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Jinqiao Cadillac Plant Named China’s Best Factory In 2018

GM Authority News - Fri, 03/01/2019 - 9:54am

The highest level of recognition for a plant in the country.

Rumor: Mid-Engine C8 Corvette Production Bumped To December 2019

GM Authority News - Fri, 03/01/2019 - 9:28am

The rumor falls in line with our previous reports that the car has been delayed six months.

Holden Special Vehicles Adds Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 To Local Lineup

GM Authority News - Fri, 03/01/2019 - 9:09am

The refreshed 2019 Camaro SS also joins the lineup

2018 Nissan Kicks SR Long-Term Arrival: The Value-Packed Style

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 03/01/2019 - 4:00am

Cheap and affordable vehicles used to mean owning a car that looks like a bar of soap and offers a driving experience best described as soulless. Now, small and/or inexpensive vehicles are far from basic transportation, and the 2018 Nissan Kicks is a great example. Packed with the latest tech and cool exterior colors to help it stand out, the Kicks aims to lure young consumers with a strong value proposition, plenty of standard features, and great fuel economy.

When we configured our long-term Nissan Kicks, opting for the range-topping SR trim was a no-brainer. From a pricing standpoint, it was only $600 more than the midgrade SV, and it came with more standard features, including Nissan’s Around View Monitor, a 7.0-inch instrument cluster display, 17-inch alloy wheels, and LED low-beam headlights. The SR grade is also the only way you can get the awesome eight-speaker Bose Personal Plus audio system, which is part of the $1,000 SR Premium package; it’s a feature we are eager to spend plenty of time with. All told, our tester checks in at $23,000.

Like the Versa Note, the Kicks is highly customizable via Nissan’s Color Studio, which allows you to add contrasting side mirror covers, colorful interior trim, wheel inserts, and floormats with colored piping to spice up your ride. One the safety front, automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning are standard on all models, but blind-spot morning and rear cross-traffic alert are only available on the SV and SR grades. Standard features include a 7.0-inch touchscreen, three USB ports, Bluetooth, and a rearview camera.

The 2018 Nissan Kicks rides on the V platform, also used on the Versa, Versa Note, and Sentra. Its suspension features MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam out back. Unfortunately, this platform can’t support all-wheel drive, so Nissan’s smallest crossover is front-drive only. The SR grade is also the only model to come with the Integrated Dynamic-Control Module powertrain software, which adds Nissan’s Active Engine Brake, Active Trace Control, and Active Ride Control to improve the Kicks’ road manners.

Powered by a 1.6-liter I-4 with 125 hp and 115 lb-ft of torque paired to a CVT, the 2018 Nissan Kicks is far from a powerhouse. The engine is shared with the Versa and Versa Note but tuned for more power in the Kicks. With an EPA fuel economy rating 31/36 mpg city/highway, the Kicks’ efficiency is among the best in its segment. The test team will also put the Kicks through MotorTrend’s rigorous testing regime to see where its performance stands in its class. Our friends at EQUA Real MPG, on the other hand, will strap their equipment on the fun-sized crossover to see how efficient it is.

We’re eager to see how Nissan’s stylish urbanite performs. To stand out in a crowded and rapidly growing segment, the Kicks needs to be more than just another crossover. From the daily commute and road trips to Ikea runs and epic food crawls, the Kicks will take part in every millennial activity and adventure we can think of. Will Nissan’s extroverted urban utility vehicle charm us with its blend of practicality, value, and efficiency? Or will its emphasis on sensibility overshadow its merits? Tag along for the ride, and let’s find out.

The post 2018 Nissan Kicks SR Long-Term Arrival: The Value-Packed Style appeared first on Motortrend.

2019 BMW X5 Interior Review: Inside the Fourth-Gen X5’s Cabin

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 03/01/2019 - 4:00am

The BMW X5 is entering its fourth generation, and that means it gets an all-new interior. From a 12.3-inch touchscreen to massaging seats as well as heated and cooled cupholders, the 2019 X5 has lots of notable updates. Following our 2019 X5 First Drive review, we spent more seat time in the new luxury crossover to see how its interior kept up with our comfort.

Yuge Screens

With a 12.3-inch touchscreen, the new X5 has a sharp, modern look. It appears BMW and Mercedes have tried to differentiate from Tesla- and Volvo-style screens by mounting their central screens horizontally instead of vertically. In the 2019 X5’s case, users can control it via either the touchscreen itself or the rotary knob located next to the shifter. Apple CarPlay comes standard for one year, but unfortunately, after that you’ll have to spend $80 each year.

Directly in front of the driver is another 12.3-inch screen that makes up the digital instrument cluster.

“Hey, BMW”

Following in Apple’s footsteps, BMW integrated its Intelligent Personal Assistant system, which drivers can use by saying “Hey, BMW.” We briefly tried it and enjoyed its conversation-like commands, which make it easy to control the navigation system or turn the climate control up or down. Although we didn’t experience any interruptions in our brief time with the X5, Mark Rechtin noticed some intrusions every time he or someone in the car said “BMW” in a conversation (this happened inside a 3 Series, but the system is the same). We’ll have to spend more time with it to see if there are any improvements.

Spacious Interior

With seating for up to seven, the X5 is a comfortable SUV. The driver’s position is set up well, with good visibility ahead and to the sides. The cargo space is quite spacious at 33.9 cubic feet, and if you need even more room, the second-row seats fold flat to allow 72.3 cubic feet.

As we noted in our 2019 BMW X5 First Drive, the new crossover will offer a power cargo cover that can roll back and disappear in the floor between the second and third rows.

Luxury All Around

Depending on the model you get, you can have everything—from heated and ventilated seats with massage, to heated or cooled cupholders. One of my favorite features is the crystal shifter, which gives the cabin an elegant touch. For those who live in colder weather, the heated front armrest option ($250) will make the cabin even more comfortable.

Remote Software Upgrades

In order to get software updates and improvements to the vehicle, BMW has equipped the X5 with Remote Software Upgrades. It’s technically the same as over-the-air upgrades, but there are two ways to get the upgrades: via the BMW Connected app or by downloading the upgrade directly into the car’s built-in SIM card. You can use the BMW Connected app and download the upgrade via Wi-Fi to your phone and then connect the phone to the car. The download takes place directly in the app, and as soon as the phone is connected to the vehicle, the installation will begin. If you opt to download directly to the SIM, the X5 will need to be parked and you must confirm the installation. The whole process should take about 20 minutes, during which time the vehicle cannot be driven.

So what’s the 2019 X5 like to drive? Find out in our First Drive review here.

The post 2019 BMW X5 Interior Review: Inside the Fourth-Gen X5’s Cabin appeared first on Motortrend.

Toyota Supra GT4 Concept Previews Turnkey Race Car You’ll Be Able to Buy

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 03/01/2019 - 4:00am

Toyota wants you to go racing in its GR Supra GT4, which is making its debut as a concept as part of the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. If you do grab one of these turnkey racers—and should Toyota follow through and build it—you could rub doors in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport class with Porsche Caymans, Mercedes-AMG GTs, Aston Martin Vantages, Ford Mustangs, and more

Details are sparse right now, but Toyota is emphasizing mass reduction, not horsepower. “The GR Supra Concept is even more lightweight than the commercial Toyota Supra,” with a low center of gravity and high rigidity, the automaker says in a release, “and is equipped with race-specific parts such as its roll cage, suspension, brakes, and rear wing.”

The Toyota Supra is of course twinned with the new BMW Z4 and roadgoing models are powered by BMW’s 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six. It’s rated for 335 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque, and Toyota worked with BMW to develop the sports car’s architecture. The Supra GT4 is 175.6 inches long, 73.0 inches wide, and 49.2 inches tall, which is longer, lower, and wider than the street version.

In North America, the GT4-spec GS class is in some ways the run-what-you-brung part of IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge series, as it accepts both factory-built race specials and team-built cars based on production models. While the Supra GT4 is shown as a concept, it’s pretty clearly headed for “national and regional competitions in Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania,” as Toyota says in its release. “Customers can participate in various races around the world by purchasing commercially available racing-specification cars that have been specially tuned for performance.”

Toyota already has announced the Supra will be its entry in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series, against the Chevrolet Camaro SS and Ford Mustang GT, and that a version will also compete in this year’s Nürburgring 24 Endurance Race. The new Mk V Supra also debuted, of course, as a race car concept. Clearly Toyota is serious about racing this thing, and with the GT4 you could be, too.

We don’t yet know whether a factory Toyota GR Supra GT4 might be ready in time for this year’s IMSA GT4 series, or whether customers will have to wait until 2020, but look for more details about the turnkey racer concept as we cover the 2019 Geneva Motor Show March 5 and 6.

Source: Toyota

The post Toyota Supra GT4 Concept Previews Turnkey Race Car You’ll Be Able to Buy appeared first on Motortrend.

Watch A 1985 Chevrolet Astro Van Slalom In This Retro Review: VIdeo

GM Authority News - Fri, 03/01/2019 - 1:18am

Add this to the list of things you’d never thought you’d see.

2019 Cadillac Escalade Introduces New Noir Package

GM Authority News - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 11:05pm

Models equipped with the Noir Package are only available in a Manhattan Noir Metallic exterior and Kona Brown interior color combination.

Rtech Fabrications Builds Really Cool Restored Chevy Trucks

GM Authority News - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 9:11pm

The Idaho-based shop specializes in 1967-1972 GM trucks.

LS vs Coyote 2: Reviewing the ProCharger Selection for Both Engines

Corvettes Online News Feed - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 8:00pm
In the Horsepower Wars: LS Vs. Coyote 2 Shootout the ProCharger selection is a critical piece for the teams. We take a detailed look at the ProChargers that were selected and their differences.

Tesla’s Controversially Named “Full Self-Driving Capability” Package Is Back

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 7:23pm

Back in October, Tesla removed a popular option from its online configurator. While it continued to offer the version of adaptive cruise control it calls Autopilot, you could no longer add the Full Self-Driving Capability package. At the time, CEO Elon Musk said it was “causing too much confusion.” But surprisingly, when the base Model 3 configurator went live today, the controversial package was back, as well.

Also available off menu for a week. Was causing too much confusion.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 18, 2018

According to the description, the Full Self-Driving Capability package adds a more advanced version of Autopilot that can handle highway on-ramps and off-ramps. You also get automatic parking and a feature called Summon that Tesla says gives your car the ability to drive to your location. But while the site promises the package will gain features such as the ability to operate on city streets and respond to traffic signals, it’s easy to understand why calling it “Full Self-Driving Capability” confused buyers. Back in 2016, Tesla removed all “self-driving” language from its Chinese consumer site following a crash that the driver blamed on misleading advertising.

Even more confusing is the fine print underneath the description, which starts with the line, “The currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.” It then goes on to say, “The activation and use of these features are dependent on achieving reliability far in excess of human drivers as demonstrated by billions of miles of experience, as well as regulatory approval, which may take longer in some jurisdictions.”

Since Tesla originally stopped offering the package because it confused customers, you might think it would change the name to “Future Self-Driving Capability” or something similar. Instead, Tesla stuck with the original name. Why? Because Musk believes legitimate self-driving is just around the corner.

On a conference call with reporters today, he said Tesla made the decision to bring back the package because it’s much closer to introducing self-driving features. He then added that the prototype version of Autopilot he uses already handles city driving well. He did, however, reiterate that drivers will still need to monitor their cars while Autopilot is engaged.

We’re not sure we buy that, but hey. Maybe customers now have a better understanding of the limitations of the Full Self-Driving Capability package than they did before.

Source: Tesla

The post Tesla’s Controversially Named “Full Self-Driving Capability” Package Is Back appeared first on Motortrend.

[RUMOR] C8 Mid-Engine Corvette To Start Production in December?

Corvette Blogger - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 6:47pm

Photo Credit: Spiedbilde

Did a GM Supplier just let the cat out of the bag when it comes to Chevy’s C8 Mid-Engine Corvette plans?

A comment posted this afternoon over on the Corvette Forum says that GM will start production of the 2020 Corvette in December. The post comes from a member named “NiceRide” who joined the conversation at the forum regarding that GM Document we posted on Wednesday about 2020 Corvette Production ‘To Be Determined’.

Continue reading [RUMOR] C8 Mid-Engine Corvette To Start Production in December? at Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

The $35K Tesla Model 3 Is Finally Available

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 6:28pm

Way back in 2016 when the Tesla Model 3 was first revealed, CEO Elon Musk promised a starting price of $35,000. After nearly three years, the base Model 3 is finally available to order. The base—or standard, as Tesla calls it—Model 3 starts at $36,200, including $1,200 destination charge, and comes with an estimated range of 220 miles.

To help get it down to the promised $35,000 starting price, Tesla simplified the features on the standard Model 3. Inside, you’ll find manually adjusted cloth seats, “base” trim, a basic audio system, and a basic navigation system. The only exterior color available at no charge is black (all others will run you an extra $1,500-2,500), and black is apparently the only available interior color. You do still get a tinted glass roof with the standard model, however, along with four USB ports in the center console. The single-motor standard Tesla Model 3 is estimated to hit 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 130 mph. That’s a couple seconds off the pace of a dual-motor Tesla Model 3 Performance (pictured above), which we clocked at 3.2 seconds to 60, but probably quick enough for most.

Another way Tesla was able to bring the price down was by switching exclusively to online sales. Soon, the only way you’ll be able to purchase a Tesla will be through your phone or a computer. Tesla says by doing this it will be able to lower prices across its lineup by 6 percent on average. As a result of the switch, many Tesla stores will begin winding down operations over the next few months. A “small number” of stores located in high-traffic areas will be converted to galleries, showcases, or information centers, the company says. According to Tesla, going online-only will allow customers in all states to buy a Tesla “quickly and easily.” In a conference call with the press, Tesla said online sales circumvent franchise laws, which have dogged the company ever since it first rolled out its direct sales approach.

In addition to the standard Model 3, Tesla also announced a Model 3 Standard Range Plus, which gets a 240-mile and more premium features for $38,200. That car is said to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds and do a top speed of 140 mph. Tesla says the standard model and the Standard Range Plus have battery packs with fewer cells rather than being limited by a software lock. The Standard Range Plus gets “premium” seat material and trim, an upgraded audio system, LED foglights, and a center console with docking for two smartphones. According to the configurator, black is again the only no-cost exterior color, though a white interior is available for $1,000. On both the standard car and Standard Range Plus, Autopilot is a $3,000 option. Additionally, the $5,000 Full Self-Driving Capability package returns after being removed from the site last year (read our story on that here).

In the blog post announcing the new models, Tesla also said customers can return a car for a full refund within seven days or 1,000 miles of purchasing it. “Quite literally, you could buy a Tesla, drive several hundred miles for a weekend road trip with friends and then return it for free,” Tesla said in the post. What Tesla plans to do with all the 1,000-mile joyridden cars it takes back is unknown. In that same post, Tesla said it’s investing in its service system. Its goal is to offer same-day service, if not same-hour service, by dispatching technicians to the customer. Musk said on a call that Tesla is hiring significantly more technicians.

During the conference call, Musk again said he believes there’s demand for half a million Model 3s per year. Tesla previously said it expects to deliver between 360,000 and 400,000 total vehicles in 2019. Musk also said reservation holders will have priority for ordering the standard model. As you may recall, more than 500,000 people plunked down the $1,000 needed to reserve a Model 3, and many of them were waiting on the promised $35,000 model. However, constant delays led to a number of cancellations. International orders will take three to six months, according to Musk, plus another month or so to ship. The CEO, who was recently reprimanded by the Securities and Exchange Commission for violating a previous settlement over misleading tweets, said future Tesla models coming in three years will cost less than $35,000. Musk would not reveal profit margins on the standard Model 3.

A lot has changed in the EV space since the Tesla Model 3 first debuted. The standard Model 3 will face competition from other low-priced electric cars like the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric, which starts at $37,495 but has a higher range of 258 miles. The Kona Electric is also eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit. As we previously reported, tax credits will be gradually phased out for new Teslas because the company hit the 200,000-vehicle threshold last July. In addition to the Kona Electric, there’s the related Kia Niro EV and Soul EV, and the big-battery Nissan Leaf Plus, which are expected to be priced in the $35,000 range. Then of course there’s our 2017 Car of the Year, the Chevrolet Bolt, which showed the world that a low-cost EV can be done well. Despite its abbreviated features list, does the standard Model 3 stand a chance against the competition? We smell another comparison test brewing.

Collin Woodard contributed to this post.

Source: Tesla

The post The $35K Tesla Model 3 Is Finally Available appeared first on Motortrend.

Cadillac Korea Sales Flat In January 2019

GM Authority News - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 6:15pm

Sales increased by one unit on a year-over-year basis.

Chevrolet, Buick Rank Top Five In JD Power Dependability Study

GM Authority News - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 5:53pm

GM also received five segment awards.

Alicia Boler-Davis Out, Gerald Johnson In As General Motors Exec VP Of Global Manufacturing

GM Authority News - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 5:25pm

Boler-Davis' career has come to an end at General Motors.

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Prices Increase Slightly From 2018: Pricing Comparison

GM Authority News - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 4:33pm

The price of the LT trim remained the same, while the price of the Premier trim increased slightly.

2018 Infiniti Q60 3.0t Sport Long-Term Update 4: Steering and Power

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 4:27pm

The Q60 doesn’t pin you back in your seat like a Corvette or Tesla Model S might, but it does gently violate your personal space when you floor it—suggesting, with force, that you lean back into your seat. Normally, I’m not giving it full rich that often, but on the occasion I want to get ahead of a truck whose driver looks like they may have forged their sleep logs, it gets the job done for sure. But I almost always cry uncle and let up long before the turbo has had its full say. I’m not a lead foot.

Moving up through the gears normally, the Q60’s auto transmission is smooth and efficient without jerking or stuttering, and getting up to highway speed is never labored. Steering the Q60 in Standard mode is responsive and allows for quick lane changes or the occasional dodge of the recent pothole epidemic plaguing L.A.

In comparing notes with fellow MotorTrend Garage tester Michael Cantu, we agreed that if the Q60’s steering in Standard mode was just a little heavier and with a grippier feel for the road, it would be even better, but we also agreed the standard experience will be fine for most drivers. The Q60 is more of a sporty canyon cruiser than a serious carver, and if you really crave a sportier experience, changing the drive mode selector to Sport or Sport+ beefs up the steering a little more. Maybe not to the level of a dedicated sport sedan like our long-term Alfa Romeo Giulia, but the Q60 isn’t pretending to be one of those.

Read more about our long-term 2018 Infiniti Q60S 3.0t:

The post 2018 Infiniti Q60 3.0t Sport Long-Term Update 4: Steering and Power appeared first on Motortrend.

You Can Now Supercharge Your Ford Mustang GT to 700 hp

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 02/28/2019 - 4:15pm

About a year and a half ago, Ford announced plans to offer a Roush supercharger kit through Ford Performance. The supercharger would boost the Mustang GT’s output up to 700 hp and 610 lb-ft of torque, and since it was a Ford-approved part, it wouldn’t void your warranty. Sadly, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, the supercharger never materialized. Until now.

Ford recently announced that the supercharger is officially on sale. It costs $7,699 and can be ordered through Ford Performance. Even better, not only will it not void your warranty, if you have the supercharger installed by a Ford dealer or an ASE-certified technician, it comes with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty of its own. Since you’ll have to pay to have the supercharger installed, the whole thing will probably end up costing closer to $10,000, but we have a feeling it’s probably worth it for the peace of mind a warranty brings.

The kit includes a lot more than the supercharger assembly, too. It also comes with a lower intake manifold with a complete intercooler system, a larger 87-mm throttle body, fuel rails, upgraded fuel injectors, and a drive belt. It’s also CARB-legal, so you can turn your 2018 or 2019 Mustang GT into a 700-hp, sub-$50,000 Hellcat hunter no matter which state you live in. Since we’re based in California, we definitely appreciate that.

If you have a Bullitt, though, we have some bad news. Ford’s press release specifically mentions that the supercharger isn’t compatible with the Steve McQueen-inspired version of the Mustang.

Source: Ford Performance

The post You Can Now Supercharge Your Ford Mustang GT to 700 hp appeared first on Motortrend.

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