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Posts Tagged ‘german automakers’

Audi Goes Evolutionary With New A4

Maker ensures new model chock full of technology.

by on Sep.15, 2015

The fifth-generation A4 is generating plenty of enthusiasm as Audi expects it to deliver some notable improvements in fuel economy.

After the debut of a new battery-electric SUV with a 300-mile range, you might expect the new Audi A4 to get lost in the shuffle at the annual Frankfurt Motor Show, especially with the new sedan opting for mostly subtle, evolutionary changes rather than the revolutionary updates of generations past.

Nonetheless, the fifth-generation A4 is generating plenty of enthusiasm as Audi expects it to deliver some notable improvements in fuel economy. Lower emissions and higher mileage were two of the key targets for the 2016 Audi A4. Audi claims best-in-class aerodynamics help it get there.

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The new compact model also gets a lot of new technologies, some lifted from the top-line Audi A8, others entirely new to the Audi brand. (more…)

Mercedes Opts for Order in its Alphabet Soup Model Nomenclature

Return of the Maybach.

by on Nov.11, 2014

Mercedes announced it is bringing back the Maybach. The maker is also going to clean up the alphabet soup that is its naming system.

If you have a hard time telling an S from an E, or an ML from a GL, you’re not alone. With all the new models it has added in recent years – and more coming at the rate of about one per quarter – the names used for the various members of the Mercedes-Benz line-up have become increasingly confusing.

Now, the German maker wants to impose some order on its world and is rolling out a new nomenclature strategy that it says should be a good bit easier to understand – though it could add still more confusion in the short-term as the GLK becomes the GLC and the ML becomes the GLE.

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Mercedes also delivered a surprise by announcing it is bringing back the Maybach name it seemed to have abandoned for good just a couple years ago. It’s new super-premium models will now carry the designation Mercedes-Maybach, while its highest performance offerings will be dubbed Mercedes-AMG. (more…)

Porsche Pushes Into Bentley Territory with Panamera Exclusive Series

Limited-edition sedan lands above “base” Continental GT.

by on Oct.31, 2014

The Porsche Panamera Exclusive Series is creating a little sibling rivalry with the Bentley Continental GT.

When it comes to the upper reaches of the luxury car market, it’s getting hard to tell the players without a scorecard. And that means some sibling brands are suddenly turning into rivals.

The latest example comes with the unveiling of the new Porsche Panamera Exclusive Series. While it’s not the most expensive model the German maker has ever offered – at barely a third the price of the 918 Spyder ultracar – the limited-edition sedan lands well above the “base” Bentley Continental GT and not much below the British maker’s top-line Mulsanne model.

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Then again, Bentley is getting ready to roll out an all-new luxury SUV, which could start siphoning sales away from Porsche, its Volkswagen Group partner. (more…)

Mercedes Adding C-Class Production to Alabama Plant

Compact SUV coming next year gives maker edge in luxury race.

by on Sep.09, 2014

Workers at the Tuscaloosa Mercedes plant have a reason to rejoice: C-Class production is being added to the plant.

With the race for luxury sales in the U.S. intensifying, Mercedes-Benz is expanding production at the Daimler AG assembly plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, by adding production of its new C-Class sedan at the plant.

It is the first of two new products that will be added to the plant’s production lines. A new compact SUV, which the company showed off at the Auto China show in April, will be built at the plant sometime next year.

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Daimer AG Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche said Mercedes-Benz sees good prospects in the U.S. market and is expanding the local production capacities in the country. (more…)

Porsche Spices Up Cayenne for 2015

New SUV borrows E-Hybrid platform from Panamera.

by on Jul.24, 2014

The 2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo is one of four models available in the maker's portfolio for the SUV.

Sport-utilities have been zipping off dealer lots this year and Porsche looks to take advantage of that by finally unveiling an update to its popular Cayenne SUV that’s already sold half-a-million copies since its introduction in 2002.

While the 2015 model does get some freshening on the outside, it’s the number of choices in the Cayenne portfolio that catches the eye. For the third iteration, the Porsche presents four options in the U.S.: Cayenne Diesel, Cayenne S, Cayenne Turbo, and Cayenne S E-Hybrid, which is the first plug-in hybrid in the premium SUV segment.

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In fact, Porsche brags that it is the only automaker with three plug-in hybrid models in its line-up – the other two being the Panamera S E-Hybrid and the 918 Spyder. Borrowed from the aforementioned Panamera, the new Cayenne E-Hybrid pairs a 3.0-liter supercharged V6 with 333 horsepower to an electric motor with 95 hp for a combined 416 hp. (more…)

BMW Plans to Bring Front-Drive 2-Series Active Tourer to US – Eventually

European launch comes this year; State-side edition likely over a year away.

by on Mar.05, 2014

BMW's 2-Series Active Tourer made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show; however, it won't be coming to the U.S. for a while, an official said.

BMW continues to fill seemingly every possible niche in the luxury market, from top to bottom and a surprising number of places in-between. And it has global plans for some of the newest members of its fast-expanding line-up.

That includes models such as the 4-Series Gran Coupe and the 2-Series Active Tourer on display at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the latter model making its world debut at the annual European event.

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But while U.S. buyers will find the 4-Series Gran Coupe in showrooms in the near future, they’ll have to wait for the smaller Grand Tourer, perhaps as much as two years, a well-placed BMW source told TheDetroitBureau.com. (more…)

VW Set to Reveal New 2015 Polo

No U.S. plans – yet.

by on Jan.29, 2014

Volkswagen continues to tease U.S. buyers looking for an offering in the B-segment, which seems to have more options than ever.

Volkswagen continues to tempt – and frustrate – the growing number of American buyers who are migrating to the downsized B-segment, which has been flooded with a growing list of offerings from makers as diverse as Ford, Mini and Fiat, among others.

For now, the German maker says, U.S. buyers won’t be able to get their hands on the new 2015 Volkswagen Polo set to go on sale in Europe by mid-year, but that won’t stop fans from hoping that VW planners soon see the error of their ways. And with a production version of the high-performance Polo R prototype reportedly set to make its own debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, VW could hear even more calls to rethink its decision.

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The 2015 model is more facelift than major remake, with relatively modest styling changes but more significant changes to be found under the hood – with a number of new technologies being added to the little car, as well. (more…)

Volkswagen Bringing its A-Game for The Big Game

Great ad can set the stage for entire sales year.

by on Jan.22, 2014

Volkswagen is ready for this year's Super Bowl ad campaign with its latest commercial.

Now that the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman is done yelling at San Francisco 49er Michael Crabtree, the focus of sports fans everywhere will be squarely planted on Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2, and Volkswagen appears to be ready.

The game is perhaps the world’s biggest stage for advertising with 30-second ad rates costing $4 million. This year, Mercedes-Benz, Kia, Jaguar, Hyundai, Volkswagen and General Motors are all said to have purchased time.

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Much like the teams playing the event, companies work hard to make sure they’re bringing their A-game with their advertisements. The ads can be the stuff of legend: good and bad. (more…)

Investments by German Automakers Paying Off

Makers sold 1.33 million vehicles in U.S. last year.

by on Jan.13, 2014

With Mercedes leading the way for luxury automakers, German car companies sold 1.33 million vehicles in the U.S. in 2013.

Last year, German car manufacturers posted record sales in the North American market with 1.33 million light vehicles – an increase of 5% compared with 2012. The jump lagged the overall market’s performance, which rose 8% on a year-over-year basis. The U.S. market came in at 15.5 million units in 2013.

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Compared with 2009, in the middle of the financial crisis, the U.S. sales have grown nearly 50%.

German makers saw their light vehicles sales increased even more by 75% to 1.33 million units, of which 20% were built in the U.S. (more…)

Audi Allroad Shooting Brake Defies Easier Categorization

Is it crossover, wagon…or something new?

by on Jan.12, 2014

Audi's Allroad Shoot Brake concept may have observers wondering what it is: crossover, sport utility or station wagon?

Automakers seem to take delight in delivering new designs that don’t fall into any handy category. The idea is to find new “white space” that the competition hasn’t thought up yet. And that seems to be what Audi has in mind with the Allroad shooting brake it will formally unveil this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The luxury maker alternately refers to the concept vehicle as a “crossover” and a “shooting brake,” a British term that usually translates into “wagon.” We can understand Audi’s reluctance to use that term, particularly in the U.S., where station wagons are anathema to most buyers. But call it what you will, the Allroad shooting brake concept picks up on the more sporty, wagon-esque stance that is quite popular in Europe and many other parts of the world. And it just might be handsome enough to click with American buyers, as well.

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It better. Audi’s tech director, Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, suggests the show car is “offering very concrete glimpses of the near future.” In other words, expect to see it in production in the very near future. (more…)