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BMW 1 Series: The Ultimate Front-Wheel-Drive Machine?

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 5:02pm

We thought it would happen a long time ago, but BMW has just now revealed the new front-wheel-drive 1 Series hatchback. Those of us here in the U.S. shouldn’t get too excited, though. There are no current plans to offer the 1 Series in the U.S., BMW told us.

The new 1 Series hatch gets a more sophisticated look that’s in line with larger members of the BMW lineup. It adopts a larger kidney grille, with the kidneys connecting in the middle. The headlights and taillights are slimmer, and large 19-inch wheels are now available as an option. Along with an M Sport model and the M135i, there is also a Sport Line version with black accents, a Luxury Line with aluminum accents, and a base Advantage model.

Inside the cabin, BMW promises improved headroom and kneeroom in the rear, with more cargo capacity behind the rear seats. A power liftgate is now available, as is an electric panoramic roof with backlit trim strips that light up in six different colors.

The BMW’s increased interior space is the result of a new architecture. The 1 Series shifts from a rear-drive layout to BMW’s front-drive-based UKL platform, which also supports all-wheel drive. BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system will be available as an option. Three different suspensions can be had, including a standard suspension, M Sport suspension with 10mm reduction in ride height, and an adaptive suspension. All 1 Series hatches get a multi-link rear axle.

It’s kind of a shame this model won’t make it to the U.S., especially given the likelihood that a premium hot hatch M version is in the works is high. But we’re not too worried, because we’re anticipating the sleek and pint-sized 2 Series Gran Coupe. This vehicle, built on the same new front-drive architecture, is expected to compete against the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA.

Source: BMW

 

The post BMW 1 Series: The Ultimate Front-Wheel-Drive Machine? appeared first on Motortrend.

2020 Buick LaCrosse: Hot Or Not?

GM Authority News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 3:46pm

You decide.

Audi A5 With 7.4L LSX V8 Definitely Doesn’t Have Quattro AWD: Video

GM Authority News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 3:01pm

Alternate title: 'How To Improve An Audi A5'.

[PICS] The C8 Mid-Engine Corvette Rendered in Yellow

Corvette Blogger - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 1:38pm

Photo Credit: ZoraC2 / MidEngineCorvetteForum.com

One of the color surprises for the C8 Corvette is that Chevy is ready to swap out Corvette Racing Yellow first introduced in 2016 for a new shade called “Accelerate Yellow”. We know how important Yellow is to the Corvette Design team as it’s now a given that the highest profile yellow Corvettes will be the new C8.Rs that will most likely see their first track action next January at the Rolex 24 at Daytona just as the first C8 street cars begin shipping.

Continue reading [PICS] The C8 Mid-Engine Corvette Rendered in Yellow at Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Could Automakers Manufacture Electric Cars Like iPhones?

GM Authority News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 1:25pm

Outsourcing production could be easier with EVs.

Camaro, Corvette Won’t Meet EU Emissions Laws For New Cars After August 2019

GM Authority News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 12:22pm

The C7 Corvette was on its way out anyway, though.

Corvette Racing at Le Mans: Dress Rehearsal for 20th Appearance

Corvette Blogger - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 12:04pm

Pair of Corvettes set for eight hours of running at famed Circuit de la Sarthe

DETROIT (May 28, 2019) – Corvette Racing is back across the Atlantic once again for a landmark appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans – its 20th consecutive appearance at the historic French endurance race.

Continue reading Corvette Racing at Le Mans: Dress Rehearsal for 20th Appearance at Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Canadian Man Donates His 1980 Corvette to Support Mental Health Care

Corvette Blogger - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 11:49am

Photo Credit: Dax Melmer

Joe Di Carlo has owned his black 1980 Corvette since just before he graduated from high school in 1985.

Now, some 34 years later, he’s decided to donate his pride and joy to a local youth counseling and mental health support agency called Maryvale in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Continue reading Canadian Man Donates His 1980 Corvette to Support Mental Health Care at Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Why The Corvette Grand Sport Exists

GM Authority News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 10:58am

Let's review how the Grand Sport came to be.

New Auto Giant? Fiat Chrysler Wants to Merge with Renault

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 10:43am

Fiat Chrysler proposed on Monday to merge with France’s Renault to create the world’s third-biggest automaker, worth $40 billion, and combine forces in the race to make electric and autonomous vehicles.

The merged company would reshape the global industry: it would produce some 8.7 million vehicles a year, leapfrogging General Motors and trailing only Volkswagen and Toyota.

Shares of both companies jumped on the news of the offer, which would see each side’s shareholders split ownership in the new manufacturer.

Renault welcomed what it called a “friendly” offer. The company’s board met Monday at its headquarters outside Paris and said afterward that Renault will study the proposal “with interest.” In a statement, Renault said such a fusion could “improve Renault’s industrial footprint and be a generator of additional value for the Alliance” with Japan’s Nissan and Mitsubishi.

Fiat Chrysler’s offer comes at a key moment for Renault. The French manufacturer had wanted to merge fully with Nissan, but those plans were derailed by the arrest of boss Carlos Ghosn on financial misconduct charges in Japan.

Now, questions are growing over the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, which together make more passenger cars than any one company. While Fiat Chrysler says the merger with Renault would accommodate the alliance and lead to savings for them, it is unclear how the Japanese companies might react in the longer term to being tied to a much larger partner.

Automakers have collaborated more in recent years as they come under pressure to invest heavily in developing electric cars, self-driving vehicles, and in-car connectivity. Regulators, particularly in Europe and China, are pushing automakers to produce electric vehicles and meet tougher climate change regulations, pressure that only grew after scandals over the amount of pollutants emitted by gas and diesel-powered engines.

A deal would save 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) a year for the merged companies by sharing research, purchasing costs, and other activities, Fiat Chrysler said. It promised the deal would involve no plant closures, but it didn’t address potential job cuts.

The companies are largely complementary: Fiat Chrysler is stronger in the U.S. and SUV markets, while Renault is stronger in Europe and in developing electric vehicles. Analysts say both companies are weak in China, which is now the world’s largest auto market.

Together, they would be worth almost 37 billion euros ($40 billion). Fiat Chrysler, which includes the holding company of the founding Agnelli family with a 29 percent stake, proposed that its shareholders get a 2.5 billion euro ($2.8 billion) special dividend because of Fiat Chrysler’s higher market value.

“This operation will bring benefits to both countries,” Fiat Chrysler Chairman John Elkann told reporters in Italy, noting that it had been 10 years since Fiat’s takeover of bankrupt Chrysler, in exchange for small-car technology and management know-how.

The car market has shifted dramatically in the meantime, with Fiat Chrysler abandoning small cars in the United States in favor of SUVs.

Analysts at financial firm Jefferies said it was “hard to disagree with the logic” of the deal, as there is a strong fit in the markets each company covers and the brands they offer.

“The elephant in the room is who will run the entity,” analysts Philippe Houchois and Himanshu Agarwal wrote in a note to investors.

Mergers of equals can be difficult to manage over questions of who gets the top leadership positions and which brands are promoted and invested in most. A tie-up between Daimler and Chrysler in the 1990s was billed as a merger of equals, but it eventually collapsed amid cultural differences and recriminations.

Investors were nevertheless enthusiastic about Fiat Chrysler’s plan, pushing the company’s shares up 8 percent and Renault’s 12 percent.

The French government, which owns 15 percent of Renault, said it is “favorable” to the idea of a merger but wants to study the conditions more carefully, especially in terms of “Renault’s industrial development” and employees’ working conditions, government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye said. “We need giants to be built in Europe.”

Ghosn’s legal problems in Japan have left Renault vulnerable. Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, head of the CAR automotive research center at the Duisburg-Essen University, said Ghosn’s plans to merge Renault with Nissan-Mitsubishi had “little appeal” for the Japanese.

He noted that Renault’s sales represented just 36 percent of 2018 alliance sales—and the Japanese didn’t want to see the French carmaker drive a merger with those numbers.

A Renault merger with Fiat Chrysler, however, could strengthen both companies’ positions and put pressure on smaller companies like Ford in Europe.

The merger idea is the biggest corporate move so far by Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley, who took his position after the unexpected death last year of the charismatic leader Sergio Marchionne.

What happens to jobs is likely to be a source of concern.

France’s influential CGT union warned against cuts and said it wants the French government to retain a blocking stake in any new company.

“We know that when there is talk of a merger … at the end, it’s the employees who are paying the high price for it — loss of jobs, having to compete with others around,” said Fabien Gache of the CGT.

Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s rightwing populist League party and the deputy premier, said that “if Fiat grows, it is good news for Italy and Italians,” though he warned a deal should protect “every single job.”

In Tokyo, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa wouldn’t comment directly on the merger idea but said, “I am always open to exchanging constructive views on strengthening the alliance.”

The post New Auto Giant? Fiat Chrysler Wants to Merge with Renault appeared first on Motortrend.

This Super-Fast, Championship-Winning C4 Is Seeking A New Home

Corvettes Online News Feed - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 10:33am
Whether put back on the street or the track, this LT4-powered, championship-winning C4 has the history and equipment to make it a great buy for a car guy.

[AMAZON] Save Up To 25% on GEARWRENCH Screwdriver, Wrench and Socket Sets

Corvette Blogger - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 9:50am

As part of today’s Gold Box Deals, Amazon is offering big discounts on GEARWRENCH Screwdriver, Wrench and Socket sets.

The 16-piece Metric Master Ratcheting Wrench Set is now priced at $59.99 which is now an all-time low at Amazon. GEARWRENCH original Ratcheting wrenches combine the speed of a ratchet with the access and control of a wrench.

Continue reading [AMAZON] Save Up To 25% on GEARWRENCH Screwdriver, Wrench and Socket Sets at Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Electric Pickup Trucks Are Coming, But There’s Little Evidence Buyers Want Them

GM Authority News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 9:36am

Why are automakers rushing to fill the niche then?

GM And Bechtel Partner To Build Nationwide Electric Car Fast Charging Infrastructure

GM Authority News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 9:15am

Could it be GM's answer to Tesla's Supercharger stations?

Cadillac Dishes A Few Details On CT4-V, CT5-V Ahead Of Debut

GM Authority News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 8:57am

The cars will be the most "accessible" V-Series vehicles yet.

Carb Science Series: How to Speak Holley Four-Barrel

Corvettes Online News Feed - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 7:04am
The Holley line of four-barrel carburetors are the most prolific of all aftermarket carburetor designs. In this article, we acquaint you with their features that make them so awesome.

How Our 2018 BMW X2’s Cargo Area Surprises – Long-Term Update 3

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 4:00am

I suspect no one looks at the X2 and thinks, “I bet that car can carry so much stuff,” and yet there’s more cargo capacity in the back of the X2 than initially meets the eye.

Removing the false floor reveals a deep, carpeted well (there’s no spare). The tub does a good job at keeping groceries from slipping, sliding, and smashing to mushy bits. Unfortunately, to access all this bonus cargo area, you’ll have to negotiate a relatively high loading lip. With a high sill and an even lower floor, it can be difficult to maneuver heavy things like luggage over the edge. Also, with the false floor removed, the bulkhead at the back of the floor tub is exposed. This bulkhead, located aft of the back-seat mounting brackets, creates an odd space behind the rear seats but in front of the cargo well. This area provides room for the false floor to pivot upward on its hinges, but when it’s removed, it creates a sort of no man’s land that where stray belongings may unintentionally end up.

A power tailgate provides access to the X2’s back end. It seems unnecessary to power the tailgate on such a small vehicle because the hatch itself is small and light. A manual hatch would open and close more quickly than this motorized one does. That being said, the hands-free function works very well. One sideways swipe of the foot, and the rear lights blink in acknowledgment as the tailgate begins to open. Other manufacturers offer this function, but none seem to work this well.

Conveniently, the back seat offers a three-way split, perfect for slipping a pair of skis or a snowboard in between passengers. But none of the seat folding can be actuated from the rear hatch area. Instead, the segments fold via nylon pulls found at the intersection of the seat bottom and back. Nylon pulls aren’t the first thing that come to mind when you think of luxury brand interior hardware, but these get the job done. The pulls can also recline the seatbacks, allowing for a more relaxed and casual seating position for back-seat passengers.

Read more about our long-term 2018 BMW X2:

 

The post How Our 2018 BMW X2’s Cargo Area Surprises – Long-Term Update 3 appeared first on Motortrend.

2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR First Test: Bark and Squeal

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 4:00am

The 2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR captivated us in Europe with its punchy powertrain and deafening exhaust note. Jag’s super SUV has finally made it to our shores, but with one key difference—unlike the sticky summer performance tires fitted in our European test vehicle, all F-Pace SVRs headed to the U.S. can only be had with all-season rubbers (Pirelli Scorpion Zeros, to be exact). We’ve been eager to see how those less aggressive tires would affect our impressions and now we’ve had the chance.

One thing that hasn’t wavered is our admiration for this engine. Producing 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft, the F-Pace SVR’s 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 is explosive—its immediate power delivery is simply unmatched by turbocharged competitors that often feel laggy off the line. The eight-speed automatic behaves well with the high-strung engine and both, along with the all-wheel-drive system, help propel the 4,632-pound SVR to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. Reaching the quarter mile took 12.0 second at 116.5 mph.

That said, most of the competitors we’ve tested were quicker. The excellent Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio sprinted to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds and crossed the quarter-mile in 11.8 seconds, while the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63S 4Matic+ Coupe needed 3.2 seconds to reach 60 mph and 11.7 seconds for the quarter mile. The Jag does, however, keep pace with the Porsche Macan Turbo (with Performance Pack) that recorded a 0–60 mph and quarter-mile time of 3.7 and 12.3 seconds, respectively.

That said, none of those quick SUVs can match the Jag’s sound. “The SVR’s engine is almost a caricature of what an angry, geezed-up motor is supposed to sound like,” senior features editor Jonny Lieberman said. “It’s plain juvenile, thankfully so.”

Many of us wished for better brakes. Stopping from 60 mph took 116 feet, which is at least 10 feet longer than the Alfa, AMG, and Porsche. Pedal feel is soft and seems to be tuned for a base-model four-cylinder F-Pace rather than a high-performance SUV.

The figure-eight course further magnified the F-Pace SVR’s braking issues, among other things. Testing director Kim Reynolds found himself braking earlier to prevent overshooting corner entry. And on the skidpad, attempts to counteract understeer with throttle inputs proved to be a challenge since the high-powered V-8 seemed to easily get the tires loose. “Seems sort of primitive and American hot rod-ish,” Reynolds said.

The SVR’s figure-eight lap time of 25.0 seconds is behind the AMG (24.1 seconds), Alfa (24.9 seconds), and Macan (24.6 seconds). A stickier set of summer tires would likely improve the Jag’s time and also remedy some of the braking and handling issues we noted, including the lack of steering feel.

Driving the SVR at a slower pace (that doesn’t overwhelm the tires) can be relatively fun. And despite its stiffer suspension setup and gigantic 22-inch wheels, the Jag is a pretty comfortable and quiet cruiser. We imagine most F-Pace SVR buyers will appreciate this, along with its straight-line acceleration and rowdy exhaust note. They’ll unlikely take a corner quick enough to hear the all-season tires squeal for mercy. Even still, we can’t help but wonder why Jaguar doesn’t offer more aggressive tires as an option given that this is the most extreme F-Pace in the lineup.

2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR BASE PRICE $81,016 PRICE AS TESTED $90,920 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV ENGINE 5.0L/550-hp/502-lb-ft supercharged DOHC 32-valve V-8 TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,632 lb (51/49%) WHEELBASE 113.1 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 185.6 x 77.1 x 65.7 in 0-60 MPH 3.7 sec QUARTER MILE 12.0 sec @ 116.5 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 116 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.89 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.0 sec @ 0.77 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 16/21/18 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 211/160 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.08 lb/mile

The post 2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR First Test: Bark and Squeal appeared first on Motortrend.

2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS vs. 2019 Ford Mustang GT: Topless Titans

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 4:00am

I should be the type of guy who likes convertibles. I live in Los Angeles, I’m under 30, and—to channel my inner narcissist for a second—my hair flows in the wind shampoo-commercial style.

Yet I just can’t seem to get behind the idea of top-down driving. It’s not any one reason; it’s a bunch of little ones. Convertibles look ungainly to me with their tops up, and many don’t handle as well as their roofed brethren. And as a worry-wart (thanks, Mom), I’m convinced someone is going to come along with a switchblade and liberate me of nickels and an iPhone cable.

I’m apparently not the only one cool on convertibles; back during Peak Topless (between 1950 and 1970), American automakers offered at least 33 different convertibles, accounting for nearly 6 percent of new car sales. Nowadays, the Detroit Three offer up a combined four: the Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang, and Jeep Wrangler/Gladiator. Aside from the red-hot Wrangler, the Mustang and Camaro convertibles comprise the lion’s share of drop-top sales in the U.S., both through rental fleets in the Sunbelt and via private owners.

Although it’s clear the convertible’s heyday has passed, a dedicated following obviously still exists. In the interest of trying to see what I’m missing out on, I ordered up two of the most iconic drop-tops on the market to figure out which is the ultimate convertible for those who don’t like convertibles: the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS and 2019 Ford Mustang GT . As we’re in the midst of May Gray in Los Angeles, I couldn’t have asked for better drop-tops to get my feet—and hair—wet.

The Camaro and Mustang rivalry is the stuff of legend. On our pages and, well, screens alone, the two have met head to head more than 25 times over their 52 years of mutual existence, with varying results. In the latest round of matchups, beginning in 2015 and 2016 with the sixth generations of the Mustang and Camaro, respectively, both have won twice. Chevy’s Camaro SS models have been dominant in the V-8 arena, and the Mustang has won both on the low end in our turbo-four shootout and on the high end with its Shelby GT350R. But what happens when you chop off the roofs?

The Competition

Our 2019 Mustang GT convertible hopes to break that stalemate. Reworked last year, the Mustang boasts revised sheetmetal and ritzier interior treatments. More important, its 5.0-liter V-8 has been massaged to make 460 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, and it’s mated to an updated six-speed manual transmission that sports a new clutch and flywheel, borrowed from the GT350. Our topless Mustang is also outfitted with the optional GT Performance package—better known as Performance Pack 1—which gives our car a grab bag of performance goods, including more chassis bracing, uprated front Brembo brakes, and a Torsen limited-slip rear differential with an aggressive 3.73 final drive ratio. Performance Pack 2 isn’t available on Mustang convertibles, but our car is equipped with performance rubber and the package’s magnetic-ride suspension. Our near-loaded Mustang stickers for $55,735. Clearly, this is not the one you get at the Hertz counter in Maui.

History is against the Ford, though; each time the current Mustang GT has gone up against the Camaro SS, the Blue Oval lost. And although Ford updated the Mustang last year, Chevy fired back this year with a refresh of its own. With most of Chevy’s mechanical focus left on the four-cylinder model, the 6.2-liter V-8 in the SS is unchanged, making a (still) healthy 455 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque—though it now has a new “Flowtie” to breathe through and heat extractor hood to vent from. Our car’s six-speed manual is unchanged, too. Ditto the chassis and suspension tuning. Instead, Chevy spent its money on the botched plastic surgery that is the Camaro SS’ new front and rear ends.

To dwell for a bit on that last sentence, I’ve always been a believer that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But the Camaro SS’ new front end looks like it was designed for a part in a Transformers movie; it’s somehow both distinctive and derivative (both in all the wrong ways) at the same time. Thankfully we only have to look at this schnoz for another couple months—Chevy announced a face-lift for 2020 soon after testing completed. Rhinoplasty 2.0, as it were.

No performance packages exist on drop-top Camaros, but our tester is well equipped with magnetic suspension, performance exhaust, and a few other choice features for a near-loaded $52,775 as-tested price.

As unfortunate as the Camaro looks, we thankfully don’t have to see it while driving. At the track, both cars put down eerily identical numbers, zipping from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and through the quarter mile in 12.7 seconds. The Camaro traps at 112.9 mph to the Mustang’s 113.6 mph.

It’s the same story on the figure eight, though you wouldn’t know it from behind the wheel. The Camaro convertible behaves much like its metal-topped brother—neutral, well balanced, and seemingly steerable with throttle input alone. The Chevy lapped the figure eight in 24.3 seconds at 0.82 g average. The Ford matches the Camaro’s time (at a lower 0.80 g) in spite of its more, uh, rebellious nature. Like its namesake, the Mustang fights and bucks when pushed hard. It understeers into the corner and then suddenly snaps into oversteer on corner exit. “It’s no wonder that it’s always a Mustang that ends up in a crowd outside Cars and Coffee,” features editor Scott Evans said.

The Ford’s figure-eight behavior was disappointing, but out on the road, the Mustang GT is a different animal. Cruising L.A.’s wide boulevards with the top down is the Ford’s forte. Its magnetically enhanced ride is soft and supple. The Mustang’s Coyote V-8 is happy to loaf around in sixth gear, but it’s even happier when given the chance to stretch its legs. The Ford’s V-8 is lively—revving quickly and pulling hard all the way to its 7,400-rpm redline. And thanks to its fancy active performance exhaust, it sounds absolutely epic with the top down. The Mustang’s manual has quick, accurate, and mechanically satisfying shifts, though the springy clutch takeup can be lurchy to the uninitiated.

To my pleasant surprise after its figure-eight performance, the Mustang isn’t half bad on a good winding road. So long as you avoid pushing it to its ragged edge, the Mustang is happy galloping along at a good pace, especially working between the top of third and bottom of fourth gear as you navigate the famed Angeles Crest Highway in the foothills above Pasadena. Steering is well weighted and accurate but ultimately a bit skittish, responding dramatically at times to microscopic inputs.

The Chevy is better still on a good road. The Camaro SS charges from bend to bend like the mighty Mississippi—its chassis, steering, and suspension are so well sorted and balanced that there’s just no way GM is paying its Camaro engineers enough. (Might I suggest docking the design staff’s pay to cover the engineers’ raises?) The Camaro’s big 6.2-liter V-8 is lazier than the Ford’s but good in its own right. Its torque and power curves are meaty, and although it’s slower to rev, it never leaves you wanting more power. “Thirty seconds of hard driving is all it takes to realize the Camaro is the superior sports car,” Evans said. “The Mustang feels nervous and unsure of itself by comparison even though it, too, is a good sports car.”

Slowing down a bit and back in town, the Camaro’s performance advantage becomes less noticeable. Its gearbox and brakes are as good as the Ford’s, and the Camaro’s engine is just as happy cruising about town as the Mustang’s. The biggest differences in the city from a mechanical standpoint is the Chevy’s easier-to-modulate clutch and slightly stiffer but still unobjectionable ride.

Where the differences between the Camaro and Mustang really come to a head is when we start looking at how they are as convertibles. This is where the Camaro’s biggest issues come into play. First the good: The Camaro’s power top goes up and down in about 15 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. It’s even possible to drop it with the key fob, ensuring you can just hop in the car and go. I’m also a fan of the Camaro’s standard tonneau cover; it’s a nice touch that prevents the car’s clean profile—the only angle from which this Camaro actually looks good—from getting mussed up by a ruffled top like it does in the Mustang, albeit at the expense of trunk space. The Camaro’s interior features are also pretty good; its infotainment system looks nicer and is more intuitive than the Ford’s. And although the interior design may be lacking in style and imagination, materials are generally pretty nice for the price.

The Chevy’s smaller size pays dividends on a road course, but there’s no doubt it makes it a worse convertible. Despite losing its metal top, the Camaro’s cabin somehow feels tighter as a convertible than as a coupe. With its slitty greenhouse, visibility and ergonomics were never this Camaro’s strong suit, but the latter flaw becomes all the more frustrating in the convertible.

Not only is storage space sparse in the cabin (stowing loose, lightweight items with the top down is apparently not something Chevrolet considered), but the trunk is absolutely useless with the top down. “The fact that the automatic top takes up 90 percent of the trunk totally kills the advantage,” Evans said. “The itty-bitty trunk opening is just salt in the wound.” I have pondered why I’d regularly see tourists in Camaro convertibles sitting with their luggage in their laps on the freeways surrounding LAX. Now I know why.

The Mustang doesn’t have that problem. The Ford’s inability to lower or raise its top (a 10-second process) while moving is certainly a flaw, but when it comes to passenger and cargo room, the Mustang is far superior. Its trunk opening is fairly wide, and even with the top down, the Mustang can swallow two carry-on bags. Inside the cabin, the Mustang is far more livable, too. The front buckets are comfortable, supportive, and roomy, and although I wouldn’t want to spend time in the back of either convertible, the Ford feels far roomier.

As is the case when comparing the two convertibles’ exterior styling, there’s little doubt that the Mustang is the far more successful interior design. It’s not only more ergonomically designed, but it’s also better styled. The metal “Mustang” plaque on the passenger side of the dash along with the old-school auxiliary gauges, toggle switches, and fully digital instrument cluster make the Ford feel like a more unique and premium offering. The Mustang is, simply put, the more cohesive design.

I’m a bit reluctant to admit it, but after blasting around sunny L.A. in the Camaro SS and Mustang GT convertibles, I have to say I’m starting to understand the convertible’s appeal. These two pony cars offer the open-air experience of a motorcycle, the brutal acceleration (and soundtrack) of a muscle car, and the poise and balance of a classic sports car. Although convertibles have their drawbacks—both of our testers are heavier, slower, and more expensive than their coupe cousins—the spark of pure joy they inspire when the weather and road are just right exceeds mere price.

But that doesn’t mean one isn’t better than the other.

The Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible is the better driver on our favorite back roads and at the track, but the Ford Mustang GT is the far better convertible. The Mustang might not feel as planted or inspire as much confidence at its limits, but if outright performance were the endgame, you’ve read the wrong article, friend: Either coupe is a far better driver.

What the Mustang gives up in handling poise, it makes up for in style, space, and a wildly fun powertrain. I don’t see myself ever giving up the comfort of a steel top for cloth, but if you were to do so, it would be hard to go wrong with the ragtop version of the 2019 Mustang GT.

2019 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible SS 2019 Ford Mustang Convertible GT DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD Front-engine, RWD ENGINE TYPE 90-deg V-8, alum block/heads 90-deg V-8, alum block/heads VALVETRAIN OHV, 2 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DISPLACEMENT 376.0 cu in/6,162 cc 307.4 cu in/5,038 cc COMPRESSION RATIO 11.5:1 12.0:1 POWER (SAE NET) 455 hp @ 6,000 rpm 460 hp @ 7,500 rpm TORQUE (SAE NET) 455 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm 420 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm REDLINE 6,500 rpm 7,400 rpm WEIGHT TO POWER 8.7 lb/hp 8.7 lb/hp TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual 6-speed manual AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.73:1/1.87:1 3.73:1/2.32:1 SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar Struts, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar STEERING RATIO 15.8:1 16.0:1 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.3 2.5 BRAKES, F; R 13.6-in vented disc; 13.3-in vented disc, ABS 15.0-in vented disc; 13.0-in vented disc, ABS WHEELS, F;R 8.5 x 20-in; 9.5 x 20-in, cast aluminum 9.0 x 19-in; 9.5 x 19-in, cast aluminum TIRES, F;R 245/40R20 95Y; 275/35R20 98Y Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 255/40R19; 275/40R19 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S DIMENSIONS WHEELBASE 110.7 in 107.1 in TRACK, F/R 63.0/62.9 in 62.4/65.1 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 188.3 x 74.7 x 53.1 in 188.5 x 75.4 x 54.9 in TURNING CIRCLE 38.4 ft 40.0 ft CURB WEIGHT 3,949 lb 3,980 lb WEIGHT DIST, F/R 52/48% 53/47% SEATING CAPACITY 4 4 HEADROOM, F/R 38.5/33.4 in 37.6/35.7 in LEGROOM, F/R 43.9/29.9 in 45.1/29.2 in SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 55.9/50.3 in 56.3/44.7 in CARGO VOLUME 7.3 cu ft 11.4 cu ft TEST DATA ACCELERATION TO MPH 0-30 1.8 sec 1.9 sec 0-40 2.5 2.5 0-50 3.3 3.5 0-60 4.4 4.4 0-70 5.4 5.4 0-80 6.8 6.9 0-90 8.2 8.3 0-100 9.9 9.9 0-100-0 13.9 14.0 PASSING, 45-65 MPH 2.0 2.0 QUARTER MILE 12.7 sec @ 112.9 mph 12.7 sec @ 113.6 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 103 ft 106 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.98 g (avg) 0.98 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 24.3 sec @ 0.82 g (avg) 24.3 sec @ 0.80 g (avg) TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,400 rpm 1,700 rpm CONSUMER INFO BASE PRICE $43,995 $45,950 PRICE AS TESTED $52,775 $55,735 STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes Yes/Yes AIRBAGS 6: Dual front, side/head, knee 6: Dual front, side/head, knee BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 miles 3 yrs/36,000 miles POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 5 yrs/60,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles FUEL CAPACITY 19.0 gal 16.0 gal EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 16/24/19 mpg 15/24/18 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 211/140 kW-hrs/100 miles 225/140 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.03 lb/mile 1.08 lb/mile RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium Unleaded premium

The post 2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS vs. 2019 Ford Mustang GT: Topless Titans appeared first on Motortrend.

2021 Ford Bronco: What it Can Learn From the Jeep Wrangler

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 4:00am

As rumors circulate around the new Ford Bronco, it’s obvious that the upcoming model will not be the average suburban superstar crossover. This is not a vehicle meant to compete with cars like the Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V. No, the new Bronco will be an affordable retro-inspired off-road SUV, and there’s only one other currently-available product we can think of that ticks all those boxes: the Jeep Wrangler. The newly redesigned Wrangler JL includes thoughtful changes over its predecessor that improve the tough little truck so much so that we named it our 2019 SUV of the Year. If Ford aims to capture some of the Wrangler’s sales, the Bronco team would be foolish not to take some inspiration from the venerable Jeep. Here are five things the Bronco team can learn from the Jeep Wrangler.

Doors off, roof off

The image of a topless, doorless Wrangler is as iconic as the military vehicle on which it’s based, and any Wrangler competitor would be remiss to skip out on features so crucial to the off-road experience. Plus, as we found in our Porsche 911 Cabriolet First Drive, top-down motoring is good for your health. Beyond just including a removable top and doors, make them usable! One of our favorite improvements on the new Wrangler is how easy it is to take apart, with a streamlined folding soft top, simplified flip-down windshield, and doors that clearly mark which tool you’ll need to remove them. If this report is accurate, Ford actually has the Wrangler beat on one count: the Bronco’s removable doors will be stashable in the cargo hold.

Give us options

One of the things that makes the Wrangler so versatile is that it’s offered in both two- and four-door configurations. While the pricier and more family-friendly four-door Wrangler Unlimited outsells its smaller sibling four to one, the two-door has an advantage off-road with its tighter turning radius, shorter wheelbase, and smaller footprint. The two-door is actually so stubby that it made our list of smallest SUVs currently on sale. Offering multiple configurations for the Bronco will be key; providing a more affordable two-door with the advantage off-road while still building the four-door and keeping the Bronco accessible for buyers who need the extra room.

Performance on- and off-road

As we touched upon in a recent off-roader comparison test, it’s as important for a car like this to be a comfortable driver on the way to the trails as it is to perform once you get there. The Wrangler JL’s vastly improved road manners are a big part of why it came out on top in that comparison. Even the entry-level Bronco needs to be extremely capable off-road if it wants to have enough credibility to back up its rugged design and long history, but if it drives like a wooden-wheeled block on pavement, it won’t be able to compete with the Wrangler. The Bronco family should also include a beefed-up knobby-tired model like the Wrangler Rubicon, preferably with the locking differentials, disconnectable anti-roll bar, and low-range gears that make that vehicle so unstoppable when the road gets bumpy.

Get the engines right

The turbocharged mild hybrid four-cylinder option in the new Wrangler is a sweetheart, which could bode well for the more advanced plug-in hybrid variant due in 2020. Ford has confirmed the Bronco will get a hybrid powertrain of its own, but that can’t be the only engine option. All signs point to Ford’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 as a top-spec engine, but the folks at the blue oval should learn from the Wrangler’s mistake and offer the Bronco with a V-8. Jeep customers will pay a company like Bruiser Conversions more than $30,000 (plus the cost of the car) to stuff a V-8 under the hood. Ford offering a robust eight-cylinder from the factory is unlikely, but it would be a huge power move over the Jeep and a V-8 would definitely score points with old-school Bronco fans.

Honor thy parents

Part of what makes the modern Wrangler so iconic is that it retains the boxy shape and seven-slot grille of the Willys Jeep military vehicle it’s descended from. The Wrangler isn’t aimed at practical buyers—they would have bought the aforementioned RAV4 or CR-V—so Ford should throw conventional aerodynamic design out the window and debut the new Bronco as a big, boxy brute, just like the first-generation model. And because the Bronco is aimed at enthusiasts, take some inspiration from the Wrangler’s Willys-inspired hidden Easter eggs and give them/us something to geek out over.

The post 2021 Ford Bronco: What it Can Learn From the Jeep Wrangler appeared first on Motortrend.

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