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Chevy presents Colorado with 'technology and stuff' to World Series MVP [UPDATE]

Posted Oct 30th 2014 12:45PM

Chevy presents Colorado to World Series MVP

UPDATE: Chevy was quick to turn Wilde's nervousness into social media pay dirt this afternoon, embracing the "technology and stuff" line with a hashtag on Twitter, and even a starring role on the Colorado's consumer website. That's what you call lemonade, folks.

Being named the Most Valuable Player in the World Series has its perks. For one, it means you're pretty much the best baseball player in the world. You'll probably never have to pay for a drink, too. But it also means you get... a brand new Chevy!

Every year Chevrolet gifts a new car to the MVP at the World Series, just as it does at the All-Star Game and at the Super Bowl. It's a good marketing gimmick, associating the brand with winners and stuff that America likes. So long as you can get someone to verbalize that relation at the handover ceremony. But the Bowtie brand seemed to fall short when it asked one of its regional managers, Rikk Wilde, to make a little speech and give San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner the keys to his new Chevy Colorado.

Wilde's speech was a little awkward, to say the least, but at least he made sure to point out all the "class-winning... and -leading...um, you know, technology and stuff."

News Source: Bleacher Report

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

An Anonymous Standout

Posted Oct 30th 2014 11:57AM

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

Cadillac has become a very, very different company since the dawn of the new millenium. Its turn-of-the-century lineup, consisting of staid offerings like the Seville, DeVille and Eldorado, represented the Old Cadillac. These cars were plagued with Old GM quality issues and catered to a more elderly audience. Since the company's Art and Science design language arrived, though, we've seen Cadillac flesh out its lineup in a big way, introducing notable and (so far) enduring products, like the the CTS, SRX and most recently, the ATS.

With the CTS tackling the 5 Series segment and the SRX duking it out with the Lexus RX and its classmates, the ATS has been left with the tough task of battling the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, among others. Critically, at least, it has excelled in this role, but it's still working on finding its feet sales-wise. On paper, broadening the model range by adding a two-door personal luxury coupe could help.

After a week with the ATS Coupe, though, we've found a car that, while retaining the standard model's excellent driving character, doesn't quite offer enough visual excitement to stand up to other cars in its segment.

Vital Stats

Engine:
3.6L V6
Power:
321 HP / 275 LB-FT
Transmission:
6-Speed Auto
Warranty:
4 Years / 50,000 Miles
Base Price:
$37,995
As-Tested Price:
$53,610

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Brandon Turkus / AOL

Citroën shoots for the moon with C3 Aircross Lunar concept in Brazil

Posted Oct 30th 2014 11:30AM

Citroën C3 Aircross Lunar Concept

Crossovers are the name of the game at the Sao Paulo Motor Show this year, with numerous European and Japanese automakers using the occasion of Latin America's largest auto show to showcase new high-riding concepts. This latest example comes from Citroën.

Called the Aircross Lunar, the concept is based on the C3 Picasso minivan but gives it a more rough-and-tumble appearance – similar to the larger C4 Aircross but even more rugged, as if prepared to drive over the surface of the moon. Citroën isn't saying much about the concept, but as you can see, it is fitted with knobby BF Goodrich tires, beefed-up bumpers, contrasting wheel arches, side sills inspired by the C4 Cactus, a hinged and oddly square spare tire carrier and a roof rack with dual containers anchored to the front wheel arches. (Can't count on gravity to keep them locked down on the moon, now can you?)

Brazil represents half of all Citroëns sold in Latin America and the C3 – manufactured locally in Porto Real – is its top seller, with 320,000 units sold since the introduction of the first-generation model in 2003.

News Source: Citroen

GM expanding Lansing Lambda CUV plant

Posted Oct 30th 2014 11:01AM

GM Lansing Delta Township Assembly

Considering that crossovers are a rapidly growing portion of the US auto market, it's not surprising to hear that General Motors is preparing to build even more of them. The company is investing $63 million to expand its Lansing Delta Township Assembly plant that builds Lambda platform CUVs like the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave.

According to GM, the expansion will add roughly 263,000 extra square feet of space to the plant. Of that, 181,000 square feet will be for an updated body shop with cutting-edge robots. There will also be 54,000 square feet of additional room in the paint shop and 28,000 square feet of more area for general assembly.

GM isn't saying as much, but there is the possibility that this extra space could allow for additional models produced at the factory. Cadillac reportedly dropped plans to build a three-row SUV on the Lambda platform earlier this year, however, dealers for the luxury brand were recently pitched the possibility of adding large and small CUVs, an ATS convertible or a sedan below the ATS.

The plant is already GM's newest in North America and is the first auto factory in the world to be a Gold Certified Leader in Energy and Environmental Design. It currently employs 3,295 people and covers 3.4 million square feet, including its stamping area. Scroll down to read the full announcement.

News Source: General Motors

FCA recalling 33k vans and SUVs for TPMS problems in two campaigns

Posted Oct 30th 2014 10:30AM

Ram ProMaster

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is issuing two, separate recalls covering a total of 33,443 examples in the US of the 2014 Ram ProMaster, 2014 Jeep Wrangler, 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan and 2014 Chrysler Town & Country because of potential problems with the tire pressure monitoring system in the vehicles.

The first campaign is for 23,053 units of the 2014 Ram ProMaster. It's possible for the TPMS to not recognize the location of the data coming from the sensors in the wheels. If this happens, then the low tire pressure warning light comes on and potentially gives the driver a false positive. If the warning isn't cleared, and drivers keep going, they might not be aware of another tire that actually has low pressure. This fix for this is a software update.

The second recall covers 10,390 examples of the 2014 Wrangler, Grand Caravan and Town & Country. According to FCA, it's possible that a test mode for the TPMS is still on since being shipped from the supplier. On affected vehicles, it could cause inaccurate pressure readings. The repair involves disabling that mode on the TPMS module.

Neither issue is responsible for known injuries or accidents, and affected customers should be advised by mail in November. Scroll down to read FCA's statement about both recalls and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report for the ProMaster campaign. The agency has not yet published a similar announcement for the other repair.
Related Gallery2014 Ram Promaster
2014 Ram Promaster2014 Ram Promaster2014 Ram Promaster2014 Ram Promaster2014 Ram Promaster2014 Ram Promaster2014 Ram Promaster2014 Ram Promaster

News Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Image Credit: Ram, Jeep, Dodge

The New York Times kills off Autos section

Posted Oct 30th 2014 10:02AM

Earns New York Times

New Yorkers, newspaper readers, new car buyers and automotive enthusiasts around the world will be saddened as we are to learn today that The New York Times is shutting down its automotive section. The supplement came as part of the newspaper's Sunday edition for some 20 years, but will run no longer as the Times works to trim overhead and streamline operations in an effort to keep from going under completely.

The Autos section of NYTimes.com will reportedly continue to operate, although it's unclear what the cutback will mean for the employment of longtime automotive editor Jim Cobb, his deputy Norman Mayersohn (for whom this writer had the privilege of working years ago) and the rest of the staff and roster of stringers, but we wish them each all the best, wherever they land.

The news comes a year after the publication shut down its Wheels blog in a previous round of budget cuts, and over six years after the LA Times similarly shut down its automotive section. The shuttering of these and other automotive supplements comes amidst hard times for traditional newspapers, many of which are facing declining advertising revenues, plummeting subscription levels and competition from free online news outlets.

News Source: Capital New York

Image Credit: Mark Lennihan/AP

SRX-replacing Cadillac XT5 spied for the very first time

Posted Oct 30th 2014 9:28AM

2016 Cadillac XT5

Cadillac has got big plans in place to revitalize its lineup, with new sedans, coupes and crossovers. And it all starts with this, the replacement for the SRX.

Expected to be called XT5 in line with the brand's new naming scheme, the crossover will be based on a scalable new platform called C1XX – or Chi, for short. In its shorter form, Chi is anticipated to underpin the XT5 as well as a new Chevy crossover and the next-gen GMC Acadia. In long-wheelbase form, the platform is slated to give us a larger Cadillac crossover as well as a new Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse.

Power in the XT5 will be provided by a choice of turbo four or atmospheric six, potentially to be transmitted through GM's new nine-speed automatic.

Although it's hard to discern much from the shots of this heavily camouflaged prototype, our snappers on the ground point out that it's got a grille similar to that one the new ATS Coupe, and that a boxy appendage is actually hiding a sloping rear window. Multiple radar sensors can also be seen, along with the mirrors moved from the windows to the doors and dual chrome exhaust pipes popping out the back.

Look for the Cadillac XT5 to debut late in 2015 or early 2016 as a 2016 or 2017 model, with production to shift from Mexico to Spring Hill, TN.

Image Credit: Chris Doane Automotive

Chinese protesting VW recall fix nationwide

Posted Oct 30th 2014 8:44AM

Wen Jiabao Visits Volkswagen Factory

This is unquestionably the year of the recall in the United States with an estimated 544 campaigns so far (and counting) that cover around 52 million cars. The repairs are almost starting to seem normal at this point, but apparently the same can't be said for China. That country's buyers are protesting Volkswagen for its handling of one recent safety action.

The issue concerns VW's 1.1-million-vehicle recall in China and North America to fix the rear suspensions on some models of the Beetle, Jetta and the Sagitar. If the rear suspension is damaged in an accident, some parts could subsequently shatter while driving. To rectify the problem, the company is adding a part that makes a sound signaling if an inspection is required. Chinese buyers also get a 10-year warranty on rear-suspension repairs related to the campaign, according to Bloomberg.

The recall affects around 581,000 vehicles in China, which seems moderate by current US standards, but consumers are very displeased with how the campaign is going. They believe that VW is downplaying the severity of the problem. According to Bloomberg, there were recently protests at dealers in Shanghai and Shenzhen with people holding up banners and handing out leaflets against the brand.

The protesters have urged even more demonstrations around the country in the coming weeks, and some have requested that VW either replace the entire rear suspension or refund buyers. According to Bloomberg, at least 340 Sagitar owners have employed a Beijing law firm to sue the automaker. They claim that some vehicles have had rear suspension problems without being involved in an accident and that the company's handling of the campaign has been unsatisfactory.

News Source: Bloomberg

Image Credit: Photo by Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Bicyclist deaths spike on US roads

Posted Oct 30th 2014 8:00AM

Superstorm Sandy

While the roads might be getting just a little safer for motorcycle riders, their two-wheeled compatriots on bicycles appear not to be so lucky. A recent study sponsored by the Governors Highway Safety Association found that annual cycle deaths in the US were up 16 percent from 621 in 2010 to 722 in 2012. In the same period, fatalities for motorists increased only one percent.

While the numbers are on the rise in those years, they represent an improvement over decades ago. According to the study, the highest bicycle death toll since data has been recorded came in 1975 with 1,003 fatalities. The '80s registered an average of 889 annual victims, 792 in the '90s and 696 from 2000 to 2012.

The data also sheds some light on who is at risk riding a bike these days and where. Adults older than 20 represent 84 percent of fatalities in 2012, compared to 21 percent in 1975. Unsurprisingly, urban cyclists who have to deal with lots of traffic and other distractions are the ones who are most in danger. According to the study, 69 percent of fatalities happen in these busy areas, versus 50 percent in 1975.

With deaths on an upswing in recent years, the GHSA is advocating for wider acceptance of safety equipment, and it wants to reduce riding while drunk. The study indicates that only 17 percent of those killed on bikes were wearing a helmet, despite such headgear being proven to lower fatalities. Also, 28 percent of cyclists who die are legally intoxicated.

In addition to those changes for bicyclists, the GHSA suggests that cities with high death tolls need to consider giving riders their own lanes and possibly even separate traffic lights to make cycling safer. Scroll down for the announcement of the study's results.

News Source: Governors Highway Safety Association

Image Credit: Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

This Porsche 356 family keeps it outlaw

Posted Oct 29th 2014 8:00PM



Rod Emory was the founder of Emory Motorsports in Burbank, CA, and the scion to a family tradition of building "outlaw" Porsches that are almost as cool as the cars themselves. The lovingly modified Porsche 356s are lovely artifacts, and their story, along with the story of their builders, is pitch-perfect for the Petrolicious oeuvre of beloved classics.

Tune in for the history lesson, and then stick around for the car candy.

News Source: Petrolicious via YouTube

What you missed on 10.29.14

Posted Oct 29th 2014 7:32PM

uturn

2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

What's black, white and red all over? Not sure? Okay, what's black, white and red all over, boasts a stonkin' 707-horsepower supercharged V8 underhood, four doors with plenty of room for a party of five and a trunk big enough for all their stuff? That's right: It's the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, and we just drove the one you see to your right. Read all about it and let us know what you think.





Here's how Mercedes CLA wagon will lookMercedes CLA wagon rendering

Our spy shooters caught the boffins at Mercedes-Benz out and about while testing the automaker's upcoming CLA Shooting Brake on the German Authbahn. We're pleased as pie with the way it looks, though we're not sure that those of us living in the States will ever see it on US roads. In any case, expect powertrain options to mimic those of the CLA sedan, up to and including the AMG-spec 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 355 horsepower and all-wheel drive.





Ferrari to be spun off from Fiat Chrysler Ferrari / Fiat / Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne

Fiat Chrysler has just announced that it will effectively spin off the Ferrari brand as a separate entity. While still technically under the Fiat family umbrella, the Italian automaker will then be free to list itself on various stock markets around the world, including the United States. How much is 10 percent of Ferrari worth? Probably a whole heck of a lot, and that money will help FCA as it continues to push for more growth.




Top Stories

BMW unveils 2016 X5 M and X6 M super CUVs

Posted Oct 29th 2014 7:00PM

2016 BMW X5 M

2016 BMW X6 MThe second-generation BMW X5 M and X6 M have officially made their arrival for the speed-obsessed, crossover-loving masses that aren't willing to turn to Mercedes-AMG or Land Rover Special Operations.

While the new models retain their 4.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V8s, power has increased from 555 horsepower to 567 ponies. Torque is up more significantly, climbing from 500 pound-feet to 553 pound-feet. The extra twist is slightly less accessible, with peak grunt arriving between 2,200 and 5,000 rpm, rather than the earlier model's 1,500 to 5,650. Still, we'll take the ten percent increase in torque as a net win.

The big powertrain switch sees the old X5/6 M's six-speed automatic replaced with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission from BMW M. This new gearbox feeds power to an xDrive all-wheel-drive system that can variably shuffle up to 100 percent of power to either axle. In conjunction with the force-induced thumper under the hood, this powertrain arrangement allows both M models to hit 60 miles per hour in just four seconds. That's a mightily impressive stat in a 5,000-plus-pound vehicle.

Yet, the new gearbox and amped up engine make for an even more impressive vehicle at the pumps (not that consumers of 560-horsepower, $100,000, 5,000-pound crossovers care about such things). Carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption are down 20 percent on the European cycle.

Prices for the X5 M start at $99,650, while the X6 M rings up at $103,050. Both figures include a $950 destination charge.

Keeping all this technology shiny side up is the job of a double-wishbone front suspension and a standard self-leveling rear air suspension, three-mode dynamic dampers and huge, staggered Michelin Pilot Super Sport UHP tires, with 325/30/21s in back and 285/35/21s in front. For the record, those tires dwarf the rubber on proper supercars like the Ferrari 458 Speciale.

Of course, there's more than just oily stuff to distinguish BMW's M cars. The performance division has given both the X5 and X6 significant aesthetic updates to fit their high-performance role. Flared wheel arches, standard 21-inch M wheels, massive intakes in the front fascia and arguably the coolest wing mirrors we've seen on a production car grant the new M models with seriously eye-catching looks. Typical M features, like quad exhausts and side gills are also present

In the cabin, M's new over-large steering wheel has been fitted, complete with aluminum paddle shifters, while more aggressive sport seats with fixed headrests and an M-spec shifter round out the most visible interior changes.

While BMW is mum on when the new hot shots will arrive in dealers, it has released US pricing, with the X5 M sneaking in just under the century mark, at $99,650. The X6 M, meanwhile, will retail at $103,050. Both figures include a $950 destination charge.

Scroll down for much more in the expansive press release from BMW, and then check out galleries of both the 2016 X5 M and X6 M.
Related Gallery2016 BMW X5 M
2016 BMW X5 M2016 BMW X5 M2016 BMW X5 M2016 BMW X5 M2016 BMW X5 M2016 BMW X5 M2016 BMW X5 M2016 BMW X5 M

News Source: BMW

Volkswagen rolls out sporty Street Up!

Posted Oct 29th 2014 6:31PM

VW Street Up!

When Volkswagen unveiled the production Up! hatchback at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, it showcased a series of concept versions alongside it. At the Geneva Motor Show the following year, it returned with another quartet of whimsical Up! concepts. There were more before and there will be more after. But few of them ever reached production. We have the three- and five-door models, the electric e-Up! and soft-roading Cross Up!, as well as Skoda and Seat versions, but aside from the cool convertible concepts, the one we really wanted was the GT Up!, and that never made the cut. But Wolfsburg seems to be out to at least partially right that wrong with the release of the new Street Up!

This sportier take on the German city car features a sport suspension, 16-inch alloys, racing stripes running up the hood and roof and along the doors and side panels and an interior decked out with contrast stitching, black headliner, unique shift knob and steering wheel. It even comes bundled with premium stereo and climate control. Unfortunately the same engine choices apply, so the most punch available is 75 horsepower. But appearance aside, the sport suspension ought to improve the vehicle's nimble handling around city streets. A mini GTI it may not be, but a sportier hatchback is never a bad thing.
Related GalleryVolkswagen Street Up!
Volkswagen Street Up!Volkswagen Street Up!Volkswagen Street Up!Volkswagen Street Up!

News Source: Volkswagen

2016 Ford Explorer embarks at the LA Auto Show

Posted Oct 29th 2014 5:44PM

2016 Ford Explorer Teaser

Twenty-five years since its debut in 1990, Ford will celebrate a quarter century of Explorer models next year with the debut of a refreshed 2016 model at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19. The Blue Oval is keeping mum on hard details about the updated SUV for now, but the brand promises, "a new look, added capability and additional driver-assist technology," in its announcement.

Company marketing boss Jim Farley elaborated a little more on what to expect. "The new Explorer is still the SUV America fell in love with – a vehicle built for the perfect family adventure," he said in the release that you're welcome to read down below.

An updated Explorer is a pretty big deal for Ford's bottom line. Worldwide, SUVs and crossovers account for about 23 percent of Ford's sales, and the segment is projected to grow to around 29 percent by 2020. Ford further says that SUVs and CUVs are the world's quickest growing segment with demand up 88 percent since 2008.

News Source: Ford

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