The Truth About Cars » Product Planning http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 02 Aug 2015 15:11:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Product Planning http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/product-planning/ Automotive News Late, Wrong On Cadillac XTS De-Livery News http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/automotive-news-late-wrong-on-cadillac-xts-news-de-livery/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/08/automotive-news-late-wrong-on-cadillac-xts-news-de-livery/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 16:00:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1131385 Automotive News reported earlier this month the death of the Cadillac XTS — expected to happen when the new, range-topping CT6 arrived at dealers — has been stayed until 2018 or 2019 thanks to the livery market and sales in China, sourcing “three people familiar with General Motors’ plans.” Sorry, Mike Colias, but you are about 3-and-a-half […]

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2015 Cadillac XTS Vsport front

Automotive News reported earlier this month the death of the Cadillac XTS — expected to happen when the new, range-topping CT6 arrived at dealers — has been stayed until 2018 or 2019 thanks to the livery market and sales in China, sourcing “three people familiar with General Motors’ plans.”

Sorry, Mike Colias, but you are about 3-and-a-half months too late and have the narrative all wrong.

The CT6 is the first model in Cadillac’s lineup to sport the brand’s new nomenclature and will also trigger similar changes to other models; the next Cadillac to be renamed will be the Cadillac SRX when the XT5 is introduced later this year.

At the media preview of the CT6, a model widely rumored to be the death knell for the front-wheel drive XTS, I was able to ask Cadillac head honcho Johan de Nysschen exactly what the new CT6 meant for the similarly sized, large, front-wheel-drive sedan.

“Ultimately, a car like XTS when it reaches the end of its lifecycle, will not be replaced,” de Nysschen said of the XTS at the CT6 preview event.

Speaking of the livery market specifically, de Nysschen continued, “We will not have a car that will lend itself to these kind of modifications and we will probably withdrawal from those markets.”

This narrative makes the most sense as Cadillac looks to position itself as a more premium offering against the likes of BMW and Audi. Offering up a model from the Cadillac range for stretch limousine and funeral service would only contribute to prolonging the brand’s image of building vehicles for the Florida snowbird set.

While Automotive News is reporting Cadillac will “XTend” life of its XTS into 2018 or 2019, the fact of the matter is 2019 is the planned end-of-life for the large sedan anyway — and when it dies, Cadillac’s livery business will likely die along with it.

Automotive News does highlight one worry, however, and that’s where the Cadillac XTS will be built after 2016. Currently, the large sedan is built in Oshawa, Ontario, and we all know how secure that facility’s future is these days.

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Fiat Chrysler’s Product Pipeline Drier than California for 2016 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/fiat-chryslers-new-us-cars-far-2016/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/fiat-chryslers-new-us-cars-far-2016/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1129321 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may have only one new model built in North America over the next 18 months after executives pushed back development of others due to brisk sales of current models, Reuters is reporting. The redesigned Chrysler Town and Country minivan may be the only new car built stateside that FCA plans to launch in […]

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2015 Chrysler Town & Country

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may have only one new model built in North America over the next 18 months after executives pushed back development of others due to brisk sales of current models, Reuters is reporting.

The redesigned Chrysler Town and Country minivan may be the only new car built stateside that FCA plans to launch in the next 18 months, sources told Reuters. The company is planning to bring to the United States three Italian cars — the Fiat Spider, Maserati’s crossover and the Alfa Romeo Giulia — in the same timeframe.

This is the part where we would like to mention that a new Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler are seriously overdue.

The reason for the delay in U.S.-built cars also could be the application of the time-tested Georgia farmer theory: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Wrangler sales are booming this year, Grand Cherokee’s numbers don’t suck either and Jeep is doing pretty well with just the Renegade as its new product this year. According to the story, the Wrangler redesign is now slated for 2017 and the Grand Cherokee overhaul should arrive in 2019.

Earlier this year, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said he was hesitant to shut down the Toledo Wrangler factory for retooling when the company needed the plant to produce so many cars.

“If I shut it down for 60 days, I’d lose more money than I’d make in a year,” Marchionne said.

Comparatively, General Motors will launch six new North American vehicles in the next 18 months, according to the report.

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Honda Accord, Toyota Camry Will Get Turbo Fours Soon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/honda-accord-toyota-camry-will-get-turbo-fours-soon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/honda-accord-toyota-camry-will-get-turbo-fours-soon/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 19:00:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1128169 The best-selling mid-size sedans in the United States will catch up to their competition by offering boosted fours under their hoods soon, Automotive News is reporting (via Car & Driver). The long-running Camry will replace its six-cylinder engine with the turbo four, though the Accord is likely to use a new, smaller, boosted four pot to replace its base […]

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2016 Honda Accord

The best-selling mid-size sedans in the United States will catch up to their competition by offering boosted fours under their hoods soon, Automotive News is reporting (via Car & Driver).

The long-running Camry will replace its six-cylinder engine with the turbo four, though the Accord is likely to use a new, smaller, boosted four pot to replace its base four-cylinder engine.

The Camry’s turbo four comes from the newly announced Lexus IS200t and NX200t, which will produce around 235 horsepower (or 241 in the IS200t) and 258 pound-feet of torque. The turbo four would likely replace the 3.5-liter V-6 option at the top of the range for Toyota, which makes 268 horsepower.

Honda’s solution is on the other end of the spectrum. Their 1.5-liter turbo four, borrowed from the new Civic, will likely replace the 2.4-liter naturally aspirated base engine that cranks 184 horsepower. The smaller engine would likely improve upon the 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway rating that the base model has now.

The force-fed Camry and Accord models would join the ranks of mid-size sedans already including smaller displacement, turbocharged engines such as the Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu and Volkswagen Passat.

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Lexus Expands IS Engine Lineup to Include Smaller, Turbo Four http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/lexus-expands-engine-lineup-include-smaller-turbo-four/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/lexus-expands-engine-lineup-include-smaller-turbo-four/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 20:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1124921 Lexus will offer for the first time in the United States a four-cylinder IS, the automaker announced Friday. The compact luxury car will sport a variety of engines starting with a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder borrowed from the NX200t, and two variations of its 3.5-liter V-6 that it currently offers. The smaller mill in the IS200t […]

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Lexus will offer for the first time in the United States a four-cylinder IS, the automaker announced Friday.

The compact luxury car will sport a variety of engines starting with a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder borrowed from the NX200t, and two variations of its 3.5-liter V-6 that it currently offers.

The smaller mill in the IS200t will produce 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, according to the automaker, and will only be offered with rear-wheel drive.

Lexus said it would offer a version of its existing 3.5-liter V-6 in an all-wheel drive IS300, detuned from its current 306 horsepower. The revised engine will produce 255 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque.

The IS350 will be rear- or all-wheel drive and continue to sport the 3.5-liter V-6.

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How Many Versions of the RS4 Will Audi Make? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/many-versions-rs4-will-audi-make/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/many-versions-rs4-will-audi-make/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 17:00:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1123073 Audi will release a sedan version of its uber-A4 sometime next year, Autocar is reporting. Audi has already confirmed that the RS4 would be released as a wagon because “that is what people expect from the RS4,” head of Audi’s Quattro Heinz Hollerweger told Car and Driver this month. That’s on top of speculation that the RS4 […]

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Audi RS4 Avant. Photo courtesy wikipedia.org

Audi will release a sedan version of its uber-A4 sometime next year, Autocar is reporting.

Audi has already confirmed that the RS4 would be released as a wagon because “that is what people expect from the RS4,” head of Audi’s Quattro Heinz Hollerweger told Car and Driver this month.

That’s on top of speculation that the RS4 could come to the States and China as a Sportback, similar to the RS7 already on sale. And, of course, we could always get the RS5 like we did last time.

Regardless of which body goes where, it appears that the RS4 will be powered by a turbocharged V-6 that will pack more than 420 horsepower. The force-fed six appears to be Audi’s performance engine of the future, after bosses said that mill would make an appearance in an upcoming R8.

Audi executives said the RS4 should come earlier in the A4’s lifecycle, perhaps around the same time as the S4, which is expected next year.

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Ford Announces Nearly $60K-to-Start “Limited” F-150 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-announces-nearly-60k-start-limited-f-150/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/ford-announces-nearly-60k-start-limited-f-150/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 19:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1121473 Ford announced Tuesday its new range-topping truck, the F-150 Limited, which will go on sale this winter. The Limited replaces the Platinum as the most you can pay for an F-150, and while the automaker didn’t specify how much the Limited may cost, it’s clear it will be knocking on the door of $60,000 — if not […]

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2016 Ford F-150 Limited

Ford announced Tuesday its new range-topping truck, the F-150 Limited, which will go on sale this winter. The Limited replaces the Platinum as the most you can pay for an F-150, and while the automaker didn’t specify how much the Limited may cost, it’s clear it will be knocking on the door of $60,000 — if not kicking it down.

Limited only in name, not in price, Ford’s newest F-150 is aiming to push average transaction prices higher and further than they’ve ever gone before. According to Reuters, the average price paid for a pickup was $42,429 so far this year.

The Limited model sports 22-inch wheels, a 3.5-liter EcoBoost turbocharged V6, 360-degree cameras and massaging seats.

The F-150 Limited will take head-on the Ram 1500 Limited and GMC Sierra 1500 Denali, which cost $51,370 and $51,160 respectively.

In addition to unique exterior and polished aluminum wheels, the F-150 Limited sports four colors: Shadow Black, Magnetic, Blue Jeans (!) and White Platinum Metallic.

The new Limited trim features all of the interior goodies available: Ford’s Sync infotainment system, panoramic sunroof, cross-traffic alerts, remote start and tailgate release, and a laser-engraved production number plate on the center console that shows the position of your truck in the likely five-figure “limited” production run.

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Infiniti Confirms Compact Q30 for Frankfurt Auto Show http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/infiniti-confirms-compact-q30-frankfurt-auto-show/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/infiniti-confirms-compact-q30-frankfurt-auto-show/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 15:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1121177 Confirming their June confirmation, Infiniti will bring a production-ready version of their compact Q30 to the International Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The compact, which will be built in the United Kingdom, powered by the same 2.0-liter, turbo four that powers the Mercedes GLA and CLA under a joint agreement between Mercedes and Renault-Nissan. The […]

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Infiniti Q30

Confirming their June confirmation, Infiniti will bring a production-ready version of their compact Q30 to the International Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

The compact, which will be built in the United Kingdom, powered by the same 2.0-liter, turbo four that powers the Mercedes GLA and CLA under a joint agreement between Mercedes and Renault-Nissan.

The related compact crossover QX30 shouldn’t be far behind.

The Euro-centric compact hatch and crossover may not have been originally slated for sale in the United States, but the recent success of similar models from Mercedes and others may have changed the minds at Infiniti. That, and the sedan may be the new horse carriage.

The Q30 is one of several joint Renault Nissan-Mercedes ventures that will emerge in coming years. The Renault Twingo and Smart Fortwo will share a common platform, and the automakers will swap engines (Renault’s smaller for Mercedes’ larger) in coming cars.

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Report: Chevrolet Prepping for New Mid-size Three-row Crossover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/report-chevrolet-prepping-new-mid-size-crossover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/report-chevrolet-prepping-new-mid-size-crossover/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 17:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1120097 Chevrolet will slot a new mid-sized crossover between the Equinox and Traverse in coming years, Automotive News is reporting. Three sources within General Motors confirmed the new Chevrolet crossover would be dervied from Cadillac’s upcoming XT5, which is replacing the SRX next spring. The upcoming Chevy model’s architecture would be a shortened version of the Traverse, which is […]

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1024px-2011_Chevrolet_Equinox_LTZ_--_03-09-2011

Chevrolet will slot a new mid-sized crossover between the Equinox and Traverse in coming years, Automotive News is reporting.

Three sources within General Motors confirmed the new Chevrolet crossover would be dervied from Cadillac’s upcoming XT5, which is replacing the SRX next spring. The upcoming Chevy model’s architecture would be a shortened version of the Traverse, which is built on the Lambda platform. According to the story, GM will move the Equinox to the smaller D2XX platform — shared with the Chevy Cruze, Orlando, Volt, GMC Terrain and Opel Astra — by 2017 to make room for the three-row crossover.

The new, unnamed crossover will target the Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander and could be powered by a 2-liter turbo four, a 3.6-liter V6 or perhaps a hybrid power plant.

The report also details Chevrolet’s position to directly compete with Ford’s Escape-Edge-Explorer trio for crossover sales. The Edge isn’t a three-row crossover in the U.S. (it’s offered in three row, long-wheelbase configuration in China), but Chevrolet’s unnamed crossover would sport a third row of seats.

GMC would use the new mid-size crossover as their Acadia, as sales of that full-size crossover have dwindled in recent years. The Cadillac XT5 will go on sale next spring. There’s no mention of a Buick crossover to sit between the D2XX-based Envision and full-size Enclave, assuming the latter stays full-size along with the Traverse.

The story also said Cadillac won’t use the longer Traverse as a platform for a full-size crossover it’s working on.

Or, this could be an elaborate test to see if the market will bear yet another crossover.

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New Buick Engine Powering New Buick Encore Around It http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/new-buick-engine-powering-new-buick-encore-around/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/new-buick-engine-powering-new-buick-encore-around/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 16:00:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1120065 General Motors announced Monday a new trim for the 2016 Buick Encore that will use a new 1.4-liter turbocharged four, which will be the first application of a new global-engine platform. The car will go on sale this fall. According to GM, the new mill produces 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque — an 11 percent gain in […]

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2016 Buick Encore

General Motors announced Monday a new trim for the 2016 Buick Encore that will use a new 1.4-liter turbocharged four, which will be the first application of a new global-engine platform. The car will go on sale this fall.

According to GM, the new mill produces 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque — an 11 percent gain in power and 20 percent gain in twist over the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine currently doing duty in the cute ute. The two engines share only similar displacements. The current mill is rated at 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque.

There’s also a new Encore trim called Encore Sport Touring and it has a spoiler and 18-inch wheels and body-colored door handles and back to the engine.

The aluminum block has been specifically built to reduce friction and increase cooling, GM said in a statement announcing the Buick Encore Sport Touring.

In addition to its aluminum block and heads, GM said low-friction piston rings, camshaft drive and a low-friction oil pump will boost efficiency. A steel crankshaft was used to reduce engine vibration, and steel connecting rods used with aluminum-alloy pistons with low-tension rings will cut weight without sacrificing durability.

The small engine will also use a variable-flow oiling system that matches oil supply with engine load, removing excessive oil pumping. Oil jets will help cool pistons to increase efficiency.

At the other end, the cylinder head has a water-cooled exhaust manifold integrated with its aluminum casting to speed engine warm-up, and gasket seals around the exhaust ports have been removed. GM says both measures will help efficiency and durability, as well as offer “under-hood packaging advantages.”

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Mazda Says 2016 CX-3 Will Start Under $20,000 (Kinda) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mazda-says-2016-cx-3-will-start-under-20000-kinda/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mazda-says-2016-cx-3-will-start-under-20000-kinda/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 20:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1118137 The new mini crossover from Mazda will start at $19,960 (not including $880 destination) when it goes on sale after next month, the automaker reported Thursday. That puts the CX-3 in leagues with the Chevrolet Trax, Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade as sub-$20,000 crossovers in an increasingly crowded and competitive segment. Like the […]

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The new mini crossover from Mazda will start at $19,960 (not including $880 destination) when it goes on sale after next month, the automaker reported Thursday.

That puts the CX-3 in leagues with the Chevrolet Trax, Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade as sub-$20,000 crossovers in an increasingly crowded and competitive segment.

Like the rest of its competition, it’s not hard to hike the CX-3’s final price up in a hurry.

The base price gets Mazda’s 2.0-liter inline four and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Standard on all models will be a rear-view camera, 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth push button starter and power windows and doors. All-wheel drive can be added for $1,250.

The middle-of-the-range CX-3 Touring (with heated seats, leather wrapped wheel, blind-spot monitoring, et al.) runs $22,840. The top-of-the-line CX-3 Grand Touring (navigation, moon roof, leather, Bose sound, etc.) comes in at $25,870. And presumably, the most you could pay for a CX-3 coming from the factory would be a Grand Touring CX-3 with all-wheel drive and Mazda’s optional safety package would be $29,040.

If you need any further proof the segment is ultra competitive and willing to cut to the very bone for the best price on a headline, consider that you can still buy a Jeep Renegade without air conditioning and 16-inch steel wheels for $18,880.

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Audi Confirms Turbos in Future Editions of R8 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/audi-confirms-turbos-future-editions-r8/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/audi-confirms-turbos-future-editions-r8/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 20:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1116665 Future engines in entry-level Audi R8s will be inevitably turbocharged, Audi executives told Motoring (via Car and Driver). Instead of replacing the 5.2-liter V10s found in the 2017 R8 standard and Plus models, the boosted V6 from the upcoming RS4 (or maybe a turbo five cylinder?) would slot below the naturally aspirated models. “It is inevitable that […]

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Future engines in entry-level Audi R8s will be inevitably turbocharged, Audi executives told Motoring (via Car and Driver).

Instead of replacing the 5.2-liter V10s found in the 2017 R8 standard and Plus models, the boosted V6 from the upcoming RS4 (or maybe a turbo five cylinder?) would slot below the naturally aspirated models.

“It is inevitable that we will go to a turbocharged motor for it at some point. It would be in this model cycle, to give us a fuller range,” Ulrich Hackenberg, who sits on Audi’s Board of Management as a technical director, told Motoring last month.

The standard V10 in the 2017 R8 already churns out 540 horsepower and the Plus edition creates 610 horsepower. Instead of any power gains, the turbochargers will likely be present to boost torque and deliver more of it at a lower end of the RPM range, Motoring speculates.

Already automakers such as Mercedes-AMG, Porsche and Nissan offer turbocharged versions of their cars with more twist than the 413 pound-feet offered in the R8’s V10. The 911 Turbo (486 lb.-ft. or 523 lb.-ft.), AMG GT S (479 lb.-ft.) and GT-R (463 lb.-ft.) all have force-fed engines.

According to the report, the current-generation R8 that will go on sale in the United States next spring will get the turbocharged engine, but officials didn’t say exactly when it would make an appearance.

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General Motors Reveals Updates to 2016 GMC Sierra [Video] http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/general-motors-reveals-updates-2016-gmc-sierra-video/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/general-motors-reveals-updates-2016-gmc-sierra-video/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 18:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1116569 General Motors is revealing its updates to the 2016 GMC Sierra lineup days after Chevrolet revealed its new face for the 2016 Silverado. In a video posted to its YouTube channel (via Automotive News), GMC trotted out the new front fascias, bumpers and C-shaped LED daytime running lamps for the full-size pickup. The video shows three trims of […]

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2016 GMC Sierra 1500

General Motors is revealing its updates to the 2016 GMC Sierra lineup days after Chevrolet revealed its new face for the 2016 Silverado.

In a video posted to its YouTube channel (via Automotive News), GMC trotted out the new front fascias, bumpers and C-shaped LED daytime running lamps for the full-size pickup.

The video shows three trims of the GMC Sierra 1500, including Denali (pictured below), SLT and All-Terrain, all with unique front ends and in varying levels of chrome-iness.

In addition to the bumpers, daytime lights and front fascia, the new Sierra will have C-shaped LED taillights.

2016 GMC Sierra Denali

GMC said more details about the truck would be released in “coming months.”

On Monday, Chevrolet announced the Silverado would be sporting a body-colored grille and two strips of LED lights on higher trim levels.

Here’s the video:

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Mercedes-AMG Bumps Up Power in 2016 CLA45, GLA45 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mercedes-amg-bumps-power-2016-cla45-gla45/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/mercedes-amg-bumps-power-2016-cla45-gla45/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 17:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1116633 Mercedes-AMG’s incredibly busy 2.0-liter turbocharged engine will be busier next year. The performance division of Mercedes-Benz announced Tuesday (via AutoGuide) the 2016 CLA45 and GLA45 engines would get horsepower bumps from 355 hp to 375 hp. That boosts the horsepower-per-liter output from the little Affalterbach mills to 187.5 hp/l. In addition to the horsepower bump, Mercedes announced the cars’ transmissions have been […]

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Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG. Photo courtesy Autoblog

Mercedes-AMG’s incredibly busy 2.0-liter turbocharged engine will be busier next year.

The performance division of Mercedes-Benz announced Tuesday (via AutoGuide) the 2016 CLA45 and GLA45 engines would get horsepower bumps from 355 hp to 375 hp.

That boosts the horsepower-per-liter output from the little Affalterbach mills to 187.5 hp/l.

In addition to the horsepower bump, Mercedes announced the cars’ transmissions have been updated to haul compact ass. The 7-speed, AMG dual-clutch gearbox now has shorter ratios from third through seventh gears. That may not do a whole lot for the CLA’s 4.2-second run up to 60 mph (4.4 seconds in the GLA), but it will do more for runs beyond 60 mph — if that’s legal in your area, of course.

The cars will also get minor package tweaks. Mercedes-AMG has added a Dynamic Plus package to both cars that adds a mechanical, front-axle locking differential and two-stage adaptive adjustable damping.

Pricing for the 2016 Mercedes-AMG CLA45 and GLA45 will be announced in October, the automaker announced.

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Subaru of America COO: BRZ Needs ‘More Performance’ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/subaru-america-coo-brz-needs-performance/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/subaru-america-coo-brz-needs-performance/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 22:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1115433 It seems enthusiasts aren’t the only folks looking for a little more performance from the rear-wheel drive Subaru BRZ. Subaru of America COO Tom Doll would also like a little more performance — in terms of sales — from the sports car co-developed with Toyota. Thankfully, he sees the best way to increase interest in […]

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Subaru BRZ STI Performance Concept

It seems enthusiasts aren’t the only folks looking for a little more performance from the rear-wheel drive Subaru BRZ. Subaru of America COO Tom Doll would also like a little more performance — in terms of sales — from the sports car co-developed with Toyota.

Thankfully, he sees the best way to increase interest in the BRZ is to give us what we want.

Maybe.

Speaking on Autoline Detroit (via AutoGuide), Doll said: “We may have to do some things to (the BRZ) to enhance the driving performance a little more; take it up a little bit. Because I think that’s one of the learnings we’ve seen out of that vehicle, if it had a little bit more performance to it, it could really take up the sales level even more.”

Earlier this year, officials at Subaru confirmed a STI-branded BRZ would go on sale in the United States, but didn’t reveal specs or additions beyond the current car.

In addition to admitting the BRZ needs more performance — whether that means bumping up the power or giving the car some other tweaks — Doll also mentioned a second generation of the BRZ is still up in the air and wholly dependent on the intentions of executives in Japan.

A second-generation BRZ may also depend on Toyota. It’s been rumored the larger Japanese manufacturer is envious of the new Mazda MX-5 Miata — so much so that they’d be willing to use the architecture for the next Toyota GT86 and Scion FR-S. If that’s the case, don’t expect Subaru to follow suit.

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American Honda Boss Knows, But Tight-Lipped, About ‘Baby NSX’ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/american-honda-boss-knows-baby-nsx-car-isnt-talking/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/american-honda-boss-knows-baby-nsx-car-isnt-talking/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 17:00:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1115137 American Honda CEO John Mendel says he could tell us about the “baby NSX” that popped up in a patent filing, but that would probably get him fired, AutoGuide is reporting. Whatever the patent filing is — whether it’s a smaller NSX, perpetual prototype or a late-night CAD fantasy — it could find a home in Honda’s lineup […]

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Mystery-Honda-Sports-Car-04

American Honda CEO John Mendel says he could tell us about the “baby NSX” that popped up in a patent filing, but that would probably get him fired, AutoGuide is reporting.

Whatever the patent filing is — whether it’s a smaller NSX, perpetual prototype or a late-night CAD fantasy — it could find a home in Honda’s lineup that’s decidedly missing a sports car.

When asked if there’s room for a driver’s car, Mendel responded: “Absolutely there is.”

Details on the renderings released last month are incredibly murky. The smaller car wouldn’t likely get the NSX’s twin-turbocharged V6 with three electric motors to help propel it, but it could get some assist from electrons. Honda engineers were feverishly testing electric powertrains at Pikes Peak this year, including an all-electric CR-Z in the exhibition category.

The Civic Si is the automaker’s lone performance car in the U.S. The 305-horsepower Civic Type R is destined for U.S. shores, but it’s unclear when that will happen.

Production of the two-seater S2000 ended in 2009. Production of the CR-Z continues.

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General Motors Unveils Updated 2016 Chevrolet Silverado http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/general-motors-unveils-updated-2016-chevrolet-silverado/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/general-motors-unveils-updated-2016-chevrolet-silverado/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 17:00:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1114649 Chevrolet took the wrapper off the new Silverado today, dispatching the chrome grille and headlight surrounds for paint-coated pieces on the refreshed model. The face of the Z71, shown in this photo released by General Motors, sports a body-colored grille, bulging hood and two strips of LED lights. (Also 90’s-esque headlamp covers, according to our Managing […]

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2016 Chevrolet Silverado

Chevrolet took the wrapper off the new Silverado today, dispatching the chrome grille and headlight surrounds for paint-coated pieces on the refreshed model.

The face of the Z71, shown in this photo released by General Motors, sports a body-colored grille, bulging hood and two strips of LED lights. (Also 90’s-esque headlamp covers, according to our Managing Editor Mark Stevenson.)

According to Chevrolet, the 2016 Silverado will also feature “expanded use” of the 8-speed transmission, which is only available for 2015 on the 6.2-liter V8 engine.

According to the statement announcing the 2016 Silverado, Chevrolet added that the new truck would use Apple’s Car Play and Android Auto in addition to “safety technologies.”

Chevrolet said it will make available more details about the Silverado in coming months before the truck’s public debut.

Sales of the Silverado and GMC Sierra have steadily risen this year, climbing 14.6 percent and 8.2 percent respectively from 2014.

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Nissan Rogue Hybrid Imminent, Qashqai Replacing Rogue Select http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-rogue-hybrid-imminent-qashqai-replacing-rogue-select/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-rogue-hybrid-imminent-qashqai-replacing-rogue-select/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 15:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1114561 Nissan will add a hybrid powertrain to the Rogue and bring the smaller, European Qashqai to the U.S., AutoGuide is reporting. A few days ago, we reported that Nissan would be ending production of the last-generation Rogue in Japan, which is sold as the Rogue Select in the United States. Now it appears the Qashqai […]

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2014_Nissan_Qashqai_Right_Side

Nissan will add a hybrid powertrain to the Rogue and bring the smaller, European Qashqai to the U.S., AutoGuide is reporting.

A few days ago, we reported that Nissan would be ending production of the last-generation Rogue in Japan, which is sold as the Rogue Select in the United States. Now it appears the Qashqai will effectively replace the Rogue Select in Nissan’s lineup, giving the Japanese automaker another small crossover to sell stateside.

And Nissan is selling the snot out of crossovers in the U.S.

Nissan made rumblings about a hybrid Rogue back in April and it believes the already huge market hasn’t yet been tapped.

“We haven’t hit the ceiling yet. We have more opportunity there if we can get our dealers more [crossovers],” Fred Diaz said, Nissan’s senior vice president of U.S. sales, said according to AutoGuide.

The Qashqai is built on a similar platform as the Rogue, but is 10 inches shorter, and also sports a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that may or may not make the ride over to the states.

No word yet on whether Canada will be getting the Qashqai.

In case you’re wondering:

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Nissan May Be Considering NISMO Maxima http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-may-considering-nismo-maxima/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/nissan-may-considering-nismo-maxima/#comments Sun, 12 Jul 2015 16:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1113649 Nissan may consider building a NISMO variant of its Maxima sedan based on sales of its SR model, The Detroit Bureau is reporting. Initial sales of the Maxima have been relatively strong so far, and Nissan said it expects 20 percent to 25 percent of its sales to be of the sportier SR model. A performance version […]

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2016 Nissan Maxima (8 of 23)

Nissan may consider building a NISMO variant of its Maxima sedan based on sales of its SR model, The Detroit Bureau is reporting.

Initial sales of the Maxima have been relatively strong so far, and Nissan said it expects 20 percent to 25 percent of its sales to be of the sportier SR model.

A performance version of the Maxima would be welcome news considering the model was nearly killed off four years ago.

According to The Detroit Bureau, a NISMO version of the Maxima may get a horsepower bump — although it’s unclear where the boost would come from. The Maxima currently sports a 3.5-liter V6 and, short of pulling an engine out of thin air, it would likely stay that way.

In reality, the NISMO version may be a more aggressive handling and appearance package for the Maxima, which may help it realize its “four-door sports car” moniker our managing editor Mark Stevenson said it fell short of last month.

Nissan’s NISMO division, a former racing outfit turned into branding mechanism, may expand in coming years to capture enthusiast interest a la BMW’s M division and Mercedes’ AMG group. Currently, Nissan sells NISMO versions of its Juke, 370Z and GT-R — although who wouldn’t like to see the NISMO Leaf in dealerships?

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Audi RS4 May Come to U.S. as Avant or Hatchback http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/audi-rs4-may-come-u-s-avant-hatchback/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/audi-rs4-may-come-u-s-avant-hatchback/#comments Sun, 12 Jul 2015 14:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1113593 The crown mother of Audi’s sport compacts may have life in the U.S. after all, Car and Driver is reporting. According to Audi boss Heinz Hollerweger, the RS4 will sport a boosted six-cylinder engine instead of a naturally aspirated eight, and will pack more than 420 horsepower under the hood. Hollerweger told Car and Driver that […]

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Audi RS4 Avant. Photo courtesy wikipedia.org

The crown mother of Audi’s sport compacts may have life in the U.S. after all, Car and Driver is reporting.

According to Audi boss Heinz Hollerweger, the RS4 will sport a boosted six-cylinder engine instead of a naturally aspirated eight, and will pack more than 420 horsepower under the hood.

Hollerweger told Car and Driver that the RS4 would likely launch as a wagon in Europe, but if it came stateside that may change — or not. “The U.S. is changing, and there is more demand there (for wagons), so maybe that will change,” Hollerweger said.

Instead of a wagon, the executive also said that the RS4 could live in America as a sportback rather than a sedan much like the S5 Sportback, which is already sold in some European markets.

S5110034_full

Hollweger also mentioned the the RS4 could come earlier in the A4’s next-generation life-cycle meaning it could be released alongside the S4, one year after the A4 hits the streets in April 2016.

 

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Study: Men Prefer Brighter, Bolder Car Colors More Than Women http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/study-men-prefer-brighter-bolder-car-colors-women/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/study-men-prefer-brighter-bolder-car-colors-women/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 17:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1112105 A recent study by iSeeCars.com shows men prefer brighter, bolder car colors — orange, brown and yellow — compared to women, who preferred more neutral colors such as gold, silver and beige. The study analyzed more than 25 million used cars and 200,000 shoppers. Orange was the big polarizer for 2014; men were 25 percent more likely to pick that […]

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2013 SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition

A recent study by iSeeCars.com shows men prefer brighter, bolder car colors — orange, brown and yellow — compared to women, who preferred more neutral colors such as gold, silver and beige. The study analyzed more than 25 million used cars and 200,000 shoppers.

Orange was the big polarizer for 2014; men were 25 percent more likely to pick that color than women. Last year’s popular picks for men, red and black, fell out of the top three this year in favor of brown and yellow.

Women’s picks of gold, silver and beige may have more to do with the segment in which females traditionally shop. iSeeCars said men’s interest in muscle cars can help explain the palette preferences.

“With more brown and orange car colors being offered in these segments and the increased interest in these colors by male buyers, color specialists at auto manufacturers seem to have gotten their color forecasts right,” said iSeeCars.com CEO Phong Ly said in a statement.

For women, gold leapfrogged silver as the top pick this year. Last year, brown made the list of colors women preferred over men, but that color was replaced by beige this year. Ly said the shift may be due to a lack of available cars that appeal to women.

“One explanation for the popularity of beige over brown may be because the market share of brown cars in the minivan segment declined by 24.7 percent, and that segment tends to be extremely popular with women,” Ly said.

Enthusiasts were not surveyed in the study because a brown diesel wagon with a manual transmission can’t win everything.

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Audi Confirms 2017 A4 Diesel for US http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/audi-confirms-2017-a4-diesel-us/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/audi-confirms-2017-a4-diesel-us/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 15:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1112009 The ninth-generation 2017 Audi A4 will sport a diesel engine for the first time in the U.S., Motor Authority is reporting. When the sedan launches next March, the 2.0-liter turbocharged oil burner will make 190 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of twist. That’s on top of the 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that’ll make 252 hp and […]

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2017 Audi A4 Sedan

The ninth-generation 2017 Audi A4 will sport a diesel engine for the first time in the U.S., Motor Authority is reporting.

When the sedan launches next March, the 2.0-liter turbocharged oil burner will make 190 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of twist. That’s on top of the 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that’ll make 252 hp and 273 lb-ft.

But that may not be the best part.

According to Motor Authority, the diesel sedan may make it stateside with a manual transmission, which are definitely not dead, or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission if you’re not into fun things. An S4 will certainly follow, an RS4 may be in the works and an A4 Avant will definitely not be stateside — that’s what we have the Allroad for, apparently.

Initially, the A4 will be married to Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system with front-wheel drive variants arriving later in the year.

There’s been no word on fuel economy figures, but Audi engineers say they expect the car will improve by more than 20 percent even with the horsepower bump. Pricing for the A4 hasn’t been announced.

Like the A3, the new A4 will be seriously tech heavy and options-laden. Along with Audi’s compartmentalized MMI system with Google Maps, the A4 can sport Apple’s Car Play, a 7- or 8.3-inch infotainment screen, handwriting recognition system and a 12.3-inch instrument display screen.

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Chrysler Files Extension for Barracuda Name Many Times for Zero Cars http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/chrysler-files-extension-barracuda-name-many-times-zero-cars/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/chrysler-files-extension-barracuda-name-many-times-zero-cars/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 20:00:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1108513 Folks over at Chrysler have filed another extension for the Barracuda nameplate, according to Allpar, which would be at least the fifth extension in three years with no new car in sight. The filing over at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is wonderfully vague, specifying only “passenger automobiles, their structural parts, trim and badges” in […]

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Photo courtesy FCA

Folks over at Chrysler have filed another extension for the Barracuda nameplate, according to Allpar, which would be at least the fifth extension in three years with no new car in sight.

The filing over at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is wonderfully vague, specifying only “passenger automobiles, their structural parts, trim and badges” in the filing made June 23.

Reviving the Barracuda name would be incredibly difficult, considering it may not currently have a place to live.

In 2012, Chrysler rumbled about replacing the current-generation Challenger with an SRT Barracuda, but those plans never materialized. We got a 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger Hellcat and we have yet to hear anyone complain.

The aging LX platform should be replaced in the coming years and could produce Alfa, Dodge, Chrysler, Lancia or Maserati vehicles. The original Barracuda was based on the Valiant so it’s possible the new, smaller Giulia could be a future ‘Cuda platform.

Or it’s possible Chrysler just renewed the trademark because that’s what they do.

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Future BMW M Cars May Not Have Manuals http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/future-bmw-m-cars-may-not-manuals/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/future-bmw-m-cars-may-not-manuals/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 18:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1108369 New BMW M boss Frank van Meel says buyers may still have a choice between two transmissions, just between two types of automatics. Talking to Autocar, van Meel said: “From a technical standpoint, the future doesn’t look bright for manual gearboxes.” So goes another nail into the coffin. Van Meel makes the same argument engineers have been […]

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2015-BMW-M3-M4-Main-Art

New BMW M boss Frank van Meel says buyers may still have a choice between two transmissions, just between two types of automatics.

Talking to Autocar, van Meel said: “From a technical standpoint, the future doesn’t look bright for manual gearboxes.”

So goes another nail into the coffin.

Van Meel makes the same argument engineers have been making for a decade or more.

“The DCT and auto ’boxes are faster and they have better fuel consumption,” he said.

Van Meel doesn’t directly kill the manual, however. He told Autocar BMW would still offer manual versions if buyers demanded it. The last generation M3’s manual take rate was around 45 percent. We’ve reached out to BMW to see how many new M car buyers opt to row their own.

As an interesting side note, the online configurator for BMW automatically selects the dual-clutch automatic transmission, a $2,900 option, for M cars with an available manual. Only the X6 M and X5 M do not have an available manual transmission in the U.S.

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Volkswagen Introducing ‘Budget-Car Family’ By 2018 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-introducing-budget-car-family-by-2018/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/volkswagen-introducing-budget-car-family-by-2018/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1101537 Once upon a time, Volkswagen lived up to its name by providing a low-cost car for the people. Now, the automaker has plans to do so once more. CEO Martin Winterkorn told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag Sunday his company would bring “a budget-car family to market in 2018, with an SUV, saloon and hatchback,” […]

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Volkswagen Beetles in Paphos Circa March 2015

Once upon a time, Volkswagen lived up to its name by providing a low-cost car for the people. Now, the automaker has plans to do so once more.

CEO Martin Winterkorn told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag Sunday his company would bring “a budget-car family to market in 2018, with an SUV, saloon and hatchback,” Reuters reports. Winterkorn added the cars — to cost between €8,000 and €11,000 ($8,932 and $12,225 USD) — would be assembled in China; the original target was between €6,000 and €8,000 ($6,670 and $8,932).

Though the low-cost vehicles are aimed for markets in Southeast Asia, Winterkorn says his company would determine “if this is something of interest for other markets as well.” Whether North America is among them, only he and his senior execs know for certain.

(Photo credit: Chris Parker/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0)

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Lotus Resumes US Operations, Moves US HQ To Detroit Area http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/lotus-resumes-us-operations-moves-us-hq-to-detroit-area/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/lotus-resumes-us-operations-moves-us-hq-to-detroit-area/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 19:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1099441 After a brief hiatus in 2014, Lotus Cars USA is back in the game for 2015, including a move to the Detroit metro area. The U.S. subsidiary of Lotus will relocate its headquarters to Ann Arbor, Mich. from Lawrenceville, Ga. by the end of July 2015, where it will share facilities with Lotus Engineering, AutoGuide […]

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Lotus Evora 400 Circa Geneva 2015

After a brief hiatus in 2014, Lotus Cars USA is back in the game for 2015, including a move to the Detroit metro area.

The U.S. subsidiary of Lotus will relocate its headquarters to Ann Arbor, Mich. from Lawrenceville, Ga. by the end of July 2015, where it will share facilities with Lotus Engineering, AutoGuide reports. The move would allow both divisions more ability to grow, and would improve efficiency of operations.

Meanwhile, the first car to make its way across the Pond will be the 2017 Evora 400, sale of which are set to begin this December. The 3-Eleven track car and a proposed crossover are expected to follow.

Finally, Lotus’ U.S. dealership network recently expanded by four to 47 total showrooms, with more planned for the future. The four newest additions are in West Covina and Thermal, Calif., Scottsdale, Ariz. and Calgary, Alberta.

(Photo credit: Lotus)

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