William Clay Ford, last grandchild of founder Henry Ford dies at age 88

William Clay Ford, who helped steer Ford Motor Company into the modern era as an employee, director and influential member of the Ford family, died Sunday morning at his home from pneumonia.

Mr. Ford, 88, served as Director Emeritus, Ford Motor Company and was the last surviving grandchild of the company’s founder, Henry Ford.

In a press release, Ford Motor Company states that Mr. Ford served Ford Motor Company for 57 years as an employee and board member, playing a pivotal role in shaping the company for more than half of its 110-year history. He was elected to the Board of Directors on June 4, 1948, and began his employment with the company after graduating from Yale University in 1949. In 1957 he was elected chairman of the Design Committee, a post he held for 32 years.

Throughout his career, he was instrumental in setting the company’s design direction, overseeing the development of a number of classic vehicles, including the Continental Mark II, considered by many to be one of the most iconic cars ever built.

Detroit Lions team owner
Mr. Ford was owner of the Detroit Lions football team. Ford purchased the Detroit Lions in 1963 for a reported $4.5 million.

Mr. Ford is survived by his wife of 66 years, Martha Firestone Ford; daughters Martha Ford Morse (Peter), Sheila Ford Hamp (Steven), and Elizabeth Ford Kontulis (Charles); son William Clay Ford, Jr. (Lisa); 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

In honor of Mr. Ford’s memory, Ford Motor Company locations in the U.S. will lower their American and Ford flags to half-staff for a 30-day period. Ford locations outside of the U.S. will follow local custom.

Why We Are the Number One Choice in Orlando for Your Car’s Paint

Welcome to car painting ORLANDO where we strive for the best service and happy customers. We have been a leading business in our area for over five years now. We don’t just make sure that you are pleased with our work but so impressed that you would refer all your friends to us. We take pride in all the work we do and our ORLANDO car paint shops only uses quality paint.

Don’t worry you wont have to be looking for paint streaks, our painters are great at what they do we wet sand and buff your car so when you come to pick your car up it will look like glass, well unless you’re getting something like matte paint. No matter what car you are driving if it is from the 70’s or brand new we treat it as if it was our own car. With over 5,000 cars under our belt we have been around the painting world for a while and here in Orlando it is a very busy city so no one has time to drop off their car and leave it somewhere for a month, so we guarantee a speedy paint job but not to the point to where quality is distorted. When the painters are in the booth there are no distractions it is just them, the car, and the paint and there whole attention is focused on your car.

So when you drop off your car with us expect to be impressed.Thanks for taking the time to check us out, I know in today’s busy lifestyle it’s hard to find the time to drop off your car to get painted. The good news now is that we don’t procrastinate when it comes to painting, we get things done. For the best auto paint Orlando can offer at a reasonable time frame with no unwanted delays we are your number one choice. Just go to the contact us page send us an email with your car year make and model and the color you would like it painted and we will sent you a pretty close estimate, then if you like our prices come in and we will give you an exact quote based on if there is any body damage, like dents or rust. We don’t believe in just painting a car and not fixing the dents because it is our reputation on the line and we want your car to look like it just rolled out of the factory.

A lot of our work is done on higher end cars but that doesn’t mean we give no value or lesser value to any other cars. We like to see cars as equals since when we are done with cars they look and are worth much more with a beautiful paint job, But to us we want the best possible outcome with every car and that would be a huge smile on our customers face when they see their car. Our painters even have their associate’s degree in painting and mixing paints so finding the right color for you will be no problem, unless you can’t decide because you like them all. In general we see ourselves as one of the top painting shops in Orlando, we would say the best but we don’t want to sound over confident even though that is how we feel with hundreds of happy customers. We would love for you to be another happy client not to benefit us but we do it for the pleasure in seeing happy customers at the end of the day.

Mazda’s 2014 CX-9 is a compelling entry in the midsize crossover market

While Mazda’s CX-5 AWD crossover is a hot seller right now, if you need three row seating and gobs of cargo space, their CX-9 crossover is for you.

Although the CX-9 is considered a midsize, it offers seven-passenger seating whose interior is more full-size. It’s spacious and almost car-like with its 18.5-inch step-in. And Mazda designers did a superb job on the interior with a waterfall type dash design that melds nicely into door panels, vertical stack and console. They also maintained sensible, simple and straightforward HVAC controls without a gimmicky mouse or touch screen controls.

Offered in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring models, we tested the latter that came loaded with desired safety, convenience and amenity items. In fact there was only two optional items of rear bumper guards ($150) and GT Package ($2,438) that included Bose audio, Sirius radio and sunroof.

When slipping into the cabin you’re treated to nicely supportive heated leather seats with sueded and perforated inserts that had contrasting red stitching for a sporty look. Suede also extends to the door panels for a classy, warm look and feel.

As said, HVAC controls are simple large rotary dials that can be operated with gloved hands. A 5.8-inch touchscreen display doubles for audio functions, GPS nav and rearview camera. Offered too is Pandora radio and USB ports for auxiliary attachments.

With the Grand Touring model, the CX-9 comes shod with 20-inch Bridgestone tires, power liftgate, blind spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, bi-xenon headlamps, LED running lights rain sensing wipers and more.

Rear seat ingress/egress is easy thanks to wide doors that open almost 90 degrees. The second row seats split and fold and slide well forward by pulling a large handle on the sides of the seat. This allows easy access to the third row seats that, like most third rower’s, are mainly for kids or petite adults.

With the third row up, the space behind the seats measures 18.5 inches deep, 46.5 wide and 31.5 high. Flip them and depth extends to 48 inches. And when folding the second row, depth stretches to 78 inches or 6.5 feet. Cargo load height too is an easy 30.5 inches.

The CX-9 gets its spirited spunk from a 3.7L, 273-hp V6 that generates 270 lb/ft of torque. It sends this grunt to the wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission. The combination has EPA mileage ratings of 16 city, 22-highway mpg and carries a tow rating of 3,500 pounds. The AWD version, incidentally, was 0-60 tested at 8.5 seconds. Not bad for a 4,585-pound crossover.

Ride and handling are impressive. This is the perfect vehicle for a trip to Orlando for a family of four or more. The ride is decent on the 20-inch tires but would probably be better on 18s. Despite this, it’s a quiet ride with good road feel. The compliant suspension feels planted and precise on city streets and interstates and it parks easily with a relatively tight turning radius.

With the aforementioned options, the top-line Grand Touring model bottom-lined at $40,995 with delivery, which included a 29×15.2-inch sunroof and rear entertainment system. This is, a lot of content for the money.

The only demerits given the CX-9 were for too tall rear seat headrests, and, lack of padding on the sides of the console box.

The headrest problem could be resolved by using the same lower profile center rest for the outboard ones. That, and the sides of the console could use padding since most drivers rest their legs against it while driving. It’s probably even more troublesome when wearing shorts.

The CX-9 received a “Good” rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a four star government overall rating, three stars for frontal crash, five for side crash (it comes with side impact door beams) and four for rollover.

To check out a compelling CX-9, stop by Lehigh Valley Mazda on Lehigh Street in Allentown. And to automatically receive auto news and reviews from Nick Hromiak, click on the “Subscribe” notation on this page.


Lancia Delta has been the first ever significant new product over many years. This has been featured to provide a roomier, more luxurious interior, both in keeping with the current Lancia brand positioning, and to differentiate it from its sister Fiat car. The mechanical layout is also an evolution of the sister cars’, although the Lancia has some engines and other technology which is not available in the Fiat. The basic layout follows the tried and tested transversely mounted engine at the front driving the front wheels, and only one body style, a five door hatchback, is produced.

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Designed by the Lancia Style Centre, the new Delta carries forward traditional styling elements from some of the most classic Lancia cars of the past, whilst also introducing the latest technology such as LED lighting. The slightly unconventional styling can be further highlighted by two-tone paint schemes which are available as an option. The Delta is 4.5 metres long, 1.8 metres wide and 1.5 metres high, measurements that combine with a wheelbase of 2.7 metres to guarantee an extraordinary amount of roominess for this category.

The interior is quiet and full of light, furnished with luxury materials and harmonious colors, and guarantees unbeatable travel comfort. The sound-absorbing headlining keeps noise to a minimum and luminosity is guaranteed by the extensive glazing of the side windows and the Gran Luce sunroof, when it is fitted. A sliding rear seat with reclining squab turns the passenger and luggage compartments into a highly versatile space. As with Lancia tradition, a wide range of leather, Alcantara and other materials are available to sophisticate the interior.

The new Delta offers a high level of technology in terms of entertainment, exemplified by a Bose Hi-Fi radio incorporating a CD player and MP3 file reader with steering-wheel mounted controls and the Blue&Me® system developed with Microsoft (hands free phone use plus USB input). As would be expected in this segment, there is also available an integrated satellite navigation system, developed with Magneti Marelli.

Technically, the Delta was powered (at launch) by a range of petrol and diesel engines, all turbocharged, and fitted with manual and automatic transmissions. the entry level petrol is a 1.4 16v turbo unit with 120bhp, then there is a 150bhp version of the same engine and finally a 200bhp 1.8 16v turbo unit. The diesels are a 1.6 MultiJet with 120bhp, a 2.0 Multi-Jet with 165bhp and a 1.9 Twin Turbo Multi-Jet with 190bhp.

The 120 and 150bhp petrol engines come with 6-speed manual transmissions whilst the 200bhp unit comes with a fully automatic transmission (by Aisin) only. The diesels, meanwhile both have 6-speed transmissions, whilst on the 120bhp unit there is also available a 6-speed robotized transmission (manual gearbox with automated clutch and no clutch pedal)

Technology continues into the electronics, with an advanced ESP system known as ‘Absolute handling System’, DST (Drive Steering Torque which provides feedback through the steering wheel to help the driver correct errors), TTC (Torque Transfer Control which simulates the behavior of a limited slip differential), an electronic parking system called ‘Magic Parking’ (the car steers itself into a parking space), a ‘Driving Advisor’ which warns of inadvertent lane changing and an electronically adjustable variable damping system for the suspension.

In October 2009 the Delta gained a new dual fuel power plant, designed to take advantage of the various ‘environmental’ incentives which were put in place by different governments. this was a 1.4 16v turbocharged unit with 120bhp which runs on petrol or LPG. Known as ‘ECO CHIC’ this version of the Delta added an LPG tank in the spare wheel well, with a capacity of 52 litres. 2010 saw the introduction of a new version, the ‘Hard Black’, basically featuring a new black paint finish, various black interior trimmings and some new alloy wheels. This was available only with the most powerful petrol (200bhp) and diesel (190bhp) engines. Later in 2010 another new engine became available, the 140bhp 1.4 16v turbo Multi Air unit. A further development of the ubiquitous 1.4 FIRE engine, this features the advanced Multi Air variable valve technology. Around the same time, the 120bhp unit became Euro5 compliant, and the 150bhp unit was discontinued.

Finding Best Auto and Car insurance

With California car insurance you can indeed save a lot of money. It is extremely difficult to drive in California without having car insurance. In case of any accidents or other serious mishaps you will have to end up giving lots of fines if you are running your vehicle without car insurance. Thus such a huge compensation with money is surely not possible. Therefore, it is always better and wise to have California car insurance to safe guard your hard earned cash. When you are on the road of California and driving your car so vigorously you do not know where you are going to land up at the end. If you cause an accident in any way you are surely in deep trouble. For such an offense you can have to pay a price of $1000. That is quite a pretty sum of money. However, your miseries do not end over here. Along with money you also have to lose your car license. This is what California traffic rule says. Moreover, you car can be confiscated. Do you want more unfortunate things to happen to you? If your answer is no then go for a California car insurance today.

The same goes for Los Angeles auto insurance too. In this case again a mishap on road can indeed be fatal. Moreover in Los Angeles the rate of auto insurance is increasing leaps and bounds each day. The prices of gas are becoming too unaffordable and thus more and more people are trying to save money by finding out ways to curtail the cost of auto insurance. One way you can reduce the rate of auto insurance is by restricting your auto drive within strict miles. You should not drive for too long a way. There are several companies who are taking into account the number of miles being covered by the auto. The more miles covered the higher the insurance rate is going to be. So it is always wise to drive lesser miles in order to save yourself from excessive Los Angeles auto insurance.

After having an idea about Los Angeles auto insurance it is time to gather some information on Los Angeles car insurance and its impending danger on common men. In Los Angeles cars have become an essential part of daily existence. Thus it is necessary for you to keep in knowledge the ways by which you can secure your car and make use of your insurance policy in case of any accidents on road. However, when you are planning to buy a Los Angeles car insurance you can either directly approach a company offering easy car insurance or you can also meet an insurance agent or a professional broker to get in hand a valid insurance for the kind of automobile you are having. So always try to secure your on road possession through a proper insurance policy.

Auto Insurance Specialists Money Saving Tips

If you do not understand how auto insurance, you really need to deal with auto insurance specialists works. These are the agents who work for insurance companies and they can answer any questions you may have. You do not have to get the car insurance policy through the company because a quote and information is free. When you need to find out how the insurance industry works car, the best source of information is from auto insurance specialists.

For most people, insurance is a mystery. They know they need to have insurance for their homes (mortgage lenders require it), but they do not understand the policy coverage. And they know that insurance companies offer the best prices. Because most people do not fully understand the insurance policy they are purchasing, many people think insurance.

If you have classic, vintage cars, you really need to be insured, even if you do not drive them. Think of all the money they would lose if they were stolen one of these cars. The Classic Auto Insurance Company has the auto insurance specialists you need to get the right policy for your classic cars.

Bothell Home insurance are not equal. In fact, almost none of it is. There are thousands of different products out there, from hundreds of insurance companies. How to find the insurance and the insurance company that is best for you? You read this special report and tap into my vast knowledge of the products and the companies that offer them.

Many of the programs of auto insurance for classic cars have a number of limitations and age restrictions when it comes to getting car insurance. Specialists in auto insurance Auto Insurance Classic will set you up with the right package for your needs. For example, depending on the amount of drive your classic car, you can have an insurance policy for the 1000, 3000, or 5000 miles per year. You also get a lower rate for uninsured motorists who might be at fault in an accident where the car is damaged vintage.

During Bothell Insurance is a local Houston insurance agency specialized in Bothell home insurance. With over 20 of experience in insurance, but I do not know what kind of insurance fits your needs. I also know what insurance companies sell quality insurance at the lowest rates. Since I am specialized in the insurance needs of homeowners and their families for over two decades, I decided to devote myself to solving some of the mysteries of homeowners insurance quotes Bothell.

With classic car insurance, the car insurance specialists will advise you if any restrictions apply to your policy. You definitely have to be over 26 years of age in order to obtain this type of insurance, but you can drive the car for pleasure. Also, if you are part of a classic car collector club, you also qualify for a discount.

Your insurance agent can provide this information. If you do not have an insurance agent and you should, you can contact your local builders association. In the world of home construction, building costs are calculated on a square foot basis. Therefore, to determine the cost to rebuild your home, take the square footage of your house and multiply by the average rate per square meter of construction in your area.

If you should get in an accident, the amount of money you receive if the car can not be repaired, the amount you receive as a cash payment will be stated in the policy. Auto Insurance Specialists not require you to have papers with the appraised value of the car when you get insurance and this must match the book value of the car. Classic auto insurance will do everything possible to help you get the auto insurance you need. You can hurt your wallet, but not as much as it would hurt if you had to pay the medical expenses of a person who hurts.

Home insurance policies also have limits on coverage for such items as jewelry, fine art and computer equipment. Read your policy and see what those limits are. For example, the standard policy will provide a maximum of $ 1,000 coverage for your jewelry if it is lost or stolen. If you have lots of jewelry, fine art or computer equipment, you should consider buying a special personal property endorsements or floaters that provides the coverage you need.

Ford opts to bring F-series to Ohio

Ford has announced plans to transfer production of its commercial F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks from its factory in Escobedo, Mexico to the one on Avon Lake, OH early next year after cutting ties with Navistar International Corp. The two had been working together on a joint venture known as the Blue Diamond Tricking Co. However, Ford has decided to take full control of the F-Series.

“We’re doing this to bring the 650-750 production in-house so that we have complete design, manufacturing and engineering control over our F-series lineup,” stated Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas. “In addition, moving the work from Mexico will preserve the jobs of 1,600 workers at the Avon Lake factory and honors an agreement Ford made with the UAW in 2011 contract negotiations. No new jobs will be created and Ford’s labor costs will be unchanged by the move.”

In the meantime, Ford will end production of the Econoline (aka the E-series) to clear the way for the Transit Van it is bringing from Europe and will produce at its Kansas City assembly plant in Claycomo, Mo.
There is no word (as yet) as to how long the Avon Lakes plant will be shut down as they look to refit it for the F-series. However, Hinrichs does not expect it to take as much time as it will take to convert its U.S. F-150 plants to produce the new aluminum bodies.

Note: Navistar will continue to use the Escobedo plant to build its own medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks

2014 Lexus IS F: Hot blend of track performance and road refinement

The Lexus IS F, in 2014, continues its tradition of delivering drivers a powerful and exciting track handling experience blended nicely with a refined Lexus quality road performance that is – at least the equal – if not better than competing performance sedans in the segment.

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The 2014 Lexus IS F High Performance 4-door Sport Sedan arrives with only a few changes from earlier model years, adding a Carbon Fiber Rear Spoiler, embossing the “F” logo on all four of the headrests, switching the foglamps to LED and changing a couple of the interior seat trim combinations.

We have driven both the Lexus IS 250 F Sport Performance and IS 350 F Sport Performance models during the last year in both road track and city/highway environments. Based on those drives, it was already our view that Lexus has this blend of track capability with a refined road driving experience right.

A recent opportunity to drive the 2014 IS F High Performance Sedan for a week in and around Austin, TX absolutely confirmed our earlier assessments.

Our test IS F came to us clad in – what we will call – a bold, yet refined, Nebula Gray Pearl with Alpine Leather seating featuring Anodized Composite accents.

The base MSRP for our test IS F that included all of the F Performance features and functionality was $63,350.

Included standard on this IS F were distinctive F Sport performance styling cues that included two-inch wider fenders to accommodate the lower profile tires, a taller hood to fit the high performance V8, enlarged brake cooling vents, front fender vents, larger rocker panels and the carbon fiber rear spoiler.

Other exterior features include Bi-xenon HID auto-leveling headlamps and the LED fog lamps framing a larger V-shaped grille with trapezoidal-shaped bumper and a distinctive mesh grille lower air intake.me

On the inside, the IS F included a blue leather and silver-trimmed insert with “F” logo on the steering wheel to accent the two-tone Alpine interior and hand-finished aluminized composite trims.

Of particular note are the specially shaped 10-way power heated sport seats that are nicely bolstered to help position the driver and passenger comfortably and securely.

The standard Lexus Premium Audio System features a six-disc, in-dash CD changer, 13 speakers, USB/iPod connectivity, streaming audio via Bluetooth and an integrated SirusXM Satellite Radio receiver plus the available Lexus Enform 2.0 with App Suite on navigation equipped vehicles.

In the IS F, the instrumentation features a gauge cluster with a large central tachometer as the central focus in front of the driver. Additionally the IS F includes unique blue LED illuminated needles on the speedometer and tachometer. When the IS F is in Sport mode, the instrument lighting turns to red – letting you know you are in “Sport”.

The primary option on our test IS F was the Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound System with Navigation ($3,410) that included the Levinson signature 300 watt amplifier and tuner with 14-speakers and the Lexus HDD Navigation System with backup camera.

The Mark Levinson Audio Package with Navigation also adds the Enform 2.0 service , with Destination Assist, eDestination, and App Suite and its available plethora of download options.

The Intuitive Park Assist (IPA) with Front and Rear Sensors was another $500.

Adding a trunk mat along with some minor accessories and freight, our 2014 Lexus IS F High Performance Sedan priced at $68,339.

IS F Power Train

With performance being the most important attribute of the IS F, its power train heart is the standard 5.0L aluminum 32-valve DOHC V8 with VVT-iE (intake) and VVT-I (exhaust) that is custom tuned for the IS F and delivers 416 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 371 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 5,200 rpm to the 19-inch wheels through its eight-speed Sport Direct-Shift automatic transmission.

The driver can shift manually with steering wheel paddle shifters in either “D” or “M” modes for the feeling of being in control. In “M” mode, the transmission will hold each gear to the 6,800-rpm redline and execute ultra-quick shifts in one-tenth of a second that tweaks the throttle to match engine rpm with vehicle speed helping to maintain traction and control.

For improved road performance, the IS F is also equipped with a Drive Mode Selector system (Normal, Sport or Snow) for driving modes that alter the car’s dynamic control systems to sharpen performance – in the cast of Sport – or increase comfort and traction in response to the road environment with Normal or Snow.

Lexus says top speed is 170 mph with 0-60 in 4.6 seconds. Fuel economy ratings are 16/23 mpg City/ Highway with an expected average of 18 mpg.

Noting that actual fuel economy is dependent on road conditions and driver driving style – we were surprised that, with our propensity to drive with paddle shifters and stay in Sport mode, we still got 17.7 mpg around the hills of Central Texas.

And lastly, it requires that we mention that this IS F not only delivers solid power for performance, but also delivers a complimenting distinctive and not-so-subtle throaty rumble from its chrome-tipped stacked quad exhaust diffusers.

IS F Performance Handling

The 2014 IS F uses special double wishbone rear control arms, high-rate coil springs, monotube gas-filled dampers and large-diameter hollow stabilizer bars, among other learnings from their track experience, to insure the IS F performance handling matches the power train.

The Electric Power Steering (EPS) is speed sensing and is F Sport mode adjustable to match the vehicle configuration and power outputs with road conditions.

IS F uses a “staggered” wheels and tires configuration, following racecar convention, with wider, lower profile tires on the rear. (The front wheels are 19 x 8.5-inch, with 225/40R19 tires and 19 x 9.5-inch in the rear, with 255/35R19 tires.)

It adds stopping power with Brembo six-piston aluminum calipers gripping 14.2-inch ventilated and drilled rotors, while the 13.6-inch ventilated, drilled rear rotors use two-piston calipers and a Torsen rear differential provides additional traction in spirited driving.

The IS F uses an advanced chassis control system – Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system to support the car’s high dynamic capabilities. Using a combination of inputs from a variety of sensors, VDIM doesn’t merely react to hazardous handling situations but rather can anticipate the onset of a vehicle skid or slide.

In Sport mode, our favorite, the VDIM increases steering feel and allows higher dynamic thresholds before intervening with confidence.

If this sounds like we really liked this IS F – it should – we really did.

Luxury and Excellence in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep has outdone themselves for the 2014 model year with the new Grand Cherokee. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a luxury SUV that contains many of the best elements of past Jeep products with new and innovated ideas. Jeep has focused their attention to detail so that the standards are unbeatable.

The interior of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a new level of wonderful. No matter where you are sitting in the SUV, you feel enveloped in luxury and quality. Every detail of the interior has been tweaked, trimmed and accented to shine above all that came before it. From the stitching in the detail to the workmanship on the headliner, there is nothing that has gone untouched and improved on.

It really does not matter, inside or out, what angle you are looking at this magnificent vehicle, you will see the changes and notice the differences. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee boasts strength and exhumes confidence. Jeep knew the need for advanced lighting and created a signature LED accent headlamps as well as daytime running lamps. The new HID headlamps are extraordinary in that they swivel on winding roads to follow the drivers steering and make it easier to see the roads.

Power does not come cheap and with the price of gas being the top concern with any vehicle on the road, Jeep has recognized a need and met it with the EcoDiesel V6. Not only is the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s engine fuel efficient but gives you that efficiency with performance that is outstanding. Jeep has taken into account your needs as well and created it with towing in mind. This Cherokee has adapted the eight-speed transmission that will allow you to accelerate quicker, have smoother shifting all the while maintaining a great fuel economy.

Above all the other wonderful additions to the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the safety and security features are beyond awesome. This Cherokee features blind spot monitoring which is always a concern no matter how long you have been driving but even a bigger concern for that new driver in your house as well as a backup camera that allows you to see clearly if there is anything behind you when you put your car in reverse. To prevent accidents from happening there is a “forward collision warning” and if you are involved in an accident there are all the normal airbags as well as side curtain airbags. An emergency 911 call button will signal assistance almost immediately if you do happen to have an accident.

The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is top of the line in a midsize SUV and has outdone itself at every turn. The developers have executed the improvements like no other vehicle and have rolled them out in one awesome machine. Whether you are having a night on the town or going off-road touring, you will ride in comfort and style like no other midsize SUV can offer. It has been a long time since a vehicle of this magnitude has hit the market with all the changes that this one has.

2015 Kia K900

NEWPORT COAST, Calif., – Even though its sales were down four percent last year, Kia has been wildly successful in this market. Undeterred by a bit of a slide in sales; the Korean automaker continues its long term strategy in the U.S. market which can be summed up in one word – growth.
During the last three years the automaker has watched the luxury market fragment. Traditional luxury brands moving down market and many main stream brands moving up market has opened a gap in Kia’s view and the automaker brought us to the West Coast to test drive its latest offering to fill the hole that it says has opened up in the luxury market.
The question for Kia is will Americans pay $66,400 for the 2015 Kia K900 luxury sedan that is new to the market segment and, what’s more, is the product of brand that has just recently shed its image as the manufacturer of inexpensive automobiles.
In a phrase, the K900 offers enough to entice independent minded consumers to take a look when it goes on sale this spring. Of course, Kia brought the top of the line K900 VIP. But first let’s look at how the K900 looked. With a wheel-base of almost 120-inches, it was a sizable car with 19-inch wheels.
It sported Kia’s signature grille, it had a swept greenhouse, understated cut lines along the doors, high rear deck and the sheet metal was taunt. The car had the same hereditary silhouette that adorns the Kia Optima and the recently introduced Kia Cadenza.
And in Kia’s tradition of offering more for less, the K900 had LED adaptive headlights as well as LED taillights. The only normal illuminative bulbs were the backup lights. The power trunk was standard, so was the heated automatic dimming sideview mirrors. Kia designers also sweated the small stuff like the chrome tipped dual exhaust mimicking the shape of the taillights.
The car’s adaptive cruise control could bring it to halt and the four-caliper brakes could and did stop the car quickly.
But on any automobile in the luxury realm it is all about what’s under the hood. Kia brought the V8 powered K900 here. Producing 420 horsepower, the 5.0 liter engine made 376 pound-feet of torque and it was mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that was developed in-house. A 3.8-liter V6 will be available later this year.
The V8 was impressive. However, it did work hard getting up and over some of the hills. But during the driver change we had neglected to take it out of sport mode which made the steering heavier and moved the shift points up the rev band. In other words, the car held gears longer. Once we put it back in normal mode the K900 moved through the hills here without effort as a 400 plus horsepower luxury sedan should. There was also an ECO mode that moved the shift points down the rev band but we didn’t bother with that.
The engine was quiet, gear selection was buttery smooth and acceleration was effortless. Through the twist and turns of the mountainous roads here, the K900’s chassis remained stiff no doubt because of the use of high and ultra-high strength steel. The norm, the car featured a five-link suspension fore and aft which kept it level in all forms of driving.
About the only thing Kia should tweak on the K900 is that suspension. It should be just a tad stiffer in the sense of spring and or shock absorber compression to give the car a more substantive feel. Basically, sedans in this class have a more solid ride not because they weigh more than the K900’s 4,555 lbs. but because the suspension gives them an air of solidity.
Still, as an automobile stylist said years ago, luxury is conveyed in the interior of a vehicle and in this area the K900 measured up nicely as well. Though a leather-wrapped steering wheel is standard, our test vehicle had a heated wood veneer steering wheel. The interior was swathed in white Napa leather and ambient interior lighting was standard across the model line. Wood trim is either walnut or poplar.
Kia even upgraded the audio system on the K900. The 900 watt Lexicon system featured 17 speakers in 16 locations. It had a 12 channel amp and the rich surround sound clarity was augmented by a subwoofer.
A 12-way driver’s seat is standard but a 16-way power seat featuring power headrests and cushion extender will be available when the car goes on sale. Of course, the front seats were heated and cooled. The VIP package included rear climate controls, heated and cooled rear seats with power recline and lumbar support and head rest adjustability.
The 2015 Kia K900 is sound luxury sedan. The question is can the Korean automaker get luxury car buyers to consider this car. The advertising and marketing effort will have to be rifle shot accurate.