Tuesday, March 31, 2015

NASCAR Amends Restrictor Plate Qualifying Format

Photo Credit: 304945 Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Earlier this year at the Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR's Speedweeks opened on a controversial note. For the 2015 Daytona 500, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series adopted a multi-car group qualifying style that had debuted last season for most races. Designed to provide a more dramatic and faster-moving method departing from the single-car qualifying fashion used for decades, the new method for deciding the pole position as well as the positions for the Budweiser Duel 150 races definitely caused buzz. Unfortunately, much of the reaction after the qualifying concluded was not favourable.

A Daytona 500 pole qualifying consisting of two groups of cars, it was a bizarre spectacle to watch as some vehicles drove through the infield grass to immediately to placed with a drifting partner and competitors waiting for the last possible moment to set a fast lap. This latter point meant the first 3 minutes of each of the three segments featured an empty 2.5-mile track. While Jeff Gordon capturing the pole in what was his final Daytona 500 served as a pleasant surprise, the group qualifying format was widely criticized. Caught in a crash in a multi-car session, driver of the #15 Toyota Clint Bowyer was the most vocal opponent to way qualifying unfolded. Describing the scenario as "idiotic" and referring to the qualifying as "some cute show", Bowyer expressed frustrations over NASCAR creating a more desperate manner to time into the Daytona 500.

On Monday, NASCAR announced there will be some adjustments to the way group qualifying will be conducted at Daytona International Speedway as well as Talladega Superspeedway. The structure of the qualifying groups will remain with two first round session and the top-12 fastest advancing to a final round. The major change comes in the manner that it will be NASCAR and not the teams determining when a car is sent out on the race track. With an order predetermined through a random draw, competitors will be released at a predetermined time where they are allowed to set one timed lap. The modifications will prevent much of the jockeying on pit road that appeared at February's Daytona outing and eliminates the last-minute rush that led to chaos.

The tweaked group qualifying will debut at Talladega Superspeedway for the NASCAR Xfinity Series' Winn Dixie 300 and the Sprint Cup Series' GEICO 500 race weekend running from May 1st through to the 3rd.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Continental Treatment: Lincoln Revives Historic Name




















Through much of Lincoln's history, Ford Motor Company's luxury brand best vehicles came when they were deliberately competing against General Motors' premium car make Cadillac. The 1950s and 1960s had Lincoln attempting to boldly define itself from its main rival creating memorable designs. Diagonally-stacked headlights and suicide doors were some eye-grabbing features used by Lincoln to present their idea of luxury. With Cadillac preparing a super-luxury CT6 sedan for 2016, it appears the time has returned for Lincoln to directly attempt to best their old American luxury foe. At the New York International Auto Show, the Continental Concept will debut as a production-ready vision of a new luxury flagship sedan.

A strikingly modern, high-class four-door, the elegance on display with the Lincoln Continental Concept is crafted with great purpose. Years ago, the Continental name one of the cornerstones of luxury in North America. First appearing with Lincoln in 1940 spawned from a personal luxury convertible prepared for Edsel Ford, the modified Lincoln Zephyr was a high-end vehicle. A symbol of luxury and power, part of the Lincoln Continental's early legacy was pacing the first post-war Indianapolis 500 in 1946. From 1956 to 1958, the Continental name stood alone as a super-premium Ford vehicle. The hand-assembled 1956 Continental Mark II was squarely aimed at the Cadillac Eldorado and Chrysler 300. Priced at $9,695, Ford lost $1,000 per vehicle simply to outshine their competition. The Continental name was reintegrated into the Lincoln line-up in 1959 where it first became known as a four-door sedan. The Lincoln Continental's was last produced in 2002.





Back to 2015, the Continental Concept car glimmering in its Rhapsody Blue metallic is set to be the latest attempt of outdoing the high-luxury competition domestically as well as internationally. The long body is stunning without being overly ornamental. “Luxury at its best is about simplifying and quietly exceeding expectations, rather than being the loudest statement on the road,” said Ford Motor Company president and CEO Mark Fields.





The Continental Concept's shape is carefully engineered to project a sleek, smooth appearance. Even the door handles have been discretely located requiring just a touch of a button to open. LED matrix headlights with laser-assist high beams exhibited on the concept car flatters BMW and Audi through the art of imitation. That being said, the Lincoln Continental Concept wears the high-tech illumination technology nicely separated by a patterned chrome grille. Chrome also accents the rocker panels along with the lower part of the front and rear valance of the Lincoln concept car. Polished aluminum 21-inch wheels with a painted-pocket appeared is also hard to miss.

While Lincoln says their intentions of the Continental Concept is not to project the loudest voice of luxury, the interior appears to be a lively scream in the name of extravagance. Venetian leather and Alcantara are used for the seating alone. Shearling wool carpeting and a satin headliner excel in the presentation of fine luxury. Equipped with patented 30-way adjustable front seats, the rear seating layout of the Lincoln Continental Concept has a two-passenger rear seating area divided by a large center console. Providing passengers with access to climate and audio controls, a champagne storage compartment, tablet-supporting lap tray as well as detachable Venetian leather travel cases are in easy reach for the backseat occupants. An sound system prepared by Revel Ultima (a high-end audio brand of Harman) is used to fill the cabin area with rich acoustics.




SPD SmartGlass tinting sunroof can be control to block sunlight in order to cool the interior at the press of a button. A similar system has been available on Mercedes-Benz vehicles under the name Magic Sky Control. At night, the interior is illuminated by soft gold LED lighting.

Lincoln's Continental Concept is powered by a production-ready 3.0-liter V-6 engine based on Ford's EcoBoost technology. The engine will be exclusive to the luxury car division of Ford and will be married with Lincoln Drive Control featuring three selectable driving modes.

The concept car making its debut in New York in early April, the sedan is rolling out the red carpet for the Lincoln Continental's return to the marketplace next year.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Preview to 2015 IndyCar Season: The Competitors

Photo Credit: Chris Owens


Having already introduced you to the 16 races part of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar schedule, it's time to shed light on the drivers and teams contending for the various trophies. With the entry list for the season-opening race in St. Petersburg posting a healthy 24-car field, drivers connected to the superteams of Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport are still the favoured forces to be reckoned with. However, expansion and consolidations for 2015 has the potential of creating some surprising developments as the IndyCar season progresses. 

The following tidbits of information considers the 2015 Verizon IndyCar season as a whole discounting all the special deal put together for the Indianapolis 500.

Reigning Champion Power Accepts #1

Photo Credit: Chris Owens


For only fourth time in 15 years, the defending champion of the IRL/IndyCar Series has decided to accept a special perk. Will Power's 2015 campaign will see the Australian wearing the #1 in competition on his #1 Chevrolet-powered Team Penske entry.

From 2005 to 2012, the championship of the previous year was either unable or reluctant to accept the #1 or #01 they were entitled to run. Winning five championship during that time span, Chip Ganassi Racing chose to retain their normal car number for all-but one occasion. Chip Ganassi Racing's sixth championship won by driver Scott Dixon in 2013 also saw the honour go unused. In 2013, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Andretti Autosport gained attention by accepting the #1 after claiming the 2012 IndyCar title. Prior to Hunter-Reay, the last champion to compete with the number was Scott Dixon in 2004.

Team Penske Expands to Four Cars

Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher

For another year, Team Penske has been established as a powerhouse organization for 2015. The Roger Penske-owned race team is being led by the before-mentioned #1 car of reigning champion Will Power. Trusted front-runners Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya have also rejoined their 2014 teams after race-winning runs. The three-car team combined for five wins last season with drivers finishing within the top-4 of the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series championship. 

Team Penske expands from a trio to a quartet of entries for the 2015 season. The team successfully charmed two-time 2014 race winner Simon Pagenaud away from the Schimidt Peterson Motorsports ride. A 30-year-old French driver, Pagenaud will become the youngest driver present in the four-driver line-up for Team Penske.

Hinchtown Relocates to Schmidt Peterson Motorports

Photo Credit: Chris Jones


Four seasons in the IndyCar Series, Canada's James Hinchcliffe has established himself as a bright and charismatic star of the open wheel racing series. Earning as much attention as championship drivers, some would point out that Hinchcliffe's on-track performance could be disproportionate to his popularity. Definitely proving himself to be a capable race car driver with three series wins in 2013, his time spent with top outfit Andretti Autosport delivered short on expectations. The 2014 season was among the most forgettable outing for James Hinchcliffe as the team resulting in a 12th place in the year-end series points.

For 2015, James Hinchcliffe welcomes a change of scenery as he left the Andretti Autosport team for the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team that Simon Pagenaud won two races with in 2014. Hinchcliffe re-establishes a relationship with team co-owner Sam Schmidt that previous consisted of a 2009 season running in the Indy Lights championship. Owner of Calgary-based Oculus Transport Limited Ric Peterson is also part of the ownership group behind James Hinchcliffe's 2015 effort.   

Ed Carpenter Racing and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Merge

Photo Credit: Chris Owens


Through the past five years, the superteams of Andretti Autosport, Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing has taken the majority of victories on the IndyCar circuit. Other teams in the open wheel series face an uphill battle competing against the organizations boasting heavier funding and peak resources. A tough feat, it seems every season at least one or two of the smaller teams manage to shine through for at least one season. In 2011, the race team owned by former IndyCar competition Sarah Fisher and her husband Andrew O'Gara fielded Ed Carpenter in the tour's oval events and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course race. Struggling to score a top-10 finish in the first nine races, Carpenter and Sarah Fisher Racing performed a massive underdog feat by winning the race at Kentucky Speedway. After 2011, Ed Carpenter departed Fisher's team setting up his own organization. As a driver/owner, Carpenter has managed two wins in three seasons.

Deciding the best way to compete the likes of the superteams is to formulate a new partnership. Ed Carpenter, Sarah Fisher, Andrew O'Gara and Willis Hartman created CFH Racing as a two-car effort for the 2015 season. Ed Carpenter will drive his #20 car in oval races while Italian Luca Flippi will pilot the vehicle on road courses. Josef Newgarden returns to the #67 as the driver for the full Verizon IndyCar season. The cars of CFH Racing will be powered by Chevrolet engines.

The 2015 Rookie of the Year Hunt 

Photo Credit: Chris Jones


At the start of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar season, only two first-year drivers are committed to run the entire schedule. A 25-year-old native of Monaco coming with an extensive European open wheel racing resume, Stefano Coletti will be driving for the #4 KV Racing Technology car alongside veteran French teammate Sebastien Bourdais. Piloting the #98 car for Bryan Herta Autosport will be the 2014 Indy Lights champion Gabby Chaves. Chaves is a 21-year-old Columbian driver who won six individual race events Indy Lights over the course of two seasons.

There is two additional drivers who will be starting the opening round for the Verizon IndyCar Series without a guaranteed full-season ride for 2015. Italian Francesco Dracone is scheduled to run to first four races in the #19 car for Dale Coyne Racing. Dracone previously started two IndyCar races for Conquest Racing. Running a fourth car with Chip Ganassi Racing, American driver and 2013 Indy Lights champion Sage Karam is slated to run at St. Petersburg. The opening race for 2015 will be Karam's second time driving an IndyCar in competition. At last year's Indianapolis 500, Sage Karam started 31st but finished 8th in his debut.


Entry List for St. Petersburg IndyCar Opener


Car # Driver Team Engine/ Aero Kit
1 Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet
2 Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Chevrolet
3 Helio Castroneves Team Penske Chevrolet
4 Stefano Coletti KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
5 James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
7 James Jakes Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
8 Sage Karam Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
10 Tony Kanaan Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
11 Sebastien Bourdais KVSH Racing Chevrolet
14 Takuma Sato A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda
15 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
18 Carlos Huertas Dale Coyne Racing Honda
19 Francesco Dracone Dale Coyne Racing Honda
20 Luca Filippi CFH Racing Chevrolet
22 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet
25 Simona de Silvestro Andretti Autosport Honda
26 Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Honda
27 Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda
28 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda
41 Jack Hawksworth A.J. Foyt Enterprises Honda
67 Josef Newgarden CFH Racing Chevrolet
83 Charlie Kimball Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
98 Gabby Chaves BHA with Curb-Agajanian Honda

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Preview to 2015 IndyCar Season: The Races

Photo Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar


The start of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar season was delayed three weeks due to the cancellation of the opening round in Brazil. Having planned to run the feature race on March 8th at Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet, the round was withdrawn by promoters. Reportedly, government funding to the race was pulled resulting the IndyCar season having to wait until March 29th's race in St. Petersburg to open the 2015 series.

With 16 points-paying races including 'the month of May' festivities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series tour consists of ten road courses and six ovals.

Big Easy Debut

One new race venue added to the 2015 Verizon IndyCar tour is the series' first-ever stop in the state of Louisiana. To be held on a 13-turn, 2.74-mile course at NOLA Motorsports Park, the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana is taking place at facility opened just four years ago. Located in Avondale, the race track is only 20 minutes away from downtown New Orleans. NOLA Motorsports Park has previously hosted the AMA Pro Superbike Championship and the Cooper Tires Winterfest for USF2000 cars.

Big Moves

A change that will likely lead to some discourse with fans of IndyCar, the Fontana race is not going to be the final race in the season. The high-speed 500-mile event at the two-mile Auto Club Speedway has been moved to June 27th. The series will still end in California though with Sonoma Raceway hosting the 2015 IndyCar finale.

The Pocono Raceway event is the second-to-last race in the season on August 23rd after being held in early July in the two previous years. While Pocono Raceway's date has been moved deeper into the season, the race date for the Honda Indy Toronto has been pressed forward to June 14th. Having been held in July since its inception in 1986, the city street course event has been moved to accommodate the Pan-Am games that will be held in Toronto during July.

Double Dropping of Double Race Format 


One major change coming in 2015 is the massive regression of the double-race weekend. The experiment has been dropped for the Toronto IndyCar event. The Houston race in Reliant Park was also a double-race for 2014 but the venue has been dropped completely from the 2015 calendar after two years.

The only remaining event to function with a double race formula for 2015 will be the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit on the Belle Isle circuit.


2015 IndyCar Series Schedule

Date                Event                                               Location                    Track Length/Layout 

March 29
Streets of St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg, FL
1.8-mile street course
 
April 12
NOLA Motorsports Park
Avondale, LA
2.74-mile road course
 
April 19
Streets of Long Beach
Long Beach, CA
1.968-mile street course
April 26
Barber Motorsports Park
Birmingham, AL
2.38-mile road course
 
May 9
Grand Prix of Indianapolis
Indianapolis, IN
2.4346-mile road course
 
May 16-17
Indianapolis 500 Qualifying
Indianapolis, IN        
2.5-mile oval
 
May 22
Carb Day
Indianapolis, IN
2.5-mile oval
 
May 24
Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis, IN        
2.5-mile oval
 
May 30
Raceway at Belle Isle Park
Detroit, MI
2.35-mile street course
 
May 31
Raceway at Belle Isle Park
Detroit, MI
2.35-mile street course
 
June 6
Texas Motor Speedway
Fort Worth, TX
1.5-mile oval
 
June 14
Streets of Toronto
Toronto, Canada
1.75-mile street course
 
June 27
Auto Club Speedway
Fontana, CA
2-mile oval
 
July 12
The Milwaukee Mile
Milwaukee, WI
1-mile oval
 
July 18
Iowa Speedway
Newton, IA
.875-mile oval
 
Aug. 2
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Lexington, OH
2.258-mile road course
 
Aug. 23
Pocono Raceway
Long Pond, PA
2.5-mile oval
 
Aug. 30
Sonoma Raceway
Sonoma, CA
2.385-mile road course
 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kia Soul EV Claims Inaugural AJAC Canadian Green Car of the Year




While most of the AJAC (Automobile Journalists Association of Canada) awards were handed out at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto, one special honour awaited a vehicle connected to an all-new category for this week's Vancouver International Auto Show. An appropriate prize handed out inside the environmentally-conscious province of British Columbia, the first Canadian Green Car of the Year would be bestowed on one vehicle. From a group of four finalists chosen for fuel efficiency, low emissions and reduced overall minimized impact on the environment. Becoming the first recipient for the new award, the Kia Soul EV prevailed as the choice for 2015.

An all-electric equivalent to the gasoline-powered MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) version of the Kia Soul, the Soul EV substitutes the fuel-burning powertrain for a 81.4-kw AC synchronous permanent magnet motor and 27-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Capable of travel up to 105 miles (roughly 170 kilometers) on a single charge under combined city and highway driving, the 2015 Kia Soul EV can be charged using 120-volt, 240-volt or through an available CHAdeMo DC fast-charging system. Using the CHAdeMo DC fast-charging system, up to 80 percent of the battery's capacity is replenished from empty in just 33 minutes.

Priced well-equipped at $34,995 in Canada (prior to applicable provincial tax breaks connected to electric vehicles), the 2015 Kia Soul EV is offered in a base equipped with stylish 18-inch two-tone coloured wheels, dual-zone air conditioning and an eight-inch touchscreen with voice recognition. A Soul EV Luxury model is also available featuring synthetic leather seats, heated and cooled front seats as well as fog lights. Another element Kia touts about the electric-powered Soul is the retention of the 18.8 cubic feet of cargo volume.   

The Kia Soul EV was the only fully-electric vehicle contending for the 2015 Canadian Green Car of the Year. Other finalists that contended for the honour was the Honda Fit, Subaru Legacy and the Toyota Camry Hybrid. While certain vehicles qualifying as finalists for the Canadian Green Car of the Year were not necessarily the most fuel-efficient cars made available for the year, the criteria for judging the category attempted to take into account the purpose each vehicle is needed. Kevin Corrigan, the appointed chair for the award, went into length about the intent of the AJAC Green Car of the Year category. "While an electrically-propelled sub-compact, thought of as green, may well suit those living within the city limits, is it not also true to view a fuel-efficient 6 cyl luxury hybrid product likewise, when compared to a V8 gas-powered vehicle in its relative segment of the market? Yes, the Canadian consumer requires environmentally-friendly transportation which meets their needs, whether it be a small city runaround, or a fuel-efficient luxury product for their airport limousine business. So when it comes to vehicle transportation, any & every vehicle which offers both fuel-efficiency and addresses environmental concerns is worthy of our attention, and praise, where due". Expressing pride in receiving the Canadian award, Kia Canada's Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Maria Soklis stated, "Class leading range and ample utility without compromise is a key advantage that the Soul EV offers to Canadians."

The 2015 Canadian Green Car of the Year is present at this year's Vancouver International Auto Show that opened Tuesday and will be opened to the public until Sunday, March 29th.


Information and photo source: AJAC, Kia Motors

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Canada's Steve Arpin Joins New Chip Ganassi-Owned Red Bull Global Rallycross Team

Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR

Almost every time Chip Ganassi enters a new form of racing, the Chicago businessman and former driver has a given tendency of spending time in victory lane. Amassing victories and championships in the Verizon IndyCar Series as well as sports car racing, Chip Ganassi Racing has also won several NASCAR race in the Sprint Cup Series and the tour currently known as the Xfinity Series. March 18th, the habitually winning team has announced entrance into Red Bull Global Rallycross. Interested in the younger crowd attracted through the sport, team owner Chip Ganassi speak highly of Red Bull Global Rallycross' existence. “As a fan of motorsports I’m particularly interested in the GRC cars, their horsepower levels and the absence of traction control but make no mistake about it, we are in this series to win – both on and off the race track. Also, GRC has proven to be a very innovative and fresh take on today’s motorsport product." said Ganassi. Chip Ganassi is not going to be the first IndyCar team diversifying into Global Rallycross. Last season, Andretti Autosport launched their team campaigning Volkswagen vehicles that included a 560-horsepower Beetle.

For 2015, Chip Ganassi in partnership with energy service and construction company Loenbro will field race entries for seven-time Summer X Games medalist Brian Deegan as well as for Canadian native Steve Arpin. Operating from the same facility as Chip Ganassi Racing's NASCAR teams, the new rallycross organization will compete using Ford Fiesta ST race cars. Brian Deegan will run seven races with the #38 RockStar Energy Drink-sponsored vehicle. Having won a Global Rallycross event in 2011, Deegan's background also consist of demonstrated mastery on two wheels. One of his more recent successes has been winning Pro 2 category title in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (Deegan's sixth overall championship in that series).

The 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross championship will be Steve Arpin's third season in the high-flying series. Arpin is set to run a full 12-race 2015 season with a #00 Ford Fiesta ST wearing ENEOS sponsorship. Steve Arpin's racing career surged in his teens as a snowmobile rider earning the Eagle River World Championship title along with factory-backing from Polaris. Arpin moved from snowmobiles to race cars in the late 1990s starting on dirt tracks and eventually transitioned to paved ovals. The first time the Canadian from Fort Frances, Ontario attracted widespread attention was in 2009 when he won two races in the ARCA Racing Series driving for Venturini Motorsports. Steve Arpin's sights were for NASCAR five years ago when JR Motorsports (a team co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr.) fielded him in several Nationwide Series. Despite some credible runs in the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series that included a pole in the latter division at Chicagoland Speedway, Arpin's career path was altered as he signed on to run the Global Rallycross in 2013.

With great enthusiasm, Arpin described his 2015 season plans saying, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of such an established team like Chip Ganassi Racing entering GRC with the support of Loenbro and partnership with ENEOS. For me, being a race car driver my whole life, this is the opportunity of a lifetime and one that any driver would dream of."

The opening event for the 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross season is scheduled for May 31st in Florida. Along with 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross, both Chip Ganassi Racing drivers will also compete in the Summer X Games to be held on June 4th to 7th at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

BMW's Production-based Plug-in Hybrid X5



Last year in New York, BMW teased a concept of their X5 sport activity vehicle operating on a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Combining the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine using BMW TwinPower Turbo technology combined with an electric motor, the X5 eDrive Concept was one of many interesting ways to envision BMW's top crossover vehicle. Recently, a diesel-powered version of the BMW X5 was imported into North America allowing owners to explore greater distances between fuel stops. Less than a year since the X5 eDrive Concept debuted, the vehicle has been granted the production green light as the 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e.

Employing a similar powertrain layout displayed on the concept, the 2016 model year X5 xDrive40e operates primarily on an electric power before relying on a gasoline engine for longer range driving. From concept to production, the BMW plug-in hybrid vehicle has undergone some gains as well as some loses. The one gain made with the showroom-ready version of the electrified crossover in output. The electric motor's power generation is increased for 95 to 111 horsepower. Horsepower from the concept car's BMW TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder remains roughly unchanged in its transition to production. A crossover vehicle propelled by a combined rated output of 308 horsepower, a trade-off appears to have been made in the electric-only driving range. Compared to an estimated 18.6-mile electric driving range boasted by the X5 eDrive Concept, the equivalent plug-in hybrid driving mode on the X5 xDrive40e is rated at up to 13 miles. An eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission is integrated with the electric/gasoline powertrain. Operating with standard permanent all-wheel drive, traction from all four wheels of the 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e will be available under gasoline and electric power.

Only burning fuel after energy stored in the X5 xDrive40e's lithium-ion battery is depleted, fuel economy is rated quite favourably for those wishing to make a few less gas station stops in a month. Rated at 55 MPGe (a figure accounting for electric and gasoline power), the BMW plug-in hybrid crossover's stellar gas mileage retains much of the driving performance traits expected from the German vehicle brand. Able to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour (0 to 96.5 kilometers per hour) in 6.5 seconds, featured a restricted top speed of 130 miles per hour or 70 miles per hour using electric-only mode.



The 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e features a Driving Dynamic Control switch allowing the vehicle to be operated in COMFORT, SPORT and ECO PRO modes. With the ECO PRO setting, the X5 xDrive40e optimizes the use of electrical power for greatest possible efficiency. When the driver removes their foot from the accelerator when speeds are between 0 and 100 miles per hour in ECO PRO mode, the gasoline engine will shut off allowing the vehicle to coast to save fuel. The driver of the plug-in hybrid could also use the eDrive button to obtain the desired distribution of propulsion between the electric and gasoline power unit.

Besides minor touches as well as special eDrive badging identifying it gasoline and diesel-powered only versions of the BMW X5, the 2016 model year plug-in hybrid variant's most defining feature is its driver-side electrical port on the front fender. Allowing 220-volt charging through a BMW Charging Station, the X5 xDrive40e's battery pack can be replenished in 2 hours and 45 minutes. P

A black-panel instrument cluster inside the 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e includes details specifically related to the plug-in hybrid technology and is customized depending on the driving mode. There will be not third row seating option offered on the plug-in hybrid version of the sport activity vehicle due the lithium-ion battery pack. The five-passenger BMW crossover is include dual-zone climate control.

Providing addition control and information to the driver via smartphone connection, the enhanced BMW Remote app on the X5 xDrive40e relays driving efficiency information as well as can locate public charging stations among many functions. The X5 xDrive40e is outfitted with a model-specific climate control system featuring electrically powered auxiliary heating and ventilation that can operate directly on grid power when the vehicle is plugged-in.

The arrival of the 2016 BMW xDrive40e is slated for late fall of 2015 in North American showrooms.


Information and photo credit: BMW AG



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sixth-Generation Chevrolet Camaro To Be Unveiled May 16th in Detroit



We have grown accustomed to seeing some of the most anticipated new vehicle releases occurring indoors as part of one of the major auto shows. Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, Geneva and soon New York are just a few places where vehicles like the all-new Ford GT, production-ready Acura NSX or the 2016 Audi R8 has been adored in recent months. While Chevrolet has provided some excitement to indoor automotive events with the new Volt and the production-bound Bolt EV Concept, the auto brand decided to wait for warmer weather to unwrap their most frenzy-inducing vehicle.

On Saturday May 16th, Chevrolet will introduce the sixth generation of their Camaro sports car to the world. With few technical details released as of this time, many are eager to find out what the 2016 model year Chevrolet Camaro has in store. Set to take place Detroit, Michigan's Belle Isle Park, the new Chevrolet Camaro will coincide with a range of festivities within the same complex that will host the Verizon IndyCar/Tudor United SportsCar Championship race weekend later in the month. The day-long celebration of General Motors' pony car will also include a Camaro Museum display and rides inside a 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. Additionally, the designers and engineers of the Chevrolet Camaro will be on hand for meet and greet opportunities.

Chevrolet expects approximately 1,000 attendees for the unveiling of the sixth-generation Camaro warning that registration is required and space is limited. Fan who are planning to bring their Chevrolet Camaro will be granted preference. A special Camaro-only parking lot will also be set up for spectators.

One thing known about the upcoming sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro is where it will be built. In late 2012, General Motors committed to shift production of new-generation Chevrolet Camaro from Oshawa, Ontario, Canada to Lansing, Michigan.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Some Dodge Dealerships Allegedly Engaged in Devilish Conduct Selling SRT Hellcat

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Last year, the Mopar world was awakened by Dodge's new super high performance SRT Hellcat line of vehicles elevating the cause of muscle cars to near ridiculous level. A supercharged HEMI V-8 powerplant pumping out 707 horsepower and over 200-mile per hour speed potential were the numbers expected from a race car, not the most powerful production vehicle built under the Dodge brand. First appearing in the form of the two-door Challenger, the SRT Hellcat treatment was performed to the Dodge Charger sedan later last year. Now that the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat has reached dealerships, the vehicle has moved quickly into the hands of buyers. Late February, FCA US (Dodge's parent company) learned of some of their dealers have been engaging in poor conduct in selling SRT Hellcat models that would not be available for months or perhaps not at all.

It was reported a number of dealerships took large orders for the 2015 model year muscle car without telling buyers their cars may not be available for a considerable amount of time. It was also a concern for FCA US that some orders will be unfulfilled leaving some customers without the 2015 Challenger Hellcat SRT and 2015 Charger SRT Hellcat. In fact, FCA US has allocated just one SRT Hellcat per month for authorized dealers (could be either a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat or the Charger SRT Hellcat) and only when they meet they meet specific conditions. Canadian dealerships are likely operating with a similar supply arrangement as the United States. FCA US is advising customers interested in the SRT Hellcat vehicles to ask dealerships questions in several matters including if their dealing with an authorized sales entity as well as on the car's deposit and if it can be returned.

Following the production announcement of the SRT Hellcat models, Dodge pleasantly surprised the marketplace with a relatively modest price tag. In addition to potentially misleading buyers with delivery dates, some dealers reportedly have also been pricing the Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcat models well above the MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price). A frown upon practice, selling a car above MSRP is acceptable and customers need to treat it as a "buyer beware" scenario. Manufacturers regularly cautions dealers against marking up vehicles but it proves too enticing to ask more money for a high-demand product. Relating to FCA US, one case occurred almost two decades ago with the 1930s hot rod-styled Plymouth Prowler. In the 1990s, some dealerships sold vehicles at $10,000 US above the manufacturer's asking price and at least one later model left at sales lot almost double the mid $40,000 MSRP.

In Canada, the MSRP for the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat was $63,995 without including freight and taxes while the Charger SRT Hellcat's suggested price was $64,495. Needless to say, the Hellcat versions of the Dodge Charger and Challenger are hot commodities. From research I conducted online, the prices for the cars vary. For Canadian dealerships offering the Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcat models, several are close to being on-par with the MSRP (taking into consideration the all-in-pricing offered in Ontario. However, I also noticed others charging thousands above the Canadian MSRP.

Where some of the most striking markup is taking back is online through second-hand sources. Through a search in the Edmonton area, Kijiji revealed two 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcats being sold in the six-figure range with one advertised at over $115,000. Obviously, the rarity of the SRT models has resulted in a select group automotive investments to see what is referred to in the business world as a "Quick Flip". Lucky enough to buy a vehicle near the MSRP price, a seller offers the popular high-performance vehicle in essentially mint condition to someone unwilling to wait and able to pay extra now for the vehicle they want. It is worth noting that one individual paid $825,000 US for the first retail 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat at the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction in Las Vegas last September.

As is the case with all vehicles, buyers of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat are advised to do their homework.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Hot Wheels Available in Crazy Taxi Rush App



Back in the 1990s, video game company Sega created a stir in the driving game genre with the introduction of Crazy Taxi.

Debuting in 1999 within the decades that were slowly being shuttered due to the growth of home video gaming, Crazy Taxi had players rushing around the virtual city of San Francisco collecting fares. The main object of each mission has been to deliver passengers to their destination in an allotted time. Making the original Crazy Taxi video game experience memorable was the California surfer-themed visuals, extreme game physics and the accompaniment of music from bands like 'The Offspring' as you rolled through the city.





Being a big fan of the Crazy Taxi franchise from the start, I was overjoyed when I found the Crazy Taxi Rush Android app within the Google Play marketplace. Even though the control setup of the app is different than the arcade game and the route maps can get repetitive, the Crazy Taxi Rush app has been a favourite of mine. I particularly admired the variety of different taxi designs and the customization available for each vehicle. Late last month, the Crazy Taxi world became the latest test track for a popular automotive-themed toy.

Following a February 25th upgrade, participants of the Sega's app game Crazy Taxi Rush were greeted with the colours and insignia of Mattel's Hot Wheels brand. For a limited time, a components such as wheels, decals and a spare tire cover inspired by the popular die-cast toy supplier can be added to a taxi. A crowning piece to the Hot Wheels content on Crazy Taxi Rush is an all-new taxi. The Bone Shaker taxi comes as a highly customized hot rod featuring a skill face grille. Those Hot Wheels-themed items can be purchased through in-game credits (coins and diamonds) or can be won though gameplay.

Running until early morning on Monday, March 9th in Canada's Eastern time zone, Hot Wheels challenges players to collect special red-colored tokens on your taxi's course. By accumulating the special tokens, the player can obtain enough total to win items. If you collect a total of 500 tokens, the Hot Wheels' Bone Shaker becomes yours.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Goodyear Rolls Out Some Radical Tire Concepts




The auto industry is on the brink of a complete reimagination for the automobile will be seen in the upcoming decades. Electrified powertrains, lightweight materials and driver aids entering the realm of autonomous motoring is already being explored as viable technologies that could impact motoring as soon as the next decade.

Making contact with roads of the past, present and likely into the future (barring massive advances in hover vehicle technology), tires remain a key part to automobiles. While tire construction, treads and wheel sizes have evolved, for the most part the has not been credited for not being 21st century technology. At the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, industry giant Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is presenting two potentially revolutionary tire concepts, the Triple Tube and the BH03, capable of changing the way the rubber meets the road.


Triple Tube


One of the biggest hindrances in developing the ideal tire for the road is the inability to adjust to varying conditions. Despite how important tires are to the safe travel of a vehicle, there is often a compromise to for performance, grip and durability. The most transparent example of that is with summer and winter tires. One of Goodyear's tire concepts involves adaptive air pressure positioning that can adjust the contact patch to different kinds of driving.

The Goodyear Triple Tube tire features three internal tubes fed by a pump. The internally-mounted pump alters the tire pressure in each tube to the ideal road conditions placed on three settings. An Eco/Safety position places maximum inflation on all three tubes of the Triple Tube tire presenting reduced rolling resistance for greater vehicle efficiency. A Sport position for the Goodyear Triple Tube tire inflates the inboard tube for improved handling. The third tire position is for Wet Traction designed to decrease the chance of aquaplaning. To do this, the center tube of the Triple Tube is inflated to maximum pressure.

The Goodyear Triple Tube tire technology applies a similar strategy that has led to variable valve timing and high gear count transmissions. The ability to provide the maximum amount of adjustability into a vehicle greatly increases the overall efficiency.

 

BH03

Goodyear has made a tremendous impact on the movement of gasoline-powered cars for more than 115 years. With the BH03 concept tire, the famous company could charge up the electric car market.

Not just a tire, the Goodyear BH03 is an electrical generator. Through tire flexing as the vehicle rolls, the BH03's materials captures heat and transforms it into energy. With this technology, the BH03 additional power generation is prolong the electric driving range of a battery-powered vehicle. Able to generate power under normal driving conditions, this Goodyear concept tire adheres to the "More Driven" slogan.


 Shown as concepts in Geneva, Goodyear senior vice president and chief technical officer Joe Zekoski says the BH03 and the Triple Tube tire technology has the potential of exploring the future use of tires on automobiles. "We envision a future in which our products become more integrated with the vehicle and the consumer, more environmentally friendly and more versatile." said Zekoski.
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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

For a Giant Sandbox: Mighty Ford F-750 Tonka




A pickup truck is a multi-purpose tool designed to perform a tough job. The Ford F-Series Super Duty truck line-up is considered one of the go-to solutions for hauling the mightiest loads building a reputation for power and durability.

For people operating the Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks, perhaps the expectation for dependability was instilled at an early age. Since 1947, Tonka has been producing toys that are built to last out using metal construction. Tonka created their Mighty line of trucks and replica construction equipment in the 1960s solidifying a lasting impression in generations of childhood (Including my own). The Mighty Tonka Dump Truck is among the most iconic toy almost any young boy would covet for an extended period of youth. A simple, tough design meant the toy dump truck could handle even the most energetic kid. I can personally say I would probably still have my Mighty Tonka Dump Truck today if I wasn't encouraged to leave it outside in the sandbox during Canadian winters. Even then, the metal construction survived to the point I was a teenager.



Bringing adulthood and childhood together in one big yellow display, Ford Motor Company imagined the Mighty Tonka brand for the NTEA Work Truck Show. Based on a 2016 Ford F-750 Super Duty truck, the famous toy's colouring was applied to create one tough work vehicle. Called the Mighty Ford F-750 Tonka, a fully functional dump box furnished by Truck Tech Engineers has a hauling capacity of 17,000 pounds.

Built through a collaboration between Ford and Funrise Toy Corporation (under license from Hasbro to produce the popular line of toys), the Mighty Ford F-750 Tonka uses playground inspiration to showcase the latest commercial truck. The 33,000-pound Tonka show truck is part of a display of Ford's new 2016 F-650 and F-750 model line. General manager of Ford Commercial Vehicle Sales and Marketing John Ruppert recalled the legacy set by both companies. “People of all ages have been counting on Ford F-Series and TONKA trucks to get the job done – from construction site to sandbox – for more than 60 years.” said Ruppert. Funrise's vice president of marketing Kathy Hawk added, “Creating this F-750 TONKA truck is a special way to celebrate that many of today’s Ford truck customers first drove a TONKA truck.”



Behind a custom blacked-out grille worn by the Mighty Ford F-750 Tonka, Ford's latest Power Stroke turbocharged diesel powerplant is propulsion for the worksite. Paired with a six-speed TorqShift®HD automatic transmission, the Power Stroke V-8 diesel offered on 2016 Ford F-650 and F-750 will be available in three power ranges ranging from 675 to 725 pound-feet of torque. On the Tonka show truck, the Ford F-750's optional power takeoff is put to work in operating the dump body. Besides the Mighty Ford F-750 Tonka, power takeoff on the truck can also be used for various other purposes in commercial duties. Other versions of the 2016 F-650 and F-750 will be offered with a gasoline-powered 6.8-liter V-10. Natural gas and liquefied propane gas conversion is a factory-prepped possibility with the 6.8-liter V-10.




Presenting the options available to truck buyers, the Mighty Ford F-750 Tonka is planned to be displayed at more trade shows throughout 2015.  


Monday, March 2, 2015

Lighter, More Powerful 2016 Audi R8 Arrives for Geneva



It is almost the 15th year anniversary for when Audi's first name in performance made a lasting impact on the world. March 2000, the Audi R8 prototype race car stormed to a momentous victory at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Following the maiden victory, the Audi R8 race car would become a dynasty defined by a dominate string of wins including multiple victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Seven years after the break-through Sebring win, a street-going version of the R8 inspired by the legend and technology of the race car was first sold to the public. The Audi R8 supercar quickly gained a reputation placing it on-par with the best exotic high-performance cars in the world. Standard quattro all-wheel drive paired with reliable power from the original 4.2-liter V-8 and later a 5.2-liter V-10 engine was more than enough to become a halo car for the German luxury brand. After eight years on the market, the R8 road car will receive its first complete remodel.

Set for its first public introduction at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the second-generation 2016 Audi R8 returns with immediate ambition to win over the supercar crowd. The new R8's exterior design does not deviate greatly from original two-seat, mid-engine vehicle. Corporate design DNA displayed on other recently released Audi designs (particularly the TT sports car) is evident. A hexagonal Singleframe grille is one bold detail while side air intakes feature vertical slots. Restyled headlights come standard with all-LED lighting while European models will be available with Audi laser headlights.

One notable design detail at the side is the splitting of the so-called side blades. No longer a single piece, the contrasting coloured body panels remain in over the new Audi R8's side pods and between the side window glass and rear roof pillars. At the rear, a more pronounced diffuser and an edgier treatment to the taillights featuring dynamic turn signals. A trapezoidal shape defines the new dual exhaust system integrated into the bodywork in a similar manner as the first-generation R8.





Structurally, the 2016 Audi R8 is constructed on a new multimaterial Audi Space Frame consisting of aluminum and carbon fiber components. Weighing just 200 kilograms, the Audi Space Frame aids the supercar's achievement for gains in weight reduction and rigidity. The employment of exotic materials continue across the R8's new body shell that is 15 percent lighter than the first-generation model of the Audi performance car but boasts a torsional rigidity 40 percent greater. Thanks to the new vehicle construction, the 2016 Audi R8 supercar can be up to 50 kilograms lighter than the previous model.

Observing the European specifications for the new-generation Audi R8, ten-cylinder engine will play a larger role in performance. With a 5.2-liter FSI V-10 powerplant, the base 2016 R8 will produce 540 horsepower. An Audi R8 V-10 Plus model is also available in Europe with a 610 horsepower power level. A seven-speed S tronic transmission is combined with a all-new quattro all-wheel drive system insuring improved control and handling. Acceleration from 0 to 62 miles per hour driving the 2016 R8 V-10 Plus model is slated at 3.2 seconds while top speed potential is 205 miles per hour. Achieving amazing performance potential, the 2016 Audi R8 can also more intelligently manage fuel. Cylinder-on-demand technology capable of automatically shutting down half the cylinders under certain driving conditions is being employed for the first time on the R8 supercar. In addition to a start-stop system, fuel economy of the new Audi R8 is measured to be 10 percent greater than the previous model.

Retaining the intimate charm of its two-seat layout, the 2016 Audi R8's interior is refined to emphasize the vehicle's performance-minded construction. Controls have been repositioned on the new generation supercar providing the driver with a heightened sense of purpose. A new multi-function steering wheel includes a range of controls adding a performance mode button with rotary wheel for dry, wet and snow programs. Another button also allows the driver to control the sport exhaust system.




First shown on the new Audi TT, the 2016 R8's instrument panel is dominated by a 12.3-inch customizable display. The Audi virtual cockpit is a multi-function panel behind the steering wheel providing an easy-to-read presentation of relevant driving information. A performance mode connected to the Audi virtual cockpit prioritizes programs for driving dynamics such as acceleration and lateral forces. The information centre is operated through controls on a steering wheel.

For sport seats come standard on the 2016 R8 supercar while a lightweight set of bucket seating is also available. Alcantara/pearl Nappa leather and fine Nappa leather can be chosen to refine the cabin area. Audi is also presenting buyers with additional customization touches such as leather packages, diamond stitching pattern and clear-coated carbon fiber trim.

Along with the conventional V-10-engined Audi R8, the next-generation supercar is also slated to be offered with the prompt arrival of two special models. Along with the race-prepped Audi R8 LMS, the reengineered vehicle will also deliver the long-promised R8 e-tron. Optimized with a 0.28 drag coefficient, the Audi R8 e-tron will utilize an electric powerplant. No specifics has yet been offered on the complexion of the powertrain but power is rated at around 450 horsepower. Overall range for the Audi R8 e-tron is set at around 280 miles.  Using what is called the Combined Charging System, the electric vehicle can be both AC and DC charged. 

In the United Kingdom, orders are already being taken on the new 2016 Audi R8 models even before its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Price for the base R8 V10 is 165,000 euros while the 610-horsepower Audi R8 V-10 plus' cost is 187,000 euros.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Always Room for Performance: Kia Sportspace Concept



European audiences have long accepted high-performance wagons from BMW and Audi. In fact, Audi has applied their RS moniker to their wagon Avant models for sale in Germany and other European Union countries over the years. With a few exceptions, North American enthusiasts have often sat at a distance only wondering how it will feel to drive a super powerful grocery-getter. At the Geneva Motor Show set to take place this month, Kia explores the sport wagon culture with their Sportspace Concept car.

Preaching the desirable fusion of style and function, the Kia Sportspace Concept is an elegant shooting brake design with a long profile angling smartly at the rear. The styling of the rear portion of the concept car has been shaped to project a presence of a strong and athletic. At the front, Kia's tiger-nose grille features a Plexiglass insert that can be rotated operating as an active shutter for improved airflow. Ice cube style LED headlights are sculpted into the Sportspace Concept's front end. 20-inch ten-spoke alloy wheels and twin tailpipes within a diffuser are added touches to the Kia's wagon concept.



Despite the practical-sized interior, the Kia Sportspace Concept is configured for only four-passenger seating. A large, panoramic transparent roof provides the black-coloured interior with abundant natural light. Leather seating featuring hand woven ‘cuoio intrecciato’ coupled with carbon fiber and milled, anodized aluminum are used to furnish the Sportspace Concept's interior providing a sense of luxury as well as attitude. Instead of the conventional rearview mirror, a slim screen relays camera footage from the vehicle's rear.

Along with providing plenty of occupant room with the four-seat layout, the Sportspace Concept immediately lends itself to a trip to a ski chalet. Skis can fit comfortably inside the Kia Sportspace Concept sitting on top of the armrests that doubles as ski rests. In the rear cargo section, 28 rolling balls are placed within the floor to assist in easy loading and unloading of heavy loads. These balls in the trunk area drop by 3 millimeters when the Sportspace Concept's engine starts.




Operating on a front-wheel drive system, the Kia Sportspace Concept utilizes a small but potent engine. Part of Kia's planning for smaller, more efficient gasoline powerplants, the T-GDI (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine is similar to what is currently available on the North American Sportage crossover. Producing about 246 horsepower in this concept car, the 2.0-liter T-GDI engine boasts excellent acceleration and great fuel mileage.

Kia's Chief Designer for Europe Gregory Guillaume had the Geneva Motor Show's host population squarely in mind with the Sportspace Concept. “Kia does not have a wagon in this important segment of the European market, but I was determined that we would not simply create something that conformed to tradition. This car comes from an ambition I had when I was studying design in Switzerland as a young man." said Guillaume. Kia does not currently sell a sport wagon in the European marketplace but the Sportspace Concept provides an imaginative take of what could be (and maybe something that could be found in North America).


Information and photo source: Kia Motors

Car FYI Car of the Month for February 2015: Ford GT & 2016 Chevrolet Equinox

Ford GT Front

As a new regular feature on Car FYI, this website will dedicate a vehicle to represent each passing month. I wanted to prepare the feature for last month but planning for the 2015 Canadian International AutoShow and other news slowed that progress. So, to inaugurate the Car FYI Car of the Month honours, I will name two vehicles in order to catch up.

For January and February, the two vehicles chosen could not differ more greatly.

Car of the Month January 2015: The Ford GT


Ford GT at 2015 CIAS

After the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the blue oval brand thrilled the high-performance community with a new iteration of their GT. The new Ford GT supercar understandably dazzled audiences with a shape that truly had to be behold to love for its every curve. Lavish use of lightweight carbon fiber and Pirelli Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires defined the two-seat supercar in its world premiere. This is second time Ford Motor Company is resurrecting the 1960s GT40 legacy (a vehicle built for an ultimately successful goal of conquering the 24 Hours of Le Mans).

Instead of V-8 power Ford high-performance products had traditionally celebrated until recently, the newest Ford GT is going to explore new heights with the company's EcoBoost engine technology. A twin-turbocharged V-6 engine is projected to produce over 600 horsepower.

Production of the latest version of the Ford GT is slated for 2016. At the 2015 Canadian International AutoShow, a production announcement named Markham, Ontario based company Multimatic as the assembler of the new GT.

Please feel free to check out the following 3-D presentation of the new Ford GT produced for the Car FYI YouTube channel (Note: the video could be seen in regular 2-D by adjusting the setting on the lower bar). 





Car of the Month February 2015: 2016 Chevrolet Equinox


New Chevolet Equinox at 2015 CIAS

Not as exciting as the January's Car of the Month, February resulted in the recognition of a more everyday vehicle. The 2016 update introduced for the Equinox at the Chicago Auto Show and the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto this month accounted for very important chuck of Chevrolet's brand presence on North American roads. Some would say that the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox's revision is a little too safe. An altered front end reveals a new grille pattern and headlamps that features improved lighting performance.

My reason for providing the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox the Car FYI Car of the Month for February relates to a related announcement from General Motors. Proceeding with a major investment totaling $560 dollar in the CAMI Assembly Plant located in Ingersoll, Ontario, the 2016 Equinox's production has maintained in the qualified hands of Canadian workers.

The video below was taken of the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox at the 2015 Canadian International AutoShow shortly after its global debut: