Archive for February, 2014
CHICAGO — Hot on the heels of Volvo’s new V60 wagon and the company’s new Drive-E 4-cylinder powertrains come high-performance versions of the S60 sedan and V60 wagon.
CHICAGO — At the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, Chevrolet pulled the wraps off a new compact light-commercial van and announced that availability of GM’s compressed-natural-gas (CNG) capable 6.0-liter V8 engine expands to all 2015 Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD cab styles.
CHICAGO — Nissan rolled out two vehicles at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show: one a new trim level of its new-for-2014 Versa Note hatchback and the other a diesel-powered concept version of its Frontier compact pickup truck.
CHICAGO — In addition to the 2015 Soul EV and the 2014 Optima Hybrid, Kia displayed the Niro Concept–an “Urban Hybrid Vehicle” first shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September– at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. The Niro is a subcompact-sized hatchback with a muscled-up, SUV-flavored look courtesy of beefy 20-inch tires and a slightly elevated ride height. Kia says that the aggressive design is meant to invoke the look of a Paris-Dakar rally vehicle. Under the hood is a 1.6-liter, 160-horsepower 4-cylinder and a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that sends power to the front wheels. This powertrain is supplemented by an electric hybrid system that delivers up to 45 horsepower to the rear wheels, giving the Niro all-wheel-drive capabilities when the need arises.
CHICAGO — Subaru introduced a redesigned 2015 Legacy sedan featuring a coupe-like profile with steeper windshield rake and thinner roof pillars, while interiors feature more soft-touch surfaces. A restyled grille can be fitted with shutters to aid aerodynamics, and they’re flanked by new C-shaped LED running lights. Available engines include a 175-horsepower flat four and a 256-horsepower flat six, both connected to a CVT automatic transmission. New safety features in Subaru’s available Eye Sight system include blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, and cross-path detection. Active headlights are also available.
CHICAGO — Toyota’s new TRD Pro Series packages combine rugged looks with an impressive array of off-road equipment. The TRD Pro package arrives for 2015 and can be ordered on 4Runner, Tacoma, and Tundra models.
CHICAGO — Kia unveiled the Soul EV as its first all-electric car to be sold in the U.S. Based on its boxy gas-powered sibling, the Soul EV is promoted as having an 80-100-mile range, while the popular Nissan Leaf is EPA-rated at 84 miles.
According to a domestic manufacturer of full-sized trucks, 1 in 4 pickups sold today are heavy-duty models. That ought to serve the producer in question—General Motors—quite well, considering that it makes 2 of the 4 brands on the market, and its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HDs have been redone, as 2015 models, with new exterior styling, interiors, and features.
Although Volvo’s vehicles had been known as rather conservative during their first couple of decades in the U.S. market, the company was a fairly early adopter of modern turbocharged engines during the smog-darkened days of the 1970s and ‘80s. These arrived for 1981 as “Q-Ship” versions of the company’s workaday 240 Series sedans, boxy cars better remembered for safety than for sport.
The auto industry has thrust a great deal on the buying public in the last decade or so. After about a century of fairly predictable motoring progress, car builders rather suddenly began throwing once-unheard-of options at consumers.