Monthly Archives: January 2017

Latest Dodge Demon Teaser Highlights Wider Body, Hides Possible Easter Egg [Video]

The road to New York features plenty of twists and turns, and Dodge has released an all new teaser video for its upcoming performance machine, the 2017 Dodge Demon.

Like the other two teaser videos, this one focuses on a key theme. and highlights the tires that this special Challenger will wear. Earlier sightings of prototypes hinted at wider tires being installed, and we now know that the Demon will come equipped with “Demon branded” Nitto NT05R  315/40R18 slicks front and rear. FCA claims that the Demon will be the first ever factory car to be equipped with drag radials, an impressive feat indeed.

The addition of these potent tires, as well as the bigger rims for them, required engineers to make several key revisions to the Challenger. Wider fender flares add 3.5 inches of width, and FCA claims that the end result is a wide-body Challenger that has a more “intimidating, purposeful stance.”

Prior teasers have revealed that the Demon will be several hundred pounds lighter than the current Hellcat and feature a bigger hood scoop as well as other exterior styling tweaks to make it standout from the rest of the muscle car stable.

In addition, the teaser also shows off a curious license plate (Michigan #2576@35) which appears to reveal a clue. However, it is unknown what it is, and theories abound on what the plate could be broadcasting to viewers that watch the video.

Look for more details to gradually be revealed ahead of the Demon’s  April debut at the 2017 New York Auto Show. In the meantime, you can check out the lastest teaser video below.

2018 Dodge Demon Sheds Weight In New Teaser [Video]

The mad scientists at SRT are continuing their carefully orchestrated hype campaign, and have unleashed a new teaser video for the 2018 Dodge Demon ahead of its debut at the New York Auto Show.

Following up on last weeks “Caged”  teaser video, this new video dubbed “Reduction” focuses on the weight loss plan that SRT engineers have in store for the Demon.

Dodge claims that the Demon will be 200 lbs lighter than the Hellcat it replaces. While the end result is still a hefty 4500 lbs, look for thisDodge Demon weight shedding to help improve the Demon’s handling manners as well as acceleration times.

The video also seems to confirm that the Dodge Demon will be rear-wheel drive versus all-wheel drive due to the lack of a front diffrential. If that’s the case, we suspect its omission is due to it not being able to handle the Demon’s high horsepower versus being an obstacle to overall weight savings.

For those that prefer to skip the teasers, Instagram user @illegal_machine shared a few photos that could very well be a Demon in the flesh.

While it looks like a mid-stage cobbled together prototype, it does have several Demon cues including the wider hood, bigger scoop, Demon logo, as well as smaller wheels that coincide with both teaser videos.

In the meantime you can check out the latest teaser video as well the alleged pictures below.

 

Lordy. @sinister_z07 just posted this. Could it be? #Demon

A photo posted by Ill Mac (@illegal_machine) on

 

2018 Ford Mustang To Boast First Ever 10 Speed Automatic

Ford has big plans for the 2018 Ford Mustang and it shows in the tasteful evolution that the company officially unveiled Tuesday morning in events in Los Angeles and Detroit.

The exterior styling has been revised, and is especially noticeable in the front fascia with a heightened rear spoiler highlighting the rear of the car.

That said, the 2018 Ford Mustang’s biggest changes are found in its performance hardware 2018 Mustangwhich aim to help it stay ahead of the Chevrolet Camaro. The 3.7 liter V6 has been retired, and the engine lineup is slimmed down to two offerings with lower trims being powered exclusively by the 2.3 liter EcoBoost turbocharged four cylinder.

Meanwhile the 5.0 liter “Coyote” V8 carries over and benefits from a suite of advancements that make it more potent and efficient at the same time. A highlight feature is the “dual fuel” system which makes the engine both direct and port injected. Ford did not release any horsepower estimates, but promises that “[i]t is more powerful and revs higher than any Mustang GT before it.”

Both four cylinder and V8 Mustangs recieve a revised manual transmission that features a twin disc clutch and a dual mass flywheel. The 2018 Mustang interiorsix speed automatic joins the V6 in retirement, and is replaced with the same 10-speed automatic that also sees duty in the 2018 F-150.

In addition, the 10-speed is the first such transmission ever equipped to a Mustang, and is the second production 10-speed currently in the muscle car segment (the 2018 ZL1 Camaro is the first.)

Along with the performance upgrades, Ford engineers also upgraded the Mustangs chassis and even added MagneRide suspension damping to the Mustang’s arsenal of tricks. This neat technology is part of the Performance Package and it can be equipped to both four cylinder and eight cylinder models.

As expected, the interior of the 2018 Mustang carries over largely unchanged, but an all new digital instrument cluster is avalible for the first2018 Mustang gauges time as well as pedestrian detection and Pre-collision assist technologies. The rest of the cabin benefits from better soft touch materials, and adds other premium accents to help boost the upscale yet functional vibe the cabin projects.

We look forward to hearing more about the 2018 Ford Mustang soon, and finding out if the new transmission and chassis enhancements allow it to keep ahead of its donestic muscle car rivals the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Challenger.

 

 

2018 Mustang

2018 Ford Mustang Breaks The Internet With New Front Fascia

Keeping upcoming vehicles a secret is becoming harder and harder these days, and thanks to a poorly timed video leak, we now have a good look at the 2018 Ford Mustang.

The leaked b-roll footage was posted on www.mustangg6.com and once you stomach the obviously royalty free soundtrack, it does 2018 Mustangoffer a compelling look at the car. For starters the new front fascia is on full display, and is a droopier affair than before, with more upright fog lamp surrounds and a lightly tweaked grille.

Meanwhile, the rear fascia features equally minor tweaks, and the spoiler switches from an intergrated piece to one that is higher mounted perhaps in 2018 Mustanga bid to improve downforce on the rear end. The 2018 Mustang featured in the video clip is a GT Performance Package model, and the 5.0 liter badges confirm that the Coyote V8 engine will carry on, at least for the time being. No interior shots were featured in the b-roll, but expect it to largely carryover unchanged.

Look for more information to be revealed over the next few weeks. The 2018 Mustang was originally supposed to be unveiled at the 2017 North American International Auto Show last week, but was scratched at the last minute for unknown reasons.

Tesla Announces One Model Racing Series

Ever wondered what would happen if Tesla chose to unleash the insane potential of Ludicrous mode out on the race track? The California based EV company aims to answer that by unveiling an all new racing series for eager enthusiasts.

Dubbed Electric GT, drivers will compete in identical Tesla Model S P100Ds that have been extensively modified for track day use. A key change is the radical diet that the typically 01-069_JJC1687porky car has undergone in its transition from the road to track slaying beast, with Tesla engineers cleaving 1,100 lbs of excess flab.

This was achieved by completly gutting the interior of virtually all of its luxury and convinence features. However, the spartan cabin retains the vertically mounted touchscreen, and adds goodies such as a carbon fiber bucket seat for the driver, a full roll cage, as well as a rectangular steering wheel.

The exterior styling is also race ready, and adds a full bodykit, a deeper front bumper with 01-013_JIM8378-Editarincorporated front splitter, and a massive rear wing. Also, look for each car to feature a slick paint job that varies depending on affiliation and sponsors.

The P100D is no slouch in performance either, and is capable of producing 778 horsepower and 734 lb-ft of torque thanks in part to its 100 kWh battery pack. The folks at Electric GT have added beefier brakes, a fully revised suspension system, and center locking wheels shod in sticky Pirelli racing slicks.

Both male and female drivers are eligible to compete in the Electric GT series, but U.S. fans will be mostly out of luck with the initial pool of races taking place in Europe. Each race will take place at a well known European race circuit including Estroil in Portugal, the Paul Ricard in France, and the famed Nurburgring in Germany. Three additional races will be organized in the Americas, but all three will not be championship races.

Electric GT events consist of a 20 minute practice session, as well as an hour long qualifying session. Once all that is out of the way, the formal competition is split into two 37 mile long events.

It will be interesting to see how various elements of strategy and tactics differ from other types of motor racing  and how the batteries hold up in rigorous track use.

In the meantime, Electric GT hopes to attract 20 professional drivers and 10 diffrent racing teams for the new season. We look forward to hearing more about this new series as information becomes avalible.

Dodge To Unveil 2017 Demon In New York

Its no secret that Dodge has been working on a Challenger even more ludricously more potent than the standard 707 horsepower version. The official moniker remained an elusive mystery. That is, until today when Dodge revealed plans to breath new life into the Demon moniker with the 2017 Demon supercar.

When the Demon nameplate last appeared on a muscle car offering, it was on the 1971-1972 Dodge Dart where it served as the last great escape for enthusiasts as the muscle car wars imploded in the early 1970’s. It also appeared as a concept in 2007, but that two seat roadster was a far diffrent animal, and it never made production.

Unlike its 70’s ancestor, this modern iteration of the Demon will be designed to be the ultimate expression of Dodge performance. Current horsepower figures are murky at best, but look for potential figures to possibly reach well over 800 horsepower, a figure that leapfrogs the already lofty 707 horsepower wielded by the current Challenger Hellcat.

The exterior styling of the 2017 Demon is expected to retain the bulk of the traits seen in the current version of the Hellcat, but look for wider bodywork to help it accomodate the bigger tires that the car will need to safely unleash all of its demonic power to the road.

Dodge is marketing the 2017 Demon as a Challenger that is “Domestic. Not Domesticated,” and we look forward to seeing more as its Big Apple debut draws ever closer. In the meantime, check out the first teaser video that Dodge released which can be seen below, as well as the official microsite Dodge launched.

 

2018 Traverse

Chevrolet Showcases Reborn 2018 Traverse

Following a shadowy teaser image, Chevrolet has formally unveiled the 2018 Traverse at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in a welcome update that brings the Traverse into the modern age.

This is apparent when compared with the outgoing Traverse which was ancient, and was falling behind rivals in multiple categories. Despite this, sales have remained strong, and Chevrolet has sold over half a million units since it went on sale back in 2008. The brand did not want to ruin this successful track record, and chose a deliberate approach in regards to its exterior styling.

The front fascia is much more muscular than before, and actually poaches some cues from the full size Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban SUVs. The side profile is about what you expect from a full size CUV, but the redesigned tail lights do look slick though they look like they stole a few too many tricks out of the Ford Explorer’s design playbook. Our lone gripe centered on the recently announced Traverse RS trim which is supposed to be the sport infused version. While we applaud Chevy for the attempt, some of its performance inspired cues look tacked on, and don’t mesh well with the Traverse’s bigger lines.

The interior is where the bulk of the changes are most apparent. The outgoing model was very roomy, but it was a sea of cheap plastics, and questionable ergonomic choices. The 2018 model aims to rectify that by adding more soft touch plastics, while also adding even2018 traverse interior more bins and cubbies to enhance overall storage space. The wheelbase is massive and this not only keeps the third row from being positioned right on top of the rear axle, but also helps enhance rear cargo space as well. Access to the third row is still not as easy as it is in some minivan offerings, but the second row does slide forward even with a bulky child seat in place.

The 2018 Traverse also receives a welcome tech upgrade, and now features 7- and 8-inch MyLink infotainment systems that can hook up to both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay which helps enhance the Traverse’s connectivity. A suite of safety features is also standard and includes a surround view camera system, forward collision alert, front pedestrian alert, and lane keep assist.

In addition to the fore-mentioned RS version, the 2018 Traverse also debuts an all new High Country model. This range topping variant features full LED headlights, a standard twin-clutch all-wheel drive system, leather and suede seating surfaces, as well as a power 2018 Traverse fold down seatsfolding third row seat. Chevrolet will be offering all-wheel drive across virtually all of the model lineup with the front wheel drive RS being the lone exception. Chevrolet claims that the take rate on all-wheel drive will remain at 40% which is an impressive figure.

Chevrolet did not reveal formal performance figures for the 2018 Traverse, but did state that the 306 horsepower 3.6 liter V6 will once again see duty under the hood, and deliver 25 mpg and a 5,000 lb towing capacity when equipped to a FWD variant. Like before, the RS model stands out, and utilizes the same 2.0 liter 252 horsepower turbocharged four cylinder engine that has spread to select members of the GM lineup. Both engines are paired to a nine speed automatic transmission and also come equipped with standard start/stop technology.

Chevrolet plans to roll out the 2018 Traverse this fall with formal pricing expected to be released closer to its official launch.

In other news, the brand also revealed that it is considering a CUV entry that would fall between the Traverse and the 2018 Equinox in terms of size and price. It is currently unknown if this means that the TrailBlazer nameplate is indeed returning on this mystery model, but it would give Chevrolet a more cohesive CUV lineup, and also allow it to take an even bigger chunk of the CUV sales pie.

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Lexus LS500 front fascia

Lexus Unveils 2018 LS500 Flagship Sedan

Seeking to reinvigorate the magic that defined the introduction of the original LS sedan at the 1989 North American International Auto Show, Lexus celebrated 28 years of LS production by unveiling the 2018 LS500 under the bright lights of Cobo Hall.

The exterior styling of the 2018 LS500 is a bold departure from the previous generation car, and wheras that model looked like its sporty bits were tacked on with 2018 Lexus LS500 rearglue. This new LS features a unified look and boldly incorporates a coupe like silhouette which helps the car look much more aggressive, and also helps it stand out against the BMW 7-Series, Audi A8, and the decidedly more elegance oriented Mercedes S-Class.

The interior of the 2018 LS500 has also been improved, and it is easily perhaps one of the most beautiful interiors currently offered in the luxury flagship class. Lexus designers fully embraced the Omotanashi principle, and sought to raise the bar in terms of comfort and luxury. All new seat designs lead the charge, and can now be equipped with heat, cooling, and massage capability. They can also be adjusted 28 different ways, and do a great job coddling occupants in world class comfort.

The rest of the cabin is a lush swath of leather, metal, and wood trim elements with Lexus designers trying to achieve a “seat in control” layout which means that drivers can operate all the various functions without changing posture. This nice touch is 2018 LS500 interiorfurther accented by an organically designed dashboard that is a big time improvement over the previous generation car. Lexus designers paid very close attention to detail, and it shows in the ambient lighting elements which were said to be partially inspired by Japanese lanterns, and also accent the door mounted arm rests, which appear to float in the air when viewed from certain angles.

The woodwork however truly steals the show, and was inspired by Shimamoku wood patterns. The cross-grain appearance of the wood helps it visually pop when compared to traditional Shimamoku wood, thanks in part to the bolder patterns and the greater transitions between light and dark.  

Lexus engineers clearly thought outside the box when it came to performance. Wheras the old car (as well as its rivals) feature V8 engines, Lexus pitched the eight cylinder, and instead replaced it with an all new 3.5 liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine. Good for a healthy 415 horsepower and an equally impressive 442 lb-ft of torque, the twin-turbochargers in this engine were developed with input from the brand’s F1 program, and incorporate race ready technology in their design. The end result is not only sizable gains from the current generation LS, but also a lightning quick 4.5 second 0 to 60 time. The new engine featured here in the LS is a clear indicator of the dynamic approach being taken by Lexus especially in regards to its mission of offering V8 like performance but without sacrificing fuel economy.

The 2018 LS is also the second Lexus in the lineup to come equipped with a 10 speed automatic transmission. This makes sense considering that its GA-L platform is a derivative of the underpinnings that define the two door LC500 coupe. The transmission  is a conventional torque converter type unit, but yet, it aims to deliver shift times that would put some dual-clutch transmissions to shame. This would be awesome if it is true, and we look forward to seeing first hand in the near future.

The 2018 LS500 features steering wheel mounted shift paddles, but expect the majority of its elite clientele to let the computer do the work for them especially Lexus LSsince the electronic control system monitors braking, acceleration, and lateral g-forces in order to help pick a gear ratio that is suitable for whatever driving situation is thrown at it.

While Lexus chose to not release any pricing data for today’s unveiling, the company did reveal that the LS500 will go on sale towards the end of the year with more information including fuel economy, and other figures being released closer to its official launch date.

 

2018 Terrain

GMC Unveils All New 2018 Terrain [Live Images]

Unleashed just before its debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI. GMC has taken the veil off of the 2018 Terrain which aims to shakeup the CUV segment while also solidifying GMC’s ambitions at taking a bigger slice of this profitable market segment.

The exterior styling of the new Terrain will be the biggest change that many buyers will notice when they see it up close. Wheras the old Terrain was blockier and looked downright awkward from some angles, the 2018 Terrain adds more sculpted lines2018 Terrain and cues to the design, while also incorporating several prominent traits from the bigger Acadia CUV. GMC designers also opted for better aerodynamics which is apparent with the new headlight design, and the tweaked grille. The end result is a vehicle that not only looks slick, but should be quieter and much more fuel efficient than before.

“It is a striking design with functional beauty” stated Helen Emsley executive director, Global GMC Design. “There’s confidence and optimism in its stance, with exceptional attention to detail that speaks to GMC’s rise as a premium brand.”

As expected, Denali models up the wow factor, and will incorporate its trademark chrome grille, as well as body color fascias and lower trim, chrome roof rails, 2018-gmc-terrain-denali-004chrome door handles, outside mirror caps, and body side molding. As a bonus, Denali versions will also add LED headlights and 19-inch ultra bright machined aluminium wheels.

Performance choices for the 2018 GMC Terrain largely follow in the tire tracks set by its mainstream oriented sibling, the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox. A 1.5 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine is standard on the base Terrain, while the 2.0 liter 252 horsepower turbocharged four cylinder is standard on higher grade Terrains. GMC is outfitting both engines with two distinct nine speed automatics that were designed to cater to each engine and helps improve performance and shift behavior.

For buyers looking for more efficiency, GMC will also shoehorn the 1.6 liter turbodiesel that initially made its debut in the Chevrolet Equinox,which would be the first time that the Terrain lineup has ever offered a diesel option for consumers.

A key feature is GMC’s all new Electronic Precision Shift which enhances overall storage space by replacing the conventional shifter setup with an all new system that uses intuitive push buttons and pull triggers for electronically controlled gear2018-gmc-terrain-slt-011 selection. The Terrain also comes equipped with GMC’s Traction Select system which allows buyers to select from four different driving modes that allow them to tailor the Terrain to whatever road conditions are present.

The interior follows the theme set by the exterior, and is designed to make a statement both in terms of functionality as well as its heightened refinement. The old model was filled with cheap plastics, and did not do a very good job distinguishing itself from its Chevrolet sibling. This new cabin aims to exorcise these demons, and does so thanks to splashes of real aluminium trim, better soft touch materials, as well as standard active noise cancellation technology.

Denali models add a heated steering wheel, navigation, a Bose 7 speaker audio system, and a hands free programmable power liftgate. An expanded center console features pass through storage underneath as well as all new side cupholders. Versatility was enhanced thanks to an all new fold flat front passenger seat and a reworked flat folding rear seat which aim to provide more cargo space and also allow the Terrain to better match rivals in this segment.

A 7-inch infotainment system is standard on the Terrain, but buyers can add an optional 8-inch screen that features compatibility for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as Onstar’s 4G LTE WiFi hotspot technology. The new system also 2018 Terraincomes equipped with the all new myGMC mobile app that allows buyers to manage various aspects of the Terrain remotely which adds extra levels of convenience and luxury to the ownership experience.

Lastly, GMC engineers also added higher levels of safety and technology to the Terrain’s bag of tricks and included the Acadia’s Safety Alert Seat , Forward Collision Alert, Surround Vision, Lane Keep Assist, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. This should please families that place safety and convenience at the top of their list when considering a CUV for their driveway.

Stay tuned for live photos of the 2018 Terrain later today, as well as the rest of our live coverage from the 2017 North American International Auto Show.

 

2018 GT Stinger

Kia Unveils 2018 Stinger GT Sport Sedan [Live Images]

Concluding a string of compelling video teasers, Kia has formally unveiled the 2018 Kia GT Stinger sport sedan ahead of its debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.

The moniker does a good job invoking memories of the two door GT4 Stinger concept that made its debut three years ago in Detroit. At the time, many considered the car to perhaps2018 GT Stinger be a veiled preview to a contender that would rival entries such as the Subaru BRZ and the recently renamed Scion FR-S.

However, Kia pulled a swerve, and while the GT Stinger name carries over, it now graces a stylish four door sedan that was crafted to take advantage of its aggressive undertones. A long muscular hood and bold front fenders stretch nicely to the rear of the car. The roofline serves as a compelling transition to the short rear deck, which is becoming a must-have item in sport sedans these days. This allows the GT Stinger to be on par with stylish rivals such as the Audi A7 and the BMW Gran Coupe. Strong character lines located at the rocker panels help trim down visual heft in its overall profile, though the presentation is marred somewhat by a shiny fender vent.

The 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder that defined the original concept car has been pitched in lieu of a 3.3 liter twin-turbocharged V6 which is good for 365 horsepower, and allows the GT Stinger to rocket its way to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds.

Unfortunately, the concept’s six speed manual gearbox didn’t survive the transition from concept to reality, and the production sedan makes do with an 8-speed automatic 2018 GT Stingertransmission. This is fine with us, especially since the take rate for a pure manual offering would’ve been comparably low versus a more mass market oriented automatic. Hopefully, Kia will eventually add a manual gearbox in the future especially on a more hardcore version of the GT Stinger. As a bonus, the transmission helps channel all 376 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, which is another sport sedan must have feature.

The low slung cabin is a compelling balance of occupant coddling luxury and performance inspired cues. The front seats can be shod in ultra soft Nappa leather and come equipped with air cell bladders that deliver maximum levels of comfort and support. The center console is split into two distinct areas, and the gauges feature metal rims as well as bold red needles.

A bold color TFT screen between the gauges is home to performance data such as cornering G-forces, lap times, and also engine oil pressure and can also display more traditional readouts such as navigation, diagnostics, and other ancillary information. The GT Stinger’s long wheelbase helps produce exceptional amounts of front and rear legroom while the low seating position provides good amounts of headroom in both the front and back seats.

This move is admittedly unexpected, especially at a time where the market is being motivated by the strong  demand for crossovers.  However, we are glad Kia is taking a step outside the box in producing not only a shapely throwback to proper four door sedans, but also a rolling tribute an era when non-alphanumeric nameplates ruled the streets. Stay tuned tomorrow when we will learn more about the GT Stinger, as well as live pictures from the show floor.