Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Porsche Pulling Covers Off Two New Models in Geneva

Cayman GT4 shows its stuff with blistering lap of Nurburgring.

by on Feb.26, 2015

The new Cayman GT4 seen lapping the Nurburgring.

The upcoming Geneva Motor Show is going to be one of the busiest ever, with automakers lining up to debut their latest products. And Porsche plans to use its time in the spotlight at Geneva’s PALExpo convention center to reveal two new high-performance models.

The pair includes the anticipated Porsche Cayman GT4, the maker’s first GT model based on a mid-engine coupe. The German sports carmaker has released some details about the new GT4, as well as a pair of shots grabbed while lapping the grueling Nurburgring track. But it’s keeping its second new offering a surprise to be revealed in Geneva.

Auto Show News and More!

The new Cayman GT4 is enough to catch one’s attention. Porsche says it turned an extremely impressive seven minute 40 second lap on the ‘Ring’s North Loop. That’s in line with what the previous generation Porsche 911 GT3 was able to accomplish.

Read the rest of this entry »

Expect Recall Numbers to Remain High, Study Says

NHTSA looks to increase investigation numbers, leading to more actions.

by on Feb.25, 2015

Mark Rosekind, NHTSA's new administrator, is pushing for a tripling of the agency's budget to ensure it can be an "enforcer" of safety rules.

The steady stream of automotive recalls that made 2014 the Year of the Recall is unlikely to occur again this year, but volumes are likely to be higher than normal, according to a recently released study.

Stout, Risius and Ross, a financial advisory firm, released its second annual automotive industry warranty and recall study suggesting that the federal government is getting better at determining when there is a problem and getting automakers to take action, which will mean more recalls than normal this year. The firm discussed its findings at the Society of Automotive Analysts second annual Automotive Warranty and Recall Symposium.

Your Safety News Source!

In short, another year with with 63.9 million vehicles recalled shouldn’t happen nor should a replay of last year’s type of recalls where two large events dominate the recalls. According to the firm, Takata’s faulty airbags accounted for 30% of last year’s recalls and General Motors was good for 20% with its action related to its ignition switches. GM, Toyota, Ford and Chrysler led the year in recalls. Read the rest of this entry »

Latest Audi Prologue Concept Hints at New Avant Model to Come

Show car also features a new virtual concept, and an all-knowing “butler.”

by on Feb.25, 2015

The Audi Prologue Avant concept debuting at the Geneva Motor Show is not quite a wagon or is it really a coupe.

When Audi revealed its show-stopping Prologue concept vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November, styling chief Marc Lichte suggested it was “a teaser for our next generation A6, A7 and A8” models.

Audi will be dropping still more hints of its future design direction next week when it pulls the wraps of the Prologue Avant concept during a news conference at the Geneva Motor Show. Not quite a wagon, clearly not a sedan, the distinctive five-door is intended to create a unique and dynamic new design form all its own.

Your Source for Auto Show News!

“The Audi prologue Avant is progressive, emotion-filled and versatile,” said Audi tech chief Ulrich Hackenberg, in a statement. “With our show car for Geneva, we now translate the design language of the Audi prologue into a new, dynamic and stretched form. We are merging it with a concept of high variability.” Read the rest of this entry »

VW Sketches Hint at New 4-Door Coupe

Concept version set to debut in Geneva; production model could follow by 2017.

by on Feb.25, 2015

Could this sketch be the updated Volkwagen CC? That's what some think after VW released this drawing.

With the Geneva Motor Show barely a week away, automakers are jockeying for position, offering up teasers of the products they plan to unveil in what’s expected to be a record number of debuts.

Volkswagen is saving the big news for a lavish event scheduled for the night before the official Geneva media preview, but the German maker is whetting our appetite with a pair of sketches showing a four-door coupe concept design that some are speculating will be the next-generation VW CC, the sportiest version of the big Passat sedan.

The Leader in Global Automotive News!

With the current CC model approaching the end of its lifecycle, that could mean we’ll be seeing a production version reaching showrooms as early as 2017. How much different the street model might be remains to be seen. Read the rest of this entry »

Lexus Leads Industry In Vehicle Dependability, Finds New JD Power Study

But automakers, overall, face problems with balky, high-tech infotainment systems.

by on Feb.25, 2015

Lexus was the top-ranked brand, while the Lexus GX was tops in its Midsize Premium segment.

For the fourth consecutive year, Lexus leads the industry in terms of longer-term vehicle reliability, according to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates.

But Detroit brands, notably General Motors’ Buick, also managed to crack the industry’s Top 10 in Power’s 2015 Vehicle Dependability Study, or VDS. The downside is that automakers, on the whole, are facing increased problems with their Bluetooth, navigation and other high-tech systems – often because of designed-in issues.

A Reliable Source!

Manufacturers can win over buyers with the latest technology, but lose them when those systems don’t work, said Renee Stephens, Powers’ vice president of U.S. automotive research. “Owners,” she added, “view in-vehicle technology issues as significant problems, and they typically don’t go away after the ownership honeymoon period is over.”

Read the rest of this entry »

VW Begins Construction on New Chattanooga Plant

Facility will build new midsize SUV in 2016.

by on Feb.25, 2015

Construction began at Volkwagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee plant to handle the new midsize SUV coming there in 2016.

Better late than never. Volkswagen of America (VOA), which has seen its sales battered because of the lack of a competitive utility vehicle, has take a critical step toward fixing the problem by starting construction of its assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Construction is underway at the VOA’s Chattanooga manufacturing facility in preparation for production of an all-new midsize SUV. The first phase of construction started in early January 2015 and will stretch out over the next two years, VOA officials said.

Stay in the Know!

“This is a very exciting time in the history of Volkswagen Chattanooga,” said Christian Koch, CEO and president of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “A lot of hard work is going into adding this second vehicle line to the plant, but it is crucial to our efforts to move forward in America.” Read the rest of this entry »

Nissan Hopes to Sway Small Car Buyers with New Concept

Nissan Sway concept expected to reappear as the next Nissan Micra.

by on Feb.25, 2015

The Nissan Sway concept is believed to be a close-to-production design tease for the next Micra.

Nissan is out to prove that big things really can come in small packages, the maker offering up a first teaser image of the new Sway concept vehicle it plans to unveil at the Geneva Motor Show next week.

The small hatchback is expected to be a thinly disguised version of the next-generation Micra, according to several sources TheDetroitBureau.com spoke with. The Nissan Sway concept underscores the increasingly competitive nature of the minicar market, particularly in Europe, where buyers expect many of the same features, and much the same level of creature comfort, as they’d get in larger products.

Become an Industry Insider!

“Sway is a glimpse at how a future generation of small Nissan models could look if the company’s striking new design language was applied to a European hatchback,” Nissan said in a short release accompanying the teaser image.

Read the rest of this entry »

Consumer Reports Name Top Brands and Models

Japanese makers dominate again.

by on Feb.24, 2015

The Toyota Highlander was one of the top-ranked models according to Consumer Reports readers.

Consumer Reports’ latest list of top-ranked automotive brands and models contained some big surprises and reinforced some long-standing reputations. Notably, little battery-car start-up Tesla Motors had the top-ranked product overall in the form of its Model S sedan.

Toyota, a manufacturer long associated with high-quality products, managed to place two of its brands in the Top Ten, meanwhile. But Kia, a marque may traditionally associated with lowball pricing, also managed to place among the industry’s best, nudging aside BMW to take the ninth place spot in Consumer Reports’ annual automotive brands report card.

Top-Ranked!

Who led the list and who lagged behind? Here’s a quick look at some of the key findings from the study, which looked at how individual models scored in both road and crash tests, while also looking at what the magazine’s readers reported in terms of real world reliability.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tesla Takes Consumer Reports Top Spot – Again

Magazine names Model S “Best Overall” for second year in a row.

by on Feb.24, 2015

Tesla's Model S took the title of Best Overall vehicle in Consumer Reports' latest ratings.

For the second year in a row, the Tesla Model S captured Consumer Reports best overall vehicle award by scoring 99 out of 100 points in the magazine’s annual review of vehicles.

Tesla’s top-of-the-line electric vehicle, which was named the best model for 2014 too, couldn’t be overtaken by any of the new entries.

Stay in the Know!

“For all of the impressive new vehicles released in 2014, none was able to eclipse the innovation, magnificence and sheer technological arrogance of the Tesla,” according to the magazine. “That’s why it’s our best overall pick for the second consecutive year.” Read the rest of this entry »

Range Rover Revealing Refreshed Evoque in Geneva

A challenging update.

by on Feb.24, 2015

Range Rover's best-selling model, the Evoque gets a facelift for 2016.

As its best-selling model, Land Rover has a lot riding on the fashion-forward Range Rover Evoque. And it hopes to keep momentum building with the upcoming launch of the 2016 Evoque facelift at the Geneva Motor Show.

First introduced as a 2012 model, the Range Rover Evoque served as the British maker’s first entry into the booming compact luxury utility vehicle market. And it proved an instant hit with its blend of functionality, performance and a funky, coupe-like design. Sales last year continued their upward trajectory, in the U.S. Evoque sales rising 9% to 12,440.

The Leader in Global Automotive News!

“Our challenge has been to evolve the Range Rover Evoque design without diluting its distinctive character,” Land Rover Design Director Gerry McGovern said, ahead of the Geneva debut of the 2016 refresh. Read the rest of this entry »