Long time readers know that I love starting off a column with new models to talk about and this morning we have a bunch of them.
Since it is summer let’s start with the 2016 Camaro that is, to my eyes, a stunning design. GM said it has a fully automatic top capable of opening or closing at speeds of up to 30 mph. It also features a remote open with the key fob – imagine being a neighbor and seeing a top go down with no one around the car! There will also be a hard tonneau cover that deploys automatically giving the car a more finished appearance. It will arrive on dealer’s lots in early 2016.
But Chevy is not done yet. It also took the wraps off the 2016 Cruze that will be offered with a 1.4-liter, 153 horsepower turbo four with 177 lb-ft of torque and direct injection that GM claims will deliver an estimated 40 mpg on the highway and 0-60 run of eight seconds. It will be matched with a six speed manual or a six speed automatic. Look for the new 2.7 inch longer Cruze in early 2016, a move that Chevy said results in more rear seat leg and knee room. The Cruze is said to be 53 pounds lighter with a 27 percent stiffer body. A new Chevrolet MyLink system will be compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
If I told you that the 2016 Mini Clubman is bigger would you ask, “At what point does the Mini cease to be a Mini?”
The upcoming model is nearly 11 inches longer, with a four inch longer wheelbase and is nearly three inches wider than the 2015. It now has four full size front hinged doors, and don’t worry Club Person lovers the rear “barn doors” carry over. Mini said there will be room for five inside thanks to the fact that it is now 168.3 inches long or about the length of a VW Beetle. An option called “Mini Excitement” will project the brand’s logo on the ground from the outside mirrors. Available engine options carry over from 2015 and will include the 2.0-liter, turbo I-4 rated at 134 horsepower with either a six speed manual or eight speed automatic with paddles. Look for the new Clubman in January.
And on the 105th anniversary of the Alfa Romeo brand, it introduced a new Giulia sedan at the newly refurbished Alfa museum in Arese, Italy. A Quadrifoglio version will offer a six cylinder turbo engine from Ferrari producing 510 horsepower and a 0-62 time of just 3.9 seconds with a 50/50 weight distribution. Of course, with that kind of power it will be rear wheel drive. The new sedan is aimed at BMW, Audi, and Mercedes among others. If the current schedule is followed, and some are skeptical of that, the new sedan will appear in Europe early next year with U.S. introduction sometime after that. Some auto analysts believe that the new sedan might help Fiat Chrysler attract a merger partner that CEO Sergio Marchionne has been urgently seeking. In case you were wondering, Alfa stands for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrice Automobili.
Ford is recalling 200,000 Escape models and Transit Connects from the model years 2014-15. It wants to correct an instrument panel defect whereby chimes, warning lights and messages may not work when the vehicle is started. Automotive News reports this is the 16th recall for the Escape since it was redesigned three years ago.
Rolls Royce has celebrated the largest gathering of its cars in the world at the annual Enthusiasts’ Club Annual Concours and Rally in England. Over 1,000 heritage and contemporary Rollers attended the event.