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    William Maley

    Dodge Makes the Challenger Hellcat Even Wider

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      And you thought Dodge didn't have any more ideas to milk the Hellcat


    Another day and another Challenger variant has been revealed. This time it is the 2018 Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody.

    The Widebody features the wide front fenders and splitter found on the Demon. The new fenders add 3.5-inches in overall width - perfect to fit the 305/35R20-size Pirelli P Zero tires with a set of 20-inch wheels. Dodge claims the changes make the Widebody faster around a track than a standard Hellcat - about 2 seconds on a 1.7-mile road course according to testing done by Dodge. (We'll be waiting for a magazine to do a test to see how much of a difference there is. -WM).

    Dodge also says the Hellcat Widebody will be quicker to 60 mph and quarter-mile (0.1 and 0.3 seconds respectively). 

    The Hellcat Widebody also features a new electrically assisted power-steering system. This allows for new various steering modes to be selected from the SRT driving mode system.

    Price? The Hellcat Widebody begins at $72,590 (after $1,700 for the gas guzzler tax and $1,095 destination). It goes on sale in the third quarter.

    Source: Dodge 
    Press Release is on Page 2


    New Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody Completes Dodge’s Most Powerful Muscle Car Lineup Ever for 2018

    • New SRT Hellcat Widebody model has a starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $71,495 (including $1,700 gas guzzler tax, excluding $1,095 destination).
    • Widebody design brings new fender flares first seen on 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon to the Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody, adding 3.5 inches of width
    • New 20 x 11-inch “Devil’s Rim” split-five spoke aluminum wheels riding on 305/35ZR20 Pirelli P-Zero performance tires answer enthusiasts who have been clamoring for a factory-production Hellcat with even more grip
    • Road course lap time on a 1.7-mile track lowered by approximately 2 seconds per lap in Widebody vs. standard Hellcat, approximately 13 car lengths after one lap
    • New standard electric power steering (EPS) system with SRT Drive Modes add new selectable steering tuning to Hellcat, to help manage increased grip for improved acceleration and handling performance 
    • Powered by proven 707-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine
    • 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody model is open for dealer orders in July; will start arriving in dealerships in the third quarter

    June 27, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - When the new 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon raced down the drag strip to open the New York Auto Show in April, Dodge unleashed the ultimate street-to-strip car. Today, the brand is following up on its performance car mantra, introducing the new 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody, answering enthusiasts who have been clamoring for a factory-production Hellcat with even more grip.   
     
    “The new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody completes our strongest Dodge muscle car lineup in history,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT – FCA North America. “Our brand, engineering and design teams poured a ton of effort into making the new SRT Demon the world’s fastest quarter-mile production car, so now we’re leveraging that know-how, and some of those vital elements and transferring them to the new Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody for improved performance on the street and a bolder, more aggressive new look.”
     
    With a starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $71,495 (including gas guzzler tax, excluding destination $1,095), the new Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody model features the same fender flares first shown on the SRT Demon. These wider fender flares add 3.5 inches to the SRT Hellcat’s overall width, covering the new 20 x 11-inch “Devil’s Rim” split-five spoke aluminum wheels, which ride on new, wider 305/35ZR20 Pirelli P-Zero tires with a new tread pattern. A new electric power steering (EPS) system with SRT Drive Modes adds new selectable steering tuning for the first time on a Hellcat model.
     
    In addition to its wider, more menacing stance, this new Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody delivers improved lap times, lateral grip, acceleration and braking, compared with the already ferocious performance numbers of the Hellcat:

    • Road course lap time on a 1.7-mile track lowered by approximately 2 seconds per lap, approximately 13 car lengths after one lap
    • ¼ mile elapsed time (ET) improved by approximately .3 sec (10.9 ET in Widebody vs. 11.2 ET in standard Hellcat)
    • Lateral skid pad grip increased by .04 g (.97 g in Widebody vs. .93 g in standard Hellcat)
    • 0-60 mph acceleration improved by .1 second (3.4 in Widebody vs. 3.5 in standard Hellcat)
    • Top speed of 195 mph

     
    New EPS – a First for Hellcat  
    The 2018 Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody features a new standard electric power steering (EPS) system – a first for Hellcat. The system uses SRT Drive Modes with selectable settings for Street (Auto), Sport and Track.
     
    Not only does the EPS system improve handling performance, owners will also notice better steering feel and ease of turning efforts at parking lot speeds. 
     
    With EPS and SRT Drive Modes, drivers can tailor their experience by controlling horsepower, transmission shift speeds, steering, paddle shifters (automatic transmission only), traction and suspension. There is also a Custom setting lets the driver use individual preferences.
     
    Functional and Intimidating Exterior Design
    With the new Widebody fender flares that add 3.5 inches to the overall width of the Challenger Hellcat, the Widebody model joins the Challenger SRT Demon as the widest Challengers ever.
     
    The new flares are expertly integrated into the body design with concealed attachments to amplify the Challenger SRT Hellcat’s menacing stance, while making room for the new 20 x 11-inch “Devil’s Rim” split-five spoke aluminum wheels that ride on 305/35ZR20 Pirelli tires for improved performance while filling the wheel wells for a stronger planted appearance. The front side marker lights are styled to flow with the shape of the fender flares.
     
    The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody carries numerous exterior styling cues Dodge//SRT owners expect, such as:

    • Power-bulge aluminum hood with center intake and dual heat extractors
    • Exclusive illuminated Air-Catcher headlamps that feed air directly into the air box and engine bay through the center of the parking lamps
    • Quad projector headlamps give a unique detailed appearance, while the aggressive brow “chops” the upper portion of the lamp design exudes a sinister look
    • Front splitter (shared with Demon) and rear spoiler (from Hellcat) deliver responsive and balanced handling at high speed
    • Hellcat-exclusive new grille and fender badges, along with raised SRT Hellcat badge on the rear spoiler
    • Standard Brembo brake system includes two-piece 15.4-inch rotors and six-piston front calipers provide outstanding heat management/thermal capacity and longevity

     
    Proven Supercharged Hellcat Performance    
    The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody is powered by the 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V-8 with 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. torque and can be paired to either the Tremec six-speed manual or TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. 
     
    The proven Hellcat HEMI engine features additional cooling measures including a low-temperature circuit with two air/coolant heat exchangers integrated into the supercharger housing. This setup is designed to keep air temperatures below 140 degrees Fahrenheit, under extreme ambient conditions, while enabling air flow of up to 30,000 liters per minute.

    So effective is this feature that engine power will not be de-rated due to cooling demands after 20 minutes of hard driving on a road course at an ambient temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
     
    Before the new SRT Demon V-8 engine was introduced, the supercharged Hellcat HEMI V-8 was the most powerful passenger-car engine ever produced by FCA US, which made the Challenger SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT Hellcat models the most powerful and fastest coupe and sedan ever. The new engine was also named to Ward’s 10 Best Engines list for 2015.
     
    Race-inspired, High-performance Interior
    The cockpit of the Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody remains true to its performance-oriented design and execution with world-class materials; high-sill center console and driver-focused instrument panel with 200-mph speedometer; SRT performance leather-wrapped flat-bottom, heated steering wheel; standard SRT Laguna leather performance seats with SRT Hellcat logo, and new red Hellcat instrument panel badge.
     
    SRT Performance Pages are accessible through the latest 8.4-inch touchscreen display media center with standard Uconnect 4C NAV system featuring performance improvements with faster startup time and enhanced processing power offering multi-touch gestures, vivid imagery, sharper graphics and the ability to support smartphone integrations.
     
    The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody will be available 15 exterior colors: B5 Blue (late availability), Billet Silver, Destroyer Grey, F8 Green (late availability), Go Mango, Granite Crystal, IndiGo Blue (late availability), Maximum Steel, Octane Red, Pitch Black, Plum Crazy (late availability), Redline Tri-Coat, TorRed, White Knuckle and Yellow Jacket.
     
    Production of the 2018 Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody begins later this summer with deliveries to Dodge//SRT dealers in the third quarter.
     
    Official Driving School of Dodge//SRT
    All customers who buy the new 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody receive one full-day session at Bob Bondurant School of High-performance Driving. The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Chandler, Arizona, is the Official High Performance Driving School of Dodge//SRT. All customers who buy a new model SRT will receive one full-day session of high-performance driving with professional instruction and time on the track as part of the Dodge SRT Package. For more information, visit www.driveSRT.com.

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    6 minutes ago, regfootball said:

    Z1LE prob still beats this thing on the track bigly

    Depends on the Track.

    Camaro is part of a full line up, Challenger is part of a brand that hasn't had a full lineup of competent competitive vehicles since Nixon was president and Love American Style was a regular TV show.

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    2 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Depends on the Track.

    Camaro is part of a full line up, Challenger is part of a brand that hasn't had a full lineup of competent competitive vehicles since Nixon was president and Love American Style was a regular TV show.

    Standard ZL1 would crush any Challenger on a track. It's not even a fair comparison, Dodge is doing pretty great things with a car on an ancient chassis, the Alpha Camaro is state of the art.

    The 5th gen (2012-15) ZL1 will out track a standard Hellcat on 9/10 courses, the new ZL1 is so much more than a wide-body enhancement can accomplish, and the new 1LE is in a completely different league.

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    6 hours ago, cp-the-nerd said:

    Standard ZL1 would crush any Challenger on a track. It's not even a fair comparison, Dodge is doing pretty great things with a car on an ancient chassis, the Alpha Camaro is state of the art.

    The 5th gen (2012-15) ZL1 will out track a standard Hellcat on 9/10 courses, the new ZL1 is so much more than a wide-body enhancement can accomplish, and the new 1LE is in a completely different league.

    Interesting, thanks for the clarification!

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    9 hours ago, cp-the-nerd said:

    Standard ZL1 would crush any Challenger on a track. It's not even a fair comparison, Dodge is doing pretty great things with a car on an ancient chassis, the Alpha Camaro is state of the art.

    The 5th gen (2012-15) ZL1 will out track a standard Hellcat on 9/10 courses, the new ZL1 is so much more than a wide-body enhancement can accomplish, and the new 1LE is in a completely different league.

    Very true, Dodge is staying with the old 1970's thinking of the fastest straight line. Yet today, the bulk of drivers want a driving machine that goes fast, Hence the Camaro. 

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    4 hours ago, dfelt said:

    Very true, Dodge is staying with the old 1970's thinking of the fastest straight line. Yet today, the bulk of drivers want a driving machine that goes fast, Hence the Camaro. 

    Not so much .  the released performance specs compared to the non widebody.  2 seconds quicker on a 1.7 mile track, 10.9 1/4 mile, .97G om the skidpad, new Epas steering system with multiple settings, 15.4 inch 6 piston breaks with 305mm wide tires all the way around should putt the puppy down pretty good.  i have been shocked about how different a 15+ Challenger and Charger compares to the older ones.  Even the base V6 feels like a totally different car and the interior is easily te best of the 3.  And the fact is 99% will get in a straightline tussle on the street while maybe 1% of either 1LE drivers or Hellcat drivers will ever tackle a road course.  For me?  it is the Hellcat.  You can see out of it, it has room aplenty, 5 seats, a big trunk, and looks menacing as hell.  The point is, get what your heart wants whatever it is. 

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    48 minutes ago, Stew said:

    Not so much .  the released performance specs compared to the non widebody.  2 seconds quicker on a 1.7 mile track, 10.9 1/4 mile, .97G om the skidpad, new Epas steering system with multiple settings, 15.4 inch 6 piston breaks with 305mm wide tires all the way around should putt the puppy down pretty good.  i have been shocked about how different a 15+ Challenger and Charger compares to the older ones.  Even the base V6 feels like a totally different car and the interior is easily te best of the 3.  And the fact is 99% will get in a straightline tussle on the street while maybe 1% of either 1LE drivers or Hellcat drivers will ever tackle a road course.  For me?  it is the Hellcat.  You can see out of it, it has room aplenty, 5 seats, a big trunk, and looks menacing as hell.  The point is, get what your heart wants whatever it is. 

    I can respect what you are saying and totally agree get what you want. 

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    I like the look of the wide body..I figured they wouldn't leave that only with the Demon.   Reminds me of JDM bosozoku style. 

    The Camaro ZL-1 and 1LE are great performers on a track, no doubt...but the styling and cramped interior with tiny windows leaves me cold...love the Challenger styling, liked it since it first came out...

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    13 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    I like the look of the wide body..I figured they wouldn't leave that only with the Demon.   Reminds me of JDM bosozoku style. 

    The Camaro ZL-1 and 1LE are great performers on a track, no doubt...but the styling and cramped interior with tiny windows leaves me cold...love the Challenger styling, liked it since it first came out...

    It pains me greatly to say this as the resident Ford critic, but I think GT 350 R would be my weapon of choice...

    1 hour ago, Frisky Dingo said:

    Cool. But they missed a huge opportunity by not making it AWD.

    Agreed!

    1 hour ago, Stew said:

    Not so much .  the released performance specs compared to the non widebody.  2 seconds quicker on a 1.7 mile track, 10.9 1/4 mile, .97G om the skidpad, new Epas steering system with multiple settings, 15.4 inch 6 piston breaks with 305mm wide tires all the way around should putt the puppy down pretty good.  i have been shocked about how different a 15+ Challenger and Charger compares to the older ones.  Even the base V6 feels like a totally different car and the interior is easily te best of the 3.  And the fact is 99% will get in a straightline tussle on the street while maybe 1% of either 1LE drivers or Hellcat drivers will ever tackle a road course.  For me?  it is the Hellcat.  You can see out of it, it has room aplenty, 5 seats, a big trunk, and looks menacing as hell.  The point is, get what your heart wants whatever it is. 

    See, if I get the Mustang, you get the Challenger, CP gets the Camaro, Frisky brings an Audi R8, Dfelt brings a Tesla 100, Cubical brings something cool and Ford oriented...a Boss 302 gently used...Dave87Rs brings a z28 Camaro...we can all be in budness....!

    Edited by A Horse With No Name
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    2 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    See, if I get the Mustang, you get the Challenger, CP gets the Camaro, Frisky brings an Audi R8, Dfelt brings a Tesla 100, Cubical brings something cool and Ford oriented...a Boss 302 gently used...Dave87Rs brings a z28 Camaro...we can all be in budness....!

    Tesla 100 would be my 1994 Suburban EV converted that I am planning for. :metal: Plus I will be happy to bring some nice red wines to drink with chocolate! :P 

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    19 hours ago, dfelt said:

    I can respect what you are saying and totally agree get what you want. 

    Very true.  i think they should do a widebody shaker, amp it up to 500HP even and call it the Shaker 500.  Black shaker on the hood with a black spoiler, the widebody kit and different style of 20 inch wheels, maybe with 5 solid spokes instead of split, maybe Crager SS style, but in black.   Starting with the Scat Pack based Shaker, this should be able to happen for the low 50s, maybe even 49995 lol  

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    54 minutes ago, Stew said:

    Very true.  i think they should do a widebody shaker, amp it up to 500HP even and call it the Shaker 500.  Black shaker on the hood with a black spoiler, the widebody kit and different style of 20 inch wheels, maybe with 5 solid spokes instead of split, maybe Crager SS style, but in black.   Starting with the Scat Pack based Shaker, this should be able to happen for the low 50s, maybe even 49995 lol  

    Would be awesome...!

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    21 hours ago, Stew said:

    For me?  it is the Hellcat.  You can see out of it, it has room aplenty, 5 seats, a big trunk, and looks menacing as hell.  The point is, get what your heart wants whatever it is. 

    The highlighted part is the only thing I find issue with. Nobody, I mean NOBODY, who complains about Camaro visibility is going to recommend you check out the Challenger instead. They are both bunkers with narrow windows and massive blind spots.

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    1 hour ago, cp-the-nerd said:

    The highlighted part is the only thing I find issue with. Nobody, I mean NOBODY, who complains about Camaro visibility is going to recommend you check out the Challenger instead. They are both bunkers with narrow windows and massive blind spots.

    Been in them all.  The Challenger offers MASSIVELY better visibility than the 5th or 6th gen Camaro.  Plus, the Camaro interior is just awful compared to Challenger and mustang.  The dash is ugly and cheap while the Mustang and Challenger offer nicely styled interiors and better visibility. 

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    24 minutes ago, Stew said:

    Been in them all.  The Challenger offers MASSIVELY better visibility than the 5th or 6th gen Camaro.  Plus, the Camaro interior is just awful compared to Challenger and mustang.  The dash is ugly and cheap while the Mustang and Challenger offer nicely styled interiors and better visibility. 

    Throw pitchforks but the Mustang has the best interior by far....not even remotely close.

    I like all three...and test drove an eco Boost Mustang before my most recent car purchase...but I am kind of burned out by the whole pony car thing.

    Hate to say it but I might buy a Nismo 370 before I would buy a Challenger...

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    31 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Throw pitchforks but the Mustang has the best interior by far....not even remotely close.

    I like all three...and test drove an eco Boost Mustang before my most recent car purchase...but I am kind of burned out by the whole pony car thing.

    Hate to say it but I might buy a Nismo 370 before I would buy a Challenger...

    Did I hear you say a Mismo Juke? ;)

    2017-nissan-juke-nismo-rs-black-red-details-original.jpg

    O'h wait I read that wrong, a Nismo 370

    370Nismo.jpg

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    1 hour ago, dfelt said:

    Did I hear you say a Mismo Juke? ;)

    2017-nissan-juke-nismo-rs-black-red-details-original.jpg

    O'h wait I read that wrong, a Nismo 370

    370Nismo.jpg

    If I wanted a car that looked as bad as the Juke I would buy a Benz....

    Saw a Benz convertible over lunch....change the badge and you could sell the damn thing as a Sebring.

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    On 6/28/2017 at 9:35 AM, Frisky Dingo said:

    Cool. But they missed a huge opportunity by not making it AWD.

    Agreed but the problem may be having an AWD system that can handle 707HP. 

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    On 6/28/2017 at 1:07 PM, A Horse With No Name said:

    It pains me greatly to say this as the resident Ford critic, but I think GT 350 R would be my weapon of choice...

    Agreed!

    See, if I get the Mustang, you get the Challenger, CP gets the Camaro, Frisky brings an Audi R8, Dfelt brings a Tesla 100, Cubical brings something cool and Ford oriented...a Boss 302 gently used...Dave87Rs brings a z28 Camaro...we can all be in budness....!

     

    I like where your head's at, but an R8 is a little out of my price range at the moment, lol. Maybe an RS5. Of course, the only way it'd beat the more track savvy pony cars is in inclement weather. :lol:

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    32 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    If I wanted a car that looked as bad as the Juke I would buy a Benz....

    Saw a Benz convertible over lunch....change the badge and you could sell the damn thing as a Sebring.

    So True :metal: This is just a MB with a Chrysler logo on it.

    2007-chrysler-sebring-photo-113734-s-1280x782.jpg

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      890,027           913,212            -3%


       
         
       
    • By William Maley
      I was a bit surprised when I got word that I would be spending a few days with a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross only a few weeks after doing a brief first drive. As I noted in my report, I came away pretty impressed with certain aspects of this latest contender in the compact crossover class. But there were some items that I needed more time to mess around with such as the infotainment system and powertrain. With a bit more time behind the wheel, how would Mitsubishi’s newest model fare? 
      As I talked about in my quick first drive, Mitsubishi’s design staff went crazy with the Eclipse Cross. Sharp angles, a split shape for the tailgate, and aggressive front end treatment will draw a lot of comment. But credit should be given to the design team as they have created something that does stand out in a very crowded class. The polarizing design can be toned down a lot if you choose a different color than the red as seen on my tester. 
      Sadly, that polarizing design doesn’t carry into the interior. But the plain look does allow for most controls to be easy to find and reach. Only the placement of the trip computer controls (behind the steering wheel) and climate control (nestled deep in the center stack) will invoke some frustration. Mitsubishi has also made some noticeable improvements to overall interior quality. There are higher quality hard plastics and some soft-touch materials used throughout. Also, there were no glaring build quality concerns that I noticed in the Outlander Sport.
      The front seats provide decent support for short trips, but I was wishing for more padding after doing a day trip to Ohio. The sloping roofline and large sunroof will eat into rear headroom, but legroom is decent for most passengers. Cargo space is on the low side with 22.6 cubic feet with the seats up and 48.9 cubic feet when folded. The sloping tailgate design does also mean you’ll need to plan carefully as to how you plan on loading cargo.
      Mitsubishi equips all Eclipse Cross models with a seven-inch touchscreen, but only the LE and above get a free-standing version with a touchpad controller. The touchpad controller reminds a lot of the Lexus’ Remote Touch system and its issues. Both systems exhibit some slowness to respond when your finger is moving across the pad. At least the Mitsubishi system has a touchscreen as another input method, but you’ll be stretching your arm to use it. The graphics and overall performance do trail competitors, but it is a huge step forward when compared to the previous systems Mitsubishi has installed. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility are standard on LE models and above.
      A new turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder powers the Eclipse Cross. Output is rated at 152 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. All models come with a CVT and the choice of either front or Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel-Control (S-AWC). During my first drive, I came away mostly impressed with the turbo-four as it moved the vehicle with subtle verve around town. This still held true during my time with the vehicle. But I did find the engine runs out of steam at higher speeds, making it somewhat difficult to pass quickly when traveling on the highway. Also, the engine does sound somewhat unrefined in hard acceleration. The CVT is similar; providing excellent performance around town, but noticeably struggles on the highway. 
      EPA fuel economy on the Eclipse Cross SEL S-AWC is 25 City/26 Highway/25 Combined. My average for the five-day period I had the vehicle landed around 27.2 on a 70/30 mix of highway and city driving.
      Despite the Eclipse name on the vehicle, this is not a sporty crossover. There is pronounced body lean and the steering feels noticeably light. But for most buyers, this is not a big issue. They’re more concerned about how the Eclipse Cross rides and the news is better. The suspension does a great job of absorbing most bumps. Wind noise is kept to very acceptable levels, but there was a fair amount of road noise coming inside - especially when traveling on the highway. This makes long trips somewhat tiring.
      While many enthusiasts may bemoan the fact that Mitsubishi is using the Eclipse name on a crossover, I’ll be the first to admit this is their best vehicle in quite some time. The design and turbo engine help the model stand out in what is becoming a quite crowded class. Plus, the starting price of $23,295 for the base ES makes it quite tempting. Still, the Eclipse Cross does trail the pack in terms of comfort, cargo space, and performance at higher speeds. There is room for improvement, but Mitsubishi has most of the basics right on the money.
      Disclaimer: Mitsubishi Provided the Eclipse Cross, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mitsubishi
      Model: Eclipse Cross
      Trim: SEL S-AWC
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.5L Direct-Injected Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: CVT, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 152 @ 5,550
      Torque @ RPM: 184 @ 2,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/26/25
      Curb Weight: 3,516 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Okazaki, Japan
      Base Price: $27,895
      As Tested Price: $32,310 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Touring Package - $2,500.00
      Red Diamond Paint - $595.00
      Accessory Tonneau Cover - $190.00
      Accessory Carpeted Floormats and Portfolio - $135.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      I was a bit surprised when I got word that I would be spending a few days with a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross only a few weeks after doing a brief first drive. As I noted in my report, I came away pretty impressed with certain aspects of this latest contender in the compact crossover class. But there were some items that I needed more time to mess around with such as the infotainment system and powertrain. With a bit more time behind the wheel, how would Mitsubishi’s newest model fare? 
      As I talked about in my quick first drive, Mitsubishi’s design staff went crazy with the Eclipse Cross. Sharp angles, a split shape for the tailgate, and aggressive front end treatment will draw a lot of comment. But credit should be given to the design team as they have created something that does stand out in a very crowded class. The polarizing design can be toned down a lot if you choose a different color than the red as seen on my tester. 
      Sadly, that polarizing design doesn’t carry into the interior. But the plain look does allow for most controls to be easy to find and reach. Only the placement of the trip computer controls (behind the steering wheel) and climate control (nestled deep in the center stack) will invoke some frustration. Mitsubishi has also made some noticeable improvements to overall interior quality. There are higher quality hard plastics and some soft-touch materials used throughout. Also, there were no glaring build quality concerns that I noticed in the Outlander Sport.
      The front seats provide decent support for short trips, but I was wishing for more padding after doing a day trip to Ohio. The sloping roofline and large sunroof will eat into rear headroom, but legroom is decent for most passengers. Cargo space is on the low side with 22.6 cubic feet with the seats up and 48.9 cubic feet when folded. The sloping tailgate design does also mean you’ll need to plan carefully as to how you plan on loading cargo.
      Mitsubishi equips all Eclipse Cross models with a seven-inch touchscreen, but only the LE and above get a free-standing version with a touchpad controller. The touchpad controller reminds a lot of the Lexus’ Remote Touch system and its issues. Both systems exhibit some slowness to respond when your finger is moving across the pad. At least the Mitsubishi system has a touchscreen as another input method, but you’ll be stretching your arm to use it. The graphics and overall performance do trail competitors, but it is a huge step forward when compared to the previous systems Mitsubishi has installed. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility are standard on LE models and above.
      A new turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder powers the Eclipse Cross. Output is rated at 152 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. All models come with a CVT and the choice of either front or Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel-Control (S-AWC). During my first drive, I came away mostly impressed with the turbo-four as it moved the vehicle with subtle verve around town. This still held true during my time with the vehicle. But I did find the engine runs out of steam at higher speeds, making it somewhat difficult to pass quickly when traveling on the highway. Also, the engine does sound somewhat unrefined in hard acceleration. The CVT is similar; providing excellent performance around town, but noticeably struggles on the highway. 
      EPA fuel economy on the Eclipse Cross SEL S-AWC is 25 City/26 Highway/25 Combined. My average for the five-day period I had the vehicle landed around 27.2 on a 70/30 mix of highway and city driving.
      Despite the Eclipse name on the vehicle, this is not a sporty crossover. There is pronounced body lean and the steering feels noticeably light. But for most buyers, this is not a big issue. They’re more concerned about how the Eclipse Cross rides and the news is better. The suspension does a great job of absorbing most bumps. Wind noise is kept to very acceptable levels, but there was a fair amount of road noise coming inside - especially when traveling on the highway. This makes long trips somewhat tiring.
      While many enthusiasts may bemoan the fact that Mitsubishi is using the Eclipse name on a crossover, I’ll be the first to admit this is their best vehicle in quite some time. The design and turbo engine help the model stand out in what is becoming a quite crowded class. Plus, the starting price of $23,295 for the base ES makes it quite tempting. Still, the Eclipse Cross does trail the pack in terms of comfort, cargo space, and performance at higher speeds. There is room for improvement, but Mitsubishi has most of the basics right on the money.
      Disclaimer: Mitsubishi Provided the Eclipse Cross, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mitsubishi
      Model: Eclipse Cross
      Trim: SEL S-AWC
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.5L Direct-Injected Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: CVT, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 152 @ 5,550
      Torque @ RPM: 184 @ 2,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/26/25
      Curb Weight: 3,516 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Okazaki, Japan
      Base Price: $27,895
      As Tested Price: $32,310 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Touring Package - $2,500.00
      Red Diamond Paint - $595.00
      Accessory Tonneau Cover - $190.00
      Accessory Carpeted Floormats and Portfolio - $135.00
    • By Drew Dowdell
      FCA is paying Tesla hundreds of millions of dollar to pool their vehicles with Tesla to avoid EU fines over emissions. Tesla put out an invitation to other automakers to use its fleet to lower their emissions totals and FCA took them up on it.  Neither company released financial specifics of the deal, but it is estimated by the Financial Times to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  
      Similar to California which allows manufactures with a surplus of ZEV credits to sell them to manufacturers who need them, the EU Commission allows manufacturers to pool together their fleets to avoid paying fines. Tesla makes significant money selling these credits in the US, earning $103.4m in 2018 and $279.7m in 2017. Once set up, the pool in Europe is good for several years.
      Vehicles in 2018 are allowed an average CO2 emission of 120.5g per kilometer. That figure will drop to 95g per kilometer next year.  FCA's average for 2018 was 123g per kilometer, one of the largest off the mark of the 13 major manufacturers. FCA is seen to have fallen to near the back of the pack when in comes to reigning in CO2 emissions.
      FCA was forecast to be facing fines exceeding €2 billion ($2.25 billion) without pooling with Tesla. 
       

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      FCA is paying Tesla hundreds of millions of dollar to pool their vehicles with Tesla to avoid EU fines over emissions. Tesla put out an invitation to other automakers to use its fleet to lower their emissions totals and FCA took them up on it.  Neither company released financial specifics of the deal, but it is estimated by the Financial Times to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  
      Similar to California which allows manufactures with a surplus of ZEV credits to sell them to manufacturers who need them, the EU Commission allows manufacturers to pool together their fleets to avoid paying fines. Tesla makes significant money selling these credits in the US, earning $103.4m in 2018 and $279.7m in 2017. Once set up, the pool in Europe is good for several years.
      Vehicles in 2018 are allowed an average CO2 emission of 120.5g per kilometer. That figure will drop to 95g per kilometer next year.  FCA's average for 2018 was 123g per kilometer, one of the largest off the mark of the 13 major manufacturers. FCA is seen to have fallen to near the back of the pack when in comes to reigning in CO2 emissions.
      FCA was forecast to be facing fines exceeding €2 billion ($2.25 billion) without pooling with Tesla. 
       
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