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News and Information about lineup

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Infiniti halts production of QX60 hybrid, skips 2018 QX50 for new 2019 model

The Infiniti QX50 compact crossover has been in the market since 2014, and has not been given a facelift since then. After being in the market for almost four years, the SUV will be needing some updates to keep up with its competitors, though the company did say that the update will come in 2019, and that they will completely skip the 2018 model year.

This statement was confirmed by Infiniti on Tuesday when they said that they are not considering a 2018 model year QX50, but will focus on a better version of the vehicle for the 2019 model year, says Motor Authority. Engineers and designers will make sure that the new SUV will resemble the QX50 Concept we saw earlier this year at Detroit.

Right now, you are probably wondering what to expect from the 2019 model year. Well, sources say that it will come powered by Infiniti’s new Variable Compression-Turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine that they refer to as VC-Turbo - this was first previewed last August. For improved performance and fuel economy, the technology changes the cylinder compression ratio. As for performance, the first production unit is unfortunately less powerful than the 3.7-liter V6 found on the outgoing QX50 with 325 horsepower (242 kilowatts). That being said, it has 268 horsepower (200 kilowatts) and 288 pound-feet (390 Newton-metres) of torque.

Read the entire article Infiniti halts production of QX60 hybrid, skips 2018 QX50 for new 2019 model

Mercedes-Benz’s 2018 product offensive includes CLS Coupe, A-Class Sedan and GLC long-wheelbase

What can we expect from Mercedes-Benz for this year and the next? It seems all matters have been laid out with luxury carmaker’s vehicle lineup for 2017 and 2018. As revealed by parent Daimler AG in its second-quarter interim report, a roadmap for the Mercedes’ product offensive includes interesting new vehicles up for release in 2018.

The road map included in Daimler’s second-quarter 2017 interim report details Mercedes’ product offensive starting 2017 through next year. Some of these products were already presented or are set to be introduced in the period January to September 2017 -- such the E-Class Coupe and the E-Class (March 2017), GLA facelift and AMG GT Roadster (April 2017), S-Class Facelift (July 2017) and the E-Class Cabriolet (September 2017). The remaining product to be introduced in the remaining months of 2017 is the Mercedes X-Class pickup truck, which is bound for release in November or December 2017, according to this product offensive roadmap.

Mercedes’ product offensive in 2018 will be headlined by the S-Class Coupe Facelift and the S-Class Cabriolet Facelift, both of which were recently unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Bound to arrive in the first months of 2018, the S-Class Coupe facelift and the S-Class Cabriolet facelift features -- more or less -- the same tweaks made on the 2018 S-Class Saloon facelift that was introduced in July 2017. These include new steering wheels and new OLED rear lamps.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz’s 2018 product offensive includes CLS Coupe, A-Class Sedan and GLC long-wheelbase

Audi’s new naming scheme might be a little confusing

Back in the day, automakers like Audi had very simple names for their car - often a short combination of letters and numbers. For instance, an A4 3.0 TFSI Quattro means that it is equipped with a 3.0 liter engine. But that was when engines were fueled by either gasoline or diesel. Now that companies are shifting to eco friendly options such as plug-in hybrids, EVs, and fossil fuels, how will companies name these models without being too technical?

Audi has already started coming up with new names and badges for the future models, but it didn't turn out as they expected. Before all this, Audi focused on simple names like A1 and Q7, where "A" referred to the smallest car in the lineup and "Q" was the larger SUV they offered. In other words, these combinations are like code names for the class and type of vehicles.

But future Audi vehicles will begin to have two-digit numbers on the rear badge plus the current model designation and the engine type. These numbers will range from 30 all the way to 70, depending on the power output. To give you a better idea, models that have a power output of 109 to 128 horsepower (from 81 to 96 kilowatts) will have a number “30” on its badge. Number “40” for those with 125 to 150 kilowatts, “50” for 210 to 230 kilowatts, “60” for 320 to 338 kilowatts, and “70” for over 400 kilowatts, or for the performance class models. Of course, there are also numbers 35, 45, 55, and 65 in between what I have mentioned above. That alone makes it confusing already, but it even gets worse when these numbers are written beside existing badges like TFSI, TDI, G-tron, or E-tron.

Read the entire article Audi’s new naming scheme might be a little confusing

Hyundai will soon add Tucson-based pickup truck to U.S. lineup

During the North American International Auto Show at Detroit in 2015, Hyundai introduced a concept pickup truck they named the Santa Cruz. This model took home the Concept Truck of the Year recognition later that year from the North American Concept Vehicle Awards. It had grabbed the attention of a lot of people who simply loved it. Though Hyundai was planning to bring it to the production line, they seemed hesitant launching it in the United States.

The Santa Cruz concept was targeted at a younger market with more active lifestyles. These comprise the so called “urban adventurers” who don’t need or want the compromises that come with large trucks.

Two years later, it seems that Hyundai has warmed up to the United States according to Reuters. Having said that, it looks like the company is going to launch a pickup in the US, this statement was confirmed by Michael J. O'Brien, the company's Vice President of Corporate and Product Planning in the US. Though the truck may not exactly be the production model of the Santa Cruz, it will be a very similar to the model. It is not definite when the company will launch the pickup truck as they have not said anything about it yet. However, we do know that updated versions of the Santa Fe SUV will come out within the next two years. The SUV will then be followed by a 2020 model year for the Tucson.

Read the entire article Hyundai will soon add Tucson-based pickup truck to U.S. lineup

There is no doubt that our future will be electric cars. Earlier in March during the Geneva Motor Show, most car companies introduced new models to the public, with high hopes that the consumers will like their innovations. BMW, on the other hand, did not reveal any new models, deciding instead to focus on updating and electrifying what is already in the lineup.

So at the next international auto show, don’t be surprised if you spot a wagon version of the 5 series, or perhaps a subtly adapted 4 series. Harold Krüger, CEO of BMW believes in making their top-selling cars, even better. This strategy is to make customers happier than they already are with their current products.

In an interview, Krüger mentioned that they are transforming the company into a tech company and a mobility service provider. And as the company transforms, BMW will continue to focus on helping customers and providing them with what they desire. He further added that they do have plans on electrifying, and that they will be offering some sweet deal for the customers by bringing electric mobility to a new and unprecedented level. Their plan should not be a problem for the company it has more than enough funds to cover the costs it will be needing for future technologies. However, he believes that it takes time to develop something like this. He goes as far as compare it to a long-enduring marathon.

Read the entire article BMW shifts focus to building electric versions of current lineup, next i car is pushed back to 2021

BMW is widening its product range in China to 6 models to make sure that options are available to middle-class consumers who don’t have chauffeurs driving them around. The vehicles that will soon start production in China are the front-wheel drive 2-series Active Tourer minivan, a fwd sedan that falls below the 3 series (which will possibly have a 1 series badge), and a variant of the rwd/awd X3 compact SUV.

According to BMW’s China chief Karsten Engel, its top-seller is still the (China-only) long-wheelbase version of the 5 series, which makes up more than a third of its sales in China. Engel added that BMW has been attracting more new customers who drive their own cars. Local production of the 2-series AT will start next year.

A sedan will be next in 2017. Production for the X3 will be announced later. BMW’s factory is located in Tiexi, west of Shenyang in northeastern China. The 2-series AT and sedan will feature BMW’s new UKL fwd architecture that is shared with Mini. Tiexi opened in 2012 and produces the X1 compact SUV and the 3-series sedan in standard and long-wheelbase variants.

Read the entire article BMW adds minivan, sedan and SUV to lineup in China

Honda celebrated the production of a 2016 Acura RDX – the 5 millionth vehicle that rolled out of its East Liberty Auto Plant – last April. The company is marking this major milestone along with the start of production of the recently freshened up and fast-selling 2016 Acura RDX luxury sport-utility.

The East Liberty Auto Plant began producing vehicles in 1989. It rolls out a variety of light trucks and passenger trucks. Honda actually started auto production in America seven years ago at the Marysville Auto Plant in Ohio. Some of the Honda models that are built here are the Civic Sedan and Coupe, Accord Sedan, Crosstour, Civic GX compressed natural gas vehicle, Element, and the Honda CR-V (recognized as the 2015 Motor Trend SUV of the Year).

The plant builds two Acura models: the CL Coupe and RDX. The East Liberty Plant is scheduled to increase light truck production in the early part of 2017 starting with the Acura MDX. According to Tim Myers, East Liberty plant manager, its team is proud to represent all the associates in the last 26 years who have worked to achieve this milestone.

Read the entire article Honda’s East Liberty Auto Plant marks milestone, improves lineup

Nissan Motor Corp. plans to use more common visible parts as part of a bid to cut costs, increase quality and cement the brand’s identity. Nissan global design chief Shiro Nakamura told Automotive News that parts like items like steering wheels, side mirrors and door handles will be increasingly standardized across the lineup.

While the move might result to cookie-cutter looks and a cheapened image, it could earn the aforementioned benefits if done right. "There are cost and quality benefits," Nakamura said on the sidelines of the Detroit auto show. He remarked that the trick will be elevating trim on entry-level vehicles to that of pricier segments.

Typically, Nissan, as well as most carmakers, fit their lower-tier models with lower-cost steering wheels, mirrors, handles, audio systems and climate controls. With its newest plan, Nissan would standardize the designs of these parts, albeit, at a higher level. He said that that additional volume would result to lower costs and better overall quality.

Read the entire article Nissan wants more common visible parts across lineup

Investindustrial S.p.A. would inject fresh funds into Aston Martin if the carmaker needs it, chairman Andrea Bonomi told Bloomberg in an interview. Investindustrial holds a 37.5-percent stake in Aston Martin. Bonomi said the private equity firm has no plans to dispose of its stake in the carmaker anytime, as the company intends to keep the investment for seven to 10 years.

He remarked that the British carmaker has an ambitious industrial plan, and Investindustrial will always be ready to take part in Aston’s funding needs. Bonomi was instrumental in recruiting Andy Palmer, former chief planning officer at Nissan, as Aston’s new chief executive.

The UK carmaker remains the only global supercar brand that is not part of a larger group, which means it would have a harder time raising enough funds for r&d needs while keeping up with other marques like Bentley, Maserati and Rolls-Royce.

Read the entire article Aston Martin ready to receive cash injection in order to overhaul lineup

Bentley is not yet selling its first-ever SUV, the Bentayga, but it is already considering adding more of similar vehicles into its lineup, according to Auto Express. Kevin Rose, head of Bentley sales and marketing, told Auto Express in an interview that the carmaker is “keeping a close eye” on what Land Rover has done with the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and the Evoque.

The carmaker has been for a decade on and off in deciding whether to pursue an SUV since it was acquired by Volkswagen. The vehicle did push through and its production version will be unveiled this year, most likely at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Bentley chief executive Wolfgang Durheimer also told Auto Express that as soon as they start deliveries of the Bentayga, the carmaker will keep the momentum going by “adding more and more models that stay true to the brand."

Read the entire article Bentley is mulling to add smaller SUVs into its lineup

Volkswagen Group mulls tripling the SUV lineup of its core brand as part of its bid to dethrone Toyota as the leader in global sales, two people privy with the matter told Bloomberg. The brand currently offers the large Touareg and compact Tiguan SUVs, and plans to launch at most four more in the next few years.

PwC estimates the demand for SUV to continue to grow in coming years, from 18 percent of global product in 2012 to 20 percent by 2018. SUVs could be the key for the VW brand to grow in the United States.

Its current focus is on traditional cars like the Golf hatchback and Passat sedan, but lags big time in the US due to lack of SUV offerings, something which its competitors have plenty. Roman Mathyssek, an analyst for Strategy Engineers, remarked that the SUV segment is still growing globally, and has become a key segment for all carmakers.

Read the entire article VW may offer six SUVs in its lineup to claim global sales crown

Ford of Europe is implementing the same strategy that parent Ford Motor Co. used to recover from the 2008-2009 recession in the United States. Barb Samardzich, Ford of Europe's head of product development, said the company will expand its product lineup while waiting for the European vehicle market to make a turnaround.

She said at the Frankfurt motor show that Ford is intends to be prepared to gain share in a recovered Europe. Samardzich, who will become Chief Operating Officer of Ford of Europe effective Nov. 1, 2013, remarked that it was the “same exact strategy” as in North America. Back then, Ford made sure that their product portfolio was the “best ever when the economy turned around."

Ford of Europe President Stephen Odell, remarked during the Frankfurt motor show that the carmaker has upped its plans for portfolio expansion. Ford announced in 2012 that it would bring in 15 vehicles to Europe in five years, but now revised the number to 25.

Read the entire article Ford of Europe to boost lineup in anticipation of recovery in the region

Volvo Cars of North America has disclosed pricing for its 2014 model year lineup, which boasts of new designs, new support systems and upgraded features. Volvo’s 2014 model year lineup for North America underscores the carmaker’s commitment to offer outstanding value across its full range of vehicle offerings.

Volvo is now offering a number of engine choices for North America: a T5 engine that provides 250 horsepower; a 3.2-liter naturally aspirated six-cylinder powerplant that returns 240 horsepower; and a turbocharged T6 the belts out 300 horsepower.

The carmaker also offers a six-cylinder 3.0-liter turbocharged engine that could provide up to 325 horsepower of output and a stout 354 lb.-ft. of torque.

Read the entire article Volvo Cars of North America unveils pricing for 2014 model year lineup

Mercedes-Benz may expand its compact front-wheel-drive lineup when it introduces the second generation in 2018, Daimler AG chief executive Dieter Zetsche disclosed. He remarked that they are considering the “final portfolio” of the next generation of their compact cars. He said that they have to define it and may expand the portfolio.

Mercedes’ current compact front-wheel-drive lineup includes four nameplates: the four-door CLA, the five-door B class, the GLA crossover and the three-door A class. Mercedes will start selling the CLA with coupe styling in the US in September. The carmaker will sell the five-door B class in the country as an electric vehicle next spring.

The company will start selling the GLA crossover in the US in September 2014. It plans to unveil the production version of the GLA at the Frankfurt auto show in September. The carmaker is not selling the three-door A class in the US.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz may expand compact fwd lineup by 2018

The Serbian unit of Fiat SpA has trimmed its annual output forecast for the Fiat 500L lineup due to delays in introducing the model range in Russia, according to Antonio Ferrara, chief executive of Fiat Automobili Srbija. Ferrara trimmed the unit’s upper end of the expected sales from 150,000 to 140,000 vehicles as sales to the Russian market have yet to commence.

He remarked that if the Russian market will continue to delay, they have to further change the sales forecast. In mid-March 2013, the company told a business forum in Serbia that the site expected to build between 110,000 and 150,000 units. Serbia currently has a free-trade agreement with Russia, but it excludes cars.

The country has been pushing to have cars included in the free-trade agreement to allow exports of Fiat vehicles to Russia under more favorable terms. The site is a EUR1 billion ($1.3 billion) joint venture between Serbia and Fiat. Established in 2008, the joint venture is 67 percent owned by Fiat and 33 percent by the Serbian state.

Read the entire article Fiat Automobili Srbija cuts output forecast for Fiat 500L lineup

Chrysler Group is planning to trim the number of factory options available on vehicles over the next two model years, dealers told Automotive News. The plan came after a pilot program showed that limits on options didn’t affect sales.  Dealers on the Chrysler National Dealer Council were told that the plan would result to fewer available options for consumers but greater manufacturing and ordering efficiencies and better quality.

Chrysler conducted a regional pilot program this year in which three vehicles -- the 2013 Dodge Dart and Journey and the 2013 Chrysler Town & Country minivan -- were configured by dealers during ordering. Option packages remained unchanged while the number of stand-alone options was trimmed.

The simplified ordering did not cut vehicle sales in regions with the limits. Carmakers are trying to trim the number of configurations in vehicle designs to cut cost and improve quality by reducing assembly complexity.

Read the entire article Chrysler to cut factory options for 2014 lineup

The president of GM North America would want to include in Chevrolet's lineup a modestly priced, rear-wheel-drive sporty car that would target young drivers. Mark Reuss told Automotive News that he would want Chevrolet to have a “nice, light, rear-drive car that's inexpensive.” He said that such a vehicle would be a “huge win” for the carmaker, although it’s not on the “drawing board now.”

GM unveiled a concept of such a vehicle at the 2012 Detroit auto show with the persona of a rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet concept coupe named Code 130R. Very positive reactions towards the concept coupe added fire to Reuss’ desire to include a similar vehicle at the low end of Chevrolet's lineup.

At the time, GM executives estimate the 130R to carry a price of low- to mid-$20,000s. Although Chevrolet has unveiled three new or redesigned performance cars -- the Corvette Stingray, SS sedan and Camaro Z/28 – in the last few months, all of these models are high-priced, low-volume vehicles.

Read the entire article GM North Am chief wants an rwd sports car in Chevrolet lineup

Volvo says it will provide support to its struggling dealers in the United States by fortifying its vehicle lineup, increasing margins and raising marketing spending. Doug Speck, global head of marketing, sales and customer service, said at the Geneva auto show that Volvo will decide next quarter whether to reverse a decision not to bring the V60 station wagon to the US.

If the decision is to bring the V60 to the US, the vehicle could arrive in the country within a year. Volvo Cars of North America had decided not to roll out the V60, a replacement for the V50, due to dropping wagon sales in the US.

Now that Volvo’s dealers only have four models to sell in the US, they are now saying that they need the V60 in their showrooms.

Read the entire article Volvo plans to expand US lineup, raise margins and boost marketing

Audi will double its sports utility vehicle lineup by 2020 in an effort to close the gap in sales behind BMW. Audi is developing the Q2, Q4 and Q6 as sportier options to its current lineup of three SUVs, a source told Bloomberg News.

Christoph Stuermer, an analyst with IHS Automotive, remarked that Audi is the first carmaker with a “grand plan to mirror" its offerings with corresponding SUVs. He noted that Audi’s high-seating SUV package is similar to “those beautiful, upright cars from the 1920s.” He added that the vehicles could become the normal car in the premium segment.

Audi’s push into SUVs underscores the expanding definition of a luxury car. Sales of high-end SUVs are expected to surge 36 percent by 2018, according to IHS Automotive. With rich consumers accepting SUVs, it has become one of the fastest-growing segments, causing Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz to come up with new models just to compete for the sales lead.

Read the entire article Audi aims to double its premium SUV lineup by 2020 to catch up to BMW

Lexus thinks that 2013 will be even better than 2012, which had its sales grow 31% compared to the previous year. The luxury car manufacturer will be showing off a heavily modified lineup and special vehicles at the Chicago Auto Show to suggest a new design direction. During the past year, Lexus presented new versions of the ES and LS sedans, and RX and LX sport utility vehicles that all have the new signature spindle grille.

All of these vehicles will be seen at the Chicago show. They will be displayed beside the all-new 2014 Lexus IS F Sport, which recently had its global debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The IS now comes with excellent exterior and interior styling as well as significantly improved driving dynamics. Another vehicle that will be seen in Chicago is the LFA, Lexus’ super car.

The LFA Nurburgring Edition is powered by a 4.8 liter, V10 engine that delivers 562hp. Since the LFA came to the market almost a couple of years ago, the LFA had swiftly gotten a reputation as one of the greatest performance models in the world. In addition, the LF-LC, the winner of the Best Concept award at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, based on public polling, will also appear in Chicago.

Read the entire article Lexus will showcase its heavily revamped lineup at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show
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