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Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe Makes World Debut in New York City

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The Penske Automotive Group social team was on hand in New York City as Mercedes-Benz unveiled its latest AMG model.

The new S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe made its world premiere at the 2014 New York International Auto Show and is set to hit your nearest Penske Mercedes-Benz dealership showroom in the fall.

The Breathtaking S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe is equal parts presence and performance thanks to a sleek, athletic design and a power-packed drivetrain. With AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive standard; the S63 Coupe boasts an AMG 5.5-liter V8 Biturbo engine, with an output of 577 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. This engine, assembled by hand at the AMG engine shop in Affalterbach, allows the vehicle to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 3.9 seconds.

The S63 Coupe will also come standard with the advanced AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sport transmission, which allows drivers to select from one of three modes that best fits their driving style: “C” (Controlled Efficiency), “S” (Sport) and “M” (Manual). Also customizable are the sounds made by the vehicle. Thanks to the AMG sport exhaust system the automatic exhaust flaps in both rear silencers adjust to each driving mode to emit the most fitting engine sound.

The S63 AMG Coupe 4MATIC features the full air-suspension system AIRMATIC with the adaptive damping system ADS PLUS. Specific front axle kinematics – including higher camber, a larger anti-roll bar and a stiffer subframe carrier on the rear axle – have been developed exclusively for the S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe. These measures enhance the vehicle’s agility for performance driving.

Inside the cabin, you’ll find uniquely sporty, luxurious accommodations that set the AMG apart from other models. The distinct interior features include the AMG sport seats with power adjustment, memory function and seat heating/ventilation; AMG design Nappa leather with piping together; AMG badges on all four seat backrests; and an embossed AMG emblem on the armrest of the front center console. There is also a new three-spoke AMG sport steering wheel and an AMG logo in the lower metal insert.

Additionally, the high-resolution TFT color AMG instrument cluster features two animated round dials for speed and RPM. The new, standard touchpad allows for seamless operation of the radio, telephone and navigation system.

Stay tuned to Penske Social for more photos, video and information about the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4MATIC Coupe.

[Source: Mercedes-Benz]

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GeneralIndustry News

BMW Debuts Six New Models in New York

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BMW took advantage of its time in the Big Apple, bringing along six vehicles that have never been seen in the U.S. Penske Automotive Group was at the 2014 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) to witness the German automaker showcase two vehicles that made their world debut and four others making their North American debut.

Arguably the most anticipated debut for the automaker was that of the BMW M4 Convertible, which combines the performance and body styling of the BMW M4 Coupe and BMW M3 Sedan with a retractable roof. Powering the BMW M4 Convertible is a 425-horsepower 3.0-liter M TwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder engine, which propels the debuting vehicle 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The M4 Convertible will arrive at Penske BMW dealership showrooms this summer.

Also making its world debut in New York was the all-new BMW X4 Sports Activity Coupe. This all-new model will begin production soon exclusively at BMW’s production facility in Spartanburg, S.C. The new X4 will come with a choice of two TwinPower Turbo engines: BMW’s award-winning 240-horsepower 2.0-liter four cylinder on the X4 xDrive28i and a 300-horsepower 3.0-liter inline six on the top-of-line X4 xDrive35i. Both models include an eight-speed Steptronic sport automatic transmission with shift paddles and xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system, standard.

Making their North American debuts were the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, the 2015 ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe, the Concept X5 eDrive and the X3 Sports Activity Vehicle. All four vehicles are set to arrive at Penske BMW dealerships later this year.

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe brings the sporty character of the 4 Series Coupe with the functionality provided by four doors. It arrives in early summer with two engine choices: the award-winning 240-horsepower TwinPower Turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder and the 300-horsepower TwinPower Turbo 3.0-liter inline six.

The 2015 BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe delivers 0 to 60 mph in only 3.7 seconds thanks to a 540-horsepower, 4.4-liter ALPINA Bi-Turbo V8. This powerhouse also features an eight-speed Sports Automatic Transmission with ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC and BMW’s xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system. The ALPINA B6 Gran Coupe will go on sale in the next couple of months.

The BMW Concept X5 eDrive features the combination of a BMW TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder combustion engine and a 95-horsepower electric motor, which provides performance and an impressive average fuel efficiency of approximately 62 mpg. Different drive modes can also be selected, such as the full-electric mode, with a maximum possible range of 19 miles at speeds up to 75 mph. The vehicle’s high-voltage battery can be charged quickly and conveniently using the BMW home charging station, but it can also be charged using any standard household power outlet or public charging station.

The 2015 BMW X3 Sports Activity Vehicle is the third generation for the model, featuring interior and exterior revisions and the availability of BMW Advanced Diesel power. The release of the new X3, which is set to hit showrooms in the next couple of months, will also mark the debut of the rear-wheel drive BMW X3 sDrive28i model an entry point into the X3. The new xDrive28d will feature BMW’s 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo diesel four-cylinder engine with 180 horsepower, while the X3 xDrive28i features BMW 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine, producing 240 horsepower.

 

Stay tuned to Penske Social for more photos, video and information about these new BMW models.

[Source: BMW USA]

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GeneralIndustry News

Audi Shows Off New Variants of A3, R S7 in New York

Audi recently premiered two new model variants at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

The Audi A3 TDI Sportback, an enthusiast favorite, and the exclusive RS 7 dynamic edition, which showcases the German automaker’s personalization program, were on display at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center from April 18-27, 2014. The Penske Automotive Group social team was also there to capture the event as the public laid eyes on the two new model variants for the first time.

The decision to bring the Audi A3 TDI Sportback clean diesel to the U.S. market came thanks to the support of many car enthusiasts. The fuel-efficient compact hatchback will arrive in the U.S. in summer 2015 for the 2016 model year and join Audi’s push to expand the compact luxury segment and its TDI models.

The A3 TDI Sportback will be powered by a 150-horsepower 2.0 TDI clean diesel engine mated to the standard six-speed S tronic transmission. The TDI Sportback will feature the advanced technology of the recently launched A3 and is a variant of A3 family that is being introduced over the next 18 months: the Audi A3 Sedan, Audi A3 Cabriolet, A3 TDI Clean Diesel Sedan, the high-performance S3 Sedan and the A3 Sportback e-tron gasoline electric hybrid (PHEV). It will also join the five 2014 TDI models available, including the A6, A7, A8 L, Q5 and Q7.

The Audi exclusive RS 7 dynamic edition will arrive at dealerships in early summer. In addition to the 560-horsepower engine found in the RS 7, the dynamic edition will include elements of an exclusive customization program: tornado red brake calipers with the RS 7 logo, 21-inch gloss black wheels, a carbon fiber splitter, diffuser, and a carbon fiber engine cover.

The interior of the RS 7 dynamic edition will feature black valcona leather seats with the RS-specific honeycomb stitch in crimson red that is also on the dashboard, gear shifter boot, center and door armrests, and along the center console. The safety belts match the crimson red accents, which are combined with the carbon fiber inlays.

Under the hood of the five-door coupe, the 560-horsepower comes from a twin-turbo 4.0-liter turbo fuel stratified injection (TFSI) V8 engine that allows the RS 7 to go from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. The vehicle’s cylinder-on-demand technology allows the RS 7 to deactivate four cylinders at low engine speeds to improve fuel economy by 15 percent.

Stay tuned to PenskeSocial.com for more photos, video and information about the Audi A3 TDI Sportback and the RS 7 dynamic edition.

[Source: Audi of America]

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GeneralIndustry News

Six Finalists in the Running for AOL Autos’ Technology of the Year Award

Six Finalists in the Running for AOL Autos’ Technology of the Year Award

The slate of six finalists for AOL Autos’ Technology of the Year Award have been named, each embodying the latest and greatest developments in automotive fuel economy, connectivity, telematics and active safety. Readers will now be charged with casting votes that will help determine which entrant takes the top honor.

Following a careful review of over 40 entries submitted by industry professionals, editorial staffers and readers alike, the judging panel has declared the finalists to be (in no particular order):

From midnight on November 19 onward, readers will be given the chance to vote for one of the six innovative technologies to take the top prize. The announcement and presentation of the honor to the victor will occur in Las Vegas at January’s 2014 Consumer Electronics Show.

Though it is certainly true that most readers of AOL Autos will not have had a personal opportunity to test the technologies in the running for the honor, they do have access to reviews written by site staffers, all of which are accompanied by videos explaining the finer points of each innovation. These summaries also include specific articulation of the reasons each finalist was selected by the judging panel. Once the readers’ choice is determined after voting closes, that selection will have the equal weight to the vote of one of the judges on the 14-judge panel.

AOL Autos editor David Kiley believes that the readership will have sufficient information to fairly judge the merits of each new technology offering, thanks to the detail provided in the site’s presentations. Those assessments, combined with the hands-on experience AOL Autos staffers enjoyed with each finalist, make for a thorough, accurate judging process.

In its inaugural technology contest last year, AOL Autos tapped the updated UConnect system from Chrysler as the top technological innovation, surging ahead of laudable submissions from Cadillac, Honda, Nissan and Ford.

The fuel economy category was a new addition to this year’s contest, largely because it is an arena that is seeing a major influx of technological development within the auto industry. Kiley asserted that since fuel economy innovations are so thoroughly intertwined with electronics, the decision to include this sector in an event affiliated with the Consumer Electronics Show is entirely fitting.

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GeneralIndustry News

Penske Automotive Uses Apple Concept for Product Specialist Program

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Penske Automotive launched a product specialist program in one of its stores last month to try to increase sales and improve customer satisfaction. The name or location of the store is not being revealed. The concept that the company is using closely emulates the “genius” product specialists that Apple uses at its retail stores.

Tony Pordon, the executive vice president of investor relations and corporate development, says that the idea to initiate such a scheme came from the general manager of the test store. She is trying to creatively drive more people to her location and to improve customer satisfaction ratings at the dealership. Pordon would only say that a high-volume foreign brand is sold at the store.

Penske Automotive is not the first company to test out product specialists in its stores. BMW also took inspiration from Apple for its BMW Genius Everywhere program, which was launched in the United Kingdom and has spread throughout Europe. The vehicle manufacturer requires its dealerships to hire young, tech-savvy people to answer inquiries about its vehicles. BMW is expected to bring this program to the United States early next year.

Penske Automotive supports BMW Genius Everywhere, as well as sells the manufacturer’s vehicles, but Pordon says that its product specialist initiative is separate. The company owns 140 dealerships, but has only hired two product specialists. Pordon says that energetic, tech-savvy people who are willing to embrace changes in technology are ideal candidates for future product specialists. The company wants people who understand product details and have robust communication skills.

Pordon explained that Penske Automotive product specialists will greet customers, go on test drives and do vehicle walk-arounds before a salesperson begins to negotiate a price with the customers. The goal is to meet the high expectations of customers and provide a better, faster experience. Emulating the tech-savviness that other businesses have is one way to accomplish this goal, and that is why this program has been initiated.

He also noted that this is a lower-cost way to boost store sales, despite the upfront cost of hiring product specialists, because it will lead to more gross and increase profits. The management team will examine the initiative and make adjustments as necessary, such as having the product specialists do the sales side of the business as well. If the program works, Penske Automotive will consider launching it at other dealerships.

 

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GeneralIndustry News

Palo Alto to require electric car charger pre-wiring in new homes

Palo Alto to require electric car charger pre-wiring in new homes

The city of Palo Alto, in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, is already on the cutting edge of modern technology, as the home of Tesla Motors, Hewlett-Packard and Stanford University. It also has large facilities run by Facebook, Apple, Google and PayPal. Outside of the private sector, though, there’s not a lot to distinguish Palo Alta from other very wealthy ZIP codes.

A move is in the works to change that, though. According to both the San Jose Mercury News and Green Car Reports, all nine members of the Palo Alto City Council voted to change the city’s building code, requiring new homes to feature pre-wiring for 240-volt, level two, in-home chargers. It tacks on about $200 to the overall cost of a new home, which as Green Car Reports notes, is a mere fraction of what retrofitting would cost.

The city council also voted to streamline the process of obtaining a permit to install a fast charger. “It is important that we create the infrastructure necessary to allow [electric cars to catch on]. In Palo Alto, of all places, we should absolutely do that,” Council Member Marc Berman told the San Jose Mercury News.

[Source: AutoBlog.com]

 

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GeneralIndustry News

Apple iTunes Radio Chooses Nissan as Exclusive Automotive Launch Partner

Apple iTunes Radio Chooses Nissan as Exclusive Automotive Launch Partner

Apple, Inc. recently launched the iOS7, which is an enhanced version of the original iPhone operating system and can now interface not only with iPhones, iPads and iPods, but the new Apple iTunes Radio as well. The iTunes Radio functions in the same manner as Spotify and Pandora; it is a free radio that lets users choose their own stations and create personal playlists of their favorite genres and songs. Additionally, iTunes Radio listeners have the ability to purchase any song they listen to since the songs are linked to the iTunes store.

To help launch iTunes Radio, Apple chose Nissan as its first automobile launch partner. Just as the free versions of other Internet radio stations contain advertisements, iTunes Radio will also have advertised content and much of it will be Nissan-specific. New models will be featured and Nissan will use iAd, a marketing ploy that allows advertisements to be directly inserted into various apps. The exclusive partnership also means that users will be privy to unique video as well as audio content on all of their Apple devices: the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV and Mac.

Nissan, now partnered with Renault, is the sixth largest automobile manufacturer in the world. Its original vehicles were called Datsuns, which enjoyed huge popularity, particularly their line of trucks. Today they have a wide variety of car models, including a luxury model line called Infiniti and an electric model called LEAF. The new exclusive partnership with Apple’s iTunes Radio is bound to exponentially raise awareness for the Nissan brand even without the exclusive and targeted Nissan ads on the radio stations. Apple, Inc., after all, is one of the most recognized brand names in the world with millions of customers who already have intense brand loyalty to all things Apple.

The new iOS7 technology that fuels the iPhone Radio will initially be available in the 2014 Nissan Rogue compact SUV, the all-new 2014 Nissan Versa Note and the hot-selling Nissan LEAF electric vehicle. These are currently the only vehicles in the world that will play iTunes Radio in the car.

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Nismo Smartwatch Concept Tracks Both Car and Driver

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While Samsung is out touting its wares in the smartwatch category, an unlikely colleague is sharing the attention in the emerging market. Nismo, Nissan’s racing development team, has taken the idea of a smartphone watch and fine-tuned the technology to aid and improve the driving experience. The challenges that face Nismo in this concept watch are instantly clear. In a vehicle, the real estate to house any technology — no matter how complex — is readily available somewhere in the car. Can Nismo really pack impressive and useful features into a wristwatch?

Staying “Connected” … to the Road

The language of connectivity has infiltrated our lives. It is only natural that developers of technology proceed down the path of increasing connectivity. So how can this smartwatch improve on the driving experience through enhanced “connectivity”? The press release shows the screen of the watch alerting the driver to icy conditions in the road. Will the driver need to take their eyes off the road and a hand off the wheel to read that warning?

Luckily, no. The watch is able to connect via Bluetooth. However, reading the press release, it is hard to find a feature in this watch that is not already available in most new cars. The only feature the watch can possibly offer that is unique is a reading of the driver’s heart rate. While that is a fun feature to show your friends, it is not something that any driver will rely on. The unimpressive list of features for the watch include reading and displaying fuel consumption, average speed and performance data.

Nissan invented a system to monitor and display that — and much more — when they released the GTR. That system, modeled after features from the best-selling video game franchise “Gran Tourismo,” is still revolutionary. It is also displayed right in front of the driver on a beautiful touchscreen. Why wouldn’t Nissan just redesign a slightly less expensive central display that utilized that technology? That system recorded everything from g-force to tire pressure. It literally is the epitome of keeping the driver connected to the road.

Funding Wearable Technology the Enzo Ferrari Way

“Wearable Technology” is a broad category that has been around a long time. It’s also the only category that is perpetually experimental. Nissan’s marketing director Gareth Dunsmore says that wearable technology is growing fast and they want in. Great, but then the three key technologies they point to for further development are all geared towards improving Nissan’s racing team. Dunsmore claims this watch was created to “enhance” the experience of “Nismo ownership.” But it’s reminiscent of Enzo Ferrari’s motivation to sell road cars; he did it only to fund his race team. Since the Nismo driving team stands to gain the most, the motivation may not be far off.

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