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Posts Tagged ‘compact luxury cars’

Infiniti Offers Inside Look at New Q30 “Active Compact”

Interior features “horizontal dissymmetry.”

by on Sep.01, 2015

Infiniti opts for a cockpit-like interior for the new Q30 compact model coming to Frankfurt.

Infiniti is downsizing its ambitions, entering the booming market for small luxury cars with the new Q30. And after giving us a first look at the exterior of the new “active compact,” it is offering an inside look at the new model, as well.

Set to make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 15th, the Infiniti Q30 picks up many of the design cues first seen when it unveiled a concept model in Frankfurt two years ago. That includes the long nose, short overhangs and high beltline, as well as the concept’s split grille and distinctive, almost human eye-like headlights.

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Inside, the production version of the Q30 isn’t quite as radical as the 2013 Frankfurt show car, but still should turn some heads, with a more expressive and upscale look than many entries in this near-luxury segment. That includes an Italian-made, suede-like material called Dinamica.


Infiniti Q30 Set to Debut at Frankfurt Motor Show

Luxury brand offers “spy shot” of its first-ever compact model.

by on Jun.19, 2015

The first official image of the 2016 Infiniti Q30 undergoing testing and validation in camouflage.

Exactly two years after first unveiling a concept version of the Q30 sedan, Infiniti will pull the wraps off the production model at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, and the automaker is providing its own “spy shot” to give a hint of what’s coming.

The question is what, precisely, the Q30 is? The production model slots into a niche below the midsize Infiniti Q50, but even the maker’s senior designer admitted, during the unveiling of the original concept, that the Q30 “defies characterization.” That’s in keeping with Infiniti’s tradition of launching quirky designs that aren’t just me-too copies of European competitors.

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The camouflaged model appears to pick up on the basic language of the five-door show car version, with a long nose, short overhangs and a high beltline. Though the pic doesn’t show the face of the new model, it is expected to also carry over the split grille and distinctive, squinting, almost human eye-like headlights from the concept model.


Acura Betting on Biggest Ad Blitz Ever for New TLX

Critical launch comes later this month.

by on Aug.04, 2014

Acura launches an ad blitz for the new TLX this month.

Counting on the all-new midrange TLX sport sedan to reverse years of weak sales, Acura will launch the largest and most expensive  advertising blitz in the brand’s history.

The move could be critical for the Honda luxury marque, Acura sales tumbling 17.6% in July despite the addition of several recent sedans, the base ILX and flagship RLX. The TLX targets what Acura’s top executive Mike Accavitti has described as the “sweet spot” of the luxury market. But the challenge is to reach potential buyers who have largely written off the brand.

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Acura will reveal its new ads this coming Friday – though it is already pitching the car in Canada by emphasizing performance and spirited driving. The American campaign will go live in mid-August, Accatti said, even as the maker and its motorsports partner, Real Time Racing, hope to build buzz with a track version of the TLX sedan.


2015 Mercedes C-Class: The Baby Benz is all Grown Up

Bigger, lighter, lavishly equipped.

by on Dec.16, 2013

The new 2015 remake of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is both larger and lighter.

This Baby has grown up.  After giving us a tease of the new interior of the completely redesign 2015 C-Class a couple months ago, Mercedes-Benz is finally offering a full look – and details – about a car that no longer should be thought about as the “Baby Benz.”

No surprise the 2015 re-make is moving up-market, of course.  Not only are buyers are getting more demanding but Mercedes also had to make room for the now sold-out CLA model which notches in as the brand’s lowest-priced offering at just under $30,000 – if you can find one.

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The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a larger, decidedly more stylish, sporty and well-equipped offering, with a much-expanded array of both creature comfort and safety features that would have impressed even an S-Class buyer not all that many years ago.


BMW Reveals All-New 2-Series Coupe

Bigger, faster than all 1-Series coupe line.

by on Oct.25, 2013

BMW is offering a rendering of the new 2-Series ahead of the coupe's formal debut in Detroit next January.

There was a time when BMW fans could count the maker’s model line-up on one hand.  These days, you’d need both hands – and feet – to keep track, especially with the Bavarian maker adding two more distinct model lines in a matter of months.

Just months after previewing the new 4-Series Coupe and Convertible line, BMW is back with yet another new offering, the smaller 2-Series. Set to reach showrooms next year, the nomenclature for the new line follows the maker’s latest strategy which reserves odd numbers for sedans and even designations for its two-door offerings.

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While many will likely refer to the new 2-Series as a replacement for the old BMW 1-Series Coupe, this is more than a cosmetic update. In fact, the new model will be a full 2.8 inches longer and 1.8 inches wider than the outgoing coupe, with another 1.3 inches added to the wheelbase. That’s good news for passengers who will benefit most from the added space.

There will be two different versions of the 2-Series for the U.S. market, the BMW 228i and the performance-oriented M235i.


Compact Luxury Cars Could be the Next Big Thing

Mercedes, BMW, Audi and other high-line brands move mainstream.

by on Oct.02, 2013

The new 2014 CLA 250 takes Mercedes-Benz into a segment where competitors include Ford's upscale Fusion Titanium editions.

While the all-new 2014 S-Class sedan might serve as the “flagship” of the Mercedes-Benz line-up, the German luxury maker’s big news this coming year is actually its smallest offering, the new CLA.

At first glance, it’s easy to confuse the coupe-like sedan with the older Mercedes CLS model, something that was far from coincidental, company officials concede.  But there’s no confusing the numbers on the Munroney window sticker, the compact CLA starting at just $29,990 – compared with the $73,025 base price of the bigger four-door.

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With the launch of the CLA, Mercedes is going after a new generation of luxury buyers that it hopes will become long-term brand loyalists. But the German maker isn’t alone.  Virtually every manufacturer in the luxury car segment, from BMW to Volvo, is rushing to market downsized and lower-priced luxury models, whether sedan, coupe or crossover.  And that could be particularly bad news for mainstream manufacturers like Ford Motor Co. who have themselves been pushing upwards into the luxury segment.


Mercedes Has Big Plans for Small Cars

CLA provides new “gateway” for brand to attract Millennials.

by on Sep.25, 2013

Mercedes is looking to make inroads with younger buyers with the CLA model.

Mercedes-Benz is betting big on its new small car line-up, the launch of the 2014 CLA part of a strategy designed to provide a “gateway” for the next generation of luxury car customers, explains the German maker’s U.S. marketing chief.

The CLA is the first U.S. model based off Mercedes’ New Generation Compact Car platform, or NGCC. But it will be followed by two others, the GLA compact crossover and an electrified version of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class already on sale in Europe.

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Slightly smaller than the current Mercedes C-Class, the new CLA carries a downsized price tag starting at just $29,900 – which is meant to appeal to buyers who might otherwise be attracted to well-equipped mainstream products, such as Ford Fusion Titanium edition, or the top-line version of the Honda Accord, said marketing chief Bernie Glaser. (more…)

Lincoln Readying Potentially Major Re-launch of MKZ

Production finally approaching “launch levels.”

by on Apr.02, 2013

The new Lincoln MKZ is now at "launch levels."

With production of the new Lincoln MKZ finally approaching “launch levels” after a costly delay in the production of the critical new luxury sedan, parent Ford Motor Co. is studying just how extensive a re-launch will be needed to put the 2013 model back on the radar for potential buyers.

The Lincoln MKZ was supposed to serve as the foundation for the revitalization of the long-struggling luxury brand. But even as the first of the sedans began rolling into showrooms late last year, Ford decided to curb production, worrying that the MKZ could fall victim to the same snags that resulted in quality problems and recalls for other new 2013 models, such as the Ford Fusion sedan and Escape crossover.

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The problem, admitted marketing chief Jim Farley, is that the carmaker went ahead with a major nationwide marketing campaign, including several costly Super Bowl spots, even without product in the showroom. That left dealers unable to serve potential buyers – some of whom are still waiting while others likely switched to competing brands.


Cadillac Expects Sales Increase in 2013

Strength of compact luxury segment makes ATS a leader.

by on Mar.29, 2013

2014 Cadillac CTS

Cadillac expects to chalk up big sales gains this year thanks to the growing popularity of the new Cadillac ATS and the arrival of the new Cadillac CTS this fall, which was unveiled at the New York International Auto Show.

Bob Ferguson, the head of General Motors’ luxury car unit, noted after the unveiling of the 2014 CTS that Cadillac sales are up 30 percent through the first two months of 2013. “I see that continuing,” said Ferguson. In addition, 70 percent of the sales of new ATS, which was named North American Car of The Year in January, are to buyers new to the Cadillac brand, he said.

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In addition, the third generation of the CTS is due this fall and serves to underscore Cadillac’s determination to challenge the trio of German brands, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, that have come to define the luxury segment, he said.


Daimler Turns to Hungary for New CLA

Will be smallest Mercedes ever sold in US market.

by on Jan.29, 2013

Daimler CEO Deiter Zetsche introduced the Mercedes CLA-Class at a private press preview at the Detroit Auto Show.

Daimler AG has launched production of its newest model from a brand new plant in Hungary. Based on its compact A-Class platform, the new Mercedes-Benz CLA will become the smallest vehicle the German luxury maker has ever sold in the U.S. when it reaches American showrooms later this year.

The decision to produce the CLA at the new plant in Kecskemét, Hungary appears to be a critical step in holding down production costs on a vehicle that would be difficult to market in the U.S. and other parts of the world were it to come from Germany, analysts suggest.

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The CLA is the first model exclusively built in Kecskemét, but the plant’s second product along with the slightly larger Mercedes B-Class, which went into production last year for delivery to markets across Europe.