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  1. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 3, 2013 Years ago, automakers and enthusiasts were enthralled with the likes of high-performance pickup trucks. Models such as the Chevrolet 454SS, GMC Syclone, Ford Lightning, and Dodge Ram SRT-10. But as time went on, the trucks and the interest drifted away. However, the idea of high-performance pickups could be coming back. Just before the opening of the SEMA show, Chevrolet unveiled the Silverado Cheyenne concept. The Silverado Cheyenne concept takes a standard regular-cab Silverado and drops in a 6.2L EcoTec V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Chevrolet also dropped 200 pounds out of the Cheyenne concept by replacing the standard bumpers, tailgate, and cargo box with carbon fiber parts. Other changes to the Silverado Cheyenne include lowered ride height, a rear stabilizer bar, and a Borla exhaust. A set of Brembo carbon ceramic brakes and nineteen-inch wheels come from the Camaro Z/28. "The Cheyenne concept explores the performance possibilities of the all-new Silverado, which is already built on a mass-efficient layout and delivers a greater balance of performance and efficiency than any other full-size truck in Chevrolet's history," said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. Now, the Silverado Cheyenne is just a concept for now. But Perry did say "but we are continually exploring new ways to give Silverado customers more." Let's hope the Cheyenne is one of those ways. Source: Chevrolet 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 Silverado Cheyenne Concept: Mini Mass, Max Performance 2013-11-03 LAS VEGAS – The Chevrolet Silverado Cheyenne concept vehicle to be unveiled at the SEMA Show on Monday, Nov. 4, embraces the adage that less is more. The performance-oriented version of the all-new 2014 Silverado regular cab combines a reduced curb weight with the performance of the new 420-horsepower 6.2L V-8 for a strong power-to-weight ratio and exhilarating performance. A lowered ride height, a rear stabilizer bar and Brembo carbon ceramic brakes complement the Cheyenne concept's high-performance character with enhanced handling and braking capability. "The Cheyenne concept explores the performance possibilities of the all-new Silverado, which is already built on a mass-efficient layout and delivers a greater balance of performance and efficiency than any other full-size truck in Chevrolet's history," said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. The unique lightweight features built into the concept vehicle include carbon fiber replacements for the bumpers, tailgate and inner cargo box, shaving approximately 200 pounds from the 4,503 pounds base curb weight of a 5.3L-equipped Silverado regular cab with a 6'6" box. Cheyenne designers matched the form of the lightweight components with their low-mass function. The carbon fiber front bumper includes racing-inspired ground effects styling complemented by carbon body-side ground effects while the carbon fiber tailgate incorporates a spoiler. The hood features a Camaro Z/28-inspired extractor vent. The Camaro Z/28 Brembo carbon ceramic brakes save more weight because the carbon ceramic-matrix rotors are significantly lighter than conventional steel rotors. On the Camaro Z/28, for example, they save more than 20 pounds – and it saves un-sprung weight, too, which enhances driving performance with more immediate and direct handling. The truck rolls on charcoal-painted 19-inch Camaro Z/28 aluminum wheels and high-performance tires. The Cheyenne diet removes the trailer hitch, spare tire, interior center console and some of the sound-deadening material. The truck also has a lightweight aluminum driveshaft and composite rear leaf springs. "Lightweighting is a time-honored method of making the most of a vehicle's performance which Chevrolet has demonstrated time and again with vehicles like the original 2001 Corvette Z06 and the 2014 Camaro Z/28," said Perry. "And like those vehicles, the Cheyenne complements its lower weight with more horsepower." The all-new EcoTec3 6.2L V-8 that powers the concept truck is rated at 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque – the most power in the light-duty truck segment. It's unavailable in regular-production Silverado regular cab models, giving the Cheyenne a 65-horsepower and 77 lb-ft boost over the production 5.3L V-8. A Borla performance exhaust system adds an authoritative note to the 6.2L's output. What remains is the Silverado's production six-speed automatic transmission, which features hill descent control, as well as fuel-saving electric power steering and StabiliTrak electronic stability control with hill start assist. Inside, the Cheyenne's performance theme is conveyed with Recaro sport seats and a flat-bottom steering wheel, similar to the steering wheel offered in the Camaro ZL1. Available safety features, including lane departure warning, front and rear park assist and a rear-vision camera, enhance safety without detracting from the truck's performance. All Silverado models feature a fully boxed frame that serves as the foundation for their strength and capability. The main rails and major cross members are formed from high-strength steel, providing a rigid base for maximum hauling capability. "Elements such as high-strength steel in the frame and body structure are found on all production models, while some also feature aluminum suspension components, contributing to the Silverado's everyday performance. With the Cheyenne concept, we've taken the low-mass concept to a new level – with exciting results," Perry said. "It is only a concept right now, but we are continually exploring new ways to give Silverado customers more."
  2. SEMA isn't the likely place for an automaker to introduce a new model, but Mercedes-Benz chose the aftermarket show to reveal the the North American versions of its new V-Class vans. For North America, the V-Class will be called the Metris and it will go sale next fall in cargo and passenger van models. Mercedes didn't go into any details about the Metris, but did talk about the four conceptual models that are sitting on the show floor. Garmin: Mobile Golf Pro Shop - Golf lovers will love this rolling Pro Shop that features a high-tech golf simulator and infotainment system designed for both personal and merchandizing usage. Offering a Mobile Performance Center, this concept offers technology that helps players evaluate their golf game and simulate potential outcomes. HQ Custom Design: Luxury Van - Luxury Van conversions are nothing new for Mercedes-Benz vans. This design is an ideal example of an inspired executive shuttle van that also offers the best in audio/visual that is surrounded by the finest craftsmanship and attention to detail. RADO: Fire Chief Concept Truck - Because Vans offer some of the finest dimensions for mobile command units for various local or national government agencies, this concept is a rolling communications center that could transport a Fire Chief to all locations in many situations. RENNtech: Party/DJ Van - A definite show-stopper van, this van offers a mobile DJ van that looks as good as it sounds. Featuring a clamshell style roof that opens and acts as a backdrop for a DJ, this van is true form and function in one package. "We are pleased to reconfirm our September announcement at the IAA Truck Show in Hannover that we will launch a midsize commercial van in the US market in fall 2015. It is only logical that we take a global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA. Our SEMA "Mission Metris" presence with 4 different van concepts will be an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate 'Mercedes-Benz Metris' and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety," said Bernie Glaser, Vice President and Managing Director of Daimler Vans USA, LLC. Source: Mercedes-Benz 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 Mission Metris: A First Glimpse at the New Midsize Van from Mercedes-Benz at SEMA 2014 “Mission Metris” is a showcase of 4 midsize project vans at SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas M-B Vans enters the US commercial midsize van segment in fall 2015, offering both passenger and cargo versions without any competitors in the same size category Introduction of the “Mercedes-Benz Metris” nameplate for the US and Canada Pricing and specifications to be announced in 2015 Sprinter large commercial van sales are up 17.3% YTD in 2014 in the US, the second largest global vans market for Mercedes-Benz MY2015 Sprinter enhancements include optional 4×4 (Q1/2015 intro) and super high roof, and standard equipment now includes Crosswind Assist on 2500 models and extended service intervals up to 20,000 miles Fuel-efficient 4-cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain has a 50% take rate. 75% of all M-B Sprinter vans are upfitted Mercedes-Benz Vans USA is introducing “Mission Metris,” a showcase of 4 new midsize Project Vans at SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas. Designed to be a first glimpse at the new midsize commercial van entry into the US and Canada in fall 2015 for customers and upfitters alike, production versions of the cargo and passenger versions will be shown at a later date in 2015. This occasion also marks the introduction of the new “Mercedes-Benz Metris” nameplate for the US and Canada, whereas “Vito” will remain the midsize commercial van nameplate for all other global markets. “We are pleased to reconfirm our September announcement at the IAA Truck Show in Hannover that we will launch a midsize commercial van in the US market in fall 2015,” said Bernie Glaser, Vice President and Managing Director of Daimler Vans USA, LLC. "It is only logical that we take a global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA. Our SEMA “Mission Metris” presence with 4 different van concepts will be an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate ‘Mercedes-Benz Metris’ and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety." Representatives from Mercedes-Benz and the following companies will be on hand to showcase their respective creative concepts: RENNtech: Party/DJ Van A definite show-stopper van, this van offers a mobile DJ van that looks as good as it sounds. Featuring a clamshell style roof that opens and acts as a backdrop for a DJ, this van is true form and function in one package. HQ Custom Design: Luxury Van Luxury Van conversions are nothing new for Mercedes-Benz vans. This design is an ideal example of an inspired executive shuttle van that also offers the best in audio/visual that is surrounded by the finest craftsmanship and attention to detail. RADO: Fire Chief Concept Truck Because Vans offer some of the finest dimensions for mobile command units for various local or national government agencies, this concept is a rolling communications center that could transport a Fire Chief to all locations in many situations. Garmin: Mobile Golf Pro ShopGolf lovers will love this rolling Pro Shop that features a high-tech golf simulator and infotainment system designed for both personal and merchandizing usage. Offering a Mobile Performance Center, this concept offers technology that helps players evaluate their golf game and simulate potential outcomes. In the US large van segment, Sprinter sales continue to be brisk, up 17.3% YTD. Model year 2014 brought new major enhancements such as a fresh and confident new front end exterior design, 4-cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain that already plays a similar role as its big brother, the V6, and upgrades of safety and infotainment. Model year 2015 is even more exciting, with the addition of standard Crosswind Assist on all 2500 models and increased service intervals of up to 20,000 miles (MY 2014 service intervals were up to 15,000 miles). An optional Sprinter 4×4 version of both cargo and passenger versions will also be added in Q1/2015, which will be the only ex-factory four-wheel drive system on the market for a commercial van in the USA. In addition to that, the option for a super high roof underlines the benchmark position concerning interior heights by offering an interior roof height of up to 7 feet. And the SULEV option for our standard 4-cylinder BlueTEC engine is the first SULEV diesel engine worldwide and underlines our ‘Green Leadership.’ All of these features highlight the position of the Sprinter as the most innovative large van in the segment. Independent from the model year, up to 75% of all Sprinters have upfitter treatment on them, regardless of extra shelving or extensive Recreational Vehicle modifications.
  3. With Dodge bringing back the Scat Pack packages for a number of their models, it has also brought back a dispute that dates back to 1968. Automotive News reports that Chrysler is being sued by Scat Enterprises Inc., for infringing on their 50-year-old 'Scat' trademark. The suit revives a dispute between the two companies that dates back to 1968. In 1968, Dodge started using the Scat Pack name on a number of their models. That same year, Scat Enterprises, a company that makes performance parts for a number of automakers including Dodge, sent a cease-and-desist letter to make Dodge stop using the name. Three years on, Dodge would stop using the name. Jump ahead to August 2013 when Chrysler tried to apply for the Scat Pack trademark at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The request was denied, but the automaker went ahead and revealed the Scat Pack models at the SEMA show that year. In the suit, Scat Enterprises is asking the court to prohibit Chrysler from using the Scat; for the automaker to deliver all of the Dodge Scat Pack marketing materials, badges and other items for destruction; and monetary damages. The brand has remained legendary in the enthusiast community since then and consumers still associate Scat Pack™ with Chrysler's vehicles, and no other business or products. Scat Enterprises, an aftermarket supplier of crankshafts, connecting rods, and rotating assemblies marketing under the term "Scat", has never used the term "Scat Pack". Scat Enterprises' lawsuit against Chrysler over Chrysler's 2014-15 Scat Pack™ vehicles is a meritless and opportunistic attempt to hold Chrysler hostage just days before the upcoming SEMA show. Chrysler will vigorously defend itself against this attack and look to enforce its own rights in this moniker," Chrysler said in a statement. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) illiam 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.
  4. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 25, 2012 Chevrolet is showing the dark side of the Sonic with the new Dusk. Originally shown as a concept last year at SEMA, Chevrolet is showing off a production model that will be in dealerships in 2014. The Dusk package is available on the Sonic sedan and adds ground effects, a rear spoiler, 18-inch aluminum wheels in a Pearl Nickel finish, and several matte exterior-trim pieces, including the upper and lower grilles, door handle inserts and rear license plate trim. Inside, there are Jet Black leather-trimmed seats with suede accents and Mojave tan inserts. The Mojave color is also used in the accent stitching along with tan door panels and instrument panel accents.Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system with touchscreen is also included. Those who were hoping for a power bump will be disappointed The Sonic Dusk will stick with the 1.4 turbo-four producing 138 HP and 148 lb-ft of torque. Source: GM 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. Press Release is on Page 2 From Concept to Reality: Chevrolet Announces Sonic Dusk Along with Sonic Dusk and Sonic RS, Chevrolet’s subcompact seeks to fit all lifestyles LAS VEGAS – Chevrolet today announced production of the Sonic Dusk sedan, designed to bring a higher degree of sophistication and refinement to the subcompact segment. The production intent Sonic Dusk will be displayed at the SEMA Show, opening Oct. 30 in Las Vegas and leads a diverse range of stylized Chevy small cars. “Just like we’ve done with Corvettes and Camaros, we’re taking another one of our core products and adapting it to our customers’ lifestyles,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “The reaction to the Sonic Dusk concept last year was overwhelmingly positive and proved customers are interested in a more-refined subcompact. We’re moving quickly to bring Sonic Dusk to Chevrolet showrooms.” The SEMA show vehicle features a production-intent package with ground effects, a rear spoiler and large, 18-inch aluminum wheels with a Pearl Nickel finish. Sophisticated touches lend the Ashen Grey Sonic Dusk a refined, contemporary aesthetic. The upper and lower grilles, door handle inserts and rear license plate trim are finished with a matte appearance, while stainless steel lower window moldings add an upscale accent to the body. Inside, Sonic Dusk features Jet Black leather-trimmed seats with suede accents and Mojave tan inserts. Mojave accent stitching and tan-color door panel and instrument panel accents were designed to enhance the cabin’s ambience. It is also equipped with Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system, which integrates a smartphone and stored media – via Bluetooth, plug-in outlet or USB – with the radio. “With a year under our belt, we’ve learned our Sonic sedan buyers are looking at exterior styling as a key purchase driver,” said Cristi Landy, marketing director of Chevrolet small cars. “While the RS hatchback is our sporty interpretation of Sonic, Dusk is a sophisticated, well contented option – both unique to this segment. It’s all about choices and personalization.” Sonic Dusk is powered by the Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine, rated at 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 rpm and 4,900 rpm. The wide rpm range for the maximum torque – a specific trait of turbocharged engines – helps the engine deliver a better driving experience and performance. The engine is mated with a six-speed transmission – and production models offer a six-speed manual or automatic. The 2013 Chevrolet Sonic is positioned between the all-new Spark and the Cruze in Chevy’s small car portfolio. As the only subcompact built in America, Sonic comes with a segment-leading 10 standard air bags and leads in interior roominess. The performance-inspired Sonic RS hits dealerships in late 2012 and features Chevrolet’s exclusive infotainment system MyLink , with a seven-inch color touch screen radio capable of displaying smartphone-based music, videos, photos and contacts for hands-free calling. To learn more about Sonic, visit the Chevy Sonic Facebook page, follow on Twitter at @ChevyLife or check out letsdothis.com.
  5. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 3, 2013 Years ago, automakers and enthusiasts were enthralled with the likes of high-performance pickup trucks. Models such as the Chevrolet 454SS, GMC Syclone, Ford Lightning, and Dodge Ram SRT-10. But as time went on, the trucks and the interest drifted away. However, the idea of high-performance pickups could be coming back. Just before the opening of the SEMA show, Chevrolet unveiled the Silverado Cheyenne concept. The Silverado Cheyenne concept takes a standard regular-cab Silverado and drops in a 6.2L EcoTec V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Chevrolet also dropped 200 pounds out of the Cheyenne concept by replacing the standard bumpers, tailgate, and cargo box with carbon fiber parts. Other changes to the Silverado Cheyenne include lowered ride height, a rear stabilizer bar, and a Borla exhaust. A set of Brembo carbon ceramic brakes and nineteen-inch wheels come from the Camaro Z/28. "The Cheyenne concept explores the performance possibilities of the all-new Silverado, which is already built on a mass-efficient layout and delivers a greater balance of performance and efficiency than any other full-size truck in Chevrolet's history," said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. Now, the Silverado Cheyenne is just a concept for now. But Perry did say "but we are continually exploring new ways to give Silverado customers more." Let's hope the Cheyenne is one of those ways. Source: Chevrolet 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 Silverado Cheyenne Concept: Mini Mass, Max Performance 2013-11-03 LAS VEGAS – The Chevrolet Silverado Cheyenne concept vehicle to be unveiled at the SEMA Show on Monday, Nov. 4, embraces the adage that less is more. The performance-oriented version of the all-new 2014 Silverado regular cab combines a reduced curb weight with the performance of the new 420-horsepower 6.2L V-8 for a strong power-to-weight ratio and exhilarating performance. A lowered ride height, a rear stabilizer bar and Brembo carbon ceramic brakes complement the Cheyenne concept's high-performance character with enhanced handling and braking capability. "The Cheyenne concept explores the performance possibilities of the all-new Silverado, which is already built on a mass-efficient layout and delivers a greater balance of performance and efficiency than any other full-size truck in Chevrolet's history," said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. The unique lightweight features built into the concept vehicle include carbon fiber replacements for the bumpers, tailgate and inner cargo box, shaving approximately 200 pounds from the 4,503 pounds base curb weight of a 5.3L-equipped Silverado regular cab with a 6'6" box. Cheyenne designers matched the form of the lightweight components with their low-mass function. The carbon fiber front bumper includes racing-inspired ground effects styling complemented by carbon body-side ground effects while the carbon fiber tailgate incorporates a spoiler. The hood features a Camaro Z/28-inspired extractor vent. The Camaro Z/28 Brembo carbon ceramic brakes save more weight because the carbon ceramic-matrix rotors are significantly lighter than conventional steel rotors. On the Camaro Z/28, for example, they save more than 20 pounds – and it saves un-sprung weight, too, which enhances driving performance with more immediate and direct handling. The truck rolls on charcoal-painted 19-inch Camaro Z/28 aluminum wheels and high-performance tires. The Cheyenne diet removes the trailer hitch, spare tire, interior center console and some of the sound-deadening material. The truck also has a lightweight aluminum driveshaft and composite rear leaf springs. "Lightweighting is a time-honored method of making the most of a vehicle's performance which Chevrolet has demonstrated time and again with vehicles like the original 2001 Corvette Z06 and the 2014 Camaro Z/28," said Perry. "And like those vehicles, the Cheyenne complements its lower weight with more horsepower." The all-new EcoTec3 6.2L V-8 that powers the concept truck is rated at 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque – the most power in the light-duty truck segment. It's unavailable in regular-production Silverado regular cab models, giving the Cheyenne a 65-horsepower and 77 lb-ft boost over the production 5.3L V-8. A Borla performance exhaust system adds an authoritative note to the 6.2L's output. What remains is the Silverado's production six-speed automatic transmission, which features hill descent control, as well as fuel-saving electric power steering and StabiliTrak electronic stability control with hill start assist. Inside, the Cheyenne's performance theme is conveyed with Recaro sport seats and a flat-bottom steering wheel, similar to the steering wheel offered in the Camaro ZL1. Available safety features, including lane departure warning, front and rear park assist and a rear-vision camera, enhance safety without detracting from the truck's performance. All Silverado models feature a fully boxed frame that serves as the foundation for their strength and capability. The main rails and major cross members are formed from high-strength steel, providing a rigid base for maximum hauling capability. "Elements such as high-strength steel in the frame and body structure are found on all production models, while some also feature aluminum suspension components, contributing to the Silverado's everyday performance. With the Cheyenne concept, we've taken the low-mass concept to a new level – with exciting results," Perry said. "It is only a concept right now, but we are continually exploring new ways to give Silverado customers more." View full article
  6. SEMA isn't the likely place for an automaker to introduce a new model, but Mercedes-Benz chose the aftermarket show to reveal the the North American versions of its new V-Class vans. For North America, the V-Class will be called the Metris and it will go sale next fall in cargo and passenger van models. Mercedes didn't go into any details about the Metris, but did talk about the four conceptual models that are sitting on the show floor. Garmin: Mobile Golf Pro Shop - Golf lovers will love this rolling Pro Shop that features a high-tech golf simulator and infotainment system designed for both personal and merchandizing usage. Offering a Mobile Performance Center, this concept offers technology that helps players evaluate their golf game and simulate potential outcomes. HQ Custom Design: Luxury Van - Luxury Van conversions are nothing new for Mercedes-Benz vans. This design is an ideal example of an inspired executive shuttle van that also offers the best in audio/visual that is surrounded by the finest craftsmanship and attention to detail. RADO: Fire Chief Concept Truck - Because Vans offer some of the finest dimensions for mobile command units for various local or national government agencies, this concept is a rolling communications center that could transport a Fire Chief to all locations in many situations. RENNtech: Party/DJ Van - A definite show-stopper van, this van offers a mobile DJ van that looks as good as it sounds. Featuring a clamshell style roof that opens and acts as a backdrop for a DJ, this van is true form and function in one package. "We are pleased to reconfirm our September announcement at the IAA Truck Show in Hannover that we will launch a midsize commercial van in the US market in fall 2015. It is only logical that we take a global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA. Our SEMA "Mission Metris" presence with 4 different van concepts will be an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate 'Mercedes-Benz Metris' and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety," said Bernie Glaser, Vice President and Managing Director of Daimler Vans USA, LLC. Source: Mercedes-Benz 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 Mission Metris: A First Glimpse at the New Midsize Van from Mercedes-Benz at SEMA 2014 “Mission Metris” is a showcase of 4 midsize project vans at SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas M-B Vans enters the US commercial midsize van segment in fall 2015, offering both passenger and cargo versions without any competitors in the same size category Introduction of the “Mercedes-Benz Metris” nameplate for the US and Canada Pricing and specifications to be announced in 2015 Sprinter large commercial van sales are up 17.3% YTD in 2014 in the US, the second largest global vans market for Mercedes-Benz MY2015 Sprinter enhancements include optional 4×4 (Q1/2015 intro) and super high roof, and standard equipment now includes Crosswind Assist on 2500 models and extended service intervals up to 20,000 miles Fuel-efficient 4-cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain has a 50% take rate. 75% of all M-B Sprinter vans are upfitted Mercedes-Benz Vans USA is introducing “Mission Metris,” a showcase of 4 new midsize Project Vans at SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas. Designed to be a first glimpse at the new midsize commercial van entry into the US and Canada in fall 2015 for customers and upfitters alike, production versions of the cargo and passenger versions will be shown at a later date in 2015. This occasion also marks the introduction of the new “Mercedes-Benz Metris” nameplate for the US and Canada, whereas “Vito” will remain the midsize commercial van nameplate for all other global markets. “We are pleased to reconfirm our September announcement at the IAA Truck Show in Hannover that we will launch a midsize commercial van in the US market in fall 2015,” said Bernie Glaser, Vice President and Managing Director of Daimler Vans USA, LLC. "It is only logical that we take a global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA. Our SEMA “Mission Metris” presence with 4 different van concepts will be an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate ‘Mercedes-Benz Metris’ and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety." Representatives from Mercedes-Benz and the following companies will be on hand to showcase their respective creative concepts: RENNtech: Party/DJ Van A definite show-stopper van, this van offers a mobile DJ van that looks as good as it sounds. Featuring a clamshell style roof that opens and acts as a backdrop for a DJ, this van is true form and function in one package. HQ Custom Design: Luxury Van Luxury Van conversions are nothing new for Mercedes-Benz vans. This design is an ideal example of an inspired executive shuttle van that also offers the best in audio/visual that is surrounded by the finest craftsmanship and attention to detail. RADO: Fire Chief Concept Truck Because Vans offer some of the finest dimensions for mobile command units for various local or national government agencies, this concept is a rolling communications center that could transport a Fire Chief to all locations in many situations. Garmin: Mobile Golf Pro ShopGolf lovers will love this rolling Pro Shop that features a high-tech golf simulator and infotainment system designed for both personal and merchandizing usage. Offering a Mobile Performance Center, this concept offers technology that helps players evaluate their golf game and simulate potential outcomes. In the US large van segment, Sprinter sales continue to be brisk, up 17.3% YTD. Model year 2014 brought new major enhancements such as a fresh and confident new front end exterior design, 4-cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain that already plays a similar role as its big brother, the V6, and upgrades of safety and infotainment. Model year 2015 is even more exciting, with the addition of standard Crosswind Assist on all 2500 models and increased service intervals of up to 20,000 miles (MY 2014 service intervals were up to 15,000 miles). An optional Sprinter 4×4 version of both cargo and passenger versions will also be added in Q1/2015, which will be the only ex-factory four-wheel drive system on the market for a commercial van in the USA. In addition to that, the option for a super high roof underlines the benchmark position concerning interior heights by offering an interior roof height of up to 7 feet. And the SULEV option for our standard 4-cylinder BlueTEC engine is the first SULEV diesel engine worldwide and underlines our ‘Green Leadership.’ All of these features highlight the position of the Sprinter as the most innovative large van in the segment. Independent from the model year, up to 75% of all Sprinters have upfitter treatment on them, regardless of extra shelving or extensive Recreational Vehicle modifications. View full article
  7. With Dodge bringing back the Scat Pack packages for a number of their models, it has also brought back a dispute that dates back to 1968. Automotive News reports that Chrysler is being sued by Scat Enterprises Inc., for infringing on their 50-year-old 'Scat' trademark. The suit revives a dispute between the two companies that dates back to 1968. In 1968, Dodge started using the Scat Pack name on a number of their models. That same year, Scat Enterprises, a company that makes performance parts for a number of automakers including Dodge, sent a cease-and-desist letter to make Dodge stop using the name. Three years on, Dodge would stop using the name. Jump ahead to August 2013 when Chrysler tried to apply for the Scat Pack trademark at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The request was denied, but the automaker went ahead and revealed the Scat Pack models at the SEMA show that year. In the suit, Scat Enterprises is asking the court to prohibit Chrysler from using the Scat; for the automaker to deliver all of the Dodge Scat Pack marketing materials, badges and other items for destruction; and monetary damages. The brand has remained legendary in the enthusiast community since then and consumers still associate Scat Pack™ with Chrysler's vehicles, and no other business or products. Scat Enterprises, an aftermarket supplier of crankshafts, connecting rods, and rotating assemblies marketing under the term "Scat", has never used the term "Scat Pack". Scat Enterprises' lawsuit against Chrysler over Chrysler's 2014-15 Scat Pack™ vehicles is a meritless and opportunistic attempt to hold Chrysler hostage just days before the upcoming SEMA show. Chrysler will vigorously defend itself against this attack and look to enforce its own rights in this moniker," Chrysler said in a statement. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) illiam Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  8. Coming To SEMA: Lexus 2013 GS 350 F Sport William Maley - Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com October 26, 2011 http://www.cheersand...-gs350-f-sport/ Lexus has been making amends for not having a performance brand till now with the F. The past few years have brought forth the LFA Supercar, IS-F sedan, and F Sport package for the current IS sedan and convertible. Now, Lexus has just unveiled an F Sport package for the new GS Sedan. The GS F Sport package includes new set of 19-inch wheels, sport-tuned adaptive suspension, thicker anti-roll bars, new bushing, and bigger brakes up front. Rear-drive models will also get variable steering, while the interior gets a new driver's seat, unique trim and available red leather. Top it all off with a more aggressive aero kit and the GS is transformed into a GS-F light. The GS F-Sport package makes it debut at next week’s SEMA show in Las Vegas. Press Release is Below Lexus to Reveal All-New 2013 GS 350 with F SPORT Package at 2011 SEMA Show - F SPORT Package Features 19-Inch Staggered Width Wheels - Dynamic Handling with F SPORT Tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) - Stopping Power with New Larger Front Brakes with High Friction Pads TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 25, 2011 – Lexus will reveal the all-new 2013 GS 350 mid-size luxury sedan with F SPORT package at the 2011 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas. The Lexus press conference to reveal the 2013 GS 350 with F SPORT package will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 1:30 p.m. PDT at the outdoor Lexus exhibit tent, located between the Central and South Halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Following the press conference, media will have an opportunity to experience track rides in the all-new GS 350 with F SPORT package. The GS 350 with F SPORT package will be on display at the Lexus tent from Nov. 1 – 4. JT Grey Racing Lexus LX 570 Team driver, Joe Bacal and race car driver, Scott Pruett will be on hand signing autographs on Tuesday, Nov. 1 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. and 12:00-1:00 p.m., respectively, at the Lexus tent. Joe Bacal will also be available to sign autographs throughout the day on Nov. 2. Building on the excitement of the fourth-generation GS 350 which was revealed at Pebble Beach in August, the GS 350 with F SPORT package was designed to engage driving enthusiasts with factory engineering and the ability to take performance to an entirely new level. Unique to the F SPORT package will be aggressive 19-inch wheels, F SPORT-tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), thicker anti-roll bars, bushing changes, and new larger front brakes with high friction pads. In addition, rear-wheel drive (RWD) models will be equipped with 19-inch staggered width wheels and Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS). Inside, the all-new package also features a sporty attitude with a new 16-way power driver's sport seat, unique interior design treatment and available F SPORT exclusive Cabernet Red leather interior. "The all-new GS 350 with F SPORT package will offer our customers more agility and a sportier appearance," said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "The racing-inspired F SPORT components were precision engineered for this vehicle, providing quality performance without compromise." Engine/Transmission/Drivetrain/Performance As with the GS 350, the GS 350 with F SPORT package is powered by an advanced 3.5-liter V6, with four cams, and four valves per cylinder and dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence. At 306 horsepower, it is one of the most powerful base engines in the segment, as well as the only one with both port and direct injection. It propels the car from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds and at the same time, fuel economy has been improved. Acceleration from 30 to 50 mph can take just 3.0 seconds, and improved engine sound characteristics complement the bolder, more energetic personality of the new GS. The six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission has paddle shifters and sport driving functions as standard equipment. The transmission incorporates many features adopted from the Lexus IS F high-performance sedan - including faster shifts, and downshift throttle blips - to support four driving modes that can be operated by toggling the Lexus Drive Mode selector. In addition to the Normal mode, the driver can customize the driving experience using ECO, Sport S and Sport S+ modes. An optional electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system is designed to enhance traction in a variety of driving conditions. The system can vary front-to-rear torque balance from 50/50 to as much as 30/70, depending on driving conditions, for exceptional control. Chasis/Body/Susension/Tires/Brakes To provide a more engaging driving experience, including a new aerodynamic body, a completely new platform with a wider stance and stiffer structure, a transmission with quicker shifts, distinctive engine sound and exhaust notes, and better seat support, Lexus engineers looked to the Lexus LFA supercar for inspiration. The new platform has been designed to be more rigid. Engineers conducted extensive platform testing, ultimately increasing the number of spot welds and adding laser welds in very specific locations. The track, wider by almost two inches, works in combination with a revised suspension design to help ensure a more solid stance and superior cornering performance. The new suspension system is designed to help guide the 2013 GS through corners with precision. In the front, upper and lower control arms are made from aluminum and employ larger bushings. The rear subframe has been completely redesigned to accommodate an all-new multi-link rear suspension, using improved suspension geometry that helps retain tire cornering force and enhances rear control. With the stiffer platform and lighter components, the shocks can use lighter-viscosity oil, so they move easily and respond to small inputs more quickly. The use of front and rear aluminum control arms helps reduce unsprung weight and results in significant improvements in agility, roll damping, ride comfort, body control and steering precision. Overall, the suspension is lighter and stronger, allowing it to react to driver input readily, and ride quietly without harshness. The GS 350 with F SPORT package will offer an optional newly developed Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system with Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS) for those seeking more agility. This leading edge platform technology offers Lexus' first integration of DRS; Electric Power Steering; and Variable Gear Ratio Steering. Monitoring vehicle speed, steering direction and driver inputs, the system calculates the optimum angle for all four wheels. LDH helps to optimize the vehicle slip angle. Using VGRS in the front and DRS in the rear, the system can independently manage both front and rear wheel steering angles to help improve turn-in response, rear grip, vehicle control and overall agility when cornering. The latest generation of Lexus' unique Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system coordinates Lexus Dynamic Handling; the Anti-lock Braking System; Traction Control; Vehicle Stability Control; and Adaptive Variable Suspension. Adaptive Variable Suspension helps front and rear wheel control and provides agile, sharp and confident driving behavior with a more direct response to the driver's actions. The LDH system monitors vehicle speed and yaw rate, steering angle and speed, and lateral G to calculate the required rear wheel steering input, to a maximum DRS angle of 2.0 degrees. At most speeds below 50 mph the front and rear wheels turn in opposite directions. In certain conditions at speeds over 50 mph the front and rear wheels turn in the same direction. Further coordinating DRS with VGRS and AVS, the Lexus Dynamic Handling system will automatically customize the adaptive suspension tuning and active safety systems to suit road conditions, vehicle speed and driving style, giving drivers the confidence to fully utilize the exceptional driving performance of the GS with F SPORT package. The GS 350 RWD with F SPORT package will be exclusively equipped with 19-inch staggered width wheels paired with 235/40/19 front and 265/35/19 rear tires, the widest rear tires ever on a Lexus sedan. The wider width wheels allow for a sportier look, and will also help provide added traction. All-wheel drive (AWD) models will be paired with 235/40/19 all-season tires in the front and rear. Safety/Security Features As with the GS 350, the GS 350 with F SPORT package will be standard equipped with 10 airbags, including a knee airbag for both front driver and passenger. Rear seat occupants have seat-mounted side airbags, and all four outboard occupants are equipped with side curtain airbags. Also standard are new Whiplash Injury Lessening front seats designed to help limit excessive head movement, and help decrease the severity of whiplash-type injuries in certain types of rear-end collisions. Standard seatbelts with pretensioners with force limiters used for front and outboard rear seats further assist occupant protection. Available options to help further enhance occupant safety include a Pre-Collision System, which uses the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control System to provide early warning of certain objects traveling directly ahead that might result in a front-end collision. The system also uses a Lexus-first infrared camera with new scanning technology to monitor the driver's eyes. In the event that the driver does not appear to be looking forward when a collision appears imminent, the system will initiate the warning at an earlier threshold. If the driver still does not respond and make the appropriate maneuver, the system will initiate braking intervention up to 1.2 seconds prior to impact, helping to lessen the severity of the collision. With available Lexus Dynamic Handling, PCS will help further mitigate the occurrence of a collision. Other available safety systems include a Night Vision System that enhances driver visibility at night; Heads Up Display; a Blind Spot Monitor that helps detect vehicles in rear/side blind spots; and Lane Keep Assist (LKA) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW). GS is the first in its segment to offer LKA with active steering torque to provide a small amount to assist in maintaining course, while the LDW feature alerts the driver if the system detects that the vehicle is beginning to drift out of the lane. Exterior Design The 2013 GS expresses a new generation of Lexus' design philosophy with its precisely sculpted exterior and will lead the rest of the lineup in an entirely new direction. When designers shaped the GS they visualized the flow of air around it and, like the LFA supercar, maximized aerodynamic efficiency for low coefficient of drag. Following the inspirational design cues of the IS line-up and CT 200h, the F SPORT package separates itself from the GS line-up with distinctive exterior details. To display its aggressive attitude, the GS 350 with F SPORT package will be outfitted with a sport front bumper and rear lower valence, rear lip spoiler, unique F SPORT mesh grille inserts and F SPORT badging. The GS fuses distinctive style with engineering functionality. The signature spindle grille with its trapezoidal contours fully integrates into the aggressive front bumper allowing for efficient airflow. Air inlets located on the outer edges of the lower grille serve as cooling ducts. This distinctive Lexus design feature combined with the deep-set, high-tech headlamps and L-shaped LED daytime running lamps further express the vehicle's confident and dynamic character. The headlamps use a projector beam design, adding a strong, chiseled appearance and excellent illumination. Fins incorporated into the side of the tail lamps and the design of the trunk area all help direct air over and past the car. The rear bumper underbody area was designed for reduced wind resistance to help keep the car firmly planted on the ground. From the side, the GS projects the image of a spacious sport sedan with a road-hugging wider stance. The tapered lower rocker panel and the short front overhang give the vehicle a sense of motion. Width-enhancing front and rear wheel arches add an athletic stance-enhancing the vehicle's dynamic presence. The rear bumper features a distinctive exhaust diffuser and centered aero fins to help control underbody airflow. Combined with the L-shaped LED tail lamps, a Lexus design cue, these rear bumper features lend a high-performance appearance. Overall, the new GS sheet metal represents a significant extension of the Lexus L-finesse philosophy that is the core of all Lexus product design. The GS 350 with F SPORT package will feature two new colors: Riviera Red and Liquid Platinum, and also be available in Starfire Pearl, Nebula Gray Pearl and Obsidian. Vehicles in Riviera Red will benefit from glass flakes incorporated into the coating that adds a high level of brilliance to the paint. Lexus engineers developed a new advanced coating process for Liquid Platinum exteriors. The GS 350 will be the first Lexus to adopt this new coating technology. Vehicles with the Liquid Platinum exterior will appear more radiant as an additional metallic texture gives both strong shading and defined, sharp highlights. This metallic effect makes subtle and defined bodylines more noticeable and the surface appears finely polished. Interior Design To complement the aggressive-looking exterior of the F SPORT package, the interior will feature an exclusive design treatment with smooth striated aluminum trim, unique perforated leather trim, black headliner and aluminum pedals. Distinctive F SPORT badging will be showcased on the steering wheel. Focusing on the driver, the F SPORT package will feature a new 16-way power sport seat for increased lateral support. The driver's seat will include a Lexus-first with power side bolsters, thigh support, adjustable seatback and four-way lumbar. To complete the uniqueness of the F SPORT package, a striking Cabernet Red leather interior will also be available. Painstaking attention to detail was applied to the GS cabin as well, to create a balance of luxurious and technological amenities and emotional design. The new layout of the long, sculpted dash gives the driver and front passenger a sense of roominess through its clean center stack and new, large high-resolution center control display placed deep near the front windshield. Most of the comfort and convenience controls, such as audio and climate, were relocated to provide a cleaner and more sophisticated dash layout. The interior includes a number of embedded premium upgrades as standard equipment. A new energy-saving auto climate control system called S-Flow uses the occupant-detection system to focus airflow only to the front area where passengers are actually seated, a first-in-class technology. A next-generation Remote Touch with one-push confirmation is standard on all models and enables smooth, intuitive operations control. The Remote Touch allows the user to operate the climate, audio, phone controls, optional navigation system and more. The screen menus are selected with the controller, eliminating the need to reach out. Remote Touch also reduces eye movement and helps users operate functions with reduced effort and distraction. A standard rear back-up camera helps add convenience. The finely crafted cabin detail is complemented further by ambient lighting that unobtrusively welcomes and guides the user into the vehicle, providing a carefully designed experience. New white LED lights are sequentially lit to illuminate the areas around the doors, center console and footwells. A new analog clock with LED indicators, carved from an ingot, adds a unique touch, at once both modern and traditional. "The GS 350 with F SPORT Package will be a distinctive offering of luxury and excitement," said Templin. "With its dynamic handling, stopping power and true sporty feel this F SPORT package will be sure to please our enthusiasts." PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS FOR GS 350 WITH F SPORT PACKAGE Horsepower 306 hp @ 6,400rpm Torque 277 lb-ft @ 4,800rpm Transmission Six-speed sequential-shift with paddle shifters Electronic Controlled Automatic Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) Seating Capacity 5 Overall Length (in.) 190.9 Width (in.) 72.4 Height (in.) 57.3 Wheelbase (in.) 112.2 Driven Wheels Rear or All-Wheel Drive Curb weight (lbs.) 3,715 (RWD) 3,890 (AWD) Brake type Ventilated front and rear disc with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system (VDIM) Wheel size RWD 19" x 8" (Front), 19" x 9" (Rear) AWD 19" x 8" Tire size RWD 235/40/19 (Front) 265/35/19 (Rear) AWD 235/40/19 (Front and Rear) 0 – 60 mph Estimated 5.7 seconds Top Track Speed Estimated 142 mph (electronically limited) MPG (City/Hwy/Comb.) 20/27/23 (RWD) 18/25/20 (AWD)
  9. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 25, 2012 Chevrolet is showing the dark side of the Sonic with the new Dusk. Originally shown as a concept last year at SEMA, Chevrolet is showing off a production model that will be in dealerships in 2014. The Dusk package is available on the Sonic sedan and adds ground effects, a rear spoiler, 18-inch aluminum wheels in a Pearl Nickel finish, and several matte exterior-trim pieces, including the upper and lower grilles, door handle inserts and rear license plate trim. Inside, there are Jet Black leather-trimmed seats with suede accents and Mojave tan inserts. The Mojave color is also used in the accent stitching along with tan door panels and instrument panel accents.Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system with touchscreen is also included. Those who were hoping for a power bump will be disappointed The Sonic Dusk will stick with the 1.4 turbo-four producing 138 HP and 148 lb-ft of torque. Source: GM 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. Press Release is on Page 2 From Concept to Reality: Chevrolet Announces Sonic Dusk Along with Sonic Dusk and Sonic RS, Chevrolet’s subcompact seeks to fit all lifestyles LAS VEGAS – Chevrolet today announced production of the Sonic Dusk sedan, designed to bring a higher degree of sophistication and refinement to the subcompact segment. The production intent Sonic Dusk will be displayed at the SEMA Show, opening Oct. 30 in Las Vegas and leads a diverse range of stylized Chevy small cars. “Just like we’ve done with Corvettes and Camaros, we’re taking another one of our core products and adapting it to our customers’ lifestyles,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “The reaction to the Sonic Dusk concept last year was overwhelmingly positive and proved customers are interested in a more-refined subcompact. We’re moving quickly to bring Sonic Dusk to Chevrolet showrooms.” The SEMA show vehicle features a production-intent package with ground effects, a rear spoiler and large, 18-inch aluminum wheels with a Pearl Nickel finish. Sophisticated touches lend the Ashen Grey Sonic Dusk a refined, contemporary aesthetic. The upper and lower grilles, door handle inserts and rear license plate trim are finished with a matte appearance, while stainless steel lower window moldings add an upscale accent to the body. Inside, Sonic Dusk features Jet Black leather-trimmed seats with suede accents and Mojave tan inserts. Mojave accent stitching and tan-color door panel and instrument panel accents were designed to enhance the cabin’s ambience. It is also equipped with Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system, which integrates a smartphone and stored media – via Bluetooth, plug-in outlet or USB – with the radio. “With a year under our belt, we’ve learned our Sonic sedan buyers are looking at exterior styling as a key purchase driver,” said Cristi Landy, marketing director of Chevrolet small cars. “While the RS hatchback is our sporty interpretation of Sonic, Dusk is a sophisticated, well contented option – both unique to this segment. It’s all about choices and personalization.” Sonic Dusk is powered by the Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged engine, rated at 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 rpm and 4,900 rpm. The wide rpm range for the maximum torque – a specific trait of turbocharged engines – helps the engine deliver a better driving experience and performance. The engine is mated with a six-speed transmission – and production models offer a six-speed manual or automatic. The 2013 Chevrolet Sonic is positioned between the all-new Spark and the Cruze in Chevy’s small car portfolio. As the only subcompact built in America, Sonic comes with a segment-leading 10 standard air bags and leads in interior roominess. The performance-inspired Sonic RS hits dealerships in late 2012 and features Chevrolet’s exclusive infotainment system MyLink , with a seven-inch color touch screen radio capable of displaying smartphone-based music, videos, photos and contacts for hands-free calling. To learn more about Sonic, visit the Chevy Sonic Facebook page, follow on Twitter at @ChevyLife or check out letsdothis.com. View full article

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