Dec 08

Volvo Cars introduces Twin Engine technology in world’s most powerful and cleanest SUV

2015 Volvo XC90, Road-Test.orgThe first Volvo designed from the ground up for plug-in/electrification compatibility, the XC90 T8 delivers all the performance of a luxury SUV, but with emission levels that even small hybrid cars struggle to match.

When designing the XC90 T8, Volvo Cars chose not to compromise on performance, driving pleasure, efficiency or even luggage space. By building on the new modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform and successful Drive-E petrol powertrain, the company has created a uniquely roomy 7-seater SUV that delivers 400hp/640Nm combined with ultra-low emissions (59g/km) and high fuel efficiency (2.5 l/100km). The fuel economy according to the U.S. driving cycle is 59 MPGe.

“The XC90 T8 is a plug-in electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car rolled into one,” says Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development of Volvo Car Group. “The Drive-E engines already offer highly competitive performance versus the competition. The T8 takes it further into a leading position.” Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 04

Road Test: 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid – EX Premium

Kia Optima Hybrid, Road-Test.orgEver since I laid eyes on the Optima, I’ve loved its style and couldn’t wait to drive it. Well time flies and it took longer than expected to finally get behind the wheel. Half-way through its model cycle, the Optima gets a refresh for the 2015 model year (its subtle, but better looking inside and out), so it was important to grab the keys to a 2014 before the change, in order to compare them next year.

What Is It? 

  • Mid-size sedan
  • Full Hybrid – A traditional vehicle with an electric motor that can exclusively propel the vehicle at times or in combination with a gas engine. An example of this would be an electric motor that propels the vehicle from a stop, a gas engine that operates at highway speeds and both combine when extra power is required. A Full Hybrid charges its own batteries via electric motor or gasoline engine.
  • Depending on the state of charge and load, the electric motor may propel the vehicle for longer distances and speeds up to 100 km/h. I easily got up to 80km/h on the battery power only
  • Lithium-Polymer Battery – One of the smallest, lightest and most advanced hybrid batteries in the automotive world
  • Hybrid Engine Clutch – A ‘Hybrid Engine Clutch’ allows for a seamless transition between electric motor and gas engine. The entire seamless transition takes only six-tenths of a second
  • Traditional Transmission – A traditional 6-speed transmission is used instead of a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). This allows for desirable shift feeling instead of a shiftless ‘golf-cart feeling’ 

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 21

Road & Travel Magazine Name The 2015 KIA K900 ‘INTERNATIONAL CAR OF THE YEAR’

2015 KIA K900

Kia claims unprecedented third consecutive ICOTY victory with new flagship sedan

K900 Recognized for Distinctive Design, Advanced Technology and Unmatched Luxury

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20, 2014 – In conjunction with the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, Road & Travel Magazine (RTM) has named the 2015 Kia K900 as its International Car of the Year. The K900’s stunning design combined with luxurious amenities, impressive performance and great value propelled the Kia brand to an unprecedented third consecutive win of the prestigious ICOTY award. The ICOTY jurors honored Kia’s Cadenza premium sedan last year and the best-selling Optima midsize sedan in 2012.

“Since arriving in the U.S. market 20 years ago, Kia has repeatedly defied conventional industry thinking, and the K900 is our boldest move yet, making a significant leap forward for the brand and bringing new and affluent customers into our retail showrooms,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, KMA. “To win the prestigious ICOTY award three years running is a clear indication that our products consistently offer a world-class balance of design, amenities, luxury and value for today’s discerning car buyers.” Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 20

New 2016 Ford Explorer Revealed at L.A. Auto Show

New Look, Engine and Premium Platinum Series
image005LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19, 2014 – The new 2016 Ford Explorer is ready for adventure with a fresh look, more innovations than ever, a bigger EcoBoost® engine option, and a new Platinum series that elevates the features and style of Ford’s iconic sport utility vehicle.

The new Explorer will go on sale next year, in time to celebrate the nameplate’s 25th anniversary.

“The new Explorer combines great looks, seating for seven and ready-for-anything capability – a proven formula that has made it an SUV icon,” said Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president, The Americas, Ford Motor Company. “From the very start in developing the sixth-generation model, we listened carefully to customers to really understand what they wanted in a new Explorer, and we responded with enhancements across the line up, which now includes a premium Platinum series.” Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 20


Three engine choices: 2.4-liter inline-4 GDI – 185 h.p. / 3.3-liter V6 GDI – 290 h.p. / new turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 GDI – 240 h.p.

All three engines use an electronically controlled six-speed automatic gearbox featuring Sportmatic shifting

Larger than the outgoing model in nearly every way

LOS ANGELES, NOVEMBER 19, 2014 – With its roads and freeways as the foundation of driving adventures encompassing sunny surf-side beaches, rugged snow-covered mountains, starkly beautiful deserts,  Kia Motors America (KMA) chose Los Angeles for the North American debut of the all-new 2016 Sorento CUV.

Kia’s design and engineering teams focused on a stronger body structure, delivering premium-grade NVH reduction and providing the driving confidence to enable the active lifestyle CUV owners covet. Sorento buyers have their choice of three engines, including a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder, the silky smooth 3.3-liter V6 and an improved 2.4-liter normally aspirated inline-4. Standard premium features and luxurious amenities will be available across five trim levels – L, LX, EX, SX and SXL – when U.S. sales begin in the first quarter of 2015.  Pricing will be announced closer to Sorento’s launch date. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 14

Mazda Launches Unlimited Mileage Warranty in Canada

New warranty lets owners drive as much as they want, as far as they want…

MAZDA,, HILL, ON, Nov. 13, 2014 /CNW/ – Mazda Canada Inc. announced today a new Unlimited Mileage Warranty, eliminating the distance limitations on their factory warranty coverage allowing owners to drive as much, or as far, as they want.

The Unlimited Mileage Warranty becomes the new standard factory warranty on all Mazda vehicles starting with the 2015 model year. The basic warranty for Mazda vehicles covers all parts found to be factory defective for 3 years, regardless of the number of kilometers driven. Additional warranties cover Powertrain components for a period of 5 years, unlimited mileage; body sheet metal perforation for 7 years, unlimited mileage; and roadside assistance for 3 years, unlimited mileage.

“Mazda’s focus is on long-term customer satisfaction,” said Kory Koreeda, president of Mazda Canada Inc. “By offering our customers an Unlimited Mileage Warranty, we believe it will enhance their ownership experience by alleviating concerns such as kilometre limitations, repair costs and resale value.”

The Unlimited Mileage Warranty will be retroactive to all customers who have already purchased a 2015 model year Mazda vehicle, and is fully transferable to subsequent owners.

“An Unlimited Mileage Warranty fits perfectly with our brand,” said David Klan, Senior Director of Sales, Marketing and Regional Operations. “Mazda is a company that always challenges traditional conventions to make improvements. Driving enjoyment is essential to Mazda; it’s in our DNA, and every car we make. So offering a different kind of warranty that doesn’t restrict customers from enjoying their vehicle and driving as much, or as far, as they want is an ideal fit.”

Category Current Coverage New Unlimited Coverage
Service Adjustments 12 months/20,000 km 12 months/unlimited distance
New Vehicle Basic Warranty Coverage 36 months/80,000 km 36 months/unlimited distance
Roadside Assistance 36 months/unlimited distance 36 months/unlimited distance
Powertrain Warranty 60 months/ 100,000 km 60 months/unlimited distance
Anti-Perforation Warranty 84 months/160,000 km 84 months/unlimited distance
Original Equipment Battery 36 months/80,000 km 36 months/unlimited distance
Emissions Defect 96 months/128,000 km 96 months/128,000 km
Safety Restraint 60 months/100,000 km 60 months/unlimited distance

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 05

Road Test: 2014 Lincoln MKZ 3.7L AWD, Lincoln MKZBased on the same platform as the Fusion, the Lincoln MKZ is night-and-day different. With Lincoln’s Concierge Service thrown in – what’s not to love? The grill is interesting and according to Lincoln designers it’s supposed to evoke the look of ‘ a bird’s wings’ I suppose they’ve accomplished that. For what I used to consider an “older” guy’s car, I have to report – THIS Lincoln is not your father’s car, and I think if Ford could get more people to drive this one, they’d make some serious in-roads on the mid-size luxury car market. Ford recently announced they were plowing $5 billion into making Lincoln a true player in the near-luxury and luxury market.

What Is It? 

  • Premium, mid-size luxury sports sedan
  • Luxury without being ostentatious
  • If you want the comforts of luxury without drawing undue attention to how much you spent on your car – this is the one for you

Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 04

Mazda Unveils All-New Mazda MX-5

- Global launches starting in Japan this autumn –

2015 Mazda MX-5, Miata, Road-Test.orgHIROSHIMA, Japan, Sept. 3, 2014 /CNW/ – Mazda Motor Corporation today celebrated the unveiling of the fourth generation Mazda MX-5 (known as Roadster in Japan) together with fans at events held simultaneously in Japan, USA and Spain. The all-new MX-5, which adopts both SKYACTIV technology and Mazda’s KODO—Soul of Motion design language, will be rolled out to global markets starting in 2015.

The MX-5 is an iconic model representing Mazda’s vehicle-engineering philosophy—the pursuit of driving pleasure. “Innovate in order to preserve” was the motto for the fourth generation, as the development team searched for innovations that go beyond simple evolution. Environmental and safety demands are much more stringent than they were when the first generation MX-5 was introduced 25 years ago, but the fourth generation stays true to the model’s original aim of offering the pure driving fun that only a lightweight sports car can. It achieves this through the adoption of SKYACTIV technology and refinement of its appeal to the senses and sensations through which people enjoy cars.

The design of the all-new MX-5 reveals another layer to Mazda’s KODO design language. The exquisite proportions make the driver and passenger stand out, and both the interior and exterior evoke the exhilaration of open-top driving. It is the most compact of any generation MX-5 so far and is more than 100 kilograms lighter than the model it replaces, promising a dramatic leap in Jinba-ittai driving fun.

As of July 2014, total production volume of the Mazda MX-5 exceeded 940,000 units and it continues to hold the Guinness World Record for the best-selling two-seater sports car. This highly-celebrated model has received over 200 awards from around the globe including Japan Car of the Year 2005-2006.

Moving forward, Mazda will continue to develop products which offer all customers driving pleasure and outstanding environmental and safety performance.2015 Mazda MX-5, Miata,

Aug 22

10 Driver-Friendly Features The Ford F-150 Team Thought of – So Customers Wouldn’t Have To

 All-New Ford F-150 2.7-Litre EcoBoost V-6 Engine Delivers V-8 Capability and Performance

 There are 10 features of the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 pick up that were designed to satisfy customers without them ever even noticing.

“If I do my job, the customer simply intuits that things are right – both inside and outside of his truck – without even having to think about it,” said Cary Diehl, Ford human factors engineer, who worked on the design and development of the all-new F-150.

The 10 things F-150 engineers thought of

1. Hard buttons on keypad: Designers wanted smooth capacitive touch keypad buttons on the outside of the driver-side door, but pickup truck drivers prefer tactile feedback, allowing easier usability for when they’re wearing gloves. For customers who wear bifocals, hard buttons also enable input by feel, instead of having to tilt their head back to read numerals.

10 Driver Friendly Features on the 2015 F-150

2. Beltline armrest on front doors: The beltline on the front doors is wide enough to accommodate most arms with the window up. The feature could be considered an armrest, and is at the same height as the center armrest.

Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 15

New 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Is The World’s Quickest, Fastest and Most Powerful Sedan, 2015 Dodge Charger HellcatAugust 13, 2014 , Windsor, Ontario – Dodge is upping its high-performance game again with the unveiling of the new 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

  • With 707 horsepower, an NHRA-certified quarter mile (402 metres) elapsed time of 11.0 seconds on street tires and a top speed of 328 km/h, the world’s only four-door muscle car is the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan ever
  • Supercharged 6.2-litre HEMI® Hellcat engine produces 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque
  • Quarter mile (402 m) elapsed time in 11.0 seconds on street tires, 0-160-0 km/h in under 13 seconds and a top speed of 328 km/h
  • Dodge and SRT designers re-sculpt and refined nearly every body panel with functional performance cues, including heat extractors in the hood, unique front and rear fascias and dramatic LED lighting in both front and rear
  • 8-speed automatic transmission – delivering fuel-efficient street driving & maximum track performance with 160 millisecond shifts with rev-matching
  • 15.4-inch Brembo two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers, 20 x 9.5-inch wide forged aluminum wheels with Pirelli P Zero performance tires, adaptive damping three-mode suspension and three-mode, heavy-duty eight-speed automatic transmission
  • New SRT Performance Pages allow drivers to tailor the driving experience by controlling horsepower, transmission shift speeds, paddle shifters, traction and suspension
  • Two key fobs – one black that limits power and one red that unlocks all 707 horsepower
  • New interior design elements, including SRT three-spoke, flat-bottom steering wheel, 7-inch reconfigurable digital gauge cluster, 8.4-inch multimedia centre with touchscreen, Nappa leather and Alcantara suede seating

The new Charger SRT Hellcat will feature the supercharged 6.2-litre HEMI® Hellcat V8 engine that produces 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque – making it the quickest, fastest, most powerful production sedan in the world, as well as the most capable and technologically advanced four-door muscle car in North America.

“For the last eight years, a large part of the Dodge Charger’s successful formula has been its many personalities. It’s a muscle car, a performance sedan, a family capable sedan; its success is that it can be any or all of those things, depending on how the customer chooses to equip their car,” said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO — Dodge and SRT Brands. “And now, with a NHRA-certified quarter mile (402 m) time of 11.0 seconds and a 328 km/h top speed, the new 2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat redefines itself again, as the quickest, fastest, most powerful sedan in the world!”

The 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat will be built at the Brampton (Ont.) Assembly plant. Production is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2015.

Awe-inspiring powertrain; largest brakes ever offered in a Chrysler Group vehicle
The new 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is powered by the new supercharged 6.2-litre HEMI V8 engine. Its 707 horsepower matches the highest rating of any V8 engine in Chrysler Group’s celebrated history – that of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

The all-new supercharged V8 engine is mated to the beefy new TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission.

This new Hellcat engine is Dodge and SRT’s first application of V8 supercharger technology, featuring a forged-steel crankshaft with induction-hardened bearing surfaces. The result is a crank so well-engineered it can withstand firing pressures of 110 bar (1,595 psi) – the equivalent of five family sedans standing on each piston. And its unique, specially tuned crank damper has been tested to 13,000 rpm.

High-strength, forged-alloy pistons, developed using advanced telemetry measurement, are coupled to powder-forged connecting rods with high-load-capacity bushings and diamond-like-carbon-coated piston pins.

The supercharged 6.2-litre HEMI V8 has premium-grade, heat-treated aluminum-alloy cylinder heads, which are optimized for superior thermal conductivity. And its die-cast aluminum rocker covers are HEMI Orange.

Standard on the Charger SRT Hellcat is the largest front-brake package ever offered in a Chrysler Group vehicle, which were first introduced on the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat, featuring all-new 390-mm (15.4-inch) Brembo two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers for outstanding heat management and thermal capacity and longevity.

The unrivalled four-door performance numbers tell an impressive story with the quarter mile (402 m) in 11.0 seconds, 0-160-0 km/h (100 mph) in under 13 seconds, and a top speed of 328 km/h (204 mph). Read the rest of this entry »

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