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ATM-3211 Auto Meter Light Bulb & Socket 2 1/16" & 2 5/8" Gauges 4.9 Watts No.168
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B&M 80642 Universal Auto / Automatic Trans T-Handle Shift Knob (BLACK)
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ZAMP - FSA-3 SA2015 Auto Racing Helmet - HANS Ready - Snell Rated - Full Face +
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Archive for the ‘new cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Debuts New Semi Truck

Tesla just unveiled the next major undertaking in its ongoing mission to bring electric motivation to every corner of the transportation universe. This time around, the California-based automaker is targeting semi trucks, revealing its brand-new vehicle at a special event in Los Angeles. Tesla’s aim is to not only make the job of truck driving easier, but also make it less expensive to move cargo while also increasing safety.

Of course, Tesla’s various models are well known for their high-performance, and the new semi is no different. It’s got a total of four independent electric motors, and can go 0-to-60 mph in 5 seconds without a trailer. With a full 80,000-pound payload, the semi can hit 60 mph in just 20 seconds, while also climbing a 5-percent grade at 65 mph. Heading downhill, the onboard regenerative braking can covert 98 percent of the kinetic energy back into juice for the battery pack, yielding “infinite” brake life. Most importantly, Tesla says it’ll go 500 miles per charge with a full payload at highway speeds, which means this thing is ready to roll.

Almost, at least. Tesla is taking reservations now at $5,000 a pop, with production scheduled to kick off in 2019. Read on for more details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Tesla semi truck.

What’s It Like To Drive?


Tesla Debuts New Semi Truck - image 745874

In a word – easy.

For starters, there’s only one gear, which means no shifting to deal with. The cabin itself was designed around a central seating position for the driver, with dual touchscreen displays on either side of the seat for navigation info, blind spot monitors, and data logging. There’s also independent suspension to keep it comfortable. A bevy of connectivity features are included as well, all built-in seamlessly with the truck’s onboard systems.

How Safe Is It?


Tesla Debuts New Semi Truck - image 745852

Very. Tesla promises a “massive increase in safety” with its semi, starting with a lower chance of rollover thanks to its low-mounted battery pack and low center of gravity. The windshield is so impact-resistant, Musk quipped it’s thermonuclear bomb proof. Jackknifing prevention is provided by the four independent motors, which can detect it and stop it before it happens thanks to individual torque and brake application.

There’s also an around-view camera system that will automatically alert the driver to hazards, plus enhanced autopilot features like automatic emergency braking, automatic lane keeping, and lane departure warning.

Is It Reliable?


Tesla Debuts New Semi Truck - image 745866

Making sure its semi stays on the road was one of Tesla’s primary concerns, and the automaker is promising up to 1 million miles before a breakdown. Preventative maintenance is anticipated with the onboard app, and there should be relatively low upkeep thanks to a dearth of moving parts.

What About Cost?


Tesla Debuts New Semi Truck - image 745851

While a final price tag has yet to be revealed, the Tesla semi does promise a variety of savings over a traditional diesel semi. For example, Tesla says its semi will bring savings of $200,000 in just fuel costs over a 1-million mile period, possibly even beating the economics of train freight.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Makes Surprise Debut Of Next-Gen Roadster

2020 Tesla Roadster 2.0

Following the debut of its new semi truck, Tesla dropped a bombshell with the surprise reveal of its second-generation Roadster. The specs on this thing are simply outlandish – 0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, which would make it the first production car to break the 2-second barrier in the test. The sprint to 100 mph will take 4.2 seconds, while the quarter mile is dispatched in 8.9 seconds. Top speed is rated at over 250 mph. Torque output comes to a mind-bending 10,000 Nm (that’s 7,376 pound-feet, by the way). This thing is a world-beater in every single sense, capable of setting multiple world records, and Musk knows it, quipping that the new Roadster is basically a “hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” and that after driving the Roadster 2.0, internal combustion would feel like “a steam engine with a side of quiche.”

No kidding. Not only do the acceleration specs blow away the current crop of dino juice sports cars, but the new Tesla Roadster also has the stamina to back its insane performance. Packing a 200-kWh battery and three motors (yep, its AWD), range-per-charge is an astonishing 620 miles on the highway, which means it would have the most range of any production electric car ever made. Throw in the 2+2 seating arrangement and some decent storage (frunk for the win?), and you can bet the big makes are feeling the heat right about now. And oh yeah, it also looks fantastic, rocking a targa top for extra headroom if you want it. The cherry on top? This is the base model, which means more range and more speed are on the way.

Availability for the second-gen Tesla Roadster is scheduled for 2020. Pricing will be around $200,000, although the first 1,000 units will be dubbed the Founder series and will cost at least $250,000. Reservations are open now, with a $50,000 deposit required for the standard model and the full $250,000 required to reserve a unit from the Founder series.

PostHeaderIcon Cadillac XT5 – Driven

2017 Cadillac XT5

Cadillac is diligently working on polishing its brand reputation after decades of forgettable cars. Over the last few years, General Motors’ luxury brand has gotten a good start with updates to the ATS and CTS, while launching the all-new and impressive CT6. But, sedans aren’t hot right now – it’s crossovers. Cadillac needed a high-end crossover with classy digs and tons of tech capable of competing with the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Jaguar F-Pace. That’s where the new XT5 comes in, debuting for the 2017 model year.

The XT5 rides on GM’s new C1XX platform that’s shared with the GMC Acadia. The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse and 2018 Buick Enclave ride on a lengthened version of the C1XX, as well. The new architecture gave Cadillac engineers a clean-sheet start over the outgoing SRX crossover and the ability to bake in better ride characteristics, handling, softened NVH levels, more interior room, and better fuel economy. The icing on the cake is then advanced part-time AWD system with a twin-clutch rear differential capable of active torque vectoring. Not only does it improve all-weather drivability, but it improves handling on dry roads, too. A new V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission complete the important under-hood parts. Tech-savvy customers will love the new CUE system with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and wireless phone charging. Luxury bits include amazingly comfortable seats, high-end leather, wood and metal accents, and a suede headliner.

I recently spent a week with the 2017 XT5 and can vouch for Caddy’s new crossover. It’s got plenty going for it, but it isn’t perfect. Keep reading to see why.

Continue reading for more on the 2017 Cadillac XT5.

Video

Exterior

  • All-new design but with familiar cues
  • LED headlights
  • 20-inch polished wheels
  • Towing Package
  • Power liftgate
  • Illuminated door handles

2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745026
“The new architecture under the XT5 gave Cadillac designers a clean canvas to work with”

The new architecture under the XT5 gave Cadillac designers a clean canvas to work with. Naturally, brand cues were kept like the V-shaped grille, LED projection-beam headlights with the cascading LED daytime running lights, and the sharp creases on the hood. Those details can be found on the ATS, CTS, and CT6. Even the Escalade shares a few.

The XT5’s overall shape does suggest it’s a front-wheel-drive crossover, which is true. AWD is an option, but more than that, the transversely mounted engine and its surrounding supports dictate a short front clip. Unlike the sexy CT6 and its long, low-slung nose, the XT5 looks more upright and a bit less elegant. This is my biggest aesthetic complaint on the XT5 – its design just isn’t as graceful as it could be.


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745028
“Besides the stubby front end, the rest of the XT5 looks pretty good.”

Besides the stubby front end, the rest of the XT5 looks pretty good. The roof has a very mild slope, which leaves plenty of headroom for rear passengers. That’s a departure from what the competition is doing; there’s a lot to be said for that. Out back, the LED taillights recall the same cascading design seen across the Cadillac lineup, as does the horizontal chrome pieces on the tailgate and bumper. Twin, chrome-tipped exhaust finishers and a removable metal hitch cover finish off the lower bumper in style. The cover also hides a seven-pin trailer wiring connector, too.

My Platinum-trimmed tester rolls on 20-inch, 12-spoke wheels wrapped in all-season tires. Between them, black plastic cladding protects the lower bodywork from rock chips and flying debris. Matched with the Stellar Black Metallic paint, the black plastic is hard to spot at a glance, but other colors contrast more quickly. Illuminated chrome door handles, chrome window trim, and chrome roof rails finish off the XT5’s outward appearance.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 112.5
Length (Inches) 189.5
Height (Inches) 66.0
Width (Inches) 75.0
Track front/rear (Inches) 64.4/64.4

Interior

  • CUE Infotainment system with 8.0-inch touchscreen
  • Customizable 4.2-inch Driver Information screen
  • Full leather seating
  • Suede headliners and trim panels
  • Wood and metal accents
  • 30 cubic feet of cargo behind 2nd row
  • 63 cubic feet of cargo with 40/20/40 2nd row folded
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745050
“Cadillac borrowed heavily from the CT6 sedan when designing the XT5 – and that’s a great thing.”

Cadillac borrowed heavily from the CT6 sedan when designing the XT5. Thankfully, that’s a great thing. The updated CUE, or Cadillac User Experience system, is much-improved with toggle switches controlling the HVAC system and what seems like an improved response from the touch-sensitive slider for the radio volume.

The driver enjoys a rich-feeling, leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood and metal accents and a heated rim. A 4.2-inch driver information display shows tons of information in several configurable layouts while dual analog gauges show speed and engine revs. The 8.0-inch touchscreen in the center stack runs familiar software. Here it’s called the Cadillac CUE, but it’s nearly identical to Chevy’s MyLink and GMC’s IntelliLink software. All three are incredibly intuitive to use. It includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, SiriusXM, and navigation.


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745042
“A 4.2-inch driver information display shows tons of information in several configurable layouts”

Both the driver and front passenger ride on very comfortable and thickly padded front seats. Both have three-way heat and ventilation to keep backsides happy. They do lack massaging – something that’s becoming more common in luxury vehicles these days. Rear seat comfort is excellent, too. The 40/20/40-split bench is nicely padded with reclining backrests, a folding center armrest, and properly raked seat bottoms. There’s ample legroom and headroom. Separate HVAC controls, air vents, USB ports, and a 110-volt household plug all reside on the center console for rear passengers to enjoy.

When it comes to hauling cargo, the XT5 offers 30 cubic feet of room behind the second row and an impressive 63 cubic feet of room with the second row folded flat. An aluminum cargo divider slides along the metal tracks in the floor, giving options as to how space is used.


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745038
“I’d have no problem taking the XT5 on a cross-country trip.”

The overall experience inside the XT5’s cabin is memorable. The materials are high quality and feel well screwed together. There is very little road noise and zero wind noise. The suede-covered dash is a nice touch, though I did find the leather dash gives puts a gnarly reflection on the windshield during the midday sun. Everything else is very commendable. I’d have no problem taking the XT5 on a cross-country trip.

Interior Dimensions

Headroom front/rear (Inches) 39.7/38.4
Legroom
front/rear (Inches)
41.2/39.5
Shoulder front/rear (Inches) 58.3/56.2
Hip room front/rear (Inches) 56.0/54.7
EPA passenger volume (cu ft) 104.5
EPA trunk volume (cu ft) Behind 1st Row: 63
Behind 2nd Row: 30

Drivetrain

  • All-new 3.6-liter V-6
  • 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Part-time AWD system with twin-clutch rear differential
  • Active torque vectoring rear differential
  • 3,500-pound towing capacity
  • 18 mpg city/ 26mpg highway/ 21mpg combined

2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745062
“The engine was completely reworked for the 2016 model year for use in the ATS and CTS.”

Under the hood is an all-new 3.6-liter V-6. I know what you’re thinking – “all new? Doesn’t every Cadillac come with a 3.6-liter?” You’d be right; just about every Caddy besides the Escalade offers the familiar displacement V-6. However, this engine was completely reworked for the 2016 model year for use in the ATS and CTS. It shares almost no parts with the previous 3.6-liter. It’s now got direct fuel injection on top of the variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation seen on the previous engine. Power is up, too, at 310 horsepower at 6,700 rpm and 271 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm.

An eight-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox offered, and it sends power to the front wheels most of the time. Now, the XT5 gets a fancy new part-time AWD system (no, that’s not a type-o) that will send power to the rear driveshaft upon the driver’s command. A button on the center console quickly turns the system on and off. When off, the system completely disengages the rear driveshaft from the transmission to save on fuel. When on, the AWD system works on any road condition and at any speed. The system’s computer quickly responds to traction issues and can send 100 percent of power to the rear tires.


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745065
“The Caddy would likely be unstoppable in snow given a proper set of winter tires.”

More than that, the AWD system’s rear differential unit uses a twin-clutch design to engage each axle half-shaft independently. This is what allows for active torque vectoring around corners. This means the outside rear wheel slightly pushes the vehicle around the turn. The system is also able to send 100 percent of power side to side, meaning either of the rear tires can send all of the engine’s power to the ground. In heavy Florida rains, the XT5 was completely sure-footed and never spun a tire, even with heavy throttle. The Caddy would likely be unstoppable in snow given a proper set of winter tires.

Fuel economy is pretty respectable. The EPA estimates the XT5 AWD to get 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. Premium fuel is required, though.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 3.6L V6 VVT DI (LGX)
Cylinder head material cast aluminum
Valvetrain DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing (VVT)
Ignition system coil-on-plug
Fuel delivery direct high-pressure fuel injection
Compression ratio 11.5:1
Horsepower 310 HP @ 6,700 RPM
Torque 271 LB-FT @ 5,000 RPM
Transmission AWF8F45 paddle-shift Eight-Speed Automatic (MRC)

Behind The Wheel


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745058
“The XT5 is comfortable in every aspect.”

The XT5 is comfortable in every aspect. It’s easy to get into; it’s easy to see out of, and it’s easy to drive. The steering feels appropriately weighted without being too heavy to requiring too many turns. Its on-center feel is tight without being twitchy. The throttle and brakes are easy to apply, with both having a smooth, predictable pedal travel.

The comfy front seats and power-adjustable steering column make it easy to get comfortable. Memory setting allows the driver to keep his settings. All-day comfort is very high, making the XT5 an excellent highway burner. Add in the large side mirrors and Head-Up display, and this Caddy just begs to rack up the miles.

Pricing


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745023

The 2017 Cadillac XT5 starts at $40,390. Four trim levels are available: the base XT5, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum. The Luxury trim starts at $48,790; the Premium luxury starts at $55,790; and the Platinum starts at $63,890. The base trim only comes with FWD and the range-topping Platinum only comes in AWD. The middle two trims have the option of FWD or AWD.

My tester came with a few optional extras, too. The $2,340 Driver Assist Package adds adaptive cruise control, auto-tightening seat belts, automatic collision braking, front and rear automatic braking, and the Automatic Park Assist feature. There is also the $575 trailering equipment and the $350 compact spare tire that replaces the tire goo and air compressor. Add on the $995 destination fee, and the total comes to $67,155.

The Competition

2018 Audi Q5


2017 Audi Q5 - image 690295

The Audi Q5 is completely new for 2018 and is lighter, more stylish, and more techie than before, while still holding onto its Germanic background and familiar yet modern Audi character. The Q5 has become nearly omnipresent these days, so it’s clear Audi is doing something right. The new model expands on that in all the right ways. The 2018 Q5 features Audi’s optional Virtual Cockpit, a large infotainment screen with Audi’s latest MMI software, and a modern interior.

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. It’s sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to the Quattro AWD system. The Q5’s 4,100-pound curb weight is a couple hundred pounds less than the XT5, meaning the 2.0-liter perfectly peppy. The sprint to 60 mph comes in 5.8 seconds, which is quicker than the XT5’s 6.6-second run. Fuel economy is EPA-estimated at 23 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. Those who want more power can opt for the SQ5 with its 354 horsepower turbocharged V-6.

Prices for the 2018 Q5 start at $41,500 and will grow beyond $57,000 with all the options added to the Prestige trim.

Read our full review on the 2018 Audi Q5.

2017 Jaguar F-Pace


2017 Jaguar F-Pace - image 645923

In the same vein of sporty crossovers, Jaguar has its new F-Pace. It offers the same levels of luxury as its popular sedans, but in a higher-riding, more all-weather capable package. Naturally, the F-Pace comes in several flavors and with six trims to choose from. Niceties include Meridian sound systems, Jaguar’s infotainment system, and tons of optional features.

The standard engine is a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 247 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. There’s also a high-output version with 296 horsepower. Diesel fans will love the 2.0-liter turbodiesel with 180 horses and 318 pound-feet of torque. Those wanting performance should go for the familiar 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 found in other Jaguar Land Rover products. Here it makes 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque in the F-Pace S trim. All trims and engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD.

Prices start at $42,065 for the 2.0-liter gasoline engine. Getting a diesel model requires $46,275 and the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 takes $59,775.

Read our full review on the 2017 Jaguar F-Pace.

Conclusion


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745030

The XT5 is great at being a plush, luxurious, living room on wheels, but its competition goes about things differently. The Audi, Mercedes, and Jag all have sportier personalities that might appeal to a younger buyer. The XT5 is more passive when it comes to carving corners and blasting up Interstate on-ramps. Its luxury-first approach might make the XT5 appear dull and unathletic by comparison.

But in my view, that’s what makes the XT5 good. It doesn’t try being something it’s not. The XT5 is different, and I’m betting plenty of people want comfort over performance. I’ve got to give credit to Cadillac for that. The XT5 directly appeals to the classic Cadillac spirit of premium luxury without being too geriatric. Any Millennial or Gen-Xer should be more than proud to be seen behind the wheel. So sure, he XT5 takes the old-school Caddy approach of luxury over sport, but executed the idea rather well and without alienating any generation of customer. That’s a big win for Cadillac.

Now I’m left looking forward to what other XT-branded crossovers Caddy has up its sleeve. Perhaps an XT3 or XT4 will take the sporty approach to better compete against the Audi SQ5 and Mercedes-AMG GLC63, while the XT6 or XT7 might give the Land Rover Range Rover and Bentley Bentayga a run for their money

  • Leave it
    • Front end looks overweight
    • Luxury-focused in a sports-focused segment
    • Gets expensive with options

References


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745027

The 2017 XT5 Succeeds At Being A Cadillac


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How It Works: The 2017 Cadillac XT5’s AWD System


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Cadillac Fixed CUE for the XT5

Cadillac XT5


2017 Cadillac XT5 - image 645340

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac XT5.

PostHeaderIcon BMW M5: Old vs. New

BMW M5: Old vs New

2017 brought us the new BMW 5 Series, so it’s only fitting that 2018 brings us a new M5. We must have been good this year because Santa came early, and with him, he brought a whole slew of updates that include an updated V-8, loads of new technology, BMW’s xDrive AWD system as standard (optional outside the U.S.,) a lighter chassis, and better performance. Talk about some good news, right? Truth be told, the M5 dropped as much as 127 pounds, has more aggressive styling, an updated interior with the latest infotainment system, and an extra 38 ponies and 51 pound-feet over the outgoing model – that brings total output figures up to 591 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. It can now hit 62 mph in as little as 3.4 seconds and 124 mph in just 11.1 seconds. Of course, top speed is still pinned at 155 mph, unless you get the M Driver’s package, which increases the top speed to 189 mph.

Now, it’s set to take on other established beasts in the market that include the Mercedes-AMG E63, the Audi RS7, and the Cadillac CTS-V – I know, it’s not German, but this thing is seriously a beast, so don’t get caught slipping because it will eat you alive. With all this in mind, we decided to throw together a little infographic for the M5 to help bring its best features and qualities to the forefront. Check it all out in our visual comparison below.


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BMW M5: Old vs. New - image 741998

BMW M5: Old vs. New - image 742000

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BMW M5: Old vs. New - image 742002

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References

BMW M5


2018 BMW M5 - image 727404

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M5.



Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 BMW M3 CS Unveiled

BMW just unveiled its latest special edition for the M3. Dubbed the CS, the new German rocket seeks to combine everyday driveability and luxury with even greater performance potential courtesy of its M Division boffins.

Kicking it off is more muscle from the 3.0-liter, turbocharged inline six-cylinder. Peak output is now rated at 453 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 443 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm, an increase of 28 ponies and 37 pound-feet respectively. Redline is set at 7,600 rpm. All told, the CS is both quicker and faster than the standard M3, doing the 0-to-60 mph shimmy in 3.7 seconds and topping out at an electronically limited 174 mph. Making the good noises is an M Sports exhaust system with special sound tuning exclusive to the CS model. Routing the muscle to the rear is a seven-speed double-clutch gearbox with launch control and paddle shifters.

Outside, you’ll find a generous helping of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), which was added to the roof, front splitter, rear diffuser, and Gurney flap, cutting as much as 110 pounds from the car’s curb weight. That makes it sprightly, especially with the unique tuning for the springs and dampers. Standard spec includes Adaptive M Suspension components, which offer a variety of driving modes ranging between Comfort and Sport. An Active M Differential was added as well. The wheel design was inspired by DTM racers, and come staggered at 20 inches in back and 19 inches in front. Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires make the traction, while optional carbon ceramic brakes haul it down.

There’s new stuff inside as well, with Alacantara upholstery and two-tone Merino leather in Silverstone and black. M Sport seats, automatic climate control, and a Harman Kardon stereo keep it civil.

The 2018 BMW M3 CS will be offered globally, but is limited at 1,200 units total, only 550 of which will come stateside. Order books open May of 2018. Pricing is thus far unannounced.

PostHeaderIcon Hennessey Venom F5

We live in some truly incredible times. In the fight for the title of fastest production car in the world, there’s always something new on the horizon, some clever new speed tool that manages to warp what’s possible with four wheels and an engine, setting a new standard by which all other competitors are judged. This is exactly that, the latest and greatest in the world of hypercars. Recently revealed in Las Vegas at SEMA, the Venom F5 is a follow-up to Hennessey’s first-gen Venom GT from 2011, offered as a clean-slate approach to the problem of going faster than all the rest. Now breaking cover after four years in development, the Venom F5 is built in Texas and touts itself as America’s Hypercar. The F5 name is nod to the most powerful tornadoes rated on the Fujita scale, and for good reason – low weight, low drag, and a Texas-sized dose of turbocharged V-8 ponies at the rear wheels combine for a top speed predicted to eclipse 300 mph. Shots most definitely fired.

“We’ve designed F5 to be timeless so that in 25 years it will still have a level of performance and design that will be unmatched,” explains Hennessey Performance Engineering CEO and Founder, John Hennessey. We can’t wait to get a closer look at this thing, and we’re guessing you can’t either. Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Hennessey Venom F5.

Exterior

Fast Facts

-  Clean-slate design approach
-  0.33 Cd, lower than Venom GT
-  Active aero elements
-  Lightweight carbon fiber body


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742054

Right from the off, we’re enthralled by the way this thing looks. It’s got the otherworldly lines of a true modern hypercar, eschewing the older Venom GT’s Lotus-inspired tuner-special look for something all its own.

The brand-new look is very exciting indeed, and arrives as the product of a blank-sheet approach created exclusively by Hennessey and his team. That fresh start gives the F5 a leg up on its predecessor by allowing for more elegant aerodynamic solutions that simply weren’t possible with the Elise-bodied GT.

“The fresh start gives the F5 a leg up on its predecessor by allowing for more elegant aerodynamic solutions that simply weren’t possible with the Elise-bodied GT.”

To that end, Hennessey employed advanced computational fluid dynamic (CFD) calculations to make the Venom F5 cut through the air as easily as possible. Features like a flat underfloor and active wing elements work together to bless the speed slab with a Cd of 0.33, making it significantly more streamlined than the Venom GT. And although Hennessey didn’t say anything about downforce, rest assured it’s got the right stuff to stick at speed.

What’s more, the car’s entire body was made from carbon fiber, meaning it’s extremely lightweight. More on that in a bit.

Interior

Fast Facts

-  Interior spec not yet known
-  Shouldn’t be stripped down
-  Leather and aluminum both likely


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742060

We have yet to get the skinny on what’s going on inside the cabin of the Venom F5, but based on what we saw from the Venom GT, there are a few assumptions we can safely make. Long story short, expect a relatively nice cabin space. Yeah, it won’t be like a Rolls-Royce Phantom or anything like that, but it won’t be some hardcore, stripped-out bunker either.

We’re guessing loads of high-end materials, like Alcantara and leather upholstery, as well as aluminum and carbon fiber trim bits. It might even get a small touchscreen as well. What’s more, it’ll be large enough to accommodate an average American’s backside, which means oodles of room. Digital instrumentation behind the steering makes sense, as do harnesses to keep the pilot in place while testing the car’s ludicrously high limits.

“Yeah, it won’t be like a Rolls-Royce Phantom or anything like that, but it won’t be some hardcore, stripped-out bunker either.”

We’d also expect to see some fanciness with the door operation, with something like a gullwing hinge utilized. Because why not add a little extra drama to the thing? Sure it might add a little weight, but we think it’s probably quite necessary when looking at those extended side sills.

Drivetrain

Fast Facts

-  Twin-turbo 7.4-liter V-8 engine
-  1,600 horsepower and 1,300 pound-feet of torque
-  300-mph top speed
-  Quicker to 300 km/h than an F1 car
-  Faster 0-to-400 km/h-to-0 time than Chiron and Agera RS


2016 Hennessey Venom GT - image 654421

Note: Hennessey Venom GT pictured here.

While the previous Venom GT got an incredible twin-turbo 7.0-liter LSX V-8 (pictured above) tuned to produce 1,244 horsepower and 1,155 pound-feet of torque, the new Venom GT ups the ante with even more power. And displacement.

Mounted in the middle is a brand-spanking-new 7.4-liter V-8 engine, which once again utilizes two turbochargers for adding on the power. In an interview with Top Gear, Hennessey confirmed that he and his team thought about incorporating a hybrid set-up, a popular choice these days, and possibly even a quad-turbo set-up like the F5’s primary competition, the Buggati Chiron. However, in the end, both ideas got the axe over concerns of adding too much complexity, and more importantly, too much weight.

“I’m a purist. I like simple, elegant functionality, and that’s not a knock against hybrids, but they’re for the big OEMs to do,” Hennessey told Top Gear.

“Mounted in the middle is a brand-spanking-new 7.4-liter V-8 engine, which once again utilizes two turbochargers for adding on the power. Simplicity and efficacy are the name of the game here.”

Makes sense to us. And in all honesty, it’s a refreshing approach in a world where it’s usually assumed more technology is always a good thing.

Despite its somewhat simple approach to making the go, the Venom F5 has oodles of output to its name – up to 1,600 horsepower and 1,300 pound-feet of torque.

Impressive, no doubt, but here’s the really important number – 300 mph. Plus. That’s right, the Hennessey says the F5 will be able to eclipse the elusive 300-mph mark. Truly incredible times, indeed.

Compare those figures to the preceding GT’s 1,245 horsepower and 270 mph top speed, and you can see why the F5 took four years to create.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742052
“Here’s the really important number – 300 mph. Plus. Truly incredible times, indeed.”

Routing the power exclusively to the rear wheels is a seven-speed single-clutch paddle-shift transmission, which we think is the right replacement for the GT’s Ricardo six-speed manual. “Why no double-clutch?” you might ask. Once again, simplicity seems to be the name of the game. Of course, if you absolutely must row your own, word has it a third-pedal option is on the way.

Let’s get back to those performance numbers. Hennessey says the Venom F5 will go from 0 to 186 mph (300 km/h) in less than 10 seconds, which makes it quicker than the current crop of Formula 1 cars. What’s more, going from a dig to 249 mph (400 km/h) and back down to 0 takes less than 30 seconds, making the Venom F5 a better performer than the Koenigsegg Agera RS and Bugatti Chiron.

Of course, it bears mentioning that Hennessey has yet to perform the real-world testing required to prove these numbers, but based on the firm’s track record, it’s safe to bet the F5 will hit the mark.

Chassis And Handling

Fast Facts

-  Carbon fiber chassis
-  Weighs less than 3,000 pounds
-  Normal Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742069

Like the rest of the vehicle, the Venom F5 gets a brand-new chassis under all those sleek carbon fiber body panels. That’s right – you won’t find any of the old Venom’s Lotus bones here.

As you’d probably expect, the Venom F5 was built around a carbon fiber chassis, once again cutting out unnecessary weight without sacrificing rigidity. All said and done, the Venom F5 weighs in at 2,950 pounds, which means there’s less than 2 pounds for each horsepower to motivate.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742059
“The Venom F5 was built around a carbon fiber chassis. Curb weight is rated at 2,950 pounds, which means there’s less than 2 pounds for each horsepower to motivate.”

Interestingly, that makes the Venom F5 heavier than the preceding GT by a little over 200 pounds. Culprits for this increase include the bespoke body, the automatic transmission, and the larger engine. That said, tipping the scales at less than 3,000 pounds is still an impressive feat, especially against such heavyweights as the 4,400-pound Bugatti Chiron.

The lower weight also means the Venom F5 doesn’t need tires made from unobtanium to test the upper limits of speed, unlike its Buggy competition. Michelin’s Pilot Sport Cup 2 compound provides the traction for the F5.

Finally, carbon-ceramic brakes haul it all down, while also adding a little lightness along the way.

Prices


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742063

So what’s this bleeding edge of American-bred performance cost? Pricing starts at $1.6 million, and it’s rumored that there will be a variety options on the table for customization. We’re imagining a nicer interior spec and a race-ready spec as just a few examples.

Just 24 individual units are slated for production, with deliveries scheduled for early 2019. Production will take place at Hennessey headquarters in Sealy, Texas.

If you want one, placing an order isn’t a simple matter of filling out a form and sending a check. According to Top Gear, you’ve actually gotta apply for the privilege of owning a Venom F5, and John Hennessey himself is responsible for ultimately choosing who will see one in their garage.

How very Ferrari-esque, Mr. Hennessey. That exclusivity will undoubtedly pique the interest of collectors.

Competition

Bugatti Chiron


How Should We Measure Fast? - image 729361

If the Venom F5 came with crosshairs, the safe bet is they’d be aimed at the Bugatti Chiron. And rightfully so. The Chiron’s predecessor, the Veyron, was arguably the model that originally launched us into the modern age of hypercars, and the Chiron continues that tradition with an 8.0-liter W-16 engine boosted by four turbos to produce upwards of 1,500 horsepower. Properly applied to the pavement by way of a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and Haldex AWD system, the Chiron manages a top speed in excess of 260 mph.

Read the full review here.

Koenigsegg Agera RS


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 619951

The speed freaks from Sweden also have a play in this whole “fastest production car in the world” game, and it’s called the Agera RS. Propelled by a twin-turbo 5.0-liter V-8 producing as much as 1,160 horsepower and 944 pound-feet of torque, this mighty machine manages the 0-to-400 km/h-to-0 run in a record-breaking 36.44 seconds. The question is – can it hold off the shock and awe of Hennessey’s Venom F5?

Read the full review here.

Conclusion


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742061

Hennessey likes to frame the Venom F5 as “America’s Hypercar,” something that’s on par with the best of the best from Bugatti, Ferrari, and McLaren, and on balance, we think that’s a fair characterization. After all, what other U.S.-built, bespoke performance machine can make that claim?

However, Hennessey also likes to characterize itself as an underdog, and while it’s certainly a smaller operation than Bugatti and the Volkswagen Group (according to the company’s LinkedIn page, the employee head count at HPE is between 11 and 50 individuals), Hennessey did partner with big names like Shell and Pennzoil to develop the Venom F5. In reality, we think the firm is a little closer to a Texas-style version of the sub-100 employee Koenigsegg Automotive.

“Some will undoubtedly question whether the Venom F5 even has the right to lay claim to the title of fastest production car on the road. Putting that to one side, this is one of the most exciting cars we’ve seen in quite some time.”

And another thing – when delving into the performance world’s pecking order, technicalities are bound to appear, and some will undoubtedly question whether this limited-series boutique hypercar even has the right to lay claim to the title of fastest production car on the road.

Putting all that to one side, there’s a whole to like about the Venom F5. It looks gorgeous, with all the wild flair and aggression we’d expect from a top competitor in this segment. It’s simple, with a straightforward (and lightweight) approach to making speed. Oh, and the speed – 300 mph is a helluva statement to make, and by all accounts, it’s looking like Hennessey is gonna be the first to say it.

All told, this is one of the most exciting cars we’ve seen in quite some time.

  • Leave it
    • Exclusive and expensive
    • Is the powerband even drivable?
    • Performance numbers not yet verified

History And Background

Like so many others like it, the Hennessey Performance story has its roots in grassroots enthusiasm. Inspired by astronauts and fighter pilots, John Hennessey decided to max out on the ground, racing a Mitsubishi 3000 GT at Pikes Peak in the ‘90s. Around this time, he founded the tuner shop that bears his name as a means to fuel his speed habit.

Over the years, Hennessey Performance Engineering created some truly outrageous automobiles. In the process, the shop built a reputation for churning out modified muscle cars with incredible, over-the-top power numbers, proving their worth by participating in numerous magazine performance shootouts.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742056
“Over the years, Hennessey Performance Engineering built a reputation for churning out over-the-top power numbers. But where do you go from a four-figure Viper?”

But once you make a four-figure Dodge Viper, where do you go next?

The next step was floated almost as a joke – what about stuffing one of those 1,000-horsepower monster motors into something extremely lightweight, like a Lotus? Thus, the Venom GT was born.

Hennessey built 13 of ‘em, challenging the world with a top speed run of 270 mph back in 2014. Although the Guinness Book of World Records did not recognize it as qualifying for the title of world’s fastest production car (the run was only in one direction and a total of 30 units were required for production status), the gauntlet had effectively been thrown.

The F5 is the follow-up to the older Venom GT. The question is – where will it land in the current crop of hypercars?

References


Hennessey Venom GT Spyder Becomes The World's Fastest Convertible - image 672254

Hennessey Venom GT

Lotus Elise


How Should We Measure Fast? - image 729361

Bugatti Chiron


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 619951

Koenigsegg Agera RS

PostHeaderIcon The X2 Brings New DNA to the BMW Lineup

BMW’s lineup is ripe with models ranging from little sedans to sports cars to SUVs in any flavor or power denomination you could want. Now, that lineup gets a little bigger thanks to the addition of the BMW X2 – another coupe-shaped SUV that sits near the bottom of the lineup. It’s actually shorter than the X1 and lower than the X1 but carries the same wheelbase. A new grille design is showcased as well, with the X2 being the first model to feature a kidney grille with the bottom being longer than the top. If you recall they are usually symmetrical or longer on top. Needless to say, the X2 looks a lot like some of the other X-models out there, but the slight differences help to set it apart. Oh, and everything but the entry model even gets full LED headlights.

Inside you get a choice of various materials depending on trim level, and you can even get contrast stitching if you wish. Outside of this the interior is pretty much on par with the rest of the models in BMW’s lineup but can be equipped with a cool ambient lighting that offers up a number of different colors including Lilac and Bronze. If you opt for the panoramic roof, the front portion will open up like a traditional sunroof – that’s something you don’t usually see with glass up top. Of course, unless you’re someone who digs burning diesel, you won’t be going after the X2 when it hits dealers in mid-November since the xDrive20d is the only model that will be available at launch. Later one, an xDrive18d will be available as well as a sdrive version of the 20 and 18 in gasoline form – I guess only diesel is good enough for all-wheel drive.

At the end of the day, BMW will ask you to sign over £33,980 or about $45,022 at current exchange rates. For what it’s worth, you’ll get a model that’s good for 190 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. It can hit 62 mph in 7.7 seconds. And with that said, I want to know what your opinion is on the X2. Personally, it seems a little redundant to me – it’s basically a 1 Series with jacked up suspension and pricing, and is nothing more than a pawn to help BMW continue flooding the SUV and Crossover market. Let us know what you think in the comments section below and check out our full review for even more information on the new X2.

References

BMW X2


The X2 Brings New DNA to the BMW Lineup - image 740765

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW X2.


2017 BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition - image 739625

Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Porsche 718 GTS Unveiled

Porsche just announced new GTS iterations for the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman, offering more power, more standard equipment, and blacked-out exterior trim. The star of the show is the mid-mounted, turbocharged, 2.5-liter flat-four engine, which gets a power boost thanks to a new intake plenum and turbo optimization. Peak output now comes 365 horsepower, a 15-horse increase compared to the existing 718 S. Making the cog swaps is a standard six-speed manual, although a seven-speed PDK automatic is also available. Torque is rated at 317 pound-feet if you get the PDK and 309 pound-feet for the manual. Acceleration to 60 mph takes 3.9 seconds with the PDK, while top speed is rated at 180 mph.

Helping it corner is a standard mechanical rear-differential lock and Porsche Torque Vectoring. The Sport Chrono Package, Porsche Active Suspension Management, and a sport exhaust are also standard.

Aesthetically, the new GTS models get black 20-inch wheels, as well as a tweaked front fascia, tinted lights, black badges and trim, and black tips for the exhaust. Inside, you get a standard chronometer on the dash, as well as standard sport seating with the GTS logo embroidered into the headrests. Alcantara is the material of choice for the upholstery, and can also be found on the steering wheel, center console, and armrests.

Pricing starts at $79,900 for the Cayman and $81,900 for the Boxster, which is about $26,000 more than the standard models. Order books are open now, with deliveries expected for March of next year.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo Unveiled

Porsche first introduced the Panamera in 2009 at the Shanghai Auto Show, and since then, we’ve seen a plethora of models and updates. The second generation arrived just last year, and now, there’s a new flagship iteration dubbed the Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo. Put all those names together, and what you’re left with is a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 mated with an electric motor, offering both rip-snortin’ performance and plug-in hybrid eco friendliness, as the mood may strike you. The electric motor makes 136 horses all by itself, while the V-8 makes 550 horsepower. Working in concert, they produce 680 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque, essentially making this new Panamera one of the most powerful Porsches ever.

Outside, you’ll find active aero like an adjustable roof spoiler, as well as 21-inch wheels. Handling stuff includes the option for rear-axle steering, plus standard spec like Porsche’s branded ceramic brakes, dynamic chassis control, and torque vectoring. Keeping it shiny side up is a three-chamber air suspension system. Meanwhile, the power makes its way to the pavement by way of an eight-speed PDK transmission, as well as an active AWD system. Important numbers look like 3.2 seconds for the 0-to-60 mph run, 11.6 seconds in the quarter mile, and a top speed of 192 mph. Fuel mileage and range will be announced closer to launch. Pricing is set at $188,400. Look for it in dealers next spring, and read on for further details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.

What Should I Expect In The Cabin?


2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo Unveiled - image 733839

Inside is Porsche’s advanced cockpit set-up, as well as a variety of driver assistance tech (adaptive cruise control, etc.). Options include seating for four to five passengers.

And since the Sport Turismo is framed as a wagon, practicality was a definite consideration. As such, the new model gets a big tailgate, low loading floor, and more cargo volume. With the rear seats up, there’s 15 cubic feet of space, while the rear bench can fold in a 40:20:40 split for extra room. Folded all the way down, cargo room expands to 45.7 cubic feet.

What About The Electric Motor? Does It Make This Porsche Green?


2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo Unveiled - image 733837

Maybe not by Prius standards, but framed as a sports car with nearly 700 horsepower, most definitely.

The electric motor is juiced by a lithium-ion battery pack rated at a 14.1-kWh capacity. Plug it into the wall, and it takes 12 hours to reach full charge, while the optional 7.2-kW charger will take just three hours from a 240-volt source. Charge management is controlled via the Porsche Connect app, supported on either smartphones or Apple Watch, which means you can suckle at the teat of the local grid during off-peak hours.

And while Porsche has yet to announce the all-electric range, we’d expect around 30 miles with a full charge, give or take. After that, you’re the burning dino juice.

Conclusion


2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo Unveiled - image 733836

What do you think, dear reader? Does the 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid tickle your fancy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, and stay tuned for our forthcoming full written review.

PostHeaderIcon Volvo XC40

Volvo has been busy revamping its entire lineup. It has recently introduced an all-new XC60, and all-new S90, and an all-new V90. The next model on the list is the XC40 compact SUV that will reside at the bottom of Volvo’s SUV lineup and provide an entry-level and affordable option for those that don’t need the extra space afforded by the larger XC60 and XC90. The XC40 has been on the cards for a while, with spy shots surfacing as early as 2015 and Volvo has finally unveiled its competitor for the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Volvo’s first ever premium compact SUV, the new XC40 is also the company’s first model to be built on the company’s all-new CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform. Inspired by the bigger XC90 inside and out, the mini SUV features much of the advanced connectivity, entertainment, and safety technology Volvo’s latest vehicles. It is also powered by Volvo’s efficient Drive-E engines and is offered with front- or all-wheel drive. All told, it is indeed a more affordable proposition for drivers who need the higher ride of an SUV, but can do without the large exterior dimensions. Let’s see what it brings to the table in the review below

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo XC40.

Exterior

“The XC40 boasts the company's latest design language, which debuted on the XC90 SUV some years ago”

Not surprisingly, the XC40 boasts the company’s latest design language, which debuted on the XC90 SUV some years ago. The crossover’s front fascia looks a bit like a shrunken version of the XC90, mostly due to the headlamps with “Thor’s hammer” LED lights and the large grille in the middle. However, the bumper was reshaped so the XC40 gets its own unique look.

The two vehicles are further set apart on the sides. Obviously smaller, the XC40 also features less rugged looking side skirts and is a bit more stylish thanks to the big dent in the door sections. While the roof still sports that Volvo-specific, utilitarian look, the quarter windows become smaller toward the D-pillars, which give the XC40 a somewhat sportier appearance.


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733062

“Volvo designed a cleaner looking tailgate and moved the license plate recess into the bumper”

Around back, the XC40 employs the same taillight design with the upper arm climbing up the pillars toward the roof spoiler. That’s a nice touch and does a good job at integrating the XC40 in the company’s current SUV line. But similarities with the bigger XC90 end here. For this crossover, Volvo designed a cleaner looking tailgate and moved the license plate recess into the bumper. The bumper itself is almost featureless, with only the thin lip at the bottom and the red light strips disturbing the black apron.

Overall, the XC40 is quite appealing to look at. And while it’s not as muscular as the Mercedes-Benz GLA, it’s not as boring as the Audi Q3 either. I think it’s right, featuring the optimum amount of organic lines and angular shapes.


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733080
“Overall, the XC40 is quite appealing to look at”

Moving over to equipment, the base Momentum trim comes with LED headlamps and 18-inch alloy wheels in white and black. Options include white roof and mirror caps, as well as larger wheels, up to 21 inches in size. Opt for the R-Design model and you get gloss black front grille and lower bumper sections, black roof and door mirrors, dual integrated exhaust pipes, and 18-inch diamond-cut wheels. Move higher in the lineup and the Inscription trim adds chrome exterior highlights for a more luxurious look.

Finally, there’s a higher spec Pro package that adds active bending headlamps with adaptive shadow technology that blocks out part of beam to avoid dazzling vehicles in front across the board. The R-Design Pro gets 20-inch alloy wheels, while Inscription Pro gets a bespoke set of 19-inch wheels.

Interior


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733045
“The 12.3-inch, digital instrument cluster is standard”

Having seen Volvo’s latest interior designs, I was expecting the XC40 to get a pretty spectacular layout for this niche. And the Swedish carmaker didn’t disappoint. Once again, it’s based on the larger XC90, but everything is obviously smaller and there are a few unique touches.

While the dashboard isn’t as massive as the XC90’s, the center console is pretty wide and the center stack houses a big, tablet-like screen that measures nine inches. The slim, vertical A/C vents are a nice touch and go well with the center display and the trim on the passenger side dash. The 12.3-inch, digital instrument cluster is standard.

“Upgrade to the R-Design model and you get leather and nubuck upholstery”

The base Momentum model doesn’t get fancy materials — the standard upholstery is textile and vinyl — but there’s a lot of standard equipment to talk about. The infotainment system comes with voice-activated control, sat-nav, and real-time traffic information, and you also get three USB sockets and the Volvo On Call smartphone app with emergency assistance. The latter automatically alerts emergency services if your car is involved in an accident, and uses the car’s inbuilt GPS to direct them to your precise location.

Upgrade to the R-Design model and you get leather and nubuck upholstery, front seat cushions, perforated leather steering wheel and gear knob, and aluminum dashboard inlays. The Inscription trim feature full leather upholstery and adds a power-operated tailgate, front parking sensors, powered driver’s seat, and driftwood inlays. Select the automatic transmission and you also get the Orrefors crystal gear lever seen in the XC90.

“An optional Xenium package is available across the range”

Add the Pro package to the base trim and the XC40 gets a power driver seat, heated front seats, heated windscreen. The Incription Pro model receives a powered passenger seat.

An optional Xenium package is available across the range and brings a powered tilt and slide panoramic glass sunroof, a 360-degree surround view parking camera system, and Park Assist Pilot, which includes automatic parallel and 90- degree parking.

Other options include wireless mobile phone charging, Smartphone Integration -– which includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay -– and a Harman Kardon sound system that combines 13 speakers, advanced sound-processing software, and an output of 1,200 watts.

Drivetrain

“The gasoline lineup will include the T3, T4, and the T5 four-cylinder engines”

It’s no longer a mystery that Volvo is replacing every single engine with its new line of 2.0-liter, four-cylinder powerplants. Introduced in the XC90 and spread to the S90 and V90, among other offerings, the four-bangers have found their way into the XC40 as well.

Globally, the gasoline lineup will include the T3, which rated at 156 horsepower, the T4 that’s good for 190 horses, and the T5, rated at a healthy 247 horsepower. The base engine is available exclusively with front-wheel drive, while the T4 and T5 feature an AWD system and an automatic gearbox.


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733073
“Other powertrains will be offered later in the XC40's lifecycle”

Two diesel are also offered. The D3 is rated at 150 horsepower, while the D4 cranks out 190 horses. The entry-level oil burner is available with either front- or all-while drive, while the D4 is an AWD model only. Of course, the latter is also fitted with the automatic transmission as standard.

Volvo says that other powertrains will be offered later in the XC40’s lifecycle. Fingers crossed that the powerful T8 hybrid is also on the list.

Full specs aren’t yet available, but the Swedish company did say that the R-Design model features a sports suspension. In the U.S., the XC40 will debut with the T5 and AWD system only, but a T4 model with front-wheel drive will be added in the summer of 2018.

Prices


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733064

Pricing for the XC40 will start from $33,200, for which you will get the Momentum trim with the T4 drivetrain. Opt for the T5 with all-wheel drive and the sticker jumps to $35,200.

In the United Kingdom, the gasoline range begins from £27,905 for the T3 model with FWD and manual and goes up to £40,355 for the T5 AWD First Edition with the automatic gearbox. The diesel range starts from £28,965 for the D3 FWD with the manual transmission, but the range-topping, D4 AWD First Edition with the automatic will set you back £39,305 before options.

But by far the most interesting detail about purchasing a new XC40 is Volvo’s new “Care by Volvo” program. Described as an all-inclusive, negotiation-free option that will be offered alongside traditional purchase and lease choices, “Care by Volvo” is a new kind of leasing with a national, flat-rate monthly fee, combined with the opportunity to upgrade to a new car as early as 12 months. The program includes almost everything needed to own and operate a car such as maintenance, insurance, wear and tear items, and protection services. According to Volvo, it makes owning a car as easy as buying a mobile phone.

Safety


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733033

Volvos have always been at the forefront of their respective segments in terms of safety, and the XC40 is no exception from this rule. On top of the usual suite of airbags for front and rear passengers, it’s also equipped with City Safety, an automatic emergency braking system that can detect pedestrians, cyclists, and large animals, and Oncoming Lane Mitigation, which warns if you move out of your lane and provides steering assistance if you do.

The XC40 can also be equipped with Pilot Assist, Volvo’s semi-autonomous drive feature. The system assists with the steering at speeds of up to 80 mph and takes care of the acceleration and braking to keep the car within lane markings and at the desired speed or distance from any vehicle in front.

Competition

BMW X1


2016 BMW X1 - image 632474

2016 BMW X1 - image 632473

Redesigned for the 2016 model year, the X1 is one of the most popular crossovers in this niche. And that’s not surprising, as the German mini SUV combines the sporty looks of the X family with the modern looks of BMW cars and a range of powerful, yet fuel efficient drivetrains. While the European market gets a wide selection of 1.5-liter three-cylinder and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines working on either gasoline or diesel, U.S. consumers are restricted to only the range-topping model. Specifically, the North American X1 comes with a twin-turbo four-banger rated at 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque under the hood, which provides a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph. Pricing starts from $33,900.

Read our full review of the BMW X1.

Mercedes-Benz GLA


2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA - image 700316

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA - image 700320

The GLA is the youngest nameplate in this comparison, having been launch in 2013. Essentially a perched-up A-Class, the GLA is came as Merc’s answer to the all popular X1. Much like the Bimmer, the GLA is available with a wider range of power plants in Europe, where the 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter gasoline engine are joined by 1.5-liter and 2.1-liter diesels. However, only the GLA 250 is offered in the U.S. (outside the AMG-prepped model, that is!), sporting a 2.0-liter four-banger rated at 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of twist. Both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive versions are available. Pricing starts from $33,400.

Read our full review of the Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Audi Q3


2017 - 2018 Audi Q3 - image 688433

2017 - 2018 Audi Q3 - image 688431

The Audi Q3 is one of the company’s newest nameplates and arrives in a few flavors in the U.S., with the key competitor to the XC40 being the base model. In this trim, the Q3 comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that pumps out 200 horses and 207 pound-feet of torque. This engine delivers power to the front wheels as standard, and gets the small SUV to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. Upgrading to Quattro all-wheel-drive pushes the sprint time closer to eight seconds. Audi typically runs about the same pricing scheme as Volvo, which may be to the XC40’s advantage given the extra standard features. The Q3 retails from $32,900 in its base trim, while the Premium Plus model goes for $35,800.

Read our full review of the Audi Q3.

Conclusion

The compact luxury SUV realm just keeps on growing, but the addition of the XC40 seems more like hitting a key niche as opposed to making sure it keeps up with its competitors. With the XC90 the XC60 in place, a perched hatchback like the XC40 was the logical next step. And with the success of the XC90 still recent, now is the time for Volvo to strike in this segment. If sales of the XC90 are any indication, the new XC40 won’t steal many customers from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi anytime soon, but its exterior design, interior styling, and rich technology package provide a fresh proposition in a market that doesn’t offer any surprises. Now, if only Volvo would commit to creating a Polestar version to take on the RS Q3 and the GLA45 AMG.

  • Leave it
    • No Polestar model caught testing yet
    • Does the world need more lifted all-wheel-drive hatchbacks?

References

Volvo XC60


2018 Volvo XC60 - image 708301

Read our full review on the Volvo XC60.

Volvo XC90


2016 Volvo XC90 - image 565977

Read our full review on the Volvo XC90.

Update History

Updated 02/22/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming XC40 out for a new testing session, this time during cold winter conditions somewhere in Sweeden.

Updated 10/22/2015: Our spy photographers caught the first mule of the future XC40 out for a testing session. The XC40 will be among the first cars to be built on the company’s new CMA platform and comes to attack smaller SUVs from Audi and BMW.

Updated 10/14/2015: In a recent interview with Automotive News, Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson confirmed that the company’s new compact SUV will be unveiled sometime in 2018. The model will be developed on the company’s new compact modular architecture (CMA) that will also be used for the next generation V40 and V40 Cross Country starting 2019.

Updated 02/23/2015: British magazine AutoCar had the chance to talk with Volvo’s CEO Hakan Samuelsson and learned a series of new details on the upcoming
XC40. Continue reading to find out when will you be able to drive the new crossover.

Spy Shots

May 23, 2017 – Volvo XC40 Caught in the Wild Yet Again

February 22, 2017 – Volvo XC40 Caught Testing Once Again

October 22, 2015 – first Volvo XC40 mule caught testing

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show – Best In Show

Auto show season is very much upon us, kicking off in Germany with the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. This bi-annual event (passenger cars are presented during odd-numbered years and commercial vehicles during even-numbered years) traditionally brings out the good stuff, and this year was no different, with a variety of exciting, innovative, and highly desirable new rides making headlines across numerous segments.

Of course, it goes without saying that we here at TopSpeed.com are, like any other gear head, naturally inclined to seek out those things that are fast and sexy, and as such, there were a few obvious picks going on this list. If you’ve been paying attention to the news coming out of Frankfurt, you know that should include the latest hybrid hypercar from Mercedes, Bimmer’s new Le Mans race machine, and a particular Prancing Horse as well. To these obvious picks, we added a concept and even a slick SUV, plus a few other standouts. Read on for our picks of the best from Frankfurt, and feel free to post your additions and/or edits in the comments section below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Best In Show debuts from the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

PostHeaderIcon The New 2018 Nissan Leaf Might Be The Best Replacement for the VW TDI

Last night Nissan finally unveiled the all-new 2018 Leaf, and it’s a massive improvement over the old car. The biggest news for EV fans will be the new 150-mile range. That’s nearly double what the original Leaf launched with. It’s even easier on your wallet with a starting price under $30,000, making it nearly $700 cheaper than the current model. But the best improvement is the all-new electric motor. The old car made a useable, but unimpressive 107 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque. But the new 2018 car makes 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, and that is more amazing than you realize.

Let us put those power numbers into perspective. The Volkswagen 2.0L TDI engine, the best “performance” fuel-economy engine on the market before the Dieselgate scandal destroyed everything, produces 150 horsepower and 238 pounds of twist.

Nissan just made a viable alternative to scorned TDI buyers.

True, the TDI had some other advantages like a massive 600+ mile range before needing to be refueled, but on a pure day-to-day performance perspective, the new Leaf might work. If you bought a TDI to make your daily commute, and you still want something that is good for the environment while providing the same level of thrust, maybe you should call your Nissan Dealer.

Yes, we do know that other alternatives like the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 have even more power and performance, but those cars also have much higher price tags. We aren’t sure about you, but we feel like people buying $26k Volkswagen’s might not be able to afford the $38,000 asking price of a Bolt.

But what do you guys think? Is the new Nissan Leaf good enough to be a real competitor in the market now? And if you are a former TDI owner, please let us now, and be sure to give us your thoughts on this new car.

PostHeaderIcon Jaguar XJR575

The Jaguar XJ has been around since 1968 and has been Jaguar’s prized flagship for the last 47 years. Over the years, it has seen three generational shifts, if you don’t count the various series’ produced within each generation. The current and fourth generation has been around since 2009, so it’s getting a little long in the tooth. It still looks good, though, and is fairly modern, with an update taking place for 2017 that brought some new technology, a revised exterior look, and a number of new trim levels to choose from. Jaguar has chosen to forgo the generational shift just yet, but for 2018, the XJ does get a new update in the form of a brand new trim level that brings a 5.0-liter V-8 that’s good for 567 horsepower and 516 pound-feet – enough to get the new XJR575 up to its top speed of 186 mph in just 44 seconds while the sprint to 60 mph takes just 4.4 seconds, making the XJR575 the fasted and most powerful road-going production Jaguar to date.

Along with the new trim level, the XJ line also gets some new intelligent safety features and technology that includes a 10-inch touchscreen display, new infotainment operating system, forward traffic detection, lane keep assist, autonomous emergency braking, and drive condition monitoring. That seems like a lot of new stuff to infuse into a model that’s creeping up on 10 years old, but you’ve got to hand it to Jaguar for designing a model that’s capable of lasting this long and upgradeable enough to remain relevant in a constantly evolving market. So, with that said, let’s dive on in and take a good look and Jaguar’s newest, fastest, and best XJ model to date.

Update 9/6/2017: Jaguar has decided to offer the XJR575 here in the U.S. and it starts out at $122,400. But, there’s quite a few options to choose from and some decisions to make, so check out the pricing section below to learn all about those and see what a fully-speced XJR575 will cost you outside of a divorce, of course.

PostHeaderIcon Honda Civic Type R – Driven

Performance vehicles are pushing the envelope beyond the imagination these days. Insane horsepower numbers and bleeding-edge technology contribute to ridiculous lap times and sub-four-second sprints to 60 mph. But more often than not, these all-out performance machines – think Chevrolet Corvette, Jaguar F-Type, and Porsche Cayman – are too compromised for daily living and cost a significant chunk of change. But imagine combining the impressive performance of a two-seater coupe with the functionality of a five-door hatchback and a reasonable price. That’s exactly what that hot hatch segment does. And now for the 2017 model year, Honda has launched its all-new Civic Type R. What’s more, Honda is bringing it to America for the first time.

Based on the new 10th-generation Honda Civic, the new Type R adds power, a sophisticated suspension system, and functional aero to the family-friendly Civic hatchback. It’s like having cake and eating it, too. Now, the Civic Type R has some stiff competition. The 350-horsepower Ford Focus RS is the reigning performance king and the Volkswagen Golf R is the grown-up’s idea of a performance-minded hatchback. And if having a hatchback isn’t a priority but hitting the rally circuit is, there’s always the Subaru WRX STI. The Civic Type R sort of carves its own niche in the segment with an outlandish design, heavily bolstered front buckets, and the lowest starting price of the bunch, but mixes it with only 306 horsepower and the lack of all-wheel drive. To find out how the Civic Type R recipe tastes, Honda flew me to Washington State for time on a private racetrack and scenic drives near the Olympic National Forest. Here’s what I found.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

PostHeaderIcon Bentley’s Rotating Display in the Continental GT Will have you Feeling Like James Bond!

The third-generation Bentley Continental broke cover the other day with a brand-new design and a ton of cool features. Inspired by the cool EXP 10 Speed 6 concept on the outside and powered by a new W-12 engine that cranks out more power than most Ferrari-built V-8s and V-12s, the new Continental GT also boasts a new interior packed with a huge amount of luxury features and technology. But, while the new Koa wood veneer and the “diamond-in-diamond” upholstery are pretty impressive, it’s the Rotating Display that blew me away.

While I’m not a big fan of fancy gadgets, I must admit that the Rotating Display is one of the main reasons why I’ve fallen in love with the new Conti GT. Let’s face it, it’s the kind of feature you’d find in one of James Bond’s car, along with machine guns hidden behind the headlamps. And known James’ weakness for British cars, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the grand tourer in the next film. So why am I so excited it about this? Well, I like clean dashboards with massive wood veneers as much as I enjoy high-resolution screens. Having both was impossible until now, so it’s like a dream come true.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Bentley Unveils 2018 Continental GT

Bentley just dropped a ton of details on the new 2018 Continental GT ahead of its debut in Frankfurt next month. Now entering its third generation, the Continental GT promises high-end grand tourer speed and comfort, plus unmistakable British style. Outside, the design takes cues from the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, with lightweight aluminum body panels and longer, lower dimensions. In back, you’ll find reshaped taillights, plus LED Matrix lighting. 21-inch wheels are standard, while 22-inchers are available. Inside is the new Bentley Rotating Display, offering both a 12.3-inch touchscreen and three analog dials. Up to four passengers get to enjoy a “diamond in diamond” design for the leather upholstery, while chrome trim and several acres of wood add extra gloss. A 10-speaker stereo comes as standard, while an 18-speaker system is an available option.

So it’s nice to sit in and look at. What about driving it? Under the muscular hoodline is a 6.0-liter W-12 engine producing 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Putting it to the ground is a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission and Active AWD system, helping it reach 62 mph in 3.7 seconds and top out at 207 mph. Larger brakes (up to 16.5 inches in front) throw the anchor, while a Dynamic Ride System enhances both handling prowess and passenger comfort as needed. The engine was also moved further back in the chassis for optimized weight distribution. Look for the 2018 Bentley Continental GT to debut next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

PostHeaderIcon The Third-Gen Porsche Cayenne Makes a Symphonious Debut in Stuttgart

A huge symphony projected onto a massive display, and a large number of dancers in white robes set the mood for the third-gen Porsche Cayenne to roll onto the stage for its first official outing at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. When you think of a new-gen model making its debut, you expect to see something quite different, but with the Cayenne, it was more about honing perfection instead of trying to reinvent the model. And, while some may have their reservations about it (perhaps even me included,) beauty runs much deeper than the skin on this baby. First off, the body is now all aluminum from front to rear (minus a few pieces of plastic cladding, of course) which contributed to a weight loss of around 65 kilo or 143.3 pounds. That’s the weight of a small human, and when you add in the fact that it gets more power, there’s no doubt about it, the new Cayenne has all that sports car DNA Porsche was aiming for.
How did it make this possible? Well, I’m glad you asked.

For starters, a new rear axle steering system is standard equipment for better maneuverability while a three-chamber suspension system keeps the ride on point. What’s more important, however, is the power upgrades that contribute to better performance. The base model gets a 3.0-liter that’s good for 340 horsepower, a 40-pony improvement, and 331 pound-feet of torque. The Cayenne S, which gets the 2.9-liter V-6, will deliver a tasty 440 horsepower (20 extra ponies) and 405 pound-feet of twist. They can hit 62 mph in 6.2 and 5.2 seconds, respectively. If you opt for the Sport Chrono package, those figures drop to 5.9 and 4.9 seconds. Maximum speed for both models is pegged at 164 mph. As for the interior, there are some nice changes in play as well, including better digitization of the instrument cluster (all but the central analog gauge) and a large, 12.3-inch touchscreen display in the center stack. New HVAC vents help to provide a fresh look while the typical support handles on the doors and console have been moved forward a bit. Cargo capacity has increased to 27.19 cubic-feet, an improvement of 3.53 cubic-feet over the outgoing model. This can be attributed to its slightly longer stance, which was increased by nearly 2.5 inches. Finally, and arguably most important for the interior, is the new button panel on the center console. Where there were once analog buttons clustered together now sits a glass touch screen with lots of digital buttons. It’s a nice touch, to say the least.

And there you have it. There are of course other little details to talk about, but we’ll cover that in our full review, which will be updated in the next 24 hours. For now, you can rest your mind knowing that the third-gen Cayenne starts out in Germany from €74,828 while the Cayenne S goes for €91,964, both including VAT. Those figures convert to $85,590 and $110,106, respectively. The third-gen Cayenne isn’t available for the U.S. quite yet, but if you’re over there in Germany, you can stop by your local dealer and place your order now.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Volvo S60 and V60 Get Carbon Fiber Enhancements From Polestar

Of the models in Volvo’s automotive lineup, the S60 and V60 are the two that have yet to adopt the Swedish automaker’s design language. Don’t worry though because that’s coming in the next few years. In the meantime, the two models are getting a nice treat for the 2018MY, all thanks to some new aerodynamic accessories provided by Polestar.

The kit itself covers plenty of real estate on both the S60 and V60 and was designed to help enhance the sedan and wagon’s performance and handling credentials. It covers upgrades on both the exterior and interior of the two models, with the exterior of each model promised to receive improvements in downforce by as much as 30 percent. There are no power upgrades, though, so don’t expect anything on that front. Still, there’s plenty of new bits and pieces to get excited about, especially for those who are looking into either the S60 or the V60 as their new automotive purchase. Best hurry though in making up your mind because Volvo is limiting production of the Polestar aerodynamic package to just 1,500 units. Should you decide to hold off until the next-generation models for both the S60 and V60 arrive, you’re going to have to wait at least another year for both cars to adopt Volvo’s current design looks. Either way, it’s not a bad idea to go in either direction.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s

BMW just dropped details on the revamped i3 ahead of its official debut in September. Updates include a new look and a wider stance, breaking a bit from the upright boxy look used before. Full LED headlights keep the road lit, while Melbourne Red Metallic and Imperial Blue Metallic were added to the exterior paint options. Inside is the iDrive 6 infotainment platform, while Giga Brown Natural Leather and Carum Spice Grey Cloth can be had for the upholstery. A full suite of safety systems keeps it appropriately techy.

Underneath is a lithium-ion battery and electric motor, which together produce as much as 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque through a single-speed transmission. The sprint from 0-to-60 mph takes 7.2 seconds, with top speed clocked at 93 mph. If you’re looking for more go, the new i3s might fit the bill. Outside, the styling gets a bit more aggressive, with 20-inch wheels and a lower, stiffer suspension. More importantly, the s gets additional electric ponies – up to 184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque total. Flat out, the i3s can hit 60 mph in 6.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 100 mph. Like the regular i3, the i3s can also come equipped with a two-cylinder range extender if desired, adding almost 90 miles thanks to gasoline. Look for the i3 and i3s to debut in the metal at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Expect exact pricing and further details at that time.

PostHeaderIcon BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s

BMW just dropped details on the revamped i3 ahead of its official debut in September. Updates include a new look and a wider stance, breaking a bit from the upright boxy look used before. Full LED headlights keep the road lit, while Melbourne Red Metallic and Imperial Blue Metallic were added to the exterior paint options. Inside is the iDrive 6 infotainment platform, while Giga Brown Natural Leather and Carum Spice Grey Cloth can be had for the upholstery. A full suite of safety systems keeps it appropriately techy.

Underneath is a lithium-ion battery and electric motor, which together produce as much as 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque through a single-speed transmission. The sprint from 0-to-60 mph takes 7.2 seconds, with top speed clocked at 93 mph. If you’re looking for more go, the new i3s might fit the bill. Outside, the styling gets a bit more aggressive, with 20-inch wheels and a lower, stiffer suspension. More importantly, the s gets additional electric ponies – up to 184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque total. Flat out, the i3s can hit 60 mph in 6.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 100 mph. Like the regular i3, the i3s can also come equipped with a two-cylinder range extender if desired, adding almost 90 miles thanks to gasoline. Look for the i3 and i3s to debut in the metal at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Expect exact pricing and further details at that time.

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