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Report: Crossovers and SUVs are more popular than sedans for first time

AutomotiveNews recently stumbled upon a survey by IHS Automotive, who discovered that Americans are buying more crossovers and SUVs than sedans.

According to the study, the crossover and SUV market now accounts for 36.5 percent of the US light-vehicle market while sedans trail behind at 35.4 percent. The study does only factor retail registrations through May of 2014. But either way, this doesn’t come to much of surprise–just take a look at what you see on the road every time you pop to the shops or head to work.

The SUV and mainly the crossover have been continuously hot topics as buyers seek ways to have only one car that does it all, rather than having multiple cars for various functions. Additionally, thanks to slight improvements with fuel economy and cost, the crossover has become even more popular. And the trend shows no sign of stopping.

Source: AutomotiveNews


Ford releases more details and pictures of 2015 Expedition
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The not-so-new 2015 Ford Expedition was revealed not too long ago in February and the Dearborn automaker released some more details for the new SUV.

In addition to a rather extensive facelift, the updated Expedition receives a new grille and some new headlights to add up to a new face. The 2015 Ford Expedition also gets some new chrome exhaust tips, new wheel designs, a revised tailgate, and optional LED fog lights.

The new model also drops any option for a V8 in favor of the F150′s 3.5L EcoBoost twin-turbocharged mill good for around 360hp and 420 lb-ft of twist. The outgoing 5.4L Triton V8 was good for 300hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. The new V6-equipped Expedition channels its power to the rear or all-four wheels via a new six-speed SelectShift automatic. The result is a tow rating of 9,200lbs when equipped with the proper tow packaging.

Check out the press release after the jump.

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Dodge details 2015 Challenger lineup, equipment, and pricing
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Dodge released the full beans on the 2015 Challenger lineup, including information for packaging, equipment and pricing.

Starting the lineup is the base Challenger SXT with the 3.6L Pentastar V6 good for 305hp and 268 lb-ft of twist mated to an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission. Equipped standard with 18-inch aluminum wheels, the price starts at $26,995.

The next level up is the Challenger SXT Plus for an additional $3,000, serving up more standard kit like a rear spoiler, a sport suspension, larger brakes, fog lights, and 20-inch polished wheels. The inside receives some upgrade like Nappa leather heated and cooled front seats and an 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system.

Then come the 5.7L HEMI V8 models, starting at $31,495 for the Challenger R/T, good for 375hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. With the six-speed manual transmission, a dual-exhaust system, 20-inch Satin Carbon wheels, the R/T moves up in performance. Buyers can also get the R/T Plus, which adds the same appointments as the Challenger SXT Plus. Following the R/T Plus is the R/T Scat Pack at $28,495, boosting power to 485hp and 475 lb-ft of twist thanks to a much more serious 6.4L HEMI V8.

Second to last is the Challenger SRT 392 at $45,995 and lastly, the bonkers Challenger SRT Hellcat at $59,995 with its supercharged 6.2L V8 with 707hp and 650 lb-ft of twist.

For full details, check out the press release after the jump.

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Report: Nissan to retune CVTs for better performance

CVTs are often frowned upon by enthusiasts because of their uninspiring and unengaging mannerisms that make it seem like the engine loathes doing its job by forcing it to whine under acceleration. And then, there are those who tout CVTs for boosting fuel economy (yawn). Either way, Nissan is a brand who heavily uses the CVT and have led enthusiasts to favor them just slightly less. But in an effort to improve their function and behavior, AutomotiveNews reports that Nissan is in the process of creating a software update to make the transmission act more like a conventional automatic.

The upgrade will add D-Step Shift Logic to current and new vehicles, according to Steve Powers, Nissan’s senior manager for powertrain performance. The system will hold a ratio then shift in, to give drivers the impression of a traditional automatic. It’s an easy change because the current transmissions can simply make do with the software update. Older transmission are exempt however, because they require major changes to the transmission’s logic.

The upgrade is due for the 2015 Nissan Versa and Versa Note, along with the Sentra, the V6-powered Altima, Pathfinder, and Quest. Customers reportedly even expressed their feedback, claiming to be bothered by the fact that CVTs aren’t changing gears–well, that’s because they have no fixed gears (derp). This ultimately has affected Nissan’s customer satisfaction ratings because new buyers are unfamiliar with the new technology.

Source: AutomotiveNews

 


Jaguar-Land Rover want to produce a car with fully adaptive car settings w/ video

Jaguar-Land Rover is on a tech binge in an effort to continue catapulting the brand into the future instead of hanging on to its rich heritage to the point of being too retro–like some of their recent models of years past.

As a result, JLR revealed what appears to be a fully adaptive navigation system that takes into account all possible driving mannerisms and translates them into parameters to make your commute as seamless as possible. Factoring driver habits, weather, location, and other factors like the presence of other passengers, the system is intended to automatically adjust settings such as the seat and mirror positions. Additionally, the system can learn what your favorite music is while having that on queue every time you get in and drive. The sat-nav can also figure out the best route to indicate for your commute to and fro work and home.

Should that not impress you enough, the system can also remind you to drop off your youngens at school on your way to work and to not forget their articles for sports practice for the afternoon activities. So basically, it’s like having a real-life Jarvis in your Jag or Land Rover–or like having Alfred digitized into your infotainment system. And should you like having your suspension lowered when you egress from your Range Rover, it could remember to do that automatically for you too.

For full details, check out the press release and the video after the jump.

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Recalls: Chrysler recalls 895,000 Durango and Grand Cherokee models over headliner fires
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Chrysler recently issued a recall for some 895,000 2011-2014 Durango and Grand Cherokee models over concerns with fires in the headliners after a wiring issue with the sun visor could short circuit and cause a fire. It doesn’t help that most headliners these days are just as flammable as a bedroom mattress.

According to the report, screws used to fasten the visor could pierce the wires for the sun visor’s lamp and could cause a fire risk. About 52 unique fire incidents have been reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Dodge and Jeep will inspect affected vehicles for suspected wiring issues and remedy the problem with a spacer, free of charge. Though the condition is not present in all vehicles and is only really a problem if the headliner or vanity mirror have been serviced.

For full details, check out the press release after the jump.

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GMC touts midsize versatility with 2015 Canyon thanks to smaller size
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General Motors is looking to revamp the midsize pickup arena with their latest 2015 GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado. And recently, GMC revealed some more details on the 2015 Canyon as it prepares to join the Toyota Tacoma and the Nissan Frontier, both of which have gone significantly unchanged for the most part.

The 2015 GMC Canyon short-bed with the crew cab is specifically 17 inches shorter than the comparable Sierra 1500 at 212.7 inches long, allowing for easier maneuverability without a terrible loss in capability. The Canyon’s overall width is also narrower by five inches.

“An increasing number of customers don’t need the full capability of a full-size pickup, yet desire the functionality a pickup offers,” said GMC’s vice president of sales and marketing, . “These customers appreciate the smaller size of mid-sized pickups, with their ability to easily fit in a garage, travel downtown areas of big cities, and navigate crowded parking lots. The all-new 2015 GMC Canyon represents the best of both worlds in this sense.”

The 2015 GMC Canyon hits showrooms later this fall.

For the press release, check it out after the jump.

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Photo Renderings: Sketches for the 2016 Kia Sorento leaked
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Photos for the next-generation 2016 Kia Sorento were recently leaked on Kia’s enthusiast site, KiaWorld.

The current second generation Kia Sorento has been with us since 2009 as a 2010 model and when the third generation model gets revealed in 2015 as a 2016 model, it will be six years old–just about the right time for a model replacement.

The new model appears to be receiving a more streamlined design and a more aggressive front fascia, including a more prominent corporate grille and angular headlights. The roofline gets more raked while the overall appearance gets toned down for a more upscale look.

Powertrain and other details are unknown for now, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to presume that the new model will get revised versions of the current model’s Hyundai-sourced 2.0L turbo-four and a naturally-aspirated 3.3L GDI V6 gasser.

The new Sorento is reportedly slated for a reveal in South Korea in September with a US debut following at Los Angeles in November.

Source: KiaWorld

Report: Lancia to be rejuvenated

Posted: Jul 21, 2014
Filed under: 2014, Industry News, Lancia

Report: Lancia to be rejuvenated
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To some surprise, Lancia is alive and, well, not quite well, but alive, thanks to the large support of Fiat. But due to Fiat’s wide connections, Lancias have essentially been sold in Europe as redesigned and rebadged Chryslers or Fiats. So nothing really exciting, like their legendary WRC-champ, the Delta Integrale.

But in a recent report from Italian media, Autoedizione, word is that Lancia could get injected with some pizzazz as Fiat apparently seeks to revitalize the brand and to make it more active. Though, no specifics are available, especially since Fiat is already busy focusing on their efforts with Alfa Romeo.

Source: Autoedizione via WCF


Report: Bentley confirmed to produce a Mulsanne Speed

Bentley is reportedly working on its brand image by being a standard of “sporting luxury,” ushered in by the recent Continental GT3 from not too long ago. Another example of this effort is the recent Continental GT Speed, a more high-performance yet, still luxurious version of said Continental. And to continue with the trend, AutoExpress apparently learned that the Flying B is looking to Speed up its Mulsanne as well, continuing with a previous rumor.

It will debut at the Paris Auto Show later this year with a more potent version of its twin-turbo 6.75L V8 engine with around 550bhp on tap. A 0-62 time of less than five seconds is expected for a top speed of at least 200 mph.

In addition to the extra grunt under the long hood, the Mulsanne Speed will gain sportier suspension and a quicker steering rack. Don’t forget the usual dollop of exterior changes as well.

Source: AutoExpress