Potential customers for 4x4 Sprinters include ski resorts needing to shuttle people through heavy snow; emergency crews needing to battle inclement weather; railroad workers coping with steep grades; and oil crews working in muddy conditions....More
Mercedes-Benz rolls out the '15 Sprinter cargo van with new technologies such as part-time 4-wheel drive and a more sophisticated electronic stability control system to mitigate the effect of heavy winds and prevent rollovers during extreme maneuvers. A model also is available with a 7-ft. roof.
The redesigned '15 Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon are a pair of finely engineered and sharply styled trucks almost certain to draw buyers back into the midsize-pickup segment. (See related story: Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon Bold Move in Moribund Segment)
Kia's first all-electric powertrain in the U.S. comes in the style-heavy Soul, which carries over its internal-combustion-engine cousin's cute-squared appearance with some unique features. (See related story: Kia Electrifies Our Soul.)
The ’15 GLA CUV is based on Mercedes-Benz’s popular entry level CLA sedan. The vehicle shares the sedan’s sculpted good looks, but it has the practical appeal of a CUV, and unlike the CLA, rear headroom for adult passengers .
VWA has led the U.S. in the diesel category, where TDI take rates have hovered around 40% for the Passat sedan, 35% for the Jetta and 23% for the brand overall. So the expanded availability of the even better new 2.0L should be a hit....More
The refreshed Navigator comes with a stout new powertrain, advanced adaptive suspension, new seats, exterior cosmetic updates, a user-friendly interface and a leather-wrapped instrument panel with distinctive cross-stitching....More
The upgrades to Navigator are appreciated, although there wasn’t much budget to change the overall aesthetic inside or out or to address interior fit-and-finish shortcomings, such as the substandard trimming of the headliner.
Ford Transit earns a standing ovation for its excellent 5-cyl. diesel engine, two wide-swinging rear doors, a side slider and a full-length vinyl floor covering that is heavy-duty, sweepable and easily cleaned....More
Ford Transit van is big enough to fit Keith Richards’ wardrobe and all of his on-stage amplifiers (a wall of nine speaker cabinets and amps) and guitars, as well as the medicine chest of tonics, pain killers and other substances necessary to keep him alive.
On the outside, Acura's new midsize TLX sedan bears too close of a resemblance to the model it replaces. Inside, the brand did a fine job on fit-and-finish but the car has some inspired cues. (See related story: The TLX: Acura’s New-Old Car.)
Domestic sales fell after the national consumption tax was increased April 1, but the decline was offset by brisk demand in North America and the effects of the weaker yen against the dollar, among other pluses....More
Dennis Williams does not seem convinced complete wage parity will occur, as he talks about “bridging” the gap between the two levels and stresses that the automakers must continue to be successful....More
Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle discussions usually turn to the I word: infrastructure. Automakers are investing too much into FCVs to guess whether refueling infrastructure will grow. It will. But for now it’s running on fumes....More
In India, top software engineers are considered as cool as top athletes. In the U.S., software engineers could not compete with badminton players in popularity, much less baseball and football stars....More
Testing will begin with single vehicles on closed roads with the goal of making U.K. road users, as well as legislators, police and insurance companies, confident about how driverless pods and fully and partially self-driving cars can operate safely....More
Automotive engineers gathered recently at Detroit's Cobo Center for SAE 2014 Convergence to map the future of electronics as it enables autonomous vehicles, electric drivetrains, new human-machine interfaces, greater connectivity and faster computing speeds. The conference featured several panel sessions, and 70 companies exhibited on the show floor. IAV also demonstrated its highly automated concept vehicle on Detroit highways.
With NFC, “we can now add things like unpairing, which is something that we really, really want to promote people to do, especially if you’re driving rental cars and so on,” says Ford's Jim Buczkowski. “You don’t want to leave any of your identity in the vehicle. Often today, we’re so quick to get out of the vehicle, we don’t do that.”...More
Underwood's research suggests the first two types will be in the market by 2020, but that the era of fully automated vehicles will not begin until about 2030. In 2025, Underwood says highly automated cars that drive themselves on urban highways and surface streets should be available....More