Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Security Experts Warn Today’s Autos Easily Hacked

Automakers need to shore up weak points in connected vehicles.

by on Nov.20, 2014

The ever-expanding connectivity of cars makes them convenient targets for hackers, according to cyber security experts.

With cars loading up on computing power, wi-fi and other pieces of 21st century connected technology, automakers have been reluctant to speak about the hack attacks similar to those that have cribbed credit card information of millions of Americans that happened to go through the check-out lines at Target and Home Depot.

But a panel on cyber security organized by the Connected Car Expo, which was held this week prior to the press days of the Los Angeles Auto Show, emphasized the threat is genuine.

Keeping the Conversation Going!

In the era of the connected car, hacking a vehicle can take place any number of ways from penetrating the “Cloud” where data is stored, to the connection between the car and the cloud and through the vehicle itself, panelists noted. Read the rest of this entry »

Fiat Betting on Mix of Style and Utility with New 500X

Crossover aimed at putting a halo: around the brand.

by on Nov.20, 2014

Fiat introduced its new 500X crossover at the L.A. Auto Show. It's the third vehicle in the U.S. line-up.

“X” marks the spot for Fiat as it debuts its new 500X crossover-utility vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

It’s set to become the third model in the maker’s U.S. line-up and, if it connects with American buyers, could become the brand’s best-seller. At least Fiat is hoping so, considering the lackluster performance of the 500L people-mover that the market has largely ignored.

Your Automotive Source!

“I think this car will do extremely well here,” Jason Storcevik, the CEO of the Fiat brand, said during a preview prior to the LA. Auto Show unveiling. Read the rest of this entry »

Maybach Makes an Unexpected Return

How a once-abandoned brand name came back to life.

by on Nov.20, 2014

Mercedes-Benz introduced its ultra-exclusive S600 in Los Angeles yesterday with a bit of a surprise: it's the Mercedes-Maybach S600.

It is Los Angeles, so there’s always an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Just ask Mercedes-Benz which used the L.A. Auto Show this week to unexpectedly bring the once-abandoned Maybach brand name back to life.

Named for Wilhelm Maybach, a partner of Daimler AG founder Gottfried Daimler, the Maybach name graced a line of ultra-exclusive automobiles, such as the Maybach M57. But in 2011 slow sales led the company to announce it would kill off the brand.

The Leader in Global Automotive News!

Mercedes wasn’t about to abandon the market’s most elite buyers, though. It planned a stretched and upgraded version of the elite S-Class, which was originally set to be called the Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman. But in a surprise move, it has decided to call the new model the Mercedes-Maybach S600. Read the rest of this entry »

Ford F-150, BMW i8 Capture Innovation Vehicle Awards

Motor Press Guild chooses vehicles from 13 finalists.

by on Nov.20, 2014

BMW's new i8 captured the Innovation Vehicle of the Year award for the over $30,000 category from the Motor Press Guild.

The Motor Press Guild stretched the parameters a bit, but the new 2015 Ford F-150 and BMW i8 walked off with its 2014 Innovation Vehicle of the Year (IVY) Awards in Los Angeles yesterday.

The F-150 captured the title for vehicles in the under $30,000 class – even though its average transaction price is expected to be closer to $40,000 – while the 2014 BMW i8 claimed the award for the $30,000 and over category.

A Real Performer!

The two winners were from selected a group of 13 finalists assembled by a panel of judges. Read the rest of this entry »

Scion Moving iM Hatchback from Concept to Production

Brand kicking off sustained run of new products with new hatch.

by on Nov.20, 2014

Scion Vice President Doug Murtha confirmed the iM Concept will move quickly into reality as the production version hits showrooms next year.

After the reveal of the Scion iM Concept car in Los Angeles, executives confirmed a production version of the five-door compact will be coming to dealerships in 2015.

The iM “concept,” compact hatchback unveiled during the here will morph, with very few changes, into a new production at the New York Auto Show next spring. Nancy Hubbel, Scion spokeswoman, said the decision was made to go ahead and confirm the concept car is intended for production rather than duck the question.

Your Flagship News Source!

“The two models we’re debuting in New York next spring are just the beginning for Scion,” said Scion Vice President Doug Murtha. “We plan to bring three new products in three years to our showrooms, offering a variety of exciting options for current and new Scion customers.” Read the rest of this entry »

BMW Puts M-Class Power in Sport-Activity Vehicles

New X-Class entries combine utility and speed.

by on Nov.20, 2014

The new 2015 BMW X5 M delivers 567 horsepower and 553 foot pound of torque.

BMW plans to use a new turbocharged V8 engine in the new M-Class versions of the X5 and X6, the head of the BMW brand said during previews for the Los Angeles Auto Show at which both of the new sport-activity vehicles made their global debut.

Ian Robertson, head of the BMW brand, said that the X5 M and X6 M will deliver a new level of performance and luxury with a package that includes a new suspension, all-wheel-drive and a new powertrain based around a V8 engine that produces even more power for the M-Series “Twin Turbo” technology that delivers 567 horsepower and 553 foot pound of torque that leaves drivers and passengers pushed well back into their seats.

We Love Cars!

BMW also has upgraded the brakes on the two vehicles that are expected to travel from zero to 60 miles per hour in four seconds. The new entries combine the agility and everyday versatility of the BMW X-line with the high performance promise of the M-Class vehicles that the German automaker has carefully nurtured over the years, Robertson said. Read the rest of this entry »

Lexus LF-C2 Concept Offers Strong Hint of Future Design Direction

Brand may hit 300,000 in sales for 2014.

by on Nov.20, 2014

The Lexus LF-C2 concept is likely to influence the design of several of the brand's vehicles in the future.

With the 25th anniversary of its debut, Lexus rolled out a new concept car, the LF-C2 Coupe, with lines and design language that will figure prominently in the Japanese luxury brand’s future vehicles.

“The LF-C2 concept shows what’s in store for our brand’s future design direction,” said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “This concept shows consumers around the world Lexus’ devotion to emotional designs.”

Be a Winner!

Consumers have been fond of the current Lexus designs as well. Bracken added that Lexus continuing success has helped push its sales beyond its original target of 290,000 units. The brand’s sales were at 244,038 units through October, which is up 14.3% for the year. Read the rest of this entry »

Cadillac ATS-V the “Next Chapter,” Says New Brand Boss

High-performance model will introduce no-lift stick-shift.

by on Nov.20, 2014

Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac's new boss, noted the performance of the new Cadillac ATS-V is "perfect for the Autobahn."

When the new Cadillac ATS-V comes to market next year, the compact performance model will introduce a new feature the luxury maker is calling “no-lift shift.” Buyers who opt for the six-speed manual transmission will be able to keep their foot flat on the floor, rather than lifting off the accelerator to change gears, explained new Caddy brand boss Johan de Nysschen.

It’s an appropriate metaphor for what the South African-born executive has in mind for Cadillac. The launch of the ATS-V – available in both sedan and coupe trim – comes at the start of “the next chapter” for General Motors’ flagship brand. And there’ll be plenty to follow, with an array of new performance models, sedans, coupes and an all-new flagship now in the development phase.

Your Auto Show Source!

“We have to shape consumer attitudes,” de Nysschen said during a preview at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It is all too apparent, he admitted, that luxury buyers no longer follow the brand or know “how competent our vehicles are.” Read the rest of this entry »

Honda’s HR-V Packs a Punch of Versatility

Maker’s new crossover hitting showrooms later this year.

by on Nov.19, 2014

Honda unveiled its new HR-V crossover utility today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The new CUV slides in between the CR-V and the Fit.

After a lengthy waiting period, Honda’s debuted its HR-V crossover utility. Designed to fit nicely below the CR-V and above, well, the Fit, the new model creates a clear hierarchy in the maker’s SUV line-up.

Originally hinted at with the 2013 Urban SUV Concept, Honda plans to put the new HR-V on sale shortly after its official debut here.

Your High Performance News Source!

The new crossover utility borrows the same underpinnings as the aforementioned Fit and it may deliver nearly as much cargo and passenger space. In fact, Honda officials are counting on it. It has one of the largest interiors in the segment, and is one of the most flexible due to Honda’s “Magic Seats.” Read the rest of this entry »

Mini Goes CitySurfing

Fold-up electric scooter aims to address challenge of crowded urban streets.

by on Nov.19, 2014

Mini's new CitySurfer concept is a kick scooter with an electric drive motor on it.

“Let’s go surfing now, everybody’s learning how…”

And that includes the folks at Mini who apparently have taken the classic Beach Boys tune to heart with the unveiling of their little CitySurfer Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Stay in the Loop!

Even by Mini standards, the CitySurfer is small, and you measure its performance in manpower, as well as horsepower. The maker dryly suggests the two-wheeler “presents an innovative concept providing increased flexibility for individual mobility in conurbation areas.” In lay terms, it’s a kick scooter with a back-up electric drive. Read the rest of this entry »