The raw sales charts for March 2013 for every major automaker starting with the big 3 and progressing in alphabetical order is provided here.
Ford Motor Company (+5.7%)
Chrysler Group (+5.0%)
Audi USA (+14.4%)
BMW USA (+11.2%)
American Honda (+7.1%)
American Honda (+7.1%)
Hyundai USA (+-2.0%)
KIA Motors America (-14.6%)
Mercedes Benz USA (+6.3%)
Nissan North America (+1.0%)
Toyota Motor Sales (+1.0%)
Volkswagen of America (+3.1%)
Photos of BMW’s new X4 in concept form have been leaked on the internet. The X4 is to the X3 what the X6 is to the X5: a stylized “sport utility coupe” version of its more practical sibling, slotted between the 3 Series GT and the X3 on one end and the X5 on the other. The new car’s design takes after the X6′s shape but with more dramatic bodywork and graphics, giving it a unique personality to help it stand out from BMW’s increasingly crowded GT and SUV/CUV lineup.
However we’re not fans of the front wheel drive proportions and the car’s excessive front overhang. Expect engines to be borrowed from the X3 and include both turbocharged 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder options.
Yesterday we brought you leaked teaser photos of Cadillac's next CTS. Today, the full car has been leaked inside and out. Hit past the jump for the full set of photos.
The 2014 CTS' push up market is clear. This car will now firmly compete with midsize luxury sedans such as the BMW 5 series, Lexus GS
, Audi A6, and of course the Mercedes E-class. In fact, we see plenty of E-class inspiration in the front end and side profile design of the new CTS. A sign that Cadillac was aiming for the segment's best seller when coming up with the new car. Aside from that however, the CTS' design remains truly Cadillac, with strong vertical elements and a large bold grill. The sharp creases of previous models have been smoothed out to give the car a more sophisticated look, which we prefer. Most importantly, the car looks expensive and considerably more elegant than the outgoing model. It may however alienate some of the core Cadillac buyer base who were attracted to the brand's now departed bolder and sharper design language.
Inside the CTS seems to receive an interior every bit as good as any of its European and Japanese competition. Materials look top notch with genuine wood finished in an Audi-esque matte style and plenty of stitching accents on the dash and center console. GM has traditionally struggled with fit and finish of interior trim, even with newer models, but we hope the new CTS' interior will be assembled to a higher standard than ever before.
The current generation Buick Lacrosse has proven to be a big success for GM ever since it was introduced back in 2010. However recently the big Buick has been facing stiffer competition from cars both within GM's lineup (i.e. 2014 Impala), and traditional benchmarks like the Lexus ES which have seen redesigns. The keep the Lacrosse competitive, GM has updated the car inside and out for 2014.
Styling wise the Lacrosse's updates are limited to its new front and rear fascias. Softer headlights and a bold new grill bring the car more in line with the rest of Buick's newer models. The headlights also feature new LED daytime running lights (DRL), though it seems Buick has yet to come up with a consistent DRL design to unify the entire model range.
Out back the 2014 Lacrosse remains decidedly conservative. The new taillight design is not particularly creative to our eyes and the only other significant change seems to be a new chrome strip that extends farther horizontally to form brows over the taillights, reminding us of the Buick Verano.
When the Lacrosse first launched, its interior was lauded by automotive critics as a huge step forward for GM. Minor updates for 2014 including a new center stack, wood-like trim options, and an “ultra luxury” package with semi-aniline leather should make the interior more competitive with the newer competition.
For a full rundown of the new Lacrosse's styling updates and features, check out the official press release below.
Buick Introduces the New 2014 LaCrosse
-Elegant sedan featuring refreshed exterior with wing-shape LED lighting
-New interior design with new seats and available Ultra Luxury Interior Package
-New advanced technologies: next-gen IntelliLink, standard eight-inch color display instrument panel, camera- and radar-based safety features that work with General Motors-patented Safety Alert Seat
NEW YORK – Buick today introduced the new 2014 LaCrosse, the evolution of the landmark luxury sedan that established the brand's modern sedan lineup with design leadership and technological innovation.
The full-size LaCrosse offers new interior and exterior design cues, advanced safety technologies and enhanced in-vehicle connectivity. New front and rear styling, featuring signature wing-shape LED daytime running lamps and LED wraparound tail lamps, complements its sculpted exterior design. The interior is more contemporary, with new seats, enhanced materials, redesigned central instrument panel and console – and an all-new, available Ultra Luxury Interior Package. The cabin also incorporates Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system, with intuitive controls and natural voice recognition.
New radar- and camera-based safety features help surround the new LaCrosse with protection. They include Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Change Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Automatic Collision Preparation. GM's patented Safety Alert Seat works with these features, providing seat vibration pulses indicating the direction of a potential crash threat.
Adaptive Cruise Control is also offered. It senses traffic in front of the LaCrosse to adjust vehicle speed, including stopping the vehicle in heavy traffic and accelerating again.
“We evolved the interior and exterior design, increased luxury amenities and materials, and enhanced the safety and personal technologies to give customers more reasons than ever to rediscover Buick,” said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing.
Globally, LaCrosse sales have exceeded 500,000 since its 2009 introduction and U.S. sales topped 57,000 in 2012, making it more popular than many other full-size luxury sedans, including Lexus ES, Acura TL and Lincoln MKS.
The 2014 LaCrosse is offered in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models and offers two powertrains: a 2.4L engine with eAssist light electrification technology or a 3.6L direct-injected V-6. Each is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
All models feature Buick's QuietTuning engineering process that reduces, blocks and absorbs unwanted noise from the LaCrosse's cabin, making it one of the quietest in the segment.
The new LaCrosse makes its public debut at the New York International Auto Show, where it will be on display March 29-April 7. It goes on sale this summer.
A more expressive design
LaCrosse's flowing, sculpted styling helped redefine Buick's design language at its introduction in 2009. The 2014 LaCrosse introduces a more expressive interpretation of that successful design, with elements and cues that enhance the car's well-planted, wide stance. Highlights include:
-New front fascia, sculpted hood and more prominent waterfall grille
-Lower front active grille shutters are included on every model and close at highway speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag
-New headlamp designs, with available Bi-Xenon High-Intensity Discharge lamps (HID), Active Forward Lighting and LED wing-shape signature lighting
-New rear fascia design and wraparound tail lamps with LED lighting.
The LaCrosse's new appearance is instantly recognizable as a modern Buick and the LED lighting elements enhance its technologically advanced presence. The headlamp housings, for example, have a more angular appearance and LED signature accents that echo a familial appearance introduced on the 2013 Enclave crossover. They've also been positioned slightly outboard to reinforce the car's presence.
The new Bi-Xenon headlamps incorporate new technology with enhanced brilliance that improves visibility, is energy-efficient and environmentally friendly (mercury-free). Active Forward Lighting is paired with these HID lamps, turning them with the direction of the front wheels to enhance visibility around corners.
At the rear, a full-width chrome accent reinforces the car's stance, while fully enclosed exhaust outlets (3.6L models) are framed with a chrome finish within a new rear fascia. It's a more integrated appearance designed to show Buick's attention to detail. An integrated rear spoiler is incorporated in the trailing edge of the deck lid to help improve aerodynamic performance and new LED taillamps – in all-new, wraparound housings – provide a safety benefit by illuminate more quickly than conventional bulbs when the brakes are applied.
In the front and rear, LaCrosse's new LED lamps continue the wing-shaped signature appearance that distinguishes Buicks day and night.
New interior environment
The 2014 LaCrosse's interior creates a more contemporary ambience and supports the integration of Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system. Highlights include:
-New instrument panel “center stack” and integrated floor console with more storage
-Configurable eight-inch color touch-screen in the center stack
-Configurable eight-inch color electronic instrument panel display and gauge cluster
-New, more comfortable front seats with four-way adjustable headrests
-New door panels with revised door lock, seat memory and trunk release controls
-New, available Ultra Luxury Interior Package with a synthetic suede headliner and pillars coverings, semi-aniline leather seating, authentic Tamo Ash wood trim and more.
While the LaCrosse's new interior brings more amenities and enhanced personal technology with next-generation IntelliLink, it does so with greater simplicity. The new center stack radio controls, for example, have only seven buttons vs. the previous 17. The large, eight-inch color touch screen is designed to be easier to operate with intuitive controls and smartphone-influenced swipe recognition for easier navigation. Dual-zone climate controls also feature capacitive-touch operation and are framed in chrome.
The rear-seat headrests fold down to enhance rearward visibility, while the new four-way adjustable front headrests are designed to provide a greater range of comfort, particularly for taller drivers.
Four interior color/trim combinations are available for 2014:
-Light Neutral seating/Cocoa accents, offered with cloth or Soleil Keisel leather seats and Kyoto Maple wood-style décor
-Ebony, offered with cloth or Soleil Keisel leather seats and Cellini Wood décor
-Choccachino seating/Cocoa accents, with Soleil Keisel leather seats with contrast stitching and Phantasm Wood-style décor
Ultra Luxury Interior Package
Sangria seating color and Ebony accents, with semi-aniline leather seats and trim, along with Shadow Tamo Ash wood décor, represents LaCrosse's new Ultra Luxury Interior Package.
“The warm color combinations, premium interior materials and advanced technology in the 2014 LaCrosse provide the interior environment our discerning luxury customers are seeking,” said Ven Lai, Buick creative designer for color and trim.
The new Ultra Luxury Interior Package features premium semi-aniline leather. It covers the seats, console armrest and door armrests and is complemented by synthetic suede on the headliner and door pillars. The Sangria contrast color with the Ultra Luxury interior is exclusive to LaCrosse.
LaCrosse's use of Buick's unique QuietTuning engineering defines Buick quality, sound and vibration characteristics and refinement by following a three-point strategy of reducing sounds at their source, blocking sounds from entering the cabin and absorbing any remaining sounds.
LaCrosse's specific QuietTuning features include acoustical laminate on the windshield and front side glass; steel laminate on the front-of-dash body area; expanded baffles in the roof pillars; extensive use of melt-on sound deadeners throughout the entire lower body structure; and sound-absorbing material throughout LaCrosse's engine, passenger and cargo compartments.
Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system debuts on the 2014 LaCrosse. It o
ffers more features designed for intuitive, easy-to-use functionality and incorporates a higher level of wireless connectivity and customized options building on the safety and security of OnStar.
In addition to easily identifiable icons covering everything from navigation to phone to music apps such as Pandora, next-generation IntelliLink is designed to accommodate new features and enhancements and be highly customizable. It also features natural language voice recognition, which allows customers to safely place calls, enter destinations, browse media, play music and control other functions simply by telling the vehicle what to do.
The system can store up to 60 favorites, including radio stations (AM/FM/XM), contacts, destinations and music from other media. This feature is convenient for those who travel to the same destination regularly and want to save locations such as hotels and restaurants.
On its eight-inch screen, customers can “fling” through lists, swipe and drag just as they would on a tablet or smartphone. Users with compatible smartphones can pair them with IntelliLink using Bluetooth or a USB connection. This gives customers the ability to play passengers' music or other media through the vehicle.
Another feature allows customers whose LaCrosses are equipped with available embedded navigation to enter destinations in a single step, without having to enter the state, city, street number and street name in successive efforts. City-by-city weather reports are also provided.
OnStar customers can access the service via the screen display or by the traditional Blue button.
A new audio system conveys the music and radio selections called up through IntelliLink's myriad of infotainment options. Featuring seven standard speakers – including strategically placed tweeters and a subwoofer – the system was developed to complement LaCrosse's quiet, acoustically optimized interior with rich sound. An 11-speaker Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system is available.
New safety features
The 2014 LaCrosse employs new safety features with carefully developed directional alerts that help drivers quickly identify potential crash situations so they can react. They include radar- and camera-based features offered in two Driver Confidence packages:
-Driver Confidence 1 package includes Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, High-Intensity Discharge headlamps with Active Forward Lighting, fog lamps and Head-Up Display.
-Driver Confidence 2 package adds radar-based Forward Collision Alert, Collision Preparation (with Collision Mitigation Braking), full-speed-range Adaptive Cruise Control and the Safety Alert Seat.
The Collision Mitigation Braking feature can intervene in certain crash-imminent situations, automatically triggering emergency braking if the driver fails to respond to a previous alert. The Safety Alert Seat vibrates on the left or right side, or both sides simultaneously, depending on the direction of the crash threat.
The LaCrosse is one of the first vehicles to offer Lane Change Alert, which warns the driver of fast-approaching vehicles in the next lane that are up to 230 feet (70 meters) behind the car.
LaCrosse's safety features also include eight standard air bags, including rear-seat thorax air bags, StabiliTrak, traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Intelligent Brake Assist. A rear-vision camera is available.
Efficient, refined driving experience
The LaCrosse is equipped with a choice of two efficient engines: the standard 2.4L four-cylinder engine with eAssist light electrification technology, rated at 182 horsepower (136 kW); and an available 3.6L V-6 rated at 304 horsepower (227 kW). Both are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions.
LaCrosse with eAssist uses a lithium-ion battery system and electric motor-generator to enable regenerative braking capability. Instead of providing all-electric propulsion, the system provides power assistance to the internal combustion engine. The eAssist system also allows the engine to shut down fuel delivery in certain deceleration situations, which saves additional fuel.
New 18-, 19- and 20-inch tires, along with revisions to some chassis and suspension elements, contribute to stronger handling across the model range, while new wheel designs – including LaCrosse's first 20-inch wheel – match driving experience with style. LaCrosse is also available with an advanced Haldex all-wheel-drive system with electronic limited slip differential (eLSD) that automatically decides how to distribute torque based on vehicle speed, throttle position and individual wheel slip. It also contributes to a refined driving experience, with minimal torque transferred to the rear wheels when all-wheel-drive traction isn't required, for a quieter, smoother ride.
The LaCrosse Touring Package – available on 3.6L front-wheel-drive models with 19- or 20-inch wheels – includes real-time damping and Sport Mode Selectivity, which uses four electronically controlled dampers to constantly “read” the road and make adjustments within milliseconds. It also features Buick's HiPer Strut front suspension, which enhances ride and handling by reducing torque steer, delivering more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control and delivering improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces.
Electric power steering is standard on models with the 2.4L engine, as well as 3.6L-equipped front-drive models. This technology helps save fuel by drawing energy only when the wheels are turned. It also contributes to the LaCrosse's driving experience with variable assistance at different vehicle speeds.
Buick is a modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors with thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models, including the Enclave crossover, LaCrosse sedan, Regal sport sedan, Buick Verano sedan and the all-new 2013 Encore crossover. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick or at www.facebook.com/buick.
2014 BUICK LACROSSE PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
Model: 2014 LaCrosse FWD/AWD
Body style / driveline: front-drive/all-wheel-drive, front-engine, four-door, five- passenger sedan
EPA vehicle class: midsize sedan
Manufacturing location: Fairfax (Kan.) Assembly
Key competitors: Acura TL, Lexus ES350, Lincoln MKZ
Type: 2.4L DOHC I-4 3.6L V-6 VVT DI
Displacement (cu in / cc): 145 / 2384 217 / 3564
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 3.46 x 3.85 / 88 x 98 3.7 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6
Block material: precision sand-cast aluminum cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum cast aluminum
Valvetrain: DOHC with four valves per cylinder; continuously variable valve timing DOHC with four valves per cylinder; continuously variable valve timing
Ignition system: individual coil-on-plug individual coil-on-plug; individual cylinder knock control
Fuel delivery: direct injection and electronic throttle control direct injection
Compression ratio: 11.2:1 11.5:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 182 / 136 @ 6700 rpm SAE certified 304 / 227 @ 6800 SAE certified
Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm): 172 / 233 @ 4900 rpm SAE certified 264 / 358 @ 5300 SAE certified
Recommended fuel: regular unleaded regular unleaded or E85 (E85 capability not available in Northeast states with PZEV emissions)
Emissions controls: close-coupled, catalytic converter; continuously variable valve timing; positive crankcase ventilation evaporative system; supplemental air injection system, partial zero emissions vehicle capable (eAssist) dual close-coupled catalysts and single underfloor catalyst; variable valve timing, evaporative system
Fuel economy (city / hwy): TBD TBD
Type: Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic
Application: 2.4L four-cylinder 3.6L V-6
Gear ratios: (:1):
First: 4.58 4.48
Second: 2.96 2.87
Third: 1.91 1.84
Fourth 1.45 1.41
Fifth: 1.00 1.00
Sixth: 0.75 0.74
Reverse: 2.94 2.88
Final drive ratio: 2.64 2.77
Electric Drive System (for eAssist)
Type: belt-driven, liquid-cooled motor/generator unit and lithium-ion battery system; air-cooled power electronics and battery pack
Maximum electric generating power: 15 kW @ 1570-3180 rpm
Maximum electric motor torque (cranking): 110 lb.-ft. / 150 Nm
Maximum electric motor torque (electric assist): 79 lb.-ft. / 107 Nm @ 1,000 rpm
Maximum electric motor power (electric assist): 15 hp / 11.2 kW @ 1,000-2,200 rpm
Lithium-ion battery: 115V, 0.5-kWh, 15 kW peak power
Chassis / Suspension
Suspension (front): MacPherson strut coil-over-spring; twin-tube dampers with gas-charged valving; hollow direct-acting stabilizer bar (eAssist and 3.6L FWD/AWD without Touring Package);
HiPer Strut coil-over-spring; twin-tube dampers with gas-charged valving; hollow direct-acting stabilizer bar; real-time damping and Sport Mode Selectivity (3.6L FWD with Touring Package)
Suspension (rear): four-link (eAssist and 3.6L FWD without Touring Package); H-arm (3.6L AWD); H-arm with real-time damping and Sport Mode Selectivity (3.6L FWD with Touring Package)
Steering type: electric variable-effort power steering (eAssist and FWD V-6); power variable-effort: (AWD models)
Steering ratio: 15.2:1
Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock: 2.75
Turning circle (ft / m): 36.8 / 11.2 (eAssist); 38.8 / 11.75
Type: split, dual-circuit four-wheel-disc with power assist
Rotor diameter x thickness (in / mm): V-6: front: 12.6 x 1.2 / 321 x 30 (vented)
rear: 12.4 x 0.9 / 315 x 23 (vented)
eAssist: front: 11.7 x 1.2 / 296 x 30 (vented)
rear: 11.5 x 0.47 / 292 x 12 (solid)
Wheels / Tires
Wheel size and type:
17-in machined alloy (std w/ eAssist)
18-in machine-faced alloy, painted (std on 1SB, 1SL, 1SP FWD V-6)
19-in painted, machined alloy (std on 1SL, 1SP AWD V-6)
19-in chrome alloy (std on 1SP FWD V-6, and opt on 1SL FWD V-6)
20-in alloy (std on 1SR)
Tires: P235/50R17 low rolling-resistance all-season (std w/ eAssist)
Wheelbase (in / mm): 111.7 / 2837
Overall length (in / mm): 197 / 5001
Overall width (in / mm): 73.1 / 1857
Overall height (in / mm): 59.2 / 1504
Track (in / mm): front: 61.7 / 1567
rear: 62 / 1575
Curb weight (lb / kg): 3765 / 1708 (eAssist – estimated)
3906 / 1772 (3.6L V-6 – estimated)
Seating capacity: 2 / 3
Headroom (in / mm): front: 38 / 965
rear: 37.3 / 947
Legroom (in / mm): front: 41.7 / 1059
rear: 40.5 / 1029
Shoulder room (in / mm): front: 57.4 / 1459
rear: 56 / 1423
Hip room (in / mm): front: 55.2 / 1402
rear: 53.9 / 1369
EPA interior volume (cu ft / L): 99 / 2805
Passenger volume (cu ft / L): 101.7 / 2878
Cargo volume (cu ft / L): 10.8 / 306 (2.4L eAssist)
13.3 / 376 (3.6L V-6)
Trailer towing maximum (lb / kg): 1000 / 454 (3.6L V-6)
Fuel capacity (gal / L): 15.7 / 59.4 (eAssist)
18 / 70 (3.6L V-6)
Engine oil (qt / L): 5 / 4.7 (2.4L)
5.5 / 5.2 (3.6L)
Cooling system ( qt / L): 9.6 /12 (2.4L)
7.6 / 7.2 (3.6L)
Note: Information shown is current at time of publication.
The 2014 Cadillac CTS is expected to be fully revealed later this week at the New York International Auto Show. For now, a few official teaser photos of the car have started making the rounds on the internet. They depict a more mature and expectedly more expensive looking CTS that will go head to head with rivals such as the Mercedes E-class, BMW 5 series, and Lexus GS.
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Check back next week when we will have full coverage of the CTS unveil and lots of official photos of the complete car.
The Italian website quattroruote has gotten its hands on two photos depicting what clearly is the Porsche Macan, Porsche's upcoming compact premium SUV. Expected to be fully unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show in September, the Macan will be based on the Audi Q5 platform and will no doubt be priced to compete with more up market rivals such as the Land Rover Evoque.
The design of the new car is clean and attractive, maintaining that recognizable Porsche look despite its SUV proportions. This is certainly a better effort than the Cayenne or the Panamera, but one can't help but wonder if the further expansion of the Porsche lineup to offer ever more non-traditional sports cars will dilute Porsche's image in the long term.
Two photos of what is very likely Toyota’s next generation Corolla have been leaked and floating around on Toyota enthusiast forums. The car shown appears to be an asian spec model, which will differ only slightly from the version that will eventually be launched in North America to replace the aging tenth generation Corolla currently on sale.
The new Corolla’s design is a daring departure from the bland graphics and soft lines of the existing model, and takes heavy inspiration from the recently revealed Furia Concept. The front fascia design is in line with newer Toyotas such as the Avalon and RAV-4, and may be received with some controversy. To our eyes, the sharp angular headlights flow into the curvy grill awkwardly, and some of the headlight details appear to be forced to sell the transition.
Out back, we are further reminded of the Furia concept, and the design is more traditional overall, sans the again awkward looking white reflector that looks like it’s trying very hard to blend into the chrome strip above the license plate holder. From what we can see of the side profile, it appears the Corolla will be getting new and custom door handles, wheel wells that are somewhat flared, and a C-pillar kink that is reminiscent of the 2014 Lexus IS. The overall profile though appears very similar to the current model Corolla.
Toyota Furia Concept:
Let us know what you think of the new Corolla’s design in the comments below.
Lexus has officially unveiled the 2014 IS compact sport sedan. The 2014 IS will be offered in two versions: a standard model (shown here) and an F-sport model with a more agressive front fascia. The exterior design of the car takes from the LF-CC concept car, and retains the concept’s radical interpretation of the Lexus spindle grill. The interior takes inspiration from Lexus’ LFA supercar, right down to the F-sport model’s gauges which include a moving mechanical ring around an electronic LCD gauge. According to Lexus, performance was a big focus during the car’s development. We await to see how that focus will translate onto the road once the test drives roll in.
For now, powertrain options are limited to the outgoing model’s 2.5L V6 in the IS250 and 3.5L V6 in the IS350. An IS300h hybrid will also be offered, combining a 2.5L Atkinson Cycle four cylinder with an electric motor. Unfortunately that model is not set for sale in North America.
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DETROIT (Jan. 15, 2013) – Lexus today unveiled the all-new 2014 IS sedan at the North American International Auto Show. IS will be available in rear- and all-weather drive versions of the IS 250 and IS 350, a further evolution of F SPORT available across the entire model range, and for Europe, Japan, and select international markets, the IS 300h, the first IS to feature Lexus Hybrid Drive.
Driving performance isakey selling point in the sport sedan segment. In conjunction with a bold new design including the Lexus spindle grille, the all-new IS has been painstakingly engineered to have excellent dynamic capabilities to provide an exceptionaldriving experience.
“I adopted an entirely different approach to the development of the all-new IS,” said Junichi Furuyama, IS chief engineer. “Specifically, it was to make an entertaining driving experience a major premise behind all aspects of performance.
“The conventional approach involves developing each individual aspect in the hope that they will combine to offer an engaging driving experience. By contrast, development of the new IS flipped this process on its head, first establishing the pleasurable driving experience owners desire, and then developing the individual performance elements to support it.”
Every aspect of the IS has been engineered with a renewed focus on engaging performance, agile handling, accurate response to driver input and highly communicative feedback.
“The IS has always been precise and fun to drive,” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “The all-new IS kicks it up a notch with true sport sedan driving dynamics, state of the art onboard technologies, and an all-new design that makes it look fast even when it’s standing still.”
Incorporating several Lexus-first features and technical innovations, the IS showcases an interior design with all the refinement and quality expected of a Lexus, plus a focused driver’s environment, a significant improvement in rear seat comfort and spaciousness, and a larger, more convenient trunk.
Rear- and all-weather drive versions of the IS 250 are powered by a 2.5 liter V6 gas engine. The IS 350 features a 3.5 liter V6 gas engine. The IS 300h, which will be available in Europe, Japan,and select international markets, will employ the Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain, based on a newly developed 2.5L Atkinson-cycle engine.
IS adopts the Drive Mode Select system which offers up to four switchable driving modes- ECO, NORMAL, SPORT and SPORT S+ (S+ available on IS 350 only) – to optimize vehicle systems to suit the driver’s preferred combination of fuel economy, comfort, performance and handling characteristics.
The IS 350 RWD features the eight-speed, Sport Direct Shift (SPDS) automatic transmission from the IS F high performance sedan with quicker shifts, full torque converter lockup and throttle blips in manual mode. The new IS is the first Lexus model to adopt G force Artificial Intelligence (G-AI) control in Sport mode. This system automatically selects the optimal gear and downshift pattern in response to G force, and maintains the selected gear through a corner.
Driving enjoyment was at the heart of the new IS development program, and every aspect of the new Lexus sedan’s driving dynamics has been carefully engineered to that end.
New, laser screw welding and adhesive body bonding techniques, along with additional spot welding, have increased overall body rigidity. This enhances stability and also allows for a more comfortable ride without compromising handling agility.
The double wishbone front suspension system has been revised, offering a twenty percent increase in sway rigidity. The rear adopts a new multi-link suspension system from the GS. Fine tuning has resulted in outstanding grip performance and excellent response to steering inputs. Separate mounting of the spring and shock absorber maximizes trunk space.
Steering feel and feedback is key to an enjoyable driving experience, and the new IS benefits from a steering gear box based on that of the GS sedan, incorporating a variety of tuning techniques. The structure and rigidity of each gear box component has been revised to create a smoother and more accurate steering feel with enhanced input response and greater driver feedback.
IS F SPORT models not only benefit from exclusive, exterior and interior design features, but also genuine dynamic enhancements. Both the front and rear suspension systems and the Electric Power Steering (EPS) are exclusively tuned for F SPORT, enhancing handling performance. An Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system is tuned for F SPORT models, while Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) is also available on IS 350.
F SPORT models announce their presence with an exclusive spindle grille that incorporates a bolder insert design. The bottom corners of the front bumpers feature aerodynamic detailing to provide enhanced brake cooling. Unique 18-inch wheels feature a Y-spoke design inspired by the LFA.
On board, drivers will receive vehicle information from an innovative driver’s meter cluster with a moving center ring, inspired by the LFA. Interior trim detailing includes an F SPORT steering wheel and shift knob, and aluminum pedals and scuff plates that include the Lexus logo.
The overall dynamic shape of the body emphasizes the wide flare of the wheel arches to give the new IS a broad, powerful stance.
In profile, the strong horizontal beltline shows off the large rear tires and its low center of gravity. The exterior design includes a new, powerfully articulated headlamp cluster design with Lexus’ trademark,L-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRL) located independently below.
The clean, horizontal theme of the interior is bisected by the strong upward sweep of the center console, creating an ergonomically ideal environment. The newly designed driver’s seat offers greater comfort and better lateral support. Both the seat hip point and the angle of the new, LFA-inspired steering wheel have been lowered and steering reach adjustment has been increased, creating a driver focused seating position.
To better accommodate passengers, the new IS wheelbase is nearly three inches longer, providing a more comfortable cabin and increased trunk capacity. The extended wheelbase and a thinner front seat design results in three inches more knee room for rear passengers. New to the IS are standard, lockable 60:40 split/folding rear seats.
Refined materials throughout the cabin are complimented by a high quality analog clock with surface-emitting illumination. The climate control system incorporates Lexus-first electrostatic switches, which enable vehicle occupants to adjust temperature settings with the touch of a finger.
All IS models are equipped with the next generation, Lexus Display Audio or Remote Touch-controlled Navigation multimedia systems. Both multimedia systems provide industry-first complimentary real-time traffic and weather information delivered without a subscription through HD™ Radio Technology. The new steering wheel is the first on a Lexus to coordinate multimedia system control with both the meter cluster and center console displays.
The 2014 IS has 10 airbags standard, including rear seat side airbags. Available safety and security features include an Automatic High Beam (AHB) headlamp system, a Lane Departure Alert (LDA) system, a Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and a Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) system.
The AHB headlamp system maximizes visibility at night by automatically switching to low beams when its camera detects the lights of either an oncoming or preceding vehicle.
An LDA system helps prevent unintended lane changes by alerting the driver when the vehicle deviates from its lane without the operation of the turn signal.
The BSM uses rear mounted radar to detect vehicles in adjacent lanes that are not visible in the outer door mirrors.
The RCTA system employs the BSM radar to alert the driver to approaching vehicles when backing out of a parking space.
The all-new Lexus IS will go on sale in mid-2013.
We finally have our first look at Toyota’s Furia concept, which previews the North American version of the next generation Corolla. Little is still known about the concept, but from what we can see the design is a toned-up showcar version of the new Auris hatchback.
Check back later for the full reveal and more info.
TORRANCE, Calif., Jan. 14, 2013 – Toyota revealed the Corolla Furia Concept at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This exciting compact sedan concept hints at the styling cues consumers can expect to see on the next-generation Corolla. The concept represents an exterior styling study by Toyota designers, and it builds on the brand’s product development priority to develop more dramatic, expressively designed vehicles.
“The Corolla Furia Concept is an early indicator of where our compact car design may lead in the future,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division. “It blends a heightened emphasis on dramatic design and modern elements of high technology to generate curb appeal that will surprise a lot of people.”
The Furia is designed around a theme of “Iconic Dynamism,” which uses pure and simple surface elements to create a confident, decisive and recognizable appearance appealing to more youthful consumers. It features a more provocative, dynamic interpretation of a compact sedan that displays a more stable, athletic stance with 19-inch allow wheels pushed to the vehicle’s corners with short overhangs to help emphasize its long wheelbase.
The Corolla Furia design includes a swept windshield, with a sloped roofline and pronounced fender flares, to help communicate a sense of motion even when the car is stationary. The aggressively styled front fascia, with a blacked-out grille treatment, helps highlight a pair of sculpted front LED headlamps that combine with the rear composite LED taillight assemblies to add a sense of advanced technology to the Furia’s impactful exterior. Carbon fiber accents adorn the Corolla Furia Concept’s wheel wells, rocker panels, and rear valance, which includes ornate metal exhaust outlet surrounds to add a sense of modern athleticism.
This is our first look at Hyundai’s new HCD-14 Genesis concept. Inside and out this concept sports styling that is a big departure from mainstream Hyundai designs and considerably more clean than the brand’s “fluidic sculpture” design language. Hyundai is serious about directly challenging premium brands in up market segments, and this concept’s unique design could be a hint that a separate luxury brand is in the works to do just that.
The front end design sports an interesting LED headlight array. The grill seems a bit forced and inelegant, as do the mandible-like LED fog lights. To our eyes the bodywork is harder and heavier than previous Hyundai efforts. The side profile is very clean and lacking in character lines to instead emphasize the car’s svelte four-door-coupe shape. That shape is certainly helped by the RWD platform, which gives the car a long hood, large axle to dash distance, and tighter overhangs.
The rear design carries over the thick LED lamps from the front. The mandible-like foglights have been replaced by a pair of equally mandible like exhaust outlets. Aside from that the rear end is rather conventional, with more of the emphasis again being placed on the shape rather than the graphics.
What do you think of the new Genesis Concept? Is it the right styling direction for Hyundai’s premium cars? Let us know in the comments below.]]>