Thursday, September 26, 2013

The 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty Unveiled Today

The 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty with a second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 turbo diesel engine with reverse-flow that places the exhaust inside the engine’s V-shape while the air intake is positioned on the outside of the V to shorten airflow from the exhaust system to the turbocharger sitting between the engine’s cylinder banks also the turbo inside the engine’s valley helps isolate the engine’s hottest temperatures, improving performance and efficiency.

2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD Arrives In First Quarter Next Year

The all-new 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD full-size pickups arrive in the first quarter of 2014, including the 2500HD and 3500HD models, and the Sierra Denali HD, which will carry a payload of 7,374 pounds and be able to trailer 19,600 pounds. The pickups will have a CornerStep rear bumper, EZ Lift and Lower tailgate, standard upper tie-downs, Standard StabiliTrak with Trailer Sway Control, Integrated cruise control, auto grade braking and diesel exhaust braking on the diesel models. These GM pickups will take on customers shopping for the Ford F Series, Chrysler Ram trucks, Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan.

Monday, September 23, 2013

2014 Accord Hybrid Halloween Treat For $29,945 At 47 MPG

The 2014 Accord Hybrid, with EPA fuel-economy ratings of 50 mpg city/45 mpg highway/47 mpg combined, has a starting MSRP of $29,945 (including $790 destination and handling charge) for base model. Standard features include Honda's LaneWatch™ blind spot display system, a rearview camera, LED daytime running lights, an Expanded View Driver's Mirror, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, USB/iPod® integration, Pandora® compatibility, SMS text message function, dual-zone automatic climate control, alloy wheels, a driver's seat with 10-way power adjustment, and a 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system.

The Accord Hybrid EX-L, strating at $32,695, has Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning along with leather-trimmed and heated front seats and the HondaLink™ cloud-based media and connectivity system featuring Aha® compatibility. Power driver's seat memory, front passenger seat with 4-way power adjustment and one-touch moonroof are also standard on the EX-L trim. The top-of-the-line Accord Hybrid Touring, starting at $35,695, adds the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice recognition and FM traffic data, LED headlights with blue tinted chrome bezels, Adaptive Cruise Control and hard disk driveaudio memory. The 2014 Accord Hybrid goes on sale October 31st.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Maserati Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna Limited Edition Concept

The Maserati Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna Limited Edition concept car is equipped with V8 twin turbo engine with 530 horsepower with a top speed of over 190 miles an hour and an acceleration from 0 to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds. So where does men's fashion designer Ermenegildo Zegna come in? The interior greige tint with soft moka and greige leather in the seats, door panels and roof lining finished in genuine soft leather, and a smooth, bright fabric created especially for the Quattroporte which they say conveys a formal, sophisticated character.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Arriving Soon For $184,995

The 2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, which arrives in showrooms around the world over the next few weeks, is equipped with the new 565 horsepower AM28 6.0-liter V12 engine mated to the Sportshift™ III automated manual transmission taking the V12 Vantage S just 3.7 seconds to sprint from 0-60 mph and to a top speed of 205 mph. The price: $184,995

Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept Has 420 Horsepower

The Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept has a 420 horsepower hybrid powertrain system with its front wheels driven by a 300 horsepower 4-cylinder 1.6 turbo engine with direct injection and at the rear, each wheel is individually powered by a 60 horsepower electric motor providing an ‘intelligent’ electric four-wheel drive capability. The two electric motors work as electric generators during the braking phase and supplement the gas engine during the accelerating phases as does a 3rd 60 horsepwoer electric motor, located between the engine and the 6 gear sequential transmission.

Jaguar C-X17 Sports Crossover Concept Rolls Out In 2015

Jaguar C-X17 sports crossover concept vehicle, built on the aluminium-intensive architecture, will be powered a wide variety of engines including diesel and the F-TYPE's 340 and 380 horsepower 3.0-liter V6 supercharged gas engines with intelligent All-Wheel Drive, according to Jag. The C-X17 features a Meridian 28-loudspeaker system for its four passengers riding in individual bucket seats. Its global rollout will begin in 2015.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Audi nanuk quattro concept - Move Over R8

Audi nanuk quattro concept two-seater, made of lightweight, aluminum Audi Space Frame and carbon fiber-reinforced polymer, is powered by a newly developed 544 horsepower 5.0-liter V10 diesel engine installed longitudinally in front of the rear axle giving it a curb weight of around 4,190 lbs. A seven-speed S tronic transmission located behind the engine transfers the torque to a specially designed quattro drivetrain. It has a 0 to 62 mph time of 3.8 seconds, and top speed of about 190 mph. Thermal management with separate cooling loops and the regulated oil pump contribute to fuel consumption of 30 mpg on average. Luggage is stowed at the front of the car, where there is room for a couple of small carry-ons or a golf bag - now that's the clincher, never go anywhere without my clubs.

The adaptive air suspension allows the driver to manually adjust the ground clearance of the Audi nanuk quattro concept in three stages. With integral steering, when the driver steers at low to moderate speeds, the rear wheels turn up to nine degrees in the opposite direction of the front wheels while at higher speeds the system turns the rear wheels by as much as 2.5 degrees in the same direction as the front wheels. Just when I assigned my lotto ticket winnings to an R8, the nanuk quattro comes along.

Interview: Bob Hegbloom, Director, Ram Brand Marketing

2014 Ram ProMaster Latest Delivery To Ram Commercial Line Up

The new 2014 Ram ProMaster is a front-drive wheel drive van powered by either a 280 horsepower 3.6-liter 24-valve Pentastar V-6 or 174-horsepower 3.0-liter inline 4-cylinder EcoDiesel engine. The ProMaster is available in two roof heights, three wheelbases and four body lengths and a total of 14 different configurations. The latest addition to Ram Commercial’s line up comes from Italy as the ProMaster is based on the Fiat Ducato, which has been in production for more than 30 years. Benvenuto!

Ford S-MAX Concept Measures Driver's Heart Rate

The new Ford S-MAX Concept has a more flexible interior than its predecessor and features connectivity and wellness technology including Ford SYNC with AppLink, which enables drivers to voice-activate apps from behind the wheel, and the Ford ECG Heart Rate Monitoring Seat, which records the driver’s heart rate. The S-MAX Concept offers an Intelligent Protection System with Pre-Collision Assist, which identifies pedestrians and automatically applies the brakes if a collision is imminent. Dual-View Display allows the driver to receive important information while from the same center console screen that the front passenger can enjoy a movie. No wonder there's a heart rate monitor with so much going on.

Oh Doctor! as my friend and longtime San Diego Padres commentator Jerry Coleman would say to describe a home run.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

BMW i8 Shown In Frankfurt 2 Years After L.A. Auto Show Concept

 The BMW i8 is a 2+2-seater sports car powered by a 231 horsepower 1.5-litre combustion engine that drives the rear wheels  and a 131 horsepower electric drive sends its power to the front wheels giving the i8 an all-electric range of up to 22 miles and a top speed of 75 mph. We saw the BMW i8 2 years ago at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show so it's been a long wait for the production model. The 2014 BMW i8 will be priced from $135,700 plus destination and handling fee. This is before any federal or state incentives for which the i8 may qualify.

Ferrari 458 Speciale With 597 Horsepower Debuts In Frankfurt

The Ferrari 458 Speciale with a 597 horsepower naturally aspirated new mid-rear-engined V8 berlinetta is a more powerful version of the 458 Italia and 458 Spider with an expected cost of over $300,000.

Mercedes-Benz Concept S-Class Coupé Looks Into The Future

The Mercedes-Benz Concept S-Class Coupé is powered by a 449 horsepower V8 Biturbo engine and is equipped with the Intelligent Drive technology that, with two cameras, can create a three-dimensional view of the area up to about 160 feet in front of the vehicle. A multitude of assistance systems monitors the surrounding traffic for the driver. The infotainment system with the MoodGrid software from Gracenote provides whatever music fits the mood from a catalogue containing 18 million tracks. With a wheelbase of 116 inches the coupé measures 198.8 inches in length, 77 inches in width and 55.5 inches in height. Sleek looking high tech luxury.

2014 Nissan Rogue Starts At $23,350 In November

The all-new 2014 Nissan Rogue compact utility vehicle powered by a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is scheduled to go on sale at Nissan dealers in the United States in November for a starting price of $23,350 (including $860 Destination and Handling fees) for the Rogue S front-wheel drive model. The Rogue SV FWD starts at $25,090, Rogue SL FWD at $28,930, Rogue S AWD at $24,700, Rogue SV AWD at $26,440 and Rogue SL AWD $30,280, and there's a $239 Rogue Reservation Program lease. Fuel economy is projected to be 33 mpg highway for front-wheel drive models, an 18 percent improvement over the 2013 model.

For the first time, Rogue will offer optional 3-row/7-passenger seating, a Divide 'n Hide® Cargo System providing 18 adjustable variations (two-row models) between the cargo and occupant areas. The EZ Flex™ Seating System includes a reclining 40/20/40-split 2nd row seat and 2nd row legroom of 37.9 inches and 9.0 inches of fore/aft adjustability. Standard interior features include Streaming Audio via Bluetooth® and Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant. Available features include power panoramic moonroof, a power rear liftgate, NissanConnect℠ with Navigation and NissanConnect℠ Apps, Around View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Warning.

I almost bought one three years ago in the Cash for Clunkers program but the dealer talked me out of it, now I might reconsider. Great looking and fuel efficient with a lot of competition though, from the Honda CRV, Toyota Rav4, Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, many Subarus, Jeep Cherokee, to name just a few. Happy shopping!

Porsche 918 Spyder 887 Horsepower Plug-In Hybrid Concept

The Porsche 918 Spyder sportscar concept with an 887 horsepower plug-in hybrid drive made its world debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The Porsche 918 Spyder shaved 14 seconds off the previous Nurburgring record for a street-legal automobile with a lap time of six minutes and 57 seconds, 17 seconds quicker that its run last September. The 12.8-mile Nurburgring Nordschleife (north loop) track for benchmarking speeds and car performance is located 75 miles northwest of Frankfurt and was built in the 1920's with more than 1,000 feet of elevation change from its lowest to highest points. The Porsche 918 Spyder is able to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds and offers an average standard fuel consumption of between 71 and 78 miles per gallon (converted from the metric 3.0 - 3.3 liters/km).

Legendary Car Salesman Cal Worthington Dies At 92

Cal Worthington, who drew attention to his zany TV car commercials with his catchy "go see Cal" music jingle and crazy animal antics and daredevil stunts wearing his trademark Cowboy hat, has died at age 92. I've been watching his ads for 25 years in Los Angeles and there's no question that his ads were old school and corny which gave them an authentic nostalgic style but knowing that Cal was the original TV pitchman set him apart drawing respect and appreciation. He was a institution, part of California culture, no doubt inspiring many stereotypical TV car salesmen. A living piece of history has left us with the passing of this car industry legend. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

All-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Will Start At $93,825 Next Month

The all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550 with a 455 horsepower V8 engine will have an MSRP of $93,825 (including the $925 destination/delivery charge), $2,100 less than the model it replaces, when it arrives in showrooms in October. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550 4MATIC will cost $96,825 when it launches in November and the 577 horsepower Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive (shown above) is priced at $140,425, more horsepower and a slightly lower price than the outgoing model.

2014 Lexus GX 460 Starts At $49,995 In September

The redesigned 2014 Lexus GX 460 luxury utility vehicle with a 301 horsepower 4.6-liter V8 engine mated to a six-speed Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence delivering an EPA-estimated 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway, will cost $49,995 (including $910 delivery, processing and handling fee), nearly nine percent less than the previous year while the Luxury model will have an MSRP of $61,625 when they arrive at dealerships beginning in September.

The 2014 Lexus GX 460 has a new eight-inch touchscreen, backup monitor, HD Radio, Bluetooth audio, automatic phone book transfer, a vehicle information display and complimentary traffic and weather data provided via HD Radio and offers an available Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert which are included on the new GX Luxury model along with Adaptable Air Suspension, Navigation, Intuitive Parking Assist and Advanced Pre Collision with Driver Monitor. Trailer sway control is also added for 2014.

2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet Shown In Frankfurt For Delivery Next Year

The new 2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet four-seat convertible is almost 8 inches longer than is predecessor model and is offered with a 140 horsepower 1.4 liter engine paired with a manual six-speed transmission which will get 47 mpg, a 180 horsepower 1.8 liter engine and a 150 horsepower 2.0 TDI engine. A 110 horsepower 1.6 TDI and a 300 horsepower 2.0 TFSI delivering a 33 city/highway mpg are among other engines coming for the car that will have direct injection, turbocharging and a start-stop-system. On average, the three engines offered at market launch have twelve percent better fuel economy than the engines in the previous model. Sales begin this Fall in Germany with first deliveries in the first quarter of 2014.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan Concept Could Get Traction In U.S.

The new Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan concept, being shown at the Frankfurt Auto Show, will be up to 19 per cent more fuel-efficient than the previous versions with four turbocharged gas direct-injection engines producing 84,108, 123 and 148 horsepower, respectively. There are two turbodiesel direct-injection engines (TDI) at 108 and 148 horsepower. Except for the 84 horsepower TSI, all of the engines may be mated to an optional automatic dual clutch transmission (DSG). The 108 horsepower 1.6 TDI BlueMotion could achieve as much as 63 miles per gallon. At nearly 171 inches in overall length, this goes against vehicles like Ford Focus, Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra hatchback models so could easily compete well in the United States. The Golf Sportsvan has such features as Blind Spot Monitor with assistant for exiting parking spaces, Front Assist surroundings monitoring system with City Emergency Braking, Driver Alert System, PreCrash Occupant Protection system, Lane Assist lane-keeping system and Park Assist parking assistant. The Golf Sportsvan is destined for the European market next year with a lot of features packed into a compact hatchback.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

All-New 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Gets 50 MPG In The City

The all-new 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid will carry an EPA fuel economy rating of 50 mpg in city driving, when it goes on sale at Honda dealerships nationwide later this year. The 2014 Accord Hybrid's EPA fuel-economy ratings of 50 mpg city / 45 mpg highway / 47 mpg combined, makes its city fuel-economy rating three miles per gallon higher than the closest segment competitor and its calculated driving range of 673 miles is more than 46 miles farther than any vehicle in its segment.

2014 Honda Ridgeline Special Edition Coming In November For $38,335

The 2014 Honda Ridgeline Special Edition model with an all-aluminum, 60-degree, 250 horsepower SOHC 3.5-liter VTEC V-6 engine joins the Ridgeline lineup in November starting at $38,335 (including $830 destination charge), featurimg 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels with black-trimmed spokes, special badging and the black trim package from the Ridgeline Sport (pictured above). The rest of the 2014 Ridgeline lineup, starting with the Ridgeline RT at $30,405, then Ridgeline Sport at $31,550, Ridgeline RTS at $33,210, Ridgeline RTL with leather at $35,985, Ridgeline RTL with leather and Navi at $38,335. The Ridgeline also delivers a maximum tow rating of 5,000 pounds, a half-ton payload rating and comes with a standard rearview camera.   

Lexus LF-NX Hybrid Drive Compact Crossover Concept

The Lexus LF-NX hybrid drive compact crossover concept in a new brushed metal silver exterior color and sunrise yellow / black leather upholstery is powered by a new variant of the Lexus Hybrid Drive system tuned for SUV performance. The Lexus LF-NX concept debuts in Frankfurt next week.

Jeep Wrangler Polar Edition In Europe First Quarter 2014

The new Jeep Wrangler Polar edition will be available in Europe in the first quarter of 2014, in both two- and four-door versions, powered by a 200 horsepower 2.8 liter turbo diesel or a 284 horsepower 3.6 liter gas engine and features a new front grille with black accents, hard spare tire cover, body-color hardtop, 18” polished gloss black alloy wheels and polar white interior finishes, and a Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential for challenging and demanding driving conditions in any weather. Based on the Jeep Wrangler Sahara model, the all-new Jeep Wrangler Polar comes in hydro blue, billet silver metallic and bright white exterior colors. The new Jeep® Wrangler Polar special-edition model is making its début at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show next week.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Audi Sport Quattro Concept To Be Shown Next Week at Frankfurt

The Audi Sport quattro two-seater concept has a plug-in hybrid drive with a system output of 700 horsepower with the power flowing through a modified eight-speed tiptronic to the quattro powertrain, which features a sport differential on the rear axle producing 94 mpg. The wheelbase is 109.61 inches with an overall length of 181.18 inches. When the V8 and the electric motor work together, the Audi Sport quattro concept accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 189 mph. The Audi Sport quattro concept can cover up to 31 miles on electric power alone.

The Audi Sport quattro concept will be on display next week at the Frankfurt Auto Show which alternates every other year with the Paris Auto Show. It covers a huge area with multiple pavilions and the German manufacturers each have their own building large enough to host entire small market auto shows.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

August 2013 U.S. Auto Sales

General Motors dealers delivered 275,847 vehicles in the United States in August, up 15 percent compared with a year ago. Retail sales increased 22 percent while fleet sales were down 8 percent. Year-to-date GM sales are 1,930,264, up 9.8 percent vs. 2012. Cadillac was up 38 percent, Buick was up 37 percent, GMC was up 14 percent and Chevrolet was up 10 percent.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. reported August 2013 sales results of 231,537, an increase of 22.8 percent compared to the year-ago month. Toyota Division posted August 2013 sales of 201,745, 22.8 percent compared to August 2012. Lexus reported August 2013 sales of 29,792, a year-over-year increase of 22.9 percent on a raw volume basis.

Ford Motor Company August U.S. sales of 221,270 was a 12.2 percent gain over last year. Year-to-date sales of 1,708,280 was a 12.8 percent increase over 2012.

American Honda  reported U.S. sales of 166,432, an increase of 26.7 percent compared with a year ago. Year-to-date sales of 1,053,449 represents a year-over-year increase of 11 percent. The Honda Division posted August 2013 sales of 149,381, an increase of 29.1 percent compared with August 2012. Acura Division U.S. August sales of 17,051 was up 9 percent compared with the prior year.

Chrysler Group reported U.S. sales of 165,552 units, a 12 percent increase compared with sales in August 2012 for the group's best August sales since 2007. For the year, Chrysler sales are 1,213,986, a 10 percent gain over 2012.

Nissan U.S. sales totaled 120,498 to set an August record, an increase of 22.3 percent over last year's total of 98,515. Nissan Division salesrose 24.3 percent in August to a record 108,614. Sales of Infiniti vehicles finished August at 11,884, up 6.5 percent.

Hyundai Motor America announced an all-time August sales record of 66,101, up 8 percent versus the same period in 2012. Year-to-date Hyundai sales of 493,116 is a 2.8 percent gain over last year.

Motors America reported best-ever August sales of 52,025, a 4-percent increase over the same period in 2012.  Year-to-date sales of 378,380 is a 2.2 percent drop from the first 8 months of 2012.

Subaru of America reported the best sales month in company history with 41,061 vehicle sales for the month of August, a 45 percent increase over August 2012.  Year-to-date sales for Subaru total 281,652, 29.3 percent higher than the same period in 2012. Subaru is on track to achieve its fifth-consecutive year of sales increases.

Volkswagen of America reported sales of 40,342 in August, a 1.6 percent drop from August 2012 and year-to-date sales of 282,913 is A 1.3 percent decline from last year. Separately, Audi reported August 2013 sales of 14,005 vehicles, a 21.5 percent increase over the previous August record set last year. Audi sales year-to-date increased 14.7 percent to 101,346 vehicles sold.

The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported August sales of 30,546 vehicles, an increase of 35.4 percent from the same month a year ago. Year-to-date, the BMW Group (BMW and MINI combined) is up 12 percent on sales of 233,326 in the first eight months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.  

Mazda North American Operations reported its best August U.S. sales of 28,106 vehicles in 10 years, representing an increase of 26.4 percent versus last year. Year-to-date sales through August are up 6.8 percent versus last year, with 198,026 vehicles sold.

Mercedes-Benz USA reported August sales of 27,144, an increase of 15.8 percent from August 2012 including Mercedes-Benz, Sprinter and smart models. Mercedes-Benz brand reached 24,761 for the month, up 20.5 percent from the previous year, while year-to-date sales climbed 13.0 percent to hit a record 190,359. Adding in year-to-date sales of 12,788 for Sprinter Vans and 6,312 units sold at smart brought MBUSA's year-to-date grand total to 209,459 vehicles, its
highest on record.

Motors North America reported August sales of 5,281, an increase of 24.3 percent compared to August 2012. 

Cars North America announced August 2013 sales of 3,327, an increase of 10 percent over the same month last year and a record August. For the year, Porsche has sold 28,456 cars in the U.S., a 28 percent increase over last year.

Sales will be updated when manufacturers report.