2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid First Drive: Porsche’s Performance Future

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A diet of Red Bull and Sour Patch Kids is bad for children. Too much screen time stunts cognitive development. Nothing good can come from all that fidget spinning. But we simply cannot get on board with the charge that “RACE TRACK NOISE IS BAD FOR OUR CHILDREN,” as suggested by the handmade sign of a protester outside Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit. READ MORE ››

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2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid – First Drive Review

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Dodge Charger Pursuit Has Cops’ Backs

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Mothers might not actually have eyes in the back of their heads, but the new Dodge Charger Pursuit vehicles do. Fiat Chrysler has improved the Officer Protection package on Dodge Charger cop cars to include new safety measures that will help keep officers safe from any type of ambush, particularly from the rear. The sensors and cameras the common folk all use to avoid hitting garbage cans, rogue shopping carts, or other vehicles will be used as a cautionary lookout.

The Officer Protection package was first introduced on the 2017 Charger at no cost as a means to “increase an officer’s situational awareness when parked and working inside the vehicle.” It uses the ParkSense rear parking system and ParkView backup camera to recognize and alert officers if there is movement behind the vehicle. It uses technology from InterMotive, a firm that specializes in control modules for service vehicles such as police cars, tow trucks, and fire trucks. Simple installation includes plugging the InterMotive Surveillance Mode module into the OBD port and turning it on.

“With critical input and guidance from our police advisory board, we have enhanced the technology’s capabilities for the 2018 model year with additional sensors to provide officers with an expanded field of protection,” said Jeff Kommor, FCA’s vice president of U.S. fleet and sales operations.

2018 Dodge Charger Pursuit Protection Package

The upgrade adds rear cross-path detection to the mix. This technology is traditionally used to notify drivers of incoming traffic when they are backing up. On the Charger Pursuit, it will also help identify possible threats to the car and the officers inside. If the law-enforcement agency using the car chooses, detected motion can trigger an alarm inside the vehicle to alert the officers, roll the windows up, lock the doors, turn the reverse lights on, and flash the taillights. This all happens automatically to scare off any intruders as well as to give the officers a chance to react.

Cynics might suggest it’s also one more piece of technology that could potentially get hacked, but on the brighter side, the updated technology is available immediately at no extra cost on all 2018 Charger Pursuit police models in the United States.

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Dodge Charger Pursuit Has the Cops’ Backs

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2017 BMW 3-series In-Depth Review: Everything You Need to Know!

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If Merriam-Webster did in fact define the term “sports sedan,” we are confident that the BMW 3-series would be the first entry. Its reputation is built on the backs of 3-series gone by, as this is the first ever 3 to merely whelm us. An objectively strong performer, the 3-series lacks the seductive man-machine connection of its forebears, and it’s pricey. With sedan, Sports Wagon (BMW speak for, well, wagon), and Gran Turismo hatchback models and a powertrain lineup encompassing two gasoline inline-fours, a diesel, an inline-six, and a plug-in hybrid, the 3-series family is bigger than BMW’s entire lineup was when the 3-series was born in the 1970s. READ MORE ››

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2017 BMW 3-series – In-Depth Review

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Gumshoes: Five Sticky Summer-Performance Tires Tested

Gumshoes: Five Sticky Summer-Performance Tires Tested

You’ve likely heard the timeless wisdom that tires are the most important component on your car. It’s true. Assuming your car is equipped with functioning braking and steering systems, plus seatbelts and a powertrain to propel it, that is. Indeed, assuming your car is in fact a car and not a cardboard box with a paper-plate steering wheel, tires are critical. READ MORE ››

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Gumshoes: Five Sticky Summer-Performance Tires Tested – Feature

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Return of the Mini E? Mini to Produce Electric Vehicle in 2019

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Mini is no stranger to electric vehicles. Notably, the British brand previously built the Mini E battery-electric vehicle almost a decade ago. Based on the Mini  Cooper Hardtop, the 201-hp E was deemed a “pilot project” by the British brand and was available strictly as a lease. It required a great deal of compromise compared with the standard Mini Hardtop, as the E’s chunky 573-pound lithium-ion battery pack took up residence in the area previously reserved for the back seat, and it allowed for only about 100 miles of range on a full charge. Unsurprisingly, the Mini E never became a mass-produced electric vehicle.

After a brief EV hiatus, though, Mini is back in the EV game. While the 2018 Mini Cooper S E Countryman plug-in hybrid crossover SUV is set to become the brand’s first hybrid, it’s the forthcoming battery-electric model that’s due to kick the door to electrification wide open.

Scheduled to begin production in 2019, the latest Mini EV will once again be based on Mini’s two-door hardtop model. Although Mini isn’t yet releasing technical details, the brand did announce that the electric hardtop’s battery pack and electric motor will be produced at BMW’s “e-mobility center” in Germany. From there, the completed drivetrain will be shipped to Mini’s Oxford, England, plant to be mated to a Mini shell.

Mini’s U.S. arm confirmed that the brand’s new battery-electric-vehicle will be sold on our shores sometime after production of the vehicle commences. No surprise, really, given the U.S. market is key to helping Mini’s parent company, the BMW Group, achieve its goal of having electric vehicles make up 15 to 25 percent of its sales by 2025.

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2017 Dodge Grand Caravan Tested: Still Has Some Fight Left in It

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A suburban staple since its 1984-model-year introduction, the Dodge Caravan has outlived acid-wash jeans, guru of good times Spuds MacKenzie, and the relevancy of Andrew Dice Clay. We might have thought that the arrival of Fiat Chrysler’s newly minted Chrysler Pacifica minivan would put a stake through the beating heart of the long-running Dodge, but here we are in 2017, and factory-fresh Grand Caravans continue to arrive on dealer lots. But unlike most born-in-the-’80s touchpoints that have slipped beneath the waves of nostalgia, the Grand Caravan remains an immensely practical, if somewhat dated, tool for managing a busy family life. READ MORE ››

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