Tag Archives: FWD

Report: Mercedes FWD platform to last until 2018, convertible and two-seater future uncertain

By Brandon Turkus

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA sedan - front three-quarter view, silver

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Mercedes-Benz seems to be expecting a lot of success from its front-wheel-drive CLA-Class. Automotive News is reporting that the sub-C-Class sedan could grow when its second generation arrives in 2018.

The current FWD platform for MB underpins the CLA, the B-Class, the GLA-Class, and the A-Class. The B-Class will arrive in North America as an EV for spring of 2014, while the production GLA crossover will arrive three to four months after that. The five-door A-Class won’t be crossing The Pond. Sad faces all around.

According to AN, another model will be based on the front-drive architecture, but it won’t be coming to the US market. Set to arrive next year, rumors are that it’ll be a wagon version of the CLA, sort of like the ill-named five-door CLS Shooting Brake that is also a Europe-only item.

As for the rumored CLA convertible and two-seat roadster, if those two arrive, it’s not going to be until the second-generation of the current architecture hits the market. Even then, their future is in uncertain, as Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG told Automotive News, “We are considering the final portfolio of the next generation of our compact cars. We have to define it and we may expand the portfolio.”

Mercedes FWD platform to last until 2018, convertible and two-seater future uncertain originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Report: BMW, Mini aim to sell million cars off new FWD platform

By Jonathon Ramsey

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Mini sold 301,526 cars in 2012; BMW sold 1.54 million of its own models. According to a piece in Autocar, analysts say the coming UKL1 platform that will form the skeleton of the third-generation Mini Cooper and coming front-wheel drive BMW 1 Series could be responsible for “more than 900,000 cars per year” all by itself.

That sale fire is fueled by the UKL1 wearing up to twenty-three bodies in total between the two brands, 11 for Mini and 12 for BMW, rendering hatchbacks, sedans, coupes, convertibles, wagons, crossovers and people-haulers from about 12.5 feet to 14.5 feet. In April the VP of Mini USA said we might find some current models don’t make it to a next generation, but a graphic accompanying the Autocar story has them all there. If it’s correct, then those 23 models will only base model lines and don’t account for different engines and four-wheel-drive options for each model.

The big changes that would perhaps mean big sales for the Mini line are a five-door hatch with two smaller rear doors for children, the sedan talked about last year for Asian markets and an MPV perhaps wearing the “Traveler” name that could send the Countryman in a more SUV-like direction.

BMW, Mini aim to sell million cars off new FWD platform originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 18:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

2014 Acura RLX Review & Test Drive

By Harvey Schwartz

2014 Acura RLX Advance Beauty Right Done Small


The all-new 2014 Acura RLX with the Advance Package adds more power, performance, comfort, luxury, high-tech connectivity and safety systems that take this all-new ‘top-of-the-line’ Acura into a higher position competing against the best mid-size luxury sport sedans on the market.

The all-new Acura is the most powerful, spacious and technologically advanced Acura sedan ever.  It is powered by an all-new 3.5 liter SOHC Earth Dreams Technology V6 engine featuring an aluminum block/heads, direct injection, and intelligent VVT + Lift electronic control, four-valves per cylinder, generating a healthy 310hp at 6,500rpm and 272lb. ft. of torque at 4,500rpm.  It also features variable cylinder management cylinder deactivation system that improves mpg when cruising.  This advanced engine is mated to a re-engineered, six-speed automatic FWD transaxle with sequential Sportshift paddle shifter on the steering wheel including a Sport mode to remap for faster and higher rpm gear changes and tighten the dampers for more spirited handling.  The new Grade Logic Control works with the transmission to keep it in the proper gear when driving up or down hilly terrain.

2014 Acura RLX Advance Engine Done Small

The state-of-the-art fully independent suspension gives you an amazing ride of a sport sedan and a luxury sedan all rolled into one.  Up front is a double-wishbone, lower double-joint setup with telescopic gas-filled Amplitude Reactive shocks and a 33mm solid stabilizer bar.  A multi-link rear suspension setup also features the telescopic gas-filled Amplitude Reactive shocks and a 25mm solid stabilizer bar to keep the RLX flat when attacking steep curving roads.  It is tremendously responsive and flattens out the potholes on rough roads.  Giving me an even more responsive feedback from my steering inputs is the electric power rack & pinion steering system that features Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) that continuously monitors and calculates the correct amount of independent rear-wheel steering (toe angle) necessary to help you maneuver through tough curving roads with ease and stability.  With these innovative systems and Acura’s Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control, there is no hint that the all-new RLX is a front-wheel-drive sedan.  I felt no hint of ‘torque steer’, no understeer with the P-AWS system.  Steering is quick and responsive with a ratio of 13.9:1 and just 2.58 turns lock-to-lock.  You can shut down the Traction Control system to let the rear slide out a little at the apex of the curve to got my pulse running higher.

Quickly and safely slowing the all-new RLX down from speed are big, powerful brakes.  Up front are 12.3 inch vented discs clamped with large, Acura lettered single-piston calipers.  The rear features 12.2 inch solid discs also clamped with large single-piston calipers.  Keeping control of the RLX during hard braking on wet or slick pavement are standard ABS, EBD and BA systems.

2014 Acura RLX Advance Beauty Side Done Small

The all-new RLX with Advance came shod …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Automotive Addicts

24 Hours of LeMons Detroit Inspections: I-Mark Diesel vs Reliant K Grudge Match

By Murilee Martin

Here at lovely Gingerman Raceway on the shores of Lake Michigan, we’re experiencing some invigoratingly brisk Upper Midwest Spring weather (in other words, howling Arctic winds driving icy needles of sleet right through our suffering flesh) and admiring the collection of 70 or so racin’ machines that have come to compete in the Cure For Gingervitis 24 Hours of LeMons. Now that your LeMons correspondent has stopped shivering long enough to work the keyboard, let’s take a look at some of the more interesting competitors.

Back from their Judges’ Choice triumph at the Chubba Cheddar Enduro last summer, the zany Canadians of Red Shirt Racing went to extraordinary lengths to obtain a genuine Sportbak for their Nissan Pulsar. Some members of the team felt that the Sportbak’s added 100 pounds of weight would be too much for their slushbox-enhanced 71-horsepower E16 engine, but the LeMons Supreme Court promised a coveted Class C berth if the team agreed to keep that crucial accessory on the car all weekend.

That means the Red Shirt Pulsar will be battling for a class win with the NSF Racing 1987 Plymouth Reliant-K station wagon. This car was purchased and prepped by the legendary NSF and is being handed off from team to team across the country, having now traveled from LeMons races in Texas, South Carolina, and New York before washing up here in Michigan. After this race, the K-car will be heading back to Texas as part of NSF’s infamous, 2.2-engine-killing “K-it-FWD” program.

Of all the teams that could have taken on the K-car for this race, the best possible choice had to be the Celica-killing New Zealanders of Apocalyptic Racing. Not content to shoot rods out the block of their hopelessly overcarbureted 22R engine the Apocalyptic guys have adopted the Reliant-K for the weekend. Fortunately, they picked up a spare 2.2 engine at the junkyard (a wise move for a car that has killed two engines per three races so far) and will be ready in case problems crop up with the K’s powerplant this weekend. If you can find a better car, buy it!

Also in Class C is the Zero Budget Racing Chevy Chevette Diesel. This car won the Index of Effluency trophy here back in 2011, but Zero Budget brought another car, one that shoves the Chevette right out of the spotlight.

<img src="http://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/17-24-Hours-of-LeMons-The-Cure-For-Gingervitis-2013-BS-Inspction-626×426.jpg" alt="" title="17 – 24 Hours of LeMons

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/caranddriver/blog/~3/LUx87IaYqic/

How To Argue For More High-Skilled Immigration

By Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, Contributor

So, Mark Zuckerberg, like everyone else in Silicon Valley, wants more high-skilled immigration. Zuckerberg is launching a lobbying outfit called FWD.us to call for more high-skilled immigration, starting with a Washington Post op-ed.

From: http://www.forbes.com/sites/pascalemmanuelgobry/2013/04/12/how-to-argue-for-more-high-skilled-immigration/

Zuckerberg: Why Our Immigration System Is a Mess

By John Johnson Mark Zuckerberg’s political advocacy group for immigration reform launches today, reports Politico , and Zuckerberg himself takes to the Washington Post to explain the rationale behind FWD.us. You’ll get the gist from a string of questions he poses in the op-ed piece: “Why do we kick out the more than…

From: http://www.newser.com/story/166080/zuckerberg-why-our-immigration-system-is-a-mess.html

Zuckerberg Announces Tech Group Fighting for Immigration Reform

By Chris Neiger, The Motley Fool

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg publicly introduced a new organization he co-founded with other tech leaders, FWD.us, in a Washington Post Op-Ed yesterday, saying it will advocate on issues including immigration reform, education, and investments in scientific discoveries.

According to Zuckerberg’s article, immigration reform is the key issue the organization intends to take on. “We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants. And it’s a policy unfit for today’s world,” he wrote.

The Facebook CEO explained that his great-grandparents immigrated to the United States, entering through Ellis Island, and that he and his family wouldn’t be where they are, “without a welcoming immigration policy, a great education system and the world’s leading scientific community that created the Internet.”

Zuckerberg wrote about what he calls the “knowledge economy” in which “the most important resources are the talented people we educate and attract to our country. “A knowledge economy can scale further, create better jobs and provide a higher quality of living for everyone in our nation.”

In addition to Zuckerberg, the FWD.us organization is founded by leaders of America’s technology community including Reid Hoffman, Eric Schmidt, Marissa Mayer, Drew Houston, Ron Conway, Chamath Palihapitiya, Joe Green, Jim Breyer, Matt Cohler, John Doerr, Paul Graham, Mary Meeker, Max Levchin, Aditya Agarwal and Ruchi Sanghvi. It aims to work with both political parties in Congress, the administration, and state and local officials.


The article Zuckerberg Announces Tech Group Fighting for Immigration Reform originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/11/zuckerberg-announces-tech-group-fighting-for-immig/

Mark Zuckerberg: Undocumented Immigrants "Should Be Part Of Our Future"

By Brian Solomon

With a Washington Post op-ed Thursday morning, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his support for immigration reform with the launch of FWD.us, a new non-partisan organization founded by a host of well-known Silicon Valley leaders to advocate for policy to support the “knowledge economy.”

From: http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2013/04/11/mark-zuckerberg-undocumented-immigrants-should-be-part-of-our-future/

All-New 2014 Ram ProMaster Priced, Real Vans Start at $27,525

By Kirk Seaman

Ram has announced pricing for its new 2014 ProMaster, a line of work vans based on the front-wheel-drive Fiat Ducato. For $27,025, buyers will get a van with a cab and a cutaway chassis; prices for a complete van start at $27,525. So for just $500 more, consider that a bargain. With the choice of a standard gas engine or an optional diesel, three wheelbases, two roof heights, and four cargo-floor lengths, the ProMaster’s configuration flexibility should help it win fans, even if some buyers might be wary of a FWD full-size carryall.

The standard motor is a 280-hp version of Chrysler’s Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The step-up motor is a turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoDiesel four-cylinder good for 174 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque; it operates through a six-speed automated manual gearbox.

Both engines are available in the full range of ProMaster vans. Wheelbases include 118, 136, or 159 inches; 90- and 101-inch roofs heights are available; and cargo floor lengths of 105, 123, 146, or 160 inches can be spec’d. All-wheel drive is not available.

The $27,525 mentioned above gets you a ProMaster 3500 with a 136-inch wheelbase, the low roof, and the gas V-6. From there, pricing is as follows:

3500 159-inch wheelbase: $27,930
3500 159-inch wheelbase, extended frame: $28,430
1500 118-inch wheelbase, low roof: $29,625
1500 136-inch wheelbase, low roof: $30,515
1500 136-inch wheelbase, high roof: $31,515
2500 136-inch wheelbase, high roof: $32,515
2500 159-inch wheelbase, high roof: $33,870
2500 window-equipped 159-inch wheelbase, high roof: $34,250
3500 159-inch wheelbase, high roof: $36,345
3500 159-inch wheelbase, high roof, extended body: $37,145

The EcoDiesel costs $4000 to add to any of the configurations.

While Ram has not announced fuel economy or any options information, the ProMaster model brings the total of big vans now available to four: the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, the Nissan NV, and the new Ford Transit. Ram is betting that the ProMaster will distinguish itself from the competition with best-in-class features that include cargo capacity, payload, and a low cost of ownership. That’s all well and good, but what will it look like with a Viking battle airbrushed on the side?

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Report: Ford Focus RS Hot-Hatch Likely To Make it Stateside in 2015

By Malcolm Hogan


The Ford Focus RS has always been Ford’s savior when it comes to having something to put all other hot-hatchbacks to shame. Over many years here in the states we anticipated such a vehicle making it to our side of the pond but with no luck. Recently we got the Focus ST, a rather nice FWD performance hatch but it still isn’t the Focus RS.

A recent report from Britain’s Autocar makes a daring allegation that the RS is a sure thing along with some special Focus RS renderings. The Autocar report never specifies a named source for their claim, which hints at the Ford Focus RS making it to the United States in 2015.

Some sources at Car and Driver, after getting all flustered by Autocar’s accusations, have set out their own investigative forces to pick the minds of Ford who have slowly leaked subtle information – what is thought to be in hopes of influencing corporate decisions to approve future products. With that said, Ford is making moves to introduce new global platforms of their vehicles, which basically reach many shores without too much deviation from its original design. That means if there is a Ford Focus RS in the works, which Car and Driver believes there is, it will make it state side along with the globalized next-generation Edge and Mustang.

Hopefully we can get some additional details and more confirmation on a potential state-side Ford Focus RS as we all dig into this new report.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Automotive Addicts

Official: Hyundai prices three-row Santa Fe from $28,350*

By Jonathon Ramsey

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Each extra inch in the wheelbase of the six- and seven-passenger 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, compared to the five-seat Santa Fe Sport, will cost you $100. The larger version of Hyundai’s new people carrier is 3.9 inches longer, and whereas the Santa Fe Sport was priced at $24,450, the roomier Santa Fe comes in four flavors that start at $28,350 for the front-wheel drive GLS version. Adding all-wheel drive to the GLS tacks on another $1,750, stepping up to the front-wheel Limited takes you to $33,100, the all-wheel drive Limited topping things out at $34,850. For the true price, you’ll need to add *$845 to those prices for freight.

The base price is the same as Hyundai’s previous seven-seater option, the Veracruz, slapped on a vehicle with much better looks and more features. Compared to the Santa Fe Sport, the six- and seven-passenger option has 8.5 extra inches in overall length, 1.9 extra inches of second-row legroom and that third row of seating in its hind quarters. The second row can be had as a traditional bench or captain’s chairs on the Limited. Under the hood is the same 3.3-liter direct-injection V6 with 290 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed Shiftronic transmission, and the same EPA estimated 25 highway miles per gallon for the FWD version.

You also get extra standard amenities like a 115-volt socket, power liftgate and rear-seat climate controls. Check out the press release below to find out all about them.

Continue reading Hyundai prices three-row Santa Fe from $28,350*

Hyundai prices three-row Santa Fe from $28,350* originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Feb 2013 14:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

2013 Buick Verano Turbo 6-Speed Manual Review & Test Drive

By Malcolm Hogan


The traditional definitive thought of a Buick continues to be redefined as new vehicles such as the all-new 2013 Buick Verano add somewhat of a sports appeal to midsized sedan package. The all-new 2013 Buick Verano, first introduced as a 2012 model, continues on its journey as an attractive entry-level luxury sedan offering up a comfortable ride and an economical yet powerful drivetrain.

I had the opportunity to spend some time in the all-new 2013 Buick Verano turbo. Enthusiasts will surely be astonished to know that my vehicle, a new option for 2013, was equipped with a 250 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. That is a 70-horsepower jump from the base Verano’s engine, further reiterating the notion of Buick not being a lackluster antecedent vehicle. Though, having 250 horsepower and 260 ft-lbs. of torque surging around 2,000 rpm, the new 2013 Buick Verano is still a subdued vehicle with many soft edges in the handling department – something its target demographic may still appreciate.


The new 2013 Verano offers 4 different trim levels starting the base model then moving up to the Convenience Group, the Leather Group and the Premium Group. The 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder is part of the Premium Group trim, also adding sport pedals, spoiler and dual chrome-tipped exhaust.


Driving the new 2013 Verano turbo 6-speed, only offered in the Premium Group trim level, fits the ideal touring sedan scenario. The 6-speed manual transmission has a bit of an indirect feel to it and long throws. The 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder is poised to manage the job of propelling the new Verano to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds. Though, some of that oomph comes at a price of the relatively soft suspension during acceleration. Though, being a front wheel drive car with a turbocharged engine, torque steer is kept to a minimum.


The body balance, unfortunately, is a bit upset with the ample 260 ft-lbs. of torque, which comes on a bit late into the rev range. I found that the Verano’s turbo powermill, has a short attention span. Basically, the midrange is where all of its athleticism is expunged. Until you hit 2,500 rpm things are a bit dull. Then, on the high end, the engine starts to meet its power-demise around 5,800 rpm all the way to its 6,500 rpm red line. In the end, the Verano Turbo 6-speed manual requires a bit of extra work from the driver to keep the engine at bay.

Possibly, the short power band could be a good thing for enthusiasts who really engulf themselves into quickly rowing through the gears often. On the other hand, this could be a bad thing for more relaxed drivers, but that is what the standard 6-speed automatic transmission option is for.


Buick’s character has changed over the years with a new-found contemporary styling to the exterior. Still, Buick vehicles are easily recognizable but now have a sporty flare about them that tends to blend them into the main-stream more so than ever. The 2013 Buick Verano has that appealing ‘almost-sporty’ style going for it. The exterior body panels, despite sharing many chassis components with the Chevrolet Cruze, gives the Verano its own unique character apart from the rest of Buick and GM’s line of sedans. Having standard 18-inch alloy wheels shod in 235/45 Continental rubber along with the Premium Group’s rear spoiler, only add to the Verano’s exterior appeal. Not to mention, the 18-inchers aid in the ride quality, what is otherwise a soft suspension that absorbs most small imperfections in the road.


Inside of the new 2013 Buick Verano is a familiar interior layout, characteristic of other midsized sedans from GM. Though, the Verano takes a slightly different approach with is gauge cluster and center LCD touch-screen, much of which is unique to Buick. Button layout is good with many soft-touch areas and good fit and finish. Much of the instrument panel and layout of the interior can be somewhat of a mixed bag when you find wood trim, aluminum sport pedals and about 3 other color variations throughout. It is a good contrast but does not really help explain the Verano’s character, at least from the inside of the car.


The front seating positions are excellent and the soft leather seats are somewhat supportive. Rear seating is a bit short on legroom but has a good height for passengers who may be 6-feet tall. Anything over may not want to ride in the back.

At the heart of the new 2013 Buick Verano, selecting the Premium Group with is turbocharged engine is surely the ticket to having a complete package. The standard 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with 180 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque, leaves the Verano somewhat incomplete. I can say with a certainty that the 2.0-liter Turbo engine makes the Verano a seriously attractive package for the mild enthusiast. Not to mention, gas misers will be happy to know that the turbo 4 has a matching EPA estimated 21 mpg city to that of the 2.4-liter engine. Highway mileage is 30mpg highway in the turbo-4 and 32 mpg highway in the 2.4-liter. Still, that is only a slight difference, but you must consider the additional 70 horsepower and 89 pound-feet of torque. That alone is a deal maker for the lighthearted enthusiast.

Pricing on the 2013 Buick Verano is kept competitive when pitted against other midsized sedans in an entry-level luxury class. A base Verano can be had for $23,080 plus destination charge while my loaded up Verano Turbo Premium Group 6-speed manual carries an as-tested price of $31,685 including an $885 destination charge. The options included on my 2013 Verano Turbo included a power sunroof and upgraded audio system with navigation, in addition to the Premium Group’s add-ons featuring the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.


Copyright: 2012 AutomotiveAddicts.com


  • Price: Base Verano $23,080 As-Tested Verano Turbo 6-sp manual Premium Group $31,685
  • Vehicle layout: Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
  • Engine: 2.0L/250-hp/260-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual (standard: 6-speed automatic)
  • Curb weight (f/r dist): 3,300 lb
  • Wheelbase: 105.7 in
  • Length x width x height: 183.9 x 71.4 x 58.1 in
  • 0-60 mph: 6.6 sec
  • Braking, 60-0 mph: 122 ft
  • EPA city/hwy fuel econ: 21 mpg/30 mpg

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Automotive Addicts