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2020 Corvette Launch Smashes Records for Chevrolet

Corvette Blogger - Fri, 08/09/2019 - 11:13am

The numbers are in, and the new mid-engine 2020 Corvette looks like a hit, at least on the Internet.

Chevy is aiming the new C8 Stingray at a younger audience, one of the reasons for the massive presence on the Web.

And the carmaker’s hard work is paying off with massive Internet numbers.

Continue reading 2020 Corvette Launch Smashes Records for Chevrolet at Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

GM Says 471,000 People Tuned Into 2020 Corvette Stingray Live Stream

GM Authority News - Fri, 08/09/2019 - 10:41am

The hype is real, as the kids say.

Ford Focus RS vs. Honda Civic Type R vs. Volkswagen Golf R vs. Subaru WRX STI Type RA

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 08/09/2019 - 10:15am

In light of the news that there will be no 2020-model-year Volkswagen Golf R, we’re bringing back this May 2018 comparison with the best from Subaru, Honda, Ford, and VW. Enjoy.

Every generation has one. Volkswagen Golf GTI. Acura Integra GS-R. Mitsubishi Evo. If you smuggled automotive magazines in from Europe, perhaps it was the Renault 5 Turbo or Ford Escort Cosworth.

No matter who you are or where you grew up, odds are you remember your first hot hatch—a plebeian-skinned powerhouse designed around the democratization of performance and practicality. Some looked like ATMs on wheels; others had sloping lines approximating a coupe. But they all held the same secret: startling horsepower and tight handling underneath their econobox sheetmetal.

Me? I’ll never forget the first time I saw a Subaru WRX. I was about 12 years old. It was a snowy winter morning, made colder by the wind ripping off an angry Hudson River. My dad and I were lugging my hockey gear through the parking lot of Manhattan’s Sky Rink at some ungodly pre-dawn hour for practice. He pointed to some bug-eyed car parked alongside the pier.

“You see that?” he asked. “It’s a Subaru WRX. I read that it was faster than a 911.”

That thing?”

I could hardly believe it, but I loved the idea that a relatively affordable, dorky-looking compact could smoke a sleek, expensive Porsche. A new PlayStation 2 and copy of Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec under the Christmas tree only cemented the love of cars like the Subaru WRX and its rival Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII—not just for me but for millennials and Gen Xers across the country. Then the 2008 recession took the wind out of the economy and killed the sport compact car—as well as the eponymous magazine.

Now that the economy is well and truly thriving, some automakers are once again offering a revival of choices of blisteringly quick sport compacts. Sure, Mitsubishi may have traded building Evos for SUVs, but my first-blush Subaru still stands—the track-ready 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA is arguably the baddest WRX ever to hit our shores. Others are back in the game, too. Continuing its hot hatch history (offered for the first time in America), the big-winged Honda Civic Type R generates an outrageous 306 hp from just 2.0 liters of turbocharged fury. Representing Detroit by way of its German operations and sporting the same rally-bred heritage as the Subaru: the Ford Focus RS. Rounding out the offerings is the autobahn-storming Volkswagen Golf R—a GTI with a seriously bad attitude.

One of these four is the best sport compact on the road today, and we set up a battery of tests focused purely on finding the best driver’s car of the bunch. Our playground? Southern California. We’ll use Malibu’s canyon roads, our Fontana test track, and the Streets of Willow Springs racetrack—with our on-staff race car driver Randy Pobst behind the wheel—as our proving grounds.

Money plays a big role in the purchase of any car, let alone a car aimed at a younger, currently debt-saddled generation. But although sport compact cars do have sensibility and functionality baked into their silhouettes and packaging, we wouldn’t be doing justice to these four cars by focusing on value, fuel economy, or interior features. This comparison is built around one word. The F-word. Fun.

Our winner doesn’t necessarily need to be the fastest or pull the highest lateral g through a corner. But the car has to reward its driver with snappy acceleration, exceptional steering, and the ability to put a smile on your face while doing it. So in the words of our late, lamented sister publication: Let the ass-kicking begin.

Fourth Place: Subaru WRX STI Type RA Stuck on 11

Subaru is still cranking out ever-faster WRXs, so say hi to the 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA. Limited to just 575 examples (500 for the U.S., 75 for Canada), the Type RA gets a revised 2.5-liter turbo flat-four good for 310 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque, a beefier short-throw six- speed manual transmission, Bilstein suspension dampers, a carbon-fiber roof and rear wing, and sticky performance tires.

The Type RA also benefits from the changes Subaru made to the rest of the WRX STI lineup for 2018, with uprated Brembo brakes, a center differential with fully electric locking (instead of electric and mechanical locks), and a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. This limited edition Subaru has a price to match its rarity—it stickers for $49,855.

During our long testing days, caffeine is king—unless you have the keys to the Type RA. “Lighting your hair on fire could not make this car any more exciting,” associate editor Scott Evans said.

It’s a brutal assault on your senses—over the top, exhausting, and more of a workout than any street-going STI in recent memory. Nothing comes easy. The Subaru’s engine feels straight out of a turbocharged 1980s rally car. It’s lazier than The Dude at low end, but once boost hits at 3,000 rpm, it surges forward, only to be held back by its ridiculously short gear ratios. You better get used to muscling that notchy shifter from gate to gate.

The Type RA doesn’t get any more manageable through bends. Steering is quick and heavy but lacks the feedback you’d expect from a hydraulic steering rack, and the track-oriented suspension tosses you around on all but the smoothest surfaces. “It requires a lot of corrections through bumpy corners—quite a chore,” associate road test editor Erick Ayapana said. Road test editor Chris Walton agreed: “The experience remains one of continual ‘delay gain,’ with unsure steering, tremendous turbo lag, and a ‘Who knows what’s going to happen next?’ feeling most of the time.”

There’s still something to love, though. Once the STI’s excessive drive and center-differential settings have been dialed in properly, the Type RA actively rewards you with a death grip of the road.

Between the beefy all-wheel-drive system and Stickum-coated tires, the Subie feels like it never wants to let go.

Getting those settings sorted to your driving style is tricky—with inconsistent manners ranging from lethargic to pointy—especially if you aim for the hardcore end of the scale. “It’s like when you were 15 and got your first electric guitar,” Evans said. “The first thing you did was crank the gain on the amplifier to 11 because you wanted to play metal. Then you hit that first power chord and scared everyone in the house.” To steal Evans’ analogy, the Subaru’s electronics reminds me of an old guitar amp I had in high school. It had hundreds of effects it could replicate. I ended up selling it for a single-channel Marshall half-stack. Keep it simple, Subaru. We’d be happy with two or three drive settings.

Despite the sensory overload the Subaru delivers on the road, it didn’t quite translate once our test gear was hooked up. Lined up at the drag strip, the Type RA accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, tied for slowest in the group, and went through the quarter mile in 14.0 seconds at 100.8 mph, a half second slower than our leader. Its braking performance, 60–0 mph in 103 feet, was second best, but its figure-eight lap was almost a half second behind the leaders. The Type RA’s 24.7-second at 0.77 g average lap is impressive in a vacuum, but it’s still only a tenth of a second quicker than the much softer Golf R.

Its Streets of Willow lap wasn’t as fast as we expected, either, for a car featuring a carbon roof and spoiler. Randy’s best lap was 1:27.56—just a hair ahead of the VW. Randy liked the Type RA’s brakes and shocks but was annoyed by the laggy engine and its handling balance. “Even though we had the center diff in Auto–, the Subaru still had quite a bit of understeer,” Pobst said. “I’m frustrated with Subaru because they’re too conservative with their handling balance. The RA has a wing on it, and it looks all radical, but this isn’t. It’s pushy.”

The WRX STI might be the car directly responsible for kicking off the sport compact segment, but somewhere along the way it lost that little bit of sparkle.

The Type RA both looks and feels racy, but it doesn’t have the performance to back it up. Even more important: This Subaru is just simply not as fun to drive as it is to look at.

Third Place: Volkswagen Golf R The grown-up in the room

If flying under the radar is your thing, it’s tough to beat the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R. Lacking the tacked-on bodywork and rear wing of the Ford, Honda, and Subaru, the only tell that this unassuming Golf packs 292 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque underhood is a subtle “R” badge and four fat exhaust tips poking out from its rear bumper. Otherwise this six-speed-manual-equipped (a seven-speed twin-clutch auto is available), all-wheel-drive hatch is the ultimate sleeper—perfect for convincing your new boss you’re an upstanding member of society while ensuring your college buddies know you’re still the same guy they played Edward Fortyhands with. All for a fairly reasonable $40,635.

Despite its sleeper status—not to mention its horsepower and weight disadvantage—the Golf R has no trouble chasing down the rest of the pack on Mulholland Highway. “I was surprised I was keeping up with Scott in the Focus—he’d use the Ford’s superior grip in the corners to pull away slightly, but I’d reel him in at the exit and on the straights,” Walton said. The Golf R doesn’t feel as outright powerful as the rest of the group, but it delivers its power smoothly and linearly, without much turbo lag. The gearbox has light, accurate throws, though the pedals are too widely spaced to heel-toe downshift for some.

The Golf goes around a corner with delicate, precise steering and near-invisible all-wheel drive or electronic intervention. The Golf R’s curb weight is certainly noticeable, but as Ayapana said, “It’s still predictable, balanced, and fun.”

Unfortunately, the Golf R’s refined road manners don’t translate to the track. With its power-to-weight ratio working against it, the Golf R brought up the rear in nearly all of our instrumented tests. Its best 0–60 run was 5.7 seconds, tied with the WRX STI, and it finished the quarter mile in 14.1 seconds at 100.4 mph. Its 107-foot 60–0 stop was good for bronze, but it couldn’t make up the gap in the figure eight, where it lapped the course in 24.8 seconds at a 0.77 g average.

Not that it’s a bad thing. “It’s rather shocking that the Golf R’s lap was just 0.1 second behind the Subaru around the figure eight because it was so much less taxing,” Walton said. “It felt like a nice drive, not an assault.”

When it came to its 1:27.90 hot lap, Pobst was frustrated by the Golf R’s softness. “The ride and handling engineers need to have less influence on this car,” he said. “It has a lot of understeer. Especially under power, it understeers like a front-drive car.”

Although we all agreed that the Golf R was fun to drive on the street, its result at the track left us feeling cold. The top two finishers proved to be more engaging on the street and at the track, too.

Second Place: Ford Focus RS Better late than never

Subaru and Mitsubishi were the darlings of the ’90s hot-hatch movement, but Ford was rallying around the Acropolis ages before. And Ford still knows the formula. Turbo four-cylinder? Check. All-wheel drive? Check. Charmingly obnoxious bodywork? Check.

Part of a limited edition run of 1,500 for the RS’ last model year (1,000 for the U.S.A., 500 for Canada), the 2018 model is the best yet. Its 2.3-liter turbo I-4 cranks out 350 hp and 350 lb-ft and sends its power through a six-speed manual to a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system now equipped with a limited-slip front differential. The RS also benefits from changes Ford made to the series last year, chiefly a less punishing electronic suspension setup. Our tester stickered for $41,995.

“I give Ford a lot of credit here,” Evans said. “The improvements to the RS are real and substantial. It’s much more streetable than it used to be.” Whereas the multiple 2016 Focus RS models we tested (note: we never got into a 2017 model) rode like trucks and tramlined over the road, the 2018 model finally feels dialed in.

That’s not to say the Focus RS has gone soft. The ride is still firm (especially in the suspension’s Sport setting), but it’s no longer a kidney-bruising affair. With the body well managed, it lets the driver focus on more important things—like the tiny terror under the hood.

The power the Focus RS’ 2.3-liter engine makes is unbelievable; there’s a touch of lag as you accelerate, but once boost hits, you’re off like a Falcon 9 rocket, with a matching soundtrack to boot. The gearbox carries widely spaced ratios, making it easy to string quick-succession corners together in second or third gear or lope down the freeway in sixth. The pedals are difficult to heel-toe in everyday situations because they don’t lie on the same plane, but they’re “perfect when you’re hammering the car and deep in the brake pedal,” Evans said.

The Focus RS’ steering is quick and precise, and the all-wheel-drive system doesn’t push as you go into corners. And thanks to that limited-slip front diff, it puts down power exceptionally well as you rocket out of a corner onto straights.

Not surprising with 350 horsepower on tap and an aggressive all-wheel-drive setup, the Focus RS is the quickest car here on the drag strip; it accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and runs the quarter mile in 13.5 seconds at 101.2 mph. The Focus RS is a bit underbraked, needing 109 feet in our 60–0 stopping test, but that didn’t seem to hurt its figure-eight lap, tied for first at 24.3 seconds at 0.79 g. The Focus RS is notably fun on the figure eight in Track mode with stability control disabled. “Glorious on corner exit—whacking the throttle to the floor three-quarters of the way through the corner puts the Focus into a beautiful, controlled drift every single time,” Walton said. “With a dab of oppo, it’s super controllable and a hoot.” Who needs Drift mode?

With Pobst behind the wheel, the Focus RS turned a 1:26.56 lap of Streets of Willow, just more than a second slower than our leader. Pobst said the Focus RS’ greatest advantage was its grip under power, but he complained of too much ABS intervention: “A couple times I overran corners because I got a lot of ABS and it wouldn’t slow down or turn.”

Despite its few flaws, you’re left with the impression that the Focus RS is built purely around the idea of fun. With gimmicks like Drift mode backed by face-melting performance, the 2018 Focus RS finally delivers on what the original promised. Unfortunately for Ford, there’s one car that does it better.

First Place: Honda Civic Type RR U kidding me?

The 2018 Honda Civic Type R is easy to dismiss on paper. Its 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 makes “only” 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, about average for the segment. And what criminal would send that power to only the front wheels? That would’ve been considered heresy back when I was a kid, but Honda has good reason: Front-drive with a limited-slip differential keeps both weight and the center of gravity low, with the ultimate aim of making it more fun to drive. It also makes the Type R cheaper. Its $34,990 as-tested price is the lowest of our four.

Despite the lack of all-wheel drive, the Civic Type R certainly looks like it belongs. The Gundam styling features a wide variety of functional aero add-ons, such as a massive rear wing and hood scoop—which, fun fact, cools the computers that run the Type R’s electronic adaptive suspension, not the engine—and embellishments such as red accents and three center-mounted exhaust outlets. Its styling is certainly more polarizing than our other three pocket rockets; I love it, but Evans said the Type R “screams 20-something asshat.” Hi there!

Despite Evans’ (or my) lack of taste, there’s no denying that this car can scoot. It makes everything feel absolutely effortless—natural even. The Civic’s Ohio-built engine is a little monster; it makes linear power off the line before finding a second wind as it blasts from 3,000 rpm to its redline. The clutch and six-speed manual action are also best in our test. “This might be the goldilocks of the group; it just does everything well,” Walton said. “I learned where the power lived—it comes on strong just over 3,000 rpm and gets better from there—and used it to my advantage.”

As enthusiasts, we’re conditioned to expect both torque steer and understeer from powerful front-drive cars like the Civic Type R, but Honda’s engineers likely sold their souls—as neither exists here. The Honda’s steering is light, quick, and accurate. Yet its ride is commute-friendly. “What impressed me most in the canyons was its balance,” Ayapana said. “Just when you expect understeer, the Civic Type R says, ‘Nope, not today,’ and stays neutral.”

Equally impressive at our test track, the uncivil Civic accelerated from 0 to 60 in 5.0 seconds and finished the quarter in 13.7 seconds at 105.9 mph, second to the Ford. Even more impressive is the Type R’s acceleration numbers after 60 mph; from 0 to 70 through 100 mph, the Type R was the quickest car of the group. The Honda stopped shorter than any other car in our test, too, needing 99 feet to
stop from 60 mph, and it tied the Focus RS’ 24.3-second figure-eight lap and its 0.79 g average.

Although the Type R didn’t cleanly break free from the Ford at our test track, it blasted the Focus at Streets. Pobst’s 1:25.45 lap was not only the fastest of the day, but it also makes the Honda the quickest front-drive car we’ve ever had around the track. “The Civic feels the raciest of this group,” he said. “It’s a bit of a wild child, but it’s a very stable car. It’s really hard to get the tail out, but at the same time it doesn’t have as much understeer as the Subaru or Golf. It’s so interesting. How do they do that?” The Civic Type R’s performance merits are certainly enough for it to earn first place fair and square.

More than that, it never fails to make you smile. Of all the cars here, the Civic Type R is the one we most want to drive, just because. It’s the type of car where you’re actively looking for an excuse to run an errand or head out on a road trip. It’s as rewarding to drive at 25 mph puttering around town as it is carving up your favorite back road or racetrack. It’s the car you shift for no reason other than it feels good doing it. It’s the car you race from every stop sign because it’s fun and take around every corner as fast as you dare because of its thrilling feedback.

If I could send this story back in time and put it in the hands of my 12-year-old self, I’m sure I wouldn’t believe the results. But the Honda Civic Type R isn’t just a driver’s car. It’s a driving partner. And for that, it’s our unanimous pick for the winner.

4th Place: 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA
Rough and tumble Type RA promises much but doesn’t deliver the goods

3rd Place: 2018 Volkswagen Golf R
Soft and heavy at the track but an exceptional long-haul cruiser

2nd Place: 2018 Ford Focus RS
Ford finally delivers the Focus RS we’ve always wanted … just in time for it to go out of production

1st Place: 2018 Honda Civic Type R
Honda’s twist on the sport compact creates the new world-standard hot hatch

Horses for Courses

Sometimes the category of car we’re lapping and the available track don’t quite match. Either the cars are too powerful for the track, or the track’s too fast for the cars. Not here, though. Our quartet of cars couldn’t be better tailored for the Streets of Willow Springs. Unfortunately, that still left us with some head-scratching inconsistencies. Sure, there are a couple of obvious trends. The Civic Type R repeatedly out-accelerates the other three and usually gets a jump out of the corners, too, due to its edge in grip. But when we lean in closer — well, there are often differences without patterns. For instance, the Civic shows a lot of confidence through Turn 7, but Randy Pobst isn’t nearly as bold as he lifts nearing the braking points for Turn 1 and 11. The Golf shows a lack of commitment at all three of these points, though it’s solidly midpack in cornering grip. The Focus is uniquely quick through Turn 5 but nowhere else. What is consistent? Perhaps the Subaru, which usually had the lowest cornering speeds and peak speeds between corners — except for its anomalous spurt of speed between Turns 3 and 4 –Kim Reynolds

2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA 2018 Volkswagen Golf R 2018 Ford Focus RS 2018 Honda Civic Type R DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD Front-engine, AWD Front-engine, AWD Front-engine, FWD ENGINE TYPE Turbocharged flat-4, alum block/heads Turbocharged I-4, iron block/alum head Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DISPLACEMENT 150.2 cu in/2,462cc 121.1 cu in/1,984 cc 138.0 cu in/2,261 cc 121.8 cu in/1,996 cc COMPRESSION RATIO 8.1:1 9.6:1 9.5:1 9.8:1 POWER (SAE NET) 305 hp @ 6,000 rpm 292 hp @ 5,400 rpm 350 hp @ 6,000 rpm 306 hp @ 6,500 rpm TORQUE (SAE NET) 290 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 280 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm 350 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm 295 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm REDLINE 6,600 rpm 6,500 rpm 6,500 rpm 7,000 rpm WEIGHT TO POWER 11.1 lb/hp 11.4 lb/hp 9.8 lb/hp 10.1 lb/hp TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual 6-speed manual 6-speed manual 6-speed manual AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.90:1/2.95:1 4.24:1 (1st, 2nd) 3.27:1 (3rd-6th, R)/2.98:1 4.06:1 (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th); 2.95:1 (5th, 6th, R)/2.77:1 4.11:1/3.02:1 SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar Struts, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; control arms, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar Struts, coil springs, adj shocks; anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks; anti-roll bar STEERING RATIO 13.3:1 9.5-14.1:1 15.0:1 14.9-11.7:1 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.5 2.1 2.0 2.1 BRAKES, F; R 13.4-in vented, drilled disc; 12.8-in vented, drilled disc, ABS 13.4-in vented disc; 12.2-in vented disc, ABS 13.8-in vented disc; 11.9-in vented disc, ABS 13.8-in vented, drilled disc; 12.0-in disc, ABS WHEELS 8.5 x 19-in forged aluminum 8.0 x 19-in cast aluminum 8.0 x 19-in forged aluminum 8.5 x 20-in cast aluminum TIRES 245/35R19 89W Yokohama Advan Sport V105 235/35R19 91Y Continental ContiSportContact 5P 235/35R19 91Y Michelin Pilot Super Sport 245/30R20 90Y Continental SportContact 6 DIMENSIONS WHEELBASE 104.3 in 103.5 in 104.3 in 106.3 in TRACK, F/R 60.2/60.6 in 60.7/59.7 in 60.9/60.0 in 63.0/62.7 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 181.3 x 70.7 x 58.1 in 168.4 x 70.8 x 56.5 in 171.7 x 74.1 x 58.0 in 179.4 x 73.9 56.5 in TURNING CIRCLE 36.0 ft 35.8 ft 39.4 ft 39.5 ft CURB WEIGHT 3,380 lb 3,325 lb 3,430 lb 3,096 lb WEIGHT DIST, F/R 60/40% 59/41% 59/41% 62/38% SEATING CAPACITY 5 5 5 4 HEADROOM, F/R 39.8/37.1 in 38.4/38.1 in 38.3/38.0 in 39.3/37.4 in LEGROOM, F/R 43.3/35.4 in 41.2/35.6 in 43.1/33.2 in 42.3/35.9 in SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 55.6/54.6 in 55.9/53.9 in 55.6/52.6 in 56.9/55.0 in CARGO VOLUME 12.0 cu ft 52.7/22.8 cu ft 36.9/19.9 cu ft 46.3/25.7 cu ft TEST DATA ACCELERATION TO MPH 0-30 1.7 sec 1.8 sec 1.5 sec 2.1 sec 0-40 3.0 3.1 2.6 3.2 0-50 4.0 4.1 3.6 4.0 0-60 5.7 5.7 4.7 5.0 0-70 7.1 7.3 6.7 6.6 0-80 9.3 9.4 8.2 8.0 0-90 11.4 11.7 10.3 10.2 0-100 13.8 14.0 13.2 12.2 PASSING, 45-65 MPH 2.9 3.0 2.8 2.4 QUARTER MILE 14.0 sec @ 100.8 mph 14.1 sec @ 100.4 mph 13.5 sec @ 101.2 mph 13.7 sec @ 105.9 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 103 ft 107 ft 109 ft 99 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.98 g (avg) 0.97 g (avg) 1.01 g (avg) 1.01 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 24.7 sec @ 0.77 g (avg) 24.8 sec @ 0.77 g (avg) 24.3 sec @ 0.79 g (avg) 24.3 sec @ 0.79 g (avg) 1.6-MI ROAD COURSE LAP 87.56 sec 87.90 sec 86.56 sec 85.45 sec TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 2,400 rpm 2,250 rpm 2,250 rpm 2,450 rpm CONSUMER INFO BASE PRICE $49,855 $40,635 $41,995 $34,990 PRICE AS TESTED $49,855 $40,635 $41,995 $34,990 STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes AIRBAGS 7: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, driver knee 6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain 7: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, driver knee 6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 miles 6 yrs/72,000 miles 3 yrs/36,000 miles 3 yrs/36,000 miles POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles 6 yrs/72,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 3 yrs/36,000 miles 3 yrs/36,000 miles 5 yrs/60,000 miles 3 yrs/36,000 miles FUEL CAPACITY 15.9 gal 14.5 gal 13.7 gal 12.4 gal EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 16/22/18 mpg 21/29/24 mpg 19/26/22 mpg 22/28/25 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 211/153 kW-hrs/100 miles 160/116 kW-hrs/100 miles 177/130 kW-hrs/100 miles 153/120 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.06 lb/mile 0.81 lb/mile 0.90 lb/mile 0.80 lb/mile RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium Unleaded premium Unleaded premium Unleaded premium

The post Ford Focus RS vs. Honda Civic Type R vs. Volkswagen Golf R vs. Subaru WRX STI Type RA appeared first on MotorTrend.

[AMAZON] Chemical Guys Best Wash And Dry Kit at Lowest Price Ever at $42

Corvette Blogger - Fri, 08/09/2019 - 10:08am

The Chemical Guys HOL128 Best Wash and Dry Kit featuring eight items is now at the lowest price we’ve seen on Amazon. Regularly priced at $74.99, it’s currently on sale for $41.99, a savings of $33 (44%)!

Chemical Guys has combined the best-selling fan favorites and newest car wash products into the Best Wash And Dry Kit.

Continue reading [AMAZON] Chemical Guys Best Wash And Dry Kit at Lowest Price Ever at $42 at Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

5 Things We Love About The New 2020 Chevy Corvette C8

Corvettes Online News Feed - Fri, 08/09/2019 - 10:08am
The new C8 Stingray is getting a lot of attention and for all of the right reasons. Here's our take on what makes Chevy's Corvette the hottest car on the market.

Refreshing or Revolting: 2019 Cadillac CT6-V

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 08/09/2019 - 8:00am

The Cadillac CT6 lives on despite rumors it would be cancelled. Not only that, the flagship sedan charges ahead with a “V” variant boasting a more potent 4.2-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine making 550 hp. Because of its tame exterior design, the 2019 Cadillac CT6-V is the definition of a sleeper sedan. But is that a good thing or not?

The CT6-V has a much more subtle design than the 640-hp supercharged CTS-V, which serves a different role but is pictured below for reference. The new sedan has a relatively small grille, and it also features vertical headlights that Cadillac often uses on its cars. Overall, it looks just like the regular CT6, with no visual cues hinting at its sporty intentions.

It’s the same story from the side profile. There are no bold creases or design touches, giving it a generic look from this angle. Its only distinguishing feature is a small V badge behind the front wheel. The model features standard 20-inch wheels, but they’re more elegant than athletic. The CT6-V is slightly boxier than rivals like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but it’s not as angular as the mighty CTS-V, which also has a nice side vent hinting at its sporting intentions.

More V badging can be found in the rear, which continues the sleeper sedan theme. A subtle silver trim piece complements the short rear deck of the CT6-V, and the vertical taillights match the headlights. Probably the only real giveaway this model is a sports car is its dual exhaust pipes.

Inside the cabin, the CT6-V receives the latest CUE infotainment system with a 10-inch touchscreen. Drivers can also control the system via a new rotary controller on the center console. We appreciate the attractive colors and materials inside the cabin, but we still think Cadillac didn’t do enough to differentiate it from the standard CT6. Some bolstered seats and a flat-bottom steering wheel would be a good place to start.

Do you think the 2019 Cadillac CT6-V is refreshing or revolting? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: 2019 Cadillac CT6-V appeared first on MotorTrend.

Infiniti Celebrates 30th Anniversary With Five Special Editions

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 08/09/2019 - 8:00am

Infiniti is celebrating its 30th birthday this month with special editions of the Q50 sedan, Q60 coupe, and the family of QX50, QX60, and QX80 SUVs. The automaker made its debut in 1989 as a luxury division of Nissan. There were only two models in the Infiniti portfolio at the time: the full-size V-8-powered Q45 sedan and a two-door coupe based on the Nissan Leopard rebadged as the Infiniti M30.

Those two cars live on in the forms of the Q70 5.6 Luxe sedan with its naturally aspirated V-8 and the two-door Q60, but the Infiniti lineup has expanded over the years to accommodate the high demand for luxury SUVs. The Infiniti SUV family currently includes the Nissan Patrol-based QX80, the Pathfinder-based QX60, and the midsize QX50.

This fall, Infiniti will be releasing Edition 30 versions of its entire lineup, sans the Q70 and long-wheelbase Q70L. All Edition 30 models come standard with Infiniti’s suite of driver assist tech—including adaptive cruise control, surround view cameras, and front and rear emergency braking—which is offered as part of the ProAssist package on non-Edition 30 Infinitis. The anniversary models will also feature dark chrome aesthetic details on the grille surround, fender trim, and rear finish panel. Black side-view mirrors, dark wheels, and a body-color rear apron further differentiate Edition 30 models from the rest of the Infiniti portfolio.

The 2020 Infiniti Edition 30 lineup debuts at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and the special edition cars arrive at dealerships this fall.

Source: Infiniti

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Here’s How the Toyota 4Runner Has Changed Over Five Generations

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 08/09/2019 - 4:00am

Think of the 4Runner as the anti-crossover. These days plenty of car-based soft-roaders are given aesthetic enhancements to convey ruggedness. That’s never been the case with the Toyota 4Runner, which, from its start, has been built for capability when the pavement ends. It has a body-on-frame chassis, available locking differentials, and—of course—four-wheel drive, but it’s still spacious and comfortable around town. Now in its fifth generation, the vehicle continues to improve on its core competencies. Read on to learn how far it’s come and see 4Runner photos from every generation.

First Generation (1984–1989)

At first, the 4Runner was little more than a modified Hilux pickup truck. Based on the two-door truck, a fiberglass shell went over the bed, rear seats were installed, and upholstery was added to make it more comfortable. In what became a 4Runner signature, it also got a retractable windshield in the rear tailgate. Midway through this generation it switched from a solid front axle to independent suspension to enhance road manners, and those early models are highly sought after by off-road enthusiasts. Most came equipped with the venerable 2.4-liter 22RE I-4 engine producing about 100 hp, but a turbocharged version of this engine and a 3.0-liter V-6 were also available.

Second Generation (1990–1995)

Although it was still based on the Hilux pickup frame, the second-gen 4Runner received a unique body to set it apart, now with rear doors to better accommodate passengers. The front independent suspension developed in the first generation carried over, but rear leaf springs were replaced by coils. Again, the base engine was a 2.4-liter I-4 with a 3.0-liter V-6 available as an upgrade. V-6 cars got a chain-driven transfer case to reduce noise, but the I-4’s gear-driven unit is considered more robust.

Third Generation (1996–2002)

In generation three, the 4Runner became its own thing. It got an all-new body sitting on a chassis that wasn’t shared with a pickup. Engines grew to a 2.7-liter I-4 base and 3.4-liter V-6 upgrade. Off-road capability remained a focus, but numerous changes helped make it a nicer road car. Body styling was smoothed, the wheelbase was lengthened, and the interior was thoroughly revised to improve space and ergonomics.

Fourth Generation (2003–2009)

The shift toward a more road-oriented SUV continued with the fourth generation. It kept its body-on-frame underpinnings, but exterior styling became more rounded and car-like. Again, the interior became more spacious and better appointed. Four-cylinder engines were dropped in favor of a 4.0-liter V-6, and a 4.7-liter V-8 was made available. Both used a lockable Torsen center differential, which, while not ultimately as trail-capable as independent axle lockers, is more usable in everyday situations.

Fifth Generation (2009–Present)

Today’s 4Runner increases in comfort and capability. Now powered exclusively by a 270-hp 4.0-liter V-6 (an I-4 was only briefly available), it’s more luxurious than before. For off-road enthusiasts, a TRD Pro trim adds upgraded shocks, springs, tires, and skidplates to make it trail-ready straight off the lot. In 2019 it gained modern driver-assist technology and additional USB ports. The 4Runner’s status as a rugged SUV that can be driven every day makes it a hit with consumers: Year-over-year sales continue to climb.

The post Here’s How the Toyota 4Runner Has Changed Over Five Generations appeared first on MotorTrend.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette: Interviewing Exterior Design Manager Kirk Bennion

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 08/09/2019 - 4:00am

Kirk Bennion has been working with the Corvette design studio since 1986, and Team Vette recently caught up with him at the very successful 2020 Chevrolet Corvette reveal event in July. He’s an avid amateur race driver and understands the importance of how aerodynamics improve a Corvette’s track performance. Along with his team, he’s responsible for the exterior design of the mid-engine C8 Corvette, a radical departure from the outgoing front-engine C7 architecture.

This article was originally featured on Vette. For more stories like this, check out the Super Chevy Network.

Vette: Congratulations on the exterior design of the C8 Corvette. The beautiful C7 was a hard act to follow. What was the biggest aerodynamic challenge you were faced with on this design?

KB: We worked very hard to incorporate low drag and manipulate downforce into this car. All of these factors had a huge impact on the end result of this car. For example, getting the two heat exchangers in the front and two in the rear of the car to function properly created an aerodynamic challenge.

Vette: What issues did you encounter locating the heat exchangers?

KB: We had to make sure they were mounted in the proper locations in order to maximize their air flow and not disturb the overall design of the car. It took us an enormous amount of time to determine where to position them and shape the inlets to provide maximum cooling.

Vette: How did you manage routing the plumbing from the front radiators to the engine?

KB: The plumbing was not too bad, because we didn’t have any exhaust running down the center of the car. The center tunnel was free for us to route the plumbing to the engine.

Vette: Tell us about the hydraulic front lift system?

KB: This has been a constant request from our customers that started when we introduced the C6 Z06. Frontal curb damage has been a constant occurrence. The front cameras helped. However, getting the C8 as low as possible was our goal, but in addition we had to make the car user friendly. The hydraulic front lift system mitigates many of this issues.

Vette: How does it work?

KB: When a customer approaches a speed bump or any other kind of road obstruction they press a button to activate the system. The location is sent via GPS to a satellite and it is stored in a cloud memory. The next time the driver approaches this location the hydraulic front lift system activates automatically. The system can store up to 1,000 locations. The front shocks are fitted with a small hydraulic pump that is activated by an electronic switch when it get a signal to raise the car.

Vette: The C8 seems to have more definitive body lines than the previous C7. Why is that?

KB: This car is very fast and aerodynamics play a big role in keeping this car stable at all speeds. It is easy to see the influence of aircraft design in the body shape. The body ridges help direct the air flow around the body and into the cooling inlets. Cooling and downforce help keep this vehicle stable. The development is part art using clay modeling and digital mathematical computer design. We started at the front of the car and found the highest wind velocity is at the center of the car. We did not want a bunch of air under the car because that creates lift so we used air dams to manage that flow. The car has a hybrid rear spoiler that helps the air exit the rear of the vehicle from the left and right side of the bumper. The C8 has fans tucked within the bodywork to help pump air into the engine compartment and then evacuate it under the car and through vents in the rear window and bumper. 

Vette: What do you like the most about the outside of the car?

KB: We took all of the fat out of the car, the design is very taunt over the mechanicals underneath the panels. We left no stone unturned and constantly asked ourselves if we could be do something better and more unique than the previous car. However, we always wanted to make sure the car looked like a Corvette.

Vette: Kirk, it is a brilliant design and it maintains Corvettes heritage, congratulations!

KB: Thanks!

The post 2020 Chevrolet Corvette: Interviewing Exterior Design Manager Kirk Bennion appeared first on MotorTrend.

Here Are the Safest Luxury SUVs of 2019

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 08/09/2019 - 4:00am

In large part, choosing a luxury SUV comes down to taste. But you also want to make sure the model that captures your heart is also safe. Below is a list of the safest luxury SUVs around. All entries listed have an overall four-star or five-star crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, plus a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

2019–2020 Acura RDX

IIHS 2019 Top Safety Pick+
5-star NHTSA rating

The Acura RDX offers more features per dollar than most luxury competitors. And if you can get past the soft brake feel, you’ll appreciate the RDX’s sharp handling and acceleration. IIHS named it a Top Safety Pick+, a designation that applies to the Standard, Technology, and A-Spec trims with LED projector lights. The Advance trim’s curve-adaptive LEDs get an Acceptable rating, precluding this variant from TSP+ status.

2019 Audi Q8

IIHS 2019 Top Safety Pick
5-star NHTSA rating

We appreciate the Q8’s sporty styling, but on the road it doesn’t feel as athletic as its looks suggest. Still, it handles and accelerates competently, as we found out in our First Test. The Premium Plus and Prestige trims boast Top Safety Pick status when paired with Acceptable-rated headlights, although other headlights tested get a Poor rating.

2019 BMW X3

IIHS 2019 Top Safety Pick+
5-star NHTSA rating

BMW’s compact X3 is a Top Safety Pick+ when paired with optional front crash prevention technology and specific headlights. The XDrive30i model equipped with the Executive package is the only one that has earned the Good-rated headlights needed for IIHS’ top award. IIHS also tested xDrive30i models with Marginal-rated lights. In addition to safety, the X3 has a lot of other admirable traits. We enjoy the buttery smooth 3.0-liter six-cylinder paired to an equally competent eight-speed transmission in the M40i model.

2019 BMW X5

IIHS 2019 Top Safety Pick+
4-star NHTSA rating

The all-new BMW X5 handles surprisingly well for its size, and it exhibits little body roll on the pavement so you can expect a smooth ride. It also impresses off the beaten path when paired with an off-road package. In terms of safety, the X5 gets Top Safety Pick+ status on certain xDrive40i and xDrive50i models equipped with Good-rated headlights. It gets a four-star overall rating from NHTSA, receiving four stars in the front crash test, five stars in the side crash test, and four stars in the rollover test.

2019–20 Infiniti QX60

IIHS 2019 Top Safety Pick
5-star NHTSA rating

This midsize SUV benefits from a comfortable ride and lots of standard features. Based on the Nissan Pathfinder, this luxury SUV gets a 3.5-liter V-6 with a robust 295 hp. In IIHS tests, QX60s built after May 2019 earn a Top Safety Pick when paired with Acceptable-rated headlights with high-beam assist on the Luxe trim.

2019 Lexus UX

IIHS 2019 Top Safety Pick
5-star NHTSA rating

Apparently, high-riding hatchbacks are the new crossovers. The pint-sized UX is great for the city, offering a comfortable ride over uneven surfaces at normal speeds. And although it’s the smallest utility vehicle in Lexus’ lineup, the interior feels expensive for the most part. Lexus doesn’t skimp on safety, either, offering a standard pre-collision system. This system allowed the UX to avoid a collision in 12-mph and 25-mph tests from IIHS. The UX is a Top Safety Pick on certain models with curve-adaptive headlights rated Acceptable by the agency.

Safest luxury SUVs of 2019:Honorable mention (TSP or TSP+ from IIHS, but not yet rated by NHTSA):

The post Here Are the Safest Luxury SUVs of 2019 appeared first on MotorTrend.

GM Unrelenting In Pursuit Of GMC Granite Trademark

GM Authority News - Fri, 08/09/2019 - 1:19am

The trademark took another important step this week.

[VIDEO] MacMulkin Chevrolet Hosts the 2020 Corvette Stingray

Corvette Blogger - Fri, 08/09/2019 - 12:15am

MacMulkin Chevrolet hosted the 2020 Corvette for the day on August 7th as the C8 Dealer Tour made a stop at the Nashua, NH. dealership.

A crowd of over 2,300 Corvette enthusiasts visited the Chevy dealer during the day, and for much of the time it was very crowded as this video MacMulkin’s facebook page shows:

While that video gives a great overview from the moment the cover was lifted off the Corvette, we also enjoyed another video from the Boston Auto Blogger who was invited to the event.

Continue reading [VIDEO] MacMulkin Chevrolet Hosts the 2020 Corvette Stingray at Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Study Shows GM Vehicles Owners Most Often Give Up Within A Year

GM Authority News - Thu, 08/08/2019 - 7:10pm

Which GM vehicles inspire the most buyer's remorse?

What Is GM’s Plan For The Buick Encore And Encore GX?

GM Authority News - Thu, 08/08/2019 - 7:00pm

Will GM heavily discount the Encore and sell the Encore GX full-price?

Fiat Will Stick to its Niche While it Waits for Electrification

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 08/08/2019 - 6:38pm

Fiat doesn’t mind that it’s a niche brand. At least that’s according to Pieter Hogeveen, head marketing executive for Fiat in North America. Since returning Stateside in 2011, Fiat has sold close to 400,000 vehicles. But its annual sales volume has dropped significantly since its reintroduction. That’s mainly due to Fiat only selling small cars and a lack of fresh product. The brand, however, still thinks it can attract new buyers, particularly younger ones. How? By relying on heritage, driving fun, and value.

MotorTrend spoke with Hogeveen at the refreshed 2019 Fiat 500X media drive in Malibu, California, where he outlined the status of Fiat in North America. Even with the Italian marque’s lack of volume, Hogeveen still sees a business case for Fiat in the U.S. “I think if you take a look at our customers and following, there’s a place for unique vehicles in the U.S. market,” he said. With the 500X, Fiat has an entry in one of the fastest growing segments, the subcompact crossover class, and expects it to make up the bulk of sales as utility vehicle demand continues to grow.

Unlike Mini, Fiat intends to preserve its identity as a small car specialist but remain a mainstream brand so it doesn’t price itself out of its market. “We know price and small cars go hand in hand, and we have to make sure we offer value at every price point,” said Hogeveen. “Fiat has always been a value brand, and moving away from that would not make sense.”

We asked Hogeveen whether we’ll see larger vehicles in Fiat’s lineup, and although he couldn’t comment on future product, we’re suspecting that the 500L and 500X are the biggest it’ll offer. What you can expect are more special editions and packages to keep current offerings interesting. However, there’s a fine line between too much and not enough customizability. “People like customization but if you have too many trims you create confusion,” Hogeveen said. The 500X lineup shrunk down to three trims to make it easier for consumers to get exactly what they want but the extensive exterior and interior color palette remains.

The switch to an all turbocharged engine lineup is part of Fiat’s move to offer more engaging vehicles to drive. The refreshed 2019 500X is the final vehicle to receive the update with the new 1.3-liter turbo-four replacing the old 1.4-liter and naturally aspirated 2.4-liter units. Manual transmissions will likely stay in Fiat’s lineup for the foreseeable future because they make up 50 percent of sales for the 500 and 124 Abarth. Hogeveen also revealed that 40 percent of 124 Spiders sold are Abarths, further justifying the case for fun-to-drive vehicles.

As for what’s next, Hogeveen said Fiat is looking closely at industry trends but declined to comment on North America specifically. At the 2019 Geneva auto show, Fiat debuted the all-electric Centoventi Concept, an EV with four removable batteries and a range of 60-300 miles on a charge depending on how many you use.

Last June, FCA’s five-year plan outlined Fiat’s electrified future. The lineup will also focus mainly on the 500 and Panda families, and move the brand to a more premium position in the European market. The next Fiat 500 is expected to debut in 2020 as an EV with its own dedicated platform. A second model, which could revive the Giardiniera name, is expected to follow after.For now, Fiat will stay the course in North America until the electrified new-generation models arrive starting in 2020. We suspect the new 1.3-liter turbo-four could be the last gas-only mill before the transition to electrified powertrains. Seeing as that engine is the basis for the Jeep Renegade plug-in, which is tipped to come to the U.S., we wouldn’t be surprised if that system comes to the U.S. in the 500X, too.

The post Fiat Will Stick to its Niche While it Waits for Electrification appeared first on MotorTrend.

Kooks Offers New Exhaust For 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and 2019 GMC Sierra

GM Authority News - Thu, 08/08/2019 - 6:11pm

Extra rumble and free-flowing performance to boot.

Blast Off: Advanced Modern Performance’s C7 ZR5 Goes Mid-8’s

Corvettes Online News Feed - Thu, 08/08/2019 - 5:34pm
Advanced Modern Performance (AMP) takes its C7 ZR1 to new heights. The company was able to take the ZR5 packaged C7 and blast into the 8-second range.

GM: We Don’t Wish To Spend Capital To Build EV Fast Chargers

GM Authority News - Thu, 08/08/2019 - 5:14pm

It is setting up fast chargers under a different company.

Buick Cascada Not The Only Small Convertible Being Discontinued

GM Authority News - Thu, 08/08/2019 - 4:14pm

The Audi A3 is also being shown the door.


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