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RaceQuip 351005 Large 1-Layer Black Auto Racing Driving Gloves Nomex SFI Rated
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1964-5 NORTHSHORE SPEED and AUTO CATALOG SPEED EQUIPMENT DRAG RACE HOT ROD HURST
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PostHeaderIcon A Detailed Look At The 2019 Jeep Cherokee’s 4WD Systems

The 2019 Jeep Cherokee includes some admirable updates. The front has been redesigned to not be so ugly, new LED headlights should perform better, a new lightweight tailgate gets hands-free opening, five new wheel designs change up the appearance, a dual-pane sunroof is available, and the new 2.0-liter turbo-four borrowed from the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL is under the reshaped aluminum hood. But Jeep didn’t stop its drivetrain updates with the new engine. The Cherokee’s base 4WD system has been updated with less internal friction and a reduction of 17 pounds.


A Detailed Look At The 2019 Jeep Cherokee's 4WD Systems - image 759257
“Active Drive I is the basic 4WD system offered in the Cherokee’s Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited, and Overland trims”

Active Drive I is the basic 4WD system offered in the Cherokee’s Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited, and Overland trims. Jeep says the system has been completely redesigned for 2019 and includes a new, next-generation rear drive module. The RDM, or rear differential, works automatically to deliver power to the rear wheels when the front tires lose traction, regardless of speed and without any action needed from the driver. The RDM also provides yaw correction (torque vectoring) during turning, which helps prevent understeer and oversteer. The new rear differential weighs an impressive 17 pounds less, and even more impressive, has 50 percent less drag at low speeds.

Active Drive II is the more capable 4WD system and includes a two-speed transfer case with both high and low gear ranges. Available on the same trims as Active Drive I, AD II simply adds more off-road capability. The system, recalibrated for 2019, is still fully automatic in high-range mode, but the driver can select low-range for more treacherous terrain. This mode locks the transfer case into delivering equal torque to the front and rear wheels, regardless of wheel slip, with a gear reduction of 2.92:1. When paired with the 2.0-liter turbo-four, Active Drive II offers an impressive crawl ratio of 51.2:1. The 3.2-liter V-6 gets a crawl ratio of 48.3:1. Regardless of engine choice, Cherokees with Active Drive II get a one-inch suspension lift and have a neutral setting in the transfer case for flat towing.


A Detailed Look At The 2019 Jeep Cherokee's 4WD Systems - image 759336
“Active Drive II is the more capable 4WD system and includes a two-speed transfer case with both high and low gear ranges”

Active Drive Lock is essentially Active Drive II but includes a locking rear differential and Rock Mode in Jeep’s Selec-Terrain traction control system. Active Drive Lock is only found on the Cherokee Trailhawk. The locking rear differential can be engaged when in 4WD low range and locks together the rear axle shafts so they spin at the same speed, regardless of wheel slip. This gives the best traction in off-roading situations.

Regardless of the Active Drive 4WD system, all three are fully automatic in their high-range engagement. When traction isn’t an issue, the rear differential disengages for reduced drag on the driveline, leaving the front wheels to power the Jeep. All three systems also come with Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system, too. It includes drive modes that tailor the drivetrain for the best performance. The modes are Auto, Snow, Sport, and Sand/Mud. The Cherokee Trailhawk’s Active Drive Lock also gets a Rock Mode, along with hill ascent and hill descent settings.


2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk - image 670607
“Naturally, the Cherokee Trailhawk is the right choice for serious off-roaders.”

Naturally, the Cherokee Trailhawk is the right choice for serious off-roaders. Matching its drivetrain, the Trailhawk has unique bodywork that affords it more clearance. It boasts an approach angle of 29.9 degrees, a breakover angle of 22.9 degrees, and a departure angle of 32.2 degrees. Ground clearance measures 8.7 inches. That’s only an inch less than the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL in Sport trim and only 2.1 inches shy of the Wrangler Rubicon’s 10.8 inches of ground clearance. The Cherokee Trailhawk does come standard with underbody skid plates and red-painted tow hooks should the trail prove extra challenging.


References

Jeep Cherokee


Updated Jeep Cherokee Goes Softer In The Styling Department - image 759134

Read our full review on the 2019 Jeep Cherokee.


2015 Jeep Cherokee - Driven - image 628279

Read our full driven review on the 2015 Jeep Cherokee.


maker logos - image 742908

Read more Jeep news.


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Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


2017 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport Sedan 4-Door 2017 INFINITI Q50 RED SPORT 400 LEATHER SUNROOF NAV 8K #851393 Texas Direct Auto
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PostHeaderIcon Three Design Features that Make the Infiniti Q Inspiration Awesomely Unique

Infiniti unveiled a brand-new concept car at the Detroit Auto Show. It’s called the Q Inspiration and previews the company’s upcoming design language. It’s sleek, sexy, and sports a revolutionary engine under the hood. Add in the roomy interior and those cool seats and the future looks bright for the Japanese brand. I could talk about this concept car for days, but there are three cool design features that make this show car unique.

Morphing 3D Grille


Three Design Features that Make the Infiniti Q Inspiration Awesomely Unique - image 759086
“While its shape is similar to that seen on production cars, it's significantly larger and notably wider at the bottom”

The first thing that caught my attention is the big grille up front. While its shape is similar to that seen on production cars, it’s significantly larger and notably wider at the bottom. But its main highlight is the mesh. Unlike production models, it doesn’t have conventional slats or a honeycomb pattern. The upper section is fully closed, while the remaining area has vertical fins that become shorter toward the center. But this is only visible if you look at the nose up front. Move to the side a bit and the fins disappear. This effect is further enhanced by the fact that the lower section is tucked deep into the frame, making the chrome finish less visible. From certain angles, it looks as if the grille is finished in the same color as the body.

Deeply Carved Headlamps


Three Design Features that Make the Infiniti Q Inspiration Awesomely Unique - image 759102
“The concept basically removes the headlamps as a plastic cover attached to the body and it's a feature I'd like to see on production cars in the future.”

Next up are the headlamps that don’t even look like headlamps. Carved deep into the body and with a thick sheet of metal splitting the already slender cutout in two, it appears as if the concept doesn’t even have headlamps, just a couple of stylish crack that light up when needed. The new reflective technology and the very narrow, vertical LED stripes bring them to life when turned on, despite looking like dark holes when not in use. The concept basically removes the headlamps as a plastic cover attached to the body and it’s a feature I’d like to see on production cars in the future.

Chrome Reduced to a Minimum


Three Design Features that Make the Infiniti Q Inspiration Awesomely Unique - image 759080
“Despite being a luxury car, the Q Inpiration has almost no chrome on the body”

Finally, despite being a luxury car, the Q Inpiration has almost no chrome on the body. With full-size vehicle from Rolls-Royce, Cadillac, and Mercedes featuring a lot of chrome, it’s a breath of fresh air in the industry. Sure, chrome is nice here and there, but I no longer believe in the ethos that luxury cars must have a lot of shiny surfaces. This used to be cool in the 1950s and 1960s, but it’s not very tasteful in 21st century. Infiniti seems to share this opinion and used chrome on the front grille only. The bumpers, the side skirts, the taillights, and the window frames are clean and neat.

While the Q Inspiration isn’t set to go into production, I’m hoping that the company upcoming flagship sedan will get these feature in one form or another. A tasteful car like this could start a new, cool trend of chromeless luxury cars. Now that’s something I want to see on the road.

References


Three Design Features that Make the Infiniti Q Inspiration Awesomely Unique - image 759083

Read our full review on the 2018 Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept.


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


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Read more Infiniti news.

PostHeaderIcon Take That, Europe! Volkswagen Says The Jetta Isn’t Crossing the Atlantic

The all-new Volkswagen Jetta made a big impression at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. It has an all-new design, improved interior space, better fuel efficiency, and packs its fair share of tech and safety features. The new Jetta is expected to spearhead VW’s presence in the U.S., but don’t expect the same treatment over in Europe because the sedan isn’t headed there.


Take That, Europe! Volkswagen Says The Jetta Isn't Crossing the Atlantic - image 759008
“Volkswagen didn’t give a clear reason about its decision to keep the new Jetta away from Europe, but if you’re paying close attention, the answer to that reason is sitting right in front of you”

If you’re surprised by this development, don’t be. Volkswagen didn’t give a clear reason about its decision to keep the new Jetta away from Europe, but if you’re paying close attention, the answer to that reason is sitting right in front of you. It has everything to do with the Jetta itself, specifically its physical characteristics.

We know now that the Jetta is longer, wider, and taller than the model its replacing. In other words, it’s a much larger model that measures a little too close to the European-spec Volkswagen Passat sedan. If Volkswagen brings the Jetta to Europe, there’s a possibility that both models could cannibalize sales from each other. That may not be a big deal if sedans are selling like hot pancakes in that region, but the opposite actually rings true.

Sales of sedans are falling all over Europe. As such, it won’t make sense for Volkswagen to bring the new and bigger Jetta to that market and turn it into a competitor to one of its own models. Fortunately, the new Jetta is headed to China where it will carry the name “Sagitar.”


Take That, Europe! Volkswagen Says The Jetta Isn't Crossing the Atlantic - image 759638
“The U.S. is the sedan’s biggest and most important market”

If you’re also wondering why Volkswagen chose the Detroit Auto Show as the place to launch the all-new Jetta, there’s your answer. The U.S. is the sedan’s biggest and most important market. In the course of its life, more than 3.2 million units of the Jetta have been sold in this market alone.

Those numbers, combined with the potential of the all-new model, should once again make the Jetta one of the more sought-after compact premium sedans in the U.S. The model goes on sale in the second quarter of 2018. Four trim levels — S, SE, SEL, and SEL Premium — will be offered, with prices starting at $18,545.

References

Volkswagen Jetta


2019 Volkswagen Jetta - image 758222

Read our full review on the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta.


The Next-Gen Volkswagen Jetta is Loaded To The Brim With Tech Features - image 758401

New VW Jetta Bows in Detroit, Redefines Compact Segment with Premium Features


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Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


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Read more Volkswagen news.

PostHeaderIcon Should Ram Resurrect The Ramcharger?

The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 is a wonderful improvement over the outgoing generation. Not only is it sleeker and more luxurious, its frame is stronger, its overall weight is down, and its drivetrain has been updated with mild hybrid systems in both the V-6 and V-8 engines. The truck will undoubtedly be very successful in competition with the also-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and the recently revised Ford F-150. But Ram is missing something – a full-size SUV based on its pickup.

Both Chevy and Ford have body-on-frame SUVs based on their half-ton pickups, and both have a long and rich history. In fact, the Chevy Suburban is the oldest automotive nameplate in existence. The Expedition is newer, having debuted in 1997, but over its 20 years, has made quite a name for itself. Ram, on the other hand, hasn’t had a truck-based, full-size SUV since 1993. That vehicle was the Ramcharger. Though only offered in a two-door model, it competed strongly against GM and Ford’s two-door SUVs, the Chevy Blazer and Ford Bronco – both of which were based on their respective half-ton trucks.

So, now that Ram has its all-new, fifth-generation truck, is it time the automaker resurrected the Ramcharger name? I say yes. Here’s my reasoning.

Continue reading for more information.

Ram 1500 Ramcharger


Should Ram Resurrect The Ramcharger?
- image 759915
“The long-wheelbase Ramcharger could ride on the Ram 1500’s current wheelbase and offer tons of room for third-row seating and boundless cargo space behind”

Ram could very easily adapt its half-ton frame and body for use in an SUV. In fact, everything ahead of the B-pillars could be shared with the Ram 1500, just as the Suburban and Expedition have done in the past with their respective pickups. And like both Chevy and Ford, Ram could have two versions with different lengths. Chevy has the shorter Tahoe and longer Suburban, while Ford has the Expedition and Expedition Max.

The long-wheelbase Ramcharger could ride on the Ram 1500’s current wheelbase and offer tons of room for third-row seating and boundless cargo space behind. A Tahoe-like short wheelbase version would still offer a third row, but with less cargo room and a more compact footprint for easier in-town driving.

Making the transition even easier is the Ram 1500’s rear suspension. It’s already a multi-link coil sprung suspension with a solid axle – just like the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban. (Ford spent the extra cash to develop an independent rear suspension for the second-generation and newer Expedition.) The Ram’s optional adjustable air suspension would make for an even smoother ride.


Should Ram Resurrect The Ramcharger?
- image 759897
“The Ram’s optional adjustable air suspension would make for an even smoother ride.”

The same is true for the drivetrain. Ram’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with its new mild hybrid system would be just fine for lower trimmed, short wheelbase Ramchargers, while the updated 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 and its mild hybrid system would make a perfect engine for upper trimmed models and the long wheelbase version. Naturally, the eight-speed automatic would be standard and part-time 4WD would be optional.

Making the case even stronger (and more plausible) is the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer and luxury-minded Grand Wagoneer. Both are slated to ride on the fifth-generation Ram’s chassis and compete with mid-level and high-level luxury SUVs. The Wagoneer will cater to the upper-middle-class family, while the Grand Wagoneer will compete with the Range Rover, Cadillac Escalade, and other high-end SUVs.


Should Ram Resurrect The Ramcharger?
- image 759895
“The case for a Ramcharger is extremely strong”

Ram could easily co-develop its Ramcharger alongside the Jeep Wagoneers. Not only would it save on development costs, but the would give FCA another vehicle to help pay for development costs – making both the Ram and Jeep versions less expensive to make.

Last but certainly not least is the current market for SUVs and pickups. Thanks to lower and more stable fuel prices, SUVs and trucks have experienced a resurgence in popularity. Three-row vehicles that can haul seven people and tow 8,000 pounds are hot these days. And there is no question that FCA needs more vehicles in its lineup after killing off the unpopular Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200.

The case for a Ramcharger is extremely strong. Let’s just hope Ram is actually thinking about the possibility as hard as I am.

References

Ram 1500


All-New 2019 Ram 1500 Steals The Show at Detroit - image 758492

All-New 2019 Ram 1500 Steals The Show at Detroit


2019 Ram 1500 - image 689360

Read our full review on the 2019 Ram 1500.


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


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Read more Ram news.

PostHeaderIcon The New Toyota Avalon Is Basically A Grille On Wheels

I remember when Lexus first came out with its enormous “spindle grille” feature, thinking to myself “well, that won’t last very long.” Now, here we are some seven years later, and the ginormous intake hasn’t receded in the slightest. In fact, it’s actually growing, and not just in size, either. The rest of Toyota’s lineup seems to be infected with enlarged grille syndrome, as is evidenced by the recently debuted 2019 Avalon that just dropped at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.

This grille is simply massive. It stretches between the ends of the bumper like one of those giant rubber dam things that dentists use for root canals. The whole front end of the car is basically grille. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll take a strikingly assertive, arguably ugly design over something boring any day of the week. But I can’t help but take a step back and shake my head when I see this thing, like I just walked into the world’s biggest ball of twine or something. I mean, what the hell is the point.

Granted, the styling actually does its job, as it certainly makes the Toyota stand out from the crowd. Indeed, just one glance is more than enough to confirm the car’s origin. However, I’m worried scientists will start pointing their telescopes at it thinking they just discovered a new black hole.

What do you think of the new front end on the 2019 Toyota Avalon? Let us know in the comments.

References

Toyota Avalon


2019 Toyota Avalon Gets More Aggressive, Boasts New Tech at Detroit - image 758791

2019 Toyota Avalon Gets More Aggressive, Boasts New Tech at Detroit


2016 Toyota Avalon - image 616782

Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota Avalon


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 741755

Read more Toyota news.

PostHeaderIcon The Future of the BMW i8 is Still in Limbo

The BMW i8 is still making a good case as a desirable model. The debut of the facelifted i8 in Detroit comes a month after the i8 Roadster showed up in Los Angeles. But just because the electric sports coupé remains relevant today, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be around in the not-so-distant future. There are ongoing discussions in Bavaria over the fate of the i8, and there’s growing sentiment that the coupé will end up becoming a one-generation wonder.


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728595
“At this point, BMW has yet to make a concrete decision on the i8’s fate, as well as that of the i3.”

At this point, BMW has yet to make a concrete decision on the i8’s fate, as well as that of the i3. According to Autocar, BMW believes that both models have served their purpose in this world. In the case of the i3, it was to show that the company can develop an electric car. The i8 has also achieved its purpose, which was for BMW to showcase its abilities in marrying performance and electrification into one package. The i3 and i8 both succeeded in their respective objectives, leaving Bimmer execs to ponder what the future holds for both models.

“We’re still deciding [about] the i8,” BMW i boss Robert Irlinger told the publication. “We see a market for new kinds of sports cars. Whatever it’s called, or if it’s a new kind of sports car, is still in discussion.”

There is the possibility that the i8 becomes a long-standing model for BMW. On the other hand, it’s equally plausible that the electric coupé becomes a legacy model in the vein of the BMW M1.


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728636
“Sales of the electric hatchback have tapered off in recent years, culminating in a less-than-stellar 2017 sales year when only 6,276 units of the i3 were sold in the U.S.”

It’s the same story with the i3, though, one that will be determined more by how popular it remains in the coming years. Sales of the electric hatchback have tapered off in recent years, culminating in a less-than-stellar 2017 sales year when only 6,276 units of the i3 were sold in the U.S. That’s a significant drop from the 7,625 i3 units BMW sold the year before.

If that trend continues, the i3 could be living on borrowed time, where it could join the i8 in BMW’s retirement facility.

References

BMW i8


BMW Debuts “New” i8 Coupe and the First i8 Roadster - image 748136

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i9 Coupe.


2018 BMW i8 Roadster - image 748122

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8 Roadster.

BMW i3


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728625

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.


2015 BMW i8 - image 522680

Read our full review on the current 2017 BMW i8.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Teases Mach 1 Electric… SUV?

Ford is on a quest to have 40 electrified vehicles by 2022 to meet the demand for fuel efficiency and receded local emissions. One of these vehicles will be a crossover with a fully electric drivetrain. Sounds great, right? Well, not so fast. This crossover will be “Mustang inspired” and be named the Mach 1.

As you should know, the Mach 1 name dates back to 1969 as a performance package on the Mustang. The Mach 1 package added an upgraded suspension, several appearance upgrades, and several V-8 engine options. The package continued through 1978 until Ford resurrected the name in 2003 and 2004 as a send-off for the fourth-generation Mustang. But regardless of year or body style, the Mach 1 name was synonymous with performance.

As for the “Mustang Inspired” thing, Ford hasn’t divulged what this inspiration will look like. The crossover could have a similar face or taillight cues as the Mustang, or maybe even a similar dashboard design.

One thing is for sure; the Mach 1 will be built on a separate platform from the Mustang due to its electric drivetrain and battery pack. That confirmation comes from Ford Executive Vice President Raj Nair in a conversation with Jalopnik.

But regardless of how Mustang-inspired this crossover is, it will still be a high-riding wagon with five doors. Why Ford thinks it’s a smart idea to brand an all-new electric crossover with such an iconic name rich with muscle car heritage is beyond me. It would be like Chevrolet making a Camaro-inspired electric crossover and calling it the Z/28 or Dodge building one inspired by the Viper and naming it the SRT-10.

Names mean things; they carry weight and history. More importantly, vehicle names are engrained into customers’ psyche and elicit connotations of worth, performance, capability, and cultural significance. I’m all for Ford building an electric crossover. It would probably sell extremely well. But, Ford should reconsider slapping such an iconic nameplate onto an unrelated vehicle that doesn’t even hail from the same vehicle category.


References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702950

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon The 2019 Ford Edge ST Is Fine, But The Base Model Is The Better Buy

The Blue Oval just dropped cover on the new Edge ST performance SUV at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, bolstering its lineup with a twin-turbo go-faster variant capable of sprinting to 60 mph in the low-5-second range and going around a corner with haste without falling over thanks to a sport-tuned suspension. That’s all well and good, but when you think about it, the base model is definitely a much better buy.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


Ford Edge ST Takes Detroit by Storm - image 759624
“The 2019 Ford Edge ST looks good and goes quick, but is it really worth the money?”

Don’t get us wrong – we think the Ford Edge ST is an intriguing offer. It’s got tons of desirable stuff, and rightfully so considering it’s basically Ford’s first real performance-oriented SUV. Under the hood is a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6, which, properly motivated, creates as much as 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. All of that go is routed through an eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD system, eventually reaching the blacktop by way of 20-inch wheels. You can also get yours with the
optional 21-inch wheels wrapped in performance tires, if you want.

Complementing the sticky rubber and AWD grip is an ST-specific sport suspension, which helps manage the SUV’s considerable size and weight. There’s also an optional brake package that upgrades the components in the rear, which should help it stop a little shorter (although in all honesty, a rear brake upgrade is mostly done for aesthetics). Outside, you’ll find more aggressive styling, with the bumpers tweaked and black trim added to the grille. There’s even a pair of sport seats in the interior.

So really, the Ford Edge ST is for folks who need an SUV, but don’t want to regress into the boring world of uninspiring high-riding models. And we get that. Thing is, while the ST certainly has a good amount of kit to ratchet up the excitement levels, the base model is really the better buy.


The 2019 Ford Edge ST Is Fine, But The Base Model Is The Better Buy - image 759150
“The base model Ford Edge might be a far superior buy for your SUV dollar.”

The rest of the trim level lineup is composed of the the SE, SEL, and Titanium, each of which was revised in this latest round of refreshes. Each gets a new look front and back, including a new grille and hood, plus standard LED lighting. Inside, buyers get all the usual infotainment goodies, like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa, plus a 4G WiFi connection with enough bandwidth to support up to 10 individual devices. There’s also a litany of safety systems, such as automatic braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, post-collision braking, and cross-traffic alert. Options include wireless device charging, adaptive cruise control, and more.

So then – you still get a good-looking exterior and a well-equipped interior with the lower trims. Of course, the powerplant sees a bit of a downgrade compared to the ST, with the twin-turbo V-6 replaced by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 250 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. So yeah, it’s pretty slow by comparison, but it gets the job done, especially with that eight-speed automatic transmission. And with FWD, it’ll save you a few bucks at the pump, too.

But here’s the real issue – the base model starts at just $30,215, and while we have yet to get an official pricing for the ST, it’ll most likely be close to $45,000.


Ford Edge ST Takes Detroit by Storm - image 759185
“The ST carries a huge jump in price, and while the extra ponies, bigger engine, sport suspension, and all the other stuff certainly justify the extra outlay, the Ford Edge ST is playing in a pretty heavy-hitting segment.”

That’s a huge jump, and while the extra ponies, bigger engine, sport suspension, and all the other stuff certainly justify it, the Ford Edge ST is playing in a pretty heavy-hitting segment. For roughly $45,000, you could get into something like a Porsche Macan ($47,800), which offers 252 horsepower, a 6.3-second 0-to-60 mph time, and AWD. And oh yeah, it’s also a Porsche. Or you could get into a Jaguar F-Pace ($42,065), which offers 247 horsepower and AWD, and oh yeah, it’s also a Jaaag.

But we get it. The base model Macan and F-Pace are both slower than the Edge ST and likely much more expensive to maintain. And some people just don’t care about badge prestige and luxury opulence.

Still, we can’t help but wonder – why not just get the best of both the SUV world and the performance world by getting a base model Edge and spending the remaining fifteen grand on something like an older Mustang? That way, you stay with the Blue Oval, you get a practical SUV (which won’t ride like crap because of the non-sport suspension, too), and you get a muscle car purpose-built for performance fun. Problem solved, right?

At the end of the day, the Edge ST definitely has a niche to fill. But that doesn’t mean we necessarily think it’s a great buy.

References

Ford Edge


Ford Edge ST Takes Detroit by Storm - image 759179

Ford Edge ST Takes Detroit by Storm


2019 Ford Edge ST - image 757605

Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Edge ST.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon GAC Makes a Statement In Detroit With The Enverge Concept

China’s GAC Motors is in attendance at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show with a contingent of concept vehicles that are getting a lot of people’s attention. One of these concepts, the Inverse, is an electric crossover that features an aggressive look, scissor doors, and the promise of a 370-mile range from a 71-kWh battery. In other words, it’s a legitimate concept that the Chinese automaker hopes will serve as a prelude for things to come when the brand launches in the U.S. in 2019.


“It’s attention-grabbing in ways that we didn’t expect from a Chinese automaker.”

There’s a strong undercurrent of expectation surrounding GAC’s plan to launch in the U.S. next year. No Chinese brand has made an impact in the American car market so if GAC really wants to make an impression, it’s going to have to show its intended market that it’s the real deal.

So far, the Enverge Concept is a promising start. It’s attention-grabbing in ways that we didn’t expect from a Chinese automaker. It’s not that the concept is a slam dunk — it has some unusual quirks — it’s that it actually came from a Chinese automaker.

The body is aggressive and pleasant to look at. That in itself is a rare occurrence given China’s history of building shoddy knock-off models. Apparently, it can make provocative concepts. The scissor doors also do their part in making head turns, and the interior is a complete revelation.


GAC Makes a Statement In Detroit With The Enverge Concept - image 759781
“While I don’t expect the prospective production model to carry this kind of interior, it does give you a glimpse of what GAC is trying to achieve”

While I don’t expect the prospective production model to carry this kind of interior, it does give you a glimpse of what GAC is trying to achieve. The massive space-age digital display can compete with similar designs developed by American and European automakers. The thin seats are also aesthetically futuristic, though I find it difficult to imagine them making their way past this stage. There’s also a good amount of space in the cabin, which is partly due to the minimalist approach that GAC seems to have adopted in its design.

If it comes to it, I’d be a fool to think that the Enverge Concept will look like this in production form. GAC will need to tone down a lot of the aesthetic bits and features, including the unnecessary scissor doors. But as far as showcasing its potential in front of the Western auto industry, it’s hard to believe that GAC fell short on its attempt.


GAC Makes a Statement In Detroit With The Enverge Concept - image 759785

You may not like the Enverge Concept, but you can’t argue that the electric crossover is, at the very least, impressionable. That’s already a win for GAC.

References


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Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


Fastest Selling Car in History is.... the Lynk & Co 01 - image 749089

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PostHeaderIcon Mercedes Displays 1983 Dakar Rally-Winning 280 GE at 2018 Detroit Auto Show

The Mercedes-Benz booth at the 2018 North American International Auto Show proved to be a busy place thanks to the all-new 2019 G-Class. Part of the fun was historic G-Class vehicles from Mercedes’ storied past. One of them was this, the 1983 Mercedes 280 GE built to run the Paris–Dakar Rally. Its driver was Jacky Ickx and co-driver Claude Brasseur. The duo battled the 6,200 miles over grueling, off-road terrain between Paris, France and Dakar, Senegal – a town on the westernmost tip of Africa.

The G-Wagen was mostly stock but came with a few extras to help win the rally. Meatier all-terrain tires, an off-road bumper, and extra lights were added, while the rear glass was painted over with sponsor logos. A large spoiler hangs off the G-Wagen’s rear, perhaps helping control dust.

The win proved extremely important for Mercedes. The G-Wagen was only four years old in 1983 and the Dakar Rally was only five. Both Mercedes and the rally have become legendary over the decades and into modern times. The 1983 race was also the first and only time an automaker to win the Dakar overall with two vehicle classes. Mercedes other contender was a 1936 AK-series medium-duty truck.

References

Mercedes-Benz G-Class


2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Blitzkriegs Detroit! - image 758358

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Blitzkriegs Detroit!


2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Blitzkriegs Detroit! - image 758356

Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes G-Class


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PostHeaderIcon Land Rover Defender Works V8 Is an Homage to the Original

On the 70th anniversary of the iconic Defender, and with an all-new model currently in the works, Land Rover decided to treat the fans of this car to something rather special. The Classic Defender Works V8 is a tribute to the early V8 models, and the most powerful version of the SUV ever built. 

The 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol V8 powertrain featured in the Defender Works V8 churns out 405PS and 515 Nm of torque. That is a far cry from the standard Defender which has to make do with only 122PS and 360 Nm. As a result, this V8 version is a limited, collector’s edition of just 150 copies, and the only one capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds with a top speed of 106 mph.

The performance highlights of the V8 Defender include eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with sport mode, uprated brakes and handling kit (springs, dampers and anti-roll bars), plus exclusive 18-inch diamond-turned Sawtooth alloy wheels and 265/65 R18 all-terrain tyres. Distinguishing features of the Land Rover Defender Works V8 on the outside include Santorini Black roof, wheel arches and front grille, aluminium door handles, fuel filler cap and Defender bonnet lettering,LED headlights and 8 exterior colors. Inside the cabin you get Windsor Leather interior trim covers the dashboard, door panels, headlining and Recaro sports seats and Land Rover Classic’s own Classic Infotainment System.

The cost of this most desirable of Defenders is a whopping £150,000 for a 90 version. They will also make 110s built-to-order, and those obviously cost even more.









The post Land Rover Defender Works V8 Is an Homage to the Original appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Updated Jeep Cherokee Gets 2.0-liter Turbo from the Wrangler

The facelifted Jeep Chekoree made its public debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show with a brand-new front fascia that no longer looks like it’s sucking lemons. The best Jeep-related news in a year, because let’s face it, the pre-facelift Cherooke’s design sucked really bad. The rear end was also heavily revised to the point where it no longer looks like a Fiat. Interior updates are small, but it does feature a new center console and new tech. But by far the biggest change lies under the hood, where the Tigershark and Pentastar engines were joined by a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.


2019 Jeep Cherokee - image 759331
“Borrowed from the latest Jeep Wrangler, the turbocharged mill cranks out the same 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque”

Borrowed from the latest Jeep Wrangler, the turbocharged mill cranks out the same 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. These figures place it just above the existing 3.2-liter V-6, which is rated at 271 horses and 239 pound-feet. The Pentastar unit carried over unchanged, while the 2.4-liter Tigershark gained minor changes that reduced output from 184 horsepower and 172 pound-feet to 180 horses and 170 pound-feet.

The new four-banger mates to the same nine-speed automatic transmission as other engines and it should deliver better fuel economy that the other two options. Actual figures aren’t yet available, but the V-6 returns 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, while the Tigershark gets up to 30 mpg highway. The fact that the revised Cherokee is 200 pounds lighter thanks to a new aluminum hood and composite tailgate should help the new turbo four-cylinder deliver the best ever fuel economy figures for the nameplate.


References

Jeep Cherokee


Updated Jeep Cherokee Gets 2.0-liter Turbo from the Wrangler - image 759134

Read our full review on the 2019 Jeep Cherokee.


2015 Jeep Cherokee - Driven - image 628279

Read our full driven review on the 2015 Jeep Cherokee.


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PostHeaderIcon 2018 Lexus LS Pricing Unveiled in Detroit: Significantly More Affordable Than Mercedes S-Class

Lexus just unveiled pricing for the new-generation LS sedan at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The Japanese four-door is significantly more affordable than its German counterpart, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series. Redesigned from the ground up on a new platform, the latest LS has a sportier design, the most luxurious interior yet, and new V-6 and hybrid drivetrains. Pricing starts from $75,000 before options and special packages.


2018 Lexus LS Pricing Unveiled in Detroit: Significantly More Affordable Than Mercedes S-Class - image 759420
“The hybrid version, called the LS 500h, retails from $79,510 with rear-wheel drive and from $82,730 with AWD”

The base model is the LS 500 and comes with rear-wheel-drive. Upgrade to AWD and the sticker jumps from $75,000 to $78,220. Compared to the base Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the LS is a whopping $14,900 less expensive. The difference is smaller when compared to the BMW 7 Series, but the LS is still a solid $8,100 more affordable.

The hybrid version, called the LS 500h, retails from $79,510 with rear-wheel drive and from $82,730 with AWD. Finally, the range-topping LS 500 F Sport comes in at $81,000 with RWD and $84,220 with all-wheel drive.

Lexus also offers five upgrade packages. The Interior Upgrade Package adds quilted-stitch, perforated semi-aniline leather-trimmed interior, 28-way power driver’s seat with multifunction massage, power front seatbelt buckles, and heated rear seats for $3,730 in the LS 500 and LS 500h. Next up is the Luxury Package, which includes 28-way power passenger seat with multifunction massage, passenger-seat power cushion extender, 18-way heated and ventilated power-reclining rear seats with memory, remote adjustment for passenger seat, and four-zone climate concierge. The bundle costs $12,290 for the LS 500 with RWD, $12,270 for the LS 500 with AWD and the LS 500h with RWD, and $12,250 for the LS 500h with AWD.


2018 Lexus LS Pricing Unveiled in Detroit: Significantly More Affordable Than Mercedes S-Class - image 759425

More luxury comes from the Executive Package, adding butterfly power-retractable front headrests, 22-way power rear seats with butterfly headrests, memory, and multifunction massage with heat. Available for the LS 500 model only, it costs $17,100 with RWD and $17,080 with AWD. The Executive Package with Kiriko Glass is the most expensive upgrade available, adding Kiriko glass interior door trim and hand-pleated interior trim to the previous bundle. This package fetches $23,100 on the LS 500 RWD, $23,080 on the LS 500 AWD and LS 500h RWD, and $23,060 on the LS 500h AWD. Finally, the F Sport Performance Package adds dynamic rear steering, variable gear-ratio steering, and active stabilizers to the LS 500 F Sport RWD for $9,700.

LS 500 LS 500h LS 500 F SPORT
MSRP* RWD / AWD $75,000 / $78,220 $79,510 / $82,730 $81,000 / $84,220
Interior Upgrade Package
Quilted-stitch, perforated semi-aniline leather-trimmed interior, 28-way power driver’s seat with multifunction massage, power front seatbelt buckles, heated rear seats and more.
$3,730 $3,730 N/A
Luxury Package – 28-way power passenger seat with multifunction massage, passenger-seat power cushion extender, 18-way heated and ventilated power-reclining rear seats with memory, remote adjustment for passenger seat, four-zone climate concierge. $12,290 / $12,270 $12,270 / $12,250 N/A
Executive Package
Butterfly power-retractable front headrests, 22-way power rear seats with butterfly headrests, memory and multifunction massage with heat.
$17,100 / $17,080 N/A N/A
Executive Package with Kiriko Glass
Kiriko glass interior door trim, hand-pleated interior door trim, 22-way power rear seats with butterfly headrests, memory and multifunction massage with heat.
$23,100 / $23,080 $23,080 / $23,060 N/A
F SPORT Performance Package
Dynamic Rear Steering, Variable Gear-Ratio Steering, active stabilizers.
N/A N/A $9,700 RWD
only

References

Lexus LS


2018 Lexus LS 500 - image 702643

Read our review of the 2018 Lexus LS500


2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport - image 712551

Read our full review on the 2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport.


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Read more Lexus news.


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PostHeaderIcon The 2019 Silverado’s 3.0-Liter Duramax Is Chevy’s First I-6 Turbodiesel

Chevrolet is breaking the status quo with its all-new 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder Duramax turbodiesel. Announce in conjunction with the new 2019 Silverado 1500, this light-duty turbodiesel marks a few big milestones for the automaker. It breaks convention by avoiding the familiar V-6 design used by both Ford and Ram’s 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesels.

First, the 3.0-liter I-6 Duramax is the first straight-six diesel engine Chevy has ever made, and second, it’s the first inline-six produced since the Chevy Trailblazer and its 4.2-liter Atlas I-6 ended production during the 2009 model year.


2018 Chevrolet Equinox Turbodiesel – Driven - image 753147

Note: Chevrolet Equinox’s 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine pictured here.

“The 3.0-liter I-6 Duramax is the first straight-six diesel engine Chevy has ever made”

Though Chevy has a long history with diesel and turbodiesel engines, they have all been I-4, V-6, and V-8 configurations. Currently, Chevy makes both I-4 and V-8 styles. They include the 1.6-liter I-4 found in the Cruze and Equinox, the 2.8-liter I-4 Duramax in the Colorado, and the 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 used in the Silverado HDs. The list of V-6 turbodiesel is much shorter, containing only the Oldsmobile’s 4.3-liter V-6 built from 1982 through 1985.

As for the Chevy Trailblazer’s 4.2-liter inline-six gasoline engine, it met an untimely demise thanks to the downturn in the economy, the Trailblazer’s age, the ease of manufacturing the 4.3-liter V-6 next to the 5.3-liter V-8, and the rise in popularity of front-wheel-drive crossovers. The 4.2-liter Atlas was simply too long for transversely mounting between the front wheels of a crossover SUV. While it would have made a great engine in the Silverado 1500, the Atlas would have proved too costly in replacing the 4.3-liter V-6. See, the V-6 was basically a 5.3-liter V-8 with two cylinders missing. That meant it was the same width and shared the same engine mounts as the V-8. The similarities also made engine production much easier for Chevy.

Read our in-depth look at the 4.2-liter Atlas inline-six.


2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax Diesel - image 638249

Note: Colorado’s 2.8-liter inline four-cylinder diesel engine pictured here.

“The new Duramax will have to compete with Ram’s updated 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 and Ford’s all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6.”

As for Chevrolet’s all-new 3.0-liter Inline-six Duramax, its displacement, cylinder arrangement, and fuel are all we know. Power, fuel economy, and option cost have not been announced. Still, that won’t stop us from speculating. The new Duramax will have to compete with Ram’s updated 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 and Ford’s all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6.

Ram’s revised EcoDiesel will make 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. The Ford’s Power Stroke will produce 250 horses and 440 pound-feet of torque. Chevy is undoubtedly targeting these performance figures. Since the last automaker to debut will generally one-up the competition, Chevy’s turbodiesel could potentially make more than 260 horses and 442 pound-feet. However, Chevy could be targeting fuel economy rather than power, in which case, we might see Chevy’s specs fall around the F-150’s.

And while horsepower and torque are important, the real winner will be the first truck to achieve greater than 30 mpg on the highway without some outlandish fuel economy-oriented trim package.

References

Chevrolet Silverado


2019 Chevrolet Silverado - image 758115

Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado.


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition: Dissecting The Name - image 739865

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71: An Overview


2016 Chevrolet Silverado - image 712066

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado.


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Read more Detroit Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon 2019 Jeep Cherokee Is Still Ugly, But More Premium

So on the second day of the Detroit Motor Show Chrysler unveiled the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee. And while the new model is said to be more premium and sophisticated with its sating chrome and high gloss accents, it’s still quite frankly just hideous as before. But hey, if the way it looks tickle your bits, then you will like all the updates the new model features. 

2019 Jeep Cherokee features new or updated front fascia, hood, LED headlamps, daylight running lamps and fog lamps, and as mentioned it does feature some nice chrome and high-gloss accents inside the cabin. Among the other new highlights we have the lightweight, handsfree power liftgate,  available dual-pane sunroof, new wheel designs, and improved rear cargo volume and more convenient storage space. So if you get past those looks, the Cherokee is actually a pretty decent family car.

As for the powertrains, 2019 Jeep Cherokee can be had with a 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged four-pot developing 270 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque equipped with engine stop-start (ESS), or a less efficient but no more powerful 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with ESS delivering 271 horsepower and 239 lb.-ft. of torque. No, we don’t know why anyone should get the V6, either. You may, however, be interested in the economy of the 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2 engine with ESS technology which delivers 180 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque.

It might be more suited to city environments than the wild, but the new Cherokee is still a jeep and so it’s pretty damn good offroad. You get Jeep Selec-Terrain traction control system with up to five customized modes – Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock, and the four-wheel-drive system features top of the line components for optimum performance. It’s a shame this good mid-size SUV has to look like that…






The post 2019 Jeep Cherokee Is Still Ugly, But More Premium appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Get Your Tracks Ready: Chevy Camaro Hot Wheels Goes on Sale Feb 1st

The 2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition first came into our lives in October 2017 when the special edition muscle car made its debut at the 2017 SEMA Auto Show in Las Vegas. Fast forward three months and we’re sitting here today, reporting that Chevrolet has announced details on how you can get the Hot Wheels package on your Camaro. Only 2,500 units of the package will be available, each coming at a price of $4,995. Prepare those credit cards because orders open on February 1 at Chevrolet dealerships all over the country.


Get Your Tracks Ready: Chevy Camaro Hot Wheels Goes on Sale Feb 1st - image 759228
“Only 2,500 units of the package will be available, each coming at a price of $4,995”

The 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition is not a special edition Camaro in the traditional sense of what we know special edition models to be. Instead of the Camaro being an actual car with special edition details rolling out of the production lot, the Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition is a package that you can buy to add to your purchase of a Camaro. That’s why the package itself is available on Camaro 2LT and 2SS coupe and convertible models.

The good news is that the package is loaded with features, some of which showcase the 50-year partnership between Chevrolet and Hot Wheels.

The exterior, for example, receives Satin Graphite stripes with Silver Ice Metallic accents. The ground effects also get dressed up in Satin Graphite, as is the set of 20-inch forged aluminum wheels. Chevrolet’s also throwing in unique center caps for the wheels, as well as 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels fender badges and a distinctive front grille with Galvano Chrome inserts, among other juicy bits.


Get Your Tracks Ready: Chevy Camaro Hot Wheels Goes on Sale Feb 1st - image 759238
“Move to the interior and you’ll see a Jet Black leather-appointed interior with exclusive orange inserts and orange accent stitching”

Move to the interior and you’ll see a Jet Black leather-appointed interior with exclusive orange inserts and orange accent stitching. Orange kneepads on the doors and orange seat belts are also prominent additions to the package. The Camaro’s steering wheel also gets in on the action with a 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels badge. It’s the same story with the illuminated doorsill plates, which get their own 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels badges.

If you approve of these exclusive design features, then you’re going to need to circle your calendars for February 1. Act quickly because sales of the package are expected to fly off the shelves.

References

Chevrolet Camaro


Get Your Tracks Ready: Chevy Camaro Hot Wheels Goes on Sale Feb 1st - image 759229

Read our full review on the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition


2016 - 2017 Chevrolet Camaro - image 630471

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro.


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Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


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Read more Chevrolet news.

PostHeaderIcon You Can Already Drive The Cool Hyundai Veloster N in Forza Motorsport 7

Unveiled at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, the Hyundai Veloster N is the first high-performance vehicle that the Korean brand will bring to the U.S. But it won’t become available in American showrooms until the fourth quarter of 2018. However, you can already drive the beefed-up hatchback, alongside the Veloster Turbo model, in Forza Motorsport 7 starting January 16.


“Both cars have joined the official roster of drivable vehicles in the game for Xbox and Windows 10 as part of a free downloadable content pack”

Both cars have joined the official roster of drivable vehicles in the game for Xbox and Windows 10 as part of a free downloadable content pack. As with all cars in Forza Motorsport 7, once the Veloster N is in your garage, you can customize it with new wheels, powertrain and suspension upgrades, bespoke tunes, and unique paint schemes and racing liveries. Additional Veloster-related in-game features, including Rivals events, will be unveiled in the future.

Unveiled at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N follows in the footsteps of the i30 N with aerodynamic and design upgrades on the outside and a new engine under the hood. The Hatchback packs a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet and uses a six-speed manual transmission, a fully independent suspension, and a performance braking system. The non-N version gets a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle unit with 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet in base guise and the previous 2.0-liter turbo with 201 horses and 195 pound-feet in its Turbo version.

References

Hyundai Veloster


Hyundai Veloster Brings N Performance to U.S. for 2019! - image 758651

Hyundai Veloster Brings N Performance to U.S. for 2019!


Hyundai Veloster Gets Much-Needed Redesign, but What's with the Lancer Evo Face? - image 758625

Hyundai Veloster Gets Much-Needed Redesign, but What’s with the Lancer Evo Face?


2016 Hyundai Veloster - image 755389

Read our full review on the 2016 Hyundai Veloster.


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Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


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Read more Hyundai news.

PostHeaderIcon TopCar Lamborghini Urus Styling Package – Preview

Russian tuner of exotic cars TopCar beocmes the first firm to announce an upgrade package for the Lamborghini SUV, the Urus. It remains to be seen if TopCar Lamborghini Urus will be the first tricked-out version of this car to come out, but regardless, it will certainly be one of the coolest. 

We are basing that judgment on how exquisitely cool TopCar Lamborghini Urus look in these official renderings. Having seen their previous works from drawing all the way to the real-world release, we are fairly certain this is exactly what TopCar will make the real package look like. Granted, part of the coolness here is down to that awesome army green paint job. But that is not a tall order for a tuner like TopCar to produce in their workshop.

TopCar Lamborghini Urus, in its first version at least, gets a fairly subtle styling treatment. Well, subtle by Lamborghini and TopCar’s own standards. AT the front you find a chin spoiler and new grille surrounds, complementing the black fender flares the sides.There is also a couple of chunky side skirts which give the Lambo SUV an even more athletic look, and you get red brake calipers inside matte black wheels. At the back of the car a double spoiler feature on the roof and the tailgate is one highlight, dwarfed by the new rear bumper/diffuser combo TopCar has designed. The diffuser also houses new red tailpipes, available in a couple of different designs.

TopCar never does anything mechanical and oily, but they will probably provide you with a lavish interior treatment as well if you ask nicely.





The post TopCar Lamborghini Urus Styling Package – Preview appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Takes High-Tech Approach With New Avalon Hybrid

It’s no secret that the sedan body style is under fire these days, losing ground to the ever-popular SUV and crossover segment year after year. However, Toyota is confident it’ll still move units, ushering in a new fifth generation for its full-size Avalon four-door at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The big draw this time around is the technology stuffed into the cabin, as well as a new hybrid powertrain under the hood.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

What About Styling?


Toyota Takes High-Tech Approach With New Avalon Hybrid - image 759137
“Right from the off, the new Avalon looks the part of a fresh four-door, packing on new styling cues that definitely help it stand out in a crowd”

Right from the off, the new Avalon looks the part of a fresh four-door, packing on new styling cues that definitely help it stand out in a crowd. Regardless of whether or not it actually looks, you know, good, that enormous front grille and those Lexus-esque styling features are definitely head-turners in their own right.

Add in cool stuff like dynamic turn signals and LED lighting front to back, and the high-tech approach can definitely work to the Avalon Hybrid’s advantage here.

What About The Interior?


Toyota Takes High-Tech Approach With New Avalon Hybrid - image 758814
“Of course, a screen is only as good as the software behind it, and to that end, the Avalon Hybrid has plenty of new stuff, including the Entune 3.0 app suite and Toyota Remote Connect.”

Front and center is a standard 10-inch heads-up display, as well as a 7-inch display in the gauge cluster that provides readouts on Hybrid System status, and a variety of complementary screens elsewhere in the cabin. The stand-up display on the center console also looks pretty “techy” if you ask us.

Of course, a screen is only as good as the software behind it, and to that end, the Avalon Hybrid has plenty of new stuff, including the Entune 3.0 app suite and the latest version of Toyota Remote Connect. Basically, these offer a good number of remote services and features, plus app support. The latter also comes with smartwatch support and Amazon Alexa support, with Alexa users getting tons of integrated features with their various connected devices, including those at home.


Toyota Takes High-Tech Approach With New Avalon Hybrid - image 758773
“Toyota also mentioned that it's throwing in Apple CarPlay smartphone support as standard across the range. This is actually a pretty big deal.”

Toyota also mentioned that it’s throwing in Apple CarPlay smartphone support as standard across the range. This is actually a pretty big deal – most of the other automakers are already in on this, and frankly, it’s about time Toyota got in on it as well.

Complementary features include a WiFi hotspot by way of Verizon, and a Qi Wireless Charging system to keep that phone topped off.

There’s also the Toyota Safety Sense suite of technology, which tosses in good stuff like Lane Departure Warning, Steering Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic High-Beams, Pre-Collision Warning with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear-Cross Traffic Alert, and more.

All told, the Avalon gets a sweet bit of kit inside, with everything you’d expect from the segment.

What About Under The Hood?


Toyota Takes High-Tech Approach With New Avalon Hybrid - image 759138
“Toyota boasts the Avalon as the “only full hybrid vehicle in the segment,” which makes sense coming from the makers of the Prius.”

In addition to a new platform under the skin, the 2019 Avalon also comes with an optional hybrid powertrain under the hood, replacing the standard model’s 3.5-liter V-6 with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and 650-volt electric motor. Power is sent through a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to drive the front wheels.

Toyota boasts the Avalon as the “only full hybrid vehicle in the segment,” which makes sense coming from the makers of the Prius. Standout features include dual VVT-i and VVT-e (basically hybrid-specific variable valve control), D-4S direct injection, and a high 14:1 compression ratio. The hybrid also uses two electric motors to help keep the battery pack topped off, with one of those motors used for power assistance. Providing the electrons is a nickel-metal hydride battery pack, which, if we’re honest, is a bit old school in an age of lithium-ion packs and claims of solid-state batteries.

Regardless, there are still multiple drive modes to make the most of available electron power, plus features like Auto Glide Control, which helps to save fuel by engaging an automatic drive setting that acts like a neutral gear for easy coasting. There’s even a sport mode to dump electric power at a whim, and six simulated gears if you wanna take a more hands-on approach to the CVT, all of which should pair well with the new adaptive suspension components.

Nice, But Is It Techy Enough?


Toyota Takes High-Tech Approach With New Avalon Hybrid - image 758791

While SUVs and crossovers boast enhanced practicality thanks to large storage spaces, tall suspension, and AWD grip, entries in the sedan segment need something to call their own. The technology angle could work well, and the Avalon Hybrid is a good move in that respect. However, will customers respond? We’ll have to see.

References

Toyota Avalon


2016 Toyota Avalon - image 616782

Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota Avalon


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Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


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Read more Toyota news.

PostHeaderIcon Ant-Man and the Wasp Veloster Proves Hyundai Deserves a Place in the Marvel Universe

The Detroit Auto Show played host to a wide number of debuts and concept vehicles. One car, though, stood out, not only because of its appearance but because of its involvement in one of this year’s biggest blockbuster movies. The car is a 2019 Hyundai Veloster. It’s impossible to miss because it showed up in Detroit dressed in a shiny purple exterior with hot rod flame graphics all over it. More importantly, this particular Veloster will play a role in Marvel Studio’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, which hits theaters in July this year.


Ant-Man and the Wasp Veloster Proves Hyundai Deserves a Place in the Marvel Universe
- image 758986
“This type of cross-promotional partnership has done wonders for Audi and Acura in the past”

It’s not that uncommon for automakers to find their cars in any of Marvel’s films. This type of cross-promotional partnership has done wonders for Audi and Acura in the past. Now it looks like Hyundai’s getting its turn in the spotlight, and I can’t think of a better car to get that shine than the new Hyundai Veloster.

There are probably better Hyundai models to have this role, but the Veloster is the right model to use because the car’s target consumer base — young people with an affinity for excitement — fits right into the same demographic that Marvel traditionally captures in any of its blockbuster movies. The Marvel Cinematic Universe and its growing catalog of movies and shows have become rich environments for automakers looking to attach their brands to large audiences and some of the worlds’ most popular pop-culture icons. It’s a perfect fit for the Hyundai Veloster.

As far as the Veloster’s involvement is concerned, neither Hyundai nor Marvel have given any indication beyond the former saying that the Veloster will prove its “capabilities in serving as the ultimate escape vehicle.” The description doesn’t say much in the way of specifics, but it does hint that the hot hatch will be used in the movie, perhaps by Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), in some kind of chase sequence.


Ant-Man and the Wasp Veloster Proves Hyundai Deserves a Place in the Marvel Universe
- image 758990
“The Veloster is the right model to use because the car’s target consumer base — young people with an affinity for excitement”

Whatever the case is, the Hyundai Veloster’s involvement in one of the biggest movies this year is a huge advertising coup for the Korean automaker. Audi, in particular, has reaped the benefits of having a lot of its models, most notably the R8, enjoy prominent screen time in the MCU. Loren Angelo, director of marketing for Audi America, told Automotive News in 2016 that the German automaker’s presence in the MCU contributed to “30 percent increase in the brand’s awareness and opinion metrics” since the R8 first turned up in 2008’s Iron Man.

Now it’s Hyundai’s turn to leverage that opportunity for the new Veloster.


References

Hyundai Veloster


Hyundai Veloster Brings N Performance to U.S. for 2019! - image 758651

Hyundai Veloster Brings N Performance to U.S. for 2019!


Hyundai Veloster Gets Much-Needed Redesign, but What's with the Lancer Evo Face? - image 758625

Hyundai Veloster Gets Much-Needed Redesign, but What’s with the Lancer Evo Face?


2016 Hyundai Veloster - image 755389

Read our full review on the 2016 Hyundai Veloster.


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 744957

Read more Hyundai news.

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