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Chevrolet Impala Production To End On February 28, 2020

GM Authority News - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 11:30am

The Impala nameplate lasted for ten generations.

How C8 Corvette Designers and Engineers Collaborated to Showcase the LT2 V8 Engine

Corvette Blogger - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 10:46am

Even the bolts that hold the 2020 Corvette Stingray together are unique to the latest rendition of America’s Sports Car.

That’s just one of the outcomes of the collaborative effort between Chevy engineers and designers that wound up touching all aspects of the new mid-engine Corvette, even something as minute as the bolts.

Continue reading How C8 Corvette Designers and Engineers Collaborated to Showcase the LT2 V8 Engine at Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

General Motors And LG Chem Announce Lordstown Battery Plant

GM Authority News - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 10:13am

It will be owned by both companies through a 50/50 joint venture.

Chevrolet Discounts Can Save You Nearly $12,000 on Remaining 2019 Corvettes

Corvette Blogger - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 10:12am

Photo Credit: Bomnin Corvette

Corvette buyers wanting a new 2019 model under the Christmas tree this holiday season will have a December to Remember (to borrow the phrase from an automotive commercial that always runs at the end of year) as Chevrolet has finally stepped up and is offering huge discounts via employee pricing and bonus cash on all new 2019 Corvettes.

Continue reading Chevrolet Discounts Can Save You Nearly $12,000 on Remaining 2019 Corvettes at Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

What Sets The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer RS Apart?

GM Authority News - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 9:00am

A sportier flavor for the new subcompact crossover.

U.S.-Spec GM Trucks Should Also Be Offered With Accessory Packs

GM Authority News - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 8:00am

Making customization as easy as can be.

GMC Discount Drops Terrain Price By 20 Percent In December 2019

GM Authority News - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 6:00am

The automaker is also offering interest-free financing on both 2019 and 2020 Terrain models.

2020 Volvo XC60 Polestar Review: Less Than the Sum of Its Parts

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 4:00am

Making a normal car sporty isn’t simply a matter of more. Adding a pile of parts and a gob of power doesn’t guarantee improvement. The approach must be thoughtful, balanced, and holistic, even if that means doing less than what’s possible.

It’s established that the Volvo XC60 is a very nice midsize crossover. Superb styling, a lovely interior, and solid practicality make it great to live with every day. Volvo intends the range-topping Polestar specification to be the enthusiast’s choice. Starting with the plug-in hybrid T8 powertrain, Polestar increases output, enhances the chassis and rolling stock, and revisits styling for a sporty demeanor. Each separate element seems like an upgrade supporting the XC60 Polestar’s performance intents. It’s how they all come together that leaves driving aficionados wanting more.

The disparities start to arise as soon as the golden seatbelts are buckled. Like in the standard XC60’s interior, snazzy stitched leather and textured metal abound. The biggest difference is the seats, which are supportive and trimmed in grippy faux suede. But padding is thin and stiff, leading testing director Kim Reynolds to say, “Front seat bottom side bolsters are made of plywood, I think.” Although seat heating can be toggled between three levels, cooling is unavailable. Sporty as they are, the seats feel at odds with the upscale ambiance.

Check out an in-depth review of the Volvo XC60’s interior here.

Twisting the ignition knob brings the “Twin Engine” hybrid powertrain silently to life, so called because of its two distinct power sources. The front wheels are turned by a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter I-4, while an electric motor drives the rears—there’s no mechanical connection between the two. Combined system output is a stout 415 hp and 495 lb-ft of torque, more power than the Audi SQ5’s 354 hp, and more torque than the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio’s 443 lb-ft. But how that power is delivered is hard to comprehend.

The car defaults to hybrid drive, with initial zoom provided by the electric motor. Then the gas engine decides to join in, but only after it shuffles through the transmission’s eight speeds and the twin chargers start spinning out boost. This being a front-wheel-drive platform, there’s a fair amount of torque steer to wrestle—no central differential to distribute power here. Still, the electric motor provides enough shove that power feels mostly balanced between the two ends.

Given the electric motor’s flat, responsive delivery and the gas engine’s laggy feel, “linear” is not a word that describes the XC60 Polestar’s throttle responses. Unpredictable, too, are the paddle shifters, which in our time with the car, responded instantly to some commands and never to others. These reactions yield a 5.1-second 0–60 mph run, not especially quick for the segment, behind the Porsche Macan S’ 4.6-second time and the BMW X3M’s 4.0-second launch.

It’s easy enough to mute those foibles, though. Roll the drive mode dial, and the XC60 Polestar will run on rear-wheel electric power as much as possible. Unlike some hybrids’ all-electric settings, which force extreme chastity upon the driver’s foot, the XC60 Polestar allows reasonably deep pedal application before the gas engine kicks in to help. It’s terrific for quiet, relaxed driving, or any situation when efficiency is prioritized over sportiness.

The XC60 Polestar plug-in hybrid’s electric-only range is 17 miles, before the gas engine helps out for a few hundred more miles.

No matter the mode, the big Akebono brakes are great. With gilded calipers gleaming behind optional 22-inch wheels, the stoppers feel, according to road test editor Chris Walton, “extra firm” with “super-short pedal travel,” although he noted a delay between pedal pressure and actual braking. Unlike some hybrids that have a noticeable transition between regenerative and friction braking, the XC60 Polestar’s pedal feels linear.

That said, there’s room for stronger regenerative braking. Even in its maximum setting, it’s nowhere close to allowing one-pedal driving. Regardless, 60–0 stopping distances were short and consistent, varying just 3 feet after a 106-foot best. That’s a foot ahead of the Porsche Macan S, and a foot behind the carbon-ceramic rotor-equipped Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe.

Among the XC60 Polestar’s sporty aims, handling is a high point. Beyond a smidge of numbness on-center, steering is quick and accurate, with nice heft. The chassis allows the car to be confidently tossed through corners, feeling stiff enough to provide a connected sensation, but never to the point of being uncomfortable. Through a figure-eight test measuring 25.5 seconds at 0.72 g, Reynolds noted “nice grip for its configuration,” with some understeer on entry and mild drifts available on exit.

This handling prowess comes with a huge caveat, however. During its transformation to Polestar trim, the XC60 gained trick Öhlins manually adjustable suspension dampers at all four corners. Each offers 22 clicks of adjustment; turning the adjustment knobs clockwise firms responses, counterclockwise softens them. The dampers’ operation is brilliant. At one extreme the ride is nearly devoid of body roll; at the other it’s plush despite the car’s massive wheels. With so much adjustment the driver can dial in their exact preference, and single clicks are noticeable from behind the wheel.

It’s the process of making those adjustments that ruins the dampers’ presence in the first place. To adjust the front pair, the driver must open the hood and twist knobs at either side of the anti-roll bar. Adjusting the rears requires reaching into each wheelwell above the tire, pulling off a dust cover, and twiddling the dial. Compounding the annoyance is that adjustment clicks sometimes aren’t obvious, so the driver isn’t sure if settings are matched—side-to-side and end-to-end variations are possible. Only once that’s done and everything’s closed up can driving resume. In many comparable vehicles, damping can be altered on the fly, from within the car, depending on the situation. Given the time-consuming and hand-dirtying procedure in the XC60 Polestar, only the most committed drivers will use this feature. The rest will ignore it entirely.

The pervasive discombobulation doesn’t make the XC60 Polestar a bad crossover. It’s still attractive, given the stylish sheetmetal and big wheels. It’s still comfortable, if requiring some manual labor to get there. It’s still quick and efficient, thanks to its multifaceted hybrid drivetrain. But it’s hard to prefer over any other XC60 trim as a daily driver, and much less so over sporty crossover competitors. These other options are more holistic and thoughtful in their execution. It seems, then, that the XC60 Polestar is less than the sum of its parts.

2020 Volvo XC60 Polestar BASE PRICE $70,495 PRICE AS TESTED $71,940 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV ENGINE 2.0L/328-hp/317-lb-ft turbo + s’charged DOHC 16-valve I-4 plus 46-hp/110-lb-ft front, 87-hp/177-lb-ft rear elec motor; 415 hp/494 lb-ft comb TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,730 lb (54/46%) WHEELBASE 112.8 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 184.6 x 74.9 x 64.9 in 0-60 MPH 5.1 sec QUARTER MILE 13.6 sec @ 100.5 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 106 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.92 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.5 sec @ 0.72 g (avg) EPA COMB FUEL ECON 27 (57 MPGe) mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 125 (59)kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.72 (0.34) lb/mile

The post 2020 Volvo XC60 Polestar Review: Less Than the Sum of Its Parts appeared first on MotorTrend.

BMW X2 as Support SUV: What We Learned From Thousands of Miles on the Road

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 4:00am

The X2 has been a reliable road warrior lately, serving a vital role as errand runner and support runabout at our annual Car, Truck, and SUV of the Year productions. It has spent thousands of miles running up and down the desert highways, back roads, and, at times, dirt roads of California and Arizona.

During our weeklong SUV of the Year testing, the staff used the X2 to shuttle equipment, supplies, and personnel back and forth from Los Angeles to California City, and many of these open highway runs showed that the X2’s eight-speed can easily deliver over 400 miles of range, proving that its four-cylinder can be very thrifty at highway speeds.

At our Car of the Year program, the X2 provided logistical support during the endless photo shoots and began most days hauling large bags of cooler ice to our test facility in Mojave, California. At lunch we took advantage of the large rear cargo tub and stuffed it with boxed sandwiches from the local Tehachapi deli then doled out hoagies and chips to our hard-working crew. Most days ended by using the little BMW to collect test track cones from our figure-eight course on the proving ground’s asphalt lake.

There were huge temperature swings during Car of the Year, with daytime highs rising to 95 degrees and nighttime temps dropping to 40 degrees. The oscillating temps posed a significant challenge for X2’s HVAC system, which frequently made the cabin temperature too cold or too hot but rarely settled at the temperature that had been selected. Later, a staffer experienced a similar behavior on a 67-degree day in Los Angeles when the HVAC system couldn’t maintain a steady cabin temperature when set at 74 degrees.

Added to the support crew for Truck of the Year, the X2 shuttled our production assistants as they followed our contender trucks to photo locations down various dirt roads near the eclectic Arizona outposts of Oatman and Bullhead City. The front-wheel-drive X2 always maintained grip, but there were lots of harsh impacts that quickly reminded drivers of this hatch’s stiff ride. We experienced a similar choppy, harsh ride when driving on the paved yet rustic Route 66 in the nearby mountains. Many of the road’s imperfections reverberated through the chassis and steering wheel, as did too much road noise. On the highway, though, it’s hard to ignore how eager the 2.0-liter turbo-four was to rev hard as it merged the X2 onto Arizona’s 75 mph highways, making it a cinch not to get squeezed by all the tractor trailers traversing Northern Arizona.

These long highway trips also allowed for ample testing of the X2’s cruise control. Impressively, the system holds its selected cruise control speed on steep downhill grades like the large one found east of Ludlow, California, heading toward Needles.

Read more about our long-term 2018 BMW X2:

The post BMW X2 as Support SUV: What We Learned From Thousands of Miles on the Road appeared first on MotorTrend.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Track Test: The Ultimate Mustang

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 4:00am

Since its introduction in 2015, the current-generation Mustang has moved Ford’s nameplate upmarket in terms of performance—culminating in the latest, greatest 2020 Shelby GT500. In MotorTrend testing, we’ve found that the S550 platform has evolved from mere pony car to comparing favorably with premium GT offerings from foreign nameplates.

However, we’ve also learned that, on the racetrack, most current Mustangs still fall a little short—excepting the rev-happy, finely balanced Shelby GT350 that finished second in our recent Best Driver’s Car competition.

Enter the biggest, baddest Mustang ever, with a newly supercharged heart. The just-released GT500 comes with great expectations, because the numbers on paper grab attention. So does the price. Ford offers both the standard version, and the Carbon Fiber Track Pack, a hefty $18,500 option.

How do they measure up? We went to VIRginia International Raceway to grab the reins and yell, “Giddyup!”

Boy howdy, does the GT500 ever run for the roses. Ford claims 625 lb-ft of torque and a muscular 760 hp, and every one made itself known as the Mustang devoured the long back straight at VIR, touching 170 mph, lap after lap. No power fade here, like some other American blown V-8’s making similar numbers (ahem, Corvette C7 ZR1).

The Ford engineers expressed pride in their control of temperatures, both in the intake manifold and throughout the driveline. The GT500 is another one of the new breed of supercars (yes, even a Mustang now deserves that moniker) that actually make the straightaways a thrill, even to a well-versed warhorse like me.

It’s still the Coyote-based 5.2-liter V-8, supercharger mounted up top, but interestingly, back to the cross-plane crank down below. This is a welcome return, due to my own concerns about vibration from the GT350 version at extended high revs. It belts out a stirring bellow, or calms to quiet as a mouse, with just a switch of the electronic valves in the dual exhaust, allowing you to decide whether or not to wake the neighbors.

What did pro racer Randy Pobst think of the new C8 Corvette on the track? Find out here.

All that thrust goes through a new Tremec dual-clutch seven-speed that exhibited fine behavior on the street, as well as flat out. Manual shifting during a hot lap is just a distraction, and the GT500’s auto mode rivals Porsche’s PDK (yes, really) and does everything I would do, anyway. It even had the savvy to hold a higher gear in places, rather than constantly throw out raucous downshifts. On straights, there’s a rewarding “over-torque” feature that gives a little extra shove on each shift, like a manual power-shift. Yet, in corners, I felt the Tremec smooth those out. Impressive. The track program is really dialed in. Again, justified pride from the Ford guys.

The shifter is a twist knob, however, like many garden-variety Fords, and I personally hated it. Not sporty! If we cannot have a manual, Ford, at least let us grab a stocky retro lever and slap this super-pony into drive.

This massive thrust twists a trick carbon-fiber driveshaft into a Torsen gear-type limited slip—a good choice for a front-engined chassis, because it doesn’t lock up much off power. This helps get the GT500 pointed into the turn, and it’s also a non-wear item, unlike the clutch-type diffs.

The powertrain is the same on both models, controlled by four driving modes: Normal, Sport, Track, and Drag, which further includes a line-lock for tire warming and crowd-wowing burnouts, plus launch control for you quarter-milers. And that launch control has an always-on mode for street driving, so you don’t have to fiddle with buttons at a green light. I enjoyed that in downtown Raleigh. It’s hard to find fault with this dual-clutch in all modes, except that I cannot speak for Drag mode.

Stopping this rig were perhaps the largest rotors (16.5 inches) and Brembo calipers I’ve yet to experience. Over 4,200 pounds and 760 ponies demand them. While the big Shelby could dive deep, deep into the tight corners with which VIR shuts down its long straights, it was here I could find my only real complaint: a bit of a long brake pedal, which was a little disconcerting for me at 170 mph. No fade, but some squish. They even bled the brakes for me, yet both test cars felt spongy. This was surprising because I recall complaining that the GT350’s brakes were too strong, requiring only a big toe. Perfect would be somewhere in between.

On to the suspension, the street GT500 first. Mounted with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S street tires and alignment, this Shelby did a terrific job of turning that monstrous power into forward acceleration. The power dominates the driving experience, and demands a slow squeeze on the throttle, which had a very linear delivery in Track mode, a proper e-throttle strategy.

At full gallop, the balance was a pleasure if the driver remained very responsible with the great power under that right foot. Responsive and stable. The MagneRide shock system soaked up the curbs and bumps, but floated a bit under the loads of pro speeds. Happily, though, when the PS4S tires did break loose, it was mostly a gradual, even enjoyable experience.

More on the new GT500:

I was so pleased with what this “base” GT500 could accomplish on non-race performance tires. Just don’t slam the gas down, as it’s a beast. Several times, I rolled smoothly into what I felt must be full power, only to find there was yet loads more. Yikes! But you just have to love it. Even so, the standard model was steady and well behaved when hot-lapped at top speed—if a little soft in damping.

“Just you wait for the Carbon version,” the engineers said, with knowing smirks. R-compound Sport Cup 2s. Lower and firmer springs/bars/shocks. Wing and aero. Carbon wheels, and more.

Leaving pit lane, I felt the thrill of anticipation, knowing how good that incredible chest-compressing urge would feel, combined with all the track-prep in this version of the big-boy Shelby. Pretty much, prayers answered. The float was gone and grip was way up, especially evident at the front (they had added negative camber, too).

The GT500 has that magic combination of steering response at the limit: the ability to tighten its line while loaded laterally in the middle of the corner, without losing grip at the back. The controllability that results is a pleasure that satisfies, all in spite of a considerable weight of 4,220 pounds. The ultimate Mustang wears its size well, with the strength and agility of an all-pro linebacker. This size means there is a lot of weight transfer in transitions, and the Carbon Fiber Track package version felt much more controlled than the standard model on track.

Lead chassis dynamics engineer Steve Thompson was also responsible for the GT350 that took a very honorable second place at Best Driver’s Car. His shocking trackside revelation: The GT500 has less damping, not more.

Of course, there’s stronger support from the springs and bars. I also expect the far lighter and very beautiful carbon wheels are part of the reason why the GT500 is such a track carver, too. The tremendous reduction in unsprung rotating mass they provide actually reduces the suspension forces that the shocks control and makes everything the GT500 does quicker and easier. This is also, no doubt, part of why this Shelby can match the brake points of much slower and lighter cars.

And this track version had real aero. The wing is straight from Ford’s GT4 race car, and the hood has a giant vent to send radiator air over the roof, not under the floor, where it causes lift. For track work, there’s a rain tray to remove, which normally shields the engine from the wet. These features do real work—they aren’t just decorative—and pay off the most in maneuvers like the awesome 140 mph-plus Climbing Esses at VIR.

Is the CFTP worth the bucks? If you plan to track your Shelby, absolutely yes. We saw about a 5-second decrease in lap times, with the same horsepower, which is huge. Does the standard version work? Also absolutely yes. These GT500s both move well from street to race course. The Carbon package just offers better everything.

The incredible performance capability of these two new Shelbys moves the Mustang into the supercar realm, it pleases me to claim. They will not disappoint. In fact, they both provide such thrills that they are a good value even at these prices, driving with confidence-inspiring and consistent speed that is rare to find at any price.

The post 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Track Test: The Ultimate Mustang appeared first on MotorTrend.

New Jeep Wagoneer Caught Hungry For 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon

GM Authority News - Wed, 12/04/2019 - 9:59pm

Jeep is encroaching on GM’s turf.

Minor Updates Coming for 2021 Chevrolet Silverado HD, GMC Sierra HD

GM Authority News - Wed, 12/04/2019 - 9:07pm

New software and camera systems are headed down the line.

Oracle Introduces C6 Corvette Concept Side Mirrors

Corvettes Online News Feed - Wed, 12/04/2019 - 8:27pm
New from Oracle - the C6 Corvette Concept Side Mirrors for model years 2005-2013. These mirrors feature an impressive aerodynamic design for a sleeker and more aggressive look on your C6. Check them out here!

Cadillac Mexico Sales Increase 11 Percent In October 2019

GM Authority News - Wed, 12/04/2019 - 8:20pm

Sales increased 5 percent to 903 units during the first ten months of 2019.

First Drive: 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe Feels All Too Familiar

Motortrend Magazine News - Wed, 12/04/2019 - 6:01pm

Another week, another Mercedes-AMG. The launch of a new AMG-badged Mercedes was once a rare event, eagerly awaited by enthusiasts. But now, with the global Mercedes-AMG franchise comprising a staggering 63 vehicles, it’s fast becoming routine. And, as the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4Matic+ Coupe (whew!) shows, just a bit formulaic.

The GLE 53 Coupe is a go-fast Mercedes SUV by the numbers. Under the skin is the AMG-massaged version of Daimler’s 3.0-liter mild hybrid twin-turbo inline-six, along with AMG’s Speedshift TCT nine-speed automatic transmission, AMG’s Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system, and the optional AMG active anti-roll system. It’s all familiar AMG hardware in a mildly face-lifted wrapper dominated by the toothy grimace of the new AMG family grille. Other cosmetic changes include standard LED headlights, and new slimline taillights, along with a redesigned front apron, flares on the wheel openings, and a new rear fascia underpinned by the obligatory four cannon-sized exhausts.

 

Inside, the GLE 53 Coupe gets the redesigned interior from the 2020 GLE and GLS, featuring the giant standalone pod for the two 12.3-inch high-definition screens—one a configurable instrument display, the other a touchscreen for the MBUX infotainment interface. AMG touches include the flat-bottomed Performance steering wheel and aluminum gearshift paddles, AMG-specific graphics on the dash, and AMG functions in the MBUX menu that display track data and performance telemetry. Again, it’s all stuff we’ve seen before on cars like the current AMG E-Class and the AMG GT 4-Door.

We liked the new engine in the AMG GT 53 4-Door we tested earlier this year and putting it under the hood of a big, heavy SUV hasn’t dimmed its appeal. With 429 hp at 6,100 rpm and 384 lb-ft of torque from 1,800 rpm to 5,800 rpm—augmented for short periods by 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque from the compact e-motor mounted between the engine and the transmission—it punches the GLE 53 Coupe from 0-60 mph in a claimed 5.2 seconds with a delicious straight-six snarl. Top speed is limited to 130 mph, unless you order the optional summer tires, in which case the limit is raised to 155 mph.

The e-motor, dubbed EQ Boost, contributes to that performance in more ways than one. It acts as a starter-generator for the 48V electrical system that, among other things, powers a small electric turbocharger that produces boost until the larger exhaust gas-driven turbocharger gets up to speed, improving low-end throttle response and refinement, and helping create that impressively broad swathe of torque for the nine-speed transmission to get its teeth into. Even with the throttle mapping in the least aggressive settings—in Comfort or Slippery modes, for example—the GLE 53 Coupe’s powertrain feels remarkably alert.

 

In addition to Comfort and Slippery, GLE 53 Coupe drivers can choose from five other drive programs, including the familiar Sport, Sport+, and Individual modes complemented by two off-road-specific settings: Trail and Sand. AMG’s own vehicle dynamics protocols—Basic, Advanced and Pro—are integrated into each, influencing the control strategies of the electronic stability control or the 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive systems. The spectrum ranges from extremely stable to highly dynamic, the latter Mercedes-AMG engineer speak for power oversteer. In the Trail and Sand modes, when the ESC is deactivated, drivers can choose between get-me-though and yee-hah! settings, aka Traction and Slide.

The different modes also change damper rates and ride height, courtesy of the AMG-tweaked air suspension. Selecting Sport or Sport+ modes stiffens the ride and lowers the ride height by 0.6 inch. In Comfort mode, the GLE 53 Coupe automatically snuggles 0.6 inch closer to the tarmac from a speed of 75 mph to reduce aerodynamic drag and fuel consumption and improve stability. For mild off-road work, the ride height can be raised by up to 2.2 inches at speeds up to 43 mph.

With so much familiar hardware from the AMG parts bin working together, it’s probably only natural the GLE 53 Coupe doesn’t really surprise in any way. From the velvety brutishness of the power delivery to the elephantine tap-dancing of the chassis along tight and twisting roads, it’s exactly what you expect of a modern AMG-badged SUV. It felt big, powerful, and heavy on our test route, a point-and-squirt performance machine that rewarded smooth throttle and steering inputs and a firm foot on the brakes.

Our tester rolled on the standard 21-inch wheels (22s are an option) fitted with Pirelli Scorpion Winter tires, 275/45 at the front and broad 315/40 on the rear axle, because of the snowy conditions at our overnight stop in Hochgurgl, a ski resort 7,000 feet up in the western Austrian Alps. It was also fitted with the optional active anti-roll system, which kept it admirably flat through corners. Ride quality in Comfort mode is acceptable, though you feel those big heavy wheels pattering at times. Sport and Sport+ modes tighten up the vertical body motions, but at the expense of secondary ride quality. Choppy U.S. freeways wouldn’t be a pleasant experience.

Like it or not, big SUV ‘coupes’ are a thing these days, aimed at those willing to sacrifice some load-lugging capability and rearward visibility in the pursuit of a sporty aesthetic. The Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe, which gets a U.S. release date of next spring and will be priced at about $75,000, is designed to put some muscle behind that aesthetic. The problem is the softly rendered GLE Coupe sheetmetal looks more zaftig than zingy, especially around its ample hind quarters, despite the AMG costume jewelry. And, crucially, it’s slower than the 434-hp, V-6-powered Porsche Cayenne S Coupe, which not only looks sportier but also steers better, and has better brake feel and a more alert and composed chassis.

It’s hard to find a reason for the Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 4Matic+ Coupe’s existence, other than the fact that Daimler seems determined to offer an AMG version of every Mercedes-Benz it builds. Whether it makes sense or not.

The post First Drive: 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLE 53 Coupe Feels All Too Familiar appeared first on MotorTrend.

Electric Ford F-150 (And More?) Secrets Detailed in Patent

Motortrend Magazine News - Wed, 12/04/2019 - 5:45pm

Despite Ford’s openness that it’s working on an electric F-150 pickup truck, this potential segment-shaker has many secrets yet to be revealed. Now, though, thanks to patent filings shared on macheclub.com, we gain insights on how batteries in the F-150 EV might be arranged in a new and novel way.

The patent describes a method of integrating batteries into a body-on-frame platform. It’s similar to a skateboard chassis that’s become common for all-electric vehicles, in which batteries are mounted low in the floor. In Ford’s application, crossmembers are mounted between the left and right frame rails. Those crossmembers provide distinct battery housings, and are additionally supported by a metal plate. This is noteworthy for a few reasons. 

Whereas in many EV chassis the battery pack is a single, large unit placed centrally between the axles, the crossmember approach allows the batteries to be placed in separate areas of the frame. In the abstract, Ford says a “plurality of power storage modules are disposed within a plurality of compartments,” which could have benefits for weight distribution, manufacturing simplicity, and NVH reduction.

Additionally, the conventional approach of placing a single, heavy battery pack in the floor can cause shear stresses on a vehicle structure. In Ford’s patent, the crossmembers do more than simply house the batteries—they provide reinforcement to the frame rails, helping make the structure stronger. The patent reads, “Each crossmember is welded to the left frame rail, and the right frame rail, and the plate. The plate is welded to the left and right frame rails.” This subsequently allows the frame rails (made of steel or aluminum) to be thinner and lighter.

The number of battery-containing crossmembers is defined by the length of the frame rails. This implies that longer trucks could have more power and range on tap. Is Ford already thinking about applying this approach to heavy-duty-sized pickups?

Ford indicates that a single motor could be mounted to the frame “forward or rearward of the power storage units,” but the potential addition of a second drive motor opposite the first is mentioned numerous times. Also described is an arrangement for powering each wheel individually, using its own motor.

Interesting about this whole thing is how it’s similar and different from what’s been displayed by Rivian, the electric vehicle startup in which Ford invested $500 million. Rivian’s skateboard chassis is also body-on-frame, but uses a more conventional large single battery pack, not the divided crossmember construction method described here. However, Rivian has stated that its vehicles will be available with individual motors for each wheel.

Perhaps there’s intellectual property sharing going on between the brands, and anything could change by the time their respective electric trucks reach production. Doubtless they’re locked in a release date race with the Tesla Cybertruck. Suffice to say, whatever Ford does with the electric F-150 will make it unlike any truck to ever wear the Blue Oval.

The post Electric Ford F-150 (And More?) Secrets Detailed in Patent appeared first on MotorTrend.

Why GM Pulled Out Of The Indian Market: Video

GM Authority News - Wed, 12/04/2019 - 5:33pm

With massive population and rising vehicle demand, GM's failure to catch on in India confused investors and analysts.

Bulken Off-Road Design Chevrolet Silverado: Live Photo Gallery

GM Authority News - Wed, 12/04/2019 - 5:24pm

Looking ready to roll at SEMA 2019.

Lingenfelter To Release Supercharged Chevrolet Blazer With 450 HP

GM Authority News - Wed, 12/04/2019 - 4:56pm

Lingenfelter had customers knocking on its door asking for a more-powerful Blazer.

American Middle Class Is Being Priced Out Of New-Car Market

GM Authority News - Wed, 12/04/2019 - 4:04pm

Americans are paying about 38% more for a new car or truck than they were 10 years ago.

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