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    LA Auto Show: Cadillac ATS-V


    • Finally! The Cadillac ATS-V Sedan and Coupe are Here!


    Cadillac's V-Series was a three model affair at the start with the CTS-V, STS-V, and XLR-V. Then it became one model affair with the next-generation CTS-V. But the CTS-V was available in a sedan, coupe, and wagon. As the third chapter begins for the Cadillac V lineup, it kicks off with the smallest model in the lineup. Introducing the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V.

    Offered in either a sedan or coupe, the Cadillac ATS-V is a mean looker. The front end gets larger grille openings feed cool air to engine, a mesh grille insert, and a carbon fiber hood with a heat extractor to keep the engine cool. Wider fenders are needed for the 18-inch wheels that wrapped in Michelln Pilot Sport that measure out to 9 inches wide in front and 9.5 inches in back. The rear end features a lip spoiler and quad exhausts.

    Needing a bit more agression? Cadillac will offer a 'Carbon Fiber' and 'Track' packages. The Carbon Fiber package gets a more aggressive front splitter, hood vent trim, rear diffuser, composite rocker extensions, and a taller, body-color rear spoiler. The track package takes elements of carbon fiber package and adds the Performance Data Recorder and a low-mass battery.

    The ATS-V's interior comes with seats with suede inserts, a unique version of the instrument cluster for the V, and Cadillac CUE infotainment system. Optional will be sixteen-way Recaro bucket seats.

    As was leaked last week, power will come from the Twin-Turbo 3.6L producing 455 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque. Transmissions include a six-speed manual with rev matching or an eight-speed automatic. Both transmissions come with launch control. Cadillac says the ATS-V hits 60 MPH in 3.9 second and can hit a top speed of 185 MPH.

    Suspension-wise, the ATS-V uses the latest version of Magnetic Ride Control that are reportedly 40 percent faster than the last generation version. The chassis has been stiffen an additional 25 percent. Bringing it to a stop will be a set of Brembo brakes with six-pistons up front and four pistons in the rear. The Performance Traction Management system will keep everything in order with a choice of five different settings for a driver to choose from.

    No word on pricing, but the ATS-V sedan and coupe will be arriving at dealers next spring.

    Source: Cadillac

    Press Release is on Page 2


    Cadillac ATS-V Expands Lineup, Intensifies Passion

    • First Twin Turbo V-Series delivers track-capable driving experience

    LOS ANGELES – Cadillac today introduced the 2016 ATS-V, expanding the acclaimed ATS product range and elevating the brand’s elite high-performance V-Series to its next generation.

    Available in sedan and coupe forms, the first-ever ATS-V will introduce class-leading twin-turbocharged power and a comprehensive suite of design and performance systems when production begins in spring 2015.

    Since its inception in 2004, Cadillac’s V-Series has driven remarkable power and performance capability into the brand’s growing luxury car range. Building on the strengths of the award-winning ATS product line, the V-Series adds impressive track capability to what was already the lightest and most agile-driving car in the luxury compact class. The result is a dual-purpose luxury performer – a car with true track capability right from the factory that is also a sophisticated luxury car on the road.

    “Cadillac’s V-Series is the best example of Cadillac’s emerging product substance – and the purest expression of the passion at the core of the brand,” said Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac President.

    The ATS-V arrives next spring, powered by the first-ever twin-turbocharged engine in a V-Series. Rated at an estimated 455 horsepower (339 kW) and 445 lb-ft of torque (603 Nm), the engine is the segment’s highest-output six-cylinder and enables 0-60 performance in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of more than 185 mph. It is backed by a six-speed manual – with Active Rev Match, no-lift shifting and launch control – or a paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission featuring launch control and Performance Algorithm Shift.

    The Cadillac Twin Turbo engine supports comprehensively redesigned chassis, suspension and drivetrain systems developed to make the ATS-V one of the most agile, responsive and confident luxury performance cars on the market. Key performance technologies include:

    • Brembo high-performance brake system developed to provide durability, consistency and the capability for track-day performance straight from the factory
    • Third-generation Magnetic Ride Control, which delivers 40 percent faster damping response
    • Integrated chassis controls that provide balanced performance for touring and the track, including class-exclusive Performance Traction Management
    • Structural stiffness increased by 25 percent for higher cornering loads
    • Driver-selectable driving modes for touring, sport and track
    • Tri-compound tires offering excellent grip with extended tire wear
    • Available downforce-generating track aerodynamics package
    • Functional exterior design for powertrain and drivetrain cooling, as well as aerodynamic performance
    • An interior with high-performance seats and ergonomics focused on the driver’s interfaces with key features for performance driving.

    “As the smallest and lightest V-Series ever, the ATS-V forges a great connection with the driver, with exceptional nimbleness and responsiveness,” said David Leone, Cadillac Executive Chief Engineer. “It’s adaptable to the driver’s preferences, with every selectable mode developed to deliver the best performance for all types of driving scenarios, including the track.”

    A Performance Data Recorder onboard the ATS-V allows drivers to record high-definition video, with data overlays, of their driving experiences on and off the track, enabling sharing on social media.

    First twin-turbocharged V-Series

    With a more powerful iteration of Cadillac’s Twin Turbo 3.6L V-6, the ATS-V represents the first twin-turbo powertrain in the history of the V-Series lineup. Exclusive features for the ATS-V version of the Twin Turbo are designed to make power faster and sustain it longer. Highlights include:

    • Turbochargers with low-inertia titanium-aluminide turbines and vacuum-actuated wastegates for more responsive torque production
    • Compressors matched for peak efficiency at peak power levels, for optimal track performance
    • Patent-pending low-volume charge-cooling system that optimizes packaging efficiency and maximizes boost pressure
    • Lightweight titanium connecting rods that reduce inertia of the rotating assembly, complementing the quick-spooling turbochargers.

    The Cadillac Twin Turbo also features a high-performance lubrication system designed to maintain optimal oil pressure and ventilation during high-lateral driving maneuvers typically encountered on a track.

    Stronger foundation and track-honed driving experience

    The underlying ATS structure is highly mass optimized and designed to meet higher performance requirements, with enhancements to the V-Series developed to respond to cornering and torque loads that go significantly beyond the levels experienced by the non-V models.

    The new elements include:

    • Unique shock tower-to-plenum brace
    • Strengthened rocker bulkhead
    • Stronger rear cradle-to-rocker braces
    • A unique aluminum shear panel at the front of the chassis
    • V-braces for the engine compartment.

    The result is 25-percent greater structural stiffness than non-V models, which contributes to more precise handling and more direct steering responsiveness.

    “The ATS-V feels like it was machined from billet steel,” said Tony Roma, chief engineer. “Along with supporting the higher performance capability of the car, the enhanced structure conveys confidence to the driver through a greater feeling of solidity and sharper, more precise responsiveness.”

    With the stronger body structure – and more than a decade of V-Series production models and the CTS-V racing program experience under their belts – engineers tuned the ATS-V to deliver greater body motion control for a more agile feel, while maintaining excellent ride quality.

    “The result is class-leading capability on the highway or track, balanced with luxury and refinement,” said Roma. “In fact, the car is ready for the track right off the showroom floor, with no special modifications required.”

    A key component of the car’s dual-purpose performance are Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires developed specifically for the ATS-V. They feature a tri-compound tread that delivers excellent grip in performance driving situations, but delivers excellent ride quality characteristics and extended tread wear.

    Also, the V-Series models share the same 109.3-inch (2,775 mm) wheelbase as other ATS coupe and sedan models, but feature wider front and rear footprints that enhance grip, reduce body motion in turns and contribute to more direct-feeling steering.

    Additional contributors to the ATS-V’s dual-mode driving experience include:

    • A revised multi-link double-pivot MacPherson-strut front suspension delivers a quicker response and increased lateral control, incorporating new ride and handling links, where traditional elastomeric bushings are replaced with zero-compliance cross-axis ball joints, higher-rate springs and a stiffer stabilizer bar – for 50 percent greater roll stiffness
    • The ZF Steering Systems Servotronic II variable-ratio electric power steering gear, with increased system stiffness offering an improved feeling of precision and greater driver feedback
    • Cadillac’s five-link rear suspension features reduced roll center migration, stronger lateral control and effective anti-squat geometry, complementing the front suspension with greater body motion control. Contributing components include stiffer bushings, new cradle mounts, higher-rate springs and a stiffer stabilizer bar
    • A standard electronic limited-slip differential supports optimal traction and enables maximum corner exit acceleration
    • Larger prop shafts and greater half-shaft asymmetry (stiffer driver’s side shaft) mitigate power hop during acceleration
    • A Brembo high-performance brake system provides durability, consistency and the capability for track-day performance. The system includes 14.5-inch-diameter (370 mm) front rotors with staggered six-piston calipers and 13.3-inch-diamter (339 mm) rear rotors with four-piston calipers.

    The ATS-V also features third-generation Magnetic Ride Control and Performance Traction Management. Five driver-selectable settings include the segment’s only competition-level settings for stability and traction control.

    Magnetic Ride Control “reads” the road a thousand times per second, sending data to magneto-rheological fluid-filled dampers that can independently control the damping characteristics of all four dampers. Third-generation improvements enable 40-percent faster damping response. In fact, at 60 mph, the third-generation magnetic ride control system calculates the optimal damping force for every inch of the road.

    Functional design

    Almost every exterior panel on the ATS-V is unique, from the fascias and fenders, to the hood, rear spoiler and rocker moldings – and every one was designed to support the car’s capability.

    “All of the design elements have a purpose,” said Andrew Smith, executive director, Cadillac Global Design. “They contribute to lift reduction, enhanced cooling, reduced mass or all of the above.”

    The unique elements include:

    • A lightweight carbon fiber hood features an air-extracting vent that not only pulls hot air out of the engine compartment, but helps reduce lift at speed by channeling air pulled through the radiator out and over the top of car rather than allowing trapped air to exit under the car
    • Unique front and rear fascias provide optimal aero performance, with larger grille openings in the front fascia to feed more air to the new twin-turbocharged engine. Even the mesh pattern of the signature grille openings is enlarged to allow more air into the radiator and multiple heat exchangers
    • A front splitter enhances handling by forcing air to push down on the front of the car rather than flow under it, where it can cause lift
    • Wider fenders to accommodate 18 x 9-inch front wheels and 18 x 9.5-inch rear wheels that are wrapped with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires
    • The aluminum wheels, unique to the V-Series, are constructed of a low-mass forging that helps reduce un-sprung weight for greater agility and a more direct feel to steering inputs
    • The rocker moldings and rear spoiler are aero-optimized.

    Available Carbon Fiber and Track packages take aero performance and mass optimization to higher levels. The Carbon Fiber package includes a more aggressive front splitter, hood vent trim and rear diffuser, along with composite rocker extensions and a taller, body-color rear spoiler. The Track package includes the components of the Carbon Fiber package, plus the Performance Data Recorder and a low-mass battery. It also deletes the standard floor mats and tire inflator kit to save weight.

    V-Series is the emotive core of the Cadillac brand and the apex of the Art and Science design philosophy,” said Smith. “A car offering a bold sense of arrival, serious performance, seamless integration of technology, and precision craftsmanship. The exposed carbon fiber components, for example, are book-matched on the centerline for a more precise, tailored appearance.”

    Also, the lightweight forged aluminum wheels and brake calipers are offered in three finishes, allowing owners to personalize the presence of the ATS-V.

    Performance-focused cabin

    The aura of track-inspired precision carries over to the interior, where the design and relationship of key components are aimed squarely at performance-driving ergonomics.

    “With the performance the new ATS-V is capable of delivering, the interior needs to be as functional as the other vehicles systems,” said Smith. “All of the contact points – the steering wheel, seats, shifter and pedals – are designed to make performance driving experiences direct and intuitive.”

    New, available 16-way-adjustable RECARO performance front seats are the lynchpins for the driving experience, with aggressive, adjustable bolsters that help hold the driver and front passenger in place during high-load cornering. They’ve also got a luxury-performance feel, trimmed in Mulan leather with sueded microfiber inserts and seatbacks.

    The rest of the interior features Cadillac’s handcrafted cut-and-sew elements, with decorative stitching and authentic materials, including carbon fiber. Three interior color combinations are offered: Jet Black, Jet Black with Saffron accents and Light Platinum with Jet Black accents.

    The ATS-V also features a unique version of the 5.7-inch, three-window instrument panel cluster display, with V-Series graphics and distinctive gauge readouts. It is also equipped with the latest connectivity technologies from Cadillac, including:

    • CUE with Bluetooth connectivity with natural voice recognition
    • Text-to-voice that converts incoming text messages to speech and reads them over the audio system speakers
    • USB, auxiliary and SD memory card ports
    • OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.

    The Performance Data Recorder is controlled via CUE’s color touch screen and recordings can be reviewed on the screen when the vehicle is parked.

    2016 CADILLAC ATS-VPRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONSOverview

    Model:

    Cadillac ATS-V coupe and sedan

    Body style / driveline:

    2-door luxury sport luxury coupe (RWD) or 4-door sport luxury sedan (RWD)

    Construction:

    unitized welded steel body with direct-mounted front cradle and rubber-isolated, multi-link independent rear suspension

    GM vehicle class:

    compact luxury car

    Engines

    3.6L V-6 Twin-Turbocharged DI VVT

    Displacement (cu in / cc):

    217 / 3564

    Bore & stroke (in / mm):

    3.7 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6

    Block material:

    cast aluminum

    Cylinder head material:

    cast aluminum

    Valvetrain:

    DOHC, four valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing

    Fuel delivery:

    direct high-pressure fuel injection

    Compression ratio:

    10.2:1

    Horsepower

    (hp / kW @ rpm):

    455 / 339 @ 5750 (est.)

    Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):

    445 / 603 @ 3500 (est.)

    Recommended fuel:

    premium

    Max engine speed (rpm):

    6500

    Estimated fuel economy

    (city / hwy):

    TBD Transmissions

    TREMEC TR6060

    Hydra-Matic 8L90

    Type:

    fully synchronized six-speed manual with double overdrive; active rev matching and no-lift shifting features

    paddle-shift eight-speed, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive with torque converter clutch

    Gear ratios (:1):

    First:

    3.01

    4.56

    Second:

    2.07

    2.97

    Third:

    1.43

    2.08

    Fourth:

    1.00

    1.69

    Fifth:

    0.84

    1.27

    Sixth:

    0.57

    1.00

    Seventh:

    --

    0.85

    Eighth:

    --

    0.65

    Reverse:

    3.28

    3.82

    Final drive ratio:

    3.73

    2.85

    Chassis / Suspension

    Configuration:

    rear-wheel drive

    Differential:

    electronic limited-slip

    Front suspension:

    MacPherson-type with dual lower ball joints and direct-acting stabilizer bar; magnetic ride control with monotube inverted struts

    Rear suspension:

    independent five-link with magnetic ride control

    Steering type:

    ZF rack-mounted electric, power-assisted and variable assist

    Steering ratio:

    15.54 (on center) to 11.1 (full lock)

    Steering turns, lock to lock:

    2.35

    Turn circle (ft / m):

    38.38 / 11.7

    Chassis control:

    four-channel StabiliTrak w/ brake assist and traction control; Performance Traction Management

    Wheels and Tires

    Wheel size and type:

    18 x 9-inch front / 18 x 9.5-inch rear aluminum

    Tire size:

    front: 255/35ZR18 Michelin Pilot Super Sport

    rear: 275/35ZR18 Michelin Pilot Super Sport

    Brakes

    Type:

    four-wheel disc; four-channel ABS/TCS w/ DRP; Brembo brakes with staggered six-piston calipers (front) and four-piston calipers (rear)

    Rotor type and thickness

    (in / mm):

    front: 14.5 x 1.34 (370 x 34) vented, with Ferritic Nitro Carburized process for corrosion resistance

    rear: 13.3 x 1.02 (339 x 26) vented, with Ferritic Nitro Carburized process for corrosion resistance

    Dimensions

    Exterior

    Wheelbase (in / mm):

    109.3 / 2775

    Length (in / mm):

    184.7 / 4691 – Coupe

    184 / 4673 – Sedan

    Height (in / mm):

    54.5 / 1384 – Coupe

    55.7 / 1415 – Sedan

    Width (in / mm):

    72.5 / 1841 – Coupe

    71.3 / 1811 – Sedan

    Track (in / mm):

    front: 60.5 / 1538 – Coupe

    front: 60.5 / 1538 – Sedan

    rear: 61.4 / 1559 – Coupe

    rear: 60.4 / 1536 – Sedan

    Curb weight (lb / kg):

    TBD

    Weight distribution

    (% front / rear):

    51 / 49

    Interior

    Legroom (in / mm):

    front: 42.3 / 1074

    rear: 33.5 / 850

    Headroom (in / mm):

    front: 37.6 / 954

    rear: 35.1 / 891

    Shoulder room (in / mm):

    front: 54.1 / 1375

    rear: 51.1 / 1298

    Hip room (in / mm):

    front: 54.1 / 1374

    rear: 44.5 / 1131

    Capacities

    Seating capacity

    (front / rear):

    2 / 2 – Coupe

    2 / 3 – Sedan

    EPA passenger volume

    (cu ft / L):

    83.9 / 2377

    EPA trunk volume (cu ft / L):

    10.4 / 295

    Fuel tank (gal / L):

    16 / 60.5

    Engine oil (qt / L):

    TBD

    Cooling system (qt / L):

    TBD

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    Not a big fan of the rear spoiler there... Is that part of the track package?

     

    Also, and oddly, I like the sedan better. I don't know it it's the colour but for once I prefer the sedan to the coupe...

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    OK.. What's with the Blue colors these days? I could see myself in another Blue car. Nice.

    All in all the HP was more than we thought at 455.. The 0-60 times are I'm betting a bit conservative like Chevy did with the Stingray saying it was 3.8sec when in fact its easily able to hit 3.5. 

    Another awesome thing, and I hope its a trend that continues, is that they introduced BOTH The Sedan and Coupe simultaneously. Would be nice if when the CTS-V debuts it comes out with a regular coupe.. a Sedan V and a VCoupe. 

    There is also supposed to be one more debut

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    Love the Rear Spoiler, talk about some great down force at higher speeds. Over all very impressed with the auto. Just wish it would be big enough to fit Shrek comfortable enough for road trips.

     

    Still it should sell very well.

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    My only reservations are the porkiness - it is about 200 lbs too heavy - and lack of 7-speed. Up to a certain extent lack of dry sump bothers me, but then it is not a deal breaker. Otherwise it is a great effort. If in market, it would be on top of my list.

     

    I see some magazines making comments of the chintzy dials and gauges, I want to understand their comments on stuck in the 80s dials and gauges of BMW M3/4.

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    Johann also stated last night that there are more V-Series coming.

     

    There is the CTS-V for Detroit, which is a given. Other than that there is nothing really, unless SRX and Escalade get a V treatment.

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    Johann also stated last night that there are more V-Series coming.

     

    There is the CTS-V for Detroit, which is a given. Other than that there is nothing really, unless SRX and Escalade get a V treatment.

     

     

    XTS-V. Calling It!

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    The spoiler is too big and looks tacky.  Not a fan of the hood with the bulge and air intake, it looks like something from a Pontiac.  The lower grille is too big, the upper grille too small.  I don't get my car makers do that, Cadillac isn't alone there, but why make your grille smaller to show off the crap air damn and stuff below the bumper.  Jaguar has done it too on the XFR.

     

    The power and performance looks good, more power than the M3, not the horsepower of the RC-F but Cadillac will beat the Lexus on torque, and Lexus doesn't know how to build performance cars anyway.    BMW loyalists will still buy the M3 on name alone though.  But at least Cadillac put what is basically Corvette level performance into this car.


     

    Just repeating what he said

     

    Unless Cadillac gets a V sports car like the AMG GT.

     

    Not going to happen for 2 reasons.  Development costs too high for a niche product, and can't outshine the Corvette at GM.  GM would never let the Corvette be inferior to a Cadillac sports car.

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    Just repeating what he said

     

    Unless Cadillac gets a V sports car like the AMG GT.

     

    Not going to happen for 2 reasons.  Development costs too high for a niche product, and can't outshine the Corvette at GM.  GM would never let the Corvette be inferior to a Cadillac sports car.

     

    Oh darn, and I was day dreaming for a down payment. May as well get a Chevroletdes Benz.

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    Johann also stated last night that there are more V-Series coming.

     

    There is the CTS-V for Detroit, which is a given. Other than that there is nothing really, unless SRX and Escalade get a V treatment.

     

     

    XTS-V. Calling It!

     

     

     

    Call this. Escalade will finally get a HI-PO variant. Bet money on it. w8t5j4.jpg

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    The spoiler is too big and looks tacky.  Not a fan of the hood with the bulge and air intake, it looks like something from a Pontiac.  The lower grille is too big, the upper grille too small.  I don't get my car makers do that, Cadillac isn't alone there, but why make your grille smaller to show off the crap air damn and stuff below the bumper.  Jaguar has done it too on the XFR.

     

    The power and performance looks good, more power than the M3, not the horsepower of the RC-F but Cadillac will beat the Lexus on torque, and Lexus doesn't know how to build performance cars anyway.    BMW loyalists will still buy the M3 on name alone though.  But at least Cadillac put what is basically Corvette level performance into this car.

     

    Just repeating what he said

     

    Unless Cadillac gets a V sports car like the AMG GT.

     

    Not going to happen for 2 reasons.  Development costs too high for a niche product, and can't outshine the Corvette at GM.  GM would never let the Corvette be inferior to a Cadillac sports car.

     

     

    I think U're wrong. I think that U are just hoping that Cadillac walks away from thought and never looks back. And while I don't think we will see a C7 based Cadillac, and the C7 program is supposed to be short, I think the C8 will serve the basis for.. or vice-versa, a Cadillac "C" (Cien in English means 100 in turn the Roman numeral is "C")

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    I think it would be great if Cadillac made an R8 or Ferrari competitor. Finally then the USA would have a super car, preferably they'd use a V12. But I just can't imagine Cadillac building a low volume $200,000 car that is also a Corvette killer. The Corvette guys egos will get in the way and the bean counters will get in the way.

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    I think it would be great if Cadillac made an R8 or Ferrari competitor. Finally then the USA would have a super car, preferably they'd use a V12. But I just can't imagine Cadillac building a low volume $200,000 car that is also a Corvette killer. The Corvette guys egos will get in the way and the bean counters will get in the way.

    Actually this could very well happen as Cadillac pulls away to be more independent. There is nothing that says Corvette which is Chevy has to be the top supercar in the GM family. Cadillac is where this should happen and I can see it happening.

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    Really, this point is academic. Corvette performance is at such an incredible level that 90% of that is more than enough to

    1.) Maintain any supposed 'Corvette is King' corporate edict, and

    2.) Outperform any Cadillac sports coupe competition.

     

    The very important KEY here is to tweak a Corvette chassis to the point it is 'Cadillac Engineered' and non-interchangable with the Corvette/ gets a unique designation. Moronic auto writers & internet armchair critics will be UNABLE TO RESIST making 'Cein'/Corvette comparisons in Every Single Written Piece instead of looking at the Cad objectively. NOT that any component of the Corvette is in any way a detriment, but why quibble over details when they come from a 'Chebby'.

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    Really, this point is academic. Corvette performance is at such an incredible level that 90% of that is more than enough to

    1.) Maintain any supposed 'Corvette is King' corporate edict, and

    2.) Outperform any Cadillac sports coupe competition.

     

    The very important KEY here is to tweak a Corvette chassis to the point it is 'Cadillac Engineered' and non-interchangable with the Corvette/ gets a unique designation. Moronic auto writers & internet armchair critics will be UNABLE TO RESIST making 'Cein'/Corvette comparisons in Every Single Written Piece instead of looking at the Cad objectively. NOT that any component of the Corvette is in any way a detriment, but why quibble over details when they come from a 'Chebby'.

     

     

    ^^^ YUP. In truth the Stingray puts down number already that are "Supercar," let alone the Z06. The only thing that the Vette, in fact, lacks at this point to be considered a SUPERCAR is the price. Cadillac could fix this, and charge the proper money for it if they wished now that it is "independent." What GM needs to do is STOP publishing their Platform names. They are quite possibly th only maker on the planet who has platforms that are as well known. This in and of itself leads to a great deal of what U are saying regarding the idiotic media and armchair critics alike.

     

    The very thought that an Escalade isn't considered to be on the level of a Range Rover.. because its based off of a Tahoe is ridiculous. Especially when one considers the fact that U can get a Tahoe at damn near the price of the Range Rover.

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    The Range Rover would own the Escalade off road though. The Escalade isn't made to be a true off roader. Secondly the Ranger Rover Supercharged has 550 hp and weighs less. Now if they give the Escalade the off road credentials and a 600 horse V-series then it could be game on.

    The Corvette is a fast car, but compare it to an Aventador or Ferrari 599 or a McLaren and it isn't even close, let alone something like a Koenigsegg or Pagani Huayra. Depends on where Cadillac would want to go, if Aston Martin Vantage and Jaguar F-type is their target, the Corvette performance level would be enough.

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    The percentage of Range Rovers that go off-road in this country is 0.000000000001% and even then only when they jump a curb at the mall. You don't go off-roading on 24" low profile tires.

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    The Range Rover would own the Escalade off road though. The Escalade isn't made to be a true off roader. Secondly the Ranger Rover Supercharged has 550 hp and weighs less. Now if they give the Escalade the off road credentials and a 600 horse V-series then it could be game on.

     

    Quick question: How many Range Rovers do you see tackle the trail?

     

    I like the Range Rover a lot. I drove one earlier this year with the Supercharged V6 and was really surprised how it went and how nicely appointed it was. But the only time I would use the four-wheel drive is when my road hasn't been plowed. Also, the new Escalade is pretty impressive for what it is and comes slight less in price.

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    • By William Maley
      2016… What a year. This year saw a number of things that no one thought would actually happen did. Not helping matters is the number of famous people that have sadly passed on. Here at the Cheers & Gears Detroit Bureau, it wasn’t such a great year for vehicles. For the 2016 review season, 44 vehicles came in for evaluation. Out of this group, only eight vehicles earned a spot of being my favorite vehicles from the year. Read on to see which vehicles made the cut.
      2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe
      It is amazing how far Cadillac has come in the past decade and proof of it can be shown in the ATS- V coupe. A 464 horsepower twin-turbo V6 makes the vehicle fly with no issue. A set of sticky tires and adjustable dampers show the ATS-V is just as capable, maybe more so than its German counterparts. But it can also provide decent ride around town if you set the dampers into a comfort mode. Then there is the look. I’m not usually a fan of red, but it looks killer on the ATS-V coupe. It pairs quite nicely with sharp angles and a low roofline This was one of the models where I found myself grinning from ear to ear because of how much fun I had.
      2016 Chevrolet Volt
      It is amazing how far Chevrolet has come with the Volt. Five years ago, the Volt was this odd looking vehicle with a clever powertrain that made range anxiety nonexistent. Yes, 35 miles of electric-only range didn’t seem like a lot. However, the gas generator acted as an insurance policy if you ran out of juice with the battery. Flash forward to this year and Volt has not only seen an increase in overall range to 53 miles, but it has also gotten sleeker. This is currently my favorite looking Chevrolet vehicle with the new Cruze a close second. Other plus points include an improved interior and smooth ride. The new Bolt is currently basking in the spotlight that the Volt was at one time. But let us not forget the Volt is one of the key reasons why the Bolt exists. 
      2016 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack & SRT Hellcat
      Dodge covered the two extremes of performance this season with the Charger R/T Scat Pack and Hellcat. The Scat Pack was first up and I fell in love with it. For almost $40,000, you basically got an SRT Charger minus the adaptive suspension and number of luxury items. It was great fun with the 6.4L HEMI V8 bellowing down the road and the sharp looking Plum Crazy paint color. I found that you really don’t need the adaptive suspension as the Scat Pack does ok on bumpy roads or curvy roads.
      Then we come to the Charger SRT Hellcat. 707 horsepower from a supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8. It seems maddening that we are given a vehicle with all of this power for a price tag under $66,000. Trying to describe the way the Hellcat goes is difficult and something you need to experience. This is a vehicle that will make you laugh like a small child every time you decide to drop the hammer to hear the whir of the supercharger and manic sound of the V8.
      2016 Kia Optima SXL
      It is no secret that the Kia Optima is one of my favorite midsize sedans. It offers distinctive looks and feature set at a price that will surprise many. But it was set to fall off my list earlier this year when I drove the Optima EX. The big issues were an uncomfortable ride and poor noise isolation. So when I found out that the top of line SXL was scheduled later in the year, I was worried that it would be plagued by the same issues. But those issues never appeared. The SXL was not only quiet but showed a noticeable improvement in terms of ride comfort. I still don’t know what black magic Kia did on the SXL, but it kept the Optima on my favorites list. Now if they could work on the lazy throttle…
      2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
      “Sometimes to fully test a vehicle, you need to put it in a situation where it isn’t fully comfortable.”
      That was the case for the Mazda MX-5 Miata as it would not be only driven in the middle of one of the coldest winters in Michigan, but it would also be taking me to and from the Detroit Auto Show. Crazy? Of course. But the MX-5 Miata was wearing a set of winter tires which helped it stick to the road. Despite the cold temps and snow that would fall during the latter half of the week, the MX-5 Miata proved to be just as fun as it would have been in warmer weather. Sharp handling, an engine that loved to rev, and a slick six-speed manual transmission. It didn’t hurt that I could actually fit my suitcase into the trunk of the Miata for the show.
      2016 Scion iA
      I have a trend of driving brands or vehicles that will be ending. Most infamously was the time when I drove a Suzuki SX4 for review and then hearing the news of the brand leaving a couple of days after returning it. That was the case of the Scion iA. A few months after driving the iA, Toyota announced that it was shuttering the brand. Some of the vehicles, like the iA would continue as Toyotas. This was a smart move as the iA proved to be a winner. Being a rebadged Mazda2 was a big reason as to why I liked the iA. It was a fun vehicle to drive around town or on a special road. But it also featured a lot of standard equipment including automatic emergency braking. While the brand is gone, it is good to see the iA lives on.
      2016 Toyota Prius Three
      I have never been a fan of the Prius family. Every Prius that I have reviewed left me wondering who decided to start selling a science experiment and not an actual vehicle. But the 2016 Prius is my biggest shock of the year. Yes, the Prius will take its time getting up to speed on the freeway. But around town, the Prius was a spritely performer. More surprising was how well the Prius drove. Taking a corner, I was expecting to experience motion sickness because of how much body roll previous models had. But the Prius took it like a champ showing little body and some decent steering - thank the new TGNA architecture. It doesn’t hurt that I got 60.2 mpg as my average for the week. Well done Toyota.
      2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
      If there is one shining light at Volkswagen, it would have to be the Golf family. Last year, I named the Golf GTI as one of my favorites. This year, that honor falls to the SportWagen. Yes, it isn’t the sharpest looking vehicle in the class and the DSG transmission needs some more work. But Volkswagen got the basics right. The 1.8T is powerful and delivers excellent fuel economy. The interior spacious for both passengers and cargo - I was able to fit two massive Ikea boxes into it. Volkswagen also mastered the dark art of balancing fun to drive with comfort. I could take the Golf SportWagen down a windy road and be entertained. Afterward, I could drive it around town and not feel any road imperfections. 
      There you go, the eight vehicles that earned a coveted spot on my favorites list. Now it should be noted that some vehicles we’re close to getting onto this list, but were kicked off for one reason or another. Here are those vehicles,
      Chevrolet Malibu 2LT: Chevrolet did an excellent job with the new Malibu with fixing a number of issues that plagued the old model. But the 2LT introduced a new set of problems - questionable materials, poor road noise isolation, and the lack of options. I really do like the new Malibu, just not in 2LT form. Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible: Loved the V8 performance and noise. Hate the $54,000 pricetag. This might explain why GM has such a large amount of Camaros sitting on dealers. Hyundai Elantra: Hyundai played it safe with the updated Elantra and this would have been ok a couple of years ago. But in light of the redesigned Chevrolet Cruze and Honda Civic, it wasn’t enough for the Elantra to be a strong contender as it once was. Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X: This was a truck I really wanted to like. Nissan was trying something different with the Titan XD - offer something between a light-duty and heavy-duty pickup. Plus, a nice Cummins V8 diesel could have been the cheery on top. But trying to convince someone that your truck is the best is difficult since truck buyers tend to stick with one brand. Not helping is the lack of cab and bed sizes. At the time of our original review, the XD was only available as a crew cab. A regular cab has been since introduced. But it seems Nissan doesn’t fully understand the truck market. You need to have a lot of options available to buyers at launch, not down the road.
      View full article
    • By William Maley
      2016… What a year. This year saw a number of things that no one thought would actually happen did. Not helping matters is the number of famous people that have sadly passed on. Here at the Cheers & Gears Detroit Bureau, it wasn’t such a great year for vehicles. For the 2016 review season, 44 vehicles came in for evaluation. Out of this group, only eight vehicles earned a spot of being my favorite vehicles from the year. Read on to see which vehicles made the cut.
      2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe
      It is amazing how far Cadillac has come in the past decade and proof of it can be shown in the ATS- V coupe. A 464 horsepower twin-turbo V6 makes the vehicle fly with no issue. A set of sticky tires and adjustable dampers show the ATS-V is just as capable, maybe more so than its German counterparts. But it can also provide decent ride around town if you set the dampers into a comfort mode. Then there is the look. I’m not usually a fan of red, but it looks killer on the ATS-V coupe. It pairs quite nicely with sharp angles and a low roofline This was one of the models where I found myself grinning from ear to ear because of how much fun I had.
      2016 Chevrolet Volt
      It is amazing how far Chevrolet has come with the Volt. Five years ago, the Volt was this odd looking vehicle with a clever powertrain that made range anxiety nonexistent. Yes, 35 miles of electric-only range didn’t seem like a lot. However, the gas generator acted as an insurance policy if you ran out of juice with the battery. Flash forward to this year and Volt has not only seen an increase in overall range to 53 miles, but it has also gotten sleeker. This is currently my favorite looking Chevrolet vehicle with the new Cruze a close second. Other plus points include an improved interior and smooth ride. The new Bolt is currently basking in the spotlight that the Volt was at one time. But let us not forget the Volt is one of the key reasons why the Bolt exists. 
      2016 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack & SRT Hellcat
      Dodge covered the two extremes of performance this season with the Charger R/T Scat Pack and Hellcat. The Scat Pack was first up and I fell in love with it. For almost $40,000, you basically got an SRT Charger minus the adaptive suspension and number of luxury items. It was great fun with the 6.4L HEMI V8 bellowing down the road and the sharp looking Plum Crazy paint color. I found that you really don’t need the adaptive suspension as the Scat Pack does ok on bumpy roads or curvy roads.
      Then we come to the Charger SRT Hellcat. 707 horsepower from a supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8. It seems maddening that we are given a vehicle with all of this power for a price tag under $66,000. Trying to describe the way the Hellcat goes is difficult and something you need to experience. This is a vehicle that will make you laugh like a small child every time you decide to drop the hammer to hear the whir of the supercharger and manic sound of the V8.
      2016 Kia Optima SXL
      It is no secret that the Kia Optima is one of my favorite midsize sedans. It offers distinctive looks and feature set at a price that will surprise many. But it was set to fall off my list earlier this year when I drove the Optima EX. The big issues were an uncomfortable ride and poor noise isolation. So when I found out that the top of line SXL was scheduled later in the year, I was worried that it would be plagued by the same issues. But those issues never appeared. The SXL was not only quiet but showed a noticeable improvement in terms of ride comfort. I still don’t know what black magic Kia did on the SXL, but it kept the Optima on my favorites list. Now if they could work on the lazy throttle…
      2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
      “Sometimes to fully test a vehicle, you need to put it in a situation where it isn’t fully comfortable.”
      That was the case for the Mazda MX-5 Miata as it would not be only driven in the middle of one of the coldest winters in Michigan, but it would also be taking me to and from the Detroit Auto Show. Crazy? Of course. But the MX-5 Miata was wearing a set of winter tires which helped it stick to the road. Despite the cold temps and snow that would fall during the latter half of the week, the MX-5 Miata proved to be just as fun as it would have been in warmer weather. Sharp handling, an engine that loved to rev, and a slick six-speed manual transmission. It didn’t hurt that I could actually fit my suitcase into the trunk of the Miata for the show.
      2016 Scion iA
      I have a trend of driving brands or vehicles that will be ending. Most infamously was the time when I drove a Suzuki SX4 for review and then hearing the news of the brand leaving a couple of days after returning it. That was the case of the Scion iA. A few months after driving the iA, Toyota announced that it was shuttering the brand. Some of the vehicles, like the iA would continue as Toyotas. This was a smart move as the iA proved to be a winner. Being a rebadged Mazda2 was a big reason as to why I liked the iA. It was a fun vehicle to drive around town or on a special road. But it also featured a lot of standard equipment including automatic emergency braking. While the brand is gone, it is good to see the iA lives on.
      2016 Toyota Prius Three
      I have never been a fan of the Prius family. Every Prius that I have reviewed left me wondering who decided to start selling a science experiment and not an actual vehicle. But the 2016 Prius is my biggest shock of the year. Yes, the Prius will take its time getting up to speed on the freeway. But around town, the Prius was a spritely performer. More surprising was how well the Prius drove. Taking a corner, I was expecting to experience motion sickness because of how much body roll previous models had. But the Prius took it like a champ showing little body and some decent steering - thank the new TGNA architecture. It doesn’t hurt that I got 60.2 mpg as my average for the week. Well done Toyota.
      2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
      If there is one shining light at Volkswagen, it would have to be the Golf family. Last year, I named the Golf GTI as one of my favorites. This year, that honor falls to the SportWagen. Yes, it isn’t the sharpest looking vehicle in the class and the DSG transmission needs some more work. But Volkswagen got the basics right. The 1.8T is powerful and delivers excellent fuel economy. The interior spacious for both passengers and cargo - I was able to fit two massive Ikea boxes into it. Volkswagen also mastered the dark art of balancing fun to drive with comfort. I could take the Golf SportWagen down a windy road and be entertained. Afterward, I could drive it around town and not feel any road imperfections. 
      There you go, the eight vehicles that earned a coveted spot on my favorites list. Now it should be noted that some vehicles we’re close to getting onto this list, but were kicked off for one reason or another. Here are those vehicles,
      Chevrolet Malibu 2LT: Chevrolet did an excellent job with the new Malibu with fixing a number of issues that plagued the old model. But the 2LT introduced a new set of problems - questionable materials, poor road noise isolation, and the lack of options. I really do like the new Malibu, just not in 2LT form. Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible: Loved the V8 performance and noise. Hate the $54,000 pricetag. This might explain why GM has such a large amount of Camaros sitting on dealers. Hyundai Elantra: Hyundai played it safe with the updated Elantra and this would have been ok a couple of years ago. But in light of the redesigned Chevrolet Cruze and Honda Civic, it wasn’t enough for the Elantra to be a strong contender as it once was. Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X: This was a truck I really wanted to like. Nissan was trying something different with the Titan XD - offer something between a light-duty and heavy-duty pickup. Plus, a nice Cummins V8 diesel could have been the cheery on top. But trying to convince someone that your truck is the best is difficult since truck buyers tend to stick with one brand. Not helping is the lack of cab and bed sizes. At the time of our original review, the XD was only available as a crew cab. A regular cab has been since introduced. But it seems Nissan doesn’t fully understand the truck market. You need to have a lot of options available to buyers at launch, not down the road.
    • By William Maley
      Last fall, I had the chance to drive a Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack for a week and fell in love. It was basically an SRT Charger, minus a few items for just under $40,000. This fall, another high-performance Charger came in a week’s stay and it was packing more heat. 707 horsepower to be exact. Yes, I finally got my hands on a Hellcat. What was it like? It was fast, but you want more information than that.
      That 707 horsepower figure comes courtesy from a 6.2L supercharged HEMI V8. Torque is rated at 650 pound-feet.This is backed up by an eight-speed automatic only. If you want a manual, then you’ll need to get the Challenger Hellcat. Trying to explain just how fast the Charger Hellcat is difficult. This is a car that you need to drive or sit in to experience the ferocity of the V8 engine. The best way I can use to describe the Hellcat’s power delivery is engaging warp drive. Step on the accelerator and the supercharger whirrs into life and the V8 produces a roar very few vehicles can dream. Blink and you’ll be at an illegal speed before you know it. Taking turns in the Hellcat is somewhat difficult because of the accelerator. You need to roll on it if you want to do it smoothly. If you step on the accelerator pedal like you would on a standard vehicle, the back will become very loose and the stability control will kick on to get the vehicle straightened out. This is especially important due to the tires fitted to Hellcat, a set of Pirelli P-Zeros. These tires need to be warmed up before they begin to bite the road. The Hellcat will be a regular at the fuel pump with fuel economy figures of 13 City/22 Highway/16 Combined. I got about 14.3 mpg during my week in mostly city driving. Handling? That’s the surprising part as the Charger Hellcat doesn’t embarrass itself. Fitted with an adaptive suspension system, the Charger Hellcat shows little body roll when put into Sport and provides a smooth ride when in comfort. The steering system provides the right amount of feel and heft you want in a performance vehicle.  Bringing a 707 horsepower vehicle to a stop is no easy task, but a set of massive Brembo brakes is up to the task. It brings the Charger Hellcat to a quick halt. The Charger Hellcat looks like your standard SRT Charger with a new front clip and lowered stance. There are some slight differences such as a new hood, 20-inch wheels finished in a dark bronze color, and the requisite Hellcat emblems on the front fenders. Inside, the Hellcat isn’t that much different from the standard Charger aside from the speedometer going 200 mph. It would have been nice if Dodge could have done some sprucing of the interior to not make it feel so dank and dark. A little bit more color on the dash would not be a bad thing. The front seats have extra bolstering to hold you in when you decide to let loose all 707 horsepower or take a turn a bit too fast. As I mentioned in my Ram 1500 Quick Drive last week, the Charger’s UConnect system is beginning to show its age. The interface is still easy to use but is beginning to show signs of aging. Performance isn’t as snappy either as in previous FCA models. Hopefully, the 2017 model is able to get the updated UConnect system that debuted in the Pacifica. The UConnect system in the Charger Hellcat does come with SRT Pages. This allows you to record 0-60, quarter-mile, and reaction times. It also allows you to change various performance settings such as gear changes, suspension, and whether you want the full 707 horsepower or 500. The last one pertains if you happen to have the red key. In terms of pricing, the Charger Hellcat kicks off at $65,495. With options and a $1,700 gas guzzler tax, our tester came to $72,820. Compared to other high-performance sedans, the Hellcat is quite the steal. If it was my money on the line, I would go for the Charger R/T Scat Pack. I get most of the enjoyment of the Hellcat, minus the supercharger whine. But I would have a fair chunk of change that I could spend on hopping it up. But I understand why someone would go for the Charger Hellcat. It is a four-door sedan that provides explosive acceleration and engine note that no other vehicle can dare match. There’s something magical about stepping on the accelerator, being flung back into the seat due to power on tap, and then laughing like a four-year old after what happened. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Charger Hellcat, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      (Author’s Note: That’s a wrap for the 2016 review season. We’ll be back with the first batch of 2017 model year vehicles after New Years. But I will be picking my favorite vehicles I drove this year. Expect to see that before the year comes to a close.)
      Year: 2016
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Charger
      Trim: SRT Hellcat
      Engine: Supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8
      Driveline: Eight-speed automatic, Rear-wheel drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 707 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 650 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/22/16
      Curb Weight: 4,570 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $65,945
      As Tested Price: $72,820 (Includes $995 Destination Charge and $1,700 Gas Guzzler Tax)
      Options:
      Customer Preferred Package 23T - $1,995.00
      20-inch x 9.5-inch Brass Monkey SRT Forged Wheels - $995.00
      275/40ZR20 P Zero Summer Tires - $595.00
      Redline Red Tri-coat Pearl Exterior Paint - $595.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Last fall, I had the chance to drive a Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack for a week and fell in love. It was basically an SRT Charger, minus a few items for just under $40,000. This fall, another high-performance Charger came in a week’s stay and it was packing more heat. 707 horsepower to be exact. Yes, I finally got my hands on a Hellcat. What was it like? It was fast, but you want more information than that.
      That 707 horsepower figure comes courtesy from a 6.2L supercharged HEMI V8. Torque is rated at 650 pound-feet.This is backed up by an eight-speed automatic only. If you want a manual, then you’ll need to get the Challenger Hellcat. Trying to explain just how fast the Charger Hellcat is difficult. This is a car that you need to drive or sit in to experience the ferocity of the V8 engine. The best way I can use to describe the Hellcat’s power delivery is engaging warp drive. Step on the accelerator and the supercharger whirrs into life and the V8 produces a roar very few vehicles can dream. Blink and you’ll be at an illegal speed before you know it. Taking turns in the Hellcat is somewhat difficult because of the accelerator. You need to roll on it if you want to do it smoothly. If you step on the accelerator pedal like you would on a standard vehicle, the back will become very loose and the stability control will kick on to get the vehicle straightened out. This is especially important due to the tires fitted to Hellcat, a set of Pirelli P-Zeros. These tires need to be warmed up before they begin to bite the road. The Hellcat will be a regular at the fuel pump with fuel economy figures of 13 City/22 Highway/16 Combined. I got about 14.3 mpg during my week in mostly city driving. Handling? That’s the surprising part as the Charger Hellcat doesn’t embarrass itself. Fitted with an adaptive suspension system, the Charger Hellcat shows little body roll when put into Sport and provides a smooth ride when in comfort. The steering system provides the right amount of feel and heft you want in a performance vehicle.  Bringing a 707 horsepower vehicle to a stop is no easy task, but a set of massive Brembo brakes is up to the task. It brings the Charger Hellcat to a quick halt. The Charger Hellcat looks like your standard SRT Charger with a new front clip and lowered stance. There are some slight differences such as a new hood, 20-inch wheels finished in a dark bronze color, and the requisite Hellcat emblems on the front fenders. Inside, the Hellcat isn’t that much different from the standard Charger aside from the speedometer going 200 mph. It would have been nice if Dodge could have done some sprucing of the interior to not make it feel so dank and dark. A little bit more color on the dash would not be a bad thing. The front seats have extra bolstering to hold you in when you decide to let loose all 707 horsepower or take a turn a bit too fast. As I mentioned in my Ram 1500 Quick Drive last week, the Charger’s UConnect system is beginning to show its age. The interface is still easy to use but is beginning to show signs of aging. Performance isn’t as snappy either as in previous FCA models. Hopefully, the 2017 model is able to get the updated UConnect system that debuted in the Pacifica. The UConnect system in the Charger Hellcat does come with SRT Pages. This allows you to record 0-60, quarter-mile, and reaction times. It also allows you to change various performance settings such as gear changes, suspension, and whether you want the full 707 horsepower or 500. The last one pertains if you happen to have the red key. In terms of pricing, the Charger Hellcat kicks off at $65,495. With options and a $1,700 gas guzzler tax, our tester came to $72,820. Compared to other high-performance sedans, the Hellcat is quite the steal. If it was my money on the line, I would go for the Charger R/T Scat Pack. I get most of the enjoyment of the Hellcat, minus the supercharger whine. But I would have a fair chunk of change that I could spend on hopping it up. But I understand why someone would go for the Charger Hellcat. It is a four-door sedan that provides explosive acceleration and engine note that no other vehicle can dare match. There’s something magical about stepping on the accelerator, being flung back into the seat due to power on tap, and then laughing like a four-year old after what happened. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Charger Hellcat, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      (Author’s Note: That’s a wrap for the 2016 review season. We’ll be back with the first batch of 2017 model year vehicles after New Years. But I will be picking my favorite vehicles I drove this year. Expect to see that before the year comes to a close.)
      Year: 2016
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Charger
      Trim: SRT Hellcat
      Engine: Supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8
      Driveline: Eight-speed automatic, Rear-wheel drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 707 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 650 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/22/16
      Curb Weight: 4,570 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $65,945
      As Tested Price: $72,820 (Includes $995 Destination Charge and $1,700 Gas Guzzler Tax)
      Options:
      Customer Preferred Package 23T - $1,995.00
      20-inch x 9.5-inch Brass Monkey SRT Forged Wheels - $995.00
      275/40ZR20 P Zero Summer Tires - $595.00
      Redline Red Tri-coat Pearl Exterior Paint - $595.00
    • By William Maley
      Like life, reviewing vehicles sometimes mean having a curveball thrown your way. Originally, I was going to be reviewing the Chrysler 200 before its production run would end. Sadly, the 200 was pulled out of Chrysler’s test fleet before I was able to drive. But sometimes, that curveball can be a positive. In this case, a Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn would take its place. More importantly, it would be equipped with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. We like this engine in the Jeep Grand Cherokee. How would it fare in the Ram 1500? Quite well.
      The EcoDiesel V6 in question is a turbocharged 3.0L with 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Our test truck came with four-wheel drive, but you can order the EcoDiesel with two-wheel drive. The EcoDiesel might not have the roar or performance figures of the 5.7L V8 (0-60 takes about 9 seconds for the diesel compared to just a hair over 7 seconds for the V8), but it is a very capable engine. There is a lot of punch on the low end of the rpm band and the engine never feels that it is running out of breath the higher you climb in speed.  You can tell the EcoDiesel is a diesel during start up as it has distinctive clatter. Also, it takes a few seconds for the engine to start up if you let the truck sit for awhile. But once the engine is going, you can’t really tell its a diesel. Whether you’re standing outside or sitting inside, the V6 is quiet and smooth. The eight-speed automatic is one of the best transmissions in the class as it delivers imperceptible gear changes. In terms of towing, the EcoDiesel V6 has a max tow rating of 9,210 pounds (regular cab with 2WD). The crew cab with 4WD drops the max tow rating to 8,610 pounds. This does trail the V8 considerably (max tow rating of 10,640). But the EcoDiesel makes up for this in terms of fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 19 City/27 Highway/22 Combined for the EcoDiesel equipped 4WD. Our average for the week was a not too shabby 23.4 mpg. This generation of the Ram 1500 has garnered a reputation for having one of the best rides in the class. We can’t disagree. The coil-spring setup on the rear suspension smooths out bumps and other road imperfections very well.  Our truck also featured the optional air suspension which is more focused on improving the capability of the pickup and not ride comfort. There are five different ride height settings that allow for easier access when getting in and out of a truck to increasing ground clearance when going off-road. The air suspension will also level out the truck if there is a heavy load in the bed or pulling a trailer. The Ram 1500’s exterior look hasn’t really changed much since we reviewed one back in 2014. Up front is a large crosshair grille finished in chrome and large rectangular headlights with LED daytime running lights. The Laramie Longhorn features it own design cues such as two-tone paint finish, 20-inch wheels, and large badges on the front doors telling everyone which model of Ram you happen to be driving. Inside, the Laramie Longhorn is well appointed with real wood trim on the dash and steering wheel, high-quality leather upholstery for the seats, and acres of soft-touch plastics. Some will snicker at the seat pockets that are designed to look saddle bags, complete with a chrome clasp.  Comfort-wise, the Laramie Longhorn’s interior scores very high. The seats provide excellent support for long trips, and no one sitting in the back will be complaining about the lack of head and legroom. One nice touch is all of the seats getting heat as standard equipment, while the front seats get ventilation as well. The UConnect system is beginning to show its age with an interface that is looking somewhat dated and certain tasks taking a few seconds more than previous versions. There is an updated UConnect system that debuted on the 2017 Pacifica with a tweaked interface and quicker performance. Hopefully, this is in the cards for the 2017 Ram 1500. As for pricing, the Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 comes with a base price $52,365. With options including the 3.0L EcoDiesel, our as-tested price was $60,060. Sadly this is the new reality for pickup trucks. Many buyers want the luxuries and features found on standard vehicles and are willing to pay for it. The Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 can justify the price for what it offers, but it is still a lot of money to drop. The nice thing about the Ram 1500 is the number of trims on offer. You’ll be able to find a model that should fit your needs and price range. Personally, I would be happy with a Big Horn or Laramie as they would offer everything I would want or need in a truck. But if you want something luxurious with a cowboy twist, you can’t go wrong with Laramie Longhorn. The EcoDiesel is just the cherry on top.   
      Disclaimer: Ram Trucks Provided the 1500, Insurance, and One Tank of Diesel
      Year: 2016
      Make: Ram Trucks
      Model: 1500 Crew Cab
      Trim: Laramie Longhorn
      Engine: 3.0L EcoDiesel V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 240 @ 3,600
      Torque @ RPM: 420 @ 2,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/27/22
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Warren, MI
      Base Price: $52,365
      As Tested Price: $60,060 (Includes $1,195.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      3.0L EcoDiesel V6 - $3,120.00
      4-Corner Air Suspension - $1,695.00
      Wheel to Wheel Side Steps - $600.00
      Convenience Group - $495.00
      Trailer Brake Control - $280.00
      Cold Weather Group - $235.00
      3.92 Rear Axle Ratio - $75.00

      View full article
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