2016 Honda Pilot is brand’s first non-hybrid with stop-start

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Honda has gotten rid of the boxy styling of the outgoing Pilot for a more aerodynamic look that mimics its smaller sibling, the popular CR-V. The 2016 Honda Pilot – which goes on sale this summer – has a larger, eight-inch display screen, an improved navigation system and up to five USB ports to power the family’s devices. The new Pilot was introduced at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show this week.

New amenities include an optional heated steering wheel and heated second-row seats. Under the hood is a new 3.5-liter, direct injected V-6 engine with start-stop technology – Honda calls it ” Idle Stop technology” – to save on fuel. Buyers can choose one of two new transmissions, a six-speed or a nine-speed, and front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive configurations. Green Car Congress notes that this is the first time Honda has put stop-start technology into a non-hybrid vehicle.

Fuel economy wasn’t announced, but increased use of lighter materials has dropped 300 pounds of weight, so the new Pilot should beat the old model’s 25 mpg on the highway.

New safety features include LED high beams that automatically dim for oncoming traffic and Honda’s first road departure mitigation system – borrowed from Acura – which monitors the vehicle’s road position and can correct the steering or brake if it senses an imminent collision.

[Source: Autoblog]

2015 Chrysler 200 snags EPA ratings of 18 mpg city and 29 highway

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While Chrysler hasn’t officially announced fuel economy figures for its new 200 sedan, the information for one model has just leaked out thanks to the US Department of Energy’s FuelEconomy.gov website. It certified the 200 with the 295-horsepower and 262-pound-feet 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, nine-speed automatic and all-wheel drive as getting 18-miles-per-gallon city, 29-mpg highway and 22-mpg combined.

Last year’s front-wheel drive Chrysler 200 with a less-powerful version of the Pentastar was rated at 19-mpg city, 29-mpg highway and 22-mpg combined. That means that buyers are getting more power and all-wheel drive traction at almost no loss in economy. However, compared to current, all-wheel drive sedan competitors, the Chrysler comes in the middle. The Ford Fusion with all-wheel drive with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder has 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque is somewhat down on power but bests it in economy at 22-mpg city, 31-mpg highway and 25-mpg combined. The current Subaru Legacy 3.6R loses in both metrics with 256 hp and 247 lb-ft and a rating of 18-mpg city, 25-mpg highway and 20-mpg combined. However, Subaru claims the next generation with the same engine will boast 20-mpg city, 28-mpg highway and 23-mpg combined. But these numbers are just estimates from the automaker at the moment, and they haven’t yet been certified by the EPA yet.

The numbers for the four-cylinder and front-wheel drive 200 drivetrains are not yet available, but Chrysler has been promising the sedan gets an estimated 35-mpg highway with the 184-hp and 173-lb-ft Tigershark 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. We won’t know for sure until it’s certified, but we’ll keep you posted.

[Source: Autoblog]

Ram exec: first 30-mpg pickup truck will ‘win’

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It is totally possible, today, to take the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pickup truck, load it up with gear and people, and drive it from Texas to Michigan while getting 38 miles per gallon. We know because we did it. Officially, though, the 1500 gets just 20 mpg combined. A more impressive number is the 28 mpg on the highway.

Bob Hegbloom, the Ram brand director, thinks that there’s a more important fuel economy target to hit: 30 mpg. Whichever truck company can manage that feat, he recently told Automotive News, “wins.” It’s kind of an obvious thing to say, but in the 1500 with both the EcoDiesel and the V6 Pentastar engine, Hegbloom said, “fuel economy is so important.”

Hegbloom didn’t promise that the next EcoDiesel truck will manage to get on up over the 30 hump, but he did say that Ram is not sitting still when it comes to fuel economy. “I just want to have continuous improvement and to keep gaining every day,” he said. “We sat still in the past and it doesn’t lead to a great place.”

[Source: Autoblog]

70% of pickups could use aluminum by 2025

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In the next decade, the auto industry will see an explosion in its use of aluminum to cut weight and increase fuel economy, according to a study from market analysts Ducker Worldwide cited by The Detroit News. We are already seeing the lightweight metal show up extensively in luxury models from Europe, but with the impending launch of aluminum-intensive 2015 Ford F-150 (pictured above), North America is using it even more, as well. The report predicts 70 percent of US pickups to have aluminum bodies by 2025.

It won’t just be pickups that see the benefit, though. The average amount of aluminum in US vehicles is forecasted by the study to grow from an average of 350 pounds in 2013 to about 550 pounds by 2025. The most common parts to use it will be hoods, doors and – to some extent – roofs, as well.

The massive increase in pickups’ aluminum content hardly seems surprising. The F-150 is predicted to use so much that it might cause a short-term shortage, according to one earlier report. At the same time General Motors is heavily rumored to be negotiating with suppliers for the next generation Chevrolet Silverado andGMC Sierra. Ram is the last holdout of the Big Three, but the study predicts that not to last.

With that much additional aluminum use spread across the entire industry, demand for the material appears to only be increasing. Ford CEO Alan Mulally forecasted as much at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show when he said it would “proliferate across our lineup,” and GM has seen more opportunities for its use as well.

[Source: Autoblog]

2015 Chrysler 200 in Portland Going Green

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Portland Chrysler 200 drivers will soon be seeing green with the 2015 Chrylser 200, for sale in Oregon at Dick’s Country Dodg ein Hillsboro. Simple elegance, an exhilarating driving experience, state-of-the-art and easy-to-use technology and fuel economy of up to 36 miles per gallon (mpg), the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 is a car that makes the commute more enjoyable at a value customers appreciate.

“With fuel economy ratings of up to 36 miles per gallon and features typically found on more expensive luxury vehicles, the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 delivers the premium features customers want at a price they can afford,” said Al Gardner, President and CEO – Chrysler Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “With a standard nine-speed transmission, state-of-the art available all-wheel drive, a choice of two powertrains and interior that will wow drivers and passengers alike, the new Chrysler 200 is raising the bar for what customers should expect from a mid-size sedan.”

The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan leapfrogs expectations in the mid-size sedan segment for comfort, ride and handling. Engineered to provide premium driving dynamics, highway fuel economy of up to 36 mpg highway, a quiet cabin and an enthusiastic driving experience, the all-new Chrysler 200 delivers exceptional ride and handling characteristics for all roads and weather conditions.

The 2015 Chrysler 200 with the standard 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir®2 I-4 engine is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 23 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined, a five mile per gallon improvement in the highway rating versus the outgoing model.

2015 Chrysler 200 models equipped with the available best-in-class 295 horsepower Pentastar V-6 engine are rated at 19 mpg city, 32 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. The highway rating is a three mile per gallon improvement versus the outgoing model with the V-6 engine.

All-new 2015 Chrysler 200 mid-size sedans equipped with the Pentastar V-6 engine and the state-of-the-art all-wheel-drive system are rated at 18 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.

2014 Ford Fiesta 1.0L EcoBoost to hit 45 mpg for $16,445*

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When Ford first announced its plan to put the 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine under the hood of the2014 Fiesta, it promised hybrid-like fuel economy without a hybrid-like premium. We’re still waiting for official specs on this engine, but thanks to the EPA’s fueleconomy.gov website and Ford’s retail site, we now know what customers can expect in terms of both fuel economy and price.

All along, Ford has said that it expects the 1.0-liter EcoBoost to get more than 40 miles per gallon on the highway, and now the EPA backs this up with official ratings of 32 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway. These numbers are an increase of two mpg city and four mpg hwy compared to the current fuel-sipping Fiesta (the 1.6 SFE), and it also beats other three-cylinder cars for highway mileage like the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage (44 mpg highway) and 2014 Smart Fortwo (38 mpg highway); the Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost is lower than both three-pot rivals, though, in city fuel economy with the Mitsubishi getting 37 mpg city and theSmart rated at 34 mpg city. This model handily beats high-volume small cars like the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Chevy Spark in both city and highway numbers.

As for pricing, the 1.0-liter EcoBoost is offered on both the sedan and hatchback as a $995 option called the SE Manual EcoBoost package, which is aptly named since it’s only offered on SE trim-level Fiestas equipped with a manual transmission. Along with the engine, the package also comes with 15-inch steel wheels, regenerative brakes and a decklid spoiler on the sedan. This means the four-door Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost will start at $16,445*, or $17,045* for the hatchback (*not including $795 for destination).

Average new car fuel economy hits record 24.9 mpg

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With more stringent federal fuel economy standards coming, it should be no surprise that the average new-vehicle fuel economy is on the rise. Automotive News cites a study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (Go Blue!), that shows that the 24.9-mile-per-gallon average for August of 2013 is nearly five miles per gallon better than when UMTRI started keeping track in October 2007.

The methods for the study are alarmingly straight forward. To calculate the average sales-weighted fuel economy, which is what that 24.9-mpg figure represents for August 2013, researchers merely calculated the monthly sales for each individual model line and the combined EPA fuel economy listed in the EPA Fuel Economy Guide. If there were multiple fuel economy figures for a model, like, say a Ford F-150, researchers used the average of the combined EPA ratings. Low-volume exotics and luxury car manufacturers, likeRolls-Royce or Ferrari, had sales and fuel economy for their entire model range calculated to come up with one number.

Both UofM researchers that conducted the study, Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle, claim that data indicates that the average should only climb, and that it’s very likely that the next model year will be even better than the previous. Interestingly, one of the biggest jumps in the study has been the 1.2-mpg jump, from model year 2012 to MY2013.

[Source: Autoblog]