Category Archives: Car News

2018 Volkswagen Golf R – In-Depth Review

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2018 Volkswagen Golf R In-Depth Review: Dual-Threat Hatchback with Sleeper Status

2018-Volkswagen-Golf-R-01-Placement

The Golf R is the understated and underrated antithesis of its red-hot hatchback rivals such as the Ford Focus RS, Subaru WRX STI, and Honda Civic Type R. Its mixture of performance and practicality is expected, but its seamless blending of those two key attributes is unique. On top of that, the R outclasses everything in the category with the most sophisticated styling inside and out. Its place at the peak of the peerless Volkswagen Golf family has helped it earn multiple 10Best awards, including for 2018. However, the equally lovable and significantly less expensive Golf GTI upstages it. Likewise, the R-rated version lacks the literal and figurative wild side of the hardcore alternatives. Regardless, this sport compact is a dual threat, a winner on both the track and the cul-de-sac. READ MORE ››

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2018 Toyota Prius – In-Depth Review

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Ford Electric Vehicle Charging Up on Mustang Mach 1 Heritage, Due in 2020

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Amid a series of Mustang reveals at the Detroit auto show this week, Ford hinted that the name Mach 1 is being considered for its affordable crossover electric vehicle, due in 2020.

Sherif Marakby, Ford Motor Company vice president for autonomous vehicles and electrification, confirmed it: “There is a possibility; we’re testing that,” he said. Marakby added that the Mach 1 name is intended as an inspiration for the EV project in terms of design, performance, and significance.

mach 1

The architecture of the vehicle and all its elements—even a component level—are being developed specifically for this application. “This is the next generation of all the different pieces: the battery, the motor, the inverter, the gearbox,” Marakby said.

For the powertrain team, the aims include a 300-mile range, consistent performance, and reducing any degradation of the battery under adverse weather conditions and over time. Marakby said that Ford is staying away from ambient-air cooling of the battery pack (such as used by the Nissan Leaf) and instead will use liquid cooling.

Ford is not going to use a solid-state pack, Marakby said, but he confirmed that the company is researching solid-state batteries and thinks that they’re “promising for a next generation.”

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

All-New Floorplan

The all-new architecture is specific for this EV, which means it won’t necessitate packaging sacrifices to fit a large-capacity battery pack. Murakby said that the modular platform can accommodate different battery sizes.

The EV’s development path hasn’t followed normal company channels. Although the effort started out within Ford’s larger development framework, more recently it has been spun off to a smaller, dedicated group called Team Edison, which adds a Silicon Valley feeling to the project. The team is in the process of moving (together with Ford autonomous-vehicle teams) to a separate industrial complex in Detroit’s hip Corktown neighborhood.

2018 Detroit Auto Show Full Coverage

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The 12 Must-See Highlights from the 2018 Detroit Auto Show

The 12 Must-See Highlights from the 2018 Detroit Auto Show2019 Acura RDX Prototype2019 Chevrolet Silverado 15002019 Ford Mustang BullittGAC Enverge concept2019 Ford Ranger2019 Hyundai VelosterInfiniti Q Inspiration concept2019 Jeep CherokeeFrom the moment the Lexus brand made its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit 29 years ago, the LS sedan has been the division’s flagship. But the luxury segment, just like the rest of the automobile market, increasingly is turning away from sedans and toward crossovers. So Lexus is testing the waters for what it dubs “a new flagship luxury crossover” with the debut of the LF-1 Limitless concept at this year’s Detroit auto show. READ MORE >>2019 Mercedes-Benz G-class2019 Ram 15002019 Volkswagen Jetta

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2018 Lexus LS Pricing: Yes, It’s Still a Lot Cheaper Than an S-class

2018 Lexus LS

When the Lexus LS first hit the scene in 1989, it undercut the competing German sedans by thousands of dollars. Nearly 30 years later, that’s still the case, as the new 2018 LS starts at $75,995, or $14,900 less than the least expensive Mercedes-Benz S-class and $8100 less than the cheapest BMW 7-series. Lexus’s latest flagship sedan comes in LS500 and LS500h forms, the former of which is powered by a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 while the latter uses a hybrid drivetrain incorporating a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6.

Not only is the Lexus less expensive than its European competition, it also comes better equipped, with even the base rear-wheel-drive LS500 coming standard with a full suite of active safety features that cost thousands extra on the S-class and 7-series. Lexus’s only real competition in the “budget-priced” flagship-sedan realm is the Genesis G90, which starts at an even lower $69,325 and includes plenty of standard equipment of its own.

2018 Lexus LS

All-wheel drive is a $3220 option on both the LS500 and the $80,505 LS500h hybrid, and several packages are available that can drive the sedans’ price above the six-figure mark. The LS500 F Sport that adds a performance-oriented wheel-and-tire package, larger brakes, sharper chassis tuning, and plenty of visual aggression inside and out, costs $81,995. A $9700 F Sport performance package turns up the sportiness a notch higher with active anti-roll bars, rear-wheel steering, and a variable-ratio steering rack.

For those interested more in the luxury side of the spectrum, numerous interior upgrades are offered for non–F Sport models. The lowest level is the $3730 Interior Upgrade package with nicer leather, 28-way front seats with massage, and heated rear seats; one step up is the Luxury package ($12,250–$12,290) with the above features plus four-zone automatic climate control and power reclining rear seats with heating, ventilation, and massage functions. The top-dog Executive package offers even more adjustability for the front and rear seats for between $17,080 and $17,100, while an extra $6000 on top of that adds exclusive Kiriko glass interior trim.

The new LS is set to reach dealerships in February.

2018-Lexus-LS-Reel2018 Detroit Auto Show Full Coverage

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2018 Lexus LS Pricing: Yes, It’s Still a Lot Cheaper than an S-class

2018 Lexus LS500 AWS F Sport2018 Lexus LS500 AWS F Sport2018 Lexus LS500 AWS F Sport2018 Lexus LS500 AWS F Sport2018 Lexus LS500 AWS F Sport2018 Lexus LS500 AWS F Sport2018 Lexus LS500 AWS F Sport2018 Lexus LS500 AWS F Sport2018 Lexus LS500 AWS F Sport2018 Lexus LS500 AWS F Sport2018 Lexus LS500 AWS F Sport2018 Lexus LS500 AWS F Sport2018 Lexus LS500 AWS F Sport2018 Lexus LS500 AWS F Sport2018 Lexus LS500 AWS F Sport2018 Lexus LS500 AWS F Sport

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Official EPA Numbers and Pricing Announced for Infiniti QX50 With VC-T

2019 Infiniti QX50

The biggest news surrounding the new-gen 2019 Infiniti QX50 is the introduction of the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder variable-compression engine, or VC-T for short. It is a breakthrough in gasoline propulsion technology that Infiniti hopes will offer an appealing, efficient alternative to those who are still resisting the electrification surge. The EPA mileage ratings have just gone official: The front-wheel-drive QX50 is rated at 24 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and 27 mpg combined. All-wheel-drive models are at 24 mpg city, 30 highway, and 26 combined.

The outgoing 2017 QX50, which has rear-wheel drive and is offered only with a 3.7-liter V-6, is rated at 17 mpg city, 24 highway, and 20 combined. For comparison, the EPA rates the Audi Q5 at 23/27/25; the BMW X3 xDrive30i at 22/29/25; the Jaguar F-Pace 25t at 22/27/24; and the Mercedes-Benz GLC300 at 22/28/24. (All four of those models have turbocharged four-cylinder engines.)

2019 Infiniti QX50

We have previously discussed the features and science behind the new 2019 model’s engine in depth. We’ve also had a brief experience of what it’s like to drive a prototype equipped with the VC-T.

Infiniti used a turbocharger, which has a peak boost pressure of 23.2 psi, to help offset the power difference of a smaller engine. The VC-T offers 268 horsepower at 5600 rpm, and its torque swells to 28o lb-ft at 4400 rpm. The current QX50 offers 325 horsepower at 7000 rpm and 267 lb-ft at 5200 rpm.

The new-age powertrain comes at a cost. The remodeled compact crossover, which rides on a new platform and is much taller and wider than the outgoing model, starts at $37,545 for the Pure trim with front-wheel drive. That’s $1900 more than the current rear-wheel-drive QX50’s $35,645 starting price. Upgrading to Luxe trim bumps the price to $40,395, while the Essential trim calls for $44,345. All-wheel drive is available on all trims for an additional $1800.

The new QX50 goes on sale in the spring of 2018, but Infiniti is accepting reservations now.

2019-Infiniti-QX50-Reel

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Official EPA Numbers and Pricing Announced for Infiniti QX50 With VC-T

2019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX502019 Infiniti QX50

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China’s GAC Debuts EV Concept, Announces U.S. Sales in 2019

GAC Energe concept

China’s state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) pulled the wraps off its latest concept car at the Detroit auto show, and it’s electric. Dubbed Enverge, the battery-electric SUV wears svelte bodywork and sports traditional concept-car design cues such as butterfly doors, small cameras in place of exterior mirrors, and a massive digital dashboard display. GAC claims the Enverge can travel more than 370 miles on a single charge thanks to a 71-kWh battery pack.

The concept is a promising look at what’s to come from the company, which officially announced plans to enter the U.S. market before the end of the decade. This isn’t just talk, either, as GAC will be attending the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in March to drum up support for a dealer network. While GAC sells its vehicles under the Trumpchi nameplate in China, the company said that it will forgo that name in the United States and instead will sell its cars under a market-specific brand name that is yet to be determined.

GAC Energe concept

One of the first models that GAC plans to sell in the U.S. market will be the GS8 crossover SUV. Equipped with three rows of seating, the GS8 is designed to compete with the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Toyota Highlander. The crossover is motivated by a turbocharged inline-four engine that mates to a six-speed automatic transmission.

What other vehicles GAC will bring to the States remains to be seen. However, given that the company also unveiled its new GA4 compact sedan in Detroit, it’s possible that this model could serve as an initial U.S. offering as well. In any case, GAC expressed confidence in its ability to successfully craft a vehicle that meets all U.S. safety standards and consumer demands. Look for U.S. sales of GAC vehicles to begin in 2019.

GAC-Energe-Reel

2018 Detroit Auto Show Full Coverage

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