Monday, December 31, 2012

Thank You and Happy New Year!







Thank you for your business and your readership in 2012. We think 2013 is going to exceed expectations and be a banner year and we hope the same prosperous thoughts for you. We look forward to continuing to serve you!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2014 Silverado: Stronger, Smarter and More Capable




  • From hood to hitch, the most refined, best engineered Silverado ever
  • Three new EcoTec3 engines designed for more power, improved efficiency
  • Engineered for tough truck duties and legendary Chevy truck dependability


  • DETROIT – Chevrolet today unveiled the all-new 2014 Silverado 1500 full-size pickup. New from hood to hitch, Silverado is engineered to be the strongest, smartest, and most capable Silverado ever.

    The new Silverado builds on Chevrolet’s 95 years of truck heritage, while raising the bar for full-size pickups. Among the many updates for 2014 are a new trio of powerful, efficient EcoTec3 engines; a stronger, quieter, more comfortable cab; revised steering, suspension and brakes; ingenious solutions for managing cargo in the bed and true truck capability for towing and hauling.

    “Our customers rely on their trucks to meet the day-to-day challenges of earning a living, running a business and taking care of their families,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America.

    “Chevrolet is committed to giving truck customers the most-refined, best-engineered pickups in the market.”

    The 2014 Silverado will become part of Chevrolet’s three-truck portfolio, designed to let customers select the right truck for their needs. It joins the Silverado 2500 and 3500 HD pickups, the ultimate tools for towing and hauling, which were new for the 2011 model year. Chevrolet is also developing an all-new Colorado midsize pickup, which will offer proven truck capability in a space- and fuel-efficient package.

    Every detail of the 2014 Silverado 1500 was designed and engineered to meet the exacting requirements of full-size truck customers and to strengthen Chevrolet’s reputation for building the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size trucks – trucks with the lowest overall cost of ownership.

    “Don’t let the work boots fool you. Truck customers are among the most discerning and demanding in the business,” said Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for full-size and midsize trucks.

    “The designers and engineers who created the new Silverado share this passion for trucks. They have built this truck – and tested it to the extremes – to give customers the right tools for the tough jobs, and they have created dozens of solutions to the challenges truck customers encounter every day.”

    2014 Silverado 1500 at a glance
    For 2014, Silverado 1500 is designed and engineered to deliver the capability – without compromise – that customers have come to expect from Chevrolet pickups.

    Silverado’s exterior design blends strong Chevy truck heritage with a refined, modern aesthetic. The new design is more muscular, more functional and more aerodynamic. A twin-port grille, full-width bumper and dual power dome hood create a strong presence, which is carried through in sculpted body sides and fender flares.

    The new Silverado design is about much more than just looks, however. The new front end is engineered to improve sealing for more efficient cooling, while the roof and tailgate spoiler were shaped in the wind tunnel to smooth airflow over the truck for reduced drag. New inlaid doors, which fit into recesses in the bodyside, reduce wind noise for a quieter cab.

    Under the hood, the 2014 Silverado 1500 features a family of three all-new EcoTec3 engines, a V-6 and two V-8s, engineered specifically for use in full-size trucks. All three engines incorporate direct fuel injection, cylinder deactivation and continuously variable valve timing, a combination of advanced technologies not found in other competitors’ trucks. All three switch seamlessly to four-cylinder operation to improve efficiency during light load driving and all three are engineered provide more power, more torque and better efficiency than the previous versions.

    The engine family includes a new 4.3L V-6 that will have ample torque to power a crew cab pickup and tow a substantial trailer, as well as a new 5.3L V-8 designed for more power, more torque and better efficiency than the current version, which is currently the V-8 fuel economy leader. A new 6.2L V-8 is engineered to be the most capable engine in any light-duty pickup.

    SAE certified horsepower and torque ratings and EPA fuel economy estimates for the new Silverado will be final and available beginning early next year.

    The all-new interiors of the 2014 Silverado 1500 reflect the same focus on form and function. The upright instrument panel, six-gauge instrument cluster and multiple storage options are tailored specifically to the needs of truck customers. Controls are functional, logically placed and easy to operate with work gloves on. Rear doors on crew cabs are larger, for easier entry and exit, and rear doors on extended cab models are now hinged at the front for easier access, especially in tight spots.

    The new Chevrolet MyLink provides easy-to-use connectivity for the job site or the family vacation, with natural voice recognition and enough ports and power outlets to support multiple devices.

    The new truck cab is stronger, with nearly two-thirds of the structure made from high-strength steel for a confident feel and improved safety. Similarly, the main rails and key cross members of the updated frame are high-strength steel with major elements hydroformed for reduced mass and improved strength.

    New shear-style body mounts tune out both up-and-down and side-to-side movement for a quieter, more comfortable ride. Extended- and crew-cab models have a third set of hydraulic body mounts to further isolate the cabs. Combined with numerous other acoustic and NVH (noise vibration and harshness) enhancements, the intended result is a solid, refined feel with no loss in traditional truck capability.

    The pickup box also benefits from this focus on providing Silverado customers with the right tools for the job. The box is made from roll-formed steel for increased strength and reduced mass, compared with the stamped beds used by major competitors, and it features a range of smart solutions for everyday life.

    Silverado’s CornerStep bumper, combined with handholds built into the new box rail protectors, makes it easier to access the box. The bed is also available with new upper tie-down hooks, under-rail light-emitting diode lighting, and an EZ Lift and Lower tailgate.
    For the first time, Silverado 1500 crew cabs will be available with a longer 6’6” foot box, in addition to the previous 5’8” box, enabling customers to carry more cargo while still being able to park in many garages.

    The chassis of the 2014 Silverado includes a number of customer-focused updates. A revised front and rear suspension and wider wheels provide a more comfortable ride and more confident handling. Electric power steering improves steering feel and reduces fuel consumption. New four-wheel-disc brakes with Duralife ™ rotors improve brake feel and extend rotor life.

    Silverado will be available with segment-exclusive safety features such as Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning with an Active Safety Seat, and Front and Rear Park Assist. StabiliTrak with Trailer Sway Control and Hill Start Assist are standard on all Silverados.

    “We have made significant upgrades in the key areas of the new Silverado, and improved almost every detail of the truck,” said Luke. “We think both Chevrolet loyalists and competitive shoppers are going to find a lot to love about the new Silverado, beginning with the very first time they sit behind the wheel.”

    Engineered and validated for demanding customers
    Truck customers are among the most discerning and demanding in the business. They know trucks inside out – many have owned trucks for decades. They work their trucks hard, under conditions that would shock many car owners. They have tough tasks to do, and they expect their trucks to do them, without complaint. And they expect their trucks to endure – the average age of a full-size pickup is now more than 10.4 years.

    The team that designed the new Silverado went to extremes to design a new truck that would exceed the demands of these customers.

    For example, GM’s new full-size trucks will undergo more than 6 million miles of durability testing in the torture chambers at the Milford Proving Ground, over the deserts and mountains of Nevada and across the frozen flats of Kapuskasing, Ontario. That’s equivalent to 240 trips around the earth. In addition, the trucks will accumulate more than 7 million real-world miles during final testing, bringing total test miles to more than 13 million.
    The increased power, torque and efficiency of the new EcoTec3 engine family resulted from an unprecedented level of computer analysis, including extensive computational flow dynamics, to optimize the burning of air and fuel in the cylinders. More than 10 million of hours of computational analysis went into the engine program. More than 6 million hours – about 685 years’ worth – of analysis went into the advanced combustion system alone.

    Even the basics, like the new inlaid doors, were tested to the extreme, with the doors undergoing nearly 150 truck lives’ worth of testing.

    The 2014 Silverado 1500 crew cab will start production in the second quarter of 2013, with other cab styles following later in the year.

    Pricing will be announced closer to start of sale

    Thursday, December 27, 2012

    Sensing the Future: Ford Issues Predictions for Next Wave of Automotive Electronics Innovation



    • Ford vehicles including the all-new 2013 Fusion are increasingly equipped with sensors that assist drivers with increased awareness
    • Sensor fusion, machine learning, and “big data” among the predictions for the next wave of Ford research and development
    DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 21, 2012 – State-of-the-art sensing, computing and communications systems are not only quickly changing consumer expectations in people’s everyday lives, but are driving innovation in the automotive industry at an incredible pace in preparation for the future.

    “Ford was founded on the innovative spirit of Henry Ford, and the opportunity today to reinvent the driving experience excites us just as it probably would have him,” said Paul Mascarenas, vice president and chief technical officer of Ford. “Technology is enabling Ford to bring a new level of awareness and intelligence that will dramatically enhance our customers’ time behind the wheel.”

    As CTO, Mascarenas has been leading the team researching and developing new technologies for Ford vehicles, particularly in the area of driver assistance and mobile device connectivity.

    “The new Fusion sedan demonstrates how we’re making the car smarter using attainable and affordable technology and thus helping create a better driver,” continues Mascarenas. “Fusion features an unprecedented level of sensors for its driver assist technologies, machine learning techniques to deliver more electric-only driving on the hybrids, and innovative graphical interfaces to help coach drivers to be as fuel efficient as possible.”

    With more than 145 actuators, 4716 signals, and 74 sensors including radar, sonar, cameras, accelerometers, temperature and even rain sensors, the 2013 Fusion can monitor the perimeter around the car and see into places that are not readily visible from the driver’s seat. These sensors produce more than 25 gigabytes of data per hour which is analyzed by more than 70 on-board computers. The actuators combined with signal information from the driver assist sensors can alert the driver to potential dangers, and actively assist with parking and lane keeping.

    “So far we’ve just scratched the surface of what is possible,” said Mascarenas. “In the Fusion, we have sensors and actuators that act independently as part of the assist features. The next phase, currently in research, involves sensor fusion, where engineers learn how to more comprehensively characterize the environment by blending multiple signals, and add externally available information through cloud connectivity.”

    According to Mascarenas’ predictions, top areas for car technology innovation in the coming years will include:

    • “Big data” analysis and intelligent decision making: Ford is researching the use of real-time sensor data – radar and camera-based – that can help evaluate external factors affecting driver attention, such as traffic congestion, and thus limit potential distractions such as an incoming phone call
    • Upgradeable, customizable hardware: Ford’s OpenXC research platform looks at the potential for open-source, community-driven innovation of plug-and-play hardware modules that provide infinite opportunities for rapid customization
    • Seamless integration across cloud ecosystems: The success of Ford SYNC® has been linked to its open, agnostic platform strategy that has allowed for adoption and compatibility with the burgeoning mobile ecosystem; the next step is to do the same for the consumer shift toward cloud-based services
    • Advanced machine learning: The new Fusion and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids utilize EV+, a feature that learns the typical locations of charging, such as home and office, and then automatically maximizes electric-only driving mode when nearing those locations
    • Biometrics: Ford is researching biometric sensors, such as those embedded in a car seat, to measure stress levels for a more personalized response from driver assist technologies, because skill levels – and thus stress – can vary in certain situations
    • Prediction: Ford researchers are looking at ways to predict driver behavior, such as a driver’s destination based on prior history, to help optimize and configure vehicle controls for improved performance such as better energy management
    • Rapid data authentication: Ford sees significant potential in vehicle-to-vehicle communications and is actively researching the technology globally, including advanced Wi-Fi® with rapid authentication capability so that cars can exchange information quickly and securely, helping drivers avoid potential collisions
    “All of these areas of research are well within our reach,” concludes Mascarenas. “The key to readiness and implementation in Ford vehicles is ensuring the customer experience of these technology features trumps the technology itself.”


    Monday, December 24, 2012

    Santa to Swap Outdated Ride for 30-MPG-Plus Ford Transit Connect Wagon Sleigh with Leading Cargo Rating


    • Santa Claus joins vehicle buyers who rate fuel economy their No. 1 purchase reason by selecting the all-new 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon for his next sleigh
    • Powered by EcoBoost® with a projected 30 mpg-plus, the Transit Connect Wagon sleigh will offer the industry’s leading presents per gallon (ppg) cargo rating
    • Ford today revealed the new sleigh concept, designed to maximize Claus’s fuel efficiency when he travels millions of miles around the globe delivering presents
    • Claus’s future upgrade to a Transit Connect Wagon sleigh comes as a record number of children earn spots on the “nice” list, increasing the payload weight of his bag of presents beyond the normal tow rating of his nine-reindeer team
    DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 21, 2012 – Ford is helping Santa Claus save future Christmases with an all-new 2014 Transit Connect Wagon sleigh. Due to larger-than-ever numbers of children on his “nice” list, Claus needed a new sleigh with maximum fuel economy and cargo space to efficiently deliver all his presents around the world.

    Ford designed a concept sleigh for Claus based on its Transit Connect Wagon, powered by EcoBoost®, that offers 30 mpg-plus and an industry-leading presents per gallon (ppg) cargo rating. As an added benefit, the EcoBoost engine – which is finely tuned for high-speed performance – would offer speeds much faster than Claus ever traveled in his former 36-hoofpowered sleigh.
    Claus says changing his mode of transportation will not compromise his ability to remain true to his mission.

    “My goal is and always has been giving presents to good girls and boys, and a new sleigh will make that process more effective,” he says. “Let’s face it, every year there are more children who earn presents. Things are simply getting out of control, and my old sleigh just isn’t going to be able to hack it much longer. With the new sleigh, I will be able to travel faster and carry more toys.”
    Ford engineers developed the Transit Connect Wagon sleigh concept weeks after hearing of Santa’s dilemma during cold-weather testing in the North Pole.

    “This is a winning situation for all,” says Darren Goddard, chief engineer for Ford Transit Connect Wagon. “The increased efficiency means added time for Santa to enjoy milk and cookies at stops. His new ride will offer 100 cubic feet of cargo space and versatility to haul up to 2,000 pounds, which Santa will need.”

    Reindeer spokesperson Dasher says the nine reindeer look forward to some time off. Every year, the flying animals travel 124,421,726 miles and they’d like some time to rest, he says, explaining there are still splinters embedded in his hoofs from a particular wooden roof in southern Indiana.

    “You really can’t beat this new sleigh,” says Goddard. “It offers outstanding fuel economy without sacrificing power. It even offers an electric windshield defroster, making short work of icy windshields in wintry conditions. So, if there’s a foggy Christmas Eve, we won’t need a red-nosed reindeer to guide Santa around the world.”

    Other reasons Claus chose a sleigh based on the all-new 2014 Transit Connect Wagon:
    • Anticipated to be the gas mileage leader among seven-passenger vehicles, Transit Connect Wagon is projected to deliver at least 5 mpg better fuel economy on the highway and 2 mpg better in the city than a Toyota Sienna minivan
    • SYNC® with MyFord Touch® offers a touch screen display with navigation so Claus can easily find all the good children, even in more remote areas
    • The child observation mirror would allow him to keep a close eye on his gifts in the second and third row
    • From its 60/40 three-passenger second-row bench seat through fold-flat second- and third-row seating with third-row independent fore-and-aft sliding capability, Transit Connect Wagon quickly adapts to accommodate multiple combinations of elves and presents
    • MyKey® programmable ignition key restricts maximum speed should a mischievous elf get behind the wheel while Claus is down a chimney leaving gifts
    • With eight cupholders, Claus and his elves would have plenty of space to take along a few glasses of milk as they continue through their busy night
    • Rain-sensing wipers would keep Claus on the move as there’s always a chance he’ll encounter nasty weather
    “As always, we are busy making toys and checking long lists,” says Claus. “That said, Merry Christmas to all!”