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. Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:35:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 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 is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. 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/ Mercedes Eyeing Crossovers For Maybach, smart Brands http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/mercedes-eyeing-crossovers-maybach-smart-brands/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/mercedes-eyeing-crossovers-maybach-smart-brands/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 06:00:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1053545 Not too long ago, Mercedes didn’t have plans for either a Maybach or smart crossover. Looks like those plans have changed. Should the Mercedes-Maybach sub-brand gain a crossover to place alongside the S600 and Pullman models, sales and marketing boss Ola Kallenius says the Mercedes GLS set for 2017 would be “the more likely scenario,” […]

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Not too long ago, Mercedes didn’t have plans for either a Maybach or smart crossover. Looks like those plans have changed.

Should the Mercedes-Maybach sub-brand gain a crossover to place alongside the S600 and Pullman models, sales and marketing boss Ola Kallenius says the Mercedes GLS set for 2017 would be “the more likely scenario,” Autocar reports.

The GLS would differ from the current GL/GLS model, as it would be based upon the S-Class’ current architecture to better go up against other high-end luxury SUVs and crossovers. It would also be powered by the same 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 found in the S600 as well as a 4.0-liter V8 possible for tax purposes in China. Diesel, however, would be out of the question, as Mercedes expects to move the GLS in China and the U.S. where diesel isn’t on the radar of most motorists.

Meanwhile, smart could gain an SUV or crossover based on the forfour/Renault Twingo platform, a move that would bring greater use to said platform beyond its current role. The vehicle would likely improve smart’s long-term profit margins, though Daimler AG chief Dieter Zetsche cautions there would be some engineering challenges involved with the platform’s rear-engine, rear-drive design.

[Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz]

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Lincoln Turning To Proper Names For Future Models http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/lincoln-turning-proper-names-future-models/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/lincoln-turning-proper-names-future-models/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 17:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1050825 Just as Cadillac embraces an all-new set of alphanumeric naming schemes, Lincoln is deciding that proper names may be better after all. Ford President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs told reporters attending an industry breakfast hosted by Detroit law firm Dawda Mann that his company was “very excited about the Continental name and the attention […]

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Just as Cadillac embraces an all-new set of alphanumeric naming schemes, Lincoln is deciding that proper names may be better after all.

Ford President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs told reporters attending an industry breakfast hosted by Detroit law firm Dawda Mann that his company was “very excited about the Continental name and the attention it’s gotten,” Automotive News says. Lincoln had made it known during the Continental Concept’s appearance at the 2015 New York Auto Show this month that the production model — set to replace the outgoing MKS — would also be called Continental.

Hinrichs also had this to say about the MK nomenclature as a whole:

I get it. I know MKX and C and Z and T. I’ve studied them very well. I know them well, but we also understand the issue. It’s, frankly, where the auto industry — the premium industry — has gone, if you look at all the nameplates. But another way Lincoln could distinguish itself is to leverage its heritage. So I’ll leave it at that.

The MK scheme was originally thought of as a tribute to the Continental Mark series, though then-CEO Alan Mulally told the media at the time that he wasn’t enamored with the scheme; he would later come to terms with the change. Now that Lincoln is coming back under the tutelage of current CEO Mark Fields, however, one of the ways it aims to stand apart from other premium brands is to return to using names like Continental, Town Car et al.

Proper names may also help on the showroom floor: while sales of the MK models are down 7.2 percent thus far in 2015, sales of the Navigator — the sole bearer of a proper name in Lincoln’s lineup — have climbed 84 percent over the same period, though part of that could be attributed to lower prices at the pump fueling renewed overall demand for trucks and SUVs, as well.

[Photo credit: Lincoln]

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Patent Search Reveals Images Of 2016 Honda Civic Coupe, Sedan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/patent-search-reveals-images-2016-honda-civic-coupe-sedan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/patent-search-reveals-images-2016-honda-civic-coupe-sedan/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 10:00:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1047785 Recently unearthed by an enthusiast forum, above is just one of the renders for the upcoming 2016 Honda Civic. CivicX.com conducted a patent search for the 10th-gen model of the storied Civic, whereupon the forum found “official patent images” of the production-ready coupe and sedan variants; only the hatchback was not found as of this writing. […]

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Recently unearthed by an enthusiast forum, above is just one of the renders for the upcoming 2016 Honda Civic.

CivicX.com conducted a patent search for the 10th-gen model of the storied Civic, whereupon the forum found “official patent images” of the production-ready coupe and sedan variants; only the hatchback was not found as of this writing.

A few differences from the very-green concept that turned up in New York earlier this month include: less-aggressive, smaller lines and vents in the front and rear bumpers; the lack of a rear spoiler on the coupe — though said piece may likely be offered on high-performance models; and revised headlamps that retain the concept’s LED daytime lights. The coupe also retains the wraparound tail light on the concept, while the sedan does not receive the treatment.

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Nissan Considering Hybrid Variant Of Rogue For US Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/nissan-considering-hybrid-variant-rogue-us-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/nissan-considering-hybrid-variant-rogue-us-market/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1044746 Known as the X-Trail or Qashqai in Japan and other global markets, the Nissan Rogue could soon come in hybrid form for the U.S. market. Automotive News reports the X-Trail Hybrid could be rebadged as a Rogue Hybrid, both crossovers using a single-motor, dual-clutch hybrid system; the X-Trail Hybrid is expected to hold 40 percent […]

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Known as the X-Trail or Qashqai in Japan and other global markets, the Nissan Rogue could soon come in hybrid form for the U.S. market.

Automotive News reports the X-Trail Hybrid could be rebadged as a Rogue Hybrid, both crossovers using a single-motor, dual-clutch hybrid system; the X-Trail Hybrid is expected to hold 40 percent of overall X-Trail sales after it goes on sale in Japan this May.

Though Nissan didn’t mention whether it had plans to sell the hybrid overseas, the crossover’s engineer, Nobusuke Toukura, said the company was thinking about a Rogue hybrid model for the United States, citing increasing consumer demand for hybrids and stricter emissions rules over the next five years.

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Published Ford Patent Reveals 11-Speed Automatic Transmission http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/published-ford-patent-reveals-11-speed-automatic-transmission/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/published-ford-patent-reveals-11-speed-automatic-transmission/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 10:00:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1043146 Ten-speed transmissions not enough? Ford is turning it up to 11 with an 11-speed automatic waiting in the wings. AutoGuide reports the patent application for the 11-speed was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in early October of 2013, with schematics like the one above showing various combinations of clutches, brakes and gearing. […]

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Ford 11-Speed Transmission Schematic

Ten-speed transmissions not enough? Ford is turning it up to 11 with an 11-speed automatic waiting in the wings.

AutoGuide reports the patent application for the 11-speed was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in early October of 2013, with schematics like the one above showing various combinations of clutches, brakes and gearing.

As for when such a thing will arrive to direct power for an F-150 or a GT, representative Paul Seredynski wouldn’t give confirmation, stating that Ford submits ideas to the patent office “as a normal course of business” in protecting new ideas, and is not an indication of any future plans or products. Until then, consumers will have to settle for the 10-speed unit set for the 2017 Raptor.

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Eberhardt: No Separate Brand Above Range Rover For Ultra-Luxury SUVs http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/eberhardt-no-separate-brand-range-rover-ultra-luxury-suvs/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/eberhardt-no-separate-brand-range-rover-ultra-luxury-suvs/#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 10:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1041625 Though Bentley and Rolls-Royce are adding ultra-luxury SUVs to their collections, Jaguar Land Rover has no plans to put one above Range Rover. Car & Driver reports JLR North America CEO and president Joe Eberhardt stated during the 2015 New York Auto Show that such a thing won’t likely occur, adding that JLR hasn’t yet […]

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Though Bentley and Rolls-Royce are adding ultra-luxury SUVs to their collections, Jaguar Land Rover has no plans to put one above Range Rover.

Car & Driver reports JLR North America CEO and president Joe Eberhardt stated during the 2015 New York Auto Show that such a thing won’t likely occur, adding that JLR hasn’t yet seen “where Range Rover can go.” Eberhardt also said that he wasn’t too worried about the ultra-luxury SUV competition stealing sales from the high-end brand.

Presently, the most expensive Range Rover in JLR’s lineup is the recently introduced Range Rover SVAutobiography, which tops out the range with a base price of $200,490; the Bentley and Roller SUVs are expected to begin between $300,000 and $400,000 for comparison.

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Lieberman: $180K Ferrari Twin-Turbo V6 Arriving In 2019 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/lieberman-180k-ferrari-twin-turbo-v6-arriving-2019/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/lieberman-180k-ferrari-twin-turbo-v6-arriving-2019/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 13:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1039345 Want a Porsche 911 Turbo S, but with a Ferrari badge? You might want to check your bank account. According to AutoGuide, Motor Trend’s Johnny Lieberman dropped a bombshell on his Twitter account, stating that Ferrari has a twin-turbo V6 in the works. Said vehicle is expected to hit showrooms in 2019 for a starting […]

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Want a Porsche 911 Turbo S, but with a Ferrari badge? You might want to check your bank account.

According to AutoGuide, Motor Trend’s Johnny Lieberman dropped a bombshell on his Twitter account, stating that Ferrari has a twin-turbo V6 in the works. Said vehicle is expected to hit showrooms in 2019 for a starting price of $180,000, and will lay the smack down on the Mercedes-AMG GT, McLaren 570S, and the aforementioned Porsche.

AutoGuide adds that the twin-turbo Ferrari could become “a spiritual Dino successor,” invoking the lower-cost marque from the 1960s and 1970s for models with fewer than 12 cylinders howling under the hood.

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Kia GT Concept Closer To Becoming Production-Ready http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/kia-gt-concept-closer-becoming-production-ready/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/kia-gt-concept-closer-becoming-production-ready/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 10:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1039233 Over three years ago, the Kia GT concept made its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. Soon, however, the four-door coupe could hit the production line. According to Drive.com.au, Kia America product planning chief Orth Hedrick is very close to being production-ready, and would likely fare well in North America despite the distance in […]

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Over three years ago, the Kia GT concept made its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. Soon, however, the four-door coupe could hit the production line.

According to Drive.com.au, Kia America product planning chief Orth Hedrick is very close to being production-ready, and would likely fare well in North America despite the distance in time because it is a sedan, and because of its “younger, more emotional message to the market”:

I think for us the GT is a sedan so it has a lot broader appeal than a two-door coupe. They don’t do well here. They do really, really good for 18 months and then they really fall off. You can get just as much emotional experience in a sedan, a more practical car, than a coupe. But it communicates something very, very clear to market with a coupe in your line-up.

Hedrick adds that the announcement officially confirming the GT’s production would come soon. The concept is powered by a turbocharged V6, with the rear wheels doing the driving.

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Cadillac CT6 Coming To Shanghai In Hybrid Form http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/cadillac-ct6-coming-shanghai-hybrid-form/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/cadillac-ct6-coming-shanghai-hybrid-form/#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2015 12:00:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1039073 After its global debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show, the Cadillac CT6 will arrive wearing a hybrid badge at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show in late April. According to Autoblog, General Motors product boss Mark Reuss said as much when interviewed by the publication about work on the hybrid model, while a Cadillac […]

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After its global debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show, the Cadillac CT6 will arrive wearing a hybrid badge at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show in late April.

According to Autoblog, General Motors product boss Mark Reuss said as much when interviewed by the publication about work on the hybrid model, while a Cadillac representative could only say that variants would be forthcoming.

Speaking of variants, Reuss adds that the flagship sedan could wear a V-Series badge, though it may be a while before such a thing arrives:

The [CT6] architecture is certainly capable of doing it. The question is who’s going to buy the CT6? What kind of person? And do we need a V-Series off of that is the question we haven’t answered yet. It’s certainly capable of doing it … we’ve certainly thought about it.

As for the hybrid, little was mentioned about the powertrain beyond the possibility that it could be a PHEV in the vein of the Chevrolet Volt and 2016 Malibu Hybrid.

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SsangYong XAV Concept Debuts At 2015 Seoul Motor Show http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/ssangyong-xav-concept-debuts-2015-seoul-motor-show/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/ssangyong-xav-concept-debuts-2015-seoul-motor-show/#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2015 10:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1038905 While most of the eyes were on the latest and greatest debuting in New York, the SsangYong XAV concept SUV hit the ramp at the 2015 Seoul Motor Show. Power for the XAV — short for eXciting Authentic SUV — comes from a hybrid powertrain featuring a 1.6-liter engine paired to a so-called e-4WD system […]

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While most of the eyes were on the latest and greatest debuting in New York, the SsangYong XAV concept SUV hit the ramp at the 2015 Seoul Motor Show.

Power for the XAV — short for eXciting Authentic SUV — comes from a hybrid powertrain featuring a 1.6-liter engine paired to a so-called e-4WD system that places electric motors to the front and rear wheels, linked to a lithium-ion pack. No power figures were given for the setup.

SsangYong says the design for the concept is meant to evoke an “authentic” SUV experience, with strong masculine lines up front — also a retro design based on the automaker’s second-gen Korando; the first was a Jeep CJ-7 clone — and an equally strong backside with storage space for tools and emergency equipment, augmented by an oversized rear bumper.

Speaking of the Korando, the XAV is a preview of what the fourth-gen SUV could look like, and would join the smaller Tivoli in SsangYong’s collection as it and its parent company, Mahindra & Mahindra, look for a way to break into the North American market.

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Toyota New Global Architecture Key To Automaker’s Powertrain, Platform Plans http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/toyota-new-global-architecture-key-automakers-powertrain-platform-plans/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/toyota-new-global-architecture-key-automakers-powertrain-platform-plans/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 10:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1032529 The culmination of Toyota’s Global Vision plan, the Toyota New Global Architecture is key to the automaker’s new powertrain and platform development plans. The automaker says the TNGA modular platform allows for better positioning of powertrain components for a lower center of gravity, as well as providing the basis for “attractive, low-stance designs, responsive handling, […]

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The culmination of Toyota’s Global Vision plan, the Toyota New Global Architecture is key to the automaker’s new powertrain and platform development plans.

The automaker says the TNGA modular platform allows for better positioning of powertrain components for a lower center of gravity, as well as providing the basis for “attractive, low-stance designs, responsive handling, a high-quality drive feel, and collision performance that offers safety and peace of mind.” Further, overall body rigidity with TNGA has been increased by 30 to 65 percent, with reinforcement from laser screw welding technology.

On the powertrain side, Toyota has improved thermal and energy-relay efficiencies to gain a 25-percent jump in fuel economy, and a 15-percent boost in power. Meanwhile, hybrids — such as the 2016 Prius, which will be among the first to use TNGA — could gain as much as 15 percent in fuel economy thanks to a better powertrain layout paired with smaller electric motors, batteries and inverters.

The TNGA platform is scheduled to arrive with “a midsize front-wheel-drive vehicle this year,” followed by new platforms made for compact and large front-drivers and rear-driven vehicles. Toyota plans for half of its global lineup to have the platform by 2020.

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Volkswagen Bringing Aggressive Crossover Styling To USDM Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/volkswagen-bringing-aggressive-crossover-styling-usdm-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/volkswagen-bringing-aggressive-crossover-styling-usdm-market/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 10:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1029713 Feeling its style isn’t metal as it could be, Volkswagen is unleashing a more aggressive language for its upcoming compact and midsize crossovers. Automotive News reports the crossovers’ styling will take cues from the T-Roc and Cross Coupe GTE concepts, including sharp-angled character lines, notch-tooth grills, and imposing faces. Design boss Klaus Bischoff says the […]

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Feeling its style isn’t metal as it could be, Volkswagen is unleashing a more aggressive language for its upcoming compact and midsize crossovers.

Automotive News reports the crossovers’ styling will take cues from the T-Roc and Cross Coupe GTE concepts, including sharp-angled character lines, notch-tooth grills, and imposing faces. Design boss Klaus Bischoff says the new language is needed to help make a stronger impact in the United States market, considering that the automaker’s 2 percent market share pales in comparison to the double-digits it enjoys in Europe, China and other global markets.

Bischoff admits that the more conservative Euro-centric approach to design had been the company’s philosophy “for a long time,” adding that while it did work in Europe, it didn’t seem to be “the remedy for the rest of the world.”

The first model to wear the new design language will be the seven-passenger midsize crossover — pulling cues from the Cross Coupe GTE — set to leave Chattanooga in 2016. This will be followed by a redesigned Tiguan and a Golf-based crossover — the latter taking its style from the T-Roc — both due in 2017.

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FCA Planning Industry-First PHEV Minivan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/fca-planning-industry-first-phev-minivan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/fca-planning-industry-first-phev-minivan/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 13:00:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1028273 FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne hasn’t been too enamored with electrification, especially with the Fiat 500e, but he now has his sights set on a PHEV minivan. Detroit Free Press reports the PHEV would be the company’s third overall attempt to market such a vehicle, following the 1993-1995 $120,000 TEVan — built on the same line […]

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2015 Chrysler Town & Country

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne hasn’t been too enamored with electrification, especially with the Fiat 500e, but he now has his sights set on a PHEV minivan.

Detroit Free Press reports the PHEV would be the company’s third overall attempt to market such a vehicle, following the 1993-1995 $120,000 TEVan — built on the same line in Windsor as the standard minivans — and the 1997 EPIC electric minivan with a range of 120 miles delivered by its advanced lead acid batteries. The new PHEV minivan would also be the first hybrid minivan of any sort to come to market since the hybrid category’s U.S. debut in MY 2000, and would spawn a PHEV crossover to debut in 2017.

While the PHEV would provide improved city fuel economy in its role as a family shuttle, placement of the battery pack would have to be sorted due to the automaker’s signature Stow ‘n Go seating and storage system. Pricing is another concern, especially as the next generation of FCA minivans will be a Chrysler product; Chrysler’s Town & Country has commanded higher transaction prices over the Dodge Grand Caravan.

FCA also has to present a case to hybrid consumers who wouldn’t normally consider its brands, the result of not having hybrids throughout the range, with the PHEV minivan likely cannibalizing sales from the automaker’s traditional minivan consumers.

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Subaru Considering Paths For Upcoming Seven-Passenger Crossover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/subaru-considering-paths-upcoming-seven-passenger-crossover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/subaru-considering-paths-upcoming-seven-passenger-crossover/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1028257 Could there be a Subaru Grand Outback in the future? That’s what the automaker is considering for its seven-passenger crossover due in showrooms in 2017. Automotive News reports the automaker is deciding on either a “big brother” crossover to the Outback, or be its own crossover with styling distinct from said model. Either way, the […]

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2015 Subaru Outback

Could there be a Subaru Grand Outback in the future? That’s what the automaker is considering for its seven-passenger crossover due in showrooms in 2017.

Automotive News reports the automaker is deciding on either a “big brother” crossover to the Outback, or be its own crossover with styling distinct from said model. Either way, the execs don’t want to take it down the same styling road that helped lead to the Tribeca’s demise last year.

Fuji Heavy Industries senior vice president of global marketing Nobuhiko Murakami says the seven-seater being developed mainly for the U.S. domestic market “will be roomier than the Tribeca and have three rows of seats,” though arrangement “is still under discussion.” He adds that the crossover will need to differentiate itself from its competitors, including the Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder and Honda Pilot.

Alas, for those hoping the Levorg wagon would come over, Murakami says the new crossover will keep the wagon away, citing Subaru’s priority toward the Legacy sedan designed for the U.S. No sales forecasts for the upcoming model were mentioned at this time, which leave the automaker’s facility in Indiana in 2017.

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Toyota Returning To WRC With 2017 Yaris, Homologation Special Planned http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/toyota-returning-wrc-2017-yaris-homologation-special-planned/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/toyota-returning-wrc-2017-yaris-homologation-special-planned/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 12:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1027441 Find the Toyota Yaris a bit ho-hum? Thanks to FIA’s homologation rules for the World Rally Championship series, it soon won’t be. Motoring.au reports that Toyota’s return to WRC in 2017 after a near-two-decade absence will be pinned upon the second-gen Yaris/Vitz, set to hit showrooms for the 2016 model year. That beast will be […]

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Find the Toyota Yaris a bit ho-hum? Thanks to FIA’s homologation rules for the World Rally Championship series, it soon won’t be.

Motoring.au reports that Toyota’s return to WRC in 2017 after a near-two-decade absence will be pinned upon the second-gen Yaris/Vitz, set to hit showrooms for the 2016 model year. That beast will be driven by a 1.6-liter turbo-four pushing above 300 horsepower to all corners, and is undergoing testing in Europe as of this writing.

Speaking of Europe, that is where the 2,500 homologated versions of the Yaris WRC will likely turn up in order for the automaker to be able to compete two years from now. However, power for the homologated model will come from the Lexus NX 200t’s 2-liter turbo-four, capable of 235 horses and 258 lb-ft torque. The power would be directed by a six-speed manual.

Whether the Yaris WRC will be seen elsewhere is not for certain. Those in Europe who are lucky to get their hands on one will pay around €33,900 ($36,650 USD) for the honor, the same price for Volkswagen’s own WRC entrant, the Polo R.

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DeltaWing Entering GT, Eyeing Future Showroom Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/deltawing-entering-gt-eyeing-future-showroom-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/deltawing-entering-gt-eyeing-future-showroom-debut/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 10:00:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1027369 Coming soon to a track near you, DeltaWing will bring its signature design to the GT class, and eyes set on the showroom down the road. The latest racing variant is expected to demonstrate on the track “that with far less horsepower than many of today’s best sports cars, a two-seat performance car based on […]

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DeltaWing GT race car concept chassis

Coming soon to a track near you, DeltaWing will bring its signature design to the GT class, and eyes set on the showroom down the road.

The latest racing variant is expected to demonstrate on the track “that with far less horsepower than many of today’s best sports cars, a two-seat performance car based on the DeltaWing® architecture would deliver the same performance, yet with previously unimagined fuel economy and efficiency.”

The GT will, like the DWC13 Coupe campaigned by DeltaWing Racing Cars, be a coupe using weight distribution to its advantage, thanks to its narrow nose and wide backside putting 30 percent up front, the rest in back. The project won’t interfere with the team and its efforts in IMSA’s TUDOR series.

Meanwhile, that same basic design forms the basis for two- and four-passenger prototypes that could lead to a road-legal version of the DeltaWing. Preliminary data suggests the design would net “an unadjusted EPA fuel economy rating of nearly 74 mpg Highway and over 57 mpg combined rating,” adding that if one could buy a DeltaWing from the showroom today, they would have a vehicle that was not only the most fuel efficient conventionally powered vehicle in the United States, but would also meet the 2025 54.5 mpg standard. The ratings are for a DeltaWing powered by a 138-horsepower 1.4-liter engine placed in the four-passenger variant.

Aside from traditional ICEs, the company says the prototype could be fitted with hybrid, diesel, CNG, hydrogen and electric power, with results ranging from better range for diesel, EV and FCV versions, to a 42 percent reduction in emissions for gasoline models.

DeltaWing GT race car - early concept 1 DeltaWing GT race car - early concept 2 DeltaWing GT race car concept chassis DeltaWing common chassis

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Richard Branson Setting Sights On Tesla With Possible Virgin EV http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/richard-branson-setting-sights-tesla-possible-virgin-ev/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/richard-branson-setting-sights-tesla-possible-virgin-ev/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 10:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1025697 Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson has tackled everything from space and music, to airlines and MVNOs. Now, he has his sights on Tesla. Bloomberg reports Branson explained his motive for his Virgin Racing subsidiary’s involvement in Formula E when the he and and the team were in Miami last weekend: We have teams of people […]

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Richard Branson, his Virgin Racing Formula E team, and the Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders

Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson has tackled everything from space and music, to airlines and MVNOs. Now, he has his sights on Tesla.

Bloomberg reports Branson explained his motive for his Virgin Racing subsidiary’s involvement in Formula E when the he and and the team were in Miami last weekend:

We have teams of people working on electric cars. So you never know — you may find Virgin competing with the Tesla in the car business as we do in the space business. We will see what happens.

Virgin Engineering is among the few companies working on electric vehicles, which include Nissan, Audi and Apple. However, Branson concedes that Tesla is the one leading the way, proclaiming the company’s cars “as sexy as any other car on the road today.”

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Vincent Bollore Bringing ‘Superior’ EV Tech, Car-Sharing Service To US Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/vincent-bollore-bringing-superior-ev-tech-car-sharing-service-us-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/vincent-bollore-bringing-superior-ev-tech-car-sharing-service-us-market/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 14:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1025009 EV consumers in France and beyond needn’t wait months for a Tesla Model S, thanks to Vincent Bollore’s Autolib service and Bluecar EVs. Bloomberg reports the Bollore Group founder and chairman created Autolib to put EV fans behind the wheel of one of his Pininfarina-designed Bluecars for the equivalent of 20 cents per minute. Though […]

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Vincent Bollore with his Bluecars in Paris

EV consumers in France and beyond needn’t wait months for a Tesla Model S, thanks to Vincent Bollore’s Autolib service and Bluecar EVs.

Bloomberg reports the Bollore Group founder and chairman created Autolib to put EV fans behind the wheel of one of his Pininfarina-designed Bluecars for the equivalent of 20 cents per minute. Though the cars aren’t as premium as a Model S, Bollore says it’s the electrical systems powering the Bluecar that matter, proclaiming them to be “far superior” to Tesla’s efforts.

The technology involves lithium metal polymer batteries, developed by Bollore’s Blue Solutions. The batteries, which don’t need liquid electrolytes to store power, are not only lighter in weight than lithium-ion packs, but can be charged up to 3,000 times, and are stable at temps up to 338 F. No one else has gone for the technology thus far, however; Bollore invested €3 billion ($3.2 billion) over three years to develop the EVs and the battery technology now in use by his ventures.

Meanwhile, the billionaire has plans to bring Autolib and Bluecars to the United States, opening the first branch in Indianapolis this June, with Los Angeles a possible second U.S. candidate down the road. Bollore hopes to have 500 cars and 200 stations throughout the city — chosen for its strong car culture and varying weather conditions — by the end of this year.

Back home, Autolib has 3,000 Bluecars and 900 stations in service, with around 70,000 customers paying a €120 ($130 USD) annual fee to drive the EVs; 500 more cars and 200 more stations are expected to come online in 2015.

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Volkswagen Considering Trucks, Vans For US Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/volkswagen-considering-trucks-vans-us-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/volkswagen-considering-trucks-vans-us-market/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 13:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1024977 Long ago, Volkswagen once sold (non-Chrysler) vans, utes and trucks in the United States. Those days may come again. According to Bloomberg, VW North America light commercial vehicle boss Eckhard Scholz said the automaker was looking into bringing a van and/or a pickup into the U.S. market to help bolster its overall range, as well […]

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Long ago, Volkswagen once sold (non-Chrysler) vans, utes and trucks in the United States. Those days may come again.

According to Bloomberg, VW North America light commercial vehicle boss Eckhard Scholz said the automaker was looking into bringing a van and/or a pickup into the U.S. market to help bolster its overall range, as well as drive more sales on its way to catching up — and one day, surpass — both Toyota and General Motors.

Potential models include the Amarok pickup, as well as the Caddy, Crafter and T5 vans and minibuses. VW’s global light commercial unit sold 445,000 models around the world last year, compared to the 366,970 models from the automaker’s USDM range over the same period. Overall global sales in 2014 came to over 10 million units.

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Juechter: No Mid-Engine Corvette Exists http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/juechter-no-mid-engine-corvette-exists/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/juechter-no-mid-engine-corvette-exists/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 14:00:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1023209 Aside from IMSA’s Daytona Prototype class, dreams of a mid-engine Corvette will remain as such according to the icon’s chief engineer. AutoGuide reports Tadge Juechter said as much when interviewed during an episode of “Autoline After Hours,” when the engineer was asked about the rumored “Zora” mid-engine Corvette meant to challenge the Ferrari 488 GTB […]

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Roar Before the Rolex 24

Aside from IMSA’s Daytona Prototype class, dreams of a mid-engine Corvette will remain as such according to the icon’s chief engineer.

AutoGuide reports Tadge Juechter said as much when interviewed during an episode of “Autoline After Hours,” when the engineer was asked about the rumored “Zora” mid-engine Corvette meant to challenge the Ferrari 488 GTB and Lamborghini Huracan:

I’ll have to check that out, because I know no such car exists.

Juechter did say General Motors thought about moving the engine to a mid-rear configuration with the C7, but ultimately declined when doing so meant “sacrificing too much everyday driving comfort.”

The possibility for such a beast may still be there — if our experience with the upcoming 2017 Ford GT is anything to go by — but for now, the closest anyone will get to that unicorn is through an IMSA Driver Membership.

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Cadillac CT6 Lighter Than Similar Sedans Via Patent-Pending Construction http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cadillac-ct6-lighter-similar-sedans-via-patent-pending-construction/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cadillac-ct6-lighter-similar-sedans-via-patent-pending-construction/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 12:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1023065 While the Cadillac CT6’s exterior may leave the B&B wanting, its lightweight structure may be more impressive. Cadillac says its upcoming flagship — set to bow March 31 before rolling down the ramp at the 2015 New York Auto Show — uses 13 different materials throughout the chassis and body panels to bring the CT6’s […]

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Cadillac CT6 Structure mit Aluminium und Schteel Jawohl Uber Alles Amerika!

While the Cadillac CT6’s exterior may leave the B&B wanting, its lightweight structure may be more impressive.

Cadillac says its upcoming flagship — set to bow March 31 before rolling down the ramp at the 2015 New York Auto Show — uses 13 different materials throughout the chassis and body panels to bring the CT6’s weight down by 198 pounds when compared to a similar model using “predominantly steel construction.”

Per president Johan de Nysschen:

This is the rocket science of automobile construction and manufacturing today. With the CT6, we used high-strength aluminum and high-strength steels; lightweight chassis components; we integrate aluminum and steel where it makes sense; we eliminate every gram of mass possible, while achieving world-class performance.

Most of the vehicle’s structure — 64 percent — is aluminum, with high-strength steel “used strategically to reinforce” the structure, which has 21 patents pending tied to its existence. Aluminum and steel spot welds, flow drill screws, laser welding et al were used to put the structure together. The results eliminate the need for extensive sound-deadening, and allow the CT6 to be bigger and have more standard equipment “while achieving lower overall mass,” according to executive chief engineer Travis Hester.

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Aikawa: Updated Mitsubishi Lancer Shelved For SUVs, Electrification http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/aikawa-updated-mitsubishi-lancer-shelved-suvs-electrification/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/aikawa-updated-mitsubishi-lancer-shelved-suvs-electrification/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 11:00:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1023049 Get used to seeing this Mitsubishi Lancer for a long time to come, as the automaker has shelved its updates to its iconic sedan. According to CarAdvice.com.au, Mitsubishi president and COO Tetsuro Aikawa explained at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show the reasons behind the decision not to update the Lancer or its other sedans: While […]

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Get used to seeing this Mitsubishi Lancer for a long time to come, as the automaker has shelved its updates to its iconic sedan.

According to CarAdvice.com.au, Mitsubishi president and COO Tetsuro Aikawa explained at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show the reasons behind the decision not to update the Lancer or its other sedans:

While I’m the president probably no introduction of the next-generation Lancer… we will continue to sell current Lancer.

There are two reasons for that. One of the reasons is because, concerning the investment on development, we’d like to concentrate on SUV, PHEVs and EVs. That’s one reason.

The second reason is because sedan, in the world, is a very high competition at the moment and it’s very difficult to come up with a profit.

As for the Evo, the badge may be worn by a PHEV SUV with enough firepower to earn the honor to take up where the Lancer Evo will leave off this year.

The decision to freeze sedan development follows a failed attempt to partner with Renault for C- and D-segment vehicles, which Aikawa says was not “a win-win scenario” for either party.

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BMW Files Two Patents For W3 Motorcycle Engines http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/bmw-files-two-patents-w3-motorcycle-engines/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/bmw-files-two-patents-w3-motorcycle-engines/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 11:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1020937 BMW riders may soon find a W3 in place of a four-cylinder on their cruiser bikes. Autoblog reports the automaker has two separate patents filed for its W3 motorcycle engines, both meant to fill the same space as a traditional V-twin mill. Speaking of V-twins, one of the W3s is a modification of said unit, […]

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BMW riders may soon find a W3 in place of a four-cylinder on their cruiser bikes.

Autoblog reports the automaker has two separate patents filed for its W3 motorcycle engines, both meant to fill the same space as a traditional V-twin mill.

Speaking of V-twins, one of the W3s is a modification of said unit, where two cylinders share a crankpin while the third has one all to itself. The other W3 uses a fan design with pushrods controlling the valves.

As to where these engines might go if produced, a possible cruiser bike that could throwdown against the Ducati Diavel and similar cruisers would likely be the host for the W3s.

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Autoleaks: 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/autoleaks-2017-ford-f-250-super-duty-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/autoleaks-2017-ford-f-250-super-duty-revealed/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 10:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1020897 This is 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty in all of its glory, with the F-350 and F-450 Super Dutys to look like this when they hit the lot, as well. According to Jalopnik subsidiary Truck Yeah, an anonymous source dropped off the photo with no information about the truck, particularly what’s under the hood. Speculation, […]

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2017 Ford F-250 Aluminum Edition

This is 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty in all of its glory, with the F-350 and F-450 Super Dutys to look like this when they hit the lot, as well.

According to Jalopnik subsidiary Truck Yeah, an anonymous source dropped off the photo with no information about the truck, particularly what’s under the hood. Speculation, however, points to a revised 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel and 6.2-liter gas-powered V8 as likely powertrain possibilities.

The only detail set in stone about the heavier-duty pickups thus far is that, like the F-150, aluminum will be used throughout the body.

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Sources: Hyundai Expanding SUV Production In US Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/sources-hyundai-expanding-suv-production-us-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/sources-hyundai-expanding-suv-production-us-market/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 11:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1020409 Per inside sources, Hyundai is planning to increase SUV production in the United States in an effort to capture more consumers amid low fuel prices. Reuters reports the automaker’s sales of the Elantra and Sonata have slowed as some consumers in the U.S. spend their money on SUVs and crossovers, prompting the company’s shift toward […]

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Per inside sources, Hyundai is planning to increase SUV production in the United States in an effort to capture more consumers amid low fuel prices.

Reuters reports the automaker’s sales of the Elantra and Sonata have slowed as some consumers in the U.S. spend their money on SUVs and crossovers, prompting the company’s shift toward more SUVs. The expansion would come in the form of a new assembly line in Alabama, augmenting the line in Kia’s Georgia facility where the Santa Fe is assembled, and exports of the Tucson from Hyundai’s factories in South Korea.

Korea Investment & Securities auto analyst Suh Sung-moon adds that, aside from Hyundai’s need for a second U.S. plant, Santa Fe production could be moved to Alabama, with the Tucson and a truck — possibly in the vein of the Santa Cruz concept from the 2015 Detroit Auto Show — joining the former. Overall production is expected to be 300,000 units annually, with the first vehicles to leave the line in 2017.

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