Posts Tagged ‘thedetroitbureau’

The 15 Hottest New Cars, Trucks and Crossovers for 2018

Great designs, hot performers, breakthrough safety, unexpected features define the best of the 2018 class.

by on Dec.13, 2017

The Stelvio is the first SUV ever from Alfa Romeo - though more are in the works.

The 2018 model-year is bringing with it an array of new cars, trucks and crossover — with an emphasis on SUVs that matches up with the broad shift in the U.S. market away from traditional sedans and coupes.

All told, buyers can choose from close to 100 different completely new and updated 2018 models, a daunting challenge to those who might not know where to start. So, TheDetroitBureau.com is weighing in with 15 of our favorite picks for the new model-year. These are vehicles that offer stand-out styling, impressive performance, unexpected levels of standard features and the latest in high-tech infotainment and safety gear.

The Best of the Best!

The list includes an assortment of domestic, European and Asian models. And after you read through you’ll understand why we think these 15 are the hottest new cars, trucks and crossovers for 2018.

(more…)

Ferrari Doubling Production a Year Early

If maker hits mark, profits soar past $2 billion.

by on Dec.13, 2017

The Portofino is Ferrari's latest model. CEO Sergio Marchionne is pushing for production levels to double, perhaps next year.

It would appear that CEO Sergio Marchionne is finally getting his wish to bulk up the production of Ferraris as the Italian sports carmaker plans to produce 9,000 vehicles next year.

Marchionne has long wanted to produce more vehicles to squeeze more profits out of the company. It led to a dispute with the former chief, Luca di Montezemolo, which led to his departure from Ferrari. Montezemolo was concerned that building too many vehicles would cut the exclusivity of the brand and lower its value.

Product News!

Clearly, Marchionne disagreed but the new production numbers are a full year ahead of even his projections, according to Automotive News. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Jeep Wrangler

New design means better performance on-road and off.

by on Dec.13, 2017

The Wrangler is back — again! The 2018 Wrangler Sahara is part of a portfolio considered the most capable Jeeps ever.

Few vehicles can match the storied history of the Jeep Wrangler, born nearly 80 years during a competition to build a light-weight military vehicle.

The Willys Corp., one of the many, many ancestors of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, won the design competition and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. The forerunner of the Jeep Wrangler has carried scouts, wounded soldiers and weapons during combat around the world and during the years has also evolved into a favorite of outdoorsman, hunters and fisherman who prized its ability to traverse all sorts of terrain.

Reviews You Can Use!

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler continues the long tradition of being able to travel over all sorts of ground. But it adds a measure of civility and safety that is sure to capture the attention of less adventurous buyers with its ride and handling and new technology. (more…)

Toyota Expects Electrified Vehicles Will Make Up Half of Its Global Sales

Automaker planning partnership with Panasonic.

by on Dec.13, 2017

Toyota Pres. Akio Toyoda at the launch of the Lexus LC coupe - which is offered with a hybrid option.

Toyota Motor Co. President Akio Toyoda said Wednesday that he expects half of the company’s sales to come from electrified vehicles – including hybrids and plug-based models – by 2030.

Toyoda spoke during a news conference called to announce a partnership with Panasonic to develop new battery technology that would be used for future Toyota products. The emphasis on electrified vehicles underscores a major shift in strategy by Japan’s largest automaker which, until recently, focused on hybrids but steered clear of more advanced plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.

Global Auto News!

“The auto industry is now facing a major change of the kind that comes once in a hundred years,” said the 61-year-old grandson of Toyota’s founder.

(more…)

Ford, GM Report Divergent November Sales in China

Overall results were flat for the month.

by on Dec.12, 2017

Ford China Chief Jason Luo noted that Lincoln sales hit record numbers in November.

China may be the world’s largest automotive market, but it appears to be mimicking U.S. auto sales now as November sales came in flat and are up just 1.9% for the year-to-date.

Much like the U.S. market, the Chinese market is coming off a record sales year in 2016. Also like the U.S. market, sales of sedans are falling while sport-utes and crossovers are enjoying a strong year.

Global Auto News!

Through November, sedan sales have fallen 4.8% while utility vehicles have enjoyed an 8.9% jump, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. After a spring slump, sales have increased monthly for seven consecutive months. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Nissan Leaf

Nissan balances range and price while upping the fun factor.

by on Dec.12, 2017

Nissan's second-generation Leaf features a significant upgrade in range and technology.

Eight years after Nissan lifted the covers on what would become the world’s first mass-market battery-electric vehicle, the Japanese automaker has just launched production of the all-new, second-generation Nissan Leaf.

Plenty has changed since the original model came to market. Batteries are growing more powerful, even as their price has fallen more than six-fold since the beginning of the decade, translating into longer range at lower costs. And while “BEVs” still make up little more than a rounding error when it comes to overall U.S. sales, demand is clearly growing. But so is the list of competitors Leaf has to stare down, including both the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Tesla Model 3.

News You Can Use!

With the Gen-2 Leaf, Nissan chose to walk a tightrope. It doesn’t offer quite as much range as the Chevy and Tesla battery-cars, but it’s thousands of dollars cheaper. The 2018 Leaf is also less wonky in appearance and a lot more fun to drive than the model it replaced, TheDetroitBureau.com discovered, during a long day of driving through fire-scarred Napa Valley earlier this month. (more…)

Regular Good Enough When Filling Up Gas Tank, AAA Says

Save your money and use what recommended for your vehicle.

by on Dec.12, 2017

The only difference between regular octane and premium octane gasoline for most vehicles is the price.

With automakers doing all they can these days to deliver more power from smaller and more fuel-efficient engines, it seems the easiest thing to do to help that along is to give your car, truck or SUV “the good stuff,” when you fill up, right?

Wrong. Using higher octane fuel for your vehicle, if it doesn’t require it, does not net any substantive increase in horsepower or improvement in mileage or emissions, according to a new AAA study.

Fueling Up on News!

In essence, all you’re doing is throwing away perfectly good money you could spend elsewhere as the average price per gallon for premium gasoline is as much as 25% more than regular. It may not sound like much, but with the U.S. average hovering around $2.46 for regular and $3.01 for premium, you’re talking about between $7 and $10 on an average fill up. (more…)

Mercedes Taking New “User Experience” to CES

Automakers struggle to add more high-tech content – and make it easier to use.

by on Dec.12, 2017

The interior of the next Mercedes-Benz A-Class shows off its expansive display technology.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has become a showcase for the auto industry, as much as it traditional was for computer, TV and smartphone manufacturers. A number of intriguing products, such as the Volkswagen BUDD-e van and Chevrolet Bolt EV have debuted there in recent years, but Mercedes-Benz is taking a different tack next month, using CES to reveal a completely new infotainment system.

Dubbed the Mercedes-Benz User Experience, or MBUX, it is designed to replace the German marque’s now-familiar COMAND system. Using artificial intelligence and what Mercedes calls “an intuitive operating system,” the goal appears to be finding a way to add even more technology into tomorrow’s luxury products without confounding owners.

Tech News!

That’s a major challenge. Today’s cars are loaded with as many as 100 different microprocessors operating such things as a vehicle’s engine and safety gear. But manufacturers are also loading up with lots of new infotainment technologies and in many cases, they can turn out to be “nightmares” to operate, Renee Stephens, vice president at J.D. Power and Associates noted when unveiling the research firm’s latest APEAL study earlier this year.

(more…)

Volvo XC60 Drives Off with Japan’s Car of the Year Award

Winner pulls away at the end in close vote.

by on Dec.12, 2017

The Volvo XC60 capture the Japan Car of the Year award.

The Volvo XC60 was named Japan Car of the Year, beating out some formidable competition.

In a close vote count that saw the lead change three times between the XC60, beat out the BMW 5-Series and the closest Japanese competitor, the Toyota Camry, the XC60 pulled away at the end polling 294 votes.

Product News!

The XC60 finished some 52 votes in front of the 5-Series and 62 votes ahead of the Camry. (more…)

GM “Absolutely” Could Re-Enter or Europe, Says CEO Barra – or Quit Even More Markets

Addressing workplace harassment a high priority for industry's first female CEO.

by on Dec.11, 2017

GM CEO Mary Barra covered a variety of topics with reporters during a Q&A with the Automotive Press Association in Detroit.

Just months after closing the sale of its long-troubled Opel/Vauxhall subsidiary, General Motors CEO Mary Barra said she would “absolutely” consider the option of returning to the European market if the right opportunity came along – especially with new, “transformative” technologies, such as autonomous and electrified vehicles.

Barra, who was named the first female CEO of a major automaker four years ago this week, took on a wide range of topics, including autonomous and electrified vehicles, tax reform, NAFTA and sexual harassment, during a Q&A session with reporters at a meeting of the Detroit Automotive Press Association on Monday.

News Now!

The 56-year-old Barra has been credited with ushering in widespread change at the largest of the Detroit automakers, a company that emerged from Chapter 11 protection in 2010 only with the help of a massive federal bailout. That has required her to balance the traditional, metal-bending side of the business with next-generation technologies, including electrified powertrains and autonomous driving. She has shown a willingness to break with a tradition that had, for 100 years, translated into bigger is better. (more…)