Archive for the ‘First Look’ Category

All-New Lexus ES Bound for Beijing Motor Show

New model meant to "radically transform the concept of comfort for luxury consumers."

by on Apr.11, 2018

Lexus is pushing even further with the "spindle grille" design on the next ES sedan.

We’ve barely gotten past the New York Auto Show but halfway around the world, automakers are getting ready for the season’s next big event. That includes Lexus, which has dropped a partial teaser of what appears to be the next generation ES model.

While many folks think of the ES as a fairly base-level vehicle, Lexus clearly has more upscale ambitions for a model whose name, after all, is short for “Executive Sedan.” And while Toyota’s luxury brand isn’t saying much about what it will be showing in China, it appears buyers have something to look forward to.

Product News!

The new ES, Lexus hints, “aims to radically transform the concept of comfort for luxury consumers all over the world.” That may explain why the brand saved the new model for Beijing where luxury buyers have, indeed, become some of the world’s most demanding.

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Ford Offers a First Look of its Next-Generation “Global” Focus

U.S. model remains under wraps.

by on Apr.10, 2018

Ford shows off the European line-up of the next-gen Focus. We'll have to wait to see U.S. versions.

Ford is lifting the kimono to give us a first look at its next-generation “global” Focus line-up – but it says it won’t reveal the U.S.-specific model until shortly before it goes on sale later next year.

The next version of the compact model will be offered in a range of body styles and trim levels, while adding a variety of tech features, including the new Ford CoPilot360 driver assistance suite. Expect roomier and more comfortable interiors, the automaker says, while adding that the next-gen Focus will feature new gas and diesel engines, as well as a new suspension.

Auto Show News!

“We’re evolving our successful One Ford strategy to find new ways to create a sporty-looking small car our customers will love,” said Jim Farley, president of Global Markets. “We’ll tailor which cars in the Focus line-up we offer in markets around the world to ensure we best meet customers’ different needs and preferences.”

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Chevy Rolls Out Radical New Face for Camaro SS, New Turbo 1LE Models

Chevrolet adds mix of styling, performance enhancements.

by on Apr.09, 2018

The Camaro Turbo will get the high-performance Chevy 1LE package for the first time for 2019.

In a truck-centric market, it takes some work to keep sedans and coupes fresh, and nowhere is that more true than when it comes to high-performance muscle cars. With that in mind, Chevrolet is introducing a host of significant updates for the sixth-generation Camaro as it preps for the 2019 model-year.

That includes a distinctive front end for the SS model, as well as the first-ever pairing of Camaro’s optional turbo engine with the 1LE performance package. It joins existing V6, SS and ZL1 1LE combinations.

Performance News!

“The restyled 2019 Camaro reaches even higher with more of the design, technology and choices that customers want,” said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet’s marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “It’s a performer with few competitors and a pillar of Chevrolet’s energized car lineup.”

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Chevy Bets on Facelifts to Prop Up Three Passenger Cars

Malibu, Cruze and Spark get updates – but nada for slow-selling Sonic.

by on Apr.06, 2018

The 2019 Chevrolet Malibu in Premier and RS trims.

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the slow death of the passenger car. Depending on which source you trust there could be any number of sedans, coupes, hatchbacks and sports cars vanishing over the next couple years as motorists by the millions migrate to SUVs, CUVs and other light trucks.

That includes the Chevrolet Sonic, from some of the latest reports. But GM North America President Alan Batey this week insisted that the automaker isn’t about to get out of the passenger car game and, as if to ensure we take him seriously, Chevrolet has revealed the updates it plans for three key models: the Malibu, Spark and Cruze – though the Sonic is notably absent.

2019 Model News!

“We are committed to offering consumers a full lineup of products with fresh designs, new technologies and efficient powertrain options,” said Brian Sweeney, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet. “The investments we have made in Spark, Cruze and Malibu will help position the brand for success in competitive segments that still make up a significant part of the total industry.”

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Luxury Plug-Ins Shift Emphasis on Performance

Emphasis shifts from mileage.

by on Apr.02, 2018

The production Aviator's fastest powertrain package will pair a turbo-six with electric drive.

When the first hybrids came to market nearly two decades ago, the emphasis was on mileage, the original Honda Insight delivering as much as 70 miles per gallon, albeit at the expense of what might be described as the fun-to-drive factor.

That approach carried over as more advanced, battery-based models came to market – and as luxury brands started to plug in with vehicles like the Cadillac ELR. Based on the Mainstream Chevrolet Volt, Caddy’s first plug-in hybrid was lavishly equipped but took almost 10 seconds to get from 0 to 60.

Performance News!

A visit to this year’s New York Auto Show will reveal a wide array of PHEVs, and among mass market brands, like Chevy, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota, fuel economy is still the primary target. But it’s another matter entirely among luxury brands, such as BMW, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. There’s no question they’re also using battery power to boost mileage, but they’re also putting a premium on performance.

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NY Auto Show’s Dozen Best

Our favorites from an extensive assortment of cars, trucks, crossovers and concepts.

by on Apr.02, 2018

The turnstiles are spinning at the Javits Convention Center and for good reason. The 2018 New York International Auto Show is winning raves as the year’s most significant North American event, with dozens of significant debuts.

This year’s NAIAS covered plenty of ground: from long-range electric vehicles to high-powered performance cars – even some high-performance electric vehicles. Followers of automotive design will have plenty to talk about, too. The show underscores all the dramatic changes sweeping through the auto industry, even on the retail side, as more manufacturers announce new subscription programs.

Auto Show News!

Whether you’re heading down to the show or simply trying to check out from a distance the most significant, intriguing and unusual cars, trucks, crossovers and concepts on display, here’s a handy guide to our dozen favorites.

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Smaller is Bigger with 2-Row Volkswagen Atlas Sport Cross Concept

German marque adds another option to growing SUV line-up.

by on Mar.28, 2018

Volkswagen put a new spin on its fast-selling Atlas sport-ute at the NYIAS with the Sport Cross Concept.

According to ancient lore, Atlas carried the world on his shoulders. Not a bad metaphor when you consider the challenge the Volkswagen Atlas was tasked with when it came to market barely a year ago.

The three-row SUV has proven to be one of the most critical offerings the German automaker has brought to the U.S. market in decades and one of the key reasons why VW not only leveled off after years of declining sales but also has actually scored a 5.5% increase during the last 12 months despite the overall American market slowdown.

News Now!

Now, VW is set to create a “family” of Atlas offerings, with a new two-row, five-passenger version, dubbed the Atlas Sport Cross making its debut during a media preview ahead of the opening of the New York International Auto Show on Tuesday night. But, if the word, “family” connotes more than just two, well, you just might not be wrong. While Volkswagen officials aren’t ready to discuss what’s coming further down the line, still more variations on the Atlas theme could be in the works. (more…)

Lincoln Hopes to Take Wing with New Aviator SUV

Midsize luxury ute will offer PHEV option.

by on Mar.28, 2018

The Lincoln Aviator Concept breaks ground ahead of the opening of the NY Auto Show.

When you’re struggling to gain some altitude it helps to have a good aviator on hand. Make that Aviator, the all-new version of what had been known as the Lincoln MKT. The new model, making its debut at the New York International Auto Show, is more than just a new name, however, getting an all but complete, ground-up makeover.

One of two new SUVs coming for the brand by 2020, the new Lincoln Aviator is part of an aggressive push aimed at rebuilding a once shining star in the American luxury firmament while also helping Lincoln gain ground in what has become its fastest-growing market, China.

Insight!

That’s where the new Aviator could see the strongest demand for its optional plug-in hybrid drive system, especially considering the tough new zero-emissions mandates Chinese regulators put in place late last year.

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Cadillac’s Compact XT4 Crossover Breaks Cover in NY

“The Cadillac rejuvenation is really taking root.”

by on Mar.28, 2018

Cadillac is finally ready to play in one of the fastest growing and most competitive markets going: small luxury crossovers.

There’s been a big gap in the Cadillac line-up, and that’s been a major headache for the U.S. luxury brand, leaving it on the sidelines as key competitors, such as BMW, Mercedes and Lexus have been able to take advantage of the growing market for compact crossovers.

But the wait is over, declared Caddy President Johan de Nysschen, as he pulled the wraps off the long-awaited XT4 during a media preview ahead of the opening of the New York International Auto Show. Slotting in below the current Escalade and XT5 offerings, the Cadillac XT4 could become one of the brand’s most important additions since the original CT4 introduced the Art & Science design language.

Product News!

“The new vehicle is going to add to the impressive gains we’re making,” said de Nysschen, during an invitation-only event at Cadillac House, its Manhattan headquarters. With the launch of the XT4, he added, “The Cadillac rejuvenation is really taking root.” (more…)

Honda Debuts 2019 Insight Hybrid Remake

Will 3rd-generation hybrid be the charm?

by on Mar.26, 2018

The 2019 Insight is Honda's third attempt to market a mainstream, entry-level hybrid.

Try and try again, Honda is coming back with a third-generation Insight hybrid and hoping it finally has found the formula after widely missing the mark with two earlier versions.

The Japanese automakers offered a first look at a thinly disguised “concept” version of the ’19 Insight during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Now, the production model is rolling into the Big Apple. And the model making its debut at the New York International Auto Show adopts a much more conventional appearance – as well as the latest in Honda hybrid technology.

Product News!

“The Honda Insight shows consumers that the efficiency of a hybrid car doesn’t mean sacrificing style, refinement or performance,” said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The Insight is another symbol of a new era in the evolution of Honda electrified vehicles, where customers can have everything they want with no compromises.”

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