September 6th, 2012 at 11:45am
Ford revealed a brand-new lineup of commercial vehicles that will be sold in markets around the world. Kia unveiled its new flagship sedan called the Quoris which will be sold outside of South Korea for the first time. Mazda took the wraps off the wagon version of the Mazda6 before it debuts at the Paris Motor Show. All that and more, plus a look at the design highlights of the 2013 RAM 1500.
This is Autoline Daily for Thursday the 6th of September, 2012. John’s out of the office this morning so you’re shackled to me for the duration of the show. Don’t worry though, there’s a lot of interesting news to ease your McElroy withdrawal, plus in the second half we’ll take you on a design tour of the 2013 RAM pickup, so make sure you stick around for that.
FORD REVEALS NEXT-GEN TRANSIT VANS
Anyway, today’s top story comes from Ford. The Dearborn-based automaker has revealed a brand-new lineup of commercial vehicles that will be sold in markets around the world. The latest generation Transit and Transit Connect vans are new from the ground up. The medium-duty Transit will replace the venerable E-Series in North America. It will be powered by a familiar 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 or – and here’s some exciting news – an optional diesel. Fuel efficiency will top the Econoline by at least 25 percent! Several wheelbases and roof heights will be offered. Interestingly, they’ll be built in Kansas City. For lighter-duty work the compact Transit Connect has also been redesigned. It will feature a versatile cargo area, advanced driver-assistance systems and two different wheelbases. The powertrains have also been extensively overhauled. Among other sweeping changes it gets a desperately needed six-speed automatic transmission.
FORD TO EXPORT FROM INDIA TO EUROPE
In related news, Ford announced it will ship engines built in India to Europe. According to Reuters, the company is looking at making use of its production capacity in the country. Ford has invested $2 billion in India but so far it has not been able to make a big dent in the market. By 2015 Ford will have the capacity to build up to 600,000 engines in India. In addition to Europe, the company will export engines to Thailand.
KIA UNVEILS NEW FLAGSHIP
Have you ever heard of the Kia Quoris? Neither had I. It’s the brand’s flagship model and apparently it’s only been sold in South Korea, until now. The company will offer this luxury sedan in other markets, but it doesn’t say which ones. Based on the pictures things are pretty upscale inside with lots of leather and a huge back seat. Instead of traditional analogue gauges the car features a 12.3-inch customizable LCD screen. Drivers also benefit from a color heads-up display that can show all kinds of information. On the exterior wild-looking adaptive headlamps make a bold design statement.
MAZDA6 WAGON REVEALED
Last week the brand-new Mazda6 sedan was revealed. Now the company is showing off the wagon version before it officially debuts at the Paris Motor Show. Like the sedan, the wagon features the company’s KODO design theme, which means “soul of motion.” Powertrain options for the European market include a 2.2-liter SKYACTIV diesel engine as well as 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter SKYACTIV gasoline engines with direct injection. The Mazda6 goes on sale in Europe at the end of the year.
Coming up next, as promised at the top of the show, a design tour of the 2013 RAM pickup.
2013 RAM 1500 DESIGN
(Today’s look at the design of the 2013 Ram 1500 is only available in the video version of the show.)
That updated RAM sure brings a lot to the table, from air suspension to an eight-speed transmission. The full-size pickup segment is more competitive than it has ever been. It will be interesting to see how GM plays its hand when the next-generation Silverado and Sierra hit the market.
Before I sign off I’ve got to remind you to watch tonight’s episode of Autoline After Hours. John McElroy and his extreme co-host, Peter De Lorenzo will be joined by frequent Autoline contributor Isaac Bouchard. Steve Finlay from WardsAuto will also join the fray, plus there may be a surprise panelist. Naturally the only way to find out is to tune in. The show kicks off at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time on our website, Autoline.tv.
That’s it for today’s show but thanks for your time and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow.