Posts Tagged ‘NAIAS’

Jeep Cherokee Gets a More Conventional Look for 2019

Less “polarizing” headlights, but still some “weirdness” in the design.

by on Jan.16, 2018

The Trackhawk and Limited versions of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee finally break cover.

SUVs and crossover-utility vehicles are the hottest things on the market right now, accounting for half of U.S. new vehicle sales last year, and few brands have done a better job riding that wave than Jeep.

The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles brand is looking to hit record global sales of 2 million this year. That’d be double what Jeep  delivered as recently as 2014 and more than triple its volume when Chrysler was taken over by Italy’s Fiat at the beginning of the decade.

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Give credit to several factors, including not only the surge in overall demand for utility vehicles but the rapid expansion of the Jeep line-up and the race to keep existing models fresh. That includes the 2019 Jeep Cherokee that’s making its debut at this year’s North American International Auto Show.

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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…)

Honda, Volvo and Lincoln Take 2018 NACTOY Honors

Honda wins car honor, but Kia Stinger makes biggest splash.

by on Jan.15, 2018

Honda's Henio Archangeli enjoys the win in the 2018 North American Car of the Year Award in Detroit. (Photo credit: Brendan Strong)

In what was seen as the most unpredictable set of choices in the 24 years of the NACTOY Awards, Honda Volvo and Lincoln pulled out wins on Monday morning, marking the start of the 2018 North American International Auto Show.

The highly coveted awards, which new vehicle buyers can expect to start hearing about in a flood of online, television and radio ads almost immediately, are considered influential among new vehicle buyers.

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“We have an incredibly broad set of vehicles this year,” said Mark Phelan, president of the North American Car and Truck of the Year, adding, “I’ve never had less of a clue of who I think would win” before being handed the results of the secret ballot. (more…)

Toyota’s Flagship Avalon Gets Makeover for 2019

Exterior update matched by interior improvements.

by on Jan.15, 2018

Toyota's flagship, Avalon, gets a refresh for the 2019 model year and comes in a hybrid model as well.

The North American International Auto Show is being dominated by trucks this year with some notable exceptions, such as the fifth generation Toyota Avalon.

The 2019 Avalon unveiled in Detroit, with its 113-inch wheel base, sits on Toyota’s New Global Architecture platform, and is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 or Toyota Hybrid System powertrain, which is coming to market right along with the V6 to give consumers more choices when it arrives in showrooms.

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The new Avalon also has several new features, such as standard Apple CarPlay and Dynamic Auxiliary Turn Signals, available authentic Yamaha wood and aluminum cabin accents, and Engine Sound Enhancement that are used in a Toyota product for the first time. (more…)

GM CEO Barra Wants to Turn a Profit – Soon – on Electric Vehicles

New platform, high volume and cheaper batteries are key.

by on Jan.15, 2018

General Motors CEO Mary Barra recently signed off on a plan to expand the company's portfolio of electric vehicles.

While there are only a handful of long-range electric vehicles on the market right now, you can expect to see as many as two dozen or more in U.S. showrooms by the end of the decade, and several times as many five years from now.

Virtually every major automaker has promised to “electrify” its line-up, and companies like General Motors, Toyota and Daimler AG plan to put a premium on pure battery-electric models. While that may be great news for green-minded auto buyers, there’s a serious flaw in the equation for auto manufacturers, says Woong-chul Yang, the head of R&D for both Hyundai and its sibling brand Kia.

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“Whenever we sell eco-friendly vehicles we all lose money,” the South Korean executive told TheDetroitBureau.com after presiding over the rollout of the new Kia Niro EV at the Consumer Electronics Show last week. “Even battery vendors are losing money.” (more…)

Convince Public Autonomous Cars Are Good Chao Tells Automakers

Transportation Secretary says DOT's role is safety.

by on Jan.14, 2018

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao shows the latest finding from the department on automated driving. (Photo credit: Brendan Strong)

The Trump Administration will not be in the business of “picking winners and losers” when it comes to automotive technology, particularly automated or self-driving systems, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao told a crowd in Detroit.

During a visit to the North American International Auto Show’s AutoMobiliD exposition, Chao repeatedly said the department’s top priority was safety. However, she was also just as clear about how much her agency would be involved in the process.

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“We are not going to be top down,” she said. “We’re not going to be command and control. We are tech neutral and the technological advances we see are very exciting. Our preeminence as a nation, as far as technology, is something we should strive to preserve.” (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…)

Waymo Casts Wide Net for Potential Users

Krafcik outlines company's plans.

by on Jan.10, 2017

Chrysler and Waymo have limited their partnership to 100 of the modified minivans.

Waymo plans to target multiple segments with self-driving technology once it is ready for the road, Waymo Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik said during a talk at the annual Automotive News World Congress.

“The first point to keep in mind is we’re not making a car,” Krafcik said. “We’re working on making a better driver, he said.

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Better and safer “drivers” are the key to reducing the staggering number of road fatalities, which are estimated at 1.5 million annually, according to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. (more…)

Lightning Strikes the Detroit Auto Show

Pixar rolls out life-size Lightning McQueen ahead of “Cars 3” debut.

by on Jan.08, 2017

Pixar's top executives John Lasseter, left, Jay Ward and Jay Shuster, as well as Lightning McQueen, provided a sneak peek at "Cars 3."

Making a return to “where the idea of ‘Cars’ got its life,” John Lasseter and several other members of the Pixar creative team rolled into Detroit’s Cobo Hall on Sunday afternoon – along with a life-size replica of the film franchise’s hero, race car Lightning McQueen.

The film, a runaway 2006 hit, is about to bring the wise-mouthed McQueen back in the latest sequel, “Cars 3.” But this time, the rookie racer has become a fading veteran, struggling to hold back a challenge from a new generation led by the film’s villain, Jackson Storm.

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“The goal (for Storm) was to create a car that looked completely different – what a NASCAR racer would look like in 20 years,” explained Lasseter, the Pixar creative director and son of an auto parts depot manager. (more…)

Detroit Auto Show Ready to Go Mobile with AutoMobili-D

Showcase emphasizes importance of technology in auto industry.

by on Dec.09, 2016

The AutoMobili-D exposition, show in this artist's rendering, is expected to open 50 start-up companies as part of its 120 exhibitors overall.

For years now automakers have been emphasizing the amount of technology used in today’s new cars, trucks and utility vehicles. In fact, so much so that some auto shows are hosting entirely separate “show within a show” style events to showcase that technology.

At the North American International Auto Show, it’s called AutoMobili-D and in its inaugural event, it will feature nearly 50 start-ups from around the world featuring innovative mobility platforms in January at Cobo Center.

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Those start-ups are part of a group of 120 companies overall inhabiting a 120,000 square-foot section of Cobo Center highlighting the latest in autonomous vehicle technology as well as other gee-whiz-advancements for vehicles. (more…)

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