Just Car Blog
|Is Audi Looking To Buy Alfa Romeo?||
We’re filing this one in the “unconfirmed rumor” bin, but it’s strange enough that it just may be true. Ward’s Auto is reporting that German automaker Audi is close to reaching a deal with Fiat to acquire the assets of the Alfa Romeo brand, as well as Fiat’s Pomigliano assembly plant.
While Pomigliano currently assembles the Fiat Panda, it was constructed in the 1960s as an Alfa Romeo assembly plant, meaning the facility would be going full-circle. Word is that Audi may also be looking to acquire the Magneti Marelli auto parts brand, which is an easy way for Fiat to raise much-needed cash. It would certainly be odd, however, if Audi controlled the supply of spare parts and accessories for the Fiat brand.
A spokesman for Audi, Juergen De Graeve, said only, “There is no substance in the news,” which is essentially the same thing the brand said about rumors it would acquire motorcycle manufacturer Ducati, right before the deal was inked. For its part, Alfa Romeo is only saying, “we do not comment on speculative rumors.”
Alfa Romeo is currently a brand in turmoil, and it’s not adding much to Fiat’s coffers. Given Fiat’s struggles in the European market, a sale of Alfa Romeo to the Volkswagen Group would help its bottom line, while likely assuring a solid future for the Alfa Romeo brand, which needs more products and better distribution to survive.
We’re not buying into this just yet (after all, Monday IS April Fool’s Day), but we’d be the first to admit that it’s possible. Given the potential benefits for all parties involved, we hope the rumors turn out to be true.
|2013 World Car Award Winner Named In New York||
As the name implies, the World Car Awards are a global venture, with automotive journalists from all over the world selecting the most impressive vehicles in multiple categories. Proving that New York is a world city (and that the New York Auto Show has global significance), the awards are typically handed out in the lead-up to the Big Apple’s premier automotive event.
There are currently four categories awarded, including World Car of the Year, World Performance Car, World Car Design of the Year and World Green Car. Since the competition is global, it’s possible that winning vehicles won’t be sold in the North American marketplace.
That’s not the case for 2013, since we’ll be able to (eventually) purchase all the winning vehicles on these shores. Taking top honors as the World Car of the Year was the redesigned Mark VII Volkswagen Golf, which has already launched in Europe but won’t be seen here until 2014.
The win marks the second in a row for the German automaker, whose Volkswagen Up! took the top prize in 2012. The new VW Golf beat out some impressive challengers, including the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, the Porsche Boxster / Cayman and the Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ / Toyota GT 86.
Don’t feel bad for the Porsche Boxster / Cayman, however, as it took top honors in the World Performance Car category, beating the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and the Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ / Toyota GT 86 in the process.
The Jaguar F-Type was chosen as the World Car Design of the Year, over the new Mazda6 and the Aston Martin Vanquish, while the Tesla Model S took first place in the World Green Car category, beating the Renault Zoe and the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid.
|2014 Hyundai Equus Redefines Affordable Luxury||
Hyundai calls its Equus sedan the “most shopped premium luxury sedan” in the U.S. market, and it’s easy to understand why. Compared to rivals like the BMW 7-Series, the Lexus LS, the Jaguar XJ and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, it delivers much of the same luxury at a fraction of the price, and looks good doing it.
Since the Equus’ U.S. launch in 2010, the biggest changes have been under the hood, where the Tau V-8 has grown in size from 4.6 to 5.0-liters, and the transmission has grown from six to eight gears to aid both performance and fuel economy. In other words, changes have been minimal – until now.
The 2014 Hyundai Equus sports a revised front end look, which ties it back to the rest of the product line like never before. In the past, it was hard to tell that the Equus came from Hyundai, but now there’s somewhat a family resemblance to the Azera and Sonata sedans.
Inside, the Equus gets a new instrument cluster, upgraded cabin materials and expanded rear seat control options, which may prove especially helpful in long-wheelbase models. Hyundai claims the Equus delivers more passenger room than the Lexus LS 460, which is just one more reason to add the car to your shopping list.
Hyundai ups its safety ante in 2014 as well, making features like blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and cross-path detection standard. Opt for the range-topping Ultimate version, and you’ll also get things like a heads up display, a cornering camera and a multi-view camera system.
Hyundai’s air suspension returns, in recalibrated form, as does the current car’s drivetrain. The Equus’ Tau V-8 makes 429 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to move the big car with some enthusiasm. Perhaps its a good thing then, that the “Sport” mode has been reworked for better handling, while the “Normal” mode gets improved ride comfort.
Hyundai isn’t saying when the revised Equus sedan will hit U.S. dealers, nor is it releasing pricing information just yet. We’ll update you on both closer to the model’s launch.
|2014 Chevy Camaro Z/28 Reveal Stuns New York Auto Show||
Thanks to spy photographers, loose-lipped employees and the speed of information on the internet, it’s virtually impossible for an automaker to tee up a surprise new product. Generally speaking, by the time something new does hit the auto show floor, it’s been dissected to a molecular level by journalists the world over, who will typically complain that it’s underpowered, devoid of interior style and utterly worthless since it won’t be sold in a station wagon variant.
When Chevy pulled the wraps off the 2014 Camaro Z/28 yesterday, few people saw it coming. Call it sleight of hand; after all, Chevy had recently dropped the all-new Corvette and Corvette convertible, along with its SS muscle sedan. We were expecting a moderate refresh for the 2014, not a dedicated track animal that’s capable of showing taillights to the almighty Camaro ZL1.
The 2014 Camaro Z/28 comes packing a tuned 7.0-liter LS7 V-8, liberated from the Corvette Z06 and rated at “at least” 500 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. If you’re looking for floppy-paddle shifting, look elsewhere, since the Z/28 comes only with a six-speed manual transmission. Final gearing is 3.91:1, which Chevy calls ideally matched to the LS7’s power output.
The Z/28’s suspension has been tuned to deliver 1.05 g worth of cornering capability, thanks to adjustable spool-valve dampers, stiffer spring rates and suspension bushings and 19-inch wheels with 305/30ZR19 tires that shave 42-pounds of the weight of the 20-inch units used on the ZL1. If that’s not enough to blow your mind, consider this: the Z/28 also gets carbon ceramic brakes (which sounds like a great idea until you price replacement rotors).
Weight savings is the key to the Z/28s performance, so the car deletes the audio system, sound deadening, tire inflator kit and air conditioning (which can be added back in as a stand-alone option). Window glass is reduced thickness, and neither HID headlights nor foglamps are available. The Z/28 retains its back seat, but eliminates the trunk pass-through and uses lightweight high-density foam. The net result is that the Z/28 weighs some 300 pounds less than the ZL1.
Unlike Z/28s of the past, this version is more about going fast than looking cool. We suspect that many buyers will learn the hard way that driving a race car on the street isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, no matter how fast it is on the occasional track day. Still, color us impressed with the depth of Chevy’s performance Camaro range, and we certainly hope that Ford has a few tricks up its sleeve for 2015.
|2013 Shelby 1000 Introduced at NY Auto Show with 1,200 Horsepower||
You really have to ask yourself, at the point of 1,200 horsepower fed through the rear wheels, can you really drive such a machine on the street? Additionally, is 1,200 horsepower really necessary? Well, to sum up an answer, it is absolutely necessary! The all-new 2013 Shelby 1000 was revealed on the show floor in New York packing a monstrous 1,200 horsepower, which is almost twice as much as the Shelby GT500 makes (662hp). And you thought the Shelby Super Snake was a little over-kill with 850 horsepower, wait until you get a load of the new Shelby 1000.
The new 2013 Shelby 1000 amazingly uses the same 5.8-liter V8 engine found in the Shelby GT500 and is able to make all those 1,200 ponies on pump gas. Of course this amazing power output comes at a price, about $154,995 on top of you providing a stock Shelby GT500 for $54,650. Of course you will probably need to stock up on several of the Pirelli P-Zero tires, they are going to go (burn up) like hot cakes with 1,200 hp flowing through the drivetrain.
Hit up the full press release below for additional information on the new 2013 Shelby 1000
SHELBY AMERICAN BRINGS WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL STREET PRODUCTION MUSCLE CAR BACK TO THE NEW YORK AUTO SHOW
LAS VEGAS – March 22, 2013 – Shelby American, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International Inc., (CSBI.PK), will introduce the 2013 version of the most powerful production, street legal muscle car in the world on March 28, 2013, at the New York International Auto Show. The company will have on display its 2013 Shelby 1000 S/C version with 1,200 horsepower, which is based on the Ford Shelby GT500. Beginning with Ford’s new massive 5.8L V8 power plant, the 2013 Shelby 1000 puts unprecedented horsepower to the pavement, while running on pump gas.
“The 2012 Shelby 1000 was launched to great acclaim at the New York Auto Show last year to celebrate our 50th anniversary,” said John Luft, president of Shelby American. “We’re bringing back the Shelby 1000 to New York, but with Ford’s new 2013 Shelby GT500 as the base car. With its new engine, launch control, adjustable suspension and other new enhancements, we’ve created a car with even more capabilities. The 2013 Shelby 1000 incorporates everything we’ve learned over five decades of creating high-performance vehicles.”
While the stock 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 offers 662 HP, Shelby American strips the 5.8 liter engine down to the block, strengthens the internals and then cranks up the power. Combining a finely tuned adjustable suspension with a performance cooling package, big brakes and serious horsepower, the Shelby can outperform exotics costing three-to-four times more.
“The 2013 Shelby 1000 is the most powerful production muscle car on the market,” said Vince LaViolette, Shelby American’s test driver. “But this car cannot be defined by just its amazing power. The steering provides wonderful feedback and the car tracks beautifully, giving it an athletic feel. It attacks corners, ripping through them with minimal body roll and tremendous grip. Yet the Shelby 1000 can be so docile that you can cruise it down the streets of Manhattan.”
The 2013 Shelby 1000 S/C track version runs on pump gas and is rated at 1,200 HP. The post-title package starts at $154,995, not including the base GT500. A limited production of 100 2013 Shelby 1000′s will be built and each will be numbered and documented in the official Shelby Registry.
Shelby American will also unveil another vehicle at the New York International Auto Show. Like the Shelby Focus ST, it will not be Ford Mustang based.
Shelby American is now accepting orders for the limited edition 2013 Shelby 1000. Those interested in reserving a car should contact the Shelby American Sales team at (702) 942-7325 or visit www.shelbyamerican.com.
About Shelby American, Inc.
Shelby American manufactures and markets performance vehicles and related products. The company builds authentic continuation Cobras, including the 427 S/C, 289 FIA and 289 street car component vehicles. Shelby American offers the Shelby 1000, GT350, GT500 Super Snake, and GTS post-title packages for the current generation Ford Mustang, as well as the 2013 Shelby Focus ST. For more info, visit www.shelbyamerican.com.
Shelby 1000 Specifications
Shelby/Ford Racing 4.0L Supercharger with inlet pipe and MAF
Shelby Spec. Assembly Rods, Pistons, Rings, Oil Pump & Bearings
Shelby Blower Grind Camshafts
Shelby Spec. Titanium Retainers
Shelby Stage 3 Ported Heads
Shelby Spec Main Studs
Shelby Spec Head Studs
Shelby Spec High Capacity 8 qt. Oil Pan
Shelby Super Twin Clutch and Flywheel Kit
Shelby Billet Transmission Support
Shelby Performance Fuel Injectors
Shelby Performance 1000 HP Fuel System
Shelby Custom Aluminum Driveshaft
Driveshaft Safety Loop
Shelby Rear Suspension Upgrade
Shelby/Wilwood Brakes (6 piston front, 4 piston rear calipers)
Shelby/RR Belt Tensioner
Shelby Overdrive Pulley
Three-inch Catback Exhaust
Shelby Performance Cooling Package
Shelby K-Member with Control Arms
Shelby Billet Aluminum Watts Link
Shelby Water Pump
Shelby Carbon Fiber Coil Overlay Kit
Shelby MGW Short Throw Shifter
Shelby Billet Forged 3 Piece Wheels in Matte Black or Natural Aluminum Finish 20×9 (front) 20×11 (rear)
High Performance Tires
Shelby Custom Rear End with Cooler
Shelby A Pillar Gauge Cluster
Shelby Oil Air Separators
Shelby Caster Camber Plates
Shelby 1000 Custom Fiber Glass Hood
Shelby 200 Amp Alternator
Custom Rear Deck Filler Panel
Shelby 1000 Reflective Side Graphics
Shelby Custom Interior Upgrade
Shelby 1000 Custom Car Cover
Shelby Museum Delivery Included
Additional Shelby 1000 Options
Shelby/Kenne Bell Supercharger
Shelby Wide Body Conversion
|2013 Dodge Dart Limited Review & Test Drive||
The all-new 2013 Dodge Dart enters into the mix of Dodge vehicles to thrill consumers with a technologically advanced compact sedan. Though the Dart name is reintroduced in compact form filling the a void the Neon once occupied almost 8 years ago, Dodge manages to bring a new style to the brand offering many features once reserved for luxury vehicles wrapped up in stylish, economical and versatile package.
The all-new 2013 Dodge Dart slots just below the Avenger sedan but really appeals to a wide range of consumers due to its long list of standard and available equipment. Such equipment ads a newfound value on compact sedans and the Dart uses it to the best of its abilities.
For its first year, the new 2013 Dodge Dart takes many of its styling cues from the rest of the Dodge line up of cars. Many traits found in the new design language of the larger Charger are nicely trickled into the exterior design traits. The rear LED tail lights are an impressive yet unique part of the Darts character. The front end’s miniaturized version of the typical Dodge ‘cross’ grill has a profound statement of where the Dart belongs in its ranking among other Dodge vehicles. Overall the new Dart is a good looking compact exuding a classy look yet sporty enough to catch the eye of enthusiasts, especially in its sporty Rallye or GT trim levels.
My new 2013 Dodge Dart Limited test vehicle comes equipped with the new 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder TigerShark engine producing 160 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 148 pounds-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission in my test vehicle, though you can opt for a 6-speed manual transmission.
A 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque 1.4-liter 4-cylinder Multi-Air Turbocharged engine is available on all trims except the GT and exceptionally fuel efficient Aero trim. The MultiAir 1.4-liter is standard for the Aero trim, touting an impressive 41 mpg on the highway. The extra bit of torque is a benefit for the 1.4-liter turbo over my test vehicle’s naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine. When configured with the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine, the automatic transmission option is a 6-speed Dual Dry Clutch Transmission (DDCT) with an AutoStick for a manual shift mode.
In my 2013 Dart Limited’s configuration, acceleration is a bit sluggish making it to 60 mph in about 10 seconds. Though around town my Dart Limited tester proved to move along with the flow of traffic with ease. The only times the power deficiency was noticed is when attempting to over-take vehicles on the highway or just starting from a dead stop. The 6-speed automatic transmission adapts well to most driving conditions where it will hold lower gears longer when it detects sporty driving characteristics as to limit hunting or repeated downshifts when an extra bit of pulling power is needed.
The handling and ride quality is good considering the engine could use another 20 or more horsepower on a chassis that seems up to the extra duty. The Dart Limited’s suspension is tuned well for everyday driving but quickly demonstrates a good amount of body roll entering into turns at fast speeds. Powering out of turns is also a bit of a downer as the engine barley has enough torque to break the front wheels loose. With the limited amount of forward momentum from the new 2.0-iter TigerShark engine, it manages to muster out a respectable 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. These figures are slightly improved when equipped with the manual transmission getting as much as 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.
The interior of the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart Limited visually looks like it is in a class above most compact vehicles. Although, the feel of a quality fit and finish is slightly displaced and misleading as many of the bulky edges of the dashboard meeting trim pieces protrudes to the point that it looks out of place. Much of the way the interior feels, with the exception of the leather seats, large 8.4-inch LCD touch screen and dashboard LCD screen cluster instrumentation, is a bit ordinary. Where the new Dart Limited really makes up for the interior’s physical perception of quality is in its class-leading gadgetry.
Having a total of 6 different trim levels, SE, SXT, Rallye, Aero, Limited and GT, the new Dart has a versatile selection of feature sets, powertrains and optional equipment. The levels of customization, not only from the standpoint of the multiple trim levels, makes the new Dart a very desirable compact sedan for all types of consumers. Speaking of customization, my new 2013 Dodge Dart Limited test vehicle was equipped with many standard premium luxury features such as its touted Unconnect system with a high-resolution 8.4-inch touch LCD screen, the same unit found in other Dodge vehicles like the new Charger. Feature sets and menus are easy to navigate through the new system as well as the Garmin-powered GPS navigation system. There are several configurable options within the navigation system to combine ease of usability and the functionality demanded in a well-adapted mapping system.
Continuing the spectrum of features and options found on my new Dart Limited tester, it came equipped with an optional Premium Group package including dual-zone auto temp controls, Limited leather seats (heated front), heated steering wheel, remote start, and a universal garage door opener. An optional Technology Group package added keyless enter-n-go push button start, rear parking sensors, blind spot and rear cross path detection, rain sensing wipers and automatic high beam headlights. A rear backup camera came as standard equipment on the Dart Limited trim.
Probably one of the more intriguing parts of the new Dodge Dart Limited is its configurable 7-inch color LCD cluster display. The new display has many configurable options, controlled through steering wheel buttons, to place information in your desired location and even choose between a virtual analog speedometer or a digital read out. Additionally, the screen display’s pertinent vehicle information, such as the tire pressures, fuel computer, vehicle temps and vehicle settings are easily accessed on the LCD screen. The fuel gauge and rpm gauge are fixed items to the right and left of the configurable color cluster LCD screen. The over-all visualization of the new instrument cluster is excellent with the one exception of the brightness being a bit on the low side on sunny days. The LCD screen tends to get washed out a bit with sunlight.
The all-new 2013 Dart has placed Dodge in an optimal position to really exude the vehicle’s standard and optional technological aspects ahead of its competition. Opting for the GT trim with the higher output 184-hoursepower 2.4-liter TigerShark engine is surely the way to go for enthusiasts, as my Dart Limited’s athleticism was not its strong suit. As the average consumer seeking a value-oriented compact sedan would have it, there are several other trim levels, including my Dart Limited, to choose from. With a starting price of just $15,995 for the base-level Dart SX trim, Dodge has reintroduced head-on competitiveness in the compact segment. My 2013 Dodge Dart Limited has an as-tested price of $24,965 including a $795 destination charge.
Copyright: 2013 AutomotiveAddicts.com
- Price: Base Dart SX $15,995 / Dart Limited As-Tested $24,965
- Engine: 2.0-liter DOHC 4-cylinder TigerShark 160 hp @ 6,400 rpm / 148 lb.ft. of torque @ 4,600 rpm
- Wheelbase: 106.4 inches
- Total length: 183.9 inches
- Total width: 72 inches
- Total height: 57.7 inches
- Track: f/r-61.7/61.6 inches
- Curb weight: 3,186 pounds
- Fuel tank: 15.8 gallons
- Headroom: f/r-38.6/37 inches
- Legroom: f/r-42.2/35.2 inches
- Cargo volume: 13.1 cu.ft.
- EPA mileage: 24 mpg/city, 34 mpg/highway (automatic transmission)
- 0-60 mph: 10.2 seconds
|Hyundai HND-9 concept revealed||
Hyundai has debuted the new HND-9 coupe concept at the 2013 Seoul Motor Show in South Korea that the company is saying is a preview of a “next-generation luxury sports coupe”.
The HND-9, the ninth concept model developed by Hyundai’s R&D Center in Namyang, Korea, represents an evolution of Hyundai’s fluidic sculpture design philosophy with an elongated hood, butterfly doors and hexagonal-shaped grille.
The vehicle is equipped with 3.3-litre turbo GDi engine and 8-speed auto transmission delivering 362 horsepower, a wheelbase measuring 9.4 feet and 22-inch light alloys wheels with carbon elements.
|Subaru’s Latest WRX Concept Leaked Ahead Of New York Reveal||
Automakers are fond of embargoes, as they help to level the playing field and give all media outlets the ability to release information on new products at (more or less) the same time. Media outlets, on the other hand, hate embargoes, since every last one is scrambling to put as many eyes on page as possible. Breaking an embargo is the surest way to find yourself blacklisted by an automaker, unless you’re one of the big sites or (even better) glossy magazines, in which case manufacturers generally take a “boys will be boys” attitude and look the other way.
We’re not sure who broke the embargo on Subaru’s WRX Concept, which will make its official debut at this week’s New York Auto Show, but in a matter of hours the images were everywhere. And with good reason: if this is what the next Subaru WRX will look like, we suspect that the Japanese automaker will have a hard time keeping inventory on dealer showrooms.
The look is certainly more mature than we’ve seen from previous WRX models, and it banishes the ghosts of Impreza’s past. We’re sure that certain details (like the tiny side view mirrors, or the massive wheels and brake rotors) won’t see production, but if this is as “near production” as other outlets are reporting, the new WRX (which should drop by year end) will still be the best-looking variant to date.
Details on the car’s powertrain and output are still pending, but it’s a safe bet that Subaru will retain the flat-four “boxer” engine and all-wheel drive. Expect the next WRX to make more than the current version’s 265 horsepower and 244 pound-feet of torque, which should make the 0-60 mph trip even shorter than the current model’s 5.3 seconds.
|Not the Golf: The 2014 Volkswagen GTI||
The original Volkswagen Golf GTi may not have been the very first of the hot hatches, but it is undoubtedly the most recognized. Known to many simply as The GTi, it has become one of the most enduring automotive icons of the last thirty-plus years – and for very good reasons.
Performance For Everyone
The secret to the GTi’s longevity is its remarkable all-round ability. Volkswagen may have refined the car over the decades, smoothing out the rough spots and adding ever-greater levels of comfort and equipment, but you don’t have to look very hard to find the boy-racer lurking beneath the cultured surface.
It will handle the rigours of day-to-day family life without missing a beat. Safe, sure-footed and dependable in all weathers. Yet, should the mood take you, you can also get the adrenalin coursing when the loved ones aren’t looking. Such a competent driving machine is unlikely to let you get into serious trouble – the steering is superb and tuned ever-so-slightly to the cautious side of understeer – but you can still kid yourself that you could have taught Vettel or Hamilton a thing or two, if you’d only had the same chances…
This Year’s Model?
Part of what makes this car so good is the process of evolution, rather than revolution. Like its predecessors, the 2014 GTi benefits from incremental improvements rather than radical changes that might upset the fine balancing act the vehicle achieves.
In the pursuit of better fuel economy, this GTi is not just lighter, but also incorporates the stop-start engine technology that can have a surprisingly dramatic impact on consumption. As every enthusiastic driver would hope, there’s also more power. The two-litre TFSI motor delivers 220 horsepower and 258 feet-pounds of torque which, importantly, is available nice and low down the rev range. This guarantees you get crisp response to right-foot input, particularly in the middle gears when you want instant acceleration for rapid, safe overtaking maneuvers.
Power is delivered via either six-speed manual or the impressive six-speed dual-clutch system. If standard acceleration of 0-60 in six point five seconds and a top speed of 152 mph aren’t quite enough for you, there’s a Performance Pack available that will shave a tenth off the sprint and add two mph on the top end. You’ll also get a torque-sensitive limited slip diff to combat any tendency to loose traction through wheel-spin, plus vented disks to haul you back to legal speeds if you get a bit over-exuberant.
That the 2014 GTi is based on the every-day Golf is never in doubt, but even a quick glance tells you that this is something a bit special. The 17-inch alloys give it away – and the red brake calipers. The stance is that bit more purposeful. It’s telling you that while it’s perfectly capable of taking the kids to school and doing the shopping run, it would rather take you out and show you a good time. It would rather put some thrill back into your daily commute, or remind you of when you used to get into your car just for the sheer pleasure of going for a drive.
If those ideas appeal to you, but at the back of your mind there’s an insistent voice reminding you to be sensible then we’re happy to tell you that with the Volkswagen GTi you really can have your cake and eat it. Please form an orderly queue down at the local Volkswagen dealership and demand your slice.
About the author: Neil Hilden is a motoring enthusiast and amateur racing driver. He enjoys sharing his tips and stories through blogging. The Infinity is an up and coming tyre brand in the UK, visit the link to find out more.
|2015 Audi A3 And S3 Models Debut In New York||
Promising a “new level of Craftsmanship in the A segment,” Audi has revealed its latest sedan offerings ahead of the New York Auto Show. Serving up understated (but familiar) good looks and a variety of powertrains, the new A3 models will be available in a variety of powertrains, including the long-awaited S3 variant. Even the A3 Sportback returns, but it sounds like Audi will only offer its five-door wagon as a plug-in hybrid in the U.S. market.
The 2015 Audi A3 will come with a choice of three engines, not including the high-performance S3 variant. Base models get a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder, rated at 170 horsepower, but buyers can also opt for a 2.0-liter turbo four that should produce in the neighborhood of 210 horsepower (final figures are still pending). If you prefer diesels, the A3 is available with Audi’s 2.0-liter TDI turbodiesel, which makes 150 horsepower and copious amounts of torque. The S3 gets its own, stronger 2.0-liter turbo four, which (sadly) has not yet been rated for output yet.
All engines come mated to Audi’s six-speed S tronic gearbox, which means that row-it-yourself shifting won’t be available when the models are released. Audi’s Drive Select will be available on A3 models, too, allowing the driver to fine tune shift points, throttle settings and steering response to road conditions. Front-wheel drive will be standard, but it sounds as if A3 models will be available with quattro AWD, too. As always with Audi’s S models, the S3 will come only with quattro AWD.
Audi’s interiors are among the best in the business, and it doesn’t look like th A3 or S3 will disappoint here, either. The cabin is highlighted by a unique wraparound dash, and Audi will give buyers the option to add things like LED ambient lighting, a Bang & Olufsen Audio System and the upgraded Audi connect infotainment system. Safety is a big selling point for the A3, too, so available features will include blind spot detection and adaptive cruise control.
Look for the 2015 Audi A3 and S3 models to begin hitting U.S. dealerships in the first quarter of 2014. As with engine output and performance numbers, look for pricing to be released closer to the 2015 A3’s U.S. debut.
|2013 Honda Civic EX-L Sedan Review & Test Drive||
‘MORE REFINED INSIDE AND OUT’
When the all-new Honda Civic premiered in 2012 it received mixed reviews about the new exterior styling and interior materials. The compact sedan market is one of the most hotly contested so Honda designers went back to their drawing boards and refreshed the front and rear fascias, then gave the interior more luxurious finishes plus more standard equipment in 2013 to better compete against the Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus and Chevy Cruze.
Last year I tested the all-new 2012 Civic Si coupe and found it fun-to-drive, with excellent handling capabilities, and didn’t mind that the interior had mostly hard plastic. When looking for a performance car less than $25,000.00, I don’t care that the company is putting more money on performance-driven items that on the interior dashboard materials. I want fun and excitement behind the wheel for a reasonable amount of money. Well, to turn the tide with the other automotive reviewers, Honda refreshed the front and rear fascias and upgraded the interior to give it a more upscale look and feel. I tested the Civic 4-door EX-L model with navigation and enjoyed my seven-day test drive like last year.
Changes to the exterior include a new open-mouth lower bumper with a horizontal chrome accent and a sportier looking black honeycomb mesh grille with another horizontal chrome piece around the bottom and up the sides. The grille is flanked by new halogen headlamp clusters and clear-lens corner lights to make a more premium look. Integrated foglamps are at the sides of the lower bumper. The more sculpted front end flows into a new more deeply faceted sculpture. The flared fenders find new 16X6.5 inch sporty aluminum wheels with black painted pockets wrapped with 205/55R16 inch all-season radial tires.
From the side is a long, low, sleek look with steeply raked A-pillars, lower side extensions, body color pull-out door handles, aero-styled remote/heated sideview mirrors and nice scallop in the doors. The rear features a new bumper design and new rear trunk lid that are finished off by a clean horizontal chrome trim piece. The all-new design of the jewel-like taillights now carries into the trunk face, providing a more polished and upscale look. The rear bumper also features integrated reflector treatments and a new diffuser panel with a honeycomb mesh vent.
Interior improvements include new soft-to-the-touch leather dashboard and dashboard top with dual stitching, black matt trim and brushed aluminum trim around the air-vents, around the leather-wrapped steering wheel spokes, center console, and door trim. Chrome is featured around the stick shifter gate.
Power from the 1.8 liter 16-valve, SOHC, all-aluminum, i-VTEC inline four-cylinder gets a slight bump in horsepower to 140 at 6,500rpm and 128lb.ft. of torque at 4,300rpm. An ECO mode button on the dashboard helps enhance mileage by remapping the onboard computer for slower shifting points. The five-speed automatic transmission pulls strong and smooth, easily moving this 2,877 pound compact sedan away from stop lights and merging onto fast highway speeds.
The Motion Adaptive Electric power assisted rack & pinion steering system as well as the independent MacPherson strut front and independent multi-link rear suspension get retuned for sharper handling response and the Honda ACE II body structure improves safety, ride comfort and interior quietness. Front and rear stabilizer bars keep the body flat when turning into curving roads.
The power-assisted vented 11.1 inch front rotors and 11.1 inch solid rear rotors remain the same and give strong, linear stopping power with the standard ABS, EBD, BA, VSC with Traction Control helping you maintain control of your direction when braking on slick or wet pavement.
Standard equipment in the top-of-the-line EX-L include Honda Navigation system with voice recognition and rearview camera, 160-watt AM-FM-CD-XM satellite radio with six-speakers, MP3/WMA playback, steering wheel-mounted controls, Bluetooth hands free link, Bluetooth audio, SMS text messaging functionality, Pandora internet radio interface, USB audio interface, MP3/auxiliary input jack, intelligent multi-information display, automatic climate control with air filtration, leather seats, driver’s-side height adjustment, heated front seats, 60/40 split fold-down rear seatback, fold-down rear armrest and dual cupholders, front center console with dual cupholders and storage box, power windows/door locks with driver’s-side express up/down, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, front map lights, dual vanity mirrors, cargo lights, 12-volt power outlets, one-touch electric sunroof, cruise-control, variable intermittent wipers/washers, heated review mirrors, security system, floor mats, maintenance minder system, remote entry, remote trunk and fuel filler controls, and grab handles above each door.
Standard safety features include driver/front passenger dual front airbags/side airbags with smart-vent, side curtain airbags with rollover mitigation, 3-point safety belts with front pretensioners/load limiters, tire pressure monitoring system, side-impact door beams, front/rear crumple zones, daytime running lights, and LATCH system for child seats.
The new, refined 2013 Honda Civic four-door sedan remains one of the best compact four-door sedans for the money after a refresh outside, inside and under the skin. This new model should remain one of the best-selling small sedans on the market.
COPYRIGHT: 2013: HARVEY SCHWARTZ
- Price: Base Civic Sedan $18,165 / As-Tested Civic EX-L Sedan $23,765.00
- Engine: 1.8 liter 16-valve SOHC i-VTEC inline 4-cylinder 140 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm / 128 lb.ft. of torque @ 4,300 rpm
- Turning circle: 35.4 ft.
- Wheelbase: 105.1 inch
- Total length: 170.4 inches
- Total height: 56.5 inches
- Total width: 69 inches
- Track: f/r-59/59.9 inches
- Headroom: f/r-37.9/36.2 inches
- Legroom: f/r-42/36.2
- Cargo volume: 12.5 cu.ft.
- Passenger volume: 92.1 cu.ft.
- EPA mileage: 28/city, 39/highway
- 0-60 mph: 9.2 seconds
|2014 Cadillac CTS Debuts with Twin Turbo V6 and Striking Design||
Cadillac is poised to make a bold statement while facing its direct competition head-on with the introduction of the all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS. Aimed directly at the Germans, the new 2014 CTS puts fort Cadillac’s future vision and design inspiration in a forward momentum off of the heals and inspiration of the new ATS and XTS.
The new 2014 Cadillac CTS, debuting this week at the New York Auto Show, inspires design cues from the Cadillac Ciel Concept and what is found its smaller ATS sibling along with the larger XTS. The forward motion does not stop with its new exterior and interior, the CTS gets new powertrains added to the current 3.6-liter V6 engine. How a new 2014 CTS can be had with twin turbo power in the form of a 420 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The new twin turbo V6 engine will be available in the top-level CTS trim called Vsport. The Vsport version is much like BMW’s M Sport models having many additional features and sport-esq options. Hopefully this will keep us happy until the new CTS-V arrives. The new 2014 CTS will also get the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4-cylinder engine found in the ATS, producing 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The current 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V6 will still be offered with 321 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque.
A manual transmission won’t be offered on any of the new 2014 CTS models. That is not to say we won’t see a manual transmission for the forthcoming 2014/2015 CTS-V. Mated to the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine will be a 6-speed automatic installed of the 8-speed auto, which is reserved for the twin-turbo and NA V6.
As a side note, we would not be surprised at all to see the CTS’ new 3.6-liter twin turbo V6 engine in an upcoming ATS-V. No information has been confirmed but we will continue to keep our fingers crossed.
EPA fuel economy numbers have not been finalized but for now GM estimates that the RWD CTS 2.0T will get 19 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. An all-wheel-drive CTS 2.0T model will yield about 1 mpg less while a RWD NA 3.6-liter V6 will come in around 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway and 18 mpg city / 27 mpg for the AWD NA V6. On the twin-turbo V6, rear-wheel-drive is the only available drive getting 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
Much of the body engineering and rigidity comes from the ATS platform for the new 2014 CTS. Now, as a first, GM’s touted magnetic Ride Control real-time dampening is available on the non-V-badged CTS with 18 or 19 inch wheels. The CTS gets standard 17 inch wheels.
Of course on the inside of the new 2014 CTS it gets Cadillac’s latest iteration of the CUE infotainment system, including the configurable 12-inch high-resolution gauge cluster first seen on the XTS. High quality materials lace the inside of the new 2014 Cadillac CTS with suede and alcantara trim options available, in addition to optional panoramic sunroof, rear sunshades, ambient lighting, 20-way power adjustable driver’s seat and tri-zone climate control.
The all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS is a stunning vehicle and we have no doubt that it will give a second thought to the German-seekers looking at the current BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Benz E Class. Cadillac has really put their best foot forward and we cannot wait to get our hands on one. Oh, and we can’t wait for newest CTS-V to drop hopefully in the coming months.
2014 Cadillac CTS Press Release
2014 Cadillac CTS Elevates to Challenge World’s Best
– Longer, lower and leaner sedan drives into heart of midsize luxury segment
– Lightweight technologies, including aluminum door structures, contribute to lower curb weight and nearly 50/50 weight balance
– New Vsport model offers new Cadillac Twin-Turbo V-6 and brand’s first eight-speed automatic transmission
NEW YORK – Cadillac today introduced the all-new 2014 CTS sedan, which ascends into the heart of the midsize luxury market with expanded performance, elevated luxury and sophisticated technology.
The third-generation CTS sedan is based on the high-performing rear-drive architecture of the award-winning ATS sport sedan, moving Cadillac into the prestigious class of midsize luxury sedans. It will be the segment’s lightest car, enabling the most agile driving dynamics in the class. A range of power-dense powertrains underpin its performance, including the all-new Cadillac Twin-Turbo engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.
Production of the 2014 CTS begins this fall in Lansing, Mich.
“The all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan delivers crafted design, thrilling performance and sophisticated technology,” said Bob Ferguson, vice president, Global Cadillac. “The car that has always been Cadillac’s centerpiece stretches figuratively and literally to challenge the world’s best.”
A longer, lower and more athletic-looking proportion is introduced on Cadillac’s landmark sedan and evolves the brand’s Art & Science design philosophy. While growing five inches (127 mm) in length, including a 1.2-inch longer wheelbase, the roofline and cowl – the base of the windshield – are about an inch lower, dimensions that complement the longer exterior to accentuate the car’s lean aesthetic.
“With Cadillac growing globally, driven by rising product credibility, the new CTS elevates the brand to a new level,” said Ferguson.
While stretched in overall length and wheelbase, the all-new CTS sedan has a lower curb weight than the preceding model and weighs about 200 pounds (90 kg) less than the BMW 528i. Lightweight features, including Cadillac’s first aluminum door structures, contribute to the lower weight and a nearly 50/50 weight balance. And for the first time on CTS, Magnetic Ride Control, Cadillac’s real-time damping system, is available on base models.
Cadillac’s shield grille and signature vertical lighting elements – including LED front signature lighting detail – evolve on the CTS. The grille is wider, with a more detailed texture, while the headlamps flow up with the hood line, incorporating crystalline LED light guides for a technologically advanced appearance with more uniform illumination.
Active grille shutters are included on some models, improving aerodynamic performance on the highway to enhance fuel efficiency.
Inside, a roomier, driver-centric cockpit interior with integrated technology and hand-crafted appointments complements the exterior elements and supports the CTS sedan’s driving experience. Eight available interior environments are offered, each trimmed with authentic wood, carbon fiber or aluminum. Leather seating is available, including available full semi-aniline leather, with hand-crafted, cut-and-sewn executions.
The new Cadillac Twin-Turbo V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission combination leads the CTS sedan’s powertrain lineup in the new CTS Vsport. It is the first twin-turbocharged engine ever offered by Cadillac and is the brand’s first eight-speed automatic.
The CTS Vsport also features:
– 18-inch aluminum wheels with Pirelli summer-only performance tires (19-inch wheels with all-season tires are available)
– A quicker steering ratio
– Brembo disc brakes with aluminum calipers and high-performance brake pads,
– Heavy-duty track cooling package
– Driver-selectable track mode with specific steering rate and Magnetic Ride Control calibrations for greater track performance
– Electronic limited-slip differential that enhances capability on the track – including optimal acceleration out of turns.
The Cadillac Twin-Turbo is SAE-certified at 420 horsepower (313 kW) and 430 lb.-ft. of torque (583 Nm), making it the most power-dense six-cylinder engine in the segment. A pair of smaller turbochargers helps provide more immediate power on demand, with approximately 90 percent of peak torque available from 3,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm. That gives the engine a broad torque curve that customers will feel as strong, willing power in almost all driving conditions – and helps the CTS sedan reach 60 mph in an estimated 4.6 seconds.
The 2014 CTS is also available with a naturally aspirated 3.6L V-6 rated at an estimated 321 horsepower and also matched with the new paddle-shift eight-speed automatic in rear-wheel-drive models (or six-speed automatic with all-wheel drive; and a 2.0L turbocharged engine rated at an estimated 272 horsepower and paired with a six-speed automatic.
Cadillac’s new, paddle-shift eight-speed offers efficiency and performance advantages over a six-speed transmission, including 1.5-percent greater fuel economy.
Excellent power-to-weight ratios and racetrack-honed suspension geometries established with the development of the ATS enabled engineers to advance CTS’s performance with greater feelings of feedback, control and response. The comparatively low curb weight helps make the most of the driving experience by allowing the use of lighter-weight chassis components, which reduces unsprung weight to enable more precise handling without compromising ride quality.
The CTS sedan’s low mass and optimal brake sizes are expected to give it braking performance that is among the best in the segment, with standard Brembo brakes.
Suspension and driver control highlights also include:
– Multi-link MacPherson strut suspension with a double-pivot design
– Five-link independent rear suspension
– Available all-wheel-drive
– Premium electric, variable-assist power steering gear from ZF Steering Systems
– Available Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping system
– Choice of 17-, 18- and 19-inch aluminum wheels.
A number of aluminum components are used with the suspension system, while the rear suspension is mostly steel. That helps offset the weight of the engine and transmission at the front of the vehicle, helping the CTS deliver its near-perfect weight balance and contributing to less noise and vibration.
CTS technology and safety
The CTS sedan seamlessly blends comfort, convenience and safety technologies with the interior’s hand-crafted appointments and flowing design. Active safety features provide alerts and intervene when necessary to help avoid crashes.
At the core of the car’s intuitive technologies is CUE, Cadillac’s infotainment system that uses smartphone- and tablet-influenced controls and commands to access information and entertainment data. An eight-inch, high-resolution color touch screen with haptic feedback allows users to swipe and drag preferences. Bluetooth connectivity with natural voice recognition is standard with CUE, along with USB and SD card ports.
An available 12.3-inch high-resolution, configurable LCD instrument cluster display complements the CUE display and supports the active safety features. It offers drivers four layouts – from basic to performance-oriented – each delivering bold, crisp graphics tailored to the level of vehicle information desired. A full-color, configurable head-up display is also available.
CTS technologies also include:
– Cadillac’s first 20-way adjustable front seats
– Motorized cup holder lid in the center console
– Heated and cooled (ventilated) front seats and heated steering wheel
– Electronically locking glove box
– Electronic park brake
– Adaptive remote start feature that also activates the climate control system
– Standard Bose eleven-speaker sound system and available Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system with 13 speakers.
The new CTS sedan is the first Cadillac to offer Automatic Parking Assist, which enables the car to park itself in parallel spaces. It uses ultrasonic sensors to locate a suitable space and maneuver the car into the space, with the driver only required to engage reverse and apply the accelerator and brake pedals. Ultrasonic rear park assist is standard.
Ultrasonic sensors, as well as radar and cameras, support the CTS’s advanced safety features to help prevent crashes. Among the most sophisticated is Front and Rear Automatic Braking, which relies on short-range radar technology and ultrasonic sensors to help the driver prevent front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary.
A Driver Awareness Package includes Cadillac’s patented Safety Alert Seat technology. It uses vibrating pulses in the driver’s seat to alert the driver to an imminent collision or to vehicles in the car’s blind spot. The seat vibrates on the left or right side, or both sides simultaneously, depending on the direction of the risk.
GM’s first application of automatic safety belt tightening is offered in the new CTS. It automatically takes slack out of the safety belts when buckled and offers real-time, active adjustments during driving to ensure optimal tension and comfort. Additional available safety features include:
– Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
– Panic Brake Assist
– Forward Collision Alert
– Automatic Collision Preparation (with brake prefill)
– Lane Departure Warning
– Side Blind Zone Alert
– Rear Cross Traffic Alert
– Rear Vision Camera With Dynamic Guidelines
– Adaptive Forward Lighting
– Active pedestrian protection system (in global regions where required).
The new CTS sedan also features 10 standard air bags, including front-passenger dual-stage low-risk deployment, which makes the most of the air bag trajectory and inflation rate based on the occupant’s size, position and severity of the crash.
Additionally, OnStar is standard for one year. It can use GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of a crash. OnStar service also includes myCadillac and OnStar myCadillac mobile apps, which offer vehicle information, controls and OnStar services via the customer’s iPhone or Android smart phone.
|Porsche Builder Magnus Walker Revisits Jay Leno’s Garage: Video||
If you’re a regular reader, you know we’re big fans of Urban Outlaw and Porsche artist Magnus Walker. We’ve previously brought you segments on his business (the Urban Outlaw documentary) and on his 1971 Porsche 911 (via another episode of Jay Leno’s Garage). Walker is back for another visit at the Big Dog Garage, and this time he’s brought his 1972 Porsche 911 72STR 002.
“But there’s no such animal,” Porschephiles are likely to protest, missing the point entirely. Walker doesn’t build concour-quality restorations; instead, he describes his handiwork as “sport-purpose” and “hot rod inspired.” That’s no period-correct 2.4-liter flat-six tucked in the car’s engine bay; instead, it’s a much more modern de-stroked 3.2-liter engine. The hood is louvered, hot rod style, because it aids with cooling and because it looks good, too.
Walker has his own signature design traits, too. The fuel filler is relocated to the center of the hood, race car style, while both front and rear turn signals are integrated into the bodywork. The door handles, drilled for (modest) weight savings and a trick look, come from an earlier, short-wheelbase 911, as do the window cranks, chrome-trimmed gauges and chrome rear view mirror.
Inside, function outweighs form. Aftermarket supplier Rennline supplies bits like the drilled floorboards and shifter, while the shift knob is made from unpolished wood (a nod to the shift knobs used in the Porsche 917). Racing bucket seats and six-point harnesses may be short on comfort, but they’re long on support needed for track days and autocross. Walker even has a removable bolt-in roll cage, which can be removed to add space and shave pounds.
Light weight is the key to performance here. With ten gallons of gas in the tank, Walker says the car weighs in at just 2,200 pounds, which makes the 3.2-liter engine’s output of 275 horsepower seem like more than enough. It sounds great under throttle too, so we fully understand why the car lacks an audio system (aside from the weight savings).
Walker’s customization (including the three-color paint scheme) isn’t for everyone, but we completely understand the appeal of a Porsche resto-rod. In fact, we can see one parked in our own garage, since we’re of the simpler-is-better school when it comes to sports cars.
|2014 BMW 6-Series Convertible Coming In Frozen White Edition||
If matte paint is your thing and you’ve been looking for a reason to buy a BMW 6-Series Convertible, here’s some good news: the Munich automaker will release a limited-production Frozen Brilliant White edition of its 650i ragtop for 2014.
Available in 650i and 650i xDrive models, BMW’s latest special edition will be built in a production run of just 100 units. Outside, it wears Frozen Brilliant White paint, accented by Frozen Black mirror caps, a black grille, a black cloth top and two-tone, 20-inch wheels.
Inside, the car gets black Nappa leather upholstery and Gray Poplar wood trim. The standard equipment includes the M Sport Package and the Executive Package, while xDrive models also come with the Cold Weather Package. Pricing for the rear-drive 650i models is set at $106,695 (including destination), while the all-wheel drive 650i xDrive will run you $110,095.
In other 2014 6-Series news, BMW will now offer U.S. buyers a manual transmission option for all M6 versions, including coupe, convertible and Gran Coupe. The six-speed gearbox includes rev-matching logic in Efficient and Sport modes, while Sport + mode allows the driver to do his own blipping of the throttle. If track days are your passion, the M6 now offers optional carbon ceramic brakes, too.
Finally, all 6-Series models will ship with the latest version (4.2) of BMW’s iDrive navigation and infotainment system, while 640i models will be available with xDrive all-wheel drive for the 2014 model year.
|2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque AWD Prestige Review & Test Drive||
First launched in 2012 as a two door coupe and winner of numerous awards including Motor Trend magazine’s ‘2012 SUV of the Year’. New for the 2013 model year, amongst new technological innovations, is a five door, entry-level ‘Pure Premium’ five-door Evoque with an aluminum alloy roof and an interior trimmed in leather and Dinamica, in place of the standard panoramic laminated glass roof inside other Evoque models, joining the lineup.
Once I turned over the engine and took off on my way I’ve gotten positive remarks from other vehicle drivers and people in parking lots asking me “What is it?”, “Who makes it?”, and “It is incredible looking!”. I agree as this new Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is one-of-a-kind. It certainly doesn’t look anything like the other boxy Range Rovers. No, the Evoque went from concept directly to the showroom and streets turning heads wherever it goes. When approaching the trunk with the key fob the puddle lamps light up under the sideview mirrors and you’ll see the original sketch of the truck on the pavement. I tested the new five-door Prestige model and enjoyed every minute behind the wheel driving this uniquely styled, high-performing, comfortable, luxurious and safe all-terrain sport utility vehicle.
The uniquely styled Evoque features a dynamic profile with its rising beltline, a muscular shoulder running the length of the trunk and a distinctive taper to the roofline. This pinches the narrow windows with an upturned line. The sculpted corners reduce the truck’s visual front and rear overhangs. The front fascia features a unique aluminum grille and two lower air intakes for the engine and intercooler cooling. Just below is an aluminum chin slid plate that protrudes out helping manage air flowing under the truck and protection the engine from outside extrusion when off-road. Powerful adaptive HID headlights and LED foglamps light up the night for enhanced safety. From the side is a profile like no other sport utility vehicle. The stance is low, the A-pillars are steeply raked, and a full-perimeter brushed aluminum strip rises under the windows. The chrome strip under the doors gives it a luxurious look while the lower side extensions contribute to a lower center of gravity. The sculpted aluminum side vents also adds to the look of motion even when parked. The flared fenders of my Evoque Prestige model came stuffed with large 245/45R20 inch Continental Cross-Contact tires wrapped with unique five-prong spoke 20X8 inch aluminum alloy wheels. Out back the rear window gets pinched but rearward visibility remains excellent. On top of the window is a spoiler to enhance downforce, unique wraparound LED lamp clusters with a brushed aluminum strip tying each side together and a convenient standard power liftgate. Down below is a black contrasted bumper with reflectors, a wide aluminum diffuser and three inch round polished stainless steel exhaust tips at the sides. The looks from the front, side and rear are truly one-of-a-kind.
Power to quickly move the new Evoque on pavement or on off-road trails is a 2.0 liter, turbo-charged/intercooled, DOHC, all-aluminum, twin-variable valve timing, gasoline direct injected inline four-cylinder that makes 240hp at 5,500rpm and 250lb.ft. of torque at just 1,750rpm. Twin balancer shafts ensure smoothness that is a hallmark of all Range Rovers. The engine is connected to a six-speed automatic that is optimized for efficiency. The paddle shifters give you a sportier ride enabling me to quickly change gears up and down. This truck races out to 60mph from a standstill in just 7.1 seconds, not bad for a 3,902 pound sport utility. It can also tow up to 3,500 pounds.
The Evoque’s body structure is exceptionally strong, lightweight (polymer/composite front fenders/tailgate, aluminum hood/laminated glass roof), because of the steel unitized steel structure that uses ultra-high-strength steel and Boron steel in key parts of the safety cell including the A-and-B-pillars, and a magnesium cross car beam to maximize stiffness and torsional ability in all driving situations, on or off-road.
While the lightweight, compact footprint and low center of gravity of the Evoque helped it to achieve a more agile character, key engineering steps were taken to deliver the required responses of all types of drivers and driving surfaces. The goal was to increase steering precision and agility at lower speeds using the new electric power-assisted rack & pinion steering system so that the Evoque would be more responsive in city driving conditions. To successfully accomplish this engineers solidly planted the steering rack to the front subframe.
The unique fully independent suspension was developed to hug the road with comfort when driving over poorly paved surfaces, to easily maneuver through curving roads and deliver excellent off-road characteristics which are what every Land Rover is known for. Up front is a MacPherson strut setup with coil springs, gas-charged shocks, aluminum lower control arms and an anti-roll bar. The rear setup features a strut assembly with coil springs, gas-charged shocks, lateral & longitudinal links and an anti-roll bar. With a strut tower brace up front to enhance rigidity, the new Evoque goes where you point it to go with razor sharp response to your steering wheel inputs. On the road at high speeds it is rock solid and it remains flat in steep curving roads. Off-road it can conquer almost any obstacle with a ground clearance of 8.3 inches, a front axle clearance of 8.4 inches and a rear axle clearance of 9.5 inches. It can also successfully cross up to 19.7 inches of water. This off-road prowess is the result of the standard full-time AWD system that was developed in conjunction with Haldex. The system’s center-coupling technology continuously alters the front-rear toque split through a hydraulically operated multi-plate wet clutch. The system can pre-engage at rest to reduce the wheel-spin from standing starts. It engages quickly when traction loss is detected and disengages quickly to optimize the response of the stability control systems. A high-pressure pre-charge pump pressurizes the hydraulics in the center coupling as soon as the engine is started, allowing for all-wheel drive operation from rest. Full torque transmission can be achieved in just 150 milliseconds. Pre-charging the system also reduces the time taken to achieve full torque once wheel-slip has been detected, engaging with 15-degrees of wheel-slip rotation. Also standard in the new Evoque is the Terrain Response system which is fully integrated and manages multiple vehicle parameters to provide ideal traction in all situations. The control unit takes into account a wide variety of inputs including individual wheel speeds, cornering yaw rates, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, vehicle speed, brake pressure, accelerator position and the settings of the Hill Descent Control and the Terrain Response systems. The system manages the engine management for the throttle and torque response curves; transmission control when Terrain Response special programs are engages, different transmission shift mappings are applicable, depending on the mode chose. The transmission control module also manages torque converter lock-up, which has different requirements depending on the selected Terrain Response mode.
The electronic traction control and ABS brakes controls slip and braking control systems that are all adjusted and tuned by Terrain Response to offer optimum grip, braking power and safety on the chosen terrain. Dynamic Stability Control is designed to stop torque to a wheel after loss of traction, but in some off-road situations torque feed is still desirable, even when traction is being lost. Terrain Response automatically adjusts the DSC so that appropriate torque is maintained. The system also controls the Haldex center coupling for AWD. The standard Terrain Response optimizes the vehicle setup for virtually all on-road or off-road driving situations with up to four settings to suit specific terrain demands. They are General Driving with AWD active and adapts to changing driving conditions; Grass/gravel/snow is for low friction surfaces. It provides high traction control sensitivity to reduce slip, and programs the engine, transmission and differential to provide gradual torque delivery; Sand is one of the most power-hungry surfaces. Sand Launch Control makes it an easier drive-away. Speed-dependent targets for the traction control system permit only very limited wheel slip, helping to prevent the wheel from digging down into the sand; Mud and ruts is used to preserve forward momentum, this setting allows more aggressive traction thresholds in muddy and rutted surfaces and uses preloading on differentials for increased traction. You can find the strip of push buttons on the console. The fifth is the optional Dynamic system that tailors the MagneRide suspension and vehicle responses for dynamic on-road driving with continuously monitored damper settings. For those consumers looking to explore unmapped off-road areas, Land Rover Off-Road navigation has been added to the Range Rover Evoque for 2013. Other features integrated into Terrain Response include Hill Descent Control, Gradient Release Control, Hill Start Control, Gradient Acceleration Control, Roll Stability Control, Trailer Stability Control and Engine Drag Torque Control.
For those consumers looking for new off-road adventures, the 2013 Land Rover Evoque offers an off-road navigation system that provides key off-road information such as topographic contour lines, latitude, longitude, altitude, trace, waypoint and compass functions.
Powerful four-wheel disc brakes quickly slow the new Evoque down from speed. Up front are 11.8 inch vented discs clamped with dual-piston calipers while 11.9 inch solid discs in the rear are clamped with single-piston calipers. Braking power is very linear with great feel in the pedal. Control of direction whether on hard pavement or off-road is directed by standard ABS, BA, EBD, Dynamic Stability Control, Emergency Brake Control, Trailer Stability Control, and Cornering Brake Control.
While the new Evoque is rugged the interior is luxurious, comfortable, with the latest in connectivity and safety systems.
The front leather-trimmed front bucket seats feature 8-way driver adjustments and 6-way front-passenger power adjustments. The dashboard, dash top, door top and center console lid is covered in Oxford leather with two white stitched seams. There is also real dark wood covering the top of the glovebox. Real aluminum trim is found throughout the Evoque. The leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel feels great in my hands. The instrument cluster is very well designed an easy to understand with 5 inch TFT Driver Information Center. When you push the start button the rotary transmission switch raises from the console, just like in the current Jaguar vehicles. It is unique and easy to use. Just beyond the switch are the controls for the Terrain Response system. Other standard equipment inside includes power windows/door locks with front express up/down control, dual-zone automatic climate control system, electronic cruise control with the controls on the steering wheel, heated sideview mirrors, self-dimming rearview mirror, adjustable ambient lighting, bright finish front kick plates at the end of the cargo bay, 60/40-split rear folding seat with a pull-down dual cupholder and storage box, Bluetooth telephone connection, 380-watt with 11-speaker Meridian audio system with AM-FM-CD player, MP3 disc and file compatibility, USB & iPod connectivity, with streaming audio, 8 inch high-resolution color touch screen, power opening/closing tailgate, rain-sensing wipers/washer, a hidden rear wiper/washer, storage slots in each door, dual map lights, dual lighted vanity mirrors, keyless entry and vehicle security system, cargo cover, and thick-cut pile carpeting. Optional equipment in my Prestige Evoque model includes 20X8 inch wheels and tires as mentioned above, carpeted floor mats, load space storage rails, passive entry, surround camera system, HDD navigation system, intuitive voice control, Meridian surround sound audio system with 825-watts and 17 speakers, custom Firenze red paint, Sirius satellite radio, extra tuff rubber floor mats, and Xenon adaptive headlamps.
Standard safety equipment includes seven-airbags including front/side driver/front passenger, side-curtain airbags, height adjustable front seatbelts, 3-point safety belts for five with front load limiters/pretensioners, child lock for rear doors, LATCH system for child seats, front/rear distance control with a rear camera.
I’ve driven dozens of sport utility vehicles but I have never received so many positive responses wherever I went behind the wheel of the new Evoque. It has great on-road manners and easily maneuvers over off-road challenges with an interior that is a signature of all Land Rover vehicles. The base price for an Evoque is just $41,145.00 and $56,393.00, including destination, for the Prestige model with all of the options.
COPYRIGHT: 2013: HARVEY SCHWARTZ
- Price: Base Evoque $41,145 / As-Tested $56,393
- Engine: 2.0 liter Turbocharged inline 4-cylinder 240 horsepower @ 5500 rpm / 251 ft-lbs. torque @ 1750 rpm
- Wheelbase: 104.8 inches
- Total length: 171.5 inches
- Total width: 77.4 inches
- Total height: 64.4 inches
- Track: f/r-63.9/64.1 inches
- Approach angle: 25
- Ramp angle: 22
- Departure angle: 33
- Headroom: f/r-40.3/39.7 inches
- Legroom: f/r-40.1/36.4 inches
- Cargo volume: 51 cu.ft. With rear seats folded/20.3 cu.ft. with rear seats upright
- EPA fuel economy: 20mpg/city, 28mpg/highway
- Fuel tank: 18.5 gallons
- 0-60 mph: 7.1 seconds