Author Archives: Greg Fink

China’s GAC Debuts EV Concept; Announces U.S. Sales in 2019

By | January 16, 2018

GAC Energe concept

China’s state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) pulled the wraps off of its latest concept car at the Detroit auto show, and it’s electric. Dubbed Enverge, the battery-electric SUV wears svelte bodywork and sports traditional concept car design cues such as butterfly doors, small cameras in place of exterior mirrors, and a massive digital dashboard display. GAC claims the Enverge can travel more than 370 miles on a single charge thanks to a 71-kWh battery pack.

The concept is a promising look at what’s to come from the company, which officially announced plans to enter the United States market before the end of the decade. This isn’t just talk, either, as GAC will be attending the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in March in order to drum up support for a dealer network. While GAC sells its vehicles under the “Trumpchi” nameplate in China, the company said that it will forgo that name in the U.S. and instead will sell its cars under a market-specific brand name that is yet to be determined.

GAC Energe concept

One of the first models that GAC plans to sell in the U.S. will be the GS8 crossover SUV. Equipped with three rows of seating, the GS8 is designed to compete with the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Toyota Highlander. The crossover is motivated by a turbocharged inline-four engine that mates to a six-speed automatic transmission.

What other vehicles GAC will bring to the States remains to be seen. However, given that the company also unveiled its new GA4 compact sedan in Detroit, it’s possible that this model could serve as an initial U.S. offering, as well. Regardless, GAC expressed confidence in its ability to successfully craft a vehicle that meets all U.S. safety standards and consumer demands. Look for U.S. sales of GAC vehicles to begin in 2019.

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Acura Confirms Return of Type S Nameplate Plus a New (and Exclusive) Turbo V-6

By | January 15, 2018

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Acura’s performance image falls off precipitously once you get past the NSX, but the division has announced steps to spread the sportiness to the other vehicles in its lineup. The Acura Type S trim will return to multiple vehicles, after nearly a decade in which the high-performance trim has been absent from the brand. Acura also announced a new turbocharged V-6 that will be an Acura-exclusive powerplant.

Last seen on the 2008 Acura TL, the Type S came with a 286-hp 3.5-liter V-6 (in place of the standard TL’s 256-hp 3.2-liter) and also featured trim-specific chassis tuning and styling details. While Acura didn’t reveal which vehicles in its current lineup would receive the Type S treatment, a recent filing for the trademark “TLX Type S” leads us to believe the mid-size sedan will be among the first models to get the sporty upgrade.

Along with the return of Type S, Acura also announced that it is developing a new, turbocharged V-6 engine that will come exclusively with all-wheel drive, which will find its way into multiple products. Although no specifics about the engine’s displacement or power figures have been released, we imagine it will share elements with the 500-hp twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 found in the Acura NSX supercar.

Look for both the Type S trim and the new turbocharged V-6 engine to come to market sometime next decade, with the two possibly debuting together in a TLX Type S sport sedan.

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2018 Detroit Auto Show Full Coverage

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All-New Ram 1500 Revealed! Redesigned and Hybridized

By | January 15, 2018

2019-Ram-1500-Placement

Say sayonara to Ram’s crosshair grille, as every iteration of the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 abandons the design cue that dates back to the truck’s Dodge-branded days. The new grille treatment is just one new element of the 2019 Ram 1500, which receives some of the most revolutionary design and technological changes the pickup has seen in a quarter-century. READ MORE ››

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2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt: The Mustang McQueen Made

By | January 14, 2018

2019-Ford-Mustang-Bullitt-PLACEMENT

The Bullitt is back! Ford’s on-again, off-again special-edition Mustang honoring the celebrated Steve McQueen movie Bullitt returns this summer, just in time to mark the 50th anniversary of the film. This is the third time Ford has offered a Bullitt-brand special edition, following previous versions in the 2001 and in the 2008­–2009 model years. READ MORE ››

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GM to Launch Driverless Car in 2019 with No Steering Wheel or Pedals

By | January 12, 2018

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General Motors is poised to release a production-ready autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel and pedals in 2019. The car, to be named the Cruise AV, is a Chevrolet Bolt EV–based self-driving car that relies on technology developed by the Detroit-based automaker and Cruise Automation, a self-driving startup that GM acquired nearly two years ago.

With a goal of eliminating crashes and traffic congestion, the Cruise AV is fitted with five lidar sensors, 16 cameras, and 21 radars. The information procured from the systems allows the Cruise AV to create a three-dimensional model of its surroundings. Additionally, the array of radars, cameras, and sensors let the self-driving car anticipate the movements of surrounding objects and predict multiple driving paths, which allows the Cruise AV to change course quickly should an object cross the Cruise AV’s intended path.

Thanks to machine learning and a shared database, each individual Cruise AV will be able to share the knowledge it gains on the road with the rest of the Cruise AV fleet. As such, GM’s autonomous hatchback can accrue new insights as the group of self-driving hatchbacks rack up additional miles. GM fits the Cruise AV with a host of redundant systems as a means of ensuring passenger safety. Should any sensor, electrical component, or drive system fail, a second unit is prepared to take over at a moment’s notice. On the off chance that both units fail, the Cruise AV can pull off the road and bring itself to a stop.

Cruising USA

In order to allow public use of the Cruise AV, General Motors has filed a petition with the Department of Transportation asking the government to let its autonomous electric vehicle operate on public roads without the aid of a driver or traditional driving controls. Should the petition be granted, General Motors anticipates customers will interact with the Cruise AV in much the same way they operate with today’s ride-hailing services.

Users will request a Cruise AV by way of a mobile application, which will also allow them to customize the vehicle’s climate and radio settings to their liking. Inside the Cruise AV, GM fits a number of touchscreen tablets that are capable of displaying a variety of ride-related information to passengers. The automaker also includes a button to end the ride early.

The Cruise AV’s automated systems are reliant on data provided by detailed high-definition maps, and the vehicles will be geofenced to routes that have been appropriately mapped. Although GM didn’t reveal the scope and scale of its map data, it’s likely the initial batch of Cruise AVs will be limited to the San Francisco and Phoenix areas—the two cities where GM has tested the vehicle.

Safe Me San Francisco

Like the Bolt EV on which it’s based, the Cruise AV is produced at GM’s plant in Orion Township, Michigan. To maintain passenger safety in the event of a collision, GM has crash-tested the car to make sure the self-driving hardware didn’t physically increase the risk of harm to occupants. Meanwhile, the left front seat was engineered to meet the same safety criteria applied to the right front passenger seat.

On top of this, the Cruise AV employs a number of cybersecurity protections to prevent malware from making its way into the vehicle’s various operating systems, with the intent to limit the potential for a Cruise AV to be hacked to perform in any way contrary to its intended programming.

Look for GM to start an initial, limited rollout of the Cruise AV before the end of the decade—once the DOT grants GM’s petition—with more of the self-driving hatchbacks expected to reach the roads as additional geographic areas are mapped. Don’t plan on purchasing your own Cruise AV anytime soon, though, as the self-driving car is expected to remain a ride-hailing option for the time being.

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A Stunt That Resin-ates: Mercedes-Benz Encases an Original G-class in Synthetic Resin

By | January 12, 2018

A Mercedes-Benz G280 in resin.

Mercedes-Benz will display an original Geländewagen encased in 44.4 tons of synthetic resin at the Detroit auto show. The stunt coincides with the reveal of the all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-class.

The amber block measures 18.0 feet long, 8.4 feet wide, and 10.2 feet tall and took 90 days to create. Holed up within the resin is a first-year Geländewagen, a 1979 280GE. The four-door SUV earned its 280 badge courtesy of its 2.8-liter inline-six. With 154 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque, the four-wheel-drive Benz wasn’t particularly quick, but it was mighty capable.

This is a first year 1979 Mercedes 280 GE

While we don’t yet know much about the new G-class, a recent ride in a prototype showed that the next-generation Mercedes-Benz flagship SUV is bound to be as capable off-road as its predecessor—if not more so. It also should be more civilized on-road and offer more spacious interior accommodations. See a preview of that interior here. The G-class is sure to retain its decidedly old-school vibe, but the big box is finally moving out of the Mesozoic era and entering the modern Cenozoic era.

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2018 Detroit Auto Show Full Coverage

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Cut-Price Crossover: Volkswagen Drops Price of 2018 Tiguan by as Much as $2180

By | January 8, 2018

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan FWD

Volkswagen is cutting the price of the 2018 Tiguan by as much as $2180 in an attempt to bolster sales of the recently redesigned SUV.

The base Tiguan S now starts at $25,495, a $600 price drop that puts the seven-passenger crossover within $400 of the entry-level $25,125 Honda CR-V LX. Stepping up to the Tiguan SE will now set buyers back $27,650, or $2180 less than before and $275 less than a CR-V EX. The SE adds features such as an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, faux-leather seat trim, and blind-spot monitoring.

The  Tiguan SEL sees its base price fall by $1460 to $31,990. Compared with the SE, the Tiguan SEL brings a navigation system, adaptive cruise control, and remote start. The price of the top-of-the-line Tiguan SEL Premium, meanwhile, is unchanged at $37,150.

With 8061 Tiguans delivered in December 2017, the model was the brand’s best-seller for the month. Still, Honda sold more than four times that many CR-Vs in the same period. VW surely would like to grab a bigger slice of the compact-crossover pie.

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2018 Audi S5 Sportback, Tested in Depth: Fast Hatch with a Slight Catch

By | January 5, 2018

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The four-door hatchback Audi S5 Sportback combines the comfort and convenience of the S4 sedan with the sleek looks of the S5 coupe. The S5 Sportback is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine with 354 horsepower and a heady 369 lb-ft of torque. A smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, and it works with Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system to accelerate the Sportback with appropriate haste. In spite of its strong performance, the S5 Sportback is missing that special something that earns a car a spot in the sports-sedan hall of fame and in the hearts of enthusiasts. Its steering feel is distant, its chassis aloof. The Sportback benefits from the added versatility of its hatchback body and 22 cubic feet of cargo space behind its back seat. Practicality never looked so good; if only there were an equal amount of driver engagement. READ MORE ››

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Trumpchi No More: Chinese Company GAC to Show a Trio of New Cars in Detroit

By | January 2, 2018

GAC Trumpchi GS7

Trumpchi, we barely knew you. Following a report by the New York Times that China’s state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) is expected to forgo using the Trumpchi brand name in the United States, the company announced that it will use the Detroit auto show later this month to debut a minivan, a new luxury sedan, and an electric-vehicle concept. Unlike the case at last year’s show, not a single model lays claim to the Trumpchi badge. 

In fact, the first time a GAC product caught our attention at Cobo Center was almost three years ago, when the company brought its GS4 compact crossover to the 2015 Detroit auto show alongside a concept, the WitStar plug-in hybrid, which—for reasons beyond our understanding—was fitted with a fish tank in the rear console. The whole affair looked as though GAC had let Xzibit pimp its ride prior to unveiling the pint-sized SUV.

GAC Trumpchi GE3

We presume the company’s minivan for the 2018 show will be a variant of the GM8 that it recently revealed at the Guangzhou auto show. Built on an all-new platform, the model already targets the top of the minivan market. While the minivan may attract wealthier consumers in China, the same can’t be said of U.S. customers. Still, we could see the GM8 competing with established minivans such as the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, and Toyota Sienna, all of which start at around $30,000 and top out at more than $45,000.

Likewise, the new luxury sedan will likely build upon the momentum of the GA8, which the company released in 2016. At 197 inches long, the GA8 would contend with mid-size luxury sedans such as the BMW 5-series or the Genesis G80. Power for the GA8 comes courtesy of a 194-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. GAC would need to plug in a more powerful engine to compete against established luxury sedans here.

Finally, GAC claims its new electric-car concept has been designed with American youth in mind. We’re not sure what that means, but we’d have no qualms if the company updated last year’s EnSpirit concept plug-in hybrid by giving the fastback crossover slightly more aggressive styling and an all-electric powertrain.

GAC announced last month that it will begin selling vehicles in the United States before the end of the decade. The company did not reveal if any of the vehicles it plans to unveil in Detroit are intended for sale in the U.S. market.

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Box Cutter: Atlas Coupe Coming, Says Volkswagen U.S. CEO

By | December 27, 2017

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The third-generation Volkswagen Touareg won’t be sold in the United States when it goes on-sale in other parts of the world next year. Plugging the five-passenger, mid-size crossover hole left by the Touareg’s departure from the U.S. market, however, will be a two-row variant of the boxy Volkswagen Atlas crossover SUV.

Volkswagen’s North American CEO Hinrich Woebcken confirmed to Automotive News that the forthcoming model will trade the blocky looks of the Atlas for “nice, coupe-ish styling.” Woebcken added that the new crossover will be similar to the three-row Atlas, both mechanically and dimensionally. The three-row version rides on an expansive 117.3-inch wheelbase and measures 78.3 inches wide.

Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe concept

Before the Atlas entered production, the large crossover SUV was previewed by the Volkswagen CrossBlue concept displayed at the 2013 Detroit auto show. Shortly thereafter, Volkswagen took the wraps off of the CrossBlue Coupe concept at the 2013 Shanghai auto show. These concepts, both on the Atlas’s MQB platform, sported similar interior designs. In place of the squared-off exterior styling of the CrossBlue, though, the CrossBlue Coupe featured flared fenders with round wheel wells and a noticeably lower roofline.

Although we can’t be sure if the styling differentiation between the production Atlas and its sleeker five-passenger sibling will be as extensive as that between its concept counterparts, we anticipate that the cropped Atlas will draw inspiration from the CrossBlue Coupe concept.

The five-seat Atlas will be built at the same Chattanooga, Tennessee plant that produces the current model. While Volkswagen is keeping mum on additional details, we expect the more coupe-like Atlas will start at less than $30,000 and go on sale before the end of the decade, possibly for the 2020 model year.

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Bargain Bug: Federalized Bugatti EB110 Going to the Auction Block

By | December 22, 2017

1993 Bugatti EB110 GT

Before the Chiron or the Veyron, there was the EB110. The Bugatti supercar was unveiled in 1991 and produced through 1994. Powered by a quad-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-12 engine, the all-wheel-drive EB110 produced an eyebrow-raising (for the time) 560 horsepower and utilized a state-of-the-art carbon-fiber chassis. Paired with a six-speed manual transmission, the mid-mounted V-12 engine was able to wail well past 8000 revs before the tachometer needle tapped the redline.

Fewer than 150 EB110 supercars were built before the company went out of business. August Nuechter found out the hard way that the company was in financial ruin when he took this EB110 to the factory for service in September 1995. Instead of being met by smiling factory workers, he was greeted by the frowns of employees who had been informed that the company was declaring bankruptcy.

1993 Bugatti EB110 GT

In spite of a lack of factory support, Nuechter held on to his EB110, putting 2821 miles on the car throughout more than two decades of ownership. Nuechter even brought the black EB110 with him when he moved to America. The car was certified for U.S. road use in August 2005.

Set to go up for auction at RM Sotheby’s Phoenix, Arizona, auction in January, this rare EB110 is projected to sell for $750,000 to $950,000. Expensive in the grand scheme of car buying, but in the world of Bugattis this EB110 is practically a steal. Consider that a new Chiron will set you back more than $2.5 million, while a classic 1932 Bugatti Type 55 roadster recently sold for more than $10 million at auction. If you’ve always wanted a Bugatti, this federalized EB110 may be one of the least expensive ways to put one in your garage.

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2017 Nissan Versa, Tested in Depth: Not at All Well Versed

By | December 19, 2017

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Transportation doesn’t get much more basic than the Nissan Versa. Proudly claiming the title of America’s least expensive new car, the Versa feels every bit as cheap as its $12,875 price suggests. Still, the subcompact sedan offers a cavernous back seat, a large trunk, and a comfortable ride, making it a prime choice for those who moonlight as Uber or Lyft drivers. Just don’t expect to have any fun behind the wheel of the Versa, as its agricultural-sounding engine, numb steering, and listless chassis offer all the excitement of a PBS documentary on the history of watching paint dry. READ MORE ››

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MBUX Marks the Spot: Mercedes-Benz to Roll Out Its Next-Gen Infotainment System at CES

By | December 19, 2017

The new A-class interior will have a new infotainment system

Mercedes-Benz will debut its latest infotainment system at the CES electronics show in Las Vegas in January. The new infotainment system, to be named Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX), will begin appearing in Mercedes vehicles next year.

It won’t be limited to the most expensive Mercedes products, either. The three-pointed-star brand confirmed that the improved infotainment system will come standard on the forthcoming entry-level A-class sedan. While Mercedes is remaining tight-lipped about the details surrounding the new system, the company did release images of the new A-class interior showing the subcompact sedan will supplant the system’s usual control knob with a large touchpad. Currently, Mercedes limits infotainment inputs to a central control knob or an available touchpad that sits atop the standard control knob. We’ve heard that a touchscreen is a possibility as well.

Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL

While Mercedes would confirm only the new infotainment system’s arrival in the A-class, interior images of the hydrogen-powered GLC F-Cell compact crossover show a display screen and touchpad that are similar to those in the upcoming subcompact sedan. Needless to say, we anticipate that both the updated C-class and GLC-class will adopt the MBUX system, too, before the turn of the decade.

Watch for more details about the new system in the coming weeks.

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We’re Number 1: U.S. Customers Will Be among the First to Get Access to the Polestar 1 Sports Coupe

By | December 18, 2017

Volvo Polestar 1 concept

Polestar is going from being a simple in-house tinkerer of Volvo products to its own full-fledged automotive brand. With an emphasis on electrification, the Polestar brand’s first independent offering is a sleek and low-slung coupe that goes by the name of 1. Unlike Volvos, however, consumers won’t be able to purchase a Polestar 1. Instead, they’ll be able to subscribe to one. And thanks to strong initial demand for the Polestar 1, customers in the United States will be among the first in the world to have the opportunity to park the 600-hp coupe in their driveways.

Other countries selected as initial launch markets for the four-seat coupe include China, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands. For an undisclosed monthly sum, Polestar 1 drivers will be given full use of the plug-in hybrid sports car that promises nearly 100 miles of all-electric range by way of two electric motors at the coupe’s rear axle. A separate gasoline-fed engine supplies power to the front wheels. Fees for insurance, maintenance, and additional services are included in the subscription’s cost.

Like Tesla, Polestar will bypass the common dealership model for individual factory-backed retail centers dubbed Polestar Spaces. The brand plans to set up two such spaces in the U.S. initially in the middle of 2019—one on the East Coast and another on the West Coast. If we were the gambling type, we’d wager that New York City and California are likely candidates for the first Polestar Spaces in North America, before the brand expands to other areas of the country.

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2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: Chevy Trucks It Up

By | December 16, 2017

2019 Chevrolet Silverado LT Z71 Trailboss

Chevrolet has rolled out the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, which wears buff new bodywork and sits on a completely redesigned frame. The latest Silverado promises to be lighter and more capable than its predecessor, but unlike the Ford F-150, which uses aluminum bodywork for both the cab and the bed to trim pounds, the 2019 Silverado reserves the lighter material for its hood, doors, and tailgate. The Chevy’s roof, fenders, and bed are once again made of steel. Chevy claims to have trimmed as much as 450 pounds from the crew-cab V-8 2019 Silverado relative to its predecessor, including 88 pounds from the body and another 88 pounds taken out of the frame. READ MORE ››

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Bullitt Point: New Ford Mustang Bullitt Edition Caught in Chicago

By | December 12, 2017

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Edition

It has been nearly a decade since the last Bullitt edition of the Ford Mustang. Inspired by the classic Mustang fastback driven by Steve McQueen’s character, Frank Bullitt, in the 1968 film Bullitt, the limited-production Mustang sported a spoiler-free trunk, retro five-spoke wheels, and a mostly badge-free body. Naturally, we were enamored with the model, even if the 2008 Mustang Bullitt edition’s 315-hp 4.6-liter V-8 engine lacked the oomph to overtake the Dodge Challenger SRT8 and its 425-hp 6.1-liter V-8 engine in our July 2008 comparison test.

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Edition

Now the wait for a new Mustang Bullitt edition appears to be over. After he spotted it on the streets of Chicago, the appropriately named Mustang6G.com user “Bullitt” submitted a handful of photos to that forum, two of which we’ve reproduced here with the permission of Mustang6G—hit this link for the rest—showing a Highland Green Mustang puttering about Lower Wacker Drive during a photo shoot. While the images don’t show tons of detail, they do reveal that the model sports the 2018 Mustang’s updated body panels and that the Bullitt once again will be equipped with a special crosshair badge at the rear, will sport a trunk without a rear wing, and will come equipped with a set of retro-chic five-spoke wheels. Other noteworthy findings on the captured model include big brake discs clamped by red Brembo calipers, black exhaust tips, and debadged front fenders.

As in past Bullitt Mustangs, we expect the car to do without fog lights and the iconic running-pony emblem while being offered solely with the 5.0-liter V-8 engine found in the Mustang GT. Expect a few additional horses to be added to the burly bent-eight’s stable, giving the Bullitt a slight power advantage over the 460-hp Mustang GT.

Given that Ford opted to shoot the car in Chicago, we’d wager that the latest Mustang Bullitt will formally be unveiled by the Blue Oval at the 2018 Chicago auto show in February.

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2017 Subaru Impreza Sedan Manual: You Should—Gulp!—Skip the Stick

By | December 5, 2017

As much as we prefer the idea of shifting gears for ourselves, some manual transmissions aren’t so easy to love. Take the five-speed gearbox in the recently redesigned Subaru Impreza: Its shifter feels notchy and imprecise, making it unpleasant to use, and the shortage of cogs fails to make best use of the standard 2.0-liter flat-four’s narrow and peaky (read: naturally aspirated) powerband. It’s a pity, really, since Subaru’s parts bin contains a newer six-speed manual (as found in the Crosstrek) that’s much nicer to manipulate and mates better with this engine. READ MORE ››

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This $1.5 Million Off-Road-Ready Truck Is the Ultimate Tiny Home

By | December 5, 2017

EarthRoamer XV-HD and EarthRoamer XV-LTS

If the journey is indeed more important than the destination, then the new EarthRoamer XV-HD could be worth every penny of its $1.5 million asking price. This off-road-ready recreational vehicle starts life as a heavy-duty four-wheel-drive Ford F-750 work truck equipped with a turbocharged diesel 6.7-liter V-8. Paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Brobdingnagian bent-eight makes 330 horsepower, which is arguably a paltry number given the host of heavy features fitted to the truck by EarthRoamer, a Colorado firm that has been building outrageous overland expedition vehicles (all wearing the XV designation) since 1998.

Equipped with chunky 46-inch-diameter Michelin XVL tires, Fox shocks, a rear air-spring suspension, an array of LED lights, a hydraulic winch that can pull up to 30,000 pounds, and 12 inches of ground clearance, the XV-HD is an off-road enthusiast’s dream house on wheels. Although the engine’s limited power peak surely restricts the XV-HD’s left-lane prowess on the highway, its considerable 725 lb-ft of torque is key to helping the mighty machine maneuver its way off the beaten path, or when making its own.

EarthRoamer XV-HD

Since the road less traveled often has few vacancies, the 35-foot-long XV-HD is equipped to maximize self-sufficiency. The living quarters are fully insulated and luxuriously appointed, offering all the conveniences of home in a slightly smaller package, including a washer and dryer, a full bathroom, and heated floorboards. A 115-gallon diesel fuel tank, a 250-gallon fresh-water tank, roof-mounted solar panels that can generate 2100 watts of electric power, and a 20,000-watt lithium-ion battery pack ensure that the XV-HD’s driver and passengers can go days without seeing civilization.

The EarthRoamer XV-HD is currently in production, but the ability to roam is not built in a day. EarthRoamer notes that those interested in purchasing an XV-HD will need to put down a $375,000 deposit on the $1.5 million truck and expect delivery of the vehicle by late next year or early 2019.

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2017 Porsche 718 Cayman, Tested in Depth: Pure Porsche

By | December 4, 2017

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The Porsche 718 Cayman embodies everything we love about sports cars. Notably, it delivers one of the world’s most exhilarating driving experiences at a relatively reasonable starting price. No surprise, then, that the Cayman is a regular on our annual 10Best Cars list. Serving as the brand’s entry-level coupe, the Cayman is motivated by one of two turbocharged flat-four engines: a 300-hp 2.0-liter in the base model and a 350-hp 2.5-liter in the Cayman S. Although the two engines sing a less enticing song than the naturally aspirated flat-six engines that previously occupied the engine bay, both flat-fours move the Cayman with serious gusto. More important, the Cayman’s mid-engine chassis is sublime. Blessed with clairvoyant controls, the Cayman is an absolute joy to push to its limits. Still, it isn’t without its foibles. Namely, its interior feels built to a lower budget than the price suggests. Porsche rubs salt in this wound by charging extra for a number of run-of-the-mill convenience features—including automatic climate control, fully power-adjustable seats, and Apple CarPlay—that many vehicles in this price range include as standard equipment. And if you’re not careful with the extensive—and enticing—options list, look out: Porsche is as famous for high prices as it is for high performance. READ MORE ››

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