With the Chevrolet Trax proving to be a strong seller in the CUV segment, the bow tie brand has unveiled its first round of revisions for the tiny CUV that aim to keep up its strong momentum.
The bland exterior styling has always been a favorite target of critics, but Chevrolet designers have addressed that complaint with a more muscular looking front fascia that features wrap around headlights, as well as an all new grille design that shares some of its inspiration with the Volt and Cruze. The rear fascia in comparison carries over mostly unchanged, but a new rear bumper and tweaked tailights help it stay fresh. As expected, 2017 also brings several new paint colors and rim designs to the Trax.
The interior has also been revamped with an all new instrument cluster that now features two distinct analog gauges, a modern looking center console, and a seven inch touchscreen infotainment system that arrives with the latest version of Chevrolet’s MyLink software. The MyLink system is now compatible with both Apple Car Play and Android Auto, while buyers can equip the Trax with an optional 4G LTE wireless hot spot.
The 2017 Trax also places more emphasis on safety and includes ten air bags and a rear view camera as standard equipment. Optional extras include keyless entry and start, rear cross traffic alert, blind side monitoring and a lane departure warning system. Performance hardware was untouched in the suite of updates, which means the 138 horsepower turbocharged four cylinder carries on for 2017. A six speed automatic transmission and front wheel drive are standard with all wheel drive arriving as an optional extra.
Look for the 2017 Chevrolet Trax to go on sale this fall with LS LT and Premier trims being offered. Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for our live coverage of the Chicago Auto Show tomorrow where we will have live images of the Trax and the 1LE Camaro.
Chevrolet’s popular and heritage filled 1LE package is making its return for 2017, and promises to bring even more bargain friendly performance than ever before to buyers that crave a bit more fun from their Camaro purchase.
A key change here is that unlike the old package, it will be offered on both the V8 and V6 engines for the first time ever. V6 models benefit from an all new sport tuned suspension that helps sharpen up its handling manners while four piston Brembo brakes, a mechanically limited slip differential, and 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 tires help enhance its track oriented feel. Chevrolet engineers also transplanted the dual mode exhaust system and the fuel system from the SS to further improve it it’s performance and the overall soundtrack as well.
As expected, the V8 is the top choice, and it features GM’s familiar Magnetic Ride Control, an electronically operated limited slip differential, and six piston Brembo brakes. Unlike the V6 variant, the V8’s ATS-V inspired Recaro seats are standard equipment, but the Corvette’s Performance Data Recorder remains optional. According to Chevrolet, the package does not bring any major upgrades to its mechanical hardware, which means performance comes from either the carryover 335 horsepower 3.6 liter V6 or the SS variant’s 6.2 liter 455 horsepower. The exterior styling also does not change much, but 1LE grade variants standout thanks to a new front splitter, glare reducing satin black hood, and a specially designed three piece rear spoiler.
Chevrolet is offering the package on all manual transmission equipped V8 and V6 models with the first units arriving on dealer lots this fall. The base model and it’s 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine will not be offered with this package, but look for Chevrolet to reveal final performance and pricing details closer to its official launch.
With the 2016 Chicago Auto Show fast approaching, Chevrolet has revealed that it will be bringing two updated models to its stand in the Windy City when the event kicks off on February 11th. Among them will be the resurrection of the 1LE performance package for the Chevrolet Camaro
The first model will be a revised version of the Trax compact CUV. The Trax was introduced just a few months ago, so expect the first round of revisions to be relatively minor with the exterior styling of the Trax being tweaked to include more youthful cues and also some alterations to the interior to help eliminate some of the bland traits that have been a favorite target of critics, and also have helped it fall behind rivals from Toyota and Volkswagen.
The big news item here is the revamped 1LE package which will be the first such package offered on the current generation Camaro. Chevrolet has not revealed major details about it, but look for the 1LE to follow the path set by the previous generation 1LE, and bring unique exterior styling, uprated performance hardware, and a host of interior upgrades including improved seats and a flat bottomed steering wheel. Chevrolet also claims that the 1LE will add about $3500 to the sticker price which is not a bad bang for the buck proposition. It should also offer buyers better performance numbers, though Chevrolet has not revealed official details on that front. The 1LE would also foreshadow the debut of the upcoming ZL1 model which will turn up the wick on performance even further thanks to even more power, aerodynamic enhancements, and new performance technologies.
Lastly Chevrolet will also showcase the latest iteration of the “Midnight Package” for the Colorado, Silverado, and Silverado HD models.
Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for our inaugural coverage of the 2016 Chicago Auto Show in February where we will have a chance to view both models first hand.
Following a slew of teaser images, Chevrolet took the wraps off of a pair of key offerings the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback and the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV with the brand having big plans for both of them. We spent some quality time with each one at the 2016 North American International Auto Show to see how both of them measured up as well as find out whether the duo has what it takes to take the fight to their respective rivals.
2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback:
The first thing we did when we first saw the Cruze Hatchback on display was to find out whether a performance oriented model would be offered (an question we promised to ask in our original article about the car.) While Chevrolet representatives were tight lipped on the matter (despite our best efforts) the car does make a compelling case for the addition of such a variant.
The exterior styling of the Cruze Hatchback still looks as good in person as it does in pictures, with the sporty rear fascia treatment being our favorite highlight. It has subtle hints of the Opel Astra in its design, and it makes the Hatchback look fun and practical. The front end is largely carried over over unchanged from the sedan, and while it does look a tad awkward, it still retains a subtle hint of sportiness which is a noteworthy improvement over the previous generation Cruze and its rather bland looks.
The interior also retains much of what initially debuted in the sedan, but in our opinion its actually a good thing. The three spoke steering wheel and slick dashboard design help give the cabin a youthful look, while the seats themselves are comfortable, and have a commendable amount of support especially for both the mid and lower back area. Other highlights that caught our attention included the latest iteration of Chevrolet’s Intellilink system as well as the improved use of materials (including the elimination of the weird fabric like material for the dashboard.)
When the hatchback does eventually make its way to dealer lots, it will be offered with the sedan’s 1.4 liter 153 horsepower turbocharged four cylinder engine and a six speed automatic transmission. While this is a commendable combination, imagine what numbers a hot hatchback variant would generate with GM’s familiar 2.0 liter turbocharged LTG four cylinder and a proper six speed manual gearbox.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt:
The 2017 Bolt on the other hand does not care about 0 to 60 times or the notion of performance, instead, its purpose in life is to bring EV motoring to a broader audience while also beating Tesla and its Model 3 sedan to the punch.
The exterior styling has a youthful look to it and unlike the CES concept which featured a dull grey hue. Chevrolet chose to showcase the car here in Detroit with a slick orange paint job which reminds us of the color that once adorned the Bolt concept car. The styling also has subtle hints of its bigger EV cousin the Volt, and it especially is prevalent in the taillight design which looks great, and further enhances the Bolt’s styling credentials.
The interior of the Bolt also retains the airy spacious feel that defined the concept. Chevrolet representatives did lock the car before we could get inside to take pictures, but take it from us, it looks and feels better in person than it does in pictures. This is especially true of the seats which are reasonably comfortable and look upscale. We are curious to see whether the company will bring special design editions of the Bolt out into the marketplace In an effort to sway buyers away from rivals such as the Kia Soul EV and the Nissan Leaf.
We look forward to seeing how both of these models measure up when they make their respective debuts on dealer lots but if this initial first impression is this good, then it looks like the bowtie brand has a pair of winners on its hands.
Following on the heels of persistent rumors and speculation, Chevrolet has finally revealed the 2017 Cruze Hatchback which will be offered in the U.S. market for the first time ever.
Prior to this announcement Chevrolet kept the hatchback a Europe only model with the brand citing sales as the main reason, before admitting it was “a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake” according to GM’s Mark Reuss in a separate statement. A slight uptick in hatchback sales last year in this country also helped GM green light the idea, and put the hatchback head to head with the Ford Focus and the Volkswagen Golf in a growing part of the compact car segment.
The car retains much of the sharper styling cues that made their original debut on the sedan, but the transformation into a hatchback has added new levels of versatility and style. This is apparent when it comes to hauling cargo with the hatchback boasting 42 cubic feet of space which is on par with many of its rivals. In addition, the hatchback will also offer a whole host of standard equipment including Apple CarPlay and Android MyAuto with both being operated through Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system.
While the sedan is available in four different trim levels (L, LS, LT, and Premier) the hatchback simplifies things, and is only available in LT and Premier trims. Buyers can add a bit of performance inspired styling to either trim level with the optional RS styling package. Performance hardware is shared with the sedan, which means that the familiar 1.4 liter turbocharged four cylinder and it’s 153 horsepower will be present and accounted for. Chevrolet did not reveal what transmission choices will be available, but look for both trims to feature the six speed automatic transmission as the sole choice with no manual option in the cards.
Pricing information was not revealed, but look for the hatchback to not stray too far away from the sedan when it comes to the cost of admission. A new Cruze LT sedan begins at $21,995 while the Premier begins at $23,995 so look for the hatchback version to only offer a slight premium in its MSRP price with its LT and Premier models.
Lastly the hatchback could eventually allow Chevrolet to address the other key complaint that has dogged the Cruze since it’s initial debut, the lack of a dedicated performance model. That particular role was filled by the old Cobalt SS which initially arrived with a supercharger, and later embraced a turbocharged 2.0 liter four cylinder engine during its last few years in production. When the previous generation Cruze appeared, Chevrolet chose to not pursue young enthusiasts with a successor, and instead opted for a performance oriented version of its upscale cousin the Buick Verano Turbo.
The Cruze Hatchback SS (if such a project is in the works) would go head to head with the Ford Focus ST, Honda Civic Si, and the Volkswagen GTI. Power could come from the same 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine that powers entry level Camaro models, a logical choice since the platform was capable of supporting the old 250 horsepower 2.0 liter LHU engine. The engine’s 272 horsepower figure (if retained) would also allow the car to vault ahead of the Focus ST and the GTI while also bringing it within striking distance of the iconic Subaru Impreza WRX. It will be interesting to see whether GM is considering this move, and we look forward to perhaps learning more when we begin our live coverage of the 2016 North American International Auto Show next week.
Following its unintentional unveiling at the hands of a persistent spy photographer, Chevrolet has formally debuted the production version of the 2017 Bolt at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Nevada signaling its intent to compete with the Tesla Model 3 while also showcasing several new technologies.
When we last saw the Bolt, it was in concept form at the 2015 North American International Auto Show where it shared the stage with the then debuting 2016 Chevrolet Volt. The production version remains very close to that original concept car, but ditches the orange paint for a more conventional shade of grey, while the front fascia benefits from thicker headlight housings and a reworked faux grille assembly. The rear fascia also remains true to what was seen at NAIAS, but the tail lights have been reshaped, and share some of their inspiration with the Volt. The red LED elements in particular have been fully integrated into the full width hatch with the secondary lighting elements located in the rear bumper.
Chevrolet designers wanted to give the Bolt “the look of a small crossover” and this starts with its 102.4 inch wheelbase which is a full two inches more than the equally compact Buick Encore and Chevrolet Trax. This is also evident in the location of the flat battery pack which is mounted beneath the floor, this allows the Bolt to seat up to five passengers and hold 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. This is more than the Honda Fit and the BMW i3 with GM proudly highlighting this fact in its remarks to the assembled crowds at CES. “The flat battery pack really opened up the interior and created a fantastic view from every seating position” stated design managing director Stuart Morris. “All of this additional space gave us alot of opportunities to play with creative design and storage solutions.”
The interior of the Bolt is highlighted by a ‘floating’ instrument cluster which focuses on the 10.2 inch color touchscreen. A rear mounted camera provides a wide-range view, which is presented on a digital display built into the rear-view mirror, while other cameras provide ‘surround vision’ when parking or driving at low speeds. The interior also retains the airy feel that defined the concept car, but without infringing on ergonomics unlike the i3 and its cabin design. Curiously, Chevrolet engineers chose a unique way to promote efficient driving habits with the use of all new “Gamification” technology. While details regarding the full potential of this suite of features is sparse, GM did reveal that it would allow Bolt drivers to compete against each other for ranking spots as well as special green driving awards.
Chevrolet also reaffirmed its pledge to deliver at least 200 miles of electric driving range but a formal figure was not revealed during the brand’s press conference. Production is expected to begin before the end of 2016 which could give Chevy a considerable head start against Tesla’s contender the Model 3. The Bolt’s introduction also highlights a broader initiative to increase the amount of EVs available in the marketplace with several automakers planning to add entries over the next two years to take full advantage of declining battery prices. GM revealed that it also intends to outshine the Model 3 when it comes to overall price, with the Bolt starting at $37,000 which is less expensive than may rivals, and would also be less expensive than the Model 3 which would most likely have a slightly higher base price when it eventually arrives on dealer lots.
A recent trademark filing discovered earlier today, appears to hint at the possibility of an all new electric Corvette model tentatively dubbed the E Ray. It is also interesting to see whether it would be based on the existing
The filing was discovered by Chris Doane Automotive who subsequently posted it on their Facebook page. The filing itself is very basic, and only covers “Motor land vehicles, namely automobiles” and does not formally detail a configuration or other technical details regarding the mystery vehicle.
However the E Ray nameplate does spark a wide range of scenarios, and could hint at either an all electric Vette, or a model that has some form of electric assist feature. It will also be interesting to see whether it would be based on a front engine layout or a mid engine layout with the latter option being teased time and time again through out the Vette’s iconic history. A mid-engine layout would also allow the car to compete directly with the Audi R8 e-tron.
Prior filings such as “Manta Ray” and “Zora” have sparked similar rumors but ultimately either ended up only being concept vehicles, or unrelated renewals. This one stands out though because of not only its explicit nature, but also because it includes the Corvette moniker a clear hint that something big is planned that could hint at possible production.
In an announcement released earlier this week, General Motors revealed that production of the sixth generation Chevrolet Camaro has formally begun and also revealed when eager buyers can expect to see them on dealer lots.
The first batch of 2016 Camaros are expected to leave their Lansing, Michigan based factory by the end of this week, with formal customer deliveries expected to begin in mid November.
When it does, it will feature six new power train combinations with a 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine serving as the base offering. Look for this engine to be popular with young tuners looking to maximize performance on a budget while also being a formidable adversary for the Mustang’s 2.3 liter EcoBoost four cylinder in what could rapidly turn into a new aftermarket arms race between Ford and Chevrolet . The mid level trim will feature a revamped 3.6 liter V6, while top dog SS models receive the 6.2 liter LT1 V8. Regardless of which engine is equipped, buyers can choose from either a standard six speed manual gearbox, or an eight speed automatic.
The Camaro’s milestone also highlights an equally important chapter in the life of the Lansing Grand River factory with the relatively new facility recently receiving $175 million dollars in retooling and new equipment to help it handle Camaro production. The facility currently builds the Camaro’s distant cousin the ATS, as well as the bigger CTS luxury sedan so the necessary retooling and changes needed for the Camaro were relatively minor when compared to other facilities that had to be significantly updated for a new model.
With the current generation Silverado only on the market for a mere two years since its radical overhaul, Chevrolet has formally unveiled the first major update for its full size pickup truck the 2016 Silverado.
When it eventually arrives in Chevrolet showrooms this fall, the front fascia will feature a much more menacing look than before which is thanks in part to a new hood design, as well as updated headlights with LED accenting. It is this particular change that may prove controversial with Chevrolet buyers especially those that may think that the accents clash with the revamped front grille. Otherwise, the truck will retain much of its basic shape, and more importantly its all steel construction which has recently become a key selling point for the truck when compared to its arch rival the aluminium bodied Ford F-150.
The interior of the 2016 Silverado is also expected to largely retain much of its basic design, but Chevrolet engineers have equipped it with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities for further infotainment options. Chevrolet has also confirmed that the truck will feature “additional safety technologies” for 2016, but it is keeping key details about the technologies under wraps until the truck is closer to its official market launch. We suspect that some details will eventually trickle out regardless, possibly when the truck is formally debuted at a future auto show.
Performance hardware for the 2016 SIlverado will arrive largely unchanged (following the theme set in place by the tweaked interior and exterior) but a key change that buyers may notice is that the company is now expanding the availability of its all new eight speed automatic transmission giving buyers of the mid range 5.3 liter V8 the chance to add it to their rigs. Prior to this move, the eight speed was only available on models equipped with the 6.2 liter V8.
“The redesigned 2016 Silverado will build on Chevy Truck’s legacy of dependability. It will feature a more muscular appearance, and offer new customer-focused technologies.” stated Sandor Piszar marketing director for Chevy Trucks.
This redesign comes in the midst of the current generation recording a 14.6 percent uptick in sales this year, and it is believed that this abrupt refresh is a direct response to the recently introduced Ford F-150 pickup truck. Sales of the F-150 have dipped 2.4 percent this year (mainly due to concerns regarding its aluminium body panels) but this small slide in sales has not affected its place as the best selling vehicle in its segment.
It is currently unknown if its corporate cousin the GMC Sierra will benefit from a similar update or not in the future, but we here at Autoinfoquest strongly suspect that it will eventually follow the Silverado’s path and offer some form of refresh in the near future to help it remain relevant against rivals.
While the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro may embody a look that is refreshingly familiar to loyalists and fans, don’t be fooled by the cover of this exciting book, because this latest chapter of the fabled pony car aims to blow the Mustang out of the water with new technology, more power, and a lighter curb weight which should please a wide range of enthusiast tastes.
A key piece of this new Camaro’s story is the radical weight loss that the model has experienced thanks to the meticulous efforts of Chevrolet’s engineers. The previous generation’s Zeta based architecture was certainly a welcome departure from the old, underutilized, and creaky F-Bodies of yore, but the platform also had the unfortunate distinction of making the Camaro heavier than before which blunted its handling abilities. The all new Alpha platform that underpins the 2016 version plays a major role in this crash diet thanks to its smaller dimensions as well as a more compact layout that aims to improve handling and overall packaging. A new body also helped shed 133 lbs of excess flab, while the rest of the weight culling was made possible thanks to extensive use of lightweight aluminium in the instrument panel frame as well as the suspension components.
The exterior styling of the 2016 Camaro also embodies this masterful blend of subtle familiarity, but a tauter appearance as well as revised proportions aim to highlight the Camaro’s newfound focus on handling and weight loss. The front fascia receives a new grille/headlamp aperture that according to Chevrolet, is supposed to resemble the first generation Camaro. Looking at it ourselves, we do not see the resemblance, but we do appreciate the front fascias new headlights, as well as its revised lower front bumper. The roof line of the car has a fastback-esque appearance and the SS version even gets a small rear mounted spoiler. The rear fascia has also been heavily revamped and features all new tail lights that look better than before especially when compared to the awkward units that were on the previous generation Camaro.
The interior of the cabin also reaps big rewards for 2016, and boasts more technology and better ergonomics than before. The instrument panel for example retains some of its analog centric nature, but an all new 8 inch center screen works together with the fore-mentioned unit, and shows drivers performance, entertainment, and navigation information. A second eight-inch screen in the center of the Instrument panel houses the company’s familiar Chevy MyLink infotainment system. Chevy designers also stole a page from the recently unveiled Audi TT and cleverly integrated the heating and cooling controls for the A/C unit into the vents themselves a nice touch that does help reduce button count on the instrument cluster. Occupants can also take advantage of an all new LED ambient lighting system (a trick that Ford has used) that can be set to 24 available colors. While a bit gimmicky IMO, it does allow buyers to distinctively tailor the car to their own mood or driving tastes.
Performance hardware for the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is a direct nod to the Mustang, but unlike that car, the first two engine choices get swapped with the ATS derived 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder serving as the base engine (versus the 2.3 liter Ecoboost’s role as a mid range offering). It is good for a solid 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque with much of that torque available at 3,000 rpm. The engine also incorporates direct injection, variable valve timing, as well as aluminum in its construction with Chevrolet claiming that it can make the sprint to 60 mph in less than six seconds, and allows the base model to be the most fuel efficient Camaro ever produced. However, we think that the 2.0 liter will also allow the base car to go head to head with the Ecoboost in aftermarket flexibility and capability especially once tuners have had enough time to create upgrades for both engines that appeal to budget minded enthusiasts looking for more muscle.
A naturally aspirated 3.6 liter V6 serves as the mid range engine for the Camaro and brings 335 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque to the festivities. While this is commendable output that trumps both the Challenger and the Mustang, we expect this engine to only make up a small percentage of sales with the four cylinder and the V8 bringing in the majority of buyers. While we are on the subject of that V8, it also serves as the range topping (for now) engine offering that will only be found in the SS. Borrowed from the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the 6.2 liter LT1 it is capable of producing 455 horsepower, and an equally stout 455 lb-ft of torque which should mean improved 0 to 60 times over the old car and its V8 powerplant. The V8 may share much of its parts with the Vette, but Chevrolet claims that roughly 20 percent of the parts in this application are unique to the Camaro including the Camaro specific exhaust manifolds. The SS will also feature Magnetic Ride Control (a first for the model) which allows drivers to tweak the damper settings to enhance the car’s ride quality.
Regardless of which engine is chosen, all three can be had with either a standard six speed manual gearbox, or an optional eight speed automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Each engine also determines which type of automatic is used with the four cylinder and the V6 receiving the small engine tuned General Motors Hydra-Matic 8L45, while the SS receives the stouter 8L90 unit.
With all of this and more, look for the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro to command a bigger slice of the pony car segment when it arrives in dealer lots sometime in the near future. Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for the latest developments on the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro as they become available.