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Posts Tagged ‘Audi Q5’

First Drive: 2015 Lincoln MKC

A new look and feel from an old brand.

by on Jun.11, 2014

The 2015 Lincoln MKC is more than just a new compact crossover, it shows that Lincoln actually can challenge key competitors like Acura and Audi.

There was a time when change in the luxury market came at an almost glacial pace. No longer. Old models are being refreshed at an ever-quicker pace, while all-new products are coming to market so quickly it’s difficult to keep up – and they’re filling “white spaces” you might never have even considered before..

Consider Mercedes-Benz, which recently revealed plans to roll out 30 new or completely updated products by decade’s end, about one per quarter. BMW and Audi aren’t far behind. Now, compare that to Lincoln which has promised to add just four products to its line-up between the end of 2012 and 2016 – five, if you count the minimal revisions coming to the big Navigator SUV.

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No wonder many observers – and upscale buyers – have written off Ford Motor Co.’s luxury brand. Once rivaling Cadillac for dominance, it is today given barely an afterthought. But Lincoln fans shouldn’t abandon all hope, not just yet. After spending a day logging several hundred miles behind the wheel of the new 2015 Lincoln MKC we have to pause and reconsider. If this compact crossover is any indication, there just might be some life left in this long-struggling Detroit brand.

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New Audi Plant Rises Out of the Mexican Dust

German luxury maker takes a $1.3 billion risk with next Q5.

by on May.22, 2014

The next-generation Audi Q5 will be produced at the maker's new Mexican assembly plant.

A steady stream of trucks roars across the parched field kicking up swirls of dust. The new Audi assembly complex is quite literally rising out of the high plains desert, an hour outside of the city of Puebla, the maker pouring another 19 feet of soil atop the two square miles of barren land it is has acquired for the project.

Audi is the latest in a fast-growing line-up of manufacturers to invest in Mexico, the maker drawn to the country for both its low labor costs and, perhaps more importantly, the numerous free trade agreements the Mexican government has negotiated.

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That will make it easy to use the new, $800 million plant as the sole source for the maker’s next-generation Q5 sport-utility vehicle. Indeed, Audi has already laid out plans to double the factory and shift even more production there from Germany.

“This marks the point at which we will build more cars outside Germany than at home,” notes Klaus-Peter Koerner, who will manage production at the facility when it opens in mid-2016.

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Audi Picks Puebla for New North American Plant

Plant will be 40 miles from existing VW factory.

by on Sep.04, 2012

The new plant will build an updated version of the Audi Q5 crossover, starting in 2016.

Audi will build a new “ground-up” assembly plant in the southern Mexican city of Puebla, a factory it will use to supply the U.S. and a number of other markets around the world.

The factory will be located near another assembly line operated by the luxury maker’s parent Volkswagen AG and used to produce vehicles including the latest VW Beetle and Jetta models.  When it goes into operation in 2016, the Audi plant will have the capacity to produce up to 150,000 vehicles annually.

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“We are proud that Audi, a leading European premium manufacturer, has chosen our country as a future production base,” said Puebla state Gov. Rafael Moreno Valle.

Audi has been debating the need for a North American plant for more than a decade.  The issue has been pressed by the maker’s rapidly expanding sales, especially in the Americas, where it long lagged behind better-known German brands BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

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First Look: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK

A crowded crop of compact crossovers.

by on Mar.26, 2012

Mercedes hints the diesel GLK 250 will be the most fuel-efficient offering in its segment.

We’re going to be seeing a crowded crop of compact crossovers in the coming months, and there’ll be something for seemingly every wallet, with all-new offerings as well as updates like the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK set to roll into showrooms.

It seems the German maker will be updating both ends of its crossover line-up, TheDetroitBureau.com previously revealing the new GL that will make its debut at the New York Auto Show next month.  Now, we can take a closer look at the 2013 Mercedes GLK –which will also make its first appearance in the Big Apple.

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For those with a weak grasp of the Teutonic tongue, that “K” makes all the difference.  It’s German for “kurz,” and like the SLK and CLK designations, means a downsized model.  In this case, the smallest of the Mercedes-Benz crossovers, designed to compete with the likes of the BMW X3, the Audi Q5 and even the Cadillac SRX.

The timing of this modest update probably couldn’t be better considering that rising fuel prices have lots of buyers looking to downsize.  Better yet, Mercedes is signaling that the 2013 GLK will offer a new diesel option that could make it the most fuel-efficient offering in the compact luxury crossover segment.

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Porsche Approves Cajun Crossover

New crossover set for 2013 launch.

by on Mar.16, 2011

Porsche formally approves the Cajun crossover.

It was only a matter of time.

With the Cayenne now the single most popular model in the Porsche line-up it was only a question of finding the right crossover to add to the model mix, and now the Germans have apparently found what they’re looking for – giving the go to the much-discussed Cajun concept.

The downsized crossover, which looks like the love child of a 911 and a Cayenne, will be produced at the Porsche plant in Leipzig – which means Cajun will be built alongside both the Cayenne and the 4-door Panamera, another model that has stretched the limits of what defines a Porsche.

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Plans call for a whopping 1.5 square-mile expansion of the Leipzig plant, with work to begin sometime this year.  While Porsche isn’t revealing specifics, that would hint at a launch of the new model sometime in 2013, either as a 2013 or ’14 model.  The project is expected to add another 1,000 jobs at the Leipzig plant, according to a Porsche press release.  The facility first opened in 2002 to produce the Cayenne, the Panamera being added seven years later.

The Cajun will be slightly lower and shorter – but wider – than the Audi Q5, which reflects the fact they’ll share key underpinnings, much as the Porsche Cayenne has been a fraternal twin of the Volkswagen Touareg.

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First Drive: Volvo XC60

Forget the box.

by on Feb.03, 2009

2010 Volvo XC60: where's the box?

2010 Volvo XC60: where's the box?

Let’s play a game of word association. We’ll say the name of a brand, and you respond with the first word that comes into your head. Ready? Volvo…

If you said “boxy,” you’re not alone. That’s the classic shape most of us have grown up knowing. And it’s why a lot of people are likely to be confused by the pictures they’re seeing of the new Volvo XC60. It’s a sleek and sexy crossover that’s about as far as you can imagine from the staid Swedish wagons we’ve seen on the road in years past. Maybe that’s why Volvo designers decided to bolt an oversized brand badge on the grille.

Will diehards may be a bit disappointed by this dynamic new look, Volvo is betting on the XC60 to draw in a whole host of new buyers who’d normally drive past the company’s showrooms. And if our first drive of the new crossover is any indication, they just might be able to grab some of the folks who’d normally opt for more passionate brands, like BMW, with its compact X5, Audi, with the new Q5, Acura, with its RDX, or Volkswagen, with the oddly-named Tiguan.

The big grille, with that oversized Volvo logo, is flanked by a pair of upright daytime running lights, and sweeping headlamps that roll off into the fenders. The broad shoulders are familiar touches, found on a number of recent Volvo production models and concept vehicles, but the XC60 adds a cinched and sexy waistline. The roof is almost coupe-like, though it still provides a reasonable amount of headroom for rear seat passengers. The rear view might be the most familiar angle, distinctly Volvo with those broad shoulders and narrowed rear hatch.

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