Chevrolet promises big changes in Camaro

Get ready for some Detroit muscle when the New York Auto Show’s press preview starts next week.

Chevrolet is roaring in with a redesigned 2014 Camaro SS. It just released one of the more unrevealing of all teaser photos of the new car.

The brand is promising that the 2014 Camaro will have some of the biggest changes since the latest incarnation of the sporty car went on sale again. Chevy boasts that it is the nation’s top sporty car for three straight years, meaning it has successfully kept Ford’s Mustang at bay.

The SS will be the even higher performance version of the Camaro. But can it keep Mustang corralled? It won’t be easy, since Ford is expected to pour its heart into an all-new one in time for the nameplate’s 50th anniversary late next year.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F): New Ford Fusion Minimizes Allergens

With spring almost there and more Americans preparing themselves to face allergies, the all new 2013 Ford Motor Company(NYSE:F) Fusion can help in fighting with common airborne and touch-based allergens, while monitoring possible irritants in regions where customers are planning to visit.

Engineers working in Ford have experimented over 100 materials and components on the new Fusion and other Ford automobiles for pinpointing issues like allergies. Engineers are avoiding and/or minimizing use of components like hexavalent nickel and chromium, natural latex that can lead to allergic reactions in some individuals.

Components that need to go through allergen testing take into account common areas that are frequently touched, like seats, armrests, shifters, steering wheel and door handles.

Supervisor of Core Material Engineering for Ford, Linda Schmalz said that allergies impact a huge number of people. So, any action taken to bring down potential allergens within ford vehicles are tested through meticulous testing.

According to WebMD, over half of total Americans test positive to one or more than one allergens. Allergies have been shooting up since the last three decades across all age-groups, racial groups and gender.

Ford is trying to reduce the irritation of allergens that are related to seasonal weather and potentially rash-inducing materials, by thoroughly testing its vehicles and putting in cabin air filters that stop pollen, spores, fungus and dust from entering a vehicle.

Nearly any material including dust, hexavalent chromium, pollen and natural latex, can be a potential allergen. Testers at Ford are ensuring that formaldehyde and dyes are sternly restricted to extents that are suitable for clothing.

2014 Jeep Cherokee Goes Off-Roading, 2014 Chevrolet Impala Reviewed: Today’s Car News

Today at The Car Connection, we reviewed the new 2014 Chevrolet Impala and Jeep showed off the new 2014 Cherokee’s off-roading abilities. Hyundai announced details regarding the refreshed 2014 Equus, and Mercedes-Benz revealed the interior of the new 2014 S Class. All this and more in today’s car news, right here on The Car Connection.

Here’s our updated ultimate guide to the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid.

We reviewed the 2014 Chevrolet Impala and found it to have a good dose of style.

Range Rover teased the upcoming 2014 Range Rover Sport for the third time.

Jeep took the new 2014 Cherokee off-roading to prove its capabilities.

Mercedes-Benz revealed the luxurious interior of the new 2014 S Class.

Hyundai announced details of the refreshed 2014 Equus luxury sedan.

A new Chrysler 200 will be introduced for 2015.

SRT announced the 2014 Viper TA supercar before its New York Auto Show debut.

Are one-third of electric-car buyers not going to buy another electric car?

A new Porsche 911 GT3 RS is coming in 2014.

Jaguar Land Rover and Imagination reveal immersive luxury VIP experience for the all-new Range Rover

Jaguar Land Rover has worked with global creative business Imagination to complement the launch of the all-new Range Rover by creating a bespoke, VIP visitor experience that utilises 3D augmented projection mapping.

Imagination was tasked with creating a transformational brand experience benefitting the new model. To meet the brief the agency reimagined the purchasing journey using a mix of projection mapping and augmented reality to ‘build’ the car in front of the consumer’s eyes.

“The Visitor Centre represented a unique opportunity for us to delight buyers of the new Range Rover in a bespoke and purpose built environment. We can showcase every aspect of the manufacturing process, the vehicle and the Land Rover brand,” commented Mark Cameron, brand experience director global marketing at Land Rover.

“Imagination’s strategic insight and planning, coupled with creativity in experiential design and digital delivery played a large part in the creation of this unique facility. It features a world first with projection mapping onto a rotating vehicle. We have exceeded even our most demanding customers’ expectations.”

The VIP experience starts with the guest being greeted by a chauffeur-driven Range Rover and driven to the home of Land Rover in Solihull. On arriving the consumer is then taken on a personalised journey through the brand centre where they will interact with touch screens that tell the story of the new vehicle before taking a tour of the factory. After the tour guests arrive in a pitch black oval space where seven projectors map 3D augmented moving content onto a rotating vehicle positioned three meters away. The iconic Range Rover is then constructed before the consumer.

Of the project, Simon Taylor, business director, Land Rover at Imagination, added: “The most discerning customers need something extra special if they are going to enjoy, remember, talk about and share their experience. Luxury purchases aren’t just about the product alone, it’s about a lifestyle and for Land Rover we created a brand experience that embodied the brand values in a unique, engaging fashion.”

2014 Chevrolet Cruze diesel

It’s a painful memory. But GM hopes it’s about to be put to rest once and for all by the 2014 Chevy Cruze diesel.

For those too young to remember when Ronald Reagan was president and Michael Jackson was king, it was the 1980s that GM last dabbled in diesel passenger cars. Alas, those ’80s-era oil-burners were smoky, smelly and about as reliable as an ex-boyfriend while delivering 0-to-60 performance slower than your last dance on prom night. As a result, a generation of American passenger-car buyers has preferred root-canals to diesels.

Undaunted, GM has entered the fray again with its new 2014 Chevrolet Cruze diesel. And this time, the General promises, things will be different.

“This Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel represents a new era in diesel performance for American cars,” said Jens Wartha, GM chief engineer. “We’ve adapted a proven engine from Europe, the world’s diesel capital, and married it with the emissions-reducing technology that was perfected in the United States.”

Wartha refers to Cruze’s 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbo diesel, borrowed from GM’s European Opel brand but reworked for Cruze to meet stricter U.S. emissions standards. Buttoned to a standard six-speed automatic, it makes 148 hp.

That’s less than the 163 hp of its European counterpart due to North American emissions tuning. More importantly, however, in Cruze it grinds out 258 lb.-ft. of torque, which promises satisfying acceleration. At 8.6 seconds to 60 mph, GM figures the Cruze diesel will be quicker than its primary competitor, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, rated at 140 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of grunt.

Both Jetta and, by GM’s estimate, Cruze diesels get a gratifying 42 mpg on the highway.

Regarding economics:

At our deadline, the national average price for regular gas was $3.75 per gallon – a whopping increase of 45 cents in just a month. Diesel, though still more expensive at $4.16 per gallon on average, is rising much more slowly, shrinking the price gap.

At launch, the Cruze diesel will be offered only in 2LT trim, Cruze’s second-fanciest décor. That, along with inherently costlier diesel technology, results in a price of $25,695. That’s 4 grand more than a gasoline Cruze Eco automatic, itself EPA-rated 39 hwy, and a whopping $7,770 more than a base Cruze LS. However, at only $800 more than a Jetta TDI automatic, the better-equipped Cruze is price-competitive.

Ultimately, of course, it’ll be up to buyers whether this high-mpg diesel’s value equation adds up.

Look for this new Cruze diesel in June.

Honda CR-V and Odyssey Win “Best Cars For Families” Awards From U.S. News & World Report

TORRANCE, CA–March 12, 2013: The 2013 Honda CR-V and the 2013 Honda Odyssey were both honored by U.S. News & World Report among its “Best Cars for Families.” The efficient and capable CR-V was named “Best Compact SUV for Families” and the stylish up to 8-passenger Odyssey was named “Best Minivan for Families” among 2013 model year vehicles sold in the United States.

“If you’re looking for a top safety-rated, fuel efficient, fun-to-drive family vehicle, you can’t really go wrong with a Honda,” said Mike Accavitti, vice president of national marketing operations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Both the CR-V and the Odyssey exemplify ‘family friendly’ with top safety ratings, proven Honda quality and loads of smart features to keep the driver and all passengers comfortable and connected.”

The “Best Cars for Families” methodology combines quality, size and family-friendly features into a composite score. Quality is measured using a weighted average of scores from the U.S. News rankings at the time the awards are published. The rankings compare cars on the basis of safety, reliability and a consensus of automotive critics’ opinions. Size is based on a vehicle’s seating capacity and interior space. For family-friendly features, the availability of features deemed to be helpful to families by U.S. News editors is factored in.

The 2013 Honda CR-V provides upscale styling, excellent fuel efficiency, and a host of standard convenience features, making it one of the most fun and functional compact SUVs in America. The CR-V is rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as a TOP SAFETY PICK and is distinguished by a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 5-star Overall Vehicle Score.1 Compact on the outside and roomy inside, the CR-V represents an unparalleled balance of size and capability in the entry SUV segment. With its car-like interior comfort, a smooth and quiet ride, plus innovative features, the versatile CR-V is a great fit for families or individuals with an active lifestyle.

The 2013 Honda Odyssey minivan continues to lead its class in fuel economy and safety ratings, while providing spacious accommodations for up to eight passengers and a refined and engaging driving experience. The Odyssey Touring is rated at a remarkable 28 mpg,2 the highest EPA highway fuel economy rating of any eight-passenger minivan. All Odyssey models are an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK, and the Odyssey has earned the best possible overall safety rating from NHTSA with a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score.1

Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program (Safer Car ). Model tested with standard side airbags (SABs). Vehicles tested under the new program cannot be compared to MY10 and earlier vehicles.

 

2 Based on 2013 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

Next Lincoln Navigator to drop V8 in favor of V6, but Ford Expedition might get both

A great many buyers fled from full-size body-on-frame SUVs to car-based crossovers in large measure to save fuel. But that doesn’t mean there’s still not a buying audience for more traditional truck-based utility vehicles, and those consumers doubtlessly wouldn’t mind saving some dollars at the pump, too. According to Motor Trend, those shoppers might be in luck.

That’s because the magazine has confirmed that Ford isn’t walking away from the full-size SUV segment, and it’s poised to do something about its offerings’ economy ratings, too. According to MT, global Lincoln director Matt VanDyke has hinted that the next Navigator may drop two cylinders and go with a V6 model – the current model gets just 14 miles per gallon in the city and 20 on the highway from its 5.4-liter V8. The obvious fitment would be Ford’s 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, an engine that has spread like kudzu throughout the rest of the Blue Oval’s large vehicle lineup.

Downsized turbocharged engines like Ford’s EcoBoost franchise have come under fire as of late for not delivering their EPA fuel economy ratings, but their benefits extend beyond consumption – the 3.5L offers superior power and a better torque curve than the naturally aspirated V8. MT also suggests that Ford’s 3.7-liter V6 could form the base engine for the next Navi – it has similar horsepower but a lot less torque than the current 5.4L. That may be less of a problem with the next generation tipped to go on a diet, which could level the playing field somewhat.

Interestingly, Ford will reportedly keep a V8 option in the Navigator’s Blue-Oval-badged sibling, the Expedition. That may be a strategy partially borne out of cost, and partially out of concern that the Expedition’s more traditional buying audience still maintains a strong affinity for simple and robust V8 engines. That said, MT says the Expedition could also get the 3.7L and the EcoBoost 3.5 V6s