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Archive for the ‘auto shows’ Category

PostHeaderIcon The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Gets A Mopar Makeover at L.A. Auto Show

Everyone knows Jeep Wranglers are extremely customizable and a vast majority of Jeep owners have done at least one upgrade or added some type of aftermarket part to their Wrangler. Jeep knows this and has really ramped up its offerings for the all-new 2018 model. The parts are hosted under the relatively new Jeep Performance Parts and the iconic Mopar brands. They will be available directly through local Jeep dealerships once the 2018 Wrangler reaches showrooms.

In an effort to demonstrate the vastness of Mopar and JPP’s parts lineup, Jeep brought two highly customized 2018 Wranglers to the L.A. Auto Show, debuting along size the production Wrangler. The four-door model is an all-out off-roader based on the Rubicon, while the two-door is a bit milder and based on the Sport. Both show the range of possibilities owners will have.

Continue reading for a detailed look at both Mopar-modified Wranglers.

Mopar-modified four-door 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon


The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Gets A Mopar Makeover at L.A. Auto Show - image 748643
“Up front, the stock Rubicon steel bumper features a Warn winch and low-rise grille guard with LED light pods”

Jeep started this concept build with a production 2018 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon coated in Mojito Green. A two-inch suspension lift and 35-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2 tires on Mopar’s 17-inch aluminum Beadlock wheels. Up front, the stock Rubicon steel bumper features a Warn winch and low-rise grille guard with LED light pods. For the first time, Mopar is now offering an engine snorkel. It raises the air intake point so no water gets into the engine during deep crossings.

Protecting the rocker panels is Mopar’s upgraded rock sliders. They are wider than before and now have a truck-bed coating for better grip when climbing in and out. Speaking of getting in, Mopar tube doors keep passengers in while giving that open-air feel. The front doors also have mounts for side mirrors – since mirrors are a legal requirement in most states.

Inside, the Wrangler’s standard Molle straps on the seatbacks provide mounting points for tons of accessories. Here, Mopar included trail bags for extra storage. Roll bar-mounted grab handles help with entry and for those harrowing, butt-puckering off-road moments. Katzkin leather seat covers have Tungsten stitching and boast the Jeep grille emblem. And since the Wrangler is meant to be used and abused, a screen protector offers protection for the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen.

Mopar-modified 2018 Jeep Wrangler Sport


The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Gets A Mopar Makeover at L.A. Auto Show - image 748649
“This Wrangler Sport concept is way more realistic as to what most Jeep owners would be doing, though it’s hardly a bare-bones rig”

This Wrangler Sport concept is way more realistic as to what most Jeep owners would be doing, though it’s hardly a bare-bones rig. The biggest upgrades are the two-inch suspension lift and 35-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires on Mopar’s 17-inch “Gear” wheels.

Another useful feature includes the roof basket. It mounts to the new hard top’s gutter rail designed to just such accessories. Two-inch round side steps help with loading stuff up top while giving some protection to the body, but not nearly as much as the purpose-built rock sliders on the other Wrangler. Jeep also offers bicycle, ski, and snowboard racks.

The exterior is giving a cool graphics package with a Moab-themed design on the door and a stylized American flag on the hood. The grille is also blacked out for an added touch. LED light pods on the bumper and on the A-pillars help light the way. The interior is reworked with Katzkin leather seats featuring the seven-slot grille logo. Yeah, it’s clear Jeep is proud of its logo.

Ready for A-pillar Accessories


The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Gets A Mopar Makeover at L.A. Auto Show - image 748644

An interesting design feature baked into the new 2018 Wrangler is its A-pillar base. The exposed bolt heads offer a structural mounting point for accessories like the light pods seen here and whatever the aftermarket can dream up. Remove the bolts and the painted body panel is removable for access to more mounting points. Jeep definitely understands its customers use the A-pillars for adding extra equipment. Hopefully, those LED light pods don’t interfere with the fold-down windshield. Even so, some aftermarket company will develop a solution. That’s the beauty of the Wrangler and its fiercely loyal community.

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Updated Kia Sorento Unveiled in L.A. with New Features; Diesel Engine Confirmed

Introduced in 2014 with a brand-new design language and the company’s latest tech, the third-generation Kia Sorento posted solid sales in its first three years on the market, which more than 100,000 units delivered per year in the United States. But the SUV has yet to surpass second-gen model sales from 2011 and 2012, and Kia is trying to fix that with a comprehensive mid-cycle facelift. Unveiled at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, the revised Sorento gained notable changes inside and out, as well as under the hood.

Design-wise, changes are subtle but significant for a facelift. The grille has a new mesh with larger, horizontal inserts, while the headlamps sport a new configuration with three separate lights and LED strips at the bottom. The fog lamps have also been revised for upper trims, while the lower intake is slightly wider. Around back we can find revised taillights and a new bumper with a fake vent and chrome trim for the side intakes.

There’s more to talk about inside the cabin, where Kia added a new steering wheel, new shifter knob, and revised air vents. The seven-inch infotainment display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, as is the seven-seat configuration. The Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) package, which adds automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning, driver inattention warning, and lane-keeping assist, is now standard on the EX, SX, and SX-L trims. The range-topping SX and SX-L models can be had with Mahogany and Terracotta Nappa leather. Kia also introduced optional wireless smartphone charging and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon with Clari-Fi.

Under the hood, the Sorento lost one of its three engines. Kia decided to discontinue the turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, mostly due to poor fuel economy figures compared to the V-6. The engine wasn’t powerful enough for the seven-seat configuration anyway. The remaining 2.4-liter four-cylinder and 3.3-liter V-6 carry over unchanged. However, while the four-banger uses the same six-speed automatic transmission, the V-6 gained a new eight-speed. The Korean brand confirmed that the Sorento will get a diesel mill, but decline to provide additional information.

The revised SUV goes on sale in 2018 for the 2019 model year.

References

Kia Sorento


2016 Kia Sorento - image 579558

Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Sorento.


Updated Kia Sorento Unveiled in L.A. with New Features; Diesel Engine Confirmed - image 748798

Read our full review on the 2019 Kia Sorento.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Will the 2018 Nissan Kicks Replace the Nissan Juke?

The Nissan Kicks finally made its debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. The crossover’s arrival likely means that the Juke crossover is on its last legs. Nissan has given no indication regarding the status of the Juke, but all signs seem to point in that direction. That’s not necessarily a bad thing given how polarizing the Juke has been in the seven years that it’s been around. It’s about time Nissan’s quirky crossover is put to pasture. It makes sense for Nissan to do it now that the Kicks is here with a package that’s admittedly more appealing to customers.


Will the 2018 Nissan Kicks Replace the Nissan Juke? - image 748307

I’d be surprised if Nissan keeps the Juke around even with the arrival of the Kicks. It’s not exactly a novel thought, but it is worth mentioning because of the possibility that Nissan goes the other way and decides to keep both models around.

The rationale for doing so has to do with the popularity of the crossover segment these days. I can see Nissan offering these two models because, despite the perceived overlap, the two models do offer plenty of distinct features that could help differentiate themselves in the eyes of the public. The Juke has that kind of cache, no matter what you think of it. There’s something inherently different about it that can help carry it in the market for a few more years before it’s permanently put the pasture.


Will the 2018 Nissan Kicks Replace the Nissan Juke? - image 748304

That’s one argument for keeping the Juke around. I think it’s possible, but ultimately, I do think the Nissan will decide to move on from the Juke so it can give the Kicks a bigger platform to showcase itself. As different as these two models are, they’re both still crossovers, so they’re still occupying the same space. It could be detrimental to the Kicks to have the Juke around because it’d be competing with a model from its own family, as opposed to being able to focus on the real competition from other automakers.

Everything about the Kicks’ presentation points to it being the future of Nissan’s crossover lineup. As such, it deserves to have its own platform as opposed to sharing it with a model that’s not only dated, but also wasn’t universally loved to begin with.

References

Nissan Kicks


Will the 2018 Nissan Kicks Replace the Nissan Juke? - image 748286

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Kicks.

Nissan Juke


2014 Nissan Juke - image 546025

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Juke.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Eject-O Seat-O: 2019 Lexus LX Drops Third Row and $5,000 Off the Sticker

Remember when Chevrolet announced the 2018 Tahoe Custom a few months ago? It comes without the third-row seats and a $3,750 cheaper price tag. Well, Lexus is running that exact play with its biggest SUV, the LX570. For 2019, Lexus is offering the LX in a two-row version with a whopping $5,000 off the MSRP.

It’s called the Lexus LX570 Two-Row, and it will start at $84,980. The uninspired name aside, the new model is aimed at customers who don’t need seating for seven or who need extra cargo space. A positive side effect of losing the rear seats is an added 5.8 cubic feet of cargo room for a new maximum of 50.5 cubic feet. Lexus also makes the roof rack and rails standard equipment here, too.

The rest of the 2019 Lexus LX 570 remains unchanged. Power comes from the venerable but outdated 5.7-liter V-8 making 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic feeds power to the full-time 4WD system. Towing remains at 7,000 pounds, and fuel economy is stagnate at 13 mpg city, 18 mpg highway, and 15 mpg combined. Premium gas is required, but that probably isn’t a concert for shoppers willing to spend $85,000 on a full-size, body-on-frame SUV.

Lexus will continue selling the seven-passenger, three-row LX 570 alongside the new two-row version. Expect to see both 2019 versions in dealerships sometime in mid-2018.


Eject-O Seat-O: 2019 Lexus LX Drops Third Row and $5,000 Off the Sticker - image 748230
  • 14-way power adjustable driver’s seat includes dual-function lumbar and cushion extender; 12-way power front passenger’s seat features lumbar adjustment.
  • Easy Access system automatically retracts the steering wheel and moves the driver’s seat rearward when the ignition is switched off; both return to their preset memory positions the next time the driver is seated and starts the ignition.
  • The 40/20/40 split, power-sliding second-row seat slides forward and aft 3.5 inches for passenger comfort and cargo storage versatility. Folding the seatbacks increases total cargo space to 50.5 cu. ft.
  • Split rear tailgate design features a power upper door, while the bottom section raises and lowers with minimal effort.

References

Lexus LX


2016 Lexus LX 570 - image 640375

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus LX 570.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon A Quick Look at how the Mazda6 Has Changed for 2018

Sometimes, in the smallest of updates can make a big difference for a car. The new Mazda6 is proof of that. It still looks like the same attractive sedan, but take a closer look at it, and you’ll notice a few subtle tweaks that give the sedan a more refined appearance. Part of the changes is tied to Mazda’s “Mature Elegance” styling, a design language that the automaker first unveiled in its Vision Coupe concept. The new Mazda6 receives some hints of the new aesthetic architecture. That’s on top of the car also receiving a more powerful turbocharged engine. It’s a new day for the new-and-improved Mazda6.

New Year; New Looks

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Let’s start with the exterior of the new Mazda6. Most of the changes are in the front of the sedan. It’s in this section that we see Mazda adopt a bigger front grille that’s similar to the one found on Mercedes-AMG models. The added prominence of the grille extends all the way to the outer edges of the headlamps, far longer than it used to be on the previous version of the model. Just below that is a new layout to the front bumper. The lamps on the old model are now gone, replaced by aggressive chrome strips and a more stylized bumper. The result is a more refined look to a sedan that was already attractive in our eyes. Two new color options are also part of the updates. They’re called Soul Red Chrystal and Machine Gray Metallic. They join an impressive palette of paint options that are being carried over from the previous model.

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There are more significant changes in the interior of the Mazda6 compared to the exterior. Mazda even said that only two pieces from the outgoing model were carried over to the updated version. The steering wheel is one of them, while a few small trim pieces count as the other. Beyond these, the 6’s interior gets a healthy dose of improvements. The dashboard now looks more stretched out. The lower half of it, in particular, stretches from one side to the other with no disturbances to it. That new design also plays into a much clearer center console is a lot cleaner. The center tunnel also looks more refined, thanks to the thick leather trim surrounding it. Speaking of which, the new Mazda6 also gets a bigger inventory of premium materials, including Nappa leather, Sen wood, and UltraSuede NU. It’s hard to make out in the photos, but these items are found on the doors, seats, and dashboard of the Signature trim models.

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As notable as the exterior and interior changes are, the biggest update to the new Mazda6 is found under its hood, specifically the 2.5-liter turbocharged SkyActiv engine that’s making its first appearance on the sedan’s engine lineup. This particular powertrain is notable because it’s the same engine that Mazda has in the CX-9 crossover. It produces 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque and features the SkyActiv-Drive automatic transmission as the standard gearbox. A six-speed manual transmission is available as an option, but its availability is limited to lower-trim versions of the Mazda6 that don’t use the 2.5-liter turbo mil.

References

Mazda 6


A Quick Look at how the Mazda6 Has Changed for 2018
- image 748259

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda6.


2016 - 2017 Mazda6 - image 578952

Read our full review on the 2017 Mazda6.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Jeep Wrangler Can Tow as Much as 3,500 Pounds

The Jeep Wrangler is basically the embodiment of a sport utility vehicle. After all, it did invent the category way back in 1941. Today, most SUVs are truck-based family haulers that don’t mind big loads on their trailer hitches. Crossovers, on the other hand, are generally limited in their towing capacities, with a few notable exceptions The Wrangler is a different beast altogether. Despite its body-on-frame construction, its off-road-biased suspension and relatively small footprint leave it with a compromised tow rating compared to say a mid-size pickup like the Chevrolet Colorado. Still, the 2018 Jeep Wrangler provides adequate towing capabilities for most active users.

The two-door Wrangler can tow up to 2,000 pounds via its optional two-inch receiver hitch. That’s the case with both the standard 3.6-liter V-6 and the optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The longer, four-door Wrangler Unlimited has an increased tow rating of 3,500 pounds thanks to a heavier curb weight and its longer wheelbase. Again, both engines will do the job. The same is true for the manual and automatic transmissions.

Sadly, we don’t expect the 2019 Wrangler Unlimited with its optional 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 to boast any towing increases, either. It all comes down to what the chassis and suspension will handle. Thankfully, the upcoming Jeep Scrambler pickup will have an improved tow rating rumored at 6,500 pounds.

Continue reading for the detailed towing specs.

2018 Jeep Wrangler TOWING CAPACITIES

WRANGLER SPORT (4-door)
Engine Trans Type Transmission Axle Ratio Payload Base Wt. Base Wt. Front Base Wt. Rear GAWR Front GAWR Rear GCWR Max Trailer
3.6-liter V-6 gas M6 D478 6-speed manual 3.45 1000 4201 2226 1974 2700 3000 8117 3500
3.6-liter V-6 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 3.45 1000 4215 2240 1974 2700 3000 8117 3500
2.0-liter I-4 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 3.45 1000 4336 2298 2038 2700 3000 8117 3500
WRANGLER SAHARA (4-door)
Engine Trans Type Transmission Axle Ratio Payload Base Wt. Base Wt. Front Base Wt. Rear GAWR Front GAWR Rear GCWR Max Trailer
3.6-liter V-6 gas M6 D478 6-speed manual 3.45 880 4331 2289 2042 2700 3000 10836 3500
3.6-liter V-6 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 3.45 880 4345 2303 2042 2700 3000 10836 3500
2.0-liter I-4 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 3.45 880 4376 2319 2056 2700 3000 10836 3500
WRANGLER RUBICON (4-door)
Engine Trans Type Transmission Axle Ratio Payload Base Wt. Base Wt. Front Base Wt. Rear GAWR Front GAWR Rear GCWR Max Trailer
3.6-liter V-6 gas M6 D478 6-speed manual 4.10 892 4439 2346 2093 3100 3100 11063 3500
3.6-liter V-6 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 4.10 892 4453 2360 2093 3100 3100 11063 3500
2.0-liter I-4 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 4.10 892 4484 2376 2107 3100 3100 11063 3500

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Jeep Wrangler 2.0-liter Turbo Specifications

Those new to the Jeep brand might gawk at a four-cylinder Wrangler, but the Jeep has a strong history with this cylinder count. In fact, the first Jeep, the 1941 Willys MB, came with a four-cylinder. Four-cylinders were offered through the years, with the most recent being in the 1997-2006 Wrangler TJ. In fact, the outgoing Wrangler JK is the only Wrangler/CJ not available with one. That makes the return of a four-cylinder sort of a retro move. Even the engine’s name (Hurricane) is a throwback to older days

The new engine shares nothing with the old Hurricane, of course. It’s a member of FCA’s Global Medium Engine family and is loosely related to Alfa Romeo’s 2.0-liter found in Giulia sedan and Stelvio crossover. In the Wrangler, the Hurricane makes an impressive 270 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque at only 3,000 rpm. That torque number actually beats the output of the 3.6-liter V-6 by 35 pound-feet! Better still, the Hurricane makes its power lower in the rev range, likely making it a better choice for serious off-roading. Horsepower-wise, the Hurricane only gives up 15 ponies to the V-6.

The natural trade-off is fuel economy. Neither Jeep nor the EPA have announced official numbers, but expect to see upper 20s on the highway, lower 20s around town, and a combined mpg of around 25.

The Hurricane’s secret is its mild hybrid system. The engine uses a belt-starter-generator to help twist the engine’s crankshaft at lower revs. The system is also designed to provide better auto stop/start performance while also improving low-end throttle response before the turbo spools up.

Impressively, the turbo-four loses no ground in the towing department to the V-6. Jeep says the two-door Wrangler will tow 2,000 pounds and the four-door Wrangler Unlimited will lug 3,500 pounds – regardless of engine choice. Sadly for manual transmission fans, the Hurricane is only offered with the new eight-speed automatic.

The Hurricane will be available in all trim levels from the base Sport, to the luxury-minded Sahara, and even the rugged Rubicon. Pricing has not been announced, but the Hurricane will be an option over the standard 3.6-liter V-6.

Continue reading for detailed specs on the 2.0-liter Hurricane turbo-four.


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 748526

2.0-LITER TURBO I-4 – Specifications

ENGINE 2.0-LITER TURBO I-4
Availability Available — all models
Type and Description I-4 16-valve with direct injection, turbo charging, with throttled, cooled EGR
Displacement (cu. in. / cc) 121 cu. in. (1995 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 3.31 x 3.54 (84 x 90)
Valve System Chain-driven DOHC, 16 valves
Fuel Injection Direct Injection
Construction Aluminum block, aluminum alloy heads
Compression Ratio 10:01
Power 270 HP @ 5,250 RPM
Torque 295 LB-FT @ 3,000 RPM
Max. Engine Speed (rpm) 5,800 rpm (electronically limited)
Fuel Requirement Minimum unleaded regular, 87 octane (R + M)/2, 91 octane or higher recommended for optimum fuel economy and performance
Fuel Tank Capacity (gallons) 18.5 (2-door), 21.5 (4-door)
Oil Capacity 5 quarts (4.7 liters)
Coolant Capacity 9.9 quarts (9.4 liters)
Emission Controls GPEC4 engine-management system with close-coupled catalyst; and wide range O2 sensor
Max. Gross Trailer Weight 2,000 lbs. (2-door), 3,500 lbs. (4-door)
EPA Fuel Economy mpg (city/hwy/combined) TBD — automatic (2-door); TBD — automatic (4-door)
Assembly Plant Termoli, Italy and Trenton South Engine Plant, Trenton, Mich.

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon The Range Rover SVAutobiography Is JLR’s Answer to the Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Judging by what vehicles it has created since its inception, you’d be tempted to believe that Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operation division is all about blistering performance and race-inspired looks. But it’s capable of more than that and the Range Rover SVAutobiography is the perfect proof. Although the name isn’t exactly inspired (maybe we’re supposed to read it Svautobiography?), this new model takes the Range Rover SUV to new heights in terms of luxury. Wait, is that even possible? This car is already packed with the best Land Rover has to offer. Well yeah, because it turns the performance-rated SUV into a comfortable lounge for rear seat passengers.

Available exclusively in long-wheelbase specification, the SVAutobiography comes with Executive Class Rear seats. Combined with the longer wheelbase, it results in rear legroom of over 3.9 feet (1.2 meters), so it’s by far the most comfortable Land Rover you can buy. The seats also feature deep foams that enhance comfort during long trips, as well as 40-degree recline capability, a hot stone massage function, heated calf and footrests, and 22-way adjustment. There’s also a revised center console that extends in the rear compartment to give passengers access to control for the power-close rear doors, electronically deployable tables, and a small refrigerator that’s large enough for four 20oz bottles, or two 750mL bottles and two glasses.

Two 10-inch integrated rear entertainment screens and 4G WiFi connectivity keeps the passenger connected and allows them to work or relax while driving. But wait, there’s more!

Continue reading for the full story.

A Rolls-Royce-spec SUV


The Range Rover SVAutobiography Is JLR's Answer to the Rolls-Royce Cullinan - image 747494
“While it may seem like the SUV is all about rear-seat passenger comfort, the front-row gets its fair share of tech too”

While it may seem like the SUV is all about rear-seat passenger comfort, the front-row gets its fair share of tech too. The InControl Touch Pro infotainment system and its twin 10-inch display provides access to navigation and apps, as well as climate control, seat functions, and Terrain Response settings. A new seat design in Poltrona Frau leather is available alongside the exclusive aluminum sill plates, new veneers, and five upholstery colors.

An exclusive new Zenith clock with a knurled bezel, placed on the center console, complements the finish of the start/stop button, gear shifter, and pedals. Convenience is further enhanced by a folding right-hand rear seat in order to accommodate long items in the trunk. Additionally, the SUV can be equipped with a power-deployable load space floor for easier loading and unloading. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that the SVAutobiography is actually the Rolls-Royce Cullinan we’re so anxious so see…

Unique Exterior


The Range Rover SVAutobiography Is JLR's Answer to the Rolls-Royce Cullinan - image 747491
“The front grille is unique, sporting chrome inserts, while the front and rear fascias, as well as the sides, have accents in Bright Atlas”

While the package focuses on the cabin, there are few new exterior bits to talk about as well. The front grille is unique, sporting chrome inserts, while the front and rear fascias, as well as the sides, have accents in Bright Atlas. The rear bumper was revised and now includes metal tailpipe finishers. Finally, this Range Rover rides on a set of new, exclusive 22-inch wheels.

Pricing starts from a whopping $207,900, making it the most expensive Land Rover available. Sales will begin in early 2018.

References

Land Rover Range Rover


2018 Land Rover Range Rover - image 738491

Read our full review on the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Lexus RX L Offers Three Rows of Seating for 6 or 7 and Tri-Zone Climate Control

Lexus has debuted a new, long-wheelbase version of its insanely popular RX luxury crossover. The new vehicle is stretched by 4.3 inches to make room for a power-folding third row with two seats. This brings the total seat count to seven – a first for a Lexus crossover. Optionally, second-row captain’s chairs add more comfort and easier access to the third row while bringing the seat count to six. Not surprisingly, Lexus calls this elongated version the RX L.

In addition to the extra two seats, the RX L comes with a tri-zone climate control system with vents for all three rows. Headroom is said to be respectable for third-row passengers thanks to a raised roof height and taller, more upright tailgate. Despite the design change, the RX retains its swoopy yet angular appearance.

The RX L will offer both gasoline and gasoline-hybrid powertrains. The RX 350L uses the newish but familiar 3.5-liter V-6 with 290 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission and FWD is standard and Lexus’ Dynamic Torque Control AWD system. The RX 450L hybrid uses the same V-6 but adds an electric motor and 37-kW battery that bumps horsepower to 308. The hybrid uses a continuously variable transmission, and AWD comes standard.

The 2018 Lexus RX L will go on sale before 2017 ends for a starting price of $47,670. Adding AWD knocks the prices to $49,070. Pricing for the hybrid hasn’t been announced. Lexus will continue selling the standard, two-row RX, allowing customers to choose which best suits their needs. Both versions offer the same exterior and interior color choices and list of optional features.

References

Lexus RX


2016 Lexus RX - image 624726

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus RX.


2018 Lexus RX L Offers Three Rows of Seating for 6 or 7 and Tri-Zone Climate Control - image 748241

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus RX L.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Jeep Wrangler 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 Specifications

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL can certainly be described as “all-new,” but the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 is largely carry-over from the outgoing Wrangler JK. Still, it’s got a new fuel-saving feature: Auto Start/Stop. The system automatically turns the engine off when stopped at traffic lights or other similar driving scenarios. Like other start/stop systems, the engine restarts automatically when the brake pedal is released, giving the engine time to rev back to idle before the driver has time to press the throttle. The result is less overall fuel consumption.

As for the rest of the Pentastar, the engine retains its 60-degree V shape; its aluminum, deep-skirt block; aluminum alloy heads; its chain-driven, dual-overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder; its 11.3:1 compression ratio; and its multiport fuel injection. The horsepower and torque specs also remain unchanged at 285 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm.

The V-6 can be paired with both the six-speed manual transmission or the eight-speed automatic – both of which are new to the Wrangler for 2018. Towing remains the same, too. The Wrangler two-door can pull 2,000 pounds while the Wrangler Unlimited, the four-door model, will pull 3,500 pounds.

As for that all-important fuel economy, Jeep says the V-6 will get 18 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined with the automatic transmission and 17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 19 mpg combined with the manual gearbox. That’s a marked improvement over the 16/20 mpg with the manual-equipped JK and 16/21 mpg with the JK’s old five-speed automatic.

Continue reading for detailed specs of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6.


2018 Jeep Wrangler 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 Specifications - image 748450

3.6-­LITER PENTASTAR V-­6 – Drivetrain Specifications

ENGINE 3.6-­LITER PENTASTAR V-­6
Availability Standard — all models
Type and Description 60-­degree, V-­type, liquid-­cooled
Displacement (cu. in. / cc) 220 cu. in. (3604 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 3.78 x 3.27 (96 x 83)
Valve System Chain-­driven DOHC, 24 valves and hydraulic end-­pivot roller rockers
Fuel Injection Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless
Construction Aluminum deep-­skirt block, aluminum alloy heads
Compression Ratio 10.2:1
Power 285 HP @ 6,400 RPM
Torque 260 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM
Max. Engine Speed (rpm) 6,600 rpm (electronically limited)
Fuel Requirement Unleaded regular, 87 octane (R + M)/2
Fuel Tank Capacity (gallons) 22.5
Oil Capacity 6.0 quarts (5.7 liters)
Coolant Capacity 14 quarts (13.25 liters)
Emission Controls Dual three-­way catalytic converters, heated oxygen sensors and internal engine features
EPA Fuel Economy mpg (city/hwy/combined) 18/23/20 (automatic); 17/23/19 (manual)
Engine Assembly Plant Trenton South Engine Plant, Trenton, Mich.

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!!

It’s been a long time coming, but the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is finally here. It debuted in all of its two-door and four-door glory, sporting three different engines, two transmissions (including a new eight-speed auto,) fresh interior design with a new Uconnect infotainment system, body-on-frame design, and more than 75 available safety and security offerings. There’s already a host of performance parts from Mopar available and, with four different trims available (three for the two-door plus the Sahara trim on four-door models) there’s definitely an option for anyone with a hankering for a new off-road but road-capable machine.

According to Jeep, all models include a trail-rated badge due to the outstanding four-wheel drive system that includes a 2.72:1 crawl ratio on Sport and Sahara models, a 4LO ratio of 4:1 and locking differentials on Rubicon models, and the ability to ford up to 30-inches of water when properly equipped. Furthermore, the new JL Wrangler can haul as much as 3,500 pounds and can be had with 17-inch off-road wheels. Rubicon models get 33-inch tires as standard equipment while all models get a standard approach angle of 44 degrees, breakover angle of 27.8 degrees, departure angle of 37 degrees, and a minimum ground clearance of 10.9 inches.

When equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar, the Wrangler will offer 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The new 2.0-liter, hybridized, four-cylinder offers as much as 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, and – for those of you who really want some serious torque – the new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 will deliver 260 horsepower and an astonishing 442 pound-feet of torque on demand. That new eight-speed auto offers up decent economy and simple stop-and-go driving and can be equipped on any model. Real Jeep fanatics will surely go for the three-pedal-and-six-gears standard offering with a revised shift pattern, shorter throws, and a 4.41 ratio for better efficiency, higher speeds, and quick acceleration. All told it’s not bad, but we’ll let you decide for yourself once we update our full review. Until then, you can check out the debut video below, and check out the important specs below along with the full press release at the bottom.

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Engine Specifications

3.6-Liter Pentastar V-6

ENGINE 3.6-­LITER PENTASTAR V-­6 Specificaitons
Availability Standard — all models
Type and Description 60-­degree, V-­type, liquid-­cooled
Displacement (cu. in. / cc) 220 cu. in. (3604 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 3.78 x 3.27 (96 x 83)
Valve System Chain-­driven DOHC, 24 valves and hydraulic end-­pivot roller rockers
Fuel Injection Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless
Construction Aluminum deep-­skirt block, aluminum alloy heads
Compression Ratio 10.2:1
Power 285 HP @ 6,400 RPM
Torque 260 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM
Max. Engine Speed (rpm) 6,600 rpm (electronically limited)
Fuel Requirement Unleaded regular, 87 octane (R + M)/2
Fuel Tank Capacity (gallons) 22.5
Oil Capacity 6.0 quarts (5.7 liters)
Coolant Capacity 14 quarts (13.25 liters)
Emission Controls Dual three-­way catalytic converters, heated oxygen sensors and internal engine features
EPA Fuel Economy mpg (city/hwy/combined) 18/23/20 (automatic); 17/23/19 (manual)
Engine Assembly Plant Trenton South Engine Plant, Trenton, Mich.

The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!! - image 748552

2.0-LITER TURBO I-4 – Specifications

ENGINE 2.0-LITER TURBO I-4
Availability Available — all models
Type and Description I-4 16-valve with direct injection, turbo charging, with throttled, cooled EGR
Displacement (cu. in. / cc) 121 cu. in. (1995 cu. cm)
Bore x Stroke 3.31 x 3.54 (84 x 90)
Valve System Chain-driven DOHC, 16 valves
Fuel Injection Direct Injection
Construction Aluminum block, aluminum alloy heads
Compression Ratio 10:01
Power 270 HP @ 5,250 RPM
Torque 295 LB-FT @ 3,000 RPM
Max. Engine Speed (rpm) 5,800 rpm (electronically limited)
Fuel Requirement Minimum unleaded regular, 87 octane (R + M)/2, 91 octane or higher recommended for optimum fuel economy and performance
Fuel Tank Capacity (gallons) 18.5 (2-door), 21.5 (4-door)
Oil Capacity 5 quarts (4.7 liters)
Coolant Capacity 9.9 quarts (9.4 liters)
Emission Controls GPEC4 engine-management system with close-coupled catalyst; and wide range O2 sensor
Max. Gross Trailer Weight 2,000 lbs. (2-door), 3,500 lbs. (4-door)
EPA Fuel Economy mpg (city/hwy/combined) TBD — automatic (2-door); TBD — automatic (4-door)
Assembly Plant Termoli, Italy and Trenton South Engine Plant, Trenton, Mich.

3.0-liter Diesel V-6 Specifications

ENGINE 3.0 LITER ECODIESEL V-6
Power 260 horsepower
Torque 442 lb-ft
Transmission Eight-Speed Automatic
Availability Four-door only

The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!! - image 748555

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Transmission Specifications

TRANSMISSION 850RE AUTOMATIC, EIGHT-SPEED OVERDRIVE
Availability Standard — 2.0-liter I-4; Optional — 3.6-liter V-6
Description Adaptive electronic control or Electronic Range Select (ERS) driver-interactive manual control and electronically modulated torque converter clutch
Gear Ratios
1st 4.71
2nd 3.13
3rd 2.10
4th 1.67
5th 1.28
6th 1.00
7th 0.84
8th 0.67
Reverse 3.53
TRANSMISSION D478 MANUAL, SIX-SPEED WITH OVERDRIVE
Availability Standard — 3.6-liter V-6
Description Synchronized in all forward gears and Reverse, multi-rail shift system with top-mounted shift lever, 50% shorter throws
Gear Ratios
1st 5.13
2nd 2.63
3rd 1.53
4th 1.00
5th 0.81
6th 0.72
Reverse 4.49
Final Drive 3.45 standard, 3.73 optional (4.10 Rubicon)

Transfer Case Options

Transfer Case NV241 COMMAND-TRAC NV241OR ROCK-TRAC MP3022 SELEC-TRAC
Availablity Standard on Sport and Sahara Standard on Rubicon Optional – Sahara
Type Part-time Part-time Full-time
Operating Modes 2WD High
4WD High
Neutral
4WD Low
2WD High
4WD High
Neutral
4WD Low
2WD High
4WD High
Neutral
4WD Low
Low Range Ratio 2.72:1 4.0:1 2.72:1

The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!! - image 748559

2018 Jeep Wrangler Axle Specifications

Front Axle Dana 30
Dana 44 on Rubicon models
Differential Type Open (Dana 30) or Tru-Lok electronic locking (Dana 44)
Axle Ratios: 3.45
3.73
4.10
Rear Axle Dana 35
Dana 44 on Rubicon models
Differential Type Open (Sport and Sahara) with available Trac-Lok anti-spin, Tru-Lok electronic locking (Rubicon)
Axle Ratios 3.45
3.73
4.10

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Suspension Specifications

Front Solid axle
link coil
leading arms
track bar
coil springs
stabilizer bar
Stabilizer bar Electronic sway-bar disconnect system — standard, Rubicon
Shock type Sport: Gas charged twin tube shock absorbers with full displacement Multi-Tuned Valve (MTV) technology
Sahara: High pressure gas charged monotube shock absorbers with MTV technology
Rubicon: High pressure gas charged monotube shock absorbers with MTV technology and hydraulic rebound stop
Rear Solid axle
link coil
trailing arms
track bar
coil springs
stabilizer bar
Shock type Sport: Gas charged twin tube shock absorbers with full displacement MTV technology
Sahara: High pressure gas charged monotube shock absorbers with MTV technology
Rubicon: High pressure gas charged monotube shock absorbers with MTV technology and hydraulic rebound stop

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Steering Specs

Type Electro-hydraulic Power
Overall Ratio 17.4:1 – 2-door
15.6:1 – 4-door
Turning Diameter (curb-to-curb) (ft./m) 34.5 2-door
40.8 4-door
Steering Turns (lock-to-lock) 3.6 -2-door
3.2 4-door
P/S pump Electro-Hydraulic

The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!! - image 748553

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Brake Specifications

Type Power-assisted, anti-lock braking system
Availability Standard
Front
Rotor size and type 12.9 x .94 (330 x 24) vented rotor – Sport
12.9 x 1.1 (330 x 28) vented rotor – Sahara and Rubicon
Caliper size and type 1.88 (48) twin-piston floating caliper – Sport
2 (51) twin-piston floating caliper – Sahara and Rubicon
Rear
Rotor size and type 12.9 x .47 (328 x 12) solid rotor – Sport
13.4 x .55 (342 x 14) solid rotor – Sahara and Rubicon
Caliper size and type 1.77 (45) single-piston floating caliper – Sport
1.88 (48) single-piston floating caliper – Sahara and Rubicon

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Dimensions and Capacities

Wheelbase 2-door 96.8 (2,460)
4-door 118.4 (3,008)
Overhang Front: 29.2 (741.6)
Rear: 40.8 (1,036.3)
Track Front: 62.9 (1,598)
Rear: 62.9 (1,598)
Overall Length (includes spare tire) 166.8 (4,237) – 2-door
188.4 (4,785) – 4-door
Overall Width 73.8 (1,875)
Overall Height 73.6 (1,868.4)
Liftover Height 29.7 (756.4)
Cargo Width at Swing-Gate Opening 41.1 (1,052)
Cargo Height at Swing-Gate Opening 36 (942.3)
Load Floor Height 30 (762.1)
CLEARANCES
Tire Size 245/75R17 (Standard on Sport)
Approach Angle (degrees) 41.4
Breakover Angle (degrees) 25 (2-door)
20.3 (4-door)
Departure Angle (degrees) 35.9 (2-door)
36.1 (4-door)
Ground Clearance (inches) 9.7
Tire Size 255/70R18 (Standard on Sahara)
Approach Angle (degrees) 41.8
Breakover Angle (degrees) 21
Departure Angle (degrees) 36.1
Ground Clearance (inches) 10
Tire Size LT28570R17 (Standard on Rubicon)
Approach Angle (degrees) 44 (2-door)
43.9 (4-door)
Breakover Angle (degrees) 27.8 (2-door)
22.6 (4-door)
Departure Angle (degrees) 37
Ground Clearance (inches) 10.8

The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!! - image 748564

2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Curb Weight Specifications

2.0-liter (2- and 4-door)
Wrangler Sport Automatic Transmission (lbs./kg): 4,010 (1,819)
Manual Transmission (lbs./kg): N/A
Wrangler Sahara Automatic Transmission (lbs./kg): 4,380 (1,987)
Manual Transmission (lbs./kg): N/A
Wrangler Rubicon Automatic Transmission (lbs./kg): 4,175 (1,894)
Manual Transmission (lbs./kg): N/A
3.6-liter (2- and 4-door)
Wrangler Sport Automatic Transmission (lbs./kg): 3,955 (1,794) / 4,200 (1,905)
Manual Transmission (lbs./kg): 3,970 (1,801) / 4,215 (1,912)
Wrangler Sahara Automatic Transmission (lbs./kg): 4,345 (1,971)
Manual Transmission (lbs./kg): N/A
Wrangler Rubicon Automatic Transmission (lbs./kg): 4,145 (1,880) / 4,455 (2,021)
Manual Transmission (lbs./kg): N/A

2018 Jeep Wrangler – ACCOMMODATIONS

Seating Capacity (front/rear) 2/2 – 2-door, 2/3 – 4-door
SAE Total Interior Passenger Volume, (cu. ft. / cu. m) 103.7 (2.94)
Front: Headroom: 40.7 (1,036) hardtop / 42.6 (1,083) soft top
Legroom: 41.2 (1,038)
Shoulder Room: 55.7 (1,417)
Hip Room: 53.9 (1,370)
Seat Travel: 8.1 (206)
EPA Front Volume Index: 53.8 (1.52)
Rear: Headroom: 40.2 (1,023) hardtop, 41.7 (1,059) soft top
Legroom: 35.7 (904.2) – 2-door, 38.3 (974) – 4-door
Knee Clearance: 61.6 (1,565.9)
Shoulder Room: 57.7 (1,458) – 2-door, 55.7 (1,417) – 4-door
Hip Room: 45 (1,143) – 2-door, 56.7 (1,440) – 4-door
EPA Rear Seat Volume Index (cu. ft. / cu. m): 49.9 (1.40)
Liftover Height 29.7 (756.4)
Maximum Cargo Width at Liftgate Opening 47.9 (1,218.7)
Minimum Cargo Width at Liftgate Opening 41.1 (1,052)
Maximum Cargo Height at Liftgate Opening 36.0 (942.3)
Minimum Cargo Height at Liftgate Opening 35.7 (907.8)
Distance between Wheelhouse Interior Trim 45.0 (1143)
SAE Cargo Volume: Rear Seat Folded: 72.4 cu. ft. (2.05)
Rear Seat Upright: 31.7 cu. ft. (0.89)
Total Passenger plus Cargo Volume, (cu. ft. / cu. m): 150.4 cu. ft.

The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!! - image 748567

2018 jeep Wrangler – WHEELS

Standard (Sport) Painted steel, Low Gloss Black painted
Size:
17 x 7.5 in.
Sport S (Standard) Fully painted cast-aluminum with High Gloss Tech Silver
Size: 17 x 7.5 in.
Sport S (Optional) Painted and polished cast-aluminum with Low Gloss Granite Crystal
Size: 17 x 7.5 in.
Sahara (Standard) Painted spokes with polished cast-aluminum
Size: 18 x 7.5 in.
Sahara (Optional) Painted High Gloss Technical Gray with polished cast-aluminum
Size: 18 x 7.5 in.
Rubicon (Standard) Painted pocket with Mid-Gloss paint and polished cast-aluminum
Size: 17 x 7.5 in.
Rubicon (Optional) Painted pocket with Mid-Gloss paint and polished cast-aluminum
Size: 17 x 7.5 in.
TIRES
Sport (Standard) Size and Type: P245/75R17, on/off-road, black sidewall
Mfr. and Model Michelin LTX MS2, Bridgestone Dueler HT 685, Bridgestone Dueler AT RH-S, Goodyear Wrangler Adventure AT
Revs per Mile (km): 665 (413) – Michelin LTX MS2
661 (411) – Bridgestone Dueler HT 685 & AT RH-S
668 (415) – Goodyear Wrangler Adventure AT
Sahara (Standard) Size and Type: P255/70R18, on/off-road, OWL
Mfr. and Model Bridgestone Dueler HT 685, Bridgestone Dueler AT RH-S, Goodyear Wrangler Adventure AT
Revs per Mile (km): 649 (403)
Rubicon (Standard)
Size and Type: LT285/70R17C, on/off-road, black sidewall
Mfr. and Model: BF Goodrich KO2 All-Terrain
Revs per Mile (km): 645 (401)
Four–wheel anti-lock brakes Standard
Electronic stability control Standard
All-speed traction control Standard

The New Jeep Wrangler JL Has Made its L.A. Debut!!!! - image 748577

2018 Jeep Wrangler TOWING CAPACITIES

WRANGLER SPORT (4-door)
Engine Trans Type Transmission Axle Ratio Payload Base Wt. Base Wt. Front Base Wt. Rear GAWR Front GAWR Rear GCWR Max Trailer
3.6-liter V-6 gas M6 D478 6-speed manual 3.45 1000 4201 2226 1974 2700 3000 8117 3500
3.6-liter V-6 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 3.45 1000 4215 2240 1974 2700 3000 8117 3500
2.0-liter I-4 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 3.45 1000 4336 2298 2038 2700 3000 8117 3500
WRANGLER SAHARA (4-door)
Engine Trans Type Transmission Axle Ratio Payload Base Wt. Base Wt. Front Base Wt. Rear GAWR Front GAWR Rear GCWR Max Trailer
3.6-liter V-6 gas M6 D478 6-speed manual 3.45 880 4331 2289 2042 2700 3000 10836 3500
3.6-liter V-6 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 3.45 880 4345 2303 2042 2700 3000 10836 3500
2.0-liter I-4 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 3.45 880 4376 2319 2056 2700 3000 10836 3500
WRANGLER RUBICON (4-door)
Engine Trans Type Transmission Axle Ratio Payload Base Wt. Base Wt. Front Base Wt. Rear GAWR Front GAWR Rear GCWR Max Trailer
3.6-liter V-6 gas M6 D478 6-speed manual 4.10 892 4439 2346 2093 3100 3100 11063 3500
3.6-liter V-6 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 4.10 892 4453 2360 2093 3100 3100 11063 3500
2.0-liter I-4 gas A8 850RE 8-speed automatic 4.10 892 4484 2376 2107 3100 3100 11063 3500

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars

The Los Angeles Auto Show is the perfect occasion for carmakers to launch their late-in-the-year models for the U.S. market, but Nissan decided to go with something different in 2017. Having signed a collaboration with Lucasfilm for the upcoming “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” movie, the Japanese automaker unveiled no fewer than six Star Wars-themed concept cars. Each of them is based on characters and crafts from the upcoming film, set to debut on December 15, and are built around Nissan’s most popular models in the U.S., the Rogue, Rogue Sport, Altima, and Maxima.

The vehicles were developed at the Lucasfilm studios, where artists penned everything from the design, colors, textures, and graphics, all inspired by the Star Wars franchise. The sketches were then brought to life using hydro-dipped graphics and aged exterior design to show simulated use in battle. Don’t worry; you won’t be seeing any flying Nissans in the movie, but also don’t expect any of these concepts to make it into production. Let’s have a closer look at each of them below.

Continue reading for the full story.

Nissan Altima Special Forces TIE Fighter


Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars - image 748034

The first car on the list is based on the strike fighter used by the First Order’s elite pilots. It features a multi-paned windshield, special wheel covers, all sorts of weapons front and rear, and a custom paint job with an offset red stripe.

Nissan Maxima Kylo Ren


Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars - image 748047

This vehicle looks much more sinister than the previous one, and that’s because it was designed to mimic Kylo Ren’s black and silver face mark. The V-motion grille was rebuilt from a single block of milled aluminum, while the new lower spoiler appears to be taken off a full-fledged race car. The headlamps have red signature lighting that matches the underbody lighting. Both pulse at random to mimic Kylo Ren’s crossguard lightsaber.

Nissan Maxima Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer


Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars - image 748031

Also inspired by Kylo Ren, this sedan is finished in black and equipped with red lighting in the bumper, as well as inside the cabin. It has two massive wings on each side, which are fitted with laser cannons and missile launchers. It also has sound effects pulled directly from the movie, but no video (or audio) is available yet.

Nissan Maxima Captain Phasma


Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars - image 748041

The Captain Phasma sedan sports an interesting livery with a gloss-black upper half and a high-gloss silver lower half, separated by a red stripe. The front end was designed to mimic the mask of the female character and makes the sedan look like an armored vehicle. The six little vents on the lower front doors make for a particularly interesting detail that somewhat reminds me of GTE-spec race cars with side-exiting exhausts pipes.

Nissan Rogue Poe Dameron’s X-wing with BB-8


Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars - image 748043

Moving over to crossovers, this Rogue recreates the X-wing that leads the New Republic Starfleet. It has four massive wings, illuminating thrusters, and four laser cannons. On the roof, Nissan added
BB-8 astromech droid with functioning lights, motion, and sound. A rugged tire and wheel package complete the look and turns the crossover into a vehicle ready for battle.

Nissan Rogue Sport A-wing


Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars - image 748048

Not as aggressive as the X-wing, the A-wing is closer to the standard-spec Rogue Sport. Just ignore the dual thrusters and the roof-mounted fins, and it looks like a regular crossover with a two-tone paint job with battle scars. However, the illuminated thrusters and the laser cannons mounted on the rear fenders give it a proper Star Wars-inspired look.

References

Nissan Rogue


2017 Nissan Rogue Sport - image 700934

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Rogue.


2017 Nissan Rogue - image 687967

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport.

Nissan Altima


2014 - 2015 Nissan Altima - image 546926

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Altima.

Nissan Maxima


2016 - 2017 Nissan Maxima - image 625125

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Maxima.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line

Introduced in 2007, the Volkswagen Tiguan became a rather successful compact crossover, selling more than 2.6 million units in 10 years on the market. But its design was starting to feel old, so Volkswagen launched the second-generation model in 2016. Boasting a more angular, sportier design, the Tiguan finally stopped looking like a shrunken Touareg and gained a slightly more upscale appearance. Alongside the new exterior design, VW also added a redesigned interior with new tech and updated gasoline and diesel engines. The second-gen model also revived rumors of a higher-performance model, but the Germans have yet to confirm a GTi-like version. Instead, the U.S. market got an R-Line trim, which was introduced at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Much like R-Line packages for other models, the bundle was designed to give the crossover a more dynamic appearance. The update is pretty much a visual thing, with interior add-ons limited to a handful of features. Likewise, the R-Line doesn’t increase performance, so you still have to wait for that GTi to arrive if you want an angrier Tiguan. You should also know that the R-Line package is based on SEL and SEL Premium trims, so it will cost you more than $30,000. Find out more about it below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line.

What makes the Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line special?

  • Revised front air vents
  • Black front bumper trim
  • Black rear diffuser
  • R-Line badges
  • 19- and 20-inch wheels
  • Body-colored side skirts
  • Stainless steel door sills
  • Custom start up screen
  • R-Line steering wheel
  • Black headliner
  • Stainless steel pedal covers
  • Standard 2.0-liter engine with 184 horsepower

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line - image 747525
“The revised air intakes and the gloss black bumper trim give the crossover a slightly more aggressive look”

The R-Line’s exterior features are far from radical, but the revised air intakes and the gloss black bumper trim give the crossover a slightly more aggressive look. Around back, the diffuser-like element that includes the exhaust pipes is also finished in gloss black. By contrast, the wheel arch extensions and the side skirts are now finished in the same color as the body. A few “R-Line” badges and new wheels round off the exterior. There are two sets of wheels available, depending on which trim you select. The SEL-based model comes with 19-inch Trenton aluminum-alloy rollers, while the SEL Premium-based versions feature larger, 20-inch Braselton aluminum-alloy rims.


2018 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line - image 747531
“Sport pedals get stainless steel covers for a race-inspired look”

Inside the cabin, drivers and passengers will be greeted by stainless steel door sills with the “R-Line” logo, a black headliner, and an “R-Line” badge on the steering wheel. Another “R-Line” logo will pop up on the start screen of the infotainment display. Finally, the sport pedals get stainless steel covers for a race-inspired look. And that’s about it. As I said in the beginning, there isn’t much to talk about inside the cabin.


2018 Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line - image 747523
“The turbocharged engine cranks out 184 horsepower”

Under the hood, the R-Line remains identical to the standard model, so power comes from the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that motivates the entire Tiguan lineup in the U.S. The turbocharged engine cranks out 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque while returning up to 27 mpg on the highway.

The R-Line package on SEL trims starts from $1,795 and includes front and rear Park Distance Control (ParkPilot). The package for SEL Premium models, which already include ParkPilot, is set at $1,495. All told, the least expensive SEL R-Line model will cost $34,345, while the SEL Premium R-Line will fetch $37,745. For reference, the base Tiguan S model comes in at $25,195.

References

Volkswagen Tiguan


2016 Volkswagen Tiguan - image 645782

Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon New Mercedes CLS Leaked Ahead of L.A. Debut

The 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show is almost up on us with a heap of new production cars and concept vehicles. And as it usually happens, a few models are surfacing the Web earlier than planned via leaked photos. The next-generation Mercedes-Benz CLS is one of them, with four early pictures showing the four-door coupe’s design inside and out. Details as to what lurks under the hood or the technology we may find inside the cabin aren’t yet available, but we can now take a good look at its styling. And needless to say, it’s just as I expected it to be.

The new CLS is actually almost identical to our renderings, at least when it comes to the front fascia, anyway. Sure, the car in the photos doesn’t feature the “Panamericana” grille that we used in our rendering (it should be offered as an option though), but the headlamps and the bumper are exactly as we envisioned them. The headlamps are more angular than the usual Mercedes unit and extend toward the front fender wheel arches. The grille is as large as the one seen on the AMG GT sports car, while the three-piece bumper vent has horizontal slats on the sides and a honeycomb grille in the middle.

The car’s profile brings together cues from the previous CLS and the current S-Class. While the sexy, arched beltline of the old CLS is still there, it’s not as pronounced on the new car. This gives the four-door a bit more elegance while keeping it sportier than the full-size sedan. The rear section is again similar to our rendering, but you need to keep in mind that our version is actually an AMG, so ignore the decklid spoiler and the more aggressive diffuser. We did mess up the taillights a bit, as the actual units aren’t as angular toward the fenders, but the shape is there. And needless to say, the CLS sports unique taillights.

But what about the cabin?

Continue reading for the full story.

E-Class Interior with a Twist


New Mercedes CLS Leaked Ahead of L.A. Debut - image 747488
“The shape of the dash, the way the A/C vents are positioned, and the large instrument cluster and infotainment display all point out to the midsize sedan.”

There’s only one photo of the interior, but it gives a good, clean look at the dashboard, door panels, and the center console – basically, everything we need. Not surprisingly, the CLS’ cabin is very similar to other Mercedes cars, and especially the E-Class. The shape of the dash, the way the A/C vents are positioned, and the large instrument cluster and infotainment display all point out to the midsize sedan. The same goes for the center console, which features the same controls, the analog clock in the middle, the storage compartment, and gear selector. Even the door panels are identical.

The steering wheel is the only feature that sets the CLS apart. While also a three-spoke unit, it has different controls on the side spokes, while the lower spoke is narrower and has thicker bars. Overall, it looks a bit sportier. The trim is also different, bringing together light colored wood and bright blue accents. The same accents are visible on the A/C vents. This trim is likely from a special launch model, so it’s safe to assume that the CLS will be offered with a more appropriate dark upholstery as well.


New Mercedes CLS Leaked Ahead of L.A. Debut - image 747489

No word on drivetrains yet, but it’s safe to assume that the four-door coupe will get a V-6 in the U.S. Europe could also get a four-cylinder, as well as a V-6 diesel. AMG versions with V-8 engines are likely to follow. The new CLS will break cover tomorrow, so make sure you stay tuned for more information and a full review.

References

Mercedes CLS


2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS - image 715172

Read our full speculative review on the next 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon GMC Sierra 2500HD All Mountain Concept

About the best means of transportation on snow-covered mountain trails is a Snowcat – those machines that cross between a tank and snowmobile. The only problem is luxury or that vast lack thereof. Well, GMC now has an answer for this frigid conundrum. Meet the 2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD All Mountain Concept.

This one-off monster is basically a Sierra 2500 with a ton of upgrades, but its foundation is familiar. The truck runs the new-for-2017 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V-8 with a stump-pulling 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. The Alison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission and two-speed transfer case are responsible for shifting gears while five people can ride in the leather-lined crew cab. Naturally, GMC started the concept build with a Sierra Denali, meaning nearly every available feature and amenity comes standard. Oh, and of course heated seats and a heated steering wheel are included.

Keep reading for the rest of GMC’s upgrades.

Continue reading for more information.

What makes the GMC Sierra 2500HD All Mountain Concept special


2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD All Mountain Concept - image 747407
“The large inner wheel turns the rubber tracks while smaller caster wheels contour to the ground while keeping the track tight”

Quite obviously, those treads are the biggest change to this 2018 Sierra 2500HD Denali. They’re from a company called Mattracks and chances are good you’ve heard of them and seen their tracks before. This particular setup is Mattracks’ 150 Series Tracks and have that added touch of GMC red, matching the GMC logo. The Mattracks bolt right to the truck’s hubs. The large inner wheel turns the rubber tracks while smaller caster wheels contour to the ground while keeping the track tight. The extra wide and long footprint provide all the traction needed to scale slippery slopes.

The 2018 Sierra 2500HD Denali is also fitted with the All Terrain X suspension upgrade available from the factory. This includes shocks and springs tuned for off-roading while still capable of hauling 2,513 pounds in the bed or towing up to 13,500 pounds on a fifth-wheel hitch. Just don’t expect to be towing with those Mattracks. The All Terrain X package also adds the front bumper guard, the bed-mounted sports bar, and tubular side steps.


2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD All Mountain Concept - image 747403
“The 2018 Sierra 2500HD Denali is also fitted with the All Terrain X suspension upgrade available from the factory”

Other upgrades include the custom body wrap with loud graphics, LED off-road lights that illuminate the undercarriage, a 30-inch LED light bar for better forward visibility, Thule snowboard racks, and a soft tonneau cover that rolls up for access to the cargo bed. Inside the cab, the stereo system has been upgraded with an amp and a Dual Pod Speaker kit from Kicker.

GMC built this rig in conjunction with Vail Resorts; a big-time report company focused on mountain and ski getaways. The truck will be on display at Vail Mountain in Vail, Colorado through this winter season.

What do you think? Would you like to power through some powder at the local ski slopes? Let us know in the comments below.

References

GMC Sierra


2017 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD - image 678252

Read our full review on the 2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Lincoln MKC

2019 Lincoln MKC

Introduced in 2014, the MKC is Lincoln’s smallest crossover yet. Built on the Ford Global C platform, it’s related to the Ford Escape and Kuga, and its purpose is to bring Lincoln a share of the booming SUV market. And with sales of over 20,000 units per year since 2015, it’s safe to say that the MKC was a successful nameplate until now. Much more so now, since it has introduced more people to the brand, with nearly half of all MKC customers coming from other carmakers. After three years on the market, the MKC is getting its mid-cycle facelift for the 2019 model year.

Although far from comprehensive, the update did introduce the small crossover to Lincoln’s new corporate front grille. First seen on the Continental and then added to the massive Navigator, the new one-piece grille is adds a more imposing look to the small SUV, as well as a more upscale look due to all the chrome. However, changes are far from significant beyond this design element, with mostly everything being carried over, save for new interior trim for the Black Label versions and a few extra driving aids. Will this mild upgrade be enough to keep sales high? Let’s find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lincoln MKC.

Official video

Exterior

  • New chrome grille
  • Revised lower bumper
  • New chrome trim around back
  • Welcome lights front and rear
  • Still fresh design
  • More premium look

2019 Lincoln MKC - image 747402
“The new grille changes how the crossover looks almost entirely”

While facelifts are rarely something to write home about design-wise, Lincoln did put some effort into refreshing the MKC. But only up front. Sure, the front fascia carries the same headlamps and an almost identical bumper design, but the new grille changes how the crossover looks almost entirely. Just like MKZ, Continental, and Navigator, the MKC ditched the two-piece grille with horizontal slats for the one piece with a honeycomb-like pattern.

The new grille isn’t as wide as the old one, thus it no longer makes contact with the headlamps, and feature significantly more chrome. This gives the car a more commanding, premium appearance. Bumper changes are limited to reconfigured intakes, which sport a different slat layout, but this isn’t very noticeable unless you look really close.


2019 Lincoln MKC - image 746623
“A Lincoln welcome mat appears beneath both front doors to welcome the passengers”

The profile of the MKC remained unchanged, as did the rear section except for the chrome trim above the license plate recess. It’s a bit disappointing to get just a slim piece of chrome in contrast to the big grille up front, but it does add to the premium look. It’s also a nice touch when combined with darker exterior colors.

As before, the LED lighting in the lower front body and taillights subtly illuminates to greet owners as they approach, while a Lincoln welcome mat appears beneath both front doors.

Interior

  • New trim for Black Label models
  • New driver-assist features
  • Rialto Green upholstery for Reserve trim
  • Optional heated, cooled seats

2019 Lincoln MKC - image 746619
“The interior carries over unchanged in terms of styling and materials”

The interior carries over unchanged in terms of styling and materials, but this isn’t an issue as the MKC has a warm and inviting cabin packed with plush and soft-touch materials. The craftsmanship is pretty solid and even though the center stack isn’t the most attractive in this segment (and could use a larger display), it’s ergonomic and not too cluttered.

As usual, the navigation and standard WiFi and USB ports allow every passenger to follow the route and stay connected, while the SYNC 3 system with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will keep you entertained during those long, sometimes boring trips. The heated and cooled seats remain optional for the entry-level model, which isn’t bad given that most automakers do the same, but it would have given the MKC an advantage over the competition. Unfortunately, Lincoln opted to not include additional standard features. Speaking of options, the available panoramic roof will flood the cabin with natural light during the day.


2019 Lincoln MKC - image 746617
“Lincoln continues to offer the Black Label trim, which adds a bit of extra luxury”

Lincoln continues to offer the Black Label trim, which adds a bit of extra luxury inside the cabin. Three themes are available, taking inspiration from arts, travel, fine food, and culture.

First up is Modern Heritage, described as perfect for those who appreciate “a clean, modern aesthetic.” This option comes with seats in Vianca White Venetian leather with the Lincoln Black Label star insignia and Argento wood accents. Next up is Indulgence, which blends Venetian leather and Alcantara in Truffle and Ganache, as well as rich Ziricote wood. The latter is usually found in yachts or musical instruments. The third Black Label trim is called Center Stage, and it’s inspired by “the fashion of the theater,” capturing the “excitement of a curtain skirting across the main stage on opening night.” This one also comes with leather and Alcantara, but the latter has diamond-L perforation and stitched Foxfire Red piping. There’s also Black Venetian leather with red stitching and exotic wood accents on the dashboard and door panels.


2019 Lincoln MKC - image 746618
“Lincoln now offers a rich Rialto Green upholstery with black ash wood on the Reserve models”

In addition, Lincoln now offers a rich Rialto Green upholstery with black ash wood on the Reserve models. This new deep green is inspired by the “vibrant tones emanating from the world of high fashion.” Fancy enough.

Lincoln also added Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection to the list of already available driver-assist technologies. Designed to reduce the severity of frontal collisions, this system uses advanced radar and camera sensors to provide a collision warning to the driver. If the driver does not respond in time, the system can automatically apply the brakes and minimize or even avoid a crash. Other available features include Active Park Assist, Lane-Keeping Alert, and Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert.

Drivetrain

  • 2.0-liter engine with 245 horsepower
  • 2.3-liter EcoBoost with 285 horsepower
  • Solid fuel economy
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Optional AWD
  • More power than the competition

2019 Lincoln MKC - image 746609
“The MKC remains unchanged under the hood with the facelift”

The MKC remains unchanged under the hood with the facelift, so the base model comes with the same 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine rated at 245 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 270 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm. The EPA estimates fuel mileage at 20 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined, which isn’t bad for a crossover.

Higher trim levels are motivated by the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, which cranks out a more exciting 285 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 305 pound-feet of torque at 2,750 rpm. Estimated fuel economy for this model comes in at 18 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg combined.

Both units are paired to the six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission operated by paddle shifters placed behind the steering wheel. The standard configuration is front-wheel-drive, but AWD is available on the options list. Higher trim levels, including all models equipped with the 2.3-liter engine, have AWD as standard. The MKC also features an auto start/stop feature, first introduced for the 2017 model year.

Prices


2019 Lincoln MKC - image 746616

Pricing information for the facelifted model isn’t yet available as of November 2017, but don’t expect it to change much compared to the outgoing model. The 2018 MKC in base Premier trim retails from $33,355, while select starts from $36,110. Go with the Reserve trim and the sticker jumps to $39,985. Finally, the Black Label version retails from 45,975. All the prices above are for the 2.0-liter model. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost adds $3,500 and $6,300, depending on trim.

Competition

By tradition, Lincoln is considered Ford’s competitor for Cadillac. Of course, many argue that Lincoln products are below what Caddy’s has to offer nowadays, but the GM’s luxury brand remains a target for Lincoln. By while the Navigator is a head-on competitor for the Escalade, the MKC is significantly smaller than Cadillac’s smallest crossover, the XT5. As a result, the MKC is usually pitted against similar vehicles from German premium automakers.

BMW X1


2016 BMW X1 - image 632497

Redesigned for the 2016 model year, the X1, BMW smallest offering, made the switch to front-wheel-drive by adopting the same platform as the Mini Cooper. Design-wise, the X1 is pretty different. While the MKC can be described as one of the most elegant small crossovers on the market, the X1 is more about sportiness, featuring an aggressive styling language that draws cues from the company’s sporty sedans and coupes. Inside the cabin, the X1 carries over with some of the previous generation’s design, but the new features make it look fresh and modern. Unlike the MKC, the X1’s infotainment display is placed above the center stack. Features vary based on trim configuration. While the base models aren’t exactly fancy, the more expensive versions boast leather upholstery, soft-touch surfaces, and a laundry list of standard features. Power is also provided by a four-cylinder, but the U.S. model is restricted to just one configuration. Specifically, the 2.0-liter unit cranks out 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This makes the X1 inferior to both version of the MKC in terms of output, but this won’t change anytime soon as an M version is still a couple of years away. Pricing for the X1 starts from $33,900.

Read our full story on the 2017 BMW X1.

Audi Q3


2017 - 2018 Audi Q3 - image 688433

The Audi Q3 is the oldest vehicle in this comparison, having been introduced in 2011. Although it was updated most recently for the 2017 model year, it doesn’t yet feature the company’s new design language, which is sportier, more angular, and fresh. But that’s not to say that the current Q3 is dated. The small crossover is still pleasing to look at, and from many standpoints, it looks like a shrunken Q7. However, I can’t say the same about the cabin, which could use a makeover to get rid of the old interior design. Audi’s more recent layout with the continuous strip air-vent is definitely the way to go, and the next-gen model should adopt it. The specs are pretty good, and include sports seats, leather and Alcantara upholstery (optional Nappa leather), piano black and aluminum trim, and a solid technology package. Under the hood, the Q3 isn’t exactly appealing when compared to the MKC or even the X1. That’s because the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is rated at only 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. There’s more power coming from the RS Q3 model, but that’s over 300 horses, and the sticker is significantly more expensive. Speaking of which, the Q3 retails from $32,900.

Read our full review of the 2018 Audi Q3.

Conclusion

Granted, there aren’t many upgrades to talk about with this facelift, but to be honest, the MKC doesn’t need that much to remain relevant. The design is still fresh, especially with that new grille, the interior has what it takes to compete with the German models, while both of its engines are far superior to what BMW and Audi are offering at this point. The MKC’s only drawback is the Lincoln badge, which isn’t as popular as it used to be. And unfortunately for Ford, that’s not going to change soon. But given the circumstances, the MKC is doing pretty well, and it will continue to do so for at least a couple more years.

  • Leave it
    • Can get expensive with options
    • Solid competition from BMW and Audi

References

Lincoln MKC


2014 Lincoln MKC - image 488834

Read our full review on the 2014 Lincoln MKC.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Saleen Teases the New S1 Just Days Before its Debut

Saleen has released a teaser shot of the new S1, the car that will propel the brand into the compact sports car market. The image shows the rear end which rides on the fine line between elegant and sexy. It sports a single taillight that wraps around the rear end, with a spoiler of the same size sitting upon the rear deck. Very little outside of this can be made out from the darkened teaser shot, but you can clearly tell that the rear haunches or extremely muscular and there are very sharp body lines below the waste. Clearly, this will be one attractive and provocative proposition to the compacts sports car market. Want to know more? Keep reading to get the full scoop.

Saleen S1 Expectations


2011 Artega GT - image 395221
“It really looks more like the S1 will be a revised, more muscular version of the Artega GT”

Earlier this year, Saleen bought the rights to the Artega GT, a car that was produced briefly between 2009 and 2012. That company went bankrupt, and the S1 will actually serve as a resurrection of sorts under a new name, of course. Saleen promises the exterior is a completely new design despite the fact that the rear window actually looks quite familiar. It really looks more like the S1 will be a revised, more muscular version of the Artega GT, but we’ll leave that discussion for after the debut. What we do know is that the Artega GT, and consequently, the Saleen S1 will actually ride on underpinnings that were borrowed, in part, from the Evora in the late 2000s. The only difference here is that the body should feature tons of carbon fiber, more aggressiveness, and there will be a four-sourced 2.3-liter under the hood.

Does that engine size sound familiar?

It should because it’s the same engine used in the new Ford Focus RS and the EcoBoost Mustang, with a Saleen twist to it. That twist.. 450 ponies of pure Saleen-tuned power, and 425 pound-feet of torque, according to some sources. How Saleen massaged that much out of the Ford-sourced powerplant remains to be seen, but it’s Saleen we’re talking about here, so don’t ask, don’t tell, just appreciate.

The Future of Saleen


Saleen to Bring New S1 Sports Car to L.A Auto Show - image 745564
“The Saleen S1 will be the brand’s first original, stand-alone design since the Saleen S7 but it’s far from a successor”

The Saleen S1 will be the brand’s first original, stand-alone design since the Saleen S7 but it’s far from a successor. It’s a much smaller vehicle and is less powerful as well. What it will actually compete with depends on the initial base cost which has yet to be announced. With that in mind, the S1 will actually propel S1 into the future, as the Rugao Jiangsu Saleen plant where the S1 will ultimately be produced will be able to produce as many as 150,000 cars a year, making it a rather prominent automaker, practically overnight. The factory is scheduled for completing in mid-2018.

On the plus side, Saleen CEO, Charles Wang, as told China Daily that the S1 will be sold in the U.S. as well, and there will be a new sales model. What that means is unclear, but it won’t be a sales model found with typical dealerships, nor will it be like Tesla’s direct sales model. With any luck, we’ll learn more about this in a few days at the L.A. Auto Show. And, if we’re really good, the new S1 may even lead to a new S5S Raptor – now that would be something to get excited about.

References

Saleen S1


Saleen to Bring New S1 Sports Car to L.A Auto Show - image 745563

Saleen to Bring New S1 Sports Car to L.A Auto Show.

Artega GT


2011 Artega GT - image 395222

Read our full review on the 2011 Artega GT.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2019 Infiniti QX50 Gets new Technology, Similar Look

Infiniti has announced the new QX50 ahead of its L.A. Auto Show debut featuring slightly revised looks and Infiniti’s new VC-Turbo four-cylinder engine. It rides on an all-new platform that brings more interior space and more structural rigidity. To top it off, Infiniti promises a “powerful, handcrafted interior” and all of the new ProPILOT technologies that will allow autonomous, single-lane driving.

2019 Infiniti QX50 Details


2019 Infiniti QX50 Gets new Technology, Similar Look - image 747143
“The car will ride on an all-new chassis that is said to optimize passenger and cargo room while improving structural rigidity by 23 percent over the outgoing model”

As of now, Infiniti is saving all of the really juicy stuff for the car’s debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, but it did release some information to go with the single exterior image you see above and a few shots of the new VC Turbo engine. For starters, the car will ride on an all-new chassis that is said to optimize passenger and cargo room while improving structural rigidity by 23 percent over the outgoing model. The use of Super High Formality (SHF) high-tensile steel
(a first for not only Infiniti but the automotive industry as well) provides the extra strength and weight savings too. So, expect to see more space inside, less tweaking outside, and a drop in weight.

Adding to this new platform is the addition of new ProPilot technologies that will allow autonomous, single-lane highway driving at the push of a button. The system is able to control acceleration, braking, and steering in most single-lane highway scenarios and is activatable by the push of a button. Of course, Infiniti wants to point out that it doesn’t intend to remove the customer from the driving equation and promises this is a “step removed from the notion of fully autonomous motoring.” The system is said to add to the driving enjoyment and confidence/

“INFINITI’s ProPILOT Assist technologies offer support when needed and add to the enjoyment and confidence of the driver. Our intention is to empower the driver and enhance feelings of pleasure behind the wheel, not to remove the driver from the equation. The brand new QX50 will set a new benchmark in the biggest premium segment.”

2019 Infiniti QX50 VC-Turbo Engine


2019 Infiniti QX50 Gets new Technology, Similar Look - image 747142
“With four cylinders and a displacement of 2.0-liters, the new engine delivers a total of 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque.”

Little is known about the interior of the QX50, and we’ve yet to see what it looks like, but based on the minor changes to the exterior, I would expect more refinement than evolution. Infiniti says the car as an elevated driver position for better visibility, “unrivaled” interior space, and a sliding rear bench for a flexible configuration and an addition 5.4 cubic feet of cargo room. Fold those seats down, and you’ll get as much as 60 cubic-feet. There are also under-floor storage areas to accommodate smaller items as well. Of course, we’re still not sure what the interior actually looks like, but it sounds pretty promising so far.

Given the fact that Infiniti is so proud of its new VC-Turbo engine – an engine that has yet to be proven in the real world, by the way – it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the brand has released plenty of information about it. With four cylinders and a displacement of 2.0-liters (1,970 – 1,997 cc depending on the compression ratio that varies between 8:1 and 14:1), it delivers a total of 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Maximum horsepower comes in at 5,600 rpm, and maximum torque comes in at 4,400 rpm. The engine works with four valves per cylinder but has a bore and stroke that ranges from 84.0 x 90.1 to 84.0 x 88.9 mm depending on the selected compression ratio. Fuel delivery is handled by both direct injection and multi-port injection while shifting duties are handled by an XTRONIC CVT that sends power to the front wheels only unless you opt for the all-wheel-drive system at the time of purchase.

All told, the Infiniti QX50 can hit the 60-mph sprint in 6.3 seconds on the way to a top speed of 143 mph. The XTRONIC CVT does offer a manual shift mode for those of who want to pretend you’re shifting your own gears (sorry folks, but it really isn’t the same,) and fuel economy is said to come in at 27 mpg combined when equipped with front-wheel drive. AWD will sacrifice one mpg, bring the combined rate down the 26 mpg,

2019 Infiniti QX50 vs 2017 Infiniti QX50

left
right

As you can see from the images above, the new QX50 hasn’t changed much from the outgoing model, but there are a few minor changes. First off, the side profile doesn’t have those weird wavy lines that we saw on the old model. And, the front end doesn’t have a grille that looks like it was pushed in by Pedro Sanchez on Cell Block C, either. The lower fascia is sportier and more organized before. And, a big nod to Infiniti for doing something about those God-awful headlights. Jesus those things were ugly, but the new-gen model brings a much sleeker set that are incredibly upscale for a model like this… well done, Infiniti.

2019 Infiniti QX50 Specs Compared to 2017 Infiniti QX50 Specs

2019 Infiniti QX50 2017 Infiniti QX50
Engine 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder with variable compression technology 3.7-liter, DOHC, V-6
Displacement 1,970 cc – 1,997 cc 3696 cc
Horsepower 268 HP @ 5,600 rpm 325 HP @ 7,000 rpm
Torque 280 LB-FT @ 4,400 rpm 267 LB-FT @ 5,200 rpm
No. of Valves 16 \ 4 Per Cylinder 24, 4 Per Cyldiner, DOHC, CVTCS, VVEL
Compression Ratio 8:1 – 14:1 (variable) 11:1
Bore x Stroke 84.0 x 90.1 mm – 84.0 x 88.9 mm 86 x 95.5 mm
Transmission XTRONIC CVT w/ Manual Mode 7-Speed Auto w/ ASC and Manual Mode
Primary Drive FWD RWD
0-to-60 MPH 6.7 sec (FWD) / 6.3 sec AWD 5.6 sec
Top Speed 143 mph TBA
Fuel Economy (mpg) combined FWD 27 AWD 26 20 (via EPA)

As you can see from the chart above, there are a lot of differences between the outgoing model and the new-gen model.
The most obvious happens to be the lack of a proper V-6 in the new-gen model with that weird VC-Turbo four-banger in its place. The new VC-Turbo is significantly underpowered in comparison to the new QX50 will certainly come off as a turd if you’re used to driving a slightly older model. As a matter of fact, it falls short of the 325 offered by yesteryear’s model by a total of 57 ponies. On the other hand, the VC Turbo does accel in the torque department with an extra 13 pounds of twist over its predecessor. This is good from a towing standpoint, but the lack of horsepower is a little surprising as existing customers have come to appreciate the V-6 and those horses stashed under the hood. Of course, this VC Turbo is a new technology so it could turn out to be a good thing despite the power drop but we’ll have to wait and see.

“The old model could hit 60 in an astonishing-for-its-size 5.6 seconds while the new model will do it in as good as 6.3 seconds with AWD”

As you can see, the VC-Turbo covers a wide range of compression ratios and, naturally, the displacement and bore & stroke change a bit as well. Shifting duties are handled by an XTRONIC CVT compared to the seven-speed auto of the outgoing model. The new QX50 is front-wheel drive by default where the outgoing was rear-wheel drive. The old model could hit 60 in an astonishing-for-its-size 5.6 seconds while the new model will do it in as good as 6.3 seconds with AWD. Top speed for the new model comes in at 143 mph with fuel economy sitting around 26 or 27 combined, depending on the driveline. That’s a 6 to 7 mpg improvement over the outgoing model.

Final Thoughts


2019 Infiniti QX50 Gets new Technology, Similar Look - image 747141

As sure as night changes to day, the automotive industry changes as well. Old, monstrous engines of yesteryear are slowly being replaced with smaller engines that tote handfuls of turbos and new technology. We sacrifice little things like horsepower and fewer moving parts for things like better fuel economy and even a little extra torque. In this case, we may be looking at a fair trade-off considering those few extra foot pounds and 6 -7 mpg fuel economy, but it does come at the price of acceleration, speed, and the number of cylinders. On the plus side, the new QX50 is also lighter and stronger, and thanks to that new platform it should be a bit more spacious as well. Unfortunately, we have to reserve our full judgment until we see the car in the metal in L.A. at its official debut. Stay tuned for updates

References

Infiniti QX50


2019 Infiniti QX50 Gets new Technology, Similar Look - image 747141

Read our full review on the 2019 Infiniti QX50.


2016 Infiniti QX50 - image 648242

Read our full review on the 2017 Infiniti QX50.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor’s Guide

As we start to settle into a groove and make our way towards the end of 2017, the annual auto show circus is rolling into North America, starting with the Los Angeles Auto Show. Originally held in 1907, the LAAS is the first big stop for major makes touring across the U.S., followed by the Detroit Auto Show in January. LA is a fantastic venue for an event like this, as the Golden State consumes more than its fair share of automobiles, especially down south, where cities are strung together by a twisted web of freeways and surface streets brimming with four-wheeled machinery. The car rules supreme here, and the LAAS is a traditional showcase of all the latest and greatest.

This year, the event organizers are once again prefacing the event with two days devoted to automotive tech and future talk, so expect to see plenty of new apps, cutting-edge gadgets, and big ideas before the sheet pulls. However, the big draw is the more than 1,000 new vehicles in attendance, with over 50 debuts filling the schedule. Traditionally, the LAAS sets its focus on green cars (hybrids, electric, and alternative fuels), technology (connected systems, autonomous systems), and crossovers, but there should be plenty of fast stuff there as well. We’ve compiled the big reveals you need to know about right here, plus we’ve thrown in a quick reference guide for anyone planning on attending in person, so read on.

Check back frequently, as we’ll be updating this guide with more debuts in the near future!

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 LA Auto Show.

Crossovers, SUVs, And Off-Roaders

Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Word has it LA will be the place where Jeep unveils the new Wrangler, bringing the legendary rough-stuff combatant into a fresh generation for the 2018 model year. Dubbed the JL, this freshened icon will come with a variety of updates, including improved interior comfort and a few tweaks to the boxy exterior shape we’ve all come to know and love. Interestingly, Jeep boss Mike Manley also recently confirmed that the new Wrangler will now come with the option for hybrid power.

Read our full review on the Jeep Wrangler

Lexus RXL


2018 Lexus RXL - image 746642

The Lexus RX is a hugely popular model, topping the sales list for not only the brand, but the general segment as well. Now, there’s a new model on the horizon, and it looks to offer customers even more practicality with an additional third-row bench seat. Outside, expect the same sharp styling, while the cabin will get high-end materials like leather and wood trim. Power makers will include options for both gasoline and gas-electric hybrid.

Read our full review on the 2018 Lexus RXL.

Subaru Ascent


2019 Subaru Ascent - image 746685

It’s no secret that the crossover and SUV segment is still hugely, immensely popular, and as such, Subaru is looking to capitalize with a fresh three-row crossover dubbed the Ascent. Details are still forthcoming, but we do know the Ascent will be based on the concept of the same name that dropped earlier in the year at the New York Auto Show. Inside, a seven-seat minimum is a must, while we’re thinking a turbo flat-four, AWD, and solid mpg figures for the powertrain and drivetrain spec.

Read our full review on the 2019 Subaru Ascent.

Infiniti QX50


Infiniti Teases New Car For 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show - image 746626

Infiniti looks like it’ll be dropping a new SUV in LA as well, hinting at a debut with a shadowy teaser image showing a slice of some chromed-out front fascia. Infiniti is building hype for what it’s calling its “most advanced car ever,” and by the look of it, we’re thinking a second-generation QX50.

Read the full story here.

Sedans, Hatchbacks, And Luxury Cars

Mazda6


2018 Mazda6 - image 745323

The 6 is Mazda’s premiere four-door, equipped with an elegant interior, a good amount of space, and an engaging driving experience in a single good-looking package. The 2018 model year arrives with an extensive refresh for the sedan, including a few nips and tucks to the exterior, more premium touches for the cabin space, and most importantly, a new engine option. Joining last year’s naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder will be a more powerful 2.5-liter turbo, and although output figures are still forthcoming, we’re thinking around 250 horses, making for a substantial boost in the zoom-zoom department.

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda6

Sports Cars And Supercars

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744658

First dropping cover in a private event in Dubai, the new ZR1 is coming to LA for its all-‘Merican debut. Based on the latest seventh-generation C7, the new ZR1 catapults the ‘Vette into bona-fide supercar territory, rocking the most power and highest top speed ever attached to the nameplate. Outside, the aero is all carbon and spoilers, with a new front clip and an enormous rear wing making extra stick at speed. Under the hood is 755 horsepower from a beefed-up and blown 6.2-liter V-8. Top speed should surpass 210 mph.

Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Saleen S1


Saleen to Bring New S1 Sports Car to L.A Auto Show - image 745564

Known primarily as a high-end tuner of American muscle cars, Saleen also has the S7 supercar on its resume. Launched in 2000, the S7 became well respected for its aggressive styling and remarkable performance potential. Now, Saleen is gearing up to debut a new original sports car dubbed the S1. It’s smaller and less powerful than the S7, with Lotus-based underpinnings and a Ford-sourced 2.3-liter under the hood, but with 450 horses on tap, it should have the right stuff to justify the badge on the nose.

Read our full review on the 2018 Saleen S1.

What, Where, And When

Things To Do


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 747032

If you consider yourself an automotive enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to attend a major show like this one. The lights, the shiny new body panels, the excited chatter about specs and figures – it’s all pretty intoxicating.

Throughout the venue, you’ll find numerous large booths dedicated to individual manufacturers and their latest offerings. You’ll be able to get right next to the cars, take pictures, sit inside the cabin, and talk to manufacturer representatives.

If you’re thinking about buying a new car, the LA Auto Show is a fantastic place to start your research. Not only does it offer an early preview of what’s headed to dealerships, but you won’t have some salesman breathing down your neck as you browse. And with the number of brands in attendance, it’s easy to bounce between rival models.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 747034

Looking for some hands-on experience? Attendees can sign up for test drives with certain participating manufacturers, and even bring along passengers and kids if desired. Registration is typically on a first-come, first-served basis. Check this page for details.

And while you won’t be able to buy a car at the show, there will be plenty of opportunities to purchase manufacturer merchandise and even aftermarket accessories. Speaking of the aftermarket, make sure to check out the modified cars at “The Garage” and Galpin’s Hall of Customs, where a variety of bespoke rides will show off what can be done to make more flash and more fast.

If small and sustainable is more your thing, head over to the “GO” exhibits, which feature scooters, bikes, and other personal mobility solutions. Find more information here.

There are also tons of other car-related activities on hand for your auto-oriented enjoyment. For example, in years past, Pirelli has offered free stints in a F1 driving simulator, complete with pedals, a seat, and a wheel. Off-road excursions and intentional contact are allowed.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 747036

Finally, there will be a variety of places offering food and drinks, both inside the Convention Center and in the surrounding area. Anyone looking for something to do after the show will be happy with the plethora of bars and restaurants within walking distance, while the greater Los Angeles area is jam packed with fun things to do. You can find more visitor information on LA here.

For a full list of attending exhibitors, plus a map of the show floor, click here.

The Venue And Transportation


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 747035

As in years past, the 2017 L.A. Auto Show will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, which is located in downtown LA at 1201 South Figueroa Street, approximately 30 to 45 minutes from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

There are a variety of hotels located within easy walking distance of the Convention Center. However, odds are you’ll want to rent a car to check out the rest that LA has to offer. If that’s the case, be forewarned – I lived in LA for over a decade, and every story you’ve heard about the driving experience in the city is true. But don’t fear – just stay on the defensive, and at the end of your trip, you’ll be able brag about how you survived LA traffic!

If you don’t want to walk, there will be plenty of parking at the Convention Center itself ($20 to $25 per day). It’s recommended you reserve your spot ahead of time using the SpotHero app and promo code “LAAUTO17” to save a few bucks.

And since this is LA, electric vehicle recharging stations will be available. Bicycle parking is also an alternative. If you prefer public transportation, there are options for both rail and busses.

You can find more information on parking and transportation options here.

Show Schedule And Tickets


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 747033

Public access to the L.A. Auto Show will be between Friday, December 1st, and Sunday, December 10th. Hours of admission vary from day to day, but generally fall between 9 AM and 10 PM (check out the full list of hours here).

Adult single-day admission is $12, Monday through Thursday, and $15, Friday through Sunday. Single-day child tickets are $5, and are good any day for attendees aged 6 to 12 years old. Kids under 6 get in for free with a paying adult. Attendees over the age of 65 can purchase single-day tickets for $10, good for any day.

Group rates are available for parties of 20 or more. Contact an LA Auto Show representative for more information.

If you’re an early riser that wants to beat the crowd, you can get early entry (7 AM) for any Friday, Saturday, or Sunday of the show. Pricing is $10 for kids, $20 for seniors, and $30 for adults.

Limited VIP tickets are offered for $35 per child and $85 per adult, and include a continental breakfast and 2-hour headset guided tour by an automotive expert.

You can purchase tickets and find more information by clicking here.

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to go, don’t worry – the Convention Center is enormous, and general admission tickets for the show won’t sell out.

PostHeaderIcon Upcoming Ferrari 488 GTO Spotted in the Wild

We know that Ferrari is working on a more aggressive version of the 488 GTB — a successor to the iconic 458 Speciale — we haven’t heard much about it until now. We also haven’t seen it testing on public roads or race tracks before, but we can finally take a peek at the upcoming Prancing Horse thanks to a batch of photos that surfaced the Interwebz. Reportedly called the 488 GTO, the beefed-up GTB was taken for a spin in a test session that included two cars. While one wears heavy white camouflage that doesn’t allow us to have a glimpse at its features, the second one was captured without any camo on its front end.

The supercar looks very familiar as it retains all the main features of the 488 GTB. However, it has a different bumper with larger outlets and new black trim that appears to be part of a revised aerodynamic package. The headlamps have been blacked out for a more menacing look. Not much else can be seen in these photos from Motor.es, but expect the front splitter to be backed by a redesigned diffuser and a new spoiler around back. Revised side skirts, new wheels, and a new engine hood are also on the table, alongside numerous weight-saving components inside and out.

The twin-turbo, 3.9-liter V-8 engine from the GTB will find its way into the GTO as well, but not before Ferrari increases output from 660 to around 700 horsepower. The GTO is not yet official, and Ferrari could actually reuse the Speciale or Scuderia names. The “GTO” names were used on only three cars up until now — the 250 GTO, 288 GTO, and 599 GTO — all of which were considered flagship models when they arrived. The new supercar could break cover at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, so make sure you stick around for updates.

References

Ferrari 488


2018 Ferrari 488 GTO - image 636191

Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Ferrari 488 GTO.


2016 Ferrari 488 GTB - image 615039

Read our full review on the 2016 Ferrari 488 GTB.

Ferrari 458


2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale - image 556350

Read our full review on the 2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale.

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