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    William Maley

    2020 Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V Aren't As Powerful As Their Predecessors

      ...More Potent Versions Could Be In the Pipeline...


    At an event tonight in Detroit, Cadillac delivered a one-two punch for those craving for a bit of performance with the introduction of the 2020 CT4-V and CT5-V. On paper, the two models aren't what we were expecting. Instead of the firebreathing monsters that were the ATS-V and CTS-V, the CT4 and CT5-V are more in line with middle children of German automakers - Audi S4, BMW M340i, and Mercedes-AMG C43 and E43.

    CT4-V

    To say we're a bit surprised that Cadillac is showing off the performance variant of their upcoming entry-level sedan would be an understatement - the reveal of the standard CT4 is expected to happen in a few weeks. Aimed at the likes of the Audi S3 and Mercedes-AMG A45, the CT4-V uses a 2.7L turbo-four from the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. It makes 320 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Power flows through a 10-speed automatic to either rear or all four wheels. No manual is available. Other mechanical bits to be aware of are four-piston brake calipers at all corners, and Magnetic Ride Control being standard on RWD models - AWD sticks with conventional shocks.

    Design-wise, the CT4-V looks like it could be mid-cycle facelift for the ATS with a similar profile. The front end mimics the larger CT5 with a wide grille and unique headlight shape. Around back, there is a boat tail effect for the trunk lid with a small lip spoiler and quad tailpipes.

    CT5-V

    Cadillac appears to be playing it quiet with the CT5-V's design. The only bits that set it apart from the standard model are the dark trim, quad-tailpipes, rear diffuser, and new wheels. Under the hood is a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 making 355 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. For those keeping score, that's 20 more horsepower than the CT5 with this same engine, while torque is unchanged. Like the CT4-V, the CT5 routes power through a 10-speed automatic and either rear- or all-wheel drive. An electronically controlled limited-slip differential, Magnetic Ride Control, Performance Traction Management system, and four-piston brakes finish off the changes.

    The CT4-V and CT5-V are expected to go on sale early next year.

    Our Big Concern

    We find ourselves wondering what is Cadillac thinking? On paper, these models make more sense as V-Sport models considering what's being presented. Badging them as V dilutes hardcore image that the past few models have brought forth. Why is Cadillac doing this? Autoblog may have an answer. According to a Cadillac representative, the brand is wanting to bring in a broader set of buyers to showrooms, hence they are making them less hardcore. This will allow them to bring V versions of other models like their crossovers. But there are hardcore versions coming in the pipeline according to the rep.

    Still, we can't help but wonder if GM has done their classic move of shooting themselves in the foot.

    Source: Cadillac


    Cadillac Reveals First-Ever CT4-V and CT5-V

    • Expanded lineup adds more choices for spirited performance. Highlights include available Super Cruise, AWD, Magnetic Ride Control 4.0, eLSD and new V-Mode

    Driven by Cadillac’s latest turbocharging technology and building on more than 15 years of performance credentials, the first-ever 2020 CT4-V and CT5-V were unveiled today, expanding choices for the brand’s V-Series performance sub-brand.

    Following the 2019 CT6-V, they grow the V-Series family with even more levels of performance, while preserving the lineage established by the original V-Series lineup introduced in 2004.   

    “The new V-Series sedan lineup defines modern sophistication by combining luxury appointments with thoughtful technology and athletic refinement for the discerning enthusiast,” said Brandon Vivian, Cadillac executive chief engineer. “We are inviting even more customers into the V-Series family by adding a new level of elevated performance between our Sport models and the ultimate, high-performance track capability that the V-Series has grown to represent.”

    The first-ever CT4 and recently introduced CT5 represent Cadillac’s realigned sedan portfolio, characterized by new proportions, innovative technologies and more appearance and performance choices. Each is built on Cadillac’s award-winning rear-wheel-drive Alpha architecture, with the V-Series models developed to deliver the ultimate blend of performance, presence and road-going refinement.

    Both share the latest standard V-Series performance technologies, including Magnetic Ride Control 4.0, which is tuned specifically for V models to enhance comfort without sacrificing performance-oriented responsiveness, and drive modes that include new V-Mode personalization. Each model is available in RWD or AWD and features a 10-speed automatic transmission, Brembo front brakes with eBoost electronic assist and a limited-slip rear differential on CT4-V and electronic limited-slip differential on CT5-V.

    Cadillac’s exclusive Super Cruise1, the first true hands-free driver assistance feature for the freeway, is available on more than 130,000 miles of limited-access freeways in the U.S. and Canada. It will be available on both new V-Series models.  

    “The new lineup expands the V-Series ethos, drawing more customers into the Cadillac Performance family, and the newest Vs are focused on elevated athleticism and luxurious refinement for customers wanting a dynamic daily drive,” said Mark Reuss, GM president. “And this is only the beginning of the V family. Cadillac’s passion for performance shines on a racetrack. Stay tuned.”

    Vehicle highlights

    CT5-V — The first-ever CT5-V builds on the precision-focused details of the all-new luxury sedan introduced earlier this year to offer elevated road performance and an engaging driving experience.  

    • Powered by Cadillac’s high-output 3.0L Twin Turbo V-6 engine, which uses low-inertia turbochargers to enhance power production across the rpm band. It is rated at a Cadillac-estimated 355 horsepower (265 kW), pending SAE certification.
    • 10-speed automatic transmission.
    • Electronic limited-slip rear differential.
    • Standard RWD and available AWD.
    • V-Series performance chassis with Magnetic Ride Control 4.0.
    • Performance Traction Management.
    • Vehicle Control Mode with customizable V-Mode.
    • Brembo front braking system.
    • 19-inch wheels and summer-only performance tires2 (all-season tires available with AWD).
    • Dark exterior accents and V-Series mesh grilles; unique rear diffuser and quad exhaust tips.
    • Super Cruise1 available.
    • Unique performance persona instrument cluster and V-Mode steering wheel control.

    CT4-V — Developed for a new generation of sedan customers, the first-ever CT4 blends nimble handling and Cadillac’s signature technology. The CT4-V takes these traits further, infusing the brand’s racing DNA for a dynamic, responsive and exhilarating driving experience.   

    • Powered by Cadillac’s high-output 2.7L Turbo engine featuring a unique three-step sliding camshaft that helps optimize performance at all speeds. It is rated at a Cadillac-estimated 320 horsepower (239 kW), pending SAE certification.
    • 10-speed automatic.
    • Limited-slip rear differential.
    • V-Series performance chassis with Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 (on RWD) or ZF MVS passive dampers (on AWD).
    • Vehicle Control Mode with customizable V-Mode.
    • Brembo front braking system.
    • 18-inch wheels and summer-only performance tires2 (all-season tires available with AWD).
    • Near-perfect 50/50 weight distribution for an exceptional feeling of balance and control.
    • Dark exterior accents and V-Series mesh grilles; quad exhaust tips, unique rear spoiler design that helps reduce rear lift while increasing grip for the rear tires.
    • Super Cruise1 available.
    • Unique performance persona instrument cluster and V-Mode steering wheel control.

    MORE TO COME
    The CT4-V and CT5-V go on sale early in the 2020 calendar year, with production at GM’s Lansing Grand River facility in Michigan. Additional product information, as well as details on additional V-Series variants and CT4 Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport models, will be announced at a later date.

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    This makes no sense at all. A whole 20 more HP on the CT5 makes it a V? I agree with William on this. The setup on both sound more like V-Sport trims as opposed to actual V series models. Seriously, what is GM smoking right now? Even the auto log explanation doesn’t make sense when they already have V-Sport trims they could just as easily implement for that plan and save the V for the hardcore performance models. I just don’t get it. 

    Edited by surreal1272

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    I am surprised to see the 

    10 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

    This makes no sense at all. A whole 20 more HP on the CT5 makes it a V? I agree with William on this. The setup on both sound more like V-Sport trims as opposed to actual V series models. Seriously, what is GM smoking right now? Even the auto log explanation doesn’t make sense when they already have V-Sport trims they could just as easily implement for that plan and save the V for the hardcore performance models. I just don’t get it. 

    The Car & Driver article implied there would be a higher horsepower 'more' V coming.  No idea what they will call it and if it will be a V8 or not.   It really sounds like the new 'V' is where 'V-sport' would be.  Maybe the higher power versions will be called 'V-extreme' or 'Hyper-V'. 

    9 minutes ago, loki said:

    i was wondering if and when the 2.7L turbo 4 would make it into other vehicles.

    Was surprised to see that, thought it was going to be a truck only engine.

    Edited by Robert Hall
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    3 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    The Car & Driver article implied there would be a higher horsepower 'more' V coming.  No idea what they will call it and if it will be a V8 or not. 

    CT4-V GX

    • Haha 3

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    Maybe they are de-emphasizing the high performance ICE V series to prepare for a future powerful 'EV' series...i.e. electrifying performance down the road.

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    I'll say this, I haven't been able to get onboard with the tail-light piping.. vertical piping, fine, the (in my opinion, odd) horizontal-into-the-trunklid piping I'm just not liking.

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    Some rather odd contours on the CT4 rear end, I think I prefer the CT5 rear (not the C-pillar, but the deck and rear fascia).  I like the license plate location more on the CT5.

     

     

     

    2020-cadillac-ct4-v.jpg

    cadillac-ct5-v-debut.jpg

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    25 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    I am surprised to see the 

    The Car & Driver article implied there would be a higher horsepower 'more' V coming.  No idea what they will call it and if it will be a V8 or not.   It really sounds like the new 'V' is where 'V-sport' would be.  Maybe the higher power versions will be called 'V-extreme' or 'Hyper-V'. 

    Was surprised to see that, thought it was going to be a truck only engine.

    The third sentence in your post is exactly my point. It just seems unnecessarily confusing. 

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    License plates on the deck lid always look like cheap crap to me. Mandatory eyesores.

    Edited by balthazar
    • Haha 2

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    2 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    A 4-cylinder pickup engine in a V-series Cadillac is a joke.

    AaaAaaaaaaaaaaaannnd there it is. Took a few minutes more than I thought!

    • Haha 2

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    12 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    First off neither of these look good.  And does GM do an interior that isn't monotone gray?  Every new vehicle intro is some bland form of charcoal gray on every surface, and the CT4 interior seems like it came out of a Mazda, not a Cadillac.

    A 4-cylinder pickup engine in a V-series Cadillac is a joke.  20 hp increase for the V-series means V is no longer for Velocity.

    They really phoned it in on these.  It is almost as if they want sedan sales to tank even more so they can just cancel them all.

    They really have overdone gray... I so hate gray interiors.  There is probably some shitty carbon fiber trim in there also on the V-series, though I didn't see any in the photos.  In the first post above it says in 'The Big Concern' the detuned V series are so they can do V series versions of their AWD/transverse engine crossovers.   So V-series now means basically appearance package. 

    Edited by Robert Hall
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    5 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    They really have overdone gray... I so hate gray interiors.  There is probably some $h!ty carbon fiber trim in there also on the V-series.   In the first post above it says in 'The Big Concern' the detuned V series are so they can do V series versions of their AWD/transverse engine crossovers.   So V-series now means basically appearance package. 

    I imagine an XT4-V and XT5-V are coming with like 40 more hp than the standard car and they'll throw on a lot of appearance package stuff.

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    Just now, frogger said:

    I can only guess they want to keep the prices low.

     

    I wonder if they will do that...or if the prices will be the same or higher than the ATS-v and CTS-v were.

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    6 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    They really have overdone gray... I so hate gray interiors.  There is probably some $h!ty carbon fiber trim in there also on the V-series.   In the first post above it says in 'The Big Concern' the detuned V series are so they can do V series versions of their AWD/transverse engine crossovers.   So V-series now means basically appearance package. 

    The interior actually looks pretty good but I agree about the overuse of monotone. Show a little contrast and it would really set itself apart. 

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    1 minute ago, surreal1272 said:

    The interior actually looks pretty good but I agree about the overuse of monotone. Show a little contrast and it would really set itself apart. 

    I like the design of the interiors of both cars, it's just they are so dark and grim.  They need color.

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    8 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    AaaAaaaaaaaaaaaannnd there it is. Took a few minutes more than I thought!

    Well that is what it is.  A low revving pushrod 4 that has a 5,700 rpm redline in a freaking performance car!  How is that Cadillac level refinement, or high performance?

    GM just can't help themselves, they will nickel and dime anything and they clearly don't care about Cadillac as a brand given these two vehicles.

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    4 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    I wonder if they will do that...or if the prices will be the same or higher than the ATS-v and CTS-v were.

    These will have to be cheap, there is speculation that CT4 will start in the low 30s for the base care, CT5 around  $40k, and that V-series might add $7-8k on top of the sport trim pricing.  But in the CT5's case you are paying $7k for 20 horsepower.

    And there will be a discount when they sit on dealer lots, so I wouldn't be surprised if CT4-V's are going for like $40k actual sale price and $50k on a CT5-V.

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    2 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Ed Wilburn would have never okayed the mess the rear of the Ct4 is...

    I agree. What has happened at Cadillac? The rear ends on their current sedans look worlds better. 

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    4 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Well that is what it is.  A low revving pushrod 4 that has a 5,700 rpm redline in a freaking performance car!  How is that Cadillac level refinement, or high performance?

    GM just can't help themselves, they will nickel and dime anything and they clearly don't care about Cadillac as a brand given these two vehicles.

    pushrod 4?  It's not 1982.  I think the 2.7 is DOHC...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_L3B_engine

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    19 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Oh you are right, it is a DOHC.  I thought then it came out they said it was a pushrod, but that is my mistake.  That is a crazy low redline for a DOHC engine.

    I  thought that also... had to look it up.  I think I was conflating it with the new Ford Super Duty pushrod V8.  Wikipedia had the redline at 6100..but still low.  Anyone know what the redline of the 2.0 turbo in the Camaro and others is? 

    Edited by Robert Hall

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      THE ALL-NEW GENESIS G80 DIGITAL WORLD PREMIERE: LEADING DESIGN AND LUXURY-FOCUSED TECHNOLOGY
      Design: Distinct and progressive design offers instantly-recognizable Genesis identity Technology: Next-generation, technology-enabled luxury seamlessly integrates with clients’ lifestyle, devices and preferences Safety: Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) leverage advancements in sensor technology, machine learning Performance: Brand-exclusive platform increases solidity, performance, fuel economy, luxury SEOUL, South Korea, March 30, 2020 – The all-new Genesis G80 made its digital world premiere today. It represents both the third generation of the brand’s executive sedan and a decade-plus of mid-luxury leadership from Genesis’ parent company.
      “The core of our brand lies within the G80,” said William Lee, Executive Vice President and Global Head of the Genesis Brand. “This segment represents where we started and we’re pleased that our newest offering achieves a perfect balance of discerning luxury and inspiring performance for our customers.”
      Athletic Elegance Elevated          
      The story of the G80 begins with the brand’s emblem which inspires the Crest Grille and Quad Lamps, the distinctive face of every Genesis.
      “The all-new G80 is the centerpiece of our lineup perfectly weighing athletic and elegant characteristics. This represents the clearest interpretation yet of the Genesis brand identity,” said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Genesis Design. “Our goal is to offer unique, design-inspired experiences for our customers.”
      The brand’s “Athletic Elegance” design philosophy produces variations in design through a carefully-considered balance between its namesake’s opposing characteristics. While other Genesis models lean more towards athleticism or elegance, the G80 is characterized by the perfect balance in between, as the core of the model range.
      The front view embodies a distinguished but modern look, featuring the Crest Grill and double-lined Quad Lamp signature design elements. The two line graphics extend beyond the limits of the headlamps, into the rear fenders and the taillamps, encompassing all sides of the vehicle.
      On the side, the Parabolic Line, which begins at the front Quad Lamp and gradually runs lower to the rear through the top of the door, is inspired by the elegant look of several venerable classic cars. This elegant line is counter-balanced by athletic “power lines” emphasizing the fender volume and the upfitted 20-inch wheels. In addition, the chrome trim beginning from behind the front wheels stretches out along the bottom of the door, crosses the side sills and swells upwards to the rear, strengthening forward visual motion.
      The rear view features a dramatic, tapered look – highlighted by a sloping decklid and rear Quad Lamps which visually link to those in front. Chrome decor at the top of the trunk stretches the full-width repeating the theme of the Genesis emblem, while the dual exhaust finishers reference the Crest Grill design.
      The Luxury of Space
      The interior design of the G80 responds to the changing times where dominance of technology and information is no longer considered a luxury experience. Based on the "Beauty of White Space” concept inspired by traditional Korean architecture, priority is placed on the careful balance of personal space with state-of-the-art technology. This allowed the design team to optimize the layout of needed controls with calming, luxurious surfaces.
      Visibility was enhanced by minimizing A-pillar thickness and rearview mirror dimensions, utilizing flag type side mirrors and reducing dashboard height. The resulting ‘panoramic view’ gives the driver a relaxed view of the road ahead and the sense of openness when seated.
      Dividing the steering wheel into lower and upper halves, Genesis distinguishes the upper (panoramic area) and lower part (control area) to optimize intuitive use of the vehicle as well as the view ahead.
      The steering wheel and sleek, thin air vents run across the passenger compartment splitting it into the panoramic area above and the control area below. The number of hard buttons and switches was intentionally kept to a minimum, both for aesthetic purposes and ease of use.
      In the panoramic area, a heads-up display, a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 14.5-inch infotainment system display necessary information while driving.
      The control area is equipped with an intuitive suite of interfaces: a Genesis integrated controller for HVAC controls, a rotary-operated electronic shift dial and touch-and-write infotainment system.
      G80’s leading interior space has been further developed. Both headroom and legroom were increased by lowering the seating height of the second row, allowing for both more interior room and a more dramatic roofline. Completing the space, the G80 features leather seating and steering wheel surfaces, soft-touch fabrics and coatings as well as open pore wood trim finishes.
      Dynamic Luxury Begins with a Solid Foundation, Powertrain Innovations
      The G80's platform represents a brand-exclusive, third-generation, rear-wheel drive platform with a design that lowers the body and the center of gravity to secure a wider cabin and improved driving stability.
      “The all-new G80 brings all the existing strengths from the previous generations all the while upgrading the powertrain, platform and communication system with the state-of the art technologies,” said Albert Biermann, President, Head of Research & Development Division at Hyundai Motor Group. “It is a true, authentic Genesis.”
      The use of lighter weight materials was a distinct focus. Aluminum is used for about 19 percent of the body, reducing the weight by 110 kg (243 lbs) compared to the previous one, thus increasing fuel efficiency and performance.
      Engineered for world markets and customer needs, the G80 features three powertrains:
      2.5-liter turbocharged Inline-4: 304 PS (300 HP @ 5,800 rpm) and 43.0 kgf·m torque (311 lb.-ft. from 1,650 – 4,000 rpm) 3.5-liter turbocharged V6: 380 PS (375 HP @ 5,800 rpm) and 54.0 kgf·m torque (391 lb.-ft. from 1,300 – 4,500 rpm) Diesel 2.2-liter Inline-4: 210 PS, 45.0 kgf·m torque. (Not available in the U.S. market) The G80 features improved door sealing, new engine compartment sound insulation and resonant sound-reducing wheels to ensure indoor quietness and class-leading, low levels of noise (NVH). In addition, the Electronically Controlled Suspension with Road Preview, enhances ride quality by reducing road impacts using information supplied through the front camera.
      Advanced Safety
      In keeping with the brand’s safety platform, G80 applies standard active and passive safety systems, as part of a brand-level engineering commitment to passenger security. State-of-the-art, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) include:
      Highway Driving Assist II (HDA II): This system helps assist the driver in a wider variety of situations than before, including during lane change maneuvers when the turn signal is used, and when others merge in front of you. Smart Cruise Control with Machine Learning (SCC-ML): A world first, SCC-ML, as applied to the all-new Genesis GV80 SUV earlier this year, incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) within the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) feature that helps the car to independently learn the driving characteristics of - and assist - its driver. Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA): This system may help automatically bring the G80 to a stop in certain situations where there is a risk of collision with an approaching vehicle detected on the left or right side of the intersection. G80 may also help detect potential collision risks in certain situations where a pedestrian is sensed in close proximity to the vehicle while in motion, for example. Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA): BCA is essentially a Blind Spot Monitor with active capabilities. BCA helps reduce the chance of potential impact with a moving vehicle and may alert the driver if a vehicle is detected in the driver’s blind-spot A complement of 10 air bags includes front and side airbags as well as a center airbag, between the front seat occupants, that helps prevent secondary contact between occupants in a side impact.
      In addition, the Genesis safety platform works to integrate communications between 40+ controllers in real time to help ensure the safest response in various scenarios.
      Next-Generation, Technology-Enabled Luxury
      The G80 offers a high level of convenience to drivers with a suite of new technology. Each new feature is focused on further and seamlessly integrating the G80 with its client’s lifestyle, devices and preferences. A selection of highlighted features include:
      The Remote Smart Parking Assistant (RSPA) provides remote drive/reverse functions that facilitate parking in narrow spaces, as well as perpendicular parking and parallel parking. This can be controlled within the car or outside, remotely via the key fob. The 12.3-inch 3D instrument cluster recognizes the driver's eyes and provides various driving information and can be converted to 2D depending on the driver's preference. The Genesis Integrated Controller allows users to set destinations or enter phone numbers by simply writing on the main control center instead of complicated keyboard input. A 14.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system links with the Genesis Integrated Controller to support Genesis Quick Guide and Valet mode. Valet mode is a function that enhances security so that users' personal information does not appear on infotainment screens when using a Valet parking service. Over-the-air, wireless updates to the navigation system. Phone connectivity including Android Auto and Apple Car Play. With an eye toward the senses, luxury-focused items include:
      The driver's seat is equipped with an ergo motion seat function featuring seven air cells which enables optimum seating for each driving mode and reduces fatigue via a stretching mode and automatic posture correction functions. Ambient mood lamps applied throughout the interior add a sense of calm to the passenger space in various colors. From a sound standpoint, Genesis has enhanced the engine's sound with its Active Sound Design (ASD), standard on all G80s equipped with gasoline engines, adding an additional level of customization. The Lexicon sound system allows passengers to enjoy the vivid sound effects of a concert, such as "Quantum Logic Surround Audience Mode/Stage Mode," adding to the joy of listening. The first row HVAC system allows the driver to adjust the heated/ventilated seats in the second row and the air conditioning mode/temperature independently of the first row, increasing the convenience for second row passengers. Marketplace
      The all-new G80 enters the marketplace on March 30th in South Korea and in the second half of the year in other markets, starting with North America.
    • By William Maley
      The redesigned Corolla Hatchback brought back something that was missing in the Corolla for a number of years; being somewhat interesting. With more expressive styling and a new platform that improves driving dynamics, the model has started to shed its image of being bland. But would this continue with the redesigned Corolla sedan? To find out, I spent a week in the top-line Corolla XSE.
      The basic profile is unchanged from the previous Corolla sedan, but Toyota has done their best to make look a bit more exciting. On the XSE, this means a different front clip from other Corollas with the emblem moved to towards the cutline of the hood, a larger lower grille, and deep cuts for the bumper. The distinctive fang headlights are carried over from other Corollas. Around back, not much has changed aside from a new rear diffuser. The updated look does make the Corolla sedan have presence, but I prefer the hatchback in terms of overall looks. One item that is shared between the sedan and hatchback is the dashboard. As I noted in my Corolla Hatchback review, the dash features a layered design, faux stitching, and infotainment screen mounted on top - measuring either seven or eight inches depending on the trim. I like that Toyota is taking chances with the design, but also retaining the excellent ergonomics it’s  known for. My particular tester came with the larger eight-inch featuring the newest version of Entune. While I wish Toyota had done more to make the interface look more modern and feature colors that weren’t various shades of grey. But I cannot deny Toyota builds a system that anyone can quickly grasp thanks to the simple interface design, physical shortcut buttons to various features, and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Those with Android smartphones are left out in the cold. Those sitting up front will have no complaints about space, seat adjustment, or comfort. In the back, legroom is about average for the class. But headroom for taller passengers comes up a bit short, especially when you have the optional moonroof. Three powertrains are available in the Corolla; a 1.8L four in the L, LE, and XLE; 2.0L four for the SE and XSE; and a hybrid for the LE Hybrid.  The 2.0L produces 169 horsepower and 151 pound-feet. The XSE only gets a CVT transmission, while the SE has the choice between the CVT and a six-speed manual. Performance is the same as with the Corolla SE I drove last year; decent around town and leaving stoplights, but really struggles when trying to get to higher speeds. A fair amount of engine noise does make it way inside when driving on the highway. EPA fuel economy figures for the Corolla XSE are 31 City/38 City/34 Highway - lower than the Corolla SE hatchback (32/41/35). My average for the week landed around 33.4 mpg on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. Handling is an improvement over the old Corolla as it feels slightly more lively with better control of body motions. But it cannot match the nimbleness of the hatchback. This likely comes down to the Corolla Hatchback being sold in the European market where a sportier ride is desired. The sedan sold in the U.S. is more attuned to providing a smooth ride. The Corolla XSE for the most part is able to smooth over most bumps and imperfections, but the 18-inch wheels does mean some bumps do make their way inside. Road and wind noise is kept to acceptable levels. There is one area that the Corolla XSE falters, value for money. With an as-tested price of $28,794, that puts you in the range of a well-equipped Mazda3 that not only offers more power, but has an interior that the Corolla cannot match. For only a couple grand less, a Kia Forte EX offers more equipment and a slightly larger back seat. Toyota has improved the Corolla sedan to a point where most of the blandness doesn’t exist. I would have liked to seen Toyota take some of the handling magic used on the hatchback and place it into the sedan. But Toyota knows most buyers don’t really care about this. By taking the strengths and wrapping it up in a package that stands out, it will mean more people may check out the Corolla. But I would recommend sticking with one of the lower trims as they offer a slightly better bang your for your buck. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Corolla, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Corolla
      Trim: XSE
      Engine: 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve, Dual VVT-i
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 169 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 31/38/34
      Curb Weight: 3,150 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $25,450
      As Tested Price: $28,794 (Includes $930.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and JBL w/Clari-Fi - $1,715.00
      Adaptive Front Lighting System - $450.00
      Cargo Mat Package - $249.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The redesigned Corolla Hatchback brought back something that was missing in the Corolla for a number of years; being somewhat interesting. With more expressive styling and a new platform that improves driving dynamics, the model has started to shed its image of being bland. But would this continue with the redesigned Corolla sedan? To find out, I spent a week in the top-line Corolla XSE.
      The basic profile is unchanged from the previous Corolla sedan, but Toyota has done their best to make look a bit more exciting. On the XSE, this means a different front clip from other Corollas with the emblem moved to towards the cutline of the hood, a larger lower grille, and deep cuts for the bumper. The distinctive fang headlights are carried over from other Corollas. Around back, not much has changed aside from a new rear diffuser. The updated look does make the Corolla sedan have presence, but I prefer the hatchback in terms of overall looks. One item that is shared between the sedan and hatchback is the dashboard. As I noted in my Corolla Hatchback review, the dash features a layered design, faux stitching, and infotainment screen mounted on top - measuring either seven or eight inches depending on the trim. I like that Toyota is taking chances with the design, but also retaining the excellent ergonomics it’s  known for. My particular tester came with the larger eight-inch featuring the newest version of Entune. While I wish Toyota had done more to make the interface look more modern and feature colors that weren’t various shades of grey. But I cannot deny Toyota builds a system that anyone can quickly grasp thanks to the simple interface design, physical shortcut buttons to various features, and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Those with Android smartphones are left out in the cold. Those sitting up front will have no complaints about space, seat adjustment, or comfort. In the back, legroom is about average for the class. But headroom for taller passengers comes up a bit short, especially when you have the optional moonroof. Three powertrains are available in the Corolla; a 1.8L four in the L, LE, and XLE; 2.0L four for the SE and XSE; and a hybrid for the LE Hybrid.  The 2.0L produces 169 horsepower and 151 pound-feet. The XSE only gets a CVT transmission, while the SE has the choice between the CVT and a six-speed manual. Performance is the same as with the Corolla SE I drove last year; decent around town and leaving stoplights, but really struggles when trying to get to higher speeds. A fair amount of engine noise does make it way inside when driving on the highway. EPA fuel economy figures for the Corolla XSE are 31 City/38 City/34 Highway - lower than the Corolla SE hatchback (32/41/35). My average for the week landed around 33.4 mpg on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. Handling is an improvement over the old Corolla as it feels slightly more lively with better control of body motions. But it cannot match the nimbleness of the hatchback. This likely comes down to the Corolla Hatchback being sold in the European market where a sportier ride is desired. The sedan sold in the U.S. is more attuned to providing a smooth ride. The Corolla XSE for the most part is able to smooth over most bumps and imperfections, but the 18-inch wheels does mean some bumps do make their way inside. Road and wind noise is kept to acceptable levels. There is one area that the Corolla XSE falters, value for money. With an as-tested price of $28,794, that puts you in the range of a well-equipped Mazda3 that not only offers more power, but has an interior that the Corolla cannot match. For only a couple grand less, a Kia Forte EX offers more equipment and a slightly larger back seat. Toyota has improved the Corolla sedan to a point where most of the blandness doesn’t exist. I would have liked to seen Toyota take some of the handling magic used on the hatchback and place it into the sedan. But Toyota knows most buyers don’t really care about this. By taking the strengths and wrapping it up in a package that stands out, it will mean more people may check out the Corolla. But I would recommend sticking with one of the lower trims as they offer a slightly better bang your for your buck. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Corolla, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Corolla
      Trim: XSE
      Engine: 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve, Dual VVT-i
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 169 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 31/38/34
      Curb Weight: 3,150 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $25,450
      As Tested Price: $28,794 (Includes $930.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and JBL w/Clari-Fi - $1,715.00
      Adaptive Front Lighting System - $450.00
      Cargo Mat Package - $249.00
    • By William Maley
      Like it or not, crossovers are becoming the de facto choice for many buyers and automakers are responding. There is now a wide variety of crossovers available: From large three-row models to small, compact vehicles perfect for urban environments. The latter is what we’ll be focusing on this review with the latest entrant into subcompact luxury crossover class, the 2020 Lexus UX 200 F-Sport. It’s a late arrival to the class, but as I found out with the Volvo XC40 last year, that isn’t a bad thing. So how does the most affordable Lexus model stack up to the competition?
      Crossover or Hatchback on Stilts?
      It feels odd to think of the UX being more of a hatchback with a taller ride height than a crossover, but allow me to make my case. To start, the overall shape reminds me more of the Toyota Corolla Hatchback than the NX and RX crossovers. The roofline is a perfect example as the shape is similar to Corolla than any Lexus crossover. Second is when you get inside the UX. You may think that you step up to get inside, but it’s the opposite. The lower position might cause you to think that you lose out on the visibility gain with a higher ride height, but that isn’t the case as you have excellent visibility around most of the vehicle. The rear is difficult to see out of due to the thick pillar and it is recommended to order the optional backup camera.
      The UX 200 does make its presence known to everyone due to some bold design choices. Upfront lies the latest iteration of Lexus’ spindle grille along with some deep cuts in the bumper to give the model an aggressive attitude. The side profile features unique sculpting on the doors and the roof steeply raked towards the back. A vibrant color palette such as this orange on my tester only adds to the bold ideal.
      A Small, Premium Interior
      Lexus has mostly nailed the UX’s interior appointments with soft-touch materials featuring stitching on the dash, metal-like buttons for the climate control system, and contrasting stitching for the seats. The only part which slightly ruins this luxury feeling is the cheap-feeling door panels. Leatherette upholstery is used on the seats and it feels quite nice when sitting on them. F-Sport models get heavily bolster front seats which may make some larger people uncomfortable. Power adjustments for the front come standard on all UX models and allows both driver and passenger to find a comfortable position.
      The rear seat is quite snug for two people, while three is severely pushing it. Legroom can range from ok to non-existent if a tall person happens to be sitting upfront. Headroom is decent for most people, even with the optional sunroof. Cargo space is about average for the class with 21.7 cubic feet with the rear seats up. A tall lift-over height does make it a pain to load heavy items into the vehicle.
      Infotainment System is Better, But Still Frustrating
      The base infotainment system is a 7-inch screen, while a larger 10.25-inch screen is available as an option. Controlling each screen is Lexus’ Remote Touch system. The touchpad controller is unwieldy because you need to pay attention to the screen while making a selection. Otherwise, you’ll end up selecting a different function or setting than what you had originally aimed for. Lexus has added a touchscreen to the recently refreshed RX for 2020 and I can only hope this appears on other Lexus models down the road.
      One change that will be a welcome relief to Android users is that Lexus has added Android Auto compatibility to the system, bringing Lexus in line with most competitors with offering this and Apple CarPlay.
      Mediocre Performance Except In Fuel Economy
      Under the hood of the UX 200 is a 2.0L inline-four producing 169 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with CVT and front-wheel drive. If you want AWD, then your only option is the UX 250h which pairs the 2.0L with a hybrid system. The 2.0 really struggles at high speeds as evidenced by a 0-60 time of 8.9 seconds. Competitors in the class are at least are a second or two quicker. The engine also has a noticeable drone that appears when you are accelerating hard. But around town, the 2.0 feels quite punchy with excellent get-up and minimal fuss.
      Where the UX does well is in fuel economy. EPA figures are 29 City/37 Highway/33 Combined for the UX 200. My average for the week landed around 31 on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving.
      I’m wondering if the UX could fit the 2.5L four-cylinder from the Toyota Camry. It would improve overall performance with a slight hit to fuel economy.
      Surprising Handling Characteristics
      Going for the F-Sport version like my test vehicle will net you a revised suspension setup. Going around bends, the UX shows little body roll and quick reactions. The only item that falters is the steering which feels very rubbery and doesn’t encourage enthusiastic driving. For normal driving duties, the UX’s ride quality is on the complaint side with a few bumps making their way inside. I do wish Lexus had done more to keep tire noise from coming inside, especially at highway speeds
      The Price Is Right
      With a starting price tag of $32,300 for the base UX 200, this makes it the most affordable model in the class. It also happens to be very good value as it comes with the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 as standard. This suite of active safety features includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. The UX 200 F-Sport seen here comes with an as-tested price of $41,285 and that’s with the optional navigation system, windshield deicer, heads-up display, and power tailgate. To get something similar on the competition, you’ll need to spend a few extra thousand dollars.
      The 2020 UX 200 makes a very compelling case for itself in the subcompact luxury crossover class. This is due in part to its low price and a long list of standard equipment. A competent handling package in the F-Sport and decent fuel economy figures help bolster the model further. But there are areas Lexus needs to address, primarily the engine and infotainment system. The good news is that Lexus has the necessary solutions to both these issues in the form of the infotainment system from the RX and borrowing the 2.5L four-cylinder from the Camry. It would move the UX from being somewhere in the competent class to one that can compete for class honors.
      Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the UX 200, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: UX
      Trim: 200 F-Sport
      Engine: 2.0L 16-Valve DOHC VVT-i Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: CVT, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 169 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 29/37/33
      Curb Weight: 3,307 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan
      Base Price: $40,260
      As Tested Price: $41,285 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Navigation System with 10.3-in Color Multimedia Display - $2,200.00
      F-Sport Premium Package - $975.00
      Power Rear Door w/Kick Sensor - $600.00
      Premium Paint - $595.00
      Parking Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert w/Braking - $565.00
      Blind Spot Monitor - $500.00
      Head Up Display (HUD) - $500.00
      Heated F Sport Steering Wheel w/Paddle Shifters - $150.00
      Windshield Deicer - $100.00
      Wireless Charger - $75.00

      View full article
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