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  1. It was at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance where Lexus introduced us to the fourth-generation GS sedan. Well, Lexus has chosen Pebble Beach once again to introduce us to updated GS. The big news for the GS is a new base GS 200t. As the name suggests, this new trim gets Lexus' turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Paired with an eight-speed automatic, Lexus says the GS 200t will get 33 MPG combined. Along with the new turbo-four, Lexus is also giving the GS 350 a slight boost in power. The 350's V6 will now produce 311 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque (up from 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque). The other big news deals with the GS' design. The front end gets a bolder take on the spindle grille and bi-LED headlights. New wheel choices, revised taillights, and new trim finish off the exterior changes. The interior gets new choices for trim and leather, along with navigation becoming standard on all models except the 200t. Source: Lexus Press Release is on Page 2 Mingling with the Classics: Lexus Introduces 2016 GS During Pebble Beach Concours Celebrations New GS 200t RWD Model With 2.0-Liter Turbo Engine More Power and Torque for GS 350 Restyled Front End With Standard Bi-LED Headlamps New Available Lexus Safety System + Upgraded Multimedia Technology and for GS 350/GS 450h Standard Navigation New Available Lexus Enform Service Connect New Interior Colors and Wood Trim Selections MONTEREY, Calif. – Aug. 13, 2015 – The Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance, the premier concours event in the United States, is an appropriate setting for the 2016 Lexus GS models to be introduced. The GS enters 2016 with a bolder design, a new GS 200t rear-wheel drive model and new luxury finishes that match the refinement of Monterey. The Lexus GS continues to feature impressive agility and sporty handling for turns along California Highway 1, as well as comfortable ride quality for extended highway driving. This is no modest mid-size luxury sedan. The engaging performance and amenities make the GS 200t, the GS 350 or GS 450h an excellent choice for delighting enthusiast drivers as well as luxury connoisseurs. The Lexus GS epitomizes the intersection of style and refinement with a strong rendition of the Lexus signature spindle grille for 2016, framed by elegant satin chrome trim and flanked by distinctive new standard Bi-LED headlights. The nighttime glow is unmistakably the look of Lexus. A new front bumper and rocker panel design further sharpen the coupe-inspired profile, with the makeover extending to revised taillights, revised rear trim and new 18- and 19-inch machine-finish wheel designs. Bold design deserves bold color, and so the 2016 GS offers new Matador Red Mica, Nightfall Mica and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0 among other choices. The mica colors use an extraordinarily complex multi-layered, twice-baked process previously used only for concept vehicles or custom cars. Every year Pebble Beach brings together the best in elegance and technology from decades past. The 2016 Lexus GS presents a modern interpretation—exemplified by new interior trim selections including laser cut wood, Matte Walnut, Linear 3D and for the F SPORT, Naguri aluminum. New interior and leather colors include Chateau and Noble Brown, while the F SPORT adds Rioja Red to available choices. The analog clock located in the center of the dash is housed in a single ingot of aluminum and uses LED indicators. It adds new GPS functionality for adjusting the time zone. New Power and Efficiency A new, third model, the rear-wheel drive GS 200t, joins the line with an exceptionally smooth 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The turbo engine delivers 241 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque, giving the GS 200t outstanding all-around performance and efficiency. The GS 200t has a Lexus fuel economy estimate of 33 mpg highway. In the GS 350, a more muscular 3.5-liter V6 produces 311 hp and 280 lb.-ft. of torque (vs. 306 hp and 277 lb.-ft. in the 2015 model) and is also paired with the eight-speed automatic. The V6’s combination of direct fuel injection and additional port fuel injectors ensures ample power and crisp responsiveness. Leading the GS lineup is a car you’d expect from the luxury hybrid leader, the GS 450h – a high-performing hybrid. Its Lexus Hybrid Drive system combines output from an Atkinson cycle 3.5-liter V6 engine and a water-cooled permanent-magnet electric motor for 338 total system horsepower, channeled through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission. Few might expect 5.6-second zero-to-60 mph acceleration performance from a car that also has EPA estimated 29 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined fuel economy ratings. More Grip, More GrinsFor added grip, the Lexus GS 350 offers an available all-weather drive system that’s more than a foul-weather friend. An electronically controlled center differential provides a normal 30:70 torque split, with the rear-wheel bias favoring handling agility. The system reacts instantaneously to alter the split to as much as 50:50, depending on driving conditions, to help optimize traction. For added grins when driving, the F SPORT package available for all three GS models combines track-tuned chassis enhancements, including staggered tire sizes (RWD only), with exclusive exterior and interior design features. On the GS 350, F SPORT can be combined with all-weather drive. With rear-wheel drive, the F SPORT package opens the door to higher handling performance with the available Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system with Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS). New Lexus Safety System + The 2016 Lexus GS is a rolling testament to the brand’s commitment to cutting-edge safety technology. Its structure and 10 standard airbags form the foundation for occupant protection, while a wide array of driver-assist technologies helps the driver avoid hazards. New and optional for 2016 is Lexus Safety System + which combines Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam (IHB) and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control works at a range of speeds. It tracks the speed of the vehicle traveling ahead and can adjust the speed setting accordingly to help maintain a preset distance. It’s sophisticated enough to smoothly adjust acceleration and deceleration when a vehicle enters or exits the lane or highway ahead. Using a combination of millimeter-wave radar and a front-facing camera, PCS can help detect vehicles -- and in some circumstances, pedestrians. The system can warn the driver of a possible collision and can initiate automatic braking with Brake Assist if necessary. Using a camera to detect visible lane markings, Lane Departure Alert is designed to convey audio-visual alerts and vibrate the steering wheel if the system determines that the driver unintentionally deviated from the lane. Lane Departure Alert, with Steering Assist enabled, can help the vehicle stay in the center of its lane by smoothly increasing steering torque a small amount to assist in maintaining course. Intelligent High Beam combines technology, safety and driving courtesy. It automatically adjusts high- and low-beam illumination by sensing not only oncoming traffic, but also the taillights of the vehicle traveling in front. Modern MultimediaLexus gave the GS models new multimedia for 2015, and now for 2016, the available 12.3-inch screen gains full-screen map capability when equipped with navigation. Other multimedia changes include enhanced voice recognition and graphics.The screen can split into two sections to show different functions, such as navigation, audio and climate control information. For GS 350 and GS 450h models, navigation is now standard. New side “enter” buttons on the Remote Touch Interface controller and shortcut menu on the side of the screen make it even easier to operate climate control, audio, phone, navigation and more. Apple iPhone® users have yet another control option -- Siri® Eyes Free Mode. Make calls, select songs from iTunes®, get turn-by-turn navigation through Apple Maps, and much more, all by asking Siri. Lexus Enform Catering to its customers’ active lifestyles, Lexus Enform continues to expand its services and technologies. For 2016, new Lexus Enform Service Connect gives the GS a voice, in a sense, to relay its maintenance needs. Use the MyLexusandBeyond mobile app (for iOS devices) or LexusDrivers.com website to set push-reminders and alerts for maintenance and service issues. For example, a required maintenance warning light will alert you and your dealer the specific factory recommended maintenance for a specific maintenance interval. With Lexus Enform Remote (one-year trial subscription included), the customer can remotely view and control certain aspects of the GS using a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Functions include remote door lock/unlock; remote start/stop for the engine and climate control; vehicle finder, guest driver monitor and more. Navigation is accompanied by the Lexus Enform Destination Services and subscription-free Lexus Enform App Suite. Its voice-enabled apps let you search the Internet through Destination Search, make restaurant reservations using OpenTable®, get movie tickets via MovieTickets.com™, listen to Internet radio, (including Pandora®, iHeartRadio and Slacker), search business reviews on Yelp® and check in on Facebook Places™. Lexus Enform Safety Connect is standard on all 2016 Lexus vehicles, with emergency calling capability and access to Lexus Enform response centers 24/7/365.
  2. Last week, Tesla announced some new updates for the Model S. The big news was the introduction of the optional 'Ludicrous' acceleration mode. This mode drops 0-60 from 3.1 to 2.8 seconds and can do the quarter-mile in 10.9 seconds. Tesla is able to do this via a new advanced smart fuse for the battery that allows an increase in the maximum amp throughout from 1,300 to 1,500 amps. This option will cost $10,000 for a new Model S P85D. But if you are the current owner of a P85D, you can get the Ludicrous package for $5,000 plus labor for the next six months. Also announced is a new 90-kWh battery pack option which adds 15 Miles to the overall range of the Model S P85D (275 to 300 Miles). Opting for the larger battery will cost around $3,000. Wrapping up the changes is the introduction of a new base Model S. The Model S 70 RWD only comes with one electric motor and will set you back around $70,000. Source: Tesla Press Release is on Page 2 THREE DOG DAY - 90 kWh battery pack option for $3k - 70 kWh rear drive Model S for $70k (effectively ~$50k after incentives & gas savings)- 2.8 sec 0 to 60 mph upgrade to "Ludicrous Mode" First, I should address something that might be on your mind, like: "Where the heck is the Model X and the Model 3!? You should really get on that." Don't worry, those remain our focus and good progress is being made on both. X is on track for first deliveries in two months and Model 3 in just over two years. Now, on to the awesome news of today. New buyers now have the option of upgrading the pack energy from 85 to 90 kWh, which provides up to 15 miles of additional range. This takes our current longest range model, the 85D to almost exactly 300 miles of highway range at 65mph. Existing owners can also purchase the pack upgrade, but I wouldn't recommend doing so unless your usage is on the edge of current range. On average, we expect to increase pack capacity by roughly 5% per year. Better to wait until you have more time on your existing pack and there is a larger accumulated pack energy difference. 70kWh for $70k We are now offering the 70kWh version of the Model S in the single motor version for $5k less than the dual motor, consistent with the price differential for the single and dual motor 85 kWh car. Importantly, enough options are now standard that you will have bought a great car even if you pick the base version. Various purchase incentives mean the actual net price is around $60k and annual gasoline and servicing savings are around $2k. These savings are captured immediately if you lease the car. Luuudicrous Mode While working on our goal of making the power train last a million miles, we came up with the idea for an advanced smart fuse for the battery. Instead of a standard fuse that just melts past a certain amperage, which means you aren't exactly sure when it will or won't melt or if it will arc when it does, we developed a fuse with its own electronics and a tiny lithium-ion battery. It constantly monitors current at the millisecond level and is pyro-actuated to cut power with extreme precision and certainty. That was combined with upgrading the main pack contractor to use inconel (a high temperature space-grade superalloy) instead of steel, so that it remains springy under the heat of heavy current. The net result is that we can safely increase max amp throughout from 1300 to 1500 Amps. If you don't know much about Amps, trust me this is a silly big number of Amps to be going through something the size of your little fingernail. What this results in is a 10% improvement in the 0 to 60 mph time to 2.8 secs and a quarter mile time of 10.9 secs. Time to 155 mph is improved even more, resulting in a 20% reduction. This option will cost $10k to new buyers. In appreciation of our existing P85D owners, the upgraded pack electronics will be offered for the next six months at only $5k plus installation labor. It is important to note that the battery pack size upgrade and the pack electronics upgrade are almost entirely independent. The first is about energy, which affects range, and the second is about power, which affects acceleration. There is of course one speed faster than ludicrous, but that is reserved for the next generation Roadster in 4 years: maximum plaid. MORE ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT Model S already offers the highest possible safety ratings, the longest range of any EV, and over-the-air updates that continuously make it better. The performance improvements we're announcing today demonstrate, yet again, that an electric car can soundly beat any gasoline car on efficiency and pure performance. Today's three new options give customers the ability to order the Model S for their lifestyle: 90kWh Battery Model S with maximum range. Available as an option on all 85kWh Model S, the new extended range option gives customers the ability to order a 90kWh battery. The upgrade increases range on all 85 kWh Model S by 5%. Ludicrous Speed Ludicrous Speed decreases the 0-60 mph time for Model S 10% to 2.8 seconds with a quarter mile time of 10.9 seconds. Time to 155 miles per hour is now 20% faster than a standard Model S Performance. Model S 70 In line with our mission to make our cars increasingly affordable, 70 RWD offers the best value of any Model S released to date, $5,000 less than the current lowest priced Model S with all the current standard equipment. Model S 70 RWD starts at $70,000. Here are a few examples of what a customer can now order: Model S P90D: truly Ludicrous performance; 0-60 in 2.8 sec with a quarter mile time of 10.9 seconds. Motor Power: 259 hp front, 503 hp rear, 253 miles range Model S 90D: the longest-range Model S ever produced, 90D travels up to 270 miles on a single charge. 417 hp Model S 70: 230 miles range, 0=60: 5.2, 328 hp
  3. Today, Telsa pulled the covers off the updated Model S. The biggest change for the Model S is the removal of the front grille. It has been replaced with a similar fascia to the Model X and recently announced Model 3 - front panel and LED headlights. Inside, the Model S gets HEPA air-filtration system first introduced on the Model X as an option. This system according to Tesla is said to remove up to "99.97 percent of particulate exhaust pollution and effectively all allergens, bacteria, and other contaminants from cabin air." Tesla has also swapped the 40-amp onboard charger to a 48-amp one that will reduce recharging times. All of these updates means the Tesla Model S has a higher pricetag. The Model S now begins at $71,500 for the base 70 kW Model S, an increase of $1,500. Source: Tesla
  4. The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen has been around for 35 years and in that time, the vehicle hasn't gone under any sort of drastic change. That could be change could happen in 2017 as the German automaker is planning some drastic changes. Autocar has learned the automaker will be increasing the G-Wagen’s width to help improve stability and to make space for a new front suspension which will either be a three or four-link set-up and have a electro-mechanical steering system. The increase in width will also mean an increase in interior space. Mercedes-Benz will also add more aluminum to the G-Wagen's structure which will cut around 450 pounds off its curb weight. Other changes in store include new engines, nine-speed automatic, and a revised interior. Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  5. Fiat has announced some changes are incoming for the 2015 500 lineup. For starters, the 500 Turbo and Abarth models will now have the option of a six-speed automatic. Previously both models could only be equipped with a five-speed manual. The brand hopes the option of the automatic will bring more people into the showrooms. Other changes for the 500 lineup include the introduction of a seven-inch high-definition TFT instrument display that will display vehicle and infotainment data; a redesign center stack, and new color choices. "Since launching in March 2011, more than 135,000 Fiat 500 cars have been sold in North America. We continue to improve the successful 500, retaining its unique Italian flavor while adding unique features, such as a 7-inch TFT display, and incorporating Bluetooth streaming and a more functional center console,"said Jason Stoicevich, Head of FIAT Brand for North America, Chrysler Group LLC. The 2015 Fiat 500 lineup arrives at dealers this July. Source: Fiat William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2015 Fiat 500 Lineup Now Features Innovative Instrument Panel with New 7-inch High-Definition Display - Seven-inch HD TFT display helps drivers to easily monitor and configure vehicle information - Other interior updates for driver convenience include Bluetooth streaming audio and a revamped center console with an additional USB port- Three new exterior paint colors for 2015 are Giallo Moderna Perla (modern pearl yellow), Laser Blu (bright metallic blue) and Billet Argento (billet silver) April 7, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The 2015 Fiat 500 vehicle lineup, to be showcased at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, will include a number of interior enhancements for increased driver convenience and ease of use, including an advanced instrument panel with a 7-inch high-definition TFT (Thin Film Transistor) cluster display. The new 7-inch TFT cluster allows drivers to easily monitor data like speed, fuel level, Eco index and trip information. While on the main screen, an image of the vehicle is surrounded by information, including distance traveled, gas mileage and range. A parking screen helps drivers while moving in reverse if the vehicle is equipped with Rear Park Assist. Other screen options include a radio screen that displays information about the station selected and a telephone screen showing call information. When the vehicle is in Sport mode, the TFT display becomes more aggressive in appearance, complementing the Sport mode's more engaged driving experience. The TFT display will be standard on the 2015 Fiat 500 Sport, Lounge, Turbo and Abarth models, and optional on the Pop. Other interior updates for 2015 include a redesigned center console. To make it more useful for drivers, the revamped console includes a new cup holder design and an additional, conveniently located USB port that is fully functional and integrated with the radio. The 2015 Fiat 500 models will also include Bluetooth streaming audio in addition to the already standard Bluetooth phone connectivity. "Since launching in March 2011, more than 135,000 Fiat 500 cars have been sold in North America," said Jason Stoicevich, Head of FIAT Brand for North America, Chrysler Group LLC. "We continue to improve the successful 500, retaining its unique Italian flavor while adding unique features, such as a 7-inch TFT display, and incorporating Bluetooth streaming and a more functional center console." On the exterior, new paint colors for 2015 are Giallo Moderna Perla (modern pearl yellow), Laser Blu (bright metallic blue) and Billet Argento (billet silver). In addition to the interior improvements across the Fiat 500 lineup, the Fiat 500 Abarth, Abarth Cabrio and Turbo will add a six-speed automatic transmission as an option for 2015. The 2015 Fiat 500 lineup will be available in studios beginning in July 2014.
  6. Mitsubishi told its dealers yesterday at the NADA Convention about a plan to reintegrate the brand's tired lineup. The lynchpin to this plan is a new midsize sedan that will come out of a new partnership between Mitsubishi and Nissan/Renault. Don Swearingen, Mitsubishi Motors North America executive vice president tells Automotive News that the two are still in negotiations about the new sedan. "We abandoned a huge market and we have to find a way to fill those customer's needs. Many of those customers are coming back to market, and we tried to move them into our other offerings, but if they're looking for that D segment sedan, we just don't have it," said Swearingen. Other products/updates Mitsubishi is considering include a sedan version of the Mirage subcompact for the U.S., the addition of a 2.4L four-cylinder to the Outlander Sport, a new CVT for the 2015 model year, and the arrival of a refreshed Outlander in 2015. The reaction of the dealers were very positive. "For dealers, new products never come fast enough. But Mitsubishi did a good job of showing us that they are committed to delivering product and change and answers," said Stacey Gillman Wimbish, CEO of Gillman Cos. auto group in Houston, Texas. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  7. The fate of the Cadillac ELR has been up in the air with no real updates to the model since it was introduced in the 2014 model year, and Cadillac's boss saying there will likely not be a second-generation model. But at least for the time being, Cadillac has introduced some new changes for the 2016 model. No real big changes on the ELR's exterior, only a tweaked grille and wreath-less crest. But the powertrain has seen some big changes. New software upgrades boost power output from 207 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque to 233 horsepower and 373 pound-feet. The increase in power drops 0-60 MPH time by 1.5 seconds to 6.4 seconds and top speed is increased to 130 MPH when equipped with the Performance Package and 106 MPH on the standard model. All ELR models get a number of changes to the suspension which include a new calibration of the HiPer strut front suspension, stiffer rear axle, and new settings for the Continuous Damping Control system. New for the 2016 ELR is the addition of a optional Performance Package which adds: New 20-inch summer-only performance tires – mounted on new sport wheels – that improve lateral grip by nearly 10 percent Front Brembo four-piston brake calipers (with the Cadillac script), with 13.6-inch-diameter vented front rotors and 12.4-inch vented rear rotors that improve 60-to-0 mph stopping distance by nearly 12 percent Specific calibrations for the Continuous Damping Control and electric power steering systems Sport steering wheel with a thicker rim for a sportier feel. As for tech, the 2016 ELR boasts OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in WiFi, an inductive charge spot on the instrument panel to charge your phone, and the previously optional Driver Assistance package which featured blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert as standard. Cadillac says the ELR will go on sale with a price of $58,495 after federal tax credits for electric cars are taken into account. Source: Cadillac Press Release is on Page 2 2016 ELR Advances with More Power, Technology Revised electric drive system increases power and torque by more than 25 percent Enhanced handling, steering and braking OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot DETROIT – Cadillac today announced the ELR electrified luxury coupe will offer a host of upgrades for the 2016 model year, including boosts in acceleration, driving performance and connectivity. Major product upgrades include a more than 25 percent boost in power and torque, faster acceleration that improves 0-60 mph by 1.5 seconds, higher top speed, retuned chassis and steering for better handling, more responsive brakes and a new Performance equipment package. “ELR’s combination of leading technology with stunningly attractive design is unlike any other coupe in the luxury segment,” said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. "The upgraded ELR offers enhanced driving performance for buyers seeking uncompromising luxury and exquisite craftsmanship with electrification technology. It is unique in the luxury category, in that it completely eliminates conventional concerns over driving range, which has been the Achilles’ heel of other competitors in the luxury segment.” Distinguished by a new grille and Cadillac’s new crest, the 2016 ELR, which features the first application of extended-range electric vehicle technology by a full-line luxury automotive brand, will start at $58,495 net pricing after U.S. federal tax credits. The 2016 ELR’s steering and suspension upgrades include: Revised calibration of the HiPer Strut front suspension Increased front spring rates and a stiffer rear axle Stiffer bushings for the front lower control arms, cradle mounts and Watts link in the rear suspension, for more precise control with no loss of ride quality Revised calibrations for the Continuous Damping Control system Front Damper Rebound Spring added New steering calibration tuned to complement the revised chassis and suspension systems Revised brake hardware and system calibration for improved application feel. A new optional Performance Package elevates the ELR’s driving experience further with greater handling and braking capability – and a more direct, linear feel for the driver. The ELR Performance Package includes: New 20-inch summer-only performance tires – mounted on new sport wheels – that improve lateral grip by nearly 10 percent Front Brembo four-piston brake calipers (with the Cadillac script), with 13.6-inch-diameter vented front rotors and 12.4-inch vented rear rotors that improve 60-to-0 mph stopping distance by nearly 12 percent Specific calibrations for the Continuous Damping Control and electric power steering systems Sport steering wheel with a thicker rim for a sportier feel. ELR propulsion and drive technology All 2016 ELRs contain software upgrades to the battery system improving power and acceleration, with EV range growing on the base model. Additionally, the 2016 ELR has a modified Sport mode that enables the propulsion system to combine engine and electric motor power to take the ELR from 0-60 in 6.4 seconds, a 1.5 second improvement from the current model. ELR continues to offer Regen on Demand, recipient of Green Car Journal’s 2014 Green Car Technology Award. Slightly enhanced for the 2016 model to improve deceleration, Regen on Demand allows the driver to temporarily regenerate energy from the ELR’s momentum into electricity and store in the battery pack for later use. Regen on Demand supports a more engaging driving experience by slowing the vehicle when entering a turn to better position it on the exit, much like downshifting with a manual transmission. Regen on Demand is engaged via steering-wheel paddles adapted from traditional performance cars. The ELR offers a full driving range of up to 330 miles (530 km), combining pure electric driving and an efficient, range-extending 1.4L gasoline-powered engine-generator. It’s a combination that means most daily commutes will require zero gasoline with zero tailpipe emissions. Longer trips are free from electric-vehicle range anxiety because the ELR’s technology enables the long-distance travel similar to vehicles powered only by gasoline. The T-shaped battery pack is located along the centerline of the vehicle, between the front and rear wheels for optimal weight distribution. The 5.5-foot-long (1.6 m), 435-pound (198 kg) pack supplies energy to an advanced electric drive unit capable of 373 lb-ft of instant torque (506 Nm) to propel the vehicle. Using only the energy stored in the battery, the ELR will deliver an estimated range of about 39 miles (60 km) of pure electric driving, depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature. The optional Performance Package reduces EV range by about four miles as a result of the enhanced grip of the 20-inch summer-only tires. ELR’s battery can be charged using either a 120- or 240-volt charger. The vehicle can be completely recharged in about five hours using 240V charging, depending on the outside temperature. The ELR’s battery is covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty or 10 years/150,000 miles in states following Air Resource Board guidelines. Personal technology The 2016 ELR will be one of the industry’s most-connected vehicles, with new and enhanced features designed to extend technologies woven into nearly every facet of customers’ lives. OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial, whichever comes first. 4G LTE is the most current and fastest mobile data network and the Wi-Fi hotspot supports up to seven connected devices. ELR drivers and passengers can also recharge their enabled phones wirelessly with a new magnetic inductive charge spot on the instrument panel. There is no need to plug the phone in for charging, leaving the ELR’s USB ports free for other devices. Interior luxury and technology For 2016, the Driver Assistance active safety systems, optional on the current ELR, are standard and include side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert and Intellibeam headlamps. Lane change alert and a new vehicle security system are also standard. Adaptive cruise control is available. Additional interior features include: Cut-and-sew interior Available Semi-Aniline full leather seating Sueded microfiber headliner and supporting trim Eight-inch configurable instrument and driver information displays, offering four configurations ranging from elegantly simple to technologically detailed information Three USB ports Power-assist covered storage/cup holder in the center console Fold-down rear seatbacks to accommodate longer items such as skis and golf clubs
  8. Today, Telsa pulled the covers off the updated Model S. The biggest change for the Model S is the removal of the front grille. It has been replaced with a similar fascia to the Model X and recently announced Model 3 - front panel and LED headlights. Inside, the Model S gets HEPA air-filtration system first introduced on the Model X as an option. This system according to Tesla is said to remove up to "99.97 percent of particulate exhaust pollution and effectively all allergens, bacteria, and other contaminants from cabin air." Tesla has also swapped the 40-amp onboard charger to a 48-amp one that will reduce recharging times. All of these updates means the Tesla Model S has a higher pricetag. The Model S now begins at $71,500 for the base 70 kW Model S, an increase of $1,500. Source: Tesla View full article
  9. It was at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance where Lexus introduced us to the fourth-generation GS sedan. Well, Lexus has chosen Pebble Beach once again to introduce us to updated GS. The big news for the GS is a new base GS 200t. As the name suggests, this new trim gets Lexus' turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Paired with an eight-speed automatic, Lexus says the GS 200t will get 33 MPG combined. Along with the new turbo-four, Lexus is also giving the GS 350 a slight boost in power. The 350's V6 will now produce 311 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque (up from 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque). The other big news deals with the GS' design. The front end gets a bolder take on the spindle grille and bi-LED headlights. New wheel choices, revised taillights, and new trim finish off the exterior changes. The interior gets new choices for trim and leather, along with navigation becoming standard on all models except the 200t. Source: Lexus Press Release is on Page 2 Mingling with the Classics: Lexus Introduces 2016 GS During Pebble Beach Concours Celebrations New GS 200t RWD Model With 2.0-Liter Turbo Engine More Power and Torque for GS 350 Restyled Front End With Standard Bi-LED Headlamps New Available Lexus Safety System + Upgraded Multimedia Technology and for GS 350/GS 450h Standard Navigation New Available Lexus Enform Service Connect New Interior Colors and Wood Trim Selections MONTEREY, Calif. – Aug. 13, 2015 – The Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance, the premier concours event in the United States, is an appropriate setting for the 2016 Lexus GS models to be introduced. The GS enters 2016 with a bolder design, a new GS 200t rear-wheel drive model and new luxury finishes that match the refinement of Monterey. The Lexus GS continues to feature impressive agility and sporty handling for turns along California Highway 1, as well as comfortable ride quality for extended highway driving. This is no modest mid-size luxury sedan. The engaging performance and amenities make the GS 200t, the GS 350 or GS 450h an excellent choice for delighting enthusiast drivers as well as luxury connoisseurs. The Lexus GS epitomizes the intersection of style and refinement with a strong rendition of the Lexus signature spindle grille for 2016, framed by elegant satin chrome trim and flanked by distinctive new standard Bi-LED headlights. The nighttime glow is unmistakably the look of Lexus. A new front bumper and rocker panel design further sharpen the coupe-inspired profile, with the makeover extending to revised taillights, revised rear trim and new 18- and 19-inch machine-finish wheel designs. Bold design deserves bold color, and so the 2016 GS offers new Matador Red Mica, Nightfall Mica and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0 among other choices. The mica colors use an extraordinarily complex multi-layered, twice-baked process previously used only for concept vehicles or custom cars. Every year Pebble Beach brings together the best in elegance and technology from decades past. The 2016 Lexus GS presents a modern interpretation—exemplified by new interior trim selections including laser cut wood, Matte Walnut, Linear 3D and for the F SPORT, Naguri aluminum. New interior and leather colors include Chateau and Noble Brown, while the F SPORT adds Rioja Red to available choices. The analog clock located in the center of the dash is housed in a single ingot of aluminum and uses LED indicators. It adds new GPS functionality for adjusting the time zone. New Power and Efficiency A new, third model, the rear-wheel drive GS 200t, joins the line with an exceptionally smooth 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The turbo engine delivers 241 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque, giving the GS 200t outstanding all-around performance and efficiency. The GS 200t has a Lexus fuel economy estimate of 33 mpg highway. In the GS 350, a more muscular 3.5-liter V6 produces 311 hp and 280 lb.-ft. of torque (vs. 306 hp and 277 lb.-ft. in the 2015 model) and is also paired with the eight-speed automatic. The V6’s combination of direct fuel injection and additional port fuel injectors ensures ample power and crisp responsiveness. Leading the GS lineup is a car you’d expect from the luxury hybrid leader, the GS 450h – a high-performing hybrid. Its Lexus Hybrid Drive system combines output from an Atkinson cycle 3.5-liter V6 engine and a water-cooled permanent-magnet electric motor for 338 total system horsepower, channeled through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission. Few might expect 5.6-second zero-to-60 mph acceleration performance from a car that also has EPA estimated 29 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined fuel economy ratings. More Grip, More GrinsFor added grip, the Lexus GS 350 offers an available all-weather drive system that’s more than a foul-weather friend. An electronically controlled center differential provides a normal 30:70 torque split, with the rear-wheel bias favoring handling agility. The system reacts instantaneously to alter the split to as much as 50:50, depending on driving conditions, to help optimize traction. For added grins when driving, the F SPORT package available for all three GS models combines track-tuned chassis enhancements, including staggered tire sizes (RWD only), with exclusive exterior and interior design features. On the GS 350, F SPORT can be combined with all-weather drive. With rear-wheel drive, the F SPORT package opens the door to higher handling performance with the available Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) system with Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS). New Lexus Safety System + The 2016 Lexus GS is a rolling testament to the brand’s commitment to cutting-edge safety technology. Its structure and 10 standard airbags form the foundation for occupant protection, while a wide array of driver-assist technologies helps the driver avoid hazards. New and optional for 2016 is Lexus Safety System + which combines Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam (IHB) and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control works at a range of speeds. It tracks the speed of the vehicle traveling ahead and can adjust the speed setting accordingly to help maintain a preset distance. It’s sophisticated enough to smoothly adjust acceleration and deceleration when a vehicle enters or exits the lane or highway ahead. Using a combination of millimeter-wave radar and a front-facing camera, PCS can help detect vehicles -- and in some circumstances, pedestrians. The system can warn the driver of a possible collision and can initiate automatic braking with Brake Assist if necessary. Using a camera to detect visible lane markings, Lane Departure Alert is designed to convey audio-visual alerts and vibrate the steering wheel if the system determines that the driver unintentionally deviated from the lane. Lane Departure Alert, with Steering Assist enabled, can help the vehicle stay in the center of its lane by smoothly increasing steering torque a small amount to assist in maintaining course. Intelligent High Beam combines technology, safety and driving courtesy. It automatically adjusts high- and low-beam illumination by sensing not only oncoming traffic, but also the taillights of the vehicle traveling in front. Modern MultimediaLexus gave the GS models new multimedia for 2015, and now for 2016, the available 12.3-inch screen gains full-screen map capability when equipped with navigation. Other multimedia changes include enhanced voice recognition and graphics.The screen can split into two sections to show different functions, such as navigation, audio and climate control information. For GS 350 and GS 450h models, navigation is now standard. New side “enter” buttons on the Remote Touch Interface controller and shortcut menu on the side of the screen make it even easier to operate climate control, audio, phone, navigation and more. Apple iPhone® users have yet another control option -- Siri® Eyes Free Mode. Make calls, select songs from iTunes®, get turn-by-turn navigation through Apple Maps, and much more, all by asking Siri. Lexus Enform Catering to its customers’ active lifestyles, Lexus Enform continues to expand its services and technologies. For 2016, new Lexus Enform Service Connect gives the GS a voice, in a sense, to relay its maintenance needs. Use the MyLexusandBeyond mobile app (for iOS devices) or LexusDrivers.com website to set push-reminders and alerts for maintenance and service issues. For example, a required maintenance warning light will alert you and your dealer the specific factory recommended maintenance for a specific maintenance interval. With Lexus Enform Remote (one-year trial subscription included), the customer can remotely view and control certain aspects of the GS using a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Functions include remote door lock/unlock; remote start/stop for the engine and climate control; vehicle finder, guest driver monitor and more. Navigation is accompanied by the Lexus Enform Destination Services and subscription-free Lexus Enform App Suite. Its voice-enabled apps let you search the Internet through Destination Search, make restaurant reservations using OpenTable®, get movie tickets via MovieTickets.com™, listen to Internet radio, (including Pandora®, iHeartRadio and Slacker), search business reviews on Yelp® and check in on Facebook Places™. Lexus Enform Safety Connect is standard on all 2016 Lexus vehicles, with emergency calling capability and access to Lexus Enform response centers 24/7/365. View full article
  10. Last week, Tesla announced some new updates for the Model S. The big news was the introduction of the optional 'Ludicrous' acceleration mode. This mode drops 0-60 from 3.1 to 2.8 seconds and can do the quarter-mile in 10.9 seconds. Tesla is able to do this via a new advanced smart fuse for the battery that allows an increase in the maximum amp throughout from 1,300 to 1,500 amps. This option will cost $10,000 for a new Model S P85D. But if you are the current owner of a P85D, you can get the Ludicrous package for $5,000 plus labor for the next six months. Also announced is a new 90-kWh battery pack option which adds 15 Miles to the overall range of the Model S P85D (275 to 300 Miles). Opting for the larger battery will cost around $3,000. Wrapping up the changes is the introduction of a new base Model S. The Model S 70 RWD only comes with one electric motor and will set you back around $70,000. Source: Tesla Press Release is on Page 2 THREE DOG DAY - 90 kWh battery pack option for $3k - 70 kWh rear drive Model S for $70k (effectively ~$50k after incentives & gas savings)- 2.8 sec 0 to 60 mph upgrade to "Ludicrous Mode" First, I should address something that might be on your mind, like: "Where the heck is the Model X and the Model 3!? You should really get on that." Don't worry, those remain our focus and good progress is being made on both. X is on track for first deliveries in two months and Model 3 in just over two years. Now, on to the awesome news of today. New buyers now have the option of upgrading the pack energy from 85 to 90 kWh, which provides up to 15 miles of additional range. This takes our current longest range model, the 85D to almost exactly 300 miles of highway range at 65mph. Existing owners can also purchase the pack upgrade, but I wouldn't recommend doing so unless your usage is on the edge of current range. On average, we expect to increase pack capacity by roughly 5% per year. Better to wait until you have more time on your existing pack and there is a larger accumulated pack energy difference. 70kWh for $70k We are now offering the 70kWh version of the Model S in the single motor version for $5k less than the dual motor, consistent with the price differential for the single and dual motor 85 kWh car. Importantly, enough options are now standard that you will have bought a great car even if you pick the base version. Various purchase incentives mean the actual net price is around $60k and annual gasoline and servicing savings are around $2k. These savings are captured immediately if you lease the car. Luuudicrous Mode While working on our goal of making the power train last a million miles, we came up with the idea for an advanced smart fuse for the battery. Instead of a standard fuse that just melts past a certain amperage, which means you aren't exactly sure when it will or won't melt or if it will arc when it does, we developed a fuse with its own electronics and a tiny lithium-ion battery. It constantly monitors current at the millisecond level and is pyro-actuated to cut power with extreme precision and certainty. That was combined with upgrading the main pack contractor to use inconel (a high temperature space-grade superalloy) instead of steel, so that it remains springy under the heat of heavy current. The net result is that we can safely increase max amp throughout from 1300 to 1500 Amps. If you don't know much about Amps, trust me this is a silly big number of Amps to be going through something the size of your little fingernail. What this results in is a 10% improvement in the 0 to 60 mph time to 2.8 secs and a quarter mile time of 10.9 secs. Time to 155 mph is improved even more, resulting in a 20% reduction. This option will cost $10k to new buyers. In appreciation of our existing P85D owners, the upgraded pack electronics will be offered for the next six months at only $5k plus installation labor. It is important to note that the battery pack size upgrade and the pack electronics upgrade are almost entirely independent. The first is about energy, which affects range, and the second is about power, which affects acceleration. There is of course one speed faster than ludicrous, but that is reserved for the next generation Roadster in 4 years: maximum plaid. MORE ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT Model S already offers the highest possible safety ratings, the longest range of any EV, and over-the-air updates that continuously make it better. The performance improvements we're announcing today demonstrate, yet again, that an electric car can soundly beat any gasoline car on efficiency and pure performance. Today's three new options give customers the ability to order the Model S for their lifestyle: 90kWh Battery Model S with maximum range. Available as an option on all 85kWh Model S, the new extended range option gives customers the ability to order a 90kWh battery. The upgrade increases range on all 85 kWh Model S by 5%. Ludicrous Speed Ludicrous Speed decreases the 0-60 mph time for Model S 10% to 2.8 seconds with a quarter mile time of 10.9 seconds. Time to 155 miles per hour is now 20% faster than a standard Model S Performance. Model S 70 In line with our mission to make our cars increasingly affordable, 70 RWD offers the best value of any Model S released to date, $5,000 less than the current lowest priced Model S with all the current standard equipment. Model S 70 RWD starts at $70,000. Here are a few examples of what a customer can now order: Model S P90D: truly Ludicrous performance; 0-60 in 2.8 sec with a quarter mile time of 10.9 seconds. Motor Power: 259 hp front, 503 hp rear, 253 miles range Model S 90D: the longest-range Model S ever produced, 90D travels up to 270 miles on a single charge. 417 hp Model S 70: 230 miles range, 0=60: 5.2, 328 hp View full article
  11. The fate of the Cadillac ELR has been up in the air with no real updates to the model since it was introduced in the 2014 model year, and Cadillac's boss saying there will likely not be a second-generation model. But at least for the time being, Cadillac has introduced some new changes for the 2016 model. No real big changes on the ELR's exterior, only a tweaked grille and wreath-less crest. But the powertrain has seen some big changes. New software upgrades boost power output from 207 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque to 233 horsepower and 373 pound-feet. The increase in power drops 0-60 MPH time by 1.5 seconds to 6.4 seconds and top speed is increased to 130 MPH when equipped with the Performance Package and 106 MPH on the standard model. All ELR models get a number of changes to the suspension which include a new calibration of the HiPer strut front suspension, stiffer rear axle, and new settings for the Continuous Damping Control system. New for the 2016 ELR is the addition of a optional Performance Package which adds: New 20-inch summer-only performance tires – mounted on new sport wheels – that improve lateral grip by nearly 10 percent Front Brembo four-piston brake calipers (with the Cadillac script), with 13.6-inch-diameter vented front rotors and 12.4-inch vented rear rotors that improve 60-to-0 mph stopping distance by nearly 12 percent Specific calibrations for the Continuous Damping Control and electric power steering systems Sport steering wheel with a thicker rim for a sportier feel. As for tech, the 2016 ELR boasts OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in WiFi, an inductive charge spot on the instrument panel to charge your phone, and the previously optional Driver Assistance package which featured blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert as standard. Cadillac says the ELR will go on sale with a price of $58,495 after federal tax credits for electric cars are taken into account. Source: Cadillac Press Release is on Page 2 2016 ELR Advances with More Power, Technology Revised electric drive system increases power and torque by more than 25 percent Enhanced handling, steering and braking OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot DETROIT – Cadillac today announced the ELR electrified luxury coupe will offer a host of upgrades for the 2016 model year, including boosts in acceleration, driving performance and connectivity. Major product upgrades include a more than 25 percent boost in power and torque, faster acceleration that improves 0-60 mph by 1.5 seconds, higher top speed, retuned chassis and steering for better handling, more responsive brakes and a new Performance equipment package. “ELR’s combination of leading technology with stunningly attractive design is unlike any other coupe in the luxury segment,” said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. "The upgraded ELR offers enhanced driving performance for buyers seeking uncompromising luxury and exquisite craftsmanship with electrification technology. It is unique in the luxury category, in that it completely eliminates conventional concerns over driving range, which has been the Achilles’ heel of other competitors in the luxury segment.” Distinguished by a new grille and Cadillac’s new crest, the 2016 ELR, which features the first application of extended-range electric vehicle technology by a full-line luxury automotive brand, will start at $58,495 net pricing after U.S. federal tax credits. The 2016 ELR’s steering and suspension upgrades include: Revised calibration of the HiPer Strut front suspension Increased front spring rates and a stiffer rear axle Stiffer bushings for the front lower control arms, cradle mounts and Watts link in the rear suspension, for more precise control with no loss of ride quality Revised calibrations for the Continuous Damping Control system Front Damper Rebound Spring added New steering calibration tuned to complement the revised chassis and suspension systems Revised brake hardware and system calibration for improved application feel. A new optional Performance Package elevates the ELR’s driving experience further with greater handling and braking capability – and a more direct, linear feel for the driver. The ELR Performance Package includes: New 20-inch summer-only performance tires – mounted on new sport wheels – that improve lateral grip by nearly 10 percent Front Brembo four-piston brake calipers (with the Cadillac script), with 13.6-inch-diameter vented front rotors and 12.4-inch vented rear rotors that improve 60-to-0 mph stopping distance by nearly 12 percent Specific calibrations for the Continuous Damping Control and electric power steering systems Sport steering wheel with a thicker rim for a sportier feel. ELR propulsion and drive technology All 2016 ELRs contain software upgrades to the battery system improving power and acceleration, with EV range growing on the base model. Additionally, the 2016 ELR has a modified Sport mode that enables the propulsion system to combine engine and electric motor power to take the ELR from 0-60 in 6.4 seconds, a 1.5 second improvement from the current model. ELR continues to offer Regen on Demand, recipient of Green Car Journal’s 2014 Green Car Technology Award. Slightly enhanced for the 2016 model to improve deceleration, Regen on Demand allows the driver to temporarily regenerate energy from the ELR’s momentum into electricity and store in the battery pack for later use. Regen on Demand supports a more engaging driving experience by slowing the vehicle when entering a turn to better position it on the exit, much like downshifting with a manual transmission. Regen on Demand is engaged via steering-wheel paddles adapted from traditional performance cars. The ELR offers a full driving range of up to 330 miles (530 km), combining pure electric driving and an efficient, range-extending 1.4L gasoline-powered engine-generator. It’s a combination that means most daily commutes will require zero gasoline with zero tailpipe emissions. Longer trips are free from electric-vehicle range anxiety because the ELR’s technology enables the long-distance travel similar to vehicles powered only by gasoline. The T-shaped battery pack is located along the centerline of the vehicle, between the front and rear wheels for optimal weight distribution. The 5.5-foot-long (1.6 m), 435-pound (198 kg) pack supplies energy to an advanced electric drive unit capable of 373 lb-ft of instant torque (506 Nm) to propel the vehicle. Using only the energy stored in the battery, the ELR will deliver an estimated range of about 39 miles (60 km) of pure electric driving, depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature. The optional Performance Package reduces EV range by about four miles as a result of the enhanced grip of the 20-inch summer-only tires. ELR’s battery can be charged using either a 120- or 240-volt charger. The vehicle can be completely recharged in about five hours using 240V charging, depending on the outside temperature. The ELR’s battery is covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty or 10 years/150,000 miles in states following Air Resource Board guidelines. Personal technology The 2016 ELR will be one of the industry’s most-connected vehicles, with new and enhanced features designed to extend technologies woven into nearly every facet of customers’ lives. OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial, whichever comes first. 4G LTE is the most current and fastest mobile data network and the Wi-Fi hotspot supports up to seven connected devices. ELR drivers and passengers can also recharge their enabled phones wirelessly with a new magnetic inductive charge spot on the instrument panel. There is no need to plug the phone in for charging, leaving the ELR’s USB ports free for other devices. Interior luxury and technology For 2016, the Driver Assistance active safety systems, optional on the current ELR, are standard and include side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert and Intellibeam headlamps. Lane change alert and a new vehicle security system are also standard. Adaptive cruise control is available. Additional interior features include: Cut-and-sew interior Available Semi-Aniline full leather seating Sueded microfiber headliner and supporting trim Eight-inch configurable instrument and driver information displays, offering four configurations ranging from elegantly simple to technologically detailed information Three USB ports Power-assist covered storage/cup holder in the center console Fold-down rear seatbacks to accommodate longer items such as skis and golf clubs View full article
  12. Mitsubishi told its dealers yesterday at the NADA Convention about a plan to reintegrate the brand's tired lineup. The lynchpin to this plan is a new midsize sedan that will come out of a new partnership between Mitsubishi and Nissan/Renault. Don Swearingen, Mitsubishi Motors North America executive vice president tells Automotive News that the two are still in negotiations about the new sedan. "We abandoned a huge market and we have to find a way to fill those customer's needs. Many of those customers are coming back to market, and we tried to move them into our other offerings, but if they're looking for that D segment sedan, we just don't have it," said Swearingen. Other products/updates Mitsubishi is considering include a sedan version of the Mirage subcompact for the U.S., the addition of a 2.4L four-cylinder to the Outlander Sport, a new CVT for the 2015 model year, and the arrival of a refreshed Outlander in 2015. The reaction of the dealers were very positive. "For dealers, new products never come fast enough. But Mitsubishi did a good job of showing us that they are committed to delivering product and change and answers," said Stacey Gillman Wimbish, CEO of Gillman Cos. auto group in Houston, Texas. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  13. The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen has been around for 35 years and in that time, the vehicle hasn't gone under any sort of drastic change. That could be change could happen in 2017 as the German automaker is planning some drastic changes. Autocar has learned the automaker will be increasing the G-Wagen’s width to help improve stability and to make space for a new front suspension which will either be a three or four-link set-up and have a electro-mechanical steering system. The increase in width will also mean an increase in interior space. Mercedes-Benz will also add more aluminum to the G-Wagen's structure which will cut around 450 pounds off its curb weight. Other changes in store include new engines, nine-speed automatic, and a revised interior. Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  14. Fiat has announced some changes are incoming for the 2015 500 lineup. For starters, the 500 Turbo and Abarth models will now have the option of a six-speed automatic. Previously both models could only be equipped with a five-speed manual. The brand hopes the option of the automatic will bring more people into the showrooms. Other changes for the 500 lineup include the introduction of a seven-inch high-definition TFT instrument display that will display vehicle and infotainment data; a redesign center stack, and new color choices. "Since launching in March 2011, more than 135,000 Fiat 500 cars have been sold in North America. We continue to improve the successful 500, retaining its unique Italian flavor while adding unique features, such as a 7-inch TFT display, and incorporating Bluetooth streaming and a more functional center console,"said Jason Stoicevich, Head of FIAT Brand for North America, Chrysler Group LLC. The 2015 Fiat 500 lineup arrives at dealers this July. Source: Fiat William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 2015 Fiat 500 Lineup Now Features Innovative Instrument Panel with New 7-inch High-Definition Display - Seven-inch HD TFT display helps drivers to easily monitor and configure vehicle information - Other interior updates for driver convenience include Bluetooth streaming audio and a revamped center console with an additional USB port- Three new exterior paint colors for 2015 are Giallo Moderna Perla (modern pearl yellow), Laser Blu (bright metallic blue) and Billet Argento (billet silver) April 7, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The 2015 Fiat 500 vehicle lineup, to be showcased at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, will include a number of interior enhancements for increased driver convenience and ease of use, including an advanced instrument panel with a 7-inch high-definition TFT (Thin Film Transistor) cluster display. The new 7-inch TFT cluster allows drivers to easily monitor data like speed, fuel level, Eco index and trip information. While on the main screen, an image of the vehicle is surrounded by information, including distance traveled, gas mileage and range. A parking screen helps drivers while moving in reverse if the vehicle is equipped with Rear Park Assist. Other screen options include a radio screen that displays information about the station selected and a telephone screen showing call information. When the vehicle is in Sport mode, the TFT display becomes more aggressive in appearance, complementing the Sport mode's more engaged driving experience. The TFT display will be standard on the 2015 Fiat 500 Sport, Lounge, Turbo and Abarth models, and optional on the Pop. Other interior updates for 2015 include a redesigned center console. To make it more useful for drivers, the revamped console includes a new cup holder design and an additional, conveniently located USB port that is fully functional and integrated with the radio. The 2015 Fiat 500 models will also include Bluetooth streaming audio in addition to the already standard Bluetooth phone connectivity. "Since launching in March 2011, more than 135,000 Fiat 500 cars have been sold in North America," said Jason Stoicevich, Head of FIAT Brand for North America, Chrysler Group LLC. "We continue to improve the successful 500, retaining its unique Italian flavor while adding unique features, such as a 7-inch TFT display, and incorporating Bluetooth streaming and a more functional center console." On the exterior, new paint colors for 2015 are Giallo Moderna Perla (modern pearl yellow), Laser Blu (bright metallic blue) and Billet Argento (billet silver). In addition to the interior improvements across the Fiat 500 lineup, the Fiat 500 Abarth, Abarth Cabrio and Turbo will add a six-speed automatic transmission as an option for 2015. The 2015 Fiat 500 lineup will be available in studios beginning in July 2014. View full article

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