Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon Rolling Off The Line

GM’s return to the midsize truck segment is one step closer, with the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon shipping to dealers this week.

The trucks while loosely based off a global architecture have unique design for North America and are built in Wentzville, Missouri just outside of St. Louis.

Dealers and consumers alike have shown high-interest. GM says buyers have created more than 100,000 configurations of the trucks since the Chevrolet and GMC Build Your Own websites went live earlier this month.

Both Colorado and Canyon will offer a smaller overall package than the full-size 1500 series trucks from both brands and come in double and crew cab configurations as well s both two and four-wheel drive.

They’re available with a fuel efficient 2.5 liter four-cylinder with as much as 27 mpg highway and a larger 3.6 liter V6 engine with as much as 26 mpg highway.

And next year, Colorado and Canyon will even be available with a new 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine which is sure to offer top end towing as well as fuel-economy.

GM is also touting the trucks available OnStar with 4G LTE which makes them a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven mobile devices connecting to the Internet.

I can see the new-era tailgating scene now, beer and the smoke of barbeque replaced with tables, phones, and laptops.

We are hoping to get our first drive in the new GM Mid-Sized trucks at the Texas State Fair in Dallas this week so stay tuned.

Audi gets first autonomous drivers license in California

Audi has announced they will be the first brand to receive California’s new autonomous driving permit as the state opened the door for them this week.

While nothing new to Europe where Audi has already tested self-driving cars for some time, the research moves to California in addition to other states where it’s now allowed.

The goal of Audi’s research is to help develop an automated piloted driving system for freeway traffic, and in California this is one of the hotbeds for such a solution.

Getting permission to test on California’s roads was especially important as the state is home Audi’s Electronics Research Lab where much of this work is done.

While known as a driver’s brand, Audi has been one of the companies on the forefront of automated driving from its earliest stages.

Their accomplishments to date include the Audi TTS Pikes Peak car that completed the 12 mile Pikes Peak International Hill Climb racecourse in 27 minutes without a human behind the wheel.

Audi says the technology could be ready for consumers within five years. I don’t know about you but this still makes me a bit nervous.

New Cadillac Flagship coming from Detroit in 2015

Cadillac announced this week they would again build a rear-wheel drive flagship above all current models they offer now, and it will be built in Detroit.

To start rolling off the assembly line late next year as a 2016 model, the yet un-named Cadillac flagship will be built at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant where the ELR is currently built.

A well kept secret, the new top-of-the-range Cadillac will be built on an all-new rear-wheel drive architecture and be of an all-new design from the ground up.

Little is known about the new Cadillac as it relates to what engines will be available or what configurations it might be sold in be it sedan and coupe or even convertible.

I mention the latter two because Cadillac has teased us in recent years with the Ciel and ElMiraj concept we’re showing you here. These show us the full size and design Cadillac has been hinting of for a new flagship model.

We can bet that the new twin-turbocharged 3.6 liter V6 we recently tested in the CTS V-Sport will be available, but what beyond that is anyone’s guess at this point.

The new model will be unveiled in the first half of next year. My bet would be at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit come January given its where the car will be built.

It may however wait until the New York Auto Show in April as the brand is rumored of late to be taking a liking to the Big Apple in ways that have yet to be officially announced.

Wherever it debuts, a new top-of-the line Cadillac will be huge news and we’ll bring it to you when it comes.

Test Drives

Huge news in our test drives this week was the 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T which made this Mustang guy’s I’d Buy It List.

For 2015 Dodge upped the ante with their Challenger which has been on the market for some time with a number of running updates to keep it fresh against new competition.

The 372 horsepower 5.7 liter V8 while not as powerful as Camaro or Mustangs base V8 gets high marks for its sound and feel as well as its performance through the new 8-speed automatic transmission.

You can however option two more powerful V8’s if winning the bench race is your deal, with a 485 horsepower 6.4 or the new 707 horsepower supercharged Hellcat 6.2.

New styling up front and out the back also freshened the look from the curb. An all-new interior is really where the 2015 Challenger shines with higher quality and the latest Uconnect feature content.

And when it comes to feature content, this is where the new rear-wheel drive V8 sedan from Kia really hangs its hat. Yeah that’s what I said, a V8 powered Kia.

The 2015 Kia K900 sedan reaches into the size class of BMW, Mercedes and Lexus mid and top level models and as fully loaded as our tester is, costs up in their category too.

With a 5.0 liter 420 horsepower V8 and smooth shifting 8-speed automatic, it plays in their classroom as well, offering the kind of specs they have traded on for years.

Is the K900 ready to take them on head to head? Well that’s what we’re finding out this week. A full report is coming up soon.

For these and many more test drives, log onto TestDriven.TV or our YouTube Channel.

Reality Check: Mustang Unites

As the 2015 Mustang is rolling out across American magazine covers and dealerships this week, we’re reminded that this new pony is now a global horse.

This week a collaboration between artist Burton Morris and Ford called Mustang Unites offers up an art collection featuring the car’s globally recognizable pony badge painted in flags of the world.

The point of the collection is to celebrate Mustang’s global expansion to more than 120 countries. And kicking if off will be a series of hand painted and sculpted pony emblems with the colors of 10 countries.

Each piece in the collection will feature the flag of one of 10 countries where Mustang will be sold starting the United States

Other flags to come include Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Arab Emirates and or course the United Kingdom.

At current you can buy one of three posters featuring the all the designs international, and two US Flag designs for a limited time at .

Additionally you can also inquire about getting one of the hand sculpted ponies or even commissioning your own. I bet it costs a few more dollars than the poster. Count on it.

Money Shot

Now it’s time for our Money Shot where we bring you a photo from this week’s press releases and show it to ya!

This week the 2015 Ford Mustang has been in the hands of journalists all over Southern California as you likely know if you watch the news. This photo at at Mel’s Diner captures the pony well I think.

We ourselves will be testing the 2015 Mustang in both EcoBoost and GT trim next week so stay tuned.

That’s it for Motoring Monday this week. Click on the link right here to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to stay up to date on our latest drives, news and Motoring Monday episodes.

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I’m Sam Haymart for TestDrivenTV, I hope you enjoyed the ride!