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    William Maley

    Dodge Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona Return for 2017

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      Dodge Kicks It Old School with Challenger and Charger


    Before the 2016 Woodward Dream Cruise kicks off in Detroit later this week, Dodge has revealed two heritage-inspired packages: the 2017 Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona.

     

    The Challenger T/A package adds “air catcher” headlights, ducted hood and modified cool air box from the Hellcat; new exhaust system, and wider wheels. The T/A also adds the 'Super Track Pak' which includes a lowered suspension, high-performance Bilstein shock absorbers, performance brake linings, a three-mode electronic stability control (ESC) system, and a set of Goodyear F1 tires. Outside, the hood is finished in satin black along with various accents. This package is available with either the 5.7 or 6.4L HEMI V8. If you opt for the 6.4, you will get a set of Brembo brakes. Prices will range from $38,485 to $45,090. (All prices include a $1,095 destination charge).

     

    The Charger Daytona features all of the same improvements as the T/A, along with a beefier rear differential, large rear wing, satin black roof, and Daytona graphics. Prices range from $40,985 to $46,090. The order books will open in September for the Charger, with the Challenger following a month later.

     

    Source: Dodge

     

     

    Press Release is on Page 2


     

    Dodge Kicks Off Annual Woodward Dream Cruise With Debut of New 2017 Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona – Two Performance-upgraded Models Infused With Heritage Style

    • New 2017 Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona models offer even more performance and heritage-inspired styling to the naturally aspirated Dodge 5.7- and 6.4-liter “392” HEMI® lineup
      • Unique SRT Hellcat- and R/T Scat Pack-inspired functional performance styling for an even more menacing appearance
      • New cold-air engine induction components unique to Challenger T/A models:
        • New SRT Hellcat-inspired driver and passenger side “Air Catcher” headlamps add even more fresh air and feature unique LED-illuminated “T/A” logos
        • New directed cold-air hood system feeds a modified SRT Hellcat air box on Challenger T/A models

        [*]Mopar cold-air induction system with conical air filter system included on all Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona models [*]New 2.75-inch electronically controlled active exhaust system on 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 models delivers a signature muscle-car sound [*]Wider, 20 x 9-inch and 20 x 9.5-inch wheels with high-performance Goodyear and Pirelli tires help improve handling on 5.7-liter and 6.4-liter HEMI-powered models, respectively [*]Increased stopping power with performance brake linings on 5.7-liter models, while 6.4-liter models add an ultra-high performance Brembo brake system with six-piston front and four-piston rear brake calipers [*]Unique Satin Black exterior graphics and appointments, including available hood pins on Challenger T/A, highlight Dodge brand’s cultivation of its storied performance history [*]For the driving enthusiast, performance bolstered seats and Dodge performance steering wheel with available die-cast paddle shifters are included

      [*]All-new and limited-production Green Go, plus a revised Yellow Jacket hue add to Dodge brand’s High-Impact Paint (HIP) legacy, debuting with Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona [*]Production for 2017 Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona models will begin this fall with ordering for Charger Daytona beginning in September and Challenger T/A in October


    August 16, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Dodge believes the golden age of performance cars is now, making this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise the perfect time and place to reintroduce the brand’s two famed, race-bred nameplates — the new 2017 Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona, muscle cars that deliver even more performance and precision to the naturally aspirated HEMI® V-8 lineup with unique powertrain induction and exhaust enhancements, chassis upgrades for greater handling and braking, plus functional performance styling appointments inside and out.

     


    “More than 1.5 million enthusiasts are expected to come to Woodward to celebrate classic muscle cars this week, so it’s a perfect opportunity to pay tribute to the Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona with new special editions,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. “We’ll continue to celebrate the brand’s muscle car performance heritage with another special-edition announcement later this fall.”

     

    The new 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona models are available with the 6.4-liter “392” HEMI V-8 naturally aspirated 485-horsepower engine, or the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with up to 375 horsepower with the all-new electronically controlled active performance exhaust system. Production for both Challenger and Charger models will begin this fall with Charger Daytona models available for order in September, followed by Challenger T/A models this October.

     

    New 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A models
    Initially built for the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Trans Am racing series in 1970 with only 2,399 ever built, and considered one of the most sought after muscle cars of all time, the new 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A model lineup builds on this legacy with three track-capable models loaded with unique appointments and performance hardware – Challenger T/A, Challenger T/A Plus and the Challenger T/A 392.

     

    Challenger T/A
    For drivers who want to be a part of the Dodge T/A legacy, the new 2017 Challenger T/A builds on the standard content of the 375-horsepower Challenger R/T model, adding functional performance hardware, which includes the new “Air Catcher” headlamps with LED-illuminated T/A logos; NACA ducted hood now designed to feed a modified SRT Hellcat air box with Mopar conical filter, which optimizes cold air intake through these two signature fresh-air inlets; an all-new 2.75-inch electronically controlled active performance exhaust system; and 1-inch wider 20 x 9-inch Mopar lightweight forged-aluminum wheels finished in Hyper Black II.

     

    The Super Track Pak is added for a full complement of race-bred chassis upgrades, including a 0.5-inch lowered suspension, high-performance Bilstein shock absorbers, performance brake linings, three-mode electronic stability control (ESC) calibration with “full off” and high-performance Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. The Tremec six-speed manual is standard, while the innovative TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission is available and includes Sport mode with paddle shifters, plus Fuel Saver Technology with four-cylinder mode and interactive Decel Fuel Shut Off (iDFSO).

     

    Heritage-inspired Dodge exterior appointments include a new Satin Black painted hood and Satin Black front fascia, roof and deck-lid graphic paired to the T/A bodyside stripes; new wheel center caps featuring the Dodge stripes; “Challenger” script grille badge; Satin Black fuel-filler door with heritage “FUEL” lettering and black deck-lid spoiler with Challenger T/A badge. For an even bolder throwback look to the original 1970 model, factory-installed hood pins are available, along with all-new and limited-production Green Go and Yellow Jacket High-impact Paint (HIP).

     

    Authentic aluminum interior bezels combined with Black and Gloss Black appointments provide Challenger T/A with an athletic cockpit. Premium Black performance seats with signature Houndstooth cloth inserts give the driver and front passenger greater lateral support. The Dodge performance steering wheel features performance contouring, and for added retro style, the 1971-inspired “tic-toc-tach” gauge cluster features Bright White concave faces and Gloss Black details. Premium velour-bound floor mats with embroidered Dodge logo are also included.

     

    The new 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A model has a starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $37,390. (All prices exclude $1,095 destination).

     

    Challenger T/A Plus
    Adding to the Challenger T/A model’s standard equipment, the new 2017 Challenger T/A Plus includes unique heated and ventilated Nappa leather performance seats in Black with Tungsten accent stitching and embroidered “T/A” logo; all-new fourth-generation Uconnect 8.4 system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integrations, faster startup time, enhanced processing power, vivid imagery, plus higher resolution and sharper graphics; Dodge Performance leather-wrapped steering wheel with power tilt-and-telescoping column; six premium speakers and 276-watt digital amplifier.

     

    Expanding on the Super Track Pak’s capability, the Challenger T/A Plus adds a shortcut button to the Dodge Performance Pages embedded in the class-exclusive and all-new Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen fourth-generation radio, which provides visible performance information, such as a programmable shift light indicator, reaction time, 0-60 times, G-force indicator and lap times in the 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable cluster display. This new Uconnect system also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to further smartphone integration.

     

    The new 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A Plus model has a starting U.S. MSRP of $40,140.

     

    Challenger T/A 392
    The new Challenger T/A 392 ups-the-ante with its best-in-class 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque, delivering up to 113 more horsepower and a 65-lb.-ft. leap in torque compared with the 5.7-liter Challenger T/A models, representing more than a 30 percent jump in horsepower and 18 percent jump in torque. The coupe’s best-in-class power enables it to turn mid 4-second 0-60 mph times and low 12-second quarter mile times.

     

    Adding to the standard equipment found on the Dodge Challenger T/A Plus, the new 2017 Challenger T/A 392 includes a 6.4-liter (392 cu in) HEMI V-8 engine with 485 horsepower, plus signature “T/A Air Catcher” headlamps and directed cold-air NACA duct hood systems connected to the more powerful mill; ultra-high performance Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes with vented rotors, unique front suspension geometry, all-new 20 x 9.5-inch forged aluminum wheels finished in Low Gloss Black, P275/40ZR20 Pirelli three-season performance tires, “392” fender decals, 180-mph primary speedometer, electronically controlled active performance exhaust system and 220-amp alternator.

     

    The new 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A 392 model has a starting U.S. MSRP of $43,995 (excluding gas-guzzler tax).

     

    New 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona models
    Created in 1969 as a 501-unit, purpose-built production run for NASCAR, the Charger Daytona set records with its distinct aerodynamic styling and legendary power. The new Charger Daytona models build on this celebrated history by adding more performance to North America’s only four-door muscle sedan, as well as add to the momentum Dodge enthusiasts have generated for the limited edition 2006–2009 and 2013 models.

     

    Charger Daytona
    Delivering the most performance in the 5.7-liter Charger lineup, the new 2017 Charger Daytona builds on the Charger R/T model by improving the engine’s intake and exhaust with a Mopar cold-air induction system with conical air filter; plus an all-new electronically controlled 2.75-inch active performance exhaust system with 4-inch round tips. Also included is the Super Track Pak with its performance-tuned suspension, performance brake linings, three-mode ESC calibration with “full off” and high-performance Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. For improved acceleration and speed, Charger Daytona includes a rear differential with a 2.62 axle ratio, plus performance engine and transmission calibration with a high-speed engine controller (150 mph, up from 135 mph).

     

    For a menacing look, the new Charger Daytona includes SRT- and R/T Scat Pack-inspired front and rear performance fascias, performance side sills and a one-piece Satin Black performance spoiler. A Satin Black hood graphic with cutout “HEMI” logo highlights the aluminum hood’s NACA duct, while cutout “Daytona” deck-lid to rear-quarter graphics are paired with the Satin Black roof treatment for a bold, heritage-inspired appearance. Completing the athletic styling are wider 20 x 9-inch Mopar lightweight forged-aluminum wheels finished in Hyper Black II, P245/45ZR20 Goodyear all-season performance tires (three-season tires are optional) with the new center caps that feature the Dodge stripes, plus signature “Daytona” grille badging.

     

    The new Dodge Charger Daytona’s interior is highlighted by unique Black heated and ventilated Nappa leather performance seats with horizontal Alcantara suede plowthroughs with Brazen Gold accent stitching, “Daytona” embroidered seat backs and 12-way power adjust for driver and front passenger. Use of Brazen Gold accent stitching also is added to the center console armrest, along with door panels and door panel armrests for even more detail. All-new Carbonite authentic aluminum interior bezels and Gloss Black interior accents are paired to the Dodge performance steering wheel with performance contouring provide an athletic look. Completing the high level of standard equipment are premium velour-bound floor mats with embroidered Dodge logo, bright performance pedals and “Daytona” instrument panel badge.

     

    Additional premium content over the Charger R/T model includes driver’s seat memory and steering column with memory, bi-function high-intensity discharge (HID) projector headlamps, LED ambient cabin lighting, ParkSense rear park assist system and vehicle security alarm.

     

    The new 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona model has a starting U.S. MSRP of $39,890.

     

    Charger Daytona 392
    With a best-in-class 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque from its 6.4-liter HEMI powertrain, new air box with directed cold-air induction and Mopar conical air filter, plus a 3.09 final drive with 230mm limited-slip rear axle, the new 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona 392 delivers 0-60 mph performance in the mid 4-second range, plus quarter-mile times in the low 12-second range.

     

    In addition to its track-proven HEMI V-8 powertrain, the Charger Daytona 392 builds on the 5.7-liter model’s standard content with ultra-high performance Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes with vented rotors, Mopar conical cold-air intake filter, wider 20 x 9.5-inch forged aluminum wheels finished in Low Gloss Black, P275/40ZR20 Pirelli all-season performance tires (three-season tires are optional), “392” fender decals, 180-mph primary speedometer, electronically controlled active performance exhaust system and 220-amp alternator.

     

    The new 2017 Dodge Charger Daytona 392 model has a starting U.S. MSRP of $44,995.

     

    High-impact Paint (HIP) legacy continues
    Adding even more excitement to the new 2017 Challenger T/A and Charger Daytona models, all-new and limited-production Green Go, plus a revised Yellow Jacket hue, build on Dodge brand’s HIP legacy. Go Mango and TorRed hues from the exclusive HIP collection are also offered. Also joining the paint lineup for 2017 are Destroyer Gray and Octane Red shades, while White Knuckle, Redline Red, Pitch Black, Granite, Billet, Contusion Blue and Maximum Steel are also available.

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    That is all these cars have left....small incremental improvements, different style air scoops and vents from the previous years and just rehash old sentimental trims like T/A and Superbee monikers....and from time to time go all crazy and do Hellcat type stuff.

     

    Not that this latest T/A with the 6.4 liter Hemi with the Brembo package wont be of any interest to me, because it will be....especially that it will look like a Hellcat, but as the years roll in with these LX cars, the more old they seem.

     

    Long in the tooth maybe too strong of a description, but maybe its because I have blinders on for these cars and I dont want to admit to that statement fully!

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    Cool stuff, but I am seeing more and more stories about how old and dated the Dodge product line is and how FCA is doing nothing to update them. FCA could very well be the death of Dodge, Chrysler and Ram, they can always sell Jeep, but the others are looking more and more dated. 

     

    FCA - Worlds Worst Managed Car Company.

     

    Sad  :nono:

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    The options may not be to everyone's taste and they do bump the price up quite a bit. But for those looking for something a half-size larger than the Mustang/Camaro then it's the only game in town. Get a Scat Pack 392 and you even get competitive power-to-weight and pricing. Hopefully the Giulia platform arrives sooner rather than later (never?). But in the meantime, this is still a decent alternative.

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    Challenger T/A was Dodge's answer for SCCA Trans Am eligibility, like the Boss 302 and Z/28.

     

    The reincarnation of both the Boss and Z/28 ( and now GT350/R ) was done right. Both very special cars. The T/A, not so much.

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    Wonder when the Camaro / Mustang EV will  appear? We have the ability to do a 300 mile battery pack and the white Zombie and 222 have both shown performance is not a problem. I think we could capture a large Millennium crowd with an EV performance version.

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    Which you say simply because ou are a Ford fan.  The formula for all 34 is pretty similar.  Suspension, brakes, looks, and power tweaks.  What exactly makes one more special than the other?  Enlighten me?

     

     

    Challenger T/A was Dodge's answer for SCCA Trans Am eligibility, like the Boss 302 and Z/28.

     

    The reincarnation of both the Boss and Z/28 ( and now GT350/R ) was done right. Both very special cars. The T/A, not so much.

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    Usually a big ole weight reduction by removing back seats, spare tires, sound deadening materials, radios, HVAC... As far as I know this doesn't do any of those like the GT350R(Boss 302) or Z/28, like their names imply.

    Edited by ccap41
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    I love these.  For 45 grand the Charger Daytona 392 is probably my favorite with the 6 piston Brembos and wider Hellcat tires and wheels and style for 5 grand less than the SRT 392.  The TA is a nice package too.  The Scat Packs, SRTs, and hellcats already have pretty impressive handling for their size and this takes it that step further.  The 15 upgrades makes this feel nothing like an old platform and completely different from the older LX cars.  With the SS gone and Ford only offering the Lame duck SHO that is actually based on an amazingly outdated platform from 1997 and the lukewarm Fusion Sport these really offer a performance and value proposition for sedans and performance cars that actually haul people that simply cannot even bet equaled, let alone beat. 

     

    As far as looks, mustang isn't that much of a jump from the 05 models and the Camaro is a smaller version of the 06 concept and 10 to 14 models. 

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    Usually a big ole weight reduction by removing back seats, spare tires, sound deadening materials, radios, HVAC... As far as I know this doesn't do any of those like the GT350R(Boss 302) or Z/28, like their names imply.

     

    It doesn't say it is an r version and is half the price of a gt350r or Z28.  the original street TAs and Daytonas didn't have that either. 

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    Guest Mahn Dingo

    Posted

    The T/A has the advantage of being an excellent daily driver.  You simply can’t do that with a Z or a 350R, which are specifically designed for track use, and cost far more money. Not even a contest. Try driving the R with no A/C this hot summer.  I would not even get in it.  The thing is, all 3 cars would be fun to drive. Crossing a finish line in a race 1st, instead of 3rd, does not increase that smile any more.  Especially if there is no money in the contest.  I like what they did with the Challenger, but I have to say, it really is getting a bit too familiar.  Something new and striking would be much appreciated.

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    Usually a big ole weight reduction by removing back seats, spare tires, sound deadening materials, radios, HVAC... As far as I know this doesn't do any of those like the GT350R(Boss 302) or Z/28, like their names imply.

     

    It doesn't say it is an r version and is half the price of a gt350r or Z28.  the original street TAs and Daytonas didn't have that either.

    It is not a 31k car, that is for sure. Way to play the fanboy car immediately Hahaha
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    Usually a big ole weight reduction by removing back seats, spare tires, sound deadening materials, radios, HVAC... As far as I know this doesn't do any of those like the GT350R(Boss 302) or Z/28, like their names imply.

     

    It doesn't say it is an r version and is half the price of a gt350r or Z28.  the original street TAs and Daytonas didn't have that either.

     

    It is not a 31k car, that is for sure. Way to play the fanboy car immediately Hahaha

     

    Who said it was?  It is what, 38k for starters?  GT350R is what 63?  Z28 75?

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    Usually a big ole weight reduction by removing back seats, spare tires, sound deadening materials, radios, HVAC... As far as I know this doesn't do any of those like the GT350R(Boss 302) or Z/28, like their names imply.

     

    It doesn't say it is an r version and is half the price of a gt350r or Z28.  the original street TAs and Daytonas didn't have that either.

     

    It is not a 31k car, that is for sure. Way to play the fanboy car immediately Hahaha

     

    Who said it was?  It is what, 38k for starters?  GT350R is what 63?  Z28 75?

     

    You said half the price.. Half of $61,xxx(we'll round up to $62,000) is $31,000. You said it was half the price. Hence, 31k. Z/28 isn't currently being made but yes, it is half of what that car MSRP'd for and half the car the Z/28 is too. ;)

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    Usually a big ole weight reduction by removing back seats, spare tires, sound deadening materials, radios, HVAC... As far as I know this doesn't do any of those like the GT350R(Boss 302) or Z/28, like their names imply.

     

    It doesn't say it is an r version and is half the price of a gt350r or Z28.  the original street TAs and Daytonas didn't have that either.

     

    It is not a 31k car, that is for sure. Way to play the fanboy car immediately Hahaha

     

    Who said it was?  It is what, 38k for starters?  GT350R is what 63?  Z28 75?

     

    You said half the price.. Half of $61,xxx(we'll round up to $62,000) is $31,000. You said it was half the price. Hence, 31k. Z/28 isn't currently being made but yes, it is half of what that car MSRP'd for and half the car the Z/28 is too. ;)

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Usually a big ole weight reduction by removing back seats, spare tires, sound deadening materials, radios, HVAC... As far as I know this doesn't do any of those like the GT350R(Boss 302) or Z/28, like their names imply.

     

    It doesn't say it is an r version and is half the price of a gt350r or Z28.  the original street TAs and Daytonas didn't have that either.

     

    It is not a 31k car, that is for sure. Way to play the fanboy car immediately Hahaha

     

    Who said it was?  It is what, 38k for starters?  GT350R is what 63?  Z28 75?

     

    You said half the price.. Half of $61,xxx(we'll round up to $62,000) is $31,000. You said it was half the price. Hence, 31k. Z/28 isn't currently being made but yes, it is half of what that car MSRP'd for and half the car the Z/28 is too. ;)

     

     

     

    LMAO, I didn't mean literally.  it was a little exaggeration to carry the story along.  like when a woman says she has only been with 2 guys in her life, but you went to school with her and know she meant in the last 2 hours.....

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    Which you say simply because ou are a Ford fan.  The formula for all 34 is pretty similar.  Suspension, brakes, looks, and power tweaks.  What exactly makes one more special than the other?  Enlighten me?

     

    Challenger T/A was Dodge's answer for SCCA Trans Am eligibility, like the Boss 302 and Z/28.

     

    The reincarnation of both the Boss and Z/28 ( and now GT350/R ) was done right. Both very special cars. The T/A, not so much.

    And you didn't bring in the "seriousness" with this post, first? I thought the whole "emoji" thing kept it light and easy but apparently if you're taking the wrong side you always appear too serious.. *shrugs shoulders*

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    Ha, no, I am just being nutty myself.  I am literally nutty today, believe me.  Doc decided to change my anxiety meds and hearing our eyes mood because o withdrawals does funny things haha. 

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    11 hours ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    Challenger is 'meh'. Charger looks sweet.

    I am of the opposite opinion of yours. I am tiring of the Charger's looks, and of the Chrysler 300.

    But I cant get enough of the Challenger. For sure I want a new look/new platformed Challenger to grace our presence.  I am more than happy to own  a 2016/2017 Challenger as is.

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      The Hyundai Sonata broke cover a couple of weeks before the New York Auto Show, but I finally got to see it on Thursday.  While there are frequent reports that the midsize sedan segment is dying, it still is able to move about 153,000 units just in the month of March.  Hyundai sees an opportunity here as some of its competition, namely the Ford Fusion, will be going to the great used-car lot in the sky in the near future.  Still, the Sonata has only sold around 21,000 units year to date while Nissan can move that many Altimas in a month and Accord and Camry do even better.  So what is Hyundai going for here by introducing a new Sonata?  They're going for sexy.
      The midsize market is a conservative one, few models are ever called sexy. Hyundai has gone out of their way to give the Sonata a sexy look without looking odd (Accord) or overwrought (Camry). Up front, there is a huge.. HUGE...grille opening. It has the somewhat traditional six-sided shape but is pinched in a little at the bottom.  Above that are the lighting accents that most everyone will mention when talking about this car.  Along the hood, they are chrome strips that light up when the car is on.  Once this thing hits the streets it will be a very distinctive visual feature that will separate this car from the Accords and Camrys.  The character line flows from the headlights along the body in a very slight S-curve.  Multiple creases on the door panels help keep the car from looking slab-sided. The wheels are an attractive two-tone 10-spoke design.  Around back is a full-width U-shape taillamp setup that looks like the Honda Civic setup, but upside down. It integrates into a rather tall (for a family sedan) spoiler on the rear trunk like. The tops of the taillights have small fins that ostensibly direct airflow the way Hyundai intends.  The overall exterior is handsome and sensuous and does a good job of distinguishing itself from others in the class. 
       Inside is a mixed bag. The overall look is handsome and restrained, but areas of cost-cutting were visible. There is cheaper plastic on the door panels, lower dash, and parts of the center console.  Still, it is hard to argue with a full TFT screen for the gauge cluster and a large, wide infotainment system in the center.  The infotainment system sits high on the dash and looks like a tablet popping up from below. Controls are simple and easy to reach, and Hyundai has joined the ranks of the new decade by removing the shifter and replacing it with push-button controls. I like Hyundai's setup better than Honda's which I have to think about to use. The seats are a bit flat, but there is plenty of head and leg room. I do like Hyundai's use of two-tone interior, but that won't be on all cars. 
      At release, the Hyundai Sonata will come with two engines, a 2.5 direct injected 4-cylinder with 191 horsepower at 6,100 RPM and 181 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. An optional 1.6T will have 180 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 195 lb-ft of torque from 1,5000 - 4,500 rpm.  The 2.5 will get 33mpg combined and the 1.6T will get 31mpg combined.   Some have balked at the idea that the buy-up engine has less horsepower than the base engine, but in this case, it is the flat torque curve that will really make the 1.6T feel faster.  For those who are wanting more power, Hyundai is reportedly working on an N-Line version that will have over 275 horsepower.  For the greenies, a hybrid is coming soon as well, with a possibly plug-in version in the works. Driving impressions will have to wait until this fall.
      Overall, Hyundai has a very strong contender for the shrinking mid-size market. Not all of the Ford Fusion owners will go to crossovers, so Hyundai looks ready to scoop them up.
       


      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      The Hyundai Sonata broke cover a couple of weeks before the New York Auto Show, but I finally got to see it on Thursday.  While there are frequent reports that the midsize sedan segment is dying, it still is able to move about 153,000 units just in the month of March.  Hyundai sees an opportunity here as some of its competition, namely the Ford Fusion, will be going to the great used-car lot in the sky in the near future.  Still, the Sonata has only sold around 21,000 units year to date while Nissan can move that many Altimas in a month and Accord and Camry do even better.  So what is Hyundai going for here by introducing a new Sonata?  They're going for sexy.
      The midsize market is a conservative one, few models are ever called sexy. Hyundai has gone out of their way to give the Sonata a sexy look without looking odd (Accord) or overwrought (Camry). Up front, there is a huge.. HUGE...grille opening. It has the somewhat traditional six-sided shape but is pinched in a little at the bottom.  Above that are the lighting accents that most everyone will mention when talking about this car.  Along the hood, they are chrome strips that light up when the car is on.  Once this thing hits the streets it will be a very distinctive visual feature that will separate this car from the Accords and Camrys.  The character line flows from the headlights along the body in a very slight S-curve.  Multiple creases on the door panels help keep the car from looking slab-sided. The wheels are an attractive two-tone 10-spoke design.  Around back is a full-width U-shape taillamp setup that looks like the Honda Civic setup, but upside down. It integrates into a rather tall (for a family sedan) spoiler on the rear trunk like. The tops of the taillights have small fins that ostensibly direct airflow the way Hyundai intends.  The overall exterior is handsome and sensuous and does a good job of distinguishing itself from others in the class. 
       Inside is a mixed bag. The overall look is handsome and restrained, but areas of cost-cutting were visible. There is cheaper plastic on the door panels, lower dash, and parts of the center console.  Still, it is hard to argue with a full TFT screen for the gauge cluster and a large, wide infotainment system in the center.  The infotainment system sits high on the dash and looks like a tablet popping up from below. Controls are simple and easy to reach, and Hyundai has joined the ranks of the new decade by removing the shifter and replacing it with push-button controls. I like Hyundai's setup better than Honda's which I have to think about to use. The seats are a bit flat, but there is plenty of head and leg room. I do like Hyundai's use of two-tone interior, but that won't be on all cars. 
      At release, the Hyundai Sonata will come with two engines, a 2.5 direct injected 4-cylinder with 191 horsepower at 6,100 RPM and 181 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. An optional 1.6T will have 180 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 195 lb-ft of torque from 1,5000 - 4,500 rpm.  The 2.5 will get 33mpg combined and the 1.6T will get 31mpg combined.   Some have balked at the idea that the buy-up engine has less horsepower than the base engine, but in this case, it is the flat torque curve that will really make the 1.6T feel faster.  For those who are wanting more power, Hyundai is reportedly working on an N-Line version that will have over 275 horsepower.  For the greenies, a hybrid is coming soon as well, with a possibly plug-in version in the works. Driving impressions will have to wait until this fall.
      Overall, Hyundai has a very strong contender for the shrinking mid-size market. Not all of the Ford Fusion owners will go to crossovers, so Hyundai looks ready to scoop them up.
       

    • By Drew Dowdell
      The Cadillac ATS and CTS didn't sell well.  They had great handling and a large selection of engines, but they were hampered by interiors that were cramped for the class and infotainment systems that could confound people.  Sedans are dying, Cadillac gets that too. That's why they are consolidating the ATS and CTS onto a single car called the CT5, released last week at the New York International Auto Show. Rumors have it that the CT5 will start in the mid-30s and Cadillac is insisting that, despite its size, the CT5 is aligned against the 3-series and C-Class. But in doing so, where does that leave the car? Could Cadillac be realigning their cars so they become the largest cars in a particular price class?  It would be a very traditionally Cadillac thing to do. There was a time when Cadillac would brag about having the longest production cars in its class. Even the original CTS was sized like a 5-series but priced like a 3-series.  More on that later. 
      I'm a lifelong fan of Cadillac.  I want to be excited about the CT5. While I do think the car looks handsome, it doesn't excite me like the CT6 does.  There is no one thing I can put my finger on, not even the black plastic triangle playing the part of a third window.  The car just doesn't command a presence as the CT6 does. And though the overall look of the front is handsome, I get flashbacks of Impala from certain angles. It does look far better in person than Cadillac's or my own photography show.
      Inside, Cadillac has upped their game on the quality of the materials, but they phoned the styling in. As some readers have pointed out, it even appears as if some trim pieces have been repurposed from the CTS. There is a large tablet stuck to the dash for the infotainment system, which is thankfully no longer the old CUE system. It looks to be similar in function and layout to those found in GMC's trucks. I have found that system to work well, so I don't see any problem there. A large dial in the center console can control the unit as well, useful if you're wearing gloves.  Capacitive touch buttons have been replaced by real physical buttons. They are well weighted and feel substantial, indeed even Mercedes-like for the HVAC controls.    Cadillac took to heart all of the criticism over their gauges in the previous cars and produced a good looking set of round dials for tach and speedometer with a driver information screen between.  The seats are firm and supportive, getting into position is quick and easy, but they don't match the 24+ way seats that Lincoln is offering these days.  Rear seat room has improved dramatically over the ATS, though feels about the same as a CTS.  Cadillac's Precision Control Shift is there.  I've found it annoying to use, but it has a similar operation to the BMW gear control that many people like, so maybe it is just me.  I think Cadillac (and everyone else) should chuck the shifter knob on their cars and go to something more digital.  One piece of technology in the CT5 that I really love is Cadillac's SuperCruise.  I've used SuperCruise to drive from Pittsburgh to New York, roughly 350 miles, and I was only actively piloting the car for about 10% of the time. 
      Engines in the CT5 seem to be introductory offers, but there is also room to grow. The base engine is a 2.0 liter twin-scroll turbo producing 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. That's a bit light for the class.  The optional engine is a 3.0 liter twin-turbo making 335 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.  Both engines are mated to a 10-speed automatic with all-wheel drive optional. Both engines also have displacement on demand and can shut down cylinders to conserve fuel in light-load situations.  Cadillac has plenty of room to maneuver here with engines though. For future versions like V-Sport and V-Series, they have the 400hp version of the 3.0TT, or the 420hp 3.6TT, or the new 4.2 liter Blackwing when more performance is called for.  
      Overall, this could be a very compelling car starting at $34,995 and being as long as a Mercedes-Benz E-Class. That's where the size issue comes in. Cadillac would have a hard time moving this CT5 if they price it alongside the same size German models. If this is going to be Cadillac's strategy, offer the biggest car for the price, then they need to drum that mindset into the heads of consumers. That takes advertising dollars.  Otherwise, they are just going to be repeatedly compared to vehicles outside of their price class and lose in every comparison test.  The CT6 being priced just $1,000 more than an E-Class leads me to believe this is what they are intending to do.   
      Read other First Impressions from the New York International Auto Show below:
      First Impressions: 2020 Hyundai Venue
      First Impressions: 2020 Lincoln Corsair
      First Impressions: 2020 Ford Escape

       
       

      View full article
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