Episode 1023 – Fiat 500L Makes U.S. Debut, 2014 Porsche Cayman, All-New 2014 Forte

November 29th, 2012 at 12:06pm

Runtime: 8:10

Fiat unveiled, for the American market, a larger version of the Cinquecento, called the 500L. Porsche pulled the silk off the all-new version of the Cayman that goes on sale next spring. Kia showed off the all-new 2014 Forte that has been upgraded inside and out. All that and more, plus guest host Christie Schweinsberg from WardsAuto tells us what’s coming up for Ward’s 10 Best Engines competition of 2013.

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Hello and welcome to another episode of Autoline Daily. It’s Thursday, the 29th of November. I’m Christie Schweinsberg from WardsAuto filling in for John, who is still in LA covering the Auto Show.

By the way, if you didn’t catch yesterday’s live webcast from the show, you can watch it in full right now at Autoline.tv. It included interviews with Fiat’s Tim Kuniskis, Mark Reuss from GM who answered some of your questions about Corvette and Opel, and Subaru’s Tom Doll with an early look at the new Forrester. A lot of good stuff to be had there, so check it out.

And now a few more details about the latest reveals.

Toyota took the wraps off the all-new RAV4. The 2013 model is powered by a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine which is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The optional V6 in the previous model has been discontinued. Fuel economy for the front-wheel drive model is 24 miles-per-gallon in the city and 31 on the highway. With AWD the numbers drop by 2MPG in each category. The new model features new styling both inside and out and will feature a roof-hinged tailgate instead of a side-hinged one. The 2013 RAV4 goes on sale early next year.

Fiat unveiled, for the American market, a larger version of the Cinquecento, called the 500L. The 5-door model is built on a separate platform and features 42 percent more interior room than the regular 500. It’s powered by a 1.4 liter MultiAir Turbo engine that can be matched to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual dry clutch transmission. The 500L will be built at Fiat’s plant in Serbia and will go on sale in North America in the middle of next year.

While we’re on the subject of LA, you should know that’s the location for tonight’s episode of Autoline After Hours. So, join John for the best insider information in the industry. That’s tonight at the usual time, 6PM Eastern, 3PM Pacific at Autoline.tv.

But let’s get back to the unveils. Porsche is showing off the all-new version of the Cayman. The company says the two seat coupe features a longer wheelbase and a wider track than before. The 2014 model offers two engines, a 2.7 liter flat-six cylinder that produces 275 horsepower and a 3.4 liter flat-six-cylinder that cranks out 325 horses. The 2.7 liter starts just under $54,000 and the 3.4 liter has a starting price of about $65,000. The 2014 Cayman goes on sale next Spring.

BMW revealed a new electric concept called the i3 Concept Coupe. The 3-door model is developed for urban driving and features a carbon-fiber body. The i3 Concept Coupe is powered by 125 kilowatt electric motor and lithium-ion batteries that are stored under the floor of the vehicle. It has a range of 100 miles which is about 160 kilometers. Some unique design features include a steeply raked windshield and the removal of the B-pillar to allow easier access to the rear of the vehicle.

Kia pulled the cover off the all-new 2014 Forte and also revealed details about the Cerato which is what the Forte is called in other markets. The vehicles have an all-new chassis that is longer, wider and lower than the previous model. And also comes with more legroom, features and better performance. The base Forte is equipped with a 1.8 liter engine, while the base Cerato features a 1.6 liter engine. Both vehicles share a more powerful direct-injected 2.0 liter engine. The engines can be mated to a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The 2014 Forte goes on sale in first quarter of next year in the U.S. while the Cerato goes on sale in the third quarter of the year.

And speaking of Kia it also unveiled, a redesigned version of the Sorento. It features an all-new chassis with a new independent front suspension system that improves the Sorento’s ride and handling. The 2.4 liter engine returns as standard equipment in LX and EX models, but it also features a new 3.3 liter direct-injected V6 that produces 290 horsepower and 252 foot-pounds of torque. That power is transferred through a 6-speed automatic transmission in front-wheel-drive or an enhanced all-wheel-drive system. The 2014 Sorento features new design elements inside and out and will be available in the first quarter of 2013.

Coming up next, a look at how Chevy tests its vehicles for different climates around the world.

(GM Torture Test can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show)
Chevy sells cars in over 100 countries which means they need to withstand any kind of climate. Here’s a look at how the company tests its cars.

The scoresheets are coming in, and within a couple weeks WardsAuto will announce the winners of the Ward’s 10 Best Engines competition for 2013. It’s been another big year for new engine programs, and this year’s competition pits forty engines against one another, including last year’s winners. Last year we evaluated thirty four engines. What’s new this year? There’s something for everyone: 8 hybrids, 3 electric vehicles, 3 muscle-car V-8s and a whole lotta 4-cylinder engines, twenty four to be exact, both turbocharged and naturally aspirated. Speaking of forced induction, eleven entries are turbocharged and 4 are supercharged. 6-cylinder engines are well represented in this year’s competition with ten, and there’s even a 5-cylinder, the 2.5L engine in the Volvo S60. This year’s engine showdown demonstrates how rapidly powertrain programs are evolving as automakers position themselves to meet a 35.5-mile per gallon corporate average fuel-economy mandate by 2016. It’s not just engines that are getting better but transmissions as well. We’re evaluating dual-clutch gearboxes, conventional manuals, torque-converter automatics and continuously variable transmissions, and most of them have been tweaked to improve both fuel economy and shift quality. Stay tuned, the winners will be announced in mid-December.

And that wraps up today’s show. Once again, I’m Christie Schweinsberg from WardsAuto, thanks for watching and I will see you next time.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog and WardsAuto.com

29 Comments to “Episode 1023 – Fiat 500L Makes U.S. Debut, 2014 Porsche Cayman, All-New 2014 Forte”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    Why not just give the engine award to the Tesla S electric motor and let the Wundercar take the whole enchilada? Most likely it’s the Ford 1.0 turbo so it encourages other manufacturers to offer their own 3 cyl turbo powerplants.

  2. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG the Fiat L should stand for Lousy, since its gonna be built in some former iron wall country.

  3. Lex Says:

    I like the styling on the new 2013 Toyota Rav 4!
    It is a definite improvement over the outgoing model, and will most likely drag sales away from the Honda CR-V. Now if Toyota can slim down the boxy Sienna and incorporate the New Rav-4 styling I will definitely switch from Honda to Toyota when I need new transportation.

  4. C-Tech Says:

    Perhaps there should be a separate category for electric and hybrid power systems.

    Well at least Fiat dealers will have 2 models to lose money on.

    The more mellow (read older) I get the more I appreciate Porsche design. Noe if I could only fit comfortable in them.

    Hmmmm… no mention of fuel mileage of the new Forte?

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That Fiat won’t be alone in coming from a former iron curtain country. Porsche Cayenne is from Slovakia, and there are probably others.

  6. M360 Says:

    So does anybody remember which engine or engines won the contest for 2012? That little piece of information was left out.

  7. ColoradoKid Says:

    RAV4 – Its bigger ( now based on the Camry platform) Heavier – and has a smaller engine . Now just how is that in any way shape or form an ‘ improvement ? Pass !

    FIAT L – The inside skinny . Its a Suzuki ( and here you thought they’d left ) SX4 …. built in a former Soviet block country – to FIAT’s ( cough ) standards . Pass !

    Porsche Cayman – Oh its prettier – faster – handles better etc. But ! The prices have gone astronomical : rapidly approaching base line 911 prices . Consider ?

  8. ColoradoKid Says:

    LA Auto Show ; an interesting perspective ;

    This morning NPR did a piece on the LA Auto Show the focus being ‘ Do all new cars look alike and if so why ‘

    It was the reporters perspective that yes all the new cars looked so much alike as to be barely distinguishable in a crowd . Funny thing was Mazda’s head of design agreed .. reluctantly I might add but he stated clearly they all do look alike and in fact its intentional .

    Moody’s rep then tried to explain that the manufactures are no longer selling Styling but rather Life Styles and therefore are reluctant to differentiate their products from others while promoting the ‘ Lifestyle ‘ of the car instead .

    ( beginning to sound like ‘ Hipster ‘ jargon to any of you ? )

    An IHS ( who it that anyway ? ) rep then tried to place the blame on aerodynamics , saying that was the cause of the overly generic styling . Really ? Seems to me even the best aero car on the road ( Prius & Insight ) haven’t even used 1/10 of the aero advantages available and yet no one’s able to create an original design and keep it aerodynamic ?

    Sounds to me like blatant laziness on the Designers part and a severe lack of cojones on the part of the decision makers

    I don’t know about all of you but IMHO the more generic car design becomes the less I find myself considering purchasing a new car . Of any kind . Whats the point ?

    ( I’m kind of surprised the producer of that NPR show didn’t have Woody Guthrie’s ” Little Boxes ” playing behind the story )

  9. W L Simpson Says:

    Which handles better, mid engine Cayman , or it,s tail wagging older brother?

  10. HtG Says:

    8 Why not blame the government? Pedestrian protective sperm whale hoods, thick A pillars for rollovers, aero needed to beat rising mpg standards, high belts for side impact, traction and stability and ABS because Judy can’t drive any better than Jim.

    And offered in any shade of suburban ticky-tack grey, so as not to draw too much attention/pretend your expensive car is ‘cool.’

    I also don’t want a new car, but understand it doesn’t matter what I think.

  11. HtG Says:

    9 Silly, the computer is driving the car at the limits where handling becomes an issue.

  12. HtG Says:

    Now, here’s a crying shame on Craigslist. A guy’s S2000 got flooded in a garage during Sandy.

    Ashes to ashes


  13. pedro fernandez Says:

    The Susuki SX 4 failed here so now they give it a new skin, name and voila! a runaway hit! PT Barnum was right.

  14. ColoradoKid Says:

    #9 The Cayman is the better out right handler between the 911 and the Cayman – with the 911 being by far the better overall performer as well as daily driver . Also the 911 maintains its value massively better over either of the Boxster twins ( Boxster and Cayman ) so there’s that to consider as well when the prices start getting as close as they are

    #13 And …… its a FIAT to boot ! Yeah ol’ PT was way ahead of his time when he made that statement ;-)

    #10 ” but understand it doesn’t matter what I think ” Aint that the sad but very honest truth !

  15. Dan Clemons Says:

    Nice job!!

    Thank you.

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    CR released a preliminary review of the “improved” 2013 Civic and so far they’re impressed by the improvements made by Honda, better ride and interior and quieter also.

  17. Rafi Jaan Says:

    Looking at the cover shot of the show, showing the Malibu covered in some white stuff, I thought the roof had collapsed at some part of the LA Show during a Chevy sedan reveal. Thank God it wasn’t that and was, actually a story of how Chevy winterizes its vehicles.

    On that note, it should be noted that Chevy is not the only automaker “kind enough” to test its vehicles in less-than-perfect weather conditions. I think that every automaker (except maybe the Chinese ones) tests their vehicles in extremes before they’re sold to consumers. So Chevy/GM is not alone and it shouldn’t really be a surprise.

    On a related note, one shouldn’t forget that the improvement in recent American cars is due to their downfall and bankruptcy. It also has to do with the fact that their counterparts (mainly, Japanese) were making better products and that caused the American manufacturers to finally wake up, pay attention, and build better products. If it wasn’t for the fact that Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and others had brought in great products to the US, we’d still be buying the half-a$$ed American cars that were being built from 1980′s to mid 2000′s. Period!

  18. Jonathan Brown Says:

    Christie! Awesome show……with each additional topic you covered the shoe grew more and more exhilarating….we hope you come back often…

    Your show coverage and coverage of the news was awesome……

    Thanks for your fine efforts…


  19. Kit Gerhart Says:


  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    #18 I did not notice she only had one shoe on and why would it grow? did it get wet and the leather expanded?

  21. Jesse W. Henry Says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the new RAV4 looks like a Nissan up front and a new Escape in the rear?

  22. HtG Says:

    21 Now that you mention it, I see it. My neighbor chose not to buy the RAV4 earlier, because of the exterior spare and the sideways opening tailgate; interesting that Toyota changed those.

  23. blueovalblood Says:

    I nominate Christie for permanent guest host when John is not around!!! She wasn’t the only one getting more exhilerated!! JOHN TAKE MORE TIME OFF!!!!!!

  24. ColoradoKid Says:


    Ouch ! :(

    And + 1 ;-)

  25. ColoradoKid Says:

    F1 / Bernie News

    Now several of the track promoters worldwide led by the Aussie GP guy are saying if Bernie leaves or is removed they’ll be taking their leave as well . Am I the only one after reading that statement thats wondering what the promoters might be getting with Bernie that they wouldn’t without him ? ;-)

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    #17 If anything, foreign makes have been testing in extreme conditions for decades, this is nothing new, it’s no coincidence that when you look at video from some third world rat-hole, most likely you will see Japanese for the common man, most likely a small pickup or a Corolla and Mercedes for the folks with dough. Now you see more Hyundai products but almost zero from America.

  27. HtG Says:

    25 Link? Got a link?

    Aussie’s negotiating already?

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    When Japanese cars were first sold in the U.S., they rusted horribly, much worse than American cars. My sister’s ’77 Dodge Colt (Mitsu) had rust holes in the front fenders in less than two years, and her friends rear drive Corolla didn’t do much better. Also, Datsun 240Z’s rusted very badly. Now, all car companies seem to be doing well on rust prevention, considering how much salt they dump on the roads up north.

  29. shan Says:

    Always baffled me why Honda can not engineer a Civic with less wind/road noise. Now if GM can somehow figure out a way to engineer a engine that will not leak oil or blow a head gasket after 10 years old.