audi said allroad, VW says Golf Alltrack

 2017_golf_alltrack_5968

  • Adds 4MOTION® all-wheel drive to Golf SportWagen’s on-road acumen
  • Body cladding and additional ground clearance give Alltrack a rugged off-road look
  • “Off-Road Mode” adds hill descent control and optimizes traction control
  • Golf Alltrack offers cargo volume on par with compact SUVs for size and versatility
  • Available driver assistance features include: Adaptive Cruise Control, and Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist).

on the kickoff to the 2016 New York Auto Show Volkswagen debuted its 2017 Golf all-wheel-drive edition called Alltrack, which is baded upon the Golf SportWagen.

“We heard from dealers and customers that they wanted to see a Golf SportWagen with the all-terrain capability that comes from an all-wheel drive system,” said Joerg Sommer, Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy of Volkswagen of America, Inc. “We are excited to introduce the Golf Alltrack to meet the active lifestyle needs of our customers.”

2017_golf_alltrack_5966The Golf Alltrack shares its underpinnings with its Golf family siblings, from its MQB architecture to the turbocharged and direct-injection powertrain. The fun-to-drive EA888 1.8-liter, four-cylinder TSI® gasoline unit puts out 170 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque. At launch it will be mated to a six-speed dual-clutch DSG® automatic transmission: a six-speed manual transmission will be available at a later date.

Alltrack’s defining characteristic is the 4MOTION® all-wheel-drive system found on other stablemates. The 4MOTION all-wheel drive system uses the latest generation Haldex-5 coupling, activated via an electro-hydraulic oil pump. In normal driving, the Alltrack acts like a front-wheel-drive car for better fuel economy, but as soon as the system detects wheel slip, up to 50 percent of the drive torque can be shipped to the rear wheels.

In addition to the Haldex coupling that acts longitudinally, electronic differential locks (EDL) at the front and rear axles act laterally in concert with the electronic stability control system. The system briefly brakes a wheel that is slipping, enabling uninterrupted and stable transfer of drive power to the wheel on the opposite side. The Golf Alltrack also features nearly an inch higher ground clearance over the SportWagen.

From the outside, the Golf Alltrack’s rugged appearance is easy to differentiate from the SportWagen. Cladding for key body pieces, including the unique bumpers, wheel wells and side sills, gives off-road protection and the front fascia incorporates foglights and a unique honeycomb grille. The S and SE trimlines have 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, while the topline SEL trim has 18-inch wheels. Silver detailing, including roof rails, matte mirror caps and diffusor, adds a premium touch.

2017_golf_alltrack_5965(1)Inside, Alltrack mimics SportWagen in layout, but gets a more upscale feel. Leatherette seating surfaces are standard and Alltrack receives a unique brown leatherette option in addition to aluminum pedal covers, door sills with Alltrack branding and ambient lighting. Standard infotainment features include: a 6.5-inch capacitive color touchscreen with proximity sensor, rearview camera, and VW Car-Net® App-Connect connectivity.

A Drive Mode selector includes “Off-Road Mode,” which adds hill descent control and optimizes traction control for off-road terrain. The Off-Road HMI displays compass, steering angle, and altitude when driving off-road. The Alltrack has a spacious trunk that’s in line with those of compact SUVs. With the rear seats up, it boasts 30.4 cu ft of space: when the 60:40 split rear seat is fully folded, that figure rises to 66.5 cu ft of storage. The split folding rear seats are accessed by release levers in the cargo area, maximizing convenience.

Like the rest of the Golf line, the Alltrack provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It has been engineered to meet or exceed all current crash regulations and features no fewer than six airbags as standard along with a number of electronic safety systems. Alltrack models are equipped with standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC), the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System and an Intelligent Crash Response System. Available driver assistance systems include: Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), Lane Assist, and front and rear Park Distance Control with Park Assist.

And the 10 lowest rated cars are …..

BY GERRY MILES

There are the Razzies, the jazzies and many other names for things in the worst of categories that hold an unwanted place in the American desire to rank so many things.

Consumer Reports, which rates everything from dishwashers to xylophones it seems has released its lowest-rated cars in 10 categories with the overall lowest scores.

Their hope to avoid your purchasing a clunker to replace the one you’re trading away. To paraphrase their report, everything but these vehicles is a better choice.

The Overall Score offers a complete perspective on each model, combining road-test score, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety, including government and insurance industry crash-test results.

Several of these vehicles are due for replacement this year, and are likely to be carrying significant incentives, or at least have some generous negotiating room. As the maxim goes, great deals are rarely found on great cars. In these cases, falling for a smooth sales pitch and a swell cash-back offer could lead you to suffering years of buyer’s remorse.

To quote the Consumer Reports release; “avoid one of the worst cars of 2016 and other subpar vehicles, check all of our tested vehicles. Better yet, skip right to our 10 Top Picks of 2016 to see the truly exemplary models.”

Remember forewarned is forearmed. Let the buyer beware.

The Lowest-Rated Cars in 10 Categories:
Lowest-Rated Subcompact: Mitsubishi Mirage
Lowest-Rated Compact: Fiat 500L
Lowest-Rated Midsized Sedan: Chrysler 200
Lowest-Rated Compact Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz CLA250
Lowest-Rated Midsized Luxury Car: Lincoln MKS
Lowest-Rated Family SUV: Dodge Journey
Lowest-Rated Luxury Compact SUV: Land Rover Discovery Sport
Lowest-Rated Large Luxury SUV: Cadillac Escalade
Lowest-Rated Minivan: Chrysler Town & Country
Lowest-Rated Green Car: Mitsubishi i-MiEV

 

Top Drone races Jaguar XJ through China

V0DHOMv21z9fKjyS4szYPH6E36GEVj4P_Jaguar_XJ_Drone_Chase_-_Zhuhai__China_1BY GERRY MILES

If you want to see the future of the next potential James Bond chase scene, we’ve got a short film from Jaguar to see what it may look like.

s3qmOScBw3NKzTHfMcWy8u5986UK2Nfu_Jaguar_XJ_Drone_Chase_-_Zhuhai__China_6Jaguar, Mark Higgins, a stunt driver in Hollywood blockbusters and one of the top drone pilots had a cat-and-mouse chase to see who’d win. You’ll have to watch the video here to see who wins.

JaeHong Li used his drone to showcase how the chases may be used and filmed while also showing off technologies in both the car and drone.

The development of advanced driver assistance systems with radar sensors and on board cameras is more closely aligned to the development of technology in drones, which are now being used for everything from racing to autonomous parcel delivery.

DCfnqcW4HwU0nthTN6uQEEoejv7BztIc_Jaguar_XJ_Drone_Chase_-_Zhuhai__China_12“Drones are becoming increasingly integrated into society and they can do some amazing things these days,” said Higgins, who is also a champion rally driver.

“So when Jaguar offered up the XJ and all its technology to go up against one of the world’s top drone pilots, I jumped at the chance.

“The Jaguar XJ is designed for the luxury executive market, but it is still a dynamic drive and very capable in all environments. So this was an exciting challenge to use it in. It was certainly up to the chase, and we found some fun ways to evade the drone!”

qd4zag3aPLSGAZ4Nuy8AIeQsGGeZU1gj_Jaguar_XJ_Drone_Chase_-_Zhuhai__China_15The challenge, which took place at the Zhuhai International Circuit in China, saw Higgins trying to shake off the drone through an industrialised zone containing shipping containers, wide tree-lined boulevards, pit garages and an underground car park. The XJ demonstrated agility and control with effortless performance during the challenge.

With the drone pilot using autonomous circling and 360-degree camera searching and Higgins in the XJ, benefitting from electric power assisted steering that improves responsiveness and feedback as well systems that use sensors and four on board cameras.

EyIKQOi9Svo3iNL671QEnfNXLCWUta76_Jaguar_XJ_Drone_Chase_-_Zhuhai__China_2Drone pilot JaeHong Li said: “Flying against the car gave us some interesting insight into how this kind of technology can be used for filming cars – and I think we’ve shown there’s some big potential for future movie car-chase sequences!” : “Technology in drones is developing fast, and like cars, the latest trend is for pilot assistance. The DJI Inspire 1 drone we used is more about precision and poise than outright pace. It has the best-in-class, stabilized Zenmuse X5 aerial camera aboard, as it is mainly used for filming, and was perfect for this challenge.

Jaguar spokesperson, Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director said: “Technology plays a significant part in new Jaguar vehicles these days – from driver assistance systems to telematics and infotainment. This race was an entertaining way to showcase our current technology of 360-degree cameras and sensors on the XJ.

V0DHOMv21z9fKjyS4szYPH6E36GEVj4P_Jaguar_XJ_Drone_Chase_-_Zhuhai__China_1“In everyday situations, cameras and vehicle sensors bring an added reassurance to the driver, making it easier to manoeuvre and park. Our new systems are all about enhancing the driver experience and making it more relaxing, enjoyable and safe.”

Rolls-Royce Dawn lauded as most luxurious uber right luxoliner

Rolls-Royce Dawn. Western Cape, South Africa. Photo: James Lipman

Rolls-Royce Dawn. Western Cape, South Africa.
Photo: James Lipman

BY GERRY MILES

Of course it’s easy to lap up the life, living in luxury than an economy seat. Who wouldn’t want to sit in wall-to-wall leather surroundings that pamper with a convertible top at the ready to provide your daily dose of Vitamin D in supercoupe’s drophead?

So it’s with that caveat that I report on the release from Rolls-Royce that autowriters on an excursion in south Africa raved about their time in a Rolls-Royce.

Trouble is, all that luxury is not compromised by its size, girth and largesse. And in that lies the magic. The power, quickness and sporting nature of other peformance cars today is blended with the comforts associated with the uber-rich luxoliners without sacrifce.

On evaluating the car in one of the world’s most beautiful and social hot spots, journalists were reportedly unequivocal in their praise for the new Rolls-Royce, according to RR PR. Dawn offers the most uncompromising open-top motoring experience in the world and begins a new age of super-luxury motoring, designed from the road up to deliver a striking, seductive encounter.

Quotes include:

“As the product of a 112-year-old company that defines luxury like no other brand in the world, the Dawn is unquestionably a triumph. Perhaps, even, its most self-assured car of the post-Phantom era.” The Telegraph

“…this super luxury cabriolet is arguably the sexiest Roll-Royce ever to hit the road embracing the true ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’.” Daily Mail

“Rolls-Royces are the most sensual and immersive luxury car experiences available, bar none. In losing its roof, the Dawn adds an extra sensory dimension to the scenario. It’s utterly, bewitchingly magnificent.” Top Gear

“We have never ridden in a car of this layout that is so quiet or so smooth, or deals so brilliantly with the slings and arrows of difficult roads, with no handling compromises. In those respects, it simply sets a brand new standard.” AutoCar

“The new Rolls-Royce Dawn is exceptionally crafted, beautiful to drive and stunning to look at.” AutoExpress

“If ever there was a car in which it was better to travel than arrive, it’s the Rolls-Royce Dawn.” GQ Magazine

The launch of Dawn represents a seminal moment for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and promises to attract a new breed of successful, younger and dynamic customers through a highly contemporary, beautiful expression of Rolls-Royce aesthetics.

The launch coincides with imminent first customer deliveries and driving experiences. Feedback from customers around the world has been equally exceptional.

One could only hope and imagine they’d feel the same for their time in such a crafted car. And at a price point many will blanch and wish for, I think it should be, right?

DOT, IIHS and 20 automakers commit to AEB standard on new vehicles

McLEAN, Va. — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced today a historic commitment by 20 automakers representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. auto market to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on virtually all new cars no later than NHTSA’s 2022 reporting year, which begins Sept. 1, 2022.

Automakers making the commitment are Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA. The unprecedented commitment means that this important safety technology will be available to more consumers more quickly than would be possible through the regulatory process.

AEB systems help prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying the brakes for the driver. The systems use on-vehicle sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver and apply the brakes if the driver does not take sufficient action quickly enough.

NHTSA estimates that the agreement will make AEB standard on new cars three years faster than could be achieved through the formal regulatory process. During those three years, according to IIHS estimates, the commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries.

“It’s an exciting time for vehicle safety. By making automatic emergency braking systems standard equipment on their vehicles, these 20 automakers will help prevent crashes and save lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “It’s a win for safety and a win for consumers.”

Based on mounting evidence that AEB effectively reduced crashes and injuries in the United States and around the world, NHTSA and IIHS issued a challenge to the industry in September 2015 to encourage automakers to voluntarily make AEB a standard feature. A series of meetings followed to establish details of the commitment.

“IIHS member companies strongly support the adoption of effective safety technologies,” said IIHS Board Chairman and CEO of American Family Insurance, Jack Salzwedel. “Deploying AEB on a wide scale will allow us to further evaluate the technology’s effectiveness and its impact on insurance losses, so that more insurers can explore offering discounts or lower premiums to consumers who choose AEB-equipped vehicles.”

“We’re getting these safety systems into vehicles much faster than what would have been otherwise possible,” said NHTSA Administrator, Dr. Mark Rosekind. “A commitment of this magnitude is unprecedented, and it will bring more safety to more Americans sooner.”

“The benefits of this commitment are far reaching, from injuries and deaths averted to the recovery of productivity that would otherwise be lost in traffic jams caused by the crashes prevented,” said IIHS Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer David Zuby. “It also assures that all Americans will benefit from this technology.”

“With roadway fatalities on the rise, the commitment made today has the potential to save more lives than almost anything else we can accomplish in the next six years,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, who attended today’s announcement. “Including all models in the agreement ensures that safety isn’t for just those who can afford it.”

NHTSA and IIHS also announced that Consumer Reports will assist in monitoring automaker progress toward meeting the AEB commitment. Jake Fisher, Director of Auto Testing for Consumer Reports, said, “We have been calling on automakers to make automatic emergency braking standard in all new vehicles, and today is an important step toward reaching that goal. This proven technology is among the most promising safety advances we’ve seen since electronic stability control almost two decades ago. We look forward to working with NHTSA and IIHS to help put this plan into action and hold automakers accountable for their commitments.”

Today’s commitment will make AEB standard on virtually all light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less beginning no later than Sept. 1, 2022. AEB will be standard on virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 pounds and 10,000 pounds beginning no later than Sept. 1, 2025.

As NHTSA continues its regulatory work in this area, NHTSA will track the progress industry is making towards its commitment.

The commitment takes into account the evolution of AEB technology. It requires a level of functionality that is in line with research and crash data demonstrating that such systems are substantially reducing crashes, but does not stand in the way of improved capabilities that are just beginning to emerge. The performance measures are based on real world data showing that vehicles with this level of capability are avoiding crashes.

To encourage further development of AEB technology, NHTSA will accelerate its research on more advanced AEB applications, including systems that reduce the risk of collisions with pedestrians. In December, NHTSA announced plans to rate AEB systems and other advanced technologies under its 5-Star Safety Ratings beginning in model year 2018.


Fact sheet:
Auto Industry Commitment to IIHS and NHTSA on Automatic Emergency Braking

Participating manufacturers: Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA — representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. new-car market.

Details of the commitment: Participating automakers commit to make AEB standard on virtually all light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less no later than Sept. 1, 2022, and on virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 pounds and 10,000 pounds no later than Sept. 1, 2025.

What is AEB? Automatic emergency braking helps prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying a vehicle’s brakes automatically. The systems use on-board sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver, and apply the brakes or increase braking effort if the driver does not take sufficient action.

Performance requirements: Participating manufacturers will ensure vehicles have both a forward collision warning system that meets a subset of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s current 5-Star Safety Ratings program requirements on the timing of driver alerts and an automatic braking system that earns at least an advanced rating in the current Insurance Institute for Highway Safety front crash prevention track tests. The baseline performance measures are a speed reduction of at least 10 mph in either the IIHS 12 or 25 mph tests, or a speed reduction of 5 mph in both of the tests.

Safety benefits: IIHS research shows that AEB systems meeting the commitment would reduce rear-end crashes by 40 percent. IIHS estimates that by 2025 — the earliest NHTSA believes it could realistically implement a regulatory requirement for AEB — the commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries.

Monitoring progress: IIHS and NHTSA will monitor automakers’ progress toward the commitment and provide annual updates on that progress. Commitment letters from each of the manufacturers, along with annual submissions on their progress, will be posted at www.regulations.gov under docket number NHTSA-2015-0101.

Hyundai hails adopting Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) on cars

2016 Hyundai Full Line

2016 Hyundai Full Line

Life-Saving Automatic Emergency Braking Already Available on Hyundai’s Popular Models

Hyundai Motor America praised the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the automotive industry for working together to make Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) a standard feature on new cars in the future. The group has developed a voluntary commitment to make AEB standard on all new cars no later than NHTSA’s 2022 reporting year, according to a Hyundai press release.

“Providing effective safety technology is essential for our customers,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president, corporate and product planning, Hyundai Motor America. “With all our new models, we are ushering in new standards for safety, featuring technology proven most effective in preventing accidents in the first place, and reducing injuries should an accident occur.”

Six models are available today with AEB as optional equipment: the all-new 2017 Elantra, 2017 Santa Fe, 2017 Santa Fe Sport, 2016 Sonata, 2016 Tucson and 2016 Genesis. Coming this summer to dealerships, the Genesis G90 will feature standard AEB. Later in 2016, additional 2017 model-year Hyundai vehicles will include AEB as available equipment.

AEB uses both the forward-facing radar and camera, through sensor fusion, to detect a vehicle or pedestrian, and warns the driver of a potential collision. If the driver does not react to avoid the impact, the system will apply emergency braking. The Hyundai Genesis, Tucson and Sonata models are also TOP SAFETY PICK+ rated by IIHS.

Building a Tradition of Safety Leadership
Standardizing key safety features at Hyundai began with the application of standard side airbag protection across the Hyundai lineup in 2003: making it the first non-luxury brand to achieve this level of passive safety technology.

In 2004, Hyundai introduced the Tucson, the first under-$20,000 SUV, with standard Electronic Stability Control and six standard airbags.

In 2006 the Sonata was the industry’s first and only mid-size sedan with standard Electronic Stability Control.

Toyota 86’s the FR-S name

New Toyota 86 and Charismatic C-HR Concept on Display at New York Auto Show

TORRANCE, Calif.

2017 FR-S

2017 FR-S, correction the Toyota 86

Out with the old and in with the new.

When the New York Auto show debuts, the Toyota FR-S will be shown off as the Toyota 86, boasting interior and exterior changes with suspension and powertrain upgrades. The new 86 will go on sale this fall.

“When we announced the transition of the Scion models to Toyota we hadn’t planned on changing the names of our cars, but by popular demand, for our sports car, we decided to adopt the global name of 86,” said Toyota Division Group Vice President, Bill Fay. “Enthusiasts have a strong association with the front-engine, rear-drive heritage of the ‘hachi-roku’ and the dynamic performance it offers.”

In addition to the Toyota 86 name change, two other Scion vehicles will have new designations for 2017. The Toyota Corolla iM and Toyota Yaris iA will join Toyota’s small car line-up.

For its move to Toyota, the 86 sports car adopts more aggressive styling with a larger center intake emphasizing the low, wide stance of the car. The front of the car has a new design with re-configured LED front headlamps and turn signals, and revised bumper. The rear now sports LED tail lamps and a new bumper design. The alloy wheels feature a twisted spoke design and 86 logos have been incorporated into a badge on the front fender, as well as inside the front headlamps.

The interior also features the 86 logo on the new “Grandlux” material used on the instrument panel surround. The same material adds a new, soft feel to the door trim. Drivers also will enjoy new seating material with silver stitching and a sporty steering wheel with integrated audio controls and an 86 logo on the center hub.

Enhanced control and agile performance are achieved through revised shock tuning and a spring rate change. On the manual version of the car, additional performance comes from a gear ratio change and a torque increase to 156 lb.-ft, as well as a five-horsepower increase to 205 hp. Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) helps prevent the car from rolling back on steep hills.

The new Toyota 86 also will be featured in Formula Drift with racers Ken Gushi and Ryan Tuerck.  The drivers, along with Series Champion Frederic Aasbo, will be defending the SR by Toyota race team’s 2015 Manufacturers’ Championship.

C_HR Concept

C-HR Concept

Joining the Toyota 86 on the show floor will be the Toyota C-HR Concept. The U.S. production version of the C-HR will be shown later this year and the vehicle will go on sale in spring 2017 as a 2018 model.

“We’re very excited to be showing the C-HR Concept as a Toyota and adding it to our line-up next year,” said Fay. “The style and substance of the production C-HR will make it a winner in the hottest segment in the industry.”

The C-HR Concept is named for its Compact size and High Ride height. With four doors and a hatch for supreme functionality, it’s the perfect vehicle for “yuccies,” the young urban creatives who inspired the design.

Underneath the captivating design of the C-HR is a platform featuring Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA). TNGA is an innovative and integrated approach to developing new platforms and powertrains for Toyota. It creates a lower center of gravity, increased body rigidity, more responsive handling and improved ride comfort.

“Even though the C-HR has a high ride height, our focus was on creating a fantastic urban driving car,” said C-HR Chief Engineer Hiro Koba. “My favorite place to be on a weekend is at a race track and I wanted to build a car that I would have just as much fun driving in the city during the week with refined driving comfort and responsive, precise steering.”

More information about the technical specifications for the C-HR will be available when the production version debuts later this year.

C-HR Concept

C-HR Concept

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