Motortrend News Feed

The official Motor Trend magazine web site featuring the latest new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards, and much more
Updated: 45 min 12 sec ago

2019 Volvo S60 and V60 First Test: Finding the Swede Spot

8 hours 16 min ago

With one exception, Volvo’s lineup has consistently impressed us since the XC90 became the 2016 SUV of the Year. Despite the brand’s successful run, a 2017 S60 sedan hobbled its way to a last-place finish in an eight-car compact luxury sedan comparison. That ancient compact was “outclassed at nearly every turn,” but it finally steps aside for the 2019 S60 sedan and 2019 V60 wagon. When specced carefully, the new 60-series cars shine, showing off an unmistakable Swedish approach to luxury and style.

Design is as much a part of Volvo’s brand identity these days as safety, and the S60 and V60 have serious presence. Credit for that largely goes to the new platform those cars now ride on, providing more premium proportions and an enormous 4.9-inch increase in length. The stretched-out 2019 S60 is longer than all eight cars in our most recent Big Test comparo and boasts a back seat that feels far more livable than what you’ll find in most competitors.

The Volvo S60 and V60 are at their best when you’re honest about what you want from a luxury car; back road burners should stick with the Alfa Romeo Giulia or Genesis G70. Even in R-Design form with the all-wheel-drive T6’s 316-hp turbo- and supercharged four, the S60 and V60 lack the transmission responsiveness and steering feel those competitors offer. The Volvo can entertain on your favorite driving road, but even with Fusion Red Metallic paint, the S60 R-Design isn’t the sports car of the segment. Given that, the stiff ride you’ll experience to and from that snaking two-lane disappoints. If you’re set on an R-Design or Inscription, consider test-driving models with the standard 18-inch wheels to see if you notice a difference in road feel versus models rolling on 19s.

The same story applies to the S60 T8 Polestar Engineered plug-in hybrid. A bit of a Swedish unicorn, the 20-unit U.S. production of this special variant has already sold out. With 415 total system horsepower, the sporty plug-in hybrid is expected to get an EV range of about 21 miles before the turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder kicks in to help. Beyond a normal S60 T8—the U.S. doesn’t get a V60 T8 model—the Polestar Engineered variant includes upgraded brakes and suspension as well as 20-inch wheels. The result is a surprising 4.5-second 0–60 time, but the plug-in’s powertrain also means a compromised trunk, slightly less rear-seat space, and a much smaller center storage area between driver and front passenger. What really kills the T8’s package, however, is its end-of-travel braking performance, making smooth stops difficult.

If all-wheel drive isn’t a must-have feature, take another look at the front-drive, 250-hp S60 T5 and V60 T5. Although the V60 T5’s 6.9-second 0–60 time can’t keep pace with many others in this class, it doesn’t feel much slower than T6 models, which reach 60 about a second quicker. Sticking with the T5 also bumps fuel economy from 21/31–32 mpg city/highway to 24/36 mpg and avoids the awkwardness of driving a 316-hp car that can be outrun by 252- and 280-hp all-wheel-drive alternatives (Audi A4 and Alfa Romeo Giulia, respectively). Saying no to the T6 also leaves you with an extra $4,500 to save and invest.

Or spend part of that money on blind-spot monitoring, which unfortunately costs extra on the compact luxury entry from the brand known for safety. Although we wish that tech (called BLIS in Volvos) were standard across the line and not just on the R-Design and Inscription models, it’s worth noting that a $36,795 S60 Momentum base model starts thousands below the Lexus IS, Alfa Romeo Giulia, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. And even at that price, the S60 gets a panoramic moonroof, a 9.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, LED headlights with slick daytime running lights that don’t announce your car as a base model, 18-inch wheels, and safety tech that includes Run-off Road Mitigation, a lane keeping assist system, and automatic emergency braking that can detect pedestrians, cyclists, and large animals.

All trims offer Pilot Assist, which combines adaptive cruise control with a lane keeping assist system. Although the latter tech only works when it can detect lane markings on the road, the adaptive cruise control works well even in stop-and-go traffic. We’re a little less positive about the infotainment system on that 9.0-inch touchscreen. When complemented by the R-Design’s metal or the Inscription’s wood trim, the screen and the handful of buttons below it give the Volvos a refreshingly modern and clean interior. But the system has a couple drawbacks. Changing the amount of air or engaging air recirculation requires three clicks, including one to remove the HVAC screen. And even though Apple CarPlay and Android Auto greatly simplify in-car audio, phone, and navigation tasks, the systems only take up about half of that vertical-oriented screen—on the bottom.

Ease your frustrations with that subpar use of screen space by activating the Inscription model’s available massaging front seats. The S60’s prime competitors don’t offer that feature at any price, though if it’s a gotta-have feature, add the Lincoln MKZ to your short list. Volvo also continues to impress with its rear-seat headrest-folding functionality. Upon pressing a touchscreen button, the two outboard rear-seat headrests automatically fold down, increasing rear visibility. One-touch convenience extends to the V60 wagon, which has buttons in the cargo area to automatically fold down the rear seats to an almost completely flat position. And if you’d prefer the SUV-like styling of the Audi A4 Allroad and Subaru Outback, Volvo will happily point you to the upcoming V60 Cross Country model. S60 production begins late this year, with the V60 following in the first quarter of 2019.

Whichever S60 or V60 model you’re eyeing, the Volvos look distinctive inside and out. Combine that with the new, longer car’s decent interior space, and suddenly you’ve got a strong contender. Just skip the T8 plug-in hybrid and any trim with 19-inch wheels, as the car excels most when it isn’t trying to out-sport the segment leaders. As a $50,000 luxury four-door, the Volvo demands attention from those willing to look beyond the 3 Series and C-Class. We can’t wait to compare it to the rest of the segment.

2019 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design 2019 Volvo S60 T8 Polestar BASE PRICE $47,395 $1,100/mo Care by Volvo Only PRICE AS TESTED $54,740 (est) $1,100/mo Care by Volvo Only VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan ENGINE 2.0L/316-hp/295-lb-ft turbo + s’charged DOHC 16-valve I-4 2.0L/328-hp/317-lb-ft turbo + s’charged DOHC 16-valve I-4 plus 46-hp/110-lb-ft front, 87-hp/177-lb-ft rear elec motor; 415 hp/494 lb-ft comb TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,000 lb (56/44%) 4,431 lb (55/45%) WHEELBASE 113.1 in 113.1 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 187.4 x 72.8 x 56.6 in 187.4 x 72.8 x 56.6 in 0-60 MPH 5.9 sec 4.5 sec QUARTER MILE 14.3 sec @ 99.2 mph 13.1 sec @ 105.9 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 114 ft 110 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.91 g (avg) 0.90 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.8 sec @ 0.71 g (avg) 25.4 sec @ 0.75 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 21/32/25 mpg 27/34/30 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 160/105 kW-hrs/100 miles 125/99 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.78 lb/mile 0.65 lb/mile 2019 Volvo V60 T5 (FWD) 2019 Volvo V60 T6 AWD Inscription BASE PRICE $38,900 TBD PRICE AS TESTED TBD TBD VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door wagon Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door wagon ENGINE 2.0L/250-hp/258-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4 2.0L/316-hp/295-lb-ft turbo + s’charged DOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,774 lb (56/44%) 4,095 lb (55/45%) WHEELBASE 113.1 in 113.1 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 187.4 x 72.8 x 56.6 in 187.4 x 72.8 x 56.6 in 0-60 MPH 6.9 sec 6.0 sec QUARTER MILE 15.3 sec @ 92.2 mph 14.4 sec @ 97.8 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 126 ft 121 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.83 g (avg) 0.84 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.1 sec @ 0.66 g (avg) 26.7 sec @ 0.66 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 24/36/28 mpg 21/31/25 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 140/94 kW-hrs/100 miles 160/109 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.69 lb/mile 0.79 lb/mile Buy, Lease, or Subscribe? Pricing Details on Care by Volvo

Buying and leasing aren’t the only ways to get into a 2019 Volvo S60 sedan. If a three-year lease seems too long and you’d rather walk to work than negotiate with a local dealer, Care by Volvo might be worth a try. The 24-month program includes maintenance, some wear and tear coverage, insurance coverage regardless of your location, and the ability to change Volvos at the 12-month mark.

At $775/month, Volvo offers an S60 T6 AWD Momentum with matte wood trim and two packages, which include blind-spot monitoring, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 13-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

Splurge for the $850/month option for an S60 T6 AWD in R-Design form with 19-inch wheels, R-Design visual and dynamic updates, and the same equipment as the Momentum option. Both variants carry MSRPs between $46,000 and $49,000.

Too much? The XC40 crossover’s Care options cost $650 or $750 per month.

Pictured here is the 2019 Volvo S60 T8 Polestar Engineered plug-in hybrid

The post 2019 Volvo S60 and V60 First Test: Finding the Swede Spot appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Ford Ranger Will Offer a Ton of Accessories

17 hours 16 min ago

Since August, buyers have been able to go online and configure their own 2019 Ford Ranger before it heads to dealerships early next year. Now, leaked documents reveal a host of accessories that will be available on the truck, from bed products to body graphics and kayak carriers.

The folks at Ranger5G.com say they received a list of accessories from a dealer source, and it’s quite an extensive list. Some of the goodies include Bushwacker fender flares, exterior trim kit hood lettering, a bull bar, and custom exterior graphics, of which prices have not yet been determined. Buyers can choose black or chrome step bars, priced at $399 to $529, respectively. Black 18-inch wheels are on the list, priced at $999. Also look for bed mats, bed liners, and chrome exhaust tips.

Midsize trucks often serve as recreational vehicles, so Ford is offering a host of racks and carriers for your sports equipment. Kayak carriers range from $199-$219, and a paddleboard carrier will put you out $150. There are also ski and snowboard carriers available for $199.

Ford is offering a decent number of interior accessories, including chrome door sill plates and cargo organizers. An interior lighting kit goes for $249, while a rear seat entertainment system is priced at $995.

Check out the full list of accessories over on Ranger5G.com.

Source: Ranger5G.com

The post 2019 Ford Ranger Will Offer a Ton of Accessories appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Porsche Panamera GTS and Sport Turismo Debut with 453 HP

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 23:01

Porsche rolled out two more Panamera models—the Panamera GTS and GTS Sport Turismo that slot between the Panamera 4S and Panamera Turbo variants.

Prices start at $129,350 for the GTS and $135,550 for the GTS Sport Turismo, and the models are expected to arrive at dealerships by the middle of next year.

Both vehicles pack a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine that delivers 453 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. For those of you keeping track at home, the previous GTS featured a 4.8-liter V-8, and the new version offers an increase of 13 horses and an additional 73 lb-ft of torque. The V-8 is mated to an eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission with the Porsche Traction Management all-wheel drive system.

Both the GTS and GTS Sport Turismo Panameras can hit 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds with a top speed of 181 mph for the GTS and 179 mph for the Sport Turismo model. Big brakes that measure 15.35 inches up front and 14.37 inches in the rear help slow them down.

The chassis is 0.39 inch lower than other Panamera models, and Porsche Adaptive Suspension Management dampers are included as part of the standard Air Suspension package. Other standard goodies include the Sport Chrono package, a Sport Exhaust system, the Sport Design package with lots of black bits, and a set of black 20-inch wheels.

The interior gets matching black Alcantara and anodized aluminum accents. There’s also a heated sport steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara trim that’ll make your hands sweat just thinking about it.

A GTS Interior package is optional and gets fancy GTS logos, special stitching, and a choice of a tachometer in either Carmine Red or Chalk. There’s also an optional head-up display, adaptive cruise control, and rear axle steering available for a few more bucks. Porsche says both models are available to order now.

Source: Porsche

The post 2019 Porsche Panamera GTS and Sport Turismo Debut with 453 HP appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Hennessey-Tuned Jeep Trackhawk Makes 1,200 HP

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 19:28

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk may not have been agile enough to win our Super SUV Shootout, but there’s no denying it’s seriously quick in a straight line. In fact, we even went so far as to call it the ultimate muscle SUV. But what if 707 hp and an 11.7-second quarter-mile time aren’t enough for you? In that situation, you may want to call Hennessey and order its HPE1200 Trackhawk.

As the name suggests, the HPE1200 tune gives the Trackhawk a tire-roasting 1,200 hp. Or more specifically, if you can get your hands on 109-octane fuel, Hennessey claims an HPE1200-tuned Trackhawk makes 1,003 hp and 892 lb-ft of torque at the wheels. Assuming a 20-percent powertrain loss, that works out to roughly 1,200 hp and 1,100 lb-ft of torque at the crank.

To get the engine to make an extra 500 hp, Hennessey says it upgraded the pistons, rods, and camshaft. It also ported the cylinder heads, added long-tube stainless steel headers, and installed a 4.5-liter supercharger. Those changes allowed the team to increase boost to 22 psi. For better drag times, the HPE1200 Trackhawk comes with an M5-like rear-wheel-drive mode that allows drivers to warm up the tires with a burnout. Once the tires are warm, you can re-engage the front wheels for added grip.

Based on the numbers Hennessey included in its press release, the HPE1200 turns the Trackhawk into an absolute monster on the drag strip. It did the eighth-mile in 6.27 seconds at 115.56 mph and laid down a quarter-mile time of 9.66 seconds at 149.49 mph. Hennessey also claims a 0-60 time of 2.3 seconds.

If you want one of the 24 HPE1200 Trackhawks that Hennessey plans to build, though, it’s going to cost you. A lot. While the Trackhawk starts at $87,695 including destination, Hennessey says the base price of its HPE1200 starts at $179,000. Then again, how many other SUVs can run a sub-10-second quarter mile?

Source: Hennessey

 

The post Hennessey-Tuned Jeep Trackhawk Makes 1,200 HP appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Report: Porsche Taycan Targa in the Works

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 17:51

Porsche is getting ready to launch its first electric vehicle, the Taycan, in 2019. Not long after, the sports car, formerly known as the Mission E, will receive a Targa version, reports Autocar. A new electric SUV is also in the works.

The same plant in Zuffenhausen, Germany that will build the Taycan will also produce the Targa model. We don’t know much about this variant, but it should launch in 2020 or 2021.

As we previously reported, Porsche is eyeing a family of Taycans. It has been working on a Cross Turismo variant, previewed at this year’s Geneva auto show. Autocar says the Taycan’s J1 platform could be modified for a small two-door sports car, should the automaker want to explore that route. However, these modifications would require a smaller battery, and thus sacrifices in range and performance.

The Taycan will boast two motors for a total system output of more than 600 hp. Hitting 60 mph should take less than 3.5 seconds, Porsche says.

Porsche is preparing a battery electric SUV that will be ready by 2022 at the latest, revealed Porsche’s finance director Lutz Meschke. He referred to the new model as a “big SUV,” but it’s unlikely to be a Cayenne replacement given that this model isn’t due for an overhaul until the middle of the next decade. It makes more sense that this vehicle will serve as a replacement for the Macan, which is due around 2021. But other possibilities include a variant of Audi’s e-tron SUV, a refreshed Cayenne, or a completely new model line.

Around the time the battery SUV rolls out, Porsche’s new all-electric vehicle platform may be ready for market. Called PPE, the architecture builds off knowledge gained from the Taycan’s J1 underpinnings. Porsche is developing the new platform together with Audi, hinting at some shared DNA between the two brand’s future electric vehicles.

By 2025, Porsche estimates that more than 50 percent of the vehicles it sells will be electrified. Porsche has also said it will offer an electrified variant of every model in its lineup by 2030.

Source: Autocar

The post Report: Porsche Taycan Targa in the Works appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 vs. 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Comparison: Power Down

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 09:00

Do you ever wonder where this is all going to end? More power, bigger wings, better aero, fatter tires. Remember when the ’90s Porsche 911 Turbo and Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 hit 400 horsepower? We thought we were all going to die. Yet now we’re close to doubling that. What hath the demon seed of technology wrought?

With such existential theorizing in mind, we present the ever-rising top of the upward spiral: the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 with ZTK package and the 2018 Porsche GT2 RS Weissach Edition.

As a result of my long racing career and introduction to the inner workings of Porsche Motorsport when I had a factory contract, plus my 10 seasons of track testing with Motor Trend, I have followed firsthand with interest and wonder the twists and turns of this steady progression of technology and performance.

These supercars are the highest evolution of their own long lineages and make claim to being at the top of the aforementioned spiral in the entire major automaker universe, as well.

Let’s start with the ZR1, because ’Murica! Today’s ’Vette is the last of the C7 generation, created directly out of the C6, tracing its history back to the 2005 model year. The standard engine then was the 6.0-liter LS2, rated at 400 hp, later upping to 430 with the 6.2-liter LS3. In response to the ever-swelling output of its American V-10 rival Dodge Viper, the C6 ZR1 fired a major salvo in the dyno wars with its 638-horse supercharged Blower-Under-Glass (with see-through hood bulge). A couple years later came the Z06, with 650 horses and a strong tendency to overheat—both the engine’s vital fluids and the intake air temps—when driven at pro speeds on track (something I discovered on my first three laps at a Road Atlanta press day). This track-oriented model was simply not ready for prime time, though it’s true that more conservative owners were able to successfully track their Z06s at a milder pace.

This leads us to the latest ZR1 and its top-dawg 755-hp LT5. The challenge for the Corvette team was to simultaneously improve the speed and the cooling of the Z06/Z07 we know and love. Tough task, because those two goals pull the needle in opposite directions. More power equals more heat. To address this, five new radiators have been added, resulting in far better cooling. On track, temps still get warm, but during my time at the wheel, the needles never speared the red zones.

Compare that to the Porsche GT2 RS. Right up front, it’s more than twice as much moolah—if you can find one to buy. But it’s also a new pinnacle in the long and brilliant history of the 911. For 15 years, I was up to my ears racing them. I started racing just as the water-cooled cars were coming to market. With far superior control of engine temperatures and four-valves-per-cylinder breathing, the 996 made far more power than the venerable fan-and-fin-cooled flat-sixes.

But a funny thing happened. After years of working so hard to reduce the famous oversteering tendencies of the rear-engine 911—culminating with my now second-favorite 911 chassis to drive, the 993—the oversteer was back. The 996 was twitchy and loose and dicey. New generation, back to the drawing board. I raced with both versions on my teams at Alex Job Racing and with Greg Fordahl Motorsports in the early 2000s, and I saw how the old 993 RSR would kill the new 911 GT3 R in the corners with stable, usable grip but get smoked down the straights by the newer car’s four-valve urge and slick, low-drag aero.

Why the history lesson? To explain why I’m so excited about the new GT2 RS. It’s the first 911 since 1999 that truly takes advantage of its rearward weight distribution and turns its copious torque into acceleration. It’s my hope that this will be the new paradigm.

The GT2 RS makes more power than any factory 911 before it. “Big deal,” you say. “We’ve had 911 Turbos for years, and they’ve been gradually evolving through 400, 500, 600 horsepower, and they’re fine. Nothing new.” Wrong, Bratwurst Breath. This most-potent-ever 911 is two-wheel drive. The real magic of this machine is its ability to send 553 lb-ft of torque (214 more than the awesome GT3) to just the rear tires and turn it into acceleration—not wheelspin and tire smoke—without the added complexity and weight of all-wheel drive.

That prodigious power propels the GT2 RS forward, not sideways in a drifting burnout (unless your name is Jethro Bovingdon). This first-order priority of a winning racer in this ultimate performance street car earns my respect and admiration. OK, and love. (I’m confident enough in my masculinity to express those four letters toward a relatively inanimate object.)

With such devotions spoken, let’s see what happens when we let slip the dogs of war.

The Corvette’s great technological step forward is the way it never lost output from the boosted LT5 V-8. Unlike its predecessor, this ZR1 pulled hard the whole session. Credit this advancement to the 52 percent larger Eaton supercharger and more efficient intercoolers. However, the 755 horses in the ZR1 never seemed to quite pull like those of the GT2 RS and others in the 700 Club during our Best Driver’s Car testing—both in the quarter mile and at the top end.

At our World’s Greatest Drag Race, I had the unmitigated pleasure to floor both cars down Vandenberg Air Force Base’s pristine 3-mile-long landing strip to achieve my own personal land speed record of 200-plus in the GT2 RS. By comparison, the ’Vette lagged behind, time after time, even without the ZTK package’s high wing. With similar top speed claims, what gives? I can only report faithfully what mine eyes have seen and hypothesize that the intercooling is perhaps still not enough to keep up, because internet dyno tests do seem to support the 755-hp estimate.

Hot-lapping at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca showed similar results on the front straight. The GT2 RS reached a heady 149.0 mph, but the ZR1 made only 141.6. All of that cannot be explained away with a better corner exit. That’s simply too big a spread. Some of those Chevy horses weren’t pulling their weight.

But enough about straight-line fury. What happens when the wheel is cranked into Turn 1? In my world, the gods live in the corners anyway (although I must admit, even straight ahead gets interesting once you’ve crossed the double century). At Laguna, Turn 1 is a gentle left bend over a rise. It’s been an easy flat in nearly every car I’ve driven there over the years—until the big-hitter street cars started approaching 140 over that crest. They’d get light, even get some fifth-gear wheelspin, and track far right in a hurry. The bend is a genuine corner at those velocities, with a late apex, and straightening up the steering becomes a necessity to remain on the pavement. Ten years ago, the last-gen ZR1 was the first car that forced my right foot to feather back, for fear of disaster on the landing.

Well, this year the ZR1 once again achieved the highest Corvette speed ever over that yump, but it stuck the landing easily. The ZTK aero proved effective there and at several other fast corners around the circuit. It’s not race car levels of downforce, but it’s significant for a street machine. Unusually, the higher the corner speed, the better behaved the ZR1. On track, most cars are the other way around: Faster means dicier. When I set the lap record at Road Atlanta in the new ZR1 on a Chevy press day, the car was stable and hooked up in the high-speed Turn 12 and dropping into the esses, which is critical to a quick time there. I mean really well behaved.

This leads us to the Corvette’s great downfall: low-speed traction—which is also the reason for the history lesson. When power was under 500, the chassis could handle it, but as the Z-series cars pushed it over 600—and with the ZR1 now cresting 750—the rear suspension is overwhelmed. High-powered ’Vettes are diabolically prone to snap power oversteer in the lower gears. The wonderful additional ponies in the ZR1 make it even worse.

True story: I kicked out the ZR1’s tail on a deserted side street, and it ripped the wheel from my hands so hard I reinjured a torn rotator cuff. Brutal. In these cars, the driver had best leave the multimode traction and stability controls activated.

This handling issue is nothing new. Chevy has never solved the perennial problem of the rear suspension not putting power down well or the general fright-inspiring twitchiness of the rear end. It frustrates me, and it holds the ’Vette back from its far greater ultimate potential. The unruly and untrustworthy rear grip makes the car a wild ride in first through third gears, which means in most corners. The Motor Trend notebook is rife with editor remarks about it. It’s a thrill and an adrenaline rush, sure, but not exactly for the right reasons (fear and terror being culprits cited by some pretty veteran scribes).

The Z06 was always a wrestling match to drive at the limit on track, and the additional 100 horsepower makes it even more so, except that the ZR1 is much improved at high speeds. The situation reminds me a lot of the Viper: It’s always been a real handful, and its engineers seemed to just accept it as part of the car’s masculine personality—until they miraculously, completely cured it with the ACR model in the last year of production.

Would that Team Corvette could have finished with the same flourish. The armchair engineer in me suggests rear geometry; perhaps it has too much anti-squat. The reason? I’ve tried all manner of factory shock settings, year by year, and none seem to cure it. It can help, though. For the Z06/7 and the Grand Sport, I recommend placing the suspension settings to Sport rather than Track. Yet the ZR1’s damping package feels softer on all settings than the Z06’s, especially in Race shock mode. It’s great for comfort but still doesn’t tame that nervous twitch. Some drivers, especially talented ones, actually prefer a twitchy turn-in, so perhaps Corvette’s dynamics team likes it this way. But I don’t. Like I said in my Twitter war regarding the pre-ACR Viper a couple years back, bad-handling cars scare me. I don’t want to work that hard, and in a well-balanced sports car, I don’t have to.

Not all my venom is directed at Chevrolet, though, which means it’s time for my official Porsche Motorsport rant. I spent a lot of time on track in 996 versions of the 911, and it was always a challenge to get good traction accelerating out of a turn. Our archrival BMW seemed to be as good or better, but with a front engine. That didn’t make sense. But I felt the 911’s tail wanting to snap loose if I wasn’t careful about the throttle. Interestingly, it seemed like the more racy the 911, the worse it behaved, especially in the last eight years. The Motorsports department seemed to like pointy oversteer.

But why? My hypothesis: Perhaps their Werksfahrers—young superstars who grew up karting—do their test-driving. Karts have a solid axle, no differential. If the driver doesn’t kick it sideways, it understeers like crazy.

I figure the Werksfahrers bring this psychology over to the big cars, because that’s just how they felt. At least, that’s how the factory cars felt when I raced them. For years, I’ve felt that the basic street Porsches were the best-balanced and that the closer it got to Porsche Motorsport, the worse the cars handled and the more they oversteered. Some consider that sporty, lively. I consider it unnecessary. Three recent cars with which I am intimate—the 911 GT America for the IMSA GTD-class a few years ago and the 991-era GT3 Cup cars, both the 991.1 and the current 991.2—were difficult to drive fast. They were dicey, quite spinnable, and spooky. Not what a customer-racer needs.

Enter Frank Walliser, the relatively recent head of Porsche Motorsport, with whom I credit the great success of the GT2 RS. With this new-gen street-legal racer, I see a real change in chassis behavior, one I’ve never before seen in a modern-era 911. Stability. Traction. Grip. Power to the ground. A real, positive omen for the Motorsport cars of the future.

The GT2 RS was my personal choice for Best Driver’s Car (sorry, Lamborghini). Stable and confidence-inspiring yet with precise steering response even under full throttle, a tough combination to achieve with rear weight bias. Balance. I argued hard for it, but my colleagues had not experienced the sublime pleasure of driving it on a velvet-smooth racetrack, where I found it did everything so right. It felt as if a heavenly beam of light had shone down upon it, endowing it with magical powers.

My colleagues drove it on Route 198, a civilian road with real-world undulations and unpredictable pavement. Many of the editors drove it in Sport Plus mode, as did I. Stiff. Far too stiff for that road, beyond the range of the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) to absorb. Those conditions caused the car to leap about a bit and instigated the ABS to a disconcerting extreme. Just a punch of a button into Normal mode could have saved the day. (Some editors noted the same conditions, to a lesser extent, in Normal mode, as well.) Forgive us, for we knew not yet what we did.

Part of the value in the GT2 RS comes from sophisticated systems like PASM, rear-wheel steering, dynamic engine mounts, Porsche Torque Vectoring, and Porsche Stability Management. Yet it’s more than that. These aids have been tuned with great finesse. The latest GT3 RS has the same systems, yet it’s nervous on corner entry. (Shall we blame the karters again?) That car was a disappointment to me; although nearly every component was made more track-oriented from the GT3, the balance was lost. That was my concern here, and my joy to discover. This is the best-ever 911.

In braking, I have bragged that Corvettes have world-class capability, and although braking is still very strong, the pedal feel has gone soft in all six cars I’ve driven on track. I don’t notice it on the street, but that firm, instant response I enjoyed now feels “like stepping on a wet sponge,” according to the testing notes of one of our editors. The Porsche? Perfect. Immediate, linear, and record-short distances in our testing.

And tires. Although both cars have Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s, each is tuned to its own spec, and we at MT have recognized the ’Vette’s rubber as something special. But to the seat of my pants, these latest Porsche GT2 RS R–spec SC2s have spiraled up the bar. I still remember BDC Laguna Turn 2, lap one for the record. As I cranked the wheel toward that late apex, I exclaimed aloud, “Grrrrrip!” and the Racepak software confirmed the sentiment a split-second later.

To compare the ZR1 and the GT2 RS, start with the price. The Corvette’s $131,000 can look so cheap! Beyond that, the Porsche is a clear winner in every category save one: machismo. The Corvette wins that staredown, with the right badass tattoos on big biceps and a sharp goatee over a pressed button-down and a perfect complexion. It’s strong and loud and demanding, making proud and striking entrances and raucous exits. To the contrary, the strictly business Porsche wins on competence and execution. Next to the ’Vette, it’s understated.

What I see in the Corvette ZR1 is potential; what I feel is frustration. The car is outrageously good at so much and comes tantalizingly close to providing supercar performance. Just find the secret to calming that hyperactive rear end in the lower gears, switch back to the Z06 brake pedal, and you’re there, Chevrolet, at a relatively bargain-basement price for performance, complete with your own muscular, extroverted style.

As for you, Herr Doktor Walliser, congratulations to you and your GT2 RS team, for a magnificent driving creation. It’s the best all-round performance automobile I’ve had the pleasure to experience—one that inspires passion and desire in this enthusiast like no other.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (1ZR w/ZTK) 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD Rear-engine, RWD ENGINE TYPE Supercharged 90-deg V-8, alum block/heads Twin-turbo flat-6, alum block/heads VALVETRAIN OHV, 2 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DISPLACEMENT 376.0 cu in/6,162cc 213.9 cu in/3,800cc COMPRESSION RATIO 10.0:1 9.0:1 POWER (SAE NET) 755 hp @ 6,400 rpm* 691 hp @ 7,000 rpm TORQUE (SAE NET) 715 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm* 553 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm REDLINE 6,500 rpm 7,200 rpm WEIGHT TO POWER 4.8 lb/hp 4.9 lb/hp TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic 7-speed twin-clutch auto AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 2.73:1/1.77:1 3.96:1/2.65:1 SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Control arms, composite leaf spring, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; control arms, composite leaf spring, adj shocks, anti-roll bar Struts, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs,
adj shocks, anti-roll bar STEERING RATIO 12.0-16.4:1 13.1-17.2:1 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.4 2.6 BRAKES, F; R 15.5-in vented, drilled carbon-ceramic disc; 15.3-in vented, drilled
carbon-ceramic disc, ABS 16.1-in vented, drilled, grooved carbon-ceramic disc; 15.4-in vented, drilled grooved, carbon-ceramic disc, ABS WHEELS, F;R 11.0 x 19-in; 12.0 x 20-in spun-cast aluminum 9.0 x 20-in; 12.5 x 20-in magnesium TIRES, F;R 285/30R19 94Y; 335/25R20 99Y Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 ZP 265/35R20 99Y; 315/30R20 108Y Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R N0 DIMENSIONS WHEELBASE 106.7 in 96.6 in TRACK, F/R 63.5/62.5 in 62.5/61.3 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 179.8 x 77.4 x 48.5 in 179.1 x 74.0 x 51.1 in TURNING CIRCLE 37.7 ft 36.4 ft CURB WEIGHT 3,650 lb 3,355 lb WEIGHT DIST, F/R 51/49% 37/63% SEATING CAPACITY 2 2 HEADROOM 38.0 in 37.7 in LEGROOM 43.0 in 42.2 in SHOULDER ROOM 55.0 in 51.3 in CARGO VOLUME 15.0 cu ft 4.1 cu ft (+9.2 cu ft behind 1st row) TEST DATA ACCELERATION TO MPH 0-30 1.4 sec 1.2 sec 0-40 1.9 1.6 0-50 2.4 2.1 0-60 3 2.6 0-70 3.7 3.2 0-80 4.5 3.9 0-90 5.3 4.6 0-100 6.3 5.5 0-100-0 9.7 8.9 PASSING, 45-65 MPH 1.2 1 QUARTER MILE 10.8 sec @ 133.1 mph 10.3 sec @ 139.3 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 88 ft 87 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 1.11 g (avg) 1.17 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 22.7 sec @ 0.98 g (avg) 21.9 sec @ 1.03 g (avg) 2.4-MI ROAD COURSE LAP 92.46 sec 88.30 sec TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,200 rpm 1,950 rpm CONSUMER INFO BASE PRICE $122,095 $294,250 PRICE AS TESTED $131,300 $328,880 STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes Yes/Yes AIRBAGS 6: Dual front, front side/head 8: Dual front, side, curtain, knee BASIC WARRANTY 3 years/36,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 years/100,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 5 years/100,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles FUEL CAPACITY 18.5 gal 23.8 gal EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 12/20/15 mpg 15/21/17 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 281/169 kW-hr/100 miles 225/160 kW-hr/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.33 lb/mile 1.13 lb/mile RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium Unleaded premium * SAE certified

 

The post 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 vs. 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Comparison: Power Down appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

“Little Red” Ford Shelby Mustang Prototype Makes California Special Appearance

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 19:15

Remember that experimental Ford Shelby GT500 Prototype nicknamed “Little Red” that was discovered rusting away in a Texas field earlier this year? Well, the long lost experimental notchback coupe makes its triumphant return to the West Coast at Shelby Legendary Cars in Irvine, California, today.

The legendary muscle car prototype is the star of the grand opening of Shelby’s latest location and we got a sneak peek at its unveiling. Members of the original Shelby American team will answer questions about the carmaker and a documentary crew will be on hand to film anyone who can help shed light on the history of the Shelby prototype on Saturday, October 13.

“We’re very grateful that Craig Jackson agreed to give Shelby Legendary Cars the chance to debut Little Red on the West Coast for the first time since its astounding discovery,” said Lance Stander, CEO of Shelby Legendary Cars in a statement.

“Little Red is an extraordinarily important piece of American automotive history and exemplifies the passion for Ford and Shelby performance vehicles. Craig will be one of our special guests during our Open House and will give enthusiasts the chance to learn more about this once-in-a-lifetime find.”

The big-block Shelby notchback coupe was one of a pair of “experimental” cars created by Ford and Shelby. It featured a restyled body and had a Paxton supercharger added to the big-block engine. The prototype eventually became the model for the 1968 Ford Mustang California Special before it disappeared for decades.

“We’re excited to bring Little Red to the West Coast for the first time since we discovered it earlier this year,” said Jackson. “This legendary vehicle has its roots in California, where Shelby American and Ford Motor Company turned it into an important development car. It’s especially fitting that Little Red will be surrounded by so many other vehicles that share its special Ford and Shelby-powered heritage.”

Information about the car’s discovery and upcoming restoration will be documented at www.ShelbyPrototypeCoupes.com. If you are in Southern California, Shelby Legendary Cars’ open house will be held at 1 Whatney in Irvine. The event  is open to the public from 10 am to 3 pm on Saturday.

The post “Little Red” Ford Shelby Mustang Prototype Makes California Special Appearance appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Refreshing or Revolting: 2019 BMW X5

Sat, 10/13/2018 - 00:08

Entering its fourth generation, the BMW X5 receives a new architecture, new engines, and an optional off-road package. Design changes are more subtle, but all together, they contribute to a more refined look compared to its predecessor. The question is: Did BMW go far enough given this is a full redesign and not a midcycle refresh?

The front face of the 2019 BMW X5 retains the same basic design, with a few changes. The headlights are no longer connected to the kidney grilles, which are taller than before. The new model boasts standard adaptive LED headlights, and optional laser lamps add a blue x-shaped signature. You’ll also notice the lower vents command more space than before, particularly on the sides. Lighting elements have been incorporated more subtly into front end.

Take a peek at the side profile, and you’ll hardly notice the X5 has grown in size. The model is just 1.1 inches longer, 2.6 inches wider, and slightly lower, with a 1.6-inch longer wheelbase. There is a new character line that runs from behind the front wheel through the front door, turning up sharply when it reaches the rear door. This effect contributes to the model’s new, more prominent wheel arches. Standard xLine models feature aluminum side window surrounds and chrome accents, while M Sport versions come with black side window trim, bumper trim, body-color side skirts, bigger wheels, and other updates.

In the rear, the only change you’re likely to notice is the new taillights. They’re thinner than before, and unlike the old taillights, they aren’t disturbed by the cut lines of the trunk. BMW also redesigned the rear bumper area and lower lights.

You would think the cabin would look more distinct from its predecessor, but in reality, the two interiors look similar. That is, the cabin is dominated by a large central touchscreen, and the general layout is the same. Look closer and you’ll find there is a new shifter and a simpler array of buttons on the center console. The new model features BMW’s next-generation iDrive operating system, with a 12.3-inch center screen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that modernizes the cabin. Instead of hard physical buttons, the round iDrive controller is surrounded by haptic controls.

Do you think the 2019 BMW X5 is refreshing or revolting? Let us know in the comments on Facebook.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: 2019 BMW X5 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

McLaren Speedtail Will Make More Than 986 HP

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 22:22

McLaren is revealing more details about the Speedtail ahead of its debut, which we now know takes place later this month on October 26. It also put out this teaser image that previews the Speedtail’s sinewy body.

The spiritual successor to the F1 will make more than 986 hp from a gas-electric powertrain, McLaren confirmed today. As we previously reported, the model will have a central driver seat and two passenger seats on either side, and it will exceed the 243-mph top speed of the F1 road car. The model’s exact top speed will be announced upon the Speedtail’s reveal, but we know it will be the highest of any McLaren ever.

From the teaser image, we can see the car will have a sculpted and low-slung rear end. Other than that, McLaren promises, “Its design will be futuristic and highly streamlined, incorporating exquisite new materials to facilitate limitless possibilities for tailoring through McLaren Special Operations (MSO).”

Only 106 cars are being produced, the same number of F1s that were sold. Each Speedtail commands a price of £1.75 million, which equates to roughly $2.3 million at current exchange rates. Unsurprisingly, all copies of the hyper grand tourer have been spoken for. Production will begin at the end of 2019.

The McLaren Speedtail will be revealed to the lucky 106 customers at a private event in London. The rest of us will see it debut online at cars.mclaren.com on October 26.

Source: McLaren

The post McLaren Speedtail Will Make More Than 986 HP appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Next Mercedes-Benz S-Class Will Offer Level 3 Autonomy

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 21:30

Audi beat its German rivals when it introduced the world’s first Level 3 autonomous system in the A8 sedan. In 2020, Mercedes-Benz will step up to the plate with its own Level 3 technology for the next-generation S-Class.

After coming to the S-Class, the autonomous system will trickle down to lower tier vehicles in the Mercedes lineup, says Ola Kallenius, Daimler’s head of research who is slated to become CEO of Daimler and Mercedes next year.

The current S-Class falls under Level 2 autonomy. These systems can assist in steering, acceleration, and deceleration, but the driver remains in charge of monitoring the driving environment at all times. Level 3 systems are considered “eyes off,” but they still require humans to respond to a vehicle’s request to intervene when necessary. The use of Level 3 technology also depends on where you live. Germany recently approved systems like Audi’s Traffic Jam Pilot for use on its roads, but regulatory hurdles in the U.S. could get in the way of a full Level 3 system being offered here initially. General Motors’ Super Cruise feature available in the Cadillac CT6 is nearly a Level 3 system, though it requires you to keep your eyes forward at all times. Meanwhile, Tesla’s Autopilot feature is said to be capable of Level 5 autonomy when equipped with Hardware 2, but the system is currently restricted to Level 2 operation until regulations allow for more automation.

In 2021, BMW will join the party with a Level 3 autonomous system for the iNext electric vehicle. It will upgrade to Level 4 automation in as little as a year later. At this level, the vehicle can operate itself almost all of the time.

We have spotted prototypes of the next-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class with an updated exterior and interior design. It may pack a revised version of the automaker’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8, but we hear it won’t be getting a V-12 option. It might receive mild hybridization like the new CLS, and it should continue to use a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription required)

The post Next Mercedes-Benz S-Class Will Offer Level 3 Autonomy appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Mazda CX-5 Gets Turbo Engine in Japan

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 19:54

A leaked document from last month hinted at the Mazda CX-5 getting a turbocharged engine in North America. Now, Mazda has released official information on a turbocharged CX-5 for Japan, providing us more clues on what to expect from the U.S.-spec version.

The 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-four makes around 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque for the updated Japanese model. Should it come to the U.S., it will provide more power than the current model’s 2.5-liter inline-four that makes 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque.

The CX-5 is the first Mazda in Japan to receive a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine. In the U.S., Mazda has already put a 2.5-liter turbo into the new Mazda6 and CX-9.

As we reported earlier, the CX-5 will receive an advanced version of the automaker’s G-Vectoring Control. As always, this system reduces torque to shift the vehicle’s weight to the front tires, improving cornering response as well as steering. But now, the system also uses the brakes to add direct yaw movement control to increase stability. As the driver returns the steering wheel to the center position while steering out of a corner, the updated technology applies braking force to the outer wheels to help the vehicle return to straight-line driving. Mazda says this tech is particularly helpful in emergency collision avoidance maneuvers, on slippery surfaces, or even just while changing lanes on the highway. In the Japanese press release, Mazda says it will roll out GVC Plus to all of its models.

The Japanese release also indicates the return of the CX-5 diesel, although that’s no indication it’s coming to the U.S. The aforementioned leaked documents from Mazda Canada make no mention of a diesel CX-5. For the first time in Japan, the diesel CX-5 receives a six-speed manual transmission. Mazda had promised a diesel CX-5 for the U.S., and despite an EPA listing for a 2018 Mazda CX-5 diesel on its website, it’s unclear when the model will actually reach our shores.

The Japanese CX-5 also gets a new Exclusive Mode special edition with Nappa leather and real wood. We don’t know if this would come to the U.S., but the earlier leaked documents mention a new Signature grade that will likely top the lineup. Other updates for the Japanese CX-5 include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and redesigned switches and dials.

A Mazda spokesman declined to comment on the possibility of a turbo CX-5 coming to the U.S. But we have a feeling we’ll learn more soon since the model is due for an update.

Source: Mazda

The post Mazda CX-5 Gets Turbo Engine in Japan appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2020 Subaru Outback: What to Expect From Subie’s Next Wagon-Like Crossover

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 09:00

The Subaru Outback is an enigma. Essentially a wagon variant of the Legacy sedan with the stance and off-road capability of a crossover, the Outback is a vehicle for people who don’t necessarily like crossovers. Despite its unusual position in the market, it’s Subaru’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S., and for good reason. We continue to praise the current model for its high-quality interior, comfortable ride, and communicative steering even as it enters old age. Fortunately, Subaru will soon introduce a next-generation Outback to keep it competitive with its rivals. Read below to learn more on what’s in store for the new Subaru Outback.

New bones

Every new model is destined to sit on the Subaru Global Platform, and the Outback and its Legacy stablemate are no exceptions. The new platform promises increased rigidity in the body and chassis as well as stronger joints between parts. These changes should translate to improvements in ride quality and handling, in addition to less noise and vibration in the cabin. This is exactly what we’ve been seeing in the new Impreza and Forester that recently moved to the new platform. So in short, the new Outback should drive and ride better than its predecessor.

Conservative looks

If you’re looking for something a little more avant-garde than the current model, don’t hold your breath. The next Outback probably won’t be much bolder looking than the vehicle it replaces. Subaru is known for making minor design changes on its models from year to year, and that’s what we expect for the new Outback. That said, the crossover should receive some updates, including a slightly redesigned front end resembling other new Subarus like the Forester and Ascent. It’s also likely to grow bigger, allowing for more space inside the cabin.

Powertrains

Right now, Outback buyers can choose between two engines: a 2.5-liter boxer-four making 175 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque and a 3.6-liter boxer-six with 256 hp and 247 lb-ft. For the new generation, expect Subaru to get rid of the six-cylinder option in the name of fuel efficiency.

The Outback may continue to use the 2.5-liter engine, although it would produce more power than the current version. It would also come with direct injection, since Subaru aims to upgrade all its models with this technology. Consider the 2019 Forester, which received an updated 2.5-liter flat-four with direct injection, making 12 more hp and 2 more lb-ft of torque than its predecessor.

Subaru could replace the optional flat-six with the 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer-four from the new Ascent. That engine delivers 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque in the three-row crossover, or 4 hp and 30 lb-ft more than the Outback’s current naturally aspirated six. If the next Outback does adopt a turbo engine, fuel economy should improve slightly.

All-wheel drive will remain standard on the Outback. Also expect the model to come exclusively with a CVT.

How much, and when?

To give you a brief time line of recent Outbacks, we saw new generations debut for 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015. That means we should expect the next Outback to arrive for the 2020 model year. Subaru began selling 2019 models this summer, so the new generation should surface sometime next year.

Currently, the Outback starts at $27,320, but prices will likely increase for the new generation. Take the 2019 Forester as a guide: The new base model starts at $25,270, compared to $24,710 for the previous version equipped with a CVT.

Pictured is the current-generation Subaru Outback.

The post 2020 Subaru Outback: What to Expect From Subie’s Next Wagon-Like Crossover appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Report: Next Jaguar F-Type to Get BMW Power

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 02:30

Jaguar has made it pretty clear that it’s still committed to sports cars, despite its move into SUVs and entry-level sedans. We’ve heard Jaguar is eyeing a 2+2 sports car, and a new report seems to have more information. According to CAR Magazine, Jaguar will replace the two-seat F-Type with a 2+2 equipped with BMW’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8.

That engine could be the one found in the BMW M5, where it makes 600 hp, or 617 hp in Competition Package guise. The current F-Type tops out at 575 hp with its aging 5.0-liter supercharged V-8.

The report says that the new engine, which should be more efficient than the current one in the F-Type, will also make its way to a range of higher-end Jaguars and Range Rovers. Other vehicles will continue to use engines from Jaguar Land Rover’s own Ingenium family, which currently includes four-cylinders but will also likely add inline-sixes eventually.

Arriving in 2020, the new F-Type will sit on a lighter architecture. CAR confirms it will keep its engine at the front despite rumors it would be mid-engine. On the contrary, Jaguar is thinking of a possible additional model that could get this mid-engine configuration. A fully electric F-Type is under consideration, but it won’t arrive before 2023, the report says.

Last year, design chief Ian Callum lamented the discontinuation of the XK and told Autocar he wanted both a two-seater and a 2+2 in the lineup. “We’re working on something now,” he said. “There’s nothing approved, but we instigate in design. That’s what we do.” Hanno Kirner, Jaguar’s product strategy boss, also recently hinted at multiple sports cars, “We love sports cars—and I use the plural quite deliberately,” Kirner said to Autocar. “Whether that is delivered by a body variant or something else remains to be seen, but for now, let’s just say that the body type is very important for us.”

For now, we can’t be exactly sure what Jaguar has cooking. But a BMW-powered Jaguar 2+2 has us intrigued, and we’ll be keeping an ear out for more information.

Source: CAR Magazine

The post Report: Next Jaguar F-Type to Get BMW Power appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Five Custom 2018 Ford Mustang Coupes Headed to SEMA

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 01:30

The 2018 SEMA Show is right around the corner, and as usual, Ford plans to have a wide variety of modified vehicles on display. This year, Ford says its booth will be filled with more than 50 cars, trucks, and SUVs, so these first five modified Mustangs announced this week are just the beginning.

Galpin Auto Sports Mustang GT

Starting with a 2018 Ford Mustang GT coupe, dealership and custom shop Galpin Auto Sports went for a road racer look with a custom wide-body kit, front splitter, rear diffuser, and 20-inch wheels wrapped in Toyo R888-R competition rubber. The 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 receives a Ford Performance/Roush supercharger and cat-back exhaust, and the six-speed manual transmission benefits from a Ford Performance short-throw shifter. The stock springs, shocks, and anti-roll bars have all been replaced by parts from Ford Performance, and the brakes have been upgraded to Shelby GT350R spec.

CJ Pony Parts Mustang GT “Smoke Show”

Mustang parts retailer CJ Pony Parts returns to SEMA with a Mustang GT drift car. Though it’s hard to see in this rendering, the pony car wears a stars and stripes livery in dark shadow gray, which is contrasted by copper accents. Thanks to a Ford Performance/Roush supercharger, the car’s stock 5.0-liter V-8 has been boosted to more than 700 hp, which should be plenty to break Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S summer tires loose. If more persuasion is needed to hang the rear end out, this drift ‘Stang comes equipped with a hydraulic handbrake from Sikky Manufacturing. Ford Performance track springs lower the car on 20-inch HRE FF04 wheels finished in copper. Inside, there’s a Watson Racing roll cage painted to match the rest of the car’s copper accents, along with Recaro seats and Corbeau five-point harnesses.

CGS Motorsports Mustang GT

Yet another Mustang GT with a Ford Performance/Roush supercharger, this build from CGS Motorsports is ready for Halloween with its dark exterior theme and blood red accents. The GT wears a custom wide-body kit from TS Designs, a rear spoiler and hood vents from Air Design, LED undercar lighting from Rigid Industries, and a staggered set of Savini forged wheels measuring 22 x 9.5 inches in the front and 22 x 13 in the rear. Inside, you’ll find Napa leather upholstery and LED lighting by Diode Dynamics.

Tjin Edition Mustang EcoBoost

SEMA Show veteran Tjin Edition chose the turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost Mustang over the 5.0-liter GT for its build this year. Finished in a custom Electric Purple paint by PPG, the four-cylinder Mustang also sports an RTR body kit, custom wide-body fenders with exposed rivets, yellow fog lamps, and a staggered set of gold Forgeline center-lock wheels measuring 20 x 10.5 in front and 20 x 13 in the back. The engine gets an upgraded turbocharger from BorgWarner along with racing-spec replacements for the exhaust manifold, downpipe, intercooler, and charge pipes. The car rides on an adjustable Air Lift 3H suspension and gets a Baer Grizzly big brake upgrade in front.

Bojix Design Mustang GT

This Mustang GT by Bojix Design should help brighten up Ford’s SEMA booth with its two-tone blue and gray paint scheme. Using Ford Performance springs and shocks, the car is lowered on Savini SV67 wheels that measure 20 x 10 up front and 20 x 11.5 in the rear. The custom pony car also gets an APR carbon-fiber front splitter and rear wing, custom lower front grille, and a front bumper, side skirts, and hood vents from Air Design. Not to be outdone by the other blown GTs on this list, Bojix Design installed a Procharger Stage 2 supercharger and a custom “supercar” exhaust with Borla mufflers. Inside, you’ll find Recaro Sportster CR seats upholstered in black leather with black stitching, a deleted rear seat, and a Kicker stereo system with 10-inch Solo-Baric L7 subwoofers.

Ford should release details on the other custom rides it will feature in its booth over the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Source: Ford

The post Five Custom 2018 Ford Mustang Coupes Headed to SEMA appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Bollinger B2 is an All-Electric, Aluminum-Bodied Pickup

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 18:45

Bollinger Motors beat Jeep, Land Rover, and everyone else to the punch when it introduced an all-electric off-road SUV called the B1 a year ago. Now, the company is at it again with the B2 electric pickup that looks equally utilitarian. At this time, the New York-based EV maker has only released CAD renderings of the truck, but it hopes to build functional prototypes early next year.

Specs for the new pickup are pretty much the same as for the B1. Both aluminum-bodied vehicles have a front and rear motor enabling an output of 520 hp and 514 lb-ft of torque. This powertrain is apparently good for a 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 100 mph. Both vehicles receive a 120-kilowatt-hour battery pack and an estimated range of 200 miles per charge. The B2 is about 200 pounds heavier than the B1, but they can both tow 7,500 pounds. Of course, all-wheel drive is standard. Just like the B1, the B2 benefits from 15 inches of ground clearance.

Of course, the biggest difference between the two models is in the rear. The pickup truck’s bed measures 4-feet-1-inch wide by 5-feet-9-inches long. With the rear seats removed, the truck can carry 72 4×8 sheets of plywood, Bollinger claims. The pickup has the same pass-through doors as the SUV as well as the same frunk measuring 14 cubic feet.

Besides a gas tank, you’ll notice a few other things are missing. The truck seats only four people, and if it’s anything like the B1, you won’t find modern accoutrements like a big touchscreen or soft dashboard panels. Oh, and Bollinger says the final vehicles won’t have airbags, but they’ll be engineered “to safety standards that exceed federal regulations using seat belts.”

Pricing hasn’t been announced yet. The B1 and B2 will enter production on the same assembly line in 2020. Buyers can reserve a B1 or B2 on Bollinger’s website.

Source: Bollinger Motors

The post Bollinger B2 is an All-Electric, Aluminum-Bodied Pickup appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2018 Honda CR-V LX FWD Long-Term Update 2: Warm Greenhouse

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 09:00

Having the very basic CR-V comes with some benefits and some disadvantages. The biggest benefit is the value for your money along with the interior space, cubbies, and fold-flat seats. But depending on your needs, the disadvantages can be somewhat notorious.

One of the biggest letdowns is not having tinted windows. This summer was a very hot one by Southern California standards, and the heat was quite pronounced in the CR-V’s greenhouse. In the mornings, the interior would be incredibly hot before I started my commute to work, and my drive home would be even worse. Indeed, the hot summer was to blame, but you can imagine how hot the interior gets when the sun has been shining on the Honda all day. The black plastics inside only add to that inconvenience, and I can’t imagine how the experience would be in hotter places like Texas or Florida, where the heat is strong most of the year.

The lack of tinted windows also exposes any belongings you might leave in the cabin and cargo area. To counteract this issue, I ordered a cargo cover as an accessory for the CR-V. That comes standard on EX trims and above, but you have to pay $160 extra on the LX.

I also ordered a few more accessories like all-season floor mats ($169) and a cargo tray ($114). The all-weather mats are fantastic, but my biggest complaint is that the mat for the back row is one full piece. It’s quite complicated to take out the whole mat at once, and it’s even harder to keep the sand (or anything else) on the mat when you take it out for cleaning. If Honda offered two separate mats for the back seat, this wouldn’t be an issue.

I wasn’t completely happy with the cargo tray, either. It doesn’t fit correctly on the floor: It seems to be about a half-inch short on each side and waggles a bit. On top of that, you can only use it with the cargo floor in its lowest level; otherwise the tray wouldn’t fit at all. On the plus side, I can put my wet wetsuit and towel on it and its high borders keep the water from reaching the carpet. It’s also very easy to take out and wash with a hose.

Read more about our long-term 2018 Honda CR-V LX FWD:

The post 2018 Honda CR-V LX FWD Long-Term Update 2: Warm Greenhouse appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Resurrection: The Rebirth of American Luxury – The Big Picture

Thu, 10/11/2018 - 09:00

Whoa. Stay with me. Allow me to explain. The lavishly equipped Navigator Black Label is top dog in the current Lincoln lineup—the biggest, most expensive vehicle from Ford’s luxury division. It’s also the first luxury vehicle from an American automaker in decades that isn’t a self-conscious New World riff on a Mercedes-Benz, BMW, or Audi. Or a sad, plastic-chrome and fake-wood parody of former glories.

Proper luxury cars have always been big, powerful, and expensive. And America once built some of the world’s best—from the extravagant V-12 Packards and straight-eight Duesenbergs of the Roaring ’20s to the glitzy Cadillacs and Imperials of the rocket-age ’50s. But for more than 40 years, automotive luxury has been defined and dominated by German automakers.

When Toyota and Nissan launched Lexus and Infiniti in 1989, the cars they created for their newly minted luxury brands unashamedly channeled the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series. Cadillac’s Catera and the Lincoln LS attempted—much less credibly—to convince consumers they were E-Class and 5 Series rivals.

Today’s Rolls-Royce and Bentley models are more subtly wrought expressions of the German luxury vehicle hegemon: artful confections of British luxury iconography wrapped around engineering DNA straight out of Munich and Wolfsburg.

The Lincoln Navigator Black Label 4×4 is different.

The Black Label’s interior is stunning, especially in the pale blue and white palette Lincoln calls its “Yacht Club” theme. It’s quintessentially American, with echoes of Eames and Loewy and Neutra in its exuberant elegance, lavish scale, and midcentury-retro touches. And the Navigator is the perfect canvas for it, a uniquely American vehicle format with a commanding road presence.

Yes, the Navigator is basically a truck, but in an era when Rolls-Royce has an SUV of similar dimensions, semantics are moot. There’s a quad-cam, twin-turbo V-6 under the hood, independent suspension at the rear, and—unlike Cadillac’s Escalade—no pickup truck column shifter thrusting out from behind the steering wheel, as incongruous as muddy work boots with a tuxedo.

More important, the Navigator Black Label is just a few tweaks away from genuine luxury vehicle greatness. The 450-hp V-6 copes impressively with the 6,100-plus pounds of mass, but it does get a little grainy at higher rpm under load. The primary ride is plush, but the damping needs to better control secondary body motions, particularly at the rear axle. And those giant 22-inch wheels and low-profile tires patter on indifferent road surfaces, sending distant shudders through the frame.

None of this is difficult to fix.

With a drive mode menu that runs the gamut from sporty hustle to low-range all-wheel drive, the Navigator is a surprisingly capable all-weather, all-road all-arounder. Let’s be clear, however: Like a Rolls-Royce, this big Lincoln prefers being driven gently. It’s not about a Wagnerian blast down the autobahn at 155 mph or thrusting through the Alps en route to the south of France. No, the Black Label 4×4 is about taking you across America in quiet comfort, through a snowstorm in Chicago, a heat wave in Houston, at 11,000 feet on the I-70 west of Denver, below sea level on a gravel road in Death Valley.

Lincoln has been cruelly abused and debased by Ford Motor Co. over the years. Once the preferred transport of plutocrats and presidents, an automaker whose stately V-12 limousines rivaled Rolls-Royce in the 1930s, Lincoln had by 2006 become little more than a rounding error in the Blue Oval’s books. I’ve lost count of the number of times Ford has heralded a Lincoln comeback since, promising, “This time, it’s different.” But this time, it really feels … different.

The Navigator Black Label 4×4 is Lincoln’s new lodestar, with an appealing visual, tactile, and technical DNA that’s clearly understood and easily transferable. Yes, it’s expensive, but with good reason: There’s none of the cheap skating on mechanicals and materials that turned modern Lincolns into Walmart luxury. And underpinning it all is one simple idea: Lincoln is not trying to be German. It’s unapologetically American. It’s American luxury, resurrected.

More from Angus MacKenzie:

The post Resurrection: The Rebirth of American Luxury – The Big Picture appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2020 Porsche 911 Carrera Prototype 992 Series Development Drive: Spies Like Us

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 23:01

Back in July, we traveled to San Francisco for an opportunity to drive the next-generation Porsche 911 Carrera: a group of not quite finished cars but a very close approximation. The test cars were three steps along in the development process. First there were 130 hand-built prototypes, then about 300 Pre-Series 1 (PS1) cars and another 300 or so PS2 cars, four of which we would drive. What makes these four samples so special is that among the entire PS2 fleet, these are the only ones to have all of the most recent updates from Germany.

After each day of development driving (12 cars and 20 engineers), there was a 3- to 4-hour debrief, and multiple terabytes of information were shared between the development team and the factory. The latest updates were then applied to the cars we would drive. There are isolated PS2s in the hands of brake engineers, with powertrain, transmission, etc., “but those won’t have all the systems updates from the other teams. Only these do,” explained Alex Ernst, Porsche’s manager of development for sports cars. Ernst, who is partial to wearing colorful pants, organizes and runs the development team, coordinating and maintaining everything from the fleet itself to the team’s driving routes, even lunch destinations. He and his teams have spent the past three months in Nevada and California testing the effects of heat, traffic jams, and fundamentally “local” conditions and problems. Effectively, we were to be embedded in his team for a day. We were hosted by Andreas Pröbstle, director of 718 and 911 complete vehicle model lines; August Achleitner, vice president for 718 and 911 model lines; and Matthias Hofstetter, project manager of powertrain for sports cars.

The current cadre of 911 models (23 at the moment) is generationally known as 991.2, or the second (2017) update of the seventh-generation car that was introduced in 2012. When revealed sans camouflage later this month, the 2020 Porsche 911 (992) will be shown to be essentially all new: new body, lighting, chassis, interior, dash, infotainment, safety tech, you name it. The engines will be updated versions of the current ones, the seven-speed manual will continue, and the PDK double-clutch automated manual transmission will get another forward gear for a total of eight. We learned that there’s also room in the new PDK gearbox that can accommodate an electric motor, but the development team wasn’t keen on this idea, saying that a hybrid 911 wouldn’t necessarily enhance the 911 experience and would add weight and complexity. We’ll see in time. Speaking of the seven-speed manual, the U.S. and U.K. have the biggest take rates, so it’s not in danger of extinction. In sports cars, 5 to 15 percent is typical, but for Porsche, fully 34 percent of the Carrera GTSs sold in the States, 70 percent of GT3s, and 80 percent of Carrera Ts have manual transmissions.

Underground

After a short presentation and a hastily eaten breakfast, we ambled down a ramp to an underground hotel parking lot in Fisherman’s Wharf. What we saw was a line of future Porsche products, only four of which I’m allowed to share with you here. All bedecked in subtle but effective black camouflage, each one had red lettering (A1, A2, A3, and A4) on its windshield and back glass plus a small antenna sprouting from the rear deck. No, the next 911 isn’t going to have a mast antenna. Because some of the development drives take place in remote areas where the cars might become separated with little or no mobile phone coverage and walkie-talkies’ range isn’t sufficient, each vehicle has a CB radio. Standing in the dark, we learned the 911 model rollout will be in the following order: 1. Carrera S/4S (PDK); 2. Convertible S/4S (PDK); 3. Carrera/4 (7M); and so on. They wouldn’t talk about the 911 Turbo. The first examples of the 2020 Porsche 911 will be in dealerships in the summer of 2019. We stood there, chatting about the future 911 for what felt like a half-hour until somebody finally said, “Hey, I’ve got an idea: Let’s go drive!”

MIB

As if there were some sort of random drawing, we were literally tossed a key. We glanced around to see which car’s lights responded to the unlock button and got behind the wheel, one of the engineers sitting in the passenger seat. My first car was A2, a Carrera S with the seven-speed manual and the Sport Chrono package. My passenger was Achleitner (aka Mr. 911). We drove up the ramp and into the fog like a squad of hit men and blended, as well as four flat-black 911s can, into the city traffic. Very similar to what we do at Motor Trend for a comparison drive, we stuck together tightly as we weaved through the city. By the way, I signed a nondisclosure agreement that restricts what I can say about how the car(s) drove, but fear not, Porsche faithful. All of the sensations, sounds, responses (and trademark five-ring instrument panel) you currently enjoy are intact.

We made our way to a remote parking lot on the bay to switch cars and passenger hosts. Standing on the windblown bluff, we learn the cars’ wheels will grow to 20 inches up front and 21 in the back. I jotted down sidewall information: Pirelli P Zero NA0, 245/35R20 91Y and 305/30R21 100Y. Achleitner went on to reveal the cars’ front track width grows by 40mm, overall height increases by 5mm, length by 20mm, or roughly similar dimensions to the current 991.2 Carrera GTS. The C-shaped one-piece aluminum body stampings (from A-pillar, over the door, through the rear quarter panel, and concluding at the front edge of the rocker panel) are aluminum and are 20 to 30 pounds lighter. The car’s overall coefficient of drag drops from 0.30 Cd to 0.29. The front anti-roll bars’ stiffness has been lowered due to new dampers. Hofstetter explained that the new engine mounts (active on Sport Chrono cars) move forward. The engines have 10.5:1 compression, precise piezo fuel injectors, and intricately cast, integral exhaust manifolds that are lighter than the current ones. The intercoolers migrate to the top of the engine, just under the highly vented engine cover. Air filters for the intake manifold now reside where the intercoolers were, which improves the intake flow. The eight-speed PDK’s gearbox is the same length as the old one but now has a larger volume and four shafts instead of the previous two. Eighth gear is the same ratio as the outgoing seventh gear, so although the overall spread remains the same, ratios are distributed more tightly between gears. Time to drive some more.

Into the Light

Next up was car A1: a Carrera PDK with steel PSCB (Porsche Surface Coated Brake) discs and PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management). My partner for this stint was Pröbstle (the whole vehicle guy). We drove over the Golden Gate and into the sunlight in Marin County. On the drive, I learned about a new lane keeping system and a night vision system with pedestrian and animal detection that remains active (and will still warn) when the display isn’t being used. Similar to snow/ice detection, there’s also a new “wet” detection system, which alters stability and traction controls. Those sensors are in the front wheelwells and look for spray and listen for noise associated with wet roads. We swap into a new car with a new host (Hofstetter, the powertrain guy) for a riotous 4.4-mile hill climb through redwoods to the intersection of Fairfax-Bolinas Road and West Ridgecrest Boulevard. As luck would have it, I was driving A3, a Carrera S with the works: eight-speed PDK, PASM, PDCC (carbon-ceramic brakes), rear steering, and Sport Chrono. Let’s just say the switchbacks didn’t stand a chance.

Take a Break

The group grew hungry, and Ernst said he knew just the spot in the charming little town of Fairfax. We parked the cars on a side street and followed the red trousers. When we walked in the restaurant, it was clear he had been here many times. It felt like they knew and greeted the Porsche group, or maybe that was just Fairfax hospitality. In any case, over the jovial lunch it became very clear that despite having been away from home for months and working closely with the same group of dedicated individuals, the entire squad of engineers, mechanics, chase, and support teams really loves what they do—and weren’t at each other’s throats. Quite the contrary, the camaraderie was genuine, generous, and inclusive. As we dined, the team asked for my impressions—they’re still working out the brake “jump-in,” which was a little abrupt. I can’t remember who said it, but I jotted down something somebody said: “If one cannot adapt to the car within 45 to 90 minutes, then the car must be changed.” I told them I was honored to be involved, that they had succeeded in exceeding my 911 expectations, and that I greatly looked forward to driving the final product.

There was one more stop ’n’ swap on the way back to The City. As we stood on the roadside, a Toyota Prius driver stopped and asked for directions to the nearest gas station. Ironic, isn’t it? Looking at her fuel gauge, the engineers determined she would not make the 10-mile distance, so Ernst sent a person to retrieve a gas can from the support van. Ernst emptied the container into the Prius, wouldn’t accept a dime in return, and sent her safely on her way. These are good guys. We finished chatting, and with Ernst as my passenger, we headed back over the Golden Gate and straight into afternoon rush-hour traffic. The graphics and processing speed of the new infotainment/sat-nav system are world-class. As is the case with the recent Porsche products, the bevy of buttons has been reduced to a minimum, replaced with touchscreen or haptic-touch icons/panels.

991.2 < 992

What an illuminating, forthright, and privileged day it had been. Every question was answered. Each opportunity to demonstrate the cars’ collective new features was welcomed. I wish I could tell you more about how the four cars drove, but we’ll have to wait until the official, fully baked 992 press drive in January. What a treat it was to pretend to be part of the development team for a day—and to be welcomed with such gusto. I would happily do it again. Heck, I wonder if they’re hiring! Kidding, of course, because I’m not an engineer, but it’s no wonder the 992, and Porsche products in general, are some of the best-engineered vehicles in the world. They appear to have some very happy, cooperative, honest, and thorough engineers. And this was just one of the development drives. There are several more in the course of a Porsche’s development: hot weather, cold weather, Nürburgring (naturally), and so on. Rest assured. The 2020 Porsche 911 will live up to its own self-set benchmark status. Watch this space.

The post 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera Prototype 992 Series Development Drive: Spies Like Us appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Top Ford Performance Engineer on What Makes Edge ST Worthy of the Badge

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 22:00

As the chief functional engineer for Ford Performance and the chief program engineer for the Ford GT, Ed Krenz has years of experience bringing high-performance cars to market. But his latest project is a little different. It’s Ford’s first performance crossover, the Edge ST. Recently, we sat down with him to ask him a few questions.

What was it about the Edge that made you guys say, “Hey, let’s make this the one that we’re gonna turn into our first ST crossover?”

As a strategy, going back over a year, the decision was made that we were going to migrate what had traditionally been Sports, across different SUVs, to STs. And my role in that exercise was to define what the ST is, what it means, it’s attribute requirements, and the content required to deliver that across the different SUV products. The sequence of which they come forward is really more of a function of the program cycles, and cycle plans. As opposed to, “Let’s lead with the Edge and then follow with the Explorer.” But it was more of a strategic decision that we wanted to take the on-road SUVs, a very growing segment, within the Ford Performance team and really show their capability.

What would you say makes this an ST as opposed to just a sportier Edge Sport?

[With] the Edge Sport, it has a big engine. Big wheels. But really, outside of the engine, it was more of an appearance package. When we moved to the ST, we took all of the DNA from the Focus and Fiesta STs and the heritage of STs and refined that with a competitive set and a customer profile, and we created customer expectations of what an ST is. Really those four things that we call the DNA principals are: fun to drive, so vehicle dynamics; performance; sustained capability; and appearance. And all the content on that vehicle, I can attribute to one of those four key elements of the DNA that fundamentally the STs achieve and fundamentally the Sports don’t.

Can you talk a little bit about that third one, sustained capability?

What sustained capability means to Ford Performance is sustained track capability. So the Edge ST, with my vehicle dynamics team and my powertrain team that do Shelbys for a living developed the chassis setup on the track. And we do objective testing to ensure no powertrain derate and no brake fade through a specific track cycle. Once again, that’s what dictates the upgrade of brake rotors, what drives the incremental coolers, and the front end opening of 40 percent increased airflow, to really allow this thing to cool.

Is there something you wish could have been part of the car but for whatever reason didn’t make it?

I’ll tell you the item, the single specific attribute, that we’ll continue to improve is the transmission software. We have a new eight-speed transmission, fundamentally very capable. Our target is DCT-like shift speeds. We’re not quite there yet. We will see, we know how to do it, and we will get there over time with additional software.

Were there any specific performance metrics or vehicles that you tried to benchmark against? 

So when we do a Focus ST, there’s a very clear competitive set. And we have the vehicles, we benchmark the vehicles, and we set targets to position the product appropriately. With the Edge ST, when we set out and were like, “All right, who are we competing with?” It was kind of a blank space. And we—much against what our marketing team would prefer to do—we ended up having to go out looking at some of the premium sport SUVs just to give us some direction on where that segment should be. I personally went out and benchmarked with my team: Audi SQ5, Porsche Macan, and several of our objective targets are derived from those types of vehicles. But you know, the big takeaway from this product is it really is in a, from a non-premium sport utility, it’s kind of a one of a kind at the moment.

Now, are you guys gonna go out and turn some hot laps on famous tracks so that you can show off the Edge ST’s times? 

As I said, we’ve developed the vehicle on the track. The reason we’ve done that is we don’t believe most of our customers are aspiring this vehicle as a track vehicle. Certainly, if they do, we’re happy for them to do it. We think it’ll be capable. We develop it on the track for the more aggressive enthusiast, on-road driving. The twisties, for example, that we got to experience here in Utah. It’s just a safer environment for us to do the development work. We have no plans right now to take this vehicle out and do track comparison tests, but if we’re asked to do so, I’m happy to show it off.

Who’s that person that you put up on the wall and say, “This is who our theoretical buyer is,” for the Edge ST?

I would say there’s absolutely two people on the wall. The first person on the wall might look like somebody that has a family or a lifestyle that requires utility and capability. And up to this point that person has had to sacrifice the performance driving capability at an affordable level. That’s certainly one target. Somebody that maybe previously wouldn’t have considered a Focus or Fiesta ST because it just wasn’t consistent with their lifestyle.

The second target is our Focus and Fiesta ST customer. And I met with a group of them this morning, social media influencers, and the goal of that discussion is really to allow them to ask questions around, “Why is the Edge ST an appropriate alternative from a Focus ST?” And I go back to, it’s the same DNA, it’s engineered to the same standards, and I think there’s gonna be a wide acceptance of our ST enthusiasts into these new products.

The post Top Ford Performance Engineer on What Makes Edge ST Worthy of the Badge appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Chevrolet Silverado Turbo-Four Rated at 20/23 MPG

Wed, 10/10/2018 - 18:30

The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado stands apart from its competitors by offering a four-cylinder engine. Now that fuel economy numbers are in, we know how efficient this truck will be compared to rivals with V-6 engines.

According to EPA ratings, rear-drive Silverado models with the 2.7-liter turbo-four engine can hit 20/23 mpg city/highway. That city rating makes it comparable to the Ford F-150’s standard 3.3-liter V-6 (19/25 mpg) as well as the Ram 1500’s base 3.6-liter V-6 mild hybrid (20/25 mpg). Despite offering cylinder deactivation, the four-banger’s highway fuel economy lags behind the V-6s. It does, however, have the horsepower and torque advantage at 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque versus 290 hp and 265 lb-ft for the Ford and 305 hp and 269 lb-ft for the Ram. The turbo-four is both less efficient and less powerful than the F-150’s upgrade engine, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 that makes 325 hp and 400 lb-ft and is rated 20/26 mpg in rear-drive trim.

The turbo-four will come standard on Silverado LT and RST trims. It achieves 14 percent more torque and is quicker in the 0-60 run than the 4.3-liter V-6 from the previous model, according to Chevrolet.

Completely redesigned, the Silverado rides on a new platform, adds an available 10-speed automatic transmission, and sheds weight. When equipped with the four-cylinder, it loses 380 pounds from last year’s most comparable model. Other engines in the 2019 Silverado lineup include the 4.3-liter V-6 with 285 hp and 305 lb-ft, a 5.3-liter V-8 with 355 hp and 383 lb-ft, and a 6.2-liter V-8 with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft. A 3.0-liter turbodiesel is also on the way.

Source: GM

The post 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Turbo-Four Rated at 20/23 MPG appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Pages