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Archive for the ‘sedan’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Jason Day Sinks Hole-in-One, Wins A BMW M760i, And Donates it To Charity

Professional golfer Jason Day is one of the best golfers in the world today. He’s currently ranked sixth in the world rankings and is the owner of one golf major (the 2015 PGA Championship). He’s also an all-around good guy who won a BMW M760i over the weekend after sinking a hole-in-one on the 17th hole during his second round at the 2017 BMW Championships. The achievement itself is incredible, but Day put a nice cherry on it by actually donating the car he had just won to the Evans Scholars Foundation, which will in turn auction it to raise funds for college scholarships among caddies.

To make this story even better, BMW is throwing in another $100,000 to the foundation to commemorate Day’s achievement. The Australian golfer ultimately finished fourth in the tournament, seven strokes behind winner Marc Leishman. He may not have gotten the result he wanted, but you could argue that his hole-in-one was the most important hole of the tournament because of the circumstances surrounding it. He wins an M760i, donates it to charity so it can auction the luxury sedan, and then Bimmer adds another $100,000 donation to cap it off. There are a lot of winners in this story, not the least of which is the person who could end up with the M760i. Remember, the luxury sedan is probably the closest thing BMW has to a full-fledged flagship. It features the automaker’s newest and most important technologies, including a massive 6.6-liter V-12 engine that produces 601 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. All that power is challenged to the sedan’s xDrive AWD system courtesy of an eight-speed automatic transmission, which in turn allows it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds before hitting an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept

With the EV war in full swing and every manufacturer trying to prove their dominance in this small but growing segment, it came as no surprise that there were plenty of EV and future concepts display at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show. One such concept was the BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept – a model that previews a production model that will slot between the BMW i3 and BMW i8, and most likely the BMW i5 that we thought for sure was coming to Frankfurt this year. Whether or not this thing is anywhere near being ready for a shift into production remains to be seen, it has a pretty wild exterior design but, as a sedan, it will slot in nicely below the i8. It features a futuristic-like exterior design, along with an all-electric drivetrain.

As of now, details about this specific concept are scant at best. BMW hasn’t even enlightened us with any information about the interior and has given us very little about the drivetrain itself, so this is pretty much a best guess scenario. It’s also one of the 12 promised, pure-electric models that will grace Bimmer’s lineup by 2025 and stand next to another 13 electrified/hybrid vehicles. With that said, it’s time to take a good look at the latest vision concept and see what we might be able to expect from the mysterious and evasive i5 or maybe even an i7 since the i5 could end up being an SUV according to a report back in 2016. So, there are a lot of unknowns here, but that just means we can have fun with it. Let’s get to it.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept.

PostHeaderIcon Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special Goes Sub-7 Minutes At The ‘Ring: Video

While some have protested that a fast Nurburgring lap time is inconsequential in the grand scope of performance standards, it remains more or less the benchmark. And for good reason – with a mix of high-speed and low-speed corners, huge elevation changes, and plenty of opportunities to get it completely wrong, the Nurburgring is one of the most technically challenging and dangerous race tracks in the world. But that didn’t stop Subaru from building a race-ready WRX STI specifically for domination at this iconic track, and now, we’ve got some onboard footage of its record breaking run from the driver’s perspective, complete with data.

Subaru announced that it broke the ‘Ring record for sedans a few months back, besting the previous record set by the Porsche Panamera Turbo by a whopping 41 seconds. However, this is no ordinary STI – as you can see in the video, the interior is completely gutted with just a single race bucket, digital gauges, and a roll cage in place to keep it safe. Making the go is 2.0-liter turbo boxer four-cylinder at full WRC-spec, pumping out in excess of 600 horsepower. So it’s not exactly production status, but either way, watching this thing attack the ‘Ring from the hot seat is a delight all the same.

PostHeaderIcon Borgward Isabella Concept

There was a lot of hype surrounding the Borgward Isabella Concept ahead of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. I even got a little caught up in the buzz. It’s a good thing, then, that Borgward delivered in spades on its promise to shake up Frankfurt with the Isabella Concept because the car is absolutely stunning – never mind that Borgward didn’t bring any information on the car’s powertrain behind the hints of it going electric in the event it hits production. I was prepared for that because the company made it clear that the Isabella Concept would be a design exercise more than anything else. And as far as that was concerned, the company passed its Frankfurt test with a firework of exploding colors.

As far as concepts go, this is the kind that you wish had a production future with no changes made to it. I know that’s asking a little too much given how concepts go in the first place, but it’s a credit to Borgward’s design team that it could create a concept study like the Isabella and have people clamoring for it to come to life. At the very least, the Isabella marks a triumphant return to the Western auto scene for Borgward. It’s been gone for over 50 years and while it has returned by way of the arrivals of the BX5 crossover and the BX7 SUV in the Chinese market, the Isabella Concept is the first real indication that Borgward is making some noise once again. I don’t mind it one bit. I may not have been alive when the old Borgward went under, but I sure am looking forward to seeing what the new Borgward is capable of moving forward.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Borgward Isabella Concept

PostHeaderIcon Renault Symbioz Is Like A Mobile Room

It seems like you could throw a stone in any direction at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show and you’d end up hitting some kind of autonomous, all-electric concept car. Renault is contributing to that with something it’s calling the Symbioz, but unlike other concepts, this Renault is taking a more… “holistic” approach. The Symbioz name appears to be a deliberate misspelling of symbiosis, and as such, it moves beyond the idea of a car as a standalone object to also encompasses the home where it’s parked. Renault even went so far as to place the concept inside a mock-up home at the auto show to display how “fully connected” it is to its environment. Framed as something you might see by the year 2030, the Symbioz gets the usual electric motivation and autonomous capability, but in addition, the interior was crafted to feel like a home, and indeed, acts as a modular and mobile room when parked, connecting with its “parent” house in a number of ways.

“No longer can we think of car design in isolation from the ecosystem surrounding us, or the evolution of major changes like electric energy use, connected and autonomous drive technologies that influence our lives as we move from place to place,” says Laurens van der Acker, Senior Vice President of Corporate Design. To that end, Renault tapped a variety of “planners, designers and engineers, academics and architects, startups and sociologues” to create this unique concept.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Symbioz concept.

PostHeaderIcon The Mercedes S-Class Family Grows with the Addition of the S 560 e Plug-in Hybrid

When the W222, sixth-gen Mercedes S-Class came to the market in 2013, it sat in a niche that was completely void of any real competition. But, after just a few years that changed, with long-time rival BMW introducing the new 7 Series and GM’s luxury division, Cadillac, introducing the full-size CT6 to the market. The S-Class was already competitive enough to hold its own in the full-size luxury segment and was even praised for its superior ride quality, seemingly effortless acceleration, and all of that fancy tech that brought it one step closer to being a true-to-life spaceship on wheels. With the new E-Class coming before this mid-cycle update, Merc had a lot of new tech on its hands, and you certainly can’t have a lesser model sporting better features, so this was the icing on the cake and triggered Mercedes to revamp the S-Class in time for 2018. Now that we’re approaching the holiday season and the new year, Mercedes saw fit to introduce the newest member of the S-Class family: The S 560 e – a plug-in hybrid that promises to be a huge improvement over the outgoing model.

So, now that we’re looking at the facelifted S-Class hybrid, it’s important to note that it also comes with a new name. Previously known as the S550 Plug-in Hybrid, the 2018 model will now go by the nomenclature of S560 e Plug-in Hybrid. Highlights of the facelifted model include an increase in system output of more than 50 horsepower, increased all-electric range thanks to a revised battery, relocated electric components, and increased luggage room in the rear. An ECO assist feature will help you drive more efficiently, while pre-entry climate control will have the temperature just right before you even sit down inside the vehicle. I guess that’s pretty commendable and right in line with what you should expect for a car of this stature. With that said, let’s take a closer look at what kind of improvements the revised hybrid brings to the market. Something tells me, you might want to consider trading in that old plug-in for a new one, but we’ll see.

PostHeaderIcon Audi Looks To Our Autonomous EV Future With Aicon Concept

Auto show season is ramping up, with the Frankfurt Motor Show kicking things off with its bi-annual look at the latest and greatest in the world of passenger cars. Per tradition, the big makes are bringing out the concepts to wow crowds and offer a glimpse at possible features for upcoming production models. Obviously, all-electric powertrains and self-driving capability are hot topics these days, and Audi is hitting both with its latest Aicon design study. Offering high-end “door-to-door” transportation, Audi frames the Aicon as “… an all-rounder well prepared for its primary task: to offer a maximum of comfort, communications technology and freedom for its occupants during a long journey.” That means lots of space inside, with no inputs required from the any of the humans on board. Just sit down, sit back, and relax as the Aicon whisks you off to your destination of choice.

The four-door looks the part, and its possible we’ll see some of its styling elements carried over into future production models. The Aicon is also big, rocking exterior dimensions that include a length of nearly 18 feet, a width of nearly 7 feet wide, and a height of nearly 5 feet, plus a 11.4-foot wheelbase. That makes the Aicon nearly 10 inches longer than the current A8, while the 26-inch wheels enhance the sense of bigness as well. But there’s a whole lot more to this thing than just its size, so read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Aicon Concept.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Comes Through for its Customers as they Scramble to get out of Harm’s Way

Now, there’s no denying that after Hurricane Harvey kicked the hell out of Texas, it was a ridiculous for Mother Nature to rape all of Florida too, but sure enough, it happened anyway. Originally deemed the most powerful storm ever recorded, Irma was larger than the state of Florida itself and has left a path of destruction as it made its way from the Atlantic toward the sunshine state. It decimated a few smaller islands and kicked Cuba’s ass a bit too before crossing directly over the Florida Keys and wrecking the West coast of the Florida peninsula. As Irma made its deadly approach toward the land of oranges, evacuation orders were issued and panic set in – not so much so that looters didn’t take their chances, of course, but we’ll leave that story for another time. In the end, the last few days before Irma made landfall in Florida were chaotic, to say the least.

Air traffic was a nightmare, leaving us to question how air traffic control even managed to prevent disaster, and the highways were jammed up like Satan himself was birthing from the bowels of the earth. Gas prices skyrocketed, and so did the price of bottled water as everyone tried to take advantage of the situation, claiming supply and demand as the reasoning for price gouging. Meanwhile, Tesla took a different approach and helped out its customers as they struggled to evacuate.

So, while some local businesses showed their ugly side by hiking prices like the apocalypse was coming, Tesla decided it would remove the range limiter on its lesser Model S and Model X vehicles in Florida, effectively giving owners an extra 30 to 40 miles, according to Electrek. And, it was all thanks to one owner who reached out to Tesla saying he needed just an extra 30 miles to get out of his mandatory evacuation zone. So, once Tesla heard from this customer, it decided that other Tesla owners might need the same, and temporarily unlocked the extra range via an over-the-air update. The update was effective on all 60D models of the Model S and X, which were sold with 75 kWh batteries that were limited with the option to unlock their full potential at a later time – something that would cost owners between $4,500 and $9,000 depending on the vehicle and time of the update. Keep in mind that this isn’t a permanent upgrade, and it will expire, but it certainly served an important purpose and has proven that not all automakers are greedy and self-absorbed. Keep reading to learn more.

PostHeaderIcon BMW Individual M760Li Inspired By Nautor’s Swan

For those fortunate enough to enjoy it, the world of yachting seems like a fantastic place to spend some time. Deep, blue water below, a bright, warm sun above, and a cool breeze in between – sounds pleasant, no? It’s this sort of lifestyle that Bimmer is aiming to capture with its latest one-off, the BMW Individual M760Li Inspired By Nautor’s Swan. Cue the Bossa Nova background music. In case you were unaware, Nautor’s Swan is a Finnish-based producer of luxury sailing yachts originally founded in 1966. BMW has partnered with Nautor’s Swan in the past, such as at regattas like the Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, and with BMW celebrating a quarter century of its Individual customization program, this one-off model inspired by the world of yachting seems like the right fit.

Standout features include teak paneling for the interior, plus a unique color finish and further boating themes. And since it’s based on the BMW M760Li xDrive V12 Excellence, this four-door has plenty of performance potential as well. Interested? Then navigate your way past the jump to check out the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW Individual M760Li Inspired by Nautor’s Swan.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-AMG E63 Brabus 700

Days after introducing the new Brabus Rocket 900 for the AMG S 65 Cabriolet, Brabus is getting into the tuning spirit with yet another aftermarket program, this time for the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S. This new kit doesn’t exactly approach the insane levels of the Rocket 900, but make no mistake, with 691 horsepower on tap, don’t think that this AMG E 63 S can’t leave other cars in the dust.

Even better, the German tuner’s program is available for all variants of the AMG E 63. That means that owners of sedan and wagon variants of the AMG E 63 can avail of the Brabus 700 kit, and should they do so, they stand to receive more than just a plug-and-play auxiliary control unit. The whole program also features an aerodynamic kit, a new set of wheels, and enough personalization options for the interior that helps bring out a unique identity to each and every customer who gets the kit. It is fitting that Brabus is presenting the 700 program for the AMG E 63 S at the Frankfurt Motor Show, considered as one of the biggest auto shows in the world. A lot of eyes will be on the tuner to showcase its latest wares. Hardly a surprise then that Brabus is bringing its A-game to the event.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Brabus 700.

PostHeaderIcon Bentley Mulsanne Design Series by Mulliner

At this point, it’s reasonable to expect that whenever Mulliner and Bentley get together, something special is usually in the works. We’ve seen it time and time again, and now we can look forward to seeing two more Bentleys getting the full-scale Mulliner treatment. One of these models is the Bentley Mulsanne, and it’s headed to the Frankfurt Motor Show as the Mulsanne Design Series by Mulliner.

I know what some of you are thinking; another Mulsanne project by Mulliner? Does this ever end? Well, it’s unlikely that it will, but there’s no reason why it should end given the string of incredible projects undertaken by Bentley’s own personalization division. The Frankfurt-bound Mulsanne Design Series by Mulliner follows on the same path with its own set of upgrades and individualized design touches, though it is worth pointing out that as far as this particular example is concerned, there is something that’s, well, lacking. Maybe it’s the fact that we’ve all gotten used to Mulliner’s penchant for stringing along one exceptional program after another, but at some point, there will be a bump in the road, or to be more specific, something that doesn’t quite measure up to the obscenely high standards that Mulliner has created for itself. This is, in a lot of ways, one of the problems with Mulliner. Expectations always call for something exceptional, and yet, what happens when a program falls a tad short of that? Well, see for yourselves.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Bentley Mulsanne Design Series by Mulliner.

PostHeaderIcon Losing Love For The Volkswagen Passat

A 2017 Volkswagen Passat R-Line finds itself in my driveway this week. This mid-size family hauler offers tons of interior room for four people, or five in a pinch. The trunk is massive, too, holding 15.9 cubic feet of cargo. Mix that with the handsomely minimalistic exterior, an as-tested price around $24,000, and 34 mpg on the highway from its 1.8-liter turbo-four, and the VW Passat makes a strong case for itself. I even sang high praises for the upper-trimmed Passat I drove at its launch event in Vermont and the last time a Passat spent time at my house. But somehow, this go-round has me falling out of love. It mostly centers on the Passat’s ergonomics behind the wheel and a brake feel that’s less than ideal.

Hoping in the driver’s seat for the first time in my tester quickly revealed the negatives. First, the tilting and telescoping steering column doesn’t extend far enough out. Adjusting the seat to where my feet and legs are properly positions on the pedals leaves my arms extended to reach the wheel. That means I have to scoot the seat closer to the dash, which decreases my leg room and moves the center armrest further away from my elbow. With a dress shirt on, my arm constantly slides off the armrests tapered front edge. And no, the armrest doesn’t extend forward. This basically leaves me in a less than comfortable seating position without a center armrest and reaching for the steering wheel like I’m too young to drive.

Adding to my frustration, the Passat’s brakes are annoyingly sensitive when coming to a stop. At highway speeds, it’s fine. Smoothly depressing the pedal results in a decent initial feel and stopping force, say when adjusting to traffic speeds. Trying to smoothly decrease braking pressure below 20 mph, however, is met with an inconsistent braking force and within roughly a half-inch of pedal travel. It’s near impossible to accomplish a smooth stop. Being stuck in stop and go traffic only made my frustration grow.

While the 2017 Volkswagen Passat R-Line does have its annoying qualities, it still represents a good value stuffed in a classy wrapper. Of course, I’ll have more to say about the Passat in my full driven review coming soon.

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 Genesis G70

The Genesis brand was introduced in 2015 as Hyundai’s premium division. The name was derived from the Hyundai Genesis, the company’s full-size sedan, which became the Genesis G80 after the rebranding. Before the G80 debuted, the newly-founded brand introduced the G90, a redesigned, more luxurious version of Hyundai’s range-topping sedan, the Equus. In 2016, a third Genesis model was spotted testing on public roads, a sign that the Korean brand is looking to expand even more in the near future. The new vehicle is also a sedan, will be sold as the G70, and will compete in the premium compact market.

As a part of the company’s plan to roll out several new models by 2020, the upcoming G70 will take on a very crowded segment that includes nameplates like the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Audi A4. The G70 will essentially join the Cadillac ATS as yet another compact trying to compete against the world’s most popular luxury compacts. There’s no official word as to when the new sedan will hit the market, but a leaked Genesis document suggests that the G70 could debut by the end of 2016. However, given that the four-door was only spotted recently during testing, an unveiling could take place in early 2017 instead.

Like other Genesis products, the G70 could make its global debut in South Korea, with a North American reveal planned a few months after that. This could happen at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show in January. Until then, let’s have a closer look at what we already know about Genesis’ upcoming compact sedan.

Update 9/5/2017: In just 10 days, Genesis will debut it’s all-new G70 Sedan in its home city, Seoul, South Korea before it makes its way to the U.S. for an early 2018 Debut in North America. To get everyone hyped up, Genesis as released a little teaser talking about its origins and why it chose Seoul as the place the G70 will make its first public debut. Check out the special “Teaser” section below to see it for yourself.

Continue reading to learn more about the Genesis G70.

PostHeaderIcon Kimi Raikkonen Actually Cracked A Smile While Driving The Alfa Romeo Guilia Quadrifoglio: Video

Kimi Raikkonen is a robot. Kimi Raikkonen has the emotional capacity of a cardboard cut-out of himself. Kimi Raikkonen cracks a smile about as often as a total solar eclipse. We’ve all read and heard about the stone-faced demeanor of the Ferrari F1 driver and former world champion. This is the same guy, after all, who once famously said on national television that he was dropping a deuce during a tribute for F1 legend Michael Schumacher. Yet for all of his “Iceman” moments, Raikkonen is also regarded as one of the best race car drivers in the world today, and together with teammate and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel and Antonio Giovinazzi, Ferrari’s third F1 driver, the Iceman put those skills to the test for a day in the track onboard the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.

The following video here is what happens when you get Raikkonen, Vettel, and Giovinazzi to race the wheels of the 505-horsepower Giulia Quadrifoglio. You get lots of smoke, plenty of sideways action, and an actual smile creep in to the face of the Finn. For what it’s worth, it’s hard to tell what’s more shocking between seeing the Giulia Quadrifoglio perform the way it did on the track with three F1 drivers driving it or the fact that Raikkonen seems to be having a ball of a time in the car. My money’s on the latter since the sight of a smiling Raikkonen is worthy enough to actually steal some of the spotlight away from the car he’s driving. Either way though, it’s good to see the three Ferrari racers enjoy themselves with Alfa’s new performance sedan. Heck, if the Giulia Quarifoglio actually made Kimi smile, that’s vindication of the sedan’s prowess in it of itself already.

PostHeaderIcon Volkswagen Jetta SE – Driven

The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta is a little different from its competition. In America, the Jetta’s compact sedan segment is dominated by players from Japanese, Korean, and American makes: Cars like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra, Mazda3, Kia Forte, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus, and Chevrolet Cruze sell well here and put up a good fight for a competitive portion of the market.

Compact sedans are popular with a wide cross-section of shoppers, and for good reason. They’re big enough nowadays that a young family can easily haul a couple of kids in the back seat. They have trunks large enough to accommodate an occasional run to Costco or Sam’s Club to buy a bulk load of peanut butter and breakfast cereal. They’re easy to own because they don’t drink a lot of fuel and they don’t have high maintenance requirements. Also, they’re easy to park.

The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta is a very European take on the compact sedan. It hasn’t always fought for buyers by trying to match prices with the competition. Previous generations of the Jetta were marketed as kind of a near-premium alternative to the usual compact sedans here in the States. But when the latest generation of the Jetta (and its big sister, the Passat) debuted in America a few years ago, that changed. Now you can buy a 2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE like the one I tested for well under $20,000 at most VW dealers. It’s price-competitive with just about everything in the segment, when optional equipment is considered.

I hear long-time VW fans saying it now: “Yeah, but they gave up a lot to compete on price.” Sure, some things changed, mostly under the skin. My test car’s suspension wasn’t as swift as the independent-rear-suspension Jettas of yore. Its interior materials weren’t as nice as Jettas I remember from the 2000s. But there’s still enough Germanic charm in the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE – particularly in my five-speed manual transmission test car – to make it stand out from the pack.

PostHeaderIcon Labor Day Is Almost Here, Bring On The Deals

With the summer coming to a close and autumn closing in, Labor Day is just about here, giving us all an opportunity to kick back and relax, fire up the BBQ one last time, and bid farewell to the warm weather. Not only that, but Labor Day is also traditionally a great time to find a good deal on a new car. Deliveries of the new stock are just over the horizon, which means the older models must go, and dealers are ramping up the incentives to make room on the lot. Whether you’re looking for an SUV, sedan, or truck, this weekend looks like a great time to save some money. With that in mind, we’ve assembled some of the best deals out there right now to help you find what you need at a price you want.

If you’re looking for a little more information and a few tips when it comes to buying a new car, check out our quick Labor Day buying guide here, where we list some of the pros and cons of taking the plunge this time of the year. So then, without further ado, read on for the deals of 2017.

Continue reading to learn more about 2017 Labor Day car deals.

PostHeaderIcon Honda Accord Type R

There’s no denying that Honda has been pretty stingy when it comes to the Type R badge and the U.S. Market. Over the years, U.K., Euro, and Japanese markets always seemed to get the best that Honda had to offer, with the Type R badge being applied to the first-generation Acura NSX, Acura Integra, the Honda Accord and, of course, the Honda Civic. Of all these, the only models we saw come to the U.S. were the NSX Type R and the Integra Type R, both sporting Acura Badges, and we finally got the Civic Type R for the 2017 model year. With that in mind, it’s been a while since the world got a Type R version of the Accord, so we decided to render up was a U.S.-Spec Accord Type R would look like. Highlights of the build would include more aggressive fascias out front with Type R specific styling to go with plenty of Type R goodness inside. There would, of course, be an improved output over the range-topping model’s 252 ponies, but how that power will come to be is another story. Other necessities include a stiffer suspension, manual transmission, tuned-out exhaust, and a lower ride height.

On the plus side, all of the necessary prerequisites are already in play. The new Accord is pretty sporty on its own, so a more aggressive look should be easily welcomed. But, with the range-topping models of the Accord already sporting the detuned version of the Civic Type R’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder, it won’t take much to get some extra power to the wheels. Even more intriguing is the fact that Accord Sport models with the 2.0-liter can be equipped with a six-speed manual if you check the right option box, so you’ll be able to forgo dealing with that new 10-speed auto gearbox. With all of that in mind, let’s talk a little about the Accord Type R’s history and then take a good look at our rendering. Are you excited? I sure am. Let’s get to it…

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.

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PostHeaderIcon Getting Ready For Winter With FWD

So the old Scoobaru isn’t the greatest place at the moment. It’s got a leaking transmission, and while I won’t go into the technical details, it’s gonna need some loving before it’s back to running in tip-top shape. You know, the expensive, time-intensive sort of loving. In all honesty, I’m not totally sure when it’s gonna be back up to snuff, and with the winter months closing in fast, I’m a little nervous. I live high in the mountains of northern California, and while the skiing is great, AWD is really the optimal transportation solution four months out of the year. But when power at all four corners isn’t an option, whatddya do? You work with what you got. Luckily, what I’ve got is a second car – my spouse’s Mazda6. It’s a lovely sedan, great for long trips (especially compared to the loud, brash, harsh Subaru), and it’s a definite smile-maker in the corners. But how will it handle in the snow, and how do I make the most of FWD during the winter months?

These are the questions I’ve been wrestling with as I work on getting the Subaru back online, and luckily, I think I’ve got a few answers. Read on for some tips and tricks for making FWD work in the snow

Continue reading for the full story.

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