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Polestar 1 Prototype to Debut at 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Motortrend Magazine News - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 5:00am

The Polestar 1 will debut at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed next month. Volvo’s spin-off electric performance marque will send camouflaged electric hybrid prototype #004 to tackle the legendary hill climb in West Sussex, England.

The plug-in hybrid grand tourer packs a four-cylinder engine powering the front wheels and a double electric rear axle drive system for the rear wheels. It is capable of producing 600 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. Plus, it offers an all-electric range of approximately 93 miles.

Joakim Rydholm, Polestar’s chief test driver, will drive the two-door performance hybrid.

“I am really excited to drive the Polestar 1 prototype up the hill at Goodwood,” said Rydholm in a statement. “Driving the hill climb has been a long-time ambition for me, and to be able to do it in the same prototype in which we’ve spent so many months of development time, is truly special.”

Aside from the camouflaged prototype, Polestar states that two production-spec Polestar 1 cars, which start at $155,000 a pop, will be on display.

“The response to the Polestar 1 from the U.K. and northern Europe has been fantastic and we see this event [Goodwood] as a vital part of our continued ‘global handshake’ with enthusiasts and our customers around the world,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath in a release. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet so many people who share our passion for Polestar and the future of the brand.”

 

The 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed will be held from July 12-15. Polestar 1 will make its U.S. debut in California during Monterey Car Week in August.

Source: Polestar

The post Polestar 1 Prototype to Debut at 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed appeared first on Motor Trend.

2018 Mazda6 Signature 2.5T Interior Review: Progress is Beautiful

Motortrend Magazine News - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 4:00am

The interior made the difference. After my first car suffered another costly repair many years ago, I narrowed my new-car search to a 2006 Mazda6 V-6 and 2005 Acura TSX. Despite the Mazda’s extra power and interior space, I went with the Acura in large part thanks to its higher-quality and more modern interior. Although the midsize Mazda’s interior was competitive in its class, it couldn’t come close to the slightly more expensive Acura—but that’s no longer the case today. The interior of the new 2018 Mazda6 Signature 2.5T makes the 6 feel more upscale inside than any of its predecessors ever have.

Keep reading to learn more about what works and what could be improved inside the line-topping 2018 Mazda6 Signature 2.5T.

Best-Ever Knee Pads? Read the 2018 Mazda6 First Test here, and see the Mazda6’s history in photos here.

The 2018 Mazda6 in Signature trim features the most comfortable knee pads I’ve experienced in any car in a long time. Imagine you’re sitting at a long red light. As you wait for the light to turn green, you might rest your right leg on the lower edge of the center console. In the loaded Mazda, your leg rests against a leatherlike vinyl pad—not plastic. Along with the soft material that lines the center console on either side of the cupholders and gear stalk, these premium details can make a difference on a morning or evening commute.

Unfortunately, the soft trim isn’t used where the driver’s left knee comes to rest, and the center console’s armrest lid doesn’t stretch far enough forward to allow some drivers to easily rest their elbow. Even so, these comfortable trim pieces are details that some will come to really appreciate for thousands of miles.

Sit Down

As we noted in our First Drive review, the Mazda6’s seats are comfortable. Upholstered in Nappa leather on the Signature trim, the 2018 model’s seats are wider than before and feature power seat controls surrounded by piano black trim. What’s especially cool about the front and rear seats is the simple silver trim on the four outboard seats and on the back of the front seats. It’s a small thing, but the Mazda6 Signature creates a premium feel inside because of how all those details work together.

The Signature trim is offered in an almost-white beige that I’d constantly worry about getting dirty if it were my car. Before driving out in a new Mazda6 Signature, also take a seat in the trim level’s dark brown interior option.

Keep Doing This, Mazda

Mazda’s placement of rear-seat USB outlets is superb. Included on the 2018 Mazda6 Touring and above, the sedan’s two rear-seat USBs are inside the center armrest. As in the CX-5, it’s much easier to reach than USB outlets below the rear air vents, which is where most other automakers put theirs.

Watch Your Legs

As long as the driver isn’t as tall as I am (6-foot-4), most midsize sedans’ rear seats have enough room. But when it comes to passenger space, the excellent Honda Accord feels like it competes in a different class. That car’s rear seat has an astounding amount of space, not something that can be said about the Mazda. The Accord also has better front visibility than the 6, which has OK visibility all around.

Different. Better?

Speaking of that Honda, we think highly of the car’s fake matte-style wood, but Mazda takes a different route. To the automaker’s credit, the Mazda6 Signature features real Japanese Sen wood on the doors and dash. The insistence on using an authentic material is admirable and yet another detail that helps justify the 6 Signature’s place at the top of Mazda’s sedan lineup. We hope that a future iteration of the wood can be made in a slightly more contrasting shade, as the gray-ish hue blends in too easily with the black dash and door trim above it in certain lighting conditions.

In a First Drive review, we noted that the wood “has a finish that provides an unfortunate plasticky sheen and undersells its provenance.”

Is THAT What That Is?

Like the wood, the Ultrasuede Nu trim on the dash and doors is a surprising touch for a Mazda midsize sedan. Senior copy editor Jesse Bishop found Mazda’s “fairly understated yet luxurious approach” preferable to the more shouty styles on some luxury cars (or, for example, the Toyota Camry XSE’s bold red leather).

Ultrasuede Nu is a new suedelike material that feels premium to the touch but not as soft as some automotive-interior suedes on more expensive cars. Mazda says the material’s “soft, slightly fibrous surface complements the smooth polished feel” of the real wood trim.

“We promote it as a hybrid [material],” says Tak Horiguchi, general manager of Toray International America’s Ultrasuede department, adding that it looks like leather when you see it, “but actually when you touch it, you can feel the ultra-fine microfibers on the surface.”

We’re not sure if the Japanese-made suedelike trim is necessarily better than alternative premium trim options, but it sure is different. And if you’re a small Japanese automaker competing with giants like Honda, Chevrolet, and Toyota, maybe different is the right strategy.

You’re Surrounded

The 2018 Mazda6 in Signature trim also adds a new surround-view camera system. It’s a great feature addition that appears on the car’s 8.0-inch screen (the standard screen on every 2018 Mazda6). The resolution of the camera views, however, is poor, making it a tad harder to see what the various views are showing. One positive: The system has a viewing mode that my long-term 2017 Audi A4 didn’t, showing the front wheel’s distance from the curb.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are Coming

As Mazda announced at the 2018 New York auto show, the 2018 Mazda6 is getting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on most trims, either from the factory or as a retrofit for models already on the road. These systems will essentially be layered on top of Mazda’s existing infotainment system, making a number of tasks easier, from navigation and audio selection to even voice dictation of text messages.

Elsewhere in the interior, we still appreciate the satisfying feel of Mazda’s rotary infotainment controller as well as the similarly designed HVAC knobs on the lower part of the dash. One premium detail shared among the Mazda6, CX-5, and CX-9 is a separation between the high-mounted infotainment screen and the HVAC and audio controls below it. The design pushes the Mazda6’s HVAC controls lower than I’d like for optimal visibility, but it does give the interior more character.

A More Modern Display

The Signature trim places a 7.0-inch screen in the center of the instrument cluster. On that screen, it’s cool to see how the speedometer only fully illuminates the numerals within 20 mph or so of the car’s current speed. The screen doesn’t show song title info, however, and also lacks a tire pressure monitoring system with readouts for each tire.

Time to Make a Signature Move?

The 2018 Mazda6 Signature will speak to drivers seeking something different from the average Camry or Accord. Because even if a Camry has a contrasting roof color and red leather for a surprisingly bold package, it’s still a variation of one of the best-selling cars in the U.S. When that’s not enough to keep you in a Mazda dealer, strongly consider the Honda Accord. It’s not as attractive as the Mazda, but it adds a more spacious cabin, 2.0 cubic feet more trunk space, and a 0–60 time that’s more than half a second quicker with its 2.0T engine. And if you didn’t really need the Signature trim’s 227–250-hp 2.5-liter turbo-four powertrain or the Accord in 2.0T form, Honda offers the loaded Accord in two other engine options.

For fans of the Mazda brand who own a 2014–2015 Mazda6 and are still in love with the car’s “otherness,” however, there’s a lot to like about the 2018 Mazda6 Signature’s interior.

Read the 2018 Mazda6 Signature 2.5T First Test right here.

The post 2018 Mazda6 Signature 2.5T Interior Review: Progress is Beautiful appeared first on Motor Trend.

Mazda6 Photos: See the History of the Midsize Mazda Sedan in Pictures

Motortrend Magazine News - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 4:00am

The Mazda6 rolled out more than 15 years ago, replacing the Mazda 626 and Millenia sedans. When it debuted in the U.S. for the 2003 model year, the Mazda6 offered buyers a sportier alternative in the midsize sedan segment. And although it’s not topping any sales charts, the Mazda6 has grown into a well-rounded entry with responsive handling, a high-quality interior, and a healthy suite of safety features.

Through these photos, we take a look back at the evolution of the Mazda6. Check them out below.

2018 Mazda6

2016 Mazda6

2014 Mazda6

2009 Mazda6

2006 Mazdaspeed6

2006 Mazda6

2004 Mazda6 Sedan, Hatch, and Wagon

The post Mazda6 Photos: See the History of the Midsize Mazda Sedan in Pictures appeared first on Motor Trend.

2019 Jaguar XE SV Project 8 First Drive: The 592-HP Jag Built to Conquer the ‘Ring

Motortrend Magazine News - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 4:00am

That headline is a quote from David Pook that I jotted down during the first-drive event for the 2019 Jaguar XE SV Project 8 in Portugal. Pook is vehicle dynamics manager at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Special Vehicles Operations (SVO) in Warwickshire, England. The quote sounded familiar to this American’s ears. Why? The 1964 Pontiac GTO broke all the rules in GM’s book and, in doing so, is widely credited as the first car of the muscle car era. Pete Estes waived a restriction that A-bodies be limited to 330-cubic-inch displacements. Instead, he approved the replacement of the Pontiac Tempest’s 5.3-liter V-8 with the full-sized Catalina/Bonneville 389-cubic-inch (6.4-liter) V-8, creating the Grand Tempest, later dubbed GTO. A star was born. As Paul Harvey used to say, “And now you know the rest of the story.”

If you want to make a legend, you might have to break some rules.

Old Trick, New Car

Until now, the most powerful Jaguar XE, weighing about 3,900 pounds, was powered by a 380-hp supercharged V-6. So the go-fast boffins at SVO decided to apply that Tempest-to-GTO template to the lightweight, aluminum-intensive XE sedan. Start with the smallest car in the XE, XF, XJ lineup, and wedge JLR’s glorious 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 from the XJR575 into the compact sedan. In the XJR575, the engine makes 567 (SAE) horsepower. In the Project 8, it’s pushed to 592 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. For obvious reasons, all-wheel drive was added to the build sheet. Yet Jaguar didn’t intend to build a mere British muscle car. They had a 12.9-mile, 154-turn goal and the go-ahead from those who control budgets to pursue it with a specially engineered car.

If you want to build a legend, you have to break some rules

Target Identified

The Project 8’s foremost goal was to break the 7:32 “flat” four-door sedan Nürburgring Nordschleife lap record set by the 505-hp Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, our, ahem, 2018 Car of the Year. If SVO was able to do it, JLR would commit to a limited run of production XE SV cars (SVR-badged cars are series production). Eighteen months from its inception, in a “production-intent” Project 8, Belgian racing and test driver Vincent Radermecker broke the fastest-sedan record in November 2017—and not by a little. His lap of 7:21.23 was nearly 11 seconds quicker. (Note: This 27-pounds-lighter, two-seat package with rollcage, carbon-fiber front seats, and racing harnesses will not be available in North America.) For perspective, the Jag lap time neatly splits a pair from a mid-engine supercar, the Ferrari 488 GTB, our 2017 Best Driver’s Car. Record in hand, the Project 8 was a go for production. I watched the two record laps and couldn’t help but notice a contrast: The Jaguar driver was much more relaxed.

How’d They Do It?

Special Vehicles Operations set out to thoroughly examine and improve every dynamic part and system. In all, just 20 percent of the original sedan remains in each XE SV Project 8. The body-in-white, windshield, front doors, and dashboard are the same as those found in the standard XE. For the Project 8, the hood, a front splitter, front/rear fascia, and rocker panels are hewn from carbon fiber. The aluminum rear doors are specifically stamped to meet the bulging rear fenders, and the wheels are forged aluminum. To provide more rear bias, the center differential was retuned, and the air-to-oil-cooled rear differential is now electronic/active. SVO enlarged the diameter of the torque tube and both halfshafts to cope with the added power. The adaptive exhaust system is made of titanium. Also unique to the Project 8 are the suspension (height-adjustable with motorsport ball joints), the brakes (carbon ceramic, 15.7-inch front/15.6-inch rear), the wheel bearings (silicon nitride ceramic, like in the space shuttle’s main engines), and the aero package. Aerodynamics achieve a 205 percent reduction in lift with the front splitter and rear wing in the most aggressive track mode, delivering almost 270 pounds of downforce at 186 mph. With a limited production of only 300 hand-assembled cars worldwide (on a first come, first served basis), the $188,495 asking price is easy to justify.

Benchmarks Selected

It was a shock to learn that the SVO team, based in England, had even heard of our 2014 Best Driver’s Car winner, much less driven the fire-breathing 7.0-liter 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, but they had. Indeed, they benchmarked it for its ability to be driven hard and confidently from the first corner to the last, and twice on Sunday. It was as if they copied and pasted right from our BDC story when we wrote, “With the first turn of the wheel, you become confident in the Z/28. With the second, you’re ready to set a hot lap. There is no learning curve.” The SVO team even considered the Z/28’s square tire fitment, with identical 305/30R19 Pirelli P Zero Trofeo tires at all four corners. As SVO agreed, the problem with using tires that wide and aggressive on the front is that, on regular roads, they can affect the steering feel and stability, often nibbling on minute irregularities or tramlining on what appears to be an otherwise smooth surface. Instead, the Project 8 is fitted with 265/35R20 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 front tires and 305/30R20 rear tires. And although the Z/28’s Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers work great pounding pavement into submission, they’re hard to live with every day. Instead, the Project 8 sports multimode Continuously Variable Dampers (CVD) with racy twin-coil springs (regular coils plus helper springs). Steering benchmark? The SVO team selected another industry great: the Porsche 911 GT3. However, the Porsche is a 3,250-pound featherweight (compared to the Jaguar’s estimated 3,950 pounds), plus the Porsche’s engine is in the rear, so its front tires carry just 39 percent of that weight. As such, it would appear that emulating its steering would be an unachievable goal [strokes chin].

Porti-WOW!

There’s a 2.9-mile race track in Portugal called Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, but most people simply call it Portimão, after the town where it resides. It’s a tricky 15-turn roller coaster with blind crests, fast sweepers, a tight hairpin, and a 1-kilometer (0.62-mile) straight. Formula 1 teams use it for testing, and the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) races here. Jaguar chose to showcase its record-breaking sedan here because it’s such a thorough workout for a car. After two laps as a passenger with Pook (a very skilled driver, I will add) at the wheel, my laps began first thing in the morning. Nothing like jumping right in the deep end with the boss.

We swapped seats, and I drove off. Pook made it look easy, and do you know what? Like its Z/28 benchmark, it was easy to get in and just cane it. I now understand why the ’Ring driver was so cool. One of the first things I noticed was how linear the throttle was. Unlike turbocharged engines that tend to have unpredictable pedal input to engine output relations, the supercharged V-8 in the Project 8 gives it to you in precise increments: 4 inches of pedal travel is literally four times more power and torque than 1 inch. It’s very easy to get what you want when you want it. The first time I went for the brake pedal, I expected a carbon-ceramic brick. Instead, the brakes were supple and easy to modulate, with immense stopping power and not a hint of ABS. It was about the best brake pedal feel-to-effectiveness I’ve sampled.

When the first corner arrived, I cranked the wheel. It was light and buttery smooth, and the front tires bit and went. I wasn’t pushing yet, so I went into the next corner with more vigor and got the same obedience and effortless precision. Again and again, no matter the corner, it was always the same. Curbs? Meh. Double-apex right-hander? Got it. The Project 8 felt like—I can’t believe I’m writing this—a Porsche GT3 RS (with some luggage in the frunk). It’s hard to believe, but with the countless hours of EPS tuning, dialing the center and active rear differentials, and the racy suspension, Jaguar nailed it. There’s no muddy sense of all-wheel drive, no binding, and no push. You’d swear it was rear drive by the way it turns in, settles flat as a morning lake, and then erupts like a volcano.

Corner exits are truly a thing of beauty. With power going mostly to the rear wheels, the only time I could sense the front wheels clawing for traction was when I throttled an exit. Just as the Project 8 begins with what should be a lurid slide, it steps out slightly at the back then simply rockets away. “Huh, it must’ve sent some power to the front,” I thought. “Or maybe I’m just a hero. Yeah, that must be it.” It’s the kind of car that shrugs off everything and prods, dares, and begs you, “Go faster next time! Do you even drive, bro?”

In the fast sweeping corners, it was really hard to separate the suspension and tires’ prodigious mechanical grip from aero/downforce, but the car hangs on with the urgency and calm of a rock climber.

On to that half-mile-plus straight: The eight-speed’s upshifts are dispatched in 200 milliseconds with a shove to the back and a satisfying snort from the exhaust pipes each time. The epic roar of the big Jag V-8, now a hallmark for the brand, was even more present in the Project 8. On the first lap, I didn’t dare look. Finally I did: I hit 160 mph before my eyes shot back to the downhill braking zone and I went to the trusty brake pedal. “Aw, I could’ve gone deeper,” I said to myself. The car is stable at speed, under maximum braking, into corners, and out. This is race car–level control and dynamics.

A Road Drive, Too?

Not long after I’d reprogrammed my brain for what a road car—a specifically purpose-built one—could do on a racetrack, our SVO hosts introduced me to the man the other gathered journalists fondly called Scottish Rob, which sounds like something from a Monty Python skit. Nudge-nudge, wink-wink. Rob also works at SVO and was to lead me on a drive through the surrounding area. He drove a Range Rover Sport SVR, and I was in a four-seat Project 8 with the suspension 15mm higher in the street setting. What nobody told me is that Scottish Rob drives as if it’s a special stage in a WRC race. Ptooey! He was off like a shot from the moment we left the parking lot. I frantically looked down for the drive-mode button: “Dynamic, DynaMIC, DYNAMIC!” Rob’s route—well, Portugal in general—reminded me very much of the California roads we drive for car evaluations, surrounded by rolling hills with dry grass and oak trees dotting the landscape. “Yeah, I got this,” I thought, but it was as if Rob was trying to lose me. I wasn’t about to let that happen, and it didn’t. But here’s the thing: I’ve driven a Camaro Z/28 on roads like those, and although that car is capable and exhilarating, it’s also violent and mentally exhausting. The Project 8 is neither of those things. I really put the spurs to it, sticking to Rob’s bumper, but the Project 8 was happy to do it. It was a pussycat in comparison to a Z/28. That same confident, agreeable nature I had experienced on the track translated to the street, as well. Damn, these SVO guys are good. You can break a record at the Nürburgring and drive the same car home in comfort.

Should You Buy One?

Yes, and you’d better do so before they’re all spoken for. Besides, it’ll give you instant bragging rights. With near-certain collectible status, this car is next-level stuff. You can’t compare it to a BMW M5, Mercedes-AMG E 63 S, or Cadillac CTS-V. Not even close. I know it’s all relative, but I’ve driven thousands of cars in more than 20 years of doing this sort of thing. Now, a week after I drove the Jaguar XE SV Project 8, I’m struggling to find a fair comparison to it. A BMW M4 GTS? Subjectively, it’s better than that; objectively, it’s slower, too. Had it “just” been a Nürburgring special that couldn’t be driven on public roads, I’d have said so. But it’s not. It’s a true, everyday four-door supercar. Name me another. I’ll wait.

The post 2019 Jaguar XE SV Project 8 First Drive: The 592-HP Jag Built to Conquer the ‘Ring appeared first on Motor Trend.

[PICS] Broken-Down Mid-Engine C8 Corvette Prototype Needs a Jump and Then a Tow

Corvette Blogger - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 11:46pm

Photo Credit: Walter Esquivel / Sloppy Mechanics FB As the C8 Corvette is still in its development stages, mechanical issues will arise. And that’s a good thing as those issues are documented, chased down and then fixed before the first customer ever takes delivery. That’s why we see engineers putting all these miles on them […]

The post [PICS] Broken-Down Mid-Engine C8 Corvette Prototype Needs a Jump and Then a Tow appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Corvette Delivery Dispatch with National Corvette Seller Mike Furman for June 10th

Corvette Blogger - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 12:08pm

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. In this weeks dispatch, Mike answers the question on why so many of his out-of-state customers choose to work with […]

The post Corvette Delivery Dispatch with National Corvette Seller Mike Furman for June 10th appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Save a Bunch of Green with Free Shipping at Corvette Central

Corvette Blogger - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 6:34pm

Whether you need new parts for your Corvette, want to restock your golf bag or are looking for Father’s Day gift ideas, you can save a bunch of green with our friends at Corvette Central. Use the discount code FSGOLF18 during checkout to enjoy FREE SHIPPING when you spend $149 or more! Some Additional Terms […]

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Saturday Morning Corvette Comic: Be Careful What You Wish For

Corvette Blogger - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 11:39am

Although he is the owner of three new Corvettes, Bob used his wishes unwisely. What would your three Corvette wishes be? You can browse more of our Corvette comics here! Source: JerryKing.com Related: Saturday Morning Corvette Comic: Drone-Based Security Systems Saturday Morning Corvette Comic: Outstanding In His Field Saturday Morning Corvette Comic: My Corvette…Volume 1 […]

The post Saturday Morning Corvette Comic: Be Careful What You Wish For appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

2017 BMW M2 Long-Term Verdict: Farewell, Wee Beastie

Motortrend Magazine News - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 4:00am

Well, that went fast, and the loss is palpable. Honestly, I miss this car. When it arrived, we said the 2017 M2 was “as good as it gets” among BMW’s current offerings. (I now temper that statement with the recently remastered M5.) The M2 remains a Goldilocks “just-right” benchmark, not only for the high-performance coupe segment but also for BMW itself—and the company knows it. I spoke with a BMW product planner who admitted that in the past several years, the company had taken to heart reviews about poor steering, isolated driving dynamics, and a general failure to live up to the “Ultimate Driving Machine” motto. So the M Division took the well-received, now cult favorite 1M Coupe and used the Frankenstein’s monster recipe—borrowing parts from extant M cars—to make its successor even better.

That’s not to say the M2 is flawless. My routine: fire it up, toggle to Sport mode (opening the sonorous exhaust and awakening throttle response), and nudge the shifter, once for Drive and a second time for manual mode. We liked that it was possible to decouple Sport steering from Sport mode, keeping the driveline setting. Why? Sport steering muddies the feel with unnecessary heft. And although the M DCT (double-clutch transmission) is an enormous improvement over the old single-clutch, it still isn’t to Porsche or Audi levels of sophistication in any drive mode.

I drove in full-manual all the time to better choose my up- and downshifts. It was more prudent than Sport Plus, smarter than Sport, and smoother than Comfort mode. Also, there’s very little off-pedal creep, which can necessitate a quick dab of the throttle while covering the brake pedal to roll into a parking spot. Easing away from a stoplight was a hit-or-miss experience (which grew more problematic over time). Sometimes the engine would rev with the car stationary, then the clutch would grab suddenly, especially when cold. Near the end of the year, we also began to hear mild groans from the Active M Differential. Nothing more ensued, though, and spirited driving was unchanged. And although we grew accustomed to it, not having a park button/position and merely shutting the M2 off in gear felt weird. Also, it seemed unnecessary that a driver needs to press the start/stop button once to kill the engine, and a second time to shut the entire car off.

Every staffer who drove the M2 loved the 365-hp twin-scroll turbo-six engine. Because the fuel log tells a story, we could determine who loved it more than others. In the 20,674 miles driven, the worst tankful came at the right foot of “JN” at 16 mpg (guess we know which photographer has a leaden hoof). The best, thanks to Erick Ayapana’s feather-toed road trip, was 30 mpg. The yearlong average of 21 mpg (1 mpg shy of the EPA’s combined fuel economy estimate) is impressive, as most drivers overrode the engine’s auto stop/start function. At an average of $3.45 per gallon for premium, we spent $3,414 on fuel. The most expensive tank was just shy of $50, and the Zero Club award goes (again) to Erick, who added 13.066 gallons to the 13.7-gallon tank. Incidentally, fuel prices rose from $3.20 per gallon in April 2017 to $3.95 per gallon on its last tankful.

In the time we had the M2, we took it to the drag strip twice, had it serviced once, changed out one set of tires, and lapped the Streets of Willow Springs twice. The brakes never complained or faded, but we noticed that the M2 doesn’t like the combination of hot-lapping in hot weather, making noticeably less power in the 95-degree heat. Although the suspension is an excellent match for a smooth racetrack, many drivers complained the M2 crashed over highway bumps and street seams, allowing an inordinate amount of road noise to penetrate the cabin. Several of our staff wished for multivalve or magnetorheological dampers. In our fifth update, we compared our M2 to the more sedate, less powerful M240i and found that the latter was just as quick at a significantly lower price.

Unlike a comparable Audi S5 or Mercedes-AMG C 43 (which offer prepaid scheduled maintenance, ranging from about $300 to $500 for the first year), the 2017 BMW M2 came with $0 routine maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles. For the year, we spent $10 for a single quart of oil (at 9,000 miles). Had Michelin not been so generous with a free set to test, we would’ve spent $1,110 on new Pilot Sport 4 S tires (at 11,500 miles). Our total outlay for the year was just $1,120 for normal wear ($4,534 including gas).

In terms of its projected retained value after three years, the 2017 M2 came in at an incredible 76 percent of its $57,795 as-tested price, according to our friends at IntelliChoice. Compare that to our 2015 BMW M3 (at 54 percent) and Jaguar duo 2014 F-Type S and R (both at 50 percent). The M2 is practically an investment.

For a modern turbocharged BMW M Division car to remind us of those long-gone yet beloved E36 and E46 M3s, the 2017 M2 has been a corporate, divisional, and emotional success. Like those legacy screamers, this M2 is a perfectly balanced, cohesive whole with the right size, right look, right power, right brakes, and right performance in a subtle yet assertive two-door coupe. With that in mind, we can’t wait to get our hands on the 2019 BMW M2 Competition.

More on our long-term BMW M2:Our Car SERVICE LIFE 13 mo / 20,674 mi BASE PRICE $53,495 OPTIONS Twin-clutch auto transmission ($2,900); Executive pkg ($1,400: heated steering wheel, rear-view camera; rear parking sensors, auto high beams, collision warning with pedestrian detection and auto braking, lane-departure warning, wireless charging, Wi-Fi hotspot) PRICE AS TESTED $57,795 AVG ECON/CO2 20.9 mpg / 0.93 lb/mi PROBLEM AREAS None MAINTENANCE COST $0 NORMAL-WEAR COST $10 (1 qt oil); $1,110 (four new tires) 3-YEAR RESIDUAL VALUE* $43,700 (76%) RECALLS None *IntelliChoice data; assumes 42,000 miles at the end of 3-years 2017 BMW M2 POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD ENGINE TYPE Turbocharged I-6, alum block/head VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DISPLACEMENT 181.8 cu in/2,979 cc COMPRESSION RATIO 10.2:1 POWER (SAE NET) 365 hp @ 6,500 rpm TORQUE (SAE NET) 343 lb-ft @ 1,400 rpm* REDLINE 7,000 rpm WEIGHT TO POWER 9.6 lb/hp TRANSMISSION 7-speed twin-clutch auto AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.46:1/2.32:1 SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar STEERING RATIO 15.0:1 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.3 BRAKES, F; R 15.0-in vented, drilled, 2-pc disc; 14.5-in vented, drilled, 2-pc disc, ABS WHEELS, F;R 9.0 x 19-in; 10.0 x 19-in forged aluminum TIRES, F;R 245/35R19 93Y; 265/35R19 98Y Michelin Pilot Super Sport DIMENSIONS WHEELBASE 106.0 in TRACK, F/R 62.2/63.0 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 176.2 x 73.0 x 55.5 in TURNING CIRCLE 38.4 ft CURB WEIGHT 3,506 lb WEIGHT DIST, F/R 52/48% SEATING CAPACITY 4 HEADROOM, F/R 40.1/36.5 in LEGROOM, F/R 41.5/33.0 in SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 54.4/53.4 in CARGO VOLUME 13.8 cu ft TEST DATA ACCELERATION TO MPH 0-30 1.7 sec 0-40 2.5 0-50 3.3 0-60 4.2 0-70 5.5 0-80 7.1 0-90 8.9 0-100 11.1 0-100-0 15.2 PASSING, 45-65 MPH 2.0 QUARTER MILE 12.9 sec @ 107.1 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 106 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.99 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 23.9 sec @ 0.83 g (avg) 1.6-MI ROAD COURSE LAP 84.78 sec TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,800 rpm CONSUMER INFO BASE PRICE $53,495 PRICE AS TESTED $57,795 STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes AIRBAGS 6: Dual front, front side, f/r head BASIC WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 4 yrs/50,000 miles ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 4 yrs/Unlimited miles FUEL CAPACITY 13.7 gal REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 18.7/29.8/22.5 mpg EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 20/26/22 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 169/130 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.87 lb/mile RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium *369 lb-ft @ 1,450 rpm in overboost

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[GOLD POLL]: What’s Your Favorite Bloomington Gold Event?

Corvette Blogger - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 6:20pm

Have you made your travel plans for Bloomington Gold yet? We have. The 2018 Bloomington event is just under 2 weeks away now. This year’s show takes place June 21-23 once again at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 3-day extravaganza is packed full of activities for owners and attendees. From the Certification, Survivor, and […]

The post [GOLD POLL]: What’s Your Favorite Bloomington Gold Event? appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Don’t Be A Fool, Wrap Your Spool: Turbo Blanket 101 With DEI

Corvettes Online News Feed - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 5:13pm
Why would you want to insulate something as hot as a turbocharger? We get the low-down on turbo blankets from the guys at DEI.

Refreshing or Revolting: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 5:00pm

For 2019, Volkswagen has made the Jetta more competitive with segment stalwarts like the new Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. The German entry offers a new 1.4-liter engine, a more spacious cabin, and the same MQB underpinnings as the fun-to-drive Golf. Perhaps the most polarizing change is the sedan’s new styling. We know the old Jetta was starting to look a little dated, but did VW go too far with the design changes in this new iteration?

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta receives a completely new front end with squared-off edges. The grille appears larger now, and at the top sits a chunky chrome bar. Instead of the rounded lights on the previous model, the new Jetta features rectangular headlights that are integrated into the grille. You’ll also notice new lines on the hood that give the Jetta a slightly more athletic appearance.

There are bold character lines on the side of the vehicle, including a new line that runs across the door handles. Volkswagen also updated the side windows, which come to a sharp point at the back of the vehicle. The automaker says it wanted to give the Jetta a coupe-like profile with a fast-sloping roofline, and although the change is subtle, VW accomplished its goal. The new Jetta is a little bit longer, wider, and taller than the previous model.

Moving to the rear profile, the VW now features a small lip at the top of the trunk. It also has narrower taillights. The bumper designs on the two cars look similar, although the exhaust area has been redesigned on the new version.

The Jetta’s revised interior brings the sedan up to date more than any of the other design changes. VW moved the infotainment screen higher up on the center stack, positioning the air vents lower down. There are also new climate control knobs that replace the outdated switches on the old model. Look for new designs and fabric colors for the seats and door trim.

Is the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta refreshing or revolting? Tell us your thoughts on Facebook.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta appeared first on Motor Trend.

[VIDEO] Dreams Come True as Man Wins New $60,000 Corvette Prize in Fundraiser

Corvette Blogger - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 4:39pm

There’s a silver lining behind every dark cloud, so the old saying goes. A Paso Robles, California man likely is a believer today. Steven Lopate recently made a trip to Mission Hope Cancer Center in Santa Maria with his girlfriend, Adrianna, who was there for chemotherapy treatment. He was feeling a little down and decided […]

The post [VIDEO] Dreams Come True as Man Wins New $60,000 Corvette Prize in Fundraiser appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

2019 Acura RDX Gets 350 HP for Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 4:08pm

Acura will return to the Pikes Peak Hill Climb this year with four race cars, including a modified version of the new RDX. Thanks to a host of modifications, the special RDX produces 350 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque instead of the standard model’s 272 hp and 280 lb-ft.

The 2.0-liter engine receives a larger turbo and bigger intercooler to increase responsiveness. Acura also employed a 48-volt mild hybrid system including an electric supercharger, which will help reduce turbo lag as elevation rises. Other upgrades include a race-tuned suspension, 19-inch HRE race wheels, Pirelli racing tires, and Brembo front brake calipers and racing pads. Acura stripped out the interior to reduce weight and improve handling.

The RDX will enter the Exhibition Class of the race. Sitting behind the wheel will be Pikes Peak rookie Jordan Guitar of Acura’s North American chassis development team.

Acura will also race a 2018 TLX A-Spec with 500 hp. Last year’s version won in the Exhibition Class. Acura is bringing out a TLX GT after a win in the Open Class last year. In addition to fielding an NSX that will race in the Time Attack 1 Class, Acura will once again serve as the official pace car sponsor.

The Pikes Peak Hill Climb kicks off June 24. During the competition, vehicles ascend 4,720 feet to the finish line at the mountain’s summit of 14,115 feet.

Source: Acura

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Porsche 911 Speedster Concept Celebrates the Original 356

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 3:18pm

Seventy years ago, Porsche received certification for its very first vehicle, the 356. To mark the special occasion, Porsche has created a concept that pays homage to its early sports cars while packing a modern powertrain.

The Porsche 911 Speedster Concept features a low fly line similar to the 356 Speedster. Like many of Porsche’s early race cars, the concept receives silver and white paintwork, exterior mirrors in the classic Talbot shape, and a 50s-style central fuel tank cap positioned in the front trunk lid. The shape of an “X” is created by transparent and opaque surfaces on the headlight covers, paying tribute to an early practice in which headlights were taped up before races to protect them against damage.

The concept has a lightweight tonneau cover, and it can be attached with eight Tenax fasteners. You won’t find air conditioning, radio, or other modern creature comforts, but you will be able to sit in carbon fiber bucket seats wrapped in brown leather.

A carbon fiber decklid connects behind the front seats, covering supplemental safety bars and featuring two “streamliners.” This harks back to the 911 Speedster from 1988. There are two contrasting black slats between the streamliners that aid aerodynamics. A transparent Plexiglas wind deflector carries the “70 years of Porsche” logo.

Not every part of the car is old-school. The concept’s body was adapted from the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet and its chassis was derived from the 911 GT3. Twenty-one inch rims with high gloss polished pedals are unique to the concept. To keep weight down, a carbon fiber reinforced polymer composite material makes up the fenders, front trunk lid, and rear decklid cover.

The original “Gmünd Roadster” packed a 1.1-liter air-cooled flat-four engine with just 35 hp. Later, the 356 1500 America Roadster, considered the forefather of Porsche Speedster models, featured a 70-hp four-cylinder flat engine. Of course, these powerplants won’t suffice for today’s standards. That’s why Porsche put in a naturally aspirated flat-six that can make over 500 hp. This engine is paired to a six-speed manual transmission.

Source: Porsche

The post Porsche 911 Speedster Concept Celebrates the Original 356 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Porsche Taycan Is New Name for Mission E

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 2:33pm

Porsche debuted the Mission E concept more than two years ago, but when the electric sports car goes into production, it will feature a different name. Today, Porsche revealed that name is Taycan, pronounced “tie-con.”

Taycan translates roughly to “lively young horse,” referencing the leaping steed in the Porsche crest. Explaining the new moniker, Porsche Chairman Oliver Blume said in a statement, “Our new electric sports car is strong and dependable; it’s a vehicle that can consistently cover long distances and that epitomizes freedom.”

As we previously reported, Porsche’s first electric car will feature two motors contributing to a system output of more than 600 hp. Porsche claims a 0-60 time of “well under 3.5 seconds” and a range of more than 300 miles based on the New European Driving Cycle. Expect the Tesla-fighting Porsche Taycan to launch in 2019, followed by a Cross Turismo variant not long afterward.

If you’re wondering how Porsche came up with the names for its other cars, here’s a quick rundown. The Boxster takes its name from Porsche’s boxer engine and its roadster design, while Cayman is derived from the South American reptile related to the alligator. Macan is taken from the Indonesian word for tiger, while Cayenne denotes fieriness. Porsche named the Panamera after the Carrera Panamericana long-distance race. Finally, Porsche looked at Volkswagen’s range of spare part numbers when naming the 911.

Source: Porsche

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[ACCIDENT] C3 Corvette In Ruins After Collision with a Box Truck in Ohio

Corvette Blogger - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 1:31pm

Photo Credit: irontontribune.com Check out this white late-C3 Corvette that was badly damaged in an early morning wreck Wednesday in Ironton, Ohio. The front of the Corvette was in ruins after the crash, with the hood and right fender missing and the right front tire barely hanging on. The windshield was smashed on the passenger […]

The post [ACCIDENT] C3 Corvette In Ruins After Collision with a Box Truck in Ohio appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Big Money Lost on the Sale of this 1996 Corvette Grand Sport

Corvette Blogger - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 11:14am

Photo Credits: Bonhams While compiling results for the Vette-N-Vestments upcoming monthly market letter, we did a double take when we saw the sales price for this 1996 Corvette Grand Sport. Quickly, I reached our friend, Grand Skunkmaster, John (Hutch) Hutchinson owner of the Grand Sport Registry. He reminded me that this car sold at Mecum […]

The post Big Money Lost on the Sale of this 1996 Corvette Grand Sport appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Lingenfelter Cars And Coffee To Host Corvette Day On June 9

GM Authority News - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 10:45am

Local Corvette owners, prepare your rides.

Corvette Racing at Le Mans: Date with Destiny Dawns

Corvette Blogger - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 10:33am

Ninth Le Mans class win would add another highlight in 20th season DETROIT (June 8, 2018) – With a successful Test Day in the rear-view mirror, it’s time for Corvette Racing to turn its focus toward the focal part of its season – the 86th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s the […]

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