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Posts Tagged ‘NAIAS’

2016 NAIAS: 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback

January 13th, 2016 No comments

As enthusiasts, we love to complain about the cars that manufacturers offer in foreign markets but withhold from us in the United States.  One body style that has a tendency to be offered in Europe and Asia but seldom here is the hatchback.  Chevrolet has humored us and decided to offer its fully redesigned Cruze as a sedan and hatchback in the land of the free.  The Cruze hatchback promises the added versatility and utility that is normally restricted on a conventional sedan.  Indeed, the Cruze hatch offers 47.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down.  Like the 2016 sedan, the hatch offers a standard 1.4L turbo 4-cylinder as well as support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.  We anticipate powertrains and options to largely mirror those of the sedan.  We expect to see the Cruze hatchback on sale next to its sedan sibling in the fall.  Now, if we could just convince Chevy to offer a Cruze wagon…

 

 

 

2016 NAIAS: 2017 GMC Acadia

January 12th, 2016 No comments

GMC’s Acadia has been around for ages. To say that the Acadia hasn’t been redesigned since its introduction as a 2007 model (count it, that is a full 10 model years ago) isn’t entirely true. As a mid-cycle update it adopted the body shell from the orphaned Saturn Outlook in 2013. There have been products that have lingered for longer than the Acadia, but not many, and those tend to be legacy fleet models not core products. Even so, GMC claims that 2015 was Acadias best-selling year. So how to follow up on the success of such a vehicle? GMC executives claim that the 2017 Acadia is repositioned to match the way most Acadia customers use their vehicle. The Acadia has been shrunk, losing one seating position and a staggering 700 lbs! Maximum seating is now seven, rather than eight, when equipped with the now optional third seat. The new Acadia seems to be more of a successor to the long discontinued Envoy SUV rather than a more fashionable alternative to a minivan. Denail remains the top offering and an All Terrain trim is added above the familiar SLT. One unique safety feature GMC has developed is a rear seat reminder that intends to help driver’s check to make sure they haven’t accidentally left a child unattended in a locked vehicle. For the first time, a 4-cyldiner is the standard engine and is mated to a 6-speed automatic. This configuration on front wheel drive models achieves 28 mpg highway and 22 mpg in the city due to start/stop technology. An optional 310 horsepower V6 is also available. Expect to see the all-new Acadia on streets in spring 2016.

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2016 NAIAS: 2017 Lincoln Continental

January 12th, 2016 No comments

In the late 1990s when Ford embarked on ambitious plans to dominate the premium market segment, it aligned its purchased foreign brands Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo together in its “Premier Automotive Group.” That apparently left resources spread too thin and Lincoln was left to let the Town Car soldier on, the LS with no successor, and the Continental to vanish into history. Lack of a clear vision in the years after the PAG was sold off to keep the Blue Oval afloat meant Lincoln was positioned more like the orphaned Mercury brand as merely premium Fords. Lincoln is attempting to correct a couple of those missteps with the re-introduction of the Continental as its top model offering. Lincoln executives are promoting this new Lincoln as being focused on premium luxury rather than a performance car. Indeed, sybaritic comfort is something that even Cadillac has chosen to make secondary to performance and handling. The Continental certainly looks the part and the interior is no exception. Lincoln promises a 3.0L V6 with an anticipated 400 hp applied to the pavement through all four wheels. That V6 is mounted transversely so those expecting a Continental in the configuration of your grandfather’s Town Car will be disappointed. It likely won’t matter: the interior appears extremely commodious. The exterior champions Lincoln’s abandonment of the split winged grille that, though distinctive, was largely criticized. A horseshoe shaped grille with a prominent Lincoln logo sets the direction as the brand’s new trademark. The curious winged door handles from last year’s Continental concept have arrived in tact. Though details are mostly scarce right now, we expect a host of safety and infotainment features already offered throughout Ford’s product offerings. Expect the Continental to hit the road in late 2016.

2016 NAIAS: 2017 Ford Fusion

January 11th, 2016 No comments

Now on the market for ten years, Ford is not satisfied to rest on its laurels as it continues to use its midsize Fusion to scrape sales away from the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Ford has massaged the front fascia slightly, added optional LED headlamps, and introduces a rotary shift knob that replaces the more conventional console shift lever. The Fusion Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid both remain available, the latter of which offers options for monitoring and scheduling charging through the MyFord Mobile app. Those who want to wring a little bit more fun out of their commute should look to the Fusion Sport which offers a 2.7L turbocharged EcoBoost V6 as well as all-wheel drive. A Platinum trim level offers a unique front grille and 19” polished-aluminum wheels. Three EcoBoost engines are offered across the range with the 1.5L and 2.0L 4-cylinders in addition to the Sport-exclusive 2.7L V6.  Sadly, it appears that the rare manual transmission has been cut from the line-up.

A History Lesson in Cadillac Coupes

February 17th, 2014 No comments

The unveiling of the 2015 Cadillac ATS coupe at the NAIAS is a significant car in more ways than one. First, it is a sign that Cadillac is serious about going head-to-head with the European premium brands by offering multiple body styles off with its lowest cost offering. Second, it shows that Cadillac is committed to the flair that a coupe body style offers to the buyer that is clearly buying more car than needed. For a short while it appeared Cadillac had given up on the coupe bodystyle having offered four coupes in 1992 to only one by 1994 only to surprise the world with its dramatic CTS coupe in 2010. Indeed, if we trace back the heritage bestowed upon the ATS coupe we see that this latest Cadillac has much to live up to.  Read more…

2013 NAIAS: 2014 Lexus IS

January 17th, 2013 No comments

     The Lexus IS has been languishing for a while and has recently found itself a tad smaller than the class average set by cars like the BMW 3-Series, Cadillac ATS and Mercedes C-Class. Of course the simple fix is to increase the dimensions while improving the packaging, and that’s exactly what Lexus has done with the 2014 IS. A very significant 3 inches of additional rear seat legroom will improve the sedan’s usability while the great 8-speed automatic from the IS F now trickles down to improve the IS’s performance. Both 2.5-liter and 3.5-liter V6 engines will power the IS and the styling will be sure to turn a few heads. We can handle just about everything including the most extreme variation of the new corporate grille we’ve yet seen, but the two piece headlamps are going to take a while to adjust to. At least they look way cool when illuminated. We’ll be lamenting the lack of a manual transmission, but an IS F Sport is now available and places a big emphasis on rewarding handling so we’d be willing to bet a drive of that will help ease the pain. Lexus is prepping the 2014 IS for a summer on-sale date. Read more…

2013 NAIAS: Ford Atlas Concept and 2014 Ford Commercial Vans

January 16th, 2013 No comments

     We know that Ford also used its NAIAS spotlight to roll out an all new line of full-size Transit and smaller Transit Connect commercial vans, but believe us, the assembled press was much more excited about the biggest surprise of the show when an early peak at the 2015 F-150 descended from the ceiling of Joe Louis Arena. Called the Atlas Concept, Ford tipped its hand on a few details that could make the next F-150 the pickup to beat. Active wheel shutters, grille shutters and an automatically deploying chin spoiler help improve aerodynamics and a next-generation EcoBoost engine with start-stop technology would return substantial fuel economy improvements over today’s trucks. Unfortunately, no specifics were released about the engine but some other technologies like a 360-degree camera system and LED lighting are sure to make it to production trucks before long. The styling is also an unqualified home run and should allow Ford to steal the truck talk at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. Read more…

2013 NAIAS: 2014 Kia Cadenza

January 16th, 2013 No comments

     Kia unveiled its new large front-wheel drive sedan, called the Cadenza. No, Kia did not name the car after a piece of furniture; that would be a credenza so have no fear of a companion model named the Davenport. Rather, Kia’s newest member of their ever-more-stylish lineup takes a musical theme originally introduced by the small Forte. Now that we’ve gotten the nomenclature out of the way, we can say that this attractive large sedan fills the spot left by the forgettable Amanti sedan that vacated the Kia lineup after 2010. The Cadenza is regarded as Kia’s premium sedan. On sale in other markets since 2009 this updated model debuts in America in the 2nd quarter of 2013 as a 2014 model. As a premium vehicle the Cadenza features standard equipment such as leather seating, dual zone automatic climate control with rear seat ventilation, Smart Key keyless entry, 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat and Bluetooth wireless technology. Available features include a full-length panoramic sunroof with power retractable sunshade, HID headlamps, Nappa leather seats, a memory enabled 12-way ventilated driver’s seat, adaptive cruise control, Blind Spot Detection system and a Lane Departure Warning System. Powered by a 293 hp 3.3-liter V6 with 255 lb-ft of torque mated to a 6 speed automatic, the Cadenza joins a competitive premium sedan segment but doesn’t promise to lead the pack from the stoplight. Regardless, with its successful track record with the Forte and Optima we are eager to get behind the wheel of this stylish sedan and see just how much this car carries on the Kia family heritage. Read more…

2013 NAIAS: Nissan Resonance Concept and 2014 Versa Note

January 15th, 2013 No comments

     The future of Nissan’s crossover lineup should be bright if the Resonance concept is allowed to inspire their styling. We like the profile a lot and when toned down for production the front and rear should make a great next-generation Murano. The interior is also a beautiful exercise with a light and airy design and technology overload. The concept is said to be powered by a hybrid all-wheel drive powertrain with a CVT doing the shifting duties like in many Nissans so it’s probably safe to assume we’ll see a hybrid Murano in the near future. As long as it looks as good as the Resonance we won’t care what powers it. Read more…

2013 NAIAS: 2014 Cadillac ELR

January 15th, 2013 No comments

     Cadillac showed us the Converj concept a couple years back in the anticipation that the luxury brand would find a way to incorporate the extended range electric vehicle capabilities of the Chevrolet Volt into a sporty and luxurious coupe. Cadillac has shown us photos over that time, in both publicity shots as well as deliberate ‘spy’ photos. The 3-letter nomenclature proliferating the Cadillac line (save the Escalade) meant revising the name into ELR. Overall, the proportions of the ELR have changed somewhat from the Converj, but the overall effect is very true to the concept. Rather than referring to the ELR’s extended range powertrain as the Voltec, Cadillac uses the EREV (Extended Range Electric Vehicle) designation. Cadillac claims it is the first full-line luxury automaker to incorporate such technology, using a gas engine generator to recharge the batteries on any drive longer than 35 miles. The 35 miles is about 3 miles shorter than Chevrolet claims with the Volt, likely due to the slightly more aggressive nature of the ELR, which packs an electric drive unit capable of 295 lb-ft of instant torque. Cadillac neglected to announce pricing, but we would expect it to be significantly higher than the Volt’s $39,145 base price before $7,500 federal tax credit.

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