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50 Years of Mazda Rotary Engines: Driving a ’67 Cosmo Sport, ’93 RX-7, ’01 RX-8, and More

Motortrend News Feed - 5 hours 28 min ago

Photos by William Walker, Video by Cory Lutz

On May 30, 2017, Mazda celebrates 50 years since the launch of its first production rotary engine. Rotary engines aren’t unique to Mazda, but more than any other automaker, Mazda is synonymous with the technology.

Mazda’s history with the rotary goes back to the early 1960s when it licensed Wankel technology from West German automaker NSU, now part of Audi. Created by Felix Wankel in the early ’50s, the rotary engine is an internal combustion engine that uses reciprocating rotors instead of pistons to power a car. The advantages of a rotary over a piston engine are its compact size, light weight, and high power for its size. Some disadvantages are increased oil consumption, decreased fuel economy compared to similarly sized piston engines, and that they run most reliably and efficiently if held at a constant rpm.

Back in the early ’60s, Mazda, one of the smallest Japanese automakers, had to make a choice: revolutionize or die. The Japanese government was pushing Mazda to consolidate with another Japanese automaker. In order to avoid that fate, the automaker had to come up with a unique proprietary technology to help make it viable. It chose the Wankel rotary engine.

After a few years of development, Mazda was happy enough with its progress to release its first production rotary, the 0810 in the 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S, 50 years ago. To celebrate that iconic first rotary engine, Mazda was kind enough to open up its basement garage to us and let us sample five rotary-powered Mazdas—each representing a different decade of the rotary—starting with that special 1967 Cosmo.

1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S: 110-hp 1.2-liter two-rotor Wankel

The Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S represents two big firsts for Mazda—it was the automaker’s first rotary-engined car and its first sports car. Previously known only for passenger cars and pickups, the Cosmo Sport was the first in a long line of legendary sports cars from Mazda; we have this car to thank for the future RX-7s, RX-8s, and Miatas.

Although never officially sold in the United States, this particular car has a pretty fascinating backstory beyond being the very first rotary-powered Mazda on North American roads. This Cosmo was shipped from Japan to Woodridge, New Jersey, in November 1967 to Curtiss-Wright. Probably best known for building P-40 Warhawk fighters in World War II, the airplane manufacturer was hoping it could engineer its own rotary engines for general aviation airplanes and bought the Cosmo Sport to study the engineering behind its engine. In 2007, Mazda bought this right-hand-drive car to celebrate 40 years of rotary and shipped it west to its North American headquarters in Irvine, California.

Mazda’s ’67 Cosmo Sport is not only rare on American roads (it’s believed that there are only about two or three in the U.S..), but it’s also rare, period—the automaker only made 343 of these early short-wheelbase Series 1 Cosmo Sports before shifting production to a long-wheelbase version in July 1968.

These facts are wrapping themselves around my head as I approach the pint-sized Cosmo Sport 50 years later outside of the Mazda headquarters. Despite the inherent weirdness of the Cosmo’s 110-hp 1.2-liter two-rotor Wankel, the little Mazda’s design shows a remarkable amount of restraint. The Cosmo’s design as a whole has aged well, with the Japanese sports car sporting some obvious influences from the European and American sports cars of the day, including the split jet-inspired taillights and the classic houndstooth checkered cloth seats.

With little more than some choke and a good stab of the throttle, the Cosmo’s 0810 two-rotor fires right up, with the most fantastic racket coming from its tailpipes. That’s remarkable for a car that’s reached the half-century mark. With my right hand gripping the wood-rimmed steering wheel and my left on the wood-topped shifter, I slot the Cosmo’s four-speed manual into gear and set off.

Modern.

This 50-year-old car feels remarkably modern to drive. The clutch is easy to modulate with its a clear engagement point, and the shifter is light and precise. The unassisted steering is direct and talkative; there’s a bit of play in the steering on center, but it weights up beautifully as you work the car through corners. If the Miata had made its debut in 1969 instead of 1989, this is what it’d be like to drive.

And that’s all before we get to the Cosmo’s engine. If you’ve never driven a rotary, here’s what you need to know—they’re at their happiest (and making their power) spinning at a high rpm. The Cosmo is no different. Try to baby the Mazda as you would a traditional classic piston-engine car by upshifting around 2,000 rpm, and the Cosmo’s 0810 bogs down like it’s in overdrive. No, the Cosmo, even at 50, begs to be revved. Like any good naturally aspirated engine, the Mazda gives the driver more the higher you explore in its powerband.

The Mazda Cosmo is an absolute joy to drive, but with four more decades of rotary to examine, it was time to move on.

1978 Mazda REPU: 130-hp 1.3-liter two-rotor Wankel

The Mazda REPU is a special truck, and one I’ve been scouring Craigslist for since I drove it. Short for “Rotary Engine Pick Up,” the Mazda REPU was just that—a version of the automaker’s B1600 pickup for North America with the rotary engine from an RX-4. The REPU was designed to be a tool, yes, but it was also designed to inject some sportiness into the Mazda lineup. Its 130-hp 1.3-liter two-rotor engine had nearly 50 horsepower more than the comparable Chevrolet LUV or Dodge Ram 50 of the day, and Mazda sought to improve handling by moving the battery from under the hood to under the bed, among other things.

Mazda’s 1978 REPU is a vehicle Motor Trend is pretty familiar with, having driven it on the 2016 Touge California rally last year. It’s been modified slightly; it’s got a Racing Beat exhaust, which is a fair bit louder than stock, and it’s had its stock four-speed manual replaced by a five-speed manual from an RX-7. (Later REPUs actually came from with a five-speed from the factory).

It’s amazing to me how small compact pickups used to be; a new Mazda3 hatchback absolutely towers over the REPU and can probably haul just as much inside, but it has nothing on the REPU’s personality.

The REPU’s rotary is a monstrous little engine. It fires right up into this manic, high-pitched idle that’s nothing like the loping idles of full-size American pickups of the era. The REPU’s engine is an eager revver; its 130 hp comes on about midway through the tach at around 4,000 rpm, and it really rewards the driver for wringing the engine out for all its worth. It feels very similar in character to the Cosmo’s engine, but it’s as if Mazda’s engineers at the time used every trick they had to extract every last horsepower out of the REPU’s engine.

The rest of the REPU package is a testament to its era. The steering wheel feels only vaguely connected to the road, the brakes are wooden, and the vinyl- and wood-trimmed cabin has the typical creaks and rattles of the era. But who cares? The REPU, as it sits, is a remarkably charming truck and an important step in both the evolution of the rotary engine and in sport trucks like the GMC Syclone.

1988 Mazda RX-7 Turbo II 10th Anniversary Edition: 182-hp 1.3-liter turbocharged two-rotor Wankel

The Mazda RX-7 Turbo II 10th Anniversary Edition celebrates just that, 10 years of the legendary RX-7 sports car. The RX-7 first appeared in 1978, with the second generation making its debut in 1985 and winning Motor Trend Import Car of the Year in 1986.

The second-gen car—like my lunchtime date, this 1988 RX-7 Turbo II 10th Anniversary Edition—was designed to compete head to head with sports cars of the day such as the Porsche 944. Its 13B 1.3-liter turbocharged two-rotor engine made 182 hp, a good 36 horsepower bump over the base naturally aspirated RX-7. A 1989 revision would boost power even further to an even 200 hp.

After getting out of the Cosmo and REPU and into the 1988 RX-7, I’m immediately blown away by just how quiet and comfortable it is. Two decades of rotary development really shine through because the 13B spins quieter and smoother than before yet with a not-at-all-insignificant power boost.

Turbocharged cars from the 1980s are known to be pretty laggy, and the RX-7 is no exception. Even with a small turbo mounted onto the two-rotor engine, the RX-7 doesn’t make any power until about 3,000 rpm. Once you hit that limit, all bets are off as the Mazda surges forward, building speed as the tach needle races to the 7,000-rpm redline. As you approach the rev limiter, the car buzzes urging the driver to shift up.

The rest of the 1988 RX-7 experience is best described as “pretty ’80s.” The clutch is soft and mushy, and the gearshift only vaguely feels mechanically connected to the rest of the gearbox. Even still, it’d run circles around many fast cars of the day, such as the Camaro IROC-Z or the Merkur XR4Ti.

1993 Mazda RX-7: 255-hp 1.3-liter twin-turbo two-rotor Wankel

To those who grew up playing racing video games such as Gran Turismo, the third-generation Mazda RX-7 is the car that cemented the RX’s legacy. I mean, look at it! Even 25 years after the “FD” RX-7 went into production in 1992, it’s still beautiful to look at.

In many ways the third-gen RX-7, like the 1993 model in Mazda’s collection, represents the pinnacle of rotary development in production cars. An evolution over the second-gen RX-7’s engine, the RX-7 featured 1.3-liter twin-turbo two-rotor Wankel that produced 255 hp at 6,500 rpm in early versions like this clean, white 1993 model. After the RX-7 exited the U.S. in 1995, it produced as much as 280 hp in the final years of its production run. Torque peaks at 217 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm.

Many early ’90s Japanese sports cars were complicated and technologically advanced for their day. The RX-7 was no exception. Its twin-turbochargers worked sequentially; the first spools up immediately, building power as the engine revs, and the second turbo comes online about halfway up the 9,000-rpm tach, supplying the two-rotor with about 10 psi of boost. The RX-7 also featured a Torsen limited-slip diff from the factory, one of the first street applications of the technology.

Intended as an NSX fighter, the RX-7 promised NSX-like numbers with a super fly 2,800-pound curb weight and a claimed sub-5.0-second sprint to 60 mph. We liked the thing enough to name it our 1993 Import Car of the Year.

Enough about how it was then—how is it now?

In a word, quick. The RX-7’s twin-scroll rotary won’t violently bash you over the head like a forced-induction V-8 will, but it’s certainly going to throw you back in your seat and keep you there as the engine screams to its redline. Rotaries and turbos wouldn’t seem like a good mix because both need revs to make power, but the sequential twin-turbos bring a lot of power to the table almost immediately off the bat. With the two turbos online, the Mazda comes alive. The RX-7 is the very definition of a cruise missile—it wants nothing more than to hit its 160-mph top speed and to just park the speedometer there.

Even at sane, street-legal speeds, the 1993 RX-7 is really fun to drive. The turbo lag is a fun challenge to drive around, and the slick five-speed manual is enjoyable to work as you do so. The ride is firm but not punishing, and the steering is sublime because the car feels one with the driver through bends.

The RX-7 was a car ahead of its time. It’s a shame it’s gone.

2011 Mazda RX-8 LM20: 230-hp 1.3-liter two-rotor Wankel

The Mazda RX-8 has been out of production for six years, and this exact 2011 Mazda RX-8 LM20—a special edition celebrating 20 years since Mazda’s 1991 Le Mans victory—is the last rotary-engined car Mazda ever brought into the United States. That makes it a fitting bookend for the day.

In retrospect, the RX-8 appears to have been an attempt by Mazda to grow with RX-7 buyers. It had two main doors, two suicide-swinging clamshell doors, like an extended-cab pickup, and a child-friendly back seat. The twin-turbos from the RX-7 were gone, and in its place the RX-8 featured a 1.3-liter naturally aspirated two-rotor engine good for 230 hp and 159 lb-ft of torque, with a tach reading to sky-high 10,000 rpm. It was available with an automatic transmission, but a six-speed manual is the only transmission that’s worth mentioning.

Compared to the insanity that was the twin-turbo RX-7, the RX-8 is a much more relaxed, sedate car. There’s no power down low, but like all good naturally aspirated cars, the RX-8 is a treat to work high. No wonder fuel economy was so abysmal. Still, despite the Mazda’s inherent balance, good shifter, and fun engine, there’s no hiding the fact that it’s slow for a sports car (a 2004 model we tested went from 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds) and swills gasoline at the same rate as a comparable V-8-powered muscle car. I thoroughly enjoyed driving the RX-8 because it’s a sweet, special car, but at the same time I completely get why it’s no longer with us today.

The Future

Rotaries were left in a good place when the RX-8 went out of production. Still, the RX-8’s 1.3-liter two-rotor consuming 16/22/18 mpg city/highway/combined on the EPA cycle and its equal thirst for oil made discontinuing the rotary a sound business decision in 2011.

But Mazda has never fully abandoned the Wankel engine. In 2012 it started testing Demio RE EVs—Mazda2 in the U.S.—powered by a front-mounted electric motor and batteries but backed up by a teeny trunk-mounted rotary range extender, which gave the car nearly 250 miles of range. More recently, the Mazda RX-Vision concept from the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show teased an RX-7 successor powered by a new-generation SkyActiv-R rotary engine. Since then, patent drawings have emerged showcasing a new generation of rotary engine, though Mazda has remained mum on what it plans to do with it.

When asked directly, Mazda reps admit that the future of the rotary engine is muddied by internal politics, but a small, extraordinarily dedicated team is hard at work in Japan keeping the dream spinning. With Mazda’s 100-year anniversary fast approaching in 2020, I can think of no better way to celebrate than with a rebirth of the engine that 50 years ago kept Mazda alive.

The post 50 Years of Mazda Rotary Engines: Driving a ’67 Cosmo Sport, ’93 RX-7, ’01 RX-8, and More appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Bowler Bulldog is a Defender Rally Car with a Supercharged Jaguar V-6 Engine

Motortrend News Feed - 6 hours 28 min ago

While Bowler’s more ludicrous offerings such as the Nemesis, Hellcat, and EXR have gone the way of the dodo, the company will still sell you some fairly righteous rally trucks based on road-going Land Rovers. The latest of these offerings is called the Bowler Bulldog.

Based off a Land Rover Defender pickup, the Bulldog uses a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel that generates 300 horsepower and 515 lb-ft of torque. Those are good stats, but Bowler wasn’t satisfied and decided to drop in the supercharged V-6 engine out of a Jaguar F-Type into the Defender for some extra fun.

In this guise, the Bowler Bulldog develops about 440 horsepower, and apparently is one of the tightest engine bays you’ll come across from Bowler. And that’s saying something as the company used to stick big V-8s into their cars not too long ago. Inside, almost everything from Land Rover has been stripped out, apart from the dash, which has been modified for rally use. What wasn’t changed was Jaguar’s own gear lever, which is straight out of the donor F-Type.

Awesome? Maybe not.

Here’s the problem. You can’t legally buy a turn-key Bowler Bulldog with the supercharged Jaguar V-6 either in the U.K. or here in the U.S. as the Jaguar engine isn’t on the company’s available list of parts. It was purely a one-off design; although we’re sure if you asked nicely enough and handed over a wad of cash they’d be more than happy to accommodate your request.

For those that want a supercharged Bowler outside of the U.K., what you could do is pick up an old Defender, order every part from Bowler’s catalog, and find a trashed Jaguar F-Type to pull the engine out of. Then it wouldn’t be all that difficult to put it all together to make your own street-legal supercharged V-6 Bowler.

The post Bowler Bulldog is a Defender Rally Car with a Supercharged Jaguar V-6 Engine appeared first on Motor Trend.

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2018 Subaru Forester

The Car Connection News Feed - Sun, 05/28/2017 - 13:00
The 2018 Subaru Forester blends crossover capability, the handling and ride of a car, and the year-round security of standard all-wheel drive. The compact utility wagon is practical, offers more off-road capability than you’d expect, and remains an excellent choice in a very competitive category. It won our Best Car To Buy 2014 award the...
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BMW M4 GT4 is the Newest Entry to the Popular Race Class

Motortrend News Feed - Sun, 05/28/2017 - 10:12

It’s a good time to be a GT4 racer. Following factory-supplied race cars for the popular GT4 racing class from Chevrolet, McLaren, Porsche, and Audi, BMW throws its hat into the ring with a new BMW M4 GT4.

For those who can’t afford a full-bore race team, the amateur GT4 series is perfect. Unlike the GT3 and LMP FIA classes, GT4 cars closely resemble their roadgoing counterparts, oftentimes running near-stock engines and power outputs. The cars a magnitudes less expensive than their GT3 counterparts, so GT4 has blossomed into a popular series.

To meet FIA mandates, the M4 GT4 is as race-ready as the rest of the field. Inside, the regular leather-wrapped cabin is replaced with a Spartan competition-ready environment. There’s a full suite of track safety equipment, including kill switches and harnesses. The body is modified as well – the doors are fully comprised of carbon fiber, and the front splitter and rear wing are exclusive to the GT4.

The 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six remains, albeit with some modifications. Power is around 431 hp, only around six ponies more than the regular street car. BMW says the engine management software is all new, however, utilizing what it calls “power sticks.” These “plug-and-play” plug-in units are free from tampering and allow customers to effortlessly modify engine output and mapping based on track and conditions.

Prices for the M4 GT4 begin at around $190,000.

The post BMW M4 GT4 is the Newest Entry to the Popular Race Class appeared first on Motor Trend.

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2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.8T Verdict

Motortrend News Feed - Sun, 05/28/2017 - 09:00

That’s a wrap on 22,000 plus miles of commuting, road tripping, and exploring the path less taken in the wagon version of Motor Trend’s 2015 Car of the Year. And yes, you’ve heard it all before. Wagon sales in the U.S. make up a trivial market, one struggling to survive in the giant shadow cast by the endless rollout of new crossovers. Yet Volkswagen still has faith in wagons, and for many years it offered a unique and strong-selling product with their TDI SportWagen. Of course, with the revelation in 2015 that VW was cheating its diesel emissions, the TDI engine was scrubbed from the lineup, leaving the SportWagen with only one engine to entice potential crossover buyers.

Before the diesel debacle, this red wagon was ordered with the now notorious TDI four-cylinder. With that order canceled, I instead opted for the gas-powered four-cylinder with a manual five-speed and cloth seats. This base-model TSI, known as a 1.8T S, came equipped with heated and partially power-adjusted front seats. Other notable standard features include black roof rails, heated side mirrors, and leather wrapped around the steering wheel, shift knob, and e-brake lever. Also included is a 6.5-inch touchscreen that detects when your fingers are reaching for it and reacts by enlarging its digital buttons that are otherwise hidden. What the base model doesn’t offer is keyless entry/ignition, a 400-watt audio system, or dual-zone climate control. Total price is a modest $22,715.

Day-to-day life with the SportWagen is decidedly affable. The seats are firmly cushioned and comfortable on long drives, and the driver has access to lots of conveniences such as carved-out door pockets for big/tall bottles, a hidden phone/wallet drawer at the base of the seat, and another hidden storage bin in front of the shifter housing lined with grippy rubber to help keep your phone from flinging across the car during fast cornering.

Although it took a while to get used to the manual transmission only having five forward gears, the ratios are a good match for the 1.8T’s powerband, with second and third gears delivering the needed grunt to dart and dash through the lanes of city traffic. Five speeds also means longer gearing, allowing me to reach 60 mph with a single upshift. And although it’s hard to imagine VW will continue offering a five-speed for much longer, it still persists in 2017 SportWagens with FWD. AWD versions come standard with six-speed manual transmissions.

Think of this as an SUV for those who want to avoid a tall center of gravity and unnecessary weight, or for those who simply believe a wagon is a smarter alternative to a crossover.

Operating this transmission was not always smooth and seamless, though, because the sensitive clutch would require additional revs if the car was weighted down with back-seat passengers. This realization didn’t occur to me until after falling victim to a few embarrassing stalls with a car full of passengers.

Our in-house Real MPG test crew ran the SportWagen through their standardized protocol and cleared Real MPG numbers of 25.5/39.0 city/highway. Although these numbers won’t please previous TDI owners, the combined RMPG of 30.2 is respectable among the competitive set.

One of my favorite parts of this car is the rear cargo area. VW has paid a lot of attention to this area of the car, drenching it in utility. The liftgate is easy to open, and although it’s not power operated, the actuation is light and smooth, making it easy to fling open or swing closed with one hand. Also, whereas most crossovers require you to remove their retractable cargo covers, this cargo cover can be neatly stowed out of the way under the load floor. And unlike the thin and flimsy offerings from much of the competition, this cover is robust and sturdy.

Pry further into the design and packaging of the rear cargo area, and you’ll find a neatly hidden floor jack behind a panel on the driver’s sidewall, not stuffed under the load floor, inside the spare wheel, as is typical. Lastly, VW has mounted two retractable hooks on either side of the wall that can support heavy hauls of groceries.

While in fleet, the SportWagen did not suffer any major mechanical setbacks, and it only visited the VW dealer twice, both times for scheduled maintenance at a cost of approximately $140 per visit. Our 2015 Mazda CX-5, 2015 Honda CR-V, and 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander all came in at less than $120 per service, making the VW a noticeably pricier car to maintain. That being said, our 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk cost a hefty $159 for each of its service visits. But there was one unexplained incident in which the SportWagen’s rear-seat bench randomly popped out of its clips. I was able to coax it back in with some elbow grease, and the problem never repeated. Also worth noting is the visible unraveling of the carpeted trunk liner, caused by the Velcro-like action the cargo-organizer blocks. These blocks often came in handy in keeping loads from sliding around, but the rapid wear and tear to the carpet makes me second-guess their value.

Overall, this Golf variant is competent, handy, and versatile. Even in bare-bones trim, it’s rich in content and features. In addition, equipped with a five-speed and a torquey turbocharged engine, it’s fun to drive on most any road. My time with the SportWagen was hassle- and drama-free. Perhaps without intentionally trying to be so, this VW offering is an affordable and genuine alternative to a crossover, one that many potential SUV buyers will find is a better match.

MORE ON OUR LONG-TERM 2016 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF SPORTWAGEN: Our Car SERVICE LIFE 14 mo / 22,187 mi BASE PRICE $22,445 OPTIONS Monster Mats ($235); First aid kit ($35) PRICE AS TESTED $22,715 AVG ECON/CO2 28.8 mpg / 0.67 lb/mi PROBLEM AREAS None MAINTENANCE COST $276.71 (2-oil change, inspection; 1-tire rotation, air cabin filter) NORMAL-WEAR COST $0 3-YEAR RESIDUAL VALUE*  $15,500 RECALLS  None *Automotive Lease Guide data 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TSI (S) POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD ENGINE TYPE Turbocharged I-4, iron block/alum heads VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DISPLACEMENT 109.7 cu in/1,798 cc COMPRESSION RATIO 9.6:1 POWER (SAE NET) 170 hp @ 4,500 rpm TORQUE (SAE NET) 184 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm REDLINE 6,000 rpm WEIGHT TO POWER 17.9 lb/hp TRANSMISSION 5-speed manual AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.39:1/2.24:1 SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar STEERING RATIO 13.6:1 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.8 BRAKES, F; R 11.3-in vented disc; 10.7-in disc, ABS WHEELS, F;R 6.0 x 15 in cast aluminum TIRES, F;R 195/65R15 (91H) M+S Continental ProContact TX DIMENSIONS WHEELBASE 103.5 in TRACK, F/R 61.0/59.8 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 179.6 x 70.8 x 58.3 in TURNING CIRCLE 35.8 ft CURB WEIGHT 3,040 lb WEIGHT DIST, F/R 56/44 % SEATING CAPACITY 5 HEADROOM, F/R 38.6/38.6 in LEGROOM, F/R 41.2/35.6 in SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 55.9/53.9 in CARGO VOLUME BEH, F/R 66.5/30.4 cu ft TEST DATA ACCELERATION TO MPH 0-30 2.7 sec 0-40 4.0 0-50 5.6 0-60 7.3 0-70 9.9 0-80 12.7 0-90 15.9 PASSING, 45-65 MPH 3.8 QUARTER MILE 15.8 sec @ 89.6 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 117 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.80 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.3 sec @ 0.63 g (avg) TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,900 rpm CONSUMER INFO BASE PRICE $22,445 PRICE AS TESTED $22,715 STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes AIRBAGS Dual front, front side, f/r curtain BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 miles POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 3 yrs/36,000 miles FUEL CAPACITY 13.2 gal EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 25/36/29 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 135/94 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.67 lb/mile REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 25.5/39.0/30.2 mpg RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded regular

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2017 Maserati Quattroporte

The Car Connection News Feed - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 22:53
The 2017 Maserati Quattroporte is always a surprise. Few spring for the luxe four-door grand tourer, but those who do should be considered public servants. Its stop-traffic curves and Ferrari-sourced heart make the sedan a thrill to see and hear; its pedigree and price tempt only the bravest among us. Sure, there are more logical purchases, but do...
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2018 BMW M8 Is Already in the Works

Motortrend News Feed - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 13:00

Say hello to the BMW M8. Although it’s still under wraps (literally), this latest Bavarian beauty was crafted alongside the all-new 8 Series Concept that made its stunning debut earlier this week in Milan, Italy.

BMW is tight lipped on all the details, but we are told that this fully camouflaged BMW M8 prototype “will be unveiled in a driving presentation as part of the support program for the Nürburgring 24-hour race.”

Compared to the recent BMW Concept 8 Series, this M version sports larger air intakes, bigger brakes, and an exhaust with four tailpipes instead of two refined and hexagonal ones.

“The conception and development of the standard BMW 8 Series and the M model run in parallel,” explains Frank van Meel, BMW M Division president, in a statement.

“The future BMW M8 will build on the genes of the 8 Series and augment its DNA with added track ability and generous extra portions of dynamic sharpness, precision and agility. It all flows into a driving experience that bears the familiar BMW M hallmarks and satisfies our customers’ most exacting requirements.”

Also in the works is a race-spec car, the BMW M8 GTE, for the return of BMW Motorsport to Le Mans, says BMW.

“The BMW M8 GTE development program for our Le Mans comeback is in full swing,” said Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport director, in a release.

“Developing a new racing car is always exciting, and in the case of the BMW M8 GTE the anticipation is that much greater still. We can’t reveal any pictures yet, but I can promise you that the BMW M8 GTE will look spectacular. We are planning an initial roll-out for the first half of this year and are looking at giving the car its race debut in the Daytona 24 Hours in late January 2018.”

In the meantime, check out these photos of the Concept 8 Series and let your imagination run wild.

The post 2018 BMW M8 Is Already in the Works appeared first on Motor Trend.

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2018 Genesis G80

The Car Connection News Feed - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 13:00
Genesis’ sophomore year begins by adding a new Sport trim to the 2018 Genesis G80. Beyond that twin-turbocharged version of the Genesis 3.8's Ultimate trim, a series of powertrain tweaks—including a new 8-speed automatic transmission—for the base V-6 and optional 5.0-liter V-8 promise a more responsive, efficient driving...
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2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS Update 6: Finish Line in Sight

Motortrend News Feed - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 09:00

It’s our goal to finish a yearlong loan with 20,000 miles on the odometer. Sometimes a good road trip is just the thing. So at 18,883 miles, I loaned the 2016 Camaro SS to associate road test editor, Erick Ayapana who set out from Los Angeles to attend the Cadillac V-Performance Academy at Spring Mountain in Pahrump, Nevada. After his 600-ish-mile trip, where he thought familiarizing himself with the Camaro’s LT1 engine was the perfect warm-up to the CTS-V’s monster LT4 engine, here’s what else Erick had to say about the car:

“I’m pleasantly surprised at how well the Camaro does as a cruiser. Relatively quiet, the exhaust note is subdued even with the Driver Mode Control set to Track (loudest setting). I really appreciated the ventilated seats in the desert heat. And a heated steering wheel, too? Is this a Chevy or a Caddy? I have some complaints, however. The single biggest annoyance was the glare coming from the head-up display housing, reflecting onto the windshield in my line of vision. The lack of storage is an issue, but I found alternatives: water bottles, for example, fit perfectly between the driver’s seat and the door sill; I wedged my iPhone in between the air vent and console trim piece, and my sunglasses (barely) fit in the door pocket.”

On one fateful tankful, Erick reset the Camaro’s all-time distance record from 379 to 404 miles, unknowingly joining the Zero Club that would’ve shown 0 miles to empty. He added the most fuel ever, as well, with 18.445 gallons, leaving just 0.55 gallons, which would’ve taken him only 12 miles at his current 22 mpg. Despite his iron-butt fuel-sipping efforts and a few 15 mpg tanks since, the average-running consumption has remained at 16 mpg.

Two other things I noticed since the last update: For the twice-annual occasions when I need them, I discovered the Camaro has no dry-cleaning/hanger hooks. Demographics? Also, because I’ve been spending so much time in other cars recently, I really am resenting the T. rex arm-length switches in the Camaro. The window switches and the Driver Mode Control are especially troubling.

More on our long-term 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS here: 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe (2SS) BASE PRICE $42,295 PRICE AS TESTED $46,080 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 4-pass, 2-door coupe ENGINE 6.2L/455-hp/455-lb-ft* OHV 16-valve V-8 TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,705 lb (54/46%) WHEELBASE 110.7 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 188.3 x 74.7 x 53.1 in 0-60 MPH 4.3 sec QUARTER MILE 12.5 sec @ 114.8 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 102 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.96 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 23.9 sec @ 0.85 g (avg) REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 17.3/26.1/20.4 mpg EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 16/25/19 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 211/135 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.02 lb/mile TOTAL MILEAGE 19,560 mi AVERAGE FUEL ECON 16.3 mpg UNRESOLVED PROBLEM AREAS None *SAE Certified

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Categories: Property

2018 Audi S7

The Car Connection News Feed - Sat, 05/27/2017 - 01:59
The 2018 Audi S7 and RS 7 are something of a rarity in the automotive marketplace: a pair of high-performance five-door hatchbacks with room for five passengers—and their gear. Its basic design is beginning to age, but it’s doing so remarkably gracefully, which is why we’ve rated this desirable duo an exceptionally high 8.7 out...
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Styling Size-Up: 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport vs. the Competition

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 23:30

After several years competing in the subcompact crossover segment with the funky-styled Nissan Juke, the Japanese automaker has just introduced the more conventionally styled all-new 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport. With the compact Nissan Rogue growing to accommodate an optional third-row bench, the new Rogue Sport is a two-row-only crossover that straddles the subcompact and compact crossover segments. How does the new Rogue Sport’s styling compare to that of its closest competitors?

Like other entrants in the subcompact crossover segment, but unlike the Juke, the Rogue Sport’s styling represents a shrunken version of its automaker’s current styling language. Here is a look at the new Rogue Sport compared to the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, and Toyota C-HR.

Up front, the Nissan Rogue Sport features the automaker’s signature “V-Motion” grille insert flanked by a pair of projector headlights with LED daytime running lights. The lower fascia has a large central intake with outboard-mounted round foglights and a blacked out lower piece below the opening. In comparison, the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3 feature large front grilles with smaller lower intake openings, while the Toyota C-HR has a slim upper grille and smaller lower intake.

The Rogue Sport rides on a 2.3-inch shorter wheelbase and is 12.1 inches shorter overall than the standard Rogue. Along the side, the Rogue Sport features a swooping roofline and beltline that kicks up over the rear wheels above the taillights. Only the Toyota has pronounced fender bulges, though all have visible plastic fender trim to help reinforce their crossover identities.

Around back, the Rogue Sport gets the automaker’s signature boomerang-shaped rear LED taillights. While the Mazda CX-3 and Toyota C-HR have blacked out D-pillars for a “floating roof” look, that feature is absent from the Rogue Sport even though it is used on other Nissan products such as the Murano crossover and Maxima sedan.

With the Rogue Sport being as wide as the standard Rogue, it also shares its dashboard, steering wheel, and seats, which makes its styling rather conservative compared to the Juke with its magic button display or the CX-3 with its floating infotainment screen.

How do you think the styling of the new 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport compares to its closest competitors? Besides these models, there’s also the Chevrolet Trax, Jeep Renegade, Fiat 500X, and Subaru Crosstrek to consider. How does the ‘tweener Rogue Sport stack up? Share your thoughts below.

Last week, we looked at the refreshed 2018 Acura TLX sedan, which got a surprisingly high number of negative comments. Hidekel Peralta thought, “That over-sized grille is ridiculous.” Ryan Wiatrowski wasn’t impressed either saying, “Revolting. Acura’s design language is really poor lately.” And Nathan Yount said, “Acura needs to fire its designers even the NSX is somewhat of a failure.”

Not all comments were bad. Michael Anderson said that it “looks surprisingly good in A-Spec trim,” while Ryan Lewis said that the TLX is “way bolder looking than the last design. Much better.”

 

 

 

The post Styling Size-Up: 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport vs. the Competition appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Mercedes-Benz Will Reveal All-Electric EQ A Hatch Concept in Frankfurt

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 23:00

It looks like BMW’s vaunted “i” division is going to face some intranational competition soon. According to a report from Autocar, Mercedes will unveil a new all-electric hatch concept at this year’s Frankfurt auto show.

Autocar says this five-door concept will be a preview of a production model for Mercedes’ new EQ brand, a nameplate aimed squarely at BMW’s “i” brand. We got our first glimpse of EQ back at the sub-brand’s launch at last year’s Paris auto show, where Merc trotted out a new crossover-style concept. According to Autocar, this will become the EQ C, the first model under the new sub-brand.

Now, a new hatch concept called the EQ A will take center stage in Frankfurt, giving us a glimpse of EQ’s “budget” model. Autocar claims a price tag starting around $45,000 when the car goes on sale in roughly two years.

Not much is known at this point regarding the powertrain, but the report believes a simple front-mounted electric motor will turn the front wheels, managed by a fixed-ratio transmission. Autocar claims a performance-oriented model with dual motors might be in the cards as well.

Following the debut of the EQ C SUV and EQ A hatch, Mercedes has also trademarked EQ E and EQ S, presumably a mid-size sedan or SUV (EQ E) and full-size sedan/SUV (EQ S).

Source: Autocar

The post Mercedes-Benz Will Reveal All-Electric EQ A Hatch Concept in Frankfurt appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Report: EVs Will Cost Less Than Gas-Powered Cars by as Early as 2025

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 21:33

Automakers are starting to bring more affordable EVs to market, but these cars are still much more expensive on average than their gasoline counterparts. And it will take well into the next decade for electric vehicles to catch up, according to new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Electric vehicles are expected to see a consistent drop in prices for the foreseeable future. In the U.S. and Europe, EVs will actually cost less than gas-powered cars by as early as 2025, the report says. A main factor behind this change is the expected drop in battery prices, which account for about half the cost of electric vehicles today. Batteries are estimated to cost about 77 percent less between 2016 and 2030.

A few other signs point to the middle of the next decade as a hot time for electric cars. Volkswagen Group, the world’s largest automaker last year, has made it a goal to offer more than 30 battery electric models by 2025. Volvo and Mercedes-Benz have also made EV benchmarks for the 2020s.

A Bloomberg report last year predicted that by as early as 2023, EVs could displace demand for 2 million barrels of oil a day, which is enough to cause an oil crash. The estimate assumed global EV sales would grow at their current rate of about 60 percent, although a more conservative estimate pointed to 2025 as the year for an oil crisis.

Source: Bloomberg

The post Report: EVs Will Cost Less Than Gas-Powered Cars by as Early as 2025 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2018 Lexus LC

The Car Connection News Feed - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 20:00
If you remember the very first days of Lexus, you remember the clever ads: the champagne glasses on the hood of the car, the ball bearing rolling down its hood, the "relentless pursuit of perfection." Forget it all. Now Lexus is chasing after world-class luxury and performance with big power, great handling, and outrageous styling. It...
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McLaren P1 LM Sets New Record on the Nurburgring

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 18:35

After setting a record lap time at Goodwood, the McLaren P1 LM has finally conquered the Nürburgring. With Kenny Bräck at the wheel once again, the road car lapped the Green Hell in 6:43.22, a new record.

The P1 LM proved significantly quicker than the last record-breaker, the Lamborghini Huracán Performante, which ran around the ‘Ring in 6:52.01 earlier this year.

The McLaren P1 is based on the track-only P1 GTR and has been made street legal with the help of Lanzante Motorsport. Producing 986 hp on 99-octane fuel, the supercar reaches a top speed limited to 214 mph.

After removing the air-jack system and putting in lighter seats, an Inconel exhaust, titanium tailpipes, and other updates, McLaren got the weight down to around 3,065 pounds, making it significantly lighter than the GTR. The LM also benefits from a more aerodynamic rear wing and front splitter and a fully exposed carbon fiber roof. Thanks to these changes, downforce has increased 40 percent. Inside the cabin, the model features lots of exposed carbon fiber, standard air conditioning, Alcantara seat inserts, and five point seat belts. Only five copies of the P1 LM will be produced, and all of them have been sold.

Watch the McLaren P1 LM break a record on the Nürburgring in the video below.

Source: McLaren

The post McLaren P1 LM Sets New Record on the Nurburgring appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Celebrity Drive: Grammy-Nominated Country Star Hunter Hayes

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 17:44

Quick Stats: Hunter Hayes Grammy-nominated country music singer
Daily Driver: 2002 Mercedes-Benz G500 (Hunter’s rating: 8 on a scale of 1 to 10)
Other cars: see below
Favorite road trip: Hawaii’s Big Island
Car he learned to drive in: 2001 Chevy Suburban
First car bought: 2012 Range Rover Evoque

Country music singer-songwriter Hunter Hayes decided at some point he wanted to get an older car with more character—one that needed work, but the effort would result in a reward. That car ended up being the 2002 Mercedes-Benz G500, which he bought as a birthday gift last year.

“I told myself a couple years ago the next car I want to get was an old G wagon,” he says. “It was this past summer, and it was right before my birthday. I knew that by the time I had fixed all the things I needed to fix on it, I would finally be able to drive it around my birthday, which is in September. I’m looking at it right now, and I’m super proud of it. I just wanted something really interesting, and I like quirky, interesting things, especially older cars. Part of the lure of the G is that it hasn’t changed in 30 years as far as aesthetics go, you’ve got subtle things but it looks brand new.”

Hayes rates the G500 an 8 or 9 for practicality purposes. “I’m super stoked about this interview because this is one topic I never get to talk about,” he says. “I’ve always been an SUV guy, my first car was Suburban, my next car was a Yukon XL. I just love anything with character.”

He often needs to haul gear and now has a greyhound, so SUVs best fit his criteria. “I’m not really that guy with the Mercedes G spending budget,” he says. “I just started looking online because I know a lot of the ‘80’s ones were available for a lot less, but they’re standard, I’m not really that great driving standard.”

Photo: Brenton Giesey

But Hayes really wanted a G500 because he’d driven a few and really loved them and the charm of an older car. “It drives like a truck or like a school bus, but it feels really sturdy, and I like the boxyness of it,” he says. “And it’s spacious enough for the gear that I need to travel with, and it’s great for Cole (his dog). He loves it.”

Hayes especially likes that the G500 has good visibility. “I’m a really paranoid driver, so I like that I know where all the corners of the car are,” he says. “I could see every square inch of it. It’s awareness, I know everything that’s going on at the car at all times.”

The only reason Hayes doesn’t give it a perfect 10, despite it’s character and charm, is that the G500 is a rough ride. “It only bothers me when I’ve got Cole in the car, or if I’ve got gear that’s really fragile because I drive super cautiously,” he says. “But I personally love it. That’s part of what’s really charming. If it was a little softer that’d be awesome, but I don’t know if I care that much. And I’ve talked about putting a GPS unit in it, but I find myself not really using that, needing that, or thinking about that.”

Photo: Brenton Giesey

Hayes likes to focus on being present while driving and being in his surroundings. “When I drive, I’ve gone from somebody who loves all the gadgets to I just want to drive,” he says. “I don’t want any distractions. My phone is not even within view or reach. I just want to focus and just be there.”

When Hayes needs to go somewhere new, he will look it up on a map before the drive. “That’s how I operate on the daily now,” he says. “That’s how I drive. I love the challenge of navigating somewhere. I got that from my dad. I really like just figuring it out. So even when I have a GPS now, like in a rental car, I find myself rarely using it. Not even looking at the map as I’m driving. I like experiencing a place and not being caught behind a screen. I like the road trip aspect about it.”

Car he learned to drive in

Hayes grew up in south Louisiana, where he was eager to learn to drive in his dad’s 2001 Chevrolet Suburban. “I kind of bugged mom and dad,” he says. “Mom was a driver’s ed instructor when I was younger, so that helped. It was great, and also a bit obsessive sometimes.”

When he got his permit, he mostly drove with him mom because they would drive to school together, and she would let him drive. “She taught at my school for one year,” he says. “She taught PE and health at a couple different schools, and she taught at my school for one year. We would trade off that year I got a permit, so it worked out great.”

Hayes also got his permit at around the same time he started making frequent trips to Nashville from his home in Lafayette, Louisiana, which was about a 10-hour drive. “So if there was mom and dad and I, we were trading off driving,” he says. “So I got a lot of experience on the interstate, and when I turned 16, we actually moved to Nashville. So during that year, having gone from my permit to my license, I made my first trip back home by myself because I was still commuting.”

The Suburban was then given to Hayes when he moved to Nashville as a junior in high school after getting a music publishing deal. “When we first started renting a house here and I started writing and doing my thing here, the Suburban was that car that got me here,” he says.

Hayes had it for five months before trading it in for a slightly newer Yukon XL, which he thought was the coolest thing in the world because it had a six-CD changer and auxiliary input.

First car bought A 2012 Range Rover Evoque is shown here.

“The first car I bought after seeing success was a 2012 Range Rover Evoque, and I loved that thing,” Hayes says. “That thing was so epic because it was everything I loved—it was sporty, roomy, spacious enough for me to carry everything. When I got my dog I needed something a little bigger, had an LR4, loved it, but I think I was just in an artistic phase. I really wanted something old and with character, something really interesting.”

His debut record had come out, and he’d been touring for a year and a half when he bought the Range Rover. “We were into the second single, we had gone from one bus to two tour buses. Life was good,” Hayes says. “We had a lot of people on the team at that point. I rented my first place on my own and bought my first car with my own money at the same time, and it was a massive head trip. It was like, ‘What is the world right now?’”

Hayes wanted an SUV that was also sporty, and he had his eye on the Evoque because he liked Range Rovers. “I liked a lot of their stuff in the past, and this one really caught my eye because it was really unique,” he says. “I had a feeling when they came out with the two- and four-door, that there wouldn’t be as many two-doors on the road. I was right … I had only seen one or two two-doors in town and to me the two-doors looked way cooler than the four doors. So that’s what I got.”

He didn’t mind buying a used Evoque. “I’ve never bought a new car,” he says. “I always buy it used with a little bit of mileage on it.”

He just had to upgrade when he got his dog. “It wasn’t enough room for my dog, so I bought a used LR4,” he says. “I think they’re really freaking cool. I wanted more room for sure and at the time I was renting a house way out of town, about an hour’s drive, and I wanted something that super comfortable to drive long distances because I would do it on a daily basis. It was awesome. I loved it.”

But when Hayes moved back into town, it was time to buy what ended up being his current daily driver. “It made more sense—maybe this was the era to do something older that might need a lot of work all the time,” he says. “Where my studio is now, most of the driving that I do is from the studio to my apartment, only just over a mile, so I thought maybe this is the chapter where I try the thing that I’ve always been curious about where I get an older SUV and start saving up for maybe a little sporty car. I love this thing. It’s awesome. I think the LR4 was a 2014, so it was either keep that or try the older car with a little bit of character.”

Favorite road trip

Hayes recently took his first trip to Hawaii and made sure he had a day before and after his show to enjoy the island with his girlfriend.

“When I’m on vacation, my favorite thing to do the first day is to get in a car and literally explore—look at a map, get your bearing, and then just hit the road because when you’re not looking at the map, when you’re not focused on where you think you’re going, you discover all kinds of cool places,” Hayes says. “You discover cool little towns along the way to somewhere else, so I did that in Hawaii. I rented a car, and I looked at the map. Some people told us kind of where to go ,and I was like, ‘This looks like the kind of thing that we just need to take a big circle and take our time and have fun.’”

With no destination in mind, and deliberately not having done much research, Hayes was on the west side of the island and started driving the circumference around it. The road trip became one of the best days he’s ever had.

“We started out having lunch by the water. It was beautiful—palm trees, the quintessential beach thing, then we drove through this giant lava field, then we drove through what felt like the rain foresty vibe that was super tropical, lots of trees,” he says. “We stopped off at a coffee plantation—I’m a big coffee fanatic. That was a really cool experience. We had a 3,000-foot, up-in-the-air view of the ocean and the coastline at the coffee plantation while having a shot of espresso. It was incredible.”

As they came around to the other side of the island, the climate completely changed. “Every 30 miles the scenery, and the climate changes drastically,” he says. “It’s pretty phenomenal, and we saw a totally different kind of coastline and then we had dinner by the volcano and watched the lava come through the sky as the sun set. It was miraculous.”

The road trip came at a good time in what’s become a busy life for Hayes. “I remember I really needed a break, and I’m not one to take a break when I’m working,” he says. “I just like to keep going, and I think that was a huge blessing to me and it was good for my soul just to experience things without any expectations because we didn’t have any. We didn’t know where we were going or what we were going to do, and it was one of the best days I’ve ever had. Just driving around the island. It was awesome. I knew as long as we stayed on that one road, it would peel off at one point, but that as long as we stayed on that one road, we’d be where we wanted to be.”

Hayes has also been making an effort this year not to look at his phone as much, so the road trip was just a wonderful by-product of being present when driving and exploring.

“I think for me at least, it’s become a habit,” he says. “I love looking at Instagram, I love reading the news, I look at my news app once a day, but I also find myself looking at it when I should be focused on where I am. How many times are we among friends and are uncomfortable or quiet, and so we get on our phones? And to me, on a road trip especially, I don’t want to miss experiencing something that I’ve never experienced before.”

For example, he says they didn’t know the coffee plantation existed. “My buddy told us, ‘Hey, look out for some coffee plantations,’ and I was like, ‘I don’t even know what that looks like,’” he says. “We were craving coffee. We saw a sign for this very familiar looking coffee brand, and we turned off and it was a coffee plantation. We had this gorgeous view of the ocean, had an incredible cup of coffee and just sat there just pondering life. It was awesome. And stuff like that doesn’t happen when you’re following a GPS.”

New single “Yesterday’s Song” Photo: Robby Klein

Although his new album isn’t out yet, the first single released is “Yesterday’s Song.” “It’s funny because the (Mercedes) G kind of ties in for me,” Hayes says. “Talking about the decision to dive into a character car that would need a little bit of work, that would be a little but more energy spent, but something with a story, very much reflects this record and where my heart’s been to make this project. We’re getting closer to the finish line of this thing, we’re not quite there yet, and I’m really stoked that I can see the thing taking shape.”

Around the time he got the G500 for his birthday, Hayes also decided to release the first three songs from the new album: “Yesterday’s Song,” “Amen,” and “Young Blood.”

“I felt like it was time,” he says. “I felt like it was time for me to feel the freedom of this music. I’ve been working on this record for three years. It’s been a very long and very heartfelt process.”

Hayes always has a certain image in his mind when he hears “Yesterday’s Song,” but he hopes fans enjoy it for what it means to them when they hear it.

Photo: Robby Klein

“‘Yesterday’s Song’ is the first single for a lot of reasons,” he says. “It’s a break up song. It’s not what a lot of people expect from me at this moment because I’m very happily in a relationship. But it’s for those times that I have been through that and it’s also about moving on, it’s about leaving some things behind. Every time I hear the chorus, I picture a convertible 1965 Cobra on a desert road, just flying down the road because that’s one of my dream cars, and that’s just a feeling that this song has for me, is a feeling of freedom from whatever it may be. Maybe it’s a relationship, maybe somebody hears it and it’s more of like, ‘I hated my last year, I want to move on.’ Whatever you need it to be, let it be that.”

For more information and his upcoming tour dates starting in June, please visit www.hunterhayes.com.

READ MORE CELEBRITY DRIVES HERE:

The post Celebrity Drive: Grammy-Nominated Country Star Hunter Hayes appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

New residential MD for Qube Global

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 17:35
Trevor Youens has been appointed as managing director of residential solutions at Qube Global Software.
Categories: Property

Minicars Have Highest Rates of Driver Deaths: IIHS

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 17:00

The smallest cars on the road tend to be the most dangerous ones, concludes a new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Among 2014 vehicles, minicars had particularly high rates of driver deaths compared to other models, while larger luxury vehicles had some of the lowest rates.

Four-door minicars averaged 87 driver deaths per million registered vehicle years, the highest overall death rate of any vehicle category. In contrast, four-wheel-drive luxury SUVs fared the best with an average of just 6 driver deaths. To put things into perspective, the overall rate was 30 deaths among vehicles from the 2014 model year.

Among individual models, the Hyundai Accent sedan had the highest rate of driver deaths at 104, followed closely by the Kia Rio sedan at 102 and the now-discontinued Scion tC at 101. Rounding out the top 15 in order of driver deaths were the Chevrolet Spark, Nissan Versa, Ford Fiesta sedan, Kia Soul, Dodge Challenger, Nissan Titan Crew Cab short bed 4WD, Nissan Sentra, Ford Focus sedan, Chrysler 200, Hyundai Genesis coupe, Ford Fiesta five-door, and Hyundai Accent five-door.

A number of vehicles averaged zero driver deaths, including the A6 all-wheel-drive, Audi Q7 all-wheel drive, BMW 535i/is/xi, Jeep Cherokee four-wheel drive, Lexus CT 200h, Lexus RX 350 front-wheel drive, Mazda CX-9 front-wheel drive, Mercedes-Benz M-Class all-wheel drive, Toyota Tacoma Double Cab long bed four-wheel drive, and Volkswagen Tiguan front-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive versions of the Lexus RX and Ford Explorer, as well as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, also performed well with five or fewer deaths.

IIHS looked at deaths that occurred from 2012-2015. Although IIHS was looking at 2014 model-year vehicles, it also used data from earlier models as far back as 2011 if the vehicles weren’t substantially changed before 2014. The agency says including these older models in the study increases the available data and the reliability of the results. Individual models are only included in the study if they have been around long enough to record at least 100,000 registered vehicle years or if there are at least 20 associated deaths.

Road fatalities have been declining since the early 1970s as vehicles become safer, but an improving economy after the latest recession has brought the death toll up again. In 2015, deaths jumped 7 percent from the previous year, and early data indicates the upward trend continued for 2016. After looking at economic and employment forecasts, IIHS predicts traffic fatalities will decline just slightly in the coming years.

Check out the full report here.

Source: IIHS

The post Minicars Have Highest Rates of Driver Deaths: IIHS appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Henley secures £30m loan for student portfolio

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 16:20
Henley has secured a £30m investment facility to support its £50m acquisition of a student accommodation portfolio, representing a LTV of 55%.
Categories: Property

Henley secures £30m for student portfolio

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 16:20
Henley has secured a £30m investment facility to support its £50m acquisition of a student accommodation portfolio, representing a LTV of 55%.
Categories: Property

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