2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 Cabriolet Tested: This Softtop Is No Softie

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More than a century before the invention of the automobile, France introduced the world to the cabriolet: a two-wheeled, horse-drawn carriage intended for short jaunts about town. The compact carriage notably featured a folding roof that could be tucked away in good weather or raised to protect passengers from nature’s elements. READ MORE ››

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2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 Cabriolet – Instrumented Test

2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 cabriolet

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Engines with Small, Individual Turbos for Each Cylinder Could Revolutionize Downsizing

Engines with Small, Individual Turbos for Each Cylinder Could Revolutionize Downsizing

From the October 2017 issue

Downsized turbocharged engines have become a cornerstone in the car industry’s effort to increase fuel economy. And as CAFE stand­ards push us toward a 54.5-mpg fleet average, engines are bound to get even smaller and turbo boost even higher. Such radically downsized engines can be strong at full throttle but tend to be sluggish from a stop.

Automakers are exploring plenty of solutions to this problem, including staged turbos, variable-geometry turbines, and electrically driven compressors. Jim Clarke has a more radical idea. Thus far, it’s all theory—no prototype has been built or tested—but it’s a theory with 27 claims covered by a patent and with a weighty résumé behind it. Over the course of a long career at Ford, Clarke was responsible for the modular V-8 and the Duratec V-6, including the Yamaha-built V-8 and Aston Martin V-12 variants. He was also engineering vice president at Navistar, the heavy-truck manufacturer that owns International Trucks, and he headed up special projects for Kohler Engines. His technical partner, Dick Fotsch, is a past president of engine divisions at Navistar and Kohler. Combined, the two have some 60 years of executive-level engineering and management experience. (Full disclosure: Clarke was this author’s manager decades ago at Ford.)

Engines with Small, Individual Turbos for Each Cylinder Could Revolutionize Downsizing

The first element of the design, which they call “synergistic induction and turbocharging,” is to place individual throttles—two per cylinder, one for each intake port—right next to the cylinder head. “Between the throttle and the intake valves, the typical engine has an intake-manifold volume roughly equivalent to the engine displacement,” Clarke says. “That takes time to fill when you open the throttle.” His configuration allows the cylinders to fill much more quickly, rapidly generating full torque and a maximum dose of high-energy exhaust gas. Exploiting that exhaust is the next key idea.

“The closer you put a turbocharger to the exhaust valve, the more energy reaches the turbine to accelerate it,” explains Clarke. Therefore, the synergistic engine has an individual turbo for each cylinder placed as close as possible to the exhaust valves. These turbos can be smaller than they’d be on a single-turbo engine—20 percent smaller in size (50 percent less flow) on a three-cylinder. Smaller turbos mean less rotational inertia, allowing these tiny blowers to spool up more quickly than most current setups. Clarke estimates that his synergistic engine concept could eliminate perceptible turbo lag altogether.

The theory seems promising, but the system requires considerable parts multiplication. On the three-cylinder example, there would be three turbos and six throttles, instead of one each, as well as additional plumbing to interconnect the individual intake and exhaust passages. Three small turbos, of course, might only cost 50 percent more than one large one, and few of the other components are particularly complex or exotic. The question is how well the concept’s performance and cost compare with other lag-mitigating techniques—which are not inexpensive, either. But innovation is rarely cheap.


Remember the ’80s?

Clarke clearly recalls the instant response of a BMW M6 he drove in the 1980s. He attributes that characteristic to its engine having an individual throttle for each cylinder, an arrangement that reduced the amount of air between the throttle and the intake valve. This engine concept takes that premise a step further.

Remember the ’80s?

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2018 Honda Odyssey in Depth: An Appealing Option for Families and Van Fans Alike

2018-Honda-Odyssey-PLACEMENT

Think minivans are fading away thanks to a proliferation of crossovers? Think again. More than a half-million of these versatile family haulers roll off dealer lots each year. The Honda Odyssey is all new for 2018 and arrives sporting a more stylish exterior in the hope of wooing buyers—and fending off the handsome and incredibly versatile Chrysler Pacifica. The cabin is roomy, quiet, and comfortable for the whole family, even those relegated to the third row. A plethora of inventive options such as an onboard vacuum, a video baby monitor, and an in-cabin PA system accompany the expected infotainment and rear-seat-entertainment features. Honda is now offering its suite of active safety technologies—including automated emergency braking and adaptive cruise control—as standard equipment on all but the base LX trim level. It all adds up to a compelling alternative to the ubiquitous crossover for moving family, friends, and cargo. READ MORE ››

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2018 Honda Civic In-Depth Review: A Wholly Civilized Compact Car

2018-Honda-Civic-01-Placement

The iconic Honda Civic epitomizes compact-car excellence with its mix of practicality and a fun-to-drive personality. The versatile Honda has a version for everyone; its lineup includes a two-door coupe as well as a four-door sedan and hatchback. It’s available with two excellent four-cylinder engines and either an adroit continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) or a slick-shifting six-speed manual. We appreciate its comfy ride and fuel efficiency, but the Civic’s optional touchscreen infotainment system is plagued with usability issues. While that’s proof that the affable Honda isn’t perfect, it excels everywhere else and ranks near the top of its class. READ MORE ››

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2018 Honda Civic – In-Depth Review

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2018 Honda Odyssey – In-Depth Review

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McLaren Teases Next Ultimate Series Hypercar; Here’s What We Know

McLaren Teases P15, Next Ultimate Series Supercar

We don’t normally play automakers’ games when it comes to releasing teaser images of forthcoming vehicles, and especially not when they show nothing more than what appears to be an exhaust tailpipe. But as this is McLaren, we’ll swallow our pride, not least of all because it looks like the British supercar maker has confirmed the imminent arrival of what appears to be the megafast Ultimate Series car, known internally as the P15 project.

The official release gives little away, beyond saying that the new car will be publicly revealed in the first quarter of next year and that—as we reported before—it will actually be delivered to customers ahead of the three-seater BP23 project the company has also admitted that it is working on. It will be track focused but street legal, although with “daily usability sacrificed to give the most intensive driver experience around a circuit.”

Tempted? Don’t get too excited. Despite the sketchiness of the available details, McLaren said that every car has already been assigned to customers out of what will be an ultralimited production run. That’s right: A car that you’ve only just heard about has already sold out, for a price likely to be close to (or even above) seven figures in U.S. dollars at current exchange rates.

Like nature, we abhor a vacuum, so let’s try and fill in some of the gaps with details previously reported in the original Autocar story on the P15. Back in July, the British magazine’s source suggested that the car will use a heavily reworked version of McLaren’s twin-turbo V-8 tuned to deliver close to 800 horsepower, with a target mass of 2860 pounds resulting in a better power-to-weight ratio than that possessed by the hybrid McLaren P1. Apparently we’ll have more details, and a name, before the end of the year.

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2019 Range Rover P400e: A New Age of Range – Official Photos and Info

2019 Range Rover P400e Plug-in Hybrid2019 Range Rover P400e Plug-in Hybrid2019 Range Rover P400e Plug-in Hybrid2019 Range Rover P400e Plug-in Hybrid2019 Range Rover P400e Plug-in Hybrid2019 Range Rover P400e Plug-in Hybrid2019 Range Rover P400e Plug-in Hybrid2019 Range Rover P400e Plug-in Hybrid2019 Range Rover P400e Plug-in Hybrid2019 Range Rover P400e Plug-in Hybrid2019 Range Rover P400e Plug-in Hybrid2019 Range Rover P400e Plug-in Hybrid2019 Range Rover P400e Plug-in Hybrid2019 Range Rover P400e Plug-in Hybrid2019 Range Rover P400e Plug-in Hybrid2019 Range Rover P400e Plug-in Hybrid

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2019 Range Rover P400e: A New Age of Range

2019-Range-Rover-P400e-Plug-in-Hybrid-PLACEMENT
-An automotive icon that has lived through decades is in a precarious situation. If it changes too much, the faithful could turn on it. But if it doesn’t change much at all, it risks losing touch. The Range Rover has walked that tightrope in America since the late 1980s, and so far it has been successful. Now, for 2019, Land Rover skews slightly farther whence it came by introducing its first electrified Range Rover, the P400e plug-in hybrid. READ MORE ››

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