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2020 Lincoln Corsair First Look: MKC Replacement Looks Good

Motortrend Magazine News - Wed, 04/17/2019 - 12:01am

We were anxious to see the 2020 Lincoln Corsair compact crossover for a couple reasons. Would it continue the strong design streak set by the Navigator and carried through by the Nautilus and Aviator?  And how would Lincoln differentiate it from the new 2020 Ford Escape that has a more urban and upscale look?

The good news: No one will mistake the Corsair for an Escape or even for the MKC it replaces. Based on our first look ahead of the 2019 New York International Auto Show, designers have arguably made Lincoln’s smallest SUV its most dramatic.

This is a crucial vehicle for Ford’s luxury brand. Compact SUVs are the fastest-growing segment in both the U.S. and China. And for most buyers, this entry-level utility vehicle will be their first introduction to a brand that is slowly rebuilding itself with a series of eye-catching vehicles.

The Corsair makes a clean break from the MKC, so much so that it adopted a new name that reflects the brand’s desire to drop confusing alphanumeric monikers. Corsair comes from the Latin “cursus,” which means journey, and continues the wayfaring theme set by Navigator, Nautilus (formerly MKX), and Aviator.

The two-row vehicle, like the new Escape, was engineered on Ford’s new front-drive unibody car platform. However, the Lincoln team took great pains to give the Corsair not just its own look but also technology and features that are specific to Lincoln. Some aspects are shared with other Ford vehicles; after all, the point of reducing product development to five platforms is the savings possible if a new vehicle can use 70 percent shared parts. The 30 percent that is unique to the Corsair is in components customers see, feel, or experience.

Lincoln must stay true to itself, said Joy Falotico, president of the Lincoln Motor Company. Its designs must stand on their own, interiors must double as sanctuaries, and service must be concierge-like.

The Corsair has the same wheelbase as the Escape, but the Lincoln is longer, wider, and the floating roof sits lower. The body sides are sculpted and create a dramatic “S” form. A line that stretches from bow to stern accentuates the SUV’s planted, stable stance, further highlighted by Corsair badging that extends into the door.

Under the hood is a choice of turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The base engine is a 2.0-liter I-4 that generates 250 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. An optional 2.3-liter produces 280 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque (all horsepower and torque ratings require the use of 93-octane fuel). Conversely, the Escape has a 1.5-liter turbo-three as the base engine, with the 2.0-liter as an optional upgrade.

Both engines are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the Corsair has a piano-key set of buttons for gear selection. All-wheel drive is standard with the larger engine, optional with the base engine. The intelligent AWD system disconnects to automatically send as much as 100 percent of the power to the rear if needed, said chief engineer John Jraiche.

Lincoln has pledged to electrify its lineup, and the Corsair will get a plug-in hybrid version, though likely not in its first model year. A full electric version is also being considered. Electric propulsion works well with Lincoln’s goal of providing a quiet, smooth ride. More details will come later, but we’re told the plug-in setup in the Corsair differs from that in the Escape; the latter will offer both a hybrid and plug-in hybrid. The difference will be in how the batteries are situated under the Lincoln’s floor and the electric motor positioned in back. Jraiche said Lincoln defined the customer first and then planned the powertrains that fit.

Corsair has an advanced new rear integral bush suspension, and an optional continuous controlled damping system further smooths the ride.

Great pains were taken to create a quiet cabin. In addition to an active noise control system, a dual-wall dashboard in the engine compartment includes an air gap that keeps vibrations from entering the cabin. Needless to say, Lincoln doesn’t artificially enhance the powertrain’s exhaust notes. Six chimes recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra replace standard electronic alerts, and audiophiles can opt for a 14-speaker Revel sound system.

For comfort, the 24-way-adjustable front seats are heated, cooled, and can provide a massage. The cockpit feels roomy. The air registers are thin, and a floating center console hangs over an area with a slot for wireless phone charging and a media bin with two USB outlets and a 12-volt outlet. There are two more USB ports and a 110-volt outlet in the back. Overhead is a large panoramic sunroof.

Among the three available interior color schemes is Beyond Blue, which features a Mediterranean blue with white trim and painted wood along the dash. The shade of blue stands out for being different from the normal fare. Other choices include Cashew (tan and black) and Slate (gray). The Corsair gets the same steering wheel as the Aviator, with paddle shifters.

Like the Escape, the Corsair offers a lot of interior space, especially in the second row. The rear seat moves 6 inches fore and aft to provide 38.6 inches of legroom. The cargo area can accommodate 27.6 cubic-feet of stuff behind the second-row seats, and 57.6 cubic-feet with those seats folded down, both improvements compared to the 2019 MKC.

Lincoln-only tech includes “phone as a key,” which puts a virtual key on up to four smartphones, allowing them to unlock and start the car, open the liftgate, and program up to 80 preferences including seat position, temperature, and music. This tech debuts on the Aviator.

Co-Pilot360 offers standard driver assist features including pre-collision assist with automatic braking and pedestrian detection, blind-spot detection, a lane-keeping system, rear camera, and automatic high-beams.

Upgrade to Co-Pilot360 Plus for adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, which brakes and inches the vehicle forward with the flow of the cars around you. The lane centering system also reads signs and adjusts to speed limits. Like the Escape, the Corsair gets reverse brake assist, evasive steering assist, and active park assist, which parks the car with the push and hold of a button—the car handles the steering, acceleration, and braking.

The new rear-drive three-row Aviator goes on sale this summer, with the smaller Corsair following in the fall. Whereas the Aviator will appeal to families, the Corsair targets empty nesters who want an agile, premium performance vehicle. It’s also being positioned as an aspirational vehicle for young professionals, especially women.

Pricing has not been announced. The Corsair will be built in Louisville, as well as China, where it will be the first Lincoln assembled there for local consumers.

The post 2020 Lincoln Corsair First Look: MKC Replacement Looks Good appeared first on Motortrend.

7 Things to Know About the 2020 Cadillac CT5

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 9:59pm

Cadillac is launching a new vehicle every six months through 2021, and the CT5 sedan is next in line. Before it arrives in dealerships, the compact sedan is making its official public debut at the New York auto show. Read on for seven things you need to know about the 2020 Cadillac CT5.

It replaces the ATS and CTS

Cadillac will discontinue the ATS and CTS this year, and the CT5 aims to fill the void. This new entry is 1.7 inches shorter than the CTS, but it has a 1.4-inch longer wheelbase. Overall height remains the same. A small CT4 will also debut this year to help plump up Cadillac’s car lineup.

The exterior design varies depending on trim level

Luxury and Premium Luxury trims feature bright exterior accents, while Sport models come with dark accents. The Sport version receives a black mesh grille, and special rocker extensions, spoiler, and wheels.

Two engines are available

The sedan comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that’s less powerful than the one on the CTS. This turbocharged unit generates 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, a good bit below the CTS’ 268 hp and 295 lb-ft. The optional 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 makes the same 335 hp as the CTS’ 3.6-liter unit, but torque jumps way up to 400 lb-ft.

All CT5s get the 10-speed automatic

No matter which engine you choose, you’ll get the 10-speed automatic transmission that was jointly developed by GM and Ford. All cars come with an electronic gear selector, but upgrade to the Platinum package and you’ll get steering wheel-mounted magnesium paddle shifters.

It sits on a new platform

The CT5 rides on a new generation of GM’s Alpha rear-drive platform that was designed to improve ride and handling. All-wheel drive will be available on all trim levels. Also, expect updates to the front and rear suspensions to further improve the drive experience.

The interior is luxurious, but a few features are missing

Cadillac does a good job offering luxury amenities inside the cabin. On the list of available features, there is semi-aniline leather upholstery as well as carbon-fiber trim, and heated and ventilated front seats with massage function and 18-way adjustability. There is a 10-inch touchscreen that can also be controlled by a rotary dial on the center console. But in the rear, there are no heated seats, no dual climate zone controls, and the sunroof stops short of the back row.

It will offer Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving technology

We thought Cadillac’s Super Cruise performed pretty well on the CT6, so we’re excited to see the feature eventually roll out to the CT5. It will be available in 2020 on select CT5 models for the 2021 model year. Using a network of cameras and sensors, GPS, and lidar map data, the system allows for hands-free on the highway. Drivers are still required to pay attention to the road.

Standard safety features on the CT5 include low-speed automatic braking, forward collision alert, and pedestrian detection. Buyers can also opt for adaptive cruise control, enhanced auto emergency braking, rear pedestrian detection, park assist, and front and rear auto braking.

The post 7 Things to Know About the 2020 Cadillac CT5 appeared first on Motortrend.

Production 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster Debuts in New York

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 7:45pm

As has become tradition, Porsche is ushering out the current 991.2-generation 911 with a special Speedster model. The 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster premiered in New York this evening and will be limited to 1,948 copies worldwide (referencing the year the company was founded).

At its cores, the 911 Speedster is the best of multiple 991.2-generation models. Its chassis is that of the GT3, complete with rear steering and active engine mounts. That glorious 9,000-rpm 4.0-liter flat-six has been enhanced with individual throttle bodies copied from the GT3 R race car and tuned for 502 hp and 346 lb-ft of torque. It’s only an extra two horsepower, but Porsche says the ITBs enhance throttle response as well.

All of this is wrapped up in the widebody sheet metal of a Carrera 4S, but it’s not all metal. The hood, front fenders, and rear decklid are now made of carbon-fiber composites to save weight. Also keeping weight off are the GT3’s slim center-lock wheels, standard carbon-ceramic brakes, and no air conditioning (though you can add that back in for free when you order). In typical Porsche fashion, the interior door handles have also been replaced by pull-straps and the storage cubbies on the doors with netting, plus lots of carbon-fiber trim. Oh, and, you know, there’s no roof. Instead, you get a fabric roof folded up in the frunk that you can manually install in the event of rain, as you would on a Boxster Spyder. The roof does have a power-locking mechanism to keep your valuables safe. All told, the Speedster weighs in at a claimed 3,230 pounds, 17 pounds lighter than the lightest 991.2 GT3 we’ve weighed.

Meant for serious drivers, the Speedster is only available with a six-speed manual transmission. Sans A/C, Porsche says the Speedster will hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 192 mph. We suspect it’ll be quicker than that, as a 2018 911 GT3 manual we tested hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.

Speedsters will be immediately recognizable thanks to their “streamliner” humps behind the seats. In tribute to the 356 and good design, the “streamliners” replace the rear seats, making the Speedster a proper two-seater. Looking closer, you’ll also find “Speedster” emblazoned on the headrests and door sills. Porsche 911 connoisseurs will notice the windshield and side windows have also been cut down. Porsche has previously announced it will also offer a new Heritage Design Package for the Speedster.

Order books will open for the Speedster on May 7 with deliveries expected in the U.S. in the latter part of the year. Pricing was not announced ahead of time, but expect it to be spendy.

The post Production 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster Debuts in New York appeared first on Motortrend.

The Genesis Mint Concept Is a Wild Subcompact EV Born for the City

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 7:30pm

As a new luxury brand, Genesis has freedom to build peculiar and prominent concepts. Proof of that are all the concepts that the Korean brand has shown at the New York auto show – starting with the New York Concept in 2016 and followed by the GV80 concept and Essentia concept in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Now Genesis is continuing the tradition with the stunning Mint concept, and with its wild scissor-doors and seating for two, this all-electric city car is getting a lot of attention.

As with previous Genesis concepts, designers thought of all the details. “Why do you have to go around the car to leave your stuff in the trunk?” asked Manfred Fitzgerald, executive vice president and global head of Genesis. The design team, led by Luc Donckerwolke, created two scissor-doors behind the front doors that open up to a space behind the bench seat. The “trunk,” which is more like a shelf, is roomy enough to fit a golf bag, and thanks to the wide opening of the scissor-doors it’s easy to access. These doors can be opened or closed with a remote control.

As with the Essentia concept, there are a lot of lighting elements when the car is turned on. The Quad Lamps in the front give the Mint concept a nice posture, and the Crest Grille we saw on the GV80 concept makes an appearance in a different interpretation – as this is an electric vehicle. On the back, the LED strip and Quad Lamps from the front are replicated, and above them we find a charging port in the center. The swooping profile gives the Mint a wild look with its short front and rear overhangs combined with its big wheels. The Hunter Green matte paint and cognac leather make for a gorgeous combination that we wish wasn’t limited to a concept car.

Step inside, and the experience is very different. As you open the driver’s door, the bench seat automatically swivels toward the left side to facilitate ingress and egress. The spherical shifter is accessible through a deployable center armrest; when the car is turned on, the sphere rotates automatically to expose the shifter, which operates as a rotary knob. The interior is simple and tidy yet elegant and refined. The panoramic roof (à la Tesla) gives the small car a sense of space. Only one screen is located on the steering wheel, and it’s flanked by buttons to control everything from the nav system to the sound system. The air vents stretch from one side of the dash to the other, extending into a diamond pattern on the corners. The “G-Matrix” pattern, which is also seen in other parts of the Mint concept like the wheels, floor, and profile, is a continuation from the Essentia concept, which also incorporated diamond shapes in its interior.

Although he’d considered the future and autonomous driving, SangYup LeeHyundai’s global head of design – wasn’t ready to leave the steering wheel out. He added that the Mint concept is capable of Level 3.5 or Level 4, but it’s ultimately an electric city car that will require a driver at all times. “For Level 5 you have to be thinking about ride sharing or ride hailing services, and we think the driver of the Mint concept will want to have his or her own space at all times,” Lee added.

The urban car’s heart is a 350-kW-hr battery with an estimated range of 200 miles. Although this may not seem like much, Fitzgerald added that those who drive in the city usually drive somewhere between 40 and 50 miles per day and that the Mint concept could be their second car.

Just like with previous concepts, Genesis is testing the waters with the Mint concept to determine whether it will get the green light for production. The GV80 concept will become a production SUV by the end of this year, and the Essentia concept is still being considered for production. With the Mint concept, Genesis wants to prove that luxury can also come in a small package.

The post The Genesis Mint Concept Is a Wild Subcompact EV Born for the City appeared first on Motortrend.

Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition Celebrates 50 Years of Godzilla

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 7:00pm

Celebrating 50 years isn’t something you do every day, which is why Nissan used the eve of the New York auto show to launch the GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition. The high-performance model is celebrating its golden jubilee with a special edition that will come in three trims–GT-R Premium, GT-R Track Edition, and GT-R Nismo. The special GT-R pays tribute to the model’s rich heritage, which began in 1969 when the original “Hakosuka” Skyline GT-R debuted in Japan, with new interior details, unique paint colors, and special badging.

Distinguishing the special edition models should be easy thanks to the three different two-tone exterior color combinations that are meant to represent the GT-R’s historical racing liveries. We’re sure the most popular will be Bayside Blue (or Wangan Blue, as the color has come to be known unofficially), as it hasn’t been offered since the R34 generation. Bayside Blue cars come with white racing stripes on the hood, roof, and trunk. The wheels come with blue accents on the spokes, and the exhaust tips have been painted in blue to combine with the new exterior colors. The other two-color combinations are Pearl White with red stripes and Super Silver with white stripes. All models will come with a 50th Anniversary badge on the back, as well as “50th Anniversary” script written above the rear license plate housing.

Inside, all models will have a gray interior and come with a unique steering wheel and shift knob, as well as special embossed seats, Alcantara headliner with unique stitching, and Alcantara-wrapped sun visors.

For 2020, the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine is getting a new pair of turbochargers, which Nissan says provides sharper response from the engine in and out of corners. The exhaust manifolds also get optimized turbo flange attachment points, which will make it easier to tune the GT-R without touching the manifold. The engine still produces 565 hp and 467 lb-ft of torque, and it’s still mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with R mode. A new titanium muffler should reduce weight while looking cool with burnished exhaust tips.

Nissan says that the suspension has been tuned to provide better cornering stability and a smoother ride, but didn’t specify what exactly was changed. Braking should be a little better thanks to a new brake booster that improves the response with less pedal travel.

Track Edition, now with 600 hp

If you’re looking for a middle ground between the base GT-R and the hardcore Nismo variant, you’ll be pleased to hear the GT-R Track Edition now makes the same horsepower as the Nismo. The engine comes with newly redesigned turbos from the GT3-series race car, which gives it the same 600-hp, 481-lb-ft output as the top Nismo model. The optional carbon-fiber roof and Brembo calipers and carbon ceramic rotors (16.1 inches in front and 15.3 inches in the rear) complement the package.

There’s no doubt that Godzilla is aging quickly, but it’s also undeniable the GT-R is still an incredible car to drive. Stay tuned for driving impressions once we can get our hands on the special edition models.

Source: Nissan

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Musk Says Tesla Ahead Of GM, Others With Self-Driving Cars

GM Authority News - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:56pm

He also said that Tesla is less than two years away from offering fully self-driving cars.

Baylor Women’s Basketball Coach Gets 2019 Corvette Z06 Lease

GM Authority News - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:35pm

Talk about a nice perk for exceptional job performance.

The Legendary Syclone Is (Sort of) Back as a 455-HP Supercharged GMC Canyon

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:25pm

Back in 1991, before crossovers ruled the road and the Toyota Camry made 300 hp, GMC did something truly crazy. It put a turbocharged six-cylinder in a two-door Sonoma, added a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system, and created one of the quickest trucks ever sold to the public. It was called the Syclone, and now it’s back. Well, sort of.

Special Vehicle Engineering, the tuner best known for building 1,000-hp Yenko Camaros and Corvettes, announced today that it had licensed the Syclone name from GMC and that it planned to build a limited run of 100 trucks. So GMC isn’t technically selling the Syclone again, but it did give its official stamp of approval to the SVE version.

Starting with a 2019 GMC Canyon extended cab, SVE-tuned Syclones will come with a supercharged 3.6-liter V-6 and be offered with either rear- or all-wheel drive. And while the stock Canyon’s V-6 makes a healthy 308 hp, the supercharged version is good for a claimed 455 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque. SVE then adds an upgraded brake package, a sport suspension that’s 2 inches lower in the front and 5 inches lower in the rear, a rear anti-roll bar, and a dual cat-back sports exhaust. To help put the power down, the Syclone gets 20-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport PS2S tires. And, of course, there are plenty of Syclone badges.

But if you thought it would only cost a few thousand dollars to turn a new Canyon into a 1-of-100, officially licensed Syclone with 455 hp and a 3 year/36,000-mile warranty, we have some bad news. The Syclone conversion costs an eye-watering $39,995 and requires a $5,000 non-refundable deposit. And that’s on top of the $35,000 it will cost to pick up a lightly optioned extended cab Canyon with a V-6. Add it all up, and you’re probably looking at spending at least $75,000 if you want a new Syclone in your driveway.

Source: Special Vehicle Engineering

The post The Legendary Syclone Is (Sort of) Back as a 455-HP Supercharged GMC Canyon appeared first on Motortrend.

Lotus Evora GT4 Concept Will Race in 2020

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:12pm

Despite a lack of tending over the past decade or so, motorsports are the very deep roots of Lotus. The British sports car maker knows that, and as it rebuilds its on-road product line—including a just-announced fully electric hypercar— it’s also aiming to get back on track in proper style. Enter the new, Britain-built Evora GT4 concept, which is aimed at global racing competition.

The team at Lotus’ Hethel, U.K., facility brings not just history but passion to the rebirth of the company’s racing efforts as it seeks to build on the last-generation Evora GT4’s solid record. Based on the roadgoing Evora GT430, the GT4 concept race car adds race-spec rubber, center-lock wheels, a huge rear wing, and a fully race-modified cockpit, plus all the requisite safety gear. Other modifications include upgraded aerodynamics for more downforce at speed (the Vmax of the race car is 170 mph), hybrid-composite body panels with partial carbon weave, removable canards and pressure-relieving wheelhouse louvers, an eight-point roll cage, and a 6-inch TFT color display for data-logging and critical alerts.

At launch, the Evora GT4 will be piloted by a pair of factory racing drivers: 29-year-old Cui Yue and 25-year-old Gaoxiang Fan. Both are graduates of Geely University (Geely is Lotus Cars’ corporate parent, which explains the Union Jack/red-star flag livery) and have climbed the Geely-sponsored motorsports ladder to reach their position as Lotus factory drivers. In addition to piloting the cars, the factory duo will also demonstrate it at Lotus’s driver-training school in China, as well as public high-performance driving events. The Evora GT4 team and its drivers will get to the serious work of preparing for the 2020 racing season in Hethel this summer.

Look for more details on the Evora GT4 Concept race car and Lotus’s plans for racing it later this year.

Source: Lotus

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2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 First Drive: The Tiffany of the Digital

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:01pm

In Europe, the idea of a Mercedes-Benz for every walk of life is a completely normal thing. Gargantuan S-Class sedans can idle next to compact A-Class taxis, and neither driver thinks twice about it. But over here, we’ve always had this image of Mercedes as the Tiffany of cars—and, you know, Tiffany isn’t supposed to sell affordable jewelry.

In the early 1980s, Stuttgart’s strategists attempted to shift that perception a few degrees. The everyman 190E sedan was a sort of miniaturized E-Class, and back then, I was involved in a controversial comparison of it against the ever-competent Honda Accord. It was another 33 years before Mercedes tested those waters again with the CLA 250.

Our relationship with the CLA hasn’t been all love letters, either—its interior materials are modest, and its drivetrain can be quirky. But its svelte looks and entertaining handling wound up winning enough fans anyway to earn a comeback appearance in this second generation, which I just had the chance to drive.

This time, the CLA won’t be the lone front-drive car in Mercedes’ showrooms—it’ll join the A 220 sedan it’s based on (and which is the 190 E’s direct descendant). The two share platforms, suspensions (struts up front, multilink in back), a seven-speed transmission, front- or all-wheel drive, and most of their interior appointments. However, the CLA gets a dribble of extra sizzle with a more potent, 221-hp (258 lb-ft of torque) turbo 2.0-liter, instead of the A 220’s 188-hp mill, plus a more rakish roofline arched over frameless side-windows—a configuration that MB says converts it into a ‘four-door coupe.’

After driving the 2020 CLA through what felt like every single village in Germany, it’s clear the car’s real message isn’t that it drives better (which it does), or that its interior is fashioned from higher-quality materials (which it is), or that it’s better-looking (for sure). Rather, it’s how the new CLA signals a shift in the way cars are going to be marketed in the future.

I’ll get to that. But first, how’s it drive? It’s good. Better than good. Its steering is accurate, if a little wooden (like most modern cars). Its handling is improved by wider front and rear tracks, new anti-roll bars, and available adaptive shock damping at each corner. It accelerates well, if not blisteringly—maybe 6.1 seconds to 60 mph—urged by 13 more hp, while simultaneously getting better efficiency. Catch the drivetrain off guard, and there’s still a little throttle and gear-change lag, though both are clearly improved. Perhaps brake pedal response is slightly bitey for my taste, but it’s not a big thing, while interior noise is quieter and ride quality is suppler. Almost everything is better by, I don’t know, 34 percent or whatever. Thumbs up.

A big consideration for the CLA is design. It’s a design-y car. And from beak to tailfeathers, it’s been resculpted. There’s a more aggressive overbite up front, and the grill opening is framed by deeper-dropping sides telegraphing a lower center of gravity. Its flanks have been polished down to just one prominent line low along the sides to emphasize length. The rear hips are wider and lead to two-part taillights that now extend horizontally into the trunklid to correct the previous stern’s melted droopiness, and the license plate has descended from the trunklid to the bumper.

The CLA’s chief designer, Achim-Dietrich Badstübner, asked us to remember the number 50. As in, 50mm (1.97 inches). “Its headlights are 50mm thinner.” He walks along its side: “The car’s 50mm longer, 50mm wider; the rear track is 50mm wider.” He walks to the back: “And the taillights are 50mm thinner, plus the trunk opening is 50mm wider on either side for easier loading.” Despite that fuller-looking stern, the car’s slickest version has a very slippery 0.23 Cd, with its range drag coefficients (depending on wheels and body trim) falling in a tighter range. Critical to this is managing how the air laterally glances around the nose. Its aerodynamicist crouched down next to it with me, tracing how the air moves around the corners and avoids being snared by the spinning front wheels—two of the biggest culprits in overall drag (the more aggressive AMG trim includes corner air fences for just this reason).

Along our road loop I commented to my co-driver that as nicely as this CLA drives, I was having flashbacks to that old 190E. “Frankly, it’s not obvious to me that this car is dynamically better than the Accord,” I muttered. I guess we’ll find out sooner or later. But how much does that matter anymore? Traffic and tightening emissions standards are exchanging those simple, 1980s yardsticks of track performance for a galaxy of useful driving aids and electronic features, the CLA’s MBUX being a very good example.

Say “Hey Mercedes,” and the car asks what you want. Via its cloud communication, it’ll become a sort of (friendly) better-understanding HAL, able to follow your voice in a conversation, or whoever last said “Hey Mercedes” (though it was sometimes over-alert to picking up for the word “Mercedes”). Unlike the previous CLA’s awkward tablet screen that seemed Gorilla-glued to the middle of a traditional dashboard, this one’s a thoughtfully integrated, mini version of the S-Class’ slick wide panel (in optional sizes) with its right half being a multi-touchpanel. Alternately, you can communicate via a touchpad or hand gestures—its camera can parse your finger pattern’s meaning from who’s doing the gesturing (mine might mean ‘route me home,’ the same by another driver might mean a different destination). There’s some system overlap, too. For instance, the camera can anticipate your finger’s intention on the touchscreen.

Although we completely forgot to try its turn-signal-triggered lane changing, we used the nav system a bunch. By this I mean sometimes we had four versions of it displayed simultaneously: a head-up on the windshield, another between the faux gauges, and a more detailed version to its right. The fourth, farthest to the right, was my favorite, though—a forward-looking video feed annotated with information and turn arrows (I’d move this one to dead center in front of the driver). But the most intriguing system of all (at least to me) is a new feature of Energizing Coach: a Mercedes-Benz-Garmin vívoactive 3 wrist-wearable that monitors your heart rate and sends it to your phone and then on to the car (you can watch your HR on the car’s screen). Along their journey, the pulses are interpreted into personalized stress or exhaustion markers, and the car responds with music and lighting, even seat massage. Crazy.

And who knows, maybe it’s actually this: The affordable Mercedes’ reinvention into being the Tiffany of the digital experience (rather than hardware) finally achieves the old 190E’s mission.

The post 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 First Drive: The Tiffany of the Digital appeared first on Motortrend.

Vari-Flow Adjustable Flow Valve From Turn One Steering Systems

Corvettes Online News Feed - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 5:55pm
The Vari-Flow from Turn One is a simple way to fine tune your steering. Steering feel and assist level can now be adjusted with just a turn of a knob in a matter of seconds.

The Buick Encore CUV Now Comes in Two Different Flavors in China

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 5:30pm

In case you’re not aware, Buick is big in China. In fact, Buick’s popularity with Chinese buyers is basically the entire reason the brand wasn’t killed off back in 2009. So it makes sense that Buick would have a big showing at the Shanghai motor show. This year, that meant Buick brought out four vehicles—two different versions of the redesigned Encore crossover, an electric car, and an updated version of its luxury minivan.

Buick says its designers took their inspiration for the redesigned Encores from the Enspire concept that we first saw about a year ago. Little, if any, of the Enspire’s wild styling made it to production, but if you squint, you can sort of see it. Buick says both the Encore and the longer Encore GX will come with four-cylinder engines and the choice of a nine-speed automatic or a CVT. Aside from those details, though, there isn’t much information available on either version of the Encore. Odds are, we’ll have to wait until Buick announces the U.S. version to get that.

Next, there’s the Velite 6 Multi-Activity Vehicle, which is Buick’s first all-electric car. Developed with Buick’s Chinese partner SAIC, the electric hatchback’s powertrain is good for 114 hp and 188 lb-ft of torque. It should also have a range of about 187 miles in the city. Interestingly, the first 5,000 Velite 6s that Buick builds will be put into car-sharing company EVCARD’s fleet instead of being sold to the public.

Finally, there’s the GL8 Avenir concept. It appears to be a face-lifted version of the GL8 luxury minivan that Buick launched back in 2016. Without interior shots, it’s hard to tell how significant the changes are, but Buick did say it gets a 12-inch infotainment screen and a 14-inch head-up display. Oh, and the carpet is woven from cashmere. There probably isn’t a market for a luxury minivan in the U.S., but we have to say, we do like the sound of cashmere carpeting.

Source: Buick

The post The Buick Encore CUV Now Comes in Two Different Flavors in China appeared first on Motortrend.

Jeff Gordon’s 2009 Corvette ZR1 Raises $350,000 for Charity at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach

Corvette Blogger - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 4:29pm

Photo Credit: Barrett-Jackson.com

Retired NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon is still finishing in first place after the results of the 2019 Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach auction were tabulated. Gordon’s 2009 Corvette was the top seller Friday at the South Florida auction where it was sold not once but twice with proceeds going 100% to charity.

Continue reading Jeff Gordon’s 2009 Corvette ZR1 Raises $350,000 for Charity at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach at Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

The Missing Link: The Best Way To Install A Carburetor TPS

Corvettes Online News Feed - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 3:48pm
With so many people switching to electronically controlled transmissions, throttle positioning sensors are mandatory. But, what about the carb people?

GM’s Valet Mode Should Offer Ways To Limit Speed, Performance: Opinion

GM Authority News - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 3:47pm

And it could be accomplished fairly easily.

GMC Sierra Carbon Fiber Bed Helps Haul Motorcycles And Bikes

GM Authority News - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 3:25pm

Three cut outs and two additional tie-down locations make hauling bikes a breeze.

Volkswagen Tarok Concept Here To Crash The Chevrolet Colorado Party

GM Authority News - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 3:18pm

The second VW pickup concept in as many years. Is it hinting toward something?

Inventories Remain High with 9,055 Corvettes Available Nationwide

Corvette Blogger - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 2:38pm

Inventories of new Corvettes remain high according to the experts at einventorynow.com.

The company shows that 9,055 Corvettes are available nationwide with the Day Supply listed at 137. That’s better than the 232 Day Supply we saw back in February which is the last time the report was updated.

Continue reading Inventories Remain High with 9,055 Corvettes Available Nationwide at Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Tuner Delivers The New GMC Syclone Fans Have Been Asking For

GM Authority News - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 1:36pm

And it will be offered via GMC dealerships - though this isn't an official GM product.

All-New Chevrolet Tracker Introduced In China

GM Authority News - Tue, 04/16/2019 - 10:47am

Not for the US or Canada.

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