To say the refresh performed on the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze is mild would be an understatement. Besides a new grille and fascia that more closely follows Chevy's corporate styling theme as seen on the Malibu and Impala, there is very little to visually set the new Cruze apart from the old. Whether the updated look is an improvement is up for debate, but we're sure all 2015 Cruze shoppers will be pleased with the increased functionality of the car's in-cabin technology.
The 2015 Cruze boasts a seven-inch touchscreen in the center console powered by the latest versions of the brand's OnStar and MyLink software packages. With it comes the ability to act as a 4G wifi hotspot, Siri Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6 and iOS 7 users, and, soon, access to the new Chevrolet AppShop. The interior sees a few minor improvements, such as reshaped cupholders and some switches and buttons that have been made more conveniently accessible.
As we said, the updates are all pretty minor, but the Cruze has held up well since it first went on sale in North America for the 2010 model year. Check out our high-res image gallery of live shots from the New York Auto Show and feel free to read through the press release below.
2015 Chevy Cruze brings a little nip, tuck to New York originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
There's little to nothing that a paparazzo won't do in order to get their shot. That can be a good thing when the shutterbug is on the trail of an automaker's latest prototype. Somewhat less so when it impedes on an individual's privacy, as the Schumacher family has discovered on numerous occasions.
Back in December we reported on a supposed journalist - though not one we'd ever want to keep company with - who dressed as a priest in order to gain access to the hospital room where Michael Schumacher lay comatose following his ski accident. But as it turns out he wasn't the only one who took to disguising his identity (and assuming someone else's) in order to get closer to the imperiled seven-time world champion.
According to Schumacher's manager/spokesperson Sabine Kehm, another individual tried to pass himself off as Michael's father Rolf Schumacher (pictured above with brother Ralf) in order to get into the hospital room and, apparently, to snap a photo of Schumi in his hospital bed. Which only makes us wonder to what lows someone might sink to next in order to get that elusive picture.
The paparazzi may never get that chance, though. Schumacher has reportedly been showing signs of awareness and consciousness, even interacting (in limited capacity) with his surroundings. As his condition improves, Michael is expected to be moved to a rehabilitation clinic and eventually back home where his wife Corinna has reportedly installed some $17 million in medical equipment. Once out of the hospital, the Schumacher family may be able to exercise tighter control over security and refrain from releasing updates to the public on the retired Formula One driver's condition and progress.
Journalist impersonates Schumacher's dad in bid to see comatose F1 champ originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
With a dozen years atop the nation's best-selling car charts, you might think that there wouldn't be a lot of incentive for Toyota to rework its Camry, particularly so early in the life of the current model. But despite its unassailable sales totals, the midsize sedan has come in for substantial criticism for its milquetoast dynamics, piecemeal interiors and bland design.
As part of CEO Akio Toyoda's mantra to build more exciting cars, the 2015 Camry has arrived with a fresh new look and content that goes far beyond the Japanese automaker's typically slight mid-cycle redesigns. Featuring some 2,000 new parts, the 2015 Camry casts a 1.8-inch longer shadow and stretches across a widened track (0.4 inches). And it won't be just the widened track that should help deliver a more dynamic performance - Toyota is citing a stiffer chassis thanks to additional spot welds along with a rejiggered suspension, retuned electric power steering and a new two-stage brake booster for improved braking feel.
A new XSE trim promises the sportiest performance yet, including model-specific shock absorbers and springs, stiffer bushings, unique stability control programming and 18-inch wheels to go along with a unique front end treatment featuring mesh grille inserts and a revised fascia.
But Camry sales have rarely been driven by performance - millions of the things have been purchased due to the family sedan's ironclad reputation for attributes like reliability, strong resale value, comfort and ease of use. The latter two aspects often help secure the former, and to that end, Toyota has made a lot of changes to the Camry's interior, both seen and unseen. Visible changes include a redesigned gauge cluster with a new 4.2-inch TFT display, richer materials, a redesigned center stack and a console tray with available wireless charging. Hidden alterations include 30-percent more sound insulation to help deliver a serene ride.
Despite all these changes, the Camry's powertrains appear to be largely carryover, with an available 2.5-liter four-cylinder or 3.5-liter V6 engine, both yoked to conventional six-speed automatic transmissions. The Camry Hybrid will continue to be offered with a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder paired with an electric motor and electronic continuously variable transmission. As previously reported, the Camry Hybrid is joined by a new SE trim with a firmer suspension and retuned steering. So far, Toyota is keeping performance metrics close to the vest - there's no word yet on power, acceleration or fuel economy figures.
Most of the discussion coming out of today's New York Auto Show is likely to be centered on the Camry's very different looks - particularly in sportier XSE trim. With scowling headlamps, gaping new lower fascia and a sharply creased hood, this new model as far more attitude than its predecessor.
What do you think? Have a look in our gallery above, then vote in our poll.
2015 Toyota Camry ushers in 'sweeping redesign' [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
At next week's Beijing Motor Show, Volvo is set to introduce a new member of its plug-in hybrid family. The company has had success with the world's first diesel PHEV, the V60 plug-in hybrid, but the new S60L is dubbed a PPHEV. The extra P stands for petrol.
"This is our most technologically advanced powertrain ever" - Peter MertensUnsurprisingly given the debut location, the S60L PPHEV is a vehicle that is destined for the Chinese market. Volvo says the car should arrive in "early 2015" after production starts at the company's Chengdu plant. There is a chance that China-built Volvos will make their way to the US at some point, but whether that invasion fleet includes the S60L PPHEV is difficult to predict at this point.
Similar to the V60 PHEV, the plug-in S60L mates up a four-cylinder, 238-horsepower Drive-E turbo engine with a 68 hp electric motor fed by an 11.2-kWh lithium-ion battery pack to be, "an electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car all rolled into one," Volvo claims. The two power sources provide 350 and 200 newton meters of torque (258 and 148 pound-feet), respectively. The torque is routed through an eight-speed automatic gearbox and the whole package uses just two liters of fuel per kilometer (the equivalent of 117 miles per gallon) in default hybrid mode. All-electric range is a solid 30 miles. In a prepared statement (available below), Volvo's senior VP of research and development, Peter Mertens, called the setup, "our most technologically advanced powertrain ever." If it's that good, Volvo, go ahead and sell the car worldwide.
Volvo S60L Petrol Plug-in Hybrid is the full package originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
You've seen the power a 600-horespower engine can produce on a racetrack. You may have seen the results of what 600 horsepower looks like on a local highway. But have you seen what 600 horsepower can do in an elevator shaft? This might be a new one.
Mercedes-Benz introduced its 2015 S63 AMG Coupe in New York on Tuesday night, literally driving the 4,400-pound vehicle off an elevator in a Manhattan loft. Not that the car needed any extra hijinks to make an impression upon its entrance. This is a stylish, imposing vehicle.
Under the brawny hood is a hand-built, twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 engine, capable of producing 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Mercedes' seven-speed AMG Speedshift automatic transmission handles that force, which pushes the vehicle to 60 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds. Power is sent to the road via the company's 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.
Conventional widsom may say that Americans are buying fewer two-door vehicles than ever before, and that they're buying smaller cars than ever before. The S63 AMG Coupe, which launches this fall, joyfully thumbs its nose at such logic. There's every reason to think it will help AMG continue its growth from 32,000 worldwide units sold last year.
Mercedes-Benz also showed shots of the interior of its highly anticipated AMG-GT. Red and black leather encompassed what appeared to be a spacious cabin. More detail is expected on the AMG-GT this fall. Combined, both cars look like they'll keep AMG at the forefront of the luxury performance segment. Have a look at the S63 Coupe in the galleries above and below, and scroll down to read the company's official press blast.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Citroën has unveiled preliminary images and information about "the first ever SUV for the brand," the DS 6WR, before the model's official debut at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show. Said to be directly inspired by the Wild Rubis concept that bowed in Shanghai last year, the new addition to the DS family breaks new ground for the French brand, while not exactly living up to the SUV tradition.
The DS 6WR will slot in at the top of the brand's luxury-oriented DS range (where it will also be built), offering space and versatility along with added size for Chinese customers. Citroën is as-yet unclear if the model will make it to Europe, or elsewhere in the world.
The French automaker will initially offer the utility vehicle with a choice of two engine options, an e-THP 160 and THP 200 - those numbers seem to reference output in metric horsepower, meaning roughly 158 hp and 197 hp, respectively. Each mill offers both direct injection and a twin-scroll turbo, and both mate up to a six-speed automatic gearbox.
Despite a proliferation of SUV references in the short press release below, the DS 6WR's lack of all-wheel drive, even as an option, along with it's car-like styling and ride height have us calling this one firmly in crossover territory. The front-drive vehicle comes equipped with Citroën's "Grip Control" traction control system, in place of turning wheels at all corners.
You'll find just a few initial images of the wild DS 6WR in the gallery, and can look forward to more as we bring you live coverage from Beijing later this month.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Ford has done it again. Like in April of 1964, there is once again an all-new Mustang Convertible sitting on the observation deck of New York City's Empire State Building. This has been in the making for a little while, with the first report that Ford would recreate the sky-high publicity stunt coming out a few weeks back.
The process of getting the Mustang up there wasn't exactly easy. A Troy, MI-based company chopped up the new droptop, a necessary evil to get the Mustang on the Empire State Building's only freight elevator that runs to the 86th floor observation deck. But it was slightly more involved than just taking the car apart. The company, DST, built a mockup of the ESB's freight elevators, and then practiced its cuts on a second pre-production Mustang Convertible (measure twice, cut once).
The result of all this work are the images you see above. Yes, sitting in the crisp, morning air of midtown Manhattan, over 1,000 feet up, is this brilliant, Triple Yellow Mustang. Take a look up top for our gallery of images from today's event. You can also scroll down for videos and images of the process leading up to the ESB debut.
Ford overlooks the Big Apple in the 2015 Mustang Convertible [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Barra announced that she's creating another group within the company that will monitor new products for safety issues.General Motors CEO Mary Barra continued to make changes Tuesday, which she said would help lead the embattled company out of a crisis caused by deadly defects in some of its vehicles.
On the eve of the New York Auto Show, Barra announced that she's creating another group within the company, the "global product integrity organization," that will monitor new products for safety issues. Mark Reuss, the company's vice president of global product development, will head the new group.
"This is a group that, may parts of it, will be dedicated to reviewing products going through the pipeline now, and in the future," said Barra who was making her first public appearance since testifying before Congress two weeks ago.
The group will work in tandem with Jeff Boyer, who was appointed last month to the newly created position of vice president of global vehicle safety. Barra touted several internal initiatives she's made at General Motors in the wake of the widening recall crisis - which has affected more than 2.5 million cars and caused at least 31 car accidents - including Boyer's appointment.
But much like she did in her testimony before two Congressional committees, Barra wouldn't answer questions on whether the company would create a fund to compensate victims. Nor would she answer whether GM would support new laws that required automakers to report more information to federal regulators, saying she needed to wait for an internal investigation to be completed.
General Motors creates new safety organization in wake of recall originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Hyundai's new North American CEO Dave Zuckowski pulled a silky sheet off of the redesigned 2015 Sonata here at the New York Auto Show, ushering in not only a new era of domestic stewardship for the company, but also a new, more mature design direction for its mass-market vehicles.
Though we've already seen the striking sedan in a wealth of recent photos, seeing the car in person confirmed that Hyundai has another hit on its hands. The Sonata employs the Korean automaker's new "Fluidic Sculpture 2.0" design language, which we already witnessed in the new, much lower-volume Genesis. Hyundai describes the language as being more dignified, respectable and confident. We certainly agree with that.
Gone are the swooping lines of old, which grabbed our attention on the previous generation. They've been replaced by straight edges and harder angles, most noticeably along the car's beltline. A larger, more refined grille with a wide air intake leads the car down the road. The stance is athletic, with a steeper, coupe-like roofline, quad chrome-tipped exhaust ports and horizontal lines in the rear, which give the car a planted look. The redesigned headlights are wing-like in appearance and, man, that burnt orange color is sexy.
Under the hood, the engines remain the same - a 2.4-liter four cylinder and 2.0-liter turbo-four - though both have been tweaked to improve performance, mostly in low-RPM situations. Additional updates include a redesigned and bigger interior, which Hyundai says greatly emphasizes ergonomics and comfort, a much more rigid platform, a wealth of new safety features and lots of new tech and infotainment updates, including the smart trunk, first seen on the new Genesis. It's one of the simplest, yet most novel features we've seen in 2014.
There's a lot to Hyundai's new midsize sedan. See the full presser below for all the info.Permalink | Email this | Comments