We got our hands on the Lincoln MKS, a new model featuring the best cabin tech available. The navigation system doesn't just tell you how to get places; it also tells you how to find the cheapest gas, when movies are playing, and the weather conditions for cities all over the U.S. The MKS' Sync system offers the best voice command and device integration available, letting you hook up iPods and other MP3 players and ask for music by artist and album name. Music is played through a THX sound system, the best value in high-end car audio. … Read more
Chrysler surprised everyone with the announcement of three electric vehicle concepts. The company showed working versions of the all-electric Dodge EV sports car, plus a range-extended Chrysler minivan and Jeep Wrangler. The two range-extended models use powertrains similar to that found in the Chevy Volt, an electric motor and batteries to run the car, and an onboard gas engine generating electricity to extend the range.
Let's say you're a powerful dictator dignitary of a nation in turmoil. You obviously want to ride in style, and you probably won't be driving yourself around; but security is paramount, being a dictator dignitary and all, and you may occasionally find yourself the target of assassination attempts. So what's an iron-fisted ruler to drive? Well Mercedes-Benz may have the answer for you with the company's newly unveiled S600 Pullman Guard limousine.
The S600 Pullman is the latest in Mercedes' 80-year tradition of armored vehicles and is essentially a stretched wheelbase version of the of … Read more
On the heels of this year's Audi A4 redesign comes the new S4, which Audi announced will appear at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. The 2006 Audi S4, the sport version of the A4, impressed us enough in 2005 to clinch an Editors' Choice. This new version, a 2010 model, shows some radical changes. Where the 2006 model had a 4.2-liter V-8 engine, the new model drops displacement, going down to a 3-liter V-6; but this V-6 is fitted with an intercooled supercharger, which, along with Audi's direct injection technology, pumps up the horsepower to 333. Audi'… Read more
Pontiac Manager of Communications, Jim Hopson confirmed, on the GM Fastlane Blog, that Pontiac would be selling the G3 in the U.S. General Motors must have something of a penchant for cannibalizing their own sales, because the G3 is obviously just a rebadged Chevrolet Aveo5, the cheapest least expensive new car in America.
When challenged on about the matter of the econobox G3 not fitting into Pontiac's claim of building exciting vehicles, Hopson states, "True, it's not a RWD V8, but that's why the G8 is sitting in the same showroom." What he fails … Read more
If you think diesels are slow, noisy, and smelly, or that they're only for trucks, trains, and ships, think again. Or better yet, wake up and join the 21st century.
Volkswagen's 2009 Jetta TDI, available now, is the first clean-diesel vehicle to be offered in all 50 states. To underscore that, VW introduced it to the automotive press in Santa Monica, Calif., with a drive route that included the Pacific Coast Highway, some of SoCal's finest canyon roads, and even a little freeway driving.
As Norbert Krause, director of VW's Environmental Engineering Office, put it so aptly in his part of the morning presentation, "this is not your grandfather's diesel." I got into one of the few stick shift examples in the morning, and twisted the key. No clatter, no smoke, very little noise. A little diesel sound from outside, but luxury car quiet from inside the cabin. An auspicious beginning.
Light clutch, good shift linkage, slip it in gear, and get on the road. Doesn't sound like a diesel. And acceleration is just fine, thank you, with strong torque from about 1,800rpm. Playing a bit with different gears, the engine's sweet spot seems to be around 3,000rpm, and it pulls, strongly, to about 4,500rpm, at which point power drops enough to discourage acquaintance with the rev limiter. According to the specifications, the car has 140 horsepower at 4,000rpm, with 236 foot-pounds of torque from 1,750rpm through 2,500rpm. … Read more
The first clue that the 2008 Porsche Cayenne GTS isn't like other SUVs is the shifter, which works the six gears in a manual transmission. Another clue comes when you get it in the twisties, and feel its utter lack of roll in hard cornering. The Cayenne GTS offers the most sports car-like handling of any SUV, even surpassing the BMW X5 in this regard. We've heard comments around the office that the Porsche badge shouldn't be this high off the ground, but purism aside, our friendly neighborhood Porsche rep tells us that the Cayenne sells, giving … Read more
GM has rolled out the "production" version of the Chevy Volt this week (a cheeky move since it won't go into production for another two years) and it was received more warmly for proving the Volt is real than wowing us with styling.
But looks aren't the point of the Volt: lofty and sustainable miles per gallon is. Here's a look at the car in motion with some thoughts on its challenges as it begins the longish road to showrooms.
After years of claiming that blue is the new green (in reference to its BlueTec diesel developments), Mercedes-Benz has taken a side step and introduced a hybrid to the market, the S 400 BlueHybrid. The modified S-Class sedan benefits from the addition of Mercedes' first hybrid drivetrain and the world's first implementation of a lithium ion battery in a production vehicle.
The battery, which makes this whole deal possible, is remarkable in that it's surprisingly compact thanks to lithium ion tech. The entire assembly is only slightly larger than a standard 12-volt car battery. The small size allows … Read more