Official: Honda launches new Fit in Japan, has big expectations for North America

Filed under: Budget, Hybrid, Japan, Plants/Manufacturing, Hatchback, Honda

2015 Honda Fit RS

2015 Honda Fit HybridHonda has officially launched the Fit sub-compact in its home market, ahead of its eventual arrival in North America. The third-generation Fit is wildly important for Honda, with the company’s president, Takanobu Ito, saying, “This is the most important model.”

The third-generation Fit is a ground-up reworking of the car that we’ve come to know. It will pioneer Honda’s new design language, Exciting H Design (seriously) and will also be the very first Fit to be manufactured in North America. Thanks to a Mexican factory that is scheduled to open in the spring of 2014, Honda will be able to produce 200,000 Fits for the North American market in North America, saving the brand a huge amount of cash.

As for that Exciting H Design, it’s meant to be sleeker and more modern, according to Automotive News. It’s not bad looking, but the overall design is far less important than what’s under that hood. The vehicle you see above is a Fit RS, which has quite a resemblance to the rumored Fit Mugen. There’s not a lot of detail on this model, but based on looks alone, we certainly hope it’ll be coming to the North American market – it’d make a great Fit Sport. A hybrid variant will also come to the US market, and that car is returning impressive numbers on the Japanese cycle: 86 miles per gallon so far, thanks to the combination of an 1.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. That’s a 35-percent improvement over the current, JDM Fit Hybrid.

Indeed, if the Fit Hybrid can return anything near those numbers on the US EPA cycle, it should do well. Ito’s demands for improved economy are part of what has him believing that Honda will eventually move 1.5 million Fits by 2016. The Honda boss is also expecting the B-segment car to become the brand’s best seller, overall, surpassing the Civic, CR-V and Accord. Those are some big expectations.

Honda launches new Fit in Japan, has big expectations for North America originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 13:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Official: Honda launches new Fit in Japan, has big expectations for North America”

Official: Honda launches new Fit in Japan, has big expectations for North America

Filed under: Budget, Hybrid, Japan, Plants/Manufacturing, Hatchback, Honda

2015 Honda Fit RS

2015 Honda Fit HybridHonda has officially launched the Fit sub-compact in its home market, ahead of its eventual arrival in North America. The third-generation Fit is wildly important for Honda, with the company’s president, Takanobu Ito, saying, “This is the most important model.”

The third-generation Fit is a ground-up reworking of the car that we’ve come to know. It will pioneer Honda’s new design language, Exciting H Design (seriously) and will also be the very first Fit to be manufactured in North America. Thanks to a Mexican factory that is scheduled to open in the spring of 2014, Honda will be able to produce 200,000 Fits for the North American market in North America, saving the brand a huge amount of cash.

As for that Exciting H Design, it’s meant to be sleeker and more modern, according to Automotive News. It’s not bad looking, but the overall design is far less important than what’s under that hood. The vehicle you see above is a Fit RS, which has quite a resemblance to the rumored Fit Mugen. There’s not a lot of detail on this model, but based on looks alone, we certainly hope it’ll be coming to the North American market – it’d make a great Fit Sport. A hybrid variant will also come to the US market, and that car is returning impressive numbers on the Japanese cycle: 86 miles per gallon so far, thanks to the combination of an 1.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. That’s a 35-percent improvement over the current, JDM Fit Hybrid.

Indeed, if the Fit Hybrid can return anything near those numbers on the US EPA cycle, it should do well. Ito’s demands for improved economy are part of what has him believing that Honda will eventually move 1.5 million Fits by 2016. The Honda boss is also expecting the B-segment car to become the brand’s best seller, overall, surpassing the Civic, CR-V and Accord. Those are some big expectations.

Honda launches new Fit in Japan, has big expectations for North America originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 13:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Official: Honda launches new Fit in Japan, has big expectations for North America”

Report: Contrary to expectations, next-gen Cadillac CTS will offer coupe model

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Cadillac, Luxury

2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe

2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe – Click above for high-res image gallery

Cadillac has apparently changed its plans for the next-generation CTS yet again, confirming the development of a coupe to fill out the rest of the line when it arrives in 2013. This comes after reports that Caddy’s mid-level fighter would only be offered in sedan form.

Fighting it out for the hears and wallets of coupe and convertible buyers was originally going to be left to Cadillac’s upcoming BMW 3 Series competitor, currently codenamed the ATS. The rationale was that a more traditional coupe roofline and folding convertible top would integrate into the ATS’s rump more smoothly than the angular CTS.

For the next generation CTS, Motor Trend says Cadillac is changing the car’s underpinnings from the current Sigma platform to the Alpha rear-drive platform, which will also see duty under the next Chevrolet Camaro.

Rumor has is that Cadillac is working on an even more radical design for the next-generation CTS Coupe, which will likely share its doors with the Camaro. And as we’ve heard so many times before, there may be a low-volume flagship model from Cadillac, nosing its way past the six-figure price point.

Gallery: Review: 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe

2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe

Photos copyright (C)2011 Zach Bowman / AOL

[Source: Motor Trend]

Report: Contrary to expectations, next-gen Cadillac CTS will offer coupe model originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 09 Apr 2011 13:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Contrary to expectations, next-gen Cadillac CTS will offer coupe model”

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid sales exceeding Ford’s expectations

Filed under: Car Buying, Hybrid, Sedan, Lincoln, Luxury

2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

Given that the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is little more than a gussied-up Ford Fusion Hybrid, it’s not surprising that the gas-electric MKZ achieves the same 41 miles per gallon city and 36 mpg highway rating. Admittedly, we were a bit shocked when Lincoln announced that the MKZ Hybrid starts at $35,180 (including destination and delivery) – the same price as a gas-only front-wheel-drive 3.5-liter V6 model. Perhaps that’s why buyers are snatching up the MKZ Hybrid at a rate that even Ford didn’t expect.

Initially, Ford targeted the hybrid version to account for approximately 15 percent of total MKZ sales. However, the numbers show that the MKZ Hybrid’s take rate has averaged between 22 and 23 percent since January of 2011. Ford says that March’s numbers look similar. Through the end of February, Lincoln sold a total of 3,343 MKZ sedans, 762 of which were hybrids. With no premium price tag and gas prices soaring, perhaps nobody should be surprised by the MKZ Hybrid’s take rate. Perhaps the better question would be, is the hybrid model profitable?

Gallery: 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid: First Drive

Photos copyright (C)2010 Zach Bowman / AOL

[Source: Ford]

Continue reading Lincoln MKZ Hybrid sales exceeding Ford’s expectations

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid sales exceeding Ford’s expectations originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Mar 2011 14:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Lincoln MKZ Hybrid sales exceeding Ford’s expectations”

Detroit 2011: Chrysler 200 Super S gets lowered… expectations?

Filed under: Detroit Auto Show, Sedan, Chrysler

Chrysler 200 Super S

Chrysler 200 Super S – Click above to view the high-res image gallery

Nestled into a well-hidden crevice on the outskirts of the Chrysler booth at the Detroit Auto Show is a Mopar-accessorized 200 Super S. That’s right: a pimped 200. It would appear that Mopar noticed the 200 looks a bit… tall, so Team Pentastar’s aftermarket arm dropped the 200’s suspension a full three inches and outfitted it with a reworked lower chin and rear decklid spoilers. The 200 is further tweaked with a sublime quartet of glossy black 19-inch wheels, a pair of awkward hood vents, a mesh grille and foglamp bezels with light bar applique.

So… your neighbors still haven’t noticed that you dropped thousands of dollars on aftermarket parts for your Chrysler 200? Mopar’s design department has also re-sprayed the Super S with two-tone tungsten on matte black paint. Unfortunately the thin pinstriping on the showcar appears less than production ready. Click below for our high-res gallery of the 200 Super S.

Gallery: Chrysler 200 Super S: Detroit 2011

Chrysler 200 Super SChrysler 200 Super SChrysler 200 Super SChrysler 200 Super SChrysler 200 Super S

Photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

Detroit 2011: Chrysler 200 Super S gets lowered… expectations? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 11 Jan 2011 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Detroit 2011: Chrysler 200 Super S gets lowered… expectations?”

Report: Ford Explorer orders nearly double expectations

Filed under: Car Buying, Crossover, Ford

2011 Ford Explorer

2011 Ford Explorer – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2011 Ford Explorer is a drastic departure from its predecessors, ditching body-on-frame construction in favor of a unibody structure, and sharing its platform with the Taurus sedan (as well as the Flex, Lincoln MKS and MKT). This shift to a traditional crossover construction has not turned away buyers, however, and Ford reports that Explorer pre-orders have nearly doubled original projections.

According to The Detroit News, Ford has received roughly 15,000 orders for the 2011 Explorer. This includes about 3,000 retail and 7,500 dealer orders, as well as an additional 4,500 orders from companies.

Jason Mase, Ford’s manager of utility vehicles, told The Detroit News that about 55 percent of buyers are opting for the trailer tow package, and 64 percent want all-wheel drive. Mase says that consumers don’t really care if the vehicle is a crossover or an SUV, the major concern is that the vehicle fits their specific needs. So far, so good, and Ford expects this trend to continue after the Explorer officially hits dealerships in early 2011.

Gallery: 2011 Ford Explorer Southern California Live Debut

Photos copyright (C)2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: The Detroit News]

Report: Ford Explorer orders nearly double expectations originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 28 Nov 2010 09:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Ford Explorer orders nearly double expectations”