Category Archives: Car News

The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE Is a 650-HP, Aero-Crazy, Track-Shredding Cocktail

To create the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, Chevy took one part Camaro ZL1, another part Camaro 1LE, and stirred. The resulting supercoupe is a delicious combination of high horsepower and raw performance.

The ZL1 1LE plays at the opposite end of the muscle-car spectrum from the forthcoming Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, opting to clip apexes as opposed to ripping off epic quarter-mile runs. Still, the ZL1 1LE won’t be a one-trick pony car. Thanks to the rip-snorting 650-hp supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine it shares with the standard ZL1, we expect the hard-core Camaro to hold its own at the drag strip—although the fact that Chevy plans to offer the model exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission may cost it a tenth of a second or two.

2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

Compared with the standard ZL1, the 1LE sheds a claimed 60 pounds, owing to thinner rear-window glass, a fixed (rather than folding) rear seatback, and lighter wheels and dampers. Additional downforce comes in the form of a massive fixed rear wing made of carbon fiber, air deflectors and dive planes fitted to the car’s nose, and a set of sticky summer tires—a new breed of Goodyear rubber dubbed Eagle F1 Supercar 3R—mounted on lightweight, staggered 19-inch forged-aluminum wheels (11 inches wide up front, 12 inches wide in the rear) to help keep the big beast stuck to the ground. Spool-valve dampers, made famous by Formula 1 racing teams and the last-gen Z/28, sit under adjustable camber plates in front and work with a three-position-adjustable rear anti-roll bar out back. Chevy says making changes at the track will be easy enough so the car can be reverted to a more street-friendly stance for the drive home, and that includes a front end that can be lowered by 0.4 inch.

Besides the aforementioned aerodynamic items, the Camaro ZL1 1LE separates itself from the standard ZL1 with trim-specific smoked taillights, a black-painted hood, and a revised front fascia that ditches the ZL1’s LED driving lights to suck in more air. And in case you were wondering, yes, it has a flowtie. Unfortunately, Chevy isn’t ready to reveal pricing for the ZL1 1LE, but expect the 1LE package to add quite a few quid to the ZL1’s $63,435 base sticker when the model goes on sale this summer.

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The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE is a 650-HP, Aero-Crazy, Track-Shredding Cocktail

2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe

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Slinging Mud with Rockproof, Nokian’s New Extreme Off-Road Tire

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Given the terrain-conquering mission of mud-terrain (MT) tires, it’s no surprise that the category is populated with some chest-thumpingly bold names. The Dick Cepek Crusher, for example, has a repeating skull-and-crossbones pattern molded into its sidewalls along with bone-shaped tread blocks. Nokian, of course no stranger to spirited names such as the one it’s best known for—its world-beating winter tire, the Hakkapeliitta, named after a Finnish battle cry—is entering the mud-terrain business with a new entry, called Rockproof.

That tough label also explains its reason for being, as Nokian says the expansion into the extreme off-road category came about in response to feedback from commercial users of the company’s mining tires. It wasn’t a grievance with those monstrously sturdy tires themselves, but instead complaints that the companies’ light-duty vehicles operating in the mine’s vicinity were suffering repeated punctures. So Nokian, which appended an “n” to its name in 1995 to avoid paying royalties to the electronics company Nokia—although the tire company is the one headquartered in Nokia, Finland—adapted the compound of its extraordinarily robust mining tires with some additional off-road grip stirred in to create the Rockproof.

Nokian Rockproof

The nondirectional tire is available in 13 sizes and in 16- to 20-inch diameters. Pricing has yet to be announced. The Rockproof features a tread depth of 20/32—roughly double that of a street tire—along with aggressive V-shaped sidewall elements for added ability to dig into whatever surface it happens to be rotating against. For maximum puncture resistance, there’s almost no siping, which keeps the Rockproof from earning the “mountain/snowflake” winter accreditation. But it does come pre-perforated with holes to facilitate the use of studs. The raised features at the base of the large tread blocks are there to keep stones from wedging between them, which could dig into the tire and cause a puncture over time. To better protect the steel belts and cords, the sidewalls are infused with aramid, a class of strong synthetic fibers also used in body armor.

To test the Rockproof’s fortitude, we spent a couple of days exploring and navigating the extensive and challenging network of off-road trails at the Gerotek proving ground, a 2.1-square-mile former military test facility nestled into the steep South African landscape outside of Johannesburg. It’s a test site that Nokian regularly uses in its development of non-winter tires. There, we clawed up and inched down grades as severe as 30 or 40 percent, some slickened with sloppy wet clay and others teeming with sharp protruding rocks, along with slogging through mud holes a couple of feet deep.

Nokian Rockproof

We drove three vehicles on- and off-road equipped with 17-inch Rockproofs of various widths and aspect ratios: a Toyota Fortuner and Hilux and a Dodge Ram. As you probably noticed, two of those aren’t familiar to U.S. roads. The Fortuner is closest to our 4Runner, but with a more Highlander-looking body. That means it’s underpinned by Toyota’s mid-size-truck architecture, complete with low-range four-wheel drive and a rear differential lock. The Hilux, which in this case was substantially lifted and otherwise off-road modified by Arctic Trucks, is the slightly more capable version of Toyota’s mid-size pickup that is sold around the world except in North America and a few other countries that get the Tacoma instead.

For comparison purposes, a Land Rover Defender fitted with Nokian’s equally new but one category less extreme Rotiiva AT Plus tires rounded out our quartet. The Rotiiva competes with tires such as the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac and the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2, which come fitted to the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and the Ford F-150 Raptor, respectively, and are about as extreme as factory off-road fitments come.

Nokian Rockproof

Going slow is the key to judging off-road aptitude; given sufficient momentum, any vehicle-and-tire combination can summit a challenging grade or traverse a deep mud hole. That’s why, just like a cleanly driven lap of a racetrack, doing it right often doesn’t look exciting but there’s plenty of excitement, fun, and fear—such as stalling a manual-transmission truck with its nose pointed skyward on a steep, rocky incline—that can take place when off-roading, even at a walking pace. Although the Rockproof proved true to its name, as well as adept a climbing whatever rugged surfaces it trampled, we were most impressed by its performance through the mud holes. At a creeping speed, where the level of traction is immediately tangible, the Rockproof’s deep tread blocks felt more like paddles than tires as they pulled the trucks through the heavy mud, whereas the Rotiivas were doing a lot more fruitless spinning. Although we did wend our way through the Pilanesburg Game Reserve, where spotting a lion or an elephant proved much more difficult than the terrain, we didn’t get a chance for any high-speed off-road runs, or to put the Rockproof’s gnarly tread to work climbing any sand inclines.

These are serious tires, essentially the off-road equivalent of a Michelin Pilot Sport Cup or Pirelli P Zero Corsa on the pointy end of the on-road-performance spectrum; they’ll get you home after an off-road adventure, but commuting with them will quickly become a chore. Although certainly not excessive for this type of tire, on pavement, the Rockproofs start singing noticeably above about 40 mph. And these tires are on average 16 percent, or seven pounds per tire, heavier than the Rotiiva AT Plus, and that unsprung mass, along with the ultra-rigid tread blocks, means that every ripple in the road is felt from the driver’s seat.

But drivers who prefer to drive over rather than around the most challenging terrain now have another capable choice that prioritizes puncture resistance in the mud-terrain category.

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Slinging Mud with Rockproof, Nokian’s New Extreme Off-Road Tire

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The 10 Most Comfortable New Cars and Crossover SUVs for Less Than $40,000

As cars inch closer and closer to automated driving, people are going to be doing a lot more sitting in cars and a lot less actual driving. As much as we love to wax poetic about high-powered sports cars and exotics, thrilling performance, and lap times, those aren’t the sorts of things that matter when you’re sitting in traffic on the 405. Comfort and serenity can be automotive virtues, too, so we compiled a list of 10 vehicles that allow you to stay in your comfort zone on the road. To avoid getting too indulgent and picking the obvious choices like a Mercedes-Maybach and a Rolls-Royce, we limited the list to vehicles under $40,000. None of these entries are capable of driving themselves just yet, but they can make the journey considerably less stressful.Lexus NXLexus NXAudi A4Audi A4Toyota AvalonToyota AvalonChrysler 300Chrysler 300Buick LaCrosseBuick LaCrosseKia CadenzaKia CadenzaFord FlexFord FlexNissan MuranoNissan MuranoChrysler PacificaChrysler PacificaVolkswagen GolfVolkswagen Golf

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The One You’ve Been Waiting For: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio vs. M3, ATS-V, and C63!

2017-Cadillac-ATS-V-2017-Alfa-Romeo-Giulia-Quadrifoglio-2017-Mercedes-AMG-C63-S-and-2017-BMW-M3-placement

A brand that once ruled racing, gave a young Enzo Ferrari his start, and produced bubbly little macchine throughout the 1950s and ’60s is also a company whose cars earned a reputation for electrical malignancies and for dissolving with the speed of an Alka-Seltzer tablet. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. READ MORE ››

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2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio vs. 2017 BMW M3, 2017 Cadillac ATS-V, 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S – Comparison Tests

2017 Cadillac ATS-V, 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, 2017 BMW M3, 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S2017 Cadillac ATS-V, 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S, 2017 BMW M3, and 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrofoglio2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, 2017 Cadillac ATS-V, 2017 BMW M3, Mercedes-AMG C63 S2017 BMW M3 and 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6 engine2017 BMW M3 and 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio2017 BMW M32017 BMW M32017 BMW M3 Competition Package2017 BMW M32017 BMW M3 Competition Package2017 BMW M3 twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 engine2017 Cadillac ATS-V2016 Cadillac ATS-V sedan2016 Cadillac ATS-V sedan2016 Cadillac ATS-V sedan2017 Cadillac ATS-V2016 Cadillac ATS-V sedan2017 Cadillac ATS-V2016 Cadillac ATS-V sedan2017 Cadillac ATS-V2017 Cadillac ATS-V  twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6 engine2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 S twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine

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2017 Acura NSX in Depth: We Test, Measure, and Rate the Dual-Purpose Supercar

2017 Acura NSX – Overview

The legendary NSX, touted as a supercar that’s easy to live with on a daily basis, is reborn for 2017 with a trendy hybrid powertrain. Don’t confuse this low-slung car for a hyper-miler—it has serious performance chops, though it can’t quite hang with similarly priced nonhybrids from McLaren and Porsche. The twin-turbo V-6 sings when pushed hard, and it can be shut off to allow the NSX to tiptoe on electric power alone. The cabin is comfortable for two, but a dearth of storage space counters Acura’s daily-driver claim. Additionally, a frustrating infotainment system and a smattering of low-rent switchgear are not up to scratch. READ MORE ››

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Internal Document Shows Otto’s Self-Driving Semi Truck Testers May Not Keep Foot on Pedal

Otto self driving truck Uber autonomous

The legality of Otto’s tests of self-driving trucks on California public roads may hinge on how involved its test drivers are during the driving process. Although company co-founder Anthony Levandowski has assured officials with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles that Otto’s test drivers are “actively and physically pressing the accelerator” during testing, an internal document suggests that’s not the case.

The document, obtained via a public records request, details the operations policies for Otto, a San Francisco–based subsidiary of Uber formed to pursue self-driving-truck technology. The policies instruct test drivers to prepare for disengagements of the driving system by keeping “a hand near the wheel while hovering your foot over the pedal,” which runs contrary to Levandowski’s description.

Written in April 2016 by Ryan Espinosa, an Otto operations manager, the policy explicitly directs drivers to avoid making any control inputs while the system is running. “Do not apply steering, throttle, or brake input while in cruise without disengaging,” it reads.

Reached Friday afternoon, an Otto spokesperson said the company would have no further comment.

Otto self driving truck

Whether drivers are actively involved or merely passively monitoring the system is a crucial distinction, one that is part of a broader examination of whether Otto’s testing runs afoul of the state’s autonomous-testing regulations. Otto does not hold a permit to test autonomous vehicles on California public roads, nor is it eligible to apply for one, because state regulations prohibit the testing of autonomous vehicles with a gross weight of more than 10,001 pounds.

Although Otto has a stated goal of eventually creating software that runs self-driving trucks, Levandowski maintains the company is only testing advanced driver-assist features in California, not autonomous vehicles. In conversations with regulators, one of the ways Otto has supported this claim is by arguing its drivers remain actively involved in the driving process.

“The tech we are utilizing in California requires a driver in the driver’s seat with his foot actively and physically pressing the accelerator pedal.”
—Anthony Levandowski, Otto, May 2016

“The tech we are utilizing in California requires a driver in the driver’s seat with his foot actively and physically pressing the accelerator pedal in order for the truck to operate,” Levandowski wrote in a May 2016 email to DMV officials. “So long as the active physical control of the human driver is confirmed by the pedal mechanism, the technology we’re building prevents the truck from getting into collisions by slowing down . . . Therefore, we see this technology as a collision-avoidance system.”

Otto officials reiterated this position Wednesday in a meeting with regulators, according to a DMV spokesperson. But the policies written by Espinosa mention neither a collision-avoidance system nor advanced driver-assist features. Instead, they instruct drivers, “Before driving autonomously, check that all methods of disengagement work properly.”

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Previously, a separate Otto document detailed the testing of a “self-driving system” on California public roads that could be disengaged by a driver “grabbing the steering wheel, applying the brake, applying throttle, flipping an engage button on the dash, or hitting a large red button next to the steering wheel,” a description that implied drivers may not keep a foot on the accelerator as a matter of routine.

Officials with the California DMV continue to examine Otto’s testing. A spokesperson for the agency said Friday that representatives of the DMV and the California Highway Patrol (CHP), which regulates commercial trucking in the state, held a “productive meeting” with Otto representatives on Wednesday. She said that DMV and CHP officials will follow up with a visit to Otto’s truck terminal “in the near future.”

These are not the only legal hurdles that Levandowski, Otto, and Uber have recently encountered. Waymo, the company under which Google’s self-driving-car project now is organized, filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that Levandowski stole more than 14,000 confidential documents from the company before he quit last year to help form Otto. Waymo is alleging patent infringement and theft of trade secrets.

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2017 Acura NSX – In-Depth Review

2017 Acura NSX – Overview2017 Acura NSX – Engine and Transmission2017 Acura NSX – Engine and Transmission2017 Acura NSX – Engine and Transmission2017 Acura NSX – Engine and Transmission2017 Acura NSX – Fuel Economy2017 Acura NSX – Performance and Driving Impressions2017 Acura NSX – Performance and Driving Impressions2017 Acura NSX –2017 Acura NSX – Performance and Driving Impressions2017 Acura NSX – Performance and Driving Impressions2017 Acura NSX – Performance and Driving Impressions2017 Acura NSX – Performance and Driving Impressions2017 Acura NSX – Interior2017 Acura NSX – Interior2017 Acura NSX – Interior2017 Acura NSX – Interior2017 Acura NSX – Interior2017 Acura NSX – Interior2017 Acura NSX – Interior2017 Acura NSX – Interior2017 Acura NSX – Interior2017 Acura NSX – Infotainment2017 Acura NSX – Cargo Space and Storage2017 Acura NSX – Exterior2017 Acura NSX – Exterior2017 Acura NSX – Exterior2017 Acura NSX – Exterior2017 Acura NSX – Exterior2017 Acura NSX – Exterior2017 Acura NSX – Exterior2017 Acura NSX – Exterior2017 Acura NSX – Exterior2017 Acura NSX – Safety and Driver Assistance2017 Acura NSX – Warranty

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