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My Drives Online is an attempt to provide a complete guide to automobile industry. Newly released and coming soon cars and bikes are featured here in My Drives Online.
Recognizing environmental achievement in the auto industry, the Kia Niro has been named Green Car Journal’s 2018 Green SUV of the Year™. Since the Niro went on sale early last year, it has been a popular choice for consumers seeking a hybrid offering crossover utility and great looks. The Niro beat out crossover/SUV finalists from Chevrolet, Mini, Mazda, and Volvo for the coveted award.
“We’re thrilled to have received this special distinction from Green Car Journal,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, planning & strategy, Kia Motors America. “The Niro represents years of hard work by Kia to provide a hybrid that is fun, versatile, economical and a pleasure to look at and drive. It’s immensely gratifying to all of us that the Niro is recognized by Green Car Journal as the 2018 Green SUV of the Year.”
“The Kia Niro impresses on many levels with its appealing style, functionality and features,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and GreenCarJournal.com. “What’s equally important is its hybrid powertrain and affordable price point, a combination that makes the Niro accessible to a great many buyers who wish to drive with a smaller environmental footprint.”
Chevrolet confirmed that its all-new Class 4 and 5 trucks launching in late 2018 will be branded Silverado. The announcement came during Chevrolet’s Truck Centennial event, which kicked off a 100-day celebration of the first century of Chevrolet pickups.
“The first Chevy truck was built in 1918 for small business owners, and we have been expanding the market ever since because customers want specialized trucks that can tow and haul with confidence,” said Sandor Piszar, director of Marketing and Advertising for Chevrolet Trucks.
In the last three years alone, Chevrolet has revitalized the midsize pickup segment with the Colorado, launched a new range of Low Cab Forward trucks and introduced a completely redesigned 6.6-liter Duramax diesel for heavy-duty pickups.
John Schwegman, U.S. director of Commercial Product, said Chevrolet’s growth in the commercial market has moved in lockstep with the expansion of the brand’s truck portfolio. Commercial volume is up by 48 percent since 2013 and domestic segment share has grown year-over-year for the past 13 consecutive months.
“We are earning new business because we have more solutions to help businesses grow,” Schwegman said. “The Silverado 4500 and 5500 will stand out because we’ve designed the trucks around how customers work. They will be powerful, highly maneuverable and among the easiest trucks on the market to upfit with specialized bodies, such as dump bodies, rollbacks, freight boxes and more.”
Both the Silverado 4500 and 5500 will be available in Regular and Crew Cab models, with 4×2 and 4×4 capability and a wide range of GVWRs and wheelbases. Chevrolet will also offer these trucks with optional OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity provided by AT&T, which fleet management companies are embracing to help improve safety and productivity.
All Silverado 4500 and 5500 models will be powered by a Duramax diesel engine and Allison transmission, a legendary combination that has powered about two million trucks.
Allison Transmission, based in Indianapolis, is the largest designer, developer, manufacturer and distributor of medium- and heavy-duty fully automatic transmissions. Their designs have been used in a variety of applications, including construction, fire, distribution, bus, motorhomes, defense, energy and refuse. They have helped drive Chevrolet’s hardest-working trucks since the 1950s.
The first Duramax diesel engines were introduced in Chevrolet and GMC trucks in 2001, and since then have accumulated more than 100 billion miles of real-world experience.
People turn to social media to share experiences and track the latest trends in fashion and design. So does Chevrolet.
When working on the 2018 Equinox’s interior, the design team crafted a comfortable, fashion-forward interior with features and materials developed for easier everyday use. During the process, they followed real people on Instagram and other social media channels, along with designers and lifestyle influencers, monitoring color and fabric trends as well as common consumer problems such as dark-wash denim staining other fabrics it touches — including new-vehicle seats.
“Many fashion trends disappear after a year of two, while the Equinox is designed for the long haul, making the durability of its materials very important,” said Mara Kapsis, color and trim designer for the 2018 Equinox. “By following real people and absorbing the little things in life that help or hinder them — such as photos posted of muddy paws, spilled drinks or stains on the seats — we learned more about how we could make the new Equinox easier to live with and enjoy every day.”
The 2018 Equinox interior offers a durable denim-like seat fabric that is easy to clean, or available leather seating surfaces with a new treatment that resists staining and scuffing.
The denim-like material’s appearance and color were inspired by contemporary trends in black denim clothing, while the material offers exceptional wear resistance and easy clean-up.
“The fabric is very durable, while the color and even the pattern help hide dirt and stains,” said Kapsis. “It’s also very easy to vacuum and clean, which saves owners time and helps keep the interior looking great year after year.”
As for the available leather-trimmed seats, the newly developed surface treatment makes it easier to clean any “bleeding” of other materials such as new jeans and annoying scuffs from black leather belts or boots.
“The Equinox is designed for the way our customers live,” said Kapsis. “Complementing its style with durable, easy-to-clean materials helps ensure it and its owners make a fashion statement every day.”
Fashion forecasting was also part of the process, as the design team needed to anticipate color trends about three years ahead of the Equinox’s launch, which is typical for vehicle design.
“More than anticipating where design will be when the vehicle is introduced, you’ve got to balance it with a timeless quality that will keep it looking modern for years to come,” said Kapsis. “There’s risk involved with that, but it paid off with the new Equinox.”
Chevrolet unveiled the Wheels & Wings: A Chevrolet Tribute to the Iconic Detroit Red Wings “Winged Wheel” Logo sculpture inside the brand’s entrance to the new Little Caesars Arena.
Measuring 9 feet long and 5 feet high, the sculpture is an original work by Tomas Vitanovsky, a former professional motorcycle stuntman from the Czech Republic who now pieces together discarded parts to create intricate works of art ranging from animals to cars and robots.
“The chance to create a sculpture so complex and to partner with Chevrolet was truly a thrill that I won’t forget,” Vitanovsky said. “Stitching together the 186 parts from Chevrolet vehicles to create this tribute to the famous Detroit Red Wings Winged Wheel logo was an exhilarating challenge and I am excited to see how the fans react when they see it on display in the new arena.”
The sculpture took a total of 700 hours for Vitanovsky to sketch, model and sculpt. The Chevrolet vehicle components used to create the sculpture include shocks, brake calipers, rotors, gears, bearings, tie rods, brake pads, rear springs, exhaust pieces and a 1918 Chevrolet hubcap. The center of the wheel is marked with a Chevrolet Silverado bowtie.
“Chevrolet commissioned this unique sculpture as a tribute to the people and the industry that fuel the city of Detroit and to honor the Detroit Red Wings who have been a true symbol of grit and determination,” said Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. “Tomas Vitanovsky has demonstrated a talent for bringing together what seem to be very ordinary parts into a striking piece of industrial artwork that we are proud to share with the city.”
The sculpture is permanently on display inside the Chevrolet northeast entrance area, where fans and visitors to the new Little Caesars Arena will be able to admire it for years to come.
Chevrolet is the official vehicle of the all-new Little Caesars Arena and has been the official vehicle of the Detroit Red Wings since 2015. Chevrolet is also the official vehicle of several other Ilitch companies, including the Detroit Tigers, the Fox Theatre and Olympia Entertainment. Red Wings forward and NHL All-Star Dylan Larkin also serves as a Chevrolet brand ambassador.
Chad Hall of Hall Racing will debut a modified 2017 production Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 during Best in the Desert’s General Tire “Vegas to Reno” race presented by FOX.
“Vegas to Reno,” known as “the longest off-road race in the United States,” begins at 9:30 a.m. on Friday in Las Vegas and ends at various times on Saturday morning, August 19, in Reno, Nevada. More than 350 contestants are expected to participate this year’s 550-mile race.
The course encompasses a wide array of grueling terrain, from silty desert wallows, to dry lake beds and mountain passes as high as 8,000 ft. above sea level.
Entered in class 7300, which comprises stock production mid-sized pick-ups and SUVs, Hall Racing’s modifications to their ZR2 include sanctioning body-mandated safety items such as a roll cage, a 44-gallon racing fuel tank and racing seats with safety harnesses. KC HiLites racing lights, two-way radios and a GPS system have also been added.
The truck retains the stock ZR2’s 3.6L V-6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, along with a modified version of ZR2’s Multimatic DSSVTM damper technology.
In addition to Hall Racing’s alterations, this crew cab ZR2 acts a testbed for Chevy Performance and hints at a range of potential parts to be offered for ZR2 as well as the standard Colorado.
“The components being tested on this truck are ultimately intended to take the already-exceptional off-road capability of the Colorado to the next level,” said Russ O’Blenes, director, Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports for General Motors.
“Racing them allows us to quickly understand their performance attributes and reliability in the extreme environment of off-road racing, ensuring the highest performing components for Colorado customers.”
Hall Racing, the winningest family of off-road racers in the legendary Baja 1000, has a long history of racing with General Motors production-based vehicles in both Best in the Desert and SCORE desert series.
“The Colorado ZR2 is one of the most capable production platforms we’ve used as a foundation for our racing program,” said Chad Hall. “The base Colorado is strong and robust with the expected advantages of a midsize package. ZR2 adds great technology, like the Multimatic DSSVTM dampers and the front and rear locking differentials that are vital to stock class desert racing.”
The 2018 Colorado ZR2 is effectively a segment of one, combining the nimbleness and maneuverability of a midsize pickup with a host of new off-road features and the most off-road technology of any vehicle in its segment.
Compared to a standard Colorado, the ZR2 features front and rear tracks that have been widened by 3.5 inches and a suspension lifted by two inches. Functional rockers have been added for better performance over rocks and obstacles, and the front and rear bumpers have been modified for better off-road clearance.
Class-exclusive features include standard front and rear electronic locking differentials, available diesel engine and the first off-road application of Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSVTM) damper technology.
As with all Chevrolet trucks, the Colorado ZR2 is built with durability in mind, including a fully boxed frame, roll-formed high-strength steel bed and Duralife brake rotors.