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Enzo and the Damsels – Reference Mark

Motortrend Magazine News - Mon, 06/18/2018 - 4:00am

There are the automotive icons who are household names. Then there are those who work diligently without public recognition to create the magic that makes those icons famous. Those two groups are the subjects of fascinating new books.

Quick: What do the automotive child seat, head-up display, door lamps, adjustable lumbar supports, retractable seat belts, childproof rear-door and -window lockouts, and the in-car Dictaphone all have in common?

These creations were all proposed, designed, or invented by female car designers—in an era well before the rise of modern feminism. These women, bold forebears of a movement in a then (and still) male-dominated business, are profiled in Damsels in Design: Women Pioneers in the Automotive Industry.

Written by Constance A. Smith—a graduate of Pratt Institute hired into GM’s advanced design studio during the Chuck Jordan years—Damsels follows a biographical and technological approach to the women who contributed to Detroit design between 1939 and 1959 and beyond.

You think the Mad Men environment only applied to the advertising industry? Any woman entering the auto industry back then had to fight through institutional discrimination that shepherded them into soft sciences such as PR, HR, and legal. Design was men’s work, not something for “a mere slip of a girl,” as Studebaker designer Jake Aldrich referred to Audrey Hodges—who won the internal contest to design the hood ornament for the 1950 Champion.

Often hired as token color and trim “decorators,” these progressive professional artists and industrial designers bashed through the sheetmetal ceiling to create notable work—including landmark concept cars such as the 1957 Olds Mona Lisa, 1958 Olds Rendezvous, 1958 Corvette Fancy Free, and 1958 Chevrolet Impala Martinique. Virginia Van Brunt penned many of the 1950s Lincolns. The interior design of the 1973 Chevy Titan 90 tilt-cab truck—led by Jayne Van Alstyne—was renowned for its NVH advances (before ergonomic comfort was considered important). In charge of Chevrolet’s interior design, Suzanne Vanderbilt oversaw the layout of the Chevy Vega (which was Motor Trend’s 1971 Car of the Year).

Sometimes the accomplishments were more whimsical: Remember KITT from the TV show Knight Rider? Ripped off from a Firebird lighting concept done for Sylvania by Ruth Glennie.

But these women’s achievements were often quiet personal victories. They were frequently paid less than their subordinates. Pregnancy meant a pink slip. And when Bill Mitchell replaced Harley Earl atop GM Design, Mitchell cut short the nascent damsels movement for blatantly sexist reasons that were prevalent and acceptable at the time.

Painstakingly researched and archived, with hundreds of rare and private photographs, Damsels offers a rarely seen glimpse into the early history of automotive design and development.

Contrast those profiles to the 954-page eponymous hagiography of Enzo Ferrari. Books about this industry legend come a dime a dozen (seriously, check out Amazon). But this latest telling by one-time Ferrari USA public relations guru Luca Dal Monte takes the tale of the racer-turned-automaker beyond the usual fables into new, untold places.

At 3 pounds, 6 ounces, this biography is fit more for a beach bag at the Hamptons than a carry-on from LAX to BLQ. And although the narrative has perhaps lost some of its linguistic enthusiasm in the translation from the original Italian, Dal Monte’s book fills the collective consciousness with Enzo stories previously only told among close friends and family.

Dal Monte’s digging through decades of racing results accounts for a thorough chronicling of Enzo’s early years—which will be a delight for fans of obscurity and arcana. But it takes 400 pages to reach Enzo striking out on his own with his first Ferrari-built racing machine, so those expecting a rollicking start will be disappointed.

Those who are patient, however, will learn the narratives of what made The Man tick: the dealings and deceptions, the rages and the crises of faith, the loyalties struck and disloyalties damned. Perhaps the best summary of the man—and the book—comes halfway through: “Although you might not necessarily like Ferrari, his personality was so overwhelming that a single word from him was enough to focus all the adrenaline in one’s body.” Such leaders come once in a generation. And Dal Monte’s book is a fitting tribute.

More by Mark Rechtin:

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2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast First Test: More Is More

Motortrend Magazine News - Mon, 06/18/2018 - 4:00am

Even Colin Chapman, famous for, among other things, his take on the old maxim, “less is more,” put turbos on the Lotus Esprit. Because sometimes more is more. No one who drove a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta would argue it needed more power, yet its successor, the 812 Superfast, has just that.

Actually naming a car “super fast,” regardless of historical justifications, requires the same sort of “damn the torpedoes” approach to car building. It had damn sure better be fast or forever be mocked as a triumph of arrogance over engineering. Fortunately for Ferrari, there’s no risk of a Mondial T redux.

The 812 Stoopidfast, as tester Chris Walton took to calling it, is exactly what it claims to be. It’s among the top five quickest rear-wheel-drive cars we’ve ever tested and far and away the quickest front-engine, rear-drive car. Every quicker two-wheel-drive car—McLarens, other Ferraris, and a Porsche—is aided by a mid- or rear-engine platform that shifts weight to the rear wheels at launch to increase grip.

How quick? How about 2.8 seconds to 60 mph and a 10.4-second quarter-mile pass at 138.6 mph? Even in the modern pantheon of supercars, a 0–60 time under 3.0 seconds is damn impressive. The 812 really gets its legs farther down the road, where its quarter-mile time vaults it ahead of cars like the Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren P1, though the P1 carries slightly more speed.

All this from the only purely naturally aspirated car in the group. If there’s never another new naturally aspirated V-12 developed—and the possibility becomes more likely every day—this will be the greatest swan song ever sung. With 6.5 liters of lung, Ferrari’s 789-hp, 530-lb-ft V-12 is equal parts musical instrument and mechanical precision. It makes you want to pass other cars, not to show off but to share this aural perfection with them. It’s classic V-12 F1 car in the tunnel at Monaco good.

For the fullest appreciation, make liberal use of those long, delicate shift paddles. The seven-speed twin-clutch transmission does a fine job of shifting for you in all circumstances, but it doesn’t seem to understand how sinfully glorious this engine sounds at redline. The computer knows the torque peak is well below the rev limiter and will let the engine dig out from 5,000 rpm. But there are another 4,000 rpm on the dial, and their voices must be heard. This world will be a colder place when this engine is gone.

Such an evangelist am I, I took to giving other editors three pieces of advice before they drove this car: The auto engine stop/start switch is by the map lights; use a light touch; and drive it at 9,000 rpm every chance you get.

About that second bit: Everything happens very quickly in the 812, in part because every input is hair-trigger sharp. So sharp that for the first 30 minutes you drive it, you’ll feel like it’s twitchy and high-strung. Eventually, though, you learn to slow your inputs—steering, braking, throttle—more than you thought you could. You slow them to the point where you’d barely get a reaction from a normal car, but the 812 will feel like magic. Then it flows down the road perfectly.

Once you’ve had a taste, legal limits will never do. All perception of speed is perverted, such that the car won’t feel fast until you’ve left the double digits well behind. At this point, it will occur to you that you don’t seem to be spending much time at wide-open throttle. It seems like a heinous oversight on your part, but it’s OK. This car is so powerful that trying to get to wide-open throttle just for the sake of it will cause you to drive erratically. You’ll always be at full throttle or full brake, never enjoying the in-between. Waiting for the appropriate time and place for full throttle makes it all the more rewarding, and everywhere else, the throttle’s adjustability allows you to fine-tune exactly the amount you need for any given situation.

It gives me great pleasure to write that, because it wasn’t the initial impression from our instrumented testing session. There, the 812 put up fantastic numbers but felt loose and a bit unrefined. On the figure eight, it wanted to be manhandled. Driving delicately just got you midcorner understeer. Coming in hot with a healthy portion of trail braking delivered extra bite from the front tires and rotated the rear slightly. Once the understeer was managed, you could aim for the exit and roll on the throttle, at which point it became all about managing power oversteer. The ultra-quick steering and easily adjusted throttle make it easy to do a little drift off the exit, and even with a slight rear weight bias and front-mid-engine placement, it’s not snappy like a mid-engine car. If you’re using CT Off mode rather than ESC Off, the computer will let you hang the rear end out, provided you’ve got it under control, but just wood it, and the nanny will straighten you right out.

Out on the road, absolutely none of that matters. The 812 is far too quick for you to ever worry about limit understeer or trail braking. The car has so much grip that if you were actually going fast enough to worry about any of that, you wouldn’t have time to think about it. The car shrinks around you in the best possible way, right up until there’s a car coming the other way on a narrow road and you instantly remember how wide it really is.

Even more important is how much better all of this behavior is than the F12. A few years ago, I wrote, “Too much power for public roads,” in my notes after I tried to hustle the F12 down a back road where a Corvette and a 911 were getting away from it. The F12 just couldn’t put the power down, and it only got hairier when we lined the three cars up for a drag race. Piloting the F12 from the middle position, I fought a fishtail through second gear on every pass, praying it wouldn’t get away from me and take out another car. The 812 isn’t like that at all. Whatever Ferrari’s done to the suspension, the Side Slip Control computer has turned a wild child into a straight-A student.

Accelerating in the 812 doesn’t have the jump-to-hyperspace feel of today’s latest turbocharged supercars but rather a short swelling of intention followed by a long, continuous burst of acceleration that feels like it ought to let up at any moment but never does. It’s naturally aspirated perfection we so rarely get anymore, and grabbing the next gear at redline almost feels like a turbo boost hitting. Pulling an upshift at the exit of a long sweeper feels as though the outside rear tire is somehow digging in a little harder and pushing you out of the corner with some secret reserve of power.

The 812 does have a few bad habits left, though. For one, the braking isn’t as strong as you think it is. It stops hard, but the car weighs 3,845 pounds (about 150 pounds less than the F12) and you don’t realize that until you need to turn triple-digit speeds into medium double digits for the next corner. ABS intervention comes on sooner than you expect, and it’s in no small part due to how fast you’re traveling. The car is far more enjoyable when you brake early than trying to wait until the absolute last second.

The other downside is its touchiness in city driving. You need only blow kisses at the pedals to get a mature reaction from the car. The slightest bit of aggression will get you a tenfold return from either. Everything with this car is done with the smoothest and most minimal effort; the trick is to never ask for more. Touch the gas lightly, and be patient while the transmission lets the clutch out. Pushing it harder won’t make it work faster; it’ll just dump the clutch and snap your head back. Same with the brakes: Touch them nicely, and let them work. They don’t bite all at once, but they do their job fine without you micromanaging them to a stop.

When I was making notes about the 812 for this review, my phone autocorrected Superfast to “superfluous,” almost as if Siri had been eavesdropping on my drive. Is it? Absolutely, in every sense of the word. A car like this is as unnecessary as it is ostentatious, and that’s what makes it wonderful.

2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast BASE PRICE $340,712 PRICE AS TESTED $465,509 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door coupe ENGINE 6.5L/789-hp/530-lb-ft DOHC 48-valve V-12 TRANSMISSION 7-speed twin-clutch auto CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,845 lb (47/53%) WHEELBASE 107.1 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 183.3 x 77.6 x 50.2 in 0-60 MPH 2.8 sec QUARTER MILE 10.4 sec @ 138.6 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 99 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 1.03 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 23.3 sec @ 0.93 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 12/16/13 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 281/211 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.43 lb/mile

The post 2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast First Test: More Is More appeared first on Motor Trend.

Here’s Exactly What’s New For The 2019 Camaro

GM Authority News - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 11:30pm

We outline every feature and option that's new or changed for the 2019 Camaro.

Corvette Delivery Dispatch with National Corvette Seller Mike Furman for June 17th

Corvette Blogger - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 10:04am

Each week, Criswell Chevrolet’s Mike Furman delivers new Corvette Stingrays, Grand Sports, Z06s and ZR1s to his customers who come from all parts of the country to work with the nation’s top individual Corvette seller. In this weeks dispatch, Mike takes the day on Saturday to hit up a local Corvette show in his 1967 […]

The post Corvette Delivery Dispatch with National Corvette Seller Mike Furman for June 17th appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Edelbrock’s AVS2 Carburetor: Improving Response and Modulation

Corvettes Online News Feed - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 7:42am
Edelbrock's new AVS2 carburetor blends the appealing price and practicality of carburetion with the response and crispness of EFI. An inside look how it improves atomization and combustion.

A New Ford Concept Helps Blind People “Look” Out the Window – Technologue

Motortrend Magazine News - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 4:00am

My own love of travel incubated in the back seat of a 1969 Chevy Townsman wagon, as it racked up 170,000 miles performing numerous Homeric crisscrossings of the United States. In an era before rear-seat video, onboard Wi-Fi, and smart devices, my sisters and I mostly looked out the windows. We drank in the amber waves of grain, purple mountain majesties, and endless fruited plains for hours at a time.

I shudder to imagine how tedious and cruel such slogs would have seemed had any of us been blind. But Ford just unveiled a concept that promises to help blind passengers enjoy the passing scenery as well.

Dubbed “Feel the View,” this emerging technology springs from a tiny corner of the Blue Oval empire: Ford of Italy, ad agency GTB Roma, and an Italian tech startup called the Aedo Project. Aedo was recently founded by a couple of professors from the University of San Marino to develop devices that assist visually impaired people, especially children.

The initial prototype for Feel the View is a clear 9.8-inch-square touchscreen that sticks to the vehicle’s side window without obscuring the view of sighted passengers. Along the top of the screen is a control panel that incorporates a camera. To “see” what’s out the window, the user presses a button to snap an image of the passing scenery. The device pixelates this image and converts it to grayscale. This image is then reproduced on the clear touch screen by means of vibrating individual pixels comprising the image. The tiny vibrators can generate 255 discernable levels of intensity representing as many shades of gray. The darkest blacks give the strongest vibration; pure white is completely still.

The device integrates with the vehicle’s Wi-Fi internet connection and audio system to provide the user with added context for interpreting the image (the device only renders still images, not moving video). The photograph is sent to the cloud, where artificial intelligence interprets the many various elements in the scene. Then as the user’s fingers pass over various features in the image the audio system describes the image in basic terms, like “snowy mountain” or “tree.”

According to Ford Italia spokesperson Marco Alù Saffi, patents are still being filed for this emerging technology, so the parties are not yet ready to share the specifics of how Feel the View is generating those vibrations. We do know that light-emitting diodes incorporated into the screen provide proximity sensing that activates the vibration generators in only those areas of the screen that are being touched.

This certainly isn’t the first attempt at rendering graphic images on a tactile display. Disney Research developed TeslaTouch (no relation to Elon Musk’s automaker), using an “electrovibration” technology that simulates texture as a finger passes over a screen’s surface via tiny discharges of electrostatic energy. Nothing actually moves, and a stationary finger wouldn’t feel much, so this isn’t likely to be Ford’s approach. Apple has patented a haptic touch pad (indicating potential use in future CarPlay applications) that locally deforms areas of the screen by forcing fluid out through a grid of tiny orifices just beneath the surface. “Bubble displays” like this tend to be on or off, black or white. They’re great for temporarily defining buttons or ridges or producing temporary Braille text (as Bitlab’s Android-based tablet does), but such fluid bubbles aren’t going to be able to oscillate fast enough to produce 255 frequencies of vibration.

If I were setting out to design such a gizmo, I’d probably try to make piezoelectric nanostructures do my vibrating work. Of course, if I were blind, I wouldn’t give a rip how it worked, I’d just be eager to try any new two-dimensional haptic display promising this many “shades of gray” after so many years of haptic black and white.

Read more by Frank Markus here:

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Corvette Racing at Le Mans: Halfway Report

Corvette Blogger - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 10:03pm

Garcia/Magnussen/Rockenfeller fighting in top-five; No. 64 Corvette still going strong LE MANS, France (June 17, 2018) – Corvette Racing’s No. 63 entry remained among the lead six cars in a hotly contested GTE Pro category as the 24 Hours of Le Mans entered its second half. Antonio Garcia had just gotten back in the No. […]

The post Corvette Racing at Le Mans: Halfway Report appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Corvette Racing at Le Mans: Six-Hour Report

Corvette Blogger - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 3:40pm

Photo Credit: janmagnussen.dk No. 63 Corvette in thick of tough GTE Pro battle; No. 64 C7.R fighting back after early trouble LE MANS, France (June 16, 2018) – Corvette Racing found itself in the expected fight among GTE Pro cars in the opening six hours of the 86th 24 Hours of Le Mans on Saturday. […]

The post Corvette Racing at Le Mans: Six-Hour Report appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Saturday Morning Corvette Comic: Crime Does Pay

Corvette Blogger - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 9:27am

Some people will do anything to own a Corvette, but don’t let your passion lead you to a life of crime. You can browse more of our Corvette comics here! Source: JerryKing.com Related: Saturday Morning Corvette Comic: Be Careful What You Wish For Saturday Morning Corvette Comic: Drone-Based Security Systems Saturday Morning Corvette Comic: Outstanding […]

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2017 Mazda CX-5 Long-Term Update 5: Road Trip to Utah

Motortrend Magazine News - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 4:00am

As my girlfriend and I loaded up the CX-5, which was already 10 months into our one-year loan with 25,000 miles on the odometer, I realized this was my first non-work-related road trip with the Mazda. We were headed to Utah to visit Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Monument Valley, which are all about 10 hours away from our Orange County home. We filled up all 30.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row with camping gear, firewood, food, drinks (and beer, duh), and snacks for the road and made sure our Spotify playlists were at the ready.

We hit the road just in time for L.A. traffic, which is any time of day, really. California State Route 91’s eastbound lanes were clogged, as usual, so I activated Mazda’s handy adaptive cruise control to ease the pain of sitting in traffic, a luxury I now look for in any new car I drive.  We eventually escaped traffic and cruised to our motel in St. George, Utah, but not without a stop in Las Vegas for some delicious hand-pulled noodles.

We started early the next day to make it in time to find a first come, first served campsite in Moab. Our campground was still 5 hours away—thank goodness for Utah’s 80-mph speed limits. The CX-5 was laden with stuff and inhaling thin air at an elevation of 6,000 feet, and its engine really struggled, especially on steeper grades. It downshifted to maintain 80 mph, and at times it got a bit scary to pass semis. On the upside, the CX-5’s quiet interior (16.3 sones average at 65 mph, according to a previous test) and thumping Bose sound system made the long drive bearable. And we made it just in time to snag the very last campsite. Phew. We unpacked and set up camp next to the Colorado River under the shade of red canyon walls and cracked open a celebratory beer.

We spent the next two days exploring the touristy sights of Arches, Canyonlands, and the quaint little town of Moab. But my favorite part was traversing down Shafer Trail in Canyonlands. It’s a narrow dirt road that connects to White Rim Road with sheer drops and tight switchbacks sans guardrails. It took a bit of convincing to get my girlfriend to agree to the drive because she doubted the CX-5 could manage. “No faith! We’re in an off-roading beast!” I sarcastically exclaimed. From what I read, we wouldn’t even really need four-wheel drive, though that didn’t stop passing Jeep drivers from throwing puzzled looks our way. Obviously, we didn’t die. The CX-5 felt surefooted the entire time, and its modest 7.6 inches of ground clearance was never an issue.

The next day we continued to our next campsite three hours away in Monument Valley, overlooking the iconic buttes jutting from the desert floor. We did more soft-roading on the Valley Drive, a 17-mile dirt road that passes through the beautiful Navajo Tribal Park. Hollywood should do some filming here. Oh, wait. We made it back to camp in time to watch the sunset over dinner and drinks, stargazed, and watched the Milky Way appear from behind the buttes. Tired, a little buzzed, and still amazed at the day’s sights, we headed to bed.

After watching the sunrise, we packed up and began the 10-hour drive home. The drive itself was pretty uneventful, but after a few hours I was reminded of how uncomfortable the CX-5’s seats are. I’m not a big guy—5-foot-8 and 160 pounds—but I feel like the seat bottom is too small and flat. Other than that, the CX-5 handled our 1,700-plus-mile road trip like a champ and averaged an indicated 26.3 mpg. That’s not the greatest mileage, but overall I’m still impressed with Mazda’s best-seller.

Read more about our long-term 2017 Mazda CX-5:

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Special Ferrari 488 Pista Celebrates Racing Success

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 6:00pm

We recently drove the Ferrari 488 Pista, and it left us wanting more. After all, it’s the most powerful road-going V-8 ever built by the Prancing Horse. Now, the automaker is rolling out a “Piloti Ferrari” version, featuring the same performance with cosmetic updates. The special model is available exclusively for customers involved in Ferrari’s motorsports programs, and it celebrates the brand’s success in the FIA World Endurance Championship last year.

The “Piloti Ferrari” 488 Pista features stripes in the colors of the Italian flag. This detail points to the racing version of the 488 GTE. Other details include a laurel celebrating the WEC win, PRO badging to indicate the class the winning car raced in, a matte black S-Duct, and natural carbon fiber dovetail suspended rear spoiler and vent surrounds. Each customer will also be able to put their specific race number on the car. The vehicle pictured features the number “51,” honoring the car that won the WEC Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles last year. Buyers can choose between four exterior colors: Rosso Corsa, Blu Tour De France, Nero Daytona, and Argento Nürburgring.

Peek inside the cabin and you’ll find black Alcantara seats that also pay homage to the Italian flag. The number shown on the car’s exterior also appears on the base of the steering wheel. There is a unique identification plate and “Tailor Made” badging as well.

The Ferrari 488 Pista features a 3.9-liter twin-turbo V-8 that makes 710 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque. It has the best weight-to-power ratio of any road-going Ferrari, and it sheds around 200 pounds over the standard 488 GTB.

Source: Ferrari

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Refreshing or Revolting: 2019 Kia K900

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 5:00pm

Kia still has a ways to go if it wants to make a name for itself in the luxury vehicle category. But the second-generation K900 is a step in that direction. It adopts a modern exterior and interior, even taking a few cues from the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But are the changes enough to make us desire the K900 over other luxury sedans?

The K900’s front face looks less generic than the old model. The new grille features a similar shape to the old one, but inside there is a new pattern that implies motion, and the individual cells inside the grille are concentrated in the center. They have been redesigned to resemble a water splash, in which ripples move away from the center of the impact. The K900 also features a new “duplex” headlamp design, reminiscent of the multi-tiered lighting elements on the headlamps of the S-Class. There are also new cut lines on the hood that suggest a more fluid look.

The 2019 Kia K900 is a bit longer and wider than its predecessor. A new thick chrome line runs across the side of the vehicle near the bottom portion of the doors. Is it garish or elegant? We’ll let you decide that one. From the side profile, you can also see the K900 has lost the decorative vent that was previously positioned between the front door and the hood. Keeping with the old model, the K900 still has flashy wheels and brightwork around the windows.

From the rear, we can really tell the K900 has been channeling the S-Class. The taillights are shaped similarly to those on the S-Class, and they have the same dual light elements as in the K900’s headlamps. More chrome has been added, right above the exhaust area. The old K900 looked like any regular mainstream car from the back, but this new model adds a lot more luxury to the rear.

Now onto the interior. It’s hard to argue the K900 hasn’t improved in this area. The K900 gets a new wraparound cabin design in which the trim on the side doors blends into the trim on the dashboard. A new 12.3-inch touchscreen is perched on the center stack, and the shifter is now smaller. A number of open pore matte wood choices are available, including Walnut, Beige Olive Ash, Brown Olive Ash, and Engineered Wood. For the new model year, Kia improved rear seat comfort with reclining capability, height-adjustable headrests, and available 12-way and 14-way adjusters for the driver side rear seat and passenger side rear seat, respectively. A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is available.

Do you think the 2019 Kia K900 is refreshing or revolting? Let us know on Facebook.

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[PICS] The NCRS Motor City Regional

Corvette Blogger - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 3:29pm

Last weekend the Michigan Chapter of the NCRS hosted the Motor City Regional judging meet. The event took place in Dearborn, Michigan in the shadows of Ford’s sprawling product development campus. Les Stanford Chevrolet, one of the top selling Corvette dealers, provided the venue at their Annex building which also serves as their new vehicle […]

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2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe Delivers 523 HP

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 3:26pm

After a 20-year hiatus, the BMW 8 Series coupe is returning to the U.S. The range-topping two-door made its official debut today and will go on sale this fall.

BMW hinted at the new model’s appearance last year when it debuted the 8 Series concept. Unfortunately, the production version doesn’t look quite as sleek as that model, but BMW took the most important design themes to heart. The model features a low-slung body, large air intakes, and a bold front spoiler. The model brings along LED laser headlights, which are the slimmest headlights of any BMW model to date. The roof gets subtle double-bubble contouring inspired by classic race cars, and it also features conventional trapezoidal twin exhaust tailpipes. Twenty-inch M light alloy wheels finish off the look.

At launch, the model will be available in the M850i xDrive variant. Equipped with a revised 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, the comely coupe produces 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. BMW claims it can hit 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, meaning it should be significantly quicker than a V-8-powered 7 Series. We tested a 7 Series with the 445-hp twin-turbo V-8 reaching 60 mph in 4.3 seconds.

The 8 Series utilizes an eight-speed automatic gearbox that has been enhanced with a wider gear ratio. This feature works in conjunction with an all-wheel-drive system that has a rear-wheel bias. Top speed is 155 mph.

The 8 Series comes in at a curb weight of 4,478 pounds, although BMW has made efforts to shed heft where it can. Many parts, including the doors and hood, are made of aluminum. To reduce weight, buyers can opt for a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic roof. Or they can splurge for the optional Carbon package, in which the rear spoiler, rear diffuser insert, air intake bars, and exterior mirror caps are made of CFRP.

Because it’s an M Performance model, although not a full M vehicle, the car boasts features befitting the title. Other than the M wheels, it gets an Adaptive M suspension and M Sport brakes.

Inside the cabin, you’ll find standard Merino Individual leather upholstery and folding rear seats. Other features include a standard head-up display, standard cruise control and optional stop and go functionality, standard parking assistant, standard gesture control, and standard ambient lighting.

Pricing information will be released closer to the model’s on-sale date this fall. Check out the full gallery below for a closer look at the 2019 BMW 8 Series.

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GM Canada Names Jim Wallace Lead Council

GM Authority News - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 3:03pm

He replaces Peter Cho.

Corvette Racing Qualifies Ninth And Fourteenth In Class For Le Mans 2018

GM Authority News - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 2:59pm

Corvette Racing will start from the back half of the pack at this weekend's Le Mans race.

Mid-Engine C8 Corvette Rival: Toyota Wants To Build A Hypercar

GM Authority News - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 2:53pm

The hypercar will be based on the make's LMP1 racer that competes in the WEC.

Auto-Talent War Heats Up For GM As Ford Buys Detroit Train Station For New Office Space

GM Authority News - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 2:39pm

But, in the past 2 years, GM has hired 9,000 new employees.

Chevrolet Tahoe RST Performance Pack: Driving Review

GM Authority News - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 2:27pm

Three row American muscle. But Just be sure to read the fine print.

CORSA and Zip Corvette Offering $150 Rebate on Select Corvette Exhaust Systems

Corvette Blogger - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 2:23pm

If you’re wanting to give your Corvette a new sound for the summer, check out the CORSA exhaust systems at Zip Corvette Parts. And now is a perfect time to upgrade because CORSA is offering a $150 manufacturer’s rebate on select 1986-2019 Corvette exhaust systems valued at $1,000 or more. Your Corvette will sound great […]

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