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Posts Tagged ‘2015 NAIAS’

2015 NAIAS: Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept

January 16th, 2015 No comments

Volkswagen seems determined to convince America that the brand can provide precision German engineering while appeasing America’s desire for larger, more powerful vehicles.  The Cross Coupe GTE concept is VW’s interpretation of just such a combination.  Intended to preview the brand’s upcoming 7-seat crossover the Cross Coupe differs from that production model by hacking down the wagon portion of the green-house into something far less practical.  To our eyes it still doesn’t look like a coupe but it seems that our friends in Wolfsburg are eager to associate themselves with such spectacularly low volume hardware as the Acura ZDX and BMW X6.  Even if buyer’s aren’t willing to give the abbreviated crossover bodystyle another chance, we can expect the full-fledged 7-passenger version to wear the same square jawed face of the GTE concept. Production for the 7-seater begins in Chattanooga, TN by the end of 2016.  The GTE is powered by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain which produces 276 horsepower by means of a 3.6L VR6 and two electric motors (54 and 114 hp).  It is capable of traveling 20 miles on electrified propulsion alone and is estimated to achieve a fuel economy rating of 70 MPGe.  While it remains to be seen whether the production 7-passenger crossover will employ the GTE concept’s powertrain we can expect that Volkwagen will finally have a legitimate 3-row crossover to offer stateside coming late 2016.

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe

January 16th, 2015 No comments

Mercedes isn’t content to let one automaker suck up all the consumers clamoring for a crossover utility that thinks it’s a four-door coupe (we’re looking at you BMW X6 ). So today they took the wraps off a new addition to their rapidly expanding lineup of utilities with the GLE Coupe. Available in regular GLE 450 guise with a twin-turbo 3-liter V6 at its heart or 577-hp extra speedy GLE 63 AMG strength, the new high-style crossover will get down the highway just fine. Both models utilize standard 4Matic all-wheel drive and 7-speed automatic. We didn’t think there was much of a market for crossovers with limited people and cargo hauling abilities (RIP Acura ZDX) but Mercedes has produced a solid looker with massive 22″ wheels pushed out to all four corners and a full range of interior luxuries to help convince people to part with their money.

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Lincoln MKX

January 16th, 2015 No comments

 For 2016 Lincoln strives to differentiate itself from Ford with the all-new MKX midsize crossover. When the MKX first debuted it look a lot like a Ford Edge with an upscale grille. If that sounds to you more like a Mercury than a Lincoln you would not be alone. The new MKX succeeds in distancing itself from its platform-mate Edge with entirely unique exterior styling and a classy interior. While the MKX looks much like its smaller sibling, the MKC, there is no mistaking this crossover for a Ford. The split ‘winged’ grille remains and shouldered fenders stand at all for corners. Unlike the Edge, the Lincoln will not be offering a 4-cylinder engine, but will give buyers an option of the corporation’s 3.5L V6 or a more powerful 2.7L EcoBoost V6. Lincoln is promising more than 330 hp. and 370 lb.-ft. of torque. While no rocket, this powertrain should keep the MKX from stagnating and will hopefully give Lincoln a solid product anchor Lincoln for a steady increase in credibility in the premium car market.

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Lexus GS F

January 15th, 2015 No comments

 

Lexus continues its pursuit of perfection by rounding out the GS sport sedan’s lineup with the GS F. The GS F goes beyond the sporty GS F SPORT by offering 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque from its 5.0-liter V8. The GS’s spindle grille becomes massively oversized on the F model and is flanked by gaping intakes in the corners of the lower fascia. Once upon a time the entire Lexus lineup was accused of being bland and anonymous. Love or hate the GS F’s looks, it can not be accused of subtlety. Gears are shifted via an eight-speed automatic with manual-shifting capabilities. To further perfect the driving experience the GS F features a Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD) that is also shared with the Lexus RC F. The TVD strives to enhance the car’s agility and steering responsiveness. While the GS F isn’t quite the full fledged super sedan that rival Cadillac revealed across Cobo Hall, this may be the type of precision performance sedan that will keep Lexus loyalists in the fold.

2015 NAIAS: Infiniti Q60 Concept

January 15th, 2015 No comments

 

Infiniti is bringing the pretty with its Q60 Concept and it’s backing it up with twin-turbo power. Half the time Infiniti shows off wild concept cars that won’t be a tenth as dramatic when they reach production, but we’re glad to say that the Q60 Concept seems 80% of the way to the showroom. With a beautiful interior in place let’s hope Infiniti doesn’t waste any time getting this one to showrooms.

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Buick Cascada

January 15th, 2015 No comments

 

Were you disappointed upon hearing the news that Chrysler has axed the 200 convertible? Did you grieve over the G6 retractable hard top when GM pulled Pontiac off of life support? Do you spend nights pondering what drove Toyota to wipe the Solara from their product plans? Well, then we have great news for you. Buick is filling the void in the front wheel drive four seat convertible market by shipping an Opel ever so slightly modified for the US market. Buick is calling this car Cascada, which apparently is Spanish for “waterfall.” It doesn’t take a sharp eye to see that Buick’s Cascada doesn’t even feature the traditional Buick waterfall grille or signature ventiports. The 2016 Cascada uses a cloth top rather than a bulky retractable hard top.  The narrow rear seat necessitated by the folding top means this Buick features 2+2 seating. If you must know what powers this convertible, it probably means you should be looking at a Mustang or Camaro. For those who must know, Buick only reveals that the Cascada is propelled by a 1.6-liter 200 horsepower turbocharged engine, which one would assume is a four cylinder. No word on acceleration, but apparently the Cascada can shield its occupants from the weather in 17 seconds flat with an electro-hydraulic power roof. Pricing hasn’t yet been disclosed, but we can expect Cascadas to begin flowing into Buick dealers this spring.

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Cadillac ATS-V

January 15th, 2015 No comments

 

Cadillac may have taken the wraps off the ATS-V sport sedan and coupe several weeks ago, but the significance of the car has not diminished. Gleaming under the lights at Cobo Hall during the North American International Auto Show, Cadillac is giving potential buyers and up close look at the brands most agile performance model. The ATS-V is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 that produces V8-like power output. Horsepower is rated at 455 and torque at 445 ft.-lbs. A six speed manual appeases the traditional enthusiast crowd while an eight speed paddle shift automatic caters to those who don’t mind a little bit of technology assisting in their sprint to 60. Cornering is enhanced by magnetic ride control while braking is accomplished with 14.5″ diameter front rotors with staggered six-piston calipers. That speed is accomplished in a mere 3.9 seconds and terminal velocity is achieved at 185 mph. It will be easy to distinguish an ATS-V from its standard coupe and sedan brethren by means of a mesh grille, vented hood, and deck lid spoiler. The ATS-V should eliminate any doubt that Cadillac is capable of playing in the premium sport sedan league.

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Cadillac CTS-V

January 13th, 2015 No comments

 

It’s been several weeks since Cadillac released official photos of the CTS-V, and we’ve had high expectations for the latest member of the V-series family since we drove the 2014 CTS Vsport. That car was so comprehensively good that we wondered just what Cadillac had up it sleeve (or shall we say under its hood?) for the full fledged performance version of its rear wheel drive performance sedan. While the Vsport churns out 420 hp from its twin turbo V6, the CTS-V blasts its way into the passing lane with 640 horsepower and 630 lb.-ft. of torque produced by its 6.2-liter supercharged V8. Cadillac was quick to point out that the CTS-V has more power and torque than the Mercedes-Benz 5.5-liter biturbo V8 and the BMW M-series 4.4-liter TwinPower V-8. Cadillac no longer offers a manual transmission on the CTS-V since Cadillac hopes to pick up the row-your-own gear types with the smaller ATS-V. Stomp on the gas pedal and let the transmission shift through all eight speeds and you will eventually arrive at 200 mph. For the more daily occurrence 0-60 is achieved in a scant 3.7 seconds. Anyone who thinks that Cadillac only builds cars for folks who drive 55 mph in the left lane with the blinker on had better rethink their stereotypes.

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Ram Rebel

January 13th, 2015 No comments

Ever since splitting off from Dodge in 2009, the Ram team has been working hard to establish itself as a stand alone brand. The new Ram Rebel furthers that cause. There is no mistaking this truck for anything but a Ram with its enormous lettering on the tailgate that reminisces of the days when pickup trucks had their brand names stamped into their tailgates. The grille ditches the long standing Dodge and Ram crosshair grille with a turned lower lip that looks oddly similar to a 1955 GMC truck (trust us, the similarity is uncanny). It may borrow its looks from an old GMC truck, but the Rebel borrows its names from a couple of old AMC products. Don’t be fooled by its overtly off road appearance; Ram isn’t attempting to go head-to-head with Ford’s ambitious Raptor. In fact the Rebel is available in 4×2 or 4x4 configurations. The Rebel utilizes FCA’s naturally aspirated 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, with air suspension, 33-in tires, factory lift kit, skid plates and tow hooks as standard. Since the Rebel borrows the Ram Power Wagon’s wheel arches it becomes apparent that this pickup is not meant to be a fully unique product, but rather one that offers a series of features in a tidy off-road package. Offered only as a crew cab model with the 5-ft. 7-inch bed, the Rebel gives one the choice of ugrading from the V6 to a 5.7-liter HEMI. Though much is borrowed on the Rebel, it seems there is a cause for this truck: off-road style.

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2015 NAIAS: 2016 Audi Q7

January 13th, 2015 No comments

 

For a number of years automakers have offered crossovers to those who dislike the stigma of a minivan and don’t need the bulk of a cumbersome truck based SUV. As more and more so-called crossovers have proliferated the market these 3-row family vehicles continue to morph. The latest Q7 from Audi seems to take a full stride from SUV towards car-based station wagon. Indeed, the roofline and beltline both appear to have lowered significantly compared to the original Q7, as has the front fascia.  Audi claims that the overall height of the vehicle has been reduced while the length has been increased. In stark contrast to its old-school family truckster proportions, the Q7 is motivated by a thoroughly modern body and powertrain.  The Q7 sheds the equivalent mass of three to four teenagers; a whopping 716 pounds has been removed from the curb weight.  The Audi offers a pair of 3.0-liter gas and diesel engines. The supercharged gas engine produces 333 horsepower while the diesel achieves a respectable 272 horsepower rating. Audi continues to stuff plenty of technology into its vehicles, and the Q7 appears to be no exception. Audi’s MMI infotainment system returns with haptic feed back and updated functions to make searching and inputting simpler and more intuitive. The rear seat passengers have access to the Audi tablet, which is connected to the MMI navigation, radio, media and car functions. It appears that Audi’s updated Q7 may give rear seat passengers even less reason to plead for the answer to ‘are we there yet?’

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