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This Could be the Production 2019 BMW Z4

Motortrend Magazine News - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 6:00pm

When BMW revealed the Z4 concept at Pebble Beach last year, it got us excited about the Bavarian roadster for the first time in years. Sure, we enjoyed the BMW Z4 sDrive35is, but updates have been minimal, and the Porsche Boxster S has always been the superior driver’s car. As we get closer to the official reveal, there’s still the question of how different the production version will look, but if these leaked images are to be believed, it’s not all that different.

Over the weekend, the SupraMKV fan forum posted what appear to be leaked images of the redesigned Z4. The original source of the images is unclear, but Instagram user liucunyi posted the earliest copies we were able to find. The background and the identity of someone in the driver’s seat have all been erased, presumably to make it more difficult for BMW to find the source of the leak, but they still show a clear view of the car itself.

Then you see why I do love it,isn't it coming out quite nice?the rear is so much better than that of the The 8 imo. #z4 #z4m #g29 #bmwz4 #bmw #bimmerfest #bimmer #roadster #convertible #munich #bmwz4 #munich????????#tt #auditt #audittrs #audittclub #slc #slk #supra #toyotasupra #instacar #cool #hot #cardesign #cardesigner #cardesigndaily

A post shared by 刘存亿 (@liucunyi) on Aug 11, 2018 at 5:19pm PDT

Assuming the car shown here is an actual production model, the designers appear to have stuck closely to the concept. It’s not quite as striking in production form, but it’s still better looking than the last Z4. Then again, without the concept’s extreme styling, it does look less unique. The front reminds us of the Fiat 124 Spider, and from the side, we see some Mercedes-Benz SLC.

We also recently had the opportunity to drive a preproduction prototype where we learned the U.S.-spec Z4 M40i will get a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six good for 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. We can’t say for sure how it will hold up against the 718 Boxster S, but it did feel like a proper sports car. In fact, one BMW rep admitted the Z4 M40i laps the test track quicker than the current M2.

Regardless of how much you like the design, that news alone should be enough to get you excited about BMW’s newest roadster.

Source: SupraMKV Forum

The post This Could be the Production 2019 BMW Z4 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Upcoming Small GMC Crossover Spied Testing: Photo Gallery

GM Authority News - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 4:20pm

What we thought was the Trax is actually a GMC model that could be called the Granite.

The Truth About Mechanical, Electrical, and Stepper-Motor Gauges

Corvettes Online News Feed - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 4:11pm
Everybody seems to have a differing opinion about what type of gauges to use, so we got some professional help. Learn the differences between the three types of gauges and see what works best for you.

Elon Musk in Chats With Saudi Fund to Take Tesla Private

Motortrend Magazine News - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 4:00pm

Tesla CEO Elon Musk confused the Internet more than usual last week when he announced he was considering taking the company private. He also tweeted that funding had been secured, without going into further detail. Today, Musk is clarifying his proposal, saying that the company has been in talks with the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund to make his plan happen.

In a blog posted on Tesla’s website today, Musk said the fund has approached him “multiple times” about taking Tesla private. He first met with the fund in early 2017. This July, after the fund bought almost 5 percent of Tesla stock through public markets, the fund reached out for another meeting and said it wanted to proceed with the deal.

“I left the July 31st meeting with no question that a deal with the Saudi sovereign fund could be closed, and that it was just a matter of getting the process moving. This is why I referred to ‘funding secured’ in the August 7th announcement,” Musk said in the statement. He said that Tesla would provide full details of the plan before any final decision is made on taking the company private. He also quelled fears that such a deal would put Tesla deeper in debt. Most of the capital required for going private would come from equity, Musk clarified.

Last week, Musk said shareholders would have the choice to either remain an investor or get bought out at $420 a share. That price is a 20-percent premium over the stock price the company announced after its recent second-quarter earnings call. Musk estimates that about two-thirds of shares owned by all current investors would roll over into a private Tesla. If that’s the case, Tesla would need to buy out the remaining one-third of shares, which would require roughly $24 billion at Musk’s proposed share price.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was reportedly looking into Tesla after Musk’s tweet last week claiming funding had been “secured.” Although not everyone thought it was a good idea, Musk defended his decision to make a public announcement. “The only way I could have meaningful discussions with our largest shareholders was to be completely forthcoming with them about my desire to take the company private,” Musk wrote in the statement today. “However, it wouldn’t be right to share information about going private with just our largest investors without sharing the same information with all investors at the same time. As a result, it was clear to me that the right thing to do was announce my intentions publicly.“

Whether it was the right thing to do or not, the Twitter announcement is now the subject of an SEC inquiry. According to CNBC, the tweet may have violated a rule that bars publicly traded companies (and their executives) from announcing plans they don’t intend to follow through. That includes announcements of plans you don’t have the means to carry out and especially announcements deliberately intended to manipulate stock price. By saying funding was secured when a deal hadn’t been closed yet, Musk may be in trouble with the SEC . Even if it wasn’t his intent, the CEO sent Tesla’s stock price skyrocketing 11 percent to $379.57 a share after tweeting last Tuesday. It has since dropped back down, and at press time is hovering around $356 per share.

Tesla’s board is setting up a special committee that will evaluate any potential final proposal to take Tesla private. If such a plan is presented and approved, Tesla will present the plan to shareholders for a vote.

Source: Tesla, CNBC

The post Elon Musk in Chats With Saudi Fund to Take Tesla Private appeared first on Motor Trend.

GM Has New Patents Approved for Active Side Skirts, Spoilers and Downforce Generating Ducts

Corvette Blogger - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 3:46pm

We’ve been hearing the whispers and rumors about Adaptive Aerodynamics for some time now and again I like to credit Car and Driver’s Don Sherman for first mentioning the possibility of active aero on future Corvettes back in August 2016. Just under a year later in March 2017, GM filed a patent application detailing a […]

The post GM Has New Patents Approved for Active Side Skirts, Spoilers and Downforce Generating Ducts appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Hennessey Hits The Dyno With The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1: Video

GM Authority News - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 2:54pm

Curious to see how a factory Corvette ZR1 fares on the dyno? Watch and see.

My Corvette Story: Dave Roberts’ 1956 Racer

Corvettes Online News Feed - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 2:07pm
This is a period correct race car that can run with modern cars. It is fast and has been a successful race car all of its racing career.

New, Special-Edition Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban Models Powered By 6.2L V8

GM Authority News - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 1:31pm

Chevy's premium new Tahoe and Suburban "Premier Plus" models broaden the availability of the 6.2L V8.

Next-Gen 2020 Chevy Trax Spied Testing In Arizona

GM Authority News - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 9:20am

Or is it a new GMC crossover that would slot under the Terrain?

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk vs. Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio vs. Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 Coupe vs. Range Rover Sport SVR vs. Porsche Macan Turbo

Motortrend Magazine News - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 8:05am

The craft came to a stop in a cloud of dust. A slender figure emerged from inside the swoopy, sleek sheetmetal—loose skin, bulbous head, humanoid but with a hint of something extra—and a swarm of scientists descended, needing feedback. Needing data. Needing to know: Have we finally broken through?

I have always been fascinated with Area 51. Stories of secret test flights, of government scientists collaborating with alien pilots to push the limits of what we believed possible, hooked my childhood mind. And seeing Capt. Steven Hiller pilot his F/A-18 through the Grand Canyon, flying saucer in hot pursuit, only solidified my intrigue (Independence Day’s fictional nature notwithstanding). Was that top-secret area in southwest Nevada really the place where the government had hidden the Roswell aircraft? Had we reverse-engineered spacecraft not of this earth, perhaps with alien aid? Or were the feds telling the truth when they said the facility was merely the development site for military jets such as the U-2, SR-71, and F-117 Nighthawk—jets that suspiciously flew higher, faster, and sneakier than any before?

Like those military jets—or flying saucers—these five ridiculously high-performance SUVs we are piloting refuse to conform to classical ideas of appearance and capability. Originally created for rock-crawling or helping out around the estate, sport-utility vehicles have become America’s favorite mundane family haulers. But somehow, in a recent unexplainable technological leap, SUVs have also evolved into supercars, with overboosted engines stuffed between their fenders and suspensions cranked down for sports car levels of performance. This is higher, faster, sneakier space-alien stuff.

Which is how our pack of otherworldly vehicles is screaming at post-apocalyptic velocities across Nevada’s Extraterrestrial Highway. What better place to find answers on the hottest transport advancements than America’s most secret environs?

So we rip a hole through the desert air, alien experimentation on our minds, in a 2,730-hp convoy of performance SUVs built by manufacturers that have thrown out their rulebooks.

The 503-hp 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ Coupe I’m piloting is a challenge to the automotive status quo. SUVs don’t need to be big and slow; sports cars don’t have to be light, low, and lean. Like it or not, SUVs are where the auto industry is going. With its twin-turbo V-8 making 516 lb-ft of torque mated to a nine-speed auto with all-wheel drive, I can’t say I mind this form of transport.

Coming from brands traditionally known for their off-road prowess, the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR both turn their backs on knobby tires and mud slinging in favor of a pair of supercharged V-8s. The Rover’s new-for-2018 5.0-liter unit makes 575 hp and 516 lb-ft of twist and is paired with an eight-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel-drive system—its vestigial link to its past.

The Jeep, in a nod to the nuclear wasteland that is the Nevada Test Site surrounding Area 51, goes all in with its 6.2-liter Hellcat V-8, which puts out an absurd 707 hp and 645 lb-ft of torque. The Grand Cherokee’s engine is abetted by an eight-speed automatic and an all-wheel-drive system.

Meanwhile, the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Q4 Quadrifoglio and 2017 Porsche Macan Turbo with Performance package are a weird, roundabout return to the roots of the two storied racing brands. The Stelvio packs a Ferrari-developed 505-hp 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 under its hood, and it’s backed by an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. The Macan rides on an Audi-developed platform, but its 3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6 is all Porsche. It packs 440 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque, and it’s backed by Porsche’s famed PDK seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive.

The stakes here are high, and I’m really pondering the idea of a 440-hp Porsche being the lowest-output beast of this bunch. The winner of this performance SUV comparison test will have the honor of being the first SUV to compete in our annual Best Driver’s Car competition next month.

As such, the rules are simple: The winner needs to be the most engaging, exciting, fun-to-drive super SUV in our quintet—the SUV that’s most likely to upset the world order.

Welcome to Earth

The scenery a day earlier couldn’t be more different. A twin-turbo V-6 growls in front of me as the sapphire blue Macan slices through soupy coastal clouds and mist as we climb the Angeles Crest Highway to meet up with the rest of the group. It’s been a while since I’ve driven a Macan; this one offers an extra 40 hp, larger front brakes, and a few other go-fast options. It feels the same as the Turbo without the Performance package, but Angeles Crest will be the place to prove it. The highway twists and turns 66 miles up and over the San Gabriel Mountains as it links the L.A. basin to the Mojave Desert and beyond. It’s the perfect nearby-substitute for the Best Driver’s Car’s State Route 198 hill climb.

Once linked up with the rest of the crew, we picked one of our favorite stretches of the highway and set off. The Porsche makes things easy. Despite the Macan having the least powerful engine here, I found myself parked on the Trackhawk’s tail as we rocketed up Angeles Crest for our first run of the day. The Macan is easy to drive fast. “Zuffenhausen did a fabulous job with the suspension,” senior features editor Jonny Lieberman said. “The damping is superb, and the body control is excellent.”

But there’s something off about the Porsche. It’s not in the way it drives, but in the way it makes you feel—or not feel, rather. There’s a sort of numbness to the Macan Turbo that’s tough to identify—the Novocain-numb steering is part of the issue, but there’s more to it. Although this crossover is supremely capable, I found myself daydreaming about bills to be paid and errands to run. Nearly every other editor felt (or didn’t feel, as the case may be) the same detachment. “There’s no doubt about its capability, but there’s just no emotion in it,” features editor Scott Evans said. Driving a good car up a good road is supposed to be an escape. The Macan wasn’t acting like one.

Seeking a shot of adrenaline, I swapped into the Darth Vader–black Range Rover Sport SVR for my next run. I have fond memories of the pre-refresh Rover Sport SVR. Although it’s short 25 horsepower compared to the new one, it was absolutely hilarious to drive—the only SUV as prone to swinging out its backside as it was to plowing through a bend. It took all of four corners to discover that the SVR’s manners have finally been tamed. I haven’t decided if that’s a good thing, but because you’re no longer fighting the Rover, you do get a chance to evaluate its prowess in other areas. “Not nearly as ridiculously tail happy as the last SVR, this iteration does feel noticeably smoother,” Jonny said. The Range Rover Sport’s steering rack has a surprising delicacy and lightness to it, given the Rover’s size, but its air suspension can’t keep up on a good road. “Its weight is noticeable on the twisties, where it leans quite a bit,” associate road test editor Erick Ayapana said.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk has a lot in common with the Rover. There’s a lot to love about the Trackhawk, but in this group it turns about as well as a B-2 in a dogfight. Its steering feel is actually pretty responsive—direct, linear, mechanical—but its dragstrip-oriented suspension makes it feel like, well, a Jeep. “I ran out of desire to go faster long before I ran out of grip,” associate online editor Collin Woodard said. As Scott would discover, braking could be a bit of an issue when the Jeep was pushed hard. “In a few miles, I managed to set the brakes on fire,” he said. “Not smoking. Actual flame from the right front pad.” The Jeep sports decent-sized brake rotors; we suspect that higher-quality brake pads and fluids would help avoid small, easily extinguished fires like we had. (Note: Pushing heavy vehicles repeatedly to their limits can ignite the brakes, and although it’s rare, it is not unheard of in the testing community.)

If you’re only looking to figuratively set your world on fire, the Alfa feels like it comes from a different galaxy than the Rover and Jeep. The Stelvio is a crossover only in that it looks like the rest of the SUVs assembled here. From behind the wheel it feels like its sedan stablemate, the Giulia Quadrifoglio, with an extra carbon-fiber halfshaft driving the front wheels. “The body control on this high-rider is incredible,” Scott said. Collin agreed, adding, “From the moment you take off, everything just feels right. Thirty seconds in, I almost forgot I was in a crossover.” It might sound like hyperbole, but the Stelvio really manages to capture the engaging, dynamic feel of the Giulia sedan (warts and all), from its pure steering to its grabby, hard-to-modulate brake-by-wire system.

Stuck in both camps is the AMG GLC 63. In some ways it bridges the gap between the Jeep/Range Rover camp and that of the Porsche/Alfa, offering up a V-8 for the former crowd and the European sensibilities of the latter. “It didn’t take long to feel confident behind the wheel of the AMG,” Erick said. True to its new AMG badge, the GLC 63 begs to be pushed to its limit. Trouble is, you might not like what you find once you get there. “Steering just feels good: sharp, precise, perfectly weighted,” Jonny said. “But once you start pushing the GLC 63 S Coupe, the damping lets the car down, and it starts to bounce around on its air springs.” Even in its firmest mode, the AMG’s suspension never proved to be stiff enough to deliver the high-gain experience that the rest of the GLC package was promising.

Exhausted after a long day on Angeles Crest, we fueled up and cannonballed to Las Vegas. Little green men were waiting.

Warp Speed

Ride and handling get a well-deserved portion of the attention during Best Driver’s Car. But as you well know, it’s only half of the formula that makes a driver’s car just that. It’s the atom without the neutron, if you will. Our next stomping ground: a blazing-hot scenic drive along some of America’s most top-secret sites on the deserted Extraterrestrial Highway, skirting Area 51, across the barren U.S. Route 6, and then a straight shot down US-95, hugging the edges of the nuclear-weapons Nevada Test Site to reach our end point in Death Valley.

Leaving Vegas by car is always a gamble, one I won by scoring the keys to the Alfa. For a knife-fighter, the Stelvio is remarkably comfortable on the highway. Its high-strung V-6 is brutally powerful; it’s laggy off the line, but once the turbos spool up, it sends out wave after wave of torque. “The engine is powerful and the transmission doesn’t need your guidance; it’s fine on its own,” said Scott. The test data shows he’s right. The Alfa accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, and it’ll run the quarter mile in 12 seconds flat at 114.4 mph. Yet these startling numbers are only midpack in this group.

The Macan futilely attempts to hang on the Alfa’s tail. Hustling through the San Gabriel Mountains the day before, the Macan felt quick. But out on the endless straights of Nevada highway, its power disadvantage becomes apparent. It’s kind of amazing how much horsepower can skew things; the Macan’s 440 ponies are enough to get it from 0 to 60 mph in a properly quick 3.8 seconds and through the quarter mile in 12.5 seconds at 109.4 mph. But in this group that still makes it second slowest.

The Range Rover Sport SVR brought up the rear of our strike package—not that those driving it minded. Arguably the most comfortable long-haul cruiser of the bunch, the Rover had another trick up its sleeve. “The award for best exhausts goes to the Range Rover Sport SVR,” Erick said. “But it sounds much quicker than it feels behind the wheel.” He’s right. In nearly all of our instrumented tests, the SVR trailed this pack. It takes the Range Rover Sport 4.3 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph, and it needs 12.7 seconds to cross the quarter mile at 110.9 mph. That’s hardly slow, but it ain’t setting speed records in this crowd.

Amazingly, our two fastest SUVs were designed for the same job but go about it in completely different ways. The Jeep is all about power. Its 707-hp V-8 allows Jeep to ignore the Grand Cherokee’s curb weight and focus instead on blistering straight-line speed. That suspension that left the Trackhawk flopping around Angeles Crest? Well, when launched, the Trackhawk hunkers down on its rear haunches as it claws down the tarmac. Your view changes from street to sky. “All the SUVs in this group are quick, but oh my, the Trackhawk is something else completely,” Collin said. “From a stop. At low speeds. At highway speeds. You put your foot down, and it just takes off. It never gets old … at least as long as you’re going in a straight line.”

The better-balanced Mercedes doesn’t need any more than the 503 horses under its hood thanks to its nearly 1,000-pound weight advantage. “The AMG’s ‘big’ V-8 puts out all the cruel and lovely snarls we’re used to, deep and throaty and pretty much hinged,” Jonny said. “It feels both torquey and fast.” The GLC 63 S loves eating up highway miles at extralegal speeds just as much as it does launching hard for drag races.

In instrumented testing, the GLC 63 S and Grand Cherokee Trackhawk are constantly trading blows. The German and American tie each other from 0 to 30 mph, the Jeep edges the Mercedes to 40 mph, the Mercedes comes even at 50 mph, and then ultimately it takes the 0–60 crown. The GLC’s 3.2-second 0–60 run ties the Tesla Model X P90D for the quickest SUV we’ve ever tested. The Merc is also the quickest gas-powered SUV we’ve ever run down the quarter mile—tying the Jeep’s 11.7-second quarter-mile time but at a higher 116.5-mph trap speed. It’s close enough to call it a draw. Even in the open desert, local police presence means this fight won’t be settled today.

Mission Accomplished

I think it’s fair to say that everyone hated my logistical planning skills after our loop through Nevada to Death Valley. After a long day, the only alien we saw was the plaster one standing outside of the Alien Research Center in Hiko, Nevada. The only flying saucer we saw was hanging from a battered tow truck outside the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel, Nevada. As for under-the-radar military stuff, we did see an old Nike nuclear-tipped missile serving as a gate guard for the secretive Tonopah Test Range, and a ’50s-era French fighter jet—likely belonging to the Air Force test pilot school—buzzed us. I’m sure those were secret at one point or another.

But despite the hassle, there was a reason we wound up in Death Valley.

While the military develops its latest black projects in Area 51, not far away in Death Valley, the auto industry tests its own top-secret stuff. Bugatti Chirons and Ford GTs were both partially developed in the national park. Hell, we even bumped into Acura engineers hard at work on a to-be-announced performance MDX variant. It’s a fair bet that each of our five super SUVs spent some development time in Death Valley, their test drivers, decked in bulbous helmets and the loose skin of racing suits, taking on a vaguely alien appearance as automotive engineers prod them for thoughts on how to push the performance envelop just a little bit past what we previously imagined possible.

That evening, with beers to quench the desert’s heat, our SUVs ticking in the cool desert night behind us, it was time to take all we’d learned and pick the SUV that most deserved a shot at Best Driver’s Car. After all—only the best-driving SUV stands a shot at knocking BDC’s purebred sports and supercars off their pedestal.

Were Best Driver’s Car singularly focused on straight-line speed, the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk would’ve been a sure bet. It’s stupid fun to bury the Trackhawk’s throttle in a straight line, but it’s severely underbraked for an object as fast and heavy as it is, and its handling performance is perhaps most kindly described as “sharp as a hammer.” Last place in this group is nothing to hang your head about, but this bruiser would be outgunned at Best Driver’s Car.

The 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR finished ahead of the Jeep by a nose. Despite the Rover being the slowest SUV in this comparison, this isn’t a numbers game. Simply put, out on the road, the Range Rover Sport is more enjoyable to hustle through a corner or two, making the most of its power. Although price wasn’t a factor in this comparison, it’s worth mentioning that the SVR, especially its interior, felt worth every bit of its $28,500 premium over the next-cheapest SUV here.

The 2017 Porsche Macan Turbo with the Performance package earned third. The Porsche does almost everything right—it’s quick, it goes around a corner well, and it’s easy to drive fast. So what went wrong?  “It commits the cardinal sin of being boring,” Jonny said. “I’m sorry, but Porsches, by definition, cannot be boring.” Collin agreed: “Driving the Macan was kind of like watching Tom Brady play football. He’s an incredible quarterback, but guys like Cam Newton and Russell Wilson play a more exciting game.”

And that sets us up the battle for first place between the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio and 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S. The Alfa lives for slicing up your favorite back road, yet it’s equally satisfying at high straight-line speeds. “This thing is phenomenal in a way that you have to experience to understand,” Collin said. The Mercedes trades some of that sharpness in favor of a slightly more comfortable commute-friendly ride, and it’s also the fastest  SUV we’ve ever tested, period. “The experience reminds me of the GT R,” Erick said. “That the GLC 63 S evokes the same visceral and satisfying experience as AMG’s halo car is a huge success.”

Ultimately it’s a game of inches, and with Best Driver’s Car rules in place, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio earns the win. The Merc is quicker, but the Alfa is the most fun SUV here to drive, and in spite of its SUV-ness, it’s also one of the most outstanding vehicles on the road—regardless of shape, size, or curb weight.

Like the secret projects being built in the middle of the Nevada desert, automotive enthusiasts might not like what the Stelvio Quadrifoglio represents. But there’s no denying that Alfa accomplished its mission of building a driver’s SUV. Best Driver’s Car contenders, you have your work cut out for you. Godspeed.

5. 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

The world’s fastest studio apartment is great in a straight line but leaves us wanting in corners.

4. 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR

It’s guaranteed to score you a primo valet spot, if not necessarily a spot on the podium.

3. 2017 Porsche Macan Turbo (Performance Package)

The soul we’ve come to expect from Porsche products is nowhere to be found.

2. 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ Coupe

Say hello to the quickest SUV we’ve ever tested. Sort out its body control, and we might have had a different winner.

1. 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Q4 Quadrifoglio

Take everything you thought you knew about lumbering SUVs and throw it out the window. Blistering performance and sublime handling in an attractive, practical package. Bring on Best Driver’s Car.

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Q4 Quadrifoglio 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Supercharged 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ (Coupe) 2018 Porsche Macan Turbo (Performance Pack) DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD Front-engine, AWD Front-engine, 4WD Front-engine, AWD Front-engine, AWD ENGINE TYPE Twin-turbo 90-deg V-6, alum block/heads Supercharged 90-deg V-8, iron block/alum heads Supercharged 90-deg V-8, alum block/heads Twin-turbo 90-deg V-8, alum block/heads Twin-turbo 90-deg V-6, alum block/heads VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl OHV, 2 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DISPLACEMENT 176.4 cu in/2,891 cc 376.3 cu in/6,166 cc 305.1 cu in/5,000 cc 243.0 cu in/3,982 cc 220.0 cu in/3,605 cc COMPRESSION RATIO 9.3:1 9.5:1 9.5:1 10.5:1 10.5:1 POWER (SAE NET) 505 hp @ 6,500 rpm 707 hp @ 6,000 rpm 575 hp @ 6,000 rpm 503 hp @ 5,500 rpm 440 hp @ 6,000 rpm TORQUE (SAE NET) 443 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm 645 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm 516 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm 516 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm 442 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm REDLINE 6,500 rpm 6,000 rpm 6,500 rpm 7,000 rpm 6,750 rpm WEIGHT TO POWER 8.6 lb/hp 7.7 lb/hp 9.5 lb/hp 9.0 lb/hp 10.2 lb/hp TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic 9-speed automatic 7-speed twin-clutch auto AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.73:1/2.39:1 3.70:1/2.48:1 3.31:1/2.21:1 3.27:1/1.96:1 4.67:1/2.42:1 SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar Control arms, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar Multilink, air springs, adj shocks, adj anti-roll bar; multilink, air springs, adj shocks, adj anti-roll bar Multilink, air springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, air springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar Control arms, air springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, air springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar STEERING RATIO 12.1:1 16.5:1 17.7:1 14.5:1 14.3:1 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.2 3.0 2.7 2.0 2.6 BRAKES, F; R 14.2-in vented, drilled disc; 13.8-in vented, drilled disc, ABS 15.8-in vented, grooved, 2-pc disc; 13.8-in vented, grooved disc, ABS 15.0-in vented disc; 14.4-in vented disc, ABS 15.4-in vented, drilled, 2-piece carbon-ceramic disc; 14.2-in vented, drilled disc, ABS 15.4-in vented, grooved, 2-piece disc; 14.0-in vented, disc, ABS WHEELS, F;R 9.0 x 20-in; 10.0 x 20-in, forged aluminum 10.0 x 20-in forged aluminum 10.0 x 22-in forged aluminum 9.5 x 21-in; 10.0 x 21-in, forged aluminum 9.0 x 21-in; 10.0 x 21-in, forged aluminum TIRES, F;R 255/45R20 101Y; 285/40R20 104Y Pirelli P Zero AR 245/45R20 110Y Pirelli P Zero (runflat) 295/40R22 112Y Continental ContiSportContact 5 SUV 265/40R21 105Y; 295/35R21 107Y Michelin Pilot Sport 4S 265/40R21 101Y; 295/35R21 103Y Pirelli P Zero N0 DIMENSIONS WHEELBASE 111.0 in 114.7 in 115.1 in 113.1 in 110.5 in TRACK, F/R 61.2/63.3 in 65.7/64.8 in 66.6/66.4 in 65.4/64.9 in 64.9/65.4 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 185.1 x 77.0 x 66.3 in 189.8 x 76.5 x 67.9 in 192.2 x 78.1 x 69.0-73.6 in 186.8 x 76.0 x 62.4* in 184.7 x 76.1 x 63.0 in (in std mode) GROUND CLEARANCE 7.9 in 8.1 in 6.4-10.9 in (8.4 in, std mode) 6.4 in* 6.2-0.0 in APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE 20.8/20.0 deg 18.0/23.1 deg 20.6-26.9/22.6-27.8 deg 17.6/21.5 deg* 24.0-25.5/19.5-24.2 deg TURNING CIRCLE 38.4 ft 38.0 ft 40.7 ft 39.0 ft (est) 39.2 ft CURB WEIGHT 4,339 lb 5,448 lb 5,450 lb 4,503 lb 4,466 lb WEIGHT DIST, F/R 53/47% 56/44% 51/49% 55/45% 56/44% TOWING CAPACITY 3,000 lb 7,200 lb 6,613 lb 3,500 lb 4,409 lb SEATING CAPACITY 5 5 5 5 5 HEADROOM, F/R 40.2/38.9 in 39.9/39.2 in 38.7/39.0 in 41.1/38.3 in (est) 38.6/38.7 in LEGROOM, F/R 36.6/31.9 in 40.3/38.6 in 42.2/37.0 in 34.3/33.6 in (est) 40.9/35.6 in SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 57.7/55.9 in 58.7/58.0 in 60.7/59.5 in 51.7/55.1 in (est) 56.9/54.9 in CARGO VOLUME, BEH F/R 56.5/18.5 cu ft 68.3/36.3 cu ft 59.5/27.5 cu ft 49.4/18.3 cu ft (est) 53.0/17.7 cu ft TEST DATA ACCELERATION TO MPH 0-30 1.2 sec 1.1 sec 1.6 sec 1.1 sec 1.3 sec 0-40 1.8 1.6 2.3 1.7 2.0 0-50 2.6 2.4 3.2 2.4 2.8 0-60 3.5 3.3 4.3 3.2 3.8 0-70 4.5 4.2 5.5 4.2 5.1 0-80 5.7 5.3 6.9 5.5 6.6 0-90 7.2 6.8 8.5 6.8 8.3 0-100 9.0 8.4 10.4 8.4 10.3 PASSING, 45-65 MPH 1.8 1.8 2.1 1.7 2.1 QUARTER MILE 12.0 sec @ 114.4 mph 11.7 sec @ 116.2 mph 12.7 sec @ 110.9 mph 11.7 sec @ 116.5 mph 12.5 sec @ 109.4 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 103 ft 108 ft 106 ft 105 ft 105 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.92 g (avg) 0.90 g (avg) 0.89 g (avg) 0.96 g (avg) 0.95 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 24.6 sec @ 0.79 g (avg) 24.7 sec @ 0.79 g (avg) 25.2 sec @ 0.77 g (avg) 24.1 sec @ 0.85 g (avg) 24.3 sec @ 0.81 g (avg) TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,750 rpm 1,700 rpm 1,450 rpm 1,400 rpm 1,600 rpm CONSUMER INFO BASE PRICE $81,390 $87,645 $114,595 $81,745 $88,750 PRICE AS TESTED $86,940 $101,610 $133,860 $105,610 $98,030 STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes AIRBAGS 8: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, front knee 7: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, driver knee 6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain 10: Dual front, f/r side, f/r curtain, front knee 7: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, driver knee BASIC WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles 3 yrs/36,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 4 yrs/Unlimited miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles 4 yrs/50,000 miles FUEL CAPACITY 16.9 gal 24.6 gal 27.3 gal 17.4 gal 19.8 gal EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 17/23/19 mpg 11/17/13 mpg 15/20/16 mpg 15/22/18 mpg 17/23/19 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 198/147 kW-hrs/100 miles 306/198 kW-hrs/100 miles 225/169 kW-hrs/100 miles 225/153 kW-hrs/100 miles 198/147 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.01 lb/mile 1.48 lb/mile 1.15 lb/mile 1.11 lb/mile 1.01 lb/mile RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium Unleaded premium Unleaded premium Unleaded premium Unleaded premium *At standard ride height; range N/A

The post Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk vs. Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio vs. Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 Coupe vs. Range Rover Sport SVR vs. Porsche Macan Turbo appeared first on Motor Trend.

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club First Test: The Perfect Roadster, Now Just More So

Motortrend Magazine News - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 8:05am

Seventeen percent.

It might not sound like a lot, but it is. A 17 percent election victory margin is a historic landslide. If you weighed 200 pounds and lost 17 percent of your weight, you would weigh 166 pounds (talk about getting back in shape).

For 2019, Mazda has given its traditionally peppy-but-not-quick MX-5 Miata 17 percent more horsepower, its engine output jumping from a modest 155 hp to an exuberant 181.

Does that mean Mazda’s tossable ragtop is 17 percent quicker? Not so fast.

Let’s get our testing numbers out of the way: The refined 2019 model races from 0 to 60 in 5.7 seconds; in three separate tests of the 2016 version of the MX-5 Club, we hit 60 in 6.1, 6.0, and 5.8 seconds. Similarly, the 2019 Miata hits the quarter mile in 14.4 seconds at 95.5 mph, whereas the 2016 version was only one-tenth slower in two tests and two-tenths slower in the other.

So the 2019 Miata is not light years faster stoplight to stoplight. It’s a tenth here and there (but for you weekend racers, it was 2 full seconds quicker around WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca than the 2016 MX-5 Club). Perhaps more important to everyday driving, the engine feels different. It’s a healthier sensation you get underfoot, in your buttocks, and in your ears as the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-four winds out. Editor-in-chief Ed Loh noted that it doesn’t feel like Mazda gave the Miata 26 more ponies, “but rather that each of the original horsies bulked up a bit.”

In the old MX-5, as you got within 1,500 rpm of redline, you’d feel the power delivery wane and hear the engine get reedy. Not so with the new gen, which has a deeper tone and is content to zing all the way to redline and just hang out. “[In] the original ND, the engine just went south about 5,300 rpm,” staff pro racer Randy Pobst said. “It just was wheezing; it was sipping through a straw. And that’s not sporty. This Miata revs. It’s pulling so well at high revs. It just feels free.”

Added road test editor Chris Walton: “It doesn’t so much add objective performance as it does subjective. Power is solid through the rev range. I found myself shifting far less often—third gear for longer stretches and fourth occasionally for the fast bits.”

What does the seat-cushion stopwatch indicate? Features editor Scott Evans answers that query: “Before, you spent a lot of time at full throttle thinking, ‘Man, I wish it had just a little more.’ Now, you keep it floored and you think, ‘This is the perfect amount of power.’”

Engine upgrades include lighter pistons and connecting rods, as well as reconfigured intake ports and higher-pressure fuel injectors for improved efficiency. The engine’s increased valve opening angle and valve lift height, as well as the increased inner diameter of the exhaust manifold, help reduce exhaust loss.

The Miata has long been known for its snick-snick gearbox and easy clutch. Engaging the clutch remains a tip of the cap as opposed to fully doffing your chapeau. There’s no need to take the pedal all the way to the firewall. Just a little nudge of your toes will do. For 2019, the Miata receives a low-inertia dual-mass flywheel that promises to improve smoothness and responsiveness over the previous single-mass flywheel. Mazda also increased the transmission’s final drive ratio from 3.45 to 3.58. This might be one reason why you can reach 60 mph (barely) before having to perform the 2–3 shift.

Although its curb weight is in line with past Miatas, the 2019 took a foot longer—112 feet at its best—to stop from 60 mph. Walton noted “a firm pedal, a little dive, a little light in the rear, and good fade resistance even with a couple 100–0 stops.” However, around Laguna Seca, the brakes went “bye-bye” on Pobst at the start of his fourth lap. “I was amazed,” he said. “It was pure fade. The pedal was still firm. It just flipping wouldn’t stop. And that surprised the heck out of me.”

Of course, most folks don’t buy an MX-5 for its power; rather, they delight in its handling, which is communicative and direct at up to 80 percent then thrillingly (some might say startlingly) tail-happy at the extreme. It’s the same lovably annoying Miata: flittery, flighty, wiggly, and floppy. In short, its behavior is a reflection of its driver.

“The steering is light and precise, and it feels delightfully light and chuckable,” technical director Frank Markus said. But Markus also noted an “almost disorienting amount of body roll. The big body motion excursions sometimes result in bump-stop compression events that upset the chassis.”

Walton agreed: “Turn-in is crisp, but the rear flop is still there. Hops and compressions are not this car’s friend; steady state is.”

During his Laguna Seca hot laps, Pobst deemed the shocks and springs to be too soft: “It rolls a lot, and it oversteers. And I have fun with that, but it’s better if it’s balanced.” He added this caveat racer for the SCCA crowd: “This Miata wants you to brake pretty straight and then go to power and drive through the corner on the power. And the reason for that is because of the way it’s tuned, with a little bit of oversteer, which is fun in a way and beautiful. But when I’m going really fast, it’s a fight. I’m trying to keep that tail behind me. I’m a trail-braker. My style is to enter the corner with some weight on the nose. This car hates that when you’re at the limit. If you put weight on the nose and get the rear end a little light, you’ve got a lot of oversteer. It would be a difficult car for a normal person to drive fast because they’d have to deal with that oversteer all the time. And most people are not capable of correcting, catching, and controlling a slide.”

Off the racetrack, just driving around, how does it feel? Even taller drivers, such as myself, didn’t feel claustrophobically entombed. Did Mazda somehow find an extra inch of headroom or seat pitch with the top up? No, it just feels that way. I’m 6-foot-1, and I never felt my head come near the ragtop (although my knees were widely splayed, and my tailbone was pinned into the base of the seat back). Similarly, with older Miatas, my sightline was frequently impeded by the top of the windshield frame, and I would have to scrunch down to see out. Not so this time.

As is true with all Miatas, the seats offer ample lateral support without feeling confining. And as is true with all Miatas, it’s loud as hell inside—a run from King City to Monterey on the 101 carried a level of top-up road roar so thundering that the stereo (with cool headrest-mounted speakers) couldn’t drown it out. Even with the top up, you can forget calling home from the road, as all your beloved will hear is wind and tire noise.

In terms of features, the Miata gets a new standard rearview camera (you can stop with the jokes about the old rearview involving flinging back the ragtop). Other safety bits include traffic sign recognition and automatic braking below 19 mph, as well as different levels of the i-Activsense suite, depending on the trim level.

But mostly, we’re nitpicking at the Miata’s faults. This is a retro racer with all mod cons, coming in Club trim at $30,485. (Our tester was $35,255.) Evans summed it up best: “This remains the best sports car for the money in the world, full stop. You cannot have more fun per dollar spent. They nailed it. This is everything I wanted the Miata to be two years ago. The stiffer rear suspension that still moves and leans with you but doesn’t bang down on its bump stops. The freer-revving engine with the sky-high redline. The horsepower-to-weight ratio. All of it is perfect. Don’t change anything.”

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata (Club) BASE PRICE $30,485 PRICE AS TESTED $35,255 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door convertible ENGINE 2.0L/181-hp/151-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 2,318 lb (52/48%) WHEELBASE 90.9 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 154.1 x 68.3 x 48.8 in 0-60 MPH 5.7 sec QUARTER MILE 14.4 sec @ 95.5 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 112 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.95 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.2 sec @ 0.73 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 26/34/29 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 130/99 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.67 lb/mile

The post 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club First Test: The Perfect Roadster, Now Just More So appeared first on Motor Trend.

GMC Yukon Sales Increase 17.5% To 19,520 Units In Q2 2018

GM Authority News - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 7:27am

Good enough for second place in its competitive set.

Updated 2019 Malibu Gets A CVT: Feature Spotlight

GM Authority News - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 6:08am

The outgoing 6-speed automatic transmission will no longer be available.

Corvette Delivery Dispatch with National Corvette Seller Mike Furman for Aug. 12th

Corvette Blogger - Sun, 08/12/2018 - 11:02am

Each week, Criswell Chevrolet’s Mike Furman delivers new Corvette Stingrays, Grand Sports, Z06s and ZR1s to his customers who come from all parts of the country to work with the nation’s top individual Corvette seller. Mike kicks off this week’s dispatch talking about Corvettes at Carlisle, or as he describes it “Corvette Nirvana”. He will […]

The post Corvette Delivery Dispatch with National Corvette Seller Mike Furman for Aug. 12th appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

2019 Silverado TrailBoss: Complete Photo Gallery

GM Authority News - Sun, 08/12/2018 - 6:10am

35 pictures dedicated to the new LT TrailBoss.

GM Links Growing Commodity Costs To ‘Market Forces’

GM Authority News - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 6:10pm

The increase in raw material prices will cost GM $1 billion in profits in 2018.

Save on Shipping During These Hot Summer Nights at Corvette Central

Corvette Blogger - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 10:58am

It sure is hot out there! But one way to stay cool is this Free Shipping offer going on this week from our friends at Corvette Central! Use the discount code FSHOT18 during checkout to enjoy FREE SHIPPING when you spend $149 or more! Some Additional Terms & Conditions: Offer expires 8/16/2018 @ 11:59pm ET […]

The post Save on Shipping During These Hot Summer Nights at Corvette Central appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

NCM Motorsports Park Track Time During LS Fest Road Course Challenge

Corvettes Online News Feed - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 10:49am
Track enthusiasts have an opportunity to bring their LS-or-LT-powered vehicles to the NCM Motorsports Park to take part in the competition.


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