Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dodge Ram Heavy Duty, 2013

  •  Dodge Ram Heavy Duty, 2013

Ram Truck brand now offers the most capable heavy-duty pickups in the segment - the new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty line features best-in-class towing and best-in-class Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty trucks also add new features, including an all-new interior, next-generation Uconnect Access, Powernet, new frames and new suspension. The new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty further solidifies the long list of leadership claims, including best-in-class total cost of ownership.

For 2013, Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature new frames built with high-strength 50 KSI steel, including eight separate cross-members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for optimal strength and mass efficiency. Wider front frame rails (approximately one inch per side; two inches overall) enable front suspension springs to be positioned slightly outboard, an enabler for generating more positive roll stiffness. A new front suspension cross member is now a two-piece welded component between the front axle and oil pan.

Center frame rail sections are roll-formed, an efficient means for maintaining consistent strength in less complex longitudinal sections. In the rear portion of the new frame, the structure includes fully boxed rear rails and a factory-installed rear axle cross member with provisions for 5th wheel and gooseneck hitches. A new conventional trailer hitch system is upgraded to Class 5 with a 17,000-lb. load capability and 1,800 pounds of tongue weight for use with 2-inch or 2.5-inch receiver hitches.

To handle the best-in-class towing and payload capability of the new Ram Heavy Duty, a new front and rear suspension system with advanced geometry builds upon the chassis improvements and greatly improves overall roll stiffness. An advanced three-link front suspension on the Ram 3500 is necessary for the vehicle's higher GVWR and for use with heavy front loads, including snow plows. Additionally, a newly designed Hotchkiss leaf spring rear suspension on the Ram 3500 offers improved ride and handling while delivering higher towing and payload capability.

The new premium reciprocating ball steering gear, redesigned steering knuckles, ball joints and more robust steering linkages deliver enhanced and precise on-center feel despite the vehicles higher towing and payload capacities.

The Body
A number of body improvements have been made to enhance overall noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and to align with the best-in-class capabilities of the 2013 Ram Heavy Duty. The new truck comes equipped with an updated engine, transmission and body mounts, including pioneering hydro-mounts at C-pillar positions for class-leading NVH characteristics despite the truck's aptitude for higher payloads and towing.

A new capless fuel filler on diesel applications is a space-saving initiative that enables side-by-side fuel and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) port configuration. The result is more convenient fuel and DEF re-fill at pump stations.

The Ram 3500 features a factory-installed trailer tow connector in the truck bed, included with the optional 5th wheel or gooseneck tow prep package. New structural support is designed into the body to support the payload increase and improve durability performance. Additionally, new reinforced tie-down points with enhanced strength are designed for heavier loads.

The new Ram Heavy Duty now features the Powernet electrical architecture system allowing both high and low-speed data networks to be equipped with as many as 40 individual modules, all designed to improve vehicle performance and enhance the comfort and safety of driver and passengers.

A majority of the commercial truck customers need to tie into the electrical system. A new best-in-class, vehicle system interface module (VSIM) is capable of communicating between aftermarket modules and various factory control modules. The VSIM up-fitter interface module features a total of 72 inputs and outputs, including lighting controls, door position and throttle and transmission position. The class exclusive module acts as a secure gateway to the vehicles' electrical system.

Additional new features
New for 2013, central locking includes the RamBox cargo management system and tailgate power locks, creating a convenient solution for locking all exterior doors and storage with one push of a button. Auto rain-sensing wipers and SmartBeam headlamps also find their way into the feature availability list of the new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty.

Total cost of ownership and unsurpassed powertrain warranty - 5 years/ 100,000 Miles

Operating costs are of great consideration for owners who use their trucks for work. The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty holds class-leading features in:
  •     Fuel economy with introduction of a new DEF system
  •     Extended maintenance cycle (oil change, fuel filter life)
  •     Brake life with advanced engine exhaust brake and largest brakes in the segment

The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty is backed with an unsurpassed 5-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. The powertrain-limited warranty covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a covered powertrain component - engine, transmission and drive system. Coverage also includes free towing to the nearest Ram Truck dealer, if necessary. The warranty also is transferable allowing customers who sell their truck during the warranty period to pass the coverage onto the new owner. The standard 3-year/36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram Heavy Duty, from the body to the electrical system.

For 2013, the 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 makes its debut in Ram 3500 Heavy Duty pickup as standard equipment (single rear wheel). Also standard in the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty, the engine produces 383 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and generates peak torque of 400 lb.-ft. at 3,950 rpm. The HEMI V-8 is mated to a 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission.

Dominating the power charts, the renowned 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel I-6 is now available in three versions. The first version is paired with Ram's segment exclusive six-speed manual transmission, which features a wear-compensating clutch for lifetime "like-new" performance and a dual-trunion shift tower to accommodate a compact shift pattern. This combination delivers 350 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 660 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,500 rpm - a significant boost from the 2012 model-year maximum of 600 lb.-ft.

The second option matches the Cummins to the 68RFE six-speed automatic transmission. The diesel engine cranks out 370 horsepower at 2,800 rpm with an unsurpassed in ¾-ton trucks 800 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,600 rpm.

Finally, an upgraded 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel I-6 for Ram 3500 is paired with a new Aisin six-speed automatic transmission (AS69RC), leaving no doubt to Ram Heavy Duty's capability. In addition to 385 horsepower at 2,800 rpm, the most powerful Cummins generates best-in-class torque of 850 lb.-ft. at 1,600 rpm. The new AS69RC transmission features wide gear ratios that contribute to upgraded shift performance, an approximate 1 percent gain in transmission efficiency and improved driveability when compared to the previous design.

For 2013, all Ram Heavy Duty diesels benefit from an all-new cooling system. A high-efficiency fan, dual radiators, dual transmission coolers and charge air cooler afford 25 percent more heat-rejection capacity. Lower operating temperatures deliver improved performance, durability and lower operating costs.

Diesel-equipped Ram Heavy Duty pickups feature an industry-exclusive Ram Active Air intake system, activated by new monitoring capabilities added to the engine controller. When the intake system senses extreme heat, it draws cool air from the front of the vehicle - a function that also engages at high altitudes for superior throttle response in low oxygen environments. When conditions are wet from snow, ice or water-fording, the system pulls air from an underhood inlet clear from snow packing and water ingestion.

The list of 2013 diesel-engine features does not end there. The Cummins powerplants benefit from a larger exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) cooler, which complements the debut of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and accommodates a best-in-class oil-change interval of 15,000 miles. Oil life is increased by reducing soot production and reducing fuel dilution of the oil.

Combined with a 10 percent improvement in fuel economy due in part to the engines' high-pressure common-rail fuel system, SCR promises a net reduction in Ram Heavy Duty operating costs. The SCR-equipped diesels, which can run on B-20 biofuel, also operate cleaner by lowering greenhouse-gas emissions and better managing soot production than Lean NOx Trap (LNT) technology.

From behind the wheel, the diesels deliver improved cold-start performance and superior refinement from innovations such as the new smart exhaust brake system. Enabled by Cummins' unique, proprietary sliding-nozzle turbine design, the feature electronically manages best-in-class exhaust braking for smoother downhill driving, regardless of vehicle load.

Cummins' variable-geometry turbocharger also affords more effortless operation at higher altitudes, greater management of EGR flow rates and improved control over exhaust temperatures to accommodate de-sooting.

For the 2013 Ram Heavy Duty, no detail was too small to consider - an approach that inspired the design of a new fuel filter/water separator. The frame-mounted unit delivers best-in-class, 3 micron particulate filtration and water stripping for improved engine performance and durability.

Capability is high on the priority list for Ram engineers, evidenced by axle upgrades for 2013.

The 2013 Ram 3500 boasts a best-in-class GCWR. A contributor is the 11.8-inch rear axle matched with the diesel engine boasting a 300-mm hypoid gear set, a 4-pinion helical differential and an aluminum ring-gear cover for optimal cooling - and improved aesthetics.

The Ram Heavy Duty also features a segment-exclusive front axle disconnecting system. When conditions warrant, select drivetrain components are disconnected, improving overall efficiency and enabling a gain in fuel efficiency of up to 1 mpg.

The new 2013 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty models uphold a bold presence while retaining comfort and styling with exterior design changes. The new Ram Heavy Duty also features an all-new interior and all-new segment-leading technology - every model offers new, specific content.

Aligning with all-new grilles, the 2013 Ram Heavy Duty quad headlamp design has improved light spread, pattern consistency and distance. An all-new premium headlamp and lighting system features bi-functional halogen projectors and LEDs for park/turn and tail lamps.

New power folding 6x9-inch outside mirrors help to monitor traffic and obstacles on the side of the truck and allow a better view of the trailer when towing.

A tailgate handle-mounted rear camera back-up system has been upgraded for 2013 with higher definition and dynamic imaging in the 8.4-inch display. Also, a new center high-mounted stop light (CHMSL) camera provides a view of the bed for easier 5th wheel or gooseneck trailers as well as monitoring bed loads.
The Ram 3500 models feature new, crafted 18-inch and 20-inch wheel designs that incorporate trim level themes.

Exterior door and fender badges are relocated to a portrait style format from the current landscape format, yielding not only a cleaner appearance but more usable real estate on the door for a commercial customer's signs and graphics.

The new, wheel-to-wheel, polished stainless steel running boards have a sturdy-looking box cross-section design with a hexagon tread pattern and offer aerodynamic improvements while providing customer's improved access to the forward portion of the truck bed.

New Ram Heavy Duty features and technologies create an opportunity for a redesigned interior with material upgrades, improved fit and finish, new colors, HVAC controls and new multi-media systems.

The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty features the next generation 8.4-inch Uconnect system with background screens tailor-made to specific Ram models and themes. To make room for the new big screen, the center stack is upgraded with matching materials found throughout the interior. Complementing the range of Ram Heavy Duty models, the interior design team created new, individualized themes with different colors and materials.

The all-new HVAC controls take lessons learned from other Chrysler Group Uconnect applications and feature simple, improved function meeting the highest Human Machine Interface (HMI) standards. The HVAC system includes a redundant architecture allowing the operator to use either the 8.4-inch touchscreen or manual controls to alter the truck's environment. Below the upgraded HVAC arrangement is a new switch bank with relocated, easy-to-use controls for a number of features depending on vehicle models and options. The top row is for functional features and includes exhaust brake, tow/haul and electronic stability control (ESC). The bottom row is for comfort controls and includes heated steering wheel, heated seats and ventilated seats. The bottom row also can be optioned as an auxiliary switch bank for all five spots. All buttons in the comfort bank also are redundant in the Uconnect system. Contiguous to the switch bank is a prominently placed adjustable integrated trailer brake control allowing the driver to add or reduce trailer brake function on the fly. The new console center stack includes a 115-volt outlet and new drawer at the base of the stack with a smooth, premium feel tool box-slide action. The new drawer features 12-volt outlets on either side and an optional powered USB on the driver's side.

New technology also moves to the gauge cluster. Previously only available on premium models, the 3.5-inch vehicle information center screen is now standard on entry level trims and displays vehicle-operating functions. The new thin-film transistor (TFT), 7-inch multiview display is now available on select models and features fully customizable function and configurability. Similar to the 8.4-inch Uconnect system, select 7-inch cluster background screens are tailor-made to specific Ram models.

All Ram Heavy Duty trucks continue to use a column shifter for the automatic transmission. Electronic Range Select (ERS) is now located on the face of the steering wheel, right side, allowing individual gear selection. Diesel models offer a manual six-speed transmission, the only manual transmission offering in the segment.

The center consoles for both the bucket and 40-20-40 bench seat configurations are all-new with efficient storage in mind. The new bucket seat console uses the extra space as additional storage. The bench seat design includes three new cup holders built into the console lid that features a washable rubber bellow lining. Both versions of the console feature two tiers of storage and are available with a new multi-media port with USB, SD card and auxiliary inputs in the upper tier. Additionally, a 2.5-amp USB power port and 12-volt outlet are available to meet device-charging needs.

The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty lineup offers a truckload of innovative, segment-exclusive technology, adding all-new features to an already best-in-class interior. New for 2013, Ram offers the next-generation radio platform, which features Uconnect Access, a more powerful, in-vehicle connectivity system.

Building upon base radio capability, two new Uconnect systems are offered to provide Ram customers with a range of features and connectivity options to best suit their needs. The Uconnect 8.4A and 8.4AN provide Ram truck owners with a built-in wireless connection allowing vehicle occupants to automatically connect to a variety of new services. Users can remotely lock or unlock doors or start their vehicles from any distance via the web or a smartphone application. The new Uconnect system includes a 911 button on the rear-view mirror for a direct connection to emergency services. An ASSIST button also is integrated into the rear-view mirror to summon help directly from a roadside assistance provider or connect with Chrysler Group's Vehicle Customer Care Center.

Wi-Fi hotspot capability enabled by Uconnect Access provides in-cabin wireless Internet connectivity via laptop, tablet or smartphone, whether on the move or at the worksite.

Applications are updatable over the air and are downloaded directly to the Uconnect 8.4A and 8.4AN systems, keeping features current. Ram truck owners will be able to continually evolve their in-vehicle connectivity experience by downloading application updates or new applications as they become available.

The new Uconnect Access system features best-in-class functionality, integrating new entertainment content, including the first time Ram has offered HD radio to its customers. Ram owners also will have access to SiriusXM radio, handsfree mobile phone operation, handsfree navigation, handsfree texting with compatible phones and handsfree control of music.

Uconnect Voice Command allows drivers to control their mobile phone, music and navigation system while staying focused on driving. The phone book within a compatible phone is automatically downloaded, synchronizing as many as 1,000 phone book entries, which can then be selected by simply saying a contact name. The feature also allows drivers to switch radio modes, tune to AM, FM, HD and SiriusXM Radio stations and request real-time information (such as fuel prices) from the available SiriusXM Travel Link using natural voice commands.

Uconnect supports Bluetooth-equipped cell phones with Message Access Profile (MAP) advanced text-messaging. This industry-first voice recognition uses the embedded connectivity to access cloud-based voice-recognition and enable advanced text messaging, which converts the spoken word into verbatim text messages. Communication is limited only by the user's vocabulary.

Filling the gauge cluster in front of the driver is an available 7-inch, color, premium multiview display, featuring a new customizable function that enables Ram customers to personalize information inside the instrument cluster. Ram's new information display is designed to visually communicate information, using graphics and text, quickly and easily. The multiview display offers drivers a wide range of customization options, from a basic digital speed read out to specific vehicle status information. Operation of the display is clearly communicated to users with easy-to-understand icons and instructions.

The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty offers an audiophile-quality audio system to immerse passengers in premium sound. Alpine high-performance speakers and an advanced digital signal processing (DSP) amplifier are available with the Alpine 10-speaker premium audio system.

Ram Heavy Duty trucks offer more than 45 active and passive safety and security features, including standard front air bags and seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags with Enhanced Accident Response System, knee bolsters, seat-belt pretensioners, BeltAlert and ParkView rear back-up camera system. The 2013 Ram Heavy Duty trucks also include standard electronic stability control (ESC), a segment exclusive on 3500 Heavy Duty. ESC hosts a number of technologies including all-speed traction control, trailer-sway control, Hill-start Assist and anti-lock brake system (ABS).

The new 2013 Ram Heavy Duty trucks now offer Keyless Enter 'n Go technology, which allows the doors to be unlocked and the truck to be started without having to touch the key fob. Also new for 2013, remote central locking includes the RamBox cargo management system and tailgate powerlocks, creating a convenient solution for locking down the truck with the push of a button. An available remote start feature allows a driver to start their truck from up to 300 feet away. Door controls, illuminated entry, engine immobilizer and panic alert are standard features with the Keyless Enter 'n Go system. Auto rain-sensing wipers and SmartBeam also are new offerings, adding to a long list of content.

Start of production of the 2013 Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty is scheduled for the first quarter of 2013 at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico.
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary, 2013

  •  Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary, 2013

As a two-door Wrangler or four-door Wrangler Unlimited, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition is the most capable Wrangler ever produced. Based on the Rubicon model, it is available with a standard six-speed manual or available five-speed automatic transmission mated to a Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine producing 285 horsepower and 260 ft.-lbs. of torque. The Jeep part-time four-wheel-drive system has electronic-locking front and rear Dana 44 axles that receive power through a Rock-Trac transfer case with a "4-Low" ratio of 4:1. A 4.10 axle ratio front and rear is also standard as are Tru-Lok locking differentials. With a six-speed manual transmission, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition has an impressive crawl ratio of 73.1:1 that makes it a breeze to negotiate any obstacle.

The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition has many exclusive features that make it distinctive, as well as the most off-road capable Wrangler in history. A one-half inch increase in ride height versus the standard Rubicon model provides the BF Goodrich KM2 265/70R17 tires more room to claw at rugged terrain. The tires are mounted on 17-inch Rubicon aluminum wheels painted satin black with polished faces and a red Jeep Wrangler "icon" logo on the outside lip.

Black front and rear steel off-road bumpers toughen up the exterior, with the front bumper featuring removable end caps and a winch-capable design. These removable end caps help the Wrangler climb obstacles without hindrance, and reduce the damage potential to the bumper system. A dual-intake Power Dome hood helps aid in engine cooling and gives Wrangler a more menacing appearance. Red tow hooks adorn the front and rear, and Mopar rock rails give added protection from trail damage. Mopar also supplies the black fuel filler door and tail lamp guards. "10th Anniversary" badging on the fenders and a red-silhouette "Rubicon" decal on the sides of the hood add the finishing touches on the exterior.

The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition comes standard with a Premium Sunrider soft top and is available with a black three-piece Freedom hard top or body-color hard top. Available exterior colors for the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition are Billet Silver, White and 10th Anniversary Edition-exclusive Anvil.

The interior has many special touches as well. Striking red leather seats with "Rubicon 10th Anniversary" embroidered into the front seat backs grab attention at first glance. Red stitching adorns the leather-wrapped steering wheel and the center console. A unique gauge cluster features a "10th Anniversary" signature and also features a premium Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) with various read-outs such as oil pressure, oil temperature and tire pressure. The passenger grab handle includes a "Rubicon 10th Anniversary" badge and features Quick Silver accents that are also found on the vent rings, steering wheel spokes and door pulls.

The final design touches include Mopar slush mats, unique axle locker and sway-bar disconnect switches and a plaque mounted in the dash tray that features the vehicle's technical data, such as axle type and ratio, tire size, transfer case crawl ratio and manufacturer location.

For more than seven decades, Jeep® vehicles have defined the benchmark in rugged capability and utility. The most recognized of these vehicles has long been and still is the Jeep Wrangler, which has always provided an unmatched level of freedom resulting from the ability to traverse any trail, anywhere.

Ten years ago, for the 2003 model year, Jeep dramatically raised the bar in off-road capability with the introduction of the Wrangler Rubicon model. Named after one of the most grueling off-road trails in the world, the Rubicon models were the most extreme Wranglers ever produced. The 2005 model year saw the introduction of the Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited that brought more utility to the Rubicon's quickly established off-road credentials. Over the last 10 years, the Wrangler Rubicon has won numerous prestigious awards including Four Wheeler magazine's "4x4 of the Decade" honor for its unmatched level of all-around capabilities.

Fast forward to the 2013 model year, with Jeep Wrangler setting sales records and the wildly popular Jeep Wrangler Rubicon turning 10 years young. To celebrate, Jeep is introducing a new, limited-production 2013 Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition. It is the most capable factory-produced Jeep Wrangler ever, packed with equipment die-hard off-road enthusiasts love.

"The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition is a tribute to 10 years of Wrangler Rubicon history, and to the Jeep brand's most passionate enthusiasts," said Mike Manley, President and CEO - Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "This Wrangler Rubicon is for them. It is a unique vehicle that we expect will long be sought after, a Wrangler that offers an unprecedented level of capability once only attainable by long hours of custom aftermarket preparation crafted in the garages of the most avid Jeep enthusiasts in the world.

The 2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicion 10th Anniversary edition will arrive in showrooms in the spring of 2013.
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Kia Carens, 2013

  • Kia Carens, 2013

The all-new Kia Carens is a completely fresh model from the ground up, and its sleek and sculpted design marks a dramatic shift away from the more utilitarian look of its predecessor.

It builds on the functionality and versatility of the original Kia Carens, with a spacious five or five-plus-two seating layout, a generously proportioned luggage bay and numerous stowage spaces, but wraps this family-friendly adaptability in more purposeful sheet metal.

"I wanted to give the new Carens a sleeker look and feel, to create a design that envelops its functionality and versatility in something altogether more athletic and dynamic," says Peter Schreyer, Kia's Chief Design Officer.

"This new-found visual dynamism is important - this car needs to look appealing and attractive - but during its design and development stages, we never lost sight of the fact that its packaging flexibility and adaptability are why people buy these cars," explains Schreyer.

Both Schreyer and Gregory Guillaume, Kia's Chief Designer Europe, are candid when discussing the design of the Kia Carens. "A vehicle like the Carens is probably one of the hardest of all to get right because we are very tightly constrained by the car's functionality," says Guillaume. "That packaging versatility cannot in any way be compromised by the design of the car because to do so would eradicate the car's raison d'ĂȘtre."

Schreyer and Guillaume's team created subtle styling cues to enhance the Kia Carens' elegant and balanced proportions and deliver an air of sophistication and refinement.

As an example Schreyer singles out the understated chrome strip that runs from the base of the windscreen, along the lower level of windows and curls up to meet the C-pillar. "This not only adds a premium feel to the clean-cut exterior, but also creates a visual link with the new Sportage, which features the same design motif," he explains.

One of Schreyer's design goals was improved visibility - a key element for safe driving, particularly in congested urban areas. "The base of the windscreen is very low and this works with the front quarter windows and the low and wide sweeping dashboard design to deliver excellent visibility," explains Schreyer. The panoramic glass roof that floods the cabin with light further enhances this sense of spaciousness.

Similarly, the Kia Carens design team worked hard on ensuring the front and rear overhangs were kept as short as possible to boost manoeuvrability when parking and negotiating city traffic.

Neat touches abound - the integrated roof rails, the sleek rear spoiler, the three-way split second-row seats that feature individual fore and aft adjustment, and Kia's tactile new steering wheel.

"With its nigh-perfect balance of proportion, style and functionality, the distinctive new Carens marks yet another successful and stylish step for Kia's global design team," says Schreyer proudly. "There's a design honesty here - the Kia Carens is neither over-dressed nor does it feature contrived design elements. It's a car cleanly and elegantly defined by its functionality."
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, 2013

  •  Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, 2013

The Jeep announces the production version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk first seen as a concept at the 2012 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is evidence that even the most awarded SUV ever, and the most capable Grand Cherokee ever, can get even better.

The 2013 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is available with a V-6 or V-8 engine and includes the following capability-enhancing equipment:
  • 18-inch Goodyear Silent Armor all-terrain tires with Kevlar reinforcement
  • Solid steel rock rail body protection
  • Quadra-Lift air suspension, with nearly 11 inches of ground clearance
  • Selec-Terrain traction control system with five settings: Snow, Rock, Sand/Mud, Sport and Auto
  • A Rear Electronic Limited-slip Differential (ELSD, V-8) that can transfer up to 100% of engine's torque to one rear wheel in order to keep the Jeep moving forward even in the most extreme situations
  • Quadra-Track II or Quadra-Drive II (V-8) with a two-speed transfer case to help conquer the toughest obstacles

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is easily recognized with new signature red Trailhawk and Trail Rated badging and tow hooks, black-surround headlamps and a unique gray on the grille surround, side mirrors, rear light bar, 4x4 badge and five-spoke 18-inch aluminum wheels. A black hood decal with a red accent stripe helps reduce glare from the sun which can help the driver in extreme off-road situations.

Trailhawk-specific interior touches include black leather and performance suede seats with red accent stitching and Mopar slush floor mats front and rear.

The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is available in Bright White, Brilliant Black, Mineral Gray, Maximum Steel and Deep Cherry Red.
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Infiniti FX Vettel Edition, 2013

 Infiniti FX Vettel Edition, 2013

Combining exclusivity with exceptional levels of dynamism, the Infiniti FX Vettel Edition is a production car with a unique position in the global automotive market: it was inspired by, and developed in conjunction with, the reigning Formula One World Champion.

The most powerful and expensive Infiniti ever made is the realisation of Sebastian Vettel's wish for an FX with even more focus and ability than standard, and endowed with a bespoke aerodynamic, aesthetic and technical nature that draws on Formula One practices. Crucially, the car had to achieve all the while keeping all driving elements in balance, preserving the sports car DNA at the heart of every FX.

The money-can't-buy experiences may include VIP invitations to exclusive events, high performance driver training with star drivers, sessions in an F1 simulator, passenger rides in a three-seater F1 car, unique test drives and what promise to be memorable handover celebrations when the first cars are delivered, starting March 2013. Owners are able to track the production status of their cars on complimentary bespoke iPads - also useful for recording every highlight of their Infiniti FX Vettel Edition journey as the excitement unfolds.

Each Infiniti FX Vettel Edition is powered by a naturally-aspirated 420PS 5.0-litre V8 engine which offers balanced high performance throughout the speed range of up to 250 km/h (limited) and an acceleration time from zero to 100 km/h of 5.6 seconds.

Lighter and more aerodynamic, with more downforce at high speeds, the Infiniti FX Vettel Edition uses the same standard of carbon-fibre as the Infiniti-partnered Red Bull Racing Formula One cars, and an Alcantara®-trimmed cabin to Sebastian Vettel's design.

Sitting at the summit of Infiniti's range, the strictly-limited production crossover represents the fulfilment of Sebastian Vettel's dream to turn his "company car" - an Infiniti FX50 S Premium - into an even more rewarding sports crossover with an extra emphasis on performance and handling, and with looks that take their cue from the world of Formula One.

Sebastian's idea came to life at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011 when in a classic motor industry "back of the envelope" moment he and Shiro Nakamura, Infiniti's Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, sketched out the basis for what would become the Infiniti FX Vettel Edition.

Just six months later at the Frankfurt Motor Show of 2011 the FX Vettel concept had its world premiere to universal approval. It had been six months when Shiro Nakamura and Sebastian Vettel collaborated closely, defining the key changes that would mark the transformation from an already powerful and sporting SUV to a sports car SUV that could deliver everything the reigning Formula One World Champion wanted in a road car.

The production version was confirmed at the Geneva Motor Show in 2012 - just 12 months after the first discussions. And showing how right those early ideas were, the production version is about 95% identical to the concept.

Infiniti is working with CRD (Car Research & Development, a member of the Brabus Group) in Germany to assemble the 150 Vettel Edition models. The first pre-production car made its dynamic debut, driven by Sebastian Vettel, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK in June. Since then Infiniti has made six more pilot models for testing and development work, prior to full production commencing in February 2013.

The first car is promised for the hands of the double World Champion; customer deliveries are due to begin in March 2013.

Exterior design merges the already dynamic form of the FX50 with elements of Sebastian Vettel's other company car, the Red Bull Racing RB8. F1-grade carbon-fibre replaces standard body sections to create the new look, one defined at the front by an entire new under-bumper section.

Inspired by the design of the RB8's front wing profile, the multi-layer spoiler saves weight, reduces drag and smoothes the airflow under the car, playing a key role in helping to balance downforce. Designed by Shiro Nakamura, the spoiler section presents perhaps the most cohesive example yet of how F1 design elements can enhance a production road car.

Carbon blades are fitted inside the Infiniti's signature double-arch grille, and carbon shells, profiled with the aerodynamic efficiency of a cycle racing helmet, are fitted over the mirrors. Carbon side skirts are installed, visually complementing the car's 20mm lower ride height, while the wheelarch mouldings are body colour instead of black. Uniquely in the European markets where it will be sold, the Vettel Edition is the only FX not to have roof rails.

Head-on, the Infiniti FX Vettel Edition presents a lower and even more purposeful stance, offering a new visual signature that is defined by a row of LED daytime running lights seamlessly incorporated in the new spoiler section. The lights include new LED foglights - the smallest ever homologated, and among the most powerful.

At the rear the (optional) roof wing is made of carbon-fibre and mounted on milled alloy supports, the wing's profile shaped for maximum aerodynamic efficiency. Ditto the rear diffuser, which defines the car's look from the rear with twin exhaust pipes flanking one of the Infiniti FX Vettel Edition's most evocative features: the rear foglight in the form of an F1 car's centre rain light. Attention to detail means it is clear-lensed and made up of 15 red LEDs, all exactly like an F1 car's light. Alas, regulations mean it is not allowed to flash…

All the body-shaping work has been inspired by the aerodynamics of the Red Bull Racing F1 car. With the carbon body additions including rear spoiler, the car boasts 30% more downforce than the standard car, as well as a reduction in drag of 5%.

The wheel design was chosen primarily for strength and light weight. Each of the forged alloy rims from BBS® weighs 3.5kg less than the standard car's wheels, making a significant positive impact on the car's unsprung weight - to the benefit of driving dynamics including steering behaviour and handling. Finely spoked and finished in black, the wheels are 21-inches, like the standard car's, and are shod with 265/45 tyres.

Each of the 150 models is distinguished by a trio of special Vettel badges, two on the flanks and one on the tailgate. Each badge comprises seven components which are put in place using a special template. The first was affixed at Tochigi in Japan in early October by Sebastian Vettel when he visited the FX production to see "his" car being made.

There is one Vettel badge on the inside: it is inlaid into a carbon-fibre panel on the centre console. Behind the cover is the glowing blue-rimmed push button that electrically opens the exhaust flaps - the vFX Vettel Edition driver's guarantee of V8 aural excitement.

Carbon covers the centre stack and is additionally used on the door trims and above the glovebox. The technical feel is enhanced by Alcantara® replacing the leather on the centre sections of the seats. The front seats, with 14-way electric adjustment (including adjustable thigh and backrest bolsters) offer the ideal cornering support such a car needs. Alcantara® is also used on the A and B pillars and the rooflining. The steering wheel and gear selector are swathed in leather. Purple stitching is used throughout - a uniquely Infiniti touch.

The enhancements are not at the expense of the FX's trademark luxury or standard features. With plenty of legroom for up to five people and a 410-litre boot, the FX Vettel Edition can double up as a limousine or load carrier when required - part of the reason Sebastian Vettel gives for the FX fitting his lifestyle so well. A power tailgate, with programmable height, is one of a number of recent additional features on all FX models.

The Infiniti FX Vettel Edition features mechanical changes that build on the responsiveness and handling of what is already a sporting machine without detracting from the innate balance of the whole - a key factor in guaranteeing the car's pure driving enjoyment. The Infiniti FX Vettel Edition dynamics have been optimized, not revolutionized.

The muscular 5.0-litre V8, featuring VVEL (variable valve lift and timing) - Infiniti's guarantee of power with maximum efficiency - develops 390PS in standard form, delivered to Infiniti's intelligent torque-sensing all-wheel drive system via a 7-speed adaptive shift automatic transmission with solid magnesium gearshift paddles. For the FX Vettel Edition, power is increased to 420PS thanks to changes that include a new exhaust system. Torque also benefits: up to 520Nm from an already impressive 500Nm.

The exhaust pipe with optimized flow features an exhaust flap system, operated from a button on the dashboard that boosts power and efficiency at the same time as enriching the drive with the highest calibre of V8 burble. The extra aural stimulation is noticed only when the engine is under load - or when in manual mode and the transmission blips the throttle for downchanges - and for normal cruising the car retains all the refinement of the standard model.

The new body profile and lowered stance bring aerodynamic improvements that work with suspension changes to endow an already agile and responsive car with a new higher level of ability at all speeds. Where grip, precision, balance and traction are concerned, the Infiniti FX Vettel Edition could be a sports car.

Sport springs and 20mm taken out of the ride height are the keys to unlocking the extra ability in the FM (front-midship) chassis with its near perfect weight distribution, low centre of gravity and features that include Continuous Damping Control (CDC) shock absorbers and, for agility with supreme high-speed stability, Rear Active Steering (RAS).

Proving the excellence of the FX50 in standard form, little else had to be changed to suit the more dynamic character of the FX Vettel Edition. In the braking department, ventilated discs and 4-piston opposed front/2-piston opposed rear callipers offer exceptional stopping power. In Vettel Edition form, the five-star EuroNCAP FX is naturally fitted with the whole suite of Infiniti's advanced electronic safety systems.

Infiniti FX Vettel production is limited to 150 editions worldwide. Fifty cars are for Western Europe, 50 for Russia and 50 for the Middle East. Production is due to start on 1 February 2013 in a new assembly hall, currently under construction, in Bottrop, Germany. All the cars will be complete by mid June.

Each Infiniti FX Vettel Edition requires 320 man-hours to build by a team of 25 craftsmen, with all the work done by hand - with help from the occasional laser. That is used to perforate the Alcantara® so that the front seats' cooling function remains; only lasers provided the necessary accuracy. Further illustrating the exceptional attention to detail, special thread that is an exact match for Infiniti purple had to be imported from Japan for use in the car's distinctive stitching in the retrimmed cabin.

The Infiniti FX Vettel Edition body is transformed by 13 pieces of light but extremely strong carbon-fibre, the same grade and the result of the same "Prepreg"-carbonprocess as that used by the Red Bull Racing F1 team. Each piece is hand-crafted and finished with 12 coats before assembly.

The Infiniti FX Vettel Edition has been extensively tested in Japan and Germany. Infiniti engineers and the CRD development team have racked up 13,000 miles in each pre-production model, mostly on autobahns, including drives on test tracks like in Papenburg with its re-creation of many of the Hockenheim F1 circuit's corners. Each of the 150 cars will be subject to a intense final test drive before being approved for delivery.

VIP drive events continue to play an important role in the FX Vettel Edition program, consistent with Infiniti's ethos of hospitality. The most recent was at Le Castellet circuit in France where Sebastian Vettel demonstrated the car for an invited audience that included many of the people who have already put their names down to buy it. Many more such events are planned, all part of a money-can't-buy experience that ownership of the Infiniti FX Vettel Edition unlocks.
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Hyundai Santa Fe EU-Version, 2013

  •  Hyundai Santa Fe EU-Version, 2013

The Hyundai Motor Company, South Korea's largest car manufacturer, has staged the world premiere of the all-new Santa Fe at the 2012 New York International Auto Show, held at the New York Jacob Javits Convention Center.

The popular D-segment SUV is re-styled inside and out, fitted with enhanced features and new technology, and powered by re-tuned engines with improved efficiency - ensuring that it will offer European buyers a visually-appealing, sophisticated lifestyle vehicle when it goes on sale in late summer.

Hyundai is keeping the name, Santa Fe, continuing the heritage of the car manufacturer's well-established SUV model as it enters its third generation. The Hyundai Santa Fe has achieved worldwide cumulative sales of almost 2,56 million units, and more than 350.000 in Europe, since its 2000 debut.

Hyundai expects the new-generation model to continue the company's strong performance in the SUV market, and to capture more than 5% share of its market segment in Europe during its first full year on sale in 2013.

Influenced by Hyundai's form language, Fluidic Sculpture, the third-generation Hyundai Santa Fe adopts its own design concept called 'Storm Edge', which captures the strong and dynamic images created by nature during the formation of a storm.

Featuring sophisticated and refined lines, which are in harmony with its bold and voluminous surfaces, New Generation Santa Fe presents a more masculine, more aggressive and more characterful SUV appearance than its predecessor.

Three powertrain options available to European buyers, including a new, super-efficient, Euro 6 compliant 2,0-litre 'R' VGT diesel engine. Producing 150ps, this powerplant emits just 155g/km of CO2. The 2,2-litre diesel unit has been tuned for greater efficiency, making it one of the cleanest offerings in the segment with CO2 emissions of only 145 g/km.

To ensure the newcomer is best suited to the tastes of European drivers, extensive development work has been completed for the European-specification model. This includes modifications to the steering, suspension and brakes, as well as changes to the car's set-up to aid to high-speed stability and towing ability.

As with all newly-launched models in Europe, the New Generation Santa Fe will come with Hyundai's industry-best customer care package, Five Year Triple Care - comprising a five-year unlimited warranty, five years of roadside assistance, and five years of vehicle health checks.

Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, Allan Rushforth, commented, "The original Santa Fe has maintained strong sales year-on-year across Europe, thanks to its combination of quality, practicality and value. Now, New Generation Santa Fe retains the earlier model's key strengths - practicality, roominess and dependability - while also offering consumers much more.

"With its fresh exterior styling, more efficient engines, greater comfort and improved quality, New Generation Santa Fe is a truly attractive proposition that will build on the successes of the previous model by broadening its emotional appeal."

The company expects the New Generation Hyundai Santa Fe to appeal to new consumers from a wider demographic range - including some owners of premium-brand SUVs.

With its modern, urban style, the New Generation Santa Fe looks strong, dynamic and refined, with the vehicle's body shape making a clear promise that this vehicle is safe and practical, but also sophisticated.

The new model's designers drew inspiration from the shapes created by nature during the formation of a storm - a creative approach referred to as 'Storm Edge'. Evidence of the significance of Santa Fe to Hyundai's product portfolio, it is the first model to have its own interpretation of the Fluidic Sculpture design language which has modernised the appearance of the Hyundai range in recent years.

In line with the full Hyundai product range, the latest Hyundai Santa Fe features the hexagonal-shaped grille, finished on Santa Fe in sophisticated dark chrome. Large, tear-drop headlights above the bumper are matched in shape by fog lights below. The deep, two-tone underbody offers generous ground clearance, and the silver underbody panel visible at the front smoothes the vehicle's aerodynamics and provides reassuring under-floor protection.

Longer, lower and wider than its predecessor, with the same 2700 mm wheelbase, the New Generation Santa Fe has a stronger presence. The conventional two-box SUV architecture is spaciously accommodating but, more than that, the new body shape also suggests great strength, with an imposing front-end and muscular upper flanks. The vehicle's profile is complemented by the dark chrome finish of the alloy wheels - now offered as factory equipment up to 19-inch in diameter, for the first time on a Hyundai SUV. The deep doors cover the side sills, ensuring the sills stay clean and that dirt is not transferred to occupants' clothes on entry or exit.

A dynamic stance is achieved by the lowered roofline, swept-back windshield, upswept lower edges to the rear side windows, and rakish rear windshield angle.

A sharp crease in the new Hyundai Santa Fe's side panels sweeps along the car from the front wheel arches to the trunk, setting the level of the front and rear door handles and sharply defining the upper edge of the wrap-around tail-lamps. Above the lamps, the rear windshield is set beneath a small roof-level spoiler, further enhancing the dynamic stance of the new Santa Fe. Twin tailpipes and a hexagonal mesh set into the lower sections of the front and rear bumpers, add a sporty finishing touch.

Both the front and rear wheel arches are deep-set, so that the tyres are visible almost to their uppermost edges, the swelling of the bodywork over the wheels adding to the car's muscular sense of purpose.

New Generation Hyundai Santa Fe come with a host of intelligent features that enhance the comfort and convenience of driver and passengers, providing a stress-free experience for all occupants.

To improve the driving experience, Hyundai has fitted the third-generation Santa Fe with driver aids, such as radar-controlled, adaptive cruise control. Light- and rain-detecting lights and wipers, which turn on when the conditions require, allow the driver to concentrate fully on the road ahead.

New Generation Santa Fe  fitted with the Smart Parking Assist System to help drivers access even the tightest of spaces.

To improve comfort, the front seats are electronically powered and the driver's seat has a memory function to adapt to different drivers' preferred positions. The second row of seats slides and folds with a one-touch control, giving passengers quick and easy access to the optional third-row seats (where fitted).

Front- and second-row legroom have been increased - by 38mm and 45mm respectively - over the last-generation car, while a long, wide, single-frame panoramic sunroof allows high levels of natural light into the cabin. Luggage space in the trunk has been increased by 37mm in depth over the previous generation model, yielding a class-best luggage capacity of 534 litres with the front five seats upright.

When reversing, the tailgate-mounted camera automatically displays a clear, convex view of the area behind the car on the 7-inch screen. The wide-angle view is low enough to enable the driver to avoid low obstacles and small pedestrians.

An optional 220 Volt power socket can provide direct power to appliances including laptops, printers and vacuum cleaners. Located in the trunk, the socket can power equipment rated up to 200 Watts without a specific invertor.

The new Hyundai Santa Fe also has intelligent design features such as puddle lamps fitted within the exterior mirrors to illuminate the ground alongside the vehicle, and privacy glass for comfort and security.

The New Generation Santa Fe's powertrain line-up has been developed to suit the demands of European customers, with three engines at launch covering 80% of demand in the region's D-SUV segment. Delivering a broad spread of power and torque, the three engines offer drivers performance across multiple terrains, without compromising class-leading fuel efficiency and emissions.

The powertrain line-up features one petrol and two diesel engines, with outputs between 150ps and 200ps. All of these engines combine excellent power with improved efficiency and class-leading emissions figures.

The range-topping diesel engine remains Hyundai's 2,2-litre 'R' diesel engine featuring a variable geometry turbo (VGT). This all-aluminium, powerplant generates 200ps and 431Nm of torque, and Hyundai's engineers have reduced the CO2 emissions to 145 g/km - among the lowest in the segment.

With the powerful engine, the new Santa Fe delivers strong performance, accelerating from 0 to 100 kph in 9,4 seconds (manual transmission, 2WD).

Hyundai offer a smaller, 2,0-litre 'R' diesel engine with VGT which completes the diesel line-up. Developing 150ps and delivering 382Nm of torque, this refined powerplant emits just 155g/km of CO2 emissions when applied to the Hyundai Santa Fe.

Thanks to the variable geometry turbocharger fitted to both diesel engines, New Generation Santa Fe offers 100% of torque from low revs - just 2.000 rpm - which makes the car well suited to both off-road terrains and dynamic on-road driving.

A 'Theta II' 2,4-litre GDI engine offer European customers a petrol alternative. Its maximum power (193ps) and modest CO2 emissions of 197 g/km again set the New Generation Hyundai Santa Fe apart as a segment leader.

New Generation Santa Fe is available with six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions, which have been tuned to suit the power delivery of the three-strong engine line-up.

The 'Theta II' 2,4-litre GDI petrol and 2,2-litre 'R' VGT diesel engine are available with either the manual or automatic transmission. The 2,0-litre 'R' VGT engine is fitted with the six-speed manual as standard.

The six-speed transmissions feature high top-gear ratios and were chosen to reduce fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions when cruising at speed, while also enabling drivers to fully exploit the available performance on road or over rougher terrain.

The automatic transmission features two operating modes - fully automatic or 'Sport'. For city driving, fully automatic mode is ideal, while 'Sport' mode allows for clutch-less manual sequential gear changes for greater driver involvement. Although this transmission is a regular 'torque converter' automatic, it incorporates a unique 'flat' torque converter and an innovative layout makes it the most compact six-speed unit currently available anywhere in the world - weighing 12 kilos less and can boost fuel economy by up to 12%, compared to a conventional automatic.

When the 2WD 2,2-litre 'R' VGT diesel engine is mated to the six-speed manual transmission, it emits just 145 g/km of CO2.

The New Generation Hyundai Santa Fe offers impressive road holding, as well as genuine comfort on-road and off-road, providing a car-like ride in normal driving conditions but switching automatically to four-wheel-drive whenever it is needed.

Hyundai's FLEX STEER system is fitted to an SUV for the first time, providing three different settings for the steering to match customer preference and driving requirement. The selected mode - normal, sport and comfort - is displayed on the 4,2-inch LCD screen integrated into the instrument cluster.

The new Santa Fe's suspension has been precisely calibrated to provide a well damped ride and reassuring responsiveness to driver inputs. The MacPherson strut front suspension uses reverse L-shaped lower arms for accurate camber control and steering sensitivity. The front subframe mounting bushes are calibrated to reduce unwanted vibrations, while preserving a confidence-inspiring connection with the road surface.

Multi-link suspension is employed at the rear, with the trailing arm connected to a chassis cross-member to ensure optimum ride refinement without intruding on the trunk space. Self-leveling rear suspension is fitted as standard, preserving ride refinement and balanced handling even when carrying a full complement of passengers or a heavy cargo load.

All-wheel-drive is delivered by an on-demand system which overrides the usual front-wheel-drive only when truly necessary. When sensors detect a loss of grip at the front wheels, power is automatically redistributed between the front and rear axles. The default power distribution is 100% to the front wheels, with automatic and continuous variation when slippery conditions are encountered up to 50% front / 50% rear.

For especially slippery conditions, such as muddy off-roading or driving on snow or ice, four-wheel-drive can be selected with the push of the 'lock' button, delivering a 50/50 power split at speeds up to 40kph.

Supplementing the high levels of traction and grip, New Generation Hyundai Santa Fe is equipped with ABS (anti-lock braking), ESP (electronic stability programme), VSM (vehicle stability management), DBC (downhill brake control), plus hill-holding and HAC (hill-assist control).

Maximum towing capacity (for a fully laden vehicle) with a braked trailer is 2500 kg (manual transmission).

In creating the New Generation Santa Fe, Hyundai has retained the car's SUV heritage, but has also improved its on-road abilities.

A front subframe, which supports the engine, transmission and suspension, is mounted using specially designed bushes to minimise unwanted noise and vibrations reaching the cabin, while allowing the steering to provide excellent feedback to the driver in all conditions.

The all-new bodyshell of the third-generation Santa Fe uses the same technologies that were incorporated into the i40, which won the Euro Car Body award in 2011. A complex mixture of lightweight, high-strength steel and aluminium components increases bending strength and torsional rigidity compared to the previous model. The steel is sourced from the company's own plant - Hyundai Steel -in Korea.

Hyundai has optimised the powertrains in the third-generation Hyundai Santa Fe to be as refined as possible, using lighter materials, damped engine mounts and increased levels of sound insulation to create a quiet, cosseting interior.

These measures combine to reduce the NVH compared to the previous generation vehicle, making it a comfortable environment in which to travel - on or off road.

In line with the rest of Hyundai's European vehicle range, the New Generation Santa Fe will feature high-tech active and passive safety features to ensure exceptional occupant safety and improved protection for pedestrians.

Active safety systems give Santa Fe drivers the best chance of avoiding an accident. These include ABS (anti-lock braking system), ESP (electronic stability programme), VSM (vehicle stability management), DBC (downhill brake control) and a hill-holder system.

A lane-departure warning system alerts the driver should the car drift into the adjacent lane without the side indicator being activated. An audible chime is sounded in the cabin, to draw attention to the situation.

An automatic cruise control system uses radar to monitor traffic ahead and ensure that Santa Fe will not get too close to the car in front. This increases convenience for the driver and also reduces the chance of a collision.

Good driver visibility is a key factor for safety, and the New Generation Hyundai Santa Fe has several features that enhance day and night time vision. HID Xenon headlights offer high-intensity, far-reaching illumination of the road ahead, giving the driver the best possible vision. To further aid vision and safety, the headlights switch on automatically if conditions require them, and daytime running lights are fitted as standard.

In terms of passive safety, the New Generation Santa Fe is built using a lightweight, high-tensile steel and aluminium structure which provides excellent bodyshell rigidity and strength, protecting occupants in the event of a collision.

New Generation Santa Fe is fitted with seven airbags as standard, including driver, passenger, side, curtain and driver's knee units, providing exceptional levels of safety to buyers across the range.

With pedestrians in mind, Hyundai has equipped the new model with an active hood - the first such application in a Hyundai, and an important contributor to greater pedestrian safety in the event of a collision. Upon impact, the hood rises to reduce the force of the collision and, thus, reduce the risk of injury.

These features ensure new Hyundai Santa Fe has outstanding levels of safety, and reinforce Hyundai's commitment to providing its customers with class-leading cars in this crucial area. It is expected that, in line with recent Hyundai models, the New Generation Santa Fe will attain a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating - even meeting the demands of the new, more rigorous 2012 test procedure.
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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Honda Civic Coupe, 2013

  •  Honda Civic Coupe, 2013

The top-selling and award-winning Honda Civic returns for 2013, with a host of design upgrades and a bevy of new standard features, while still maintaining the efficiency and value that has made the Honda Civic an automotive icon for the past 40 years. The 2013 Honda Civic Sedan receives all-new front and rear exterior styling, along with extensive interior styling upgrades on all models. Retuned steering and suspension sharpen the Civic's handling, while extensive body and chassis upgrades improve the ride comfort and interior quietness.

Every 2013 Civic model is equipped with a suite of class-leading standard features. Standard equipment on every Honda Civic includes Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, Bluetooth® Audio, rearview camera, color i-MID display, USB/iPod® connection, Pandora® Interface, an SMS text feature, steering wheel audio controls, exterior temperature gauge and sliding center-console armrest. Even with hundreds of dollars of standard features added, the 2013 Civic arrives with only a modest $160 increase in MSRP across the lineup, with pricing for the exceptionally well-equipped 2013 Civic LX Sedan beginning at $18,165.

New safety technologies built into the 2013 Honda Civic include the application of the next-gen Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II (ACE™ II) body structure, which includes additional front end structures designed to help increase occupant protection by dispersing crash energy in narrow overlap frontal crashes, and should help the Civic obtain a top rating in the new small-offset crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Also new are Smart Vent™ side airbags, side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor and the availability of Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems, which make their compact-class debut in the 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid.

Featuring the widest array of powertrain choices available in the segment, the Honda Civic lineup is designed to meet the diverse needs of today's compact-vehicle buyer. The 2013 Honda Civic Sedan and Coupe will be available in LX, EX, EX-L and Si models, with the Civic Hybrid, Civic Natural Gas and Civic HF also available in sedan form. The entry model Civic DX has been discontinued for 2013.

The 2013 Honda Civic lineup includes sedan and coupe models with a conventional gasoline engine and "Si" performance models. Civic also offers a high fuel efficiency "HF," hybrid and exclusive natural gas alternative-fuel sedans.

Heavily revised for the ninth-gen Civic introduction for model year 2012, the Civic's all-aluminum, 140-horsepower, i-VTEC® 1.8-liter 16-valve four-cylinder engine is unchanged for 2013, continuing to provide exceptional responsiveness, refinement, and fuel efficiency. Providing 128 lb-ft of torque at 4300 rpm, the Honda mill is paired with either a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission. In the Honda Civic Sedan and Coupe, this powertrain has earned an EPA fuel-economy rating of 28/39/32 mpg city/hwy/combined when equipped with the automatic transmission. In the Civic HF Sedan, those figures climb to 29/41/33 mpg.

Now available in 37 states, the 2013 Honda Civic Natural Gas continues as the only mass produced natural gas sedan available in the U.S. In the Civic Natural Gas, the 1.8-liter engine produces 110 horsepower, and earns an EPA fuel economy rating of 27/38/31 mpg2 (city/hwy/combined). The 2013 Civic Hybrid features a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine equipped with Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA®) system, which when coupled with its Lithium-Ion battery pack, produces 110 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque. Paired to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), the Honda Civic Hybrid earns a city/hwy/combined EPA rating of 44/44/44 mpg. The Civic Sedan and Coupe, Civic Natural Gas and Civic Hybrid models all feature Honda's ECO Assist™ technology, which with the push of the green, dash-mounted "ECON" button, can help drivers operate the vehicle more efficiently.

Along with strong fuel efficiency, the Civic lineup also offers strong performance. The 2013 Civic Si Sedan and Si Coupe models are equipped with an all-aluminum, 201-horsepower, i-VTEC® 2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve engine paired to a 6-speed manual transmission. Even though it provides 170 lb-ft of torque and offers exhilarating performance, the Honda Civic Si has a remarkable 31 mpg EPA highway fuel economy rating.

The Body
The Honda Civic has received a host of changes that far exceed the typical mid-model refresh. The front and rear styling of the 2013 Honda Civic Sedan has been completely altered for a more youthful and premium feel, including sheet metal changes that include an all-new hood and trunk lid. Up front, a new open-mouth lower bumper with a horizontal chrome accent and a sportier, black honeycomb mesh grille is anchored by new integrated fog lights on EX-L and above trims. The grille is flanked by new clear-lens corner lights to provide a more premium look. The 2013 Civic's more sculpted front end flows into a new taller, more deeply faceted hood.

In back, a new rear bumper design and new rear trunk lid are capped by a clean, horizontal chrome trim piece. The all-new design of the jewel-like taillights now carries into the trunk face, providing a more finished and upscale look. The rear bumper features integrated reflector treatments and a new lower diffuser panel finished with a honeycomb mesh vent. While the expressive exterior styling of the 2013 Honda Civic Coupe remains unchanged, restyled wheels on all models help sharpen the look of the 2013 Civic.

Constructed of 55-pecent high-strength steel, the 2013 Honda Civic's body minimizes weight and maximizes strength for greater rigidity. The 2013 Civic's body has seen a host of changes to the front floor, side sill, A-pillar, upper wheel housing and front bumper extension. This addition of high-strength steel is expected to pay refinement dividends and provide a stiffer structure for the numerous chassis updates for the 2013 Civic. In addition, the Civic's new structure is designed to help it excel in the new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) small overlap crash test.

The Chassis
Under the skin, the 2013 Honda Civic has had significant alterations aimed at enhancing handling refinement and noise isolation. A reworked Electronic Power Steering (EPS) setup reduces friction and provides a quicker ratio, while stiffer wheels, stiffer front springs and a thicker front stabilizer bar with new Teflon-lined mounting bushings are designed for more fluid suspension action and a flatter, more responsive cornering attitude.

The rear suspension also receives a thicker stabilizer bar, increased spring rate, new Teflon-lined stabilizer-bar bushings, and reworked suspension bushings to increase both bump- and roll-motion stiffness. With its retuned MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension, handling linearity, responsiveness and overall vehicle composure have been increased, while at the same time improving ride quality and the characteristic Honda fun-to-drive feel. For 2013, front brake-rotor diameter on automatic-equipped Civic LX, EX and EX-L Sedans and Coupes jumps 20 mm from 262 to 282 mm for improved stopping performance.

A large range of new noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) countermeasures work together to reduce road, engine and wind noise in the 2013 Civic's interior. This includes a stiffer front subframe, new thicker windshield and front door glass, and additional soundproofing material in the dash, floor, doors, and rear tray to help reduce unwanted road noise, and provide a more serene ride and quieter cabin.

The Interior
Inside, extensive refinements in design and construction gives the entire 2013 Honda Civic lineup a more premium feel, with an all-new tricot headliner, new soft-touch materials on the instrument panel and upper door treatment, and revised textures and panel junctions throughout the instrument panel and center console. Subtle silver accents in the interior lend a higher-quality look, along with door panel and seat fabric upgrades. Providing a more upscale environment, black carpeting and a trunk lid finisher are now standard on all Civic models. For the first time, Civic is available in both cloth and leather with an all-black interior.

The 2013 Honda Civic provides a host of new class-leading standard features, including Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, Bluetooth® Audio, rearview camera, color i-MID display, Pandora® Interface, USB/iPod® interface, SMS text message function, steering wheel audio controls, exterior temperature gauge and a sliding finished center armrest. Available on Honda Civic EX, EX-L, Hybrid and Natural Gas models, the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with voice recognition now includes a multi-view rearview camera and provides routing and guidance to individual addresses and more than 7-million points of interest within the continental United States. With its 16-GB flash memory system, it offers fast route calculation and includes FM traffic, a subscription-free service that alerts drivers to traffic conditions.

Named a "2012 Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Civic returns for 2013 with a re-engineered Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II (ACE™ II) body structure. The changes that went into the ACE II body structure were designed to help increase the protection provided to vehicle occupants in a frontal collision, including the addition of front end structures to help disperse crash energy in narrow overlap frontal crashes. These changes should also help the Civic obtain top marks in the new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) small overlap frontal crash test.

Honda Civic features Honda's new Smart Vent™ front seat side airbag construction that recently debuted in the 2013 Honda Accord. The new Smart Vent™ airbag design helps mitigate the risk of excessive side airbag deployment force, while eliminating the need for the prior Honda Civic's Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS). The elimination of OPDS allows improved heating of the seatback on Civic EX-L models. Additionally, the 2013 Civic is equipped with a side curtain airbag with rollover sensors, nearly two years ahead of regulatory requirements.

A first in the compact segment, the 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid provide standard Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems. FCW is designed to detect a possible collision with another vehicle or object ahead and provide visible and audible alerts to the driver. LDW provides visible and audible alerts if the driver begins to drift out of a detected lane without using the turn indicator.

The 2013 Honda Civic's additional safety technologies include standard dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, an anti-lock braking system (ABS), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control, a tire pressure monitoring system, and a pedestrian injury mitigation design in the front of the vehicle.
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