Auto Notes - May 2019
Great value. Edmunds has awarded the 2019 models of the Subaru Impreza (compact category), Crosstrek (compact SUV), and WRX (sports car) with the Best Retained Value honors. The awards recognize models for their projected retained value over the initial five-year ownership period.
“These awards underscore our commitment to providing customers with vehicles made to the highest standards of safety, reliability, dependability, and value,” said Thomas J. Doll, president and CEO of Subaru of America (SOA).
Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Camden, N.J., SOA operates a network of 630 dealers nationwide and all Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill plants. Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. auto production plant to be designated as a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Foundation. Over the past 20 years, SOA has donated more than $120 million to causes the Subaru family cares about, and Subaru employees have donated more than 40,000 volunteer hours.
SOA had its best March sales in the history of the company with 61,601 vehicles sold, a 6-percent increase from 2018. The company also posted record sales for the first quarter, and celebrated 88 consecutive months of yearly, month-over-month growth.
Sell out. The entire run of 4,190 2020 Jeep Gladiator Launch Edition models sold out on April 4, Jeep 4x4 Day. In 24 hours, the fully loaded Rubicon Launch Edition were swept away via the concierge pre-order experience offered by FCA.
All pre-order buyers are now exclusively eligible to enter the “Find Your Freedom” contest to win $100,000 so they can take time off to enjoy outdoor adventuring. To enter, a buyer can submit their personal “Gladiator” video that will be judged by the Jeep brand along with Wounded Warrior and U.S. Army veteran Noah Galloway.
The 2020 Gladiator Launch Edition features special badging, 17-inch Mid Gloss Black aluminum wheels, 33-inch Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires, a leather-wrapped instrument panel, black leather seats, a nine-speaker Alpine audio system, forward-facing TrailCam camera, a Trail Rail Cargo Management System, plentiful safety features, plus a 3.6-L Pentastar V-6 engine with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.
Rated as the most off-road capable midsize truck ever, the Gladiator Rubicon models are capable of towing 7,000 pounds.
New Escape. Ford revealed its new 2020 Escape SUV in early April, featuring what the company calls the small SUV’s best-ever performance, flexibility, and smart new technology. The completely redesigned Escape offers four new propulsion choices, including two all-new hybrids.
“This all-new Escape brings a sleeker, sportier design with the capability to take you to just about any of life’s adventures,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president, North America. “With our class-leading hybrids, customers will spend less time at the gas station and more time on the road.”
With a sloped roofline, optimized liftgate spoiler and strake, and efficient underbody, the Escape is the most aerodynamic model to date. Every model in the lineup, whether powered by one of two EcoBoost engines or the two all-new hybrid powertrains, has an EPA-estimated 400-mile range on one tank of fuel.
Gas engine models, as well as the standard hybrid, are available with all wheel drive. EcoBoost-equipped models get a new quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission with responsive shifting. All models also have a new suspension with improved isolation.
Gas-powered Escapes have sliding second-row seats that allow for class-leading passenger legroom plus, when folded down, offer 37.5 cubic feet of cargo space.
First introduced for the 2001 model year, the Escape became the best-selling small SUV in the U.S. In the 2005 model year, Ford became the first U.S. manufacturer to offer a hybrid when it released the Escape Hybrid, the world’s first hybrid SUV.
Indy pacer. The 2019 Corvette Grand Sport will be the official pace car for the Indianapolis 500 on May 26. It will be the 103rd running of the legendary race and the 16th time that a Corvette has served as the pace car.
“Chevrolet is honored to lead the way for the 500 once again,” said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet passenger car and crossover marketing. “The Grand Sport is a particularly excellent choice as its wide body and aerodynamic features are steeped in racing heritage.”
The Grand Sport features a Long Beach Red Metallic Tincoat with a GM Design Indy 500 decal package, full-length racing stripes, a LT-1 6.2-L V-8 aluminum engine, an eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission, performance suspension with Magnetic Ride Control, Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, Grand Sport aluminum wheels (19-inch/front and 20-inch/rear), competition sport seats, performance data recorder, and more.