• Shanghai: Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe concept

    April 19, 2015
    Mercedes-Benz is extending its SUV coupe lineup with its latest GLC Coupe concept at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show. A production version of the GLC Coupe will eventually join the similarly-styled GLE Coupe in Mercedes showrooms.
    Based on Mercedes’ upcoming GLC SUV, which will replace the current GLK, the GLC Coupe adopts a sharply raked roofline that gives the utility vehicle a coupe-like silhouette. The GLC Coupe show car has also been toughen up with 21-inch wheels, a power dome hood and a stacked exhaust setup not unlike the units seen on Lexus’ high-performance F range.

    “With its modern and sensual design idiom, the Concept GLC Coupe gives a foretaste of future SUV models from Mercedes-Benz,” said Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. “At the same time, it embraces the typical values of tradition-steeped Mercedes-Benz coupes.”

    Riding on a 111.4-inch wheelbase, the GLC Coupe stretches 186.2 inches overall. That puts the GLC Coupe about on par with its intended rival, the BMW X4, but a significant 8-inches longer than the current GLK.

    Powering that sleek body work is Mercedes’ 3.0L bi-turbo V6, tuned to generate 367 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. Power is routed to all four wheels via Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission.

    Mercedes hasn’t officially announced when the GLC Coupe concept will make the jump to production, but the automaker says the show car is “near-production” ready. We’d wager that the GLC Coupe will go on sale by the end of next year, if not sooner.

  • Cadillac President promises V8 will not go away

    April 19, 2015

    Cadillac boss Johan De Nysschen recently revealed in a since-deleted Facebook post that GM’s luxury brand is working on a “mega powerful V8.”

    The revelation began when Sam Abuelsamid of Navigant Research called the Era of the Cadillac V8 “over,” citing the CT6′s 3.0L turbo V6, as well as turbo four-cylinders and hybrid options on upcoming mainstream Cadillac sedans as evidence. The V8 would be relegated to specialty cars such as the Escalade and V-Series, but no longer serve as the standard engine for GM’s flagship sedans.

    De Nysschen fired back on Facebook, saying:

    Sam Abuelsamid, you are way wrong, I’m sorry to say. There absolutely will be another state-of-the-art mega powerful highly efficient new 8-cylinder from Cadillac, besides the CTS-V engine. Purpose designed for Cadillac. Now, if you consider “mainstream” to represent the average powertrain used, well, no, the realities of the market today excludes that. Besides the exotics, I don’t know that any luxury manufacturer today could claim they sell most of their volume in V8. But the V8 Cadillac is alive and well today, and will be in even better shape tomorrow.

    De Nysschen declined to reveal whether turbocharging would be part of the picture and the post was soon removed from Facebook, but for now the President appears to be committed to the centuries-old tradition of a Cadillac V8.

    Images by Brian Williams

  • Honda releases Fit-based wagon in Japan

    April 19, 2015

    Honda has released a redesigned Shuttle for the Japanese market. It is essentially a station wagon based on the Fit platform, offered with both petrol and hybrid powertrains.

    Purely gasoline versions are powered by the standard 1.5L direct-injection inline-four found on the standard Honda Fit, good for 130hp and 114 lb-ft of torque in US market trim. The not-for-North America hybrid adds an electric motor and a dual-clutch transmission. For the first time on the Shuttle, the hybrid system is also available with all-wheel-drive.

    Cargo volumes were not specified, but in the previous-generation Shuttle the longroof variant added four cubic feet to the cargo area for petrol-powered versions (the hybrids had less due to the battery pack).

    Styling takes after the Fit in the grille, hood, and angled character line that runs from the front doors to the taillights. Fog lights and 16-inch wheels denote the top-spec versions.

    Clever storage options include a parcel shelf that attaches to the rear seatbacks and a below-the-floor tray underneath the trunk floor.

    The original Shuttle was an offshoot of the Civic lineup, what was known in the US as the Civic Wagon. The Fit-based Shuttle is not expected to make landfall in the US.