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Engine: 6.5 liters
Torque: 530 lb-ft.
EPA: 12 mpg city / 16 mpg highway
Quite often car names are very descriptive of the hardware they adorn; like Pathfinder, Land Cruiser, or Demon. But none have been more spot on to us than the Ferrari 812 Superfast. No beating around the bush. This is one fast Ferrari, ready to race into the hearts and souls of the Ferrari faithful everywhere!
Ferrari’s 70-years of making V12 engines, has culminated in this, the 2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast. It replaces the F12 in their lineup; or more realistically, the 812 is an evolution of it, as it does share most of the F12’s aluminum architecture.
Despite the carryover bones, there’s lots new to talk about. Starting with the V12 itself. Now displacing 6.5-liters, it rates a whopping 789-horsepower and 530 lb-ft. of torque. Yes, it sounds glorious revving its way to its 8,900 RPM redline, and of course 0-60 is under three seconds. Still naturally aspirated, and rear-wheel-drive only, for an almost a throwback feel.
Transmission is a rear-mounted 7-speed DCT, that works with an electronic differential and a rear–wheel steering system.
Speaking of changing directions, this is the first Ferrari to gain electric-assist front power steering. Combined with the rear, steering response is quick, almost instant, but like most such systems, it’s gives up road feel in the process.
But, other than that, we found the 812 to be slightly sharper, and better in every regard. Despite all of the power, it never seems to overwhelm the chassis. Weight comes in at under 3,600-lbs.; yet somehow, even with a huge V12 up front, it feels much lighter than that.
It’s not really a GT car, it’s much too serious for that, think of it more of a comfy, front-engine racer that you can drive civilized every day.
Indeed, since it’s not quite a true track car either, Ferrari engineers went to great lengths to make sure that every owner can fully experience all that this car has to offer. They’ve indeed made it easy to drive, and electronic helpers such as stability control work pretty seamlessly in the background.
If you do by chance, take in a track day, you’ll find oodles of grip and very little body roll, but none of the harshness that usually accompanies an exotic.
As we expected, power never lets up. It keeps piling on until you run out of road or come to grips your mortality. Yet, heading home on the interstate, it reverts to a new definition of supercar smooth.
It’s an Italian beauty for sure. There are no big wings or spoilers to disturb the shape. But there are certainly plenty of air-diverting pieces to this body puzzle, keeping it from being a perfectly curved form. A roomier cockpit does help to complete the flow, from the extra-long and low V12-holding front end, to the tall rear. But, step back and you have a car with character that is still purposefully gorgeous to the extreme!
Interior fit-and-finish is easily the best we’ve seen from the prancing horse folks. And they’ve finally gotten serious about delivering a multimedia system worthy of what buyers in this price bracket expect.
Gauges are easier to read than before, providing a wealth of information on the dual TFT screens on either side of the large central tach, which is now backlit.
On the passenger side dash is room for an optional, changeable display that is barely noticeable until it lights up.
Just about every manual control you need is readily accessible on the steering wheel. Now it may look a little cluttered, but it all works really well.
Even more practical, the seats are impressively comfortable, visibility is improved all around, and there’s even 17.6 cubic-ft. of cargo space beneath the rear hatch.
On the other hand, Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 12-City, 16-Highway, and 13-Combined.
And, while it’s not the most expensive Ferrari you can buy, it is at the top end of the wish list, starting at $339,025; though with markups and options, most are going for over 400 G’s.
Ferraris truly are the things car enthusiast dreams are made of; and with the 2018 812 Superfast, there’s no false advertising here. Eventually, Ferrari will no longer be able to continuously one-up themselves, but that day is not today. The 812 is clearly superior to the F12, and it’s all wrapped in a stunning performance package the way only Italians can deliver it. Super-fast, Super-awesome, and we super want one!
Engine: 2.0 liter
Torque: 295 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 6.9 seconds
1/4 mile: 15.3 seconds @ 88 mph
EPA: 21 mpg city / 27 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 14.3 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 6.3 tons/yr
If your first SUV becomes a huge success, logic would declare you should hurry up and pump out another one as soon as possible. Well, indeed there is a second Jaguar SUV, as they’ve followed up the midsize f-pace with a compact e-pace. But, don’t think of it as a hastily assembled “me too”, but rather the artfully done next phase of the plan for the new jaguar.
It doesn’t matter how long your brand has been around, or what you’ve been about in the past; these days, the more SUVs you have in your lineup, the better. Thus, we have Jaguar’s encore utility, the 2018 E-PACE.
There are many things that surprise about Jag’s new compact entry. Chief of which, is that due to it being based on the Range Rover Evoque’s D8 architecture, it’s actually heavier than the mostly aluminum midsize F-PACE. So, there’s a very solid feel when prowling the curves in this little runabout.
Thus it’s no surprise, that it shares the Evoque’s 2.0-liter turbo I4; though Jaguar has done some updating, and there are actually two different versions. Base models see a 246-horsepower form; while R-Dynamics dons 296-horsepower with 295 lb-ft. of torque. The increased power largely due to just spinning up the turbos a little more.
Transmission for both, is a 9-speed automatic. There are also two different all-wheel-drive setups. The base system operates with a mostly 50/50 split of power, and can send more to the front or rear when slip is detected.
We didn’t get any serious off road time, but with Land Rover bones, you know it’s plenty capable; and what little that we did explore, it feels very substantial and SUV like, not car-based crossover fragile.
The optional Active Driveline operates in mostly front-wheel-drive, but responds quicker when shifting the power around. It allows for full-rear-drive operation, with a pair of wet plate clutches sending all power to one rear wheel when needed. So, this cub can be fun under right circumstances, greatly aiding in handling; and of course there are lots of electronics keeping things happening in sync.
Our R-Dynamic tester felt quite good through the cones, once we got a feel for the very light and ambiguous steering, as well as the power struggle that exists between the front and rear wheels as they battle it out for superiority. It’s no BMW X3, feeling a little softer and heavier by comparison; but still on the fun side of things, thanks to a suspension design that’s similar to the F-PACE’s.
And, in addition to the typical choice of drive modes, you can get quite deep into individual adjustments of throttle response, transmission shifting, and steering; provided you have the time, and stumble across the right menus.
Despite boasting the more powerful version of the 2.0-liter turbo, we didn’t find anything particularly thrilling about straight-line acceleration. There’s solid grip at launch; but overall, power is slow to arrive. We arrived at 60 in 6.9-seconds and at the end of the ¼-mile in 15.3 at 88 miles-per-hour.
There’s a lot of engine noise; and while it not overly rough, it’s not exactly the most pleasing of mechanical sounds either.
Now, what is totally pleasing, is the E-PACE’s aggressively shaped sheet metal.
There is some resemblance to the F-PACE; but where Jag’s larger ute is rounded and muscular, this one is more angular, and appears designed more to get as much room inside as possible. And very successfully, we might add.
All seating positions boast lots of space, including in the rear.
Cargo space is also quite good for the class; 24.2 cubic-ft. with the seats up, and 52.7 cubic-ft. with them folded. Between the Touch Pro infotainment system, and the large 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster, you’ll get plenty of screen time in the E-PACE; and even an available Head-Up display if you’re trying to minimize it.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 21-City, 27-Highway, and 23-Combined. So, our 23.1 miles-per-gallon average of Premium was right on. That’s an average Energy Impact Score though, 14.3-barrels of yearly oil consumption and 6.3-tons of CO2 emissions.
E-PACE base pricing is just under 40-grand, at $39,595. R-Dynamic starts at $48,245.
It’s hard to say what Jaguar’s legacy will ultimately end up being. Going from the fabulous sports cars of the mid-20th century, through the questionable 1980 and 90s, to the full-on luxury-performance stable of today.
And, SUVs are sure to be a big part of the brand going forward. To us, the 2018 E-PACE is not quite as compelling as the spectacular F-PACE. But, Jaguar has certainly picked up the pace, with an impressive lineup, all designed with the spirit of the F-type.
Yolanda Vazquez: As driver assistance technology becomes more advanced…researchers are looking at ways to evaluate its safety when you’re behind the wheel. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is conducting a preliminary round of tests to better analyze advanced driver assistance systems. They’re looking at how adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, and active lane-keeping features operate on the track and on the street. The “track tests” focus on how the technology works in a controlled environment, while the “street tests” evaluate how the systems handle more complex driving situations. Curves and hills are proving to be the most challenging for active lane-keeping systems because sensors can lose sight of the lane markings. They’re also seeing how well vehicles automatically slow down and activate “emergency braking” in traffic.
Right now, the IIHS is evaluating systems from four manufacturers: BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, and Volvo. So far the assistive technology systems in both the BMW and Mercedes perform best on the track, while none of the systems are stellar on the street. The IIHS is not ready to say which one has the safest Level 2 driver assistance technology overall. And, they also point out that until Level 5 “full autonomy” is on the market, drivers must remain alert and in control.
Educating the public on the benefits of electric vehicles. It’s part of an advertising effort by Electrify America to give consumers a fuller picture of the current EV experience. The 30-second TV spot, called Jetstones uses theme songs from “The Flintstones” and “The Jetsons”—to take a humorous look at how driving an EV has changed from the past to the present. The segment features electric vehicles from six automakers. The goal is to show the increased range, affordable cost and easy availability of the vehicles—with a growing network of EV fast chargers. We’re amped up about the prospects for more EV adoption as automakers continue to make investments in this “promising” sector of the automotive market. That’s the latest for this week’s Motor News.
Every year when the weather turns warm, my shops are inundated with air conditioning problems, and many of those problems are solved by do it yourselfers. So if you’re a do it yourselfer the very first you need to know is what type of refrigerant your car has.
Now years ago it was a standard r12, well that was phased out in the 90s for r134a and now if you look at a lot of the new cars, you’ll see that they have r 1,2,3,4, yf. You have to know what goes in it so you don’t put the wrong product in your air conditioning system. I know the fittings are not interchangeable but somehow you folks figure out a way to do that. Don’t know how but you do.
Anyway, if an air conditioning system is not working properly you seem to think the only thing that could possibly be wrong is that its low on refrigerant, so you go out and buy one of these handy dandy kits, and you start pumping more refrigerant in it. Well if it wasn’t low in the first place, say it may have had a corroded wire connector or something like that, you put more refrigerant in it…now it’s overcharged. Now you got a whole set of new problems, and you have to take it to a shop. Number one, remember unless you know its low on refrigerant don’t add refrigerant to the system.
Then if you take it to the shop make sure you ask the shop if they have one of these. This is the refrigerant identifier. It tells the technician exactly what’s in you air conditioning system as a refrigerant. Why is this important, well because there are all kinds of counterfeit refrigerants out there. Now a lot of the refrigerants are cut with products like propane, which is a great refrigerant, except it burns and its explosive. You certainly don’t want a bonfire under your dash. So you want the shop to use the refrigerant identifier on every car that comes in so that your car doesn’t get cross contaminated. Plus you want them to use it on every container of refrigerant that they buy so that they don’t somehow have a container of bogus refrigerant slip through the system and then get installed in your car. So make sure that you ask that question. If they have a refrigerant identifier, and do they use it on every car, and every new bottle of refrigerant.
And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line right here at Motorweek.
For our Zach Maskell, our Over the Edge guy, walking around and admiring the well cared for gems at car shows is totally routine. But Zach can’t go long before he needs more than just stationary satisfaction. So, combining a judged car show, with triple digit speeds? Now you’re talking his language!
ZACH MASKELL: The event where you can do more than just park your car. MPACT is where you can literally do it all. Held at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania… it’s one for the books. While it’s mainly a German gathering – more specifically the M division of BMW, other brands are welcome.
Vinny Giglio: I came from Charlotte, North Carolina. Drove the car up, took me about 9 hours yesterday… amazing day.
ZACH MASKELL: Vinny was supposed to meet a buddy… until he ran into car trouble. No worries though, with an Audi R8 V10 supercharged – you’re bound to meet new ones.
Vinny Giglio: Got a new friend riding along. Dad just said “hey, can he go for a ride with you… I said sure let’s go.”
ZACH MASKELL: High performance driver’s education… 2300 foot side by side racing… a drift taxi… burnout contest… a judged car show… and plenty of vendors. Perhaps the best part – seeing cars which once had not even 200 horsepower, beat cars 10 times their retail price.
Kosove Berisha: Car’s a 1987 325 Convertible. Got an S52 motor in it from a 98’ M3. Built, big turbo, Buddy Dereck tunes it. It works and it goes.”
ZACH MASKELL: This is the perfect atmosphere for this group to test and tune the 800 plus horsepower BMW.
Kosove Berisha: It’s fun. No animosity. A lot of fun, racing people, no one judges anybody, it’s fun.
ZACH MASKELL: That same chassis… is also the bones – of a legend. In the mid 1980 BMW decided it needed a serious competitor for both the road and the track…they took the e30 chassis and made the first of the M3 line.
A stiff chassis and direct steering made for a fierce track car. To this day, it has over 1500 victories and is unbeaten as a touring car. While it came with a 2.3 liter 4 cylinder… many later opted for the next M motor… out of the e36. In line after that is the e46 body. That’s followed by the only M3 to have a v8… the E92. And most recently, the F80 M3… which is labeled as M4. But we won’t get into that.
ZACH MASKELL: “So somehow I convinced Jaycent to let me drive his car. Much appreciated my friend.. This thing has 500 horsepower on 93 octane and 600 and…
“670 on 105 octane.”
“Woo.. my first turbo e46.”
ZACH MASKELL: This car is the last of the raw feeling m3’s before electronics began taking over…Jaycent’s double up on the fast. Maximum PSI turbo kit with a Precision 6266 turbo means power delivery like a kick to the face. Here we go.
Taking it easy in first. Get us into second.. ohh buddy when that turbo kicks in.
“Yeah good boost.”
"Oh my goodness at the top end this thing is an absolute beast."
ZACH MASKELL: Whether you want to hard park… or get out there and make some noise. Combine this all together and you have a car show that makes an MPACT… like no other.
Road Test: 2018 Kia Rio
Goss' Garage: Paint it Yellow
FYI: Stepped Up Safety
Quick Spin: 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS
Quick Spin: 2018 Nissan 370z Nismo
Long Term Update: Honda Odyssey | VW Golf Sportwagen
Road Test: 2019 Toyota Avalon
Engine: 1.6 liter
Torque: 119 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 9.0 seconds
1/4 mile: 16.8 seconds @ 84 mph
EPA: 28 mpg city / 37 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 10.3 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 4.6 tons/yr
When it comes to subcompact cars, there are plenty to choose from. And while most are clearly aimed at the entry-level buyer, Kia is taking a different approach with their Rio sedan and hatchback. They’ve given it a much more “mature” design; hoping to both attract those looking to downsize, as well as over deliver on what the typical first time car buyer expects. So let’s see if it’s a good strategy.
Let’s be serious, every carmaker wants their vehicle to appeal to as many people as possible; it is all about selling cars, you know. But, Kia is really taking that to heart with the 2018 Rio.
And while many subcompacts try to attract attention with unique shapes or splashy designs and colors; the Rio takes a more adult turn, leaning closer towards European starter cars, than their traditional Asian counterparts. Which makes sense, as the Rio is a very popular car throughout Europa already.
For us, it’s still available as both a sedan, and a 5-door hatchback like our test car. Both are undeniably classier looking; taller, sharper, and better proportioned as well.
Both also ride on the same 101.6-inch wheelbase which is just slightly longer than before…
…and share the same 1.6-liter I4, which has been slightly retuned. Numbers are down a bit, from 138-horsepower to 130; and from 123 lb-ft. of torque to 119. But, that’s still good for the segment; and peak torque arrives sooner, which helps hide the decreases.
As before, a 6-speed manual transmission is standard, though it is available only in the base LX model. All other trims come with a 6-speed automatic.
And indeed, at our test track, the 0-60 sprint took the same 9.0-seconds that it did in the last Rio 5-door we tested in 2012.
But this new Rio did manage to shave a tenth off of the ¼-mile, taking 16.8-seconds, and finishing one mile-per-hour quicker at 84 miles-per-hour.
We praised its fun-to-drive spirit then, and it still shines through now. Understeer is predictable and gradual as it is playful; with very good feel through the wheel.
It stays very stable, even at higher speeds, and will let you push fairly hard before complaining.
Brakes are vastly improved. At 110-feet, the average stopping distance from 60 is 20-feet shorter than before. Response and feel are also much better too, all fitting for any car with Euro-style aspirations.
The spry chassis feel is noticeable when out and about as well; but the engine can get a little buzzy, and the transmission can be a little slow on the downshift when you want more power coming out of a corner.
Compared to the many bare-bones cars that still populate the subcompact ranks, the Rio’s interior is truly a notch above.
The dash features a highly sculpted design, with the center touchscreen floating out of it. There’s not much a traditional center stack, just a cluster of climate controls clinging to the bottom of the dash.
A wealth of controls are on the steering wheel; and behind it, a simplistic looking but comprehensive gauge panel.
As far as interactions with the car, the seats are sufficiently comfortable, and the multimedia screen very responsive and logical.
Lift-over is a little high for accessing the cargo bay, but the space is well-finished and there’s a decent amount of it; 17.4 cubic-ft. seats up, 32.8 seats down.
Only basic safety systems here, no lane keep assist or blind spot monitoring; though Autonomous Emergency Braking does come with top EX trim.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 28-City, 37-Highway, and 32-Combined. We averaged a very fine 33.0 miles-per-gallon on Regular. That makes for a very good Energy Impact Score, burning 10.3-barrels of oil yearly with 4.6-tons of CO2 emissions.
Pricing for the 5-door starts just $300 over the sedan, at $15,095; with top EX trim beginning at $19,595.
We’ve often praised larger Kia sedans for their European inspired tuning and execution. Now, that can also be said of the entry level Rio. It was a fine subcompact before, and it really stands out from its rivals now. The 2018 Kia Rio is indeed a very sophisticated design, that like the brand itself, has matured quickly.
Road Test: 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Goss' Garage: Meals on Wheels
Tire Tracks: 1970 Datsun 240z
Quick Spin: BMW C evolution
Quick Spin: Volkswagen GTI Autobahn
Road Test: 2018 Ford F-150
In Podcast 188, John Davis and the gang are getting ready for season 38 of MotorWeek. Greg Carloss talks about his recent drive of the all-new Chevy Silverado, and Zach Maskell talks about his adventure in the Ford Mustang Bullitt. We also share what we're most excited for in season 38, and we answer a very common viewer question.