Wraps are off 2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator

BY GERRY MILES

Apparently, rumors of its demise were greatly exaggerated.

Lincoln, Ford Motor Company’s luxo brand, and its landlocked leviathan SUV Navigator live another day.
After friend and colleague Clifford Atiyeh tweeted pics of the grill under a wrap the other day social media blew up with pics and diverse opinions on the luxo land yacht.
Today, Lincoln released the details and pics of the revised luxury SUV  that sports a  redesigned exterior, updated interior, more powerful engine,  customer-focused technologies and appointments. Besides the ecoBoost engine, it will come in a standard length (207.4″) and extended (222.3″) or L version, similar to the new Cadillac Escalade. Navigator will be officially revealed at the Chicago Auto Show Feb. 6.
Chief among them will be:
  • A new 3.5-liter, t370 hp, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost® engine
  • optional Lincoln Drive Control with Continuously Controlled Damping
  • electric power-assisted steering for improved and quicker steering input and reaction
  • puddle lamps that create a “welcome mat” below both front doors,
  • optional Reserve Package includes 22-inch wheels and ultra-luxurious leather with premium Ziricote wood trim
Navigator comes standard with 20-inch, machined aluminum wheels, while Reserve Package vehicles are equipped with 22-inch, polished aluminum wheels. Reserve Package Navigators also offer optional chrome-accented running boards.
The new split wing grille is polarizing to say the least and harkens comments comparing it to the Infiniti QX 56 behemoth.
Navigator interior

Navigator interior

Luxuriously appointed interior
Navigator has long been synonymous with large-scale luxury. On the 2015 Navigator, the Reserve Package introduces a new level of luxury to the vehicle’s interior, providing customers with:

  • An updated cabin that extends ultra-luxurious leather to all three rows of seats, as well as to the armrests, center console and transmission shifter
  • A hand-wrapped, leather instrument panel with contrast stitching and leather glove box door
  • Premium Ziricote wood trim, a luxurious natural-grain wood new to the automotive industry, most commonly used as an accent in yachts

Designed to seat up to eight people, Navigator offers buyers second-row options that include two captain’s chairs, with or without a center console, or a fold-flat bench.  PowerFold® third-row seats, extended-length and standard wheelbase models are projected to deliver segment-leading cargo volume.

2015 Lincoln Navigator

Extended-length models provide 128.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row, 86.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, and 42.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row; standard wheelbase models deliver 103.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row, 54.4 cubic feet behind the second row, and 18.1 cubic feet behind the third row.

A smoother, more powerful ride
Replacing the 5.4-liter V8 that has powered Navigator for years is a more powerful and fuel-efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine.

The twin turbocharged, direct injection engine is projected to deliver at least 370 horsepower and 430 lb.-ft. of torque, according to preliminary test data. Final numbers will be available closer to production. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost is also projected to deliver best-in-class towing.

2015 Lincoln Navigator

Navigator features a six-speed automatic transmission with Lincoln’s SelectShift, which allows the driver to manually control gears if desired. The vehicle is available in both four-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive configurations. The available Control Trac Four-Wheel-Drive system enhances traction on slippery surfaces, helps improve handling on dry roads and enables off-road capability.

The Lincoln Drive Control option adds Lincoln’s Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD), a suspension system that monitors multiple vehicle sensors and road conditions every two milliseconds and adjusts the suspension needs accordingly. CCD also provides a smoother and improved ride – best-ever for Navigator – and allows the driver to customize the ride of the vehicle by selecting one of three different control modes: Normal, Sport and Comfort.Navigator’s Hill Start/Descent Assist keeps the SUV still for up to two seconds on a five-degree uphill grade after the drive takes his foot off the brake pedal.

Standard-equipped Navigators will continue to offer Nivomat®, a load-leveling system that automatically raises a loaded rear end to optimum ride height for improved handling. The mechanical leveling system helps reduce uneven wear on front and rear tires and helps maintain better vehicle aerodynamics.

The latest SYNC® with MyLincoln Touch™ driver connectivity system is standard. The system allows drivers to use voice-activated or touch screen controls to make phone calls, play music, use the navigation system or set cabin temperature controls. The system includes 4.2-inch LCD displays in the instrument cluster, an 8-inch touch screen in the center stack and traditional knob controls for easy operation.

2015 Lincoln Navigator

The available Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) signals when another vehicle is detected in an adjacent lane behind either rear wheel. Standard for 2015, Navigator also introduces a new rearview camera, which displays a color image on the 8-inch touch screen for help when driving in reverse.

Rebirth of an icon

1998 Lincoln Navigator

1998 Lincoln Navigator

Navigator was wildly popular the moment it hit the streets in the late 1990s, and spent more than a decade as one of the top-selling vehicles in the segment. Featuring seating for up to eight passengers, luxury cues typically reserved for sedans and cargo space and towing capacity to haul virtually anything, Navigator set the full-size luxury SUV standard.

It was an immediate success, accounting for 41 percent of in-segment sales by the 2000 model year. Aiming to recapture that glory, the 2015 Navigator offers nearly two dozen upgrades from the current generation.

Production of the 2015 Navigator begins in late summer at the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Ky. Vehicles are due in showrooms in early fall.

Caddy teases Escalade reveal with interior picture

2015 Escalade interior

2015 Escalade interior

BY GERRY MILES

In what’s an on-going practice today, teaser photos leading up to a new model’s reveal are released to “heighten suspense” for the “big reveal event.”

With less than a week before the Oct. 7 showing of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, GM released this picture of the luxury SUV’s interior to underscore how seriously they take the marriage of luxury and quality in this luxobarge with an all-new interior. In fact, the Escalade is all-new so expect this oft-used term in anything used with this vehicle.

The release claims that the pic shows Caddy’s cut-and-sew interior craftsmanship technique, enabling precisely elegant surfacing of the instrument panel and door areas.

Advanced technical features and controls are designed to add a boldly modern element to the design, as well as offering the latest features in luxury, connectivity and safety for up to eight occupants.

We shall see, in just a few more days.

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

Acura debuts campaign for new MDX: Made for Mankind

The 2014 Acura MDX Made For Mankind campaign.

The 2014 Acura MDX Made For Mankind campaign.

BY GERRY MILES

Apparently needing to underscore the importance of its vehicle being used for daily use, Acura has rolled out a three-part media campaign called “The Extremely New MDX – Made for Mankind” to highlight the all-new 2014 MDX SUV.

The series will show how the luxo suv connects to the driver, the road and wherever they might be going – ahem, in style – in the national ad rollout

There are three distinct video concepts as part of the campaign.

  1. Human Race” is the anthem spot evoking Acura’s dedication to creating vehicles performing in harmony with the driver.
  2. Re-Invention” depicts how the MDX has been re-thought and improved to the point that the only remaining component of the previous generation model is a small metal bracket.
  3. Choose,” focuses on the MDX’s all-new Integrated Dynamic System (IDS) with three driving modes: Sport, Normal and Comfort to suit the tastes of the driver.

“The all-new 2014 MDX is the benchmark for luxury SUVs. We’ve advanced the current MDX’s already great dynamic performance, while improving fuel efficiency and luxury comfort and styling,” said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of automobile operations at Acura. “The new MDX campaign captures Acura’s unique perspective on luxury defined by the quality of the driving experience, where the vehicle performs at the will of the driver.”

Acura partnered with its new creative agency-of-record Mullen (Boston and LA) and with MediaVest, the new media agency-of-record for the brand, in the development of the new campaign. This is the first campaign from Mullen and MediaVest since the agencies were hired in March of this year.

“The most emotionally resonant big ideas are born from an absolute truth about a brand, and Acura’s own designers and engineers will tell you, everything they consider and eventually create starts with the human beings behind the wheel,” said Gary Robinson, manager, national advertising and brand at Acura. “Luxury as the result of synergy between man and machine. That harmony was our guide – and all of our work will seek to tell that story in ways that consistently elevate the brand’s prestige.”

The 2014 MDX went on sale at Acura dealerships nationwide on June 20, 2013. Built on a completely new platform, the seven-passenger 2014 Acura MDX offers outstanding ride comfort, a more versatile and luxurious cabin, increased fuel efficiency, advanced connectivity and exceptional dynamic performance. The MDX is also being offered for the first time in a more affordable and even more fuel-efficient two-wheel-drive configuration.

The “Human Race” TV spot can be seen by clicking here.

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 RLXluxury flagship sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sedan and Sport Wagon, the ILX compact luxury sedan, and the RDX luxury crossover SUV.

How to

  • Connect with Acura:

2014 Acura MDX to Restake Luxury Benchmark at New York Auto Show

Third-Gen MDX looks to redefine 7-passenger LuxoSUV segment
BY GERRY MILES

The 2014 Third Generation Acura MDX SUV will take Manhattan March 27 just after noon (12:10 pm) at the New York Auto Show showing off three-row SUV luxury refinement and the ability to accommodate seven passengers in style on a totally new platform.

Power will be derived from a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) offered in both SH-AWD and 2-wheel-drive drivetrains. The 2WD setting being a first for the model.

The 2014 MDX features a longer wheelbase that raises ride quality, increases second-row legroom, and improves third-row seat access. In addition, the 2014 Acura MDX harnesses a collection of Acura signature technologies, including the next-generation of the AcuraLink® Connectivity System and Jewel Eye™ LED headlamps.

The 2014 MDX will offer some innovative driver assistive and visibility technologies such as the Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and the available Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow, and Blind Spot Information (BSI). The third-generation MDX is also equipped with a broad array of advanced safety technologies, including the next generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II (ACE™ II) body structure and the available Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems. Further, the 2014 MDX is expected to achieve top-level safety ratings, including a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from the NHTSA and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the IIHS.

Shortly after, the recorded press conference will be available for view on  www.youtube.com/acura.