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2018 Jeep Wrangler Pricing Starts At $28,190 13
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Jeep, Jeep Wrangler, prices, Reports, USA on 12 13th, 2017


Jeep recently unveiled the 2018 Wrangler JL at the Los Angeles Auto Show and now we’re learning how much it will cost to get behind the wheel.

Car and Driver reports the entry-level Wrangler Sport will carry a base price of $28,190 which is an increase of $3,100 over the 2017 model. The four-door Wrangler Sport also sees a significant price jump as the model starts at $31,690.

Both models come equipped a Sunrider soft top, full metal doors, and 17-inch steel wheels. The Wranglers also have a push-button ignition, LED interior lighting, and an eight-speaker audio system.

Power is provided by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 285 hp (212 kW) and 260 lb-ft (352 Nm) of torque. It is paired to a six-speed manual transmission and a Command-Trac four-wheel drive system.

Moving up to the Wrangler Sport S adds convenience features such as power windows / locks, power heated mirrors, and 17-inch aluminum wheels. Other additions include air conditioning and a remote keyless entry system. Pricing starts at $31,390 for the two-door variant and $34,890 for the four-door model.

The two-door Wrangler eschews the Sahara variant but it costs $38,540 on the four-door model. It features automatic headlights, a unique grille, body color fender flares, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. Drivers will also find an automatic dual-zone climate control system, LED ambient interior lighting, a universal garage door opener, and a Uconnect infotainment system with a 5-inch display.

Last but not least, the Wrangler Rubicon starts at $38,190 and climbs to $41,690 for the four-door variant. The off-road focused models have an electronic front sway bar disconnect system as well as remote locking Tru-Lok differentials. The models also have a Rock-Trac transfer case, heavy duty Dana 44 axles, and 17-inch wheels with off-road tires.

An assortment of different options will be available and we can expect to learn more about their pricing closer to launch.

Note: Prices include a $1,195 destination charge

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Driver Does Donuts In Front Of Courthouse, Crashes And Promptly Gets Arrested 12
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Accidents, Offbeat News, Police, USA on 12 12th, 2017


There is a saying that “there’s no place like home” and for 37-year-old Jonathan Joseph Locksmith that apparently means the Ada County Jail in Boise, Idaho.

According to the Associated Press, Locksmith was upset with the court system and simply wanted to be arrested so he could return to jail. That’s never a good sign but Locksmith thankfully avoided violence and decided to make his feelings known by doing donuts in front of the Ada County Courthouse last Sunday.

Unfortunately, Locksmith’s driving skills were about as good as the 1990’s Honda Accord he was driving. As a result, Locksmith crashed into the courthouse’s fountain and received his wish to be arrested.

Locksmith is currently behind bars and is charged with misdemeanor reckless driving. Idaho law says people who are found guilty of reckless driving for the first time face a fine of up to a $1,000 and / or up to six months in jail.

Interestingly, for Idaho at least, the Ada country government says they have received numerous phone calls from concerned citizens about the status of the fountain. Officials say the fountain wasn’t damaged and noted it was strategically placed to prevent cars from driving into the courthouse. As a Facebook post stated “We’re happy to see these features not only did their job but did it very well!”

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Cadillac CTS V-Sport Adds A Touch Of Style With New Morello Red Edition 12
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Cadillac, Cadillac CTS, new cars, USA on 12 12th, 2017


Cadillac has introduced the 2018 CTS V-Sport Morello Red Edition.

Designed to appeal to drivers who want to stand out from the crowd, the special edition features a modestly revised exterior with a Black Chrome grille, Gloss Black window trim, and a “V-Sport base spoiler.” The limited edition model will only be available in four colors including Black Raven, Crystal White Tricoat, Phantom Gray Metallic and Satin Steel Metallic.

The styling changes continue in the cabin as drivers with find Jet Black Recaro leather seats with suede inserts and red contrast stitching. The model also has red armrests, carbon fiber trim, and a sueded microfiber steering wheel.

Like the standard model, the Morello Red Edition is powered by a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 engine which produces 420 hp (313 kW) and 430 lb-ft (582 Nm) of torque. It is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission which enables the rear-wheel drive sedan to accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds.

The Morello Red Edition package costs $4,000 and it is available on both the $62,190 CTS V-Sport and $72,290 CTS V-Sport Premium Luxury.

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Toyota Says Lack Of AWD Is Hurting C-HR Sales 8
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in nissan, Nissan Kicks, Reports, TOYOTA, Toyota C-HR, USA on 12 8th, 2017


The Toyota C-HR went on sale in the United States earlier this year and it appears the model hasn’t been quite as successful as the company was hoping.

Carsalesbase shows Toyota only sold 21,889 units since April and that’s significantly less than rivals such as the Chevrolet Trax and Honda HR-V. Toyota’s well aware of the situation as the company’s North American executive vice president of sales, Bob Carter, recently told Wards Auto the lack of an optional all-wheel drive system is “hurting its sales potential.”

The C-HR is one of the few crossovers that doesn’t offer all-wheel drive and it will soon by joined by the Nissan Kicks. Nissan North America’s vice president of product planning, Michael Bunce, doesn’t think the Kicks will suffer the same sales problem as the C-HR as he expects the model will be popular in cities on both the east and west coast. As a result, the company expects to sell at least 50,000-60,000 Kicks annually.

Bunce went on to say the C-HR probably isn’t doing as well as it could because it’s expensive for its segment. As he noted, “In the U.S. there’s still a great correlation between size and price point” and the C-HR starts at $22,500 which is “relatively high.”

The product planner went on to say the Kicks will cost less than $19,000 and customers who need all-wheel drive can always move up to the Rogue Sport which starts at $21,420 and offer an optional all-wheel drive system for an additional $1,350.

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Transportation Is Now The Number One Contributor To CO2 Emissions In The U.S. 6
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Reports, USA on 12 6th, 2017


Plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles are growing in popularity but this hasn’t managed to stop the transportation sector from becoming the number one source of CO2 emissions in the United States.

According to Bloomberg, power plants were the key contributor to CO2 emissions for the past 40 years but the transition from coal to cleaner alternatives – such as natural gas and solar power – has dramatically reduced the amount of emissions that are produced.

As the U.S. Energy Information Administration notes, power plants produce approximately 1.8 billion metric tons of CO2 annually while the transportation sector now generates slightly more than that. However, this isn’t due to dirtier vehicles as the agency says since 2000 the United States has been experiencing the “flattest stretch of transportation-related pollution in modern record keeping.”

The reduction in emissions helps to limit climate change as well as the severity of various ailments such as asthma and heart disease. Unfortunately, these gains could be in jeopardy as President Trump has been pushing a return to coal. The President is also considering easing fuel economy standards which are set to take place in a few years.

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Tesla Wins Court Battle In Missouri, Can Continue To Sell Cars Directly To Consumers 6
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Reports, Tesla, USA on 12 6th, 2017


Tesla makes some of the most popular electric vehicles but the company’s products aren’t available everywhere as a number of states prohibit their sales as a result of their direct-to-consumer sales approach.

The company has been fighting several states over these laws and the automaker recently scored a win in Missouri after an appeals court reversed a lower court decision that put Tesla sales in jeopardy.

According to the Associated Press, the legal battle started in 2015 when the Missouri Automobile Association sued the Missouri Department of Revenue for granting Tesla a license to sell vehicles directly to consumers through their own dealerships. The Missouri Automobile Association won the initial case as Cole County Judge Daniel Green decided the Department of Revenue should not renew Tesla’s dealership license because the company didn’t franchisee its dealerships.

The Missouri Court of Appeals apparently side-stepped the issue altogether and found the Missouri Automobile Association didn’t have the standing to sue the Department of Revenue in the first place. As a result, the lower court’s ruling was overturned and Tesla can continue to sell its vehicles in the state.

In a statement, Tesla said “The decision is a victory for Missouri consumers who want the choice to learn about and purchase their Tesla in their home state.” The company added, “We have been serving customers in Missouri for almost five years and have contributed to the state economy and jobs for Missourians — something that will now continue.”

Despite the setback, the Missouri Automobile Association will continue its battle as the organization stated it will “continue to explore the legal avenues available” to challenge Tesla and the Department of Revenue.

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GM Rolls Out Its New Marketplace App, Will Allow Drivers To Order Coffee From Their Car 5
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Videos, GM, GMC, Tech, USA, video on 12 5th, 2017


Getting your morning cup of Starbucks is about to get a lot easier if you drive a General Motors vehicle as the company has just announced it is rolling out its all-new Marketplace.

Billed as the “industry’s first commerce platform for on-demand reservations and purchases,” the Marketplace is essentially an app that resides on the infotainment system of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC vehicles. The app will be rolled out to millions of existing 2017 and 2018 vehicles and doesn’t require a separate data plan.

A handful of companies have created their own Marketplace sections and these include restaurants such as Applebee’s, IHOP, TGI Fridays, and Wingstop. Other notable partners include Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Shell, and ExxonMobil.

The services vary by company but Starbucks fans can place their order through the app, while drivers looking to hit up TGI Fridays can make reservations at a restaurant and time of their choosing. While no one really needs to order coffee from their infotainment system, the Parkopedia option is interesting as it will allow drivers to “find, reserve, and pay for parking, all at the click of a button.”

The service will be available to approximately four million drivers in the United States within the next 12 to 18 months and GM’s Vice President for Global Connected Customer Experience, Santiago Chamorro, said “The average American spends 46 minutes per day on the road driving. Leveraging connectivity and our unique data capabilities, we have an opportunity to make every trip more productive and give our customers time back.”

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China’s GAC Motor Announces It Will Enter The US Market By 2019 3
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in concepts, Detroit-Auto-Show, GAC, Reports, USA on 12 3rd, 2017


China’s GAC Motor has quietly announced the brand will be launched in the United States in the next two years.

In a statement, GAC Motor president Yu Jun said: “We are building the first North America R&D Center in Silicon Valley this year and planning to enter the North American market by 2019.” The executive went on to say the company has always had ambitions of being a “world-class Chinese brand” that is sold globally.

As part of the company’s North American launch, the automaker will have a presence at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. GAC says we can expect a “blockbuster lineup” that includes an all-new concept car as well as the GA4, GA8, GM8, and GS8.

GAC Motor is owned by the GAC Group, which also owns the Trumpchi brand. Trumpchi had been eyeing a U.S. launch but, as we reported in April, the company was considering changing its name due to the fact that it sounds like a tribute to President Trump. At the time, GAC Group President Fend Xingya had commented: “At first I’d never thought of it, why change the name? It’s the president Americans selected, it’s similar to the president’s name, this has to be good right? But in the United States the level of opposition [to Trump] is high.”

The BBC recently noted executives were “taken aback” by the response they received at the 2017 North American International Auto Show and have been considering changing the name ever since.

Launching under the brand under the GAC Motor name will likely solve this problem, but we don’t know if the company is even exploring that option.

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China’s GAC Motor Announces It Will Enter The US Market By 2019 3
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in concepts, Detroit-Auto-Show, GAC, Reports, USA on 12 3rd, 2017


China’s GAC Motor has quietly announced the brand will be launched in the United States in the next two years.

In a statement, GAC Motor president Yu Jun said: “We are building the first North America R&D Center in Silicon Valley this year and planning to enter the North American market by 2019.” The executive went on to say the company has always had ambitions of being a “world-class Chinese brand” that is sold globally.

As part of the company’s North American launch, the automaker will have a presence at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. GAC says we can expect a “blockbuster lineup” that includes an all-new concept car as well as the GA4, GA8, GM8, and GS8.

GAC Motor is owned by the GAC Group, which also owns the Trumpchi brand. Trumpchi had been eyeing a U.S. launch but, as we reported in April, the company was considering changing its name due to the fact that it sounds like a tribute to President Trump. At the time, GAC Group President Fend Xingya had commented: “At first I’d never thought of it, why change the name? It’s the president Americans selected, it’s similar to the president’s name, this has to be good right? But in the United States the level of opposition [to Trump] is high.”

The BBC recently noted executives were “taken aback” by the response they received at the 2017 North American International Auto Show and have been considering changing the name ever since.

Launching under the brand under the GAC Motor name will likely solve this problem, but we don’t know if the company is even exploring that option.

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U.S. Vehicle Sales Could Fall For The First Time Since The Recession 1
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Reports, USA on 12 1st, 2017


The holiday season is in full swing and a number of automakers are promoting their year-end sales events.

This happens every December but the sales push is more important than ever as USA Today is reporting that automakers are facing the first full-year sales decline in America since the Great Recession.

Despite the possibility of declining sales, the news isn’t entirely bad as sales remain near record levels and consumers are buying more expensive vehicles such as trucks, crossovers, and SUVs. As the report notes, Kelley Blue Book says the “average sticker price paid for a new vehicle” hit a record of $35,870 in November.

The high prices help to pad the bottom line but sedan sales have been getting hammered in recent years. This is due to several factors including low gas prices and changing consumer preferences.

While 2017 might not turn out to be that bad in terms of sales, analysts expect sales to dip even further in 2018 thanks to a flood of off-lease vehicles. That trend could continue as Barclays analyst Brian Johnson expects sales will eventually drop to between 15.5 and 16 million which would be down from the 16.6 to 16.7 million sales that are expected next year.

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2018 Subaru BRZ Brings Modest Updates And A Higher Base Price 1
Dec
Posted by Michael Gauthier in prices, Subaru, Subaru BRZ, USA on 12 1st, 2017


The Subaru BRZ is entering the 2018 model year with a host of improvements and a slightly higher sticker price.

Set to arrive at U.S. dealerships in January, the 2018 BRZ will be priced from $25,595 which is $100 more than last year’s model. To help offset the price increase, the BRZ has been equipped with a “Welcome Lighting” system which promises to provide better nighttime visibility when approaching or exiting the vehicle.

The 2018 BRZ has also been outfitted with a leather-wrapped shifter, one touch turn signals, and headlights that turn on when the windshield wipers are activated.

The entry-level BRZ Premium comes nicely equipped with LED headlights, remote keyless entry, and black seats with red contrast stitching. Drivers will also find a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an eight-speaker audio system, and an infotainment system with a 6.2-inch display.

The BRZ Limited starts at $28,445 and it adds LED fog lights, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, and a keyless entry system with a push-button ignition. Other highlights include leather / Alcantara heated front seats, a 4.2-inch multi-function display in the instrument cluster, and a 7-inch infotainment system with GPS navigation.

Options are fairly limited as the BRZ Limited can be equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission for $1,100. The Limited can be also be outfitted with a $1,195 Performance Package which adds high-performance shock absorbers, an upgraded braking system, and 17-inch alloy wheels with a black finish.

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2018 BMW M5 Is The Fastest And Most Expensive Yet At $102,600 In The U.S. 29
Nov
Posted by Michael Gauthier in BMW, BMW M5, LA Auto Show, prices, USA on 11 29th, 2017


BMW has used the Los Angeles Auto Show to announce the 2018 M5 will be priced from $102,600 in the United States.

Set to go on sale next spring, the redesigned M5 is distinguished by an aggressive body kit that includes new bumpers, revised side skirts, and a sport rear diffuser. The model has features an aluminum hood, a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic roof, and 19-inch lightweight alloy wheels with a polished Orbit Grey finish.

The cabin comes nicely equipped with M Multifunction seats which are covered in Extended Merino leather upholstery. Drivers will also find a digital instrument cluster, an M-specific head-up display, and an M sports steering wheel.

Motivation is provided by a 4.4-liter TwinPower Turbo V8 engine that produces 600 hp (447 kW) and 553 lb-ft (748 Nm) of torque – an increase of 40 hp (29 kW) and 53 lb-ft (71 Nm). The engine is connected to a new eight-speed automatic transmission which sends power to unique all-wheel drive system. This setup enables the car to accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds and hit a top speed of up to 189 mph (304 km/h) with the optional M Driver’s Package.

Developing …

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2018 Hyundai Accent Arrives In America Starting From $14,995 22
Nov
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Hyundai, Hyundai Accent, new cars, prices, USA on 11 22nd, 2017


The 2018 Hyundai Accent is a major improvement over its predecessor and the company has just announced the model will be priced from $14,995.

Set to go on sale shortly, the redesigned Accent features a bold new design and a 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder engine that produces 130 hp (97 kW) and 119 lb-ft (161 Nm) of torque. Hyundai also paid special attention to the driving experience as engineers worked to improve the car’s dynamics while also reducing NVH levels.

The entry-level Accent SE comes sparsely equipped but drivers will find air conditioning, cruise control, and 5-inch color touchscreen display. The model also has power windows / locks, Bluetooth connectivity, and a four-speaker audio system. The model comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission but a six-speed automatic is available for an additional $1,000.

The mid-range Accent SEL costs $17,295 and it adds automatic headlights, dual USB charging ports, and a tilt / telescopic steering wheel. The model also has a 7-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Drivers will also find 15-inch alloy wheels which are backed up by disc brakes.

Last but not least, the range-topping Accent Limited begins at $18,895 and it is distinguished by LED-infused headlights, additional chrome trim, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The model also has fog lights, LED taillights, and side mirrors with integrated turn signals.

The interior receives a handful of upgrades including a leather-wrapped steering, heated front seats, and a power sunroof. Other highlights include an automatic climate control system, a push-button ignition, and a 3.5-inch TFT display in the instrument cluster.

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2018 Mercedes E-Class Convertible Lands In The U.S. From $66,300 20
Nov
Posted by Michael Gauthier in mercedes, Mercedes E-Class, prices, USA on 11 20th, 2017


Winter is right around the corner but that has stopped Mercedes from launching the 2018 E-Class Cabriolet in the United States.

Set to slot between the C- and S-Class convertibles, the E-Class Cabriolet is being billed as a luxury drop top that combines “pure, elegant design with long-distance comfort for four occupants.”

The car has a lot in common with the E-Class Coupe but the convertible is distinguished by a fabric soft top which is available in four different colors including black, red, dark blue and dark brown. Regardless of which color is selected, all of the roofs are fully automatic and feature insulation that promises to reduce wind and road noise.

Besides the fabric roof, the E-Class Cabriolet can be equipped with heat-reflecting leather upholstery, an Aircap wind deflector, and an Airscarf neck-level heating system.

The E-Class Cabriolet is currently on sale and pricing starts at $66,300. The entry-level model has a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 329 hp (245 kW) and 354 lb-ft (479 Nm) of torque. It is connected to a nine-speed automatic transmission which allows the car to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds and return 20 mpg city / 26 mpg highway.

Customers can also order the E400 4MATIC Cabriolet which retails for $68,800. It has the same engine as the standard model but the addition of all-wheel drive enables the convertible to run from 0-60 mph in just 5.3 seconds.

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2018 Nissan Murano Has New Standard Safety Features And A Starting Price Of $30,550 17
Nov
Posted by Michael Gauthier in nissan, Nissan Murano, prices, USA on 11 17th, 2017


The Nissan Murano is entering the 2018 model year with a host of updates and a higher base price.

The entry-level Murano S starts at $30,550 which is an increase of $780. While the crossover is more expensive than last year’s model, it comes equipped with an assortment of new features including an automatic emergency braking system and an intelligent forward collision warning system. Drivers will also find a revised center console and an 8-inch NissanConnect infotainment system with GPS navigation as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

The Murano SV starts at $33,850 and it gains a standard blind spot warning system and a rear cross traffic alert system. Customers can also order the SV Premium Package which now includes an intelligent cruise control system.

The $38,250 Murano SL largely carries over but it now includes a motion-activated power liftgate. Other changes include a new moonroof package and a Midnight Edition package which has additional content.

Lastly, the Murano Platinum starts at $41,980 and it comes equipped with a new motion-activated power liftgate as well as a standard dual panel moonroof.

The 2018 Nissan Murano is currently on sale and all models are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine which produces 260 hp (193 kW) and 240 lb-ft (325 Nm) of torque. It is connected to an Xtronic transmission which can be paired to an optional all-wheel drive system.

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