AD #1469 – F-150 1st Impressions, Jag Details New Engines, Turbo Sales Set To Explode

October 1st, 2014 at 11:47am

Runtime: 7:23

- Ford F-150 First Impressions
- Jaguar Details New Engine Family
- Fiat to Sell Rebadged Renault Van
- Turbo Sales Set To Explode
- Seat Time – Mercedes-Benz GLA

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily. In today’s show, Fiat partners with another automaker, turbocharged car sales are predicted to skyrocket and a look at Mercedes’ new compact CUV. But now today’s top news.

FORD F-150 FIRST IMPRESSIONS
For some time now I have wondered, as I’m sure many of you have, what it’s like driving the new and lighter 2015 Ford F-150 and yesterday I got my chance. While I thought the most noticeable change would be felt during acceleration, it actually was in handling and braking. In fact, it was difficult to discern any difference during acceleration. But driving through a makeshift slalom course and making everyday maneuvers out on the road, really highlighted its handling and braking. The truck felt planted in turns thanks in part to the reduced weight but also to some new suspension tricks and still felt stable over rough or bumpy terrain. The brake response was impressive, slowing or coming to a stop quicker than I would have expected. I often felt like I was in a smaller truck. And I can’t wait to see how the actual customers will respond. We’ll have a lot more information on the new F-150 in our Seat Time review coming soon.

JAGUAR DETAILS NEW ENGINE FAMILY
Recently we reported that the Jaguar XE sedan will be powered by the automaker’s new global Ingenium 2.0L 4-cylinder engine family and now we’re getting some of the details on those engines. There’s 4 output variations in total, 2 diesel and 2 gasoline. The top of the line diesel cranks out nearly 180 horsepower and over 300 lb.-ft. of torque and the top gasoline engine puts out almost 240 horsepower and 250 lb.-ft. of torque. Each engine can be paired to either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission depending where it’s sold.

Don’t forget to check out our coverage of the Paris Auto Show. We’ll be posting new car unveils from the floor of the show starting tomorrow. If you subscribe to our daily newsletter, you will not miss one of them. You can sign up for free and keep up to speed with the latest new cars coming out at the Paris show.

FIAT TO SELL REBADGED RENAULT VAN
Last week we reported that Mitsubishi will build a rebadged version of its L200 pick-up for Fiat starting in 2016. And now the Italian automaker has just partnered with Renault to build a new light commercial vehicle based on the next-gen version of Renault’s Trafic van. Fiat will develop the design and Renault will produce 100,000 vans starting in 2016.

TURBO SALES SET TO EXPLODE
More and more automakers are downsizing and turbocharging their engines to help meet emission standards. Because of that, turbo supplier Honeywell says the number of vehicles equipped with one is about to explode. By 2019 it forecasts that global turbocharged vehicle sales will hit 49 million a year and generate $12 billion in revenue for the industry. Most of the growth over the next five years will occur in the U.S. and China but other regions will also see a boost.

Coming up next, a look at Mercedes new compact crossover, the GLA.

2015 MERCEDES-BENZ GLA
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA is a compact crossover that competes against vehicles like the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. Starting price for the GLA250 is just over $32,000 while the GLA45 AMG has a starting price just under $50,000. Powering the GLA is a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine that’s mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Fuel economy for the GLA250 4MATIC is 24MPG in the city and 32 on the highway. The GLA45 AMG gets 23MPG in the city and 29 on the highway. Fuel economy numbers for the front-wheel drive version aren’t available yet.

The new compact CUV is based on the same architecture as Mercedes small sedan, the CLA and also features the same powertrain setup. The entry level GLA250 has plenty of power when you need it and feels well planted on the road. There’s several driving modes to select from that changes the dynamics to perform more economically or sporty depending on your mood. But for those who aren’t satisfied with the 208 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque from the base model, you can opt for the GLA45 AMG that’s powered by a modified setup of the base car. That model cranks out 355 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque. The exhaust sounds great and easily cackles when you put your foot into the accelerator.

The interior of the GLA is pretty similar to the CLA but obviously has a little more room. However it’s not enough if you’re taller. Anyone around 6 feet tall will probably feel a bit cramped, especially if you’re sitting in the rear. The layout of the 250 and AMG are pretty much the same but there are some noticeable differences. The AMG model is available with bolstered seats and a sporty steering wheel.

The GLA has a starting price of just over $32,000 for the front-wheel drive version which doesn’t come out until next year. The 4MATIC model costs another 2 grand and the AMG model starts just under $50,000 and both of those models are on sale now. However, once you start piling on options the GLA can get a bit pricey. The 250 4MATIC model we tested was over $45,000 and the AMG model we drove came in at about $64,000 with options.

Mercedes says the CLA has helped bring in new and younger buyers to the brand and expects the GLA to do the same. But can the company keep coming out with less expensive products and not dilute the brand? It’s not hurting the company now but it could over the long-term.

And that brings us to the end of today’s show. But before I sign off, make sure you catch tomorrow’s Autoline After Hours. Our guest is Jeff Nowak, the chief Designer at Ford’s virtual design house called Studio 2000X. That show will be available tomorrow night at 6PM on our website, Autoline.tv.

But thanks for watching and have a great day.

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39 Comments to “AD #1469 – F-150 1st Impressions, Jag Details New Engines, Turbo Sales Set To Explode”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    Thanks but no thanks, I’d rather pass on the turbo craze, don’t trust them for durability, I wonder if the rental companies are so anxious to acquire them for their fleets?

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems that some turbos “buy you something,” like improved performance with the same gas mileage, or improved gas mileage with the same performance. The 3 cylinder turbo in the new base MINI is both quicker and less thirsty than my 2010. On the other hand, most of the Ford “ecoboost” applications don’t really buy you much. The Fiesta ST is a fun car, though.

  3. marshy Says:

    Since the IC engine is such a poor compressor, one of the ways to improve it’s otto cycle efficiency is to use a more efficient compressor. Using a turbo comes with the added benefit of reclaiming some waste heat energy. On paper and in practice, power per unit displacement is increased.

    I think the old days of cheap-ass turbo reliability are gone. I recall knowing someone who owned a chevy where a plate had been installed where the turbo was. I think that with today’s warranty duration, and emission requirements, an automaker who makes a turbo that doesn’t go the distance is in for real trouble.

    On a different note, I am not aware of turbo reliability being an issue in diesels. Are the new batch of units using lessons learned from this market or is there some other aspect involved?

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3, I have a 1989 Dodge Caravan with a 2.5 turbo, and haven’t had any trouble with it. It is very low mileage, though, about 70K. Parts of the turbo are water cooled, which I think helps. Only a few years earlier, the only cooling car turbos got was from the engine oil, which also lubricates the turbo bearings.

    I know someone who had a turbo fail on a diesel Dodge pickup. I don’t know if that is common, or if he was just unlucky. It had about 80K miles at the time of the failure.

  5. Jack Hundertmark Says:

    Early turbo’s could exhibit cooking of the oil around the turbo bearings if the driver shut the engine off directly after a hard run and did not let the turbo slow down. The advent of liquid cooling (coolant system) around the turbo bearings was a quantum leap forward in durability. That said, I still wait for the engine oil to warm up (~5 miles) on a cold start before using boost, and drive gently at least 0.5 miles prior to shutting the engine down. This is with liquid cooled turbo bearings. If you are even more paranoid, there are systems out there that store about a quart of pressurized oil, & feed this to the turbo bearings after shut down.

  6. Roger T Says:

    I still wonder why isn’t Fiat leveraging Dodge trucks vs Mitsubishi. Doesn’t sound right.

  7. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Turbos: One of the main reasons turbo gassers have reliability problems is with heat.When owning a turbocharger anything,(gas or diesel),it’s a good idea to let the turbo ‘warm down’ before shutting of the engine.You can get around this by having a remote oil tank that can feed oil to the bearings for a few minuets while the turbo spins down.When the engine is restarted,the oiling system replenishes the remote tank,problem solved.

    On diesels,one of the most important gauges not PRESENT from the oem’s is a pyrometer.That is a temp gauge that shows the exhast temp,with a probe a few inchs away from the exhast outlet of the turbo.This is installed into the pipe.That is your turbo bible.During warm down,you can see the temp coming down pretty fast.Some HD truck oem’s offer an optional switch that keeps the engine running while you remove the key and go into the house etc.That switch when activated keeps the engine running for a few minutes to cool down the turbo,then shuts off.

  8. w l simpson Says:

    like ur taste in test trucks. I was born w/an
    intense dislike for bling.

  9. dcars Says:

    The Renualt Traffic, Nissan Primastar and Opel Vivaro already share the same platform. Does this mean that Fiat is replaving GM and is GM not involved in the future redesign?

  10. dcars Says:

    That’s …..replacing GM..

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6, Dodge doesn’t have any “compact” pickups like the L200. Of course, they might want to look into selling the Mitsu in the U.S., if they want to re-enter the smaller pickup market.

  12. w l simpson Says:

    Fiat/Renault/Mitsubishi ? The industry is entering a stage of emulsification, probably
    more advanced than anyone cares to admit.

  13. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: If mitsu starts building small trucks for ram,buyer beware.The last ones were real junk.

  14. Buzzerd Says:

    @Marshy- I do know of a few turbos that have failed but I know of a lot more head gaskets. I’ve also been driving a commercial vehicle that blue it’ turbo- BANG! then no power, if it’s yours you really hope that the debris didn’t make it to the cylinders.
    Anyone catch the new bike Kawasaki just announced that’s supercharged? they are claiming just under 300HP! in a one litre engine. Holy feck!

  15. Bradley Says:

    #13

    I knew two people that owned the Dodge’s made buy Mitsubishi. Both had great luck with them.

  16. HtG Says:

    Ford F-150

    Nice driving there, Sean. That’s neat having a video. Did Ford provide the video equipment?

  17. Mike Says:

    Kit,

    You might be one of the very few who has owned a Caravan, even a low mileage one, that has not had significant problems. You see them lined up in the junkyards; all of the transmissions are either already sold or what put them in the junkyard in the first place. Another major weakness is the interiors; especially molded plastic parts. We turned in a Company leased vehicle driven by one of our accountants (no kids) and had to pay almost $800 to replace broken plastic pieces. Great concept for a vehicle, but poor execution. Way too many K car pieces were used.

  18. Sean McElroy Says:

    HtG – Yes, Ford provided all of the equipment. They gave us a USB drive to plug into a port on a separate device mounted inside the truck, then hit a button at the start of the run and again at the end. I think there were two GoPro cameras mounted inside the truck to capture the footage.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17, My Caravan has had a sheltered life, for being in Indiana the whole time. It was only driven in the road salt two winters.

    I see more first generation Caravans and Voyagers in Florida than Indiana, because they don’t get destroyed by road salt. The paint and interiors are not so good, though, on the 25-30 year old vans in FL.

    The main transmission problems were with the early 4 speeds. The 3 speeds were reliable enough, for the time. Mine has a 5 speed manual. There are probably too few of those to even know about reliability.

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    Speaking of popular cars that you just don’t see out and about any longer, the 1st gen Taurus, sold in the thousands, I never see one anywhere!

  21. Bradley Says:

    The way I understood it. The Caravan transmission issue was related to the optional Mitsubishi v6 engine.

    The Chrysler transmission wasn’t use to a quick, high revving engine. At least that is consistent with the one my parents had. They had the optional Mitsu engine and shortly before 80k, the transmission had issues.

  22. Bradley Says:

    F-150

    Yes thanks for the video.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21, Do you know which transmission it had, 3- or 4-speed?

  24. jack878 Says:

    We won’t really know how well the F-150 will compare with it’s competition until it goes through some real test. I know the Silverado is quite impressive, and I doubt the new F-150 will be any better.
    Let the hype begin!

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20, First generation Tauruses are so rare I’d almost forgotten about them. I never see them, and over 2 million were built. I still see a few Chevy Celebrities, and they started, and ended production a few years earlier than the first generation Taurus.

    I don’t know if the Tauruses have all disappeared because of a few specific problems, or multiple issues.

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    I see more old GM products (except X-cars) than either Ford or Chryslers, (exc minivans) when I venture into the poorer areas of So Fla

  27. XA351GT Says:

    Okay Sean I saw what you did there. ” Most of the growth the next five years will occur in the US and China, but other regions will also see a BOOST” Clever , LOL Great reporting as always thanks.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    But Europe will see less of a “boost,” at least percentage-wise, because almost half of the cars sold are diesels, all of which are turbocharged.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If the GLA comes off as badly as the CLA, it can’t help but hurt M-B’s brand equity. One would think they could have designed a generic front drive car having the Mercedes virtues of a good ride and quietness, even if they had someone else build it. That seems not to have been the case with the CLA.

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit but that does not stop people from buying a lot of them, at least around these parts, it may be taking sales from their own C-Class.

  31. HtG Says:

    I saw the GLA on the road this weekend. It’s quite robustly sculpted. I will eat my hat if that car isn’t a big seller. MB’s brand equity? That’s about my pay grade.

  32. HtG Says:

    What Pedro said.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30, 32
    I see a few, but not a lot. I guess the 3 pointed star has more value in big metro areas, than where I am.

  34. Bradley Says:

    #23

    I would guess it was 4 speed.

    It was a 1989 Grand Caravan LE, 3.0 V6 and tow-package.

  35. C-Tech Says:

    The transmission problems with the early Chrysler minivans had to do with the A604 4-speed electronic transmissions known as “ultra-drive”. It had nothing to do with the Mitsu 3.0L V6 (the Mitsu engine was not particularly hi-revving except when trying to get on the freeway or go uphill.) The early attempts at electronic shifting often found the buyers in the position of test driver and data collector. It took about 12-18 months to straighten them out after introduction.

  36. C-Tech Says:

    Kit, your 5-speed manual trans was most likely a unit built for the Diesel minivans exported to Europe. As you know there is (was?)a greater demand for manual transmissions and Diesel engines in Europe. Fun Fact: the Neon SRT-4 turbo engine used the 5-speed manual trans. from the Diesel minivans built for Europe. It was the only one rated for the power and torque from the turbo which would bolt right up to it.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I had a Spirit R/T for a while. It shifted slicker than the van, but I don’t know if it was because of the transmission, or the linkage.

  38. Dave Forslund Says:

    Hi Sean,

    Re: Mercedes lower priced entries

    You asked: Will Mercedes new entries dilute the brand?

    In the mid-1930′s Packard, the then luxury car leader, intoduced lower priced models. By 1949 the low-priced line (minus war years 1941-45) was modern and extensive. However, Cadillac did not “dilute” their brand, but offered the La Salle line instead. By the end of 1949 Cadillac was not only the sales leader, but within a another half dozen years, Packard was struggling to survive. Which they eventually did not.

    Not that history always repeats itself, but it is wise to learn from the past.

    2 conditions come into play:
    - lower priced buyers become frustrated at the high cost of service and repairs, and don’t return.
    - higher priced buyers become frustrated by the deminished image value, which is a major factor in luxury car sales, and don’t return.

    While the CLA line is half the price of a luxury “Mercedes,” it is also half of a “Mercedes.” Everyone wants something for nothing, but in the end, you only get what you pay for.

    Mercedes (and other luxury brands) be causous in what you wish for! Sales is not the “end.” It is only one of many “means” to the “end.” Profit (survival) IS the “end.”

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    One wonders if Daimler deliberately made the CLA worse than a Camry or Accord, so they make money off of people who really wanted that 3 pointed star, but the people who wanted a real Benz would still have to buy a C-class.