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Road Tests: 2018 Callaway Tahoes

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 7:00am

Vital Statistics

2018 Callaway Tahoe RST SC560:

Engine: 6.2 liter

Horsepower: 560

Torque: 553 lb-ft.

0-60 mph: 4.8 seconds

1/4 mile: 13.1 seconds @ 107 mph

EPA: 14 mpg city / 12 mpg highway

2018 Callaway Tahoe PPV SC480:

Engine: 5.3 liter

Horsepower: 480

Torque: 477 lb-ft.

0-60 mph: 5.7 seconds

1/4 mile: 14.0 seconds @100 mph

EPA: 16 mpg city / 22 mpg highway

The 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Premier RST was already the hottest Tahoe you can get direct from Chevrolet; with their new 10-speed automatic transmission and a high-capacity air cleaner, along with an available Borla exhaust system to get the most out of its 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8. 

That clearly wasn’t enough for Callaway of course, so they added their SC560 package; which includes their GenThree TVS2300 Supercharger, a TripleCooled intercooler system, a high-flow intake, and low restriction exhaust. Collectively, all of that whips up 560-horsepower and 553 lb-ft. of torque from the EcoTec3 L86 V8. 

Eager to see what the results would be, we quickly headed to our test track.  No major problems getting a clean hole shot, as the Callaway snaps off the line. Then, amid a raucous V8 roar and brutal sounding exhaust, the SC560 leaps to 60 in just 4.8-seconds, a noticeable half second quicker than the stock RST.

Smooth and rapid shifts from the 10-speed automatic keep the party going the entire ¼-mile; ending in 13.1-seconds at 107 miles-per-hour.

But this is no straight-line only, one trick pony. Callaway also sweetens up GM’s Magnetic Ride Control suspension. The results were a tight and firm trip through our slalom course.

There is a brake upgrade, and we recommended it for hard chargers; although with average stops of a fine 126-feet from 60, the standard Chevy binders worked quite well. The pedal just feels vague and not attached.

Now, in hot pursuit of this SC560 was… surprise, yet another Tahoe. This one a PPV, or Police Pursuit Vehicle; to which Callaway has added their SC480 package. They dropped it off for us to play with for a few days, before delivering it to a police department somewhere down South. 

The SC480 package consists of mostly the same hardware as the SC560, but things are just not tuned quite as drastically. 

Output here is “only” 480-horsepower and 477 lb-ft. of torque. But Callaway is working with the standard Tahoe’s 5.3-liter V8 here, which starts out at 355-horsepower and 383 lb-ft. of torque. 

And it gets off the line plenty quick itself; accompanied by a vicious and intimidating rumble from the exhaust, as you romp to 60 in 5.7-seconds; over a second faster than stock. 

Chasing down hooligans a ¼-mile at a time, takes just 14.0-seconds at an even 100 miles-per-hour. 

Just a 6-speed transmission here with the 5.3-liter, and unfortunately it didn’t feel quite as ready to handle all of the additional power. There was a definite hiccup when shifting from 1st to 2nd. But, it smoothed out as you moved up gears, and this Tahoe certainly feels nice and stable at high speeds. 

Callaway offers plenty of ways to spruce your ride as well. But our SC560 kept things pretty tame; sporting just the optional 22-inch tire and wheel package outside and the Sport Pedal package inside. 

Those are of course, in addition to the usual Callaway branding.

Meanwhile, our SC480 PPV was accessorized with police car accoutrements. So, if you see these flashing in your rearview, do everyone involved a favor, and pull over as quickly and safely as possible. Or, you might end up experiencing just how roomy the Tahoe’s rear seat is on your way to central booking.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for 4X4 Tahoes are 14-City, 22-Highway, and 17-Combined with the 6.2-liter V8; 16-City, 22-Highway, and 18-Combined for the 5.3-liter.

The Chevrolet Tahoe Premier RST 4X4 is already a pricy proposition, at $71,945; so adding all of these Callaway goodies will put you close to 100Gs. If you wish to add the SC480 package to a standard Tahoe, and no it doesn’t have to be a police special, it will cost you about $18,000 over the Tahoe’s base of $49,290. To us that’s a bargain. 

“Powerfully engineered automobiles” is Callaway’s creed, and they’re preaching it loud and clear here. Amen, brother! Message received, with this pair of 2018 Tahoes. A hell-raising RST SC560 that’s looking to get you into trouble, and a PPV SC480 that’s ready to catch you in the act.

Categories: Syndicated

Motor News: Rear View Cameras, Luxury EVs and Chevy App

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 7:00am

For decades, car designers have shown concept cars where small cameras replaced side rearview mirrors...but now there’s a new way to take a look behind you...

YOLANDA VAZQUEZ: The production version of the new Lexus ES will feature Digital Side-View Monitors instead of traditional side view mirrors, when it launches in Japan next month. The 5-inch display screens show what the cameras see outside.

Beyond the super-cool factor, Lexus says the cameras provide a better look around the car, and since they’re slimmer than mirrors… they don’t obstruct the forward view as much, and reduce wind noise. Tesla has pretty much had a monopoly on the “luxury” electric vehicle market… but European rivals are coming on strong.

The 240-mile electric range Jaguar I-Pace is already on sale here. 

And, Mercedes-Benz marked a milestone recently revealing the EQC SUV. It’s their first model under the new EQ brand. Electric motors on each axle generate 402-horsepower with an estimated 279-mile range. Sales begin globally in mid-2019, and in the US in 2020.

The Audi e-tron is the four-ring brand's first all-electric SUV.

Arriving in showrooms early next year, the e-tron will be the first of three battery-electric vehicles Audi plans to debut by 2020.

And, BMW recently unveiled its very “normal-looking” iX3 EV utility. Built in China next year, it has a range of 250 miles between charges.

YOLANDA VAZQUEZ: The dangers of distracted driving have long been documented… but now “there’s an app for that.”

Chevrolet has announced the “Call Me Out” smartphone app. Friends and family record messages, and then the messages automatically play when the phone's accelerometer detects it’s been picked up while traveling at speeds above 5 mph.

Good news--the App is free…but only on Android devices---for now anyway.  And that’s it for this week’s Motor News.

Categories: Syndicated

Goss’ Garage: Rust is Not Your Friend

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 7:00am

All cars have and enemy. And that enemy is rust. Yes I know a lot of cars are made of aluminum and plastics and various things like that but they still have steel parts. Now a lot of cars use steel lines or steel tubing for brakes and fuel lines and steering and so on.

If those lines aren’t coated, they rust. We see a lot of vehicles with bad brake lines for instance. And it can be a major job to replace them. Vehicle manufacturers are currently coating brake lines and various other steel components with something that looks like this green color here or sometimes it’s black.

That is an anti rust coating. If your car doesn’t have that, it would be a good idea to buy one of the commercial coatings. There’s all sorts of them on the market. Marine anti corrosion are good. Some types of rust proofing and undercoating. Spray these lines and any mild steel parts at least once a year.. and that will help keep them working properly and prevent a big repair bill. None of this stuff is cheap.

Another thing that we see on a lot of cars is where the bottom of the doors rust out. That’s typically because there are two pieces of metal down there that are bonded together and they’re very very close together. That space in there collects dirt.

You may think the door is sealed but the door isn’t sealed. Dirt, water and everything go down through the door and when this builds up in the bottom, the dirt holds moisture and it eats the metal from the inside out.

So when you’re washing your car, make sure you run the hose along the bottom edge of the window so you get some water flow through the door to rinse as much of that mud out of there as is possible.

Alright now another thing. Here we have a parking brake cable. Yes some of you will call it an emergency brake, and some of you might be qualified to use it in an emergency but really it is for parking. And that means you should be using it every time you park the car.

This inner cable moves through a housing and every time you pull up on the lever or push the pedal down, this cable moves in the housing, helps keep it clean, helps prevent rust, and helps prevent pretty major repair bills. So get in the habit of using the parking brake on a regular basis.

These are things that can save you a lot of money over the life of the car. If you have a question or a comment, drop me a line – right here at MotorWeek.

Categories: Syndicated

Two Wheelin': Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 7:00am

When Brian Robinson is not sitting at his computer researching some four-wheeled vehicle or another; chances are, he’s out Two Wheelin’ on the latest motorcycle to come his way. Well, he’s been away from his desk for a few days now, I wonder what he’s up to?

Well John, I’m off to Sturgis!  More specifically, the 2018 edition of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which takes place in and around the town of Sturgis South Dakota, aboard this 2018 Indian Roadmaster. 

Having envisioned taking the long, hard road to Sturgis from Maryland, and basking in all of the biker cred I would surely receive upon doing so, after three days on the road, I really just feel like I cheated on the test.  As, I’ve driven plenty of cars that don’t have as much long distance comfort as this Roadmaster. Oh well, maybe next year I can find a rigid-frame chopper to ride up here. 

“Well, after 2,000 Miles, me and the Indian Roadmaster here have finally made it to the Back Hills of South Dakota. So, let’s find out what the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is all about.  And who knows, we might even see some wild life.”

So, why exactly do half a million motorcycle enthusiasts gather in the Black Hills of South Dakota every August? Well, the reasons are as varied as the people who make the trip and the bikes they brought with them.

And believe it or not, there are plenty of things to do in and around the town of Sturgis that doesn’t involve bikini contests or wrestling in various mediums. There are literally hundreds of bands playing, and just about every motorcycle manufacturer is on hand with demo rides of their latest models. Not to mention every aftermarket vendor you can think of, and yes, they do have that in leather. 

But really, it’s all about the bikes…

…and some absolutely terrific roads to ride them on, through some of the most amazing scenery you’ll find, in what has unfortunately been dubbed fly-over country.

Of course, this all started back in the 1930’s with a motorcycle race put on by a local Indian dealer, who wanted to drum up some publicity for his new dealership. And yes, there is still plenty of racing going on, including an American Flat Track TT race that takes place right on the grounds of the renowned Buffalo Chip campground.

FYI, the Chip is where you want to be to see the real wildlife, but we’ll save that for another time. Let’s just say the amount of lite beers consumed here every night would put the Talladega infield crowd to shame.   

And then of course there’s the legendary street scene. The town of Sturgis itself, has less than 7,000 full time residents; yet they roll out the red carpet every August for a few hundred thousand visitors. 

Needless to say, it’s a haven for people watchers as well; which might explain the several families we saw walking around town like they were on some anthropological learning vacation. 

One thing you won’t see a whole lot of, are helmets. Apparently, it’s hard to roam free in a pack, under the constraints of safety or common sense. 

But really, the rally is much bigger than Sturgis itself; everywhere you go within’ a 50-mile radius of town is packed with bikes. Nearby towns Deadwood, Custer, Hill City, Spearfish, Rapid City, and Keystone among others, are jammed with bikes and have their own street scenes throughout the ten days of the rally, not mention every campground in the area. So whatever reason you need, and whatever motorcycle you ride; get your motor running, and head out on the highway next August to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. You’ll never forget it!

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: 2018 Paris Motor Show

Tue, 10/02/2018 - 9:40am
Dieter Zetsche with the Mercedes-Benz EQC Mercedes-Benz got the festivities rolling early in Paris revealing the new GLE the night before press days began. The GLE adds more room, a 48-volt E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL active suspension and more driver assistance features. The all-electric EQC is making its show premiere following its world premiere in Stockholm in September. The first model under the new EQ brand promises 402-horsepower with an estimated 279-mile range. The world got the first glimpse of the 306-horsepower 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged Mercedes-AMG A 35 4MATIC and the Mercedes-AMG GT 43 4MATIC+ 4-Door Coupé. The crowd in Paris also saw the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class. 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE

Mercedes-AMG A35

Mercedes-Benz B Class

German rival BMW showed the all-new 2019 BMW 3 Series. Engineers added more horsepower and torque to the seventh generation of the iconic sports sedan. Along with a new transmission and the latest version of the xDrive system, the body is 25% more rigid. The BMW Z4 roadster is making its show premiere. The sleek open-top two-seater gets a new chassis design and stiffer body. Power for the BMW Z4 M40i comes from a 340 hp in-line six.  For even more power and performance, the new BMW 8 Series Coupe claimed the spotlight with a new 530 hp V8. High performance fans were treated to the world premiere the new BMW M5 Competition. Engineers added more horsepower to the V8 bringing output up to 625 hp. For SUV fans, the Bavarian brand brought the X5 to Paris. The Sports Activity Vehicle grows in every direction, gets upgraded engines and a new two-axle air suspension, which is part of the Off-Road package. BMW also showed their electric future with the new 2019 i3 and i3s. Both will have an electric range of 153-miles. Those extra miles are generated by increasing capacity of the high voltage battery cell to 120 ampere hours. BMW 3 Series

BMW 8 Series


BMW M5 Competition

BMW i3 and i3s

Asian brands were also represented in Paris. This was the European debut of the all-new Kia e-Niro.  It’s the Korean company’s first fully electric utility vehicle. The 64 kWh long-range battery pack can give the e-Niro a zero-emissions driving range of up to 301 miles on a single charge. On the sportier side of driving, Kia revealed the ProCeed. The five-door with a shooting brake design goes on sale exclusively to European drivers the beginning of 2019. Kia also brought performance to Paris introducing new Ceed GT and ProCeed GT models for European customers.

Kia e-Niro

Kia ProCeed

Kia Ceed GT

Kia Ceed GT Line Sportswagon

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: BMW i3 Ups Electric Range to 153-Miles

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 11:10am
BMW is continuing to push the limits of electric mobility. The new 2019 i3 and i3s now have an electric range of 153-miles. Those extra miles are generated by increasing capacity of the high voltage battery cell to 120 ampere hours. When the i3 was first introduced in 2014 it had a battery capacity of 60Ah and an 81-mile range. Production of the 2019 i3 and i3s begins next month.
Categories: Syndicated

Episodes: Episode 3804

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 10:54am

Debut 9.28.2018


Road Test: 2019 Acura RDX

Goss' Garage: Old and Worn Out Tires

FYI: Mcity

Quick Spin: Dodge Challenger Lineup

Quick Spin: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

Track Test: 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Categories: Syndicated

This Just In: Porsche Unveils New 935

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 8:56am
Yesterday, at the sixth annual Rennsport Reunion held at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Porsche unveiled a new iteration of the Porsche 935. Porsche truly went all out with the 935 and based it on the already insane 911 GT2 RS, which we track tested recently. The nostalgic throwback to the race cars of LeMans fame is powered by a 3.8L twin turbo flat-six that transfers 700 horsepower to the wheels through a 7-speed PDK transmission. The new 935 also features taillights and rear body-work from the 919 LMP1 car. The 935 is almost like a Porsche’s Greatest Hits album with everything down to the tail-pipes acting as a callback to race-winning Porsches from the past. Pricing for the United States has not been announced and production is limited to just 77 total units.

Categories: Syndicated

Podcasts: 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS, 2019 Cadillac XT4 and 2019 Subaru Forester

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 6:00am

Podcast #190

In Podcast 190, Brian Robinson hosts as the MW crew breaks down the insanity of the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. Then, Ben talks about his drive of the Cadillac XT4. Greg gives his take on the redesigned 2019 Subaru Forester. The lightning round covers the discontinuation of the VW Beetle and we take a viewer question about the wide range of outputs from small turbocharged engines.

Categories: Syndicated

Road Tests: 2019 Acura RDX

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 7:00am

Vital Statistics

Engine: 2.0 liter

Horsepower: 272

Torque: 280 lb-ft.

EPA: 22 mpg city / 28 mpg highway

Energy Impact: 13.7 barrels of oil/yr

CO2 Emissions: 6.1 tons/yr

Ever since the NSX made its return to the Acura lineup for 2017, Acura has been trying to sprinkle a little bit of its exotic magic throughout their lineup. So next up on that checklist is the 3rd generation of their compact crossover RDX. Let’s see what precision crafted performance adds to this already popular choice. 

The first Acura RDX was a bit ahead of its time when it arrived for 2007. Not only was it one of the first luxury compact crossovers, but it arrived with a 4-cylinder turbo engine and a healthy dose of performance. When the 2nd generation arrived, it seemed to reverse course, showing up somewhat bloated, bland, and packing a V6. Today, it’s all about turbo-4s; and sport utilities that handle better than sport sedans did a decade ago. So, the 2019 Acura RDX goes back to its roots, to now join the pack. 

Sporting a requisite 2.0-liter I4 turbo with 272-horsepower, the new RDX gets a big boost in torque, 280 lb-ft.; that’s 28 more than last year’s V6, feeling just as energetic from a standing start.

There’s also a new paddle shift 10-speed automatic trans, and of course optional all-wheel-drive, which is the latest version of Acura’s Super Handling All Wheel Drive. 

This new RDX boasts a decidedly different look, though not so different that it doesn’t include current Acura signatures such as their diamond pentagon grill and jewel eye headlights. 

Exterior dimensions have increased, including 2.6-addtional inches to the wheelbase, which is a significant step up; and allows for a much more aggressive, yet trimmer look outside, while still giving the interior designers a lot more room to play with. 

A-Spec trim takes the aggressive new nature to the next level, with 20-inch alloy wheels, gloss black trim, LED fog lights, and larger dual exhaust tips.

Riding on an all-new platform with as yet no Honda brand counterpart, the suspension setup is MacPherson struts up front and a 5-link independent rear. The four available drive modes include adjustments to the adaptive suspension, with Sport+ making things the most responsive.

The ride certainly firms up as well, to the point we’d put Sport+ in the “occasional use only” category. But really, it’s the SH-AWD that’s still the star of this handling show. Turn-ins are very quick; and you really have push hard to approach this ute’s limits. 

Technology is always a key Acura attribute, and there’s plenty to showcase here. Gauges are clear and comprehensive; and a 10.2-inch dash-top HD LCD display screen, is the centerpiece of a new user interface.

But it’s strictly hands off, as you must use a console touchpad for inputs. It seems overly complicated and there’s a definite learning curve. Fortunately, they haven’t gone overboard, as there are still manual controls for the basics. 

There’s plenty of storage everywhere inside the NSX-flavored cabin, thanks that additional wheelbase; and the sportily adorned seats are as, if not more, comfortable than before. A panoramic sunroof is standard. 

At 31.1 cubic-ft., cargo capacity is quite good compared to rivals; 5.0 cubic-ft. more than last year. Max, is up too, at 79.8 cubic-ft.  

Packing in plenty of safety features as well, Adaptive Cruise Control with Automatic Emergency Braking is standard.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings with front drive are 22-City, 28-Highway, and 24-Combined; all numbers one less with all-wheel-drive, at 21-City, 27-Highway, and 23-Combined. So, it’s an average Energy Impact Score, burning 13.7-barrels of oil yearly, with C02 emissions of 6.1-tons. 

RDX pricing starts at $38,295, with SH-AWD adding 2-grand more. And, on up the ladder you go, until things top out at Advance trim for $46,395. 

The spirit of the NSX does indeed exist in the 2019 Acura RDX, as it has returned to where it started only better; bringing equal parts high-performance and high-technology, plus Honda-design reliability, to the luxury compact utility scene, without leaving the practicality or comfort behind. That formula was central to the original RDX. And while timing may not have been perfect then, it couldn’t be more perfect now.

Categories: Syndicated

Road Tests: 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 7:00am

Vital Statistics

Engine: 3.8 liter

Horsepower: 700

Torque: 553 lb-ft.

0-60 mph: 2.7 seconds

EPA: 15 mpg city / 21 mpg highway

We constantly rave about Porsches and particularly the 911; being the very definition of effortless performance with precision. But there is a more sinister side to Porsche and the 911, it’s the GT2 RS. Like most cable news talking heads, it’s bold, brash, borderline offensive, but also very fast; and we just can’t get enough of it!

The current generation 991 Porsche 911, in any of its endless variants, is far from ordinary. But, there’s always the chance to take things to the extreme; which is exactly what Porsche did by creating this 911 GT2 RS.   

Now some may just see a gussied-up rear- drive 911 Turbo. But, it’s light years more than that. 

It does feature the Turbo S’s 3.8-liter flat-6, but Porsche engineers boosted the heck out of it, to the tune of 700-horsepower and 553 lb-ft. of torque. That’s 120-more horsepower than the Turbo S, and 330-more than you’ll find in a base 911. 

And sure, that may be 140-horsepower less than a Dodge Demon; but hey, we’re also dealing with about 1,000 fewer pounds here. 

PDK only, for the transmission; with the requisite upgrading to handle the additional power, as well as shuttle you to 60 in 2.7-seconds. You heard me!

But rather than just cramming bigger turbos on it, and calling it a day; Porsche engineers moved on to the suspension, getting rid of just about anything that flexes even a bit. 

Next on the checklist, was eliminating weight.  Front fenders and the cargo compartment lid are carbon-fiber; while the roof panel is magnesium, and the exhaust system is titanium, accounting for 15-lbs. all on its own, and sounding awesome as well. 

If weight is really an issue for you, the radio and A/C can be eliminated; and even more pounds can be shaved with an optional Weissach package, which includes magnesium wheels and a lot more carbon-fiber. 

Of course aero has been enhanced to create more downforce, and they managed to squeeze in 325-rubber on the 21-inch rear wheels, 265 on the front 20s. 

Climb in, and you quickly notice the carbon-fiber full-bucket seats that give new meaning to “highly-bolstered”. 

Start driving, and you experience the kind of response you could only wish for out of your teenager. Tell it to do something and it just does it immediately, without question. So, it’s on you to make sure you give it proper commands. 

We did our best at Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia. This is not a car for inexperienced or timid drivers. It demands decisive action and full commitment once you crank the wheel and pin the gas pedal. Get it right, and the reward is heroic levels of grip with rocket-ship acceleration out of the corners and down the straights, having you feeling like there’s another hundred horsepower than they claim.  

At the speeds this car is capable of, things happen very quickly, so you really have to have patience not to turn in too early or too fast, or squeeze the throttle too soon; as any of those scenarios will trigger some pretty dramatic oversteer. 

And, at this point and time, we should probably complain about the lack of a manual transmission; but you won’t hear that from us. The PDK is unbeatable for track work; even leaving it in auto/Sport we never wished for a better downshift, or for a gear to be held longer.

After burning through three tanks of fuel on a long, hot track day, and stomping on the ceramic composite brakes repeatedly, from speeds as high as 175 miles-an-hour, the GT2 RS never complained or showed any ill effects. We can easily say it’s the most capable street car we’ve ever driven on the track.  

Now, if you’re wondering, Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 15-City, 21-Highway, and 17-Combined. 

A supercar? Yes, and it is priced accordingly at $294,250 just for starters. So, unfortunately for us working stiffs, the GT2 RS is more for the “money is no object” types, than your typical track day enthusiast.  

Too bad, as this is one 911 that every real Porsche enthusiast should experience. It’s capable of insane speeds, having briefly held the Nurburgring record as fastest production car ever to prove it. But, much like every recent 911 we’ve driven, the 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS is more than just the sum of its parts; it’s a wonderfully engineered piece of automotive excellence, with a nirvana-like driving experience that nothing else can match. 

Categories: Syndicated

FYI: Mcity

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 7:00am

What the future holds for the automobile is fascinating, but at times baffling. Scores of automotive researchers at the University of Michigan are working hard at trying to bridge the gap between cars we know and love today, and the automated and driverless cars planned for tomorrow. Our Stephanie Hart had a rare opportunity to explore the grounds of their Mcity testing facility for a look at how the next generation will ride.

Stephanie Hart: M city is unique. It’s designed to test connected and automated vehicles. It’s the only facility of its kind in the world.

It almost looks like a scene out of a movie and that’s exactly what it’s supposed to look like. It’s supposed to replicate a real city complete with traffic lights and street signs. It’s tucked away on the university of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor.

Behind it’s charming look, serious testing and research. Carrie Morton is the deputy director of M city.

Carrie Morton: Looking at legal liabilities. Insurance, privacy, cyber security trying to understand how to test and make sure technologies are safe.

Stephanie Hart: Not many people get to visit this facility, so we’re glad we had the chance!

The future of level 4 autonomous driving is pretty amazing. We’re going to take you through M city and show you a test scenario.

Our vehicle shows up as this green square on this iPad. The yellow squares all around us are virtual vehicles essentially the cars are connected and actually talking to one another, about the environment around them.

Stephanie Hart: You mentioned there’s 300-thousand dollars worth of sensors on this car?

Greg McGuire: That’s right. These sensors aren’t cheap. But that’s because they’re state of the art and not made in high volume yet just like DVD players used to cost 1,000 and now they’re $10.

Autonomous vehicles have certainly come a long way since they first burst onto the scene in 2013.

Greg McGuire: We will take a left and go to our rail crossing we should have a commuter train that’s scheduled to come through right now and here it comes. We stop for that and you notice we are stopped back a bit, that’s because there is a vehicle in front of us, a virtual vehicle.

Stephanie Hart: In reality, transportation that looks like this is still a long way off. However, self-driving shuttles, like this one, could be on our streets in the next couple of years.

This one, and others, are already moving students around campus. We stepped on to try it out. It operates similar to the level four autonomous car we tested out earlier.

Carrie Morton: When we first see these shared level 4 vehicles they might be operating in small, urban environment, or even as what we call first mile last mile transportation. Moving me from my commuter lot to my home, at the end of my bus ride after work or a train ride… so providing a connection into a more established transit system.

Stephanie Hart: The big question? Will we ever be able to trust these self-driving vehicles.

Recent studies show 70% of Americans are scared to share the road with an autonomous vehicle. And only 21% say they’d ride in one. Not surprising, considering there have been at least four deaths blamed on driverless vehicles.

That’s why testing and research going on at m city is vital. As engineers, all over the world, continue to tweak technology.

Carrie Morton: The industry is moving in the same direction which is providing a fail safe path, whether it’s pulling the vehicle to the side of the road or putting the hazards on for example, but making sure that when the vehicle is in a situation that it can’t control, if there were no human to take it over, it moves into a fail safe position automatically.

When the vehicles communicate with each other and also with the traffic infrastructure they can act as a collaborative ecosystem and operate more efficiently, reducing emissions, fuel consumption as well as congestion.

Categories: Syndicated

Goss’ Garage: Old and Worn Out Tires

Thu, 09/27/2018 - 7:00am

Tires are one of the most important safety aspects of any car and to give us some pointers we have our tire expert, Matt Edmonds. Matt, welcome back to Goss’s Garage.

Matt Edmonds: Pleasure to be here, Pat.

Pat Goss: Alright now, I gotta tell you something. I got a deal on this tire. I went on the internet and bought that brand new sucker for 25 bucks.

Matt Edmonds: Well, it looks brand-new, but we cheated a little bit. We looked at the born on date on that tire. Hate to tell you, but those are 18 year old tires.

Pat Goss: Ok. So that means that tire wouldn’t be a good bet to put on a car.

Matt Edmonds: Well this tire’s exceeded its life not through wear but through aging and those last four digits of that DOT number told us it was built in the 43rd week of 2000. So almost 18 years old.

Pat Goss: Wow, ok. Alright, center tire.

Matt Edmonds: Center tire. This is a tire that someone has really gotten the full life through wear on the tire by really maintaining this tire properly. Watching their air pressure, rotating the tire, making sure they have good alignment. A beautiful example of just even wear across the tire.

Pat Goss: Ok, this one.

Matt Edmonds: Well, this one here. A little uneven wear. I mean, looks like has a lot of usable tread depth. But certainly on the shoulder, that inside shoulder, alignment wear. That’s something that if you stay on top of, you can rotate your tires and wear it put evenly. But if you don’t, I mean it becomes an issue and you end up replacing a tire before it’s worn out.

Pat: Ok now, one of the things with this aging process is that as the rubber ages, it loses some of its grip.

Matt Edmonds: well, and the rubber loses some of its capacity to grip. Uh, the compounds tend to get hard as some of the chemicals come out of them. Uh, this is why we say tires really should be used within 10 years of their born-on date. Or, six years maximum in service. So, once you put the tires on your vehicle,  you know it may be two years old when you put the tires on, at eight years, that tire has reached the end of its life. But, you should at that point have worn through its use as well.

Pat: Ok now, when we talk about traction, collector cars, things like this Ford GT. Uh, that can be an issue.

Matt Edmonds: Well, and the Ford GT  here that we have only has 2400 miles on it. The tires are 12 years old. So you wouldn’t want to be pushing these tires really to the limit, exploring the performance limits of this car and certainly the limits of this tire because that tire now has reached the point where it should be replaced.

Pat Goss: Ok now, one of the most important things I think here, come away from this is to learn how to read that DOT code and pay attention to it.

Matt Edmonds: Absolutely, those last four digits of that DOT code give you that, as we said earlier the week and the year that that tire was manufactured. And, when go to buy tires, I mean, check what the DOT code is on the tires. I mean, your reputable tire dealers are gonna have you taken care of and make sure that you’re getting tires that will serve you well.

Pat Goss: Ok Matt, thank you. And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line, right here at MotorWeek.      

Categories: Syndicated

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


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