The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) today wrapped up two weeks of welcoming brand-defining products, emerging mobility technologies, top government officials – including then-Vice President Joe Biden – and leading auto and tech thinkers, in addition to greeting over 800,000 car enthusiasts who came to see the exciting technology-laden products driving the industry's transformation.
The show closed tonight with a strong finish of 98,125 attendees, bringing total ticketed attendance for 2017 NAIAS to 806,554.
"Detroit is the mobility epicenter of the world, and there's no better example of this than what we've seen and experienced at NAIAS over the past 16 days," said 2017 NAIAS Chairman Sam Slaughter. "Visitors to the show were able to experience the full spectrum of the auto industry – from autonomous vehicles and technologies to current production models that will be in dealer showrooms in the near future. It was an incredible showcase for our industry; one that provided a look into the transformation of the world's automotive industry."
NAIAS kicked off 2017 with its inaugural AutoMobili-D, a display of 120 automakers, suppliers and startups from around the world showcasing and discussing future mobility platforms, in addition to 40+ hours of mobility-themed content at symposiums and panel discussions. Waymo CEO John Krafcik opened AutoMobili-D with the world reveal of the autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Other notable keynotes included Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Nissan Motor Co., and Julia Steyn, GM's Vice President of Urban Mobility and Maven.
"AutoMobili-D was an incredible venue for the entire mobility ecosystem, from newly formed startups to tech suppliers to automakers. It allowed each brand an opportunity to communicate directly with over 5,100 journalists and nearly 40,000 industry decision makers," NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts said. "It was as much about connecting businesses as it was about connecting technologies."
Alberts noted that NAIAS and its new AutoMobili-D attracted 5,101 journalists from 61 countries. Attending media saw 46 vehicles make their world debut, seven vehicles make their North American debut and 17 special one-of-a-kind vehicles made their first appearance at an auto show. Included in this mix was world-renowned John Lasseter, Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios who revealed a life-size, drivable version of the iconic Lightning McQueen as a precursor to the 'Cars 3' movie.
"From the buzz and unveiling of autonomous drive products and mobility technologies at AutoMobili-D to the news generated at Press Preview, there's no denying that the auto industry is being redefined here in the Motor City," Alberts said. "Having all of these companies and their products and technologies being accessible to everyone in one building is something that you don't see elsewhere in the world and sets NAIAS apart from other shows."
Following on the heels of AutoMobili-D and Press Preview, nearly 40,000 auto and tech industry executives, designers, developers and analysts, from 2,274 companies, kept the product buzz and mobility conversation going at Industry Preview. NAIAS is the only auto show in North America with dedicated "industry" days.
Detroit's celebration as the epicenter of all things automotive, including the heart of the automotive industry, kept on motoring at Charity Preview, where nearly $5.2 million was raised for children's charities in Detroit.
As the largest annual single-night fundraiser in the world, Charity Preview has raised more than $111 million in total for southeastern Michigan children's charities, of which more than $53 million was raised in last 12 years alone.
The conversation generated from Preview Week – including the worldwide and North American vehicle debuts, executive keynotes and showcase of future mobility innovations – continued to build momentum as the show rolled into Public Show week drawing big crowds that filled Cobo Center each day.
NAIAS officials report the 2017 show has an estimated economic impact of $450 to the regional economy (per economist David Sowerby from Loomis Sayles & Co.), up $20 million from the previous year. Economists report the impact is equivalent to two nearly Super Bowls every year in Detroit.
"From the hotels to the restaurants to businesses all across the city, having NAIAS in January brings hundreds of thousands of people into Detroit during what would be a slow time of year," added Alberts.
2017 NAIAS Highlights:
- Over 500 people experienced an exclusive ultra-luxury salon of more than $10 million worth of exotic supercars and flagship vehicles, including a $3.4 million Bugatti Chiron.
- Inaugural year for AutoMobili-D exposition.
- 120 exhibitors, including a global mix of automakers, suppliers, tech startups from around the world, all showcasing and discussing future mobility platforms.
- 44 startups from all over the world, including London, Dubai, Portugal and Canada.
- 40+ hours of mobility-themed content – topics ranging from cybersecurity, regulations, autonomous technologies, V2V and V2I, the role of startups, disruptors and ride sharing.
- 100 speakers from 110 different companies took the AutoMobili-D stage.
- Keynotes from:
- John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo that included the debut of the autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
- Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Nissan Motor Co.
- Julia Steyn, GM's vice president of urban mobility and Maven
- Dan Gilbert, Chairman and Founder of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans Inc.
- Chris Thomas, Founder and Partner, Fontinalis
- 5,101 journalists from 61 different countries.
- 46 vehicles make their world debut, 7 make their North American debut and 17 special one-of-a-kind vehicles made their first appearance at an auto show.
- Only show in North America with dedicated "industry" days.
- Attracted nearly 40,000 auto and tech industry executives, designers, developers and analysts from 2,274 companies and 27 countries.
- Nearly 13,000 people attended the world's largest single-night fundraiser, generating nearly $5.2 million for children's charities in Detroit.
- More than $111 million raised since 1976 when the Detroit Auto Dealers Association established Charity Preview, with over $53 million raised in last twelve years.
- Special performance by Beach Boys on Cobo Center's Atrium stage.
Total Ticketed Attendance
- Estimated economic impact of $450 to the regional economy (per economist David Sowerby from Loomis Sayles & Co.), up $20 million from the previous year.
- Equivalent to nearly two Super Bowls every year in Detroit.
About the North American International Auto Show
Now in its 29th year as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, technologies, people and ideas that matter most – up close and in one place. Administered by executive director Rod Alberts, the NAIAS is one of the largest media events in North America, and the only auto show in the United States to earn an annual distinguished sanction of the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles, the Paris-based alliance of automotive trade associations and manufacturers from around the world. For more information, visit naias.com.
The federal government's designation of the City of Pittsburgh and the Thomas D. Larson Transportation Institute at Penn State University as highly automated vehicle proving grounds will help keep Pennsylvania in the forefront of this emerging technology, PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said today.
The U.S. Transportation Department announced Pittsburgh and the Larson Institute were among 10 designated proving grounds around the nation.
"This is a significant win for Pennsylvania," Governor Tom Wolf said. "My administration has played a leading role in working to maintain the state as a fertile and safe ground for research and testing of highly automated vehicles. The City of Pittsburgh already is one of the leading centers for this emerging technology and the new federal designation will ensure continued success."
Under Governor Wolf, PennDOT formed and directed an Autonomous Vehicle Task Force of an array of stakeholders that has developed a roadmap for the safe management and encouragement of testing in the commonwealth. The task force's draft report was issued in November and a town hall meeting was held in December. The task force is refining the report with the input received from the town hall meeting.
"We have worked diligently to lay the groundwork for the safe testing of highly automated vehicles in Pennsylvania, and the new designations will add impetus for keeping the state as a center of research and development of this technology," Richards said.
The task force report lays out a policy framework for PennDOT to oversee testing in a way that balances public safety with innovation and provides the flexibility required to keep Pennsylvania in the forefront of the potentially transformative technology. The General Assembly must enact authorizing legislation to give PennDOT authority to proceed with such oversight.
Carnegie Mellon University has been researching highly automated vehicles for decades and its work attracted Uber, General Motors and others to Pittsburgh.
"We're excited to be partnering with Penn State on this opportunity," said Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto. "Together, the City and the University bring a diverse set of testing environments and additional partners to the table. We're looking forward to continuing our national and international leadership in preparing for an autonomous future; and working with U.S. DOT, PennDOT and others to implement policy that promotes safety and encourages innovation."
"We are very excited by this opportunity to partner with the City of Pittsburgh on this autonomous vehicle proving ground," said Eric Donnell, director of the Larson Institute. "We look forward both to this helping further the research, testing and development of highly automated vehicles and to working with transportation partners across the state."
PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission also have formed a SMART Belt Coalition – a first of its kind collaboration with transportation agencies in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan as part of the ongoing work to oversee and encourage the development of highly automated vehicles.
"This technology promises many benefits for our citizens and we will continue to work hard to ensure Pennsylvania remains a safe and welcoming place for highly automated vehicles to develop," Governor Wolf said.
America's transportation sector is the top source for producing harmful carbon emissions and in San Diego it accounts for more than half of all carbon emissions. Aiming to help solve the problem, today San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) filed a series of proposals with the California Public Utilities Commission to install tens of thousands of electric charging stations in new, key areas to encourage the transition to zero-emission electric vehicles (EVs), trucks, shuttles, and delivery fleets, among other areas.
"SDG&E has spent more than a decade reducing our carbon footprint through the rapid expansion of clean energy. We all want to breathe cleaner air, which means slowing down the impacts of climate change will require an increased focus on the areas that produce the most harmful emissions," said Caroline Winn, chief operating officer of SDG&E. "We are committed as a business and a community partner to improving lives by developing meaningful solutions."
For SDG&E customers, who over the last twelve months received more than 40 percent of their energy from renewable sources, now is the time to increase the use of electricity as a transportation fuel source.
Transportation electrification is the natural progression of renewables, given that electric cars and trucks plugging into the power grid will be charging on ever increasing amounts of clean energy.
If SDG&E's proposals are approved, additional electric charging stations would be installed at San Diego International Airport, Port of San Diego, for delivery fleets, taxi/rideshare, Park-and-Rides and residential homes throughout the region. These proposed programs would build upon the company's efforts to install electric charging infrastructure at 350 apartments, condos and businesses as part of the Power Your Drive program.
The filing is in response to Senate Bill (SB) 350 which recognized the vital role energy companies like SDG&E will play in widespread transportation electrification by installing and expanding the charging network and other necessary infrastructure.
"In order to support clean air and a healthy climate, the transportation sector as a whole, including passenger vehicles, heavy-duty trucks, and fleet vehicles must all transition to clean, low-carbon technologies," said Debra Kelley, advocacy director for the American Lung Association. "The American Lung Association in California supports SDG&E's efforts to expand access to electric transportation in our region, reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions."
Taken together, SDG&E's transportation electrification proposals aim to jumpstart the EV sector and test cutting-edge technology. The larger residential project would focus on customer homes and smart charging with special EV rates to encourage off-peak charging.
- Residential Charging Program: Installation of up to 90,000 charging stations at single family homes throughout the company's service area;
- Airport Electrification: Installation of up to 45 charging ports to enable electrification of approximately 90 new pieces of ground support equipment at San Diego International Airport;
- Port Electrification: Installation of several electric vehicle charging stations and research meters to study the charging habits of heavy and medium-duty electric trucks and forklifts at the Port of San Diego;
- Fleet Delivery Trucks: Installation of grid-integrated charging stations for about 90 fleet delivery vehicles at approximately six business locations;
- Electrify Local Highways: Grid-integrated charging infrastructure to four Park-and-Ride locations;
- Green Taxi/Rideshare/Shuttles: Incentives to purchase electric taxis and shuttles and install charging stations at five locations frequently traveled by taxis, shuttles and rideshare vehicles. 50 EV drivers from rideshare companies would receive fueling credits on their electric bills;
- Dealership Incentives: EV educational programs and financial incentives for the sale of EVs.
SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides safe, reliable, clean energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. More than 4,300 employees work to provide the most reliable and clean energy in the West. The company has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for leadership in addressing climate change, was the first to meet California's goal of delivering 33 percent of energy from renewable sources, has fueled the adoption of electric vehicles and energy efficiency through unique customer programs, and supports more than 600 non-profit partners. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit sdge.com/newsroom or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.
Designed and engineered for world-class precision, the new 2017 Dodge Challenger GT all-wheel drive (AWD) delivers the performance, power and all-weather capability to carve through some of the worst weather Mother Nature can dish out.
From winding through twisty stretches of mountain roads, escaping away to a snow-covered ski resort, to daily commutes through the slush and snow of Northeastern and Midwestern winters, the Challenger GT AWD is built to handle it all.
"Dodge is shifting the muscle car paradigm with the new 2017 Dodge Challenger GT – the world's first and only all-wheel-drive American muscle coupe," said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. "The Challenger has always been the most wide-ranging and functional muscle coupe, and now, with the new 305-horsepower all-wheel-drive Challenger GT, we are stretching the functional and geographic boundaries even further."
Available this winter
The new 2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD model has a starting U.S Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $33,395 (excluding $1,095 destination charge).
With production beginning in January, the all-wheel-drive Dodge Challenger GT is scheduled to arrive at Dodge dealerships nationwide in the first quarter of 2017.
Power, precision and prowess
The 2017 Dodge Challenger GT AWD features Dodge's award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, delivering 305 horsepower at 6,350 rpm and a responsive 268 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm.
A tuned induction system and dual exhaust from the manifolds back to the tips help deliver more than 90 percent of the engine's peak torque from 1,800 to 6,400 rpm – all for outstanding drivability and responsiveness. With the standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, Challenger GT offers up to an EPA-estimated 18 city/27 hwy miles per gallon (mpg).
The Dodge Challenger GT features Dodge's high-performance all-wheel-drive system. Also found in the Charger AWD, this technologically advanced system includes an active transfer case and front-axle disconnect for excellent all-season performance and fuel economy. The Challenger GT seamlessly transitions between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive with no driver intervention. Under normal driving conditions, the front axle is disengaged and 100 percent of the engine's torque is directed to the rear wheels. This preserves the outstanding fun-to-drive performance and handling characteristics inherent to rear-wheel-drive vehicles. When sensors indicate the need for additional traction, the system automatically engages the front axle, instantly transitioning Challenger GT into all-wheel-drive mode.
Enhanced with Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), the Challenger GT AWD has impressive handling on all surfaces, especially snow and ice. VDC provides excellent traction on slippery surfaces and also helps the driver maintain the desired vehicle path. Enhancing the on-road dynamic performance using precise front-to-rear torque control integrated with the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system, VDC maintains Challenger's fun-to-drive character, regardless of road conditions.
- Segment-first: 2017 Dodge Challenger GT is the first two-door American muscle car with all-wheel drive, providing muscle car enthusiasts all-weather driving confidence exclusive to Dodge
- Challenger GT features the same high-performance all-wheel-drive system found in the award-winning Dodge Charger AWD with active transfer case and front-axle disconnect
- Dodge's award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is standard, delivering 305 horsepower at 6,350 rpm and a responsive 268 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm
- New 2017 Dodge Challenger GT model has a starting U.S Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $33,395 (excluding $1,095 destination charge)
- Dodge Challenger GT AWD production is scheduled to begin in January 2017 and vehicles will be available in dealerships the first quarter of 2017
In addition, the new Dodge Challenger GT AWD features paddle shifters and Sport mode. With Sport mode active, gear changes are quicker and revs are held higher for even more performance-oriented acceleration and higher shift dynamics. For even more control, the driver can also use the die-cast steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and view gear election through the full-color Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) centered in the instrument cluster.
The Challenger GT Super Track Pak button activates Dodge Performance Pages and launch control features embedded in the 8.4-inch touchscreen radio. Visible performance information, such as reaction times, 0-60 times, G-force indicator and lap times, can be monitored, and even mirrored, in the 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable cluster display. The new Challenger GT model also features three-mode ESC with "full-off" mode, a fun feature for drifting through snowy scenes.
All-weather traction all year long, rain, sleet, snow or shine
For muscle car enthusiasts who want more all-weather traction, the new 2017 Dodge Challenger GT delivers premium amenities inside and out, including 19-inch aluminum wheels with Hyper Black finish and P235/55R19 BSW all-season performance tires, projector fog lamps, a deck-lid rear spoiler, ParkSense rear park assist and ParkView rear backup camera.
Challenger GT is equally well equipped on the inside with standard features, such as premium Nappa leather seating, heated and ventilated front seats with four-way power driver lumbar adjustment, heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescoping column, Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six Alpine speakers with 276-watt amplifier, bright pedals, universal garage door opener and Hectic Mesh aluminum bezels.
GT Interior Package
The all-new GT Interior package, which is unique to this Challenger AWD model, includes performance Nappa leather and Alcantara suede seats – available on a V-6 for the first time – nine Alpine speakers, including a subwoofer and a 506-watt amplifier, and the Dodge performance steering wheel. U.S MSRP for the GT Interior package is $995.
Performance-inspired design, all year round
1971-inspired design, both inside and out, the Dodge Challenger GT features refined exterior styling and heritage muscle-car appearance with split grille, pronounced and functional power bulge hood, LED halo headlamps and LED tail lamps.
An exciting next chapter in Toyota's storied North American product history has been revealed under the lights of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Stylish, athletic, and tech-filled, the all-new 2018 Toyota C-HR – or, Coupe High-Rider – represents a leap forward in design, manufacturing, and engineering for Toyota. When it arrives at dealerships next spring, the C-HR will serve as a solid springboard of excitement, adventure, and pride for its fashion-forward, trendsetting owners.
Last year at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Scion debuted its stunning C-HR Concept. That well-received design study set the stage for the Toyota C-HR, which, nearly to the tee, carries on the concept's avant-garde physique; modern, comfortable cabin; and bold, outgoing character.
The C-HR will be available in two grades at launch, XLE and XLE Premium, each equipped with a long list of standard premium features that includes 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, supportive bucket seating, 7-inch audio display, and Toyota Safety Sense PTM (TSS-P).
But, the C-HR doesn't only look great – it's got the sportiness to impress thanks to Deputy Chief Engineer, Hiro Koba, who is a diehard racer at heart. He and his team made it their mission to ensure the C-HR exhilarates its driver anytime, anywhere. Like its uncanny looks, the C-HR's comprehensive and cohesive blend of comfort, control, consistency, and responsiveness that was cultivated on the famed Nürburgring is as impressive as it is unique.
POLISHED DIAMOND STYLE
Toyota's team of global designers expounded on one theme: "Distinctive Diamond." The iconic gemstone evokes universal notions of luxury, attractiveness, sophistication, and strength. Designers translated these traits into a physical form that's collectively matchless, sexy, muscular, and edgy. From the get-go, they strived to sculpt an urban-dwelling crossover that would effortlessly navigate tight city streets and stand out, with an agile, dynamic expressiveness.
At the C-HR's nose, two slim projector-beam halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights wrap deep into its toned shoulders – nearly all the way into the front quarter panels. Because of this, the vehicle looks wider than it is, and possesses an assertive fascia that's uncommon in the segment.
Deep, curvy character lines emerge from a prominent Toyota badge that's flanked by the headlamps, and lead into the narrower core body. They run below the slender windows, and continue above the rear wheel where they marry to a high beltline and distinctive C-Pillar with integrated door handle.
Look closely at the silhouette to see the clear resemblance of a diamond set on its side. Powerful arches housing the extra-large 18-inch aluminum wheels accentuate the C-HR's sturdy posture and compact cabin.
The rear is a cohesive melding of its elaborate lines and 3D shapes. The tail lamps protrude outward, and the hatchback – outfitted with a lip spoiler and functional top wing – tapers neatly inboard, adding to the C-HR's futuristic look, and, once more, surprising girth.
Opening a door reveals a modern, spacious, and uncluttered interior having a keen placement of diamond accents and a driver-centric "MeZONE" orientation. Along with the soft-touch materials covering surfaces throughout, the diamond pattern influences the designs of the dual-zone climate controls, speaker surrounds, and black headliner above the front passengers.
The slightly angled dashboard and amenity controls allows for the driver to have a clear view of the road ahead and intuitive access to instrumentation – a nod to the C-HR's sports car influence. The 7- inch audio display is positioned centrally atop the dash, rather than in it, so as to help reduce a driver's eye movements. An informative twin-ring gauge cluster resides behind the leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel. The wheel, with its slender profile, small diameter, and compact center pad, is reminiscent of a sports car's easy-to-grip helm. The satin-plated shift knob exudes a high- quality feeling, and once in-hand, has a solid shift movement. A bright 4.2-inch color Multi- Information Display sits between the twin-ring cluster.
Key XLE standard features include a premium leather steering wheel; power fold and heated mirrors; auto-dimming rearview mirror with backup camera; electric parking brake; and dual-zone climate control. The XLE Premium builds upon the XLE's amenities and adds Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert; heated front seats; power lumbar driver's seat; auto fold, heated side mirrors with puddle lamps that project "Toyota C-HR"; fog lamps; and Smart Key with Push Button Start. Both grades are equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen display having AM/FM/HD Radio™, Aha™ app, USB port and AUX jack, Bluetooth®, and Voice Recognition with voice training.
Bolstered bucket seats help keep passengers snug and comfortable, no matter their commute's duration or dynamism. All passengers will appreciate the generous amount of small item storage space and cup holders. Designers used scalloped seatbacks, foot well cubbies carved below the front seats, and a chamfered headliner to create a spacious backseat environment. Sound insulating materials placed on the carpet, headliner, A-pillars, and door trim to help keep all unwanted noises out and the good conversations in. For extra cargo carrying versatility on weekend trips or errand runs, the rear 60/40 seat can split and fold flat.
The Toyota C-HR scores high on style points, but it is also a hit when it comes to thrilling fun and impressive comfort. Deputy Chief Engineer Koba took full advantage of the C-HR's adaptable Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) to craft an engaging character that goes well beyond just a cool appearance. The C-HR's core driving personality incorporates the ingredients of a well-sorted sports car – one that seamlessly melds cunning responsiveness, linearity, consistency, and comfort.
Years were spent developing the C-HR's driving performance and ride quality on some of the world's most curvaceous and challenging roads, including the Nürburgring Nordschleife, an iconic racing circuit. Doing so took a mix of innovation, creativity, and trial and error. As a result, the TNGA platform – with an inherent low center-of-gravity, high strength, and low weight – benefitted from extra rigidity through added spot welding, gussets, braces, and adhesives in and on key connection structures.
The newly developed MacPherson strut front suspension with SACHS dampers has angled strut bearings and a large diameter stabilizer bar to help the C-HR's front end respond quickly and precisely at initial corner turn-in. And at the rear, an all-new double-wishbone suspension utilizes SACHS shock absorbers with urethane upper supports – a first for Toyota. The material, together with an aluminum-cast upper support housing, aids in the dampers' absorption efficiency, and therefore, greatly benefit passenger comfort, cabin quietness, and vehicle agility.
Feeling connected to the road is characteristic of a sporty drive, and the C-HR delivers with its column-type Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system. As is the case with other EPS systems, a tilt of the steering wheel will return light feedback at low speeds, and at higher speeds, drivers will notice stronger feedback for increased confidence while behind the wheel. The C-HR's steering system's feel, however, relies on a highly rigid rack-and-pinion steering gearbox that is installed directly to the front suspension.
For all of its sportiness, the C-HR's ride quality is well-sorted, civilized, and highly capable in absorbing the nastiest of unkempt pavement. The end result is a C-HR that finds itself as at home on congested boulevards as it does on serpentine roads.
The C-HR's engine, a punchy 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 144 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque, sends all power to the front wheels via continuously variable transmission (CVT). The engine employs many of Toyota's latest generation of technologies, including Variable Valve Timing (VVT) and Valvematic, both of which have received extensive optimization to enhance fuel economy and smooth operation. Valvematic offers a broader range of continuously variable valve timing (lift and phasing) to provide optimal intake valve (not on exhaust side) operation relative to engine demands. Furthermore, to reduce exhaust emissions, the catalyst is warmed earlier during the engine's ignition cycle.
The all-new CVT received much attention by engineers, and utilizes redesigned pulleys to enhance acceleration and fuel economy; a new belt structure to reduce cabin noise; and, a world's-first coaxial two-port oil pump system that allows for continuous oil pressure modifications in various driving conditions. A Preload Differential helps to distribute torque between the left and right wheels during low-speed operation to make for easier, composed driving.
Of course, drivers and passengers will appreciate the powertrain's fuel efficiency, impressive smoothness, and quiet operation, but they'll love Sport mode and the simulated 7-speed Sequential Shiftmatic. Engaging the Sport mode via the MID increases the responsiveness of the throttle, quickens the CVT's automatic artificial "step-up" shifts, and maintains high engine speed to enhance acceleration. The EPS' feedback is weightier for a more confidence-inspiring feel. Pushing the gearshift over to the left while in Drive engages Sequential Shiftmatic, and lets drivers shift simulated gears at their convenience.
No matter its grade, the C-HR comes equipped with standard Toyota Safety Sense PTM (TSS-P). This multi-feature advanced active safety suite bundles cutting edge active safety technologies including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection function (PCS w/PD) featuring forward collision warning and Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist function (LDA w/SA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Full Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).
Complementing TSS-P are 10 standard airbags, standard Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) and rear backup camera, as well as available Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which are only available on the XLE Premium grade.
More power and fuel economy? That’s the name of the game for the 2017 Highlander thanks to its new 3.5-liter V6 D-4S Injection engine and Direct Shift – 8AT 8-speed automatic transmission. Taking full advantage of this revised powertrain is a new-for-2017 SE grade that brings a premium, sporty personality to the lineup. Not to be out shined by its gas-sipping siblings, the Highlander Hybrid adds two additional entry-level grades – LE and XLE – to its popular range. All Highlander models receive revised front and rear styling and enhanced interior convenience and comfort. Long story short, it’s great to be a Highlander buyer for 2017.
The Highlander is among numerous Toyotas having the innovative and highly advanced Toyota Safety Sense™ P driver-assist technology as standard. Using millimeter-wave radar and a monocular camera sensor to detect a preceding pedestrian, a preceding vehicle, and visible lane markers in the surrounding area, TSS-P can help the driver identify obstacles and automatically apply braking if necessary to help mitigate or avoid collisions in certain conditions. TSS-P includes the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection function; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist function; Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams.
In the spring of 2016, Toyota committed to making automatic emergency braking standard on nearly all models by the end of 2017 (2018 Model Year). This decision will place Toyota four years ahead of the model-year 2022 industry target announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) – before any other full-line automaker.
The Highlander V6 has steadily made strides in performance over its lifespan, but for 2017, the powertrain upgrade is perhaps the most dramatic. The new 3.5-liter D-4S Injection V6 pushes output to 295 horsepower and 263 lb.-ft. of torque, which represent increases of 25 hp and 15 lb.-ft., respectively, over the 2016 Highlander V6. The new V6 also becomes the base engine for the Highlander Hybrid and features Dual VVT-i.
Making best use of the engine’s upgraded performance and efficiency, the V6 Highlander now employs a new Direct Shift – 8AT 8-speed automatic transmission. The eight ratios, compared to six in the 2016 V6 model, benefit the Highlander’s acceleration and passing abilities. Both the engine and transmission incorporate new advances in friction reduction, while the transmission delivers a more direct driving feel and higher level of efficiency by expanding the torque converter lock-up range. Fuel economy for all-wheel drive models improves to an EPA-estimated 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway, versus 18/24 for the 2016 model.
Highlander V6 models (excluding LE) get another new feature: Stop and Start Engine System (S&S). This new system allows the engine to shut off when the vehicle comes to a complete stop, and then restarts when the driver’s foot lifts from the brake pedal. S&S is designed to reduce emissions, help reduce fuel consumption, and provide a quieter in-cabin experience for passengers when the vehicle is at a complete stop.
The LE front-wheel drive model’s standard 185-horsepower, 184 pound-feet of torque 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine uses Variable-Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) to produce a thick torque curve. It’s teamed with a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. The combination yields an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 20 mpg city/24 mpg highway.
All Highlander V6 models come standard with a towing package that allows for a maximum towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds. The package includes a heavy-duty radiator with engine oil cooler, 200-watt fan coupling, supplemental transmission oil cooler and 150-amp alternator.
The View from Above – and Behind, and All Around
The Highlander’s sleek and strong design ensures ample visibility for the driver – a trait that is augmented on all models with a standard back-up camera. On the XLE grade and above, the Highlander receives a standard Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (BSM w/RCTA).
Taking visibility and safety to new heights, the 2017 Highlander Limited Platinum grades arrive with a standard-issue Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan.
This Toyota technology employs four cameras that are mounted on the front, the side mirrors and rear of the vehicle to project a panoramic view of the vehicle’s surroundings on the central multimedia monitor. The system offers drivers assistance when parallel parking, and when pulling in and out of parking spaces. The Bird’s Eye View Camera system also features a Toyota-first function called Perimeter Scan, which provides a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle, helping the driver to see potential obstacles in certain conditions.
More Consumer Choice
The third-generation Highlander, now entering its fourth year, offers room for up to eight with three-row seating. While the gas V6 model adds the sporty SE grade, the Highlander Hybrid adds two new grades, (LE and XLE), joining the Limited and Platinum models for a total of four. Accompanying the gas model’s all-new SE grade are LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum, all available in either FWD or AWD.
A Bigger Touch of Luxury
The 2017 Highlander conveys a more elegant presence in all grades for 2017.
The front grille on LE, LE Plus and XLE grades features a silver-painted finish, while Limited and Platinum grades have a painted chrome finish. The taillights are redesigned for a sleeker look and now feature standard LEDs, and the Limited and Platinum models receive tasteful rear bumper chrome garnishes.
Three new exterior colors look as luxurious as they sound: Celestial Silver Metallic, Toasted Walnut Pearl, and, exclusively on the new SE, Salsa Red Pearl.
Inside, all Highlander add four USB ports for a total of five, making charging personal devices easier (and possibly helping to keep the peace on long family trips).
Limited and Limited Platinum grades, previously offered only in seven-passenger configurations with middle-row captain’s chairs, now offer a bench-style middle row seat from other grades for eight-passenger seating. The Limited Platinum also offers a lavish new brown leather interior.
Sporty New SE Grade
Meet the SE, a perfect blend of sportiness, premium looks and feel, and functionality. Its trim-specific dark paint treatment for the front grille, headlamp housings and roof rails, combined with unique 19-inch wheels, give the SE an athletic stance and stunning style. The SE goes beyond sporty looks and rides atop specially tuned front and rear suspension that tightens handling agility.
Inside, passengers will notice unique black leather-trimmed seats having silver stitching and pattern inserts, plus matching dark dash and door accents. The SE comes as a V6-powered model in FWD or AWD, and will have a seating capacity fit for seven passengers.
Family Size Pack
Easy to drive and park, the Highlander packs a lot of room into its 192.5-inch length. That’s just a few inches longer than a midsize sedan, yet, the Highlander offers three-row seating and up to 158.7 cu. ft. total cabin volume. A one-step second-row sliding seat function on both driver and passenger sides makes entering the third-row easy. Third-row passengers get a standard recline function.
Should the driver or co-pilot need to convey any special instructions to third-row passengers, such as, “Stop annoying each other,” shouting won’t be necessary anymore. XLE grades and above come standard with Driver Easy Speak. A microphone located in the overhead console amplifies the driver’s voice and broadcasts it, one-way, through the audio system’s rear speakers.
With all seat rows in use, an impressive 13.8 cu. ft. of carrying space behind the third row can be utilized. Fold the 60/40 split fold-flat third-row seatbacks to open the space to 42.3 cu. ft., and then 83.7 cu. ft. with the 60/40 split fold-flat second row also lowered.
A Quiet Place
The Highlander has long been renowned for its quiet interior, and the current version is no exception. The solid body structure, combined with finely tuned MacPherson strut front suspension and double-wishbone rear suspension, deliver a capable and smooth ride quality.
The roster of sound-control features includes three hydraulic engine mounts, acoustic-type windshield glass along with a dash silencer and extensive body sealing. Even the available panoramic moonroof was designed to reduce wind noise even when open.
The improved quietness, along with a soft-touch instrument panel and silver-painted, satin, and chrome-plated accents, add to the Highlander’s overarching premium feel. High quality materials and extensive standard equipment underscore the renowned Toyota value.
Upholstery choices begin at the LE’s premium fabric level which trims both front and second row seats, and progresses into the available SofTex® synthetic trim, then culminates at the available smooth or perforated leather. The LE Plus grade and above feature contrast stitching an all seats, and on the Limited grade, wood-grain pattern trim on the dash and doors add touches of elegance. New for 2017, Limited Platinum vehicles receive a unique wood accent.
One of the cabin’s many highlights, the roll-top center console, provides a big, comfortable armrest easily shared by the driver and front passenger. This console’s inner storage box is roomy enough to hold a very large handbag. An LCD Multi-Information Display within the gauge cluster puts vital information in the driver’s line of sight. New for 2017, the LE and LE Plus grades replace their 3.5-inch black and white screen from 2016 with a 4.2-inch color screen displaying odometer, current/average fuel economy, cruising range, and an ECO driving indicator. Drivers of higher grades will notice a 4.2-inch color LCD MID providing odometer, current/average fuel economy, cruising range, average speed, AWD torque distribution (AWD gas models only), cruise control guide, navigation with turn-by-turn directions, audio status, hands-free incoming call notices, telephone information, Eco driving indicator, and energy monitor (Hybrid models only).
Dynamic Torque Control All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
SUV drivers nowadays expect an effective, and seamless, all-wheel drive drivetrain. The Gas V6 Highlander models offer Dynamic Torque Control AWD, a sophisticated driving partner that helps get the vehicle through all sorts of slippery situations.
The system takes input from various sensors (vehicle speed, steering speed and angle, throttle angle and yaw rate) to actively govern torque distribution to the rear wheels via an electromagnetically controlled coupling in the rear differential. Dynamic Torque Control AWD automatically shifts to AWD when the steering wheel is turned and when accelerating to help prevent wheel slippage, or when sensors detect wheel slippage in other situations, and can vary front-to-rear torque distribution from 100:0 to 50:50.
Under normal cruising conditions, the system remains in front-wheel drive to help reduce fuel consumption. An AWD LOCK switch holds the 50:50 torque split for certain low-speed driving situations in challenging conditions up to 25 MPH. The multi-information display conveys torque-distribution info. A sophisticated, high-speed interactive management system coordinates control of the AWD, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Electric Power Steering systems to help enhance performance, handling and safety.
Highlander Hybrid: Higher Power, Higher Fuel Efficiency
The 2017 Highlander Hybrid is one of eight hybrid models offered by Toyota. Available for 2017 in LE, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum grades, the Highlander Hybrid impresses with its outstanding power and efficiency.
The Hybrid Synergy Drive system pairs the new Direct-Injection 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with a high-torque electric drive motor-generator produces 306 total system horsepower for strong acceleration and passing performance. The Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient Highlander too, with an EPA-estimated 30 mpg city/28 mpg highway/29 mpg combined fuel economy rating.
All Highlander Hybrid models come equipped with Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive System with intelligence (AWD-i) as standard. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels, this AWD-i system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels when needed to help maintain optimal traction.
Toyota Value in Every Grade
The 2017 Highlander starts with the high-value LE grade and progresses to the LE Plus with added equipment. Next come the XLE with even more amenities, the SE and its athletic presence, followed by the top-of-the-line Limited with added luxuries such as heated and ventilated front seats, available heated second-row outboard or captain’s seats and a heated steering wheel (on the Platinum Package).
The LE and LE Plus grades are well-equipped “mono-spec” grades, therefore no option packages are offered. The standard equipment rosters are quite extensive, with the LE featuring:
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- Entune® Audio featuring a 6.1-inch touchscreen
- Bluetooth® phone and music streaming
- Integrated backup camera
- Seating for eight with second- and third-row 60/40 split fold-flat seats
- Heated side mirrors with turn signal indicators
- Windshield wiper de-icer.
- Tow Package on V6 models
The “Plus” for the LE Plus grade adds:
- Fabric and SofTex®-trimmed seats
- Fog lights
- Height-adjustable power rear liftgate with flip-up rear hatch window
- 8-way power driver seat with lumbar support
- Entune™ Audio Plus with SiriusXM® Satellite Radio and HD Radio™ featuring an 8-inch display monitor
- Three-zone automatic climate control
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
The XLE adds a wide array of comfort and convenience features, including:
- Leather-trimmed seats
- Heated front seats
- Smart Key System with push button start
- Power tilt-slide moonroof
- Driver Easy Speak
- Second-row integrated sun shades
- Chromtec® roof rails
- 4.2-inch color multi-information display
- Anti-theft system
- Entune™ Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite features
The SE brings premium, sporty attributes to the lineup, including:
- Dark Paint treatment to front grill, headlamp housing, and roof rails
- 19-in. split multi-spoke machined-face alloy wheels with black finish and black center caps
- Black leather–trimmed seats with silver stitching and pattern seat inserts
- Black front tray color with Matching dash/door technical pattern inserts
- Sport tuned front and rear suspension (coil springs and shocks)
In the XLE and SE, the Blu-ray® DVD rear-seat entertainment system is also available.
Crossing into Luxury Territory
Once buckled into the Highlander Limited’s comfortable seats, passengers have successfully crossed into luxury territory. In addition to the new painted chrome grille finish, the Limited dons a set of 19-inch Chromtec® alloy wheels. Inside, Blue LED ambient lighting around the dash and doors adds a touch of high-tech elegance, and numerous amenities raise the comfort quotient considerably.
Seating for seven includes second-row captain’s chairs, perforated leather-trimmed seats, heated and ventilated front seats, a 4-way power passenger seat, and memory settings for the driver seat and side mirrors. Limited also features updated puddle lamps that now feature a Highlander Projection.
Added safety features include rear parking assist sonar, while entertainment is upgraded with Entune™ Premium JBL® Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite. Adding the Platinum Package takes Highlander to the top with Bird’s Eye View Camera, a panoramic moonroof, heated steering wheel, heated second-row captain’s chairs or outboard chairs in the optional bench seat, rain-sensing windshield wipers, dark chrome finish to the 19” Chromtec® wheels and more.
All 2017 Highlanders have eight standard airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System™, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology®. All Highlanders also come equipped with a standard backup camera and Hill-start Assist Control. AWD Gas models feature standard Downhill Assist Control (DAC).
Toyota Safety That Makes Sense
The standard Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P) driver assist system bundles cutting edge active safety technologies including Pre-Collision with Pedestrian Detection function (PCS w/PD) featuring forward collision warning and Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist function (LDA w/SA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).
The Pedestrian Detection function of Pre-collision System (PCS) uses a camera and radar to detect a pedestrian ahead of the vehicle in certain conditions. When the system determines there is a possibility of collision, it prompts the driver to brake with an audio and visual alert. If the driver notices the hazard and brakes, the system may provide additional braking force using Brake Assist. If the driver fails to brake in a set time and the system determines that the risk of collision with a pedestrian is extremely high, the system may automatically apply the brakes, reducing speed in order to help the driver avoid the collision or reducing the impact.
Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist function uses an in-vehicle camera designed to detect visible white and yellow lane markers in front of the vehicle and the vehicle’s position on the road. If the system determines that the vehicle is starting to unintentionally deviate from its lane, the system alerts the driver with an audio and visual alert. When the alerts occur, the driver must check the surrounding road situation and carefully operate the steering wheel to move the vehicle back to the center part of their lane.
In addition to the alert function of LDA, TSS-P equipped vehicles with EPS will feature a Steering Assist function. When equipped and enabled, if the system determines that the vehicle is on a path to unintentionally depart from its lane, the system may provide small corrective steering inputs to the steering wheel for a short period of time to help the driver keep the vehicle in its lane.
On highways, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) functions similar to conventional “constant speed” cruise control in that it helps vehicles travel at a consistent speed set by the driver, but this system adds a vehicle-to-vehicle distance control mode designed to assist the driver by adjusting vehicle speed (within a set range) to help maintain a pre-set distance to a preceding vehicle when the preceding vehicle is traveling at a lower speed.
Once a vehicle speed is set by the driver, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control uses a front-grill mounted millimeter-wave radar and an in-vehicle camera designed to detect a preceding vehicle and help determine its distance.
If the vehicle ahead is detected traveling at a speed slower than your set speed or within your distance range setting, the system is designed to automatically decelerate the vehicle without having to cancel the cruise control. When a greater reduction in vehicle speed is necessary, the system may apply the brakes and operate the vehicle brake lights. The system will then respond to changes in the speed of the vehicle ahead in order to help maintain the vehicle-to-vehicle distance set by the driver. When there is no longer a preceding vehicle driving slower than the vehicle’s set speed, the system accelerates until the set speed is reached and returns to the pre-set speed cruising.
Automatic High Beams (AHB) helps enhance forward visibility during nighttime driving. It uses a camera to detect the headlights of oncoming vehicles and the tail lights of vehicles ahead, and then automatically switches between high beams and low beams so as not to interfere with other drivers.
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. The hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
The Highlander also comes standard with Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) in Princeton, Ind., which employs over 4,000 American workers, assembles all Highlanders and exports them to 12 countries.