Jumat, 06 November 2009

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne presents 5-year business plan

Chrysler LLC has concluded its 7-hour-long marathon presentation of the business plan (read our Live Blog of the event here) that will see it through the next five years, and what we're left with is a little confusing. It's almost as if the automaker's new executives, amidst apologizing for the company's past and promising to do better in the future, were hoping we'd all fall asleep or get lost in the details. Well, we didn't fall asleep or get lost, and below you'll find a breakdown of what we learned while spending the day hip deep in Chrysler's future product. You can also check out the slides from Chrysler's presentation relating to product in the gallery below.

Models On Their Way Out
  • Jeep Patriot (end of 2012)
  • Jeep Compass (end of 2012)
  • Jeep Commander (end of 2010, may continue being sold internationally)
  • Chrysler PT Cruiser (end of 2010)
  • Dodge Dakota (mid 2011)
  • Dodge Caliber (mid 2012)
  • Dodge Viper (mid 2011, may return in 2012)

New Models That Are Coming
  • Jeep compact SUV (2013, supplied by Fiat, may be Panda)
  • Jeep small CUV (2013, supplied by Fiat, replaces Patriot and Compass)
  • Jeep Liberty (2013, replaced by Fiat product but retains name)
  • Chrysler small car (2013, supplied by Fiat)
  • Chrysler compact sedan (2012, supplied by Fiat, replaces PT Cruiser)
  • Chrysler Sebring (2013, replaced by Fiat product but retains name)
  • Chrysler midsize CUV (2013, supplied by Fiat)
  • Ram midsize unibody pickup (under consideration for 2011)
  • Ram large and small commercial van (2012, supplied by Fiat)
  • Dodge small car (2013, supplied by Fiat)
  • Dodge compact sedan (2012, supplied by Fiat)
  • Dodge Avenger (major update 2010, replaced by Fiat product 2013)
  • Dodge full-size CUV (2010)
  • Fiat 500 (late 2010, convertible 2011, Abarth 2012)

Models Staying, Receiving Attention
  • Jeep Wrangler Diesel (2010/2011, not confirmed for U.S. market... yet)
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee (all-new 2010)
  • Chrysler 300C (all-new 2010)
  • Chrysler Town & Country (major update 2010, next-gen 2014)
  • Ram 1500/2500/3500 (major update 2012)
  • Dodge Journey (major update 2010)
  • Dodge Nitro (major update 2011 under consideration)
  • Dodge Challenger (refresh 2011)
  • Dodge Charger (all-new 2010)
  • Dodge Grand Caravan (major update 2010, next-gen 2014)
UPDATE: You can dive whole hog into the plan yourself at Chrysler's website.

Expected power will be in the 475-650 range

SMS Superparts - Click above for a high-res image gallery

With SMS Supercars recently launching the 570 Challenger and with a Mustang and Camaro, it was inevitable it would soon offer many of the parts individually. On the first day of SEMA Steve Saleen and his new company announced Superparts, the aftermarket sales and distribution arm of SMS Supercars. Many of the parts on the 570 Challenger are now available individually, including the SMS 296 supercharger, aerodynamic parts, and suspension, wheel and tire packages.

Also making its debut at the show is the new SMS 296 supercharger for the 2005-2010 Ford Mustang. The system uses many of the same core components from the Challenger kit, but has a few new features specific for the 4.6-liter V8. The most notable feature is the "Duo-Path" induction system that splits the incoming air starting at the throttle body, going around the supercharger housing to the back of the engine where it enters the rear intake of the compressor. Expected power will be in the 475-650 range depending on the package.

Read more on the SMS Superparts announcement after the jump, or opt for the visuals with the '90s-style 2010 Mustang and a 570X Challenger painted in Sour Grape Green in the high-res gallery below.

Honda FF engine demonstrator - click above for high-res image

For 2010, Formula F is getting some fresh blood. The Sports Car Club of America's board of directors has given the thumbs up to Honda's proposal for a new engine in the class. Next year, competitors will be able to swap out their ancient Ford Kent engines for a new 1.5-liter four based on the Fit.

Honda Performance Development created the engine so that it was specifically able to bolt up to many contemporary Formula Ford chassis designs with minimal modification, all while providing comparable performance. The air restrictor and ECU calibrations can be adjusted by HPD to ensure performance parity with the series' existing engines.

The engine's electronically fuel injected engine promises significantly reduced service requirements compared to the Kent, along with better efficiency. The engines will be supplied complete with intake, exhaust and conversion kits. The kit for the Swift DB-1 including the engine and all necessary parts runs $11,750 with deliveries starting February.

Honda Fit FF engine

Win one of five Sony PSP/Gran Turismo bundles - Day 4

It's Day 4 of our SEMA Sweeps! After giving away three of five limited-edition PSP/Gran Turismo bundles, we're ready to give away our fourth. Yesterday's winner has been randomly selected and contacted, so here's how you can win today.

We're doing this in honor of the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, and with it, the Seventh Annual GT Awards, so take advantage of our generosity and follow the directions below for your chance to win.

Today we're asking whether you prefer the PSP-3000 or new PSP Go. Your answer won't have any effect on your chances of winning since the sweepstakes winner is drawn at random, so pick your favorite portable Sony system, leave a comment and keep your fingers crossed!

Entering is easy. All you have to do is:
  • Leave a comment in this post telling us whether you prefer the PSP-3000 or PSP Go.
  • You must be 18 years or older and a resident of the U.S. or Canada (excluding Quebec, désolé!)
  • Limit 1 entry per person per day
  • This entry period ends at 3:00PM EST on Friday, November 6
  • At that time, we'll randomly select one winner to receive one PSP/GT bundle (ARV $199.99) that includes a Mystic Silver PSP-3000 system, Gran Turismo PSP game on UMD, a PlayStation Network downloadable voucher for a white Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, 2GB Memory Stick PRO Duo, PlayStation Network downloadable movie voucher (title TBD) and Sony MusicPass voucher good for 10 downloadable songs.
  • For a list of complete rules, click here

Sabtu, 10 Oktober 2009

GM officially sells Hummer to China's Sichuan Tengzhong 2009

General Motors has reached an agreement to offload Hummer onto China's Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery, with Tengzhong taking an 80 percent stake and a private investor consuming the rest.

Details on the deal (available in the press release after the jump) include Hummer contacting vehicle manufacturing from GM, with the General's Shrevport and Mishawaka plants continuing to produce vehicles through June of 2011, with a possible extension until 2012. A recent report says the sale will net GM around $150 million, although the transaction still has to be approved by both U.S. and Chinese regulatory agencies, which could come later this year or in early 2010.

Tengzhong, which only produces commercial trucks and industrial equipment, has never entered into consumer vehicles before, but according to Yang Yi, chief executive officer of Tengzhong. "We are excited about some of the initiatives already underway at HUMMER that we believe our investment will be able to accelerate, particularly related to the creation of the next generation of more fuel-efficient vehicles to meet not only future regulations but also customer expectations."

Minggu, 05 Juli 2009

2010 Chevrolet Equinox

Chevrolet Equinox LS AWD shown

$22,440 - $29,795
$21,206 - $28,156
The 2010 Equinox is a 4-door, 5-passenger sport-utility, available in 8 trims, ranging from the LS 2WD to... read more the LTZ AWD.

Upon introduction, the LS 2WD is equipped with a standard 2.4-liter, I4, 182-horsepower engine that achieves 22-mpg in the city and 32-mpg on the highway. The LTZ AWD is equipped with a standard 2.4-liter, I4, 182-horsepower engine that achieves 20-mpg in the city and 29-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard on both trims.

The 2010 Equinox is redesigned for 2010.

Selasa, 30 Juni 2009

2010 Chevrolet Equinox

2010 Chevrolet Equinox Side View
2010 Chevrolet Equinox Front Three Quarters View

First Look: 2010 Chevrolet Equinox

The utility of a crossover with the economy of a sedan! That's the boast being made by Chevy's second-generation 2010 Chevrolet Equinox, and the claim does not come attached to any expensive hybrid or diesel technology. Instead the base Equinox gets a spanking new 2.4L four bristling with variable valve timing on both cams and direct fuel injection. Letting liquid fuel evaporate inside the hot cylinder cools the charge considerably, permitting an impressive 11.7:1 compression ratio with no knock on regular fuel. That high compression combines with more complete fuel burn to lower hydrocarbon emissions, improve power, and reduce fuel consumption.

People Who Like This Also Like

2010 Chevrolet Equinox Rear Three Quarters View

The result? It makes 182 hp and 174 lb-ft. That's just three horses and 36 lb-ft shy of the former pushrod V-6's output, and performance with the improved gearing of the standard six-speed 6T45 Hydramatic is supposed to equal the 3.4L V-6's (9.1 sec to 60 mph by our equipment) while EPA fuel economy hits 21/30 mpg FWD, 20/27 AWD, up from 17/24 (FWD and AWD). Furthermore, you may be able to beat that number. An ECO button on the dash remaps the transmission shift strategy and calls for more aggressive fuel shutoff when coasting. There's a slight NVH and driveability penalty, but it reportedly pays off, and the EPA does its testing with and without this button pushed, averaging the results. Ordering a base vehicle without the luggage rack will further improve your mileage (it comes on more than 30% of Equinoxes so EPA tests with the rack). Electric power steering, 17-in. low rolling-resistance Michelin tires, improved aerodynamics (from 0.42 to 0.36 drag coefficient), and a host of other tiny details contribute to the fuel economy bump, but none is expected to dramatically increase the cost of the base car.

Stepping up to the 3.0L V-6 option erodes the fuel economy somewhat, but that engine is also direct-injected, using the same high 11.7:1 compression ratio to deliver 255 hp and 214 lb-ft of torque (down from the 2009 port-injected 3.6's 264/250). Fuel economy still inches upward from the 3.6L's 16-17/24 EPA city/hwy mpg to 18/25 mpg FWD, 17/24 AWD. The optional all-wheel-drive system is Haldex based and incorporates an American Axle-sourced limited-slip rear differential featuring an electronically controlled clutch pack to distribute torque left or right. Maximum trailer weight remains 3500 lb for the V-6, 1500 for the new four.

2010 Chevrolet Equinox Side View

Minggu, 28 Juni 2009

Chevrolet Equinox ushers in New GM era

2010 Chevy Equinox – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Chevrolet Equinox has never really been a loser in the compact crossover segment, but it has also never really been a leader, either. It was always just kind of "okay," with milquetoast styling, so-so performance and reasonable roominess, but never anything really attention grabbing. Coming just a week after General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Chevrolet General Manager Ed Peper officially introduced the all-new 2010 Chevy Equinox as the first product of the "New General Motors," and it's clear that the company hopes their new baby is able to grab a much larger share of this burgeoning segment.

Among other things, the Equinox gets all new powertrains, including an available four-cylinder engine for the first time. Both the four and the new 3.0-liter V6 have direct fuel injection and are paired up with six-speed automatic transmissions. In fact, everything about the Equinox is new. Apparently the only major component carried over from the old model is the sunroof module. Everything else has been reworked or replaced. We had the opportunity to spend some seat time with both the four-cylinder and V6 models with front- and all-wheel drive. Find out if the Equinox finally has what it takes to be more than just competitive after the jump.

Gallery: First Drive: 2010 Chevrolet Equinox

Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

Chevrolet calls the Equinox a compact crossover, but when you look at its dimensions, this CUV is in many respects more mid-size than compact. At 187.8 inches long, it out-spans the Ford Escape by 13 inches and the Toyota RAV4 by six inches. It's even two inches longer than a Ford Edge. Chevy's rationale for calling this a compact is the 72.5 inch width, which is 0.5 inches less than the RAV4 and two inches less than the Edge. So it's really a "tweener" of sorts. However you define it, though, the Equinox is especially roomy relative to competitors.

As soon as you lay eyes on the new Equinox, it's clear that the design team put in a serious amount of effort this time. The dowdy looks of the previous generation have been replaced by a bold modern look that's more muscular and better proportioned. Like all other recent Chevrolets, this one starts with a dual port grille that is flanked by a pair of handsome jeweled headlamp clusters. The combination of a rising character line along the flanks, aggressive wheel well flares and a higher beltline combine to visually lower the new model – even though it's actually four inches taller.

The Equinox also gains Chevy's current design DNA on the inside, with a dual cockpit instrument panel layout similar to the Malibu and Traverse. The new look is a huge improvement over the old model, both aesthetically and functionally. Like several other recent GM vehicles, the dashboard flows into the door panels with a look that provides some continuity. Some of the past iterations of this, notably the Saturn Aura, had an issue with vertical alignment of the door panels and dashboard. We've brought up this problem with GM officials on several previous occasions and they have apparently taken it to heart. None of the four Equinoxes we drove had any such alignment issues.

In fact, Mo Wazir, Vehicle Line Director for GM's compact crossovers, explained that the engineering team addressed this from a root cause approach when developing the new Equinox. They examined why the parts were misaligned and found that it was related to tightening the two sides of the dashboard separately. The assembly process has been changed to ensure that the dashboard is more consistently installed. In fact, all the fits in the Equinox testers we sampled were better than before. That's not to say the interior is perfect, however.

The same Ingersoll, Ontario assembly plant that built the previous Equinox began building so-called salable units about two months ago. These early production units are generally kept within GM for its captured test fleet, where engineers and managers drive the cars to look for last minute production problems. The examples that we drove were from this early build batch and the first units destined for customers are being built this week. The most prominent issue that we noted was a color disharmony on the dashboard. All four of the vehicles we drove had the two-tone interior scheme consisting of either black/brown or black/light gray.

The brown was the issue. The plastic panels covering the passenger side airbag and around the instrument cluster on the driver's side had a slightly different shade than the two mating pieces on either side of the center console. According to Wazir, the center stack panels come from a different supplier than the other parts. GM is already aware of the problem and working to resolve it. The gray version also had a slight mismatch, but it was far less noticeable. The only other gripe we had with the interior is the silver plastic cover on the center stack and the vent surrounds. GM opted to put a glossy clear coat finish on these parts that we feel makes them look cheap. We would prefer the richer look of a matte or satin finish for these parts – GM has also heard this complaint from others and is considering a change here as well. Wazir explained that the clear coat finish gives the part better durability and resistance to scratches, but while it may be functional, we still don't like it.

Otherwise, the interior is very good. The controls are well-placed and easy to use, with plenty of storage compartments. Models that don't have the optional navigation system get a storage bin above the radio like the one in the Malibu and all models get a bin ahead of the shifter as well as the deep compartment in the center console. That bin is large enough to accommodate a 15-inch laptop computer. It also has auxiliary audio and USB ports that support MP3 players or just thumb-drives with songs on them.

The front seats use a common seat frame developed by GM that is employed on a variety of platforms including the Epsilon II Opel Insignia, Buick LaCrosse and other models. The seats have excellent cushioning which provides decent lateral support and excellent comfort. In this case, one of the advantages of using a common frame is that the lower cushion is longer than found on many cars, thus providing decent thigh support – of our most common complaints. In the back, GM has retained the sliding rear seat that can move fore-aft a total of eight inches. When pushed back, the 112-inch wheelbase allows for positively luxurious legroom. If more cargo room is needed, sliding the seat forward provides extra space for gear or luggage.

How about those fancy new DI engines? They are very good indeed – especially the four-cylinder. This is the first four-cylinder ever offered in the Equinox and it runs smoothly and quietly with no noticeable ticking from the direct fuel injectors. Both the four- and six-cylinder engines at 182 hp and 264 hp respectively make about the same amount of power as the 3.4-liter and 3.6-liter V6 engines used in 2009 models. Unfortunately, the smaller displacement and lack of boosting mean that both engines lack in torque compared to the old engines. The four pot generates 172 lb-ft at 4,900 rpm while the old 3.4-liter V6 produced 210 at 3,800 rpm. Similarly, the previous model's 3.6-liter V6 that produced 250 lb-ft at 2,500 rpm easily trounces the 3.0-liter's 222 lb-ft at a lofty 5,100 rpm. Frankly, we would have preferred that GM go down the turbocharging path with even less displacement for the resulting fatter torque curve. Of course, that would have added cost, which GM was obviously trying to avoid.

Nonetheless, the four-cylinder will still likely be more than sufficient for the majority of drivers who don't need any significant towing capacity. The four can drag along an extra 1,500 pounds, while the V6 can pull 3,500 pounds. The four-cylinder Equinox is no speed demon (neither is the V6 for that matter), but it has enough acceleration that you'll never worry about merging onto freeways or making a pass with a reasonable amount of room. Both six-speed automatic transmissions have been re-calibrated and have much improved shift quality compared to previous versions, especially the larger unit used with the V6.

One new feature of the four-cylinder model is an ECO button located ahead of the shifter. Currently, it just makes adjustments to the shift map and torque converter lock-up points to help enhance fuel efficiency. It's claimed to improve mileage by about 1 mpg overall. Future iterations will likely add control over the electronic throttle response and cruise control, as well. During our drive time in the front-wheel-drive four-cylinder Equinox, we averaged a respectable 26 mpg – not bad for a 3,800-pound non-hybrid CUV.

The aerodynamic work done on the Equinox pays dividends for fuel economy and for NVH. Driving in the Equinox was a remarkably subdued experience. The plastic A-pillar covers on the old model are gone and the windshield is now virtually flush with the surrounding pillars. The result is a drastic reduction in wind noise. Combined with the more rigid body shell (which includes a one-piece body side stamping and acoustic laminated side glass), the Equinox delivers a pleasantly quiet interior.

The Equinox's strut front and multi-link rear suspensions are also well tuned to provide an excellent balance of ride and handling, especially on the base 17-inch wheel and tire package. Front-wheel drive models can have optional 18s, which are standard with all-wheel drive and 19s are optional on AWD versions. Switching to the larger, heavier wheels makes a noticeable difference to ride quality, with small road imperfections being much more likely to pass through to occupants. Another factor that detracts from handling is the all-wheel drive. The extra couple hundred pounds of hardware seem to make it feel much less nimble than the FWD variant, but the system ought to pay dividends when the weather turns sour..

Four-cylinder models get an electric power steering system while the V6s stick with a tried-and-true hydraulic setup. The difference comes down to cost and fuel efficiency. The EPAS is more expensive but draws less power and since GM was trying to max out mileage numbers for the four, it received EPAS. Eventually, as costs come down, EPAS will be offered across the board. Both systems felt about the same at the steering wheel, with comparable levels of effort that were just about ideal. Neither system provide huge amounts of cornering force feedback, although the hydraulic system felt slightly better.

GM is pricing the new Equinox very aggressively and greatly reducing the number of buildable combinations. Most items are now packaged in four trim levels and, including colors, there are now about 1,200 different combinations that the plant can build compared to over 10,000 previously. The base LS model starts at just $23,185 with the four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive. That's $1,825 less than a 2009 Equinox LS. A maxed out LTZ with every possible option including the V6, all-wheel drive, sunroof and navigation will only be about $35,000. Both four-cylinder and V6 engines and front- or all-wheel drive can be selected at any trim level.

The new Equinox is scheduled to arrive at dealers in the next few weeks. It deserves a look.

Kamis, 25 Juni 2009

Chevrolet Equinox New York

Driving Impressions

The 3.4-liter V6 used by the Chevy Equinox delivers good acceleration under most circumstances, and it's smooth enough. It feels strained when pushed at high rpm, however. When loaded down with people, you'll need to stand on the gas and rev it to merge onto the freeway or tow a trailer. The Equinox is a big box for 210 pound-feet of torque.

The 3.4-liter V6 is an old, iron-block, pushrod-overhead-valve design that lacks modern features such as variable valve timing and variable-length intake runners, though it does feature hydraulic roller lifters, just like a Corvette. It's paired with a wide-ratio five-speed automatic that uses a direct 1:1 fifth gear for efficiency.

Fuel economy for 2008 is rated by EPA at 17/24 mpg City/Highway.

The standard 3.4-liter V6 engine is aided considerably by the five-speed automatic transmission. Chevrolet says the Equinox can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 8.5 seconds, which should be adequate performance for most families. And while it may not excel at acceleration, Equinox is rated to pull a 3500-pound trailer, the same as the more powerful Escape and RAV4 V6s.

The Sport model's 3.6-liter V6 is a modern, all-aluminum engine with double overhead cams and variable valve timing. It's smooth enough to drop in a Cadillac. With 264 horsepower it outmuscles the 3.4-liter by 80 horsepower and makes 40 lb-ft more torque and much earlier in the rev band.

You don't have to rev the 3.6-liter up as much to get going, but if you do, hold on. Coupled with a more advanced six-speed automatic the Sport is significantly quicker, smoother than the standard Equinox. And realistically, it's no harder on gasoline consumption. However, the more advanced powertrain isn't cheap and plays a big part in the Sport's price premium over an LT.

The ride quality in the Equinox models is decent, a benefit of its long wheelbase and 3800-pound heft. This makes the Equinox a suitable companion for long trips. Its handling is responsive and it's easy to modulate the brakes for smooth stops.

The Sport model rides more firmly but reacts quicker and more precisely because of its firmer suspension and wider tires, but using forged alloy wheels minimizes the detraction from a smooth ride. The Sport seems a bit happier as people are added because the heavier engine and transmission add a few percentage points to the front of a car already nose-heavy and more people balance that out.

The Equinox has good road feel in highway driving, yet steering effort is lighter at low speeds for easier maneuvering in tight parking lots. The steering ratio is variable, and the Equinox uses electric, rather than hydraulic, power steering. We don't think the average driver will feel the difference between this system and more conventional hydraulics, and that's a good thing. Unlike a hydraulic servo, the electric booster doesn't use engine power, resulting in slightly better fuel economy.

Sport models, more inclined to be driven by people who will notice a difference in steering systems, do use hydraulic assist for the rack-and-pinion steering. It delivers better feel than the regular Equinox (no doubt aided by the suspension and tires as well) and needs just 2.5 turns from full left to full right where the standard car needs almost four steering wheel rotations. Both models need nearly 42 feet to affect a U-turn.

StabiliTrak electronic stability control helps drivers maintain control during sudden maneuvers or in low-traction conditions by using a comprehensive series of sensors to measure acceleration, deceleration, steering angle and yaw rate. The system steps in when the Equinox doesn't seem to be going where the driver intended. When that happens, StabiliTrak regains control by regulating acceleration or applying the brakes at individual wheels, a feat no driver can perform. For 2008, a function has been added that applies the same logic to a trailer sway

Senin, 22 Juni 2009

Chevrolet Equinox First Drive 2010

The twice annual equinox denotes the crossings of the equator by the sun, when the length of daytime and nighttime are roughly equal.

This has nothing at all to do with the small-to-midsize crossover utility vehicle of the same name offered by Chevrolet for the last several years. Well, except that it is possible to balance a raw egg on end in the general vicinity of any Chevy Equinox, at anytime of the year. This is because of a special gravitational dispensation awarded General Motors with use of the name "Equinox" and also because one can balance a raw egg on any day of any year, anywhere.

Also, as you might have noticed, the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox has been substantially renewed with new engines and styling, and it looks considerably more like an egg than the outgoing slab-sided thing. Chevy therefore is reaffirming the central importance of fertility symbols to the vernal equinox. Coincidence?

Classy, No Yolking
Small crossover utility vehicles are like opinions; everyone's got one. Hell, there's even one called "Tiguan," if you can believe that.

To distinguish itself in this bloated field of modern quasi-wagons, Chevrolet has nabbed the front end of its Malibu sedan, grafted it onto the rear three-quarters of a Mercedes-Benz M-Class and, because it's GM, bolted on some chrome wheels. And there you have the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox.

The result, improbably, is a really very handsome thing that looks upscale — not only more upscale than the styled-by-origami 2009 Equinox but also more so than its raft of competitors.

Size Is No Object
The 2010 Chevrolet Equinox's new body is stretched over a version of the same platform as before with its big-for-the-class 112.5-inch wheelbase and strut-type front and four-link rear independent suspension. This makes the Equinox longer than the Ford Edge, to say nothing of the Ford Escape. The Chevy's modest girth compared to the Edge means that overall roominess and cargo capacity are down a bit, but in terms of legroom, the two are shockingly close. The Escape (which Chevrolet regards as the Equinox's prime competitor) is a comparative pipsqueak with a 103.1-inch wheelbase and more than a foot less in overall length.

Whichever subclass of crossover you choose to put the Equinox in, it's fair to say that its backseat accommodations are generously sized. There's plenty of room for 6-footers. And like previous versions of the Equinox, the rear seat can be moved fore and aft by almost 8 inches to suit whatever variety of cargo you're carrying, human or inert.

To go with the newly upscale body, Chevy has redesigned the interior of the 2010 Equinox as well. For the makeover, Chevy drops some of the Equinox's truck-ish styling licks. The new design is decidedly more carlike, with a dual-pod dash layout that flows down into the door panels, plus a high center console. Thankfully, Chevy also relocated the power window switches from the center out to the door panels (this is a pet peeve of ours).

Our only real complaint about the interior is that once it's been optioned with the navigation system, the center console is littered with all manner of buttons, including, oddly, the button to reset the trip odometer.

32 mpg! 32 mpg! 32 mpg!
Chevrolet will no doubt be peeved that we've failed to mention thus far that the 2010 Equinox has an EPA highway fuel-economy rating of 32 mpg. Thirty-two! That's no small achievement for a vehicle that weighs nearly 2 tons.

Chevrolet is very proud of this figure — as well it should be — since it betters even the smaller, slower competition in the process. This figure is, of course, for the front-wheel-drive model with an inline-4 engine that's new to the Equinox mix for 2010. This model's city fuel economy is a quite respectable 22 mpg. At 26 mpg EPA combined, the Equinox returns 2 to 3 mpg more than its four-cylinder competitors. Much of the credit goes to the efficient new direct-injection 2.4-liter inline-4, which also delivers 182 horsepower, more than any other four-cylinder in the class.

The 2.4 is mated to a six-speed automatic transaxle. But there's more to this combination than just gears and direct injection. To achieve its big EPA number, Chevrolet added an ECO button immediately in front of the shifter. Push it and and the transmission becomes reluctant to downshift, eager to upshift, and locks up its torque converter at a lower rpm than in standard mode. This clearly doesn't make the Equinox any more fun to drive, but it won't likely drive you insane either. Chevy reckons it's good for 1 mpg. Were it us, we'd leave the thing in standard mode and just drive.

On the Move
The 2.4-liter moves the Equinox well enough — Chevrolet claims a quite reasonable 0-60 mph run of 8.7 seconds. It is not the most inspiring experience, though. Under load, the engine sounds like it's working pretty hard.

The Equinox is also available with a 3.0-liter V6, which is derived from the corporate "high feature" 3.6-liter V6 and also benefits from direct injection. It makes 264 hp, neatly matching the output of the port-injected 3.6-liter V6 from the outgoing Equinox Sport model. The 3.0-liter doesn't pack the torque punch of the old motor (222 pound-feet of torque at 5,100 rpm compared to 250 lb-ft of torque at 2,300 rpm) and you can feel that this is a small V6 in passing maneuvers.

The upside is that at least in front-wheel-drive versions, the new Equinox V6 gets a couple more mpg in the city and one more on the highway (18 mpg city/24 mpg highway) than the old Sport (16 mpg city/23 mpg highway). The new V6 is also bolted to a six-speed automatic.

Been a Long Time
We admit that it's been awhile since we'd driven an Equinox before experiencing the 2010 model. But somehow the ride-and-handling experience feels pretty familiar.

The full-boat Equinox V6 LTZ we've driven feels a little stiff in the knees. This example is shod with 18-inch tires; and while the ride doesn't feel harsh, it nevertheless feels a bit unyielding on the lumpy Michigan roads. We will say that the four-cylinder model that we've driven wears 17-inch tires, and the ride feels a little more forgiving. And (will wonders ever cease?) the relatively quick electric-assist steering that comes standard on the four-cylinder models actually feels better and more natural than the conventional hydraulic-assist unit in the V6 model.

Every 2010 Equinox benefits from additional acoustic insulation, and there's acoustic-insulated laminated glass as well. Chevy says the Equinox is now quieter than a RAV4 and CR-V. OK, we can certainly buy the line about the Honda, which is in fact a loud thing. But either way, there aren't many unpleasant noises bouncing around the interior (although our driving partner during this test did make some).

Chevrolet has had to add a noise-canceling system to the four-cylinder models to get the quiet ride it seeks. It seems that locking up the torque converter at such low speeds generates some booming noises through the cabin. The active noise canceling system phases those out. So think of it as an absence of vice more than a virtue.

Dinghy-Tow Capable
The 2010 Chevrolet Equinox is dinghy-tow capable.

More important, the 2010 Equinox is priced pretty much right on top of its small competitors. The cheapest one could be had at $23,185 for an LS-trim package with front-wheel drive and the inline-4. The other end of the pricing spectrum is the all-wheel-drive LTZ model we drove for part of the day which came with a navigation system and twin-screen DVD system for the rear seat ($3,440), the V6 ($1,500), sunroof ($795) and 18-inch cast-aluminum wheels ($250) listed at $36,525.

This represents a price cut compared to the outgoing Equinox. And frankly it was a necessary one, considering what the toughest competitors cost. Compared to the old Equinox, the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox represents a better, more upscale-looking vehicle with better NVH control, more optional technology and better fuel economy.

But we would have gone with a way cooler name like, maybe, Solstice or something.

Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.

Minggu, 21 Juni 2009

Chevrolet Equinox

The 2008 Chevrolet Equinox midsize Sport Utility Vehicle (MSRP: $23,355.00 - $30,060.00, Invoice price: $21,876.90 - $28,146.08) comes in four basic trim levels - LS, LT, LTZ and Sport. This model competes with the Acura MDX, Buick Enclave, Chrysler Aspen, Dodge Durango, Dodge Nitro, Ford Expedition, Ford Expedition EL, Ford Explorer, GMC Acadia, GMC Envoy, GMC Yukon, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Santa Fe, Isuzu Ascender, Jeep Cherokee, Lexus RX350, Mazda CX-5, Mercury Mountaineer, Nissan Pathfinder, Saturn Outlook and Toyota 4Runner. The Chevrolet Equinox was first introduced in 2004.1 It is assembled in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada.

The LS, LT and LTZ trim levels are available with a 185-horsepower, 3.4-liter V6 engine, five-speed automatic transmission and a choice of all-wheel and front-wheel drive system. The Sport trim levels are available with 264-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, a choice of all-wheel, and front-wheel drive system.

The 2008 Chevrolet Equinox has a four-wheel independent suspension, a MacPherson strut front suspension, and a multi-link rear suspension.

Exterior features on the 2008 Chevrolet Equinox include 16 x 6.5 inch alloy wheels, all season tires, a steel spare wheel, variable-intermittent wipers, and a roof rack. It has a rear defogger, an intermittent rear wiper, a rear spoiler, SUV and minivan doors, and a fixed liftgate window.

2008 Chevrolet Equinox instrumentation features are a tachometer, a clock, low fuel level warning, and cargo tie downs.

Basic seats and trim features on the 2008 Chevrolet Equinox include a five-person total seating capacity, bucket front seats, cloth upholstery, and a height-adjustable driver seat. It has a fold flat passenger seat, a bench rear seat, a split-folding rear seatback, and reclining rear seats.

Power and convenience features on the 2008 Chevrolet Equinox include remote power door locks, power windows and mirrors, and 1 one-touch power windows. It has cruise control, an electric speed-proportional power steering, and a tilt-adjustable steering wheel. It also has cruise controls on steering wheel, front and rear cupholders, and front and rear door pockets. It is equipped with 12-volts power outlets in the front, rear and cargo area, a front console with storage, and a retained accessory power.

2008 Chevrolet Equinox comfort features include air conditioning, front and rear reading lights, dual vanity mirrors, and a cargo area light.

Basic entertainment and telematics features on the 2008 Chevrolet Equinox include an AM/FM in-dash single-disc CD player stereo, six-total speakers, and a mast antenna. It has an auxiliary MP3 audio input, an OnStar telecommunications service, and hands-free phone.

The 2008 Chevrolet Equinox has the following safety and security features: a 4-wheel Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), and height-adjustable headrests (two in front and two in rear). It has traction control, stability control, and auto delay off headlamps. It also has front seatbelt pretensioners, rear door child safety locks, and child seat anchors. It is equipped with a rear center three-point belt, a remote anti-theft alarm system, and an engine immobilizer. It is also equipped with daytime running lights, dusk sensing headlamps, and tire pressure monitoring. More features include a passenger airbag occupant-sensing deactivation, and an electronic brake-force distribution.

The LT trim level is available 1LT and 2LT sub-trim levels, with more features that include a body-color exterior trim, premium cloth upholstery, a rear privacy glass, and leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls for the 1LT sub-trim level. The 2LT sub-trim level, on the other hand, has a satellite radio, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a power driver seat. It also has a remote engine start, foglamps, and 17-inch chrome-plated wheels.

The 2008 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ trim levels, meanwhile, has a Pioneer premium sound system, an in-dash six-disc CD changer, heated front seats, a leather-trimmed seating, and a chrome exterior trim.

Additional/alternative features on the Sport trim levels include a sport-specific instrumentation, sport bolstered front seats, a special exterior trim, a sport-tuned suspension, and 18-inch aluminum wheels.

A safety and crash test report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that the 2008 Chevrolet Equinox SUV received five stars out of five in frontal and side crash tests; and four stars out of five in rollover tests (FWD and AWD).

A reliability history report from ConsumerReports.org showed how the Chevrolet Equinox SUV held up mechanically. The Chevrolet Equinox SUV received the following ratings for the year 2007 (major redesign year was 2005): Excellent ratings for its engine, transmission, fuel and electrical systems, and exhaust; Very Good ratings for its drive and audio system, suspension, and paint and trim; Good ratings for its climate system, brakes, and body hardware; Fair rating for its power equipment; and Poor ratings for its squeaks and rattles.

Click here for more information on 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 Chevrolet Equinox car prices, auto insurance, auto loans, car dealers, and car leases.

Jumat, 05 Juni 2009

GM marketing boss Mark LaNeve apparently unaware that diesel is now cheaper than gas 2009

Over the last several years, we've heard a lot of excuses from many auto executives as to why their companies aren't offering diesel engines in their American market cars. Yesterday, General Motors' Mark LaNeve, the company's vice president of sales and marketing, made an appearance on C-SPAN's Washington Journal. The final question of the segment came from a viewer wondering why GM has failed to offer U.S. consumers the chance to buy some of the high-mileage diesel cars it offers in Europe.

It would appear that LaNeve might have done better to take a pass on the question. Instead of talking about the cost of making those diesels meet U.S. emissions regulations or the difficulty in helping Americans overcome the misconceptions about the fuel, he claimed that no one has successfully cracked the diesel passenger nut in the U.S. (which based on VW's May sales appears to be wrong). More startlingly, LaNeve went on to claim that diesel is $1.25 a gallon more expensive than gasoline. According to the Energy Information Agency, the national average for diesel this week is $2.35 / gallon while regular gas is $2.52 or $0.17 more than diesel. Admittedly, the fact that diesel is now cheaper than 87 octane gas is a recent development (a trend that nobody is sure how long it will last), but – going on national television and quoting outdated fuel prices as a reason for your bankrupt company's business decisions... well, that doesn't strike us as a terribly hot idea.

You can hear the question and response at 20:30 into the video replay over at C-SPAN.

Kamis, 26 Maret 2009

Chevrolet | Fuel Cell Technology - Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell Car

In early 2008, Chevy launched a test fleet of hydrogen-powered Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles. This fleet hit the streets of New York City, Washington, D.C., and Southern California.

Equinox LSLS

"Project Driveway" is the first large-scale market test of fuel cell vehicles with real drivers in the real world. Why? Because hydrogen fuel cells use zero gasoline and produce zero emissions other than water vapor. They're a sustainable technology for a better environment. And they can ultimately reduce our dependence on petroleum.

Equinox Fuel Cell is an electric vehicle powered by the GM fourth-generation fuel cell system, our most advanced fuel cell propulsion system to date. The electric motor traction system will provide the vehicle with instantaneous torque, smooth acceleration and quiet performance, with the ability to reach a top speed of 100 mph.

Although these vehicles aren't available to purchase, they're already receiving recognition from Green Car Journal. The Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell was given its 2008 Green Car Vision Award®,(1) the first time the magazine has recognized a limited production vehicle for its forward-thinking technologies. The Equinox Fuel Cell won the award over several nominees, including the Honda FCX Clarity and Toyota Prius Plug-In.

Chevrolet | 2009 Equinox Crossover SUV - LS, LT, LTZ

You create your own possibilities, constructing your lifestyle around your favourite activities. All that's missing is a vehicle that can help bring it all together. That vehicle is the compact crossover that's versatile enough to handle all your possibilities, with a style that expresses your personality. The 2009 Chevrolet Equinox. With proven V6 power and the enhanced driver control of the StabiliTrak™ electronic stability control system, plus the reassurance that comes with the highest possible U.S. government frontal and side-impact crash test ratings.** You can emphasize performance with the 264 hp Equinox Sport, or show your pride in Canada's athletes with the Team Canada Edition. The vehicle that shares your enthusiasm for life: the 2009 Chevrolet Equinox.

2009 Chevrolet Equinox

Safety Before, During And After A Collision

The standard StabiliTrak system, plus 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS and traction control all help avoid an incident. If a collision proves unavoidable, Equinox's occupant protection earned a 5-star safety rating.** And the standard OnStar ®system can direct emergency service providers to your exact location.

2009 Chevrolet Equinox Multi-Flex rear seat

Not Just Flexible – Multi-Flexible

Comfort meets versatility thanks to the Multi-Flex™ rear seat. It enables rear-seat passengers to slide the seat back up to 20 cm (8 in.) and reclines to increase legroom. When you want to expand the cargo-carrying capacity, you can slide the seat forward and fold the front passenger seat down flat. All-round flexibility inside Equinox.

2009 Chevrolet Equinox Sport gear shift

Play Another Sport

If you're eager to try your hand at new activities, put your hands on the wheel of Equinox Sport. Its 264 hp 3.6L dual overhead cam V6 engine is mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission that features “tap-up/tap-down” manual shift control. This combination helped Equinox Sport accelerate from 0-96 km/h (60 mph) in just seven seconds on the GM test track. Very sporty.

2009 Chevrolet Equinox Team Canada Edition

Be Part of the Team

It's an Official Vehicle of the Canadian Olympic Team – the Equinox Team Canada Edition. And it's built to stir your pride in Canada's athletes with 17” bright chrome-clad aluminum wheels, a power sunroof, a Pioneer® premium 7-speaker sound system and specific Team Canada Edition badging. Better still – all Equinox models are built right here in Canada.

Chevrolet Equinox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chevrolet Equinox 2010 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ 4dr SUV AWD

The Chevrolet Equinox is part of a growing segment of "plus-sized" small crossover SUVs. Like other vehicles of this type, the Equinox provides the style and utility one normally associates with more traditional SUVs, but without their inherent instability and poor fuel economy. As with other crossovers, the Equinox is built on a carlike platform that provides superior on-road comfort and crashworthiness. A decently powerful V6 engine is standard, as are many of the latest convenience features.

Current Chevrolet Equinox

The Chevrolet Equinox is a midsize SUV that ferries up to five passengers. Though it broadly competes against small SUVs, its long wheelbase and large cargo area give it its midsize classification. A wide range of trim levels are available. Standard amenities on the base LS include 16-inch wheels, a CD player, powered accessories, stability control and antilock brakes. Step up to the Equinox LT and the list grows to include 17-inch wheels, foglights, alloy wheels and snazzier upholstery. The luxury LTZ provides leather seating, heated front seats and upgraded audio. The Sport adds a more powerful V6 as well as bigger wheels and a firmer suspension. Full-length side curtain airbags are available as an option, along with OnStar, satellite radio, heated seats, a navigation system and a rear-seat entertainment system. While not available early in this generation, OnStar and stability control now come standard.

All Equinox models except the Sport are equipped with a 3.4-liter V6 that generates 185 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. The Sport features a 3.6-liter V6 that makes a potent 264 hp. Both engines are mated to a five-speed automatic transmission that sends its power to the front wheels. Though the Equinox is not meant for serious off-road duty, consumers who live in snowy climes will be glad to know that both trims may be purchased with all-wheel drive. All Equinoxes are capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds.

Slide inside the Chevy Equinox and you'll find there's no shortage of room, a situation that's a direct function of the vehicle's extended wheelbase. The interior offers an impressive amount of passenger room and flexibility. Its 60/40-split rear seat may be maneuvered almost 8 inches fore and aft. An adjustable rear cargo shelf enhances storage opportunities and doubles as a picnic table. There's lots of room for groceries and whatever else you need to haul, thanks to the 35 cubic feet of luggage space available behind its rear seats. With the seats folded, that space jumps to 69 cubic feet. And the Equinox is no slouch when it comes to interior style, either. Its cabin turns heads with its minimalist approach, marked by big gauges and gleaming faux aluminum.

In reviews of the Chevrolet Equinox, our editors noted that the ute's all-independent suspension is adjusted to favor ride comfort over sportiness. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends, of course, on your perspective. Long drives were a breeze, thanks to a quiet cabin and a suspension that enabled the vehicle to remain unruffled in the face of potholes and road irregularities. There were a couple of gripes. We noted considerable body roll around turns, and the truck's electric power steering is sluggish and offers little feedback. Overall, though, the Chevrolet's ride and handling balance will please most compact and midsize SUV buyers.

Past Chevrolet Equinox Models

The Chevy Equinox debuted for the 2005 model year and is still in its first generation. Changes to this model have been minimal, though 2007-and-later models have more desirable features.

If you're considering a used small Chevrolet SUV previous to the Equinox's arrival, you'll be looking at the Tracker, a small body-on-frame SUV with inadequate power, a raucous engine and a grimly unforgiving ride. Despite its bargain-basement price, we'd recommend you pass on this choice if looking for a used SUV.

Senin, 23 Maret 2009

Chevrolet Equinox

Design by infinityskins.blogspot.com 2007-2008