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Fitting Adapter NPT 1/8" Female Metric M12X1.5 Male Replace auto meter 2277 _5P
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PostHeaderIcon 2019 Mercedes CLS Confirmed for L.A. Auto Show Debut

Mercedes-Benz has released the first official preview photos of the new 2019 Mercedes CLS four-door coupe, confirming its world premiere at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show later this month. The trend-setter is getting a major makeover in this iteration, adding the latest Benz design cues to its iconic look. 

The CLS has always been one of the most important models from the German car maker,even though it’s just an E-Class in a designer suit. The car started the whole four-door coupe niche when it was first revealed, causing such a stir in the automotive world that to this day we feel its reverberations. That’s why it is always a significant occasion when they come up with a new version.

But if you are expecting a whole new look for the 2019 Mercedes CLS, you’ll probably be disappointed. Mercedes designers have shown before they don’t mess with a successful recipe, just tweak it a bit. So while the profile will remain largely unchanged, the CLS will get new head and taillights based on the latest design trends of the company. There will also be a new grille and some nip and tuck here and there. Teh same goes for the interior, which as you see in the image above is getting more S-Class-like than ever with a huge screen and vintage looking vents.

We are quite looking forward to see the AMG variant of the 2019 Mercedes CLS though, not just because it will look sportier than the regular models, but also for the powertrain. The word is the next CLS AMG will boast a hybrid system with a 3.0 liter V6 turbo petrol unit and an electric motor. It will be the first AMG ’53’ model, a series of electrified performance models from Affalterbach.

The post 2019 Mercedes CLS Confirmed for L.A. Auto Show Debut appeared first on Motorward.


2017 Volvo S60 T5 Dynamic Sedan 4-Door 2017 VOLVO S60 T5 DYNAMIC AWD SUNROOF NAV REAR CAM 12k #423439 Texas Direct Auto
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PostHeaderIcon Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 004S Has Central Driving Position

You probably know American rich man Glickenhaus from his previous one-off, custom Ferraris. Well, what started as a hobby for him is now a legit business, and this is the latest production of his company. The new Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 004S is an Italian-American McLaren F1 with the steerign wheel right in the center. 

That makes the SCG 004s a three-seater, so you have two of your buddies with you as you go a cruise around the lawn of your favorite concourse. They won’t be awfully safe though, and neither will you. The design and layout of the dashboard in this car is pretty old-fashioned.It brings to mind racing Ferraris of the 60s, which means it is an absolute delight sitting in that cabin.

Cameron Glickenhaus ha ambitions to become the modern-day Enzo Ferrari by directly emulating him. His ultimate goal in designing and building Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 004S, and the other model that went before it, is for him to race at Le Mans. But he has to produce a number of road-going model and sell them to public to be eligible for the race. So there will be up to 325 units of the car sent out ot the wild over the next two or three years. And they will come in various forms, including GT3, GTE and GTLM competition. The support for the 003C will continue for the time being.















As for the specs, the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 004S is powered by a 5.0 liter twin-turbo V8 engine developing 650 horsepower and 530 lb-ft of torque. That power has to haul only 1,179 kg thanks to a carbon chassis. The driven wheels are on the rear and their diff is connected to a six-speed manual gearbox. All very vintage stuff, but SCG does offer a paddle shift option as well.

The post Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 004S Has Central Driving Position appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Devel Sixty 6×6 SUV Has 700 hp, Insane Looks

They call it the baddest truck in the world, and they have a point. The Devel Sixty SUV, unveiled at Dubai Auto Show, is almost certainly the craziest thing you have ever seen on, well, six wheels. And the craziest thing about it is they are actual going to produce and sell it to the public!

Compared to this, AMG’s 6×6 G63 looks like a Honda Civic. Devel Sixty 6×6 SUV is modeled, by the looks of things, on military personnel carriers. It even has military-grade wheels and tires and chassis, and night vision system, of course. It’s not armored though, at least in its concept form. The Sixty looks childish to be honest, but that’s kind of what’s cool about it. It could prove less effective in helping you survive the apocalypse than a Prius, but that doesn’t take away from how awesome this creature is.

Powering the Devel Sixty 6×6 SUV is a 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 engine developing 700 horsepower and over 1,000 Nm of torque. It claims to hit 100 km/h from 0 in 5.8 seconds on any kind of surface you can imagine. It’s a pity, though, Devel didn’t put their 5,000 hp, 3,700 Nm of torque W16 engine in this car. That is probably because it’s not real.




At any rate, other notable highlights of this bad boy include portal axles with independent suspension for each wheel, carbon fiber body (as if lightness is a matter of concern here), 6 Pilot automatic fully adjustable seats, GPS, and tire inflation system. They say the Sixty is street-legal, but what streets they have in mind we don’t know. They will make one for you in a year, however, if you place an order today and pay them $450,000. 

In the immortal words of Quentin Tarantino, this thing is one bad mothafucka!

The post Devel Sixty 6×6 SUV Has 700 hp, Insane Looks appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Tesla’s Uber-fast Roadster Is Proof that Elon Musk Is Desperate

Boy, these past two weeks have been all about high-speed and high-power action. I barely had time to get over Koenigsegg’s new world speed record and Chevrolet launched its monstrous Corvette ZR1 yet. Now, with the weekend upon us, Tesla took the wraps off its new semi truck and the second-generation Roadster. Neither are ready to go into production just yet, but the preliminary data hints at tremendous performance and new benchmarks for the electric car market. The Roadster’s 0-to-60 mph sprint only 1.9 seconds probably caused a few heart strokes over at Ferrari quarters. And I have a feeling that the guys working on the next-generation Nissan GT-R Nismo aren’t feeling better either. But behind Tesla’s new tour de force hides Elon Musk’s fear that his automobile brand may not succeed as planned.

It may seem that Tesla is simply pushing the envelope and presenting the world with revolutionary electric cars, but there’s more to this showcase. Tesla is actually struggling to keep its promises. The new Model 3, which is supposed to become the affordable electric car everyone is dreaming about, is late to the party. Production isn’t going as planned and it seems that the Model X fiasco is happening all over again. On top of that, the Model S isn’t getting the best reviews and Consumer Reports isn’t very optimistic about the Model 3’s reliability. So Tesla needs to find a way to keep all the hype alive, and the upcoming Roadster is the perfect car for this. The strategy is simple, unveiled a cool looking prototype, claim it will hit 60 mph in less than two seconds, set a big preorder price, and wait for the cash to fix ongoing problems.

Continue reading for the full story.

From Affordable to $200K


Pops' Rants: Tesla's Uber-fast Roadster Is Proof that Elon Musk Is Desperate - image 746100

Yup, that’s all it takes. A couple of incredible but fictional performance figures, and everyone will get excited. And some of them will even agree to pay $50,000 reservations for a car they won’t get to drive until 2020. Assuming that Tesla manages to roll the new Roadster out by then. If the Model X and Model 3 are any indication, it won’t happen sooner than 2021, or even 2022.

But that’s not the only issue. Let’s say that I’m wrong and Tesla will get production sorted and everything will be fine and on time. And quality control will improve and Consumer Reports won’t upset Elon Musk ever again. In this perfect scenario, the new Roadster is still a meaningless car. Let’s not forget that Musk’s objective was to deliver an affordable EV for the average Joe. It was supposed to be the Model 3. But it’s not. The Model 3 costs some $30,000 before options, and the nice extras will actually push the sticker beyond the $40,000. At this point, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Bolt are the better options.

And while I can understand that expensive, $200,000 supercars like the upcoming Roadster are used to fund affordable vehicles, it seems that Elon Musk is out to prove that Tesla can make the quickest production car before anything else. With this car, Tesla is basically moving farther away form its professed goal and slowly becoming a disappointment for the electric car industry. The fact that Tesla is the leading automaker in this field makes things that much more frustrating.

PostHeaderIcon This is Why Volvo Is Famous For Its Safety

If you have a weak stomach, you might want to take a deep breath first before proceeding. The video you’re about to see is pretty brutal, not because of something that happened, but because of something that could have happened had it not been for a driver’s alertness and an automaker’s state-of-the-art technology. In so many words, a distracted child crossed a street without looking, only to find himself in the crosshairs of an oncoming Volvo semi-truck. The scene was playing out like a house of horrors, until salvation stepped in in the form of Volvo’s Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system.

In a split second before what would’ve been a nightmarish collision, the truck driver managed to slam the brakes hard enough to trigger the AEB system, sending the truck screeching to a dramatic halt. The intensive braking was strong enough to create g-forces that literally pushed the nose of the truck forward with the lower end of the front bumper barely scraping the road. Fortunately, the erring child had enough wits about himself to also run away from the truck, preventing what would’ve otherwise been a heartbreaking end to the young boy’s life.

There really is something to be said for all the advancements in automotive technology to see it work in front of your eyes. I personally don’t know if the driver or the AEB system deserves a bigger share of the credit, but I’ll settle for equal-billing. Let it be said though that Volvo’s new braking system played a huge role in saving a young boy’s life. More than any award or positive review, seeing it function the way it’s supposed to be in a literal time of distress is the ultimate vindication for an automaker’s constant pursuit of advanced safety technologies.

References



Read more Volvo news.

PostHeaderIcon “The City Rallyist” Attacks The Night In A Subaru WRX STI: Video

When the sun sets, the city comes alive. The pedestrians are in bed, but street lamps and neon glow provide the backdrop as growling internal combustion monsters begin their nightly prowl. If that’s the sort of stuff you’re into, then this 2-minute, 16-second video from TeamRoad Studio is sure to delight. Shot in the South Korean capitol of Seoul, the video features the high-speed exploits of a modified blue GDB “peanut eye” Subaru WRX STI, complete with gold wheels, a massive rear wing, and a rumbling exhaust note. The Scooby looks amazing blasting around the city, flashing between the shadows in a flurry of atmospheric blow-off valve chirps.

Granted, some of the footage is sped up, and it doesn’t look like the production team broke any laws to capture the shots (maybe that little bit at the very end is an exception). Regardless, the editing really gives you a sense of speed, and the Six Star icon we all know and love is glorified to satisfaction. Good stuff, no doubt about it. We can’t wait to see what TeamRoad Studio comes up with next.

References

Subaru WRX


2018 Subaru WRX STI - image 700139

Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru WRX STI.

PostHeaderIcon The Most Expensive DeLorean Isn’t Even A DeLorean

“Back To The Future” is one of the most iconic movie trilogies of all time. Besides the original “Star Wars” films, BTTF has one of the largest cult followings in Hollywood. No other proof is needed beyond the amount Bill Shea paid at auction to acquire the only privately held DeLorean Time Machine in existence – $541,000. Yet despite the car’s historic and cultural status and being only one of three screen-used DeLoreans still in existence, this car isn’t really a DeLorean at all.

When it came time to shoot the desert scenes in “Back To The Future Part III,” director Robert Zemeckis needed a car that could handle the off-road abuse. With the backing of Universal, a third-party off-road shop was contracted to build a modified version of the iconic stainless steel car. The shop basically combined the DeLorean’s body with a tube chassis and four-cylinder from a Volkswagen Beatle. The dune buggy-like suspension was perfect for blasting through the sandy desert. A roll cage was integrated into the car’s roof, while unnecessary parts like air conditioning and gauges were left out. The result is a DeLorean look-alike with a custom chassis and a carbureted, air-cooled, four-cylinder with somewhere around 60 horsepower.

The car’s history remains interesting after the film’s 1990 release. It includes years of disrepair and neglect, a restoration by Hollywood custom car builder George Barris, a second restoration by a BTTF fan, and finally becoming the most expensive DMC to ever be auctioned. Watch the video for the full story.

References

DeLorean DMC 12


DeLorean Will Restart Production In 2017 - image 663614

Read more DeLorean DMC 12.

PostHeaderIcon Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster – New vs. Old

Tesla just unveiled the second-generation Roadster and launched a big shock wave around the world. It’s not the Roadster’s return that took us by surprise, but the incredible specs that the car comes with. Not only set to become the quickest production vehicle ever with a 0-to-60 mph sprint of only 1.9 seconds, it also has a 250-mph top speed. The latter is downright spectacular for gasoline-powered supercar and I honestly didn’t think I’d live to see a production EV hit that much. But before we get overly excited, we must remember that the second-gen Roadster won’t become available until 2020. And given Tesla’s habit of delaying production, it may take a bit longer than that.

Many details are still under wraps, but Tesla made sure that all the new Roadster’s spectacular features hit the news. So we now have quite a few figures to compare with the first-generation Roadster. It takes just a quick glance to notice that Tesla made tremendous progress since 2008, and this is exactly why we need to put the numbers next to each other. While the first Roadster marked Tesla’s debut on the market and the beginning of a spectacular career for the California-based brand (albeit sprinkled with plenty of issues), the second Roadster could take Elon Musk’s firm to new heights. If all goes according to plan of course, because it may happen the other way around too.

This comparison is far from complete given that the latest Roadster is far from being a production model, but the aim is to look at Tesla’s progress rather than provide an comprehensive comparo.

Continue reading for the full story.

Exterior


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746104

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233849

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“The new styling is obviously a big departure from the original Roadster ”

The design features of the two Roadsters are the easiest to compare, because Tesla released shots of the new car from every angle and the renderings appears to be pretty close to the actual things. The design is definitely doable, includes many of the company’s trademark cues, and I can’t spot too many features that wouldn’t make in on the production model. Speaking of which, have you seen our rendering of the rumored Tesla supercar? We almost nailed it!

The new styling is obviously a big departure from the original Roadster. The first-gen car was pretty appealing when it was launched in 2008, but the new design is definitely more spectacular. But that’s far from surprising. The first Roadster had a unique design that did not carry over to the Model S, the company’s second car. It was the Model S that actually inspired the Model X and Model 3, a quick look at the new Roadster reveals quite a few familiar details.

“The new car boasts a grand tourer-inspired look with muscular fenders”

Also, while the the first Roadster had looks that usually define lightweight sports cars, the new car boasts a grand tourer-inspired look with muscular fenders, a wider stance, and overall more aggressive fascias. The light units are particularly interesting, sporting a thin, sleek design that’s different than anything else Tesla used so far.

Much like it’s predecessor, the new Roadster ha a targa-type roof layout. But instead of a canvas top, it has a glass roof that can be stowed in the trunk.

Interior


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746105

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233851

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“As you'd expect when comparing a car from 2008 with one from the future, the differences are huge”

As you’d expect when comparing a car from 2008 with one from the future (almost 15 years apart), the differences are huge. Again, the first Roadster looked pretty fresh when launched, but it was also rather spartan, mostly because Tesla was aiming at the lightweight sports car segment. The new Roadster is just a rendering for now, but it’s pretty obvious that it will compete in a more premium market. The design is still plain and simple overall, but all that brutshed aluminum, the leather on the seats, and the massive screen in the center stack suggest a higher quality cabin.

The new Roadster will also come with heavily bolstered, modern looking front seats, as well as a pair of second-row seats. The latter is what makes it different compared to the first-gen car, which was a two-seater. This also makes the new Roadster a significantly different vehicle. Instead of an actual successor, this new sports car plays in a different league, offering space for two more passengers and more convenience. The renderings also show carbon-fiber dash and panels, as well as a flat-bottom steering wheel with no buttons and no upper rim, but it remains to be seen if these features make it on the production.

Drivetrain


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 745806

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 103581

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“The upcoming Roadster will be radically different under the skin”

Based on Tesla’s preliminary specs, the upcoming Roadster will be radically different under the skin. The first thing that sets them apart the platform. While the first-gen car was built on the same underpinnings as the Lotus Elise and Exige, the second-gen model will ride on a newer platform. There’s no word on whether it will be based on the Model S, but chances are it will be brand-new.

Tesla had nothing to say about the upcoming car’s electric motors, but it did mention all-wheel-drive, which means it will have at least one for each axle. The first Roadster was a rear-wheel-drive car. The new two-door will also be significantly more powerful. No word on output either, but Tesla mentions wheel torque of 7,375 pound-feet. It also claims that the car will be able to hit 60 mph in an incredible 1.9 seconds. That’s two seconds quicker than the standard Roadster (248 horsepower) and 1.8 clicks quicker than the Roadster Sport (288 horsepower). The sprint to 100 mph will be achieved in only 4.2 seconds, just three tenths slower than the first Roadster from 0 to 60 mph!

“At 1.9 seconds to 60 mph, the second-gen Roadster will be the quickest production car in the world”

At 1.9 seconds to 60 mph, the second-gen Roadster will be the quickest production car in the world. Assuming that a quicker vehicle from another automaker won’t be launched until then, but it’s very unlikely to be honest.

Tesla also claims that the new Roadster will have a top speed of 250 mph. That’s nearly as fast as the Bugatti Veyron and faster than any Ferrari, McLaren, or Lamborghini out there. And exactly twice as fast compared to the first-generation Roadster. The quarter mile will be achieved in 8.8 seconds, almost four seconds quicker than the old model. Want more juicy bits? The estimate range for the upcoming car is of 620 miles per charge, compared to up to 244 miles delivered by the old model. I guess it’s goodbye range anxiety in 2020!

Pricing


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 745804

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 103575

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

The first Roadster was pretty expensive when it was launched in 2008, retailing from around $100,000 (with preorders set at $50,000). But the second-gen car will cost twice as much. Tesla is asking $50,000 for reservations, but the second-gen model will cost $200,000 before options. There will also be a launched edition priced from a whopping $250,000. That’s Ferrari money right there, but somewhat justified given the incredible performance. And despite the high sticker, the second-gen Roadster will definitely sell better than its predecessor, which moved about 2,500 units in almost five years on the market.

Conclusion


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746104

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233849

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

It’s definitely too early to draw a conclusion in the absence of a production model for the second-gen car, but it’s safe to say that the new Roadster will be a massive improvement over its predecessor. Big improvements are visible in just about any department and the extra comfort features and the two additional seats could finally give Tesla a shot at the supercar market dominated by Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren. And we may even see a host of new world records in the performance and range departments.

PostHeaderIcon New Tesla Roadster – Is It Game Over for Traditional Sports Cars?

So yesterday Tesla revealed a new version of their Roadster sports car, giving us all a 2020 Volt jolt. It isn’t just how much more advanced the new Roadster is compared to its predecessor, but how much of a game-changer this thing is for performance cars everywhere. Tesla Roadster is so ahead of everything else out there, one has to ask oneself, are traditional sports cars done for?

Even taking into account Elon Musk’s tendency to bolster the facts about the achievement of his companies, the numbers this new Tesla Roadster claims are mind-boggling. It took Volkswagen, a huge conglomerate with almost limitless resources, many decades and endless expensive tests and trials to make the Bugatti Chiron accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under 3 seconds. And that’s a fully-fledged, multi-million dollar hyper car, mind you. Then along came this Musk fella telling us his tiny little sports car does that in under 2 seconds!

Now granted, the Roadster does not really belong in the sports car category price-wise – it starts at $200K – but still, it just blows everything you can throw at it clean out of the water. They haven’t mentioned any horsepower figure yet, but electric motors in the Roadster generate 10,000 Nm of wheel torque. That, and the fact that all four wheels are driven, makes it possible to hit 60 mph from standing still in 1.9 seconds and run the quarter-mile in 8.8 seconds. Those are dragster numbers, and you can have them in a zero-emission sports car that covers a distance of 650 miles on one charge.

How fast is fast enough?

Now, one could argue that unless you are a professional drag racer a 0-60 time of 1.9 seconds is a meaningless number. What on earth could you be doing that would require you to accelerate at that rate? Can your body take that kind of force without something going wrong with it, anyway? This is just a tool for inexperience drivers to kill themselves, or others, with. Those are fair points all. But if humans were always content with their small achievements, where would they be now? Most likely still in the African Savannah. It’s this ambition, however unreasonable or greedy at first, that drives us forward. Of course, you don’t need to go from 0 to 60 in 1.9 seconds, or 2.5 seconds, or 4 seconds. But the fact that now you can do that is pretty delightful.

And that is why we shouldn’t mourn the demise of the traditional performance cars should this new Tesla bring about their extinction. Cars like this do to our current high performance machines what the original automobile did to the horse and carriage. It renders them pointless. You can go faster, farther and cleaner in the new stuff. It will get to a point where you have to really struggle to find a reason for keeping your fossil fuel-powered car. Before this new generation of electric cars shaving a second off the 0-60 time of a car took innovation, sophisticated engineering, and years of toiling at the drawing board as well as the test track. Now all it takes is higher voltage and a few lines of computer code.

Of course, not everything is speed and acceleration. An electric car doesn’t have the same feel as a nicely sorted V8 or flat-six sports car. Most importantly, it lacks noise, which as we know makes up a huge part of an enjoyable drive. But if you look at the market and try to determine what is the most important factor that drives the sales of a type of vehicle up, that is trend. People lived alright with their sedans and hatchbacks before the SUVs and crossovers emerged. Now everybody wants those because they are cooler. The same will happen with performance cars. Apart from a few car nuts who are more attached to their turbos and boxer engines than their children, most people are going to want the latest and greatest. And that’s stuff like the new Tesla Roadster.

Do not despair, though. You still have plenty of time to enjoy your gas-guzzling sports car before they get consigned to the pages of history books. The Tesla is set to launch in 2020, and even then it’s going to take a while for it to find its place in the market, and for the copycats to come out with their own super-high-performance EV.

So go out this weekend and have a blast. The end is near!

The post New Tesla Roadster – Is It Game Over for Traditional Sports Cars? appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon GA Police Officer Hits 140 mph Chasing McLaren 720S in High-Speed Chase

A Georgia Police Officer got the chance to push her police-spec Dodge Charger to the limit this past weekend when a man in a McLaren 720S casually passed her doing north of 100 mph on a public highway. It didn’t take long for the officer to hit the blues and take chase. Nobody was injured in the chase that lasted just a couple of minutes, but the driver – a Dwayne Sherwood Pope – was charged with speeding, DUI less safe, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, and – get this – driving with an expired tag.

All told, the dash cam video lasts nearly a half hour, but for the most part, the action is over with within a few minutes. The Dodge Charger which, in police-spec, has a top speed rating of 155 mph when powered by the 5.7-liter, HEMI, V-8.
There’s no word as to what engine this officer put her foot into, but it did keep up with that McLaren 720S quite well. We’re still not sure why he stopped, considering the 720 S is rated up to 212 mph, it could have quite easily gotten away. Something tells us that the man was telling the truth about pulling over when he noticed the lights – after all if he did intend to run, that cop car really didn’t stand a chance.

Fortunately, for him, and anyone else on the road, that wasn’t his intention otherwise things could have been a lot worse than a DUI charge, had he really pushed it to the limit. After all, he did have “three drinks.” Check out the video below and let us know what you think.

References

McLaren 720S


2018 McLaren 720S - image 708582

Read our full review on the 2018 McLaren 720S.

Dodge Charger


2016 Dodge Charger Pursuit - image 645602

Read our full review on the 2016 Dodge Charger Pursuit.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Honda Accord 2.0T Pricing Revealed

If the 1.5 liter version of the new Accord is not to your taste, in a couple of days you can buy the 2.0 liter model. Going on sale from November 20, the 2018 Honda Accord 2.0T, which is the most well-rounded version of the new family sedan, starts at $30,310 MSRP.

To that you have to add $890 for destination and handling, but still, that sounds like good value. That 2.0 liter unit is a peach of an engine, featuring VTEC Turbo direct-injected DOHC and developing 252 peak horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque. This is the same basic engine they use in the Civic Type-R hot hatch. Economy-wise, it returns 23/34/27 mpg (city/highway/combined). You can have this engine with either a short-shift 6-speed manual gearbox or a 10-speed automatic.

2018 Honda Accord 2.0T also boasts a more rigid, lightweight and tightly sealed body and all-new chassis design, so to drive it should be as delightful as it is odd to look at.

Well, maybe odd is a bit unfair. But you can’t deny the looks of the new Accord is somewhat polarizing. You either love it or hate it with a passion. In terms of equipment, the standard kit on 2018 Honda Accord 2.0T include wireless device charging, segment-first auto Bluetooth phone pairing with Near Field Communication sensor technology, a 6-inch head-up display, customizable digital driver’s meter, 12-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and the next generation of HondaLink Assist connected-car technology. Higher trim levels including Touring get an upgraded 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen.

2018 Accord 2.0T Trims, MSRP & EPA

Trim / Transmission MSRP MSRP Including $890 Destination EPA Fuel Economy Ratings
(city / highway/ combined)
Accord 2.0T Sport / 6MT $30,310 $31,200 22 / 32 / 26
Accord 2.0T Sport / 10AT $30,310 $31,200 22 / 32 / 26
Accord 2.0T EX-L / 10AT $31,970 $32,860 23 / 34 / 27
Accord 2.0T EX-L Navi / 10AT $32,970 $33,860 23 / 34 / 27
Touring / 10AT $35,800 $36,690 22 / 32 / 26

The post 2018 Honda Accord 2.0T Pricing Revealed appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Roadster

2020 Tesla Roadster

Back in 2008, a little upstart EV company named Tesla threw a lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor into a Lotus Elise and called it the Roadster. It was the very first model to bear the Tesla badge, and it was the first highway-legal series production all-electric car to travel more than 200 miles in a single charge. Now, nearly 10 years and several remarkable models later, Tesla is at it again, revealing a second-generation Roadster in a surprise debut alongside its new all-electric semi truck. While it’s still several years away from hitting public roads, Tesla dropped a variety of specs and numbers for the Roadster 2.0, and long story short, this thing is shaping up to be an absolute monster. If it really can do everything that Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims it can, the second-gen Roadster will set numerous performance records, including quickest to 60 mph, quickest to 100 mph, and quickest in the quarter mile. And that includes internal combustion-based production vehicles, by the way. It’ll also set new standards for EVs in the realms of range per charge and top speed. This is faster than Insane Mode. This is faster than Ludicrous Mode. This, dear readers, is straight up Plaid.

While we knew Tesla had a new Roadster coming down the pipeline, few would have guessed what it might be capable of. We even put together a speculative piece about a potential Tesla supercar a while back, but it turns out the California automaker combined the two ideas into one incredible world-beater. “The point of doing this is to just give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” says Musk. “Driving a gasoline sports car is gonna feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.” Indeed, the Tesla Roadster 2.0 is framed as a bona fide halo car, an ultra-quick speed machine that’ll show Tesla’s true performance potential. Read on for the details.

Updated 11/17/2017: Tesla just revealed the new Roadster!

Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Tesla Roadster.

Exterior


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746107
  • Most aggressive design Tesla has ever made
  • Compact dimensions
  • Active aerodynamic elements

While the original Roadster showed its Lotus bones through the bodywork, the Roadster 2.0 is all-new. It looks like the progeny of a Model 3 and modern Acura NSX, with the familiar Tesla fascia, now drawn back and pointy with slim arrow-like headlights that fall into hugely flared fenders. The stance is low and wide, with prominent cuts in the lower front bumper, side skirts, and rear end. The proportions move the cabin back, enhancing the front hoodline.

Yeah, you know it looks good. In fact, we’d say we pretty much nailed it with our original Tesla supercar rendering –


2020 Tesla Supercar - image 721328

Note: TopSpeed Tesla Supercar rendering pictured here.

Of course, it’s not the most streamlined Tesla we’ve ever seen, but we like it like that. Drag doesn’t seem to be a major problem here, as you’ll find out in the drivetrain section below. What’s more, it’s obvious the Tesla Roadster 2.0 comes equipped with active aero elements that will surely keep it planted while exploring the car’s absurd speed potential, then recede back to eke out a few more miles while cruising.

Interior


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746109
  • Large touchscreen provides the inputs
  • Highly bolstered sports seats
  • Clean layout and design
  • 2+2 seating arrangement
  • “Capacious” storage space
  • Targa top offers unlimited headroom

The space age aggression continues inside, where we find a simple dash and control layout. The user inputs are dominated by a large touchscreen, which stretches down through the center of the cabin to provide readouts on navigation, road speed, and similar stats. The seats are contoured and highly bolstered, while the color scheme incorporates large swaths of primary colors that enhance the natural “clean” feel of the layout.

The steering wheel is a tiny, rectangular thing that looks like it came straight out of Star Trek. Lots of brushed metal and carbon give it that premium sports vibe you’d want from the segment. There’s also a G meter to show you just how hard you’re bending the laws of physics.

“Lots of brushed metal and carbon give it that premium sports vibe you’d want from the segment. There’s also a G meter to show you just how hard you’re bending the laws of physics.”

However, while you might expect very little practicality from a machine like this, the Roadster 2.0 actually has a lot to offer as a simple means of transport. The seating arrangement accommodates up to four passengers in a 2+2 layout, and while Musk admits that “you can’t put giant people in the rear seat,” the fact is has one at all is pretty impressive. Add to that a “capacious” storage space, undoubtedly mostly thanks to the extended frunk (Tesla’s term for the spot under the hood left empty by the all-electric powertrain), and this thing should be able to swallow enough luggage for at least a weekend getaway.

Finally, a removable targa top opens up the Roadster 2.0 to unlimited headroom. And that’s great, because after all, anyone driving a Tesla obviously cares about enjoying lots of fresh air, right?

Drivetrain


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746108
  • Potentially sets multiple world records
  • 0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds
  • 0-to-100 mph in 4.2 seconds
  • Quarter mile in 8.9 seconds
  • 250+ mph top speed
  • 620 miles of range per charge
  • 7,376 pound-feet of torque
  • Three motors, 200-kWh battery

So it looks awesome and the cabin makes you feel like firing off some photon torpedoes. That’s all well and good, but by far the most impressive thing about the Tesla Roadster 2.0 is its powertrain technology. The specs getting tossed around are almost absurd, but if they turn out to be real, the Roadster 2.0 will break multiple world records.

Here’s the score – 0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, which would make this Tesla the first production car to break the 2-second barrier in the 0-to-60 mph test. A run from 0-to-100 mph takes 4.2 seconds, another record for production cars. Finally, the quarter mile takes just 8.9 seconds, which would make the all-electric the first production car to break the 9-second barrier in the benchmark.

And take note – these are records for all production cars, not just EVs. Impressed yet?

“These are records for all production cars, not just EVs. Impressed yet? ”

We sincerely hope Tesla can actually follow-through here, and based on the automaker’s resume, it most likely will. After all, the Model S P100D can already hit 60 mph in just 2.3 seconds.

Incredibly, these numbers represent the base model Roadster 2.0, which means Tesla is cooking up even quicker iterations for the future, with a possible reveal hinted at next year.

Now it’s time to talk about the EV-specific records this thing could set. First up – top speed, which is stated to exceed 250 mph top speed. That would make it the fastest production electric car ever made by a huge margin, and place the Roadster 2.0 amongst the fastest of the fast from the world of internal combustion. Range per charge is rated at 620 miles, which is again, the most of any electric car ever made, and a total game-changer for EVs. It would make the Roadster 2.0 the first production all-electric passenger vehicle to do more than 1,000 km at freeway speeds in a single charge. Say goodbye, range anxiety.


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746104
“Torque figures are rated 10,000 Nm, or 7,376 pound-feet, a figure that even Musk agrees is “stupid.””

Making it all work is a new 200-kWh battery pack, which sends its prodigious flow of electrons to three motors, one up front two in the rear, which means it’s also got AWD grip. Horsepower figures are still forthcoming, but apparently torque figures are rated 10,000 Nm, or 7,376 pound-feet, a figure that even Musk agrees is “stupid.”

Finally, torque vectoring helps it handle. We don’t know how much this thing weighs, but we’re guessing it’s probably pretty heavy for its size, so it’s likely not the liveliest thing ever in the corners. Still, 10,000 Nm of torque can fix a lot.

Tesla Roadster 2.0 Performance
0-to-60 mph 1.9 seconds
0-to-100 mph 4.2 seconds
Quarter mile 8.9 seconds
Top speed 250+ mph
Range per charge 620 miles
Battery pack 200 kWh
Electric motors 3 (one in front, two in rear)
Torque 10,000 Nm

Prices

Although previously scheduled for a release in 2019, the Tesla Roadster 2.0 has been pushed back a year to 2020. Tesla is taking reservations now at $50,000 a piece. The final sticker is expected to be around $200,000.

What’s more, Tesla is offering the first 1,000 units as part of the special edition Founder series. Perks for the Founder series are currently unknown, but pricing sees a rise to $250,000, and interested buyers are required to front the full quarter million bucks up front to reserve theirs.

Competition

NextEV NIO EP9


There's A New King Of The Nürburgring And It's Not Who You Think - image 716730

Based out of China, NextEV is already on the EV supercar scene with its NIO EP9. Crafted from carbon fiber, the NIO EP9 does its performance dance thanks to four electric motors producing a combined 1,314 horsepower. Acceleration and top speed can’t touch the Roadster 2.0, with 2.7 seconds to 62 mph and a maximum of 195 mph. However, this thing’s handling might have the Tesla beat, with active suspension and aero helping it pull up to 3 G’s in the twisties.

Rimac Concept_One


2017 Rimac Concept One - image 666768

Here’s another battery-driven slab of speed, this time coming from the Croatian-based manufacturer Rimac. Producing upwards of 1,072 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque, the Concept_One can snap off a run to 62 mph in 2.6 seconds, while maxing out at 221 mph. AWD keeps it sticky.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746100

While it’s possible the Tesla Roadster 2.0 will look and go a bit differently when it finally hits the public streets in 2020, odds are this early preview is pretty close to the mark already. And that’s a truly incredible thing, if you think about it. Both competitors listed above are at least four times as expensive, and can’t come close in terms of sheer all-electric muscle. Throw in the fact the Tesla breaks 1,000 km per charge and even has space for luggage, and it quickly becomes obvious that the California automaker is launching a new epoch in the world of the automotive.

It looks like the future just got a whole lot brighter.

  • Leave it
    • Very expensive
    • Still three years out
    • Likely to be delayed multiple times

References


2007 Tesla Roadster - image 233849

Tesla Roadster


2015 Tesla Model S 70D - image 625893

Tesla Model S

Rendering


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 638858

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Semi

2019 Tesla Semi

Elon Musk and Tesla have defied the odds by finally debuting the automaker’s first stab at the commercial trucking industry. It’s called simply the Tesla Semi and it finally broke cover at a media event on November 16, 2017, after years of teasing. Debuting alongside the hot 2020 Tesla Roadster, the Semi is designed to reinvent the way trucking is done. Tesla says its all-electric drivetrain will give more than 500 miles of range on a single charge while towing 80,000 pounds, be far less difficult to maintain, and outperform convention semi trucks in both performance and safety – all at a lower operating cost. That’s a tall order. Oh, and it’ll hit 60 mph in just 5.0 seconds when unloaded.

Along with the Semi, Tesla will be releasing a new charging system. It’s called the Megacharger and it’s a high-speed DC charging station capable of adding roughly 400 miles of range in only 30 minutes. Tesla says the Megachargers can be installed by fleet operators anywhere along their routes and will be common at truck stops in heavily trafficked areas.

Continue reading for more information.

Exterior


2019 Tesla Semi - image 746087
  • Sleek design for improved visibility and aerodynamics
  • Drag coefficient of 0.36
  • High and low roof versions
  • 360-degree camera system
  • Hooks to any conventional 18-wheeler trailer
“Ask a 10-year-old kid to draw what an 18-wheeler might look like in 50 years, and this is probably what you’d get.”

The Tesla Semi looks like the future. Ask a 10-year-old kid to draw what an 18-wheeler might look like in 50 years, and this is probably what you’d get. Every shape is new since the Semi doesn’t have a massive turbodiesel engine to contend with. Rather, the massive battery pack is located between the frame rails, way down low. That gave Tesla designers nearly free reign in shaping the truck. Naturally, aerodynamics is a big factor, so the front looks smoother than a proctologists’ tool set. Tesla will apparently offer both a low-roof and high-roof model.

Aerodynamics continues playing a big role in the Semi’s lower sections, too. The bumper hangs down low, the fenders wrap closely around the wheels, and the side skirts expend almost to the ground. Fenders over the rear axles further help reduce drag. In fact, Tesla says the Semi has a drag coefficient of 0.36, which is less than a Bugatti Chiron at 0.38 (which is true for Auto mode). Tesla says regular semi trucks range between 0.65 and 0.70 drag coefficient. That seems like an awful outlandish claim, but Musk should know what he’s talking about since he also runs an aerospace company…

Interior


2019 Tesla Semi - image 746093
  • Center-mounted driver’s seat
  • Touchscreen display and control all vehicle systems
  • Sleeper cab includes living accommodations
  • Autopilot and active safety systems
“The driver is positioned front and center within the cab, putting him in the perfect position to see everything.”

The Tesla Semi further separates itself from conventional semis with its interior. The driver is positioned front and center within the cab, putting him in the perfect position to see everything around the front end of the truck, aided by the short overhangs and 360-degree camera system. Two large touchscreens serve as workstations, the gauge cluster, system controls, and displays for the cameras.

Behind the driver is a sleeper cab, offering a place to relax while on the road. And speaking of relaxing, the Tesla Semi will come with Autopilot, allowing the driver to hand over driving duties to the computer. The Semi is also programmed to follow a convoy, which has one truck leading the way and a gaggle of autonomously controlled Semis following behind. Vehicle to vehicle communications keeps the convoy in sync and allows each truck to brake and accelerate simultaneously with those around it. Naturally, this would make for a lessened workload for the driver.

The built-in computer systems and tablet screens also contain the driver’s logbook information, making it easier to keep track of mileage on driving time.

Drivetrain


2019 Tesla Semi - image 746092
  • Low-mounted battery
  • 500-mile range towing 80,000 pounds
  • Consumes less than 2.0 kW per mile driving fully loaded
  • Regenerative braking
  • Megacharger adds 400 miles of charge in 30 minutes
  • 0 to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds when unloaded
  • 0 to 60 mph in 20 seconds when fully loaded

Specifics have not been given regarding the kWh or physical size of the battery pack, but Tesla says the electric motors are derived from those used on the Model 3 and are validated to last more than a million miles. The battery will supply enough charge to drive 500 miles at the legal load limit of 80,000 pounds. The truck is also said to scale five percent grades at 65 mph without losing momentum – a feat mostly turbodiesel Semis can’t do past 45 mph. On flat ground with 80,000 pounds in tow, the truck will consume less than 2.0 kW per mile at highway speeds.

Performance wise, the boundless torque of the electric motors will allow the Tesla Semi to hit 60 mph in just five seconds without a trailer and 20 seconds when fully loaded to 80,000 pounds. Plan out a full minute to hit 60 mph in a conventional semi.

As for brakes, the Tesla Semi uses regenerative braking. The regen brakes are said to recover 98 percent of kinetic energy before converting it to electrical energy to recharge the battery. Since the conventional friction brakes only handle two percent of the load, they are expected to last the life of the truck.

Safety


2019 Tesla Semi - image 745885
  • Thermonuclear blast-proof windshield
  • Low center of gravity reduces rollover risk
  • 360-degree camera system
  • Autopilot and autonomous features
  • Event recorder in case something happens

One of the biggest highlights of the Tesla Semi is its safety features – both active and passive. On the passive side, Tesla says the Semi’s architecture is designed to handle impacts better than regular 18-wheelers. An impact resistant windshield helps guard against flying debris on the road. Tesla even demonstrated this with a flying trailer hitch ball mount. The glass breaks, but the steel tube and hitch ball are kept outside the truck and away from the driver’s face.

The Tesla Semi’s low-slung battery pack will also help keep body roll under control. With the majority of weight near the ground, the Semi will have a smaller chance of rolling over in an accident. Should something happen, the battery is protected in a reinforced shell.

But preventing accidents is what the Tesla Semi does best. It uses its 360-degree camera system to automatically warn the driver of dangers lurking around the truck. The Semi also has Enhanced Autopilot, Automatic Emergency Braking, Automatic Lane Keeping, and Lane Departure Warning. And like the last airplane you flew in, it’s got an event recorder that saves everything happening in and around the truck before, during, and shortly after an accident.

Pricing


2019 Tesla Semi - image 745851

Tesla has not confirmed how much the Semi will cost in total, but companies wanting a shot at early ownership can pay a $5,000 down payment for each truck. News of supermarket chains Wal-Mart and Meijer, along with the trucking giant J.B. Hunt have already placed orders.

Despite not knowing the actual price of the truck, Tesla says the Semi can save roughly $200,000 in fuel costs alone when compared to a diesel-powered semi over a million miles. (And yes, a million miles is about the life expectancy of a semi-truck.) That saving is possible thanks to low electricity costs. The average price hovers around $0.12 per kWh in the U.S. and can even be lower for large-scale industrial users. Regardless of the actual specifics, Tesla claims companies will save money by switching to the all-electric Semi.

Conclusion


2019 Tesla Semi - image 746099

Tesla is no stranger to making big promises and taking forever to deliver on them, so only time will tell how things transpire with the Tesla Semi. If history teaches us anything, the Semi will be delayed multiple times and be shrouded in secrecy until hype of its introduction dies down. Don’t get us wrong – we’d love Tesla to reinvent the way commercial trucking is done while saving companies money and reducing the amount of local emissions on our highways.

The Tesla Semi is important for regular folks for several reasons. One, the truck could potentially reduce shipping costs and therefore the price of goods. Two, it could increase safety on our roadways. Three, it would improve the flow of traffic thanks to convoys, active safety systems, and better performance. Four, it would make roadways quieter since loud diesel exhausts would be eliminated, including engine braking devices like the Jake Brake.

Only time will tell if Tesla Semi succeeds. If any automaker or billionaire entrepreneur could pull it off, it’s Tesla and Elon Musk.

  • Leave it
    • No word on MSRP
    • Could suffer from typical Tesla production woes
    • A disruptor in a highly important industry

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Aston Martin Vantage – What We Know So Far

With only a few days to go until the official unveiling of the new 2018 Aston Martin Vantage, it’s high time we pieced together bits of information we’ve been hearing here and there about the British sports car. This gives us a clue as to what we can expect to see on November 21 when Aston drops the curtain on the new Vantage. 

While there is still some speculation about the underpinning of the new sports car, it has been confirmed through promotional material the 2018 Aston Martin Vantage will have a Mercedes-AMG V8 with 500 horsepower and 505 lb-ft of torque.

That means this little hottie is edging ever closer to the realm of supercars, especially as it also has a kerb weight of just over 1,500 kg. So one thing you can be sure of, the performance is going to be stellar. That’s something one can surmise looking at the way it handles in the hands of a professional driver such as Max Verstappen:

Design-wise, the 2018 Aston Martin Vantage will be closely related to the DB10 bond car. It is characterized by short overhangs, a hunkered down profile with a short boot and long bonnet. Though the Vantage is considered a direct rival to the Porsche 911 it has never really compromised on its gran tourer qualities just so that it stick it to the German. That will be the case with the new model as well. Yes, it’s sportier and more focused than the outgoing model. But in terms of munching miles effortlessly, the car is still a British GT at heart.

The V8 Vantage will hit the market in 2018 with a price tag of around 95,000 GBP. In a year or so after that we will get a Volante, and some time after than a V12 variant… unless V12s are outlawed by then.

The post 2018 Aston Martin Vantage – What We Know So Far appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda6

The Mazda6 is the Japanese brand’s mid-size flagship sedan, offering customers premium appointment inside the cabin and a somewhat sporty driving experience behind the wheel. Originally offered in 2002 as a replacement for the 616 and 626, the Mazda6 is now well into its third generation, which dropped in August of 2012 at the Moscow International Motor Show. Now it’s time for a substantial mid-cycle refresh, and Mazda just provided a preview of things to come for the forthcoming 2018 model year. Working off the concept of “Mature Elegance,” the new Mazda6 adds premium interior and exterior features, plus new safety technology, all of which helps to elevate the four-door to a more upscale position. However, the biggest news here is the inclusion of a new-for-the-model turbocharged powerplant, which will definitely add a considerable amount of zoom-zoom to the package.

That’s great news for the Mazda faithful – this is, after all, the brand’s flagship sedan, and more power is a most welcome boost to the car’s fun factor. A full reveal is scheduled for this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, but in the meantime, read on for what we know so far.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Mazda6.

Exterior

  • Reshaped front fascia
  • New 3D grille and insert
  • Extra chrome detailing
  • Looks similar to the new Mazda CX-5 crossover

2018 Mazda6 - image 745323
“The grille insert for the central intake is new, with a 3D mesh design that breaks from the old model’s horizontal slat design”

For the moment, all we’ve got is a single teaser image of the new Mazda6’s front end, but right away, there are a few minor styling changes we can pick out. For starters, the grille insert for the central intake is new, with a 3D mesh design that breaks from the old model’s horizontal slat design. The headlights also look like they got a subtle reshape with slimmer housings, and now come underlined by chrome lines that start at the bottom lip of the grille.

The lower intake and fascia are also different, with a sharper shape for the former and fresh creases in the corner edges of the latter. The chrome detailing of the old model’s fog lights is now moved to the lower part of the bumper lip, which will most likely add some extra visual width to the vehicle.

Overall, the changes echo those seen in the new Mazda CX-5 crossover, and we think they pretty good on the sedan as well:


2017 Mazda CX-5 - image 695608
“The new Mazda CX-5 gets similar styling updates as the Mazda6.”

Indeed, Mazda has really been racking up the points when it comes to styling as of late, especially with concepts like the RX Vision, and more recently, the Kai.

And although we have yet to see the rear end, we’d expect the usual nip and tuck back there as well. Something like reshaped taillight housings and a shapely lower bumper should fit the bill nicely.

“Mazda has really been racking up the points when it comes to styling as of late, especially with its concepts.”

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that that Mazda offers the 6 in a wagon bodystyle overseas. We don’t think we’re alone in saying we’d love it if Mazda decided to bring the wagon version stateside, but so far, the probability of that happening is pretty low.

Interior

  • More high-end materials than before
  • Small changes to overall layout
  • Premium Japanese Sen Wood as optional trim
  • Latest safety technology included
  • Adaptive cruise control and around-view monitor

2018 Mazda6 - image 745322
“The updates do a good job in enhancing the car’s premium feel. One good example is the unique Japanese Sen Wood trim option.”

Like the exterior, the Mazda6’s interior gets a few tweaks here and there, but most of the layout is a carryover. Broad, horizontal surfaces dominate, with straight and smooth lines throughout.

Compared to the previous model, the new Mazda6 looks to get a new digital infotainment screen, which appears to stand taller and more upright than the previous screen. The midline and air vents were also changed, with a square shape for the vents and a solid unbroken form for the midline trimmed in shiny metal. Below the vents is another layer that looks to be covered in some kind of soft touch material, presumably Alcantara. The next level after that contains the HVAC controls, below which you’ll find the central tunnel, shifter, and a rotary knob.

We think it still looks good, and we’re glad Mazda didn’t change too much. However, the updates that are included do a good job in enhancing the car’s premium feel. For example, there’s now unique Japanese Sen Wood as a trim option, which Mazda says is used in traditional Japanese instruments and furniture. Looking at the provided press shot, we think that midline on either side of the air vents looks like it gets the new wood treatment.

Further exclusive premium trim will likely include high-end leather, aluminum, and similar stuff.

However, these days, you can only go so far with just premium materials. To really get those luxury points, you’ll also need to toss in some of the latest technology to boot.


2016 - 2017 Mazda6 - image 684539

Note: 2017 Mazda6 pictured here.

“To really get those luxury points, the 2018 Mazda6 comes with the brand’s suite of i-Activsense safety technology.”

As such, the 2018 Mazda6 comes with the brand’s suite of i-Activsense safety technology. Chief among these is Mazda’s Radar Cruise Control, which tosses in stop-and-go traffic management that will bring the vehicle to halt if the car ahead is stopped, then set off again all on its own.

That’s a good start, but we’re hoping for a full range of features for the new Mazda6 – automatic high beams, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and all the other stuff that comes as standard on high-end sedans should be considered fair game.

Finally, Mazda says a 360-degree view monitor was added as well, which is especially helpful when maneuvering through tight spaces.

Drivetrain

  • Base model gets naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder
  • Cylinder deactivation tech for the NA powerplant
  • 2.5-liter turbo now added to the lineup
  • Six-speed manual and automatic for gearbox options

2016 - 2017 Mazda6 - image 684554

Note: 2017 Mazda6 engine pictured here.

Nestled into the nose of the 2018 Mazda6 is the same naturally aspirated Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder as before. Peak output for the four is rated at 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque in the previous model year, and the 2018 iteration is expected to match those figures going forward. The same goes for the gearbox lineup, which includes either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic, both of which route output to the front axle exclusively. Put your foot down, and expect to see 60 mph in roughly 7.6 seconds with both transmission options.

Mileage figures for the previous model year’s NA four-cylinder is rated at 25 mpg city and 37 mpg highway for the manual, and 26 mpg city and 38 mpg highway for the automatic. However, Mazda says the 2018 model now comes with new cylinder deactivation technology that will undoubtedly pad those figures substantially. We think more than 40 mpg on the highway for the auto gearbox is definitely within reach.

“The 2018 model now comes with new cylinder deactivation technology that will undoubtedly pad mpg figures. However, if you prefer driving fun over efficiency, the new turbocharged four-cylinder should fit the bill.”

That’s great for the eco-conscious, but what if you’re looking for a little extra zoom-zoom instead of efficiency, then Mazda has you covered there as well. Joining the all-atmosphere four-cylinder is a Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine option, which means yes, the Mazda6 finally gets a turbocharger. Plucked out of the nose of the most recent Mazda CX-9 crossover, this boosted four-banger features direct injection, and according to the manufacturer, torque levels that are “on par” with a 4.0-liter V-8. While the brand declined to give us exact specs, we do know that the turbo four in the CX-9 makes a substantial 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, which is a huge improvement over the old NA four. If the 2.5T finds its way into the Mazda6 without substantial tuning changes, we wouldn’t be surprised if that 0-to-60 mph time drops into the 5-second range.

“If the 2.5T finds its way into the Mazda6 without substantial tuning changes, we wouldn’t be surprised if that 0-to-60 mph time drops into the 5-second range.”

The big question on the minds of enthusiasts is whether or not Mazda will offer a MazdaSpeed6 iteration, with a six-speed manual transmission, bigger brakes, more aggressive exterior styling, sharper suspension tuning, and possibly even AWD. We’d love something like that…

Prices


2018 Mazda6 - image 745754

As of this writing, Mazda has yet to reveal full pricing information for the 2018 Mazda6. However, we wouldn’t expect any big changes for the base model’s price tag, which currently starts at $21,945. Higher trim levels obviously throw in additional equipment and require extra outlay, with the current mid-grade Touring starting at $24,195 and the top-trim Grand Touring going for $30,695. We’re excited to see where the 2.5-liter turbo will slot into the mix.

Competition

Toyota Camry


2018 Toyota Camry - image 700685

When it comes to Japanese commuter sedans, it doesn’t get much more ubiquitous than the Toyota Camry. Building on well-established reputation for offering great value and reliability, the Camry just saw a generational update for the 2018 model year, with big-time updates across the board. The exterior styling is far more interesting this time around, while the interior was equally redone with an attractive new design and tons of premium features. Engine options include a four-cylinder, six-cylinder, and even a hybrid.

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Camry.

Honda Accord


2018 Honda Accord - image 735545

The Honda Accord also just got a generational changeover, and now enters its tenth production cycle for the 2018 model year. To keep it fresh, the H Badge added new Jewel headlights and glossy black trim pieces to the front end, plus lots of heavy creases leading to the rear. The interior layout feels fresh too, and gets tons of technology to keep passengers entertained. Making the go is a selection of four-cylinder powerplants, as well as a new 10-speed automatic transmission.

Read our full review on the 2018 Honda Accord.

Conclusion


2018 Mazda6 - image 745323
“The real draw for 2018 has to be the new turbo engine.”

We’ll update this article when we get the full rundown of the 6’s specs, but so far, we like what we see. The exterior styling was already quite the head-turner, and this latest refresh looks to be the same. The interior also seems to be even more impressive, while the chassis and handling should remain surprisingly nimble for a mid-size four-door. But the real draw for 2018 has to be the new turbo engine. We can’t wait to get our hands on the figures, and we’re expecting some impressive stuff from the front-wheel-driver. Nice work there, Mazda.

The only thing that has us worried is the car’s price. The top trim is already kinda pricey, and tossing in the 2.5T might bump the 6 a little too high in the food chain. Granted, the features and premium interior do well to justify the outlay, but can the Mazda badge back that asking price for consumers? We’ll have to wait and see. Look for full details later in the month.

  • Leave it
    • Some competitors offer more features
    • Will pricing be too high with the new turbo engine?

References

Mazda6


2016 - 2017 Mazda6 - image 578922

Read our full review on the 2017 Mazda6.



Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built

Chevrolet just introduced the latest Corvette ZR1, setting a new benchmark for the iconic sports car. Not only the quickest and most powerful Corvette ever built, the new ZR1 is also the most aerodynamic iteration of the car and comes with features usually found on high-end supercars. It definitely eclipses every road-legal Corvette built to date in terms of performance. It also wins battles with every classic Vette I can think of, but it’s not the only Corvette that made a massive impact upon arrival. It’s rather difficult to talk about Corvettes from the past with a car as incredible as the new ZR1 on its way to showrooms, but I compiled a list of iconic models that deserve to share the same celebrity page with this supercharged monster.

I’ve made my picks based on a few factors. For starters, I wanted to include at least one model from each generation, so this list goes back to the original C1. I also took horsepower and performance in consideration, as well as market impact and production figures, favoring limited-edition models that evolved into prized collectibles. I also included a concept, an experimental racing project that barely made it out of the factory, as well as an aftermarket upgrade, just to add an extra bit of flavor to the selection. Check it out below.

Continue reading for the full story.

1955 Corvette V8


Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built - image 745745
“The 4.3-liter V-8 engine enabled the C1 Corvette to compete with the then-new Ford Thunderbird”

The first-generation Corvette is now regarded as one of the most iconic classic cars out there, but the truth is that the C1 was very close to be discontinued after only a couple of years on the market. Which would have put an end to the Corvette nameplate and all the great cars that followed. Launched with an inline six engine that wasn’t particularly exciting, the first Corvette was also plagued with water leaks, doors that wouldn’t stay shut, and shoddy quality of the otherwise innovative fiberglass body. These issues and the negative customer reaction caused sales to plummet, with only 2,500 units sold in 1954. Things didn’t look good for the Corvette, and Chevy was already thinking about pulling the plug.

But things changed dramatically in 1955. While not yet part of the Corvette project, Zora Arkus-Duntov insisted that the brand’s new 4.3-liter, small-block V-8 was added to the car. The 195-horsepower unit not only improved the Corvette’s marketing and image but also enabled it to compete with the then-new Ford Thunderbird. The 0 to 60 sprint dropped from 11 seconds to a more impressive 8.5 seconds with the V-8, while the three-speed manual transmission turned into a true driver’s car. As a result, Duntov was also named the director of high-performance vehicle design and development for Chevrolet in 1956.

1962 Corvette Grand Sport


Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built - image 745753
“Zora Duntov initiated a program to produce a lightweight version of the second-gen Corvette”

Just like the 1955 V8, the Corvette Grand Sport was also the work of Zora Duntov. However, this project was entirely different, as the Grand Sport was conceived as a full-fledged race car. Chevrolet was no longer involved in motorsport in the early 1960s, and Duntov was converned about Ford and its tremendous Shelby Cobra, which was already hitting the race track with good results. Zora initiated a program to produce a lightweight version of the second-gen Corvette, set to go on sale for the 1963 model year, and planned to build 125 units to allow the car to be homologated for grand touring racing. The program was kept secret, mostly because GM executives didn’t want Chevy involved in motorsport. But they found out soon enough and stopped the project after Duntov built only five cars. Fortunately, they weren’t destroyed, and went on to compete and even win a few improtant races. Powered by V-8 engines rated at up to 550 horsepower, the Grand Sport was driven by famed race car drivers such as Roger Penske, A.J. Foyt, and Jim Hall.

Due to its interesting story and limited production run, the Grand Sport is among the most coveted and valuable Corvettes ever built.

1961 Corvette Mako Shark


Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built - image 745744
“Designed by Larry Shinoda and Bill Mitchell, the Mako Shark previewed the second-generation Corvette”

Like the Grand Sport, the Mako Shark isn’t a production car. Designed in 1961 by Larry Shinoda and Bill Mitchell, the Mako Shark was the concept car that previewed the second-generation Corvette. As the name suggests, it was partly inspired by the shortfin mako shark, the fastest-swimming shark in the world, capable of bursts of speed of up to 42 mph. A tremendous success on the auto show circuit, the Marko Shark, was sleek, had side-exit exhaust pipes, and its paint scheme matched that of an actual shark with the blue-gray upper surface gently blending into the white underside. The C2-generation Corvette that followed in 1963, also known as the Sting Ray, borrowed several design cues from the Mako Shark, including the muscular fenders, the windscreen, and the pointy front fascia. The concept was redesigned in 1965 into the Mako Shark II, which eventually went on to inspire the third-generation Corvette, launched in 1968.

1967 Corvette Sting Ray L88


Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built - image 745743
“Not only more powerful, the L88 engine was also closer to a pure racing powerplant than any other engine Chevy had ever offered”

Significantly more aggressive than its predecessor design-wise, the C2-gen Corvette also spawned higher performance versions. The L88 was the C2 to end all C2s and arrived in the generation’s final year on the market, 1967. The badge came from the engine, as the L88 was a beefed-up variant of the 7.0-liter V-8 that Chevrolet introduced in 1966. Not only more powerful, it was also closer to a pure racing powerplant than any other engine Chevy had ever offered in a production car. It had lightweight heads and bigger ports, hotter camshaft, stratospheric 12.5:1 compression, an aluminum radiator, small-diameter flywheel, and a single huge Holley four-barrel carburetor. The very high compression ratio required 103-octane racing fuel, which wasn’t widely available at U.S. service stations. Output was officially rated at 430 horsepower, but word has it that the L88 was actually capable of around 560 horses at 6,400 rpm. Naturally, the L88 didn’t come cheap. With the Positraction, transistorized ignition, heavy-duty suspension, power brakes, and radio and heater delete options made mandatory with the package, the L88 added an extra $1,500 over the base $4,240 price. As a result, only 20 units were sold, which makes the L88 one of the rarest Corvettes ever built.

1969 Corvette ZL1


Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built - image 745746
“The first-ever ZL1 was offered for the 1969 model year only”

The third-generation Corvette was introduced in 1968, just as the muscle cars were getting bigger and becoming more powerful. This came to a halt in the early 1970s when the oil crisis and new regulations nearly killed the high-power V-8, but the C3 had a few good years. The Corvette ZL1 is arguably the most exotic example. Now sporting a sleeker, even more aggressive design, the C3 also spawned new engines and upgrade packages. The ZL1 was offered for the 1969 model year only and added an all-aluminum, 7.0-liter big-block which was developed primarily for racing. The engine was officially rated at 430 horsepower, but testing revealed that output was actually at around 460 horsepower. The ZL1 was quick enough to run the quarter mile in 12.1 seconds. But much like the L88, it was highly expensive, adding a whopping $4,700 to the Corvette. It’s probably why only three were sold. The main reason why I’ve included the ZL1 on this list is that it was the fastest production car ever made back in 1969.

1988 Corvette Callaway Sledgehammer


Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built - image 745748
“The Sledgehammer had a top speed of 254.7 mph!”

For our next Corvette, I’m going to step away from the Chevrolet-made cars. I know it’s not exactly, but a Top 10 Corvette list without the Sledgehammer is incomplete. If you’re not familiar with Callaway Cars, it was established in 1977, and it’s been modifying engines ever since. Callaway began altering Corvettes in the 1980s and became famous when its twin-turbo kit for the C4 became a dealer option. The Callaway Twin Turbo Corvette was introduced in 1987, but it took the firm one more year to produce its most radical design yet. Based on the highly criticized C4-generation Corvette, which hit the market with delays and various issues, the Sledgehammer actually helped te fourth-gen car gain some notoriety. Heavily modified on the outside, the Sledgehammer was more than just a pimped-up Corvette.

The aggressive exterior was backed by a massively powerful drivetrain that sent no less than 898 horsepower and 772 pound-feet of torque to the wheels. The incredible output was achieved using a NASCAR-spec engine block with Mahle pistons and forged connecting rods, as well as a Brodix aluminum head and a pair of turbochargers from Turbonetics. The suspension was designed with help from Carroll Shelby, while the 17-inch aluminum wheels were wrapped in bespoke Goodyear tires. The sprint to 60 mph took only 3.9 seconds, while the quarter-mile run took just 10.6 clicks. These were incredible figures for the 1980s and are still impressive in 2017.

“The sprint to 60 mph took only 3.9 seconds, while the quarter-mile run took just 10.6 clicks”

But the Sledgehammer’s most impressive feat is its top. In October 1988, with John Lingenfelter behind the wheel, Callaway’s super coupe hit a record top speed of 254.7 mph. Although the benchmark wasn’t filed as a Guinness world record due to Sledgehammer being a unique car, it stood as the world’s fastest road-legal car until 2010, when Bugatti hit 267.8 mph with the Veyron Super Sport. The standard Veyron is actually almost one mph slower than the Sledgehammer. And we’re talking about a car built in 2005 with far more modern technology.

And that’s why the Sledgehammer deserves a place on this list.

1990 Corvette ZR-1


Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built - image 745747
“Co-developed with Lotus, the ZR-1 set a number of endurance world records”

While the Sledgehammer wasn’t available for purchase, the Callaway Twin Turbo package was, and its success prompted Chevrolet to build its very own high-performance version of the Corvette. The opportunity to do this arrived in the mid-to-late 1980s after General Motors acquired Group Lotus. The Corvette division approached the British firm with the idea of developing the world’s fastest production car based on the C4 Corvette and Lotus went on to design the iconic LT5 engine. Using an aluminum block, four overhead camshafts, 32 valves, and a unique air management system, the V-8 generated 375 horsepower, 125 horses more than the standard Vette at the time. In addition to the engine, Lotus also helped design the ZR-1’s braking and steering systems. The 5.7-liter V-8 engine was upgraded to 405 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque when the C4 Corvette was updated in 1993. When it first hit the market, the ZR-1 needed only 4.4 seconds to hit 60 mph, while its top speed was estimated at more than 180 mph. The coupe actually set a number of world records, including the 12 Hours Endurance at 175.5 mph, the 24 Hours Endurance at 175.8 mph, and running for 5,000 miles at 279.6 mph. The C4 ZR-1 was the first vehicle to wear the badge since 1971, but as we’ll see below, it wasn’t the last.

2001 Corvette Z06


Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built - image 745749
“The C5 Z06 reintroduced the Z06 badge and turned the Corvette into a modern, track-oriented vehicle”

Although it dates back to 1963, when it was created as a performance package that circumvented an SCCA racing ban, the Z06 badge was shortlived until the 2000s. Launched as a spiritual successor to the C4 ZR-1, the C5 Z06 had a similar approach. The exterior was closely related to the standard model, but the drivetrain was different. The new LS6 engine was a higher output, tuned version of the regular LS1 and initially developed 385 horsepower. This was less than the ZR-1, but the Z06 was much lighter, which gave it a superior power-to-weight ratio. It was also significantly more affordable, which helped it become a more mainstream proposition. The 2002 update increased power to 405 horsepower, which resulted in a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 3.9 seconds and a quarter-mile run of 12.4 clicks. A carbon-fiber hood introduced with the Commemorative Edition made the Z06 even lighter. Production ended in 2004 as Chevrolet began working on the C6-generation car. While the following Z06 models were faster and more powerful, I went with the C5 model because this was the car that reintroduced the Z06 badge and turned the Corvette into a modern, track-oriented vehicle.

2009 Corvette ZR1


2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 221025
“The C6-gen ZR1 was unveiled with a supercharged, 6.2-liter LS9 V-8”

Although the Z06 was first introduced as a spiritual successor to the ZR-1, the two nameplates eventually became regular versions of the Corvette beginning with the C6-generation model. While the Z06 returned in 2006 and was built until 2013, the ZR1 made a comeback in 2009, after a 19-year hiatus. While the Z06 had a 7.0-liter LS7 under the hood, the C6-gen ZR1 was unveiled with a supercharged, 6.2-liter LS9 V-8. The mill produced 638 horsepower, 133 more than the Z06, and at the time of its launch, it was the most powerful Corvette ever made at the factory. It was also the quickest, needing only 3.4 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start. Its top speed was rated at 205 mph, another record for a Corvette. It also made extensive use of carbon-fiber, having the roof, engine hood, fenders, front splitter, and rocker moldings made from the lightweight material. It was also equipped with the larger wheels ever used on a production Corvette, carbon-ceramic brakes, and Magnetic Selectiv Ride Control with sensors to automatically adjust stiffness levels based on road conditions and vehicle movement. A supercar in its own right!

2018 Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744658
“Although it's the last vehicle on my list, it's the most extreme Corvette ever built”

Finally, we’re moving on to the latest Corvette ZR1, unveiled in October 2017. Although it’s the last vehicle on my list, it’s the most extreme Corvette ever built. A significant upgrade in terms of exterior design compared to the current Z06, the ZR1 sports the most comprehensive aerodynamic package Chevy has ever created for a road car. On top of the redesigned front bumper and the massive bulge on the engine hood, the ZR1 comes with two distinct rear wings. There’s a standard low wing that delivers up to 70-percent more downforce and the highest top speed and a motorsport-spec high wing that provides maximum downforce for the quickest lap times. That’s a first for any Corvette. Under the hood, lurks the most powerful engine Chevy has built to date. Dubbed LT5, the 6.2-liter V-8 uses a massive supercharger to generate a whopping 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in less than three seconds and tops out at more than 210 mph, yet another record for the Corvette. The new ZR1 is also the first vehicle of its kind to use an automatic transmission thanks to the eight-speed option offered alongside the standard seven-speed manual.

This concludes my list of the greatest Corvettes ever built. A list I probably won’t alter until Chevy introduces the much-rumored mid-engined Vette. I’m well aware that this list is very subjective and that many other iconic Corvettes weren’t mentioned, so feel free to add your own in the comments section.

PostHeaderIcon Can Anyone Stop Lewis Hamilton In 2018?

With the 2017 title under his belt, Lewis Hamilton is placing himself firmly in the company of the greatest Formula 1 drivers in history. That’s not to say he’s necessarily near the top of that list just yet, but he’s certainly part of a very elite club.

Formula 1 titles tend to come in batches. Hamilton has now won three of the past four seasons, before which Sebastian Vettel won four in a row. Michael Schumacher won five of his seven titles in an uninterrupted streak between 2000 and 2004, and the great Juan Manuel Fangio won four in a row in the ‘50s. The best men behind the wheel have always done their best work in spurts of four or five years. And because that’s about how long Hamilton and his Mercedes team have been dominating Formula 1, it’s not interesting to ask if anyone will be able to stop him next season.

Sebastian Vettel

While it’s true that champions have historically won in bunches, they’ve also often won a championship or two before or after their main streaks. And it’s a little bit hard to imagine that Sebastian Vettel, the German star who won four times between 2010 and 2013, is done. It’s true that he hasn’t been as much of a threat since moving to Ferrari from Red Bull – but Vettel, at the time of this writing, actually has as many podium finishes (12) as Hamilton on the year. He’s not particularly far behind, and he has personally warned Hamilton to expect different outcomes in 2018. These two may well be at the top of the standings again next season.

Max Verstappen

If one were to look at the current drivers in Formula 1 and point to who might be the next great champion, 20-year-old Max Verstappen would be near the top of the list. A preview of the Brazil Grand Prix recently looked ahead to 2018 and labeled him as one man who looks set to challenge Hamilton, and while that’s a little bit optimistic, it isn’t unfair. Verstappen was the youngest Grand Prix winner of all time in 2016, and has had multiple top-of-the-podium finishes this season (including two out of four races heading into Brazil). Verstappen will undoubtedly be looking to restore Red Bull to glory, if not in 2018 then soon thereafter.

Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo is poised for a top-five finish in 2017, and is Verstappen’s senior on the Red Bull team. It could be that he’ll surprise us in 2018, hold off his up-and-coming teammate, and compete head-to-head against the likes of Hamilton and Vettel. However, it seems more likely that he’ll fade behind Verstappen – particularly given that he’s already contemplating his future, potentially beyond Red Bull. There doesn’t appear to be any bad blood between the parties just yet, but Ricciardo appears to be well aware that Verstappen will be the team’s top driver moving forward.

It would be foolish to label anyone but Hamilton as the 2018 favorite. But if anyone’s going to challenge his supremacy, it will probably be one of these three drivers.

The post Can Anyone Stop Lewis Hamilton In 2018? appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Subaru Ascent

Subaru is about to launch its all-new, three-row family crossover at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show on November 28. Official specs have been kept quiet, but we know it will be larger than Subaru’s ill-fated Tribeca with more interior room. We also know its name: the Ascent. It’s clear Subaru wants a piece of the full-size crossover pie. The Forester is currently the automaker’s largest vehicle, but it only seats five and has a maximum cargo volume of 68.5 cubic feet – a far cry from what typical three-row crossovers offer.

The Ascent will ride on an expanded version of Subaru’s Global Platform. The new Impreza and Crosstrek already ride on this platform, and the rest of Subaru’s lineup will eventually follow. It’s no wonder since Subaru spent a whopping $1 Billion to develop the modular architecture. The SGP is also designed to surpass all current crash test standards by enduring stuff like a 2.7-ton SUV ramming head-on into its hood at 55 mph. Yeah. Families like safe vehicles, so the added protection will be a great selling point for the Ascent. Obviously, Subaru will appreciate the sales, especially since the Tribeca only sold 80,000 examples over its entire, decade-long life. With failure an actual possibility, Subaru is determined to get the Ascent right. Let’s see what we can expect from this upcoming crossover.

Continue reading for more information.

Exterior

  • Larger dimensions means more interior room
  • Tallish ground clearance
  • Sculpted bodylines

Subaru Ascent SUV Concept Begs One Question: WHY? - image 713486

Note: 2017 Subaru Ascent concept pictured here.

“We’re hoping the Ascent Concept’s handsome lines actually translate to the production version.”

Subaru has yet to release an overview image of the production-spec 2019 Ascent. All we’ve got is a single shot of the Ascent badge affixed to the crossover tailgate. That means we’ll have to reference the Ascent’s concept version, which debuted at the 2017 New York Auto Show back in April. Thankfully, Subaru will debut the real deal at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show on November 28.

The Ascent concept is a devilishly handsome SUV with tons of style baked into its large body. Subaru designers aren’t afraid of doing big things with concept vehicles, and that shows here. Just look at that swooping beltline over those arched fenders! Typical Subaru cues are seen, too, like the C-shaped LED daytime running lights, the six-sided grille, the A-pillar window, and the black molding along the body’s lower edges.

Sadly, Subaru’s designers are also too timid to are blocked by dull bean-counters from putting such aesthetically pleasing concepts directly into production. We’ve seen it time and time again where a sexy concept is neutered into a comparatively dull shell of its former self before arriving in showrooms. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen here, though we’re not holding our breath.

Interior

  • Seven-passenger seating
  • Three rows
  • More interior volume than the old Tribeca
  • Respectable in-dash technology

Subaru Ascent SUV Concept Begs One Question: WHY? - image 713487

Note: 2017 Subaru Ascent concept pictured here.

“Subaru will surely tone down the high-tech vibe seen on the Ascent Concept.”

While 90 percent of the Ascent concept’s exterior could easily make production, the interior is another story. Subaru will surely tone down the high-tech vibe seen here. Don’t misread us –we’d love to see the massive touchscreen with integrated knobs remain in the center stack. We’d hope Subaru will keep the fully digital gauge cluster, especially since that’s the popular thing these days. And we’d love to see the highly sculpted, multi-tiered dash and door panels in our driveway sometime soon.

So what’s definitely not making production? Well, don’t count on seeing the digital window and door lock controls. That swanky gearshift probably won’t make the cut, either. And sadly, the Range Rover Velar-like display seems a bit too cool for Subaru to actually produce. (Prove us wrong, Subi!)

What will remain in the showroom version of the 2019 Ascent is seating for seven people over three rows. That’s a given. Subaru needs a full-size family crossover. Right now, only five people can fit in Subi’s largest model, meaning growing families are forced out of the brand and onto the competition. That’s not good for Subaru’s bottom line and plans for world domination (what major automaker doesn’t have that plan?).

Drivetrain

  • Possible turbocharged 2.0- or 2.4-liter flat-four
  • CVT is very likely
  • AWD will be standard
  • Respectable fuel economy expected

Subaru Ascent SUV Concept Begs One Question: WHY? - image 712990

Note: 2017 Subaru Ascent concept pictured here.

“Expect the Symmetrical AWD system to be included as standard equipment.”

Details of the Ascent’s greasy bits are still unknown at this point. Some reports suggest Subaru will use its 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four found in the Impreza, while others say an all-new 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four with upwards of 300 horsepower will be had. Either way, don’t count on a flat-six like the Tribeca had or anything in an inline or V configuration. This is Subaru, after all.

Regardless of engine, it’s a sure bet a CVT will be bolted to its backside. The continuously variable transmission has gotten better over the years. Our recent test of the 2018 Crosstrek proved the CVT is nearly free of rubberbanding and offers a smooth though somewhat uninspired driving experience. A full-size family crossover isn’t built for blasting down some dirt rally course, so the calm driving experience should be a welcomed trait.

Naturally being a Subaru, the automaker’s Symmetrical AWD system will be included as standard equipment. That means all four wheels receive power all the time, though at a 60/40 torque split front to rear under normal road conditions. Under low-traction situations or when the X-Mode button is pressed, the system will divide power evenly between the front and rear differentials.

Expect fuel economy to be pretty competitive in the mid- and full-size crossover segment. That means we can expect around 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. Of course, these type of details should be announced at the Ascent’s debut later this month.

Pricing

Official pricing will come later, but we’d bet Subaru will start the Ascent’s MSRP around the $30,000 mark. That’s $5,000 more than the Outback and nearly $7,000 more than the Forester. Selecting premium features and options will inflate the price on higher-trimmed models, perhaps making the Ascent’s sticker price hit $45,000 when fully loaded. That would be pretty reasonable when compared to the segment.

Competition

Honda Pilot


2016 Honda Pilot - image 616641

The Pilot might be a few years old, but it’s one of the best-selling three-row crossovers in the business. It combines outright utility with comfort and style. Sprinkle on Honda’s brand image of reliability and available AWD and you’ve got family-hauling homerun.

The Pilot is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 making 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. As mentioned, FWD is standard and AWD is optional. With all four wheels turning, the Pilot can lug a 5,000-pound trailer and regardless of the drivetrain, it will carry up to eight people – seven with the optional second-row captain’s chairs. Lower trims come with a six-speed automatic and upper trims (Touring and Elite) come with a fuel-saving nine-speed automatic.

Pricing varies wildly depending on trim and options. The base LX starts at $30,745 while the range-topping Elite starts at $47,220. Getting the Elite means everything that is normally optional is now standard. That means $47,220 is about the highest price you can pay, barring you go crazy with dealership add-ons.

Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Pilot.

Volkswagen Atlas


2018 Volkswagen Atlas - image 693391

The Atlas should be pronounced “At last” since it’s taken Volkswagen so long to enter the three-row SUV game. Thankfully, the Atlas is well-baked with tons of well-conceived features, a roomy interior, seating for seven people, and a couple drivetrain options. The Atlas also rides on familiar bones; it’s the MQB platform that also underpins seemingly every modern VW and Audi product. Interior niceties include an available digital dash, VW’s latest infotainment system, and 97cubic-feet of cargo room with the rear seats folded.

Standard power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, but it’s relegated to lower trims with FWD. Most Atlas models come with a 3.6-liter V-6 with 276 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic sends power to the front wheels. VW’s 4Motion AWD system is optional.

Pricing starts at $30,500, but most will skip the 2.0-liter base S model. Other trims include the SE, SE with Technology, and SEL. Opting for the V-6 pushes the base price to $31,900. For 2018, VW is offering a V-6 Launch Edition. The S, SE, SE with 4Motion, SE with Technology, SE with Technology and 4Motion, SEL, SEL with 4Motion and SEL Premium with 4Motion are available. While a bit confusing at first, the trims do make sense. Expect to by $48,490 for the V-6 SEL Platinum with 4Motion before options.

Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Conclusion


2019 Subaru Ascent - image 745297

It’s been a long time coming for Subaru’s new three-row crossover. The absolute disaster that was the Tribeca understandably left Subaru weary of the large crossover market, though the updates accompanying the Ascent should make folks pay attention this time around. More people room, improved looks, modern in-dash technology, and class-leading safety features should have the Ascent climbing towards the peak of full-size family crossovers. Only time will tell, however, and there are still plenty of unanswered questions. The wait won’t be long, thankfully, since November 28 should bring all the juicy details. Check back to TopSpeed for that.

  • Leave it
    • Might be underpowered compared to the competition
    • CVT will limit towing
    • Will it overcome the Tribeca’s failure?

References


Subaru Ascent SUV Concept Begs One Question: WHY? - image 713494

Read our full review on the 2017 Subaru Ascent Concept.



Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon The Departed: 10 Cars That Have Been Discontinued For 2018

2017 has been an eventful year for the auto industry. It’s also been a devastating one for some models, particularly those that were effectively told by their automakers that they’re discontinuing them. Cars come and go in this ever-evolving industry and, this year, a few notable models are, in fact, getting sent to retirement. There’s a chance that we may see them again in the future, but as far as the short-term is concerned, it’s time to say goodbye to them.

So ahead of their eventual discontinuation, we’re giving them one last moment in the spotlight. Consider it a tribute to these models, some of whom have etched an inscrutable legacy in the auto industry. They may have been popular makes at one point in the past, but with consumer tastes changing, they’ve become expendable in the eyes of their automakers. So say goodbye to these four-wheeled machines; each of them had good runs. But time is unforgiving; it marches on with no conscience of who, or what, it leaves behind. Those who can’t keep up will inevitably become remnants of a time gone by.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Hyundai Azera


2015 Hyundai Azera - image 577008

There once was a time when the Hyundai Azera was regarded as Hyundai’s flagship model in the US. That status changed when the Hyundai Genesis arrived. Still, the Azera made for a decent full-sized sedan. It didn’t lack in features, had a relatively comfortable ride, and came with a price – $35,000 – that didn’t burn holes in our pockets. Still, the Azera was overshadowed by the mid-size Sonata and Hyundai’s decision to turn Genesis into its own luxury brand. Simply put, the Azera became expendable, and while it will live on in other markets as the Hyundai Grandeur, its days in the US are coming to an end.

Read our full review on the 2017 Hyundai Azera.

Jeep Patriot


2011 Jeep Patriot - image 374459

It is somewhat ironic to find a Jeep in this list, especially when you consider that the brand is one of FCA’s legitimate money-makers. But such is life in the auto industry as even the best automakers aren’t susceptible to making hard decisions like this one. For the record, the Jeep Patriot was actually discontinued in 2016, but since a handful of models were still sold this year, we’re including it in our list of cars that we won’t get to see once the calendar flips to 2018.

It’s hard to point to one reason why the Patriot wasn’t as good as Jeep hoped it’d be. Maybe it was because the company took shortcuts in developing it and was seemingly content with selling it because it was affordable. Maybe it even relied too much on the “Jeep” name to help mask the Patriot’s many deficiencies. Whatever it was, Jeep finally came to its senses and decided to replace it with the all-new Compass. The jury is still out on how the second-generation Compass will be received, but it speaks to how terrible the Patriot was that Jeep decided to replace it altogether with a model whose first-gen version was every bit a slog as the Patriot was. In any event, good riddance, Jeep Patriot. You won’t be missed.

Read our full review on the 2017 Jeep Patriot.

Chrysler 200


2015 Chrysler 200 - image 538082

Here’s another model that’s technically been dead since 2016. The Chrysler 200 is on this list only because Chrysler had to discard however many models were left this year. That won’t be the case in 2018 because believe it or not, Chrysler will have only two models on its portfolio, one of which is the 300 sedan that’s also dying to get replaced. You have to feel bad for the Pacifica minivan. You just have to. Not only is it the only Chrysler model that’s worth spending on, but there’s literally no other model around to complement it. The 200 should’ve been that model when it was introduced in 2015. But the supposed cornerstone never got any traction in the eyes of consumers. It generated poor reviews that affected its sales volume and, to Chrysler’s credit, it was quick to throw up its hands and admit that the 200 was a monumental debacle. It definitely won’t be missed.

Read our full review on the 2017 Chrysler 200

Volkswagen Touareg


2015 - 2016 Volkswagen Touareg - image 549617

Once upon a time, the Volkswagen Touareg was regarded as one of the first upscale SUVs to really make its mark in the SUV market. It was stylish, sporty, and proudly carried the Volkswagen badge that was a pretty big deal for American consumers. The thing is that 13 years, and hundreds of more SUV options later, the Touareg is being sent to the shed, though not really of its own doing. The model still had some loyalists, but not enough for Volkswagen to keep it in the fold. Instead, the Touareg will be replaced by the all-new Volkswagen Atlas, a model that’s not only larger than the model it’s replacing but also packs more features that play into the needs of American families. The Touareg had a good run, but its time is up.

Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen Touareg

Volkswagen CC


2014 Volkswagen CC - image 542717

Since we’re already talking about retiring Volskwagens, let’s stay here and turn our attention on the CC four-door coupe. I was actually torn about the fate of the CC when Volkswagen announced that it was discontinuing it. I liked the way it looked, and I’ve driven it enough to know that it actually had a good ride to it. But the CC suffered from the same disease that the Hyundai Azera did: it was completely overshadowed by a far more popular model. In the CC’s case, the culprit was the Volkswagen Passat, arguably one of the most popular sedans in the U.S. today. It says a lot about the CC’s struggling state of affairs that the Passat actually out-sold it by a staggering 40:1 ratio. That means that for every one CC that Volskwagen sold, it sold 40 Passat models. If that doesn’t explain why the CC is headed to retirement, I don’t know what will.

Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen CC.

Chevrolet SS


2016 Chevrolet SS - image 646685

As the only car on this list with Australian roots, I do believe that the Chevrolet SS never got the traction it needed to really gain a strong foothold in the US market. It only arrived in the US in 2014 after carving up a quite a career Down Under as the Holden Commodore SS. It may not have been the easiest car to look out, but the SS was every bit the performance maven that it was hyped up to be. The only problem was that the hype it generated faded about as fast as it rose and before the SS could even establish itself in American soil, sales of the model never caught on. Chevy ultimately decided to cut its losses on the model, even if it probably never even gave it a chance to grow in the first place.

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet SS.

Buick Verano


2016 Buick Verano - image 627708

The fate of the Buick Verano is an interesting case on how the popularity of the SUV market has affected other segments. The Verano is, for all intents and purposes, an entry-level luxury car. It’s a decent model too, unassuming in its looks, yet had a good comfort level to it that was spoke to what Buick was all about. The thing is, the market for compact sedans has been steadily dwindling as more consumers turn towards crossovers and SUVs. A lot of models have been affected by this, including the Verano, which somehow found itself getting usurped by a model in its own family – the Encore – that also happens to be one of the most sought-after crossovers in the U.S. today.

Read our full review on the 2017 Buick Verano.

Infiniti QX70


2014 - 2015 Infiniti QX70 - image 535561

In some ways, the Jeep Patriot proved that even crossovers and SUVs aren’t immune to getting axed. The Infiniti QX70 falls along those same lines, even though the reputation for both models couldn’t have been more different. Unlike the Patriot, the QX70 was actually a popular model at one point its life. It was also a ground-breaking luxury crossover that was one of the first of its kind to highlight curvy styling in a car of its size. But like everything else that has been around for quite some time, sales of the QX70 dropped in recent years, forcing Infiniti to abandon the crossover and replace it with a redesigned QX50. It’s unclear if we’ll ever see the QX70 again, but with crossovers and SUVs still gaining in popularity, I wouldn’t close the door on this model from making a comeback. Just don’t expect it to happen anytime in the near future.

Read our full review on the 2017 Infiniti QX70

Mitsubishi Lancer


2016 Mitsubishi Lancer - image 648935

Without question the most popular Mitsubishi model in history, the Lancer has been a standard-bearer for the automaker’s compact car exploits in the US since 2002. But unlike the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic, the Lancer never quite reached the level of popularity that its two big rivals managed to achieve. It certainly didn’t help that the Lancer was in part stigmatized by a good part of the population as coming from a perceived-to-be inferior automaker. Clearly, Mitsubishi could’ve done more for the Lancer than sit on the popularity of the Evolution performance line. But it didn’t do enough and, while the Lancer did last for as long as it could, it quickly became another victim of the SUV uprising. For all of its faults, Mitsubishi is doing the right thing by focusing more on its crossovers and SUVs. I just wish that it didn’t do it at the expense of the Lancer.

Read our full review on the 2017 Mitsubishi Lancer

Dodge Viper


2015 Dodge Viper SRT - image 566734

In case you haven’t realized yet, I saved the most devastating departure for last. What else is there to say about the cultural impact of the Dodge Viper? It’s arguably the most famous American-made sports car in history. It’s also the model that changed Chrysler’s fortune when it made its debut in 1992. Long thought of to be a purveyor of dullness, the introduction of the Viper flipped the narrative around Chrysler. It certainly put the automaker in the American performance car map opposite Ford and Chevrolet. But as iconic as the Viper was, is, and will continue to be, it never really reached the heights of popularity that the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro attained. It did have a loyal fanbase to fall back on, but over the years, that fanbase never grew to become something that Chrysler could listen to. It didn’t help that the Viper had its own tumultuous life,
changing corporate ownership on two separate occasions and even getting discontinued in 2010. It did come back with a vengeance in 2012, but it seemed that its “return” was nothing more than Chrysler’s attempt to squeeze out the last drop of cache the model had.

There have been a lot of cars that have been retired in recent years and all the same; there will be more of them that will be canned in the future. But there will only be one Dodge Viper.

Read our full review on the 2017 Dodge Viper.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Priced from $33,400

Putting their fuel cell plans aside for a while, Honda is going to focus on stepping up their hybrid game in America. And so on December 1 they will launch the new 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, a decidedly green-looking sedan that starts at a fairly reasonable $33,400.

At that price you get a well-appointed basic model with highlights such as smart start and entry, dual zone air con, 8 inch display, USB, HD radio, rear camera, Honda Sensing safety pack with Lane Watch, stability assist, driver and front passenger front, side and knee airbags, 18 inch alloys, LED daytimers, rain-sensing wipes, and… The $36,600 Touring model adds Navigation with Charging Infrastructure Information, leather steering, 8-way electric seat for the driver with memory, 4-way seats for the passenger, perforated leather, and Ultrasuede.

Powering the 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine with a 17-kilowatt hour (kWh) battery pack. The system generates 212 horsepower and offers a range of 340 miles and 47 miles of electric driving. You also get three selectable modes – Normal, Econ and Sport, and a special HV mode – is provided to maintain the battery’s state of charge and can be selected in conjunction with Normal, Econ and Sport driving modes. But the 44/40/42 MPG rating (city/highway/combined) fuel economy may not strike you as particularly brilliant. Still, this Clarity is eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. So who cares!

The post 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Priced from $33,400 appeared first on Motorward.

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