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This Just In: Supra Suspense

Mon, 12/17/2018 - 9:53am
The anticipation is building to see the all-new 2020 Toyota Supra.  It will be the first time in more than 20 years the Supra will available in the U.S. One lucky driver with likely deep pockets will own the very first one complete with VIN number 20201. This one-of-a-kind Supra will go to the highest bidder at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Saturday, January 19, 2019. All the proceeds from the sale will be shared by the American Heart Association and the Bob Woodruff Foundation. That foundation helps post-9/11 impacted veterans, service members and their families. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait that long to see the 2020 Toyota Supra.  The world premiere of the 2020 Supra will take place Monday, January 14, 2019, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Toyota says they’ll start selling this long awaited sports car sometime during the first six months of next year.

Categories: Syndicated

Episodes: Episode 3815

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 9:20am

Debut 12.14.2018

Description

Road Test: 2019 Nissan Altima

Goss' Garage: You Don't Know Jack

FYI: Greenbrier Concours

Quick Spin: 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Quick Spin: 2019 Hyundai Veloster N

Road Test: 2019 Honda Insight

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: INFINITI’s Vision

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 9:18am
The new year will bring new innovation from INFINITI. The luxury automaker plans to show a concept of their first fully-electric crossover at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. INFINITI is developing a new EV platform. We’ve known about the company’s plan to electrify its portfolio beginning in 2021. Their strategy involves hybrids and pure EV powertrains. INFINITI will also reveal their new design language for electrification. They say it has evolved from the Q Inspiration and Prototype 10, both of which we’ve seen earlier this year.    It’s fitting that INFINITI will reveal their future plans during the last winter auto show in Detroit. The company made its global debut 30 years ago at the NAIAS. We’ll be on the floor of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.

 

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: JAGUAR TO MAKE HISTORY WITH ALL-ELECTRIC RACE SERIES

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 2:22pm

 Jaguar will make history this weekend with the debut of the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, the world’s first international championship for production-based electric cars. It will be the first time women compete against men in a race in Saudi Arabia, and Katherine Legge, Célia Martin and Alice Powell will be amongst the first women to take part in a motor race in the Kingdom. In the ancient surroundings of Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, 11 drivers from five continents will take on the 21 twists and turns of the 2.495km track, which starts and finishes in the heart of the old town. Entrants will be joined by VIP driver and British racing star Alice Powell. The 25 year old was the first ever female to win a Formula Renault Championship, the first female to score points in the GP3 Series and in 2014, was Champion in the Formula Renault Asia Championship. Alice was recently named in the first selection for the upcoming W Series. As a Dare to be Different Ambassador, she supports and develops young female karting talent, as well as coaching up-and-coming young female drivers.The race is on Saturday 15 December at 12:50 local time, before the main ABB FIA Formula E race. A shakedown and free practice session will take place on Friday, and qualifying is at 07:55 on Saturday. The race is 25 minutes + 1 lap of full power racing. Fans around the world will be able to watch the action free on Jaguar Racing’s Facebook and Twitter channels with TV presenters Vernon Kay and Amanda Stretton hosting live from Saudi Arabia.

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: New SAE Self-Driving Chart Easier To Understand

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 9:21am

SAE International announces a new visual chart for use with its J3016TM “Levels of Driving Automation” standard that defines the six levels of driving automation, from no automation to full automation.The new chart offers more “consumer-friendly” terms and definitions for the levels, which are frequently cited and referred to by industry and media. The infographic will help to eliminate confusion by providing clarity and using terms more commonly used by consumers.

Categories: Syndicated

Road Tests: 2019 Nissan Altima

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 7:00am

Vital Statistics

Engine: 2.0 liter

Horsepower: 248

Torque: 280 lb-ft.

0-60 mph: 6.1 seconds

1/4 mile: 14.6 seconds @ 98 mph

EPA: 25 mpg city / 34 mpg highway

Energy Impact: 11.4 barrels of oil/yr

CO 2 Emissions: 5.1 tons/yr

We’ve gone on enough about dwindling midsize sedan sales here in the U.S.; so we’ll skip that here, and just say that some carmakers are still forging ahead with new family-sized four-door entries, including Nissan. Indeed, Nissan’s 6th generation 2019 Altima is now ready for the road. So, let’s find out how much of an impact the all-new Altima can have in a SUV world. 

The Nissan Altima has had its ups and downs over the years; looking up at Honda Accord and Toyota Camry just like the rest of the midsize sedan segment. But, it has also gathered quite a following over its previous five generations thanks to its high reliability and affordable pricing. 2019 launches a new chapter, and with it comes a host of meaningful changes. 

There’s a full-frontal Maxima attack for starters, with an even larger version of what Nissan calls their V-motion grille. The new Altima even shares the Maxima’s floating roof look; though the black plastic trim pieces that makes it happen, just blends in with the Super Black paint of this Edition One. It’s a limited release trim package that includes 19-inch dark alloy wheels, rear spoiler, unique lighting and badging outside; while the interior gets special floor mats, illuminated sill plates, as well as exclusive Nissan Concierge service. 

The space inside has gotten a little more open feeling, and designers seem to have come from the same school as Kia and Hyundai, as there’s a very similar infotainment touchscreen shape and placement on top of the dash. That’s not a complaint, as it is in easy line of sight and works very well. We’re big believers in Nissan’s Zero gravity seats, providing some of the best comfort you’ll find in the midsize family car field. Trunk space is also quite good at 15.4 cubic-ft.

Base engine is a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter as before, but it has been highly updated; gaining 9-horsepower to 188. But there’s something even more special available, Infiniti’s VC-Turbo. This variable compression 2.0-liter I4 outputs 248-horsepower and 280 lb-ft. of torque, and replaces the V6 in the lineup. 

Both engines are saddled with Nissan’s latest Xtronic CVT; but for the first time, all-wheel-drive will now be available in an Altima. You can add it for $1,350 more, though right now, only to the base 2.5-liter.

The basic chassis is the same as before, but there’s an all-new suspension bolted to it, independent struts up front, multi-link in the rear; as well as additional chassis reinforcements, and new monotube rear shocks. Combine all of that with a new Integrated Dynamics Module, and you have another way that the Altima is very close to the Maxima. 

We found plenty of grip through the cones; from a chassis that behaves light on its feet, not at all bloated as before; yet it also feels very solid. Nissan’s Intelligent Trace Control uses selective braking to aid on turn-ins, and mostly does so without being obvious or intrusive.

Just as impressive, is the response from the VC-Turbo. It leaps off the line, roaring to go; delivering plenty of torque, and hitting 60 in 6.1-seconds.However, from there, the CVT throws a wet blanket on the process; enter droning engine noise, somewhat alleviated by simulated shifts, and an overall lazy attitude towards power delivery.

Yet numbers don’t lie. 14.6-seconds at 98 miles-per-hour in the ¼-mile is quite notable for the family car; and a big second and a half quicker than the last 4-cylinder Altima we tested.  

Automatic Emergency braking is standard on Altima, and it performed well in our barrier tests. It can also be outfitted with automatic rear braking and Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist hands-on-the-wheel semi-autonomous driving system.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 2.0-liter are 25-City, 34-Highway, and 29-Combined; we averaged a quite good 32.4 miles-per-gallon on Regular. For an Energy Impact Score that’s slightly above average at 11.4-barrels of yearly petroleum consumption with 5.1-tons of CO2 emissions. 

Altima pricing starts at $24,645 for the for the 2.5-liter, $30,045 for VC-Turbo. So, if a much better than traditional family sedan driving experience is what you’re after, you’ll get a healthy dose of style to go along with it, in the 2019 Nissan Altima. 

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Ford Ranger is Mid-size Truck Economy Champ

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 8:33am
The all-new 2019 Ford Ranger has been generating plenty of buzz for its bold styling and class-leading 310 lb.-ft. torque from its 270 horsepower 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine, paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. That same brawny powertrain will also make Ranger the most fuel-efficient mid-size truck in North America: 2WD models will return 21 mpg city, 26 mpg on the highway and a combined rating ot 23 mpg. Adding 4-wheel drive still delivers class-best EPA fuel economy ratings of 20 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 22 combined, allowing Ranger drivers to adventure further, wherever the road or trail leads.
Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: McLaren Automotive Races to the Sun with a new 720S Spider

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 12:01am

British exotic car builder McLaren Automotive is expanding its Super Series family with the introduction of its most accomplished convertible supercar ever: the new 720S Spider. Just revealed, the new 720S Spider delivers the exhilaration of open-air driving and levels of day-to-day usability unseen in the convertible supercar class. The design foundations of the new McLaren Spider are the seamless and organic forms introduced in 2017 with the 720S Coupé. Combining to maximize downforce, minimize drag, enhance powertrain cooling and optimize aerodynamic performance, these shapes produce an overall appearance akin to a futuristic sculpture. A new, electrically actuated Retractable Hard Top is seamlessly integrated into the design, as are new buttresses.Like all McLaren cars, the new 720S Spider has a carbon fibre structure at its core, in this case designated Monocage II-S. The strength, rigidity and light weight of the McLaren Monocage is the base for the dynamic excellence for which McLarens are renowned. The Monocage II-S is a development of the Coupé ’s Monocage II, without the central ‘spine’ running front to rear above the cabin. The rearmost section of the upper structure is also unique to the Spider, to accommodate the Retractable Hard Top; additionally, the header rail across the top of the windscreen has been revised, to integrate the central latching mechanism.The new 720S Spider is just 108lbs heavier than the 720S Coupé. With a lightest dry weight of 2,937lbs, the 720S Spider is comfortably the lightest car in its competitive set. It is powered by 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged McLaren V8 engine producing 710 bhp and 568lb ft of torque. Deliveries to customers commence March 2019; US prices start from $315,000.

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Volkswagen Engineers Special Reunion for Longtime Beetle Owner

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 10:27am

Volkswagen owners are known for their brand loyalty, but few can surpass Kathleen Brooks.  The 73-year-old bought her red Beetle, nicknamed “Annie” in 1966, and has used it as a daily driver ever since, racking up over 350,000 miles along the way.  To reward this incredible dedication, Volkswagen officials borrowed Annie for 11 months and treated her to a complete restoration at its Puebla, Mexico factory. Despite Brooks’ careful maintenance over the past 51 years, Annie had some serious floorpan rust, along with other cosmetic and mechanical issues that needed to be addressed.  Now returned to showroom-new condition, Annie has been reunited with Kathleen, and both are looking forward to many more years of motoring memories together.

 

Categories: Syndicated

Episodes: Episode 3814

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 1:41pm

Debut 12.07.2018

Description

Road Test: 2019 Genesis G70

Goss' Garage: Replace Your Rockers

FYI: Mcity

Long Term Update: Honda Odyssey | Toyota Camry

Road Test: 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Track Edition Lexus

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 9:55am
Lexus is adding a serious dose of speed to their luxury brand.  The company has released this teaser photo of the 2020 Lexus RC F Track Edition.  The emphasis here is track edition.  The current 2019 Lexus RC F features a 467-hp V8, Brembo high-performance front brakes, a standard F-Adaptive Variable Suspension, and a 0-to-60 time of 4.4 seconds. The track edition promises to go even faster.  Automotive News quotes Bob Carter, Executive Vice President of Sales for Toyota Motor North America, as saying, “with the exception of LF-A, this is the fastest most powerful vehicle that we’ve ever built”.  The 2020 Lexus RC F Track Edition is one of the reveals we’ll be looking for next month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

 

Categories: Syndicated

Podcasts: 2018 L.A. Auto Show Recap

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 8:00am

Podcast #194

In Podcast 194, John Davis and the MW crew talk about all the news from the 2018 L.A. Auto Show, including the Jeep Gladiator pickup truck, Lincoln Aviator Hybrid, new Porsche 911, and Rivian EVs.

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Volkswagen Says Next Gen Fossil Fuel Vehicles to be Their Last

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 12:01am

In the continuing wake of the “Dieselgate” exhaust emissions scandal, Volkswagen is doubling down on its commitment to electric vehicles by saying that their next generation of vehicle designs, that will start to arrive in 2026, will be the last engineered for gasoline and diesel powertrains. After those run their normal lifespan, around 2050, VW says it will only make CO2 neutral vehicles. In other words, those using some form of battery electric or fuel cell power. This is quite a statement from the world’s largest automaker and it does come with some caveats. It is possible they will still make some fossil fuel vehicles beyond that time frame for countries or rural areas that lack abundant electric charging infrastructure. Regardless, Volkswagen has committed $50 billion for future EV and autonomous vehicle development over just the next five years, with the launch of their first I.D. sub-brand electric model is due late in 2019. VW showed the I.D. Buzz Cargo, a concept for an electric utility van, at the recent 2019 LA Auto Show.

Categories: Syndicated

Motor News: Safe Cars for Teens | Volkswagen Tarok Concept

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 3:06pm

Teen drivers may be anxious to get behind the wheel but the choices their parents make can greatly improve their chances for survival if they get into a car accident. The insurance institute for highway safety suggests larger used cars over smaller less expensive models for young teenagers.

Their studies find size and weight are important factors when it comes to occupant crash protection. This helps mitigate another teenage driving trait, their lack of experience. For these reasons the IIHS has compiled a list of 115 vehicles rated as either good or best choices. All of which come in under 20,000 dollars. All of the options also scored well on the institutes safety test’s.

Volkswagens view of the future now includes another pick-up truck. But without their most iconic car.

VW unveiled the Tarok concept at the Sao Paulo international motor show. The compact 4 door cab seats 5 and comes with a 147 horsepower 4 cylinder TSI engine.

The most interesting feature is a variable length bed. A hatch to the cabin folds down for loading long intems. A production version Tarok launches soon in the Brazilian market but it’s unlikely to come to the US.

The VW Atlas Tanoak concept truck show this past spring at the new York international auto show is much larger than the Brazilian Tarok. However VW has not said when or if an Atlas based truck will be made here.

Meantime, VW will stop producing the iconic beetle. Atleast for now. The original people’s car designed by Ferdinand porche went into production in Germany in 1938. Sales in the US began in 1950, ending in 1979.

Then the new Beetle arrived in 1998 and was redesigned again for 2012. VW says the Beetles fate is part of their focus on family oriented vehicles and electrification. Two new final edition models will mark this bugs last chapter.

Production ends in Mexico July of next year. And that’s it for this week’s Motor News.

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Ford Builds The Future Today

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 9:52am
Ford’s $45 Million investment in advanced materials, design tools and 3D-printed car parts has taken root in the newly opened Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford, Michigan. There, 3D printers are already spinning out production-ready brake parts for the upcoming Shelby Mustang GT500.  Engineers use virtual reality to design and simulate future production lines, and advanced robots work collaboratively with humans to refine safe, efficient, vehicle assembly techniques.  Technologies developed here will soon make their way into Ford production facilities worldwide.

Categories: Syndicated

Goss’ Garage: Replace your Rockers

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 9:25am

Although vehicle manufacturers have made huge improvements in preventing body rust on vehicles, we still have some out there that are like this. And that is rust. What causes rust is where dirt and moisture combine inside or between two pieces of metal, dirt holds the moisture, it eats itself from the inside out. Now in this case you may have to replace this due to structural damage or because local laws and inspections require that you do that. Is this a do it yourself job?

Maybe. Maybe not. See down here we have two separate types of rocker panels. A complete one here, and this one we have a slip on. Or one that lays over the existing one. The slip on, pretty easy for those if you have moderate skills in body work and so on. The other one not so much.

Because the complete rocker, you may have to take both doors off, you have to strip the inside, take the carpet out, take the seats out, possibly the front fenders. All kinds of stuff you have to do. So you have to evaluate your skill level, you tool set and so on and make a decision based on that.

ZACH MASKELL: Well Pat, this white beauty is my workhorse. You would think I park it in the ocean. Well the rocker rust didn’t really bother me at first but then it started raining, rust would drip down onto my driveway, leaving rust stains. I got underneath to take a look to see if I could tackle this issue myself but quickly realized, I need some help.

Rons Rod’s was my go to shop where any body tool imaginable can be found. Once we removed the trim, we located the spot welds and pried them off. We then cut off the existing rocker, this revealed the inner rocker. Ron had to custom make his own inner since we needed something to attach the outer one to.

While the rust was terrible, we didn’t need full rockers and were able to leave the doors attached during this whole process. We also took a short cut and installed the cab corners without taking the bed off. To do it correctly that would need to come off so you can smooth your welds down.

ZACH MASKELL: Sorry I’m stealing your line Pat, I’ve always wanted to do this. If you’ve got a question or a comment, drop us a line, right here at MotorWeek.

Categories: Syndicated

Motor News: 2018 L.A. Auto Show

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 9:20am

Teen drivers may be anxious to get behind the wheel but the choices their parents make can greatly improve their chances for survival if they get into a car accident. The insurance institute for highway safety suggests larger used cars over smaller less expensive models for young teenagers.

Their studies find size and weight are important factors when it comes to occupant crash protection. This helps mitigate another teenage driving trait, their lack of experience. For these reasons the IIHS has compiled a list of 115 vehicles rated as either good or best choices. All of which come in under 20,000 dollars. All of the options also scored well on the institutes safety test’s.

Volkswagens view of the future now includes another pick-up truck. But without their most iconic car.

VW unveiled the Tarok concept at the Sao Paulo international motor show. The compact 4 door cab seats 5 and comes with a 147 horsepower 4 cylinder TSI engine.

The most interesting feature is a variable length bed. A hatch to the cabin folds down for loading long intems. A production version Tarok launches soon in the Brazilian market but it’s unlikely to come to the US.

The VW Atlas Tanoak concept truck show this past spring at the new York international auto show is much larger than the Brazilian Tarok. However VW has not said when or if an Atlas based truck will be made here.

Meantime, VW will stop producing the iconic beetle. Atleast for now. The original people’s car designed by Ferdinand porche went into production in Germany in 1938. Sales in the US began in 1950, ending in 1979.

Then the new Beetle arrived in 1998 and was redesigned again for 2012. VW says the Beetles fate is part of their focus on family oriented vehicles and electrification. Two new final edition models will mark this bugs last chapter.

Production ends in Mexico July of next year. And that’s it for this week’s Motor News.

Categories: Syndicated

Road Tests: 2019 Genesis G70

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 7:30am

Vital Statistics

Engine: 2.0 liter

Horsepower: 252

Torque: 260 lb-ft.

0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds

1/4 mile: 14.9 seconds @ 94 mph

EPA: 22 mpg city / 30 mpg highway

Launching a new brand is never easy, and the sport-luxury market is really in flux right now; with SUVs rapidly gobbling up sales from sedans, and traditional brands seeing increasing competition from unlikely places. And that’s the environment into which enters the rear and all-wheel drive 2019 Genesis G70.

It has more on its well-sculpted shoulders than the typical luxury-sport sedan; as it is not only the emerging brand’s most performance oriented car yet, but also its new entry-level model.

It’s no secret where they’re aiming here, German sport sedans. Genesis claims the G70 sits lower than most rivals and it sure looks like it. It also appears long, but not necessarily lean, as it’s also wider than most in the segment.

Wheelbase is almost 3-inches shorter than the Kia Stinger, and overall length is 6 inches less. So unlike the Stinger, which straddles the void between compact and midsize, the G70 is a true compact. And while plenty of decisions were made based on performance, there’s also a Lexus level of attention to NVH detail; and it shows in how quiet and effortlessly the G70 glides, not floats down the road.

It also shares engines with the Stinger; a 252-horsepower 2.0-liter I4 turbo, and a 365-horsepowertwin-turbo V6. Both work with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and both offer optional all-wheeldrive.

One thing the G70 has that the Stinger doesn’t, is an available 6-speed manual transmission option. But only with the rear-drive 4-cylinder.

Having spent time with the V6 in the Stinger, we opted for the 2.0-liter for this G70 test. Its 260 lb-ft.of torque has it punching way above its weight, feeling very powerful for this class.

We also chose rear-drive only, though we did stick with the 8-speed auto.

Selecting Sport trim also adds 19-inch alloys with summer tires, copper headlight trim, dark-tinted taillights, and some added chrome for the outside; alloy pedals, and quilted Nappa leather inside. Naturally, this is the fastest Genesis yet, with the V6 hitting 60 in 4.5-seconds. That’s gettin’ it, no matter where it’s built or what badge it’s wearing.

As for the 2.0 liter, it’s pretty darn quick too, though it’s mid-range torque delivery feels more adequate for road course work, than impressing in the ¼-mile. Still, with easy to activate launch control we were able to hit 60 in 6.2-seconds.

No turbo sounds to speak of, as this 4-banger delivers power smoothly, quietly, and almost EV-like in responsiveness. As in the Stinger, the transmission works amazingly well, with clean and direct shifts throughout the 14.9-second ¼-mile, which we completed at 94 miles-per-hour.

Hitting the cone course, the G70 feels soft initially; but keep pushing, and it delivers. It feels very solid, yet not hefty; sort of like an Audi. Great steering feel as well, with just the right amounts of response and heft. You feel very connected to this car, and the Michelin Pilot Sport tires offered a brutal amount of traction.

They were aiming for a very luxurious, yet true sport sedan, and they nailed it! There are comprehensive drive modes of course, as well provisions for custom setups.

Plenty of luxury features; though just to reinforce the performance aspect, no wood, only aluminum here in the Sport. All switchgear has a high-quality feel, and just like the driving aspects, closer to Audi than anything else.

Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection is standard, and worked every time in our barrier test; bringing us to a complete stop from speeds up to 25 miles-per-hour.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for our rear-drive 2.0-liter are 22-City, 30-Highway, and 25-Combined. Our average was fairly good at 27.2 miles-per-gallon on premium.

Pricing starts at just $35,895 for the turbo-4; it’s quite a step up for the twin-turbo-6, starting at $44,745.

So, with the 2019 G70, Genesis now has a full sedan lineup. And while that’s great progress for them,they’ll have to get some SUVs on the market soon to be truly relevant in this current environment. Establishing a new brand always has its ups and downs, this G70 is one fantastic step up; so enjoy driving it while you can.

Categories: Syndicated

Road Tests: 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 7:00am

Vital Statistics

Engine: 3.0 liter

Horsepower: 362

Torque: 369 lb-ft.

0-60 mph: 4.6 seconds

1/4 mile: 13.1 seconds @ 106 mph

EPA: 23 mpg city / 30 mpg highway

The 2004 Mercedes-Benz CLS was the first car to be officially described as a 4-door coupe. Today such slick form over function engulfs most of the sedan field, regardless of size or stature, and has even found its way onto utilities. Now, there’s an all-new 2019 CLS on the road. So let’s see if it’s still first among many.

Truth is, most manufacturers are doing whatever they can these days to get people tobuy 4-door sedans. But the Mercedes-Benz CLS has never been about sales numbers. This 3 rdgeneration 2019 version stays very close to the original 4-door coupe formula; yet continues to look even better, and also comes with a few new twists this time around.

The design of this 4-door takes more elements from Mercedes coupes than sedans. That means a forward-slanting nose, diamond grille with cues from the AMG GT, and a high waist profile with frameless windows. But, it’s all gotten more aggressive this gen.

Still, as before, despite the C in the name, it rides on the midsize E-class chassis, getting a wheelbase stretch over the previous CLS of almost 2½-inches.

Behind that aggressive face, sits a new inline-6 engine, the first from Benz in decades. But, it’s not done with nostalgia in mind, as this 3.0-liter is a totally modern engine; even packing a starter/alternator on the back end, that works with a new 48-volt electrical system to deliver a 21-horsepower boost, on top of the engine’s output of 362-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque.

A 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic is in place too, along with 5 driving modes, and 4MATIC all-wheel-drive is available to replace the standard rear-wheel-drive.

At launch, this 4MATIC feels mega-powerful, with big torque delivery right from the get-go, as well asplenty of grip for exploiting it. We hit 60 in just 4.6-seconds.

Calm and steady is the theme for the ¼-mile, as the CLS streaks to the finish in 13.1-seconds at 106miles-per-hour; with the experience being way more tranquil and serene than you’d expect at that speed. Transmission shifts are adequately quick, and equally smooth.

It’s not that we hate turbo-4s, having driven plenty of them recently; but it’s a real joy to drive this turbo-6. It delivers seemingly limitless gobs of smooth power at all times, and is easily the true highlight of this car.

Base suspension is independent multi-link at both ends, but you can upgrade to Benz’s ABC Air BodyControl air suspension for the ultimate setup.

It magically turns this 4,200-lbs. plus 4-door into a nimble, well-balanced, handling machine. Though it does prefer a gentler pace over all-out aggression.

In a surprising practicle shift, the CLS’ rear seat now has belts for 3, instead of 2 as before, and more room thanks to redesigned front seats and the aforementioned wheelbase stretch; though it’s still not an easy place to get into and out of.

No such problems up front, where everything is first class, and easily outshining anything else in the segment.

The wide digital gauge display from the E-class, blends into the center screen for a smooth, seamless, high-tech looking space.

Even considering this is a premium model from a luxury brand, the list of standard equipment is quite impressive; and of course you can always take it to the next level with features like Headup display and Burmester 3D surround sound. LED ambient interior lighting as well; though it can be overpowering at night.

But no matter when you’re behind the wheel, the CLS feels like a true sport sedan. Sure, the luxury is all around you, but there’s also a connected feel that keeps driving a priority. We think that suits thiscar just fine.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for this CLS450 4MATIC are 23-City, 30-Highway, and 26-Combined. We averaged a mediocre 23.4 miles-per-gallon on Premium fuel.

Pricing for this 4MATIC starts at $72,695; stick with rear-drive and you can get away a little cheaper at$70,195.

Truth be told, after almost singlehandedly creating the 4-door coupe genre and influencing a wealthof automotive exterior designs, the CLS had dropped behind the many imitators it inspired. The 2019Mercedes-Benz CLS is out to reclaim its leading role, with the help of some powertrain electrified trickery, room for an additional passenger, and of course drop dead gorgeous style. And by the looksof things, we bet it succeeds.

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Dodge Video Series Shows Santa’s New “Redeye Express” Sleigh

Wed, 12/05/2018 - 10:16am

Dodge is getting into the Christmas spirit by releasing a seven-part short video series on its social media channels that imagines the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye as Santa’s new Christmas delivery sleigh. The series, entitled “Jolly Fast Man”, chronicles Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves as they create the “Redeye Express”. Check them all out here.
Categories: Syndicated