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Seat Time: 2015 Ford F-150

October 16th, 2014 at 12:11pm

2015 Ford F-150

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

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Reviewer: Sean McElroy
Manufacturer: Ford
Make: Ford
Model: F-150
Type: Full-Size Pickup
Competitors: Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra
Price: $42,380 (XLT 4X2 SuperCrew), $51,630 (Lariat 4X4 SuperCrew)
Made in: Dearborn, Michigan; Cocomo, Missouri
Drivetrain: 2.7L V6 EcoBoost; 6-Speed automatic transmission
EPA Ratings: N/A

Final Impression:

2015 Ford F-150 InteriorThe 2015 Ford F-150 is a full size pickup that competes against other trucks like the Chevy Silverado, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra. The first example I drove was a XLT 4X2 SuperCrew that was priced a little over $42,000, including destination charges. My second ride was in a Lariat 4X4 SuperCrew with a price tag of over $51,500. Both trucks were powered by the all-new 2.7L V6 EcoBoost engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. No EPA ratings have been released for the new F-150 yet, but I’ll share my observed fuel economy in just a moment.

For nearly a year now we have been reporting on the aluminum-intensive 2015 F-150 and during that time I’ve wondered, as I’m sure many of you have, what it’s like driving the new and lighter truck. We’ve heard from Ford executives and engineers how much of a difference the aluminum body makes and I finally got my chance to put those claims to the test. While I thought the most noticeable change would be felt during acceleration, it was actually 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, like moving the rear shocks outside of the frame rails and mounting them in opposite directions. The brake response was impressive, slowing or coming to a stop quicker than I would have expected. It often made me feel like I was in a smaller truck.

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AAH #261 – Under the Hood of the 2015 Ford F-150

October 10th, 2014 at 5:53pm

Audio-only version:

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UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- Marchionne Retires in 2018. Will FCA merge with another company before then?
- Paris: Was there anything beyond a focus on fuel efficiency on display?
- September trucks sold almost as though gas was averaging $3.30 in the U.S. (it was).

SPECIAL GUEST: Steve Gill, Chief Engineer, Ford Powertrain
- A look at the new aluminum 2015 Ford F-150 and its real highlight, the all-new 2.7L EcoBoost engine.

All that and much more with Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Frank Markus, Motor Trend; Keith Naughton, Bloomberg.

Thanks to our sponsors who make Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone and Hyundai

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Full 2014 Paris Motor Show Coverage

October 9th, 2014 at 11:36am

Catch up with our full roster of Paris Motor Show coverage! With interviews ranging from Peugeot‘s battery-less hybrid car to Lamborghini‘s stunning Asterion concept to Audi‘s decluttered approach to the TT interior, there’s something for everyone.

Click the Play button above to watch all of Autoline’s coverage in one convenient spot. Or, jump to your favorite individual interview below.

Lamborghini President & CEO Stephan Winkelmann
Mercedes-Benz AMG R&D Jochen Hermann
Peugeot Head of Project V2L Ladimir Prince
Hyundai Motor Europe Head of Product Mgmt. Christian Loeer
Fiat Brand Designer Roberto Giolito on the 500X
Renault Head of Eolab Laurent Taupin
Audi of America President Scott Keogh
Toyota Europe Design and Development General Manager Lance Scott
Infiniti Executive Design Director Alfonso Albasia
Fiat Brand Designer Roberto Giolito on the 1956 Fiat 500 Buck

Seat Time: 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA

October 6th, 2014 at 4:19pm

Mercedes-Benz GLA250

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Web-Watch-Video-Version

Reviewer: Seamus McElroy
Manufacturer: Daimler
Make: Mercedes-Benz
Model: GLA
Type: Compact crossover
Competitors: BMW X1, Audi Q3
Price: GLA250 = $32,225/ GLA45 AMG = $49,225
Made in: Germany
Drivetrain: 2.0L Four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine w/ seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission
EPA Ratings: GLA250 FWD – Not available/ GLA 250 4MATIC – 24MPG city/32 MPG hwy./ GLA45 AMG – 23MPG city/29 MPG hwy.

Final Impression:

Mercedes-Benz GLA250 InteriorIn an effort to boost sales, Mercedes introduced the CLA, a small sedan with a starting price right around $30,000. While many questioned whether it’s a good idea for a luxury brand to move down market because over time it could dilute the brand, the move has paid off for Mercedes. The CLA is bringing in new and younger buyers. The average age of a CLA owner is 10 years younger than the rest of its line-up and three out of four CLA buyers are new to Mercedes. The company has sold more than 30,000 CLA’s in the U.S., a pretty impressive number but now the company is targeting the red hot crossover segment with the GLA.

The new compact CUV is based on the CLA architecture and also features the same powertrain setup. A 2.0L turbocharged inline four-cylinder gasoline engine that’s matched to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. There’s also an AMG version of the GLA that’s powered by a modified setup of the base car. 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.

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Fiat’s Wooden Buck, Practical Tool, Work of Art – Paris Motor Show 2014

October 2nd, 2014 at 8:39pm

There are a lot of pie-in-the-sky, 5-MPH concepts on the floor of an auto show, but one of Fiat’s eye-catching displays has to be the winner for “least drivable” car in Paris. This original wooden buck dates back to 1956 and today is symbolic of the quality and attention to detail the brand aspires to. Roberto Giolito explains how it was used.

Infiniti Q80 Concept Biggest They’ve Ever Built – Paris Motor Show 2014

October 2nd, 2014 at 8:25pm

It’s what Autoline deems, hands down, the most dramatic concept at the 2014 Paris Motor Show: the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration. And, Executive Design Director Alfonso Albaisa tells John McElroy it is without a doubt the biggest it’s ever built. So what impact will this larger-than-life concept have on the real products on dealer lots?

Renault 1L Eolab Bests VW in Function, Style – Paris Motor Show 2014

October 2nd, 2014 at 7:21pm

The Renault Eolab may be a concept on the Paris Motor Show floor, but drivable prototypes are around the corner. Laurent Taupin, Project Chief of the Eolab, says the prototypes will even carry through most of the flair of the model on the turntable, all while getting a head-turning 250 MPG. How did they do it, and what is the ultimate fate of this one-liter wonder?

Fiat 500X Design Eschews Redundancy, Embraces Purity – Paris Motor Show 2014

October 2nd, 2014 at 5:38pm

If you’re wondering what the difference is between the Fiat 500L and the just revealed 500X, Fiat-Chrysler’s European design chief has the answer. The two projects had completely different goals, and for its part the 500X is said to merge agility, energy and pureness of design. Roberto Giolito gives John McElroy the full explanation.

AAH #260 – Studio 2000X: Rendering the Future of Ford Design

October 2nd, 2014 at 5:30pm

Audio-only version:

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UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- Ford’s big quarter: Mustang and F-150. What do they do for a second (third?) act?
- Ram 1500 not only is selling like mad, but they’re going to be making 20% diesels.
- Johan de Nysschen tells Cadillac dealers that things are going to get worse before they get better.
- GM’s Mary Barra gets on the cover of Time magazine. Why?

SPECIAL GUEST: Jeff Nowak, Chief Designer, Ford Studio 2000X
- What does this little-known studio have to do with how future Ford models will look and feel?

All that and much more with Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Jeff Sabatini, Car and Driver; John Manoogian, College for Creative Studies.

Thanks to our sponsors who make Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone and Hyundai

Subscribe to the free podcast version of Autoline After Hours:

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Hyundai i20 Aims for C-segment Features in a B-segment car – Paris Motor Show 2014

October 2nd, 2014 at 3:52pm

The next generation of Hyundai’s Euro-centric i20 offers more. More room, more features and even more mature styling. Christian Loeer, Head of Product and Pricing for Hyundai Motor Europe says the company aimed to provide C-segment features in a B-segment package.