There’s a lot of talk about “gateway drugs” in this country—but in my experience, it’s irony, more than any particular plant or powder, that ends up getting people hooked. Let me give you a quick example. About two years ago, Sirius XM temporarily replaced the “Love” station with “Yacht Rock,” a playlist that relied heavily on the mirror-polished pop perfection of acts like Steely Dan, the Doobie Brothers, Toto, and Christopher Cross. The name “Yacht Rock” was a nod to a YouTube comedy series by the same name, in which young actors portrayed musicians from that era with outrageous wigs and tongues planted firmly in cheek. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Everything about the Yacht Rock channel, from the logo to the lazily louche tone of the between-song station identification, was triple-dipped in irony. But a funny thing happened along the road to Hipster Town: The channel became so popular that Sirius XM made it … [Read more...] about The 2018 Lincoln Navigator Yacht Club Is the Smoothest Thing Since Steely Dan
Detroit Auto Show
Acura’s performance image falls off precipitously once you get past the NSX, but the division has announced steps to spread the sportiness to the other vehicles in its lineup. The Acura Type S trim will return to multiple vehicles, after nearly a decade in which the high-performance trim has been absent from the brand. Acura also announced a new turbocharged V-6 that will be an Acura-exclusive powerplant. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below 2003 Acura RSX Type-S Acura Last seen on the 2008 Acura TL, the Type S came with a 286-hp 3.5-liter V-6 (in place of the standard TL’s 256-hp 3.2-liter) and also featured trim-specific chassis tuning and styling details. While Acura didn’t reveal which vehicles in its current lineup would receive the Type S treatment, a recent filing for the trademark “TLX Type S” leads us to believe the mid-size sedan will be among the first models to get the sporty upgrade.Along with the return of Type S, Acura also … [Read more...] about Acura Is Bringing Back the Type-S Line
I think it's fair to be skeptical of the Ford Edge ST. After all, the ST badge has previously been reserved for hot hatches, one of which, the Fiesta ST, is one of the all-time greats. How could a crossover ever live up to this name?Jamal Hameedi thinks the Edge ST will live up to the expectations for the badge. As the head engineer for Ford Performance, he's responsible for the Edge ST, and the guy behind some of our favorite cars—the GT, the Shelby GT350, the Focus RS, the F-150 Raptor, and yes, the Fiesta ST. At the Detroit Auto Show, he made his case for the Edge ST in a interview. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below "The Edge is fully an ST," Hameedi told us. "It doesn't skimp anywhere. Its transmission calibration is unique, the engine, the suspension, the aero, the cooling, the brakes, the tires are all unique."Hameedi doesn't expect any owners to take an Edge ST to the track, but he says it passes all of Ford Performance's track durability requirements. Because it … [Read more...] about Why the 2019 Ford Edge ST Could Be Genuine Fun
Ram took the wraps off the all-new 1500 at the Detroit auto show a few weeks back, unveiling plenty of substantial under-the-skin updates along with the fresh looks. The completely redesigned truck now boasts a mild-hybrid system to provide extra torque when needed, along with plenty of extra towing and payload capacity.There is a lot to see before it goes on sale at the end of March -- that's just weeks away -- so we've rounded up the most important bits you need to know. 1. The powerThe 1500's base engine is the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 paired with the eTorque mild-hybrid system producing 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque, but those in need of greater performance can pick the trusty Hemi 5.7-liter V8, good for 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. Both are paired with TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmissions. Both engines feature variable valve timing, but the Hemi comes with the added fuel economy benefit of cylinder deactivation. With this Fuel Saver Technology system, as Ram calls … [Read more...] about 2019 Ram 1500: 7 (more) things to know
Richard Truett, Automotive News' powertrain savant, design connoisseur and all-around engineering go-to guy, jumped up on just about every stand, thought and pondered and scratched his head, changed his mind a couple of times and came up with a list of 2018 Detroit auto show hits and misses. We're republishing his take on things to add to our own analysis. HIT: Ram 1500It's easy to imagine Fiat Chrysler Automobiles boss Sergio Marchionne giving his truck team a blank check and this order: "Spend whatever it takes to make the best pickup you can, using all available technology at our disposal."Nearly everything is new from the wheels up. Weight is down by about 200 pounds, though the truck is 9 inches longer. The frame is stiffer, the brakes stronger and the body smoother. The powertrains are updated and upgraded.Inside is where the Ram design team really stands out. An available 12-inch screen with eye-poppingly clear graphics. Most of the materials on the seats, dash and doors are … [Read more...] about 2018 Detroit auto show: Hits and misses
Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) is the latest and best-positioned Chinese automaker with plans for sales in the U.S. Days after GAC showed off a sample of its lineup at the Detroit auto show, including a sub-brand that is (fortunately or unfortunately) named Trumpchi, the automaker and its home country's trade policies faced criticism from U.S. politicians.Reuters reports that Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y, argued on the Senate floor on Wednesday of this week that Chinese trade rules as they apply to cars are "manifestly unfair, and a typically unfortunate example of China’s rapacious trading policies."Schumer's arguments stem from the fact that Chinese-built automobiles would face a 2.5 percent tariff, while cars exported from the U.S. to China face a 25 percent tariff. This is why many U.S. automakers that sell cars in the Middle Kingdom build them there, including Buick, which has a much larger lineup in China than in the U.S. and now exports one model to the U.S.The White House … [Read more...] about Will Chinese automaker GAC’s U.S. ambitions run into political headwinds?
This is the Detroit auto show, right? So where are the concept cars -- the crazy, cool, or maybe clunky and clumsy experimental vehicles we used to have so much fun either faulting or falling in love with?Isn't Detroit supposed to positively detonate with ideas? If Tokyo's concepts were wacky and Geneva's gaudy, Detroit's were always brawny and brazen; head-turners like the Cadillac Sixteen.Where are the Cadillac and Chevy concepts of days gone by? Or maybe something fun and fashionable from Ford. Yes, Jeep does its Moab concepts each year, but why not some kind of conversation starter in Detroit, like the Gladiator of 2005?Nissan and Infiniti gave us two real concepts -- the Nissan Xmotion and the Infiniti Q Inspiration -- so a tip of the hat to the group's new design chief, Alfonso Albaisa.Lexus gave us the LS-1 Limitless, and Chinese maker GAC trotted out the Enverge crossover concept as it prepares to cross over the Pacific to our shores.Of course, all-out concept vehicles have … [Read more...] about Where are the cool concept cars in Detroit?
“If it’s not the ultimate off-road vehicle, it’s not the Gelandewagen.”That was from Ian James, head of marketing for the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. And while the big story for the new 2019 model -- still affectionately known as the G-Wagen -- at the Detroit auto show surrounds its interior upgrades, Mercedes didn’t skimp on the off-road goodies either.For one, there’s more space inside. Now that may sound like an on-road benefit, but Mercedes wants you to know the improvement in legroom, shoulder room and elbow room is equally good for bouncing around off-road. The company was also keen to keep the giant grab handle in front of the front passenger for when things get really tipsy.The new G was tested, like the G-Class has been for 39 years, at Mount Schockl near Graz in Austria where the vehicle is produced -- it’s like a Nurburgring for SUVs. Same line, same people, new tooling, by the way. It only shares three parts overall with the … [Read more...] about Do the new Mercedes G-Wagen’s on-road improvements ruin its off-road credibility?
The 2018 North American International Auto Show’s press days are behind us, and the show can be summed up in one word: Trucks. Well, maybe two words: Trucks and SUVs. We saw the new Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150 diesel, BMW X2, Ford Ranger, Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen and Jeep Cherokee. That’s just the production stuff. Indeed, the U.K.’s Car Magazine said Detroit could become “a very interesting commercial-vehicle show.” Don’t know if I’d go that far, but I see where they’re coming from.Yes, pickup trucks are still where the sales are and thus the profits, and sales are supposed to go up yet again this year if you believe the analyst types. The good news for Ford, GM and FCA is the new entries look good. I loved the new Ram’s styling and was especially impressed with the interior –- it embarrasses more than a few luxury cars. The Silverado’s big news is it adopts the complex mixed-material construction system … [Read more...] about Opinion: Detroit auto show proves trucks are just as important as autonomous electric pods
Detroit auto show media days are winding down as the international journalists escape to warmer climes, like Sweden and Canada, and this means that public days are approaching. We've seen just about all that Detroit's Cobo Center had to offer this year including the world debuts of the all-new Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Silverado and the Ram 1500. We also saw "trucks" like the all-new Mercedes-Benz G-Class that looks a lot like the old G-Class, and may require a minute or two to tell apart.Were there vehicles smaller than the Ford Ranger in Detroit this year? You bet, and that includes the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta, 2019 Kia Forte, 2019 Honda Insight, which is now a sedan, and the 2019 Toyota Avalon, which was a sedan all along. We also saw the North American debuts of the BMW X2, as well as the 2019 Mini Cooper hardtop and convertible.Oh, and the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt made an appearance, as had been rumored in weeks prior, but it wasn't chasing a Dodge Charger inside Cobo Center. At least … [Read more...] about 2018 Detroit auto show: Everything we saw