Episode 840 – Bentley’s Blingy Crossover, Takeri Hints at Next Mazda6, MyFord Touch Updated

March 6th, 2012 at 11:50am

Runtime: 8:38

It’s Geneva Motor Show time and we’ve got the first batch of reveals including Bentley’s shiny crossover. And, Mazda’s Takeri concept could be hinting at the next Mazda6. Ford updates its MyFord Touch infotainment system to stem the tide of poor quality ratings. All that and more, plus Isaac Bouchard gets out on the track with the new BMW 3 Series.

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This is Autoline Daily for March 6, 2012.

And today the automotive world has set its sights on Geneva, where all kinds of new cars are being unveiled. Of course, we’ve already shown you quite a few of those new cars as automakers believe they have to leak photos well ahead of every auto show.

But here are some that we haven’t shown you yet, starting with this blingey Bentley, the EXP 9 F. Bentley calls it historical and dramatic, we’re not sure what to call it. It seems to be an awkward combination of Bentley styling cues. This concept is fitted with a twin turbocharged, 6.0-liter, W-12 mated to an eight-speed automatic. But a 4.0-liter V-8 and plug-in powertrain are under consideration. Inside it’s just as dramatic, with the plushest materials the company could find. You can expect a price of $140,000 or more. Ok, time for a pop quiz. Does anyone else remember a car called the EXP? In the early ’80s Ford had a two-door version of the Escort called the EXP that also featured “interesting” styling.

Mazda pulled the covers off its Takeri concept vehicle, a C-D segment car. Could this signal the styling direction of the next Mazda6? This car is fitted with a stop-start 2.2-liter diesel and, of course, it features Mazda’s Skyactiv technology. It also uses what Mazda calls its i-ELOOP system that captures regenerative braking in a capacitor to run the car’s electrical system for a minute or so without putting a load on the engine.

In related news, Infiniti showcased a two-door supercar concept. The Emerge-E, as it’s called, packs a punch both inside and out. Its bodywork is smooth and organic, and it’s covered in matte-finish paint. As for propulsion, it features a 400-horsepower extended-range powertrain. The zero-to-60 sprint should take just four seconds. Its combined range clocks in at 300 miles.

Lamborghini has built drop-top version of the Aventador. This crazy-looking supercar is a one-off that’s actually for sale . . . well, WAS for sale. Someone already snapped it up for a cool 2.1 million Euros. In the process of losing its roof the car’s windshield also vanished, as did its navigation and climate-control systems. Like its hard-top brother, it’s powered by a 6.5-liter V-12 that good for 700 horsepower. Top speed is a wind-in-your-hair 186 miles an hour.

OK, enough of the Geneva show for the moment. In other news, Ford is sending out upgrades of its Sync and My Ford Touch that should eliminate all the complaints about the system. It’s a software upgrade that doubles the speed of the screen response, eliminates any lag with voice commands and uses bigger fonts along with easier-to-read displays. Customers will get a flash drive that plugs into the car’s USB port and automatically updates the system. It takes an hour to download all the software, but Ford hopes this fix will push it back up the quality ratings. Remember, Consumer Reports clobbered the company over the way the systems now work.

In a VERY interesting move, CNNMoney reports Chrysler will offer a new certified used-car program that guarantees vehicles built by OTHER manufacturers. Most plans like this only warranty vehicles built by the company offering the warranty, meaning Toyota will only stand behind Toyotas, Ford will only certify Fords. Chrysler’s CPO program is the first of its kind offered by a manufacturer. This could really help dealers, who make more money selling used cars than new ones. The “diversified certified” program as it’s called will first be introduced at Fiat dealerships before making the move to Chrysler stores later in the year.

Now for a look in the rear-view mirror. Believe it or not, on March 5, 1918 the car alarm was patented! Two guys in Portland, Oregon filed for an invention called the “automobile theft preventer.” It required drivers to enter a three-digit code before starting a vehicle or its horn would sound. I’m just blown away over how much automotive technology was invented a century ago.

Coming up next, we’re going to take the new BMW 3 Series out on the track.

BMW recently introduced its redesigned 3-series, the iconic car that defines its segment. But is it truly the Ultimate Driving Machine? We asked Isaac Bouchard to put the car through its paces and tell us what he found.

(This content only available in video version.)

Thanks for that report, Isaac.

Don’t forget to join us Thursday night for an Autoline After Hours that looks at a new book, which says Hitler ripped off a Jewish engineer to come up with the design of the original Volkswagen Beetle. You ever hear anything about that before? Me neither! Join me and the Autoextremist Peter De Lorenzo for the best insider information in the business.

And that wraps up today’s report. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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48 Comments to “Episode 840 – Bentley’s Blingy Crossover, Takeri Hints at Next Mazda6, MyFord Touch Updated”

  1. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I say this slightly ‘tongue in cheek’: Chrysler warranting other brands under Certified pre-owned; why not, it’s probably a safer bet than warranting their own. :)

  2. MJB Says:

    Wait a minute.

    Is it me, or does that Infiniti Emerge – E front grille look like a virtual carbon copy of Lexus’ new look?



  3. Tony Gray Says:

    Nice Grand Prix type shots….but I wonder, was that a 328 or a 335 he drove?

  4. HtG Says:

    I think that new Bentley looks like a plushy. :)

    And was that Isaac Bouchard, or Richard Petty?

  5. Steve Says:

    Well, 3rd parties have been offering non-OEM warranty’s on vehicles for decades now. And while a departure from the OEM norm, and probably a good tool for their dealers to move more metal, I don’t see Chrysler’s move as all that ground breaking.

  6. LS Ford Says:

    Wow. Compared to the Detroit Auto Show, I am very impressed with the new products at this show. The infinity is jaw dropping and the Mazda is great as well. Where is the focus on the US markets with these products? At any rate, nice cars.

    What is with these new uber cool SUV products? I think we are seeing a rebirth of the cool with these new offerings. Sees like we have 4-5 new super urban utility vehicles being offered by luxury makers. Is there that much of a market for 100k SUVs?

    Will be interesting to see the actual sales forecasting for these trucks.

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    The Bentley SUV will be the SUV of choice for da NBA crowd who need a little more booty room.

  8. Jon M. Says:

    It’s probably a good idea for Ford to send out an upgrade for the My Ford Touch system, but UGH, one more electronic device to mess with. As if fixing laptop, desktop, cell phone, I-Pad, and all other sorts of electronic device gremlins weren’t bad enough, now I have to fix system issues with my car. No Thank you! Cars can bring enough problems of their own. The last thing I want to have to mess with in my car is a software issue. How do you ultimately solve the My Ford Touch issue? Don’t buy a Ford.

  9. Ed Says:

    Can’t give the volt away, that what I said after last years my auto show, 150 days supply! I guess ed begley is only one person, if only he had more relatives. Most folks who want it probably can’t afford it. And for the ford sync, just like windows 95, 98 xp. . . “or next version will be better” never! Ed

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    Bentley at $140? that’s too low for the NBA crowd, it has to cost more than the coupe!!!

  11. MJB Says:


    I’ve got a friend who’d likely be in the market for that Bentley SUV. He’s driving a Porsche Cayenne and his wife an Escallade ESV right now. He would have gone with the Range Rover HSE, except that #1, those things are as common in these parts as Ford Mustangs in a high school parking lot, and #2 it doesn’t match the Cayenne in performance.

  12. MJB Says:


    I was thinking the same thing.

    BUT…At that price, they’ll be as common as the RR HSE.

  13. pedro fernandez Says:

    Will this become the most stolen SUV and dethrone the Escalade? only time will tell.

  14. C-Tech Says:

    @ #9
    C’mom Pedro, this is the Bentley for your rookie contract.

    It will be interesting how Chrysler dealers handle these “Certified” used cars especially considering many manufacturer’s powertrain warranties will cover the engines and transmissions for as long as the Chrysler warranty. Do you take your “certified” Ford truck with an oil leak back to the Chrysler dealer and they shuttle it over to the local Ford dealer?

  15. C-Tech Says:

    John, let me get this straight about the Ford MyTouch upgrade – Fords sends you a stick to plug into your radio, you need to turn on your car or truck, leave it on for an hour while it updates, and hope it starts up after leaving it on for an hour. By the way, do NOT leave your car with the keys in it, and on while you go into the house/apartment/work to do some other tasks or you may need to “update” your car insurance company.

  16. W L Simpson Says:

    Lambos are collectibles for egocentrics, not for driving.

  17. pedro fernandez Says:

    My local Lexus dealer works on ANY brand, for a fee!

  18. MJB Says:



    They (thieves) make their money from the strip-down and black-market parts resale. There aren’t enough other Bentleys rolling around to create a black market for these parts.

  19. pedro fernandez Says:

    yep! that is why Honda Civics and Accords and older Camry are often stolen, for their parts since they’re not easy to find in junkyards.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The fix that Ford needs for MyFord Touch is to replace it with knobs and buttons, you know, controls that are actually safe to use while driving a car.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I bet that fee is pretty high. A friend just showed me the receipt for a 20K mile service on an RX. It consisted of an oil and filter change, a cabin air filter change, and some “inspections,” all for only ~$180. It was synthetic oil, though.

  22. HtG Says:

    Fees? You want fees? I took the Civic in for the recall replacement of the driver’s airbag(they blow up to hard), and the service writer tried to get me to do the 60K service at a cost of 500 dollars. Oh yeah? Let’s just check the Honda manual on that one, shall we? Hmmmm, no such effin’ thing. This dealership is now on double secret probation with me, but they have a good track record, so I’ll be calm.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    When do they say to change the timing belt? That one might cost $500, or more. Yeah, I’d be watching them real closely too.

  24. HtG Says:

    Kit, I had the timing belt done about 16 months ago due to age;they also change the water pump, so it’s even more money. But please don’t invent services that Honda doesn’t call for. Honda has actual engineers, the dealer has marketers. The second I challenged the guy, he backed down. It’s out of the ordinary for this dealer, but then I saw a lot more guys not working, hanging around. That’s a lot times you need to slice the panini.

  25. MJB Says:

    Though not the biggest offender, Lexus Stealerships do rank up there.

    I like to call in to the service/parts dept. whenever I’m about to perform my own maintenance just to see what it would have cost if I were one of the hordes of folk who don’t fix their own vehicles. They wanted $1,200 for a complete brake job (new rotors and pads).

    I spent all of about $230 at my local import parts shop and did the job myself in 2 hours.

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    I took my Vibrolla for a $19.95 oil change special at the local Toyota dealer and they called me in to tell me I needed “major” services and replacements of at least $1500.00 I laughed and told them the car wasn’t even worth that, and asked do you think I’m crazy?? Oh it’s not safe to operate, funny I’ve been “operating” it for years and years w/o any major safety problems!

  27. cwolf Says:

    Driving past a couple dealers on the way home I noticed only one Volt and 5 Cruzes on the lot…kinda odd! More interesting was the Ford lot had only a few Focus and Fiestas,yet had 5 Escapes and shy less than a doz. Ranger p/u’s. Lots in Toledo are full,but many are units no one really is buying.

    Gas was $3.69 today

  28. Tony Gray Says:

    I wish BMW would have upgraded the iDrive in my 2007 335i. It is a tad slow in responding and I bet a few software tweaks would greatly improve it.

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    cwolf some stations around So Fla already are above $4 all grades. Today I spent $43 filling up my Vibrolla!

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just saw a review on youtube of the UK Spark and if they don’t address its shortcomings for the US market, they’re gonna have trouble selling it, it’s just go too many deficiencies compared to the competition.

  31. Chuck Says:

    Was it just me or did the “smiling” grille on the Mazda products look silly? Maybe it was just too quirky for the American market. Either way, I’m glad Mazda is phasing it out. The new CX-5 looks great as does the Takeri concept.

  32. cwolf Says:

    pedro,your $43 fill-up seems hard enough to swallow,but imagine the cost of a fill-up in Europe! How can they do it and live?

  33. pedro fernandez Says:

    They drive less, we use the car here for everything and don’t think twice about driving an hour or more to go to a shopping center, besides engines here are bigger, a 1.8 like mine over in Europe is consider big for a small car, I saw a review of the Kia Rio over there with a 1.0 diesel that gets over 80 mpg, such engine would not sell here.

  34. pedro fernandez Says:

    Mazda has been getting a lot of heat for the smiling grille, they’d be wise to change it pronto unless they want to become the laughing stock like Acura.

  35. Jesse W. Henry Says:

    #20 Kit Gerhart Re. My Ford

    It has knobs and buttons. It also has redundant controls on the steering wheel like cars have had for years. It also allows you do do many functions with voice commands so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road at all… and finally it has an as of now until “the fix” which time will tell if it works a sometimes slow to respond touch screen… for those who like touch screens.

  36. victor ceicys Says:

    I have had my Volt for two months. I am not in the the 1%. I continue to be impressed with the fit and finish of the Volt. The handling is delightful. I have driven about 1800 miles, and have used a total of 5.7 gallon in the past two months. The Volt has added about $1.00/day to my electric bill. A coal car, remember that the power for most everyone’s houses and computers comes from coal, natural gas, or Nuclear, sourced here in the USA. Listen to Rush and you’re listening on a coal radio! Someday the rest of you will wake up and drive past the gas stations and the high fill-up prices like I do and thank Bob Lutz for the Volt or it’s future descendants.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A lot of Europeans drive 45-50 mpg small diesels. Also, Europeans tend to drive less than Americans. They live closer to work, and the have more and better alternatives to driving.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ll have to check it out more thoroughly. The one time I was in an Edge with the system, I didn’t see an easy, well labeled way to operate the radio, other than the touch screen, and it wasn’t very friendly. I didn’t spend much time with it, though.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It sounds like you are the proper candidate for a Volt. Since you have only used 5.7 gallons of gas, the vast majority of your driving is within the electric-only range, but you can still go farther, when need be, which a pure electric can’t do.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Speaking of Honda maintenance, I just found a maintenance schedule on the Honda web site, and they say to change the timing belt on a Civic at 105K miles, or 84 months. Hmm… Maybe I should change the belts on my ’86 VW and my ’89 Dodge minivan. The cars are both low mileage, but the belts have never been changed. I’ll see if I can find if VW or Chrysler gave a time, as well as mileage that you should change the belts.

    It is a lot less important on my cars than on most Hondas, though, because most Honda engines are “valve crashers” if the belt breaks, while the VW and Chrysler engines I have are not.

  41. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit how can you tell if the engine in your car is a valve crasher? is there some kind of list?

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There are several lists of interference, AKA “valve crasher,” and non-interference engines. Here is one such list:


    It’s just the first one I came to, not necessarily one that I would particularly trust.

  43. pedro fernandez Says:

    That is crucial to know, a broken timing belt could end up costing you major bucks! I have a chain, which could actually outlast the engine!

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Normally, timing chains are intended to last the life of an engine, but when an engine lasts as long as yours already has lasted, that’s getting into uncharted territory.

    It seems that fewer cars are using belts now, than a few years ago.

  45. pedro fernandez Says:

    I had the chain looked at the other day and it seems ok, as long as you don’t let it starve for lubrication.

  46. HtG Says:

    Miata’s have non-interference motors, not “valve crashers,” but when my mechanic told me the non-OEM timing belt was degraded, I asked him to change the belt even though the mileage was still short of the recommended interval. It helps to be the cherished car.

  47. MJB Says:

    #29 & #32

    $43? I wish I were that lucky. My SC400 takes $72-$80 to top off.

    Of course, that’s because I live below the slash and very rarely fill-up if my low fuel light isn’t on. Oh, and it takes premium. But still, $43 to fill up? Be thankful.

  48. blueovalblood Says:

    The Mazda Takeri concept is absolutely SEXY!! Definitely better looking than the 6 is now.