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NCM Offers Personalized Training To C7 Corvette Owners

Corvettes Online News Feed - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 11:12am
Sometimes you just need someone to explain all the things your Corvette can do. Thankfully, the NCM is now offering that service to C7 Corvette owners.

Study Claims Diesel Cars Are Cleaner Electric Cars

GM Authority News - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 11:00am

And it falls on the manufacturing process, according to the study.

These are the Corvettes Featured in My New Book on Corvette Special Editions

Corvette Blogger - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 10:34am

I’d like to start this post by thanking everyone who has purchased a copy of my new book, Corvette Special Editions. I have another shipment going out today and again, customers are being notified with shipping details so you can rest assured knowing it’s on the way. I also have another four cases of books coming in from the publisher and I should be all caught up with fulfilling the orders in the next few days.

Continue reading These are the Corvettes Featured in My New Book on Corvette Special Editions at Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Meet The Resistance Against Self-Driving Cars

GM Authority News - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 10:30am

Hagerty and the Human Driving Association lead the charge.

The Colorado ZR2 Need Not Worry: Ford Ranger Raptor Not Coming To US

GM Authority News - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 9:59am

The Colorado ZR2 won't see the rival after all.

Camaro ZL1 1LE Rival: 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 Leaked

GM Authority News - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 9:34am

The Camaro will have a new track-honed rival to contend with in the GT500.

Chevrolet Debuts ZZ6 EFI Small Block V8 Crate Engine

GM Authority News - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 9:13am

Gone is the carburetor in favor of electronic fuel injection.

Holden Acadia Launches In Australia

GM Authority News - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 8:36am

The GMC Acadia goes RHD in a play to court more premium buyers to the brand.

Ford Unplugged: Leadership Opens up to Dealers

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 6:00am

Ford is at its best when it can make a comeback,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president of Global Markets. “This week is a great first step.”

He was referring to a national dealer meeting in Las Vegas attended by the full top leadership ranks, including CEO Jim Hackett, at a time when everyone has more questions than answers about what the company has been doing, what is planned, and just how long will it take to bear fruit.

Don’t count Ford out, executives are telling dealers this week as they work to calm their fears and generate hype for new vehicles on the way and a new advertising campaign.

 

Products on tap

About 5,000 dealers got their first look at the next-generation Explorer and Escape SUVs coming in the second half of 2019. Since the debut of the Lincoln Aviator on a new rear-wheel-drive platform, it has been known that the 2020 Explorer would also take advantage of the performance and proportions the layout offers. A new Escape is needed to compete in the fiercely competitive compact crossover segment. Dealers also got to see the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 as they await the Mustang-inspired pure electric crossover due in 2020.

But first up is the Ranger pickup that goes into production this month at the Michigan Assembly Plant for sale early next year. Dealers experienced the Ranger on a small off-road course to see its capability firsthand.

New Ford Bronco

The Ranger platform is also the foundation for the Ford Bronco SUV coming in 2020. This is part of a plan to replace 75 percent of Ford’s lineup by 2020, dropping the average age of the portfolio from 5.3 years now to 2.3 years by the new decade.

Most of the portfolio will be electrified with plans to go from 30,000 electrified vehicle sales annually now to 600,000 in the next five years. In two years, it expects to overtake Toyota as the top seller of hybrids in the U.S. The day will come when Ford sells more hybrids than V-6s, said Farley, and all new vehicles have a hybrid or plug-in hybrid version, including F-150, Mustang, and Bronco. “It’s a big bet by the company.”

Sedan separation

It was welcome news for dealers, but there are lingering concerns about Ford’s decision to get out of sedans and many car segments.

Ford will continue to offer cars, just with a different silhouette than a sedan, said Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford North America. Sedans have gone from 57 percent of the market in 2010 to 23 percent in 2019. Even a good vehicle in a segment that’s dying is not a good investment, he says. Investing in SUVs, trucks, and commercial vehicles is more prudent and, in the end, the total number of nameplates will increase from 20 today to 23 by 2023.

Dealers are also concerned about losing entry-level cars at a price point for first-time buyers. Farley has assured them there will be vehicles below $25,500, such as EcoSport and Escape, but they don’t dip into Fiesta pricing territory.

Need to hear from the boss

As important as the product reassurance was hearing from Hackett and his team about the direction they are taking the company in a time of uncertainty and swirling questions.

Hackett is leading an effort to cut $25.5 billion in costs and spend $11 billion to transform the automaker, which will necessitate cutting salaried workers and retaining talent in the interim. Ford stock remains below $9 a share as Wall Street questions the soundness and speed of Ford’s restructuring.

This week we got a better understanding of how top managers have spent the last year. Galhotra has been shaking things up in North America by reorganizing product development around nameplates—looking at the business through the lens of product.

The 11th floor has been transformed into a series of franchise rooms: Ranger, Transit, etc. There are 13 product rooms and four process rooms for topics like consumer experience.

Inside each room, the walls are plastered with information from every discipline that touches that product. The visual onslaught means sales and marketing people now know engineering and manufacturing data, purchasing chiefs see intimate details from design, and engineers digest customer profile and competitive pricing. No one can plead ignorance on any subject.

The info swapping has raised the business literacy of all and led to surprising discoveries, like the fact that Super Duty pickups have a profit margin of $10,000 in some regions and $20,000 in others. This makes it easy to decide who gets trucks when inventories are low.

On Wednesdays Galhotra, the chief financial officer, and heads of sales, marketing, and product development form an entourage that travels from room to room to see how the vehicle is shaping up, answer questions, and make decisions on the spot. Example: stopping production of Expeditions with a four-inch infotainment screen because those models were sitting on lots while SUVs with eight-inch screens were snatched up.

The soul-searching has also led to a shakeup on the marketing side by reducing the role of long-time ad agency WPP and bringing in BBDO as well as Wieden + Kennedy for some projects. Some work is also being brought in-house, with 100 employees being added to develop Ford’s message and voice.

Breaking Bad

A new advertising campaign debuts this weekend around the tagline “Built Ford Proud.” It continues the “Built Ford Tough” message but introduces the message that Ford is a 115-year-old family-owned company and employees are damn proud of what they build.

Actor Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad is the face and voice of the new spots. He was chosen for being a “no-baloney” straight shooter when Ford needs to tell its message simply and plainly, says Farley. “We found a great voice for what we already knew was our voice. I don’t know why we weren’t talking like that before.”

It grew from an “aha” moment when the automaker realized it had let its leadership in retaining loyal customers slip. “When we saw our lead shrinking we knew we had to take action,” Farley said.

There are 13.5 million F-Series trucks on the road. Time to reward anyone who has owned a Ford nameplate rather than spending most of the budget on trying to entice buyers from other brands.

Loyalty program coming

Next year Ford will introduce FordPass Rewards, a customer loyalty program—think Delta frequent flyer—with an emphasis on offering a better customer experience. With the decision to put modems in all new Fords to make the vehicle an extension of your smartphone and its apps, the automaker has the tools to help make the lives of its customers easier, whether it is getting an oil change or applying for Ford Credit, Farley says.

The reaction of dealers to this onslaught of information was relief, optimism, and some rebuke for not sharing some of this months ago to ease their concerns.

They also like the promise that time from order to delivery of a new vehicle will be cut from 82 days to 38 days which will make it easier to have the right stock on the lot while freeing up working capital.

The post Ford Unplugged: Leadership Opens up to Dealers appeared first on Motor Trend.

Celebrity Drive: Stanley Cup Winner Nick Leddy

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 4:00am

Quick Stats: Nick Leddy, Stanley Cup champ/New York Islanders’ defenseman
Daily Driver: 2016 Ford F-250 (Nick’s rating: 10 on a scale of 1 to 10)
Other cars: See below
Favorite road trip: New York to Minnesota
Car he learned to drive in: Early 2000s Ford Escape
First car bought: 2008 Escalade

Nick Leddy’s first ever splurge car is his 2015 Bentley Continental GT3-R, though when it came time to buy a dream car after his 2013 Stanley Cup win with the Chicago Blackhawks, he originally had his eye on a Ferrari.

“I’m a huge Ferrari fan—just the way they sound, the looks, everything about them, [but] I found they don’t really have Ferrari dealerships in Minnesota. [The Continental] was the first car at the dealership, and I just fell in love with it,” he says of his Bentley. “I love it.”

Although the Bentley is the car the New York Islanders’ defenseman would take a friend out to dinner in, it’s not his daily driver. That doesn’t mean it’s a garage queen, though. Leddy isn’t afraid to take it out; in fact, it’s seen some track time.

“I got to bring it to the track two summers ago up in Brainerd, Minnesota, which was a blast because obviously you can’t really go too fast on the highways,” Leddy tells Motor Trend. “So that was a place where I could see its limits and actually push it a little bit.”

He admits it was a little unusual to see a Bentley out on the track. “It’s a little heavy to be on the track, but when I bought it, they had clients who had bought many cars and they rented out the track for the day and invited me. My dad and I went up there and saw some amazing cars and got to drive a few of them around other than my Bentley, but driving my Bentley around the track was a blast,” Leddy says.

Leddy, who rates the Bentley a perfect 10, chose this car for its uniqueness. “It’s got the carbon fiber on the inside, and most Bentleys have the wood paneling,” he says. “And the rareness of it—there’s only 300 of them out there.”

He also really enjoys the car’s power. “I haven’t driven a ton of sports cars, but for me the power of it is amazing.”

2016 Ford F-250

Rating: 10

“I live in Minnesota, and you need a truck when you live on a lake and I have a boat, so it’s a little easier to bring things around,” Leddy says. “I like it a lot. It’s a very nice truck. It’s very comfortable for me until you hit a bump, and then it’s a little rough for a second.”

The F-250 is Leddy’s daily driver. “I have a boat and a jet ski, so it’s easier to tow those around with that,” he says. “It’s very sleek and very comfortable on the inside. I think the power is pretty amazing. I have a wakeboarding boat, and it feels like you’re towing a little trailer on the back.”

Although his boat and jet ski are on the dock at the lake he lives on, it’s handy to tow them back and forth if he needs to. “If I want to go to a different lake—Lake Minnetonka is another big lake here, that’s a huge lake—I could go there, and you can go to a restaurant right on the lake,” he says.

Images courtesy of Getty

The only drawback of the Ford is the gas mileage. “I don’t think you buy the truck if you’re too worried about that,” he says.

Car he learned to drive in

Leddy grew up in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where he learned to drive in a Ford Escape, which was a relatively new car when he was in high school in the early 2000s.

His mom gave him the Ford when she got a new car, so it was the one Leddy drove in high school and college. Both of his parents taught him how to drive, and learning was easy since his high school wasn’t far away.

“I just remember never wanting to take the highway because I was nervous,” Leddy says with a laugh. “It was more of a confidence thing at that point. I think my biggest fear was learning to judge your stop and learning to judge the distance between cars.”

He got over that fear quickly though with help from his parents. “My parents would force me onto the highway,” he says. “It’s like learning to swim, I guess—throw you in the water. The more I got used to it, obviously, the easier it gets.”

First car bought

When Leddy turned pro playing hockey for the Blackhawks, he bought a used Cadillac Escalade. “At the time it was a couple years old,” he says. “When you buy a new car, it depreciates so much right off the top. Where I was financially, it just made sense to do it that way. It was still a very nice car; it was fully loaded. So for me at the time, it was perfect.”

Since half of Leddy’s games were on the road, he mostly drove the Escalade to practices and home games and out to visit family in Geneva, Illinois.

“Sometimes my one teammate would give me a hard time for the car because it wasn’t exactly white—he called it a ‘pearl white,’ but I don’t think it was that,” he says. “It was just an off-white, so he would just make fun of me and say it’s not really a man’s color, just was giving me a hard time for it like that.”

Favorite road trip

Although Leddy used to drive back to Minnesota from Chicago, he’s driven from New York a couple of times now since he’s based in Long Island during the hockey season.

“My dad came out this year, and we drove home together. So that was interesting driving 18 hours,” he says. “I have two dogs, so we rented an Expedition and threw the crates in the back, and that was really the only car that could hold both crates.”

The drive back from New York is now Leddy’s favorite road trip. “We got to go through so many states,” he says. “The only states going to Chicago, you go through about four and a half hours through Wisconsin and then into Illinois, so it’s not really too crazy.”

The first time he did that drive from New York, Leddy visited his friends who were in college at Bowling Green, Penn State, and one buddy studying in Wisconsin. “I literally didn’t have to veer off track at all. They were all on the way home—it was the same way the whole time, which was fun,” he says.

On the road trip with his dad, the two had wanted to do the entire drive in one sitting. “We left a little later than we wanted, but if we’d left on time, we would have probably gone the entire way,” he says.

Leddy likes that long road trip because it’s a combination of nostalgia and seeing the change in scenery. “It’s cool to see different states. Pennsylvania was very pretty going through the hills and very woodsy there on the way home,” he says. “And then going through Chicago again is always cool. I played there for four years and won a Stanley Cup there. So driving there brought back some memories.”

The New York Islanders’ season opener was October 4 and their next game is on Saturday, October 20. For more information you can visit nhl.com/islanders.

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Warmups. ???? #NYIvsPHI

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The post Celebrity Drive: Stanley Cup Winner Nick Leddy appeared first on Motor Trend.

2019 Audi A8 L Review: High-Tech Luxury

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 4:00am

Nobody needs a luxury flagship. Even if you ignore the fact that by definition, luxuries are things people don’t need, midsize luxury sedans have become so large, it’s hard to imagine anyone who drives themselves needing more space than an Audi A6 or BMW 5 Series provides. And for the same money, you typically have the choice between a midsizer that’s loaded to the gills and a base-model flagship.

Instead, you buy (or more likely lease) a car such as the A8 because you want it. It’s a status symbol. A sign that you’ve made it. So tossing logic and practicality out the window for a moment, is the 2019 Audi A8 a car that makes you want it? Does it stroke your ego and make you feel special the way a luxury flagship should?

Judging purely on exterior design, probably not. In spite of the light show it performs every time it’s unlocked, the A8 is understated, almost to the point of looking plain. A four-door Prologue concept, this is not. Then again, aside from the Jaguar XJ and perhaps the Maserati Quattroporte, cars in this segment aren’t usually known for their striking looks. They’re more about luxurious cabins, cutting-edge technology, and imposing length.

Even if the A8’s styling isn’t exciting enough for you, it only takes one glance to recognize it’s a large car. The U.S. only gets the longer A8 L, which has a 123.1-inch wheelbase and measures 208.7 inches overall. Compared to the A6, that’s an extra 8.0 inches of wheelbase and 14.3 inches of overall length.

Inside, however, it’s a different story. If you’ve seen the new A6, the layout will be familiar, but the clean, modern design still feels fresh. The wood trim on the dash that retracts to reveal hidden air vents is an especially nice touch. If you’re going to buy an A8, though, you better like piano-black plastic. It doesn’t show fingerprints as much as you’d expect, but it’s a major part of the design of the dash and center console.

With Audi’s Virtual Cockpit and two large touchscreens, the center console is largely devoid of knobs and buttons. Thankfully, Audi also took the time to develop a system that’s intuitive to use and responds quickly to inputs, so the lack of buttons shouldn’t be an issue. Even the remote for passengers lucky enough to ride in the back seat is easy to use. The fact that Audi’s high-resolution graphics look great is just a bonus.

Eventually, the U.S. will get an optional V-8, but for now, the A8’s only engine is a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 making 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Paired with an eight-speed transmission, standard all-wheel drive, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, Audi estimates the A8 L will hit 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. That’s not especially quick, but it’s still far from slow. Besides, cars like the A8 are more about cruising in comfort than racing to the next traffic light.

Surprisingly, the A8 handles curves pretty well. It’s no R8, but in Dynamic mode, it’s more nimble than you’d expect a 17-foot, 4,700-pound luxury sedan to be. Does it understeer at the limit? Probably. But if you plan to take corners fast enough to find out, full-size luxury sedans probably aren’t for you.

On the highway, the A8 is impressively quiet, almost keeping road, wind, and tire noise out of the cabin entirely. Add in comfortable seats with an excellent massage function, a smooth ride, a high-quality Bang & Olufsen sound system, and a 21.7-gallon gas tank, and you have a recipe for a truly fantastic road trip car.

As for the A8’s much-anticipated Traffic Jam Pilot, a Level 3 system capable of handling most driving responsibilities on divided highways at speeds less than 37 mph, don’t expect it to be available in the U.S. anytime soon. From the sound of it, the complexity of federal and state regulations forced Audi to shelve Traffic Jam Pilot for the foreseeable future.

The good news is, many of the A8’s other desirable features are on their way. The U.S. has to wait until next year to get four-wheel steering and a predictive active suspension, but both systems will be worth the wait. With the rear wheels turning, Audi says the A8 actually has a smaller turning circle than the A4. The result is a car that’s noticeably more agile.

The active suspension, meanwhile, can raise and lower each wheel independently as it scans the road ahead. Not only can it skip over potholes, it also flattens out speed bumps as you drive over them. And if the system recognizes you’re about to be T-boned, it can tilt up that side of the car to reduce the risk of injury.

Considering how much the four-wheel steering system and active suspension improve the A8, you’ll want to make sure your A8 has both. Just be prepared to pay up. Although the 2019 A8 starts at $84,795, well-equipped versions easily sail past the $100,000 mark. With the V-8, the A8’s two most desirable features, and a few other options, a $150,000 price tag wouldn’t be surprising.

Then again, if you’re looking for a car that celebrates your success, who cares about saving money?

The post 2019 Audi A8 L Review: High-Tech Luxury appeared first on Motor Trend.

The 2018 Buick Enspire Concept’s Seats Feature A Shock-Absorbing Structure

GM Authority News - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 3:05am

The seats in Buick's 2018 Enspire concept can absorb vibrations from the road so your butt doesn't have to.

Incentive Watch: Up To $3,500 Discount On 2018 GMC Savana In October 2018

GM Authority News - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 2:54am

The discount lowers the starting price of the base Savana Passenger model by roughly 10 percent.

Sonnax Introduces Full Range Of Remanufactured 6L80 Valve Bodies

Corvettes Online News Feed - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 2:17am
New from Sonnax - they are now offering a full range of remanufactured 6L80 valve bodies. These valve bodies deliver a combination of great performance and value you won’t find anywhere else. Check them out here!

2019 Acura NSX First Drive: Complicated Emotions

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 10/19/2018 - 12:01am

As the chief engineer of the 2019 Acura NSX program, Satoshi Mizukami’s main goal of this year’s refresh is, as he puts it, “more emotional involvement.” Judging by my brief time with him, I’d say he’s living evidence of accomplishing this goal.

I’m riding shotgun with Mizukami as he pilots a 2019 Acura NSX around the Winding Road course at Honda’s Takasu Proving Ground in Hokkaido, Japan. Inspired by the mother of all test tracks—the Nurburgring—Winding Road is a deviously treacherous course. It features 17 corners (many of them blind) and 188 feet of total elevation change, with the majority of the circuit cloaked under a claustrophobic canopy of trees.

There’s also plenty of road imperfections, as I’m about to discover. We’re approaching a curve at a rapid clip. Mizukami stabs the brakes, saws the wheel left, then just as quickly tugs it hard to the right. The NSX straightens out just as we crest a hill and take flight.

“Jump!” he cries, as the NSX launches several feet before returning to the pavement. But the NSX, like Mizukami, is unflappable. The suspension absorbs the impact with little drama, and Mizukami rolls back on the throttle. That he’s enjoying this romp is obvious. What’s less obvious, he hopes, is the technology conspiring to make it possible.

Three years after its introduction, the NSX heads into 2019 with a raft of improvements across the board. Exterior changes are subtle: The lip of the beak above the grille is now body-colored instead of silver, while high-gloss trim replaces the previously matte finishes found throughout the body. Want even more glossy trim? Opt for one of the exterior carbon fiber packages for the ultimate in shiny, woven flair. If that’s not enough, a retina-searing Thermal Orange paint color is now available. Complete the look with orange calipers on available carbon-ceramic brakes—a $10,600 option. Gulp.

At least four-way power seats are now standard and can be outfitted in a swanky new Indigo Blue theme. Other previously optional equipment, including premium audio and satellite navigation, are also now standard, though frustratingly, there’s still no volume knob.

But, one might argue, why the need for a volume knob when there’s a 500-hp twin-turbo V-6 bellowing just inches from your head? This sensorial immediacy has always been the hallmark of a mid-engine sports car. As before, the V-6 is paired with a nine-speed dual-clutch automatic and electric motor, both driving the rear axle. Two smaller electric motors (known as TMU, or twin-motor unit) are housed in the front axle to offer additional thrust, giving the NSX a total power output of 573 hp. Operating independently, these motors can infinitely vary the torque to each front wheel in order to enhance turn-in precision around corners. This dual-axle power delivery gives the NSX through-the-road all-wheel drive.

Although power output remains the same as before, Acura made a number of handling tweaks. Stabilizer bars are larger at both ends, increasing front stiffness by 26 percent and the rear by 19 percent, augmented by rear toe link bushings that are 21 percent stiffer. New Continental SportContact 6 tires, developed exclusively for the NSX, take advantage of this stiffer setup. Acura claims that all of these improvements add up to net a lap time around the Suzuka Circuit that’s nearly 2 seconds faster than the 2017 model.

When Mizukami discusses the importance of driver involvement, it’s hard not to compare the current NSX to its groundbreaking predecessor (especially when Acura has a 2001 Type S on hand for me to sample). Although it might be most famous for being billed as the world’s first “everyday supercar,” the original NSX is also a brilliant communicator, featuring a taut chassis and a hungry-sounding, high-revving, naturally aspirated engine. Simplicity rules—there’s no barrier between the driver and the performance potential of this superb combination. But today, the rubric has changed. Demanding the simplicity of the original NSX in 2019 is like wanting a Shamrock Shake to taste the same as it did when you were 6 years old. It’s not going to happen.

Yet it evokes a sensation of raw tactility that Mizukami still wants to deliver within this high-tech package. Hybrids can be funny creatures: Those electric motors, so potent with torque, can also act as a filter to these feelings, especially when asked to play nicely with an internal combustion engine. Economy-minded cars dial in some elasticity between the two as a solution. But with the NSX, the opposite is required. Every input should feel direct, consistent, and predictable. Particularly on the track.

So in addition to the hardware, Mizukami and his team also dove into the software, fine-tuning the programming of the hybrid powertrain, magnetic-ride suspension, power steering, and stability control systems to improve, as Mizukami says, “the feel-good factor.”

As before, the NSX offers a big, fat knob in the console labeled “Dynamic Mode” with four settings: Quiet, Sport, Sport+, and Track. Track mode is the only choice here if I want to have any chance of keeping up with Mizukami as we play lead/follow around Winding Road—it quickens shifts by 40 milliseconds compared to Sport+ and administers a tranquilizer dart to the stability control intervention. Pressing the stability control button for 6 seconds would deliver a total knockout to the systems, but I’m merely feeling competitive, not suicidal. The safety net remains, albeit loosened.

Mizukami wastes no time, expecting that I’ll keep pace. I have a general rule in lead/follow situations: If the car ahead of me doesn’t brake, then I don’t, either. It’s easier said than done, especially since he knows every single one of these curves intimately, including that jump.

Oh, and about those road imperfections: They’re all done on purpose. Anyone who’s driven the Nurburgring knows that the quality of the road surface can quickly change between corners—sometimes even midcorner. It’s as much a challenge for the driver as it is for the car, and here on Winding Road, it’s designed to replicate a real-world track experience rather than the usual test-track utopia.

It’s also the perfect place to put the hybrid system to the test. A hard stab to the pedal in the first heavy braking zone is punctuated by the chop of rough asphalt. Still, the NSX tracks straight. Six-piston Brembos up front work in concert with the TMU to provide a combo of traditional and regenerative braking. Pedal feel and modulation is excellent, with no discernible transition between the two modes.

Back on the throttle to chase Mizukami on the next straight. The aural nature of the V-6 is enhanced in two ways: Mechanically, a tube connected directly to the intake manifold splits into two pipes as the sound is routed to behind the outboard of each seat. That’s augmented by active exhaust valves, transmitting full exhaust flow through all four pipes in Track mode. Feel-good factor, indeed. But the addition of electronic enhancement on top of these mechanical touches layers on a decidedly flatulent note inside the cabin at full throttle. It’s wholly unnecessary in a mid-engine car, especially when compared to the full-throated howl of an Audi R8 or the flat-plane-crank wail of a McLaren 570S. Inches from your head, remember? This added digital flourish is akin to a comedian explaining a joke.

The first seven gears of the transmission are closely spaced, cracking off shifts instantly at the 7,500-rpm redline—also the engine’s power peak. It’s nice that Acura took advantage of the spacing to keep the engine in the powerband instead of using the higher gears as impossibly tall fuel savers—I’m looking at you, Lexus LC 500. Top speed is achieved at the height of eighth gear, with ninth reserved for relaxed highway cruising.

Then—the jump. Knowing that I need to be pointed straight before I sail over the edge, I set myself up for the quick left–right combo to put me in line, where I discover that I’ve turned in too early. The active torque vectoring of the TMU sharpens my initial angle, so I pull back to correct my approach. The NSX prefers a later turn-in for a more precise attack. The effect is predictable, but it takes some getting used to. By the end of our laps, I’m charging through the corner with the same delighted fervency as Mizukami.

It’s important to note that Takasu offers more than just a diabolical road course. Also nestled within the 2,000-acre campus are replicas of European and American roadways. Honda went so far as to import native soil, grasses, and foliage to accurately re-create environments that one might find in, say, Germany or California. The patchwork nature of the asphalt I discover in the “Carpool Lane” of the American circuit is insultingly accurate. It’s also here where I test Quiet mode, which enables the NSX to cruise up to 50 mph for brief periods of time. In practice, this electrical serenity is short-lived, far below the advertised speed threshold. The V-6 kicks in even at partial throttle, acting as nothing more than a really loud generator to keep the batteries charged.

Like the origins of the proving ground itself, the 2019 NSX is but a faithful reinterpretation of the real thing, a simulacrum of what our senses see, hear, and feel. With a base price of $159,300, it might not provide a totally raw, visceral experience, but then again, it’s not designed to—at least not in the traditional sense. If Mizukami’s joy on the track is any indication, technology and emotion can happily coexist, counterintuitive as that might seem.

The post 2019 Acura NSX First Drive: Complicated Emotions appeared first on Motor Trend.

Chevy Stealthily Introduces “Concept” Front-End Styling For 2019 Camaro SS

GM Authority News - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 11:28pm

For the time being, the updated design is described as a concept.

Trump’s NAFTA Replacement Could Face Uphill Battle

GM Authority News - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 7:23pm

The proposed replacement for NAFTA has been met with a lukewarm response from many businesses.

Leak! Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Rumored to Make Almost 800 HP

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 10/18/2018 - 7:13pm

Aside from one teaser, Ford’s kept relatively quiet about the upcoming Mustang Shelby GT500 ever since its official announcement at the Detroit auto show. We knew it would have more than 700 hp, and that was about it. But leaks coming out of a dealer event this week may have given us a lot more information.

The first leak came from Instagram, where user sinister_lifestyle posted what appears to be a photo of the new GT500 on stage in front of a large Shelby Cobra graphic —and best of all, it’s completely uncovered. Ford previously released an overhead shot of the GT500, but this new image gives us a much better look at the top-spec Mustang. The blacked-out bumper gives the front end an almost GT-R-like look, with the larger intakes and massive wing helping differentiate the GT500 from the less-powerful GT350. Then there are the wheels, which look similar to the GT350’s available carbon-fiber units but are perhaps even larger. The GT350’s optional carbon rollers measure 19 x 11 inches for the front and 19 x 11.5 in the rear.

View this post on Instagram

The New 2019/2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500! If you work at a Ford dealer and will sell me this car at MSRP please direct message me! I will leave a deposit today! ????????????????

A post shared by Kyle | 20Yrs Old | Detroit, MI (@sinister_lifestyle) on Oct 18, 2018 at 12:53pm PDT

Later, on the fan forum Mustang6G, user Tomster posted a few more details that they claimed to have gotten from a dealer who was at the event. Supposedly, dealers were told the GT500 will get a six-speed manual transmission or an optional 10-speed automatic, not the long-rumored dual-clutch. Oh, and the supercharged V-8 is also said to make between 780 and 790 hp. If true, that would make the GT500 almost as powerful as the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye.

At this point, it’s hard to tell how accurate these details are, especially since a previous alleged leak showed the GT500 making only 720 hp. We aren’t sure what to believe, but we won’t pretend the idea of a near-800-hp Mustang isn’t appealing. That actually sounds like a whole lot of fun.

Source: Instagram, Mustang6G

The post Leak! Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Rumored to Make Almost 800 HP appeared first on Motor Trend.

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