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Posts Tagged ‘luxury crossovers’

Jaguar Working Up Second SUV, the J-Pace

New ute would be larger than upcoming F-Pace crossover.

by on Jun.03, 2015

Jaguar's F-Pace is the first in an expanding line-up of crossovers for the luxury maker.

Mercedes-Benz and BMW helped redefine the concept of a luxury car with the launch of their M-Class and X5 models, and despite initial controversy, Porsche’s Cayenne is now its top-selling model. But for years, Jaguar insisted it didn’t need a utility vehicle in its line-up, leaving that part of the market to its partner brand Land Rover.

Now, even before its first utility vehicle, the F-Pace crossover comes to market, the British maker is reportedly getting ready to add a second ute to the line-up, one expected to be called the Jaguar J-Pace.

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The move, initially reported by Britain’s Car magazine, makes perfect sense, according to several sources who spoke to TheDetroitBureau.com. Utility vehicles are becoming as dominant a factor in the luxury market as they are in the mainstream. Even ultra-lux players like Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Maserati and Bentley are entering the fray, so Jaguar has stood as the odd man out until now. (more…)

A Second Bentley Ute? Flood of New Luxury SUVs on the Way

Segment is growing faster than most.

by on May.05, 2015

Even though it hasn't hit dealer showrooms, Bentley is so enamored with its soon-to-be-released SUV, it's thinking of adding a second to its line-up.

Think the idea of a Bentley SUV is hard to fathom: How about two utes from the stately British marque? That’s one of the maker’s two top priorities, according to Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer.

And Bentley is far from alone. Porsche already has two utes in its line-up with the launch of the 2015 Macan. Rolls-Royce has confirmed it has an all-wheel-drive model in development. And even Lamborghini and Aston Martin appear ready to join the fray.

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The rapid move into the utility-vehicle segment by some of the world’s most exclusive manufacturers probably shouldn’t come as a surprise. It reflects the overall shift in the automotive market. According to data from IHS Automotive, sport- and crossover-utility vehicles will outsell sedans in the U.S. this year for the first time. (more…)

Bentley Releases First Image of its First SUV

“It will create a completely new segment.”

by on Mar.19, 2014

Bentley offers a hint of the SUV to come in 2016.

When you set an all-time sales record you have plenty of reason to celebrate, but Bentley is giving fans of the British ultra-luxury brand their own reason to celebrate with the release of the first images of the maker’s upcoming SUV.

Originally teased in concept form as the Bentley EXP 9F, the production version has been given no official name yet, but we do know at least a few things about it, starting with a production date of sometime in 2016.

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“It will create a completely new segment in the SUV market, hints the brand’s chairman and CEO Wolfgang Schreiber, who also promises the new model will be “the most luxurious and powerful SUV on the market.”

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Updated 2015 BMW X3 SAV Making Debut

Crossover gets new diesel option.

by on Feb.05, 2014

BMW brings the 2015 X3 to Chicago for its debut.

More than a decade after pushing into the midsize crossover segment with its X3 – a “Sport Activity Vehicle” in BMW speak – the German maker is revealing a significant refresh.

The maker’s original X5 was a breakthrough product and a hit with American consumers, but the smaller and lower-priced X3 expanded that appeal significantly.  Now BMW hopes to broaden that reach even further with a modest facelift and the addition of some compelling new features – notably including a new diesel engine option.

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We’ve been seeing spy shots and a few leaked images in recent weeks, but these are BMW’s first formal images – and we now learn more about what the new 2015 X3 will offer.

The new crossover picks up on the basics of the second-generation X3 which was introduced in 2010.  The design changes are modest though readily apparent, starting with the modified twin-circular headlamps – with LED lighting an option — an updated BMW kidney grille, new bumpers and revised side mirrors.

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Lincoln Hopes to Undercut Competition with $34,000 MKC

Ford luxury brand makes foray into fast-growing compact CUV segment.

by on Dec.17, 2013

The 2015 Lincoln MKC is expected to become the lowest-priced model in its rapidly expanding segment.

Lincoln hopes to undercut its competition in the increasingly crowded compact luxury crossover segment – but whether a price tag starting below $34,000 will help it gain traction against offerings from makers like BMW, Acura and Audi remains to be seen.

The Lincoln MKC is the second of four all-new models the Ford Motor Co. luxury brand has announced – with still more products under development – as part of its attempted revival. It follows the debut of the MKZ luxury sedan. But the 2015 MKC provides a significant opportunity for Lincoln to position itself in what many industry observers expect to become one of the market’s fastest-growing segments over the rest of the decade.

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“As the newest entrant in small premium utility, which is the fastest-growing luxury segment, we have to offer our clients a fresh and compelling proposition,” said Matt VanDyke, director of Global Lincoln. “The Lincoln MKC offers the lowest base entry price in the segment as well as a host of first-to-segment features.”

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Mercedes Launches GLA Production

Fourth of five new entry-lux models starts rolling down the line.

by on Dec.06, 2013

Production of the Mercedes GLA in Rastatt.

The first of the new Mercedes-Benz GLA crossovers started rolling down the maker’s assembly line in Rastatt, Germany this week, the fourth in a new array of entry-lux models that the maker hopes will give it a push past aggressive competitors like BMW and Audi.

When the GLA reaches showrooms next year, Mercedes officials hope it will follow the lead of the new CLA model that recently made its American debut. That coupe-like sedan has become the hottest offering in the maker’s U.S. portfolio, not only delivering a sizable size boost but drawing in a significant number of buyers new to the Mercedes brand.

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“The GLA is the next milestone in our Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy,” said Dieter Zetsche, the Mercedes brand boss and head of the maker’s parent Daimler AG.

The crossover is designed to complement the more conventional CLA and give Mercedes traction in the rapidly growing compact luxury crossover niche, which is expected to become one of the world’s fastest-growing market segments through at least the rest of the decade.

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Compact Crossovers Commanding Big Car Prices

Pushing $110,000 with the new Porsche Macan.

by on Nov.25, 2013

Porsche reveals the new Macan at the LA Auto Show.

American motorists have long lived by the mantra, “bigger is better.” And that’s been fine for automakers, as well, as they’ve traditionally tied prices – and profit margins – to the size of the vehicles they’ve sold.

But with the steady run-up in fuel prices, Americans are downsizing at a pace not seen since the twin oil shocks of the 1970s.  Indeed, compact crossovers have become the fastest-growing segment in the U.S. market – echoing trends in other key markets around the world.  And while you can still get a reasonably good bargain on some of these smaller, mainstream CUVs, the industry has been fracturing the traditional equation that measures price by the pound and inch.

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That’s especially true in the luxury end of the spectrum where manufacturers are charging into the compact crossover segment.  Just last week, Lincoln and Porsche entered the fray at the L.A. Auto Show.

Porsche has had a history of challenging conventional wisdom.  It proved naysayers wrong when it launched its first crossover-utility vehicle for the 2004 model-year, then did it again with the four-door Panamera – today, the brand’s best-selling models.  Now, it’s hoping to score again with what’s been called the “baby Cayenne,” the compact Macan.

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Jaguar Likely to Launch a Wave of New, Small Vehicles

Production version of C-X17, other offerings may follow.

by on Sep.17, 2013

Jaguar is looking to expand its base of buyers with models, like the C-X17 crossover concept.

Jaguar has confirmed plans to launch an all-new small sedan and shown a concept version of what could become its first-ever crossover/utility vehicle. But TheDetroitBureau.com has learned that still other options based on the maker’s new, lightweight compact “architecture” could follow these to market.

That would help a company long stuck with a limited handful of products begin to compete more directly with the leaders in the luxury market, such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW, who are engaged in a major proliferation of model lines. More importantly, it would let Jaguar rapidly catch up in the fastest-growing segment of the global luxury automotive market.

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“We’re planning to use this architecture to span quite a range of products,” explained Jaguar Vehicle Line Director Kevin Stride. The goal is to spread those over a “breadth of segments…and sizes,” adds the long-time Jaguar engineer. (more…)

Buick Hopes to Encore with New Compact CUV

GM entry-lux brand needs a boost.

by on Jan.22, 2013

The Buick Encore finally reaches U.S. showrooms.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of Buick’s new Encore compact crossover-utility vehicle.

Buick, which many didn’t expect to survive parent General Motors’ 2009 bankruptcy, has been struggling to redefine itself in a market where it had, for the past several decades, become increasingly irrelevant.  But there have been signs of revival and along with several other recent additions to the line-up, the maker will use the new Buick Encore to target young buyers who until now might not have even considered the brand.

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“We’re going to see new folks…coming into the showroom,” promises Encore marketing manager Lloyd Biermann, adding that, “They’re going to be younger, as well.”

Or so the maker hopes — and counts on — as it struggles to keep pace with the rest of the rebounding U.S. auto industry.

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Cadillac Takes Aim at Lexus

Compact CUV could undercut rival’s crossover dominance.

by on Aug.30, 2012

Cadillac's new ATS may soon have a lot more company in the showroom - including a compact CUV.

Once the reigning U.S. luxury brand Cadillac is eager to reclaim lost ground and has put a target on the back of Lexus, which was itself the best-selling luxury brand until last year’s Japanese earthquake violently disrupted production.

The 2013 model-year will be a big one for the U.S. maker, as it rolls out both the new ATS compact luxury sedan and the more upscale XTS.  Cadillac is also working on plans to expand its line-up even further, officials now openly discussing plans to add a compact crossover – as TheDetroitBureau.com first reported.

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When asked about which brand was likely to windup to “donate” some market share as the deck is reshuffled in the luxury, segment, Cadillac’s marketing boss Don Butler didn’t hesitate – “Lexus,” he said, suggesting it certainly has a large pool of owners who could be persuaded to try something different.

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