Reasons a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Vehicle May Be Right for You

Reasons a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Vehicle May Be Right for YouLess Expensive Than Their Brand-New BrethrenWarranties That Aren't Fly by NightA Thorough Go-ThroughThey Have a Lot of Life Left to LiveThere Are Some Lesser-Known PerksThey Can Be LeasedThere Are Fewer of Them

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Formula E for 2018: Here’s What’s New

Formula E-Whats New

The look of Formula E’s race car for season five—the full second-generation version of this racer—has been revealed. Seeing it colors in more hints and details at how this all-electric racing series will evolve into the new season, which starts late this year, although the series hasn’t yet revealed many of the technical details for the car, which will make its official debut at the Geneva auto show in March.

Formula E started out as a geeky counter to Formula 1—the sort of motor racing that might appeal only to electrical engineers, Tesla owners, or slot-car racers. The series remains as geeky as ever; but with strong attendance, healthy competition, and mammoth investment (if not profitability quite yet), it has come a long way in just 36 races to date, with 43 scheduled by the end of the current (fourth) season. Yet with the entrance of legendary names—Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche will all soon be involved, with the latter leaving behind its winning streak in Le Mans racing in favor of Formula E this year—it’s here to stay.

Formula E-Whats New

Each season has brought about some significant evolution in the technical realm. Season one started with an eMotor supplied by McLaren Applied Technologies, plus a Hewland five-speed gearbox attached to the motor housing and a pneumatic paddle-shift system. Drivers only got one dedicated powertrain, and it had to last the full season. It got a lot more interesting in season two, when it was left up to each team to set up its own motor, gearbox, and differential. That led to a wide range of approaches, with some teams going transverse with their motor/gearbox layout while others went longitudinal; likewise, some teams used two or three gears, while others used just one. That continued into seasons three and four, with more power and some about-face approaches for several teams that made the cars quite different from year to year.

Given what has been announced and detailed so far in this car, built by the French company Spark Racing Technology, here are some key differences that should make season five of this work in progress a little more fun to watch:

Wilder Look

Formula E cars for season five finally look less like a Formula 1 car that has been reworked in a mad scientist’s garage and instead like something that breaks further free of F1 constraints. To our eyes, it’s closer to what a comic-book superhero would drive. There’s a lot of Ferrari’s 2015 Formula 1 concept car here, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

Formula E-Whats New

Better Driver Protection

In the side profile of the new car, the use of a Formula 1–style Halo is unmistakable. The aim is to protect the driver in a crash—with some energy-absorbing deformation—yet be set up in a way that doesn’t introduce too much aerodynamic drag or weight.

Light, but Loaded with Batteries

The chassis will remain carbon-fiber intensive, and fundamentally, its specs remain very close to those of Formula 1, with an overall maximum length of 196.9 inches and an overall max width of 70.9 inches. Formula E cars weigh a few hundred pounds more, though, due to their battery packs—and they’re due to get even heavier. While the Gen 1 cars weighed about 1760 pounds, the Gen 2 (season five) car will add up to roughly 1950 pounds.

No More Car Swaps (or Battery Swaps)

Today’s Formula E races require two identical, fully prepped vehicles—both with fully charged 28-kWh battery packs—to finish the race. And that means that it’s a race to be won not by driving all out through the race, but through careful power management and some very aggressive strategies for recovering every potential watt-hour along the way. With the move to a larger 54-kWh pack, there will be more room for strategizing and micromanaging the energy flow from lap to lap.

Formula E-Whats New

More Battery

Formula E will get an all-new battery with season five, supplied by McLaren Applied Technologies rather than Williams. Technically, it’s a three-way partnership that includes Sony and Lucid. The 54-kW pack has to be capable of being fully charged in 45 minutes or less, so Lucid will be using it to prove its technology for cell monitoring and pack cooling during 350-kW ultrafast charging and racing-speed energy recovery under braking. This pack will be used for at least two seasons, and then, for season seven, Formula E might turn individual teams loose to develop their own.

More Power

The battery and power electronics will be capable of supporting 250 kW, versus a maximum of 180 kW in race mode and 200 kW in qualifying rounds in the current cars. Even given the weight gain, the cars are expected to accelerate quicker and top out at higher speeds. Regen power has also edged up each year.

Not all of us are converts to Formula E around here; some simply can’t get over the lousy soundtrack. To a lot of motorsports fans, it’s not just the engine roar and the smokescreen that will be left behind, but many of the intangibles that have made racing what it is.

Formula-E-Whats-New-Reel

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Formula E for 2018: Here’s What’s New

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Inexpensive Islander: The 2018 Hyundai Kona Starts at Less Than $21,000

2018 Hyundai Kona

A new crossover called the Kona soon will anchor the low end of Hyundai’s SUV lineup, and it’ll boast a bargain price to go along with its diminutive size. The 2018 Kona starts at $20,450, making it one of the least expensive crossovers on the market and undercutting rivals such as the Honda HR-V, the Mazda CX-3, and the new Ford EcoSport.

Two powertrains will be offered: the base SE, for $20,450 and the better-equipped SEL, for $22,100, come with a 2.0-liter inline-four with 147 hp that mates with a six-speed automatic transmission and standard front-wheel drive. The uplevel choice is a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic that comes on the $25,650 Kona Limited and the $28,350 Kona Ultimate. All-wheel drive is an $1300 upcharge for all trim levels.

2018 Hyundai Kona

Given its high level of standard equipment, the base SE seems like a steal to us: it comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android auto capability, 16-inch wheels, a backup camera, Bluetooth, a USB port, and keyless entry. The SEL adds 17-inch wheels, blind-spot monitoring, heated front seats, proximity-key entry, and SiriusXM satellite radio. You also can opt for a $150 contrasting-color roof on the SEL, or a $1500 Tech package that brings a sunroof, power driver’s seat, fog lights, forward collision warning, and lane-keeping assist.

Some fancier features such as LED headlights and taillights, automatic climate control, and a few other goodies come with the Limited trim, and the high-zoot Ultimate brings all the available active safety features along with a premium audio system, a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, wireless device charging, and rain-sensing wipers.

Hyundai says the Kona will hit dealerships in March.

2018 Hyundai Kona REEL

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Inexpensive Islander: The 2018 Hyundai Kona Starts at Less Than $21,000

Large-30382-2018KONA2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona2018 Hyundai Kona

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What I’d Do Differently: Tim Allen

What I’d Do Differently: Tim Allen

C/D: How many cars do you own?

TA: More than I need. READ MORE ››

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The Big Three German Automakers Are Becoming More and More Alike

2018 Audi S5 Sportback, 2018 Mercedes-AMG E43, and 2018 BMW M2

Automakers have long believed that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Yet an etymological investigation into the origins of this well-worn phrase reveals that the literal translation is even more apt. What the poet Ovid actually wrote in The Art of Love—basically a how-to guide for putative Roman pickup artists—was “fertilior seges est alienis semper in agris,” or, “the crop is always greater in the lands of another.” Which neatly summarizes the financial motivation behind the me-too mentality that has sent Audi, BMW, and Mercedes chasing one another’s tails—and sometimes sniffing one another’s butts. READ MORE ››

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The Big Three German Automakers Are Becoming More and More Alike – Feature

2018 Audi S5 Sportback, 2018 Mercedes-AMG E43, and 2018 BMW M22018 Audi A5 Sportback2018 Audi A5 Sportback2018 Audi A5 Sportback2018 Audi A5 Sportback2018 Audi A5 Sportback2018 Audi S5 Sportback2018 Audi S5 Sportback2018 Audi S5 Sportback2018 Audi S5 Sportback2018 BMW M240i2018 BMW M240i2018 BMW M240i2018 BMW M240i2018 BMW M22018 BMW M22018 BMW M22018 BMW M22018 BMW M22018 Mercedes-Benz E400 coupe2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 coupe2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 coupe2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 coupe2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 coupe2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 cabriolet2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 wagon2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 wagon2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 wagon2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 wagon2018 Mercedes-AMG E432018 Mercedes-AMG E432018 Mercedes-AMG E43

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2019 Jeep Cherokee First Drive: Easier on the Eyes, Easier to Drive

2019-Jeep-Cherokee-Placement

Controversy quickly surrounded the Jeep Cherokee when it replaced the wheezy old Liberty for 2014. Jeep-ophiles bemoaned the base Cherokee’s transverse-drivetrain architecture rather than the longitudinal rear-drive layout used in the Liberty and the Cherokee’s namesake predecessors sold between 1974 and 2001. Aesthetes were weirded out by the Cherokee’s upside-down-face headlight/turn-signal arrangement and blubbery rear end. And those with particular political sensitivities even questioned the use of the Cherokee name itself. Now, nearly five years later, widespread market acceptance of the Cherokee plus the Trailhawk variant’s remarkable off-road capability have proved most naysayers wrong. READ MORE ››

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2019 Jeep Cherokee – First Drive Review

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