< version="2.0" xmlns:content="http://purl.org//1.0/modules/content/" xmlns:wfw="http://wellformedweb.org/CommentAPI/" xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" xmlns:sy="http://purl.org//1.0/modules/syndication/" xmlns:slash="http://purl.org//1.0/modules/slash/" > Small-business-internet-marketing.info- small-business-internet-marketing.info http://small-business-internet-marketing.info The Auto Blog for Car Enthusiasts Sat, 20 Jan 2018 19:23:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 8746165 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4X4 Review- small-business-internet-marketing.info http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/20/2017-jeep-compass-trailhawk-4x4-review/ http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/20/2017-jeep-compass-trailhawk-4x4-review/#respond Sat, 20 Jan 2018 19:22:59 +0000 http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/?p=92058  

Adventure seekers will want to take a look at the 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk. It’s a less expensive way to get something with the more expensive looks of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, it comes trail-ready with lots of off-road capability. Jeep says the Compass Trailhawk has 30-degree approach, 24-degree breaker, and 34-degree departure angles. It even has the ability to ford up to 19 inches of water without drowning.

This week, we drove the 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4X4.

What’s New For 2017 & 2018

The Jeep Compass was all-new for 2017. The vehicle’s redesign included new powertrains and transmissions, updates to the Uconnect system, and the use of FCA’s “small wide 4×4 architecture.” 2018 Jeep Compass Limited models now offer a 4×2 driveline configuration.

Features & Options

The 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4X4 ($28,595) comes standard with foglights, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, a tilt/telscoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, USB port and auxiliary audio jack. It also comes with push button start, rear backup camera, and power outside mirrors. It comes fitted with an off-road suspension, rear tow hooks, Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system, and front and rear skid plates for better off-road performance.

This tester came with options like the Cold Weather Group ($645), complete with heated front seats and a heated steering wheel; Lighting Group ($895), Safety Group ($795), Navigation ($895), power 8-way driver’s seat ($645), and power liftgate ($495). Total MSRP including destination: $34,060.

Interior Highlights

The front seats are comfortable and adequately supportive for longer drives into the high country for weekend excursions. The contrasting back/red leather interior combo looked good on our Compass tester. There’s enough room up front for taller adults, but rear legroom is tight for this class, although perfect for kids. In terms of infotainment, the 8.4-inch Uconnect interface found in most Jeep and other FCA models is user-friendly.

This Compass Trailhawk came with cold-weather extras like heated seats, heated steering wheel, and windshield de-icer to keep things clear for those winter trips. With the sloped cabin design, visibility is fairly good in all directions and the rear park assist feature, rear view camera, and blind spot alerts are definitely helpful.

You’ll find enough cargo space in the back for carrying a big cooler, sleeping bags, and other camping gear with the rear seats up. The 27.2 cubic feet of cargo room is more horizontal, so you won’t block the rear window. It’s dog-friendly too, if you want to take your four-legged friends along

Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs

The Jeep Compass Trailhawk is powered by a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder Tigershark engine that pumps out 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft. of torque. This off-road model comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission. It works in concert with the vehicle’s Active Drive Low 4X4 system (20:1 crawl ratio) and Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system. The Selec-Terrain modes include Snow, Sand, Mud, and exclusive to the Trailhawk, a Rock mode. The Compass Trailhawk has an EPA-estimated fuel mileage rating of 22/30 city/highway and 25 combined mpg.

Driving Dynamics

All of our driving in the Jeep Compass Trailhawk was done at altitude, so factor that in if you live below 5,280 feet. In fact, most our driving was done between 6,500 and 8,500 feet. The Trailhawk is good for commuting in nasty weather and has the ability to get you out of sticky situations when winter strikes. The Trailhawk also comes with Hill-Descent Control and 17-inch Falken all-terrain tires.

In the city, the shorter wheelbase makes for easy maneuvering on tight streets and when parking. The safety aids helped keep us from any mishaps. Even with the Trailhawak’s off-road suspension, it offers a relatively smooth ride on the highway, thanks to its more aerodynamic shape.

We took it up a twisting canyon road west of Denver and felt confident in the vehicle’s ability to remain fairly composed at the posted speed limit. There seemed to be enough power, but we were not carrying cargo or gear. Coming up I-70, we found the 2.4-liter powerplant lacking as we tried to pass slower traffic. We pushed hard on the gas and it took time to build up speed. 

Conclusion

The 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk 4X4 is designed for adventure seekers who want to get away and enjoy the outdoors. And if you don’t load up on all the available options, it’s a less expensive way to have your cake and eat it too. Overall, the Trailhawk’s best attributes are used off-road where it will take you just about anywhere you want to go.

Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: 

Jeep Compass Trailhawk Gallery

Jeep Compass .

Photos: FCA US LLC.

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Volvo’s Skövde Plant Establishes Climate-Neutral Manufacturing- small-business-internet-marketing.info http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/20/volvos-skovde-plant-establishes-climate-newtral-manufacturing/ http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/20/volvos-skovde-plant-establishes-climate-newtral-manufacturing/#respond Sat, 20 Jan 2018 13:13:14 +0000 http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/?p=92198 Volvo Cars’ engine factory in Skövde, Sweden has become the automaker’s first climate-neutral manufacturing facility. The news was announced by Volvo this week, although the plant switched to renewable heating on January 1st. According to Volvo, Skövde will serve as a significant step toward the company’s vision of establishing climate-neutral manufacturing globally by 2025.

“Improving energy efficiency is our first priority and then, for the energy we need to use, we aim for supplies generated from renewable sources,” explained Javier Varela, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Logistics, Volvo Cars.

Sustainable Efforts

A new agreement between Volvo Cars and the local provider ensures all heating supplied to the facility is generated from waste incineration, biomass, and recycled bio-fuels. The electricity supplied to Skövde has come from renewable sources since 2008. A similar approach was taken at Volvo’s facility in Ghent, Belgium in 2016, where a special heating system was implemented saving 15,000 tons of C02 per year and ultimately reducing carbon emissions by 40 percent.

“Environmental care is one of our core values,” said Stuart Templar, Director for Sustainability, Volvo Cars. “Along with our plan to electrify all new Volvo cars launched from 2019, climate-neutral manufacturing operations will significantly reduce our overall carbon footprint, supporting global efforts to tackle climate change.”

“We will continue to work actively with our energy suppliers in all regions to secure further access to renewable energy for our manufacturing plants,” Varela added.

Extensive History

In general, Skövde is among only a few climate-neutral automotive plants in Europe. Volvo has utilized the facility since 1930 to manufacture engines, although the Sköfvde foundry and mechanical workshop was established much earlier in 1868 by John G Grönvall. The foundry produced frame saws, iron stoves, and turbines, later moving to engines in 1907. Today, the facility employs nearly 3,000 people.

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.

Photos & Source: Volvo Car Group.

 

 

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Land Rover’s Limited Edition V8 Defender Caps Anniversary Celebration- small-business-internet-marketing.info http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/19/land-rovers-limited-edition-v8-defender-caps-anniversary-celebration/ http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/19/land-rovers-limited-edition-v8-defender-caps-anniversary-celebration/#respond Fri, 19 Jan 2018 19:16:58 +0000 http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/?p=92165 The Land Rover Defender, the boxy off-roader, post-war British thing that has been around for 70 years, just got a celebratory pat on the back thanks to the tried and true (American) gearhead answer of “just stuff a big V8 in it, it’ll be fine.” I’ve got to say that’s a rationale I agree with.

Indeed, the Land Rover Defender has been around for 70 years. A milestone worth observing. They are, in a number of ways, a very good British take on the American original. Yes, I know, there are Landy guys that will argue this production date or that bit of tech minutiae, but really, Jeep is the original, and Land Rover is a rather nice British copy, but a copy nonetheless.

Cheating Fate

The death of the Land Rover Defender has been hovering around on black bat wings for decades now, longer than the thing has been called the Defender, back to when they were all simply called “Land Rovers.” The gas crunch of the early 70s was going to kill it. Changing tastes in the mid-80s meant its days were numbered. Growing emissions regs preordained new Land Rovers weren’t going to be seen on the roads after 1991. Stuff like that.

But here we are, all these years later, and it’s still around. And Land Rover says this new engine is “all about celebrating the 70th anniversary,” but it really boils down to the fact someone within the company thought it sounded like a great way to pump more life into a War-era vintage carcass. At least that’s what I think. In most cases, I feel stuffing V8 engines where they don’t belong is usually a great idea. Then again, as a kid, I lived in a household where at one point there were three Sunbeam Tigers in the family’s possession.

Photo: Land Rover Classic.

Limited Run

Sadly, the new V8-equipped Defender will not just be a choice on an option box. The upcoming Land Rover Defender with a big V8 will be a limited-edition deal with only “up to” 150 examples being made to celebrate the marque’s 70th anniversary in 2018. Sad, but I understand where they’re coming from.

Noteworthy Nameplate

The Defender Works V8 (its official name) pays tribute to the early high-powered versions of the 1979 Series III Stage 1 V8 and the 50th Anniversary Edition in 1998. Which, if I’m remembering this right, were powered by the same small block alloy V8 that Rover actually bought from Buick (of all people) back in the 1960s. “Why would anyone want a small, light, fuel efficient V8,” Buick asked, and promptly sold the thing to the Brits. Next thing you know, that same engine was in Rover police cars and Triumph TR8s and not in Buicks when that aforementioned gas crunch hit in the early 70s. Oops.

Power & Performance

Anyway, let us not dwell on the mistakes of our Detroit-based forefathers. Landy says the Defender Works V8 is the most powerful and fastest Defender ever manufactured. The 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated V8 cranks out 400 horsepower and 380 lb-ft. of torque versus the standard Defender’s 120 ponies and 265 lb-ft. of torque. All of those numbers are good enough for the Defender Works V8 to accelerate to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, topping out at 106 mph. Which is frighteningly quick for something as tippy as a Land Rover, as well as comically slow on that top end. But given the thing has the aerodynamic grace of the crate it’s shipped in, it kinda follows, y’know?

The 150, specially-selected and re-engineered 70th Edition Defenders will have an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with a sport mode. The brakes are updated (thankfully); the handling kit consists of springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars, exclusive 18-inch diamond-turned Sawtooth alloy wheels, with 265/65 R18 all-terrain tires. And all of that is good stuff, but you know these things are still going to handle like milk trucks, and it’s only a matter of time before a rich footballer from West Ipswichingham/ford-knoll-towne-on-Tyne barrel rolls one into a ditch.

Photo: Land Rover Classic.

Visual Treatments

The 70th Edition Defenders will come in eight unnamed body colors including two satin finishes. All of which will contrast nicely with the Santorini Black roof, wheel arches, and front grille. The door handles, fuel filler cap, and Defender bonnet lettering will be finished with machined aluminum (nice!). The comprehensive lighting upgrade includes bi-LED headlamps. Of course, full Windsor Leather covers the dashboard, door panels, headlining, and Recaro sports seats my dear fellow, and a Land Rover Classic Infotainment System is also fitted.

Pricing & Availability

Both 90 and 110 wheelbase Defender Works V8 versions will be available with prices starting from £150,000 for a 90 in the UK, which is around $210,000. The Defender Works V8 is available in the United Kingdom, and MENA markets on a personal import basis. European market availability is also on an individual import basis, subjected to rules on importation of vehicle conversions.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in . 

Defender Works V8 Gallery

Photos & Source: Land Rover Classic.

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Acura Promises Return of Type-S & More A-Spec Variants- small-business-internet-marketing.info http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/18/acura-promises-return-type-s-spec-variants/ http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/18/acura-promises-return-type-s-spec-variants/#respond Thu, 18 Jan 2018 23:51:32 +0000 http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/?p=92153

I bet if you were to ask Acura, they’d say the performance factor never left. But that said, they sure are making a big deal about their revitalized focus on performance and the return of the Type S at this year’s North American International Auto Show. Naturally, since I am a diehard gearhead, this is all great news for me, and for most of you out there. But what does this really mean? What will it all add up to?

Bringing It Back

All of this refocusing on performance coincides with the global debut of the 2019 Acura RDX Prototype at “The Detroit Show” (for us old skool guys). And yeah, that seems kind of silly (a performance oriented SUV? Ha!) but every car maker wants their stuff to be seen as high-tech and sporty. I bet there are guys in heavy truck hall talking about the sporty, high-performance styling of their new-for-2019 cab overs. But Acura is the luxury and performance division for Honda, so you durn well better pay attention when they say they’re bringing the performance back.

“We have made a major commitment to Acura to bring each element of Precision Crafted Performance to life through a new generation of products,” explained Toshiaki Mikoshiba, President & CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Acura will pursue a unique powertrain strategy that underscores the brand’s rightful place as the performance division of Honda.”

2002 TL Type-S. Photo: Acura.

Power & Performance

Acura is trying to leverage a lot of this new performance aura from the latest NSX. In many ways that’s a good move since the latest NSX is a lot like a LaFerrari for a tenth of the price. The downside is that, for some reason, people were (I have no idea why).

Acura calls this focus “Precision Crafted Performance,” which now includes the launch of a new, turbocharged V6 powerplant for future Acura vehicles to use exclusively. It will be matched with the latest generation of Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system. This means, most likely, the new turbo V6 puts out a ton of power and torque, and will need all four patches to make it work. By the way, the latest generation of Super Handling All-Wheel Drive is launching in the 2019 RDX.

2018 Acura TLX A-Spec. Photo: Acura.

Type-S & A-Spec Together

Acura says we can look for the return of its much-loved Type-S performance brand in the coming years, and for A-Spec variants to encompass all core models in the future. With regard to the A-Spec, expect a new 2.4-liter TLX A-Spec this spring, and an A-Spec variant of the 2019 RDX mid-year. I can almost hear the fanbois screaming from way out here. Honda kids love Type-S and A-Spec cars, so this is a dynamite move.

Exciting Times

The Type-S badge hasn’t been around for a decade, last seen on the 2008 Acura TL. So we can look forward to updated and modernized versions of what that Type-S badge brought to the 2008 Acura TL: A track-tuned chassis, more powerful engine and better brakes, high-performance tires and a general, sports-oriented exterior with interior modifications.

Looks like fast and fun times are ahead!

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in . 

Photos & Source: Acura.

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Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept Defined As “Flagship Luxury Crossover”- small-business-internet-marketing.info http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/18/lexus-lf-1-limitless-concept-defined-flagship-luxury-crossover/ http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/18/lexus-lf-1-limitless-concept-defined-flagship-luxury-crossover/#respond Thu, 18 Jan 2018 14:20:22 +0000 http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/?p=92110

With the LF-1 Limitless concept, Lexus aims to introduce a new genre of luxury vehicle: the flagship crossover. The Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept combines high performance with unrestrained luxury and is a showcase of technology, innovation, and the latest evolution of design at Lexus. But is this exactly new? Aren’t there “flagship crossovers” already? What makes the Lexus LF-1 Limitless so special?

Power & Performance

For starters, Lexus (nee Toyota) says the LF-1 concept could be a fuel cell, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, gasoline, or all-electric. So that’s all pretty cool. Lexus goes even further to say that by around 2025, every Lexus will be available either as an electric model, or have an electrified option.

Exterior Styling

The LF-1 concept was created at CALTY Design Research in California, which is an interesting twist. CALTY says the design fuses the organic shapes of liquid metal with the sharp edges of a traditional Japanese sword, which sounds about what you’d expect to hear about a concept car sitting on a stand at the North American International Auto Show.

Lexus says the LF-1 has an exaggerated dash-to-axle ratio (which is a new phrase for me) that’s more sports car than station wagon. The cabin itself sits deep within the rear-wheel drive chassis, riding on aggressive 22-inch wheels encompassed under those bulging fenders. The low roofline and elevated ride height, according to Lexus, shows how the crossover is designed for performance and practicality.

Sadly, like all current Lexus models, the spindle grille is seen on the LF-1. Lexus says this is a core element to the overall design. I say it still looks like a huge mistake. The profile of the LF-1 has a visibly distinct flow from front to back, starting with the front fender line all the way to the bottom of the C pillar. Out back there is a split spoiler to grab the air (and your attention). The sculpted openings at the back corners are actually vents for the air coming past the rear wheels; it might be easy to first mistake them for exhaust pipes.

Photo: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Interior Treatments

The cabin was designed so every passenger gets maximum comfort. The Lexus LF-1 follows the Japanese tradition of omotenashi, or hospitality, by being welcoming to all who enter. The cockpit is about the driver and the task at hand, accomplished by eliminating the “distracting” analog knobs and buttons in favor of motion-activated controls and minimalist displays. I could laugh and point out how this probably won’t work, but hey, show car, NAIAS, etc. etc. etc., a pass for Lexus here.

The front passenger space is more open, with fewer controls and a wide, unobstructed view of the dashboard. The people in back get the same seats as those up front with generous legroom and individual display screens for adjusting the climate control or entertainment options (i.e. keeping the rugrats quiet on long trips).

The interior is trimmed in a metallic finish in the same champagne-tinted color as the exterior, but with a satin finish for a warmer feel. Also, I feel compelled to point out that champagne was the color of Carmela Soprano’s SUV and that is not a good thing. Lexus added accents around the instrument panel and on the steering wheel to augment the cockpit feel for the driver. Other metallic accents contrast with the dark Cocoa Bean leather trim, and the seats covered in Chiffon White perforated leather. I’m not sure whether it’s those color names or how the color combination actually looks, but it makes me teeter toward thinking it’s Liza Minnelli levels of over the top.

Powertrain Controls

Lexus says all powertrain controls are on the steering wheel to keep the driver involved and attentive to the road. Yeah, sure, whatever, but here is where things get real funky real quick: “Paddles mounted to the steering wheel control the acceleration for sporty driving.” No they don’t, that’s what the pedal on the right does. Goofy high-tech buttons? Oh yeah, buttons on the lower section of the steering wheel engage options like park and reverse. Try not to accidentally hit them while cruising at freeway speeds.

In Person

The Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept is on display at the North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center, downtown Detroit, Michigan. The show officially opens to the public on Saturday, January 20th.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in . 

Photos & Source: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

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Supercar Superbuild Features Mercedes-AMG, Rolls Royce, Jaguar & Others In Season Two- small-business-internet-marketing.info http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/18/supercar-superbuild-season-two/ http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/18/supercar-superbuild-season-two/#respond Thu, 18 Jan 2018 11:00:45 +0000 http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/?p=92113 Supercar Superbuild kicks off its second season this Sunday (January 22nd) on the Smithsonian Channel. The cameras go behind the scenes, revealing the high-stakes gambles, engineering challenges, impossible deadlines, clandestine meetings, and years of sacrifice designers and craftspeople face to bring the world’s most incredible vehicles to life. Those who enjoy cars and appreciate history will definitely be fascinated by Supercar Superbuild.

In-Depth Look

The second season will expose viewers to Alfa Romeo, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Porsche, and Audi, among others. This season, those and other individual automakers and their cars are examined thoroughly. From the mechanical specifications and design concepts, to the manufacturing and technology aspects, nothing is left untouched. Cars like the Rolls Royce Wraith, a near $300,000 luxury machine, are featured in full detail. Unique vehicle assembly characteristics are revealed, like how it takes nearly a football field worth of aluminum welds for an Audi R8’s frame.

The archival footage and historical information is one of the most enjoyable parts of the show, and viewers will see plenty of both this season. Another highlight is how the cameras go inside the assembly plants to see firsthand where the action happens. Viewers meet the executives, artisans, designers, and engineers responsible for getting these unique cars from dream to reality.

During season two of Supercar Superbuild, a father-and-son duo who work together in the Jaguar factory are profiled. Photo: Smithsonian Channel.

Great Eight

The first of eight episodes this season details how Mercedes-AMG is taking on their rivals in the performance arena. Viewers see the brand’s extensive history, hear from Tobias Moers, Mercedes-AMG Chairman, and go inside the Sindelfingen factory in Germany, the largest Mercedes-Benz facility in the world. Later in the season, the cameras head to the Motor City, where the Chevy Camaro is a beloved fixture among American muscle cars; the final episode of the season tells the story of the world’s first “blue-collar sports car.”

Supercar Superbuild premieres Sunday, January 21st at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the Smithsonian Channel. Below is a preview of Sunday’s episode. The snippet shows how Mercedes-AMG technicians build each engine by hand.

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.

Photos, Video & Source: Smithsonian Channel.

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Hyundai Velostar Models Headed To Forza Motorsport 7- small-business-internet-marketing.info http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/18/hyundai-velostar-models-headed-forza-motorsport-7/ http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/18/hyundai-velostar-models-headed-forza-motorsport-7/#respond Thu, 18 Jan 2018 07:30:14 +0000 http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/?p=92098 Hyundai revealed its all-new 2019 Veloster Turbo and the Veloster’s high performance counterpart, the Veloster N, at the North American International Auto Show. As part of that debut, Hyundai also announced both cars will join the list of vehicles in Forza Motorsport 7 for Xbox and Windows 10. This is a rather interesting choice for Forza. They have done stuff like this is the past, including “First in Forza” debuts like the McLaren P1, Ferrari La Ferrari, Ford GT, Lamborghini Centenario, and Porsche 911 GT2 RS.

Extensive History

Okay, full disclosure here: I actually worked for Microsoft Game Studios, the parent company of Turn 10 Motorsports, designers of Forza Motorsports. I worked primarily as a content expert but also as a test driver due to my experience with a variety of cars, and the fact I had experience with real simulators (in my case, full motion, six-axis flight simulators custom built by the likes of Raytheon and Rediffusion). I will gleefully admit my biases up front: When it comes to game consoles, Forza Motorsports is the driving sim to get, everything else is a hacked up arcade game.

Coming To Fruition

But what makes Hyundai’s Veloster Turbo and Veloster N worthy of being “First in Forza?” I bet it was money more than anything else. I bet Hyundai and Microsoft sat down, and Hyundai said, “please put the Veloster Turbo and Veloster N in your upcoming version of Forza. Oh and we’ll give you a bajillion dollars.”

Not that the Veloster Turbo and Veloster N aren’t worth discussing, it’s just best not to confuse them with rides like La Ferraris and the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. Curiously, the Veloster Turbo and Veloster N will not arrive in showrooms until later this year, but they are already available as free downloadable content for players to virtually thrash around.

Photo: Hyundai Motor America.

Up Close & Personal

Forza players will be able to realize the unique design of the 2019 Veloster Turbo and Veloster N thanks to the Forzavista feature. This, I’m assuming, is 7’s version of the old AutoVista feature, where you could get up close and personal with a given car, open the hood, the doors, and virtually sit down in the driver’s seat – stuff like that. Hyundai says each car is rendered in exacting detail, and users can explore those details, from the odd asymmetric body style, to the cockpit layout and engine bay. And I know this is not marketing department hyperbole.

Sweating The Small Stuff

The Forza team goes into excruciating levels of production specificity with this stuff. For run of the mill cars such as the Veloster Turbo and Veloster N, we would routinely shoot hundreds of pictures of everything; door handles, doors closed, doors one-third open, doors two-thirds open, doors all the way open, door hinges, door seals, door strike plates, and that was just the doors. That same thing happened for stuff like hoods, engine details, and buttons on the dash in various positions. We’d even put newer cars up on racks to get shots of the underside: the exhaust system, suspension bits, and braking components. That way the cars would look very accurate when you barrel roll them into a sand trap. For instance.

And even though that amount of detail work was most likely put into the digital versions of the Veloster Turbo and Veloster N, they weren’t even in the same ball park as the amount of detail we’d have to go into when photographing and documenting stuff like ’57 Ferrari Testa Rosas and ’59 Aston Martin DBR1s.

Photo: Hyundai Motor America.

Fun Times

And of course, since the Veloster twins are in the digital world, you can have fun by deeply personalizing them; you can even play with options to make your 2019 Velosters fire-breathing beasts. New wheels, heavy powertrain and suspension upgrades, unique paint schemes and racing liveries; all there for your digital driving pleasure. This will be fun to play around with . . . once I get a new Xbox One X and driving sim set up.

That should be happening as soon as I convince management here to give me some time off.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in . 

Photo: Hyundai Motor America.

Photos & Source: Hyundai Motor America.

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New Rewards Reservation Program To Include 2019 Infiniti QX50- small-business-internet-marketing.info http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/17/new-rewards-reservation-program-include-2019-infiniti-qx50/ http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/17/new-rewards-reservation-program-include-2019-infiniti-qx50/#comments Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:11:26 +0000 http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/?p=92087 The 2019 Infiniti QX50, sure to be a hit with the soccer-mom brigades across suburbia, is now part of a new program that gives customers a chance to reserve the vehicle before it officially lands. In addition to reserving your QX50 for the not at all unreasonable starting sum of $36,550, the program offers luxury gifts. This reservation system must be working, since more than 4,000 people have already signed up?

So besides tech, audio, and home tchotchkes that Inifniti calls “luxury rewards,” what does your 36 large get you? Well, about all the things people demand these days.

Platform & Styling

The 2019 QX50 is built on an all-new platform that sets standards for refinement, rigidity, and interior space in the premium crossover segment. According to Infiniti that is. Of course, that term “rigidity” tells any serious off-roader the QX50 is not to be taken to Moab or anything like that. The QX50 is built for shopping mall parking lots, private school parking lots, beauty salon parking lots, and well, you get the idea.

The exterior styling is said to be “bold” and convey Infiniti’s “Powerful Elegance” design language to the crossover segment. Okay, sure, whatever. For that market segment though, the QX50 does bring lots of interior space, quality materials, and high levels of craftsmanship to the party.

Photo: Infiniti.

Power & Performance

The QX50 is motivated through the suburbs via a VC-Turbo engine. VC in this case stands for variable compression, and indeed this is the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine, transforming on demand just how hard your air/fuel mixture is squished. The 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine adjusts its compression ratio so power and efficiency is optimized. The 2.0-liter VC-Turbo combines the power of a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with the torque and efficiency of a 3.5-liter V6. Nice! But let’s take it out of this “crossover” and put it in a sports car, shall we Nissan?

And oh yeah, of course, the 2019 QX50 offers a buffet of technologies to make your driving experience all the easier. This raft of high-tech stuff includes the available ProPILOT Assist and the first front-wheel drive application of Direct Adaptive Steering, now in its fourth-generation. Both of these techno-goodies are key components in Infiniti’s vision for driver assistance tech that allows you, as the driver, to retain ultimate control over your vehicle.

2019 Infiniti QX50 on display at the North American International Auto Show, Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Gino D’Orazio for Small-business-internet-marketing.info.

Pricing & In Person

The 2019 Infiniti QX50 comes in three very well equipped model levels: pure, luxe, and essential. Each of those can be had in your choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The special pre-sale reservation program is available through February 28th. Customers who sign up and purchase or lease the 2019 QX50 by May 31st are eligible for additional gifts. Below is a handy little chart that shows the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices.

The 2019 Infiniti QX50 is on display at the North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center, downtown Detroit. The show officially opens to the public on Saturday, January 20th.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in . 

Model Engine/Drive MSRP
QX50 PURE 2.0-liter VC-Turbo / FWD $36,550 USD
QX50 PURE AWD 2.0-liter VC-Turbo / AWD $38,350 USD
QX50 LUXE 2.0-liter VC-Turbo / FWD $39,400 USD
QX50 LUXE AWD 2.0-liter VC-Turbo / AWD $41,200 USD
QX50 ESSENTIAL 2.0-liter VC-Turbo / FWD $43,350 USD
QX50 ESSENTIAL AWD 2.0-liter VC-Turbo / AWD $45,150 USD

Cover Photo & Source: Infiniti.

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2019 Toyota Avalon Appears In Detroit- small-business-internet-marketing.info http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/17/2019-toyota-avalon-appears-detroit/ http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/17/2019-toyota-avalon-appears-detroit/#respond Wed, 17 Jan 2018 22:32:30 +0000 http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/?p=92069

Well, here it is, the all-new 2019 Toyota Avalon, which, to be honest, is the automotive equivalent of saying “here’s the all-new 2019 jar of mayonnaise!” I’m not trying to imply that the 2019 Toyota Avalon is a bad car, not at all. It’s not. What I am saying is that it is boring. Sure, sure, it has adequate power and handling, and enough comfort and convenience features and room to make you feel like you’re driving down the road in a medium-sized Tokyo apartment, but it is as exciting as getting pushed off a milk crate into a vat of marshmallow frosting.

Bland Or Bold?

Look, maybe I am being unfair here, but these things have always bored me to tears. I make no bones about either my general dislike of sedans or my firmly held belief that cars bleached of all spirit and soul are most likely to bleach me of my spirit and soul. I’m sure the 2019 Avalon is smooth and quiet and comfortable and reliable and slick and noiseless and relaxing and dependable and velvety and tranquil and secure and unfailing as a Kenny G solo, but no one in the automotive world will have their nether regions corrupted by this car. Ev-ver.

But (and this is a big but) if that is the kind of car you need at this point in your life, i.e. something innocuous, roomy, sedan-like, and Japanese, it’s hard to go wrong buying a 2019 Toyota Avalon. For 2019, the Toyota Avalon will come in four grades: XSE (which is all-new), Touring, XLE, and Limited. The Hybrid model Avalons come in XLE, Limited, and XSE.

2019 Toyota Avalon on display at the North American International Auto Show, Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Gino D’Orazio for Small-business-internet-marketing.info.

 

Interior Treatments

As one would expect, the interior of the new Avalon is nicely thought out, with well executed comfort and tech features. The Avalon exists to get you from A to B and to do so without raising your heart rate (sad as that is). Depending on the trim level, you get stuff like specially engineered wood and a mix of Perforated Ultrasuede or Softex seats. Those seats come with either vertical stitching or a quilt pattern with special perforation, and two-color stitches.

Toyota points out how the soft-touch materials are noticeable throughout. It’s on the Piano Black trimmed center console, on the slim instrument panel leading into the doors, in the rear compartment – really just all over the place. That Piano Black finishing can also be found on the rear cup and device holders, and in the armrest between passengers. Throughout the interior are air vents, controls for the seat warmers, and USB charging ports.

The upholstery color choices, which I first thought would consist of beige, tan, taupe, champagne, and Caucasian, actually show more variation that that. The 2019 Avalon’s interior can come in Cognac, gray and beige, gray or black Perforated Ultrasuede, or gray, beige, or black Softex.

Cutting Down

Curiously enough, for being such a big car in its past iterations, the 2019 Avalon is marginally smaller here and there. Toyota trimmed the overall height by an inch, chopped 0.8 inches off the rear deck, and lopped off 0.4 inches from the rear overhang, and one inch from the front overhang. Although smaller, the Avalon is a little wider, now up to 72.8 inches total. The wheelbase was extended by two inches. This is actually an old styling trick most popularized by the Wide-Track Pontiacs back in the 60s.

Multimedia Amenities

Of course there’s a big screen on the dash: a nine-inch multimedia display that controls audio, navigation, and climate control. Below the screen is a slide-open eBin containing a 12-volt plug and the standard wireless Qi mobile device charger. There are three USB power ports located inside the center console. The instrument panel itself is a seven-inch Multi-Information Display, showing vehicle information, turn-by-turn navigation, and various vehicle settings. Both Limited and Touring models come standard with a 10-inch Heads-Up Display for vehicle and engine speeds, turn-by-turn directions, audio settings, and drive modes.

The stereo is an Owsley Stanley grade JBL performance audio system. It features 14-speakers, 1200-watts of power, and a tuned 7.1-channel surround sound system. Fitting, since JBLs are known for their fine, mellow, warm sound reproduction.

Power & Performance

The 2019 Toyota Avalon comes with two powertrain choices: normal and hybrid. The normal internal combustion engine is an Atkinson cycle 3.5-liter V6 with direct injection and updated VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide) and variable valve timing systems. Toyota says the V6 develops more power and better fuel economy through “D-4S direct injection” and the aforementioned updates to the VVT-iW and variable valve timing systems. Other V6 specifications include a 11.8:1 compression ratio; bore and stroke dimensions are 3.7-inches and 3.3-inches respectively.

The hybrid drive combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder (direct injected) plant with Dual VVT-i with VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing intelligent system by Electric motor). This is coupled to Toyota’s Hybrid System II with a 650-volt electric motor and Continuously-Variable Transmission.

Photo: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Availability & In Person

Expect to see the 2019 Toyota Avalon on sale this spring. In the meantime, the vehicle is on display at the North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center, downtown Detroit. The show officially opens to the public on Saturday, January 20th.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in . 

Source: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

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2019 Jeep Cherokee Hits The Scene In Detroit- small-business-internet-marketing.info http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/17/2019-jeep-cherokee-hits-scene-detroit/ http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/17/2019-jeep-cherokee-hits-scene-detroit/#respond Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:54:06 +0000 http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/?p=92018

The 2019 Jeep Cherokee just debuted in Detroit, Michigan at the North American International Auto Show. Jeep says the 2019 Cherokee will feature a more premium design overall, but stay true to its original Jeep styling, which they note as “icnonic.” Given that “iconic Jeep styling” is essentially a box on four wheels that can sustain incoming fire from a Wehrmacht MG 42, this is a good thing.

New Suit

Styling is new all around for the 2019 Jeep Cherokee. The front fascia is entirely new as are the hood, the headlamps, which are LED units, the daylight running lamps, and the fog lamps. There is a new and lighter power liftgate that provides hands free operation. Wheels? Those are new too. There are five new wheel designs, including a set of premium 19-inch wheels on the Overland models. Jeep also says you can experience “open-air freedom” thanks to the available dual-pane sunroof (which is kinda pretentious, but I also bet the view is pretty nice).

The interior has also gotten the premium treatment. Functionality and design has been refined with new Satin Chrome and Piano Black, high-gloss accents that really let you know how far we’ve come from the motorized U.S. Army mule of the 1940s. The rear cargo volume has improved and there is more convenient storage space available.

The modern conveniences extend to such niceties as a fourth-generation Uconnect system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You also get your choice of either a seven or 8.4-inch touchscreen with pinch-and-zoom capability.

Photo: Gino D’Orazio for Small-business-internet-marketing.info.

Power & Performance

Under that big, flat-ish hood sits a completely new 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with direct-injection. Said four-banger cranks out 270 horsepower and a healthy 295 lb-ft. of torque. Both of those figures are noteworthy given they are coming from only 2.0-liters of displacement. The new, 2019 Jeep Cherokee is also fitted with engine stop-start technology (ESS) to optimize your fuel economy and to minimize greenhouse gas emissions.

I know stop-start tech kind of got a bad rap when it first came out, but it seems like most of those criticisms have been dealt with over the years. So really, having engine stop-start technology isn’t that big of a deal any longer. That engine is mated to an enhanced TorqueFlite nine-speed automatic transmission, tuned to match the performance of the new turbocharged inline four-pot.

The 2019 Cherokee also has two other power plants to choose from. There’s a 3.2-liter Pentastar V6, also equipped with ESS technology. That mill puts out 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft. of torque with a towing capability of 4,500 lbs. Very nice. Jeep says this towing figure is best-in-class. The other engine is a 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2, delivering 180 horsepower and 170 lb-ft. of torque (also quipped with ESS).

2019 Jeep Cherokee on display at the North American International Auto Show, Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Gino D’Orazio for Small-business-internet-marketing.info.

 

Off-Road Prowess

Jeep says the 2019 Cherokee, with its enhanced four-wheel drive systems, is the benchmark for mid-sized SUVs. Which all follows, given that Jeeps are famed the world over for their off-road capabilities. And to that end, the new Cherokee features the next-generation of Jeep’s Active Drive I. The rear drive module is fully automatic and goes in and out of four-wheel drive at any speed without any driver input needed. Jeep also cut nearly 17 lbs. from the Active Drive I setup to increase fuel efficiency and performance.

Jeep Active Drive II includes a two-speed Power Transfer Unit with special torque management capabilities, and low-range gear reduction. This is available if you’re going to get into more serious, mixed, and unpredictable terrain. A perfect bit of kit for those of you that own fishing cabins, do a lot of skiing, or live in places like the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Thanks to the Jeep Selec-Terrain traction control system, you have up to five customized modes – Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud, and Rock  – available from your dashboard. Oh, and speaking of Rock Mode, this thing has a crawl ratio of up to 51.2:1, which means it could probably climb the Washington Monument.

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. Photo: FCA US LLC.

Production & In Person

Yes, it’s all shiny and new, but you don’t have to look very deep to see it’s still a Jeep. The new Cherokee is on display at the North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center, downtown Detroit. The show officially opens to the public on Saturday, January 20th.

The 2019 Jeep Cherokee is manufactured at the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois. It will arrive in Jeep showrooms in the first quarter of this year.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in . 

2019 Jeep Cherokee Gallery

Photos & Source: FCA US LLC.

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2019 Kia Forte Arrives With Hints of Stinger DNA- small-business-internet-marketing.info http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/16/2019-kia-forte-arrives-hints-stinger-dna/ http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/16/2019-kia-forte-arrives-hints-stinger-dna/#respond Wed, 17 Jan 2018 03:30:24 +0000 http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/?p=91996

The 2019 Kia Forte recently debuted at the North American International Auto Show, highlighting the Korean company’s efforts to evolve it into a more refined compact car. The Forte picks up design cues from the Stinger, which is probably a good call, given how well the Stinger has been received. The Forte is also Kia’s first car with the in-house designed and built Intelligent Variable Transmission. The 2019 Kia Forte also introduces their new line of Smart Stream technologies to help increase fuel efficiency.

Sweet Spot

Kia seems to want to straddle the line with the Forte by trying to keep it sporty and youthful while moving it toward a more sophisticated appearance, thanks to a number of styling cues inspired by the Stinger. Peter Schreyer, President & Chief Design Officer, Hyundai Motor Group, and his team incorporated ingredients of the Stinger’s DNA into the Forte to give it a commanding road presence: Long hood, short deck, and that traditional, overall fastback-like shape, only applied to a sedan. The cowl point was pushed back a healthy five inches to create a more athletic stance and to give the 2019 Forte a more planted look.

Hood creases contribute to the Forte’s muscular appearance, which flows through the front fascia as well. A new slant to the grille and an aggressive black lower valance are nice touches. The front bumper also has the neat little trick of doubling as air curtains to improve aero performance; even the headlamp design and layout is said to be “Stinger­esque.” The rear bumper gets the same treatment with separate reverse and turn signal indicators beneath available LED taillights that are connected by a sleek, horizontal trim piece.

2019 Kia Forte on display at the North American International Auto Show, Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Gino D’Orazio for Small-business-internet-marketing.info.

Power & Performance

The 2019 Kia Forte is powered by a second-generation 2.0­-liter Nu four cylinder Atkinson Cycle engine. The engine uses a cooled EGR system to boost fuel efficiency. Power and torque figures are not expected to change over the 2018 Forte: 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft. of torque, but fuel efficiency is up by 3 mpg.

Transmission-wise you can choose from either a six speed manual or Kia’s aforementioned Intelligent Variable Transmission. The Intelligent Variable Transmission is Kia’s own improved version of a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The new IVT unit gets around the old rubber-­band­-like feel of a CVT, thanks to adaptive style shift logic and a chain type belt instead of a push belt. KIA’s IVT is also much quieter than a CVT thanks to wrapping the transmission case in a sound insulating cover. This move dropped NVH levels by 5dB.

Interior Treatments

The interior is just as well thought out and whittled down to what works. Going with a fastback shape reinforced the Forte’s exterior appearance, but it also gave engineers an opportunity to increase the passenger compartment in key areas for greater comfort, especially on longer journeys. The dashboard is all about openness and avoiding clutter, for example. There’s lots of clean lines and minimal buttons, which are intuitively placed below an eight-inch color touchscreen.

Photo: Gino D’Orazio for Small-business-internet-marketing.info.

Bigger & Easier

The Forte is bigger in lots of key areas; length is up by 3.2 inches to 182.7 inches, so there’s more legroom and cargo space in the trunk. That trunk now holds 15.1 cubic feet of your stuff. The overall width is up by 0.7 inches which gives Kia a little more visual width to play with. All occupants will appreciate easier ingress and egress, improved outward visibility, according to Kia.

Safety & Handling

With a Top Safety Pick Plus rating, the 2019 Forte is stronger than before thanks to additional hot stamped components and a structural content of 54 percent Advanced High-Strength Steel. The seat frames are stronger and lighter in weight with increased lumbar support and denser seat foam.

Noise, vibration, and harshness has been improved thanks to an increase in body stiffness. That increased body stiffness also plays a major role in better handling too. There’s a new subframe design to improve lateral responsiveness, and steering feel is better than the Forte’s predecessor thanks to enhancements within the Motor Driven Power Steering system.

Photo: Gino D’Orazio for Small-business-internet-marketing.info.

Tech Galore

And of course, since the model year is 2019, the new Forte is swamped with high-tech goodies. The 2019 Forte comes standard with an eight-­inch color touchscreen compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The screen is neatly integrated into the dash and within the driver’s line of sight. With the right smartphone devices, the system also has the capability to read SMS texts aloud through Bluetooth, and you can even wirelessly charge your compatible Android and Apple devices. A premium sound system developed with Harman Kardon cranks out an impressive 320 watts of power.

Pricing & In Person

Once again, Kia shows that it knows how to build cars that buyers want at a very (low) specific price point. Although pricing was not announced, don’t expect the 2019 Kia Forte to break the bank when it arrives later this year. When it does, the whole shootin’ match comes in three trims: LX, S, and EX. In the meantime, the new Forte is on display at the North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center, downtown Detroit. The show officially opens to the public on Saturday, January 20th.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in . 

Cover Photo & Source: Kia Motors America.

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2019 RDX Prototype Represents Acura’s Most Extensive Redesign- small-business-internet-marketing.info http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/16/2019-rdx-prototype-represents-acuras-extensive-redesign/ http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/16/2019-rdx-prototype-represents-acuras-extensive-redesign/#respond Wed, 17 Jan 2018 01:07:06 +0000 http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/?p=91966  

The 2019 Acura RDX Prototype made its world debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show. The reveal gives us a look at the new design, advanced technology, and luxury features of the five-passenger SUV expected to launch later this year. The 2019 Acura RDX is a clean-sheet, top-to-bottom remake and will be the first Acura model to fully exemplify the brand’s new design language seen in the Acura Precision Concept.

Lighter & Larger

The third-generation RDX has been engineered on a lighter platform with a stiffened body. The 2019 RDX will mark the return of Acura’s Super-Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) to the RDX, giving it a slick torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system. The new system provides a 40 percent increase in maximum torque capacity versus the current SH-AWD system.

“Combine it with our new powertrain, the stiffer body and chassis, and the improved steering and you have, hands down, the quickest, best-handling RDX ever,” said Jon Ikeda, Vice President & General Manager of the Acura Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

The RDX Prototype also boasts a wider track (increased by 1.2 inches), a longer wheelbase (gaining 2.5 inches), and a shortened front overhang. The wheels have been pushed to the corners, according to Acura. In addition, the 2019 RDX will be the first Acura SUV presented in A-Spec trim for sportier styling inside and out.

Power & Performance

Motivating the RDX is a new 2.0 liter, 16-valve direct-injected plant. The engine features a low-inertia, mono-scroll turbo, a DOHC VTEC valvetrain, and a Dual Variable Timing Cam (Dual VTC) system. All that alphabet soup translates into 40 percent more low-end torque than before. Mated to the new engine is a segment-first, 10-speed automatic transmission. If you go with all-wheel drive for your RDX, you’ll get the next generation of Acura’s aforementioned SH-AWD, complete with a new rear differential and a 150 percent increase in maximum torque capacity, compared to the older RDX.

An Adaptive Damper System is available and is tied into the NSX-inspired Integrated Dynamics System. The IDS system comes with four distinct drive modes: Sport, Sport+, Comfort, and Snow. There’s a drive mode dial placed high in the center console.

Photo: Honda North America.

Interior Design

Speaking of the interior, it’s more spacious, more sophisticated, and more tech-savvy than before. The center console is a floating design, inspired by the Acura Precision Cockpit. The sport seats are powered affairs with a matching sports steering wheel. The interior detailing is “contemporary” with authentic, high-grade materials throughout, including Nappa leather, brushed aluminum, and open-pore Olive Ash wood.

The passenger cabin is larger thanks to the RDX’s longer wheelbase with room for five. Acura claims the cabin space is class-leading as is rear legroom and cargo space. The front seats are heated and ventilated, and Acura used a softer and more durable full-grain Nappa leather. 16-way power adjustments for both the driver and front passenger are standard, and all models come equipped with a panoramic sliding moonroof.

“Our engineers conducted thousands of hours of research to create a driver-centric approach that is the first of its kind and distinctly Acura,” explained Toshiaki Mikoshiba, President & CEO of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “This new RDX is the most extensive Acura redesign in more than a decade and a powerful indication of things to come.”

Cabin Technology

Everything is controlled by Acura’s new True Touchpad Interface. It has an Android-based operating system projected onto a dual-zone, 10.2-inch full-HD display. The True Touchpad Interface combines the advantages of conventional touchscreens and remote-based approaches, according to Acura. Also debuting is a new natural language voice recognition system. It is said to improve the ease and intuitiveness of voice commands in the vehicle. An interactive heads-up display (HUD) is also available.

“Acura’s new user interface will be a huge leap forward for our customers,” Mikoshiba noted. “But this is just one aspect of an incredibly rich and premium new cabin experience.”

And to cap it all off, there’s a totally boss stereo system. The 2019 RDX Prototype uses four ultra-thin, ceiling-mounted speakers connected to a 16-channel 710-watt Acura ELS Studio 3D system. The stereo was developed by Panasonic and tuned by Grammy-winning music producer and longtime Acura partner, Elliott Scheiner.

2019 Acura RDX Prototype at the North American International Auto Show, Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan.

Production & In Person

All RDX models for the North American market will be built in East Liberty, Ohio, with the engines produced in Anna, Ohio, and the 10-speed automatic transmissions being manufactured in Tallapoosa, Georgia. Designed, developed, and built right here in America, the 2019 RDX will hit dealers mid-2018.

In the meantime, the vehicle is on display at the North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center, downtown Detroit. The show officially opens to the public on Saturday, January 20th.

“What you’re about to see is not just the right product for where we are taking the Acura brand, it’s the right product at just the right time for today’s market,” Mikoshiba said.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in . 

2019 Acura RDX Prototype Gallery

Photos & Source: Honda North America.

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Mercedes-AMG Reveals 53-Series Models In Detroit- small-business-internet-marketing.info http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/15/mercedes-amg-reveals-53-series-models-detroit/ http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/15/mercedes-amg-reveals-53-series-models-detroit/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 04:23:18 +0000 http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/?p=91935

In a rather unconventional move for Mercedes-AMG, the German standard-bearer will be adding three new models and introducing a new designation: the 53-series. The three individual cars will be the CLS, E-Class Coupe, and the E-Class Cabriolet. All three models will incorporate shared technology along with common styling cues. Distinguishing features include the twin-blade radiator grille, the front bumper, A-wing design, the AMG-specific side sill panels, rear bumper with diffuser, and tailpipe trim elements in high-gloss chrome.

Power & Performance

Under the hood resides a new, electrified 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine, and an electric auxiliary compressor that adds up to 429 horsepower and 384 lb-ft. of torque. And all that high-tech power is put to the ground via an AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission and an AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system.

The new 53 Series has so much tech throughout the car that it’s almost hard to keep track of. The six-cylinder plant is already optimized for what Mercedes-Benz calls “intelligent electrification.” The EQ Boost starter-alternator combines a starter motor and an alternator into a single, powerful electric motor, fitted between the engine and transmission. This, along with the charging of the electric auxiliary compressor and an exhaust gas turbocharger, enhance the performance, efficiency, and driving dynamics. Bottom line: Zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds. The electric auxiliary compressor builds up a high-charge pressure in the intake tract without delay, so by-by turbo lag.

Mercedes-Benz also leverages the on-board 48-Volt electrical system for better hybrid functionality. Thanks to the 48-Volt battery, the overall capacity in the vehicle has increased, enabling more electrical energy. The power delivery requires only a quarter of a conventional system and the overall result leads to thinner and lighter wiring, thereby saving more fuel. An existing 12-Volt system supplies power to “regular stuff” like lights, the cockpit, infotainment displays, and control units.

Mercedes-Benz says the EQ Boost starter-alternator is the key component for all this new-fangled 48-Volt electrical system goodness. The EQ Boost starter-alternator serves as both an alternator and it’s also responsible for hybrid functions. It allows for more fuel savings and helps to maintain idle speed. Add all of this up, and the new drivetrain gets you a boost of 21 more horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of additional torque.

2019 Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4MATIC+. Photo: MBUSA.

Transmission & Drive Modes

All this new-found, high-tech power is put to the Straße through an AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission. It features extremely short shift times, quick responses on the shift paddles, a double-declutching function, and multiple downshifts. Downstream of the transmission is an AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system (standard) with fully variable torque distribution between front and rear axles for optimal traction, stability, and safety under all conditions: dry, wet or snow.

If you want to fiddle with stuff, the new 53-series models have you covered with five drive modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual. The M mode is a “manual mode,” so gearshifts are executed using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. The suspension setups can also be selected manually, if desired. As that would imply, there’s a bunch of setups for the suspension as well.

2019 Mercedes-AMG E 53 4MATIC+ Cabriolet. Photo: MBUSA.

Suspension & Braking Tech

The suspension is called AMG RIDE CONTROL+. The multi-chamber air suspension aims to be sporty, thanks to a spring/damper setup and the continuously adjustable Adaptive Damping System. The front axle is fitted with special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints, and all components have been optimized in terms of rigidity. This transfers back to your hands through electromechanical, speed-sensitive, and variable ratio steering. Steering power is available in two modes: Comfort or Sport.

And the new 53-series cars have brakes that can stop a freight train. Perforated and internally ventilated discs (14.6″ x 1.4″) with four-piston fixed calipers and AMG lettering are fitted at the front, and internally ventilated discs measuring 14.2″ x 1.0″ with single-piston floating calipers are positioned at the back.

Mercedes-AMG E 53 4MATIC+ Coupé. Photo: MBUSA.

Interior Treatments

The interior is just as impressive with its dual high-resolution displays and 12.3-inch screens. The instrument cluster contains a large display with virtual instruments as well as a central display above the center console. The driver can choose from three different display styles: Classic, Sporty, and Progressive. “Touch Control” buttons on the steering wheel respond to swiping movements, enabling the driver to control the entire infotainment system without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. If that’s not enough, the infotainment system can also be operated via the touchpad in the center console and by voice control.

Special Editions & In Person

If all of that stuff is still not enough, you can get the Edition 1 version of the AMG CLS 53. The Edition 1 will offer unique interior treatments, leather upholstery in black nappa, and copper-colored contrasting stitch work. The Mercedes-AMG 53-series models are on display at the North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center, downtown Detroit. The show officially opens to the public on Saturday, January 20th.

Expect to see these new Mercedes-AMG vehicles on sale late in the year. No word on pricing (it will be a lot though), but here’s all the tech specs in handy chart form:

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in . 

Mercedes-AMG CLS53 Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe
Engine 3.0L 6-cylinder in-line engine
with exhaust gas turbocharger and electric auxiliary compressor.
3.0L 6-cylinder in-line engine
with exhaust gas turbocharger and electric auxiliary compressor.
Displacement 2,999 cc 2,999 cc
Output 429 hp at 6,100 rpm 429 hp at 6,100 rpm
Add. output with EQ Boost 21 hp 21 hp
Peak torque 384 lb-ft at 1,800-5,800 rpm 384 lb-ft at 1,800-5,800 rpm
Add. torque with EQ Boost 184 lb-ft 184 lb-ft
Drive system AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all- wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution. AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all- wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution.
Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G
Weight (DIN/EC) TBA TBA
Acceleration 0-60 mph (est.) 4.4 seconds 4.3 seconds
Top speed 130 mph* 130 mph*

 

 

Mercedes-AMG E 53 Cabriolet
Engine 3.0L 6-cylinder in-line engine with exhaust gas turbocharger and electric auxiliary compressor.
Displacement 2,999 cc
Output 429 hp at 6,100 rpm
Add. output with EQ Boost 21 hp
Peak torque 384 lb-ft at 1,800-5,800 rpm
Add. torque with EQ Boost 184 lb-ft
Drive system AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all- wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution.
Transmission AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G
Weight (DIN/EC) TBA
Acceleration 0-60 mph (est.) 4.4 seconds
Top speed 130 mph (electronically limited)

Photos & Source: MBUSA.

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2019 VW Jetta Revealed At Lower Price Point- small-business-internet-marketing.info http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/15/2019-vw-jetta-revealed/ http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/15/2019-vw-jetta-revealed/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 01:48:15 +0000 http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/?p=91903

The all-new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta just hit the floor at the North American International Auto Show and, like all VW’s, there’s a lot here for your hard-earned dollars. How many dollars, you ask? Well pricing starts at $18,545, which is less than the outgoing model and that includes a 6-year/72,000-mile warranty. And that’s just the start of what’s new for 2019.

Like Hotcakes

As Volkswagen unveiled the 2019 Jetta in Detroit, it’s worth noting the car is one of the world’s most successful sedans. VW has sold more than 17 million of these little guys worldwide since 1979, 3.2 million of those in the United States alone. The new for 2019 Jetta gets a bolder design, more interior space, and new technology. The wheelbase is longer at 105.7 inches and the sedan is, overall, wider and taller than the outgoing model. There is more interior space over the previous design as well, a benefit of the size increase.

Styling & Design

The exterior design marks an evolution in the Jetta’s design DNA, with modern lines and a refined appearance. The front grille is large and sharper body lines exude a bolder character. There’s more chrome along with standard LED lighting for a premium feel. A sloping roof line creates a sportier, coupe-like profile without compromising the usability of the rear seat.

On the inside, the fully redesigned interior combines the requisite high-tech features with everyday usability and a more refined fit and finish, according to VW. There are high quality soft-touch materials throughout and the new trapezoidal design elements aim to give the vehicle an upscale, yet modern feel. The 2019 Jetta wears new fabric colors and features new designs for the seats and door trim; there is even 10-color, customizable wrap-around ambient lighting as an option. Fancy!

Photo: Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Driver-Focused

The cockpit is, of course, driver-oriented and features an infotainment screen located high in the dashboard, so all vehicle information is easily accessible to the driver. Every Jetta presents standard Driver Personalization with up to four driver settings. Dependent on the trim level you choose, customizable features include driver seat memory, driver assistance system preferences, Volkswagen Digital Cockpit arrangement, ambient lighting color, radio presets, navigation view, and more.

There are available heated and ventilated front seats, power driver’s seat with memory functionality, leather seating surfaces, and dual-zone Climatronic automatic climate control. A new center storage console is large enough to fit a standard iPad. That’s a nice touch.

Tech Galore

Jetta SEL and SEL Premium models feature the standard, aforementioned Volkswagen Digital Cockpit display, offering a reconfigurable area of key data and the ability to place navigation data, front and center, for easy viewing. Volkswagen’s Car-Net system provides a complement of connected vehicle services, including compatible smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay, AndroidAuto, and MirrorLink. The new Jetta is the first VW in the U.S. to offer an available Pete-Townshend-deafening 400-watt BeatsAudio system.

And since this is 2019 we’re talking about, there’s tech and safety stuff all over the new Jetta. A rearview camera comes standard. Other available features include Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, High Beam Control, and Lane Departure Warning.

2019 VW Jetta R-Line on display at the North American International Auto Show, Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Carl Anthony for Small-business-internet-marketing.info.

Power & Performance

Motive power is provided by Volkswagen’s 1.4-liter turbocharged and direct-injected TSI engine. Said plant puts out 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque. The power is put to the front wheels via a new standard six-speed manual transmission, with an eight-speed automatic transmission as an option on the base model but standard on higher trims. Automatic transmission models come standard with a Start/Stop system for better fuel efficiency.

Availability & In Person

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta comes in four trim levels: S, SE, SEL, and SEL Premium. It should arrive at U.S. Volkswagen dealers by the second quarter of this year. And gearheads rejoice, because an R-Line trim will join the lineup with sportier styling, exclusive interior and exterior design elements, R-Line badging, and the XDS electronic differential. The 2019 Jetta is on display at the North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center, downtown Detroit. The show officially opens to the public on Saturday, January 20th.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in . 

2019 VW Jetta Gallery

Photos & Source: Volkswagen of America, Inc.

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2019 Ford Ranger Showcased In Detroit- small-business-internet-marketing.info http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/15/2019-ford-ranger-showcased-in-detroit/ http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/2018/01/15/2019-ford-ranger-showcased-in-detroit/#respond Mon, 15 Jan 2018 22:44:49 +0000 http://small-business-internet-marketing.info/?p=91874 Hey, the Ford Ranger is back, and it wants to bring midsize truck buyers a new choice that’s tough, modern, and dripping with driver-assist technologies. Right off the bat, this seems like a smart move by Ford with demand increasing for midsize trucks. Since 2014, sales are up 83 percent and the new Ranger is set to carve out a chunk of that growth for itself.

Packages & Technology

The 2019 Ford Ranger ticks all the boxes with a new exterior design, chassis, and powertrain. High-strength steel frame, check. 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, check. Ford’s trick 10-speed automatic transmission, check. And there is a wide range of trim levels to choose from: the entry-level XL, mid-level XLT, and high-level Lariat, with available Chrome and Sport appearance and FX Off-Road packages. The 2019 Ford Ranger will come in a SuperCab or SuperCrew configuration.

I know, that’s all pretty standard truck stuff, but the 2019 Ranger comes with all the tech modern buyers expect too. Ranger integrates advanced driver-assist technologies like Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, a Reverse Sensing System, and a Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage for XLT and Lariat trims.

The Ranger’s FX4 Off-Road Package also includes a Terrain Management System akin to the F-150 Raptor’s. The TMS has four distinct drive modes: normal, grass, gravel, and snow; mud and ruts; and sand. The TMS gizmo can shift on the fly to automatically change throttle responsiveness, transmission gearing, and vehicle controls to tailor traction, drivability, and performance. You should be able to handle any given terrain or weather condition, which sounds like a very nice and practical thing for a truck to do.

Debuting with the new Ranger’s FX4 Off-Road Package is Trail Control technology. It’s like cruise control for low-speed, rough terrain. Trail Control takes over acceleration and braking, delivering power and braking to each corner so you can focus on steering along the course.

Photo: Ford Motor Company.

Power & Performance

FoMoCo insists the Ranger is no parking mall poseur and is designed from the get-go to handle the rough stuff. The ground clearance is already plenty high, but if you opt for the FX4 Off-Road Package, the mud/dirt/gravel gets even easier to handle with off-road-tuned shocks, all-terrain tires, a heavy-gauge steel front bash plate mounted to the frame, and other frame-mounted skid plates. And, as one might expect, the 2019 Ranger will be motivated by the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. Ford’s little four-banger has direct fuel injection, a twin-scroll turbocharger, a 16-valve head, forged-steel crankshaft and con rods, and chain-driven dual overhead cams.

Speaking of putting the power down, that all happens thanks to Dana AdvanTEK independent front and solid rear axles on both 2WD and 4WD models. There’s an available electronic-locking rear axle standard on FX2 and FX4. 4×4 models feature 2-high, 4-high, and 4-low configs on the gearbox.

Functional Design

The design of the Ranger is there to reinforce the truck’s practicality, and to withstand the stresses and strains of everyday life. The high beltline emphasizes strength, while the raked grille and windshield seek an athletic appearance, according to Ford. The overhangs are short and functional for the clearing of off-road obstacles, while the tailgate itself is beefed up to handle people and cargo. The steel bumper at the back has an available trailer hitch receiver so you can tow all your toys.

Ford says the interior of the new Ranger merges comfort and functionality with room for up to five people and all their stuff. The center stack of the dashboard includes an 8-inch touchscreen for the available SYNC 3 system. The instrument cluster has dual LCD “productivity” screens for real-time vehicle, navigation, and audio information.

All this adds up to the inevitable reality that Ford will sell these by the train-load, even though pricing has not been announced.

In Person

The 2019 Ford Ranger is on display at the North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center, downtown Detroit. The show officially opens to the public on Saturday, January 20th.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in . 

2019 Ford Ranger Gallery

Photos & Source: Ford Motor Company.

Engine & Transmission Photos: Carl Anthony.

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