2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR Arrives with 550-HP Supercharged V-8!

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A high-performance version of Jaguar’s F-Pace might have seemed like a foregone conclusion given the recent explosion of the sporty-SUV segment. But that doesn’t make the V-8–powered 2019 F-Pace SVR any less exciting. With 550 horsepower from the British automaker’s ubiquitous supercharged 5.0-liter V-8, a revamped chassis, and an extra helping of visual aggression, the hottest F-Pace seems poised to stack up well against rivals such as the Mercedes-AMG GLC63 and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. READ MORE ››

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2019 Cadillac XT4: Finally, a Smaller Caddy Crossover

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Cadillac established itself in the luxury-crossover game when it introduced the first-generation SRX as a 2004 model. Since then, however, it hasn’t made any major plays other than refashioning the SRX from an edgy, three-row, rear-drive-based vehicle into a benign, front-wheel-drive, two-row model for its 2010-model-year redesign (and then renaming it XT5 when it was revamped for 2017). Notably missing from the brand’s lineup is any three-row SUV that’s not as gigantic as the Escalade, as well as a more compact offering. READ MORE ››

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2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR: The Full-Bore Jag SUV Has Arrived – Official Photos and Info

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Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Concept: More Sport, Less Utility

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Bigger isn’t always better, and those who find the three-row Volkswagen Atlas too large for their needs will soon be able to get their hands on a smaller, more stylish variant of the Tennessee-built crossover SUV. The new entry is being previewed by the Atlas Cross Sport concept, a five-passenger model that shares its 117.3-inch wheelbase with the larger Atlas but casts a shadow 7.5 inches shorter. READ MORE ››

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Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Concept: Five for Fighting – Official Photos and Info

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Waymo Adds Jaguar I-Pace EVs to Lineup, Unveils Plans to Launch Self-Driving Ride-Hailing Service

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Uber’s self-driving vehicles this week were indefinitely suspended from driving on Arizona roads, but Waymo’s autonomous-vehicle program using self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans, on the other hand, is gaining momentum in the state. 

Company executives said Tuesday they intend to launch commercial ride-hailing services by the end of the year in Phoenix, a city that has served as the nexus for Waymo’s early-rider program and as a public proving ground over the past 12 months. At launch, the company will operate with its Pacifica, but in the not too distant future, the company’s users will have a second choice of vehicle. Waymo chief executive officer John Krafcik has unveiled a new long-term partnership with Jaguar Land Rover that will result in Waymo adding self-driving versions of the Jaguar I-Pace electric crossover to its fleet.

Those vehicles will begin testing in prototype form by the end of this year,and once production begins, as many as 20,000 of the self-driving I-Pace vehicles could be deployed within two years, both companies said Tuesday. After Phoenix, more cities will follow, Krafcik said.

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With a luxury passenger vehicle joining the minivan in the company’s ride-hailing lineup, Waymo’s users could tailor their vehicle choice to the trip they’ve got planned—grocery shopping or soccer practice with the kids necessitates a minivan, while the I-Pace could provide an upscale experience for date night or a meeting with clients.

“Its size is perfect for city driving, its modern electric architecture is well suited for our technology [and] designed with the toughest safety standards in mind, and its big battery can let us drive all day,” Krafcik said. “The vehicle itself is graceful in the long tradition of Jaguar, and it’s safe and delightful. We can make this premium experience available to everyone.”

If there’s a downside for car enthusiasts, it’s that they cannot drive it themselves. Waymo’s self-driving system, one developed in-house that incorporates all the sensors, hardware, and software, handles the detection of the road environment and driving. The system has been tested in five million real-world miles of driving in 25 U.S. cities, according to Waymo, which began as the Google self-driving project. No other company has compiled nearly as many real-world miles.

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That testing on roads shared with the public, of course, has taken on renewed importance and undergone further scrutiny over the past week following a fatal crash in Tempe, Arizona, which involved a self-driving Uber vehicle colliding with a pedestrian. Speaking Saturday at an industry event, Krafcik suggested Waymo’s self-driving system would have detected the pedestrian and avoided the fatal crash.

Arizona governor Doug Ducey has suspended Uber from testing its self-driving technology on the state’s public roads in the wake of the deadly incident, which is the first involving a fatality and a fully self-driving system. No regulatory prohibitions or restrictions affect others testing in the state, such as Waymo or Cruise Automation. Whether the ripple effect will create consumer reluctance, stirred up by the Uber crash’s occurring so close in proximity to where Waymo intends to operate, remains unknown.

Waymo started testing self-driving cars without human safety drivers as backups in the Phoenix area earlier this year. When the company commences commercial operations, it will not serve the entire city but operate in a geofenced area. The parameters of that area have not yet been made public.

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Taxi! We Drive Britain’s LEVC TX Electric Cab

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In many of the world’s great cities, becoming a cab driver requires little more than the ability to operate a motor vehicle with modest proficiency. In some—we’re thinking New York City—perhaps not even that. But London is different, with the 23,000 or so cabbies who ply their trade in the British capital all having to pass a fearsome test known simply as The Knowledge to prove they have mastered the geography of one of Europe’s biggest cities. Achieving this normally takes between two and four years with only three out of every 10 people who start the process making it to the end. To get the official cab driver’s badge, hopefuls have to prove they have effectively memorized tens of thousands of roads within a six-mile radius of the city’s official center, Charing Cross. READ MORE ››

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Hacks R Us: We Drive London’s New Plug-In Electric Taxicab! – First Drive Review

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2018 Nissan Versa In-Depth Review: You Get What You Pay For, Good and Bad

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No bones about it, the Versa sedan is built specifically to serve up cheap and comfortable transportation. Its status as the cheapest new car sold in America will no doubt entice first-time buyers, budget shoppers, and rental fleets, but the low sticker price means Nissan’s smallest sedan is missing many of the features that are standard on slightly more expensive rivals. Likewise, the most affordable Versa model is only available with a manual transmission, which could deter frugal buyers who want the convenience of an automatic transmission. We’ll admit that a car that is fun to drive is more important to us, yet it may be less important to people who want a comfortable interior and a fuel-efficient engine—which is the Versa in a nutshell. However, this bargain box simply has too many vices to warrant interest from all but the stingiest buyers. READ MORE ››

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2019 Mercedes-AMG C63 Sedan, Coupe, and Cabriolet Revealed: Meaningful Changes for the Big C

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-The entire Mercedes C-class lineup has been given a refresh for 2019, and the Germans have saved the most powerful models—the Mercedes-AMG C63 sedan, coupe, and cabriolet—for last. As with the standard 2019 C-class cars and the punchy 385-hp Mercedes-AMG C43 models, the 2019 C63s feature revised styling, with the new Panamericana grille that marks AMG’s most potent products making the C63’s transformation more pronounced. Other styling changes include the appearance of a horizontal blade within the lower air intakes, slightly reworked taillamps, new chrome quad tailpipes, and a bolder-looking diffuser treatment below the bumper. READ MORE ››

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