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  1. While Infiniti will be selling the Q30 hatchback and QX30 crossover as separate models around the world, the Japanese luxury marque has decided to roll the Q30 into the QX30 lineup for the U.S. Since the two models are almost identical (the QX30 has a higher ground clearance and body cladding), Infiniti has decided to make the two models as one to eliminate confusion. Here is how the QX30 lineup will look like when they hit dealers sometime in the middle of next year. QX30 & QX30S: Formally known as the Q30, these two models will only come with front-wheel drive. S models get a lower ride height, 19-inch wheels, unique suspension tuning, and different fascias for the front and rear. QX30 AWD: Features higher ground clearance, body cladding, and all-wheel drive. Source: Infiniti Press Release is on Page 2 Infiniti announces QX30 line-up in the Americas Infiniti QX30 Premium Crossover set to go on sale in mid-2016 NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Infiniti today announced the line-up of its all-new QX30 premium active crossover for the United States and Canada. While sharing basic exterior and interior designs, the QX30 line will be offered in three unique versions, each with its own front and rear fascia, wheel design and interior themes: QX30: The crossover’s highly sculpted exterior, unique stance and asymmetric cabin design exemplify Infiniti’s design-led approach to product development. This version is sold in Europe and other regions outside of the Americas under the Q30 name. In the Americas, this model will be front-wheel drive. QX30S: With a lower stance, aggressive front and rear fascia, cross-drilled front brake rotors, 19-inch wheels and performance tires, the QX30S is the sports version of Infiniti’s new premium compact line. It was shown at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show and is sold in other markets as the Q30S. QX30 AWD: With an intelligent all-wheel drive system, slightly higher ride height and off-road inspired front and rear valence panels, the vehicle is able to take on urban, suburban and winding rural roads in all driving conditions. The QX30 AWD debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show as the QX30. The QX30 line for the U.S. and Canada is powered by a 208-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, and it is scheduled to go on sale at Infiniti retailers in the United States and Canada in mid-2016 and in Mexico and Latin America in the second half of 2016. Infiniti has revealed an aggressive new product portfolio expansion based on a series of acclaimed concept cars that had been introduced in the last two years, including the Infiniti Q60 Concept. The production version of the 2017 Infiniti Q60 sport coupe makes its world debut January 11, 2016 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
  2. FCA's second five-year plan had some interesting products for Chrysler, including a new compact called the 100 due in 2016. But there could be some changes in store for Chrysler's lineup due to current situation in the market. Allpar reports that investor presentation mentioned that Chrysler's future lineup was “under re-evaluation”. Causes for the re-evaluation include fuel prices going down and are predicted to stay there for the next few years, the increasing popularity of crossovers, and the decline in small car sales. The original plan for Chrysler in the second five-year plan included, Compact 100 sedan to be launched in 2016 Next-generation minivan to be launched in 2016, with a PHEV to follow a year later New full-size crossover to be launched, with a PHEV in 2017 200 sedan is refreshed in 2017 Midsize crossover is launched in 2018 Next-generation 300 is launched in 2018 Allpar believes that the 100 might morph into a crossover, complementing the Fiat 500X and Jeep Renegade. But there could be the possibility of 100 being sold elsewhere in the world and not the U.S. and Canada. The midsize crossover is speculated to be the replacement for the Dodge Journey and is expected in the near future. Source: Allpar
  3. Hyundai announced today that it would be splitting off its Genesis nameplate into a whole new luxury brand that will launch in December. "To elevate and differentiate the Genesis brand from Hyundai, a distinct design identity, emblem, naming structure, and customer service offering is being established," Hyundai said in a statement. The Genesis lineup will be comprised of six models by 2020 and have a nomenclature that is comprised the letter 'G' and number of 70, 80, and 90 - designating the market segment the vehicle competes in. The Genesis sedan and Equus will be part of this new brand, along with a new midsize sedan, coupe, and SUV. To help develop an identity for Genesis, Hyundai is creating the Prestige Design Division. Leading this division will be Luc Donckerwolke, formerly responsible for design at the Volkswagen group. The Genesis brand will launch in North America, China, Korea, and the Middle East. More countries will be added as the brand grows. “We have created this new Genesis brand with a complete focus on our customers who want smart ownership experiences that save time and effort, with practical innovations that enhance satisfaction. The Genesis brand will fulfill these expectations, becoming a market leader through our human-centered brand strategy,” said Euisun Chung, Hyundai Motor Company Vice Chairman. Source: Hyundai Press Release is on Page 2 Hyundai Motor Launches New Global Luxury Brand, ‘Genesis’ New ‘Genesis’ brand will compete with the world’s leading luxury car brands Six-model line-up begins roll-out from December catering for ‘new luxury’ customers, delivering personalized and human-centered experiences Refined performance, athletic elegance in design and human-focused innovation will elevate the Genesis brand November 4, 2015 - Hyundai Motor has announced an all-new global luxury brand – Genesis – that will deliver ‘human-centered’ luxury through a range of new models that feature the highest standards of performance, design and innovation. Created for a new generation of discerning consumers, Genesis will be a stand-alone brand that operates alongside the company’s popular Hyundai marque. Capitalizing on its success in the fast-growing global car market, Hyundai Motor will launch six new Genesis models by 2020 and will compete with the world’s most renowned luxury car brands. The Genesis brand seeks to create a new definition of luxury, one that will provide a new platform for future mobility centered on people. By anticipating human needs at every touch point, Genesis models will embody four key aspects: Human-focused innovation, refined and balanced performance, athletic elegance in design and hassle-free customer experience. “We have created this new Genesis brand with a complete focus on our customers who want smart ownership experiences that save time and effort, with practical innovations that enhance satisfaction. The Genesis brand will fulfill these expectations, becoming a market leader through our human-centered brand strategy,” said Euisun Chung, Hyundai Motor Company Vice Chairman. Genesis models will boast outstanding driving dynamics and design, with innovations tailored to closely-meet the needs of customers. The new model line-up will distance itself from the traditional technological overload of brand-focused competitors, concentrating instead on a personalized, hassle-free customer experience. Continuing the customer-oriented approach that flows through every Genesis model, sales and service staff will provide rapid and attentive service to customer’s requests. To elevate and differentiate the Genesis brand from Hyundai, a distinct design identity, emblem, naming structure and customer service offering is being established. Genesis models will be badged with a new wing-type emblem, redesigned from the version used on the current Genesis model to create an even more luxurious look. This emblem firmly cements the Genesis models as a collective family of luxury models under the Genesis nameplate. The Genesis brand will also adopt a new alphanumeric naming structure. Future models will be named by combining the letter ‘G’ for Genesis with a number, 90, 80 or 70 etc., representing the segment. Woong-Chul Yang, Head of Hyundai Motor R&D Center and Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor said, “The Genesis models will provide technological innovation, excellent driving performance and luxury to customers. Every Genesis model will be created with the needs of our customers in mind, so the resulting car will perfectly meet their needs without any unnecessary burden or excess.” Fitted with the latest proactive safety technologies, intuitive convenience features and IT connectivity, Genesis models are engineered to provide excellent ride comfort while retaining confident sportiness. To develop a distinctive and differentiated design for the new Genesis brand vehicles, Hyundai Motor has created a Prestige Design Division. From mid-2016 Luc Donckerwolke, who was previously responsible for the design of Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, SEAT and Skoda models at the Volkswagen Group, will lead this new division alongside his role as Head of the Hyundai Motor Design Center. The work of the new Prestige Design Division will be overseen by Peter Schreyer, as part of his group-wide design responsibilities as President and Chief Design Officer (CDO) of Hyundai Motor Group. Peter Schreyer commented, “In creating the design signature of Genesis brand cars, we set out to display confidence and originality, creating highly desirable products that present new charm through innovative styling and proportions.” The name ‘Genesis’, which also means new beginnings, hints at the new values and standards that the brand will bring to the global luxury car market. Initially on sale in the Korean, Chinese, North American and Middle Eastern luxury car markets, the Genesis brand will expand its reach to Europe and other parts of Asia as the model range grows to full strength. Setting the brand’s cars apart from competitors, innovation will begin with the consumer, with customer requirements directing development. This philosophy echoes the vision of Hyundai Motor to be a ‘lifetime partner in automobiles and beyond’, with the ‘Modern Premium’ brand direction of Hyundai reinterpreted for the new Genesis marque. Since the launch of its first cars in 1967, Hyundai Motor has grown quickly to become one of the world’s leading automakers. The strategic decision to create an all-new luxury car brand is recognition of the company’s strengths and its global ambitions. By introducing new customers to Hyundai Motor and elevating its competitiveness, the new Genesis brand will enable more people to experience the premium value of Hyundai Motor.
  4. The age of the connected car is here as General Motors announced that 14 vehicles from Chevrolet's 2016 lineup will offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility through the MyLink infotainment system. This means GM is one of the first automakers to offer both systems, giving owners a relief when it comes to choosing one over the other. “For most of us, our smartphones are essential. Partnering with Apple and Google to offer CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility across the widest range of models in the industry is a great example of how Chevrolet continues to democratize technology that’s important to our customers,” said Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors. There will be two variants of the MyLink system available for vehicles - a seven and eight-inch screen. GM notes that for now, the eight-inch screen version only works with Apple's CarPlay. Android Auto support will come in the future. Chevrolet says support for both systems will begin rolling out later this year. Source: Chevrolet Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet is Global Leader for Android Auto, Apple CarPlay All-new 2016 Cruze is one of 14 Chevrolet models to offer compatibility LOS ANGELES – According to Strategy Analytics, there are more than 2.3 billion smartphones in use globally, and that number continues to rise. And on the road, customers are demanding better integration between phones and their vehicles. Whether they have an Apple or Android phone, Chevrolet is committed to providing the smartest, simplest connected driving experience possible to owners across the globe. For the 2016 model year, Chevrolet will offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility in more models than any automotive brand. The 14 Chevrolet models include the all-new 2016 Cruze compact car, which will debut on June 24. Cruze is Chevrolet’s best-selling passenger car, with more than 3 million sold since launch. Additional models are listed in a chart below. “For most of us, our smartphones are essential,” said Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors. “Partnering with Apple and Google to offer CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility across the widest range of models in the industry is a great example of how Chevrolet continues to democratize technology that’s important to our customers.” Chevrolet’s seven-inch MyLink infotainment system gives owners a smart and simple way to access both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The eight-inch version of MyLink will be compatible only with Apple CarPlay at the beginning of the 2016 model year. While development and testing is not yet complete, Android Auto compatibility may be available on the eight-inch version of MyLink later in the 2016 model year. Each system builds off of the features smartphone users rely on most. Android Auto is built around Google Maps, Google Now and the ability to talk to Google, as well as a growing audio and messaging app ecosystem that includes WhatsApp, Skype, Google Play Music, Spotify, and podcast players. A full list of supported apps is available at Android.com/auto. Apple CarPlay takes the iPhone features you’d want to access while driving and puts them on the vehicle’s display in a smart, simple manner. That allows drivers to make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music right from the touchscreen or by voice via Siri. Apple CarPlay supported apps include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and compatible third-party apps. A full list of those apps can be found at Apple.com/ios/carplay. Many features can be controlled via voice commands through a button on the steering wheel, helping drivers spend more time with eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Chevrolet has a strong track record when it comes to broad availability of customer-centric innovation as the first brand to introduce Siri Eyes Free functionality and the first and only car company to offer available OnStar 4G LTE connectivity across a range of cars, trucks and crossovers in the U.S. and Canada. In less than one year, Chevrolet has connected more than a half-million customers to high-speed 4G LTE Wi-Fi. Chevrolet customers in markets around the world including Brazil, Mexico and Canada will benefit from this new level of smartphone integration. Specific market availability for Android Auto can be found here. Current Apple CarPlay markets can be found here. In 2014, the 14 models included in this rollout accounted for more than 2.4 million vehicle sales, or 51 percent of Chevrolet’s total global sales. Using either application is simple in a compatible 2016 Chevrolet. A “Projection” icon on the MyLink screen is visible when a phone is not connected, then changes to indicate either CarPlay or Android Auto (whichever is applicable) when a compatible phone is connected via USB. Android Auto requires a phone running the Android Lollipop 5.0 operating system or above, while Apple CarPlay requires an iPhone 5 or later.
  5. Kia is planning to follow Hyundai with offering a range of performance models around the world. However, Kia isn't planning to make them as hardcore as Hyundai's upcoming N models. Hyundai and Kia’s performance development boss Albert Biermann tells Autocar that Kia's GT models will differ Hyundai's N models as they aren't designed to be taken on a racetrack. This means GT models will likely not see such tech as an electronically controlled limited slip differential that will be coming on the European-market i30 N Plus. What they will see is improvements in terms of performance, handling, and looks. Biermann admits that “GT is not right for all Kia models," but most of Kia's mainstream lineup will likely see a GT variant. Some of the models likely to get a GT variant include the next-generation Rio, Optima, and the next-generation ProCeed (unrelated to the Forte compact). "The Ceed GT is a very balanced car, but we are a few years further down the road, and if we were to engineer it now it would have some more spice to it.” Biermann also revealed that standard Kia models will get different chassis settings from their Hyundai brethren as a way to differentiate them. “Kia is meant to be more emotional than Hyundai and we have to make cars that reflect that when you drive them,” said Biermann. Source: Autocar
  6. By 2020, Genesis will have six models in its lineup. We already have seen the G80 and G90 due out later this year, and gotten a sneak peek into the compact G70 sedan. There's also two SUVs and a new coupe. But we didn't know when these models would be coming out until a slide was leaked out. The Korean Car Blog got their hands on an image showing off a presentation slide with a roadmap of their models. We're assuming this is from a meeting with dealers getting briefed on the Genesis brand. The first interesting thing of note deals with the G70. We thought it was still a couple of years out, but the slide shows that it will be at dealers next year. Next are the two SUVs. Genesis looks to be offering a compact and midsize SUV, with the midsize arriving first. The Korean Car Blog speculates it could be as early as 2018. Then we get to the coupe arriving by 2020. It's assumed that it will be based on the G70 sedan, but no details have appeared on this. Source: The Korean Car Blog
  7. The Fiat 124 Spider might be based on the Mazda MX-5 Miata, but it features a turbocharged engine and is slightly less than its platform - aside from the base trim. Fiat announced pricing for the 124 Spider today. The base Classica model starts at $25,990 (includes a $995 destination charge). Compared to the base MX-5 Miata Sport, the 124 Spider Classica is about $255.00 more expensive. Both models come with 16-inch wheels, black cloth seats, and LED taillights. Mazda ones up Fiat by offering LED headlights. This changes when you climb up further in the 124 Spider's trim lineup: Lusso: $28,490 ($2,395 less than the comparable MX-5 Miata Grand Touring). Comes with 17-inch alloys, heated leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 7-Inch touchscreen with navigation. Abarth: $29,190 ($230.00 less than the comparable MX-5 Miata Club). Comes with front and rear Bilstein sport suspension, mechanical limited-slip differential, front strut tower bar, 17-inch alloy wheels finished in a gun metal grey, and quad-tip exhaust. Brembo brakes and a set of Recaro sport seats are optional. Wrapping up the 124 Spider lineup is the limited edition Prima Edizione Lusso that comes with an exclusive blue paint finish and premium leather seats. This model only comes with an automatic. Source: Fiat Press Release is on Page 2 FIAT Announces Pricing for All-new 2017 124 Spider 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is the most affordable turbo-powered convertible in America with a starting price of $24,995 (MSRP) Lineup includes: Classica, $24,995; Lusso, $27,495; and Abarth, $28,195 (MSRP) 2017 Fiat 124 Spider returns nearly 50 years after original introduction Revival of roadster continues expansion of FIAT brand in North America Delivers iconic Italian style with modern adaptation of original Spider legend Powered by standard proven turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-liter engine for best-in-class 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque on Classica and Lusso; 165 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque on Abarth, available with six-speed manual or automatic transmission EPA fuel economy of 26 city / 35 highway for manual transmission and 25 city / 36 highway for automatic transmission Double-wishbone front suspension and rear multi-link suspension with stabilizer bars, 54/46 weight distribution and tuned electric-power steering system for enhanced handling and fuel efficiency Available with an array of safety and security features, including Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection and ParkView rear backup camera Technology including passive entry with keyless go, Bluetooth connectivity, heated seats and available FIAT Connect 7.0 with Pandora, Stitcher and Aha Available premium Bose nine-speaker system with noise cancelling headrest speakers First 124 units will be available as limited-production Prima Edizione Lusso April 29, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The FIAT brand today announced that pricing for its all-new 2017 124 Spider lineup will start at $24,995 U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), not including destination. FIAT’s all-new roadster is the lowest-priced turbocharged convertible in America. The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider revives the storied nameplate, bringing its classic Italian styling and performance to a new generation of vehicles and buyers. Paying homage to the original 124 Spider nearly 50 years after its introduction, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider delivers the ultimate Italian roadster experience with driving excitement, technology and safety combined with iconic Italian design. The roadster will come standard with the proven 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo four-cylinder engine, the engine’s first application in a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. The engine delivers best-in-class 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque on Classica and Lusso, 165 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque on Abarth, and is available with a six-speed manual transmission (26 city / 35 highway) or a six-speed automatic transmission (25 city / 36 highway). “Our mission at FIAT is to deliver Italian design and heritage in vehicles that are fun to drive,” said Olivier Francois, Head of FIAT Brand, FCA – Global. “The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider brings these elements together and comes loaded with open-air fun, stunning Italian design and the proven turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-liter engine.” Fiat 124 Spider Classica The Classica model features a dual-tip exhaust, black roll bar finish, and body-color header, side sills and door handles. The vehicle also comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, Nero (black) premium cloth seats, halogen headlamps and LED tail lamps. Inside, soft-touch materials on the instrument panel are highlighted with light silver accents. Not visible are eight points to reduce NVH, including insulation in the instrument panel, center tunnel, convertible top and rear trunk, to name a few. The Classica is available in six colors: Rosso Passione (red clear coat), Bianco Gelato (white clear coat), Nero Cinema (jet black metallic), Grigio Argento (gray metallic), Grigio Moda (dark gray metallic) and Bronzo Magnetico (bronze metallic). The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica with a six-speed manual transmission has a U.S. MSRP of $24,995, plus $995 destination. The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica with a six-speed automatic transmission is $26,345, plus $995 destination. Fiat 124 Spider Lusso The Lusso (“Luxury”) model builds on the Classica, with standard 17-inch alloy wheels, silver-painted A-pillar header and roll-bar cover and dual-tip chrome exhaust. The interior features heated premium leather seats in Nero (black) or Saddle and a leatherette-wrapped cluster brow. The lower instrument panel also is wrapped in leatherette, with Piano Black accents throughout. The Lusso model is available in seven colors: Rosso Passione (red clear coat), Bianco Gelato (white clear coat), Nero Cinema (jet black metallic), Grigio Argento (gray metallic), Grigio Moda (dark gray metallic), Bronzo Magnetico (bronze metallic) and Bianca Perla (crystal white pearl tri-coat). The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso with a six-speed manual transmission has a U.S. MSRP of $27,495, plus $995 destination. The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso with a six-speed automatic transmission has a U.S. MSRP of $28,845, plus $995 destination. Fiat 124 Spider Abarth The all-new Fiat 124 Spider Abarth offers a sportier, more responsive driving experience for performance enthusiasts at 165 horsepower. Features include a front and rear Bilstein sport suspension, mechanical limited-slip differential, front strut tower bar, Sport Mode selector and sport-tuned chrome quad-tip exhaust with the world-renowned Abarth sound. Its aggressive appearance comes complete with unique front and rear fascia, 17-inch Gun Metal aluminum wheels, Gun Metal exterior accents and an available hand-painted hood stripe, offering a one-of-a-kind appearance. Other available features include a Brembo braking system and Recaro seats for added sportiness. The Abarth model is available in five colors: Bianco Gelato (white clear coat), Rosso Passione (red clear coat), Nero Cinema (jet black metallic), Grigio Argento (gray metallic) and tri-coat Bianco Perla (crystal white pearl). The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth with a six-speed manual transmission has a U.S. MSRP of $28,195, plus $995 destination. The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth with a six-speed automatic transmission has a U.S. MSRP of $29,545, plus $995 destination. Fiat 124 Spider Prima Edizione Lusso To celebrate the return of the classic nameplate, the first 124 vehicles will be offered as a limited-edition Prima Edizione Lusso. Each will be individually numbered with a commemorative badge and available in exclusive Azzurro Italia (Blue) exterior paint with premium leather seats in Saddle. Consumers who purchase a Prima Edizione also will receive limited-edition items, including a matching blue leather bag, journal with pen and a poster showcasing original design illustration with vehicle dimensions. The all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Prima Edizione Lusso has a U.S. MSRP of $35,000, plus $995 destination.
  8. The MINI sedan has been floating around the rumor universe since 2012 with various outlets saying it's coming with the prime markets being the China and the U.S. - sedans are more popular than hatchbacks in these markets. Autocar is the latest one to report this and says it's could be coming with the third-generation MINI lineup. According to sources, the sedan is in the cards as the fifth model in the updated MINI lineup. It will use the new Clubman as a base and feature a range of three and four-cylinder engines. A possible name is Riley - a name used for a MINI sedan back in the sixties. Helping substantiate this rumor is a comment made by Ralph Mahler, MINI's vice-president product management. “For example, in Asia and the US, the sedan [saloon] segment is very big. This is very interesting to us, of course," Mahler explained as the automaker has undertaken various analysis on different market trends and segments. If the MINI sedan is given the green light, expect sometime after the launch of the new Countryman - expected to show up later this year. Source: Autocar
  9. The decision on where Volkswagen's upcoming crossover should be built has ended up becoming a tug-of-war between Mexico and Tennessee. Reuters reports that Volkswagen has delayed a decision that was expected this month on where the crossover will be built after the respective governments negotiating with VW over incentive deals. "VW is taking way too long again to tackle another pressing U.S. problem. The crossover will be a gainful addition to their portfolio, VW has got no time to waste," said Arndt Ellinghorst, London-based analyst at ISI Group. Two sources tell Reuters that the company is planning to make a final decision at the end of the month. In other Volkswagen news, Bloomberg has learned that company could expand its SUV lineup from two to six models. Volkswagen believes to reach its goal of becoming the number-one global automaker by 2018, more SUVs will be needed as they become more popular in other markets. Among those are redesigned versions of the Tiguan and Touareg, and a production version of the T-Roc Concept. Source: Reuters, Bloomberg 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.
  10. Scion has been hamstrung for the past couple of years with an aging lineup. While new models such as the FR-S and updated tC have helped somewhat, Scion's sales have been declining. But the brand is planning to overhaul their lineup starting next year. Speaking on the sidelines of the New York Auto Show with Automotive News, Scion vice president Doug Murtha said the brand is planning to replace three of its five models starting next year. The first new model will be shown at the LA Auto Show. Murtha didn't give any details about what segment the new model would be in, but did hint at a possible direction. “From a segment context, Scion has always been about entry compact and subcompact, and that will remain our center of gravity,” Murtha said. “Would we be interested in other body styles? The answer is always yes. We may mix things up a bit as we find a new direction for the brand.” The mostly likely candidates for replacement for the xB and xD models. The two models are currently into their seventh year of their lifecycle. The other candidate for replacement is the iQ city car. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  11. Today at a media briefing, General Motors unveiled their next-generation EcoTec engine family. The family will go into production later this year and promises to be more refined and efficient than before. The engine family is made up of eleven different three and four-cylinder engines ranging in displacement of 1.0 to 1.5 liters. Both naturally-aspirated and turbocharged engines will be on offer and the engines have been designed with hybrid and alternate fuel configurations in the future. Power will range from 75 to 165 horsepower and 70 to 184 pound-feet or torque. "The new Ecotec architecture represents the most advanced and efficient family of small-car gas engines in GM's history. Along with performance and efficiency targets, we've also aimed for segment-leading refinement with low noise and vibration - and we've hit the bulls-eye," said Tom Sutter, GM's global chief engineer. The first vehicles to get the latest EcoTec engines will be the Opel Adam and the Chinese-Market Chevrolet Cruze. The Adam will get a new turbocharged 1.0L three-cylinder that is 20 percent more efficient than the 1.6L four-cylinder it replaces. Meanwhile, the Chinese-Market Cruze replaces the 1.6L four-cylinder with a new turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder with 148 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. GM plans to roll out the engine lineup to twenty-seven different vehicles globally. Oddly, GM hasn't announced any plans for the U.S. for the new EcoTec family. We'll likely hear about that later this year. Source: General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 New Modular Ecotec Engines are More Adaptable, Efficient Modular architecture streamlines powertrain portfolio, reduces manufacturing complexity Global design and manufacturing processes enhance adaptability, with 11 engine variants ranging from 1.0L to 1.5L Up to 2.5 million annual production at five global plants by 2017 DETROIT – A new generation of Ecotec small-displacement engines streamlines General Motors’ global powertrain portfolio with a modular architecture that broadens its adaptability to global markets and reduces manufacturing complexity – while offering customers leading-edge efficiency, refinement and durability. The new engines were developed for GM’s global vehicle portfolio and will power many of the company’s highest-volume small cars and compact crossovers – including the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze specifically tailored for China, which launches in 2014 as a 2015 model. By 2017, more than 2.5 million new Ecotec engines are projected to be built annually in at least five manufacturing locations around the globe: Flint, Mich. (U.S.); Shenyang, China; Szentgotthárd, Hungary; Toluca, Mexico; and Changwon, South Korea. The Flint facility alone represents an investment of more than $200 million in technology and tooling to support the engines’ production. “Transportation solutions vary around the world and GM is committed to developing engines matched to the needs of the regions where they’re sold,” said Steve Kiefer, GM vice president, Global Powertrain Engineering. “The new engine family is designed to achieve segment-leading refinement and efficiency, and will make its way into five GM brands and 27 models by the 2017 model year.” The new Ecotec portfolio will include 11 engines, with three- and four-cylinder variants ranging from 1.0L to 1.5L – including turbocharged versions – and power ratings ranging from 75 horsepower (56 kW) to 165 horsepower (123 kW), and torque ranging from 70 lb-ft (95 Nm) to 184 lb-ft (250 Nm). The architecture is also designed to support hybrid propulsion systems and alternative fuels. The first production applications include a 1.0L turbocharged three-cylinder for the Opel ADAM in Europe, and 1.4L turbocharged and 1.5L naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines for the 2015 next-generation Chevrolet Cruze in China. The turbocharged variants enable the engines to deliver the power and torque of larger-displacement engines with the efficiency of smaller engines. For example, the turbocharged 1.0L three-cylinder used in the Opel ADAM makes as much power as the naturally aspirated 1.6L four-cylinder it replaces – with an estimated 20-percent improvement in efficiency. In fact, the new Ecotec family is on the leading edge of efficiency, with the new 1.4L turbo up to five percent more efficient than the 1.4L turbo engine it will replace. The new Ecotec engines also deliver segment-challenging refinement. Noise intensity is up to 50-percent quieter than Volkswagen’s EA211 1.4L four-cylinder and up to 25-percent quieter than Ford’s 1.0L turbo three-cylinder. Clean-sheet design The new Ecotec engines represent a clean-sheet design and engineering process, leveraging the diverse experience of GM’s global resources. Technologies such as central direct fuel injection, continuously variable valve timing, turbocharging and variable intake manifold airflow help achieve efficiency goals with broad power bands, for an optimal balance of strong performance and lower fuel consumption. “The new Ecotec architecture represents the most advanced and efficient family of small-car gas engines in GM’s history,” said Tom Sutter, global chief engineer. “Along with performance and efficiency targets, we’ve also aimed for segment-leading refinement with low noise and vibration – and we’ve hit the bulls-eye.” Modularity in parts – such as four-cylinder and three-cylinder blocks – that share bore spacing, bore diameter, liners and other dimensions, reduces complexity while increasing the flexibility to quickly adapt the architecture for new applications. The new Ecotec engines are calibrated to run on regular unleaded gas – even the high-output turbo variants. The new 1.4L turbo for the 2015 next-generation Chevrolet Cruze in China is estimated at 148 horsepower (110 kW) and 173 lb-ft of torque (235 Nm). The 1.5L is rated at an estimated 113 horsepower (84 kW) and 108 lb-ft of torque (146 Nm). In China, Cruze models with the 1.4L turbo engine will also feature an all-new dual-clutch gearbox.
  12. With every new generation of MINI, the lineup has grown and grown. In the first-generation, there was three models. Now, the lineup consists of seven models. However, a BMW board member wants to see MINI cut back the number of models it has. Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW board member for Mini and Rolls-Royce tells Autocar that he would like to see brand to pare down the lineup as he believes the rapid expansion is hurting the brand. He said BMW had to be “sensitive about the number of variants and about size. It is better to go in a different direction to concentrate on doing less but better”. What would Schwarzenbauer's MINI lineup look like? It would comprise of what Schwarzenbauer calls his ‘hero cars' which include a three-door hatch, a convertible, and a SUV. “Each model must be a hero in its own market and have the trademark personality, style and go-kart handling,” Schwarzenbauer said. By reducing the amount of models in MINI's lineup, Schwarzenbauer says this will allow Mini’s research and development to concentrate more on improving design and quality. Source: Autocar 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.
  13. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 12, 2013 The Chevrolet SS when it becomes available later this year will be available with one engine (6.2L V8 with 415 horsepower), six-speed automatic, five colors, two options, and that's about it. A lot of us should be happy that GM decided to give the Holden Commodore in the U.S. idea another shot. But a good amount of people are wondering why GM isn't doing more with SS. Automotive.com got to the bottom of this and chatted with Chevrolet Performance Cars Marketing Manager John Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick explained that the reason for the simple SS offering comes down to volume. When Pontiac was selling the G8 in the V6, GT V8, and GXP V8 trims; it was expected to sell upwards of 30,000 units per year. As we all know, the G8 didn't get close to that. With the new SS, GM is only expecting to sell 3,000 models due to shipping constraints from Australia. Fitzpatrick also said GM is keeping the variations down to keep profits up, at least for the time being. But what if the SS proves to be successful with the modest goals? According to Fitzpatrick, Chevrolet could look into offering a manual transmission and more powerful versions. Source: Automotive.com 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.
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 10, 2013 Volkswagen has announced their 2014 lineup and the big news is that the 2.5L will be bidding farewell in the Beetle, Jetta, and Passat. In its place will be a new 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. While the 1.8T has about the same horsepower as the outgoing 2.5, it has about seven more pound-feet of torque. The 1.8T will be available in the Jetta and Passat SEL at the start. The rest of the Passat lineup and Beetle will follow. The 2014 Jetta also trades in its torsen-beam rear suspension for an independent rear suspension, which should improve the driving dynamics. Other items of note for the 2014 Volkswagen lineup Volkswagen's R-Line lineup will now include the Tiguan, Touareg, and Beetle Convertible. VW Car-Net which adds security and convenience features such as crash notification, roadside assistance, stolen vehicle location assistance, remote vehicle access, vehicle health report, and more. Car-Net will be available on Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, Eos, Jetta, Passat, and Tiguan All 2014 Volkswagen models will be able to run E85 fuel. 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 07.10.2013 MODEL YEAR 2014: MORE EFFICIENT DOWNSIZED ENGINES AND AN EXTENDED R-LINE RANGE HEAD THE CHANGES New 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine to feature in Jetta, Beetle, and Passat, replacing the 2.5-liter five cylinder. R-Line® range expands to five models. Jetta SE and SEL models are fitted with new 170-horsepower 1.8-liter engine, offering a manufacturer predicted highway fuel economy improvement of 16 percent All Jetta models now have independent rear suspension VW Car-Net™ connected services introduced across a broad range of models New 1.8-liter engine in the Beetle has manufacturer predicted highway fuel economy improvement of 17 percent Sporty Beetle GSR® special edition offers dramatic appearance package Beetle R-Line model replaces Turbo, adding new bumpers, badging, and optional 19-inch wheels and Bi-Xenon headlights Passat trims are revised and new 1.8-liter engine replaces 2.5-liter unit, starting in the SEL model R-Line added to the Tiguan range Touareg R-Line joins the lineup All VW models are now E15 capable Herndon, VA - After three years of incredible growth and a slew of new product introductions, 2013 is a year of consolidation for Volkswagen of America. Nevertheless, it’s also a year in which some very important product changes will occur. Chief among these for the 2014 model year is the introduction of the EA888 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder TSI® engine, which will gradually replace the 2.5-liter five-cylinder naturally aspirated powerplant fitted to the Jetta, Beetle, and Passat models. This new engine produces 170 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque: this is the same power as the 2.5, but the torque is improved by seven lb-ft, delivered much lower in the rev range. Volkswagen pioneered the use of small-displacement turbocharged and DI engines in the U.S. market: the implementation of the new EA888 gasoline unit will help ensure that more than 90 percent of the cars sold by Volkswagen in the U.S. have these highly efficient powerplants. The engine is built in a new, state-of-the-art factory in Silao, Mexico that is part of Volkswagen’s ongoing $5 billion investment in the North American market. The new TSI engine will be fitted to the Jetta range and the Passat SEL initially, to be followed by the rest of the Passat lineup and the Beetle later in the model year. The new engine is expected to offer significant highway fuel mileage gains over the 2.5-liter unit. The popular Beetle range has a number of new additions for 2014. The most significant is the introduction of the retro-themed GSR (German for “Yellow Black Racer”) that will be sold as a limited-edition model. Because the base Beetle now has a turbocharged engine, the previous Turbo models have been re-branded with the R-Line® moniker. The R-Line range itself has been extended to five vehicles. The Beetle Convertible R-Line, Touareg R-Line, and Tiguan R-Line all go on sale this fall, joining the existing Beetle Coupe R-Line and the CC R-Line. Volkswagen will introduce its VW Car-Net™ connected services this fall as part of the 2014 model lineup. Available on Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, Eos, Jetta, Passat, and Tiguan models, VW Car-Net offers a wealth of security and convenience features, including crash notification, roadside assistance, and stolen vehicle location assistance. In addition, VW Car-Net adds: remote vehicle access; boundary and speed alerts; a vehicle health report; and an enhanced POI service on vehicles equipped with a navigation system. Most of the features can be administered through a handy smartphone app. Finally, all Volkswagen models are E15 capable, across all powertrains for 2014. CARS Beetle Beetle GSR goes on sale as a limited-edition model Base 2.5-liter engine is replaced by 170-hp 1.8-liter turbocharged four cylinder during the 2014 model year Highway fuel economy predicted by manufacturer to improve by up to 17 percent with the 1.8-liter engine Beetle Turbo lineup now becomes the Beetle R-Line VW Car-Net connectivity becomes available Rearview camera fitted to top-of-the-line models (late availability) Then as now, the GSR features a unique interior with a yellow/black theme, sport seats, and a leather-wrapped sport steering wheel. The black-trimmed leather seating surfaces and high-grip leather-wrapped steering wheel both have contrasting yellow stitching. Other interior changes include a GSR shift lever, a leather-wrapped handbrake, 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. The base Beetle’s 2.5-liter engine will be phased out later in the 2014 model year and replaced by a new, locally sourced, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. This will produce 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque and is expected to offer highly competitive fuel economy. Electro-mechanical power steering replaces the 2.5’s hydraulic setup. The Beetle Turbo lineup is renamed as the R-Line for 2014, adding aggressively styled bumpers front and rear as well as R-Line exterior badging and R-Line sill kickplates. The top R-Line Sunroof and Sound with Navigation also features unique 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs, and leather seating surfaces; black interiors also get an R-Line badge on the steering wheel and a “metallic finish” dash pad. All Beetle R-Line models and the GSR are fitted with the latest version of the EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which makes 210hp. Among other changes to the Beetle, the TDI® with Sunroof model is removed from the lineup, while a rearview camera will be available on the Sunroof, Sound, and Navigation trim levels on the Beetle, Beetle TDI Clean Diesel, and Beetle R-Line models. Beetle Convertible Beetle receives 170-horsepower turbocharged 1.8-liter engine in place of 2.5-liter unit partway through 2014 model year Beetle Turbo Convertible is renamed the Beetle R-Line Convertible Rearview camera on top-of-the-line Convertible models (late availability) VW Car-Net connectivity becomes available Like the Beetle Coupe, the Turbo Convertible range is renamed the R-Line. The topline R-Line with Sound and Navigation has additional R-Line-specific features, such as unique 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs, and leather seating surfaces: black interiors add an R-Line badge on the steering wheel and a “metallic finish” dash pad. The base 2.5-liter engine will be phased out in favor of a 1.8-liter TSI unit that is expected to offer significantly better highway and overall fuel economy figures. Finally, the topline trim in each engine configuration—Beetle Convertible, Beetle TDI Convertible, and Beetle R-Line Convertible—will feature a rearview camera later in the model year. CC VW Car-Net becomes available on all CC models New 2.0T Executive trim joins lineup, while Sport model replaces Sport with Lighting Package Rearview camera added to Sport and R-Line trim (late availability) V6 Executive models get Keyless access with push-button start, “Easy Open” motion-activated trunk opener, and new 18-inch “Lakeville” alloy wheels For 2014, a new 2.0T Executive trim joins the lineup and gains: the RNS® 510 premium navigation system with four-year SiriusXM® Traffic and three-month trial to SiriusXM TravelLink™; Keyless access and push-button start; “Easy Open” motion-activated trunk opener; leather seating surfaces; sunroof; rearview camera; 18-inch “St.Louis” alloy wheels; ambient lighting; engineered ebony interior trim, and available Truffle Brown interior. At the same time, the Sport with Lighting Package is replaced by the Sport model. This package includes LED daytime running lights and the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), the RNS 315 navigation system, and a rearview camera (late availability). Eos For 2014, the Eos incorporates minor changes over the 2013 models. VW Car-Net becomes available on all trims RNS 315 navigation system is added to the Komfort and Sport trims Keyless access with push-button start added to the Sport model Lux model is discontinued Golf/GTI There will be a limited number of 2014 Golfs and GTIs sold in the U.S. market, as four-door models only. Jetta New 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder engine replaces 2.5-liter five cylinder; electro-mechanical power steering replaces a hydraulic setup Jetta 1.8T, 2.0, and TDI models receive rear multilink suspensions Media Device Interface (MDI) cable moved from glovebox to center console on SE and higher trims VW Car-Net becomes available on SE with Connectivity and higher trims Rearview cameras added to SEL, TDI Premium, and TDI Premium and Navigation 30th Anniversary edition GLI (late availability) Jetta Hybrid SE, SEL and SEL Premium trims receive new high-resolution MFI display in the instrument cluster The best-selling model in Volkswagen’s lineup receives a number of key enhancements for 2014, including powertrain, chassis, and technology updates. The SE model will add a new 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder engine, electro-mechanical power steering, a multilink independent rear suspension, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio, and power reclining front seats. The SE with Connectivity trim adds the option of VW Car-Net connected services, while the SE with Connectivity and Sunroof adds Keyless access with push-button start. The SEL trim is now available with an automatic transmission only. It also offers VW Car-Net, a rearview camera, the RNS 315 navigation system, and the Fender® Premium Audio System. Similar to the 1.8-liter gasoline trims, all TDI Clean Diesel models will offer VW Car-Net, a relocated MDI cable (now in the center console), and new independent rear suspension. TDI Premium and Premium and Navigation trims also get a rearview camera. The performance-driven Jetta GLI model now has the relocated MDI cable and the option of VW Car-Net, as well as the latest 210-hp version of the EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Volkswagen’s first hybrid compact, the Jetta Hybrid, was launched late last year. For 2014, updates are minimal and include the availability of VW Car-Net and the addition of a new high-resolution color MFI display in the instrument cluster. Jetta SportWagen For 2014, the Jetta SportWagen incorporates only minor changes over the 2013 models. All models receive LED license-plate lights TDI trims gain a rearview camera Passat For 2014, the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine will be replaced by a 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder engine that makes 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Along with the engine comes a change from hydraulic to electro-mechanical power steering. Other changes include: Wolfsburg Edition carries over from 2013; now includes leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob, and parking brake VW Car-Net connectivity system available on Wolfsburg and higher trims Two-tone seats available on all SE trims Rearview camera introduced on SE and higher trims Keyless access with push-button start and new “Bristol” 18-inch wheels available on select SE trims. A Sport trim will be introduced later this year. Details will be released closer to launch MDI now standard on Wolfsburg Edition and higher trims MINIVAN, SUVs Routan For 2014, the Routan carries over unchanged as a fleet model only. Tiguan Tiguan R-Line model added to the lineup VW Car-Net connectivity option widely available across trim lines Introduction of Fender Premium Audio System on R-Line and SEL trims Content added across the Tiguan lineup; Keyless access with push-button start, Climatronic® automatic air conditioning, MDI with iPod® cable, and rearview camera The Tiguan R-Line joins the expanded lineup of R-Line models. This performance and appearance package adds aggressive styling and a sport suspension. The exterior is further enhanced with 19-inch aluminum-alloy Mallory wheels, an R-Line roof spoiler, body-color side skirts, and R-Line badging. The interior receives R-Line front door kickplates, a flat-bottomed leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters, black headliner, and stainless steel pedals. Additionally, the Tiguan R-Line offers Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs and leather seating surfaces. Overall, there is added value across the Tiguan lineup with enhanced SE and SEL models, as well as a new SE with Appearance trim line. The SE adds heated seats, leatherette seating surfaces, and an MDI with iPod® adapter; the SE with Appearance’s added features include Keyless access with push-button start and a rearview camera; and the SEL adds the Fender Premium Audio System. Touareg R-Line model features special interior and exterior styling, sport suspension Rear hatch now has “Easy Open” feature on all models except Sport and R-Line Area-view camera feature on Executive and Hybrid models LED taillights on the Executive models Keyless access with push-button start now fitted to more than 90 percent of Touareg models Trailer hitch now standard on all Touareg models except V6 Sport and R-Line The most important addition to the Touareg lineup for the 2014 model year is the R-Line, which is based on the Lux trim for V6 and TDI Clean Diesel models. This model adds a sport suspension, 20-inch “Mallory” aluminum-alloy wheels, and a bevy of exterior and interior enhancements. On the outside, the R-Line model receives: R-Line badging; LED taillights; sportier front and rear bumpers; and side skirts. Inside, the R-Line gets brushed aluminum trim, stainless-steel pedals, a black headliner, an R-badged steering wheel, and unique sill kickplates. Sport with Navigation and Lux models receive Keyless access with push-button start, while all models except the R-Line and Sport have a new “Easy Open” motion-activated trunk opening feature, which is a real boon to owners who have their hands full and want to access the cargo area.
  15. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com May 14, 2013 While Cadillac is attacking the German automakers with the compact ATS and upcoming CTS, one place you will not see the crest and shield do battle is in the volume race. "We're not going to be in every single segment that they're in," said General Motors CFO Dan Ammann to Automotive News. "In some ways, I think that not having the pressure to sell the last incremental car at whatever cost … is actually not a bad place to be right now." Now, Cadillac has a different set of circumstances than the German automakers. For one, Cadillac has a much smaller lineup and sales when compared to the Germans. Now GM has announced that Cadillac will be expanding into other markets in the coming years and to fill out the lineup with new and redesigned models by 2015. But what Ammann said about Cadillac not being apart of every segment is a bit reassuring. With the German automakers going after every segment, it could cause damage in the long run with their premium position. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  16. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com May 13, 2013 Mitsubishi could be introducing a new subcompact sedan as part of an effort to help bolster their presence in the U.S. Automotive News reports that Mitsubishi dealers were shown rendering of the sedan at the brand's regional dealer meetings back in April. Mitsubishi told the dealers that the sedan could be arriving sometime in 2015. When asked about this, Mistubishi declined to confirm the timing or whether dealers in the U.S. would get it at all. What Mitsubishi did confirm is that they did talk to their dealers about this. The company "is looking into introducing a small, entry-level sedan to the United States market, and while we continue to study the market trend and demand for this smaller-segment sedan, we have not come to a concrete decision on when this model may make the U.S. showroom," a Mitsubishi spokesman said. Scott Grove, owner of two Mitsubishi dealerships near Chicago said this news was a high point in the meeting. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  17. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com April 4, 2013 Jim McDowell, vice president of Mini USA told Edmunds that Mini's lineup could be experiencing a shake-up. "When we start to replace models, I think you will see that we won't replace every model exactly," McDowell said. Currently, Mini has seven models on sale: Cooper Hardtop, Convertible, Coupe, Roadster, Clubman, Paceman, and Countryman. Two of those models, the Countryman and Cooper Hardtop make up account for about 75 percent of Mini sales. "When I joined Mini, we knew that we would have two models. Ultimately, we (now) have seven. We are starting the next generation a year from now. We know that we will have a pretty broad lineup. You may actually put your chess pieces on the board differently if you know that you can have seven," said McDowell. Source: Edmunds 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.
  18. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 20, 2013 Subaru was one of the automakers who actually saw increase in sales during the recent recession. But with auto sales coming back to pre-recession levels, Subaru is pondering whether to add models to help fill in product gaps in the lineup. Wards Auto recently talked with Ken Lin, director-product management for the brand. Currently, the biggest void in Subaru’s lineup is the lack of a competitive three-row crossover, something the Tribeca isn’t. Lin admits this, but doesn’t say that Subaru will end production of the model. Instead, Subaru is looking at creating a larger, three-row crossover. Lin also talked about that Subaru is looking at more upscale versions of the current lineup. “Luxury is certainly one of the opportunities with profit potential. We could do touring-editions of products but would not be competing with BMW or Mercedes. There is no move to create another brand.” Finally, Lin says Subaru will be introducing a hybrid model sometime later this year. This confirms a report back in January. Lin says the model will utilize a nickel-metal-hydride battery, not lithium-ion. Source: Wards Auto 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 16, 2013 We known for a time that the Mini lineup would be growing to ten models, but we weren't quite sure how that would happen. Well Car and Driver had the chance to talk with Mini U.S. product planning manager Patrick McKenna about the possibilities. Model eight is the new Mini Clubvan, while nine and ten will not be a new body style. Instead, nine and ten will be a front-wheel-drive hybrid and a second-generation electric Mini, both based on the three-door Cooper. Also in the pipeline is the new Cooper which will debut in November and come with a turbocharged three-cylinder engine and a next-generation Clubman. One model that will not be coming is the Rocketman, that has been canned. Source: Car and Driver William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  20. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 17, 2013 The 2014 Cadillac ELR is the first model of a new global product offensive by the brand that could see the lineup expand up to ten models by 2016. According the Reuters, Cadillac hopes to grow global sales. The models potentially include a flagship sedan, a small crossover, and a small car. Currently, almost 75% of Cadillac sales come from the U.S. In 2012, Cadillac dropped from forth to fifth place due to sales sliding. "We're saying it over and over and over that we want Cadillac to be a truly global luxury brand. We have the core of a very good product set now and we're working hard at examining the options to make it even better. You can expect a more robust lineup," said Bob Ferguson, vice president of global Cadillac. Sources tell Reuters that after the ELR, Cadillac is working on a flagship sedan named the LTS to compete with the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The LTS will use the new Omega RWD architecture. Also in the cards is the expansion of Cadillac's crossover lineup by adding a smaller model to compete with the BMW X1 and a larger seven-seat model. There is also a ATS coupe and a smaller Alpha sub-compact car. Analysts have doubts about this plan, citing that certain markets like Europe could take up fifteen years to gain a size-able share. "I'm not convinced Cadillac can pull it off," said Jim Hall, managing director of consulting firm 2953 Analytics. "They may still be suffering from 'Lincoln disease' - the lack of long-term commitment by the parent company." GM will also focus on building Cadillac's presence in China, where it will start building the full-size XTS sedan in about two weeks. Analysts do agree that with the expansion of the lineup, it will help strengthen the brand. "Even if Cadillac's not commanding the same price as the Germans or selling as many cars, people for the first time in decades are saying these are good cars," said John Casesa, senior managing director with Guggenheim Securities. Source: Reuters 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.
  21. Scion has been called Toyota's experimental division as it allows Toyota to try new products and ideas (although it hasn't been used for this in a few years). Now with this, you would think Toyota would introduce some new hybrid or electric vehicle. But Green Car Reports reports that it will not likely happen anytime soon. Scion chief Doug Murtha tells Green Car Reports the brand is still maintaining its focus on providing vehicles for those under 35, a group that isn't quite ready to spend the cash for these type of powertrain technologies. “People think that this would have a lot of appeal with our target audience; and it absolutely does, and the environmental benefits are nice,” said Murtha. “But where it jumps the track is when we start talking about how much they might be willing to pay for a hybrid system: pretty much zero.” Source: Green Car Reports
  22. Alfa Romeo is planning to have four models in its U.S. lineup by 2017. This summer will see will the 4C Spyder join the 4C coupe. After that, a new sedan and SUV will be coming according to Alfa Romeo's U.S. head Reid Bigland. Bigland tells Automotive News that Alfa Romeo's new sedan - designed to compete with the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class - will debut in June in Italy, with sales in the U.S. beginning next year. In previous reports, we have been calling it the Giulia. But Bigland says the name for the new sedan is being hashed-out. “I’m confident that it’s going to blow your Italian socks off when you look at the specifications associated with this vehicle,” said Bigland. Following the sedan will be the SUV which will take on the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. This is expected to land in the U.S. either in the forth quarter of next year, or in 2017. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  23. The past few months has seen Cadillac introduce new products such as the ATS-V and CTS-V. We'll also be seeing Cadillac's CT6 flagship in few months time. But Cadillac's president Johan de Nysschen says more products are on the way. Autoblog reports that Cadillac will be introducing eight new products by 2020 as part of a $12-billion investment into the brand. Here is what the brand has in store, New SRX in 2016. Will be the first crossover to feature the XT nomeclature Smaller sedan to take on the likes of the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA in 2017. Automotive News reports that this new sedan will utilize the Alpha rear-wheel drive platform 2018 sees a compact crossover that will sit under the SRX 2020 brings out the S-Class challenger There is also talk of a crossover that will sit between the SRX and Escalade, along with introducing new powertrains options such as plug-in hybrids, diesels, and electrics. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Autoblog Pic Credit - William Maley
  24. BMW announced today that it plans on offering a plug-in hybrid version on "all its core-brand models," in the future. The plug-in hybrids will utilize battery and motor technologies from the i3 and i8 models. “All BMW Group models benefit from BMW i. The fundamental technology involved in battery cells, electric motors and the power electronics will be used in our upcoming plug-in hybrid models. When it comes to the electrification of the drivetrain, we are deliberately developing a wide-ranging expertise in order to offer our customers worldwide the ideal solution," said Herbert Diess, member of the board for BMW's development. At a event in Miramas, France, the automaker will debut a 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype which features a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder and the electric motor from BMW's i models. Source: BMW Press Release is on Page 2 New generation of plug-in hybrid models Munich/Miramas. The BMW Group is preparing to follow up its innovative and revolutionary BMW i models with plug-in hybrid versions of the core-brand models. In Miramas, France, it will present a BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype and a new generation of hybrid vehicle concepts incorporating technology already used in BMW i models. Long term, the BMW Group is planning to offer plug-in hybrid versions of all its core-brand models. Herbert Diess, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, Development, said: “All BMW Group models benefit from BMW i. The fundamental technology involved in battery cells, electric motors and the power electronics will be used in our upcoming plug-in hybrid models. When it comes to the electrification of the drivetrain, we are deliberately developing a wide-ranging expertise in order to offer our customers worldwide the ideal solution. The plug-in hybrid models presented in Miramas are equipped with a highly efficient internal combustion engine and an electric motor powered by an externally rechargeable high-voltage battery. Shorter-distance urban trips or commutes can be completed on electric power only. On longer journeys, the vehicle will usually operate in “combined mode”, with both systems working together. The BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype combines a four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor. The internal combustion engine is based on the TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder petrol engine that has already twice been voted “International Engine of the Year”. The electric motor and power electronics are directly based on the BMW eDrive technology already used in the BMW i3 and BMW i8 models. The prototype’s lithium-ion battery, including the battery management system and the high-efficiency direct cooling system, are likewise based on BMW i experience and know-how. The plug-in hybrid technology is so flexible that it can be integrated in a wide variety of vehicle concepts. It will therefore be possible to deploy it rapidly across the BMW model range. The route to sustainable mobility in the future will be a multitrack one. The already efficient combustion engines will be even more economical. All-electric vehicles like the BMW i3 are tailored to urban mobility requirements while plug-in hybrids are more appropriate for longer-distance journeys. Beyond this, in the long term electric mobility in conjunction with hydrogen fuel cell technology could also be a viable option. The focus of our Efficient Dynamics strategy is the electrification of the power train. This is an area in which we will continue to expand in the coming years. The plug-in technology will be one key lever to bring high performance vehicles well below 100 g / km CO2, while retaining the driving pleasure and driving dynamics of a BMW. We will also continue to develop fully electric mobility. Hydrogen fuel-cells will remain a key issue when it comes to drivetrain development, especially relating to its sustainable production. Key eDrive technologies developed in-house All the important eDrive technologies and components are developed in-house, and from next year they will all be built at the BMW plant in Dingolfing. This programme is set to create over 200 new jobs around electro-mobility at the BMW plant in Dingolfing. Many tens of millions of euros will be invested at this plant over the next five years. “Our accumulated expertise guarantees us a competitive edge,” stated Harald Krüger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Production. “This can be seen not only in the performance data of the BMW electric motors but also in our highly efficient production process.” Since the BMW Group expects to be building a wide range of electric drive components in the future, production will be organised around an intelligent eDrive component-sharing system. This means that one and the same production line will be able to build high-voltage battery modules not just for the BMW i8 but also for the future BMW X5 eDrive. In the case of complete battery packs, too, the new production lines will be designed for a flexible production mix: it will be possible to build battery packs for a number of different future models all on the same lines. Highly electrified hybrids With the ongoing development and refinement of hybrid drive systems under the EfficientDynamics programme, the aim is to maximise the amount of time the vehicles are able to spend in electric mode. To ensure that this increased electric operation goes hand in hand with typical BMW dynamic performance, everyday practicality and maximum long-distance capability, the BMW Group’s future hybrids will be “highly electrified”. Highlights of this future Power eDrive technology will include much more powerful electric motors and batteries with twice the capacity of present versions. The drive systems used in these future hybrid systems will offer combined outputs in excess of 500 kW. Also, the capacity of the lithium-ion batteries – up to 20 kilowatt hours – will be greatly in excess of current hybrid systems . Coupled with an increased all-electric driving range of up to 100 kilometres (62 miles), this will make it possible to operate in locally emission-free pure-electric mode on virtually all day-to-day trips .
  25. For awhile, we've been reporting on MINI's plans to expand their lineup to possibly ten models. But now, the company is reversing that decision. Bloomberg reports that MINI's parent company, BMW has decided that MINI has too many models and is cutting it down from eight to five models. Peter Schwarzenbauer, MINI's brand chief says the automaker will focus on “superhero” vehicles such as the three-door hardtop. “Like a superhero, each of these cars has its own personality and unique capabilities. It is important to find the right balance between growth on the one hand and profitability on the other,” said Schwarzenbauer. Schwarzenbauer goes onto say that this new focus means that three to four of the current models will remain in the lineup, though he doesn't say which models will be cut. Likely models to be cut include the MINI Coupe and Roadster. Even with these cuts, MINI isn't giving up on introducing new models. Schwarzenbauer says that the automaker is planning to introduce an electric vehicle “soon” once it appears that zero-emission driving becomes a must in urban areas. Source: Bloomberg

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