Category Archives: Car News

2018 Audi RS5 Coupe First Drive: A Stoic, 450-hp Beast

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Shoehorned between Spain and France, the tiny, landlocked principality of Andorra is draped over 180 square miles of the Pyrenees mountains. Fewer than 90,000 people call it home, but many more stream over its borders to enjoy its duty-free shopping, myriad ski resorts, and extremely friendly income-tax code (as in, there isn’t one). While winter sees the country’s peaks blanketed in snow, in summer they’re laced with lush, green scrub and encourage a different type of frolicking: exploring the sinuous, two-lane ribbons of asphalt that climb up from the valleys and back down again. It was across this landscape and past shops stuffed to their rafters with discount booze that we drove the latest Audi RS5 coupe. READ MORE ››

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2018 Audi RS5 Coupe – First-Drive Review

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FX4 or More? 2019 Ford Ranger Mini-Raptor Spied!

2019 Ford Ranger Raptor (spy photo)

What It Is: A new-generation Ford Ranger pickup wearing what appear to be wide fenders, beefy off-road tires, and lots of camouflage. The style of those wheels, and the seemingly shaved front bumper that raise this Ranger’s chin higher over potential obstacles should look familiar to anyone who’s seen the latest F-150 Raptor. We believe this Ranger prototype is a test mule for suspension pieces and body addenda that could make their way into a Raptor-emulating, off-road-focused Ranger model. READ MORE ››

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FX4 or More? 2019 Ford Ranger Mini-Raptor Spied! – Future Cars

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13 Reasons the Stinger GT Could Be the Best Kia Yet

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Takata Files for Bankruptcy, Sells Business to Michigan Supplier

2001 Honda Accord airbag

Takata filed for bankruptcy Monday and will sell a majority of its business to Michigan-based Key Safety Systems for $1.6 billion, according to court filings and company statements.

As reported last week, Key Safety Systems—owned by Chinese electronics supplier Ningbo Joyson—emerged as the leading bidder for Takata. However, Takata’s airbag division will be shut down sometime in 2020 after it finishes manufacturing a sufficient number of replacement inflators for the airbag recall, which involves 32 car brands and 100 million faulty inflators around the world. Takata, which has extensive manufacturing in seatbelts, steering wheels, and other automotive components, will retain its Tokyo headquarters and all employees.

Takata has billions in liabilities stemming from class-action and individual state lawsuits, federal fines, and lost sales as a result of its shrapnel-exploding airbag inflators that first surfaced on Honda vehicles in 2008 and in nearly every major automaker’s products by 2014. Automakers are owed at least $850 million for recall-related costs, while victims and their families have been allocated $125 million. Those fines were part of a settlement reached with the U.S. Department of Justice in February, during which Takata and three executives pled guilty to criminal wire fraud. The company had covered up its engineering defects over more than a decade. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has assessed an additional $180 million in fines, according to Takata’s creditor list, after fining the supplier $70 million in 2015. The states of Hawaii and New Mexico have pending lawsuits against Takata, as does the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, and a multidistrict litigation filed in Miami. At least 17 people have died worldwide from Takata’s faulty airbag inflators (11 in the U.S.), and at least 184 people have been injured.

CEO Shigehisa Takada apologized for the company’s failures in a press conference early Monday morning. Takada, whose family owns the majority stake of Takata, will step down and potentially liquidate his shares in the company. He had said in June 2016 that he would step down once Takata created a “new management regime.” At this point, none of Takata’s divisions, factories, or contracts have been affected.

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Jaguar Shuffles 2018 XE, XF, F-Pace Engine Lineup (Again) with New 30t

2018 Jaguar XE

It seems like just yesterday that Jaguar rolled out a rejiggered powertrain lineup for the 2018 XE, XF, and F-Pace. Now the engine choices are changing once again with the addition of a new four-cylinder 30t trim that replaces the six-cylinder 35t models for Jag’s compact sedan, mid-size sedan, and SUV offerings. The 30t is powered by a high-output version of the same turbocharged 2.0-liter Ingenium four found in the base 2018 25t models (but not the same four-cylinder found in the 2017 XE 25t). Confused yet?

The 30t version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder puts out 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, 49 hp more than the version of this engine found in the base model, the 25t. It is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission on the XE, XF, and F-Pace; the sedans come standard with rear-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive optional, while the F-Pace comes with all-wheel drive as standard.

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Yes, the 30t has 44 fewer horses than the previous 35t variants, which were powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, but the 30t models still should be plenty quick, with Jag quoting 5.2 seconds to 60 mph for the XE, 5.4 in the XF, and 5.7 seconds for the F-Pace (we previously measured 5.1 seconds in an AWD XE 35t, 5.0 seconds in a RWD XF 35t R-Sport, and 5.3 seconds in an F-Pace 35t). Fuel-economy numbers will rise across the board, although Jaguar doesn’t yet have full EPA figures for each 30t model.

The addition of the 30t doesn’t affect the other three engines available for the XE, XF, and F-Pace. The base engine remains the 247-hp, 2.0-liter Ingenium four-cylinder that was added for the 2018 model year just a few months back. A diesel-powered 20d model is still available for all three cars, and the 380-hp, V-6–powered S variants that sit at the top of the respective lineups are unchanged as well. Pricing for the 30t models isn’t available yet, as the switchover from 35t to 30t won’t happen for a few more months.

Jaguar-Update-REEL

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Jaguar Shuffles 2018 XE, XF, F-Pace Engine Lineup (Again) with New 30t

2018 Jaguar F-Pace2018 Jaguar F-Pace2018 Jaguar F-Pace2018 Jaguar F-Pace2018 Jaguar XE2018 Jaguar XE2018 Jaguar XE2018 Jaguar XF S2018 Jaguar XF S2018 Jaguar XF S

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2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross First Drive: Stand Down DSM Fans, It’s a Crossover

2018-Mitsubishi-Eclipse-Cross-PLACEMENT

Some car names die too soon, others cling to life with the tenacity of cockroaches, and a few even return from the dead. The last Mitsubishi badged as an Eclipse was a mostly undistinguished two-door once built at Diamond-Star Motors, a Mitsubishi/Chrysler joint venture. There were rabid fans of the earlier iterations, but the final, 2012-model-year Eclipse is unlikely to find itself referenced in online lists of “The Future-Classic Coupes You Must Buy Now!” READ MORE ››

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2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross – First Drive Review

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