The 2013 North American International Auto Show is still a few weeks away, but some automakers just couldn’t wait and unveiled what they’d be bringing a little early. This week brought the early, yet official debut of vehicles like the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, and finally, the 2014 Ford Transit. Besides the unveils, Honda recalled 807,000 vehicles concerning an interlock mechanism that wears down over time and, as a result, vehicles can roll away even when it’s in Park. On a lighter note, white now supersedes black and silver as the preferred vehicle color of choice. For more information on all these stories, check out our list of the week’s biggest automotive news stories below.
Monday, December 10
According to DuPont, a leader in the automotive painting industry, white and black replaced silver as the consumer’s vehicle color of choice. Silver slid all the way to third place, while black jumped into second, and white took its place at the top of the list for the second straight year. Between the three colors, 23 percent of all new vehicles sold around the world are white, followed closely by black with 21 percent. Silver rounds out the top three with 18 percent. Red, gray, and brown/beige also picked up some steam. and now make up 8, 6, and 6 percent of the world’s vehicle colors, respectively.
Tuesday, December 11
Honda had a rough week as it recalled 807,000 vehicles due to a potential roll-away issue with select Honda Pilot and Odyssey models built between 2003 and 2004, as well as particular Acura MDX models made between 2003 to 2006. The Pilot accounts for 259,000 units while the Odyssey needs to have 318,000 units repaired. As for the MDX, 230,000 units are expected to be affected by this recall. If it sounds like this isn’t something that happens every day, then you’d be correct. The problem at hand involves an interlock mechanism, that when working correctly is designed to hold the key in the ignition until the vehicle is shifted into Park. Over time, this mechanism appears to have worn down and in turn, allows select Pilots, Odysseys, and MDXs to roll away unexpectedly even when in Park.
Wednesday, December 12
From here on out, the week consisted of upcoming vehicle unveils that came a few weeks early. First up was the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class which brings a restyled exterior, a gently refreshed interior, some new safety nannies, and perhaps most notably, an all-new four-cylinder diesel engine along with it. The single-element headlights, new bumpers both up front and in the rear, and a grille that pays homage to models from the past are most recognizable on the incoming E-Class. Inside, the changes aren’t as drastic; some trim and button tweaks, a new gauge cluster, and a clock with actual hands is really all that’s different. A 2.1-liter turbocharged diesel four-cylinder engine will replace the old diesel V-6 and is rated at 190 horsepower and a very respectable 369 pound-feet of torque.
Thursday, December 13
Next up for the unveils was the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. The third-generation full-sized pickups bring the same 4.3-liter V-6, 5.3-liter V-8, and 6.2-liter V-8, but while the displacement is the same as the prior generation of trucks, new technologies like direct injection, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation have been included this time around. All three engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The cylinder deactivation technology shuts two cylinders off when they’re not needed, and yes, that includes the V-6 going down to four cylinders when applicable. The interior also received some much needed attention, and includes an array of USB ports, a 110 outlet, and two 12 volt outlets. Another welcomed interior addition is a 4.2- or 8-inch touchscreen that includes Chevy’s MyLink or GMC’s Intellilink operating systems. Both the Silverado and Sierra are scheduled to be unveiled to the general public–and the rest of the media–at the Detroit auto show next month.
Friday, December 14
The final unveil this past week belongs to the 2014 Ford Transit commercial van which debuted yesterday morning at Ford Field in Detroit. For the 2014 model year, the Transit will come standard with a 3.7-liter V-6 and is seen as the workhorse of the three engines offered. It can also be converted to burn compressed natural gas along with the usual fuel grades and even E85 ethanol. The other two engines available include Ford’s touted 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and, for the first time in the Blue Oval’s commercial van’s lineup, a diesel engine will be offered in the form of the 3.2-liter diesel five-cylinder Power Stroke engine. All three engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2014 Ford Transit van can be configured in three different body lengths, two wheelbases, and three different roof heights; all of which can be applied to your choice of a van, wagon, chassis cab, or cutaway bodystyle. All bodystyles will be available in two different trims; an XL and XLT.
What was your favorite automotive news story from this past week? Did we miss something you think should be here? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.