Author Archives: cantum

2018 Subaru Crosstrek Long-Term Update 1: The Subaru Comfortable

By | April 22, 2018

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is appealing for a number of readily apparent reasons, ranging from its handsome and rugged looks to its competitive pricing and ample cargo and passenger room. However, what many won’t know without driving it is the amount of ride comfort the Crosstrek provides. This was a nice surprise—and one of my favorite qualities—because compact vehicles are not always known for ride quality. The Crosstrek’s is one of the best I have felt.

The raised hatchback does a superb job of ironing out rough patches of road and excels at not transmitting much vibration or noise into the cabin.

I recently drove our long-term Audi A4 Quattro for a few days, a Subaru Outback 3.6R Touring that I reviewed, and a Volvo XC60 T5 for a three-day weekend of SoCal cruising. The Crosstrek’s ride quality is on par with those three larger and more expensive vehicles, and surprisingly it also mutes out and absorbs much of the sound and juddering that accompanies road imperfections better than the above vehicles. It’s worth noting that those vehicles ride on lower-profile tires, but I would still expect the ride quality to be better than my $26,899 Crosstrek.

I am not the first editor to feel this way about Subaru’s latest compact. “The ride quality is downright plush with luxury car levels of suspension compliance and rally car–rivaling suspension travel,” features editor Christian Seabaugh said during a three-way comparison against the Jeep Compass and Nissan Rogue Sport, which the Subie won.




International bureau chief Angus MacKenzie summed it up best during his First Test review of the Crosstrek. “The little Subaru rolls down the road with the quiet comfort and dignified composure of a mini luxury car,” he said. “The ride is exceptional for a vehicle this size, the long-travel suspension calmly damping body motions while ably suppressing impact harshness where the rubber meets the road.”

So if you are considering a Subaru Crosstrek, add “premium ride quality” to the list of pros. It’s among the best in class.

Read More About Our 2018 Subaru Crosstrek:
































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2018 Ford Expedition Max Limited Interior Review

By | April 11, 2018

So far, the redesigned 2018 Ford Expedition has impressed us in many ways. In a five-way full-size SUV comparison, the Expedition walked away with the victory. “Spacious, smart, comfortable, quick, and efficient, the Expedition does it all well,” we concluded. “On-road, off-road, towing, you name it—this is the best in class.” We were just as pleased with the Expedition during its First Test review. “The 2018 Ford Expedition’s blend of performance (both on- and off-road), comfort, utility, and tech easily make it the new benchmark for the full-size SUV class,” we said. Let’s now do a detailed dive into the SUV’s interior on the larger Max variant. How much tech, utility, and versatility does the Max offer?


The Max Difference

The Expedition Max is called that for a reason. The wheelbase is stretched by 9.1 inches, and it’s 11.9 inches longer than the regular Expedition. All this extra length only affects the cargo area and not rear-seat legroom. Behind the third row, the Max can carry 36.0 cubic feet of cargo, 15.1 more than the regular Expedition. If you fold the third row down, the Max can hold 73.3 cubic feet, and it jumps to a cavernous 121.5 cubic feet with both rows down, 16.9 more than the regular Expedition. So if you plan to use all three rows and still need plenty of cargo space (or need all that 121.5 cubic feet), you better opt for the Max.

When compared to its biggest rival, the Chevrolet Suburban, the Max falls just short. The Suburban offers slightly more with 39.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 76.7 cubic feet behind the second row, and a total of 121.7 (only 0.2 larger) with both rows folded down.


First-Row Luxuries

Ford has made the front seats in the Limited model a nice place to be. Finding a comfortable seating position is easy thanks to the 10-way power-adjustable front seats, power-adjustable steering wheel, and power-adjustable pedals. The comfortable heated and ventilated leather-trimmed seats, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a seven-color ambient lighting system should offer plenty of comfort for the driver and front passenger. Large A-pillar grab handles make assessing the front row easier, and the dual glove box, large center console, and many storage areas make finding places to put your stuff easy.


Second-Row Versatility

In a three-row SUV, the second row is important, not only is it the preferred row for your rear passengers, but those relegated to the way back have to squeeze through it to access the third row. There are two ways to access the third row in our seven-seat tester: by walking between the second-row bucket seats or by pressing a button—located on the C-pillar—that triggers the tip-and-slide seat feature, allowing passengers to squeeze between the seat and door frame. There is also a lever that can be used instead of the button if you are sitting in the third row. The second-row seats can manually fold flat via a lever located on the side of the seat or electrically with a push of a button located in the cargo area. The second-row headrests fold down via a button located on the side of the headrest.

Our Limited trim tester’s second row came with heated leather-trimmed seats that slide and recline, radio and A/C controls, two USB ports, a 110-volt power outlet, four cupholders, and a large optional panoramic sunroof. However, one thing appears to be missing (actually two): Neither chair has a seat-mounted armrest, leaving just the door-panel armrest for one of your passenger’s arms.


Third-Row Surprises

Ford didn’t forget about the last row. Getting my 6-foot self into the third row after stepping on the power-deployable side steps was easy by either walking in between the bucket seats or hitting the tip-and-slide button. For smaller passengers, a conveniently placed C-pillar-mounted grab handle should help enter the third row. Once there, I had enough leg- and headroom to keep me comfortable for a long ride, and the power recline seat feature is a nice touch. A USB port is located in the small side storage cubby on each side of the third row, next to the cupholders and power-recline buttons. If you need more cargo room, the power-folding buttons are located in the cargo area. If you need more rear visibility while driving, the power-folding headrest button is located by the driver.


Tech, Tech, Tech

Ford’s Sync 3 multimedia system came standard on our Max Limited tester and includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Sirius XM satellite radio, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot for up 10 devices. It’s displayed on an 8.0-inch touchscreen. Apple iPhone users can take advantage of Siri voice commands, and Ford+Alexa brings Amazon Alexa services and skills into your Expedition. The available voice-activated navigation system’s 3-D map is one of the best looking that I have seen. The system is easy to use, has pinch-to-zoom functionality, and uses SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link, which is complimentary for five years. The standard audio system on the Limited trim is a 12-speaker B&O unit that delivers good sound quality. Keeping devices charged was no sweat thanks to the six USB ports, a wireless charging pad in the center console, and a 110-volt power outlet in the second row.


Assisting in Safety

The Expedition Max is a lengthy 18.5 feet long and 7.7 feet wide,

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2019 Chevrolet Silverado Medium-Duty Trucks Flaunt Flowties

By | April 6, 2018

GM recently released its medium-duty Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD, and 6500HD chassis cab trucks after an absence of nearly 10 years. One feature that many probably didn’t notice is the big flowtie right in the middle of the grille.

First introduced a few years ago on the Camaro Z/28, the flowtie was created out of necessity. Engineers wanted more airflow to the engine bay, so they removed the traditional bow tie’s gold fill (just leaving a chrome outline), resulting in lower engine coolant and oil temperatures during extended track usage. Currently, the Camaro ZL1 comes equipped with the flowtie.

During Camaro Z/28 testing, engineers noticed that the traditional bow tie would deflect air away from the radiator, potentially reducing the amount of engine cooling during extreme driving.

The medium-duty chassis cab trucks are powered by a 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V-8 pumping out 350 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque, and like most turbodiesel engines, these units produce lots of heat. In order to provide the maximum amount of airflow and cooling, designers dove into the Camaro’s parts bin and utilized its famed flowtie.

“The flowtie is an elegant solution. And it’s going to work on the Silverado exactly the way it does on Camaro,” stated Design Manager Kevin O’Donnell, in a release.

Besides the flowtie, GM’s medium-duty trucks also get features found in the new 2019 Silverado 1500 including wireless cell phone charging, Bluetooth, a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, OnStar, Commercial Link, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

GM will begin production late this year and pricing will be available this summer.

The post 2019 Chevrolet Silverado Medium-Duty Trucks Flaunt Flowties appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

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Here’s Why Chevrolet Silverado Medium-Duty Trucks Get the Camaro’s Flowtie

By | April 5, 2018

GM recently released its medium-duty Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD, and 6500HD chassis cab trucks after an absence of nearly 10 years. One feature that many probably didn’t notice is the big flowtie right in the middle of the grille.

First introduced a few years ago on the Camaro Z/28, the flowtie was created out of necessity. Engineers wanted more airflow to the engine bay, so they removed the traditional bowtie’s gold fill (just leaving a chrome outline), resulting in lower engine coolant and oil temperatures during extended track usage. Currently, the Camaro ZL1 comes equipped with the flowtie.

During Camaro Z/28 testing, engineers noticed that the traditional bowtie would deflect air away from the radiator, potentially reducing the amount of engine cooling during extreme driving.

The medium-duty chassis cab trucks are powered by a 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V-8 pumping out 350 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque, and like most turbodiesel engines, these units produce lots of heat. In order to provide the maximum amount of airflow and cooling, designers dove into the Camaro’s parts bin and utilized its famed flowtie.

“The flowtie is an elegant solution. And it’s going to work on the Silverado exactly the way it does on Camaro,” stated Design Manager Kevin O’Donnell, in a release.

Besides the flowtie, GM’s medium-duty trucks also get features found in the new 2019 Silverado 1500 including wireless cell phone charging, Bluetooth, a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, OnStar, Commercial Link, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

GM will begin production late this year and pricing will be available this summer.

Source: GM

The post Here’s Why Chevrolet Silverado Medium-Duty Trucks Get the Camaro’s Flowtie appeared first on Motor Trend.

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2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label Interior Review: Forgetting the Old Navigator

By | April 5, 2018

The outgoing Navigator and its less luxurious Expedition twin were surviving on midcycle refreshes for far too long, resulting in a very dated look and feel. Additionally, the Navigator felt like a dressed up Expedition in many ways. This is not the case with the redesigned 2018 Lincoln Navigator. The interior has evolved to first-class quality, and it separates itself from the Expedition with unique styling, trims, accents, and more. Read below to see what the range-topping Black Label’s luxurious interior offers in Lincoln’s largest SUV, and check out our 2018 Navigator First Test right here.


The Black Label

Opting for the range-topping Black Label adds notable interior features: an adaptive cruise control with stop/go capability, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, a self-parking system, a head-up display, a driver impairment monitor, a CD player in the center console, the top 20-speaker Revel Ultima audio system, a trailer back up assist system, Black Label floormats, and one of three packaged themes: Chalet, Destination, and Yacht Club.

Our Navigator came in the Chalet theme, designed to resemble snowy mountains. It has an Alpine and Espresso leather-trimmed interior, Silverwood appliques, an Alpine Dinamica headliner, and Espresso floor mats with Dinamica accents. The seats feature soft Venetian leather with Lincoln-Star perforation. The Black Label’s Destination theme includes a Mahogany Red leather-trimmed interior, Khaya appliques, and a Mahogany Red Dinamica headliner and floormats with Dinamica accents. The Yacht Club theme includes a Blue Bay and Alpine leather-trimmed interior, whitewashed Teak appliques, a Sand Dinamica headliner, and Blue Bay floormats with Dinamica accents.


A Front Seat to Remember

Unlike conventional one-piece seats, the Navigator’s Perfect Position seats have the padding mounted on a plastic frame, allowing for 30-way adjustability: six to the track, two to recline, four to the headrest, four to the cushion extension, four to the thigh support, four to the lumbar support, two to the back bolster, two to the cushion bolster, and two to the upper back bolster support. The comfortable front seats also offer massaging, heating, and cooling functionality and can be upholstered in a selection of premium leathers.


Superb Audio

The Navigator offers a 14-speaker Revel audio system, but if you’re an audiophile, you better opt for the top 20-speaker Revel Ultima surround-sound system. The audio system was designed for the Navigator Black Label trim and features the largest subwoofer ever mounted in a Lincoln vehicle. The Revel Ultima offers three listening modes: the standard Stereo mode, a surround-sound Audience mode, and an Onstage mode, which arranges individual instruments and sounds throughout the cabin. QuantumLogic surround-sound technology and Harman’s Clari-Fi music restoration technology provide optimal sound.


Rear Seats That Awe

The Black Label trim and the optional rear-seat entertainment system combine to create quite a nice environment for rear passengers. The heated, leather-trimmed second-row captain’s chairs in seven-passenger configurations have power-folding functionality. The optional second-row center console includes cupholders, radio controls, a 4.0-inch LCD screen, and storage cubbies. (Forgoing the option allows for either a pass-through opening or an eighth seat that slides.) The second-row seats also feature a one-touch tilt-and-slide function, which makes it easier for passengers to enter or exit the third row.

The available rear entertainment system consists of two 10.0-inch adjustable screens (not touchscreen) mounted on the back of the front seats. Each screen has its own remote and can play media via SD card, HDMI input, or one of the USB ports. Slingbox users can even play TV channels or on-demand services through the monitors. The second-row seats manually recline, but third-row passengers get power-reclining seats. The large panoramic sunroof makes the spacious cabin feel even larger.


A Driver’s Display All Should Have

A vehicle’s instrument provides crucial information and gives you an idea of the type of vehicle you’re driving. Premium automakers are slowly phasing out traditional analog gauges in favor of digital ones, and the Navigator is no exception. Drivers will notice the large and crisp 12.0-inch digital instrument panel. Unlike some premium automakers that have partial digital clusters (BMW), the Navigator’s is all-digital. Pictures don’t do it justice—it’s quite an appealing instrument panel in person.

A really neat but small feature that more than one staffer commented on is how the needle tips of the gauges light up as they move. The animated drive mode illustrations that appear in the digital display when a drive mode is selected also stand out. The colorful animations are so neat that you might find yourself scrolling through the six drive modes—Normal, Excite (Sport), Slippery, Conserve, Deep Conditions, and Slow Climb—for fun.







It’s the Little Lights That Count

The Navigator’s interior ambient lighting is a nice touch. In addition to aesthetics, it tells passengers when a door is open by turning the open door’s ambient lighting red. The premium SUV also features little red LEDs where pop-up door locks usually are; these illuminate when the door is locked and turn off when unlocked. Buckling a seat belt is easy enough, but Lincoln makes things easier—and much cooler looking—by adding a small white LED that illuminates the buckle. The LED dome and reading lights are nice and bright and complement the rest of the interior’s lighting.


Charge-up and Connect

The outgoing Navigator lacked technology and connectivity,

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Spied! Huge Kidney Grilles Spread to the Next-Gen BMW X5 M

By | April 4, 2018

Our spy photographer just snapped the upcoming BMW X5 M up close at a red light in BMW’s home country of Germany. The current BMW X5 will be replaced by the soon-to-be-released 2019 X5 that our photographer also recently caught testing.

The 2010 BMW X5 M was the first X5 M making an impressive 555 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque from a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8. For 2015, BMW released the second-generation X5 M packing a different version of the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 pumping out 567 hp and 553 lb-ft. Once released, the third-generation X5 M will likely utilize yet another version of BMW’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8, making about 600 hp just like the redesigned 2018 BMW M5.

When we took the 2015 BMW X5 M to the track, the SUV hit 60 mph in a very impressive 3.7 seconds, on its way to a quarter mile time of 12.2 seconds at 112.8 mph. The upcoming X5 will be built on the lighter CLAR platform shared with the new 5 Series and 7 Series, so we can expect quicker acceleration, possibly exceeding the 3.5- and 12.0-second marks, respectively.

As we have seen before when BMW redesigns a vehicle, not a whole lot changes on the outside. This seems to be the case with the X5 M. Right away we notice the much larger kidney grille that we first saw on the BMW X7 iPerformance Concept, and the quad-tip tailpipes that have been pushed out closer to the sides of the rear bumper. The headlights and taillights appear to have been redesigned and we can see a front camera and radar for driver-assist safety technologies. Peeking through the mismatched black wheels shod in Michelin winter tires are big blue M brakes, with what looks like six-piston calipers up front clamping down on drilled rotors.

The regular X5 will likely be released later this year with the X5 M following soon after.

Photo source: CarPix








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8 Performance Cars From the 2018 New York Auto Show

By | March 30, 2018

People like powerful cars, and the 2018 New York auto show delivered a good selection of high-end performance models sure to spark any car lover’s need for speed. Not only did sedans, coupes, and convertibles make the list, but two potent European SUVs debuted as well. With the current SUV and crossover craze, expect more performance variants of these vehicles to debut at future auto shows. Keep reading to learn about the performance cars debuting at the New York auto show.


2019 Cadillac CT6 V-Sport

A twin-turbo V-6 wasn’t enough for Cadillac’s flagship CT6 and its new range-topping model, the V-Sport. A new, small-displacement 4.2-liter twin-turbo V-8 backed by a 10-speed automatic powers the CT6 V-Sport sedan. The new mill will come in two states of tune: a 500-hp, 553-lb-ft of torque version and a top-of-the-line variant producing 550 hp and 627 lb-ft. The standard 20-inch V-Sport wheels are wrapped in summer tires exclusively developed for the CT6 V-Sport. A mechanical limited-slip differential, unique V-Sport suspension tuning, and a four-piston Brembo braking system in front should give the CT6 V-Sport a driving experience to match its newfound power. To better separate itself from other CT6s, the V-Sport’s steering, Magnetic Ride Control, all-wheel drive system, and exhaust were all recalibrated. Cadillac engineers also added a track-tuned Active Rear Steer system and track-focused stability controls.

















2019 Maserati Levante Trofeo

At 590 hp and 538-lb-ft, the engine in the 2019 Levante Trofeo is the most powerful ever placed in a Maserati. Hand-assembled by Ferrari in Maranello, Levante Trofeo 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 propels the to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds and gets the SUV to a top speed of 187 mph. The Trofeo features a new Corsa mode that has launch control capability, lowers the Levante, and stiffens the shocks. A new Integrated Vehicle Control system comes equipped in the Levante—a first in a Maserati—and is programmed to react better to driver inputs for optimum stability.

Visually, the Trofeo differentiates itself from other Levantes with its piano black grille, unique hood with dual cooling vents, a front fascia with larger intakes, a different rear bumper, 22-inch forged aluminum wheels, and carbon-fiber exterior trim. The limited-run Launch Edition features a Grigio Lava matte paint, matte-finish wheels, red brake calipers, black chrome badging, seven other unique exterior colors, and exclusive black leather upholstery with blue or yellow contrast stitching. This is as close to a Ferrari SUV as you’ll get until the actual Ferrari SUV is released.


















2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR

Jaguar’s best-selling model gets the much anticipated SVO (Special Vehicle Operations) treatment. The 2019 F-Pace SVR rockets to 60 mph in a Jaguar-estimated 4.1 seconds with the help of a 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 that churns out 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. A new electronic rear differential is the highlight of the standard all-wheel drive system and an eight-speed automatic is the sole transmission choice. The SVR also sports unique front and rear fascias, stiffer adaptive suspension, larger brakes, a more rigid chassis, and a revised electric power steering system. Larger wheels are also on the list of upgrades with standard 21-inch wheels and optional 22-inchers. The wider tires should help with cornering grip or during a 176-mph top speed run.



2019 Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder

How do you make an already amazing exotic car more appealing? Take the top off and add “Spyder” to the name. That is exactly what Lamborghini did with the Huracan Performante Spyder. Nothing changes under the hood—the Spyder utilizes the Huracan coupe’s 5.2-liter V-10 good for 630 naturally aspirated ponies at a screaming 8,000 rpm. The claimed 3.1-second 0-60 mph time is 0.2 second slower—thanks to the extra 276-pound heft—than the coupe’s, but the 202 mph top speed is the same. The Italian automaker claims that the 3,300-pound Performante Spyder can brake from 62 mph in just 103 feet. The $35,000 premium over the coupe puts the Spyder’s starting price at a cool $308,859.


2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe

The GT 4-Door Coupe is AMG’s new flagship sedan that made its North American debut at the New York auto show. The long, wide, and low Mercedes may look like the similarly swoopy CLS, but this car has a hatch for additional cargo room. Power is one of AMG’s fortes, and the performance automaker didn’t skimp on its flagship. There are three models, each with its own power level. The GT 53 utilizes a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six with a mild hybrid system. This trim level produces 429 hp and can hit 60 mph in an estimated 4.4 seconds.

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Will the Hyundai Veloster N Get a Dual-Clutch Automatic?

By | March 21, 2018

Hyundai entered the competitive and smile-making world of hot hatches with the i30 N that is slated for other markets and the Veloster N that is coming to North America. Both vehicles—which share the same powertrain—come equipped with an enthusiast-preferred six-speed manual but a dual-clutch transmission could be offered later in production.

The i30 N will likely receive a dual-clutch option “late in 2019,” according to a report from CarAdvice. When speaking to Australian Hyundai executives, the “sales limitations” of offering a manual exclusively were mentioned as a contributing factor.

Although we aren’t getting the i30 N, we expect the Veloster N to follow suit and offer the automatic—probably an eight-speed unit that is currently in development—as well.

Sales might be one reason for offering a dual-clutch, but improved performance cannot be overlooked because these automatics tend to have quicker acceleration numbers than manual-equipped vehicles.

The redesigned 2019 Veloster offers a base 147-hp 2.0-liter I-4 engine and an optional 201-hp 1.6-liter turbo-four. The 2.0-liter can be paired to a standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic and the 1.6-liter turbo-four is backed by either the six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

The front-drive Veloster N packs a 2.0-liter turbo-four that produces 275 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed manual offers downshift rev-matching and features carbon-coated synchros and reinforced gears.

Enthusiasts will probably knock on the blandness of a dual-clutch automatic, but adding this option should increase the appeal of the hot hatch to more drivers.

Source: CarAdvice (1,2)












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2018 Subaru Crosstrek Long-Term Arrival: Hello Again Subaru

By | March 12, 2018

I’ve owned seven Subarus over my years of driving. That might sound like a lot, but I used to go through cars fast. Even though it’s been about three years since my last Subie, it felt natural that my first long-term tester would be one, too. And although this might be my first Crosstrek, I have owned first-, second-, and third-generation Imprezas—and the Crosstrek is basically a raised Impreza hatchback. This gives me a first-hand opportunity to see how Subaru has advanced its latest compact offering.

Already, the Crosstreks we have tested on a short-term basis have been warmly regarded by our staff. The Crosstrek won a three-way comparison that included the Jeep Compass Trailhawk and Nissan Rogue Sport AWD. Then, in one of the most competitive 2018 Motor Trend SUV of the Year fields to date, it was named a finalist, and even snared one first-place vote among our judges.

In the three-way test, we noted: “In a segment looking for the Goldilocks fit, the second-generation Subaru Crosstrek marries the off-road capability of the Jeep with the on-road ride quality of the Nissan while bringing an impressive level of refinement and value to this emerging segment.” As our long-termer rolled up to the Motor Trend garage, I knew I had been given a competent vehicle to chaperone.

The Crosstrek was developed to be a comfortable and economical urban vehicle offering plenty of technology and safety while having the capability to navigate through the roughest of weather and take you safely and confidently to your favorite trailheads, camping spots, and light-duty dirt trails. If you look at the success of the outgoing model, the 2018 Crosstrek has a good chance of delivering on its promises.




Our Crosstrek is the 2.0i Premium model (the midlevel trim) in a Cool Gray Khaki color, which looks more like a light blue matte. Regardless, it’s an attractive color. Standard features include 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, foglights, roof rails, a 6.5-inch Starlink multimedia system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a USB port with smartphone connectivity, a six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, and a rearview camera. For an extra $800 our premium-grade trim level adds standard heated front seats, cloth upholstery with orange stitching, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with orange stitching, remote keyless entry, automatic headlights, and the StarLink Safety system (SOS emergency assistance button, automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle recovery, etc.). Optional features include a package consisting of a power moonroof and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist for $1,400, the $1,000 continuously variable transmission (a six-speed manual is standard), , a $499 Rockford Fosgate audio system upgrade, a crossbar set, a rear bumper cover, a rubber seat back protector, and all-weather mats that added another $490.

For the next year we’ll see what it’s like living with the redesigned Crosstrek and how the little lifted Subaru braves L.A.’s infamous traffic and dated road and highway networks. With the beach, mountains, and desert nearby, we expect to assess how the Crosstrek handles the snow, sand, and off-road trails, utilizing its standard Symmetrical All Wheel Drive system, impressive 8.7 inches of ground clearance, and optional off-road mode with hill-descent control. The Subaru’s slow acceleration was the biggest complaint by our editors, so I will evaluate how much of an issue that might be both on- and off-road.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i (Premium)
BASE PRICE $23,510
PRICE AS TESTED $26,899
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 2.0L/152-hp/145-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve flat-4
TRANSMISSION Cont variable auto
WHEELBASE 104.9 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 175.8 x 71.0 x 62.6 in
0-60 MPH 9.0 sec (MT est)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 27/33/29 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 125/102 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.66 lb/mile







































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Could Subaru Discontinue Manual Transmissions in the Name of Safety?

By | March 7, 2018

The manual transmission is a dying breed. That’s not news. Modern cars are slowly killing off three-pedal driving in favor of more efficient automatic transmissions. Subaru still offers a manual transmission option on several models but that might not be the case for much longer.

In Subaru’s non-sports car offerings, the Impreza, Forester, and Crosstrek can still be optioned with a six-speed manual (five-speed for the Impreza) but not the Outback, Legacy, or new three-row Ascent. Additionally, the manual option can only be equipped on the lower trims and Subaru’s EyeSight package of driver assist safety features cannot be equipped with a manual transmission—the reason the automaker is likely considering having an all-automatic lineup.

According to a report from Auto Express, Chris Graham, Subaru Managing Director for the U.K., said, “There are certainly no rumors we’ve heard that manual will continue, or Eyesight will be [offered] with manual. My gut tells me it will be Eyesight with Lineartronic [CVT] ongoing and long-term.

Graham continued, “[Subaru wants] to steal the mantle of the safest car in the world. I think if they do that, then they say ‘here’s a manual without Eyesight,’ they’ll just ruin that [message].”

“We’ve spoken for many years about [the safety granted by] boxer engines and symmetrical all-wheel drive,” Graham said. “We’re now talking about safety that’s not just underpinned by the chassis, but by Eyesight, boxer, and symmetrical all-wheel drive. All these things are reinforcing the safety message. The safety message is the thing Subaru will want to take forward.”

Subaru’s EyeSight system consists of adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, and pre-collision throttle management—a feature that reduces engine power before a possible collision.

Like most automakers, Subaru plans for an autonomous future, led by EyeSight technologies that are compatible with automatic transmissions. Some automakers offer driver assist technologies on manual-equipped cars but Subaru might not see the benefit in spending the time and effort on that when a low percentage of buyers opt for a manual, and higher levels of automation will soon require an automatic transmission.

Does this mean the upcoming WRX and WRX STI models will be automatic-only? It might, especially with rumors that the next STI will have a hybrid powertrain. Graham didn’t hide his enthusiasm for a possible upcoming hybrid STI, saying, “For me an STI has to be a manual in the guise it is today, however if you look at [auto-only] M-series BMWs, I don’t think this is the end and I’d be very excited if they had a hybrid petrol STI. That would be phenomenal in terms of its acceleration,” he said.

Source: Auto Express




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Hardtop Fiat Abarth 124 GT Coming to Geneva

By | March 1, 2018

Fiat is spicing up its 124 lineup with two special edition models that will be revealed at the Geneva International motor show in March.

Painted in exclusive Alpi Orientali Grey exterior paint, the 124 Abarth GT will come with the traditional convertible soft top but will also include a lightweight hard top made entirely of carbon fiber that creates an appealing profile. The hard top weighs just over 35 pounds, is lined on the inside, and has a rear window with a defroster. Fiat claims the hardtop can be removed and reinstalled in a few easy steps.

The Abarth 124 GT also features 17-inch OZ Ultra-Light alloy wheels that are about 6.6 pounds lighter than the standard wheels. A matte black hood and a carbon-fiber rear spoiler are optional. A Gunmetal front spoiler matches the Gunmetal mirror caps, but the mirrors can also be had in red or carbon fiber.

Fiat 124 Spider S-Design

Also making its debut in Geneva is the Fiat 124 Spider S-Design, a limited edition model only available on the Lusso trim. The model features polished steel roll bars, unique 17-inch lightweight alloy wheels, a tricolor rear badge, and a lower red side stripe.

Both 124 special editions will debut alongside the 500 Abarth 695 Rivale special edition, the 500X S-Design, Tipio S-Design, and the 500 Mirror edition family (500, 500X, 500L). These special edition models will not reach our shores but there is a chance Fiat will bring over similarly equipped models eventually.

The 2018 Fiat 124 is available in Classica, Lusso, and Abarth trims and is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4 engine that produces 160 hp (164 in the Abarth trim) and 184 lb-ft of torque. That engine can be paired with either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. Currently, the only special edition model is the Red Top edition that features a soft-top in Bordeaux Red.


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Fiat Abarth 124 GT to Debut in Geneva With Carbon-Fiber Hard Top

By | February 28, 2018

Fiat is spicing up its 124 lineup with two special edition models that will be revealed at the Geneva International motor show in March.

Painted in exclusive Alpi Orientali Grey exterior paint, the 124 Abarth GT will come with the traditional convertible soft top but will also include a lightweight hard top made entirely of carbon fiber that creates an appealing profile. The hard top weighs just over 35 pounds, is lined on the inside, and has a rear window with a defroster. Fiat claims the hardtop can be removed and reinstalled in a few easy steps.

The Abarth 124 GT also features 17-inch OZ Ultra-Light alloy wheels that are about 6.6 pounds lighter than the standard wheels. A matte black hood and a carbon-fiber rear spoiler are optional. A Gunmetal front spoiler matches the Gunmetal mirror caps, but the mirrors can also be had in red or carbon fiber.

Fiat 124 Spider S-Design

Also debuting in Geneva is the Fiat 124 Spider S-Design, a limited edition model only available on the Lusso trim. The model features polished steel roll bars, unique 17-inch lightweight alloy wheels, a tricolor rear badge, and a lower red side stripe.

Both 124 special editions will debut alongside the 500 Abarth 695 Rivale special edition, the 500X S-Design, Tipio S-Design, and the 500 Mirror edition family (500, 500X, 500L). These special edition models will not reach our shores but there is a chance Fiat will bring over similarly equipped models eventually.

The 2018 Fiat 124 is available in Classica, Lusso, and Abarth trims and is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter I-4 engine that produces 160 hp (164 in the Abarth trim) and 184 lb-ft of torque. That engine can be paired with either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. Currently, the only special edition model is the Red Top edition that features a soft-top in Bordeaux Red.

Source: Fiat


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2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R First Test: The More Powerful Multi-Purpose Wagon

By | February 27, 2018

It’s daybreak Saturday—you scramble for your clothes and caffeine, load up your gear and trusty pup, and drive the dirt backroads to your favorite mountain trailhead. When Monday rolls around, you load up the kids, turn on the heated seats and Apple CarPlay, activate the adaptive cruise control system in traffic, drop the kids at school, unload a bunch of stuff at your parents’ place, and finally navigate the narrow, low-ceilinged confines of the parking structure at work.

These are the varied tasks that the versatile 2018 Subaru Outback was designed to handle – thanks to its generous amount of passenger and cargo room, plentiful technology, all-wheel drive, and high ground clearance. This successful product-planning algebra made the Outback was Subaru’s best-seller for 2017, topping the Forester. What else makes this popular wagon-like crossover so appealing and how does the optional flat-six engine perform versus the standard flat-four?

Keeping the Outback fresh, Subaru updated the 2018 model with a revised grille, front bumper, headlights, and front body cladding. Subaru also reworked the chassis and suspension, and retuned the brakes and power steering in order to improve the driving experience. However, the 2018 Outback still rides on the same platform, not the new Subaru Global Platform that underpins the new Impreza, Crosstrek, and the three-row Ascent.

Inside, the center console and steering wheel have been restyled and there is new contrast stitching. On the tech side, the 2018 Outback’s updated infotainment system adds two additional USB ports for the rear passengers (standard on both 3.6R trims), a larger standard 6.5-inch system for the base 2.5i trim (up from 6.2 inches), an improved voice recognition system, and many additional Starlink apps including Best Parking, eventseeker, Yelp, and eBird, an app that advises local bird sightings and locations. Until the Ascent arrives this summer, the Outback sits at the top of Subaru’s crossover lineup.




Our Outback 3.6R tester came equipped with the optional 3.6-liter flat-six engine that delivers 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque, a nice power bump from the standard 175-hp, 174 lb-ft 2.5-liter flat-four engine found in the 2.5i trims. A CVT is the only available transmission. When tested on the track, the flat-six Outback sprinted to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, a significant 2.5 seconds quicker than the flat-four’s time of 9.4 seconds. You’ll feel the difference on the on-ramp, trust us. The 2018 Outback was also 0.4 seconds faster than the 2015 Outback 3.6R model we tested. Both four- and six-cylinder models braked almost identically, 126 feet and 125 feet, respectively.

The four-cylinder, of course, wins in the fuel economy category: the six-cylinder delivers an EPA-rated 20/27 mpg city/highway versus the four-cylinder’s much better 25/32 mpg. Based on 45 percent highway and 55 percent city driving, the 2.5i has a total driving range of 518 miles, much longer than the 3.6R’s 407-mile driving range. If you don’t need quick acceleration, the Outback 2.5i will save money on gas and you’ll go to the pump less.

But for you bench racers out there, when compared to two rivals, the Outback  flat-six slightly lags in 0-60 against the 2.0-liter turbo-four powered Buick Regal TourX’s time of 6.3 seconds and is almost even with the V-6 powered Jeep Cherokee’s (with Active Drive II) time of 6.8 seconds. The Cherokee and Regal TourX also braked shorter than the Outback from 60 mph at 122 feet and 118 feet, respectively. On the figure eight, the TourX easily took the victory crossing the line at 26.2 seconds with an average g of 0.69. The Jeep Cherokee and Outback had the exact same results, finishing the figure eight in 27.4 seconds with an average g of 0.63. Keep in mind that the all-wheel-drive Regal TourX is lower to the ground, improving handling dynamics but reducing off-road capability. The Outback and Jeep Cherokee both have 8.7 inches of ground clearance, trumping the Regal TourX’s puny 5.8 inches. Road test editor Chris Walton didn’t have the easiest time around our figure-eight handling course with the Outback: “This thing really doesn’t like the figure eight,” he said. “It’s nice to feel the response of a naturally aspirated engine for a change, but there’s a ton of pitch and roll, plus it does a little samba dance mid-skidpad.”

On the fuel economy front, the Outback ties the Jeep Cherokee with the standard four-wheel-drive system (20/27 mpg), but when equipped with the more advanced Active Drive II system, the Jeep’s rating drops to 18/26 mpg. The Regal TourX is the most efficient of the three, delivering 21/29 mpg. However, thanks to the large 18.5-gallon fuel tank, the Outback 3.6R’s 407-mile driving range beats the Regal TourX’s 343-mile range and the Cherokee 3.2’s 332-363-mile driving range. Once Subaru replaces the aged flat-six with what will likely be a 2.0- or 2.4-liter turbo-four engine, expect fuel economy to improve. The Outback offers slightly more cargo space than the all-wheel-drive Regal wagon with the seats up, at 35.5 cubic feet versus the Buick’s 32.7 cubic feet. With the rear seats down, the Regal’s 73.5 cubic feet of maximum cargo room is practically even with the Outback’s 73.3 cubic feet.

Safety is one area where the Outback excels. Not only did the 2018 Outback receive the highest five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA, the IIHS considers it a 2018 Top Safety Pick+, its highest designation. Getting the Top Safety Pick+ rating is not easy, but the Outback did it by getting the highest rating of Good in all six crash tests and in the headlights evaluation, and for getting the highest rating of Superior in the front crash prevention evaluation by avoiding 12- and 25-mph collisions thanks to the optional EyeSight package of driver assist safety features.

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2018 Hyundai Accent Limited First Test: A Ho-Hum or Humdinger?

By | February 22, 2018

Small economy cars do not get much love nowadays, and it’s rare when one gets much hype—tell a friend or family member that you just bought a Fit, Fiesta, or Versa, and see what kind of reaction you get. Today’s subcompact sedans—which include the Nissan Versa, the Ford Fiesta, the Toyota Yaris iA, the Chevrolet Sonic, the Kia Rio, and the Mitsubishi Mirage G4—only take up a small percentage of the shrinking sedan market. The new 2018 Hyundai Accent enters this segment with a fresh redesign, but is it anything special, or is it just another ho-hum subcompact sedan?

The redesigned 2018 Hyundai Accent dropped its hatchback body style and now only comes in sedan form.

The 2018 Accent has been completely overhauled. The sedan now rides on a new platform with new technology. Outside, the new design adopts Hyundai’s latest styling language, contributing to a mini-Elantra look. It’s quite attractive and doesn’t look like a styleless bar of soap or have overly quirky styling like some subcompacts do. Inside, designers gave the Accent an interior you would normally find in a more expensive car; it doesn’t look like the basic rental car interior normally found at this price point. It’s nothing gleaming, but it’s a nice surprise for an entry-level car. Technology and features weren’t overlooked. A rearview camera and a 5.0-inch center touchscreen are now standard in the base SE trim, the midlevel SEL trim now gets a larger 7.0-inch center touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the top Limited trim receives heated front seats, automatic emergency braking, and a hands-free smart trunk that pops open when you stand behind the car for a few seconds with the key fob in your pocket.

Designers also gave the Accent more interior room, so much so that the EPA considers the Accent a compact car and not a subcompact for its size class, which is determined by passenger and cargo volume. Rivals such as the Ford Fiesta sedan and Toyota Yaris iA sedans are labeled subcompacts due to their smaller interior size. Other rivals, such as the very aged Nisan Versa sedan, the uncompetitive Mitsubishi Mirage G4, and the Chevrolet Sonic sedan, are also considered compact cars. Trunk cargo space is good for a small car; it measures in at 13.7 cubic feet, putting it above the Fiesta and Yaris iA sedans, but below the Sonic and Versa sedans.

During Motor Trend testing, the Accent accelerated to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds, on par with most subcompact sedans, and stopped from 60 mph in 119 feet, better than most rivals. Our road test team did not have any issues when launching or emergency braking the sedan. Where the Accent shows some separation from the rest of the small cars is on the figure-eight handling course with its time of 27.6 seconds and 0.60 average g. Nothing fast, but that makes it quicker than competitors in its segment and gives it one of the highest average g numbers, showing that the Accent handles well. Road test editor Chris Walton agreed after he flogged it around the figure eight. “For a compact economy car, this Accent is quite good on the figure eight,” he said. “The steering is talkative around the skidpad where it finds gentle but terminal understeer. The brakes are responsive, and there’s just enough power to keep it entertaining. I had to manually shift down to second for the skidpad, and it obeyed each time and made the downshift, unlike some others. The car is pleasant, entertaining in a surprising way.”




Out on the road, the 2018 Accent continues to be an enjoyable little sedan. Acceleration is adequate for around town, and braking feel and power is good. If you find yourself on a twisty road, don’t be afraid to push the subcompact a little, as it provides good grip and less body roll than you’d expect. But it’s still an economy car, so no Fast and Furious maneuvers, please. One of my personal complaints about most subcompacts is interior noise and ride comfort; sound deadening is usually kept to a minimum, and the combination of a short wheelbase, light weight, and lower-end suspension components usually makes for a rough ride. In other words, most subcompacts are loud and drive like they are flapping around everywhere. Considering its price point and segment, the Accent does a good job muffling out a lot of outside noise and ironed out road imperfections like a larger, more expensive car while driving on the firmer-riding 17-inch wheels versus the softer 15-inchers found on the two lower trims.

Like most economy cars, the Accent is fuel efficient with its 130-hp, 119 lb-ft 1.6-liter I-4 engine, which delivers an EPA-rated 28/38 mpg city/highway with the optional six-speed automatic transmission (not a CVT like many have in its segment). However, it’s not the most fuel efficient. The less powerful Versa, Yaris iA, and Honda Fit provide better fuel economy. The 2018 Accent offers the usual list of safety features you’d find in a small, entry-level car but adds one important one: automatic emergency braking, a feature not normally found at this price point. Forward Collision-avoidance Assist, as the automaker likes to call it, will warn the driver of a possible frontal collision before the system automatically applies the brakes if the driver fails to do so. Unfortunately, it’s only available in the top Limited trim, but at least it’s offered. This is one safety feature that should be available across all automakers’ lineups and not just the more expensive vehicles.

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Volvo XC40 Getting All-Electric Variant and Inscription Model

By | February 21, 2018

Volvo’s latest crossover, the compact XC40, just hit the market but the automaker continues to roll out updates. This time, Volvo has announced a new luxurious Inscription trim for the U.S. and a turbocharged three-cylinder engine for Europe that will later be part of the upcoming electrified Twin Engine plug-in powertrain. An all-electric XC40 is also in the works.

Inscription is the current top trim level for the larger XC60, and the upscale treatment will soon trickle down to the XC40. The Inscription will come in exclusive exterior colors and feature unique details like chrome trim surrounding the grille mesh and side windows.

Expect to see 18-, 19-, and 20-inch wheel options. The interior adds an impressive-looking crystal gear shift knob and the Driftwood inlays that were first used on the XC60. Pricing for the new model will be announced closer to the XC40 Inscription’s launch.




The XC40 is currently offered in the base Momentum trim that features 18-inch alloy wheels, a power liftgate, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, and a 9.0-inch center infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The sportier R-Design trim comes equipped with 19-inch wheels, a navigation system, a hands-free power liftgate, and many unique R-Design exterior and interior parts.




Across the pond, Volvo has introduced its first-ever three-cylinder engine, a new 1.5-liter turbo-three that will initially be offered with a six-speed manual.

Although we aren’t getting the 1.5-liter turbo-three engine in North America, we will likely get the upcoming electrified Twin Engine plug-in model that pairs the new turbo-three with an electric motor.

Like the XC60 and XC90 plug-in models, the XC40 should have an all-electric driving range and plenty of power.

Volvo also restated its plans to produce an all-electric XC40. Though there are no concrete details about the XC40 EV yet, if Volvo’s performance brand Polestar has any part in it, we expect it to be impressive.














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Volvo XC40 Getting Inscription Model, All-Electric Variant

By | February 21, 2018

Volvo’s latest crossover, the compact XC40, just hit the market but the automaker continues to roll out updates. This time, Volvo has announced a new luxurious Inscription trim for the U.S. and a turbocharged three-cylinder engine for Europe that will later be part of the upcoming electrified Twin Engine plug-in powertrain. An all-electric XC40 is also in the works.

Inscription is the current top trim level for the larger XC60, and the upscale treatment will soon trickle down to the XC40. The Inscription will come in exclusive exterior colors and feature unique details like chrome trim surrounding the grille mesh and side windows. Expect to see 18-, 19-, and 20-inch wheel options. The interior adds an impressive-looking crystal gear shift knob and the Driftwood inlays that were first used on the XC60. Pricing for the new model will be announced closer to the XC40 Inscription’s launch.




The XC40 is currently offered in the base Momentum trim that features 18-inch alloy wheels, a power liftgate, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, and a 9.0-inch center infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The sportier R-Design trim comes equipped with 19-inch wheels, a navigation system, a hands-free power liftgate, and many unique R-Design exterior and interior parts.




Across the pond, Volvo has introduced its first-ever three-cylinder engine, a new 1.5-liter turbo-three that will initially be offered with a six-speed manual. Although we aren’t getting the 1.5-liter turbo-three engine in North America, we will likely get the upcoming electrified Twin Engine plug-in model that pairs the new turbo-three with an electric motor. Like the XC60 and XC90 plug-in models, the XC40 should have an all-electric driving range and plenty of power.

Volvo also restated its plans to produce an all-electric XC40. Though there are no concrete details about the XC40 EV yet, if Volvo’s performance brand Polestar has any part in it, we expect it to be impressive.

Source: Volvo














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2018 Honda Accord 2.0T Gets a Civic Type R-Like Power Upgrade

By | February 19, 2018

The redesigned 2018 Honda Accord is quick, hitting 60 mph in 5.7 seconds with Honda’s new 10-speed automatic and a 2.0-liter turbo-four, a detuned version of the engine found in the new Civic Type R, that makes 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque.

Thanks to the Honda tuners at Hondata, more horsepower and torque can be extracted from the turbocharged engine in different stages.

Using Hondata’s FlashPro device, the company claims gains of between 10-40 hp and has posted a dyno sheet of the Stage 1 tune that shows increases of about 10 hp and roughly 40 lb-ft. When Hondata put a factory Accord 2.0T on a dyno (see the video below), they recorded a baseline of 266 hp and 292 lb-ft to the wheels, well above Honda’s advertised power ratings.

The estimated gains are based on those dyno numbers, so that puts the Stage 1 reflashed Accord at 276 hp and a healthy 332 lb-ft to the wheels using California’s 91 octane gas. That’s already more torque than the Civic Type R makes (306-hp and 295 lb-ft).

If Hondata was able to get 10 hp and 40 lb-ft from this tune, imagine the torque increase from the tune that gets you 40 hp.

Well, we don’t have to imagine as Hondata posted a video of the dyno run with the Stage 2 tune showing peak torque of 375.8 lb-ft–a gain of about 80 lb-ft over Hondata’s baseline figure.

Additionally, the Stage 2 reflash adds 50-55 hp in the middle of the power band, which is said to dramatically affect the driving experience.

The FlashPro only works on model-year 2018 or newer Accords with the turbo 2.0-liter engine and connects to the OBDII port without any ECU modification, but you will need a computer with a USB 2.0 connection.

The FlashPro device retails for $695, and appears to enable both Stage 1 and Stage 2 tunes. However, it’s unclear if any additional aftermarket parts are required for either reflash.

Honda is slowly phasing out its naturally aspirated engines in favor of turbocharged engines. While Honda purists may cry foul over this, many enthusiasts are taking advantage of the impressive power gains that come from tuning a turbocharged engine.

Check out the numbers Hondata got from the Accord’s 2.0-liter turbo-four in the video below, and also check out their baseline run to see how much power the new engine really makes.

Source: Hondata








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Turn Your 2018 Honda Accord 2.0T Into a Civic Type R-Beater for $695

By | February 15, 2018

The redesigned 2018 Honda Accord is quick, hitting 60 mph in a Motor Trend-tested 5.7 seconds with Honda’s new 10-speed automatic and a 2.0-liter turbo-four, a detuned version of the engine found in the new Civic Type R, that makes 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to the Honda tuners at Hondata, more horsepower and torque can be extracted from the turbocharged engine in different stages.

Using Hondata’s FlashPro device, the company claims gains of between 10-40 hp and has posted a dyno sheet of the Stage 1 tune that shows increases of about 10 hp and roughly 40 lb-ft. When Hondata put a factory Accord 2.0T on a dyno (see the video below), they recorded a baseline of 266 hp and 292 lb-ft to the wheels, well above Honda’s advertised power ratings. The estimated gains are based on those dyno numbers, so that puts the Stage 1 reflashed Accord at 276 hp and a healthy 332 lb-ft to the wheels using California’s 91 octane gas. That’s already more torque than the Civic Type R makes (306-hp and 295 lb-ft).

If Hondata was able to get 10 hp and 40 lb-ft from this tune, imagine the torque increase from the tune that gets you 40 hp. Well, we don’t have to imagine as Hondata posted a video of the dyno run with the Stage 2 tune showing peak torque of 375.8 lb-ft–a gain of about 80 lb-ft over Hondata’s baseline figure. Additionally, the Stage 2 reflash adds 50-55 hp in the middle of the power band, which is said to dramatically affect the driving experience.

The FlashPro only works on model-year 2018 or newer Accords with the turbo 2.0-liter engine and connects to the OBDII port without any ECU modification, but you will need a computer with a USB 2.0 connection. The FlashPro device retails for $695, and appears to enable both Stage 1 and Stage 2 tunes. However, it’s unclear if any additional aftermarket parts are required for either reflash.

Honda is slowly phasing out its naturally aspirated engines in favor of turbocharged engines. While Honda purists may cry foul over this, many enthusiasts are taking advantage of the impressive power gains that come from tuning a turbocharged engine. Check out the numbers Hondata got from the Accord’s 2.0-liter turbo-four in the video below, and also check out their baseline run to see how much power the new engine really makes.

Source: Hondata








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Subaru Teases VIZIV Tourer Concept Ahead of Geneva Debut

By | February 15, 2018

Subaru teased its latest concept ahead of its world debut at the Geneva International Motor Show on March 6. Called the VIZIV Tourer Concept, we expect this model to be a wagon, possibly previewing an upcoming Impreza wagon or even a WRX wagon.

The Tourer Concept comes after the VIZIV Performance Concept that debuted at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show and the VIZIV Performance STI Concept that debuted at Tokyo Auto Salon, previewing the next-generation WRX and STI, respectively.

With only a shadowy image of the rear driver-side taillight, Subaru is not giving us much, but we can see a body panel gap that wraps around the taillights and highly raked rear glass–possible signs that this concept is a wagon. The previous concepts did not have these design characteristics. On top of that, the Tourer name could also be a hint that this is a D-pillared variant. The taillights are still C-shaped but the design has been tweaked a little.

If it is a WRX wagon, Subie fans around the globe should rejoice as that body style hasn’t been offered since 2007. The third-generation WRX came in a hatchback version, but by the next generation the model was only available as a sedan. It’s also possible the concept previews the next-generation Levorg, a hot Legacy wagon variant that never made it to the U.S.

Engine details have yet to be released, but we expect the next STI to pack some kind of performance hybrid powertrain. The next WRX and STI will be built on the new Subaru Global Platform that the Subaru Impreza and Crosstrek already ride on.

Let’s hope Subaru sticks closely to these impressive looking concepts when the final product is finished. We were slightly disappointed when the current-generation WRX didn’t look much like the WRX concept from a few years ago.

But don’t start calling your local Subaru dealership yet. The next-generation Subaru WRX and STI are still at least two and a half years away from reaching our shores, and there is a chance that wagon variants will stay far away from the SUV- and crossover-loving North American market.

Subaru VIZIV Performance Concept and Performance STI Concept pictured below.








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Subaru Teases VIZIV Tourer Concept – Could it be the WRX Wagon?

By | February 14, 2018

Subaru teased its latest concept ahead of its world debut at the Geneva International Motor Show on March 6. Called the VIZIV Tourer Concept, we expect this model to be a wagon, possibly previewing an upcoming Impreza wagon or even a WRX wagon.

The Tourer Concept comes after the VIZIV Performance Concept that debuted at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show and the VIZIV Performance STI Concept that debuted at Tokyo Auto Salon, previewing the next-generation WRX and STI, respectively.

With only a shadowy image of the rear driver-side taillight, Subaru is not giving us much, but we can see a body panel gap that wraps around the taillights and highly raked rear glass–possible signs that this concept is a wagon. The previous concepts did not have these design characteristics. On top of that, the Tourer name could also be a hint that this is a D-pillared variant. The taillights are still C shaped but the design has been tweaked a little.

If it is a WRX wagon, Subie fans around the globe should rejoice as that body style hasn’t been offered since 2007. The third-generation WRX came in a hatchback version, but by the next generation the model was only available as a sedan. It’s also possible the concept previews the next-generation Levorg, a hot Legacy wagon variant that never made it to the U.S.

Engine details have yet to be released, but we expect the next STI to pack some kind of performance hybrid powertrain. The next WRX and STI will be built on the new Subaru Global Platform that the Subaru Impreza and Crosstrek already ride on.

Let’s hope Subaru sticks closely to these impressive looking concepts when the final product is finished. We were slightly disappointed when the current-generation WRX didn’t look much like the WRX concept from a few years ago.

But don’t start calling your local Subaru dealership yet. The next-generation Subaru WRX and STI are still at least two and a half years away from reaching our shores, and there is a chance that wagon variants will stay far away from the SUV- and crossover-loving North American market.

Subaru VIZIV Performance Concept and Performance STI Concept pictured below.

Source: Subaru








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