Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Dodge Caliber

  • All-new 2.2-liter Common-rail Diesel (CRD) engine delivers 16 percent more power and 3 percent more torque, while reducing fuel consumption by 5 percent and CO2 emissions by 3 percent
  • All-new interior design features a cleaner, more refined design theme, highlighted by detailed chromed accents, soft-touch premium materials and additional storage spaces
  • Sport Appearance package includes new 18-inch polished aluminum wheels
  • Versatile interior featuring innovative Uconnect™ Navigation, MusicGate Power™ articulating liftgate speakers and Chill Zone™ cooled-beverage storage bin

Dodge Caliber is a five-door C-segment hatchback that combines a sporty coupe-like profile with the strength, stance and functionality of an SUV. It features an all-new refined interior and Common-rail Diesel (CRD) engine to satisfy the needs of discerning international customers.

This all-new Euro V capable engine is paired to a six-speed manual transmission and produces 120 kW (163 hp DIN) and 320 N•m (236 lb.-ft.), delivering 16 percent more power, 3 percent more torque and 25 percent more towing capability (1500 kg) compared with the previous diesel engine. Forged steel connecting rods, aluminum head and pistons, and fourth-generation direct-injection system provide durability, weight reduction and performance. Passenger refinement also improves as dual balance shafts and sound-deadening materials reduce the diesel engine’s vibration and harshness by 25 percent compared with the previous Dodge Caliber CRD.

Two World Engine offerings (2.0- and 2.4-liter) deliver power and refinement thanks to dual Variable-valve Timing (VVT) and an intake manifold design with flow control valves. Combined, these features produce more power, better fuel economy and a smoother, quieter operation than engines without them. The 2.0-liter World Engine replaces the 1.8-liter engine, delivering 4 percent more power (115 kW /156 hp DIN) and 13 percent more torque (190 N•m / 140 lb.-ft.). For even greater performance, the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 125 kW (170 hp DIN) and 220 N•m (162 lb.-ft.) of torque.

The new Dodge Caliber debuts at the 2009 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, featuring an all-new refined interior with a more harmonious design aesthetic executed with premium materials and craftsmanship. An all-new designed instrument panel features a more integrated look and includes additional cubby space, center storage bin and larger climate controls. Bright satin silver accents add contrast to Dodge Caliber’s interior design, while chromed accents brighten heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) vents, shift bezel, door handles and cluster rings. New door-trim panels and center console with armrest split-lid feature padded soft-touch materials for improved passenger comfort.

In addition, the Dodge Caliber offers an array of unique interior features in its segment, including Chill Zone™ cooled-beverage storage bin, Uconnect™ Navigation with voice commands, iPod® Control, rechargeable LED flashlight and an available MusicGate Power™ Sound Group, which includes two articulating speakers packaged in the liftgate that swing down for tailgating and other activities.

“The Dodge Caliber is not your typical C-segment car. When we launched the Dodge Caliber only a few years ago, its bold style made a clear statement on the European roads, allowing owners to be active, stand out and do more,” said Mike Accavitti, President and Chief Executive Officer - Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Now paired with an all-new turbo-diesel engine that offers better fuel consumption and performance and an improved interior full of value and customer-friendly features, the Dodge Caliber continues to offer our European clients unique Dodge attitude combined with one of the best value proposition in the segment.”

The Dodge Caliber was the top-selling Chrysler Group LLC vehicle outside North America in 2008.


High value, bold styling in an efficient two-box design

  • Dodge Caliber delivers high value, bold styling, comfort and the storage flexibility needed for active lifestyles
  • All-new interior design offers versatility, comfort and convenience
  • New organically-shaped instrument panel, door-trim panels and center console features chromed accents on HVAC vents, shift bezel, instrument panel, door spears and cluster rings
  • Soft-touch padded door armrest and center console with split lid provide added storage space
  • New automatic climate control system
  • MusicGate Power™ Sound System includes a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics premium sound system with rear articulating speakers
  • Chill Zone storage bin provides ability to chill beverages on a long trip
  • LED illumination includes cup holder rings and removable and rechargeable LED cargo light
  • Versatile seating provides quick and convenient cargo space with fold-flat, front-passenger seat and 60/40 split, fold-flat rear seats
  • Reclining seatbacks provide additional rear seat comfort

All-new 2.2-liter Common-rail Diesel (CRD) engine offers greater refinement, more power and capability

  • New 2.2-liter CRD engine features 16 percent more power (120 kW / 163 hp DIN) and 5 percent improvement in fuel consumption (5.8 L/100 km compared to 6.1 L/100 km)
  • Improvement in CO2 emissions by 3 percent (154 g/km compared to 159 g/km)
  • Towing increased by 25 percent allows for trailer mass as great as 1500kg (braked)
  • Torque improvement by 3 percent (320 N•m / 236 lb.-ft.) compared to the previous generation Dodge Caliber diesel
  • Dual balance shafts, optimized diesel calibration and sound-deadening materials reduce diesel vibration and improve refinement by 25 percent
  • Forged steel connecting rods, aluminum head and pistons provide durability and reduction in weight
  • Euro 5 emission compliance through advanced diesel technology:
    • Cooled Exhaust-gas Recirculation (EGR) with switchable bypass
    • Fourth-generation direct injection with common-rail pressurized at 1800 bar
    • Intake module with integrated swirl control valves
    • Water pump and piston cooling are switchable for improved thermal management
    • Diesel-particulate Filter (DPF)

Innovative technology

  • Uconnect™ Navigation
  • Uconnect Multimedia
  • Uconnect Phone
  • iPod® Control
  • MusicGate Power™ with nine Boston Acoustics speakers includes subwoofer and two articulating speakers
  • Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC)

C-segment size, versatility and flexibility of larger vehicles

  • Dodge Caliber appeals to buyers looking for a C-segment hatchback that stands out from the crowd and gives them the flexibility to do more in terms of seating friends and storing gear
  • Dodge Caliber is a five-door vehicle that combines a sporty coupe-like profile with the strength, stance and functionality of an SUV
  • The Dodge Caliber’s unconventional two-box design provides space-efficient packaging with great proportions, while offering high value
  • Dodge Caliber’s high H-point gives drivers a command-of-the-road seating position

Safety and security features include:

  • Seat-mounted (thorax) side air bags
  • First- and second-row side-curtain air bags
  • Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Brake Assist and all-speed traction control
  • Driver and front-passenger active head restraints
  • Uconnect Phone
  • Uconnect Navigation with voice commands
  • Tire-pressure Monitoring (TPM)
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Lincoln MKT Earns - Top Safety Pick

Lincoln MKT concept photographed at the 2008 N...Image via Wikipedia

  • The all-new 2010 Lincoln MKT three-row luxury crossover received a “Top Safety Pick” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
  • MKT offers a high level of crash protection – including state-of-the-art side air bags that are designed to deploy up to 30 percent earlier than traditional air bag systems – while offering a segment-first, forward collision warning system as part of Lincoln’s push into new crash-avoidance technologies
  • MKT offers an array of standard driver-awareness features – including a first-in-class Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA)
  • Ford Motor Company has more IIHS Top Safety Pick ratings than any other automaker and more U.S. government five-star ratings than any brand
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Ford Motor CompanyImage via Wikipedia

All new 5-speed automatic transmission introduced in India with shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel drive, touch-enabled SATNAV system with reverse parking camera

  • New contemporary look and design:
    • New distinctive embossed chrome grille and wraparound headlamps
    • Wide header bar with Endeavour embossed on it
    • New tail lamps, bumper, rear cladding and spare wheel cover
    • Illuminated Endeavour branded scuff plate
    • Bold, new 16-inch painted cast aluminum wheels
  • Interiors:
    • A segment-first touch screen (7 inches wide) satellite navigation system, with built-in DVD player, a rear camera and Bluetooth capability on the automatic variant
    • Instrument Panel with an RDS-capable 6-CD and MP3 audio system on 4x2 variant
    • Generous legroom – front row with 1088mm, second row with 978mm and third row with 722mm
  • Powertrain and Transmission
    • 2.5L & 3.0L DuraTorq TDCi common-rail turbo-diesel engines
    • New five-speed automatic transmission, with electronic shift-on-the-fly for 4x4 model
  • Safety
    • Introducing side air bags in addition to front driver and passenger airbags.

Ford India launched the new design look Endeavour 3.0L with 5-speed automatic transmission and an array of contemporary features that give the new Ford Endeavour fresh appeal to go with its image of dominant toughness. Endeavour is the most capable seven-seat SUV on the road, combining best-in-class torque, active versatility, superior off-road capability and surprising levels of comfort and refinement.

The new Ford Endeavour pioneers a suite of new design elements, led by a new-look front design with a classy multi-bar chrome grille and chrome-accented lower grille combined with sleek, wraparound headlamps to create a distinctive signature style. Under its slick new shape are the unrivalled toughness and proven capability that have made Ford Endeavour a leading choice among premium SUV buyers in India.

At the unveiling of the new Ford Endeavour, Michael Boneham, president & managing director, Ford India said, “The Endeavour has established itself as an undisputable leader in the premium SUV segment. With its contemporary new design look, the dominant toughness of Ford Endeavour has never been more appealing and we believe that it will set new benchmarks in its segment.”

The New Ford Endeavour is being launched across the country in a phased manner. The vehicle was unveiled in New Delhi by Bollywood actor and successful entrepreneur Suniel Shetty, a special celebrity guest and a proud Endeavour customer. The vehicle launched today – and bookings are open – in Northern and Western markets, and will launch in the following weeks in Southern and Eastern markets.

Priced aggressively, the new Endeavour is available in Delhi from today at Rs. 17, 99, 000 for the 3.0L 4X4 automatic transmission and Rs. 15, 99, 000 for the 2.5L 4X2 manual transmission variant (Ex-Showroom, New Delhi).

The new grille design features three, finely detailed horizontal bars that seem to float in the grille opening, the middle of which supports a proud Ford oval badge. Designers sculpted the three-bar grille – a key element of Ford design DNA – to convey the kind of sophistication found in luxury goods packaging. The top edge of the grille features a wide header bar with Endeavour embossed boldly into its surface. The new Endeavour's side mirrors also include interesting design details and functionality. Their housings – matte black lowers with chrome uppers – incorporate power folding convenience with turn indicator repeater lamps and a puddle lamp feature, which illuminates the ground around the door of the vehicle as the driver approaches the vehicle and unlocks its doors by remote control.

Poised on bold, 16-inch wheels, the new Endeavour has an unmistakably confident stance that communicates this vehicle is ready to go, whether it’s around town, on a great journey or to even greater heights. The new 16-inch alloy wheel – in a unique six-spoke design – is standard equipment, fitted with 245/70r16 tyres.

Inside, the new Endeavour surrounds its occupants with car-like comfort and luxury while providing true seven-seat SUV functionality. The vehicle has outstanding seat comfort and spaciousness. It also features ergonomically crafted seats with leather seating surfaces. Door panels are also finished in premium material close to the seats for visual appeal and design consistency. When the doors open, they reveal a distinctive chrome scuff plate with illuminated Endeavour branding.

“The new design of the new Endeavour is a more premium look that builds on the capability and robust feel that are Ford Endeavour hallmarks. We’ve added contemporary touches that give it a lot more style, but it’s the way the new design complements Endeavour’s inherent strengths that was so important for the design team to execute,” said Scott Ferrier, design manager, Asia Pacific and Africa, Ford Motor Company.

Endeavour offers two highly responsive, 16-valve TDCi versions, both of which feature outstanding torque output plus impressive levels of smoothness and refinement:

  • The 2.5-litre (offered with 4x2) Duratorq TDCi common-rail engine, rated at 105 kW (143PS), which delivers peak torque of 330 Nm at just 1800 rpm
  • The 3.0-litre (offered with 4x4) Duratorq TDCi common-rail peaks at 380 Nm of torque at 2500 rpm, and is rated at 115 kW (156PS) of power output

The 3.0L Endeavour 4x4 automatic transmission models feature an electronic shift-on-the-fly system for the convenient selection of 2WD or 4WD mode. The 4x4 system features a proven-tough Borg-Warner transfer case.

The all-new 4X4 5-speed automatic transmission is an all-terrain vehicle that can handle city, highway or hill driving with ease and agility. The automatic transmission has an overdrive option (5th gear) feature to allow driving in lower gear for greater responsiveness.

With TDCi common rail turbo-diesel power, Endeavour boasts best-in-class torque output – that’s the feeling of instant power on tap to accelerate away from a traffic light or make an overtaking maneuver. That’s the confidence, premium refinement and outstanding fuel economy of Ford’s advanced DuraTorq TDCi common-rail turbodiesel engine family.

With plenty of low-end ‘grunt’, the TDCi engine range makes Endeavour ideal for overtaking on a highway or tackling tough off-road terrain. The DuraTorq TDCi pair make Endeavour a delight to drive in any condition.

“The DuraTorq common-rail engine family is ideally suited to the robustness and premium nature of the Ford Endeavour,” said John Lonsdale, vice president, Product Development of Ford India. “These engines provide the superior performance, capability and refinement customers in this premium SUV segment expect. We’ve engineered DuraTorq TDCi to be at the very heart of the Endeavour ownership experience.”

Endeavour’s tough chassis and confident stance – with standard 16-inch wheels give it the credentials to handle rough roads, difficult terrains or deal with tough conditions, providing ease and comfort to the passengers in the vehicle.

“Endeavour owners spend a lot of time with their vehicles and find them an invigorating part of their lifestyle. They love the versatility, toughness and capability of their vehicles but they also appreciate that its design communicates success and confidence. Our objective for the new 2009 Endeavour was to build on this emotional connection to make that vehicle-owner bond even stronger,” added Nigel Wark, executive director, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford India.

The new Ford Endeavour is the only vehicle in its segment to offer side air bags, part of an array of active and passive safety features. These 18-litre bags are designed to protect the head and thorax in the event of a side impact. The Endeavour is also equipped with dual-stage front air bags for driver and passenger. The air bags work in conjunction with three-point safety belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, another Ford safety distinction.

Active safety features – designed to help the driver avoid an accident – include the Endeavour braking system, which features Anti-lock Braking (ABS) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD). The new Ford Endeavour also has Ford’s unique Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS), for improved vehicle security. A uniquely coded computer chip is included on the ignition key to ensure the vehicle will not start without the correct key.

A state-of-the-art in-car entertainment and navigation system redefines luxury with a segment first 7-inch touch screen satellite navigation system, built-in DVD player which supports all popular file formats, a rear camera and Bluetooth compatible communication system on the Automatic Variant. This unit also has a USB Input.

The new Endeavour also boasts an RDS-capable audio system with 6-CD changer and MP3 capabilities and Aux-in port on the 4x2 variant. This allows occupants to connect popular MP3 players, such as the Apple iPod, into the audio system.

The new Endeavour will be available in five exterior colours. The new Sea Grey and Moondust Silver colours will join the always popular Morello, Panther Black and Diamond White. All use the innovative 3-wet high-solids paint process technology.

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Ford Transit ConnectImage via Wikipedia

The first production Transit Connect light commercial vehicle came off the assembly line today at the new Ford manufacturing plant in Craiova, Romania.

"Today marks another step in the evolution of the Craiova Plant, and demonstrates that we are keeping our promise to transform Craiova into a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility," said John Fleming, Chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe.

Mr. Fleming also confirmed that the second vehicle to be produced in Craiova after the Transit Connect will be a small car. The new small car – which is not the Fiesta or the Ka – is scheduled to go into production in the near future. As announced earlier this year, Craiova also will build a small displacement, advanced EcoBoost petrol engine. The exact timing for the start of production for both products will be announced at a later date.

At full capacity, Craiova will be able to produce up to 300,000 vehicles and 300,000 engines annually and provide employment for approximately 7,000 people.

The first Transit Connect off the line was donated to Craiova Municipal Hospital for use in its work with the local community. The first commercial shipment of newly-assembled Transit Connects from Craiova is destined for Ford dealers in Romania. Mid-term, Ford expects to export the majority of Craiova Transit Connect production, primarily to Central and Eastern Europe.

"Since the first day we became the new owner of the plant in March 2008, our entire team here has been working around the clock to deliver world-class standards of manufacturing quality and efficiency. Once the modernization of the plant is completed and we are running Craiova at full capacity, we will have met our commitment to invest 675 million Euros in this new manufacturing facility," said Mr. Fleming.

Ford continues to encourage its existing suppliers to bring business to Romania, either by using Romanian suppliers or establishing facilities of their own in the country to support Ford's Craiova operations. Ford also wants to establish
co-operation with new Romanian suppliers and would like to use as many local services as possible, provided they meet Ford's corporate standards.

In addition to working with suppliers, installing new production equipment and modernizing the facility's infrastructure, much effort has been invested there in the training of employees. Some Craiova employees have spent time working in other Ford plants to gain more knowledge about the Ford Production System, while a significant number of Ford employees from all over Europe have travelled to Romania to train different groups of Craiova employees. Over 380 different training courses have been implemented for employees to date.

"Ford's history in Romania goes back to the 1930s when we had a sales office and production plant here. Today, 73 years after production began at our first factory in this country, we are here today to open an exciting new chapter in the relationship between Ford and Romania."

"I hope this new relationship between Ford and Romania will endure for many years to come, and benefit Ford, Craiova, Romania and its people," said Mr. Fleming.

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WAYNE, MI - MAY 6: Auto workers examine a new ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Ford Fiesta is turning heads in England’s higher latitudes, with the car named "Northern Car of the Year 2009" by the Northern Group of Motoring Writers.

Fiesta’s no-compromise package of style, large-car features, driver appeal and class-leading practicality and ownership costs saw it surge ahead of all competitors, to return the title to Ford after Mondeo’s victory in 2007.

Northern Group Chairman, Mike Torpey, said: “The new Fiesta is a real head-turner and a great drive, but even more than that, it gives good, honest value for money. It’s a winner in every way.”

The Northern Car of the Year award is voted for by members of the Northern Group of Motoring Writers, who selected Fiesta as the winner from 23 nominated entries.

The Northern Car of the Year Award is Fiesta’s 10th accolade across Europe, since its launch in September 2008. Fiesta is the UK’s best-selling car by far – almost 15,000 ahead of its closest competitor, year-to-date – and is Ford's most popular option in the government’s scrappage scheme, with over 5,500 orders to date.

The new Fiesta range was recently completed with the launch of the 1.4-litre automatic, bringing Fiesta style to a new group of customers and pointing the way to even more sales.

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GM Board Recommendation to Sell Majority Stake in Opel/Vauxhall to Magna International/Sberbank

RUESSELSHEIM, GERMANY - JUNE 03:  Magna Co-Chi...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

  • GM to sell 55% stake in New Opel to Magna/Sberbank
  • Agreement on new ownership structure signals fresh start for New Opel
  • Employees to hold 10% stake in New Opel
  • Government supports financing through additional state guarantees
Zurich. General Motors today announced that its Board of Directors supports a bid from the consortium of Magna International Inc. and Sberbank to buy a majority stake in its European Opel/Vauxhall operations.

Several key issues will be finalized over the next few weeks to secure the binding agreements, including the written support of the labor unions to support the deal with the necessary cost restructuring for viability and the finalization of a definitive financing package from the German government. The definitive agreements should be ready to sign within a few weeks, with closing to follow within the next few months. Under the deal, Magna/Sberbank will purchase a 55 percent stake in New Opel; GM will hold a 35 percent stake and employees will be provided a 10 percent stake.

“The hard work over the past two weeks to clarify open issues and resolve details in the German financial package brought GM and its Board of Directors to recommend Magna/Sberbank,” said Fritz Henderson, GM President and CEO. “We thank all parties involved in the intensive process of the last few months -- especially the German government -- for their continued support that enables this new venture. I’d also like to thank the Opel and Vauxhall customers for their continued loyalty. GM will continue to closely collaborate with Opel and Vauxhall to develop and produce more great cars, such as the new Insignia and the new Astra,” Henderson added.

The agreement will keep Opel/Vauxhall a fully integrated part of GM’s global product development organization, allowing all parties to benefit from the exchange of technology and engineering resources. The new ownership structure constitutes a new lean, efficient and independent organization for the Opel and Vauxhall brands. The current portfolio of Opel/Vauxhall cars and the models in the pipeline are a strong basis for future success.

Participating in GM’s global technology development and purchasing organizations secures important economies of scale for Opel/Vauxhall and other GM brands. For example, vehicles that represent new propulsion technologies, such as the Ampera extended-range electric vehicle, can only be brought to market in a joint effort.

“GM operates many joint ventures around the world and has proven in the past that this business model delivers the right balance of independence, innovation and synergies,” said John Smith, GM Group Vice President Business Development. “All parties will work hard to close the deal as soon as possible,” he added.
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