Monday, November 25, 2013

2015 Audi A3 Starts At $29,900 Next Spring

Audi A3 Cabriolet
The all-new Audi A3 line up, completely redesigned and specifically tailored to meet the sedan preferences of the American market with three body styles, kicks off with the A3 sedan going on sale in the spring of 2014. The A3 sedan will be priced from a base MSRP of $29,900 and will be joined in the Fall of 2014 by the Audi A3 Cabriolet (above), A3 TDI clean diesel sedan, the high-performance S3 sedan, and in early 2015, by the A3 Sportback e-tron® gasoline electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV). The Audi A3 line-up offers a 170 horsepower 1.8 TFSI®, 220 horsepower 2.0 TFSI, 150 horsepower 2.0 TDI® clean diesel, and, a 290 horsepower 2.0 TFSI for the S3.

The Audi hybrid A3 sportback e-tron (above) features a combined output of 201 horsepower with a 1.4 TFSI gasoline engine working with the the 100 hp e-motor, all mated to the standard 6-speed S tronic® transmission.

The A3 sedan is 175.5 inches in length on a 103.4 inch wheelbase, is 70 inches wide and 55.7 inches high and will offer MMI® technology, Audi drive select, 4G LTE connectivity and Bang & Olufsen® audio.

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell SUV At $16.86 Per Day For 36 Months

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle with a range up to 300 miles will be offered for a 3 year lease with $2,999 down and $499 per month, including unlimited free hydrogen refueling and At Your Service Valet Maintenance at no extra cost.

Do the math: $2,999 plus $17,964 (36 X $499) = $20,963 minus $2,500 first year State rebate = $18,463 divided by 1095 days = $16.86 per day with no fuel or maintenance costs. The challenges are finding a refueling station and keeping your annual mileage under the 12,000 mile limit, typical with any leased vehicle.

Advantages include a driving range up to 300 miles based on internal testing, full refueling in similar time to gasoline, instantaneous electric motor torque of 221 lb-ft, no moving parts within the power-generating fuel cell stack, quieter EV operation, zero greenhouse-gas emissions and emits only water vapor. Customers interested in the Tucson Fuel Cell can indicate their interest at Hyundai, with availability beginning in Spring 2014 at several Southern California Hyundai dealers.

2015 Kia K900 Luxury Sedan Arrives In First Quarter 2014

The 2015 Kia K900 rear-drive luxury sedan, the brand's new flagship on a 119.9-inch wheelbase, is offered with a 311 horsepower 3.8-liter Lamba V6 engine or the 420 horsepower Tau DOHC all-aluminum 32-valve 5.0-liter engine V8 engine. The K900 Premium V6 will launch with an available Luxury Package and Technology Package when it goes on sale during the first quarter of 2014, and pricing will be announced closer to launch. Known as the K9 in Korea, the K900, is likely to be positioned between the Genesis and Equus from its Korean counterpart Hyundai and could cost around $60,000 depending on engine and options.

With a 12.3 inch full-color LCD screen, the K900 has high-grade leather, soft-hue LED interior lighting, front and rear park-assist sensors and cameras are standard and a Lane Departure Warning System is standard on the V6 Technology Package and both V8 models. This is a truly plush sedan that aims at customers looking in the luxury segment

Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept

The Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo concept super sports car with hallmark Mercedes gullwing doors and a 585 horsepower AMG V8 biturbo engine mated to an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission, was developed specifically for the new PlayStation® 3 racing game Gran Turismo® 6 which goes on sale next month.

2015 Subaru WRX And Legacy Concept Debut In Los Angeles

The 2015 Subaru WRX is powered by a new 268-horsepower 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo BOXER engine mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or the new, optional Sport Lineartronic performance automatic transmission with two manual modes teamed  with the Variable Torque Distribution version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. The Subaru WRX employs a new torque-vectoring system that supplements the standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system for improved cornering speeds and handling and there's a stiffer chassis, larger brakes and performance-tuned suspension and higher fuel efficiency than the previous model.

The Subaru LEGACY CONCEPT with the standard Subaru Symmetrical all-wheel drivetrain.

New MINI Hardtop Coming in March 2014

The new MINI Hardtop has BMW-developed TwinPower Turbo Technology with the new MINI Cooper powered by a 134 horsepower 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine and the MINI Cooper S by a 189 horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with a standard 6-speed manual transmission and a optional 6-speed automatic transmission.

The MINI Cooper Hardtop is 151.1 inches long, 68 inches wide and 55.7 inches high making it 4.5 inches longer, 1.7 inches wider and 0.3 inches higher than its predecessor. The wheelbase has been extended by 1.1 inches to 98.2 inches. The MINI Cooper S is 151.9 inches long.
New features include the MINI Head-Up-Display, Driving Assistant option with a camera-based cruise control and distance control function, which automatically maintains a distance from the vehicle ahead, and the collision and pedestrian warning system with initial brake function. Also available are a rear view camera and parking assistant that automatically detects suitable parking spaces at the roadside. As the car then maneuvers into the chosen space, the parking assistant takes care of all the necessary steering movements on behalf of the driver. All the driver has to do is operate the accelerator, brake pedal and gear selection in order to move safely and conveniently into the parking space.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ford Edge Concept Showcases Future Technology

Ford Edge Concept with driver-assist technologies and semi-automated features like fully assisted parking that lets customers park their vehicles at the touch of a button, or even by remote control. Using similar sensor and automated vehicle control technology. This Edge Concept is able to issue warnings if it detects slow-moving or stationary obstacles in the same lane ahead. If the driver fails to steer or brake following the warnings, the system will automatically steer and brake the vehicle to avoid a collision. Adaptive steering controls the relationship between how much the driver turns the wheel and how much the road wheels turn.

Lane-Keeping System uses a forward-facing camera that can scan the road surface for lane markings to evaluate if the vehicle is drifting out of its lane and then alert the driver by vibrating the steering wheel. If the driver does not respond to the vibrations, the system provides steering torque to nudge the vehicle back toward the center of the lane. Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support uses radar to detect moving vehicles immediately ahead, and can modify cruising speed if necessary. Blind Spot Information System uses radar sensors in the rear corners that monitor the spaces next to and just behind the vehicle. On the road, these sensors trigger a warning light in the mirror when there is another vehicle in the driver’s blind spot.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Coming In The Fall Of 2014

The all-new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado has a 193 horsepower 2.5L I-4 engine as standard with an available 302 horsepower 3.6L V-6, both matched with a six-speed automatic transmission, and the 2.5L is available with a six-speed manual transmission on extended cab 2WD Work Truck models. Colorado will also offer a Duramax 2.8L I-4 turbodiesel in its second year. Colorado has the WT, LT and Z71 trim levels in 2WD or 4WD. The Colorado goes on sale in Fall 2014 as a 2015 model. Chevrolet will continue to work on and develop the Colorado until the start of production in 2014.

BMW Concept X4 Destined For Reality

The BMW Concept X4 is a smaller version of the X6 Sports Activity Coupe measuring 183 inches long, 75.4 inches wide and 63.9 inches high on a 110.6 inch wheelbase and, like the other BMW X models will be built at the BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina which exports vehicles globally. So those dreaming of an X6 but have shallower pockets, this could be the answer.

BMW 4 Series Convertible Starts At $49,675 In First Quarter 2014

The new BMW 4 Series Convertible with a three-piece retractable hardtop will be offered as a 428i with a 240 horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder TwinPower Turbo and as a 435i with a 300 horsepower 3.0-liter inline six TwinPower Turbo, both mated to a standard 8-speed sport automatic transmission.

The 428i Convertible will be offered with a choice of rear-wheel drive or with optional xDrive all-wheel drive system, while the 435i Convertible will be available at launch with rear wheel drive. The 2014 BMW 428i Convertible will have a base MSRP of $49,675, and the 2014 BMW 435i Convertible will have a starting price of $55,825 (including $925 destination and handling). The 2014 BMW 4 Series Convertible will arrive in US showrooms in the first quarter of 2014.

Maserati Ghibli Now On Sale Starting At $65,000

The all-new Maserati Ghibli four-door sedan is now on sale in the U.S. with plans to build 50,000 cars a year by 2015. Starting at $65,000, the Ghibli has a 350 horsepower twin turbo-charged, 3.0-litre V6 gas engine and the choice of rear- or all-wheel drive and starting at $75,000, the Ghibli S, has 410 horsepower with a zero to 62 mph of 5.0 seconds and stretches out to a top speed of 176 mph. The Ghibli, the Ghibli S, the Ghibli S Q4 and the Ghibli Diesel all utilize an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Features include the Maserati Touch Control screen, adjustable pedals, reversing camera, Poltrona Frau leather interior and the 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkes audio system, as well as WLAN-based WiFi and compatibility with most modern mobile phone systems. This is a stand-out at the L.A. Auto Show. MPG figures are 15 city/22 highway but this is a performance car giving you the Ferrari Maserati design and technology for a great entry level price.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

2015 Porsche Macan Arrives Next Spring For $49,900

The 2015 Porsche Macan S compact SUV starting at $49,900 is powered by a 340 horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine with a zero to 60 mph acceleration of 5.0 seconds while the Turbo variant starting at $72,300 has a 400 horsepower 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 with a zero to 60 mph time of 4.4 seconds. Porsche expects to sell 10,000 Macans in the first year after it arrives at U.S. dealerships in late spring of next year. The Macan will attempt to compete with the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.

Honda Accord Selected As 2014 Green Car Of The Year

The Honda Accord, which gets 47 miles per gallon city and 46 highway, Accord Hybrid which gets 50mpg on the highway, and Accord Plug-In Hybrid, which can go 115 miles on one gallon of gas, were all selected as the Green Car of the Year® 2014 beating out the Audi A6 TDI, BMW 328d, Mazda3, and Toyota Corolla. Two years ago the Honda Civic CNG took the honor.

MPG's Innovation Vehicle of the Year (IVY) Award Winners

Under $29,000 Category: Mazda3

$29,000 and Over Category: Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Range Rover Long-Wheelbase Autobiography Black Edition For $185,000

The Range Rover Long-Wheelbase Autobiography Black edition, which has a starting MSRP of 185,000, has nearly eight inches more rear seat legroom than standard-wheelbase models and an increased seatback recline of 17 degrees. Rather pricy and it looks like the Black edition is white.

Audi A3 Becomes A Smartphone Next Spring

Next Spring you'll be able to buy an Audi A3 sedan with secure high-speed wireless Internet connections with download speeds of up to 100 Mbps giving you access to picture navigation with Google Earth™ and Google Street View, high-definition video streaming for up to eight devices, read-aloud news headlines, Facebook and Twitter alerts, access to more than 7,000 Web radio stations, personalized RSS news feeds, and more. The 4G LTE connectivity powered by Qualcomm Technologies’ second generation LTE chipset, the Qualcomm® Gobi™ MDM 9215 is the same technology found in smartphones and tablets. Can a driver really enjoy all these visual options or is it just more driving distractions and reasons for kids to fight with no need to talk to the other people in the car. Really? Shouldn't we focus on the road? How long a commute justifies all this technology?

2015 Nissan GT-R and GT-R NISMO Coming Soon

The 2015 Nissan GT-R is refreshed offering a smoother ride with fine-tuned suspension, braking and steering and multi-LED headlights. The Nissan GT-R goes on sale in Japan on December 2, to be followed by other markets worldwide.

The Nissan GT-R NISMO with a 600 horsepower 3.8-liter V6 VR38DETT engine will be available in Japan in late February 2014, U.S. and Europe later in 2014.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Bentley Flying Spur Is A Fast Luxury Sedan

The Bentley Flying Spur with a 616 horsepower 6.0-liter twin turbo W12 engine sprints from 0-60 mph in just 4.3 seconds will be on display with the 2014 Bentley Mulsanne and Continental GTC V8 at the Los Angles Auto Show this week and next. Bentley's worldwide sales through the end of September increased nine per cent to 6,516 cars. The Americas remains Bentley’s largest market and accounted for 2,022 cars which represented a 16 percent increase over the previous year and 31 percent of all sales.

Acura RLX Sport Hybrid Coming This Spring At 30 MPG

The Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD luxury-performance sedan which uses Acura's new three-motor hybrid powertrain technology combining a direct-injected 310-horsepower 3.5-liter i-VTEC® V-6 engine with two high-output 27-kilowatt electric motors mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission with built-in electric motor and an electrically powered variant of Acura's torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD)  launches next spring. The RLX Sport Hybrid with Variable Cylinder Management™ that includes an idle-stop feature to help maximize fuel efficiency is expected to get 28mpg city/32 mpg highway for a combined 30mpg EPA rating.

Friday, November 15, 2013

2013 J.D. Power U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index Study

J.D. Power's SSI study says satisfaction is highest among new-vehicle buyers who are presented with pricing/payment options on a computer screen or tablet (833), followed by a computer printout (820); verbal price quotes (792); and hand-written figures (780). Rankings are based on the experiences of both buyers and rejecters. Overall sales satisfaction improves 9 points year over year to 673 in 2013. The 2013 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study is based on responses from 29,040 buyers who purchased or leased their new vehicle in April or May 2013. 

Courtesy J.D. Power

Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupé Concept Coming To L.A. Next Week

Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupé concept is 192.5 inches long, 79.3 inches wide and 66.1 inches high with a turbocharged direct-injection (TSI) V6 gasoline engine that works together with two electric motors to produce as much as 415 horsepower with a 0 to 60 mph time of just 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 147 mph. The CrossBlue Coupé can be driven as a zero emissions EV for up to 13 miles at a maximum speed of 75 mph. The CrossBlue Coupé has a manufacturer estimated combined fuel consumption of 70 MPGe.

In hybrid mode, it allows for a theoretical range of around 570 miles. Powered by its lithium-ion battery, the CrossBlue Coupé can cover a distance of up to 13 miles in pure electric mode with a top speed is limited to 75 mph. In EV mode, only the 114-hp rear electric motor provides propulsion. In all-electric driving, the V6 TSI engine is decoupled from the drivetrain by opening the clutch, and the engine is shut off. As soon as there is a need for gasoline power, because of the battery charge or other parameters, it is coupled to the drivetrain again, jolt-free, within fractions of a second. The powertrain is made up of a 295-horsepower EA390-series V6 TSI engine mated to a six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission. The vehicle’s electrical architecture includes a lithium-ion battery mounted in the center tunnel as well as a pair of electric motors: 54 horsepower at the front and 114 horsepower at the back.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ford Ka Concept Could Turn Into Big Global Selling Car

Ford Ka Concept compact hatchback with comfortable seating for five developed by Ford Brazil and just shown there, could launch in 2014

Volkswagen e-Golf Debuts Next Week, Arrives In A Year

Volkswagen e-Golf fully electric vehicle, powered by a 115-horsepower electric motor and 24.2 kWh lithium-ion battery, will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week and go on sale in the U.S. in select states in the fourth quarter of 2014. The average range for the e-Golf is between 70 and 90 miles and the EEM-85 synchronous permanent-magnet AC motor develops 199 pound-feet of torque getting the e-Golf to25 mph from rest in 4.2 seconds and to 60 mph in approximately 10.4 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 87 mph. Standard Fast Charging capability allows 80 percent battery charge within 30 minutes.

2015 Lincoln MKC Small SUV Arrives Next Summer

The all-new 2015 Lincoln MKC small premium utility will offer an available all-new 275 horsepower 2.3-liter EcoBoost® turbocharged four-cylinder engine in addition to the standard 240 horsepower 2.0-liter EcoBoost powerplant when it begins arriving to Lincoln dealerships next summer.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Kia Soul EV Goes On Sale In U.S. Next Year

The Kia Soul EV, Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions vehicle is powered by a 109-hp electric motor, producing 210 lb.-ft. of torque to the front wheels through a single speed constant ratio gear reduction unit, accelerating from 0-62 mph in less than 12 seconds with a top speed in the region of 90 mph. With a high-capacity 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack the Soul EV will have a target range of more than 120 miles on a single charge. Recharging times are up to five hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 240v outlet, or 25 minutes on ‘fast’ charge with 100 kW output. It goes on sale next year.

Friday, November 8, 2013

2014 Kia Forte Koup Kuming Soon

The 2014 Kia Forte Koup, is an all new second-generation model offered in EX and SX trim levels, and adds a 201 horsepowr 1.6-liter GDI turbocharged four-cylinder engine to the standard 173 horsepower 2.0-liter GDI powerplant coming standard with a 6-speed manual transmission and an available 6-speed automatic featuring steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Sales are expected to begin soon.

2014 Kia Optima Gets Updated

The 2014 Kia Optima mid-size sedan, powered by either a 2.4-liter GDI engine on LX, EX and SX (non-turbo) models or a 2.0-liter turbo GDI engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission featuring Sportmatic® clutchless shifting, gets newly designed LED rear lamps, and inside, redesigned seats, new Blind Spot Detection system5, which includes rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors, and new displays, a 4.3-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster and an optional high-resolution 8-inch navigation and telematics screen.

2014 Honda Civic Coupe Revealed At SEMA Sow

2014 Honda Civic Coupe has been updated with a new grille, hood, front fenders, headlight design, taillight lenses, side mirrors, wheel designs and sportier front and rear bumpers. Making its world debut at SEMA this week, more details will be released at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show this month.

Nissan BladeGlider Performance EV To Debut Next Year

The Nissan BladeGlider rear-drive performance electric vehicle concept will make its debut at next year's Le Mans 24 Hour race. BladeGlider will have electric motors, using lithium-ion battery technology, proven in Nissan LEAF and utilize in-wheel motors with independent motor management, a Nissan first.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

All-new Hyundai Genesis Coming To Major Markets Next Year

The all-new Hyundai Genesis premium rear-wheel drive sedan will debut in Korea later this year and major markets next year with features like Advanced Traction Cornering Control and, as an option, the ‘HTRAC’ all-wheel drive system. Hyundai says the all-new Genesis also focuses on Human Machine Interface, which lets drivers intuitively recognize vehicle functions. The  all-new Genesis has improved body structure and rigidity due to the use of more ultra-high-strength steel, hot-stamping and double-section structure on the front, partitioned engine room design as well as improved rear and center floor structures. Hyundai continues to design stylish cars that are gaining popularity and that, combined with value pricing and their long warranty make it a win-win.

Friday, November 1, 2013

October 2013 U.S. Auto Sales

General Motors dealers delivered 226,402 vehicles in the United States in October, up 16 percent versus a year ago. Retail sales were also up 16 percent and fleet sales were up 14 percent. Year-to-date sales of 2,343,861 is an 8.3 percent increase over last year. Cadillac sales were 14,792, a 9.5 percent gain over October 2012 and for the year so far 148,206, up 26.7 percent from last year.

Ford Motor Company's October U.S. total sales of 191,985 vehicles rose 14 percent over a year ago. Retail sales are up 15 percent, at 142,487 vehicles, the best October retail sales performance since 2004. Included are Lincoln sales of 7,131, a gain of 38.4 percent over October 2012 while year-to-date Lincoln sales are 66,983, down 3 percent from last year. Year-to-date Ford and Lincoln sales are 2,085,411, up 12.2 percent over the first 10 months of 2012.

Motor Sales U.S.A. reported October 2013 sales results of 168,976, an increase of 8.8 percent from the year-ago month. Year-to-date Toyota sales are 1,867,155, an 8.1 percent increase over the first 10 months of last year.

Chrysler reported U.S. sales of 140,083, an 11 percent increase compared with sales in October 2012 and the group's best October sales since 2007. Year-to-date sales are 1,497,086, up 9 percent over last year.

American Honda reported October 2013 U.S. total sales of 114,538 units, an increase of 7.1 percent compared with October 2012. Year-to-date sales reached 1,273,550, an increase of 8.5 percent. Honda Division October sales reached 100,242, an increase of 5.7 percent compared to last October. Acura Division posted sales of 14,296, an increase of 17.5 percent compared to October 2012. 

Nissan U.S. October sales of 91,018in October was an increase of 14.2 percent from last year's total. Nissan Division sales also set an October record with 81,866 deliveries, a 15.4 percent increase over the prior year. Sales of Infiniti vehicles totaled 9,152, up 4.5 percent. Nissan and Infiniti year-to-date sales of 1,032,134 is a 9.1 percent gain over 2012.

Hyundai Motor America announced sales for the month of October of 53,555, up 7 percent versus the same period in 2012, representing the best October in company history. Year-to-date sales are 601,773, an increase of 2 percent over 2012.

Kia Motors America reported October sales of 39,754, a 6.3 percent drop from a year ago. Year-to-date Kia sales are 456,137,  a 4.4 percent decrease from the same period in 2012.

Volkswagen of America reported October sales of 28,129, down 18 percent from October 2012 and year-to-date sales of 342,962, down 4 percent for the first 10 months. Separately, Audi reported October 2013 sales of 13,001, an 11 percent increase over the previous October record set last year. October also stands as the brand’s 34th consecutive month of record sales. Audi year-to-date sales of 127,412 is an increase of 13.4 percent.

Subaru sold 34,483 vehicles in October, up 32 percent over last year and sold 347,890 total vehicles in 2013 so far, a gain of 28.1 percent, to surpass last year's annual sales record making it the fifth consecutive year of sales records for Subaru of America and the sixth consecutive year of sales increases, the only manufacturer to increase sales each year for the last six years.

The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported October sales of 33,274 vehicles, an increase of 2.9 percent from the same month a year ago. Year-to-date, the BMW Group (BMW and MINI combined) is up 10.6 percent on sales of 295,474 in the first ten months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. 

Mercedes-Benz USA reported total October sales of 32,620 for the Mercedes-Benz, Sprinter and smart model lines, a 22.4 percent increase from the same period last year.  Retail volumes for the Mercedes-Benz brand alone broke October records at 30,069, up 25.4 percent, while year-to-date sales of 245,125, rose 13.7 percent from a year ago levels.  Adding year-to-date volumes of 16,978 for Sprinter Vans and 7,450 vehicles at smart, MBUSA’s year-to-date totals reached 269,553, making this the best October in the company’s history.

Mazda North American Operations reported October U.S. sales of 19,738, an increase of 6 percent versus last year. Year-to-date sales through October are 240,229, up 5.3 percent versus last year.

Jaguar Land Rover North America reported October 2013 U.S. sales for both brands of 5,801, a 52 percent increase from October 2012. Jaguar sales were 1,515, a 117 percent gain from October 2012 while Land Rover sales were 4,286, up 37 percent. Year to date through October, Jaguar Land Rover North America is up 19 percent, with Jaguar sales at 13,962, up 36 percent and Land Rover up 14 percent.

Mitsubishi Motors North America reported October sales of 4,972, up 19.4 percent compared to October 2012.

Porsche Cars North America announced October 2013 sales of 3,562, an increase of 11 percent over the same period in 2012. Year-to-date, Porsche has sold 35,111 cars in the U.S., 24 percent ahead of last year’s total and thus surpassing the entire 2012 sales volume of 35,043.

Sales will be updated as manufacturers report.