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Archive for the ‘utility vehicle’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Semi

2019 Tesla Semi

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

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

Continue reading for more information.

Exterior


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

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

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

Interior


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

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

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

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

Drivetrain


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

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

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

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

Safety


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

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

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

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

Pricing


2019 Tesla Semi - image 745851

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

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

Conclusion


2019 Tesla Semi - image 746099

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

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

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

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

PostHeaderIcon Ford And Roush Giving 2018 F-150 V-8 a Supercharged Punch

Remember the Ford F-150 RTR Muscle Truck from the 2017 SEMA show? Well, Ford Performance and Roush Performance are paring yet again to bring the Muscle Truck’s muscle to customers nationwide. Ford will offer a Roush supercharger kit for the 2018 F-150’s 5.0-liter V-8. The roots-style blower will be installed at Ford dealerships by ASE-certified Ford technicians and come with a Ford-backed warranty.

Don’t think the F-150’s V-8 is no dud from the factory. Rather, the 2018 update brought ten more horsepower and 13 more pound-feet of torque for a total of 395 and 400, respectively. Adding the supercharger is said to bring levels to 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque! That’s impressive. Other modifications would include a re-flash of the ECU, a new high-flow intake, and likely an exhaust system. Naturally, with this being a dealer add-on part, anybody willing to pony up the cash can get the extra power – regardless of what trim or cab configuration their 2018 F-150 has. Imagine a single cab, short bed F-150 with 640 horsepower. Oh, wait… one Ford dealership already has.

Ford has not released pricing for the Roush Performance supercharger kit or the shop fees for installation. We do know the blower will become available sometime in early 2018.

References

Ford F-150


2018 Ford F-150 - image 700456

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.


2017 Ford F-150 RTR Muscle Truck - image 741993

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford F-150 RTR Muscle Truck

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


How It Works: The 2017 Cadillac XT5's AWD System - image 743169

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


Cadillac Fixed CUE For The XT5 - image 742588

Cadillac Fixed CUE for the XT5

Cadillac XT5


2017 Cadillac XT5 - image 645340

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac XT5.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Jeep Wrangler V-6 Fuel Economy Published By EPA

Information surrounding the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler keeps pouring out of Auburn Hills, but the latest news from D.C. The EPA has published the fuel economy stats for the 2018 Wrangler Unlimited with the updated 3.6-liter V-6. Both the six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmission are included. The new Wrangler JL shows a marked improvement over the outgoing Wrangler JK, though we expect an even bigger increase with the 2.0-liter turbo-four and 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6.

The 2018 Wrangler Unlimited JL with the six-speed manual is EPA-estimated to get 17 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined. Opting for the eight-speed automatic bumps the numbers to 18 mpg city and 20 mpg combined, with the highway number staying at 23 mpg.

Both fuel economy estimates are big improvements over the previous Jeep. The 2017 Wrangler JK with the six-speed manual could only muster 17 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined. That means the new six-speed JL improves by two mpg on the highway and one mpg combined. The old JK with its outdated five-speed automatic actually scored the exact same as its manual counterpart, meaning the new eight-speed-equipped JL improves by one mpg city, two mpg highway, and two mpg combined.

Continue reading for more information.

2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 3.6-liter V-6 EPA Fuel Economy


2018 Jeep Wrangler V-6 Fuel Economy Published By EPA - image 742823

The outgoing Wrangler JK will continue into the 2018 model year. This is its EPA-estimated fuel economy.


2018 Jeep Wrangler V-6 Fuel Economy Published By EPA - image 742824

The all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JL sees fuel economy improved by as much as two mpg over its predecessor.

The Other Two Engines


2018 Jeep Wrangler V-6 Fuel Economy Published By EPA - image 741967
“For 2018, the Wrangler will have three engine choices”

For the first time in more than a decade, Jeep is offering engine options in the Wrangler. The last time customers had a choice; it was with the 1997–2006 Wrangler TJ. It offered a 2.5-liter four-cylinder (and after 2002, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder) and the venerable 4.0-liter inline-six cylinder.

Now for 2018, the Wrangler will have three engine choices: the aforementioned 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder known as the Hurricane, and the familiar 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 currently found in the Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The EPA has yet to release fuel economy estimates for the 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter, but we strongly suspect both with have improved economy over the already improved 3.6-liter V-6. The 2.0-liter turbo-four could achieve something around 19 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined, while the V-6 turbodiesel will be the fuel-sipping champ. It could achieve something like 20 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined.

Final Thoughts


2018 Jeep Wrangler V-6 Fuel Economy Published By EPA - image 741968
“Regardless of engine choice with the all-new 2018 Wrangler, fuel economy numbers are up”

Regardless of engine choice with the all-new 2018 Wrangler, fuel economy numbers are up. Sure, we don’t know exactly what the 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter will score, but both will surely outperform the 3.6-liter V-6. That’s great news for Jeep in light of the CAFÉ standards and Wrangler owners who can save money at the pump. Of course, we’re still waiting for Jeep to mention the hybrid powertrain that’s rumored to be paired with the 2.0-liter. That’s still a few years off, though, so don’t expect word anytime soon.

References

Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler V-6 Fuel Economy Published By EPA - image 741967

Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the 2017 Jeep Wrangler JK.



Read more Jeep news.

PostHeaderIcon This Ford F-150 By CJ Pony Parts Is the Ultimate Rock Climber

The 2017 SEMA Show was packed with modified pickup trucks, but none was as spectacular as this EcoBoost-powered rock climber built by CJ Pony Parts. The aftermarket parts supplier has been a constant presence in Las Vegas in recent years, showcasing a restomod 1965 Ford Mustang built with TMI Products, a custom Focus ST with Ford, and a beefed up Mustang EcoBoost with Ford Performance. In 2017, CJ Pony Parts chose to stay away from the car performance realm and opted to create a stunning off-road-equipped F-150 pickup truck.

Already a solid truck thanks to its aluminum body, leading technology, and fuel-efficient engines, the F-150 is now able to tackle the Moab Easter Jeep Safari alongside the most hardcore Jeep Wranglers out there. CJ Pony Parts says that its goal with this build was to create something “that not only looked tough but can back up that look with massive off-road capability,” it seems that the result matches the description. Exterior upgrades are numerous, starting with Lund fender flares, custom two-tone paint with orange graphics, and a rear differential cover. There’s also a T-Rex grille; Rigid Radiance LED lights, Rock Slider side steps, and new Stealth Fighter and Honey Badger bumpers front and rear. The truck also features an Oracle Lighting ColorShift LED underbody lighting kit.

The list of accessories continues inside with a Raptor steering wheel with orange stitching, Ford Performance door sill plates, custom headrests with CJ Pony Parts logo, and orange accents on the dashboard, door panels, center console, and floor mats. But the really important upgrades were operated under the skin.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford F-150 By CJ Pony Parts.

What’s under the skin?


This Ford F-150 By CJ Pony Parts Is the Ultimate Rock Climber - image 742565
“Performance has been improved using a Borla dual side-exit exhaust system, and aFE Momentum GT Stage 2 cold air intake, and a Bully Dog GT Platinum gas tuner.”

This pickup truck uses the same 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine and 10-speed automatic transmission as the production model, but there’s no word whether it’s the standard unit or the high-output version. The former generates 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet, while the latter cranks out 450 horses and 510 pound-feet. But no matter the drivetrain, performance has been improved using a Borla dual side-exit exhaust system, and aFE Momentum GT Stage 2 cold air intake, and a Bully Dog GT Platinum gas tuner.

The enhanced off-road capability comes from a ReadyLift seven-inch lift kit with SST3000 shocks and Custom Power suspension by PA Powder Works. The standard wheels have been replaced by two-piece, forged 20-inch rollers wrapped in BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires. A spare wheel was mounted in the bed in case one goes flat while climbing rocks. Arguably the most off-road capable vehicle at the 2017 SEMA Show, CJ’s F-150 is a sight to behold!

References

Ford F-150


2018 Ford F-150 - image 700457

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Debuts Limited Trim on 2018 Super Duty and It’s Expensive

New vehicle prices have drastically risen over the last two decades, with pickup trucks leading the surge. Now, Ford is pushing the envelope even further by launching the Limited trim on its 2018 Super Duty Lineup. First seen on the 2015 F-150, the Limited trim had not been offered on Ford’s heavy-duty pickup line. That’s changed now, along with the max price somebody can pay for a pickup.

Check every option box on a 2018 F-450 Limited and the price can soar to $95,750!

Even the “base” price for a Super Duty Limited is expensive. For $82,130, Ford will sell you an F-250 version. That’s nearly $10,000 more than the 2017 F-250 Platinum, the Super Duty’s current top trim. Of course, it doesn’t matter what weight class Super Duty you pick, the Limited trim comes standard with just about every conceivable feature and creature comfort available in anything short of a Maybach or Rolls Royce. Two-tone leather front seats have 10-way power adjustability, heating, venting, and massage functions. A panoramic moonroof spans nearly from the windshield to the rear window. Power-folding side steps, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and full LED lighting are also present.

Tech features include Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system with its 360-degree camera system and innovative auxiliary camera for attaching to the rear of a trailer. It has adaptive cruise control with collision warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring for both the truck and trailer, and an 8.0-inch productivity screen in the gauge cluster that hosts a bevy of information, including drivetrain parameters, tire pressure monitors for the truck and trailer, and other customizable screens. The Super Duty even has Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature, which allows the driver to maneuver the truck and trailer in reverse by twisting a dash-mounted knob in the direction the trailer should travel rather than having to think about counter-steering with the steering wheel.

Naturally, the Super Duty Limited has the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel for pulling heavy loads. It boasts 440 horsepower and 925 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to pull 32,500 pounds via a gooseneck trailer in the F-450. The Super Duty can also tow 21,000 pounds from its receiver hitch and haul 7,630 pounds of payload in its aluminum cargo box – all when the right cab, bed, and drivetrain combination is chosen.

Ford has said in the past that customers of high-end, heavy-duty pickups are typically hauling expensive things, like a million-dollar yacht or a $200,000 horse trailer with a prize-winning stallion riding inside. It’s no wonder, then, why these customers won’t mind spending six-figures on their tow rig.

What do you think? Is $100,000 too expensive for an ultra-luxury truck? Will GM and Ram have to develop an equally expensive trim level to compete with the Limited? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Ford Super Duty


2017 Ford Super Duty - image 648424

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Super Duty.

Ford F-150 Limited


2016 Ford F-150 Limited - image 637605

Read our full review on the 2016 Ford F-150 Limited.

PostHeaderIcon Land Rover Discovery Turbodiesel Pulls 121-Ton, Seven-Trailer Semi Truck

Land Rover wants you to know its fifth-generation Discovery SUV is capable – so capable, in fact, that it can flat-tow a semi truck with seven trailers weighing a total of 121 tons a distance of 10 miles. Is this a publicity stunt that’s well beyond what anybody would attempt in their luxury SUV? Of course. But, Land Rover’s point is that the Discovery and its 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel Td6 are built to do the extremes. Even with the marketing hype, I can say I’m honestly impressed.

This sort of extreme towing test isn’t new. Land Rover had done similar feats before, as had other automakers like Volkswagen, Porsche, and Toyota – not to mention Chevrolet, Ford, and Ram. Nevertheless, these demonstrations show the importance of low-end torque and traction. Obviously, the Discovery Td6 has plenty of both. Its turbodiesel makes 443 pound-feet of torque that’s routed to all four wheels through a two-speed transfer case with low-range gears. The torque-multiplying transfer case is key to making 443 pound-feet do the work of the semi truck’s turbodiesel engine and its 2,200 pound-feet of torque. The Disco’s use of low range also explains why it topped out at 27 mph. Keep in mind, the Discovery Td6 is rated to tow 7,716 pounds.

What Land Rover didn’t attempt was slowing all that weight. Braking is a huge limiting factor when it comes to max tow ratings. After all, a vehicle and its load have to stop eventually. The Discovery’s brakes just wouldn’t be up to the challenge. That’s partly why the tractor sits between the Discovery and the trailers – to operate each trailers air brakes. That, and because the Discovery doesn’t have a fifth-wheel hitch.

Interestingly enough, a seven-trailer road train is illegal in Australia. The government down under limits road trains to “only” four trailers. Here in the U.S., the DOT caps the number at two. Land Rover says it had to get special permission to conduct the stunt and contract with local authorities to temporarily close the road.

PostHeaderIcon Land Rover Discovery Turbodiesel Pulls 121-Ton, Seven-Trailer Semi Truck

Land Rover wants you to know its fifth-generation Discovery SUV is capable – so capable, in fact, that it can flat-tow a semi truck with seven trailers weighing a total of 121 tons a distance of 10 miles. Is this a publicity stunt that’s well beyond what anybody would attempt in their luxury SUV? Of course. But, Land Rover’s point is that the Discovery and its 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel Td6 are built to do the extremes. Even with the marketing hype, I can say I’m honestly impressed.

This sort of extreme towing test isn’t new. Land Rover had done similar feats before, as had other automakers like Volkswagen, Porsche, and Toyota – not to mention Chevrolet, Ford, and Ram. Nevertheless, these demonstrations show the importance of low-end torque and traction. Obviously, the Discovery Td6 has plenty of both. Its turbodiesel makes 443 pound-feet of torque that’s routed to all four wheels through a two-speed transfer case with low-range gears. The torque-multiplying transfer case is key to making 443 pound-feet do the work of the semi truck’s turbodiesel engine and its 2,200 pound-feet of torque. The Disco’s use of low range also explains why it topped out at 27 mph. Keep in mind, the Discovery Td6 is rated to tow 7,716 pounds.

What Land Rover didn’t attempt was slowing all that weight. Braking is a huge limiting factor when it comes to max tow ratings. After all, a vehicle and its load have to stop eventually. The Discovery’s brakes just wouldn’t be up to the challenge. That’s partly why the tractor sits between the Discovery and the trailers – to operate each trailers air brakes. That, and because the Discovery doesn’t have a fifth-wheel hitch.

Interestingly enough, a seven-trailer road train is illegal in Australia. The government down under limits road trains to “only” four trailers. Here in the U.S., the DOT caps the number at two. Land Rover says it had to get special permission to conduct the stunt and contract with local authorities to temporarily close the road.

PostHeaderIcon Land Rover Discovery SVX

Land Rover has finally debuted its concept of what the hard-core off-road Discovery SVX will be when it enters production in 2018. The long-rumored SVX version of the new Disco is the latest creation from Land Rover’s in-house skunkworks and customizer, Special Vehicle Operations, otherwise known as SVO. Designed to handle even worse terrain than a standard Discovery, the SVX boasts an upgraded suspension with more flex and ride height, restyled bumpers for improved approach and departure angles, exposed tow hooks, and even a recovery winch mounted in the rear bumper. Naturally, the interior is given a flair of outdoorsy extremism.

The Discovery SVX project takes inspiration from the classic Camel Trophy and G4 Challenge events, which used to pit man and machine against incredible odds in extended cross-country driving through remote areas with basically no roads. While both off-road events have been dead since 2000 and 2008, respectively, Land Rover has tried to infuse that adventurous spirit into the Discovery SVX. Perhaps one day we’ll see Land Rover organize another G4 Challenge, but until then, let’s check out its new Discovery SVX.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Land Cruiser

The Toyota Land Cruiser is about as iconic as vehicles come, so it’s a big deal when something changes. For 2018 in global markets, the Land Cruiser is getting a few appearance upgrades and a redesigned dashboard – both in an effort to keep this go-anywhere, three-row SUV flying off showroom floors. Toyota debuted its updated Land Cruiser at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show ahead of its on-sale date later this year.

The Land Cruiser’s reputation is rooted in reliability and its rugged dependability in off-road situations, often far from civilization. It makes sense, then, that Toyota boasts about the SUV being “easy to maintain and repair” right in its press materials. You won’t find that in a Land Rover’s press kit. While easy trail repairs isn’t the Land Cruiser’s best selling point in North America where customers view it as a status symbol, many of the 190 countries place an extreme value on making a round trip when leaving the house. Of course, the 2018 Land Cruiser is more than just reliable transportation. It offers plenty of luxury and creature comforts, too. Let’s check out what changes Toyota has made for 2018. Perhaps some of these will even make it to the U.S.-spec Land Cruiser, as well.

Continue reading for more about the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes Launches First Production Hydrogen Hybrid With GLC F-Cell

The latest crop of green alternative passenger vehicles is making the rounds at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, and Mercedes is getting in on the action with a brand-new hybrid SUV. It’s called the GLC F-Cell, and it’s touted as the world’s very first production-ready hydrogen hybrid vehicle. Flying the German automaker’s EQ Power banner, also known as the go-to branding for Merc’s various green solutions, the GLC F-Cell is essentially an SUV that combines plug-in all-electric battery power with hydrogen fuel cell power. The marriage of these two alternative power sources hopes to find a synergy whereby benefits are maximized and disadvantages are minimized, combining the quick refill times of hydrogen power and the long-range capability of electrified assistance, all without the traditional explodey dino juice normally associated with “typical” hybrid vehicles.

The new SUV is part of the latest Mercedes product strategy to produce 10 new battery-electric models by the year 2022. The GLC F-Cell is also a modern addition to the Mercedes CASE strategy, an acronym that stands for, Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services, and Electric. And while the SUV has yet to show anything terribly noteworthy in terms of connected, autonomous, or sharing features, the novel hybrid stuff is more than worthy of the attention of anyone interested in powertrain technology development. Read on for the specs and details.

Continue reading to learn more about the GLC F-Cell.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota “Invincible 50” Celebrates 50 Years Of Hilux

Hey, did you know the Toyota Hilux is a capable pickup that’s sold basically everywhere besides North America and is apparently indestructible against the best Jeremy Clarkson can throw its way? Of course, you know that since it’s practically common knowledge and rumored to be on driving tests in at least 95 countries. What you might not realize is Toyota has been selling the thing for half a century. Yep, 2018 marks the 50th birthday of the iconic Hilux pickup. Naturally, Toyota can’t let such an occasion pass without building some tribute, so here it is, the 2018 Hilux “Invincible 50.”

This Double Cab Hilux has several Toyota dealership parts bolted on, along with a custom wrap, all designed to grab attention at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Toyota says the truck is “ideally suited to a broad range of both professional and leisure activities,” or basically, that a so-configured Hilux is at home on the job site and doing fun stuff on the weekend. Sounds like the automotive equivalent of a mullet hairstyle, right? Unlike the mullet, the Hilux’s popularity didn’t die in the 1990s. In fact, the truck is expected to sell more than 40,600 examples in Europe for 2017, besting its previous record of 40,104 sold in 2007. That’s pretty impressive, especially in a place where pickups aren’t the “it” vehicle to drive. Perhaps Toyota’s expectation rides on folks falling in love with the Hilux “invincible 50” and its customized flair. Probably not, but let’s have a close look at this one-off show truck.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Explorer – Driven

Okay, mom and dad – you need a vehicle that can carry six or seven people, but isn’t a minivan. What left on the menu? Three-row crossovers and SUVs, of course. And which SUV has been SUVing longer than most? Yep, the Ford Explorer. It debuted back in 1991 and has evolved from a utilitarian two-row brute to a plush, luxury-lined, power-everything family hauler. The current generation has been around since 2011 and received a mid-cycle refresh for 2016, which brought the high-end Platinum trim with Lincoln-like levels of refinement and the 365-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost.

Nothing changes for 2017, but that didn’t stop me from spending a week with Ford’s grandest mid-size SUV. The Explorer is sandwiched between the smaller Ford Edge and the body-on-frame, F-150-based Ford Expedition. The Platinum trim comes equipped with nearly every major option as standard, only leaving customers to choose from the $695 second-row bucket seats, the accompanying $150 center console, and the $1,995 rear-seat entertainment package. Fitted with all but the rear TVs, my Ruby Red tester stickered at $55,420. That’s a sizable price for a family hauler, but few SUVs come packed with such utility mixed with luxury backed by a name with heritage.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Tahoe Custom

The venerable Chevy Tahoe used to be the go-to family hauler for middle-class folks. These days, though, prices of this body-on-frame, V-8-powered SUV have skyrocketed beyond what most families are willing to pay. And with the proliferation of crossovers like the Equinox and Traverse, it’s no wonder Chevy pushed the Tahoe up-market. Thankfully, Chevy is offering a solution: the Custom trim package.

Like on the Silverado pickup, the Custom trim takes a low-spec vehicle and adds exterior flash matched with the most important interior upgrades modern car buyers can’t seem to live without. For 2018, the Chevy Tahoe Custom starts at $44,995 – a full $3,515 less than the absolute base Tahoe LS. Chevy’s marketing director, Sandor Piszar, said, “The Tahoe Custom is a response to strong customer demand for Tahoe, as well as the full-size SUV segment moving upmarket. In the past five years, the average transaction price for the segment has climbed fueled by customer appetite for features like heated and cooled seats, adaptive cruise control and a head-up display. This created an unmet need in the marketplace for customers who want the cargo and towing capability of a full-size SUV to go camping, boating or off-roading but don’t necessarily want all of the option content offered on a Tahoe Premier.”

So what’s the difference between the Tahoe LS and the new Tahoe Custom? Let’s explore that below.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Holy Toledo! 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Breaks Cover

Well, it’s finally happened – the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL has been spotted without camouflage. The next-generation Jeep was reportedly spotted inside Jeep’s Toledo assembly plant and sent to our friends at JLWranglerForums. The grainy photo was undoubtedly not supposed to be taken, as evidenced by the limited view it affords of the new Wrangler Unlimited. Still, there are plenty of details to pour over.

First, it’s clear this is a four-door Wrangler Unlimited, otherwise known as the JLU. It’s lack of badging, knobby tires, and rock rails suggests this is a Sport model, though its hood features vents – a previous sign of an upper-class model or special edition. The windshield bump-stops on the hood have been redesigned, too. Also visible is the side vent integrated just behind the front fender. It’s smaller than anticipated, but thankfully doesn’t distract from the Wrangler’s classic lines. And speaking of lines, the cowling panel and doors have strong creases, helping break up the flat, vertical sides seen on the previous Wrangler JK. New side mirrors are present, too, with integrated turn signals. Gone are the push-button door handles, replaced with pull-style handles in black. The front fenders carry a new shape and appear molded from richer, higher-quality plastic. This particular Jeep has the soft top option, which we’re glad still exists. Unfortunately, the photos don’t show much of the interior, beyond the black seats covered in protective plastic. Of course, at this rate, we’ll have a full view of the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL long before its official debut at the 2017 LA Auto Show in November.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Ford F-150

Ford has reworked the F-150 for 2018 with cosmetic updates, new active safety systems, and some healthy powertrain upgrades. A new front fascia and modifications to the taillights and tailgate constitute the exterior changes, along with new wheel choices. Adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keep assist are now present, too. But the biggest changes happen under the hood.

Ford has upgraded nearly every engine option. The base 3.5-liter V-6 has been replaced with a new 3.3-liter V-6 with more power and better efficiency. Both the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 and 5.0-liter V-8 have been improved with more power. Ford’s 10-speed automatic now comes standard on all but the base V-6. Best of all, an all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6 turbodiesel joins the lineup. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 carries over unchanged, though it received a huge update for the 2017 model year. The same is true for the 2017 F-150 Raptor’s High-Output 3.5-liter EcoBoost. The F-150 is Ford’s biggest seller and highest profit-maker, so it’s completely understandable why Ford pays it so much attention. The current F-150 debuted for the 2015 model year, so it’s not really old. In fact, it still remains the newest full-size, half-ton pickup among the Big Three – beating the Chevy Silverado by a year and the Ram 1500 by six. Only the 2017 Nissan Titan is newer.

Update 08/09/2017: EPA estimates for the 2018 F-150’s fuel economy have been released. Efficiency improves for the base V-6, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost, and the V-8. Towing and Payload stats are also announced.

Continue reading for details on the 2018 Ford F-150.

PostHeaderIcon Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock – Driven

Jeep is hardly the oldest automaker, but it’s arguably one of the most iconic. Its premier vehicle, the Wrangler, is slathered in blue-blooded Americana and glorified war history that transcends our continent and into every corner of the globe. Show anybody anywhere that seven-slotted grille and round headlights, and you’ll be rewarded with “Jeep!”

It’s no secret Jeep is completely revamping the Wrangler for 2018, giving it new life with more creature comforts and technology while not diluting any of its rugged off-road capabilities. But before that happens, we’re talking a close look at the current version, the Wrangler JK. It debuted in 2007 and has undergone relatively few changes. Jeep upgraded the interior in 2011 and swapped in the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 in 2012 to replace the lazy 3.8-liter V-6. Beyond that, Jeep has relied on special editions to keep the Wrangler fresh. But despite the on-paper stagnation, the Wrangler has exploded in popularity. Jeep went from selling 80,000 Wrangler TJs in 2006 to 202,702 Wrangler JKs in 2015. Much of that can likely be attributed to the Wrangler Unlimited, the four-door version of the two-door SUV. Families could finally justify a Wrangler for both commuting and weekend getaways. Then came the explosion in aftermarket support from companies solely devoted to selling custom parts for the Wrangler. The Jeep community grew and folks hopped on the bandwagon. And who wouldn’t? Just look at it. Read along as I attempt to objectively revaluate a vehicle I’ve been passionate about since the 4.0-liter inline-six was the engine of choice.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock – Driven

Jeep is hardly the oldest automaker, but it’s arguably one of the most iconic. Its premier vehicle, the Wrangler, is slathered in blue-blooded Americana and glorified war history that transcends our continent and into every corner of the globe. Show anybody anywhere that seven-slotted grille and round headlights, and you’ll be rewarded with “Jeep!”

It’s no secret Jeep is completely revamping the Wrangler for 2018, giving it new life with more creature comforts and technology while not diluting any of its rugged off-road capabilities. But before that happens, we’re talking a close look at the current version, the Wrangler JK. It debuted in 2007 and has undergone relatively few changes. Jeep upgraded the interior in 2011 and swapped in the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 in 2012 to replace the lazy 3.8-liter V-6. Beyond that, Jeep has relied on special editions to keep the Wrangler fresh. But despite the on-paper stagnation, the Wrangler has exploded in popularity. Jeep went from selling 80,000 Wrangler TJs in 2006 to 202,702 Wrangler JKs in 2015. Much of that can likely be attributed to the Wrangler Unlimited, the four-door version of the two-door SUV. Families could finally justify a Wrangler for both commuting and weekend getaways. Then came the explosion in aftermarket support from companies solely devoted to selling custom parts for the Wrangler. The Jeep community grew and folks hopped on the bandwagon. And who wouldn’t? Just look at it. Read along as I attempt to objectively revaluate a vehicle I’ve been passionate about since the 4.0-liter inline-six was the engine of choice.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Bollinger B1

Bollinger Motors – you’re forgiven if you’ve never heard of it. It’s a three-year-old company with only seven employees based in Hobart, New York, a town of only 403 people. But don’t let its size fool you; Bollinger Motors just debuted an all-electric SUV with 4WD, a towing capacity of 6,100 pounds, a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds, and a range of 200 miles on a single charge. Oh, and it has a reconfigurable/removable hard top and can carry objects 12-feet long between the seats in its bumper-to-bumper cargo pass-through. Interested yet? You’d better be.

It’s called the B1 and it’s currently a one-off prototype built by hand in a renovated automotive repair shop in Hobart. But the dream for CEO Robert Bollinger is much, much larger. The vision is to pioneer and dominate a new segment of electric off-road pickups and SUVs. But to get there, Bollinger needs a builder. Current talks with established U.S. automakers and manufacturers are already underway. A report from AutoWeek suggests AM General is on the short list thanks to its open capacity to serve as a full-scale production partner. But despite not having secured a manufacturer, Bollinger says deliveries of the B1 will begin in 19 months, meaning February 2019. Initial sales will be conducted directly through Bollinger and reservations are already open. Starting in early 2018, customers can secure their reservation and order their B1 with a $1,000. Pricing is expected to start around $60,000.

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz X-Class Vs. The Competition

Mercedes-Benz just made quite the splash when it dropped the new X-Class. Framed as the first truly “upscale” pickup truck, the X-Class intends on redefining the midsize segment with unprecedented levels of luxury and refinement. It might seem like a strange combination to mate luxury with pickups, but as Mercedes points out, “the number of pickups for private use is increasing. They are no longer viewed purely as workhorses.” As such, the X-Class aims to broaden the pickup’s buyer appeal, seeking out folks like “land owners and farmers in Argentina, business owners and building contractors in Australia, families with an affinity for premium products in Brazil, trend-conscious individualists in South Africa and Great Britain as well as sporty adventurers in New Zealand and Germany.” Sounds like quite the collection of buyers. But here’s the thing – is the X-Class really all that revolutionary?

To find out, we placed it alongside some of its biggest competition, including the Toyota Hilux, the Volkswagen Amarok, and the Ford Ranger. And, since its possible Merc might bring the X-Class stateside eventually, we threw in the GMC Canyon Denali as well. Read on for all the specs and info you need, and let us know in the comments how you think the X-Class stacks up.

Continue reading to learn more about how the Mercedes-Benz X-Class compares to the competition.

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2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CAMARO 2SS RS AUTO LEATHER NAV HUD 20'S 27K #280186 Texas Direct Auto
$10,188.00 (27 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Nov-23-2017 16:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $26,230.00
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2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CAMARO SS RS AUTOMATIC 20" WHEELS 20K MILES #105619 Texas Direct Auto
$26,530.00
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 15:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $26,530.00
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1952 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1952 Chevy Pickup Truck
$14,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:13:36 PST
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2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CAMARO ZL1 S/C AUTO LEATHER NAV HUD 20'S 29K #800633 Texas Direct
$37,480.00
End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 18:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $37,480.00
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1951 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1951 Chevy 3100 Pickup 5 Window Cab short bed
$10,100.00 (14 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 19:17:43 PST
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2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS 2016 Chevy Camaro 2SS "Chicago Blackhawks Edition"
$49,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Nov-21-2017 13:34:35 PST
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2015 Chevrolet Corvette 3LZ 2015 Corvette Z06 (Z07 package)
$60,300.00 (33 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 10:43:24 PST
Buy It Now for only: $68,500.00
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1951 Chevrolet Other Pickups Deluxe 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup truck, Patina Deluxe Cab Original Survivor
$10,300.00 (28 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 9:19:33 PST
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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 Convertible 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY Z51 CONVERTIBLE AUTO 8K MI #119209 Texas Direct
$44,230.00
End Date: Saturday Nov-25-2017 12:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $44,230.00
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2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium 2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6 speed FAST AND FURIOUS,no reserve
$22,600.00 (37 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 18:46:57 PST
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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CORVETTE GRAND SPORT 2LT RED LEATHER NAV 1K #101720 Texas Direct Auto
$43,100.00 (111 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 14:32:37 PST
Buy It Now for only: $64,880.00
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2015 Ford Mustang Premium GT 2015 ford mustang gt premium BY OWNER
$27,900.00
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 11:45:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $27,900.00
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1967 Chevrolet C-10 HORT BOX RESTORED V8 MANUAL PS PB DISC HOT ROD 71 72 stepside STREET ROD 69
$5,000.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:02:01 PST
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2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Coupe 2-Door 2016 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT350 5.2L 6-SPEED TECH NAV 2K #522266 Texas Direct
$5,400.00 (4 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 12:14:27 PST
Buy It Now for only: $52,230.00
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2004 Chevrolet Other Pickups 2004 Chevy Colorado truck 5 speed manual transmission
$1,900.00
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 13:58:19 PST
Buy It Now for only: $1,900.00
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1957 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1957 Chevy 3100 Chevy 4X4 Pickup Restomod Short bed
$14,201.01 (13 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 19:29:41 PST
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1991 Ford Mustang GT 1991 Mustang 5.0 GT
$8,500.00
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 17:11:46 PST
Buy It Now for only: $8,500.00
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2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium Like New 2015 Mustang GT Premium *2100 Miles, Recaro Seats, Loaded!
$34,500.00
End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 15:35:40 PST
Buy It Now for only: $34,500.00
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1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible 1967 Marina Blue 427 Convertible
$50,100.67 (5 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 18:43:21 PST
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2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium 2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium 20800 Miles Black 2D Coupe 5.0L V8 Ti-VCT 6-Speed A
$18,998.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:14:19 PST
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1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1969 Camaro RS SS 396 4-Speed Black Frame-Off Restored
$27,600.00 (23 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Nov-28-2017 14:30:00 PST
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2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2SS RS NAV Extras SLP TVS2300 Supercharger
$29,995.00
End Date: Thursday Dec-7-2017 13:58:59 PST
Buy It Now for only: $29,995.00
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2014 Chevrolet Corvette 3 LT 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible, Z51, 3 LT, Nightrace Blue with Blue Top
$25,200.00 (9 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 17:48:00 PST
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