Nissan Tweaks Pathfinder with New Rock Creek Package

New offering adds to functionality, performance of SUV.

by on Feb.05, 2019

Nissan is looking to generate a little excitement with its new Rock Creek package for the Pathfinder.

Looking to generate a little excitement, Nissan is showing off its new Pathfinder Rock Creek Edition — a special package of exterior and interior add-ons designed to “emphasize” the ute’s rough-and-tumble heritage.

The new package, which goes on sale this spring for $995, can be had in seven different exterior colors on the SV and SL trim levels in two-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations, officials noted.

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“The Rock Creek Edition name was chosen to connect to Pathfinder’s family outdoor adventure-minded target customers,” said Scott Shirley, vice president, CMM & Marketing Operations, Nissan North America, Inc.  Read the rest of this entry »

First Look: 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD

Bigger, more powerful, more variants.

by on Feb.05, 2019

Chevrolet unveiled its full line-up of HD trucks at the Flint Assembly plant where they're produced.

Ahead of its public debut at the Chicago Auto Show later this week, Chevrolet has pulled the wraps off its all-new 2020 Silverado HD.

The heavy-duty pickup will go up against an assortment of all-new or upgraded models in what has become one of the industry’s most competitive, albeit most profitable, market segments. The bowtie brand is hoping to nonetheless “conquest” buyers away from competitors Ford and Ram by offering up a truck that is longer, more powerful and offers an array of new features, including a “Transparent Trailer” system that makes it possible to see the road behind even when towing a boat or camper.

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“We set out to make the best HD trucks on the market, bar none,” said Jaclyn McQuaid, the chief engineer for both the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado, as well as the Sierra HD recently unveiled by sibling brand GMC. Read the rest of this entry »

Chevrolet Amps Things Up in Heavy Duty War With Silverado HD Debut

“It’s a war” as automakers fight for dominance in the high-profit HD market.

by on Feb.05, 2019

Lead Designer Rick Scheer unveils the new 2020 Chevy Silverado HD line-up at the Flint, Michigan-plant that builds the trucks.

Chevrolet has become the latest in a string of brands to upgrade its entry into the booming, high-profit heavy-duty truck segment.

The 2020 Chevy Silverado HD made its official debut Tuesday at General Motors’ newly updated factory in Flint, Michigan. The oldest and longest continuously operated assembly plant in the GM network, the Flint factory underwent a $1.5 billion makeover to prepare for the launch of the new trucks.

Truck News!

While the U.S. new vehicle market is expected to slip slightly this year, there were few signs of concern among GM officials, the automaker’s President Mark Reuss declaring, “We are so bullish about our trucks this year … we predicted stronger-than-expected earnings in 2019.” Read the rest of this entry »

Toyota Adding a Little Spark to Chicago Show with TRD Pro Tease

Automaker not revealing much with latest clue.

by on Feb.05, 2019

Toyota offered up a bit a teaser for its new TRD Pro offering. It didn't say what vehicle will be getting the package or if it was a separate vehicle entirely.

Toyota was already preparing to show off its updated 2020 Tacoma at this year’s Chicago Auto Show. However, the automaker also has a surprise up its sleeve for Windy City attendees this year.

The company released a teaser video and image today touting a new “TRD Pro off-road beast” that will make its debut in Chicago. This new vehicle will lead “the charge for a host of updates across the TRD Pro line-up,” the company said in a statement.

Auto Show News!

Nothing further is offered leaving so many options open. Will the Tacoma be getting a new TRD treatment? Is Toyota creating a separate TRD Pro vehicle not currently in the line-up? The picture is of no real help. Read the rest of this entry »

Hispano Suiza to Reveal Electric “Hyperlux” Car in Geneva

Forward into the past.

by on Feb.05, 2019

A familiar name is making a comeback at the Geneva Motor Show. Hispano-Suiza is debuting a electric concept dubbed "The Carmen," next month.

An old luxury brand is looking to make a comeback with the launch of a very modern hypercar.

Barcelona-based Hispano Suiza plans to reveal a fully electric “hyperlux grand tourer” during the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. Dubbed the “Carmen,” the new model is named after the granddaughter of the founder of the once iconic brand. Curiously, the decision to adopt battery power actually brings Hispano Suiza back to its roots.

Product News!

The company – whose name means Spanish-Swiss – hasn’t put its name on a new car in nearly three-quarters of a century, but for a handful of concept vehicles meant to spur a revival. But it is now confident enough to begin taking orders for the new, all-electric tourer. Read the rest of this entry »

Tesla Purchasing Ultracapacitor Maker Maxwell Tech

Electrify America turns to Tesla Powerpack for new charging stations.

by on Feb.05, 2019

A Tesla supercharger station.

Tesla will spend $218 million to acquire Maxwell Technologies, an energy company that could help it both reduce battery costs and develop a battery alternative called an ultracapacitor.

Separately, Electrify America, a company dedicated to promoting and supporting electric vehicles, plans to use Tesla’s Powerpack battery backup system at more than 100 of its EV charging stations.

Electrifying News!

“We are always looking for potential acquisitions that make sense for the business and support Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” Tesla said of the planned purchase of Maxwell in a statement.

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Ford Unveils New Heavy Duty Pickup Truck

Top dog in trucks ready to fend off challenges by GM, FCA.

by on Feb.05, 2019

Ford is ready to fend off challenges to its standing as the top producer of heavy-duty trucks.

Ford aims to retain its leadership in the heavy-duty segment even as archrivals General Motors and Fiat Chrysler bring out new models to challenge Ford’s leadership.

Ford is responding by unveiling the 2020 F Series Super Duty Truck that features a new 10-speed transmission, three different engines, including a new diesel engine, and a high-tech trailer back-up assistance set up to go along with more towing capacity.

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Kumar Galhotra, Ford president, North America, said the unveiling at the Chicago Auto Show is part of the broad product offensive the company will launch this year. Read the rest of this entry »

VW Subsidiary Buying Tesla Powerpacks for Charging Stations

Purchase comes just after Musk says powerpack biz will be strong.

by on Feb.04, 2019

As Volkswagen brings more EVs to U.S. consumers, they're going to need places to charge.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said recently that he expected the company’s power storage operations to grow twice as fast as the automotive business for some time going forward … and now Volkswagen’s helping to prove him right.

Volkswagen AG’s subsidiary, Electrify America, plans to install Tesla battery storage, better known as Powerpack systems, at more than 100 charging stations across the United States to help keep costs down for drivers who may have to charge their electric vehicles during peak load times.

Tech News!

Electricity users can incur high-demand charges from many U.S. utilities when they draw a lot of energy from the grid in a short time, which can happen charging an electric vehicle or a number of them at once at a single station. Read the rest of this entry »

FCA Debuting Special Anniversary Minivans in Chicago

35th anniversary editions commemorate a major industry shift.

by on Feb.04, 2019

The 35th anniversary edition Chrysler Pacifica.

Fiat Chrysler will roll out a pair of special edition minivans at the Chicago Auto Show later this week to mark the 35th anniversary of the automaker’s original “people-movers.”

Few individual vehicles have had a more dramatic impact on the U.S. automotive market as did the original Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager when they came to market in 1984, instantly clicking with buyers and rapidly spawning an array of competitors.

Beyond the Headlines!

While minivan sales today are running little more than a third of their one-time peak, they still remain a go-to product for millions of American families and, FCA hopes to take advantage of that with the 35th Anniversary Models it will roll out on Thursday at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center.

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First Drive: 2019 Chevrolet Blazer

Politics, rather than vehicle attribute, could prove the focus for some potential buyers.

by on Feb.04, 2019

The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer RS offers a choice of two engines, front drive or two AWD options.

Everything old is new again, it seems, with all sorts of once-forgotten nameplates rising from the dead. That includes the Chevrolet Blazer which will be rolling back into U.S. showrooms in the coming months.

For those who may remember the Blazer as a classically stocky, body-on-frame SUV, the arrival of the 2019 model could come as a big surprise, however. It’s now taking the form of a sleekly styled, car-based crossover that puts emphasis on the word “sport” and only marginally on the idea of off-roadability.

Reviews You Can Trust!

A couple days of driving the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer through San Diego and the surrounding countryside proved it to be one of the better new entries for those who will never see anything rougher than a gravel road. But the new ute will have to clear a few obstacles, nonetheless, as it has become the cause célèbre for those upset by Chevy parent General Motors’ decision to close three North American assembly plants this year.

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