Shock and Awe: I Spent a Few Days with a Ferrari 488GTB and Dodge Charger Pursuit

The First of Dyer’s Two Hair-Metal Band References This Month

If you’ve ever watched VH1’s Behind the Music, you know that there’s a story behind every album. I mean, Mötley Crüe didn’t create a head-banging juggernaut like Dr. Feelgood in a vacuum, people. This magazine, similar to the Crüe in so many ways, also has stories behind the, um, stories. And I’m not just talking about Phillips’s solo rap career. As a prelude to “How Fast Does Your Car Need to Be to Outrun a Cop?”, I spent a few days with both the Dodge Charger Pursuit and the Ferrari 488GTB, giving me some ­contemporaneous experience with life on the far end of the automotive public-­affection spectrum. READ MORE ››

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Go Rogue, Between the Lines: 2018 Nissan Rogue Adds ProPilot Driver Assist

2018-Nissan-Rogue-Get-More-Standard-Tech-Available-ProPilot-PLACEMENT

Although Nissan is having no trouble selling it in its current form, the popular Rogue crossover still needs to stay fresh to keep up with the constantly evolving herd of compact-crossover competitors. So it’s no surprise that the 2018 Rogue is adding several new standard and optional features, including better smartphone integration and more advanced driver-assistance systems. The updated kit is accompanied by a price hike ranging from $160 to $700, depending on trim level, compared with the 2017.5 Rogue.

All 2018 Rogues, including the $25,655 base S model, now come standard with an updated 7.0-inch infotainment screen that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. The mid-level SV, starting at $26,775, adds a standard motion-activated power liftgate, while the $32,035 Rogue SL gains standard adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning. The Midnight Edition package offered for the SV also gains a few more blacked-out accents, and a few option packages have been reorganized among the three trim levels.

2018 Nissan Rogue Gets More Standard Tech, Available ProPilot

The other big news for the 2018 Rogue SL is the availability of Nissan’s more advanced driving-assist system, labeled ProPilot Assist. Offered as part of the $790 SL Platinum package, ProPilot Assist is activated by a button on the steering wheel and combines lane-keeping assist with stop-and-go adaptive cruise control to assist with acceleration, braking, and steering on the highway. Nissan says the driver still must keep hands on the wheel at all times, and ProPilot Assist isn’t able to make its own lane changes. The Rogue represents Nissan’s first U.S.-market application of this technology; it also will be offered on the new 2018 Leaf later this year.

Two new exterior colors, Scarlet Ember and Midnight Pine, round out changes to the 2018 Rogue. Nissan hasn’t released pricing for the Rogue hybrid, but it’s expected to return for the new model year as well. Updated 2018 Rogues will start reaching dealerships October 24, with the hybrid model likely to follow within the next few months.

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Go Rogue, Between the Lines: 2018 Nissan Rogue Adds ProPilot Driver Assist

2018 Nissan Rogue2018 Nissan Rogue2018 Nissan Rogue2018 Nissan Rogue2018 Nissan Rogue2018 Nissan Rogue2018 Nissan Rogue2018 Nissan Rogue

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Rolls-Royce Thinks Hybrids Are Gauche, Will Electrify with Full EVs

 

2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII

Rolls-Royce has been dropping some very broad hints about electrification since its 102EX EV concept back in 2011, but the arrival of the new Phantom VIII—and the aluminum-spaceframe Architecture of Luxury that underpins it—gives the luxury brand a chance to move on its ambitions.

CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös has confirmed that the new platform has been designed with electrification in mind, and also that the range-topping Phantom sedan is likely to receive the option of pure electric power during its lifetime, although as the result of governmental pressure rather than customer demand.

“We are more regulator driven than consumer driven,” Müller-Ötvös admitted at the Phantom press launch. “We might well see, in the next decade, some Asian markets closing down city centers to combustion engines completely. And then, of course, [electrification] is a must.”

While admitting that the brand’s customers are not clamoring for luxury EVs yet—“I haven’t seen a single check arriving on my desk saying, ‘Build me one’ ”—Müller-Ötvös anticipates that the situation will have changed within 10 years. When electric Rollers come, they will be pure EVs and not hybrids. “We go full electric, we don’t do any interim steps, that is our strategy,” Müller-Ötvös said.

Rolls-Royce remains more conservative on autonomy. Müller-Ötvös said the company is not planning to offer a version of BMW’s enhanced cruise-control system and wants to wait until higher-level autonomy is both available and tested. “It all depends on the progress of the development side, when it is right and advanced enough that it is a really effortless experience for customers . . . not needing to keep your fingers on the steering wheel.” When most of your buyers have chauffeurs, there’s no need to rush into it.

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2018 Kia Stinger GT 3.3T AWD Tested: Almost Scratches the Sports-Sedan Itch

2018-Kia-Stinger-PLACEMENT
-Back in 1964, the great Muhammad Ali famously taunted heavyweight-title opponent Sonny Liston, saying he’d “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” in their upcoming match. We have to wonder if the team that developed the all-new Kia Stinger took that quote as their mantra, because it describes with uncanny precision the car they created to attack the sports-sedan segment. READ MORE ››

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2018 Kia Stinger 3.3T AWD – Instrumented Test

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Stop Squinting: Jeep Cherokee Spied with New Look Up Front, Revised Rear

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Stop Squinting: Jeep Cherokee Spied with New Look Up Front, Revised Rear

2019 Jeep Cherokee

When the Jeep Cherokee made its debut back in 2014, hard-core fans of the brand were up in arms that the Cherokee name was affixed to a unibody crossover, a situation exacerbated by the model’s provocative styling. Whereas Jeeps had always presented a bluff face to the world, the ’14 Cherokee’s fascia was pulled back at the top; even stranger were the thin, squinty upper lights, supplemented by lower lighting units—giving the Jeep a four-eyed appearance—with fog lights below. Despite the initial controversy, the Cherokee rode the crossover wave to big sales, and so Jeep is just now getting around to addressing the model’s strange look with a revised front fascia and a redone rear, as seen in these spy pictures.

The new styling features larger upper light units with LED accents at the top; Jeep also appears to have jettisoned the second set of lamps, keeping only the fog lights in the lower fascia, for an altogether more normal appearance. At the rear, the liftgate’s ultratall expanse of sheetmetal is broken up by the license-plate frame, which moves up from the rear bumper, and the taillights are new. The interior is similarly covered with camo, but what we can see of the exposed elements looks no different than today’s Cherokee.

2019-Jeep-Cherokee-INLINE1

That Jeep is only just getting around to facelifting this model for its fifth year on the market appears to be a sign that FCA is stretching the product cycle for the Cherokee.

The revamped Cherokee is expected to go on sale as a 2019 model, but it may strip off its camouflage and appear in public as soon as this January, at the Detroit auto show.

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Sliding Power Top, Folding Windshield among 2018 Jeep Wrangler Details Found in Leaked Owner’s Manual

2018 Jeep Wrangler (spy photo)

The secrets of the yet-to-be-revealed 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL have been like water in a balloon that has been pricked several times with a needle. Streams have been sprouting every which way, and we have now seen the exterior and the interior and know its likely drivetrain options. Thanks to the folks at JL Wrangler Forums, we have yet another flow of information on the forthcoming Wrangler, which is slated for its official debut at the Los Angeles auto show in December and will start arriving at dealerships in the first quarter of 2018.

The forum got its hands on a splashy 340-page user guide and a more sterile 608-page owner’s manual, which provide still more details on the 2018 Wrangler. While a spokesman for FCA declined to comment on the documents, let alone confirm their authenticity, we thought we’d share them anyway:

2018 Jeep Wrangler (spy photo)

There Is a Retractable Roof That Can’t Be Removed  

Once again, both a Sunrider removable softtop and a three-piece Freedom hardtop will be available, but the user guide also gives instructions for how to use a new power-sliding top (for vehicles so equipped). This optional top, which has been rumored, is nonremovable. However: “If desired, the rear quarter-windows can be removed and stored in provided storage bags,” the guide says. The power top will not operate above 60 mph. It’s opened and closed with a switch located on the front header panel, above the rearview mirror.

Foldable Windshield Confirmed

As we suspected, the new Wrangler’s windshield can be folded down, according to the owner’s manual, which details the process. Lowering the windshield involves removing protective caps over windshield-wiper bolts, taking off the wipers, removing four screws along the interior of the windshield, and finally lowering it to “footman loop bumpers” and securing it with a cinch strap.

Jeep Wrangler aux buttons

Four Aux Buttons Preinstalled

The guide points to four auxiliary switches (again, if equipped) located on the lower switch bank of the instrument panel. You can configure what you want to power with those switches via the Uconnect settings. “All switches can be configured for setting the switch type operation to latching or momentary, power source of either battery or ignition, and ability to hold last state across key cycles,” according to the guide.

There Will Be a Six-Speed Manual Transmission

This is unlikely to surprise many, but, happily, you can still get a manual gearbox. Interestingly, the guide only lists the six-speed manual transmission as being paired with the 3.6-liter V-6. An eight-speed automatic transmission is referenced for both the the 3.6-liter and the 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

Jeep Wrangler 3.6L engine bay

2.0L and 3.6L Engines Confirmed

Speaking of those engines, in a Trailer Towing section, the user guide confirms both the 2.0-liter and 3.6-liter but does not give any horsepower or torque figures. The vehicles’ literature recommends 91-octane fuel for the 2.0-liter, which seems to further confirm reports that it will be turbocharged. For both engines, the two-door Wrangler will have a maximum gross trailer capacity of 2000 pounds, while the four-door Wrangler is rated to tow 3500 pounds.

Power Windows Still Optional

Very few new vehicles still come with manual crank windows. It appears as though the 2018 Wrangler will be among them, as the guide talks about “power windows—if equipped.” 

Jeep Wrangler transfer case

Two Kinds of Transfer Cases

The user guide mentions two transfer cases, one with four positions and another with five. The four-position transfer case has 2H rear-wheel-drive high range, a 4H four-wheel-drive high range, neutral, and a 4L four-wheel-drive low range. The five-position transfer case splits the 4H into two categories: 4H Auto and 4H P-T. The 4H Auto position sends power to the front wheels and automatically engages four-wheel drive if the Jeep senses a loss of traction. The 4H P-T, for Part-Time, position “maximizes torque to the front driveshaft, forcing the front and rear wheels to rotate at the same speed,” the guide says. “This range provides additional traction for loose, slippery road surfaces only.” The guide further notes that the 4WD Auto position can be for normal street and highway conditions, just like 2H.

Hybrid Variants?

In a section that lists the parts in the engine bay, the 2.0L has an Intercooler/Motor Generator Unit (If Equipped) Coolant Reservoir, and the 3.6L has a Motor Generator Unit (If Equipped) Coolant Reservoir—which leads us to believe a hybrid variant, which has also been rumored, along with a diesel, is likely for both engines. 

Jeep Wrangler Offroad Pages

Off-Road Pages

Some Wranglers will apparently be equipped with Off Road Pages, which are accessed via the Apps section of FCA’s Uconnect infotainment system. These Off Road Pages give real-time information on the status of the transfer case, the Jeep’s current pitch and roll, and a display of accessory gauges that monitor fluid temperatures, battery voltage, and oil pressure.

In recent months, test-mule Wranglers have been spotted in camouflage driving around southeastern Michigan and Toledo, where production of the Jeep is expected to begin next month. In addition to the four-door and two-door JL Wranglers, which don’t appear to make any sharp departures from the iconic SUV’s design heritage, a Wrangler-based pickup that revives the Scrambler name has also been spied. 

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How the Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Man Pulls Off Those Fresh Moves

How the Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Man Pulls off Those Fresh Moves

From the October 2017 issue

Because a 1998 Plymouth Breeze no longer turns heads as it once did, used-car salesmen are masters of countless attention-grabbing gimmicks. Among the tactics, no shtick is simultaneously as eye-catching and absurd as the spastic flail of a perky nylon tube with vaguely human features.

How the Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Man Pulls off Those Fresh Moves

Known as a Tall Boy, Fly Guy, AirDancer, or, more commonly, “that ridiculous thing,” this used-car-lot staple might be the pinnacle of lowbrow marketing, right up there with “buy a car, get a gun.” But there’s a load of no-nonsense science behind the tube man’s random yet seemingly unending pop-and-flop routine. There’s also some brilliance in the simplicity of the thing. A conventional fan turning at a constant speed blows air up through the lightweight nylon sleeve, resulting in pressure fluctuations inside the tube sufficient to incite an AirDancer’s signature samba.

How the Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Man Pulls off Those Fresh Moves

The tube-man concept originated with 60-foot-tall two-legged figures created for the opening ceremony of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. It didn’t take long for capitalism to nab the idea. Today, you can buy your very own six-foot version for just $120—as we did.

The behavior is explained by Bernoulli’s principle, a fluid-dynamics tenet derived from Newton’s second law of motion. It states that as the velocity of a fluid increases, its pressure decreases. Initially, the moving air, which behaves as an incompressible flow in the open-ended AirDancer, creates enough pressure to inflate the tube. As the tube stands more upright, the turbulent air inside flows more freely and its speed increases until the decreasing pressure can no longer support the mass of the nylon fabric. The collapsing material creates a kink in the tube, a constriction that causes the air speed to temporarily slow and the pressure to rise again. The elevated pressure drives the bend upward, sending a shimmy through the AirDancer and restarting the cycle.

Used inside a building, a tube man cycles in an almost-repeatable pattern. Outdoors, its interactions with the wind give the inflatable its erratic flail. That is to say, an AirDancer is excited by a breeze to get you excited about that Breeze.


Thrilla vs. Gorilla

When it comes to selling cars, you can’t talk AirDancers without mentioning the inflatable gorilla on the neighboring lot. Which draws more shoppers? Our Traffic-Generating Factor (TGF) predicts the increase in traffic a dealer can expect by putting an inflatable on the lot.

Thrilla vs. Gorilla

A 20-foot-tall red tube man starts with a metaphorical leg up on a 20-foot blue gorilla due to red light’s longer wavelength (2.29 x 10^-6 feet versus 1.54 x 10^-6 feet), but it’s not even a competition once you factor in the AirDancer’s ability to pitch and roll about its base, effectively quadrupling its TGF.

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