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Motortrend News Feed: 2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited Long-Term Update 4: How the Transmission is Tuned

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 08:00

Last July, I drove to San Diego in our long-term 2017 Hyundai Tucson to attend the launch of the 2018 Sonata and Elantra GT. The latter shares the same 1.6-liter turbo-four and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with our Tucson in Sport guise but makes 26 hp more. In that application, the transmission is smooth, responsive, and snappy even in manual mode, doing exactly what you want. However, in the Tucson, it’s like a different unit, slow to respond and laggy. Why such a drastic change between the two cars? It’s all in the tuning.

Whereas the Elantra GT Sport has been calibrated for enthusiastic driving, the Tucson is efficiency-minded.  On the highway, the powertrain is unobtrusive, but once you hit congested areas, things start to get clunky. At low speeds, the gearbox hunts frequently, shudders, and shifts roughly. You grow to expect but perhaps not accept it after a while; it will remain annoying because we’ve driven eco-minded powertrains that are less noticeably clunky. It also doesn’t help that the Tucson’s throttle response is sluggish, making it feel even more unresponsive. The best solution is to not put your foot down suddenly, because the transmission will get confused and ease into the throttle when you’re in traffic to keep it from shuddering. Sport mode also alleviates things slightly and makes city driving slightly smoother.

As a result of its transmission tuning, the Tucson lags behind its rivals when it comes to on-road refinement. The Honda CR-V doesn’t jerk you around at low speeds, and the CVT operates nearly invisibly. The Mazda CX-5, on the other hand, is more agile and responsive. City driving is where the Tucson’s weaknesses appear, and it doesn’t help that despite the economy-minded transmission, it’s EPA-rated at 24/28 mpg city/highway with all-wheel drive and 25/30 mpg with front-wheel drive. That’s right in line with most of the class but behind the most efficient entries, the CR-V and the Nissan Rogue, both of which are rated 2 to 3 mpg higher, so there’s no efficiency gain with the eco-tuned transmission when matched against the competition.

Read more about our 2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited AWD:

The post 2017 Hyundai Tucson Limited Long-Term Update 4: How the Transmission is Tuned appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Motortrend News Feed: Refreshing or Revolting: Lexus UX vs. BMW X1 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLA

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 23:45

Lexus has gained a reputation for polarizing design over the past several years. And whether you like or don’t like the look of other Lexus crossovers, you’ll likely feel the same way about the new 2019 Lexus UX. When it arrives in the U.S. this December, it will compete against the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. But does it have a more compelling design than these two rivals?

The 2019 Lexus UX features the much contended spindle grille that permeates throughout the automaker’s lineup. It takes on an interesting 3D appearance with a mesh pattern. The grille takes up most of the front fascia, although the headlights and side vents also try and grab your attention. Take a look at the BMW X1, and you’ll notice it bears a less controversial dual-kidney grille design that’s simple, unobtrusive, yet almost too expected. The lights inside the headlamp housings take on a rounded shape. On the GLA, the rounded headlamps are almost as tall as the grille, which itself features soft lines. Because it doesn’t have sharp edges, the GLA looks less imposing than its rivals from many angles.

From the side profiles, the three models look quite different. Comparatively, the UX features a lot of cladding around the wheel arches. It has a more bulbous rear than that on the X1, which is flatter. The GLA has pleasant character lines running across its body and looks particularly diminutive from this angle. It’s the shortest of the bunch, measuring 173.9 inches long compared to the BMW’s 175.4 inches. Lexus says the UX that debuted in Geneva measures in at 177 inches in length.

Strong fender flares characterize the back end of the UX. Its full-width taillights project a “nighttime signature” using 120 LEDs and tapers toward the center, Lexus says. Below the light strip, character lines form a trapezoid. This angle of the UX is also a bit polarizing since the rear protrudes so much, and is arguably overly sculpted. Meanwhile, the BMW features a much more conventional rear end that is more upright. For the GLA, the taillights are so big that they dominate the rear end. A silver trim piece joins the two lights together in the very compact rear.

Each model features a luxurious cabin. On the UX, Lexus made it so the upper part of the instrument panel appears to extend out beyond the windshield. The large, low screen sits above the dashboard, and there is an old-school analog clock on this unit. Below the big screen, there are neat rows of buttons and a touchpad. The BMW features perhaps the oldest-looking screen of the bunch, and probably the starkest interior of the group as well. On the GLA, you’ll notice playful circular air vents and a stand-alone, square infotainment system.

Which crossover takes the cake: the 2019 Lexus UX, BMW X1, or Mercedes-Benz GLA? Let us know on Facebook.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: Lexus UX vs. BMW X1 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLA appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Motortrend News Feed: The Nissan IMx is Going Into Production, Will Essentially be a Leaf SUV

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 23:00

The name “Tesla” may be synonymous with electric cars, but since the end of 2010, Nissan’s been quietly selling the fully electric Leaf hatchback. It was even popular enough to earn a second generation. But from the sound of it, Nissan thinks sales of its next electric car will blow Leaf sales out of the water. That’s because it’s reportedly planning to turn the Leaf into an SUV.

According to Autocar, Nissan’s developing an electric SUV that looks a lot like the IMx concept we saw last year. Despite being larger and offering more ground clearance, Autocar believes this electric crossover will be built on the Leaf’s platform. And when it finally goes into production, Nissan expects the electric crossover to be extremely popular.

“Of course, we have the new Leaf, but I think the [production version of the] IMx concept will become a breakthrough model.” Mamoru Aoki, Nissan’s head of European design, told Autocar. “The IMx is not just a concept car. In a few years, it will appear.”

According to Aoki, removing the engine will make the production IMx much more spacious than its gas-powered competition. “The interior is notably bigger than with a conventional vehicle and there’s much more usable space, thanks to the totally flat floor allowed by the battery pack,” said Aoki. “The dashboard is also pushed right back because the HVAC unit is under the bonnet.”

So far, there’s no word on how much Nissan’s electric SUV will cost or what kind of range it will actually offer. But Hyundai’s Kona Electric may soon face some serious competition.

Source: Autocar

The post The Nissan IMx is Going Into Production, Will Essentially be a Leaf SUV appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Motortrend News Feed: Volkswagen Bringing Small “Volks-SUV” to U.S. Instead of T-Roc

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 22:00

Now we’re starting to understand why Volkswagen didn’t bring the T-Roc to the U.S. market. The automaker apparently has a different small SUV in mind for us, one that is currently under development and will come from Mexico.

Although we don’t have an official name yet, VW calls the model “Volks-SUV,” or People’s SUV. “We call it internally Volks-SUV – the production car won’t have that name – because it turned from a regional project into a global project,” said VW brand sales boss Juergen Stackmann, reports Automotive News.

The model, to be sold globally, is slightly more compact than the Tiguan. It will sit on the MQB architecture for cars with front transverse engines. VW just approved the design last week, so the process is already pretty far along.

Volkswagen will initially build the model through a joint venture in China, and sales for this market will begin in August. Production will expand into Mexico, Russia, and Argentina starting from 2020. The automaker didn’t say when we can expect to see it in the U.S., but VW brand CEO Herbert Diess revealed Mexico will supply the crossover for the U.S.

Small crossovers are hot in the U.S. right now, and VW clearly needs a competitor in this space. So why didn’t the T-Roc make the cut, you ask? VW says its smaller size and lower roof make it more compatible with Europe. Meanwhile, the automaker will sell the “Volks-SUV” in various different markets, but there are no plans to introduce it in Europe.

According to Diess, VW wants to sell 400,000 copies of the new crossover globally each year. If it sells well, the model can help fund VW’s extensive electric vehicle lineup planned for the future.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

The post Volkswagen Bringing Small “Volks-SUV” to U.S. Instead of T-Roc appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Motortrend News Feed: Ford Really Wants This Focus Sedan Prototype to Be Seen

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 19:45

It has been about seven years since Ford redesigned the Focus, and despite receiving an update for 2015, it feels a little outdated. Past spy shots have shown that Ford is hard at work developing a new Focus, but it hasn’t been clear when the car would officially be revealed. Based on these photos, that date is probably just around the corner.

Our spy photographer caught this Focus sedan prototype on the road in Europe, and while they’re technically spy shots, it’s clear Ford wanted this car to be seen. Instead of wearing traditional camouflage, the car is covered in a bright, colorful wrap with comics. Really, we shouldn’t even call it a prototype since it’s being used as more of a marketing vehicle.

From what we can see, the new Focus is curvier and looks a little more mature than the current car, while the headlights and taillights have a more upmarket feel. Of course, it also looks a lot like the Focus hatchback that was caught completely undisguised last month.

Ford has yet to confirm an exact date for the official reveal, but we do know the new Focus won’t be shown at the New York Auto Show. Last we heard, it will get an event of its own somewhere in Europe next month.

Source: CarPix

The post Ford Really Wants This Focus Sedan Prototype to Be Seen appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Motortrend News Feed: Lincoln Aviator SUV Makes a Comeback

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 18:30

Resurrecting a nameplate we haven’t seen since 2005, Lincoln will preview a new Aviator SUV at the New York auto show later this month.

Lincoln last used the Aviator name on an SUV based on the Ford Explorer. Although short-lived, running from the 2003-2005 model years, the SUV provided Lincoln customers with a slightly smaller alternative to the Navigator. It featured a 4.6-liter V-8 engine delivering 302 hp, and fuel economy topped out at 11/17 mpg city/highway. We should see downsized, but still powerful, engines on the new Aviator, and expect a big improvement in fuel economy.

Judging from the past, we can expect the Aviator will slot between the Nautilus and Navigator in Lincoln’s current lineup of recently updated SUVs. The current Navigator, which we really like, has been on sale since late last year while the Nautilus will go on sale this spring as a replacement for the MKX crossover.

Lincoln is expected to offer an electrified version of the new vehicle. “The Aviator, which will make its world debut at the New York International Auto Show, is the first of two all-new utilities that Lincoln will bring to market in the next two years as it grows its utility portfolio and commits to electrification across its lineup globally,” the automaker said in a press release.

We don’t know much about the Aviator, but we have to say we like the name and Lincoln’s move away from vehicles starting with “MK.” We’ll learn more about the Lincoln Aviator when it debuts in New York on Wednesday, March 28. In the meantime, check out the teaser video below for a look at parts of the exterior design.

Source: Lincoln

The post Lincoln Aviator SUV Makes a Comeback appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Motortrend News Feed: Jeep Built a Jeepster Concept for This Year’s Easter Safari

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 17:45

Every spring, Jeep builds a handful of wild concepts and heads to Moab, Utah, for the Easter Jeep Safari. Last year, we saw a Wrangler that had been modified to look like a ’60s gasser hot rod, a tastefully restored 1993 Grand Cherokee, and several others. Jeep hasn’t revealed which concepts it will bring to this year’s event, but the teasers it released today definitely have our attention.

The first image shows a JL Wrangler with a retro two-tone paint job. Look a little closer, and you’ll see a badge on the fender that says “Jeepster.” To us, it looks a little more like the Commando from the ’70s that had dropped the Jeepster name, but we’ll reserve judgment until the concept is revealed in full. Jeepsters are cool, and so is this concept’s retro look.

The Wrangler in this second teaser definitely looks more off-road-focused. It appears to have been lifted, given larger tires, and fitted with a bull bar and lights. Since it’s also got a hood scoop, there’s a chance Jeep swapped in a Hemi V-8. And while the image is far too blurry to be certain, it kind of looks like there’s a truck bed out back.

According to Jeep, we’ll get more details, as well as more images, next week before the 52nd annual Easter Jeep Safari kicks off on Saturday, March 24.

Source: Jeep

The post Jeep Built a Jeepster Concept for This Year’s Easter Safari appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Motortrend News Feed: Here’s Aston Martin’s Future Product Pipeline Through 2023

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 16:45

Attention lottery winners and blockchain bros: British luxury brand Aston Martin is engaging in a massive product offensive that will result in an all-new or seriously redesigned vehicle arriving pretty much every year through 2023.

The surge will include Aston Martin’s entry into the SUV market as well as two pure battery-electric vehicles under the Lagonda brand name. It also means a new mid-engine sports car.

2019 Aston Martin Vantage

In a far-reaching interview at the media introduction of the Vantage in Portugal (driving impressions of which are embargoed until April 10), Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said that the brand is looking at portfolio expansion as a way to dramatically increase global sales and brand recognition past that of Ferrari.

The expansion into mid-engine sports cars could result in the brand’s traditional front-engine, rear-drive layout going away after the current generation, Palmer said.

Although Aston Martins will retain their classic dimensions—yes, even in SUV form—“we unleashed the designers on Lagonda,” Palmer said.

Aston Martin Lagonda Vision Concept

Make no mistake—Lagonda will be “fully electrified,” as in having only battery-electric propulsion—not hybrids—with development done in-house. Palmer adding that Aston Martin has “help wanted” positions for 400 Lagonda battery propulsion engineers.

“It will not be a compromised platform,” Palmer said. “It will have no tailpipe. We want to do our own cells. We want to master the battery controller.”

By not having the restriction of a powertrain at the front axle, the designers have more freedom to create unique new vehicle designs—as seen with the Lagonda Vision concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show.

Aston’s product roll-out
  • 2018 Vantage, DB11 Volante redesigns
  • 2018 Vanquish redesign, Vantage roadster
  • 2019 DBX SUV intro
  • 2021 Mid-engine sports car into
  • 2022 Lagonda sedan intro
  • 2023 Lagonda SUV intro

Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s chief designer, said that “without the lump of a V-8 or V-12, we can design from the inside out.”

The new lineup also means the withdrawal of the Rapide sedan from the lineup. The Rapide is at the end of its cycle but will fulfill a crucial duty in being transformed into a battery-electric fleet of 155 vehicles to test consumer wants and needs for the upcoming Lagondas.

That said, Aston Martin will still be in the business of building V-12 flagship sports cars, although future V-12s might be hybrid-powered (but not plug-in hybrids, which Palmer sees as inefficient).

In addition to the series production vehicles, Aston Martin will also create two “limited series” vehicles a year, such as the Valkyrie hypercar or design variations with outside coachbuilders like Zagato, Palmer said.

The track-only Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro that debuted in Geneva

Aston Martin sold 5,100 vehicles in 2017, a 58 percent increase, but Palmer is not satisfied with that volume level. With the home plant in Gaydon, England, soon to be maxed out for capacity building sports cars, Aston Martin is building a new 7,000-unit plant in Wales to account for 4,000 DBXs and 3,000 Lagondas annually. Palmer expects volumes to reach 14,000 units in 2023—which would be nearly double that of Ferrari’s 8,398 sold in 2017.

Although the automaker is in the midst of its heaviest R&D spend in its history, it posted a £207 million EBITDA profit in 2017 on £1.2 billion in revenue. The only previous annual profit in Aston Martin’s 105-year history was in the global boom year of 2007—and that comes with an asterisk as a chunk of Aston’s costs were dispersed throughout then-owner Ford Motor Co.’s larger structure. The automaker also has refinanced its debt, shaving its borrowing rate from 10 percent to 6 percent senior securitized debt, Palmer said.

“The chapter of loss making is done,” Palmer said. “The money is spent. Now we will reap it in.”




The post Here’s Aston Martin’s Future Product Pipeline Through 2023 appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Property Week News Feed: Skinnydip opens five new stores

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 16:09
Accessories brand Skinnydip has opened five new stores within Intu shopping centres.
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Property Week News Feed: Secure Income REIT raises £315m in oversubscribed share placing

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 15:53
Secure Income REIT has announced an early close on its latest share placing having raised £315.5m to fund two portfolio acquisitions totalling £436m.
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Property Week News Feed: Berkeley Homes ignores government call for housebuilders to build houses

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 08:52
Berkeley Homes has positioned itself directly against prime minister Theresa May, by refusing to increase the number of homes it builds despite government threats to housebuilders to either build homes on their land or face planning blocks.
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Property Week News Feed: Hammerson shares slump again after negative Credit Suisse note

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 08:28
Shares in Hammerson slumped 4.86% on Thursday after investment bank Credit Suisse downgraded the stock and questioned its takeover of rival Intu.
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Motortrend News Feed: 2019 Ram 1500 First Drive: A Truck That Rides Like a Car

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 04:01

You can read the market research data or just ask your friends who drive big trucks. Unless you hang out exclusively with people who work in construction or farming, they’ll admit most of the time the bed is empty. Some folks will take issue with that because full-size trucks were originally meant for work. But that’s not the way it is anymore. People today buy trucks for all kinds of reasons that have nothing to do with hauling stacks of Sheetrock, and folks don’t have to justify any of them. If you’re still wondering why automakers are putting heated and cooled leather seats and 1,500-watt stereos in trucks, it’s because customers are asking for them.

No automaker has taken this modern market reality to heart more than Ram. While it hasn’t yet mustered the nerve to charge six figures for a pickup like Ford has, Ram has been on the forefront of luxury truck interiors and features. Years before High Country Chevys, back when Denali GMCs were leather, grilles, and an optional engine, Ford rolled the dice on a Platinum F-150. Ram, though, took the idea and ran with it, launching the Laramie Long Horn—replete with southwest-inspired embroidery and embossing and even seat back pockets styled after saddle bags, with chrome buckles and all. Before that, Ram made the even bolder decision to junk the rear leaf springs in favor of smoother-riding coils and offer up a factory air suspension. Altogether, it’s paid off with several years of increased market share. With results like that, there’s only one way to go.

For the latest edition, Ram has doubled down on comfort, convenience, and style. After all, you ride a winning streak. But what’s impressive is Ram hasn’t traded capability for all that pizzazz. Last-generation Ram pickups were the heaviest in the class, and a fully loaded model left you just enough daylight in gross vehicle weight for people, much less cargo.

Ram hasn’t pulled an aluminum rabbit out of its hat like Ford, but it did find 225 pounds it could do without. High-strength steels that require less metal to do the same job, clever applications of aluminum in the engine and transmission cross members, and even composite upper control arms for the front suspension all contribute. Partly as a result, max payload is up to 2,300 pounds while trailering is up to 12,750 pounds max—both competitive with Ford’s and Chevy’s offerings.

Although there will be a plethora of powertrain combinations available, for this drive we only had a fleet of standard 5.7-liter V-8-equipped trucks in various trim levels. Ram predicts the unassisted V-8 will be the ticket for most private buyers, with the base eTorque V-6 and optional eTorque V-8 splitting the rest. We requisitioned both a lower-trim Big Horn and a top-shelf Limited to get a taste for the range.

In its effort to be friendlier to truck diehards and newcomers alike, Ram has pushed its style and comfort perks all the way down the ladder. Every trim level gets at least two interior options: one all-black and another light-colored option unique to each trim level. All models get an electronic parking brake. Everything but the base Tradesman gets more soft-touch materials inside. Every model save the specialty Rebel off-roader gets passive two-mode shocks for a better ride. All of them get a flat rear floor and bigger storage bins. Every Crew Cab is stretched 4 inches for more interior space, especially in the rear. Most interestingly, every model features Ram’s Active Tuned Mass Modules, or frame shakers, as I call ’em. They vibrate at the exact opposite frequency of the engine to cancel vibrations to allow more operation in four-cylinder mode and when “lugging” in higher gears to improve fuel economy. Combined with standard noise-canceling technology, they make even the low-spec interiors surprisingly carlike in their quietness and smoothness.

This is the biggest thing you notice about the new Ram—or don’t notice until you stop to think about it. The cab is a shockingly quiet and comfortable place by pickup truck standards, and it even puts some cars and SUVs to shame. It doesn’t matter if you bought the $33,000 truck or the $59,000 version. The ride over rough roads is surprisingly isolated and smooth for a 5,000-plus-pound vehicle. Combined with a naturally weighted and refreshingly direct steering rack, the new Ram is as easy and pleasant to drive as a car-based crossover.

Getting the work done is the 395-hp, 410-lb-ft V-8 you know, but thanks to the frame shakers, it can run in four-cylinder mode twice as often. An electric radiator fan reduces load on the engine, and improved aerodynamics (including an automatically deployed air dam) mean the engine doesn’t have to work as hard at higher speeds. All told, the cylinder-deactivation system is undetectable save for a tiny grumble from the exhaust when you lift off the throttle.

With all that torque on tap, the Ram gets up to speed briskly and smoothly with a pleasant little growl from the exhaust. The updated eight-speed automatic is better than ever, swapping gears like a seasoned card dealer—seemingly always in the right cog. Ram provided a farm tractor on a trailer for towing, and with 7,000 pounds (give or take) on the hitch, the truck was just as smooth, if a bit slower, as you’d expect. Equipped with optional towing mirrors, visibility around the truck and trailer is excellent, and the lines overlaid on the reverse camera screen make lining up the hitch a breeze. Likewise, the ability to extend the optional blind-spot monitor to cover a trailer up to 35 feet long is an appreciated safety net, as are the larger, stronger front brakes.

And you get all that on the nearly base model Big Horn, with its cloth seats and optional 8.4-inch touchscreen (5.0 inches is standard). On the other end, there’s the lifted luxury of the Limited trim. Ram claims that version has more leather and real wood and metal trim than any competitor, and I see no reason to doubt that. There’s a panoramic sunroof and a 19-speaker optional stereo. There’s an air suspension that makes it ride even better and levels the truck when loaded. To make life easier, there’s active cruise control with lane keeping assistance, a 360-degree camera, and semi-automatic parallel and perpendicular parking systems. Back-seat passengers won’t miss out, either, with the optional heated and cooled rear seats, which also recline.

The real party trick, though, is the 12.0-inch touchscreen. Running the latest, greatest version of Fiat Chrysler’s Uconnect software and exclusively available with SiriusXM 360L on-demand satellite radio, it’s the closest thing you can get to a Tesla screen in a gas-powered vehicle at any price. Like Tesla’s, it can run a full screen or two smaller screens split horizontally. Unlike Tesla’s, it has lots of redundant buttons and knobs if you prefer. I do wish it were as configurable and intuitive as the Tesla screen, but it’s pretty close, especially after you dig through the menus a bit and get to know it. It would be nice if you could run the navigation in split screen rather than full screen, though. Its best feature, if you ask me, is its ability to run Apple CarPlay or Android Auto in split-screen mode rather than have it take over the entire screen like nearly every other vehicle’s infotainment system.

The truck traditionalists among you have likely been rolling your eyes for nearly a dozen paragraphs, right? Who needs all these bells and whistles? Will it haul gravel and my Jet Skis? Look, if you want a base model with bench seats and AM/FM radio and CD player, Ram will gladly sell you one—and it’ll tow and haul more than last year’s truck. But if you’re like a lot of today’s truck buyers and want to replace one or more of your vehicles with a do-everything full-size truck that’ll be as comfortable and spacious as your luxury sedan, Ram has ticked every box on your wish list.

2019 Ram 1500 BASE PRICE $33,340-$59,035 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD/4WD, 2-5-pass, 2-4-door truck ENGINES 3.6L/305-hp/269-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6 plus 12-hp/90-lb-ft electric motor; 305 hp/269 lb-ft comb; 5.7L/395-hp/410-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8; 5.7L/395-hp/410-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8 plus 16-hp/130-lb-ft electric motor; 395-hp/410-lb-ft comb TRANSMISSION 8-speed auto CURB WEIGHT 4,800-5,400 lb (mfr) WHEELBASE 140.5-153.5 in LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 228.9-241.8 x 82.1 x 75.9-79.7 in 0-60 MPH 6.5 sec (MT est) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 15/22/17 mpg* ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY 225/153 kW-hrs/100 miles* CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.11 lb/mile* ON SALE IN U.S. Currently *Base 5.7L, all others not yet rated *SAE Certified Ram Goes Hybrid

The first redesigned Ram full-sized trucks out the gate will be equipped with the tried-and-true 5.7-liter V-8, but it’ll have friends soon. In addition to the return of the EcoDiesel later this year, Ram 1500s will also be available with new “eTorque” V-6 and V-8 mild-hybrid powertrains.

Also known as a belt alternator starter, or BAS, the eTorque system replaces the alternator with a compact but powerful electric motor/generator. The liquid-cooled unit affixed to 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engines can produce up to 90 lb-ft of additional torque, and the air-cooled unit mounted to the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 produces up to 130 lb-ft.

The motor/generators have multiple jobs. While the engine is running, they feed in additional torque at low rpm to give the engine a boost. When the automatic engine stop/start system engages, they restart the engine much more quickly and smoothly than the starter motor. When they’re not adding power, they generate it when the truck slows down, enhancing engine braking. On the V-8 engine, the motor/generator also can add torque on demand to extend the range of conditions when the engine can run in fuel-saving mode with some of its cylinders shut off.

The motor/generators get their power from and supply their regenerative braking to a 48-volt battery sandwiched in the rear wall of the cab, behind the rear seats. From there, a DC-to-DC converter supplies 12-volt power to the truck’s electrical system and the 12-volt battery.

The post 2019 Ram 1500 First Drive: A Truck That Rides Like a Car appeared first on Motor Trend.

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The Car Connection News Feed: 2019 Ram 1500 first drive: the luxury car of pickup trucks

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 04:01
The 2019 Ram 1500 has fully adapted to the way most drivers use their trucks: livability trumps utility. Sure, the latest Ram is powerful enough to lug a trailer weighing up to 12,750 pounds, but that didn’t matter to me as I took in the warm scent of leather and ran my hand across the rough-finish wood trim inside a megabuck Ram 1500...
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Property Week News Feed: AlloyMtd on hunt for next big London buy

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 00:00
One Crown Place developer says capital still prime location, despite Brexit fears.
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Property Week News Feed: Hermes markets refurbished Birmingham office for £70m

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 00:00
Hermes to sell art deco building bought for £40m in 2013, following refurbishment and letting programme.
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Property Week News Feed: Pacific to raise £50m for portfolio deals

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 00:00
Industrial REIT hits market to fund acquisitions in the south and North West.
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Property Week News Feed: LaSalle fund refinances 40 hotels with £22m mezzanine loan

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 00:00
LaSalle Investment Management’s LREDS III fund has provided a £22.2m, five-year mezzanine facility to refinance a portfolio of 40 hotels managed by the Shearings Leisure Group.
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The Car Connection News Feed: 2018 Porsche 911

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 22:43
The 2018 Porsche 911 has been unusually busy this year. In addition to purist-focused 911 GTS and 911 Carrera T versions, Porsche has added a world-beating 911 GT2 RS and GT3 variants, a Turbo S Exclusive option, and a GT3 Touring Package that tempts half-million-dollar collectors with its content. Oh, and about that GT2 RS: It’s the fastest...
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Motortrend News Feed: Ford Plans to Sell a Hybrid Bronco SUV

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 22:35

Ford made several announcements today about its plans for the next few years. Among other things, we learned that the Explorer ST is officially happening, the upcoming Mach 1 electric SUV will have more than 300 miles of range, and Lincoln will show off a new Aviator SUV at this year’s New York Auto Show. But the most interesting information had to do with the new Bronco.

We’ve known for a while that the Bronco would go on sale in 2020, one year after the U.S.-market Ranger it will be based on. But beyond that, Ford hasn’t had much to say. Today, though, we learned that a hybrid version is officially happening. That doesn’t mean the Bronco will only be available as a hybrid, but until now, a hybrid Bronco was only a rumor.

When the new Bronco finally does go on sale, don’t expect it to be a hardcore rock crawler aimed squarely at the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. According to Jim Farley, head of global markets, Ford plans to position it as more of a Raptor-like desert runner. From the sound of it, the Bronco will still be a capable off-roader. It will just be more of an indirect competitor for the Wrangler.

Ford also announced plans for a smaller, still-unnamed off-roader. Expect it to be about the same size as an Escape and look a lot like the shadowy rendering shown above. Since it was just announced, we know even less about this mini-Bronco than we do about the real thing. But based on what we can see, it looks like an appropriately boxy little off-roader.

“Ford helped start the off-road phenomenon and has majored in off-road capability for decades—from the Bronco to the Raptor,” said Farley in a statement. “Now, we’re ready to reclaim our rightful place as the off-road vehicle leader.”

Source: Ford

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