Hyundai produces a Rockstar Concept SUV for SEMA

HYUNDAI TEAMS WITH ROCKSTAR PERFORMANCE GARAGE TO CREATE NITROUS-BASED ROCKSTAR SANTA FE CONCEPT OFF-ROADER FOR 2016 SEMA SHOW

HYUNDAI TEAMS WITH ROCKSTAR PERFORMANCE GARAGE TO CREATE NITROUS-BASED ROCKSTAR SANTA FE CONCEPT OFF-ROADER FOR 2016 SEMA SHOW

By Gerry Miles

You might remember the old Zombie Apocalypse vehicle, just in time for Halloween a few

hyundai zombie survival machine

hyundai zombie survival machine

years ago, but I like this Hyundai Concept far more.

Just in time for SEMA, Hyundai Motor America and Rockstar Performance Garage have developed a nitrous-powered Santa Fe CUV capable of serious off-roading while conveying the iconic Rockstar design attitude. The Rockstar Santa Fe Concept boasts a nitrous-powered, Hyundai-based 3.3L Lambda V6 engine powering the jacked up rig via  a raised Santa Fe off-roading setup.

“Rockstar conveys its endless brand energy in everything we do,” said Nick Ashby, lead developer of the Rockstar concept vehicle. “Our Rockstar Santa Fe Concept is simultaneously all-show and all-go, a non-compromising concept with tremendous capabilities and a confident demeanor to match.
Key modifications to the Rockstar Santa Fe Concept include:

  • Hyundai-based 3.3L V6 engine
  • AEM cold air intake
  • Mishimoto cooling system
  • Nitrous-oxide injection system
  • R1 6-piston front, 4-piston rear, big brake system
  • 2.0 KING coil-overs front
  • 2.5 KING shocks with finned reservoir rear
  • Custom suspension setup with new tie-rods and control arms
  • Nology high-performance wires
  • Odyssey batteries
  • Nitro Gear gears
  • KICKER® audio system
  • Magnaflow custom exhaust
  • 17-inch off-road KMC XD 301 Turbine bead-lock wheels
  • Mickey Thompson Baja Claw 35-inch off-road tires
  • Wheel clearance expansion setup
  • WARN® winch
  • Rock sliders and bumpers
  • Custom roof rack, headlamps and taillamps
  • Bulldog LED lighting
  • Roadwire custom leather interior design

Is Honda’s Hatch back?

6e58d8ac-de53-4d2a-a50e-d000f6e04fe0-720x480Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype to Make North American Debut in New York

Civic Hatchback to debut just ahead of New York International Auto ShowEpic 10th-generation Civic journey continues as Honda rolls out the sportiest most expansive lineup in Civic historyPrototype offers best look yet at Euro sport hatch-inspired compact car

The Honda fans have been waiting for a hatch to rival the old days for a while and the automaker has put out a teaser photo of just what they may see in showrooms.

Honda said the Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype will make its North American debut in New York on March 22, just ahead of the 2016 New York International Auto Show. The Civic Hatchback Prototype showcases the new design of the 2017 Civic Hatchback, launching late this year as the third new Civic variant in what is billed as the sportiest and most expansive Civic lineup ever, including the 2016 Sedan and Coupe and still-to-come Civic Si variants and radical new Civic Type R.

Motorists will note that the current Honda Fit and the Honda CRZ are hatchbacks as well.

With its sporty lines, Honda Turbo engine technology, hatchback utility and an impressive list of premium features and cutting-edge safety technology, the Civic Hatchback Prototype infuses the Civic lineup with an added layer of five-door versatility, as well as a big dose of European hot hatch styling.

Additional details about the Civic Hatchback Prototype will be available on YouTube at www.youtube.com/honda on March 22 at 2:20 p.m. EST. For the latest information about the 10th-Generation Honda Civic Sedan and Coupe, please visit http://hondanews.com/channels/civic.

Consultant pulls curtain on Big 3 in Detroit

After the Detroit Auto Show wowed everyone with new models, some were left noticeably nonplussed, skeptical and doubting. James Bell, an independent consultant for the automotive industry with nearly 20 years of experience, including Kelley Blue Book and General Motors, instead opined on what he saw at the Detroit Auto Show from the Big 3.

“Much has been made of the recent resurgence and sales success of the “Detroit 3”, said Bell, who also offered to look a little closer behind each curtain:
  • Ford disappointed many at the last month’s Detroit Auto Show when their “big news” was not a new car or truck but rather BIG investments in connectivity, autonomy, mobility/ride sharing, and the customer “experience.”

Not until later in the week did they make decent product news by announcing four new SUVs in next few years.

  • FCA provided some fun with the “this is NOT a minivan” Pacifica and lots of love for the high margin Jeep and Ram brands in effort to avoid its darker ironic reality of overall financial drama as evidenced by delayed updates to key products such as the Grand Cherokee and Ram. And they announced the death of the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart sedans until another maker can be roped into producing one car for both brands. In both cases, it seems that, as in the early 2000’s, the hypnotic dance of the cheap fuel cobra has worked its magic once and lulled these companies into complacency thanks to profitable truck and SUV sales.
  • Only GM seems to be planning for a more realistic future by using today’s false windfall to keep the pedal down on alternative fuel vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt and Bolt, even in the face of fewer sales in the near term. Seems GM might have learned a lesson from bankruptcy after all.”

Barris’ Super Van to cross Barrett-Jackson auction block

188806_Front_3-4_Web.jpg

BY GERRY MILES

He was the zany creator of many custom vehicles and now George Barris’ converted 1966 Dodge Tradesman A-100 van, know as the Super Van for a movie, will soon cross the Barrett-Jackson auction block with no reserve upon it.

 

According to the barris.com website, it was originally designed by Barris as “The Love Machine” and reincarnated by him for the movie “SuperVan” according to his website originally known as “Vandora.” It was used for many movies and TV shows after that, such as the Hill Valley Transit bus (where it was painted green) in “Back to the Future II,” “Sea Quest” and the 1970 movie “Solar Crisis” as a white vehicle in the last two flicks respectively. The van has been completely restored to its “SuperVan” look and has since been signed by George Barris.

Around 2003, the Guild of Automotive Restorers began a restoration on the van that brought it back to its Super Van configuration.

Power comes from a 318 inch, 8-cylinder engine that mates to a 3-speed manual tranny.

SuperVan_03_1000In the “van era” Barris paid more attention to the interior where he included a rotating circular bed, a U-shaped sofa, color TV, a French-style telephone, tape recorder, crystal chandelier and copious amounts of plush carpeting and solar panels.

Sporting more glass than a greenhouse or the AMC Pacer’s fishbowl shape, the front windshield lifted up entirely in one piece as did the side glass.

Courtesy photos from Barris.com and Barrett-Jackson.com websites.

 

Michelin shows off new Pilot Sport All-season 3+ Tire

PLT_0824_Mercedes_Ocean_17i

Latest Pilot family tire delivers incredible wet, dry and winter performance

 DETROIT –   At the North American International Auto Show, Michelin introduced the latest innovation from its Pilot Family of performance tires: the MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport Michelin_Pilot_Sport_AS_3__LogoAll-Season 3+. The MICHELIN Pilot Sport A/S3+ delivers true all-season performance and incredible wet and dry braking. This latest addition to the MICHELIN Pilot Family is an evolution of the MICHELIN Pilot Sport A/S 3, transferring the best of high-performance racing technology into a street tire made for the roads and highways of North America.

The MICHELIN Pilot Sport A/S3+ combines a unique tread design with enhanced compound technology to provide excellent snow traction and incredible wet and dry braking:

  • 28% better snow traction than the MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport A/S 3
  • More dry grip than a leading competitive max performance summer tire
  • The shortest wet and dry braking of leading competitive tires in the ultra-high performance A/S category

“All-season tires are known for being effective for three seasons, and in regions with light-PSAS3plus_Lt1Q_8ito-moderate winter weather,” said Scott Clark, chief operating officer, Michelin North America. “For those considering high performance all-season tires, the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S3+ is the best choice as it combines breakthrough levels of dry and wet grip while providing great snow traction for true all-season performance.”

As a member of the Pilot Family, the MICHELIN Pilot Sport A/S3+ benefits from Michelin’s heritage in endurance racing and arsenal of technological innovations. Specifically, the new tire features:

  • Michelin’s Helio+ CompoundTM combined with unique biting edges in the tread grooves that grab loose snow to help acceleration and braking in winter conditions, PSAS3plus_Tread_8iresulting in confident mobility in cold and snow conditions.
  • Variable Contact Patch 3.0, originally developed for Formula 1 endurance racing, which distributes the forces and temperatures more evenly over the contact patch. It is combined with an aggressive asymmetric tread pattern inspired by the MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport, simultaneously maximizing dry grip, wet grip and even wear.
  • PSAS3plus_Rt3Q_8i
  • Extreme amounts of silica in the tread compound (derived from wet endurance race tire technology used at Le Mans) combined with variable thickness sipes and large circumferential grooves, resulting in incredible wet grip and resistance to hydroplaning in deep water.

The MICHELIN® Pilot® Family of tires — which also currently includes the MICHELIN® Pilot® Super Sport, MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport Cup 2 and MICHELIN® Pilot® Alpin® PA4 — is the direct outcome of more than 120 years of tire innovation and validation.

“With the MICHELIN Pilot Family of ultra-high performance tires, we continuously merge the lessons derived from our global motorsports victories with our uncompromising standards for quality and safety,” added Clark. “Installing a set of tires from the MICHELIN Pilot Family is a simple way for driving enthusiasts to improve their vehicle’s performance.”

The MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport A/S3+ tire is designed, engineered and manufactured in North America. It will launch in March and eventually be available in 90 sizes, ranging from 175/65/R15 to 285/35/ZR20 with fitments for vehicles such as the Corvette, BMW M3, Audi A5 and Ford Mustang, among others. Michelin will offer a limited 45,000-mile warranty and the product will start with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $149. The MICHELIN Pilot Sport A/S3+ tire is backed by the Michelin Promise Plan, a comprehensive tire service package for MICHELIN replacement tire owners.

Consumers are encouraged to visit the Michelin Tire Selector on http://www.michelinman.com to find a complete listing of MICHELIN Pilot Sport A/S3+ tire benefits and to research the best tire for their individual needs.

 

FordPass aims to ease customers’ mobility, daily needs

Mark Fields introduces FordPass at the Detroit Auto Show

Ford CEO Mark Fields introduces FordPass at the Detroit Auto Show

Ford makes customer experience as strong as its vehicles with FordPass

  • FordPass®, part of Ford’s transformation into an auto and mobility company, aims to do for car owners what iTunes did for music fans
  • Launching in April, FordPass reimagines the relationship between automaker and consumer; membership is free whether you own a Ford vehicle or not by registering online
  • Benefits include a Marketplace offering mobility services; FordGuides, who are always there to help you move; Appreciation, for membership loyalty; and FordHubs, where you can go to experience the company’s latest innovations
  • Ford partnering with ParkWhiz to help drivers find and pay for advance parking more easily, and with FlightCar to help consumers share and borrow; FordPay makes it easy to pay for mobility expenses
  • Ford also partnering with McDonald’s and 7-Eleven to reward FordPass members with merchandise and unique experiences
  • FordHubs to open in New York, London, Shanghai and San Francisco; first will open later this year at New York’s Westfield World Trade Center
DETROIT – As part of its transformation into an auto and mobility company, Ford is introducing FordPass® – a platform that reimagines the relationship between automaker and consumer. FordPass aims to do for car owners what iTunes did for music fans.

FordPass members can talk to personal mobility assistants – FordGuides – night or day to help resolve their mobility challenges, whether finding a more efficient way to get around or booking parking before reaching their destination. Members can reserve and pay for advance parking, virtually build their ideal vehicle at one of several FordHubs globally, and receive rewards for FordPass membership loyalty.

Finding Parking

Finding Parking

“Ford always has been motivated to make people’s lives better,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “We did it when we put the world on wheels a century ago and we do it now through our strong lineup of cars, SUVs, trucks and electrified vehicles. Today, we take our commitment one step further with the introduction of FordPass – an all-new platform that may be our most revolutionary yet.”

A FordPass membership is free for Ford vehicle owners and non-owners alike. The platform officially launches in April.

FordPass is part of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.

“As we’ve studied the mobility challenges people face, we designed FordPass to help provide services that make consumers’ lives easier,” said Fields. “FordPass is really about listening to people’s needs and developing ways to help them move better.”

FordPass features four elements to benefit members: Marketplace includes mobility services; FordGuides help consumers move more efficiently; Appreciation, where members are recognized for their loyalty; and FordHubs, where consumers can experience Ford’s latest innovations.

Marketplace
All members will have access to mobility services through FordPass Marketplace.

Ford is working with ParkWhiz and Parkopedia to help people find and pay for parking more easily, and with FlightCar to borrow and share vehicles when they travel. In the future, services will include ride sharing, car sharing, multimodal transportation and more.

Members can pay for these services through FordPay – a virtual wallet.

“FordPass is about convenience,” said Stephen Odell, Ford executive vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “We’re connecting consumers with the world, making it all incredibly easy.”

Ford owners can easily connect with their preferred dealer to schedule maintenance and service appointments or to review their Ford Credit vehicle finance account details.

Members who own Ford vehicles equipped with SYNC® Connect can use FordPass to access vehicle features such as remote start; lock and unlock; fuel, oil and battery charge levels; tire pressure readings; and to locate their vehicle.

FordGuides
No one wants to be just a number. That’s why FordPass members can speak directly to trusted and knowledgeable FordGuides – all at the touch of a button.

For example, if a member decides he would like to book advance parking for an upcoming show but is unsure how to reserve it, one push of a button on his smartphone lands him in a live chat with a FordGuide who will lead him through the options and help to reserve parking.

The guides will be available free of charge. Their only job is to guide, serve and help solve mobility challenges – not to sell.

Appreciation
FordPass Appreciation is about making mobility more rewarding – no matter the journey.

Members will be rewarded for doing simple things, such as registering to become a member, booking parking, or interacting with FordGuides.

And by collaborating with affinity partners McDonald’s, 7-Eleven and others, FordPass can recognize members with access to merchandise and unique experiences.

“We’re engaging with our customers – and our potential customers – aiming to make every interaction with the Ford brand a positive experience,” said Elena Ford, Ford vice president, Global Dealer and Consumer Experience. “We want consumers to know how much we appreciate them, and with FordPass, we’re taking loyalty a step further.”

FordHubs
FordPass also includes the opening of FordHubs, where consumers will be able to explore the company’s latest innovations, learn about its mobility services and experience exclusive events.

The first of these urban storefronts opens later this year at Westfield World Trade Center in New York, followed by FordHubs in San Francisco, London and Shanghai.

On-site FordGuides will help guests understand mobility options available in their cities, explore solutions for their mobility needs, view a real-time mobility map of their city, and experience special events, including new vehicle reveals.

“These aren’t places where we’re trying to sell something,” said Odell. “We want to hear people’s thoughts, and we want to show them what we’re doing to solve the transportation issues of today and tomorrow – and not just in their city, but around the world.”

FordPass launches this spring in the United States and Canada, followed by other markets including Europe, China and Brazil later this year. FordPass capability is activated through smartphones. Consumers can sign up for more information and updates at MyFordPass.com.

2017 Ford Fusion packed with technology, sport, hybrid models offered

2017 Ford Fusion Sport

2017 Ford Fusion Sport

  • Class-exclusive combination of all-wheel drive and twin-turbocharged V6 engine pushes Ford Fusion V6 Sport to leave other family sedans – including Honda Accord and Toyota Camry – in the dust; Fusion even out-powers the 2016 BMW 340
  • Fusion Energi is the plug-in hybrid that stands out in a crowd – allowing customers to drive extended distances using just electricity, then operating as a conventional gas engine-powered hybrid when the battery runs low
  • Fusion is the first Ford car in North America with a pedestrian detection system; other advanced technologies include hands-free parallel and perpendicular parking and SYNC® 3

DETROIT, Jan. 11, 2016 – The new Ford Fusion continues to be a game changer among midsize sedans, with the most technologically advanced lineup ever – including two hybrid models and a new all-wheel-drive Fusion V6 Sport engineered to leave other family sedans in the dust.

Fusion V6 Sport and the new Fusion Platinum add to a lineup featuring three EcoBoost® engine choices, along with two hybrids, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid – something neither Toyota nor Honda offers midsize sedan shoppers.

“Fusion offers people a lot more car – including helpful technology, beautiful design and a more rewarding driving experience than other midsize sedans,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president and chief technical officer, Global Product Development.

  • Fusion V6 Sport: Fusion V6 Sport is a performance sedan unlike anything in the segment with a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost® V6 delivering a projected 325 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. All-wheel-drive Fusion V6 Sport is projected to make approximately 100 lb.-ft. of additional torque and nearly 50 more horsepower than the 3.5-liter V6 engines in Toyota Camry and Honda Accord
  • Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi: New Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi lead America’s best-selling lineup of plug-in hybrids. New software in both hybrids delivers an even more refined and engaging drive for customers, while more efficient electric motors are expected to contribute to better fuel economy and a purer range of electric driving
  • Fusion Platinum: Fusion Platinum is designed for those seeking even greater levels of refinement and craftsmanship in a midsize sedan. With available award-winning 2.0-liter EcoBoost and all-wheel drive, the real story is the interior experience. Instrument and door trim panels are wrapped in antiqued Cocoa leather, and the hand-wrapped steering wheel is finished in premium Venetian leather. A unique grille finished in Magnetic paint makes for an upscale design and 19-inch polished wheels return confident performance

Together, Fusion V6 Sport, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi, and Fusion Platinum offer three different flavors of an award-winning lineup for midsize sedan customers.

Fusion V6 Sport adds continuously controlled damping for real-time suspension tuning based on setup and road inputs. The system features pothole detection technology that, in less than the blink of an eye, adjusts the shock absorbers to greatly reduce the severity of impact transmitted to occupants. Power and handling are complemented by unique, performance-inspired style inside and out. The look is distinguished by an aggressive exterior with deeper air intakes and a gloss black-finish mesh grille, 19-inch wheels, rear spoiler and dual twin exhaust outlets.

17FusionSport_10_HRFusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi are technology-packed electrified vehicles that offer an advanced EcoGuide system to provide drivers real-time coaching to get even better fuel economy. Fusion Energi features a 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery for an expected range of 19 miles using electric power only. The car automatically switches to an efficient 2.0-liter gasoline engine when the battery is depleted, allowing customers to drive more than 500 miles.

Ford continues to innovate and evolve with its lithium-ion batteries that save weight and take up less space than the less sophisticated nickel-metal hydride batteries found in Toyota Camry Hybrid. Neither Camry nor Accord offers a plug-in hybrid.

Recharging Fusion Energi can be done overnight in just 2.5 hours. The car is smart enough to know when to begin charging to get electricity at the lowest price. It can even preheat or precool the cabin before drivers leave to save more fuel.

Both electrified Fusions deliver impressive overall performance with electric-only speeds up to 85 mph. Regenerative braking captures up to 95 percent of the energy lost through heat during braking and recharges the hybrid battery on the move.

Meaningful technology
Fusion is the most technologically advanced midsize car Ford has ever built in North America – the first car sold here with Ford’s pedestrian detection system. Fusion also has hands-free parallel and perpendicular parking capability. The new high-tech gear shift dial results in a roomier cabin with easy-to-reach bins.

17FusionSport_09_HRLane-keeping assist helps drivers maintain proper lane position using a small, forward-facing camera behind the rearview mirror that “looks” at the road ahead – monitoring lane lines to ensure the car is on course.

Available Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert includes sensors in the car’s rear quarter-panels that can detect traffic in a driver’s blind spot, providing both audible and visual warnings if traffic – unseen by the driver – is detected. BLIS® enables cross-traffic alert, warning the driver of oncoming traffic when backing out of a parking space with obstructed views. In combination with the standard rearview camera, BLIS makes for confident maneuvering in parking lots.

SYNC® 3, Ford’s new communications and entertainment system, is also available. It features faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, a more intuitive smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface. SYNC Connect, optional with SYNC 3, enables owners to remotely start their car, schedule future starts, or lock and unlock the car using their smartphone.

The new Fusion arrives at dealerships this summer. Fusion V6 Sport follows a few weeks later.

2017fordfusion-factsheet