Motortrend News Feed

The official Motor Trend magazine web site featuring the latest new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards, and much more
Updated: 2 hours 3 min ago

2018 Chrysler 300S V-8 First Test: Last of the Old Guard

9 hours 31 min ago

It’s been a long time since we last tested a Chrysler 300S. Last summer, we attended a drive event for the 2018 model, and four years before that, we reviewed the recently refreshed 300. But the last time we actually brought a Chrysler 300S in for testing was all the way back in 2012. Six years later, that’s been fixed.

At first glance, it might not seem like much has changed since our last test. Chrysler has tweaked a few things here and there, but the 300 still looks about the same as it did when Call Me Maybe was climbing the charts. Dig a little deeper, however, and it’s clear that’s not necessarily the case.

For 2015, Chrysler added a new digital instrument cluster, an updated infotainment system, several new safety features, and most important, an eight-speed automatic transmission. As we found in our 2012 test, the outdated five-speed that Chrysler originally used was slow to shift and a poor match for the 300.

Does the new transmission improve performance as much as we thought it would back in 2012? Yes and no.

The 2018 Chrysler 300S we tested was definitely quicker than the 2012 version. It hit 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and ran the quarter mile in 13.8 seconds at 101.3 mph. Both times are 0.3 second quicker than what we recorded six years ago.

In his notes, associate road test editor Erick Ayapana praised the 300’s “strong and linear acceleration.” He also wrote that the “V-8 seems well paired with the gearbox, which is responsive and quick with the shifts.”

Braking performance also improved. Our test car stopped from 60 mph in 109 feet, 7 feet shorter than the 300S did back in 2012. Ayapana praised its “good brake feel, body control, and impressively short stopping distances, no doubt helped by the grippy tires.”

The 300S also impressed testing director Kim Reynolds. After running the big Chrysler through our handling tests, he wrote, “Despite its age (like 1 million years old now) the basic car here is still remarkably entertaining. It does all the right stuff—brakes and turns in adeptly, corners with not too much understeer, and accelerates in a nice, powerful RWD manner.”

Unfortunately for Chrysler, although the 300S is still entertaining to drive, it seems to have lost a step in the handling department. With a time of 27.0 seconds at 0.65 average g, our test car was actually 0.1 second slower through the figure eight than the 2012 version.

We’re not sure exactly why that is, but in his notes, Reynolds wrote, “You do notice that the chassis doesn’t seem as solid as it once did, and steering feedback is lacking. It’s more of a means of correcting oversteer than precisely steering.”

Even if the new transmission didn’t improve handling quite the way we thought it would, the eight-speed still makes the 300S more enjoyable to drive. To us, that’s a win.

Where the 300S really falls short, though, is in the cabin. The seats are comfortable, and the leather feels nice, but most of the other materials feel cheap and flimsy. Even Reynolds, whose testing notes usually focus exclusively on performance and handling, called the interior “hard to avoid” and “astonishingly dated.”

If you choose the luxury-focused 300C instead of the sportier 300S, Chrysler lets you add a leather trim package, which goes a long way toward fixing those issues. It costs a bit more than the $48,760 Chrysler charges for our test car, but it’s probably worth it.

Alternatively, you could double down on the sportiness and load up a Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack for about the same price. The interior won’t be any nicer, but the R/T Scat Pack’s 485-hp V-8 makes it much quicker.

Heck, for about $50,000, there’s a long list of cars you could buy that are better than the 300S in a lot of ways. They’ll all probably have nicer interiors and get better gas mileage. But good luck finding another large, boxy, rear-wheel-drive V-8 cruiser with the kind of street presence the 300S has.

Cars like the 300S don’t get built anymore. And when it gets redesigned in a few years, there’s a good chance Chrysler won’t build a car like the 300S anymore, either. It will probably be better on paper, but it won’t be the same.

2018 Chrysler 300S BASE PRICE $36,890 PRICE AS TESTED $48,760 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan ENGINE 5.7L/363-hp/394-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8 TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,433 lb (53/47%) WHEELBASE 120.2 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 198.6 x 75.0 x 58.7 in 0-60 MPH 5.3 sec QUARTER MILE 13.8 sec @ 101.3 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 109 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.81 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.0 sec @ 0.65 g (avg) 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

The post 2018 Chrysler 300S V-8 First Test: Last of the Old Guard appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450, CLS 53 Review: Mercedes Maintains the Magic

9 hours 31 min ago

Sunny Spain, with its winding roads up the serrated Montserrat mountains surrounding Barcelona, was a perfect place to gauge the latest Mercedes-Benz CLS. It’s a chance to sample the four-door coupe’s performance and handling, appreciate the exhaust notes from the new inline-six, and welcome an expanded lineup that now includes the first Mercedes-AMG CLS 53. A short rain shower seemed cued up to showcase the all-wheel-drive system, as well.

It was an opportunity to see if the third-generation CLS can hold court in the segment it created when it showed the first concept at the Frankfurt auto show back in 2003. Despite the apparent contradiction of the idea of a “four-door coupe,” since then, the world has become enamored with the idea of coupelike lines overlaid on sedan structure. The body style has resonated with 375,000 CLS buyers around the world and has spurred competitors to create their own four-door fastbacks. Mercedes even trumped itself at this year’s Geneva auto show, where it unveiled the even sexier Mercedes-AMG GT four-door coupe.

But the German carmaker has not forgotten that the CLS started it all. For the 2019 model year, the CLS family gets a new and cleaner design, new engine portfolio, and hybridization with a new 48-volt system that the automaker sees as a crucial next step in an automotive world that is becoming increasingly electrified.

At launch there are new 3.0-liter inline-six engines: a gasoline and a diesel. The U.S. only gets the gasoline version, which generates 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque in the CLS 450 but which also has the EQ Boost mild-hybrid system and 48-volt electrical system.

After launch, Mercedes is adding a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine with a belt-driven starter alternator and 48-volt system—but it is not for the U.S., either. There are no specs yet, but officials say it will produce more than 300 hp.

The CLS 53 ups the performance to 429 hp and 384 lb-ft out of the I-6 by adding a twin-scroll turbocharger and an electric auxiliary compressor that builds boost until the turbocharger kicks in. Voila, no turbo lag. Acceleration is not neck-snapping but it is quick for a two-ton sedan: Mercedes claims it will do 0–60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Smooth, too.

For the CLS 450, Mercedes combines the starter and a generator in an electric motor positioned between the engine and transmission. The extra 22 hp and 184 lb-ft helps ensure power is at the ready and eliminates any lag before the twin-scroll turbocharger kicks in. The electric supercharger in the CLS 53 makes it even quicker off the mark, but again the power delivery is very linear. The other advantage is a seamless start/stop—we never felt the engine turn on or off—and the ability to “sail” when the engine disconnects from the transmission and coasts.

The motor also feeds the 1.0-kW-hr lithium ion battery. The 48-volt system can deliver four times the power of a standard 12-volt system at the same level of current (and hence wiring size). The CLS has an electric water pump and AC compressor.

On the CLS 450, the optional 4Matic all-wheel-drive system features a fixed 31/69 split of power between front and rear, and the CLS 53 has the standard 4Matic+ system to constantly adjust torque to wherever it is needed.

The multilink suspension comes with steel springs with a choice of optional adaptive damping or the air suspension system, which is standard on the 53. Drives modes are what you’ve come to expect—Comfort, Sport, and Sport plus—and although responsiveness improves with sportier settings, the difference is barely perceptible unless you are going quite fast.

The underhood soundtrack in the AMG is full of hits, starting with the satisfying crescendo of a straight-six accelerating and adding a symphony of snorts, pops, and gurgles on the downshifts. That’s music to any driver’s ears.

The nine-speed snicks up and down seamlessly. Smooth best describes the shifting, steering, and braking. The brakes never grab, and they respond as if they are reading the driver’s mind—especially in a groove on a winding road with nonstop twists and switchbacks, all of which the brakes handle with a sublime effortlessness.

Like the S-Class above it, the CLS has a suite of safety and driver-assist technologies to steer, accelerate, and brake as conditions demand. And like the Tesla, it can make a lane change by merely clicking the turn signal.

The ultimate nanny is the Distronic route-based cruise control, which adjusts speed to the legal limit and also reads preprogrammed data about the road ahead to keep you from barreling into a curve or roundabout. The first time you experience the vehicle slowing itself can be disconcerting, especially when you stomp on the accelerator and nothing happens. It is unusual to find a driver-assist features that cannot be overridden by manual actions. In this case the system ignores your frantic foot on the gas pedal. You must first tap the brake to disengage the safety system and allow you to resume control of your speed again. And of course, the feature can be turned off.

Mercedes has played with design since the original C219 slotted between the S-Class and E-Class, changing for the second-generation W218 in 2011. This third generation has a cleaner, simpler, and arguably meaner look—with a shark nose angled down and chrome twin-blade radiator grille that used to be reserved for AMGs with a V-8. Engineers have deemed the new I-6 worthy of the design cue.

For this generation, designers worked to reduce excess lines. The result is a sleeker and more elegant overall look. Gone are the previous generation’s blocky hips over the rear wheels. The front fascia’s flat headlamps have been updated, and there is a splitter in front and functional spoiler in back. The CLS 53 has an air curtain in front and round quad exhaust pipes in back. The license plate has been fitted into the rear bumper, and there is a two-piece rear tailllamp for the first time.

The CLS has a high shoulder line; combine that with a thick A-pillar and the raked windshield, and shorter drivers will battle a noticeable blind spot—making twisting mountain roads more adrenaline-filled than desired. But the high shoulders and narrow greenhouse make for a sumptuous side profile. Engineers claim its drag coefficient of 0.26 is the best in the segment.

The interior is more spacious with a modern luxury feel, and the mood is set with 64 colors of ambient lighting running across the dash and continuing along the door panels. The turbine-finned air vents are now illuminated, as well, and turn red when you turn up the heat and blue when you turn it down.

The 2019 model was designed as a true five-seater, with a bench in the back. But there’s no getting past the fastback roofline, which challenges taller passengers. The only concession is the combination of a wider vehicle and slimmer seats, which provides more legroom. Conversely, the new AMG GT will only be offered as a four-seater in the U.S. (but as a five-seater in Europe; guess Americans gotta lay off the chili cheese fries).

The CLS has a choice of beautiful materials, including optional Nappa leather seats with carbon-fiber trim, and sport seats for the 53. This is Mercedes, after all, so the seats are heated and cooled and offer a choice of massage sensations, from relaxing to stimulating. Turn on the active seat function to apply side bolsters as needed during a spirited ride. The 53 has the AMG performance flat-bottom steering wheel.

For infotainment, the CLS follows other Mercedes offerings with a pair of 12.3-inch screens under a single cover of glass to provide an array of data about the car and your trip.

The 2019 CLS 450 and CLS 53 will go on sale this fall in the U.S. Pricing has not been announced but should start just below $80,000 and stretch up to $100,000.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450 4Matic/Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4Matic BASE PRICE $78,000-$100,000 (est) VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan ENGINE 3.0L/362-hp/369-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 24-valve I-6 plus 21-hp/184 lb-ft electric motor, 362 hp/369 lb-ft comb; 3.0L/429-hp/384 lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve I-6 plus 21-hp/184 lb-ft electric motor, 429 hp/384 lb-ft comb TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT 4,200-4,250 lbs (est) WHEELBASE 115.7 in LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 196.4 x 74.4 x 55.3 in 0-60 MPH 4.5 sec (mfr est) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON Not yet tested ON SALE IN U.S. Fall 2018

The post 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 450, CLS 53 Review: Mercedes Maintains the Magic appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

By the Numbers: Jaguar XF Wagon vs. F-Pace SUV

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 22:30

Jaguar’s decision to add a crossover to its lineup may have been a little controversial, but it’s hard to argue with the results. The F-Pace S looks fantastic, makes plenty of power, sounds wonderful, and handles more like a car than an SUV. But Jaguar also recently decided to bring the gorgeous XF Sportbrake S to the U.S., setting up an interesting comparison. If you’re looking for a practical Jaguar, should you buy the station wagon or the crossover?


On paper, the Jaguar XF Sportbrake S and the F-Pace S should be pretty evenly matched. Both come with all-wheel drive and get Jaguar’s supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 making 380 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. But in testing, the XF Sportbrake hit 60 mph in 5.0 seconds, 0.4 second quicker than the F-Pace S. Through the quarter mile, it was the same story. The wagon did it in 13.6 seconds at 101.9 mph, 0.3 second and 2.2 mph quicker than the crossover. We blame the F-Pace’s extra 145 pounds.


Typically, you’d expect the taller, heavier crossover to lose badly here. Our numbers suggest otherwise. On the skidpad, the XF averaged 0.85 g of lateral acceleration, while the F-Pace S averaged 0.86 g. In our figure-eight test, the F-Pace also won, finishing in 25.9 seconds at an average of 0.72 g. The XF, on the other hand, took 26.4 seconds at 0.69 g. Of course, numbers don’t tell the whole story. On the road, the wagon feels flatter and faster through the corners. You just might need stickier tires to make those differences measurable.

Interior Space

Even though the F-Pace S looks a lot larger, it isn’t necessarily more spacious in every dimension. Up front, it offers 43.0 inches of legroom, 37.8 inches of headroom, and 57.7 inches of shoulder room. Rear passengers get 37.2 inches of legroom, 37.5 inches of headroom, and 55.8 inches of shoulder room. The XF Sportbrake’s front seats, on the other hand, offer 1.5 fewer inches of legroom, 1.2 inches more headroom, and 0.6 inch less shoulder room. In the second row, legroom is a draw, and you give up nearly an inch of shoulder room, but you get an extra 1.6 inches of headroom.

Cargo Volume

With the rear seats up, the F-Pace offers 33.5 cubic feet of storage space. Drop the rear seats, and that increases to 63.5 cubic feet. Interestingly, while the XF Sportbrake only has 22.2 cubic feet of storage with its seats up, with the seats down, cargo volume increases to an F-Pace-beating 66.9 cubic feet. But before you declare it a win for the station wagon, it’s worth pointing out that the XF’s cargo opening is shorter. So while two road bikes will (barely) fit in an F-Pace, that’s not the case with the XF Sportbrake.

Fuel Economy

Since the F-Pace is larger and heavier, you wouldn’t expect it to match the XF Sportbrake’s fuel economy rating. On the highway, you’d be right. The EPA rates the XF at 25 mpg highway, 2 mpg better than the F-Pace S. Around town, however, Jaguar’s crossover is pretty evenly matched with its station wagon, with both earning a rating of 18 mpg city. That means owners should expect to only see a significant fuel economy difference if they do a lot of highway driving.


Unfortunately for XF Sportbrake owners, it will take more than a few long road trips to earn back the extra money they spent getting the wagon. That’s because it starts at $71,445 including destination, approximately $10,000 more than the $60,770 it takes to buy a base F-Pace S. Sure, an entry-level XF sedan only costs a few thousand dollars more than a base F-Pace, but the extra engineering required to turn a sedan into a wagon adds cost.

Source: Jaguar

The post By the Numbers: Jaguar XF Wagon vs. F-Pace SUV appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2018 Honda Accord Hybrid Starting Price Dropped to $25,990

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 21:45

The 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid’s EPA fuel economy estimate may be lower than last year, but so is its base price. Honda announced that the 2018 Accord Hybrid, which goes on sale this week, will start at $25,990 including destination—a drop of $4,490 from last year’s model.

That price gets you a base Accord Hybrid, which comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED low-beam headlights, dual-zone climate control, hands-free keyless entry with push-button start, a multi-angle rearview camera, and the Honda Sensing suite of active safety features.

For 2018, Honda has increased the number of trim levels available on the Accord Hybrid from three to five. The lineup now includes the base Hybrid, Hybrid EX ($29,780), Hybrid EX-L ($32,330), Hybrid EX-L with navigation ($33,330), and Hybrid Touring ($35,600). Though prices don’t fall as drastically on the EX-L and Touring models, those trims are more than $1,000 cheaper for 2018.

The 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid’s starting price undercuts that of the 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid by $2,705. The Accord starts $2,985 less than the Chevrolet Malibu hybrid, and is also slightly cheaper (by $275) than the Ford Fusion Hybrid. Hyundai revealed its slightly improved 2018 Sonata Hybrid last month, but has yet to announce pricing. As we previously reported, the 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid is EPA-rated 47/47/47 mpg city/highway/combined—less than the 49/47/48 mpg of last year’s model. That fuel economy estimate is the same across all trim levels, unlike the Camry Hybrid, which gets 44/47/46 mpg in XLE and SE trim and 51/53/52 mpg in LE trim. Despite a slight dip in fuel economy, the Accord Hybrid could be more attractive thanks to its new lower starting price.

The 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid goes on sale this Friday, March 23, at Honda dealerships nationwide.

Source: Honda

The post 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid Starting Price Dropped to $25,990 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Spied! Next-Gen Porsche 911 Turbo Caught With GT2-Style Exhaust

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 19:15

Thanks to recently released teaser images that don’t hide much, we already have a pretty good idea how the next-generation Porsche 911 will look. Next-gen 911 Turbo prototypes have also already been caught testing multiple times. So why post more photos of a 911 Turbo prototype? Because there’s something a little different about this one.

At first glance, this car looks pretty much the same as the last one we saw undergoing cold-weather testing. Look a little closer, though, and it’s clear Porsche made a few changes. The front end, for example, now wears what looks like a center-mounted radar array, possibly for adaptive cruise control or other active safety functions. And in place of the last prototype’s conventional wheels, this car rides on center-lockers.

The biggest changes, however, are toward the rear. Even though the wing and the general shape of the bumper look about the same, the air outlets have been modified. And unlike the squared-off quad exhaust found on the previous prototype, this one has a dual exhaust with round tips. There’s a chance the rear vent simply broke during testing, but that exhaust is definitely GT2-inspired.

So is this still the 911 Turbo? Perhaps a Turbo S? Our spy photographer suggested it may actually be a 911 GT3 prototype, but we’re skeptical. After all, it’s only been a month since Porsche said it really didn’t want to turbocharge the GT3. But if it’s actually a GT2, you wouldn’t think Porsche would include driver-assistance features such as adaptive cruise control. Then again, since this is a prototype, Porsche could always be testing features from multiple vehicles.

For now, it will have to remain a mystery. Check out the photos in the gallery below and come to your own conclusions.

Photo source: CarPix

The post Spied! Next-Gen Porsche 911 Turbo Caught With GT2-Style Exhaust appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Five-Seat Volkswagen Atlas Concept to Debut in New York

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 18:30

Sometimes less is more—especially if you remove a few seats for more passenger and cargo space. Volkswagen is bringing a five-passenger Atlas SUV concept to the 2018 New York auto show. Like its three-row, seven-seat sibling, the two-row SUV will also be assembled in the U.S. and rides on VW’s scalable MQB platform.

“The Atlas has built strong momentum for Volkswagen in the SUV segment, and we are excited to grow our SUV portfolio with this new, Chattanooga-assembled five-passenger SUV,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, Volkswagen President and CEO, in a statement. “We are not only committed to this market, we are committed to our U.S. manufacturing home in Chattanooga, Tennessee.”

Volkswagen says that it will invest about $340 million to bring its new five-passenger Atlas variant to market. It’s the third Volkswagen model assembled at the company’s Chattanooga factory.

The current Atlas is available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine for the base model that delivers 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The optional 3.6-liter V-6 engine offers 276 hp and 266 lb-ft.

Both engines are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, with Volkwagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system available as an option.

The five-passenger Atlas variant will likely offer the same engine options. Volkswagen sold 27,119 seven-passenger Atlas crossovers last year.

The concept will make its official debut at the New York auto show next week.

Source: Volkswagen

The post Five-Seat Volkswagen Atlas Concept to Debut in New York appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Volkswagen Previews I.D. R Pikes Peak Race Car

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 16:30

In these new renderings, Volkswagen previews the race car it hopes will set a new record for electric cars at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which takes place June 24 in Colorado.

The I.D. R Pikes Peak is Volkswagen’s first entry into the hill climb race since 1987. That year, it raced a twin-engine Golf which didn’t quite make it to the end of the 12.4-mile course. The route begins at just above 9,000 feet and climbs all the way to 14,115 feet at the summit.

VW hasn’t released powertrain details, but the four-wheel-drive car will have to be quick enough to beat a time of 8:57.118 minutes if it wants a shot at being king of the mountain. That prototype class record was set by Rhys Millen in 2016.

“We want to be at the forefront of electro-mobility with Volkswagen and the I.D. family,” said Frank Welsch, VW board member responsible for development, in a release. “Competing in the most famous hill climb in the world with the I.D. R Pikes Peak is a valuable test for the general development of electric cars.”

The front lights and other styling cues are reminiscent of those found on other electric cars in the I.D. family. Volkswagen will launch the first non-racing model, a hatchback, in 2019 followed by a crossover in 2020. A new version of the Microbus is coming in 2022 along with a sedan. In total, the VW brand plans to offer more than 20 battery electric cars by 2025.

Source: Volkwagen

The post Volkswagen Previews I.D. R Pikes Peak Race Car appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Motor Trend en Español? – The Lohdown

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 08:00

The May 2018 print-magazine cover riffs on the magic of internet searches and automobiles, and although it’s a bit cheeky, it hints at how a significant portion of Motor Trend content is delivered and consumed every day.

Readers like you help drive our monthly magazine circulation to an average of 1 million copies (thank you), but in a good month, nearly twice as many readers find our news, reviews, and buyer’s guide insights on via search engines like Google.

And that’s just if you want our content in English; we license print versions of Motor Trend in Chinese and Korean, and produce a Spanish-language version of our website.

Motor Trend en Español began in the early 2000s and served our Spanish-speaking audience with both a magazine and a website, Our colleague Sidney Hidalgo’s careful stewardship has kept MTEE and our other international offerings alive all of these years—but the growth of our Spanish-language version really took off when Miguel Cortina joined our team in January 2015.

If that name sounds familiar, it is because Miguel is an active contributor to both the English and Spanish versions of Motor Trend. His byline and insights have appeared several times online, and he’s been a juror on both our SUV of the Year and Truck of the Year programs.

Prior to Miguel’s arrival, our Spanish-language offerings consisted almost entirely of third-party translations of Motor Trend content. He now manages that process, but he also publishes original drive reviews and news on that target the growing Latino audience in America and abroad. If that’s not enough, Miguel is Motor Trend’s one-man wrecking crew when it comes to Spanish-language social media. You can find it on the Motor Trend en Español Facebook and Instagram accounts and on Twitter.

Or, you know, just Google it. Gracias for your support.

La portada de este mes cubre la magia de las búsquedas de internet y los automóviles, y aunque es un poco descarada, insinúa cómo se entrega y se consume una porción importante del contenido de Motor Trend todos los días.

Lectores como usted ayudan a que nuestra revista mensual tenga una circulación de 1 millón de copias en promedio (gracias), pero en un buen mes, casi el doble de lectores encuentran nuestras noticias, reseñas y consejos de nuestra guía del comprador en a través de buscadores como Google.

Y eso es únicamente si quiere leer nuestro contenido en inglés; tenemos versiones impresas de Motor Trend en chino y coreano, y publicamos una versión en español de nuestro sitio de internet.

Motor Trend en Español comenzó a principios de los años 2000 y sirvió a nuestra audiencia de habla hispana con una revista y un sitio de internet, El trabajo cuidadoso de nuestro colega Sidney Hidalgo ha mantenido vivo a MTEE y nuestras otras ofertas internacionales durante todos esos años – pero el crecimiento de nuestra versión en español realmente se disparó cuando Miguel Cortina se unió a nuestro equipo en enero de 2015.

Si ese nombre suena familiar, es porque Miguel es un contribuidor activo de nuestras versiones en inglés y en español de Motor Trend. Su nombre y sus perspectivas han aparecido muchas veces en esta revista, y él ha sido juez en nuestros programas SUV del Año y Camioneta del Año.

Antes de que Miguel llegara a nuestro equipo, nuestras ofertas en español consistían prácticamente en traducciones de Motor Trend hechas por terceros. Él todavía maneja ese proceso, pero también escribe reseñas originales y noticias en que están dirigidas al creciente público Latino en Estados Unidos y el mundo. Por si eso no fuera suficiente, Miguel es un batallón de una persona cuando hablamos de redes sociales. Lo puede encontrar en las cuentas de Motor Trend en Español de Facebook e Instagram y en Twitter en @MTEspanol.

O, ya sabe, búsquelo en Google. Gracias por su apoyo.

More from Ed Loh:

The post Motor Trend en Español? – The Lohdown appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost First Test: Chip On Its Shoulder

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 08:00

We’ve tested nearly half a dozen first-gen EcoBoost Mustangs around here, so we’re pretty familiar with how the car drives and performs. The 2018 model, a midlife refresh, has picked up a 10-speed automatic, an extra 30 lb-ft of torque, and a whole lot more attitude.

To date, the EcoBoost-equipped Mustang has been a confident performer, especially equipped with the optional Performance package. In a comparison test against the turbo four-cylinder Camaro, I wrote it “can be driven as fast as its motor will carry it down a winding road with complete confidence.” Apparently, that’s too tame for the Mustang engineering team. This new car drives like it has something to prove.

It’s obvious the moment you start driving the car hard. The optional limited-slip differential locks up aggressively, and the optional summer tires don’t always have the grip to handle it. You must be careful with the throttle in tight corners; it will try to put all 350 lb-ft down at once and pop you sideways. Leave the stability control on until you’re familiar with the car because it’ll let you rotate more than you expect before it steps in. This car now requires a delicate touch. Manhandling it turns a race horse into a bucking bronco.

You can make life easier on yourself by staying away from the Sport+ and Race driving modes. Both make the throttle hyperaggressive and the steering too heavy, making it needlessly difficult to drive the car smoothly. Those modes also lock out the selectable steering settings, so you can’t customize the car to your taste. Sport or Custom modes are best but don’t let you change the firmness of the optional magnetorheological dampers, which work best in Sport+ and Race. In Sport and Custom, they leave the car underdamped and a little too bouncy for serious driving.

The new 10-speed auto is one thing that doesn’t need fixing on the street. On our favorite roads, it was perfect. Even with its software update, the EcoBoost still runs out of breath at high rpm, but you wouldn’t know it because this transmission knows exactly how to use all its gears to keep the engine in the meat of its power. That include both shifting at the horsepower peak and downshifting under braking so you’re right at the torque peak when you’re ready to accelerate out of the corner.

Regardless of which mode you prefer or how you dial in the settings, there’s no denying the EcoBoost Mustang is damn quick on a back road once you figure out how to drive it right. It’s a sweaty-palms experience, but it’ll surprise a lot of fast cars.

This was born out at the test track, as well. At 5.3 seconds to 60 mph and 13.9 seconds in the quarter at 97.2 mph, this is the quickest EcoBoost Mustang we’ve ever tested and nicely reverses a trend we discovered and reported of EcoBoost Mustangs getting slower. Our test team found Drag Strip mode, unsurprisingly, returned the best results, though it surprisingly doesn’t have launch control. A little brake torque up to 1,500 rpm netted the best launch. If you’re curious, the last V-8 Mustang we tested hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and ran a 12.6-second quarter mile at 115.1 mph.

We’ve long praised the EcoBoost Mustang’s braking for being stronger and more precise than you’d expect in what is now the base model, and this one is no exception. Its stop from 60 mph in 106 feet is right on par with its predecessors.

Things didn’t go so well in our handling tests, though. Pulling 0.96 g on the skidpad and lapping the figure eight in 25.1 seconds at 0.75 g average, it did about as well as the last EcoBoost with an automatic transmission we tested. Thing is, it’s significantly slower and pulling a lot less g than the best EcoBoost Mustang we’ve tested, and it’s not just the numbers. The test team reports things started out all right, with great braking, good road holding, and strong traction coming off the corners, but the laps were still nearly a second off the pace. Going for another try, everything “went pear-shaped,” as the notes have it. “Times did not improve, and the transmission started really hiccupping,” our test team wrote. “A couple of times, after pulling the paddle for a downshift, it literally freewheeled, no throttle response, as if it was in neutral. Then it popped into second and the revs jumped (no matched revving), and it totally upset the car. Also, I don’t think the LSD was working properly because going to throttle at the same rate in the same place spun the car once—a really slow-mo spin, but still it was a surprise.” No doubt, our Figure Eight test is very hard on cars, but these sorts of things don’t usually happen.

The test team’s notes end with, “Feels like a good eight-tenths car, but ask ten-tenths and it won’t like it.” Which, really, kind of jibes with our road impressions. Although we had no mechanical issues on the road, the car did not like to be driven to within an inch of its capability. My own notes read, verbatim: “This thing grabs you by the collar and screams in your face, ‘I’m sporty, mother******!’ It’s like trying to wheel a classic Mustang hard. You’ve gotta know what you’re doing.”

Harping on the handling aside, there are a few other aspects of the 2018 refresh to talk about. My favorite is the optional digital dash, which has a lot of cool graphics and a different skin for every drive mode. My only request would be a more intuitive user interface, as there are multiple buttons on the steering wheel and dash that control it and it takes a while to figure out how to access all the hidden menus. Similarly, I’d like to know if there’s some hidden volume control for the parking sensors. They’re painfully loud.

The standard seats are as deserving of praise as the digital dash. They’re plenty supportive for back road shenanigans and still quite comfortable for the daily commute. The optional leather isn’t the fanciest stuff on the market, but it’s very nice for a non-luxury vehicle.

As long as we’re talking fancy stuff, we ought to address the green elephant in the room. Our EcoBoost Premium tester priced out at $39,880, and a lot of you will be quick to point out you can have a V-8 for that money. That’s certainly true, and if your priorities are power and exhaust note, there’s no reason not to. Of course, if you want these heated and cooled seats, the navigation system, the digital dash, the dampers, etc. on your V-8, it’s going to cost you plenty more than $40,000. The GT Premium starts at 40 grand, after all. If you’re looking to balance performance and features, the EcoBoost isn’t a bad way to go.

The 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost, at least when equipped with the Performance package, is not the docile base car you might expect. It’s not even the bargain sports car it used to be. It’s an ornery foal waiting to be broken to the saddle, and you have to respect that. It used to be that people looked down on base-engine Mustangs, but anyone who dismisses the 2018 EcoBoost out of hand hasn’t driven one.

2018 Ford Mustang Coupe (EcoBoost) BASE PRICE $26,485 PRICE AS TESTED $39,880 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 4-pass, 2-door coupe ENGINE 2.3L/310-hp/350-lb-ft† turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION 10-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,709 lb (54/46%) WHEELBASE 107.1 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 188.5 x 75.4 x 54.3 in 0-60 MPH 5.3 sec QUARTER MILE 13.9 sec @ 97.2 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 106 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.96 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.1 sec @ 0.75 g (avg) REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 18.8/27.2/21.8 mpg EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 21/32/25 mpg† ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 160/105 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.78 lb/mile †Horsepower and torque values derived from 93-octane fuel; EPA fuel economy from 87-octane fuel

The post 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost First Test: Chip On Its Shoulder appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Ford Mustang Photos! See Motor Trend-Taken Sixth-Gen Mustang Pics Right Here

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 08:00

Ford Mustangs are tough to ignore. Thanks to a healthy rivalry with the Chevrolet Camaro and monthly sales that always number in the thousands—not the hundreds—the Mustang has survived through six generations. The muscle car’s appeal goes beyond the allure of an available eight-cylinder engine at a somewhat affordable price. It’s also the bold styling. And since the sixth generation made its debut for the 2015 model year, Motor Trend has thoroughly covered the Mustang with reviews and comparison tests. Check out some of them below, along with Mustang photos you won’t find anywhere else.


 2018 Ford Mustang Ecoboost

2018 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE vs. 2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 vs. 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R: The Forever War 2016 Best Driver’s Car Contenders Part 1: AMG GT S, M4 GTS, Shelby GT350R, and 570S 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost First Test and Comparison Test 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang First Test Review 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 vs. 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang 2016 Ford Mustang GT First Test Review and Comparison Test 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost 2.3 Manual First Test 2015 Ford Mustang GT First Test 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost 2.3 First Test

The post Ford Mustang Photos! See Motor Trend-Taken Sixth-Gen Mustang Pics Right Here appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited Long-Term Update 4: How the Transmission is Tuned

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 08:00

Last July, I drove to San Diego in our long-term 2017 Hyundai Tucson to attend the launch of the 2018 Sonata and Elantra GT. The latter shares the same 1.6-liter turbo-four and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with our Tucson in Sport guise but makes 26 hp more. In that application, the transmission is smooth, responsive, and snappy even in manual mode, doing exactly what you want. However, in the Tucson, it’s like a different unit, slow to respond and laggy. Why such a drastic change between the two cars? It’s all in the tuning.

Whereas the Elantra GT Sport has been calibrated for enthusiastic driving, the Tucson is efficiency-minded.  On the highway, the powertrain is unobtrusive, but once you hit congested areas, things start to get clunky. At low speeds, the gearbox hunts frequently, shudders, and shifts roughly. You grow to expect but perhaps not accept it after a while; it will remain annoying because we’ve driven eco-minded powertrains that are less noticeably clunky. It also doesn’t help that the Tucson’s throttle response is sluggish, making it feel even more unresponsive. The best solution is to not put your foot down suddenly, because the transmission will get confused and ease into the throttle when you’re in traffic to keep it from shuddering. Sport mode also alleviates things slightly and makes city driving slightly smoother.

As a result of its transmission tuning, the Tucson lags behind its rivals when it comes to on-road refinement. The Honda CR-V doesn’t jerk you around at low speeds, and the CVT operates nearly invisibly. The Mazda CX-5, on the other hand, is more agile and responsive. City driving is where the Tucson’s weaknesses appear, and it doesn’t help that despite the economy-minded transmission, it’s EPA-rated at 24/28 mpg city/highway with all-wheel drive and 25/30 mpg with front-wheel drive. That’s right in line with most of the class but behind the most efficient entries, the CR-V and the Nissan Rogue, both of which are rated 2 to 3 mpg higher, so there’s no efficiency gain with the eco-tuned transmission when matched against the competition.

Read more about our 2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD:

The post 2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited Long-Term Update 4: How the Transmission is Tuned appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Refreshing or Revolting: Lexus UX vs. BMW X1 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLA

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 23:45

Lexus has gained a reputation for polarizing design over the past several years. And whether you like or don’t like the look of other Lexus crossovers, you’ll likely feel the same way about the new 2019 Lexus UX. When it arrives in the U.S. this December, it will compete against the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. But does it have a more compelling design than these two rivals?

The 2019 Lexus UX features the much contended spindle grille that permeates throughout the automaker’s lineup. It takes on an interesting 3D appearance with a mesh pattern. The grille takes up most of the front fascia, although the headlights and side vents also try and grab your attention. Take a look at the BMW X1, and you’ll notice it bears a less controversial dual-kidney grille design that’s simple, unobtrusive, yet almost too expected. The lights inside the headlamp housings take on a rounded shape. On the GLA, the rounded headlamps are almost as tall as the grille, which itself features soft lines. Because it doesn’t have sharp edges, the GLA looks less imposing than its rivals from many angles.

From the side profiles, the three models look quite different. Comparatively, the UX features a lot of cladding around the wheel arches. It has a more bulbous rear than that on the X1, which is flatter. The GLA has pleasant character lines running across its body and looks particularly diminutive from this angle. It’s the shortest of the bunch, measuring 173.9 inches long compared to the BMW’s 175.4 inches. Lexus says the UX that debuted in Geneva measures in at 177 inches in length.

Strong fender flares characterize the back end of the UX. Its full-width taillights project a “nighttime signature” using 120 LEDs and tapers toward the center, Lexus says. Below the light strip, character lines form a trapezoid. This angle of the UX is also a bit polarizing since the rear protrudes so much, and is arguably overly sculpted. Meanwhile, the BMW features a much more conventional rear end that is more upright. For the GLA, the taillights are so big that they dominate the rear end. A silver trim piece joins the two lights together in the very compact rear.

Each model features a luxurious cabin. On the UX, Lexus made it so the upper part of the instrument panel appears to extend out beyond the windshield. The large, low screen sits above the dashboard, and there is an old-school analog clock on this unit. Below the big screen, there are neat rows of buttons and a touchpad. The BMW features perhaps the oldest-looking screen of the bunch, and probably the starkest interior of the group as well. On the GLA, you’ll notice playful circular air vents and a stand-alone, square infotainment system.

Which crossover takes the cake: the 2019 Lexus UX, BMW X1, or Mercedes-Benz GLA? Let us know on Facebook.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: Lexus UX vs. BMW X1 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLA appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

The Nissan IMx is Going Into Production, Will Essentially be a Leaf SUV

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 23:00

The name “Tesla” may be synonymous with electric cars, but since the end of 2010, Nissan’s been quietly selling the fully electric Leaf hatchback. It was even popular enough to earn a second generation. But from the sound of it, Nissan thinks sales of its next electric car will blow Leaf sales out of the water. That’s because it’s reportedly planning to turn the Leaf into an SUV.

According to Autocar, Nissan’s developing an electric SUV that looks a lot like the IMx concept we saw last year. Despite being larger and offering more ground clearance, Autocar believes this electric crossover will be built on the Leaf’s platform. And when it finally goes into production, Nissan expects the electric crossover to be extremely popular.

“Of course, we have the new Leaf, but I think the [production version of the] IMx concept will become a breakthrough model.” Mamoru Aoki, Nissan’s head of European design, told Autocar. “The IMx is not just a concept car. In a few years, it will appear.”

According to Aoki, removing the engine will make the production IMx much more spacious than its gas-powered competition. “The interior is notably bigger than with a conventional vehicle and there’s much more usable space, thanks to the totally flat floor allowed by the battery pack,” said Aoki. “The dashboard is also pushed right back because the HVAC unit is under the bonnet.”

So far, there’s no word on how much Nissan’s electric SUV will cost or what kind of range it will actually offer. But Hyundai’s Kona Electric may soon face some serious competition.

Source: Autocar

The post The Nissan IMx is Going Into Production, Will Essentially be a Leaf SUV appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Volkswagen Bringing Small “Volks-SUV” to U.S. Instead of T-Roc

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 22:00

Now we’re starting to understand why Volkswagen didn’t bring the T-Roc to the U.S. market. The automaker apparently has a different small SUV in mind for us, one that is currently under development and will come from Mexico.

Although we don’t have an official name yet, VW calls the model “Volks-SUV,” or People’s SUV. “We call it internally Volks-SUV – the production car won’t have that name – because it turned from a regional project into a global project,” said VW brand sales boss Juergen Stackmann, reports Automotive News.

The model, to be sold globally, is slightly more compact than the Tiguan. It will sit on the MQB architecture for cars with front transverse engines. VW just approved the design last week, so the process is already pretty far along.

Volkswagen will initially build the model through a joint venture in China, and sales for this market will begin in August. Production will expand into Mexico, Russia, and Argentina starting from 2020. The automaker didn’t say when we can expect to see it in the U.S., but VW brand CEO Herbert Diess revealed Mexico will supply the crossover for the U.S.

Small crossovers are hot in the U.S. right now, and VW clearly needs a competitor in this space. So why didn’t the T-Roc make the cut, you ask? VW says its smaller size and lower roof make it more compatible with Europe. Meanwhile, the automaker will sell the “Volks-SUV” in various different markets, but there are no plans to introduce it in Europe.

According to Diess, VW wants to sell 400,000 copies of the new crossover globally each year. If it sells well, the model can help fund VW’s extensive electric vehicle lineup planned for the future.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

The post Volkswagen Bringing Small “Volks-SUV” to U.S. Instead of T-Roc appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Ford Really Wants This Focus Sedan Prototype to Be Seen

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 19:45

It has been about seven years since Ford redesigned the Focus, and despite receiving an update for 2015, it feels a little outdated. Past spy shots have shown that Ford is hard at work developing a new Focus, but it hasn’t been clear when the car would officially be revealed. Based on these photos, that date is probably just around the corner.

Our spy photographer caught this Focus sedan prototype on the road in Europe, and while they’re technically spy shots, it’s clear Ford wanted this car to be seen. Instead of wearing traditional camouflage, the car is covered in a bright, colorful wrap with comics. Really, we shouldn’t even call it a prototype since it’s being used as more of a marketing vehicle.

From what we can see, the new Focus is curvier and looks a little more mature than the current car, while the headlights and taillights have a more upmarket feel. Of course, it also looks a lot like the Focus hatchback that was caught completely undisguised last month.

Ford has yet to confirm an exact date for the official reveal, but we do know the new Focus won’t be shown at the New York Auto Show. Last we heard, it will get an event of its own somewhere in Europe next month.

Source: CarPix

The post Ford Really Wants This Focus Sedan Prototype to Be Seen appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Lincoln Aviator SUV Makes a Comeback

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 18:30

Resurrecting a nameplate we haven’t seen since 2005, Lincoln will preview a new Aviator SUV at the New York auto show later this month.

Lincoln last used the Aviator name on an SUV based on the Ford Explorer. Although short-lived, running from the 2003-2005 model years, the SUV provided Lincoln customers with a slightly smaller alternative to the Navigator. It featured a 4.6-liter V-8 engine delivering 302 hp, and fuel economy topped out at 11/17 mpg city/highway. We should see downsized, but still powerful, engines on the new Aviator, and expect a big improvement in fuel economy.

Judging from the past, we can expect the Aviator will slot between the Nautilus and Navigator in Lincoln’s current lineup of recently updated SUVs. The current Navigator, which we really like, has been on sale since late last year while the Nautilus will go on sale this spring as a replacement for the MKX crossover.

Lincoln is expected to offer an electrified version of the new vehicle. “The Aviator, which will make its world debut at the New York International Auto Show, is the first of two all-new utilities that Lincoln will bring to market in the next two years as it grows its utility portfolio and commits to electrification across its lineup globally,” the automaker said in a press release.

We don’t know much about the Aviator, but we have to say we like the name and Lincoln’s move away from vehicles starting with “MK.” We’ll learn more about the Lincoln Aviator when it debuts in New York on Wednesday, March 28. In the meantime, check out the teaser video below for a look at parts of the exterior design.

Source: Lincoln

The post Lincoln Aviator SUV Makes a Comeback appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Jeep Built a Jeepster Concept for This Year’s Easter Safari

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 17:45

Every spring, Jeep builds a handful of wild concepts and heads to Moab, Utah, for the Easter Jeep Safari. Last year, we saw a Wrangler that had been modified to look like a ’60s gasser hot rod, a tastefully restored 1993 Grand Cherokee, and several others. Jeep hasn’t revealed which concepts it will bring to this year’s event, but the teasers it released today definitely have our attention.

The first image shows a JL Wrangler with a retro two-tone paint job. Look a little closer, and you’ll see a badge on the fender that says “Jeepster.” To us, it looks a little more like the Commando from the ’70s that had dropped the Jeepster name, but we’ll reserve judgment until the concept is revealed in full. Jeepsters are cool, and so is this concept’s retro look.

The Wrangler in this second teaser definitely looks more off-road-focused. It appears to have been lifted, given larger tires, and fitted with a bull bar and lights. Since it’s also got a hood scoop, there’s a chance Jeep swapped in a Hemi V-8. And while the image is far too blurry to be certain, it kind of looks like there’s a truck bed out back.

According to Jeep, we’ll get more details, as well as more images, next week before the 52nd annual Easter Jeep Safari kicks off on Saturday, March 24.

Source: Jeep

The post Jeep Built a Jeepster Concept for This Year’s Easter Safari appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Here’s Aston Martin’s Future Product Pipeline Through 2023

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 16:45

Attention lottery winners and blockchain bros: British luxury brand Aston Martin is engaging in a massive product offensive that will result in an all-new or seriously redesigned vehicle arriving pretty much every year through 2023.

The surge will include Aston Martin’s entry into the SUV market as well as two pure battery-electric vehicles under the Lagonda brand name. It also means a new mid-engine sports car.

2019 Aston Martin Vantage

In a far-reaching interview at the media introduction of the Vantage in Portugal (driving impressions of which are embargoed until April 10), Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said that the brand is looking at portfolio expansion as a way to dramatically increase global sales and brand recognition past that of Ferrari.

The expansion into mid-engine sports cars could result in the brand’s traditional front-engine, rear-drive layout going away after the current generation, Palmer said.

Although Aston Martins will retain their classic dimensions—yes, even in SUV form—“we unleashed the designers on Lagonda,” Palmer said.

Aston Martin Lagonda Vision Concept

Make no mistake—Lagonda will be “fully electrified,” as in having only battery-electric propulsion—not hybrids—with development done in-house. Palmer adding that Aston Martin has “help wanted” positions for 400 Lagonda battery propulsion engineers.

“It will not be a compromised platform,” Palmer said. “It will have no tailpipe. We want to do our own cells. We want to master the battery controller.”

By not having the restriction of a powertrain at the front axle, the designers have more freedom to create unique new vehicle designs—as seen with the Lagonda Vision concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show.

Aston’s product roll-out
  • 2018 Vantage, DB11 Volante redesigns
  • 2018 Vanquish redesign, Vantage roadster
  • 2019 DBX SUV intro
  • 2021 Mid-engine sports car into
  • 2022 Lagonda sedan intro
  • 2023 Lagonda SUV intro

Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s chief designer, said that “without the lump of a V-8 or V-12, we can design from the inside out.”

The new lineup also means the withdrawal of the Rapide sedan from the lineup. The Rapide is at the end of its cycle but will fulfill a crucial duty in being transformed into a battery-electric fleet of 155 vehicles to test consumer wants and needs for the upcoming Lagondas.

That said, Aston Martin will still be in the business of building V-12 flagship sports cars, although future V-12s might be hybrid-powered (but not plug-in hybrids, which Palmer sees as inefficient).

In addition to the series production vehicles, Aston Martin will also create two “limited series” vehicles a year, such as the Valkyrie hypercar or design variations with outside coachbuilders like Zagato, Palmer said.

The track-only Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro that debuted in Geneva

Aston Martin sold 5,100 vehicles in 2017, a 58 percent increase, but Palmer is not satisfied with that volume level. With the home plant in Gaydon, England, soon to be maxed out for capacity building sports cars, Aston Martin is building a new 7,000-unit plant in Wales to account for 4,000 DBXs and 3,000 Lagondas annually. Palmer expects volumes to reach 14,000 units in 2023—which would be nearly double that of Ferrari’s 8,398 sold in 2017.

Although the automaker is in the midst of its heaviest R&D spend in its history, it posted a £207 million EBITDA profit in 2017 on £1.2 billion in revenue. The only previous annual profit in Aston Martin’s 105-year history was in the global boom year of 2007—and that comes with an asterisk as a chunk of Aston’s costs were dispersed throughout then-owner Ford Motor Co.’s larger structure. The automaker also has refinanced its debt, shaving its borrowing rate from 10 percent to 6 percent senior securitized debt, Palmer said.

“The chapter of loss making is done,” Palmer said. “The money is spent. Now we will reap it in.”




The post Here’s Aston Martin’s Future Product Pipeline Through 2023 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Looks Ready to Swallow Rivals

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 15:45

After months of waiting, Ford has finally given us a sneak peek at the new Mustang Shelby GT500 in this teaser photo. One thing is for sure: This won’t look like a standard Mustang.

Arriving in 2019, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 receives more visual differentiation than any other car in the automaker’s pony car stable. The large, gaping grille completely dominates the front fascia. Compared to previous Shelby GT Mustangs, the Cobra logo is more prominent. Curiously, the headlights appear to take after the pre-refresh Mustang rather than the face-lifted 2018 model.

Ford has confirmed the new Mustang GT500 will be its most powerful production car to date. A teaser video released by Ford at the Detroit auto show announced the GT500’s return and revealed the car will pack more than 700 hp. If the leaked images we’ve seen are any indication, that power should come from a supercharged engine. The previous GT500, which concluded its run after the 2014 model year, made “just” 662 hp from a 5.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine. The coupe version managed to hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds in Motor Trend tests, and we can only imagine the new version will be even quicker.

Right now, Ford only offers the GT350 and GT350R, which are impressive in their own right. We tested the GT350R, which makes 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque from a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter flat-plane-crank V-8, hitting 60 mph in 4 seconds. The GT350, GT350R, and past GT500 have all come with manual transmissions, so it’s likely the new GT500 will follow suit.

In other Mustang news, Ford confirmed plans for a hybrid version of the pony car. But even more interesting will be an all-electric SUV with Mustang-inspired styling. That model is destined to arrive in 2020.

Source: Ford

The post Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Looks Ready to Swallow Rivals appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property

Toyota RAV4 History: A Closer Look at the Popular Crossover’s Heritage

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 09:30

Although it was born in an era dominated by minivans and sedans, the Toyota RAV4 continues to prove it has staying power. The crossover has experienced a long and twisty road to becoming Toyota’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S., and now, is the RAV4 is preparing to enter its fifth generation. Here, we take a look back at one of the most influential crossovers in history.

The Idea

If the RAV4 were a person, it would call itself a millennial. The small crossover made its debut in 1989 as the RAV Four concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. In 1993, Toyota revealed a revised version of the concept that would more closely resemble the final production version. The idea was simple: Create a vehicle that mixes the light off-road capability of an SUV with the on-road comfort of a passenger car. The spirit of this vehicle was captured in the seemingly random RAV4 name, which actually means “Recreational Active Vehicle with 4WD.”

First Generation: So Many Variants

At last, the production RAV4 arrived in Japan and Europe in 1994 followed by the U.S. in 1996. Here, it was powered by a 120-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine paired to a standard five-speed manual or available four-speed automatic. The vehicle was offered in two- and four-door versions. Globally, Toyota sold nearly 300,000 copies of the RAV4 in its first three years on the market, a small number compared to the more than 400,000 units a year that model sells today in the U.S. alone.

An all-electric RAV4 with a nickel-metal hydride batteries launched in 1997 to satisfy California’s zero emissions requirements. This model would be offered until 2003. For 1998, Toyota introduced a cabrio version, which we recorded hitting 0-60 mph in 9.8 seconds. That same model year, the RAV4 received an increase of 7 hp.

Second Generation: Getting More Power

Although new players were beginning to challenge Toyota in the small SUV segment, the automaker was consistently making changes to keep the RAV4 fresh. Moving into its second generation, the 2001 Toyota RAV4 became more powerful. It was now producing 148 hp and 142 lb-ft of torque from its 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and we tested it hitting 60 mph in 10.4 seconds with the four-speed automatic and 8.9 seconds with the five-speed manual. In the U.S. market, only the four-door version was available, but a two-door continued to be available in other markets. In Motor Trend’s 2001 SUV of the Year evaluations, we praised the RAV4 for its generous legroom and nice interior feel.

By the time the 2004 model year rolled around, the RAV4 upgraded to a 2.4-liter engine making 161 hp and 165 lb-ft of torque. We tested the RAV4 with this engine reaching 60 mph at 9.3 seconds with the four-speed auto and 7.8 seconds with the five-speed manual.

Third Generation: Upsizing

For the 2006 model year, Toyota offered a V-6 for the first time. The Avalon-derived 3.5-liter unit made an impressive 269 hp and 246 lb-ft of torque, and reaching 60 mph took just 6.4 seconds, according to our tests. Four-cylinder models also had more juice: 166 hp and 165 lb-ft of torque, and we clocked a 2008 model reaching 60 mph in 9.5 seconds.

The U.S.-spec RAV4 ballooned in length by 14 inches, making it more practical but allowing it to slowly creep into the Highlander’s territory. A third row was offered, though room was tight back there. We enjoyed the vehicle’s acceleration in V-6 form.

In a review of the V-6 Sport model with a firmer suspension and other updates, we wrote “The RAV4 is nimbler than ever due to the steering rack’s direct mounting to the frame, and its reflexes are especially striking in the nimble Sport version, where the RAV4 feels like a sports car in hiking boots.”

For 2009, the RAV4 jumped in power again, this time to 178 hp from a new 2.5-liter engine. This generation, the engine came with the familiar four-speed automatic, but V-6 models had a five-speed auto. No manuals were offered in the U.S.

At the end of the generation, Toyota tried its hand once again at an electric RAV4. It delivered 100 miles per charge with the help of a battery pack and electric powertrain designed and produced by Tesla. Maxing out at 154 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, the RAV4 EV boasted a sport mode that offered more spirited driving. Production on the model would end in 2014.

Fourth Generation: Time to Scale Back

When the new RAV4 made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto show in 2012, it had already fallen behind the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape in the sales charts. It had lost its original charm as a small, maneuverable SUV and had grown too far from its roots. For its fourth generation, the RAV4 reversed many of the changes from the third-generation model. The V-6 engine was gone, and instead, U.S. models only had a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 176 hp, a tiny decrease from the previous generation. A new six-speed auto replaced the old four-speed auto.

Toyota also axed that third row. Going back to basics, the new RAV4 shrank 2 inches in length and an inch in height, although it grew slightly in width. Instead of a single-hinged liftgate door, the RAV4 switched over to a more traditional design hinged at the roof. Another deletion: the model’s signature spare tire mounted to the rear. More practical but less fun, the spare tire was now hidden underneath the floor.

For the 2016 model year, Toyota introduced a hybrid version that shares its powertrain with the Lexus NX 300h. Utilizing a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and three electric motors, the model makes a total of 194 hp. In its 0-60 run, the RAV4 hybrid managed 7.8 seconds in our tests. Because it’s more powerful than the standard RAV4, it’s no surprise the hybrid beat out the 2017 RAV4 SE we tested at a more leisurely 9.3 seconds. Perhaps more importantly, the hybrid blows other crossovers out of the water in our Real MPG tests, averaging 34.3/39/36.3 mpg city/highway/combined.

Fifth Generation: Era of TNGA

The fifth-generation RAV4 debuts at the New York auto show on March 28. So far, Toyota has released one shadowy image of the model, but it appears the model will receive a more upright body and more raked rear windshield.

At this point, the RAV4 is Toyota’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. by a large margin. Toyota sold 407,594 copies in 2017, ahead of its next best-seller, the Camry, at 387,081 units. We expect the RAV4 to offer improved fuel economy and a more powerful naturally aspirated engine, possibly paired to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Most importantly, it will sit on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which should have positive implications for ride quality and handling.

The post Toyota RAV4 History: A Closer Look at the Popular Crossover’s Heritage appeared first on Motor Trend.

Categories: Property