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This Just In: Volvo Reveals New V60 Cross Country

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 10:08am
Volvo is giving us another reason to veer off the pavement. The Chinese owned, Swedish car maker has revealed the new Volvo V60 Cross Country. It follows the V60 launched earlier this year, but chassis and suspension changes allow the Cross Country version to ride almost 3-inches higher. Adding to its off-road cred is standard all-wheel drive, hill descent control, and an off-road driving mode. Volvo’s T5 engine will power the new V60 Cross Country with mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants to follow.
Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Porsche Ditches Diesel, Focuses on Electrification

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 10:36am
As the automotive industry moves toward an electric future, there will be casualties along the way. Porsche has announced it will no longer offer vehicles with diesel engines. They point to the fact that 12-percent of Porsche’s worldwide sales were diesels in 2017. That compares to 63-percent of Panameras sold in Europe being hybrids. Porsche's executives expect that trend to continue. While internal combustion gas engines are still part of their plan, they expect every second new Porsche vehicle could have a hybrid or purely electric variant by 2025. In fact, Porsche will bring its first purely electric sports car, the Taycan, to the market in 2019.
Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Aston Martin Confirms New Hypercar

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 9:57am
Aston Martin has confirmed a new hypercar. Here’s some insider information for you: the codename is Project ‘003’. Appropriate since it’s the third hypercar created by Aston Martin. A turbocharged gasoline-electric hybrid will power this British beauty. The new mid-engine hypercar features technology showcased in the Aston Martin Valkyrie. Production is strictly limited to 500 coupes globally. Those exclusive customers will have to wait until late 2021 to slip into the driver’s seat.
Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Special Edition 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel 12 Arrives

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 12:38pm

FCA has announced a new Ram 1500 model, the Special Edition Rebel 12. It brings new technology and premium materials and appointments to already one of the most advanced full-size pickups on the market. The Rebel 12 adds the 12-inch touchscreen Uconnect 4C interface with satellite navigation. A 19-speaker, 900-watt Harmon Kardon stereo system is also part of the package. The Rebel 12 Special Edition also features a leather-trimmed interior with heated front seats and highlights trimmed in the Rebel’s signature Radar Red anodized finish. The Ram Rebel brings factory-engineered, off-road capability to the full-size truck segment with unique design cues and specialized equipment. Like the base Ram 1500 Rebel, the new model is equipped with a factory lift kit, locking rear differential, 33-inch tires, Bilstein shocks, skid plates, tow hooks and other off-road-ready features. The Rebel 12 is an available package on all Rebel cab, color and powertrain configurations.

Categories: Syndicated

Episodes: Episode 3803

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 11:03am

Debut 9.21.2018

Description

Road Test: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado

Goss' Garage: Jeep Bushings

Over the Edge: Radwood

Motor News: Toyota-Uber Partnership | Electric E-Type

Long Term Update: 2018 Toyota Camry | 2018 Subaru Crosstrek

Road Test: 2018 Hyundai Kona

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Volvo’s All-Electric Polestar Brand Gains Momentum

Thu, 09/20/2018 - 2:00pm
Volvo has revealed more details of the marketing and customer experience strategy of its all-electrified-vehicle sub-brand Polestar. Polestar buyers will be able to spec and order cars online, or visit a franchised Polestar Space showroom staffed with non-commissioned product experts. After the sale, maintenance visits will also be hassle-free, with pickup and delivery service available. The start-up company’s first product, Polestar 1, was revealed as a concept in October 2017, as a 600-horsepower performance hybrid coupe set to begin production in mid-2019. Polestar 2, an all-electric vehicle aimed at the Tesla Model 3, will be revealed in early 2019.


Categories: Syndicated

Road Tests: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado

Thu, 09/20/2018 - 7:00am

Vital Statistics

Engine: 6.2 liter

Horsepower: 420

Torque: 460 lb-ft.

EPA: 16 mpg city / 20 mpg highway

In case you had any doubt, Americans love their pickup trucks more than ever. And, the ever-escalating truck wars are now rising to a new level because the recently updated best-selling Ford f-150’s biggest rivals, Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado are all new for 2019. We’ve already tested the Ram a few months back, so let’s check out the new Silverado, and see if ford should be worried!

It says a lot about Chevrolet’s true priorities, when the first highlight of the totally redesigned 2019 Silverado’s press release declares it has the most functional bed of any full-size truck. 

Sure, the truck itself is bigger but lighter, more powerful and fuel efficient, shinier and more comfortable; all of that good stuff. But, Chevrolet wants to make sure we all know that they haven’t forgotten that trucks are made to do work, and the easier they make that work for us, the more we tend to like them.

Following in Ford’s footsteps, they’ve used aluminum and other lightweight materials to lower mass, but not quite as extensively. Only the doors, tailgate, and hood are aluminum here; the rest of body panels remain steel.

The frame itself is down a whopping 88-lbs. All told, the new Silverado weighs around 400-lbs. less than its predecessor. 

Styling is bolder yet clearly evolutionary, and the front end includes the first aerodynamic fender vents on any truck.

A wide range of powertrain options include 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8s, a 4.3-liter V6, and even a new 2.7-liter turbo-4 and 3.0-liter Duramax I6 diesel. 

Both V8s feature a new Dynamic Fuel Management system that can shut off any number of cylinders to optimize fuel economy. The numbers for the 6.2-liter are 420–horsepower and 460 lb-ft. of torque, and it’s where you get the max tow rating of 12,200-lbs. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6.2-liter are mostly unchanged, at 16-City, 20-Highway, and 17-Combined. But, it’s now only available with 4-wheel-drive and a 10-speed automatic. 

Chevrolet has divided up your choices into 3-catagories; high value, which includes Work Truck, Custom, and Custom Trail Boss trims; high volume, comprising LT, RST, and LT Trail Boss trims; while LTZ and High Country make up the high feature segment.  

RST and Trail Boss trims are new for this year, and not surprisingly it was the LT Trail Boss that caught our eye. It includes the expected Z71 off-road goodies such as Rancho shocks, skid plates, locking rear differential, 18-inch wheels with Good Year Wrangler Duratrac A/Ts, as well as 2-inches of suspension lift. 

Now as for that ultra-functional bed, it really is. Cargo volume is best in class, the floor is made of higher-strength steel, tie downs are stronger than before and there are more of them; there’s even available Rambox-like bed storage and a power tailgate. 

We were only able to sample the V8s at the National Press Launch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Both provided more than ample power to quickly eat up the vast spaces we traversed. Unlike before, when you could clearly tell when things shifted to V4 mode, the Dynamic Fuel Management system is virtually undetectable. 

But, we’ll get a chance to try out the turbo-4 and diesel powertrains in the coming months. 

GM continues to impress us with their ability to isolate occupants from the outside world. The previous Silverado was incredibly quiet; the new one, even more so.

The 10-speed auto is smooth and quick on the upshifts; only fumbling occasionally when figuring out where to land on the downshift.

Being the biggest ½-ton Silverado yet, GM was able to pack plenty of room inside; most noticeable in the back seat of Crew Cab models, where there is now very generous legroom.  

Visually, the dash also favors past Silverados. More modern, sure, but nothing to match the giant iPad-like screen available on Ram. Yet looks are deceiving, as we don’t have anywhere near enough time to get into all of the high tech and pragmatic features that are available.

There are 8 trim levels of Silverado to choose from, with a basic Cab Work Truck starting at $29,795.  Double cabs start at $33,695; and eventually, you’ll wind up in the High Country at $54,495.

So, you are going to have to pay to play. But, full-size trucks like this 2019 Chevrolet Silverado boast capabilities like never before.

Now, we doubt the new Silverado will take many sales from the F-150, but we predict there will be a dual for #2 spot with Ram.

As for Silverado, whether you’re looking for the next family vehicle, or the proper tool for your job, Chevy has one for you; and you’re going to like it.

Categories: Syndicated

Road Tests: 2018 Hyundai Kona

Thu, 09/20/2018 - 7:00am

Vital Statistics

Engine: 1.6 liter

Horsepower: 175

Torque: 195 lb-ft.

0-60 mph: 7.0 seconds

1/4 mile: 15.5 seconds @ 89 mph

EPA: 26 mpg city / 29 mpg highway

Energy Impact: 12.2 barrels of oil/yr

CO2 Emissions: 5.4 tons/yr

It’s an all-new automotive impulse to buy now and it’s from Hyundai. It’s cute, cool, and it’s called Kona; so, time to brush off all of our Hawaii and surfer clichés as we find out what Hyundai’s smallest, most stylish crossover yet, has to offer. So, hang 10 with us, and ride the wave, as Kona erupts on the big island of subcompact crossovers. 

Well, you can say one thing for the all-new 2018 Hyundai Kona, it sure knows how to make an entrance. 

There are certainly familiar Hyundai styling elements, but this cute-ute takes things towards a much more sporty and visually aggressive direction.

Our Pulse Red tester is one of the tamer color options available; and throughout the design you’ll find lots of body sculpting, exaggerated “black armor” fender flares, and a fast tapered rear that has a passing nod to the Porsche Macan.

Like most in its segment, the Kona targets urban adventurers; city dwellers that like to go exploring on the weekends. It fits well with a nimble chassis that puts the Kona squarely on the entertaining side of subcompact crossovers.

But, you’ll find a limited space for outfitting those adventures; 19.2 cubic-ft., which expands to 45.8 with seatbacks folded. Lower trims are fitted with a 147-horsepower naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter I4 and 6-speed auto combo. 

Upper trims get a smaller but mightier 1.6-liter I4 turbo that rates 175-horsepower and 195 lb-ft. of torque. It works with a 7-speed EcoShift DCT. 

If you can afford to upgrade, by all means do it; as the 1.6-liter and DCT team is quite competent if still a little sluggish off the line. 

All-wheel-drive is available with either engine and any trim, or you can stick with front-wheel-drive. But, if you do opt for AWD, in addition to all-weather capabilities, you get a better suspension setup; as it replaces the standard rear torsion beam, with an independent dual-arm multi-link design.

And we found that setup quite responsive at our test track; with good balance and agile nature, that made it very enjoyable to toss around.

Understeer will show up when you really start pushing hard, but it arrives gradually, with plenty of warning so that you can easily keep it right at the limit.  

As mentioned before, things are a little slow to get going; but the little turbo eventually wakes up, and starts delivering power with a purpose, shuttling us to 60 in a good 7.0-seconds flat. 

The 7-speed feels fully engaged in the mission as well, delivering solid and speedy shifts throughout the ¼-mile run; which took 15.5-seconds at 89 miles-per-hour. 

A short 115-feet was our average stopping distance from 60. Some fade did creep in after multiple runs, but the Kona maintained its course with zero lateral backtalk and minimal nose dive. 

Things inside are not quite as exciting as the outside. But, it is a very functional space, that also seems very durable. 

All trims get a dash-top touchscreen; 7-inches in size on lower trims, 8.0-inches for the upgrade. Ultimate trim is where you want to be if you want the most trinkets. Included is a power sunroof, push button start, leather seats, LCD multi-information display, navigation, Head-Up display, and a 315-watt 8-speaker Infinity premium audio system.    

Seats are firm, and the room up front is a little tight. But, back seat passengers do better, as legroom in the rear is actually quite ample; though taller passengers will have to enter with care, to avoid hitting their head in the relatively small opening.

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist autonomous braking is available, and it performed quite well in our barrier test; bringing us to smooth and quick halts 100% of the time at speeds up to 20 miles-per-hour. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the all-wheel-drive 1.6-liter are 26-City, 29-Highway, and 27-Combined. Our average was right on, at 27.5 miles-per-gallon of Regular. For a just about average for the Energy Impact Score; 12.2-barrels of oil used yearly with 5.4-tons of CO2 emissions.

Kona pricing starts at $20,480, the expected volume leader SEL model comes in at $23,630, with top trim Ultimate going for $28,380; all-wheel-drive adds $1,300 more. 

Now, it won’t be easy for the 2018 Hyundai Kona to make a big splash in the crowded subcompact crossover pool; or to become the Big Kahuna if you will. But it should do “totally tubular” in this rapidly expanding class. And if there’s one thing that Hyundai still knows how to do, it’s deliver a lot of coconuts for less.

Categories: Syndicated

Motor News: Toyota-Uber Partnership

Thu, 09/20/2018 - 7:00am

Toyota and Uber are teaming up to bring autonomous ride-sharing to the road on a much larger scale.

The fleet will be based on Toyota’s Sienna minivan, and will use Uber’s Autonomous Driving System and the Toyota Guardian automated safety support system. The two companies expect a pilot program to begin in 2021.

Yolanda Vazquez: We all know that SUV and crossover sales are soaring….  but there’s still a market for the low riders.

IHS Markit says more than 35-percent of US customers who have a sedan… end up buying an SUV as their next new vehicle. That’s an 11-percent jump from 5 years ago. Their analysis found as incomes rise, consumers are more likely to buy a utility. Still, research also found older buyers are less likely to give up on sedans, as traditional cars still account for over 5 million U.S vehicle sales annually.

Yolanda Vazquez: With electrified cars clearly in our future… the technology is getting a big dose of classic class and sportiness. 

Yolanda Vazquez: Jaguar has confirmed it will produce an all-electric version of the vintage E-type. The concept was revealed about a year ago. Components will come from the I-Pace SUV. The electric powertrain will include a 40kWh battery with a range of more than 170-miles. The electric innards will be about the same size and weight as the E-Type’s original 6-cylinder gas engine, and they’ll use the current suspension and brakes… so driving dynamics will be true Jaguar… with quicker acceleration. Existing E-type owners will also have the chance to covert to EV, and go back to their petrol powered engines if it doesn’t tickle their fancy.

Yolanda Vazquez: And you can look for EV E-types in about 2-years. So for now, that’s it for this week’s Motor News.

Categories: Syndicated

Goss’ Garage: Jeep Bushings

Thu, 09/20/2018 - 7:00am

As cars have evolved so have the parts that we use to repair them. And we have our parts guru Mr. Tom Taylor to give us some pointers about suspension parts. Tom, welcome back to Goss’ Garage.

Tom Taylor: Thanks Pat. It’s great to be here.

PAT GOSS: Alright, we’ve got a bunch of suspension parts. What are we seeing from your perspective?

Tom Taylor: Newer cars have a lot more bushings than older cars did. It’s a way to make the ride better, the control, steering better, the braking better.

Pat Goss: Historically bushings in the suspension, they’ve been made out of rubber and we can see deterioration over here and so on. That’s changing.

Tom Taylor: The rubber, the ozone in the air, get a little oil on it, fuel, and just the miles people are driving their cars beyond 100,000. 300,000 miles. There’s been new materials out in the last 20 years. Polyurethane isn’t just beautiful red. It resists that oil, resists the ozone, and is a better firmness right from the start being better than the rubber for control and cushioning the ride.

PAT GOSS: You actually have a kit there which is something we prefer in the repair shop because invariably if we don’t buy the kit we’re going to be minus something and the car’s going to be tied up for two days and we’re in a mess.

TOM TAYLOR: Whether you’re replacing a timing belt, brakes or suspension kits are handy so you don’t get halfway through it and discover you need a bolt or a fitting you have to spend time hunting for.

PAT GOSS: Most of these kits are designed for do it yourself?

TOM TAYLOR: Do it yourself and professional mechanics because no matter how many cars you work on, you may forget that bolt or some little piece.

PAT GOSS: And of course other parts like this steering damper.

TOM TAYLOR: Something you see on newer cars, it’ll be like shock absorbers are where you have the bushing permanently pressed in there. A lot of newer parts are the same way. You’ll buy the entire assembly with the bushings already installed which can make installation easier. And then you may have other bushings that are separate like on an older car where you just install those.

PAT GOSS: Ok. Well Tom, thank you. And if you have a question or a comment, drop me a line right here at MotorWeek.

Categories: Syndicated

Over The Edge: Radwood

Thu, 09/20/2018 - 7:00am

There was a time when righteous cars we parked outside Blockbuster. Back when neon sunglasses and analog dashboards were totally happen’en. Our Zach Maskell has found a way to go Over the Edge and back to that time, where one can surround themselves in wicked nostalgia.

ZACH MASKELL: Tents blocking the sun from hitting the infield grass. Drivers protecting them on the 2 and a half mile track like crocodiles in a moat. Visitors – calling this castle home for three days. We’re escaping reality at Gridlife South – hosted at Road Atlanta. High speed, music, drifting and ecstatic energy in the air. On top of that – a car show that vows… to keep it weird.

ZACH MASKELL: We have found RadWood. Celebrating bright colors, big hair and the wedge shaped looks of the 1980’s and 90’s, let’s go… back to the future.

ZACH MASKELL: While cars of this era like a Porsche 944 or Oldsmobile ninety-eight diesel may not be regarded as the most attractive by the general population, a lot of us oddballs still lust after these gnarly rides. Some being “cars of future,” traces of which can still be seen today.

BRADLEY BROWNELL: Really early computer drafting. It’s a lot of wedges, a lot of straight edges. Sharp angles. It’s definitely a common theme here that they’re very wedgy.

ZACH MASKELL: Armed mainly with pencils and clay, designers created an entirely new stage in the progression of the automobile.

BRADLEY BROWNELL: There’s been a lot of these cars that didn’t have a place to go. Where would you see a two tone Accord? At a hot rod show or something like that, They’d be like get out of here. But we wanted to have a show where people could bring that out, be part of the experience.

ZACH MASKELL: With the rad clothing, and wicked schweet interiors… it seemed impossible to keep this show from spreading all the way from its roots in San Francisco.

SUPER DAVE: I saw this on Facebook with the California group and I’m so glad they brought it. I drove up from Florida to get here and camped last night next to my Miata. That was a first.

ZACH MASKELL: The 70’s being the pinnacle of the wedge shapes, many of these became a bit softer and more rounded. With fuel injection introduced – these choice rides could be driven far without having to worry about adjusting the carburetor. This one, being daily driven to this day.

MACHO MAN: The 80s and 90s cars, they’re definitely different styles than most cars. I like this one in particular because it’s boxy, has nice sharp edges on it. The front has the four headlights, no cars have that now.

ZACH MASKELL: I’ve never seen one of these before. A mid-engine, rear drive, 1992 Honda Beat, imported from Japan.

How do we access the engine?

Take this off. You’ve got paneling. That’s how you pull all of your intake off. Then you’ve got to come around. So right down in here is your engine cover. It’s just 4 bolts holding this thing down. Pull it off and your engine is sitting right in there. It’s transversely mounted and it’s actually as hard to work on because it’s three cylinders.

This rad 63 horsepower Kei car was the last one ever approved to be road worthy… by Soichiro Honda.

I’ve driven modern cars, it’s not the same feel. You’re so connected to the road. It’s just history.

ZACH MASKELL: Hammer is pronounced the same in both English and German. This 1987 Mercedes-Benz surely speaks to all. Taking home “best in show,” The only 6-liter AMG Hammer Wagon ever produced.

It’s tough to appreciate all makes and models when new… but as time marches on – you find you miss the few thousand dollar Subaru, just as much as the tuned 6-figure Porsche.

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Audi e-tron EV Ready For Production

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 10:16am

Ahead of the Paris Motor Show, Audi has taken the wraps off the production e-tron, their first fully electric production model. A sporty, 5-passenger SUV, it is expected to reach a limited number of European customers before the end of this year, and be available in the Americas by mid-2019. While many details were revealed during the San Francisco launch party, a hard and fast range estimate was not. Audi has previously said the e-tron would have a range of about 250 miles between charges. The two motor, all-wheel drive EV is expected, however, to eventually have more range than the Jaguar I-PACE and Mercedes-Benz EQC, but fall short of the top Tesla Model X. The Audi e-tron will also follow the emerging trend of replacing outside rear view mirrors with cameras. It is unlikely that innovation will make it stateside at the start of sales.



Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: BMW iNext…The Next Wave of EV SUV!

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 10:49am

Following up on BMW’s most recent Vision NEXT concepts, the brand has now fully revealed their idea for a new generation of electric-powered, semi-autonomous vehicle in the striking iNEXT concept. Clearly cashing in on the rising popularity of utility vehicles, the iNEXT is roughly mid-size, and is expected to reach production in 2021 in about the same shape as seen here. While details are still scare, BMW had previously claimed an EV range of over 400 miles between charges. Design highlights include a controversial take on BMW’s historic twin-kidney grille, floating roof styling, and suicide-doors. Promised as the brand’s technology showcase when it goes on sale, one wonders if features like the side doors virtual door handles, and complete substitution of cameras for outside rear view mirrors, will make initial output. Still, the iNEXT is the clearest view yet of the future of BMW.

Categories: Syndicated

Episodes: Episode 3802

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 2:26pm

Debut 9.14.2018

Description

Road Test: 2019 Honda Insight

Goss' Garage: You Don't Know Jack

FYI: Greenbrier Concours

Quick Spin: 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt

Quick Spin: 2018 BMW X4

Quick Spin: 2018 Volkswagen Passat GT

Road Test: 2018 Lincoln Navigator

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Volkswagen Announces Final Edition Beetle…Again!

Fri, 09/14/2018 - 12:01am
Volkswagen has made it formal. Production of the iconic Beetle two-door coupe and convertible will end in 2019. To celebrate the Beetle’s rich heritage, two special models of the second generation New Beetle will join the lineup for its last model year—Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL. “The loss of the Beetle after three generations, over nearly seven decades, will evoke a host of emotions from the Beetle’s many devoted fans,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “As we move to being a full-line, family-focused automaker in the U.S. and ramp up our electrification strategy with the MEB platform, there are no immediate plans to replace it. But as we have seen with the I.D. BUZZ—which is the modern and practical interpretation of the legendary Bus—I would also say, ‘Never say never.’ We’re excited to kick off a year of celebrating one of the true icons of the automotive world, with a series of events that will culminate in the end of production in Puebla, Mexico in July 2019.” Indeed, Volkswagen has used the Final Editions moniker on Beetles before, most recently in 2010 at the end of production of the first generation New Beetle which was launched in 1997. 2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition models include exclusive equipment and unique upscale décor elements designed to send the Beetle off in style. While the popularity of the Beetle has waned over its long run, it will forever hold a lofty place in automotive history.
Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Long Awaited Audi e-tron Set to Debut in San Francisco

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 12:30pm
The race toward an EV future will soon have a new contender. We’re just days away from the reveal of the all-new Audi e-tron. It’s the brand's first all-electric SUV. The five-passenger mid-sized SUV will make its global debut in San Francisco. Specifics are slim at this point, but we do know it will be the first Audi with integrated toll payment technology. We expect full specifications and pricing during the reveal on Sept. 17, 2018. It won’t be too long before it arrives in showrooms in early 2019. The e-tron will be the first of three battery-electric vehicles Audi plans to debut by 2020.
Categories: Syndicated

Road Tests: 2019 Honda Insight

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 7:00am

Vital Statistics

Engine: 1.5 liter

Horsepower: 107

Torque: 99 lb-ft.

EPA: 55 mpg city / 49 mpg highway

Energy Impact: 6.3 barrels of oil/yr

CO2 Emissions: 2.8 tons/yr

With the Toyota Prius being synonymous with the term hybrid for just about everyone, it’s often forgotten that the Honda Insight went on sale at about the same time here in America. But while Prius flourished, Honda’s gas and electric history has been full of stops and starts. Well, after a 5-year hiatus, the insight is back for a third go. Let’s see if Honda has finally hit on the right hybrid formula. 

The Insight has been both a triumph and a disappointment for the Honda brand. So, they’re hoping for some “third time’s a charm” magic with the 2019 Insight. 

While the 2nd generation Insight lasted just 4-years, it did succeed in bringing a new level of affordability for hybrids. 

Still classed as a compact, Honda gives the new Insight a more premium look and feel so they could slot in between the Civic and Accord.  And, for the first time, the Insight is a traditional 4-door sedan. And we think it suits it well, as this is easily the best looking Insight yet, with everything flowing together quite nicely. 

Even base trim gets LED headlights and 16-inch alloy wheels; while Touring spreads the LEDs to the fog lights and turn-signal mirrors, as well as ups wheels to 17s. 

Like the Accord Hybrid, the Insight rolls a third generation of Honda’s 2-motor hybrid system. It can operate as a series or parallel hybrid, as well as a full-EV; switching between the three modes as needed.

This improves Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the base model to 55-City, 49-Highway, and 52-Combined; while up-level Touring trim rates 51-City, 45-Highway, and 48-Combined; now all much closer to the Toyota Prius. So, the Energy Impact Score is quite good, burning as few as 6.3-barrels of oil annually, with C02 emissions of 2.8-tons.

But, while the engine part of the Accord Hybrid is a 2.0-liter I4, the Insight’s heart is a smaller 1.5-liter I4; which is still larger than the previous Insight’s 1.3-liter. The 1.5 delivers a modest 107-horsepower and 99 lb-ft. of torque on its own, but the total package is good for 152-horsepower and 197 lb-ft. of torque.

No traditional transmission is needed, as the front wheels are driven directly by the electric motors.  Though, at higher speeds, a clutch engages to draw power from the engine as well, through an e-CVT.   

Though now based on the Civic chassis, more aluminum has been used to reduce weight; and additional sound deadening has been strategically placed throughout the body. Stepping up to Touring trim will get you a smoother ride due to a re-tuned suspension that includes liquid-sealing compliance bushings all around. 

We found that very little noise seeps into the cabin, helping add to the premium feel; unless you engage Sport mode, at which time it assumes you want to hear more engine noise. But, does anyone really want to hear a 1.5-liter screaming for its life under full throttle? Not us!

Normal and Econ are other drive mode choices, and steering wheel-mounted selectors allow you to adjust the amount of regen braking you want. 

While the last generation Insight provided an entertaining drive mostly due to its light and flexible nature; this one delivers that fun with a very solid feel. And, the overall driving experience is certainly sportier than either the Prius or Kia Niro. 

Like the Civic, it’s pretty roomy inside; including best in class rear seat legroom. 

Due to positioning the hybrid battery pack under that rear seat, there’s a generous 15.1 cubic-ft. of luggage space in the trunk, and full 60/40 split-folding seatbacks. 

Up front, everything is familiar Honda; from the Display Audio touchscreen, to the smart looking hybrid-specific gauge display, and the push button e-shifter.

Most safety systems are standard, including Collision Mitigation Braking; EX and Touring trims only adding LaneWatch.

And, for the first time, Insight assembly will happen here in the U.S.; right alongside Civics and CR-Vs at Honda’s Indiana plant. 

Pricing starts with the base LX at $23,725, passing through EX on the way to Touring trim at $28,985.  

That’s a significant step up from last generation, but so is this 2019 Honda Insight; though we wonder about only offering it only as a sedan, as 4-door sales on the down low. But, in many ways it completes the recently launched Clarity lineup which includes a fuel cell, plug-in hybrid, and full-EV sedans. 

So, the new Insight? Great car, perhaps bad timing; so we’ll see. But, one thing’s for certain, the Insight is back with fully competitive hybrid hardware. And, it even adds an upscale flair giving Honda fans a bevy of choices when it comes to fuel efficient rides.

Categories: Syndicated

Road Tests: 2018 Lincoln Navigator

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 7:00am

Vital Statistics

Engine: 3.5 liter

Horsepower: 450

Torque: 510 lb-ft.

0-60 mph: 5.9 seconds

1/4 mile: 14.5 seconds @ 96 mph

EPA: 16 mpg city / 21 mpg highway

Ahh, the 1990’s. A time when the economy was booming, tech bubbles were inflating, and Americans couldn’t buy enough SUVs. The bigger and more luxurious the better. Thus emerged the two-headed luxury-ute beast…Cadillac escalade and the Lincoln Navigator. Now the escalade hit the mark…the Navigator not so much. Now SUV sales are roaring again, and this time Lincoln aims to navigate ahead of its cross town rival once and for all.

Nothing makes a statement quite like 3-tons of big, powerful, American luxury SUV. So, be prepared to be noticed when riding around in a 2018 Lincoln Navigator. 

This rig feels fast, immense, and dominant; but not ungainly or obese like earlier generations. 

As with any vehicle that boasts the dual threat of “modern luxury” and “advanced technology”, it’s how you’re treated on the inside that counts. 

And throughout the Navigator’s spacious cabin, you will indeed find a first class experience. Materials are exquisite, control placement logical, tech easy to master, while the whole space can be described as uncluttered. 

Luxury touches abound, from the welcome lighting, to gorgeous wood trim, Head Up display, a 20-speaker Revel Ultima premium audio system, 12-inch LCD gauge cluster, and Perfect Position seats with heating, cooling, massaging, and up to 30 adjustments.

A variety of interior themes are available. But, if you go with the always-classy black of our tester, it does look a little bland compared to some of the brighter choices. 

The exterior takes up the slack, however; as the bling-factor is high.  From the chrome-clad front, down the streamlined sides, to the smooth rear; it indeed all looks very nautical.  

Regular and extended bodies are available, with about a foot of length between the two. 

Standard seating is for seven. If you need room for one more, a 2nd row bench is available. Adults fit comfortably in all seats.

When it comes to luggage space, if you can’t fit it in here, you probably don’t need it. Standard wheelbase provides 19.3 cubic-ft. of space behind the 3rd row, 57.5 behind the 2nd, and a whopping 103.3 with all seats folded; though the long, flat space is interrupted by the rear console in most models. Navigator L’s up the max to 120.2 cubic-ft. 

And now for the real highlight of the Navigator experience; lift the hood, and you’ll find the Ford Raptor’s high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, outputting the same 450-horsepower and 510 lb-ft. of torque.  

Same 10-speed automatic too, with your choice of rear or 4-wheel-drive. Towing capacity is 8,700-lbs. 

Putting it all to good use at our test track, had the Navigator leaping to 60 in just 5.9-seconds. It’s almost a surreal experience, as Lincoln keeps it so eerily quiet inside; you barely sense anything, as the engine puts down some serious power, and the transmission rifles through gears with rapid-fire precision. The ¼-mile ends in just 14.5-seconds at 96 miles-per-hour. 

Through the cones, weight transfer was quite manageable, but steering was heavy and slow. So, it will get through here quite quickly, but it does make you work for it.

No extra effort is required at all, to bring this big boy to a halt in just 120-feet from 60 with just a light step on the pedal.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings with 4-wheel-drive, are 16-City, 21-Highway, and 18-Combined. We averaged a quite good 20.6 miles-per-gallon of Premium.

Pricing starts with Premier trim at $73,250. But, most buyers will find one somewhere between there and the Black Label, which starts at a lofty $94,900.

In recent years Lincoln has clearly struggled on the car side of things when trying to resurrect the 1960’s spirit of opulent power that they were once known for. While their newer, smaller SUVs have been steps in the right direction, that spirit is fully embodied here in this beast. Without a doubt, the 2018 Lincoln Navigator is back on top.

Categories: Syndicated

Goss’ Garage: You Don’t Know Jack

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 7:00am

If you’re into do it yourself there’s some things that you should have in your garage. Number one is a first aid kit. Number two is a fire extinguisher. These are mandatory.

Now other things that you need to be aware of. There are hidden dangers in all sorts of places in a garage. Number one, air hoses. They deteriorate with age. And depending on the pressure in the line and so on – they can be dangerous. So be sure you have good quality, good condition in your air hose.

Blow guns like this where you use to blow dirt away and so on, you have to make sure that they are the new style. That they have the vents on the side of them. That is to prevent injecting air under the skin. Eyes? You always want to have eye protection no matter what you’re doing. So, you have to have good eye protection.

Something that either fits over your existing eyewear. Or if you don’t wear glasses, something like we have here. Gloves. We use tons of gloves in the repair shops these days. Primarily like we see here. The rubber type. And we buy them by the case. But we also have gloves for specialty operations.

Ones for heat, ones for sharp things and so on. So, good gloves. Now the tools. Here we have an assortment of hammers as an example. The material that’s used to make these heads on the hammers are different. Therefore, depending on what you’re going to be doing with the hammer, you want the appropriate hammer. Whether it be doing a punch or to be straightening metal or whatever it is that you’re doing to avoid shattering a hammer or getting his with shrapnel from chips from a hammer.

So make sure you use the right tools. Alright, you may have to lift a car. One really good way to do that is if you have a good set of ramps. Make sure they are good. Or you could have a floor jack. Make sure you open the owner’s manual to find out where to jack the car up using the floor jack and never get under the car just on the jack. Always let it down onto jack stands.

And remember that jack stands, if you have black top or dirt or anything like that they’ll settle right into it and the car could come down on you. So if it’s a soft surface use a thick piece of plywood. Always chock the wheels using wood or rubber or metal. Some cars have wheel chocks right in the trunk.

Here’s something you never do and that is you never put any part of your body under the car when it’s up on one of these factory jacks that’s in the trunk. Those things are an accident looking for a place to happen.

Finally, here we have a bottle jack. They are very versatile. You can do many lots of things with them. But look at the size of the top of it. That top is small and it concentrates the force so unless you use it properly, you can punch a hole through the underneath of the car. Not nice. Be safe.

And if you have a question or a comment, drop me a line – right here at Motorweek.

Categories: Syndicated

FYI: Greenbrier Concours

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 7:00am

The Greenbrier is a posh 11-hundred acre mountain resort in West Virginia. It’s hosted numerous presidents, royalty, and countless celebrities. But it has never hosted a Concours d’elegance, until now that is. And, it was world class, with everything from brass era motorcars to pre-war production models to the most exotic of sports cars. Our Stephanie Hart was there, as she now shows us the cars that impressed us the most.

Stephanie Hart: The Greenbrier is surrounded by West Virginia’s majestic Allegheny Mountains. The views are stunning! The resort is a national historic landmark… dating back more than 235 years!

“There is just this sense of peace that’s present here.”

And as you can imagine a lot of history. 27 presidents have visited here. So, commemorating the past and celebrating the future is at the heart of this charming resort.

“Automobile enthusiasts from around the country are converging here at the Greenbrier to celebrate the history of the automobile.”

Stephanie Hart: This elegant venue was the perfect setting for May 5th Concours d’Elegance… featuring 100 of the finest automobiles in the world.

Judges score the vehicles based on originality, condition, authenticity and appeal.

Over here - one of the most iconic cars of the 60’s.. A 1961 Jaguar E type.

“These were so low in production at the beginning that a lot of the roof structure was pop riveted together to check the fit and then come back and spot weld them so it’s almost a pre-production type automobile.”

Stephanie Hart: Inside the Greenbrier, surrounded by all this beauty, is where the rarest and most expensive automobiles are being kept.

Under lock and key - in the bunker room. The bunker was once a top secret U.S. government relocation facility for congress.

“This is the car everyone wants to see - the 1957 TRC Ferrari. It’s owned by Mr. Marriott of Marriott hotels and its caretaker is going to tell me a little bit about this incredible vehicle.”

“They made 19 of these cars. They’re four cylinder and two liter car. It’s a gentleman’s racer for that period.”

Stephanie Hart: J.W. Marriott actually decided to sell the car in 1990. He made ten times his investment – in just seven years. But as the saying goes money can’t buy happiness.

“He regretted selling it because it’s his favorite car out of the collection and he has about 40 cars.”

Stephanie Hart: What did he do?  – well when you own the Marriott empire – you buy it back of course!

Today it’s worth 5 million dollars or about the same as 250 Toyota Corollas.

Stephanie Hart: Would he mind that I am sitting in the car?

“No, no he would be smiling and thinking well this is fun!”

But not nearly as fun as driving it!

“It needs to be driven the cars need to be driven or they fail.”

“And when you drive it what kind of looks do you get?”

“A lot of thumbs up and people give you strange looks they’re like what is that noisy little red car.”

Stephanie Hart: Another car that made my heart race… this 1972 McLaren Can Am. It has 860 horsepower and thanks to its aluminum chassis, it weighs less than a Volkswagen beetle.

“It is really like a ballistic missile when you drive it they don’t corner very well but the idea was to roll it through the corner and get it squared up and then you lean on it real hard and it just goes."

“It’s a privilege to drive something like this because one it’s a piece of history and two there is a sort of financial commitment to be able to do it.”

Stephanie Hart: So how much are we talking?

“Uhhh”

He won’t tell me.

“Lets just say it has a significant value.”

Stephanie Hart: Ok, we’ll leave it at that.

This Concours’ has dozens of remarkable cars… all out of my reach… so…. I had to get a few pictures.

Best in show for the inaugural Greenbrier Concours d’Elegance goes to the Baxters and their car produced by the Swallow Sidecar Company… what we now know as Jaguar. It was produced in 1934. And is one of six with all its original running gear.

Stephanie Hart: Well all good things have to come to an end sometime, hats off to the winner and an unforgettable experience.

Categories: Syndicated