September 19th, 2012 at 11:30am
McLaren is showing off a new supercar called the P1 before its formal debut in Paris next week. Aston Martin just revealed the new 2013 DB9, which will be available in November. BMW is developing a new lineup of engines that will come in three-, four- and six-cylinder sizes as well as gasoline and diesel configurations. All that and more, plus guest host Peter De Lorenzo shares his thoughts on why the 2013 Fusion defines the new Ford.
It’s Wednesday, September 19th, 2012. Welcome to another episode of Autoline Daily. I’m Peter De Lorenzo, the Autoextremist, bringing you the day’s latest news. Oh, and before I forget, make sure to mark your calendar because John McElroy will be comin’ at you LIVE from the Paris Motor Show next week. The special broadcast starts at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, September 27th. Again, that’s Thursday, September 27th at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Watch it all at Autoline.tv. McElroy’s coverage of the 2012 Paris Motor Show is made possible by the folks at LiveU. For more information about their products and services visit LiveU.tv.
MCLAREN UNVEILS NEW SUPERCAR
McLaren continues to make big news. The company with the Can-Am and Formula 1 pedigree is showing off a new supercar called the P1 before its formal debut in Paris next week. We’ll have to wait for the technical details but the company says a production version will go on sale next year. They also say it will be positioned above the 12C and 12C Spider, in both price and performance. Given that their previous ultimate super car – the F1 – was probably the greatest supercar built, expectations are high.
2013 MAZDA CX-9
And speaking of cars making auto show debuts, Mazda took the wraps off the 2013 CX-9 before it’s unveiled at the Australian Motor Show next month. Like other recently released Mazdas, the CX-9 features the company’s KODO design language, which means “Soul of Motion.” Hmmm… maybe they should try that instead of “SkyActiv.” Anyway, it’s powered by a 3.7-liter V-6 that’s coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission, the same as the current model. The 2013 CX-9 goes on sale in Australia later this year.
2013 ASTON MARTIN DB9
Aston Martin just revealed the new 2013 DB9. The car adopts some of the same styling cues as the outgoing Virage and is available as either a coupe or a convertible. The 2013 DB9 is powered by a new 6.0-liter V-12 that cranks out 510 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The DB9 goes on sale in November but it ain’t cheap. Starting price is $185,400.
BMW DEVELOPS NEW ENGINES
BMW is developing a new lineup of engines. They’ll come in three-, four- and six-cylinder sizes as well as gasoline and diesel configurations. This modular approach is all in the name of efficiency – giving drivers more power and greater fuel economy. The engines can be mounted either transversely or longitudinally. They also fit in nearly every BMW model and can accommodate front- or all-wheel drive. Half a liter is the magic number. That’s the size of each individual cylinder and a number shared by all six powerplants. That gives an overall displacement of 1.5-, 2.0- and 3.0-liters for each engine in the family. Helping cut costs, parts commonality between the gasoline and diesel units is between 30 and 40 percent. Volume production of this new engine family begins next year.
CADILLAC ADDS SAFETY FEATURE
Cadillac is offering an advanced safety feature on the 2013 ATS, XTS and SRX models. Automatic Front and Rear Braking is part of an optional Driver Assist package. The technology uses vision, radar and ultrasonic sensors to determine if a crash is about to occur. If one is unavoidable the system automatically applies the brakes to stop the vehicle. It’s designed to prevent low-speed accidents, like fender benders in stop-and-go traffic, but it can also reduce the impact of more severe collisions.
FUSION PRICING ANNOUNCED
Pricing of the 2013 Ford Fusion has been announced. This rakish new sedan starts at $22,495. The base car comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Top-of-the-line Titanium models kick off at $30,995. A 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine is available as well. The hybrid version starts at an Abe Lincoln less than 28 grand. All of these prices include $795 in destination and delivery charges.
Speaking of the new Fusion, after the break I’ll share a few of my thoughts on why this car defines the new Ford.
2013 FORD FUSION
There are product launches in this business and then there are new product introductions that qualify as defining moments for a car company. And there’s no question that the introduction of the new Fusion definitely qualifies as one of those defining moments for Ford.
That the Fusion represents Ford’s focus on everything to do with the product is evident just by looking at it. As I’ve often said, the Ultimate Initial Product Differentiator going forward in this business will be design, and the Fusion makes a definitive statement and offers a real design point of view, something lacking from Ford and other car companies in the past, especially when it comes to the mainstream market.
Ford’s willingness to push the boundaries of predictability in the mid-size market may be the most telling aspect of the new Fusion. The car has “premium” written all over it; from the way it looks to the way it drives, and with an array of efficient powertrains that suit a wide range of needs and tastes the Fusion will be ultra competitive.
Some would say that Ford’s aggressive new product lineup is risky and walks the edge of acceptability in the market, but those are the same hand-wringers who wouldn’t hesitate to say that American car companies are staid, predictable and uncompetitive by default.
In order for a car company to be successful in today’s market it must be competitive, that means the company must have a vision of what it wants to be and where it wants to go. And then it not only has to adhere to that vision, it has to have a Plan and the courage to execute to that vision.
That’s where Ford is right now. It has the vision – “One Ford” as laid out by Alan Mulally – and the company is executing to its Plan with an unwavering commitment and focus.
The result? The new Fusion is simply the most electrifying mainstream American car to come along in decades.
That’s the High-Octane Truth for this week. And it’s also the end of today’s program. For more commentaries like this one swing by my website Autoextremist.com. Once more I’m Peter De Lorenzo signing off for now. I’ll see you tomorrow.