2012 was a very busy year for the Cadillac brand. Not only did they introduce two new models, the ATS and the XTS, they also introduced their breakthrough touch screen infotainment system, CUE. The Cadillac User Experience, CUE, is currently available on the XTS, ATS and the SRX.
The CUE system has an intuitive learning process which is designed to mimic the look and feel of personal electronics that are already on the market. With the purchase of select Cadillac ATS and XTS models, consumers will also receive an iPad3 that comes preloaded with the CUE system app. This helps users to become more familiar with the system before utilizing it on the road.
While driving, the CUE system displays a very simple screen with a select number of icons. When your hand gets closer to the CUE screen, the home menu will automatically pop up. This proximity sensing setting is an auto-industry first. Every time your finger touches the CUE screen you’ll feel a soft pulsing to confirm that you have selected one of the icons, this is designed to help the driver focus more on the road, and less on the screen.
This week Morrie’s had the opportunity to attend the 2013 North American International Auto in Detroit. The show was marked by a number of vehicle debuts from domestic and overseas automakers. While C7 Corvette was the show’s media darling, Ford literarily dropped a big one on attendees with the unexpected display of their F150 Atlas Concept Vehicle. Other notable concept vehicles included the Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis Concept, Nissan Resonance SUV concept, Lincoln MKC Concept, BMW 4 Series Coupe Concept, Toyota Corolla Furia concept, Acura NSX concept plus a few others. These concept vehicles all provide clues, some more accurate than others, as to how future production models might look. The production vehicle debuts were equally impressive, illustrating what will actually see on the roads in the near future. These included the 2014 Maserati Quattroporte, Audi RS7, Shelby Focus ST, Kia Cadenza, Nissan Versa Note, Cadillac ELR, Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible and C7 Corvette.
Please read along as we elaborate more fully on some of the more noteworthy vehicles that fall within Morrie’s portfolio of brands. Also be sure to check our YouTube and Facebook pages soon to see videos we put together for each vehicle highlighted below.
California is widely known for its influence on car culture. With over 37 million residents, California ranks higher than many countries in terms of annual automotive purchases. Whereas the LA Auto Show was once just another mid-sized auto show, over the last few years it joined the ranks amongst the big three shows. And many argue that the LA Auto Show is the most important show for all but domestic manufacturers.
This past week we made the trip out to the show for press days and we are excited to give you a glimpse at the highlights. While we were sure to checkout all vehicles on display, our main goal was to see what our brands had to offer.
We will be piecing together our video footage shortly for each of our brands, but in the meantime we’ve put together the synopsis below to tide you over.
Undoubtedly, the most noticeable vehicle at Bentley was the new GT3 concept. The Bentley GT3 Coupe and 2014 GT Speed made their North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto show. The GT3 racecar, first revealed at the Paris Auto Show, marks Bentley’s return to competitive GT sport car racing. While the car is still considered a concept, it is currently undergoing testing with the goal of participated in motorsports events towards the end of 2013.
One thing we do know is that the GT3 coupe is loosely based on the new 2014 Bentley GT Speed, which also debuted at the show. The 205 mpg GT Speed is Bentley’s fastest car ever. The reworked bi-turbo 6.0l W12 that propels it generates 616hp and reaches 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds. Bentley reports that the GT Speed can sprint from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds and I have no reason to doubt them. The GT Speed rolls on unique 21 inch wheels, which accompanied with the 10mm decrease in ride height, really make the GTSpeed pop. Stiffened springs and anti-roll bars reportedly sharpen handling and massive 16.5 inch carbon brakes with 8-piston calipers provide substantial stopping power.
Bentley also displayed the latest Mulliner driving specification on the Mulsanne, but the two GT models certainly garnered the most attention.
This year Ford’s emphasis was on the Fiesta. For 2014 the Fiesta gets a mild refresh, but the biggest news was what is to come under the hood. At the show, amidst much pomp and circumstance including a live outdoor Ken Block Gymkhana show, Ford confirmed that their 1.0 liter Ecoboost engine will join the Fiesta lineup. Ford expects the Ecoboost Fiesta to be the most fuel efficient non-hybrid vehicle on the market in the US. Despite exceeding the current 1.6 liter engines horsepower and torque figures, the 1.0liter turbocharged 3-cylinder is expected to deliver fuel economy in the neighborhood of 45 miles per gallon. This makes the Fiesta a legitimate competitor to more expensive, fuel sipping hybrids.
Ford also announced the addition of an ST model to the Fiesta range. The Fiesta ST massages the 1.6 liter Ecoboost engine to generate 197 horsepower and 214 lb./ft. of torque. Despite the cars elevated levels of performance, it is still projected to return up to 34 miles per gallon. This of course assumes that you’re not constantly flooring the loud pedal.
Overshadowed by all of the Fiesta fan-fare, Ford also debuted the new Transit Connect 7-seat van.
According to J.D. Powers and Associates, Kia’s mobile website ranked highest among its fellow automakers. This recent accolade follows a Triple Crown win in automotive marketing as Kia.com also received the award for “Best Mobile Website” from Dig Day’s Mobi Awards and “Top Mobile Website in North America” from the Mobile Marketing Association. The Triple Crown win for Kia’s Mobile website comes as Kia recorded its best ever annual sales and became one of the fastest growing car companies in the US. More >
After many months of anticipation we were excited for the first 2013 Ford Fusion to arrive at Morrie’s Minnetonka Ford yesterday. Completely redesigned from front to back, the sleek new Fusion is complemented by an array of new features and fuel efficient engines delivering up to 47 miles per gallon!. We are anticipating the arrival of more cars for inventory this month.
Watch the video below to learn more about the all new Fusion.
Nissan isn’t sure where or when their new electric Leaf Nismo RC will be racing, but we’ve got some very cool video to share.
It’s got a full carbon-fibre monocoque chassis and body panels – measuring a foot lower, 20mm longer, 170mm wider, and 40% lighter than the street car. The Nismo racer also features custom suspension and a fully driver-adjustable rear wing. The drivetrain is almost entirely the same as the street going Leaf - including the 80kw electric motor and 24kWh (that’s kilo-Watt-hour) lithium-ion battery pack. The only major difference is that the electric motor was moved to the middle of the car, and now powers the rear wheels instead of the front. More >
Engadget got the chance to sit down with Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally for an in-depth conversation about a range of topics from their new Focus Electric to the integration of cell phones and electronic devices into cars.
Video and more after the break. More >
As a true-blue petrolhead, you might assume it would be hard for me to get excited about an electric car. Surprisingly though – that couldn’t be farther from the truth. More >
While most automakers are focusing their fuel-efficiency efforts on hybrid technology, Mazda is looking inward at its everyday gasoline-powered engines. Mazda announced last week that the 2012 Mazda3 will make its debut at the 2011 Canadian International AutoShow sporting their SKYACTIV Technology. This will be the first production vehicle to offer the new technology.
The SKYACTIV-G engine that will be available under the hood of the 2012 Mazda3 boasts the world’s highest compression ratio of any stock gasoline powered engine at a whopping 14.0:1 with More >