BMW plans on shipping M2s to dealers. Source: BMW Press Release is on Page 2 The All-New 2016 BMW M2: More torque than past generation M3’s. M TwinPower Turbo Technology yielding impressive performance. Wider track featuring lightweight aluminum suspension. Manual gearbox with innovative rev-matching technology. Fully variable Active M Differential. Nürburgring tested M compound high performance brakes. Woodcliff Lake, N.J- October 13, 2015 … Today, BMW M GmbH unveiled the newest member of its product family. The coveted M badge has been placed on the popular BMW 2 Series in the form of the all-new 2016 BMW M2. The 6-cylinder under the hood is in keeping with the finest M tradition, ensuring unbeatable driving dynamics on the trace track with exceptional power delivery and the signature, outstanding driving behavior thanks to rear-wheel drive agility and lightweight aluminum M Sport suspension. The innovative M TwinPower Turbo technology ensures outstanding torque available across a wide rev band with rapid responses and excellent efficiency, raising the pulse with its distinctive engine soundtrack. The BMW M2 will be available at authorized BMW centers with a limited range of options starting in spring of 2016. Prince will be disclosed closer to market launch. Just like its predecessor high revs and M TwinPower. With an output of 365 bhp at 6,500 rpm and maximum revs of 7,000 rpm this all-new BMW M2 is more powerful than its predecessor: the BMW 1 M Coupe. The 3.0-liter 6-cylinder inline engine in the new BMW M2 sends out a clear message to the high-performance sports car segment. The engine’s peak torque also leads the way in this segment; a full 343 lb-ft is on tap between 1,400 and 5,560 rpm, with the overboost function raising this figure by 26 lb-ft to 369 lb-ft between 1,450 and 4,750 rpm. A glance to the past will put things into perspective, this figure is more than 70 lb-ft of additional torque than the past generation M3, ensuring plenty of torque is available in all driving situations. With the optional M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) in place and Launch Control activated, the new BMW M2 completes the sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in a scant 4.2 seconds (4.4 s with the six-speed manual gearbox). The top speed of the all-new BMW M2 is electronically limited to 155 mph. The all-new BMW M2’s newly developed 3.0 liter 6-cylinder engine represents a symbiosis of exceptional output and outstanding efficiency. The lightweight, thermodynamically optimized, all-aluminum unit is extremely rigid due to its closed-deck design – which means that the cylinder water jacket is closed at the top. This enables higher cylinder pressures for improved power output and torque. State-of-the-art M TwinPower Turbo technology. The all-new BMW M2 comes with the latest generation of the trailblazing M TwinPower Turbo technology. In the new 6-cylinder inline gasoline engine, this comprises a TwinScroll turbocharger, High Precision Direct Injection, variable camshaft timing (Double-VANOS) and VALVETRONIC variable valve lift control. Optimized to meet the highest standards and in order to satisfy the high expectations of sporty drivers who like to push the limits on the track, the BMW M GmbH development engineers have introduced upgrades to the engine powering the all-new BMW M2. This engine has gained selected components from the high-performance unit used in the BMW M3 and BMW M4 presented in 2014. Components including the pistons, with their top ring optimized for the use of grey-cast iron liners, are sourced from the BMW M3 and M4 engine, as are the crankshaft main bearing shells. The new engine in the BMW M2 is equipped with the requisite high-performance spark plugs designed to optimally work at higher temperatures. The integration of the turbocharger into the exhaust manifold plays a major role in the ability of the new 3.0 liter 6-cylinder engine in the all-new BMW M2 to optimize its performance efficiently. The warm-up phase after a cold start is noticeably shorter reducing exhaust emissions. The electrically operated boost pressure control valve and close-loop arrangement of the catalytic converter further improve the engine’s emissions rating. The standard Auto Start Stop function and Brake Energy Regeneration provide additional potential for fuel savings in the all-new BMW M2, while the intelligent energy management of ancillary components enables an additional reduction in fuel consumption. For example, the coolant pump operates only as required and the oil pump is map-controlled. The air conditioning compressor, which is disconnected whenever it is not being used, and the Electric Power Steering, which requires no electric energy when driving straight ahead, make a considerable contribution to the laudable fuel consumption and emissions figures of the all-new BMW M2. Oil supply secure even during track days. The many years of motor racing experience built up by the BMW M engineers are also reflected in the oil supply for the all-new BMW M2 engine. In order to ensure oil reaches all engine components at all times under limit-pushing driving with sustained heavy lateral acceleration, and extreme braking maneuvers the car has to withstand on the race track, the 6-cylinder inline engine benefits from a modified oil sump. For example, an additional oil sump cover helps to limit the movement of oil under powerful acceleration. At the same time, an extra oil suction pump sends the oil back to the rear part of the oil sump when the driver brakes heavily. A special suction system is employed for the oil supply to the turbocharger under higher vehicle acceleration. This measure ensures that the oil supply to the engine remains secure at all times, both in normal everyday driving and when lateral dynamics are put to the test at the track. The same also applies to the heat balance of all engine components. In order to deal with extreme cooling requirements under hard driving, the BMW M2 engine benefits from an additional oil cooler for the transmission oil (only applies to cars fitted with M DCT) and an extra water radiator for the engine. Perfectly composed high-revving M exhaust note. One of the main contributors to the extraordinary dynamic experience on board the all-new BMW M2 is the optimized exhaust with special flap system. With its four tailpipes, the exhaust system immediately marks the BMW M2 out as a BMW M model and its minimal exhaust back-pressure ensures the engine exhales optimally. The electrically controlled flap delivers the distinctive BMW M engine exhaust note across the entire rev range. In addition, drivers can use the Driving Dynamic Control switch to select a driving mode and an exhaust note to go with it. Manual gearbox with automatic rev-matching. The all-new BMW M2 comes as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, which stands out with its compact design and low weight. The use of a new type of carbon-fiber friction lining enhances shift precision. Dry-sump lubrication prevents any sloshing of the transmission oil and ensures all components benefit from an efficient supply of lubricant. An engagement speed control function, which blips the throttle on downshifts and lowers the engine’s revs on upshifts, makes gear changes even smoother and lends the car additional stability during hard driving on the track. Experienced drivers can still take pride in performing the task of perfectly orchestrated down-shifts on their own by deactivating the system in DSC OFF mode. Motorsport inspired - flawless shifts in a split-second. The all-new BMW M2 can be ordered as an option with the latest generation of the seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmissions (M DCT with Drivelogic). This system, which effectively combines two gearboxes, each with its own clutch, is specially designed to work with the customary engine dynamics of M cars and the engine’s high torque and output. The system detects which gear the driver will choose next based on the engine’s revs, the accelerator position, the level of acceleration and the driving mode, and engages it before the driver has actually moved the shift paddle. As a result, the clutches now only need to open or close for the gear-change process to be completed. The change of gear is therefore executed in fractions of a second. Depending on the driving mode activated, it enables either extremely fast gear changes with no interruption in the flow of power or ultra-smooth shifts. The extra gear of the M DCT transmission over the six-speed manual gearbox allows for tightly spaced gearing and reduced fuel consumption thanks to its taller gear ratios. The driver can change gears either in automated mode or manually using the M gearshift lever on the center console or shift paddles on the M leather steering wheel. The Drivelogic function tuned to the M Double Clutch Transmission offers a choice of six driving programs (three in automatic mode and three in manual mode). Optimal acceleration in all conditions. The integrated Launch Control function ensures the best possible acceleration off the line in all conditions. This function determines the ideal getaway rpm and is automatically dialed in priming the clutches to deliver maximum forward momentum. Once under way, upshifts are timed and performed at the optimal revs. This allows the BMW M2 with innovative M DCT to outperform the already outstanding acceleration achievable with the six-speed manual gearbox. Dynamic Performance - Motorsport technology for the road. The roots of BMW M GmbH lie in motor racing, as is highlighted in no small measure by the dynamic talent of all BMW M models. The all-new BMW M2 also sets the pace in its segment when it comes to agility, driving feeling, directional stability, steering precision and controllability at the limit, without any compromise in everyday use. Lightweight design and precise wheel location. The basic requirement for a top-level driving dynamics vehicle is a high level of rigidity and a low axle system weight with reduced unsprung mass. That’s why the BMW M GmbH engineers have referred back to the lightweight aluminum front and rear axles of the BMW M3 and M4 models for the all-new BMW M2. The control arms, wheel carriers, axle subframes and stiffening plate of the double-joint spring-strut front axle weigh 11 pounds less than would be the case with a conventional steel construction. Further weight savings are provided by use of aluminum in the suspension struts and tubular anti-roll bar. In order to ensure extremely precise wheel location, play-free ball joints are used to transmit transverse forces. A stiffening plate in the underbody provides additional bolted connection between the axle subframe and the body sills, which increases the stiffness of the front-end structure. The longitudinal forces passing through the suspension are transmitted directly via special elastomer bearings delivering precise handling feedback. All the control arms and wheel carriers of the all-new BMW M2’s five-link rear axle are made from forged aluminum, which reduces the unsprung masses of the wheel-locating components by more than 6 pounds compared to a steel construction. In addition, a racing-derived rigid connection, without rubber bushings, is used to fix the lightweight steel grid-type rear axle subframe to the body. This further improves wheel location and tracking stability. The axle kinematics – which govern the movement of the wheels under compression according to the arrangement of the control arms – are similarly tuned to deliver the precise wheel location typical from M cars. Made-to-measure wheels and tires. In order to transfer the car’s dynamic potential to the road as effectively as possible, the development of specific tires for the all-new BMW M2 was incorporated into the axle construction from the beginning of its development. BMW M vehicle dynamic engineers know that a certain set of factors take priority whenever dealing with high-performance sports cars. For example, the front wheels have to cope with different types of forces in terms of lateral stability, directional stability while providing optimal steering feedback and steering precision. Likewise, the rear wheels deliver optimal traction, lateral stability and directional stability. After thorough testing development, the BMW M vehicle dynamic engineers decided to fit the all-new BMW M2 with aluminum wheels with mixed-size tires. The lightweight 19-inch forged wheels (front axle: 9J x 19, rear axle 10J x 19) substantially reduce rotating and unsprung masses. Together with the exclusive 19-inch Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires measuring 245/35 ZR 19 in the front and 265/35 ZR 19 at the rear. This set-up makes a considerable contribution to the outstanding dynamic properties of the all-new BMW M2 and, at the same time, ensure impressive everyday ride comfort. Motor sport inspired, Nürburgring tested – high performance brakes. The high-performance brakes of the all-new BMW M2 are also a product of motor sport and can be quickly identified by their brake calipers – front axle: four-piston fixed calipers, rear axle: two-piston fixed calipers – which are painted in a blue metallic finish and display the M logo at the front axle. In these M compound brakes the perforated and inner-vented brake disc ring is made from grey-cast iron for a massive 15 inch diameter rotor at the front axle and equally impressive 14.5 inch diameter at the rear axle. M compound brakes guarantee powerful deceleration in all conditions and providing confidence inspiring fade resistance under hard track use. They are also significantly lighter than conventional braking systems, the brake disc hub is manufactured from aluminum as they reduce unsprung and rotating masses, which means they play a major role in further enhancing the dynamic ability of the all-new BMW M2. M developed Electric Power Steering. The Electric Power Steering of the all-new BMW M2 also instills the characteristic M driving feeling. The development of the system prioritized hallmark M attributes, such as direct steering feel, precise feedback at both the track and everyday driving, transmitting the driver with all the necessary information about the available grip at the tires. The integrated Servotronic function with M-specific characteristics, controls the level of steering assistance electronically according to the car’s speed. Via the Driving Dynamic Control switch the driver can adjust the steering’s power assistance at any time. Unlike conventional hydraulic steering systems, the all-new BMW M2’s Electric Power Steering does not require any energy when the car is being driven in a straight line or standing still with the engine running. This enables an improvement in fuel economy of roughly 0.6 mpg. Permanent, fully variable differential control. The Active M Differential in the all-new BMW M2 optimizes traction and maximizes directional stability. This electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip differential takes traction and directional stability to a new level. The multi-plate limited-slip differential is proactively controlled with extremely high precision and speed. The locking effect can be varied between 0 and 100 percent according to the driving situation. Sensors including those of the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system determine the car’s steering angle, accelerator position, brake pressure, engine torque, wheel speed and yaw rate. The control unit analyzes these inputs to detect any threat of traction loss on one side of the car and calculates the required locking effect, which is engaged by an electric motor. Full locking power of 1,843 lb-ft is available within 150 ms, allowing the system to prevent a wheel from spinning in extreme conditions on slippery road surfaces or when the two rear wheels are experiencing significant differences in friction coefficient. In certain situations the Active M Differential even works proactively. When pulling away on slippery surfaces, the lock is closed by a defined percentage even before a wheel can start to spin, to ensure that both wheels develop equal slip at the same time. This optimizes traction and stability. The lock is also closed by the required percentage through enthusiastically driven corners, according to the levels of lateral and longitudinal acceleration. This prevents the low-traction inside wheel from starting to slip too quickly. The permanent and infinitely variable differential control also increases agility, avoids understeer at turn-in and improves directional stability under braking and load changes. Drifts on the race track. The all-new BMW M2 is equipped with M Dynamic Mode (MDM), a sub-function of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). DSC effectively counteracts oversteer or understeer or a loss of traction by taking several measures (reducing engine power, braking individual wheels) to stabilize the car. However, in certain situations – e.g. sporty and dynamic driving on the race track – a greater degree of wheel slip can be an advantage. For this reason M Dynamic Mode can be activated in the recommended track mode (SPORT+) or can be engaged with a short dab of the DSC button. The stabilizing measures familiar from DSC mode now intervene at a later stage, increasing the freedom available to drivers while still keeping an electronic safety system in action. The extra wheel slip enhances traction and therefore propulsion. More significant oversteer and understeer are possible, as are moderate, controlled drifts, but the Dynamic Stability Control active safety aids can still be relied on in critical situations. Design. An impressive amount of power, an athletic stance with bold design elements on the one hand, an unadulterated focus on sporting achievement and credible everyday practicality on the other. The all-new BMW M2 makes all the running in this high-performance sports car segment with its outstanding driving dynamics and agility that combine to deliver an extraordinary driving experience, allied with precise driver feedback. The proud successor to the BMW 1 Series M Coupe showcases its impressive on-the-road presence from every angle. Its M-specific exterior features send out a whole-hearted statement of dynamics and agility, promising both a superior performance on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife and convincing abilities on urban roads. In the grand tradition of BMW sport coupes, the all-new BMW M2 contains stylistic references to highlights from its forebears in BMW’s motor sport back-catalogue – such as the BMW 2002 turbo and legendary BMW 3.0 CSL. Inspired by motor sport history. A glance at the front end of the all-new BMW M2 reveals characteristic M design features. The signature BMW kidney grille, with its black-painted double bars replicating the design of the M double-spoke wheels, carries the BMW M logo. And the three-dimensional design of the grille has a “shark nose” feel to it. The modern take on the BMW twin circular headlights underlines the car’s forward-surging look and establishes a close stylistic connection with the grille. This further sharpens the focus of the all-new BMW M2 on the road ahead. The large front apron with trapezoidal blades and the Air Curtains in the outer air intakes mimic the type of protruding spoilers that have been a familiar sight in motor sport down the years. For the BMW M2 they were inspired in particular by the BMW 3.0 CSL touring car racer. However, the large blades are not only a nod to the past. Form follows function is the message here, so as well as underlining the wide track of the all-new BMW M2 they divert part of the airflow through the wheel arches, while the Air Curtains guide the air effectively past the wheels. These two features work together to reduce air turbulence around the front wheel arches, cutting drag in the process. Moreover, the large air intakes cover the immense cooling air requirements of the high-performance engine. Thanks to the careful channeling of the airflow around and through elements of the car, drag has been reduced by five percent compared with the BMW 2 Series Coupe, despite the M2’s stronger cooling performance. The aerodynamic measures have also reduced lift by 35 percent and significantly improved aerodynamic balance at higher speeds. Hallmark BMW proportions. From the side the all-new BMW M2 is immediately identifiable as a fully-fledged member of the BMW M family. Compact dimensions and hallmark BMW proportions – i.e. a short front overhang, sweeping hood, long wheelbase and set-back greenhouse with classic BMW Hofmeister kink – are the starting point, with signature M design elements strengthening the dynamic expression. For instance, the newly interpreted BMW gills rearwards of the front wheel arches reference a feature first seen on the BMW 3.0 CSL. They send out a visual statement and set the swage line on its way towards the rear. The side swage line – which begins rearwards of the front axle on the all-new BMW M2, then rises dynamically towards the tail and links the flanks of the car with its rear end – is a classical BMW design feature; for instance, in the case of the BMW 2002, it extended around the whole car. Other typical elements of the all-new BMW M2’s powerful appearance are the sculptural wing extensions at the front and rear axle, which immediately bring to mind the image of a muscular athlete with broad shoulders in a figure-hugging race suit and visually enhance the car’s standout dynamic abilities. However, these significant bodywork extensions (front: 2.1 in, rear: 3.1 in) are not only a stylistic statement, but necessary to accommodate the wider track and wheels – in this case 19-inch aluminum forged rims in familiar BMW M double-spoke design. The broad rear end of the all-new BMW M2 highlights its firm grip on the asphalt, a quality further reinforced by the horizontal lines in the trunk lid and rear apron. The M rear spoiler on the trunk lid also accentuates the elevated dynamic aspirations of the all-new BMW M2. The vertical reflectors at the outer extremes of the rear apron form a stylistic connection with the trapezoidal blades at the front end and once again emphasize the powerful appearance of the all-new BMW M2. This feeling is additionally strengthened by the L-shaped rear lights which have become a fixture of BMW models. Their horizontally arranged LEDs also underscore the athletic and imposing impression created by the all-new BMW M2. The looks of the rear end are rounded off by another classical BMW M feature. The diffuser integrated into the rear apron is a clear reference to the racing abilities of the all-new BMW M2 and offers a nod to its optimized aerodynamics. Likewise integrated into the rear apron are the familiar quartet of hallmark BMW M exhaust tailpipes in high-gloss chrome, which draw renewed attention to the low visual center of gravity and point clearly to the dynamic performance of the all-new BMW M2. Attention to sporty detail wherever you look. The all-new BMW M2, is available in four exterior paint finishes: Long Beach Blue metallic, Alpine White, Black Sapphire metallic and Mineral Grey metallic. As with all BMW M models, the interior architecture of the all-new BMW M2 also stands out with its pervasive driver focus and flawless ergonomics. The car is fitted with a host of BMW M-specific equipment details to reflect its prominent dynamic capabilities. The sports seats, in black Dakota leather with blue contrast stitching and an M logo in the backrests, have adjustable side bolsters to give the driver and front passenger optimum support through fast corners. An M footrest and knee pad on the center console for the driver continue the theme. Instruments with BMW M2-specific dials and needles, a speedometer scale reaching round to 200 mph and a tachometer reading up to 8,000 rpm provide an indication of the car’s extraordinary performance potential as soon as you climb aboard. Familiar M equipment items in the all-new BMW M2 also include M logos on the tachometer, gearshift lever, door sill plates and M leather steering wheel with shift paddles. Other highlights of the interior are the all-new BMW M2 trim strip with surfacing in open pore carbon fiber and Alcantara for the door panel inserts, parking brake boot and shift lever boot (manual transmission only). BMW ConnectedDrive enhances safety, comfort and entertainment. New BMW M2 customers can also make use of innovative driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive. The range of optional driver assistance systems available for the BMW M2 includes the Driving Assistant, which comprises features such as Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, and Lane Departure Warning. The system warns the driver of potential collisions with pedestrians or other vehicles in urban areas and brakes the car automatically. Furthermore, it uses steering wheel vibrations to alert drivers if they stray from their lane unintentionally. Speed Limit Info flashes in the instrument cluster with the permitted top speed. The rear-view camera teams up with rear Park Distance Control to assist drivers with reverse parking and maneuvering. Plus, the standard Navigation System offers an ultra-sharp map display and the iDrive Touch Controller ensures the various functions are even easier to use. Analyze your own driving style, film racing laps. The optional ConnectedDrive Services open up the world of vehicle connectivity to customers, revealing intelligent services and features as well as an extensive range of apps. The GoPro app and the M Laptimer app from BMW M GmbH are geared towards enthusiastic drivers. The later enables them to improve on their driving on the track. This application records the car’s speed, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, engine’s speed, the gear engaged at any one time, the steering angle, the accelerator position and fuel consumption. All this allows drivers to subsequently analyze their inputs precisely corner by corner, gives them the option of comparing their laps with those of other drivers and enables them to easily share the data by e-mail or Facebook. The GoPro app allows drivers to use a GoPro camera to film fast laps of the race track. BMW ConnectedDrive paves the way for all applications to be integrated seamlessly into the car. They can be operated using the iDrive Touch Controller and viewed in the Control Display.

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