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Northrop Grumman Chairman Elected To GM Board

GM Authority News - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 12:00pm

GM's board has 13 members, 12 of whom are non-employee directors.

John Haynes, Creator of Haynes Manuals, Dies at 80

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 11:43am

If you’ve ever wrenched on a car, then you’ve probably used a Haynes repair manual. The iconic Haynes books, which feature colorful covers and often detailed cutaway drawings, have been a boon to do-it-yourselfers since they first appeared on shelves more than 50 years ago. With step-by-step instructions complete with photos and exploded diagrams, Haynes manuals have helped show many of us here at MotorTrend that it’s possible to fix almost anything on your own. We’re sad to report that the founder of Haynes Publishing and the author of the very first Haynes manual, John Haynes, has died at the age of 80.

As Haynes Publishing wrote in its obituary, John Harold Haynes fell in love with cars early in life. Born on March 25, 1938, in British Ceylon, Haynes enjoyed riding in his father’s Morris 8 sedan as a child. He moved to the U.K. when he was 12 to attend boarding school with his brother. There, he convinced his Head Master to let him skip rugby so he could tinker with an Austin 7. Eventually he modified it into what is known as an Austin 7 “Special,” and his design proved so popular that he decided to write a booklet detailing how to build one. The first 250 printed copies of that booklet, titled Building a 750 Special, reportedly sold out in 10 days.

It wouldn’t be until 1965 that Haynes would turn that initial success into his lifelong pursuit. During his time in the Royal Air Force, Haynes helped rebuild an Austin-Healey “Frogeye” Sprite that a colleague had purchased in poor condition. That experience made him realize that factory shop manuals of the day weren’t very helpful to the average car owner. He photographed the teardown and reassembly of the Sprite and used those photos in the very first Haynes manual, which was published in 1966. Since then, the company says it has sold more than 200 million Haynes manuals across the globe.

Haynes is survived by his wife Annette, his two sons J and Chris, and his grandchildren Augusta, Chrissie, Edward, Freya, and Nicholas. We have no doubt that the books he helped create will live on as well to show future generations of gearheads that they, too, can do it themselves.

Source: Haynes Publishing

The post John Haynes, Creator of Haynes Manuals, Dies at 80 appeared first on Motortrend.

UAW President Pens Newspaper Column: Union Plans To Fight For US Investment

GM Authority News - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 10:11am

Gary Jones penned the column in the Detroit Free Press.

Chevrolet Locks Out Front Row For The Daytona 500

GM Authority News - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 10:11am

The No. 24 of William Byron is on pole.

Today Marks Five Years Since The National Corvette Museum Sinkhole

GM Authority News - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 9:51am

The sinkhole swallowed eight Corvettes.

GM Financial Partners With Blockchain Startup For Future Added Security

GM Authority News - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 9:31am

Blockchains could revolutionize how we share data.

2019 Mercedes-Benz C 300 First Test: More Power—Same Luxury?

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 4:00am

We have long praised the Mercedes C-Class for having one of the most luxurious interiors in its class, but a stiff ride prevented it from joining the very top players in its segment. Newly refreshed for 2019, we tested the C 300 again to see how it has changed.

Although the previous version never felt underpowered, Mercedes equips the 2.0-liter turbo-four with 14 extra horses this year. The C 300 now makes 255 hp, and torque holds steady at 273 lb-ft. Peak horsepower arrives later from 5,800-6,100 rpm instead of 5,500 rpm, while peak torque is now at 1,800-4,000 rpm instead of 1,300-4,000 rpm.

The extra horsepower contributes to a noticeable improvement in acceleration from 0—60 mph. We clocked the C 300 hitting 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, making it half a second quicker than a 2017C-Class we tested. A 2017 BMW 330i also hit the mark in 5.5 seconds, although we have yet to test the completely redesigned 2019 model. Our Mercedes tester was quicker than a 2017 Lexus IS 200t F Sport (7.0 seconds, and since renamed the IS 300) and a 2019 Genesis G70 2.0T (7.4 seconds). But it was slower than a 2017 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro (5.2 seconds).

The quick throttle response makes the C 300 feel sprightly off the line. Unlike some luxury cars, the driving mode you select makes a difference. When accelerating from a stop, you’ll notice the sharp throttle response of Sport+ mode as your head gets sucked into the headrest, and the suspension is noticeably sharper. Like the previous model, the ride is firm for a luxury cruiser, even in Comfort mode. Still, the refreshed C-Class doesn’t conjure up the same feelings of brittleness as the old version.

The updated 2019 Mercedes C 300 also made progress in the quarter-mile, with a time of 14.1 seconds at 99.9 mph, compared to 14.5 seconds at 96.1 mph with the old Benz. The new number is up there with the BMW (14.2 at 98.5) and Audi (14.0 at 98.2). And it’s markedly better than the Genesis (15.7 at 91.7 mph) and Lexus (15.4 at 89.9).

But the Benz underperformed in the figure eight, at least compared to rivals. It completed the task in 27.7 seconds at an average 0.63 g. In comparison, the BMW rounded the bends in 26.1 seconds at 0.71 g, while the Lexus performed similarly at 26.3 seconds at 0.69 g. Genesis creamed the competition with a time of 25.6 seconds at 0.69 g, while the Audi managed 26.3 seconds at 0.69 g. Even the pre-refresh C 300 performed better than the new version with a time of 25.7 seconds at 0.71 g. Although road test editor Chris Walton liked the engine and transmission, he called the non-defeatable stability control an “exercise in frustration.” Worth noting—the 2017 model we tested was a sport-trimmed car with a more aggressive wheel and tire package.

Although an adept sprinter and runner, the C 300 could benefit from a few yoga classes. Steering doesn’t feel particularly nimble at low to moderate speeds. You have to turn the steering wheel a bit more than desired to achieve a targeted movement, although the wheel can feel heavy as if to give the impression of sportiness. That said, this car’s small size permits easy three-point turns.

The Benz impressed in our Real MPG test. We recorded 24.5/40.3 mpg city/highway, up from the EPA rating of 23/34 mpg. By every measure, that’s ahead of our Real MPG numbers for the Audi (22.1/35.2 mpg) and Lexus (20.4/31.1 mpg). Its highway and combined numbers are also higher than the BMW (24.7/33.9 mpg) and Genesis (25.1/34.5 mpg), although lagging slightly behind in the city.

One thing hasn’t changed: The C 300’s interior is still the best part of the vehicle. And it’s slightly more posh than before since it features a new optional 10.3-inch center display that improves upon the old smaller screen. That said, it’s too bad the refreshed C-Class doesn’t have the new MBUX infotainment that’s standard on the much less expensive A-Class. That infotainment setup gets a new speech interface that can learn via artificial intelligence, as well as touch controls on the screen and center console. Instead of a touchscreen, the C-Class’ infotainment system responds to inputs via a rotary knob.

And unlike the A-Class that makes the instrument cluster and infotainment system look like one large display, the C-Class’ gauge cluster is separate from the main central screen. But at least the fully digital 12.3-inch instrument optional display looks sharp and has easy-to-use thumb pad controls for scrolling through the menus. Meanwhile, the center display benefits from crisp graphics, and the rear camera provides an exceptionally clear view of the surroundings, day or night.

If you’re wondering what features are standard on the C 300, highlights include dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, a five-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED headlights and taillights, and automatic emergency braking. Many stand-out goodies are optional, including 64-color ambient interior lighting, a head-up display, a Burmester surround sound system, and a driver assistance package with evasive steering assist, active lane change assist, lane keeping assist, and steering and distance assist. In all, our model rang out to $58,905, well above the $42,395 starting price. For the premium price, you receive an improved car: a powerful, fuel-efficient sedan with one of the most luxurious interiors in its class.

2019 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Sedan BASE PRICE $42,395 PRICE AS TESTED $58,905 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan ENGINE 2.0L/255-hp/273-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,537 lb (53/47%) WHEELBASE 111.8 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 184.5 x 71.3 x 56.3 in 0-60 MPH 5.5 sec QUARTER MILE 14.1 sec @ 99.9 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 124 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.80 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.7 sec @ 0.63 g (avg) REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 24.5/40.3/29.8 mpg EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 23/34/27 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 147/99 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.72 lb/mile

The post 2019 Mercedes-Benz C 300 First Test: More Power—Same Luxury? appeared first on Motortrend.

2018 Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic SE Long-Term Update 5: No Whining in Wine Country

Motortrend Magazine News - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 4:00am

My wife and I have been long-time visitors to Paso Robles wine country in California’s central coast, from as far back as when Scolari’s was the only market in town.

We love Paso’s geographic inaccessibility and cultural variation from both Los Angeles and San Francisco—the four-hour drive from either metropolis requires a bit of a commitment. And although Scolari’s has long since closed, to be replaced by Trader Joe’s as the go-to market, Paso has maintained a rustic vibe compared to the day-trippable wine regions of Santa Barbara and Napa/Sonoma.

For our Christmas holiday, traversing our route in the Range Rover Velar couldn’t have been easier; the supple suspension made quick work of L.A.’s choppy freeways as we escaped gridlock hell with a daybreak start. As we reached Thousand Oaks, while the air-recirculation function tried its best, the climate control system could not entirely prevent the still-acrid odor from the recent devastating Woolsey Fire from entering the cabin. Hitting Santa Barbara by 8 a.m., we realized we would have to dawdle to make the late-day check-in time at our VRBO.

With the drive mode set to Eco, and SiriusXMU’s Jenny Eliscu serving as our personal DJ through the Velar’s soaring Meridian sound system, the Velar’s smooth transit up Highway 101 had us feeling we could drive all the way to Canada. Climbing and descending several grades highlighted the Velar’s well-placed gear ratios in keeping the crossover under control.

The Landie proved its off-roading chops on some washed-out dirt roads while trying to find an undiscovered vineyard.

As we made a pit stop at Fisherman’s Beach north of Avila Beach, the luxuriant leather seats (both heated and cooled) relaxed our spines as we reclined and cat-napped in a sunny spot—keeping an eye open to watch the enthusiastic dogs frolic in the sand and surf.

Thus refreshed, I changed the drive mode into Dynamic, which made thrilling work of the high-speed sweepers of Highway 46 from Cambria up through Green Valley and the Black Mountain summit—the supercharged V-6 helping us claw our way up the grade.

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Highlights from Paso Robles include the Harmony Headlands, good vineyard dogs, and weird cars in Cayucos.

A post shared by Mark Rechtin (@mark.rechtin) on Dec 30, 2018 at 1:31pm PST

The Velar is sleek and fancy, a Europhile dream that flies just under the radar when parked next to the Xterras and 4Runners favored by Central California’s hikers and surfers. During our week-long roamings of the area, the Landie’s cavernous cargo area eagerly swallowed the provisions and purchases of our week-long stay, as well as several cases of Paso Robles’ finest Zinfandels.

Our far-afield VRBO had a resident red-tailed hawk that patrolled for critters in the vineyard. Every morning, it sat on a nearby power pole and spread its wings to warm them after the chilly nights that dipped toward freezing. The morning we left, as we drove away, our hawk bent its right wing crisply inward, in what an anthropomorphizing mind might interpret as a salute. Perhaps our hawk had taken a shine to the Velar.

Read more about our long-term Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic SE:

The post 2018 Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic SE Long-Term Update 5: No Whining in Wine Country appeared first on Motortrend.

Cadillac XT4 Manages 7,573 Sales In Q4 2018

GM Authority News - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 7:51pm

The compact CUV is gaining steam.

Subaru Says the Crosstrek Is too Popular to Get a Turbocharged Version

Motortrend Magazine News - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 7:45pm

The new Subaru Legacy may not get a wildly different design, but with a nicer interior, more technology, and an optional turbocharged engine, we have a feeling it’s destined to be a hit. But if the Legacy can get a more powerful engine option, why not other Subarus such as the Forester and Crosstrek? According to Tom Doll, Subaru North America’s president, it’s because demand for those two cars is already too high.

“You could argue, and some people do, that for the Crosstrek we should have a higher-performance engine in that car,” Doll told us in an interview at the recent Chicago Auto Show. “But on the other hand, we’re selling as many as we can get. We haven’t really hit the top with the Crosstrek yet. Same thing for the new Forester. The new Forester is a sensational car, and it’s a home run, particularly the Sport model that you see over here. We just can’t stock it. I think both of those car lines have a 20-day supply or less.”

Interestingly, Doll did leave the door open for an eventual turbo model. “In the future, if we need to hit additional volume targets or if the sales wane a little bit, as a way to try to get additional interest in the car, [we could] offer a higher-performance engine. That’s quite possible.”

So there you have it. Subaru is open to the idea of turbocharging the Crosstrek or bringing back the Forester XT. We’re just going to have to stop people from buying so many Subarus in order to make that happen.

The post Subaru Says the Crosstrek Is too Popular to Get a Turbocharged Version appeared first on Motortrend.

UAW Finds Reassurance In GM 6.6L V8 Engine Production At Tonawanda

GM Authority News - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 7:04pm

HD trucks are a booming business.

Spied! Porsche Cayenne Coupe Goes Winter Testing

Motortrend Magazine News - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 7:00pm

We last spotted the Cayenne coupe in the dewy days of summer. Now, the model has cropped up once again, this time cold weather testing in Sweden.

Our spy photographers caught the fastback SUV conducting cold weather tests in the snow. Despite the chillier weather, it sheds some of its camouflage near the grille, and it also sports fancier black wheels. Notice the exhaust setup has changed. Instead of dual exhaust outlets that are silver and square, the model now features dual exhaust outlets that are round and black. So this could be a different variant than the one we saw in the summer.

There is still plenty of camouflage in the rear, and it’s clear we aren’t looking at the production taillights. For the production model, expect thinner lights connected by a light bar just like on the regular model.

As Autocar reports, the Cayenne coupe will likely forgo the base 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6. Engine choices will probably consist of the Cayenne S’ 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 with 440 hp, as well as the Turbo’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 with 550 hp.

With its dramatically sloped roof, this model will give buyers an alternative to a traditional SUV. It will compete against the likes of the BMW X6, Mercedes GLE Coupe, and Audi Q8. Expect it to debut sometime this year as a 2020 model.

Photo source: CarPix

The post Spied! Porsche Cayenne Coupe Goes Winter Testing appeared first on Motortrend.

Toyota Says a New Tundra Is Coming “Soon”

Motortrend Magazine News - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 6:15pm

The second-generation Toyota Tundra made a huge splash in the full-size truck market when it hit the market for 2007. Unfortunately for Toyota fans, while the competition has redesigned their trucks multiple times in the last decade, the Tundra has only received a few updates. If you’re starting to lose faith that Toyota plans to ever redesign the Tundra, don’t.

At the Chicago Auto Show last week, Jack Hollis, general manager of the Toyota brand in North America, confirmed that the Japanese automaker has no plans to completely abandon its full-size pickup. When asked by a reporter when Toyota plans to redo the Tundra, Hollis promised that would happen, “soon.”

When pressed to clarify how soon that would be, Hollis said, “I can’t give you an announcement yet today because we haven’t even finalized it. But I will tell you this. It’s important to our lineup to get to the Tundra. I’m really excited about where we’re going with that.”

Based on that followup, it sounds like we won’t hear much about Toyota’s plans for the new Tundra for the next several months. But could it be revealed at next year’s Chicago auto show? It’s possible. After all, that’s where Toyota originally revealed the 2007 Tundra 13 years ago.

The post Toyota Says a New Tundra Is Coming “Soon” appeared first on Motortrend.

This Nutter-Chevrolet Tractor Almost Made it To Production

GM Authority News - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 5:12pm

But it didn't, making this unit one-of-a-kind.

Texas State Rep Fights to Lower Price Requirement for Front License Plate Exemption

Corvette Blogger - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 4:25pm

We told you a few weeks ago about a proposal in North Dakota to eliminate front license plates for vehicles costing more than $110,000.

Now you can add Texas to the growing list of states that want to eliminate the requirement for front license plates – at least on certain vehicles.

Continue reading Texas State Rep Fights to Lower Price Requirement for Front License Plate Exemption at Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Subaru to Debut Two “E-Boxer” Electrified Vehicles in Geneva

Motortrend Magazine News - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 4:00pm

Subaru may be late to the electrification game, but it looks like it’s trying to make up for lost time. The automaker will debut two electrified vehicles at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

Subaru didn’t say which models will receive the e-Boxer treatment. It also didn’t reveal whether the models would be conventional or plug-in hybrids. But we know Subaru tends to make electrified versions of its existing vehicles rather than design new models from scratch.

On its European website, Subaru says, “Get ready for the all-new, all-powerful e-Boxer range.” It also teases, “Hybrid, the Subaru way.” Subaru will make the big announcement on March 5 in Geneva.

One possible candidate is the Forester. Subaru revealed an STI-inspired Forester concept at the Tokyo Auto Salon earlier this year, featuring the “e-Boxer” setup that Subaru offers in Japan. As Autocar points out, Subaru has also hinted at the possibility of a hybrid WRX STI. Of course, there’s no word whether or not the two e-Boxer models will make their way to the U.S.

Here in the U.S., Subaru now offers a plug-in version of the Crosstrek. This model features the 2.0-liter engine from the regular Crosstrek, plus two electric motors and an 8.8-kilowatt hour battery.

Source: Subaru, Autocar

The post Subaru to Debut Two “E-Boxer” Electrified Vehicles in Geneva appeared first on Motortrend.

Randy Pobst Blitzes Big Willow In The 2019 Corvette ZR1: Video

GM Authority News - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 3:53pm

The Ford GT and C7 Corvette ZR1 are equally fast around Big Willow.

Found on Facebook: 2009 Corvette ZR1 Listed for $52,000!

Corvette Blogger - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 2:49pm

I was cruising through Facebook late last night when I came across this Corvette for sale ad from our friend Berry Lowman.

The ad is for a silver 2009 Corvette ZR1 with only 24,875 miles on the odometer and it has been aggressively priced at $52,000 for a quick sale. The original owner has recently picked up his new 2019 Corvette ZR1 so the C6 ZR1 has to go!

Continue reading Found on Facebook: 2009 Corvette ZR1 Listed for $52,000! at Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

6.6L V8 L8T GM Engine Specs Released

GM Authority News - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 2:48pm

Peruse them right here at your leisure.

2020 Alpina B7 Gives the BMW 7 Series 600 HP

Motortrend Magazine News - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 2:45pm

As we found in our first drive of the 2020 BMW 7 Series, the luxury flagship has received a number of small improvements that make it more comfortable and better to drive. But the version we drove was the ever-practical plug-in hybrid. It was still relatively quick, but it was never designed with performance as a top priority. For that, you’ll want to look at the 2020 Alpina B7.

For those who don’t already know, Alpina is more than a BMW tuning shop. Much like Ruf, the German government considers Alpina its own auto manufacturer. And quality is so high, we actually picked the Alpina over the M in a comparison test a few years ago. Over the last five and a half decades, Alpina has developed such a close relationship with BMW that the press release announcing the new B7 was sent out by BMW’s press department.

For 2020, the B7 gets a twin-turbo V-8 that’s been tuned to make 600 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. That will launch the flagship luxury sedan from 0-60 mph in a claimed 3.5 seconds. It will also sail past the 200-mph mark, topping out at 205 mph. That makes it ever so slightly quicker to 60 mph and gives it an 11 mph higher top speed versus the previous B7.

To reliably make that much power and be able to maintain such a high speed, Alpina had to upgrade the 7 Series’ cooling system, tweak the eight-speed transmission, and add a sports exhaust. It also added an air suspension and a Sport+ driving mode that lowers the ride height 0.6 inch for better aerodynamics above 140 mph. Rear-steering and a set of Michelin performance tires also improve handling. Alpina-specific bumpers add to the car’s aero improvements, as well as improving the 7 Series’ appearance.

Unlike BMW’s M cars, Alpina also places a major emphasis on ride comfort. The B7 should be more agile than the 7 Series it’s built on, but its primary focus is high-speed touring. So in addition to a Comfort+ mode, Alpina also added its own sound deadening and thicker glass for a quieter ride. Add in a long list of standard equipment and an Alpina-upgraded interior, and you have a car that’s perfect for cross-country (or cross-continental) road trips.

As you can imagine, a completely reworked, high-performance 7 Series is going to cost you. A lot. The 2020 Alpina B7 starts at $142,695 including destination, and with options, that price quickly skyrockets. But if you want that twin-turbo V-8 power and ultimate cruising comfort, deliveries will begin in the third quarter of 2019.

Source: BMW

The post 2020 Alpina B7 Gives the BMW 7 Series 600 HP appeared first on Motortrend.

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