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Cadillac Escala Concept Car Unveiled

cadillac escala (5)

Cadillac revealed a new concept car at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California on Thursday. The luxury car division of General Motors unveiled the Escala.

According to the company’s official media site, the Cadillac Escala concept car is a rear-wheel drive four-door sedan. The auto appears to be an evolution of the brand’s Ciel convertible concept launched in 2011 and its Elmiraj coupe concept that debuted in 2013.

Based on the statement of Johan de Nysschen, the president of Global Cadillac, the Escala embodies the next design language of the luxury car brand. It also possesses the technology that future Cadillac models will carry. Moreover, the vehicle signifies the brand’s comeback to the top of the premium car market.

The company explained that Escala is a Spanish word for “scale.” They chose to name the luxury sedan concept as that because it is considered to be the larger, more elite and expressive companion to the 2016 Cadillac CT6.

The Cadillac Escala measures 210.5 inches in length. It is approximately six inches longer than the CT6 model. On the other hand, its width is at 76.7 inches while its height and wheelbase are 57.3 inches and 127.1 inches, respectively.

The Escala is fitted with a 4.2-liter twin turbo V8 engine that Cadillac has been developing. So far, there’s no word yet regarding the output of the power unit but the company revealed that it has an Active Fuel Management technology. The feature allows better fuel-saving for the four-cylinder operation of the car. Again, the unit is expected to be carried over to the upcoming models of the luxury automaker.

Among the other noteworthy features of the Escala include Cadillac’s signature vertical headlamps. The lighting is equipped with organic light emitting diode (OLED) for better illumination. The grille design takes a three-dimensional precision pattern as well. To top it all off, the automaker fits the car with 22-inch wheels with two-layer spoke designs.

Other technological treats that the Escala has in store for customers is its better connectivity functions, including voice and gesture controls.

The surfaces inside the Escala are covered in hand-tailored fabric. The materials and styling are made possible by the partners of the brand in the fashion industry.

2017 Honda Accord Lineup Includes Sport Special Edition

2017 Honda Accord Sport Special Edition

Honda has a special treat for all Accord lovers. The new Accord lineup will introduce the 2017 Honda Accord Sport Special Edition sedan, which sits somewhere between the Sport and EX levels of the 2017 Honda Accord’s multi-trim model line.

The Sport Special Edition is built on the existing content found in Accord Sport based on reports. It has the same 189-horsepower four-cylinder engine, but added features such as heated leather seats with red stitching inside and a Special Edition badge on the outside.

The base model will have a six-speed manual transmission, and will cost $26,250. The continuously variable automatic (CVT) costs an additional $800.

The new Accord Sport Special Edition costs exactly $1,000 more than the 2017 Accord Sport. That cost stands for heated leather seats and the badge to remind that you’re very “special” to Honda.

Compared to the standard Accord Sport, the rest of the range increased its price by $150. The least expensive Accord, which has a six-speed manual and produces 185 horsepower, now begins at $23,190.

The package includes a rearview camera, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Other available options are a CVT for $800 and Honda Sensing (but only with the CVT) for $1,000. Honda Sensing will come with safety features such as forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, among others.

These two options are also available on the sportier LX-S coupe that has a starting price of $24,860 and Sport sedan. They can also be included with the package for EX coupe ($26,985) and the EX sedan ($26,565).

The leather-lined four-cylinder EX-L coupe is priced at $29,830 while the sedan starts ar $29,655. Both will remain for CVT only.

Adding Honda Sensing adds $2,000 because it’s paired with a navigation system.

If you want more power, the Accord EX-L also offers Honda’s 278-horsepower V-6 engine.

All sedans are paired with a standard six-speed automatic transmission ($31,730) while the coupe can be paired with either a six-speed manual ($32,005) or the automatic.

Finally, the Touring models ($35,210 coupe; $35,655 sedan) will have both the navigation and Honda Sensing as standard equipment.

They will also come packed with LED headlights, automatic high-beams, and rain-sensing wipers.

The Next BMW 3-Series Will Be Made In Mexico

2018 bmw 3-series spy shot

Four years ago, there was a rumor that BMW plans to make its 3-Series sedans in Mexico. Not much has been heard in the next years, until BMW finally confirmed it today.

On Thursday, BMW started constructing a factory in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi, which will be the home of the BMW 3-Series sedans in the next years. Based on a report, it will begin rolling off cars by 2019, reports added.

The 3-Series sedans to be manufactured in the plant will be next-generation models, which were spotted testing its prototypes. These are also due to be revealed sometime next year. The cars built in the San Luis Potosi plant will be exported to the United States.

But why Mexico?

Mexico is an ideal location for car manufacturers because of its low wages and free trade agreements with the United States and Canada. Some Asian and South American countries also enjoy FTA with Mexico.

Moving its production and manufacturing plant in Mexico will help BMW answer to the demand, speed up delivery, and hedge against currency fluctuations. In the long run, BMW will be saving up in production costs, as well as in export fees and taxes. Whether this would reflect on the cars’ prices remains to be seen.

In fact, such is the attraction of Mexico that some of BMW’s competitors are also planning to use Mexico as a manufacturing hub. Audi will build its next-generation Q5 in Mexico later this year and Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz both confirmed plans to build some compact cars there as well.

Initially, BMW plans to have its Mexico plant produce some 150,000 units. It will be employing about 1,500 staff for the factory. The new Mexico plant will join BMW’s growing presence in the Americas, including the plants in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which specializes in SUVs. There are also two smaller facilities in Brazil.

2016 Honda Accord V-6 Sedan Has Better Handling, Suspension

2016 honda accord v-6 sedan

The new 2016 Honda Accord V-6 Sedan is not offering anything luxurious in terms of styling, interior materials or even drivetrain options. But it does offer a superior and pretty spectacular chassis that does all the work, and more.

Honda used a top-of-the-line chassis that enables the car to handle more than it should. Although not made for rough road, that chassis will allow the Accord to handle it better than it was able to in the past.

The suspension is incredible, and you’ll feel nary a juggle when the car passed by a broken pavement or turned a sharp corner. The steering wheel may not be as quick as a sports car, but who wants that for a family car?

The steering wheel is competitive enough, and has the ability to make the driver feel what’s happening on the front-wheel-drive system. The chassis is on a completely different level—Honda has won on this matter.

The brakes, according to reviews, feel strong and can handle terrains very well. The 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces makes 278 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque is just enough to make it easy for the driver to maneuver through daily traffic.

When your car has a light load, there is pthe option for the cylinder deactivation, which then allows for better fuel efficiency. The current ratings stand at 21 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.

If you want better fuel efficiency, you may want to choose the four-cylinder option. It has a rating of 30 mpg, tests revealed.

Transmission-wise, you’ll get a six-speed gearbox that has a Sport mode for better engine handling in certain situations.

Inside, nothing much has changed, and the lack of upgrades on the infotainment system may even cause some clients to turn their backs on the 2016 Accord V6.

Mercedes-Benz To Introduce Four Electric Vehicles By 2020

mercedes-benz glc fuel cell

Mercedes-Benz is looking at releasing four electric vehicles by the end of the year 2020. Sources said the company will be producing two sedans and two SUVs to comprise the first tranche of electronically powered vehicles Merc is looking at developing.

Each electric vehicle model will share the basic elements of models already part of Merc’s current lineup, but the company also promised that the models will have distinct designs to set them apart from their conventionally powered counterparts.

This move came on the heels of the German government’s announcement of sales subsidies for all EVs priced at less than €60,000, or $67,150 based on current exchange rate.

This German government policy is part of the bigger scheme to attract would-be buyers to consider EVs instead of gasoline- or diesel-powered engines.

Of course, such a decision from Merc can also be seen as the company’s attempt to keep up with the fast-rising EV market, something other automakers have taken advantage of in the past months. Tesla Model 3’s 370,000 orders certainly made an impact.

Merc has reportedly taken a €500 million expansion of their existing battery production facilities in Germany to prepare for their EV plans.

Although not a surprise, Merc’s move is still a welcome development. There are no details released regarding this new direction the company is taking, but R&D chief Thomas Weber hinted that the current C-Class and S-Class models, as well as the GLA and GLC SUVs, will be the templates for the four EVs planned.

In particular, the GLA-based SUV model will tap the reworked version of the MFA platform that Merc is already using on its B-Class Electric Drive, which is technically Mercedes’ first EV. The other three models, on the other hand, will probably use the evolved version of the MRA, which was developed particularly for electronic vehicles.

Holden Introduces Commodore Black Edition 2016 Model

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GM’s announcement that it will shut down all Australia production in 2017 had as thinking that the Commodore will be discontinued, meaning the facelift for the 2016 model will be the last one. And since it won’t be in production next year, Holden is now on the race to churn out as many special editions as possible, including the Black Edition.

The new Commodore Black Edition will be available in sedan, sportwagon and ute bodystyles from mid-April. It will be based on the popular SV6 and sporty SS models, so it can effortlessly blend with substance to ensure the best Commodore experience ever.

Based on the SV6 and SS models, the Black Edition would have the following content: Auto Park Assist, Rear View Camera with Reverse Traffic Alert, and MyLink infotainment system with an eight inch colour touch screen display.

But the Black Edition goes further with a stylish black exterior and unique 18-inch alloy wheels. This gives the Black Edition a stronger presence on the road. Inside, its red contrast stitched seats give off that premium interior feel.

Other additional contents are Color Head Up display, satellite navigation, black grille, DRL surrounds and mirror scalps, black lip spoiler for the sedan version, unique “Black Edition” carpet floor mats for the front, and exterior Black Edition badging.

In terms of drivetrain, there is no major change. Depending on the trim, you can get either a 3.6-liter V-6 or a 6.2-liter V-8. The 3.6-liter with the Commodore V6 can produce 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet. It has six-speed manual transmission as standard and a six-speed automatic with Active Select as an option.

Then, there’s also the more powerful 6.2-liter V-8 is offered with the SS trim. This can churn out 408 horsepower and 420 pound-feet with transmission choices of six-speed manual and six-speed automatic.

The Black Edition comes with an additional $1,000 price tag over the current retail price of the Commodore.

Spy Shots Of 2017 Opel Insignia Are Out

2017 opel insignia (1)

Spy shots of the 2017 Opel Insignia were recently seen out and about by Motor Authority as Opel engineers tested them out on the road. The new Insignia is slated to compete with the mid-size sedan segment, but by the looks of it, they are considerably growing and may rival some of the other larger models.

The 2017 Opel Insignia slightly look like the Audi A7, thanks to the design team’s decision to use a sloping, coupe-like profile.

The Insignia will be sold in Europe, the United States and even in China, where it will be badged as a Buick Regal. This is crucial for General Motors, which is looking to highly infiltrate these markets.

Although the Insignia may be bigger in size, it is expected to be lighter and more dynamic than the current model. This is all possible because of the E2XX platform.

The E2XX platform had its debut at the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, and boasts of its high strength steel in its construction. This allows any vehicle using the platform to have that heavy duty feel without the additional weight.

When it was launched, the platform had a weight saving of close to 300 pounds. The same is expected from the Insignia.

Other expectations from the Insignia’s specs include a front-wheel drive as standard (although an all-wheel drive should not be written off just yet) and either a 3-, 4-, or 6-cylinder configurations in diesel and gasoline options. It is also possible Opel may come out with a hybrid engine.

Aesthetically, the Opel Insignia will be influenced by the 2013 Monza concept and the more recent GT concept. As for technology, we expect to find Matrix LED headlights, semi-autonomous systems and IntelliLink infotainment with smartphone connectivity.

The 2017 Insignia is expected to be launched later this year or early next year. It may, however, have an early appearance at the 2016 Paris Auto Show in September, so stay tuned for that.

2016 Chevrolet Cruze Has EPA Rate Of 42 MPG Highway

2016 Chevrolet Cruze LT

In the early 2010s, a fuel-efficient sedan can go 40 miles on a gallon of regular gasoline. Now, the new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze is officially EPA-rated at up to 42 mpg on the highway.

According to a report, the new Chevrolet Cruze already has a city rating of 30 mpg, so the redesigned Cruze can compete well enough with the leading vehicles in this segment—the Honda Civic 1.5T (with EPA rating of 31/42 mpg city/highway) and the Toyota Corolla LE Eco (with EPA rating of 30/42 mpg city/highway).

The improvement in the car comes from the new 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that is standard on all versions of the Cruze. It also has aerodynamic improvements, as well as a lighter curb weight.

But the Cruze’s fuel economy story goes further. Other versions of the redesigned compact weren’t nearly as impressive in EPA ratings. The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission that is standard on the Cruze L, LS and LT trim levels were only rated 29/41 mpg city/highway.

You have to pay a premium price, of course, for the highest fuel-efficient version of the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze. On the other hand, the automatic-only Cruze Premier has a rating of 30/40 mpg.

2016 Chevrolet Cruze LT

These numbers of the auto are all significantly higher than the outgoing Cruze, which will be sold as the Cruze Limited along the new model for the remainder of the 2016 model-year. The old Cruze’s automatic versions can only manage 26/38 mpg city/highway while the Eco model got a rating of 26/39 mpg for an automatic and 28/42 mpg for a six-speed manual.

Others are actually hoping for a better engine, but for now we have to content ourselves with the 1.4T engine. But for those who have fuel efficiency in their minds, they can wait around until Christmas for the 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine four cylinder that would be fitted in the Cruze for 2017.

2017 Toyota Corolla 50th Anniversary Special Edition Unveiled

toyota corolla

Since its introduction in 1966, the Toyota Corolla sold over 40 million units worldwide, making it the best-selling car in the world since 1997 when it surpassed the Beetle. In the US market, its popularity is only matched by the Ford F-Series.

When it was redesigned in 2013 as an eleventh generation, it sold again 300,000 units a year, pushing the brand to release a series of special editions and even a TRD-made concept. Now, for its 50th anniversary, Toyota came up with another special edition.

This US-exclusive sedan was dubbed the 50th Anniversary Special Edition, and would be based on the Corolla SE. It will feature a lot of customization, with both the exterior and interior tweaked for a sportier look. There will only be 8,000 units manufactured, making this even rarer than it already seems to be.

According to Toyota, the new special edition model will include the following features: 17” alloy wheels with dark gray inserts and machine finish, 7-inch high-resolution touchscreen, Entune Audio Plus with connected navigation, color 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display, smart key system with push button start and complex-LED headlamps.

Inside, it would also have black mixed media seats with Black Cherry contrast stitching, black interior with Black Cherry contrast stitching on steering wheel, shift boot and center armrest, Black Cherry accented dash panel and door trim, 50th Anniversary Edition floor mats, 50th Anniversary Edition exterior badge, and available Moonroof.

The 50th Anniversary Edition will come in three colors—exclusive color Black Cherry, Classic Silver, Blizzard Pearl. It will begin being sold this fall.

Under the hood, this special edition will have the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine offered in the Corolla SE. It delivers 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque with the CVTi-S transmission.

Pricing has yet to be released, but expect it to cost more than the SE, which retails from $20,635.

Spy Shots of the 2018 Buick Regal Surface

2018 Buick Regal (5)

We finally got some spy shots of the prototype for the Buick‘s next generation Regal. It was spotted while being tested in the United States.

Based on the spy shots provided by Autoevolution, the 2018 Buick Regal will most probably be a bigger car than the previous edition.

The new Buick Regal is set to be in showrooms next year as a 2018 model. Like the current model, it will come with Opel’s Insignia. The same version will also be available in Australia and New Zealand as the next Holden Commodore.

Overall, the Buick Regal is expected to look like a downsized version of the 2017 Buick LaCrosse. Buick’s signature can clearly be seen on the waterfall grille, as well as the same winged badge on the current LaCrosse.

But what’s even more interesting is that the new Regal has a more conventional notchback body while the Opel features a fastback roof. Currently, the latest Regal and Insignia have an identical body.

Highlighting the Buick Royal’s performance is the General Motors Company’s E2XX platform, which was designed specifically for a front-wheel drive, mid-size models.

It can be recalled that the platform was launched in 2016 for the Chevrolet Malibu. A longer version, which was featured in the latest LaCrosse, promises even better performance. Key features of the platform included lightweight construction and better riding suspension.

The Buick Regal’s base option will most probably have a four-cylinder with turbocharging. The current model’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine is still the expected one to be used in this new model.

The transmission will be an eight-speed automatic. The standard version will be a front-wheel drive while there will be an option of an all-wheel drive.

The new Insignia will debut at the 2016 Paris Auto Show in October while the new Regal should come shortly after at one of the major North American auto shows. But before the Regal arrives, we’ll be seeing a new Verano.

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