• 06 Aug 2018 3:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    During the July meeting, Buick’s Marketing Manager Brad Wolf showcased the sporty Regal GS and adventurous Regal TourX to MAMA members. According to Wolf, “Where spirited driving meets attainable luxury and sleek, sporty design meets modern usefulness, you’ll find the 2018 Regal GS. Where rugged utility meets upscale amenities, purpose-built for an active lifestyle, you’ll find the 2018 Regal TourX.”

    Wolf took MAMA members through the specifications of each vehicle, but there was a common theme: Buick aims to fill a void in the market by finding the “white space.”

    For example, the Regal GS may be a smart choice for buyers who are looking for a step above the mainstream but don’t want to break the bank for a BMW. The luxurious TourX wagon finds the sweet spot between a Subaru Outback and an Audi A4.

    Regal GS

    The Buick Regal GS combines sportiness with luxury into a spacious, all-wheel drive hatchback sedan. Notable vehicle features include massive cargo space; standard heated/cooled and massaging performance seats; intelligent AWD system with an active twin clutch; standard Brembo brakes; a standard 8-inch touchscreen and 8-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster; and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

    In terms of safety, a head-up display is available with an optional package that also includes several safety features including front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, forward collision alert and adaptive cruise control with forward automatic braking.

    Under the hood you’ll find a 3.6-liter that puts out 310 hp and 282 lb.-ft. of torque. It has some pep, reaching 0 to 60 in six seconds.

    Every Regal GS also features Buick’s Interactive Drive Control which allows the driver to tailor the car’s dynamics based on different drive experiences through a standard setting or Sport and GS modes.

    The Regal GS starts at $39,990, a more attainable price point than its competitors in the segment, according to Wolf.

    Regal TourX

    The Regal TourX is the rugged, more adventurous brother of the GS and is built for those with an active lifestyle. The five-passenger luxury wagon features best-in-class cargo space with 73.5 cubic ft. behind the first row as well as a lower roof and load height than most SUVs. Three trim levels are offered including the base, Preferred and Essence. Each trim level comes with a standard turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, putting out 250 hp and 295 lb.-ft. of torque.

    Notable features on the base model include LED lights, heated mirrors, a rearview camera, OnStar communications package with 4G connection and in-vehicle Wi-Fi, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

    The next level up, Preferred, includes additional safety features such as rear parking sensors and blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems. The highest trim level, Essence, adds more luxurious features such as driver-seat memory functions and a wireless smartphone charging pad. Enhanced safety features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning.

    Another example of how Buick tries to fill the white space in this segment, the TourX is more likely to fit inside a garage with the roof racks on and gear (surf board, kayaks, etc.) loaded on top, compared to a traditional crossover. Wolf noted this is an extremely important feature to owners for convenience sake.

    The TourX starts at $29,070, roughly $10K lower than the Regal GS.  

    Stay tuned for communication for the next MAMA meeting, and remember to follow MAMA on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

  • 09 Jul 2018 4:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Subaru’s Car Line Planning Manager Peter Tenn recently presented the all-new Ascent to MAMA members during their monthly meeting. Now available in the Midwest, the Ascent is satisfying consumer demand as the need for a three-row SUV is on the rise. Tenn explained that Subaru is using its brand strength to conquest new customers in a segment that’s already crowded.

    Described as “family-sized, versatile and capable,” the Ascent has a bold, edgy and strong presence with sweeping lines. Tenn says comfort, styling, reliability, quality, space and safety are the main reasons for purchase in this segment, and he’s confident the Ascent delivers in each of these categories. Inside, the vehicle is spacious, elegant and functional.  

    The Ascent is designed for Americans – it easily accommodates large baby strollers, child seats, sports equipment, big luggage and enlarged coolers. One of Subaru’s main focuses when designing the Ascent was cargo capacity, and Tenn believes the vehicle is very competitive dimensionally. It offers seven-passenger seating with second-row captain's chairs or eight-passenger seating with a bench replacing the captain's chairs. With the eight-passenger bench seating, three child car seats can fit next to each other in the middle row. The door openings are extra wide to fit large child seats. 

    Subaru also focused heavily on holistic safety when designing the Ascent. All-wheel-drive and Subaru’s EyeSight system (which provides forward collision warning and emergency braking) come standard on the Ascent. Also available is lane keep assist, lane away (which, essentially, is lane departure warning with a beep warning), lead vehicle alert, EyeSight HUD (which alerts the driver when the car in front of them moves from a stationary position), reverse automatic braking, blind spot and rear traffic alert and overall excellent visibility. 

    In regards to fuel economy, the Ascent achieves 27 mpg (26 mpg for the more fully-loaded models) and doesn’t need premium gas to hit these numbers, unlike some of Ascent’s competitors. Subaru built the Ascent on its new Global Platform and the new 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine sits under the hood producing 260 hp and 277 lb.-ft. of torque. 

    Plus, the Ascent has some serious off-road cred with 8.7 ground clearance – which, surprisingly, is the same as the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. Additionally, it has a 5,000 lb. towing capability – which is competitive for this segment – that includes trailer stability assist. 

    Technology abounds in the new the Ascent and features Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system including an eight-inch touchscreen with physical knobs (that come in handy for owners in the snowbelt states who consistently wear gloves), standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as available WiFi (the Ascent is the first Subaru vehicle to offer a WiFi hotspot). The “Entertainment Anywhere” package is also available which allows people to connect their own devices into the vehicle (i.e. two WiFi iPads or two Harman Kardon headphone sets). 

    Additional notable features include a panoramic moonroof with 100 percent UV blocking; ventilated and heated seats; rain sensing wipers; heated mirrors and windshield wipers; roof rails that can accommodate roof tents; 180-degree front-view camera; a new smart rear-view mirror (mitigating the issue when the vehicle is loaded to its gills); eight USB ports; and 19 in-vehicle cup holders. 

    The Ascent is now available at area dealerships with a starting price of $31,995 (though the price ranges upward through $45,000 for premium models). Tenn eluded to forthcoming hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Ascent; that announcement will likely come later this year. 

    Buick will host MAMA’s forthcoming July meeting to present the 2018 Buick Regal GS and the 2018 Regal TourX. 

  • 01 Jun 2018 11:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin – May 29, 2018 – The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) held its annual Spring Rally last week at Road America – one of the world’s premier road racing tracks. Over the course of two days, more than 80 media members from across the country had the opportunity to put more than 90 vehicles through their paces in a variety of driving opportunities, including on-track, street, off-road and autocross.

    Automakers selected the MAMA Spring Rally to showcase their latest cars, trucks and SUVs, and a few even gave the assembled MAMA journalists in-depth presentations on the hottest new or soon-to-be-released vehicles in their lineups.

    2019 Nissan Altima

    Nissan kicked off the MAMA Spring Rally with a breakfast presentation featuring the official unveiling of the Altima Edition ONE, a limited-production launch edition of the all-new 2019 Nissan Altima sedan. The presentation marked the first time the sixth-generation Altima has been seen outside of an auto show.

    The Edition ONE features exclusive 19-inch dark gray aluminum-alloy wheels, rear spoiler, external ground lighting, illuminated kick plates and Edition ONE badging and floormats. In addition, buyers have access to the new Edition ONE Nissan Concierge, an exclusive premium service that features 24/7 live assistant access (dinner reservations, event ticket purchases, etc.) that can be reached in-vehicle or through a compatible smartphone, smartwatch or smart speaker apps. The service is no-charge for the first three years of Edition ONE ownership.

    Nissan announced that reservations open June 15th for the Altima Edition ONE and other 2019 Altima models, all of which are slated to go on sale this fall.

    2019 RAM 1500

    The redesigned 2019 Ram 1500 is lighter, more aerodynamic, more spacious, and more fuel-efficient than the previous-generation model, and MAMA members got a detailed overview of this groundbreaking new full-size pickup—as well as on-road and off-road driving opportunities. Highlights of the all-new Ram include an overall weight reduction of 225 pounds, towing capacity of up to 12,750 pounds, and an available UConnect 4C infotainment system with a massive 12-inch touchscreen.

    “As we introduce the new 2019 Ram 1500, we were thrilled to give more than 80 journalists the opportunity to experience the no-compromise truck that is changing the way truck buyers view strength, efficiency, capability, technology and luxury,” said Jim Morrison, Head of Ram Brand – FCA North America.  

    Hemi-powered Ram 1500 Quad Cabs and Crew Cabs are in dealerships now, with a starting price of $31,695 plus $1,645 destination fee; regular-cab and mild-hybrid “eTorque” models are due later this year.

    2019 Acura RDX

    MAMA Spring Rally attendees were among the first journalists to drive the all-new, third-generation RDX.  Acura’s popular compact SUV is redesigned for 2019, gaining an A-Spec performance model, a more spacious cabin, an innovative “True Touchpad” remote-interface infotainment system, and all-new turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that puts out 272 horsepower. Designed, developed, and manufactured in America, the 2019 Acura RDX is slated to arrive in dealerships this summer.

    2019 Volkswagen Jetta

    Volkswagen opened the second day of the MAMA Spring Rally with a breakfast highlighting its redesigned Jetta compact sedan, which was also on-hand for journalist test drives at the event. Based off Volkswagen’s award-winning MQB architecture, the 2019 Jetta dons a new sophisticated coupe-like exterior design, offers impressive interior space, competitive fuel economy and upscale technology features, from available automatic cruise control to available 10-color ambient lighting.

    The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is arriving in dealerships now, with a starting price of $18,545.

    2018 Hyundai Kona

    Hyundai helped close the two-day MAMA event with a presentation on its new entry into the subcompact crossover market. The 2018 Kona offers eye-catching “urban smart armor” exterior styling, a choice of a 147-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder or a 175-hp turbocharged 1.6 four, and a host of available advanced safety features.

    “Hyundai Motor America was pleased to showcase the all-new Kona at the MAMA Spring Rally. A crossover for ‘Urban Adventurers,’ the new CUV offers youthful design, sporty driving character, leading safety technology and advanced infotainment features in an affordable, compact footprint, appealing to consumers with active lifestyles and adventure-oriented driving environments,” said Michele Tinson, Midwest Communications, HMA.

    The 2018 Hyundai Kona is on sale now, with a starting price of $19,500; the pure-electric 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric is slated to join the lineup late this year in select states.

    FVOTY and LFVOTY Finalists Announced

    MAMA has expanded its Family Vehicle of the Year award this year by adding a new luxury vehicle division, and an impressive roster of 16 FVOTY candidates and 11 LFVOTY contenders were available for test drives at the Spring Rally. To qualify for the awards, a vehicle must have 4 doors and be new or significantly updated within a year of the Spring Rally. MAMA members digitally voted for their choices via an online survey at the event, and those votes were compiled to produce the following finalists:

    Family Vehicle of the Year:

    • 2018 Buick Regal TourX

    • 2018 Ford Expedition

    • 2018 Hyundai Kona

    • 2018 Mazda6

    • 2019 Ram 1500

    • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta

    Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year:

    • 2019 Acura RDX

    • 2018 Kia Stinger

    • 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

    • 2019 Volvo XC40

    These vehicles will join another round of finalists that will be chosen at the 2018 MAMA Fall Rally this October. A final round of online voting will determine the two winners, which will be announced at the MAMA Breakfast that opens the 2019 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview.

  • 10 May 2018 12:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Chicago, Illinois (April 25, 2017)- Alfa Romeo hosted MAMA members at the Collectors’ Car Garage in Chicago on Wednesday, April 25, to showcase the brand’s newest Italian offering – the all-new 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio provides a distinctive offering in the premium midsize SUV segment. With its world-class performance, state-of-the-art technologies, seductive Italian style and an exhilarating driving experience, this all-new turbocharged SUV will definitely turn heads. 

    Since its foundation in Milan, Italy, in 1910, Alfa Romeo has designed and crafted some of the most stylish and exclusive cars in automotive history.  Alfa’s current offerings in the U.S. include the 4c Coupe and Spider (a small two-door race-inspired sports car), and the Giulia, a premium four-door sedan. 


    Born from the legendary driving road in the Italian Alps – the Stelvio Pass – the all-new Stelvio sets a new benchmark in performance, style and technology.The iconic hand-painted Quadrifoglio, which is a four-leaf clover badge, is symbolic of legendary Alfa Romeo race cars and high-performance production vehicles.

    Ben Lyon, Head of Alfa Romeo Product Brand Marketing, had the opportunity to talk to MAMA members and guests on how the Stelvio Quadrifoglio continues to highlight Alfa Romeo’s performance expertise with best-in-class 505 horsepower and segment-leading V-6 torque, powering it from 0-60 mph in an estimated 3.9 seconds with a top speed of 176 mph.


    In addition to best-in-class horsepower, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio features segment-leading V-6 torque (443 lb.-ft.) and the most horsepower per liter in its class. The innovative Q4 all-wheel-drive (AWD) system – standard on all Stelvio models, including the Quadrifoglio - provides additional driving confidence and superior control. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio – which went on sale in early 2018 – currently holds the Nürburgring record for the fastest production SUV with a lap time of 7 minutes and 51.7 seconds.

    The Stelvio sat alongside the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and a handful of classic vintage Alfa Romeos at the Collectors’ Car Garage, a purpose built, climate controlled 60,000 sq. ft. storage facility dedicated to the preservation and storage of more than 300 collector cars and motorcycles. 


    The Stelvio Quadrifoglio is built at the Cassino plant in Italy and is available in Alfa Romeo dealerships now.The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $79,995.


  • 08 Feb 2018 1:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Chicago, Illinois (Feb. 8, 2018) – The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) announced today at the Chicago Auto Show that the 2018 Honda Odyssey has been named the winner of its eighth annual Family Vehicle of the Year award.

    MAMA is a nonprofit group of automotive journalists and public relations professionals, and it developed the award to help car-shopping families make a wise decision when they’re ready for a new vehicle.

    “Choosing a family vehicle is an important decision. It should be versatile, reliable, efficient, and reasonably priced. MAMA members pooled their expertise and experience to select the best family vehicle from an outstanding group of new and significantly refreshed models, and the Honda Odyssey came out on top,” said award coordinator Tim Healey.

    To qualify for the award, vehicles had to have four doors, start at less than $50,000, appear at one of MAMA’s two annual rallies, and be new or significantly updated within a year of the 2017 Spring Rally, which took place last May. The MAMA Spring and Fall Rallies feature roughly 100 manufacturer vehicles for journalists to drive and evaluate.

    Voting took place at both rallies, and out of more than three dozen competitors, MAMA ended up with 12 finalists: Alfa Romeo Giulia, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Accord, Honda Odyssey, Mazda CX-5, Toyota Camry, Volkswagen Atlas, Volkswagen Tiguan, and Volvo XC60.

    In each round of voting, three points were awarded for a first-place vote, two points were given for a second-place vote and third-place votes were valued at one point each.

    MAMA members then voted in one final round, and 94 automotive journalists selected the 2018 Honda Odyssey as the winner with 85 points, narrowly edging out the 2018 Volvo XC60, which garnered 84 points. The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas placed third with 72 points.

    Voting for the 2019 Family Vehicle of the Year award will begin at the 2018 MAMA Spring Rally, which is scheduled for May 23-24 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The MAMA Fall Rally is tentatively scheduled for October 3 at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois.

    New for 2019, MAMA President Jill Ciminillo announced that the association will be adding a Luxury Family Vehicle of the Year Award.

    “We are excited to expand the Family Vehicle awards for 2019,” Ciminillo said. “Adding a luxury category allows us to help a broader range of families select the best vehicles that will meet their needs.”

    For more information about the Midwest Automotive Media Association, please visit

    About the Midwest Automotive Media Association

    Founded in 1991, and now in its 27th year, the Midwest Automotive Media Association comprises 269 automotive journalists and public relations professionals from 25 states, D.C. and Canada. Though based in the Chicago area, MAMA welcomes members from all parts of the country. The organization’s primary purpose is to provide a forum for newsworthy people, major issues, and new products in the auto industry.

  • 06 Feb 2018 12:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Chicago (Feb. 1, 2018) – The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) elected its 2018 board of directors during its annual business meeting.

    Continuing in the second year of their term, Jill Ciminillo remains president, Damon Bell is senior vice president and Matt Avery is vice president of membership.

    Re-elected for new two-year terms, Larry Nutson is the association’s treasurer, Kelley Enright serves as secretary and Jennifer Morand serves as MAMA’s website and social media director.

    During the annual MAMA business meeting, it was reported that the association now has 269 members, is financially sound and continues to hold successful events that benefit both its membership as well as auto makers.

    President Jill Ciminillo announced that MAMA is on target to reach the minimum funding of $100,000 for the Jim Mateja Memorial Scholarship that the association established at Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism. A scholarship will be award to an undergraduate student each year commencing in the fall of 2018.

    Upcoming 2018 MAMA events include:

    MAMA Opening Breakfast during the 2018 Chicago Auto Show (Thursday, Feb. 8) 

    - Thomas Doll, President and COO of Subaru of America, Inc to deliver the keynote

    - MAMA Family Vehicle of the Year will be announced

    MAMA Spring Rally at Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (Wednesday, May 23 – Thursday, May 24) 

    MAMA Fall Rally at the Autobahn Country Club, Joliet, Illinois (Wednesday, Oct. 3)

  • 25 Nov 2017 10:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month’s MAMA meeting highlighted Hyundai’s Accent, the brand’s least-expensive sedan that recently underwent notable updates for the 2018 model year. Michael Evanoff, Hyundai’s manager of product planning, delivered a brief presentation on the refreshed sedan before sending MAMA members out on test drives. New updates include:  

    • Improved driving dynamics and an efficient powertrain
    • Upscale exterior design, sophisticated interior and signature Hyundai design
    • Advanced connectivity with available Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Hyundai Blue Link and SiriusXM satellite radio
    • Safety from the available Forward Collision-avoidance Assist

    The new generation Accent is slightly longer and wider than the model it replaces, but the EPA still classifies it as a compact sedan. Also on the exterior, the Accent shows off a new cascading grille design inspired by the cascading effect of molten steel.

    The vehicle has available projector headlights with LED daytime running lights, available fog lights and standard functional air curtains, which help eliminate the turbulence in the wheelhouse area. Available LED taillights give the vehicle a more noticeable presence on the road.

    Moving to the interior, Evanoff describes the new look as a contemporary intuitive design: easy to reach, easy to see, easy to understand.

    Standard features include:

    • Audio 5-inch color touchscreen, which works in conjunction with the rearview camera
    • Standard rearview camera with dynamic parking guidelines
    • Hands-free Bluetooth, steering wheel and audio cruise control
    • Folding rear seats

    Also available are push button start and hands-free Smart trunk (the vehicle can sense the driver is near from at least three feet away and the trunk automatically opens). Automatic temperature control is available as well in three stages – low, medium and high.  

    New available infotainment and safety features include dual-charging/USB as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There’s also integration through Amazon Alexa and Google Home so that owners can make requests to those devices via their car. Hyundai Blue Link connected car system with safety advance alerts the driver of a potential collision; if there is no response, it will apply automatic break to avoid collision.

    There are three 2018 Accent Trim levels: SE (core entry level), SEL (regular equipped) and Limited (highest equipped).


    • 5-inch color touchscreen with iPod/USB auxiliary input jacks
    • Rearview camera with dynamic parking guidelines
    • Bluetooth hands-free phone system


    Includes SE A/T standard features plus:

    • Display audio with 7-inch touchscreen
    • Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
    • Dual charging USB


    Includes SEL features plus:

    • Power sunroof
    • Automatic Emergency Braking
    • 17-inch alloy wheels

    The 2018 Accent is hitting dealerships now with a starting price of $15,880.

    Photo credit: Christian Lantry,

  • 09 Nov 2017 10:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Jaguar Land Rover's General Manager of Product Management David Larsen recently addressed MAMA members to highlight the "new generation of Jaguar," specifically three all-new vehicles: Jaguar E-PACE, XF Sportbrake and the XJR575. He also previewed the freshened Land Rover lineup, spotlighting the all-new Land Rover Range Rover Velar.

    2018 Jaguar E-PACE
    The Jaguar E-PACE shares F-PACE's silhouette, and draws features from the F-Type. Compared to its competitors, this vehicle is as long and as high – but wider – which uniquely provides more comfort in the second row. The E-PACE is set to use Jaguar Land Rover’s 2-liter turbocharged Ingenium engine that puts out 246 horsepower. The SUV comes standard with all-wheel drive and is expected to go on sale early next year at a starting price of $38,600.

    2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake
    The station wagon is making a comeback, and the XF Sportbrake is not your standard wagon. The new Jaguar features a supercharged V-6 engine with forced induction – in this case, a 380-horsepowered supercharged 3.0-liter – and nearly 70 cubic feet of cargo room. New technology includes gesture-controlled tailgate and sunblind. The XF Sportbrake is available this month at a starting price point of $70,450.

    2018 Jaguar XJR575
    The XJR575 long wheelbase sedan is called the "pinnacle of the Jaguar brand." According to Jaguar, this is the most powerful XJ ever with a 5-liter V8 engine that puts out 575 horsepower and 517 lb. ft. of torque. Additional 2018 features include:

    • Top speed of 186 mph
    • 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds
    • InControl Touch Pro with a 10” touchscreen
    • Driver assistance systems include blind spot assist, lane keep assist and the driver conditioning monitor

    The 2018 Jaguar XJR575 is on sale at a starting price of $122,400.

    Larsen also highlighted Land Rover’s product lineup including the 2018 Range Rover Velar, 2018 Range Rover, 2018 Range Rover Sport and the 2018 Range Rover Defender.

    With a special emphasis on the Velar, Larsen stated this vehicle defines the new style of Range Rover moving forward. He said the overall strategy in the Velar theme was modern reduction, which is represented in the flowing lines and clean exterior. One of the biggest changes on the vehicle is the revolutionary design of the interior, which is elegant, modern and simple.

    On the tech side, a new infotainment system debuts. Two 10-inch screens provide access to audio, navigation, entertainment and vehicle settings. There are three dial (no buttons) touch inputs on the steering wheel which only illuminate once you touch it. Quality materials, including aluminum and upgraded lighting, sets it apart from competitors. The Velar has a starting price range of $49,900.

    The expanded Jaguar lineup will offer seven models for the first time in brand history. This new generation of Jaguar will continue to enhance its all-around brand competitiveness including product portfolio enrichment, price positioning and further elevated after-sales service package.

    With this wider variety of product, the brand is continuing to reach a younger demographic and attract new audiences. In fact, its median buyer is just 54 years old, which is lower than Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Porsche. Larsen said the brand is in a position of strength with the products' great styling and incredible performance. 

  • 06 Oct 2017 11:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Joliet, Illinois (Oct. 5) – The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) held its annual Fall Rally, presented by the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), this week at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois. 

    Automakers showcased their latest cars, trucks and SUVs where 75 media members from across the country gathered to put nearly 70 vehicles through their paces on track, street and off-road course.  

    Toyota opened the event with a breakfast presentation featuring its 2018 Camry, America’s best-selling car for 15 consecutive years and a candidate for North American Car of the Year. Chad Moore, product training expert at Toyota, led the presentation on the eighth-generation Camry. He explained that it has gone through a total evolution from a proven, dependable and safe car to one that also possesses a more exciting and emotional character, thanks to its newfound sporty performance and eye-catching style.

    Additionally, the new Camry utilizes Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) which represents new strategy to the way the company designs, engineers and packages its vehicles. TNGA retains all of Toyota’s traditional values of superlative build quality and safety while injecting a fun driving experience that plays on all the senses. The physical manifestation is the usage of a new engine, transmission and GA-K platform.

    Following the morning session featuring track touring laps, street driving and an off-road course sponsored by Jeep, the group gathered for lunch, where Honda led a presentation featuring the Civic Type R. Carl Pulley, assistant public relations manager at Honda, said this all-new Type R continues its legacy as an exciting, front-wheel-drive, high-performance hatchback and is the ultimate expression of the genre. Media members had the chance to test drive one of two Type R vehicles that Honda brought for media members to experience on the track at the Fall Rally.

    Pulley said everything about the Civic Type R was designed to create the optimum performance driving experience – from the performance-tuned 2.0L i-VTEC DOHC turbocharged engine and six-speed manual transmission to the Type R unique chassis components and three-mode dynamic driving control. This is the most extreme Type R ever built, with track-ready performance providing the most rewarding driving experience in its segment, according to Honda.

    The MAMA Fall Rally is one of two track events the organization hosts each year. MAMA also hosts monthly meetings for its members; the upcoming event list can be found at

    Photo Credit: Christian Lantry, 


    About the Midwest Automotive Media Association

    The Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) is a professional non-profit press association, with a 25-year history, that brings together automotive journalists and manufacturers to provide a platform for automakers to release news. MAMA's membership has grown to nearly 300 and includes journalists covering print, broadcast, online as well as media relations professionals within the automotive industry. For more information, visit

  • 14 Aug 2017 11:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois — Midwest Automotive Media Association members were among the first to get a glimpse of the all-new 2018 Honda Accord last week during MAMA’s August meeting and press preview, led by Steve Kinkade, head of national media relations for Honda and Acura brands.

    Kinkade stated that, despite the fact that SUVs continue to gain market share, the midsize segment is strong and the sedan isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. According to Kinkade, the current Honda Accord is actually outselling all but two SUVs. In fact, it’s on pace to sell 300,000 units in 2017. In terms of in-segment competition, he believes the 2018 Accord will compete very well against the all-new Toyota Camry.

    There are several noteworthy features that make up the tenth-generation Accord:

    ·         Aggressive new styling is stately and conservative with a swept-back four-door design that hides a traditional trunk.

    ·         Longer wheelbase and a wider body.

    ·         Passenger volume increases by 2.5 cubic feet.

    ·         Cargo volume also increases to 16.7 cubic feet.

    ·         Honda Sensing will be standard on all trim levels, which includes high-tech safety features such as lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.

    ·         V-6 engine will not return; instead, 2.0-liter turbo engine will deliver 252 hp and 273 lb.-ft. of torque.

    The trim strategy for Accord will remain the same with LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, EX-L Navi and Touring levels. Plus, there will be two engine options: the aforementioned 2.0-liter turbo and a 1.5-liter turbo – both of which are four-cylinders. The 1.5-liter will deliver 192 hp and 192 lb.-ft. of torque. A hybrid will also be available and will be powered by Honda’s third-generation two-motor hybrid technology and a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine.

    Combined fuel economy for the current 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine ranges between 26 mpg for the manual and 30 mpg for the automatic.

    Neither pricing nor fuel economy details have been released. However, the current-generation Accord starts at $22,455, for reference.

    The all-new 2018 Accord is expected to hit dealerships this fall. 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software