During Media Days, at the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) breakfast— the Kia Telluride was named the 2020 MAMA Family Vehicle of the Year and the Lincoln Aviator the 2020 MAMA Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year.
What Drives Her
In partnership with A Girls Guide to Cars and Women in Automotive, the fourth annual What Drives Her Luncheon occurred at Chicago Auto Show’s Social Media Preview on Friday, Feb. 7 at McCormick Place. Influential women were invited to come together for a robust lineup of presentations and panel discussions surrounding the impact that females have on the automotive industry, with a special focus on hiring and recruiting female leadership. On the panel were
hat Drives Her Speakers include…
- Amy Marentic, Director of Product Line Management, Ford Icons
- Angela Zepeda, Chief Marketing Officer of Hyundai
- Keitha Blackburn, Manager, Experiential Marketing, Porsche
- Kelly Webb Roberts of Webb Auto Group
- Roz Varon, Traffic and Transportation anchor, ABC 7 Chicago
- Jessica Egerton, Director of Brand at Cooper Tire
- Michelle Collins, Director of Marketing and Communications, Borg Warner
- Jennifer Newman, Editor in Chief of Cars.com
- Scotty Reiss, Founder of A Girls Guide to Cars
- Tanya Gazdik, Senior Reporter, Automotive, MediaPost
Ford GT Carbonated
The Ford GT is improved for 2020 with increased horsepower and upgraded engine cooling.Titanium exhaust from Akrapovič is now standard for Ford GT; system brings performance exhaust expert’s signature craftsmanship with deeply resonant, unmistakable sound.Two new unique appearance options: Liquid Carbon features GT’s carbon fiber body fully exposed; restyled Gulf Racing heritage livery pays homage to Ford’s 1969 Le Mans win; plus, supercar’s carbon fiber wheels are now available for the first time with heritage livery
Telenav Infotainment for Cadillac Escalade
Telenav announced that it will be powering the connected navigation infotainment systems in the 2021 Cadillac Escalade that was unveiled earlier in the day. Telenav will be providing the connected navigation software and services for the luxury SUV. Its cloud-based software is designed to take full advantage of the high-resolution displays and will provide augmented reality enabled navigation, destination street view, and customizable multi-screen map displays
Acura is showing its groundbreaking Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) technology at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show which just surpassed cumulative North American sales of one million units. The activation will include social media engagements, displays and videos about the system. Acura’s industry-first SH-AWD® technology debuted 16 years ago based on extensive research into “direct yaw control” that led to the world’s first torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system.
Acura SH-AWD® Key Highlights
- Acura SH-AWD® is not just about foul-weather traction. SH-AWD® uses dynamic torque vectoring to provide more accurate and predictable handling performance in all road conditions.
- Up to 70% of engine torque can be sent to the rear wheels as needed, with up to 100% of that torque apportioned to either the left or right wheels. Further, today’s SH-AWD® can overdrive the outside rear wheels by up to 2.7 percent, creating additional rotational speed that helps “pull” the car through the turn with increased grip and cornering accuracy.
- The 2020 Acura RDX features the 4th-generation SH-AWD®, the most sophisticated and capable SH-AWD® system yet, with faster response and a 40 percent increase in maximum torque capacity.
- Acura also has an advanced electronic Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® system, as featured on the NSX supercar, RLX sedan and MDX three-row luxury SUV, using twin electric motors to provide instantaneous negative (braking) and positive torque independent of the gasoline engine.
- Acura AWD sales are growing in Illinois: AWD sales in Illinois have grown 7%.
- Vast majority of Acura sales in Illinois are AWD: AWD sales now represent nearly 80% (79.1%) of all Acura sales in Illinois — compared to national average mix of 55.7%.
- Illinois is one of Acura’s top sales markets, including sales of AWD vehicles: Illinois is Acura’s #4 state for sales of AWD vehicles in the U.S.
Subaru Partners with Animal Adoptions
Subaru of America, Inc. announced it will continue its mission to unite pets with loving homes by hosting adoption events during the 2020 Chicago Auto Show. Attendees are invited to the Subaru exhibit inside the McCormick Place Convention Center to interact with shelter pets in their community and potentially adopt and take one home.
Subaru has partnered with three shelters from the Chicago area in order to facilitate the adoption pop-ups: Anderson Animal Shelter, Hopeful Tails Animal Rescue and Fetching Tails Foundation. Shelter partners will alternate their presence daily throughout the event.
All adopters are subject to standard guidelines and procedures. Prospective adopters should bring with them a photo ID.
This Chicago Auto Show adoption event is a part of the Subaru Loves Pets initiative, which is dedicated to helping improve the safety and well-being of animals in communities nationwide.
2020 Honda Civic Type R
Fresh from its world debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon last month, the 2020 Honda Civic Type R made its U.S. debut at the Chicago Auto Show today, appearing for the first time in public in its new Boost Blue exterior color scheme. The 2020 Civic Type R brings a number of changes and improvements to Type R’s winning formula, with revised styling, improved handling and braking, better engine cooling and the addition of standard Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technologies.
Headlining the changes to the 2020 Civic Type R are numerous improvements to its world-beating driving dynamics. New two-piece brake rotors and brake pads are designed to reduce fade and improve high-speed braking efficiency, while suspension revisions for 2020 include updated dampers for improved ride comfort, stiffer rear bushings for better grip, and revisions to the front suspension and steering for even better steering feel. Additionally, the grille has been redesigned to allow better engine cooling under high demand.
Inside, the 2020 Civic Type R will feature additional refinement that includes a new Alcantara™-wrapped steering wheel, and a new shifter with a restyled knob and shorter shift throws. Every 2020 Civic Type R will be equipped with the Honda Sensing® suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies, making the Honda Sensing® suite standard equipment on all Civic models and trims when the 2020 Type R it goes on sale.
Under the hood, the 2020 Civic Type R draws power from a race-bred 2.0-liter direct-injected and turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with VTEC™ valvetrain putting out a peak 306 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (both SAE net), with power to the front wheels delivered through a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential. As before, drivers can choose between three driving modes – Comfort, Sport and +R – that vary suspension firmness, steering and throttle response. New for 2020 is Active Sound Control, which modifies interior sound in concert with the chosen drive mode. The Type R’s selectable drive modes and sophisticated design make it both a thrilling companion on a mountain road or a racetrack and a remarkably civilized daily driver with a degree of flexibility unmatched in its competitive set, especially at the price.
Additional information about the 2020 Civic Type R, including pricing and all specifications, will be available later when it goes on sale later this winter.
2020 Kia Cadenza
The refreshed 2020 Kia Cadenza premium sedan made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show. Brimming with new design elements, technology and available convenience features, the 2020 Cadenza remains true to its mission of offering luxurious interior surroundings combined with a quiet and composed ride. Significant interior enhancements for 2020 improve ergonomics and a number of newly standard Kia Drive Wise1 driver-assist technologies make time behind the wheel of the Cadenza more pleasant than ever.
When it goes on sale later this year, the 2020 Cadenza will be available in two trims: Technology and Limited, while last year’s Premium trim has been eliminated. Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s on-sale date.
- Redesigned hood and grille with deeper vertical waterfall fascia
- Standard multi-lens LED headlights with redesigned LED DRL lamps
- New lower front fascia with integrated turn signals
- Redesigned rear bumper and trunk lid
- New LED combination rear taillights
- Redesigned 18-inch (standard) and 19-inch wheels (available)
While the exterior design is the first thing many will notice, it’s on the inside that the 2020 Cadenza sees the most change. Interior design changes include:
- Completely redesigned dash and instrument cluster with relocated audio controls above the climate switchgear
- Standard 4.2-inch TFT color screen in the instrument panel
- New 12.3-inch touchscreen with multi-device Bluetooth®2 connectivity is standard
- New available multi-color ambient LED mood lighting (Limited only)
- Two new nappa leather-trimmed seating colors: Saddle Brown and Gray, with Limited models offering quilted seat bolsters
- Three additional USB charging ports (one in the front passenger area, two in the rear seat)
- Enhanced 10-watt wireless fast-charging phone charger
- New standard Smart Key based Engine Start
For 2020, Drive Wise, Kia’s advanced suite of driver-assisted technology, sees a number of significant enhancements to the Cadenza. New standard features include:
- New standard “Sensor Fusion” combines Forward Collision Warning, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian/cyclist detection, Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go and High Beam Assist3
- Lane Following Assist follows visible lane markings or a preceding vehicle and provides steering inputs to maintain the vehicle’s position in the lane3
- Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist – Rear with Lane Change Assist3
- Highway Driving Assist uses federal highway speed limit information to automatically adjust vehicle speed to be within the posted speed limit3
- Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control – Curve uses navigation data to lower the vehicle’s speed proactively before upcoming curves3
- Safe Exit Assist alerts the driver or passenger opening their door to not exit the vehicle when approaching traffic is detected4
Powered by the same smooth 3.3-liter V6 from last year, the all-aluminum engine delivers 290 horsepower to the front wheels through an 8-speed electronically controlled Sportmatic transmission. NVH improvements for 2020 include reinforced rear sub-frame cross members and resonator wheels (19-inch only) that help to reduce road noise entering the cabin. Redesigned shock valves reduce vibration and larger rear dampers improve rebound over rough surfaces.
Hyundai New Sonata Hybrid with Smartphone Key & Solar Roof
At the Chicago Auto Show, Hyundai introduced its new 2020 Sonata Hybrid, boasting 686 miles of driving range and an EPA estimated 52 mpg combined fuel economy rating on the Blue trim. This is the first time the Sonata Hybrid has been shown in North America. The 2020 Sonata Hybrid is also equipped with the world’s first Active Shift Control (ASC) technology and a Solar Roof System (SRS), which increase driving range. The new Sonata Hybrid goes on sale this spring and is built in Asan, Korea.
The 2020 Sonata Hybrid’s exclusive styling has a slippery 0.24 drag coefficient, thanks to a unique cross-hole grille with active air flaps, a rear spoiler and aerodynamic alloy wheels. Hyundai Motor’s Solar Roof System makes its debut on the Sonata Hybrid. This system recharges the hybrid battery while preventing unnecessary battery discharge when the car is off. SRS can increase the driving range by a couple of miles after 6 hours of charging. Engineers also applied Active Shift Control technology to control the electric motor, aligning it with the rotational speeds of the engine and transmission, reducing gear-shifting times by 30%. This synchronization not only improves the Sonata Hybrid’s acceleration and fuel economy but also improves the durability of the transmission by minimizing friction during shifts.
The Sonata Hybrid is equipped with a Smartstream G2.0 GDi HEV engine and a 6-speed hybrid automatic transmission. The engine’s power output is 150 horsepower and 139 lb.-ft. of torque. The car’s electric motor delivers power output of 39 kW (51 HP) and maximum torque of 151 lb.-ft. of torque. Combined system power output is 192 horsepower and EPA estimated fuel economy numbers are 50 city, 54 highway and 52 combined for the Blue trim.
2.0L I4 GDI
2.5L I4 GDI
2.0L I4 GDI
150 / 139
176 / 163
143 / 129
50/54/52 – Blue
45/51/47 – SEL,
51/53/52 – LE
44/47/46 – SE,
Solar Roof System
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid’s solar-panel roof directly charges the 12-volt and hybrid batteries and outputs 205 watts of electricity. This segment-first system has several benefits:
- Mileage increases by about 2 miles per day
- Helps prevent battery discharge from infotainment or HVAC systems when the car is off
- Unique design cue
Active Shift Control Technology
ASC technology optimizes transmission efficiency by monitoring gear shifts 500 times per second and precisely adjusting the transmission rotation speed for faster shift times. ASC applies new control logic software to the Hybrid Control Unit (HCU), which aligns the electric motor with the rotational speeds of the engine and transmission to reduce gear shifts by 30%. The technology also delivers smoother gear changes and quicker shift times.
“The development of the world’s first ASC technology is a remarkable innovation that incorporates precise motor control to an automatic transmission,” said KyoungJoon Chang, Vice President and Head of Powertrain Control System Group of Hyundai Motor Group. “It will not only save fuel but also provide a more fun driving experience for our customers.”
Independently Developed Control Logic Software Applied to the Electric Motor
Conventional hybrid vehicles do not have torque converters to improve fuel economy because torque converters lose energy while transferring power to the drive wheels. Although fuel efficient, such a system also requires longer shift times to ensure smoother gear changes.
ASC technology allows the hybrid’s electric motor to also take control of gear shifts by applying new software logic to the Hybrid Control Unit (HCU) to mitigate issues with slower shift time. The HCU monitors the rotational speed of transmission with a sensor installed inside the electric motor at 500 times per second to synchronize the rotational speed with that of the gasoline engine.
The synchronization reduces shift time by 30% from 500 ms to 350 ms. This improves not only the hybrid vehicles’ acceleration performance and fuel economy but also the durability of the transmission, by minimizing friction during gear shifts.
The Sonata Hybrid slips through air with 0.24 drag coefficient. The low drag coefficient is accomplished by managing airflow over and under the body. Up front, the Sonata Hybrid has active air flaps behind the grille, which close when less engine cooling is needed. A redesigned rear spoiler further improves airflow. To reduce drag under the body Hyundai engineers added several elements:
- Bumper lip
- Front- and rear-wheel deflectors
- Undercovers in the front and back of the engine bay
- Center floor undercover
- Rear undercover
Continuing to promote the latest advances in technology, the new Sonata Hybrid offers an optional smartphone-based Hyundai Digital Key. Digital Key uses a dedicated mobile app, Near Field Communication (NFC), and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to allow a new Sonata to be unlocked, started and driven without a physical key, via a smartphone. Sonata’s Digital Key also allows secure sharing of virtual keys with family and friends.
Sonata owners can tailor the different vehicle functions available to each shared virtual key, and can make the key available for only a defined amount of time. The vehicle owner can preset the duration of vehicle use or limit the use to only certain features when loaning the vehicle, and can also revoke keys remotely. For additional convenience, such as using a valet service or visiting a Hyundai dealer, Hyundai Digital Key also works with an NFC card, which will be provided with each vehicle. Each Sonata still comes with traditional keys. Hyundai Digital Key is compatible only with phones using the Android operating system.
Hyundai Digital Key utilizes NFC technology, which exhibits a high level of security. The NFC wireless data communication takes place only when the device and the reader are placed several centimeters apart.
Optimized Hybrid Battery Placement
By optimizing the placement of the high-voltage hybrid battery, Hyundai engineers were able to increase trunk capacity by 2.5 cubic feet, compared with the 2019 Sonata Hybrid. This placement also helps create best-in-class front headroom and legroom.
Headroom (F/R) in.
Legroom (F/R) in.
Shoulder Room (F/R) in.
Hip Room (F/R) in.
The 2020 Sonata Hybrid features a number of advanced comfort and convenience features including an electric parking brake, Hands-free Smart Trunk, Qi high-speed wireless smartphone charging pad with cooling fan, standard Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto®, Text-to-Speech via Bluetooth®, heated and ventilated front seats and split-folding rear seats.
The top-of-the-line audio and navigation display is a wide, high-definition, customizable, 10.25-inch touchscreen monitor with split screens and natural language, and cloud-based speech recognition powered by Blue Link, while the cluster supervision display is a full 12.3 inches. The navigation system includes a bird’s-eye view in navigation maps, and drivers get HD Radio traffic flow and incident data without ever paying for a subscription. Dual Bluetooth support is also available, so two devices can be paired at the same time—one for phone calls and one for streaming audio. The navigation system also comes with three years of Blue Link Multimedia/Map updates. Hyundai’s eight-inch display audio user interface, equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, is standard on the 2020 Sonata Hybrid. An optional Bose® audio system also delivers an exceptional experience to customers.
SmartSense Safety Technologies
Sonata features Hyundai’s latest SmartSense advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). A series of sensors and systems, often restricted to luxury cars, combine to potentially warn the driver and may take action in the event of a safety incident. Meanwhile, other ADAS systems can help the driver perform certain tasks using the car’s 3 radar sensors, 12 ultrasonic sensors and 5 cameras. These features include:
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard)
- Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard)
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard)
- Lane Keeping Assist (standard)
- Advanced Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go (standard)
- Highway Driving Assist (optional)
Total Standard Airbags
Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
Smart Cruise Control with Stop/Start Capability
Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with
Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
High Beam Assist
Blind Spot Collision Avoidance-Assist (BCA)
Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance-Assist
Highway Driving Assist
Highway Driving Assist (HDA) is a driving convenience system that assists drivers in maintaining the vehicle in the center of the lane, at an appropriate speed, while keeping a set distance from the car in front.
Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist
The 2020 Sonata Hybrid is fitted with standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian detection, an advanced active safety feature that helps alert drivers to certain emergency situations, and may brake autonomously, if necessary. Using front radar and front camera sensors, FCA operates in three stages. Initially warning the driver visually and acoustically, it helps assess the nature of potential collision danger and may apply increasing amounts of braking force to avoid a collision or minimize damage when a collision is unavoidable.
Lane Following Assist
Lane Following Assist (LFA) may automatically adjust steering to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane of travel. LFA can help keep the vehicle centered on both highways and city streets.
Blind-Spot View Monitor and Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW)
The Blind-Spot View Monitor with the Sonata’s outside mirror-mounted cameras offers the driver an enhanced field of vision. The BCW system helps scan for vehicles entering the driver’s blind spot. If the driver activates a turn signal, an image of the view from the corresponding wing mirror appears in the 12.3-inch cluster display. If a vehicle is detected in the blind spot, audible and visual alerts are provided.
The new Sonata uses four cameras to provide the driver with an enhanced, bird’s-eye view of the car’s exterior, giving the driver confidence when maneuvering into or out of spaces.
Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist
Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist helps detect pedestrians and obstacles with a rearview camera and ultrasonic sensors. The system can provide warnings and apply emergency braking to assist in avoidance of a collision.
Touch Sensor Outside Door Handles
Touch Sensor Outside Door Handles on the Sonata Hybrid increase ease of use and further refine the design. To lock the door, the driver need only touch the sensor on the outside of the door handle. Pulling on the handle activates a larger sensor on the inside of the handle to open the door.
Remote Start has been a part of the Hyundai Blue Link system for years. It works by using a cellular data connection to warm up or cool down a Sonata when it is out of sight of the owner. To make that system even better, Hyundai engineers added Remote Start to the 2020 Sonata Hybrid’s key fob on models equipped with Proximity Key and Push Button Start. This allows a remote start to be performed when the car is within the owner’s line of sight.
The connected car team at Hyundai continues to improve Blue Link’s services, and the 2020 Sonata Hybrid received many system enhancements. As with most Hyundai models, Blue Link is complimentary on the 2020 Sonata Hybrid for three years and includes Remote Start with Climate Control, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Stolen Vehicle Recovery and Destination Search by Voice. These 2020 improvements include:
- Remote Profile Management—stores select vehicle settings to the Blue Link cloud and enables the user to update them remotely and push them back to the vehicle
- Remote Start Enhancements:
- Remote seat heat/vent (full support on/off for each individual heated/cooled seat; ability to adjust level)
- Profile selection (preloads individual driver setting for seating position and side mirrors)
- Vehicle Status Notifications—if the vehicle is left with doors unlocked or windows open, customers will receive a notification
- POI Send to Car now with Waypoints (ability to add up to three waypoints, to be delivered to the vehicle together and which will automatically set order of destinations)
- Maintenance Alert Enhancement—maintenance interval tracking is now visible in the multimedia system, with ability to reset
Several new improvements isolate passengers from unwanted noises:
- Double-junction soundproof glass has been added to the windshield and the front doors
- Improved carpet
- D3 sound absorption materials on the luggage side trim, wheel guard and package tray
- D3 sound absorption materials on the door trim and trunk board bottom
- Reinforcements to the front/rear wheel members/////
- 2021 Chrysler Pacifica has the most advanced AWD system in its class and is the only vehicle to offer AWD along with Stow ‘n Go seating
- If wheels lose traction on ice or snow, Pacifica’s AWD system automatically activates the transfer of all available engine torque to the wheels with more traction
- Power transfer unit and rear drive module automatically disconnect when AWD is not required, stopping the drive shaft from spinning — a class-exclusive feature that reduces driveline drag and improves efficiency
- With a total of 97 standard safety features, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica has the most standard safety features in the industry:
- 2021 Chrysler Pacifica offers 116 standard and available safety and security features across all Pacifica models
- Pacifica features 14 new-as-standard safety features, including new LED lights and new Pedestrian Automatic Emergency Braking (PAEB)
- Inspired freshening of the front grille, headlamps, fog lamps and taillamp yields a more athletic, utility-vehicle look and feel across the entire Pacifica lineup
- 2021 Pacifica lineup features four models: Touring, Touring L, Limited and, new for 2021, Pinnacle™:
- New elite Pinnacle model is a premium people mover that offers a modern living room on wheels loaded with luxury features and content, including quilted Caramel Nappa leather seats in all three rows and unique matching lumbar pillows in the second-row captain’s chairs
- Pinnacle model interior delivers a new integrated Ultra console — the most functional center console in its class — aesthetically redesigned to flow into the instrument panel
- Pinnacle model offers best-in-class total storage of 227.6 liters – enough to store 60 gallons of milk
- Pacifica Limited model also incorporates a new integrated Premium console that provides dual-level storage with a large pass-through storage area
- 2021 Chrysler Pacifica offers as standard the first North American application of the all-new Uconnect 5 system, which features:
- New 10.1-inch touchscreen, which is the largest standard touchscreen in its class
- More connected services and features that are easier to search and navigate
- With the current Uconnect skill for Alexa, customers with Alexa-enabled devices at home can easily ask Alexa to start the car, lock/unlock doors and more
- Uconnect 5 brings Amazon Alexa directly into the vehicle itself, giving occupants the freedom to interact with Alexa just as they do at home or on a personal device
- With Alexa built-in, occupants can ask Alexa to play music, podcasts and audiobooks; add items to their to-do list; check news, weather, traffic, sports and other real-time information; and access tens of thousands of Alexa skills
- Processing speeds five times faster than previous generation, using Android operating system
- Home screen that can be personalized for up to six different user profiles with individual feature preferences for music, seat settings, comfort and vehicle operation and the ability to change in-vehicle climate controls with the push of a button based on user profiles
- Ability to connect two phones simultaneously with Bluetooth capability
- New wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto available
- New FamCAM™ interior camera, accessible through the largest-in-class 10.1-inch touchscreen, provides a best-in-class high-definition image and segment-exclusive features, including a view of rear-facing child seat occupants, split-view display and unique “zoom-to-seat” feature
- 2021 Chrysler Pacifica offers segment-first USB Type C ports, allowing devices to charge up to four times faster than standard USB ports, and doubles the number of ports available in the current model with up to a combined total of 12 USB Type A and Type C ports, depending on the model and package chosen
- New 10-inch rear quarter trim subwoofer features a 23-liter sealed enclosure and delivers more dynamic bass through the dual voice coil subwoofer
- 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid remains the first and only hybrid in its class, achieves more than 80 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe), has an all-electric range of more than 30 miles and a total range of more than 500 miles
- For 2021, Pacifica Hybrid is now positioned as a powertrain option, with vehicle content more closely aligned on all four Pacifica models across both gas and hybrid powertrains
- 2021 Chrysler Pacifica models open for dealer orders in the third quarter of 2020; vehicles will begin arriving in dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2020
- AWD also available on 2020 Chrysler Pacifica AWD Launch Edition, which opens for dealer orders in the second quarter of 2020 and begins arriving in dealerships in late second quarter of 2020
- FCA has sold more than 15 million minivans since inventing the segment in 1983 for the 1984 model year:
- FCA continues to lead the segment, selling twice as many minivans as any other manufacturer over 37 years, with a current U.S. market share of nearly 54 percent
- Chrysler Pacifica recorded a 32.7 percent share of the segment in December 2019, the highest December share ever for Pacifica and its highest share of 2019
- Through six generations, FCA has innovated 116 segment firsts
The Chrysler brand is taking the Windy City by storm at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, introducing the new-for-2021 Chrysler Pacifica and setting a new standard in the class by delivering available all-wheel-drive (AWD) capability combined with class-exclusive Stow ‘n Go seating and more standard safety features than any other vehicle in the industry, all wrapped in a refreshed exterior and interior design.
The new 2021 Chrysler Pacifica offers the most advanced AWD system in its class and is the only vehicle to offer AWD along with Stow ‘n Go seating. The seamless, fully automatic AWD system is the only vehicle in the segment capable of transferring all available engine torque to the rear wheels, or whichever wheels have more available traction. The Pacifica AWD system is also able to sense and stop the drive shaft from spinning when AWD is not required, a class-exclusive feature in the segment that improves efficiency and reduces emissions.
The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica will also offer 97 standard safety features – the most standard safety features in the industry. New LED lights and Pedestrian Automatic Emergency Braking (PAEB) – both offered for the first time in the class as standard equipment – join Blind-spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection, Rear Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Full Stop, electronic stability control (ESC), Forward Collision Warning with Full Stop, Lane Departure Warning, eight airbags and more as standard safety features. All told, the Pacifica features 116 standard and available safety and security features.
The Pacifica’s new exterior design expression is much more deeply sculpted, athletic and modern in character, with utility-vehicle-inspired design cues. A new top-of-the-line Pinnacle model sets a new standard in the segment with a sophisticated, luxurious interior that incorporates a new integrated Ultra console — the most functional center console in its class — and elite appointments, such as quilted Nappa Caramel leather seats with new matching lumbar comfort pillows.
The all-new Uconnect 5 system, offered for the first time in a North American vehicle and standard across the Pacifica lineup, includes a largest-in-class 10.1-inch touchscreen, which is nearly 20 percent larger than the screen it replaces. The system is five times faster than Uconnect 4 and includes Alexa. With the Uconnect skill for Alexa, customers with Alexa-enabled devices at home can easily ask Alexa to start the car, lock/unlock doors and more. Uconnect 5 brings Amazon Alexa directly into the vehicle itself, giving occupants the freedom to interact with Alexa just as they do at home or on a personal device. With Alexa built-in, occupants can ask Alexa to play music, podcasts and audiobooks; add items to their to-do list; check news, weather, traffic, sports and other real-time information; and access tens of thousands of Alexa skills.
The new 2021 Chrysler Pacifica also gives parents a bird’s-eye view of their most precious cargo thanks to the new FamCAM interior camera that delivers a best-in-class high-definition image and allows the driver a view of rear-facing child seat occupants in the second row and even allows them to zoom in on passengers. Another first for the segment, new USB Type C ports allow devices to charge up to four times faster than standard USB outlets.
The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica will be built at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Orders open in the third quarter of 2020, with the vehicle available in dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2020. AWD also will be available on the 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Launch Edition, which opens for dealer orders in the second quarter of 2020 and begins arriving in dealerships in late second quarter of 2020.
The AWD system engages automatically, based on a variety of sensor inputs that signal when enhanced traction is beneficial. For best traction performance, AWD is engaged when the Chrysler Pacifica begins to accelerate from a standing stop. Other inputs that signal AWD engagement include:
- Cold exterior temperature
- Use of windshield wipers
- Slip detected at the front wheels
- Heavy acceleration at certain vehicle speeds, such as overtaking during passing
- Electronic stability control activation
- Abrupt steering or sudden throttle inputs
- Rough road conditions/grades
When the Chrysler Pacifica’s drivetrain detects that AWD is not needed, it disconnects the power transfer unit and the rear drive module automatically to stop the drive shaft from spinning, reducing driveline drag and improving efficiency.
The Pacifica AWD will feature new, standard self-sealing 235/60-R18 Michelin Premier All-season tires for 18-inch wheel applications, with 20-inch wheels offered with optional Pirelli self-sealing tires (late availability) or non-self-sealing Falken tires.
The most technologically equipped vehicle of its kind, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is bringing upgrades front and center with an all-new 10.1-inch touchscreen, part of the new Uconnect 5 system that will be offered for the first time in a North American FCA vehicle.
Delivering the largest standard touchscreen in its class, the 10.1-inch touchscreen is nearly 20 percent larger than the screen it replaces and enables processing speeds up to five times faster than the previous generation.
The all-new Uconnect 5 system offers more connected services and features for unmatched ease of use for both novice and expert users alike. The suite of new system highlights includes Alexa built-in.
New for the 2021 is the FamCAM interior camera, which projects a best-in-class, high-definition image and allows the driver to keep close tabs on action happening in the back with segment-exclusive features, including a clear view of rear-facing child seat occupants, a split view display and a unique “zoom-to-seat” feature.
The FamCAM is cleanly positioned above the cabin between the front and second-row panoramic sunroof and the third-row fixed glass. FamCAM views are accessible through the 10.1-inch touchscreen and allow drivers to quickly click and zoom in. Memory setting functions keep the camera in the most recent position used to aid in ease of use and limit driver distraction.
The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is even more equipped to keep vehicle occupants connected while on the go. Functionality is enhanced with more USB ports throughout the vehicle, including segment-first USB Type C ports, allowing devices to charge up to four times faster than standard USB outlets. The new Pacifica doubles available USB ports from the current model, with up to a combined total of 12 USB Type A and Type C ports, depending on the model and package chosen.
New 2020 Jeep Wrangler JPP 20
The JPP steel front bumper and skid plate are designed to take on whatever the trail can throw at it. Wide enough to provide fender protection, but narrower than the stock version, the bumper is black powder-coated with D-rings for extra towing capability. Completely waterproof to ensure reliable operation during water fording and other adverse conditions, the JPP Rubicon Winch includes 100 feet of Warn Spydura synthetic rope.
The Trailer-tow and Heavy Duty Electrical Group includes four auxiliary switches, a high-capacity 240-amp alternator and a Class II hitch receiver with four- and seven-pin adapters.
The Jeep Wrangler JPP 20 will be available in Ocean Blue or White. Additional standard exterior features include:
- American Flag hood graphic
- Blacked-out fender vents and fuel door
- JPP graphic decal on the passenger-side quarter panel
- Laser-etched, forged-aluminum JPP badge on the driver-side fender and on the rear swing-gate assembly
On the rear of the vehicle, the JPP Swing Gate Hinge Reinforcement allows for a larger spare tire to be mounted on the swing gate. The reinforcement is powder-coated black and works with the production hinge for easy installation. A JPP CHMSL (Center High-Mount Stop Lamp) Relocation Kit mounts the third brake light in the center of the spare tire.
The Jeep Wrangler JPP 20 will be delivered with an exclusive owner’s kit. The kit will be uniquely packaged with a personalized booklet and other memorabilia. Also included in the owner’s kit will be a customer credit that may be used toward the following dealer-installed equipment:
- JPP 2-inch lift kit
- JPP 5-inch and 7-inch off-road LED light kits, including mounting brackets
- Choice of one of five available JPP off-road wheel sets and set of five tires
Inside the cabin, luxurious Katzkin Tuscany leather seats include an embroidered JPP logo on each front seatback. Standard Mopar all-weather floor mats are injection molded and designed with deep drain channels, rigid sidewalls and advanced reservoir systems that contain liquids from leaking onto the floor. Front mats feature a patented drain plug that covers floor drain holes, which allow draining without mat removal for easy cleaning. Behind the second-row seats, the Mopar Cargo Tray Kit provides full protective coverage of the cargo area and seat backs.
The standard Technology Group includes a 7-inch instrument panel cluster and fourth-generation Uconnect system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available on its 7-inch touchscreen. In addition, Rear Park Assist and Blind-spot Monitoring also are standard.
A full array of fuel-efficient powertrain options is available for the 2020 Jeep Wrangler JPP 20, including:
- 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (270 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque) with engine stop-start (ESS) or mild-hybrid eTorque assist technology
- 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine (260 horsepower and 442 lb.-ft. of torque) with ESS
- 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine (285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque) with ESS or mild-hybrid eTorque assist technology
Each available engine option features a standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission.
Production of the Wrangler JPP 20 will be limited for the 2020 model year. Dealer orders open in the second quarter and vehicles will arrive in dealerships this summer. Pricing will be announced closer to the launch date.
Jaguar celebrated the reveal of the new 2021 Jaguar F-TYPE in North America by partnering with Hot Wheels to announce a new engineering scholarship contest across North America, the Jaguar & Hot Wheels Ultimate Track Challenge. Jaguar and Hot Wheels also set a Guinness World Records title for the most loops-the-loops in a Hot Wheels track as part of the vehicle’s reveal at the Chicago Auto Show.
The Jaguar & Hot Wheels Ultimate Track Challenge will be open to college and university engineering programs to partner with their local Jaguar retailer for students to design and build the most complex, record-setting Hot Wheels track imaginable, meeting both Hot Wheels and Guinness World Records parameters. Student participants will have the opportunity to set a record lap at retailer launch events for the new F-TYPE throughout the month of April.
Jaguar and Hot Wheels will select the most challenging track and award a $50,000 donation to the participating institutions’ scholarship fund. At the Chicago Auto Show, the first group to enter the competition was a group of students from the Illinois Institute of Technology, who will partner with Jaguar Land Rover Orland Park.
“For many car enthusiasts, a Hot Wheels car was their first automotive experience. Oftentimes it was an exotic sports car, like the F-TYPE, which is why we are thrilled to be revealing the vehicle in North America with this Hot Wheels partnership” said Stuart Schorr, Vice President Communications, Jaguar Land Rover. “Jaguar is committed to supporting the next generation of smart, creative, automotive enthusiasts and we are excited to see the submissions students will be making across the U.S. and Canada.”
The record-setting track Jaguar and Hot Wheels built at the Chicago Auto Show measured 69.5 feet and was built entirely from Hot Wheels Track sets. It consisted of seven loops unassisted by power boosters; breaking the previous Guinness World Record by two loops.
“Hot Wheels was founded to push the limits of design and performance and we are proud to have worked with the talented team at Jaguar for over 40 years,” said Ricardo Briceno, Senior Director of Hot Wheels Global Brand Marketing, Mattel. “Partnering with Jaguar to break the Guinness World Record and calling on students across the U.S. and Canada to create their own vision to win the #JaguarHotWheels Challenge is the perfect example of our commitment to ignite and nurture the challenger spirit.”
Students interested in participating in the #JaguarHotWheels challenge should work with their local Jaguar retailer to come up with a concept. Jaguar retailers will have a set amount of track components (over 100 feet) to work with to create their vision of the “Most Challenging Track”. Students will build their track at their local Jaguar retailer and attempt to set a record lap at the retailer launch events for the new F-TYPE by April 30, 2020
All Hot Wheels track components supplied to dealers are required to be used and students may not add additional track components to their set. Students are able to modify track components, such as cutting turns and reducing the length of straight sections, as they deem appropriate. Students will then be judged on the Jaguar vehicle that completes the full track with more loops than the new current world record in the shortest amount of time, and must also incorporate both the F-TYPE and dealership elements into the track design. Students and Jaguar retailers will need to document a Hot Wheels Jaguar vehicle successfully completing the track with an unedited, continuous video of one full circuit to be deemed eligible, with proof of timing from start to finish.
The new Jaguar F-TYPE looks more beautiful than ever and embodies Jaguar design DNA in its purest form. The two-seat sports car offers a perfect balance of performance and driver reward with an even more muscular, assertive design and a cabin defined by rich, luxurious materials and beautiful details.
The proportions of the new F-TYPE are instantly recognizable but looks even more focused and assertive; referencing the beautiful flowing forms from the brand’s rich sports car heritage. New exterior design features include a new clamshell hood, front bumpers and subtly enlarged grille that together deliver even more visual impact and presence. For the interior, the new driver-focused interior of the F-TYPE, like the exterior, has evolved into a purer expression of the car’s elegance and performance. By concentrating on further refining the traditionally British Jaguar craftsmanship and adding discreet, beautiful details, the sense of luxury and sportiness has been heightened.
A range of powerful, responsive engines in the 2021 F-TYPE includes four-, six- and eight-cylinder options with 296hp, 380hp and 575hp respective outputs. All are matched to eight-speed Quickshift transmissions with full manual control capability using either the SportShift gear selector or the steering wheel-mounted paddles.
Each engine is equipped with an active exhaust system, which is switchable either as an option or as standard. Customers who choose the 575hp supercharged V8 and wish for a more subtle, refined sound can select the new Quiet Start mode. This ensures that the electrically-actuated bypass valves in the rear silencer remain closed until automatically opening under load, releasing the signature roar fundamental to the F-TYPE driving experience.
The new F-TYPE also offers more driver-focused technology, including a reconfigurable, high-definition, 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster, Touch Pro infotainment system with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ as standard and software-over-the-air functionality so future software updates can be made at the customer’s convenience without having to visit a Retailer2. Two superb Meridian™ sound systems also offer enhanced sound reproduction.
The 2021 Jaguar F-TYPE is priced from $61,6003 in the U.S., and will be available as a Coupe or Convertible model in four trim levels: F-TYPE P300, First Edition, R-Dynamic, and R.
MB Pop Up Camper
Mercedes-Benz announced its first new modern, practical pop up camper van for the U.S. market. Harkening back to the glory days of camper vans, Mercedes-Benz drew inspiration from illustrious models of the past while integrating the latest sophisticated safety, reliability and convenience features to create a new modern pop top van.
The new camper vans are built by Driverge Vehicle Innovations, who are part of the MASTERSOLUTIONS™ program, in partnership with Peace Vans, one of the largest classic camper van repair and restoration shops in the United States. This adaptable vehicle can be used in myriad ways: traveling across the U.S. on extended road trips, taking the family on summer vacations or spring breaks, quick weekend explorations or having a comfortable place to work or relax after a surf or climbing session. The pop up camper offers unique flexibility, while the Metris is perfectly suited as a versatile daily driver designed to thrive in major metropolitan areas with a spacious interior and practical dimensions that fit in parking spots, garages and driveways in any city.
Nissan 2020 Frontier
Nissan revealed the 2020 Frontier which features an all-new, powerful 3.8-liter direct injection V6 engine and all-new 9-speed automatic transmission – both of which will be key elements in the next-generation, all-new Frontier coming soon.
The 2020 Frontier, which marks the last model year of the current generation, will feature best-in-class horsepower1 while also providing improved fuel economy and emissions performance. It will go on sale in spring 2020.
Helping celebrate the transition to the next-generation Frontier was Brian Murphy and his 2007 Frontier, which just last week crossed the 1 million mile mark – a true testament to the durability and reliability of the Nissan Frontier.
“The 2020 Frontier lays the groundwork for the exciting, next-generation Frontier – an all-new pickup truck slated to arrive soon,” said Tiago Castro, director, Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, Nissan North America, Inc. “While looking ahead, we’re also celebrating our strong heritage – including the innovations, versatility and reliability of past models, such as the 2007 Frontier that Chicago resident Brian Murphy has driven for more than one million miles.”
2020 Nissan Frontier
The 2020 Frontier, with its standard 3.8-liter V6 and 9-speed automatic transmission, focuses on the needs and demands of truck owners in the U.S. Nissan’s all-new engine is using 93 percent new or redesigned parts, and the powerplant underwent extensive testing in North America. The engine will be assembled at Nissan’s advanced engine facility in Decherd, Tenn., next to the full-size TITAN pickup’s 5.6-liter Endurance® V8.
Along with the 49-horsepower improvement over the previous Frontier V6, fuel economy is expected to increase2. Also contributing to the 2020 Frontier’s improved acceleration and fuel economy is the all-new 9-speed automatic transmission designed to maximize powertrain efficiency and provide an enhanced acceleration feel.
“From its roots tracing back more than 60 years, to the current model, Frontier has had a lasting impact on the compact and mid-size truck segments in North America. As Nissan transitions to the next chapter, we celebrate both a proud past and a bright future with the heart of the next Frontier,” added Castro.
New Models from Toyota
Toyota debuts seven new SUV and pickup truck variants at the Chicago Auto Show. All will arrive later this year as 2021 models.
The sporty element is the first-ever Highlander XSE, which brings nimble moves and bolder styling to this three-row family SUV. Meanwhile, new Trail Special Editions of the Tacoma and Tundra pickups and 4Runner SUV come prepped for even more outdoorsy adventure. And, for people who like dark shadows, dark matter, and maybe even dark chocolate, Toyota is adding new Nightshade Special Editions of the Tacoma and Tundra pickups and the Sequoia SUV. These join five other Toyotas already available with the cool, dark Nightshade treatment.
Highlander XSE: More Fun for the Parents
In the Toyota world, the XSE badge signals a drive on the sporty side with specially tuned handling suspension, unique exterior styling, and exclusive interior trim. For 2021, and for the first time in its 20-year history, the Highlander family SUV gets the XSE treatment. The fourth-generation Highlander, just introduced for 2020 and built on the Toyota New Global Architecture, offers the ideal platform for an athletic transformation.
Designed for people who need SUV practicality but really miss driving sport sedans, the Highlander XSE combines bold exterior design with more agile driving reflexes. Positioned between the XLE and Limited grades, the 2021 Highlander XSE is briskly motivated by a 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 that’s teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s available with either front-wheel drive or Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive.
In addition to being able to send up to 50 percent of torque to the rear wheels, this advanced AWD system can control the left/right torque distribution to the rear wheels for a more engaging driving experience. In addition, the Multi-Terrain Select feature, controlled by a dial on the center console, allows the driver to adjust drivetrain responses to prevailing road and weather conditions.
The Highlander XSE handles curves as well as its design takes compliments. In addition to exclusive machined-faced 20-inch wheels with black accents, the XSE model is equipped with higher-rate springs and rear stabilizer bar, and the shock absorbers have been re-tuned for lower friction. Electric power steering has also been re-tuned for a sportier steering feel. These carefully calibrated new parts boost handling agility for the XSE while preserving Highlander’s renowned ride comfort.
To make the XSE grade, Highlander received a bumper-to-bumper style makeover. The front fascia, grille, and lower spoiler are exclusive to this model and impart a more aggressive stance. The restyled upper grille joins a much larger lower air intake integrated into the new bumper, with a spoiler below that. Unique headlamps feature black accents and light-strip DRLs.
In profile, unique rocker panels add an edgy accent to the Highlander XSE’s sculpted lines. Around back, there’s a shocker: the first-ever exposed dual-tip exhaust on a Highlander – and chromed, no less. Black roof rails, mirror caps, and window moldings dial up the subtle cool factor.
Inside, the Highlander XSE rocks black Softex-trimmed seats with fabric inserts, while ambient lighting and carbon-fiber finish on the instrument panel sets the mood. A striking two-tone red and black leather-trimmed interior with red-stitched instrument panel is available and is sure to incite a bit of carpool envy.,
The 2021 Highlander XSE comes ready to take on all devices with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa compatibility, as well as five USB ports and an all access 3-month trail of SiriusXM®.
The Highlander XSE will also offer an available Premium Audio 1200-Watt, 11-speaker JBL sound system with dynamic navigation, breathing new life into old hair bands.
Toyota anticipates that about 12 percent of Highlander buyers will opt for this edgier family hauler. Other updates to the 2021 Highlander will be announced later, but the XSE is slated for launch this fall.
2021 Trail Special Editions: Carry In, Carry Out In Style
Toyota truck buyers love the great outdoors, and in fact, Toyota trucks sit at the top of their segments for owners who participate in outdoor activities like camping, fishing, and hiking. To celebrate and support all that fresh-air fun, Toyota is introducing the 2021 Tacoma, Tundra, and 4Runner Trail Special Editions this summer. All put emphasis on extra storage and convenience, with unique styling and exclusive content added for good measure.
All three 2021 Toyota Trails are based on the SR5 grade models to deliver high value, and they also offer the choice of 2WD or 4WD. The Tacoma Trail is built on the SR5 Double Cab, and the Tundra Trail is based on the SR5 Crew Max with SR5 Upgrade Package (larger fuel tank, front bucket seats with driver’s power lumbar support, front center console, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, three front cupholders, and an anti-theft system with alarm and engine immobilizer).
Available Trail color choices include Army Green, Cement, Midnight Black, and Super White. While these are not strictly considered limited editions, volume will be low. Toyota is planning to equip 7,000 Tacomas, 5,000 Tundras and 4,000 4Runners as Trail Editions.
All Trails feature black exterior badging, plus black seating with tan stitching. In all versions, standard all-weather floor liners help catch the outdoor elements that come in on occupants’ feet. From there, each Trail model has its own unique set of upgrades:
- The 2021 Tacoma Trail features a set of Dark Gray 18-inch TRD Off-Road wheels with Kevlar All-Terrain tires, and the grille from the Tacoma Limited adds a custom touch. A 115-volt power outlet in the bed adds versatility, and lockable bed storage includes insulation on the driver side to double as a cooler.
- The Tundra Trail wears the bold chrome grille from the top-of-line Tundra 1794 Edition with color-keyed surround, plus special-edition wheels. As on the Tacoma Trail, lockable bed storage includes insulation on the driver side to work as a cooler.
- The 4Runner Trail comes ready to carry campers into the woods with dark gray TRD Off-Road wheels, and a Yakima LoadWarrior rooftop cargo basket for added utility and gear-hauling capability. Inside, 4Runner boasts a custom 40-quart cooler and sliding cargo tray.
Custom-made for Toyota in the U.S., the 4Runner Trail’s cooler is quite a versatile piece of equipment, featuring:
- Lockable lid
- Freezer-grade gasket to provide an air-tight seal and keep ice frozen for up to seven days
- Tie-down straps and special brackets on the sliding rear cargo tray to safely secure the cooler while driving
- Two heavy-duty latches with integrated bottle openers
- Two durable, ergonomic carry handles
- Large built-in drain plug with lanyard
- A flat top to allow the cooler to act as a table surface or an outdoor seat
The cooler comes color-keyed with Cement or Army Green exterior 4Runner colors, while on Super White and Midnight Black 4Runner Trails the cooler is Cement.
Nightshade Special Editions: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
With the close of summer comes shorter days and earlier sunsets – the perfect time for a trio of new 2021 Toyota Nightshade Editions to make their arrival. Toyota already offers Nightshade Editions of the Corolla Sedan, Corolla Hatchback, Camry, 4Runner, and Sienna van.
While most Toyota Nightshade models are based on SE grade versions, the 2021 Nightshade pickups and Sequoia are built on the more luxurious Limited grade models. All have black leather-trim seating and slightly sinister looking black exterior trim, including a darkened chrome grille, black mirror caps and black door handles. All three of the Toyota Nightshade trucks offer the choice of 2WD or 4WD.
From there, the details vary by model. The Tacoma Nightshade is also distinguished by Dark Smoke 18-inch alloy wheels, black exhaust tip and fog light bezels, and a new grille insert design.
The Tundra Nightshade has black wheels and exhaust tip, while the Sequoia Nightshade uniquely features darkened chrome ‘Sequoia’ badging, body moldings, and lower grille and fog light surrounds.
The Nightshade Editions look particularly wicked in Midnight Black Metallic or Magnetic Gray Metallic. For more customization, the Tacoma and Tundra are also available in Windchill Pearl*, and the Tundra can also be ordered in Super White. The Sequoia Nightshade offers Blizzard Pearl as an additional choice. *Added Cost Color
Toyota is planning to build 5,000 each of the Tacoma and Tundra Nightshade, and 2,500 Sequoia Nightshade.
Volkswagen Atlas Designed & Made in America
Volkswagen announced a contest to design the competition livery for its Atlas Cross Sport R race car. Using downloadable assets, eligible participants will be able to submit original designs and artwork to a judging panel comprised of Volkswagen designers, drivers and executives. The winning submission will be adapted for the vehicle’s final race livery before it competes in an off-road race later this year.
In addition to having their design become reality, the contest winner and a guest will be given the opportunity to attend a pre-race test experience with Volkswagen.
Volkswagen of America, Inc. unveiled the new 2021 Atlas at the Chicago Auto Show. The refreshed seven-seater offers a bolder design as well as interior upgrades, advanced technology and new driver-assistance features while still maintaining the spacious interior and user-friendly infotainment and ergonomics that made the outgoing model so popular.
The refreshed Atlas maintains the same underpinnings of the successful outgoing model, but is nearly three inches longer, thanks to new front and rear bumper designs. Following in the footsteps of the Atlas Cross Sport, a bold three-bar grille extends into the front light signature creating a more stylish presence. The refreshed model features new headlight and taillight designs that include standard LED lighting. This, along with the sculpted front and rear bumpers, gives the Atlas a more aggressive stance. The R-line® trims up the ante with a unique bumper design, side skirts, and available 20- or 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels (dependent on trim), as well as signature R-line badging.
The interior receives upgrades over the previous model, offering a more connected and comfortable experience. Upgrades include a new steering wheel, available contrast-stitching on the leather seating surfaces and door trim, and an 8-inch Composition Media infotainment system on all models but the base S trim. Available features include the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, Fender® Premium Audio System, ambient lighting, 3-zone Climatronic® climate control, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, wireless charging, and remote start.
The Atlas highlights new technology features such as the Car-Net® telematics system. The next generation of Car-Net includes an updated mobile app, a long list of no-charge services for five years, and a variety of subscription options for customer flexibility—including in-car Wi-Fi capability when you subscribe to a data plan. Car-Net Hotspot allows passengers to access the internet with up to four connected devices simultaneously, including compatible tablets, smartphones, laptops, gaming devices, and more—all at 4G LTE-enabled speed.
A suite of driver-assistance technology is available on the Atlas. Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist), Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert are standard on all models. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop and Go, Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist), Park Distance Control (PDC), Park Steering Assistant (Park Assist), and Overhead View Camera (Area View) are also available. Traffic Jam Assist and Dynamic Road Sign Display, first debuting on the Atlas Cross Sport, will be available as well.
The Atlas will be available with two powertrains: a 276-horsepower V6 and a 235-hp four-cylinder turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and are available with Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. The 2.0T and 4Motion pairing is new for 2020, as is the availability of the four-cylinder engine on top trimlines. V6 models can tow up to 5,000 pounds, when equipped with the V6 Towing Package.
More details and pricing will be announced ahead of the launch in the Spring of 2020.
The Atlas was the first Volkswagen designed, engineered and produced as part of Volkswagen’s North American region strategy. Assembled at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee factory alongside the Volkswagen Passat and the all-new Atlas Cross Sport, the Atlas has become a major player in the U.S. market since its initial release. Volkswagen has now invested more than $2.6 billion in the area and has about 3,800 direct employees in Tennessee.