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Could the Troller, now made in Brazil, help Ford to take on the next-generation Land Rover Defender and other serious off-road vehicles in the U.S.?
 

Is there room under the Blue Oval for Ranger, Bronco and Troller in U.S.?

Posted 11:15 am U.S. ET, Sept. 1
Ever since Ford dropped the midsize Ranger pickup in late 2011, the company has been pestered regularly and repeatedly about replacing it. The answer has always been there’s too much overlap with the F-150 in price, size and fuel economy.
But things have changed. In the past 12 months:
• The 2015 aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 is bigger than the old steel-bodied truck it replaces. Its price has risen, along with a modest fuel economy gain. The F-150’s starting price of $27,225, including shipping, is up more than $5,000 since Ford dropped the compact Ranger.
• General Motors -- in a rare truck marketing win over Ford -- successfully launched the midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GM ...
     Continue reading "Is there room under the Blue Oval for Ranger, Bronco and Troller in U.S.?" » Sep 1, 2015 11:15 am U.S. ET
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Will the next Nissan Z be a crossover?

Posted 11:15 am U.S. ET, Sept. 1
blogs
Nissan's latest small crossover -- the Kicks concept -- was shown in 2014 in Sao Paulo. Nissan plans to showcase how a "Z' crossover could look as early as the Frankfurt auto show this month. (NISSAN)
After scrapping production plans for the Nissan IDx coupes, there is now a very real possibility that the next Z car will be a crossover. Autocar reports that not only will it be previewed in concept form at the Frankfurt auto show, but that it will go on sale in 2017.
How did we get to this point?
For starters, the current 370Z will be a ...
     Continue reading "Will the next Nissan Z be a crossover?" » Sep 1, 2015 11:15 am U.S. ET
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Will another Fiat Chrysler star, or two, bow in Vegas?

Posted 11:30 am U.S. ET, Aug. 25
blogs
The Jeep Gladiator concept at the 2005 Detroit auto show. Nearly all of the roadblocks that have kept a Wrangler-based pickup from becoming reality may soon disappear as Fiat Chrysler weighs its options for expanding Wrangler output.
If you’re a Fiat Chrysler dealer, chances are you were sitting -- or soon will be sitting, depending on when you’re reading this -- in a Las Vegas ballroom today checking out some models.
Except these models gliding across the stage of the Mandalay Bay hotel -- and, FCA executives hope, attracting eyeballs -- have first names like Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge.
Today is the third time in six years that dealers now under the FCA umbrella have gathered together -- in private and without cellphones or cameras -- to get their first glimpses of the vehicles they soon will be asked to sell.
Continue reading "Will another Fiat Chrysler star, or two, bow in Vegas?" » Aug 25, 2015 11:30 am U.S. ET
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How to solve global emissions rift, without dealing in reality

Posted 11:30 am U.S. ET, Aug. 18
blogs

Chris Grundler, who heads the EPA’s office of Transportation and Air Quality, the agency’s top automotive regulator, doesn’t hold out much hope for harmonized global emissions standards for the auto industry.
Grundler isn’t opposed to one global set of clean-air standards, a move that could save automakers billions in product development costs. But the reality of the situation, he said, is this: the United States, European Union, Japan, China and other large markets will not cede their authority to regulate automobile emissions, nor will they replace their own regulations with those created by lawmakers in other countr ...
     Continue reading "How to solve global emissions rift, without dealing in reality" » Aug 18, 2015 11:30 am U.S. ET
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Why Mazda's Jim O'Sullivan is big on new subcompact CX-3

Posted 6:52 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 16
blogs

MONTEREY, Calif. -- Classic Car Week on the Monterey Peninsula is always extra-special for Mazda, what with the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca being a main attraction.
Jim O'Sullivan, dean of U.S. import brand CEOs, seems to relish every minute of it, especially watching his guys Robert Davis, Jeremy Barnes and Weldon Munsey on the track.
But the other thing that has O'Sullivan excited is the fact that CX-3s began racing to Mazda dealerships last week. (Well, racing may be an overstatement. It will be a slow ramp-up of vehicles coming from Japan.)
...
     Continue reading "Why Mazda's Jim O'Sullivan is big on new subcompact CX-3" » Aug 16, 2015 6:52 pm U.S. ET
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Turin auto show reboot provides hope

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Aug. 14
blogs
BMW, Toyota and Audi were among the automakers that praised Turin's Parco Valentino auto show, which attracted 350,000 visitors over four days.
Many European cities have lost their auto shows in recent years. The big exhibitions once held in places such as Turin, London and Madrid are now part of history.
Others such as the Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bologna and Brussels shows have downsized because they cannot compete with Europe’s Big Three – Frankfurt, Paris and Geneva.
Automakers have focused their money and marketing on these three Tier 1 exhibitions as the costs of participating in shows has skyrocketed in recent years while the European auto industry suffered its worst downturn since World War II.
...
     Continue reading "Turin auto show reboot provides hope" » Aug 14, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Audi's 605-hp S8 Plus dials the power up to 11

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, Aug. 11
blogs
The S8 Plus has a few distinguishing elements on the outside, including a redesigned rear diffuser and carbon fiber-accented fender inlets. (Audi)
Is the performance of the Audi S8 not enough for you? The German automaker is introducing an even more powerful version unimaginatively dubbed S8 Plus.
The stock Audi S8 already produces 520 hp and 481 pounds-feet of torque courtesy of its 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8, with power sent to all four wheels via Quattro all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission; it's not exactly lacking.
The S8 Plus, on the other hand, dials the output up to 605 hp and 516 pounds-feet of torque which Audi says is enough to send this mobile office to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds.
...
     Continue reading "Audi's 605-hp S8 Plus dials the power up to 11 " » Aug 11, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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CTS-V sticker reflects shift in Cadillac pricing

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, Aug. 11
blogs

If you squint hard at the label on the Cadillac CTS-V high-performance sedan that hits showrooms soon, you will see a subtle but telling shift in Cadillac’s pricing strategy.
The sticker starts at $83,995, including shipping. That’s about $11,000 below BMW’s M5 and about $9,500 less than the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.
In recent years, Cadillac has tried to price its new entries at parity with the Germans, drawing scorn from critics and dealers. The ATS compact sedan launched in 2012 and the CTS midsize sedan that rolled out a year later are prime examples.
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     Continue reading "CTS-V sticker reflects shift in Cadillac pricing" » Aug 11, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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For Honda, technology isn't just for the young

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, Aug. 11
blogs
Honda's 2016 Accord lineup allows smartphone users to plug their phones into the car using a USB cord, and to access some of the phone's apps through a new seven-inch touch screen in the dashboard. With a second display screen above it, users can access two functions at once, such as the phone's navigation system and the car's music system.
When it comes to the changes Honda made to its freshened 2016 Accord, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Look past the chrome-ier grille and LED taillights and you’ll notice Honda has integrated both Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto into the dashboard.
This makes the new Accord -- which goes on sale next week -- one of the first few vehicles on the market to offer compatibility with both systems.
The purpose is straightforward: Let smartphone users plug their phones into the car using a USB cord, and access some of the phone’s app ...
     Continue reading "For Honda, technology isn't just for the young" » Aug 11, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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The race to find the perfect aluminum alloy

Posted 12:00 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 4
blogs
GM will use advanced mixed-material manufacturing techniques to build the Cadillac CT6 sedan. Techniques include material joining processes such as aluminum laser welding. (GM)
KENNESAW, Ga. -- Tom Boney, who runs the automotive business for aluminum giant Novelis, sees a steady migration to the lightweight metal as fuel economy standards get tougher in the years ahead.
If he’s disappointed that Jeep didn’t choose aluminum for the entire body of the next-generation Wrangler, he doesn’t show it. If he is concerned that Chevrolet, GMC, Ram, Toyota and Nissan are sticking with steel for the majority of the metal in their big pickups, he won’t say it.
Automakers are striving to meet the government’s 54.5 mpg average fuel economy standard per fleet that ...
     Continue reading "The race to find the perfect aluminum alloy" » Aug 4, 2015 12:00 pm U.S. ET
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