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  1. Volkswagen finds itself in legal trouble once again as three U.S. states - Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York - have filed separate lawsuits over the diesel emission scandal. The lawsuits allege that the automaker undertook a massive cover-up of the illegal software and was orchestrated by high-level executives - including the former CEO. “The idea that this level of fraud could take place and involve so many people at such high levels of a major international corporation is appalling,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman at a press conference this week. The New York Times, Road & Track, and Car and Driver got their hands on the New York lawsuit and it is quite damning. The suit cites internal documents, staff emails, interviews, and investigation as to how Volkswagen got to this point. The defeat device was originally developed back in 2004 by Audi. Internally known as "Acoustic Function," the system would reduce emissions by turning off a system called "Pilot Injection" Pilot Injection would inject additional fuel during engine start to help reduce diesel clatter This system would be used on the European market 3.0L TDI V6 from 2004 to 2006 [*]In 2006, Volkswagen was trying to figure out how to make the 2.0L TDI four-cylinder meet U.S. emission standards Engineers apparently looked at selective catalytic reduction (SCR) that uses urea injection to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. This was thrown out due to needing a separate tank for the urea and paying Mercedes-Benz for a license to use it. Instead, the decision was made to use a lean-trap system. This system works by trapping particulates in a soot filter. The particulates would be burned off by running the engine in a fuel-rich mode. This system had a major problem as the filter would prematurely fail due to excess build up. Thus the fateful decision of employing the "Acoustic Function" was used. [*]The complaint also notes that communications between executives within each brand, along with lateral moves of employees and executives between the brands meant that everyone knew about the use/possible use of this device in various vehicles. We highly recommend checking out the pieces from the sources below as we only scratched the surface on this. Source: Car and Driver, The New York Times, Road & Track
  2. One vehicle many of us were expecting to debut at the New York Auto Show last week was the replacement for the Jeep Compass/Patriot. But it was a no-show. Instead, we were treated to two new versions of the Grand Cherokee. What happened? Jeep CEO Mike Manley told Australian outlet Motoring.com.au that debut will take place in Brazil as that will be first place where the model will be built. “We decided to launch the new C [segment] SUV in Brazil. It’ll be the first plant that gets the global vehicle, so no delays — it’s on track,” said Manley. As we reported last year, the Compass and Patriot will merge into one new model. It is expected the model will wear the Compass nameplate as Patriot isn't going to work in other markets. Source: Motoring.com.au
  3. Mitsubishi seems to be in a pattern of unveiling two models for an auto show. At the LA Auto Show, the Japanese automaker introduced the updated 2017 Mirage and Outlander Sport. For New York, Mitsubishi introduced the 2017 Mirage G4 sedan and Outlander PHEV. We'll begin with the Mirage G4 which takes the Mirage hatchback and adds a trunk. Personally, I think it looks somewhat nicer than the refreshed hatch. Power comes from a 1.2L three-cylinder with 78 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque. There is a choice of either a five-speed manual or CVT. Standard on the G4 will be Apple Carplay and Android Auto integration. The Mirage G4 goes on sale this spring. Next is the Outlander PHEV. This model was originally supposed to go on sale back in 2014, but a number of delays have pushed the launch back to this fall. The hybrid system is composed of a 2.0L four-cylinder, an electric motor on each axle, and 12-kWh lithium-ion battery. There are three modes the hybrid system can be in based on driver demands, EV Mode: Runs on electric power only Series Hybrid: Engine acts as a generator for the batteries (think Chevrolet Volt) Parallel Hybrid: Engine and electric motors work together Mitsubishi hasn't revealed power figures or fuel economy figures for the Outlander PHEV. Source: Mitsubishi Press Release is on Page 2 MITSUBISHI UNVEILS ALL-NEW 2017 MIRAGE G4: A SPIRITED SEDAN WITH STYLE, VALUE, AGILITY AND CONNECTIVITY Superior fuel economy and super-low Greenhouse Gas Emissions make the Mirage G4 one of the top environmentally conscious gas-powered sedans in the industry Offers unexpected connectivity in a sub-compact car with Apple CarPlay support and Android Auto Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today unveiled the all-new 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4. A sibling to the well-established and popular Mirage hatchback, the all-new Mirage G4 brings consumers a fresh dose of clean style, environmental consciousness, agility, connectivity, affordability and value. The Mirage G4 goes on sale this spring at Mitsubishi showrooms across the country. “A few years ago we entered the subcompact segment with the Mirage hatchback and its popularity with consumers has grown every year with its combination of top fuel economy, attractive pricing and one of the industry's best new car warranties. The new Mirage G4 repeats that value equation in a four-door sedan package,” said MMNA executive vice president, Don Swearingen. “The Mirage hatchback and now the Mirage G4 sedan will form a formidable one-two punch in the subcompact segment.” The Mirage G4 will utilize the same powertrain of the 2017 hatchback, a revised 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine. The small displacement engine provides a harmonious blend of lively acceleration and efficiency. The Mirage G4 will be at the top of its class in combined fuel efficiency and C02 emissions. Inside, the Mirage G4's long wheelbase provides for a spacious interior cabin and trunk. Adding an element of surprise and delight to the subcompact segment, the Mirage G4 will come equipped with available smartphone integrations, features typically reserved for higher priced vehicles. Support for Apple CarPlay™, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car, lets drivers make calls, get directions optimized for traffic conditions, listen to music, and access messages. Android Auto™ extends the Android™ platform into the car in a way that's purpose-built for driving. Staying true to its value-driven roots, the Mirage G4 is supported by Mitsubishi's phenomenal warranties: fully transferable 5-year/60,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty; 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty; 7-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion perforation limited warranty and a 5-year/unlimited mile roadside assistance. MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER PHEV MAKES U.S. DEBUT AT THE 2016 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV to go on sale in United States in fall 2016 Already the top-selling PHEV in Europe, Outlander PHEV is the world's first plug-in hybrid SUV Outlander PHEV delivers SUV capabilities and EV fuel economy Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today showed the much-anticipated production model of the all-new 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) at the 2016 New York International Auto Show. The Outlander PHEV is a perfect culmination of Mitsubishi's history of automotive excellence: 50 years of electromobility and decades of four-wheel drive technology honed on the international rally circuit. Featuring a highly efficient 2.0-liter gas engine and two high-performance electric motors, and Mitsubishi's superior Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a very capable PHEV. The Outlander PHEV will arrive at Mitsubishi showrooms in fall 2016. "What makes the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV so special is that it offers the best of both worlds with a balance of electric efficiency and long-range practicality," said Don Swearingen, executive vice president, MMNA. "Mitsubishi put its engineering prowess and knowledge to work to create a vehicle that meets the demand of a growing number of consumers who need a car that is capable and environmentally friendly. The Outlander PHEV will offer a high electric range and combined miles per gallon (MPG)." The Outlander PHEV is highlighted by the full-time, twin-electric motor 4WD system that provides quick and optimized torque distribution. The motors are mounted separately at the front and rear axles to deliver precise, responsive 4WD performance with the S-AWC system ensuring excellent driving stability and intuitive, linear handling. The battery that supplies the electricity for the motors is a high-capacity 12kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Three drive modes are available: EV (full electric mode), series hybrid (electric power with generator operation) and parallel hybrid (engine power and electric motor assistance). The PHEV system automatically selects the most efficient drive mode given the road conditions and other factors. The system also features a regenerative braking mode, where electricity is captured under braking. The S-AWC system found on the Outlander PHEV is a specialized application of Lancer Evolution-derived Super All-Wheel Control developed specifically for the Outlander PHEV's unique twin electric motor configuration for maximum performance, efficiency, tractability and safety. Advanced safety and convenience features will be available on Outlander PHEV, including: Multi-Around view Camera Monitor, Forward Collision Mitigation with pedestrian detection capability, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), and available smartphone integrations including Apple CarPlay™, the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car, lets drivers make calls, get directions optimized for traffic conditions, listen to music, and access messages. It will also support Android Auto™ extends the Android™ platform into the car in a way that's purpose-built for driving. "As previously stated, Mitsubishi's future is crossover utility vehicles and electrified vehicles. Today we are showing the first piece of that plan," said Swearingen.
  4. After doing a litany of Impreza concepts over the past year, Subaru has introduced the 2017 Impreza sedan and hatchback today at New York. The 2017 Impreza brings a number of firsts for Subaru, First Impreza to be built in the U.S. The first model to use Subaru's Global Platform architecture The first model to debut Subaru's new design language: Looks more athletic In terms of measurements, the 2017 Impreza is about 1.5 inches wider and the wheelbase has been extended by an inch. Ride height has dropped a half inch to improve aerodynamics. In terms of power, the Impreza will use a revised 2.0L boxer-four with 152 horsepower. For the time being, a CVT will be the sole transmission choice. Not surprising, the Impreza will feature Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system as standard. Subaru says the new platform is 70 percent more rigid than the previous platform, and the revised suspension reduces body roll by 50 percent. Four trims will be on offer: Base, Premium, Sport, and Limited. Sport is the one we're interested in as it comes with a unique suspension tune, active torque vectoring, and 18-inch wheels. Subaru says the Impreza will go on sale later this year. Source: Subaru Press Release is on Page 2 SUBARU INTRODUCES ALL-NEW, U.S.-BUILT 2017 IMPREZA; NEW GLOBAL PLATFORM DELIVERS MAJOR GAINS IN HANDLING PERFORMANCE, CRASH SAFETY AND RIDE COMFORT Sedan and 5-Door Styles New Subaru Global Platform Significantly Enhances Safety, Ride Comfort and Agility Award-Winning EyeSight®, Plus New Driver Assist Technologies SUBARU STARLINK™ Safety and Security Features and AppsNew Subaru Design Language Debuts 2.0-liter Boxer Engine with Direct Injection and Higher PerformanceFirst Impreza to be Built in U.S. New Sport Version with 18-inch Wheels, Sport Suspension and Active Torque Vectoring NEW YORK - Subaru of America, Inc., which has experienced eight consecutive years of sales growth, introduced the all-new 2017 Impreza 5-Door at the New York International Auto Show, joining the Impreza Sedan that had been unveiled at an event the night before. The all-new 2017 Impreza debuts the Subaru Global Platform architecture that’s designed to deliver significantly higher levels of driving pleasure, agility, crash protection and ride comfort and will underpin a variety of upcoming Subaru vehicles, including hybrids. As before, every Impreza is equipped as standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, a boon to driving agility and traction and a key advantage over front-wheel drive competitors. The roomier 2017 Impreza models also debut the brand’s new design language and new driver-assist technology. Also new, multimedia features including standard Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ and standard Near Field Communication connectivity debut on Impreza. The new Impreza will be available in base, Premium, Sport and Limited trim lines when it arrives in Subaru dealerships in late 2016. Dramatic New Look on a New Structure That’s Future-Ready Subaru’s new design language puts the brand’s signature hexagonal grille and hawk-eye headlights onto a more sculptural body, its athletic stance accentuated by prominent wheel arches and flowing lines. The dramatic new look carries into the cabin, with an outward-flow design that follows the front of the car. The 2017 Impreza rides on a 105.1-in. wheelbase, up 1.0-in. over the last generation Impreza. Both the Sedan and 5-Door are 1.6-in. longer than the outgoing models, and both are 1.5 in. wider. The larger dimensions create a roomier cabin, while a 0.4-in. lower height helps improve aerodynamics with a lower coefficient of drag. Although sleeker in appearance than the previous models, the 2017 Impreza Sedan and 5-Door preserve excellent all-around visibility. The new Subaru Global Platform, together with the Boxer engine, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and EyeSight® that represent Subaru’s core technologies, constitutes the basic foundation of the next generation of Subaru vehicles. Impreza’s new platform incorporates new frameworks with optimized cross sections and highly stiffened joints between structures to significantly enhance straight-line stability, agility and ride comfort while suppressing noise, vibration and harshness to a degree not seen in the compact class. Specifically, the new platform increases rigidity of the unitized body structure by over 70 percent. A lower center of gravity and revised suspension systems contribute to the biggest-ever leap in Subaru’s performance evolution. The double-wishbone independent rear suspension mounts its rear stabilizer bar directly to the body, which helps reduce body roll by 50 percent compared to the outgoing model. Greater hazard-avoidance capability is another benefit of the Subaru Global Platform’s inherent handling agility. In addition, the resolute straight-line stability that makes the 2017 Impreza more relaxing to drive is also an important constituent of the autonomous driving capability this platform can support in future Subaru vehicles. New Impreza Sport with Active Torque Vectoring Taking full advantage of the new stiffer platform and more powerful engine, the Impreza 2.0i Sport, now available in the Sedan as well as 5-Door, delivers a more fun-to-drive performance feel thanks to exclusive suspension tuning, 18-inch machine-finish alloy wheels and Active Torque Vectoring. Subaru aimed for a new ride/handling balance benchmark in the compact segment. The Sport also includes a new 4-way Tire Pressure Monitoring System, which is available on other models. Exclusive exterior styling and features setting the Impreza Sport apart include standard LED daytime running lights (DRL), black-finish front grille, body-color rocker panels and turn signal side mirrors. The Impreza Sport 5-Door features gloss black rear gate trim, while the Sport Sedan has a rear trunk spoiler. Inside the Sport, unique black cloth upholstery is trimmed with red stitching, a motif that repeats for the steering wheel, gear shift, instrument panel and door trim. The instrument panel incorporates exclusive Sport gauges and a Multi-Function Display. The Sport comes well equipped, with upgrades over the Impreza Premium that include the Subaru STARLINK™ 8.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system, and a new harman/kardon® premium audio system is available. Keyless Access & Push-Button Start, aluminum pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift handle and a CVT shift boot round out the Sport’s enhanced standard equipment. New Direct Injection for Higher Performance and Efficiency A revised version of the FB 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine gains direct fuel injection and other enhancements to boost both performance (now 152 horsepower vs. 148 before) and drivability. In highline trims, the Lineartronic® CVT (continuously variable transmission) features a 7-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters that allow the driver to control the transmission via seven pre-set ratios. Another Leap in Vehicle Safety Subaru designed the 2017 Impreza to provide even higher levels of safety than the outgoing model, which was named an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ when equipped with available EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology. The new platform underpinning the 2017 Impreza improves crash energy absorption by 40 percent over present models. The EyeSight® system includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking and Lane Departure and Sway Warning, plus a Lane Keep Assist function. Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also available. Also new are available Steering Responsive Headlights, which can illuminate curves as the vehicle steers into them, and High Beam Assist, which automatically activates and deactivates the high beam headlamps based on driving conditions. All 2017 Impreza models include as standard equipment front seat side impact airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag. The 2017 Impreza adds new driver-assist technologies, including Reverse Automatic Braking and the display of steering lines for the standard rear vision camera. Reverse Automatic Braking can apply the vehicle’s brakes if an obstacle is detected while reversing. A new 4-way Tire Pressure Monitoring System can detect pressure drops at individual wheels. Four Trim Lines The 2017 Subaru Impreza will be offered in four trim lines: 2.0i base, Premium, Sport and Limited. The 2.0i starts with an extensive roster of standard features that includes a 6.5-inch multimedia touchscreen, Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, power windows with auto up/down on both driver and passenger sides; 60/40-split fold-down rear seat; power door locks and side mirrors; multi-function display with fuel economy information; tilt and telescoping steering column; security system with engine immobilizer, carpeted floormats and more. The Premium trim adds Subaru STARLINK™ Safety and Security features, 16-inch alloy wheels, the All-Weather Package featuring heated front seats, windshield and exterior mirrors and automatic headlights. Premium 5-door Imprezas also feature standard roof rails (not available on base 5-door Impreza 2.0i Sport). Stepping up to the Premium trim also brings wider option availability, including a power moonroof and driver assist technology systems. (The Impreza Sport is described earlier in this press release.) Subaru has elevated the Limited trim for the 2017 Impreza into more luxurious territory. The exterior looks more upscale with LED headlights and distinctive “Konoji” LED daytime running lights (DRL) and standard 17-inch machine finished alloy wheels. The Subaru Impreza also has Steering Responsive Headlights, which can illuminate curves as the vehicle steers into them. Judicious use of exterior chrome trim and turn signal side mirrors add a touch of elegance. The Limited’s leather trimmed interior features double stitching on the door armrests and instrument panel, and the 6-way power driver’s seat is the first ever in an Impreza. Standard amenities include an automatic climate control system, leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, Keyless Access & Push-Button Start and 8-inch color display. The exclusive instrument panel features white gauge cluster illumination, and new harman/kardon® premium audio is available in the Impreza for the first time. Models equipped with EyeSight technology also include High Beam Assist, which automatically activates and deactivates the high beam headlamps based on driving conditions. Lastly, the available navigation system now features maps provided by TomTom. Subaru STARLINK™ Means Multimedia and Connectivity Subaru STARLINK™ Multimedia systems offer the latest in digital music playing, Bluetooth® wireless capability, iPod® control, smartphone integration and more. The display screen also provides the display for the standard rear vision camera, and the top-level system includes navigation. The available Subaru STARLINK™ Safety and Security Connected Services give the 2017 Impreza one of the industry’s most affordable telematics options. Depending on the package selected, features can include SOS Emergency Assistance, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, Maintenance Notifications, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and Diagnostic Alerts, Stolen Vehicle Recovery Service, Vehicle Security Alarm Notification, Remote Lock/Unlock, Remote Horn and Lights and Remote Vehicle Locator.
  5. The Toyota Prius remains the poster child for the hybrid vehicle. But when it comes to the plug-in hybrid, there really isn't a vehicle that stands for it. Sure you could make the case for the Chevrolet Volt or the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq, but Toyota wants the Prius to be that vehicle. Today at New York, the Japanese brand introduced the second-generation Prius Plug-In or as they call it, the Prius Prime. The Prime boasts a larger 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery to increase EV-only range from 11 to 22 Miles. It's better than the Ford Fusion Plug-In Hybrid (20 Miles), but it still trails the likes of the Chevrolet Volt (53 Miles). Toyota has also improved the hybrid system for the Prius Prime. For the first time, Toyota is using a dual-motor generator drive system, allowing the electric motor and generator to power the front wheels. This means the Prius Prime can use the 1.8L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder, electric motor, or both to move the vehicle along. Toyota says the Prius Prime is estimated to get 120 MPGe when using the battery only, and "targeting a hybrid MPG equal to or better than the Prius liftback" - 54 City/50 Highway/52 Combined for the standard Prius. In terms of looks, the Prius Prime features different headlights, a blacked-out front fascia, and new taillights. The Prime also gets an aluminum hood and a carbon-fiber liftback to shed some weight. Toyota says the Prius Prime will arrive at dealers this fall. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Prime Mover: Toyota Maxes Out Tech and Style in the World's Best-Selling Hybrid to Create the 2017 Prius Prime Ultra-efficient Prius with Plug-in Hybrid Powertrain Manufacturer-estimated 120 MPGe Available in 50 States Techno-wonder with Available 11.6-inch Multimedia HD Display, Head-up Display and Wireless Phone Charging A Total Package in Every Aspect, Adding Up to Great Value NEW YORK, March 23, 2016 – If there’s electricity in the air at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, it’s probably coming from the Toyota display, where the world’s hybrid vehicle leader has unveiled the new Prius Prime, an ultra-efficient model with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. “Prime” means best, making it the perfect name for one of the most technologically advanced, best-equipped Prius in the model’s history. The Prius Prime’s manufacturer-estimated 120 or above MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) is expected to be the highest MPGe rating of any Plug-in Hybrid.* It also represents a substantial 26-percent enhancement over its predecessor, a result of greater battery capacity and an improved hybrid system. In hybrid mode, the Prius Prime is targeting a hybrid MPG equal to or better than the Prius liftback. The 2017 Prius Prime combines an electrifying design with an even more capable electric powertrain than the previous-generation Prius Plug-in Hybrid. The Prius Prime is expected to offer an estimated two times the electric range of the previous model -- 22 miles – meeting the daily commuter distance of over half of U.S. drivers, and drive at speeds up to 84 mph without leaving EV mode. As parsimonious with fuel as the Prius Prime may be, it drives with the same verve as the standard new-generation Prius hybrid, one result of the new high-strength platform and double-wishbone independent rear suspension. Prius Prime adds even more premium touches and exclusive tech features compared to the all-new Prius hybrid, including its available 11.6-inch, HD central multimedia screen with standard navigation and available full color head-up display. “Prime” also describes the vehicle’s available advanced safety technology, Toyota Safety Sense™ P. This multi-feature advanced active safety suite, bundles the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Automatic Braking; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with full stop technology and Automatic High Beams. Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also available for additional peace of mind. All 2017 Prius hybrid models come standard with eight supplemental restraint system airbags, including multi-stage driver and front passenger front airbags; driver and front passenger side airbags; full-length curtain airbags; a driver knee airbag, and a front passenger seat cushion airbag. Electrifying Design Cheats the Wind … and the Scales If the 2017 Prius Prime looks like the future, it was purely intentional on the designers’ part. The new-generation Prius Prime is 2.4 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider and about an inch lower than its predecessor. The growth boosts cargo room over its predecessor and gives the Prius Prime a road-hugging stance. The wind-cheating body and its high-strength/low weight structure are critical factors in the Prius Prime’s astoundingly low energy consumption. Its coefficient of drag is expected to be among the lowest for production sedans. Automatic grille shutters help reduce drag by closing when airflow to the radiator is not needed. Yet the Prius Prime is no aero jellybean. It’s chiseled profile and edgy character lines seem to dare the wind to stand in its way. Energy-conserving quad LED headlights glow like diamonds cutting the night, and LED rear combination lamps leave an unforgettable nighttime signature. Driver visibility remains excellent, aided by a full-width aero glass panel over the rear spoiler and a standard backup camera. The distinctive aero rear window is eye-catching and adds to its slipstream character. While giving the new-generation Prius models more features, Toyota kept vehicle weight in check by using aluminum for the hood, carbon fiber on the rear hatch, and by using high-tensile strength steel in other parts of the structure. In fact, the lightweight carbon fiber rear hatch makes opening and closing almost effortless. EV or Hybrid? Both. The Prius Prime will please anyone who wants to reduce trips to the gas pump, and it would make a great road trip car, too. The Prius Prime will allow drivers to stay in EV mode in more situations, helping to enhance vehicle range on one tank of fuel. You can plug it in, gas it up, or both. On one 11.3-gallon tank of regular-grade gasoline and a full electric charge, the 2017 Prius Prime anticipates a class-leading estimated total driving range of over 600 miles (Toyota recommends making occasional stops to refuel and recharge yourself and passengers). Mechanical Genius Both the standard Prius hybrid and the Prius Prime are powered by Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, which seamlessly combines the output of the gasoline engine and electric motor through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission. The biggest difference is that the Prius Prime can be plugged in at home to recharge its larger 8.8kWh battery pack. In Hybrid mode, the Prius Prime can run on the gasoline engine or electric motor alone or a combination of both. Even when not running in EV mode, the Prius Prime will automatically rely more on its electric capability in situations where it is more efficient than running the gasoline engine, especially in urban and suburban driving and during shorter trips. The Prius Prime will also feature a Toyota-first dual motor generator drive system, using both the electric motor and the generator for drive force, helping to boost acceleration performance. Regenerative braking recaptures electrical energy under deceleration and braking and stores it in the battery, which helps to reduce fuel consumption. Even better, there’s no special equipment for home charging. Just use the supplied cord and the Prius Prime takes approximately 5.5 hours using a standard household outlet. Charging takes less than half the time with a 240V source. Efficiency Expert Not to be overshadowed by all the electrical magic, the Prius Prime’s gasoline engine also plays a starring role in that efficiency. The 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle, 4-cylinder engine – the same as in all 2016 Prius hybrid models – earns a groundbreaking 40 percent-plus thermal efficiency. Most modern automobile engines reach about 25-30 percent. Myriad details throughout the hybrid powertrain contribute to the efficiency, including an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system with a cooler, smaller, lighter, quieter hybrid system water pump and an exhaust heat recirculation system that speeds engine warm-up. Looks Marvelous, Feels Marvelous The Prius Prime looks and feels far from frugal on the inside, where a four-seat cabin layout, with center console running front to back, looks more like a high-end luxury coupe. Practicality remains ever present, however, with standard 60/40 folding rear seatbacks. It’s a quiet cabin, too, thanks to the sound-insulating laminated windshield and front door glass and the optimized aero shape that helps keep wind noise where it belongs – outside. The Prius Prime coddles the driver and passengers with standard heated front seats, an automatic climate control system, and available SofTex® synthetic leather trimmed seats. The climate control system is quieter, thanks to an electric compressor, and it’s smarter, focusing airflow only to areas where occupants are seated in order to help maximize fuel economy and comfort. The climate control system can also operate without the engine on, with a heat pump that allows the system to cool or heat the cabin while driving in EV mode. The driver can activate the remote air conditioning system with an available key fob or smartphone app to cool the interior before entering the cabin. High Tech, Low Effort The centrally mounted gauge panel, a Prius hallmark since the model’s inception, appears to float above the dashboard. The panel features dual 4.2-inch full-color TFT (thin film transistor) multi-information displays, and the driver can change their content by using steering wheel controls. The display provides a multitude of readouts for hybrid energy information and more, and the driver can choose how much information to view. Want to cut the cord? With available wireless cell phone charging for Qi-compatible devices, just place your Qi-compatible devices on the console pad to charge it wirelessly. Multimedia Mogul Sound and vision inside the Prius Prime likewise meet the standard of “prime.” Toyota equipped this top Prius with its top Entune® multimedia system and made it all accessible through a new and exclusive 11.6-inch HD tablet display. The navigation graphics look simply stunning, and intuitive touch controls make operation a snap. Prius Prime will also offer an exclusive suite of Prius Prime Apps, allowing you to remotely manage your vehicle’s charging schedule and status, locate charging stations, track and compare your eco driving score with others on social media, remotely control the vehicle’s climate system, and more – all from your smartphone. It’s advanced eco at your fingertips. An available Entune™ Premium JBL® Audio system with Integrated Navigation and App Suite puts 10 JBL GreenEdge™ speakers in six locations for sonic bliss. The Entune™ Multimedia Bundle includes AM/FM cache radio (letting you pause songs and play later), HD Radio™, HD Radio™ predictive traffic and Doppler weather overlay, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio with 3-month complimentary SiriusXM All Access trial and Gracenote® album cover art. Of course there’s a USB 2.0 port with iPod® connectivity and control, plus advanced voice recognition and hands-free phone capability, phonebook access and music streaming via Bluetooth®. For iPhone users, Siri® Eyes Free mode adds yet another in-car assistant. The Entune™ App Suite adds yet more music sources, including Slacker Radio, iHeartRadio and Pandora® as well as Destination Search, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable®, Facebook Places, Yelp™ plus real-time traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks. Access to Entune® services is subscription-free. Built-in Parking Valet In the urban jungle, where hunting for a prime parking space is a sport, the Prius Prime wins. Available Intelligent Parking Assist (IPA) uses ultrasonic wave sensors to size up a parallel parking space and then, when activated by the driver, can steer the car into it. The system can also reverse the Prius Prime into perpendicular spaces and automatically steer it out of a parallel space. When the way forward gets narrow, such as in a parking garage, the system’s Intelligent Clearance Sonar provides visible and audible warnings if the driver gets too close to obstacles on the vehicle’s sides. The 2017 Prius Prime will begin arriving in Toyota showrooms in late fall. Source: Toyota
  6. Lincoln surprised everyone last year when it rolled the Continental concept on the eve of the New York Auto Show. They did it again last night with the introduction of the Navigator concept. The big story with this concept is the large gullwing doors and a small flight of entry stairs - an interesting way to show up in style. Before you ask, the doors and stairs will not be on the production model. Lincoln president Kumar Galhotra said the doors were to show off the spacious cabin. The cabin features seating for six across three rows with each seat coming with 30-way power adjustments. Up front is a flowing dashboard finished in teak and chrome, and features a floating screen for the infotainment system. There are also screens for the rear passengers to keep them entertained. The cargo area comes with a wardrobe management system. Back outside, the Navigator concept's front end matches up with the Continental. There is a large rectangular grille with a lighted Lincoln emblem, wide air intakes, and sharp looking headlights. The back features a taillight that stretches across the tailgate and slim tailpipes. Power comes from a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with more than 400 horsepower. In terms of safety, the Navigator comes with a 360-degree camera, a pre-collision assist system with pedestrian detection, and a parking assistance system. Lincoln says the production Navigator will debut sometime next year. Source: Lincoln Press Release is on Page 2 A NEW NAVIGATOR CONCEPT IS MOST SPACIOUS, LUXURIOUS LINCOLN SUV YET, BRINGING QUIET LUXURY TO MORE CUSTOMERS Lincoln today reveals the all-new Navigator Concept, introducing quiet luxury to full-size SUVs and offering a glimpse at what comes next for the brand’s best-known nameplate. "The all-new Navigator Concept reinforces our commitment to give every Lincoln client what we call quiet luxury – vehicles and experiences that are elegant, effortlessly powerful and serene," said Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln. "This kind of quiet luxury sets Lincoln apart. Now, we're showing fans of large SUVs how we can exceed their expectations, without being the loudest statement on the road." Lincoln invented the large luxury SUV in 1997, and now is reimagining Navigator for modern clients interested in better performance, more space and further refinement. Lincoln's design team drew inspiration from luxury sailboats and yachts when designing the new concept. This influenced everything from the clean, modern lines and Storm Blue paint on the exterior that mimics the grays and blues of sea and sky, to the teak finishes, custom gear and wardrobe management system found inside. GO-ANYWHERE PERFORMANCE The Navigator Concept is engineered to provide drivers peace of mind. It features a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine delivering more than 400 horsepower and smart new technologies to make this SUV even more sure-footed on different road surfaces and in changing weather conditions. Drivers can choose several drive modes to improve ride and handling and to find the drive experience that best suits their mood – including steering, suspension and noise levels. Each mode is accompanied by a matching digital animation in the cluster. PERSONAL SANCTUARY Navigator Concept provides the nameplate’s most spacious interior ever – a key want among buyers of large SUVs – delivered with a refinement that leapfrogs competitors The leather-wrapped interior is rendered in a light blue. Six Lincoln-patented Perfect Position Seats adjust 30 ways to best support occupants’ different body types. The driver’s seat, for instance, includes independent deployable thigh supports for maximum comfort. A custom wardrobe management system holds gear chosen for a day on the water, while Lincoln’s Revel audio system has been specifically tuned to create the highest level sound and visual quality. All of this is accessed through power gullwing doors and deployable concertina steps. A special lighting sequence welcomes passengers for every journey – a signature Lincoln feature. EASIER, MORE CONNECTED DRIVING, THANKS TO NEW TECHNOLOGY The Navigator Concept features Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, which uses radar and camera technology to scan the road ahead. If a collision risk with a vehicle or pedestrian is detected, the system provides a warning to the driver. If the driver does not respond in time, it automatically can apply up to full braking force to help reduce the severity of, or even eliminate, some frontal collisions. Pre-Collision Assist can help drivers avoid rear end collisions with other vehicles at all speeds, while Pedestrian Detection can help the driver avoid pedestrians at lower speeds. Both systems can reduce the severity of forward collisions, or even prevent certain forward collisions. A 360-degree camera and enhanced park assist features take the stress out of parking, exiting a parking spot and maneuvering. The system seamlessly integrates views from four cameras – creating an overhead image that allows drivers to see all around the vehicle. On the road, a lane-keeping system vibrates the steering wheel to alert drivers they are straying from their lane and provides mild steering input to encourage them to steer back toward the center of the lane. In the cabin, head restraint monitors provide passengers Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing them to wirelessly share music and content from personal devices. For drivers, a large panel screen clearly displays key information. The display can be customized from a digital touch screen housed in the center stack.
  7. Mercedes-Benz is clearing out all of their debuts of this current auto show season. So far, Mercedes has announced a refresh of the CLA, and two new AMG models; E43 and GLC43. Now for the piece de resistance of their New York showings - the 2017 GLC Coupe. The best way we can describe the looks of the GLC Coupe is to think of the GLE Coupe shrunken down. Compared to the standard GLC, the Coupe is about 2.9 inches longer and 1.5 inches shorter. Key design details include a steeply raked A-Pillar, sloping roof, diamond grille, and S-Class Coupe-inspired taillights. There will be two models on offer, each with their own unique powertrain setup. GLC 300 4Matic: Turbocharged 2.0L Four-Cylinder, 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Mercedes-AMG GLC43: Twin-Turbo 3.0L V6, 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque, Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Mercedes says the GLC Coupe will arrive at dealers in early 2017. Pricing will be announced at a later time. Source: Mercedes-Benz Press Release is on Page 2 Sports coupe meets "G" March 22, 2016 - Stuttgart: The dynamic and expressive styling of the GLC Coupe concept was the center of attention at its world premiere at the Shanghai Auto Show in Spring 2015. It unites the typical stylistic elements of a coupe with the design language of current SUV models. Just one year later, this promise has become a reality: the new GLC Coupe translates the design idiom of the show car, with its distinctive structure and stretched greenhouse, virtually unchanged into series production. At the same time, the sports car among Mercedes-Benz's mid-size SUVs impresses with its brand-typical safety, modern assistance systems and an especially sporty-dynamic character. The standard sports suspension as well as more direct sports steering, DYNAMIC SELECT and 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive with 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission combine effortlessly superior ride comfort with decidedly sporty agility. AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension with continuously adjustable damping is optionally available, providing for enhanced driving dynamics and comfort. "The GLC Coupe reflects our iconic Mercedes-Benz coupe design while symbolizing the diversity of our brand – it is both 'hot and cool'," said Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. "With its design idiom of sensual purity, it perfectly embodies our styling philosophy while at the same time representing contemporary luxury." The combination of a multifunctional SUV and an emotionally appealing coupe constitutes a skillful fusion of emotion and intelligence. With an exterior length of 186.2-inches, a height of 63-inches and a wheelbase of 113-inches, the GLC Coupe is both dynamic and compact in appearance. This makes the Coupe almost 3.2-inches longer and some 1.6-inches lower than the multi-talented GLC, with which it shares its basic architecture. The GLC Coupe owes its distinct character to a typically coupe-esque, single-louvered diamond radiator grille and a restyled, dropping roofline. The A-pillar is less steeply raked, while the continuation of the roof outline is lower, terminating in the elegantly flowing, muscular rear end typical of a coupe. Perfect combination of design elements from two different worlds The striking features of the front end are its dominant, steeply raked diamond radiator grille with single louver and integral star, short overhang and SUV-inspired override guard. The innovative headlamp concept, optionally in LED High Performance technology, sports the now characteristic Mercedes-Benz light signature. A striking injection of sports car genes is provided by the large lateral air inlets. From the side, the 63-inch-high GLC Coupe, with its stretched roofline, resembles a sports coupe. The greenhouse blends in perfectly with the side of the vehicle to underline its coupe character. The interplay between high beltline and wide shoulders results in proportions that lend the GLC Coupe its dynamic looks. This interaction is given added emphasis by the drawn-in waist between the dropping line and the lower, rearwards contour. A clear clue to the vehicle's distinctive SUV heritage is given by the optionally available side running boards. Flush with the outer edge of the body, wide wheels up to a size of 21 inches together with ample ground clearance underpin the GLC Coupe's sporty and dynamic ambitions on unpaved tracks and unsurfaced roads. Rear end with athletic looks The styling of the rear end gives added emphasis to the vehicle's coupe genes. With its pronounced shoulders, muscular bumper design with integral exhaust tips and under guard in the form of a diffuser, the wide rear end of the GLC Coupe underlines the vehicle's athletic looks while enabling the Coupe to hug the road. Narrow, split tail lights, a centrally positioned brand star and a sharp spoiler lip reflect a design that made its debut with the S-Class Coupe and which all Mercedes-Benz coupe models have since followed. Relocated to the lower section of the bumper, the number plate as well as rear window with its rounded upper area are among the further stylistic features. Like the headlamps, the night design of the LED tail lights sports the light signature of Mercedes-Benz. Interior with coupe flair and high-grade ambience Following the exterior design philosophy, the interior welcomes the occupants with coupe flair and a high-grade ambience. The design idiom combines sensual purity with dynamic sportiness while embodying a convincing interpretation of modern luxury. Distinctive stylistic elements of the GLC Coupe are the dashboard and the center console with its flowing lines, a large, one-piece console panel making an elegant sweep below the semi-integrated media display from the center air vents to the armrest. These clear lines give a feeling of spaciousness while conveying a puristic modernity. The optionally available Interior Sport Package provides a clear commitment to even greater dynamism and sportiness. On the AMG GLC43, this package includes, among other features, sports seats with upholstery in MB-Tex man-made leather/DINAMICA microfiber with the option of sports seats with Bi-Color leather upholstery. The GLC300 receives a flat-bottom steering wheel, rubber studded pedals and AMG floormats as part of the Interior Sport Package. Cranberry Red MB-Tex upholstery is also available on the GLC300. Sport program: DYNAMIC BODY CONTROL or AIR BODY CONTROL The GLC300 4MATIC Coupe comes standard with an off-road suspension including DYNAMIC SELECT with the five transmission modes: ECO, COMFORT, SPORT, SPORT+ and INDIVIDUAL. Uniquely in this market segment, the suspension can be equipped with fully supporting multi-chamber springing and electronically controlled, continuously adjustable damping. The AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension combines excellent driving stability and optimal comfort with sporty agility. Specific characteristics are preselected depending on the DYNAMIC SELECT settings. In Sport+ mode, the occupants feel as if they are sitting in a sports car with a high level of lateral dynamics due to the even stiffer suspension, which is lowered by 0.6-inches. COMFORT mode ensures an especially comfortable ride with soft suspension. To guarantee maximum possible driving safety also in this mode, the spring/damper forces are instantaneously adjusted, for example in case of a sudden evasive maneuver. Further benefits of the system include reduced roll when cornering, automatic load sensing and lowering of the load compartment sill by 1.6-inches for more convenient loading and unloading. Another key parameter for the sporty characteristics of the GLC Coupe compared with the classic GLC SUV is the retuned steering system, which, with 15.1:1 (GLC: 16.1:1), offers a more direct steering ratio together with even sportier characteristics of the power assistance in the SPORT and SPORT+ modes. Key parameters for high energy efficiency The design has also bestowed superlative aerodynamics on the new GLC Coupe. Apart from the vehicle's streamlined basic form, this exceptional aerodynamic performance also results from a host of detail solutions, such as sealing of the radiator and headlamp surrounds and optimized underbody paneling. The GLC Coupe's all-new body, which features an intelligent mix of materials, comprising aluminum and high- to ultra-high-strength steels, saves weight across the model lineup. Aluminum components additionally reduce the weight of the suspension, which also benefits ride comfort due to the attendant reduction in unsprung masses. The optional AIR BODY CONTROL multi-chamber air suspension features spring elements in lightweight yet robust glass-fiber-reinforced plastic, which reduce the system weight in comparison to conventional air suspensions. The use of the new compact transfer case as an add-on module and the 9G- TRONIC with its magnesium transmission housing results in a 26 lb. weight reduction in comparison to the previous versions installed in other models. Powerful and efficient: GLC300 and top-of-the-line Mercedes-AMG GLC43 The four-cylinder GLC300 4MATIC coupe is rated at 241 hp. For dynamically- minded coupe fans, the Mercedes-AMG GLC43 Coupe is the right choice: this powerful top-of-the-line model comes with perfect on-road performance, dynamic styling and an attractive equipment package. The 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine puts out 362 hp, accelerating the coupe to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. The GLC300 comes standard with 4MATIC all-wheel drive, and all variants of the GLC Coupe, including the AMG GLC43, are equipped with 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission. Equipment configuration: comprehensive and individual The new GLC Coupe impresses even in its basic equipment configuration, which includes light-alloy wheels of 19-inch diameter, the Chrome package with visible exhaust tips, EASY-PACK tailgate, Audio 20 CD multimedia system, reversing camera, KEYLESS-START function and upholstery in MB-Tex man-made leather. Also included as standard are assistance systems such as Active Brake Assist (previously known as COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS), Crosswind Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST and ESP® among others. Comfort and safety can be further enhanced by additional driver assistance systems. Mercedes-Benz also offers a wide selection of optional packages for its new SUV coupe. Customers can choose between Interior and Exterior Sport Package and Night package. A highlight in terms of both looks and driving dynamics is provided by optional AMG light-alloy wheels of 19-inch or 20-inch diameter with mixed tires on the GLC43. The attractive light-alloy wheels are available in numerous design variants. An optional sport exhaust system makes for a more dynamic engine sound. Protection in an emergency In keeping with the Mercedes-Benz tradition, the body forms the foundation for exemplary crash safety. A high-strength safety passenger compartment forms the core of this concept. It is surrounded by specially designed and crash-tested deformation zones, which ensure the best possible occupant safety. In addition to 3-point safety belts with pyrotechnical and reversible belt tensioning and belt-force limitation for driver, front passenger and those in the outer rear seats, numerous airbags serve to protect the vehicle's occupants in an accident. These include combined thorax/pelvis sidebags for driver and front passenger and an optimized windowbag extending over both seat rows, optional sidebags for the outer rear seats and a driver kneebag. The GLC300 4MATIC Coupe and AMG GLC43 Coupe will go on sale by early 2017.
  8. We all knew that Mazda was going to do a hardtop version of the MX-5 Miata. We weren't expecting this. This is 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF - Retractable Fastback - which made its debut tonight before the New York Auto Show opens to the press. Mazda didn't replace the canvas roof with a metal one. They did something very creative. With the roof up, the MX-5 Miata RF looks like a fastback coupe. When you fold the roof, the C-Pillars move away and the rear window retracts. We don't know how long it takes for the roof to fold or rise, but we do know that you can do it at up to speeds of 6 mph. Power will come from a 2.0L Skyactiv-G four-cylinder 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. This slightly concerns us since the hardtop will add some weight - although Mazda isn't saying how much. Mazda says you can order an MX-5 Miata RF this summer with deliveries taking place before the end of the year. Pricing will be announced later. Source: Mazda Press Release is on Page 2 Mazda MX-5 RF Program Manager’s Message Bringing the joy of open-top driving to a wider audience A new effort to broaden the appeal of the MX-5 Having an MX-5 makes life richer and more fun. With this small, convertible sports car, we want to offer even more people a fun-filled life through driving pleasure. Many people who would love to own a convertible end up choosing a car with a fixed hardtop roof instead. Hoping to share the wonder and thrill that come with putting the top down with this kind of customer, we offered a Power Retractable Hardtop for the first time on the third-generation MX-5. The first and second generations had both offered a detachable hardtop, but with its motor-driven retractable roof, the third-generation model made the joy of open-top driving accessible to a wider range of people and was a hit with customers around the world. With the hardtop version of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5, we stayed true to our aim of making open-top driving more accessible, but freed ourselves from traditional ways of thinking and took on new challenges in order to create something completely new, the Mazda MX-5 RF. Beautiful fastback styling and a new kind of open-air feel The development of the MX-5 RF was a new undertaking that entailed broadening the appeal of the fourth-generation soft-top model, a car that further hones the pure driving fun that has defined the model since going on sale in 1989. The basic premise of the soft-top model is top-down driving, and in comparison we expect MX-5 RF owners will spend more time with the top closed. So we began development by throwing our thinking into reverse; our aim was a convertible sports car with gorgeous fastback lines when the roof is closed and an exhilarating open-air feel when open. We asked ourselves what it meant to make a driver’s car with a power-retractable roof, ditched the traditional idea of stowing the entire roof and realized styling that further articulates an iconic sports car design. The cabin is luxurious and quiet when closed, and the rear roof produces a completely new open-air driving feel when the top is down. And with the ability to smartly and smoothly transition between the two, the car will provide thrills in any driving conditions. I believe the MX-5 RF is a car that could only have been created at Mazda, where everyone involved in the creative process aspires to take on new challenges. Envisioning the future with two MX-5 models The MX-5 has been tremendously popular with car enthusiasts around the world and will soon reach the 1 million mark in global production volume. While the fourth-generation soft-top model honed the pure driving pleasure of a lightweight sports car, the hardtop model, with its exquisite fastback styling and a new open-top feel, has a personality all its own. I hope the launch of the MX-5 RF will awaken hidden emotions and dormant sensibilities among our customers. And with these two MX-5 models, I hope we can help introduce the joy of driving a convertible sports car to a wider audience and help even more people live rich, fun-filled lives. In order to achieve this, now and into the future, we will continue our efforts to “innovate in order to preserve.” Nobuhiro Yamamoto Mazda MX-5 Program Manager Changing Style, Unchanging Value, New Name By the end of the third-generation MX-5’s model life, the retractable hard top model accounted for more than half of all MX-5s sold and was popular with those who wanted all-season comfort and utility. As a member of the MX-5 family, the fourth-generation retractable hardtop model embodies the core value of “Lots of fun,” which the MX-5 has consistently offered over the past 26 years. At the same time it features a new and unique design and lets occupants enjoy a new kind of open-air driving feel. Therefore, our challenge was to create a name that would more accurately define this new, more premium experience we envision will attract a new kind of buyer, yet preserve the unchanging values that MX-5 fans have admired since the inception of the model. The result was MX-5 RF, a name that denotes the model’s retractable hardtop and fastback styling, and will surely resonate with enthusiasts and drivers around the world. Same philosophy. New design. MX-5 RF*. *: RF stands for "Retractable Fastback". Key Values Three key values that make the MX-5 RF unique and fun 1. Beautiful fastback styling that resonates with any car lover Appealing fastback styling with a beautiful smooth line joining the roof to the rear end. This is at the heart of all true sports car design. Designers worked hard to give the cabin the perfect teardrop shape. It features the same compact packaging as the soft-top model, including overall length, width and wheelbase. (Overall height is increased 5mm.). The soft touch of real Nappa leather adds a feeling of even higher quality and contributes to the relaxed, sophisticated ambience of the interior. 2. A new open-air sensation with a feeling of being ensconced securely in the cabin as well as a pleasing sense of freedom The MX-5 RF’s retractable hardtop consists of a front roof, middle roof, rear roof and back window glass. Detailed studies led to a roof design that, together with the retractable back window glass, realizes a new open-air experience that combines a feeling of being ensconced securely in the cabin with an invigorating sense of freedom. The model’s unique design featuring a back window glass that retracts when the top is down enables the driver to fully enjoy the pleasing exhaust note coming from the rear, helping to deliver the true pleasure of the open-top driving experience. A large acrylic aero board wind blocker helps prevent air from the rear blowing back into the cabin. Synchronizing and overlapping the various movements of the roof sections enables MX-5 RF to achieve one of the fastest opening/closing times of any retractable hardtop. When the roof is open, the front and middle roof sections are stowed together with the back window glass in the space behind the seats. A new power top lock makes it possible to open and close the roof with the simple flip of a switch. A new control system enables the roof to be opened or closed, even when in motion at speeds of 6 mph (10km/h) or less. This is particularly useful if it suddenly begins to rain. At 4.6 cubic feet (130L DIN), trunk capacity is the same as the soft-top model, even when the roof is stowed behind the seats. The trunk can accommodate two carry-on bags measuring 550mm x 400mm x 220mm*1. 3. A quiet cabin with the relaxed feeling of quality ride comfort The suspension and Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system have been tuned specifically for the MX-5 RF, delivering the lively driving performance one expects of the Mazda MX-5 while also delivering relaxing comfort and refined ride. A sound-absorbing headliner used on the inside of the front and middle roof panels combines with sound insulation around the rear wheel housings to result in a significantly quieter ride when the roof is closed. This helps provide a high-quality cabin environment worthy of the MX-5 RF. Other noteworthy product features are as follows. The powertrain lineup consists of the 2.0- and 1.5-liter SKYACTIV-G gasoline engines paired with either a six-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual transmission or six-speed automatic transmission*2. A human-centric perspective was adopted in pursuing advanced safety based on the company’s safety philosophy, Mazda Proactive Safety. The i-ACTIVSENSE*2 advanced safety technologies employed by MX-5 RF include Mazda’s Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring (ABSM*3) system and High Beam Control System (HBC), which automatically switches between high and low beam. MAZDA CONNECT*4 makes it less distracting and easier to take advantage of phone and internet connectivity services while enjoying a drive. Chief Designer’s Message Creating a compact sports car that envelops you in beauty Craftsmanship that realizes the ultimate in KODO design I wanted to introduce the fun of driving a lightweight sports car to a broader audience, and it was my love for the Mazda MX-5 that gave birth to the design of the new MX-5 RF. If we consider the soft-top model to represent the purist appeal of the lightweight sports car, which we recently honed in a stoic effort to reach new heights, then the retractable fastback represents a new type of MX-5 that aims to be a compact sports car with a natural charm that anybody and everybody will find beautiful. I figured the addition of a hardtop version of the fourth-generation MX-5 demanded that we introduce a sleek fastback design with a smooth line joining the roof to the rear end if we were to create a look of beauty that would appeal to all. I considered this point critical to the design, and didn’t waver over that conviction for a moment. To convey the fun and charm of the MX-5 experience to a larger, more diverse range of people rather than just sports car fans, I felt the MX-5 RF must embody natural beauty and not attempt to attract attention by merely being different. This led me to quickly decide to adopt fastback styling. The rub was that this also became the biggest hurdle in designing the MX-5 RF. It may not look like it at a glance, but this is a car with a retractable roof! It’s a car that lets drivers enjoy the pleasure of open-air driving along with a unique sense of being ensconced securely in the cabin! It would be impossible to achieve a combination of this new form of driving pleasure and beautiful fastback styling if I applied conventional thinking. Anything short of creating a new design expression and teaming up with the design and production engineers to approach the project with passion and determination as a team, and the whole concept would be just pie in the sky. I am hoping the MX-5 RF will surprise a wide variety of people and contribute to increased interest in the MX-5, while increasing the number of people who enjoy the car’s beauty and the pleasure of driving without limiting the appeal to those interested in sports cars. Masashi Nakayama Mazda MX-5 Chief Designer Design Exterior design The design goal for the MX-5 RF was to create the ideal form for a hardtop version of the MX-5. In other words, it was to achieve an entirely new roof design that combines a beautiful cabin with the silhouette of a hardtop and the same level of open-air comfort and freedom afforded by the soft-top version. To this end, Mazda set about creating an uncompromising design based on the following four ideals. A beautiful silhouette: In contrast to the open-air styling of the soft-top model the MX-5 RF will often be appreciated for its hardtop styling with the roof closed. This demands that the cabin presents a beautiful silhouette when the roof is closed. The rear roof features side sections that slope down gently toward the rear, while also tucking in at the sides to create a perfect teardrop shape for the cabin. The flowing roof line along the A-pillars, roof sides and rear roof, which are painted in the body color, combine with the straight body line that runs from the low hood through to the rear deck, realizing an elegant, beautiful fastback silhouette that accentuates its styling. While the overhead roof panels and back window glass are stowed out of sight, the rear roof stays in position when the top is down. This differs from any other hardtop model on the market to create a truly unique new design expression. Compact packaging: With the exception of a 5mm increase in the height of the roof, MX-5 RF maintains the same overall length, width and wheelbase as the soft-top model. This compact packaging properly expresses the stability and dynamism of the MX-5’s road-gripping stance. A new open-air experience: MX-5 RF features unique styling when the roof is open by which the overhead roof panels and back window glass are stowed away out of sight. The result is a pleasing sense of freedom combined with a reassuring feeling of being wrapped securely in the cabin. This combines with the enjoyable exhaust note coming from the rear of the car to amplify the fun of open-air driving. Independent trunk: MX-5 RF does not sacrifice practicality for the sake of offering a retractable roof. In addition to the efforts of the designers and packaging engineers to realize a beautiful silhouette while adopting the hardtop, the independent trunk also secures the exact same luggage capacity as on the soft-top model. Body colors Machine Gray: This is a newly developed body color first introduced on the CX-9 midsize, three-row crossover SUV. Machine Gray was developed to express the beauty of a machine’s strength and precision. With strong contrast between light and shadow and a sleek, high-density finish, it gives the impression that the vehicle’s body has been sculpted from a solid steel ingot. Roof color*: The sides of the roof and rear roof are color matched to the body color. The top of the roof is available in either piano black or the body color. *Availability varies depending on the market and vehicle specifications. Interior design Major interior design features include body panels that wrap around and extend right into the door trim, as well as a cockpit zone centered on the driver and around which all major controls are laid out in perfect symmetry. Special attention to every detail focused on transcending its existence as a mere automobile to become a sports car that owners will truly love. As with the soft-top model, the aim was to create a cockpit design that brings a smile to the face and gets the heart pounding simply by looking at it or sitting in the driver’s seat. Benefitting from its hardtop, MX-5 RF significantly improves ride quietness and heightens the feeling of high quality. Detail design The basic design features are essentially the same as on the soft-top model. This includes the elaborate three-meter cluster and sharp-looking, compact steering wheel, as well as the horizontal layout of the instrument panel and strong sense of front-rear movement conveyed by the door trim. The two points that differ on the MX-5 RF are as follows. Meters: The information display to the left of the three-meter cluster adopts a dedicated 4.6-inch color TFT LCD screen that displays an animation of the roof when it is opening or closing. Hardtop open/close button: A button for opening and closing the roof is positioned on the panel below the dials for the air-conditioning system. Seat design and interior colors The higher level of quality and soft touch of Auburn-colored Nappa leather seats enhances the interior’s relaxing and sophisticated ambience. Gray stitching is used on the seats and center sections of the door trim. *Availability varies depending on the market and vehicle specifications.
  9. Last year, Volkswagen showed off a prototype of the Golf Alltrack wagon at the New York Auto Show. The German automaker announced that it would be selling this model sometime next year. Staying true to their word, Volkswagen has announced the Alltrack will be arriving at dealers this fall as a 2017 model. Before then, they'll be showing off the production version at New York. Compared to the standard Golf Sportwagen, the Alltrack is about an inch higher and features lower body cladding. Power comes from a turbocharged 1.8L four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. This will come paired with Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system and the choice of a six-speed dual-clutch automatic or a six-speed manual (available at a later date). The 4Motion system primary works in front-wheel drive to improve fuel economy. But if the system detects wheel slip, it will send up to 50 percent of power to the rear wheels to improve traction. The Alltrack also boasts an off-road mode that varies the settings for the traction control system and provide hill-descent control. “We heard from dealers and customers that they wanted to see a Golf SportWagen with the all-terrain capability that comes from an all-wheel drive system. We are excited to introduce the Golf Alltrack to meet the active lifestyle needs of our customers," said Joerg Sommer, Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy of Volkswagen of America, Inc. Source: Volkswagen Press Release is on Page 2 Volkswagen Debuts U.S. Production Version of the 2017 Golf Alltrack Adds 4MOTION® all-wheel drive to Golf SportWagen’s on-road acumen Body cladding and additional ground clearance give Alltrack a rugged off-road look “Off-Road Mode” adds hill descent control and optimizes traction control Golf Alltrack offers cargo volume on par with compact SUVs for size and versatility Available driver assistance features include: Adaptive Cruise Control, and Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist). Herndon, VA — New York, NY — Volkswagen of America, Inc., debuted today the U.S. production version of the all-wheel-drive Golf Alltrack, which goes on sale in the Fall as a 2017 model. The Golf Alltrack is based on the successful Golf SportWagen—Volkswagen SportWagen models have long been a top choice for customers who want a versatile and dependable vehicle that provides a sportier driving experience than compact SUVs. “We heard from dealers and customers that they wanted to see a Golf SportWagen with the all-terrain capability that comes from an all-wheel drive system,” said Joerg Sommer, Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy of Volkswagen of America, Inc. “We are excited to introduce the Golf Alltrack to meet the active lifestyle needs of our customers." The Golf Alltrack shares its underpinnings with its Golf family siblings, from its MQB architecture to the turbocharged and direct-injection powertrain. The fun-to-drive EA888 1.8-liter, four-cylinder TSI® gasoline unit puts out 170 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque. At launch it will be mated to a six-speed dual-clutch DSG® automatic transmission: a six-speed manual transmission will be available at a later date. While it boasts the on-road manners and fuel economy of a compact wagon, the Alltrack’s defining characteristic is its 4MOTION® all-wheel-drive system. The 4MOTION all-wheel drive system uses the latest generation Haldex-5 coupling, activated via an electro-hydraulic oil pump. In normal driving, the Alltrack acts like a front-wheel-drive car for better fuel economy, but as soon as the system detects wheel slip, up to 50 percent of the drive torque can be shipped to the rear wheels. In addition to the Haldex coupling that acts longitudinally, electronic differential locks (EDL) at the front and rear axles act laterally in concert with the electronic stability control system. The system briefly brakes a wheel that is slipping, enabling uninterrupted and stable transfer of drive power to the wheel on the opposite side. The Golf Alltrack also features nearly an inch higher ground clearance over the SportWagen. From the outside, the Golf Alltrack’s rugged appearance is easy to differentiate from the SportWagen. Cladding for key body pieces, including the unique bumpers, wheel wells and side sills, gives off-road protection and the front fascia incorporates foglights and a unique honeycomb grille. The S and SE trimlines have 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, while the topline SEL trim has 18-inch wheels. Silver detailing, including roof rails, matte mirror caps and diffusor, adds a premium touch. Inside, Alltrack mimics SportWagen in layout, but gets a more upscale feel. Leatherette seating surfaces are standard and Alltrack receives a unique brown leatherette option in addition to aluminum pedal covers, door sills with Alltrack branding and ambient lighting. Standard infotainment features include: a 6.5-inch capacitive color touchscreen with proximity sensor, rearview camera, and VW Car-Net® App-Connect connectivity. A Drive Mode selector includes “Off-Road Mode,” which adds hill descent control and optimizes traction control for off-road terrain. The Off-Road HMI displays compass, steering angle, and altitude when driving off-road. The Alltrack has a spacious trunk that’s in line with those of compact SUVs. With the rear seats up, it boasts 30.4 cu ft of space: when the 60:40 split rear seat is fully folded, that figure rises to 66.5 cu ft of storage. The split folding rear seats are accessed by release levers in the cargo area, maximizing convenience. Like the rest of the Golf line, the Alltrack provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It has been engineered to meet or exceed all current crash regulations and features no fewer than six airbags as standard along with a number of electronic safety systems. Alltrack models are equipped with standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System and an Intelligent Crash Response System. Available driver assistance systems include: Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), Lane Assist, and front and rear Park Distance Control with Park Assist.
  10. The only Giulia trim that Alfa Romeo has been parading around at various auto shows has been the 505 horsepower Quadrifoglio. Thankfully, Alfa Romeo will be introducing the remainder of the Giulia lineup at the New York Auto Show next week. There will be two models that sit underneath the Quadrifoglio - the Giulia and Giulia Ti. Both will come equipped with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 276 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. This will be paired with an eight-speed ZF automatic. Power will be routed to the rear wheels, with Q4 all-wheel drive available as an option. Like the Giulia Quadrifoglio, the regular Giulia features a 50/50 weight distribution and the use of lightweight materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber. The Giulia's interior well appointed with leather upholstery, the choice of wood, aluminum, or carbon fiber trim; and a new infotainment system with either a 6.5 or 8.8-inch screen. Alfa hasn't announced when the standard Giulia will be available in the U.S. It is expected that the Giulia Quadrifoglio will be arriving later this year. We'll believe it when we see it. Source: Alfa Romeo Press Release is on Page 2 Alfa Romeo Debuts the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Lineup at the New York International Auto Show Rebirth of the brand – the all-new 2017 Giulia is the first of eight all-new Alfa Romeos debuting through 2020, and embodies the brand's La meccanica delle emozioni (the mechanics of emotion) spirit Giulia nameplate reflects a 55-year heritage of Alfa Romeo's lightweight, performance sedan tradition and over 105 years of brand history, carving its legend on road courses around the globe Alfa Romeo Giulia and Giulia Ti models deliver seductive Italian style and craftsmanship to the premium mid-size sedan segment All-new, all-aluminum, 2.0-liter, direct-injection turbo engine with eight-speed automatic transmission delivers a class-leading, standard 276 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque, allowing it to launch from 0-to-60 miles per hour (mph) in less than 5.5 seconds, and achieve a top speed of 149 mph The innovative Alfa Q4 all-wheel-drive system offers the Giulia and Giulia Ti models even more all-season capability and performance New eight-speed automatic transmission, with available column-mounted paddle shifters, is designed for enthusiasts with gear shifts in less than 100 milliseconds As the “halo” model in the lineup, Giulia Quadrifoglio highlights Alfa Romeo’s performance and motorsport knowhow with best-in-class 505 horsepower, 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and a record-setting 7:39 seconds around the legendary Nürburgring Near perfect 50/50 weight distribution, segment-leading torsional rigidity and the most direct steering ratio on the market, thanks to Giulia’s all-new rear-wheel-drive architecture Exclusive to Giulia Quadrifoglio, state-of-the-art technologies, including torque vectoring, active aero front splitter and Alfa DNA Pro mode selector with Race mode, combine to maximize the all-new Giulia’s driving exhilaration March 17, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Expanding Alfa Romeo’s lineup beyond the ultra-high performance Giulia Quadrifoglio, the all-new 2017 Giulia and Giulia Ti models will make their North American debut at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, further highlighting the first of a new-generation of vehicles embodying Alfa Romeo’s La meccanica delle emozioni (the mechanics of emotion) spirit, world-class performance, advanced technologies, seductive Italian style and an exhilarating driving experience to the premium mid-size sedan segment. “All-new from the ground up, the 2017 Giulia lineup marks Alfa Romeo’s return to the heart of the premium sedan segment and the next chapter of the brand’s rich 105-year heritage,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Alfa Romeo – North America. “From the new Giulia and Giulia Ti models, to the ultra-high performance Quadrifoglio model, each of our Alfa Romeo sedans deliver class-leading power and handling, the pedigree of incredible technology and race-inspired performance, plus design and style that could only be crafted in Italy.” Three exciting Giulia models that highlight Alfa Romeo’s balance of engineering and emotion Building on the excitement of the ultra-high-performance 505-horsepower Giulia Quadrifoglio model that debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, the all-new Giulia and Giulia Ti (Turismo Internazionale) models continue to expand Alfa Romeo’s perfect balance of engineering and emotion to the heart of the premium sedan segment with an Italian designed and crafted sport sedan that is driver focused. Giulia and Giulia Ti models The all-new 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia and Giulia Ti models exude Italian style, craftsmanship and performance, all while delivering a comprehensive list of standard features, including an all-new, all-aluminum, 2.0-liter, direct-injection turbo engine with eight-speed automatic transmission delivering a class-leading, standard 276 horsepower, class-exclusive carbon fiber driveshaft, dual exhaust system with bright tips, leather seating, 7-inch full-color driver information display (DID), Alfa-tainment featuring a 6.5-inch or 8.8-inch industry-first hidden widescreen infotainment display, Alfa DNA selector with Dynamic, Natural and Advanced Efficiency vehicle behavior modes, sport-inspired flat-bottom steering wheel with integrated push button start, along with keyless-go with passive entry and remote start. For more capability, the innovative Alfa Q4 all-wheel-drive (AWD) system is also available on Giulia and Giulia Ti models, while available Sport, Luxury and Performance packages will further add to this Alfa Romeo model’s performance and style. Giulia Quadrifoglio As the “halo” model in the lineup, Giulia Quadrifoglio highlights Alfa Romeo’s performance and motorsport knowhow with a record-setting 7:39 Nürburgring lap time – the fastest ever by a four-door production sedan. The beating heart of this ultra-high performance sedan is an all-aluminum, direct-injection, 2.9-liter V-6 bi-turbo engine, delivering a best-in-class 505 horsepower, as well as earning the title of the most powerful Alfa Romeo production car engine ever and the quickest with a class-leading 0-60 mph acceleration in 3.8 seconds. The Giulia Quadrifoglio features exclusive enhancements for maximum performance, including high-performance front and rear fascias and carbon fiber lightweight materials, including hood, active aero front splitter, rocker panel moldings and rear deck-lid spoiler. Additionally, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio offers staggered fitting 19 x 8.5-inch (front) and 19 x 10-inch (rear) forged alloy wheels wrapped with Pirelli P Zero Corsa three-season high-performance tires. Inside, the Giulia Quadrifoglio includes performance front seats, featuring 12-way power, including 4-way lumbar plus front adjustable thigh support. Further features include Quadrifoglio-exclusive leather-wrapped steering wheel with accent stitching and performance contours; leather-wrapped instrument panel with accent stitching; carbon fiber interior trim; and bright door scuff plates with “Quadrifoglio” graphics. Advanced technology features unique to the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio model include a four-mode Alfa DNA Pro selector that adds Race mode, torque vectoring differential, high-performance Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brake caliper system, Quadrifoglio-tuned adaptive suspension, Quadrifoglio instrument cluster with 200 mph speedometer, cylinder deactivation system, Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection, vehicle alarm and 35-watt bi-xenon headlamps offering auto-leveling technology, adaptive cornering and headlamp washers. Ultra-high performance options further optimize Alfa Romeo’s 191-mph sedan’s lightweight design and track-proven capabilities: Ultra-lightweight carbon fiber shell Sparco racing seats provide maximum lateral support during extreme cornering, thanks to more aggressive bolstering, and are designed to be the lightest in the segment, while providing comfort for long road trips Ultra-high-performance Brembo carbon-ceramic material (CCM) brake system features six-piston front and four-piston rear aluminum monoblock front brake calipers with two-piece 15.4-inch (390 mm) front and 14.2-inch (360 mm) rear CCM rotors. The CCM rotor design delivers a 50-percent weight reduction compared to cast iron discs, further reducing unsprung mass to improve handling, while enabling a 60-0 mph stopping performance in an impressive 102 feet Styled with passion: high-performance, functional and seductive Italian design With its muscular proportions and a “pure” design ethos of passion, lightness and simplistic elegance “clothing” its class-leading technical layout with near perfect 50/50 weight balance, the all-new 2017 Giulia exudes stunning and functional Italian style with a finesse of Alfa Romeo heritage, athletically taut lines and sculptural details. Alfa Romeo designers styled the proportions of the all-new Giulia to have commanding presence and a menacing face determined to take on the world’s best roadways and road courses. A large signature “shield” grille is elegantly sculpted within the front fascia to form the “Trilobo,” a signature of Alfa Romeo design. Aggressively styled headlamps flank the signature grille and include LED daytime running lights (DRL) for a signature appearance. Alfa Romeo Giulia’s side profile proportion highlights the near perfect 50/50 weight balance and seductive Italian design. To “skin” the all-new Alfa Romeo rear-wheel-drive architecture that delivers benchmark-level performance thanks to a primary focus of locating as much mechanical mass between the wheelbase as possible, Alfa Romeo designers deliberately provided Giulia with extremely short overhangs, long hood and front fender proportions. And for more emphasis on Giulia’s rear-wheel-drive layout, Alfa Romeo designers made the muscular rear fender forms straddle the passenger compartment to deliver a “settled” look over the drive wheels and stylistically mark the point where power is unleashed onto the road. Taut lines, including the elegantly sculpted character line along the body sides, mark the doors and envelope the handles while naturally leading back to the legendary V-shaped nose. Rounded angles and enveloping pillars draw from Alfa Romeo’s rich design heritage and recall the “drop-shaped” profile reminiscent of the Giulietta Sprint, one of the most beautiful cars ever made. Even from plan view, Alfa Romeo designers gave the Giulia an organic, “ellipsis” design appearance to add to the all-new sedan’s timeless character. Finishing off the Giulia’s athletic appearance are nine available wheel designs that range from 17-inch, to larger and wider 19-inch staggered-fitting five-hole-design wheels that hark back to the brand’s stylistic heritage. Short overhangs and deck lid further emphasize the all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia’s muscular rear fender forms and road-holding stance. Elegantly shaped tail lamp features are drawn horizontally to highlight the performance sedan’s width, while LED rear light clusters further highlight Giulia’s use of advanced technologies. Finishing off the rear is a two-piece fascia that neatly integrates the chrome dual exhaust tips for a precise aesthetic. Crafted around the driver Built around the driver, Alfa Romeo Giulia designers focused on simplistic elegance, with a focus on incorporating the essential elements for performance. Inside, Giulia’s high-level of craftsmanship starts with an asymmetric-styled instrument panel, featuring a driver-focused cockpit crafted with an array of available leathers with accent stitching, plus trim bezels in aluminum, wood or carbon fiber – all for a bespoke look that could only be crafted in Italy. A Formula-1-inspired steering wheel features a thick-rim profile that transmits the chassis’ direct-steering feel and neatly groups the vehicle controls and the red engine start button. Behind the steering wheel, the Giulia features a full-color 7-inch DID cluster straddled by two large white-on-black face analog gauges. At the center of the interior, the brand’s all-new widescreen Alfa-tainment system in 6.5 inches, or larger 8.8 inches, offers an intuitive, yet sophisticated series of features all elegantly “hidden” in the instrument panel. Below, in the center console, the rotary controller is ergonomically located and features a simple operation of the Alfa-tainment system. Last, the Alfa DNA selector is adjacent to the manual or automatic shifter, enabling the driver to easily adjust the Alfa Romeo Giulia’s driving behavior. State-of-the-art engines are the heart and soul of Alfa Romeo technology and performance Adding to Giulia’s all-new-from-the-ground-up formula to take on the premium mid-size sedan segment are two all-new Alfa Romeo specific powertrains, which highlight the brand’s passion for technology and performance. Best-in-class 276 horsepower with all-new Alfa Romeo turbocharged four-cylinder engine Debuting in the all-new 2017 Giulia and Giulia Ti models, an all-new, 2.0-liter, direct-injection, all-aluminum, 16-valve, turbocharged and intercooled engine, designed specifically for Alfa Romeo, delivers a best-in-class 276 horsepower, 0-60 mph acceleration in less than 5.5 seconds, along with world-class levels of performance, efficiency and refinement. To deliver its best-in-class 276 horsepower output and flat torque curve of 295 lb.-ft. of torque between 2,250 – 4,500 rpm, the state-of-the-art engine features exceptional turbo responsiveness thanks to a “2-in-1” turbocharger design, with the charging system driven through two pipes that gather exhaust gas from pairs of cylinders in alternating sequence. Performance and fuel economy of these engines are fostered by the MultiAir electro-hydraulic variable valve actuation technology, the direct injection system with 200 bar injection pressure, a water-cooled cylinder head integrated manifold and a water-cooled charge air cooler. Most powerful Alfa Romeo production engine ever: 505-horsepower all-aluminum 2.9-liter bi-turbo V-6 With an Alfa Romeo racing history influenced by automotive legends like Enzo Ferrari that dates back to the 1920s, it’s no surprise that the all-new Giulia Quadrifoglio harks back to Alfa Romeo’s engineering excellence, with an all-aluminum, 2.9-liter, direct-injection bi-turbo V-6 as the “beating heart,” bringing this artisan designed vehicle to life and further representing a return to the “Great Alfa Romeos.” Designed to optimize the all-new lightweight Alfa Romeo architecture, the all-aluminum, 2.9-liter V-6 bi-turbo engine features a compact 90-degree layout and was holistically designed for a low center of gravity within the chassis. To deliver a best-in-class 505 horsepower and a flat torque curve with 443 lb.-ft. of peak torque between 2,500 – 5,500 rpm, the state-of-the-art engine features a bi-turbo design with 35 psi peak boost. In addition, the engine’s turbochargers are integrated into the exhaust manifold and feature a low-inertia, single-scroll turbo design with variable-boost management for an ultra-responsive throttle reaction. A direct injection system maximizes fuel combustion for improved engine output and efficiency. Combined, these technologies – along with an available enthusiast-desired short-shifting six-speed manual transmission – enable real-world performance numbers that include: best-in-class 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds, 191 mph top speed and a record setting 7:39 Nürburgring lap time. For improved fuel efficiency and to take advantage of the all-aluminum 2.9-liter bi-turbo engine’s impressive power density of nearly 175 hp/L, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio features a Cylinders’ Efficient Management (CEM) deactivation system that enables the engine to run on three of its six cylinders. Furthermore, an innovative engine start/stop (ESS) system stops fuel flow and shuts the powertrain down when the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is at a full stop – reducing fuel consumption and emissions. When the brake pedal is released, the high-performance bi-turbo engine automatically restarts thanks to the ESS system’s high-speed, high-durability starter, which reduces crank time, culminating in quick restarts. Last, the engine features a variable-pressure oil pump to reduce operational energy draw. Alfa Q4 all-wheel drive adds even more all-season capability and performance to Giulia and Giulia Ti When equipped with the intelligent Alfa Q4 all-wheel-drive system, Giulia and Giulia Ti models deliver even more all-season traction and performance capability thanks to the system’s ability to transfer up to 60 percent of the 2.0-liter direct-injection all-aluminum turbo engine’s torque to the front axle. The innovative Alfa Q4 AWD system is linked to the Giulia’s Chassis Domain Controller (CDC) and driver-adjustable Alfa DNA – enabling the driveline’s next-generation integrated actuator to adapt to changing ground conditions or driver need in 150 milliseconds, and instantly optimize the required torque to each wheel. New eight-speed automatic transmission with available column-mounted paddle shifters, is designed for enthusiasts with gear shifts in less than 100 milliseconds The all-new Giulia is the first Alfa Romeo to receive the newest generation eight-speed automatic transmission co-developed with ZF. The innovative compact gear set design is obtained with a smart arrangement of components and by integrating functions: four planetary gear sets and only five shift elements (three multidisk clutches and two brakes) minimize the drag loss and increase the transmission efficiency, thanks to the new multidisk separation of brakes and the use of a parallel-axis vane-type oil pump. Energy efficiency is maximized by an optimized cooling strategy, which adjusts the cooling oil flow to the system pressure (only 3.5 bar max allowed pressure). The eight-speed automatic transmission’s shift-by-wire improves safety and comfort, while the integrated transmission control unit allows to shift faster and more precisely than a professional driver (less than 100 milliseconds to initiate a downshift when increased acceleration is desired) and enables nested multiple downshifts (such as 8th gear to 2nd gear) thanks to the most modern adaptive shift strategies. Best-in-class power-to-weight ratio thanks to an all-new architecture with extensive use of lightweight materials Alfa Romeo Giulia’s all-new rear-wheel-drive architecture extensively integrates lightweight, state-of-the-art materials that enable and deliver near perfect 50/50 weight distribution, segment-leading torsional rigidity and the most direct steering available. As the first of the Alfa Romeo product renaissance to feature the all-new “Giorgio” architecture, Alfa Romeo engineers designed a lightweight rear-wheel-drive platform with a low center of gravity – all to deliver the high-performance and precision expected from an Alfa Romeo. Alfa Romeo Giulia’s aluminum front and rear vehicle frames, front shock towers, brakes, suspension components, doors and fenders also help shed weight compared to conventional steel. In addition, the rear cross member is made from aluminum and composite. An Alfa Romeo exclusive double wishbone front suspension with semi-virtual steering axis guarantees rapid and accurate steering feel. With the most direct steering ratio in the segment (11.8:1), Alfa Romeo Giulia can tackle high lateral accelerations as a result of the always perfect footprint. At the rear, a patented Alfa-link rear axle design with vertical rod ensures top performance, driving pleasure and passenger ride comfort. Next-level, state-of-the-art technologies add to Alfa Romeo Giulia’s driving exhilaration A primary objective of the Alfa Romeo engineering team was to integrate world-first and next-level vehicle technological solutions that would only amplify the all-new Giulia’s exhilarating driving experience. Chassis Domain Control (CDC) The “brain” of Alfa Romeo Giulia’s benchmark level dynamics can be attributed to its innovative CDC system. The CDC system coordinates all of the vehicle’s available active systems (stability control, torque vectoring, Alfa Active suspension system and active aero front splitter), using predictive-type dynamic models to deliver balanced, safe and natural driving, thus optimizing performance and drivability. Integrated Braking System (IBS) The world’s first integrated braking system debuts on the Alfa Romeo Giulia, replacing a traditional system of electronic stability control (ESC) and brake booster for even more instantaneous braking responsiveness. The innovative electromechanical system improves braking performance through a faster increase in pressure and makes it possible to vary brake feel jointly with the Alfa DNA Pro system. As a result, this lightweight technological solution delivers new levels of brake response and stopping distance. Alfa DNA and Alfa DNA Pro drive mode selectors Innovative Alfa DNA and, exclusive to the Giulia Quadrifoglio, Alfa DNA Pro drive mode selectors modify the dynamic behavior of the vehicle, according to the driver’s selection: Dynamic: delivers sharper brake and steering feel with more aggressive engine, transmission and throttle tip-in calibrations Natural: comfort setting for balanced daily driving Advanced Efficiency: the eco-saving mode to achieve the lowest fuel consumption, first time on an Alfa Romeo Race: exclusive to Alfa DNA Pro, this mode activates the over-boost function, opens up the two-mode exhaust system, turns ESC off and delivers sharper brake and steering feel with more aggressive engine, transmission and throttle tip-in calibrations Active aero front splitter A segment-exclusive active aero front splitter instantaneously adjusts the carbon fiber front lip spoiler for optimal aerodynamics, downforce and stability at any speed. In addition to helping the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio achieve a best-in-class 0.32 Cd, the dynamic front splitter with its two electric actuators can generate up to 220 pounds of downforce while operating between 62 mph and 143 mph. Torque vectoring Torque vectoring makes it possible for the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio to achieve higher performance during lateral acceleration. The rear differential optimizes torque delivery to each wheel separately for improved power delivery, traction and control on all types of road surfaces, without cutting power like traditional systems. Alfa Active Suspension system The innovative Alfa Active Suspension systems are available on Giulia Ti and standard on the Giulia Quadrifoglio. This four-channel chassis damping system instantly adapts to driving conditions and can be adjusted by the driver via the Alfa DNA selector. This technology allows for a setting of softer shock absorbers for a more comfortable drive, or a more rigid setting, for more accuracy in sports driving. Safety and security The all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia offers innovative safety and security features and leverages state-of-the-art driver-assist features. The latest Alfa Romeo sedan offers safety and security features that include: Full-speed Forward Collision Warning – Plus: provides autonomous braking and, under certain circumstances, slows or brings the vehicle to a full stop when frontal collision appears imminent Adaptive Cruise Control – Plus with Full Stop: helps maintain distance from the vehicle ahead and, under certain traffic conditions, the system can bring the Giulia to a full stop without driver intervention Lane Departure Warning: alerts the driver of inadvertent lane departure To help rear visibility both on the road and in parking situations, Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection and front- and rear-park assist sensors are offered on Giulia. In addition, the Alfa Romeo Giulia features advanced multistage driver and front-passenger air bags; driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side air bags (pelvic-thorax); front and rear side curtain air bags; and driver and front-passenger inflatable knee air bags. Bespoke from Italy: a vivid array of colors, materials and design details Adding to the excitement of owning an Alfa Romeo Giulia are the personalization options that each enthusiast can select directly from Italy. Up to 13 exterior colors are available and include: Rosso Alfa (Red), Alfa Black, Alfa White, Vulcano Black Metallic, Silverstone Gray Metallic, Montecarlo Blue Metallic, Vesuvio Gray Metallic, Imola Titanium Metallic, Stromboli Gray Metallic, Lipari Gray Metallic, Monza Red Metallic, Trofeo White Tri-Coat and Rosso Competizione Red Tri-Coat. Inside, a variety of interior combinations are available across the Alfa Romeo Giulia model lineup. Five different seat styles, including two sport seats, plus four different interior trims, which include genuine Dark Gray Oak, Light Walnut and brushed aluminum, can also be selected. Exclusive to Giulia Quadrifoglio, an array of five premium leather and Alcantara interior combinations paired with carbon fiber are available. First, an all-Black interior with a choice of Black, White and Green or Red accent stitching. A two-tone Black with Red interior with Red accent stitching further highlights the brand’s Italian design. For a bespoke look, Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio also offers a two-tone Black with Ice interior combination with signature Green and White Quadrifoglio accent stitching that pulls from Alfa Romeo’s historic and high-performance logo. Nine wheel designs are available across the Giulia lineup, ranging in size from 17 inches to 19 inches in diameter, along with Light and Dark Gray finishes. Specific to the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio are staggered fitting 19 x 8.5-inch (front) and 19 x 10-inch (rear) lightweight forged aluminum “Technico” wheels in Light or optional Dark Gray finish. In addition, Alfa Romeo’s signature five-hole-design alloy wheels in Light or Dark Gray finish are also available. For audiophile customers, Alfa Romeo Giulia offers the sophisticated Sound Theatre by Harman Kardon, which delivers detail-rich audio output. The heart of the Sound Theatre system is a 900-watt 12-channel class D amplifier, which distributes clear sound through a system of 14 speakers for superior listening quality. Logic 7 sound technology is used to obtain a surround effect from different high-resolution sources and harmoniously uniform stereo playback. With this sound system, occupants can experience the premium quality for which Harman Kardon is famed.
  11. Chevrolet's showing for New York is the updated 2017 Sonic. Both the hatchback and sedan get new fascias that borrow heavily from the new Bolt and Cruze. Up front are new headlights with LED running lights, chrome trim, dual grilles, and a sculpted hood. Around back are a set of single-unit taillights. Wheel sizes range from 15 to 17-inches. We're a bit worried the exterior updates have taken away some of the personality from the Sonic, but we will withhold judgment until we see it in person. Inside, Chevrolet has swapped the digital gauge cluster for one with an analog speedometer. There is also an updated version of Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system, keyless start, available heated cloth seats, and a heated steering wheel. Powertrains carry over from the existing model, with a 1.8L four-cylinder as the base and a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder as an option. Chevrolet will offer the Sonic sedan in LS, LT and Premier trims. The Sonic hatchback will come in the RS trim only, with two versions - RS LT and RS Premier. Pricing and release date for the 2017 Chevrolet Sonic hasn't been announced. Source: Chevrolet Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet Introduces 2017 Sonic Fresh look, segment-first Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility lead changes NEW YORK – Chevrolet today introduced the 2017 Sonic – a more expressive, sporty take on the brand’s fun-to-drive small car. It offers big technologies such as a new MyLink system with segment-exclusive Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a fresh exterior with new LED signature lighting. The updated styling complements new comfort and convenience features such as an available heated steering wheel and a standard 7-inch-diagonal color touchscreen for the new MyLink system. Rear Park Assist is also new, adding to one of the most comprehensive safety packages in the segment. “The new styling and features of the 2017 Sonic reinforce its position as a fun, efficient small car with leading technology – all at an affordable price,” said Steve Majoros, director of marketing, Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers. “This is an important segment for Chevrolet, as we really have an opportunity to introduce ourselves to new buyers and show them what we’re all about.” Like the new Trax, Sonic brings new, younger customers to the brand, with more than 20 percent of them younger than 35 – and nearly 30 percent trading in non-GM vehicles. It is also Chevrolet’s top vehicle for first-time new buyers. The 2017 Sonic goes on sale this fall, offered in LS, LT and Premier trims on sedan models. The hatchback returns exclusively in RS guise, offered in LT and Premier trims. An RS package is also available on the sedan. Refined design Sonic’s athletic exterior has an entirely new, expressive look echoing the global Chevrolet cues seen on vehicles such as the Cruze, Bolt EV and 2017 Trax. It is a richer, more detailed design, with the front end featuring a new hood, new front fascia and new lighting elements. Projector-beam headlamps are standard, along with available LED daytime running lamps. Likewise, the rear fascia is new. “With its trademark wheels-at-the-corners stance, the dramatic changes to the Sonic’s design give it and even sportier stance and attitude,” said Justin Thompson, exterior design manager. There are also new 15-, 16- and 17-inch wheel designs and four new exterior colors offered in 2017: Orange Burst Metallic, Brimstone, Cajun Red Tintcoat and Arctic Blue Metallic (late availability). Interior and technology enhancements Sonic’s thoughtful interior retains its focus on delivering comfort, convenience and technology. A new, detailed gauge cluster incorporating an analog speedometer adds a higher degree of refinement to the cabin, complementing addition new comfort and convenience features. For 2017, Sonic becomes the first in its segment to offer a power driver’s seat. Additional new features include: Keyless Open and Start Available heated cloth seats with new heated steering wheel RS trim includes RS-logo floor mats, piano black décor, RS-badged flat-bottom steering wheel – with new, red cloth seating available. Also new is a 7-inch-diagonal infotainment system designed to support the latest connectivity technologies, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot. With the available 4G LTE connection, Sonic provides a Wi-Fi hotspot that allows passengers to connect up to seven compatible devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless Internet. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is subject to their terms, privacy statements and data plan rates, as well as a compatible smartphone. Safety first Sonic offers safety features designed to alert drivers to potential crash situations. Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning are available active safety features. Sonic also offers 10 standard air bags, Stabilitrak electronic stability control and an antilock braking system to help provide peace of mind. Rear Park Assist is new for 2017 and a rearview camera is now standard on all models. Turbocharged performance The Sonic’s standard Ecotec 1.8L engine is estimated to deliver similar fuel economy numbers for the 2017 model year, however official EPA estimates are not yet available. Sonic’s fun-driving spirit returns with an available Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine, backed by a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. Rated at 138 horsepower (102 kW).
  12. This is the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and before you ask, it doesn't have the 707 horsepower Hellcat V8. Jalopnik's Truck Yeah was the first to report on these pictures that leaked out last night. Much like the Cherokee and Renegade Trailhawk, the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk gets some improvements to make it more capable off road. There appears to be a suspension lift (we're guessing about an inch), a set of Goodyear off-road tires, skid plates, and tow hooks finished in red. We'll have more details when Chrysler unveils the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk next week at the New York Auto Show. Source: Truck Yeah!
  13. Toyota is beginning the sunsetting process of the Scion brand with the FR-S. Next week at the New York Auto Show, Toyota will debut the redesigned 2017 86 - a name that is also used for the Asia, Australia South Africa, and South America markets. For the exterior, Toyota has added a larger air intake, bumpers, and LED lighting. The interior gets a new three-spoke steering wheel with audio controls and a new “Grandlux” material is used for the door panels and dash. Under the hood, the 2.0L flat-four has seen an increase in power from 200 horsepower and 153 pound-feet of torque to 205 and 158 respectively. This is due to a revised intake system and reducing pumping losses in the engine. It should be noted this is only for the manual transmission model. The 86 automatic sticks with the original power figures. Speaking of the manual, Toyota has changed the gear ratios to improve overall response. Also, the spring rates and damper settings have been adjusted to improve handling. The 2017 Toyota 86 arrives at dealers this fall. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota to 86 the FR-S Name New Toyota 86 and Charismatic C-HR Concept on Display at New York Auto Show TORRANCE, Calif., March 17, 2016 – With its new home comes a new name and more. The former Scion FR-S will debut as the 2017 Toyota 86 at the New York International Auto Show with interior and exterior changes, as well as suspension and powertrain upgrades. The new Toyota 86 will go on sale at all Toyota dealerships this fall. “When we announced the transition of the Scion models to Toyota we hadn’t planned on changing the names of our cars, but by popular demand, for our sports car, we decided to adopt the global name of 86,” said Toyota Division Group Vice President, Bill Fay. “Enthusiasts have a strong association with the front-engine, rear-drive heritage of the ‘hachi-roku’ and the dynamic performance it offers.” In addition to the Toyota 86 name change, two other Scion vehicles will have new designations for 2017. The Toyota Corolla iM and Toyota Yaris iA will join Toyota’s small car line-up. For its move to Toyota, the 86 sports car adopts more aggressive styling with a larger center intake emphasizing the low, wide stance of the car. The front of the car has a new design with re-configured LED front headlamps and turn signals, and revised bumper. The rear now sports LED tail lamps and a new bumper design. The alloy wheels feature a twisted spoke design and 86 logos have been incorporated into a badge on the front fender, as well as inside the front headlamps. The interior also features the 86 logo on the new “Grandlux” material used on the instrument panel surround. The same material adds a new, soft feel to the door trim. Drivers also will enjoy new seating material with silver stitching and a sporty steering wheel with integrated audio controls and an 86 logo on the center hub. Enhanced control and agile performance are achieved through revised shock tuning and a spring rate change. On the manual version of the car, additional performance comes from a gear ratio change and a torque increase to 156 lb.-ft, as well as a five-horsepower increase to 205 hp. Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) helps prevent the car from rolling back on steep hills. The new Toyota 86 also will be featured in Formula Drift with racers Ken Gushi and Ryan Tuerck. The drivers, along with Series Champion Frederic Aasbo, will be defending the SR by Toyota race team’s 2015 Manufacturers’ Championship. Joining the Toyota 86 on the show floor will be the Toyota C-HR Concept. The U.S. production version of the C-HR will be shown later this year and the vehicle will go on sale in spring 2017 as a 2018 model. “We’re very excited to be showing the C-HR Concept as a Toyota and adding it to our line-up next year,” said Fay. “The style and substance of the production C-HR will make it a winner in the hottest segment in the industry.” The C-HR Concept is named for its Compact size and High Ride height. With four doors and a hatch for supreme functionality, it’s the perfect vehicle for “yuccies,” the young urban creatives who inspired the design. Underneath the captivating design of the C-HR is a platform featuring Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA). TNGA is an innovative and integrated approach to developing new platforms and powertrains for Toyota. It creates a lower center of gravity, increased body rigidity, more responsive handling and improved ride comfort. “Even though the C-HR has a high ride height, our focus was on creating a fantastic urban driving car,” said C-HR Chief Engineer Hiro Koba. “My favorite place to be on a weekend is at a race track and I wanted to build a car that I would have just as much fun driving in the city during the week with refined driving comfort and responsive, precise steering.” More information about the technical specifications for the C-HR will be available when the production version debuts later this year.
  14. Toyota has updated the Highlander - its three-row crossover - for the 2017 model year. It might not be the most exciting vehicle making its debut at the New York Auto Show, but it is an important one as crossovers are currently the big sellers for many automakers. The changes begin on the exterior with more prominent lower and upper grilles that are finished in either silver (LE, LE Plus and XLE) or chrome (Limited or Limited Platinum). Toyota has also introduced a new trim for the Highlander called the SE. This trim adds a dark finish for the grilles, 19-inch alloy wheels, and new suspension tuning. Under the hood is a new 3.5L V6 with direct injection. Toyota hasn't revealed any power figures, but does say “will generate significantly more horsepower” than the current 3.5L V6. An eight-speed automatic will no doubt improve fuel economy. The base 2.7L four-cylinder and hybrid powertrain carry over. Toyota has added a number of safety features for the 2017 Highlander. Automatic braking, auto high-beams, lane-departure warning, Pedestrian Pre-Collision, and radar cruise control all come standard via Toyota Safety Sense package. The 2017 Highlander family arrives at dealers later this fall. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota's Debut of 2017 Highlander Mid-Size SUV to Showcase Significant Performance Updates Newly Developed Direct Shift 8-Speed Automatic Transmission New 3.5-liter Direct Injection V6 Boosts Horsepower/Helps Increase MPG New Available Stop and Start (S&S) Engine System Standard Toyota Safety Sense New Sportier SE Gas Model; Hybrid Trim Expands to Four Grades Refreshed Exterior Styling TORRANCE, Calif., March 14, 2016 -- Toyota will be debuting the significantly enhanced 2017 model year Highlander mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) on Wednesday, March 23 at the upcoming New York International Auto Show. The popular Highlander, receives an array of new and updated equipment and technology, inside and out, including a new Direct Shift 8-speed (8AT automatic transmission). Highlander is a no-compromise mid-size three-row SUV that brings together the best in style, technology, comfort, capability, and safety. Its exterior design conveys both refinement and strength, which complements a refined interior that sets a high bar in its segment. The third- generation model, now entering its fourth year, offers room for up to eight, a choice of three powertrains and six model grades, including a new sporty SE model. The Highlander Hybrid adds two new grades, (LE and XLE) to its existing lineup of Limited and Platinum models for a total of four. All Highlander Hybrid models will continue to be all-wheel drive (AWD). The six Highlander gas models will continue to be (LE, LE Plus, XLE, SE, Limited and Limited Platinum) available in both front-wheel and AWD. It all adds up to the ideal family vehicle. Greater Level of Performance Performance will be enhanced in the 2017 Highlander gas models with the addition of the new Direct Shift 8AT (automatic transmission) that will be paired with a new 3.5-liter V6 Direct Injection Engine. The new transmission is more compact and will provide more transmission efficiency through its 8-speed gear range. The 8AT (Automatic Transmission) will be standard on all V6 Highlander gas models. The new 3.5-liter Direct Injection V6 Engine will be available on all Highlander gas models and standard on all Hybrid grades. The new engine will generate significantly more horsepower, provide enhanced fuel efficiency, and deliver a more direct driving feel by expanding the lock up range. In addition to Highlander, the new Direct Shift 8AT (automatic transmission) and 3.5-liter V6 Direct Injection Engine powertrain will be equipped in the 2017 model year Toyota Sienna van. In an effort to help conserve fuel, Highlander V6 models (excluding LE) will come standard with a new Stop and Start Engine System (S&S). While driving the Highlander, the S&S allows the engine to shut off when the vehicle comes to a complete stop and restarts when the driver lifts their foot off of the brake pedal. The standard powertrain on Highlander 4x2 LE gas models will remain the 2.7-liter 4- cylinder paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. All Highlander Hybrid models will continue to receive the electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT). Updated Luxury Look and Feel The 2017 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid will receive tasteful styling enhancements that will continue to turn heads. The changes start with a new upper and lower front grille design for all grades. Each grade will be distinguished by different grille finishes that will also carry into the headlamp housing. The grille on all LE, LE Plus and XLE grades will receive a silver painted finish, while Limited and Platinum grades will receive a painted chrome finish. From behind, the rear taillights will receive a sleeker redesign. A chrome trim garnish will also be added on the rear bumper of Limited and Platinum models. Highlander will receive three new exterior colors, including Celestial Silver Metallic, Toasted Walnut Pearl, and, exclusively on the new SE, Salsa Red Pearl. Interior updates include a new brown leather interior that will be available on the Limited Platinum grade. Charging personal devices will be more efficient as all Highlanders will add four USB ports for a total of five. For those looking for a Highlander with all the bells and whistles but require added passenger seating, the premium Limited and Limited Platinum grades will offer buyers the choice of second-row captain’s chairs (providing seating for seven), or second-row bench seats that will expand capacity to eight people. Sporty New SE Grade For a touch of sportiness, Highlander will now be available in the new SE model. It starts on the outside with unique 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels, tuned suspension for a sportier ride, and a sporty dark paint treatment to the front grille, which is also incorporated into the headlamp housings and roof rails. Inside, the SE will stand apart from all other Highlander models with unique black leather- trimmed seats with silver stitching and pattern seat inserts, a black front tray, and matching dash and door inserts. Toyota Safety That Makes Sense The 2017 Highlander will come standard with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS), a new multi- feature advanced safety package anchored by automated pre-collision braking. TSS bundles cutting edge safety technologies including Pre-Collision System (with Forward Collision Warning and automatic emergency brake), Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beams, Pedestrian Pre- Collision System and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. The Pedestrian Pre-collision System (PCS) uses a camera and radar to detect objects ahead of the vehicle. When the system determines there is a possibility of collision it prompts the driver to brake with an audio and visual alert. If the driver notices the hazard and brakes, the system provides additional braking force. If the driver fails to brake in a set time, the system automatically applies the brakes, reducing speed in order to prevent or mitigate the collision. Lane Departure Alert (LDA) uses a camera to detect visible lane markings. If the system determines that the vehicle is starting to deviate from the lane, LDA alerts the driver and will provide steering assist to help get the vehicle back into its lane. Automatic High Beam (AHB) helps enhance forward visibility during nighttime driving. It uses a camera to detect the headlights of oncoming vehicles and the tail lights of vehicles ahead, and then automatically switches between high beams and low beams so as not to dazzle other drivers. The Highlander XLE grade will also adopt blind spot monitor as standard equipment. To help make parking easy and safe, the 2017 Highlander Limited Platinum grade will come standard with a Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan. This Toyota technology employs four cameras that are mounted on the front, the side mirrors and rear of the vehicle to project a panoramic view of the vehicle’s surroundings on the central touch display monitor. The system offers drivers assistance when parallel parking, and when pulling in and out of parking spaces. The Bird’s Eye View Monitor system also debuts a Toyota-first feature called Perimeter Scan, which provides a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle, helping the driver to see potential obstacles. Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) in Princeton, Ind., which employs over 4,000 American workers, assembles all Highlanders and exports them to 12 countries. The 2017 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid will begin arriving at Toyota showrooms in the fall of 2016.
  15. New York was the place Acura chose to introduce the production version of the 2015 TLX and no surprise, it looks the prototype that was shown at the Detroit Auto Show back in January. The overall design reminds us more the ILX than the RLX, which in our view isn't a good thing at all. Compared to the TL and TSX which it replaces, the TLX is about 3.8 inches shorter than the TL and 4.6 inches longer than the TSX. Inside, Acura has fitted the TLX with much more premium materials such as a soft-touch, one-piece instrument panel cover, alloy and wood-grain trim, and available Milano leather seats. The center stack features Acura's dual screen infotainment. As powertrains, the base is a new 2.4L four-cylinder with direct-injection producing 206 horsepower and paired with a new eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Optional is a 3.5L V6 with 290 horsepower paired with a new nine-speed automatic. Both the 2.4 and 3.5 come with front-wheel drive and Acura's Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS). The 3.5 can be optioned with the latest generation of the company's super handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD). The 2015 TLX arrives at dealers later this year. Source: Acura Press Release is on Page 2 2015 Acura TLX Unveiled at the 2014 New York International Auto Show - Two new, high-performance engines backed by new 8- and 9-speed transmissions - Most advanced dynamic package ever offered by Acura - Sophisticated design, premium refinement and extensive luxury appointments Acura today unveiled the all-new 2015 TLX performance-luxury sedan at the 2014 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). Developed under the theme of Red Carpet Athlete, the all-new TLX is designed to deliver a unique and compelling blend of sports-sedan athleticism and premium luxury refinement. "Harnessing the exhilarating power of new engines, new highly-efficient transmissions and next-generation dynamics technology – blended perfectly with impeccable style and luxury – the TLX will deliver a thrill like no other," said Mike Accavitti, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Acura. "Both the considerable performance capabilities of the TLX and the serious energy and resources brought to the brand from the newly dedicated Acura team herald the start of a new era for Acura." To achieve its dual mission of even sharper sports-sedan performance and increased luxury refinement, the TLX employs a host of new advanced powertrain and super-handling technologies. Powering the 2015 TLX are two Acura exclusive, high-output direct-injected i-VTEC® engines, a 2.4-liter 16-valve, 4-cylinder engine producing 206-horsepower1 mated to an all-new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission (8DCT) with torque converter; and a 3.5-liter 24-valve V-6 delivering 290-horsepower2 mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission (9AT). For handling prowess, the TLX features the latest iterations of Acura super-handling technologies – Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS), Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), and Agile Handling Assist (AHA). These new technologies, in combination with its all-new body and chassis design, make the TLX the most dynamically advanced Acura ever produced; quick and responsive in sporty driving, stable and sure-footed in emergency maneuvers, and calm and quiet during long-distance cruising. The TLX's new chassis, powertrains and precision-handling technologies are wrapped in a lithe new exterior design with taut body surfaces, dynamically sculpted fender arches, and purposeful character lines. Its sporting character is further highlighted by its more compact sports-sedan proportions. Luxury exterior features include Acura's signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, standard on all models. The spacious five-passenger interior of the TLX provides a high degree of refinement, luxury and technological sophistication while supporting an exhilarating driving experience. High-end premium elements include a soft-touch, one-piece instrument panel upper cover, alloy and wood-grain design accents, and available Milano leather seating surfaces and trim. The TLX will be available with Acura's most advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies including Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Blind Spot Indicator (BSI). The TLX was also designed to appeal to a broader cross-section of luxury sports-sedan customers with a wider range of powertrain and drivetrain options. There are three distinct TLX model offerings that carry a long list of standard luxury comfort, convenience and safety features. All TLX models can be upgraded to the Technology Package and the V-6 models are available with the line-topping Advance Package. The 2015 Acura TLX is scheduled to go on sale at U.S. Acura dealers nationwide later this year. Pricing details will be announced closer to launch. Design and Packaging For sports-sedan dynamic capabilities the 2015 TLX is 3.8-inches shorter in overall length than the 2014 TL while maintaining the same wheelbase and tandem (front-to-rear) passenger-seating distance. The TLX's front and rear overhangs are also shorter by 3.8-inches in total compared to the outgoing TL. The TLX engineers worked diligently to make the TLX lighter, incorporating a wide range of high strength steel and lightweight materials in the design. As an example, the TLX two-wheel-drive with the 3.5-liter V-6 Technology Package model has a curb weight just under 3600 pounds, about 145 pounds lighter than the TL Technology Package model. Acura's signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, standard on all models, lend the TLX an advanced and bright-eyed appearance while producing superior down-the-road illumination. It's LED lighting theme carries through to the LED-accented side mirrors, LED taillights and LED license plate illumination. The TLX also features a new 60/40-split folding rear seatback for greater cargo-carrying flexibility and a new trunk design featuring a wider and deeper opening, a lower lift-over height, a fully flat cargo floor, and two new hidden underfloor storage compartments (Advance pkg.). Interior The TLX's spacious five-passenger interior is designed and engineered to underscore the "Red Carpet Athlete" development theme of the new TLX, providing a high degree of refinement, luxury comfort and technological sophistication while supporting an exhilarating driving experience. High-end premium elements include a soft-touch, one-piece instrument panel upper cover, alloy and wood-grain accents, and available Milano leather seating surfaces and interior trim. An abundance of luxury features and technologies are available on the TLX, including heated and ventilated front seats, HomeLink®, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, Smart Entry/Push Button Start keyless access system, Acura Navigation System with 3D view, and AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ with Traffic Rerouting. A 7-inch On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD) touch screen, located in the center console, controls these and other features, and, with its contextual menus, displays relevant items while minimizing instrument panel clutter. Also featured on the TLX is the next-generation AcuraLink®, Acura's cloud-based connected car system, offering Acura owners a broad range of cloud-based and embedded convenience, connectivity and available security features. All TLX models also come equipped with Siri Eyes Free technology that, when paired with a compatible iPhone, allows the driver to control functions using familiar voice commands. Additional standard and available luxury features include one-touch turn signals and power windows, power driver and front passenger seats, GPS-linked automatic climate control, Color Multi-Information Display (MID) with turn-by-turn guidance, LED accent lighting, HD Radio®, Pandora® and Aha™ integration and USB connectivity. In keeping with Acura's commitment to delivering a world-class audio experience, the TLX can be equipped with a 455-watt, 10-speaker Acura/ELS Studio® Premium Audio System, engineered specifically for the TLX by legendary recording engineer Elliot Scheiner. TLX models featuring the new 3.5-liter V-6 engine utilize the advanced Electronic Gear Selector, using an intuitive push-button array in place of a traditional gear lever, freeing up center-console space while presenting a premium futuristic appearance. All TLX models incorporate the Electronic Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold, which retains brake pressure when the vehicle is stopped, simplifying stop-and-go driving in heavy traffic or on steep hills. New TLX Powertrains At the heart of the TLX's athletic sports-sedan performance capabilities are two new powertrains, utilizing direct-injection, V-TEC or i-VTEC valvetrains with Variable Timing Control (VTC) or Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) and low-friction technologies to deliver higher output, more linear and responsive power delivery and anticipated class-leading fuel-economy ratings. The direct-injected 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC in-line 4 produces a peak 206 horsepower1 and 182 lb.-ft. of torque4. The engine is mated to an all-new 8-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (8DCT) with torque converter, the world's first DCT to be paired with a torque converter on a production vehicle. The DCT, with its closely spaced ratios, ultra-quick shifts and automatic rev-matching downshifts, gives the 2.4-liter TLX an aggressively sporting yet refined feel. The torque converter provides exceptionally smooth operation in stop-and-go situations, plus it offers off-the-line torque multiplication for substantially improved initial acceleration that a conventional DCT cannot match. The new transmission also features Sequential SportShift. The direct-injected 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC V-6 incorporates Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), with the ability to deactivate three of the engine's six cylinders, for improved fuel efficiency. The aluminum-alloy 24-valve engine produces a peak 290 horsepower2 and 267 lb.-ft. of torque5, gains of 10 horsepower and 13 lb.-ft. versus the 2014 TL 3.5-liter engine. The engine is mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission featuring Sequential SportShift. The new 9-speed unit is substantially lighter than the 6-speed automatic in the outgoing TL, with a wider overall ratio range and more closely spaced individual gear ratios to enhance both performance and fuel efficiency. No competitive vehicle in the segment offers as many transmission ratios. The TLX SH-AWD also incorporates a model-exclusive idle-stop capability for improved fuel efficiency. And a new 28-volt Active Control engine mount significantly reduces engine vibration during restarts. The TLX equipped with the 2.4-liter engine has an anticipated EPA fuel-economy rating of 24/35/283 mpg city/hwy/combined. The TLX two-wheel-drive with the 3.5-liter V-6 has an anticipated EPA fuel-economy rating of 21/34/253 mpg (+1 city/+5 highway versus the two-wheel-drive 2014 TL). The TLX SH-AWD has an anticipated EPA fuel-economy rating of 21/31/253 (+3 city/+5 highway versus the 2014 TL SH-AWD). Acura Precision-Handling Technologies Two-wheel-drive TLX models, with either the 2.4-liter or 3.5-liter engine, come equipped with the latest iteration of Acura Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS). This new P-AWS system was integrated into the fundamental chassis design from the earliest stages of development, allowing engineers to take full advantage of its independent left and right rear-wheel toe angle control to enhance handling precision, maneuverability and stability. The TLX SH-AWD features a new hydraulically controlled version of Acura's acclaimed torque vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®). This next-generation SH-AWD system is 25 percent lighter and friction is reduced. The new rear-drive unit is constantly overdriven by 2.7-percent (compared to 1.7 percent on the previous system), with a greater torque-vectoring effect across a broader spectrum of driving situations, further enhancing cornering capability at lower speeds and in tighter-radius corners. Near-limit and emergency maneuvering capabilities of both the P-AWS and SH-AWD models are further enhanced by the use of Agile Handling Assist (AHA), which utilizes the TLX's Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and premium 6-piston brake modulator to create a yaw moment (a vehicle turning force), helping the driver smoothly and easily trace the desired line with smaller steering-wheel inputs. AHA stabilizes the car earlier than conventional VSA, resulting in more agile and engaging dynamic performance in everyday driving conditions. All TLX models also feature the latest development of Acura's Integrated Dynamics System (IDS), which allows drivers to customize their driving experience through four selectable modes – ECON, Normal, Sport and Sport+. Depending on the setting, IDS will adjust power-steering effort, throttle response, transmission shift logic, HVAC system operation, active sound control and the control logic for either the P-AWS or SH-AWD systems. The new Sport+ mode, a first for Acura, unlocks the full performance potential of the TLX with the most aggressive settings in all areas. Safety and Driver-Assistive Technologies The TLX also advances Acura's reputation for delivering cutting-edge safety and driver-assistive technologies. The TLX incorporates a new cooperative monocular camera and millimeter wave radar system that expands both the fidelity and scope of the vehicle's road-sensing capabilities. This fusion of camera and radar technology underpins the TLX's available Collision Mitigation Braking SystemTM, which can now provide enhanced car-to-car and car-to-pedestrian collision mitigation while also enhancing the capabilities of the Adaptive Cruise Control. The TLX is the first Acura vehicle to deploy a new Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) system included with the Advance Package. RDM uses the monocular camera to recognize painted lane lines, Botts' Dots and Cat Eye markers to determine lane boundaries. When the vehicle's current travelling direction would cause it to stray from a detected lane, the system warns the driver and assists by applying corrective steering input, and if required, braking force to help the driver maintain their current lane. Additional standard and available driver-assistive features include Blind Spot Information (BSI), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Expanded View Driver's Side Mirror, Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS) and new Cross Traffic Monitor. The TLX also employs Acura's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, along with advanced supplemental restraint systems – including front, side, side-curtain and driver's-knee airbags – to provide a high level of occupant protection in a wide spectrum of collision scenarios. The TLX is anticipated to earn a Five-star Overall Vehicle Score in the NHTSA's NCAP safety ratings, and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. All-New TLX Body and Chassis The TLX is built on an all-new platform (body and chassis) that was designed from the ground up to support and enhance the vehicle's outstanding driving dynamics, luxury-sedan refinement, class-leading fuel efficiency and high-level collision safety. The chassis features a newly designed four-wheel independent suspension system – McPherson Strut front and multi-link rear – with revised geometry and new Amplitude Reactive Dampers for improved ride comfort and handling performance. New Motion-Adaptive Electronic Power Steering delivers a high level of steering precision and responsiveness while aiding fuel efficiency. It also works cooperatively with the vehicle's VSA traction-control system to help the driver maintain vehicle control in slippery road conditions. The TLX's unit body utilizes advanced lightweight materials, including ultra-high-strength steels, aluminum (hood, bumper beams and front subframe) and magnesium (steering hangar beam and engine mount), to minimize weight while providing for a high degree of rigidity that benefits both dynamic performance and occupant safety. Also incorporated into the body is the next generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) frontal body structure, and a new one-piece, hot-stamped-steel door stiffener ring, similar to the design first applied on the 2014 Acura MDX. The new, sleeker body design is also optimized for class-leading aerodynamic efficiency and boasts a 15 percent improvement in Cd.A versus the outgoing TL. In their effort to significantly reduce the intrusion of wind, road and engine noise into the cabin, Acura engineers paid special attention to body sealing, reducing open air paths by 50 percent compared to the outgoing TL. The TLX is also the first Acura to utilize acoustic spray foam, which is applied in 10 critical locations throughout the body. Additional noise-reduction features include triple door seals, the expanded application of body sealing and sound absorptive materials, an acoustic glass windshield, and electronic Active Noise Control (ANC).
  16. At last, we finally know the last showing from Chevrolet for the New York Auto Show and it's the announcement of the Trax coming to the U.S. early next year. Now the Trax has been on sale in other countries for the past couple of years, and some were clamoring GM to sell it here. We're guessing that the success of the Buick Encore and the growing marketplace of subcompact SUVs made GM reconsider this. “Trax offers customers another option in the Chevrolet family and will be a strong competitor in the emerging small-SUV market, which is expected to grow more than 80 percent by 2016. Trax also leverages our global resources and builds on Chevrolet’s strong SUV heritage,” said Alan Batey, General Motors senior vice president for Global Chevrolet. The U.S. model will feature the 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder and have front-wheel drive standard. All-wheel drive will be on the options list. Other items to take note are the availability of OnStar 4G LTE and and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. Source: Chevrolet Press Release is on Page 2 Chevrolet Adds Trax to Growing Small-Vehicle Lineup Global small SUV arrives stateside, offering versatility, connectivity and efficiency NEW YORK – At the New York International Auto Show today, Chevrolet announced it will add the Trax, a new small SUV, to its portfolio. The 2015 Trax will offer versatility, connectivity and turbocharged performance in an efficient package. Sporty and modern, Trax blends small-car agility with the utility of an SUV, including up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) of cargo space. It’s Chevrolet’s seventh small-vehicle launch in less than four years. During that time, the brand’s share of the small-, compact- and mini-car segments has more than tripled – up 221 percent. “Trax offers customers another option in the Chevrolet family and will be a strong competitor in the emerging small-SUV market, which is expected to grow more than 80 percent by 2016,” said Alan Batey, General Motors senior vice president, Global Chevrolet. “Trax also leverages our global resources and builds on Chevrolet’s strong SUV heritage.” When it arrives in dealer showrooms early next year, Trax will accommodate customers’ increasingly connected lifestyles with available OnStar 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, as well as MyLink technology featuring the segment’s only seven-inch color touch screen. Trax also will be the first in its class to offer Siri Eyes Free. Trax technologies also enhance passenger safety, with more standard air bags than its competitors, a standard rearview camera and available rear park assist. Additional vehicle highlights include: Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine that delivers the efficiency of a small-displacement engine with the power of a larger engine on demand Available all-wheel drive Electric power steering Available next-generation OnStar and MyLink Ten standard air bags, including side-curtain and knee air bags – and the segment’s only rear seat-mounted thorax air bags Clever and convenient storage areas, including upper and lower glove boxes – with a USB port and auxiliary jack in the upper glove box for plug-in media 60/40-split fold-flat rear seat and fold-down front passenger seatback for storing and transporting items up to eight feet long Standard remote keyless entry and available remote start. Trax will be offered in LS, LT and LTZ trims. Pricing will be announced closer to the start of production. A Chevy inside and out With its signature dual-port grille, prominent bowtie emblem and swept headlamps, the Trax is immediately identifiable as a contemporary Chevrolet. Its grille design – with chrome accents – emulates other Chevrolets and provides a more cohesive appearance across the brand’s lineup of crossovers and small cars. Available cues such as front fog lamps and simulated front and rear skid plates lend a sportier presence, while vertical tail lamps flank the tailgate, accenting taught body lines and pronounced wheel arches that give the Trax a confident stance. The 10 exterior are: Brilliant Blue Metallic, Orange Rock Metallic, Satin Steel Metallic, White Pearl Tricoat, Black Granite Metallic, Summit White, Silver Ice Metallic, Ruby Red Metallic, Deep Espresso Metallic and Blaze Red. Inside, Trax’s distinctive styling carries over to a dual-cockpit instrument panel. In the center, it houses a seven-inch, high-resolution, full-color display for the standard MyLink voice-activated infotainment system. It also features displays for available SiriusXM satellite radio and standard rearview camera, as well as the available GPS-enabled app navigation system that customers can download. The instrument cluster is inspired by the bold design in the Sonic, featuring a large, performance-style analog tachometer combined with a prominent digital display for the speedometer and other readouts. A small-diameter, thick-rimmed steering wheel enhances the sporty ambience. The wheel is leather-wrapped on LTZ and some LT models. LS models feature standard cloth seating, with deluxe cloth standard on LT, along with an available cloth/leatherette seating trim. LTZ models feature standard full leatherette trim. Interior colors are Jet Black, Jet Black/Light Titanium and Jet Black/Brownstone. For versatility, the 60/40 flat-folding rear seat features a fold-down armrest with cup holders, storage in all four doors, four bins in the dash, pockets in the seatbacks and bins under the rear load floor and a hidden storage drawer under the front passenger seat. It also offers 18.7 cubic feet (530 liters) of storage behind the split-folding rear seat and 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) with the rear seat folded. The front passenger seat also folds flat to extend the cargo length and accommodate items up to eight feet long. Connectivity and infotainment details Available Siri Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6 and iOS 7 users enhances connectivity and convenience. Each enables voice-controlled connectivity so customers can keep phones stored and their hands on the wheel. Additional standard and available features include: Seven-inch-diagonal color touch screen and additional USB ports Available Chevrolet connected by OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot Available next-generation OnStar and MyLink Available BringGo navigation app Available SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with three months of trial service), SiriusXM Travel Link and SiriusXM Tune Select (requires XM subscription) · Supports playback of MP3 files stored on USB flash memory drives. With Chevrolet’s connected by OnStar 4G LTE connection, Trax provides an available Wi-Fi hotspot that allows passengers to connect multiple personal devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless Internet. Turbocharged performance Trax is powered by a power-dense Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine backed by an efficiency-enhancing six-speed automatic transmission. The engine is expected to be rated at an SAE-certified 138 horsepower (102 kW) and 148 lb-ft of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 and 4,900 rpm. The wide rpm range for the maximum torque – a specific trait of turbocharged engines – helps it deliver a more confident driving experience, with a strong feeling of power across the rpm band. The turbocharger’s on-demand performance also contributes to efficiency because it enables greater power when needed with the lower fuel consumption of a small-displacement engine when it’s not. The turbocharger is integrated within the exhaust manifold, for reduced weight and greater packaging flexibility. A solid cast crankshaft and forged connecting rods deliver additional durability to support the engine’s pressurized power and torque. A Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic transmission with TAPShift control is matched with the 1.4L turbo engine. It has a unique design, with the planetary gearsets positioned on the same axis as the engine crankshaft centerline, making the entire powertrain unit shorter fore-to-aft. This design enables a shorter overall vehicle length, increased interior space, enhanced safety crush zones and lower weight. A “steep” first gear and a “tall” overdrive top gear to achieve a wide ratio spread of 6.14:1. This allows Trax to achieve robust acceleration, as well as fuel efficiency and lower engine noise at highway cruising speeds. Refined ride and handling Trax is built on a robust global platform and engineered with precise suspension tuning to deliver one of the segment’s quietest and most refined driving experiences. Available all-wheel drive seamlessly shifts power to the rear wheels when required for better traction and handling. A 100.6-inch (2,555 mm) wheelbase and wide stance – 60.6-inch (1,539 mm) front and rear tracks – contribute to a confident driving experience, while a strong structure enables greater suspension precision and a quiet ride. A MacPherson strut front suspension is used with coil springs, a large stabilizer bar and side-load-compensated front strut modules. The rear suspension incorporates a compound crank (torsion beam) design, with a double-wall, tubular V-shape beam profile with gas-charged twin-tube shocks. It combines all the advantages of a conventional torsion beam axle, including minimal space requirements, with low weight and consistent camber control. Noise-damping urethane spring isolators improve ride isolation and dampen noise. Trax also features a column-mounted, variable-effort electric power steering system that saves fuel compared to a conventional engine-driven power steering pump. Sixteen-inch wheels are standard on LS and LT (aluminum wheels on LT). LTZ has standard 18-inch aluminum wheels. Built to protect Trax incorporates technologies that help avoid crashes and protect occupants in case one occurs. Crash-avoidance technologies include: Standard rearview camera Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control, incorporating traction control and rollover mitigation features ABS and electronic brake force distribution Cornering brake control and brake assist The body structure forms a protective cage around the passenger compartment, with 66 percent of the structure composed of high-strength steels, including ultra-high-strength steel. That structural protection is complemented with 10 standard air bags: Driver and front passenger frontal air bags Driver and front passenger knee air bags Front and rear thorax air bags for all outboard positions – including the segment’s only rear-seat-mounted thorax air bags Side curtain air bags for front and rear outboard passengers. Trax’s safety and security features also include exclusive OnStar technology with Advanced Crash Response System, emergency assistance and more.
  17. Last month at the Geneva Motor Show, Ford revealed the refreshed 2015 Focus Hatchback with a refreshed exterior and tweaks to the interior. Next week at the New York Auto Show, Ford will drop the cover on the 2015 Focus Sedan. Now if you expecting something different between the sedan and hatchback, then you'll disappointed. Much like the refreshed hatchback, the sedan gets a front end that is the same as the Fiesta and Fusion with the Aston Martin-esq grille and new headlights with LEDs. Around back is a new trunk lid and taillights. Heading inside, the Focus gets a new center stack, reshaped seats, and a new version of SYNC. Under the hood, the Focus gets the option of the turbocharged 1.0L EcoBoost three-cylinder with 123 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission will be only transmission on offer with this engine. The 2.0L four-cylinder will carry over. The 2015 model also gets a revised suspension and power steering system. Source: Ford 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 Ford Reveals All-New Focus Sedan, Retains World's Best-Selling Nameplate Title for 2013 Ford Focus ranks as the best-selling vehicle nameplate in the world, based on just-released Polk new vehicle registration data for the 2013 calendar year Focus gains momentum with 50 percent sales growth in Chinese market New Focus four-door sedan globally unveiled, featuring leading combination of technology, fuel economy and power DEARBORN, Mich., April 9, 2014 – Ford Focus retains its title as world's best-selling vehicle nameplate for 2013, according to Ford analysis of the just-released full-year Polk new vehicle registration data from IHS Automotive. The news comes as a new Focus four-door sedan prepares to make its debut at next week's 2014 New York International Auto Show. Registrations of the compact Focus were up 8.1 percent with 1,097,618 cars sold worldwide last year. That compares with global Focus sales of 1,014,965 in 2012. Market gains for Focus continue to be driven by consumer demand in China. China registrations were up 50 percent in 2013 to 403,219 vehicles, up from 268,354 vehicles in 2012. China now is responsible for just more than one out of three Focus vehicles sold globally, based on Polk data. The debut of the new Focus four-door sedan and the Focus Electric in New York follows the Geneva Motor Show debut in March of the Focus three- and five-door hatchback and wagon. A new version of the performance Focus ST will be shown later this year. The redesigned Ford Focus offers a bolder exterior design, a more intuitive and upscale interior, a host of technologies uncommon for a compact car and the additional powertrain option of Ford's award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost® engine with a new six-speed manual transmission in the U.S.-spec Focus. While U.S. EPA fuel economy ratings are not yet available, Ford expects the 1.0-liter EcoBoost Focus to raise the bar in fuel efficiency among non-hybrid compact vehicles. For 2015, Focus adds an SE Sport Package, which includes new body treatments, paddle shifters (requires automatic transmission), a revised touring suspension, 17-inch black gloss aluminum wheels and P215/50 HR-17 tires. The paddle shift feature provides drivers an additional element of control by allowing them to simulate the manual gear selection aspects of a manual transmission and extract more power from their engines. Also notable for 2015, Ford's popular MyKey® feature will be standard on all trim levels. An all-new heated steering wheel will be available as well as 10 different wheels as factory options. "It is remarkable to see Focus again lead the industry as the No. 1-selling vehicle nameplate on the planet," said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president, Ford Motor Company Global Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln. "With the new car, we've raised the bar again, showcasing Ford's commitment to continuous improvement – adding better technology for drivers and a sleeker, more modern exterior across the entire Focus family." While the latest Focus is essentially the same worldwide, color preference varies. In the U.S. market, Sterling Gray is the most popular at 21 percent of sales, with Tuxedo Black second at 15 percent. In China, Crystal Solid White is overwhelmingly the most popular with just more than 50 percent of sales. Candy Red is second at 17 percent. Fiesta world's best-selling subcompact Ford's analysis of Polk new vehicle registrations also confirms Ford Fiesta earned the top spot as the best-selling subcompact car globally, with 735,299 registrations for 2013. Together, registrations of Ford's small cars – Fiesta and Focus – totaled 1,832,917 vehicles last year, which is a 4.3 percent increase from 2012. Award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoostIn addition to a host of styling and technology advances, the new Focus will offer the efficient, fun-to-drive 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine with a six-speed manual transmission. Automotive journalists globally named it International Engine of the Year for 2012 and 2013. "The 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine is proof that excellent fuel economy and performance can come in one package," said Raj Nair, group vice president, Ford Global Product Development. "Focus is already known for bringing together efficiency and fun, and our latest offering will bring consumers a whole new level of enjoyment – on the road and in what they'll save at the pump." The smallest engine in Ford's growing EcoBoost family – already available in Fiesta - will come standard in Focus with an Auto Start-Stop feature that automatically shuts down the engine at stops and instantly turns it back on at takeoff. EcoBoost technology combines smaller-displacement engines with turbocharging, direct injection, variable valve timing and proprietary Ford software to bring customers outstanding performance and fuel economy. Ford EcoBoost engines can deliver significantly better fuel economy than larger-displacement gasoline engines. New Focus customers also will enjoy a quieter ride, achieved by thicker carpets and side window glass and improved engine-bay insulation. Stylish new Focus The new Focus arrives with a bolder look. It features a restyled hood and grille, signature LED lighting for headlamps and taillamps, new rear lamp clusters and a restyled trunk lid. Four-door and five-door versions will be available in the United States. Inside, colors and materials have a clean, modern look, with satin chrome detailing, new seat trims and switches, and an available heated steering wheel. A new center console incorporating adjustable cupholders improves storage capacity. Advanced technologiesA package of sensors brings a new level of convenience for compact car customers by adding driver-assist technologies, including a rear view camera, available Blind Spot Information System and a lane-keeping system. Standard on Focus for the first time, the rearview camera will appear on either a 4.2-inch screen or the 8-inch screen that comes with MyFord Touch®-equipped cars. BLIS® uses two advanced multiple-beam radar modules, the same used with cross-traffic alert, which are packaged in both rear quarter panels. The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding sideview mirror, providing a warning that a vehicle is approaching. Should a Focus driver start to drift out of the current lane without a turn signal activated, the lane-keeping system provides a warning through a series of steering wheel vibrations that mimic a rumble strip. If the unintended lane departure is not corrected by the driver, the aid function of the system actively applies steering to help the driver direct the car back toward the center of the current lane. The new Focus benefits from advancements in exterior styling, interior design, powertrain and technology, as well as suspension and chassis upgrades. These include a new shock absorber valve design providing improved interior quietness, and a change to the rear suspension to give drivers a more connected feel to the road. The electric power-assisted steering has been retuned to make the driver feel even more connected to the road. Enhanced SYNC AppLink Focus drivers will have access to powerful new capabilities thanks to a host of functions developers can integrate as they modify their apps to communicate with enhanced SYNC® AppLink™. Android and iOS smartphone users can download more than 60 AppLink-enabled apps from the Apple App Store and Android market. New functions include: Connected apps can access a variety of real-time vehicle data such as speed, acceleration, odometer and location information that can be used by the app to further customize and personalize the owner experience. For example, access to the in-vehicle GPS signal can enable more precise and accurate location-based services than phone sensors More consistent user experience thanks to voice pass-through capability. This enables developers to use on-device or cloud-based voice-recognition systems to evaluate driver commands, meaning drivers can use the same set of voice commands to control an app when connected to the vehicle as they would use when not connected Notifications read aloud as a driver enters the car, with no need to touch the phone. Best of all, alerts are available any time a mobile device is connected to SYNC AppLink, even if the app is not currently active. This means a driver could get an alert about a traffic jam ahead while listening to the radio or using another app
  18. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 6, 2013 Lincoln has been having a rough year so far and Ford wants to help out. The way they are doing is causing an uproar with their dealers. According to Bloomberg, Ford has implemented a bonus program for Lincoln dealers in certain markets that is known as stair-step incentives. Stair-step incentives work by giving higher bonus once a dealer sells a certain number of vehicles. For example, if you sell ten models, you will get a $500 bonus per model. Sell an additional ten models and the bonus increases to $1,000. Hence the stair-step. “There are some inherently unfair aspects of stair-step programs. They’re confusing to the market, they’re not necessarily good for customer satisfaction, and when you see a burst of sales at the end of a stair-step program, there’s always a payback. Right after that, the sales dip,” said Don Chalmers, owner of Ford and Lincoln dealerships near Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Confusingly, Ford is sending mixed messages on this matter. Ken Czubay, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service said Ford doesn't use stair-step incentives. Meanwhile, Ford's sales analyst Erich Merkle said the company is using the incentives for “selective legacy vehicles”. In this case, the “selective legacy vehicles” are the MKS, MKT, and MKX. Source: 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.
  19. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 28, 2013 Subaru has pulled back the curtain on the new WRX Concept today at the New York Auto Show and we can say whoa. The WRX Concept "hints at the design language of the next-generation WRX," Subaru said in a statement. The concept is shorter than the current WRX/STI models, but it's wider and has a lower roofline. The design cues on the concept include a large hood scoop, massive grille, bulging fenders, quad exhaust outlets that frame a rear diffuser, and a set of twenty-inch BBS wheels. The wheels and a carbon-fiber roof help lower the concept's center of gravity. Expect more details on the WRX/STI to start coming out sometime this year. Source: Subaru 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 March 28, 2013 THE ALL-NEW SUBARU WRX CONCEPT DEBUTS AT THE 2013 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW • SUBARU WRX CONCEPT hints at next generation WRX design language • Focus is on sharp handling, AWD grip and turbo power New York - Subaru of America, Inc. today unveiled the SUBARU WRX CONCEPT at the 2013 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob K. Javits Center. The design concept hints at the design language of the next generation WRX. The bold and muscular design emphasizes turbocharged power and AWD grip in a more agile and athletic form. The SUBARU WRX CONCEPT blends the WRX’s famous power and road-holding prowess with an even greater focus on sharp handling, steering and communicative chassis. To further improve handling dynamics, the SUBARU WRX CONCEPT features a carbon-fiber roof to enhance the already low center of gravity and reduce weight. Considerably lower, sleeker and wider, the SUBARU WRX CONCEPT delivers even more street presence than previous generations of WRX. The new grille design is larger and bolder and sets off the classic WRX hood scoop. A pronounced powerbulge provides clearance for the new turbocharged engine and intercooler. A prominent hexagonal grille form and deep lower valences with air intakes are designed to enhance aerodynamics, add downforce and aid engine cooling. The three dimensional mesh pattern of the grille denotes the sporting nature of the SUBARU WRX CONCEPT and sets the Subaru star cluster apart, while the new hawk-eye headlights integrate the Subaru family design heritage. A sharp character line runs from the front corner through to the taillights, intersected by the boldly flared wheel arches emphasizing the Subaru’s AWD system. The compact cabin greenhouse draws attention to the power and solidity of the body and focuses attention to wide stance that provides a visual link between body and chassis. The rear design echoes the hexagonal design motif from the front grille and features a dramatically curved trunk lid that also acts as a rear spoiler. The distinctive wide rear bumper of the SUBARU WRX CONCEPT adds to the powerful street presence of the car and is off-set by large quad tailpipes denoting the powerful turbocharged engine. The aggressive rear diffuser improves vehicles aerodynamics. The all-new SUBARU WRX CONCEPT features a new paint color, “WR Blue Pearl III”, which modernizes the iconic WRX look. Fluorescent Yellow is used as an accent on the WRX badge on the front grille, the brake calipers and the exhaust tip finishers, adding character notes to the design. Filling out the broad fenders are BBS “RI-D” One Piece Forged Duralumin wheels and featuring 245/40ZR20 Dunlop tires with an exclusive tread pattern. Key Dimensions (Overall Length x Width x Height): (178.0in x 74.4in x 54.7in ), Wheelbase: (108.7 in.)
  20. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 28, 2013 Dodge's three-row crossover gets a refresh to help pull it into the current lineup of Dodge vehicles for 2014. Starting outside, the 2014 Durango an updated grille, raised front bumper, new projector-beam headlights with available LED daytime running lights, and a more sculpted hood. In the back, the Durango gains the LED light-bar taillamp setup seen on the Charger and Dart. Inside, Dodge fits the latest version of Chrysler's UConnect infotainment system that can be viewed on a five-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreen. Also new is a seven-inch screen in the instrument cluster. Powertrains are carried over. The base engine is Chrysler's 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 290 horsepower. Optional is the 5.7L HEMI V8 with 360 horsepower. New for this year is the eight-speed automatic transmission for both engines. Teamed with a new Eco mode, Dodge says the new Durango is 9% more efficient than the outgoing model. The 2014 Durango arrives at dealers at the end of this year. 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 The New 2014 Dodge Durango — The Ultimate No Compromise SUV Raises the Bar for Performance, Technology and Style in the Three-row SUV Segment Durango features advanced design and premium class-exclusive features for 2014 All-new standard eight-speed transmission with rotary shifter improves fuel efficiency up to 9 percent and enhances Durango’s fun-to-drive DNA Now offering the latest 8.4-inch Uconnect Access Via Mobile touchscreen with downloadable apps and customizable instrument gauge cluster with 7-inch full-color screen New LED lighting technology, including standard class-exclusive racetrack tail lamps with 192 LEDs, ties Durango to the latest Dodge vehicle designs Best-in-class towing of up to 7,400 pounds with V-8 engine; 6,200 pounds with V-6 engine Best-in-class V-6 driving range of more than 600 miles on a tank of fuel Up to 50 different seating configurations, including optional second-row captain’s chairs and 85 cu. ft. of cargo capacity Available class-exclusive dual screen Blu-ray / DVD player New suite of advanced technologies improves performance, safety, comfort and convenience Premium features, including available heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated seats and accent stitching, highlight Durango’s attention to passenger comfort and style March 28, 2013 , New York City - The Dodge brand is upping the ante in the fast-growing full-size sport-utility vehicle (SUV) and crossover segments, introducing the new 2014 Dodge Durango at the 2013 New York International Auto Show. This new SUV is built on the Dodge brand’s pillars of performance, style and innovation, delivering a new standard state-of-the-art class-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission that improves fuel economy up to 9 percent, the Chrysler Group’s award-winning Uconnect Access easy-to-use touchscreen technologies and the Dodge brand’s signature racetrack LED tail lamps to driving enthusiasts in the market for a three-row family performance SUV. When Dodge re-introduced the Durango in 2011, it immediately earned accolades from customers and critics alike. Its combination of sleek yet muscular lines, comfortable three-row seating, large cargo volume, class-leading power, driving range and towing capability and overall driving enjoyment was unlike anything ever seen in the SUV segment before. For 2014, the engineers and designers at Dodge have made the ultimate “no compromise” SUV even better. The new 2014 Dodge Durango takes everything that customers love about Durango and adds the latest advancements in technology to enhance its design, capability and functionality. With a new standard eight-speed automatic transmission, improved fuel economy and performance, new LED exterior lighting, two new interior touchscreens, a new programmable instrument cluster, and an available high-definition dual-screen Blu-ray entertainment system, the 2014 Dodge Durango reaches even higher levels of sophistication building on its proven performance, utility and comfort. “When the Durango was first launched in 1998, it represented a breakthrough in power, size and style,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand. “Now for 2014, we’re upping the ante by making it our most technologically advanced, fuel efficient and dramatically styled Durango ever. With countless class-exclusive features and best-in-class attributes, the new 2014 Durango represents the ultimate no-compromise full-size SUV.” The 2014 Durango is available in five trim levels: SXT, Rallye, the new for 2014 Limited, R/T and Citadel. It will be built in the United States at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. Production is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2013. Unique, yet appealing to all Dodge is introducing the new 2014 Dodge Durango just as the SUV segments in the United States are showing tremendous growth. The new Durango competes in the full-size SUV segment, which with 900,000 units sold in 2012, has jumped 82 percent since 2009. With its standard three rows of seats and interior seating flexibility, Durango also appeals to shoppers looking for a full-size crossover. The two segments combined are up 48 percent since 2009, outpacing the industry. And of those full-size SUV and crossover sales, approximately 60 percent are three-row vehicles, placing Durango squarely in the heart of the market. Durango customers are tech-savvy, youthful and full-of-life, with one of the youngest demographics in the segment. Their active lifestyles keep them on the run, and they depend on technology to keep them connected. The Durango delivers with the latest Uconnect Access technology and connectivity in an agile, flexible vehicle that is spacious with versatile three-row seating for passengers and their gear. When the Dodge Durango debuted in 2011, it had a distinct advantage over the competition as an SUV designed to deliver performance, without compromising fuel economy. With the addition of the new eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters standard across the lineup, Durango ups the ante delivering improved efficiency, as well as a more refined and engaging driving experience. The 2014 Durango offers a host of premium features, such as high-end interiors, the latest infotainment technology and impressive powertrain options, along with the exterior design that is distinctively Dodge. Feature highlights on the 2014 Dodge Durango include: Segment-first eight-speed automatic transmission with rotary shifter allows for up to a 9 percent improvement in fuel economy and a more refined driving experience Class-exclusive Dodge “racetrack” LED tail lamps with 192 LEDs New front fascia with floating signature Dodge crosshair grille New projector headlamps with available LED running lights 5-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreens with available class-exclusive Uconnect Access and navigation with 3D mapping The latest available Uconnect Access system with Wi-Fi capability and mobile apps, including Pandora and iHeartradio Available voice command, Uconnect handsfree calling, handsfree texting, streaming music via Bluetooth and remote USB port Class-exclusive standard 7-inch customizable thin-film transistor (TFT) full-color instrument cluster Available class-exclusive Blu-ray / DVD rear entertainment system with new dual 9-inch screens in the driver and front passenger seat-backs New three-spoke steering wheel with standard paddle shifters Available second-row captain’s chairs with a standard pass-through center console that makes for easy travel between second- and third-row seats Available second-row full center console with additional storage – available at all trim levels New available fully integrated tow hitch New Limited model with standard leather seats, heated seats, heated steering wheel and standard 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen Rallye Group with a sinister monochromatic appearance and class-exclusive 20-inch Hyper Black wheels All-new wheel lineup with a choice of seven wheels featuring 18-inch and 20-inch wheels with finishes ranging from silver painted to polished aluminum to class-exclusive Hyper Black New standard capless fuel fill making for easy fuel fill ups More than 60 available safety and security features, including Auto crash notification/911 call button Adaptive cruise control with stop function Forward collision warning with collision mitigation [*]Ten exterior colors, seven different wheels, nine different interiors, including premium cloth, Capri leather and perforated Nappa leather with three different (black, gray and red) stitching accents, unique bezels and headliners High-tech exterior look The Dodge Design team went to work to create a new exterior that conveys how advanced the Durango is, while maintaining the muscular body and confident personality customers expect from Dodge. The new face of Durango is still distinctly Dodge and features a new, slimmer “split crosshair” grille with mesh textures unique to each trim level. Combined with the redesigned projector-beam headlamps and a raised front bumper, the 2014 Dodge Durango has an even more sinister look than the previous model. Durango’s sculpted hood and grille complete the unique to Dodge forward-leaning profile that continues through the deeply browed headlamps. For a more monochromatic appearance, the Rallye and R/T are equipped with dark-tinted headlamp bezels, body-color front and rear lower fascias, wheel flares, grille and sill moldings, all unique to the these packages. The R/T’s ride height has also been lowered by 20 mm, further enhancing its sporty appearance and driving dynamics. The 2014 Dodge Durango now features projector beam headlamps, with LED daytime running lamps on Rallye, Limited, RT and Citadel. The LED lamps run horizontally along the bottom edge of the headlamp and form a unique “hockey-stick” shape. Bi-xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps are standard on R/T and Citadel, turning the night into day. Auto-leveling technology adjusts headlight beam aim for slight changes in elevation. The new front-end design features new projector fog lamps and fog lamp surrounds and matching crosshair grille texture. Combined with the taller front bumper, the new lower fascia gives the 2014 Dodge Durango a wider and more aggressive look. In line with Dodge Charger, the side profile of the Durango maintains its powerful shape, accented by muscular fender arches and curves that flow back in through the doors, resembling the iconic shape of a coke bottle. The greenhouse of the new Durango blends seamlessly into the body, and a body-color rear spoiler significantly reduces drag while adding visual drama to the side profile. The 2014 Dodge Durango receives all-new 18- and 20-inch aluminum wheel designs for every trim level, and feature finishes ranging from silver painted to polished aluminum to class-exclusive Hyper Black. In total, there are seven wheel designs and finishes to select from. The rear of the Durango sees the addition of the dramatic LED racetrack tail lamp design inspired by the Dodge Charger and all-new Dart. Still immediately recognizable as a Durango, this latest evolution of the racetrack design features a new technology that blends the individual LEDs into one seamless looking ribbon of light. In total, there are 192 LEDs in the new tail lamp assembly that give Durango a presence on the street and make it instantly recognizable as a Dodge. The rear fascia has been re-sculpted to fully integrate the trailer hitch. This gives Dodge Durango a cleaner, more premium look. Large 3.5-inch dual exhaust tips are standard on V-8-equipped vehicles, including the R/T, along with the Rallye; other V-6 powered Durango models have a 3-inch single tip. A driver’s three-row SUV The new 2014 Durango continues to deliver excitement and refinement with world-class suspension and performance. Benchmarked against premium performance SUV’s in the market, Durango delivers modernized refinement with electronics, suspension and structural characteristics that are usually found at much higher price points. The unibody structure is built with a selection of high-strength and ultra-high strength steels that improve driving dynamics by integrating the suspension with the body — reducing flex and weight when compared with body-on-frame designs. The short/long arm front suspension and isolated multi-link rear suspension features isolated front and rear cradles to deliver precise on-road handling and comfort. The four-wheel independent suspension, combined with the Durango’s nearly 50/50 weight distribution, transmits to a solid driving feel and fun-to-drive characteristics. Dodge Durango delivers on the pavement with aggressive shock and spring rates and large sway bars to handle body roll in hard turning maneuvers. Electro-hydraulic power steering, unique caster and camber settings along with standard electronic stability control also contribute to maintain tire grip and vehicle stability. The 2014 Dodge Durango’s rear-wheel-drive-based drivetrain is the foundation for its outstanding on-road driving performance. Available all-wheel drive (AWD) further enhances driver confidence by leveraging the SUV’s 50/50 weight distribution. The Durango’s two AWD systems – one for the HEMI® V-8 and one for Pentastar V-6-powered models – greatly enhance the vehicle’s traction and handling by delivering a smooth driving experience on a wide range of road conditions. While competitors have switched to front-wheel-drive car-based platforms, the HEMI-powered AWD Durango features a low-range transfer case with a neutral position. Low range improves light off-road performance and helps ease maneuvers, such as pulling a boat up a steep launch or backing up with a trailer. The neutral position in the transfer case allows the vehicle to be flat-towed without damaging powertrain components. A robust structure, impressive braking and unexpected stability also contribute to the Durango’s best-in-class trailer tow capability. On models equipped with the Pentastar V-6 engine, the Durango can tow up to 6,200 pounds. When coupled with the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, the new 2014 Dodge Durango offers trailer tow capability of up to 7,400 pounds – more weight than a 24-foot boat and trailer, and up to 65 percent more than the competition.   All-new class-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission The new 2014 Dodge Durango now features Chrysler Group’s new eight-speed automatic transmission with rotary shifter and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters as standard equipment on all models. This state-of-the-art transmission improves fuel economy up to 9 percent, along with enhanced performance and smoother shifts. All these attributes perfectly enhance Durango’s fun-to-drive nature. Fully electronic, the eight-speed automatic features on-the-fly shift map changing, with manual shifting capability using steering-wheel paddle controls. More than 40 individual shift maps for specific conditions optimize shift quality and shift points for fuel economy, performance and drivability. The intelligent software is attuned to the performance requirements of almost any driving demand. The transmission efficiency and wide ratio spread provide the best possible fuel economy by operating at a lower engine rpm in both city and highway environments. The addition of more gear ratios also helps reduce the gaps normally associated with upshifting and downshifting. Gear changes are nearly imperceptible due to the evenly spaced gear steps between each gear ratio. Internally, the transmission has four gear sets and five shift elements (multi-disc clutches and brakes). Only two shift elements are open at any time. With fewer open shift elements, drag losses due to multiple parts rotating relative to one another are reduced, improving fuel efficiency. Powertrain choices Named one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines for three years, Durango’s standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine paired with the new standard eight-speed transmission delivers up to a 9 percent improvement in fuel-economy when compared with the previous transmission, not to mention improved performance. The standard flex-fuel 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine generates an impressive 290 horsepower (295 horsepower on Rallye) and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, and can tow up to a best-in-class 6,200 pounds. The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine produces a best-in-class 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque with a best-in-class tow rating of 7,400 pounds. The 5.7-liter engine’s Fuel Saver Technology with cylinder-deactivation seamlessly alternates between smooth, high-fuel-economy four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand. This optimizes fuel economy when V-8 power is not required, without sacrificing vehicle performance or capability. All-new Eco Mode The 2014 Dodge Durango features a new Eco Mode that contributes to its improved fuel economy. Eco Mode optimizes the transmission’s shift schedule, as well as throttle sensitivity, and Fuel Saver Technology with cylinder deactivation in V-8 models, to maximize fuel economy. The Eco Mode also manages interactive deceleration fuel shut-off (IDFSO), which cuts fuel delivery when the vehicle is coasting to reduce fuel consumption. Eco Mode is automatically engaged upon vehicle startup. A button on the Durango’s center stack allows drivers to disengage Eco Mode if more spirited performance is desired. Advanced interior with premium craftsmanship For 2014, Dodge designers are bringing Durango to the forefront of technology in the three-row SUV segment, while taking nothing away from the utility and build quality for which Durango is known. The new instrument panel features a redesigned center stack that houses the new 5-inch and 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreens. Under these large, easy-to-use touchscreens are redundant button and knob controls for audio and climate functions. The bottom of the center stack houses a new media hub with an SD card slot, USB outlet and auxiliary jacks, as well as a storage bin. The center console features a new segment-first rotary shifter for the standard eight-speed automatic that adds another level of refinement over the traditional gated automatic shifter. Manual shift functions have moved to paddle shifters on the back of the Durango’s new steering wheel. These paddle shifters are standard on all 2014 Dodge Durango models. The instrument cluster has also been given the high-tech treatment and now includes a full-color 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) screen similar to the one found in the all-new Dodge Dart. Standard on all models, this screen allows for drivers to customize more than 100 ways how information is presented. Framing the new instrument cluster is a redesigned three-spoke steering wheel with the previously mentioned standard paddle shifters. The buttons to control TFT driver information functions are now larger and illuminated to make them easier to operate. Buttons for Uconnect and phone access now reside along the bottom edge of the vertical spokes. As before, Durango’s popular audio controls are still found on the back of the upper steering wheel spokes. A large lockable glove box has a viscous-dampened hinge, which helps it open and close smoothly. Seating flexibility With standard seven-passenger seating and luxurious second-row captain’s chairs available on all models, the seats in the 2014 Durango can be converted to as many as 50 different configurations. Families with three or more children will find the Durango’s available captain’s chairs with pass through especially helpful as two car seats can stay latched into the second row seats, and there’s still easy pass-through for passengers to walk between to get to the third row. The second-row captain’s chairs will also make adults feel like they are riding in first-class, with comfortable bucket seats with individual armrests. The available second-row console features a dual-hinged door/armrest that when flipped forward, features a hard surface so that the armrest is not damaged by cargo. It also offers class-exclusive storage and features, including USB ports for charging electronics. A fold-flat front passenger seat is standard on models that aren’t equipped with the ventilated seat option. By folding forward, the passenger seat provides more utility, which lets customers load and carry long objects. Once flat, the seat back panel also serves as a convenient utility table. A new active head restraint system adds to the long list of available safety and security features. A versatile 60/40 split folding second-row seat conveniently folds and tumbles. Transporting long items, like 10-foot 2x4s, is not a problem as the left side of the second row folds 60 percent, allowing the versatility of folding the 40 percent seat in tandem with the front passenger fold-flat seat. Longer items can be stowed even with passengers in the second row. To make passengers more comfortable, second-row seats also are available with heat, and they recline 18 degrees. The third-row seat features a 50/50 split and is easily folded from the rear of the vehicle. For even more utility, both the second- and third-row seats fold to provide a flat load floor to haul a 6-foot couch with room for a coffee table. Clever touches abound, including a switch in the instrument panel to remotely lower the third-row headrests when not in use. State-of-the-art technology Five-inch and 8.4-inch touchscreens, a customizable 7-inch TFT gauge display, forward collision warning with crash mitigation, adaptive cruise control with stop and the latest generation of Uconnect Access Via Mobile are just some of the 2014 Dodge Durango’s available state-of-the-art features. The forward collision warning system with crash mitigation alerts the driver if they’re approaching a vehicle in front too quickly, and the new adaptive cruise control with stop will keep Durango at a driver-selected distance from the vehicle in front when cruise control is engaged and can even bring the SUV to a controlled stop. Embedded cellular technology that leverages Chrysler Group’s strategic partnership with Sprint allows the latest Uconnect Access system to work its magic. The advanced service-delivery platform affords the kind of stability that enables direct communication when it’s needed most. Uconnect Access connects vehicle occupants directly with police, fire department or ambulance service dispatcher with the push of the “9-1-1” button on the Durango’s rearview mirror – no cell phone needed. The same logic works for roadside assistance. One push of the “ASSIST” button summons help directly from Chrysler Group’s roadside assistance provider or the Vehicle Customer Care Center. Further peace of mind comes from the available theft alarm notification, which alerts owners via SMS text message or e-mail whenever their Durango’s security alarm is activated. For the greatest convenience and flexibility, up to five people can be notified. In the 2014 Dodge Durango, customers can put away their smartphones, keep their hands on the steering wheel and still interact with their devices in the ways to which they are accustomed. Media apps from Pandora to iHeartradio to Slacker are all available via voice command – a function of Uconnect’s powerful, Cloud-based voice recognition capability. Additional convenience is achieved when Uconnect syncs a customer’s existing app so their favorite artists and stations are available at the touch of the screen, or by the sound of their voice. Uconnect Access also allows the driver to execute many of the normal functions, such as climate, audio and Bluetooth, all by voice. The Cloud also enables voice texting, a breakthrough feature of Uconnect Access. Again leveraging the Sprint network, paired, Bluetooth-equipped cell phones that use the Message Access Protocol (MAP) can: Receive a text message Announce receipt of the text Identify the sender Read the message aloud To respond, drivers can simply dictate. The Cloud helps the system’s voice-recognition system assemble the response and “read” it back for accuracy before sending. Verbatim. No memorizing pre-approved messages such as, “I’m on my way.” The same advanced voice-recognition protocol simplifies the often-problematic process of entering navigation-system destinations with both hands on the wheel. The system will accept continuous, single-sentence instructions, such as: “Navigate to Ross Boulevard, Dodge City, Kansas.” The Durango’s navigation system also features new 3D maps with graphic representations of well-known landmarks and terrain, designed to make on-road travel even easier to navigate. Durango also has the ability to be used as a Wi-Fi hot spot. A powerful Bing search engine can be used via voice command if the driver needs to find a destination. Uconnect navigation then calculates a route and stores the destination’s telephone number for handsfree calling. A new 5-inch touchscreen is now standard on SXT models and controls audio, climate, phone and other vehicle functions, such as turning on the heated seats or determining how long the headlamps stay on after the ignition has been turned off. The high-resolution screen is intuitive and easy to use, yet redundant controls for audio and climate can be found below the touchscreen for drivers who prefer the classic dial approach. Standard on Limited, R/T and Citadel models (and available on SXT and Rallye) is the award-winning 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen that controls audio, climate, phone, vehicle functions, navigation (if equipped) and the new Uconnect Access system. This system provides large, easy-to-read graphics – including new 3D mapping – with intuitive, easy-to-use controls. The most looked at area of the interior, the instrument cluster, also has a new premium high-tech appearance with the new dynamic gauge cluster. Standard on all models and featuring a customizable 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) liquid-crystal display, the cluster can be configured more than 100 ways for the ultimate driver-customized experience. Navigation, audio and fuel economy information and warning indicators can all be displayed in the 7-inch screen. Mounted on the back of the front seats is an available all-new class-exclusive Blu-ray video rear entertainment system. This new system features two high-resolution 9-inch screens, one on each front seat back. Each screen offers four-times better resolution when compared with previous models and allow customers to watch their movies on Blu-ray or standard DVDs or play their high-definition media interface (HDMI) gaming systems via inputs for HDMI cables or RCAs for each screen integrated into the front seat backs. Wireless headphones are included as is a wireless remote. More than 60 safety and security features are available on Dodge Durango The new 2014 Dodge Durango offers consumers more than 60 available safety and security features, including standard all-speed traction control and electronic stability control (ESC), which improve overall vehicle handling and performance both on- and off-road. Standard trailer-sway control enhances towing capabilities and keeps the vehicle and trailer aligned as the Durango travels down the road. Safety and security features available for the first time on the Dodge Durango include forward collision warning with crash mitigation, adaptive cruise control with stop, Uconnect Access with 9-1-1 call and roadside assistance. Blind-spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Path (RCP) detection, which aid drivers when changing lanes or in parking lot situations, are also available. In addition, standard front-row active head restraints, standard full-length three-row side-curtain air bags and standard front-seat-mounted side thorax air bags offer enhanced occupant protection to passengers in the event of a collision. In total, Durango offers seven standard airbags. Manufacturing The 2014 Dodge Durango will be built in the United States at the Chrysler Group LLC’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP), where the Durango has been produced since 2010 when the third-generation Durango was reintroduced for the 2011 model year. It is built on the same assembly line as the most-award winning SUV ever – the Jeep Grand Cherokee – which has been built at JNAP since the facility opened its doors in 1992. One of only two assembly plants located entirely within Detroit’s city limits, Jefferson North has been boosting its employment levels since June 2009. JNAP has added more than 2,200 employees on two shifts in the past 4 years, bringing total plant employment to nearly 4,700. The plant runs six days a week, 20 hours a day in order to keep up with demand of the hot-selling SUVs.
  21. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 27, 2013 The day has come. Volkswagen has introduced the North American spec 2015 Volkswagen Golf and GTI today at the New York Auto Show. These will be first Volkswagen group vehicles in North America that will be based on the MQB platform. Three different Golf models will be available. The base Golf uses a new 1.8L turbo-four (goodbye 2.5L five-cylinder) making 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque - which is the same horsepower and seven pound-feet more than the outgoing 2.5L five-cylinder. This can be mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Next is the Golf TDI which uses a 2.0L turbo-four diesel engine making 150 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. That can be mated to either a six-speed manual or DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. Finally is the GTI which has a new turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder making 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Available transmissions include the the six-speed manual or DSG dual-clutch. Volkswagen isn't saying when the new Golf will arrive, but we expect to be in the U.S. sometime in the first half of 2014. 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 03.27.2013 SEVENTH-GENERATION VOLKSWAGEN GOLF MAKES ITS NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT AT THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW The latest version of VW’s popular compact hatchback is bigger, more spacious, lighter, and more fuel-efficient • Sporty GTI®, thrifty TDI® Clean Diesel, and turbocharged Golf will be offered • First U.S.-market Volkswagen to use the new MQB modular architecture • All models are lighter than the cars they replace • Seventh-generation Golf A7 will go on sale in the U.S. as a 2015 Model • 2015 Golf models are currently estimated to improve fuel efficiency by as much as 15 percent over current Golf sixth-generation models Herndon, VA - The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf manages to do the seemingly impossible. While it’s bigger and more spacious than the car that it will replace, it’s also lighter and more fuel-efficient. Based on the new MQB (modular transverse matrix) architecture, the 2015 Golf ends the cycle whereby new versions of a car end up heavier than the models they replace. Thanks to the extensive use of high- and ultra-high strength steels, the new Golf bodyshell is 51 pounds lighter than the current sixth-generation Golf, and offering an enhanced crash structure. Throughout the car, incredible attention to detail has seen optimization of components—such as the seats, air conditioning unit, and even the electrical architecture—to save weight. The 2015 Golf is 2.2 inches longer and 0.5 inches wider than the current car. It is also 1.1 inches lower, which benefits both aerodynamic performance and the car’s proportions: the CdA number has been reduced by almost 10 percent compared with the Golf A6. The interior package has been optimized to give 0.6 inches more rear-seat legroom and 1.2 inches of additional shoulder room in the back. Like the current car, the 2015 Golf will come in three guises. The Golf will be powered by a 1.8-liter turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder TSI® engine, built at a brand-new plant in Silao, Mexico, that is part of Volkswagen’s ongoing $5 billion investment in the North American market. The Golf TDI Clean Diesel model will be powered by a new 2.0-liter common-rail, turbocharged, direct-injection diesel engine. And the sporty GTI will also receive a new Silao-built EA888 engine. The seventh-generation Golf will go on sale as a 2015 model. It will be built at Volkswagen’s Puebla, Mexico factory. Design The design team, led by Walter de Silva (Group Design) and Klaus Bischoff (VW Brand Design), created a timeless and sophisticated new Golf, using the principles of Volkswagen’s Design DNA. This design language creates cars that are modern and progressive yet have a familiar feel. In the case of the new Golf, the car incorporates the classic C-pillars and other elements that hark back to previous generation Golf models, such as the side windows, the roofline, and wheel arches that are redolent of the Golf A4. According to Klaus Bischoff, the form language is: “logical, product-focused, pure and precise. The Golf’s proportions have completely changed with the seventh generation, making the car look more confident than ever.” Thanks to the MQB architecture, which dictates a fixed relationship between the front wheel centerline and the pedalbox, the car’s proportions have changed. The front wheels, for example, are now 1.7 inches further forward than on the current Golf design. This has created what Bischoff calls “a cab backward impression”. That’s what we call the proportions of premium-class vehicles, where the hood is long and the passenger compartment is a long way towards the back.” Compared with the Golf A6, the new car’s front end looks completely different, thanks to the way that the hood slopes down into the front fenders instead of the fender peaks being higher than the hood. The front end of the Golf has a very strong horizontal graphic, with a relatively narrow radiator grille. The new Golf has a strong character line that flows all the way around the car beneath the door handles, being interrupted only by the wheel arches. The line in the side of the car is picked up by the chrome bars in the radiator grille and in the white lateral bars of the taillight clusters. The line is designed to lower the car’s visual center of gravity and give it a more solid stance on the road. There’s a second line along the shoulder that runs under the mirrors from the headlamps back to the rear side window, which emphasizes the car’s premium proportions. At the back, the clean surface around the VW badge, the wide rear window, and the geometric taillights are typical Golf features, even though the lines are completely different. The tailgate, for instance, allows for a lower load height than before, at just 26.2 inches, while the overall effect emphasizes the additional width of the new car. The sporty nature of the Golf is enhanced with the GTI model. Its mission is reflected by its red-painted brake calipers, twin chrome tailpipes, and a lowered sport suspension. The exterior of the compact hatchback also scores with GTI-specific wheels and low-profile tires, special side skirts, a rear diffuser, and smoked LED taillights with LED license-plate illumination. Interior The new Golf interior package is larger, despite the car having a lower roofline. The interior is now 0.6 inches longer, which is reflected in 0.6 inches more rear-seat legroom. In the front, the shoulder- and elbow room are increased by 1.2 and 0.9 inches, with commensurate improvements in the back by 1.2 and 0.8 inches. The cargo capacity is eight percent greater, too, and the floor of the trunk area can be removed to further increase stowage space. The new interior also benefits the driver ergonomics. The seat position has been shifted back by 0.8 inches and the steering wheel adjustment range has been modified. Simple things that make a big difference have been optimized by use of the MQB architecture: the space between the brake and gas pedals has been increased by 0.6 inches and the shifter position has been raised by a similar amount, so it now rests better in the driver’s hand. Every element of the interior has been redeveloped and redesigned. The wide center console is now oriented towards the driver, a feature that’s more typical of premium vehicles rather than compacts. In the middle of the console, beneath the hazard warning light switch, is the infotainment screen. For the first time, Volkswagen is using touchscreens with a proximity sensor, allowing drivers to change functions with a swipe of the hand, just like a smartphone. Even the base radio has a 5.8-inch touchscreen. The new navigation systems are DVD-based with a 3D display. Located beneath the infotainment module are simple, well laid-out controls for the climate control system. Beneath it, the lower section of the center console has a stowage compartment that integrates the Media Device Interface/iPod® cable. The new Golf has improved stowage all around the cabin, with a sliding tray underneath the driver’s seat (manual seats only), six cupholders (counting the pair integrated into the rear armrest), and a large glovebox that houses the CD changer and SD-card slot. The whole interior is finished in high-quality materials. Soft-touch plastics abound, along with chrome, aluminum, and piano black surfaces that have a premium feel and look. The cruise control is now operated though steering wheel buttons rather than the column stalk. New white lighting for the buttons and switches underscores the interior’s upscale look and feel. The GTI, as with previous model years, has a number of interior differences to the Golf. The interior is highlighted by sport seats with distinctive GTI plaid pattern, a black headliner, and red ambient lighting. The car also offers classic GTI features such as a sport steering wheel, GTI shifter knob grip and instrument cluster, special trim inserts, and stainless-steel pedals and foot rest. Engines and Transmissions Volkswagen pioneered the use of small displacement, highly efficient turbocharged engines in the U.S., starting with the 1.8T engine in the 1998 Passat. Since then, Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder has set the benchmark for small displacement turbocharged engines. The Golf will feature a new EA888 Gen 3 turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder engine made in Silao, Mexico. This 1.8-liter engine will produce 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque and will offer highly competitive fuel economy. The engine makes the same power as the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine used in the Golf A6, but produces an additional seven pound-feet of torque, delivered lower in the engine speed range. It will be mated to manual and automatic transmissions. The EA888 Gen 3 engine family is designed to be lighter and more fuel-efficient than the Gen 2 units, such as the 2.0-liter unit fitted in the current GTI. Engine weight has been reduced by eight pounds, to 290 pounds overall. Among the improvements on this engine are: a thinwall crankcase casting; exhaust headers that are integrated into the cylinder head; smaller diameter main bearings; roller bearings for the twin balancer shafts; and a crankshaft that has four counterweights instead of eight. The TDI Clean Diesel model will use the new EA288 turbocharged, common-rail, direct-injection four-cylinder engine that makes 150 horsepower—an increase of 10 hp over the current engine—and 236 pound-feet of torque. This powerplant shares only the bore spacing with the previous diesel engine that shared the same designation. A number of changes have been made to help reduce emissions, such as: use of a complex exhaust gas recirculation system (with a cooled low-pressure AGR); integration of the intercooler with the intake manifold, which also improves throttle response; and packaging the exhaust after-treatment components close to the engine. The engine also has a number of modifications to help minimize friction and optimize fuel economy: there are low-friction bearings for the camshaft and balancer shafts, piston rings that have less pre-tension, and the oil pump is a two-stage device with volumetric flow regulation. As with the current Golf, the new TDI model will have a standard six-speed manual transmission with the option of a DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission. The GTI will also use an uprated version of the EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI engine. Final horsepower and torque figures have yet to be released, but it is expected to make about 210 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Like the current GTI, the engine will drive the front wheels via either a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG transmission. It is expected that the European Performance Pack will be offered during the GTI’s lifecycle. Chassis All versions of the new Golf have the XDS® electronic differential lock, a feature that was developed for the current GTI. This system electronically monitors input from various wheel sensors and, in the event of slippage, transfers extra torque to the front wheel with the most traction, thus helping to improve handling and traction. Another new feature is progressive steering, which incorporates a new steering rack and a more powerful electric motor. Where “normal” steering racks have teeth that are spaced consistently, the progressive system has a different tooth pitch in the center than it has on the outside. The lower steering ratio in the center means that the car responds more quickly when entering a turn, while the higher ratio at the ends of the rack reduces the amount of effort needed near full steering lock, such as when you’re parking. Safety and Security As well as offering no fewer than six standard airbags, the new Golf features as standard a new safety system called Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. The new system automatically brakes the vehicle when it is involved in a collision in order to help reduce residual kinetic energy. The system is triggered when the airbag sensors detect a primary collision and it is limited to a maximum retardation rate of 0.6g by the electronic stability control (ESC) unit. The driver can effectively override the system at any time; for example, it is disabled if it recognizes that the driver is accelerating. The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates braking at a higher rate than 0.6g.
  22. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 27, 2013 Back at the Detroit Auto Show in January, Acura unveiled the MDX concept and announced they would be showing the production model later this year. Today at the New York Auto Show, Acura introduced the new 2014 MDX. The production model is pretty much the same vehicle we saw as a concept back at Detroit in January. Think of an Acura RDX that has been stretched in all directions and you have the look of the MDX. Inside, the MDX's dash mimics RLX by having a dual-screen display (eight-inch display on top, seven-inch haptic touch screen on the bottom). Other interior features include AcuraLink, a premium ELS audio system, and a optional a rear entertainment system with a 16.2-inch screen complete with HDMI compatibility. Under the hood is a brand-new 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine making 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Power is funnel through a six-speed automatic to either the front-wheels or Acura's SH-AWD system. Acura will offer a new Integrated Dynamic System that allows the driver to choose between normal, sport and comfort settings for the new MDX, and will have the choice of either eighteen or nineteen-inch alloy wheels. The new 2014 MDX arrives this summer. Source: Acura 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 All-New 2014 Acura MDX Debuts at the New York International Auto Show Third-generation MDX raises the bar with more performance, class-leading fuel economy ratings, innovative interior features and signature Acura technologies NEW YORK, March 27, 2013 – Acura today unveiled the all-new 2014 MDX luxury SUV at the 2013 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). Built on a completely new platform, the seven-passenger MDX offers improved ride comfort, a more versatile and luxurious cabin, increased fuel efficiency and enhanced dynamic performance. The MDX will also be offered for the first time in a more affordable and even more fuel-efficient two-wheel-drive configuration. "Building on the award-winning dynamic performance of the previous model, the third-generation MDX adds new levels of luxury comfort, family functionality and fuel efficiency to once again set the luxury SUV benchmark," said Jeff Conrad, vice president and general manager of Acura Sales. "From Nürburgring-tuned dynamics and thoughtful interior appointments, to the addition of a new two-wheel-drive model, the all-new MDX continues Acura's direction of creating vehicles that advance the synergy between man and machine." Powertrain The 2014 Acura MDX is powered by an all-new direct-injected 24-valve 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™), producing 290 horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of torque. The MDX's engine architecture is shared with two racecars that recently finished First and Second in the LMP2 class at the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Employing a 6-speed automatic transmission with Sport Mode and Sequential SportShift Paddle Shifters, the new MDX will be offered in both Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) and two-wheel-drive drivetrain variants, both featuring Acura's new Agile Handling Assist technology. Matched to the highly efficient Earth Dreams Technology engine and the \ SH-AWD drivetrain, the 2014 MDX has an EPA fuel economy rating of 18/27/21 mpg1 (city/highway/combined), while the new front-wheel-drive model is EPA rated at 20/28/23 mpg1 (city/highway/combined). While achieving even higher fuel economy ratings, the MDX remains a true driver's SUV with enhanced dynamic performance, including quicker acceleration, more responsive braking and even more precise steering feel. Tuned and tested on the grueling Nürburgring racing circuit in Germany, the lighter and more dynamic new 2014 MDX with SH-AWD bests the previous model's lap time by eight seconds. To satisfy the preferences of multiple drivers in any family, the 2014 MDX features an all-new Integrated Dynamic System (IDS) with three modes: Sport, Normal and Comfort. IDS adjusts steering effort, throttle response, SH-AWD and active sound to suit the tastes of the driver. The MDX's new Amplitude Reactive Dampers, MacPherson strut front suspension and new multi-link rear suspension enable its more nimble and responsive handling and improved ride quality. 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels and 245/60-18 tires come standard on the MDX. Technology and Advance grades are equipped with 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels and 245/55-19 tires. Body and Styling The 2014 MDX body applies more than 55 percent advanced lightweight materials – including high strength steel, aluminum and magnesium – resulting in a vehicle that is both more rigid and lightweight, with total vehicle weight reduced 275 pounds from the previous model. Measuring 193.6 inches in overall length, 77.2 inches in overall width (excluding door mirrors), 67.6 inches in overall height, and riding on a 111-inch wheelbase (up 2.75 inches from the previous model), the new MDX boasts an "Executive Aero Sculpture" exterior design that lends it a sleek, tailored and sophisticated appearance. The aerodynamic body design – refined by engineers in a new wind tunnel at the company's Ohio R&D center – helps the MDX achieve a more than 17 percent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency, making it one of the most aerodynamic and fuel-efficient luxury SUVs on the road. The 2014 MDX also takes a big step up in luxury comfort and quiet. The MDX's dynamically tuned platform, more airtight body and triple path isolated dampers, along with the use of new sound-deadening materials, such as acoustic glass and expanding body sealers, and Active Noise Control technology, make this the quietest and most composed MDX yet. Interior Equally adept at carrying clients and kids, the new MDX boasts a luxurious and versatile interior. The revised body dimensions and new, more compact multi-link rear suspension, combined with innovative new technologies on the second-row seats, significantly improve third-row access and all-around passenger comfort. Third-row ingress and egress is significantly improved by a two-inch lower step-in height and three-inch wider entryway, and by the introduction of a new One-Touch Walk-In feature. With a single press of the illuminated One-Touch Walk-In button, the second-row seats automatically fold and slide to their forward-most position. The second-row seats now feature a four-position recline and a new Extended Slide capability that provides six inches of total fore-aft seat adjustment for optimal balance between second- and third-row legroom. Rear cargo capacity is also improved and includes a new underfloor storage area. Up front, there is a 10-way power adjustable and heated driver's seat and an 8-way power and heated passenger seat. The MDX also addresses a major shortcoming of many luxury SUVs – available front-seat storage space – with a spacious new center console that can accommodate a purse, laptop case, or a pair of iPads®. The MDX's luxury quotient is further boosted by its upgraded interior appointments, including premium leather-trimmed interior, silver plated accents, LED overhead and cabin accent lighting, along with new optional luxury features, such as Smart Entry, second-row sunshades, remote engine start, and auto-linked air conditioning and climate-controlled seats. Acura Signature Technology In addition, the 2014 Acura MDX harnesses a range of Acura signature technologies, including Acura Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, more powerful Acura/ELS Studio premium audio system, and the next-generation AcuraLink™ connectivity system with AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™, featuring freeway traffic and surface street conditions (free for the first three years). In addition to the traffic services, the AcuraLink™ cloud-based connected car system offers an assortment of media, convenience, information and security features via an embedded cellular system and compatible web-enabled smartphones. Both the AcuraLink™ and Acura/ELS Studio system take advantage of a 7-inch color On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD) touchscreen with haptic feedback and an 8-inch Color Information Display. The addition of the ODMD, along with other interior changes, allowed engineers to reduce the number of hard buttons in the center stack from 41 to just nine. The available Entertainment package adds a DVD Rear Entertainment system with a 9-inch full VGA screen for the rear seats, while the Advance package replaces the 9-inch monitor with an ultra-wide, 16.2-inch full VGA screen with HDMI compatibility for devices such as a game console. The 2014 MDX offers a host of innovative driver assistive and visibility technologies, including a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and available Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow, Blind Spot Information (BSI), and Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS). Safety The third-generation MDX is expected to achieve top-level safety ratings, including a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from NHTSA and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including the highest possible rating of GOOD in the Institute's new small-offset frontal collision test. The new MDX is equipped with a broad array of advanced safety technologies, including the next generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II (ACE™ II) body structure, 4-wheel Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control, and airbags (front, front side, driver's knee and side curtain with rollover sensor), as well as the available Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems. The 2014 Acura MDX is scheduled to go on sale at U.S. Acura dealers nationwide this summer and will be available in four grades – the well-equipped MDX, the robust MDX with Technology package, the rear-passenger-friendly MDX with Technology and Entertainment packages, and the top-of-the-line MDX with Advance and Entertainment packages. The 2014 MDX was designed and developed in the U.S. and will be built at the Lincoln, Alabama plant using domestic and globally sourced parts. Pricing details will be announced closer to launch.
  23. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 26, 2013 Last week, Jaguar released a teaser shot and some information about the new 2014 XJR. At the time, Jaguar said the XJR would have a 5.0L supercharged V8 engine, "bespoke chassis" and some aerodynamic work. Today, Jaguar has spilled the beans on the XJR. Power comes from the 5.0L supercharged V8 that's under the XKR-S and upcoming XFR-S, making 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. All of that power goes through an eight-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels. 60 MPH comes up in 4.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 174 MPH. A stop-start system is standard. Under the skin are a set of newly tuned dampers and stiffer spring rates, along with an electronically controlled differential to make sure the power reaches the road and not in a cloud of smoke. Jaguar has also tweaked the steering to improve feel and overall feedback. Outside, the XJR wears a new front air splitter, special rocker sills, and a unique front spoiler and hood vents. A set of twenty-inch forged alloy wheels and glossy black mesh front grille with chrome trim finish the aggressive look off. Inside, Jaguar has fitted a Jet Black suede headliner and a set of R-exclusive black leather sport seats with ivory, tan or red inserts and contrast stitching. The 2014 XJR starts at $116,895 for the short-wheelbase model and $119,895 for the long-wheel base model. Source: Jaguar 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 Jaguar XJR Unveiled At The New York Auto Show Tuesday, March 26, 2013 2014 MSRP Pricing XJR Standard Wheelbase $116,000 XJR Long Wheelbase $119,000 At a Glance - The 2014 Jaguar XJR is a 550 horsepower sports sedan which combines supercar performance with the opulence and comfort of British luxury - Every XJ is constructed on an all-aluminum body structure, and assembled using aerospace derived aluminum bonding and riveting techniques - With a 5-liter supercharged V8 engine delivering 550hp and 502 lb/ft of torque, the XJR is capable of sprinting from zero to 60mph in 4.4 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds) and accelerate on to an electronically limited top speed of 174mph (280km/h)2 - An eight-speed ZF automatic transmission features bespoke performance tuning for the XJR and enables forceful acceleration while maintaining a composed character when driving conditions are more reserved - Functional aerodynamic improvements are provided by a new front air splitter, aerodynamic rocker sills, an additional rear spoiler, and hood vents - Development testing was done at many challenging locations, including the Nurburgring circuit in Germany, where Jaguar maintains a Test Center - Performance tuned springs and continuously variable dampers - Electronic Active Differential and Dynamic Stability Control systems have been calibrated to match the handling characteristics of the XJR, allowing the driver to fully explore the performance envelope - 20-inch forged alloy wheels, shod with low-profile performance tires, enhance grip and lend the car a dynamic, muscular stance - Exclusive Sport Seats - Available in Standard and Long Wheelbase versions "The new XJR epitomizes the three pillars of technology, performance and seductive design which the Jaguar brand stands for in the twenty-first century, while delivering new levels of dynamic ability in a luxury sedan." -Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar (MAHWAH, N.J.) - March 26, 2013- The XJR returns to the Jaguar model line as the quintessential Jaguar flagship sports sedan, offering British luxury with extraordinary sporting performance. The XJR incorporates bespoke chassis and aerodynamic developments to create the most sporting member of the XJ sedan family. "This XJR is the flagship XJ and I'm delighted we've got it back into the range. This is a premium luxury supercar that also has an extremely purposeful look to it. This car will surprise, there's no doubt about it." - Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar Powertrain Spirited performance is provided by a 5-liter supercharged V8 engine that provides 550hp and 502 lb/ft of torque. Functional aerodynamic components including a front air splitter, functional hood vents, and quad tailpipes also add to the car's purposeful demeanor. Combined with an eight-speed transmission that extends the performance characteristics of the car, the XJR is capable of accelerating from zero to 60mph in 4.4 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds) and on to an electronically limited top speed of 174mph (280km/h).2 This all-aluminum V8 engine delivers exhilarating performance and efficiency thanks to technologies such as spray-guided direct injection (SGDI) and dual independent variable cam timing (DIVCT). The high-pressure die-cast lightweight aluminum block is stiffened with cast-iron liners and cross-bolted main bearing caps, providing refinement to match its power. The engine breathes through aluminum four-valve cylinder heads, and the intake is pressurized by a Roots-type twin vortex supercharger. Two air to liquid intercoolers, which feature their own water-cooling circuit, reduce the temperature of the intake charge to optimize power and efficiency. Maximizing the benefit of the engine calibration is the eight-speed automatic transmission. This transmission system brings out the sporting nature of the XJR while still maintaining the car's composure in town and in low-speed driving environments. When operating in automatic mode, the transmission can detect the manner in which the car is being driven by monitoring acceleration, braking, cornering forces, throttle application, brake pedal activity, road load, and kick down request. On detecting a more enthusiastic driving style, the transmission will automatically make the gearshifts more aggressively and move the upshift point to a higher RPM. Steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles allow manual gear selection. Corner Recognition senses when the car is negotiating a curve, and the transmission will hold the correct gear for the exit. The transmission will also recognize when the car is performing a series of overtaking maneuvers requiring rapid changes in throttle position and, rather than change up, remain in a lower gear ready for the next demand for acceleration. The Jaguar Intelligent Stop/Start system is standard. This system automatically reduces idling by stopping the engine when the car comes to a stop with brake pedal depressed. When the brake pedal is released, the system will restart the engine in less time than it takes for the driver's foot to move from the brake pedal to the accelerator. A twin solenoid system which features separate actuation of starter gear engagement and drive motor actuation, it allows for 'change of mind' functionality, bringing the engine back up to speed even during its run-down phase if, for instance, the car is coming to a halt at an intersection and the driver sees an opportunity to join the traffic flow. Dynamics "The XJR offers greater steering precision, higher levels of control and enhanced high speed stability, with the trade-off in refinement being very small. The increase in power and torque give this car truly effortless, seamless performance." -Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity, Jaguar The suspension system has been extensively tuned on both road and track, using the legendary Nürburgring circuit in Germany, the high-speed Rockingham circuit in England, and the winding roads of England and Wales. Tuned dampers and spring rates maximize the sporting handling capabilities of the car while providing the signature ride comfort expected of a Jaguar. Jaguar Adaptive Dynamics actively controls vertical body movement, roll, and pitch rates through the use of continuously variable dampers. The system monitors driver inputs and the road conditions, adjusting damper rates in response up to 500 times a second. The driver's selection of Dynamic Mode calibrates the damping rates to the firmer end of the available range. The Jaguar active electronically controlled differential can apply full locking torque almost instantaneously when necessary, and has been calibrated to utilize the high levels of grip and power. Working in parallel with the differential, the 'Trac DSC' setting of the Dynamic Stability Control system now offers the enthusiastic driver more opportunity to explore the outer edges of the handling envelope. The steering hydraulics and calibration have also been engineered to enhance steering feel, response and feedback under all driving conditions. In order to achieve the maximum benefit from the suspension, the XJR has new lightweight, forged 20-inch alloy wheels. The tires were specifically developed for Jaguar in conjunction with Pirelli. They are 265/35-20 and 295/30-20 front/rear and have been specified to deliver optimal cornering grip, traction and stability over a wide range of speed and performance parameters. The Jaguar High Performance Braking System offers an unmatched combination of power, stability and fine modulation. The 15" (380mm) front and 14.8" (376mm) rear discs are internally ventilated. Design "The Design Team wanted to create a graphic link to the performance credentials of this car, as well as delivering the optimal balance of aerodynamic down force front and rear. Hence the chrome-rimmed intakes on the front bumper have become an 'R' model 'signature element', acting as a visual reference to the car's twin superchargers, while the front aero splitters are complemented by the rear spoiler. We really dialed up the visual content on the XJR, compared to its predecessors; it's where our customers now expect it to be." -Wayne Burgess, Studio Director, Jaguar Design The appearance of the XJR has been modified with functional aerodynamic enhancements. The side rocker sills, unique to the XJR, serve to create a sharp break-off point between the bodywork and the road surface in order to keep the airflow attached to the car's sides for as long as possible. Rear lift is also reduced through the fitment of a trunk lid-mounted lip spoiler to manage the airflow off the top rear surface of the car, while hood vents aid in aerodynamics and engine cooling. XJR customers can choose from an extensive exterior color palette including: Polaris White, Ebony, Ultimate Black, Stratus Grey, Lunar Grey, Rhodium Silver, Cashmere, Caviar, Carnelian Red, British Racing Green and Italian Racing Red. The car's dynamic intent is underlined by the palette of materials used on the interior. Jet Black leather trim is available with a choice of either Ivory, London Tan or Red Zone inserts on the seat facings or simply Red Zone or London Tan contrast stitching. The seats themselves are embossed with the 'R' logo. Jet Black suede cloth headlining is standard. Interior veneers are available in either Carbon Fiber or Piano Black. The five-spoke, lightweight forged alloy wheels provide the XJR with a purposeful, broad shouldered stance and come as standard in either Sparkle silver or Technical grey finishes. The assertive appearance of the XJR is further enhanced with a gloss black front grille and lower intake mesh, with chrome surrounds. "The XJR is the sporting pinnacle of the XJ range. This car has been dynamically set-up from the outset to deliver stunning performance, while still retaining the luxury and comfort common to the entire XJ range." -Andrew Dobson, Chief Program Engineer, Jaguar XJR An 825 watt, 18-speaker surround-sound system from British audio experts Meridian™ is standard. Recognized by audiophiles as a leader in audio reproduction, Meridian has developed a proprietary Trifield™ System that places every occupant at the center of their own perfectly focused surround-sound arena. XJR Technical Specification* Engine: 5.0-liter V8 supercharged Capacity (cc): 5000 Bore/Stroke (mm): 92.5/93 Peak Power (HP @ rpm): 550 @ 6500 Peak Torque (lb/ft @ rpm): 502 @ 2500-5500 Transmission: Eight-speed ZF automatic 0-60mph (secs)2: 4.4 0-100km/h (secs)2: 4.6 Top Speed (mph | km/h)2: 174 | 280 (electronically limited) Fuel Economy (US EPA)3: 15 City, 23 Hwy, 18 Combined *Manufacturer's estimates
  24. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 26, 2013 Daytime television; a place where soap operas, talk shows, game shows, and the mid-day news live. Nothing really happens... Except for today. On today's episode of Live With Kelly and Michael, the new 2014 Chevrolet Camaro made a surprise visit. The new Camaro comes with a narrower grille and headlights, and a widened front valance opening. The hood gains a center row of vents. The biggest change deals with the rear end as Chevrolet replaced the quad-square taillights for two rectangular lamps. The show also revealed that no big changes are happening the Camaro's trim levels. So the 2014 models will still be the LS, LT, SS, and ZL1. We'll have more details on the 2014 Camaro tomorrow. Source: Live With Kelly and Michael, Camaro5.org Photo Credit: Raptor3141 @ Camaro5.org 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.
  25. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 25, 2013 This morning, Buick pulled back the curtain on the new 2014 LaCrosse that will be shown at the New York Auto Show later this week. Outside, Buick designers put a lot of focus on the LaCrosse's front and rear ends. The front features a new oversized waterfall grille, LED-trimmed headlights, and Buick's signature hood vents being moved from the top to the side of the hood. The rear end sees reshaped LED taillights, full-width chrome trim on the decklid, and a new fascia design. LaCrosse V6 models get revised exhaust finishers. Moving inside, the 2014 LaCrosse gets new seats, updated materials, and a redesigned center console that features less buttons (down from 17 buttons to 7). The latest version of Buick's IntellLink IntelliLink system graces the center stack's 8-inch touchscreen, and a set capacitive-touch climate controls are used to keep the interior simple and elegant. There is another 8-inch screen in the gauge cluster which is reconfigurable. New for the 2014 LaCrosse is the Ultra Luxury Interior Package, which adds Sangria and Ebony colors to the interior as well as semi-aniline leather seating, a faux suede headliner, and real wood trim. Also available are a number of safety features including forward collision alert, lane departure warning, lane change alert, side blind zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, collision preparation (with collision mitigation braking), full-speed-range adaptive cruise control, and the Safety Alert Seat. Powertrains for the 2014 LaCrosse are carried over from the previous model. Base models come equipped with the 2.4L eAssist mild-hybrid system, while the 3.6L V6 is optional. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive can be optioned. The new LaCrosse arrives at dealers later this summer. Source: Buick 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 Buick Introduces the New 2014 LaCrosse -Elegant sedan featuring refreshed exterior with wing-shape LED lighting -New interior design with new seats and available Ultra Luxury Interior Package -New advanced technologies: next-gen IntelliLink, standard eight-inch color display instrument panel, camera- and radar-based safety features that work with General Motors-patented Safety Alert Seat NEW YORK – Buick today introduced the new 2014 LaCrosse, the evolution of the landmark luxury sedan that established the brand's modern sedan lineup with design leadership and technological innovation. The full-size LaCrosse offers new interior and exterior design cues, advanced safety technologies and enhanced in-vehicle connectivity. New front and rear styling, featuring signature wing-shape LED daytime running lamps and LED wraparound tail lamps, complements its sculpted exterior design. The interior is more contemporary, with new seats, enhanced materials, redesigned central instrument panel and console – and an all-new, available Ultra Luxury Interior Package. The cabin also incorporates Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system, with intuitive controls and natural voice recognition. New radar- and camera-based safety features help surround the new LaCrosse with protection. They include Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Change Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Automatic Collision Preparation. GM's patented Safety Alert Seat works with these features, providing seat vibration pulses indicating the direction of a potential crash threat. Adaptive Cruise Control is also offered. It senses traffic in front of the LaCrosse to adjust vehicle speed, including stopping the vehicle in heavy traffic and accelerating again. "We evolved the interior and exterior design, increased luxury amenities and materials, and enhanced the safety and personal technologies to give customers more reasons than ever to rediscover Buick," said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing. Globally, LaCrosse sales have exceeded 500,000 since its 2009 introduction and U.S. sales topped 57,000 in 2012, making it more popular than many other full-size luxury sedans, including Lexus ES, Acura TL and Lincoln MKS. The 2014 LaCrosse is offered in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models and offers two powertrains: a 2.4L engine with eAssist light electrification technology or a 3.6L direct-injected V-6. Each is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. All models feature Buick's QuietTuning engineering process that reduces, blocks and absorbs unwanted noise from the LaCrosse's cabin, making it one of the quietest in the segment. The new LaCrosse makes its public debut at the New York International Auto Show, where it will be on display March 29-April 7. It goes on sale this summer. A more expressive design LaCrosse's flowing, sculpted styling helped redefine Buick's design language at its introduction in 2009. The 2014 LaCrosse introduces a more expressive interpretation of that successful design, with elements and cues that enhance the car's well-planted, wide stance. Highlights include: -New front fascia, sculpted hood and more prominent waterfall grille -Lower front active grille shutters are included on every model and close at highway speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag -New headlamp designs, with available Bi-Xenon High-Intensity Discharge lamps (HID), Active Forward Lighting and LED wing-shape signature lighting -New rear fascia design and wraparound tail lamps with LED lighting. The LaCrosse's new appearance is instantly recognizable as a modern Buick and the LED lighting elements enhance its technologically advanced presence. The headlamp housings, for example, have a more angular appearance and LED signature accents that echo a familial appearance introduced on the 2013 Enclave crossover. They've also been positioned slightly outboard to reinforce the car's presence. The new Bi-Xenon headlamps incorporate new technology with enhanced brilliance that improves visibility, is energy-efficient and environmentally friendly (mercury-free). Active Forward Lighting is paired with these HID lamps, turning them with the direction of the front wheels to enhance visibility around corners. At the rear, a full-width chrome accent reinforces the car's stance, while fully enclosed exhaust outlets (3.6L models) are framed with a chrome finish within a new rear fascia. It's a more integrated appearance designed to show Buick's attention to detail. An integrated rear spoiler is incorporated in the trailing edge of the deck lid to help improve aerodynamic performance and new LED taillamps – in all-new, wraparound housings – provide a safety benefit by illuminate more quickly than conventional bulbs when the brakes are applied. In the front and rear, LaCrosse's new LED lamps continue the wing-shaped signature appearance that distinguishes Buicks day and night. New interior environment The 2014 LaCrosse's interior creates a more contemporary ambience and supports the integration of Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system. Highlights include: -New instrument panel "center stack" and integrated floor console with more storage -Configurable eight-inch color touch-screen in the center stack -Configurable eight-inch color electronic instrument panel display and gauge cluster -New, more comfortable front seats with four-way adjustable headrests -New door panels with revised door lock, seat memory and trunk release controls -New, available Ultra Luxury Interior Package with a synthetic suede headliner and pillars coverings, semi-aniline leather seating, authentic Tamo Ash wood trim and more. While the LaCrosse's new interior brings more amenities and enhanced personal technology with next-generation IntelliLink, it does so with greater simplicity. The new center stack radio controls, for example, have only seven buttons vs. the previous 17. The large, eight-inch color touch screen is designed to be easier to operate with intuitive controls and smartphone-influenced swipe recognition for easier navigation. Dual-zone climate controls also feature capacitive-touch operation and are framed in chrome. The rear-seat headrests fold down to enhance rearward visibility, while the new four-way adjustable front headrests are designed to provide a greater range of comfort, particularly for taller drivers. Four interior color/trim combinations are available for 2014: -Light Neutral seating/Cocoa accents, offered with cloth or Soleil Keisel leather seats and Kyoto Maple wood-style décor -Ebony, offered with cloth or Soleil Keisel leather seats and Cellini Wood décor -Choccachino seating/Cocoa accents, with Soleil Keisel leather seats with contrast stitching and Phantasm Wood-style décor Ultra Luxury Interior Package Sangria seating color and Ebony accents, with semi-aniline leather seats and trim, along with Shadow Tamo Ash wood décor, represents LaCrosse's new Ultra Luxury Interior Package. "The warm color combinations, premium interior materials and advanced technology in the 2014 LaCrosse provide the interior environment our discerning luxury customers are seeking," said Ven Lai, Buick creative designer for color and trim. The new Ultra Luxury Interior Package features premium semi-aniline leather. It covers the seats, console armrest and door armrests and is complemented by synthetic suede on the headliner and door pillars. The Sangria contrast color with the Ultra Luxury interior is exclusive to LaCrosse. QuietTuning LaCrosse's use of Buick's unique QuietTuning engineering defines Buick quality, sound and vibration characteristics and refinement by following a three-point strategy of reducing sounds at their source, blocking sounds from entering the cabin and absorbing any remaining sounds. LaCrosse's specific QuietTuning features include acoustical laminate on the windshield and front side glass; steel laminate on the front-of-dash body area; expanded baffles in the roof pillars; extensive use of melt-on sound deadeners throughout the entire lower body structure; and sound-absorbing material throughout LaCrosse's engine, passenger and cargo compartments. Next-generation IntelliLink Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system debuts on the 2014 LaCrosse. It offers more features designed for intuitive, easy-to-use functionality and incorporates a higher level of wireless connectivity and customized options building on the safety and security of OnStar. In addition to easily identifiable icons covering everything from navigation to phone to music apps such as Pandora, next-generation IntelliLink is designed to accommodate new features and enhancements and be highly customizable. It also features natural language voice recognition, which allows customers to safely place calls, enter destinations, browse media, play music and control other functions simply by telling the vehicle what to do. The system can store up to 60 favorites, including radio stations (AM/FM/XM), contacts, destinations and music from other media. This feature is convenient for those who travel to the same destination regularly and want to save locations such as hotels and restaurants. On its eight-inch screen, customers can "fling" through lists, swipe and drag just as they would on a tablet or smartphone. Users with compatible smartphones can pair them with IntelliLink using Bluetooth or a USB connection. This gives customers the ability to play passengers' music or other media through the vehicle. Another feature allows customers whose LaCrosses are equipped with available embedded navigation to enter destinations in a single step, without having to enter the state, city, street number and street name in successive efforts. City-by-city weather reports are also provided. OnStar customers can access the service via the screen display or by the traditional Blue button. A new audio system conveys the music and radio selections called up through IntelliLink's myriad of infotainment options. Featuring seven standard speakers – including strategically placed tweeters and a subwoofer – the system was developed to complement LaCrosse's quiet, acoustically optimized interior with rich sound. An 11-speaker Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system is available. New safety features The 2014 LaCrosse employs new safety features with carefully developed directional alerts that help drivers quickly identify potential crash situations so they can react. They include radar- and camera-based features offered in two Driver Confidence packages: -Driver Confidence 1 package includes Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, High-Intensity Discharge headlamps with Active Forward Lighting, fog lamps and Head-Up Display. -Driver Confidence 2 package adds radar-based Forward Collision Alert, Collision Preparation (with Collision Mitigation Braking), full-speed-range Adaptive Cruise Control and the Safety Alert Seat. The Collision Mitigation Braking feature can intervene in certain crash-imminent situations, automatically triggering emergency braking if the driver fails to respond to a previous alert. The Safety Alert Seat vibrates on the left or right side, or both sides simultaneously, depending on the direction of the crash threat. The LaCrosse is one of the first vehicles to offer Lane Change Alert, which warns the driver of fast-approaching vehicles in the next lane that are up to 230 feet (70 meters) behind the car. LaCrosse's safety features also include eight standard air bags, including rear-seat thorax air bags, StabiliTrak, traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Intelligent Brake Assist. A rear-vision camera is available. Efficient, refined driving experience The LaCrosse is equipped with a choice of two efficient engines: the standard 2.4L four-cylinder engine with eAssist light electrification technology, rated at 182 horsepower (136 kW); and an available 3.6L V-6 rated at 304 horsepower (227 kW). Both are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions. LaCrosse with eAssist uses a lithium-ion battery system and electric motor-generator to enable regenerative braking capability. Instead of providing all-electric propulsion, the system provides power assistance to the internal combustion engine. The eAssist system also allows the engine to shut down fuel delivery in certain deceleration situations, which saves additional fuel. New 18-, 19- and 20-inch tires, along with revisions to some chassis and suspension elements, contribute to stronger handling across the model range, while new wheel designs – including LaCrosse's first 20-inch wheel – match driving experience with style. LaCrosse is also available with an advanced Haldex all-wheel-drive system with electronic limited slip differential (eLSD) that automatically decides how to distribute torque based on vehicle speed, throttle position and individual wheel slip. It also contributes to a refined driving experience, with minimal torque transferred to the rear wheels when all-wheel-drive traction isn't required, for a quieter, smoother ride. The LaCrosse Touring Package – available on 3.6L front-wheel-drive models with 19- or 20-inch wheels – includes real-time damping and Sport Mode Selectivity, which uses four electronically controlled dampers to constantly "read" the road and make adjustments within milliseconds. It also features Buick's HiPer Strut front suspension, which enhances ride and handling by reducing torque steer, delivering more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control and delivering improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces. Electric power steering is standard on models with the 2.4L engine, as well as 3.6L-equipped front-drive models. This technology helps save fuel by drawing energy only when the wheels are turned. It also contributes to the LaCrosse's driving experience with variable assistance at different vehicle speeds. About Buick Buick is a modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors with thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models, including the Enclave crossover, LaCrosse sedan, Regal sport sedan, Buick Verano sedan and the all-new 2013 Encore crossover. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick or at www.facebook.com/buick. 2014 BUICK LACROSSE PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS Overview Model: 2014 LaCrosse FWD/AWD Body style / driveline: front-drive/all-wheel-drive, front-engine, four-door, five- passenger sedan Construction: integral EPA vehicle class: midsize sedan Manufacturing location: Fairfax (Kan.) Assembly Key competitors: Acura TL, Lexus ES350, Lincoln MKZ Engines Type: 2.4L DOHC I-4 3.6L V-6 VVT DI Displacement (cu in / cc): 145 / 2384 217 / 3564 Bore & stroke (in / mm): 3.46 x 3.85 / 88 x 98 3.7 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6 Block material: precision sand-cast aluminum cast aluminum Cylinder head material: cast aluminum cast aluminum Valvetrain: DOHC with four valves per cylinder; continuously variable valve timing DOHC with four valves per cylinder; continuously variable valve timing Ignition system: individual coil-on-plug individual coil-on-plug; individual cylinder knock control Fuel delivery: direct injection and electronic throttle control direct injection Compression ratio: 11.2:1 11.5:1 Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 182 / 136 @ 6700 rpm SAE certified 304 / 227 @ 6800 SAE certified Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm): 172 / 233 @ 4900 rpm SAE certified 264 / 358 @ 5300 SAE certified Recommended fuel: regular unleaded regular unleaded or E85 (E85 capability not available in Northeast states with PZEV emissions) Emissions controls: close-coupled, catalytic converter; continuously variable valve timing; positive crankcase ventilation evaporative system; supplemental air injection system, partial zero emissions vehicle capable (eAssist) dual close-coupled catalysts and single underfloor catalyst; variable valve timing, evaporative system Fuel economy (city / hwy): TBD TBD Transmissions Type: Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic Application: 2.4L four-cylinder 3.6L V-6 Gear ratios: (:1): First: 4.58 4.48 Second: 2.96 2.87 Third: 1.91 1.84 Fourth 1.45 1.41 Fifth: 1.00 1.00 Sixth: 0.75 0.74 Reverse: 2.94 2.88 Final drive ratio: 2.64 2.77 Electric Drive System (for eAssist) Type: belt-driven, liquid-cooled motor/generator unit and lithium-ion battery system; air-cooled power electronics and battery pack Maximum electric generating power: 15 kW @ 1570-3180 rpm Maximum electric motor torque (cranking): 110 lb.-ft. / 150 Nm Maximum electric motor torque (electric assist): 79 lb.-ft. / 107 Nm @ 1,000 rpm Maximum electric motor power (electric assist): 15 hp / 11.2 kW @ 1,000-2,200 rpm Lithium-ion battery: 115V, 0.5-kWh, 15 kW peak power Chassis / Suspension Suspension (front): MacPherson strut coil-over-spring; twin-tube dampers with gas-charged valving; hollow direct-acting stabilizer bar (eAssist and 3.6L FWD/AWD without Touring Package); HiPer Strut coil-over-spring; twin-tube dampers with gas-charged valving; hollow direct-acting stabilizer bar; real-time damping and Sport Mode Selectivity (3.6L FWD with Touring Package) Suspension (rear): four-link (eAssist and 3.6L FWD without Touring Package); H-arm (3.6L AWD); H-arm with real-time damping and Sport Mode Selectivity (3.6L FWD with Touring Package) Steering type: electric variable-effort power steering (eAssist and FWD V-6); power variable-effort: (AWD models) Steering ratio: 15.2:1 Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock: 2.75 Turning circle (ft / m): 36.8 / 11.2 (eAssist); 38.8 / 11.75 Brakes Type: split, dual-circuit four-wheel-disc with power assist Rotor diameter x thickness (in / mm): V-6: front: 12.6 x 1.2 / 321 x 30 (vented) rear: 12.4 x 0.9 / 315 x 23 (vented) eAssist: front: 11.7 x 1.2 / 296 x 30 (vented) rear: 11.5 x 0.47 / 292 x 12 (solid) Wheels / Tires Wheel size and type: 17-in machined alloy (std w/ eAssist) 18-in machine-faced alloy, painted (std on 1SB, 1SL, 1SP FWD V-6) 19-in painted, machined alloy (std on 1SL, 1SP AWD V-6) 19-in chrome alloy (std on 1SP FWD V-6, and opt on 1SL FWD V-6) 20-in alloy (std on 1SR) Tires: P235/50R17 low rolling-resistance all-season (std w/ eAssist) P235/50R18 all-season P245/45R19 all-season P245/40R20 all-season Dimensions Exterior Wheelbase (in / mm): 111.7 / 2837 Overall length (in / mm): 197 / 5001 Overall width (in / mm): 73.1 / 1857 Overall height (in / mm): 59.2 / 1504 Track (in / mm): front: 61.7 / 1567 rear: 62 / 1575 Curb weight (lb / kg): 3765 / 1708 (eAssist – estimated) 3906 / 1772 (3.6L V-6 – estimated) Interior Seating capacity: 2 / 3 Headroom (in / mm): front: 38 / 965 rear: 37.3 / 947 Legroom (in / mm): front: 41.7 / 1059 rear: 40.5 / 1029 Shoulder room (in / mm): front: 57.4 / 1459 rear: 56 / 1423 Hip room (in / mm): front: 55.2 / 1402 rear: 53.9 / 1369 Capacities EPA interior volume (cu ft / L): 99 / 2805 Passenger volume (cu ft / L): 101.7 / 2878 Cargo volume (cu ft / L): 10.8 / 306 (2.4L eAssist) 13.3 / 376 (3.6L V-6) Trailer towing maximum (lb / kg): 1000 / 454 (3.6L V-6) Fuel capacity (gal / L): 15.7 / 59.4 (eAssist) 18 / 70 (3.6L V-6) Engine oil (qt / L): 5 / 4.7 (2.4L) 5.5 / 5.2 (3.6L) Cooling system ( qt / L): 9.6 /12 (2.4L) 7.6 / 7.2 (3.6L)

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