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HSV Mulls Ford Ranger Raptor Rival

GM Authority News - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 10:22am

Holden Special Vehicles may want to cook up a hotter Colorado variant after all.

Cadillac Headquarters Will Remain In New York City

GM Authority News - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 10:04am

Steve Carlisle will keep the luxury brand in NYC, even after ex-president Johan de Nysschen presided over the move.

GM Vice President Of Electric Car Programs Earns Distinguished Award

GM Authority News - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 9:49am

Pam Fletcher was awarded the 2017 Henry Ford II Distinguished Award for Excellence in Automotive Engineering.

2019 Cadillac XT4 Configurator Goes Live

GM Authority News - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 9:31am

And the most expensive model will cost $56,000.

Ram Sees Value In A Raptor Rival, Plans To Put Rebel TRX Into Production As Chevy Stays Quiet

GM Authority News - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 8:49am

Look for the Ram Rebel TRX to hit the off-road trails around 2022.

Holden Names Marc Ebolo Managing Director For New Zealand

GM Authority News - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 8:35am

Ebolo replaces Kristian Aquilina, who was named Holden marketing director.

2018 Nissan Kicks First Drive: Kicking Ass and Taking Sales

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 7:00am

Just about every week it seems an automaker announces or reveals a new vehicle or puts a new spin on an old vehicle that millennials will just love. Even the pitches that aren’t tone-deaf are usually met with the same eye-rolling response: many millennials are saddled with debt and working a job beneath their education because it’s all they could get. Given enough chances, it was only a matter of time before an automaker actually hit the target, and Nissan may have done it.

Buying the base model of an entry-level car used to mean you couldn’t even get power windows or door locks, and it wasn’t that long ago Bluetooth and automatic headlights were restricted to pricier trim levels. Rear cameras only became standard this year because the government mandated it. Things are getting better for the value shopper in general as customers expect more from their vehicles, but the 2018 Nissan Kicks takes it a big step forward.

The 2018 Kicks’ standard features read like a list of things you normally wish you could get as options on a base model. Automatic emergency braking and forward collision alert. Automatic headlights. Three USB ports (more than some competitors offer, period, let alone on a base model). Tilting and telescoping steering wheel. Automatic up/down front windows. Keyless entry and push-button starte. A 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth phone and streaming audio. All of that for $18,965.

If you can scrape a few more pennies together, though, it’s worth an extra month of eating ramen for the midgrade SV model. The 2018 Kicks SV picks up an upgraded infotainment system (still a 7.0-inch touchscreen) with CarPlay and Android Auto and satellite radio, automatic climate control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic monitoring, a cargo cover, remote engine starting, and alloy wheels for $20,665 all said and done.

Unless you really want LED headlights and a surround-view camera system, skip past the $21,265 SR trim, as it’s mostly cosmetic, though it does add a few lines of software to the engine and chassis computers that are supposed to make it handle a little better. If you’re going to splurge anyway, beg, borrow, or steal the extra $1,000 and get the loaded SR with the Premium package. To the SR niceties it adds nice faux-leather seats with heaters up front, a security system, and a phenomenal Bose Personal Plus eight-speaker stereo.

Let’s take a moment to talk about this stereo. You’re lucky if you can even get a “premium” stereo upgrade in a car that maxes out at $22,265 before accessories, and it usually just takes you from “it plays music” to “this sounds decent.” The Bose stereo in this Kicks, no joke, sounds better than the base stereo in a $180,000 Bentley Bentayga. Play an uncompressed audio file off your phone, and marvel at the clarity of the individual instruments and the breadth of the sound stage, then remind yourself this is a $22,000 car. Part of the trick is a pair of speakers in the driver’s head rest, which are there to manipulate the stage, not blow out your eardrums, though you can hear a difference if you turn your head all the way to the right or left. The stereo can be adjusted to focus sound at the driver when you’re alone in the car, but personally, I preferred the panoramic setting and its recording-studio feel.

If the SR Premium package really would break the bank, though, rest assured the base stereo is actually pretty good, too.

Fitting all these features into this price point did require decisions on Nissan’s part, some tough and some curious. For example, rear parking sensors, a Rockford Fosgate subwoofer, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and ambient interior lighting are all either stand-alone accessories or a small accessories package rather than rolled into a trim level or larger package. The upshot here is you can buy exactly what matters to you.

In other cases, though, you’re left hanging. Because the Kicks shares a platform with the Versa and Versa Note, all-wheel drive is not available. Nissan also opted against a navigation option, so your phone will have to suffice when service permits. Adaptive cruise control is also off the menu despite the automatic emergency braking system using a radar module and adaptive cruise only requiring some code and a steering wheel button. If you’d like any of this, you’ll need to step up to the more expensive Rogue Sport.

If you can live without all-wheel drive, however, there’s a lot to like about the way the Kicks drives. A 1.6-liter I-4 with a CVT driving the front wheels is your only option, and despite offering an underwhelming 125 hp and 115 lb-ft, it’s much better than it sounds. Nissan’s got an ace up its sleeve, and it’s a claimed curb weight under 2,700 pounds (200 to 500 pounds less than competitors). I’d estimate its 0–60 time around 9.0 to 9.5 seconds, which puts it in line with the Honda HR-V and Subaru Crosstrek and well ahead of the Toyota C-HR. Critically, the Kicks always feels like it’s trying. This engine delivers a sense of urgency that’s absent from the C-HR, and it doesn’t struggle with hills at freeway speeds like the HR-V does. Yeah, like the rest of them, it’s still slow, but you don’t feel like you need to floor it to avoid being run over. When you do floor it, the Kicks feels like it’s actually moving.

Part of this is thanks to new transmission software that finally whips Nissan’s CVT into shape. The rubber-band feel associated with some CVTs is gone, and when you really get into the gas pedal it automatically begins simulating shifts. It’s much more like the class-leading CVTs from Honda and Subaru—and finally not a liability. On top of that, it facilitates best-in-class EPA-rated fuel economy across the board at 31/36/33 mpg city/highway/combined.

Paired up with the eager-to-please drivetrain, the variable steering rack doesn’t feel variable; it gives you linear and predictable steering response in corners with a nice weight to it. The same can be said of the brake pedal. All of your inputs are met with the exact response you’d expect from them, which makes the Kicks very pleasant to drive. In the city, the super tight U-turn radius is handy, and the surprisingly flat body control makes it fun to hustle. The tires have more grip than you’d expect and don’t make any noise even when you’re pushing them, though they do get loud on a concrete freeway.

However you plan to drive it, you’ll appreciate the large windows and the excellent outward visibility they provide. It’s great Nissan offers blind-spot monitoring and a surround-view camera system, but it’s even better they don’t feel like mandatory equipment, as on some cars with their gun-slit windows. Up front, the cabin feels big and airy, especially for such a small vehicle. There’s tons of leg- and headroom up there, but the space around the driver’s knee is cramped. My right knee was always touching the center console. The rear seat is more cramped, especially for the long-legged. The cargo area is surprisingly large and still fits a space-saver spare tire. Unfortunately, the second row doesn’t fold flat, leaving you a two-level expanded cargo space.

The rest of the interior is what you’d expect for a sub-$23,000 car. It’s all plastic, unless you get an SR with its nice stitched faux-leather wrap on the dash. The quality of the plastic is fine, as is fit and finish. The design is mostly inoffensive, though the door panels are big black slabs with a single trim piece to liven them up. Enjoy all the headroom, and don’t look up at the mouse fur headliner and retro ’90s map light console.

Nissan calls the Kicks stylish and hip and says the kids will love it, but here’s the straight talk: The Kicks is surprisingly well-equipped with features you actually want, and it boasts killer fuel economy. If all-wheel drive isn’t a must-have, it’s hard to come up with another compelling reason to keep the Kicks off your shopping list.

The post 2018 Nissan Kicks First Drive: Kicking Ass and Taking Sales appeared first on Motor Trend.

2017 Jaguar F-Pace Long-Term Update 5: Auto Stop/Start/Restart Part 1

Motortrend Magazine News - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 4:00am

Recently, our F-Pace’s auto stop/start system started to completely ignore the second half of its mission; instead of shutting then engine off and starting it right back up again, the car would completely shut down—often at the most inopportune moments (in stop-and-go traffic, left-hand turn lanes, etc.). I first noticed it but thought I might be imagining things. Then photographer Robin Trajano and associate online editor Collin Woodard had it happen to them. Finally, while driving back from a Target run, I got it all sorted.

First a primer for those who haven’t experienced the joys of these fuel-saving ignition-cutting systems. Auto stop/start systems shut the engine off when a vehicle is at rest. The transmission does not need to be in park; all that is required is that the vehicle is stopped with the driver’s foot firmly on the brake in the right conditions. Well, in the case of Jaguar, the auto stop/start system must be engaged (duh), the battery must be fully charged, and operating temperatures must be between approximately 32 and 104 degrees. Furthermore, engine-driven accessories such as the climate control system must be running at little to no load. If these conditions are in place and the engine shuts off when the brake is applied, releasing the brake pedal should spring the engine back to life in an instant so that the car is ready to go.

Except when it doesn’t. On several occasions, our F-Pace would shut down per the normal auto stop/start procedure but fail to restart. In fact, the car would be completely off, with the instrument cluster dark, the transmission in park (instead of drive), and the rotary transmission dial sunk into the center console. Only several, often frantic, presses of the ignition button would start the car back up.

Complicating the troubleshooting process was Jaguar’s convenience feature called Driver Exit mode, which is an extension of the auto stop/start system. With the auto stop/start system on, when you bring your F-Pace to a stop (and the engine shuts off) and pop the driver seat belt release, the vehicle reads this as a parking situation so for safety’s sake will fully shut the vehicle down. It took careful observation to determine that our auto stop/never restart issue was a real issue and not just an unintended Driver Exit.

The first clue was that after the vehicle shut down inappropriately, it took more than one ignition press to start it back up. And once restarted, the auto stop/start system was not available, as shown by an error code in the instrument cluster. Only after cycling the ignition again would the system return to normal—except now that auto stop/start was available, the system could fail yet again.

While on that Target run, I managed to figure out the weird missing link: additional pressure on the brake pedal. While at a stoplight under optimal auto stop/start conditions, the F-Pace’s engine shut off as it should. I turned to reach for something next to me, inadvertently putting more pressure on the brake pedal, and then I noticed the car went into complete shut down mode (instrument cluster blinked off, transmission indicator went from drive to park, and the rotary knob sunk into the console). Bingo. I fired the car up again (noting that it took at least two presses of the button to get it running) and pulled to the curb to see if I could replicate the issue with additional brake pressure. I couldn’t, because of the aforementioned error code, but restarted the car and tried again. Aha, part deux.

Confident I was not crazy and could replicate the issue for our local Jaguar dealership technicians, a service appointment was arranged. Perfect timing, too—it was time for the F-Pace’s first oil change. Next update: fresh oil and answers.

Read more about our long-term 2017 Jaguar F-Pace:

The post 2017 Jaguar F-Pace Long-Term Update 5: Auto Stop/Start/Restart Part 1 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Does The Future Jeep Wranger Pickup (Jeep Scrambler) Pose A Threat To Colorado & Canyon?

GM Authority News - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 6:56pm
Our competitive report explores whether the Scrambler will be a threat to GM's midsizers.

Kia Niro EV Debuts at Busan Motor Show in Korea

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 5:30pm

Long-distance EV competition is heating up as Kia announces its Niro EV at the Busan Motor Show in Korea. With a range of 236 miles from its 64 kilowatt-hour battery, the Niro EV joins the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3 in the over 200-mile club.

Designed from the start to accommodate a variety of powertrains, the Niro EV is the third entry in Kia’s Niro family, a lineup of wagons launched in 2017 with the Niro hybrid, followed by the Niro plug-in hybrid in 2018.

The Niro EV is powered by an electric motor rated at 201 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque driving the front wheels. Those not requiring long range will also be able to choose a smaller 39.2 kWh battery-equipped Niro, capable of traveling up to 149 miles on a single charge.

Visually, the Niro EV is differentiated from its traditional hybrid counterpart through the use of light blue trim at the front and back, while the familiar-shaped grille up front gains an integrated charging port.

The Niro EV features more light blue trim throughout the interior and a simplified rotary shift knob, while the 7-inch infotainment system gains EV-specific settings and information. Cargo space drops from 19.4 to 15.9 cubic feet with the rear seats folded up.

On the safety front, the Niro EV can be optioned with a suite of active safety systems, including forward collision mitigation, automatic cruise control, and lane assist. The Niro EV also offers Level Two autonomous driving technology, meaning that it can control acceleration, braking, and steering depending on the conditions.

The Niro EV will hit dealer showrooms in Korea later this year, with global sales to follow. Pricing has yet to be announced, but expect the Niro EV to slot in above the Niro plug-in hybrid, which currently starts at $28,840.

Source: Kia

The post Kia Niro EV Debuts at Busan Motor Show in Korea appeared first on Motor Trend.

2019 Lexus GS F, RC F 10th Anniversary Editions on Sale Now

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 4:57pm

Remember those special 10th Anniversary Edition versions of the 2019 GS F sedan and 2019 RC F coupe that were shown in February at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show? Well, now they are finally arriving at dealerships.

You can have a GS F 10th Anniversary Edition for $90,375—that’s $5,000 over the regular version—but you should hurry as only 100 will be offered for sale in the U.S.

If you prefer a sportier two-door coupe, the RC F 10th Anniversary Edition is $81,835, a $16,160 premium over a plain old RC F. Only 240 of these will be made for our shores.

Why so much? Well, the price includes a $9,000 10th Anniversary package in addition to the Performance Package, says Lexus. It also includes triple beam headlights and Intuitive Park Assist.

The 10th Anniversary Edition cars get a splash of matte finish Nebula Gray paint and roll on black 19-inch BBS wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sports rubber—plus blue painted Brembo brake calipers.

The RC F coupe and GS F sedan both pack a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that delivers 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the GS F sedan features a standard torque vectoring rear differential.

Inside the RC F coupe, you’ll find blue leather sport seats with white accents, along with a blue shift knob, steering wheel, and instrument panel hood. The GS F sedan gets the same treatment plus a dash of blue carbon trim on the center console. It also sports blue suede dash trim, blue seat belt straps, and even more blue bits than the coupe.

Source: Lexus

The post 2019 Lexus GS F, RC F 10th Anniversary Editions on Sale Now appeared first on Motor Trend.

Hyundai Grandmaster Concept Hints at Large SUV

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 1:51pm

After neglecting the crossover category for too long, Hyundai is finally filling out its lineup with the new Kona and updated versions of the Tucson and Santa Fe. At the Busan auto show in Korea today, Hyundai showed off a concept SUV that hints at another new entry.

We wonder if this concept, dubbed HDC-2 Grandmaster, previews the new three-row crossover Hyundai plans to launch. This model will slot above the Santa Fe with seating for up to eight passengers. As we previously reported, this vehicle could hit the market in 2019.

The Grandmaster concept takes design cues from the new Santa Fe, previously named the Santa Fe Sport. But Hyundai clearly took liberties when it came to the design of the wheels, taillights, and side windows. The concept’s name comes from the game of chess, in which the champion is called the grandmaster. “The concept vehicle is named to indicate that just as the sum of all chess pieces completes the game of chess, all forthcoming Hyundai vehicles will come to form a harmonious vehicle line-up demonstrating the Hyundai Look while each maintains distinctive character and role,” the automaker said in a press release.

It sounds like the concept signals a new overall design direction for more than one Hyundai model. Hyundai says that, along with the recent Le Fil Rouge concept car, the Grandmaster carries the new design theme “Sensuous Sportiness,” which will be applied to the automaker’s future sedans and SUVs.

Source: Hyundai

The post Hyundai Grandmaster Concept Hints at Large SUV appeared first on Motor Trend.

All New Carlisle Auctions Summer Sale Kicks Off June 16, 2018

Corvettes Online News Feed - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 1:29pm
Fresh off its best auction of all-time, Spring Carlisle, Carlisle Auctions returns to the Carlisle Expo Center to host its third event of the year, the Carlisle Auctions Summer Sale. Starts at 11am, June 16th, 2018.

Corvette ZR1 Pace Car Crash Generated Over $3.4 Million in Free Publicity for the Corvette Brand

Corvette Blogger - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 11:10am

You can’t help but feel sorry for Mark Reuss, GM’s Head of Product Development. He’s one of the guys who introduced the Corvette C7 to the world back on 1.13.13. But more importantly for the Corvette brand, he’s the guy who will now always be remembered for crashing the new ZR1 Pace Car into a […]

The post Corvette ZR1 Pace Car Crash Generated Over $3.4 Million in Free Publicity for the Corvette Brand appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Saturday, June 9th is Corvette Day at Lingenfelter Cars and Coffee

Corvette Blogger - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 10:11am

Last weekend our friends over at Lingenfelter Performance Engineering kicked off their 2018 Cars and Coffee season. This week things shift into high gear with Corvette Day. Corvette owners from throughout the region on encouraged to attend to show off their rides to fellow enthusiasts at one of the biggest Cars and Coffee events in […]

The post Saturday, June 9th is Corvette Day at Lingenfelter Cars and Coffee appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

GM And Honda Ink Partnership For Next-Generation Electric-Car Batteries

GM Authority News - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 10:04am

The automaker said Honda has the intent to source the batteries from GM.

First Trailer For Bumblebee Spin-Off Movie Has Autobot Ditching Chevy Camaro For VW Beetle: Video

GM Authority News - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 9:47am

Our favorite Autobot is no longer part of the GM family.

General Motors Hiring Dozens Of Temp Workers At Flint Manufacturing Plant

GM Authority News - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 9:33am

Specifically, GM is looking for 75 temporary employees.

Do Chevrolet’s ‘Z’ Badges Fail The Cars They Grace?

GM Authority News - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 9:21am

ZL1, Z/28, ZR2: do they actually hold value to anyone outside of enthusiasts?

‘The Grand Tour’ Spied Filming In Detroit With American Muscle Cars

GM Authority News - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 9:02am

The Exorcist Camaro, Dodge Demon, and Ford Mustang RTR were all on hand.

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