Official: Volvo prices revamped 2014 lineup

Filed under: Car Buying, Sedan, Crossover, Volvo

2014 Volvo XC60 R-Design

Volvo has made quite a few changes to its US lineup for the 2014 model year. The C30 hatchback and C70 convertible are gone; the S60, S80, XC60 and XC70 have all been reschnozzed; and in a few months, Volvo will bring its V60 wagon across the pond for Stateside consumption. Only the range-topping XC90 carries on unchanged, though a brand new version is expected to launch sometime next year.

The S60 starts as low as $32,400 for the entry level T5 model, and reaches as high as $45,700 for the T6 R-Design Platinum trim. The larger S80 sedan starts at $39,900, with its range-topping T6 Platinum version commanding $48,150. XC70 pricing ranges anywhere from $34,500 for the 3.2 FWD to $45,650 for the T6 Platinum, XC60 numbers span from $34,850 to $49,800, and XC90 prices start as low as $39,700 and as high as $45,400. None of these prices include $895 for destination, and pricing for the swoopy V60 wagon has not been released just yet.

While the majority of Volvo’s 2014 model year enhancements are visual, some neat updates have been made mechanically, as well. There’s a new Advanced Quick Shift mode for the six-speed automatic transmission that’s paired with the turbocharged six-cylinder engine, and Volvo says that the S60 R-Design will now scoot to 60 miles per hour two-tenths of a second quicker (5.3 versus 5.5). In the XC60 R-Design, AQS improves 0-60 acceleration by four-tenths of a second, down to 6.2 from 6.6 seconds.

Volvo will continue to offer three engines for its full range: a naturally aspirated 3.2-liter V6 with 240 horsepower, a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five with 250 horsepower, and a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six with 300 horsepower. R-Design versions of the S60 and XC60 get a slight bump in power, up to 325 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. The T5 engine can only be had on the S60; the S80, XC60 and XC70 use both the NA V6 and the T6; and the aging XC90 can only be had with the 3.2-liter mill.

Have a look at the full list of changes and pricing information in Volvo’s press blast, below.

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Volvo prices revamped 2014 lineup originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Caterham lineup set to expand under Team Lotus ownership

Caterham Seven Team Lotus trio

Caterham Seven Team Lotus Special Edition – Click above for high-res image gallery

It was only a few months ago that we reported on Caterham’s plans to expand its lineup. But a lot has happened since then, particularly for an automaker whose core product range is anchored in a design that goes back nearly six decades.

Since the launch of the SP/300.R, Caterham was acquired by Tony Fernandes – the same Malaysian entrepreneur behind Team Lotus F1. The new ownership is intent to keep the same management in place, but the cash injection is expected to lead to a further broadening of the company’s lineup.

Just what that will entail remains to be seen, but Autocar reports that whatever comes next down the pipeline will (arguably unlike some of Lotus’ own new products) remain faithful to Colin Chapman’s less-is-more philosophy.

The report also indicates a two-way door between Caterham and Team Lotus, the latter’s F1 cars set to feature the former’s branding while F1-derived technologies are set to trickle down to Caterham’s products. A Caterham Seven with regenerative braking and adaptive aerodynamics? Too soon to say, but the sky’s the proverbial limit.

Caterham lineup set to expand under Team Lotus ownership originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 May 2011 18:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Four-cylinder engines to proliferate throughout Cadillac lineup

Filed under: Coupe, Hybrid, Sedan, Cadillac, GM

2010 cadillac xts concept

2010 Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Traditionally, Cadillac buyers have been a V8-loving bunch. Over the past decade, the V6 came into vogue, but the four-cylinder has never really entered the discussion – until now. Car and Driver reports that Cadillac will offer turbocharged four-cylinder engines in the ATS and XTS. C/D opined that the engine of choice could be the 2.0-liter turbo that currently resides under the hood of the Buick Regal.

Based on current and (known) future applications of the 2.0-liter turbo, expect output to be somewhere between 220 and 260 horsepower, though we’d likely bet that even higher output could be in store. We wouldn’t be surprised if the full-sized XTS featured a turbocharged version of the 2.5-liter four that will soon find itself under the hood of the 2013 Malibu. That way, General Motors could still offer 300-plus horsepower from a powertrain that is likely more efficient than the automaker’s similarly powerful V6 offerings. Cadillac can also help nudge power northward and further improve fuel efficiency with hybrid and plug-in powertrains.

While smaller powertrains are inevitable in the world of high gas-prices and increased fuel economy standards, getting Cadillac fans to buy into a four-pot mill could still be a challenge. But if gas prices continue to charge northward, we’re guessing some consumers will actually accept the diminutive power sources with open arms. If that happens, we can expect Cadillac to offer the next generation SRX and CTS with a four-cylinder option, as well.

Gallery: Detroit 2010: Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept

Four-cylinder engines to proliferate throughout Cadillac lineup originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 May 2011 20:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ford targeting up to 700-pound weight loss across lineup

Filed under: SUV, Truck, Ford

2011 Ford Super Duty

With stricter 2012-2016 fuel economy standards quickly creeping up on automakers, research and development departments industry-wide are looking for innovative technologies to improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions. But while hybrids and electric vehicles provide the largest wow factor, most powertrains in the near term will be of the internal combustion variety, so Ford is looking to shed pounds as well.

TheDetroitBureau.com reports that Ford is looking to trim between 250 and 700 pounds from each of its vehicles by 2017 or 2018. That’s an impressive total given the fact that added safety measures and more technology have contributed to the bloated scale-breakers we have today, and an aluminum hood or high strength steel can only make up some of that distance. Engineering Chief Derrick Kuzak tells TDB that “weight reduction starts with new platforms.” That means aluminum and carbon fiber chassis components and lighter frames.

With the cost of aluminum far exceeding that of steel, using the lightweight material could be a costly endeavor. Kuzak believes the answer could be carbon fiber, but to use the strong, light material, Ford must “improve manufacturability and reduce costs.”

Cutting several hundred pounds from a vehicle will no-doubt cut fuel consumption and substantially improve performance, and the efficiency gains can be two-fold. Kuzak points out that lighter vehicles can be fitted with smaller, more efficient engines, giving the vehicles a second bump in fuel economy. Lighter vehicles could also lead to improved EVs as well, as less battery power would be needed to propel a vehicle, which leads to more miles per charge.

We’re all for lighter and more efficient vehicles, and we’re wondering whether it’s too early to put in an order for a 2,600-pound Mustang GT. Okay, so the largest weight loss is likely for the trucks and SUVs, but we can dream, right?

[Source: TheDetroitBureau.com]

Report: Ford targeting up to 700-pound weight loss across lineup originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Apr 2011 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Zero Motorcycles 2011 lineup reveals dramatic changes [w/video]

Filed under: Performance, Motorcycle, Electric, Off-Road

2011 Zero S pulls a stoppie on a pier

2011 Zero S pulls a stoppie on a pier – Click above to watch video after the jump

Zero Motorcycles has just unveiled its lineup for 2011, and while the model names remain the same, the changes in each are striking. The company seems to have done a good job of listening to customer feedback and have rethought and reengineered their entire range. The bikes that begin shipping in March will not only have upgraded brakes, wheels and other components, they will also all be capable of charging in half the time with an optional J1772 connecter that is now the public charging station standard. And that’s just for starters.

Both the 2011 trail-riding X and its more hardcore brother, the MX, are now available in fully-homolugated street versions with lights, mirrors and different gearing for higher speeds. The MX has been given a beefier Agni motor and is good for 57 miles per hour in full road-going dress. Both still retain the same quick acceleration as their dirt-bound brothers.

The dual-sport and street machines from Zero have their own surprises. Both the DS and S are now quieter and require less maintenance, having traded in their chains for a belt drive set up. As well, their batteries have gained 12.5 per cent more capacity and both have an EPA UDDS range of 43 miles with maximum distance listed as 58 miles. The S has also been lowered two inches to enhance its handling.

Don’t forget to hit the jump to watch each bike’s own (music-free, thank you) video along with three more high-res image galleries and the official press release. If that’s not enough to satisfy your curiosty, there is lots more info over at Zero’s website.

Gallery: 2011 Zero DS

[Source: Zero Motorcycles]

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Zero Motorcycles 2011 lineup reveals dramatic changes [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Feb 2011 19:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Caterham to expand lineup even further

Filed under: Performance, UK, MISC

Caterham SP/300R

Caterham SP/300R – Click above for high-res image gallery

When Caterham launched the new SP/300.R just last month, it was only the second time (following the short-lived 21 of 1994) the company had veered away from the Lotus 7 formula into new territory. But it won’t be the last. Not according to the latest reports.

Britain’s Autocar weekly cites Caterham chief Ansar Ali on plans to expand beyond the 7 and the SP/300.R with an additional range or even several new models. The inspiration apparently comes from companies like Porsche that have expanded beyond their traditional sportscar roots with great success.

There’s no word on what form the next offering from Caterham could take, but Ali promises it won’t be far off from the purist performance machines for which it is known. Nor will it be abandoning the 7, either: to the contrary, Ali insists that the Seven will always be at the heart of Caterham’s range.

Gallery: Caterham SP/300R

[Source: Autocar]

Report: Caterham to expand lineup even further originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 07 Feb 2011 15:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lancia’s Geneva lineup to include Chrysler 200-based Flavia

2011 Chrysler 200

2011 Chrysler 200 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Some might deride Lancia as the Plymouth of the Fiat group, but instead of being killed off like the defunct American marque, the pseudo-premium Italian division is being teamed up with Chrysler in an effort to increase the Pentastar’s global reach while rejuvenating the Lancia brand.

We’ve seen the pairing take effect already through the appointment of Lancia CEO Olivier Francois and the toe-in-the-water demonstration of a Chrysler-badged Lancia Delta at last year’s Detroit show, but it looks like things could finally materialize at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

There, according to the latest reports from Europe, the Fiat/Chrysler alliance will unveil a Lancia-fied version of the new Chrysler 200. The model is expected to revive the Flavia nameplate last seen in 1975 and receive only a few modifications, in the form of a new grille (natch), European-spec bumpers and the possible mechanical additions of a manual transmission and diesel engine.

Headline though the development is, it is expected to be only one of several new debuts – some Chrysler-based, some not – that Lancia has planned for the Swiss expo. A Chrysler 300-based Thema flagship sedan is reportedly in the cards, as could be a Lancia version of the Chrysler Town & Country minivan (as a potential replacement for the Phedra that was jointly produced between Fiat and PSA). Finally, Lancia is expected to unveil the new Ypsilon hatchback, which itself could make its way Stateside as a Chrysler. Now all we need is a Pentastar-badged version of the New Stratos and we’ll be all set.

Gallery: 2011 Chrysler 200: First Drive

2011 Chrysler 2002011 Chrysler 2002011 Chrysler 2002011 Chrysler 2002011 Chrysler 200

Photos copyright (C)2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Automotive News Europe – subs. req’d]

Lancia’s Geneva lineup to include Chrysler 200-based Flavia originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 15 Jan 2011 17:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bloomberg: VW eying expanded SUV lineup for U.S.

Filed under: SUV, Crossover, Volkswagen, Rumormill

2011 Volkswagen Touareg

2011 Volkswagen Touareg – Click above for high-res image gallery

All signs may be pointing to ever steeper gas prices by the end of the year, but according to Bloomberg, that may not be enough to stop Volkswagen from unleashing a new wave of SUVs (or more than likely, CUVs) on the American market. VW head honcho Jonathan Browning has been quoted as saying that the company wants to expand its portfolio of compact SUVs in short order, and that eventually, there may be room for growth in the larger SUV market as well. Of all the vehicles sold in the U.S. last year, SUVs and crossovers made up 29 percent of the mix.

As of right now, Volkswagen only offers two utility vehicles in the States – the compact Tiguan crossover, which, according to Bloomberg, sold 20,946 units last year and the larger Touareg SUV. Volkswagen only managed to move 4,713 Touareg models in the U.S. in 2010, but the new model (shown above) is expected to help the line’s fortunes. The company’s planned expansion of its SUV offerings is part of a larger offensive designed to net the company U.S. sales of one million vehicles by 2018. Doing so would mean tripling the company’s current sales, so the automaker is invested in exploring new ways to bring buyers to the showroom.

Gallery: First Drive: 2011 Volkswagen Touareg

Photos copyright (C)2010 Jonathon Ramsey / AOL

[Source: Bloomberg]

Bloomberg: VW eying expanded SUV lineup for U.S. originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 07 Jan 2011 10:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Toyota plans to add turbo, direct-injection to most of lineup

Filed under: Etc., Toyota

Toyota engine production

Toyota has big plans for its model lineup, as the automaker intends to introduce 11 new or redesigned vehicles by 2012. This will be accomplished by offering hybrid versions of existing models, as well as introducing all-new hybrid vehicles. However, Toyota’s focus isn’t going to be entirely on improving the electric half of the hybrid equation. The automaker is looking at ways to produce more efficient gasoline engines, and turbochargers and direct fuel injection are both in the cards.

There’s no word yet on which models will benefit from either technology first, but the initial round of products should also come equipped with start-stop technology in addition to the DI and turbo. It was hard to believe at the time, but maybe a turbocharged, hybrid MR2 really is right around the corner.

[Source: Autoweek]

Report: Toyota plans to add turbo, direct-injection to most of lineup originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Nov 2010 19:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Mulally says Ford may pare global lineup to just 20 models

Filed under: Ford

Ford Mondeo

When Alan Mulally took charge of Ford four years ago, the Blue Oval had nearly 100 models. There are fewer than half that now, and the CEO wants to trim the number down to “less than 30, on our way to 20 to 25.” His goal of simplification appears to be driven by the desire to cut costs for everyone – distributors, suppliers, dealerships, as well as Ford itself. That will not only help the brand in the present as it makes do in lean times, but can compound the rewards when markets – especially in Asia – go nuts again.

Mulally says the returns can be put into research and development, along with engineering for the remaining models. To put this in perspective, on Ford’s U.S. site alone, there are 18 vehicles, not including the soon-to-die Explorer Sport Trac, which of course leaves out cars like the Falcon, Territory, Kuga and S-Max, among others. So the natural question is: Which vehicles would or should get the axe?

[Source: Bloomberg]

Report: Mulally says Ford may pare global lineup to just 20 models originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 28 Sep 2010 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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