All-new 2014 Mazda3 debuts globally

All-New 2014 Mazda3 Makes Global Debut.   (Mazda North American Operations)

All-New 2014 Mazda3 Makes Global Debut.                              (Mazda North American Operations)

MAZDA3 takes now as compact car celebrating 10th year in production

BY GERRY MILES

Mazda took the wraps off its all-new, third generation, Mazda3 for 2014 with a global reveal, 10 years after the first iteration was produced, with same-day events in New York, London, Istanbul, Melbourne and St. Petersburg.

Slated to arrive this fall, the new 3 will offer two engine choices:  a SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter,  or the SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter. If the motors have the same output as previous iterations, the 2-liter would made 155 hp and the 2.5-liter, similar to that in the 6, would produce 184 hp. However in a statement a spokesman said pricing, official engine outputs, transmission choices, fuel economy and options would be made available and confirmed at a later date.

The car’s “infotainment system” is what Mazda calls an HMI or human-machine interface (HMI) will debut.  This HMI is meant to broaden the scope of the driving experience, and was designed with ease of use and safety as top priorities, as well as ensuring the driver’s focus remains on the job at hand: driving.

Mazda will also introduce new safety systems to be called i-ACTIVSENSE.  These technologies use milliwave radars and cameras to recognize hazards, reducing the possibility of collisions and minimizing damage if accidents occur.

New safety technologies for the Mazda3 include a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) and Smart City Brake Support (SCBS).

“We are proud to mark 10 years of the Mazda3’s success with the global debut of the next-generation vehicle,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO).  “There is no doubt that the all-new Mazda3 arrives with all-new expectations.  Yet as its track record has shown, we look forward to not only meeting those expectations, but exceeding them in the way only Mazda can.”

In production since June 25, 2003, more than 3.5 million Mazda3s have been sold in more than 120 countries around the world, and 136 global awards have been received.  The best-selling model in the brand’s lineup, Mazda3 accounts for nearly a third of the company’s annual global sales.

2006 Mazda3

2006 Mazda3

The first generation (2003-09) – with its unexpected design, performance and quality – changed assumptions about the compact car segment consisting of low-cost, throw-away vehicles.  By being the dynamic sports compact leader, more than two million units were sold.

2010 Mazda3

2010 Mazda3

The second generation (2010-13) further enhanced the Mazda3’s sporty driving essence, as well as improved its fuel economy consumption with the introduction of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY.  Also not taking a backseat was safety, in which the second-generation Mazda3 received the highest five-star rating from Euro NCAP and was named a Top Safety Pick by the U.S.’s Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

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All-New 2014 3d Gen BMW X5 SAV starts at $53,725

2014 BMW X5 xDrive30d

2014 BMW X5 xDrive30d

BY GERRY MILES

The race for luxury buyers in the SUV segment continues to heat up with the sweltering temperatures this summer as BMW just released pricing for its all-new 3d Gen SAV – yes, SAV not SUV – the X5 at $53,725.

  • A rear-wheel drive 2014 X5 sDrive35i starts at $53,725
  • the X5 xDrive35i   starts at $56,025
  • the X5 xDrive35d starts at $57,525
  • the X5 xDrive50i  starts at $69,125.
  • All prices include $925 destination and handling
  • All X5s will be built in Spartanburg, SC
  • All X5s feature an 8-speed automatic transmission
  • An Advanced Diesel model will join the lineup later on.
  • The optional 8-speed sport automatic transmission, offers new “launch control”

New standard equipment includes: BMW’s Auto Start-Stop system, BMW’s iDrive4.2 Navigation System with Touchpad, 10 years of BMW Assist eCall service, 10 years of BMW TeleService, BMW Apps, 40-20-40 split-folding rear seat, and now standard Servotronic speed-sensitive power steering.

The rear-drive X5  and the X5 Drive35i, is powered by BMW’s 3.0-liter, 300 hp, TwinPower Turbo inline-six. The V8-powered X5 xDrive50i uses BMW’s latest 4.4-liter, 445 hp, TwinPower Turbo V-8.

For the US market, the standard BMW Navigation system, with touchpad, includes a 10.2-inch Control Display Monitor.

Dakota leather seat surfaces are standard on the X5 xDrive50i and optional on six-cylinder models. Nappa leather can be specified as part of the Interior Design Packages.

3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline six powers X5 sDrive35i and X5 xDrive35i

The new X5 sDrive35i and X5 xDrive35i will be powered by BMW’s 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-6 engine (known as N55). It develops maximum output of 300 hp at 5,800 rpm, with peak torque of 300 lb-ft from 1,200–5,000 rpm. The N55 engine was the first BMW inline-6 to combine turbocharging, High Precision direct fuel injection, and Valvetronic variable intake technology. It features a single, mid-sized turbocharger with a “twin-scroll” housing to boost performance and minimize response lag.  The new X5 xDrive35i will accelerate from 0 – 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than its predecessor.

xDrive 50i features the latest TwinPower Turbo V8
The 4.4-liter V-8 engine (N63) that powers the current X5 xDrive50i receives an upgrade for its successor. The unique “reverse-flow” engine, whose two turbochargers are positioned in the V-area between the cylinder banks is well known for producing an instantaneous and sustained wave of power, making it a delight for the enthusiast driver. This new version of the engine adds BMW’s Valvetronic variable valve timing to the list of specifications. As a result, the new version of the engine (N63TÜ) develops a maximum 445 hp between 5,500 and 6,000 rpm (a 45 hp increase), and makes peak torque of 480 lb-ft between 2,000 and 4,500 rpm (a 30 lb-ft increase). This newest TwinPower Turbo V8 powers the new X5 xDrive50i from 0-60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, 0.4 seconds quicker than its predecessor.

New X5 xDrive35d benefits from the latest BMW Advanced Diesel technology

The new BMW X5 xDrive35d features an all new inline,255 hp, six-cylinder diesel engine offering an even better balance between performance and fuel consumption than the outgoing diesel. The 3.0-liter engine, whose BMW TwinPower Turbo technology comprises VNT turbocharging and common direct injection, now develops maximum power of 255 hp and maximum torque of 413 lb-ft which is delivered between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. In spite of the slight reduction in output from its predecessor, the new BMW X5 xDrive35d has a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of 6.9 seconds (preliminary), making it just as quick or quicker.

A Dynamic Handling Package combines the components of Dynamic Damper Control, automatic rear self-leveling suspension, Dynamic Performance Control, and Active Roll Stabilization.

BMW xDrive in the new BMW X5: intelligent all-wheel drive, with optional Dynamic Performance Control.

All models of the new BMW X5, except the X5 sDrive35i, are equipped with xDrive full-time intelligent all-wheel drive, which actively manages the drive power split between the front and rear wheels at all times.

If xDrive is combined with Dynamic Performance Control, the drive power can be split between the rear wheels. DPC remains engaged if if the driver lifts off the gas while cornering.

All-wheel-drive models come with a new xDrive status display in the control display boasting 3D graphics. This feature shows real-time information about body roll and pitch, providing a real-time physics lesson about how close you just came to losing the vehicle to a likely rollover.

A new function, Traffic Jam Assistant, is due to be incorporated with production in December 2013 onward. At speeds up to 25 mph Traffic Jam Assistant keeps the vehicle in the center of its lane providing active steering input.

New is the latest gen of BMW Parking Assistant helping the driver look for suitable parallel parking spaces and maneuver it into the space, not only by steering but also by operating the accelerator and brake pedal and selecting the appropriate gear. When the system has been activated at the press of a button, the new BMW X5 can park itself automatically in a selected parking space.

That should be great at the mall during the holiday shopping spree.

2014 BMW X5 xDrive30d

2014 BMW X5 xDrive30d

2014 Acura MDX priced at $42,990 or $990 less than 2013

2014 Acura MDX

2014 Acura MDX

MDX flagship SUV now available with Two-Wheel Drive, direct-injected powertrain, Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, versatile interior,  AcuraLink™ Next Generation services
BY GERRY MILES

Acura’s flagship SUV, the all-new third-gen MDX with room for 7, goes on sale with an MSRP of $42,990 or $990 less than the 2013 model it replaces. The delivery charge adds another $895 to the tab before options and other fees.

New for 2014 will be a two-wheel-drive MDX – which begets the smaller price tag of $42,990.

MDX will be sold in one of what Acura calls grades, each available with front-wheel drive or Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).

Engine power comes from an all-new direct-injected, 290 hp, 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 rated with 267 lb.-ft. of peak torque (both SAE net).

Another first includes the MDX with standard Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), switching  between 3- and 6-cylinder modes, depending on engine load and driving conditions for better fuel efficiency.

The new mill replaces the a 3.7-liter engine, offering an 8-percent increase in torque at engine speeds below 2,750 rpm for greater overall responsiveness.

It’s quieter, has a tad longer wheelbase, improved ride and drive, and the usual refinements one can expect and appreciate in a top-notch SUV luxuoliner.

The full presser, stats, options and pricing can be found below. Read on.

TORRANCE, California.

The all-new 2014 MDX, the third generation of Acura’s acclaimed 7-passenger luxury performance SUV, goes on sale at Acura dealerships nationwide tomorrow, offering comfort, connectivity and performance every luxury customer wants at a price that no other luxury brand can match. Available for the first time in a new two-wheel drive model, pricing for the 2014 MDX begins with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $42,290*, a substantial $990 reduction in starting price versus the outgoing 2013 model.

The 2014 MDX adds a bevy of new standard features – including Smart Entry with Push Button Start, Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, exterior and interior LED lighting, Extended Slide second-row seating with One-Touch Walk-In for third-row access, an 8-inch On-Demand Multi-Information Display touchscreen, Expanded View Driver’s Mirror, a powerful 432-watt Acura sound system, and an acoustic glass front windows and windshield.

The range-topping MDX with Advance Package boasts a wide range of new technologies and features, including Lane Keeping Assist System, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, remote engine start with an extended range of at least 300 feet, a new Ultra-Wide DVD Rear Entertainment System with HDMI connectivity, and front and rear parking sensors.

Optional Acura Genuine Accessories for the 2014 MDX includes standalone features such as a heated steering wheel, LED fog lights and a Trailer Hitch ATF Cooler Kit (allowing for up to 5,000 lbs. of towing).

The all-new 2014 MDX offers even higher levels of luxury comfort and quietness, together with exhilarating dynamic performance, class-leading fuel economy ratings, and advanced safety features, and an even more luxurious, technology-packed and versatile passenger cabin.

Developed on an all-new platform that is optimized in every respect for the needs of today’s luxury SUV buyers, the 2014 Acura MDX is powered by a new 290-horsepower direct-injected i-VTEC V-6 powertrain with fuel-saving Variable Cylinder Management technology. The new MDX, similar to its flagship sedan counterpart, the 2014 RLX, harnesses a host of Acura signature technologies including AcuraLink® Next Generation services and Agile Handling Assist to deliver on Acura’s “Synergy between Man and Machine” product direction, and the idea of creating vehicles that truly respond to the will of the driver.

The 2014 MDX is the third generation of Acura’s top-of-the-line SUV to be designed, developed and engineered in North America. Production of the new MDX and its powertrain will take place at the company’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Lincoln, Alabama.1

In designing the new MDX, Acura engineers built on the foundation of its excellent dynamic performance with a focus on three core values: class-leading fuel efficiency, new levels of luxury comfort, and top-level safety performance. At the same time, they sought to further enhance dynamic performance while maintaining the MDX’s core appeal – the family-friendly, 7-passenger cabin in a nimble exterior size and appearance.

ALL-NEW PLATFORM
New from the ground up, the 2014 MDX has a 2.8-inch longer wheelbase, and is lower and narrower for reduced frontal area and enhanced fuel efficiency. With high-strength steel, aluminum and magnesium comprising 64-percent of its body structure, the 2014 MDX is 275 pounds lighter than the previous model with the lightest published weight in its segment, which directly contributes to improved acceleration, nimble handling, and class-leading fuel economy ratings. A redesigned MacPherson strut front suspension and new multilink rear suspension, along with new Electric Power Steering (EPS) give the MDX even greater agility and confidence-inspiring dynamic performance. The standard Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) lets drivers select their preferred driving mode (Comfort, Normal or Sport) to suit their mood and the driving conditions. Standard on the MDX, a signature Acura technology called Agile Handling Assist selectively uses the vehicle’s brakes to improve corner traceability and impart confident handling feel.

POWERTRAIN
Power comes from an all-new direct-injected 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 rated at 290 peak horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of peak torque (both SAE net). Closely related to the powerplant in the new 2014 Acura RLX luxury sedan, this 24-valve V-6 engine is Acura’s second Earth Dreams™ Technology engine, which features a next-generation set of advancements that greatly enhance both driving performance and fuel efficiency. For the first time, the MDX has standard Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), which switches seamlessly between 3- and 6-cylinder modes, depending on engine load, effectively varying engine displacement to match driving conditions for improved fuel efficiency.

Compared to the 3.7-liter engine it replaces, the 3.5-liter V-6 in the 2014 MDX offers an 8-percent increase in torque at engine speeds below 2,750 rpm for greater overall responsiveness. Due to improved operating efficiency, horsepower output per liter is up two percent and torque output per liter is up 4.4 percent compared to the previous model’s engine. Together with the 2014 MDX’s substantial reduction in curb weight, overall performance is enhanced, including quicker 0-60 mph times and 8-second quicker lap times on Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschliefe (North Loop), where both the new and outgoing model were extensively tuned and tested.

The efficient new engine is paired with a standard 6-speed automatic transmission with Sequential Sport Shift, and available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). For the first time ever, the MDX is available with front-wheel drive, which saves weight and enhances fuel economy ratings. This new 2-wheel-drive MDX is EPA rated at 20/28/23 mpg2 (city/highway/combined), a 28-percent increase in the EPA combined rating versus the previous SH-AWD model (the only drivetrain configuration previously available). The 2014 MDX with SH-AWD has a remarkable 17-percent increase in its EPA combined fuel economy rating versus the previous model, reaching class-leading ratings of 18/27/21 mpg2 (city/highway/combined).

INTERIOR
Perfect for kids or clients, the MDX interior is a luxurious and accommodating passenger compartment with roomy seating and a second-row seat with reclining seatbacks and a new Extended Slide feature that offers a total of 6-inches of fore-and-aft travel. Additionally, a new kid-friendly One-Touch Walk-In feature greatly improves access to the third row of seating, and a wider, lower step-in enhances convenience and usability. Cabin quietness and overall refinement have been dramatically improved, with hundreds of measures aimed at reducing noise, vibration and harshness, including thicker, 3-layer acoustic glass for the windshield and front side windows, thicker rear door glass, new triple side-sill door seals and Active Noise Control technology.

Repackaging of the rear-seat climate control system allows for a large center console storage space, concealed beneath the sliding, leather-trimmed center armrest. About 2 inches deeper and wider, and almost 5 inches longer, the main compartment offers 2.5 times more volume than the previous model and is large enough to accommodate a moderately sized purse, tablet computers and more. This is a key MDX advantage in the class, where many competing models offer little center-console storage.

AUDIO AND CONNECTIVITY
Acura customers have high expectations for state-of-the-art connectivity and entertainment. Enhanced connectivity in the 2014 MDX is made possible by the next-generation AcuraLink™ system, which offers thousands of media channels via Aha® mobile, all delivered via the owner’s internet-linked smartphone and data plan. There is also a host of new available assistive and convenience features, including collision notification, remote unlocking, stolen-vehicle tracking and surface-street traffic information, all delivered via built-in cellular technology (subscription fees are applicable).

The new MDX will also thrill audiophiles with its available music entertainment features. Four audio systems are available, starting out with the standard 8-speaker, 432-watt (up from 253 watts) Acura Sound System, and topping out with the Advance Package, which features an Acura/ELS® Studio 12-Speaker Audio System with new ceiling-mounted speakers, a 546-watt amplifier and 5.1-channel surround sound.

The available Technology and Entertainment package adds a DVD Rear Entertainment System with a ceiling-mounted 9-inch full VGA screen, while the MDX with Advance Package features a Rear Entertainment System with an all-new ultra-wide 16.2-inch full WVGA screen – the largest and highest resolution screen ever offered in an Acura vehicle. The system also includes a High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port to allow the attachment of high definition players and compatible gaming consoles, along with standard composite video and audio inputs. A 115-volt power outlet is rated for devices up to 150 watts.

Both the AcuraLink™ and Acura/ELS Studio® systems take advantage of a 2014 MDX’s new 7-inch color On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD™) touchscreen with haptic feedback. The addition of the ODMD, along with other interior changes, allowed engineers to reduce the number of hard buttons in the center stack from 41 in the previous generation MDX to just nine in the all-new 2014 model.

The MDX with Technology Package and above grades feature the latest generation Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ (now available in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico). The MDX navigation system features an 8-inch high-resolution WVGA backlit color display and now also includes surface street traffic data, allowing the driver to choose faster, less-congested routes. The system offers a new level of convenience with AcuraLink, allowing users to send destination information to the MDX via the AcuraLink Connect phone app (with the available Connect Package).

SAFETY AND DRIVER’S ASSISTIVE 
Utilizing Acura’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, along with seven airbags, including a new driver’s knee airbag, the MDX is anticipated to earn the highest possible safety ratings – a 5-Star NCAP Overall Vehicle Score from the federal government and a “TOP SAFETY PICK+” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including a GOOD rating in the IIHS’ new rigorous small overlap frontal collision test.

Available safety systems include available Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and an available Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS).

The new MDX offers an impressive array of advanced driver-assistive, and information and media technologies. These include the standard next-generation AcuraLink™ connected car system with collision notification (Connect package required), a standard Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and Expanded View Driver’s side mirror, along with available Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Blind Spot Information (BSI) system.

MDX MODEL RANGE
There are four MDX grades, each available with front-wheel drive or Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).

  • The well-equipped MDX has standard leather trimmed first- and second-row seats with heating on the front row, Smart Entry with Push Button Start (front doors and rear hatch access), a 432-watt audio system with 8-speakers, 18-inch alloy wheels, Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, and more.
  • The MDX with Technology Package adds 19-inch alloy wheels, Smart Entry for all four doors, the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, a 501-watt Acura/ELS® Studio audio system with 10-speakers, Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Blind Spot Information (BSI) System and more.
  • The MDX with Technology and Rear Entertainment Package adds a 529-watt Acura/ELS® Studio audio system with 11-speakers and HD Radio™, a DVD rear entertainment system with 9-inch display, rear-passenger window sunshades, and other features.
  • The top-of-the-line MDX with Advance Package includes unique 7-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels, a 605-watt Acura/ELS® Studio audio system with 12-speakers, the Acura DVD Ultra-Wide Rear Entertainment System with 16.2-inch display, perforated Milano leather first- and second-row seating and ventilated front seats, front and rear parking sensors and remote engine start, along with Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Collision Mitigation Brake System, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow, and additional luxury features.
TRIM MSRP* EPA Ratings2
MDX $42,290 20/28/23
MDX with Technology Package $46,565 20/28/23
MDX with Technology and Entertainment Package $48,565 20/28/23
MDX with Advance Package $54,505 20/28/23
MDX with SH-AWD $44,290 18/27/21
MDX with SH-AWD and Technology Package $48,565 18/27/21
MDX with SH-AWD and Technology and Entertainment Package $50,565 18/27/21
MDX with SH-AWD and Advance Package $56,505 18/27/21

About Acura
Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance luxury vehicles through a network of 272 dealers within the United States. The Acura lineup features six distinctive models including the all-new MDX luxury sport utility vehicle and RLX luxury flagship sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sedan and Sport Wagon, theILX compact luxury sedan, and the RDX luxury crossover SUV.

Connect with Acura: 
Consumer Information: www.acura.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Acura
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Acura_Insider
YouTube: www.youtube.com/acura
Flickr: www.flickr.com/acuranews
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/acura
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+acura

1 The MDX is built using domestically and globally sourced parts.

2 Based on 2014 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, vehicle options and destination charge of $895.00. Dealer prices may vary.

 

’14 Audi SQ5 stickers for $51,900

all-new Audi SQ5

all-new Audi SQ5

• Pricing starts at $51,900 for Audi SQ5 high-performance luxury crossover

• SQ5 is the first-ever S variant of any Audi Q model
• Audi SQ5 achieves 354 hp, 347 lb-ft of torque

BY GERRY MILES

For those salivating for the info of the all-new 2014 Audi SQ5 performance based SUV, er did I type that – I meant luxo crossover – they better dig deep for the sticker begins at $51,900. It’s not expected in dealer showrooms until later this summer.
Similar to other “S” lines in the Audi line, it’s the first S variant of the popular Q5, which was the second best-selling model for the marque last season.
The 2013 Q5 model line adds a TDI clean diesel mode, augmenting the current line of 2.0T, 3.0T and hybrid variants.

The SQ5 boasts plenty of power with a supercharged 354 hp, 3.0-liter TFSI® direct-injection V-6 engine that needs but 5.1 seconds to run up to 60 mph from a stop. It has a top track speed of 155 mph.
Power is dispersed through an 8-speed Tiptronic® automatic transmission and Audi’s famed quattro all-wheel-drive system.
If you like technowizardry, consider that the Q5 has a roof rack detection system that’s directly linked to the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) control unit. When the crossbars are installed, a signal is sent that adjusts driving dynamic relevant parameters according to the center of gravity. When the crossbars are not installed, the ESC program adjusts dynamics to allow for more enthusiastic driving. The SQ5 will run on standard 20-inch wheels and optional 21-inch wheels.

Audi side assist, which is optional on Premium plus models, monitors blind spots alongside in addition to fast-closing cars about 150 feet behind. Adaptive cruise control is also optional, helping to monitor the road ahead and changing speed to maintain a predetermined distance.
A delivery price was not included in the press release and may yet to be determined. In fact you better count on it.