Ford goes ballistic to ensure police interceptors are truly ‘bullet proof’

All-roundsOffers Ballistic Protection Against Armor-Piercing Rifle Ammunition

  • US Department of Justice standard Type IV specifies protection against armor-piercing .30 caliber rifle ammunition
  • First pursuit rated police vehicle to offer Type IV ballistic panels in the United States
  • Optional ballistic panels offered on Police Interceptor sedan and utility

BY GERRY MILES

Having a “bullet proof” car is an oft-used phrase meant in most cases to highly the vehicle’s reliability.

For many of today’s first responders that means something entirely different. Ford announced today it will offer ballistic panels on its Police Interceptor sedan and utility with protection from armor-piercing rifle ammunition.

“Ford is well-known in the police community for going further to enhance officer safety.  It’s what our product is all about, first and foremost,” said Raj Sarkar, general marketing manager, Ford North American Fleet, Lease and Remarketing operations.

The factory-equipped vehicles are the first pursuit-rated police vehicles in the United States to offer ballistic protection up to Department of Justice’s (DoJ) National Institute of Justice standard Type IV.

The fact that we design our Police Interceptors around officer feedback is what has made them number one. Officers globally told us they needed protection from armor piercing ammunition and we added increased ballistic protection to an already great product – that’s continuous innovation,” said Arie Groeneveld, chief engineer, Ford Police Interceptors.

According to the Department of Justice standard, the description of a Type IV ballistic panel is:

“Type IV hard armor or plate inserts shall be tested in a conditioned state with .30 caliber armor piercing (AP) bullets (U.S. Military designation M2 AP) with a specified mass of 10.8 g (166 gr) and a velocity of 878 m/s ± 9.1 m/s (2880 ft/s ± 30 ft/s).”

While the number of shootouts between police and criminals using high-powered, armor-piercing rifle ammunition is low, they are unfortunately becoming more common.

The Type IV panels are an additional option above and beyond existing ballistic panel protection offered by Ford.

Optional Type III ballistic panels are already on duty in agencies around the United States and are rated to protect against all handgun and non-armor piercing bullets up to .30 caliber (specifically up to 7.62mm x 51mm NATO M80 ball ammunition) as well as special threat rounds identified by the Los Angeles Police Department.

The optional ballistic panels are in addition to a long list of existing features aimed at protecting officers, including Ford Police Interceptor safety cell construction to aid structural integrity.

In the event of a crash, advanced safety technology directs impact forces away from the occupants. Crumple zones are strategically placed in the frame or body of the vehicle, further absorbing and dissipating the energy of a crash to reduce intrusion into the occupant compartment.

Innovative materials – such as aluminum, advanced plastics and boron steel – also contribute to vehicle strength.

Other examples of Ford’s commitment to officer safety include a 75-mph rear crash test rating, police-tuned suspensions, police brakes, steel wheels, unique police interiors as well as a range of upfit options.

Lotus sets fastest lap time at Hockenheimring

SA ET Lotus 3 ElevenThe Lotus 3-Eleven, the quickest series production car to come from Lotus’ Hethel Headquarters, has set the fastest lap time ever recorded by the leading and highly-respected German car magazine, “sport auto.”

SA ET Lotus 3 ElevenDriven by Christian Gebhardt, a highly accomplished driver and Road Test Editor for “sport auto”, the Lotus 3-Eleven lapped the Hockenheimring short Circuit in an incredible 1 minute 06.2 seconds. This time was even more impressive considering that the 3-Eleven was on standard road tyres and the fastest lap was completed in less than perfect weather, where temperatures did not get higher than 8 degrees Celsius.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc said, “Christian set a fabulous lap in less than ideal conditions. We knew from the outset that we have created a simply phenomenal car that is capable of great things, and this lap record proves that beyond doubt. This is the ultimate embodiment of the Lotus design philosophy; it’s a beautifully engineered machine that doesn’t carry one ounce of excess weight. With 460hp on tap and race car handling at your disposal, this car is the ultimate giant killer”.
SA ET Lotus 3 ElevenThe Lotus 3-Eleven is now at the top of the “sport auto” lap-time chart which includes some of the most expensive and extreme roads cars on sale, from leading German, Italian, American and British manufacturers.
Christian Gebhardt, Road Test Editor for “sport auto” said, “The Lotus 3-Eleven is an amazingly fast and track focused car in which to have a lot of fun at the limit. It is the fastest series-production car in the test history of “sport auto” on the Hockenheimring Short Circuit.”

SA ET Lotus 3 ElevenThe “sport auto” Top 10 times (production cars) at Hockenheimring Short Circuit
1. Lotus 3-Eleven, 1.06:2 min
2. Porsche 918 Spyder, 1.06:3 min
3. Gumpert Apollo, 1.07:2 min
4. Radical SR3 SL, 1.08:1 min
5. Lamborghini Gallardo Squadra Corse, 1.08:2 min
6=. Corvette ZR1, 1.08:3 min
6=. Ferrari 488 GTB, 1.08:3 min
8. Porsche 911 GT2 RS, 1.08:4 min
9. Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991), 1.08:5 min
10. Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series, 1.08:6 min

A full video of the record breaking lap can be viewed here:
The April (4) issue of “sport auto” Magazine, which includes the Lotus 3-Eleven lap time is on sale from March 11, 2016

The Lotus 3-Eleven in more detail:
Heralding the next generation of Lotus high performance sports cars, the 3-Eleven is the company’s quickest and most expensive series production car ever.
Designed to deliver an undiluted experience, the Lotus 3-Eleven utilises an all-new lightweight composite body, and a bespoke chassis based on the proven Lotus design of extruded and bonded aluminium sections.
The 3-Eleven offers a giant-slaying power-to-weight ratio, thanks to a revised V6 supercharged engine developing 460 hp, to provide in excess of 500 hp per tonne. It is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds before reaching a maximum speed of 180 mph (290 km/h).

As part of its development the Lotus 3-Eleven spent time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, where it was one of the fastest road going cars to ever tackle the track, capable of setting a sub-7 minute lap time.

The Lotus 3-Eleven is on sale now with production strictly limited to 311 cars to be built over the next two years.

G90 debuts über-luxo Hyundai sedan’s new division flagship

Genesis G90

2017 Hyundai Genesis G90

  • Cutting-edge technology, ultimate refinement and luxurious convenience set the Genesis brand flagship apart

  • Premium luxury sedan exudes confidence and distinctiveness through ‘Athletic Elegance’ with refined and dynamic performance

  • Generous world-class safety and technology innovations

Hyundai Motor Company unveiled its G90 premium luxury sedan for the Genesis brand in the U.S. market, the new flagship of the brand’s model line-up at the Detroit Auto Show. The 2017 G90 will compete at the top of the premium luxury car segment with world-class technological innovations and the highest levels of refinement, convenience and dynamic performance.

Created by the new Prestige Design Group, G90 provides strong indications of the brand’s ‘Athletic Elegance’ design identity that will be evident in future Genesis products. The G90 silhouette is both powerful and refined, from its prominent hood, generous wheelbase, minimized overhangs and sophisticated rear deck surfacing. Inside the cabin, fine materials and textures from around the world meet refined ergonomics to provide occupants with absolute convenience and luxurious comfort.

Human-focused Technological Innovation
With advanced technological innovation at its core, G90 features GENESIS SMART SENSE, a suite of driver safety technologies. These features cover the full spectrum of active and passive safety, from driver alertness and focus to total occupant safety, and even the safety of other drivers around you. This suite brings together systems such as Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Smart Cruise Control with Stop/Start, Smart Blind Spot Detection and Lane Keep Assist.

G90’s Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), utilizing sensor fusion technology to help avoid a potential collision or reduce its impact. With this system, G90 will employ automatic braking when it detects another vehicle or pedestrian at an unsafe closing rate of speed. This system uses the front radar from the Smart Cruise Control system and the forward camera from the Lane Keep Assist (LKA) to provide this extra margin of safety.

Best-in-class Luxury Refinement in every area
Benefitting from an intensive four-year development focus by an 800-strong team, the G90 offers best-in-class NVH refinement levels. Every detail of the interior has been crafted to enhance the passengers’ sense of luxury.

Advanced ergonomic analysis dictates the positioning of driver controls, passenger comfort and entertainment features, while exclusive materials are sourced from the finest artisans around the world. For optimized comfort, Genesis offers an impressive 22-way power driver seat.

Vehicle dynamics, including ride comfort and road holding in adverse conditions, are optimized by combining an advanced H-TRAC all-wheel-drive system with the first application of Genesis Adaptive Control Suspension (GACS).

Sporty Agility with Refined Performance
G90 owners will immediately notice the highest standards of refined performance. These characteristics are central to the Genesis brand, with development teams carrying out rigorous performance testing at the company’s European Technical Center at the Nürburgring in Germany and the California Proving Grounds in the Mojave Desert. Even with this sporty and responsive character, the G90 interior environment remains well-mannered. G90 powertrain options include an all-new 3.3-liter direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 or the award-winning Tau 5.0-liter direct-injected V8 for ultimate power.

In addition to the United States, G90 will be offered in other markets, including China, Russia and various countries in the Middle East. Five additional Genesis models are planned for launch within the next five years.

 

Styling

Led by key design members of Hyundai Motor’s new Prestige Design Group, the distinctive appearance of the G90 exudes both confidence and originality. Under the oversight of Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer, G90 expresses the first interpretation of the Genesis design identity ‘Athletic Elegance,’ which embodies the beauty of energy exploding through masterful control, like the moment when an archer focuses his entire strength and spirit into the tip of an arrow.

Exterior Design
In crafting the G90, the Prestige Design Group aimed to capture the car’s strength and originality, while presenting fresh appeal through innovative styling and sporting proportions.

From the front perspective, the G90 identity is conveyed through a Genesis-family design feature, the ‘CREST’ grille, and crowned with the winged Genesis emblem. Perfectly proportioned, the G90 combines a prominent hood with short overhangs, an unequivocal manifestation of its performance rear-drive architecture. Available full-LED signature headlights (V8 model) flow from fascia to fender – a key design element of the new Genesis brand. On the lower fascia, standard LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) add to the distinctive illumination signature. The unique G90 grille design also supports a bold and confident front visage.

From front to rear, a bold, arcing character line spans the length of G90, accentuating the vehicle’s dynamic profile. Refined use of chrome elements also serve to create an elegant and premium appearance. From the rear, dual asymmetrical exhaust tips surrounded by lower fascia accents provide a substantial reminder of available power. Vertical full LED light signature elements provide a unique rear illumination signature. Even more, the clean lines of the G90 yield the additional benefit of an exceptional 0.27 Cd for minimized wind noise and enhanced fuel efficiency, a best-in-class for the segment.

2017 Genesis G90
With luxurious interior spaciousness, the G90 is available in five colors created to accentuate its distinctive lines. Ranging from Casablanca White and Caspian Black to Manhattan Brown, Santiago Silver and London Gray, the color palette was painstakingly matched to a wide spectrum of interior environments and sophisticated material selections.

Interior Design
Effortless ergonomics, interior design harmony, convenience and luxurious comfort helped craft the G90 interior design. From the horizontal and graceful layout of driver controls and genuine, premium material selection, to meticulous craftsmanship, precision Nappa leather-stitched instrument panel and an elegant material color palette, virtually every element of the interior focuses on the passengers.

Extensive consideration has been given to material selection for the G90. The highest-quality, authentic materials adorn the cabin, with ease of operation and intrinsic beauty as fundamental priorities for the interior. Throughout the cabin, the controls for these latest technologies are luxuriously ensconsed amid Nappa leather and genuine wood accents, delighting the senses and cosseting the occupants in a first-class ambience. Even the Lexicon® audio speaker grilles convey an ultra- luxury ambience, precision-machined of high-grade aluminum alloy.

Passenger space is a key component of interior comfort and design, and the new G90 has significantly improved spaciousness, derived in part from a generous 4.5-inch increase in wheelbase for greater passenger comfort. This increase in wheelbase also resulted in reduced overall overhangs when compared with the previous model. Inside the cabin, this translates to superior front headroom (41.1 inches) and legroom (46.3 inches) compared with key competitors.

Powertrains

Tuned for maximizing driving confidence, a rigorous engine testing regime focused on overall responsiveness, while retaining luxury-class refinement levels.

G90 is fitted with a choice of two gasoline engines: a 3.3-liter direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 engine developing an estimated 365 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (with optional premium fuel), or the top-trim 5.0-liter direct-injected V8 engine developing an estimated 420 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (with optional premium fuel). With either powertrain, G90 boasts impressive performance characteristics even while offering exceptional passenger comfort, a hallmark of the Genesis brand.

G90 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine
The 420 horsepower V8 powerplant develops an estimated 383 lb.-ft. @ 5,000 rpm (with optional premium fuel). Hyundai Motor’s first twin-turbocharged engine, the all-new 3.3L direct-injected twin-turbocharged V6, also boasts strong performance with an estimated 376 lb.-ft. of torque throughout a wide RPM range of 1,300 – 4,500 rpm (with optional premium fuel). Both G90 powerplants employ electric thermostats and mid-position-lock Continuously Variable Valve Timing for enhanced responsiveness and fuel efficiency.

G90 5.0-liter V8 engine
Further, both engines benefit from an advanced 2nd-generation 8-speed automatic transmission with extensive lightweighting, reduced clutch-disc drag, lighter torque-converter components and reduced losses from lower oil pump displacement compared with the previous generation. This new transmission boasts lower overall weight (18 lbs. lighter), higher efficiency and more compact dimensions as well.
Driving Performance

A fundamental brand characteristic of all Genesis models is the careful melding of sporty agility and refined performance. At the pinnacle of the Genesis line, G90 achieves these often competing goals via an extensive research, development and testing regime.

G90’s engineers worked closely with the company’s European Test Centre based at Germany’s demanding Nürburgring circuit, and also put the car through its paces in controlled environments at the company’s Namyang R&D Center and California Proving Grounds in the Mojave Desert. Through an intensive program of testing and development, the engineering team refined G90 ride, handling, steering feel and suspension damping to deliver an exhilarating driving experience with overall dynamics that are simultaneously luxurious, sporty and refined. G90 also features Intelligent Drive Mode with four distinct driving settings: Eco, Smart, Sport, and Individual (driver-specified parameters). These four driver-selectable modes provide unique calibration settings for suspension, steering, stability control, engine, transmission and available AWD, allowing the driver to determine G90 driving character based on personal driving preferences, road quality, or traffic conditions. Further, G90 includes proprietary “Smart Shift and Drive Control” automatic transmission technology that analyzes driving style and adjusts shift character, engine torque response and suspension damping in real-time driving conditions.

As a foundation for better handling precision, G90 body rigidity has been increased, with an overall bending rigidity six-percent higher than the Mercedes-Benz S550. To achieve this impressive rigidity, G90 utilizes 52 percent Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), a full 300 percent more than the previous generation, along with more than 650 feet of advanced structural adhesives.

To achieve the smoothest possible ride comfort while retaining engaging dynamics, G90 is fitted with a multi-link suspension design for minimized camber and toe changes throughout the suspension travel range. Rear cross member bushings were also improved from a rubber to a hydro construction. In addition, the Genesis Adaptive Control Suspension (GACS) with electronic damping control smoothly and precisely controls body motions throughout the range of dynamics with minimal compromises to ride comfort. This adaptive control suspension, sourced from Sachs/ZF®, offers independent damping control for both rebound and compression strokes of suspension travel for improved body and yaw control. G90 motor-driven power steering was further refined with optimized assist-and-recovery calibrations and increased steering torsion bar rigidity for more precise steering responsiveness. Large, 19-inch turbine-blade design alloy wheels with 245/45R19 front and 275/40R19 rear performance tires ensure immediate response to steering inputs and precise handling character.

G90 Front and Rear Suspension Layout w/Genesis Adaptive Control Suspension
An advanced H-TRAC® AWD system is available with either powertrain, for confident control under adverse driving conditions such as ice or snow. This system features an electronic transfer case with active torque control and offers dual-mode Sport or Normal calibrations that are linked to the Intelligent Drive Mode.

The H-TRAC system can direct up to 40 percent of available torque to the front axle, for enhanced traction in adverse conditions such as ice or snow. In more ideal conditions, the H-TRAC Sport calibration features a high degree of rear-drive bias for sportier cornering and acceleration characteristics, with up to 90 percent of available torque distributed to the rear axle. In addition, with the H-TRAC systems’ Economy mode, up to 100 percent of available torque is distributed to the rear wheels for maximum driveline efficiency.

Genesis G90 H-TRAC system
G90 brakes were also improved for greater fade resistance with larger, 14.8 inch rotors (5.0 V8 model) and thicker (34 mm) front rotors, with dedicated cooling vents in the front fascia for enhanced front brake heat dissipation. Rear brake performance was also enhanced with larger, 13.4 inch rotors. G90 brake calipers use a 4-piston fixed design in front and a 2-piston fixed design in the rear.

Safety

‘Safety without compromise’ summarizes the passenger-centered philosophy that has directed the development of the G90. Its world-class safety technologies accompanied by outstanding structural rigidity combine to increase its overall safety quotient. G90 is expected to receive a 5-star safety rating (NHTSA), and a Top Safety Pick+ (IIHS), based on preliminary internal crash tests. All individual crash scenario classifications are expected to receive a Good rating or above.

The G90 body structure has been strengthened with a dual-layer member connection design and a newly optimized load-dispersion structure for the small overlap crash test. A variety of class-leading standard safety technologies work to minimize risk and maximize protection for the driver, passenger and other road users. These advanced safety features include: Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection, Smart Blind Spot Detection (SBSD), Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross-traffic Alert, Driver Attention Alert, Dynamic Bending Light headlights with High Beam Assist, and a 360-degree Multi-view Monitor. In addition, G90 also features Smart Cruise Control with Stop/Start capability. For enhanced visibility for the driver, the Head’s-up Display has been increased from 7.4 inches to 9.7 inches with enhanced illumination.

Convenience Features

Simplicity and intuitive function were key elements in the development of G90 convenience features, delivering the ultimate carefree ownership experience for owners. In developing the car’s specifications and trim levels, every effort was made to provide customers with everything most customers would need without anything unnecessary or overly complicated.

Seating comfort was a key development target for G90. Ergo-design seating, including an electronically-controlled, 22-way power driver’s seat including power bolsters, cushion extension and shoulder adjustment, was approved by the German campaign for healthier backs, Aktion Gesunder Rücken. The G90 passenger seat offers 16-way adjustment for optimal comfort. All front seat positions, side mirrors and steering column position are controlled by an integrated memory system. Front seat positions offer both heating and ventilation.

The upscale rear outboard passenger seats are electronically-adjustable in 12 ways (14-ways for the right seat position) on the 5.0 V8 model, ensuring the highest levels of comfort. These luxurious seats were carefully developed via thorough analysis of the renowned “Stressless” seat design. In addition, the rear seats offer heat, with ventilation on 5.0 V8 models. The rear seats offer an unusually high comfort level on V8 models, including power: slide linked with recline, shoulder-adjusters, rear lumbar support, 4-way head restraints and a rear integrated memory system controlled by a dedicated rear console selector.

Many of the car’s features rely on interaction with the car’s audio visual system displayed via a luxurious 12.3-inch high-definition widescreen in the center stack, operated via DIS control knob. The screen plays a key role in enhancing the ease of parking and tight urban maneuvering for drivers. A one-megapixel digital camera is activated when parking, simultaneously sharing the screen with a high-resolution 360-degree Multi-view monitor with steering guidelines. A heads-up display helps drivers to find key driving data while keeping their eyes safely on the road ahead. In addition, a seven-inch high-resolution TFT-LCD display enhances data recognition for the driver from the center gauge cluster.

Depending on individual taste or mood, one of seven interior ambient lighting mood lamps can be selected, and LED lamps are positioned in the overhead console and cabin lighting positions. From the outside mirrors, Genesis-logo approach lamps are projected on the ground for enhanced visibility while approaching the vehicle.

Ultra-high fidelity was an absolute development requirement for the G90 audio system. Presenting a concert-like experience, the Lexicon® Premium Sound System boasts QuantumLogic® Surround sound with 17 speakers and a 10-inch subwoofer. Developed in concert with Grammy Award-winning artists and producers, QuantumLogic® Surround is a revolutionary new audio algorithm that is designed to mimic the acoustics of the original performance and recording space, identifying individual voices and instruments and re-authoring these into a precise multi-channel soundstage. In addition, Clari-Fi® music reconstruction technology rebuilds sonic details typically lost in the compression process for digital music sources, adjusting fine musical nuances based on the overall quality of the audio signal. This helps to further maximize the high-fidelity listening experience with every track. On the 5.0L V8 model, the rear seats feature dual rear monitors with 9.2-inch, segment-first high-definition screens that can be controlled from the rear seat Driver Information System controller.

Elsewhere in the finely-appointed cabin, the ventilation system offers three distinct zones of control with a segment-first cabin CO2-level sensor and Air Quality System (AQS) that allows additional fresh air to enter the cabin when needed. The G90 steering wheel also offers a heating function as standard. G90 passengers can now conveniently charge their mobile devices with the latest Qi wireless-charging standard technology and utilize both front and rear USB ports. For ease of entry, the G90 includes a proximity key with an integrated push-button start system. Power rear- and rear-side-window sunshades are also standard. From the outside, a power Smart Trunk with hands-free opening adds convenience whenever the owner’s hands are full for convenient loading and unloading, and all doors have power door closure function. For adverse weather, G90 also offers a windshield wiper de-icer, rain-sensing wipers and an auto-defogging windshield.

Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH)

Engineers focused on segment-leading low NVH as a key differentiator for G90, dedicating hundreds of hours to fine-tuning every aspect of noise reduction and comfort enhancement. This obsessive attention to detail has resulted in G90 boasting best-in-class ratings for in-cabin noise levels, a major achievement in this critical area of refinement in the luxury segment.

With special sound-absorbing materials throughout the cabin, to the application of specially laminated acoustic film glass on every window, the G90 cabin is a pleasant refuge for its passengers. Road noise was further minimized through the development of a specialized Helmholtz design, with hollow, two-piece wheel construction, and an integral sound absorption chamber for the 19-inch alloy wheels. This design produces an innovative resonance effect which provides sound absorption for reduced tire noise levels in addition to lower overall unsprung weight (7 lbs. lower) for more responsive handling and better ride comfort.

Sound engineering also extended to the suspension set-up, optimized at test centers around the world for high-speed cruising, while minimizing cabin noise intrusion and body vibration. Wind noise in the cabin has been reduced through the application of a 3-layer weather-strip seal on all doors. Special double sound-proof glass insulation is now also applied to the rear glass, while carpet and headliner insulation thickness have been increased by more than 20 percent. In the rear quarter panel, a special plate foam pad has been added as a special sound block for rear passengers.

For the powertrain, the intake ducting now employs a variable-type valve for minimized intake resonance at various engine speeds. In addition, transmission-housing rigidity has been improved with external rib enhancements and increased thickness leading to reduced NVH. In the engine bay, a special single continuous powertrain seal has been applied for reduced sound penetration into the cabin. Underneath G90, underbody airflow has been improved for reduced turbulence and wind noise, greater efficiency and enhanced stability at higher speeds.

Genesis G90

Genesis G90

Technical Specifications

Engines:

Capacity (cc)                                  Horsepower (estimated)        Torque (lb.-ft.) (estimated)

3.3-Liter Twin-Turbocharged V6     3,342 365 @ 6,000 rpm          376 @(1,300-4,500) rpm

5.0-liter Direct-injected V8 5,038    420 @ 6,000 rpm                   383 @ 5,000 rpm

Drivetrain:

Rear-wheel drive – standard

All-wheel drive – optional

Transmission:

8-speed elec.-controlled automatic transmission with lock-up torque converter

Suspension and damping:

Front Multi-link with Continuous Damping Control

Rear Multi-link with Continuous Damping Control

Steering:

Rack-mounted Motor-Driven Power Steering

Overall steering gear ratio 12.9

Steering wheel turns (lock to lock) 2.55

Minimum turning radius 19.6 feet

Wheels and tires:

8.5 x 19-inch (front) 245/45R19

9.5 x 19-inch (rear) 275/40R19

Exterior dimensions (inches):

Overall length 204.9

Overall width 75.4

Overall height 58.9

Wheelbase 124.4

Front overhang 33.9

Rear overhang 46.7

Front tread 64.6

Rear tread 64.5

Interior dimensions (inches):

Front    Rear   Head room

41.1     38.0

Leg room

46.3   37.8

Shoulder room

59.1   57.9

Capacities:

Fuel tank ( gallons) 21.9

Luggage (cubic feet)

15.7 (SAE standard)

* Figures stated are manufacturer’s estimates for the U.S. market, specification in other markets may vary.

Nissan keeps selling current gen Rogue as Rogue Select

2013 Nissan Rogue

2013 Nissan Rogue, which will now be known as the Rogue Select.                              (Nissan photo)

 BY GERRY MILES

Nissan has an enviable problem: it’s current Rogue that’s due to be replaced by the model announced on Sept. 10 is selling so well, it’s being held over and given a new name until the 2014 comes online.

The strategy is simple: keep both pipelines fed and the customers buying whatever they want. Think of the move as Nissan being like Baskin-Robbins – have a flavor for everyone.

Rogue, the second best-selling vehicle in Nissan’s U.S. lineup, is totally redesigned for 2014 model year – set for November on-sale

The 2013 Rogue, nee the Rogue Select will go on sale in January 2014 with a base M.S.R.P.* of less than $20,000 (USD) at its dealer network. Rogue Select complements the completely redesigned Rogue, which debuted on September 10.

In CY2012, Rogue sold 142,349 stateside units. In 2013 sales have increased 16% through August.

“As the compact SUV segment is becoming very specialized, there is an opening for a low-cost, high-content offering, which is a gap that Rogue Select will fill,” said Fred Diaz, divisional vice president, Sales and Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. “Rogue Select will allow Nissan to continue its strong performance in the segment, which will only get stronger once the all-new, U.S.-built 2014 Rogue goes on sale.”

2014 Nissan Rogue

2014 Nissan Rogue

The all-new 2014 Rogue will be assembled in Smyrna, Tenn., while the current-generation vehicle is built in Kyushu, Japan, where Rogue Select will also be assembled.

More information about Rogue Select, including equipment levels and pricing, will be available closer to its on-sale date.

2014 Mercedes S-Class starts at $92,900; S63 AMG costs $139,500

2014 S-Class with Sport Package.

2014 S-Class with Sport Package.

from Mercedes-Benz

The all-new 2014 S-Class has raised the bar yet again within the automotive industry, featuring new levels of craftsmanship, refinement, and overall luxury. With a suite of intelligent safety and overall technologies that customers expect of Mercedes-Benz, its competitive position as an industry leader represents a price/value improvement of 2.8% vs. the outgoing model with an MSRP of $92,900* (the outgoing 2013MY model was priced at $95,000, a $2,100 difference).

Industry-Leading Luxury

The all-new 2014 S-Class appeals to all the senses. With its beautiful interior craftsmanship that features heated armrests and hot stone seating massage, ionized air purification via the AIR BALANCE PACKAGE, First Class rear-seat luxury, and a Burmester sound system, its character and overall presence is unmatched. Its fresh, confident, and sophisticated exterior design goes hand-in-hand with an intelligent suspension system called MAGIC BODY CONTROL, which sees the road ahead and adjusts the suspension accordingly.

“The S-Class is the embodiment of the four words which have served as the inspiration for our company since its inception, “The Best or Nothing.” said Steve Cannon, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. “Every time we introduce a new generation, we have the opportunity to deliver more power, greater efficiency and unmatched safety, backed with an improved value proposition. Not only is the new S-Class the most intelligent car on the road, it’s also a smart choice.”

Industry-Leading Active and Passive Safety: Intelligent Drive

Mercedes-Benz focuses on real-world safety with the goal of accident-free driving, and the S-Class offers a portfolio of more than 30 standard and optional active and passive safety technologies called Intelligent Drive. For example, the Driver Assistance Package, available for $2800 in the 2014 S-Class and 2014 EClass sedan, wagon, coupe, and cabriolet, offers the following content:

  • DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist: radar-based cruise control system with semi-autonomous steering inputs that can work from 0-124 mph depending on road conditions.
  • PRE-SAFE Brake: Autonomously brakes the vehicle up to 31 mph with or without driver input, and can partially mitigate accidents up to 45 mph.
  • PRE-SAFE PLUS: rear-facing radar that senses possible rear collisions and prepares the vehicle for a possible secondary incident into an active intersection.
  • BAS PLUS with Cross Traffic Assist: reads cross-traffic encounters with stereoscopic cameras and adds appropriate brake assistance to prevent an incident in an active intersection.
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Protection: one-sided braking.

Other Intelligent Drive safety features include Attention Assist and Night View Assist Plus with human and animal detection.

Segment Leadership in Overall Value

The 2014 S-Class base price starts at $92,900,* which represents a 2.8% price/value improvement over the outgoing model year 2013 version. Some of the new standard equipment includes 20 more hp, rearview camera, Panorama Sunroof, All-LED lighting (entire vehicle, inside/out), Keyless Start, and MAGIC VISION CONTROL. The combination of competitive pricing, luxury, technology, and overall content is compelling.

2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC

2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC

The high-performance S63 AMG 4MATIC will be priced at $139,500* with a 4.5% price/value improvement over the outgoing 2013 version. Pricing on the new model now includes standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive and 577 hp. The outgoing MY2013 S63 rear-wheel drive model was priced at $140,000 without all-wheel drive and with 536 hp as standard (563 hp with the optional performance package).

In calendar year 2014, more powertrain and body style variants of the S-Class will make their respective debuts at various periods of time.

Fall 2013 S-Class Lineup

  • 2014 S550 – $92,900* – October 2013 Launch
  • 2014 S550 4MATIC: $95,900* – November 2013 Launch
  • 2014 S63 AMG 4MATIC: $139,500* – November 2013 Launch
    * excluding MY2014 $925 destination/delivery charge

Will new Escalade be exciting?

handraiser_masthead_2015_allnew-escalade-suv

 

BY GERRY MILES

Forgive me if I don’t have to wipe my eyes over the leaked image – teaser photo I suspect – from the Cadillac page announcing a 2015 Escalade reveal later this fall.

The folks who created a new vehicle when a parts guy found a Caddy grille fit into a Suburban ultimately gave birth to the ultimate opulent video mobile that gives instant cred to rappers and others seeking attention in a squared, garish SUV that like Henry Ford’s Model T appears to only come painted in black.

You can go to http://www.cadillac.com and sign up for more news down the road.

Expect them to say it will have a clean, new design from a clean sheet of paper or similar remarks that most automakers repeat with their new models.

GM fanboy sites claim the unveiling will be in October. Can MTV hold its breath that long?

Chevy, GMC tease 2014 alternative-fuel variants in photo

The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon will give customers capable, versatile, fuel-efficient alternatives to full-size pickups. Colorado and Canyon will join the all-new 2014 Silverado and Sierra 1500s, and the upcoming Silverado and Sierra HDs, to give Chevrolet and GMC the most comprehensive lineups of pickups in the industry, helping customers choose the right trucks for their needs. Production is scheduled to start in 2014 at GM’s Wentzville, Mo., assembly center.

The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon will give customers capable, versatile, fuel-efficient alternatives to full-size pickups. Colorado and Canyon will join the all-new 2014 Silverado and Sierra 1500s, and the upcoming Silverado and Sierra HDs, to give Chevrolet and GMC the most comprehensive lineups of pickups in the industry, helping customers choose the right trucks for their needs. Production is scheduled to start in 2014 at GM’s Wentzville, Mo., assembly center.

BY GERRY MILES

It’s an oft-played game to generate PR, and it worked, because it’s on my blog, right?

Chevy teased its Colorado and GMC its Canyon alternative fuel fullsized pickups with this teaser photo on its website.

Colorado and Canyon will join the all-new 2014 Silverado and Sierra 1500s, and the upcoming Silverado and Sierra HDs, to give Chevrolet and GMC the industry’s most comprehensive lineups of pickups, helping customers choose the right truck for their needs.

Production is scheduled to start in 2014 at GM’s Wentzville, Mo., assembly center.