Editor-in-Chief's Note: Ford CEO Mark Fields names top-ranked engineer Kumar Galhotra to be the President of Lincoln, effective September 1, which suggests two things: 1. With Galhotra's Asian-centric product experience, Ford is signaling that Lincoln's future growth is in the Asia-Pacific region, much like how Buick's raison d'etre lies within the GM system. And 2. Lincoln's future products will be heavily influenced by the needs of the Asia-Pacific market. That's all well and good, but it doesn't mask the fact that the overriding issue with Lincoln is as much a brand image problem as anything else. Marketing and image wrangling will still need to dominate executive decisions about Lincoln, if they expect to enjoy any degree of success. - PMD
Editor-in-Chief's Note: Still don't think it was about the money? Automotive News reports that GM moved faster to fix larger, more profitable cars when ignition switch problems surfaced. Is that really a surprise? The decisions made to fix/not fix the Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion ignition switches were based on the fact that these cars were going to be discontinued, plain and simple. Strip away all of the hand-wringing, pontificating and grandstanding by Congress, the endless media haranguing and the lawyer posturing, and you have decisions based on the cost/benefit ratio for products that were going away. At some point, operatives involved figured it wasn't worth it to fix them. And the GM system concurred. Period. - PMD
Daimler. Editor-in-Chief's Note: That means you, Dieter Zetsche. Continuing to try to shove the dreaded Smart car - no matter what the version - down U.S. consumers' throats has been a nonstarter for a long time now. Yet here they go again, redoing the car for another attempt at gaining acceptance in this market. This just in: It's notgonnahappen.com. And it reinforces the notion that a particularly odious brand of arrogant car marketing as long practiced by the German auto companies is alive and well. Ugh. - PMD
The Range Rover Sport SVR - in standard production trim with safety gear - has lapped the famous Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring in Germany in 8 minutes 14 seconds. The SVR has been developed on the demanding Nürburgring Nordschleife, the famous and aptly dubbed "Green Hell." The Range Rover Sport SVR is powered by a 5.0-liter supercharged 550HP V8 engine. Development of the Range Rover Sport SVR was carried out by the Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations team. While excelling on-road, no compromises were made to the vehicle's all terrain capabilities or comfort, according to Land Rover. The Range Rover Sport SVR still features a two-speed off-road capable transfer case and maintains a 33.5" water wading depth. The Range Rover Sport SVR will go on sale in 2015. See video highlights from the Nürburgring here.
(Images courtesy of Audi)
Audi has released pricing for its new Q3 SUV. The Audi Q3 features a standard 200 horsepower 2.0 liter TFSI® engine with a six-speed Tiptronic® transmission. Audi xenon plus and LED daytime running headlamps as well as LED taillights are standard. The optional Sport package includes sport seats, shift paddles and Audi drive select. The quattro® all-wheel drive system is of course available.
The Audi Q3 seats five passengers (allegedly), has 60/40 split folding rear seats (with 48.2 cu-ft of cargo volume when folded down), standard dual-zone automatic climate control, with available power tailgate and interior LED lighting. The available MMI® Navigation Plus with voice control utilizes a 7.0 inch display and adds a color display to the driver information system located in the instrument cluster. The MMI Navigation Plus features the Audi connect® infotainment system (standard in the Prestige model), which includes in-vehicle Wi-Fi connectivity for up to eight wireless devices for passengers. Audi connect also provides Google Earth™ maps for a true aerial view of roads and the surrounding area. A 14-speaker, 465 watt Bose Surround Sound System is also part of the Prestige model.
Audi Q3 MSRP* excluding transportation, taxes, title are as follows: Audi Q3 Premium Plus, FWD, $32,500. Audi Q3 Premium Plus, quattro, $34,600. Audi Q3 Prestige, FWD, $36,400. Audi Q3 Prestige, quattro, $38,500. *Transportation charge is $925.00
(Images courtesy of Porsche/newspressUSA)
The new generation of the Porsche Cayenne will be launched in the fall in four versions here in the United States: Cayenne Diesel (above), Cayenne S, Cayenne Turbo and the world premiere of the Cayenne S E-Hybrid, which is the first plug-in hybrid in the premium SUV segment. Exterior and interior tweaks abound, but the real story is the model lineup (the base V6 Cayenne and the V8-powered S are no longer) and power choices. For instance, the 3.0 liter, turbocharged V6 engine in the Cayenne Diesel produces 240HP at 3,800 to 4,400 rpm and 406 lb.-ft. of torque, from 1,750 to 2,500 rpm. The now entry-level Cayenne Diesel can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 7.2 seconds, and achieve a top speed of 135 mph.
The new 3.6 liter twin-turbo V6 engine of the Cayenne S - entirely developed at Porsche - develops 420HP at 6,000 rpm – a gain of 20HP, with 406 lb.-ft. of torque available from 1,350 to 4,500 rpm (a gain of 37 lb.-ft.). The previous power density of 83HP per liter engine displacement was increased to 117HP (a gain of around 40 percent). With its standard eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission, the Cayenne S accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds (5.1 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package) – 0.4 seconds faster than the previous Cayenne S. The vehicle's top speed is 160 mph.
The Cayenne S E-Hybrid is the first plug-in hybrid in the premium SUV segment. The new model has a lithium-ion traction battery with an energy capacity of 10.8 kWh, which enables pure electric driving. The power of the electric motor is more than doubled over the previous generation, from 47HP to 95HP, resulting in an all-electric top speed of 78 mph. Combined with the 3.0 liter supercharged V6 (333HP), a total system power of 416HP at 5,500 rpm and a total system torque of 435 lb.-ft. from 1,250 to 4,000 rpm is available. Zero to 62 mph is in 5.4 seconds with a top speed of 151 mph. The traction battery can be charged from the electric power grid or while driving. Porsche Car Connect is standard on this vehicle, which allows the driver to pull relevant vehicle data from a smart phone.
The 4.8 liter twin-turbo V8 in the Porsche Cayenne Turbo delivers 520HP at 6,000 rpm, with 553 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,250 to 4,000 rpm. The Cayenne Turbo accelerates from zero to 62 mph in 4.2 seconds (4.1 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package), with a top speed of 173 mph. The new Porsche Cayenne models will launch in the US market starting November 1, 2014, with the following MSRPs: Cayenne Diesel ($61,700), Cayenne S ($74,100), Cayenne S E-Hybrid ($76,400), Cayenne Turbo ($113,600). MSRPs are excluding destination charges of $995.