SIBERIA, Russia – Russian race driver Roman Rusinov and auto journalist Andrey Leontjev pushed the Nissan GT-R across a frozen Lake Baikal, setting a new national speed ice driving record of 294.8 kph (183 mph).
The speed record on ice was a joint project of Nissan in Russia and LAV Productions company, taking place at Small Sea Strait – part of the Baikal water area between western coast and Ol’khon isle. The Nissan GT-R 2012 model year used winter non-studded Bridgestone tires.
The length of the track was divided into an acceleration part – 3.5 km, timekeeping part – 1 km, and breaking area – 3.5 km. The driving attempts were fixed and evaluated by a specially-created committee of the Russian Automotive Federation, and also a group of four judges from Yaroslavl, Omsk, Yekaterinburg and Moscow. The car starts from standing position and develops maximum speed on the distance of 1000 meters (1 km). RAF fixes average speed on this route.
The 540-horsepower GT-R production car had no modifications, running the 3.8-liter, V6 engine on the frozen surface of the world’s deepest lake in southern Siberia, with a result for the history books. Enjoy this video of their record ice escapade.
The beginning of April is a time where you start planning to shed your vehicle of their trusty winter tires for a nice set of summer performance tires. Unfortunately, the snow keeps on coming down in Toronto, so the change date seems to be pushed back a few weeks.
It will be fun to test out some new summer tires when the time comes, but for now I want to talk about the last month and a half testing out the new Ice Blazer WSL2 tire from Sailun. I waited for a few late snowfalls in order to fully test these Ice Blazer’s out, because a dry test wasn’t going to cut it. It’s a strange time to do a winter tire review as we want to put that all behind us, but I want you to keep this review in mind for next season and perhaps you can always find a great deal on winter tires in the off-season.
Before I can talk about the specific Sailun Ice Blazer tires, I want to fill you in on the company that you’ve probably never heard about – Sailun. Sailun is a Chinese tire company and a division of Dynamic Tire Corp. They’re trying to be more noticeable in the Canadian market as a value tier competitor to the more visible bigger guns in the industry. They have a Chinese origin, but Sailun does perform plenty of tests in Brampton, Ontario and have a larger Canadian warehouse in Vaughan, Ontario. In 2011, they hit ten million in global sales within fifty countries and five continents and expanded that to twenty million in 2012.
Sailun Tires are a growing company that we’ve already featured in the fall with their Atrezzo Z4+AS ultra-high performance all-season tire in a successful blind test versus Continental’s Extreme Contact all-season tire. But if you go back just two years prior, 70 percent of Sailun’s tires were winter tires. The rest of their products were built based on a winter focus, so I was very excited to see how the Ice Blazer WSL2’s would hold up in the Toronto winter.
They were fitted on my 2010 Mazda3 Sport, which has never had the pleasure of winter tires in its three years. I just don’t drive it that often, so there was never a big need to put them on. I might have been the only one praying for a few snowfalls in late February and March, but lucky for me and only me, I got my wish.
You hear it a lot that putting winter tires changes your entire driving experience. The key is how much of a change it creates? Do all winter tires have the same effect? Well I can only talk about these Ice Blazer’s as this isn’t a comparison test, but after testing them out it felt like I had a brand new Mazda3. What a difference it made!
The Ice Blazer is a studless performance winter tire specializing in slush, snow, and wet traction. Let me take you through my journeys on snowy and slushy roads as well as dry roads.
Starting with dry conditions, the Ice Blazer performed admirably. You don’t feel too much of a difference from the previous all-seasons which is exactly what you want on these dry, but cold days. They provide for you a firm ride with a tight cornering grip. It might not be the smoothest of rides, but it’s far from bumpy and uncomfortable. It’s a good feeling to have a firm ride knowing that you will be secure come the next major snowfall.
Winter tires are not meant to be driven hard and fast, but unfortunately I had to suck it up and take it for an aggressive run. I was pleasantly surprised with the control they provide you as well as the lack of noise. In Toronto, we deal with many different weather conditions, but on most days we are blessed with dry conditions. Given that dry isn’t the Ice Blazer’s main focus it got a checkmark in my book.
Off to the good part – the snow. My front-wheel drive Mazda3 was ready for anything that came its way. I put it into drive and accelerated forward with ease digging right through the mid-range level of snow. It’s always nice to feel that confidence while driving and tackling the snow head-on opposed to searching for those grooves and following them up the side streets.
The Ice Blazer’s gave new life to my Mazda3 similar to a hip replacement. It gave me a renewed spirit to want to be more adventurous and take on those corners head-on. Regardless if I was aggressive on turns or driving conventionally I didn’t have to deal with much sliding as the Ice Blazer’s found grip. Windy and slushy roads felt like nothing, as I drove at the speed limit experiencing no slipping or sliding whatsoever.
When it came to some braking tests, the Ice Blazer’s passed again. Under normal stopping situations in medium-level snow I was able to stop reasonably quickly. The Ice Blazer’s braking performed as expected from my previous experiences testing winter tires over the years. To further test out braking I tried some emergency braking at 50 km/h. The Ice Blazer’s immediately dug into the snow and came to a full-stop once again in a respectable time. There wasn’t much sliding at all which made me feel safe and sound. In the slushy conditions, the braking was even quicker as the tires ripped through the slush and brought my Mazda3 to a full-stop impressively fast.
The confidence you gain from driving without stress is immeasurable. For all those people who don’t understand the need for winter tires and how much of an impact they provide, I say test it out for a day. When you really think about, in the time that you’re using those winter tires – you’re not wearing out those summer performance tires allowing them to last longer.
The best part about Sailun that might tip the scale for those debating to pay for winter tires is the cost. As a value tier tire company – those money concerns slowly dissipate when you can pick-up a 16” tire ranging from $80 to $100. In comparison, if you look up the same size in a Continental, Bridgestone or Pirelli brand – you’re looking in the $150-$200 range. The Ice Blazer’s performed at a level above their retail price and that makes me more than happy to recommend them for next year’s winter season. It doesn’t hurt that you can save some money in the process, so if you’ve always worried about the cost of winter tires or are looking for a great deal on a new set – the Sailun Ice Blazer might just be the one for you.
PALO ALTO, CA -- Tesla Motors announced today that, in partnership with Wells Fargo and US Bank, it has created a revolutionary automotive financing product that provides the best elements of ownership and leasing to Model S customers.
Most people throughout the world prefer to own their belongings, rather than rent what is essentially someone else’s property via a lease. However, leases do provide some key benefits, particularly a low initial payment, tax deductions, lower risk on resale value and the convenience of returning a car without the hassle of reselling it personally.
Working with some of the largest and most respected banks in the country, Tesla has been able to create a new kind of financing product that combines the security and comfort of ownership with all the advantages of a traditional lease. Like the Model S, this product was created from the ground up to provide maximum benefit to consumers, rather than simply duplicating other financing programs that tend to favor companies at the expense of the individual.
How does it work?
US Bank and Wells Fargo have agreed to provide 10% down financing for purchase of a Model S (on approved credit.)
The 10% down payment is covered or more than covered by US Federal and state tax credits ranging from $7,500 to $15,000. New Jersey, Washington and DC also have no sales tax for electric vehicles. These advantages are not available when leasing.
When considering the savings from using electricity instead of gasoline, depreciation benefits and other factors, the true net out of pocket cost to own a mid-range Model S drops to less than $500 per month.
After 36 months, you have the right, but not the obligation to sell your Model S to Tesla for the same residual value percentage as the iconic Mercedes S Class, one of the finest premium sedans in the world, made by Daimler (also a Tesla partner and investor).
Not only is Tesla guaranteeing that resale value, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk is personally standing behind that guarantee to give customers absolute peace of mind about the value of the asset they are purchasing.
TORONTO - Sales of cars and light trucks in Canada slipped every so slightly last month compared with the recording-setting pace set in March 2012.
According to data compiled by DesRosiers Automotive consultants, sales totalled 156,680 in March, down 0.7 per cent from 157,749 a year ago.
"March 2012 was the best March sales total on record, so the 2013 performance is certainly encouraging," DesRosiers wrote in a report to clients Tuesday.
However, the firm noted that the near identical sales hid shifts in the market which saw those at Ford and Chrylser make gains, while General Motors lost ground.
Ford Motor Co. of Canada says it was the bestselling automaker in the country last month as sales of its popular F-150 pickup truck helped push results higher.
The company says overall sales were up two per cent compared with a year ago for a total of 25,092, up from 24,690. F-150 sales were up 23 per cent.
Meanwhile, car sales slipped to 6,046 for the month, down from 6,157 in March 2012. Total truck sales came to 19,046, up from 18,533.
While Ford claimed the top spot, Chrysler Canada reported a six per cent increase in monthly sales for March to bring its sales to 24,173, up from 22,703 in March 2012.
Chrysler said it was the company's best March sales since 2000 and marked 40 consecutive months of year-over-year sales growth.
Sales at General Motors, according to DesRosiers, fell 10.9 per cent from a year ago to 20,218 from 22,684.
DesRosiers noted that Honda and its Acura nameplate posted gains, while Toyota and its luxury Lexus brand saw sales drop compared with a year ago.
"Both high volume Japanese manufacturers finished the quarter with market share losses, Toyota/Lexus experiencing a more pronounced 0.9 point slide versus Honda's 0.5 point year-to-date decline," DesRosiers said.
"Honda/Acura's gains were isolated entirely to the Acura luxury brand, with mainline Honda models pacing last year's March total almost directly. Toyota/Lexus, on the other hand, saw similar volume reductions across both Toyota and Lexus brands."
Honda reported sales totalled 12,769 for the month, about the same as a year ago, while its Acura division sold 1,728 vehicles, up 92 per cent compared with a year ago.
"While not enough to offset our declines in January and February, the March results show that Canadians are strongly accepting Honda's core sedans, the 2013 Fit, Civic and Accord," said Dave Gardner, Honda Canada's vice-president of sales and marketing.
"We expect a solid second quarter to get us back into positive year over year growth."
Toyota sales totalled 15,065, down from 16,054, while Lexus sales fell to 1,221 compared with 1,288 a year ago.
Meanwhile, Nissan reported its Infiniti brand recorded its best-ever sales month at 1,024 units, up 16.1 per cent over the same month last year.
Nissan division sales were 7,437 units for March, down 12.9 per cent.
Mazda Canada said it sold 8,153 vehicles in the month, up five per cent from 7,779 in March 2012, led by the Mazda3. The compact car put in its best March since 2010 and second-best March ever with 4,848 sold, up 25 per cent from a year ago.
Volkswagen Canada reported sales of 5,884 new cars and light trucks for the month, up from 5,064 a year ago, as sales of its popular Jetta totalled 3,001.
Kia Canada reported 5,877 new vehicles sold in March, down 11.3 per cent from a year ago.
Subaru is recalling thousands of Legacy and Outback all-wheel-drive vehicles because the brake lines can rust and leak fluid.
The recall affects cars from the 2005 through 2009 model years sold in states where salt is used to clear roads in the winter.
Subaru says in documents filed with the U.S. government that salt can cause the brake lines to rust and leak. If fluid leaks, it could cause longer stopping distances, increasing the risk of a crash.
The documents didn’t say if the problem has caused any crashes. Subaru says it is still totalling the number of vehicles affected. The company sold more than 316,000 Legacys and Outbacks from 2006 through 2009, according to Autodata Corp.
Subaru will check the cars for leaks and replace brake lines if necessary.
Driving purists and enthusiasts beware: the manual transmission is heading the way of the dinosaurs. This extinction is being spearheaded by facts and figures that are published by automotive manufacturers. Not helping the cause are details such as how the dual-clutch transmissions(DCT) and advanced automatic transmissions shift in 100 milliseconds or how 80% of their vehicles are sold with the new auto gearboxes while the other 20% still hold true to the three-pedal layout (recent statistic released by Porsche). The death of the manual transmission isn’t a phase or a random idea put forth by the auto industry; rather, it’s becoming a niche market in response to a declining population who demand these vehicles.
The desire for automatic transmissions has become more apparent with emerging technologies developing better fuel efficiency and greater performance. DCT is one of those technologies formed which not only makes shifting lightning fast, but a more comfortable ride with seamless shifting and better fuel economy. Fuel economy has been one of the main selling points for manual vehicles, but with the advent of DCT technology many have pondered – are we seeing the slow death of the manual transmission?
There are many reasons why car enthusiasts will still gravitate towards manual transmissions, but the numbers are becoming smaller and smaller. It’s not something that can be measured by a graph and observed on a fact sheet. It’s not something an engineer can calculate or a car salesman can put a number to. It’s the fun factor. It’s about being more connected to the vehicle and deciding when to swap gears independently, not when a computer overlord decides for us.
A perfect DCT example of losing that manual enthusiasm is the Nissan GTR. It’s truly mechanically fascinating how it can aid us in becoming a better racing driver, but it’s almost, dare I say…nerdy? I have no objections to the GTR and have been fortunate enough to drive one in my young age but what’s happening to the drivers who prefer to heel-toe down shift and bang through the gears? The GTR showcases automotive technological capabilities at its finest, but I can’t help feel a little sad that the primitive hoonish days of doing a standing clutch drop burnout are symbolically becoming smoke in the air.
Don’t get me wrong – I like automated vehicles. In fact when I drove identical Lamborghini Gallardo’s last year (one manual and the other automatic) I preferred the automatic due to the unique sensation you get when shifting in sport mode. This sensation is like getting a light punch in the back of the head, you lunge forward and the G’s toss you back against the seat under acceleration. That was awesome, but it made me feel somewhat disconnected from the car and driving experience. Much like the GTR, the Gallardo’s transmission is a unique blend of speed, precision and usability. Under acceleration, it’s just an animal with gear changes, but at the end of the day, it still takes away the control that I lust for. Changing gears and reaching higher speeds is a control element that any car enthusiast craves. But that element was missing, it was as if the car would give you control until it decided that you have gone too long without changing a gear. The system is similar to a dog on a leash that gets choked from tension when running too much ahead of its owner. The control the car has over you is subtle, yet always present.
I admire the technology and embrace it for our future, but I can’t help but think that having the ability to drive standard will be a very uncommon skill ten years from now. On the flip side, I understand that we have to embrace change, set aside things that previously made us happy and usher in new technologies.
It’s a numbers game. As more people ditch the manual transmission and embrace new automatic technology, the less production is needed for manual vehicles. A dwindling market and overall lack of interest is making the manual gearbox disappear in most vehicles. With newer technologies taking hold of the marketplace, the manual is becoming no more than a novelty for car enthusiasts. In its current state, a manual car is slower, less fuel efficient, and for some people it demands a steep learning curve to master. There will always be manual cars such as Mustangs, Corvettes and baseline economy cars in which we can still get the chance to row our own gears and allow us to have total control over the speed of the engine, but we will soon see its demise in other performance models which is a shame. For the time being, we are safe from the annihilation but eventually the world has to move on.
So you may be asking yourself; what should I do? Should I buy more manual vehicles to help aid the fight to save this endangered species? Or should I equip my new vehicle with the advanced automated transmission and help the fight to rid the world of the stick shift once and for all.
There are pros and cons to both sides. On one side, you get more fuel efficiency and faster shift times but on the other, you get a feeling of total driver connectivity and control that a computer just cannot hope to offer. It’s a difficult argument because the driver will lose something no matter which side they take.
Personally, I would equip my vehicle with a manual transmission. It offers me that intimate connection with my vehicle that automatics cannot. It’s the beauty of rowing through the gears and the clumsiness that comes from learning a new clutch. It helps secure that bond between man and machine and truly lets you admire and respect your vehicle, knowing full well that if you start disrespecting your car it will bite you right back with a worn clutch or some gear grinding.
This bond defines why we love cars. Car enthusiasts know full well that a vehicle is more than a tool, especially when we connect with it. So go out and enjoy your stick shift, because when this old gearbox is finally phased out, we can all look back and remember when our cars were more than just an appliance.
Recently Land Rover produced a teaser video of their new 2014 Range Rover Sport. It’s shown cruising through the streets of New York.
It’s a nice marketing effort by Land Rover to promote the Range Rover Sport that’s to be revealed on March 26th at the New York International Auto Show.
This new Range Rover Sport appears to take some features from the Range Rover Evoque and the latest generation Range Rover. According to Land Rover, it will be the fastest, most responsive and agile vehicle ever.
Your engine options will possibly be the 4.4L V-8, a supercharged 3.0L V-6, or a supercharged 5.0L V-8.
The New York International Auto Show runs from March 29th to April 7th at the Jacob Javits Center.
Sometimes, we enthusiasts push the envelope in terms of the cars we drive. In terms of engineering and demanded luxury, we are spoiled to unprecedented lengths with cars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti and many others. Most recently, a Lebanese company based in the United Arab Emirates named W Motors has reached new heights of engineering ridiculousness.
The vehicle in question: The W Motors Lykan Hypersport.
This outstanding piece of machinery is a work of art. It will also be rare to find with a limited production run of seven units. Retail pricing numbers are rumored to start around 3.4 Million USD.
What do you get for this hefty price tag?
Before we get into the nuts and bolts you must first understand that the Lykan Hypersport is a future benchmark of wealth and performance.
Breaking down this later supercar, we begin with diamond-encrusted LED headlights and exclusive interior appointments that let you know you are one of few to have the pleasure of being inside. The Lykan Hypersport has a virtual holographic display for its instrument panel and each of the seven produced cars is of course hand-assembled.
When inside the car you are pleasantly greeted by an interior lined with diamonds, gold and platinum. Owners are said to receive a special Cyrus Klepcys watch valued at $200,000 to complement their extravagant supercar.
The mechanical package is definitely the star of the show. W Motors has gone with a flat-six engine mounted in a mid-engine position. Thanks to a twin-turbo charging system, the engine develops up to 750 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque that can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 2.8 seconds with a top speed of 245 mph.
The overall design of the Lykan is unique, though there’s undoubtedly some recognizable influences and undertones from more established supercars or concept vehicles. The bodywork, composed mostly of carbon fiber, is constructed primarily in Italy along with its lavish interior.
MISSISSAUGA, ON - Subaru Canada, Inc. (SCI) today announced the release of the completely redesigned 2014 Subaru Forester. While still maintaining its strong reputation for safety, performance, dependability and versatility in the compact SUV segment, the new Forester is an evolution rather than a revolution in its redesign as it debuts a bold exterior design and roomier interior along with improved performance and impressive fuel economy.
For the 2014 model year, Forester will jump to the head of its class in full-time all-wheel-drive fuel economy as Forester 2.5i models newly equipped with Subaru's Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) achieve manufacturer-estimated fuel economy ratings of 6.2 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway. A new 2.0-litre direct injection twin-scroll turbocharged SUBARU BOXER engine producing 250 horsepower will be introduced on Forester 2.0XT models, while the naturally aspirated version will continue with the 2.5-litre horizontally opposed SUBARU BOXER engine producing 170 horsepower. Standard Subaru symmetrical full-time All-Wheel Drive continues to set Forester apart from segment competitors.
Bold Design with Added Function
The 2014 Forester preserves the optimal blend of SUV capability and spirited handling that have made it one of Subaru's bestselling models since its introduction in 1997. Hawkeye headlights and a slightly taller, hexagonally shaped grille anchor the bold front-end design. Forester 2.0XT models gain an exclusive, aggressive looking sport-designed front bumper along with mesh-style grille and chrome-rimmed fog light bezels.
All models feature black side cladding and body-coloured door handles. Forester's sporty design incorporates several functional benefits. All models employ an aluminum hood for lighter weight. Not only has the A-pillar moved forward, but frontward visibility - a strong point on the outgoing model - has further improved. New partitioned front-door side glass, along with door-mounted mirrors, help improve side visibility and reduce potential wind noise. The hood scoop on Forester 2.0XT models has been replaced by under-hood ducting, further enhancing forward visibility while supplying air to the turbo model's intercooler.
Increased Comfort and Versatility
Built on a new platform featuring a 25-millimetre longer wheelbase, vehicle length and width has increased by just 35 and 15 millimetres, respectively, yet the 2014 Forester gains notable gains in roominess thanks to Subaru's mastery of efficient vehicle packaging. This platform also pays dividends in manoeuvrability - a longstanding Forester hallmark - evidenced by the vehicle's tight 5.3-metre turning circle.
The all-new interior design capitalizes on increased roominess by also emphasizing a feeling of greater spaciousness. A longer distance between the front occupants and instrument panel give the Forester a more open feel. All models feature a standard tilt/telescoping steering column.
Thanks to a new type of cushion spring, front seats have become more comfortable for longer trips while select 2.5i models feature a reclining rear seatback and a rear seat folding centre armrest with dual cup holders. To greater accommodate all shapes and sizes, the front seat hip point is 29 millimetres higher than before. The driver's seat height adjustment offers an additional 15.5 millimetres of range along with 32 millimetres greater fore-aft seat cushion adjustment range.
The longer wheelbase and specially shaped front seatbacks contribute to comfortable rear-seat legroom. Subaru also improved comfort and room for the centre rear-seat passenger by raising the hip point by 36 millimetres, lowering the centre tunnel by 68.8 millimetres and reducing the length of the front centre console by 100 millimetres. Combined with increased hip and shoulder room, the 2014 Forester boasts a more comfortable backseat for three passengers. Rear doors also open wider for ease of entry and exit. This, along with relocated tether anchors, makes for easier installation of child seats.
Flattening the load floor even further in the 2014 Forester has increased maximum rear cargo capacity to 2,115 litres with the standard 60/40-split rear seats folded.
Contributing to Forester's impressive fuel economy ratings are a new six-speed manual transmission in 2.5i models and an available Lineartronic CVT.
Dynamic Performance and Maximized Efficiency
Forester 2.5i models continue with the double overhead camshaft (DOHC) 2.5-litre SUBARU BOXER engine that debuted on the outgoing model. This engine produces 170 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. Matched to either the standard 6-speed manual transmission or the CVT, the 2.5-litre engine gives the Forester excellent response in everyday driving with emphasis on low and mid-range torque.
Turbocharged 2.0XT models debut with a new turbocharged variant of the FA-series SUBARU BOXER engine first introduced in the Subaru BRZ sports coupe. In 2014 Forester 2.0XT models, the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder SUBARU BOXER engine uses a combination of direct fuel injection, high compression (10.6:1), Subaru's Dual Active Valve Control System (D-AVCS) as well as turbocharging with an intercooler to achieve outstanding performance and high efficiency. The Forester 2.0XT engine produces 250 horsepower at 5,600 rpm accompanied by a broad torque curve that peaks at 258 pound-feet over a 2,000 to 4,800 rpm engine speed range.
The CVT in the 2.5i models and high-torque CVT in 2.0XT models use new adaptive control. Based on vehicle input received by the transmission control module, pulley gear ratios are continually optimized based on driving preferences and road conditions. Forester 2.0XT and Forester 2.5i Convenience, Touring and Limited Package models also include feature paddle shifters for the CVT, while the entry level Forester 2.5i with the CVT includes a driver-selectable low shift mode, which can provide additional engine braking when travelling down a grade. All 2014 Forester models feature a new low-oil level indicator.
SI-DRIVE: Better Control, Better Performance
Exclusive to 2.0XT models, Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) is an engine performance management system that allows the driver to tailor the vehicle's driving characteristics by choosing among three selectable modes - Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp - by using a switch on the steering wheel.
With Intelligent mode selected, SI-DRIVE provides a more relaxed throttle response curve, making it useful for commuting in traffic. Sport mode provides quick throttle response, powerful linear acceleration and accesses a 6-speed manual mode with steering wheel-integrated paddle shifters. In Sport Sharp mode, SI-DRIVE modifies the engine's electronic throttle mapping to deliver even quicker throttle response and provides an 8-speed manual mode for the CVT.
Agile Handling, Smooth Ride
The 2014 Subaru Forester builds on the reputation for agility and smooth ride quality firmly established by previous Forester models. The front strut suspension and double-wishbone rear suspension have been retuned for the 2014 model year; the rear suspension gains pillow-ball joint mounts, while pillow-ball bushings have been used to replace the rubber lateral link bushings previously used on the outer rear of the lateral link. Newly refined sport-tuned suspension delivers sharper handling response, along with exclusive chassis enhancements. Forester 2.0 XT use larger brakes than 2.5i models with ventilated front and rear rotors.
For all 2014 Forester models, a new Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system contributes to fuel efficiency and also provides excellent feedback to the driver. The Forester 2.5i entry model now rides on standard 17-inch steel wheels, up one inch from the outgoing model. The Convenience Package has standard 17-inch wheels and 2.0XT models exclusively use black 18-inch alloy wheels, machine finished with a high-relief design.
Standard Subaru Symmetrical Full-Time All-Wheel Drive
The 2014 Forester is available with two versions of Subaru symmetrical full-time All-Wheel Drive, which make all-wheel-drive traction available all the time, regardless of speed, gear or conditions. Forester 2.5i models equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission use a viscous-coupling limited-slip centre differential that distributes power 50/50 for well-balanced handling at all speeds.
In all Forester models with an automatic transmission, an electronically controlled Multi-Plate Transfer clutch system actively manages power distribution based on acceleration, deceleration and available traction. This system distributes power 60/40 front to rear under normal conditions, but balances power 50/50 for maximum grip when slippage is detected. Control logic in this AWD system enhances stability by monitoring individual wheel speeds and reacting more quickly to wheel slippage. The control logic also helps to improve tight corner braking, contributing to more neutral handling response (reducing understeer and oversteer).
All CVT models will also gain a brand new X-Mode and Hill Descent Control feature that works in conjunction with Subaru symmetrical full-time All-Wheel Drive, the SUBARU BOXER engine and the brake system to provide extra control in slippery driving situations. This new feature allows the vehicle to control the brakes, throttle and other engine components to ensure improved traction in difficult driving situations.
Vehicle Dynamics Control
Standard on every Subaru, the Vehicle Dynamics Control system monitors and analyzes if the vehicle is following the driver's intended course via an array of smart sensors. If the vehicle approaches the limits of stability, the AWD torque distribution, engine output and brakes at each wheel adjust automatically to assist in keeping the vehicle on course. A Vehicle Dynamics Control 'off' switch is useful for driving out of slushy roads, deep snow or very loose gravel. The 'off' position deactivates the system's torque-reduction control, while the ABS traction control remains active.
Forester: Building on Proven Strength in Safety Leadership
The Subaru Forester has established a distinguished reputation for safety, backed up by achieving the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety TOP SAFETY PICK rating over many years. The 2014 Forester builds on that record and continues to be built around the company's proven ring-shaped reinforcement frame safety structure. With a front-end configuration that disperses collision energy in three directions, this design forms a series of rings around the passenger compartment, providing protection in a variety of collision types. High-tension steel side-impact door beams and impact-absorbing foam materials enhance side-impact safety performance.
New safety features for all 2014 Forester models include anti-whiplash front seats, a driver's knee air bag, Brake Override and an impact-sensing fuel system cutoff. The Brake Override system cuts engine power if the driver applies both the brake and accelerator beyond a certain threshold. During airbag deployment, the new impact sensor cuts fuel supply to the engine.
The extensive roster of dynamic safety technology continuing from the outgoing model includes standard 4-wheel disc brakes with Subaru's four-wheel, four-channel, four-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) electronic stability system as well as Subaru symmetrical full-time All-Wheel Drive and Brake Assist. In emergency braking, drivers usually apply less force than needed even when reacting quickly. Brake Assist detects how quickly the driver has pressed the pedal; if pedal velocity exceeds a certain level, Brake Assist applies system hydraulic pressure up to the ABS limit to help increase braking effectiveness.
Standard passive safety technology includes the Subaru advanced frontal air bag system (SRS), driver and front passenger seat-mounted side-impact air bags, and standard side curtain air bags. A rollover sensor can deploy the side curtain air bags if it detects a potential vehicle rollover.
EyeSight Driver-Assist System
The 2014 Forester will offer Subaru's new EyeSight driver-assist system, which debuted on 2013 Legacy and Outback models. This stereo camera-based system, developed by Subaru, provides a detection angle wider than that of radar-based systems. EyeSight's preventative safety technology - which acts as a second set of eyes for the driver - integrates Pre-Collision Throttle Management, Vehicle Lane Departure and a Lane Sway Warning, Lead Vehicle Start Alert as well as Adaptive Cruise Control and Pre-Collision Braking. These latter two features are especially noteworthy as the 2014 Forester is the only vehicle within the compact SUV segment to offer them.
New Amenities for Greater Functionality and Convenience
The 2014 Forester debuts new amenities and conveniences along with more upscale luxury features on higher trim levels. The naturally aspirated Forester 2.5i will be available in the entry level model as well as a Convenience Package with a PZEV option, a Touring Package, and a Limited Package with an EyeSight option. The turbocharged Forester 2.0XT Touring is also available with the Limited Package that can add an EyeSight and Multimedia option.
The entry level 2.5i model comes generously equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission or available CVT, voice-activated Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity and Bluetooth audio streaming, a MediaHub for iPod connectivity as well as air conditioning and heated front seats and side mirrors, among many others. The Convenience Package gains 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear-view camera, power driver's seat and fog lights and is available with an option for PZEV technology. The Touring Package adds dual-zone climate control, a new power rear liftgate, roofline spoiler and extra-large sunroof. At the top of the 2.5i lineup is the Limited Package, which additionally counts high-intensity discharge headlights with LED accent lighting, auto-dimming door mirrors with approach lighting, leather seating surfaces and a Harman Kardon eight-speaker system among its selected features.
Key features of the turbocharged Forester 2.0XT Touring include SI-DRIVE, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, a power driver's seat and extra-large sunroof. The Forester 2.0XT Limited additionally offers leather seating surfaces, a power rear liftgate, high-intensity discharge headlights with LED accent lighting and auto-dimming door mirrors with approach lighting, among many others. EyeSight, as well as navigation with smartphone integration and Aha radio, is available as an option on the Limited Package.
The 2014 Forester is set to deliver on three generations of the Forester promise as the newest reincarnation offers even more value, with the well-equipped entry model starting from $25,995, and the turbocharged Forester 2.0XT starting from $32,495. Learn more about the 2014 Subaru Forester and follow the conversation @Subaru_Canada #Forester.