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.

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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

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.

Scion teases two new models for NY Auto Show debut

World Debuts of Scion iM 5-door hatchback and Scion iA sedan

TORRANCE, Calif., March 18, 2015 – One look at Scion won’t be enough for guests attending the New York International Auto Show.  It will take two looks (or more) to see the World Debuts from Scion. Both the Scion iM and the newly named Scion iA will be revealed on the eve of the show, March 31, 2015.

2015 Scion iM Teaser

2015 Scion iM Teaser

The Scion iM is a 5-door hatchback that combines maximum versatility with a sporty design and a fun-to-drive experience.

2015 Scion iA Teaser

2015 Scion iA Teaser

Meanwhile the Scion iA sedan is designed to appeal to young people who need a little more practicality, but still want engaging styling and outstanding driving dynamics.

The “i” in the models’ names can stand for intriguing, individual, and easy on customers’ income. The “M” reflects the hatchback’s modern style and multi-faceted uses. Meanwhile the “A” for the sedan denotes the accommodating trunk and the aggressive styling.

“We’ve been eagerly waiting for this moment and are excited to introduce our new Scions in New York,” said Scion Group Vice President Doug Murtha. “Both the iM and the iA are tremendous additions to our line-up and will appeal to young people with different perspectives and needs. These cars represent the evolution of Scion and are kicking off a new wave of momentum for the brand.”

What is VW thinking? Phaeton may come back to US market, no more US plants.

BY GERRY MILES

An interesting piece of PR mail landed in the in-box just now. VW, wait for it, MAY bring back the Phaeton to the US market later on this decade. Yup, this decade, like 2018. After being roundly excoriated for such an opulent non-plussed expensive sedan produced from the firm that originally built “the people’s car” and sagging sales, it went quickly into the dark night.

Part of it has resurfaced, its huge engine sits under the bonnet of most Bentleys in what a friend calls Bentwagens, and another unprintable term for the unwieldy combination of a British-German car given past World War history and all, but as he is won’t to say, no one listens to him.

Volkswagen Group of America President/CEO Michael Horn told Bloomberg’s Matt Miller at the NY Auto Show that they won’t build any more plants in the USA, the Phaeton is slated for a comeback and small market pickup trucks aren’t likely. The excerpts are below but you can watch the interview if you click on the link here.

Highlights:

On whether bringing a German back to run VW Americas is a sign that VW America need to get more efficient and more organized:

“No, not at all.  I think it is more a sign that we need to connect closer from the American market to the German market.  And since I know the German company for more than 20 years, I think I’m very — I have a lot of value added to explain the American demand to the American customers to our German entity.  And I this is the most important reason for them to bring me over here.”

On his plans for VW America:

“Well, first of all, we will be very close to the dealer network.  That is very important.  If you look at the NADA results last year, and most probably also winter, which will be published pretty soon, the dealers are not happy because they do not earn enough money.  And then they send a great distance to the company, both in Hern (ph) and in Wolfsburg.  And so we have been working very hard with dealer council and the dealers to get this reconnection and lots of different things on the bonus programs on tier 2 marketing, on service loaner cars.  And our overall approach to talk together again as partners.  This is very important to get the dealers engaged.”

“And the second big thing is product.  And we start with the Golf and with the Jetta.  Next year is the Passat.  It will be a new Passat, maybe even all new.  So we have to see on whether this is possible. And then we’re going to see the next step when the two SUVs are coming, the Passat SUV and the compact SUV.  So we’re working very hard not only on bringing cars to the market, but with all the accessible features, what we talked about, all the exterior designs, and to go from there.”

On whether he is aiming to make VW more of a luxury brand in North America:

“No, not at all.  My experience is more than 20 years with the brand Volkswagen, and I had a short time, two or three years, introducing the Phaeton and the Touareg, which was an interesting experience.  Very good experience, but I am a people’s car guy. As I come from Golf, I come from Jetta to the top and so we definitely don’t want to position the brand upwards, but we want to make it even more mainstream and to conquer volume.”

On whether he is looking to bring the Golf and Jetta into the North America mix more:

Jetta is our best selling car.  So we sell roughly 150,000 Jettas in the U.S., 120,000 Passats.  And the Jetta is very important because it’s a long-term big seller here for us.  And so for us, it is very important now to continue our value story because we refreshed the Jetta from the outside.  It’s going to be very good-looking, very nice, more sporty and more dynamic because we lowered, we widened it.  The interior is eased up quite a bit.  We seat tubes inside and we will have the value story on the Jetta.  So we moved the acceptable, high-premium features like rearview cameras, like all the collision warning systems, we moved them down to make it more accessible.  We don’t talk about pricing yet, but it will not just look nice, and will be totally renovated also in terms of technology.  We have new engines, a new diesel engine, V8, 288 and the 1.8 turbo, which you know.  But they will be more fuel efficient, 10 percent, roughly, highway miles per gallon, average miles per gallon.”

On what Americans want:

“The Americans pretty much want to have everything starting from the base.  You want it all and you want to have great and nice-looking cars also from the base, so not differentiate too much the lines from the outside small chrome, small price, pick from the price.  And that is what we are working at.  And you would see this also with a Jetta.”

On whether the Chattanooga factory is making cares for the rest of North America: “Yes.  And we even export cars to Korea. So it is a North American car and the car gets being exported to some of the Asian markets, not to China.”

On whether there are any plans to build more factories in the U.S.:

No, I think that from this location, it is pretty much set up what we have in Mexico, what we have in Chattanooga and then we have more opportunity to grow the business there.”

On whether the Phaeton is coming back to the U.S.:

“Yes we plan to bring it back somewhere in 2018, 2019”

On whether VW will sell pickup trucks in the U.S.:

“No, it’s the emerald.  We built this in Argentina.  I checked one of our plants over there.  And even in Hanover, but it’s very small.  It is much smaller than the F-150.  And the technology and the engineering is a little bit too expensive from our point of view for the U.S. markets.  So if we would want to – if the SUV market, SUV segment here – we would really need to do something different.”

Bill Ford answers questions on Mustang, F-150, Mulalley

BY GERRY MILES

There’s some interesting news out of New York with Ford and its chairman, Bill Ford, spoke with Bloomberg TV’s Matt Miller about the new Mustang and F-150.

Below follows some parsed remarks on several tops for a quick hit and here’s a link that will take you to the interview, courtesy of Bloomberg TV.

Ford on various subjects:

“Our [European] sales are getting better each quarter,” said Ford. “And we — you know, I’m feeling quite good about Europe. We still have a ways to go but we are definitely in a better situation today than we were a year ago.”

On the succession plan at Ford, he said “One of the things that Alan and I have talked about really since he hired in is how important it is for a great CEO to also have a great transition…the final act of a great CEO is having a great transition.” He declined to say if Mark Fields would succeed Mulally.

Bill Ford on the debut of the special edition 50th anniversary Mustang:

“We cut it into five pieces, reassembled it at the top of the Empire State Building and had a great reveal this morning. And the reason we did that is we did that in 1964, with the original Mustang. So we thought to re-create it 50 years later would be kind of cool.”

On what makes the special edition different:

“It’s got Brembo brakes, a little bit of differentiation on the exterior, all chrome treatment in certain places, the Pony Corral badge, which hearkens back to the original Mustang. Some unique interior finishes, and really there are only two things that you have to decide. A, you want white or blue and, B, do you want manual or automatic. And for me it is always manual.”

On more carmakers are going only automatic and getting rid of the manual transmission:

“I understand but I do not like it. I love to drive cars and I — particularly a sports car to me should always be a manual. It is just a lot of fun to work through the gears. And I feel you can control the car better. But not everybody feels that way. So we do offer both. I will always get the manual.”

“Automated driving really does allow denser driving patterns that allows better safety. I mean, there are a lot of really great advantages to it. But I love to drive cars and always have and always will.”

“I mean, to me it’s a way for me to have great fun. So I’m very excited about the all the autonomous features coming into vehicles because people really do want them. A lot — not everybody feels the way I do about driving a vehicle. A lot of people just want to get from point A to point B and they want to do it quickly and safely. And so a lot of the automated features we’re putting in allow them to do that. But I will always want to be behind the wheel.”

On the Mustang being available all over the world:

“What’s very cool is I introduced this in Barcelona at the end of last year and they went wild over it. It was interesting; even though they have never had the Mustang in Europe, it needed no introduction at all. Everybody knew Mustang and everybody knew what it stood for. And really in many ways, Matt, it’s a brand unto itself. You do not have to say Ford Mustang. You just say Mustang like F-150. And that is true around the globe and so you’re right, finally people around the world are getting to have a Mustang.”

On the F-150:

“Well, we think the aluminum F-150 will be very cool for all the reasons you mentioned. One of the things we did it is we were worried initially that customers might not think it was tough enough, so we gave it to big fleets of mining companies for a year and said just beat it up as much as you can. And they came back with glowing reports about how well it held up that way surpassed their expectations. We’re going to always be looking to lightweight our vehicles as we go forward.”

On the 50th anniversary edition reveal:

“We’re going to reveal that one a little bit. And by the way, I’ve signed all 1,964 — well, they are on a plaque. I signed the plaque. And then each plaque will be numbered so you will know what number you have and it will be very cool.

On whether the aluminum will be more difficult to repair and more expensive:

“We do not think so. We’re spending a lot of time working with our parts and service group, with our dealers, and one of the things that we do know is that aluminum has great dentability characteristics. It will dent less easily. So but in terms of assembling it and repairing it, this will be new for some of our dealers. And so we are trying to get them up to speed.”

On whether Tesla should be able to sell direct to consumers or if they should have to have a franchisee network:

“I mean, look, we love our model. We have great dealers. They’ve been through thick and thin with us. And we have all gotten better over the last few years. We have — the manufacturer has, our dealers have as well. I think the issue will be, going forward, is not so much how you sell them but how you will service them in the market. That is something that I am not sure how is going to play out in the other model.”

On Ford’s relationship with its dealer network:

“Well, it’s hugely important. The dealers are the face of Ford Motor Company to our public, and our dealers do a really good job of taking care of their customers in their communities. The people in that community think that dealership is Ford Motor Company. So it’s a huge responsibility they have and they do it very well. And we work — both sides, dealers and ourselves, work very hard to keep the relationship strong.”

On the succession plan at Ford:

“We have got a great team. One of the things that Alan and I have talked about really since he hired in is how important it is for a great CEO to also have a great transition. And so we feel our team is really good and really deep and very experienced. So and it is interesting, a lot of great CEOs leave and then there is chaos behind them. And Alan and I have talked about that, the importance of the final act of a great CEO is having a great transition.

On whether Mark Fields will succeed Mulally:

“Mark is really important to us. But, come on, man, I will not give you that this morning.”

On how key China is to Ford’s future:

“Well, long-term, it is very important. It is the biggest market in the world. It is growing at 7.5 percent a year this year and it’s a very healthy growing market. We are doing really well. Now we are also coming off a relatively small base. So we are growing as fast as we possibly can. The Ford brand is very well respected in China and that is why I am excited that the Mustang is coming to China because they will love that, too.”

On whether the future is bright as far as Europe reports:

“Yes, it is getting better thankfully. We have seen this — I have seen this many — all too many times in my career, both in North America, Europe, South America, where you’re going great guns and then things fall off and you have to rebuild. And we have had a few quarters now of things getting better in Europe. Our sales are getting better each quarter. And we — you know, I’m feeling quite good about Europe. We still have a ways to go but we are definitely in a better situation today than we were a year ago.”

Heritage Inspires First Scion FR-S Release Series

Heritage Inspires First Scion FR-S Release Series

Heritage Inspires First Scion FR-S Release Series

BY GERRY MILES

There’s little surprise, really, that after the successful launch of the Toyota FR-S/Subaru BRZ that a more sporting edition would eventually arrive. Today, it has.

Scio, aka Toyota’s hip-hop happening’ arm, added some of Toyota’s Racing Development or TRD tweaks to reveal the FR-S Release Series 1.0 at the NY Auto Show.

The Series 1.0 is a limited edition with just 1,500 copies to be built with such enhanced features as a custom-designed aero kit with a rear spoiler and side fender garnish, TRD Quad Tip Exhaust System, TRD lowering springs and Smart Key with Push Button Start and Yuzu exterior paint color.

The series offers either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and Dynamic Rev Management® technology. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) will start under $30,000, excluding the delivery, processing and handling (DPH) fee of $755.

Additional FR-S Release Series 1.0 features include:

TRD steering wheel
TRD shift knob
Black seats with T-pattern
HID headlamps with LED daytime running lights
Dual auto AC
TRD logo cargo mat

Each vehicle will feature its sequential release series badge (1 of 1500) on its brushed aluminum shifter surround plate. The cars are expected to arrive in dealerships in August.