The 2015 Hyundai Sonata was teased a month before its set to debut at the New York International Auto Show. The teaser shows that the Korean automaker designed the car to have the Fluidic Sculpture technology, the same found in the all-new Genesis that debuted back in November.
The new Sonata seems to be more conservative with better styling than its predecessor. The car is built atop a platform with 51 per cent advanced high-strength steel, while the previous model only had 21 per cent. Its torsional and bending stiffness has been increased more than 40 per cent compared to its predecessor.
We do know that the Sonata will have a redesigned interior with a new infotainment system and seats. However, Hyundai has confirmed nothing about engine specifics or powertrain. More details will be announced coming up when the 2015 Sonata will be making its world premiere in Korea later this month before its April unveil in New York.
It’s good to be bad. Well, Jaguars ad campaign says it is, at least. With the new Jaguar XE – I wouldn’t doubt that. The XE is built on new scalable aluminum architecture and is the first of more to come. Jaguar originally previewed it with the C-X17 SUV concept at the Canadian International AutoShow.
The manufacturer has a new engine line that will be called “Ingenium.” The XE will be powered by a number of different engines including a new 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, which will be a part of the new line. The XE will be offered as a diesel as well, but may not make it to North America. The car will be able to use the new 2.0-litre gas engine in both transverse and longitudinal engine setups as well as both all-wheel and rear-wheel drive settings.
Although some specifics have not yet been announced, JLR promises to unveil the car in production form later this year.
General Motors has added vehicles to the number of small cars they are recalling for the faulty ignition switches linked to several fatal crashes. Two weeks ago, GM announced the recall for more than 780,000 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5’s. Since then, they have added four models to the list, the Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice, Saturn Ion and the Saturn Sky adding 842,000 cars, for a total of 1.6 million.
GM said jarring from rough roads or a heavy key ring could cause the ignition to switch the cars position and shut power off to the engine and electrical power as well. Because of that it can knock out the power brakes and steering and disable the front air bags. The ignition problem has been linked to about 31 crashes and 13 front-seat deaths. GM said for the fatalities, the air bags did not inflate, but the engines did not shut off in all of the cases. There has not been any clarity to know if the ignition switches caused the crashes or if people died because the air bags didn’t inflate.
The models being recalled are Pontiac G5s and Chevrolet Cobalts from 2005 to 2007; Saturn Ion compacts from 2003 through 2007, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice, and Saturn Sky cars from 2006 and 2007. Most of the cars sold were in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Big news this week comes out of Hennessey where their Venom GT improved the top speed record to an astonishing 435.31 kilometres per hour. The run took place on a landing strip at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on February 14th. The record speed was confirmed by a Racelogic Vbox telemetry system. The previous record-holder was the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, which demonstrated 430 kilometres per hour.
The incredible thing about the run is that the Venom GT, which pushes out 1,244 horsepower was still accelerating when it was at 435 kilometres per hour, but was forced to slow down due to the remaining length of the runway. The driver of the car, Brian Smith, only had around 4 kilometres to complete the run because he needed about a kilometre to slow the car down to 112 km/hr.
The cars record time will not make it into the Guinness Book of World Records, because the car needed to complete two runs in opposite directions with the average speed for the record time. The Venom GT only did one run because that is all NASA would allow, and according to founder, John Hennessey, it still took years of negotiations for the solo run.
Furthermore, even if more than one run was completed, it still would not make it into Guinness, because 30 examples are required to certify a car for a ‘production vehicle’ – Hennessey is only building 29 Venoms, 11 of which are already sold.
Even though that run did not get recorded as the fastest by Guinness, the Venom GT already has the title as fastest car to reach a speed of 300 kilometres per hour, getting to that speed in just 13.63 seconds. Check out the video below to see the run!
Vehicle undercarriages and door seals aren't the only items that you should prepare for cold weather; it's just as important to winterize the interior of your car. Unfortunately, many people don't know how to go about this, especially when their vehicles have leather seats.
Why Winterization is Important?
Remember, the biological processes that once kept your seat leather flexible and soft are no longer active. In the freezing cold, the molecular bonds that hold the material together can't rely on cell growth to repair damage. It's essential to offset degradation by replicating the natural way of things.
As an organic substance, leather is susceptible to far more damage from temperature fluctuations and air quality changes than its synthetic counterparts. Vehicles that employ this expensive material require extra protection in order to maintain their value and appearance, and it all starts with how well you treat your seats and trim surfaces. Follow these basic tips on caring for your leather in order to prevent cracking, drying, fading and other forms of winter-induced damage:
1) Don't Rely on the Manufacturer's Treatment
Many drivers believe that their vehicles will be fine in cold weather because they came complete with some form of leather coating. This treatment, however, generally breaks down over time, after being subjected to UV radiation, heat and other environmental factors.
Once that happens—or if your seats never had a protective coating in the first place—it's essential to supplement the manufacturer coating on your leather with leather conditioner as the original barrier breaks down. This ensures your seats are never directly exposed to degradation.
2) Keeping Leather Clean
Another critical aspect of being organic is that leather can undergo chemical reactions with dirt, moisture, oils, salts and other common substances. These agents naturally collect on seats as people get in and out of cars and touch surfaces with their hands.
When leather is penetrated by salts, oils or even water, it can lose its suppleness, change color and crack. Winter weather only makes things worse; by inducing thermal contraction, the cold stresses weak spots and exacerbates the effects of these chemical reactions even further.
Using leather cleaner on a regular basis is the easiest way to prevent such problems. Removing the surface dirt before it can penetrate the material ensures that it doesn't have a chance to cause deep, irreversible damage.
3) Don't Make More Work for Yourself
One important thing to remember about cleaners is that some might actually leave unwanted chemicals behind. Synthetic solvents and harsh cleaners that do a good job of making dirt disappear commonly build up on natural leather. Eventually, these residues have the same effects as the dirt you're trying to eliminate.
Make sure to use all-natural leather cleaner, as it allows you to actually get the leather clean without leaving harmful substances behind in the process. They're also easier on your skin, so you're not as likely to come down with a rash simply from sitting in your freshly cleaned seats.
4) Always Condition after Cleaning
The one downside of all cleaners that remove dirt is that they can also strip oils from the leather. Like the other problems we've covered, this increases brittleness and leads to cracking.
Natural conditioners are designed to reverse such phenomena and return your seats to a more organic state. In the process, they infuse leather with much-needed moisture and create water-repellant barriers that help preserve their new, pristine condition.
5) Doing Things Properly
Never rush through the process of winterizing your leather seating. For best results, you want to allow the conditioners to soak into the surfaces and penetrate them with natural moisture.
Be certain to take your time cleaning as well. Tough dirt won't always come off right away, and it's better to gently reapply cleaner than to scrub so hard that you cause damage.
About the author:
Jim McGowen is the founder of Leather Honey Leather Conditioner, the #1 selling leather conditioner on Amazon.com. Jim has been in the leather care & maintenance industry for over 40 years. Learn more about how to winterize your car's interior with leather conditioner for cars by checking us out online. If you're in Canada, visit our Amazon Canada store to keep your vehicle interior in top condition.
The Toyota FT-1 has been quite a hit after it made its debut in Detroit with talk that it will be dubbed the next Supra. Although Toyota has not officially come out and said that it will be made, the constant hints and publicity show good signs for the FT-1’s future.
The automaker’s original trademark for Supra was originally established in 1979, and expired in 2006, four years after the last car left the assembly line. Just last week, on Feb. 10, Toyota filed for a new application with the United States Patent and Trademark office to register the name Supra again. Although these are good signs for the resurrection of the sports car, Toyota has not made any confirmations about it.
If everything goes well, the FT-1 could be hitting production as early as 2016, and the FT-1 will be comparable to the Acura NSX and the Nissan GT-R. Rumours suggest that the FT-1 base model will have a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and an upgraded version offering a 2.5-litre turbocharged V6 hybrid good for about 400 horsepower.
Ssangyong is getting ready to join the North American scene, but will do so under a different name. After claiming bankruptcy in 1999, Ssangyong has created itself a market for SUVs and the Korean auto company is looking forward to bringing the product to North America. Ssangyong was saved when Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra stepped forward and acquired a 70 per cent lot in February of 2011. Since then, that initial stake has risen to 73 per cent.
Just last year, Ssangyong racked up its highest sales since 2002, moving about 145,649 vehicles and noticing a 20.7 per cent increase year-after-year. From the total deliveries, around 81,679 were made overseas and up 11.9 per cent.
A product portfolio for the North American market is in the works and the auto company has hired a consultant to help them find a more desirable name for the journey to North America. The aim is to cut the imagery of the old company and have a product of quality and a long future.
Canadian Black Book has announced their winners for the 2014 Best Retained Value Awards. Canadian Black Book has been a trusted and unbiased source for vehicles and their values for more than 50 years. Consumers have benefitted from the same expert insight that’s been an important factor in making a car decision. Canadian Black Book has features on the website that allows buyers and sellers to calculate a vehicles trade-in value, its future value, as well as the average asking price.
The Best Retained Value Awards acknowledge vehicles that have the retained the highest percentage of their original MSRP after four years. This is a big factor, because the depreciation of a vehicle is such a huge expense associated with owning a car or truck.
The eligible models for the 2014 Canadian Black Book awards were based on models that were made in 2010. Cars and trucks were split up into 19 different categories with one winner coming out of each. A few highlights from this year’s winners came from Toyota who took first for small and full-size pickup trucks for the fifth consecutive year, as well as first for mid and full-size SUV. In other news, Subaru swept the mid-size car category for the fifth straight year with their Outback.
For a list of all of the winners, check below:
Sub-compact Car Honda Fit
Compact Car Toyota Prius
Mid-size Car Subaru Outback
Full-size Car Toyota Avalon
Entry Luxury Car BMW 1 Series
Luxury Car Lexus GS Series
Premium Lux. Car Porsche Panamera
Premium Sports Car Porsche Boxster
Sports Car Dodge Challenger
Small Pickup Toyota Tacoma
Full-size Pickup Toyota Tundra
Minivan Honda Odyssey
Full-size Van Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Compact SUV Jeep Wrangler
Mid-size SUV Toyota FJ Cruiser
Full-size SUV Toyota Sequoia
Compact Lux. SUV Mercedes-Benz GLK
Mid-size Lux. SUV Land Rover LR4
Full-size Luxury SUV Hummer H2
SYDNEY - Toyota says it will stop making cars in Australia by the end of 2017, spelling a final blow to auto manufacturing in the country.
Car companies say high production costs and tough competition have made the business financially unviable in Australia.
Toyota's announcement Monday means the loss of around 2,500 jobs. It comes just two months after General Motors Co. announced that it would be ending production in Australia by 2017.
Ford Motor Co. announced in May that it was ending production in the country in 2016.
Toyota said its decision was based on a combination of factors including the high Australian dollar, the high cost of manufacturing and competition.
TORONTO - Canadian auto sales rose only marginally in January to 95,639 vehicles from 95,306 in the same month in 2013, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.
But the meagre 0.3 per cent increase masked big gains by many import brands, which overall saw January sales increase 8.5 per cent year over year. That compared with an overall 8.1 per cent decrease for the so-called Detroit brands, DesRosiers said.
"January is always a troubling month for vehicle sales and not necessarily just because of the weather," the consultancy said in a commentary.
It noted that companies can be under tremendous pressure in December to meet specific sales targets and will often go to extraordinary lengths, including the use of aggressive dealer and consumer incentives to bring sales forward.
"We often see double-digit increases in December as sales are pulled forward followed by double-digit decreases in January when reality sets in," it said.
Among the Big Three, General Motors of Canada sales was hurt the most, down 20.1 per cent to 10,991 cars and light trucks from 13,761, followed by Ford of Canada, whose January sales were off 10.1 per cent at 14,526 compared with 16,193 last year.
Chrysler Canada, meanwhile, enjoyed a 3.9 per cent increase to 17,589 vehicles from 16,928, DesRosiers said.
It was the 50th consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth for Chrysler's Canadian subsidiary, the longest streak in its history.
Toyota Canada was among the import makes that experienced a big improvement, with overall sales across its three brands up 10.6 per cent for the month to 10,439 vehicles, including 3,981 Toyota cars and 5,347 Toyota trucks.
Sales of Toyota's luxury Lexus brand were up 12.1 per cent at 914, compared with 815 a year ago, while Scion sales totalled 197, down from 290 a year ago.
Honda Canada reported overall sales of 7,732 vehicles, up 7.1 per cent from 7,220 a year ago.
Sales of Honda brand vehicles increased 9.8 per cent to 6,820 vehicles from 6,211 last year, while its luxury Acura division saw sales fall 9.6 per cent to 912 vehicles from 1,009.
Nissan sales rose a whopping 37.1 per cent to 5,624 from 4,101 a year ago, while its luxury Infiniti brand saw sales rise 41.3 per cent to 736 vehicles from 521.
Also doing well was Volkswagen, up 9.2 per cent to 3,683 vehicles from 3,373 and Subaru, up 27.9 per cent at 2,319 from 1,813, while Mazda sales were virtually unchanged, up 0.1 per cent at 3,754 vehicles compared with 3,752 last year.
By contrast, Hyundai sales were off 8.8 per cent at 6,704 from 7,349, although its Kia affiliate saw sales increase 5.7 per cent to 3,883 from 3,673 vehicles.