Archive for the ‘Luxury Vehicles’ Category

New Acura RDX is a “Prototype” in Name Only

Major redesign will usher in new “Precision Crafted Performance” design language.

by on Jan.15, 2018

The Acura RDX Prototype was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show, giving folks a look at what next iteration of the RDX will look like.

Like its parent Honda, Japanese luxury brand Acura likes to tease us with thinly disguised “concepts” and “prototypes” that are going to be landing in dealerships in the not-too-distant future. The Acura RDX Prototype making its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit is no exception.

But Acura can be forgiven for wanting to test the waters before diving in with the biggest update this compact crossover has undergone since its original introduction for the 2007 model-year. Indeed, the new look, which borrows heavily from the Precision Concept first shown in Detroit two years ago, is a dramatic shift in direction that could breathe some much-needed life into a brand that many luxury buyers routinely overlook.

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“The all-new RDX delivers a powerful statement about who we are and where we are headed as a brand,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura’s vice president and general manager – and previously the marque’s design chief. “For our customers, the new RDX is a quantum leap forward in design, style and performance, with luxury features and technology that will elevate their ownership experience.” (more…)

Lexus Shifts Direction with LF-1 Limitless Crossover Concept

Like “molten metal being forged into a fine Japanese sword.”

by on Jan.15, 2018

Lexus is looking to get a foothold in the larger crossover segment. The LF-1 Limitless may do it, Lexus GM Jeff Bracken said.

(This story has been updated with new information.)

Its been just a year since Lexus brought an all-new version of its big LS sedan to the North American International Auto Show, but what a year it has been. Time was when full-size sedans like the LS helped put a halo atop a luxury brand. But 2017 saw a dramatic shift in the U.S. market, traditional passenger cars all but dropping off the sales charts as millions of American motorists opted for sport and crossover-utility vehicles.

Hoping to catch up on that trend, the Japanese luxury brand is back in Detroit this week with what is expected to become its new flagship, a prototype it has dubbed the Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept. It features an edgy design intended to strike a balance between a crossover and a more classic sports sedan. And a production version is quite likely to roll into Lexus showrooms in the relatively near future.

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Lexus General Manager Jeff Bracken told the auto show crowd the concept could “become a member of the family.” However, he was a little more circumspect in a post event interview with TheDetroitBureau.com. (more…)

Infiniti Inspired: But What to Make of the New Q Inspiration Concept

Is this the long-awaited successor to the Q45?

by on Jan.15, 2018

The Q45 Inspiration Concept may not show up in the Infiniti line-up but will influence future product design, officials said.

Infiniti has a long history of teasing us with exotic concepts that eventually translate into slightly more sedate production vehicles. So, what to make of the inspiring new fastback prototype making its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit?

Have we finally gotten a glimpse of the long-awaited successor to the brand’s original halo car, the 1990 Q45? Or is the new Inspiration just there to tease us with hints of the direction Infiniti will take after a recent shake-up in corporate design management?

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“Our Detroit concept car heralds a new generation of Infiniti,” is all we’re getting from Alfonso Albaisa, the long-time Infiniti stylist who recently was named global design director for parent Nissan Motor Co. The Q Inspiration, he added, it meant to demonstrate Infiniti’s approach to “artistry in the new age of autonomy and breakthrough drivetrains.”

(more…)

Live From Detroit!

Are Sedans a Dying Breed?

by on Jan.15, 2018

The 2018 North American International Auto Show is making big news this week and revealing some of the significant trends reshaping the auto industry.

Of course, TheDetroitBureau.com is still combing the show floor to bring stories and analysis so keeping checking the site often for additional must-know news and the latest updates. (more…)

Mercedes Puts a Bit More Panache on Big Ute

German maker adds Grand Edition trim to GLS line-up.

by on Jan.14, 2018

Mercedes-Benz new GLS450 4MATIC Grand Edition offers buyers a more luxurious sport-utility vehicle for 2018.

Mercedes-Benz continues to expand its footprint in the luxury utility market with the new GLS Grand Edition for 2018, making its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Featuring a new, more luxurious interior and “edition-exclusive” components, the new iteration will be available for both the GLS450 4MATIC and GLS550 4MATIC SUVs.

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The Grand Edition features exclusive interior and exterior elements, including a Porcelain/Espresso Brown interior and designo Nappa leather seats with exclusive diamond quilting and special Budapest-design piping. (more…)

Henrik Fisker Officially Reveals Autonomous EMotion EV

Danish designer reveals plans for a “menu of mobility” that will later include affordable electrics and driverless shuttles.

by on Jan.12, 2018

The gull-winged Fisker EMotion makes its official debut at the Consumer Electronics Show.

After months of teasers, Henrik has finally pulled the wraps off his latest project, the autonomous EMotion battery-eletric vehicle making its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The second attempt by the Danish designer to launch his own battery-car company, the EMotion is a stunning, gull-winged sports sedan that reportedly will offer a range of up to 400 miles, even while delivering blistering performance – top speed 161 mph – thanks to a new generation of solid-state batteries.

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The EMotion isn’t due to market until sometime late in 2019. But in an interview with TheDetroitBureau.com, Fisker revealed that he is already working on future products as part of a “menu of mobility” that will include a much more affordable Tesla Model 3 fighter and even a driverless shuttle along the lines of the Toyota e-Palette concept that also debuted at CES.

(more…)

China Posts Meager Auto Sales Gain in 2017

Sport-ute led the way to small 1.4% increase last year.

by on Jan.12, 2018

Auto sales in China increased marginally for 2017, but they were led by sport-utilites.

China’s auto sales stalled in December and ended 2017 up a meager 1.4% compared with a year ago results as the popularity of SUVs helped to offset falling demand for sedans, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said.

With global car makers such as General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen AG, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Nissan all reporting solid, but not spectacular, gains during 2017, smaller local brands common to almost every province and international brands such Ford and Hyundai, appeared to suffer the most for the slowdown, which was due in part to the end of special tax credits.

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The growth rate was barely one-tenth the previous year’s 15% rate, which was boosted by a temporary tax cut. (more…)

“Hey, Mercedes!” German Maker Lets You to Have a Conversation With Your Car

New user experience will use natural speech, 3D graphics.

by on Jan.10, 2018

Global Design Director Gorden Wagener talks about the advantages of the company's new MBUX infotainment system.

Most of today’s cars are now equipped with voice recognition systems that can be used to pair a phone, change the radio station or enter a destination. But the systems are often balky and require motorists to learn arcane commands.

Mercedes-Benz says it will make the process easier, more intuitive and more accurate with the debut of its new MBUX infotainment platform, a technology senior officials not-so-modestly dubbed a “revolution” during its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Set to debut on the next-generation A-Class model next month, the Mercedes-Benz User Experience will let you have “the best conversation you’ve ever had with a car,” said Ola Kallenius, a board member with Mercedes’ parent, Daimler AG.

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The new system is more in line with new voice assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. MBUX can recognize more conventional speech and even figure out that when you ask if you can wear flip-flops to the beach tomorrow that you actually want to know what the weather will be like. (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Tops in Global Luxury Vehicle Sales for 2017

BMW, Audi finish second and third, respectively.

by on Jan.09, 2018

Mercedes-Benz once again captured the top spot in global sales among luxury brands.

Mercedes-Benz is once again laying claim to the title of the best-selling premium automotive brand in the world.

In 2017, the German luxury car manufacturer posted its most successful year of sales in its long history, increasing its unit sales by 9.9% to 2,289,344 vehicles.

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“Last year, Mercedes-Benz Cars delivered more than 2.4 million Mercedes-Benz and smart to customers all over the world,” said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. (more…)

Infiniti Inspired: Q Inspiration Concept Hints at Future Flagship

Q45 reborn?

by on Jan.03, 2018

Infiniti provides a rear view of the Q Inspiration Concept coming to the NAIAS this month.

Infiniti has a long history of teasing us with exotic concepts that eventually translate into slightly more sedate production vehicles. So, what to make of the inspiring new fastback prototype it plans to bring to the North American International Auto Show in mid-January.

Though the brand now uses “Q” to designate all of its passenger car models – and QX for its SUVs and CUVs — the name, Q Inspiration Concept, clearly suggests it is envisioned as the long-awaited successor to the original Q45 sedan that first put the brand on the map.

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“Experimenting with new proportions in a typically conservative segment, the Q Inspiration features a shorter hood and elongated body,” says Karim Habib, here delivering his first major concept car as the newly named Infiniti executive design director. “We aim to take the traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution.”

(more…)