Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'Chicago Auto Show'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • News and Views
    • Auto Show Coverage
    • Editorials
    • Industry News
    • Reader Reviews
    • Sales Figure Ticker
    • Staff Reviews
  • Brand Discussion
    • Aston Martin
    • BMW Group
    • Daimler AG
    • Ferrari
    • Fisker
    • Ford Motor Company
    • General Motors
    • Heritage Marques
    • Honda Motor Company
    • Hyundai Motor Group
    • Jaguar-Land Rover
    • Karma
    • Lotus
    • Mazda
    • McLaren Automotive
    • Nissan-Renault Alliance
    • Other Makes
    • Rivian
    • SAAB / NEVS
    • Stellantis
    • Suzuki
    • Tesla
    • Toyota Motor Corporation
    • Volkswagen Automotive Group
    • Volvo
  • Forum Information
    • New Member Check-In
    • Site News & Updates
    • Forum Feedback
    • Newsletters
  • Social Central
    • The Lounge
    • Advertising Archive
    • Auctions and Classifieds
    • Competitions
    • Member Design Showcase
    • Member's Rides Showcase
    • Member Marketplace
    • Merchandise Lookout
    • Motorcycles
    • Random Car Showcase
    • Electronics & Technology
  • Tech Corner
    • Tech Section
    • Product Questions and Reviews
    • Project Car Chronicles
    • Recalls and TSBs
    • Alternative Fuels & Propulsion
    • Powertrain
  • Design Studio

Categories

  • Auto Shows
    • Detroit Auto Show
    • Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
    • Chicago Auto Show
    • New York Auto Show
    • Geneva Auto Show
    • Beijing Auto Show
    • Shanghai Auto Show
    • Paris Motor Show
    • Frankfurt International Motor Show
    • Los Angeles Auto Show
    • SEMA
    • Tokyo Motor Show
  • Opinion
  • News
    • Acura
    • Alfa Romeo
    • Alternative Fuels
    • Aston Martin
    • Audi
    • Automotive Industry
    • Bentley
    • BMW
    • Buick
    • Cadillac
    • Chevrolet
    • Chrysler
    • Dodge
    • Ducati
    • Ferrari
    • Fiat
    • Fisker
    • Ford
    • Genesis
    • GM News
    • GMC
    • Holden
    • Honda
    • Hyundai
    • Infiniti
    • Jaguar
    • Jeep
    • Karma
    • Kia
    • Lamborghini
    • Land Rover
    • Lexus
    • Lincoln
    • Lotus
    • Maserati
    • Mazda
    • McLaren
    • Mercedes Benz
    • MINI
    • Mitsubishi
    • Nissan
    • Opel/Vauxhall
    • Peugeot
    • Polestar
    • Porsche
    • Ram Trucks
    • Rivian
    • Rolls-Royce
    • Saab / NEVS
    • Sales Figures
    • Scion
    • SMART
    • Subaru
    • Tesla
    • Toyota
    • Volkswagen
    • Volvo
    • Zotye
    • Stellantis
  • Reviews
  • Deal Alert

Categories

  • Tires and Wheel Specials
  • Automotive Maintenance Specials

Calendars

There are no results to display.

Product Groups

  • Subscriptions
  • Advertising
  • Vintage Ephemera

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Website URL


Skype


Location


Interests

  1. When Toyota redesigned the Tacoma last year, we wondered if a TRD Pro version would be coming as well. Today at the Chicago Auto Show, Toyota revealed the 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro. The Tacoma TRD Pro begins with the suspension as Toyota has added a set of FOX 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks, TRD front springs that raise the ride height by an inch, and a set of progressive-rate off-road leaf springs. The four-wheel drive system comes with a limited-slip differential, Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select. A set Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain tires come with a set of sixteen-inch TRD wheels. Power comes from a 3.5L 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. There is a choice between a six-speed manual or automatic. Outside, the Tacoma TRD Pro comes with the old school TOYOTA emblem on the grille, TRD Pro badging finished in black, hood scoop, and a skid plate. Inside are a set of leather seats with the TRD logo embroidered, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Toyota's Entune infotainment system with navigation, and a mount for a GoPro camera. The Tacoma TRD Pro arrives at dealers this fall. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro - - Dirtier Than Ever! Toyota Kicks Up More Dust with the Debut of the Newest Tacoma TRD Pro Off-Road Pickup CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2016 - - Whether tackling treacherous snow-covered terrain, driving off the beaten path, or surviving extreme conditions where roads fear to tread, the adrenaline-pumping TRD Pro Series from Toyota is up for any challenge. Two years ago, the TRD Pro Series arose from Toyota’s storied off-road racing heritage, with its numerous victories in the grueling Baja off-road endurance races. Born from this experience, the Toyota TRD Pro Series Tacoma, Tundra, and 4Runner have helped serious off-roaders go places they never dreamed possible. This fall, the Toyota Tacoma will rejoin the 2017 model year TRD Pro family with all-new factory-installed off-road equipment designed by the experts at Toyota Racing Development (TRD) to make it even more off-road capable than before. Aimed squarely at extreme off-roading enthusiasts who challenge themselves and their trucks and SUV’s in some of the harshest conditions, the new 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro will raise the bar on TRD Pro performance. Courtesy of TRD, the new Tacoma TRD Pro will add an array of new performance equipment and features, making this a truly second-generation TRD Pro product, and the new benchmark for challenging off-road terrain. Extreme Exterior for Extreme Performance The 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro is designed to not only look tough, but to perform in the toughest off-road environment. Based on the Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4x4 Double Cab Short Bed model in either 6-speed manual (with clutch start-cancel switch) or 6-speed automatic transmission, the new Tacoma TRD Pro will be available in three exterior colors: Cement, Barcelona Red Metallic, and Super White. The exterior of each Tacoma TRD Pro model will also include: 16-inch TRD black alloy wheels with Goodyear Wrangler® All-Terrain Kevlar®-reinforced tires TRD Pro aluminum front skid plate Rigid Industries® LED fog lights Projector-beam headlights with black bezels, LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and auto on/off feature Taillights with black bezels TRD Pro badge on front door with diamond-pattern knurled finish Black TRD Pro and 4x4 rear tailgate badging Each Tacoma TRD Pro will also come equipped with a heritage-inspired TOYOTA front grille with color-keyed surround, blacked out hood scoop and graphic, color-keyed power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, color-keyed door handles, black overfenders, and a color-keyed rear bumper. Interior Sportiness Combined with Convenience Technology Driving a sporty package in rugged off-road conditions does not mean you can’t ride in comfort and with the latest safety and convenience technologies. The new Tacoma TRD Pro combines sportiness and convenience with standard features that include: Black TRD Pro leather-trimmed heated front seats with TRD Pro logo located in the headrest 4-way adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and 4-way adjustable front passenger seat Entune™ Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite TRD shift knob TRD Pro floor mats Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth® hands-free phone controls Rear parking assist sonar Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) The new Tacoma TRD Pro also includes an analog instrumentation that features a 4.2-inch color Multi-Information Display (MID) with an integrated inclinometer and tilt gauge. The MID also adds outside temperature, odometer, tripmeters, and average fuel economy. As in all Tacoma models, a GoPro® mount is located on the windshield for serious off-roaders who like to document their exploits with GoPro® HERO cameras. Pro Performance The new 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro continues to be all about off-road performance as it strives to raise the bar from the original. The Tacoma TRD Pro will be powered by a 3.5-Liter V6 DOHC 24-valve direct-injection Atkinson-cycle engine with VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide) intake and VVT-I exhaust. Tacoma TRD Pro really earns its off-road cred through its TRD-installed suspension and exhaust enhancements that include: FOX 2.5 Internal Bypass shocks tuned by TRD TRD-tuned front springs with a 1-inch lift TRD-tuned rear suspension with progressive-rate off-road leaf spring Every Tacoma TRD Pro will be equipped with 4WDemand part-time 4WD with a transfer case and Automatic Limited-Slip Differential (Auto LSD) that are both electronically-controlled. Also standard will be a V6 Tow Package that includes a Class-IV towing receiver hitch, ATF cooler (automatic only), engine oil cooler, power steering cooler, 130-amp alternator, 4- and 7-pin connector with convertor, and Trailer-Sway Control (TSC). An electronically controlled locking rear differential is also standard to help distribute engine power evenly to both rear wheels so they move at the same speed, providing more grip in low-traction conditions. When the trail gets challenging, Tacoma TRD Pro’s Crawl Control (CRAWL) will help drivers conquer their off-road adventure. Equipped on automatics only, this advanced system automatically modulates the throttle and brakes on five low-speed settings so you can keep your focus on navigating across difficult terrain. Equipped on Tacoma TRD Pro automatic is the Toyota Multi-terrain Select system. With five modes to choose from, the system helps regulate wheel spin by automatically adjusting the engine throttle and traction control. When combined with the standard Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain tires with tough Kevlar construction, Multi-terrain Select helps enhance traction dramatically, meaning you can get back to the fun more quickly. Tacoma TRD Pro’s Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), equipped on automatic transmission models only, helps you safely get up those hills. This technology helps minimize Tacoma from rolling backward when you move your foot from the brake to the gas pedal, so you can move upward with confidence. The added traction of 4WD is great, but with Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), it’s even better! Equipped only on the Tacoma TRD Pro manual, A-TRAC is a 4WD traction control system that uses the 4-channel ABS system to control power flow to the front and rear wheels, all without cutting throttle input, to help make traction no matter where you may be.
  2. We have been waiting very patiently for Nissan to give us any information on the Titan half-ton and today at the Chicago Auto Show, they did just that. In terms of design, it is hard to tell the difference between the half-ton and the XD models. Where the differences are apparent is in the chassis. The Titan's overall length measures out to 228.1-inches long, about 11.8-inches shorter than the XD's. Wheelbase and height are also shorter than the XD. Interestingly, both the Titan and Titan XD have the same width - 79.5 inches. When the Titan goes on sale this summer, Nissan will offer three cab options (single, king, and crew) and three bed lengths (5.5, 6.5, and 8 feet). A V6 will be the base engine (details will be announced at a later date), and 5.6L Endurance V8 with 390 horsepower and 401 pound-feet will be optional. A seven-speed automatic will be bolted to the V8. Source: Nissan You can follow our coverage of 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here. Press Release is on Page 2 Nissan releases details of upcoming all-new, half-ton TITAN pickup at Chicago Auto Show Half-ton truck fills out TITAN lineup; goes on sale in summer 2016 CHICAGO – Now that the all-new flagship XD model of Nissan's reimagined TITAN family of pickups is on dealer lots, Nissan is turning its attention to the upcoming "standard" (half-ton) version of TITAN at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show with a special photography release. "There's a strong family resemblance between TITAN XD and the standard TITAN, with their shared rugged exterior style," said Rich Miller, Director of Product Planning for Trucks, SUVs and Commercial Vehicles, Nissan North America, Inc. and Chief Product Specialist for TITAN and TITAN XD. "TITAN will compete in the heart of the full-size pickup segment – the half-ton – while the TITAN XD provides a unique solution for customers by bridging the cost and capability gap between traditional half-ton and full heavy-duty pickups. Together TITAN and TITAN XD will cover nearly 85 percent of the total full-size truck market." TITAN is built on a separate chassis from TITAN XD, and is approximately 228.1 inches long (14.7 inches less than XD) and 79.5 inches wide (same as XD), with the cab size shared between the two vehicles. "The TITAN and TITAN XD do not share any common chassis components," added Miller. "Even the lug nuts are different." TITAN will be available in 4x2 or 4x4 drive configurations with three cabin configurations – Crew Cab, King Cab and Single cab – and three bed lengths – 5.5, 6.5 and 8 feet. Similar to TITAN XD, TITAN will be available in five trim levels – S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve. The TITAN will be powered by Nissan's 5.6-liter Endurance® V8 gasoline engine capable of 390 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine will be mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. A V6 gasoline engine will also be available (details to be announced at a later date). The Nissan TITAN will be assembled in Canton, Mississippi with the 5.6-liter V8 gasoline assembled in Decherd, Tennessee. The truck goes on sale in summer 2016.
  3. Mercedes-Benz might not be the first or possibly fifth thought when it comes to cargo vans. But the German automaker has been selling their Sprinter since 2001 (when it was called the Dodge Sprinter). But there is one problem with the Sprinter, to get into one, you need to pony up $37,490 just to get into the base model. Mercedes has decided to fix this with the introduction of the Sprinter Worker, a base model aimed at small business or commerical buyers. With a starting price-tag of $33,490 (includes a $995 destination charge), the Worker undercuts the standard Sprinter by $4,000. It also undercuts the Ram ProMaster and Ford Transit vans when equipped with a diesel. Now it should be noted that the ProMaster and Transit are less than the Sprinter worker when equipped with the standard gas engine. The Worker only comes in a 144-inch wheelbase and low-roof configuration. Power comes from a 2.1L turbodiesel four with 161 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed automatic. Mercedes says the Sprinter Worker can tow up to 5,000 lbs, has a max payload capacity of 3,512 pounds, and can hold 319 cubic feet of stuff. Standard equipment includes power windows, air conditioning, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, four-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and Mercedes' Crosswind Assist to keep the van in control during high-wind conditions. The Sprinter Worker will go on sale at Mercedes-Benz Van dealers later this year. Source: Mercedes-Benz You can follow our coverage of 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here. Press Release is on Page 2 Sprinter Expands Portfolio with the Affordable WORKER Model February 11, 2016 - Atlanta Mercedes-Benz Vans is pleased to announce the expansion of the Sprinter portfolio by debuting the WORKER model, which goes on sale in Spring 2016. Starting at just $32,495*, the Sprinter WORKER will offer the simplest and most straightforward equipment and packaging within the Sprinter Van model line, which includes the 2500 and heavy-duty 3500 models. Targeting the heart of the commercial van market for plumbers, electricians, general contractors, and HVAC specialists, the WORKER was designed with input from dealers and customers alike, offering the safety, reliability, and best-in-class service intervals—up to 20,000 miles--expected from Mercedes-Benz vans, all at an affordable and approachable starting price. "We are pleased to announce the new Sprinter WORKER model, which is every bit as capable as the rest of our Sprinter lineup at an even more attractive starting price: $32,495," said Bernie Glaser, Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Vans in the USA. "The Sprinter brand is no stranger to hard work and we are making a statement by targeting the heart of the commercial van market by offering an affordable and approachable model designed for plumbers, electricians, HVAC specialists, general contractors and similar fields. The Sprinter offers the best value, as well as simple and straightforward packaging for our toughest customers. Together with creative financing solutions from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, it has never been easier to own a Sprinter" Everything you need to work hard with a price that won't hold you back The new Sprinter WORKER is a straightforward base model with simple packaging that meets the needs of our toughest customers, yet offers more standard equipment than other brands, including a standard diesel engine, Bluetooth connectivity and class-exclusive Crosswind Assist, and class-leading interior cargo volume. The WORKER model offers maximum capability and customization potential for aftermarket van interiors and exteriors, all at an incredible starting price of just $32,495. With a 144" wheelbase and a standard-height roof (the most commonly-ordered Sprinter Van configuration) the Sprinter WORKER boasts a 137.4" cargo floor length and 66.5" interior standing height. The WORKER also receives a powerful diesel engine and an efficient, class-exclusive 7G-TRONIC 7-speed transmission which allows for more time on the road and less time at the gas pump. Additional standard equipment includes a 4-speaker AM/FM radio with aux-input, USB interface and with Bluetooth® Telephone Interface and audio streaming, cabin partition preparation, class-leading 6 standard airbags, industry-exclusive Crosswind Assist and Load-Adaptive Traction Control (ESP). A blank-canvas both inside and out Available only in white, the Sprinter WORKER provides both small-business owners and fleet companies with an ideal canvas for signage, advertising and wrapping with graphics. With a total roof load capacity of 660 lbs., ladder racks and roof attachments can be added to the WORKER from any number of upfitters. Inside, the WORKER's standard 319.1-cubic-feet of cargo volume provides ample room for racks, bins, shelves, cabinets and toolboxes. The standard steel floor can be left unfinished or can be customized with an optional wood floor or with any other floor covering of choice. One place that doesn't need customization: the front passenger compartment. With power windows, A/C, tilting & telescoping steering wheel, 5 cup-holders, adjustable armrests, ample storage, and a standard 4-speaker audio system that boasts Bluetooth® telephone interface, wireless music streaming and an auxiliary port, the WORKER aims to make time on the road productive convenient and comfortable. Standard BlueTEC diesel engine for maximum power and efficiency Time is money, and time spent at the gas pump is time that could be spent on the road or at the job site. The Sprinter WORKER comes exclusively with a powerful and efficient 4-cylinder diesel engine paired with an efficient, class-exclusive 7G-TRONIC 7-speed transmission that helps stretch each gallon of diesel further. Based on over 300,000 miles of user-reported fuel economy on fuelly.com, this efficient engine and transmission combination is capable of well over 23 miles per gallon, even in high-roof, extended- wheelbase Sprinter 2500 applications. Producing 161 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque (available at just 1,400 RPMs), the Sprinter WORKER's 2.1-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine provides seamless power thanks to its two-stage turbocharger. This engine knows how to work hard, with a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. and a maximum payload of 3,512 lbs. In combination with exhaust gas recirculation, two-stage cooling, selective catalytic reduction (SER), Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) injection and a particulate filter, the Sprinter WORKER is not only efficient, but environmentally responsible. Best-in-class service intervals The Sprinter WORKER has a best-in-class service interval of up to 20,000 miles. With a service interval as long as this, the WORKER can spend more time on the road and less time in the shop. Thanks to its low rate of depreciation and high overall value, the Sprinter once again received ALG's Residual Value Award for Fullsize Commercial Vans in 2016. Packaging provides additional flexibility, capability With three affordable packages, the Sprinter WORKER can be customized from the factory to suit your needs even better: The CONVENIENCE Package ($1,499) includes: Heated Power Mirrors, Cruise Control, Automatic Light and Rain Sensor (for windshield wipers), Multifunction Steering Wheel with Enhanced Info Screen and Trailer Hitch Pre- wiring The UTILITY Package ($2,999) includes all contents in CONVENIENCE Package, plus: Wood Cargo Floor, Rear Step, LED Lights in Cargo Compartment, Two Additional Keys (4 total), Glass in Rear Cargo Doors and Grab-handles (left/right rear door) The OVERTIME Package ($4,499) includes all contents in both CONVENIENCE and UTILITY packages, plus: Upgraded Audio System, Highbeam Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Rear View Camera, First Aid Kit and Emergency Flashlight The Sprinter WORKER will be available to order at Mercedes-Benz Van dealerships immediately with a starting price of $32,495 and a destination/delivery charge of $995.
  4. Kia took to the stage this morning at the Chicago Auto Show to reveal their first dedicated hybrid, the 2017 Niro. The Niro is what Kia classifies as a Hybrid Utility Vehicle (HUV). We can see some elements of the Sportage crossover in the Niro's design such as the tiger nose grille and overall shape. The design is very aerodynamic as well, recording a 0.29 coefficient of drag. Under the skin is a new front-wheel drive platform designed exclusively for hybrid vehicles that can accommodate various configurations of engines and batteries. This same platform underpins the new Hyundai Ioniq. At launch, the Niro will use 1.6L DI four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor producing a total output of 146 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic routes power only to the front-wheels. A 1.56-kWh lithium-polymer battery pack sits under the rear seat. Fuel economy is unknown at this time, but Kia is aiming for 50 MPG combined. To boost MPG further, the Niro will feature a coaching system to help the driver improve overall efficiency. There will also be a system called Predictive Energy Control that uses the navigation system and cruise control to manage energy flow from the battery. Kia says a plug-in hybrid is expected sometime later in the Niro's lifecycle. “The Niro hits the sweet spot by offering the best combination of outstanding mpg, an engaging driving experience, utility, and most importantly, a stunning design that doesn’t shout ‘hybrid'. The subcompact CUV market continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments in the world, and the Niro offers a uniquely alluring yet practical package that consumers haven’t seen before,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president product planning KMA. The Kia Niro will be available at your local Kia dealer sometime later this year. Source: Kia You can follow our coverage of 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here. Press Release is on Page 2 All-New 2017 Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle Arrives In the Windy City for Global Debut At Chicago Auto Show Kia’s Hybrid Utility Vehicle Boasts a Number of Firsts for the Brand, Including an All-New, Dedicated Eco-Car Platform and Unique Hybrid System Niro is a no-compromise package, maintaining the style and appeal of a utility vehicle while offering outstanding fuel economy with a targeted 50 mpg combined1 Niro challenges the hybrid-electric segment with an innovative hybrid system that directly contributes to a dynamic driving experience CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2016 – A key component to Kia Motors’ Green Car Roadmap was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show today as Kia Motors America (KMA) hosted the global debut of the all-new 2017 Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle (HUV). A no-compromise vehicle that combines driving enjoyment with eye-catching design, functional utility and hybrid efficiency, the all-new Niro strikes the perfect balance for today’s consumers and stakes claim to a unique position between the hybrid-electric vehicle and CUV segments. “The Niro hits the sweet spot by offering the best combination of outstanding mpg, an engaging driving experience, utility, and most importantly, a stunning design that doesn’t shout ‘hybrid,’” said Orth Hedrick, vice president product planning KMA. “The subcompact CUV market continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments in the world, and the Niro offers a uniquely alluring yet practical package that consumers haven’t seen before.” The Niro is yet another vehicle introduced under the Kia Motors EcoDynamics environmentally friendly sub-brand and represents a number of firsts. While it was preceded by clean mobility products such as the Optima Hybrid and Soul EV, Niro is the first Kia to make use of an all-new, dedicated eco-car platform and is an important next step on the path to nearly tripling the brand’s global green car line-up by 2020. A plug-in hybrid powertrain is due to be added to the car’s line-up later in its life-cycle. An “Un-Hybrid” Design Designed at Kia’s design centers in Irvine, California, and Namyang, Korea, the Niro demonstrates that owners don’t have to sacrifice emotionally engaging design or functional utility in the name of efficiency. The HUV’s design language is atypical of a hybrid, appearing strong and confident with subtly sculpted surfaces offset by robust styling cues. The Niro sports wide and low proportions with a long roofline and short overhangs that give it an overall athletic profile. Up front, the Niro bears a familiar front fascia highlighted by Kia’s signature grille and flanked by aggressively shaped headlights that accentuate the Niro’s strong shoulders. Contours on the hood lend visual interest and, along with voluminous wheel arches, rocker cladding, roof rails, and rear skid plate, contribute to a sporty look. Although the Niro has a cohesive crossover theme, it was designed with aerodynamics in mind, with its carefully shaped bodywork contributing to a relatively slippery coefficient of drag of .29. Stepping inside the Niro reveals an inviting, modern, and high-tech interior. Glossy white or black accents underline the HUV’s straightforward theme. The instrument panel is uncluttered and clean, with colorful and informative gauges at the forefront and perfectly positioned primary and secondary controls falling readily to hand. Interior roominess comes by way of the Niro’s 106.3-inch wheelbase, body height, and wide stance, which affords ample leg-, head- and shoulder-room. Seats with increased pad density in the cushions ensure a comfortable ride, helping to prevent fatigue on longer trips. With its crossover-like proportions, the Niro boasts an elevated seating position much like the Kia Soul, providing drivers with a more commanding view of the road as well as easy ingress and egress. While the clever packaging of the high voltage battery assists in delivering a desirable driving experience, its location underneath the rear seats also increases cabin and cargo space and allows a flat load floor. In addition to spaciousness and comfort, ensuring a quiet interior environment was also a key development focus for engineers. Copious insulation in the Niro’s front structure, optimized suspension bushing stiffness, careful body sealing, and application of expanding foam inside the A- and B-pillars all prevent road and tire noise from entering the cabin. Furthermore, acoustic windshield glass and carefully shaped side mirrors mitigate wind noise. Engineers also worked hard to address the innate issues often associated with hybrid powertrains. To that end, they minimized system noise and vibration at the source with specially designed engine mounts, equal-length driveshafts, and even added a damper inside the steering wheel hub to minimize vibrations felt in the steering wheel. Other NVH measures include a special embossed foam in the floor (under the carpet), and a dense insulating pad underneath the hood also help to keep unwanted noise to a minimum. Strong and Light CoreThe platform underpinning the Niro has been specifically engineered to accommodate the unique gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain, and with 53 percent of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), including reinforcement in the A- and B-pillars as well as the roof rails, it is both a lightweight and durable structure. Extensive use of hot-stamped components and industrial joint adhesive increase torsional rigidity and structural integrity. As such, engineers are targeting the Niro to earn top honors from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). Weight reduction was a critical Niro development aspect, and in addition to the body, AHSS was also used to engineer other elements, including novel lightweight seat frames. Further, engineers were able to bring down the overall weight by using aluminum for the hood, tailgate and several suspension elements including the front lower control arms, front and rear knuckles, and in the brake calipers. Even the parking brake pedal contributes to the weight savings through the use of fiber-reinforced plastic construction. Finally, the engineers eliminated the traditional 12-volt battery to reduce weight, instead, utilizing the high-voltage lithium-ion polymer battery. Uniquely Engineered Hybrid Powertrain Motivating the Niro is a highly efficient and engaging powertrain starting with an all-new, state-of-the-art Kappa 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder engine, engineered specifically for hybrid applications. Making 103 horsepower, the new engine marks the first combination of the Atkinson Cycle, cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), GDI and a long-stroke-narrow-bore specification to maximize efficiency2. Efficiency and emissions are further improved via the Niro’s exhaust heat recovery system, which speeds engine warm-up by routing coolant to a heat exchanger in the exhaust system. A 43-hp tractive motor, known as the transmission-mounted electric device (TMED), works in tandem with the gasoline engine to produce a robust 146 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. That power is transmitted through a newly developed, second-generation six-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), which not only boosts efficiency but is also a key factor to the Niro’s great driving experience. The transmission delivers smooth, quick shifts for a natural and spirited feel in stark contrast to that of other hybrids equipped with continuously variable transmissions. Bringing the whole system together is a compact and lightweight 1.56-kWh Lithium Ion Polymer battery located underneath the rear seat. Because the high-voltage battery is both power and energy dense, engineers were able to use the downsized gasoline engine to maximize fuel economy and reduce emissions. With its unique combination of the lightweight TMED, proven GDI and Atkinson Cycle technology in the internal combustion engine, along with the DCT providing a dynamic driving experience, the Niro offers enjoyment and efficiency all in one, targeting a combined fuel efficiency rating of 50 mpg. Driving Fun The Niro’s parallel and simplified hybrid system creates seamless transitions of power delivered to the front wheels, resulting in a very un-hybrid-like driving experience. The hybrid system is neither intrusive nor obvious. The Niro accelerates quickly off the line and continues its smooth power delivery, inspiring driver confidence in everyday driving maneuvers like merging onto the highway. Special attention was also paid to brake feel. Applying lessons learned through development of two generations of Optima Hybrids as well as the fully electric Soul EV, Kia engineers designed the Niro’s regenerative system to seamlessly blend in hydraulic friction braking. Consequently, deceleration feels more consistent and linear than other hybrids. Advanced Hybrid Tech Like the rest of Kia’s lineup, the Niro will be offered with a suite of advanced driver assistance and convenience technologies. Familiar features that will be available on the HUV include Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist; Advanced Smart Cruise Control; Lane Departure Warning; and Autonomous Emergency Braking3. All-new Eco-DAS1 (Driver Assistance System) features Kia’s first application of Coasting Guide and Predictive Energy Control. The Coasting Guide aims at maximizing fuel economy by essentially coaching the driver on when to coast and brake. Predictive Energy Control, meanwhile, uses the navigation system and cruise control to anticipate topographical changes on the road ahead and actively manage energy flow, seamlessly determining when its best to recharge the battery and when its best to expend stored energy to optimize overall efficiency. Similar systems have been seen on German luxury makes, but Kia’s system is the first in the industry to monitor and adjust for both ascending and descending scenarios. Other notable features include Smart Air Intake, which reduces drag by carefully managing the intake of outside air for the HVAC system, and also an accompanying Auto Defog system that prevents condensation from building on the glass by monitoring cabin air conditions to manage the cycling of the A/C compressor. Kia’s award-winning infotainment and telematics system aims to keep Niro drivers connected at all times4, with the newest version, UVO3, trickling down from the all-new 2017 Sportage. Complete with Android5 Auto™, Apple6 CarPlay®, and UVO eServices featuring 14 telematics services, the enhanced system features up to 8 GB of music storage, access to onscreen apps such as Pandora®7 and Soundhound and Wi-Fi tethering capability. All this is displayed on a 7-inch capacitive touch screen. 1 Actual mileage will vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits and your vehicle’s condition. 2 40 percent thermal efficiency 3 These features are not substitutes for safe driving, and may not detect all objects surrounding vehicle. Always drive safely and use caution. 4 Warning: Driving while distracted can result in a loss of vehicle control that may lead to an accident, severe personal injury and death. Always drive safely and use caution. 5 Android™ is a trademark of Google, Inc. 6 Apple® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. 7 Pandora® is a registered trademark of Pandora Media, Inc.
  5. Just when you thought it was safe to go back onto the racetrack, Chevrolet has announced the return of the 1LE package for the Camaro. Debuting tomorrow at the Chicago Auto Show, the 2017 Camaro 1LE will be available for the V8 and for the first time, the V6. Let us break down what you get with either engine. LT 1LE The V6 1LE - available on the LT - gets some equipment from the SS 1LE. This includes a new fuel system and the FE3 suspension package with stabilizer bars. Other items for LT 1LE include a mechanical limited slip differential, upgraded cooling system four-piston Brembo brakes for the front, 20-inch lightweight aluminum wheels, and set of Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. A black satin hood and suede interior accents dress up the 1LE. Optional will be a set of Recaro seats and Performance Data Recorder. SS 1LE The SS 1LE comes with the new FE4 suspension package with magnetic ride control, electronic limited slip differential, six-piston Brembo brakes on all four corners, 20-inch wheels, and a Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires specifically developed for this vehicle. Upgraded cooling systems for the V8 engine, transmission, and differential come standard. A set of Recaro bucket seats and a head-up display finish the interior. “The Camaro 1LE packages follow a recipe any track-day enthusiast will appreciate. Start with a lightweight, stiff structure and then add higher levels of suspension stiffness and damping, more aggressive tires, higher downforce, more powerful brakes and more cooling," said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “The result delivers better performance in all measures. In our development tests, the V-6 Camaro 1LE delivers lap times comparable with the previous-gen V-8 model. The 2016 Camaro SS 1LE sets the new benchmark for the segment, lapping the Big Willow track at Willow Springs three seconds faster than the standard Camaro SS.” Chevrolet says the 1LE package will be available late this year. Pricing will be announced a later time. Source: Chevrolet You can follow our coverage of 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here. Press Release is on Page 2 New 1LE Packages Elevates Camaro Track Capabilities Track package returns with more technology for V8 models, first time offered on V6 CHICAGO – The Chevrolet Camaro 1LE performance package returns for 2017, poised to set new benchmarks for attainable track performance. The package builds off the success of the previous-generation 1LE, offering increased handling and track performance. In response to customer demand, Chevrolet will offer two distinct 1LE packages, for both V6 and V8 models, each visually distinguished with a satin black hood, specific wheels and more. For the first time, the 1LE package will be available on Camaro 1LT or 2LT coupes equipped with the 3.6L V6. Featuring more aggressive suspension tuning, standard Brembo brakes and Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, the LT 1LE delivers an estimated 0.97G in cornering grip. Available Recaro seats will keep you planted through the corners, and an available Performance Data Recorder will allow you to view and share your track experience. The new 1LE package for Camaro 1SS models includes magnetic ride control, with a new FE4 suspension tuning and a new, segment-exclusive electronic limited slip differential (eLSD). Paired with massive Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, lateral acceleration will exceed 1G. Additional features available on the 1LE package include standard Recaro seats and a Performance Data Recorder (PDR), new to the Camaro lineup. As a result, the 1LE package elevates the award-winning performance that earned Camaro the 2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year and Car and Driver 10Best awards. “The Camaro 1LE packages follow a recipe any track-day enthusiast will appreciate,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “Start with a lightweight, stiff structure and then add higher levels of suspension stiffness and damping, more aggressive tires, higher downforce, more powerful brakes and more cooling. “The result delivers better performance in all measures,” said Oppenheiser. “In our development tests, the V-6 Camaro 1LE delivers lap times comparable with the previous-gen V-8 model. The 2016 Camaro SS 1LE sets the new benchmark for the segment, lapping the Big Willow track at Willow Springs three seconds faster than the standard Camaro SS.” The new 1LE packages are available in late 2016, on 2017 Camaro SS and LT V-6 coupes equipped with manual transmissions. Pricing and performance data will be announced at a later date. Camaro LT 1LE The Camaro LT 1LE was developed to be the most track-capable sports coupe in its price class. Highlights include: 3.6L V-6 rated at 335 horsepower and matched with the six-speed manual transmission FE3 suspension components (from the Camaro SS), including dampers, rear cradle mounts, ball-jointed rear toe links and stabilizer bars Lightweight 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 245/40R20 front tires and 275/35R20 rear tires Brembo 4-piston front brake calipers Mechanical Limited-slip differential with 3.27 ratio Standard track-cooling package, with engine oil, differential and transmission coolers Suede steering wheel and shorter-throw shifter Standard dual mode exhaust system Camaro SS fuel system for higher-load cornering capability Satin black hood, front splitter and unique three-piece rear spoiler Unique high flow upper and lower grille with satin black accents Available Recaro seats and PDR video/data recording system. “With a curb weight under 3,500 pounds, excellent front-to-rear weight balance and the precision of the FE3 suspension, the Camaro LT 1LE offers unmatched capability in its class,” said Oppenheiser. “As a result, it offers incredible performance for Camaro V-6 customers.” Camaro SS 1LE The 2017 Camaro SS 1LE introduces the new FE4 suspension to the Gen Six Camaro – a performance-oriented chassis system with specific tuning for the Magnetic Ride dampers, springs and stabilizer bars. Additional highlights include: 6.2L LT1 V-8 rated at 455 horsepower, and six-speed manual transmission (automatic transmission not available) Magnetic Ride Control Segment-exclusive electronic limited-slip differential with 3.73 ratio Unique forged aluminum wheels with 285/30ZR20 front tires and 305/30ZR20 rear tires Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires with a compound and construction developed exclusively for the Camaro – offering exceptional grip on the track Brembo brakes with new six-piston monobloc front red calipers – featuring the 1LE logo – and two-piece rotors. Measuring 14.6 inches (370mm) in diameter, the front rotors are 7 percent larger than Camaro SS Track-cooling package, with engine oil, differential and transmission coolers Suede steering wheel with shorter-throw shifter Dual mode exhaust system Recaro front seats with aggressive bolsters optimized for shifting and steering comfort Satin black hood, front mirrors and unique three-piece rear spoiler Satin Graphite front splitter and rear diffuser Available PDR video/data recording system
  6. Arguably the most significant debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show is the redesigned 2015 Subaru Legacy. The 2015 Legacy marks 25 years of the Legacy nameplate in the United States. Already know for some of the best fuel economy in the all-wheel drive car segment, the 2015 model continues with with a 26 city/35 highway preliminary EPA rating in the 2.5i model. The standard all-wheel drive now features standard torque vectoring. Engines have received a modest peak power increase however they now deliver that power over a broader RPM range. The standard continuously variable transmission has been revised to reduce internal friction and thereby increase fuel economy. Inside Subaru is claiming to have the largest passenger compartment in the mid-size class, though after sitting in the car, it is claim we will be running by the fact-checkers after release. The interior sports new infotainment options with the choice of a 6.2 inch screen or an upgraded 7 inch system. A 12 speaker Harmon/Kardon sound system will also be available. Subaru has also taken steps to improve the sound isolation with numerous acoustical panel additions. The exterior styling is evolutionary rather than revolutionary with the face adopting a more conservative look. Subaru pulled the base of the windshield forward 2 inches to give the car a steeper rake. This improves aerodynamics by 10% contributing to the Legacy's fuel economy performance. Subaru sales have been on a roll lately with a 5 year streak of sales increases. In 2013, Subaru even beat Volkswagen in total U.S. sales. Subaru expects the new Legacy to continue on that trend. Our Take: Subaru redesigns their flagship sedan to look more conservative and will have no problem selling every one they build, but Ford and Hyundai called... they want their grille back. Press release after the jump. Drew Dowdell is managing editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @Cheersngears SUBARU INTRODUCES ALL-NEW 2015 LEGACY® SEDAN Roomiest Legacy ever with largest passenger cabin in the midsize segment Fuel efficiency at the top of AWD midsize sedan class with estimated ratings of 26 mpg city / 36 mpg highway for 2.5i model Higher level of comfort, quiet and refinement Revised powertrains and standard Lineartronic® CVT on all models New standard Active Torque Vectoring for greater agility New EyeSight driver assistance system with improved camera performance. New available safety technology including rear radar with Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert New infotainment technology with available 12-speaker premium audio CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2014 – Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the all-new 2015 Legacy, delivering a more compelling blend of standout design, interior refinement, safety technology and higher fuel efficiency along with the largest interior passenger volume in the midsize sedan segment. Still the only car in its class with All-Wheel Drive as standard, the 2015 Legacy continues the brand’s safety leadership by introducing an improved EyeSight system and available rear radar system that supports new driver-assistance technologies. Offering a choice of 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder BOXER engines, the 2015 Subaru Legacy comes standard with Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. With estimated ratings of 26 mpg city / 36 mpg highway / 30 mpg combined, the 2015 Legacy 2.5i matches or exceeds fuel economy of some midsize models that come only with front-wheel drive. The 6-cylinder model also sees fuel economy improve by 10 percent or more, with new estimated ratings of 20 mpg city / 28 mpg highway / 23 combined. The new 2015 Legacy arrives in Subaru dealerships in summer 2014 with the 4-cylinder 2.5i model available in Standard, Premium and Limited trim lines, accompanied by the top-of-line 6-cylinder 3.6R Limited. The 2015 Subaru Legacy is the best-equipped ever, with all trim lines adding new standard amenities. The Limited trim line models offer the highest level of luxury ever in a Subaru, including standard perforated leather upholstery; two-position memory for the 10-way power driver’s seat; a 4-way power front passenger seat; three-mode heated front seats (also standard for Premium) and dual-mode heated rear seats; rear seat air conditioning vents and a high-end surround sound audio system with 12 harman/kardon® speakers. New Design Language The 2015 Legacy echoes design themes introduced by the Legacy Concept at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. The production model combines sporty form and efficient function. Key to the sleeker, coupe-like profile is a “nosecone” front section that combines the grille and bumper into one smooth piece. An aluminum hood reduces weight over the front wheels, enhancing steering response. The 2015 Legacy maintains a footprint similar to the model it replaces. The 2015 Legacy’s windshield is more raked, pulled forward 2.0 in. at the base. The new windshield angle, higher seating hip points, new front partition windows and door-mounted side view mirrors help improve visibility. A 10-percent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency contributes to lower fuel consumption. All 2015 Legacy 2.5i trim levels debut a standard Active Grille Shutter system, which helps to improve fuel economy by reducing wind resistance when closed. In the Legacy 3.6R Limited, new standard HID low-beam headlights give the car a more distinctive nighttime signature. The U-shape tail and brake lights on all models use LED bulbs for lower power consumption and a luxurious appearance. Limited trim line models feature turn signal exterior mirrors, which are available as an option for the Premium. New Safety and Security from a Safety Leader The 2015 Legacy comes standard with a rear-view camera, now located closer to the center of the car for more natural imaging. A new rollover sensor can deploy the side curtain airbags if an imminent rollover is detected. For added nighttime security, the 2015 Legacy features new standard welcome lighting that automatically turns on cabin illumination and exterior lights as the driver approaches or departs the car. The Limited trim offers a Keyless Access & Start system, as well. The 2015 Subaru Legacy introduces a new type of airbag restraint and a new available rear radar system. The new front seat-cushion airbags help to keep occupants in place in a frontal collision. A new rear radar system, which is standard on the 2015 Legacy 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited and available for the 2.5i Premium, introduces the brand’s next step toward full-perimeter preventive safety. The rear radar system offers three functions. Blind Spot Detection detects vehicles behind the C-pillars and in other blind spots; Lane Change Assist detects approaching vehicles when changing lanes, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert detects close vehicles while reversing, such as out of a parking space or driveway. LED indicators on the side mirrors alert the driver. Rear Cross Traffic Alert uses an indicator in the rear view camera display. Also for the 2015 Legacy, new Steering-Responsive Foglights are added, which help illuminate curves for better visibility. The EyeSight® driver-assist system option for Premium and Limited trim models, integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning. EyeSight, which uses Subaru-developed stereo camera technology, is the highest-rated front crash prevention system by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2015 Legacy is projected to achieve the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award. Four- or Six-Cylinder BOXER Engines The 2015 Legacy 2.5i is powered by a double-overhead-cam (DOHC) FB series 2.5-liter BOXER engine that debuted for 2013 and now receives numerous enhancements for lighter weight, improved efficiency and quieter operation. Power is increased slightly, to 175 hp vs. 173 hp before. Peak torque remains at 174 lb.-ft. but is spread over a broader engine speed range for more responsive performance. With the 2015 Legacy, Subaru continues to offer a 6-cylinder model in the midsize sedan segment. The 3.6-liter BOXER engine produces 256 hp and 247 lb.-ft. of peak torque. For 2015, all Legacy models now come standard with a Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission), with the 6-cylinder model using a high-torque version. Changes made to reduce friction in the CVT contribute to higher fuel efficiency in the 2015 Legacy. All models are equipped with Incline Start Assist and the electronic Hill Holder System that holds the vehicle in place until the driver applies the throttle. Quieter Ride, Enhanced Agility The Legacy offers an even smoother, quieter ride for 2015 thanks to a new acoustic windshield, liquid-filled engine mounts, thicker panels in key locations (floor, toeboard, rear wheel apron, inner fenders) and expanded use of foam insulation and floor damping material. New quick-ratio electric power-assisted steering delivers outstanding feel and also contributes to reduced fuel consumption. Revised spring and damper tuning and geometry and standard 17-inch wheels (18-in. on Limited) endow the 2015 Legacy with greater handling agility. Active Torque Vectoring, an enhancement of the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system also featured on the brand’s high-performance 2015 WRX and WRX STI models, can apply brake pressure to the inside front wheel to facilitate more neutral cornering. The 4-cylinder Legacy now uses the same ventilated rear disc brakes as the 6-cylinder model, in place of solid discs used previously. More Room, Greater Refinement With nearly the same exterior footprint as the previous Legacy, the 2015 model offers a roomier passenger cabin, at 104.6 cu. ft. (up from 103 cu. ft.). The added space yields gains in shoulder, hip, elbow and leg room. Rear seat legroom measures a generous 38.1 inches. The Legacy’s trunk has been enlarged to 15.0 cu. ft., up slightly from 14.7 cu. ft. for the 2014 model, a significant point considering that the standard Symmetrical AWD system requires packaging for the multilink rear suspension, a rear differential and drive axles. A standard 60/40 split fold-down rear seat expands carrying capacity. The driver faces a decidedly sporty instrument panel in the 2015 Legacy, highlighted by two binocular-style gauge pods with center LCD information display -- 3.5-in. on cars without the EyeSight driver-assist system and 5-in. on EyeSight cars. In all models, an ECO gauge indicates and promotes fuel-efficient driving habits using color bars. The Premium and Limited-trim models feature electro-luminescent gauges with elegant blue ring illumination. Accentuating the passenger cabin’s increased room, the Legacy features a new interior design that highlights horizontal themes. A combination of new soft-touch materials, thicker cushioning for armrests and the center console and new trim styles give the Legacy a more premium feel. The heater control panel integrates the digital clock and outside air temperature displays, with the time automatically corrected by GPS in navigation-equipped models. A new one-touch lane changer function for the turn signals adds convenience. Legacy Premium and Limited trim levels come equipped with standard auto up/down driver and front passenger windows with pinch protection. New Infotainment Subaru significantly upgraded infotainment capability in the 2015 Legacy. A new 6.2 Infotainment System in the Legacy 2.5i model provides AM/FM stereo and HD Radio®, Radio Data Broadcast System, single-disc in-dash CD player, 6.2-in. multi-function touch screen display, Subaru STARLINK connectivity with Aha™ and Pandora® smartphone integration, rear vision camera, Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod® control capability, USB port and aux. input jack. The multi-touch display offers swipe and scrolling gestures – much like tablets and smartphones, The Upgraded Infotainment System in the 2.5i Premium adds a 6-speaker audio system with 7-inch touch screen display, SiriusXM® satellite radio, SMS text messaging, iTunes® tagging capability and dual USB ports. Standard for the 2015 Legacy Limited trim models, a new high-end audio system combines a 576-Watt equivalent AM/FM/HD Radio unit with 12 harman/kardon speakers, including a front center speaker and a rear subwoofer. The amplifier and speakers use harman/kardon Green Edge technology, which reduces system weight and power consumption. The Navigation Infotainment System available for the Premium and Limited trim levels, in addition to the multi-function display, features an interactive voice command system that accepts natural language and phrases and also operates the dual-zone automatic climate control system. A more versatile center console in the 2015 Legacy provides a storage area that can hold an iPad®. A new covered storage bin at the front of the console incorporates a USB port, 3.5mm AUX jack and a 12v power port. Models with high-grade audio or navigation feature two USB ports, making it possible to listen to music and charge two connected devices. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Both 2015 Legacy models are equipped with a newly refined version of the Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical AWD. An electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls torque distribution in response to driving conditions and wheel slippage. The system can send additional torque to the rear wheels either pro-actively or in response to slippage at the front wheels. Taking input from acceleration, steering angle and yaw rate sensors, Active Torque Split AWD optimizes traction and steering response when accelerating through turns and curves, particularly when the road surface is slippery.
  7. Nissan rolled out a pair vehicles today at the Chicago Auto Show that show a somewhat sporty side. The first is the 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR which is somewhat sporty-ish. The SR adds revised front fascia with smoked headlamps, standard foglamps, and black chrome accents. Along with the changes to front, the SR comes with a dark-finished sixteen-inch wheels, revised mirrors, side sills, and a new rear spoiler. The interior also gets some enhancements as well with a 370Z-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel, swede-like seats with orange accents, and piano black trim. Those hoping for an enhancement in power with SR will be disappointed. The Versa Note SR sticks with the 1.6L inline-four engine with 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with Nissan's Xtronic CVT. The Versa Note SR arrives sometime in the spring. Nissan's other showing gives us a possible sneak peek into what they possibly have in store for the next-generation Frontier. This is the Frontier Diesel Runner Concept and Nissan is using this concept to gauge consumer interest for a diesel engine in the next-generation Frontier. Taking a Frontier Desert Runner 4x2 as a starting point, Nissan and diesel partner, Cummins slips in a 2.8L four-cylinder diesel engine with nearly 200 horsepower and more than 350 pound-feet of torque. Paired with an eight-speed automatic, Nissan says the diesel engine boosts the Frontier's fuel economy by 35 percent when compared with the V6. Towing and payload would be roughly the same as the V6. There are some changes to the exterior such as a two-tone finish of high-gloss red and matte silver paired with carbon fiber trim and off-road wheels. Our Take: Nissan has gotten the sporty looks with the Versa Note SR. Now if they could only add some more power.. Like a 1.6L turbo-four. As for the Frontier Diesel Runner Concept, we wouldn't be surprised if the next-generation Frontier gets it. Especially if the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon Diesel start selling like hot cakes. Source: Nissan William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2015 NISSAN VERSA NOTE SR DEBUTS AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW – OFFERS UNIQUE SPORTY STYLING AND INTERIOR TREATMENTS One of two new trim levels, along with Versa Note SL, designed to expand equipment and feature choices for buyers of Nissan's popular sub-compact hatchback - Versa Note lineup grows to five trim levels for 2015, set to go on sale this spring - New models retain 40 miles per gallon highway fuel economy with standard 1.6-liter engine and Xtronic® transmission - New Versa Note SR adds sporty front and rear fascias and grille, unique rear spoiler, 16-inch sport aluminum-alloy wheels and exclusive interior enhancements - Versa Note SL includes standard NissanConnectTM smartphone integration for iOS and Android including Google™, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Facebook; NissanConnectTM Apps; Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant; and Divide–N-Hide® Adjustable Floor Nissan today provided an early preview of the 2015 Versa Note hatchback with the debut of the sporty new Versa Note SR. The new grade level is one of two new trims being added to the Versa Note lineup for its second year of production, along with the Versa Note SL. Both new grade levels go on sale this spring at Nissan dealers nationwide, joining the Versa Note S MT, S Plus CVT and SV CVT. Also for the 2015 model year, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System with steering wheel-mounted controls becomes standard across all trims of Versa Note. One new option package is also being introduced for 2015, the SR Convenience Package, and new content is added to the SV Convenience Package and SL Tech Package. Introduced in June 2013, the second-generation of the popular sub-compact 5-door Versa Note offers an exceptional combination of versatility, technology and value. It is designed to satisfy both the owners' emotional and rational needs with sleek styling and features like the first-in-class Around View® Monitor – all at an affordable price. "The new Versa Note SR and SL grades retain all of the favorite consumer attributes of the Versa Note S, S Plus and SV trim levels – while adding a sportier look and feel in the case of the SR, and more standard technology and convenience items with the SL," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "Now it's as easy to find the right combination of equipment in the showroom as it is to enjoy the Versa Note when you take it home." About the 2015 Versa Note SR The new Versa Note SR's standout styling starts with the modern, sculpted look of the second-generation Versa Note and adds a wide range of exclusive features. In front, a unique fascia and grille combine with a dark headlight treatment and standard fog lights with black and chrome accents to provide an aggressive, sporty character. Body-color side spoilers and redesigned side mirrors with integrated turn signals complement Versa Note's distinctive "squash line" side profile. The dynamic exterior look is capped off by a unique rear spoiler, SR badging and high-contrast machine-finished 16-inch sport aluminum-alloy wheels with dark paint mounted with 195/55R16 all-season tires. Versa Note SR interior enhancements include an exclusive 370Z-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel, suede-like fabric seats with sporty orange accents and double stitching, a redesigned piano black center instrument panel with silver accents and chrome knobs, and Euro-inspired Fine Vision triple-dial gauge cluster with floating trip computer. "The new Versa Note SR offers an even more powerful appearance than the other grade levels, blending a sporty, European-style energy with a distinctive, driver-focused cockpit," said Loing. "It's a great demonstration that vehicles in this segment can offer sporty style along with attributes such as high utility and fuel economy." Under the skin, the Versa Note SR builds on the foundation of the second-generation Versa Note, including an advanced 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine with dual fuel injection and Twin CVTC (Continuously Variable Timing Control) mated to a standard next-generation Nissan Xtronic® transmission. The engine is rated at 109 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm. EPA fuel economy for the front-wheel drive Versa Note SR is estimated at 40 mpg highway, 31 mpg city and 35 mpg combined. Excellent everyday drivability is provided by an independent strut front suspension with stabilizer bar, torsion beam rear axle with integrated stabilizer bar; electric power steering; and power-assisted front disc/rear drum brakes with standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. Like every 2015 Versa Note, the SR grade takes full advantage of Nissan's global "V" platform. It features a long 102.4-inch wheelbase helping maximize interior roominess, while short front and rear overhangs help provide parking maneuverability. The roomy five-passenger Versa Note SR interior provides 112.9 cubic feet of interior volume and 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Standard interior features include 6-way adjustable front bucket seats, Fine Vision instrumentation, AM/FM/CD/Aux-in audio system with 4 speakers, 12-volt power outlet, front door pockets with bottle holders, dual front and rear cupholders and front seatback pockets. Interior versatility is further enhanced through use of the innovative Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor, which is offered as part of the SR Convenience Package. Also available as part of the SR Convenience Package is the advanced NissanConnectTM system with a 5.0-inch color display, RearView Monitor, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant, USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately) and NissanConnectTM Apps (offering smartphone integration for Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio). The 2015 Versa Note SR is offered in eight exterior colors: Metallic Blue, Red Brick, Brilliant Silver, Magnetic Gray, Super Black, Aspen White, Metallic Peacock and MorningSky Blue – each matched with an interior with exclusive, sporty suede-like fabric interior. About the 2015 Versa Note SL Like the Versa Note SR, the Note SL offers an extensive list of features and equipment that are unexpected in the sub-compact hatchback segment. The list of standard comfort and convenience items includes fog lights, NissanConnectTM and NissanConnectTM Apps, 5.0-inch color display, RearView Monitor, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, variable intermittent front wiper, heated front seats, Nissan Intelligent KeyTM with Push Button Ignition, Easy Fill Tire Alert and SL badge. Standard safety and security systems on all 2015 Versa Note models include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) (includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags), front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS) and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with available Easy-Fill Tire Alert. "With a broader lineup for 2015 – and the standout style of the sporty new SR grade – we expect Versa Note to garner more attention and greater sales in the competitive entry-level hatchback segment," concluded Loing. "When we launched Versa Note last year we called it 'Your Door to More.' Now there are 'More' choices to enjoy." NISSAN PRESENTS FRONTIER DIESEL RUNNER POWERED BY CUMMINSTM PROJECT TRUCK AT 2014 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW • Project truck created to gauge consumer interest in a next-generation Frontier with a Cummins diesel engine • Concept builds upon Nissan's long heritage in innovative pickup trucks • Powered by a 2.8-liter Cummins turbo diesel with nearly 200 horsepower, more than 350 lb-ft of torque • Estimated fuel economy increases 35 percent over current Frontier V6 CHICAGO (Feb. 6, 2014) – Nissan is renewing its commitment to the mid-size pickup segment, long a part of its sales success in the United States, with the creation of the Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by CumminsTM. This project truck, based on a Frontier Desert Runner 4x2 model, serves to both gauge the market reaction to a Nissan mid-size pickup with a diesel engine and plot a potential future direction for the Frontier. The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins arrives a mere six months after the announcement of a partnership with Cummins Inc. to provide a 5.0-liter turbo diesel V8 in the next-generation Titan full-size pickup, which will arrive in calendar-year 2015. "Frontier continues to be a huge success story for us, with more than 60,000 units sold in 2013," said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing, Parts & Service, U.S.A, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). "Nissan has always valued the mid-size pickup segment, and with this technical study project, we are looking to explore what is possible for the next-generation Frontier. We are always looking for ways to engage our customers, innovate and take the segment in an evolutionary direction." At the heart of the Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins is a 2.8-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine designed to meet or exceed future emissions standards. As adapted for use in this truck, the engine produces nearly 200 horsepower and more than 350 lb-ft. of torque, while increasing fuel economy 35 percent over a V6-powered two-wheel drive 2014 Frontier. Backed by a ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic transmission, the two-wheel drive diesel Frontier maintains, and even increases, the usability of a Frontier truck. Along with the mileage increase, payload and towing capacity are expected to be in range of that offered by the V6-powered Frontier. While not a "plug-and-play" engine and transmission installation, many of the Frontier Diesel Runner project's key components, from the body to wiring harnesses to the radiator and more are from a production 2014 Desert Runner. Collaboration between Nissan and Cummins stems back to a U.S. Department of Energy project called "ATLAS" (Advanced Technology Light Automotive Systems) which began in 2010. Over the course of "ATLAS," Cummins installed 4-cylinder engines into two Nissan Titan trucks as an ongoing platform for research on the next-generation of 4-cylinder automotive clean diesel engines. Research compiled during the "ATLAS" program helped to shape the Cummins engine used in the current project. "We've been building pickup trucks in the U.S. for more than 30 years and selling them here for even longer than that, even offering 4-cylinder diesel in our U.S. pickup truck in the 1980s," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, NNA. "With this Frontier Diesel Runner project truck, we can reflect on our extensive heritage while also looking to the future and the changing demands of mid-size pickup buyers." The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins was designed by Nissan Design America in San Diego, CA in conjunction with Nissan Global Design Center in Atsugi, Japan. Exterior modifications include a custom paint treatment that mixes three elements: a bright high-gloss "Arrest Me Red" color inspired by Cummins' engine red; a raw "Matte Silver" color created to express the steel body-on-frame Frontier chassis foundation; and carbon fiber and carbon fiber film accents to signify the truck's outstanding performance and efficiency. Along with carbon film-coated features such as the chin spoiler, mesh grille, roof rack, aerodynamic full-bed tonneau cover and tailgate spoiler, the hood of the vehicle draws special attention. A partially transparent acrylic hood insert serves as a window to the engine bay, where all powertrain-related elements continue the red theme. The special carbon fiber engine cover, seen through the hood insert, features an oversize Cummins logo, with a red center, black carbon sides and hidden illumination. "Cummins Turbo Diesel badges" are also recessed into both front fenders. The 16-inch wheels, borrowed from a Frontier PRO-4X, have been treated with a special two-tone paint – Arrest Me Red for the rear wheels and Silver in front, each accented by satin black paint. The brake calipers have also been custom painted in contrasting colors - red front and silver rear. The Frontier Diesel Runner's interior mirrors the silver and red exterior design, with red accents throughout and carbon-trimmed seats and panels. The front and rear seats feature carbon-print leather appointments with grey accent stitching and black-on-black "Tracks" embroidery. The carbon film-wrapped instrument panel is highlighted by red-tinted gauges and a special black-faced diesel-specific three-gauge pod on top of the C-cluster. Completing the interior enhancements are embroidered floor mats and theme-colored shifter knob and steering wheel. The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins will be showcased throughout the consumer days of the 2014 Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place, Chicago. Nissan and Cummins have also built a separate development vehicle that is currently undergoing rigorous real-world testing. "We hope consumers in Chicago and across the U.S. will let us know what they think of the prospects of a diesel engine in this segment," Loing added. KEY SPECIFICATIONS Engine Cummins 2.8-liter turbo diesel Horsepower Approximately 200 Torque More than 350 lb-ft Transmission ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic Axle ratio (:1) 3.13
  8. At the Chicago Auto Show, Kia unveiled the coming electric version of their Soul model. Kia claims the Soul EV will have an 80 to 100 mile range while packing one of the most energy dense batteries on the market. Producing 27kWh, the Soul EV's battery has a 200 watt hour per kilogram rating. A fully depleted Soul EV will take 24 hours to fully recharge on a standard 120v wall outlet while taking 5 hours to recharge on a 240v power source. An 80 percent charge can be achieved in 33 minutes when plugged in to a 50 kW output charger. The Soul EV can recapture up to 13% of its kinetic energy through brake regeneration. The battery in the Soul EV is located under the floor making interior intrusion minimal with only a 3.1 inch reduction in rear seat headroom. With the location of the battery being so low, it lowers the center of gravity in the car making for a more solid handling feel. In spite of Kia's current mascot, the Soul EV doesn't have just hamsters under the hood. The Soul EV produces 210 lb-ft of torque and 109 horsepower with 0-60 time in the 12 second range. Our Take: Kia's first entry comes a couple years after the competition, but it doesn't make any advancement in battery range. Press Release after the jump. Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @CheersnGears SOUL EV LIGHTS UP 2014 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW Kia’s First Mass Market Electric Vehicle Makes World Debut in the Windy City New 2015 Kia Soul EV offers an expected 80-100 miles of range State-of-the-art 27kWh lithium polymer battery has 200 Wh/kg energy density EV-specific version of UVO eServices1 includes downloadable apps, EV charger locations and more CHICAGO, February 6, 2014– Set to the sounds of soulful electrified blues music, Kia Motors America (KMA) today hosted the global unveiling of the 2015 Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show. Scheduled to go on sale in the third quarter of 2014, the Soul EV will be Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions car sold in the U.S. and expands the brand’s line of environmentally conscious vehicles. The Soul EV joined the refreshed 2014 Optima Hybrid on stage along with the Niro hybrid concept, illustrating Kia’s intent to lead the industry in providing technologically advanced vehicles that also reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources. Kia’s eco-friendly commitment was further underscored when Underwriters Laboratory (UL)1 honored the Soul EV with the organization’s first automotive environmental validation for its integration of more than 20 bio-friendly materials. The new Soul EV is at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program and will offer an even more environmentally friendly option to our customers when it goes on sale later this year,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “The Soul EV retains the fun and funky style as well as the packaging efficiency and utility that have made the gasoline-powered Soul such a huge hit with consumers. And to that winning combination it adds useable real-world range and multiple charging options, making it the perfect EV for everyone.” The Soul EV will initially be sold in California and Oregon in the West and several Eastern states including New York, New Jersey and Maryland, the regions with the largest EV markets and infrastructure. KMA will look to offer the vehicle in other markets in the near future as infrastructure and demand grow. Pricing for the Soul EV will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch. High Energy Density Battery and Usable Power A top concern for EV buyers has commonly been range anxiety. The Soul EV addresses this issue by utilizing a highly energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery. Located beneath the floor, the 27kWh, air-cooled, 200 watt-hour/kg battery is expected to yield a range of approximately 80-100 miles of real-world driving on a full charge, with internal testing and evaluation results exceeding 100 miles in some instances. The 360 volt 96-cell lithium-ion polymer battery has been engineered for high capacity, thermal stability and safety. Accordingly, the battery features a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, which helps increase capacity, and a graphite-based anode, which increases durability while reducing weight. Additionally, the cells use a gel electrolyte, and each cell contains ceramic separators to significantly improve thermal stability and safety. In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the Soul EV uses Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system to capture up to 12 percent of the car’s kinetic energy, which is fed back into the battery while the Soul EV is coasting and braking. Soul EV owners can choose between four different regeneration modes: “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “Off,” and “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “On” (the “Brake” setting with Eco-mode “On” producing the most regeneration). The Soul EV makes charging easy by plugging into any standard 120v outlet or a conventional 240v EV charger. Two charging ports are standard, including a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC, and a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port (480v). Found behind a sliding door located in the front grille, the dual ports offer flexibility and increase the Soul EV’s go-anywhere appeal, making it more convenient to charge inside the owner’s garage or when on the road. Recharging times vary from 24 hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 120-volt outlet and under five hours when plugged into a 240-volt outlet. An 80-percent charge can be achieved in as little as 33 minutes with a 50 kW-output charger. Kia has partnered with three charger providers – Bosch, Leviton and AeroVironment™ – which give Soul EV buyers an opportunity to select the unit best suited to their in-home needs. Additionally, Kia retailers who sell the Soul EV will offer charging at no cost to Soul EV owners, making charging even more convenient. The front-wheel drive Soul EV is powered by an 81.4 kW, 109-hp electric motor, producing a generous 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The liquid-cooled AC synchronous permanent magnet motor uses multi-layer magnets to help improve efficiency and reduce the whine that’s commonly experienced with other electric vehicles. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single-speed constant-ratio gear reduction unit. Acceleration from 0-60 mph is expected to take fewer than 12 seconds with a top speed electronically limited to approximately 90 mph. The battery’s location beneath the floor offers the stable feel of a lower center of gravity, which helps ride and handling and ensures that the EV remains true to the Soul’s fun-to-drive reputation. Additional cross bracing beneath the low-mounted battery contributes to a 5.9 percent improvement in torsional rigidity over the gasoline-powered Soul. Improved aerodynamics and the absence of engine noise, combined with special sound-proofing materials, result in an exceptionally quiet ride. For the benefit of pedestrian safety, the Soul EV is equipped with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an auditory alert at speeds below 12 mph and whenever the car is in reverse. Minimal Battery Intrusion The Soul EV offers plenty of space inside the cabin thanks to minimal battery intrusion. Because of the battery’s flat design and location beneath the floor, there is only a slight 3.1-inch reduction to rear seat leg room (from 39.1 to 36 inches) from the non-EV Soul, yet Soul EV still offers more rear seat leg room than other key EV competitors. Rear shoulder and hip room remain unchanged from the gasoline-powered Soul, making Soul EV one of the roomiest in the segment. Rear cargo space is minimally impacted (reduced 5.1 cu.-ft. to 19.1) as the space under the cargo floor is utilized for the battery cooling fan and storage of the standard 120v portable charger. Uniquely Designed Inside and Out The Soul’s bold exterior design is also found on the EV. From the “floating” roof to the greenhouse that makes the car look like it is wearing wraparound sunglasses, the EV’s look is inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept and retains the iconic square-shouldered broad stance of the original Soul. Initially, the Soul EV will be offered in three color choices: Pearl White lower body with Electronic Blue roof, Caribbean Blue lower body with Clear White roof, and Bright Silver with Clear White roof. The signature two-tone paint theme is exclusive to the EV and was inspired by a similar treatment seen on the Track’ster. The EV-exclusive front fascia utilizes a larger grille to accommodate the charging ports, and other unique exterior Soul EV design features include color accent trim in the front and rear fascias, projector headlights, LED positioning lamps, and LED tail lights. “Eco Electric” fender badging replaces the “Soul” fender garnish found on the gasoline-powered car, and the Soul EV gets its own set of distinctive 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped with specially engineered Super Low Rolling Resistance (SLRR) tires that offer 10 percent less resistance than standard low rolling resistance tires, helping to improve range. When launched in 2014, the all-new Soul was lauded for its premium interior and significantly reduced levels of NVH. The Soul EV will be instantly recognizable for these same qualities. Like its gasoline-powered sibling, a circular theme pervades the cabin and is a pleasing contrast to the exterior’s angular good looks. Inside, the Soul EV sets itself further apart from its gasoline-powered sibling with bright white accent trim on the center console, instrument panel and door panels, lending a light and modern feel to the passenger space. Distinguished by Kia’s most extensive use of bio-based materials, the Soul EV has received UL’s first ever automotive environmental claim validation for its 10.9 lbs. of bio-based organic content in interior plastic. Front and center is the use of BTX-free paint on the audio system surround, vent bezel and the floor console. Bio-based plastics derived from cellulose and sugar cane are found in many places within the cabin, including the door panels, headliner, seat trim, roof pillars and carpeting. In all, organic, bio-based materials are used in 19 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. Separate from the bio-based content validation, extensive use of antibacterial materials also help to keep the cabin clean and are found on the gear selector, audio and HVAC controls, instrument panel switchgear and the floor-mounted center console. Combined, eco-friendly materials are used in 23 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. The Soul EV features exclusive interior color options that perfectly complement the exterior. Two interior seating materials will be offered: Standard eco-friendly cloth or optional leather. Both are gray with offsetting blue stitching on the cloth seats and blue piping on the leather seats. Additional blue stitching is found on the steering wheel and center console armrest. Standard Soul EV amenities include navigation, Rear Camera Display2, Bluetooth®3 hands free operation, power windows, power driver’s seat, cruise control, 6.6kW on-board charger and an exclusive HVAC system designed to extend driving range by minimizing energy draw. Air conditioning is one of the largest energy drains in any electric vehicle, but the Soul EV’s HVAC system is designed to provide optimum comfort while also helping to extend the car’s range by minimizing energy use. The Soul EV uses four key technologies to maximize HVAC efficiency: an available heat pump (optional on Base, standard on “+”), individual ventilation, scheduled ventilation, and air intake control. The heat pump and surplus heat recovered from the Soul EV’s electrical systems help heat cabin air. Individual ventilation allows selection of “Driver Only,” which stops airflow to the passenger side front dash and floor vents and the floor vents for the rear passenger compartment, thereby focusing airflow on the driver and reducing the amount of energy needed to reach a comfortable interior temperature. Scheduled ventilation reduces EV energy use by pre-heating or cooling the passenger compartment prior to starting the car, while it is still plugged into a charger. Air intake control regulates inner and outer air flow to minimize HVAC usage, regulating interior temperature by carefully managing recirculated cabin air. Forward Thinking Technology Available at no cost for the first five years of ownership, UVO EV Services, a special version of Kia’s award-winning telematics and infotainment system, is put to even greater use in the Soul EV. Utilizing an embedded connectivity solution powered by the Verizon network and an integral smartphone app, UVO EV Services provides owners with an innovative, real-time, in-vehicle connectivity experience that includes navigation and added convenience features specifically tailored for the Soul EV that will help owners stay informed as to their vehicle’s charging status while on the go. UVO EV Services provides real-time battery-level status, distance to empty, and the ability to search for nearby charging stations. Also, via the UVO EV app, owners can preset charging time and charging level ratios, as well as precondition the vehicle cabin with remote control of the HVAC presets. Preconditioning the vehicle moderates cabin temperature in advance, helping reduce battery draw once the Soul EV is uncoupled from the charging station. At a glance, UVO will also update EV owners of their CO2 savings and their relative positive impact on the environment. Introduced for the first time on the Soul EV, UVO EV Services includes downloadable apps that reside on the Soul EV’s standard 8-inch capacitive-touch navigation screen. EV owners may download Yelp®4, the online urban city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, relax and play. Soul EV owners will also enjoy iHeartRadio, the free, all-in-one digital radio service that lets customers listen to their favorite live stations or create their own commercial-free, all-music custom stations. Sound Hound, which is also available and accessible through the touch screen, listens to what’s playing and displays all related information such as lyrics, the artist, title and album cover art. Arriving with a five-year complimentary subscription to SiriusXM™5 Data Services and Travel Link, the Soul EV has access to charging stations and travel information such as road conditions, weather and security alerts as well as sports scores, movie times and stock prices through the screen’s graphical interface and electronic program guide. The Soul EV also features Kia’s first use of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. Low energy consumption and virtually no heat build-up make OLED perfect for an electric-vehicle application. Found within the Soul EV’s exclusive Supervision instrument cluster, the 3.5-inch OLED screen is crystal clear and provides information on the vehicle’s energy flow, charging time, ECO driving level and energy economy, which measures how efficiently the battery is operating. Additionally, the OLED screen provides a three-stage alert for the Soul EV’s State of Charge (SOC), which allows the driver to quickly decipher how much charge remains within the battery and when it’s time to plug in to a charging unit.
  9. Dodge is bringing out a more rugged trim for their popular 7-passenger Journey crossover. Debuting at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad features new, butcher fascias, dark tinted exterior lighting, and special 19 inch wheels. Inside, the Crossroad gains standard black leather seats with accent stitching unique to the Crossroad trim. Also included is the 8.4 inch UConnect system, one of the best performing automotive infotainment systems in the market. Like all 2014 Dodge Journeys, the Crossroad is powered by your choice of 2.4 liter 4-cylinder or the 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 which produces a best for the class 283 horsepower and 260 ft-lb of torque. Even with all of that power, the Journey V6 is EPA rated for 25 mpg on the highway. All-Wheel-Drive on the Crossroad is optional. Dodge is positioning the Crossroad as a step between the mid-line SXT and the top of the line Limited models. Expected base price will be $24,995 plus destination fee. Dodge last updated the Journey for the 2011 model year with an all new interior. Our take: Dodge adds an attractive trim package to a gracefully aging crossover to keep things fresh a little while longer. Press release after the jump. Drew Dowdell is managing editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @Cheersngears New 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad to Debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show Journey Crossroad Gets Rugged Appearance; Available All-wheel-drive Capability Backs It Up New Journey Crossroad model features unique performance front and rear fascias, lower side sills, dark-tinted headlamps and tail lamps and unique 19-inch Hyper Black wheels, giving it a rugged, capable look Unique interior content loaded with premium finishes and features, including the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, new leather seat design with accent stitching and Liquid Graphite appliques Available award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and all-wheel-drive capability provide confidence in all driving conditions With a starting U. S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24,995 (excluding $995 destination), the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad will be available in Dodge dealerships this spring January 31, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Building on the Dodge Journey’s best sales year ever in 2013, the Dodge brand is introducing a new Journey model – the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad – at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. The new Journey Crossroad features distinctive new front and rear fascias, Platinum Chrome side sills and unique 19-inch Hyper Black aluminum wheels, giving the three-row, seven-passenger crossover a rugged, capable look. The interior is loaded with premium finishes and features, including the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, new leather seat design and Liquid Graphite appliques. "The Journey has always been Dodge's Swiss Army knife in the CUV segment, and with the new Journey Crossroad, we are expanding that flexibility by now offering three different exterior appearances," said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO — Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "The Journey Crossroad's rugged styling gives it a tough presence on the road; the available all-wheel drive system gives it the capability to back it up in a variety of bad weather driving conditions.” The new 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad is positioned between the SXT and Limited models in the Journey lineup. Journey Crossroad will start arriving in Dodge dealerships this spring with a starting U. S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24,995 (excluding $995 destination). New look, new features Dodge designers added several special exterior design cues to the Journey Crossroad that give it a distinct look in the lineup, including a new front fascia with a Platinum Chrome accent and Gloss Black grille and fog lamp surrounds, Platinum Chrome roof rails and unique extended side sills, black headlamp bezels, Gloss Black tail lamp bezels and a new lower rear fascia finished in Platinum Chrome and a “Crossroad” badge on the tailgate. Journey Crossroad also features unique 19-inch Hyper Black five-spoke aluminum wheels. Exterior colors for the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad include Pitch Black, Bright Silver Metallic, White, Copperhead Pearl, Fathom Blue Pearl, Granite Crystal Metallic, Pearl White Tri-Coat and Redline Red 2-coat Pearl. On the inside, the Journey Crossroad adds many unique interior touches, including new standard black leather seating with sport mesh inserts with Light Slate Grey accent stitching. Light Slate Grey accent stitching on the center armrest and door panels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, are standard equipment. A new Liquid Graphite finish is applied on the instrument panel, gauge cluster, center console, door pulls and steering wheel trim. The Dodge Journey Crossroad also comes standard with the class-exclusive 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, power front seat and a front passenger fold-flat seat with hidden storage bin under the seat cushion. The 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad offers levels of utility and refinement not typically found in the crossover market. Standard features such as power heated and foldaway mirrors, seven air bags, illuminated cup holders, Keyless Enter ‘n Go with push-button start and steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. Second- and third-row seats fold flat to create 67.6 cu. ft. of cargo space. Second-row seats recline and have available class-exclusive integrated child booster seats. There are also innovative removable storage bins in the floor ahead of the second-row seats that can hold everything from muddy clothes to soda cans, to concealing valuables like a camera, laptop or purse. With front passenger, second- and third-row fold-flat seats, second-row in-floor storage, and front passenger in-seat storage, Dodge Journey has best-in-class storage. Power and efficiency The Journey Crossroad is powered by a standard 2.4-liter 16-valve DOHC four-cylinder engine that produces 173 horsepower and 166 lb.-ft. of torque, linked to a four-speed automatic transmission. This four-cylinder engine delivers 26 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway. The award-winning available 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine on the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad produces a best-in-class 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. This Pentastar V-6 engine was recognized as a Ward’s “10 Best Engines” for 2012 and 2013. In addition to excellent power, it delivers up to 25 mpg on the highway. Both the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and available 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 powertrain deliver more than 500 miles of highway driving range. With a 5-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, owners can rest assured knowing their powerful and efficient Journey is well covered. Confidence in all driving conditions Backing up the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad’s rugged look is its available all-wheel-drive system, perfect for drivers who want extra grip for a more performance feel, or who live in the Snow Belt or rainy parts of the country and appreciate the extra traction Journey’s all-wheel drive system provides. Journey Crossroad’s all-wheel-drive system works on demand, driving only the front wheels to maximize fuel efficiency until power to the rear wheels is needed. All-wheel drive also is activated on dry pavement between speeds of 25 and 65 mph to enhance handling during performance driving. This system provides added traction on snow, ice and other low-traction surfaces without having to be switched on and off. When traveling faster than 25 mph, Dodge Journey’s all-wheel-drive system sends torque to the rear wheels when cornering with the throttle open to make the car turn more easily, which makes the handling more neutral. This is more readily accomplished with Journey’s electronically controlled coupling (ECC) than with viscous-coupling or gerotor systems that require some degree of front-to-rear slip before torque is transferred to the rear wheels. At speeds greater than 53 mph, the control strategy provides minimal torque to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions to provide better fuel economy. Dodge Journey features standard electronic stability control (ESC) and all-speed traction control, which help keep the crossover on path in a variety of road surface and weather conditions. Journey’s available all-wheel-drive electronic control module works with the ESC and traction control systems, allowing the ESC system to use the ECC to help gain control of the vehicle, reducing the amount of torque that the ECC transmits to the rear wheels. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes and electronic roll mitigation also are standard on all 2014 Dodge Journey models. More than 50 safety and security features Dodge Journey is loaded with an abundance of more than 50 safety and security features, including standard advanced multistage front passenger air bags, active head restraints, electronic stability control with all-speed traction control, electronic roll mitigation and Brake Assist, driver-side knee blocker air bag, side-curtain air bags covering all three rows, front seat-mounted side air bags, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, LATCH child seat anchor system and trailer-sway control. The Dodge Journey is built in Toluca, Mexico. For more information regarding the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad, please visit www.dodge.com/en/special-editions/journey-crossroad. About Dodge Brand The Dodge brand is tearing into its centennial year with a keen eye focused on the future and a desire to create vehicles customers t wait to drive and are proud to park in their driveways. With 100 years of history, Dodge is building on the technological advancements of 30s 40s, design evolution of 50s, the racing heritage of 60s, the horsepower of 70s, the efficiency of 80s and unbelievable styling of 90s as it paves the road to its future. New for 2014, the Dodge is kind of a big with a new eight-speed transmission that delivers up to 25 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway, a new 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment center and best-in-class power, towing, and driving range, in addition to its class-exclusive technology. The new Durango joins a stable that includes the new 2014 Dodge Dart with its breakthrough 2.4-liter 184-horsepower Tigershark engine, and the celebrated 2014 Dodge Avenger. Both earned 2014 Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Completing the 2014 Dodge lineup are the Challenger, Charger, Journey and 30th Anniversary Grand Caravan. The Dodge lineup features five vehicles with best-in-class power, seven vehicles that deliver 25 mpg or higher, three vehicles that deliver 31 mpg or higher and three vehicles that offer seating for seven.
  10. Just a few months after Subaru showed off the Legacy Concept at the LA Auto Show, the company announced that the 2015 Legacy will make its official debut next week at the Chicago Show. Along with that announcement, the company released a teaser photo that gives us a few clues of what is in store for the new Legacy. The design looks to combining coupe-like styling elements and the profile of the Buick Regal. We'll have more information when the Legacy debuts next Thursday at Chicago. Source: Subaru William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  11. BMW's march of the diesels will continue at the Chicago Auto Show next month as they will unveil the first 7-Series with a diesel for the U.S. market. Meet the 2014 740Ld xDrive. The 740Ld xDrive comes will utilize a 3.0L inline-six diesel engine producing 255 horsepower and a mighty fine 413 pound-feet of torque that peaks between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system. Now BMW hasn't revealed fuel economy numbers for the 740Ld, but the company does say its diesel technology is good for a 25 to 30 percent increase in fuel economy. This could mean that the 740Ld could achieve mid to high 30's on the highway. Pricing for the 2014 740Ld xDrive will start at $83,425 (includes a $925 destination and handling charge). The 740Ld xDrive arrives at dealers sometime in the spring. Source: BMW William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 The 2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive The first BMW Advanced Diesel 7 Series in the US. Woodcliff Lake, NJ – January 24, 2014 . . . BMW announced today that the BMW 7 Series would become the latest model line to benefit from BMW Advanced Diesel technology in the US in the form of the BMW 740Ld xDrive Sedan. The new model will feature BMW’s 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo diesel engine in the long-wheelbase 7 Series body and will include xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system. The 2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive Sedan will have a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $83,425, including $925 destination and handling. It will make its US auto show debut at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2014 and arrive in US showrooms in Spring 2014. BMW Advanced Diesel now available for BMW’s flagship sedan The 3.0-liter inline-6 BMW Advanced Diesel engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology makes 255 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 413 lb-ft of torque from 1,500 – 3,000 rpm. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The BMW 740Ld xDrive will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds. US EPA fuel economy estimates are not yet available, however, other models equipped with this engine have seen a 25 – 30 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over their direct gasoline-powered counterparts. Standard features like Driving Dynamics Control with Eco Pro mode and Auto Start/Stop will help the driver to reduce fuel consumption in real-world driving situations. Through the latest in advanced diesel technologies and the use of weight-saving aluminum block and head designs, BMW’s Advanced Diesel powerplants represent a key component of the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy for the reduction of fuel consumption and emissions while providing exceptional BMW driving dynamics. The 3.0-liter inline-6 BMW Advanced Diesel engine features a single turbocharger with variable vane turbine technology. This design helps improve low-end torque while facilitating precise control of the boost pressure and eliminates the need for a wastegate. The engine uses the latest generation of electronically controlled high-precision diesel injection system. The system plays a significant role in the reduction of fuel consumption as well as exhaust emissions. The normal operating pressures reach as high as 1800 bar (26,107 PSI) and the fuel injectors can deliver multiple injections over extremely short durations of time, helping to reduce exhaust emissions. The exhaust gas treatment system is specifically designed to comply with ULEV II emission standards. It uses a combination of a Nox Storage Catalyst, Diesel Particulate Filter, and the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system with no fewer than nine specific sensors working in concert to keep exhaust emissions to an absolute minimum. The all-aluminum crankcase and hollow camshafts not only save weight, they also contribute to noise and vibration reduction. Additionally, the timing chain is placed at the flywheel end and not toward the front of the engine which further reduces rotational vibrations.
  12. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 8, 2013 Forty years ago, Volkwagen introduced a very special edition of the Beetle called the GSR. Short for Gelb-Schwarzer Renner (Yellow Black Racer in english), the model was designed to take the Beetle racing. At the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Volkswagen announced they will be bringing back the GSR to the Beetle. The Beetle GSR comes with a very wild yellow paint job with black stripes. Also included for the exterior is a large rear spoiler and nineteen-inch wheels shod with 235/40 tires. Pop the hood of the Beetle GSR and you're looking at Volkswagen's venerable 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder. In the GSR, the 2.0L produces 210 horspower and 207 pound-feet of torque. That's paired with either a a six-speed manual or DSG transmission. Volkswagen says there will be only 3,500 Beetle GSRs built for the U.S. and will arrive this fall. Album: 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR 6 images 0 comments Source: Volkswagen William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 VOLKSWAGEN UNVEILS THE LIMITED-EDITION BEETLE GSR AT THE CHICAGO AUTO SHOW - Classic 1970s' Beetle serves as inspiration for the GSRTM - Sportiest Beetle boasts a 210 horsepower turbocharged engine - On sale in the Fall as a 2014 model - Limited edition of just 3500 worldwide - Leather-trimmed sport seats and unique GSR trim mark out the interior Wolfsburg / Chicago, February 7, 2013 - Forty years ago, the sportiest version of the classic Volkswagen Beetle made its debut. Called the GSR (Gelb Schwarzer Renner or "Yellow Black Racer"), the vehicle was based on a 1303S and was instantly recognizable by its color scheme. Just 3500 units were built and they are now collectors' items. Today, at the Chicago Auto Show, Volkswagen of America, Inc. pays homage to that 1970s' model with the world unveiling of the 2014 Beetle GSR. Striking in yellow and black, just like its predecessor, the GSR also debuts an uprated version of the award-winning EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder TSI® engine that generates 210 horsepower. This engine will be fitted to the Jetta GLI and Beetle Turbo during the 2013 model year, boosting their power by 10 hp. With this new car, Volkswagen has re-interpreted the 1970s GSR for the modern era. The bodyshell of the 1973 Beetle was painted yellow, while the hood, trunklid, and bumpers were finished in matte black. The look was rounded out by black trim strips underneath the side windows and black rocker panels. Yellow and black link old and new: the body and the R- Line® bumpers on the new GSR are predominantly yellow, the hood is mainly black, and the trunklid, roof, and the exterior mirror caps are all black. The new car has yellow/black stripes with "GSR" lettering above the side skirts and a large rear spoiler to complete the look. The stance of the new car is very different, as it rides on 19-inch "Tornado" aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 235/40 tires, compared with the original GSR's 15-inch steel wheels and 175- section tires, which were quite common even on sporty cars back then. The new GSR also features black-painted brake calipers. Then as now, the GSR features a unique interior with a yellow/black theme, sport seats, and a leather sport steering wheel. The new GSR is a lot more sophisticated, however. The black- trimmed leather sport seats and high-grip leather steering wheel both have contrasting yellow stitching, for example. Other interior changes include an R-Line dash pad, a GSR shift lever, a leather handbrake lever, and black floormats with contrasting yellow embroidery. A badge on the steering wheel is marked with the special-edition number (1 through 3500) to emphasize the uniqueness of the car. Forty years ago, the Beetle GSR had all of 50 horsepower, enough to give it the requisite performance for a sporty compact of the time. But the modern world demands much more under the hood. The new GSR's 210 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque enable the car to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds and to reach an electronically governed top track speed of 130 mph. Most impressively, the engine delivers peak torque from as low as 1700 rpm, giving smooth, effortless acceleration in all the gears. The GSR is standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but a dual-clutch DSG® six-speed automatic transmission will be an option. Just like its predecessor, only 3500 GSR models will be made-and more than half of those will be sold in the U.S. Since the GSR is based on the Beetle Turbo with Sunroof and Sound model, it comes comprehensively equipped with the Fender® Premium Audio System; a panoramic sunroof; Keyless access with push-button start; Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs; LED license-plate lighting; heatable front seats; Bluetooth® connectivity; a Media Device Interface (MDI) with iPod® cable; three-color ambient lighting; aluminum-alloy pedals; and three auxiliary instruments that include a clock with a stopwatch function and a boost gauge. The Volkswagen Beetle GSR will go on sale in the fall as a 2014 model; pricing will be announced closer to launch.
  13. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 8, 2013 The old cargo van guards are being replaced with a new flock of new commercial vehicles from Europe, like the Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and now Ram. At the Chicago Auto Show, Ram introduced the new 2014 ProMaster. The ProMaster is the North American version of the Fiat Ducato van which means it has a unibody construction with a front-wheel-drive layout. Not quite the recipe you would expect for a commercial van. Chrysler has made numerous changes to the ProMaster to make it more friendly to the North American market. For starters you have the choice of two different engines. The base is Chrysler's 3.6L Pentastar V6 producing 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque that's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. There is also a 3.0L inline-four EcoDiesel producing 174 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque that's paired with a six-speed electronically controlled automated manual gearbox. Under the skin, the ProMaster has re-engineered chassis, a more robust suspension setup, and two-piston Brembo calipers at each wheel. Ram has made sure to make the ProMaster very versatile. To that end, Ram will be offering the ProMaster two roof heights, three wheelbases and four body lengths. You'll also have the choice between cargo, chassis cab, and cutaway body styles. Other versatility tricks the ProMaster has include hinged rear doors open up 260 degrees, cargo space that measures up to 530 cubic feet, tie down rings built into the floor of the cargo area, and the option of dual sliding side doors. Production of the ProMaster will begin in the third quarter. Source: Ram Album: 2014 Ram ProMaster 10 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2014 Ram ProMaster New 2014 Ram ProMaster Expands Ram Commercial Offerings with New Full-size Van Featuring Best-in-class Fuel Economy, Cargo Capacity and Payload • 2014 Ram ProMaster puts Ram Truck back into the expanding, purpose-built, full-size van segment with best-in-class features focused on the commercial customer • New 2014 Ram ProMaster van developed from the successful, long-standing Fiat Ducato: 30-plus years of reliable service and more than 4.5 million units sold • Exceptional cargo capability, durability, a unique front-wheel-drive system and outstanding uptime • Ram ProMaster is a purpose-built, highly customizable van designed to exceed the demands of commercial customers • ProMaster best-in-class features: ♣ Fuel economy ♣ Cargo capacity ♣ Payload ♣ Total cost of ownership ♣ Turning radius ♣ Interior ceiling height ♣ Step-in height • North American debut of world-class, torque-rich 3.0-liter I-4 EcoDiesel promises best-in-class fuel efficiency, robust capability and long service intervals • 280-horsepower output from award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 unmatched among Ram ProMaster competitors • Proven 62TE six-speed automatic transmission enhanced to suit unique ProMaster application • North American-first automated six-speed manual controlled by software that responds to road conditions • Best-in-class powertrain warranty – 5 years/100,000 miles • New Ram ProMaster combines functionality and versatility with modern styling and professional appeal • Ram ProMaster offers more than 35 safety and security features, including six air bags standard and electronic stability control technologies The new 2014 Ram ProMaster is Ram Commercial's latest addition to its popular commercial vehicle lineup. ProMaster takes its place in the expanding, purpose-built, full-size van segment with a number of best-in-class features focused on the commercial customer. Coming from a strong background of commercial vehicles produced by Fiat Professional, the ProMaster is based on the Fiat Ducato, which has been in production for more than 30 years. ProMaster boasts numerous best-in-class features that are appreciated by the hard-working customers of Ram's new van. Best-in-class fuel efficiency, cargo capacity, usability and of course total cost of ownership all combine to deliver a proven solution for businesses and fleets. "As Ram takes a larger presence in the commercial truck market, the 2014 Ram ProMaster is a great addition, contributing to a one-stop shop of commercial-duty Ram trucks and vans," said Fred Diaz, President and CEO - Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, Chrysler Group LLC. "The ProMaster answers to key segment demands with best-in-class features, quality, durability, capability and low total cost of ownership." Ram Truck is tapping into Fiat Professional, one of the largest producers of commercial vehicles in the entire world, offering more than 110 years of experience. That knowledge will help Ram Truck enter new segments and expand its product line. The new 2014 Ram ProMaster is based on the front-wheel-drive Fiat Ducato, which is the most popular full-size van in Europe. The 2013 Ram ProMaster is the Company's first shared truck collaboration with Fiat Professional. The Fiat Ducato is now in its third generation with more than 4.5 million sold worldwide. The Ducato platform offers Ram a proven, award-winning workhorse with an incredible combination of durability, value, efficiency, and capability like no other in its class. Additionally, the ProMaster is the only offering in its competitive set to provide both a chassis cab and cutaway from the factory. Engineered for the North American market Conceived and developed in Italy, Ram's new van also spent quality time proving itself on this side of the Atlantic undergoing extensive, extreme-duty testing to prepare for its North American debut as the Ram ProMaster. Engineering the new ProMaster for the Ram Truck brand required a number of changes for new capabilities, powertrains, environments, duty cycles and customers. Chassis The 2014 ProMaster is available in two roof heights, three wheelbases, and four body lengths. Additionally, the ProMaster offers both a chassis cab and cutaway from the factory. Its unibody frame architecture makes it significantly lighter than the competition. As a result, the ProMaster boasts an impressive best-in-class payload capacity up to 5,145 pounds and a maximum towing capacity up to 5,100 pounds. The gross combined weight rating (GCWR) for the 3.6-liter V-6 is 11,500 pounds and 12,500 pounds for the 3.0-liter I-4 EcoDiesel. A unibody structural has additional advantages, including stability and strength from front to rear, a reinforced plenum area for optimized engine packaging, and "truer" tuning of chassis systems and related hardware when compared to more common body-on-frame applications. Front-wheel drive The unibody system under the cab is an enabler for the ProMaster's segment exclusive front-wheel-drive system. The body-integral construction and multiple configurations allow Ram's new 2014 ProMaster to be up-fitted for virtually every conceivable job. Without rear driveshafts or rear differentials, the proven drive system creates a number of advantages: • Best-in-class fuel economy • Best-in-class cargo capacity • Best-in-class step-in height and lowest load floor • Best-in-class ceiling height • Overall weight reduction and lower maintenance costs Cargo area Thanks to its unique front-drive system, body-integral construction and the multiple of configurations offered, Ram's new 2014 ProMaster can be upfit for virtually every conceivable commercial need. Proportionally, the ProMaster brings a new standard to the large commercial van-based segment. The ProMaster is available in two roof heights, 90 or 101 inches with best-in-class standard roof height and the most vertically oriented side walls in the cargo van category (nearly 90 degrees in relation to the cargo compartment floor). The ProMaster features a standard sliding door on the passenger side with an optional sliding door on the driver's side. The sliding door openings are based on roof height – 49 inch x 60 inch for the low roof model and 49 inch x 70 inch for high roof models. In the rear, an available two-position rear clamshell door swings open up to 260-degrees, folding almost flat to the side of the van. All three door openings enable fork lift pallet loading and unloading, and spaciousness that leads the competitive set. Upfitter friendliness Ram Truck is well known for being the most upfitter-friendly brand in the truck market. The Ram ProMaster continues the tradition and features an integrated cab configuration for unmatched up-fitter/conversion solutions. Adding to the ProMaster's design for adaptability, virtually all primary vehicle systems are packaged forward of the cargo area. Electronic stability control The standard electronic stability control (ESC) system on the new Ram ProMaster is a sophisticated four-channel (independent control to all four corners of the vehicle) active handling system that links the vehicle's dynamic control systems to assist the driver in maintaining control under demanding or adverse conditions such as wet, snow-covered or icy roads, tight turns, and evasive maneuvers. In effect, the ESC determines the driver's intentions and optimizes overall vehicle control to keep the dynamic forces within select limits in any driving situation – nearly transparent so control seems almost intuitive. Powertrain The 2014 Ram ProMaster van's powertrain lineup features the award-winning standard-equipment, gasoline-fueled V-6 and a torque-laden, I-4 EcoDiesel engine. The engines are paired, respectively, with a proven six-speed automatic transmission and an electronically controlled six-speed automated manual. EcoDiesel The 2014 Ram ProMaster marks the North American introduction of the potent 174-horsepower 3.0-liter inline 4-cylinder EcoDiesel engine that generates peak torque of 295 lb.-ft. at just 1,400 rpm. The engine features a number of refinements, including internal engine components, turbo and emission controls. Helping to reduced total cost of ownership, an oil-level sensor contributes to an oil-change schedule of up to 18,500 miles. Pentastar The standard-equipment 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 is rated at 280 horsepower with peak torque of 260 lb.-ft., the dual overhead cam, 24-valve Pentastar delivers the capability required of a commercial van without compromising refinement – hallmarks that have contributed to its ranking among Ward's 10 Best Engines for three years running. Reducing vehicle operating costs was paramount in the minds of the powertrain engineers who contributed to Ram ProMaster's development. Recommended oil-change intervals range up to 10,000 miles. But an intelligent oil-servicing system that monitors vehicle usage will trigger an alert when service is most appropriate. Transmissions The smooth-shifting 62TE automatic transmission is upgraded to accommodate the Ram ProMaster's prodigious weight ratings. Specifically, its 3.86 final-drive ratio enables comfortable grade transit under full freight. The transmission more readily adopts the most appropriate ratio for a given driving situation. The numerically lower overall top gear ratio delivers a more economical highway operation. The trailer/tow program comes standard with 62TE and the new M40 automated manual, which is not only exclusive to the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel, it stands alone in the Ram ProMaster's competitive set. The unique M40 gearbox delivers the efficiency of a manual transmission with the functionality of an automatic. At its core, it is a manual, but gear shifts and clutch functions are accomplished with electro-hydraulic actuation system. However, the driver can opt for manual shift-lever inputs when desired. But the driver needn't do all the work. Gearbox software delivers a unique response to driving conditions. Shift logic is adjusted according to grade steepness. The result is a well-connected driving experience that delivers the fuel economy required of a commercial van such as the Ram ProMaster. Design The Ram design team started with a functional exterior and interior, adding distinct Ram styling while adapting the new full-size van for North America. Exterior The front of the new ProMaster is identified by visually durable bodylines, a broad wraparound bumper and twin-reflector headlamp clusters. True to the Ram Truck brand, the ProMaster leads with a bold, hexagon-shaped crosshair grille, featuring the Ram's head logo proudly displayed as the focal point of the crosshair. The cab-forward, short dash to front axle design pushes the nose inward and the headlamps upward. This design provides higher passenger seating positions and better visibility – obviously important for commercial users – thanks to a more confident vantage point from which to operate the vehicle. The front bumper is a three-piece styled modular design, resulting in reduced repair costs and downtime. Durable front-wheel arches are styled with the bumper to protect the doors. A unique step is designed into both front bumper corners, making it easy to clean the windscreen from either side. The new full-size van features plenty of real estate on all four sides. This space allows for businesses to post signage and graphics, making the van a rolling billboard to help promote the owner, trade or vocation. Interior The functional and innovative features continue inside the Ram ProMaster. Although much was borrowed from the Fiat version, Ram designers made alterations for U.S. customers. Interior design and function is of primary importance for a light commercial vehicle in which the driver normally spends long hours at the wheel, often under demanding conditions. The cabin of the ProMaster was therefore designed with comfortable driving ergonomics, important because the ProMaster is a place of work. Because goods always need to be transported in total safety, the new Ram ProMaster van is fitted with accommodations to hold down goods on the floor. Up to 17 tie-down rings with 1,000-lb. rating fold away to maintain a flat floor, easing loading and unloading operations. Available partitions also offer passengers excellent protection against the possibility of load shift the cabin. Safety Safety and security were two of the guiding principles followed by engineers throughout the development of the new 2014 Ram ProMaster van. Ram's new full-size van offers more than 35 active and passive safety and security features. The ProMaster also includes standard ESC, hosting a number of technologies such as trailer-sway control. Security also means notification of the traffic around you. Ram ProMaster features ParkView backup camera and ParkSense with audible warning, all of which are useful when maneuvering a large van. Uconnect ProMaster customers can make the best use of their valuable time by leveraging Uconnect's easy-to-learn, easy-to-use interface – acclaimed for its convenience and sensible design. Handsfree calling in the all-new 2014 Ram ProMaster is made convenient via reliable Bluetooth technology. Similarly, the truck's handsfree text-reply feature enables customers to quickly deliver messages. A full-color, five-inch touchscreen is available with global positioning satellite (GPS) navigation, providing Ram ProMaster customers the ability to chart time-saving routes to their destinations. Uconnect Web, powered by Autonet Mobile, is available to U.S. customers. This system delivers continuous Internet connectivity, creating an efficient workspace and real-time information access on the go. Best practices In total, the Ram ProMaster test fleet accumulated millions of miles enabling Ram and Fiat teams access to real-world data. This includes testing done in laboratories in Turin, Italy and Auburn Hills, Mich., at Fiat and Chrysler Group proving grounds, as well as reliability testing on public roads in many different climates in Europe and the United States. The 3/36 Reliability Testing, appropriately named as each test car accumulates 36,000 miles (equivalent to three years of use) in about three months, is conducted day and night by teams of drivers. To reflect typical daily driver scenarios, the test drivers do not originate from the engineering ranks and are intentionally chosen from diverse backgrounds to represent customers of different ages, sizes and ethnicities. The test drivers scrutinize all the customer functional aspects of each vehicle as well as overall driving evaluations. This includes radio and navigation system checks, seat-belt buckling, heating and ventilation operation and opening and closing storage compartments and windows. Configurations The 2014 Ram ProMaster offers 13 different configurations: ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van 118-inch wheelbase low roof ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van 136-inch wheelbase low roof ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van 136-inch wheelbase high roof ProMaster 2500 Cargo Van 136-inch wheelbase high roof ProMaster 2500 Cargo Van 159-inch wheelbase high roof ProMaster 3500 Cargo Van 159-inch wheelbase high roof ProMaster 3500 Cargo Van 159-inch wheelbase high roof extended body ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab 136-inch wheelbase ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab 159-inch wheelbase ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab 159-inch wheelbase extended body ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab Cutaway 136-inch wheelbase ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab Cutaway 159-inch wheelbase ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab Cutaway 159-inch wheelbase extended frame ProMaster competitors are: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Transit, Ford Econoline, Chevrolet Express, GMC Savanna and Nissan NV Cargo. Manufacturing Start of production for the 2014 Ram ProMaster is scheduled for third quarter of 2013. All configurations will be produced at the Saltillo Van Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico.
  14. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 7, 2013 For the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Nissan decided to show their performance wares. 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO First up is the 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO which features many modifications to give it more oomph. The exterior is more aerodynamic than the standard Juke and features red painted exterior rearview mirrors, smoked headlights, eighteen-inch aluminum alloy wheels, and blacked out B-Pillars. Under the skin, the 1.6L DOHC turbocharged four-cylinder engine has been reworked to increase horsepower and torque to 197 and 184. The suspension has been lowered to improve aerodynamics and tweaked to improve traction. A six-speed manual is available on front-wheel models while all-wheel drive models get a continuously variable transmission. Stepping inside the Juke NISMO, Nissan has fitted new seats that offers more lateral support and a alcantara steering wheel. Interested? You can pickup a Juke NISMO at your local Nissan dealer in March. 2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO Next up is the 2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO which still retains a 350 horsepower 3.7L V6 and six-speed manual. Other performance tweaks include a more aerodynamic front fascia and rear spoiler, nineteen-inch wheels with a sport suspension and a strut tower brace. The exterior gets new gray accents and red striping on the front and rear fascias, lower side sills, side mirrors and rear spoiler. Inside the 370Z NISMO, there is a Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and a new red Nismo tachometer. The 370Z NISMO arrives in the summer. 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition Rounding out the performance showings at the Chicago was the 2014 GT-R Track Edition. The Track Edition integrates a specially tuned suspension that features Bilstein DampTronic gas pressure shocks and higher spring rates, unique brake cooling system, a front spoiler with carbon-fiber air ducts, carbon-fiber rear spoiler, and new fuel injectors. The GT-R Track Edition's interior features blue-trimmed, high-grip leather and fabric front seats. The back seats found in other GT-R's has been removed and in its place is a lightweight quilted cloth mat. Only 150 GT-R Track Edition will be coming to the states and will be available in May. Album: 2013 Nissan Juke Nismo 6 images 0 comments Album: 2014 Nissan 370Z Nismo 5 images 0 comments Album: 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition 8 images 0 comments Album: Nissan's NISMO Showing At The 2013 Chicago Auto Show 8 images 0 comments Press Releases are on Pages 2, 3, 4 2013 JUKE NISMO OFFERS UNIQUE STYLE, ATTAINABLE PERFORMANCE BORN FROM MOTORSPORTS – Nissan Expands NISMO Line-up in the United States with Addition of New JUKE NISMO – • Kicks off new strategy to expand NISMO's presence in key markets • Race-inspired exterior provides enhanced aerodynamic performance • NISMO-tuned suspension, steering and transmission help deliver engaging driving dynamics • Fourth model in popular Nissan JUKE line-up, available in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive NISMO, its vision and name derived from NISsan MOtorsports, is embarking on an aggressive journey to expand its presence beyond the racetrack in key markets around the world. Already a legendary brand among professional and grassroots racers, as well as performance enthusiasts everywhere, NISMO now is applying its near-50 years of engineering experience and expertise to an expanding range of affordable production vehicles such as the new 2013 JUKE NISMO model. The new JUKE NISMO, with its track-derived design, enhanced performance and engaging handling, gives JUKE buyers a distinct choice among the affordable S, well-equipped SV and premium SL grades of the popular crossover. Two configurations – front-wheel drive with a 6-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive with sport-tuned Xtronic CVT® – are available. Pierre Loing, Vice President, Product and Advanced Planning and Strategy, Nissan North America, Inc. said: "NISMO's unique motorsports DNA adds a new dimension to the pioneering JUKE's long list of attributes. With nearly 100 separate performance, exterior and interior modifications and solid functionality behind every element, JUKE NISMO adds a whole new dimension of sporty style and driving exhilaration – all within reach of performance buyers' budgets." Ultimate Sports Styling Far from being purely cosmetic, the modifications to the JUKE exterior are designed to enhance the JUKE NISMO's aerodynamics, resulting in a 37-percent improvement in downforce (versus non-NISMO models). Many of the aggressive sports-cross styling elements were influenced by NISMO's motorsport expertise, in particular using lessons learned from the styling and engineering of the Nissan GT-R racers that compete in the Super GT series in Japan. Compared to the standard Nissan JUKE, the most obvious visual change is to the front fascia and grille, which have been modified to better control airflow to the engine. The new front end features a lower and more aggressive design. JUKE's familiar integrated fog lights have been replaced by thin-strip LED accent lights, positioned at the top edge of new small vents to the side of the larger grille. On front-wheel drive versions these are blanked, but on all-wheel drive models the left-hand side vent allows air into the engine bay for the CVT oil cooler and the right-hand vent is styled to match. The prominent upper edge of the large lower grille features a red pinstripe, which drops dramatically to curve around the smaller vents and continues all the way to the front wheel arches. This distinctive NISMO cue gives the nose a visual width and presence while emphasising the Juke NISMO's athletic stance on the road. The signature Nissan V-strut grille is finished in a darker shade than other JUKE models. To the right of the grille is a NISMO badge with a red "O," stamping NISMO's distinctive motorsport heritage on JUKE for first time. The distinctive JUKE combination lights are smoked as part of the NISMO appearance treatment. The red pinstripe continues on the flanks of the car at the base of the doors. The sculpted side skirts have been reworked to enhance aerodynamic performance, directing airflow around the rear wheels and away from the car as quickly and efficiently as possible. To increase the JUKE NISMO's visual stance, the wheel arches are more muscular and are now finished entirely in the body color to give a truly premium feel. The door mirrors have been painted red to give a visual indication to the casual observer that this is not a standard Nissan JUKE. The B-pillars are now finished in gloss "piano black," also promoting a sleek and sporty image. In the rear, the bumper is deeper than on non-NISMO models and the red pinstripe is also visible on the black sill. A redesigned body-colored liftgate spoiler and rear fascia diffuser complete the body modifications. Also part of the stunning JUKE NISMO exterior appearance are the new 18-inch lightweight aluminum-alloy wheels with 225/45R18 Continental ContiSportContact5 summer tires, which help give drivers additional grip during cornering and further boost the JUKE NISMO's on-road presence. One inch larger than the standard JUKE wheels, the diamond-cut alloys feature a 10 twin-spoke design and are finished in dark anthracite. The 2013 Nissan JUKE NISMO is available in three exterior colors – Sapphire Black, Brilliant Silver and Pearl White. All come equipped with red outside door mirrors and the matching pinstripe around base of the vehicle. Sporty Interior Styling Focused on the Driver NISMO's core belief is that everything should be focused on the driver. It's about enhancing their experience, pure and simple. So the JUKE NISMO's seats, instrumentation, steering wheel, gear knob, pedals and door trims have all been redesigned to boost driver enjoyment by creating a more performance-oriented environment. The front seats have been redesigned to offer additional lateral support. Trimmed in suede, they sport vibrant red stitching – picking up the detail introduced by the red bodywork pinstripe. Red is also used as a background to the tachometer and also appears on the steering wheel stitching, which is finished in Alcantara and leather. The tactile steering wheel now includes a red marker to indicate "top dead center," another feature derived directly from racing. The rear seats also feature red stitching. Dark Smoke coloring is used throughout the interior to help allow the driver to focus entirely on the elements that are most important – the gauges, switchgear and controls. Consequently the headliner is black (no moonroof is available with the JUKE NISMO) and there is a gloss "piano black" finish around the ventilation and audio controls. There is also new smoked grey trim around the gear selector. In the footwell, the standard black rubber pedals have been upgraded to a metallic finish, and there is a NISMO badge visible on the dead pedal. The NISMO logo has also been precision-stitched into the seatbacks. Other standard content includes privacy glass, Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Start and the I-CON (Integrated Control) system with automatic air conditioning. Revised Powertrain for Improved Dynamics NISMO's spirit of innovation and determination, born on the racetrack in 1984, remains at the heart of the performance brand today. This DNA has been injected into the JUKE NISMO in the form of a reworked version of Nissan's advanced inline 4-cylinder 1.6-liter DOHC aluminium-alloy Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) turbocharged engine. Direct injection helps improve combustion, enhancing power, torque, economy and emissions. The use of the turbocharger and intercooler also help boost power, while the variable timing control for both intake and exhaust cycles improves low-end engine response. For use in the JUKE NISMO, both power and torque have been increased without compromising emissions and efficiency. The JUKE NISMO is rated at 197 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, versus the standard JUKE's 188-horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. The front-wheel drive JUKE NISMO is equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, while the all-wheel drive version comes with a sport-tuned version of Nissan's advanced Xtronic CVT® (Continuously Variable Transmission) with manual mode. Fuel economy is rated at 27 mpg City (est.) and 32 mpg Highway (est.) for JUKE NISMO FWD (6MT) model and 25 mpg City (est.) and 30 mpg Highway (est.) for JUKE NISMO AWD (CVT). Improved engine performance is only one element of Juke NISMO's dynamic enhancements. The suspension settings have been completely revised, leading to greater traction and improved body response and roll control. The suspension has also been lowered slightly versus non-NISMO JUKE settings, reducing the gap between the tires and wheelwells for a cleaner appearance and improved aerodynamics. An independent MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension is utilized on FWD models, while JUKE NISMO AWD model offers a multi-link rear suspension design. A cradle-type front subframe enhances lateral stiffness of the assembly. Front and rear stabilizer bars are standard on all models. The JUKE NISMO's vehicle-speed-sensing electric power-assisted steering has been reworked for sportier and more direct handling. Thanks to increased resistance at the wheel, more feedback is evident at medium and high speeds. Braking is supplied by power-assisted 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. Advanced Torque Vectoring AWD The JUKE NISMO's advanced torque vectoring AWD system – standard in all 2013 JUKE AWD models – offers performance technology often reserved for premium vehicles. The torque vectoring system is designed to limit understeer by increasing torque to the outside rear wheel, helping the car follow its intended course. It also enhances agility, giving the JUKE NISMO exceptional ride comfort and handling in spite of its higher ground clearance when compared to other compact cars. As well as splitting torque front to rear – up to a maximum of 50:50 – the torque can also be shifted from side-to-side across the rear axle. In total, up to 50 percent of the total available engine torque can be sent to either rear wheel. Information collected by various sources (measuring wheel speed, steering angle, yaw rate and lateral G-force) is interpreted to anticipate the driver's intention. System actions are relayed to the driver via a real-time graphic display on the instrument panel depicting the torque distribution under all conditions. Both FWD and AWD JUKE NISMO models include another example of advanced Nissan technology – the innovative Integrated Control (I-CON) system that combines control of the automatic A/C and the three-mode drive selector – Normal for everyday driving; Sport for a more intense performance feel; and Eco for maximum efficiency – adjusting throttle, transmission (CVT) and steering feel. The centrally mounted I-CON digital screen changes display, color and functions depending on the mode selected by the driver. Settings alter throttle maps, steering effort and CVT shift schedules on the AWD models. In the D-Mode Sport setting, the throttle map is retuned to deliver higher engine revs and sharper responses, while in the Eco setting, engine revs are reduced for more gentle progress. In the M-CVT version (AWD only), the Sport setting even introduces a "rhythmic" auto upshift that simulates manual gear changes at redline. In addition, steering effort in Sport is firmer and more responsive, while in Normal it's lighter and more linear. In the Eco setting, the quantity of cold air circulating in the cabin is optimized, reducing the load on the climate control and lowering the system's power consumption. Real time trip information can also be displayed giving average speed, fuel economy, journey times and engine torque and turbo boost as well as a daily fuel consumption history. The I-CON system even incorporates a G-Force indicator. Said Loing: "For a vehicle of its compact size and attainable price, JUKE NISMO packs a huge amount of advanced performance technology." A Range of Available Features and Amenities The 2013 JUKE NISMO is offered with a range of features that add a level of convenience equal to its sporty style, including an available Nissan Navigation System with 5-inch color touch screen display and NavTraffic capability (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Rockford Fosgate ecoPUNCH™ audio system, USB interface (iPod® compatible) and RearView Monitor. Standard features include dual front and rear beverage holders, speed-sensitive automatic door locks, storage under the rear cargo floor (FWD models only), Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Interface System for iPod®, and AM/FM/CD audio system with steering wheel controls. In the rear, a fold-down 60/40-split bench seat and flat load floor provide passenger and cargo hauling flexibility. Every JUKE NISMO comes equipped with the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage, dual-threshold front air bags and seat belt and occupant classification sensors, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for front and rear outboard occupant head protection, seat-mounted driver and front passenger side-impact supplemental air bags and front-seat Active Head Restraints. Other standard equipment includes LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system, Nissan Vehicle Immobilizer System, Vehicle Security System (VSS), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS). Said Loing: "The JUKE NISMO combines distinctive style, advanced technology and a fun-to-drive factor that is unlike anything in the segment – all at an attainable price. It optimizes the already innovative JUKE design, re-engineering it to NISMO standards and sets the stage for future NISMO-branded models to come." 2014 model previewed at the Chicago Auto Show Features new exterior color with dark grey accents and red stripes Continues to offer 350-horsepower 3.7-liter V6, close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission, sport-tuned suspension and brakes and 19-inch forged aluminum-alloy wheels Joins new JUKE NISMO in Nissan showrooms this summer In conjunction with the U.S. debut of the new 2013 Nissan JUKE NISMO – and the ongoing expansion of the NISMO brand worldwide – Nissan is giving attendees at the Chicago Auto Show a preview of the 2014 370Z NISMO. Set to go on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide this summer, the 370Z NISMO follows the new NISMO design theme with distinctive new exterior and interior accents. Pierre Loing, Vice President, Product and Advanced Planning and Strategy, Nissan Americas said: "The 370Z NISMO, since its introduction as part of the original Nissan 350Z lineup, has embodied the spirit of NISMO – race-proven engineering that is attainable. With the enhancements for the 2014 model year and the addition of the new JUKE NISMO, we're unifying the look and feel of these distinctive NISMO models and paving the way for additional NISMO vehicles to follow." With the current 370Z NISMO setting the bar as a tuner-Z® enthusiast's dream straight from the factory and fully warranted – offering 350 horsepower, racing-inspired exterior and interior styling, a specially tuned suspension and unique super-lightweight forged alloy wheels – the enhancements for 2014 are designed to up the car's already strong visual impact. On the exterior, new dark gray coloring is added to the front and rear fascias, lower side sills, side mirrors and NISMO rear spoiler, with each element (except side sills) featuring NISMO-style red pinstripe accents. In addition, Solid Red replaces the previous Magma Red as one of four 370Z NISMO exterior color choices. Interior enhancements include the addition of a new steering wheel with Alcantara appointments and red accents, and a red NISMO tachometer. The 370Z NISMO's outstanding performance is anchored by an advanced Nissan FM (Front Midship) platform, refined 4-wheel independent suspension and 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL) rated at 350 hp @ 7,400 rpm and 276 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm. The VVEL system helps optimize intake valve open/close movements, allowing the needed air to be sent promptly to the combustion chamber at the precisely optimized time. The 370Z NISMO's enhanced engine power and acceleration (versus non-NISMO 370Zs) is provided through use of an exclusive H-configured exhaust system design and muffler tuning, along with optimized ECM (Engine Control Module) calibration. Just one transmission is offered, a close-ratio 6-speed manual with Nissan's SynchroRev Match® synchronized downshift rev matching system. The SynchroRev Match® function automatically controls and adjusts engine speed when shifting to the speed of the next gear position, essentially "blipping" the throttle to smooth out any up/down shifts. This not only allows the driver to focus more on braking and steering, it improves the smoothness of gear shifts by reducing the typical "shock" when the clutch is engaged. The system can be deactivated with a button next to the shifter for drivers who prefer to shift on their own. The 370Z NISMO also features a tight, rigid body structure with a strut tower bar brace and a pair of performance dampers, which quickly and efficiently react to help control body vibrations from road input via the tires, contributing to the 370Z NISMO's outstanding handling and performance feel. The 370Z NISMO's double-wishbone front/4-link rear suspension design suspension is specially tuned for exceptional handling, including higher spring and stabilizer bar rates and increased roll stiffness and front and rear damping factors (compared to non-NISMO models). The 2014 370Z NISMO rides on unique 5-spoke Nissan-branded 19-inch RAYS forged aluminum-alloy wheels (19x9.5-inch front, 19x10.5-inch rear) with a Gun Metallic finish. The wheels are mounted with Bridgestone Potenza S001 Y-rated high-performance tires (245/40ZR19 front, 285/35ZR19 rear). Braking is provided by NISMO Sport Brakes with large diameter 14.0-inch front and 13.8-inch rear vented rotors with 4-piston front and 2-¬piston rear aluminum calipers. The braking system includes a variable ratio brake pedal, high-rigidity brake hoses, R35 Special II fluid and red-finish calipers. Along with the new color treatments, the 2014 370Z NISMO exterior includes an extended front nose design and a fully integrated chin spoiler – providing a sense of dynamic movement while enhancing airflow and downforce for enhanced aerodynamic performance. The 370Z NISMO is 6.2 inches longer than the standard 370Z Coupe. Special side sills and a unique rear bumper help control airflow under the vehicle, while the functional rear spoiler increases downforce. Four exterior colors are offered: Pearl White, Magnetic Black, Gun Metallic and Solid Red. Inside, the 370Z NISMO's driver-centric interior includes NISMO logo seats with black and red fabric and red stitching, a NISMO tachometer, steering wheel with Alcantara wrap and red parallel stitching, smooth leather-wrapped shift knob and aluminum-trimmed pedals. A special serialized plaque of authenticity, located on the vertical panel above the floor-mounted console, is matched to each 370Z NISMO identifying its unique serial and model year designation. The sporty woven cloth seats feature standard 8-way driver's/4-way passenger manual adjustments and adjustable front seat Active Head Restraints. Standard interior comfort and convenience features include Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Start, power windows with one-touch auto up/down feature, power door locks with auto-lock feature and automatic climate control. An AM/FM/CD/AUX 4-speaker audio system is standard. Also available is a Bose® Package featuring an in-dash 6CD changer, two additional speakers (six total), two subwoofers, Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System, auto-dimming inside mirror and HomeLink® Universal Transceiver. There are no other options offered. Said Loing: "The great thing about the 370Z NISMO, like the JUKE NISMO, is that there is solid functionality behind every element – race-inspired but ready for the street – and with pure NISMO style." Along with the 370Z NISMO, the Nissan 370Z is available in 370Z Coupe and 370Z Roadster models. 2014 NISSAN GT-R ADDS NEW "TRACK EDITION" TO U.S. LINEUP; EXCLUSIVE TWO-SEAT SUPERCAR'S SALES BEGIN IN MAY • New Track Edition joins Premium and Black Edition models, allowing buyers to further specify their GT-R performance and equipment levels • Specialized Track Edition suspension developed at famed Nürburgring Circuit by GT-R development driver Toshio Suzuki • Driver-oriented interior features high-grip seating surfaces, deletion of rear seat • Body features include front spoiler with carbon fiber air ducts, brake cooling air guides The new Nissan GT-R Track Edition, which makes its U.S. debut at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, is the third and most exclusive model in the 2014 GT-R lineup. Designed to take Nissan's legendary 545-horsepower street supercar even closer to a pure motorsports competition machine, it features a specially tuned suspension, special brake cooling guides, front spoiler with carbon fiber air ducts and a lightweight quilted cloth mat where the rear seats usually reside. It is set to go on sale at select GT-R certified Nissan dealerships nationwide beginning in May 2013. Production will be limited to 150 cars for the U.S. market. Said Pierre Loing, Vice President, Product and Advanced Planning and Strategy, Nissan Americas: "The concept behind the GT-R Track Edition is to enable drivers who enjoy even more demanding high-performance driving than the GT-R Premium and Black Edition models' extreme performance, the chance to come closer to a competition spec vehicle – no back seat, stiffer suspension, higher grip seats, additional brake cooling – the works." Changes to the GT-R's sophisticated 4-wheel independent suspension for the Track Edition include specialized Bilstein DampTronic gas pressure shock absorbers and higher spring rates. Much of the 2014 GT-R's suspension development took place on the Nürburgring, one of the world's most challenging racing circuits, where the Track Edition damping force and handling benchmarks were further refined by GT-R development driver Toshio Suzuki. The Track Edition's air guides for the front and rear brakes were also refined through rigorous track testing. The Track Edition's performance enhancements are added to a significant number of upgrades to the GT-R for the 2014 model year, ranging from the adoption of new fuel injectors for enhanced torque response in the 4,500 – 6,000 rpm range and improved throttle and acceleration feel at mid- and high-rpm ranges, to the addition of an oil pan baffle to stabilize oil turbulence and oil pressure under high performance driving conditions. An aluminum nameplate is now added to each hand-assembled engine bearing the name of the specially trained "Takumi" craftsman who built that individual engine. In addition to developing 545 horsepower, the GT-R's standard VR38DETT V6 produces 463 lb-ft of torque. The engine is backed by an advanced paddle-shifted sequential 6-speed dual clutch transmission, which can be driver selected to shift at race car-like speeds (0.15 seconds). The sequential-shifting transaxle features separate wet clutches for the odd (1,3,5) and even (2,4,6) gears and pre-selects the next highest and next lowest gear for quick shifts. It also features Hill Start Assist for easy starts on uphill inclines. High performance differential oil, used in GT-R motorsports competition, is standard. The Nissan GT-R's unique Premium Midship platform, created expressly for use with the GT-R, enables the use of a world's first independent rear transaxle ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system, which optimizes weight distribution and handling capability. The rear drive-biased system can vary torque split from 0:100 to 50:50 depending on speed, lateral acceleration, steering angles, tire slip, road surface and yaw rate. In the interior, the new GT-R Track Edition includes special blue-trimmed high-grip front seats that use a special leather and fabric appointments. And, like all 2014 GT-Rs, the Track Edition's interior offers a cockpit-style instrument panel with a large center-mounted tachometer, a large metallic-framed center console with ergonomically designed shift lever, a red "engine start" button and carbon fiber interior trim. The centerpiece of the instrument panel is a video game-inspired multi-function display with 11 pages of available information, including mechanical and driving information, acceleration, brake pedal pressure, steering angle and a recording function with playback. Additional on-screen information includes a Navigation system and Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System. The navigation system includes NavTraffic Real-Time Traffic Information and NavWeather capabilities (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately). All 2014 GT-R models include a specially designed 11-speaker Bose® audio system that features two forward-facing woofers in the rear center armrest area. Rigid aluminum die cast panel-mounting of all speakers allowed Bose® engineers to perfect the acoustical performance of the GT-R sound system. Streaming Audio via Bluetooth® is also standard. Finishing off the GT-R Track Edition's special features are a handmade, lightweight dry carbon fiber rear spoiler and special metallic black six-spoke RAYS® forged lightweight wheels mounted with Dunlop® SP Sport Maxx GT 600 DSST CTT ultra high performance run-flat nitrogen-filled tires. (Both the wheels and spoiler are also offered on the Black Edition.) The rear spoiler's lightweight GT-R specific dry carbon fiber material* is also incredibly strong, contributing to increased aerodynamic downforce. The GT-R Track Edition is offered in five exterior colors: Deep Blue Pearl, Jet Black, Solid Red, Gun Metallic and Pearl White. Concluded Loing: "The new Track Edition sends the message that when it come to Nissan GT-R performance, there is no endpoint. We will continue to push its development and keep the competition in the rearview mirror. The legend continues." *Dry carbon fiber requires specific maintenance. Please see Owner's Manual for details.
  15. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 7, 2013 The 2012 L.A. Auto Show brought forth the new 2014 Kia Forte sedan. At the the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Kia introduced the 2014 Kia Forte 5-Door. The 5-Door comes with some different styling changes (besides the hatchback shape) which include a smaller tiger-nose grille, larger lower intake, LED taillights, and dual exhaust outlets. Inside, the Forte 5-Door gets the same standard features of the Forte sedan such as Kia's UVO infotainment system with rear camera display, Bluetooth, satellite radio, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter. Under the hood of the Forte 5-Door comes, the base EX model uses a 2.0L direct-injected four, producing 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. The SX model uses a 1.6L turbocharged engine 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet. The 1.6L can equipped with a six-speed manual or automatic. While the 2014 Forte sedan arrives at Kia dealers later this month, the 5-Door version arrives later this summer. Source: Kia Album: 2014 Kia Forte 5-Door 8 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 KIA MOTORS AMERICA UNVEILS ALL-NEW FORTE 5-DOOR AT 2013 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW 201-HP Turbocharged Four-Cylinder Engine is First for Forte 5-Door SX Lower, longer and wider, the all-new Forte 5-door combines European style with the practicality of a hatchback Forte 5-door is expected to go on sale in the third quarter of 2013 CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2013 – Kia Motors America (KMA) ignited the 2013 Chicago Auto Show when the all-new, ultra-hot Forte 5-door rolled on-stage today. The all-new Forte 5-door SX’s eye-catching European-inspired hatchback design is complimented by an all-new 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injected (GDI) turbocharged four-cylinder engine putting out 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque, making the all-new Forte 5-door SX the most powerful Forte from KMA to date. The Forte 5-door is expected to go on sale in the third quarter of 2013, and pricing will be announced closer to launch. “We received very positive feedback after the all-new Forte sedan made its debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, and we expect the all-new Forte 5-door will build upon that success,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, KMA. “The combination of a useful hatchback for carrying cargo and the sportiness of the turbocharged SX trim make the all-new Forte 5-door a dual threat in the segment.” Presented in two trim levels, EX and SX, with two distinct engine choices, the Forte 5-door will offer customers Kia’s long list of premium amenities and features not normally found in the compact segment. Under the hood, the Forte 5-door packs a punch, with the EX’s 2.0-liter GDI four-cylinder engine putting out a healthy 173 horsepower and 154 lb.-ft. of torque through a 6-speed automatic transmission. The performance-oriented SX comes standard with the hard-charging 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder, a first for the Forte line. The SX also offers buyers the chance to pick their own gears with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, or they may opt for the 6-speed automatic featuring steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Standard Features and Technology Take Value to New Levels of Sophistication Carrying on Kia’s reputation of offering tremendous value, the all-new Forte 5-door offers buyers an impressive allotment of technology and safety features. The base EX comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, UVO eServices with rear camera display1, Bluetooth®2 wireless technology, SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio3, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise control buttons, FlexSteer™, tilt and telescoping steering column, power windows, and LED positioning headlights with fog lights. The SX trim ups the ante with standard 18-inch alloy wheels, dual chrome exhaust tips, and LED tail lights. Forte 5-door SX also offers an aggressive front fascia with larger bumper and grille openings, black gloss grille inserts, larger front brakes, alloy sport pedals, front and rear seats with carbon fiber-style accents. The lower front fascia and rear valance also feature carbon fiber-look trim pieces. Additionally, both EX and SX trim levels offer optional HID headlights, navigation system with HD Radio™4, sunroof, heated steering wheel,10-way adjustable power driver’s seat, heated front seats and cooled driver’s seat, heated rear outboard seats, leather seating surfaces, SmartKey with push-button start, electric chromatic rearview mirror and dual-zone automatic climate control. Stunning European Design Language Born from the Kia design studio in Seoul and overseen by Kia’s global chief of design, Peter Schreyer, the Forte 5-door’s sophisticated hatchback profile, large wheels and aggressive posture give it a distinctly European appearance that speaks to its performance intentions. The chiseled body commands attention and continues Kia’s tradition as a design leader in the industry. Like its Forte sedan counterpart, the Forte 5-door’s swept headlights stretch deep into the front fenders and the raked windshield and broad shoulders give the front end a sleek, sporty appearance. LED positioning lights add a premium look to the front fascia. Moving around the vehicle, the large 18-inch wheels fill the wheel wells on the SX, and the hatchback profile affords a performance-oriented European personality. Around back, the rear hatch glass opens to reveal 23.2 cubic feet of usable cargo space. LED tail lights complete the premium feel of the exterior and a sporty rear valance with twin chrome exhaust tips maintains the Forte 5-door’s edgy demeanor. Sporty Cabin with Premium Features Inside, the Forte 5-door features premium materials and soft touch points. Large, easy-to-read white-on-black gauges nestle deeply into the instrument cluster. Chrome accents around the HVAC controls and optional push-button start, along with carbon fiber-like textures on the dash and seats, add a sporty touch. A grippy leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are further evidence of the Forte 5-door’s performance aspirations. Class-exclusive available features such as front and rear heated outboard seats, an air-cooled driver’s seat and driver-selectable electric steering further set the Forte 5-door apart from its competition. Thrilling Driving Experience The Forte 5-door SX is the most powerful Forte built by Kia to date, utilizing a 1.6-liter GDI turbocharged four-cylinder that help improve performance. Power is seamlessly transferred to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The GDI powerplant produces 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,750-4,500 rpm. The advanced powertrain features double overhead cams with dual continuously variable valve timing to help improve efficiency and performance. The Forte 5-door EX comes standard with a 2.0-liter GDI powerplant producing 173 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 154 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm. During durability testing, the engines are run 300 continuous hours at redline under full load then for an additional 20 hours at 10 percent above redline under full load. To help further improve performance, the Forte 5-door features a sport-tuned suspension with a McPherson strut setup in front and a multilink rear design. The Forte 5-door rides on standard 205/55R-16 tires while 225/40R-18 tires are included with the SX trim for an even more sporting driving experience.
  16. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 7, 2013 Kia pulled the wraps off a very unique and luxurious concept called the Cross GT at the Chicago Auto Show today. The Cross GT could hint at what a luxury crossover could come from Kia. The Cross GT's design has some elements of the GT Concept shown at 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The crossover has a a long wheelbase, short overhangs and a wide stance. The back doors open up suicide-style, which offers better access to the back seat. On the roof, Kia designers placed hexagonal skylights. Inside the Cross GT, Kia used Reclaimed walnut wood trim on the dash, leather seats, a buttonless, touch-screen infotainment system up front, and flat screen monitors with Internet access for rear seat passengers. Powering the Cross GT concept is a 3.8L V6 paired to Kia's hybrid system that provides a combined output of 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. That is hooked up to a eight-speed automatic and a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. While its just a concept for now, expect to see certain elements of the Cross GT to make it into Kia's future models. Source: Kia Album: Kia Cross GT Concept 6 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 KIA UNVEILS STUNNING NEW CROSS GT CONCEPT CUV AT 2013 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW Combining the Beauty and Elegance of the GT Concept with the Functionality of a Crossover Inspired by the power of nature while pushing the boundaries of technology Cross GT takes Kia design in a bold new direction that hints at the future of the brand’s premium aesthetic in a larger package CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2013 – Blurring the line between Kia’s gorgeous GT concept and a luxury CUV, Kia Motors America (KMA) today slipped the silk off the beautiful Cross GT concept at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. Amid the popping strobes of cameras, the Cross GT stunned onlookers with its elegant yet powerful stance, confirming once again Kia’s now-well-established reputation for world-class design. The Cross GT seamlessly melds high technology with nature, creating a harmonious partnership between driver and vehicle that also respects our global environment. Purely conceptual, the Cross GT reveals Kia’s intentions to potentially offer a larger premium CUV than the current Sorento. “The debut of the GT in 2011 heralded a new frontier for Kia, both from a design and a business perspective,” noted Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors Corporation president and global chief of design. “It beautifully illustrated to the world that the brand was ready to explore the possibility of perhaps one day offering a full-size rear-drive luxury saloon. The Cross GT, with its raised stance and large cargo area, allows us to envision the GT in the form of a full-size luxury crossover.” While the GT’s lines were penned in Frankfurt, Germany, the Cross GT hails from Kia Design Center America (KDCA) in Irvine, Calif., the house that breathed life into the Track’ster, KV7 and Soul’ster concepts, and most recently the all-new production 2014 Forte sedan. Based on the GT chassis, the Cross GT’s proportions are similar to its rear-drive stablemate with short overhangs, a long wheelbase and an aggressively wide posture. But the Cross GT offers even greater visibility thanks to its taller stature and features all-wheel drive for improved performance and all-weather capability. Drawing inspiration from nature, driven by technology and bathed in gorgeous Fusion Copper, the Cross GT is powered by an efficient hybrid powertrain that looks to reduce the vehicle’s carbon footprint while providing the uncompromising performance that’s expected of a large, luxury crossover. Utilizing a state-of-the-art 3.8-liter V6 hybrid, 8-speed automatic and torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive, the Cross-GT’s powertrain matches the sophistication of the exterior and interior designs. Backing the V6 is an evolution of Kia’s parallel hybrid system, a pancake-shaped electric motor sandwiched between the V6 and transmission. The electric motor is neatly packaged under the rear floor. Combined, the V6 and electric motor produce 500 lb.-ft. of torque and 400 horsepower, with an all-electric range of 20-miles - sufficient to enable exhilarating performance, while delivering superior fuel economy and fuel efficiency. While strictly a concept powertrain, Kia’s proven hybrid technology, combined with all-wheel drive are thought-provoking ideas that may one day find their way into a production vehicle. While clearly a member of the same bloodline as the award-winning Sorento, the Cross GT cuts an even more imposing figure. At 122.0 inches, the Cross GT’s wheelbase is longer than Sorento’s by 15.7 inches, and its overall length of 192.8 inches is 8.4 inches greater than Sorento. The 79.1-inch width is 4.9 inches wider than Sorento, but the Cross GT’s overall height of 65.3 inches is actually 1.6 inches shorter, giving the concept a lower roofline than most large CUVs. The Cross GT is designed to easily accommodate four passengers and their cargo in luxurious surroundings, but the large greenhouse, airy cabin and gently sloping hood give the Cross GT a nimble feel that’s at home in crowded urban environments. The Cross GT’s sophisticated image is enhanced by the dual rear-hinged doors, more commonly referred to as “suicide” doors. The unique configuration allows for easy access to the rear bucket seats and affords generous views of the Cross GT’s premium textures and materials. The cargo compartment is accessed through a “clam shell” design that incorporates a traditional glass hatch and a tailgate. Use of advanced LED technology creates a strong and unique lighting identity that dramatically highlights Kia’s signature grille. Letting light into the cabin is a multi-paneled sky light with hexagonal glass inserts that enhance the Cross GT’s premium design aesthetic. Inside, the Cross GT exemplifies modern luxury while remaining firmly grounded in nature. Anchored to the central tunnel, the four Almond-Terra-colored leather-covered bucket seats appear to float within the cabin, lending an open, modern feel. Inspired by fine equestrian saddles, the seats feature contrasting stitching and are tanned with vegetable oil using natural dyes and no chemicals. Use of re-harvested American Walnut across the sweeping instrument panel and 100 percent eco-friendly renewable wool felt throughout the vehicle also add to the Cross GT’s environmentally friendly appeal. The Cross GT’s subsystems, including HVAC, telematics and entertainment, are accessed via an easy-to-use touch screen and central mouse control technology that keeps the driver’s hands on the wheel at all times. The rear passengers have the ability to access the Internet and infotainment options through flat panel screens mounted to the headrests of the front seats. A large storage compartment has been incorporated beneath the flat load floor in the cargo area behind the rear seats. So just how much of the Cross GT is concept and how much is reality? “As witnessed by the introduction of the all-new Cadenza at the recent Detroit Auto Show, our customers are looking to the Kia brand to offer relevant vehicles in the premium segments that take value to new levels of sophistication,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing and communications, KMA. “The Cross GT is the next logical step in that evolution. And while only a concept today, it signals one possible design direction we may explore for the future.”
  17. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 7, 2013 Back in 2007, Toyota surprised everyone by introducing the current-generation Tundra full-size truck at the Chicago Auto Show. This year at the Chicago Auto Show, Toyota hopes to do it again with the introduction of the 2014 Tundra. The 2014 Tundra brings forth a "chiseled" and "modern industrial" design with a taller grille, revised three piece bumpers, squarer sheetmetal, new bed and tailgate, and revised taillights. Inside, Toyota ditches the plastic-fantastic interior of the current model and goes towards a more luxurious design with a redesigned instrument cluster and center stack. Powertrains are carried over from the current Tundra which are, 4.0L DOHC V6 - 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque, Five-Speed Automatic 4.7L DOHC i-Force V8 - 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque, Six-speed automatic 5.7L DOHC i-Force V8 - 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, Six-speed automatic Toyota has also improved the shock-absorber valving to help avoid some of the rear-end chattering that was common in the previous Tundra. The 2014 Tundra will also come with a few segment-first technologies like all models getting a backup camera as standard equipment, a blind spot warning system, and a new cross-traffic alert system. The 2014 Tundra will be available in the base SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, and the all-new “1794” Edition which will compete with Ford's F150 King Ranch. The 2014 Tundra arrives at dealers in September. Source: Toyota Album: 2014 Toyota Tundra 17 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota Unveils 2014 Redesigned Tundra Full-Size Pickup Truck at 2013 Chicago Auto Show CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2013 - Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., unveiled the redesigned 2014 Tundra full-size pickup truck at a press conference at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. Tundra has been a quality leader with Toyota’s DNA of quality, dependability and reliability. The industry has recognized Tundra with a myriad of awards over the last 12 years, including winning the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study for seven years running in the Full-Size Pick Up segment. Not resting on its laurels, the 2014 Tundra will be redesigned, inside and out, representing the first major change since the launch of the current generation for the 2007 model year. The redesigned Tundra continues to be a truck with true American roots that was once again engineered by Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., and its new look designed by Calty Design Research centers in Newport Beach, Calif., and Ann Arbor. Finally, Tundra continues to be assembled exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, in San Antonio, Texas. “Toyota prides itself on listening to its customers and the development of the 2014 American-born Tundra is a perfect example,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. “Tundra’s new exterior design and all-new interior were inspired by customer feedback requesting a more chiseled exterior and refined interior with improved driver ergonomics, and easy-to-use technology, giving customers more of what they want instead, in addition to what they need.” The 2014 Tundra will have a grade strategy consisting of the hard-working SR, volume-leading SR5, the well-appointed Limited, and two premium grades: “Platinum” and the all-new “1794 Edition.” The new 1794 Edition is a tribute to the ranch, founded in the year 1794, on which the Tundra plant is located in San Antonio. Tundra is offered in three cab styles, two-door Regular Cab, four-door Double Cab and four-door CrewMax, all available in 4x2 and 4x4. Significantly New, Unique Exterior Designs; Distinct Look for Each Grade Inside and out, each grade embodies a specific theme through distinct designs that go beyond just badging. The Calty design team set out to create a bold and powerful exterior to embody Tundra’s performance capability. The all-new front design integrates the hood and grille for a chiseled and modern industrial image. Designers increased the size of the front fascia and tightened up the surfaces and character lines to punctuate Tundra’s pulling power and wide stance. The chrome grille has a taller, bolder look visually connecting the upper intake to the lower bumper. The front lower bumpers are now a three-piece design, allowing for grade differentiation and less expensive replacement parts. In addition, the fenders and wheel wells have been squared-off for a wide and sturdy stance. An all-new bed design helps carry the chiseled character lines all the way down the profile, leading to a rugged new bed and tail gate, with an integrated spoiler and “TUNDRA” stamped into the sheet metal, creating a one-piece forged look. The integrated spoiler in the deck helps with fuel efficiency, while the tail lamps express a tool-like quality to match the appearance of the body. Like the front bumper, the rear bumper changes from one piece to three, for lower replacement costs. An All-new Spacious Interior; Each Grade With a Unique Identity Calty’s design team worked closely with the product planners and Tundra engineers to develop an all-new bold interior focusing on styling differentiation between grades and improving the availability of features most important to truck buyers. The all-new interior variations are thematic and cater to a specific customer with a specific budget. Ergonomic improvements include easier driver access to controls as the reach to the audio and HVAC controls was reduced by 2.6 inches. Large knobs have been retained so they can be operated with or without work gloves. Overall passenger comfort was improved with an all-new front and rear (CrewMax) seat design and improved front seat ventilation. In addition, front seats have additional travel, and CrewMax rear seats can now be folded up for additional cargo carrying capability while maintaining a comfortable seating back angle. The interior has a rugged, interlocked construction with an all-new instrument panel. The meters feature 3-D metallic rings and individual gauges grouped in a clear, easy-to-see design with a center-mounted multi-information display screen. The console design holds multiple storage areas for personal items and electronics plus additional padded surfaces and accent stitching in premium grades. Both Double Cab and CrewMax will be available with a bench or bucket seats for the front row. The interior of the SR5 features a “professional gear” theme, with unique driver and passenger zones, metallic accents and bold contrasting fabric. Most importantly, the all-new design uses premium surface treatments to enhance interior quality and durability. The Limited grade has an “active premium” image with leather seating surfaces matching soft-touch stitched door and console surfaces, and wood-style interior trims. The Limited will be available with Black, Sand Beige and Graphite leather-trimmed interiors and will have standard auto HVAC controls. The Platinum grade has been completely redesigned for the next generation of personal use truckers. It features perforated black leather-trimmed seats with double-stitched diamond plate leather, door and instrument panel inserts, and chrome seat and console accent badging for an upscale yet urban feel. In addition, Platinum uses premium leather never before used on a Toyota truck and comes with many standard amenities, including a 12-speaker JBL audio system with Entune™, heated and ventilated front seats, navigation and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The 1794 Edition reflects a western lifestyle theme and includes exclusive premium saddle brown leather seating with embossed leather and ultra-suede accents. Matching soft-touch materials also accents the shift console, the front and rear door trim, and the instrument panel. Like the Platinum, the 1794 Edition includes an array of standard features that includes heated and ventilated front seats, JBL audio and Entune, navigation and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Three Engine Options Remain Among Segment’s Most Capable Several enhancements have been implemented on the 2014 Tundra to improve performance. Shock-absorber valving has been re-tuned to improve Tundra ride quality over harsh surfaces. Steering feel and straight line stability has been improved due to steering system improvements. These improvements reduce the inputs from road variations and imperfections, resulting in improved straight line stability and less driver fatigue. Patented aerodynamic stabilizer fins are added to the outside surface of the rear tail lamp lens, and the outside mirror bases. These patented “Aero-Fins” reduce the air turbulence along the sides of the vehicle resulting in improved straight-line stability during normal driving conditions and while towing. Interior cabin noise is reduced from an improved design of engine compartment NVH treatments and innovative engineering to reduce sound transmission from the engine compartment to the vehicle cabin. Tundra continues to offer three proven powertrains. A 4.0-liter Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) V6 is standard on Tundra Regular and Double Cab models and produces 270 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. peak torque. It is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission with uphill/downhill shift logic. The available 4.6-liter DOHC i-Force V8 offers 310 horsepower and 327 lb.-ft. of peak torque, and the 5.7-liter DOHC i-Force V8 produces 381 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of peak torque, in both gasoline and “Flex Fuel” variants. Both V8’s come standard with a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. All Tundra engines feature an aluminum cylinder block and DOHC heads, along with Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) for a broad torque curve and optimized efficiency. The SR and SR5 grades will ride on 18-inch styled steel wheels, while the Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition will ride on all-new 20-inch alloy wheels specific to each grade. Tundra remains the only full-size pickup in the segment to adhere to the SAE J2807 towing standard. When equipped with a tow package, Tundra has a maximum tow capacity of 10,400 pounds (4x2 Regular Cab). All 2014 Tundras Feature a Number of Segment Firsts Tundras will feature a number of segment firsts, including a new Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, a standard back-up camera (viewed from the audio display screen), and standard Bluetooth. Additional standard features include a 3.5-inch multi-information display in the gauge cluster. The Limited grade adds eight-way power driver seat, standard chrome door handles and outer mirrors, 20-inch alloy wheels and a deck rail system. The Platinum and 1794 Edition come standard with a 10-way power driver’s seat with memory and a four-way power passenger’s seat, both with heat and ventilation, power moonroof (CrewMax only), parking sonar, and Display Audio with Navigation, Entune and JBL. Toyota’s STAR Safety; Segment First Blind Spot Monitor with Cross Traffic Alert The 2014 Tundra will be the first in its segment to be equipped with a standard backup camera on all grades, and the first truck in its segment to offer a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (Platinum and 1794 Edition). All Tundra models will also feature the standard Toyota Star Safety System™ that includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Smart Stop (SST) brake override technology. Smart Stop Technology is designed to automatically reduce engine power when both brake and accelerator pedals are pressed at the same time under certain conditions, helping the driver bring the vehicle to a stop. Tundra will be equipped with eight standard airbags including front seat-mounted side airbags, and front and rear Roll-sensing Side Curtain Airbags (RSCA) in all models, driver and front outboard passenger airbags with an Advanced Airbag System, and the segments only driver and front outboard passenger knee airbags. Additional safety features include manual headlamp leveling and standard LED Daytime Running Lights (Platinum and 1794 Edition). The redesigned 2014 Tundra will reach Toyota dealers in September. 2014 TUNDRA PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS POWERTRAINS 4.0 Liter V6 270 H.P. @ 5600 RPM 278 lb-ft Torque @4400 RPM 5-Speed Automatic Transmission 4.6 Liter V8 310 H.P. @ 5600 RPM 327 lb-ft Torque @3400 RPM 6-Speed Automatic Transmission. 5.7 Liter V8 381 H.P.@ 5600 RPM 401 lb-ft Torque @ 3400 RPM 6-Speed Automatic Transmission DIMENSIONS (inches) Overall length: 228.7 (Std Bed) Overall width: 79.9 Overall height: 76.2 Wheelbase: 145.7 (Long Bed) TRUCK BED DIMENSIONS (inches) Bed length 78.7 (Std Bed) Bed width (between wheel wells): 50.0 Bed width (wall-to-wall): 65.0 Bed depth: 22.2
  18. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 7, 2013 Looking for coverage about the vehicle appearing at the Chicago Auto Show? Look no further. Cheers & Gears will be providing coverage of the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Redline Ford Fiesta ST Global RallyCross Car and Focus TrackSTer Kia Cross GT Concept 2014 Kia Forte 5-Door Mopar 13' Dart Nissan's Peformance Trio: 2013 Juke NISMO, 2014 370Z NISMO, 2014 GT-R Track Edition 2013 Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo Van 2014 Ram ProMaster 2014 Toyota Tundra 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR 2013 Volkswagen GTI Special Editions and Beetle R-Line Convertible William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  19. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 4, 2013 Besides the Challenger R/T Redline package, Chrysler will also being showing the new and limited edition Mopar 13' Dart at the Chicago Auto Show this week. The Mopar 13' Dart is the forth special-edition, Mopar-badged model since Chrysler became part of Fiat in 2009. The Mopar 13' Dart's exterior is decked out in gloss black paint with contrasting Mopar Blue racing stripes. The exterior also benefits from a ground effects kit that includes a front lip, one-piece trunk spoiler, and rear diffuser. Inside, the Mopar Dart has a Mopar Blue leather seat with contrasting black accents for the driver, and black leather with blue accent stitching for the rest of interior. Under the hood there is a 1.4L MultiAir turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Mopar fitted a sport-tuned exhaust system to give a more meatier noise. Other changes include a sport suspension kit, premium brake kit with slotted rotors, and a revised steering calibration. Only 500 Mopar 13' Darts will be built. No information on pricing or a release date has been announced. Source: Chrysler Album: Mopar 13' Dart 5 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chrysler Group LLC Introduces New Mopar ’13 Dodge Dart Select Mopar parts and accessories outfit new Mopar ’13 Dart Performance upgrades include lowered sport suspension, revised steering calibration, sport-tuned exhaust, ground-effects kit, and premium brake kit with slotted rotors Custom leather Mopar driver’s seat Industry-first wireless charging for smartphones 500 numbered units to be built at company’s assembly plant in Belvidere, Ill. Limited-edition vehicle to be displayed at Chicago Auto Show Mopar ’13 information to go live at http://www.dodge.com/en/2013//dart-mopar13/ tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 1 Auburn Hills, Mich. , Jan 31, 2013 - Chrysler Group LLC today introduced the limited-edition Mopar ’13 Dart, marking the fourth special-edition Mopar-badged vehicle created since the company partnered with Fiat S.p.A in 2009. The car will be shown at next week’s Chicago Auto Show. Building on the success of the Mopar ’10 Challenger, Mopar ’11 Charger and the Mopar ’12 300, the limited-edition Mopar ’13 Dart will be built and customized with Mopar performance parts and accessories. Production for a limited run of 500 units will begin this spring at the company’s assembly plant in Belvidere, Ill. “Our new Mopar ’13 Dart will turn heads and stand out from the crowd,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “For this special, limited-edition vehicle, we specifically kept the driver in mind as we added select Mopar parts and accessories.” Inspired by the tuner scene, the Mopar ’13 Dart is designed for driving enthusiasts. Powered by a 1.4-liter MultiAir® intercooled turbo engine with a manual transmission, the Mopar ’13 sports a gloss-black finish with a pair of car-length Mopar Blue stripes, which mirror each of the three previous Mopar-themed models. For enhanced handling, upgrades include a performance steering-gear calibration, a 7 millimeter-lowered suspension and low-profile 40 aspect performance tires (225/40R18). From the racing scene, Mopar added a premium brake kit with slotted rotors. Engine breathing is enhanced with a performance-tuned exhaust and to further optimize aerodynamics and increase downforce, the custom Dart features Mopar’s ground-effects kit, which includes a front-chin spoiler, one-piece deck-lid spoiler, as well as a unique and aggressively styled rear diffuser. Unique exterior elements include a Mopar badge in the crosshair grille and gloss-black 18-inch wheels with a Mopar logo on the wheel center caps. The vehicle’s unique interior, featuring a serialized plate, gives the driver a custom Mopar Blue leather seat with black accents. To keep the emphasis on the driver, the driver seat is Mopar Blue while all other seats are black with blue accent stitching. The centerpiece of the interior is a floating island bezel that is accented with Mopar Blue paint and lighting. The interior is further enhanced with rich details, including Mopar Blue accent thread, as well as light-black chrome and gloss-black elements. Along with a Mopar serialized badge on the dash, the special-edition Mopar ’13 includes industry-first wireless charging for smartphones, a blue-stitched leather-wrapped steering wheel with an identically garnished shifter knob, a bright sport-pedal kit, premium Mopar carpet floor mats, door-sill guards and an 8.4-inch navigation screen. The limited-edition Mopar ’13 Dart will be delivered to each customer with a personalized owner kit. Assembled in a custom-made black case, contents include a personalized plate with vehicle specifications, the date of manufacture and the unique identification number (of 500) of the vehicle. Along with a Mopar ’13 brochure and other memorabilia, the kit will include a limited-edition sketch of the vehicle signed by Mark Trostle, Chrysler Group Chief Designer for the Mopar Brand. Information on the Mopar ’13 will be go live at http://www.dodge.com/en/2013//dart-mopar13/ tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 1
  20. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 2, 2013 Last year, Dodge unveiled a new package for the Challenger SXT Plus called the Rallye Redline which added a list of visual, interior and handling changes. However some complained that the Challenger R/T model should have this package as well. Dodge has heard those calls and at next week’s Chicago Auto Show will show the 2013 Challenger R/T Redline. Much like the Rallye Redline, the R/T Redline gets twenty-inch black chrome wheels with red paint accents. However, the R/T Redline also gets side stripes with graphite graphics featuring Redline lettering to give it a more retro look. Under the hood, the R/T sticks with the 5.7L HEMI V8. When equipped with the six-speed manual, the 5.7L produces 375 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque thanks to a performance-tuned, low-restriction exhaust. Go with the five-speed automatic and the engine produces 372 horsepower and 400 pound-feet. The five-speed also gets a chrome Mopar t-handle shifter and paddle shifters on the steering wheel. The R/T Redline package will cost $1,995 and be available on the Challenger R/T ($32,985*) and R/T Plus ($34,985*). You can order a Challenger R/T with the R/T Redline package now and they will arrive in April. *Prices include $995 destination charge. Source: Dodge William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 New Dodge Challenger R/T Redline Delivers Red-hot Muscle Car Performance and Styling at the Ice-cold 2013 Chicago Auto Show New 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Redline heats up the brand’s iconic muscle-car lineup with HEMI®-power, red-hot exterior accents and performance suspension Signature 20-inch Black Chrome wheels feature a Redline Red accented lip and backbone for a customized look Legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 delivers up to 375 horsepower and 410 lb-ft torque through a track-proven six-speed manual transmission, or paddle-shifting and driver adaptable automatic transmission The 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Redline Group will be available this spring on R/T and R/T Plus models at a tremendous value with starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just $1,995 building off America’s most affordable V-8 muscle car February 1, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - While ice cold winter weather sweeps across Lake Shore Drive, the Dodge brand heats up the 2013 Chicago Auto Show by building on Challenger’s red-hot record selling year, and now at the show, the introduction of the new Challenger R/T Redline with modern muscle-car cues, a potent HEMI® V-8 engine throwing down 375 horsepower and a performance-tuned chassis for world-class dynamics — this new Challenger delivers exactly what Dodge fans want. “Building on Challenger’s all-time sales record in 2012, the new Challenger R/T Redline fuses our iconic heritage with a one-of-a-kind customized appearance,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand. “Featuring unique body-side stripes and black chrome wheels with red accents, the new R/T Redline combines unmatched personalization with the unmistakable performance of the legendary HEMI V-8.” The new 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Redline builds on the success of the 305 horsepower V-6 Challenger Rallye Redline model that arrived in the middle of the 2012 model year. 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Redline Based on the 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T — America’s most affordable V-8 muscle car at $29,995 MSRP — or R/T Plus, the new Challenger R/T Redline adds even more attitude and style with a right-from-the-factory custom look to the brand’s iconic coupe. Following Dodge Challenger’s signature A-line bodyside character line, an all-new two-color Redline Red and Graphite stripe runs from behind the front wheel arches to the tail. For a distinctive look, the rear-quarter section of the stripe features the “Redline” name in Red over Graphite color scheme. For a distinctive look, the R/T Redline features a body-color grille surround. Filling the wheel wells, the Dodge Challenger R/T Redline features 20-inch Black Chrome wheels with a Redline Red lip and inner backbone for a one-of-a-kind look. For even more performance and driving precision at-the-limit handling, the available Super Track Pak adds Goodyear Eagle F1 P245/45R20 three-season performance tires, high-performance brake linings and a lowered ride height. With its two-color stripe and four available exterior colors, including Billet Silver, Granite Crystal, Bright White and Pitch Black, each new Dodge Challenger R/T Redline will stand out from the crowd. Dodge Challenger R/T Redline features a Dark Slate Gray interior with Dark Slate Gray (R/T) performance seats, or premium Nappa leather performance seats in Radar Red or Dark Slate Gray (R/T Plus). Automatic transmission models also feature bright pedals, a Mopar® T-Handle shifter and remote start. HEMI Power For the performance enthusiast, the 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Redline features the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine that delivers up to 375 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque and gets up to 25 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway. When paired with the track-proven Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission, the Dodge Challenger R/T delivers smooth shifts, while delivering even more power through unique performance-tuned dual exhaust and under-floor mufflers with low-restriction bottle resonators. The result, 0-60 mph runs in the low-5-second range and a sinister exhaust growl for the cars left in its rear-view mirror; a trademark of the original Challenger HEMI from more than 43 years ago. The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine is also available with a five-speed automatic transmission producing 372 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. In addition, this version of the engine includes Chrysler Group’s innovative Fuel Saver Technology to seamlessly transition to high-fuel-economy four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand. And for even more control, steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters with “sport mode” transmission calibration are included. Loaded with standard features Dodge Challenger R/T Redline also includes a tremendous level of standard equipment found on every 2013 Challenger R/T, including the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with cold-air induction delivering up to 375 horsepower, Tremec six-speed manual transmission, performance-tuned suspension, performance-disc brakes, performance-tuned steering calibration, Uconnect Voice Command with Bluetooth, console-mounted USB port with iPod control and auxiliary audio input jack, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 12-months subscription, automatic headlamps, LED-illuminated instrument cluster with 160-mph primary speedometer, instrument panel with mini-carbon bezel, fog lamps, “R/T” grille badge, “HEMI” hood badges and rear body-color deck-lid spoiler. Remote start, bright pedals and Mopar T-handle shifter are also included with the five-speed automatic transmission. For drivers who want even more premium refinement and details, the new Dodge Challenger R/T Redline can also be built on the 2013 Challenger R/T Plus, which includes premium Nappa leather seating in Dark Slate Gray or Radar Red, heated front seats, six Boston Acoustics premium speakers with 276-watt amplifier, ParkSense rear park assist, power heated mirrors, Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) with temperature gauge, location specific tire-pressure monitoring and compass, vehicle security alarm, and HomeLink universal transceiver. Remote start, bright pedals and Mopar T-handle shifter are also included with the five-speed automatic transmission. Just in time for spring The 2013 Dodge Challenger with R/T Redline Group is available for ordering now and arrives at dealerships this April with a U.S. MSRP of $1,995. When configured on the Challenger R/T or R/T Plus models, the MSRPs are $31,990 and $33,990 respectively (both prices exclude $995 destination).
  21. Toyota's big sedan, the Avalon has gotten a mild refresh for the 2016 model year. The updated sedan, which debuted today in Chicago gets a number of small tweaks a new trim level. The tweaks begin outside with LED accents for the head and taillights, along with an enlarged front grille. All trim levels get new wheel choices. Inside, new trim pieces and a revised Entune infotainment system on XLE models and up. Powertrains for the Avalon remain unchanged. That means a 3.5L V6 for the standard Avalon, while the Avalon Hybrid goes with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system. What has changed is suspension tuning. Most Avalons will come with a suspension tune that provides a more comfortable ride. The new Touring trim will come a more aggressive suspension tune to provide more sport. The 2016 Avalon arrives at dealers this fall. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 First Look in the “Second City:” The Refreshed 2016 Toyota Avalon Premium Mid-Sized Sedan Updated Styling Retuned Suspension for Enhanced Comfort New LED Headlights and Taillights Upgraded Convenience Features CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2015 – Call it a trio of firsts in the Second City as the refreshed Toyota Avalon and sporty Camry and Corolla Special Editions made their world debuts at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The three models rode into Chicago with a head of steam as the Avalon, Camry and Corolla are each the sales leaders in their respective segments, a first for Toyota. All three vehicles are 2016 models and will go on sale later this fall. Refreshed 2016 Avalon Unveiled as all-new in 2012, the fourth-generation Avalon was the first vehicle to meet Toyota President Akio Toyoda’s challenge to create cars that spark people’s emotions. Toyota mixed its legendary Quality, Durability and Reliability (QDR) with a strong dose of emotion through fresh new styling, improved performance, and high-tech features. They proved to be winning ingredients as Avalon quickly grabbed the attention of mid-size premium car buyers in segment leading numbers. Five distinct grades on the V6 models will give customers a wide array of choice (XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Limited and Touring). Hybrid customers can choose from three separate grades, adding luxury features and technology options as they move up the chain from XLE Plus to XLE Premium and Limited. Two unique suspension systems were developed for the 2016 Avalon to better align with diverse customer preferences. One retuned suspension prioritizes a comfortable ride for the XLE through Limited grades. The other, provides a more dynamic and responsive driving experience for the Touring grade. Both of these suspension tunings are new and represent significant improvements over the current production Avalon. The refreshed 2016 Avalon adds more refinement with an array of styling, performance and technology enhancements. New features on all Avalon grades will include: Wider lower front grille with narrow upper grille design Newly-designed turn signals (replacing fog lights) Refined LED taillights Chrome rear bumper accent New gray accent stitching with light gray interior Additional new standard features on the XLE and XLE Plus grades include: Redesigned 17-inch alloy wheels 7-inch Entune Audio Plus screen Premium woodgrain dash ornamentation Tire-specific Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Technology upgrades are added to the Avalon XLE Premium grade as it receives Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite and the Qi Wireless Charging as standard equipment. The performance-tuned Avalon Touring grade adds to its sporty styling with new standard features that include: Redesigned 18-inch dark gray painted alloy wheels New sporty front fascia New LED headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) Unique “Touring” badge The top-of-the-line Avalon Limited rounds out the updates with the addition of new 18-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on gas models, and new 17-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on the Limited hybrid (also optional on gas Limited). The Limited adds optional advanced safety features including automatic high beam headlights, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, and Lane Departure Alert.
  22. Nissan is using the Chicago Auto Show to see whether or not it should add another model to their growing NISMO lineup. The 370Z NISMO Roadster concept could be the sister model to the 370Z NISMO coupe. Like the coupe, the 370Z NISMO roadster features a number of aerodynamic parts from the GT-R such as red-accented lip spoiler and rear spoiler. There's also black headlight housings and red striping on the side mirrors and side skirts. The concept keeps the power soft-top from the standard 370Z roadster. Inside are a set of Recaro bucket seats wrapped in leather with red stitching and off-white Ultrasuede inserts. Power comes from an upgraded 3.7L V6 with 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. The concept boasts a seven-speed automatic transmission with the Downshift Rev Matching feature. This is due to many people who opt for the 370Z roadster go for the automatic. The concept also boasts a Nismo-tuned suspension - unique springs, stabilizer bars, and a front tower strut brace - along with lightweight 19-inch wheels hiding a set of massive brakes. Source: Nissan Press Release is on Page 2 Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept makes world debut at 2015 Chicago Auto Show Combines legendary NISMO performance, style and technology with Nissan 370Z Roadster open-air motoring excitement One-off design study created to gauge market interest in an ultimate factory Z® Roadster Offers unique engine, suspension, exterior and interior features versus standard Nissan 370Z Roadster models – including 350-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 and NISMO-tuned suspension Would join current Nissan 370Z NISMO coupe model, expanding NISMO lineup to five models As the heart and soul of Nissan performance for both the track and on the street, NISMO continues to set the standard for straight-from-the-factory enthusiast vehicles. The lineup of NISMO production models for 2015 includes the GT-R NISMO, 370Z NISMO, JUKE NISMO and JUKE NISMO RS. Yet as the popularity of NISMO models continues to grow – the 2015 GT-R NISMO is sold out, the 370Z NISMO accounts for 20 percent of total sales and JUKE NISMO models for about 15 percent – one group of performance enthusiast remains left out: Open-air sports car lovers. Enter the Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept, which makes its world debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The custom vehicle combines the long list of 370Z NISMO Coupe performance equipment with a modified 370Z Roadster body and interior. "The idea of adding NISMO levels of look, feel and performance to a Nissan 370Z Roadster is one that we've been considering for a long time," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "The creation of the Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept brings that idea to life and lets us judge consumer reaction – which we predict is going to be outstanding." The Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept's striking visual presence starts with the addition of its GT-R-inspired functional and fully integrated aerodynamic body pieces. In front, the deep front fascia with Hyper LED Daytime Running Lights, black headlight bezels, NISMO emblem and signature NISMO red stripe accents set the tone. On the sides of the vehicle, the NISMO red accents and red sideview mirror covers continue the NISMO theme, adding a touch of flair to the dramatic top-down profile. In the middle of the vehicle, the fixed headrest bars are leather-wrapped with red accents. The rear is highlighted by a custom carbon-fiber rear spoiler created exclusively use on the 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept. The convertible top itself, though it is expected to be rare that it is in the closed position, is a cloth power-folding roof with fabric inner liner design. It includes a single action top operation with automatic roof lock, steel tonneau cover and fixed glass wind deflector – just like every 2015 Nissan 370Z Roadster. The dramatic exterior appearance is topped by an aggressive stance provided by the wide 19-inch NISMO super-lightweight forged aluminum-alloy wheels by RAYS (19x9.5-inch front, 19x10.5-inch rear), which receive a special custom finishing. Y-rated Bridgestone Potenza S001 245/40R19 front and 285/35R19 rear tires complete the package. "With as much attention as the exterior modifications are expected to attract, we knew the interior had to be just as special, especially since with the convertible top in the down position everything is in plain sight," said Loing. "It doesn't disappoint." The NISMO-styled interior is anchored by black Recaro® leather-appointed seats with red stitching and stain-repellent, off-white premium Ultrasuede® inserts – chosen to resist heat build-up when parked in open sunlight. The interior features custom red stitching with NISMO logo, an Alcantara®-appointed leather-wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel and NISMO red tachometer. The 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept's suite of technology includes Nissan Navigation System with 7.0-inch VGA touch-sensitive display, RearView Monitor and Bose® Premium Audio System with six speakers and dual subwoofers to provide a clear soundtrack, even with the top down. Even more than racing-inspired aerodynamic bodies and driver-oriented cockpit-style interiors, at its core NISMO is all about performance. To that end, the 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept is conceived to incorporate most of the engine and suspension modifications (versus non-NISMO 370Z models) of the 370Z NISMO coupe. This includes its potent 350-horsepower 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL). The 370Z NISMO's enhanced engine power and acceleration (versus non-NISMO 370Zs) is provided through use of an exclusive H-configured exhaust system design and muffler tuning, along with optimized ECM (Engine Control Module) calibration, to help create 18 horsepower more than a standard 370Z. Torque is rated at 276 lb-ft. The 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept utilizes Nissan's refined 7-speed automatic transmission with Downshift Rev Matching (DRM), Adaptive Shift Control and manual shift mode with paddle shifters. "The majority of 370Z Roadster buyers prefer the automatic transmission, which with Downshift Rev Matching and paddle shifters comes close to the performance of a 6-speed manual – so that's how we specified the 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept," said Loing. "Matched with the NISMO-tuned engine, suspension and steering, it is a great combination, perfect for long open-top drives along the shoreline or mountain roads alike." The 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept adds a NISMO-branded strut tower brace under the hood, along with a red engine cover. The NISMO-tuned 4-wheel independent suspension includes special springs and stabilizer bars. Large Nissan Sport Brakes and a Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD) – with a shorter final drive ratio for better acceleration feel – are also included. "While it is only a design study at this point, we think the 370Z NISMO Roaster Concept would be a tremendous addition to the long and distinguished history of Z® sports cars," said Loing. "There's still nothing better than an open top and an open road ahead of you, especially when there's a NISMO badge on the bumper."
  23. Possibly the only bright spot for a few years at Acura has been their crossover lineup. The seven-seat MDX has been a strong seller, while the smaller RDX had its best sales year in 2014. Acura wants to keep that momentum going by introducing a refreshed RDX at the Chicago Auto Show today. The 2016 gets minor changes inside and out. Up front is a more chiseled face with a new grille and Acura's Jewel Eye headlights. Around back are a set new LED taillights. A new set of wheels finish off the exterior. Heading inside, Acura updated the trim and has installed a new 4.2-inch TFT screen for the instrument cluster. Acura has also added more standard features for each RDX trim level. Here's how it looks, RDX: Heated front seats and air vents for rear passengers. RDX w/Tech Package: Dual-screen infotainment system, eight-way power passenger's seat, blind spot monitoring, and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor. RDX w/Advance Package: rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, an auto-dimming driver's side mirror, and AcuraWatch™ advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. The 3.5L V6 has been updated with 6 more horsepower and 1 more pound-feet of torque to deliver final power figures of 279 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. The V6 also boasts cylinder deactivation which improves fuel economy to 20 City/29 Highway for the front-wheel drive model and 19/28 for the all-wheel drive model. The 2016 Acura RDX will be coming this spring. Source: Acura Press Release is on Page 2 2016 Acura RDX Brings the Heat in World Debut at 2015 Chicago Auto Show Hot-selling Acura RDX luxury crossover boosts its considerable market strength with significant upgrades to performance, luxury, styling and safety features Feb 12, 2015 - CHICAGO Coming off its best-ever year, the newly refreshed and energized 2016 Acura RDX luxury sport-utility made its world debut at the Chicago Auto Show, sporting a host of significant upgrades to performance, luxury prestige and styling. Launching at Acura dealerships nationwide this Spring, the 2016 Acura RDX receives Jewel Eye™ LED projector headlamps and LED taillights, a new, more powerful 3.5-liter i-VTEC® V-6 engine, an expanded list of AcuraWatch™ safety and driver-assistive technologies, and a host of new luxury features and technologies, including a new line-topping RDX with Advance Package. The Acura RDX and MDX have formed a potent 1-2 punch in the luxury SUV game, posting record sales in 2014 well ahead of European rivals in their segments. With the 2016 MDX also getting significant new features and technologies, including a 9-speed automatic transmission, the new RDX and MDX stand as an even more formidable presence in the luxury SUV space. "The RDX ended on a high note in 2014, posting its best sales year ever, but at Acura, we are not content in resting on our laurels," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of Acura. "The 2016 RDX gets a major infusion of Acura brand DNA including enhancements to styling, driving performance, and exciting new luxury feature-content, further solidifying its place as the one to beat in the entry luxury SUV segment." The 2016 RDX gets an important performance boost courtesy of its new 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) cylinder deactivation technology. Peak horsepower and torque output are up—279 (+6 hp) and 252 lb.-ft. (+1 lb.-ft.), respectively, while sporting a broader torque curve for more immediate and powerful acceleration response—right where it counts. Variable Cylinder Management™ allows for deactivation of two of the engine's six cylinders under light engine loads, helping the more powerful 2016 RDX increase its highway EPA fuel-economy ratings by 1 mpg, rising to 19/28mpg for AWD models and 20/29mpg for FWD models (city/highway). Driving refinement is further enhanced by new active front and rear engine mounts, updates to the steering control system and increased suspension mount stiffness. Additionally, the RDX's all-wheel-drive system – AWD with Intelligent Control – has been tuned for greater rear torque bias to further enhance dynamic stability and all-weather performance. The 2016 RDX also gets key elements of Acura design DNA with restyled front and rear fasciae, including the addition of Acura's signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights and LED taillights with light-pipe design on all models and a new three-dimensional grille treatment. The lower front and rear fascia areas also support the new look with fresh luxury details while all models receive new wheel designs. Inside, the new RDX gets a fresh look with a high-contrast silver and black trim plus significant upgrades to both standard and available luxury features and technology, including standard heated front seats and new second-row air-conditioning vents. The RDX with Technology Package adds a new 8-way adjustable power passenger's front seat (4-way power in base models), Acura's intuitive dual-screen On-Demand Multi-Information Display (ODMD), HD Radio®, blind spot information (BSI) and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor. A new Advance Package for the 2016 RDX adds rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, Bi-Directional Keyless remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, an auto-dimming driver's side mirror, and AcuraWatch™ advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. Both the Technology and Advance packages are equipped with the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™. All RDX models with AcuraWatch™ also get a new 4.2-inch full-color TFT Multi-Information Display with expanded, customizable information readouts such as average vehicle speed, fuel economy, fuel range, tire pressure monitoring system (TMPS) and turn-by-turn navigation. While offered as standard equipment on the new Advance Package, all RDX models can now be equipped with the AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking System™ and Lane Keeping Assist, along with a standard Multi-View Rear Camera and Expanded View driver's side mirror. AcuraWatch™ uses sensor fusion technology, the cooperative operation of a millimeter wave radar system and a windshield-mounted monocular camera to expand both the scope and fidelity of its sensing capabilities, including the ability to sense and respond to numerous road hazards, including a pedestrian detected in the roadway. In addition to the available AcuraWatch™ technologies, the 2016 RDX offers enhanced collision performance with numerous changes to its Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure that further improve frontal collision performance. The 2016 RDX targets top-in-class safety ratings – a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The RDX is produced at the company's award-winning East Liberty, Ohio, plant, using domestic and globally sourced parts. In January, Acura marked the sale of its two-millionth North American-made vehicle in America. Today, approximately 94 percent of all Acura models sold in America are made in the company's plants in Ohio and Alabama.
  24. Kia has made the Chicago Auto Show home of the Soul. Within the past few years, Kia has introduced a number of Soul concepts and the electric version of it. Today, Kia introduced another Soul concept - the Trail'ster. The Trail'ster concept shows what happens when you give the Soul a bit of adrenaline. There are oversized foglights, skid plates, body cladding, a 2.5-inch increase in ride height, oversized wheels and tires, and a retractable canvas roof. Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder produces 185 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. In the back is what Kia calls e-AWD; a small electric motor produces 35 horsepower and provides all-wheel drive traction. Total power output stands at 220 horsepower and 285 pound-feet of torque. Kia says the two powertrains work independently which will help fuel economy. While no fuel economy numbers were released, it said the Trail'ster can return approximately 25 to 30 percent better city mileage and 10 to 15 percent better highway mileage when compared to the Soul equipped with the 2.0L engine. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 KIA MOTORS AMERICA STORMS INTO CHICAGO WITH ELECTRIC ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE TRAIL’STER CONCEPT Advanced Soul-Based Off-Roader Captures the Essence of the “Go Anywhere” Compact CUV Intended for Urban Escape and Mountain Adventures With its bold design, fully retractable canvas roof and smartly integrated electric all-wheel-drive system, the turbocharged Trail’ster takes Kia’s iconic Soul to a new level of expression, efficiency and capability Trail’ster was conceived in Kia’s Irvine, California, design studio, birthplace of remarkable concept vehicles such as the Track’ster and GT4 Stinger CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2015 – Aligning form and function to conceive a uniquely compelling vehicle for the city-dweller-turned-outdoor-adventurer, Kia Motors America (KMA) today took the wraps off the boldly designed Trail’ster e-AWD concept at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Based on the brand’s iconic Soul urban passenger vehicle, the turbocharged Trail’ster – with its Polar Pearl Snowdrift/Terra Bronze Metallic paint scheme, roll-top canvas roof and armored aluminum skid plates – captures the essence of an advanced and capable CUV intended for those looking to escape their urban environs in search of higher-elevation playgrounds where snow, mud, streams and trails abound. Efficient and lightweight, the Trail’ster is ideal for transporting adventurers and their gear. With its rugged, functional and upscale approach to an active mountain-focused lifestyle, Trail’ster was dreamt up at Kia’s California design studio, birthplace of the unforgettable Track’ster and GT4 Stinger. “The Trail’ster concept is a near-future look at how the production Kia Soul would logically evolve into an AWD-capable version that’s built to escape the city streets and roam into the mountain wilderness,” said Tom Kearns, chief designer, Kia Design Center of America (KDCA). “It takes the go-anywhere capability of an SUV and reimagines it within a compact and sporty package with an expressive design to match.” Underscoring Kia’s focus on all-wheel drive capability, the Trail’ster enables a wide array of mountain activities, from skiing and snowboarding to camping, hiking and mountain biking. Whether it’s trekking up to a high, snowy summit or traipsing down a muddy fire road to a piney trailhead, the Trail’ster – thanks to a rear axle-mounted electric all-wheel-drive system – is all about surefootedness in the wild. A Soul Searcher, Inside and Out Based on the production Soul, the Trail’ster’s overall shape and size are unmistakable. But with family genes tied closely to the thought-provoking Track’ster and Soul’ster concepts — which pushed Soul far into new directions to realize its performance and lifestyle possibilities — the Trail’ster also takes a dramatic departure from its production-car roots with styling and drivetrain components that turn Kia’s popular urban passenger vehicle into a rugged runabout, further demonstrating that Soul is indeed the ideal platform for creativity and experimentation. The exterior color was inspired by the earthy combination of springtime snow and mud, the terrain for which the Trail’ster has been created to travel confidently through on its way to outdoor destinations high above sea level. The Polar Pearl Snowdrift exterior paint is a modern neutral color, against which the warm and contrasting Terra Bronze Metallic tone of the roof and lower cladding brings connection to the soft dirt of roads less traveled. Anodized fire-red wheel accents and polished billet aluminum sections infuse a purposeful and sophisticated aesthetic to the Trail’ster’s precise design, taking inspiration from high-tech, high-performance outdoor sporting gear. Overhead, the Trail’ster features a stylish full-length, weatherproof rollback canvas roof to create an open-sky environment for occupants to enjoy the outdoors even before reaching their chosen high ground. This fully retractable cover also helps lighten the vehicle and lowers the center of gravity, promoting higher efficiency and improved dynamics. Integrated roof rack fittings with aluminum cross rails allow adventurers to tote mountain bikes or snowboards with ease. The Trail’ster’s use of advanced LED technology creates a strong and unique lighting identity from top to bottom, front to back. Upfront, the signature Kia grille bars extend through the K900-style projector headlamps to create a full-width frontal graphic. And below, expressive fog light elements give the vehicle a bold personality while providing additional wattage for illuminating off-the-beaten-track excursions. The Trail’ster’s rear view takes on a tough-looking appearance framed by LED taillamps that are built into durable, ruggedized light housings. Highlighting its off-road prowess, the Trail’ster wears aluminum skidplates around the entire vehicle, providing a protective armor to shield the undercarriage from jagged rocks and ice. Within, the Trail’ster’s color and trim palette combines brown leather and aluminum accents to relay an earthy but upscale environment that’s both durable and comfortable. Cabin materials are inspired by snow sports gear and equipment. “We drew from high-quality active lifestyle accessories like snowboarding gloves, boots and helmets to bring a premium level of craftsmanship and character to the interior space,” commented Kearns. The focal point of this interior is a tactile and sturdy center console incorporating a thickset gear shifter, AWD controls and a bright red ignition button. Brown leather-trimmed seats feature a pillow-embossed textile for the seat inserts and the floor mats feature aluminum inlays for all-weather traction. Other interior finishes and details were also inspired by the top-quality materials of cold-weather sporting gear, like leather, high-gloss paint and metallic trim. Being based on the Kia Soul means the Trail’ster also benefits from efficient packaging and an abundance of space for passengers and their cargo as they head out on their next adventure. Ready to Roam Anywhere The Trail’ster is primarily powered by a robust 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine outputting 185 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission, matched to an electric all-wheel-drive system on the rear axle intended for low-speed assist, enhanced launch acceleration and improved traction in inclement weather or off-road situations. In addition, this approach helps mitigate turbo lag by providing instant torque. The system also improves fuel economy over standard all-wheel-drive setups by operating only when needed and serving as an energy recovery mechanism. Further defining the near future perspective of Soul as a capable and efficient all-wheel-driver runner, the Trail’ster arrives as a “Through-the-Road” hybrid, which means it has two power sources (a front gas engine and a rear electric motor) that make up the hybrid system and meet “through the road,” as opposed to inside the transmission with a common driveline connection. It requires all four wheels being driven in careful coordination, but there’s no mechanical link between engine and electric motor. The link between the two is the road itself. "This powertrain strategy of a downsized turbo and ‘Through-the-Road’ hybrid power yields a dual benefit of increased performance – torque and traction – and optimized efficiency,” said Kearns. “This is AWD being done the advanced, intelligent and responsible way, while sacrificing nothing.” Should the Trail’ster find its way to production, fuel economy would be targeted at a 25-30 percent improvement in city driving and 5-10 percent in highway driving over the normally aspirated 2015 2.0-liter gasoline Soul. The Trail’ster’s electric propulsion system draws energy from a 1.2 kWh Lithium Ion Polymer battery powering a 27 kW, 270 volt AC synchronous permanent magnet electric motor outputting 35 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels and bringing total output to an impressive 220 horses and 285 pound-feet of torque. To further improve fuel efficiency, the system also utilizes a Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) to start/stop the engine as needed (and to feed energy to the high voltage battery), and an electrically driven A/C compressor, which can run when the engine is shut off. This technology is designed for easy, lightweight packaging, with the compact battery pack stored under the cargo floor. Operationally, the rear electric drive system engages in one of three scenarios, depending on throttle position and road conditions: Under light throttle, the Trail’ster attains true clean mobility as the electric motor drives the car solely for a range of two to three miles; under normal driving, the rear electric motor assists the 1.6-liter turbo during acceleration events calling for greater power and torque; when treading off-road or on wet pavement, the electric drive system is introduced when front wheel slippage is detected. Finally, the Trail’ster’s electric motor acts as a generator to recover kinetic energy and recharge the battery when the vehicle is braking or coasting. For traversing tough terrain, the Trail’ster has been raised more than two-and-a-half inches over the production Soul. In addition, this mountain rover wears Pirelli Winter Carving 245/45-19 snow tires for enhanced traction and utilizes KSport coilover shocks to absorb the impact of rough, uneven ground and rocky surfaces.
  25. Last week, we brought you a report that said General Motors was going to send the Chevrolet Bolt into production by late 2016. Sources said the Bolt and a sister Opel model would be built at General Motors' Lake Orion assembly plant. Today at the Chicago Auto Show, GM North America President Alan Batey confirmed most of that report. “The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.” GM will be investing $160 million into Lake Orion to get it ready for Bolt production. The company will also invest $40 million for the Pontiac Metal Center for new dies. Details such as start of production and other details will be announced at a later date. Source: General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet Commits to Bolt EV Production Game-changing, long-range EV to be built at Orion Assembly facility in Michigan CHICAGO – Chevrolet this morning confirmed production of its next-generation pure electric vehicle, based on the Bolt EV concept. It will be built at General Motors’ Orion Assembly facility near Detroit. GM North America President Alan Batey made the announcement ahead of the Chicago Auto Show. The Bolt EV concept was introduced last month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.” Leveraging the industry-leading battery technology found in the Chevrolet Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV concept was developed as a game-changing, long-range pure electric for all 50 states, designed to offer more than a GM-estimated 200 miles of range at a target price of around $30,000. The progressively styled concept vehicle features selectable driving modes for preferred driving styles, such as daily commuting, and it was designed to support DC fast charging. “We’re proud that Chevrolet has decided to produce the Bolt EV here in Michigan at the Orion Assembly facility,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “Michigan unquestionably remains the global automotive leader. Chevrolet is tapping a skilled workforce that includes some of the most talented and hard-working people in the world for this cutting-edge vehicle. Chevrolet is an important part of our state’s automotive history, and Michigan-made products like the Bolt EV point to a bright future as well.” Start of production and additional details will be announced later. $200-million investment GM’s Orion Assembly, home of the Chevrolet Sonic sub-compact and Buick Verano luxury compact, and Pontiac Metal Center facilities are receiving a $200-million investment to support production of the next-generation electric vehicle. Orion will receive $160 million for tooling and equipment, and Pontiac will receive $40 million for new dies. “As one of the most environmentally progressive facilities in GM’s global network, Orion Assembly is uniquely suited to build this game-changing electric vehicle,” said Doug Hanly, Orion Assembly and Pontiac Metal Center plant manager. “In partnership with UAW Locals 5960 and 653, we’re committed to building the highest level of quality into it.” Located approximately 30 miles north of Detroit, Orion Assembly is powered by gas from two nearby landfills, which saves more than 6,300 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere annually. It is also home to a 350-kilowatt solar array that produces the energy equivalent to power 165 homes and sends enough energy back to the grid to power about 45 homes. “This is very exciting for our members who were facing the possibility of losing that plant during the auto crisis,” said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, director of the union’s GM Department. “Our members are also proud to have their plant chosen to produce what is sure to be another popular and dynamic Chevy product rolling off the line at the Orion Assembly Plant.”

About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We  Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×
×
  • Create New...