It seems like everyone was gearing up for Pebble Beach this week, and although that event alone is enough to talk about, this week also brought with it some surprising news and a few spy photos. Subaru kicked off the week by announcing its funding of pet vehicle safety testing by The Center for Pet Safety. Tuesday and Wednesday brought us spy shots of both the 2015 Hyundai Sonata sedan and the 2015 Kia Sedona minivan. Thursday was when big news broke when Ford announced that it would be lowering the fuel economy rating on the 2013 C-Max. Rounding out the week was the Cadillac Elmiraj concept that is going to debut at the Pebble Beach Concours in Monterey, California, which technically happened on Thursday evening, but, eh, what the heck.
Monday, August 12
It’s not unusual for people travel with man’s best friend, but there is no way to make sure they will be safe in the event of an accident. In response to this issue, Subaru announced that it will invest in The Center for Pet Safety testing to provide safety features for pets in vehicles. Subaru is one of the only automakers to offer pet-friendly features in its vehicles, along with Volvo and a few others. So far, testing has found that popular safety harnesses may keep dogs from distracting the driver, but do little to actually protect pets from harm. Further testing can better educate owners and automakers about pet safety in specific vehicles depending on the size of the dog and where the safest place for them may be.
Tuesday, August 13
Spy shots of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata testing have been making their way around, and we’ve brought you photos that show the new vehicle out in the desert without hardly any camo, giving us a good view of what to expect. The new Hyundai Sonata appears to feature a more elegant design than the current model, and will adopt the “Fluidic Precision” evolution. Refinement has been the focus of developing the new Sonata, making it smoother, quieter, and sportier. It has a more upright grille, as well as subdued LED headlight accents, and fewer hard lines in the sheetmetal. Expect it to keep the same engine options, as well as adopt styling cues from the Hyundai HCD-14 concept car.
Wednesday, August 14
Just like on Tuesday, we have brought you spy photos of a heavily-camouflaged 2015 Kia Sedona, which draws inspiration from the KV7 concept van. After a short absence from the Kia lineup, the Sedona minivan was reintroduced with more safety features and better emission technology this year. The new Sedona will share engines with the 2014 Kia Cadenza full-size sedan, producing around 290 horsepower. Although it may have been inspired by the KV7 concept that debuted in Detroit in 2011, the 2015 Kia Sedona won’t feature the funky headlights and grille, or the wrap-around taillights, but it will have the same boxy shape.
Thursday, August 15
Thanks to lawsuits and complaints by customers, Ford lowered the fuel economy rating on the 2013 C-Max. This move will potentially hurt the company’s reputation as being a fuel economy leader, as many of the C-Max campaigns were centered on the high mpg numbers. When the news hit the airways, Ford came back and held a press conference explaining why the mpg numbers were going to be lowered, as well as why they were so high. Apparently, EPA label testing grouped the Ford Fusion and the Ford C-Max together, and because of general labeling rules, the C-Max was rated the same as the Fusion. Owners and lessees will receive a one-time goodwill payment of $550 and $325, respectively, for any inconveniences caused with the mpg issues.
Friday, August 16
The Pebble Beach Concours in Monterey is in full swing this weekend, where some automakers are bringing concept vehicles and prototypes. Cadillac will be bringing the Elmiraj concept to the event. This concept puts an American twist on the classic German luxury coupe. Surprisingly, the concept coupe is 2.5 inches longer than the Cadillac Escalade full-size SUV, but just three inches shy of its width. Size and presence are what this concept is all about, and this Vsport model is bringing with it a new branding strategy for sporty cars that may not be up to V-Series specs. This concept will most likely be the inspiration for the next-generation full-size sedan that is set to become an anchor for the Cadillac brand.